Day 85 the one with a trip to Micro Center

2018: Day 85 the one with a trip to Micro Center
Word count 174,782 + 544 or 175,326 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Welcome to 20:00 hours. Today was a day without words. It was a day of software clicks and adventure. Upgrading computer parts is always a ton of restarts and clicks. Today I dropped a new version of Ubuntu Studio and Windows 10 developer preview (they call it inside preview or something now) on my Corsair 740 custom computer build. Strangely enough my Ubuntu Studio build from another computer spent a few minutes thinking and booted with an entirely different hardware setup. Setting up my Windows operating system was a little bit different today. I logged into my Microsoft account and located the inside program. They let me download an ISO, “Windows 10 Client Insider Preview – Build 17115 English.” It took just a bit to download the 4 gigabytes of Windows ISO. Thanks to the power of the Rufus application I was able to drop the ISO on a USB drive and that was that.

The BIOS on the ASUS X299 TUF Mark 1 motherboard worked really well. I was able to very quickly get Ubuntu Studio running and install Windows 10 on the m.2 drive. That is the primary drive the system attempts to boot into by default oddly enough. It took a bit to get all the software installed. The two Western Digital 5,200 RPM hard drives that were installed in the case are louder than i remember them being. It is entirely possible that the fans in the new care are just so silent that the hard drives with actual mechanical parts seem louder than they used to be. That is entirely possible. The Corsair 740 case is also pretty open in design. It is possible that maybe sound just gets out it much more easily than my Storm Stryker case. We made the drive down to Micro Center. It was a decent drive. The drive was preceded by a trip to the train store.

Topic 1: Caboose the Denver train store

Today the trip to the Caboose store was pretty easy to manage. Today was my first trip to the Caboose model train store. It is a very nice store. They have a ton of stuff on the walls and it is all set out spread out pretty well. Some train stores are more or less boxes and shelves. They do not make an effort to arrange things in an artistic way to make them more appealing to customers. Comic book stores are frequently guilty of that. They end up being box and boxes of comics and shome shelving. We had a pretty good time at the train store for about an hour talking about track layouts and designs. We ended up moving from a small circle to an oval track layout. Probably my biggest learning of the day was the price of N scale engines. Spoiler alert —- they are expensive little devices. Some of them were like $400 bucks and the cheapest ones were right around $100 or so. That just seemed a little bit more than I remembered. I may be surfing Ebay for the next few weeks to look for N scale model train engines.

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

Day 84 the one where my fantasy baseball draft happened

2018: Day 84 the one where my fantasy baseball draft happened
Word count 173,965 + 817 or 174,782 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

This is the year that my fantasy baseball team will decimate the competition in route to a championship. That might just be pure hubris. I’m visualizing that eventuality. Sure most of my attention is being focused in on thinking about getting a slice of pizza from Ernie’s Bar & Pizza. They make a very decent slice of cheese pizza. In a couple hours I’ll be sampling one yet again and can give an update on the 2018 state of the pizza. It looks they have some margherita pizza on the menu and that sounds pretty spectacular today. At this very moment and pretty much all year I have been in the don’t buy things mode. It is a great mode. That is pretty much the way things are going right now. That Audioengine B2 wireless bluetooth speaker looks good, but I’m thinking Google will release a new round of speakers.

Topic 1: My fantasy baseball draft and some Jayhawks basketball

Ok tonight I grabbed my lap desk and brought it upstairs to write. For some reason today the word have not flown. This morning I did not hammer out a couple hundred words. Right now at 20:00 hours I’m sitting down to write the bulk of my words for the day. You may have already guessed that means that I have two hours right now to hammer out whatever words are going to arrive today for publication. At the moment, I’m watching ESPN Sport Center via YouTube TV on my Pixel 2 XL Smartphone. That is working out well enough. Sure my fantasy baseball draft happened tonight, but I’ll probably remember the University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball game against Duke instead. Ok so that slice of margherita pizza from Ernie’s Bar & Pizza was pretty darn good. You don’t really have to take my word for it. It should be pretty easy to scroll back up and take a look at the photographic evidence of just how epic that slice of pie looked. What made it really good was the fact that it was probably a cheese pizza that they threw margherita pizza toppings on before heating it for a second time. That pretty much meant that it had all the crisp crust and solid pizza structure before the tomatoes interfered with the structural integrity of the pizza. It was a pretty darn good slice of pizza.

