Day 117 The one with more of the NFL draft and some snacks

a few hot sauces

2018: Day 117 The one with more of the NFL draft and some snacks

Dear Reader,

The thumbnail for today features three very good hot sauces. A fiery chipotle sauce from Hot Ones, a scotch bonnet and ginger sauce from Queen’s Majesty, and the Carolina reaper edition of The Last Dab. They were dipping sauces lined up for some vegan wings and a few tater tots. Dipping tater tots in a sauce made from Carolina reaper peppers was not the smartest of my decisions. That sauce is seriously hot and well not very forgiving. I kept dipping tater tots in the sauce. It was not a quality decision making moment. Strangely it was not really a teachable moment either. At some point, I will do it all again. Consuming something with over 1.5 million Scoville units on a tater tot is always questionable. I have two bottles of the original Last Dab Hot sauce with Pepper X which rates at more than 3 million Scoville units. Strangely enough I do better with the Pepper X version of the sauce than the Carolina reaper version. Maybe Pepper X is less heat forward and more a build up type of heat.

I could spend the rest of the night writing about hot sauce, but that is not a good path to go down. At the moment, I’m trying to decide if walking downstairs this late at night and doing a live stream on YouTube is the right way to go. I’m pretty tired at this point and probably could not give it my all. The new series of live streams are really a weekend only type of activity. During the week I just do not have enough time to produce quality live streams. I could do some type of sweet 4K daily vlog episodes, but that was not as much fun as I thought it would be. Last year I made a large number of consecutive day vlog publications. It was an interesting thing to try out, but it confirmed that my filmmaking skills are limited. Maybe I could do better with a combination of planning and practice.

Earlier today I dropped a Tweet that said, “You cannot teach coal to be fire… you can only ignite the flame. Driving change is a journey. Inspiring change is a mission. Be you. Your best efforts striving forward will inspire the winds of change.” That entertained me. It reminded me that I need to start writing more inspirational tweets.

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

Day 116 The one with the NFL draft

my travel bag

2018: Day 116 The one with the NFL draft

Dear Reader,

Well hello again. This is day 116 of the year. You may have figured out by now that that the last post was on Day 113. My streak of consecutive blog posts for the year has been broken. It was bound to happen. Tonight is one of those nights that I miss having cable television. A ton of NFL draft coverage is being generated all over the internet. You can find hot takes everywhere online. Some live streams exist with reasonable coverage. None of that replaces what was the normal method for watching the draft. I plopped down on the sofa and watched the first round. It was exciting. It was full of curiosity and wildness. It seems like American interest in the NFL faltered last year. Last year was not the best year for the NFL in terms of prestige and long term value.

Like a true armchair quarterback with a blog and some time to type on my keyboard I have some suggestions for Roger Goodell. Consolidate the games into a Sunday only schedule. If you really want to play games worldwide, then establish a 2nd set of teams for a world league. Let those folks travel worldwide and manage that league separately. Roger needs to figure out a new plan that does something different. Maybe it is in part due to social media and the constant churn of media coverage. We are probably not going to have season tickets. I will totally set my TiVo Roamio to record every NFL game on broadcast television this year. We will probably get 3 o 4 games every Sunday. Some of them will be worth watching and some of them will just get deleted. That is pretty much where my interest ends in pursuing NFL content.

Any of the NBA playoff games that end up on ABC are probably going to be recorded. That is pretty much how I’m going to consume NBA basketball. I remember watching every playoff game for the teams Shaq or Lebron played on in years past. We watch a lot of Kansas Jayhawks basketball and that is probably the only series of sporting events that we will pay a subscription fee to be able to watch. Most of the NFL games are on broadcast television. Some of them end up on the NFL television channel or ESPN. Those games require a subscription of some type.

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

Day 113 The one where I wondered about art

Denver airport art

2018: Day 113 The one where I wondered about art

Dear Reader,

That photograph was taken at the Denver airport of an art installation. It caught my eye as the light flickered off those reflective metal plates. That was pretty much enough to get me to take a picture. Art is art. Even by the vaguest community standard of what constitutes art that installation probably qualifies. Within the things that I deal with everyday quality comes from having a defined and repeatable process. Art on the other hand does not need to be repeatable or follow a process to be quality. In that case quality is inherent to the use case versus something that is generated from a definable and repeatable process executed with perfection. Maybe that analysis is related to my mood tonight. Rain clouds are hanging overhead tonight. A few drops of rain have been falling. On the horizon you can see the snow capped mountains taunting the month of April.

