Day 90 the one where the Jayhawks were in San Antonio

2018: Day 90 the one where the Jayhawks were in San Antonio
Word count 180,061 + 544 or 180,605 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

You may have been wondering about the thumbnail for the blog post today. Captain Pickles the dog decided to eat some books today. One of those books happened to be, “Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology,” by Jean-Paul Sartre. That book has been read a number of times. That could explain why it was chosen for destruction by our new puppy. I went only to Barnes and Nobles and ordered a replacement. That replacement will be kept on a higher shelf in my office. The dog appears to only eat books on the first two shelves… something is going to have to be done here to help stop the dog from eating my books. After giving up on Amazon this year and ending all of my financial transactions with them I had to find a new bookstore and it seemed like a good idea to go back to my old bookstore. Barnes and Nobles was the bookstore that I would go to visit and buy books at in Kansas City. That or a Borders bookstore which apparently ceased operations back in 2011.

Ok —- now that the book destruction has been addressed it is time to note that the University of Kansas Jayhawks played the Villanova Wildcats today in San Antonio, Texas. It is about 20:00 hours and I just started writing. The second half has started and I’m still hopeful at this point. The clock is going to keep ticking, but a comeback would need to start. We are watching the TBS broadcast via our Chromecast Ultra and YouTube TV. Our subscription to YouTube TV is probably going to be cancelled after the end of basketball season. I do have to say that the service is pretty great and it worked out really well during the NCAA tournament.

One of the thinks that I started working on today was buying two movies in a 4K format. I had thought that our local Costco would have had Thor Ragnarok and The Last Jedi movies in the 4K format. That packaging seems to include the regular Blu-ray disc and the 4K Blu-ray disk. For the most part I am just future proofing my purchases in a physical storage format. My Storm Stryker custom built computer with a 4K monitor supports 4K content. Our old Sony Bravia does not support that type of content. Surprisingly, Costco did not have the which is probably a reflection on the sale of physical media. That store sells a lot of 4K monitors and televisions. Given that they sell 4K disc players and televisions capable of playing 4K content I had made the assumption that the movies would be for sale as well. ‘

Well this second half is not going very well so far. My reaction at the moment is to want to repeal the 3 point line… at the moment that seems like the best chance to restore order to the universe. It is probably not a winning philosophy or a realistic suggestion, but it feels like the course of action at the moment. My energy level and focus on writing at the moment is questionable. Things were shaping up for a fun weekend and now things are on tilt all over in basketball land.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 89 the one with some Last Dab hot sauce

2018: Day 89 the one with some Last Dab hot sauce
Word count 178,943 + 1,118 or 180,061 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Oh it was a day of snark. Some oddly mercurial folks with a keen wit were out in force today. Sometimes I guess that happens. For a lot of folks it was either the end of a spring break week or the start of a holiday weekend. Either way I figured it was a Friday and tried to look forward to a few moments of peace. Right now at the moment I’m pretty calmly writing some words and listening to a little bit of Pandora. It is about 20:00 hours and the day is mostly gone. Now would be the time to hammer out some thoughts on the keyboard. I’m hearing pretty mixed reviews on the Ready Player one movie. That makes me somewhat sad I guess. It is a movie that I really want to enjoy. Given that movie theater popcorn makes me happy the movie only has to be pretty decent to be acceptable. We will see a ton of reviews this weekend for the movie now that it is out in the wild.

For those of you who have my YouTube video alerts turned today was the day for my Last Dab Carolina Reaper edition review. For some reason, the overlords at YouTube elected to take away my ability to schedule videos. Beyond having monetization ripped away from my channel the schedule video feature is the one that I miss the most. Taking that feature away was arbitrary and capricious. It was simply mean and truly uncalled for. I pretty much consider taking that feature away to be patently ridiculous. So the original Heatonist sold hot sauce from the First We Feast was the Hot Ones sauce. It is zesty and pretty darn good. It has a medium level of heat and I really like it with tater tots. Later they made a sauce called the Last Dab. It included a pepper called Pepper X and it is rated spicy with a 10 out of 10 ranking. My review of the Last Dab featuring Pepper X has been viewed a few thousand times.

Today I went back and revisited the Last Dab hot sauce with Pepper X and paired it with the newly released Last Dab Carolina Reaper edition hot sauce. I can handle the Last Dab with Pepper X it is hot probably due to the primary pepper ingredient having a 3.18 million Scoville unit rating. This might sound strange, but the Last Dab Carolina Reaper edition hot sauce was way more abrasive and heat forward. On a few occasions I have tackled Pepper X and gone back for more. I’m not sure the flavor on the Carolina Reaper edition was enough to bring me back to the table. I’m going to make a video about my top 10 favorite hot sauces. That sounds like a really great plan for a video. I’m sure that will be a project for next week.

