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.

Day 15 the one with a philosophical proposition and some thoughts on mining

Denver sunset

2018: Day 15 the one with a philosophical proposition and some thoughts on mining
Word count 41,257 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

For the next 100 days or so every day involves the same type of routine. Waking up is followed by very quickly checking the cryptocurrency mining rig in my office. Pretty much everything gets checked. The Windows 10 installation on this box is on a m.2 stick and is pretty stable. The CPU water cooler has pretty much insured that this CPU has never even been remotely warm. The huge fans on the Corsair water cooler for the CPU pull air across the RAM and the rest of the motherboard. That pretty much means the top half of the Storm Stryker case is cool to the touch. Examining the graphics cards is really about checking to make sure the wall of Corsair fans is still pulling air away from them to exhaust the case. Next I login into the NiceHash website and look at the uptime and CPU temperature in celsius. At some point, I should probably install something that will chart the temperate and let me look at a graph. I’m going to check the NVIDIA software shortly to see if it is already doing that. I’m sure it would be a lot of work for the NiceHash software developers, but displaying a graphic of the last 7 days of temperate for the GPUs would be a nice feature.

Those things are pretty much the first things that come to mind every morning. I’m compelled to jump out of bed and check on the mining rig. I’m not entirely sure that should be my primary daily concern related to starting the day. Based on my regular routine the first few minutes of the day are a wash anyway. Nothing really happens in that first 15 minutes of waking up and getting ready for the day. I have tried to recapture those first few minutes and that struggle was a failing effort. Things before coffee are bleak. That is sort of how it goes. In practical terms my first daily activity is always checking my phones for alerts. That is an exercise to see if anything is wrong or any action is required to get things back on track. You can imagine the start to my day is really just about gathering input and figuring out what direction to take. That might seem pretty basic and a just the fact type of approaching to selecting a direction to take, but it has worked out pretty well over the years.

That same question resonates throughout my day. It resonates throughout my writing. It plays a major role in my life. Based on all the available information at the time what direction should be taken. It all stacks up and that stack has to fall in one direction or another. That might just be the cornerstone of my inquiry into values for the day. We just might be engaging in an inquiry into why exactly the chips stack and in what direction they are going to fall. All of the noise may not reduce to that pure of a signal. Breaking things down into one pure stack or one pure question of things may not be a reasonable thing to begin the day with, but that is pretty much the direction we are going to strive to figure out. Welcome to the day of unreasonable inquiry. This rabbit has been 14 days and well over 40,000 words in the making. All of that to get to here to get to this moment.

Consider for a moment a proposition that we focus in the moment either internally on a thought or externally on a stimulus. Between those two states our proposition dictates and internal or external focus. Focusing a thoughtful reasoned set of logic on an external stimulus might just bridge the gap and breakdown the proposition. That is the conundrum of the stack. All of our problems, questions, directions, or theories rarely stack up neatly for consideration. Bringing together our jumbled mass of this moment right here right now is a hard enough proposition. Trying to pull all of our history and experience along with it just might breakdown any ability to process it together and understand the world around us. We strive to derive meaning in the world around us. That journey of looking around and striving one step forward in each moment describes the nature of our search. That inquiry is the basis of my inquiry this year. It is the reason that stringing together 1,000,000 words will have a common thread. My struggle in the moment to find meaning and move forward is always a part of the journey.

Topic 1: Writing using topic signposting

You may have noticed that each weblog post has moved into a format with an opening vignette followed by a series of topics until we reach the threshold of 3,000 words. The topic designation is just a signpost to let you know that we are going to be changing topics. It notes that one door just closed and another one is about to open. Sure some decent connecting thoughts and better writing could achieve the same type of outcome, but we should face the facts. One long 3,000 word weblog post with nothing breaking it up better be pretty compelling prose. Most of my thoughts on a subject are exhausted in 500 to 1,000 words. That means the idea of a single uniform essay delivering 3,000 words of insightful prose may not happen any time soon. That pretty much has to be ok and the way around that problem is to keep using topics as a signpost method to break things up.

If the topic were to diverge into a weblog post of its own, then I will break up the content into two separate postings. A few of the posts have come close to reaching that threshold. I’m sure it is something that will happen soon or later. Any collection of words that passes about 3,500 words needs to be broken up into multiple weblog posts anyway. In those cases the amount of content has outpaces a reasonable reading session and should be broken apart just for readability in my humble opinion. Ok —- that opinion was probably not humble or restrained. That is probably just how things are going to be until we settle into a more regular rhythm of writing during this journey toward 1,000,000 words being written in 2018.

Topic 2: I’m thinking about watching every Borg episode of Star Trek

Breaking Star Trek episodes into clusters is always a fun thing to do. It is a huge universe full of amazing content. In this case the cluster of episodes I’m looking to consume relates to every episode where a Borg appears during Star Trek The Next Generation. Oddly enough the grand total appears to only be 6 episodes. I would have guessed that it was way more episodes. I would have been wrong. Right now my current belief is that 6 episodes make up this cluster and they include the following:

1. TNG – S02E16 – Q Who
2. TNG – S03E26 – The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
3. TNG – S04E01 – The Best of Both Worlds, Part II
4. TNG – S05E23 – I, Borg
5. TNG – S06E26 – Descent, Part I
6. TNG – S07E01 – Descent, Part II

You could probably watch all of these episodes in the same day. It could be a day with a pizza party and some popcorn. Given that both pizza and popcorn preferences are highly personalized you will need to figure out what works best in your household. You can tell this is my first journey into running a mining software on my main computer. I just had to disable hardware acceleration within Google Chrome for the first time ever. That was exciting it is something you can do if you want. Today it seemed like a good idea to start watching some Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes on my primary computer. That meant turning on Netflix and given that my preferred browser is Chrome something had to give. In this case it was hardware acceleration within my browser that had to go away to allow Netflix to stay. Right now Netflix is booted up and I’m ready to watch TNG “Q Who”. One of my favorite lines from Star Trek happened in that episode when Captain Picard said, “Well… perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency – to prepare us for what lies ahead.” At about 45 minutes an episode watching all 6 can probably be accomplished today. Episode 1 of 6 has been consumed and I’m moving right along.

Topic 3: Do people day trade cryptocurrencies?

Today was one of those days where I started to think about what strategies people might be using to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Based on my general understanding of the process it is not very fast for transactions to complete. Googling day trading cryptocurrency took me down a rabbit hole. It was an interesting and oddly emotion based set of postings and threads. Based on the amount of chatter on the internet people are doing some type of trading based on speculation. I bet some of them are just buying and holding in hopes that things go up. My strategy was completely different. Mining is really just an investment in hardware, time, and energy. It seemed like the best strategy to jump in and learn about how cryptocurrencies are generated and how the blockchain works.

Episode 3 of my 6 episode cluster of Star Trek: The Next Generation borg episodes just started. It may not have been the best idea to spend a few hours during the middle of the day watching TNG. Ok —- the first three episodes have now been watched. Writing is still ahead of schedule for the day. The word count is fast approaching 2,000 words and I was rather proud of one of the paragraphs written today. You can try to figure out which one it was. I’ll give you a hint it happened before the Topic 1 signposting. They could have made a lot more Star Trek. It would have been easy to follow multiple captains and crews. That probably would have a made for a richer and more refined Star Trek universe.

It does feel like more and more people are interested in cryptocurrencies. People are trying to figure out how to acquire them or invest in them or have a position related to them. Later today I’m going to read a little bit more about this bitcoin ETF that I read about called Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). It is apparently traded on the Nasdaq. That seems interesting enough to read about. Full disclosure: I have made zero purchases of any cryptocurrency. I have no plan to do that anytime soon. Understanding the ever changing political landscape and the impact of Warren Buffett’s remarks probably need to be resolved to create stability. Obviously, I am engaging in mining using the NiceHash Miner software. That did result in my first ever BTC transfer. I’m pretty sure the 0.00118327 BTC in my wallet are not clouding my judgement. I’m just mining for fun. The process of mining does not really seem like wholesale speculation. My 100 days of mining experiment is really more about entertainment than an investment strategy. My mining efforts are about understanding what it takes to succeed at that task.

Topic 4: We are watching Harry Potter tonight

Recently I tried to convince Joni that we needed the $75 special edition of Blade Runner on Blu-ray. My arguments included clear winners like it has a unicorn on the front and is clearly extra special. Joni demurred that we already own the Blade Runner Final Cut Blu-ray and that it was was already special enough. Aside from that conversation we settled on watching the first Harry Potter movie this evening. The Saints vs. Vikings game is almost over and that means it is almost time for some Harry Potter. It is hard to imagine that the first Harry Potter film was released on November 16, 2001. That seems like a long time ago. Maybe it was a
long time ago. The kids like Harry Potter. It could be worse I guess.

29 seconds left and a last second field goal attempt just changed who is leading the game. That field goal attempt split the uprights and was about as true a kick as you can hope for in a playoff game. Drew Brees is pretty darn good at passing the football. I may have a Drew Brees rookie card somewhere in the basement. You read that right Drew Brees was drafted in the same year the first Harry Potter movie came out.

