Day 15 the one with a philosophical proposition and some thoughts on mining

Denver sunset

2018: Day 15 the one with a philosophical proposition and some thoughts on mining
Word count 41,257 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

For the next 100 days or so every day involves the same type of routine. Waking up is followed by very quickly checking the cryptocurrency mining rig in my office. Pretty much everything gets checked. The Windows 10 installation on this box is on a m.2 stick and is pretty stable. The CPU water cooler has pretty much insured that this CPU has never even been remotely warm. The huge fans on the Corsair water cooler for the CPU pull air across the RAM and the rest of the motherboard. That pretty much means the top half of the Storm Stryker case is cool to the touch. Examining the graphics cards is really about checking to make sure the wall of Corsair fans is still pulling air away from them to exhaust the case. Next I login into the NiceHash website and look at the uptime and CPU temperature in celsius. At some point, I should probably install something that will chart the temperate and let me look at a graph. I’m going to check the NVIDIA software shortly to see if it is already doing that. I’m sure it would be a lot of work for the NiceHash software developers, but displaying a graphic of the last 7 days of temperate for the GPUs would be a nice feature.

Those things are pretty much the first things that come to mind every morning. I’m compelled to jump out of bed and check on the mining rig. I’m not entirely sure that should be my primary daily concern related to starting the day. Based on my regular routine the first few minutes of the day are a wash anyway. Nothing really happens in that first 15 minutes of waking up and getting ready for the day. I have tried to recapture those first few minutes and that struggle was a failing effort. Things before coffee are bleak. That is sort of how it goes. In practical terms my first daily activity is always checking my phones for alerts. That is an exercise to see if anything is wrong or any action is required to get things back on track. You can imagine the start to my day is really just about gathering input and figuring out what direction to take. That might seem pretty basic and a just the fact type of approaching to selecting a direction to take, but it has worked out pretty well over the years.

That same question resonates throughout my day. It resonates throughout my writing. It plays a major role in my life. Based on all the available information at the time what direction should be taken. It all stacks up and that stack has to fall in one direction or another. That might just be the cornerstone of my inquiry into values for the day. We just might be engaging in an inquiry into why exactly the chips stack and in what direction they are going to fall. All of the noise may not reduce to that pure of a signal. Breaking things down into one pure stack or one pure question of things may not be a reasonable thing to begin the day with, but that is pretty much the direction we are going to strive to figure out. Welcome to the day of unreasonable inquiry. This rabbit has been 14 days and well over 40,000 words in the making. All of that to get to here to get to this moment.

Consider for a moment a proposition that we focus in the moment either internally on a thought or externally on a stimulus. Between those two states our proposition dictates and internal or external focus. Focusing a thoughtful reasoned set of logic on an external stimulus might just bridge the gap and breakdown the proposition. That is the conundrum of the stack. All of our problems, questions, directions, or theories rarely stack up neatly for consideration. Bringing together our jumbled mass of this moment right here right now is a hard enough proposition. Trying to pull all of our history and experience along with it just might breakdown any ability to process it together and understand the world around us. We strive to derive meaning in the world around us. That journey of looking around and striving one step forward in each moment describes the nature of our search. That inquiry is the basis of my inquiry this year. It is the reason that stringing together 1,000,000 words will have a common thread. My struggle in the moment to find meaning and move forward is always a part of the journey.

Topic 1: Writing using topic signposting

You may have noticed that each weblog post has moved into a format with an opening vignette followed by a series of topics until we reach the threshold of 3,000 words. The topic designation is just a signpost to let you know that we are going to be changing topics. It notes that one door just closed and another one is about to open. Sure some decent connecting thoughts and better writing could achieve the same type of outcome, but we should face the facts. One long 3,000 word weblog post with nothing breaking it up better be pretty compelling prose. Most of my thoughts on a subject are exhausted in 500 to 1,000 words. That means the idea of a single uniform essay delivering 3,000 words of insightful prose may not happen any time soon. That pretty much has to be ok and the way around that problem is to keep using topics as a signpost method to break things up.

If the topic were to diverge into a weblog post of its own, then I will break up the content into two separate postings. A few of the posts have come close to reaching that threshold. I’m sure it is something that will happen soon or later. Any collection of words that passes about 3,500 words needs to be broken up into multiple weblog posts anyway. In those cases the amount of content has outpaces a reasonable reading session and should be broken apart just for readability in my humble opinion. Ok —- that opinion was probably not humble or restrained. That is probably just how things are going to be until we settle into a more regular rhythm of writing during this journey toward 1,000,000 words being written in 2018.

Topic 2: I’m thinking about watching every Borg episode of Star Trek

Breaking Star Trek episodes into clusters is always a fun thing to do. It is a huge universe full of amazing content. In this case the cluster of episodes I’m looking to consume relates to every episode where a Borg appears during Star Trek The Next Generation. Oddly enough the grand total appears to only be 6 episodes. I would have guessed that it was way more episodes. I would have been wrong. Right now my current belief is that 6 episodes make up this cluster and they include the following:

1. TNG – S02E16 – Q Who
2. TNG – S03E26 – The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
3. TNG – S04E01 – The Best of Both Worlds, Part II
4. TNG – S05E23 – I, Borg
5. TNG – S06E26 – Descent, Part I
6. TNG – S07E01 – Descent, Part II

You could probably watch all of these episodes in the same day. It could be a day with a pizza party and some popcorn. Given that both pizza and popcorn preferences are highly personalized you will need to figure out what works best in your household. You can tell this is my first journey into running a mining software on my main computer. I just had to disable hardware acceleration within Google Chrome for the first time ever. That was exciting it is something you can do if you want. Today it seemed like a good idea to start watching some Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes on my primary computer. That meant turning on Netflix and given that my preferred browser is Chrome something had to give. In this case it was hardware acceleration within my browser that had to go away to allow Netflix to stay. Right now Netflix is booted up and I’m ready to watch TNG “Q Who”. One of my favorite lines from Star Trek happened in that episode when Captain Picard said, “Well… perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency – to prepare us for what lies ahead.” At about 45 minutes an episode watching all 6 can probably be accomplished today. Episode 1 of 6 has been consumed and I’m moving right along.

Topic 3: Do people day trade cryptocurrencies?

Today was one of those days where I started to think about what strategies people might be using to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Based on my general understanding of the process it is not very fast for transactions to complete. Googling day trading cryptocurrency took me down a rabbit hole. It was an interesting and oddly emotion based set of postings and threads. Based on the amount of chatter on the internet people are doing some type of trading based on speculation. I bet some of them are just buying and holding in hopes that things go up. My strategy was completely different. Mining is really just an investment in hardware, time, and energy. It seemed like the best strategy to jump in and learn about how cryptocurrencies are generated and how the blockchain works.

Episode 3 of my 6 episode cluster of Star Trek: The Next Generation borg episodes just started. It may not have been the best idea to spend a few hours during the middle of the day watching TNG. Ok —- the first three episodes have now been watched. Writing is still ahead of schedule for the day. The word count is fast approaching 2,000 words and I was rather proud of one of the paragraphs written today. You can try to figure out which one it was. I’ll give you a hint it happened before the Topic 1 signposting. They could have made a lot more Star Trek. It would have been easy to follow multiple captains and crews. That probably would have a made for a richer and more refined Star Trek universe.

It does feel like more and more people are interested in cryptocurrencies. People are trying to figure out how to acquire them or invest in them or have a position related to them. Later today I’m going to read a little bit more about this bitcoin ETF that I read about called Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). It is apparently traded on the Nasdaq. That seems interesting enough to read about. Full disclosure: I have made zero purchases of any cryptocurrency. I have no plan to do that anytime soon. Understanding the ever changing political landscape and the impact of Warren Buffett’s remarks probably need to be resolved to create stability. Obviously, I am engaging in mining using the NiceHash Miner software. That did result in my first ever BTC transfer. I’m pretty sure the 0.00118327 BTC in my wallet are not clouding my judgement. I’m just mining for fun. The process of mining does not really seem like wholesale speculation. My 100 days of mining experiment is really more about entertainment than an investment strategy. My mining efforts are about understanding what it takes to succeed at that task.

Topic 4: We are watching Harry Potter tonight

Recently I tried to convince Joni that we needed the $75 special edition of Blade Runner on Blu-ray. My arguments included clear winners like it has a unicorn on the front and is clearly extra special. Joni demurred that we already own the Blade Runner Final Cut Blu-ray and that it was was already special enough. Aside from that conversation we settled on watching the first Harry Potter movie this evening. The Saints vs. Vikings game is almost over and that means it is almost time for some Harry Potter. It is hard to imagine that the first Harry Potter film was released on November 16, 2001. That seems like a long time ago. Maybe it was a
long time ago. The kids like Harry Potter. It could be worse I guess.

29 seconds left and a last second field goal attempt just changed who is leading the game. That field goal attempt split the uprights and was about as true a kick as you can hope for in a playoff game. Drew Brees is pretty darn good at passing the football. I may have a Drew Brees rookie card somewhere in the basement. You read that right Drew Brees was drafted in the same year the first Harry Potter movie came out.

Topic 5: One last 800 word burst of writing tonight

We started out today thinking about the path forward. We started with an inquiry into understanding the world around us. We may have hit some detours along the way. Sometimes the parts off the path are the parts worth remembering. That might be the case today, but I am pretty sure some of the first few paragraphs will be more memorable than these last few paragraphs. My mind is drawing a blank at the moment. This is the perfect moment to pick a direction and go with it. I’m pretty close to tabula rasa at the moment. My writing could go in any direction at the moment. Things are truly up in the air. That may be reason enough to stop writing for a little bit.

Ok about an hour has passed. Things seem to have returned to normal. A lovely shot of Nespresso may have helped kick start the writing process again. These moments right here are the ones right before my toddler falls asleep. It is a razors edge between sleep addled chaos and about 8 hours of peace. This room is dark. I have turned down the brightness on my ASUS C101P chromebook. Overall I have been really happy with the USB Type-C charging. I had meant to bring my Bose Qc35 headphones upstairs to watch another episode of TNG, but that did not happen. Every night I listen to about an hour of music and write before bed. That has been the closing chapter of my day for a long time. This little Chromebook reminds me of my Sony VAIO Laptop model VGN-T250P. Nostalgia for that little device kind of surprises me. I’m pretty sure that I wrote a cookbook on that thing sometime before 2008. You want to talk about long lost works that one is probably pretty high on the list.

That was back during the window when I was better about backing up my words on physical media. It is very possible that I can dig up that decade old tome of epicurean genius and share it with the world. It is also possible that work of nonfiction is lost to the ages. Based on a quick search of my weblog it appears that the VGN-T250P started to breakdown sometime between 2006 and 2008. That would seem more reasonable if it was not 2018 and those breakdowns happened over a decade ago. The strangest part of it all is that instead of thinking back to when the device stopped working I searched Google and then my weblog archive. Somehow a Google search was more efficient than using my own memory of the events. That is a little bit scary to think about. It is also scary to think that my weblog posts go back that far.

My archive itself goes back pretty far. I’m sure any of the documents are useful, but they go back to around 2000. I guess that means my archive has about 18 years of content. That is a little intense. Google indexed it all and I can search it. That is not something I do on a regular basis. I did try at one point to aggregate all my photos together, but that was problematic. Most of my photos were on Flickr and then they got offloaded, backed up, and stored on physical media.

My first digital camera was this very heavy Hewlett Packard point and shoot PhotoSmart C200. Apparently, you can still buy this 1.0 megapixel camera on Amazon for like $30 or on eBay for way less at under $10. Some degree of self control was exercised tonight and no really old cameras were purchased. Oddly enough, I did kinda want to buy one and put it on my bookshelf. It then dawned on me just how horrible those 1.0 megapixel pictures look on my stunning 4K computer monitor. Those photos don’t even look good on my Chromebook screen.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. In case you were wondering, I ended up watching 4 of the 6 Star Trek The Next Generation episodes with a Borg in them. All that is left to finish out the cluster is to watch Part 1 & 2 of Descent that spans the end of season 6 and the start of season 7. Based on the title I do not fully remember these two episodes, but hey that happens. Watching every episode of Star Trek Voyager with a Borg in it will pretty much mean rewatching most of the series. Maybe I will figure out a custer of episodes that include a Borg other than Seven of Nine.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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.

Day 14 the one where I got my first ever BTC mining payment

2018: Day 14 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 38,291 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

We are racing toward paying off one ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card by mining cryptocurrencies. It is a 100 day race to mine some cryptocurrency. You can consider it my personal attempt to participate in the gold rush of our time. Along the way I’m learning about cryptocurrencies in general. Building some hands on knowledge is a great way to get a solid handle on the technology. To pay off one graphics card that pretty much means that earning $286.86 in bitcoins via mining is the goal line. That number was derived by dividing $573.72 or the cost of 2 of the aforementioned graphics cards, shipping, warranty, and a rush fee in half. To that end my journey into the world of using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 beta started on or around January 10, 2018. That seems like a long time ago, but it was just a couple of days ago. Things change fast in the extremely volatile world of cryptocurrency.

Yesterday my first actual payment came from NiceHash to my NiceHash wallet. Please keep in mind that was the first payment from a cryptocurrency I have ever managed to see in my wallet. Over the years I have messed around with miners, but never really tried to make money. Even this go round the BTC transfer was not a whole bitcoin in my wallet. Seriously it was not even close to a whole bitcoin. It was not even a healthy fraction of a bitcoin. It was 0.00118327 BTC with a fee of 0.00002415 BTC. I’m assuming you are not familiar with reading BTC. At the time this post was written that much BTC works out to about $17.16 in USD. That is not a bad start, but it is not a financial windfall. Initial investors in bitcoins did make some life changing sums of money.

Beyond mining cryptocurrency this morning, I’m watching the Kansas State Wildcats and the University of Kansas Jayhawks play basketball this morning at Allen Fieldhouse. You may be starting to understand that we watch pretty much every Jayhawks basketball game that is available via broadcast. It was an early tip off on ESPN today. The game started at 10:00 AM Mountain Time. That works out great for me. We ran some errands and made it back just in time for the game. The announcers are ok this time around. For how much ESPN spends on content you think they would manage to get decent play by play. Sometimes they end up with some questionable play by play and color commentary.

My go to snack for the game today happens to be salted in shell peanuts. I picked up a huge bag of them at Costco a few months back. Yeah — that means that I am typing right now and setting this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P down to crack open peanuts and put the shells careful into a garbage bowl. We used to have a Rachel Ray garbage bowl, but it seems to have been misplaced. This one is an OXO bowl that clearly states on the bottom that it should not be put in the microwave. You do not have to worry. It is a very low risk proposition that I will put it in the microwave. The peanuts being consumed today have an expiration date of June 2018. They will not make it that long. Cracking peanut shells open always makes me think of attending sports events. It takes me back to watching the Kansas City Royals play baseball. That is probably why I associate watching sports with cracking open peanuts to this day.

Halftime for the game just came and went. We put ESPN on mute for halftime. It should be a decent second half to watch. Allen Fieldhouse is rocking with enthusiasm and James Naismith Court always looks good on television. Twenty minutes always seems to last longer in the second half of a basketball game. Wow —- that game lingered on way closer than it should have been. Bill Self just might note this year as being one of the best coaching efforts of a stellar career. Only playing 7 players seems to be an interesting strategy. It will be a different team with Preston and De Sousa eligible. The roster will be stretched out to 9 players. The way the game finished today it could have gone either way. It was good to see a Jayhawk victory.

Topic 1: I ordered Blade Runner 2049 on Blu-ray

Yep — I ordered a 4K ultra high definition Blu-ray disc version of Blade Runner 2049 today. My Xbox One S is 4K capable, but my Sony Bravia television is not capable of displaying a 4K image. That works out ok with my oder. The Blade Runner 2049 packaging includes both the HD Blu-ray and a 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. You can call it future proofing. We have plenty of bandwidth to stream 4K content, but I still prefer to buy physical media. I did some basic Googling of Blu-ray sales by year. Looking at a bunch of images of Blu-ray sales did not really give me a good idea of which direction physical media sales are going, but my guess would be they are not growing. An article from the LA Times January 6, 2017 caught my attention it noted that sales are declining, “Home video sales shrank again in 2016 as Americans switched to streaming.”

We keep buying physical media in the form of Blu-rays these days. They are sitting on my rack next to my HD DVD collection. We have a disc player that is capable of playing HD DVD and my older computer case has an HD DVD drive. We are probably not going to use either of those things at any point during 2018. I’m sure that 4K will not be the last standard for distributing movies. We are probably a stone throw away from 8K movie technology out and being used in the wild. People have adopted 4K content distribution and development on YouTube and other platforms. Some folks with advanced smartphones can record, edit, and distribute a 4K film all from their phones. To me that means that the standard is here and ready to go. It would require a big leap in smartphone technology to have 8K video capture. Leaping into editing 8K video on a phone is probably beyond the current hardware capabilities.

None of that is meant to justify my purchase of Blade Runner 2049 on 4K UHD Blu-ray today. That purchase was for me and based on what entertains me. It may also be somewhat related to my need to collect things. That is a plausible reason to why I still buy physical media.

Topic 2: Remembering to take interesting photos is hard

Snapping unique and interesting photos used to be a skill I utilized effectively. Now it seems that even remembering to take interesting photos is giving me problems. Setting a thumbnail is part of writing 3,000 words per day and the journey to writing 1,000,000 words this year. You can imagine the processes of getting 365 relevant and interesting photographs lined up and processed every day is a real challenge. Maybe remembering to stop and look at the mountains or the sunset is a good thing. Capturing interesting moments is about more than just thinking about the shot it is about figuring out how to capture something unique.

Topic 3: I figured out how to check my GPU temperature online

Managing heat is a part of mining crytocurecies. I figured out how to check my GPU temperature online using the NiceHash website. Now it is something that gets checked hourly. That probably is not the best use of my time. Being interested in the temperature of my GPU is relatively new thing to even think about. The better cooled my cards have gotten it seems the more work the NiceHash Miner has sent over for hashing. It seems like profitability is up, but overall the temperature is down. It was interesting to figure out how to plug in 4 additional motherboard driven case fans. The folks over at Corsair are very serious about making fans. Managing the heat seems to be an interesting part of the whole mining process.

Topic 4: Watching some of The X-Files

Episode 2 of The X-Files Season 11 is on the television right now. Based on the ratings it looks like they dropped from episode one to episode two of the season. I’m hoping that Fox keeps things going for a couple of seasons. It does appear that the hashtag #TheXFiles is going on Twitter. This second episode of season 11 does seem a little more X-Files than the first episode. I must say that Mulder and Scully are a little more action based this time around. Things are speeding up in the world of the X-Files.

I’ll admit that on my DVD rack is a copy of the Lone Gunmen TV Series (2001). For better worse I have consumed a lot of X-Files episodes. Getting to see some of the spinoff boomerang back into the reboot of the series. It also came in an interesting form of intellectual and physical questions about the nature of ascendance and computer models of human thought. Overall I think the episode was starting to get back into the groove.

Topic 5: The 100 day cryptocurrency mining challenge

For the next 100 days I am going to endeavor to keep my cryptocurrency mining rig operational. At a minimum that means keeping the system up and running. In practical terms that means that the NiceHash Miner software will be running on the Windows 10 instance of my Storm Stryker custom built computer case. Somewhere between one and three graphics cards will be mining and the financial will only be tracked based on payouts from NiceHash to the wallet. In the world of cryptocurrency all of your private keys have to be kept in a virtual wallet. For the purposes of our 100 day experiment the value of the cryptocurrency in the wallet will be compared to USD and reported as the outcome or result of the experiment.

My writing lost momentum their for a few minutes. It may have actually been about two hours. This Chromebook got charged for a bit and we watched a couple episodes of the television show Young Sheldon (2017). Off in the distance my cryptocurrency mining rig is working its magic by hashing. I spent some time looking at water cooling options for my GPU. Back in the early part of 2016 I put a Corsair water cooler on my core i7 processor and it has worked out splendidly. Things have worked out just fine with that water cooler. Maybe just maybe the folks over at Corsair can help figure out the heat problems related to mining.

Based on a few searches of YouTube videos it does appear that people do that type of cooling, but it does not seem to be the standard. A wide variety of builds exist. Some of them seem to be better than other builds. Most of the videos are all bright and shiny at the start of mining season. I have been looking for videos of what happens when mining goes wrong.

Topic 6: Motorola Moto Insta‑Share Projector

The other day I was musing about the realities of projector technology. One real world option that does exist is this wild Motorola project to attach things to their cameras. One of the things they want to attach happens to be a projector. The videos look pretty fun and they were talking about a 70 inch projection. I am very curious about how people are using mobile projectors. It seems like a good use case. Being able to put a movie or YouTube on a wall could be fun.

I watched a ton of videos about portable projectors on YouTube throughout 2017. Some of them looked really good, but the price tag would make me nervous. I really believe that the next generation of projection will include some interactive augmented reality components. I do not want to miss out on that generation of technology. Maybe some use case will inspire me to make a purchase who knows. Right now we have one main television capable of presenting a 65 inch picture in 1080P. Everybody has tablets and phones that present a much smaller viewing experience. Maybe that is all that is necessary and it will go the other way with foks using highly immersive VR headsets. Based on my experiences that does not seem likely. Every time I put on my Google Daydream headset either one of my dogs or kids interrupt the experience. Trying to sit down with a headset on is a surefire way to cause the dog to want to play.

Topic 7: The New England Patriots are playing

These commercials about scrappy startups are interesting. They don’t really tell me anything. I guess sometimes people just waste advertising dollars. I’m watching the AFC divisional game on CBS tonight. It mostly just makes me sad that the Kansas City Chiefs could not hold a lead and ended their season early. We are right back to where we ended up yesterday. John Paul is watching the same Pokemon movie. The Patriots seem to be rumbling along. Interruptions abound in the household today.

I’m gearing up toward some type of word extravaganza tonight. Picking a topic to write about today has been a real challenge. Nothing has really stood out. Nothing has really caught my attention. That happens sometimes. Being able to sit down and write for hours a time probably means the author has something to say or is just an incredibly gifted writer. This weekend really has to involve a bit of catch up. My productivity this week has not been up to par. It probably has to do with how much energy it required to get my cryptocurrency mining rig setup.
Two full weeks of writing at this pace have been changing my style a little bit. My style has been pulled into a little bit more of a narrative tone mixed with a conversational style that I hope is relatable. Without question writing 1,000,000 words in the same year will help to refine and probably define my writing style in different ways. As prominent sports commentator Jim Rome would say, “Have a take, don’t suck.” Getting to the point of writing with a perspective and being able to voice that pepsective in an effective way is an important part of learning how to write. Jim Rome might have been more succinct, but you probably have gotten the point I was trying to make.

That is really what it is all about. Writing with purpose. Building on idea and putting thoughts together in ways that help lift the conversation. That might seem like a lofty goal, but hey why not strive for the betterment of all things. Figuring out how to drive things forward today was a challenge. Throughout most of 2017 my learning target involved figuring out and understanding artificial intelligence. For the most part that goal has been achieved. I know enough about artificial intelligence to speak on the topic for hours extemporaneously. That is probably a good start toward being able to help others understand the finer points of artificial intelligence. That was the goal of my 2017 journey. I wanted to be able to taken on complex subject matters and present my reactions and insights in a way that was relatable and easy to share regardless of previous subject matter expertise. I guess the best way of saying it would be to explain that helping others jump in and learn about artificial intelligence was the goal of my efforts.

I really do intend to start up my daily or maybe a weekly live stream again to tackle artificial intelligence and maybe talk about my writing journey. That was a fun and exciting part of my previous routine, but it did not translate into writing a ton. This year is about writing. It is about having a big writing year. My goal is to have a truly big year. A 1,000,000 word writing year. That would be a true achievement and probably an interesting journey. Both the result and the journey will be valuable. I’m not expecting the journey to change my life, but I do expect it to improve my writing skills and help me focus in on delivering high quality content on a consistent basis. It will probably end up being highly entertaining in parts.

Part of writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is working toward breaking down self-censorship and the things that limit us. Writing with a certain degree of freedom of spirit helps renew my passion for writing. It may very well help renew my passion for life and encourage me to appreciate the things that come into focus and receive my attention this year. That is probably the best outcome. It would be the best way to round out such a long journey. With two weeks of writing complete. It very much is like taking 2 steps forward on a journey with 50 steps remaining. At the end of the path is not an end but the start of a new and exciting journey. One powered by an entirely new degree of experience as a writer, thinker, and public intellectual.

That may just set the stage for the rest of the year. I’m not sure if each week should be treated as a chapter or how these weblog posts relate in the grand scheme of the journey. This inquiry is not intended to be published as volumes or taken apart in slices it is a journey with a start and a finish. Each step is taken with the knowledge from the previous step behind it. Each step builds from the journey of the last. Step by step along this journey we will get to see and experience a world of new opportunity and adventure.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. Before working on a postscript addition to my weblog posts I need to really focus on hitting the 3,000 word target in the main section each day. These little asides or tag along sections should be insightful and in addition to the base 3,000 words per day. That was the case today, but it has not been the case for the majority of my posts. I feel like so far they are my return to the weblog post to help push the word count up to a respectable 3,000 or so. Some of them have been below the target and that is part of changing up my routine and working on writing at length in a longer form of prose.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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.

Day 13 the one where I thought about my top 5 favorite non-science fiction television shows

2018: Day 13 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 35,082 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Here in the next few minutes I will be off to FedEx to send back a graphics card that ran into some mechanical problems. One of the blades broke on a graphics card fan. It was actually a rather scary moment. For just a moment I thought maybe the water pump on my CPU water cooling device had gone haywire. Imagine crunching sounds from your computer and fear. On the brighter side of things, the process for sending back the card was pretty simple. It took me one phone call to work out all the details and figure out all the fine print items. Seriously, it took me a minute to read all the return documentation and figure out what was going on. My guess is that the graphics card must have taken some damage during shipping and the fan was loose or a little bit off and it just wore down and failed. Something like that happened. I’m just glad it happened during a block of time when I was in my office. I’m sure it would have shut down based on a heart fault at some point, but that is not really a theory I ever want to test.

Using the same box the graphics card arrived in seemed like a good idea. In terms of today’s reduce, reuse, and recycle theme that covers the reuse part. The box can can also be recycled at some point. The box I had received was bigger than it needed to be. Overall the bottom of the box fit the graphics card pretty well, but it was about a foot taller than it needed to be. For shipping purposes they had filled it up with all sorts of these green air filled plastic bubbles. Each one was like the size of a soda can when inflated. The box was full of a bunch of them and they were here for a bit and now they are back on their way to California. I was tempted to just ask for a refund on the graphics card versus a replacement, but the other card is working so well that I figured maybe it was just a manufacturing defect or shipping damage.

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to watch Northern Exposure and think about living in a small town somewhere in Alaska. Sending graphics cards around and waiting for things to be shipped reminded me of some elements of the show. People were always asking about and waiting for things to arrive. It really was one of my favorite shows of all time. Maybe today will be the day that I start to examine my favorite television shows in some kind of detail. That may be a hard thing to rationalized without bifurcating the list between science fiction and non-science fiction. That probably is the right way to go about the process of classification. It will also help me generate two different blog posts this year. I’m adding a post about my top ten favorite science fiction television shows to the list below. Yeah that just happened. It was a pretty meta moment. We just evaluated the process of future posts and how to generate more content in the same paragraph.

Topic 1: My top 5 favorite non-science fiction television shows

Even thinking about making a top 5 list gives me pause. I have made a ton of them after watching the movie High Fidelity (2000). John Cusack delivers them in a way that is probably better than what I could muster. Assuming they would not let me narrate my own autobiography audiobook I would want John Cusack to be the narrator. My backup narrator choice if you were interested would probably be Kelsey Grammer. Maybe at some point this weblog will deliver into a top choices for audiobook narrators. We are already more than halfway to a top 5 if throwing my hat in the ring is acceptable. That is really how top 5 lists can go from interesting to ridiculous in a matter of a few keystrokes.

We should probably get back to the task at hand and write about the topic at hand. Your top 5 list has has to be written in the moment. Everything on the list should be true to the moment. Things should be added without restraint or self-censorship. All of that being true and all things being equalled out at the moment making this list might not have been the best idea. Somehow I’m sure that things are being forgotten within the list. A top 10 list would give me more room to include some obvious fan favorites. However, that is not how the game is played. The game in this case is played very simply. Write a top 5 list. No regrets. No retreat. No surrender…

1. Northern Exposure (1990 to 1995)
2. The X-Files (1993 to 2002)
3. Frasier (1993 to 2004)
4. The West Wing (1999 to 2006)
5. House (2004 to 2012)

Keep in mind that the aforementioned top 5 list is entirely based on personal preference and does not have anything to do with anything other than my thoughts at the moment. That last comment really failed the test enumerated at the end of the last true paragraph. As if by some turn of fate at this very moment Captain Pickles our 7 month old rescue puppy is chasing a tail in a circle. That tail may very well be connected to Captain Pickles the dog. It will probably not end well. This time it just ended with the dog on the floor looking up at me like something great had just happened. That is not how I feel about the first sentence of this paragraph. I should just own up to my top 5 list and note that it was my words and yes it happened.

They really should have figured out a way to make more episodes of Northern Exposure. It is one of those shows that Netflix or somebody could pick up and make a few more episodes or reboot it with some seeded original characters. I know it would never have the magic of those first two seasons, but that is how it works. It is a show that had no special effects or complex camera work. Somebody could probably boot up a Northern Exposure like show on YouTube. If that already exists and I have just missed out on it, then please drop a comment of send me a message on Twitter.

My online presence is a little out of control these days you should be able to figure out how to send me a message. Writing top 5 lists and posting them on the internet is probably not the best use of my time and effort. However, all work and no play makes for a boring weblog. To that end this top 5 list probably shows a little bit about my interests. Oddly enough only one of those shows was recent. None of my favorites from HBO made the list this time. That is obviously due to the fact they did not fall in the top 5. No shows from streaming services or even YouTube made the list. That just happens to be the way of things. Part of my judgements about what made the list and what did not had a lot to do with the shows i would watch over and over again.

It would be hard to quantify just how many episodes of the X-Files I have watched. That show has been in syndication forever. Writing a top 5 that includes science fiction television shows will be very difficult. It would pretty much be an effort to stack rank awesomeness by degree. I recall people talking about the West Wing and encouraging me to watch the series. I’m afraid that did not happen in a timely manner. I arrived to the party very late and watched the show in binge fashion from Netflix. I’m sure watching the characters unfold slowly added to the drama and the effect the show had on people.

Topic 2: My Nespresso Expert machine

I’m still using my Nespresso Expert espresso making machine by Breville. Tonight the weekend begins and I had a shot of vanilla flavored espresso. Yeah i’m still talking about the vanilla pods. The sleeve contains 10 of them so you can imagine they will keep making apparences. The best part of the espresso machine is that I have not had an energy drink this week. Avoiding those things is one of my new year resolutions. The sugar alone is something that is probably wreaking havoc on my diet and system.

You probably thought I was about to ramble on about Northern Exposure for at least 3,000 words. That would be a good use of some words, but that is not where we are going today. Tonight is just one of those nights that things are on tilt. Dealing with complex computer problems always has a way of just disrupting my evening, day, or really whenever they happen. For the most part with graphics cards and other computer parts I bitterly expect to be able to plug them in and have them work forever. That is not a rational statement. Things break and electronics do not last forever.

Topic 3: A few musings

I’m falling behind on my writing goals this week. Two factors are probably contributing to that situation. First, I need to manage my time better and focus on writing in spurts instead of trying to force one 3,000 word epic writing session. Most of my writing sessions contribute about 1,000 words so trying to produce more than double that is probably not realistic. Second, I have to focus on having one good morning writing session for about 1,000 words to help break up the struggle to write. I know that this should not be a struggle it should be a process that helps inspire and encourage me to improve as a writer.

I’m sure some of my weblog posts this year have been a little better than others. That is not a function of editing or anything like that. It is just a function of good focused purposeful writing. As you can probably tell by now I can run laps around nonsense and produce a lot of prose. Some of it useful and other sections that need some work. That is how it goes and how it will be for the rest of the year.

Topic 4: That half way point

Maybe telling some stories would help at this point. That could be the case. Some type of observations or insights might very well push things forward here. Striving toward that elusive something might help. Maybe it is all about the nature of building things. Taking up the cause and building things out might be a good start. It might have been easier to stop checking my word count and just write for a few minutes. It seems that I am just wiped out both emotionally and physically today. That should make for a recipe full of writing and thoughtful insights. It does not appear that is the case at the moment.

Topic 5: That last topic had to go

Ok — now is the time to stop focusing on the wrong parts of the journey. We have the opportunity to think about what things are important. We invest our time and money in the things that seem to be important at the time.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. For the first time since owning an espresso pod based coffee machine, I broke down and made a double shot using two pods. My Starbucks Verismo machine actually let me pull two shots through the same pod and that worked out fine. It gave me two shots worth of espresso. The concentration of the second pull was not as strong as the first pull. That happened for obvious reasons. The grounds in the pod only have so much espresso goodness to give the world and that second pull tested what they could do. That is what makes my Nespresso decision so conflicting. A Lungo pull of 3.75 ounces or 110.90 milliliters of joy through the same pod was not going to cut it. Today was a day that needed two shots of espresso. In that case each pod would produce 1.35 ounces of espresso. Together my double shot of espresso would be 2.7 ounces of espresso goodness. It happened. It was glorious and enjoyable. At the same time, I felt just a little bit of guilt for using two Nespresso pods in the same sitting.

Unlike my Starbucks pods the folks at Nespresso have given me prepaid envelope to mail my used pods back for recycling. That is what encouraged me to purchase the strange silver rather large Nespresso Recycling Container. I capitalized the name of the device in solidarity with the naming convention on the Nespresso website. It is seriously big and it is full of Nespresso pods that are just hanging out with a little open air. Apparently, after the pods cool down in the Nespresso Expert machine they are going to go on a journey to the Recycling Container. At some point the container is going to become full of dry used Nespresso pods. I am then going to dump all the nespresso mods into this prepaid envelope they gave me to send them to some sorting location for recycling in Fresno, California.

You can imagine that my imagination kicked into overdrive on this one. This bag is about the size of a gallon ziplock and it is going to be full of used Nespresso pods. Those pods are going to end up on a UPS truck for ground class shipping. That always seems a really strange distinction for a shipping rate since most shipping is ground vs. air. I guess that means that the UPS driver who brings me things on a weekly basis may very well be taking the same Nespresso pods that were delivered to me back to the good folks at Nespresso. That gallen sized bag of like 100 pods will be traveling to Fresno, California. Within my imagination this entire process is rather like an episode of Chuck. It pretty much became the long lost Chuck vs. the Nespresso pod episode.

Chuck was a show about a computer repair technician at a retail store who accidentally received a download of highly classified images from a former roommate and then somehow got into seriously improbably and dangerous situations. Don’t get me wrong. I am probably going to buy more Chuck DVDs or Blu-ray discs on eBay. That will probably happen right after I finish searching YouTube for videos of how Nespresso recycles these pods in Fresno, California. I’m rather sure the process does not happen the same way it did within my imagination. Like all good science fiction television I assumed they had an unnecessarily elaborate conveyor belt pulling the pods into a centrifuge type area that pulled any remaining liquid out before the mods were eviscerated into tiny pieces for separation between pod material and coffee. I also entertained the thought that a conveyor belt system pulled them into a device that after turning them upright just cut the top off and vacuumed the grounds out. I’m kind hoping they went with the cut the pod into a ton of little pieces approach. That hope is not based on an type of scientific rational. It is probably based on on the same rational as monster trucks.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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.

Day 12 the one where I installed 2 GTX 1060 graphics cards

My PC Build 2018

2018: Day 12 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 32,400 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

You may have wondered about the arrival of two ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics cards. Maye the weblog post thumbnail should have included the text spoiler alert. Together they fit in the bottom two graphics card slots of my ASUS Z170-Pro motherboard. Thank goodness or some thoughtful engineers that the Storm Stryker case was designed with plenty of extra room for full length graphics cards. Slotting in three full size graphics cards seems a little intense. Both of the new ASUS GTX 1060 cards have two fans onboard and a lot of aluminum. They are heavy graphics cards. My NVIDIA Geforce Experience software picked up the cards and downloaded the right driver straight away. All of these graphics cards can be used for deep learning and other use cases, but for the next 100 days they will be mining away at on a cryptocurrency mining pool.

It took a bit of patience and some cable wrangling to get both cards installed. The hardest part of the installation was figuring out that that the LED/power plug extender was just a little bit taller than it should be. I pulled out the cable riser and quickly plugged in the power button cable, HDD LED, and power LED directly into the motherboard. The riser is now sitting on my desk with no real degree of usefulness in the foreseeable future. It will probably end up in my cable boxes waiting for a day of usefulness to arrive. That day of usefulness may never happen for the lowly riser. I’m afraid a lot of the cables that have been put in a box for storage may never be used again.

Getting all three cards situated in the case took a few minutes, but something strange happened when I hit the power button. It was the beeps of horror from the motherboard. Something was falting and a series of Motherboard beeps sent a shot of adrenaline to my system. Nothing good every happens when you hear 2 short beeps, a continuous beek, or some repeating beep sequence. I’m pretty sure that all motherboard beep codes are bad. I quickly turned off the power and started to look at all of the cable, fans, and other things that could be creating problems. Two of the PCI express cards had to be swapped. One of the USB card extender cables was touching the bottom fan of my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card. Yes — that is emblematic of poor and lazy cabling on my part. A new pack of zip ties and some intense cable management activities are in my future. If you have looked at the weblog thumbnail image, then you probably know just how much cabling work needs to be done.

Everything booted up and things are humming right along. I’m a little worried that my Corsair 850 watt power supply might not be able to handle all of the power needs in my case, but things seem to be running well enough. I am probably going to have to start watching prices on Corsair 950 or 1000 watt power supplies. Having a backup power supply on hand is probably a good idea at this point. NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 beta picked up all three cards and is mining away. That is a slick little piece of software. At the point where the good folks from NiceHash transfer actual BTC to my wallet I’ll be sold on them as a company. Within the miner settings I disabled benchmarking on my CPU and looked over the benchmarks for my cards. It looks like the founder edition graphics card is benchmarked against mining 14 different cryptocurrency algorithms. The two new ASUS GTX 1060 cards only have 3 gigabytes of RAM onboard and hit the benchmark for 10 different cryptocurrency algorithms. Tomorrow will be an interesting day to see how many different algorithms get mined in the next 24 hours.

During my initial testing my founders edition NVIDIA card mined Keccak, NeoScrypt, Lyra2REv2, DaggerHashimoto, Decred, Lbry, Equihash, and Blake2s. You might be wondering if I had to look up all those different algorithms and types of cryptocurrencies. The answer is yes. Some of them seemed rather obscure to me, but if they found their way into the NiceHash Miner software they must be mainstream enough for people to be buying hashing power to use them on mining pools. Those are probably each topics for another day another weblog post. Based on my post from yesterday you are probably keenly aware that I want to dedicate all 3 cards to mining KodakCoin when it finally comes out. It was announced yesterday, but the wait already seems to long. That is probably a good example of where learning some patience would be a good strategy. At the moment all 3 GTX 1060 cards are mining NeoScrypt which is apparently used for Feathercoin, Orbitcoin, and Phoenixcoin. That seems nice. I do not know enough about any of those coins to know if that is what I should be mining.

Tomorrow I may spend some time deep diving into the whole process of running my three graphics card mining rig. All of these efforts have been driven toward learning about blockchain and cryptocurrency. That is pretty much my prefered method of learning about new technology. I like to jump in and give it a shot. Some of my efforts are probably not going to work out and some of them may work out very well. Tonight it seemed like a good idea to have the NiceHash Miner work on some mining optimization for each card. The best mining optimization setting appears to be the precise setting. It takes like 20 minutes per card to run the precise mining optimization. I’m not entirely sure if it is worth it or not, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Topic 1: The taskbar displeased me

A change happened today. Within Windows 10 I have been using the auto-hide the taskbar feature. For better or worse, I do not need it to be displayed on my Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor. It just takes up space and for the most part does not provide me anything useful. Today I had to lock the taskbar on the right and disable the auto-hide feature. It was not going back into a hiding position and therefore was eating up just a little bit of my window space. That became problematic when I could not mouse over a part of the window I needed to click on. You can imagine that was frustrating and I had to turn on the locked right hand side displayed taskbar.

Topic 2: A little espresso and a little writing

At the moment clearing my mind seems to be pretty hard to do. My mind is racing through a bunch of different ideas tonight. It seemed like a good idea to brew another one of these vanilla Nespresso shots tonight using my Nespresso Expert brewing machine. The shots really do taste like vanilla. John Paul has elected to watch some type of Pokemon movie tonight on our main television. That last sentence may not be entirely accurate or well written. We really only have the one television in the main living space. We pretty decided to only have one television in the house and that is how we have managed things. Tablets have made it easier to manage our strict one television policy.

Tablets really have changed how we consume media and stream content. My working theory about personal media devices is that we will either get augmented reality glasses or short throw projection systems pretty soon. I have seen both types of technology starting to show up. It seems like portable projects have really started to make some advancements. Some channels on YouTube are completely devoted to reviewing and talking about mobile projectors. They have gotten very small these days and they have built in batteries that are pretty decent. Some of the projectors produce some decent looking video on walls and other surfaces. I think projects will be the next wave of technology that people are excited about. Keep in mind that the projects will be interactive and probably have some type of augmented reality hook to them so people feel like they are a part of the projection.

Topic 3: Drinking more water each day

This 48 ounce Nalgene bottle sits on my desk. It is supposed to remind me to drink more water each day. At the time the goal was to introduce an extra 48 ounces of water into my diet. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It was better than drinking soda, water, or energy drinks. Water seemed to be the best way to just stay hydrated and enjoy the day. It is funny just how little attention I paid to what type of beverage would be in my cup next. Most of it had to do with whatever was in the refrigerator.

Topic 4: Trying to type really quietly

Messing around with my computer build cost me about an hour of writing time tonight. Everybody is asleep. I’m trying to type extra quietly on my ASUS Chromebook C101P. The keyboard on it is relatively quiet.The temperature spiked on one of my graphics cards and I started messing around with some different configurations. Ultimately I ended up pulling one of the ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics cards out of my Storm Stryker case. That created a gap between the remaining cards in the case. They are both right now cooling to about 72 degree celsius. That seemed very hot, but for a graphics card it is par for the course. It is something that I am going to dig into a little more over the next week. All of the massive mining rigs that people build on YouTube with 6 or more graphics cards are air cooled and lined up next to each other on wood or aluminum rails.

Topic 5: Top 5 books by reading frequency

Ok this is a hard one. You have to separate out what you consider to be the best books in your opinion. This question is just about the top 5 books you have ready in your lifetime based on total reads. This would be a maximum count of the number of times you picked up a book and read it. For the purposes of this exercise I’m going to exclude the bible. I have very rarely picked it up and read it from cover to cover, but it is by far the book I have picked up the most in my lifetime. Ok that aside complete let’s dig into my top five books by frequency of reading…

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)
2. Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM) by Robert Pirsig (1974)
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1980)
5. Executing Your Strategy: How to Break It Down and Get It Done by Morgan, Levitt, and Malek (2008)

You might have guessed that that list was sorted by year of publication. It was not sorted in that way. That is just a pattern without purpose. I started to wonder if a list like this would start to let you get ot know me a little bit better. The books we come back to are the ones we treasure. I still think it is interesting that the older books are the ones that I have spent the most time reading. It is a close contest between The Hobbit and Dune. I’m pretty sure that at some point within the next decade ZAMM will end up being number one on the list.

Revisiting this list and really digging into my reading habits over the year could probably be a weblog post in and of itself. That will probably happen at some point this year. Thinking about and understanding the things we read is an important part of growing and moving forward. We strive to move forward in our own ways. I would have a very hard time following the same routine every day. Following the same step by step guide to my day every day would be banality incarnate. Things in the real world are full of chaos and intrigue. Being a lifelong learner has taught me to look for the tides of change and lean into the process of understanding them in near real time.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. This postscript might be the longest one I have written so far this year. Dream Theater is booted up and i’m ready to go. Today was the day that I finally tried the Starbucks blonde espresso roast. It was not a life changing event for me in the least. It reminded me of getting espresso at some random place along my travels and thinking it was not very strong or flavorful. The richness that brought joy to my palate and excitement to my world was lost. That rich and creaming froth followed by a degree of smooth robust coffee flavor was not present. To that end you can imagine that the new Starbucks blonde espresso shot will not be purchased again. I’m not entirely sure I would drink it if they were giving it away for free. That pretty much describes the end of last night and the start of today. My writing path to 3,000 words was not working out. Today for better or worse a little bit of catch up is going to have to occur. You might be wondering exactly how much catch up needs to occur to get back on track from yesterday’s hardware related problems. The number is pretty straightforward. This postscript needs to include about 828 glorious and purposeful words.

That could be accomplished in a variety of ways. One way would be to make an epic list of the weblog posts that should make up the rest of the month. Another way would be to just go into grind it out mode and make it happen one word at a time. That is probably the most plausible way to move things forward at this point. Today has been a day for coffee and espresso. Things started off with a wonderful Nespresso lungo style pull of espresso from a single pod. That was the start of the day and it was wonderful. Based on the marketing materials from Nespresso it seems like a lungo coffee is about 3.75 ounces or 110.90 milliliters of joy. That worked out just fine and I am trying to figure out which lungo pod from the starter pack is my favorite to help facilitate the inevitable reorder.

Tonight’s writing session is going to be rough. This morning was devoted to closing out and catching up for the previous day. Writing 3,000 words per day is about having a routine and ensuring that the right amount of time is being set aside to write and that writing is happening during the right times. I seem to be experiencing and seeing enough things to react to on a daily basis. Reactions help me produce words and get going on longer pieces of prose. None of that helps ensure that the words being written are meaningful. As we move to strive forward and to grow and develop writing is one way to do that, but that may not guarantee that the writing process that inspired growth is inherently good or epic.

It has been almost two weeks since the start of my writing journey toward producing 1,000,000 words in the same year. Thinking about the prospect of being 2 steps down a 52 step path is interesting. Strangely enough even writing that last sentence did not cause an emotional reaction to the whole process. That is probably a good sign that this journey is possible. My big writing year is already more than 30,000 words complete. In and of itself that is an achievement for the first two weeks of the year. My inquiry into understanding meaning and value has started. These are the days that we spend looking at what we are doing and where we are going. That path toward the future is the important outcome. In this moment we elect to move in some direction.

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.

Day 11 Gathering the acorns of our day one bitcoin at a time

Captain pickles the dog

2018: Day 11 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 29,601 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

People are gathering digital acorns in force these days. Cryptocurrency is having a moment. That moment hit a peak today. That peak will probably be defined by the fact that Warren Buffett the oracle of Omaha elected to share some thoughts about the future of cryptocurrencies. Pretty much everything Warren shared on the subject was bleak. It was not good. It was not encouraging. Those thoughts pretty much mirrored my own. For those of you who watch my YouTube videos you are more than welcome to fact check my argument. Blockchain is a legitimate technology that will have some great use cases. Cryptocurrency is interesting and is only valued based on the amount of interest in each currency. Right now the hype is everywhere.

Speaking of hype in action — Yesterday my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card was 98.06% efficient based on data from the NiceHash Miner. I went back to look at the log to figure out why 1.94% of the shares accepted for mining were rejected. Most of the reject reasons appear to be “Job not found.” That reason description does not appear to be very informative. Maybe later I will search out some explanations of the common NiceHash Miner error codes and why they happen. One of them noted, “Invalid nonce size.” All of those errors just make me frown, but things are still progressing forward. It does appear that NiceHash works. If it makes a payment on Sunday, then I will go out of my way to say nicer things about it in a full review essay.

People have reached a fever pitch when it comes to cryptocurrency. I have said it before and will say it again here, “People have gone out to gather the acorns of our time one bitcoin at a time.” Ok so maybe I just quoted myself. Yeah that was uncalled for. I’ll try not to do it again. Do not let that distract you, but instead consider consider for a moment that people are not really mining whole bitcoins within giant pools. They are mining fractions of a bitcoin that the entire pool is hoping to discover. Mining is decentralized. A lot of people can participate. The barrier to entry is mostly technology related. A degree of digital divide exists between those who can afford to mine and those who cannot. Anybody with a decent graphics card can join a pool and engage in some bitcoin mining. That being said the number of cryptocurrencies being mined right now is probably at an all time high. The hype has arrived and is at a fever pitch. People keep in mind that have one graphics card and trying to mine cryptocurrencies is not going to make you a fortune.

My efforts to gather acorns are underway. I participate to learn. Maybe in part I am participating due to the the excitement. It is the goldrush of our time. Building a 6+ graphics card rig did not seem like a good idea. Given my current setup my ASUS Z170-pro motherboard should be able to support 3 graphics cards and give me half a mining rig to play with. Tomorrow should be the day that my new graphics cards arrive. We will see what happens when they arrive. I’m curious to see how quickly the NiceHash Miner picks up the cards and benchmarks their potential.

The interesting part about cryptocurrency is not really the mining part of the equation. It is what happens next. It is all about what happens to the value of the coins or fractions of coins that people have mined over a long period of time. All of the folks who had mined a ton of bitcoins witnessed those coins go up in value. They soared up in value rather quickly. The effort required to mine them had not changed it was over and done, but the value they had to the outside world radically changed. That is the part of the equation that I am interested in understanding. A lot of people are speculating that cryptocurrencies will continue to go up. Obviously, Warren Buffett is not one of those people. I purchased two graphics cards and plan to chart out how long it takes to pay for them by mining. That is a very basic value proposition and it is interesting. Not as interesting as seeing coins in a wallet double, triple, and even quadruple in value.

Regrets are interesting things. They happen. In hindsight my efforts to mess around with bitcoins years ago could have been very valuable. I learned a lesson. A little better follow through on my mining efforts could have been very lucrative. Like many of my technology related efforts I dig in and learn about the technology and ultimately stop using it. Some things become a part of my routine and they might continue along that way for years. Mining bitcoins was not one of the things that kept my attention. In this case that was to my own detriment. It would have been nice to have a wallet full of bitcoins. My current mining project is really just about testing profitability. It is probably not going to make me enough money to retire. Maybe picking the right next big cryptocurrency could yield some amazing returns, but that type of effort will require completing a ton of research and making an informed decision.

Speaking of picking the next big cryptocurrency. I’m really excited that Kodak is going to start a cryptocurrency called KodakCoin. I will probably unleash my three graphics card mining rig on mining KodakCoin when it comes out. That sounds like a fun thing to do. I have always been interested in learning about new technology. In terms of learning it is hard to imagine that this weblog post included some thoughts from Warren Buffett and an actual new product announcement from Kodak. That combination of thing has completely surprised me. Take my word for it today was a weird day.

Topic 1: Cut and paste is still making me sad

Writing in Microsoft Word on this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P was not working out for me. It only took a few minutes before I was back in Google Docs writing away toward my 3,000 word daily deadline. Figuring out why cut and paste from Google Docs to WordPress has been failing to keep the carriage returns is beyond my skills at the moment. Maybe with some time that could be solved. Right now I only have time to sit down write. You probably have noticed some signposting where a certain word count is being called out. Those call outs were pretty much driven by cut and paste. Maybe I will start using the built in word count feature from Google Docs.

On the plus side I have stopped cutting and pasting the content over to WordPress to calculate the actual current word count. Seriously, WordPress and Google Docs do not count words in documents the same way. Since WordPress is the single source of truth for my writing adventure that is where everything has to end up. I know the easy solution would be to just write in WordPress, but that probably will not happen. My writing routine is very strongly oriented toward writing in a full word processor.

Topic 2: Espresso thoughts

This espresso shot has a slight vanilla hint. Getting used to the Nespresso Expert brewing machine has really been about learning to deal with the original line pods. This sleeve of pods is apparently earmarked for espresso and it has a vanilla hint added to it or maybe it is just a natural part of the coffee. It was brewed and now it is gone. 9 more pods from the sleeve will eventually get brewed. This sampler pack has some curveballs for sure. I’m not big on flavored coffee so this is something very new in my world. For several years I drank the exact same espresso flavor from Starbucks day after day. All of this switching around to different pod flavors is rather new and unexpected.

Topic 3: Top Chef Denver

This season of Top Chef is based out of Denver. That is exciting. Over the years Top Chef is probably the most consistent show that I have watched on television. Even when we cut the cord for a couple of years I paid for Top Chef episodes. Tonight I’m watching Season 15 episode 3 which is titled, “Keep on Truckin’” We went to the Craftwood Inn a few times in Colorado Springs before it closed down when Brother Luck was the chef. I thought maybe we would have known more of the Top Chef contestants, but I guess knowing one will have to be good enough.

I almost deleted this next paragraph, but that seemed intellectual dishonest. These are my thoughts at this moment. For better or worse they are how I feel at this moment. This episode of Top Chef actually included Logan Paul which is interesting and somewhat strange. Maybe for the season DVD/Blu-ray they might end up editing that out parts or maybe including a subtitle that denotes that Logan Paul makes poor decisions. I’m sure the apology was sincere and that Logan Paul has regrets related to some decisions made on YouTube. Please note that my observations on Logan Paul are not intended to be clickbait or advertised in any part as keywords to bring traffic to this site. My writing is first and foremost for me. Audience building has never been a part of my weblog strategy. I react to things that come into focus within my daily journey. Logan Paul has been the focus of a lot of conversation, consideration, and condemnation. My take is that Logan Paul made a mistake and put forward content that was not appropriate. I’m assuming that was not on purpose and that it was just poor decision making.

Topic 4: Some editing needs to happen at some point

Editing has not really been a part of my writing routine. I’m sure that the last 11 days have included some major grammatical errors and typos. Grammarians all around the world are probably not amused by my write and keep writing format. That is ok. At some point all of this prose can go under the knife and be scrutinized. Writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is a recipe for adventure. It is also a recipe for a lot of writing. Assuming about 2.5 hours of writing a day that breaks down to about 912 hours and 30 minutes of writing during the year. That does not seem like all that much in the grand scheme of things. Maybe some folks who write 8 hours a day at work produce a lot more prose than my target.

That is a really interesting thought that seems to have captured my attention at the moment. Somebody who wrote for 8 hours per day and had my relative level of productivity would probably produce 3 million words per year. That is intense. I wonder how many people actually do that. Right now about 7.6 billion people are on the plant. That reads as 7,600,000,000 people fully written out. I’m sure that one of them is the most prolific writer on the planet. Figuring out exactly who that is could be highly problematic. I did some searches to figure out who is the most prolific writer in the world and that was a fun rabbit hole to go down. Some people have written a lot more words than I thought was possible.

My guess is that at some point an abridged and otherwise thoughtful version of my big year in writing will be fully edited and put into print. That editing will probably be done by somebody else. Right now I am too close to the material to edit it. Later down the road I probably will not expend the energy to edit these weblog posts. If my past actions are any indication, then editing things after the fact will probably not happen. I have words that were generated literally last millennium that have not been edited. That sounds worse than it really is given the that we are less than two decades into the new millennium.

My efforts these days seem to be centering around writing about what captures my attention and digging in to subjects that matter to me in the moment. At this point in time, I’m not sure that I could sustain a write and edit cycle. Keeping up with a write 3,000 words then write 3,000 more words cycle is about all that I can manage. Without some type of burning fire to write about a topic driving me to write all day I think about 3,500 to 4,000 words would be the maximum output that could be sustainable. That is just sort of how it is going to be and what is going to happen for the rest of the year.

Ok —- so I could not figure out what type of thumbnail would fit this posts cryptocurrency theme. As you could tell from the thumbnail for this weblog post I ended up picking a photo of Captain Pickles hoarding all the chew toys. That was as close to the essence of this weblog post as I could manage to get. Several photos of my graphics card were taken. Each of them just reminded me that I really need to clean the dust out of my computer case. They also reminded me of just how embarrassed by my cable management I really should be on a daily basis. That computer case needs some serious word with some zip ties and a flashlight.

That is probably a good project for the weekend or maybe some evening this week or next. I got an invite to go see Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. That was a more intriguing prospect for this weekend than maybe sitting down and recabling my primary computer system. However, installing 2 new graphics cards and probably needing to install several new fans might make dealing with my cable problem more of a priority than Indian Jones. That last sentence just seems horrible to read. Things should not be more important than watching Indiana Jones in an IMAX format.

Topic 5: Some thoughts on the band Dream Theater

The guitar stylings of one John Petrucci are technically complex, deeply rich, and always memorable. Pair that with the progressive rock band Dream Theater and you end up with some epic music to play in the background during writing sessions. I must confess that my vinyl record collection does not include any Dream Theater, but I have listened to a lot of music from the band over the years. Initially my first listen to Dream Theater’s 1992 album Images and Words was not life changing. I remember thinking ok and moved on. Over time the music grew on me and recently it is something that I listen to during the last hour of my day. Sometimes the sweet sound of John Petrucci’s guitar are the final notes of my day. I figured out how to play part of a song titled, “The Dance of Eternity,” on my guitar. My technical proficiency on guitar will probably never match John Petrucci, but hey even playing along at 70% proficiency is fun from time to time.

A few quick searches for Dream Theater vinyl records on eBay reminded me why my collection does not include any of their albums. People are very proud of Dream Theater vinyl and the prices do not dip into the range where picking up a bunch of vinyl albums is reasonable. My entire Warren Zevon and Eric Clapton album collection was reasonably priced and mostly purchased on eBay at auction. Just a few seconds ago I sorted my eBay search for “Dream Theater vinyl” by price and shipping lowest first. The first result that was an actual record was over $20.00. That price point will probably deter me from buying anything on eBay. At that point, simply buying a new copy of a record is probably the right way to go.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs and Microsoft Word

P.S. Explaining to people that writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is my Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance can be challenging. This journey is my effort to write about and engage in an active inquiry into values, quality, and meaning. Will that journey produce something as well read and influential… probably not. That is ok with me. Writing is my art. Every time I sit down to write anything it is first and foremost for me. It is a way to think about things and to tackle complex questions and interesting ideas. Writing is a part of my routine. It is something that I pretty much have to do on a daily basis or it keeps me awake. Some people might call it hypergraphia. That is a fancy word to describe the uncontrollable need to write. In my case I have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. My mind races through hundreds of thoughts and permutations when I do not spend enough time writing. It has never really been a problem that impacted my happiness or interactions with others so I just accept it and set aside some time to write. Writing 3,000 words per day is way more than I would during my normal writing sessions. I am curious to see what happens after I spend an entire year writing at a ramped up level. Certainly in spurts I would produce a few pages of single spaced insights. Producing 6 pages a day is a newly introduced twist from my 3,000 words per day writing effort.

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.

Day 10 the one where I daydreamed about cryptocurrency

2018: Day 10 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 26,546 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Mining cryptocurrency has become a cultural touchstone this year. The rise of bitcoin prices being shared by just about everybody in the media has changed how people view cryptocurrency in probably lasting ways. Today this weblog post focuses on how I ended up daydreaming about cryptocurrency mining. YouTube has so many videos about building cryptocurrencies mining rigs that it almost seems easy. Most people who can follow general instructions related to modular computer setup can probably build a GPU mining rig. Based on the sheer volume of videos populating YouTube from people who have done that it seems that the commodification of mining is now complete. Think about that one for a minute. Most of the thrilling mystery of how people starting mining cryptocurrency is now gone.

This computer that I am using right now has enough slots to expand from my one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card to a 3 GPU setup. The idea of turning on a 3 GPU mining rig is what sparked this whole series of words and sent me spirling down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole this morning to a place that does not seem like wonderland. Today was a day that some time was wasted daydreaming about cryptocurrency. I even started to sketch out a short story about building out an AI mining bot that became self aware enough to steal cryptocurrency and upload itself to the cloud. I’m sure bitcoin related fiction is already a genre somewhere on the internet.

Some time ago I thought it was a good idea to install something called GUIMiner v2012-12-03 on my main deep learning computer. To help me work with and install TensorFlow I purchased one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card directly from NVIDIA. That purchase was made on July 19, 2016 and it was all about wanting to work with the Pascal architecture. Deep learning was very exciting. The idea of setting up a home neural network was truly game changing and something that brought me a huge amount of joy. Initially installing GUIMiner was pretty easy to do on the Windows 10 operating system. It mines using that GTX 1060 GPU at 642.2 mhash/s and just hangs out in the background. Seriously, when your computer starts if no mining is occuring you would never notice the application unless you checked the icon tray. During the course of running an active miner my entire PC runs very slowly. I can only imagine what happens when multiple GPU cards are installed.

Surfing the web for NVIDIA graphics cards has been an interesting thing to do today. My buying expirecing from NVIDIA directly was easy peasy back in 2016. I logged on when the GTX 1060 cards first became available and ordered one of them. That is very different from the folks who are buying 6 or more graphics cards at a time and trying to connect them to the same motherboard. At the time, I used this service called BitMinter. I let it mine for some time, but it never really generated enough BTC to transfer out to and get paid. I would have written you step by step instructions on how to install and run GUIMiner, but since I have seen no actual money from it that seemed premature and probably generally unwise. For me it was just about learning and playing with a new piece of technology. It was interesting to play with the software and learn about mining cryptocurrency. None of my efforts required me to write any code or do anything other than allow something to run on my system.

Today was the day that I dumped GUIMiner v2012-12-03 in favor of NiceHash Miner Version 2.0.1.6 which is basically for NVIDIA only. I may try to write a few more words about why AMD got booted from the current version. It has something to do with a giant antivirus kerfuffle. That is probably a topic to take on at a later time in more detail. Pretty much all day the NiceHash Miner has been running on my Windows 10 partition. My base rig is built based on an ASUS Z170-Pro motherboard running an Intel i7 chip. The board itself has enough slots for 3 PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 graphics cards. My Cooler Master Storm Stryker computer case is plenty big to support 3 graphics cards. I’m pretty sure the Corsair 850 watt power supply in the case can support the three graphics cards. You may have noticed some hesitation and speculation in the last paragraph. That is pretty much the case. I’m kind of curious if three GTX 1060 graphics cards will be able to run in the good old Storm Stryker case. That setup can be used for deep learning and building out cooperative and combative/adversarial neural networks like Google’s design of Bob, Alice, and Eve for testing encryption.

Educational purposes aside the main reason to get the extra cards would be to watch a mining rig run and learn about cryptocurrency mining hands on. Maybe that is something worse exploring. It does open the door to learning about some new things and being able to try some new technology out. Applied technology has always been one of the areas that has held my attention. Maybe today will be the day that I elect to pick up two additional graphics cards. They could be used for a variety of use cases. My main question right now would be around exactly how long it would take to make back the money spent on them through mining cryptocurrency. I would also have to intellectually accept the idea that Bitcoin probably is in a bubble and I’m rationalized ignoring that reality in favor of watching NiceHash Miner run on my computer.

Topic 1: Cut and paste changed between Google Docs and WordPress

Today is day 10 of my journey to write 3,000 words per day. You can imagine that means that a number of cut and paste operations have been executed. From the Chrome Google Docs I select all of the words that need to go over to the post. That content is then pasted into the text section of the post editing screen within WordPress. Today for the first time in my 10 day journey all of the carriage returns are disappearing. Having to go back and manually add each return to ensure that the document returns to the correct formatting before posting is super duper annoying. That is essentially an order of magnitude more annoying than it should be. It worked fine every other time. Things have been working so well that most of the time after hitting cut and paste I do not even go back to check and make sure all the content arrived correctly. It is a function of word processing that I have grown to trust and appreciate. I probably took it for granted until tonight. Now i’m sitting here writing words about lamenting my now failing copy and paste.

Topic 2: The Jayhawks play tonight in Allen fieldhouse

I’m watching the University of Kansas Jayhawks play basketball in Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN2. This is one of the best use cases for 4K content distribution. Sports fans all over the nation and the world would enjoy watching their teams in 4K. It does appear that over the air broadcasts of 4K content are possible. Local broadcasts moving to 4K could help increase adoption rates for televisions capable of 4K content. Joni has pretty much indicated that we will be watching our Sony Bravia HD television until the day that device fails or is destroyed. Apparently, the refurbished Sony Bravia television we received as a warranty replacement back in 2011 may last forever. It certainly has lasted longer than I expected. Televisions are not really something that can be upgraded. Upgrades to hardware that is already out in the wild does not really seem to be on the technology roadmap.

Throughout my entire lifetime watching the Jayhawks play basketball has always been more rewarding than watching the Kansas City Chiefs. It is very unlikely that is going to change any time soon. My current working theory on the Kansas City Chiefs involves a theory that they just want to be competitive as a franchise. The goal does not appear to actually win a championship. We may see some major changes in the Chiefs organization this year or things may just continue on in the same way they have for a generation. I read some very unflattering articles about the Chiefs today.
Topic 3: Understanding the world around us

Yesterday we started digging into the nature of my year long inquiry into values. Understanding the world around us is getting harder and harder. We face a world that is no longer narrated for us in a curated way. Our institutions of shared perspective have been fading away into algorithmic based social networks. The public mind used to share the experience of common national news broadcasts and newspapers. All of that seems to be changing no one thing holds that much of our attention anymore. Nothing really commands a very large amount of nationwide attention anymore. I put a book by Tim Wu on my wishlist the other day. It is titled, “The attention merchants.” At some point this year I plan on reading that book. Real true marketing that seeks to gain the attention of the people is getting more complex to achieve. Targeting has gotten easier, but mass communication has gotten harder. Mostly that is true due to the changing ways the masses come together.

Topic 4: Allergies and writing

Today is my second day of taking Zyrtec. Overall my reaction to the allergy pill is less pronounced today. It does appear to be working. I have been able to engage in an early morning writing session and an evening writing session this week. For better or worse I’m having to write the bulk of my 3,000 words in one evening writing session. That is pretty much what I thought would happen. Over the years I have written in spurts. Large outputs of writing have always been a part of how things happen.

This sitting down and trying to engage in 3,000 words of purposeful writing is a new wrinkle in my writing routine. At this point, I am pretty much writing during any spare moment that comes up. That means writing in Google Keep on my phone and writing within my daily Google Doc. I’m hoping this copy and paste challenge fades away shortly. Adding formatting to 6 pages of single spaced content for an entire year will be highly frustrating. I might even consider flipping the script by just writing in WordPress and cutting and pasting the content back into Google Docs.

I may move back to Microsoft Word later this week. On a hunch, I went ahead and moved back to Microsoft Word and it fixed my cut and paste problems. Something must be going on with Google Docs today. Maybe somebody changed something in the code and people are telling tem just how annoying the code change is within the forms. Google Docs is entirely web delivered and that type of conde can be updated very easily. I just changed the font in this word processor to Times New Roman from Arial. Most of the time I do not end up thinking about fonts or formatting. I just go with whatever the word processor uses by default and I keep moving forward. That is pretty much in line with my writing methods. The content is always more important than the packaging when it comes to digital writing. Formatting can change at anytime, but the content should remain the same no matter what. Maybe things will return to normal tomorrow.

The game is in the second half now and it is very competitive. This year games are going to be a lot closer than in previous years. It may be a combination of the league being better and of the Jayhawks only playing 7 players. It is going to be a very interesting year. Today I cannot seem to get comfortable to write. Sitting still and writing for 2 hours requires finding a comfortable position.

Topic 5: Working on being more active

Right now in the basement my walking desk is just hanging out. Tomorrow I need to make sure to spend an hour or two hours working from my walking desk. Controlling my weight has always been about walking more and my walking desk is one way to make that happen. Sitting for more than 8 hours during the day is a terrible idea. I need to move around a little bit more. My goal for this year is to drop about 27 pounds. Adding about 3 to 5 miles per day of walking to my routine will probably make that happen.

800 words to go and fading fast. The Jayhawks beat the Cyclones of Iowa State tonight. The game was pretty much the only television that got turned on tonight. Maybe I should have spent more time reading about cryptocurrencies. I know how blockchains work and the other day I read the paper that started it all. Not only did I learn about the mechanics, but also I even read a conspiracy theory that Elon Musk invented bitcoin. Maybe at some point we will find out more about Satoshi Nakamoto. Naturally, I would not count Elon out of the race, but I am surprised the secret has lasted this long. I think it is interesting that an anonymous contribution could have such far reaching impacts.

Topic 6: Oh NiceHash

I’m pretty sure that the using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 – Beta software is not going to make money fly into my bank account. My NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card is currently estimated to mine about USD 3.93 per day. That is enough to probably buy a taco (or a taco equivalent) everyday. After searching my archives I discovered that the graphics card from NVIDIA cost me $331.10 with tax and shipping. At the current rate of payout from NiceHash assuming all other things stay equal it will take about 100 days to pay off my 2016 graphics card. That payoff is just looking at cost of the card vs. money received.
Today I’m probably going to plug in my electricity calculator into the wall and figure out the cost of running my computer with NiceHash on and with NiceHash off. That will pretty much calculate the cost of running my GTX 1060 graphics card at full speed all day. Figuring out the payoff horizon will be a lot more accurate after the electricity costs are removed. This computer runs every day using either Ubuntu linux or Windows 10. The only electricity cost that needs to be removed will be from the difference between the standard operating level and the NiceHash operating level.

Topic 7: Some guitar renovations

It appears that the bridge on my Jackson Kelly custom guitar has rusted. That probably means that that either it was exposed to a harsh chemical or the flooding in my parents basement finally manifested. All of my guitar equipment was flooded out at one point. We are talking a classic Kansas City basement flooding event. My guitar amplifier was submerged and all of my guitar pedals bit the dust. The guitar may very well have gotten wet in the case. To the best of my recollection the guitar was in the case in the basement. Obviously, it did not get thrown away like the amplifier and other equipment. I can prove that hypothesis by simple observation of the case and guitar. The case is in the basement and the guitar is sitting on a rack next to me.

Secretly I have wanted to replace my Jackson Kelly neck with a removable soloist neck. And probably replace the hardware on the guitar. At that point it would probably just be a better idea to get a cheap previously owned Jackson soloist guitar. Taking the easy road is not always the road that gets taken. If this project happens one part at a time, then it could very well be a multiple year journey to bring together a new guitar. That probably will not be the cheapest way to go in totality, but it might be the best path forward.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker Custom Build and ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. Today seemed to be a day where two new things have been introduced into my daily writing routine. First, I’m probably going to spend the next 100 days mining cryptocurrency. That is part of an applied research project to better understand that industry and the people involved within that industry. People be advised that I do not believe it will be a way to get rich quick. Additionally, for those of you who have watched my YouTube videos you are probably aware that I believe the current value of Bitcoin is a bubble. Second, I’m going to try to figure out how to drop 27 pounds to get under 200 pounds this year. Both of those things will probably figure prominently in my writing for the next 100 days or more. Like anything else that catches my attention we will see how long it can hold my attention for. We may be facing a different state of the weblog discussion at anytime.

Sustained writing toward producing 3,000 words or more per day is changing my writing output and in some ways forcing me to go beyond the surface of things. That is a good start toward beginning a solid inquiry into values. Some of that inquiry is about trying to figure out what things matter to me and help me find purpose. Other parts of the inquiry are focused on trying to understand the values in place around me. Understanding the changes to civil society, to civility, and to our communities is probably as profound as reconciling the eight virtues of Bushidō to modern society. Alternatively, we could spend the rest of the year trying understand the intersection of technology and modernity. Bringing things together in a way that can be shared makes sense, but being concise and clear takes a level of understanding where brevity rings true to show the heart of wit.

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.

Day 9 thinking about my new espresso maker

2018: Day 9 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 23,429 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

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
Broomfield, Colorado
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.

Day 8 the one where a short story happened

2018: Day 8 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 20,392 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Last week fell a little bit short of my writing goal. The week did include 33 single spaced pages, 96,374 characters, and about 16,843 words. All of that was saved in one Google Doc on the cloud. To catch up this week I’m going to have to increase my daily writing target to 3,500 words per day. That target will be a little bit harder to achieve. Playing catch up for a week is reasonable, but having to play catch up week over week will make achieving my writing goal impossible. After one week of marching toward writing 1,000,000 words in a year things seem to be going ok. Even a fight with some wild allergies or maybe some type of cold did not stop my writing output. It did slow it down and that is what we are working to recover from this year. To get back on track today will need to include at least 3,500 words in this weblog post.

That may very well require digging in and writing a short story. Something has to give. This is week two of my 3,000 words per day writing efforts and the door is now open to both fiction and non-fiction efforts. I’m sure some type of mixed model writing exists that mixes fiction and non-fiction. Off the top of my head I would guess a mixed model would involve either a based on a true story thriller or a highly exaggerated autobiography. Neither of those types of efforts appeal to me at the moment. My efforts generally go one way or the other. A few years ago I was producing a ton of fiction chapters, short stories, and other novella type prose. At some point that all just sort of stopped and my recent efforts have mostly been non-fiction based. I really wanted the first week of my efforts to be pure exposition. That seemed to have happened. At some point this year I am forecasting an outburst of fiction type writing.

Clear signposting will let you know when a short story starts and stops within my weblog post writing format. It will be clear enough to ensure that no confusion exists. I do plan on using different posts for different types of formats instead of trying to fit all the content into one post per day. During the course of writing 1,000,000 words in the same year I’m sure some confusion will be caused, but it hopefully will not be from writing structures or signposting. One thing I do find confusing is the naming conventions of the Nespresso Originalline coffee pod capsules. Seriously, I have a ton of sleeves of coffee capsules and I never know until making a beverage what exactly is going to happen. My Starbucks Verismo system always had very clear naming for all of its coffee pods. Most of them were clearly marked. My other initial observation about Nespresso is that the machine are everywhere. You can buy one at a variety of stores all over, but you cannot get any pods for them. The only boutique store near me in Denver is over an hour away.

You may have noticed the awesome snapshot taken as the thumbnail for this weblog post. It is a picture of Captain Pickles the dog looking out the window. That is something that Captain Pickles really enjoys doing. My efforts to take great photographs on a daily basis should benefit from having a Google Pixel 2 XL camera. As smartphones go the Pixel 2 XL has a very good camera. It even manages to take good photos of the very quick and illusive Captain Pickles. Google Photos has been making stylized versions of my photos. Oddly enough I consider it to be a good sign when the algorithm modifies my photos. That probably means they rated fairly high on the interestingness scale.

Short Story: “The Knock” revisited and reimagined

Back in 2013 or 2014 I started writing a novel called “The Knock” one chapter at a time. All of the characters were sketched out and I was ready to produce a whole novel. For some reason back on September 17, 2014 I shared a preview of some chapters. That preview included about 2,583 words. Today I’m going to revisit that preview and extend from that initial cut at things to write a short story. It is possible that in the middle of that in typical Nels fashion I will write something entirely different. That happens far more than you can imagine. Those three chapters set a pretty solid foundation for the novel I was thinking about writing at the time. Given that I do not want to cut and paste something written in 2013 or 2014 into this writing challenge something is going to have to give here. My initial thought is to rewrite the 3 chapters after years of improving as as writer. That might be a good idea to get the ball rolling or I could start to work out what would have been the 2nd novel in the series.