All I want to do at the moment is write about the basketball game that happened tonight, but instead of doing that I’m going to finish writing about my fantasy baseball draft. That draft included 23 players total. The first 10 were keepers within the league. Everybody got to keep 10 players from their previous roster.

1. (1) Billy Hamilton (Cin – OF) Keeper
2. (13) Jonathan Schoop (Bal – 2B) Keeper
3. (25) Ryan Braun (Mil – OF) Keeper
4. (37) Adrián Béltre (Tex – 3B) Keeper
5. (49) Joey Gallo (Tex – 1B,3B,OF) Keeper
6. (61) Salvador Perez (KC – C) Keeper
7. (73) Kelvin Herrera (KC – RP) Keeper
8. (85) Alex Cobb (Bal – SP) Keeper
9. (97) Julio Teheran (Atl – SP) Keeper
10. (109) Matt Albers (Mil – RP) Keeper
11. (121) Stephen Strasburg (Was – SP)
12. (133) Lance McCullers Jr. (Hou – SP)
13. (157) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY – SP)
14. (169) Adam Jones (Bal – OF)
15. (176) Johnny Cueto (SF – SP)
16. (181) Danny Duffy (KC – SP)
17. (193) Javier Báez (ChC – 2B,SS)
18. (205) Brett Gardner (NYY – OF)
19. (217) Jake Odorizzi (Min – SP)
20. (229) Ian Kinsler (LAA – 2B)
21. (241) J.A. Happ (Tor – SP)
22. (253) Josh Hader (Mil – RP)
23. (265) Dexter Fowler (StL – OF)

If you know anything about baseball, then you probably already know my team is in trouble this year. My goal for the year is to watch the waiver wire and any breakout rookies to see if I can augment my roster and improve this year. The draft this year went by lighting fast. It took like an hour to do 23 rounds. That is pretty much an amazing speed. The entire time the draft was occuring all I could think about was regretting not getting a pizza to go from Ernie’s Bar & Pizza. Just one slice was not enough. Maybe it would have been overkill to get an entire pizza to go, but that was the direction that would have taken things from good to great and potentially back down the culinary mountain. It is entirely possible that walking a block with the pizza and letting it get cold would have ruined the joy of my previous pizza experience. At this point, we will not know that ship has sailed and it may be some time before that theory can be tested again.

Topic 2: The Jayhawks in the final four

This was one of those days and one of those games where I’m pretty sure Coach Bill Self is pretty darn happy that Malik Newman is on the Jayhawks roster. That was probably the key difference between going home this weekend and playing next weekend.

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

Day 83 the one with some elite eight basketball games

2018: Day 83 the one with some elite eight basketball games
Word count 172,817 + 1,148 or 173,965 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

18 days are left in this whole cryptocurrency mining extravaganza. My efforts are drawing to close within the scope of the 100 day challenge. Monday will be the day that I have some time earmarked to go visit the local Micro Center. Right now at 05:45 hours Google directions are indicating the Micro Center is about 30 minutes away. That is not really the case. It normally takes an hour to get to Micro Center. You would consider that in the same city, but the round trip is going to clock in at well over 2 hours of just driving time. For the most part that makes a trip to Micro Center to walk around and look at things a half day project. Spending a half day on that type of activity sounds like an adventure. Tonight and tomorrow night we have some pretty good NCAA basketball games on tap. These games are really of the moment and they should be good to watch based on the drive and determination of the players still in the tournament to strive for victory.

Part of the whole writing process during this big year of writing has been to learn how to use the first part and the last part of the day to engage in a little bit of stream of consciousness style blog post writing. That is and will continue to be a good use of time. Taking the time to work on other types of writing projects is also important. Part of that involves working on short stories. Working on more long form fiction pieces is not really practical at this time. My framework has to be about taking one step at a time and putting things together. Outside of working on fiction writing efforts I need to kickstart my 2018 academic writing efforts. Perhaps the outcome of my inquarity into quality this year during my big writing year has focused on my priorities. Maybe this whole 3,000 word per day writing effort is my intellectual Walkabout. Maybe it is my effort to live in the wilderness of the extreme edges of my creativity for a year. Breaking down all of my self censorship and reservations took at least 100,000 words of writing. At this point in the journey, I just sit down and writing based on my reactions and reflections within the moment. Maybe that has reduced my focus as a writing to being of the moment, to being within the moment, to being a part of the moment.

That is probably the best outcome of the entire process. Having a big writing year has to be about being present in the moment and understanding the outcome of spending so much time hammering on the keyboard. A lot of thinking happens during the process of writing at this pace. One of the outcomes of that process seems to be allowing the writing itself to become a reaction to thinking. That distinction is important to understand. Writing has to be the outflow of thought. When things get over complicated the process can become a wicked ouroboros. Within that example the process is the beginning and the end or more bluntly the start and the finish. Treating writing as the journey and the artifact discounts the value of the words to transform things beyond the simple start and finish of the writing session. Reaching beyond the moment where you are present is about being a reflective practitioner that views the past in context and the future in focus. Striving forward is about taking those reasoned and informed steps forward to make things better during the course of interacting with the world.

Part of that process each day has become more and more an attempt to produce 1,000 reflective words at the start of the day. Maybe those words inform the next steps I’m about to take during the day. Maybe that is enough to ground myself in the journey toward an inquiry into quality. A journey toward finding the meaning and experiencing quality throughout the year…

Topic 1: Closing out the night

Some time has passed since the optimism of this morning. Things this morning were stalking up in a way that was full of promise. Hope was springing from every well and the forecast for the day was fun filled with more fun. Alas, reality set in and burned down my optimism reservoir and left me where things sit today. It is like that moment before MacGyver figures out a plan to fix things. I’m talking about the original MacGyver. For me the Richard Dean Anderson version of MacGyver will always be the only version. Unlike Dr. Who who regenerates MacGyver was and always will be Richard Dean Anderson. Ok —- I have said my peace on that one and can move on to trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my night.

For some reason I was very close to purchasing the Audioengine B2 refurbished wireless bluetooth speaker online a few moments ago. That was really close to being something that I purchased. You might be wondering what stopped the transaction from being completed. It was a few reservations I have about wanting a speaker that can play music on its own and does not require my phone connection. My phone rings all the time. Those calls do not need to end up on my wireless bluetooth speaker. That was really the reason that I paused and did not make the purchase. It looks like a pretty nice speaker and it is very close to what I want to get. I had thought about setting up another record player with two speakers upstairs, but that does not seem to be the best option. The setup in my office is working out well enough. Sure I could just use my Bose Qc35 headphones, but sometimes I just want to listen to music that fills the entire room.

Rightnow the Michigan vs. Florida State game is streaming to my television via a Chromecast Ultra being controlled by my Google Home Mini speaker. It was really easy to get going tonight. I just said, “Hey Google play TBS.” That was enough to watch both elite eight games that were on tonight. I’m not entirely clear on why the good folks over at CBS elected to put the games on TBS vs. broadcast television. Let me be exceptionally clear when I say that the programming decisions that television executives make typically make very little sense to me. If those types of things were up to me, then Firefly would still be a tentpole Fox franchise. It only took watching one episode of that show for me to say hey this is great.

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

Day 82 the one where I shared my Warren Zevon Pandora station

2018: Day 82 the one where I shared my Warren Zevon Pandora station
Word count 171,545 + 1,272 or 172,817 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

My desk was completely picked up. Things were looking like they were supposed to look. Somehow within only the matter of a day the entire top of my main desktop is covered in nonsense. A couple hard drives arrived yesterday. They are Western Digital (WD) desktop hard drive SATA 5400 RPM 3.5 inch drives. My new computer build using a Corsair Air 740 case has a bay for 3 slide in and out 3.5 inch hard drives. No screws are involved each bay has a sleeve that holds the drive in place with pins instead of screws. A lot of modern hard drive cages use this design it is way more efficient than the previous models that involved a lot of complex screw configurations and removals to get the hard drives mounted. My new computer configuration will feature three different types of storage. Stay tuned to find out more information on my exact data storage configuration. You can probably safely assume that some future blog thumbnail images will cover that subject.

My Warren Zevon Radio station from Pandora was created back on May 5, 2013. Today is the day I’m electing to share the link with the world to bring joy to the entire planet one click at a time:

That link just got shared on Twitter and it included some type of headphone emoji. I’m going to admit that when it comes to the world of emoji my knowledge base is limited to the basic set of smiley faces. Most of those I learned how to cause on accident from texting the character set that causes the conversion from text to emoji. That reminds me of the reality that pretty soon my Twitter account will have published my 5,000th tweet. I’m not sure if that is an accomplishment or just a random milestone. That is probably differentiated based on the amount of celebration or personal satisfaction that is involved.

