David Aaron Fendley

Gears of War Is Still My Favorite Shooter

The Gears of War trilogy is truly one of the greatest video games series created. Epic is a fellowship of true artisans and craftsmen.

"Memories Of My 16-Year Career In Video Games" by Adam Sessler

Adam Sessler will forever hold a special place in my heart. A charismatic, passionate, enthusiastic man, I eagerly await his future endeavors.

One Must Fall: Battlegrounds Score

The score to One Must Fall: Battlegrounds by the brilliant Kenny Chou is one of my favorites. I find myself working to it often. It’s highs, lows, and pumping swings energize me to push through whatever is at hand.

Thank you for your incredible work, Kenny.

I’ve put together a compilation of songs from the game that I’ve found across the Interwebs. I’ve released it on GitHub in case anyone wishes to improve it by providing better artwork, fixing any metadata, or adding new tracks.

Put on your headphones, turn up the music, and hack away to this excellent score.

It is my understanding that these tracks are free for distribution. Please let me know if otherwise.

Testing Production

Microsoft’s Cortana

This is the rarely-seen Microsoft I love: Cortana — Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri.

Named after the lovable character from the brilliant video game, “Halo”, she intelligently scans your content for actionable items.

Check out the video here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475760709953726?mg=reno64-wsj

Resolving Rails 4 Asset Compilation Errors with Heroku

If you are getting the following error when deploying a Rails 4 application to Heroku:


    Preparing app for Rails asset pipeline
    Running: rake assets:precompile
    rake aborted!
    could not connect to server: Connection refused
    Is the server running on host "127.0.0.1" and accepting
    TCP/IP connections on port 5432?

Test asset compilation locally without environment variables:


    env -i GEM_PATH=$GEM_PATH \
    PATH=$PATH \
    DATABASE_URL=postgres://user:pass@127.0.0.1/dbname \
    /bin/sh -c 'bundle exec rake --trace  assets:precompile'

The stack trace will show you which gem is attempting to utilize the Rails environment, which is not initialized in Rails 4. (Note that config.assets.initialize_on_precompile has been removed in Rails 4 and has no effect. Rails 4 no longer initializes for asset compilation.)

In my case, it was Rolify. Removing Rolify’s initializer in config/initializers resolved my deployment issue.

Shift

I’ve always considered myself a terrible businessman. I am far more interested in the work than the income, and thus, growing the business. I run a business first and foremost so that I am accountable only to myself. I never liked working in cubicles, and in 2004, I declared I would never do so.

I haven’t done so since.

My company, Elemental Imaging, is basically a name for myself. I operate as a freelancer under the guise of a company. I don’t bill my clients on time, I struggle to receive income, and I create breakdowns in cash-flow. Though this has yet to affect my contractors, it has created great stress in my life, far beyond the meager time it would take to responsibly bill my clients, or to setup a contract and payment structure.

I also fail to hit deadlines. I tend to procrastinate and pull all-nighters. I then justify what didn’t get done or how it did get done. Sometimes the deadline is completely blown. I’ve lost business over this, and rightfully so. It’s a learning lesson, if I actually learn from it.

What lies beneath these situations?

Worthiness. I “know” I am a talented software designer and creative, but I don’t truly believe that I am. I undermine myself, I devalue myself, I deprecate myself. This shows up in every area of my life. I’m single because I don’t believe I am worthy of love. I’m broke because I don’t believe I am worthy of money. I am at other’s mercy — my clients’ demands, other’s demands — because I do not believe I have a voice, that I have power.

Shift.

Reflection and introspection has been an important part of my life. I love to think, to dream. I enjoy reflecting and philosophizing. I analyze myself and situations. Then I overanalyze them, driving myself mad. I fail to evaluate. I fail to review, to see what’s working, what isn’t, and what is next. This is prime territory for analysis, but being so rooted in my feelings, I ignore these opportunities. Instead, I wallow and idealize. I reject situations, wishing for them to be another way.

I have suffered my life in my blind spots, failing to notice what isn’t working, living from madness, expecting different results from the same, cyclical patterns.

The truth is, I am afraid of my own power, of my capabilities. I am afraid that if I am worthy, I will have the company, work, income, career, and relationship of my dreams. I am afraid that if I corral and use my analytical strengths in a manner that is wellbeing, that I will create change I am uncomfortable with, and thus, success. I am afraid of the responsibility of that success. I am afraid of failing to achieve all of the greatness that has been declared over me by others. I am afraid of being just a hopeless disappointment.

I live in fear.

I get to make a choice: To accept my current self, life, and results, or to create a new self and life with different results.

Neither one is comfortable; but one has growth while the other has complacency. One has wellbeing and worthiness while the other has apathy and indifference. Both have pain, and both are valid choices; yet only one takes me through the gauntlet towards my authentic self.

I choose to take a risk. I choose to change.

I choose to shift.

Every Day is Exactly the Same

Comfort Zones are a dangerous place to lie. They deceive, they thwart. They promise consistency and predictability at the cost of high risk and high reward. Life is painful. Thinking is painful. Existing is painful. Fortunately we have been equipped with adaptation, the ability to subvert pain through constant exposure. Pressure: They say it maketh a diamond.

We toil in the mines of data, seeking to extract a better version of ourselves; one we can sell at a higher price to the covetous and the void — one we can sell to ourselves. We are the living strata of the earth, and yet we wish nothing more than to be lifeless, inanimate objects of subjective worth. If to live is better than to be lifeless, then surely it is better to be more than ourselves, more than human. Such a thing should come at a high price. We value our time. We value our assets. We do not value ourselves. Were we to do so, we would appreciate high risk and high reward. Within our very spirits would begin a fundamental change rooted in becoming the very high price we seek.

Discipline, restraint, and personal responsibility are the pillars of Human 2.0. We can not continue to exist as a self-proclaimed intelligent species when our behavior is modeled after that of the virus. We aren’t even respectful enough to be parasites. We feast until we die.

TV, Internet, information. We feast in new forms as they emerge. Where we once left physical waste, we now leave delusion, aggression, and division. We are not good enough to merit the title, “virus”, for at least a virus has a purpose. In our current form, we have none. Perhaps we are the Earth’s punishment for its transgressions.

Some predict a great change to occur in 2012, proclaiming the end of the world; others see it as the end of our current form. These prophets of prediction are a dime a dozen. Be wary of the public prophet, for they desire only to serve their ego. Listen carefully to the silent. They speak in words that need not be heard.

Wake. Eat. Work. Sleep. Wake. Eat. Work. Sleep. Again. The pattern repeats itself. Every day is exactly the same for those of us in a sick-cycle carousel. Wake, in our comfortable beds. Eat, from our comfortable stoves. Work, in our comfortable offices. Sleep, in our comfortable beds. It matters not whether these environments are physically comfortable. If it is routine, it is a comfort. We write checks from our couches and pews for to help the needy with idle hands would require discomfort. We shop online for to deal with others would distress ourselves. We captivate our minds with the Gehennas of the Internet for to step outside would require embracing reality. Reality is not as we would make it, so we bury our noses in our phones.

The Devil smiles… And we are left none the wiser.