Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Malfunctioning site is still malfunctioning

Ugh, got another e-mail about my site suddenly dying again, and at the beginning of my work day too! That meant I couldn't do anything about it for hours until I got home since access to non-HTTP ports (like those used to control my server) is restricted by a proxy with an iron grip choke-hold over the pieces of cable between my work and the general internet. I've been trying a bunch of things to fix these intermittent crashes, but none of them so far seem to stick.

I know what the general problem is now thanks to finally having access to all the logs and other process information I couldn’t get with my old hosting plan. (For the technical minded amongst you, the issue is the timeout between this site and the database: old connections need to die, but the connection pool isn’t killing-off those connection, it’s just trying again and again when it should be discarding the old connection from the pool and making a new one instead) I've done the research (read: Googled it) and I've come up with at least a dozen ways to solve it, but knowing my luck I've listed the potential fixes in the wrong order such that the solution I need is right at the end. Knowing that, I should jump right to the end of the list and work my way up from there, but if my luck stays constant, then the solution would've been the next one to try had I not gone and jumped to the end.

So yeah, just a rant that I am aware this place is still as flimsy as a straw house, and that I am trying to reinforce it.

Sad panda
Sad panda wants this place fixed

Other things going on with me include joining the 'write a novel' bandwagon. Based on the ideas that came out of a brainstorming session my guitar buddy and I had last year when trying to come up with a song, I found myself wanting to develop the ideas we had for that song a lot further since the 5-minute finished product I ended-up with then left me with more questions than answers. The character central to the song also started developing a mind of their own and wanted out of my head.

So, I started writing; letting said character leave the small empty spaces of my mind through the fingertips on my keyboard, and into the largely free disk drive of my computer. Now they have gigabytes of space to roam free and grow in.

(What bothers me is that what I've written so far condenses to roughly 68KB of Microsoft Word document, which leaves me wondering: if they were bursting to get out of my head, and now they’re happy at just 68KB, does that mean, if brain space could be measured, that I only had 68KB worth of brain cells left? (That actually might explain a few other things...))

I've been at the writing thing the past few weeks, helped by the fact that some recent real-life happenings have put me into a really melancholy mood. I remember reading an article about how angst and melancholy works as a motivator for creativity, so I tried to find it to link to it here. I didn't find the exact article, but I found a better one which pretty much every other article on the subject seemed to link to:

I'm on the side that believes this idea because my own past is littered with examples, the most prominent being that I picked-up guitar to get over a girl, and I created this space wallpaper (the first of many) because I was losing a friend. Pretty much any time someone has observed some sort of change in my direction, it's very likely I did that because I was trying to get passed something that put me in a rut.

Unfortunately for me and my mental health, I take to dwelling in these situations all too eagerly since I know I can use them to my advantage when I'm trying to get through the next song I'm learning, or the next paragraph I'm writing. I then feed the melancholy with a sad song or some extra misery, which in turn feeds the creative process, and then I'm stuck in this morbid loop until I play that last chord or type that last word.

Did you mean recursion?

But just like my stomach knows I can't keep eating McDonalds every day of the week, my mind seems to know that I can't stay in these grey rooms forever. All of a sudden I'll find myself at the end of these tethers of gloom, and I'll wake-up the following morning in one of the best moods I have ever been in, and with another product of the creative process up my sleeve.

It's like I can't manage to stay that way forever, because like anything in excess, it can't be good for you.