Day 55 the one with a memorable Jayhawks victory


2018: Day 55 the one with a memorable Jayhawks victory
Word count 135,263 + 1,065 or 136,328 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

All this chatter and gossip about the state of NCAA college basketball is troubling to stay the least. At some point in the future fans of college basketball will look back at this dark moment. It will probably get a lot worse before it gets better. All of that churn is ongoing in a swirl that makes things very hard to evaluate. Even with all that going on the University of Kansas Jayhawks were able to claim a 14th consecutive big 12 regular season title. That is a pretty remarkable record. For the most part I would say that Coach Bill Self has recruited players that are not really one and done superstars. The basketball program has had a lot of seniors that have played a number of years at the university. It is hard to reconcile. I’m hopeful that at the end of this year we will know where things stand. All of that news made this victory exciting, but I have some reservations about it.

My new case of Soylent meal replacement drinks arrived today. It arrived in a case of Cafe Coffiest 14 oz Bottles. I’m not sure how long it will take me to consume 12 bottle of Cafe Coffiest, but it should be interesting. My weight has dropped from 226 pounds to 218 so far. I’m going to keep replacing my breakfast and lunches until my weight drops back under 200 pounds. That might seem like a ridiculous goal, but I really do think it is possible. Exercising more by using my walking desk every day will help. Reducing my caloric intake each day is probably going to be the primary driver. My energy level appears to be up and I have not had any issues tolerating the meal replacement powder. That goal has been in progress this week and it should be possible. You might have noticed that the thumbnail today is of that case of Cafe Coffiest bottles. I make it better with a filter and a slightly off angle.

Today I used my one month subscription to YouTube TV to watch some live ESPN via Chromecast. Specifically, I watched the University of Kansas basketball team play a regular season Big 12 conference game against the University of Tech Tech Red Raiders. It was a pretty big game. Both schools wanted to win the game to make a push toward a regular season conference championship. You already know from the first paragraph that the Jayhawks were victorious. It was a pretty good game to watch. This eason has been really interesting. In terms of coaching this is one of Coach Bill Self’s best efforts. The team on the court has faced a really strong league this year in Big 12 conference play. It pretty much takes a solid team effort to win games and that makes things fun to watch. We will see what happens in the postseason, but it will be very interesting.

I was going to spend the next 2,500 words writing about college basketball. However, on second thought that did not seem like very best option. Today included some basement cleaning and some Star Trek Voyager streaming episodes from season four. Apparently, finding the keyboard style TiVo remote in the basement may be impossible. Today I did manage to find three over the air antenna devices in the basement. Oddly enough you might remember that I went out to Best Buy to acquire a new OTA device. Now we have 4 over the air antennas in the house. Three in the basement and one plugged into the TiVo Roamio device in the living room. So far I have been happy enough with the combination of the TiVo box and the Xbox One S. We can watch television, physical media, and stream things.

Topic 1: Google Play Books audiobooks

Maybe it was a highly indulgent choice, but I now own the third book in the Dune series on audiobook. It is a little over 16 hours of content. Before getting hooked on the Dune series the only audiobook I had downloaded was the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson back in 2011. Audible had given me that book for free and it was a pretty decent audiobook. You might have figured out that it took more than 7 years for me to want to download another audiobook. We used to buy some of the Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt novels on CD for road trips, but that is about it. I do remember that we had the Journey to the Center of the Earth audiobook at one point. The writing by Jules Verne was a very interesting book for being first published in 1864.

Right now I’m listening to the start of the third Dune book in audiobook format. The first book in the series is really the only one that I go back to from time to time. The rest of the series is something that had entertained me at some point, but mostly has been forgotten over the years. Listening to audiobooks is interesting and a little bit different from what I normally do. Maybe since I’m spending the last few hours of my night writing audiobooks have become an indulgence. All of this writing has reduced the amount of time I have to spend on reading things. The journal articles keep coming and other people keep writing things to read. In fairness the new content is not really the part of the process that would stop me from being able to consume all of it. Nobody really can read everything that is unrealistic. Even building an an artificial intelligence based model to consume all written content would be impossible based on current technology. You could probably figure out how to pull it all into a database, but indexing and making it useful would be a pretty daunting task.

Topic 2: Dealing with cable management

A number of boxes in the basement contain various cables. I have pretty much kept all the cables in a bunch of boxes. Today it seemed like a good idea to take zip ties and start cleaning up the cables. Some of them are pretty old. I’m not entirely sure what some of the cables belonged to at this point.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 54 the one where I was ready for the weekend

Dog looking out window

2018: Day 54 the one where I was ready for the weekend
Word count 134,256 + 1,007 or 135,263 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Friday is here. I’m glad to have made it to the weekend. This week was a whirlwind of constant time commitments. That happens. It was a bit much, but hey that is what spices things up. This was the week that I started to consume Soylent meal replacement powder drinks. That has worked out really well so far. My weight is down like 6 pounds and my energy level is way up. Tomorrow a new batch of coffee enhanced Soylent will arrive. That should be very interesting. It is more expensive per meal, but it has caffeine. Earlier this week I almost started dumping two shots of espresso into my Soylent cocoa shake, but that seemed weird. It seemed like a better option to consume the two beverages separately. I’m still working on drinking that big 48 ounce Nalgene water bottle each day. Overall the whole Soylent experiment has just been about reducing my overall caloric intake and saving some time.

My system appears to tolerate Soylent pretty well. The power I have is based on recipe v1.9 and the new coffee flavored version is recipe v2.0. I’m curious what the differences will be. It should be interesting to figure that one out. This week has been a blur of Soylent and Warren Zevon records. For those of you who know me pretty well you have already guessed that the more Warren Zevon in a week the higher the stress level. The only thing deeper down the rabbit hole for me is listening to Pink Floyd tracks. That does not happen all that often. I did try to figure out how to get online access to the SiriusXM radio. My car subscription does not seem to get me internet access, but sometimes it lets me listen to it for free. The Android app for SiriusXM let me listen for a day then wanted me to login. I’m still trying to figure out what music streaming service to go with this year. I have been making an effort to buy the vinyl record via a retail store for any artist that I really enjoy. That seems like the right way to go about it for me based on my interest in encouraging the people who make music I enjoy to keep making music.

Every night I listen to an hour of music before going to bed. It is an important part of my routine. That is something that will probably not change any time soon. Sometimes I miss my Pandora streaming station. This might be the year that I go back something like that service. I’m trying to avoid using Amazon services. That is really hard when it comes to music. All the autorip albums that I have purchased over the years have a digital copy stored with my Amazon Music account. That makes separating pretty challenging. Going completely vinyl would not really be a solution at this time. My record player is in my office and I’m not setting up a record player in my bedroom. I could download all the content and setup a media server or just store it all on my phone. Some options exist. I’ll probably try to pick one soon enough and go with it for the rest of the year.

My favorite part about listening to a station like Octane on SiriusXM is that it introduces me to new music. That works out pretty in terms of directing me toward full albums that I might want to listen to from start to finish. Listening to the Lithium station is really about the past. It is about being connected to the music I really enjoyed throughout the last couple decades. Octane is full of newly released music. That opens the door to all sorts of interesting new bands. At the moment, I can go out and listen to their album as part of my subscription and decide if it is something I want to add to my vinyl record collection. That is one of those things that just keeps on going and I keep building it up. It could be worse I guess. All those compact disc (CD) clubs I subscribed to sent me stuff from all sorts of different bands. All of those discs are pretty much gone. I really do not remember where they all went. To the best of my knowledge, I have one binder of music that was in my car. Those discs are pretty badly scratched up at this point. Disc skipping is super annoying and just sort of ruined the experience.