The above set of HTML should be triggering an embedded tweet from Twitter showing the moment I shared my Warren Zevon Radio Pandora station. For better or worse that HTML will trigger a nice embedded tweet until the day Twitter disappears from the internet. Given that will probably happen at some point it would have probably been more produent to take a screenshot of that box and embed an image vs. a swatch of HTML that needs an external site to run. Sure that would be the best way to go about it, but apparently I’m a rebel archivist this morning. Most of the musings I post to Twitter are just links and retweets. Based on my YouTube efforts I had started sharing all sorts of links related to artificial intelligence, deep learning, neural networks, and machine learning. I still think that is the right way to go. A string of links would not make a very compelling blog post. Twitter is a better forum for the sharing of random links to things that catch my attention.

Topic 1: Jayhawks vs. Tigers

We watched the second half of the University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball game against the Tigers of Clemson tonight. During the first half we were still at Toys”R”Us tonight. I do not know if that is the right spelling, but I got it from their website so it must be close enough. It probably won’t matter here soon. That venerable company is closing down. They blamed everything from the economy to birth rates of millennials. Tonight in Denver they had signs up about things being 30% off and we had to spend our gift card. People were darting all over the store it was a madhouse of toy deal seekers. Seriously, I have not seen so many people in a story outside of black friday doorbusters. People were everywhere. They were looking at the deals. It was a little bit overwhelming. We almost bought one of those outside turtle things that holds sand. They also had a lobster one which obviously seemed fantastic.

We made it out in time for a quick dinner before watching the complete second half of the basketball game. Tonight we watched CBS using our over the air antenna. That works out pretty well and avoids any bandwidth costs. The quality of the high definition signal over the air is pretty good. Naturally, sports and movies are the reasons I want to upgrade to a sweet sweet 4K television. We could not get a 4K signal for the game tonight anyway. Over the air has the standard for 4K, but that is not something that is being used in the wild yet. This was one of those games that was just hard to watch. Things were going well and then all of sudden a cold streak almost cost the team a trip to the elite eight. Maybe that should be capitalized. It doesn’t really matter. Being in the top 8 teams in the nation is pretty good. At this point, I’m ready to sit down and watch the rest of the games tonight. It is a lot less stressful to watch games where the Jayhawks are not playing during the tournament.

Topic 2: I’m super ready for the weekend

Sometimes a week can just be so jam packed that take a few moments to decompress sounds like a fantastic path forward. This was one of those weeks. Figuring out how to decompress on the weekend is always a unique challenge. For some reason sitting on the sofa and relaxing does not really appear to be something that is going to happen. A toddler has more energy during any given day that I can hope to muster within an entire week. Even powered by Soylent meal replacements my activity level does not reach toddler speed or wildness. That perhaps is one of those things that may never happen again in my lifetime. Cleaning up my office and getting things back in order may be something that can happen this weekend. We have some basketball to watch. That is probably one of those things that is going to happen. Right now I’m watching the Syracuse Orange vs. the Duke Blue Devils basketball game.

The rest of the night should probably be spent writing. At the moment all I want to do is sit and write about writing and that is not really a useful pattern to follow at this point. I need to pick a topic and write some words that inspire passion or maybe at least some fury. Today has to be a good day. It was the day that I shared my Warren Zevon Radio Pandora station with the world. Pandora does not really indicate how many people listen to that station. It does have a counter on how many people have added Warren Zevon as an artist to a playlist. That is not an addition of a specific song or album it is the straight up addition of the artist. Strangely enough the count on that would be 58 listeners. Based on that alone it would appear the music of Warren Zevon is not really gaining ground on Pandora. Maybe I’ll check back in 30 days and see if that number has gone up or down. Pop ups within the Pandora application are constantly trying to get me to upgrade. At this point, I’m not upgrading out of pure bitterness.

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

Day 81 the one where an 18th NiceHash mining payment showed up

2018: Day 81 the one where an 18th NiceHash mining payment showed up
Word count 170,643 + 902 or 171,545 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

This started at 05:30 hours this morning. A couple days back my 18th NiceHash mining payment showed up. You can tell by the gaps in my payments the time between payments from NiceHash in BTC from reaching the .001 threshold has been increasing. It appears that has been caused by a combination of things: 1) algorithmically mining gets harder daily, 2) the price of BTC is up compared to alternate coins, and 3) the price people are bidding for hashing power has dropped. Those are the things that come to mind right now after my first pull of lungo style espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine. It was glorious, but it has yet to fully open the possibilities of the day. At the moment my thoughts are way more tactical and process related vs. strategic or imaginative. Seriously, I’m sitting here listening to Pandora on my Storm Stryker custom built computer looking at cryptocurrency mining statistics. We are quickly closing in on my 100 day cryptocurrency mining experiment. At the end of that journey, I will try to write up my thoughts on what happened and provide some reflections on what happened.

