Two Very Contradicting Ideas

Recently, I had two very contradicting ideas. Keeping in the moment and thoughts of wanting to create a very good website with as little programming as possible, I had one idea. But then, looking at every website out there, I had another idea. Judging by these very short preludes, the second idea would be more of a revolution. So let's start with the first one.

Going back to the second class I had in college on Computer Science, we learned about "templates" in C++. "Template" is an overused word. In C++ it was probably misused. The basic idea then was to be able to write a container class, like a linked list, and use the same code to hold any type of object, be it integers, characters, built in objects, or your own objects. Anything. Converting this idea to a website could prove to be interesting. But it would add confusion for explanation, because I will use the word "template" in a completely different meaning, perhaps its designed meaning. So imagine having a list, and being able to add calendar events, downloads, news posts, links, pictures, etc to it. The web adds a need for "forms". Input forms, output forms, perhaps list forms (when shown in a list, which columns to show), among any other imaginary forms. These just define how the object translates from a piece of data to a viewable form, and vice versa. You would potentially have mounds of data, all in a list, and any of those objects could be placed onto a web page, modified, searched, linked, etc. You would just define the templates, the forms for viewing, inputting, and listing these items.

I never heavily considered this idea, simply because that's not the best way to store data. Searching would be a nightmare, the list could potentially become gigantic, and it would just be really difficult to do anything special with it. It would need tons of programming, something I'm not up to do :) Then came my very contradicting idea that says data should not be in a list.

Thinking about my first idea, it seems very hard to manage. Imagine giving someone permission to edit one record. Imagine, if everything is in one list, showing just downloads, or downloads under "Home Movies". You would have to search all of the data inside each record. What a pain in the butt. This other idea, then, doesn't have to do with making the best web page with as little code as possible. It is completely unrelated, except for the fact that an actual list is a bad way of showing information. Everything is a list. When you read the newspaper, articles, whether you realize it or not, are sorted in an order, in this case, an order of categories, and then an order of what's most important, and what should show up on the front page. On my website, news posts are only sorted by date, and I only show the first 5 on the front page. Some of these posts are really just thoughts, and they should all be read, not just the first five. So, there must be some way of keeping everything in context. I've had a hard time describing this idea, even to myself, and have had an even harder time thinking about how to represent this idea in what would eventually become a web page.

Obviously, a list on a web page is meant for sequential ordering, which means sequential viewing, which translates to most of my posts not getting read. Taking these items out of a list and showing them in another way is the key. But how?

I wish I had my camera

There's like a thousand cops on the 13th street side of the Convention center. Apparently there's a protest or two today. I might have to go for a walk. I can see all the cops from my window, but that's all I can see. Unless there's a donut convention... I kid! There are also a few helicopters flying overhead. Start the revolution! Actually, it's just a skateboarder gathering and the people against bio weapons. Personally I love bio weapons. Just grab a slab of meat and chuck it at someone, you'll see what I mean. And skateboarding? Please, as if Tony Hawk's Pro Skateboarding video games aren't more fun than the real thing.

Read about the protests here.

[Update] Around 2:30 PM, the 13th street side of the convention center has cleared, but there are still random sirens and a helicopter or two floating around out there.

[Update] All is quiet on the Philly frontier. However, there was one casualty. An officer died of a heart attack on his way to assist in a scuffle between protesters and police. Rest in peace :( That sucks bigtime.

Sometimes I post about important stuff

But not today! So, while the oil prices are skyrocketing (it's apparently up to around $60 USD a barrel, but that doesn't mean anything to me), the o-zone layer is leaving us, we're almost out of oil, and there's still war in the world (not War of the Worlds...), I still find better stuff to post about.

