Day 6 of my 3K WPD journey included some observations about traveling

2018: Day 6 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 13,324 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Standing at the gate getting ready to board an airplane my name got called out. Naturally, I was looking around trying to figure out who was looking for, “Dr. Lindahl.” Turned out the folks over at United Airlines made me a note. It was a handwritten thank you for being a member of the rewards program for 5 years. It was surprising. Probably not entirely necessary, but I appreciated that somebody took the time to write me a hand written thank you note. Maybe hand written thank you notes are not as common as they used to be. This one was just a few sentences on a piece of cardboard, but it did make me smile and appreciate the folks at United Airlines. They got a shout out on the weblog today #myUAMoment. I’m not sure if you can use a hashtag in the middle of a weblog post, but that happened.

The other day I was complaining about some noise from my Bose Qc35 headphones during a flight. Yeah — I’ll admit it must have been user error. The background noise was from the air jet that had become pointed right at one of my ears. Now that I have had the time to think about it the error condition was pretty obvious. Maybe I was tired at the time and logic was not being used to actively engage in problem resolution. This flight is pretty full. I’m on another one of these United Express Embraer ERJ175 regional jets. My final review on the airplane is that the seats are not comfortable. Maybe that is all part of the plan to get you to upgrade to the more comfortable first class seats at the front of the airplane.

Wow — I just realized that the entire post from my last trip to Chicago never got posted to the weblog. A huge gap exists in posts from December 5, 2017 to December 30, 2017. That gap is actually full of a tone of really epic and interesting writing that apparently did not make it online. That happens sometimes. You can imagine that it is engaged prose that talks to the reader and presents useful and interesting observations. They apparently were destined to be shared only with the cloud. Maybe a content spider within the cloud read them or at least virus checked the documents. I’m half tempted to just cut and paste that 2 hour epic into this post, but we will not have any of that nonsense on the march to writing 1,000,000 words this year.

Maybe I am just more sensitive to it these days but ever flight seems to be more turbulent. This flight has had a couple spurts of turbulence that actually stopped me from writing for a few moments. I cannot lock in and look at the screen when things are bouncing all over the place. My ability to write just about anywhere under any condition continues despite the turbulence. These words need to be written in this word processing document so they can be shared online. At this very moment the sun is just over the cloud edge on the horizon. I would have taken a picture of it and used it as the thumbnail for this weblog post, but digital cameras are horrible at taking pictures into the sun. That last little bit of turbulence was almost jaring. I’ll try to load a picture of the clouds in the middle of this post. That may or may not turn out well within the weblog post. For the most part my weblog entries do not feature very many photographs or videos. Back when all of this started some of my posts were entirely digital pictures.

During the course of loading all my digital photos into my Google Photos account I realized that some of the older ones were taken at a pretty poor resolution. A decade ago, the resolution seemed to be cutting edge. It was the best available at the time. Camera phones were even worse back. Digital cameras have come a long way. A decade from now they probably won’t even talk about digital photos. Everything will be memory based vs. still images. People will just call up the exact memory or share the memory with others. Imagine the day when you will get an email with a memory in it. That assumes that email will still be a thing. Things could just evolve into users and the omnipresent cloud. Content in whatever form it takes would go from user to user or user to a storage location.

That almost devolved into a futurist essay about the nature of how we share images and memories. At some point, that is probably something that you will get to read about. This year could be the year that happens for you here on this weblog. Marching toward writing 1,000,000 words in the same year pretty much means that any and all topics that even remotely interest me are going to receive a huge amount of coverage.

Flickr is one of parts of my digital photography journey that I actually miss. At the very start, it was a great place to share photos. Everybody who I subscribed to had really great content that was inspiring or at least caught my attention. It was a community of interest built around a general love of photography and sharing images. Like many things that were associated with Yahoo something changed and I lost interest in the platform. My account was deactivated after the major Yahoo account breach. That company floundered in ways that will be dissected by business students in classrooms for at least 100 years. A lot of companies grew and built out huge online communities only to fade away.

All of my weblog posts are hosted on my own domain and they will exist for as long as the bill keeps getting paid. After that only the word that are picked up in online archives or published in weighty tomes will make it. Some really vibrant communities existed within Yahoo and AOL environments. Those communities of interest came together and eventually faded. I’m not sure if they accomplished anything amazing or if they pushed society forward by strengthening the very fabric of civil society, but they did exist and then they disappeared.

