Day 25 the one where I got my 5th NiceHash wallet payment

a fish

2018: Day 25 the one where I got my 5th NiceHash wallet payment
Word count 63,058 + 3,023 or 66,081 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

This whole cryptocurrency mining effort seems to be working out ok. We are moving right along toward my 100 day mining goal. Today I apparently did not drink enough water. Every day my desk is graced with a Nalgene made in the USA everyday 48 oz water bottle. Today however I have only worked my way down to the 32 oz water line. That means I’m going to be drinking a bunch of water during this writing sessions tonight. Drinking 68 oz of water per day seems like a good idea. At this point I’m able to remember to drink that 48 oz water bottle throughout the work day. It is a good start toward drinking 68 oz of water per day. It seems like a decent goal.

Very early this morning the folks over at NiceHash sent a 5th payment to my NiceHash wallet. That means that between January 13, 2018 and January 24, 2018 I have seen 5 payments over .001 BTC to my wallet. Every one of those payments is just a fraction of a bitcoin, but they do add up over time. I’m going to hold every one of these BTC payments until we hit 100 days of mining. That type of action would normally indicate that I believe the value of bitcoin will be increasing. Please don’t read that type of endorsement into my actions. I’m just doing it as part of a research study. A study that you get to read about every day as you enjoy my musings on a daily basis.

NiceHash wallet payments in reverse order:

2018-01-24 04:25:25 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00125795 BTC
2018-01-21 05:32:06 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00133244 BTC
2018-01-18 04:27:55 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00119401 BTC
2018-01-15 04:30:34 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00105970 BTC
2018-01-13 04:51:00 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00118327 BTC

It takes 2 payments from NiceHash to have enough BTC to transfer for free from my NiceHash wallet to my Coinbase account. According to the dashboard my next payment from NiceHash will happen on or around January 27, 2018. You can probably recognize the pattern here that is happening from my mining efforts. About every 3 days NiceHash pays out some BTC. Every 6 days I’m able to transfer that BTC to Coinbase. You cannot sell BTC from the NiceHash wallet which means that only the BTC that makes it over to Coinbase can be sold for USD. You can buy mining power via NiceHash and you can be coins directly on the Coinbase exchange. Either way it all seems very interesting.

Back on January 10, 2018, Warren Buffett rebuked the value of bitcoin. Ever since that moment the already wild cryptocurrency ride has gotten a little bit wilder. None of Warren’s words have stopped hobbyist cryptocurrency miners from buying up just about every graphics card on the market that is capable of mining. Some of that I will admit is just people speculatively buying cards and reselling them at higher prices. I bought both of my graphics cards are reasonable market prices. The first one I purchased directly from NVIDIA online back in 2016. It was an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition for $299.00 online. The second one I picked up this year online from Newegg at a total of $323.73. It was a ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card. It cost me more than the NVIDIA founders edition graphics card I bought 2 years ago that has double the memory. Keep in mind that my graphics cards server 3 functions: deep learning, gaming, and mining.

I’m not a speculative graphics card investor. Apparently, I do enjoy watching YouTube videos about the strange mining rigs people have built out. That is mostly just a mix of curiosity and my out and out love of technology. People have spent thousands of dollars building these open air graphics card mining rigs. Some of them look very professional and some of them look highly suspect. My next computer build will have somewhere between 2 and 4 graphics cards. It will be either working on deep learning models or mining. That will be based on my needs at the time. That also assumes that the market for mining cryptocurrencies will continue to be profitable.

It is a strange market right now. A lot of speculation is occuring. NVIDIA is slowly trying to move from pascal to volta cards. That is going to disrupt things. Every other day it seems like the value of the major cryptocurrencies are fluctuating wildly. My best guess is that bitcoin is a bubble. Something like Kodakcoin has a value based on an actual work product. I think legitimate valuable use cases exist for blockchain as a technology. This is an example where the early uses of a technology are probably different from the end state. Some of the blockchain methods that produce smaller tailing efforts or more coins might just win out. It is hard to imagine that 80% of all bitcoins that are ever going to be mined have been mined already.

Topic 1: Pure reflection

With a decent 1,000 word vignette to start this blog post things are trending in the right direction. Yesterday things did not go as well, but that is going to happen. Things pop up. Life happens. The journey toward writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is going to see some ups and down. I knew that was going to happen. I’m thinking about dedicating an entire month to writing pure fiction. That could happen. It would be very interesting to say the least. Being a reflective practitioner can be useful. I like to take the time to really think about things in a deep and meaningful way.

Topic 2: Grilling in January

For some inexplicable reason John Paul wanted a hot dog grilled outside yesterday. We had five inches of snow on the grill. Grilling using our weber grill was interesting. I made this wild pinto and habanero veggie burger and a few hot dogs. It was cold outside and the grill did not exactly heat the food very well. That is probably a good reason to avoid grilling outside during the month of January. The primary reason was probably the snow. It was everywhere. I could have probably done a better job of explaining this topic. I’ll give it another try here and see if my prose game can be kicked up a notch.

Frozen tundra was not enough to stop me from grilling last night. Everything outside was covered in a few inches of snow from Sunday. Parts of the yard received over 8 inches of snow. That should have been enough to stop my grilling extravaganza. John Paul was picking dinner. That dinner had to be grilled hot dogs. Oven hot dogs were not going to satisfy the request. My vegetarian dietary concerns were not aligned with that. A quick trip to Whole Foods helped me acquire some Engine 2 plant strong pinto habanero plant burgers. They came three to a package and that seemed to work out well enough.

I ventured outside to find the chimney starter for the coals. Things went ok after a bit of effort to shake the snow off of the chimney starter. The charcoal seemed to ignite ok and things were off to a good start. Our Weber charcoal grill is decently sized. It works well enough. It was covered in at least 5 inches of snow. Some that had turned into ice. After getting the coals going and putting the lid back on the grill I watched the ice melt off the kettle. The temperature got up to about 350 degrees and the hot dogs and plant burgers were put on the grill.

I’m sure the entire cooking process was highly commercial to anybody that witnessed it. The sun was going down and and I had to just sort of wing it. The plant based burgers from Engine 2 did not have any grilling instructions. They just got placed on the edge and they cooked for a few minutes. Only one time during the entire process did my feet leave the ground and I tumbled over in the snow. Fortunately I did not hit my head on the ice and only bruised my pride a little bit. Snow got everywhere. In my pockets, shoes, and all over my coat. I got back up and managed to complete cooking the meal. That was pretty much how things ended up. We had dinner it was exciting.

That second attempt to explain this topic was better than the first, but it could have been written better. One of the joys of writing every day is thinking about what it takes to produce rock solid epic and awesome prose regardless of subject matter. You have to be able to take any topic and tell a story. That story has to be compelling and epic. From nothing something has to spring forward and that is the true art of storytelling.

Topic 3: Clarity of purpose

Writing to the point of exhausting the mind of everything that needs to be said at the moment is strangely liberating and at the same time maybe just the beginning. One of the things that seems to be becoming more and more true is that we do not have the time to have real conversations anymore. Either in the workplace of in our personal lives. The amount of time we have to engage in real and complete conversations is just limited. Very few conversations I have on a regular basis last longer than 15 minutes. This writing session is going to take up about 2 hours of time. That is longer than I spent talking to any one person in a consecutive interval this year. That might be a sad commentary on my interpersonal communication skills or maybe it is an astute observation about our modern life and times. It could go either way. I’m going to assume that it was a solid observation and keep moving forward to break it down into pieces.

Writing in a meaningful way is about having a solid clarity of purpose. That is about knowing where you are and where you are going as you move forward along the way. Some of that is about process and some of it is just about having purpose. Maybe that is easier to write about than to achieve.

Topic 4: Charging the ASUS C101P Chromebook

The USB Type-C charging on my new ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P is fantastic. It is much better than that proprietary charging cable on my last model. The one thing I have noticed is that the right bottom corner toward the edge gets warm during the charging process. It is noticeable. It is probably warmer than it should be. Batteries keep getting bigger. Our ability to charge them keeps getting faster. A few examples exist of where that has gone horribly wrong. I’m over a month into using this device and it seems to very well made. My only real issue with the device is why it has a solid inch of bezel around the whole screen. They keyboard is usable and at times I even kind of like it. Travel between keystroke and input is enough and I have been using it for a couple of hours per day. I do feel like the screen could have been much bigger within the same form factor. This much bezel is just a ridiculous waste of space. I do plan on writing a review at some point with all the pros and cons of the device. This charging heat issue will remain on the watch list.

Topic 5: Today’s fish thumbnail

Yeah —- I have no real excuses for the selection of today’s picture. I think it is a picture of a goldfish that I took. It is not even the best picture that was taken during our trip to the Denver Downtown Aquarium. It did make the cut for thumbnails. I realized that all of these photos are pooling under my Twitter feed. Apparently, at this moment in time I have 610 tweets with a photo or video attached to it. That seems like a good number, but I have no idea how that happened. Most of that is related to YouTube videos and the automatic thumbnails that are created as a part of that whole process. Some of them are rather terrible. I’m sure they use some type of interestingness filter and maybe some of my videos do not have that much dynamic content so the number of thumbnails will always be limited. For some reason it appears the algorithm is a big fan of when I make extreme arm motions. It could be worse I guess. They could all be photos of me with my eyes closed or caught mid sneeze or something.

Wait we lost focus for a second in that last paragraph. We are supposed to be writing about picture I randomly attached to this blog post. However, now that we have talked about it and debated the relative value of to the post I’m wondering if the internal link went from being extra topical to being inherently germaine. It could go either way I guess. Meta content could be presumed to be seperate from the core blog post and therefore make the goldfish separate from the post without any real reason for being here today as part of the post. Maybe even this meta discussion of the blog post during the blog post can open the door to the goldfish being a valuable part of the post. Either way it was just a photo and now it is a thumbnail.

Topic 6: Rounding things out

We have covered a few topics tonight. Some of them were meaningful and some of them were about goldfish. This whole writing journey is about figuring things out. That means we are going to look at and explore topics that capture my attention. That is how things show up here and how they end up receiving consideration. I just check bitcoin prices on the Coinbase dashboard. Maybe being entertained by the drama associated with cryptocurrency has pulled me into that world. No real reason exists for me to want to know if the price went up or down. Even the very small amount of a bitcoin that I have in my wallet is not valuable enough to warrant constant supervision. My time is worth far more than that, but here we are and I’m still watching the prices. Maybe it is the fear of missing out on either the bubble collapsing or values exploding keeps pulling my attention back to where the market is going.

This last little bit of typing for the night should be in rhythm. Each of these keystrokes needs to follow the same type of pattern and rhythm that happens when writing at a good clip. I need to just ignore the red underlines and keep writing for a few minutes. Maybe coming back to them in bulk vs. one at a time will help my writing become a little bit more fluid. It will help me avoid so many starts and stops. Those are the parts of this whole process that make it harder to get going. Maybe it would be a better strategy to just increase my accuracy rating to the point where those red squiggles just do not show up at all during my writing sessions. That is probably a good goal to aspire to you on a regular basis. Sitting down and just writing rock solid prose from start to finish with no real need to edit is something to aspire to achieving on a regular basis. We will see if over the course of writing 3,000 words per day that is something that naturally evolves out of writing or if it is something that never really happens.

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

P.S. Getting into the groove and writing seems to happen in spurts. Some parts of this writing journey feel highly forced. Other parts of it are liberating or at least intellectually stimulating. That has to in some way be liberating. Today I am going to close this blog post out at over 3,000 words and get back on track. I need to close things out before falling asleep. Yesterday was not the best model for moving forward. I think pretty much mid sentence the Chromebook got shut and sleeping commenced. That is pretty much the way ever night concludes these days. This is the path that I elected to walk down. This journey was careful weighted and examined. I even wrote that really inspiring open letter about writing 1,000,000 words during the same year. It seemed like a great idea at the time. Like any really great idea it just jumps out at you in a kind of blatant way. Devoting 2 hours per day to writing was a major commitment. That two hours per day could have gone to a wide variety of things. At this point in time, I think that this two hour time commitment is worth it. I mean it is not like going to see Pearl Jam play Wrigley worth it, but it seems to have its own merits. Maybe tomorrow I will watch Pearl Jam 20 on blu-ray disc. That was a great film. That is a film that I have not seen in some time. I remember really enjoying it and maybe that joy will be good to revisit tomorrow.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Write an open letter for students on the first day of college
— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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.

2018: Day 24 the one where I realize every day of the journey is about the effort being put into it

a layered photo of fish

2018: Day 24 the one where I realize every day of the journey is about the effort being put into it
Word count 60,037 + 3,021 or 63,058 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

That post from yesterday was waiting for a postscript to be written this morning. For some reason that just did not happen today. No morning writing session occurred. That ended up putting me over 60,000 words for the year, but short of my 3,000 word goal. Maybe I need to set a daily reminder to start writing at 5:30 AM each day. Rounding out those first 1,000 words for the day is very important. Seriously, sitting down to write 3,000 words in one good shot has not been my best recipe for success. We will see what happens it is well after 7:00 PM and the first few words have started to flow. Maybe I need to remove all distractions and just really focus in and write for the next hour.

I had hoped to write 100,000 words this month. It would have been awesome to start this mad dash to 1,000,000 words with a 100,000 word month. January could have been that month. It has plenty of days at 31. Writing at a pace of 3,000 words per day every day for 31 days would have equaled out to 93,000 words. Hitting that goal would have let me just 7,000 words short of 100,000 words. That would have been pretty fantastic. It would have been epic. That is probably not going to happen at this point. The words are coming along nicely. We have gotten out of the gates and are marching down the path. Every day so far this year has included a legitimate writing effort.