Topic 1: Buying some N scale model trains

A few quick eBay searches yielded a few options for buying up some N scale model train parts. It looks like a few engines are for sale on eBay. They are pretty much sold as is and mya or may not work when they arrive. That is really the wildest part about buying vintage or used parts on eBay. With a vinyl record I can generally tell from photographs if it is going to play or if it is turn up beyond any degree of playability. Buying an N scale model train engine is a very different proposition. It could look fantastic and not work. I guess that is the risk associated with buying things at a much lower price than trying to buy new ones. Maybe N scale is not as popular as it used to be or model train parts have just gotten more expensive over time. It was one of those things I thought would be for sale in lots on eBay. I’ll keep looking for a really good lot of trains until my collection gets a little bit out of hand.

Topic 2: Deploying my graphics cards

I’m seriously considering taking my two GTX 1060 graphics cards and moving them from my Storm Stryker case to my new Corsair Air 740 case. I’m wondering how much of a temperature difference that simple movie would make. The fan situation within the Corsair Air 740 case is way better all around. I added a ton of fans to my Storm Stryker case this year. That was enough to allow some cryptocurrency mining to occuring during the last 100 days. That endeavor has been a wild ride. Overall values of bitcoins have gone up and down a ton. Keep in mind that all of my mining efforts have only yielded about 2% of a bitcoin. My real curiosity is just how well the ASUS X299 TUF Mark 1 motherboard will handle the heat. The package indicates that it should handle it pretty well, but that is a test I want to see and evaluate.

Another option would be to pick up some used NVIDIA GTX 1060 founders edition graphics cards on eBay. Strangely enough I sort of thought the dip in bitcoin prices would have results in more graphics cards being sold on eBay. The ones with less than 6 gigabytes of RAM are probably going to end up being sold on the secondary market in large numbers. Those blockchains are not getting smaller every day. They are just getting larger and more computationally intensive. That probably will yield a ton of graphics cards flooding the market at some point. However, unless the next generation of NVIDIA graphics cards is an evolutionary leap the cards that end up being sold will be good for gaming, but probably not the best of the best in terms of overall GPU power.

Topic 3: The TensorFlow Dev Summit

I had a chance to catch parts of the TensorFlow Dev Summit today. It will probably take me a good chunk of the weekend to watch the whole event. Some of the day one stuff looked pretty interesting. It gave me some ideas to jump in and work with some different methods of data importation. It is nice to watch or see somebody using the product. Sometimes the easiest way to learn about something is to observe it instead of just trying to read about it. Ok —- my Pandora internet radio station just played me an advertisement in Spanish. That was pretty much uncalled for. I understood some of it, but that does not seem like a properly lined up advertisement.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 88 the one with some reflection on picking direction

2018: Day 88 the one with some reflection on picking directions
Word count 177,762 + 1,181 or 178,943 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Ring the bell. Not in defeat. Ring the bell to signify a new round of adventure. Reflecting on why we pick the directions we pick take a certain something. Probably a little bit more than just ringing a bell and starting a new round of inquiry. Today the blog post title was almost something about picking ideas that rise to the level of whiteboard level thought. To me that has a very specific operationalized definition. The topics or narrative threads that are complex enough to be evaluated on a whiteboard session. For better or worse that means they require some degree of ideation followed by some type of analysis. For those of you awesome readers that have been around this digital space for some time you probably know my prefered framework for analysis involves deriving the form, function, structure, and assumptions (FFSA) related to the subject in question. That may not be the best methodology, but it is my methodology and it helps me understand the world around me in a deeper way.

So the word whiteboard did not make it into the title of the blog post today which revolves around reflecting on why we pick certain directions. Sure you could reduce down the complexity of our analysis and decision making to a science of muddling through. You would argue that we accept the decision in the moment, but engage in a dispositional intellectual pivot from that moment forward. Beyond being a relatively interesting turn of phrase a dispositional intellectual pivot is meant to highly that we make the next decision based on the moment it is not based on the previous position. No inertia or implied degree of consistency is driving us from one decision to the next. No overall guiding philosophy helps to derive a decision making path. I’m not really ok with that line of thought or the fact that it is a pretty well accepted framework for folks to use at this point. I tend to fall back on some value choices related to being transparent, being collaborate, and actively working to prevent failure. You can probably see just how trying to uphold those values would be in conflict with a dispositional approach to decision making.