Topic 5: One last 800 word burst of writing tonight

We started out today thinking about the path forward. We started with an inquiry into understanding the world around us. We may have hit some detours along the way. Sometimes the parts off the path are the parts worth remembering. That might be the case today, but I am pretty sure some of the first few paragraphs will be more memorable than these last few paragraphs. My mind is drawing a blank at the moment. This is the perfect moment to pick a direction and go with it. I’m pretty close to tabula rasa at the moment. My writing could go in any direction at the moment. Things are truly up in the air. That may be reason enough to stop writing for a little bit.

Ok about an hour has passed. Things seem to have returned to normal. A lovely shot of Nespresso may have helped kick start the writing process again. These moments right here are the ones right before my toddler falls asleep. It is a razors edge between sleep addled chaos and about 8 hours of peace. This room is dark. I have turned down the brightness on my ASUS C101P chromebook. Overall I have been really happy with the USB Type-C charging. I had meant to bring my Bose Qc35 headphones upstairs to watch another episode of TNG, but that did not happen. Every night I listen to about an hour of music and write before bed. That has been the closing chapter of my day for a long time. This little Chromebook reminds me of my Sony VAIO Laptop model VGN-T250P. Nostalgia for that little device kind of surprises me. I’m pretty sure that I wrote a cookbook on that thing sometime before 2008. You want to talk about long lost works that one is probably pretty high on the list.

That was back during the window when I was better about backing up my words on physical media. It is very possible that I can dig up that decade old tome of epicurean genius and share it with the world. It is also possible that work of nonfiction is lost to the ages. Based on a quick search of my weblog it appears that the VGN-T250P started to breakdown sometime between 2006 and 2008. That would seem more reasonable if it was not 2018 and those breakdowns happened over a decade ago. The strangest part of it all is that instead of thinking back to when the device stopped working I searched Google and then my weblog archive. Somehow a Google search was more efficient than using my own memory of the events. That is a little bit scary to think about. It is also scary to think that my weblog posts go back that far.

My archive itself goes back pretty far. I’m sure any of the documents are useful, but they go back to around 2000. I guess that means my archive has about 18 years of content. That is a little intense. Google indexed it all and I can search it. That is not something I do on a regular basis. I did try at one point to aggregate all my photos together, but that was problematic. Most of my photos were on Flickr and then they got offloaded, backed up, and stored on physical media.

My first digital camera was this very heavy Hewlett Packard point and shoot PhotoSmart C200. Apparently, you can still buy this 1.0 megapixel camera on Amazon for like $30 or on eBay for way less at under $10. Some degree of self control was exercised tonight and no really old cameras were purchased. Oddly enough, I did kinda want to buy one and put it on my bookshelf. It then dawned on me just how horrible those 1.0 megapixel pictures look on my stunning 4K computer monitor. Those photos don’t even look good on my Chromebook screen.

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

P.S. In case you were wondering, I ended up watching 4 of the 6 Star Trek The Next Generation episodes with a Borg in them. All that is left to finish out the cluster is to watch Part 1 & 2 of Descent that spans the end of season 6 and the start of season 7. Based on the title I do not fully remember these two episodes, but hey that happens. Watching every episode of Star Trek Voyager with a Borg in it will pretty much mean rewatching most of the series. Maybe I will figure out a custer of episodes that include a Borg other than Seven of Nine.

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 14 the one where I got my first ever BTC mining payment

2018: Day 14 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 38,291 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

We are racing toward paying off one ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics card by mining cryptocurrencies. It is a 100 day race to mine some cryptocurrency. You can consider it my personal attempt to participate in the gold rush of our time. Along the way I’m learning about cryptocurrencies in general. Building some hands on knowledge is a great way to get a solid handle on the technology. To pay off one graphics card that pretty much means that earning $286.86 in bitcoins via mining is the goal line. That number was derived by dividing $573.72 or the cost of 2 of the aforementioned graphics cards, shipping, warranty, and a rush fee in half. To that end my journey into the world of using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 beta started on or around January 10, 2018. That seems like a long time ago, but it was just a couple of days ago. Things change fast in the extremely volatile world of cryptocurrency.

Yesterday my first actual payment came from NiceHash to my NiceHash wallet. Please keep in mind that was the first payment from a cryptocurrency I have ever managed to see in my wallet. Over the years I have messed around with miners, but never really tried to make money. Even this go round the BTC transfer was not a whole bitcoin in my wallet. Seriously it was not even close to a whole bitcoin. It was not even a healthy fraction of a bitcoin. It was 0.00118327 BTC with a fee of 0.00002415 BTC. I’m assuming you are not familiar with reading BTC. At the time this post was written that much BTC works out to about $17.16 in USD. That is not a bad start, but it is not a financial windfall. Initial investors in bitcoins did make some life changing sums of money.

Beyond mining cryptocurrency this morning, I’m watching the Kansas State Wildcats and the University of Kansas Jayhawks play basketball this morning at Allen Fieldhouse. You may be starting to understand that we watch pretty much every Jayhawks basketball game that is available via broadcast. It was an early tip off on ESPN today. The game started at 10:00 AM Mountain Time. That works out great for me. We ran some errands and made it back just in time for the game. The announcers are ok this time around. For how much ESPN spends on content you think they would manage to get decent play by play. Sometimes they end up with some questionable play by play and color commentary.

My go to snack for the game today happens to be salted in shell peanuts. I picked up a huge bag of them at Costco a few months back. Yeah — that means that I am typing right now and setting this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P down to crack open peanuts and put the shells careful into a garbage bowl. We used to have a Rachel Ray garbage bowl, but it seems to have been misplaced. This one is an OXO bowl that clearly states on the bottom that it should not be put in the microwave. You do not have to worry. It is a very low risk proposition that I will put it in the microwave. The peanuts being consumed today have an expiration date of June 2018. They will not make it that long. Cracking peanut shells open always makes me think of attending sports events. It takes me back to watching the Kansas City Royals play baseball. That is probably why I associate watching sports with cracking open peanuts to this day.

Halftime for the game just came and went. We put ESPN on mute for halftime. It should be a decent second half to watch. Allen Fieldhouse is rocking with enthusiasm and James Naismith Court always looks good on television. Twenty minutes always seems to last longer in the second half of a basketball game. Wow —- that game lingered on way closer than it should have been. Bill Self just might note this year as being one of the best coaching efforts of a stellar career. Only playing 7 players seems to be an interesting strategy. It will be a different team with Preston and De Sousa eligible. The roster will be stretched out to 9 players. The way the game finished today it could have gone either way. It was good to see a Jayhawk victory.

Topic 1: I ordered Blade Runner 2049 on Blu-ray

Yep — I ordered a 4K ultra high definition Blu-ray disc version of Blade Runner 2049 today. My Xbox One S is 4K capable, but my Sony Bravia television is not capable of displaying a 4K image. That works out ok with my oder. The Blade Runner 2049 packaging includes both the HD Blu-ray and a 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. You can call it future proofing. We have plenty of bandwidth to stream 4K content, but I still prefer to buy physical media. I did some basic Googling of Blu-ray sales by year. Looking at a bunch of images of Blu-ray sales did not really give me a good idea of which direction physical media sales are going, but my guess would be they are not growing. An article from the LA Times January 6, 2017 caught my attention it noted that sales are declining, “Home video sales shrank again in 2016 as Americans switched to streaming.”

We keep buying physical media in the form of Blu-rays these days. They are sitting on my rack next to my HD DVD collection. We have a disc player that is capable of playing HD DVD and my older computer case has an HD DVD drive. We are probably not going to use either of those things at any point during 2018. I’m sure that 4K will not be the last standard for distributing movies. We are probably a stone throw away from 8K movie technology out and being used in the wild. People have adopted 4K content distribution and development on YouTube and other platforms. Some folks with advanced smartphones can record, edit, and distribute a 4K film all from their phones. To me that means that the standard is here and ready to go. It would require a big leap in smartphone technology to have 8K video capture. Leaping into editing 8K video on a phone is probably beyond the current hardware capabilities.

None of that is meant to justify my purchase of Blade Runner 2049 on 4K UHD Blu-ray today. That purchase was for me and based on what entertains me. It may also be somewhat related to my need to collect things. That is a plausible reason to why I still buy physical media.

Topic 2: Remembering to take interesting photos is hard

Snapping unique and interesting photos used to be a skill I utilized effectively. Now it seems that even remembering to take interesting photos is giving me problems. Setting a thumbnail is part of writing 3,000 words per day and the journey to writing 1,000,000 words this year. You can imagine the processes of getting 365 relevant and interesting photographs lined up and processed every day is a real challenge. Maybe remembering to stop and look at the mountains or the sunset is a good thing. Capturing interesting moments is about more than just thinking about the shot it is about figuring out how to capture something unique.

Topic 3: I figured out how to check my GPU temperature online

Managing heat is a part of mining crytocurecies. I figured out how to check my GPU temperature online using the NiceHash website. Now it is something that gets checked hourly. That probably is not the best use of my time. Being interested in the temperature of my GPU is relatively new thing to even think about. The better cooled my cards have gotten it seems the more work the NiceHash Miner has sent over for hashing. It seems like profitability is up, but overall the temperature is down. It was interesting to figure out how to plug in 4 additional motherboard driven case fans. The folks over at Corsair are very serious about making fans. Managing the heat seems to be an interesting part of the whole mining process.

