2018: Day 39 the one where I realized my fan is not balanced
Word count 106,813 + 2,335 or 109,148 of 1,000,000
My TiVo has been setup with a OnePass to record new episodes of the X-Files. That is exciting mostly because we actually have new episodes of the X-Files. With broadcast television I’m going to have to hope that they arrive over the air and are recording without any interruption or single degrediation. That was always one of the great mysteries of my last setup. Was that recording actually recorded. This time around the antenna worked great plugged directly into the television. We will see if the same level of consistency happens with the TiVo. It should no material difference exists between the way the antenna connects via coaxial cable to the back of the television or the TiVo. The pass through is different. At this very moment the TERK antenna is grabbing over the air broadcasts, the TiVo is outputting that signal via HDMI cable to the XBox One S, adn the XBox One S is passing that signal to the Sony Bravia television via an HDMI cable. Both HDMI connections are obviously digital and should not see any signal degradation. That is all very exciting and new at the moment.
Right now I’m trying to use TiVo Online to setup all of my television show recording options. It took me a minute to figure out how to use the OnePass manager. We don’t really watch shows at specific times anymore. The whole point of the TiVo is that it will record and hold content for us when we want it. A real exception to that theory is live sports. Tomorrow we will start to get broadcasts of the Olympics. That is exciting. I’m pretty sure that the whole family will sit down to watch some of the winter Olympics this year. John Paul really likes ice hockey. We went to one Colorado Avalanche game and that was enough to apparently earn a fan for life. I’m pretty sure that the kids will like the figure skating and the downhill skiing. It will be interesting to see exactly what catches our attention.
All the Olympic fun stars tomorrow. My opening vignette just stalled out. I lost focus for a couple of minutes. Captain Pickles is attacking the dog bed. That is some pure puppy behavior happening on the far side of the room. Maybe now is the time to turn off my music and return to listening to my Dune (1965) audiobook via Google Play Books. It appears that the book is 19% complete and only has 16 hours and 58 minutes remaining. That probably means that I’ll be listening this audiobook for the week or two before bed. The Play Books app has a wonderful shut off feature that lets me listen to 30 minutes or an hour more. That has worked out well as an application feature. It has worked out poorly as a writing tool. The last couple of nights I have just shut down the ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P and gone to bed. My writing effort at night has to yield 2,000 to 2,500 words or it is not a successful writing session.
Yesterday I was digging into the differences between my blogging efforts from 2003 and 2004 vs. the content that is being produced this year during my long journey to writing 1,000,000 words in the same year. Writing a million words is not something that is new to me. Writing them in the same year is both new and a little bit of a reach. This year will be my most prolific writing year by far. I was talking to Andy today about one of my more recent efforts. During 2009 I had thought it was a good idea to spin up a podcast called the Newscast. In hindsight if I had uploaded it to YouTube vs. Blog Talk Radio it could have reached a much wider audience. That show featured interviews, news, and even callers. It was a fun broadcasting activity. That show did not last. I lost interest in broadcasting or something else happened that took up my time. For some reason that specific detail alludes me. Some of the transcripts got posted on this blog.
The major difference between the Nelscast and the YouTube live streams is the difference in content. All of my YouTube live streams are focused on bringing artificial intelligence news and content to the forefront of the public mind for consideration and debate. The Nelscast was a pure commentary show devoted to my interests at the time. It was sort of a live version of this blog in many ways. Maybe that would be a fun thing to do on YouTube for a few days, but it would end up falling into a weird category of social commentary mixed with autobiographical content. That pretty much describes most vlogs and the art of vlogging. Oh well —- maybe that is a topic for another day. They type of video content I’m interested in at the moment is devoted to helping people dig in and understand artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, and neural networks. I feel like those topics deserve a lot more consideration than they get on the news these days.
Topic 1: Copy editing my post titles
I just realized that the title of Day 37 was pretty much nonsense. It was not a grammatically correct title. Today I just went back and updated the title to something a little bit better, “Day 37 the one where I rethink mining 1% of a bitcoin.” That is a stark reminder that I need to at least proofread the titles along this journey. Copy editing has never really been my strongest skill. I write a lot and for the most part I can get away with avoiding the act of copy editing or even proofreading really. As long as I’m engaged and writing with full focus the prose I generate tends to be at least reasonably readable. One touch writing is a skill I guess. Maybe that skill is better than being most excellent at copy editing.
Topic 2: I realized my fan is not balanced
Our ceiling fan was installed last year. It was a decent purchase. We spent a lot of time hunting for the exact perfect ceiling fan. After searching a ton of shops and looking at a ton of fans we finally picked one. That was just the first part of the process. Buying a fan in a box and putting the box in the back of the car was easy. Hiring an electrician to install the fan required a real hunt. Online services and other methods exist for finding help from an electrician. It took a little bit, but I found a company with good reviews to do the installation. The fan is in place and it works great. We run into one problem with it however. Our ceiling is at a slight pitch and the fan from time to time will get slightly unbalanced. Figuring out how to balance the fan is something that needs to happen.
Topic 3: Hitting that wall
My thoughts are focused, but my will to write is non-existent at the moment. Today might just be a day where this post does not make it to 3,000 words. My desk is mostly clean. I have one pile of mail to clean up and that is pretty much it. My war on clutter has been fruitful. I even cleaned up the pile of laundry up in my room. None of that cleaning helped me find my long lost pair of glasses. They may be gone forever. I’m going to have to face the possibility that they were left somewhere and will never be in my posession ever again. Acknowledging that loss is hard enough, but having to mix it with falling short on my writing goal today is devastating.
We are basically at 1,500 words for the day and that means the halfway point might just be the end. That would mean that I would need to make it up over the course of a bunch of different days. I thought maybe a few days would really jump out and shatter the daily writing goal, but so far this year that has not happened. Sometimes runners hit the wall and just power through that wall and keep on going. I’m not sure if my writing rises to that same type of breakthrough, but maybe just maybe I can dig deep and keep going. Digging deep is going to take a little bit more effort today. I’m not sure why exactly that is the case.
Topic 4: Using Google Hangouts as a home phone
Since we gave up cable on Saturday I have been looking for new ways to make phones calls. One of the ways that has actually stood out and has been a good positive experience is Google Hangouts. I just grabbed the old USB headset and microphone combination that was laying around and plugged it into my computer. It was picked up as part of Google Hangouts and I was able to make make a call straight away. It was really easy to use. The one thing that really caught my attention was when I got a call on my Google Pixel 2 XL phone and I was on a Google Hangouts call. Both services worked at the same time. That seemed really promising.
Topic 5: My writing plan for tomorrow
Today was a day where it looks like I am going to end up being 66% productive. That means that this blog post is looking to be about 2,000 words long. That means 1,000 words will have to be picked up tomorrow. I better pick a really good topic for tomorrow if it is going to inspire an epic and awesome 4,000 word essay. It would have to be a topic that really captures my attention and inspires passion in my writing. That might just help. I went and grabbed the future topics list that I was keeping and it looks ok.
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 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
Maybe tomorrow will be a good day to try to attack that list from topic one down. It might be a good idea to just start writing and keep going topic by topic until the goal is achieved. Maybe tomorrow I will follow my own advice and sit down and sketch out a solid outline of the blog post I am about to write. That used to be the way that I wrote papers and essays. It is even the way that I used to write book chapters. I would grab my trusty notebook at the time and start to sketch out the chapter. You can imagine that the process of writing a book is very similar to that chapter writing approach.
My first question was always about what argument is being made. I work from a reverse pyramid approach. Instead of building up all the foundation and then making the argument. I approach it from the other direction. I make the argument clearly and with purpose before really digging into the reasons why in the subsequent chapters. That is a different type of approach, but it has worked for me over the years. I then took all those supporting arguments and organized them into chapters in a logical order and moved forward with writing the book. My notebooks have a ton of false starts in them resetting on pages never to be chased down again. I have sketched out a lot of books and I think that is a really healthy thing to do. Being able to separate out something worth devoting months to writing and something that sounds good, but maybe is not worth the time commitment.
Maybe at some point it would be worth it grab my old notebooks and just work my way from the distant past all the way to current day. Now that would be a very interesting thing to do with my previous works. Maybe one of those notebooks or even one of my idea books has a gem that was beyond my skill at the time, but now is within the realm of possibility now. Right now from my desk I can see a stack of 12 notebooks and 2 large format books that contain my notes. One of them even goes all the way back to when I came up with the captain fractal algorithm. Now that is a blast from the past. Some of my blog posts that go back to 2004 or maybe a little earlier were really focused on working with captain fractal. Even just thinking about those efforts takes me back to an earlier time when I really tried to solve hard problems. I mean I tried to dig in and really solve the impossible problems of our times. I guess that’s just how things stacked up at the time. Now that topic could easily take up 4,000 words tomorrow, but that story may not be the best story to blog about.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. Well today fell short of the goal, but things worked out better than they could have worked out. I had that little stretch of productivity when things looked darkest, but that set of reflective thoughts only brought things forward a little bit toward the goal line.