2018: Day 49 the one where I catch up and watch some basketball
Word count 127,160 + 3,013 or 130,173 of 1,000,000
Here we go again. Day 49 is here. This post is really just a snapshot of the day and a few thoughts that happened in that window. Things could have been a little more interesting I guess along the way. Tomorrow we are supposed to see snow here. That should be interesting. It should be interesting one day at a time.
Today was the day that I finished listening to that audiobook of Dune (1965) from Google Play Books. Immediately after it finished I purchased the second book in the Dune series. It was published back in 1969. That was long before my years. Audiobooks are fun to listen to at night and I think Google Play Books is trying to train me to keep buying them. My subscription to unlimited audio should keep me perpetually supplied with music to fill the hour before I fall asleep. That is the way of things and probably will continue to be the way of things.
The University of West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team is visiting Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. I’m hoping the University of Kansas Jayhawks are ready to play today. The team is 20-6 overall and 9-4 in conference. That means that every game down the stretch here counts. It is worth noting at the moment that evey with all my cleaning I was not able to locate my glasses. They appear to be lost to the ages. Somebody else somewhere probably found them and wondered who was missing a pair of glasses. That somebody missing the glasses in this case is me. Generally I have not lost sunglasses or glasses. This is really the first time ever or in a very long time that glasses have gone missing.
Streaming ESPN today is made possible via a one month subscription that i setup using YouTube TV. My Google Pixel 2 XL is streaming YouTube TV to my Chromecast Ultra. It was pretty easy to set up. However, I had to reboot both the Chromecast and my phone to make the connection work. Overall the video quality seems to be pretty good tonight. ESPN broadcasters have tuned the color balance pretty well. Bob Huggins has a theory that this style of play can help a team of ten beat any team that plays 5-6 players. It seems like an interesting strategy of full court pressing, platoon substitutions, and strangely lethargic offensive schemes. Deploying a relentless full court press is going to contribute to people wanting to rest on the offensive end, but hey what do I know about basketball.
Topic 1: Still running behind
It is very early in the morning. My favorite donut shop is not open yet. No pods have been inserted in the Nespresso Expert machine today. Things are running a little bit behind schedule. Yesterday I started to get back on track. That happens one session of typing at a time. I am still mildly amused by my stunning hypothesis that removing the holodeck as a plot device would have improved Star Trek The Next Generation as a television show. That is a pivotal assertion about improvement and the process of reflection. Instead of trying to solve real problems facing the world my mind instead focuses on ways to improve a television show that last produced a new episode in 1994. It would be easy to say that is the razors edge. That some things are harder than others, but focuses in on real problems vs. pondering things that happened 20 years ago should be easier. That is not the razors edge of quandary.
It seems that a lot of my focus has been on trying to reduce the number of subscription based services that I pay for each month. That is one of those things that over time always seems to increase a little bit at a time. Things just creep on to the list.
Most things that come into my focus are one time purchases. An audiobook, Android app, or even a donut. This morning nobody will try to sell me a weekly donut subscription. Obviously, the people would be nearly powerless to stop the rise of weekly donut subscriptions. Instead of newspapers the best in epic donut deliver would bring joy it millions. That is not how thing will go. The store will open here in a few minutes. I will park outside the strip mall. Only the donut store will be open. I’ll walk in as they are putting the donuts out on the racks for sale today. The regular employee already knows that I want a twist donut and some donut holes, but asks how many donuts I will want. Picking the right box, bag, or tray is very important in dispensing donuts. No offers for a subscription or even a customer loyalty card will be discussed. Before i know it I’ll be back on my way to the house to continue writing these words for you. Probably the words that will appear in the next paragraph or potentially we will even have a topic change.
Today may be the day we figure out how to access the internet version of the SiriusXM radio stations. I’m going to cancel out my music streaming subscriptions and just use that if that is a possible way to go. For the most part in the car I only listen to four stations: Pearl Jam radio, Lithium, Octane, and CNN. That is pretty much my use case for subscribing to satellite radio. Before the fall of Mike & Mike on ESPN they were a regular part of my rotation. Now that they are long since gone and the magic has faded that channel does not receive my attention. To be honest, I even find it annoying to have to listen to the ESPN announcers during Kansas basketball games at this point. I would gladly pay extra for a yearly subscription that just showed me the games with the local announcers. Even the away broadcast would partisan broadcasters would be more authentic and true to the sport. What we get now is derivative and highly disjointed broadcasts by sportscasters who have no authentic point of view or connection to the game on the court. Most of the time they are more interested in banter and crosstalk with their broadcasting partner than the action events of the game.
