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Journal: Life... it's a kick in the head 2

Journal by bryanthompson
My girlfriend's sister won an invention competition today. Basically, the kids find a problem, invent something to solve it, and then actually have to build it. I think it's a very cool idea, and it teaches all of the right parts of thinking through a problem.

Her invention, though... seems like it's encouraging the wrong thing. There's a kid in her class that's a little husky. It's hard for him to fit in desks. So, her invention was essentially a desk extender. When I see things that seem to make an unacceptable thing acceptable, i can't help but wonder about life. Maybe it's just me.

I gradumatated from the University of Phoenix, officially. I talked to both of my bosses about whether or not I should continue for my Bachelor's, and both (both highly educated) basically made it clear that I had a very good path with each of them as it is. So, would more education help? Definitely. But last week I found a gray hair, and I'm only 22 freaking years old. I will not kill myself to fit into the standard view of how much 'education' people need. Later this could come back to haunt me, but at the moment I'm a 22 year old homeowner with 5 (yes 5) years of full-time programming experience with a couple great companies. It's not like I slacked off and took the easy way out. Am I a little sensitive about this? Yeah, I am. I get the "oh, wow, you made it two whole years" look from some people I thought were friends, and it pisses me off a little bit.
User Journal

Journal: Closing my Bank of Amigo Acct. 2

Journal by bryanthompson
My MBNA credit card got taken over by the Bank of Amigo, and since I think their new illegal immigrant card policy is total crap, I just paid my balance and will be calling to close the account. It's probably better not to have any personal CC's anyway, but this kindof sealed it for me.
User Journal

Journal: New Job situation! 2

Journal by bryanthompson

I've been away from leftydot for awhile... I purposely changed my password to random letters & numbers and then logged off, so I'd have to go through a lot of effort to log back in. It worked for a few months :)

Anyway, the project I've been working on for my current employer is getting close enough to completion that we're starting to license it. I talked to my former employer, a network of radio stations, and sold the program to them. It worked out pretty well... I have still technically been on their payroll as a consultant, so I used some of this consulting time to configure the app to their very specific needs and to design some new systems using our program.

Well, earlier this month they asked if I would go back to them on a more permanent basis and if I'd take over their networks/websites/database/other systems. I guess this makes me their "Tech Coordinator." I get to work side-by-side with the station engineers, which has always interested me, plus they gave me a company car, raise, health ins, 401k, co-op retirement, PLUS time to work on my own projects. The best part? I get to keep working for my current company. So, for 30 hours a week I'll be doing radio station things, and for 20 hours I'll be doing development for these guys.

Also, i'm going to be getting a server from ServerBeach.com (on Blinder's recommendation) for my personal projects. I have 3 projects that I've been trying to get finished in my own time (read: the hours between 12am and 3am). I hope to write about them more in the future, and hopefully get some friends involved. I'm too much of a perfectionist to involve other programmers at this time... yeah, it's probably a flaw :)

User Journal

Journal: New Poll meme thingy

Journal by bryanthompson

I hate these, but I had a few minutes free while in an AIM meeting with teh Boss Man.

1. If you had to live in a different state than the one you live in what would it be?
Texas

2. If you were on a plane that crashed, would you rather be stranded on an island or a desert?
Island

3. What "catches your eye" first in the opposite sex?
The posterior region

4. How much do you think a guy should spend on an engagement ring?
enough to earn 'naughty sex'

5. How old do you want to be when you retire?
40

7. Would you rather be the smartest person in the world or the most attractive person in the world?
Smartest

8. Do you think tattoos are hot?
no

9. What was your first pet?
Cockatiel

10. Where did you go on your first Spring Break?
New Orleans and Panama City in 2005

11. Are you scared of spiders or snakes?
Neither -- i got over my fear of spiders by getting a pet tarantula

12. What was your first job?
Cooking in our family's restaurant

13. What is in your front, right pocket?
gum wrapper

14. Do you put up a real Christmas tree each year?
No... I have one of those little fiber optic ones up right now.

15. How many blankets are on your bed?
Two

16. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?
No

17. When was the last time you received a card in the mail?
Don't remember

19. Who was the last person that text-messaged you?
My brother

20. Who was the first person you saw today?
Heh, hrm... I haven't seen another person yet today. Working from home can suck sometimes.

21. Do you have any awards hanging on your wall?
Nope

22. Do you own glasses?
Yep

23. When is the last time you shaved something on your body?
This morning

25. What was your first vehicle?
92 Grand Prix

26. Do you miss high school?
Nope, and I have forgotten most of the people.

27. Are you more of a neat or messy person?
Messy

28. Do you think that everyone should have a cell phone?
Yes

29. Do you remember your first family vacation?
No

30. Ever been in a fight with a best friend?
Yep

31. Ever puked in public?
No

32. Would you prefer dinner and a movie or bowling and ice cream?
Bowling & Dinner

33. Do you sleep with your door open or closed at night?
Closed so the dog can't get in.

34. How far do you live from work?
about 20 feet

35. Do you believe in afterlife?
Yes

36. How many credit cards do you own?
One

37. Would you move to another country tomorrow, if you were offered a $100,000 job?
Maybe

38. How many kids do you see yourself having?
Probably 2

39. Were you a trouble child?
No

40. Do you like butterflies?
eh, no?

41. Can you shake your booty?
No

42. Do you shower at night or in the morning?
Morning

43. Where is your favorite place to eat?
Granite City

44. What did you wear to bed last night?
nothing

45. Do you have to sleep with something "ON" every night in order to sleep?
no

46. On average, how much TV do you watch a day?
less than 10

47. Do you have any piercings?
No

48. Would you rather go snorkeling in the Caribbean or hiking on the Appalachian Trail?
hiking

49. Have you ever taken karate lessons?
Yes

50. Do you think if you got married, you would ever get a divorce?
No

User Journal

Journal: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...McCain,Hagel,& Rinos 4

Journal by bryanthompson
What is the plural form of RINO? Would it be RsINO, RINOs, or just fucktards?

Anyway, there's a huge "aww, we really liked McCain until this" stroke fest on the front page over some obscenity bill. It's hilarious to me how much "respect" a republican can get when he decides to cuddle up to democrats. He and Hagel show so much "candor" and "willingness to speak the truth" that i want to vomit. Argh, I can't even describe how embarassed I am over Hagel, or how scared I get at the thought of Hillary/McCain 08. It'd be like some kind of sick political trojan horse of doom.
User Journal

Journal: idea for Christmas lights

Journal by bryanthompson

I'm a fan of really clean-looking christmas lights... they all have to be the same color, same size, and ideally same spacing. And finally... the cords have to be HIDDEN. I *hate* cords.

So, here's the plan. using a piece of red J-channel siding, I'm going to drill evenly spaced holes and hot-glue the LEDs for the christmas lights through them. The cord will be hidden within the J-Channel, and I'll be able to keep the spacing even. As a bonus, the J-channel will be ridiculously easy to hang and will match the rest of the underhang around the house.

I'm going to buy the lights and do some measuring tonight... I'm pretty excited about this.

Businesses

Journal: Close to starting my business 2

Journal by bryanthompson

I've been gone for awhile, but finally caught up on the zoo and have eliminated more distractions from life --meaning that I have successfully weaned myself from all of the time wasting sites I used to read. With some of my weekend time, and some of my insomnia induced 3am zombie coding sessions, I created a program that I'm going to try to start a business around. It's a big scary step in life, but... I'm optimistic and relatively sure enough of my skills.

I love my current job, and really hate to see it winding to an end. Every day, though, I get the feeling that our project is coming closer to being finished, which means that my time with them could soon be up. It's a great feeling to know that we've made so much progress and that the program is sellable and useful, but it definitely leaves me with a pit in my stomach... which is why I'm posting this at 2:48 am.

I'll post details about how the development of my company goes... at the moment, I'm trying to raise a little capitol, but I think I have enough connections that have faith in me, so that shouldn't be a huge problem. I feel like if I don't get this going very soon, my idea will pop up somewhere else on the interwwweb. I had that happen once with a project my dad and I were working on 3 or 4 years ago. We finished the project, but I didn't have time to work with him for marketing or legal stuff, so it waited... and waited... until finally, someone else had come up with the idea and sold it to literally every media outlet in the state. Huge bummer.

