2018: Day 27 the one where we talked some core values and wondered about dinner
Word count 69,107 + 3,010 or 72,117 of 1,000,000
Tonight we are going out to dinner. I am rather excited about it. It is very rare that we have an adult dinner out on the town. Things went well enough. The weather in Denver has been unseasonably warm. We have had a lot less snow than I have seen before. Things did get down to about 30 degree tonight. You might have noticed that the blog post is starting a little later in the timeline today than usual. Things just worked out that way. Writing tonight started late at 7:46 PM. Normally in the morning a quick little vignette writing session occurs. That vignette gets a little bit autobiographical or very focused on a specific topic. Even a few words strung together makes things a little bit easier for the evening writing session. Today was just not want of those days. I have an idea why that happened, but it is less than flattering.
Recovering from that slight fall in the backyard the other day is taking longer than expected. It seems like that is the case more and more as each year passes. Today I went with a ThermaCare back heat wraps. It worked well enough to remove the stiffness and get me back up and running. Some basic stretching also seemed to help. It was really just one of those take a step and sorta tumble over falls in the backyard on a bunch of ice covered in snow. Besides hurting my pride it really was just my full weight landing on my back. Nothing got bruised, broken, or sprained. That happened. We talked about it. I am going to try to move on from it. For those of you who know me well enough to know that a big old tumble displeased me greatly.
My entire office desk is now cleaned up and ready to go. That pretty much means you are probably getting a random fish photograph as a thumbnail today. I’m sure that will bring joy to your life. Pictures of fishes from the Denver Downtown Aquarium are the best. You are in luck that I do not have that many more of them to share with you. Tomorrow when we visit the Butterfly Pavilion for a birthday party i will have to replenish my stock photography backstore. Having a unique and interesting photo to link to each blog post is really beyond my current skills. I’m sure by summer it will have devolved into a cute puppy photo of the day.
Overall my office is about half way cleaned up. If you divide it up into four quadrants, then the two closest to the wall that include my desk are good to go. The two quadrants that include the doors are still a mess. Oh wow Captain Pickles just got right up in my face while I was writing with my Bose Qc35 headphones on. These headphones really are good at noise cancelling I did not even remotely see the dog approaching. Most of the time I end up writing with just one headphone on and the other sorta half off my ear so that I can hear things going on around me. Tonight based on the amount of productivity that needs to occur in a very short window I thought it would be a good idea to just lock in and focus on writing. To that end the noise cancelling headphones were fully engaged. They worked. I was surprised. That will probably happen again at some point.
Topic 1: My core values
This topic could take awhile or maybe I will end up being overly word economic and it will just take a few sentences. You will know which way it went as you keep reading this section. It should become pretty obvious which way it went. My core values are an expression of where I am at today. They fit with my thoughts at this moment. Maybe they will change over time, but they have been in place for some time. It bascily for better or worse goes a little bit like this: collaboration, transparency, and preventing failure are the triumvirate of values that guide my actions. Yeah I know what that word means, but I like to extend it to operationally cover three guiding values. You may have guessed that I am not sorry for stringing that sentence together or extending the meaning of that one word. I’m going to spend the next three paragraphs describing what those values mean to me. You might have a little different take on them, but that is ok.
Collaboration to me describes the process of working with a myriad of different folks to accomplish common goals. Sure you can collaborate with just one person, but in my experience things are usually more complex than that in the real world. The reason for me that collaboration is a value that stands out is pretty simple. Together we have the potential to accomplish great things. Together we are better together (Putnam, 2004). The broader academy of human thought that contains all of our written knowledge was built on the shoulder of giants. It would be pure hubris to believe that one person alone can consome and work with all the knowledge we have accumulated so far. At this point that is highly unlikely and getting more unlikely ever day. We all process things differently and working together through collaboration is one of the best ways to ensure that we move forward. That is pretty much the one paragraph summary of why I value collaboration as a core value.
