Quote of the Day

This quote comes from Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack. It's in this article. The article talks about how the music industry wants to raise the prices for songs on iTunes, and Steve Jobs fires back about how that's greedy, and it will turn people back to piracy. The market isn't big enough to raise prices yet, one analyst conjectures. Anyway, here's the quote:

"I'm not making any money on this," he said. "I've got one revenue stream that a proctologist would have a hard time analyzing. It's not pretty."

That's classic.

Philadelphia Fan T-Shirts

Doug sent me this. These are copyrighted I'm sure. Doug, tell us where you got them

(On the left, the one caveman asks another "Are there any other Cowboy fans?")

Website Development Ceasing

Today, I have ceased development on this website. I will still be making news posts, uploading music, adding photos, etc, but I won't be making new features or even fixing bugs. I won't be able to! Actually, I will be able to, but just pretend I won't. I'll be "branching" the code used in this site, sort of backing it up if you will, rewriting all of it, hence breaking this website on my local machine. I will have backups though. There are a few things wrong with it.

First and foremost, I have ideas. Lots of ideas. I will be building a new site, called stringed.org which will just be a showcase of technology. This was explained before. If there is news on there, you might see posts like "Jason is t3h l33t" and just utter garbage like that. Come here for the real news :) It will just be test data, and it'll probably be open to the public, so you will also be able to log in, or just click an admin link, and edit things and input crap, just like I can! It'll be fun for everyone.

Second, I have ideas :) Ok, so that's the same as the first, but I have to reiterate the fact that these ideas could be life changing. You might be working for me or for one of the companies I will own in a few years, so you might want to respect these ideas. The future is easiest achieved in a non-persistent world. That's a cool quote that I just made up. You know all the movies about the future (most fresh in my mind is Minority Report) where everything is different. Buildings are futuristic, cars, houses, everything. We won't ever get there because it will just be too expensive to tear down a building and make it "futuristic". However, in software, it's very easy to tear something down and re-do it. Not for gigantic companies, but for us "hobbyist" software developers. True, I do it for a living too, but I do the hobby stuff more passionately :) That's because I only work on the cool stuff at home. I am doing cool stuff at work though that I haven't done anywhere. I'm rambling. Anyway, if I can just get a good idea in my head, like I have now, I can throw away most of what I have done and start fresh and build my idea. It might not be life-changing for everyone, but I'll get a kick out of it... :)

Third. I just always think things should have three points to them. Three is the magic number. But really, I'm someone who quickly bores of programming. If you've written one input screen, you've written a thousand. If you've updated one table in a database, you've updated a billion. Same thing with most tasks in programming. However, if you have written something to automatically generate SQL for you and update a database, then you don't have to write that thing again, and you never have to write SQL or anything to update the table AGAIN. I wondered when I got done writing "dumb", and still was doing repetitive tasks, like scheming a database out, building input pages, building output pages, building backing beans, etc, if it could all be automatically done for me. That is what I plan on figuring out with this new design. I will find an answer, and that answer will be the future :) For me anyway. I'll buy you a hoverboard when I'm there.

New Movies!!

I just bought a boatload of movies. They've been shipping from Amazon.com continuously for the past 5 days. Here's the list. It's a good mix.

Johnny Mnemonic
Jurassic Park Trilogy
Star Wars Trilogy (That's episodes 4,5 and 6, not the latest atrocities)
Back to the Future Trilogy (I love Doc in these movies)
Slap Shot
Truman Show
Bruce Almighty
Ace Ventura 1 & 2
Dumb and Dumber
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Aviator
Catch Me If You Can
The Goonies
Indiana Jones Trilogy

I have other good movies so this adds to my great collection. A few notes: You might notice an overly unnecessary number of movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This is because he's a good actor. Despite starring in the Romeo and Juliette in the early 90s that every girlfriend I had back then raved about, and of course Titanic, which isn't really that bad if you take out the whole story that isn't about the sinking of the ship. Have you ever seen him in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" ??

I actually have a new order on Amazon.com just waiting for me to click the "Checkout" button. It's another big order of equal to better quality.

