Jason's Blog

Archive for November, 2004

Busy times…

by on Nov.30, 2004, under General

Ok, wanted to make a few quick notes/updates to what’s been going on in my life. First and foremost, a lot of my time right now is being spent with my girlfriend. That’s about all I’m going to say on that, other than this. In the few weeks we’ve been dating, it’s been absolutely amazing. She’s a really really awesome person, we have a ton in common, and have spent hours just talking on random things. It’s a really nice feeling smile.
Some other notes, particularly on changes and some tech stuff.

  • First, I’ve updated the website to make use of some additional spam blockers. If you’ve got a problem and want to add a comment, drop me a line through the about page or send me an email.
  • Second, I’ve been slow to respond to emails a bit lately. Part of that is spending time away from the computer. Other aspects of this stem from a ton of work going on, a literal flood of email and spam, etc. SO, be patient if you’ve emailed and I’m slow to respond.
  • Next, I’ve got a ton of changes planned for the poetshome.com site. This includes moving my blog to a completely different section, and rebuilding the whole front page system. This’ll hopefully happen in the next few weeks.
  • Fourth, a random note: The more I work with windows 2000 server, the more annoyed I am whenever I try and do something, or figure out what the heck windows is doing. It’d be nice if there was a better logging or tracking system to figure out what’s going on at any given time. Syslog in unix systems is a VERY nice feature, usually with pretty good information. The event log in windows is like an afterthought hack.
  • Fifth, if there are any questions on the poetshome.com site, account requests, etc. please let me know. I am still working on getting hosts moved, but haven’t had a chance to play with it yet – I’ve just been swamped with other stuff from work. I took a week off for thanksgiving as PURE vacation – i.e. limited amounts of computer work. SO, didn’t do much there yet.
  • And the last item I’ll mention today – if anyone needs a full-time programmer someplace, let me know. Particularly if it would involve working on open source products of some sort. i.e. WordPress/PHP/Linux/OpenLDAP/etc. I’ve got a job, but I’m always open for other opportunities smile

Anyways, I’ll leave things at that for the present moment. I apologize for a lack of updates, but be patient people. I’m one man, who needs sleep occasionally, and frankly, the girl and other stuff in life takes priority. There are vast numbers of other things far more important than computers (course, I am a computer nut, so a lot of my time is still spent on computers – just not all of it). So, I’m going to go grab a mountain dew, and work on getting myself a little less busy. Funny how getting unbusy requires getting busy, eh?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

by on Nov.24, 2004, under General

Just thought I’d post a quick happy thanksgiving to everyone!!! Eat lots of turkey, loosen some belts, and enjoy tons of pumpkin pie (my personal favorite).

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The dangers of caffeine…

by on Nov.17, 2004, under General

Mental note. Watch out for how much caffeine I drink in the morning. I haven’t had a redbull in a long while. Had one this morning. BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE smile Seriously, like I can’t sit still at the moment. Even more, it’s making me impatient, my mind is racing, going kinda nuts, etc. Dude, this stuff is like CRACK smile WOOHOO.. ME GOING NUTS. (Um, not really, but it’s one of those mornings)

And this is your daily service announcement from the admin of poetshome. Be very careful when drinking redbull energy drink. And to butcher a favorite quote, It’s the 13th step for all you recovering alcoholics! smile Ok, enough of the me on crack thing. And now we return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast… BEEP.

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A very good weekend…

by on Nov.15, 2004, under General

I’m not going to say too much at this point, as I’m still digesting everything. A brief rundown though – Friday night, I had a DJ gig that went pretty well. Made some extra cash, played some good music, and overall I think I gave the people a pretty good time. Course, the thing is that I was up nearly 20 hours without sleep, so by the end of the gig, it was 2am. I didn’t get things unloaded and didn’t get done till about 3am. At that point, I crashed and slept all day saturday. Woke up at something like 3pm. There are some days where being totally lazy is a wonderful feeling smile Anyways, after waking up, slowly coming to my senses, I sent the next few hours playing a classic video game – Wizardry V. This is one of those old SNES games that I still love playing. So, played it for something like 4 hours, whereupon a friend called up and wanted to come over, hang out. Pizza was soon ordered, and a movie was watched with beer provided a wonderful backdrop. There is something about beer and pizza which just makes things fun. YUM. What was better was this really awesome email I received that evening. Let’s say I was bouncing around very very happy smile

