2018: Day 9 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 23,429 of 1,000,000
Today was a day of Nespresso inspired coffee from my new Nespresso Expert Espresso Maker made by the folks over at Breville. Apparently, my new espresso maker can make lungo (3.7 oz.) and Nespresso Americano (.85 oz. coffee and 4.2 oz. hot water) size coffee beverages. Keep in mind that I had never had a lungo style coffee before. Based on the Nespresso promotional materials it seems that instead of pulling two different espresso shots the lungo is a long pull using the single pod to produce 3.7 ounces of very strong coffee that is not really espresso or drip style coffee. It is something in the middle of the spectrum. Overall, I do like the lungo from the Nespresso Expert Espresso Maker. My opinions about the Americano style beverage are still mixed. It seems like a shot of espresso with a bunch of hot water.
Trying to learn about all sorts of coffee drink styles is something that is new to my world. Over the last decade my coffee interests have included black regular coffee, one shot of espresso, and two shots of espresso. Seriously, most of my coffee drinking experience has been either brewing cups at home and drinking them black or ordering two shots of espresso at a restaurant or Starbucks. Ordering a doppio espresso has been a part of my Starbucks order pretty much since I started going to Starbucks. You might be wondering what changed. The answer is pretty simple the Nespresso Expert Espresso Maker has a few settings. I got curious and wanted to know if any of the settings would displace my standard two shots of espresso.
You were wondering if this was going to be a 3,500 word weblog post dedicated to extolling the virtues of coffee. That might happen or we could switch directions entirely.. Given enough time and motivation a lot of words could start to appear on the page. Today has been a little bit different thanks to Zyrtec. It seemed like a good idea to switch allergy pills today and take a Zyrtec. The side effects from that allergy drug include dizziness and drowsiness. After a few hours I could tell that things were a little bit hazy, but otherwise it seemed to be working. Maybe I will revisit things after a week of taking the daily allergy pill.
Things are absolutely silent around me. I set a timer on my phone for fifteen minutes. This little bit of writing should be uninterrupted. My office still need to be picked up in a meaningful way. Maybe it would be a good idea to start with one corner and work my way around the room by clearing one section at a time. Working that way has created challenges based on things being shifted from one section to another and the room never really getting cleaned up. That pretty much describes my office. Piles of things that are probably not going to be thrown away, but are going to keep getting moved around from place to place for years to come. It has been some time since my office was truly picked up. It may be some time again before that happens.
Dinner options for tonight will probably center around watching the college football national championship game. It should be a very good game. I plan on writing and live blogging throughout the game. I purchased some type of 7 layer dip for the game. We did not make any cheese dip for the game. For some reason I associate big sporting events with crockpots full of cheese dip. My expectations for cheese dip are not very high. Most of the time we make cheese did it is a combination of Ro*Tel and velveeta cheese product. Sometimes a few jalapenos or some salsa will make it on top of the chips.
Things feel a little bit disjointed at the moment. My ability to really focus in and write has been limited. This ASUS C101P model Chromebook is at 100% power and has an estimated 9 hours and 10 minutes of battery left. Overall this Chromebook has been working pretty well. Battery life may be worse, but screen quality seems better. USB Type-C charging has been a game changer. It is so much easier. That is mostly true due to the Google Pixel XL and Google Pixel 2XL phones that we have around the house. Both of them use USB Type-C chargers.
I had thought making lists of writing topics would be more important. Maybe at some point along the journey toward writing 3,000 words per day keeping really good lists of writing topics will be very important. You can take a topic and sketch out an essay. Writing 3,000 words is really about writing an essay or maybe two shorter essays. Right now my writing efforts seem to be going another direction. I’m just sitting down and writing toward achieving the daily goal vs. writing with purpose. Figuring out how to write with purpose will probably be important to helping move things forward. Writing with purpose is about finding a topic that inspires passion and going with it.
Topic 1: The Georgia vs. Alabama game is about to start
Both teams have taken the field. I plan on returning to this topic a couple times tonight during this game to capture my thoughts. It looks like the band might have been marching in the shape of a giant elephant. I’m surprised that somehow Joe Buck has not managed to get into the broadcasting booth for the game. I’m not the biggest fan of Joe Buck’s style or contributions to broadcasting. That may just be one of those things. For the moment part i do not remember the announcers who called the games over the years. I mostly just remember the games and key plays. The game is about to start and I’m getting some seven layer dip to be ready for kickoff. The dip was pretty good.