My phone is alerting me that a new episode of The AI Podcast from NVIDIA is available to listen to on my Google Play Music application. That is pretty good news. Much like the trap of listening to audiobooks at night really good podcasts tend to lower my writing output. It looks like it is trying to get me to listen to episode 51 which is about saving lives by predicting extreme weather. That podcast is pretty much a trifecta of my interests. I like to learn about severe weather, deep learning, and podcasts entertain me. One of the great things that YouTube and podcasts in general provide is a forum for long form discussions. A lot of YouTube technology related shows are really jus podcasts with video. That is not a bad thing. Some folks prefer to watch folks talk and some just like to listen to the sounds. Sure that is fundamentally different than knocking on the sky to hear the sound. One is a purely reflective action and the other is more about learning and being entertained. You could argue that deep reflection could help you learn and entertain you, but that might be a little bit more inside baseball than I have patience for at the moment.

All of this writing is supposed to be linking back to inquiry about picking directions. Some of these musing are probably tugging at the edges of that narrative thread, but maybe it is not addressed it head on enough to really bring the best of the topic under full consideration. Digging a little bit deeper directly into the reality of picking a direction might help move things along. Being present is the moment helps you understand the context of the choice. It helps bring it all together as you figure out that next step. Each step along the way is a part of the journey. Throughout the journey different directions and decisions are going to get made. That is a much a part of life as anything else. You cannot really find a routine and repeat the exact same steps every day. Things change and the world around us is not static. Sure part of that is due to the impending intersection of technology and modernity that will be a touchstone for everyone that experiences that moment. Really it will be a touchstone for everyone that sees the ramp up of technology that breaks down modernity.

Topic 1: I’m picking a new vinyl record store

Given my new focus on buying items locally here in Denver I’m working to pick a new vinyl record store. Sure I could just buy older vinyl from eBay, but that lacks the experience of looking at records and visiting a store. A quick search of online vinyl record stores produced a pretty interesting list. Another search helped me locate all the physical records stores near me. A few actually exist here in Denver. Going to visit one and being willing to look around and buy something on the spot is a different buying experience for me. Most of the time my vinyl record buying experiences either involve a whim or an opportunity. Sometimes a whim is as simple as hearing a song and thinking i’ll buy that on vinyl. It is a little more complex to sum up an opportunity. Sometimes I get an email or a notice of some sort that a band I’m interested has a kickstarter or a small printing of a vinyl record. Those opportunities usually trigger a buying decision. A quick search for “vinyl record store near me” found a few that are pretty darn close. I’ll pick one and go visit it to see how things go. I’m sure you will hear a little bit about that journey as we go along.

Topic 2: Some new Hot Ones hot sauce

Ok —- I need to make another YouTube hot sauce review video. The first one that I did for the Last Dab was pretty fun to do and worked out well enough. My latest purchase of the Last Dab Carolina Reaper edition is a little bit intimidating. It is probably a very intense hot sauce. Sure making a couple of my vegan wings in the oven and drenching them in hot sauce is not that hard. Trying to convince myself that it is a good idea to consume millions of scoville units worth of hot sauce is always the hard part. I’m good with really hot sauces up to a point. The Last Dab sauce with Pepper X was hot and I remember it being extremely hot, but it has some solid flavor to it.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 87 the one where I lost a YouTube subscriber

2018: Day 87 the one where I lost a YouTube subscriber
Word count 176,734 + 1,028 or 177,762 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

My YouTube channel went from 118 to 117 subscribers. Strangely enough that actually made me want to make more YouTube videos and get back on an upward subscriber trend. I know the audience of folks that wants to watch videos about artificial intelligence news is limited, but it is probably somewhere around 10,000 maximum. Going from 117 to 10,000 subscribers would probably require a combination of luck and extreme persistence. This is the 87th day of my writing adventure. If I had elected to make a YouTube video every day for a year, then maybe that subscriber account would be growing. It is also entirely possible that it could have barely moved. People still watch my older videos. That I guess is a good indicator that my future videos have some type of audience out in YouTube land.

This whole writing every day plan is good, but trying to produce 3,000 words per day is proving to be a questionable plan. Tomorrow is a day that has been set aside to rest. It will be a day without working and that is pretty good. My big plan for the day is to go bowling and visit the eye doctor for my annual checkup. From what I can tell my vision is pretty constant year over year. Sure I should probably spend less time in front of computer monitors, but that is not really going to happen. I have spent a lot more time writing on this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P. I do not even really look at the screen anymore during the whole writing process. I’m aware that the cursor is moving, but my attention is elsewhere. That is how it goes I guess during these epic stream of consciousness binge writing sessions.

