Day 101 the one where I tested YouTube streaming from my browser

Two dogs napping

2018: Day 101 the one where I tested YouTube streaming from my browser
Word count 193,808 + 1,149 or 194,957 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Things did not go all that well today. Earlier this morning I sat down and started up a live stream using a new YouTube streaming method. Apparently, from the YouTube Creator Studio live streaming section a new option exists to pick camera. That pretty much allows YouTube to stream live from the browser using whatever webcam was attached. I’m wondering if that might work better from my Pixel 2 XL phone. The webcam on this Chromebook is HD and it works. Overall the quality of the live stream was not the best, but it worked. So that happened today. Yesterday was a banner day in terms of hitting the 100 day in a row writing goal. I almost had enough time to figure out a postscript yesterday. The whole effort to write a postscript has been falling by the wayside over the last few weeks. That is probably because the blog post for each day is written and published without any time for a witty aside or any afterthoughts.

Today is probably going to be a shorter blog post. Tonight is one of those those nights where the time to write evades me. Earlier tonight I was thinking about how much I have enjoyed using and working with Tensorflow. Maybe that is something that I should be devoting more time to working with and enjoying. Sometimes the things that we work on are not something that we choose. Sometimes we do get to make some choices about how we are going to spend the time that we have. In my case, every night this year I have elected to spend the last few hours writing. That is pretty much what the last 100 days have included. Every night I take stock of where things are at and spend some time pounding the keyboard to produce some words. That is about getting my thoughts down and moving on to whatever is next. Some of that thought exercise has been about trying to figure out how to handle my future academic work.

One of the things that I have really focused in on is how I can spend some time writing and researching about Tensorflow and artificial intelligence. Those two topics in general have really caught my attention and inspired me to dig in and try to understand them with a great degree of depth. Part of that was focused around reading and learning about all the news I could find related to deep learning, machine learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. Sure both of my deep learning machines setup in my house are ready to do something fun and exciting. That effort needs to be both educational and it needs to drive some type of academic paper. Part of that is related to my need to publish at least 3 academic papers a year in a peer reviewed journals. A multitude of journals exist. Writing papers is something that takes time and effort.

I’m trying to knock out at least 1,000 words tonight. That is going to take a little bit more effort tonight. Right now I’m having trouble getting into a writing groove. The words are not flowing at the moment. I keep thinking that if the travel on the keyboard and a few more thoughts show up this stream of consciousness will pick up speed and get going. For some reason that is not really happening at the moment. Maybe the topic that I picked for tonight only took up that first paragraph and now I am just grinding against failure instead of fighting for success. Tomorrow I’m going to start working toward figuring out how to include more lessons on using Tensorflow into my live streams. Getting more hands on and showing folks more about how artificial intelligence efforts can be accessible seems like a good way to go about things.

That seems like a good way to move forward. Within the context of the blog post title today I learned that trying to stream using this Chromebook does not provide the ability to share my screen. Screen sharing is one of the cornerstones of how I like to distribute and share content. Live streaming with video only is not really where I want to go with things. Within that format you can share information, but you cannot really show things. Taking and sharing content at the same time has really been the essence of my live streaming efforts. Tomorrow I am going to have some time to sit down and write. That time has to be used in a smart way. The topic for tomorrow needs to be epic. It needs to be something that can inspire at least 3,000 words. At the moment based on this post falling short tomorrow I’m going to need to pick a topic that can help me produce 5,000 words in one super big writing session. It would probably be a better strategy to wake up at 0530 hours and write 1,000 words.

Right now I’m looking at my notes and trying to pick the best possible topic for tomorrow. At the moment I have not found a topic that inspires me. Maybe it is something that will show up after a good night’s sleep. That might be how it happens. I’m probably going to have to grab my notebook here in a few minutes and try to write down the top ten possible topics. Maybe setting up a few topics might help find the right now. At the moment, I’m going to try to just type them up in this word document and forgo writing by hand in a notebook and transferring things back to my notebook.

1. Use cases for artificial intelligence at the edge
2. Fair use of artificial intelligence within government agencies
3. Access and use of local government data sets within artificial intelligence use cases
4. Artificial intelligence competition and nation states
5. Augmenting secondary education to advance artificial intelligence
6. The invisible decider the role of AI as a hand in decision making
7. Echoes of modernity in the age of artificial intelligence
8. Changing communication models and the fall of mass media
9. Quality and the art of life maintenance
10. Writing like a memory jukebox producing one store story at a time

Well making that list was probably as useful as teaching a course about meetings. Nobody seems to be making a massively online course about meetings. That just does not appear to be a thing that the internet is willing to bring forward into the public consciousness. More often than not I start out by wanting to see the edge of what is possible. Pushing that boundary takes up a lot of my time and occupies a lot of my thoughts.

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

Day 100 the one with a flight to Chicago and some reflections

My new PC build

2018: Day 100 the one with a flight to Chicago and some reflections
Word count 190,717 + 3,091 or 193,808 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Taking stock at where things are requires a little bit of reflection. It is hard to fathom that day number 100 has come and mostly gone at this point. This flight is about to take off on time to Chicago. I’m not entirely sure how to explain everything that has happened in words. Throughout the last 100 days I have been sprinting toward a lofty goal of writing 1,000,000 words this year. Things have fallen behind pace and I’m only at 190,717 this year. For those of you who are pretty good at math you have already determined that a little more than 1,900 words per day is a far cry from the target of 3,000 words per day. All hope is not lost and that is why today the day of reflection and planning is so important. The flight time will be 1 hour and 59 minutes today. That should be enough time to really think about everything that has happened in the last 100 days.

Basically if you were reading from start to finish my year so far would be a short novel. It might not be the most compelling novel you ever read, but it would be what it is. Nothing about that is going to change at the moment. The past has happened and we can learn from it, but it is for better or worse what it is. I’m not a huge fan of alternative history. For me the way it was just stays the way it was for better or worse. I guess that is not very imaginative. Maybe I should challenge that someday. Today is not the day for that type of challenge. Right now I’m listening to an offline Pandora station. For this flight I elected to accept a 30 day free trial of Pandora and that included 4 offline stations. Right now I’m listening to my Warren Zevon Radio Pandora station on an airplane for the first time. It took about 10 minutes for it to shift over to the upgraded Pandora and download songs. Right now it seems like it is working just fine. Zevon is playing and the flight is about to take off. This will be my first flight in a long time without the best of Tears for Fears playing during take off. Right now some Jackson Browne is playing. That will have to do for now. I’m trying to adapt to new things.

Sure it would probably have been a better idea to sketch out my thoughts and some general themes from the last 100 days. That horse has left the barn and is wandering around now in the world of stream of consciousness. These thoughts and reflections will pretty much be written as they arrive and that is probably for the best. None of it will be sugar coated. I do not have the time to soften the prose and wordsmith it back under control. Right now all i have the time to do is write and push things forward. I’m really hoping that this flight has wireless internet. Last time I was on a flight I got to thinking about how internet works for folks that are sailing the world. That was a deep dark rabbit hole that sucked up a ton of time with no real value. It was neat to learn about and it provided me some entertainment, but none of that helped push my writing forward.

First, I need to acknowledge that writing 3,000 words per day is pretty hard. I need to provide some context to that one. The only words that count for this big year are the ones written and published online. That means that all of my other work product does not factor into the equation. You might be surprised to learn that probably means that the bulk of my writing is not being counted. I’m not going to revert or change the way words are being counted. This is how things are going to be for the rest of this year and that is just the way it needs to be. I generally have the spark to write. That is enough to get me going and to deliver some words on a daily basis. My inquisitive mind is geared toward exploring things. Getting to 3,000 words per day takes more than just being inquisitive and motivated. What I have learned is that the theme matters. It matters each day. That sets the state for what is going to happen. The days where things were hitting the target and the writing was solid are days where the theme and the essay of the day were meaningful and sparked passion.

