Jason's Blog

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Diesel Locomotives, and an idea of how amazing they are

by on Jun.13, 2007, under General

Diesel breakdown Just saw an article on howstuffworks.com.  I have to say, I've always loved trains, and to read just how amazing modern day engines are, well, it was a very nice read.  There's something just totally awe-inspiring about trains for me, and this explanation of how modern diesel locomotives work just hammered that amazement home smile  Take a look, see what you think of these modern marvels, and whether you agree with me that trains ROCK smile  Oh, and for some photos of trains from the past and present, hop over to my gallery and look at the transportation museum photos I took back in February .

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If you’re a geek and you know it…

by on Jun.04, 2007, under General

If you're a geek and you know it, clap your hands, if you're a geek and ya know it clap your hands!

If you're a geek and you know it, and you really want to show it, clap your hands.

 

If you're a geek and you know it, show your stuff, if you're a geek and you know it show your stuff!

If you're a geek and you know it and you really want to show it, show your stuff.

 

Yes, I'm showing my geekiness here – I've got a whole bookshelf devoted to Star Wars Legos.  And sci-fi/fantasy books.  SO, I've finally got a library/music room put together smile 

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Using highways to generate electricity

by on May.08, 2007, under General

Engadget had an article recently on something that seemed liked a really awesome idea:  using wind turbines to generate electricity from the wind generated by passing vehciles (i.e. semi-rigs).  It seems like such a brilliantly simple, basic idea, and pretty easy to implement.  In other words, a "DOH!  Should have done this earlier!" kinda idea. It'll be interesting to see how the technology plays out, how easy this is to implement, how much power is actually generated for the cost, etc. but overall it sounds like an idea we definitely need to explore and should have thought about earlier. 

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Ha Ha Tonka Photos

by on May.05, 2007, under General

Took a random trip around the country side, visited a friend, and ended up at Ha Ha Tonka state park today smile  Had a hell of a time, and enjoyed just getting out and relaxing!  Ha Ha Tonka was AMAZING to see, although not a huge amount of time to visit, was definitely something worth seeing.  Check out my photos and let me know what ya'll think! 

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Some days are just frustrating

by on Apr.23, 2007, under General

For those who do or don't realize this, I'm a computer programmer by trade.  This is what I do for a living, and I'd like to think that I'm half way decent at it.  However, there are definitely days where it is extremely frustrating being in my position.  A simple example that any help desk person can give is "what is the any key?".  The following email requesting assistance is equally frustrating but for another reason.

I'd sent an email out with a rather large url.  As a result, I guess on some email readers (i.e. Outlook), the end of the line was chopped off (note I'm using Entourage, through Exchange, and it still doesn't support line wrapping appropriately *sigh*).  The result of the email looked something like this on this persons screen:

http://myhugelonglinkthatgoesonforever.com/plusafoldersomeplacedeep.h
tml 

If you'll note, it's pretty obvious, or I'd think as a tech person, that the tml is on the second line was cut off.  Particularly since it was on it's lonesome there.  Now, here's the thing that just makes me sigh with frustration: It wasn't a user who complained about the link not working, but one of the other, "senior" developers.  It's as bad as a story I heard once about a developer trying to stick a floppy disk in upside down and calling tech support because it's not working.  I'd expect that kind of question from someone who's very new to the internet.  What's worse, is that this kind of response is rather typical, and is from a developer who I'm supposed to have work on applications I develop.

Normally I like my job, but it's definitely stuff like this that makes my job suck.

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A moment of silence

by on Apr.12, 2007, under General

Kurt Vonnegut was a most brilliant and amazing writer.  He died this morning.   Even those who may not have liked him, at least I hope respected him.  So, a moment of silence for this amazing author.  Kurt, you will be missed. 

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I’ve got shivers down my spine

by on Apr.11, 2007, under General

I'll admit,there are two reasons for the shivers.  First, it could be in anticipation of what looks really impressive both visually, and from the bits I've seen, story line as well.  On the other hand, there's a part of me that shivers in terror at would could be yet another movie that destroys a book (Eragon is an exemplary example of such movies).  Still, I have high hopes based upon what I've seen, and the simple fact that Gaiman seems to be somewhat involved (if not heavily, I can't tell, but he has talked about the movie on his blog).

SO, go check out the trailer for "Stardust" and then do yourself a favor – head over to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and read his books.  Though unusual, he writes stories that are phenomenal in quality and depth.  And, definite kudos to Christian who got me onto him soooo long ago.  *grin* I still remember randomly, on a Friday afternoon with about 5 minutes warning, hopping in a car to go to St. Louis to have Gaiman sign some of our books smile 

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No Freudian references please

by on Apr.07, 2007, under General

New truck SO, I splurged.  I mean, I ROYALLY splurged.  But, it's also something I've been wanting for about 3 or 4 years.  It's absolutely beautiful too smile  It's an F-250 Crew Cab, Lariat, FX4 4×4, Diesel, power EVERYTHING truck.  I'm finally able to have people comfortably ride along with me, and I can pull a trailer without any concerns regarding weight (well, up to like 10k lbs or so).  

I decided upon this truck rather suddenly, although I'd been planning on something similar for years.  When I got my F-150 way back, I'd really wanted something with more room for people.  In the intervening years, it's been an issue anytime I've wanted to go someplace and have someone along.  At least, anytime I wanted to go someplace comfortably.  

Thus, Friday I went to look at this truck.  I'd originally planned to only look, as I was going to wait a while.  My old truck was paid off, and running ok.  I was planning on waiting a while to see if I wanted to buy a laptop first.  Eventually, after seeing the truck, reading more about it, figuring financing and other related issues, I couldn't resist.  It's something I've wanted for a long time, I had the money set aside, no significant debt, and well, for a lot of reasons, I decided to move on the "black beauty".  All said and done, this truck should last me for years to come, and be a great vehicle overall.  Yes, it's big, but I wanted something big and reliable.  SO, please, no Freudian references please? 

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Quote of the day :)

by on Apr.04, 2007, under General, Humor

Well I don’t have daily quotes, but this at least is one that hit me today!  I’d sent the link to James a long while back, and probably have posted it previously, but hey, it’s worth reposting!  *grin* It’s of course oriented to those who’ve ready the Harry Potter series!

“Oooh, I tink I taw a bid bad Moldiemort!
I DiD, I DiD
I Did tee a bid bad Moldiemort”

Go check it out from the beginning and get a few laughs!

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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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