What to do with a bazillion dollars?

I don't ever wish to win the lottery or be rich or anything like that, but if I did (if you don't play, you can't win...), I thought about what I'd do with it. Obviously, the smart thing to do would be to invest it somehow. Somewhere. I'm not too smart financially, so I wouldn't go with stocks or bonds or other financial things that I have absolutely no idea about. The obvious thing for me would be to go back to school. I am always buying books and learning stuff, so it's obviously obvious :)

Where I would go to school would be two places. Some kind of video game school (like Full Sail), and an elite institution for technology, namely, MIT. I think I'd go to MIT first, though. I'm all about getting a PHd from MIT. Besides the fact that it rhymes, that pretty much says "I know what the f@#%@# I'm talking about." I would make complete use of my time there. I'd be lost for the first year (it's been a while since I've done ANY math), but if I had money, I could just hire tutors for $100 an hour, and they could teach me math. It would be easy. I have a math mind, but it's not like riding a bike.

MIT first, also, because I'm more interested in Computer Science than I am in any one field of it. Creating video games uses multiple fields in CS, but it's not the whole of Computer Science. It's math, 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, and algorithms for other things like physics. You see physics in games today, but it would be neat to see other sciences, like Chemistry :) But that's going down another road.

Anyway, if you have an extra bazillion dollars lying around, I wouldn't mind having it :) I must be a geek, because I can't even think of anything else that I'd use it for.

I guess I have to program an RSS feed now

I logged into gmail this morning, and above my mail list was something I'd never seen before. There was a button to customize, but before clicking it, I noticed the "new" section said "New! RSS feeds and more". So, that's what that is. Now, I have to have an RSS feed, because I know that the millions of Gmail customers that visit my site will just want an easier way to not have to visit my site. That's probably why I didn't do RSS in the first place, it's just a mechanism for ensuring that you never have to visit a site again, unless you accidentally click a link or something.

Also, there are two more songs up. "Experiment" and "Shadeland Blues". Enjoy!

All the Connells are Gone

This weekend, although more like today and up until the Eagles game tomorrow, I am the only Connell in the area. Parents went down the shore, and all but one of my brothers are spending this fine weekend in State College, PA. Penn State (10) plays Wisconsin (14), and they are all big PSU fans. Well, Beaner's just going up there to "see college"... yeah, that's it.

I went to a birthday party last night, so I couldn't go. I wanted to go to the birthday party, though. It was for Mara who hit the big 1/4 * 100 mark. We had a blast. There were around a bazillion people at Reed's in Blue Bell, and about half of them were there for Mara. Good times. I love the deal, you tell them you're with Mara's company, you get stamped, and you get 50 cent lager drafts until 7:30. Of course, at 7:28, Billy and I go up to the bar, he orders 4 lagers, and I order 8! The bartender asks, "Do you have 8 people!?" Whereas my only answer was to point back at everyone behind me, laying my inclusion finger on half the room. I had 3 of those twelve! I then proceeded to tear up the dance floor.

I'm not sure what people think of me when they see me dancing (frankly, I don't care :) ), but when I see guys dancing on the dance floor, usually I'm like "Man, that guy's got no rhythm" or "HAHAHA that's funny" or "...". Some girls have a gift out on that dance floor that earns all eyes on them. That's probably why I go to a bar with a dancefloor... me dancing isn't the best thing, I'm positive, but sometimes I observe best from close range.

So, I sit here, Connell-less and pantless, waiting for the Eagles game to start tomorrow, when all the Connells will come back in droves. I can do something tonight, but I think I'll stay in and play video games on my leaking computer. That's right, it's leaking. Having liquid running through your computer is usually a pretty good idea, but the consequences can be detrimental. Right now, it only leaks when I turn it on, and it only leaks onto my DVD drive. I just wipe it off and continue to play, but eventually I have to buy more liquid for it (it's not plain old water... there's stuff over at Koolance that I am encouraged to buy). I think I'll play Call of Duty 2 on my clan's server, all F%^@%@ing day.

