On Memorial day

Beyond a day of remembrance our memorial day traditions remind us of service and devotion to the cause of freedom. We remember. We celebrate. We honor.

My next project

Tomorrow I will commence work on a new data collection algorithm. I’m going to have it aggregate news at a very macro level. The algorithm part of the equation will evaluate the magnitude of awareness. An automated process will be setup to determine the top 10 stories of the day and report the number of people aware of each story. It should be pretty easy to build. Most of the scripting is already complete. End of line.

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A very wild birthday

Things should have been pretty calm today. A few things at work bubbled up at the end of the day and changed things from calm to wild sauce. That is a highly technical term to describe a situation where things get wilder than expected.

John Paul’s third birthday happened today. We got a cake from the Rheinlander Bakery. People really seemed to like the cake. It was a chocolate raspberry truffle torte cake. We have one slice left in the refrigerator.

The University of Kansas vs. the University of Texas basketball game had a great first half. I enjoyed watching the second half and really enjoyed hearing the RCJH chant at the end of the game.

For the first time in a long time, I had to fill out some education certification paperwork by hand this week. That was an interesting experience.

A strange week

Nalgene makes some nice water bottles. Last week the good folks at Target sold me a 1,000 milliliter bottle. I’m making a real effort to drink 2,000 milliliters of water per day. My travel water bottle has worked very well.

Cracking a tooth is a very serious matter. Unfortunately, I now understand just how serious. Technology has not really revolutionized dentistry. The entire experience today was a little surreal. I’m still processing exactly what happened.

My office is pretty clean these days. I only have one major pile of papers to deal with at some point this week.

The Oklahoma State University vs. the University of Kansas basketball game will be on ESPN2 tonight. Overall the first half of the game was pretty competitive. Most of the second half was pretty competitive. It was a decent game to watch.

Tomorrow will probably involve both traversing the City of Denver and making a trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences (DMNS).

A curtain rod arrived from Amazon today. It will probably make an appearance in John Paul’s new room this week. Joni acquired some room darkening curtains.

John Paul got the first Super Dinosaur trade paperback today. It was written by Robert Kirkman. Volume #1 was a story time hit. Volume #2 may have to be purchased posthaste.

I picked up a Business Ethics class this term. It should be interesting. A copy of the textbook is already sitting on my shelf.

A day of action

It seemed like the ice maker was making a very strange noise today. After emptying the ice tray and trying to figure out what was going on the answer became clear. One of John Paul’s remote controlled cars was screeching under the fridge. It apparently was trying to drive forward every few minutes. I picked it up and calmly switched engaged the off switch.

A cup of coffee has been brewed. The blinds for John Paul’s room have been acquired from the Home Depot. They are still in the back of my car. I’m trying to summon the energy to put them up in the window. That is easier going to happen tonight or tomorrow.

The Fitbit Surge is now available. By the time I started to order one they were on a 6-8 week shipping delay. Charging my Fitbit Flex has always been a challenge. It normally takes about 5 tries to get the device to charge. The only way I could get it to charge today was resting at an angle on my scarf.

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My Fitbit is charging

 

On Painting a Ceiling

A ceiling had to be painted. It was time. I’m guessing more painting will be in my future. Somebody had previously marked up the ceiling with some type of poster glue and a bunch of random roller strikes. I do really mean random. Home Depot is located just down the street. I picked up a can of basic white paint. They had a ton of choices. A staff member at Home Depot was able to shake the can using a machine.

At the time, it seemed like a good idea to try out a new type of roller. I picked up one of the higher end 9’ rollers with wacky blue lines on it for semi-smooth surfaces. Apparently, the lines help you know when to add more paint to the roller. I’m not sure how much the lines actually helped. It took two coats of paint to cover everything.

At some point today, I’m going to have to venture upstairs and finish painting where the ceiling meets the wall. It should only take about 20 minutes, but it needs to happen today. All of the new furniture should arrive on Saturday and the room needs to be ready. Matching the paint to the trim has been a challenge. I’m probably going to have to repaint the trim, closet doors, and main door within the room. That will probably require a trip to get more pain from Home Depot.

I spent about an hour painting the trim boards on the floor. It was an interesting task. It all worked out in the end. The carpet still looks ok.

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Painting in progress

 

Here we go again

The intersection of technology and modernity has connected our world. Within that nre reality the space between local and global has evaporated.

We spend so much of our energy confronting the now. It exhausts our will to explore. We put up barriers to shield us from things outside our well defined networks. Within our curated world things can seem almost managable.

A world without any surprises limits us. It locks us into mundane patterns. It sustains routines that define how we interact with the world. A little more surprise could spark creativity. It might open the door to new opportunities. Some of the opportunities might even surprise is.

The last day of the year

Today still seems somewhat mysterious. The end of the year is approaching. During my trip to the store today people seemed to be really focused. On what I have no idea. A lot of people seem to be on vacation this week. Taking two weeks of vacation has never really been an option. It must be nice to have that much time off. Working in the operations space pretty much limits the amount of vacation anybody can effectively take. Beyond my regular job — teaching online does not really create the possibility of a prolonged vacation. None of my online teaching appointments have included any vacation days. They typically only include break weeks and holidays.

Last night I slept for 10 hours. Unfortunately, that amount of sleep did not make me more productive today. My productivity always seems to rise and fall. It is never consistent. That is probably the way of things.

It seems that ESPN has an endless string of bowl games. Some of them have been good. Most of them do not hold my interest. Temperatures around Denver plunged below zero yesterday. It was bitterly cold. That type of weather is great for writing. I’m thinking about making a cup of coffee with some hot cocoa mix tonight. Most of the hot cocoa mixes seem to contain a lot of sugar. I’m trying to stay away from sugar these days. On December 10, 2014, I instituted a diet soda moratorium. Inadvertently — I actually gave up all soda. It has been about 20 days. It turns out that I don’t need to drink soda.

Coffee is an entirely different vice altogether. Each day seems to have been fueled by at least two cups of coffee. That habit is somewhat costly. We had to pick up some new K-Cups. I enjoy having a wide variety of different coffee K-Cups. A multipack of K-Cups was on sale this week at Costco.

On The Great Laptop Search

Searching for a new laptop has been interesting. My HP Envy X2 has failed. I’m not buying another Hewlett-Packard computer. Picking the right laptop used to be easier. During my trip to Kansas City, I visited Micro Center, Best Buy, Office Depot, and Costco in search of the perfect laptop. I ended up surfing around Amazon for a couple hours. My needs are pretty straightforward. The laptop needs to have a sub 13 inch screen, be lightweight, and have strong battery life. I had toyed with buying a Chromebook, but teaching online involves Cisco VPN and Citrix. Both of those technologies seem to require Windows. Some of the ultrabooks look pretty awesome, but they are very expensive. The HP Envy X2 only lasted two years. It is the first laptop style derive that has not lasted 4 years.