Days where things just jumped from topic to topic like a reporter sharing the weather the spark was not present and getting to 3,000 words was more about motivation and drive vs. actual reactive. Grinding out the words white name of the game. You can see a lot of those types of posts in the first 30 days. Things after that point sort of slipped down into a different mode. The flight is apparently running about 10 minutes early. That is good. The pilot does expert a little bit of turbulence and that is unfortunate. Flying into Chicago it is sort of expected I guess. The first class passengers are all getting warm towels right now. I’m back a few rows and sitting in a middle seat. Those of you probably know that I’m just trying not to learn into either of the people that are sitting next to me and i’m hoping they dont breathe on me.

Second, it seems like doing things and getting technology was a driver for topics in the first 100 days. My blog and YouTube channel art not really about reviewing things. That is not how I go about things. Sure I elect to share my purchases and I think that is important to help provide real and extremely unbiased reviews of products. Nothing I do with products is sponsored. The fact I bothered to purchase it reveals something about my research and decision making process. Sure my thoughts on things are probably not as refined as a full on professional reviewer or critic. The opinions are my own and they might help others or they might not. Maybe the point of this topic is a little bit about reflecting on why doing things or buying things dominated my writing. I’m fully capable of writing and theory and working in the realm of the theoretical. I could even delve into the world of producing fiction and take things beyond the limits of conventional prose.

Maybe it is easier to write about what you know and what is happened. That is probably why a lot of my autobiographical prose over the last 100 days focused in on the things that I did and the technology that I purchased. I will admit that perhaps maybe just maybe my focus on getting a new computer got a little bit out of control. Ok —- it got way out of control and that is one of those things that happened. It was real. My thoughts and consideration got overly focused on getting part after to part until the new computer was built. That happens from time to time and it happened for sure in the last 100 days. My other purchase of a new router was really more a function of the other one not working properly anymore.

My writing throughout the rest of the year has to move past the initial thoughts on what I’m doing or what I’m buying. Each blog post needs to go from being commentary to being an essay. That means that the quality of the prose has to increase and the base analysis has to go deeper in terms of consideration and coverage. I need to go beyond the argument that visiting a Colorado state park was fun. Just the basic facts about it are only the first level of analysis. My efforts have to go deeper and provide some level of insight they have to move beyond being descriptive and move toward providing some assessment of quality. Sure that might seem very self serving and it probably is at some level. Making the observation that writing better prose is a good idea is not very controversial. Perhaps it is better to simply explain that to hit 3,000 words within an essay things have to go deeper. A surface level analysis will just not get deep enough to generate the content necessary to have a 1,000,000 word year.

Third, the whole cryptocurrency bubble got wilder in the last 100 days. Things were going pretty good at the start of this whole cryptocurrency adventure 100 days ago. The value of a bitcoin was higher and selling hashing power was a lot more lucrative. I plan on writing up all my finding and reporting back on my 100 day cryptocurrency challenge within the context a separate post. This analysis here and now is really more about what it meant to try and write about it and cover the technology during the last 100 days. Things were really exciting I got the Nicehash mining software setup. That was an adventure to learn and understand. My order of 2 new graphics cards happened. One of them was not structurally sound and fan blade parts went all over the inside of my computer. That was a scary moment. I literally thought a ton of hardware was about to become very worthless. It was a scary moment.

For better or worse after getting the Nicehash miner setup the only thing I really did was monitor the temperature of the graphics cards and try to keep the system from restarting. The care and feeding of a cryptocurrency mining rig is really not all that intense after the setup and burn in phases are complete. My return on investment model was to recoup the cost of one NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. That happened and then unhappened. The value of bitcoin actually dropped so much that I went from probably being profitable to probably losing a little money on the graphics card. Was learning enough to offset the cost. Probably in my case that is very true. I got enough entertainment out of the whole thing to count it as a win and move on. The next phase of that whole challenge will come when I have to figure out how to pay taxes on the 2% of a bitcoin. That experience will probably generate a separate blog post.

Sometimes the best way to really learn about a technology is to jump in and try to use it to better understand the whole process. That is how I approached things during this adventure. I tried to share the learnings and to help give you and understanding of what exactly went into the cryptocurrency mining process. When bitcoin mania really happened and the value of the coin went up to around $20,000 everybody was talking about it and people were digging into how to profit from it. You probably know by know that I feel the underlying technology of blockchain is useful and will be interesting in the future. I am not sold on the wide variety of cryptocurrency that sprung up and is being mined today. Some of them are interesting. I do not consider it a category of investment. For me it still falls under the category of entertainment. Warren Buffett provided a clear warning that investing your life saving in cryptocurrency is probably not the best idea. You may not value the opinions of Warren Buffett, but in general the oracle of Omaha has some good insights and has been pretty successful over the last few decades. To wrap that one up it is possible that the cryptocurrency boom will become a cautionary tale in business textbooks.

Fourth, the first 200,000 words really just opened the door to a world of writing. My plan to dig into the intersection of technology and modernity is still very real. Finding ways to take a journey toward writing about the nature of quality takes time and maybe the next 800,000 words this year will help breakdown the barriers between understanding those things and just musing about them on a daily basis. That is really where the hard work has to occur along this journey. Sure I could engage in a series of lofty chautauquas about the metaphysics of quality, but that would not ring true. It would not help explain what will happen at the intersection of technology and modernity. It would not really question and dig into technology or modernity. Sure some of my essays are going to center on other things. The journey toward understanding and explaining quality will have some detours. That is without question in my mind. Maybe this post thinking about the last 100 days and trying to figure out the roadblocks or barriers that would prevent me from getting to 1,000,000 words this year is just a detour.

Perhaps my intent is to frame up this post as an on ramp to a better method where I can fail faster and dig into harder topics in new and unexpected ways. Taking each day as an opportunity to strive forward toward the goal of improving things might be a starting point. It might open the door to thinking about how everyday technology improves. We know more about the world around us every day. We learn more and we are sure collecting a lot of data about the world the around us. Our sense of modernity might be changing as well. Understanding the world around us is being changed by how we think about the world around us. Maybe things are not physically changing, but our evaluation of thing and understanding of things has changed. Technology is also rapidly changing how we physically interact with the world. So i guess that coin has at least two sides and one of them is truly in flux.

Breaking all of this down to the context of an on ramp might be the right way to go. We will have a lot of time to write about the journey and the process that journey takes throughout the next 800,000 words. Maybe that helps explain things or maybe it just made things a little bit harder to understand. One thing for sure is that I’m still listening to my offline Pandora stations. The first one has stopped and the second one is now playing. I took a screenshot of how many hours have been spent listening to each of my top 4 stations. Just for context the Pandora application says that I have spent 201 hours listening to the music of Warren Zevon. That seems to be pretty low, but that is what the application said. I wonder if that number only includes the amount of time that channel has been played on my Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone. That would make more sense. It will take some time tonight to produce enough words within this blog post to help make up for yesterday. That post fell short and no real excuses exist for that lackluster effort. It happened and I want to apologize for it, but maybe the failure was accepted failure and an apology would be disingenuous.

This flight still has about an hour left and I’m just 500 words away from the 3,000 word goal for the day. That might be a recipe for doing a little bit of catch up today. We will see how that goes. After this flight lands, I still have a lot of driving to do to get to where the day will end. Maybe now is a good time to start to warm up my reflections on the first 100 days of this whole big year of writing. Overall, writing every day is a good thing to do. It is a good plan to try to push myself to write more and better pose. It may not have been the best idea to set the target at 1,000,000 words. That writing target might have been a little bit aggressive. It was probably more than aggressive it probably could be described as unreasonable. Jim Collins advocated setting BHAGs or big hairy audacious goals. That probably falls into that camp. Next time I see Jim Collins I’ll make a point to ask if it was a valid BHAG or just an unreasonable goal.