Coffee Update

I haven't given a coffee update in ... ever. Well, once I did. Anyway, I'm lost as to which coffees got here during which months. I'll just tell you I'm drinking a blend called "Reggae Blend" during my "working from home" days. Actually, I'm working on a new video game. Fresh idea. Screw this web stuff, I'll get to it later. This game will be everything I've ever wanted in a strategy/RPG/economic game. I might play it exclusively, and I might play it exclusively, if you catch my drift. Meaning it might be the only game I play, and I might be the only one playing it... dumbass ;)

Not Tired

Today, I left work at 4, being my last day and all. We had gone out to lunch to celebrate my 5 months of service, all too short was everyone's sentiment. Four of us from work. My boss, 2 coworkers and me. We had a great time and the food at Maggiano's (12th and Filbert) is delicious. I got some rigatoni with some kind of incredible cream sauce and chicken. My boss ordered chicken parmesan and knew he wasn't going to eat all of it, so right away he gave one piece of chicken to me to take home. Also, being my last day, they insisted that I get dessert. This was music to my ears. They have the best pound cake ever. Ever. I sat and ate pound cake, and Towanda got coffee. It was bittersweet, just like Towanda's coffee, as she told us, she put too much "Splendid" (at least I think that's what it's called) sugar substitute in it, and only took a few sips from it.

It's amazing how short five months is, but it's amazing how long it is at the same time. Manoj (my other coworker that was there) and I had a great time working together. As did my boss Dave and I. We just joked around when we could, and were serious when we had to be. Funny guys, fun times. We all went to a few ballgames, work sponsored of course. I was the expert. Everyone would ask me about the game, about the Phillies, who to watch for, who's good, who stinks, etc. It was before the All Star game, before the Polanco trade, so the answer to the "who's good" question was Placido Polanco and Bobby Abreu. Of course, Chase Utley too, but he didn't play at the games that I went to with them, it was the time when Chollie would swap Polanco and Utley depending on the pitcher. Our boss (my boss' boss) worked out of Chicago, and he would conveniently be in Philly during the work sponsored Phillies games. He's a big fan of baseball, so he wouldn't need to ask me about the game, only about the Phillies. He noticed that the batting average of the Phillies as a team was in the mid 200s, which is pretty good, and wondered why they were so bad at the time. It's all about hitting with runners in scoring position. The Phillies season is an altogether different story, however... But we had a great time at those games. Five months is a long time because those games seemed like forever ago.

It was my first job in the city. I was a total n00b when it came to public transportation, but my luck always turns up. I got to the trolley on the first day. Obviously, having no idea how to get on the train or where to buy tokens, or how much anything was, or even what stop to get off at the train when I got going on it, I was scared to death. Waiting at the trolley, this guy comes up. He looks very familiar, but I don't say anything. He goes in the trolley first. I go in and am a total n00b, so I'm trying to pay, asking how much money it costs and everything. I pay and head to find a seat on this jam-packed trolley. I head up, and Chris, my brother's friend, the guy waiting for the trolley with me, recognizes me right away, and has a seat available for me. We shoot the sh%t, but I'm lost, so I have to ask what the f@#% the deal is with public transportation. He sets me straight. Buy a card, he says. He also will show me where to go when we get there. He works at 5th street, I worked at 11th, so he was on the train the whole time I was, and saw me to my stop. I had mastered public transportation, thanks to Chris.

It was very interesting working in the city. Everyday you'd see someone who you thought was either on an incredible amount of drugs or alcohol, or they were just plain crazy. We have ash trays outside of our building, so you'd see some people rummaging through them to satisfy a nicotine craving. Or they would ask you for a smoke, or maybe some money. I gave them money because I'm an optimist, always thinking they would spend it on food and not drugs. At least I gave the more seemingly sane people money. Like today, this guy comes up, and says "Can you help out a hungry man?" following with stuff about God. I said "I think I can help you out", and he said something about God seeing me give him money. I smiled at him. I accidentally started pulling out a $20 bill!! He's like "that'll do!". I told him I can't. I could, but it's my last day, and if I give him a dollar, he's well on his way to eating. Only if he had came to me earlier, I had a piece of chicken he could have had, but by this point, it was on the 19th floor of my building. It was worth more than a dollar though, when you meet someone like that, and are able to help them out a little.