Topic 4: Watching some of The X-Files

Episode 2 of The X-Files Season 11 is on the television right now. Based on the ratings it looks like they dropped from episode one to episode two of the season. I’m hoping that Fox keeps things going for a couple of seasons. It does appear that the hashtag #TheXFiles is going on Twitter. This second episode of season 11 does seem a little more X-Files than the first episode. I must say that Mulder and Scully are a little more action based this time around. Things are speeding up in the world of the X-Files.

I’ll admit that on my DVD rack is a copy of the Lone Gunmen TV Series (2001). For better worse I have consumed a lot of X-Files episodes. Getting to see some of the spinoff boomerang back into the reboot of the series. It also came in an interesting form of intellectual and physical questions about the nature of ascendance and computer models of human thought. Overall I think the episode was starting to get back into the groove.

Topic 5: The 100 day cryptocurrency mining challenge

For the next 100 days I am going to endeavor to keep my cryptocurrency mining rig operational. At a minimum that means keeping the system up and running. In practical terms that means that the NiceHash Miner software will be running on the Windows 10 instance of my Storm Stryker custom built computer case. Somewhere between one and three graphics cards will be mining and the financial will only be tracked based on payouts from NiceHash to the wallet. In the world of cryptocurrency all of your private keys have to be kept in a virtual wallet. For the purposes of our 100 day experiment the value of the cryptocurrency in the wallet will be compared to USD and reported as the outcome or result of the experiment.

My writing lost momentum their for a few minutes. It may have actually been about two hours. This Chromebook got charged for a bit and we watched a couple episodes of the television show Young Sheldon (2017). Off in the distance my cryptocurrency mining rig is working its magic by hashing. I spent some time looking at water cooling options for my GPU. Back in the early part of 2016 I put a Corsair water cooler on my core i7 processor and it has worked out splendidly. Things have worked out just fine with that water cooler. Maybe just maybe the folks over at Corsair can help figure out the heat problems related to mining.

Based on a few searches of YouTube videos it does appear that people do that type of cooling, but it does not seem to be the standard. A wide variety of builds exist. Some of them seem to be better than other builds. Most of the videos are all bright and shiny at the start of mining season. I have been looking for videos of what happens when mining goes wrong.

Topic 6: Motorola Moto Insta‑Share Projector

The other day I was musing about the realities of projector technology. One real world option that does exist is this wild Motorola project to attach things to their cameras. One of the things they want to attach happens to be a projector. The videos look pretty fun and they were talking about a 70 inch projection. I am very curious about how people are using mobile projectors. It seems like a good use case. Being able to put a movie or YouTube on a wall could be fun.

I watched a ton of videos about portable projectors on YouTube throughout 2017. Some of them looked really good, but the price tag would make me nervous. I really believe that the next generation of projection will include some interactive augmented reality components. I do not want to miss out on that generation of technology. Maybe some use case will inspire me to make a purchase who knows. Right now we have one main television capable of presenting a 65 inch picture in 1080P. Everybody has tablets and phones that present a much smaller viewing experience. Maybe that is all that is necessary and it will go the other way with foks using highly immersive VR headsets. Based on my experiences that does not seem likely. Every time I put on my Google Daydream headset either one of my dogs or kids interrupt the experience. Trying to sit down with a headset on is a surefire way to cause the dog to want to play.

Topic 7: The New England Patriots are playing

These commercials about scrappy startups are interesting. They don’t really tell me anything. I guess sometimes people just waste advertising dollars. I’m watching the AFC divisional game on CBS tonight. It mostly just makes me sad that the Kansas City Chiefs could not hold a lead and ended their season early. We are right back to where we ended up yesterday. John Paul is watching the same Pokemon movie. The Patriots seem to be rumbling along. Interruptions abound in the household today.

I’m gearing up toward some type of word extravaganza tonight. Picking a topic to write about today has been a real challenge. Nothing has really stood out. Nothing has really caught my attention. That happens sometimes. Being able to sit down and write for hours a time probably means the author has something to say or is just an incredibly gifted writer. This weekend really has to involve a bit of catch up. My productivity this week has not been up to par. It probably has to do with how much energy it required to get my cryptocurrency mining rig setup.
Two full weeks of writing at this pace have been changing my style a little bit. My style has been pulled into a little bit more of a narrative tone mixed with a conversational style that I hope is relatable. Without question writing 1,000,000 words in the same year will help to refine and probably define my writing style in different ways. As prominent sports commentator Jim Rome would say, “Have a take, don’t suck.” Getting to the point of writing with a perspective and being able to voice that pepsective in an effective way is an important part of learning how to write. Jim Rome might have been more succinct, but you probably have gotten the point I was trying to make.

That is really what it is all about. Writing with purpose. Building on idea and putting thoughts together in ways that help lift the conversation. That might seem like a lofty goal, but hey why not strive for the betterment of all things. Figuring out how to drive things forward today was a challenge. Throughout most of 2017 my learning target involved figuring out and understanding artificial intelligence. For the most part that goal has been achieved. I know enough about artificial intelligence to speak on the topic for hours extemporaneously. That is probably a good start toward being able to help others understand the finer points of artificial intelligence. That was the goal of my 2017 journey. I wanted to be able to taken on complex subject matters and present my reactions and insights in a way that was relatable and easy to share regardless of previous subject matter expertise. I guess the best way of saying it would be to explain that helping others jump in and learn about artificial intelligence was the goal of my efforts.

I really do intend to start up my daily or maybe a weekly live stream again to tackle artificial intelligence and maybe talk about my writing journey. That was a fun and exciting part of my previous routine, but it did not translate into writing a ton. This year is about writing. It is about having a big writing year. My goal is to have a truly big year. A 1,000,000 word writing year. That would be a true achievement and probably an interesting journey. Both the result and the journey will be valuable. I’m not expecting the journey to change my life, but I do expect it to improve my writing skills and help me focus in on delivering high quality content on a consistent basis. It will probably end up being highly entertaining in parts.

Part of writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is working toward breaking down self-censorship and the things that limit us. Writing with a certain degree of freedom of spirit helps renew my passion for writing. It may very well help renew my passion for life and encourage me to appreciate the things that come into focus and receive my attention this year. That is probably the best outcome. It would be the best way to round out such a long journey. With two weeks of writing complete. It very much is like taking 2 steps forward on a journey with 50 steps remaining. At the end of the path is not an end but the start of a new and exciting journey. One powered by an entirely new degree of experience as a writer, thinker, and public intellectual.

That may just set the stage for the rest of the year. I’m not sure if each week should be treated as a chapter or how these weblog posts relate in the grand scheme of the journey. This inquiry is not intended to be published as volumes or taken apart in slices it is a journey with a start and a finish. Each step is taken with the knowledge from the previous step behind it. Each step builds from the journey of the last. Step by step along this journey we will get to see and experience a world of new opportunity and adventure.

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

P.S. Before working on a postscript addition to my weblog posts I need to really focus on hitting the 3,000 word target in the main section each day. These little asides or tag along sections should be insightful and in addition to the base 3,000 words per day. That was the case today, but it has not been the case for the majority of my posts. I feel like so far they are my return to the weblog post to help push the word count up to a respectable 3,000 or so. Some of them have been below the target and that is part of changing up my routine and working on writing at length in a longer form of prose.

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 13 the one where I thought about my top 5 favorite non-science fiction television shows

2018: Day 13 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 35,082 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Here in the next few minutes I will be off to FedEx to send back a graphics card that ran into some mechanical problems. One of the blades broke on a graphics card fan. It was actually a rather scary moment. For just a moment I thought maybe the water pump on my CPU water cooling device had gone haywire. Imagine crunching sounds from your computer and fear. On the brighter side of things, the process for sending back the card was pretty simple. It took me one phone call to work out all the details and figure out all the fine print items. Seriously, it took me a minute to read all the return documentation and figure out what was going on. My guess is that the graphics card must have taken some damage during shipping and the fan was loose or a little bit off and it just wore down and failed. Something like that happened. I’m just glad it happened during a block of time when I was in my office. I’m sure it would have shut down based on a heart fault at some point, but that is not really a theory I ever want to test.

Using the same box the graphics card arrived in seemed like a good idea. In terms of today’s reduce, reuse, and recycle theme that covers the reuse part. The box can can also be recycled at some point. The box I had received was bigger than it needed to be. Overall the bottom of the box fit the graphics card pretty well, but it was about a foot taller than it needed to be. For shipping purposes they had filled it up with all sorts of these green air filled plastic bubbles. Each one was like the size of a soda can when inflated. The box was full of a bunch of them and they were here for a bit and now they are back on their way to California. I was tempted to just ask for a refund on the graphics card versus a replacement, but the other card is working so well that I figured maybe it was just a manufacturing defect or shipping damage.