I’m going to keep writing and we will see how close to the overall goal this writing project ends up. It will be a big year in terms of writing, but it may not be the banner year with the ultimate banner of 1,000,000 words. That is a reality that I’m willing to accept at the moment. I can for sure hit the goal, but that would involve dropping a lot of other balls to make it happen. The better solution is to figure out ways to write better prose faster. Sure that might sound like a nifty turn of phrase, but it is probably an idea that is possible to execute. Even reducing down to writing about things that inspire passion will help move things forward toward the goal. The thumbnail for today is of my newly built computer handing out on top of an aluminum briefcase. It is a pretty cleanly built computer setup. I have had some vibrational noise out of the top of the case. I’m working on a way to remove that noise maybe with some rubber spacers or something. Right now that computer is powered off and not mining cryptocurrency. 100 days seemed like a pretty good run. I’ll reevaluate this weekend what currency to mine or what to do with my computer builds.

My final thoughts on getting to 100 days of straight blog posts and writing about 200,000 words in the process are pretty simple. The journey was valuable and i learned a lot about my writing skills and my ability to sustain prose generation on a day to day basis. I also realized that contributing to the livestream is still an important thing to do and to facilitate. Spending time every day digging into artificial intelligence and talking about that journey is important. Maybe it is not as important as the writing journey toward producing 1,000,000 words in the same year, but it is going to take up time and it is going to be a part of my journey going forward.

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

Day 99 the one with some April snow in Denver

My record player

2018: Day 99 the one with some April snow in Denver
Word count 189,491 + 1,226 or 190,717 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Things are starting a little bit later today. The clock is about to strike 20:00 hours. Yesterday turned out pretty well. My writing effort was on point. Maybe 10% of that post was nearing Almost Famous (2000) incendiary. Ok —- it was probably not rising to that level. It was enough to get me thinking and that is pretty good. Today three separate Margaritaville shirts arrived. Sure thinking about Hawaiian shirts is hard on a day when it snows during the month of April. Snowy weather aside it was not very cold. All three of my new shirts are in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. Soon enough they will be handing on the rack drying and waiting for a day without snow where they can bring joy to the world. That day of joy will not be this day. Today was a day of strange expectations and unusual snowfall. Maybe writing a few words of a short story will help…

Short Story: Under foot and forgotten

Under foot the ground was hard. The ground had no give at all. It was like walking on rock. All of the fallen pine needles had vaded. You start to notice how the seasons change changes. Those pine needles were getting to be closer to dirt than they were to being a part of the tree. Each step required a little more effort. This hike has been harder than the map had indicated. This was not a trail or a parth. It was something else. Somebody had obviously come this way. Every step had displaced the pine needles enough to be noticable. Even to the untrained eye tracking the path would be pretty easy. Something about that made the whole thing every more confusing. Whoever it was must have been in a hurry. Looking at the evidence on the ground it was pretty clear that however it was had moved pretty quickly and slowed down in spurts. The strides changed from something of a longer gallup to shorter steps.

Tracking those steps was not enough to get into a rhythm. Those steps were not really part of a natural cadence. The ground being hard and pretty uneven probably made for a difficult trip. This had to be one of those point A to Point B excursions. It had to be about getting somewhere. None of the footprints, needle patterns, or broken branches seemed to indicate a return trip. Maybe whoever it was had doubled back in a different way. During this type of tracking you doing really explore that type of possibility. You stay with what you can see and follow the path that makes the most sense. Deep in the woods these types of adventures usually ended up the same. You either find it or you don’t. Like a binary system of logic that produces one good outcome and one back one. Tracking down a trail like this would take a certain amount of effort and time.

After looking back up at the sun for a second time it seemed like the right time to check the path so far on the Garmin. The path had been curving for some time. It was enough to raise questions about doubling back. That may have been the case. Whoever had left these prints taking a very gradual turn for some reason. Very few folks would have spent this much time off the path without a reason. Very few branches were broken along the way. That usually indicates that whoever it was was in control. Avoiding branches takes a certain amount of skill. None of the footsteps seemed to indicate retracing or really anything other than a single path. Each step was still fresh enough. None of the pine needles or anything else had been blown in to cover where the toe of the shoe or maybe a boot had impacted. Sometimes really hard ground can make it hard to tell what type of shoe it was. Soft ground can be more informative. It can tell a more complete story. This story was almost forgotten at this point. No sound stood out in these woods.

—– End Short Story —–

Maybe writing about nature was not the best idea to get things going. Sometimes just the act of writing is enough to get things going. This might be one of those nights that I’m writing right up until the deadline. It may be one of those nights that my writing is just not up to the standard befitting my epic prose. Sure my mind has been wondering a little bit today. My intentions to sit down and write 3,000 words were pure. I recognize that perhaps during the first two hours of the day I should have sat down and written a thousand words to offset the need to produce such a large onslaught of single serving thoughts packing into a blog post. Part of this is my fault for setting a blog post to be based on the title selected for today. Writing about snow in April may not be enough to inspire 3,000 words. Sure I could probably figure out how to work that into a series of short stories. That might be enough to help push this thing over the finish line.

Visiting Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been the major topic of advertisements on my Pandora station. Seriously, they really want me to travel to South Carolina apparently. The clock is about to roll over to 21:00 hours. That means that the next 60 minutes will be telling. All of this writing has gotten us about 1,000 words down the rabbit hole. The next 60 minutes are going to count down on just how far down this rabbit hole things are going to go at the end of day 99 of my big year writing blog posts. Maybe the snow changed my mood or maybe it was something else. At the moment my attention is shifting from topic to topic and my focus is not 100% on my writing efforts. Sure that is something that I should probably be able to get under control.

This is one of those days where I should have picked a more inspiring topic to write about. My ASUS Flip Chromebook is fully charged and ready to go. I’m not sure if now would be the right time to pick up my thoughts on the nature of inquiry and go with it. This might be the 99th blog post of the year, but I’m not sure exactly what value would come from reading the entire series from start to finish. It was written to be an episodic journey of essays that could be ingested in order and without any need to shuffle things around. At the moment, my outlook on things does not compel me to avoid shuffling things around. Maybe that is the key to making things work.

What I am realizing is that on days where the word count does get passed the 3,000 word mark I’m going to need to just keep on pushing until the point of exhaustion. Building up a buffer would be better than trying to work from behind during a big writing year.

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

Day 98 the one where I had Google Wifi

Blu-ray selection at Costco

2018: Day 98 the one where I had Google Wifi
Word count 186,440 + 3,051 or 189,491 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

The thumbnail from today was taken at a Costco warehouse. That little bit of shelf space represents the totality of what the folks managing the warehouse are trying to sell in terms of physical media holding cinematic creations. Really it is just a wave of new releases that show up and disappear without any real backstock or curated content. You would have to just buy the latest content if you want it and move on. No opportunity exists in the store to swing back through a retrospective look at the last year in terms of content. Sure the shelf space for Blu-ray discs has been shrinking and it does not appear that Costco is planning to stock 4K Blu-ray discs. I guess the market for that type of content is being replaced by streaming. Today a lot of folks probably were streaming the masters golf tournament. I would imagine this was probably the largest streaming day for the tournament in history. That would be a function of the rise of streaming and the sheer length of the tournament.

Today I’m off to a better start with my writing efforts. Peppercorn the dog woke me up at 05:30 hours. I’m sitting in front of my desk after having a great lungo pull of espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine. I still have not made it down to Lone Tree, Colorado to visit the Nespresso Boutique store. Right now I just have to remember to buy pods every couple of months. My desk was wicked clean the other day. It was picked up the other day. Somehow and I’m not entirely sure how it happened a ton of random nonsense is just hanging out on top of my desk. That effort is going to probably eat up an hour of my time today. You may not have been able to see the pile of nonsense during my triumphant return to live streaming on YouTube yesterday. The Logitech BRIO may be a 4K webcam, but it focuses more farfield vs. the massive pile of nonsense on my desk.

Today may be the first time in a long time that I complete two live streams on back to back days. Sure the last live stream was back on February 1, 2018. That pretty much sums up the live streaming sessions that have happened during 2018. Maybe they are back. We will see just how many sessions happen. The Corsair 740 Air custom built computer is setup with the Open Broadcaster Software and is ready to stream to YouTube in stunning 4K. My internet connection was able to support a pretty decent upstream speed yesterday. That is promising and removes the technical barriers for a daily live stream. Motivation and time are the two things that might just block the live stream from having a come back.