It started raining this afternoon and soon enough the rain turned to really big snowflakes. None of them were sticking to the road, but it was a deluge of very wet snowflakes this afternoon and early evening. I really just wanted to work deluge into a sentence. That happened. I guess i can go to bed now and call the day complete. Ok —- that is not going to happen at the moment. I’m going to push through and try to get at least a few words written tonight.

Topic 1: My new hard drives are so noisy

I had thought maybe it was just an overreaction to the noise level of my hard drives. That does not appear to be the case. My new hard drives are just super noisy. Two WD Blue 2TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 5400 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch model WD20EZRZ drives were dropped into my Corsair Air 740 case. Both of them appear to just be loud and super noisy. Today i downloaded my cloud backup to one of the drives and it was really noticeable. It also caused my internet provider to send me a download warning. Apparently downloading my cloud archive was enough to burn up about 10% of my monthly bandwidth allotment. You can imagine that both amused me and I found it exceedingly sad.

One of the advantages of running solid state drives is really silent operation. Those 5400 RPM SATA drives use a platter and make a ton of pinging and popping noises. It has been some time since I had to really sit and listen to hard drives. The level of noise is actually pretty terrible and might just be enough for me to move those drives into my Storm Stryker case and start the process of finding some more data drives for my new computer build. Tomorrow I’m going to power down the drives and verify that the noise is 100% caused by those 2 hard drives. I might try to capture some of the sound for a sweet sweet YouTube video about how annoying hard drive noises are terrible.

Topic 2: Parts have been ordered

Two new parts are on their way from California to my house. A small DVI to HDMI converter and a little bluetooth USB antenna. Both of these parts are for my new computer build to help me create the functionality of a KVM switch without paying for one. They have gotten really confusing and expensive these days. For some reason tonight my Pandora application on my Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone is playing a ton of advertisements. I’m getting one about every 5 minutes. It seems like they really want me to go to either a Disney World resort or Myrtle Beach. Sure I’m up for a Disney adventure at some point. I had tried to get that video adapter at Best Buy, but that did not work out.

I just got totally distracted by my interest in going to see the Ready Player One movie. That looks like it will be a most excellent distraction filled with a ton of entertainment. The reviews even seems to be complementary. For some reason the movie theater popcorn is always just so much better than my microwave popcorn. We have an air popcorn maker and it does ok, but it is also not on par with the movie theater popcorn. It is hands down one of my favorite things to snack on. Perhaps that is one of the main reasons that I still go to the movie theater. I really just want a giant tub of popcorn. That may very well be the case.

Topic 3: I’m still thinking about a new wireless speaker

Tonight I spent a few minutes searching for a new voice activated speaker system for upstairs in the house. The Google Home Max looks like a great speaker, but it is about $200.00 more than what I want to pay for a new home speaker. At the moment, I just want to be able to ask the speaker to play music and enjoy the sounds. That pretty much rules out most of the bluetooth speakers that need my phone as the driver or interface. I have zero interest in answering phone calls on this speaker.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs

Day 86 the one where I wondered about graphics cards

2018: Day 86 the one where I wondered about graphics cards
Word count 175,326 + 1,408 or 176,734 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Thanks to watching an advertisement for Walt Disney World on my Pandora internet radio application I got one hour of uninterrupted listening. Indeed you may have discerned by that previous sentence that paying for Pandora is still something that is on my avoidance list. At the moment that decision is probably more stubbornness and defiance than solid decision making. I’m sure in some ways a monthly subscription to Pandora would entertain me and provide me a certain amount of utility. That would probably be quantified in terms of utils of joy. Sure I could spend the rest of the night entertaining you with some sweet econometrics related to deriving the utils of satisfaction that purchase would net me vs. the opportunity cost of say several epic tacos. You will have to go on waiting for that analysis to enrich your day.

Today I’m going to spend my time musing about a few things one of which relates to my trip to Best Buy today. Yeah —- I got in my car and drove to an actual Best Buy store. It was actually full of people and they were milling around doing stuff. My interest today was in getting an displayport to HDMI adapter. They will have one. Sure it is an easy drive. I can get it today. All of those things seemed plausible. I could see the slots on the shelf where that adapter would have been sitting. It seems like a lot of electronics stores are using some type of just in time inventory. However, I’m wondering if that slot has just been open on the shelf since I bought what might very well have been the last adapter they sold. It works well enough. It connects my strange docking station that has a displayport, but not HDMI output to my 34 inch monitor from Costco that only has HDMI ports.