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to watch Northern Exposure and think about living in a small town somewhere in Alaska. Sending graphics cards around and waiting for things to be shipped reminded me of some elements of the show. People were always asking about and waiting for things to arrive. It really was one of my favorite shows of all time. Maybe today will be the day that I start to examine my favorite television shows in some kind of detail. That may be a hard thing to rationalized without bifurcating the list between science fiction and non-science fiction. That probably is the right way to go about the process of classification. It will also help me generate two different blog posts this year. I’m adding a post about my top ten favorite science fiction television shows to the list below. Yeah that just happened. It was a pretty meta moment. We just evaluated the process of future posts and how to generate more content in the same paragraph.

Topic 1: My top 5 favorite non-science fiction television shows

Even thinking about making a top 5 list gives me pause. I have made a ton of them after watching the movie High Fidelity (2000). John Cusack delivers them in a way that is probably better than what I could muster. Assuming they would not let me narrate my own autobiography audiobook I would want John Cusack to be the narrator. My backup narrator choice if you were interested would probably be Kelsey Grammer. Maybe at some point this weblog will deliver into a top choices for audiobook narrators. We are already more than halfway to a top 5 if throwing my hat in the ring is acceptable. That is really how top 5 lists can go from interesting to ridiculous in a matter of a few keystrokes.

We should probably get back to the task at hand and write about the topic at hand. Your top 5 list has has to be written in the moment. Everything on the list should be true to the moment. Things should be added without restraint or self-censorship. All of that being true and all things being equalled out at the moment making this list might not have been the best idea. Somehow I’m sure that things are being forgotten within the list. A top 10 list would give me more room to include some obvious fan favorites. However, that is not how the game is played. The game in this case is played very simply. Write a top 5 list. No regrets. No retreat. No surrender…

1. Northern Exposure (1990 to 1995)
2. The X-Files (1993 to 2002)
3. Frasier (1993 to 2004)
4. The West Wing (1999 to 2006)
5. House (2004 to 2012)

Keep in mind that the aforementioned top 5 list is entirely based on personal preference and does not have anything to do with anything other than my thoughts at the moment. That last comment really failed the test enumerated at the end of the last true paragraph. As if by some turn of fate at this very moment Captain Pickles our 7 month old rescue puppy is chasing a tail in a circle. That tail may very well be connected to Captain Pickles the dog. It will probably not end well. This time it just ended with the dog on the floor looking up at me like something great had just happened. That is not how I feel about the first sentence of this paragraph. I should just own up to my top 5 list and note that it was my words and yes it happened.

They really should have figured out a way to make more episodes of Northern Exposure. It is one of those shows that Netflix or somebody could pick up and make a few more episodes or reboot it with some seeded original characters. I know it would never have the magic of those first two seasons, but that is how it works. It is a show that had no special effects or complex camera work. Somebody could probably boot up a Northern Exposure like show on YouTube. If that already exists and I have just missed out on it, then please drop a comment of send me a message on Twitter.

My online presence is a little out of control these days you should be able to figure out how to send me a message. Writing top 5 lists and posting them on the internet is probably not the best use of my time and effort. However, all work and no play makes for a boring weblog. To that end this top 5 list probably shows a little bit about my interests. Oddly enough only one of those shows was recent. None of my favorites from HBO made the list this time. That is obviously due to the fact they did not fall in the top 5. No shows from streaming services or even YouTube made the list. That just happens to be the way of things. Part of my judgements about what made the list and what did not had a lot to do with the shows i would watch over and over again.

It would be hard to quantify just how many episodes of the X-Files I have watched. That show has been in syndication forever. Writing a top 5 that includes science fiction television shows will be very difficult. It would pretty much be an effort to stack rank awesomeness by degree. I recall people talking about the West Wing and encouraging me to watch the series. I’m afraid that did not happen in a timely manner. I arrived to the party very late and watched the show in binge fashion from Netflix. I’m sure watching the characters unfold slowly added to the drama and the effect the show had on people.

Topic 2: My Nespresso Expert machine

I’m still using my Nespresso Expert espresso making machine by Breville. Tonight the weekend begins and I had a shot of vanilla flavored espresso. Yeah i’m still talking about the vanilla pods. The sleeve contains 10 of them so you can imagine they will keep making apparences. The best part of the espresso machine is that I have not had an energy drink this week. Avoiding those things is one of my new year resolutions. The sugar alone is something that is probably wreaking havoc on my diet and system.

You probably thought I was about to ramble on about Northern Exposure for at least 3,000 words. That would be a good use of some words, but that is not where we are going today. Tonight is just one of those nights that things are on tilt. Dealing with complex computer problems always has a way of just disrupting my evening, day, or really whenever they happen. For the most part with graphics cards and other computer parts I bitterly expect to be able to plug them in and have them work forever. That is not a rational statement. Things break and electronics do not last forever.

Topic 3: A few musings

I’m falling behind on my writing goals this week. Two factors are probably contributing to that situation. First, I need to manage my time better and focus on writing in spurts instead of trying to force one 3,000 word epic writing session. Most of my writing sessions contribute about 1,000 words so trying to produce more than double that is probably not realistic. Second, I have to focus on having one good morning writing session for about 1,000 words to help break up the struggle to write. I know that this should not be a struggle it should be a process that helps inspire and encourage me to improve as a writer.

I’m sure some of my weblog posts this year have been a little better than others. That is not a function of editing or anything like that. It is just a function of good focused purposeful writing. As you can probably tell by now I can run laps around nonsense and produce a lot of prose. Some of it useful and other sections that need some work. That is how it goes and how it will be for the rest of the year.

Topic 4: That half way point

Maybe telling some stories would help at this point. That could be the case. Some type of observations or insights might very well push things forward here. Striving toward that elusive something might help. Maybe it is all about the nature of building things. Taking up the cause and building things out might be a good start. It might have been easier to stop checking my word count and just write for a few minutes. It seems that I am just wiped out both emotionally and physically today. That should make for a recipe full of writing and thoughtful insights. It does not appear that is the case at the moment.

Topic 5: That last topic had to go

Ok — now is the time to stop focusing on the wrong parts of the journey. We have the opportunity to think about what things are important. We invest our time and money in the things that seem to be important at the time.

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

P.S. For the first time since owning an espresso pod based coffee machine, I broke down and made a double shot using two pods. My Starbucks Verismo machine actually let me pull two shots through the same pod and that worked out fine. It gave me two shots worth of espresso. The concentration of the second pull was not as strong as the first pull. That happened for obvious reasons. The grounds in the pod only have so much espresso goodness to give the world and that second pull tested what they could do. That is what makes my Nespresso decision so conflicting. A Lungo pull of 3.75 ounces or 110.90 milliliters of joy through the same pod was not going to cut it. Today was a day that needed two shots of espresso. In that case each pod would produce 1.35 ounces of espresso. Together my double shot of espresso would be 2.7 ounces of espresso goodness. It happened. It was glorious and enjoyable. At the same time, I felt just a little bit of guilt for using two Nespresso pods in the same sitting.

Unlike my Starbucks pods the folks at Nespresso have given me prepaid envelope to mail my used pods back for recycling. That is what encouraged me to purchase the strange silver rather large Nespresso Recycling Container. I capitalized the name of the device in solidarity with the naming convention on the Nespresso website. It is seriously big and it is full of Nespresso pods that are just hanging out with a little open air. Apparently, after the pods cool down in the Nespresso Expert machine they are going to go on a journey to the Recycling Container. At some point the container is going to become full of dry used Nespresso pods. I am then going to dump all the nespresso mods into this prepaid envelope they gave me to send them to some sorting location for recycling in Fresno, California.

You can imagine that my imagination kicked into overdrive on this one. This bag is about the size of a gallon ziplock and it is going to be full of used Nespresso pods. Those pods are going to end up on a UPS truck for ground class shipping. That always seems a really strange distinction for a shipping rate since most shipping is ground vs. air. I guess that means that the UPS driver who brings me things on a weekly basis may very well be taking the same Nespresso pods that were delivered to me back to the good folks at Nespresso. That gallen sized bag of like 100 pods will be traveling to Fresno, California. Within my imagination this entire process is rather like an episode of Chuck. It pretty much became the long lost Chuck vs. the Nespresso pod episode.

Chuck was a show about a computer repair technician at a retail store who accidentally received a download of highly classified images from a former roommate and then somehow got into seriously improbably and dangerous situations. Don’t get me wrong. I am probably going to buy more Chuck DVDs or Blu-ray discs on eBay. That will probably happen right after I finish searching YouTube for videos of how Nespresso recycles these pods in Fresno, California. I’m rather sure the process does not happen the same way it did within my imagination. Like all good science fiction television I assumed they had an unnecessarily elaborate conveyor belt pulling the pods into a centrifuge type area that pulled any remaining liquid out before the mods were eviscerated into tiny pieces for separation between pod material and coffee. I also entertained the thought that a conveyor belt system pulled them into a device that after turning them upright just cut the top off and vacuumed the grounds out. I’m kind hoping they went with the cut the pod into a ton of little pieces approach. That hope is not based on an type of scientific rational. It is probably based on on the same rational as monster trucks.