Battlefield 2 comes out today so it'll probably be in stores tomorrow. However, I have a video game being shipped to me that's not Battlefield 2. I will get Battlefield 2 though, eventually. The game I'm getting is called "Boiling Point: Road to Hell". You play on a piece of land that's 25x25 kilometers. That's 625 square kilometers! I was in the cub scouts, I'll be fine. You get to fly helicopters, planes, drive tanks, cars, buses, and blow everything up. It's a game world like Grand Theft Auto games, but it's in a jungle. Nothing will get done this week. Here's an exceptional review of the game.

Brilliant Idea for Computing

Here's a brilliant idea I recently had for computers. Now, I have 4 computers, so this problem is quadrupled for me, but I also have one monitor, so it's not 8x'ed. Computers and computer equipment use too many power outlets. I have 2 surge protectors with 8 plugs at full capacity, plus 2 more plugs on the wall.

Aside from everything using one plug, there are those monstrous AC adapters. These are hogs. On one surge protector, I have 6 plugs but only 3 things plugged in. I really hate those things.

Some things plugged in include : Router, Switch, 4 computers, monitor, speakers, cell phone, KVM switch (the first one I had didn't need to plug in), and amplifier. Granted, they are all not used for computing, but they are all there in the vacinity.

So where's the brilliant idea? Well, besides the obvious one of "wireless electricity" (it's already invented), this one's actually a kind of legit "brilliant idea", unlike my "one word per page" publishing brilliant idea. We need a better battery. Longer lasting. I'm talking years. Imagine how computing would be if you had wireless "Bluetooth" or another technology, and everything ran on batteries. That's my brilliant idea. I'm no electrical engineer or nuclear physicist, so I won't figure it out, I leave that as an assignment for the reader.

New Songs

I put up two new songs that I created with the assistance of my Mac and GarageBand, a program that CAME WITH my Mac Mini. They are called "Jazz in June" and "Funkin A". I have to make the Downloads page easier to navigate, somehow.

Father's Day 2005 Movie and Pictures

There is a movie up from Father's Day, and there are also a few pictures. Check Downloads and Pictures for the latest.

First Post from my Mac

That's right! Mac Mini. 1.42 Ghz G4. Ram to be upgraded in a bit. Installing the latest software updates right now. And I almost have my first song written in GarageBand. This thing's sweet. At 1280x1024 it's a sight to behold. I will have some pictures up soon, as soon as I clean up my room a bit :) It's got a bunch of new trash from the purchases today. I also got a new 4 port KVM switch so I can have all of my 4 computers hooked up to one keyboard, monitor and mouse. Technology is amazing.

The first shot is the Mac information and a shout out to Cracker. The other shot is FTP access from my Windows PC to my Mac. It works beautifully. I'll have photos up soon.

The Music Phases of Jason Connell

When I get into a band, I really get into them. I can listen to a single band for years, literally. It won't be the only music I listen to, but it will be 95% of it. These phases started promptly in high school. Here I'll try to document the phases, as I can remember.

High School, Freshman and Sophomore Years
Mainly Nirvana. I had the hair and started learning guitar, and the first song I learned when I started getting guitar lessons was "Polly". They were an incredible band, Kurt Cobain was my hero back then. Moreso, they were the ideal band to learn guitar to, as Kurt wasn't a soloist like, say, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell. He played chords that were not usually played together, and put a hard distortion on them. All I had was a lousy classical guitar back then, but Nirvana sounded divine on it.

High School, Junior Year and most of Senior Year
Cracker. But they weren't dominant. Usually a phase for me is listening to one band 95% of the time, but this one was listening to only Cracker 50% of the time, but then I was listening to other bands like Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Phish, Led Zeppelin, [more as I remember].

End of High School, First year of College
Sublime. Although at this point I only had 2 of their albums and no computer. By now I could play Santeria even really drunk, and the solo. I also got more into Jimi Hendrix, and had learned "Red House", my first real blues song on guitar.

College, Year 2
This may come as a surprise to a lot of people, that someone like me can like a group like this, but I was totally into the Insane Clown Posse. I thought they were hilarious and made a lot of friends that year because I would blast them out of my dorm room.