Today I’m pretty tired and this blog post will probably only hit the 1,000 word mark. That means that this week was really rather lackluster in terms of my written performance. I guess that was bound to happen at some point. To hit 1,000,000 words this year. I’m going to have to avoid having weeks like this one. That is easier to write about than to achieve. Sometimes things just stack up and you end up doing things outside of writing. The simple act of hammering on the keyboard takes time and energy. Running out of time or not having enough energy can lead to shorter blog posts or maybe even worse it can lead to poorly written stilted and disjointed prose that is uninspired. That is prepaps worse than falling short in terms of word count. I have tried to avoid just hammering out horrible content. That would have been one way to go.

This weekend should be good. It should be a great time to write. The Jayhawks play tomorrow that should be entertaining. I’m hopeful that it will be a good game and fun to watch. Instead of nachos I’ll be having some Soylent either before or after the game. Replacing two meals per day has been my goal.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 53 the one with some snow and some Soylent

2018: Day 53 the one with some snow and some Soylent
Word count 133,254 + 1,002 or 134,256 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Well things are going along this week. My words per day pace is still lagging behind. I’m now replacing both breakfast and lunch with Soylent powdered meal replacement cocoa flavored shakes. That endeavor has been going swimmingly. My new BlenderBottle ProStak System bottle has been working well. My current plan is to keep replacing every meal except dinner with Soylent. We will see how long that lasts, but it seems to be a good plan at the moment. It is a solid working plan. A plan that helps save me a few minutes per meal. Like a lot of the folks that first start drinking Soylent products I have felt more alert, had a higher level of energy, and maybe a higher degree of focus. I’m curious to see how long that feeling lasts. I know that the nutriationaly the mix is different than what i normally consume day to day.

It has snowed just a little bit today. Enough to remind me that it is winter, but not enough to really change anything. That is how my day has gone. Enough has happened to remind me that it was a day, but nothing has really changed. That is for better or worse how a lot of days end up going. My plan is to figure things out tonight. It is going to be a very long night and probably an even longer day tomorrow. That is just how it is going to end up going. Nothing is going to change that at this point. Maybe the long night will give me enough time to really hammer out a solid 3,000 word post or maybe a couple of them. Something has to change at this point. My level of writing productivity is not up to par and it is bringing sadness to my otherwise extremely positive world.

My outlook on things has always been very positive. I really do believe that staying positive and trying to see the potential in things is a better way to go about each day than the alternative. A negative cycle of expectations and experiences just seems to be less fun. It seems like something that should be avoided and maybe if you have the power to focus one way or the other it is something that should be shunned. That might seem harsh. Maybe it is a harsh thing to consider. Shunning negativity is really not that bad of a philosophy to adopt. You might figure out that the power of a stop doing list is really something you want to have in your tool kit. That is a power that just might help you focus in on stopping any predilection or impulse to engage in wholesale negativity. That is something that is 100% on my stop doing list.

Sometimes it is just better to focus on having a positive outlook and bend the universe toward that positive plan. Yeah —- I know that getting overly focused on predicting a perfect possible future could be problematic. A lot of variables exist. Figuring out how to strive forward into a perfect possible future may seem impossible. The question would be how to enjoy each moment in a positive way. Making sure each moment remains positive is one of the best and easiest ways to clear a path toward that perfect possible future. At some point you just end up making being positive a habit. That is a winning habit that brings joy to things. That has to be a good thing to focus your efforts and attention on.

Today will be another day of falling short in terms of word count. It looks like things are shaping up to end the day here with another 1,000 word blog post. Tomorrow however could be the day that things get back on track. I had thought that things were back on track a few days ago, but that turned out not to be the case. Things just got wild. That happens from time to time. This week was a blur. It happened. I’m pretty sure about that, but at the same time some of the moments that passed should have been seized to greater advantage.

The thumbnail for today’s blog post is of the power cable that made me wonder. I had stared at all the modular power cables that came with my new power supply. It was a process to sort through everything looking to see if a 4 pin cable connector existed for the motherboard CPU. You can tell from the thumbnail that the cable actually splits from 8 pins to a pair of 4 pin connectors. That is one of those awesome things that technology allows. It is also one of those things that when you figure it out you smile and think that is slick. You also look back on the moments of frustration up until that realization as unnecessary. These new Corsair modular cables are actually pretty slick. You can see from the phone that they are all individually woven vs. the ribbon cables of the past. They look pretty good in the case. Getting a good power supply these days is hard enough. It appears that a real shortage exists out in the marketplace of high capacity computer power supplies.

It is now time to catch a short nap before jumping into the rest of the night. You can probably expect this post to publish at 22:22 tonight. By that time I’ll be back up and writing. This will just be a little power nap to get me going again for a night of fun and adventure. Ok —- it will just be a night of sitting in my office chair, but within the bounds of imagination it could be a real adventure i guess. That is how I’m going to elect to look at it.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 52 the one where I started eating Soylent

Soylent powder

2018: Day 52 the one where I started eating Soylent
Word count 132,196 + 1,058 or 133,254 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Sometimes writing can be a struggle. These last two weeks have been a struggle. Sitting down to write 3,000 words requires a certain amount of time. That has just not worked out. I need to get better about managing my time. One of the ways I have been trying steal back a few moments is changing up my diet. It was pretty easy to order a couple pounds of a meal replacement powder. This week a tub with 2.3 pounds of Soylent Meal Replacement Powder in the Cacao flavor arrived at the front door. So far three meals have been replaced with a 200 calorie scoop of Soylent powder. The cacao flavor was a good call. It is not the greatest thing I have ever had for breakfast, but it is acceptable. I got this wild sharker contraption that has an angry metal blender ball inside it. Shaking up the Soylent mix is key to the whole process.

My next Soylent adventure will be replacing my breakfast routine with the Cafe Coffiest Soylent Meal Replacement Drink. I can get a case of 12 bottles that each contain 400 calories packed into 14 ounces of beverage. The bottles are a little bit different of a commitment. The powder allows me to drink 200 calories at a time vs. going up to 400. I prefer to have a small, but powerful breakfast. The Soylent mix version 1.9 was something that I could consume and tolerate without any problems. At the moment, I think it would be possible to replace both breakfast and lunch with Soylent. On the brighter side it is vegan so that is exciting. Not thinking about what to eat or having to prepare food should save me about twenty minutes a day. That time is going to be put straight back into my writing. I say that and it didn’t happen today. That twenty minutes I saved was sucked back into other things.

Avoiding the tyranny of tiny tasks is one thing. I’m an avid believer in the power of the stop doing list and even that could not save me today. The pile of things was just a little bit bigger than my pile of answers. That is even being powered by the nutritional balance of Soylent powder. The day was enhanced with some tunes from Warren Zevon. I even managed to try to get a few other people to listen to some Warren Zevon albums. At least that good work was done today. I mean that has to count for something in the grand scheme of things. Spreading the word of the greatness of Warren Zevon has to count as an accomplishment. Strangely enough it doesn’t really add any word count to my day. The only thing that counts as words is words. That might seem simple enough to write and simple enough to read, but no substitute exists for good clean writing.

Tonight I’m writing real time and posting real time. You are pretty much reading a stream of consciousness write after the writing session where it occurred. For that you are welcome and I hope that you get to enjoy it. My writing is a reflection of my thoughts at the moment. The words pretty much just rain down as the thoughts happen. I have trained myself to think and writing at the same time in one fluid process of thought and typing. Sometimes my mind wonders in the middle of writing a sentence or two, but I make every effort to bring my efforts back to writing with a single minded purpose completely focused on the the challenge at hand. That challenge is simple. Writing 3,000 words or accept the failure of falling short. I’m going to write tonight until the clock strikes 22:22 and then this is posting no matter how many words have been written. That is the way of things this evening.

Here shortly this blog post is going to reach the 1,000 word threshold. That is really the bare minimum of what I’m willing to produce. Anything less than that is just a reflection of complete and total failure. I have to say after three meal replacements with Soylent out of the last 4 meals I feel pretty good and my energy level is decent. I’m tired, but that is more or less a reflection of how much has has to be done in the week. Next week is going to be even worse. It is going to be one of those weeks that tests my willingness to write and produce. It will be one of those strive forward or slip backward moments. I’m not going to call it a dare to be great situation, but the struggle to write 3,000 words per day will be real. I’m going to need to wake up early and write 1,000 words before the day really starts. That nightly session of 2,000 words is possible and should be sustainable.

Topic 1: My computer struggles

Back in 2016 my last computer build went well enough. I took a trip to Micro Center. That drive takes about an hour. It was pretty easy to pick out a motherboard, RAM, CPU, and my first Corsair CPU water cooler. I got them home and put all the parts together. The water cooler was the part that took the longest. It was not difficult to work with it was just difficult to screw in the longer connection points at the top of the case. It was really just physically hard to get things connected in the case. It was really an easy build. I used the xdock to swap in and out operating systems. It worked great. To be fair it is still working just fine.

My latest computer build is just not going as well. This failed motherboard just bummed me out. It was really deflating and somewhat annoying. I know that the motherboard should have been stored better. It should have been treated a lot better. That is on my and I know that my things were not treated with the respect they deserved. That is a lesson learned. I should not have assumed that I was done with that old motherboard and moved on from it.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 51 the one where my computer did not work

2018: Day 51 the one where my computer did not work
Word count 131,182 + 1,014 or 132,196 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

This post started real time about thirty minutes ago. It was written and posted. No buffer exists anymore. Now is a time in the journey where things are written and then posted. That is not how this is supposed to be. I had a 24 hour buffer built up. The plan was to write 3,000 words per day and have enough time to review them before publication. Keep in mind that today was crushing in terms of things to get done. Writing just did not happen. Last night and this morning just did not yield any writing. Probably the thing that really impacted my writing was the problems with my new computer build. The Corsair 740 case looks great. The new Corsair 850 watt power supply looks great. It turned out that after everything was connected no video happened. Yeah —- you read that correctly the entire computer build did not turn out well. Things did not work. Everything was connected and ready to go, but no video happened.

My troubleshooting of this problem was very frustrating and ultimately defeating. First things first, I checked the power cable and then looked at the motherboard in frustration. At first, the problem appeared to be the missing CPU 4 pin power cable. That was easy enough to figure out. The Corsair power supply CPU cable splits form 8 to two 4 pin connectors. I had to watch a YouTube video to remember that nifty trick. My next effort involved the CMOS battery and some basic troubleshooting:

1. I powered off the computer and held the power button for 60 seconds. This step included unplugging the computer and just holding down the power button on the case for 60 seconds. After that step was complete the computer was powered back on and I checked for video.
2. The power cable was replaced. My brand new Corsair power supply came with a power cable, but it was easy enough to check to see if the power cable was bad.
3. The CMOS battery was replaced. This one was pretty easy and was made possible by the fact that for some reason I had one extra battery.
4. The CMOS battery was removed for 5 minutes. This step was pretty easy to accomplish. I unplugged the computer and then removed the battery and waited for 5 minutes before plugging it back in with the battery to see if things were working again.
5. A second graphics card was tested. It seemed like a good idea to remove the one graphics card and plug in my backup card.
6. A second monitor was tested. Maybe the computer was having trouble with my primary monitor. It seemed like a good idea to test out my backup computer monitor.
7. Both HDMI and displayport cables were tested. I tested a couple different cables that were working with other computers. None of that happened.
8. I checked the CMOS jumper to make sure nothing had gone wrong.
9. RAM was removed and replaced. I thought this might cause the motherboard to engage in some beeping or maybe do something different.
10. I let the box run for about 30 minutes. I thought maybe it just needs a minute to run. This step did not help. No video ever showed up on the monitor.

None of that helped. No video ever occured. Strangely no beeping ever happened from the motherboard. The whole process was very frustrating. That pretty means that my new computer case and power supply are going to have to hang out until I make a decision about getting a new motherboard. You can imagine that all of that testing took a fair amount of time and that is what cut into my writing efforts. For better or worse my desire not to fail at fixing the computer helped contribute to my failure to write 3,000 words today. This post may not even climb up to 1,000 words before it automatically posts at 22:22 PM.

This is the first time with a computer build that I could not make it work. Without any visual evidence of the boot sequence it is hard to troubleshoot. The steps outlined above are you basic information technology 101 troubleshooting for a potential motherboard failure. That is a rough thing to have happen. Upgrading to a new motherboard comes with a certain set of costs. I’m going to need to buy a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, and probably a CPU water cooling block. All of those components could rack up a sizable bill in terms of computer parts. I’ll have to decide if that is where I want to spend my funds.

This post is pretty much being written real time. I’m hoping to string together 1,000 words to help keep my word count average from having to deal with a zero for the day. February was going to be my month to catch up. That appears to not be the base. It looks like February is going to just be a hard month for writing. It could be worse. I’m 51 days into this journey and no day has been missed so far. That is positive at least. Way more positive than any of my thoughts about my computer setup. That motherboard had worked, but does not work anymore. This entire post is dedicated to the micro-ATX HP motherboard that has no real model number or brand on it. It is about as generic as you can get. My next motherboard will probably be made by ASUS. It will probably be something from the X299 series of motherboards. They look very promising. The one that really has jumped out at me happens to be the ASUS Tuf X299 Mark 1 motherboard. It is an epic design that seems to be very well built. Whatever happened to my last motherboard probably happened in the garage. It say on a shelf for a couple of years. Maybe something got bent or a transistor fell off. At this point is hard to say.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 50 the one where we talk about directions and the future

Pickle dog outside view

2018: Day 50 the one where we talk about directions and the future
Word count 130,173 + 1,009 or 131,182 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

I’m conflicted about graphics cards. NVIDIA started releasing the pascal architecture cards two years ago. The GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 seemed a little overly expensive for my needs at the time. I waited for the GTX 1060 to go on sale and bought one directly from NVIDIA. Fast forward two years and I’m not sure where the production of NVIDIA graphics cards is going. It appears that the Pascal architecture is going to transition into production of either Volta or Ampere. All this indecision from NVIDIA or maybe just extreme secrecy makes it hard to elect to buy the NVIDIA TITAN Xp or the NVIDIA TITAN V graphics cards. At the moment my new Corsair Carbide Series Air 740 – High Airflow ATX Cube Case is ready. I’m ready to start working toward a computer system upgrade. Everything is setup for a dual graphics card rig. That case will be ready.

I spent a bunch of time looking at the ASUS TUF X299 MARK 1 LGA 2066 ATX Intel Motherboard. That is probably my favorite motherboard at the moment. You can imagine that throughout the next year I will be building and pricing all sorts of computer combinations. That is pretty much how things are going to end up going. Now is a weird time for building your own computer. A lot of it probably has to do with the pricing pressures that cryptocurrency miners have put on the entire ecosystem. My 2016 build was based on having a VR ready 4K system. That was where my technology interests were going. I wanted to be able to watch 4K content on my monitor and to experience the immersive quality of it. This time of round my interest is a little bit different. I want to upgrade my secondary computer build to support computationally intensive artificial intelligence work.

Right now the challenges that face me are related to building out some deep learning and neural network models on my home computer. People are making truly interesting training data sets available and the models to work with them. I have to accept that challenge and build out and model some new things. Right now the bleeding edge of technology is hunting down specific use cases for artificial intelligence based methods. It would be hubris at this point to attempt to figure out generalized artificial intelligence. Picking up a lot of divergent models and working toward generalized artificial intelligence seems reasonable, but it has to be a goal that is worked toward not presumed to be tackled in one sweeping plan. You may have guessed that means that I’m going to be digging deep and working on coding again.

My primary skills at as a professional code developer are specific and targeted at being able to hunt down the needle in the haystack. I can pick up code and find the defect. That is a useful skill, but it is different than what I need to do this year. My focus for this year has to be to continue to understand and master Tensorflow. Getting the most out of that framework is a good place to start. None of that work has to slow down my writing efforts. It just might help push them forward. Keeping a high quality catalog of my efforts would help me retrace my steps and evaluate the journey. Like all great inquiries into artificial intelligence research I need to pick a use case and begin the process of bringing together the right tools to meet the needs of that use case. Maybe I’ll dig into image or video classification or work on some type of natural language processing problem.

Being left to my own devices would naturally propel me to a study of polymorphic fractal builds and system security. We already use a variety of decay algorithm in security. Over a decade ago I spent a lot of time breaking down the barriers of the captain fractal algorithm. That was an interesting journey. At the time that type of encryption was not necessary or useful. People have been relatively happy with the way things are made secret and I did not have the energy to revisit that work. That is probably for the best. My interests in using and managing Tensorflow related projects are probably a healthy use of my mental cycles. That is what this journey is all about in terms of an inquiry into quality and how you express the value of quality across time. My pursuit of a perfect possible future will require the commitment of a lot of mental cycles.

For better or worse that is really a difficult item to breakdown in a meaningful way. The things we spend our time trying to understand are the things that consume us. We have to make a conscious choice to strive forward. That means taking on the greatest challenges of our time and trying to find answers to the hardest questions and problems. Sure that is one way of looking at the future and a variety of ways exist. My interest in the trajectory that has taken us toward the intersection of technology and modernity is one way to look at the future and how we got to this moment right here and right now. That might be a useful way to try to breakdown the things happening in this moment. It could be a distraction from the real problems facing the world around us. Alternatively, it could be a real line of inquiry that opens a narrative thread into a challenge worth discussion. A challenge truly worth consideration.

Topic 1: Computer repair

My new power supply arrived today. Things seemed to be easy to assemble. I plugged in the video, a keyboard, and a mouse. All of the fans turned on and things were going to get going. No video happened.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 49 the one where I catch up and watch some basketball

Rando wires

2018: Day 49 the one where I catch up and watch some basketball
Word count 127,160 + 3,013 or 130,173 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Here we go again. Day 49 is here. This post is really just a snapshot of the day and a few thoughts that happened in that window. Things could have been a little more interesting I guess along the way. Tomorrow we are supposed to see snow here. That should be interesting. It should be interesting one day at a time.

Today was the day that I finished listening to that audiobook of Dune (1965) from Google Play Books. Immediately after it finished I purchased the second book in the Dune series. It was published back in 1969. That was long before my years. Audiobooks are fun to listen to at night and I think Google Play Books is trying to train me to keep buying them. My subscription to unlimited audio should keep me perpetually supplied with music to fill the hour before I fall asleep. That is the way of things and probably will continue to be the way of things.

The University of West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team is visiting Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. I’m hoping the University of Kansas Jayhawks are ready to play today. The team is 20-6 overall and 9-4 in conference. That means that every game down the stretch here counts. It is worth noting at the moment that evey with all my cleaning I was not able to locate my glasses. They appear to be lost to the ages. Somebody else somewhere probably found them and wondered who was missing a pair of glasses. That somebody missing the glasses in this case is me. Generally I have not lost sunglasses or glasses. This is really the first time ever or in a very long time that glasses have gone missing.

Streaming ESPN today is made possible via a one month subscription that i setup using YouTube TV. My Google Pixel 2 XL is streaming YouTube TV to my Chromecast Ultra. It was pretty easy to set up. However, I had to reboot both the Chromecast and my phone to make the connection work. Overall the video quality seems to be pretty good tonight. ESPN broadcasters have tuned the color balance pretty well. Bob Huggins has a theory that this style of play can help a team of ten beat any team that plays 5-6 players. It seems like an interesting strategy of full court pressing, platoon substitutions, and strangely lethargic offensive schemes. Deploying a relentless full court press is going to contribute to people wanting to rest on the offensive end, but hey what do I know about basketball.

Topic 1: Still running behind

It is very early in the morning. My favorite donut shop is not open yet. No pods have been inserted in the Nespresso Expert machine today. Things are running a little bit behind schedule. Yesterday I started to get back on track. That happens one session of typing at a time. I am still mildly amused by my stunning hypothesis that removing the holodeck as a plot device would have improved Star Trek The Next Generation as a television show. That is a pivotal assertion about improvement and the process of reflection. Instead of trying to solve real problems facing the world my mind instead focuses on ways to improve a television show that last produced a new episode in 1994. It would be easy to say that is the razors edge. That some things are harder than others, but focuses in on real problems vs. pondering things that happened 20 years ago should be easier. That is not the razors edge of quandary.

It seems that a lot of my focus has been on trying to reduce the number of subscription based services that I pay for each month. That is one of those things that over time always seems to increase a little bit at a time. Things just creep on to the list.

Most things that come into my focus are one time purchases. An audiobook, Android app, or even a donut. This morning nobody will try to sell me a weekly donut subscription. Obviously, the people would be nearly powerless to stop the rise of weekly donut subscriptions. Instead of newspapers the best in epic donut deliver would bring joy it millions. That is not how thing will go. The store will open here in a few minutes. I will park outside the strip mall. Only the donut store will be open. I’ll walk in as they are putting the donuts out on the racks for sale today. The regular employee already knows that I want a twist donut and some donut holes, but asks how many donuts I will want. Picking the right box, bag, or tray is very important in dispensing donuts. No offers for a subscription or even a customer loyalty card will be discussed. Before i know it I’ll be back on my way to the house to continue writing these words for you. Probably the words that will appear in the next paragraph or potentially we will even have a topic change.

Today may be the day we figure out how to access the internet version of the SiriusXM radio stations. I’m going to cancel out my music streaming subscriptions and just use that if that is a possible way to go. For the most part in the car I only listen to four stations: Pearl Jam radio, Lithium, Octane, and CNN. That is pretty much my use case for subscribing to satellite radio. Before the fall of Mike & Mike on ESPN they were a regular part of my rotation. Now that they are long since gone and the magic has faded that channel does not receive my attention. To be honest, I even find it annoying to have to listen to the ESPN announcers during Kansas basketball games at this point. I would gladly pay extra for a yearly subscription that just showed me the games with the local announcers. Even the away broadcast would partisan broadcasters would be more authentic and true to the sport. What we get now is derivative and highly disjointed broadcasts by sportscasters who have no authentic point of view or connection to the game on the court. Most of the time they are more interested in banter and crosstalk with their broadcasting partner than the action events of the game.

Topic 2: Oh Starbucks

Today I wanted a twist donut and a flat white coffee. It was easy enough to get the twist donut. Waiting till 6:30 AM when the donut shop opened was the only challenge. A person in front of my me was having a very indecisive moment. That is interesting and apart from the way I approach things. I knew the exact combination of donuts that would be purchased before even leaving the house. Donuts for the most part are a well defined list of permutations that are commonly sold. Spending 5 minutes watching somebody labor over the decision of what 12 donuts to get was not how I wanted to spend my time. You can imagine some moments of quiet reflection followed. Getting the flat white coffee from Starbucks was easy enough. They focus on making it easy to get coffee from them. I cannot make this flat white drink at home. Maybe someday I will get one of those devices that makes the foam.

The folks at Nespresso call the machine they sell that makes foam the Aeroccino4. It is noted on the website as, “…the new Nespresso milk frother, even more versatile and convenient than its predecessors.” As a product it looks nice enough. The design aesthetics are solid. People seem to use it to make all sorts of froth or foam. It apparently could make beverages using a variety of milk products. We have so many types of milk these days. You can now buy almond, coconut, and a wide variety of things labeled as milk at the store. I’m not sure which one of them will one day become a part of my coffee routine, but it is possible that one of them will at some point. I know that drinking espresso is probably here to stay.

Walking into the Starbucks was cold and somewhat dark. It was early in the morning. During the course of waiting for my drinks I looked over at somebody who was reading near the corner. They had a very large red book. It was seriously huge. It was not a textbook, but it was maybe 900 pages of something. My mind raced trying to recognize the book. The book was about the size of the hardback version of Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004). It was red and the pages appeared to have a much smaller font. The reader in the corner had the book about 14 inches away from their face. I wanted to ask what they were reading and strike up a conversation, but I hesitated. They did not look friendly or break eye contact from the book when I approached. That is a mystery that will continue. Perhaps in my mind I will just pretend that they were reading Walden by Thoreau (1854) and move on.

Topic 3: Writing books and other monographs

It was one of those moments where my mind raced and I thought about all the different types of books and or monographs I could be writing. Sometimes these blog posts start to feel like errata. Maybe they are just pages being added to a biography one day at a time. In the back of my mind this whole time I have known that I should be spending my time writing epic tomes of intellectual banter. I know. I know. Seriously, I am writing about needing to write more academic or publishable works. That makes sense if you think about it for a minute. Part of what I am doing now is writing every day. That effort is about sharpening my skills and engaging in a degree of inquiry. The things we do to strive forward and get better matter. I know that sitting down and writing the next great American novel by chance is unlikely. I could sit down and churn out moderately useful applied artificial intelligence books, but what would that really contribute.

Yeah I just spent about 15 minutes thinking about that. Then Best Buy corporate sent me an email with a $5 reward coupon. Oddly, I stopped thinking about the nature of life, the universe, and the contributions I could make to this one. Instead I was focusing in on what strange bobble and treasure I should purchase. These commercials of dogs aging make me sad. Peppercorn teh dog is 12 years old. That pretty much means that every day is a gift and I should enjoy it. None of that changes my perception of the last 12 years, but sometimes I do spend a few more moments reassuring the dog. Those moments should probably be co-opted to also focus on how to write the next great American novel. Strangely enough all I can think about is what Best Buy might have to offer.

Topic 4: Time to clean the basement

To make room for bringing home more nonsense from Best Buy it may be time to clean up the basement. All nonsense at one point or another lives in the basement. That is sort of the way of things. It was suggested at some point during the last week that I should sell off all my old technology in tubs in the basement on eBay. That is something that is probably a good idea. It is unlikely that I need so many tubs of random cables and really old technology. I pretty much have kept everything from my first generation wireless router to the stuff I am actively using today. It probably did not all need to be put in tubs and kept in the basement, but sometimes I apparently hoard old technology. That last sentence was problematic. I pretty much always hoard old technology and sports trading cards. Those are the two things I appear to hoard. If a pile of hoarded stuff tipped over on me, then it was probably either old technology or sports trading cards. My sports cards are all safely categorized and stored in stronger and stronger boxes. They are pretty low risk to tip over. That means any hoarding avalanche will probably be from old technology. I guess selling it now on eBay to prevent that crushing defeat would be a good strategy.

Topic 5: Today’s thumbnail and some thoughts on RJ45 Cat7

Ok so I upgraded my home network to ethernet RJ45 category 7 cables. I’m not entirely sure why my network needed to be upgraded. My modem needed to be connected to three devices. Upgraded cables for 3 devices seemed like a reasonable undertaking. The patch cables I had been using came from various sources. It seemed like a good idea to upgrade the cables. These new cables are capable of transmitting data at up to 10 gigabits per second. My internet speed is way way slower than that. So the thumbnail for today’s blog post is is of the back of my ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 Dual Band Gigabit Router. I ordered it back 2014 and it works just fine. Ok —- well it worked just fine. It got hot or something and it had to be reset. At the moment, it works reasonably well. Right now it is connected to my modem via RJ45 Cat7 cable. Right now an episode of Star Trek Discovery (Season 1 Episode 12) is streaming to my Xbox One S using that wireless router and 3 feet of Cat7 cable connected to my modem.

Topic 6: Rounding out the day

Right now I’m closing in on a writing session that will contribute to 3,000 words for 2 days in a row. That last week was rough. Writing did not happen at a reasonable clip. These last two days have been better. I have been getting back into the habit of learning and writing. A certain amount of introspection is necessary to understand the world around us. That assumes that the world around us does not change constantly and incessantly. Learning how to move forward and adapting to change has a certain cost to it. That is where I have ended up. I have ended up wondering about just what it will take to right the ship and push things forward. We can all make contributions to moving things forward. Pushing things forward inch by inch toward a perfect possible future.

Instead of taking that thought to the logical conclusion I’m wondering about what i’m going to do with the $10 in reward coupon from Best Buy. We will probably end up buying a movie for the kids or maybe some Pokemon cards. My needs or wants do not include anything at Best Buy. My writing is covered by this ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P or my Storm Stryker custom built computer. That one sports a sweet i7 core processor. I spent a few minutes looking at the i9 processors. They are very expensive. It seems like getting a sweet i9 processor and a bunch of DDR4 ram is going to be an expensive proposition. The motherboards are about the same price as they have always been. It seems like these new i9 cores are more expensive. The last build that I put together back in 2016 was expensive, but not as expensive as it would be now to build the same type of cutting edge system.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

P.S. This last little burst of writing should be a breath of fresh air. Writing two consecutive days of 3,000 words has sparked some deeper thoughts. It took about 50 days of sustained high intensity writing to begin to start to dig into some deeper topics. Getting all the weaker words out was the price of admission. We will see what starts to happen in day 50, but I’m guessing the inquiry will get deeper and deeper. This has to be more about knocking on the sky and hearing the sound of what is possible. It has to be about figuring out what separates us from the perfect possible future and breaking down those barriers and obstacles. This whole writing endeavor is about the journey and process behind that journey. Writing every day at this pace has changed my thoughts. It has changed my writing pattern in a few ways, but they might not be lasting. By the end of the 365 day journey I’m sure the changes to my writing patterns will pretty much be permanent. I’m going to keep going and keep writing. This journey is far from over. You will get to enjoy where the path takes things from day to day.

This last paragraph for the day will be rounding out 3,000 words. It will be closing the door on this blog post and it will allow me to move on to the next post. Today is another day where I am working from behind to get back to a point of being ahead of my writing schedule. Each day brings a new step in the journey. It advances things and helps me better understand the world around me. Plus all of that fun will be powered by the new Cat7 cables that are the backbone of my home network. I’m not sure that is really going to add any speed or anything, but it sure seemed exciting at the time. It seems like the speed of routing and cables is getting way faster than internet speeds. At some point, the internet speeds being sold have to go up. The demands of 4K streams are much larger than what most folks get as internet. The upload speeds demanded by 4K are probably more than what some of the pipes we have today can support.

I’m very curious to see where are bandwidth demands end up taking us. Something is going to have to give here shortly in the world of internet distribution.