Making a contribution to the academy remains a goal of mine. Only significant contributions to the academy influence academics for years, decades, and even longer. Maybe the greatest contributions to our understanding of philosophy have already occured. It is also possible that the door is still open to make a contribution that spans time and influences things beyond our current political differences. Being strategic involves moving beyond tactics. Being timeliness timeless could involve moving beyond even strategy. It come involve changing the way the game is played. That about that one for a moment. I’m just going to ring the bell on this paragraph and move on to the first topic of the day.

Topic 1: Mountain cedar allergies are the worst

My trip to San Antonio started off at the same time as a cold front. New years this year was cold. Things toward the end of the week started to warm up. It happened rather gradually. Based on how I feel right now whatever Mountain cedar is it can stay in Texas. I thought maybe that a cold was coming on this morning, but I’m pretty sure it is just an allergy to Mountain cedar or something else in the Texas air. Google does not agree with my assessment a card popped up to notify me that people with seasonal allergies should be ok in San Antonio today. It will be really easy to conduct a simple A vs. B test on this one. Tomorrow we will see if my allergies are still going wild at home in Denver. Oddly enough I had never really heard of Mountain cedar. I suppose it is a real thing. A couple of quick Google searches pretty much confirm that it brings sadness to people with allergies to it every year. We learn new things every day and that happens to be what I learned about today.

Topic 2: Yes I listened to the new Taylor Swift album today

My musical tastes are somewhat eclectic. My two primary XM radio stations are Lithium and Octane. Grunge and alternative music from the 1990’s make up the bulk of what I have listened to over the years. Sure rock and metal were a part of it and I listened to a lot of fusion guitar from Steve Vai, Eric johnson, and Joe satriani. My vinyl record collection is full of Warren Zevon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton. My go to music over the last few years has been pulled from the complete works of Warren Zevon and a Pandora channel inspired by Warren Zevon tracks. All of that said… was that enough background to jump in and admit that my phone right now has a copy of Taylor Swift’s latest album Reputation.

You made it this far into the post I’m sure you will keep reading on and enjoy for a moment that during this flight I listened to the entire album from start to finish. Taylor is so popular that I’m probably not the only person to listen to the album on this flight. Taylor writes really interesting lyrics. I’m pretty sure that just like Dolly Parton has been a prolific songwriter Taylor Swift will fall into the same camp of writing songs a ton of songs people listen to for decades. If you are not clear on that Dolly Parton reference, then you might be surprised to find out that Dolly has written more than 3,000 songs. I’m not going to cite a reference on that one. You will just have to trust me on it or engage in some adventurous Googling.

A fun bonus fact for you today since you made it so far into this post… my go to album for airplane takeoff relaxation is by Tears For Fears. It happens to be the album, “Shout: The Very Best of Tears for Fears.” It starts out with the song Mad World. I have listened to at least part of that album during every flight for years. It sounds pretty good using my new Bose Qc35 wireless noise cancelling headphones.

Topic 3: Night time flights

Over the last few years, I have taken a ton of early morning and night time flights. Very few of my flights have been in the middle of the day. They are either at the start or the end of the day. That just seems to be how things work out. People generally keep to themselves the earlier or later it gets on a flight. Just now during this flight the sun is finally disappearing beyond the end of the clouds on the horizon. More turbulence has yet again disrupted my typing. This flight has been bumpy. My new ASUS Flip C101P Chromebook has doing very well during the flight. I did forget to turn down the screen brightness. Now that things are getting darker it became pretty obvious that the screen brightness was all the way up. Even a Chromebook will suffer battery drain from supporting 100% screen brightness.

Topic 4: Burst writing

One of the main drawbacks of burst writing is that it is great for generating paragraphs. Long form writing ends to string together a few paragraphs. That means that each one cannot be completely separate from the next or it will probably befuddle and annoy the reader. Sometimes writing just happens in bursts. An idea arrives and all of a sudden a paragraph shows up. If that paragraph can link into the next, then you are starting to engage in the fine art of writing. It might turn out to be an essay or maybe even the next great novel. My words are mostly written for myself.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
San Antonio, Texas
Written on a ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. My goal for next week is to spend some time writing on my treadmill. I have a walking desk treadmill setup that allows me to walk and type at about 1 mile an hour. Maybe some exercise will help push my writing to the next level.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— My thoughts on getting an education
— Recap of all the video camera equipment I have owned
— All the promise and failures of my first Sony camcorder
— That one with a roadtrip to Florida
— Applied AI: A use case based exploration
— My ode to minor league hockey
— Progress within general AI vs. specialized use cases
— My review of the ASUS C101P Chromebook
— On leadership and the modern workplace
— Short story “The Knock”

Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.

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