All of that nonsense on my desk has now been picked up. That is good news for my office mess situation. None of that really helped me produce a few words and push this writing project forward. Today was the day that my live stream streak hit two days for the year. That is good if you are into that sort of thing. I managed to host back to back 15 minute lives streams. Getting setup for tomorrow will require doing a bunch of reading. Reading enough content to be up to speed on artificial intelligence everyday, writing 3,000 words, and live streaming for about 15 minutes is a good routine. It is a solid routine that involves a lot of work. For what it is worth it seems to be a reasonable use of my time these days.

One of the things that I spent some time thinking about today relates to a series of short stories. They are centered around the idea of everyone has a story to tell. Some of them are just more interesting than others. That concept should allow the exploration of a series of stories that run the gambit of writing style and themes. Part of learning how to write better short stories is really just writing about what inspires passion and seeing where it goes. Within the mystery that is writing is really just that spark that starts it all. Getting going is the hardest part. Writing is about putting in the time to generate the words. Good or bad they are art and within that context are inherently valuable. They either inform, entertain, or educate. Even a good series of false starts can sometimes help you win the race.

Pandora really wants me to have Pandora Premium free for 30 days. Figuring out how to get all of my music on my phone has been a little bit harder than I expected. You can imagine that over the years I have purchased a ton of compact discs. Most of them have been ripped into mp3 which I would like to have on my phone to enjoy. That is something that I’m working on managing. Right now I’m using Google Play Music and it works well enough to play the content that is on my phone, but adding new things seems to be a little bit of a challenge. I’m sure that it will be something that is easy enough to figure out. It is just one of those things that I have yet to fully figure out. That is really one of the major problems of trying to switch music applications. My vinyl record collection will work on any record player really. It is not bound to a specific company or application on my smartphone. It does however require a specific set of equipment that is nowhere near as portable as my smartphone.

The Google WiFi system really does seem to work really well. Right now I’m sitting on the far end of the house and things are working pretty well. Upgrading to a new router was a big step it is not something that I do very often. The only thing that I have not attempted to upgrade is my Fitbit Aria scale. Getting that thing to connect to a wireless network is not the easiest thing to accomplish. It is a rather difficult and strangely time consuming task. We will see here in a few minutes if that is something that can be done today. Last night I just ran out of time during the writing process which was unfortunate. I got to 2,000 words and that was pretty much the end of my night. I truly ended up getting a good night of sleep. That was good I guess. My writing goal has 267 days left to produce 1,000,000 words. That pretty much means that I need to write about 813,560 words in the next 267 days. That works out to about 3,047 words per day. For those of you keeping score at home the required words per day or overall task difficulty has been going up throughout the last month. That happens, but it really needs to stop happening. My writing productivity needs to be geared toward producing a much higher volume of words on a daily basis.

Seriously, that probably means that I’m going to need to move from writing autobiographical pose mixed with the type of functional journaling that I have always done to producing a short story per day. Some of those stories might weave together to produce something of a little bit more substantive than a one day writing effort, but that is the direction that things needs to go. In order to really kick things up a notch I’m going to have to start to get out of my comfort zone and really push things forward. My writing journey has been about digging deeper each day and trying to move toward a greater level of understanding about the world around me. This move is going to be more about getting back into the practice of producing short stories and writing that type of content on a daily basis. The ideas we need are everywhere. Each moment is a story and all of those stories come together.

Tonight I’m going to push forward in a very introspective way and gear up to my writing effort for tomorrow. Flipping the switch and changing up my writing style is going to take a little bit of effort and a lot of focus to drop any of the self censorship or self governing that might slow down that writing process. I have found the key to good writing is to just go with it. All of the roughness and raw emotion has to be on the page or the effort will ring hollow and lack truth. That is easier to write about and thinking about than it is to execute on the page. For me a good short story is something that sneaks up on you and pulls you in for an emotional ride that starts and stops. I’m not really into the type of cliffhanger fiction that make it uncomfortable for the reader at the end. Sure that might not be as avantgarde as it could be, but it is where it is at the moment. My efforts for the night are pretty much half over right now in this middle of this paragraph or somewhere right around here in this lengthy stream of consciousness.

My thoughts are pretty much written as they arrive and throughout the course of more than a decade of doing this the external product does seem to be reasonably well put together. It seems to happen in sentences. Sometimes I’m looking enough to string a few good paragraphs together. For better or worse this really is a stream of consciousness. I do not go back and edit the things being written. I normally open a word processing document and just write from start to finish. At this point in the journey the need to go back and edit every word being written is just not compelling enough. That could be an excuse or it could just be the reality of trying to write at such a pace.

Things are very quickly approaching a benchmark or maybe you could call it a milestone of posting 100 days straight on the blog. That is really just a byproduct of engaging in the effort to write 3,000 words per day. It is a a good milestone in terms of writing. Getting into the habit of daily writing and producing prose is something to celebrate. I have been wondering when the effort to write would turn the corner and the prose would shift to a different level. That is something that i have been keenly awaiting. Perhaps my anticipation of the level of content changing has actually helped to hold things back a little bit. That could very well be the case. Within this journey a ton of ups and downs are going to occur. Some of the prose is going to be epic and some of it will explore the depths of banality by testing the nature of nothingness.

You might be trying to figure out what exactly kicking up my writing level up a notch would entail. When I sit down to write academic prose it has to conform to a certain level of quality to be publishable. Blog posts do not have that type of standard or peer review for that matter. The possibility does exist however that my writing will turn the conformer from introspective and autobiographical to the style of a true public intellectual. Inherent within that last sentence more than just a little bit of hubris might be hiding. Sure that might just be at the crossroads of this inquiry into the meaning and depths of quality. My goal here throughout this year has been to explore the breadth and depth of quality beyond just the limits of the word and how it can be used. This effort is really about the nature of what quality means within a variety of contexts and within a variety of efforts. This chautauqua will not delve directly into the metaphysics of quality, but instead it will just examine operationally the nature of quality. That might seem like subtle semantic difference, but it is enough to open the doors I want to open and pursue.

Maybe my thoughts have been influenced by spending time thinking about and reading the works of John Paul Sartre. It is possible however that maybe my thoughts are just wondering and tired after nearing the first 100 day milestone in this writing journey that will include 3 of them and a good bit more. My interest are in understanding the bleeding edge of technology and what is possible. Getting to the edge of what is possible and peering over it is one of the true joys in life. Within that context my inquiry has really been about understanding the intersection of technology and modernity. Mixing in some thoughts about quality and value within that question and you are really starting to figure out what the edge of possibility means and what it will mean to take that first true step beyond that edge.

Figuring out how to thread the needle and present a cohesive argument about creating a Tao around striving toward that step beyond what is possible would be worth the effort. That is really the parallel adventure to believing in and participating in a grand inquiry into the nature of intersection of technology and modernity. Sure using that turn of phrase in consecutive paragraphs might cheapen the value of the words it is necessary at this point to being up the parts of the things that will need to be brought together to move things forward. That is really a much a part of the journey as the journey is a part of a path. Part of striving forward is about the journey and how that striving happens and toward what it ultimately pushes us along the way.

Today was one of those days where my thoughts were conflicted and I wondered about wonder. Sure that all probably drove me to buy a few more Margaritaville Hawaiian shirts on eBay. I get them and wash them before adding them to my collection. This collection might be worse than my sports trading cards, postage stamps, or computer parts. We will see how it turns out and what value it brings to my days. Deriving joy in terms of utility should help calculate just how much a Hawaiian shirt can mean on a day to day basis. My favorite shirt has brought me a ton of joy and that is good I guess. I’m not sure why I have some type of emotional attachment to a shirt, but that really does appear to be the case.