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 12 the one where I installed 2 GTX 1060 graphics cards

My PC Build 2018

2018: Day 12 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 32,400 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

You may have wondered about the arrival of two ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics cards. Maye the weblog post thumbnail should have included the text spoiler alert. Together they fit in the bottom two graphics card slots of my ASUS Z170-Pro motherboard. Thank goodness or some thoughtful engineers that the Storm Stryker case was designed with plenty of extra room for full length graphics cards. Slotting in three full size graphics cards seems a little intense. Both of the new ASUS GTX 1060 cards have two fans onboard and a lot of aluminum. They are heavy graphics cards. My NVIDIA Geforce Experience software picked up the cards and downloaded the right driver straight away. All of these graphics cards can be used for deep learning and other use cases, but for the next 100 days they will be mining away at on a cryptocurrency mining pool.

It took a bit of patience and some cable wrangling to get both cards installed. The hardest part of the installation was figuring out that that the LED/power plug extender was just a little bit taller than it should be. I pulled out the cable riser and quickly plugged in the power button cable, HDD LED, and power LED directly into the motherboard. The riser is now sitting on my desk with no real degree of usefulness in the foreseeable future. It will probably end up in my cable boxes waiting for a day of usefulness to arrive. That day of usefulness may never happen for the lowly riser. I’m afraid a lot of the cables that have been put in a box for storage may never be used again.

Getting all three cards situated in the case took a few minutes, but something strange happened when I hit the power button. It was the beeps of horror from the motherboard. Something was falting and a series of Motherboard beeps sent a shot of adrenaline to my system. Nothing good every happens when you hear 2 short beeps, a continuous beek, or some repeating beep sequence. I’m pretty sure that all motherboard beep codes are bad. I quickly turned off the power and started to look at all of the cable, fans, and other things that could be creating problems. Two of the PCI express cards had to be swapped. One of the USB card extender cables was touching the bottom fan of my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card. Yes — that is emblematic of poor and lazy cabling on my part. A new pack of zip ties and some intense cable management activities are in my future. If you have looked at the weblog thumbnail image, then you probably know just how much cabling work needs to be done.

Everything booted up and things are humming right along. I’m a little worried that my Corsair 850 watt power supply might not be able to handle all of the power needs in my case, but things seem to be running well enough. I am probably going to have to start watching prices on Corsair 950 or 1000 watt power supplies. Having a backup power supply on hand is probably a good idea at this point. NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 beta picked up all three cards and is mining away. That is a slick little piece of software. At the point where the good folks from NiceHash transfer actual BTC to my wallet I’ll be sold on them as a company. Within the miner settings I disabled benchmarking on my CPU and looked over the benchmarks for my cards. It looks like the founder edition graphics card is benchmarked against mining 14 different cryptocurrency algorithms. The two new ASUS GTX 1060 cards only have 3 gigabytes of RAM onboard and hit the benchmark for 10 different cryptocurrency algorithms. Tomorrow will be an interesting day to see how many different algorithms get mined in the next 24 hours.

During my initial testing my founders edition NVIDIA card mined Keccak, NeoScrypt, Lyra2REv2, DaggerHashimoto, Decred, Lbry, Equihash, and Blake2s. You might be wondering if I had to look up all those different algorithms and types of cryptocurrencies. The answer is yes. Some of them seemed rather obscure to me, but if they found their way into the NiceHash Miner software they must be mainstream enough for people to be buying hashing power to use them on mining pools. Those are probably each topics for another day another weblog post. Based on my post from yesterday you are probably keenly aware that I want to dedicate all 3 cards to mining KodakCoin when it finally comes out. It was announced yesterday, but the wait already seems to long. That is probably a good example of where learning some patience would be a good strategy. At the moment all 3 GTX 1060 cards are mining NeoScrypt which is apparently used for Feathercoin, Orbitcoin, and Phoenixcoin. That seems nice. I do not know enough about any of those coins to know if that is what I should be mining.

Tomorrow I may spend some time deep diving into the whole process of running my three graphics card mining rig. All of these efforts have been driven toward learning about blockchain and cryptocurrency. That is pretty much my prefered method of learning about new technology. I like to jump in and give it a shot. Some of my efforts are probably not going to work out and some of them may work out very well. Tonight it seemed like a good idea to have the NiceHash Miner work on some mining optimization for each card. The best mining optimization setting appears to be the precise setting. It takes like 20 minutes per card to run the precise mining optimization. I’m not entirely sure if it is worth it or not, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Topic 1: The taskbar displeased me

A change happened today. Within Windows 10 I have been using the auto-hide the taskbar feature. For better or worse, I do not need it to be displayed on my Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor. It just takes up space and for the most part does not provide me anything useful. Today I had to lock the taskbar on the right and disable the auto-hide feature. It was not going back into a hiding position and therefore was eating up just a little bit of my window space. That became problematic when I could not mouse over a part of the window I needed to click on. You can imagine that was frustrating and I had to turn on the locked right hand side displayed taskbar.

Topic 2: A little espresso and a little writing

At the moment clearing my mind seems to be pretty hard to do. My mind is racing through a bunch of different ideas tonight. It seemed like a good idea to brew another one of these vanilla Nespresso shots tonight using my Nespresso Expert brewing machine. The shots really do taste like vanilla. John Paul has elected to watch some type of Pokemon movie tonight on our main television. That last sentence may not be entirely accurate or well written. We really only have the one television in the main living space. We pretty decided to only have one television in the house and that is how we have managed things. Tablets have made it easier to manage our strict one television policy.

Tablets really have changed how we consume media and stream content. My working theory about personal media devices is that we will either get augmented reality glasses or short throw projection systems pretty soon. I have seen both types of technology starting to show up. It seems like portable projects have really started to make some advancements. Some channels on YouTube are completely devoted to reviewing and talking about mobile projectors. They have gotten very small these days and they have built in batteries that are pretty decent. Some of the projectors produce some decent looking video on walls and other surfaces. I think projects will be the next wave of technology that people are excited about. Keep in mind that the projects will be interactive and probably have some type of augmented reality hook to them so people feel like they are a part of the projection.

Topic 3: Drinking more water each day

This 48 ounce Nalgene bottle sits on my desk. It is supposed to remind me to drink more water each day. At the time the goal was to introduce an extra 48 ounces of water into my diet. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It was better than drinking soda, water, or energy drinks. Water seemed to be the best way to just stay hydrated and enjoy the day. It is funny just how little attention I paid to what type of beverage would be in my cup next. Most of it had to do with whatever was in the refrigerator.

Topic 4: Trying to type really quietly

Messing around with my computer build cost me about an hour of writing time tonight. Everybody is asleep. I’m trying to type extra quietly on my ASUS Chromebook C101P. The keyboard on it is relatively quiet.The temperature spiked on one of my graphics cards and I started messing around with some different configurations. Ultimately I ended up pulling one of the ASUS Dual series GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O3G 3GB graphics cards out of my Storm Stryker case. That created a gap between the remaining cards in the case. They are both right now cooling to about 72 degree celsius. That seemed very hot, but for a graphics card it is par for the course. It is something that I am going to dig into a little more over the next week. All of the massive mining rigs that people build on YouTube with 6 or more graphics cards are air cooled and lined up next to each other on wood or aluminum rails.

Topic 5: Top 5 books by reading frequency

Ok this is a hard one. You have to separate out what you consider to be the best books in your opinion. This question is just about the top 5 books you have ready in your lifetime based on total reads. This would be a maximum count of the number of times you picked up a book and read it. For the purposes of this exercise I’m going to exclude the bible. I have very rarely picked it up and read it from cover to cover, but it is by far the book I have picked up the most in my lifetime. Ok that aside complete let’s dig into my top five books by frequency of reading…

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)
2. Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM) by Robert Pirsig (1974)
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1980)
5. Executing Your Strategy: How to Break It Down and Get It Done by Morgan, Levitt, and Malek (2008)

You might have guessed that that list was sorted by year of publication. It was not sorted in that way. That is just a pattern without purpose. I started to wonder if a list like this would start to let you get ot know me a little bit better. The books we come back to are the ones we treasure. I still think it is interesting that the older books are the ones that I have spent the most time reading. It is a close contest between The Hobbit and Dune. I’m pretty sure that at some point within the next decade ZAMM will end up being number one on the list.

Revisiting this list and really digging into my reading habits over the year could probably be a weblog post in and of itself. That will probably happen at some point this year. Thinking about and understanding the things we read is an important part of growing and moving forward. We strive to move forward in our own ways. I would have a very hard time following the same routine every day. Following the same step by step guide to my day every day would be banality incarnate. Things in the real world are full of chaos and intrigue. Being a lifelong learner has taught me to look for the tides of change and lean into the process of understanding them in near real time.

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

P.S. This postscript might be the longest one I have written so far this year. Dream Theater is booted up and i’m ready to go. Today was the day that I finally tried the Starbucks blonde espresso roast. It was not a life changing event for me in the least. It reminded me of getting espresso at some random place along my travels and thinking it was not very strong or flavorful. The richness that brought joy to my palate and excitement to my world was lost. That rich and creaming froth followed by a degree of smooth robust coffee flavor was not present. To that end you can imagine that the new Starbucks blonde espresso shot will not be purchased again. I’m not entirely sure I would drink it if they were giving it away for free. That pretty much describes the end of last night and the start of today. My writing path to 3,000 words was not working out. Today for better or worse a little bit of catch up is going to have to occur. You might be wondering exactly how much catch up needs to occur to get back on track from yesterday’s hardware related problems. The number is pretty straightforward. This postscript needs to include about 828 glorious and purposeful words.

That could be accomplished in a variety of ways. One way would be to make an epic list of the weblog posts that should make up the rest of the month. Another way would be to just go into grind it out mode and make it happen one word at a time. That is probably the most plausible way to move things forward at this point. Today has been a day for coffee and espresso. Things started off with a wonderful Nespresso lungo style pull of espresso from a single pod. That was the start of the day and it was wonderful. Based on the marketing materials from Nespresso it seems like a lungo coffee is about 3.75 ounces or 110.90 milliliters of joy. That worked out just fine and I am trying to figure out which lungo pod from the starter pack is my favorite to help facilitate the inevitable reorder.

Tonight’s writing session is going to be rough. This morning was devoted to closing out and catching up for the previous day. Writing 3,000 words per day is about having a routine and ensuring that the right amount of time is being set aside to write and that writing is happening during the right times. I seem to be experiencing and seeing enough things to react to on a daily basis. Reactions help me produce words and get going on longer pieces of prose. None of that helps ensure that the words being written are meaningful. As we move to strive forward and to grow and develop writing is one way to do that, but that may not guarantee that the writing process that inspired growth is inherently good or epic.

It has been almost two weeks since the start of my writing journey toward producing 1,000,000 words in the same year. Thinking about the prospect of being 2 steps down a 52 step path is interesting. Strangely enough even writing that last sentence did not cause an emotional reaction to the whole process. That is probably a good sign that this journey is possible. My big writing year is already more than 30,000 words complete. In and of itself that is an achievement for the first two weeks of the year. My inquiry into understanding meaning and value has started. These are the days that we spend looking at what we are doing and where we are going. That path toward the future is the important outcome. In this moment we elect to move in some direction.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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 11 Gathering the acorns of our day one bitcoin at a time

Captain pickles the dog

2018: Day 11 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 29,601 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

People are gathering digital acorns in force these days. Cryptocurrency is having a moment. That moment hit a peak today. That peak will probably be defined by the fact that Warren Buffett the oracle of Omaha elected to share some thoughts about the future of cryptocurrencies. Pretty much everything Warren shared on the subject was bleak. It was not good. It was not encouraging. Those thoughts pretty much mirrored my own. For those of you who watch my YouTube videos you are more than welcome to fact check my argument. Blockchain is a legitimate technology that will have some great use cases. Cryptocurrency is interesting and is only valued based on the amount of interest in each currency. Right now the hype is everywhere.

Speaking of hype in action — Yesterday my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card was 98.06% efficient based on data from the NiceHash Miner. I went back to look at the log to figure out why 1.94% of the shares accepted for mining were rejected. Most of the reject reasons appear to be “Job not found.” That reason description does not appear to be very informative. Maybe later I will search out some explanations of the common NiceHash Miner error codes and why they happen. One of them noted, “Invalid nonce size.” All of those errors just make me frown, but things are still progressing forward. It does appear that NiceHash works. If it makes a payment on Sunday, then I will go out of my way to say nicer things about it in a full review essay.

People have reached a fever pitch when it comes to cryptocurrency. I have said it before and will say it again here, “People have gone out to gather the acorns of our time one bitcoin at a time.” Ok so maybe I just quoted myself. Yeah that was uncalled for. I’ll try not to do it again. Do not let that distract you, but instead consider consider for a moment that people are not really mining whole bitcoins within giant pools. They are mining fractions of a bitcoin that the entire pool is hoping to discover. Mining is decentralized. A lot of people can participate. The barrier to entry is mostly technology related. A degree of digital divide exists between those who can afford to mine and those who cannot. Anybody with a decent graphics card can join a pool and engage in some bitcoin mining. That being said the number of cryptocurrencies being mined right now is probably at an all time high. The hype has arrived and is at a fever pitch. People keep in mind that have one graphics card and trying to mine cryptocurrencies is not going to make you a fortune.

My efforts to gather acorns are underway. I participate to learn. Maybe in part I am participating due to the the excitement. It is the goldrush of our time. Building a 6+ graphics card rig did not seem like a good idea. Given my current setup my ASUS Z170-pro motherboard should be able to support 3 graphics cards and give me half a mining rig to play with. Tomorrow should be the day that my new graphics cards arrive. We will see what happens when they arrive. I’m curious to see how quickly the NiceHash Miner picks up the cards and benchmarks their potential.

The interesting part about cryptocurrency is not really the mining part of the equation. It is what happens next. It is all about what happens to the value of the coins or fractions of coins that people have mined over a long period of time. All of the folks who had mined a ton of bitcoins witnessed those coins go up in value. They soared up in value rather quickly. The effort required to mine them had not changed it was over and done, but the value they had to the outside world radically changed. That is the part of the equation that I am interested in understanding. A lot of people are speculating that cryptocurrencies will continue to go up. Obviously, Warren Buffett is not one of those people. I purchased two graphics cards and plan to chart out how long it takes to pay for them by mining. That is a very basic value proposition and it is interesting. Not as interesting as seeing coins in a wallet double, triple, and even quadruple in value.

Regrets are interesting things. They happen. In hindsight my efforts to mess around with bitcoins years ago could have been very valuable. I learned a lesson. A little better follow through on my mining efforts could have been very lucrative. Like many of my technology related efforts I dig in and learn about the technology and ultimately stop using it. Some things become a part of my routine and they might continue along that way for years. Mining bitcoins was not one of the things that kept my attention. In this case that was to my own detriment. It would have been nice to have a wallet full of bitcoins. My current mining project is really just about testing profitability. It is probably not going to make me enough money to retire. Maybe picking the right next big cryptocurrency could yield some amazing returns, but that type of effort will require completing a ton of research and making an informed decision.

Speaking of picking the next big cryptocurrency. I’m really excited that Kodak is going to start a cryptocurrency called KodakCoin. I will probably unleash my three graphics card mining rig on mining KodakCoin when it comes out. That sounds like a fun thing to do. I have always been interested in learning about new technology. In terms of learning it is hard to imagine that this weblog post included some thoughts from Warren Buffett and an actual new product announcement from Kodak. That combination of thing has completely surprised me. Take my word for it today was a weird day.

Topic 1: Cut and paste is still making me sad

Writing in Microsoft Word on this ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P was not working out for me. It only took a few minutes before I was back in Google Docs writing away toward my 3,000 word daily deadline. Figuring out why cut and paste from Google Docs to WordPress has been failing to keep the carriage returns is beyond my skills at the moment. Maybe with some time that could be solved. Right now I only have time to sit down write. You probably have noticed some signposting where a certain word count is being called out. Those call outs were pretty much driven by cut and paste. Maybe I will start using the built in word count feature from Google Docs.

On the plus side I have stopped cutting and pasting the content over to WordPress to calculate the actual current word count. Seriously, WordPress and Google Docs do not count words in documents the same way. Since WordPress is the single source of truth for my writing adventure that is where everything has to end up. I know the easy solution would be to just write in WordPress, but that probably will not happen. My writing routine is very strongly oriented toward writing in a full word processor.

Topic 2: Espresso thoughts

This espresso shot has a slight vanilla hint. Getting used to the Nespresso Expert brewing machine has really been about learning to deal with the original line pods. This sleeve of pods is apparently earmarked for espresso and it has a vanilla hint added to it or maybe it is just a natural part of the coffee. It was brewed and now it is gone. 9 more pods from the sleeve will eventually get brewed. This sampler pack has some curveballs for sure. I’m not big on flavored coffee so this is something very new in my world. For several years I drank the exact same espresso flavor from Starbucks day after day. All of this switching around to different pod flavors is rather new and unexpected.

Topic 3: Top Chef Denver

This season of Top Chef is based out of Denver. That is exciting. Over the years Top Chef is probably the most consistent show that I have watched on television. Even when we cut the cord for a couple of years I paid for Top Chef episodes. Tonight I’m watching Season 15 episode 3 which is titled, “Keep on Truckin’” We went to the Craftwood Inn a few times in Colorado Springs before it closed down when Brother Luck was the chef. I thought maybe we would have known more of the Top Chef contestants, but I guess knowing one will have to be good enough.

I almost deleted this next paragraph, but that seemed intellectual dishonest. These are my thoughts at this moment. For better or worse they are how I feel at this moment. This episode of Top Chef actually included Logan Paul which is interesting and somewhat strange. Maybe for the season DVD/Blu-ray they might end up editing that out parts or maybe including a subtitle that denotes that Logan Paul makes poor decisions. I’m sure the apology was sincere and that Logan Paul has regrets related to some decisions made on YouTube. Please note that my observations on Logan Paul are not intended to be clickbait or advertised in any part as keywords to bring traffic to this site. My writing is first and foremost for me. Audience building has never been a part of my weblog strategy. I react to things that come into focus within my daily journey. Logan Paul has been the focus of a lot of conversation, consideration, and condemnation. My take is that Logan Paul made a mistake and put forward content that was not appropriate. I’m assuming that was not on purpose and that it was just poor decision making.

