RandomStringOfWords.com or RSoW.com is my very own virtual oubliette that has been actively serving content since February 2000. I answer to many names;
Palamedes - Historical Reference
Palamedes is the name I program under and is a name used throughout history. Palamedes originally was a member of the Greek expedition against Troy and made an enemy of Odysseus by exposing him when he pretended to be mad in order to avoid going to war. In revenge, Odysseus made it look as if Palamedes had been betraying the Greeks to the Trojans in return for gold and caused Palamedes to be put to death. The inventor of dice as well as several of the letters in our alphabet, all sources depicted Palamedes as clever… right up until the end I guess.
Vihravendrel / Vihra
Tescht Vihravendrel Ambjuri’Belshiva is a fantasy character name for a set of stories that I was writing and that I have used for years and years in every game imaginable. From Warhammer and D&D to Everquest and World of Warcraft. It sometimes gets reduced to just Vihravendrel or even shorter to just Vihra or Vihr.
When playing first person shooters or arcade style games, I generally play under this moniker. Coined back in 1999 when TFC was first released, I chose this name when I became an administrator on some servers that were real toilets and were in desperate need of cleaning.. “Toilet Duck” was a toilet bowl cleaner back in the 80’s.
All three names I have come to identify with, and were you to call out using one of them, I would answer – all three names are me, and yet none of them are…
Jason Ellis - Resume
My real name is Jason Ellis. I’m 40+ year old software engineer and small business owner. (41 at time of writing, I say 40 plus because who knows how long it will be before I update this..)
I’ve worked for many companies, big and small, in my software engineering career. For example, I was a software engineer for IBM for 6 years, specifically working on their Build Forge product as the Senior UI Developer. And I’ve worked for other very large companies, or children there of like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dunn and Bradstreet, Cox Media etc..
After I graduated from those awful “Dilbert/Office Space” like environments I started intentionally working for small start-up like companies in the Austin area as a software engineer/architect and enjoy it much more..
Bird saying hello while in Jamaica
My hobbies include just about anything you can think of; I consider myself a very craftsy person and really enjoy making things. I make or have made armor (chain, leather, plate), bows & crossbow, clocks, and really enjoy turning wood as well as general wood working.
I also enjoy reading and writing, though I will be the first to admit I’m not the greatest writer in the world. I find that writing is actually quite difficult, and it only takes one gander at the blog here to realize my talents likely lie elsewhere..
I am an avid game player and have plans in the works to create my very own ( who doesn’t? ). I enjoy MMO style games though I’m very tired of the current fantasy trend of games. I would like some kind of futuristic space style game that doesn’t punish me for playing.
Musically, I have aspirations to play the piano and have even purchased a very nice keyboard with intent to play it one day, but just haven’t managed to find the time. I also am very keen to learn to play the chapman stick as it’s got to be one of the coolest instruments on Arrakis, but I just haven’t had time.
I am interested in 3D graphics and animation and consider myself a very good 3d modeler, though as with all things I could be better.
I used to be an extreme paintball player and by extreme I mean I played a lot. I started playing in 1987 and continued to play it occasionally though I’m burned out on it now. I played semi-pro, doing the whole master circuit thing for a while to include being a head field ref for Zap Masters and Zap International Open, but in the end – the game has gone a direction I just don’t enjoy so I have mostly gotten out of it. Though like I said, I do still go out occasionally with friends to play..
Oh and I program a bit as well. It’s what I have done for a living for over 20 years.
My life to date has been a good one - I can’t complain about anything. Right after high school my father got remarried, so I decided it was time for me to get out of the house so that he and his new wife could have a life together without me in the way..
I decided to join the Army - or maybe it was decided for me .. not sure. I’m forced to thank my step brother for this one though as it was his idea (he made it sound so cool - he was doing it at the time), and it was a good idea at that, though the recruiter lied about pretty much everything.
While the army in and of itself sucked, I met some of the best people in the world and am still friends with most of them. I got to do some very cool things while in the military and I got to go to some very.. interesting.. places.
Glad it’s over now. I tell people all the time, “The Army’s over all experience was excellent - the individual minutes sucked.” I’m sure this is true of all military branches.
Paintball day in 1993 - I'm top right
Things are always better when you look back at them. Sometimes I can’t believe how long ago it was; It seems like only yesterday - boy how time flies. At this point I have been out of the army for three times the length of time I was in, and that just seems strange. Those days that took forever to go by, now seem very distant and that they went by in a flash.
I was in the army for 5 years as a 98CKP, for those of you who have no idea what that is, I was a signals intelligence analyst and a Korean linguist - I make a mean cup of coffee for the golfs who are reading this. I’ll also note that’s an MOS that’s no longer around so apparently we are a dying breed..
The job sounded cool! It wasn’t. Actually it was damn boring - I ended up fixing trucks in the motor pool more than anything.
After I got out of the military I started my own business on the world wide web. (I have a long history of entrepreneurial endevours.) I created the very first digital music metacrawler that searched the internet for MP3s. It did very well and really got me back into programming after my military hiatus.
After 2 years of development I ended up selling Palavista to a company in New York (ChangeMusic inc.) for $330k. And proceeded to retire for a couple years. It’s a shame, they did nothing with it. But then that’s because about 2 weeks after I sold it, napster came out and it was all over for them.. I got out just in time..
After my early retirement (read: once I got bored) I decided to go into law enforcement. I worked for several years as a police officer in two different cities in central Texas before I realized it just wasn’t for me.
Part of me misses it because it had the camaraderie of the military and a very minor sense of celebrity in that it felt like you were doing something important but ultimately the camaraderie wasn’t the same and the job just really wasn’t right for me. A lot of that had to do with location but that’s another story.
I did go back into law enforcement here in Georgia. Mostly because I think I forgot how much it sucked, but also because I like giving back to the community. This time I had to get out of it due to the night shift being terrible on my relationship with my wife. It was just a matter of us never seeing one another.. I couldn’t have that.
That’s me in a nut shell - of course there is a lot more to know but you’ll have to read the rest of the site to get it. This site is as much a peripheral part of my brain as it is anything else. I write this stuff for my own pleasure, and not for you. If you find any enjoyment out of any of my ramblings then fantastic, but I did it for me.
One thing you may notice, I don’t use spell checker, and I really should. Sorry about that - please forgive any typos.
Keep in mind, this site is my very own oubliette of rambles, Rants! and stories. If you get offended by any of it, that’s on you. You’re in my sandbox now. In the end, my writing style is my own be it good, bad or ugly… I’m the one at the keyboard.