Every day of the journey is about the effort being put into it. Something about that last sentence does ring true. A lot of things are about the effort we put into them. Maybe it is the rhythm of my typing today or the myriad of distractions, but my thoughts are not flowing the way they should be. People keep talking to me. It is possible that just now a really epic thought has been lost to the ages. I’m going to try to recover. Writing like a pro means working through distractions. Obviously, I have been struggling to write like a professional tonight. Some things we can influence. Some things are not ever going to be influenced. My thoughts were starting to coalesce around understanding the things you can influence by putting time into them. It is those investments that deserve more consideration.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my 4 years of undergraduate education, 1 year pursuing a graduate degree, 5 years of doctoral studies, and 3 years of postdoctoral education. During the course of all those years I could have put a lot more time and energy into my education. That is something that as a reflective practitioner I am willing to admit. The same student in year 13 of that journey would have a completely different point of view than the one who started the journey. That might be something that has started to make sense to me due to a little bit of perspective. I’m fast approaching a decade since earning a doctorate of philosophy. I left that lower case on purpose. This discussion is not about formality or trying to line up all of my formal educational accolades. We can do that later. This series of thoughts is about trying to convey the point that putting in more time and effort throughout that journey would have benefited me in some meaningful ways.

Having the opportunity to sit down with the student who started classes at the University of Kansas so many years ago while impossible would have been impactful. Sure right now I could spend the next 2,000 words writing an open letter to my past self on the first day of college to help other people benefit from my experiences. That sounds like a decent thing to do, but today may not be the day for that type of effort. My writing efforts are a little bit lackluster today. That type of impactful letter deserves to be written on a day when I am at the height of my powers. Sure you might be thinking as a professional writer I should just dig deep and make it happen. My reserver of writing powers is not that useful. I’m going to go ahead and add this topic to my list. It has been added to the top of the list.

Topic 1: Being positive

Every moment we focus in on what is next. In that moment of decision we can elect to be positive. I make an active choice on a daily basis to focus on being positive. Being positive can be contagious. That is the best case scenario. Earlier I started to get into a real writing rhythm. You can almost feel it in the way you are typing. It feels good to type in that purposeful way. You know that you are making some progress, but it is more or less about the prose and everything else just sort of fades away. That is what writing with a true single minded purpose is all about. My efforts toward writing are about having a positive impact on the world around me and ultimately on the academy itself.

That is a topic that we have not really dealt with this year. We all stand on the shoulders of giants in terms of our knowledge. Everything we believe to be true. All of the things that we accept as knowledge. Are built on a foundation of shared learning that is sometimes summed up as the academy. My operational definition for it is the collective knowledge we keep as a society is created and stored within the academy. In some ways that sums up the purpose of our institutions of higher education. In other ways it just describes a library. Either way it is a concept that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. Contributing to our overall collection of knowledge as a society is a decent and acceptable goal.

Yeah I snuck that into a passage about being positive. Maybe that is what I need to do to move forward. Everyday we strive to improve things. To make things better. That in and over itself is a lofty and somewhat daunting goal. Some folks may not accept that presimse. They may not accept the premise that things could and should be better. As we move toward the inevitable intersection of technology and modernity we face certain choices as a society. That is something that we have to figure out how to deal with as the very social fabric that binds us together is tested in new and unexpected ways. The things that have happened in the last 100 years would be hard to comprehend at the start of the last century. Technology has started to rapidly change society. That is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. I even hosted a podcast about it some years ago. Maybe that is something that could end up on YouTube at some point.

Topic 2: I’m still using the NiceHash Miner

Very early in the morning tomorrow or very late night the NiceHash crew will make a transfer to my wallet. This will be the 5th transfer of BTC to my NiceHash wallet. Oddly enough it seems to take two transfers worth of BTC for me to hit the threshold for a free transfer from my NiceHash wallet to the Coinbase exchange. My Coinbase portfolio now features 0.0047 BTC. That is just a fraction of a bitcoin. I’m still using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.8 software on my Windows 10 computer. Sure I spend about 15 minutes per day daydreaming about building out another computer. Should that time be spent making an investment in something that matters. Probably. Yeah —- I guess they should be spent in a better manner. That may not happen any time soon. I’m thinking that my current plan of mining cryptocurrency for 100 days is interesting. You might remember that 100 days from Monday, January 1, 2018 is Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Maybe that will be the day that I finally sell off all of this BTC that has been mined. Maybe with some luck. Maybe with a lot of luck bitcoin will climb back up to record highs. That seems pretty unlikely. I keep watching it rebound a little bit and then fall back to around $10,000.00 in value.

I had actually considered grabbing the old computer case from the basement and booting up my Lian Li cube computer to engage in some mining. My first real computer build included an AMD Athlon 64 processor. That board and chip are sitting in my Lian Li cube in my office right now. That computer was parted out and built at some point between 2003 and 2004. That seems like so long ago, but at the same time those memories seem so vivid. I have had several computers in between my current Storm Stryker i7 build and that first computer. I am not entirely sure why it has survived all these years. It could be the overall size and weight of the computer that makes it to big to reasonably dispose of without a lot of effort. It does house my HD DVD drive and that could come in handy at some point. Maybe at some point this week I will boot it up and see if it still runs well enough.

Topic 3: Rounding out the night

I thought tonight will include a lot more writing. Perhaps getting such a late start made the task of sprinting to 3,000 words unrealistic. Engaging in multiple writing sessions per day is the only way to sustain this level of productivity.

Topic 4: Today’s thumbnail

This weekend I spent some time at the Denver Downtown Aquarium. During that visit a number of photographs were snapped using my Pixel 2 XL camera. You are probably aware that the Pixel 2 XL has an outstanding camera. One of the photos that was taking is attached to this post at a thumbnail. It is a photograph of an aquarium exhibit with a reflection from the whole room. Those type of reflection photographs are always some of my favorites. I enjoy them, but you probably would not be surprised to find out they are almost always a happy accident. Sometimes you just notice the picture looks good and you go with it. That is what happened within this picture. It does not really have anything to do with the blog post today. I just liked it and added it to the post. You can probably expect at least a few more aquarium related thumbnails. I have already uploaded them to the blog media section. That means they are just one click away from you being able to enjoy them. I’m pretty well convinced that the whole thumbnail thing is going to devolve into a series of pictures of Peppercorn the dog sleeping. They will be cute and that should work out out, but it is devoid of any real creatively.

Topic 5: I fell asleep…

Dealing with what turned out to be a kiddo with an ear infection was slowing everything down. I was working toward writing 3,000 words. Things were moving right along. My morning writing session was decent enough. It happened. That is good enough for me to start getting a solid routine going. Getting to the point of having a routine is important. I felt like last night things were starting to come together. Maybe we were starting to get into something meaningful or at least interesting. Sometimes at the end of the day you are just writing and locked into the process of getting works down on paper or in this case the screen and everything just stops. I must have set down my ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P and went to sleep. It probably literally happened in one very tired movement. My sleep threshold is really low and from the time the Chromebook was closed and sitting on the floor I’m guessing sleep occured within about 60 seconds. I could probably match up the time stamp on the Google Doc to the sleep time stamp on my Fitbit sleep tracker. That would work out well enough. It might be a ridiculous use of technology, but hey why not use data to answer data related questions.

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

P.S. I’m just working to figure out how to move things forward. Today ended up a little bit short. That means you are in for a treat. This will be a 1,000 word or so postscript. That means the level of insight and analysis for the post game writing session should be nearing legendary proportions. Part of the process of writing 3,000 words per day is about reflection. It is about taking the time to think about the things that are going on and the things that are going to happen. Yesterday, it seemed like a good idea to start cleaning up my office. Some of that might be driven by my need to add another computer to my office. That pretty much meant that the dog bed had to move over under the whiteboard. Neither of the dogs seems to mind at all. They are happy enough that the back half of my office is completely clean.

Cleaning up my office is a major challenge on an ongoing basis. Things got super cluttered this year. One of the best parts of doing a daily YouTube live stream was that drove me to keep my office clean. Well it drove me to keep the parts of my office that were in the livestream camera feed clean. Today I’m really only writing and mining cryptocurrency. Neither of those things requires my office to be picked up. Getting my office back to a good cleaned up state is just about removing clutter from my life and being organized. Focusing on being organized is a good thing to think about and to focus on achieving.

I just cracked open a 100 calorie pack of Emerald dry roasted almonds. That snack might just help power me through closing out this blog post for the day. Keeping at the 3,000 word benchmark is an important part of being able to hit the goal. Each day a layer of the onion has to be peeled back and I have to dig deeper and deeper to keep writing. That is probably one of the better parts of the process. Writing at this pace is about digging deeper into things and writing at a higher level. Some of that means being willing to write in a near autobiographical manner. Some of it means that my writing style has to become a little bit more personal. You may have noticed my overall writing style has been evolving day to day and week to week. I’m sure by the end of the year my first block of 100,000 words will be different than my last block of 100,000 words. Writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is going to change the way I write.

One of the things that I have noticed is related to the format of my writing blog posts. My format of vignette, topics, and a postscript has been working. We are on day 24 of the writing journey and it seems to be working. Most my previous blog posts are 100% freeform. Writing within this canned format is probably the only way to really move things forward. You may have noticed that every post really does start out with the “Dear reader” opening. That has been included to note that each day I’m writing to an audience vs. writing just for my own purposes.

Maybe today I should have locked in and spent some time writing about artificial intelligence. That would have been a good thing to do. Maybe it would have been good to lock into writing or working on some type of academic paper. That would have been easy enough. Picking the right topic would have helped push it forward. Writing an academic paper that is not based on a topic will probably work out poorly and end up in failure.

I thought maybe it would be good to conclude this blog post with a few notes about how happy having copy and paste working again has made me. Being able to paste from Google Docs directly into my blog post without having all the paragraph formatting breaking down is fantastic. It has really made me realize just how annoying it was to have to format line by line and check each post after it published to make sure the formatting was not broken. This has improved my writing quality of life by about 10%. That is a completely arbitrary number that I just made up. It is possible that being able to cut and paste was worth more than 10%. Maybe the point here is that it brought joy to my world. That is good and that has helped us get close to the 3,000 word mark for the day and that is good. This postscript got a little out of control. That happens. I will try to get back on track tomorrow and keep my postscript writing projects under control. They probably should be spanning into the 1,000 word range. That is a pure recipe for disaster.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Write an open letter for students on the first day of college
— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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 23 the one where I tested all kinds of voice typing options

a fish

2018: Day 23 the one where I tested all kinds of voice typing options
Word count 57,312 + 2,725 or 60,037 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today did not start out with a vignette. That was a mistake on my part. Those pleasant blog post openings tend to eat up a good chunk of word count. Today we are just going to jump in and do some testing. Today is the day that we are going to test a ton of Google Docs voice typing options. Yesterday I discovered that under the tools sections of the Google Docs menu an option exists for voice typing. That option deserved some consideration. It deserved a deeper look. A deep look is exactly what happened today. Today 3 different tests are going to occur. First, I’m going to run a test using my microphones set up on my standard Windows 10 box. That computer might be mining cryptocurrency right now, but that does not mean that the microphones are occupied. Second, I’m going to open up Google Docs on my android based smartphone the Pixel 2 XL and test the voice typing feature. Third, it would be prudent at this juncture to test out the voice typing feature within Google Docs on my ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P.

Let the testing begin…

—– Voice Typing Windows 10 Test —–

I tried out the voice typing feature today on my Windows 10 Storm Stryker computer. Today we are going to close in on writing 60,000 words for the year. It looks like the voice typing feature can keep up with pace that I talk. I’m not sure exactly how to manage grammar when using the voice typing feature. It seems to be able to pick up pauses and stop and start. This is something that will take a little bit of time to get used to. It does not seem to really support just talking at a regular cadence. I’m also getting some weird capitalization throughout this process. Maybe it will work better on my Chromebook versus this multiple microphone setup.

—– End Test ——

That Windows 10 Google Doc voice typing feature is going to present some problems for this whole writing journey. My written words are generally on track enough when typing that I do not need to back through and proofread them before allowing them to be published. Sure a few grammatical issues sneak into my posts, but the frequency is much lower than what happened in the above voice typing effort. Just going back to clean up all the random capitalizations was a lot of work in and of itself. Sure I could just roll with it and publish the voice typing text as is. I don’t think using voice typing on my Windows 10 box will be my primary writing use case. Today I went back over the text and editing things to be reasonable. Some of it was pretty rough.

—– Voice Typing Pixel 2 XL Test —–

The talk-to-text feature on the phone for Google Docs appears just to be the regular microphone button. This does appear to do better with capitalizing the first word of a sentence and with continuing after a short pause.

—– End Test ——

Voice typing is something that works well enough my Android based Pixel 2 XL phone. I have been using that feature since they inserted that special microphone icon within the Android operating system. It works well enough and I have used it from time to time to take notes using Google Keep. Writing long form prose using a dictation software is not something that has been a part of my routine for years.

—– Voice Typing ASUS Flip Test —–

Okay here we go this time we are using the voice typing feature of the Google Chromebook. this voice typing feature appears to work a lot better than the Windows 10 voice typing feature with about 3 microphones turned on. I’m not amused that my sentences are not being capitalize properly. this thing does seem to be able to pause and pick back up when I’m talking again. I’m not sure if this is something that I would do on a regular basis.

Things around the house are never really that quiet. This whole voice typing thing requires a little bit of peace and quiet. I like that it pauses and waits for me to talk again. That is a nice feature. The Voice typing feature seems to work well enough. I am working on some pausing and some stops and starts. overall this feels like a better experience than using my Android phone. maybe I will spend the next 5 or 10 minutes trying to just write this way to see how it goes. you can pause for pretty long period of time and it still waits for the next thing you will say. I could see using this to write if that was the only way. This does not feel like a natural way to write to me.

—– End Test ——

Ok —- all three of the voice typing methods have been tested. None of those options really stood out as an option for writing. Maybe it was not the best idea. Writing takes time. Voice typing seems like a great idea. Maybe the actual practice of writing by voice is a real challenge. Writing is going to happen. It is going to happen at a clip of 3,000 words per day. None of the methods that got tested really worked well enough that I wanted to say a stardate and phrase, “Captain’s log.” Oddly enough that was the entire purpose of the test. I wanted to start talking to my computer like Jean Luc Picard. The dream is real. The execution was just not there today. Maybe technology will catch up with fiction soon enough.

Topic One: Watching Almost Famous

I’m watching this movie that was released in the year 2000. I had completely forgotten or ignored that it was rated R. Maybe the last time I watched it was on a network broadcast. That track Fever Dog is pretty decent song. I only made it through the first 15 minutes of the movie. I’m going to try to listen to the soundtrack album for Almost Famous tonight. That seems like a great idea for the evening. My writing for the day is woefully behind. For some reason this morning I completely spaced on stringing together a writing session. That was probably due to the late start John Paul had for school today. They started school a couple hours late and that completely disrupted my routines for the day. Even something small like that can have a huge impact on my ability to write for the day. That means that right now this is 3,000 word epic writing sprint to close out the blog post for the day. These things take time and a little bit of time is what we have.

Topic 2: Cut and paste just started working again…

This might not seem like a very big deal, but cut and paste from Google Docs to my weblog post just worked for the first time in days. It was a super exciting moment. I copied all the text from this Google Doc and pasted it into a blog post. It worked. The formatting all stayed together correctly for carriage returns. This is a gift of like 10 minutes back per day. I’m pretty happy about it if you cannot tell by the extreme chipperness of the prose in this paragraph. It was a banner moment to have the full copy and paste function working again. I’m hopeful that it is back for good and that it was just a coding glitch that it went away.

Topic 3: Hunting down graphics cards

I really need to spend less time surfing the internet for graphics cards. Today was one of those days where I just looked on Newegg and other places including eBay for decent deals on graphics cards. It is not like I’m going to pull the trigger for just any deal. Buying another graphics cards is a real investment and something that may have to wait until NVIDIA releases the next batch of volta graphics cards to replace the current pascal architecture. That release is probably going to happen at some time this year and it is something that a lot of people are waiting to see happen. It will change the graphics cards market.

…so I started looking at building another computer this week. The Corsair Air 740 case looks pretty good. I think I can manage to get a 4 GPU build into that case. Various build options have been on my mind. It is something that probably does not deserve as much consideration as it is getting. Right now is not the greatest time ever to build a new computer. GPU prices and RAM prices are out of control. The GPU shortage is real and pretty much every mining hobbyist on the planet is buying, over paying, or reselling all the GPU cards within the market.

We are only half way through the post for today and I’m already checking the word count after every paragraph. That is a bad sign. Kaylee is almost asleep and now is the time to kick into gear and close out this day on a high note. The day did start out with some promising voice typing testing. That turned out to be a major waste of time. I guess it is better to know what voice typing is not something that I’m really interested in doing. We are just barely down the path toward writing 1,000,000 words this year. That journey will probably take all types of writing sessions and some of it may be done via voice typing. Who knows what will play out at this point. I might even try using a stylist and writing out one of these posts by hand.

Writing now I’m standing in the kitchen writing on the counter waiting for Captain Pickles to finish up doing whatever it is that dog does in the backyard. Right now the answer is probably eating snow. That sounds about right. Eating snow has been one of the dogs go to moves for the last two days. For some reason I ended up looking at motherboards in the middle of that last sentence. My interest in building a new computer has started to take up more and more time.

Topic 4: This ongoing narrative

Writing for day 23 is getting closer and closer to coming to an end. Maybe day 25 will feel more impressive. At this point the process of writing 3,000 words per days is just about getting the Google Docs instance open and moving from start to finish. This ongoing narrative from day to day is in part auto-biographical mixed with a little bit of other prose. I thought a lot more short stories would have made it into my writing sessions so far. This journey will have to include a few days of writing fiction style prose before the end. I was hoping to have a few chapters and maybe even an entire novel hiding within this 1,000,000 word journey. It has been awhile since I hammered out a whole novel. Most of the time those types of efforts happen in rapid fire of the course of a day or two. I’m curious to see if throughout this year writing 3,000 words per day will constrain my normal bouts of productivity that principly sneeze into existence 40 or 50 thousand words.

That type of writing normally happens without interruption and even a small thing can disrupt it. Taking advantage of that type of raw creativity may not happen again. The days of my having a day or two to devote to one thing may be long gone. That just might be the nature of things as we move forward. Scraping together an hour or two to work on something is a challenge. Scraping together a day or two to work on something just is not going to happen. Writing in a measured consistent way will have to be the path forward. Right now all I can think about is getting some really good chips and salsa. Seriously, my mind just wondered from thinking about how to squeeze out a good 50,000 word writing session to acquiring chips and salsa. I’m thinking about fresh thick chips and salsa just spicy enough to be awesome, but not so hot to require constant beverage intervention. Right now making that happen would require visiting two different places and hoping for the best.

Part of this journey is about an inquiry into quality and understanding the world around us. Maybe some of my writing efforts should move more into a philosophical based discussion. All of my writing is generally geared toward entertaining the mind. Perhaps some of that will translate into a modern chautauqua. Any movement geared toward adult education has my support. We live in any amazing time where the intersection of technology and modernity is about to change the world around us. YouTube and other content creation based platforms have the chance to truly open the door to sharing information and knowledge. Some of that may very well build a path toward education that helps people learn, grow, and develop. That journey is a part of this journey and my march toward writing 3,000 words per day for an entire year.

I was able to get haircut right before picking up the kids today. My new haircut might not be helping me write, but it did make me happier. Wearing my glasses and having hair fall over my ears was annoying me. That needed to get resolved. It was taken care of and now it is resolved. My specific food hunger for rock solid chips and salsa however has not been resolved. Just think —- if this blog post has started with a proper vignette we would be way over 3,000 words and I would not be trying to round out the final 500 words for the night. On the brighter side of things the copy and paste feature is still working. Carriage returns for all. They make things much easier to read. Formatting does wonders for the written word.

Topic 5: The 3,000 word per day challenge

Consider for a moment that you wanted to start a 3,000 word per day writing challenge. Maybe it would be as easy as just accepting the challenge and writing 3,000 words per day. That would meet the basic mechanics of the request. It really is a challenge that anybody who is a competent writer could try to undertake. The longevity of the challenge would be the real questionable part. Writing 3,000 words per day is like a real and true writing marathon. You would have to commit to it and push forward. The real question would be about how many many days you would want to persevere through. One day should be easy. Two days a little harder, but manageable. Getting to a week might make things challenging if you are not used to writing every day. Taking on 365 days in a row just might be beyond the pale of acceptable challenges. That is what makes it so interesting and unique.

Topic 6: the thumbnail for today

I’m not entirely sure why the thumbnail for today should be of two stingrays swimming around at the Denver Downtown Aquarium. They were interesting to watch. I kind of like the way the picture turned out. Now it is a thumbnail and attached to this blog post for perpetuity. Things could be worse. My pictures could just be of Peppercorn the dog. That would make for an interesting Twitter feed I guess. 365 days of Peppercorn the dog.

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

P.S.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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 22 the one where it snowed in Denver and I got my 4th NiceHash wallet payment

Denver Snow

2018: Day 22 the one where it snowed in Denver and I got my 4th NiceHash wallet payment
Word count 54,311 + 3,001 or 57,312 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

The weather outside is already causing some cabin fever. You probably thought I was going to say frightful, but that was not going to happen. It is snowing here in Denver. Yesterday the folks took to the stores to stock up on food supplies. The grocery store was a madhouse. People needed to be ready. Today it is just constantly snowing outside a wet type of snow that is sticking to the trees. The thumbnail for the blog post today should give you an idea of what happened. Just note the amount of wet heavy snow that is sticking to the tree. That is generally a recipe for all sorts of problems. Trees are not really designed to hold that much wet and heavy snow. Branches break. That creates chaos. Seriously, it is hard to deal with for a large number of downed branches. That leads to all sorts of problems that just make life more complicated for people.

Beyond thinking about the weather. A fun and exciting milestone did occur today. Very early this morning my NiceHash wallet received a 4th transfer. This one was pretty decent at 0.00133244 BTC with a fee of 0.00002719 BTC. That equates to about $15.84 dollars at the current exchange rate for BTC to USD. You can just Google search, “0.00133244 BTC in USD,” to get the current value. Google has a nifty little calculator box that lets you do conversions in real time. That 4th transfer from NiceHash to my wallet allowed me to make my 2nd transfer to Coinbase. At current cryptocurrency mining speeds and values for my two cards using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.8 software I’m getting paid out ever 3 days by NiceHash and amassing enough BTC to transfer to Coinbase for free every 6 days. I know you are wondering how much BTC could I have amassed between January 10, 2018 and now…

2018-01-21 05:32:06 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00133244 BTC
2018-01-18 04:27:55 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00119401 BTC
2018-01-15 04:30:34 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00105970 BTC
2018-01-13 04:51:00 NiceHash Mining payment → 0.00118327 BTC

That works out to 0.0047 BTC in my Coinbase wallet. You can probably tell that amount is nowhere near amassing a whole bitcoin. It would take a long time to mine a whole bitcoin. We are looking at just a fraction of bitcoin with two more decimal places to climb before even getting close to a whole bitcoin. My entire mining effort over the last 11 days has yielded about $55.62 worth of BTC or about $5.00 per day. My profitability could be better if I focused in on optimizing for a few cryptocurrency algorithms. It may not have been the smartest move to pair up a GTX 1060 6 gigabyte memory graphics card and a GTX 1060 3 gigabyte memory graphics card as my mining rig. You may recall I was going to use 3 cards before one of them suffered a physical device failure.

I have been on the hunt for another graphics card, but that is just not happening. Most of the places online are showing huge markups on NVIDIA graphics cards. The hunt is on for a 3rd card. We will see how that hunt ends up. NVIDIA is apparently encouraging retailers to sell to gamers and limit overall sales to a single person. That is rather interesting. Scarcity causes all kinds of problems. It seemed like a good idea minute or two ago to open my office window. We are getting between 4 and 8 inches of snow today in Denver. I’m using some of that winter weather to cool my graphics cards and reduce the overall temperature of my office. I might keep the window open for a few minutes. We will see how that goes. Captain Pickles the dog has already figured out the window is open and is waiting for something to bark at. Talk about laser focus on the task at hand. That dog loves looking out the window.

Topic 1: My favorite YouTuber creators (at this moment)

1. Lost LeBlanc
2. Rob Chapman
3. Sara Dietschy
4. Rabea Massaad
5. Nick from Trainer Tips

Those are the YouTube creators that show up in my daily feed. They are the people who create the videos that I watch on a regular basis. I really only watch a hand full of television shows. That means that YouTube is a major part of my daily routine. Outside of the X-Files, The Curse of Oak Island, and Top Chef nothing really draws me into wanting to watch television. We only have the one television so I have to really want to watch something to find the time. John Paul does watch The Curse of Oak Island with me on a regular basis. They are searching for buried treasure. That is enough to draw in a 5 year old.

Topic 2: Prebuilt mining machines are expensive

Some of these prebuilt cryptocurrency mining rigs are really expensive. Some of them have a higher cost than my first three cars combined. I know people are buying based on the speculative earning power, but some of these rigs cost over 10 thousand dollars. The prices are probably just going to get keep going up until graphics cards are not the prefered mining hardware. I’m assuming that the companies that make graphics card hardware have thought about how to make massive computing blocks that are better for mining. Right now two use cases are overlapping and driving up the price of graphics cards. Both gamers and miners are trying to use the same hardware. I bought my cards to use with TensorFlow and other deep learning applications.

Topic 3: Watching the Jacksonville Jaegers vs. New England Patriots

Today is a day of queso. We got some type of Tostitos medium heat queso blanco dip for the game. It came in a glass jar. I’m going to throw some jalapenos on top of it. So far the entire first quarter has been pretty low key during this AFC championship game. People spent a lot of time talking about Tom Brady’s throwing hand today. I spent a lot of time thinking about computer builds. The last time that I spent this much time working on a computer built it was when I upgraded to 4K on my workstation back in 2016. That worked out well enough. That computer is still running.

Topic 4: Picking the perfect computer case

I’m pretty sure that the Corsair Carbide Series Air 740 – High Airflow ATX cube case will be my next computer case. It might just replace my Lian Li case that my printer is sitting on top of in my office. I spent some time looking at modern Lian Li cube cases. Mine is over 10 years old and is by far the heaviest case I have ever owned or physically picked up. I’m probably going to retire my Lian Li cube at some point this year and build out another case. That purchase could happen at anytime.

Topic 5: The Vikings and the Eagles

Here we go again. This has been an interesting day of football. The NFC Championship game is not as competitive at the moment. My mind has been wondering during the game. Maybe my focus has been lacking today. We have spent almost the entire day in the house. We made one little trip outside to visit Chipotle for lunch. The city plow has just come through and it seemed liked a good time to run out and see the town. We got to see some snow on the group. Well snow was pretty much everywhere. Parts of the yard look like they got more than 8 inches. Other parts look like they got a lot less snow today.

I just realized we are on topic 5 today and just barely to the 1,500 word mark. Some of the topics brought up did not reach the point of exhaustion. I did not pick them up and shake out every last little bit of prose they could inspire. Naturally blaming the process would be a good move at this point, but it is my writing process. Now would be a good time to change subjects… Next week my goal is to schedule a haircut. It has been some time since my last haircut. Getting a haircut could not be a legitimate reason not to host my YouTube live stream. I could always wear a hat. Joni got me that sweet sweet Kansas City Royals at Kauffman stadium last year. The exact reason that I did not host a YouTube live stream today eludes me. Maybe the best answer is that I just did not feel like it today. Tomorrow could be the day that I make my triumphant return to YouTube. It is also possible that tomorrow is the day I manage to get a haircut. Time will tell and by the time tomorrow ends we will know for sure.

We are nearing the end of any chance of a Vikings come back victory today. Time is burning off the 4th quarter clock at what must seem like a rapid pace to fans from Minnesota. You can imagine that not very much happened today. Snow days are like that. I did not have the will to watch a ton of political coverage today. Watching two full NFL games happened. Charles Barkley seems awfully excited today. Charles already seems to be celebrating the win. On the field the game is getting chippy. That happens sometimes. Getting so close to the big game and falling so short I’m sure can be super frustrating.

Topic 6: Achieving writing zen

After writing 1,800 words this evening my mind is finally clear. I have reached a state of writing zen where this is not longer a pure stream of consciousness writing session. At this exact moment in time my mind is not being pulled in any direction. I’m at a complete and total state of peace. For better or worse is it like staring inaction in the face. I blinked and a couple minutes passed. Captain Pickles nosed the door open and just like that the trance was broken. From a state of total peace to a state of wondering what the puppy was going to chew on. That battle probably has at least another year brewing.