NiceHash wallet payments in reverse order:

18. 2018-03-20 Mining payment → 0.00107147 BTC
17. 2018-03-11 Mining payment → 0.00115447 BTC
16. 2018-03-05 Mining payment → 0.00109993 BTC
15. 2018-02-28 Mining payment → 0.00112356 BTC
14. 2018-02-23 Mining payment → 0.00106113 BTC
13. 2018-02-19 Mining payment → 0.00119364 BTC
12. 2018-02-15 Mining payment → 0.00102799 BTC
11. 2018-02-12 Mining payment → 0.00102953 BTC
10. 2018-02-09 Mining payment → 0.00102322 BTC
9. 2018-02-06 Mining payment → 0.00101337 BTC
8. 2018-02-03 Mining payment → 0.00135065 BTC
7. 2018-01-30 Mining payment → 0.00102840 BTC
6. 2018-01-27 Mining payment → 0.00120973 BTC
5. 2018-01-24 Mining payment → 0.00125795 BTC
4. 2018-01-21 Mining payment → 0.00133244 BTC
3. 2018-01-18 Mining payment → 0.00119401 BTC
2. 2018-01-15 Mining payment → 0.00105970 BTC
1. 2018-01-13 Mining payment → 0.00118327 BTC

You can tell from that reverse order listing of my NiceHash wallet payments the time between payments is just increasing. My two NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics cards are not able to sell mining hashing power at the same rates they were able to get earlier this year. Right now all they are really doing is making my office hotter. You can see in the thumbnail associated with this blog post Captain Pickles the dog enjoying the excess heat.

Topic 1: Google Home Max

Giving up my Amazon Echo device I ordered back on November 18, 2014 meant that I have started looking for a bluetooth stereo for my bedroom. The number one contender at the moment seems to be the Google Home Max speaker or some variation of that type of device. I’m not entirely sure how Google engineers managed to make that thing cost $399. A solid build probably should have yielded a $199 and $299 version. My Audioengine A5+ speakers are currently selling for between $399 and $469. Those premium powered speakers are absolutely fantastic desktop speakers. All of the video reviews of the Google Home Max on YouTube seem to indicate that it is a pretty darn good speaker, but the price tag has me wondering. Audioengine does have a couple of options that would meet my needs include the new A5+ wireless speakers or the B2 wireless speaker. The B2 option is selling for $225 right now and might be a good option. I would be able to control it with either my Chromebook or my Pixel 2 XL smartphone.

Topic 2: Surfing the web

We will be watching a ton of NCAA tournament coverage to wrap up this week. Most of the games seem to be on CBS which is great since we get that channel in high definition via our over the air antenna. That makes it much easier to watch the games. No bandwidth is burning via the whole streaming setup. So far this month we have used about half our total bandwidth allotment from the cable company. I’m not sure what will happen when we upgrade to a 4K television. I’m going to need to watch the bandwidth limit a lot closer. That is for sure. Streaming 4K eats up a lot more bandwidth. My custom build computer streams YouTube in 4K, but most of those clips are pretty short. Watching longer movies on the television will eat up a lot more bandwidth.

Topic 3: Looking at computer parts again

My new computer build is going along pretty well. I spent some time looking at computer parts today. The new Intel i9 processors look pretty good, but they are still really expensive. Overall that new build is lacking a GPU, CPU, RAM, and a liquid CPU cooler. It might be worth a trip to the Micro Center computers and electronics store to look at all those parts and figure out a path forward. In just a few days my 100 day cryptocurrency mining challenge will be over and I could pull my extra GPU out of my Storm Stryker case and wait patiently for the next generation of NVIDIA graphics cards to be released. Nothing seems to be in stock on the NVIDIA website except the Titan V GPU. That graphics card clocks in at $2,999.00 and is way out of my price range. That is probably the reason that it is still in stock. It is so expensive that very few folks building a computer are going to want to buy one. I’ll probably end up picking up one part at a time. That is pretty much this computer build has gone. At a minimum I’ll need to get one stick of DDR4 RAM, a CPU, and a liquid CPU cooler of some type.

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