Topic 4: Some editing needs to happen at some point

Editing has not really been a part of my writing routine. I’m sure that the last 11 days have included some major grammatical errors and typos. Grammarians all around the world are probably not amused by my write and keep writing format. That is ok. At some point all of this prose can go under the knife and be scrutinized. Writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is a recipe for adventure. It is also a recipe for a lot of writing. Assuming about 2.5 hours of writing a day that breaks down to about 912 hours and 30 minutes of writing during the year. That does not seem like all that much in the grand scheme of things. Maybe some folks who write 8 hours a day at work produce a lot more prose than my target.

That is a really interesting thought that seems to have captured my attention at the moment. Somebody who wrote for 8 hours per day and had my relative level of productivity would probably produce 3 million words per year. That is intense. I wonder how many people actually do that. Right now about 7.6 billion people are on the plant. That reads as 7,600,000,000 people fully written out. I’m sure that one of them is the most prolific writer on the planet. Figuring out exactly who that is could be highly problematic. I did some searches to figure out who is the most prolific writer in the world and that was a fun rabbit hole to go down. Some people have written a lot more words than I thought was possible.

My guess is that at some point an abridged and otherwise thoughtful version of my big year in writing will be fully edited and put into print. That editing will probably be done by somebody else. Right now I am too close to the material to edit it. Later down the road I probably will not expend the energy to edit these weblog posts. If my past actions are any indication, then editing things after the fact will probably not happen. I have words that were generated literally last millennium that have not been edited. That sounds worse than it really is given the that we are less than two decades into the new millennium.

My efforts these days seem to be centering around writing about what captures my attention and digging in to subjects that matter to me in the moment. At this point in time, I’m not sure that I could sustain a write and edit cycle. Keeping up with a write 3,000 words then write 3,000 more words cycle is about all that I can manage. Without some type of burning fire to write about a topic driving me to write all day I think about 3,500 to 4,000 words would be the maximum output that could be sustainable. That is just sort of how it is going to be and what is going to happen for the rest of the year.

Ok —- so I could not figure out what type of thumbnail would fit this posts cryptocurrency theme. As you could tell from the thumbnail for this weblog post I ended up picking a photo of Captain Pickles hoarding all the chew toys. That was as close to the essence of this weblog post as I could manage to get. Several photos of my graphics card were taken. Each of them just reminded me that I really need to clean the dust out of my computer case. They also reminded me of just how embarrassed by my cable management I really should be on a daily basis. That computer case needs some serious word with some zip ties and a flashlight.

That is probably a good project for the weekend or maybe some evening this week or next. I got an invite to go see Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. That was a more intriguing prospect for this weekend than maybe sitting down and recabling my primary computer system. However, installing 2 new graphics cards and probably needing to install several new fans might make dealing with my cable problem more of a priority than Indian Jones. That last sentence just seems horrible to read. Things should not be more important than watching Indiana Jones in an IMAX format.

Topic 5: Some thoughts on the band Dream Theater

The guitar stylings of one John Petrucci are technically complex, deeply rich, and always memorable. Pair that with the progressive rock band Dream Theater and you end up with some epic music to play in the background during writing sessions. I must confess that my vinyl record collection does not include any Dream Theater, but I have listened to a lot of music from the band over the years. Initially my first listen to Dream Theater’s 1992 album Images and Words was not life changing. I remember thinking ok and moved on. Over time the music grew on me and recently it is something that I listen to during the last hour of my day. Sometimes the sweet sound of John Petrucci’s guitar are the final notes of my day. I figured out how to play part of a song titled, “The Dance of Eternity,” on my guitar. My technical proficiency on guitar will probably never match John Petrucci, but hey even playing along at 70% proficiency is fun from time to time.

A few quick searches for Dream Theater vinyl records on eBay reminded me why my collection does not include any of their albums. People are very proud of Dream Theater vinyl and the prices do not dip into the range where picking up a bunch of vinyl albums is reasonable. My entire Warren Zevon and Eric Clapton album collection was reasonably priced and mostly purchased on eBay at auction. Just a few seconds ago I sorted my eBay search for “Dream Theater vinyl” by price and shipping lowest first. The first result that was an actual record was over $20.00. That price point will probably deter me from buying anything on eBay. At that point, simply buying a new copy of a record is probably the right way to go.

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

P.S. Explaining to people that writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is my Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance can be challenging. This journey is my effort to write about and engage in an active inquiry into values, quality, and meaning. Will that journey produce something as well read and influential… probably not. That is ok with me. Writing is my art. Every time I sit down to write anything it is first and foremost for me. It is a way to think about things and to tackle complex questions and interesting ideas. Writing is a part of my routine. It is something that I pretty much have to do on a daily basis or it keeps me awake. Some people might call it hypergraphia. That is a fancy word to describe the uncontrollable need to write. In my case I have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. My mind races through hundreds of thoughts and permutations when I do not spend enough time writing. It has never really been a problem that impacted my happiness or interactions with others so I just accept it and set aside some time to write. Writing 3,000 words per day is way more than I would during my normal writing sessions. I am curious to see what happens after I spend an entire year writing at a ramped up level. Certainly in spurts I would produce a few pages of single spaced insights. Producing 6 pages a day is a newly introduced twist from my 3,000 words per day writing effort.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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 10 the one where I daydreamed about cryptocurrency

2018: Day 10 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 26,546 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Mining cryptocurrency has become a cultural touchstone this year. The rise of bitcoin prices being shared by just about everybody in the media has changed how people view cryptocurrency in probably lasting ways. Today this weblog post focuses on how I ended up daydreaming about cryptocurrency mining. YouTube has so many videos about building cryptocurrencies mining rigs that it almost seems easy. Most people who can follow general instructions related to modular computer setup can probably build a GPU mining rig. Based on the sheer volume of videos populating YouTube from people who have done that it seems that the commodification of mining is now complete. Think about that one for a minute. Most of the thrilling mystery of how people starting mining cryptocurrency is now gone.

This computer that I am using right now has enough slots to expand from my one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card to a 3 GPU setup. The idea of turning on a 3 GPU mining rig is what sparked this whole series of words and sent me spirling down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole this morning to a place that does not seem like wonderland. Today was a day that some time was wasted daydreaming about cryptocurrency. I even started to sketch out a short story about building out an AI mining bot that became self aware enough to steal cryptocurrency and upload itself to the cloud. I’m sure bitcoin related fiction is already a genre somewhere on the internet.

Some time ago I thought it was a good idea to install something called GUIMiner v2012-12-03 on my main deep learning computer. To help me work with and install TensorFlow I purchased one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card directly from NVIDIA. That purchase was made on July 19, 2016 and it was all about wanting to work with the Pascal architecture. Deep learning was very exciting. The idea of setting up a home neural network was truly game changing and something that brought me a huge amount of joy. Initially installing GUIMiner was pretty easy to do on the Windows 10 operating system. It mines using that GTX 1060 GPU at 642.2 mhash/s and just hangs out in the background. Seriously, when your computer starts if no mining is occuring you would never notice the application unless you checked the icon tray. During the course of running an active miner my entire PC runs very slowly. I can only imagine what happens when multiple GPU cards are installed.

Surfing the web for NVIDIA graphics cards has been an interesting thing to do today. My buying expirecing from NVIDIA directly was easy peasy back in 2016. I logged on when the GTX 1060 cards first became available and ordered one of them. That is very different from the folks who are buying 6 or more graphics cards at a time and trying to connect them to the same motherboard. At the time, I used this service called BitMinter. I let it mine for some time, but it never really generated enough BTC to transfer out to and get paid. I would have written you step by step instructions on how to install and run GUIMiner, but since I have seen no actual money from it that seemed premature and probably generally unwise. For me it was just about learning and playing with a new piece of technology. It was interesting to play with the software and learn about mining cryptocurrency. None of my efforts required me to write any code or do anything other than allow something to run on my system.

Today was the day that I dumped GUIMiner v2012-12-03 in favor of NiceHash Miner Version 2.0.1.6 which is basically for NVIDIA only. I may try to write a few more words about why AMD got booted from the current version. It has something to do with a giant antivirus kerfuffle. That is probably a topic to take on at a later time in more detail. Pretty much all day the NiceHash Miner has been running on my Windows 10 partition. My base rig is built based on an ASUS Z170-Pro motherboard running an Intel i7 chip. The board itself has enough slots for 3 PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 graphics cards. My Cooler Master Storm Stryker computer case is plenty big to support 3 graphics cards. I’m pretty sure the Corsair 850 watt power supply in the case can support the three graphics cards. You may have noticed some hesitation and speculation in the last paragraph. That is pretty much the case. I’m kind of curious if three GTX 1060 graphics cards will be able to run in the good old Storm Stryker case. That setup can be used for deep learning and building out cooperative and combative/adversarial neural networks like Google’s design of Bob, Alice, and Eve for testing encryption.