My Bose Qc35 headphones are charged. Right now they are delivering joyous Bluetooth driven audio from Pixel 2 XL phone. Apparently, I got lucky and the screen on mine works as designed. Some folks have complained about a blue shift or a blue tint on the screen. Either I just don’t see it and register it that way or my screen is a lucky screen. A screen built and delivered the way the engineers intended. Joni is still using a Pixel XL classic. We have both been pretty happy with the phones. Really it is the camera that drives that happiness both the Pixel XL and the Pixel 2 XL have outstanding cameras. We stopped carrying around our Nikon D3200. That pretty much means that we have to trust our phones to take high quality photos.

Strangely enough a couple weeks ago I did spend some time looking at mirrorless cameras and thought about buying one. Then I realized that carrying it around is also something that probably won’t happen. That is the problem with bigger cameras that use lenses and require a lot of effort. At some point, you might just decide the camera on your phone will do well enough and now that expensive piece of hardware rests on a shelf. I would try to sell it on eBay, but those two times that it got dropped make me hesitant to do that. One of those times was at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. You could hear the entire room of folks pause for a second and gasp as the camera hit the floor. People knew what the sound was and you could feel the empathy from a room full of strangers. It was an interesting moment in time. Obviously, it stuck with me that was a few years back and I can remember it vividly.

Right now I’m thinking about a wonderful sweet potato tikka masala they sell at a place called the Yak and the Yeti. Oddly enough none of the meal services will deliver that to my door. It may just be outside the delivery range. It feels like more and more delivery services exist these days. It used to be pizza and chinese food were the primary delivery option. Sure some pizza places also delivered wings or other random fried things. These days it seems like the number of delivery options has increased to the point where it is hard to sort through all of them. I used the Uber Eats server the other day. I really just curious about how it worked. I’m supposed to be focused on eating healthy plant based meals.

Maybe the rest of tonight will not be about achieving a state of writing zen. It may just be about letting go and writing as thoughts spring forward into my consciousness. I’m still wondering what happens in the last 2 hours of Blade Runner 2049. We pulled the disc out of the blu-ray player tonight. After all of the snow shoveling was done it was time for popcorn, hot cocoa, and the 2nd Harry Potter movie. That was only round one of the shoveling. It snowed a lot today. We had two rounds of shoveling. Our new shovel from Costco worked out very well. Someday maybe in an alternate reality we will have a snowblower. Maybe I’m waiting for a snowblower Roomba mashup that can just take care of the driveway in an autonomous way. Yeah I know that is probably a few years off, but I can hope that maybe Honda delivers me a snowblower robot in the next couple of years. It does not need to be artificial intelligence based or anything fancy like that. I would just like it to charge in the garage and clear snow at the appropriate times.

After a few quick Google search it does appear that yard robots are starting to appear. That might mean that sooner than later a robot will be removing snow from my driveway. That sounds wonderfully pleasant. Denver will keep having snow. I’m probably not going to go out and buy a snowblower. That probably means that day dreaming about snow removal robots is where we are going to end up this year. On the brighter side of things our new puppy Captain Pickles really loves the snow. We will see how long that lasts.

Switching back and forth between my Chromebook and Windows 10 has been really with Google Docs. I would bet that using my Android phone to access the documents would also work out well enough. I noticed tonight that under tools voice typing is a feature. Some of the more prolific authors have talked about using voice typing to really push things forward. I type pretty quickly, but I talk a lot faster than I type. That is probably true for the majority of folks. Tomorrow I plan on giving that voice typing feature a test drive. It might end up being my new writing method. Watching Jean Luc Picard talk to the ships computer to deliver a captain’s log is probably the primary reason I want to use voice typing. The productivity gain is secondary to the sheer joy of saying captain’s log and a stardate to my Chromebook. According to this random Star Trek The Next Generation calculator I found online the startdate today would be 71523.8 or perhaps more accurately, “Captain’s log stardate 71523.8.” That was pretty satisfying to type. Tomorrow just might be epic as I use the voice typing feature to deliver a world class blog post.

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

P.S. Today we got back on track and closed out a solid 3,000 words during the same day without having to dip into a postscript to save things. That was an exciting moment. Somehow it is probably Doc Hollywood’s fault. I did look to see if i they made a vinyl record with the soundtrack for the moment. It does not appear that they did. That would have been an interesting album to put on my shelf. You might be wondering how I ended up watching Doc Hollywood. The answer is pretty simple. For some reason the 1991 song “The One and Only” by Chesney Hawks got stuck in my head. It took me a little bit to recognize it and apparently my mind closely associated it with the movie. Tonight I found the album that song appears on and gave it a listen. I was curious if the rest of the album was similar to the song from the movie. It was not. I fell asleep about half way through the album. To be fair it is not really the type of music that holds my attention. That one song though gets stuck in my head. I’m already gearing up for using the Google Docs voice typing feature. I’m hoping all this hype I have built up in my head stands up to using the actual technology. I’m going going to try it out on both my Windows 10 computer and my Chromebook. One of them might be a clear winner.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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 21 the one where we visited the Denver Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium

2018: Day 21 the one where we visited the Denver Aquarium
Word count 51,296 + 3,015 or 54,311 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today was the day we visited the Denver Downtown Aquarium. It is located downtown near the NFL stadium formerly known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Apparently, this year is the year that the Denver Broncos stadium will be getting a new name. You might be aware of the closure and liquidation of Sports Authority corporation back in 2016. None of that really impacts the Denver Downtown Aquarium, but it is interesting. We got a Groupon the other day that included 4 tickets and $50 toward a meal. John Paul did not really slowly and methodically navigate the aquarium. Our visit took about an hour and ten minutes to navigate the aquarium part. We probably should have went back through the aquarium part again at the end of our meal, but that did not happen. Kaylee was pretty tired.

Right before sitting down to write these inspired words I was eating some J. Luehders vegan soft gummy candy. The package says they were fruity flowers flavored. Overall they were a lot more tasty than I expected. After lunch today at the aquarium I needed a little pick me up. Today for lunch I had ordered an appetizer for lunch. That seemed like a solid decision. It was going to be a wonderful Bruschetta. The menu noted that it was a mix of roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, red onions, balsamic reduction, olive oil, basil, and some toasted baguettes. The baguettes were really pretty decent, but the rest of the ingredients were mixed into a 4 inch high tower. You might be wondering why they shaped the bruschetta topping into what looked like a highball glass that was turned upside down. Compressing it into that shape and compressing it may have limited the potential for a crisp fresh taste. For more of my epicurean adventures you can check out my Instagram feed.

Topic 1: Watching the Jayhawks

Tonight the University of Kansas Jayhawks are playing a basketball game against the Baylor Bears on ESPN at Allen Fieldhouse. That was a lot of content in one sentence. I probably could have broken that down a little bit better. We have plenty of time to work on that type of writing throughout the rest of the year. This game has been closer than I expected. Within the first half the Jayhawks were not able to really pull away from the Bears. I’m not a fan of the extreme yellow color that Baylor has chosen to use. It is visual striking and distracting. This uniform and shoes combination is much better than the ones they have had in the past.

This second half is giving me some anxiety. Baylor is really battling back and keeping this game close. We watch a lot of basketball. You are probably getting a feel for just how much basketball we watch. Watching live sports is probably the best use case for our cable television subscription. I’m not really aware of a method to stream every University of Kansas basketball game. That subscription would probably allow me to just invest in some gigabit internet and move on from cable television. We pay for a lot of channels every month. Some of the channels could disappear and I would never know. I basically assume they have content and are real channels. No actual basis for that leap of faith exists. Maybe it would be worth an hour of my time to flip through every channel we pay for. It is possible that one of these channels might be life changing. On the other hand it may also be possible that the cable television subscription model is ridiculous. Ok —- I have thought about it for a few seconds and concluded that the model of bundling channels is just ridiculous. Executives built this mess and have not managed to work beyond this brand of ridiculously tomfoolery even in the face of incredible pressure from online streaming services.

We pay for Netflix. My X1 cable box is even capable of playing Netflix shows or cable shows. It really is pretty well integrated. Tonight however none of that matters. We need to watch the 2nd hour of Blade Runner 2049. The first hour was pretty decent. I’m ready to watch the 2nd hour. This game is still really close and we are closing on 5 minutes left. Ughhh… Baylor has the first lead of the night. This team has been creating anxiety for Jayhawk fans throughout the year. The ending of this game was wacky. That happens. This is an example of where having a 4K feed would have been much better.
Topic 2: Writing at a slow pace tonight

This flu that has been going around may be wiping me out this weekend. Something has zapped out my energy level. It may just be from a lack of sleep. Kaylee has had the flu and that has disrupted our household. Today I spent a ton of to time watching YouTube videos about computer cases. Some of them were really big computer cases like the Thermaltake Core W200 super tower chassis. It is a wickedly large computer case. My Storm Stryker is a full tower case. It has the capacity to do pretty much anything you need to do. This new class of super tower cases are pretty epic. They have room for wild liquid cooling and massive fan assemblies. Some of them are designed to allow two power supplies and motherboards. Those YouTube videos are pretty much a rabbit hole that I went down for like two hours this afternoon. Kaylee was napping and I should have been writing, but that just did not happen.

My prose today has not been as fluid. Things have developed slower and been a little forced. Powering through 3,000 words per day is about overcoming the slow periods. It has to be about finding a way to move past the roadblocks, obstacles, and pitfalls. Maybe that is the essence of my plan to alway stay positive. For those of you who have seen my YouTube videos you know that I focus on staying positive at all times. Throughout these first three weeks of my writing endeavor I have avoided writing about my focus on staying positive. One of these days I’m going to spend an entire day hammering out my leadership philosophy and explain why I focus on staying positive.

Topic 3: Watching Doc Hollywood

Michael J. Fox has made a variety of interesting movies. Tonight I elected to watch Doc Hollywood or at least a decent amount of it before we flip over to Blade Runner 2049. I think at one point I owned the movie on DVD, but it may have been lost a long time ago. At one point all of my movies got put into a binder and that sort of destroyed them. Those binders just seem to apply thousands of tiny little micro scratches to the discs every time they are pulled in and out. That is my experience with them anyway. The first and second generations of disc binders just ended up destroying things. Now I keep the ones I have in the case. That method requires more space, but it seems to be a better long term storage option.
Topic 4: Rounding out the night

It took a few nights, but I’m about finished with “The 100 Greatest 90’s Alternative Songs” playlist. Tonight I am closing out from 87 to 100. Listening to music and writing is kinda my thing. You may have noticed that. I have written more than 50,000 words on this new ASUS Flip Chromebook model C101P. Based on my initial observations I think the keyboard might just make it to 1,000,000 words this year. That is probably a pretty good number of keystrokes for a laptop keyboard. I was not able to figure out through a quick Google search how many keystrokes a keyboard is built to accomplish.

I’m trying to figure out what album will be next after that playlist ends. Maybe it will automatically suggest something new. It could end up being a Warren Zevon kind of night. That happens more than you might imagine. Tonight has really been a slow writing night. My rate of prose generation has been subpar. Even with two shots of espresso and some type of raspberry cookie my writing productivity did not improve. Even my write of typing has been slower today. Maybe rounding out three weeks of writing at 3,000 words per day is a some kind of barrier I have not encountered before. Maybe I’m about to get my second wind and it will carry me to the finish line. A quick check of the originality index of my prose would probably quickly identify that each day these words are hot off the press. They are newly minted prose. It always pleases me when something that I write is searched on Google with zero results. Sometimes I search for a sentence or a paragraph to see if anything pops up.

Writing brand new and original prose is really a decent achievement. People are building natural language processing AI that can spit out whole novels or books. My hope would be that my degree of originality still outpaces those artificial efforts. I suppose at some point that may not hold true and that machine generated prose will defeat my efforts in a head to head battle. Chances are that the machine will produce prose at a much faster rate. My typing generally yields my 3,000 words in about 2 hours of work. Some of that is more efficient than other parts, but the magic happens in those two hours. Maybe a rock solid AI could spit out some prose within a matter of seconds. That within itself is a scary thought. I have reached a level of productivity where I no longer have time to 100% proofread my work anymore. That would probably not be the case for an AI system. It could probably call a proofreading subroutine or even an entirely different system to edit and revise. That could even be built into the process and editing could be a part of the native workflow.

That last paragraph was not the most inspiring of passages. Art is art. I write for myself. My writing efforts are my primary form of self-expression. That makes my art my art. Writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is about self-reflection and moving beyond the things that limit possibilities. Worrying about future competition from artificial intelligence is just not worth it at the moment. That phrasing would probably be more meaningful if the last few paragraphs were not in direct contradiction of that statement. This is my blog and I’ll must and move on if I want. Welcome to the blog version of intellectual thunderdome. It is nowhere near as dangerous as the original. Really it is not even remotely the same thing. These last 8 songs are really dragging on. The top half of the playlist was much better than the second half without question. That is probably not all that surprising of a thing to say.

Kaylee is almost asleep it may be time to watch Blade Runner 2049 shortly. That blu-ray has been waiting in the Xbox One S all day. At some point, I’m going to need to have a few days that run over 3,000 words to make up for a few of the days where I fell behind. No day has been missed entirely, but my average word count per day is less than 3,000 words per day and that has to improve. The only way to make that happen is to start exceeding the minimum threshold. Intellectually I know that I just have to average more than 2,740 words per day to hit 1,000,000 words. That makes eeking out those last few words even more challenging. I have to make up some ground to offset sick days and other lost days. I know that is true and that it has to be accounted for. Apparently, that is not enough on its own to drive me forward to achieving the goal.

Topic 5: Brade Runner 2049 Night 2

I just spent some time wondering if configuring my NiceHash Miner software v2.0.1.8 to only has a specific algorithm could increase profitability. Right now it bounces around to about 6 different mining pools using different algorithms. All that hopping around cannot be the most efficient method to go about things. Speaking of methods that are not all that efficient taking 3 nights to watch Blade Runner 2049 is perhaps questionable. I don’t really see a way around it.

