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I kept seeing advertisements for Tasting Room online. A friend suggested the initial tasting would be a fun date night. Joining a personalized wine club seemed like something I would like to try. Over the years, I had looked at joining other wine clubs. Tasting Room seemed like a good deal. The sample box arrived in time for the weekend. The tiny wine bottling process worked surprisingly well. We made dinner. Put the kid to bed. Then set out the wines for the tasting. They were all pretty different. Coming to agreement on the wines was fun. Our personalized wine profiles for the wines were interesting to read. Overall the wines in the first half case enhanced the meals they were paired with. I’m curious to see what will be delivered with our first full case. If the wines are good, then we will keep getting shipments.
Last night the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team fared far better against the Texas Longhorns than earlier this season. The weather has been pretty nice the last few days. Denver has been a pleasant place to live. I’m not sure why I was surprised by the bitterly cold part of the winter this year. At the end of the game a little snow started to fall. This morning a little dusting of snow is covering things outside. It made it feel like winter.
Speaking of winter, Joni discovered my plans to purchase a small space heater for my office yesterday. The local Best Buy store we visited yesterday had a few of them. We realized that the only reason that we elected to visit the Best Buy was related to a gift card. Visiting a Best Buy has not been a part of my shopping plans in years. Joni wanted a new Bluetooth headset and we figured Best Buy would have a bunch in stock.
This morning started off very early. John Paul woke up at 5:30 AM then went back to sleep. I took the opportunity to start working on an update to my base local government data collection script. The script should be executing about 7:35 AM. I’ll know pretty quickly if any errors occur when the script runs. Nothing like sipping coffee and hammering out a little code on a cold morning.
It’s President’s Day. John Paul has the day off from school. I’m fortunate enough to also have the day off today. The day started with the alarm on my new HTC One Max cellular phone going off. It was pretty easy to set the alarm to play Rolfe Kent’s Wine Safari. A little jazz music in this morning was pleasant. Over the course of the last two week, I have started a new thread of principle research related to real-time mapping of public sentiment. Research of this kind involves modifying my base calculations about how assumptions can be expressed via algorithms. This particular thread of research involves a complex look at multichannel factors that are influencing the public mind. My initial thoughts surround the objective of completing a study of multichannel influence and the public mind.
Science fiction fans of the world unite. A ton of great science fiction work exists. People have been creating really great science fiction for decades. Figuring out a roadmap to consuming the best of it can be frustrating and challenging. The public mind is inherently influenced by the intersection of modernity and technology. In some ways, the widening realm of consumable science fiction has made the best parts of it inaccessible due to overcrowding. This herculean effort involves trying to build a 6 month, one year, and 5 year guide to consuming the best of the best that the world of science fiction has to offer. I’m going to start work on my guide and challenge others to do the same. Consider this the first step toward a curated guide to science fiction for the next generation.
A slip and fall on the ice helped me realize the error of my ways. The two days I ended up having to take off work last week gave me time to sit and think. Time to think about the things that mattered to Douglas Adams. I had time to think about life, the universe, and well everything…
I realized that more time in my schedule needs to be freed up for academic writing. My conclusion was simple enough — I need to ensure that three hours during both Saturday and Sunday morning have to be devoted to academic writing. I want to figure out a method to spend one hour a day during weekdays writing. That hour could either be in the morning or the evening.
Over the last few years my capacity to engage in late night academic writing sessions has diminished. Writing during the early hours of the morning has increasingly become my last bastion of productivity. Writing two to three papers a year is not good enough anymore. I need to recapture the single minded purpose that helped shape my early college years.
Modernity has been unkind to the winds that drive personal creativity. The public mind has been engaged by works of fiction, a myriad of television programming, and an ever expanding cornucopia of video games. The world can seem pretty full of distractions. My goal has to be to bypass those distractions in favor of making a lasting contribution to the academy.
During the course of the last two days the whole academic writing thing became a little clearer and a little more complicated. It turns that out that producing a few pages a day is as simple as waking up before John Paul and putting the keyboard to work for a couple hours. To help make that happen, I have been listening to the Sideways: Original Motion Picture Score by Rolfe Kent, drinking most excellent coffee, and writing. It turns out that academic style writing requires my complete and total attention. That only happens for a few hours in the morning. I used to be able to flip the switch at any time. That super power appears to have faded away. Today I may get two or three hours of high quality writing in before Super Bowl party preparations begin. We will be having a few people over to watch the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The party will have a taco based theme and include a variety of snacks.
Earlier today, I wanted to read an article about the Kansas basketball game against TCU. Before I could read the actual article the website had a prompt directing me to fill out a survey to get to the content. Survey fatigue is a very real concern facing researchers. People are tired of taking surveys. It was bound to happen. It was pretty much inevitable. Introducing surveys as a reader tax to access online content is an interesting strategy. I’m curious how valuable those forced datasets with a definitive sampling universe will actually be for researchers.
John Paul’s birthday party at the house went pretty well today. The party did not involve go carts or anything remotely that exciting. The day had started out with a well-timed visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS). It sounds like next month the museum will have a Maya exhibit. It could be interesting. The day ended with everybody still at the house watching a basketball matchup between the University of Kansas and TCU horn frogs on ESPNU. Sure my TV does not have the capacity to display 4K images. The day seemed like it went by pretty quickly. I assembled our new Weber grill inside the house. The grill worked well enough. Overall, the birthday cake from the Rheinlander Bakery was very well received.
Larger data set analysis requires different solutions than smaller data set analysis. That might seem like a simple argument to make, but it is very important to understand where the tipping point occurs. A long time ago in a faraway basement, I learned that my dataset had expanded beyond the confines of a single computer. I needed something better. I needed a solution that was scalable and inexpensive. That is when I started studying the Apache project Hadoop.