Jason's Blog

Archive for March, 2007

A year and a half of work

by on Mar.21, 2007, under General

It's released!  It's out the door!  I'm not sleeping!  All of those and so many more phrases I've used over the last few days, if not few weeks.  A program I've been developing over the last year and a half went live over the weekend.  This is a fairly major application that has been completely rewritten, both interface wise and database wise to be entirely web based.  It uses a technology called AJAX to allow rapid interface updates, has attachments for associating spreadsheets to things like payments or change orders, a large number of web reports that go straight to PDF files, and a ton of other features through-out the system.   This has been a MAJOR stress in my life, as well as a major sink of time and energy.  And, over the last weekend, Projex 3 was finally released.  Now of course comes all the bug requests and fixes as people start to use the system heavily. Thankfully though, thus far, there haven't been too many major issues.  There are a number of things people have asked for, but nothing hugely problematic at this point.

SO, perhaps in a few months, I'll actually be able to take some time off.  Hrmmmm, *pray* I REALLY hope so, as I've not had a serious vacation now in two years.  But, despite distant thoughts of vacation, the primary thought that has been going through my head recently is "It's DONE!"  If I can later, I'll post a screenshot or two to give everyone an idea upon what I've been working.

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Personal Politics

by on Mar.14, 2007, under General

I was watching a movie this weekend, "Man of the Year" and it got me thinking about what do I think on a number of major political issues.  Specifically, I was thinking I'd like to post my views on a number of issues, and why I think as I do on those issues.

  • Universal Healthcare.  This is a big one for me, in that I've known too many friends who've not had any kind of health insurance, or for various reasons, health insurance is ungodly expensive for them.  Then, I think of tons of kids growing in poor areas who don't have any kind of health insurance.  There's a TON of other reasons I think this is a good idea, but a lot of it is for the basic health of everyone in society.  I DO think there needs to be some limits on the kind of healthcare provided.  For example, breast implant surgery isn't exactly something I think should be covered wink  I'm also of the opinion that you SHOULD be providing taxes or working in order to obtain health care benefits, unless you are for some reason unable to work.  This is a VERY complex issue, and I'm definitely open to suggestions on this concept.
  • Abortion.  Talk about a tough issue, and in many ways, one that sparks more debate than any others.  First, let me say I've seen a LOT of sides to this issue.  From friends who've had abortions to friends who've chosen to give up their children for adoption.  I've had a few friends raped, and seen the consequences of that.  When it comes down to it, I don't think abortion should be made illegal.  I DO think it should be difficult, requiring LOTS of counseling before and afterwards, as well as offers of financial support or adoption purposes.  And, definitely not after the 1st trimester unless there are major medical reasons.  Some other things – I think it needs to be a mutual decision to abort, not just the mother having full decision making, and for anyone under the age of 18, a parent/guardian MUST approve.  Additionally, I think the father must be included in the decision, for a number of reasons.  I also think of course, the Father MUST contribute, at least financially, unless specifically released by the mother.  These are just a few thoughts on this issue.
  • Gay Marriage.  Honestly, I'd be more worried about Christians married and getting divorces than gays getting married.  Let gays have all the rights to screw up a marriage the rest of us non-gays have.  Of course, this isn't by any means a popular view, but it is my view.
  • Military Spending.  My views here are fairly complex as well.  I am a HUGE supporter of the military, military spending, and what it does for this country.  I'd attempted to join the Air Force myself, and believe in defense strongly.  With that said, I think the amount we spend on things like hammers, toilet seats, and pens that write in space are very idiotic.  Instead of spending billions on technology that may never see the light of day because it's 20 years off, and takes 25 years to develop, I'd rather see money spent on technology that's usable today, and provide research money to companies working on technology that's 5 or 10 years away.  Basic things like armor for troops is far more important than spending 120 million on an airplane.  I'd say cut the budget back on things like far off research, spend more on eduction for the troops, more on basic gear and such.
  • Education – this is perhaps one of the areas needing the most help.  And, honestly, I don't know that I've got a good system for this.  I do know the "no child left behind" is pure idiocy.  Flat out, that's complete nonsense.  I WOULD like to see teachers paid a lot more.  I was thinking – if a person can't pass a number of basic requirements for their grade level, they shouldn't go up a grade, and should NOT be allowed to graduate.  From ANY grade level.  I've heard of teachers passing kids because they had no choice.  This seems like a major mistake.  I'd say add more schools, and if you keep failing, find out why, and find a solution.  Don't pass the buck onto the next teacher.  If it's bad teaching, then get a better teacher.  There's got to be some decent solution but as said, I don't know that I've got any answers on this point, other than what we've got is messed up in every way imaginable.  Eduction in this country is failing, and as a result, we're failing in the world.
  • Science.  Come on people – use some common sense here.  There's nothing intelligent about "intelligent design".  Keep intelligent design in philosophy courses, not in science courses.  Science is a MAJOR failing right now in the US for a ton of reasons, and it's something that drives me nuts – people trying to place religion into science. 
  • Iraq.  Huge mistake, danged stupid, but it's like a car wreck.  You can't suddenly reverse the damage done – the best you can do is try and fix it to a point where things run and deal with the situation.  We're in Iraq, we're not going to get out easily anytime soon without major chaos.  We need to back out slowly, in a way that we can still help if really called upon.  But, sudden pull out of all troops is suicide, and not even remotely possible.
  • The environment and global warming.  Yes, it's going on right now.  Too many people are complacent about it, which is why I'm not complaining against what is often sensationalism about the whole topic.  We DO need to work on recycling, renewable technologies, and a ton of other related issues.  Emissions control isn't just good for the environment, it's good for people.  Ask anyone who's got asthma, allergies, or lung problems what they think of smog.  Hell, look at the restrictions we have on smoking (GOOD) – we need as strict of restrictions on smog and emissions.  I think a major problem is oil companies, and the monopoly they have on resources.  I think we need to look at solar technologies, wind, ANY possible source of alternative energy. 
  • Space.  More than a few people could guess my views here.  I'm a huge space nut, for a number of reasons.  The simplest to me is this – in all of human history, we've never really achieved any major endeavor without something to spur the imagination.  Often, it's been exploration.  Other times it has been the fight against an evil power (WWII and the Nazi's), other times it's been for a concept such as freedom and emancipation.  Humans need a goal, an ideal that can be seen, can be fought for, and can be achieved.  Poverty?  it's a great thing to fight, and we'll be fighting it all of time – it's a human failing and condition.  It's a thing to fix, not a thing to reach for.  Space is the only true endeavor that can be reached for, seen, felt, and understood.  It's a dream that we could all share, if we truly worked for it.  Further, the benefits alone so vastly outweigh many possible risks.  Look at the technology that has come from the space program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_technology for a few areas that it applies to).  Honestly, there's few things in my mind that can offer more benefits to humanity as a whole. 
  • The DMCA, fair use, digital rights, and related issues.  Almost anyone could guess my viewpoints here wink  I'm a strong supporter of basic rights for people, including fair use.  I think DRM is a stupid idea for a legacy time.  I think the whole extending and re-extending copyright and such is stupid.  I think the media industry is systematically trying to strip us of all of our rights to own music, but instead wants to rent us their stuff.  I think the Patriot Act was a huge mistake.  I think the freedoms that this country are founded upon are FAR more important than a false sense of security, and that the extra powers granted, particularly with a lack of oversight are an invitation to abuse of those powers.  "Power Corrupts" – and it's very true in this government.  A simple thing of the President saying he's exempt from any law passed by congress is a simple breach of everything this country was founded upon.  

These are just a few of my basic major issues.  There are a ton of others, and I'm MORE than willing to add onto this list, if people wouldn't mind coming up with other "major issues".  SO, leave a comment, I encourage you.  I also ask that if you have views on the above, copy this list of major issues.  Post this on your page, and say what you think on all of the above – no side speak or double talk.  No "this is a complex issue that needs to be debated in a committee to find common ground and a viable solution" – that's not an answer.  What I'd love to have happen is everyone who's got a blog post these issues, let's see what we all think.  Let's come up with a simple multiple choice response (with comments allowed), on what we view, and see what people really and truly think.  I realize everyone will have slightly different view points, but it's so hard to find people who truly state their mind on even some of these topics.

Ok, enough preaching politics for now.  I will though leave off with this – there are definite days where I think about getting into politics, because I've met so few politicians I really like or admire, and who come out and say what they think, regardless of how it may be viewed.  I'd rather have an honest candidate who I disagree with on most points, than a dishonest candidate who seems to agree with most of my views. 

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This is Mondays normally for me

by on Mar.05, 2007, under General

UberSoft comic describing monday mornigns

Ubersoft is a great comic that is a parody of course of Microsoft.  I love the wry wit and humor in the comic, and how close he comes to real life (although sometimes TOO close).  Todays comic is a perfect example.  Of course, as I said in the title, todays comic isn't quite me as for some reason I've got massive amounts of energy smile

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