Oh, I almost forgot to write about the blog post title from today in more detail. One of the things that I spent some time trying to figure out today was how to disable the wireless hotspot on my cable modem. I just wanted devices to connect to the Google WiFi and use that network in the house. For some reason nothing in the application settings on my Google Pixel 2 XL customer service application allowed me to disable the wireless networks. I jumped onto the website and dug around to try to figure out an option. This device pretty much set itself up and I’m not all that familiar with how to login to the cable model software and make change. They virtualized most of the functions I would want to change on the mobile application and the website. Anyway before going into a ton more detail about all the different permutations that I tried you have probably already decided that my efforts were not successful. We have the cable modem network, a Google WiFI mesh network, and the Google WiFi guest network.

As long as we are digging into technology related problems today I solved one other problem today. My ASUS TUF Mark 1 motherboard is great. It has 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports including a Type-A and a Type-C. My Logitech BRIO 4K webcam was plugged into the Type-A port. My installation of the Open Broadcaster Software was having all sorts of problems handling the webcam. All of that changed with one change today. I moved the cable from the webcam from the USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port to a standard USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and the video just started working. At that point, I could configure any video option in the dropdown without any problems at all. This might not seem like a big deal, but it has probably taken 5 or so hours of troubleshooting. I almost made a YouTube video about it to help other people overcome the same challenge. I’m not sure how many folks have a Logitech BRIO and use OBS, but I imagine that number is growing. Within my current setup and my previous setup the same problem showed up. It was really intermittent. Sometimes things would work out well and sometimes it would just not work. Most of the time I would reboot the machine and try alternative configurations until the webcam worked in OBS. This solution seems to be a lot better. My guess is that either a driver conflict exists or the added throughput crushed the handler.

I’m using my Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones plugged into my Chromebook tonight. It probably would have been a good idea to charge my Bose Qc35 headphones last night. The noise cancelling earbuds are my backup audio device. I keep them in my bag just in case I need them. They were going to be my go to audio device until I had to go wireless with the Google Pixel XL. That was the tipping point where these headphones went from primary to secondary position in my audio device rotation. They work well enough, but they just do not sound as good as my over the ear headphones. Pandora just asked me if I was still listening. I have been sitting here and typing on this keyboard for a hot minute apparently. That is what it takes to produce 3,000 words for publication.

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

Day 97 the one with some words about words

Peppercorn the dog and a coffee cup

2018: Day 97 the one with some words about words
Word count 184,440 + 2,000 or 186,440 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

That title might be the most epic shade thrown on my journey to 1,000,000 words in the same year. This post started off with a quick search on Google to figure out how many days are left in the year. According to the power of the internet as of right now… 268 days, 6,444 hours, 386,693 minutes, and 23,201,599 seconds remain this year. That sounds like a lot of time. Maybe it is a significant amount of time or maybe it is just a drop in the bucket. That probably depends on your perspective and thoughts about time in general. At the start of today I still needed to write 815,560 words this year. With 268 days left that pretty much means that I need to average 3,044 words per day to achieve my goal. When you spell it out that way it does not seem all that impossible. You just have to divide 815,560 words by 268 days. Maybe the first quarter of the year. Was not my best writing effort. Maybe it was just the warm up period for the real push forward.

I’m game to keep working on the journey. At least that’s what I was thinking around lunch time today. Sure now its 21:19 hours and as you might have guessed from the time this blog post has to wrap up for the day in the next 40 minutes. A lot of things can happen in 40 minutes. Tons of words can be written in 40 minutes. I’m pretty much ready to write from this moment forward to try to get as close to the requisite 3,044 words for the day. It is an epic race at this point to see how many words will end up being written. I knew the goal. It was very clear. For some reason my execution toward that goal was not on target. It was pretty far off. Ok —- it was really far off. Like mind boggling epic failure off. This blog post right now is being powered by the new network that I just got done setting up.

We went out to our local Best Buy and got a set of 3 Google WiFi devices. They are now scattered all over the house providing a mesh network. I also took the time to setup a guest network using the same devices. Overall the setup of the devices did not take very long at all. I crawled under my desk and setup a 5 port gigabit switch to support the devices in my office and plugged in the first Google WiFi device. It took just a few seconds to download the Google WiFi application from the Play store. That app wanted me to scan the QR code on the bottom of the Google WiFi device and then we were off and running. It needed a network name and a password. A few minutes later it was off and running. Setting up the next mesh network device was as simple as plugging it into the wall and thing a few clicks on the application.

Right now all 3 of the devices are setup and running. We have about 11 devices connected to the network. All of that setup time amounted to about 15 minutes. None of that was me in a hurry. It took a couple minutes for the network to update itself and now it is just running. The best feature of the hotspot that is up in a bedroom is that the light can be turned off on the device. Some folks are really sensitive to light. I’m not one of those people, but I’m glad I could turn off the light anyway. That was a thoughtful feature to include. We have one Chromecast device in the basement connected to the TV in front of my walking treadmill that needs to be updated. For the most part every device in the house has now been updated. One of the things that I need to figure out is how to disable the wireless networks on my base router. That will help reduce the wireless footprint in the house. I’m not 100% sold on the idea of wireless internet saturation, but it makes some sense.

My thumbnail for today was uploaded using the old router. My ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 Dual Band Gigabit Router purchased back in 2014 is now unplugged. It does not really work all that well. Over the last few weeks it has been getting hot and having trouble. That was the major reason for going out to Best Buy today and buying the Google WiFi devices. Strangely enough it was more expensive to buy them from the Google store online than to drive to Best Buy and buy them in person. Apparently, the discount at Best Buy was just a better deal and I got them much faster vs. having to wait for shipping. They were wrapped in some pretty serious security device cables. They must be a key item to keep track of in the store. I cannot write a review of anything beyond the setup of the device. I’m using it right now to stream Pandora and my Chromebook is connected, but neither of those things is going to give me the information necessary to jump in and finish up a comprehensive review. That will probably take a few days at least to see how the devices perform.

Time is drawing short here tonight and I’m just hitting the 1,000 word mark. I may run out of time before being able to hit the 3,044 word mark. I could just extend the deadline by an hour for tonight and see where things end up, but that removes a lot of the pressure to write faster tonight. At the moment, the blog post is setup and ready to post at the correct time of 22:00 hours. That is about 25 minutes from now. The real question is how many words can be generated in that the 25 minute window. I’m guessing that a few can be created, but they may not be the best representation of my writing efforts. Today was just supposed to revolve around some words about words. I mean you can pretty much take that title in a wide variety of directions. It would not lock the writer down to any specific direction.

At the moment it looks like my writing about is not going to hit a pace of 3,000 words per hour. That does not appear to be in the cards for tonight. It was a pretty good day overall. We watching a few hours of the masters golf tournament. I’m not sure if that should have been capitalized or not. The announcers did seem really excited about the golf tournament today. I need to get out and play a little bit more golf this year. At the very least, I need to make a better effort to hit the driving range and at least get back into the rhythm of hitting quality shots and being ready to play good round of golf. For those of you who have seen my golf swing over the years you are well aware that it is an unfinished product to say the least. It has some room for improvement. That is where a good amount of practice might end up helping.

I compromised and added thirty minutes to the publishing deadline for tonight. Things are now set to publish at 22:30 hours. That is just a little bit more time to help push things close to the 3,044 word target. Getting a new home wireless network setup is pretty exciting. From the moment the Google WiFi devices were released I had considered getting them. It was just hard to justify replacing a wireless router that was working just fine. I’m not entirely sure how to get the device to factory reset before I get rid of the old hardware. That feels like something I should do before getting rid of it. I am considering adding one more Google WiFi device to the network. Right now the mesh network should provide full coverage of the house. The only part of the setup that might be questionable is the coverage of the backyard. I’m going to have to do some testing to figure out the boundaries of the mesh network.

Oops —- I was introducing the thumbnail for the blog post today and got sidetracked for a couple paragraphs. That photograph was taken of Peppercorn the dog resting on the new dog bed. For some reason that bed is a pretty good camouflage for Peppercorn the dog. I set my Ricky & Morty coffee mug down in front for the picture. Peppercorn the dog was not impressed by the coffee mug in the least. That is ok for the most part. It looks like my efforts are only going to yield 1,500 words within the original timeline for publication. That is not a bad effort for the night, but it is pretty far short of the 3,044 goal. If this blog post had not excited and a big nothing burger had been posted for the day, then the overall goal would have only increased to 3,055 from 3,044 words per day. That means that at this moment in time failure is worth somewhere under 10 words per day for the rest of the year. Impacting 267 days of writing by adding to the total word count required per day is interesting.