I also got a book with the previous order: "Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix". Haven't read it, but I did look in the middle where there are pictures. He is now my favorite blues guitarist. Stevie Ray Vaughan is still up there, but he was also inspired and heavily influenced by Jimi. I can't even explain Jimi's genius.

Today is Wednesday, half way there.

New Website Feature!

Yup, check out the little menu item, second row, second from the right. Take a poll! The first one I put up is a "multiple-selection single-vote public" poll. So, they will be checkboxes instead of radio buttons so you can pick a few, it will also only let you vote once, and it's public, you don't have to be logged in to use it. Look for more polls in the future.

The F@^#$!^!# BOMB

I started using my Mac Mini more because the other day, a friend asked "Yo, what are you using your Mac Mini for?" And I said "Music" and "Watching Movies". I then thought, that's obviously not enough usage out of the thing, although it is getting used every night when I throw in "Contact" or another movie. Being out sick today, and my chair breaking yesterday while I was in it, leaning back, falling flat on my neck, I decided that I'm going to try the iPhoto program that came with my Mac. I like it. It recognized my digital camera as soon as I put it in, and I clicked to import all of my pictures and movies. There were 74 of them, but most of them are already on this site, I just haven't deleted them from the camera.

So my chair broke yesterday, and being out sick, and doing some work from here, I needed a new chair. So I went to Staples to see what they had. I started sitting in them, and was happy with one, then saw this other one. It was brown. It's like suede, like our couch material. I sat in it, leaned back on it, and almost passed out. They had chairs there that have massage features on them, but this one was the one I wanted. It didn't require a battery and it was so comfortable. It didn't have a price tag on it, so I asked the lady at the checkout. She didn't know. The dude came by, and off the top of his head said "$180??" Damn. But, he went back to check, it was only $120!! I didn't have to break the bank.

I paid the $120 for the chair and added a $10 donation to the Red Cross for Katrina. So far I've donated $11 to the cause, but I'll eventually give more, because that just looks awful -- me buying a $120 chair for comfort while computing, and the victims just get $10. I'll make a big donation soon, like $100. That should help. I owe for September 11th, whose anniversary is coming up on Sunday. I was in college when it happened, but I really don't remember anyone trying to collect for the Red Cross. Another reason I didn't donate anything was because I was in college at the time, making $5 an hour at a job I would work about 5 hours a week. Plus, I figured the economic impact of something so terrifying would prevent me from making any money ever. That wasn't the case, but it wasn't until March, after I graduated that December, that I got my first job.

So, this chair.... awwwwwww this chair :) It's really nice. Padded arm rests, tilting seat so you can lean back, very soft back and seat, decent wheels, suede like upholstry, big neck support, and a very high back. I'm still sort of traumatized from the incident last night, so I'm afraid to lean back too far in it. Another cause for fear is that I put this thing together. I'm a software developer, stop looking at me funny :) Anyway, it's really nice! :) Here's a picture.

Yeah, you know you want it. Check out the pictures of my broken chair here.

Report from "Weekend of Hilarity"

Man, so many hilarious things happened this weekend. We went down to my parents' house in Lewes, DE, went golfing once, and went to the beach the rest of the time that any of us had any energy.