Day 48 the one with some 1394 video imports and a few thoughts on mining

2018: Day 48 the one with some 1394 video imports and a few thoughts on mining
Word count 124,155 + 3,005 or 127,160 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

…and things are back to the 3,000 word per day pace. At least for today. Perhaps it will also be the case for tomorrow…

Relaxing this morning is not really happening. My Nespresso Expert machine worked well enough to brew two shots of espresso. A banana was on the counter. It is now gone. I’m sipping the espresso shots and exporting videos from the Sony DCR-TRV140 camcorder using that 1394 firewire card that arrived. Most of the 31 tapes are not exported. I’m not entirely sure what was on the tapes. The export process is pretty simple. I plugged in the camcorder to a power outlet and flipped the switch to VCR mode. It is amazing to be using something called VCR mode again. That is a blast from the past that is happening in the here and now. Sony has some Handycam “import from tape” wizard that pops up now. That thing has a basic, “Import from the beginning of the tape function.” About every hour depending on how much content is on the tape I get a pop up alert to drop in the next tape.

After each tape ejects I drop in another tape and click the import button again. The process is probably going to eat up less than 31 hours. Some of the tapes only have a few minutes of content on them vs. a full hour. I’ll be able to tell exactly how much content was exported by looking at the total amount of data in the folder. One hour of content represents about 12 gigabytes of AVI file. You can imagine with the size of the directory and that piece of knowledge it should be pretty easy to figure out exactly how many minutes were on the tapes. Figuring out what that content actually include may take a little bit longer. Watching video for content is a real time activity that cannot be solved by equation. Maybe Google has some type of advanced image processing that can tag it all, but that is not really going to help me at the moment.

My entire buffer of content for this blogging journey is completely gone. I was working a day ahead before this week started. Now things have returned to a more real time daily blogging effort. This morning my espresso shots are done. Earlier instead of sitting down to write I assembled the new vacuum cleaner. Our old one was not working very well anymore. Maybe four year is all you get out of one of the less expensive vacuums. The new one was on some type of lighting deal. The packaging for it claims it includes some type of one pass technology that will make cleaning easier and less effort. That seemed exciting. Between our two dogs the carpets need to be vacuumed on a regular schedule. You can imagine that both dogs contribute to that probably. Probably on a relatively equal basis. Captain Pickles and Peppercorn are now about the same size. Puppies grow at a pretty amazing pace.

Topic 1: The ceiling fan

In just a few minutes I’m going to get the ladder and balance our ceiling fan. We only have one in the entire hours so it is pretty easy to refer to it as the ceiling fan. My next adventure will be to collapse all the cardboard and take it to the recycling center. Balancing the ceiling fan will be interesting. It is pretty heavy and just slightly unlevel. That means every once in awhile it catches a certain level of vibration and becomes noisy enough to upset my sleeping schedule. Fixing that should have been more of a priority, but it had to wait until this weekend. The leveling exercise did not go as planned. I used some Pledge and cleaned the blades and tried to use a level to get it as balanced as possible. At some point a wedge or a counter balance will be needed to get this fan 100% level. Well being absolutely level might not be possible. It will take some type of structural intervention to get the bubble perfectly between the two lines on the level.

After thinking about it for a little bit I probably could have leveled the extension pole that runs from the ceiling to the fan. Trying to figure out how to level the base motor of the fan was misguided. That will be easy enough to fix shortly. I can work toward leveling the fan here shortly. My mission to clean up the bedroom is almost complete. It is a good step along the way to removing clutter. I cleaned out my random change and things draw. That was fun. It had over $100.00 in change in it. I would not have guessed that much change was hanging out in that draw.

Topic 2: Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton

A new vinyl record arrived yesterday. It was released on February 16, 2018. The record is titled, “Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton.” The vinyl record itself is a gorgeous blue color. It really does look very good and I’m glad to add it to my collection. I actually thought it was a failed pressing when I pulled it out of the slever. The groovers were not as apparent or deep as I was expecting for a blues record of this vintage. The recording should have had a lot more high and low vs. a highly stable groove pattern. Maybe it was the deep blue vinyl that made it appear like a misfire. When the needle lowered down and the recorded popped and hissed I heard the sounds of British blues. This album was originally recorded back in 1966 and it was remastered for release on vinyl this year. Yesterday and today are the first times I have ever listened to this album from start to finish.

Topic 3: My NiceHash mining excavator

I’m not entirely sure if this is normal or not, but my NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.10 beta software launches an excavator.ese application. That thing just jumps around all day. It mines equihash for awhile, then jumps to Nist5, NeoScrypt, Lyra2REv2, DaggerHashimoto , and Blake2s. Seriously, it just jumps in and out of mining different algorithms every few minutes. I really have no idea how or why it gets assignments from NiceHash, but my assessment is that they are nearly random and somewhat erratic. That is probably a reflection of who is buying mining power in terms of hashrate using the NiceHash ecosystem. During this mining adventure I have setup and mined some TurtleCoin. Outside of that mining adventure I have really just just sold the mining power of my NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics cards to NiceHash. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. I have made over 1% of a bitcoin doing that. It certainly remains an interesting thing to do with my spare graphics card power.

I have elected to allow NiceHash to mine 15 different algorithms: Keccak, Nist5, NeoScrypt, Lyra2Rev2, DaggerHashimoto, DaggerHashimoto/Decred, DaggerHashimoto/Pascal, DaggerHashimoto/Sia, Decred, CrytoNight, Lbry, Equihah, Pascal, Sia, and Blake2s. It really does not mine all those algorithms based on my observations. It mostly just jumps around between the ones mentioned above. I would say the majority of the time it is mining Equihash. That is probably what people are buying hashing power to extract the most. I hope it makes them happy and they are enjoying. Selling my hashing power is not very exciting. It just sort of runs on my computer and makes a lot of excess heat in my office. During the winter that is not that big of a deal. I put the computer right next to the window and have it setup to exhaust the heat literally at the window. That help keep my office from getting all that hot.

Topic 4: Trying new food

Given that my vegetarian diet over the last year has changed what i eat. I figured now would be as good a time as any to branch out and try some different types of food. One of the of the world that has not really inspired any epicurean adventures for me is the Indian subcontinent. Today for example I was sampling a couple of different items. One of my favorite dishes is from a restaurant called the Yak and the Yeti. They make a wonderful sweet potato masala. According to the menu that is a dish composed of, “sweet potatoes cooked in a tomato cream sauce spiced with Masala curry.” That is really the extent of previous adventures. I know that dish makes me happy and it tastes pretty darn good. Today I was branching out and trying to figure out some other things to try. That is sort of the spice of life. Trying new things is an important part of the process. I mean you could just eat the same things every day and go about the same routine every day. That is not really something that I want to do.

Ok —- I thought about that for a few moments and wondered if I could just eat something like Soylent for every meal. I had considered ording 2.3 pounds of the Soylent Cacao meal replacement powder. That might be an interesting way to replace my breakfasts. That just might be an interesting way to go about changing up my diet. I’m not entirely sure how my body will tolerate Soylent. The only reason that I have never given it a try was due in part to fear of digestive discomfort. Maybe I’ll give it a try and see how it goes. It looks like the premixed bottles are pretty expensive compared to the powder. Working toward really digging into the world of Soylent seems like something that should be done by mixing together my own beverages. Well I guess they are meal replacements vs. beverages, but it should be interesting. A tub of Soylent powder will be arriving on Tuesday.