Well it does not appear that movie night is happening.

My Bose Qc35 headphones have run of of charge. They are now charging and of no use to me for the rest of the night.

That was pretty much all that happened. I mused about people building 19 GPU mining rigs using the ASUS B250 Mining Expert motherboard. Based on a quick search of YouTube it does seems like people really are hooking 19 PCIe slots GPU risers into this motherboard for some epic mining. My mind cannot fathom just how much heat this one setup would generate. Just the two graphics cards running down by my feet under my desk in my Storm Stryker case put off enough heat to make my office feel warm. 19 of them would make things very interesting. Like tropical heat wave interesting.

Joni is mildly concerned about the amount of time I spent looking at mining rigs on YouTube, but it is a combination of research and entertainment. The odds of me spending $10,000.00 on building a sweet sweet mining rig are very low. Seriously, that is probably not going to happen. The dogs have better odds of getting the gold plated dog bowl they always wanted. I just find the whole thing wildly entertaining and it doesn’t really cost anything to watch YouTube videos. People sharing their prize mining rigs is really one of the best use cases for YouTube. It brings content sharing to the people and allows a community of folks interesting in mining to come together from all over the world. Make no mistake about it folks from all over the world appear to be mining. I watched several videos that were not in English yesterday.

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

P.S. Well at least we crossed the 2,500 word barrier before the postscript. At this point each day I’m running behind by a few words. This script was written the next morning and while it is epic and full of transcendent prose that brings joy to the world it should have been written yesterday. That is how it goes apparently. Writing 3,000 word sprints in a single shot seems to elude me. Maybe after a few more days of practice things will improve in week four of the journey. My interests in mining and understanding cryptocurrency is really picking up recently. The amount of content related to that subject I’m consuming is hitting a record peak. That is both good and bad. I have spent the last year really ramping up on artificial intelligence knowledge.

I’m going to dig into this Learning TensorFlow book shortly using the Google research Collaboratory online VMs. That will let me keep mining on my main machine while I unlock the secrets to machine learning, deep learning, and one day artificial intelligence over on some servers Google is powering I’m assuming with a renewable energy source. That is an assumption on my part, but I think I remember reading something about that. On sec. Let me check. Nope that was accurate. Google is purchasing enough renewable energy to match the consumption of its data centers. They even have a web page setup devoted to sharing this knowledge Google → About → Data Centers → Renewable. That seems like a decent investment number.

We are rounding out the last words for this blog post. I have given up on using the word weblog in posts and have just switched to blog. Go figure it seems easier. Things change and that is one of those things that changed. My Nespresso Lungo pod was extra tasty this morning. It brought joy to my world. That is really the reason that machine is my favorite espresso making device so far. I’m having trouble picking music to write to this morning. That does not happen very often. Most of the time picking out an album to listen to is the easiest part of my day. Today was not one of those days. That may mean it is time to break out some classic Eric Clapton albums and swee where we end up. I started at the very beginning of the Eric Clapton solo album discography and began searching eBay. You can get some seriously lower priced classic Clapton if you are not overly concerned with how the sleeve looks. I just started searching down the list and picked up the first few and have been working my way down the list. I’m sure at some point I’ll find somebody selling a lot of the albums, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Now my thoughts have wandered off toward the next blog post. That is ok. We have just about reached 3,000 words for this blog post. It is time to put a bow on this one and call it a day.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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 20 the one where I sat back and thought about mining cryptocurrency

2018: Day 20 the one where I sat back and thought about mining cryptocurrency
Word count 51,296 + 3,009 or 54,305 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Friday happened. It was one of those days that just sort of happened. A whirlwind of things was going on. Throughout the day I was keeping an eye on the looming government shutdown. My main custom build computer sitting in a Storm Stryker case was running NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.8 beta. Mining has been running for the bulk of the year. My office has been warner. Seriously, the whole mining effort with just two graphics cards produces a noticeable amount of heat. I might grab my wall thermometer from the garage and figure out just how hot it my office is actually getting. Dealing with heat is a major part of the whole mining thing. My mining rig was supplemented this week with a Noctua NF-A20 PWM premium-quality quiet 200mm fan helping to cool my graphics cards. You may be wondering if that is a ridiculously large case fan. The simple answer is yes. You have to have a decently large case to begin with to even consider adding a 200mm fan.

A lot of my conversations during the last two weeks have been about cryptocurrency and mining. My thoughts are still relatively certain on mining and cryptocurrency. Mining seems to be an interesting thing to do. In terms of pure entertainment value mining has hype on its side. My take is pretty straightforward. Mining and holding even with only a few graphics cards is probably going to provide enough entertainment to offset the cost of energy and time. Buying coins with your hard earned cash is not something that Warren Buffett recommends. I mean you can go against Warren and make a bunch of investments. My thoughts on it are simple. If you want to be a part of our modern gold rush toward mining coins, then maybe an easy would be to find an NVIDIA graphics card and install the NiceHash Miner software. Make sure you are using something like the MSI Afterburner software to limit the chances of burning out your graphics card. It also appears that all the graphics cards are pretty much sold out. So you have that challenge to overcome as well.

Based on the NiceHash website it appears that they have, “276,000+ daily active NiceHash Miner users.” That is a lot of people with graphics cards mining cryptocurrency. A lot of those daily active users have a lot of graphics cards. NiceHash is not the only miner. People have a lot of mining pool choices. Maybe that is something that I could spend some time digging into and understanding. It really was like a new version of the wild wild west. This version of the wild wild west is even wilder than the Napster movement that disrupted the entire music industry for the better part of a decade. Speaking of music. If you were wondering about how far I made it into the playlist, “The 100 Greatest 90’s Alternative Songs.” I have an answer for you. The end is drawing close now that I have listened to 87 out of 100 songs.

Topic 1: A friday to remember

Ok —- I’m ready to admit that understanding Rick and Morty the television show still escapes me. After watching several seasons of the show it still strikes me as being a bit off. Maybe that is one of those things that I’m just not going to understand. You can appreciate the 10 minutes of political diatribe that just got removed from this blog post. Maybe at some point I will stop censoring my writing and just publish everything. That day is not today. Maybe tomorrow will be that day, but I’m not sure about that either. Curating a blog full of political banter would be a lot more effort. This may be one of those nights where I spin up some Warren Zevon records and write until I cannot write anymore. Picking a topic to engage in a couple hours of writing on will be a challenge. The only thing that really seems to come to mind is a retrospective on the life and times of Zevon. That might be an excitable topic, but I need to focus back in on something that pushes things forward.

Today for some reason I started earning badges on the Salesforce website Trailhead, “The fun way to learn Salesforce.” You may have seen some of the badge notices on my Twitter feed. I have 4 badges out of 270 and 1,725 points. A few years ago I trained folks on how to use Salesforce. That was the reason for my own and only trip to Minnesota. My only real memory of that trip was that the airport had this train that went to the Mall of America. It was a cold trip. A seriously cold and wintery adventure. Maybe I should be a better writer and not use wintery to describe my trip. That is probably a very lazy word choice. Perhaps making it worse is the rather meta diatribe about how poor a choice that was. Sure I could go back and fix it, but at this point we are really just writing forward and not going back to fix things. That was my thought at the time and now it is part of this journey toward 1,000,000 words.

We are quickly closing in on three weeks of writing at a clip of 3,000 words per day. This is the third Friday of writing. For those of you who have followed my musing within this functional journal for years you might know that Friday has always been a big writing day for me. Within the new world order of writing 3,000 words per day every day just sort of bleeds into the next. My writing does not have huge swings and periods of lesser work. That is probably the overall goal of the whole adventure. To engage in productive activity every day. Ending procrastination is really a step in the write direction. Maybe that is more about moving toward a framework where every effort is devoted to solving problems. Instead of trying to fix things or put in incremental changes my effort geared toward striving toward a realistic percent solved. Taking aim at solving things is really a better way to just move forward.

Speaking of moving forward. We are probably going to go to the aquarium at some point this weekend. I’m going to take a ton of photographs of things at the aquarium. You can probably expect the entire next week to be devoted to thumbnails of fish or other things that live in a tank at the Denver Aquarium. The vegetarian items on the menu seems to pointing me toward a grilled cheese and salad type of meal. The hardest part of eating vegetarian this month has been trying to convince myself that eating french fries should be avoided. They are just so tasty. I know my diet needs to be mostly plant based. Potatoes are a plant. They are just not the plant people refer to when telling you to eat a plant based diet. I have not found a diet that recommends the consumption of the deep fried edible tuber otherwise called a potato.

Topic 2: Targeting weekend productivity

Every weekend brings the opportunity to tackle a project. My efforts to tackle bigger projects on the weekend cannot get lost in this whole writing adventure. Maybe Saturday and Sunday will see the triumphant return of my YouTube channel. It is unlikely that 2 epic videos per week will bring in the 888 subscribers necessary to save my YouTube monetization. Right now I’m listening to an album from 2006 called Phobia from the band Breaking Benjamin. A quick search on eBay and Amazon did not yield an answer to my question about if that album was produced and sold on vinyl. You might be wondering if I still check Billboard to see the top selling vinyl albums each week. The answer to that question is yes. Vinyl album sales are really interesting. They are probably the most accurate sales in terms of real volumes. Billboard notes that albums are, “…ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music.” It seems like something they could accurately do in a reasonable way.

This week it looks like the Amy Winehouse album Back to Black is the top selling vinyl album. It seems like a lot of modern marketing and sales revolves around singles. My interest has always been listening to whole albums. They are a snapshot in time related to the band and what was going on within the outside world. Obviously, some musicians are less connected to the times they recorded in, but for the most part that holds true. My vinyl record collection has been slowly growing. It will probably never really get out of control. On my top shelf the records are organized autobiographically High Fidelity style. Some folks may not believe that is the correct way to organize a vinyl record collection. They are not welcome to visit or reorganize my collection. A large portion of my early 1990s baseball card collection is organized autobiographical. Pack after pack they ended up in a storage box exactly in the order they were purchased. That ended up breaking down later when I started sorting by set numerical order. That probably won’t be a problem for my record collection. I’m going to add a topic about my sports trading card collection to my future writing list.

Topic 3: Watching Blade Runner 2049

You may have guessed that Joni is still very opposed to buying the Blade Runner special edition with a unicorn on the front for about $74.95 (plus tax). Obviously, that was discussed before we sat down to watch Blue Runner 2049 on blu-ray. The future proof 4K version rested in the case for a future where I have a 4K television and can watch it. Yeah you are correct to point out that I could watch it in stunning 4K on my computer. That is not really the point of watching a movie. The experience itself is about having a large screen eating popcorn and sitting on the sofa or some type of comfortable chair. Yes —- I purchased a bag of lightly salted popcorn to have during the movie. John Paul insisted that I buy the exact bag of popcorn that came home with me at the store. I’m sure the regular level of salt makes it way better. That won’t be a testable hypothesis this evening. I only have the one bag. Even adding my own salt would not answer the question since it would not mimic the exact proportion of a regular salted bag. Anyway I think you get my point.

During the movie my writing has session for today has to include another 1,000 words. It would probably be smart to try to write 2,000 words and cach up from yesterday’s poor showing. I ate a bunch of the lightly salted air popped popcorn during the first few minutes of the moment. We may only watch the first hour of the movie tonight. It appears to be almost 3 hours long. That probably means it will be a three part film in this household. Finding 3 hours of kid free viewing time is unlikely at best. Visually the movie looks pretty decent on the old Sony Bravia in 1080P. I’m sure it would look even better in stunning 4K. Maybe I will end up watching it again on my computer monitor. A 34 inch screen meant for computers is not as immersive as a 65 to 70 inch television. It really is always raining during the movie. At least from what I can tell so far.

Topic 4: Rounding out the night

Maybe I should put my blu-ray collection into autobiographical order. I’m not entirely sure how you would classify the order right now. Things are just sort of grouped. The rack is not that big and it is relatively easy to find something. Taking the time to sort and put everything in the right place has not been a priority. So many other things that compete for time win out. Tonight watching Blade Runner 2049 and writing has to be my path to relaxation. It is sort of a weird process to start thinking in written form vs. composing and writing after completing the thought. It works out well enough in the moment. You get so locked into the keystrokes and the process of writing that your mind slows down and you just write.
Strangely enough the process of locking in and writing is hard to figure out. Focusing in the moment helps drive things forward. You clear your mind and just let the process of writing unfold on a journey built word by word. What unfolds next is always interesting. Our minds will always be our greatest untapped resource. As the ties that bind our civil society together breakdown like withered fabric left out in the sun humanity struggles. We elect to work together toward a common peace. Our social fabric has evolved and faded beyond recognition. Our capacity to unleash previously unimaginable creativity makes our future possible. It is also the thing that makes our current struggle challenging. Acceptance of the things around us denies the inevitable nature of change. Maybe it was watching an hour of Blade Runner 2049 or my battling off the flu virus, but my mind has wandered to a deeply philosophical corner of things tonight.

That happens from time to time. Sometimes writing in longer forms helps clear out enough of the lesser considerations bubbling up to the forefront of your thoughts. Those longer writing sessions are the ones that bring forward elements from a deeper level of consideration. Sometimes it is hard enough to just get past all the self-censorship and barriers that slow us down and just write for the sake of writing. Building out passages of prose that flow from start to finish while communicating complex issues remains a real challenge. My efforts to connect the beginning and the end with a meaningful narrative are alive with struggle. For some reason I’m still writing in Google Docs and cutting and pasting my work without any real formatting into a blog post. It would probably be easier to just write the blog post natively and skip the process of converting between Google Docs and a basic what you see is what you get blog editor. I just cannot bring myself to compose in the blog post window. That is probably some kind of weird hangup that I cannot exactly figure out.

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

P.S. The only thing left to write about is my coffee. Grabbing a wonderful glass coffee mug made in Italy from the cabinet was easy enough. These glasses hold up to 7.5 ounces of coffee or espresso. They are made by Bormioli Rocco and are called the Oslo Cappuccino Cup. I’m not making any cappuccinos, but they work just fine for a lungo. Speaking of which, this lungo coffee pull from a Nespresso pod used in my expert machine seems wonderful. Whatever exactly a lungo size espresso happens to be it has become my go to morning drink. Instead of starting off the day with two quick shots of espresso this seems to do the trick and only requires one pod instead of two. That is my one big complaint about the Nespresso system vs. the Starbucks Verismo system. With the Verismo system I would pull two shots through one pod and have probably 75% quality on two shots of espresso. The nespresso machine drops the pod after use into a container. That means having two shots of espresso will require using two pods. That might not seem like that big of a deal, but it does change my pod consumption rate each week.

My Nespresso pod bin is quickly filling up. Probably sometime next week I’ll be sending a package of pods off to California for recycling. That is the one big advantage over my Starbucks pods. It does make me feel slightly better about the whole pod thing to recycle them at in bulk. I’m going to be consuming espresso. Chances are that I’m not buying one of the really expensive machines that makes shots from grounds. That means using some type of pod based machine and using one that has the option of recycling the pods seems like the way to go. The folks over at Nespresso make it really easy to accomplish. They gave me a prepaid envelope that is ready to go. I just have to put the used up pods in the envelope and drop them off at their respective shipping company.

I’m getting ready to close out this post for the day and my NiceHash Miner is hashing away at using the Equihash algorithm at a rate of over $6.50 a day at the moment. I’m not entirely sure if that is good or bad, but it appears to be what the NiceHash Miner software is assigning my cards. Since my last payout to the NiceHash wallet my graphics cards have been mining: Keccak, Nist5, NeoScrypt, Lyra2REv2, Equihash, and Blake2s. The majority of that mining has been with the Equihash and NeoScrypt algorithms. We made it the 3,000 wood threshold. Well technically we made it to 3,009.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— 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 19 the one where I got my 3rd NiceHash mining wallet payout

2018: Day 19 the one where I got my 3rd NiceHash mining wallet payout
Word count 49,281 + 2,015 or 51,296 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Bitcoin seems to have bounced back from the recent plunge under 10,000. People are still out speculatively gathering digital acorns in force. My efforts to gather acorns are still in progress. These payments from NiceHash are starting to rack up. Earlier this morning I got my third wallet payment from NiceHash. Selling my hashing power to NiceHash has been working out ok so far this year. My third payment was for 0.00119401 BTC with a fee of 0.00002437 BTC. Making a transfer from NiceHash which is my miner to the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange requires a balance of at least .002 BTC. It seems to be taking me two payments from NiceHash to be able to transfer to Coinbase. The mechanics are pretty simply. NiceHash pays in BTC which is just a fancy way of saying bitcoins. Given the value of a bitcoin even a fraction can be worth some money. In my case my current mining total is 0.00343698 BTC or according to my recent Google search for “0.00343698 BTC in USD” returned a result of 39.74 US Dollar.

I’m going to keep mining until Wednesday, April 11, 2018 to see what happens. That will round out 100 days for the year. At that point all of my mining efforts can be tallied up. I’m curious to see what the value of 100 days worth of mining will be. One ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card cost me a total of $323.73. That cost is a little higher due to the shipping and taxes related purchasing two graphics cards. The seller did refund me the $249.99 for the graphics card that broke down, but not the shipping or taxes. That pretty much means my mining effort needs to surpass $323.73. At the moment my current working theory is to discount the power costs. That is probably not the best strategy, but at the moment that is what I am going with. I am mining with two cards in my Storm Stryker custom built computer.. Back in 2016 I purchased an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card directly from NVIDIA. Both cards are running right now using the NiceHash Miner software. It might be a more accurate test to see if the ASUS card could pay itself off in 100 days, but I’ll use both cards to make this more interesting.

It looks like on January 21, 2018 my NiceHash wallet will receive a 4th payment. That should be enough to make my 2nd transfer to Coinbase from NiceHash. Right now the transfers are free from NiceHash to Coinbase. That probably means I should transfer every time my wallet hits the minimum amount. I’m just learning about cryptocurrency. Knowing how to make transfers is an important part of the process. Learning about mining works has been very interesting. I have started to learn about all the different algorithms NiceHash sends my way. Each algorithm corresponds to specific coins. I find it all terribly interesting. Some of the coins are not work very much at the moment, but who knows they might skyrocket like bitcoin did this last year. My musing about mining will probably continue until April 11, 2018 or maybe the 12th if I end up writing a really awesome recap.

Mining has been an interesting experience so far. I have learned how to use the MSI Afterburner software to control my GPU temperature based on limiting power. It is a very decent piece of software for being free. Getting the NiceHash miner software setup and using MSI Afterburner to regulate temperatures was easy enough. I have even been through my first mining software upgrade. That was interesting. The upgrade from NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 to v2.0.1.8 was really about a change to the CPU inclusion process. After the upgrade the new version tried to get me to run the CPU miner. That was not going to happen. It was not power efficient, profitable, or useful for the relative temperature of my case. My CPU is cooled by a Corsair water cooler and it works well. It does not appear that CPU mining is profitable. Maybe some way exists to do it in a profitable way. That is not something that I am aware of at the moment.

Topic 1: Getting a water cooled GPU

People in mass are talking about mining and how to get into mining. People engaging in speculative mining are buying up pretty much every GPU on the market with a reasonable price and mining potential. A number of folks really do appear to be buying and reselling GPUs at higher prices to take advantage of the shortage. My interest in getting a new GPU is not really based on mining. My attention has been pulled toward some of the new set of graphics cards that have integrated water cooling. For example, the GIGABYTE AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce 11GD graphics card looks pretty great. Sure it costs more than a thousand dollars and that alone is enough to keep me from buying one. It does not have an onboard graphics card fan. A cooling block rests on the card and an external fan pulls liquid out of the block and helps push heat outside the computer case. Let’s just say that this card peaked my interest. I even put in my cart and looked at the final price. That was as far as it got.

Maybe if all my mining generates me enough bitcoin value to buy one of those cards I’ll pull the trigger. That is probably not going to happen before April 11, 2018. Two factors go into calculating the potential value of my efforts. Selling my hashing power to NiceHash generates a steady stream of BTC. That stream of BTC has a value that in the aggregate will go up or down based on the spot price of the cryptocurrency. It could end up going up or down. This last week is a great example of watching the value of my BTC drop prodigiously. I watched the value just plunge and all the news articles were piling on with reasons to sell. Oddly enough then the value stopped sliding and started to rebound. People are probably going to keep building mining rigs. My curiosity is about the people are just slapping a few cards in their computer and jumping into the exciting world of mining. It is a lot of electricity that is being used. It has also driven up the price of graphics cards.

Topic 2: Weblog permalink errors

Somehow yesterday I managed to set up the wrong permalink for the day 18 welblog post. Seriously, I somehow generated a permalink with the day 17 headline in the address. That was a careless error that probably has to do with a rogue copy and paste. We are only in week 3 of this 52 week challenge. I’m going to have to stay focused on formatting and building good weblog posts to keep this rolling along. Part of my routine has to include formatting weblog posts each day. I know that people use blog instead of weblog to describe posts these days. Maybe I’ll catch up with the times at some point, but probably not during this post. Today is not the day for catching up. I thought things were cruising along to 3,000 words. A quick check of the word count quickly showed me that the struggle is real and I’m only at 50%.

I have been working with and building out webpages for a long time. Some of that effort still exists out on the old world web wibe. A ton of it has been achieved within the Internet Archive. They have a wacky wayback time machine that lets you view the web as it was back when it was less crowded. I was going to make some type of argument about the internet being better, but that seems like a get off my lawn type of argument. That one will just have to stay in my back pocket forever. My writing skills have improved a lot since this functional journal started. Some of my archives are in dangerous need of editing. Just like this writing journey I do not have the time to go back and editing things from a decade ago. Even editing the first 50,000 words out of 1,000,000 seems like a daunting task to accomplish. It might just be a task that I don’t really want to accomplish.

Topic 3: Collecting hot sauces

We have a ton of hot sauces in the refrigerator. That may not be the best place to keep them, but it makes sense to me so that is where they are going to stay. I have seen pretty much ever episode of a show on YouTube called Hot Ones which could be described as, “The show with hot questions and even hotter wings.” After watching a few episodes, I pretty much decided to get all the hot sauces featured on the show and eat them with some wonderful baked vegan wings. Some of the hot sauces are really good. Some of them are not very good, but they are epicly spicy. A world of hot sauce fanaticism really does exist. It is a world of its own and it is wonderful.

I have to admit that it took some time for me to develop a tolerance for some of the hotter sauces. A very fine line exists between ridiculous and painfully hot. Sauces that do not really bring any flavor to the experience and only bring unnecessary and horrible heat are not my favorite. Some of my favorite sauces are from a company called Queen’s Majesty Hot Sauce. The company appears to be out of Queens, New York and they make some really great hot sauce. My favorites are the Scotch Bonnet & Ginger and the Red Habanero & Black Coffee hot sauces. Depending on my mood at the time they alternate being my favorite hot sauce. I may at some point give a complete ranking of my favorite hot sauces. That topic has been added to the running list of future topics. It will be a good one. I’ll have to wait for a day where my writing skills are at 100% and the passion to write is present.

Topic 4: Learning TensorFlow

You may have noticed from the weblog post thumbnail that Captain Pickles the dog was trying to chew on my newly acquired Learning TensorFlow. I tried to dig into that book yesterday, but things just did not play out well enough to start that process. Maybe I can figure out how to do some TensorFlow during my YouTube live streams that might solve two problems at one time. That has to be good right. Moving things right along.

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

P.S. Yesterday things concluded at about 2,000 words within this post. I’m not sure this postscript can recover from a 1,000 word deficit. That may be to far of a gap to bridge. Kaylee picked up a touch of the flu and that was enough to slow down the entire household. I’m not feeling 100%, but so far I think my body is fending off this version of the flu virus. Some of the maps they are sharing on the internet and pretty much everywhere show a nationwide flu epidemic this year. For the last few years, I have gotten my flu shot and done pretty well. This year who knows where things will end up.

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 18 the one where I rant about the YouTube Partner Program

YouTube letter

2018: Day 18 the one where I rant about the YouTube Partner Program
Word count 46,270 + 3,011 or 49,281 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Leading off the day is an email from the folks at YouTube. It seemed like an automated email from a generic mailbox titled, “Important updates to the YouTube Partner Program.” It was an email that contained some information about how the folks at YouTube were making some changes to the YouTube partner Program (YPP) this year. The whole thing basically boils down to this passage of the email that states my YouTube channel, “…is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.” Apparently, I have 30 days to go from 112 subscribers to 1,000 subscribes to my YouTube channel. Approaching this like a challenge is probably the right way to handle this notice. It may require a little bit of strategy and having a video go a little bit viral. I included a screenshot of the email as my thumbnail today. It was pretty easy to grab using the Windows 10 built in Snipping Tool. We will see how the quality turns out. It is a Snipping Tool capture of part of my 34 inch monitor. Most of the thumbnails I use are much higher resolution images.

I joined Youtube back on March 18, 2009. That seems like a very long time ago. I get it they have faced serious questions about their content partners and things are getting intense within the increasingly scare race for advertising dollars. A quick search of my email archive did not help me figure out exactly when my channel got monetized, but it was a long time ago. The internet was way different back then and get that YouTube executives based on an algorithm want to remove me from being able to monetize my channel within the YouTube Partner Program. They probably consider it to just be business. YouTube is full of micro creators who make a few videos and contribute to the overall catalog. Some of my content is useful and some of it is entertaining. None of it is viewed all that much.

Several times a month I want to figure something out and go to YouTube for help. I think that is a use case that a lot of people are familiar with or have participated in. Maybe it is figuring out how to modify the lighting controls on my Honda Pilot or understanding how to refill the diaper genie. Throughout 2017 I made content on YouTube it was viewed about 40,000 times. That seems decent for the type of content that I create. Talking about artificial intelligence every day and making vlogs does not appear to be bringing in millions of views. I have until February 20, 2018 to get another 888 YouTube subscribers. The best way to start addressing that challenge will be to start making a new video every day. That is going to be a challenge given my time is devoted to writing 3,000 words per day. Maybe this will provide the extra degree of motivation that i need to push things forward this month.
It does not appear that tonight will be my triumphant return to YouTube in 2018. Maybe tomorrow will be the day when that finally happens. I spent an hour assembling some type of desk for John Paul tonight. It was pretty simple and only required a screwdriver. It seemed pretty solid. I’m still listening to a playlist called the, “The 100 Greatest 90’s Alternative Songs.” Tonight we are getting deeper into the playlist. I have advanced to song 48 of 100. It will probably take me a couple of days to make it front one end of the playlist to the other.

Topic 1: Cryptocurrency valuations are wild

Watching the Coinbase dashboard will give you a sense of just how volatile cryptocurrencies are these days. This week has seen some very intense fluctuations. My Coinbase wallet has about 0.0022 BTC in it that was mined from NiceHash. Right now it has a total balance of ≈ $26.31. I watched it swing from extremes between 22 and 33. These types of wild swings are very interesting and distributing. I’m sure anybody that invested at the height of the bitcoin market is trying to figure out exactly what is going to happen. The mechanics of it are pretty simple. More people are selling at the moment than the number of people buying. Within the last week a bitcoin would have been worth between $9,477 and $14,446. That is a pretty wide range for any currency within a week. I’m sure some type of speculation and day trading is going on based on these huge swings in price. They are way larger than what you would see from a stock or bond. It really does seem like the world of cryptocurrency is a little bit wild wild west gold rush and a little bit pure wildness.

Topic 2: Going back to running some live streams

Getting into the habit of hosting a livestream on artificial intelligence everyday was interesting. It pretty much meant that I was reading content on my phone, computer, and tablet related to artificial intelligence during every spare moment. Riding each wave of information as crashing in the forefront of consideration takes a certain amount of time and effort. It also takes a certain amount of skill and energy. Keeping up to date and talking during a live stream are simple enough. Having all that foundational knowledge to be able to really explain and dig into emerging technologies is the part that requires a lot of groundwork.