College, Years 3, 4, and after
I got back into Sublime. By now I had all of their albums and just loved how Bradley played guitar and sang, and the bass lines and drums, and everything hiphop about it. Reggae is a big influence on me still.

2002 - 2004
I have no frame of reference for these years like "College" or "High School"... That's when time starts to fly. But those were the "working years" I guess. During this time I found the greatest guitarist and biggest influence on my music, Stevie Ray Vaughan. I bought all of his albums at one time off of 10 of them. I also bought 2 DVDs and the SRV Signature Fender Stratocaster. He can just play. (What movie!?)

Present Phase
Back into Cracker bigtime and I can't put them down. They are all of my favorite albums.

Honorable Mentions
Other bands that I didn't quite get into a phase with, but really close to it, are bands like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Candlebox, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Verve Pipe, Eminem, and I know I've forgotten some so I'll edit it later.

Text is Boring

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a program capable of having you input, say, a news post, and take all of those words and make something really cool out of it? Or just have a different way of showing it? Rather, an alternative way? Maybe a picture made out of words and then you click a button and they move into text form... that would be rad.

One example comes to mind. Say you have a post about the Eagles. The first thing you see is all of the words moved around, twisted, flipped, and mangled to form an Eagles logo. Then, you click a link to make it the actual boring paragraph/sentence form that we are all so used to and loathe, but they move there in an animated, rad way. That would bring to life any web page.

I'm going to try it. Gimme a week on this one. It's probably not too easy :)

I know where I'll be June 24th

'80s rapper Tone Loc, of "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" fame, plays his first area show in years June 24 at Reeds Blue Bell (Rt. 202 & Rt. 73) . Loc is also an actor and appeared in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine." Doors open at 7 p.m. $10 cover

[from Philadelphia Daily News]

Phew! She WAS brain damaged afterall

If I am ever a vegetable, please confirm that I have irreveresible brain damage before the autopsy. Maybe even before you decide to pull the feeding tube. Sometime while I'm still alive, preferrably.

Online Identities

This article brought to light a legal document which can be used by, what I like to call, people who write on the internet (AKA web writers, journalists [technically they are writing in a journal], 'bloggers', webloggers, etc). This legal document is interesting. It includes sections that guide you on actually securing a "Press Pass", so you could like, go in the conference room and interview Andy Reid after the game, and when he says "Time's yours", it's actually yours, which would just tickle my fancy. Since some of these "personal journalists" are reporters, just not working for an established, official press outfit, it makes perfect sense.

The article that introduces the legal document has some disturbing pieces of literature in it though. It has a whole section on "how to blog anonymously". There's some validity in the argument about future or current coworkers/employers finding your journal and finding you insane. That I can see being a problem. However, it also uses family, friends, etc, as an example of people who you wouldn't want to know about your journal. I come from the complete opposite point of view I guess. If you have really dark secrets or crazy stuff going on, wouldn't you feel better just letting everyone know? Hi, I'm Jason and I love Jennifer Connelly.

I can't help it. She's gorgeous. And we have the same initials. And nearly the same last name. We could get married and she'd just shave a "y" off her name. That's enough incentive, I think, she may just marry me for that reason alone. Although, with some awful luck, we're probably related. Sorry Jennifer, it's probably not going to happen.

Another thing about this. People love to slander people anonymously. Whatever happened to people like John Hancock who would put it all on the line. Not like he signed where he would be when you read his signature, but he put a lot on the line there, signing in 20 point "Independence" font. Some people can't have an opinion unless they are anonymous about it.