Topic 2: Overcoming distractions
Throughout the last week most of my writing has been related to reacting to things or driving toward exploring topics. Overcoming the distractions around you is an important part of learning how to write in a sustained way. You cannot let every little distraction stop you from writing. Most of the time I write with some type of noise or some type of show on in the background. This game tonight between Georgia and Alabama might be so competitive that it will be hard to write. I started off making a quick list of 5 topics to write about today, but that just did not seem to work out.
1. Expanding the college football playoff
2. A full review of my new ASUS C101P Chromebook
3. Best Buy and the retail sales model
4. Building an internet search engine based economic model
5. Thinking about buying an electric vehicle
Sometimes making a list of topics is enough to spark the writing process. Tonight however even sketching out topics does not seem to help kickstart the writing process. Maybe tomorrow will be a better and more creative day. Our ability to perceive the world and understand reality happens at the very edge of this moment. Thinking deeply about the past or the future steals from the present moment. Getting things done in the moment is really about grabbing hold of what is possible and just taking action. Sitting here and beginning to meditate can help slow things down. My prefered method of medication involves the UCLA mindfulness recordings.
My goal for this moment right here right now is to be present while writing. That is easier to think about than to execute. The other day on the train riding to the airport baggage claim I spent some time talking about mining bitcoins. Maybe I will slap a few more graphics cards in the old Storm Stryker case and see how much mining can be accomplished. People have hit a fever pitch of cryptocurrency mining fever. The hype is real, but the value may be being fed by the hype. People seem to be very excited about bitcoins and a few other flavor of cryptocurrencies. That may be a topic to keep revisiting on a monthly basis until everything shakes out.
Topic 3: Halfway to my writing goal for the day
I may have to close the lid on this Chromebook. It may be prudent at this point to hit the reset button and start writing again a little bit later in the evening. Now does not appear to be the moment that inspiration is going to strike. That is probably going to be the hardest part about this journey toward writing 1,000,000 words in the same year. Captain Pickles the dog is being 100% puppy tonight. Just the pure amount of energy on display is enough to wear me out.
My mine is clear and my heart is pure. We live in the moment. Everything comes down to the present moment. We elect to take action or to accept defeat in that moment. My moment right here right now is fueled by the search for success. It is fueled by the need to make a contribution to the academy. Some things remain the same day over day. The moment will always remain the moment. We seek and look for truth in that moment. Being here now is about being present in that moment and focusing on what can be done with the time we have.
My journey toward writing 3,000 words per day for a solid year is ambitious. I’m probably not going to delve into the metaphysics of quality during my journey, but the process of writing every day will explore the very nature of contribution and value. Instead of reflecting on a 17 day journey this journey will involve an entire year and will be both a test of my ability to contribute and of the value of that contribution. Avoiding the creation of a treatise on the metaphysics of value will be relatively easy. My philosophical views on things are somewhat conflicted these days. My original inquiry into value dug into the form, function, structure, and assumptions of arguments. The unit in question was always an argument. Some of that could extend to a proposition or maybe a test. Argument was always at the heart of any line of questioning that I advanced.
I remember the first time a discourse on normativity kept me away all night. A table was located in the center of the room facing a parking lot. Classes seemed a lot less important than they should have been. Sometimes reading books and thinking took priority over attending classes. My undergraduate experience was interesting and eventful. This one event sparked a combination of reading and writing. I had spent a lot of time reading and rereading a 1990 article by Pierre Schlag called, “Normative and nowhere to go.” It was featured in the November issue of the Stanford Law Review, but I probably got it from the LexisNexis corporation.
It was articles like that and deeply thinking about the nature of things that really fueled my need to attend graduate school. Graduate classes started to get beyond a pure lecture format. The number of students was reduced. Professors started to really talk to the people in the classroom and have ongoing and lively conversations. Some of it might have been called debates, but that really goes beyond what would be necessary to describe the expanded conversations that happened. Thinking back on the experience now it is easy to figure out who really was passionate about the material and who just went with the flow. A lot of college professors repeat the same general syllabus over and over again. Some disciplines are rapidly changing and do not fall into that type of predictable routine.