The format was working out pretty well. Every news item that caught my attention was shared on Twitter via a tweet. During the livestream it was pretty easy to just review each tweet in descending chronological order. The whole process took about 20 minutes to setup and film each day. That would be something that I could go back to without a whole lot of difficulty. Finding the time to be able to do that and to write 3,000 words per day might be a losing battle. Carving out those few minutes per day should be possible at some point, but right now I’m having a hard time hitting the 3,000 words per day goal. I’m currently working from a morning writing session and an evening close out writing session.

Topic 3: Writing about the things you are passionate about

Each day involves writing an opening vignette. Picking a topic that inspires passion is a key part of writing something it is readable and building up a bulk of words. Really digging in and writing 1,000 words about something is about telling a story and telling it well. You have to begin to set the stage and drill into things with a little bit more. Part of the whole writing 3,000 words per day thing is about helping to improve my writing skills. In some ways being able to sit down and open the door to a complex topic is very important. Opening a door can be a very hard thing to do. Some topics are more approachable than others. I pride myself on being able to take some very complex things and make them approachable. That may not always work out the way that I intended, but hey we can only try our best to move things forward.

Figuring out exactly what moving forward entails can be the biggest part of the challenge. Certainty about what to do and how to move forward has always been easy enough for me to accomplish. That is not so much about Bushido or some other type of unwritten code it is more or less a summation of my beliefs vs. an external code. I’m sure in some ways the eight virtues of Bushido inform those beliefs. That should probably be a topic for an entire post at some point. I should scroll down and add that to the list of topics, but I would rather have it pop up more organically vs. having it be forced into a topic of the day post.

Topic 4: Owning the narrative

Each post on my functional journal (weblog) will always be in chronological order. That is how the system is setup to work. Posts are delivered and stored in chronological order. They can be added to categories or grouped by the month when it was published. Some other folks might use different methods to bucket posts, but that is pretty much how things are sorted here. Owning the narrative within the weblog posts is about driving daily content based on something. That something is probably at the crux of owning the narrative. It is probably about setting the agenda and sticking to it day after day and week after week. Part of the narrative throughout 2018 will be the march toward writing 1,000,000 words in the same year and my goal of writing 3,000 words per day. Beyond word counts and posting schemas owning a narrative is about ensuring that the events, themes, and stories from day to day flow together in a reasonable way. That is way easier to describe than it is to achieve. One general narrative thread here is about striving forward.

Topic 5: Learning TensorFlow

A book published in August 2017 from Hope, Resheff, and Lieder called, “Learning TensorFlow: A guide to building deep learning systems,” showed up at the house. The book is not as long as I expected. The last numbered page was a part of the index at 228. I’m started to dedicate a part of my bookshelf to weighty tomes on TensorFlow. I’m very curious to put this book through the paces and see what we can do with it. That does present a little bit of a problem. My 100 day cryptocurrency mining project is still up and running. That pretty much means that my graphics card will be tied up mining until Wednesday, April 11, 2018. That seems like a long time from now. If you only count weekdays, then it would be even longer spanning out to Monday, May 21, 2018.

For those of you who may have been following along on my YouTube videos you know the solution. The solution comes straight from Google. I’ll have to use the Google Research tool Colaboratory. It is web based and all of the work happens over on a virtual machine at Google via Google Drive vs. having to use my graphics card on my Windows 10 image. That is good news. That means I can start working through this Learning TensorFlow book. Given the amount of words that I am writing every day you may start seeing some commentary on my experience of digging into this TensorFlow book.

Thematically that means we will be juggling the 100 day mining journey, digging into a Learning TensorFlow book, and struggling with my quest to save my YouTube channel. As a collection of themes go those are all tied to technology in some way. Maybe they all contribute to the undercurrent of the intersection of technology and modernity. We are getting closer and closer to seeing major changes to society from the rise of technology. Some of the things we are seeing built out could induce medical advances that extend life and potentially increase the quality of that life.

TensorFlow as a language could end up contributing to some of that through advancing treatment and refining highly complex pattern recognition to offer earlier detection at reduced costs. The use cases for TensorFlow are numerous and some of them are exciting. You can use TensorFlow to focus on solving specific problems and you can tackle a number of use cases. That however does not translate to an advance in general artificial intelligence. At some point, we will be able to building all the use cases and have a library of examples that a more generalized AI can use to extrapolate and build on. The type of AI we see in movies that talks and can solve problems independently is not here right now. It could show up before we know it and advances in general AI are probably closer than we can imagine.

We have seen a proliferation of tools for artificial intelligence research. One of these new frameworks will end up being the basis for generalized artificial intelligence or maybe some type of fork from one of them. So many people are working toward advancing the ball right now that I am almost expecting the next wave of innovation to arrive at anytime.

Topic 6: Mining away…

It seems like a lot of folks are getting mining software setup and are hunting for cryptocurrencies. For better or worse it does seem to be the gathering acorns of our time. I spent some time yesterday trying to figure out how to locate another reasonably priced graphics card for my 100 day sprint toward Wednesday, April 11, 2018. I was looking for a GPU in the Geforce GTX 1060+ range under $300.00. It turns out that getting 2 ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics cards was probably just luck. They all seem to be sold out. Sure it would have been better and maybe more profitable to get something with more onboard memory. People in the mining community do not appear to be very excited about 3GB graphics cards. Their capacity for hashing cryptocurrency is limited compared to something with more resources. It would have worked out for my purposes. I just wanted to watch 3 graphics cards mine cryptocurrency and evaluate what it would take to optimize their efforts.

Throughout the last two weeks I have had a number of conversations with people about mining and what setup they are using. People can setup NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.8 (they upgraded from v2.0.1.6 recently) with relative ease and even with one NVIDIA card can start mining away. Maybe that is the most interesting part of the process. You have this highly bimodal split of users with 1 to 3 graphics cards running in standard computer case and you have folks who either have specialized hardware or mining rigs with 6+ GPUs running. The other day I watched a YouTube video with a miner who had a shed full of 192 graphics cards titled, “5.6GH 192 GPU Ethereum Mining Shed tour.” That thing is probably a fire hazard. My only thought when watching the video was not about how powerful that mining rig happens to be. It was about how easy it would be for bugs to get into the shed.

Topic 7: Today was a day of many topics

Today was one of those days where settling into a grove and staying on topic was hard. Things really got disrupted today. Having enough time to really engage in writing and some deep thought would have provided a little bit of continuity and maybe just a little bit more focused prose. Really locking in and writing about a topic is what this extended writing project is about. My focus has been on really digging in and thinking about the topics that catch my attention. Every one of those topics is dragged back into my basic framework to understand the form, function, structure, and assumptions of the topic and how that framework relates to striving forward.

Each day we make choices about how we want to move forward and what we want to do to learn and grow. That presumption is based entirely on the assumption that people want to grow, to learn more, to move forward. I can clear my mind at anytime to the point of almost falling asleep. That state of pure rest has never been my version of enlightenment or pure zen. My interest has always been on the opposite side of the spectrum. I want my mind to be alive with thoughts and questions. For me the fictional words of West Wing President Josiah Bartlet,”What’s next,” always come to mind. That has to be the question. It has to be the basis of the things we consider in the current moment. We have to decide what is next. That is at a very basic level what we do throughout the day. We do it throughout the moment. It happens all the time. Even right now you are wondering what’s next.

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

P.S. A package of Red Vines just might be sitting on my desk. They were not a necessary purchase. Apparently, they are made in the United States. That surprised me. I knew that the folks at Red Vines claim to make a, “deliciously rewarding treat,” but it was surprising to find out it was made in California. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to stress eat a couple Red Vines and move on. You never really know how stress will drive writing. It cam at times be the motivating factor to push things forward very rapidly. That is why a deadline can be a motivator. The fear and stress associated with missing a deadline can help some writers jump in and get going. My undergraduate advisor frequently said I was a first in the pool kind of kid. That is a very true statement. My drive to understand things has always driven me to be a first adopter. My technology related interests have always been on the bleeding edge of what is possible. Some of that drive is fueled by Red Vines today, but for the moment part that drive is something that has always just existed. Maybe it is an innate curiosity to understand the world around me that just got overly focused on technology.

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 17 the one where cryptocurrency values plunged

2018: Day 17 the one where cryptocurrency values plunged
Word count 43,257 + 3,013 or 46,270 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Just yesterday I was musing about how all of the NVIDIA Geforce GTX graphics cards have been purchased mostly by cryptocurrency speculators. Check out the thumbnail image of a retail store with about 10 square feet of empty shelves. They have been bought up by folks that want to engage in some type of mining. People have been building all sorts of wild mining rigs. You can search YouTube and see tours of all sorts of mining rigs. They range from very simple to hundreds of graphic cards. My mining rig is less adventurous. I pretty much just added some fans and two graphics cards to my Cooler Master (C.M.) Storm Stryker full tower computer case. Very quickly one of the graphics cards suffered a wholesale physical breakdown. Seriously, one of fans lost a blade and that blade must have crunched off around 6 other blades for a total of 7 broken blades. The conclusion of that long and scary computer hardware story is that my mining rig only has two graphics cards.

Running a mining test for 100 days with only 2 graphics cards may just be how we end up proceeding. It is possible that a new third graphics card will be picked up, but at the moment they all seem to be sold out online, in computer stores, and even in big box retail stores. The search is on, but it may not be successful. Apparently, the sale of graphics cards is a lagging indicator. People are chasing the hype. Today the values have been all over the place. The values themselves do not impact my test. They may cause the success condition not to be met. The goal of the test involves figuring out how to pay off my one new ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card. It would have been much harder to pay off two cards. Right now the one that was returned to the seller has been refunded. The experiment is really just centered around the one graphics card and how much time it will take to pay it off.

Yesterday I almost broke down and bought a Litecoin. That has almost happened for the last 2 days, but I have held off. Today is one of those days where my hesitation was healthy. Bitcoin plunged under 10,000 at one point today. Litecoin moved from around 250 down to under 150. The swings in cryptocurrency values are at times shocking. If the values keep plugging, then it is going to take more than 100 days to pay off my new graphics card. That will mean my experiment was not 100% successful. However, at worse we are probably looking at a cost offset. That works. Either way the cards will be switching over to doing Tensorflow based processing at some point. All of this adventure will swing back over to a study of artificial intelligence.

Between December 17, 2017 and today Bitcoin had lost about 42% or roughly 8 thousand dollars. That is an amazing percentage. It is equally amazing that the value of a bitcoin had gotten up to 20 thousand dollars in a meteoric rise that will be examined for years. It must have been a wild ride for those who got into the game at the start. My study of cryptocurrencies is more or less about two sides of the same coin. One side of the coin describes the ride and the other the technology. It was really fascinating to watch my small fraction of a bitcoin go up and down today. The swings in value are highly volatile.

Topic 1: That one shot of vanilla flavored espresso

I’m settling in for the even to sit down and write. Right now Top Chef season 15 episode 4 is on the television. This episode is sorta dragging along today. I guess they cannot all be full of drama and intrigue. Over the last year my diet has been moving closer and closer to fully vegetarian. I do some vegan meals, but those are always really hard to accomplish. We slowly made the move to eating more vegetarian meals. One of the ways we started to make the switch involved ordering vegetarian meals from Blue Apron. That meant that for 3 meals per week we were starting to walk down a different path. It worked out well enough. Now I scout menus in advance and know how to pick out vegetarian food for myself. I’m probably 90% or more vegetarian. Every now and again I might deviate.

It has really been a rather healthy switch in my lifestyle. Keep in mind that giving up french fries, onion rings, and other fried food is an important part of changing things up. It is really hard to give up fried foods. Sometimes you do not even realize how often you eat french fries or fried foods. Really thinking about what you are going to eat and managing your diet is a lot of work. I do not write about exercising or my diet very often. That is mostly due to the fact that it is not all that interesting or compelling. The last time I really wrote about a dietary change was when I gave up soda and energy drinks. That was way harder than eating vegetarian. Seriously, it was really hard. I have gone back to drinking a soda at a restaurant, but I do still feel slightly guilty about it.

Topic 2: Captain Pickles squeaks

We have had Peppercorn the dog for about 12 years. During that time we have seen all sorts of noise making. Peppercorn took a vow of silence for the first three years. To this day I have no idea how or why that happened. The dog never really barked or made very much noise of any kind. That all changed. Our 55 pound australian cattle dog (blue heeler) mix barks at just about anything worth barking at. Captain Pickles our recently rescued about 8 month old labrador mix squeaks. Yeah I know you might think it is more or less whining mixed with some yelps, but to me it sounds like a squeak. It is somewhat endearing and at the same time offputting. In time we will see if it is a phase or just a part of the dog’s personality.

Topic 3: My playlist for tonight

I’m listening to a playlist called the, “The 100 Greatest 90’s Alternative Songs.” I’m on song 19 of 100. Obviously, the playlist will not be exhausted before my writing journey ends tonight. Yesterday I only ended up producing 2,000 words. That means a little bit of catching up is in order. I really only have to average 2739.7260274 words per day throughout the entire year to hit the 1,000,000 word target. That is why the 3,000 word per day goal is so important. You have to get ahead of the overall goal to avoid any setbacks along the way. The flu season this year seems to be extreme. That could derail my writing efforts for several days. The last time I tried to write when feverish it did not turn out very well. That weighty tome was achieved to never be read again. My dreams are always so surreal when I am sick.

This week I meant to spend more time cleaning up my office. Cleaning did not really happen this week. Maybe tomorrow I will clean up my desk. That would be a good first step to getting things organized. Overall I have gotten used to writing on this ASUS Chromebook C101P. Over the years most of my writing has happened on laptops, notebooks, and now Chromebooks. Sitting down and writing on my main workstation has not really felt natural. That is not the primary place that I spent my time writing. Right now for example. I am laying down and writing with this Chromebook sitting on a pillow. It does not really get hot or have heat problems. I’m not even sure it has a fan. I just picked it up and looked all over. It does not appear to have a fan. It does appear that people Google Chromebook fans enough for it to have suggestions when I was typing out my search.

I’m going to have to get better about writing set pieces each night or start to really focus in on delivering a higher quality of narrative. Before all of this started I knew that having a list of topics was going to be very important to help me move things along. Sometimes you just need a little bit of guidance to get going when you are not inspired. Based on the amount of global hype and against related to bitcoin you think I would be able to write more compelling prose about the topic. I have been able to describe my journey. I’m still a little bit irked that one of the graphics cards had to be sent back to the seller. Mining with three graphics cards would have been more interesting.