First story. The $0.75 Kite. Pat, who sometimes seems to be younger than my niece, and we forget that he's 24, saw this kite in "Happy Harry's Discount Drugs" on Route 9 in Lewes, and had to have it. Beaner, my real youngest brother, almost 19, got a two stringed kite, built to last, maneuverable, for a suggested retail price probably four times higher than Pat's plastic flap shaped as an eagle, two wooden bars, and some string, thrown together to form something that might resemble something that at one time had flown. However, he built this thing, and got it flying in a few seconds. Beaner, on the other hand, had a tough time getting his "expensive" kite built, and could only hold it up in the air for a few seconds before it came careening to the earth each time. Beaner gave up soon. Pat, however, was having a blast. A knot had formed, Pat just cut around it and retied the strings together. It was not worth the time he could be spending flying the thing. I was pitching a wiffle ball to different people so I got a good view. Pat was now over by our truck on the beach, and we were using the grooves in the sand from all the vehicles traveling up and down the beach as our pitching lane and home plate. There was another truck coming. The kite was high, but it started coming down. This was the beauty of it. The truck and the kite met, perfectly, so that the string of the kite got caught under an opening in between where the roof rack mounts to the roof. Perfect. Pat started yelling, I almost fell over laughing, then Pat just gave up, let go of the string, and so ended his $0.75 investment. Everyone soon came up from their seats and joined in the laughter and watched this truck drive a half of a mile down the beach with a kite flying behind it. This thing had some slack. It had about 15 feet of string from the roof rack, so it kept flying in circles, crashing into other trucks on the beach, taking out little kids, and everything else you think might be funny. It was a great time.

There were a TON more laugh out loud times. But, I'll tell you a story of choking. Athletic disappointment. No, I'm not talking about the Phillies right now.

We all went golfing, 5 of us. Dad, Jeff, Pat, Brendan (Beaner) and me. We were short 2 brothers, but I surely wouldn't be able to tell this story if Steve came, he would have whooped all of our asses. We play 9 holes of this par 3 course. Bean plays in his sandals, and takes them off to hit. First hole for me, just on the fringe, 15 feet to go. Sink the putt. Beautiful. The day went mostly like this for me. Nice chips when I had to, not too awful putting. I was in the lead the whole round. I had 3 or 4 bogies, a birdie, and the rest pars. Ninth hole. They're all like "choke!!" and "noonan!!". I hit a nice shot again, short though, but right at it. My lie sucked. In the dirt, practically. I had a short chip, I tried to get it up, but picked my head up. I had no idea how many strokes lead I had, but I was now on the other side of the green. I said "F@%@#$!@# that, I'm putting". Nice putt, short, but I had a long way to go. Had to make the next putt, I now know, but didn't then. Hit it, lipped it, ended up 2 inches from the cup. Double bogie. My first 5 of the day. Dad taps in for par, I lose by a stroke! SOB!!

Woohoo!! No Monday this week!

Away for the Weekend

Don't try to contact me, I'll be fishing, or drinking, or golfing. Or sleeping. Signing off. Peace out, motherF#%#@@#ers!


Friday Again!!

This Friday is awesome, because the next time I go to work is Tuesday. We're heading down Delaware this weekend. I plan on getting ripped. Anyway, I promised a story, so here it is.

This is about a younger Jason. A six year old Jason, to be exact. Some of the details are fuzzy, but I do remember most of it. I'll just tell what I remember, though. So, a long time ago, 20 years or so, I used to be quite the entrepreneur. I remember there was this GI Joe figure that I wanted. It was sort of a technological marvel. I remember thinking, if they could make this thing, then we should be living on the moon by the time I was 10. It was the dude whose skin color changed when brought in and out of the sun. I had seen it at "Clover" a few weeks before, going for what I remember was $7 or so. I was determined. That thing would be mine.

But instead of your normal money earning routines, like selling lemonade on the corner for 25 cents a pop, or asking your parents for it, or ... God, who knows how kids who were six years old got money back then. All I know is, within a few hours, I had enough money to buy the figure and his vehicle. If someone remembers the name, please let me know.

This is how I got the money. I went to the closest house to ours, right across the street. I knocked and said "Do you have any chores I can do for you, for $1??" Within minutes I was in this old guy's dining room, wiping down his chairs with some wood cleaning solution. He was helping. $1 in the bag. The only other one I really remember going to, I knocked, and she said "No hun, but that's so sweet, here's a dollar." I did small common chores, I assume, in 8 houses, minus the lady who just gave me a dollar. Maybe someone gave me a five and told me to keep it. I don't remember. But, I had my money, and off I went to Clover, a department store.

I don't remember much from Clover (part of Strawbridge and Clothier's), but I guess I grabbed the toy and went to pay for it. The lady rung it up at the cash register. This part I do remember. I was SHORT!!! However, the lady behind me offered to cover the rest of it, and wanting my toy and being SIX years old, I didn't feel bad about it. She paid the rest, I thanked her, I went on my way.