So, I got home today at 5pm. I was going over some last things with my boss until 4, then went and said goodbye to everyone. My boss and I sat out front of our building and talked for a bit. He's displayed sincere discontent with what was going on. My department had cut my position. It wasn't finalized until two Mondays ago, September 19th. Manoj and I were the only developers in the department, and now it's just Manoj again. What we did every day was a lot more work than two people can handle. We were a good team, led by Dave, a good leader. I have gained some great experience to put on my resume. Also, I have outstanding references. My boss was "Employee of the Quarter" last quarter. That's out of, oh, nothing huge, just a couple thousand. There are 250,000 people employed by the company, but I think that award was just a departmental award. His boss, the Chicago-based- except-when-the-company- sponsors-a-Phillies-game boss, had sent my resume to other departments in the company. I was floored. However, nothing turned up there, but I can see myself getting called by them in the future, having been pushed by him, someone way up in the company and a great guy to boot. It's overwhelming, the lengths that great people will go to, the offers those people will make, the friendships you can make in 5 months. Afterall, it seems like such a short time.

My brother and his friend were out front drinking when I got home. I headed out to join them. I had a beer, sat with them for a bit, then decided I was going to eat my chicken. It had been 3 hours since I had last eaten afterall. Soon after, I felt like every bit of energy had just left my body at once. I was completely spent. I crashed right there on the couch, right after I had mustered up enough strength to put the fork down. I soon stumbled up to my bedroom. I almost seemed drunk, because I was relying on the wall to guide me, yet I had only one beer. I woke up at around 11pm.

I checked mlb.com. Phillies won, Astros lost. The Cubbies have now taken two games away from the Astros. We could be on the verge of a miracle. However, Roger Clemens pitches next for the Astros.

I'm going to play some video games. Good night world. Go Phillies / Eagles / Flyers!

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 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.

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!


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.

Sick as a Dog

I have an ear infection. I really can't hear out of my right ear too well. It sucks. I changed the picture at the top of this website to reflect that in fact I don't call it a blog, and to give it a subtitle. I am enjoying the ride, which is just my way of saying that life is grand, except today with this ear infection. I took 3 different types of medicine, including an extra large helping of Advil 200mg caplets (3 to be exact). The pain was gone and I was fast alseep :) However, now that I'm awake and sitting up, my stomach is killing me. I really don't like being deaf. It's not a tumor.

FedEx WINS!!!

I ordered the motherboard and got it shipped FedEx, and Linux and the mug a few days earlier and it was shipped with UPS. I got the cheapest method of delivery that I was offered on the respective sellers' websites. The Linux and the mug website offered UPS ground for almost free. The motherboard offered FedEx Saver for $3. UPS had a bit of a head start, but they didn't know that they were racing. The shipping methods used are considerably different estimated delivery times, to be fair to UPS. I'm not trashing any company here, I was just having a little fun. But, they both have a little work to do to catch up with DHL. I placed an order at 8pm one night, it shipped from somewhere in the middle of Ohio, the next day I was getting out of the shower in the morning and DHL was there with my package. That was crazy.

Anyway, some more details about the shipping methods:

UPS - BASIC service from California. UPS Ground, essentially. This has an estimated time of delivery of 5 days.

This same service from FedEx claims to take 4 days. Who knows. I'll stick with FedEx Saver. It's like second day delivery without the money.

But, all this really means is that I'll be able to play games tonight and hold off another day on developing the new crap I need to do for this website. Woohoo :) Sorry, UPS, you're still the bomb. High five.

It's a race!

I never reported this, but I broke my motherboard on my very expensive gaming computer a few weeks ago. This is how I described the mishap on a forum I visit:

my F#%$@#!ing motherboard broke... it was my fault though. stupid crazy ass place for a 5 gallon bucket of paint... i'm kidding, i tried to put in a pci card but there wasn't room, and i snapped one of those little chip things that sit on the motherboard and make them work...

Woops. So, eventually, after like a month, I decided to finally replace it because I want to play video games like I do sometimes. So, I ordered the motherboard. Here is that forum entry:

I miss playing games sometimes, but I want to play F.E.A.R. more than anything. The demo is out. So I ordered that b@#$%@ today. Plus, I have a 250GB secondary hard drive on there, with no room in my other computers for it, and I need the space. I hope I got a good one, it'll definitely be better than the last one though... it got a score of "5 out of 5 eggs" on newegg.com. plus it has a very similar layout to the other motherboard, which is HUGE. the last thing I want to do is empty out my liquid cooling and recut tubes to make that s@#$% fit.

It's thundering and lightening here pretty bad, I'm scared so I'm gonna go under my desk. (19th floor is a lot closer to that stuff than the 1st floor).

hopefully, by friday, you'll hear me mumbling sweet nothings to you on teamspeak after I put a bullet through your mother F@#%@#$ing dome.

A few liner notes. Teamspeak is a program used for talking to other people over the internet for free and in real time. There are a few people that I talk to, but I haven't been on in a while, because it's normally used for trashtalking in games and coordinating strategies in a first person tactical team based shooter. FEAR is going to be a cool game. And a motherboard is a very necessary, very fragile computer part. I ALWAYS censor myself, on any webpage I go to. Anyone who knows those words can tell right off the bat, but what if little kids visit? I can't make them not read it, so I figure I'll just make it safe for everyone, for the most part. These posts are "as is".

The other part of this story is my converting every other computer I have to Linux. When Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) is released, I won't and can't go buy a copy for each computer I have. If they're lucky, I might buy one for the gaming PC. Here is the post about me ordering Linux. So that's also on the way.

It's a race (as the title indicates). Linux and the coffee mug are somewhere between San Pablo, CA, and Drexel Hill. They left San Pablo on August 6th at 5:01 AM. It's anyone's guess where it is now. The motherboard was ordered yesterday, and left Los Angeles, CA at 9:16 AM today. However, Linux and the mug were shipped through UPS, and the motherboard was shipped through FedEx Saver and is estimated to arrive on Thursday, August 11th. Obviously the UPS package has a bit of a head start.

Place your bets!

New Song

This one is not the one that was left out of the previous upload. I'm going to save that one and make it a "previously unreleased" song in a few years when I sell my first album. The new one is called "Put Your Feet Up". That's exactly how I recorded it. It rivals those showoff moments like Stevie Ray Vaughan's playing behind his back or Jimi's playing with his teeth. It's all about showing off. I was leaning back in my chair too, which has arms, so it makes it difficult to solo down the neck... so excuse any mistakes :) And listen to it how it's supposed to be listened to, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and just relaxing. It is a relaxing song, but the chords I used were neat. They can be solo'd over in blues scales or in Jazz scales, so that's what I did. It reminds me of SRV's song, "Lenny", which he wrote for his wife. That song rules.

I just added another song. "Winding Down". Download that one too because it rules. You can put your feet up to it too.

Pilsner Glasses are a Modern Technological Marvel

I was at Mara and Billy's place last night. We played A$$hole. But instead of the normal drinking mechanisms, which are those beautiful red plastic cups or straight from the artistic glob of green glass that is the Yuengling bottle, we used Pilsner glasses. Beer doesn't stand a chance in these things.

It's like they were perfectly crafted through years of testing. The world's top minds got together, got bombed every night, and the next morning reworked their current designs and got ripped again that night. There is no better way to spend tax dollars. Cheers to those guys for their hard work.