Topic 5: Star Trek Voyager

Today for some reason it seemed like a good idea to just watch some episodes of Star Trek Voyager. At the moment, I’m streaming episode 6 through the TiVo Roamio box. It seems to be working well enough. It seemed like a good idea to maybe get one of the Google WiFi systems to setup a mesh network in the house. I just fast forwarded to Season 4 when Seven of Nine shows up. I’m not sure this series really needed any episodes before Scorpion. The episodes of Star Trek Discovery on CBS streaming are nothing like Voyager. One of the things that I do really enjoy about Discovery is the lack of any nonsense related to the holodeck. I think that Star Trek The Next Generation would have benefited greatly from never having a holodeck installed on the USS Enterprise. That one plot change would have greatly improved the show. A ton of the writing related to the holodeck produced a ton of nonsensical writing and strange underdeveloped plot devices.

Topic 6: Rounding out the night

Naptime may last for another hour or so. That is good news. Today is the day that I need to get back on track with my 3,000 word per day writing goal. At the start of this post my journey was at 124,155 words. It took 47 days to write that many words. That means that I’m keeping a writing pace of about 2,641.59 words per day. This being the 48th day in my writing journey I should be rounding out 144,000 words. You may have noticed that I am now running about 19,845 words behind schedule. That is a daunting amount of words. This last week weas not very good for my overall writing productivity. If you were to divide 1,000,000 words by 365 days, then you would quickly learn that writing a little bit more than 2,739.72 words per day would help you reach that very lofty goal. My overall words per day average is still pretty close to the yearly target.

The best thing to do at this point is to stop worrying about past performance. At this point, I just need to ensure that I’m staying over the 3,000 word per day threshold. That will help generate a little bit of buffer. A buffer is very important to help prevent failure from weeks like last one. Things just did not go all that well this week. My need to write did not help push me toward writing enough words to meet my writing goal. It is good to have goals. Writing 3,000 words per day is a decent writing goal. It is something that I have been able to do more often than not throughout this year, but it is still hard to achieve. This paragraph right here right now is going to push this blog post up over 2,000 words. That is a good start for the day. Given that things are real time that means sometimes between no and about 6 hours when this blog post gives live over 1,000 words need to be written.

Maybe I should select a picture and write 1,000 words about it. That would be one way to move forward. I watched the first to webisodes from the new Stargate Origins series. It was exciting to see new Stargate, but at the same time the series was a little bit questionable. We will see where things end up going and what ends up happening with that show. They could have made a lot more Stargate television by exploring things beyond just Stargate SG-1. Everybody in the house is asleep right now. Peppercorn the dog is 12 years old and enjoys naps. At the moment Peppercorn is just napping by one of our living room chairs. We could upgrade to a projector I guess or maybe at some point we will let Costco sell us a sweet sweet 4K television. This Sony Bravia we have is getting pretty old. It is a refurbished model and it was shipped to Colorado Springs from Japan. It arrived at the airport in a crate from customer service and the warranty program. It has been a pretty good television. We have gotten a number of years of usage from it.

Getting a 4K television is something that will happen.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

P.S. Getting back on track today is going to be about writing 3,000 words today between breakfast and dinner. After dinner, I need to focus in on writing a post for tomorrow and try to build back up my 24 hour blog buffer. Getting back ahead of schedule is something that needs to happen. Before this year I used to just write blog posts and publish them. That is how things worked for years. It worked well enough and it was about publishing real time. At this pace of writing staying a little bit ahead of things is a good way to help push things forward. At least that way if something was written and rejected I could keep pushing forward.

Writing for fun and adventure is one way to go about it. Writing to think about the future and beginning to breakdown the complex nature of the intersection of technology and modernity is another way. This journey is about taking on and looking at things in different ways. Some of my time has been spent thinking about quality of life and how to move forward. It has been spent thinking about what things are important and why they are important. Those types of questions are good questions. That is what digging deep and writing 1,000,000 words is all about.

This afternoon I’m getting ready to watch the Jayhawks play basketball. That should be a fun time this afternoon. This blog post should be complete by the time the game is on. Working toward writing 6,000 words per day is something that is probably going to happen, but it is interesting. The prose may feel a little bit disjointed. I have been writing a little bit and doing a little bit of work all day. That type of effort happens on the weekend. Any time where I can sit down and write it is pretty easy to move forward. I spent some time yesterday thinking about the future and what things I really want to do and accomplish. That is an interesting line of thought. It was hard to sit down and think about all the choices that occured to reach right now.

My writing methods used to be very closely aligned to my style of functional journaling. For the most part my writing was edited down to just the main bullet points and that is how I ended up going about things. That worked out for years. It was the main method of my writing. It was a series of new thoughts and ideas. This style of writing long form prose is a lot different. It does not seem to be a bad idea, but even after 40 days it had not become a solid part of my routine. I need to round out about another 150 words to hit 3,000 for this post and move on to the next batch of 3,000 words for the day. It seems like eeking out the last 500 words in this post was the hardest part. Maybe as things started to funnel from start to finish the lens of the words contained in this post constrained the end based on the promise of the beginning.

It is also possible that writing the last part was a little bit harder after nap time ended. You can imagine that writing within a state of extreme chaos is harder. It could be that my efforts to figure out how to close out the day are actually hurting my efforts to write at the moment. All I can see is the end and that is no way to spark a beginning. Sometimes it is easier to pick a direction when you have every path open in front of you.

Day 47 the one where my power supply finally shipped

2018: Day 47 the one where my power supply finally shipped
Word count 123,0382 + 1,117 or 124,155 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today was one of those quirky days. That new 1394 firewire card arrived today. A different FedEx driver delivered it today. This drive did not wave at me. The packaging for it was intense. The box was almost popping open from all these green airpods inside of it. The card itself was nothing to write home about. Or in this case to describe in painstaking detail. It was your standard 1394 firewire 2 port PCI express card. Installation was a breeze. I crawled under my desk and slid the side panel off my Storm Stryker case. My entire mining rig had to be powered down to accomplish this task. Both of my GTX 1060 cards were offline for about 30 minutes. Installing the PCI express card and anchoring it with a thumbscrew was pretty easy.

Windows 10 immediately picked up the card, prepared the hardware, and it was ready to go. Apparently, I had placed the original firewire cable in the case with my Sony DCR-TRV140 camcorder. It was a smart move to put the wire in the case. I’m not sure why it seemed like a good idea, but I searched Amazon for that model. It turns out that 6 different sellers are still making used versions of this product available to consumers for over $100.00. Some refurbished models are selling for over $200.00. I’m not entirely sure that the old Sony will be able to offload all 31 tapes that I have. Everything worked out straight away. That Sony software that I downloaded the other day detached the camcorder via the firewire and was ready to do a 1 click import of the entire tape.

I was able to import 4 whole tapes today. They appear to hold about 1 hour of content per tape. The Sony software rewinds the tape and then imports until it hits 10 seconds of blank tape. The first four tapes were pretty easy to export. I just dropped them into the camcorder and hit import. My export drive can hold about 2 terabytes worth of video. Each tape needs about 12 gigabytes of space to offload. That means that if all 31 tapes have content on them this could eat up about 372 gigabytes of space. Overall that won’t be a problem. For some reason the software imports the files as some type of AVI file. The saddest part of the whole endeavor is just how small the video looks on my 4K monitor.

At the time, I remember thinking that camcorder recorded pretty decent video. That seems like so long ago now. This content appears to be standard definition video. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with the video beyond offloading it to a storage drive vs. leaving it to inevitably suffer from magnetic degreditation. Some of the tapes are over 10 years old. Keep in mind this thing recorded at a resolution of 720 x 480 and was first available on Amazon April 1, 2002. That was a long time ago. Pretty soon it will be 16 years ago. It is fairly amazing that the tapes are still working and that the device is able to just keep on going. The folks at the Sony Corporation in 2002 were not messing around when it came to building with quality. I’m not sure my Google Pixel 2 XL could survive and still be working 16 years after the release date.