This writing journey to hit 1,000, 000 words in the same year is really eye opening. I have thought about a ton of different ways to try to publish 1,000,000 words in the same volumes. Anyway you elect to cut that one up it is going to be a pretty small font wit a lot of pages. Here shortly I should have a pretty decent understanding of what is going to be required to close out this writing project for the year. My goal at the moment is to push this writing effort up over 2,000 words for the day and see where things are at tomorrow. My best bet is to start writing a little bit in the morning and the afternoon to avoid the mad dash to 3,044 to 3,055 words during the last 2 hours of the day. That may not be all that reasonable to try to achieve, but it seems like a reasonable and good goal to push forward.

Tomorrow should be a pretty good day for writing. Maybe ramping up to 2,000 words today and then up to whatever the actual goal is a good enough start to keep things pushed forward. This post has been written without any type of topic header. It was written as one single post from start to finish. This is one way of presenting information and pushing things forward. That is one of the easier things to write about and one of the harder things to mange to get done. Trying to push things forward in a positive and proactive way take a little bit of effort. Closing out these last few hundred words has really got me thinking about the future and where things are going. Daydreaming is a little bit more complex than just dealing with the tactical parts of the decision making process.

I’m already thinking about what is for dinner tomorrow. That is a bad sign for things to come. Trying and being hungry can be challenging. I have a few different topics to write about and that may happen tomorrow. For the most part I’m just curious about how things are going to shake off and where things are going to end up get going faster.

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

Day 96 the one where I pondered getting a new wireless router

Captain pickles the dog taking a nap

2018: Day 96 the one where I pondered getting a new wireless router
Word count 184,440 + 614 or 185,054 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Apparently, the blog post for today does not have a title. Under normal writing conditions I have a title and write from start to finish on my posts. For some reason the need to write exists, but the creative spark to come up with a title is missing. Our new puppy is whining about something at the moment. That dog probably just wants a treat… yeah… that was it the dog wanted a treat. My interest in buying a few Margaritaville Hawaiian shirts on eBay has spiked recently. That trend does seem to be one that is going to maintain momentum. Of all the things to catch my interest I’m not sure expanding my Hawaiian shirt collection was one that needed to jump to the forefront. It has with a vengeance and that seems to be something that is not going away any time soon.

Tonight was going to be a night for writing. This one was going to the blog post to get me back on track to push me back into the 3,000 plus word per day club. Today was going to be my day. It turned out that giving blood today took a little more out of me than I had expected. Sure it was the right thing to do and it was something that makes me feel like I made a contribution or did something at the very least. I have already worked through a cycle of my 48 ounce Nalgene water bottle today. That bottle has been filled a second time today and we will see how far my efforts get before sleep wins out. Picking a good topic that I was really passionate about would probably help me gear up to write a good essay that would eat up 3,000 words with ease.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. We have a lot of stuff planned. This Chromebook will probably be used at a variety of different places. I just might be able to steal a few minutes to write. My goal had been to start using Google Keep on a more regular basis to catch notes and ensure that I have a solid backlog of topics to write about. Sure that sounds like an easy thing to do when you are writing about it and thinking about it. Executing that vision will take a little bit of persistence. That is going to be very true based on picking topics to write about that do not require me to use the topic heading to break up the posts. That is very easy to do to extend the word count, but it does not support the idea of writing a single overall comprehensive essay each day. That is the way things are going to have to work. The name of the game is going to be to pick a topic and make with some writing.

Sometimes I wonder about just what a topic would have to have to generate 3,000 words. For example, writing 3,000 words about Stevie Ray Vaughan might be possible, but it might take longer than one day. Sure that SRV guitar was epic and it had enough character to probably inspire 3,000 words of prose. Ok —- I just spent like 20 minutes watching SRV YouTube videos. It was worth it, but that did not help my writing productivity for the night. I need to switch back to my Pandora application and listen to some streaming music and write for like an hour.

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

Day 95 the one with some 2018 Open Day Topps baseball cards

Topps 2018 Open Day Baseball Cards

2018: Day 95 the one with some 2018 Open Day Topps baseball cards
Word count 183,113 + 1,327 or 184,440 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today was a day that I celebrated deactivating my Facebook account. My favorite method of simple celebration is to break open a hobby box of baseball or football sports trading cards. This time around it was a small box with 11 packs of 2018 Topps Opening Day baseball cards. Baseball is now in season and opening day or opening day weekend events are happening from coast to coast. I almost live streamed my trading card opening on YouTube using the camera tab option for live streaming direct from my Chrome browser. My tests turned out ok with a combination of the Samson condenser mic and Logitech Brio 4K webcam. The video quality was only 1080 HD and that does not really work for me. I mean it is sort of 4K or bust at this point within my YouTube adventures. Maybe they will update the stream from browser option to support the native resolution of my webcam. Maybe I will try to put that in as a feature request. That is probably something I can manage to log tomorrow.

Opening the packs of sports trading cards was pretty fun. The opening day series from Topps includes mascot related cards. That surprised me for sure. None of the cards in the 11 packs I opened contained any relic, signatures, memorabilia, or limited numbering. All the cards in my packs were pretty much base series cards. Years ago that was how it worked. I bought packs of cards at the grocery store and later sorted them into the series for the year. Thinking back on that process I was probably buying or getting cards from the same hobby boxes at the same stores until they ran out or moved to the next year packs. All of those cards are sitting in some Rubbermaid tubs in the basement. They go back to around 1987. Collecting cards was so much simpler back then for a lot of reasons. The number of brands was more limited. The on card and sticker on card autograph and game used memorabilia movement had not started. Sometimes they had some alternate series or inserts, but they were mostly promotional in nature and were not instantly worth hundreds of dollars.

You had basically two choices to build out a set. First, you could buy pack after pack and hope that you made it from around 1 to 600. That would involve a process that inherently involved duplicates that could be traded or sold. The packs contain seemingly random allotments of cards. Second, you could wait and buy the whole set in a small cardboard box. That typically came later or around the holidays. Sometimes for Christmas I would get a box of the whole year. At one point, I thought that was the way to go and wanted to collect every box of Topps baseball from 1989 forward. That was something that I gave up on and that was probably for the best. Those boxes take up a lot of space and are harder to store than the tens of thousands of single cards that are stacked together in boxes in my basement. My method of collecting did not change for some time. Recently I just buy packs every once in awhile for the thrill of opening them and that is about it. Most of my purchases of sports trading cards are graded autograph or George Brett cards.

That does require a little bit more space per card, but it has worked out pretty well. I spend a lot of time working on my complete set of George Brett cards. It is sort of a player specific anthology of every card from every year encapsulated in a graded card slab and authenticated by a professional sports grading card service. I really only use Beckett Grading Services and PSA to grade my cards. My preference is for Beckett graded cards, but a lot of the older cards are really only found in PSA slabs. I went through a phase where I was just buying up pretty much every Kansas City Royals autograph card that was under $5 in either a graded or stand alone format. Those cards are the only collection I keep out and by my desk. I typically only keep one graded George Brett card out at a time on my desk. My entire collection is not worth all that much money, but it is valuable to me and that is pretty much the essence of sports card collecting. It’s mostly cardboard. To some people at some times in their lives it has a certain value. Based on that reality a market exists for people who collect and or live within the ecosystem.

The thumbnail for today is a picture of the cards I opened today. You can see the hobby box they came in and the leftover packaging and cards all stacked together. That photograph is not the best I have ever taken, but the sun was creating some lighting challenges. I probably should have tried to sneak a George Brett card into the background. Laziness might have won out on that one. Over the last few days I have been trying to get away from the topic based writing schema and move to a more holistic single topic essay with some thoughtful interludes. Sure my efforts on that one did not last all that long. They dissolved into where we are about to go. Into a series of topics as we round out the night.