At this time, my Mom was going mental. She had no idea where I was. Sorry, Mom, I had business to attend to. I got back, and she was waiting right inside the door. I tried to hide the toy that I worked so hard to earn, but I had done just that... earned it. I should have been proud. I don't remember if I got "taught a lesson" or not, but I didn't feel the urge to go out earning money again, no other toys were as cool. I played with that thing FOREVER. That was my favorite toy by far. Plus, I had gone through the full cycle of buying something. Earn money, pay for the goods, borrow money from someone. These were lessons no one could learn in a better way.

The thing I thought of today was, if I had been saving money instead, maybe putting away fifty cents here, a dollar there, etc, I could have probably not gone out working for my money. That's how I am to this day. I don't save. I try to, but then something that I have to have, whether it is beyond our times technologically like the GI Joe figure, or just a plain old necessity, comes along and I buy it. Bills are another thing.

Ahh, memories. Enjoy your three day weekend!!

We're in .biz

That's internet speak for "business". My website is now working on my Gentoo Linux laptop. I had no data in there but recently ran part of my software that exports data that can be imported into a blank database. It's pretty neat. It exports it to XML. It's easy too. Anyway, this weekend, in moments of consciousness and soberness, would be a good time to update my website. I actually fixed a bug yesterday that was the culprit for me not having an "About Me" page on this site anymore... minutes of hard work and thinking right down the drain, overwritten by the Points of Interest page in the blink of an eye. Also, I'll be adding stuff. But more importantly, I'll be starting the software architecture for stringed.org. I'll be reusing much of the stuff I wrote for this page, reorganizing my packages, adding features, fixing bugs, getting rid of redundant stuff, etc. It's going to be lean and fast, and powerful.

More about the XML export. Right now I have to restart my webserver after I set some settings that tell the software to export every object in the system, and it'll do the export, then I have to reset the settings back to tell it to not do the export next time. That's one thing I'll be building: a web-based management tool for "dumb". That should help out a ton. Export all the data? Sure, click a button. Or export certain data? Which ones? Click. I only since thought about only exporting certain data because my software generated an XML file that was 487KB!! That's huge for a text file. Although, in college, I had a list of every word in the English language for a project, and it was around a megabyte. 1 million characters! I was working on a program to solve cryptographs, those things in newspapers, but I had only reached Computer Science 2, so I had not learned of neat or efficient things like "hash tables" and "regular expressions". If you don't know these things, I suggest that you never learn them, as to allow me to keep my current value to employers :) If you can, make the people who know them forget about them. Please. Thanks.

I have a story for tomorrow. Just you wait.

Has This Happened To You?

This morning, I wake up, look at my clock, and it says 9:00 AM. I figure, I'm not getting into work anytime soon, so I call out. After I call out, I try to think back on if I had slept at all that night. I really don't remember. I head downstairs to brew up a pot of coffee. Kodie is barking at me and trying to bite my hand, but I don't remember letting her out of her cage. Jeff always puts her in her cage when he leaves for work. My coffee is ready. It was super quick. Way faster than normal. I start to pet Kodie when I hear something downstairs. It sounds like scratching. I go down to check it out. The clothes dryer is on, but it didn't sound like the clothes dryer at first. I head back upstairs and check my email with my freshly made cup of coffee. My air conditioner is off. I didn't turn it off! Something's going on here. I have tons of emails from people who I haven't seen in years trying to sell me Viagra. This is crazy. My curiosity got the best of me. I went into the gaming room, opened the window, and decided to take the 20 foot plunge! Yup, I was still sleeping, I woke up and it was 4:49 AM. Stupid dreams.

Operation Yellow Elephant

If you visit my site, you've never heard even the implications of the term above mentioned by me. I'm no politician. I am something that begins with a 'P', though, and it's not a curse word. I'm a philosopher. Well, I don't know who determines that, but I like to think. That's why I'm here. The term above implies "Republican", or "GOP", the Grand Olde Party. Yellow infers the old western term of the same name, spelling, etc. That they are cowards. Operation means that they are doing something. Read this post for a proper introduction, I'm afraid my words are weakening their cause.