Educational purposes aside the main reason to get the extra cards would be to watch a mining rig run and learn about cryptocurrency mining hands on. Maybe that is something worse exploring. It does open the door to learning about some new things and being able to try some new technology out. Applied technology has always been one of the areas that has held my attention. Maybe today will be the day that I elect to pick up two additional graphics cards. They could be used for a variety of use cases. My main question right now would be around exactly how long it would take to make back the money spent on them through mining cryptocurrency. I would also have to intellectually accept the idea that Bitcoin probably is in a bubble and I’m rationalized ignoring that reality in favor of watching NiceHash Miner run on my computer.

Topic 1: Cut and paste changed between Google Docs and WordPress

Today is day 10 of my journey to write 3,000 words per day. You can imagine that means that a number of cut and paste operations have been executed. From the Chrome Google Docs I select all of the words that need to go over to the post. That content is then pasted into the text section of the post editing screen within WordPress. Today for the first time in my 10 day journey all of the carriage returns are disappearing. Having to go back and manually add each return to ensure that the document returns to the correct formatting before posting is super duper annoying. That is essentially an order of magnitude more annoying than it should be. It worked fine every other time. Things have been working so well that most of the time after hitting cut and paste I do not even go back to check and make sure all the content arrived correctly. It is a function of word processing that I have grown to trust and appreciate. I probably took it for granted until tonight. Now i’m sitting here writing words about lamenting my now failing copy and paste.

Topic 2: The Jayhawks play tonight in Allen fieldhouse

I’m watching the University of Kansas Jayhawks play basketball in Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN2. This is one of the best use cases for 4K content distribution. Sports fans all over the nation and the world would enjoy watching their teams in 4K. It does appear that over the air broadcasts of 4K content are possible. Local broadcasts moving to 4K could help increase adoption rates for televisions capable of 4K content. Joni has pretty much indicated that we will be watching our Sony Bravia HD television until the day that device fails or is destroyed. Apparently, the refurbished Sony Bravia television we received as a warranty replacement back in 2011 may last forever. It certainly has lasted longer than I expected. Televisions are not really something that can be upgraded. Upgrades to hardware that is already out in the wild does not really seem to be on the technology roadmap.

Throughout my entire lifetime watching the Jayhawks play basketball has always been more rewarding than watching the Kansas City Chiefs. It is very unlikely that is going to change any time soon. My current working theory on the Kansas City Chiefs involves a theory that they just want to be competitive as a franchise. The goal does not appear to actually win a championship. We may see some major changes in the Chiefs organization this year or things may just continue on in the same way they have for a generation. I read some very unflattering articles about the Chiefs today.
Topic 3: Understanding the world around us

Yesterday we started digging into the nature of my year long inquiry into values. Understanding the world around us is getting harder and harder. We face a world that is no longer narrated for us in a curated way. Our institutions of shared perspective have been fading away into algorithmic based social networks. The public mind used to share the experience of common national news broadcasts and newspapers. All of that seems to be changing no one thing holds that much of our attention anymore. Nothing really commands a very large amount of nationwide attention anymore. I put a book by Tim Wu on my wishlist the other day. It is titled, “The attention merchants.” At some point this year I plan on reading that book. Real true marketing that seeks to gain the attention of the people is getting more complex to achieve. Targeting has gotten easier, but mass communication has gotten harder. Mostly that is true due to the changing ways the masses come together.

Topic 4: Allergies and writing

Today is my second day of taking Zyrtec. Overall my reaction to the allergy pill is less pronounced today. It does appear to be working. I have been able to engage in an early morning writing session and an evening writing session this week. For better or worse I’m having to write the bulk of my 3,000 words in one evening writing session. That is pretty much what I thought would happen. Over the years I have written in spurts. Large outputs of writing have always been a part of how things happen.

This sitting down and trying to engage in 3,000 words of purposeful writing is a new wrinkle in my writing routine. At this point, I am pretty much writing during any spare moment that comes up. That means writing in Google Keep on my phone and writing within my daily Google Doc. I’m hoping this copy and paste challenge fades away shortly. Adding formatting to 6 pages of single spaced content for an entire year will be highly frustrating. I might even consider flipping the script by just writing in WordPress and cutting and pasting the content back into Google Docs.

I may move back to Microsoft Word later this week. On a hunch, I went ahead and moved back to Microsoft Word and it fixed my cut and paste problems. Something must be going on with Google Docs today. Maybe somebody changed something in the code and people are telling tem just how annoying the code change is within the forms. Google Docs is entirely web delivered and that type of conde can be updated very easily. I just changed the font in this word processor to Times New Roman from Arial. Most of the time I do not end up thinking about fonts or formatting. I just go with whatever the word processor uses by default and I keep moving forward. That is pretty much in line with my writing methods. The content is always more important than the packaging when it comes to digital writing. Formatting can change at anytime, but the content should remain the same no matter what. Maybe things will return to normal tomorrow.

The game is in the second half now and it is very competitive. This year games are going to be a lot closer than in previous years. It may be a combination of the league being better and of the Jayhawks only playing 7 players. It is going to be a very interesting year. Today I cannot seem to get comfortable to write. Sitting still and writing for 2 hours requires finding a comfortable position.

Topic 5: Working on being more active

Right now in the basement my walking desk is just hanging out. Tomorrow I need to make sure to spend an hour or two hours working from my walking desk. Controlling my weight has always been about walking more and my walking desk is one way to make that happen. Sitting for more than 8 hours during the day is a terrible idea. I need to move around a little bit more. My goal for this year is to drop about 27 pounds. Adding about 3 to 5 miles per day of walking to my routine will probably make that happen.

800 words to go and fading fast. The Jayhawks beat the Cyclones of Iowa State tonight. The game was pretty much the only television that got turned on tonight. Maybe I should have spent more time reading about cryptocurrencies. I know how blockchains work and the other day I read the paper that started it all. Not only did I learn about the mechanics, but also I even read a conspiracy theory that Elon Musk invented bitcoin. Maybe at some point we will find out more about Satoshi Nakamoto. Naturally, I would not count Elon out of the race, but I am surprised the secret has lasted this long. I think it is interesting that an anonymous contribution could have such far reaching impacts.

Topic 6: Oh NiceHash

I’m pretty sure that the using the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.6 – Beta software is not going to make money fly into my bank account. My NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card is currently estimated to mine about USD 3.93 per day. That is enough to probably buy a taco (or a taco equivalent) everyday. After searching my archives I discovered that the graphics card from NVIDIA cost me $331.10 with tax and shipping. At the current rate of payout from NiceHash assuming all other things stay equal it will take about 100 days to pay off my 2016 graphics card. That payoff is just looking at cost of the card vs. money received.
Today I’m probably going to plug in my electricity calculator into the wall and figure out the cost of running my computer with NiceHash on and with NiceHash off. That will pretty much calculate the cost of running my GTX 1060 graphics card at full speed all day. Figuring out the payoff horizon will be a lot more accurate after the electricity costs are removed. This computer runs every day using either Ubuntu linux or Windows 10. The only electricity cost that needs to be removed will be from the difference between the standard operating level and the NiceHash operating level.

Topic 7: Some guitar renovations

It appears that the bridge on my Jackson Kelly custom guitar has rusted. That probably means that that either it was exposed to a harsh chemical or the flooding in my parents basement finally manifested. All of my guitar equipment was flooded out at one point. We are talking a classic Kansas City basement flooding event. My guitar amplifier was submerged and all of my guitar pedals bit the dust. The guitar may very well have gotten wet in the case. To the best of my recollection the guitar was in the case in the basement. Obviously, it did not get thrown away like the amplifier and other equipment. I can prove that hypothesis by simple observation of the case and guitar. The case is in the basement and the guitar is sitting on a rack next to me.

Secretly I have wanted to replace my Jackson Kelly neck with a removable soloist neck. And probably replace the hardware on the guitar. At that point it would probably just be a better idea to get a cheap previously owned Jackson soloist guitar. Taking the easy road is not always the road that gets taken. If this project happens one part at a time, then it could very well be a multiple year journey to bring together a new guitar. That probably will not be the cheapest way to go in totality, but it might be the best path forward.

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

P.S. Today seemed to be a day where two new things have been introduced into my daily writing routine. First, I’m probably going to spend the next 100 days mining cryptocurrency. That is part of an applied research project to better understand that industry and the people involved within that industry. People be advised that I do not believe it will be a way to get rich quick. Additionally, for those of you who have watched my YouTube videos you are probably aware that I believe the current value of Bitcoin is a bubble. Second, I’m going to try to figure out how to drop 27 pounds to get under 200 pounds this year. Both of those things will probably figure prominently in my writing for the next 100 days or more. Like anything else that catches my attention we will see how long it can hold my attention for. We may be facing a different state of the weblog discussion at anytime.

Sustained writing toward producing 3,000 words or more per day is changing my writing output and in some ways forcing me to go beyond the surface of things. That is a good start toward beginning a solid inquiry into values. Some of that inquiry is about trying to figure out what things matter to me and help me find purpose. Other parts of the inquiry are focused on trying to understand the values in place around me. Understanding the changes to civil society, to civility, and to our communities is probably as profound as reconciling the eight virtues of Bushidō to modern society. Alternatively, we could spend the rest of the year trying understand the intersection of technology and modernity. Bringing things together in a way that can be shared makes sense, but being concise and clear takes a level of understanding where brevity rings true to show the heart of wit.

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— 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.