Topic 1: Blizzard really wants to sell me the new World of Warcraft expansion

Sure the entire topic is pretty much summed up in the header. Maybe my tagline for this topic was just overly work economic or the topic does not have much depth. That will not slow me down today. It is true that the Blizzard software company really wants to sell me the new World of Warcraft expansion pack. The game itself was released back in November of 2004. Sure that was a long time ago. It was a fun game and from what I remember it was enjoyable to play. I have not purchased all the subsequent expansion packages. I know that people are still playing and that the game has a very active user base. The last games I purchased were for the Xbox and they were Titanfall 2 and Overwatch. I was able to play both of them and they were fun enough. For some reason, I simply do not have the free time to devote to playing video games anymore. That is probably the reason that buying the new expansion package does not appeal to me. This email states that, “The next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, arrives August 14, 2018.” That sounds exciting enough, but it is probably not enough to get me to play the game. I really liked Overwatch when it came out and I do not play it anymore. We don’t really play any games on our Xbox One S.

Topic 2: I do not need to surf online for a new monitor

Apparently, the new version of my computer monitor is the, “Dell U3818DW 37.5″ Curved UltraSharp Monitor with InfinityEdge Display.” It looks pretty good and it could be epic on my desk. My current monitor is the, “Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor.” Nothing is wrong with my current monitor and I do not need to buy a new one. Seriously, I have no reason to be surfing online for a new monitor. Maybe it is one of those things that just happens and you have to ignore it. Things could be worse I could be expanding one of my collections for no real reason. Right now my Corsair 740 Air case is connected to the Dell U3415W and it works just fine.

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

Day 94 the one where I deactivated my Facebook account

2018: Day 94 the one where I deactivated my Facebook account
Word count 181,537 + 1,576 or 183,113 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

3 things real quick… First, let me be clear that this post is not a call to action to deactivate or permanently delete your Facebook account. This is not a political statement. Some of the current political statements did get me thinking about the need to keep Facebook. Second, I personally find Facebook as a platform annoying and I do not want to engage with the application or company at this time. That is a personal preference and a personal decision. I will try to explain it within the course of this blog post. You might really like Facebook. That really has nothing to do with my decision. Third, I have not requested my account to be permanently deleted at this time.

This is one of those blog posts that I should probably proofread before posting. We will see how far that one goes. I’m sure at some point proofreading will happen. It is 20:39 hours and this post goes live in a little over an hour. That probably means whatever editing happens will be fairly limited.

Today was one of those days. I was trying to keep up with the ever changing stream of things. None of them really very consequential, unique, or really all that useful, but they were all part of a very constant stream of things. That being said one good thing did happen today. It did not happen exactly the way I planned it or how I thought it would work. Today was the day that I went to deactivate my Facebook account. After a few clicks my data had been requested. A few minutes later about 200 megabytes of data was downloaded. My new Corsair Air 740 computer case build has a Windows Storage Pool setup. That is my first multiple drive storage pool setup using the Windows feature. It is capable of holding a modest 2 terabytes of data. That should be plenty of space for me for now.

Anyway, the data was downloaded and it is hanging out within the Storage Pool. It was a lot less photos and videos than I remember posting over the years. The quality is generally horrible. I have no idea why the folks over at Facebook never forget to keep tabs on every scrap of my personal data, but cannot manage to keep a high quality photograph. That is a discussion for another day perhaps even another time. The download of my data was pretty easy and something that I suggest you do anyway for fun if you are an avid Facebook user. You can probably tell by the title of this post that today was the end of my run with Facebook. I went into the settings section and went to deactivate my account. I followed the prompts and filled out the forms. At the end of all of that clicking and typing a prompt jumped up to let me know that my account could be reactivated at any time by just logging into Facebook.

That was really perplexing. It made me realized that the deactivation of an account was in no way shape or form Facebook deleting my account. Sure that might seem like simple semantics, but it is really a big difference. Strangely enough the Google search for, “how to permanently delete facebook account,” auto completes as you are typing. People must ask about that all the time. It is perhaps a common search term. Apparently you have to follow the link in one of the help articles and jump through some hoops to delete your account. Which they clearly state can take up to 90 days to get the data purged from their servers. I have not taken that step at the moment. Mostly out of pure laziness at this point. I had presumed that deactivation would take care of this, but being a sticky user experience company they had to make it harder than it should be to stop using the service.

You might be wondering how my interest in pushing Facebook out of my life happened. Some time ago they banned one of my family members for no real reason. It just seemed rather arbitrary. For the sake of solidarity I logged in and suspended my account for 7 days. That was strangely liberating. My ability to remember the things I read and see has not diminished over the years. For me scrolling through Facebook is really just loading up things to remember. Most of it is not stuff that I need to recall. Checking Facebook several times a day was just crushing my productivity and creating excuses for me not to churn out 3,000 words per day. To that end and based on my lack of interest in engaging with the company anymore I went in and hit deactivate on my account. I’m guessing that those folks still using the service can see my profile and I’m now in what they would call the non-active daily user camp. For me I do not want to be in any of their camps. I have limited interest in the methods they use to target me for advertisements or the ways in which the collect my data.

I’m never going to buy a super expensive sports car… sometimes I look at photographs of them because to me it is a form of art. The aesthetics are something I enjoy viewing. Using that piece of information to try to sell me things is useless and utterly annoying. For the most part I’m just tired of being part of a giant deep learning experiment to mine my personal data. Google at least produces products that I use. For what it’s worth I really do believe Tensorflow is changing the world of artificial intelligence. On the plus side of things I did learn how to take a screenshot on my Chromebook. Apparently, generating the thumbnail for my blog post today was the first occasion where I wanted to take a screenshot. I looked all over the keyboard for the print screen button. That does not exist on my ASUS C101P Chromebook keyboard. You have to hit the “Ctrl” key and “Switch window” key at the same time. The screenshot is thing stored in your files oddly enough under downloads. I was sort of expecting the directory to be called screenshots, but hey whatever works for Chromebook storage I guess.

Using Facebook benefited me in the following ways:

1. By allowing people to communicate with me via messenger
2. By helping me remember birthdays (this is the one thing I will probably miss the most)
3. By keeping up to date on the happenings of folks I went to college and high school with

That is pretty much it when it comes to use cases related to my usage of Facebook as a social media platform. I’m really easy to find online and people who need my phone number generally have it. Some folks even know how to engage with me via written correspondence. That helps solve the first use case. At some point, I will have to sit down and set up recurring reminders for the important birthdays on my calendar. That use case may require a little bit of effort, but it can be solved. I’ll consider the second use case to be solved pending some effort on my part to true up my calendar. Dealing with the third use case is a little bit more complex. Ok —- it is a lot more complex. Out of the 300+ folks friended on Facebook I speak to maybe 50 of them verbally in any given year. Having at least one real-time verbal conversation per year is probably the tipping point on this one. That means the vast majority of folks generate content and I consume it like I would a yearbook, local newspaper, or maybe like blogs circa 2001.

Solving for that last use case is probably going to be problematic. It probably means that I will have to make an effort to communicate with people who I want to catch up with. It will also change the dynamic of that communication. People who I talk with will have to recap things for me since I’m not keeping up on the all of the happenings on Facebook in real-time. That might seem like a slight distinction, but it is a really telling part of the whole social media framework. People do not have to catch up or have as deep of conversations as they used to based on the level of content being shared in a very asynchronous way. It may very well be the case that people are not as used to trying to catch people up in the ways that they used to based on conversation. A steady diet of digital breadcrumbs may have been enough to diminish the superb skill of providing a recap.

If you made it this far into the post, then you probably have a good idea of what happened and why it happened. Thank you for making it this far and I hope my musing have provided you some amusement or they have provided a few thoughts about things. That is really the basis of writing to a reader instead of just assuming my blog posts are written for my own personal amusement.