Alright, a little briefer on liberal vs. conservative. As far as I can tell, conservatives take over the world and liberals complain all the time ;-) I'm just kidding. So, conservative, by its dictionary definition, means a person that likes things the way they are. Liberal means a person who likes things to be changed. Regardless of what tags and stereotypes these people are given, these are the definitions we'll use. There is definitely more to it, but my argument doesn't require much info on either of them. Just that they think differently.

So, this site posts a contest. A contest to make a sign and hang it somewhere. Specifically:

Create signs relating to Operation Yellow Elephant's mission to expose the hypocrisy of hawkish College Republicans and other young conservatives who are too cowardly to fight in the war they demanded.

That can arguably be ruled "harassment" right off the bat. But, I don't like to assume anything. Philosophy does require assumptions, but based on past arguments. So, I'll make it quick.

Suppose you're walking by on campus, and some dude comes up and calls you a coward. Or a hypocrit? I would consider that harassment. What if these words were on signs? Signs are a form of communication, so transmitting harassing words through any medium of communication can be considered harassment. How about if someone gives you the finger? You would feel pretty offended by any of these forms, I would think. I will assume that the act of calling someone a coward and a hypocrit is not widely considered to be a compliment, and that will make my assumption true, that it is also considered harassment. Or, at a bare minimum, unfriendly or unkind, maybe even mean. This is a basis for my argument, along with the fact that liberals and conservatives think differently.

Using these two assumptions, I can move on with the argument. I have to come up with analogies, of course.

One commenter on that thread mentioned this:

Your actions are the same as giving prizes to people for putting up posters to harrass Blacks, Gays, Women, etc.

Ooh, he was SO close. In these examples, these groups of people are different from, well, from me anyway, in the following ways.

Blacks - Skin color obviously.
Gays - Sexual orientation obviously.
Women - Umm, I'm not a woman.

You can argue that 'gays' can think the same as us in every way fathomable except of their sexual orientation. This was the closest example to my point that this commenter came up with. I'm not about to prove, however, that gays only think differently from us in sexual orientation, assuming that it's a thought process that goes on where they eventually determine that they "want" to be gay, that it's a choice at all, or a fate. Since I can't make an argument either way on this matter, I have to throw it away, and come up with something else. I haven't studied sexual orientation, I'm sorry to say. I say this because you can also say that there are no differences between me (or us) and blacks (unless you are black) other than our skin color, and no differences in us and women (unless you are a woman) other than our sex. There may be differences between one person of each group, but overall, I'll say that these physical characteristics are the only differences.

One group of people that this commenter missed is "people of different faiths". This is incredibly similar to politics. We are born with no knowledge of God or any superior being. We are taught, by our parents and churches, about God and religion as we grow up. Therefore, this is not an inherited trait. Once we believe, we can't be budged, however.

Belief is a very broad term. If I believe that the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl this year, wouldn't you also agree that "I think the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl this year." Thinking and believing go hand in hand. "Thinking certainly" is believing.

With politics, liberals believe something, conservatives believe something. They have ingrained in their minds so firmly that they are correct. Would you question someone else's religion? In this country, it is a constitutional right that you have to practice whatever religion you believe in. It is also a constitutional obligation, implied by that constitutional right, to respect someone else's religion. At the very base, isn't religion just thoughts? Thoughts taught to us by our parents and churches? Why wouldn't it also be a constitutional obligation to respect someone else's political alignment?

Holy F@#%@#$! S#@$%, it's Friday again!!

Here's something most of you will never do: Eat free pizza on the 19th floor in my building on the 15th Anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan's tragic death. My department is not currently hiring "Jason Connell website readers" for immediate openings, so that's a safe bet.