To bring philosophy more heavily into it... what is Anonymous? If you have a name that you use consistently that is not necessarily your own real name, is it anonymous? Probably not. You have an identity, and that identity is your "moniker". It doesn't tie to your real life identity, per se, but it's an identity. So while it is anonymous in the fact that you aren't tying your two identities together, you are consistently using an identity for online purposes. If you walk down the street, and see a guy in pink pants, he's the guy in pink pants, to you right now. You may later learn his name, his real identity, but for the meantime he has an identity, one which he may regret later. So, going by this, first names are an identity, so they are not anonymous. However, if you use different names every time, it's anonymous, or your identity becomes the guy who uses different identities, which to me is anonymous since, with the nature of online, you cannot tie any of those two random identities to one person, making them anonymous. You might ask, with this definition, is anyone on the internet anonymous? I'd say there are degrees of it then. Actually, degrees of non-anonymity. You have the least non-anonymous, which is someone who posts their name, physical address, phone number, and anything else you can think of. Then there is the person with one online identity that is a clever moniker or something like that. They are the least non-anonymous. In between that you may have a picture and a moniker, a first name and a picture, or a full name, and any other combination of identifying qualities.

That was a good philosophy break. I pretty much ran out of gas and material for this post :)

Who's your Mac

It might be time to get a Mac. When you start getting emails with subject lines that say "24 Month Financing on all Apple PowerBooks, iBooks and Mac minis" and you have the card in your pocket that makes this statement even more compelling (a MicroCenter card), the temptation becomes so great, it's hard to stay the whole day of work.

Mac mini
1.42GHz / 1.0GB PC2700 DDR RAM / 80GB Hard Drive / SuperDrive 4x DVD�RW Drive / 54Mbps AirPort Extreme Wireless Card, Bluetooth Adapter included / 937490

It's a beautiful thing. Going for $999.97. OR

Apple PowerBook G4 15-inch
1.67GHz / 512MB PC2700 DDR RAM / 80GB Hard Drive / SuperDrive 8x DVD�RW Drive / 732552

which goes for $2299.99. The card is what I bought my current Wintel laptop on, and it was nearly identical in price, and that's long been paid off, so I can do it. But with 24 months "same as cash"!?!?! That's awesome. It could be around $100 a month for that PowerBook.

The only thing that I have an urgency about getting a Mac is that they will soon all be converted to Intel. While I have an Intel laptop, I am pretty much a lover of all things AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) and a hater of all things Intel. I had my previous AMD, a 1400 MHz Athlon, from when I interned at QVC during the summer of 2001, until just a few months ago. A fan on the motherboard died, making this awful racket at first, then eventually fried itself, rendering the whole thing broken. So I bought a replacement mobo, CPU and some RAM (I had everything else) for less than $400. An Athlon 2800+ and 1GB RAM, and a top of the line (for the CPU) Motherboard. Sweet dealin'. I don't use it for games. My gaming PC, if mentioned on this website, could endanger my life ;) It's a beaut. 64 bit Athlon FX-53. That's all I can say.

So, I'll be taking advantage of this Macintosh "Giveaway". 2 years same as cash, it's practically a giveaway. I'll just walk in, pick one up, and walk out, and feel like I've rented a movie, at least in the same financial range, except I'll have this beautiful piece of machinery.

Which one should I get? I could save money, I have some ram at home too, but no "gig-sticks"... The Mac mini only takes one stick o' RAM, so a gig or a 2 gig stick would be optimal, but I'd have to buy one :(

Keep in mind, you Mac freaks... I am not converting, only "adding to my arsenal". Actually, I'm getting one because of the newest Mac OS X and the iLife '05 (particularly GarageBand). I'm not an artist so don't expect some new l33t Mac art or anything that artists do. I'll have some music up here, though. I've always been a big fan of classical music mixed with blues (at least, from what it sounds like in my head), or reggae and classical and blues, or swing, or rap and swing and blues and classical. Yeah, I haven't heard them either, let's see what I can do.

I think having a Mac will be pretty wicked sweet.


Tonight's Conan was hysterical. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was at the Michael Jackson trial hanging out with all his supporters. It almost rivals the Star Wars one. I'm still laughing about it!

Finally, A Decent "Mentos" Commercial

I like that Mentos commercial with all the birds used as musical instruments. Compared to the other atrocities, it's a welcomed addition. It's a catchy tune. You can watch it here. The big pink birds make me laugh.