My new computer build in the sweet Borg cube Corsair 740 case is being powered by a basic AMD Radeon graphics card. That graphics card is just a placeholder for one of the NVIDIA GTX 2080 or NVIDIA GTX 2060 graphics cards that I plan on buying directly from NVIDIA at some point this year when they go on sale. All of the intel I have been able to gather online seems to point to production ramp up sometime in July. I can wait that long to buy a pair of NVIDIA graphics cards. That should not really be a problem. However, I have two computer monitors in my office. I would like the new Borg cube to be able to use either or both computer monitors. From my old TiVo purchase a few years ago I have a 20 foot HDMI cable. It is seriously monstrous and is wrapped in some type of mesh. I zip tied up the slack and connected the Radeon graphics card to my primary monitor. I crawled under my Studio RTA executive glass desk and started to plug in a second HDMI cable to the graphics card. That effort failed miserably due to the fact that the Radeon card only has one DVI, HDMI, and displayport connection. Sure enough that problem was the reason for my trip to Best Buy. Next time I will probably check online to see what Best Buy has in stock.

Topic 1: The flawed nature of how we consume news

This topic right here was almost the title of the blog post today. Instead of that eventuality I went with the graphics card related title. That seemed more germaine to the content of this post. However, that does not diminish the value of the content that is about to be shared. Take a moment and think about how we consume news and get information today. For the most part our consumption of information is disjointed, dated, or imperfect. That is easy enough to write and a little bit harder to explain. Newspapers based on the medium are always going to be lagging indicators of what is going on. Print in general only becomes further from the now with each passing moment. The name of the game in news reporting these days is to be first and move on to the next wave. It is never ending washing machine spin cycle that starts and stops without an real timing or reason.

The way we get news from television, internet video, or even online website is typically in bite size servings that are more expedient than informative. Every part of how modern news is setup for distribution limits the actual possibility of expansive complete coverage. Sure you might think that assessment is hard, but people typically just get a little bit of content here and a little bit of content there. Getting actual comprehensive briefings of issues remains elusive for most people. You have a better shot at reading comprehensive and detailed coverage of a professional sports team vs. an actual geopolitical issue. My argument would be that the way we package information is to blame for creating and sustaining this problem. Most content is packaged for ease of distribution to as wide an audience as possible. Assumptions exist about how that asynchronous communication might occur. A lot of that happens based on a broadcast with a hashtag trying to solicit online interactions on Twitter or some other social media platform. Online content always opens the door to comments and or responses.

This is a topic that I have spent a lot of time thinking about today and something that I’ll plan to keep revisiting until I get it right. This is pretty obvious stuff, but it is relatively hard to communicate in a complete way. Within this blog format I’m really just bound by my own limits of writing skill and time. Figuring out a better way to deliver content and help people get on the same page is very important. My phone only has 30% battery left right now and the minutes of my uninterrupted listing hour are quickly passing by.

Topic 2: My thumbnail choice for today

You might have guessed that view of the second floor of the DMNS. It was taken this weekend during a trip to the museum. I have a few pictures from that trip that will be attached to blog posts this week. They do not really have anything to do the posts themselves. They are just here to help me derive utils of joy from the process of trying to write 3,000 words per day. You may have noticed that I’m not making any illusions of being able to sustain my 3,000 word per day writing goal. At this point, I’m just holding out hope that a few large writing sessions will help get things back on track. That does not really appear to be happening. Sure I could try to force the issue and really drive myself to hitting the word count. I tried that it generated some less than inspiring prose. Some of it was good and some of it was not exactly up to acceptable standards.

Topic 3: Internet caps for cable modems are ridiculous

Seriously, what more can I say to help defend the statement contained in the title of this topic. My feelings about the situation are that internet caps for cable modem users are ridiculous. You can extend that to pretty much all internet caps. Companies should not sell internet speeds that cannot be sustained by the user base. Creating a cap on how many gigabytes of data I can move around from home per month is pretty much arbitrary and capricious. Creating a terabyte limit per month for a customer is an interesting strategy. I got a warning today that I’m at 50% of my monthly bandwidth limit. It is almost the end of the month. It is really unlikely that I’m going to use up the other 50% of my bandwidth in the next couple days. Obviously, due to the nature of not being able to roll over the data and being capped makes me want to use up all my extra bandwidth before the end of the month. This month was sort of a special use case vs. the general use case. Streaming NCAA basketball to watch the Jayhawks probably accounts for the increase in usage.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Broomfield, Colorado
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs