The one with a Rolling Stone magazine

Few memorable things happen at airports. We mostly remember what it is like to get to or return from an airport. They are places that exist between the beginning and end of a journey. Today was somewhat different. We ended up at the airport several hours early with a very tired 3 year old. At the end of the 3 hour adventure, a copy of the April 23, 2015 issue of Rolling Stone magazine is sitting in my Timbuk2 messenger style bag. That bag is sitting under an aisle seat on a Southwest airplane. Today that airplane is traveling nonstop between Orlando, Florida, and Denver, Colorado. A copy of Rolling Stone magazine is not something that normally resides in my travel bag. An interview about a film that Frances Bean Cobain helped produce sparked the purchase. I pretty much read things from cover to cover. Reading that way has been one of my more peculiar and enduring habits since high school debate. John Paul fell asleep as the airplane was taking off.

John Paul is an incredibly peaceful sleeper. It is an honest sleep. A brand of sleep that is necessary to replenish some very honoree batteries.

Somehow two different classes got assigned to me this term. Throughout the next 12 weeks I will be teaching an introductory level business class and a principles of management class. It should be interesting. During the 4 hour flight from Orlando to Denver, I logged onto the Southwest Airlines satellite based wireless internet service and participated in both classrooms. The internet speeds on the flight were slower than usual.

Getting logged into the classrooms involved a browser switch from the new Windows 10 Spartan to Firefox. The classroom system eCollege must not be fully compatible with Spartan or the connection was to slow to function properly. The main course page had to be refreshed several times just to get things running properly. Slowness like that mixed with constant refreshing makes for a very frustrating online experience.

My new goal for 2015 will involve only working on projects that can be published. A large amount of my time over the last few years has been spent on projects that could not be published. That is something that needs to change.

That one with a DIA to MCO flight

The flight between Denver and Orlando will last about three hours. That time has been earmarked to work on an economics related paper. Today is the day to write a rough draft. The paper does not have a title yet, but the theory has shown some promise. I’m thinking about calling the new algorithm the econ-o-swarm. Writing the majority of a paper during a 3 hour window will be challenge. Now is the time to set a timer and see what happens. Sometimes a little bit of pressure can help push things forward.

Buying a Chromebook might happen during this trip. The battery life on my HP Envy X2 is just not holding up anymore. The unit has both a battery in the keyboard and in the tablet component. Between both of those full sized batteries I’m not getting a full day worth of usage. During the first two hours of this flight the tablet has chewed through 33% of the units total battery power. The device should be capable of more than 6 hours of usage. All I really do with the device is write and read a few webpages. Some of the Chromebooks I have looked at recently sport 11-12 hours of battery life.

Getting to the airport was the easy part of the journey. Dealing with John Paul during a 3 hour airplane flight will be the hard part. Getting a 3 year old to sit still for 3 hours is nearly impossible. John Paul really seems to like airports and airplanes.

Paper Title: Economic micro-targeting extrapolation of macro-level demographic statistics

Abstract: ~192 words (<250 required)

Even after the advances in modern computing, a dearth of near real-time economic models exist within the literature. However, nascent research on micro-targeting has shown promise. Using Bayesian inference to fill in gaps from data mining social networks allows for advanced micro-targeting of individual spending preferences. Micro-targeting within a macro level economic model is now possible. It is now time to utilize a sophisticated algorithm to aggregate a series of micro-targeted models to describe a macro level condition. Begin building the model by collecting the economic transaction of a single person. Each transaction gets added to a list. By collecting several days of transactions the spending patterns of that individual person could be modeled. Collecting data on a number of individuals would increase the sample size to be representative. Now imagine for a moment all of those individual models were tied back to demographic data. That demographic data ties back to represent the economy as a whole. Individual economic behavior is being modeled, but it is being applied to a very macro level. Within this paper a model is introduced to engage in extrapolation of macro-level demographic statistics from micro-targeted data mining.

We have reached 10,000 feet

The announcement already occurred, “We have reached 10,000 feet.” For the second time this week, the Southwest Airlines aircraft was not equipped with wireless internet. I was planning on grading papers during the flight. I had downloaded the 291st episode of This Week in Google for the flight. Jeff Jarvis was in rare form this week. Jeff almost convinced me to buy a Google Pixel Chromebook during the episode.

Work has become rather interesting. Some things have changed and some things have stayed the same. I have been deeply thinking about several things at work. They pop into the forefront of my thoughts at times. Coffee has normally been something that I only consume in the morning. Recently, I have started drinking coffee throughout the day. Afternoon espresso shots have even become a part of my routine.

Writing has been challenging this month. Thinking about the tough questions needs to be a priority. My time became rather overbooked this month. That happens sometimes. I’m trying to regroup. Starting a new edX class this month may have been a poor idea.

Writing about business best practices has to become routine. Anything that draws my attention deserves that consideration.

Agile approaches can be used to manage complexity.I have been very tempted to write an article about agile project management.

Inflight Wireless Connections

Yesterday, my Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Dallas did not have wireless internet. The Boing 737-300 aircraft did not have that service available. I woke up from a quick power nap as we reached 10,000 feet. They make an announcement at that altitude to let people know approved electronics can be powered on at that time. I quickly booted up my HP Envy X2 running Windows 10 (Windows Technical Preview Evaluation Copy build 9841). I was hugely disappointed when the SouthwestWiFI network did not show up. Without hesitation a quick wireless network scan using my work Samsung Galaxy S4 phone occurred. Neither device was showing any available network.

Today started off very early. It seemed extra early today. The alarm on my HTC One Max went off at 4:00 AM Mountain Time. That alarm has been programmed to play “Wine Safari” from the Sideways movie soundtrack. It did not help. Nothing really helps that early in the morning. It is amazing the difference an hour of sleep makes. I’m willing to get up at 5:00 AM to start work, but 4:00 AM somehow feels objectionable.

This trip will only last two days. It is an easy early morning flight in for one night with a return flight the following night. That cadence allows for almost two days of complete work. I got used to flying multiple places in a week.

Flying out Sunday night always disrupts the whole weekend. Redeye flights in general disrupt patterns. Flying to the east coast from Denver for a Monday morning meeting usually involves having to fly out the night before.

A passenger sitting in my row just took out a tin of chewing tobacco and pretty much ate a pinch of it. Up until that moment, I did not know that happened at 39,000 feet. Early morning flights are always interesting. People become more interesting early in the morning or very late at night. The middle of the day typically includes fewer surprises.

I’m considering a move to the new Google Pixel Chromebook.

Inflight to Tampa

The last few days have been more of a blur than anything else. I locked in on a couple of projects and time passed without my permission. It is amazing what locking in with a single minded purpose does to your days. Completing a major objective always generates a certain degree of excitement. Sometimes you have time to celebrate. Sometimes you do not. Those are the times where a flood of emotions from one thing end up comingled with the next thing. That situation is always interesting. Not every project is positive and uplifting. It is always hard to transition between the two.

Managing multiple projects at the same time is about switching gears. I have had to learn to put things down and pick them up. You cannot approach things with a blank slate. You have to be up to speed on every project and be able to seamlessly move between them. Solid project plans and documentation tend to make that easier. Sometimes that level of detail is easier to achieve than others.

John Paul loved the snow that dropped on Denver this weekend. I was a little worried that my flight to Tampa might be cancelled this week. John Paul was worried about sledding and snowmen. It is funny how different perspectives can be on the same snowstorm. I’m pretty sure at some point in the next few days a sled will be purchased. It seems to be the right move. We had tried to buy a sled at Target, but the seasonal display had changed to spring décor.

I spent all morning reading articles about how the snowstorm was causing Denver flights to be cancelled. The roads were pretty much clear by the time that it was time to drive to the airport. Denver maintenance crews seem to know how to manage inclement weather.

My last Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa to Denver had a terrible internet connection. It was 4 hours of unexpected isolation. It was frustrating. I ended up watching the Big Bang Theory, the last episode of Two and a Half Men, and some Odd Couple reboot. In terms of productivity, the flight was a terrible experience. I could not sleep, but I was so worn down that I could not bring myself to write.

That gap translated to a few days of lost focus. I worked on projects, but none of them were publishable online. That happens from time to time. I have been working diligently to produce a few words of publishable prose each day. 2015 has been a pretty good year for writing so far. I plan to get back on track this week.

I was surprised that Southwest Airlines does not offer live access to ABC or ESPN during the flight. The only reason I noticed was during an attempt to watch the Oscar’s. I had thought it would be fun to watch NPH. That plan did not work.

During my flight I watched a high school student reproduce math homework by hand on paper based on some photos on a smartphone. Cheating at schoolwork is at an entirely different level. Digital photography was relatively new when I went to school. I could have imagined somebody recreating a math assignment from a photocopy. The idea of sharing homework in real time via photos on a smartphone is relatively new. It must be hard to teach high school these days. Every assignment I grade online runs through a plagiarism detection tool. That makes it harder to cheat. I wish that meant that it prevented cheating, but it still happens a couple times each quarter.