Speaking of interesting mining problems. The folks over at the NVIDIA website are selling a Star Wars Jedi Order NVIDIA Titan Xp collectors edition graphics card for a little over one thousand dollars. The website includes the note, “It’s driven by 3840 NVIDIA® CUDA® cores running at 1.6 GHz and packs 12 TFLOPs of brute force.” That is a lot or processing power for one graphics card. It also glows in either red or green depending on which side you pick. Obviously, I want to get one of each and let them battle it out in terms of mining power. A lot of the graphics cards are listing a limit of 2 per customer on them. That probably has to do with the secondary market for graphics card where people have marked up the prices even higher.

Building a second computer with a few more graphics cards in it sounds like an interesting proposition to think about. I would probably stay with the Storm Stryker case. I’m sure some other types of full size cases are equally epic. Searches for cases are kind of interesting. Maybe I miss being able to go to the Micro Center in Kansas City and look at all the cases before picking the right one. Picking the right case this time around would be more or less about maximizing cooling capability. The one thing I have learned building out and maintaining a mining rig is that graphics card heat is very real.

I’m going to price out a new computer on Newegg real quick and see what it would cost me. The ASUS homepage is very keen on the Z370 motherboard. I’ll probably use that as a base to build out my speculative system tonight.

The costs would add up: the motherboard looks to be running about 200, CPU 400, ddr4 400, CPU cooler 100, m.2 stick 100, and case 200. My computer spend before graphics cards would probably end up being around $1,500 to $2,000. That is probably on the very high end of what somebody would spend on a mining rig setup. It is probably closer to a high quality VR or gaming custom computer build. Based on my research it would almost be worth it to buy one of the custom built computers vs. assembling a rig on your own. I remember back a long time ago when building out an Alienware computer was the height of computing fun.

To that end I might just go out and build an Alienware setup that might work for mining with a couple graphics cards. Keep in mind that people who set up mining rigs use air cooling and have 6+ graphics cards tied to the same motherboard. That type of effort is a little extreme for my needs. I just like to build computers the same way that has always worked for me. My massive Lian Li cube case still sits next to me in my office. It is much louder than I remember, but that is probably due to the age of the hardware. Maybe at some point I’ll get it booted up and plug in a monitor this week.

The Alienware Area-51 case does look pretty cool, but the brand does not have the same meaning to me anymore. It used to be having an Alienware computer was the gold standard for gaming. I never had one. Pricing them was really as far as I ended up going during my quest to build a computer. It was always cheaper for me to get the parts and put them together myself compared to having somebody else build the computer. I feel like that script has been flipped sometime during the last few years. I went out to the Alienware website. It links in to a Dell base URL. Trying to build the most expensive computer possible was not as much fun as it used to be.

Topic 4: Closing out the night

We all make choices about how we want to move forward. Finding a working routine and repeating it over and over again does not seem seem to be a viable model. People want to experience new and interesting things. Doing the same thing daily may not cut it for most people. I approach each day by staying positive. My efforts are always focused on trying to move forward and learn as much possible about the world around me. That is pretty the name of the game. A game based on learning about the outside world.

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

P.S. Yesterday was another slow writing day. We need to kick it up a notch and make sure the vignettes are stretching out to over 1,000 words. To balance out my writing strategy. Every morning about 1,000 words need to be generated before breakfast. That makes it easier to crank out about 2,000 words in the evening and hit the target. This is a big year for my writing endeavors. Getting close to 1,000,000 words will be a fantastic accomplishment. I might even put a plaque up on the wall to celebrate that victory over procrastination. That might seem like a silly idea, but people put all sorts of things on walls. Instead of a talking fish Sopranos style I’m hoping for a big writing year plaque. That seems reasonable now on day 17. We will see if that is the case when we hit the Major League Baseball all star break. The all star game this year is on July 17, 2018. I’m hoping to have cracked the 500,000 word barrier well before the all star game.

We all have to have goals. That half way point marker will be a test of my writing skills and of my commitment to writing 3,000 words per day. I’m going to get close today, but that is a function of how long this post script is turning out to be today vs. my original writing effort. At the end of my writing session usually after some time has passed I try to come back and put together some words. They can at times end up being a little bit meta, but that is ok. They are intended to be reflective about the process or the content. My ability to go back and edit my work is a little bit limited. At this point the grand total of words for the year is nearing 50,000. Even with my best intentions some espresso and a bag of popcorn I could not chew through 50,000 words of editing in one session. At this point, I could still manage to read it all in one day. That is probably going to stop being an option sometime soon. The amount of prose being generated will be larger than I can reasonably consume or edit.

That pretty much means that only one option really exists at this point. The option to press on and keep writing. Maybe next year will be a year of editing and reflection. It is also possible that the journey will just keep on rolling at that point. My writing skills should be at their height and the habit of daily writing should be very well reinforced after 365 days of making it a priority. At the moment, my thoughts have wondered to thinking about writing on a beach somewhere nice. That might be due to the heat of my mining rig warming my office or it could be due to the snowy weather we have seen here in Denver. Either way the thought of sitting on the beach and writing has come to the forefront of my thoughts. That is probably a good goal at some point. The idea of having enough calm downtime to sit and write on a beach is strangely appealing. The waves crashing, the sand, and maybe some type of on demand snacks.

That might very well be the key selling point. Most of the beaches I have visited and sat down to write some words have also had on demand snacks. People brought them on a pretty regular basis. Being well fed and sitting on a beach writing might be what I am really thinking about. It just might be a daydream expressed in written form within this weblog post. That may have just happened. Thanks to that little bit of daydreaming we might have just hit the 3,000 word writing goal for the day. This postscript with about 800 words really helped round things out for the day. It might be a good idea to focus on getting ahead of the target vs. this constant trying to catch up.
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 16 the one where I made my first Coinbase transfer and it snowed

2018: Day 16 the one where I made my first Coinbase transfer and it snowed
Word count 43,257 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Here we go again. Today is a day full of ice and snow here in Denver, Colorado. We faced the most dangerous combination of roads being icy before snow fell on the ground. I’m hoping everybody stays safe on the roads today. Conditions were certainly hazardous this morning. It is in stark contrast to yesterday when I was wearing a t-shirt. Weather is amazing, powerful, and capable of creating extreme conditions. Our new puppy Captain Pickles is just getting used to winter. That little puppy has just abridged 50 pounds and is getting bigger every day.

You probably guessed that we would be talking about mining today. My 100 day mining challenge is in full swing. Very early this morning the folks over at NiceHash made a second payment to my cryptocurrency wallet. You may recall that my very first cryptocurrency payment ever of 0.00118327 BTC with a fee of 0.00002415 BTC occured on January 13th. This second payment occurred very early on January 15th and included 0.00105970 BTC with a fee of 0.00002163 BTC. For those of you who do not really read BTC values that means that my 100 day mining effort has been worth about $31.66 or 0.0022 BTC. One of the challenges I have faced as a writer involves avoiding transactional prose and trying to stay on the functional side of things. That is after all why this weblog is called a functional journal.

Thanks to the increased value of my NiceHash wallet this was the first time it was possible to transfer the 0.0022 BTC to my Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet. That is an important step in my journey into the world of cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is a digital currency exchange capable of buying and selling a few different types of cryptocurrency. That means it would be possible to exchange my 0.0022 BTC for USD. My strategy for at least the next 100 days is to allow the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 to run on my Storm Stryker custom built computer. At the end of 100 days I’ll either sell my BTC and pay off my ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card or keep on mining.

It appears that they are now sold out of the ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card. Seriously, it looks like most internet stores are sold out of anything less expensive than the NVIDIA GTX Geforce 1080. I’m guessing that has something to do with the mass frenzy currently sweeping anybody that knows how to install a graphics card. The cryptocurrency hysteria is everywhere. I physically visited like 6 stores last week looking for a graphics card. It was pretty obvious from the reactions of the employees that lots of people were coming in and asking about graphics cards. A refund for one of the graphics cards is coming my way. That means my 100 day mining challenge is now only featuring 2 graphics cards. That makes paying off the one graphics card a lot more likely to happen during the challenge.

Based on my initial research it really does appear that people are buying graphics cards to engage in cryptocurrency mining. It seems to be having a moment. Obviously, I purchased two graphics cards to see what this whole mining thing is about. One of those graphics cards failed out very quickly. The remaining cards are mining away. I’m curious just how many people are engaging in mining worldwide. This is for sure the peak of the hype. Pretty much everybody I know is thinking about mining or buying cryptocurrency. That massive amount of hype is very real and coins are at the forefront of the public mind.
I learned something new today about how to manage my graphics cards. Today I downloaded the MSI Afterburner software. It works great. You can look at a bunch of statistics for your graphics cards and you can limit the power consumption of a graphics card. To reduce the overall heat of a graphics card you can reduce the power limit to something like 85%. Reducing the power will also reduce the mining power, but that may be a worthwhile tradeoff. Managing heat is a major part of figuring out how to setup and maintain a mining rig. The NiceHash Miner software does not really have any heat control settings. That makes the MSI Afterburner software or something like that software a true necessary.

My mining journey is well underway. Downloading the NiceHash Miner software was pretty easy. I already had an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card. Starting the mining software was easy enough. Mining with one card was pretty straightforward. Most of the forums seem to have a very negative opinion of the founders edition card cooling capabilities. I have been using it since 2016 and it has worked very well for gaming, streaming, and pretty much everything else it has been asked to do. Maybe based on mining benchmarks some of the aftermarket cards outperform the founders edition cards. That is fine. My efforts are not about being the absolute best at mining cryptocurrencies. They are about learning and understanding the process and technology. Today was a big day. I finally used Coinbase and had enough funds to make a transfer. A very very small fraction of a bitcoin is mine. It could go up in value or down in value based on the market for bitcoins. I find that very fascinating. Probably not in the same way Warren Buffett does, but hey I’m not an institutional investor.

That is the first chapter of my mining journey. It was about getting started and setting up the right tools. The entire second chapter may very well be about finding a third graphics card. All of the GTX 1080 varietns seem to be in stock, but they cost about one thousand dollars. The most I have ever paid for a graphics card is about $300. At the time, I thought that was expensive. The market for graphics cards has gotten more expensive since 2016. At some point, NVIDIA will release a new iteration of graphics cards. That will probably be the 11 series. It will feature a performance improvement. The Pascal architecture changed the game. It was enough to make me want to buy a reference card back in 2016.

Topic 1: The Kansas Jayhawks vs. The Mountaineers

Tonight in Morgantown, West Virginia the University of Kansas Jayhawks are playing a basketball game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. All of this full court press based defense is interesting. Kansas is down by a ton at halftime tonight. Tonight was a night that I wanted to sit down and watch the game and really enjoy it. This brand of West Virginia basketball is frenatic and at times frustrating to watch. Overall, I have not really enjoyed the first 20 minutes of this game.

That for the most part has to do with the lack of Jayhawk offense. Winning is great. This first half of basketball was not case study in winning. Maybe the second half will be better, but if the last four tripps to Morgantown have been any indicator it may not be satisfying to watch. Spoiler alert —- I was wrong about the second half. Those Jayhawk basketball players proved more scrappy in the second half.

Topic 2: Writing with speed and purpose

Today has been a very slow writing day. Maybe it is the change in the weather that has slowed things down. A big snowfall mixed with some ice will always makes things interesting. It probably has to do with writing transactional prose. Today it felt like my initial attempt to write were stilted and moved from fact to fact without telling a story. Those first few paragraphs needed some ethos, pathos, or logos. They needed an appeal to something a reader can connect with. Be that ethics, emotion, or logic. Crafting a really good story is about bringing the reader along for the journey.

Most of my writing efforts are a pure exercise of self-exploration and are not really written for outside consumption. Every one of my posts this year starts out with the salutation, “Dear reader.” That has been done on purpose to acknowledge that these posts have been written with the reader in mind. That might not seem like a novel idea. It may feel like a necessary one. Each opening vignette has been written in a purposeful way. They should have been approachable and shared some type of information or story. With any luck they have been at minimum interesting.

Sometimes writing with speed is about filling in the details a well thought out outline and pushing through block by block of a paint by number exercise. That is pretty far away from the ways that I spend my time writing. A purposeful writing sessions feels like a great headwind is pushing me forward making the creation of words almost effortless. That usually happens in waves and is for better or worse a get on the bus and go kind of moment. Outside of having a headwind we end up facing the type of writing session that is happening tonight. I’m self-aware of the words that are being written. It feels like a steady amount of typing, but the pace is off and lacking.

Topic 3: A GPU shortage?

NVIDIA has some links to places that sell Geforce GTX graphics cards. I checked out all 6 online stores and it appears that people bought all the sub GTX 1080 graphics cards. That seemed to be right earlier today. My research has pretty much confirmed that to be the case. At the moment, my only real option to add a third GPU to my Storm Stryker mining rig would be to purchase a Geforce GTX 1080 based graphics card. They are really great cards, but with great power apparently comes a great cost.

Topic 4: This one fell a little short

Today’s weblog post will probably fall short of my 3,000 words per day goal. Things just did not go well enough this morning to knock out an extra 1,000 words. That is going to happen from time to time. Rebounding from a poor days writing efforts will be key to get back on track. Ok I just had a donut and two shots of espresso. That will probably help push me over the 2,000 word barrier. Donuts really are pretty awesome and mixed with the goodness of espresso that is a combination that probably is one of my favorite breakfast meals.

Watching the snowfall was peaceful. Within the last day it has been melting. That is always the most interesting part of the process. Things every so slowly fade away and it is almost like the snow never arrived. Nature in and of itself can be very beautiful and very chaotic. Winters in Colorado are more interesting than the ones back in Kansas. They also have less ice which is a great step forward in the weather department. Ice on a road or a hill or anywhere really makes things a lot harder.

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

P.S. Tomorrow’s writing session has to go better. I feel like somehow it is related to watching all that Star Trek The Next Generation. That cluster of 6 Borg related episodes was decent viewing, but maybe that time could have been better spent fully focused on writing and moving forward.

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.