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

Day 93 the one with some thoughts on YouTube TV

2018: Day 93 the one with some thoughts on YouTube TV
Word count 180,605 + 932 or 181,537 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today was the day that my run with Google’s YouTube TV came to an end. Overall it was a great television service that worked out just fine for watching NCAA tournament coverage. We tested out the voice control using a Google Home Mini connected to my Chromecast Ultra for streaming in the family room. Using voice controls for a television is pretty easy and it worked well enough. One time I forgot to turn it off and it streamed for like 8 hours with nobody watching, but other than that one slight oversight on my part the service worked really well. Seriously, maybe it is not an oversight on my part… maybe just maybe the Chromecast should have an auto-off feature at some point. Maybe that is something that I can turn on as a feature or something.

We are back to having no television contact of any kind. Our internet service is still up and running, but that is about it. The only streaming platform I’m paying for at the moment is Netflix. Maybe at some point I’ll be able to cancel that service as well. Reducing ongoing monthly subscriptions has been my goal for the year. So far this year it is a goal that has been working out reasonably well. Last year I paid for a one year subscription to the Washington Post. That is not a subscription that will be renewing this year. I’m saying goodbye to that news service. Part of giving up on Amazon is also giving up on the Washington Post. Neither of those services need to be a part of my life. Right now I have the New York Times application installed on my phone and a carefully configured Google News feed.

My review of the YouTube TV service is pretty straightforward. Assuming you have enough bandwidth it is a great service. It was less than my cable television costs from before. I got the channels I needed to watch the NCAA tournament and some University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball. It worked great on my computer, but it was not in stunning 4K. We watched games on both the Google Pixel XL and Pixel 2 XL phones. That worked out well. It was pretty easy to setup the Chromecast paired to a Google Home Mini in the family room and have full voice control over YouTube TV. The application sent me alerts about things to watch and the DVR worked out well enough. It worked as described. The only real downside is that it eats bandwidth at a pretty decent rate. My cable modem is capped out at 1 terabyte of bandwidth per month. You could not watch television all day and hope to live under that cap.

At the moment we are back to using the over the air channels that our TiVo Roamio an pick up with an amplified indoor antenna that sits in the family room. That should be enough for now. I’m sure my purchase of a 4K television will correspond to the launch of 4K over the air channels. That is probably some time time off. One of the things that I have been doing during visits to Costco is to check out the 4K television. They really do look pretty good and the prices have come down a ton since they launched. Sometimes I wonder if maybe buying a really good projector would be a better option. At some point, I could imagine projectors replacing television screens as the default home entertainment option. That is not true at the moment. It will probably not be a something that happens anytime soon.

One thing that did happen is that the Google Home Mini that came with the purchase of my Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone is now sitting on my dresser. It has replaced my original Amazon Echo. The sound quality would probably be better on a Google Home. The sound quality would be far superior on the Google Home Max. Either option would be better for home audio. The Google Home Mini tries to produce good quality music, but it a very small speaker. On the brighter side of things it knows how to play my Warren Zevon Radio Pandora station. I’ll give it a shot for awhile and see how I like the Google Play Music and Pandora services. The test it so help me understand if the purchase of a Google Home Max would be worth it.

Topic 1: What is advertising about anyway…

We have the ability to make choices. Some of those choices are related to spending money. Those choices are the ones that advertisers are typically interested in influencing. To that end the purchase of advertising time or space is about grabbing attention. That attention is treated like a commodity and is evaluated as such. In the end advertising is about buying attention. Take this Pandora internet radio station I’m listening to right now. My ability to listen to this streaming music is facilitated through segments of my attention being sold to advertisers. In this case the music stops and an advertisement plays. The hope would be that getting my attention and pitching a product of a service will be enough to influence my future buying decisions. That is pretty much the basic nuts and bolts of advertising. It is the art of influencing during the curious of capturing the attention of the audience.

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

Day 92 the one where a national championship game happened

My new PC build

2018: Day 92 the one where a national championship game happened
Word count 180,605 + 1,000 or 181,605 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Today was one of those days that I just want to put back on the shelf. Sure in the early hours of the morning I transfered my two GTX 1060 graphics cards from my Storm Stryker computer case to my Corsair Air 740 case. That move went swimmingly and was relatively easy to accomplish. The big switch took about 5 minutes to accomplish. Trying to manage all the thumb screws was the only really hard part of the whole endeavor. Sure to free up the 200 mm bottom fan on the Corsair Air 740 case I have it sitting on my aluminum briefcase that holds my Dell Studio 1535. You can probably tell from the thumbnail for the blog post today that the new setup is working out pretty well. The big aluminum briefcase also serves as a massive heatsink as well. The system is up and running and running the NiceHash cryptocurrency mining software.

My mining project is coming to a close here pretty soon. Wednesday April 11, 2018 will be 100 days from the start of the year. That will mark a major milestone in terms of my daily writing and my super exciting cryptocurrency mining adventure. Sure it was a lot more exciting when the price of a bitcoin was up around $20,000.00 and maybe climbing. Right now the price of a bitcoin is worth about $7,035.47 based on a cut and paste from the Coinbase dashboard. That is a far cry from the lofty heights of bitcoin past. Warren Buffett may have been the harbinger of cryptocurrency doom and gloom. I think the market and the process of mining is incredibly entertaining. For me that was the point of my 100 day mining extravaganza.

Both custom built computer rigs sit in my office under my glass executive Studio RTA desk. One of the doors on my Storm Stryker case is mismatched. It matches the pain of the Cooler Master Trooper case. It fits on the Storm Stryker case pretty well, but it does not match the overall paint scheme. Reaching behind the case and undoing two thumb screws was pretty easy. You might think the Storm Stryker case was not all that heavy. That assessment would be wrong. Just undoing a couple thumb screws and allowing the door to slide off is pretty easy. Inside the case the ASUS motherboard could support a maximum of three graphics cards. Each card connects to the motherboard and is capable of producing a ton of heat. They reside toward the bottom of the case by the power supply. All that heat has to go somewhere. My overall Storm Stryker build just does not clear the heat very well.

A few aftermarket fans are installed to help push all the heat from the graphics cards outside the computer case. Sure switching to the Corsair Air 740 will allow a lot more space on the motherboard side for air to move and a lot more space for connecting fans to the case. The Storm Stryker case is great, but it has a limited number of places to put fans. Each of the graphics cards was pretty easy to unplug from the motherboard. Just a basic clasp has to be released and two thumb screws per card. It all happened pretty quickly. Both cards were removed and they were transferred over to the new Corsair Air 740 case. The ASUS motherboard in that case can also support three graphics cards. I only have two GTX 1060 cards. That was all that was transferred from one case to the other. Based on the thermal monitoring for the cards it seems like the better airflow helped a little bit. No way really exists to get around the heat graphics cards produce when you have them mining cryptocurrency full steam ahead. Some folks have come up with very clever ways to expel the heat, but it still exists. It has to exist somewhere.

Topic 1: Watching the national championship game

Soon enough I’ll be able to watch the game. I’m not entirely sure which team I want to win. My interest in the NCAA tournament drops by a ton when the Jayhawks are done playing for the year. It is very interesting just how much emotion and energy I expend worrying about the fate of a University of Kansas basketball team. Let’s just say that it is a lot of energy. We could end up making it back to Lawrence, Kansas someday. Teaching their would be a pretty sweet job. Making that dream happen will probably require me to double down on my academic research efforts. Generating a ton of cutting edge artificial intelligence research may help my efforts. Sure right now I’m wondering about publishing more than 3 peer reviewed journal articles per year and how soon after the national championship game I’m going to cancel YouTube TV.

First, writing 3 academic papers a year is just about producing and engaging in research activities. So much data exists and so many potential artificial intelligence projects are possible right now that the effort is really could be expressed as a function of motivation vs. any type of structural limitation. Second, my writing efforts just need to stay focused and I need to spend the time on each paper to make it great. Third, canceling YouTube TV is really hard to do given the impending Karate Kid reboot. That really should not be enough to sway my decision one way or the other, but it really is… it just looks so epic. Yeah it just might be a 10 episode show called Cobra Kai being produced via the financing of YouTube Red. Here after the national championship game I’m going to cancel YouTube TV. That is about to happen in about 20 basketball minutes.

This feels like the longest halftime ever…

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