We have seen some huge changes in technology in that time. The first two tapes that exported were of some Iron Chef type home competitions. I had forgotten that we used to challenge other teams and have home chef edition of Iron Chef. That really was a thing. People challenged other people to culinary competitions. Of all the things that happened during my college years that seems to be one of the more endearing escapades. I’m very curious to see what sort of things are on the 31 tapes. It is entirely possible that not all the tapes are capable of playing in the Sony DCR-TRV140 camcorder. It pretty much only plays Digital8 tapes. I know that my original camcorder was purely analog and used small tapes. The model number has long since disappeared from my memory. It has been years since I even thought about thinking about that device.

Topic 1: My power supply shipped

Waiting on that backordered 1000w Corsair power supply had been painful. The website indicated that the device shipped in about 1 to 2 weeks. That seemed ok. I was willing to wait it out. After two full weeks passed, I gave up on waiting and started searching out other options. Today was the day that a Corsair 850 watt power supply was in stock. I elected to cancel my backorder power supply order and just have the one that was in stock shipped. That means that today was the day that my power supply finally shipped. You might be wondering why 850 watts did not seem like enough. My Corsair 740 case build would support 2 to 3 graphics cards. Some of the new cards seem to require more than 250 watts. I’m hopeful that the new NVIDIA VOLTA artificial intelligence architecture will require less power. A ton of rumors online are suggesting that this new NVIDIA GPU architecture will be more powerful and require less power. That would be a ridiculous thing to write except for the fact that the Pascal architecture changed the game a couple years ago.

I’m kind of curious if the power supply will have the right cable for the older micro ATX motherboard that is hanging out in what I’m calling The Borg Cube case. It will probably work out well enough and things should be ok. Now that the power supply is on the way it seemed like a good idea to start picking the right operating system. A few linux distributions exist that are focused on cryptocurrency mining. I could go with my prefered Ubuntu Studio distribution or maybe load up an operating system preloaded with cryptocurrency mining software. Neither of my computers are really built for mining. They are just setup to support 2 to 3 graphics cards for deep learning and Tensorflow. The whole mining thing as it stands right now might be a fad that will pass. Blockchain technology however is probably going to stand the test of time. Some of the use cases are really pretty good.

Topic 2: Reflection

My interest in watching really old video tapes is about reflection on an earlier time. Sometimes looking back is easier than looking forward. It is one of those things that is going to take a lot of time to watch so many videos.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 46 the one with Valentine’s Day and a Firewire card

dog and firewire card

2018: Day 46 the one with Valentine’s Day and a Firewire card
Word count 122,014 + 1,024 or 123,038 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Things have not gotten back to normal. It is 7:33 PM and I’m finally sitting down to write. Now would be the time to make some progress. You would think this whole writing thing would be like turning on or off a water spout. Sometimes it does not work that way. Other times it works exactly in that way. Today is one of those days that just might turn out ok. My back is still very stiff today for some reason. It probably has to do with the amount of sitting still I’m doing all day. These last couple of days have not been good in terms of achieving my Fitbit exercise goals. Walking at my walking desk could have helped fix that problem. Nothing really stopped me from using my walking desk. Really the only thing that stopped me was my own lack of action.

That is one of those things that you sit and think about. You think about just how many problems a lack of action can cause. Maybe you work on rationalizing all the risks that inaction avoids. You can start to think about all the possible problems or issues that were avoided by sitting in that same old office chair all day. Sure walking on a treadmill does not solve the world’s problems, but a little exercise might help spark the idea that does. Ok —- it will probably take more than one epic idea to solve all the world’s problems. I watched the entire first season of the short lived television show Limitless (2015) on Netflix. Some of the episodes were ok. I pretty much understand how it got cancelled at this point. Even some cameos from Bradley Cooper could not save the plot from breaking down.

My search for a power supply unit (PSU) for my new computer build continues. I read a ton of forums blaming miners from the PSU shortage. That probably has something to do with it. From what I can tell everything over 850 watts is sold out or on backorder. Speculators have bought up a ton of them and are reselling them above retail prices. Based on my computer interests and willingness to wait for retail pricing my entire Corsair Carbide Series Air 740 – High Airflow ATX Cube Case build is just on hold. Everything is assembled and ready to go. All of that is pending the arrival of one power supply unit. It is on backorder. It might show up sometime soon or it might just stay on backorder forever.

At the moment I’m wondering about using a PCI riser to add extra cards to that build that does not even have a power supply. I mean the case looks good. It seems really nice so far. It has a ton of configuration options. At this moment it is probably closer to being a coffee table than an actual computer given the lack of a working power supply. I’m wondering when the electronics companies that build computer parts will catch up with the appetites for cryptocurrency miners. It appears that all the high end graphics cards and power supplies are just sold out. All the other parts that I want seem to be in stock. The higher end parts outside of those two categories seem to be available.

The new Corsair case seems to be working out pretty well. I have opened it up about three times now to add parts and mess with the cables. I’m still thinking that it will be running Ubuntu Studio as an operating system. Back in 2016 I build a computer and bought a new version of Windows 10 at the time. I have another copy of Windows 7 that was upgraded to Windows 10 somewhere in my office. Finding that is going to be interesting. My new build will be my first computer build without an optical drive. Dropping Ubuntu Studio on a USB stick using Rufus should be easy enough. I’ll get that computer up and running. I checked and the monitor on my desk has two inputs. Without a KVM switch I should be able to run my backup keyboard and mouse and use the extra graphics port on the monitor to get things setup.

Maybe I could use the bluetooth mouse and keyboard to make it really convenient. Those will not work for setup, but it could be the way to go in a pinch when remote desktop is not working. My desk does not really have enough room for a 3rd keyboard. I have plenty of room for mice, but they are not very big to begin with. This configuration is going to end up being very interesting. I’m pretty sure it

Topic 1: My 12th NiceHash miner payment

My cryptocurrency mining adventure continues. This time around with a 12th payment from NiceHash. It seems like the payments have stabilized at around a little more than 0.001 BTC every 3 days. You can imagine that equates to earning about 1% BTC per 10 payments that require 3 days of mining. That means that every 30 days this whole endeavor is resulting in a mining yield of 1% of a bitcoin. That seems reasonable. For some reason it appears that my mining efforts have been shrinking payment after payment. That has to do with a couple different factors. First, I turned down the power to the cards to help control the heat. Second, I had a few crashes that reduced the mining yield.

NiceHash wallet payments in reverse order:

12. 2018-02-15 Mining payment → 0.00102799 BTC
11. 2018-02-12 Mining payment → 0.00102953 BTC
10. 2018-02-09 Mining payment → 0.00102322 BTC
9. 2018-02-06 Mining payment → 0.00101337 BTC
8. 2018-02-03 Mining payment → 0.00135065 BTC
7. 2018-01-30 Mining payment → 0.00102840 BTC
6. 2018-01-27 Mining payment → 0.00120973 BTC
5. 2018-01-24 Mining payment → 0.00125795 BTC
4. 2018-01-21 Mining payment → 0.00133244 BTC
3. 2018-01-18 Mining payment → 0.00119401 BTC
2. 2018-01-15 Mining payment → 0.00105970 BTC
1. 2018-01-13 Mining payment → 0.00118327 BTC

Topic 2: Rounding things out

It felt weird only having one topic tonight. I thought maybe dropping this topic in might help round things out. I’m hoping to get back to my normal writing routine later tonight. These short 1,000 word posts are not really pushing things forward.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs