Tonight, is one of those nights where I am glad that we have a YouTube TV subscription. This time around it is not due to a Kansas Jayhawks game. It happens to be due to a Monday night football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. Officiating in these games makes such a big difference. At the moment, I’m wondering how this game will go. It just started, but every play so far has been full of bright yellow flags flying all over the field. Oh well, I’m invested so far in watching the rest of the game. Throughout the evening my attention has been focused on finishing up the, “Recommendation Systems with TensorFlow on GCP,” course by Google Cloud on Coursera. That is the last course that I need to finish up my, “Advanced Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform,” specialization on Coursera. I should be able to finish up the 5-course specialization tonight. Throughout the last year, I have been really invested in completing the Google Cloud courses being offered on the Coursera platform. Overall, the courses have been really good. Some people like to play video games. I prefer doing course work at night to help focus my thoughts and let me relax my mind. The first quarter is about half over and things are not looking very good. Maybe things will calm down here and the Rams offence will slow down. 6 bright yellow flags have already been thrown against the Chiefs. I’m going to have to put on my headphones and focus on some lectures. Nobody is going to throw any flags against my learning efforts tonight.
We got to attend a Colorado Avalanche hockey game this weekend. Visiting the Pepsi Center in Denver is always an adventure. It is a reasonably fun and all around nice place to attend a sporting event. Throughout the entire event the people around us were very nice to use beyond simple civility.
It seems like a long time ago that I first visited the Pepsi Center. That was back during the CU Boulder days. We ended up getting tickets outside the event right before the game. It was fun enough that it was memorable.
Today seemed like a good day to spin up the Google Docs and do some writing. My goal for the moment is to write for the next thirty minutes without stopping. It seems that Google Docs is able to save my writing efforts in near real time. That pretty much means that the hardware could fail at anytime and my words would live on in the Google Docs cloud. Things like that seem pretty straightforward now, but they are rather increible compared to a decade ago.
Writing today will be occurring to an epic soundtrack. It is far too late for coffee, but it is just the right time of day to listen to the 2017 album New Millennium from the band Dream Theater. The album has the subtitle, “The Classic Broadcast 1999/Live Recording.” It might be my favorite album of 2017. Buying vinyl records continues to be one of my hobbies. I almost wrote habits, but changed out the word to hobbies. Maybe habits is a better description. It was a phrasing that seemed a little off to me at the time. Hobbies are important. A small stack of my paintings exist in the basement. Recently my myriad of hobbies has streamlined into collecting: vinyl records, sports trading cards, and guitar pedals.
Collecting sports trading cards has been a part of my routines since the early 90’s. Sure that might seem like a long time ago. It really does feel like a long time ago. You could literally say it was not even this millennium and be accurate. Writing about writing might be less than interesting, but writing about hobbies could fall right into that same categories. My interest in sports trading cards probably involves a mix of nostalgia and my interest in statistics. Each card really is a snapshot. Sports trading cards capture a moment.
It seemed like a good idea to watch the NBA draft tonight. The NBA draft is fairly easy to watch. It only lasts 2 rounds. Every pick goes by pretty quickly. I was curious where stand out University of Kansas basketball star Frank Mason III would end up being drafted. Pontificators seemed to be guessing the 2nd round would be where Frank would go. That turned out to be true. I’m not sure if the Sacramento Kings will end up keeping the pick. They probably should. I will make sure to pick up some Denver Nuggets tickets when the Sacramento Kings come to play.
Politics seems to be dividing folks at an ever increasing rate. My interests are geared toward figuring out how to increase civic engagement and help people work together. We have so many things to accomplish as a society. Opportunities exist to move things forward. We just have to decide to strengthen the social fabric and encourage a higher degree of civility.
We the people have to figure out how to work together to drive things forward. Things are complex and seem to be getting more complex every year. I spent some time thinking about complexity modeling and dealing with complexity theory. From the edges of chaos theory to evaluating machine learning and artificial intelligence my research has been focused, but it has ended up being less than fruitful. That happens from time to time.
Entertainment can be a distraction from politics. A lot of people are probably looking for a distraction from politics this week. Today one example of that is the third game of the 2017 NBA finals. Watching the NBA finals today has been somewhat disappointing. Basketball is something that I generally enjoy watching. Today the first half of the game just did not resonate with me. Overall the rise of senselessly deep three point shots and endlessly rolling offensive sets does not really entertain me. Some of the intensity within the game was interesting.
Today some notes were taken with my Parker fountain pen. Getting back into the habit of taking a few notes throughout the day is healthy. It is a good part of stringing things together. It is amazing just how much I have enjoyed the switch to fountain pens. The sheer amount of enjoyment was unexpected.
College football bowl matchups should be catching my attention. For some reason they are not really catching my attention this year. John Paul has been talking about wanting to go to a Nuggets basketball game. That sounds like an exciting adventure. Weather in Colorado has turned bitterly cold. Walking into the game would be a bit of a challenge. Games at the Pepsi center are usually pretty warm.
Writing is both about the experience and the output. Sometimes a little bit of writing is akin to a little bit of thinking. Making sure you think things through is important. Yet again, I have been thinking about getting a bigger Chromebook to replace my ASUS Flip. Naturally, it would be easy to conclude that I always want the next great computer. It would probably be prodent to recognize that I should just focus on getting the most out of the technology already in my arsenal.
It has been a very interesting and wild week. I went to the Chiefs vs. Broncos game last Sunday. The game was moved from early to late. A touch of food poisoning picked up at the game wiped me out for the rest of the week. It absolutely wiped me out. The experience made me glad I got my flu shot this year. Great health is nothing to take for granted. Sometimes a truly uncomfortable experience is enough to remind you just how important maintaining and sustaining good health can be.
Speaking of thinking about the value of great health, I was going to send a note to the owner of the Cleveland Browns offering to help fix the franchise. It turns out the owner is staying the course. That will render my offer for assistance unnecessary. My theories on recruiting and team building could probably assist Cleveland. Late this month I might sketch out a basic 100 day play. That could be a fun diversionary exercise.
Yesterday involved a late night of television watching. That holds true for a large portion of the nation. It seemed like a good day to change my routines. I was motivated by a lack of sleep and some very real emotion about the election. Today I returned to walking on my treadmill. I knocked out 5,000 steps on that treadmill. Not only does that mark a healthy return to my exercise routine, but also it marks the return of my Fitbit to my daily activities. That return to using a Fitbit reminded me just how much more I wanted from the Fitbit Blaze. I’m not sure why Fitbit has kept the Blaze so spartan in terms of features. It handles showing calendar notices, calls, and texts, but does not do much else outside of tracking basic fitness data. The Fitbit Blaze does provide heart rate tracking, sleep logging, and step counts. That data helps me ensure that I’m getting enough sleep each night and logging at least 10,000 steps a day. With a good routine those things could happen organically, but it is easier to track with good historical data.
This morning I spent some time thinking about the National Football League (NFL). Viewership for the NFL in 2016 is down. This is a slide that will either have to be corrected or things are going to get far worse. We have the NFL RedZone channel. It is a channel we watch in our household throughout most Sundays. The commercial free aspects of the channel are fantastic. Every week I set my fantasy football library lineup. Even with access to every scoring play my enthusiasm for the NFL has been diminished. The games are not fluid to watch anymore. Something has changed. I’m not sure what exactly was the tipping point, but we are clearing on the other side of it.
Back in 2014 Mark Cuban correctly noted problems with NFL oversaturation. I would support a move back to Sunday only games. The Sunday schedule should be broken into four time slots with a late game being featured on the west coast. The games should reasonably follow the sun. Something needs to be done, but change may not come very quickly. The coverage and discussions related to the NFL have been dominated by off the field problems vs. on field content. Social media and the 24 hour news cycle have fueled a year long discussion. The discussion will always last longer than the season.
Over the years, I have collected football trading cards and paid close attention to statistics. That is a part of the game I have cared about for years. Recently, even picking up sports trading cards does not seem to hold my attention. Maybe I am alone in having diminished enthusiasm for the NFL. It is also possible that the NFL has a problem.
Saturday, at the end of the day I took off my Fitbit Blaze smart fitness watch. Nothing compelled me to put it back on this weekend. Maybe it is time to return to wearing my Citizen watch. The promise of smartwatches was certainly compelling. It was a narrative that promised the ability to do so many things. I would probably wear a fairly large watch to forgo having to carry a phone. We will see how long it takes before the Fitbit Blaze returns to my daily routine.
Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day. Be bold. It could end up being a very memorable day. It could be a day that redefines things. Each new day provides the opportunity to be bolder. It provides the opportunity to be better. Each new day provides a host of opportunities. Those opportunities hinge on capturing the moment. The Denver Broncos football team is trying to capture the moment today during the course of playing against the New England Patriots. The past will always be the past. You have to be present and decided to take action in the moment. Taking control of the moment at hand defines us. Being empowered to take control of the moment separates action from inaction. Never abide procrastination. It poisons the well against the action we need to move forward.
The weather in Denver, Colorado is just right for football. Broadcast video quality for the game is excellent. The picture at 1080p is very sharp. At some point, the NFL will radically change the face technology in the United States by filming and broadcasting in 4k resolution. That shift in technology will be a major tipping point for both content provides and home theater systems. We have a Sony Bravia television that is capable of 1080p resolution. It does not appear the cable or satellite television companies will be delivering 4k content this year. Only the NFL as an organization could cause a wholesale technological shift.