Anyway... I am very thankful for all of the experience I've had, even though I'm only 22, and I've gotten to work with some amazing people. Like I said, I'm optimistic and confident, but extremely scared at the same time.

User Journal

Journal: Red bull, sleep, homework, and a new dog. 2

Journal by bryanthompson
I missed a philosophy assignment earlier this week, so tonight I'm catching up on that one and finishing a major paper... we're only in the first week of class and already have two major assignments due. Man, this is intense. Philosophy reading is extremely dense and hard for me to follow... The connections between the different schools of thought, their adaptations, their influences (over many generations, changes, and schools), and the current presence of those beliefs in today's society makes my head whirl. All of this reading has made me come to one conclusion: original thought is dead. The philosophers of today (Professors and academics) are primarily Bush haters suffering from BDS. This makes all of their ideas irrelevant and leads me to question their legitimacy in today's society.

Of course... i won't say that to my philosophy professor. I will parrot things out of the book like a good little robot... just like I had to do for religion, culture, and diversity class. I'm *ALMOST* finished with my associate's though. One more class after these two, and I'll have it. After that, another year and half of all-year classes and I should have my Bachelor's.

Last week S and I bought a dog, name'd Riley. He's a Puggle, which is a mix between a Pug and a Beagle. They're starting to gain some popularity as a designer breed, and set me back $450. He's a lover though. Here is a picture. He's pretty smart, and is learning very quickly. At 9 weeks, you have to expect a couple of accidents, but overall, he's catching on to things.

Riley is not a dog name, you say? Well... I have birds named Napoleon and Jeb, some fish (Emperor Kuzco, Chimichanga, Dr. Hoover, Spot, and Jamal)... Could've been worse :p
User Journal

Journal: I am the smartest man alive:Rails,Mongrel,Apache2,Lighty,OSX

Journal by bryanthompson
Maybe smartest man alive is too strong, but I have just posted teh greatest rails guide evar about running a load-balanced cluster of Mongrel Rails apps on OSX. My little blog has zero exposure, but random people do stumble across it. I'd like to start spreading this around a bit, though, because there is no other complete guide or FAQ for this.
User Journal

Journal: ask \. friends: Webcasting live programming

Journal by bryanthompson
I have an OS X box serving websites for six radio stations. The server is located at a colocation facility, so there isn't a direct link to the audio from the station. What we'd like to do is stream high school football games to the mini, then out to the public. How big of a nightmare does it sound like I'm getting myself into? I have QuickTime Broadcaster on the machine, but I'm not sure it'll do the job. Shoutcast might be a better way to go, then we can just add a 'download winamp' information page and pretty much anyone can listen.

I'd like to make it as easy as possible to set up the process. I'm thinking it would be very cool if I could set up a listener for a mysql table. I've already done this for specialized things, and it works pretty well, and I think it could do the trick here. They would enter the streaming schedule into the database, and at the specified time, a script would run that starts up the streaming app and begins sending it out. All they would have to do is remember to turn on the source feed at the station. It is this source feed I'm worried about more than anything. How can I make the remote box listen for that feed, then isolate it and send it out via shoutcast/QT?

Anyone have experience with anything like this? or have creative ideas I can try?

edit: I probably should have waited until after WWDC to have posted this. If you reply and I don't get back to it right away, i'm sorry. I do appreciate everyone's help!
User Journal

Journal: thanks blinder! (plus a programming Q) 5

Journal by bryanthompson
somehow a quick exchange of ideas between blinder and myself led to a surge in motivation over this weekend (Thank you muchly, dave!). I spent about 8 hours saturday and 6 Sunday working on a project that I've been meaning to get started on for quite awhile. I am about 40% finished, with just the user-interfaces to finish up. When it's done, i'd really like to get some input from you guys. I won't say too much about it yet.

Now on to my Q...

When you guys write, do you start? I'm friends with a lot of programmers who start with the user interface and then work their way into the functional aspects. I always start with database modeling and hooking up whatever functionally needs to be done before even touching what the user will see. This way, by the time I get to the UI part, I know *exactly* what exists, how it should interact with other elements, what it requires, etc. It seems like the most efficient way... for me at least. I'd like to get an idea how you guys work.

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