And that brings me to Sunday. Woke up around 12 in the afternoon, whereupon I checked email (nope, no new emails), I got up, talked to roommate, hung around the house being lazy. Sometime around 1:30 or so (hmm, just looked it up – 1:22pm exactly smile ), I received a phone call. I wasn’t expecting the phone call, but was most happy to receive it. And, then a massive massive dash to clean house. Most of the effort resulted in a clean house, while still leaving a not-so-clean bedroom, but I was impressed with the results. Afterwards, a shower, and then at 4:15 – a date smile And that my friends/readers, is all I’m really going to say on that for right now. Well, I’ll add this – as of now, I’m officially wowed, awestruck, amazed, impressed, and also unavailable, attached, in a relationship, got a girlfriend, and any number of other items. As stated, I may post more (but I may not – that’s my choice) as I get all m thoughts figured out, but Sunday was a really really awesome day. Part of me is still not totally sure I wasn’t dreaming the whole thing….

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Energy efficient homes

by on Nov.08, 2004, under General

I’ve been debating building a house this upcoming year, due to me quite possibly staying in Columbia for quite some time. I’ve got a decent job here, good pay, family is in town, etc. With the thought of owning my own home, there’s a few considerations which come in quite heavily. Things like, down payments, build/buy used, location, and whether I want to lock myself into Columbia for another 4+ years minimum. One of the big thoughts in that list is whether to build or to buy a prebuilt home. I’ve been leaning heavily towards building for a lot of reasons, such as custom design (I’m a big fan of colonial front porches), the ability to integrate a home network (gigabit baby – including a connection for the xbox), custom furnishings, a tool shop, and one of the biggest things to me – making the whole thing energy efficiency. I’ve already got a lot of thoughts on what I’d do for such a house. A lot of these thoughts stem from energy efficiency designs I’ve read about, and an interest in such technologies. I’m a heavy environmentalist, and the thought of building a home that uses very very little electricity is massively appealing to me.

For a perfect example of a device that is far more efficient, check this water heater out. It’s a tankless water heater – it heats the water on demand, and thus doesn’t waste gas on keeping a huge tank of water hot. These things are usually more expensivie initially, but they’re vastly more efficient with regards to energy consumption. Second, who doesn’t want as unlimited hot water while taking a shower? Last, overall, it’s just a much smarter design. No heating element to replace, less maintenance costs, less space use, etc. etc. Overall, this is something that goes almost beyond want into need in my view. The math just makes sense – it very often is worth it to spend more initially on something because it’ll pay itself off in the long run. This kind of a device is a perfect example of such an expenditure.

Some other things that I’ve thought of are fairly standard in todays world. You can install things like triple pane/tinted windows, modern ultra-efficient insulation, have your home facing the sun, ground source heatpumps, etc. But, I’d like to go a step beyond the standard and make a truly efficient home. Wired has an article on some of the things being done to pretty much wipe out electricity costs. I know I’d do a lot to not have to spend money each month on electricity, and despite an initial cost that’s higher, the long term value is imense. Imagine for example not having an electric bill each month? At all? Yes, you’d spend more initially, but in the long run, the savings would be MASSIVE. I spend something like 70 a month on electricity right now, if not a bit more. Particularly during the winters. Figure on a yearly basis, you average $75 a month on electricity alone (and keep in mind, in an actual house, I’d imagine this would be a bit more). In 5 years, that’s $4500 and in 10 years, $9000 you won’t have spent on electricity. If you assume an average of $100 a month, that’s another $3000 over 10 years. If you do the math and figure out what it would take to add photovoltaic cells to your house, and what it would add to a mortgage, you might actually end up spending less getting photovoltaic cells for power use. That is, the amount added to your mortgage might be less than the amount saved in electricity costs. Hell, if it adds $50 a month to your mortgage, but you’re saving $60+ a month? That works for me! Particularly if you’re in an area of the country that allows you to sell back extra power generated, which reduces costs even further.

There are of course a ton of other things you can do to build a truly energy efficient home. Some other thoughts I’ve had include things like a built-in greenhouse, an indoor pool in the middle (the big water source acts as sort of natural heatsink), slightly underground construction, etc. The more and more I think about such things, the more I become interested in these new designs, new technologies, and I remember that at heart, I am an engineer. The design, the engineering, the planning and construction – right now, it’s extremely interesting to me. So, hopefully someday soon perhaps I’ll own a home with such fun toys..er, devices…

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