My contributions to classes were really limited until my fourth and fifth years of college. We will at some point probably discuss all 13 years of education in more detail. This is not that moment of detail and this line of thought really is only focusing on the spark that made me think deeply about the world around me. In this moment right now lining up passion and the spark to think deeply would be a gift. At the moment my mood is more or less reflective and my interests are not routed in the deepest parts of philosophy. Over the last five years the deep and meaningful question that has caught my attention revolves around the intersection of technology and modernity. Somehow I might be able to connect that essay from Pierre Schlag to the intersection of technology and modernity. That type of deep analysis about the world around us might actually be a contribution that lingers in the mind of scholars long enough to be considered a substantive contribution to the academy.
Within the moment right now that you are reading this sentence and I was thinking about you reading this sentence we are both making a choice. You might be thinking about critical discourse and how we fit into the world around us or you may be wondering if this effort to write 1,000,000 words in the same year will be successful. Either way the moment will pass and another decision point will pop up. We exist within an endless sea of decision making. Every moment of every day we engage in a certain degree of existential self-determination. A quick Google search of that exact phrase found about 2,500 examples of it out in the wild. Maybe thinking about the word existential would help. It could sum up simply be concerned about existence or trying to logically confirm or validate existence. My thoughts on definition of the word mostly line up with the dictionary version of it. Figuring out what self-determination would mean is a little bit easier. We are and we will be based on the actions we elect to take. Within that notion the act of self-determination should be relatively well explained. Combining the two ideas together is where things start to get interesting. I wonder how many of the 2,500 examples that Google could locate using search algorithms line up with my example.
Maybe those nights spent at a desk in college trying to understand things were formative or helped inform my current thoughts. Reading those articles today would probably have a different effect on me. Today’s words have contained references to obscure law journal essays and a book about zen and motorcycle maintenance. I think the two line up well and if you read both of them you might see the same type of spirit to question things being brought forward by both authors. Today is one of those days for me as I watch the college football national championship game on ESPN.
Topic 4: Sometimes we elect to share
So much goes unsaid these days. Our politics is more divided than our differences in the workplace. That is one of the reasons that politics are generally left out of the work day for the vast majority of people that are just going about their days. I’m pretty sure that after reading 1,000,000 words written in the same year you will be able to figure out my politics in a degree of detail that would not otherwise exist. I spent some time recently looking at the 1960 democratic party platform. Those of you who know me know that I listen to a lot of political speeches. Speeches by former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan are some of my favorites. You can get all sorts of speeches in mp3 format these days.
We really do not have lengthy political conversations with people anymore. One of the books that I wrote, but ultimately never published was about the end of the town hall and public square as places for real and meaningful discourse. That book looked at examples from George Washington up to Reddit AMA (ask me anything) and Twitter conversations. Maybe at some point during 2019 I will have enough time to clean it up and post it online. If my memory on the subject is correct, then it was several hundred pages of intensely cited material. I don’t exactly remember what stopped me from publishing or posting it online.
My collective works hang out on a couple cloud backup servers and some DVDs. They might also be on a Blu-ray disc somewhere in my office. We should spend some time talking about the best way to archive things in a future post. I added to the future post list below to help future Nels have topics to write about. That last sentence might have been a bit much. I’ll work on being sorry about that later. At the moment the sentence seems reasonable. We are rounding out 3,000 words for this weblog post and the 2nd half of the college football national championship game is about to start.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker Custom Build and ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs
P.S. Perhaps by engaging in an inquiry that lasts 1,000,000 words and spans an entire year the abridged version will be more readable. Some lists of publications over 500,000 words by major publishers do exist. Physically trying to print 1,000,000 words probably involve some type of coffee table style tome of words. Each of my posts does have a thumbnail photo so at least all those photos could be made into a coffee table book. I did read about a book published by Arno Schmidt that in folio format ended up being 1,334 pages. Several copies do appear to be on eBay, but I’m not sure the subject matter would hold my attention.
Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:
— 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
— The best way to archive digital content
Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.