Topic 2: Oh Starbucks
Today I wanted a twist donut and a flat white coffee. It was easy enough to get the twist donut. Waiting till 6:30 AM when the donut shop opened was the only challenge. A person in front of my me was having a very indecisive moment. That is interesting and apart from the way I approach things. I knew the exact combination of donuts that would be purchased before even leaving the house. Donuts for the most part are a well defined list of permutations that are commonly sold. Spending 5 minutes watching somebody labor over the decision of what 12 donuts to get was not how I wanted to spend my time. You can imagine some moments of quiet reflection followed. Getting the flat white coffee from Starbucks was easy enough. They focus on making it easy to get coffee from them. I cannot make this flat white drink at home. Maybe someday I will get one of those devices that makes the foam.
The folks at Nespresso call the machine they sell that makes foam the Aeroccino4. It is noted on the website as, “…the new Nespresso milk frother, even more versatile and convenient than its predecessors.” As a product it looks nice enough. The design aesthetics are solid. People seem to use it to make all sorts of froth or foam. It apparently could make beverages using a variety of milk products. We have so many types of milk these days. You can now buy almond, coconut, and a wide variety of things labeled as milk at the store. I’m not sure which one of them will one day become a part of my coffee routine, but it is possible that one of them will at some point. I know that drinking espresso is probably here to stay.
Walking into the Starbucks was cold and somewhat dark. It was early in the morning. During the course of waiting for my drinks I looked over at somebody who was reading near the corner. They had a very large red book. It was seriously huge. It was not a textbook, but it was maybe 900 pages of something. My mind raced trying to recognize the book. The book was about the size of the hardback version of Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004). It was red and the pages appeared to have a much smaller font. The reader in the corner had the book about 14 inches away from their face. I wanted to ask what they were reading and strike up a conversation, but I hesitated. They did not look friendly or break eye contact from the book when I approached. That is a mystery that will continue. Perhaps in my mind I will just pretend that they were reading Walden by Thoreau (1854) and move on.
Topic 3: Writing books and other monographs
It was one of those moments where my mind raced and I thought about all the different types of books and or monographs I could be writing. Sometimes these blog posts start to feel like errata. Maybe they are just pages being added to a biography one day at a time. In the back of my mind this whole time I have known that I should be spending my time writing epic tomes of intellectual banter. I know. I know. Seriously, I am writing about needing to write more academic or publishable works. That makes sense if you think about it for a minute. Part of what I am doing now is writing every day. That effort is about sharpening my skills and engaging in a degree of inquiry. The things we do to strive forward and get better matter. I know that sitting down and writing the next great American novel by chance is unlikely. I could sit down and churn out moderately useful applied artificial intelligence books, but what would that really contribute.
Yeah I just spent about 15 minutes thinking about that. Then Best Buy corporate sent me an email with a $5 reward coupon. Oddly, I stopped thinking about the nature of life, the universe, and the contributions I could make to this one. Instead I was focusing in on what strange bobble and treasure I should purchase. These commercials of dogs aging make me sad. Peppercorn teh dog is 12 years old. That pretty much means that every day is a gift and I should enjoy it. None of that changes my perception of the last 12 years, but sometimes I do spend a few more moments reassuring the dog. Those moments should probably be co-opted to also focus on how to write the next great American novel. Strangely enough all I can think about is what Best Buy might have to offer.
Topic 4: Time to clean the basement
To make room for bringing home more nonsense from Best Buy it may be time to clean up the basement. All nonsense at one point or another lives in the basement. That is sort of the way of things. It was suggested at some point during the last week that I should sell off all my old technology in tubs in the basement on eBay. That is something that is probably a good idea. It is unlikely that I need so many tubs of random cables and really old technology. I pretty much have kept everything from my first generation wireless router to the stuff I am actively using today. It probably did not all need to be put in tubs and kept in the basement, but sometimes I apparently hoard old technology. That last sentence was problematic. I pretty much always hoard old technology and sports trading cards. Those are the two things I appear to hoard. If a pile of hoarded stuff tipped over on me, then it was probably either old technology or sports trading cards. My sports cards are all safely categorized and stored in stronger and stronger boxes. They are pretty low risk to tip over. That means any hoarding avalanche will probably be from old technology. I guess selling it now on eBay to prevent that crushing defeat would be a good strategy.
Topic 5: Today’s thumbnail and some thoughts on RJ45 Cat7
Ok so I upgraded my home network to ethernet RJ45 category 7 cables. I’m not entirely sure why my network needed to be upgraded. My modem needed to be connected to three devices. Upgraded cables for 3 devices seemed like a reasonable undertaking. The patch cables I had been using came from various sources. It seemed like a good idea to upgrade the cables. These new cables are capable of transmitting data at up to 10 gigabits per second. My internet speed is way way slower than that. So the thumbnail for today’s blog post is is of the back of my ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 Dual Band Gigabit Router. I ordered it back 2014 and it works just fine. Ok —- well it worked just fine. It got hot or something and it had to be reset. At the moment, it works reasonably well. Right now it is connected to my modem via RJ45 Cat7 cable. Right now an episode of Star Trek Discovery (Season 1 Episode 12) is streaming to my Xbox One S using that wireless router and 3 feet of Cat7 cable connected to my modem.
Topic 6: Rounding out the day
Right now I’m closing in on a writing session that will contribute to 3,000 words for 2 days in a row. That last week was rough. Writing did not happen at a reasonable clip. These last two days have been better. I have been getting back into the habit of learning and writing. A certain amount of introspection is necessary to understand the world around us. That assumes that the world around us does not change constantly and incessantly. Learning how to move forward and adapting to change has a certain cost to it. That is where I have ended up. I have ended up wondering about just what it will take to right the ship and push things forward. We can all make contributions to moving things forward. Pushing things forward inch by inch toward a perfect possible future.
Instead of taking that thought to the logical conclusion I’m wondering about what i’m going to do with the $10 in reward coupon from Best Buy. We will probably end up buying a movie for the kids or maybe some Pokemon cards. My needs or wants do not include anything at Best Buy. My writing is covered by this ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P or my Storm Stryker custom built computer. That one sports a sweet i7 core processor. I spent a few minutes looking at the i9 processors. They are very expensive. It seems like getting a sweet i9 processor and a bunch of DDR4 ram is going to be an expensive proposition. The motherboards are about the same price as they have always been. It seems like these new i9 cores are more expensive. The last build that I put together back in 2016 was expensive, but not as expensive as it would be now to build the same type of cutting edge system.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. This last little burst of writing should be a breath of fresh air. Writing two consecutive days of 3,000 words has sparked some deeper thoughts. It took about 50 days of sustained high intensity writing to begin to start to dig into some deeper topics. Getting all the weaker words out was the price of admission. We will see what starts to happen in day 50, but I’m guessing the inquiry will get deeper and deeper. This has to be more about knocking on the sky and hearing the sound of what is possible. It has to be about figuring out what separates us from the perfect possible future and breaking down those barriers and obstacles. This whole writing endeavor is about the journey and process behind that journey. Writing every day at this pace has changed my thoughts. It has changed my writing pattern in a few ways, but they might not be lasting. By the end of the 365 day journey I’m sure the changes to my writing patterns will pretty much be permanent. I’m going to keep going and keep writing. This journey is far from over. You will get to enjoy where the path takes things from day to day.
This last paragraph for the day will be rounding out 3,000 words. It will be closing the door on this blog post and it will allow me to move on to the next post. Today is another day where I am working from behind to get back to a point of being ahead of my writing schedule. Each day brings a new step in the journey. It advances things and helps me better understand the world around me. Plus all of that fun will be powered by the new Cat7 cables that are the backbone of my home network. I’m not sure that is really going to add any speed or anything, but it sure seemed exciting at the time. It seems like the speed of routing and cables is getting way faster than internet speeds. At some point, the internet speeds being sold have to go up. The demands of 4K streams are much larger than what most folks get as internet. The upload speeds demanded by 4K are probably more than what some of the pipes we have today can support.
I’m very curious to see where are bandwidth demands end up taking us. Something is going to have to give here shortly in the world of internet distribution.