This Friday is particularly sweet because it's the last day of the El Shuttle train substitution pain in the F#@$@#$# ASS. Today, in the extra 20 minutes or so it takes the shuttle to get me to work, I listened to most of Mitch Hedberg's "Mitch All Together" CD again. What makes it funnier is the fact that people will think I'm insane if I just bust out cracking up. I remember in Computer Science II, in Dr. Wynters' lab, I grabbed a stack of printer paper, since we were conveniently sitting right next to the printers, and threw it in my school bag since I needed paper and figured there was no way in hell I was going to pay for that S@#%@# when I could just "borrow" the school's paper. I determined that it was already paid for, since, on more than one occassion, I had gone to a class, any class, only to realize that the professor (not Dr. Wynters, he was always there) was sick, ripping me off of a percentage of that semester's tuition. Anyway, where the F@#%@# was I heading with this story.......... oh yeah. So, my friend Pete is sitting next to me in class and sees me do this. He just loses it! But it's one of those silent losing it bits. Our computer monitors block the teacher's vision of us, so it's like he's teaching to a bunch of backs of monitors with legs. He can't see Pete turning purple. I begin to realize that what I did wasn't that funny, but Pete trying to hold back a tidal outburst of laughter is unbelievably funny, so now I lose it. This went on for like 15 minutes before class ended. What was odd is that Pete nor I ever talked about it. It was funnier left back in the lab, because talking about it really isn't funny at all. All you can say about it is stuff like "You were laughing, so I was laughing, then you noticed me laughing again, and started laughing harder, then I noticed and started laughing harder..." That 's F!^#$ing boring. Another time is when Jeff or Pat insert words into certain prayers at church that are hilarious, but more funny because you can't laugh like you want to. Man, them's are some good times.

Holy crap, I really went astray on that one. Yes, listening to Mitch Hedberg on the bus is a good time :) Enjoy your weekend. The pizza was delicious.

15 Years Ago Today

Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash on August 26th, 1990. He was the most passionate guitar player ever. Just watch him play, you'll see what I mean. Watch the "Live at the El Mocambo" DVD, specifically watch him play "Lenny", a song he wrote his wife, sitting down, smoking a cigarette, whailing away. He could dress too! :) Read this story about his life, too.

Website Woes

So, I'm trying to get my laptop ready for more development. As you may have read, I've installed Gentoo Linux on my laptop recently. This has turned out to be quite a learning experience. Gentoo is no self-installer. You end up learning a TON about Linux, boot loaders, file system, device drivers, configuring a kernel, compiling a kernel, setting up partitions for boot, swap, and system, mounting the system, and just about everything you can imagine. There is one thing I can't figure out though. Laptops have a touchpad for a mouse. Most of these touchpads are one brand, and that's Synaptics. Gentoo has drivers for these devices, and there are other drivers out there. I can't get it to work. The mouse part of it works, like basic movement and clicking, but mine also has a scroll "wheel", which is actually a touch scroller, and I can't get it to work. The thing is, when my system boots up, I can see that Linux has found the Synaptics touchpad, however, the drivers don't recognize it. It sucks because the reason I was so fast at working on that computer is because of the mouse setup. So that's keeping me from working on my website. I can work as it is, but I want my mouse damnit.

Another thing that's keeping me from working on my website is that my website isn't working on my computer. I set up MySQL and configured it, so that's not the problem. I can compile it in Eclipse, so that's not the problem. And Tomcat works fine. The problem is, Tomcat stopped development on the 5.0.x version and is only working on 5.5.x. The new version of Tomcat only works with the new version of Java, Java 5. I got all that to work fine. The thing is a software problem. When I run my website, the thing tells me it can't find this one function in this one Apache class. I know the problem, the new version of Tomcat uses new versions of Apache classes, and JavaServer Faces apparently uses an old, deprecated version. Or they're just completely different. For a new version of software to not support the old version is practically a bad enough crime to seek the death penalty. Apache knows this, so it leads me to believe that they are just different. I have the old version that JSF used to reference, and references for compiling, but I'm not about to overwrite the newer Tomcat's version with it. That screams bad news.

One last reason that I can't work on my website is because of video games. They're too fun.