You probably thought that my values would just be a restatement of the bushido code and all 8 virtues involved in that. I don’t really have the energy at the moment to really explain the difference between values and virtues, but that is essentially the diatribe that should be occuring right here right now. Maybe at some point along the journey to writing 1,000,000 words in the same year that comparison is coming your way. It probably is coming your way. Today is not that day. Today is the day we are going to talk about three values and move on to the next topic. We covered collaboration without enough of an example to help bring things into focus.
Transparency is an interesting value to care about. I have written millions of words and published a ton of them online. You probably can find my thoughts on just about any topic worth discussing. My general take on things is that you put everything on the table and figure out the right path forward. That is much easy to say than it is to accomplish. The easiest way to describe transparency is to evaluate negotiating without anything to hide. My basic premise within that evaluation is to assert when all the cards are on the table everybody knows everything that is going on and negotiating the next move is pretty easy. Within the business world transparency is about avoiding surprises and moving along without hiding anything. That explanation is probably not my best effort. I will try to circle back to transparency and provide you with a better example. That last sentence is an example of being transparent, but it is probably just as lacking as the rest of the paragraph.
Maybe the last value of preventing failure will turn out better. Writers write and write well. My last couple paragraphs are making me question whether or not my writing is improving by producing 3,000 words per day. Part of accepting the value of preventing failure is going all meta on things and thinking about the overall situation and how failure can be prevented. Yeah —- I know that my definition of preventing failure has to use other words to define it or it will be lacking. It works like this from a definition perspective preventing failure is about removing the barriers or obstacles that would prevent or obstruct the path to success. Maybe it would have been easier to just throw up #winning and move on. Yeah that last sentence was indulgent. Maybe if i was better at preventing failure a little bit of self-censorship would have prevented you from having to read that sentence. You are probably getting the point of this value without any witty or insightful prose helping to guide you along the way.
Together collaboration, transparency, and preventing failure are the values that have caught my attention and help guide my actions. They are all focused on helping to push things forward and improve the world around us. That is a pretty strong theme that you will find in my writing as you keep reading throughout this year. Together those values help inform my journey. I’m sure you can probably figure out better examples or sum things up in a better way. At some point, I’ll take a moment when I am really inspired and writing world class prose to give it give it another go and string something together that is really outstanding on the subject. Maybe my efforts today will muddle through enough that the topics themselves will be able to carry the day.
Topic 2: Nuggets basketball games
We justed to drive down from Boulder, Colorado to attend some Denver Nuggets basketball games. It was not something that inspired me to buy season tickets or anything, but it was a memorable part of my Boulder experience. That is a town with a wealth of things to do if you are willing to get out and about. Maybe the same can be said for Colorado in general, but that is a topic for another day. Today we focusing in on my interest in Denver Nuggets basketball games. Tomorrow night I’m going to go see the Denver Nuggets play the Dallas Mavericks. NBA games are usually pretty good. Maybe that last statement should be modified a little bit. Regular season games can run the gambit in terms of quality. For the most part my argument would be that attending games in person is usually a pretty good experience. It is an experience of non stop things happening.
I’m worried that tomorrow may be a shorter blog post. Between the Butterfly Pavilion and a Denver Nuggets Game my window to write will be pretty limited. That pretty much means that I am going to need to pick a topic from the list below and knockout 3,000 words in a rapidfire way. To achieve that it will have to be a topic that I’m very passionate about. Anything less than inspiring passion will probably result in a disappointing writing session. To get things done I will need to sit down and write nonstop for a solid hour or more tomorrow. We will see if that happens. It could happen. We could end up on track.
Topic 3: Rounding out the night
Tonight we made it through a few topics. This whole writing thing is more or less about reaching this point right here right now. This is the point in my pure stream of consciousness where things could go in just about any direction. My mind is clear and my writing is just on the razor’s edge of continuing or stopping. That happens from time to time. Intellectually I am trying to take topics to the point of exhaustion where everything about them that needs to be said has been said. That is different from taking things to the point of physical exhaustion. That just happens at the end of the day for the most part. You are probably aware of my habit of just being done writing and setting this Chromebook down. At the moment this blog post needs to go on for another 1,000 words. I am also seriously considering just going to sleep and finishing up this post in the morning. That may not be the worst strategy for producing high quality prose. Sometimes when you are done writing you are done and pushing forward does not yield anything of quality.
The thumbnail selected for today is of a parking lot snow pile and a decent view of the mountains. I figured this picture put things in focus. The mountains are beautiful and pretty much permanent. That snow pile stands out in the picture, but it is a very temporary feature in the parking lot. Things will warm up and the snow will melt. The mountains will remain the same in the background throughout my lifetime. That is pretty much how that works. Colorado sends up with these epic snow piles in parking lots. Snow comes and gets cleared from the pavement. It all ends up in these epic piles. They take forever to melt. Each pile just hangs out and most of the time gets very dirty. Some of the darkest snow piles happen at the end of the melt cycle. You can imagine that they pick up all sorts of nonsense from the entire parking lot and end up piling it with the snow together in a giant heep.
Topic 4: My next big cleaning challenge
Right now in my office the worst mess is probably sitting on my bookshelves. I have two legal bookshelves in the back of my office. You may have seen them on my YouTube live streams. They are full of books and otherwise covered in things that probably should not be on the shelves. Off camera to the right is a built in bookshelf. It is just packed full of nonsense. Only two of the six shelves are really full of books. Yeah you read that correctly four of the six shelves are mostly full of nonsense. It is better than keeping all that nonsense on the floor, but it is still where all the stuff from my office ended up. It is the last bastion of clutter in my newly cleaned up office.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs
P.S. Copy and paste between Google Docs and my blogging software is still working. That is fantastic and is saving me several minutes each day. Those minutes should be put right back into writing world class prose. It does not appear that is happening today. I’m about to go make a piece of raisin toast and get ready to head out to the Butterfly Pavilion. My supply of lungo Nespresso pods has become dangerously low. I need to remember to put in an order for some lungo pods from the Nespresso website. The website has 4 different types of lungo pods the Envivo, Fortissio, Vivalto, and Lunzio. I’m pretty sure that all of the pods are decent. They were all in the welcome package I think. This is not really helping me close out the postscript. I’m going to have to change subjects away from talking about lungo pods and dig into something else.
Maybe that next thing will be related to where we are in the whole writing cycle. We are very quickly approaching the end of the first full month of writing 3,000 words per day. In terms of months that will put this endeavor at 1 of 12 months complete. Sure I am rapidly approaching the 100,000 words milestone. That milestone will put me at 10% of the goal complete. I might have to celebrate that milestone in some way. It would have been awesome if that 100,000 words had all been written in the month of January. That would have been an epic and awesome monthly achievement. It could still happen, but things will probably end up falling a little short. I am still working on a better word count plugin for my blog posts. Right now I’m just showing the total counts at the top of the post to give you an idea of where we are at in the journey. In terms of sorting all these words my blog system uses both month and category to help sort through words.
I checked and the edit category section does not have an option to display them ascending instead of descending. It would be nice to be able to read all the posts in chronological order. Right now they are sort of upside down in terms of the order they were written. That is something that I probably need to figure out before the end of this journey. Arching all of these words in a readable way would be a good idea. The other method of sorting is the monthly archive feature. It is located at the very bottom of the page if you were wondering. It says archives and then select month. I opened the drop down and picked January 2018. That bucket of posts includes 26 total blog missives at this point. That is my highest monthly output since January 2015. That month included 30 posts. It would be nice to be able to compare the word counts between the two months to see if I have picked up speed or if things have slowed down over the years.
The raisin toast turned out pretty well today. Our toaster actually just died today. This toast was made in the oven. I’m guessing the purchase of a new toaster is on the horizon.
Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:
— Write an open letter for students on the first day of college
— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— A post about my top ten favorite science fiction television shows
— 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.