Ok, I may have come up with a hybrid approach. Maybe I should just start writing chapter 4 and flash back into better rewrites of the content that was in chapters 1, 2, and 3 from my original 2013 and 2014 writing efforts. This may be the best approach. In the future people who pick up the novel in paperback format or some e-reader might wonder why it starts at chapter 4, but that is a problem for future Nels to explain. However, it seems like a wave of procrastination has kicked off and I’m cleaning up my office vs. writing a short story. Maybe this is a part of the idea percolation process. Maybe just maybe this little bit of procrastination is a good thing.

Short Story: Chapter 4 of The Knock: A Novel from the Robert Heart Series

The Knock: A Novel from the Robert Heart Series
Chapter 4 (Preview)
Aspen, Colorado

Weather could get pretty extreme in Aspen, Colorado. Winter had started early this year with a few light snow falls. Things had leveled out to an unusual warm period. Most of the folks in the area wished for a healthy amount of winter snowfall. The mail stop near the condo unit had a bunch of letters for Walter K. Wilburton. Selling people timeshare condominiums near ski resorts was sure fire way to get on all sorts of mailing lists. Once people start sending you mailers they rarely stop even if you never respond. People in the area knew that Walter traveled all the time for business and it might be some time before letters got picked up. Some pine needles had built up on the edge of the Trex deck, but that would not hurt anything. Not this time of year.

For the last few years Walter had been working out of both Aspen and Breckenridge. Selling condos was a great way network with folks while staying below the radar for any government service. Walter was not fond of social networks or anything where people shared photos or videos. Walter lived a very spartan existence. Everything that Walter did was designed to allow the outside world to accept and move on. Walter had to make very hard choices and live with the consequences and uncertainty.

Sometimes people shout out revolutionary ideas at bars or write about them online. These days both are happening with a great frequency. The knock as a recruitment technique is hard to explain. It is the kind of chance that comes only once in lifetime for a chosen few. Walter had been a part of making those choices for more than 20 years. It is easy to say that modern society has faced a decline of civility. In response, to this decline a few renegade individuals had decided to adopt an older way. A large number of philosophies exist. The way of the samurai has survived centuries and technologies advance. None of that really motivated Walter. It was a simple belief in service and the duty associated with it that helped Walter push forward every day.

Walter woke up every day and used an iPad with a data plan from AT&T to send emails and work with people who wanted to either buy, sell, or rent a condo. That part of the day only explained part of what Walter did on a daily basis. That job allowed Walter to meet interesting people who had a history of traveling. Assets had to have and maintaining a legitimate history of travel. That was one of the most important parts of the process. Equally important to having natural travel patterns was a certain spark. It was something that Walter could identify better than anybody else on the planet. Approaching an asset was always a delicate matter. Walter handled it the same way every time. It happened with a knock on the door in the middle of the night.

Walter would make sure they were along and start the same conversation that always happened with different people. It was something that Walter did a couple times a year. Bringing somebody in to the fold was challenging. One false move and things could go very sideways in the digital age. Recruitment had been getting harder and harder over the years. Managing a decentralized network of assets completely off the grid was a skill that not very many people possessed. Only having face to face conversations and only working with trusted people is a different model of managing things.

This is the end of Chapter 4

The chapter I wrote today felt a little bit forced and is probably a false start. Instead of jumping into a chapter style format it probably would have been smarter to just try to write a tight self contained short story. Something that opens and closes during the same writing session. Trying to go back to the well and expand on an existing set of chapters was a little bit ambitious. It may have been worth it to get things moving, but it was not my best work. That chapter will probably need to be rewritten at some point. Most chapters in thriller or mystery books could not stand along. They are not written to be stand alone short stories.

Topic 1: Repacking some of my old videos for YouTube with commentary

One of the things I have spent some time thinking about is maybe repackaging some of my old videos for YouTube with commentary. They are not the highest quality video efforts. Most of them are on tapes. I know right… they are on actual magnetic tapes. Some of them are digital on tape and some of them are classic analog tape based video creations. That collection of work includes two movies that were filled a long time ago, but were never fully edited together. It might be fun to work on editing them together. With my new writing endeavor making the team to edit video that is more than decade old is probably just an indulgent project vs. something that would push things forward.

Format changes have really made huge changes in digital content. My original Sony camcorder recorded on Hi8 tapes or something analog. I’m not entirely sure that those original tapes can even be played back these days. A Sony camcorder is sitting on the top shelf of my bookshelf. To the best of my recollection that camcorder plays digital tapes. Maybe this week I will find a few minutes to figure that one out for sure. I vaguely remember having to hook up a firewire card to pull content off my digital camcorder. That will probably require both finding a firewire card and locating a firewire cable. My 4K Storm Stryker system does not really have or use firewire. That standard has not been a part of my computer setup in years.

It turned out that 2 camcorders are sitting on the shelf. They were really high up in the air and getting to them is going to require carrying the ladder inside from the garage. It is possible based on the video quality of smartphones that those are the last camcorders that I will ever purchase. I took a couple of minutes and searched for camcorders online. It seems most people are actually using cameras to take video. It seems that vlogger have started using DSLR with and without mirrors to take 4K video. Maybe things will get shaken up again and 4K will go to 8K or maybe even 10K video quality this year.

During the end of 2017 I really did start to see people buying 4K televisions from places like Best Buy, Costco, and other box stores. It is generally pretty obvious that people are buying televisions. The current ones being sold are over 60 inches. That type of television size requires a little bit of planning to move around from the store to home.

Topic 2: Season 11 of the X-Files

At some point last year, I know season 10 of the X-Files happened or something to that effect. After watching the first episode of season 11 of the X-Files I’m not entirely sure that I remember watching the last season. It must have been on in the background and it was not memorable or I don’t exactly remember it. The first episode of season 11 was a little jarring. Things have certainly changed from season one to season 11.

Topic 3: Today has enough time for one more major writing session

My routines have changed in some meaningful ways in the last week. Pretty much every spare moment that I have has spent writing. Last week my writing output should have been much longer, but some things slowed me down. I read an article about a writer that uses a dictation program instead of a keyboard to increase writing output. That is something that I tried a couple years ago. At the time the Dragon dictation software was not accurate enough to make the speed increase worth it. So many transcription errors occurred that it took me forever to edit the content back into a presentable form. Writing on keyboard produces decent prose from the first pass. Most of the editing that has to be done is just cosmetic grammar errors.

I’m sure that dictation software has improved and maybe it is time to get it a shot again. Maybe at some point this year that is something that I will try out as part of my efforts to write 1,000,000 words in the same year. Maybe this is the post where I will take the time to write down my writing tips for getting the most of a writing session. The things that work for me may very well not work for anybody else. My primary method of writing involves sitting down in front of the keyboard and engaging in stream of consciousness type writing. Sharing some legitimate writing tips may be a subject to tackle for another day.

This effort to write 1,000,000 words is pretty much my, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.” Maybe my writing skills are not on par with Robert Pirsig, but my year long inquiry into values through writing 3,000 words per day could help me improve as a writer. Maybe that is the answer to any questions about why it would be a good idea to strive toward writing 1,000,000 words in a year. The answer would be as straightforward as my inquiry into values and examining the world around me. Maybe tonight after I finish writing 3,500 words for the day I’ll read a few pages of Zen. In terms of the books on my shelves Zen probably has the most wear and tear of any book I own. Maybe later I will snap a photo of that book and use it as a thumbnail for a weblog post. That post will probably include a ton of words about the book and what it has meant to me over the years. Right now I’m not producing a high enough quality of prose to tackle that incredibly meaningful subject.

Later however when it comes time to look back on this endeavor and where it ends up in terms of having a big writing year that last paragraph may end up being the cornerstone of everything that gets put together this year. I’m very curious to see how well this ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P holds up throughout my big year.

Topic 4: Writing that extra 500 words to catch up today

I’m thinking about getting a haircut tomorrow. At some point this week my regular YouTube broadcasts need to start up again. Live streaming was a regular part of my routine for several months last year. I’m going to try to engage in both creating videos and writing 3,000 words per day. However, if a choice has to be made, then that choice will be to error on the side of writing vs. creating video. Last year I spent some time trying to figure out how to vlog and how to live stream. It was a lot easier to live stream content at 4K quality than to create a daily vlog. Remembering to capture clips throughout the day and editing them all together was interesting, but it eventually got a little bit old and I moved to live streaming instead. Part of writing every day is about finding a voice and being willing to truly engage topics in a meaningful way. Some of it is just writing for the sake of writing and getting used to that type of sustained mental activity. The physical strain of writing for hours seems to be manageable. I try to stay in a relaxed position and avoid any type of strain. At the end of the year we will see how things are going. I’m assuming that this ASUS Chromebook C101P will give out before I cannot physically write anymore. After a week of mostly writing on this Chromebook it felt a little strange to go back to my Microsoft natural ergonomic keyboard 4000 for business. I have the wired model of the keyboard and it works just fine.

Topic 5: Mobile data rates are the worst

Technological advancements abound. We live in a time where the intersection of technology and modernity is rapidly approaching. Mobile data rates are still widely frustrating for millions of people. Advancements in wireless data transmission should begin to change the game. At some point, mobile data rates have to go from being the worst parts of wireless contracts to being a thing of the past. Maybe the internet is going to become increasingly costly, but I had hoped that it would keep becoming easier and easier to use and access. Most of the use cases related to streaming and using the internet like a television are highly data intensive. For the most part, my access to high speed internet has not changed in the last five years. I should probably learn more about the infrastructure reasons that was true.

Tonight John Paul managed to download a gigabyte of Netflix shows using a mobile network. Oddly enough this did not involve watching Netflix the shows were just downloading in the background to the phones memory. All of that happened due to somebody learning how to download shows to watch offline and thinking that was a fantastic thing to do. If it had happened over the home internet, then we probably would not have noticed. Having it happen over the mobile internet sent off some alarm bells in the form of mobile data alerts.

I’m closing in on writing 3,500 words today. That is both interesting and exciting. This type of writing output involved three different writing sessions. First, an early morning writing sessions that was not all that productive, but did kick off writing process. Second, a mid day writing session that happened to line up with the kids naptime. That second writing session is where the bulk of the writing occured. Third, this evening writing sessions while Kaylee is going to sleep seems to be just rounding out the day. I could sit and write for another hour or more, but sleep is probably inevitable at this point.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker Custom Build and ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs

P.S. Tomorrow may very well be the first day of the new year that my office will be clean. A lot of traveling around and being very busy have created a huge mess that needs to be cleaned up. Things have gotten piled all over the place and they need to be sorted out. Cleaning my office is not exactly something that happens on a regular basis. It happens on a semi-regular cycle that is spawned by a random series of unfortunate events. Most of the time a pile of some sort falls over and that triggers the cycle.

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

Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.

Day 7 a solid weeks worth of observations about writing 3K WPD

2018: Day 7 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 16,843 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

I went back through my week of epic writing weblog posts and added an opening to each day. The last seven days have been epic. Now that you have been able to enjoy a solid week of lengthy weblog posts I am sure that you are ready to truly enjoy 2018. That new weblog post opening sequence includes the day of the challenge and an approximate word count. At some point along the journey to 1,000,000 words written in 2018 I’m going to figure out or write an automated plugin that counts the words for me. That seems like a good use of my coding skills. Maybe some type of writing plug exists that will show daily writing statistics or something that effect. I’m sure some other writers are looking for daily writing statistics within their weblogs.

Today was the day I finally opened up and played my 25th anniversary edition 180 gram vinyl pressing of R.E.M.’s album Out of Time. Throughout all of my efforts to update my posts with interesting statistics about my journey the album Out of TIme was playing. For those of you who may not be aware I picked up an audio-technica AT-LP60 stereo turntable that connects to my Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speakers. That configuration has worked well enough for listening to music for the last few years. Sure better turntables exist these days. The number of really awesome and epic models has exploded recently. This one works well enough for my needs. At some point I might upgrade, but that is probably going to happen any time soon.

My Audioengine A5+ speakers have been great. They provide audio with a clearly defined right channel and a clearly defined left channel. Most of my records were recorded with just two channels in mind. Some folks call that stereo. To that end it seemed like a good idea to setup my office sound system with just two desktop speakers that were ready to bring audio joy to my life. At one point that was a continuous playlist from my Warren Zevon seeded Pandora station, but lately it has been a mix of full digital album plays and vinyl records.

Topic 1: Today’s scenic thumbnail image

Those algorithms over at the Google Photos server made a stylized black and white photo from one of the downtown San Antonio photos I took. That photo seemed decent enough and was chosen as the thumbnail for the weblog post today. One of the real challenges hidden within my march toward writing 3,000 words per day is picking good featured images for my weblog post and social media thumbnail. Taking a really good photo that captures the essence of each day is going to be a serious challenge. Years ago my random photo taking skills were nearing epic proportions. They were really good. These days I just don’t manage to pull my phone out and snap random photographs in the same ways. Briefly the idea of using a selfie each day crossed my mind, but that however was quickly rejected.

Topic 2: keeping up with 3,000 words per day on the weblog is hard

Please keep in mind that I write way more than 3,000 words per day. Between Microsoft Office products, emails, chat sessions, and random social media posts my output far exceeds my 3,000 words per day target. Those words however will never grace my weblog screen. That means that keeping with a true 3,000 words per day in a weblog publishable format is going to be hard. My overall goal is to focus on writing 1,000,000 words on this weblog in the same year. That year being 2018. The daily target to help me achieve that 2018 goal is 3,000 words per day.

I watched yet another Andertons Music Company YouTube video. This one happened to be titled, “Blackstar 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Amps.” That probably slowed down my word output for the day by just a little bit. Certainly that has to wholesale be Rob’s fault. Writing on my main computer is a little bit different. I’m using a 34 inch monitor with my word processor on the right half and the aforementioned YouTube video playing on the left half of the monitor. You may be wondering how the audio is getting from the computer to my Audioengine A5+ speakers. That digital to analog conversion is happening via an Audioengine D1 24-bit DAC/Headphone AMP. Seriously, I never thought a digital to analog converter would make a difference, but it does. At some point when inspiration strikes I will try to provide a more articulate full throated explanation of D1, but today is not that day.

Topic 3: A Kansas City Chiefs home playoff game

Today is the day Kansas City will be hosting a home playoff game. This year I got to attend a home Kansas City Chiefs game. The Kansas City Chiefs played the Miami Dolphins. It was cold. Arrowhead stadium was pretty much the same place I remember visiting as a kid. Kansas City really does have a great setup for driving to games and parking with relative ease. Going to a game in Denver is a lot wilder proposition. Parking is harder and you cannot really see the same type of tailgating that you see in Kansas City.

Today should be a very interesting. We will be making nachos. Based on some nachos I got in San Antonio. They had an interesting mix of toppings including chips, a cheese sauce, some type of microgreens, sliced black olives, sall avocado pieces, pickled jalapeno slices, very thin fresh radish slices, and slices of cherry tomatoes. Today I will be making the same type of nachos during the Kansas City Chiefs game. Maybe I will compare my nachos to the photo taken of my San Antonio nachos. That sounds like a brilliant case for a side by side comparison.

This morning involved some housekeeping. Dry cleaning was picked up. Christmas lights were taken down. At some point, I’m going to take down the Christmas tree. Taking the tree down is pretty easy and should probably happen before we watch the Chiefs game today. The tree disembles into about 5 pieces. They fit into this very large bag. Seriously, the bag is pretty heavy. Next year we may switch back to a live tree.

The game is about to start. Most of the professional pundits seem to think Kansas City has good shot at defeating the Tennessee TItans. I’m getting ready to watch the game eat some nachos.

Topic 4: Gearing up to take action

The Christmas tree has been taken down. I believe it is a General Electric pre-lit Christmas tree from Costco. It was heavy. All of the pieces have been taken apart and are in a giant red bag. That bag is now in the basement. That tree will probably spend the majority of the year in the giant red bag in the basement. You will at some point be able to look at the book end weblog posts that describe putting up the tree and taking down the tree. We will be able to see if putting up the tree is more exciting than taking it down. That is probably the case, but I seem to be blocking out how the tree got up the stairs last year.

It was a process to gear up to take down the tree. That process involved eating lunch and storing up just enough motivation to jump in and take care of the tree. Getting to that point was not very easy. I had to gear up to taking action. Staying positive is very important. Staying real time and keeping things off the to do list is very important. That is why having to gear up to take action was so much troubling.

My outlook on things is firmly grounded in the idea of staying positive. Enjoying life and having fun is about staying positive and having fun. That might sound simple enough to read, but it is also pretty simple to say. It remains a little bit harder to think about. Staying positive and keeping a positive outlook might take a little bit of effort at first. After some time you might just find that staying positive will transition into just being positive.

Topic 5: Hope and the NFL playoffs

Unlike some folks I’m not mad at the NFL this year. Like most Kansas City Chiefs fans I am hopeful that they will do well in the playoffs. That slump in the middle of the year did not inspire confidence in the team, but every playoff game is a chance to move on. A home game is an even better shot at moving on in the playoffs. I’m still surprised that Andy Reid asked the fans to stop tailgating a little bit early and ensure the stadium was full at kick off. It does appear that they gave out some type of towel to the fans for the game. My new Xbox One S support 4K, but my TV and my cable provider do not support 4K broadcast content. Apparently, my cable provider has some limited content on a Television based application that only runs on Samsung and maybe a few LG televisions. They call it the Ultra HD Sampler App. To me it is just a pile of disappointment.

Let’s consider for a moment the primary use cases for how people will consume 4K content. First, people are buying 4K televisions. They were all over the seasonal holiday advertisements and I personally witnessed them flying off the shelves at Costco this year. Second, people are starting to get smartphones, tablets, and other devices that support very high resolutions. Third, a number of folks have desktop computers capable of displaying 4K content. None of those use cases have been enough to motivate the cable company to start delivering 4K content in a meaningful way. I see a number of advertisements about satellite based 4K channel delivery.

We are more likely to go internet only than to subscribe to satellite television again. We cut the cord and went internet only for several years. That was fine. We had a TiVo and it recorded over the air content. I’m sure TiVo has gotten much better at being a content hub since my cord cutting days. A quick search of my weblog told me that the last time I mentioned TiVo was 2012. It looks the first references happened during 2011. I may do some searches on my collective works to see if anything shows up. To the best of my recollection we liked having TiVo. It worked pretty well and I remember liking it.

It does appear that my TiVo box is still in the basement hanging out in a box. Maybe at some point I’ll bring it upstairs and get it plugged in. I’m sure the modern boxes are much better, but it would be interesting to see what is still saved on it. It would be like a digital time capasle of pure nonsense.

Topic 6: Taking the time to edit all these posts

Writing and producing prose has been my primary goal this week. Taking the time to read through my posts and edit them as not been my primary focus. Now that I’m sitting here watching the Kansas City Chiefs and reflecting on things that stood out to me. Sometimes sitting down and watching a good game can help me focus. Nothing helps clear my mind like two hours of focusing in and out of an NFL game. It has been a long time since watching a game without interruption from start to finish was an option. That pretty much extends to all of my time these days. I can break out a few hour and half hour blocks.

Editing something takes a little bit of perspective. That normally starts to develop several hours after writing something. Writing and editing the same prose in on session is problematic. Sometimes that same sentence with a grammatical error will seem ok during the same writing session, but the next day I could correct it. Right now my writing efforts have yielded about 15,441 words so far. That is actually a little bit behind schedule. Seven days at 3,000 words per day would equal out to 21,000 words. You may have deduced that I need to have a little 5,559 word burp of productivity to catch up here today for the week. That may require picking a topic that inspired a little writing passion and going with it.

Topic 7: Just going with it — My thoughts on getting an education

I’m sitting here trying to figure what what topic could anchor this week with a 5,000 word explosion of productivity. Those couple days of allergies in Texas did slow me down just a little bit. This will be a good lesson for the rest of the year. It is better to keep up with the 3,000 word writing goal each day vs. having to work really hard to catch up. Based on my list of writing topics that has been appended to the bottom of each post now would be the time to write about my thoughts on higher education.

My thoughts on getting an education

Trying to give somebody feedback on getting an education is a tricky topic to tackle. My honest thoughts on education are that you get out of it what you put into it. That might sound simplistic, but it is really my attempt at sharing an absolute truth. Say for example that you take an introduction to public administration class. That class is either going to use a textbook or have a guided journey through a syllabus full of classic citations. Either way you are going to have a chance to absorb a lot of information and learn about the field of public administration. Somebody who attends all the lecture and skims the reading materials will probably move through the course like most of the students in any college course. Somebody who does not attend any of the lectures, but takes the time to really read and understand every word of the source materials will probably have a rock solid command of the material.

That is basically how learning works. You get out of it what you put into it. Some folks will get a college education and will go on to a career. They might look back and thing that they could have gotten more out of certain classes or they could have gotten more out of the experience. I did not really start taking my classes seriously until graduate school. You might have read that last sentence and frowned. As a truly reflective practitioner I spend time thinking about what could have been done better. That is always a great question. You don’t want to spend all your time second guessing or breaking things down, but it is healthy to spend a certain amount of time thinking that way. I could have absorbed a lot more information during my undergraduate years.

I did not really pick a direction and start moving toward it until later in my college career. That is really the crux of my thoughts on education and getting an education. I look at it based on two key factors. First, handling the process of getting an education. Second, figuring out what all of that education is going to do for you as you move forward into a career. A lot of professions require a certain amount of education and that forms the basis of a career. Going to school and getting an education to enter a certain profession is a lot safer a course of action than getting an education and trying to plot a career after graduation. Think about that proposition for just a second. Seriously, beginning with the end in mind and working toward that goal is always an easier value proposition to justify.

Topic 8: The Chiefs 2nd half

During the first half things seemed to be going well. People in Kansas City were happy and the game seemed in hand. Maybe things did not go well at halftime. Throughout the start of the 2nd half things have gone poorly for the Kansas City Chiefs. Marcus Mariota just passed the ball to Marcus Mariota via a deflection for a touchdown in a playoff game. That happened. Travis Kelce has also been ruled out. Those two things happening are probably enough to make the 11 point lead seem suspect. We will see if the Kansas City Chiefs can stand up to some adversity and play defense while focusing on running the ball.

Now the Chiefs have gone 3 and out… they need to focus. Somebody from the Tennessee Titans special teams just ran into the punter. Oh no… a phantom offsetting penalty… here we go again with the punt. Wow that was an amazing turn of events… the punt was fumbled and recovered by the Kansas City Chiefs. This game has gotten rather exciting. I may sit here and react to the rest of the game. It has been a long time since i went with a sporting event live blog. People still do live blogs of things, but it seems to be something that peaked a long time ago. Now it seems that people would be more likely to react to a sporting event by sending out a tweet storm. That Chiefs field goal attempt that just hit the bar will be inspiring tweets from people for the next hour. That wave of social media interactions is about to unfold.

The Chiefs are probably going to have to abandon the running game and move to a short passing based offense. Only 2 minutes are left until the 4th quarter, but the game seems to have really had a swing. Even the Arrowhead stadium crowd is a little hesitant. Everybody has moved into the main television room here in the house. We are all just hoping that Kansas City has a few defensive stands here and close out the game.

I’m pretty much in the write about what happens mode. That pretty much means that I will be writing about the things that catch my interest and are happening around me. Oh that last touchdown rushing play by the Tennessee Titans just made things very interesting. They had an illegal shift during the 2 point attempt and that penalty just got declined. The Kansas City Chiefs are up by 5 in the 4th quarter protecting a lead during a playoff home game. Nobody can say the game is not interesting.

To mix things up I just fed the dogs. This game is getting wild. Both Captain Pickles and Peppercorn were ready for dinner. At the veterinarian clinic today Captain Pickles weighed in at just under 50 pounds. Soon enough our puppy will stop growing so rapidly, but probably not for another few months. The Chiefs just failed to convert on a 3rd down and 2 yards to go play. This next drive will be very interesting. This is playoff football in the National Football League. This drive with 10:00 minutes to test the Chiefs defense.

Timeout with just under 7 minutes left in the game. My Chromebook battery has run out of charge. I’m now just texting this on my phone. Writing on my phone is much slower, bit that is ok. This game has been stressful. Tennessee scored and went for 2 and failed. The Chiefs are now down 22 to 21 with more than 6 minutes left. This game went from potential blowout to very competitive. I wanted the rest of the game. It was like watching a balloon full of hope deflate every so slowly. This may have been the game where the hope people had for the franchise faded away.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker Custom Build using Google Docs

P.S. As this week comes to a close it would be good to take a moment and recognize how important writing with a purpose is writing quality prose. My goal for next week will be to change directions and start working toward writing about one solid topic for 3,000 words a clip. That may take a little bit more planning and a lot more focus. Part of this entire exercise is focused on improving my overall writing skills. That is something that will pay dividends on a go forward basis. Part of what I want to accomplish is developing a more fluid and conversation writing tone that can span several pages of contained purposeful prose. That I believe is something reasonable to accomplish within a year. You could sum it up within a simple proposition related to writing better essays.

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
— Short story “The Knock”

Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.

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.