People have different standards for what constitutes art. That is not something that is going to change any time. Maybe with age I have become more appreciate of the art installations around the town. A decade ago my degree of caring would have been a lot smaller. That is one of those things that is inherently true and probably rings forward as a common touchstone for those that have grown to appreciate art over time. My Chromebook ran out of battery and restarted. During that power outage the better part of this paragraph was lost forever. The words that were written were really witty and struck a chord. They are however gone forever and with that loss I’ll just keep writing and how to make up for it. Tonight is probably not the night that will happen, but you can always hope.

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

Day 112 The one with some high winds in Denver

The wind knocked over this tree

2018: Day 112 The one with some high winds in Denver

Dear Reader,

My Fitbit Aria scale has finally been setup to work with Google WiFi network. This time around I felt like an old pro at troubleshooting the often vexing setup process for the Fitbit Aria scale. It all worked out well enough and on my 2nd attempt to get it to connect to the network things just worked. I’m hopeful that this is the last network this scale is going to need to connect to. That seems like a strong possibility. I will say based on my field research with 3 of the Google WiFi mesh network devices it works. Seriously, it has worked much better than my previous wireless router.

Oh yeah —- I almost forgot about the thumbnail for the blog post today. We were driving around earlier and the super high winds in Denver this week had knocked over this giant tree. I mean the windows just pushed it right over into the parking lot. You can seem from the photograph that the wind defeated that tree. It just clean knocked it over. Strangely it seemed to be a pretty large tree. It was way bigger than anything that we could bring home for Christmas. We got luck that nothing in the yard was blown over and nothing seemed to have damaged anything in the neighborhood.

After my trip it seemed like a good idea to really clean my ASUS Chromebook flip today C101P. During the flights the keyboard got a little bit dirty. That happens I guess. This keyboard has been doing pretty well. It has been doing a lot better than I had expected. Given the volume of writing that I have been doing and how rough I am on devices this one is in really good shape. Each keystroke still had a good amount of travel and the keyboard still feels natural enough to type on for long periods of time. My writing sessions have been for about 1 to 2 hours per night this year. Some of them have been a lot longer and those sessions have really pounded on the keyboard.

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

Day 111 The one where Denver got snow in April and some research questions

Denver snow in April

2018: Day 111 The one where Denver got snow in April and some research questions

Dear Reader,

Today involved some thoughts about how to replace the Facebook feed with a search engine. You could pretty much just great widget that ingested links and created a custom news and updates feed that would function very much like the Facebook feed. You could create the widget to run as a plugin to Chrome or the browser. It would just ingest links to think you liked. They would have to be categorized based on where you liked the source of the content. If you wanted to see links to similar content, then that would be different than wanted to see all content from a specific source. All you have to do is compile the feed just like a search engine would crawl the web in a way that is specifically tailored to the end user. That would be pretty easy to setup and it probably does exist in some form. My version would inherently be better, but that does not negate the existence of other micro targeting streams.

Sure I had some extra time to think about things today. For some inexplicable reason here in late April it is snowing in Denver, Colorado. Nothing is really sticking to the roads and I wore a sweet Margaretville shirt and some jeans. It was snowing pretty hard, but that was not enough to drive the temperate down to the point where a coat or jacket was going to be required. Sometimes a day of snow in April can create a stay at home weekend moment for research and reflection. Maybe today is one of those days. I wrote a few words earlier in the day. Right now my thoughts are pretty much focused on installing EndNote on my primary Windows 10 computer tomorrow. I’m not entirely sure what options exist for using EndNote on my Chromebook. I started spending some time looking for options to make academic research possible on this Chromebook. To make that happen and avoid having to switch over to my Windows 10 computer will require figuring out how to manage citations and references on this Chromebook.

One of the things that I want to introduce into my daily blogging regime is a reference to the academic article of the day. That is party of my read an article a day plan for the rest of the year. A few quick and dangerous Google searches lead me down the path to getting an account with Mendeley. I got an account setup and started the download on the Mendeley application for Google Play. The software installed, but I’m not entire sure how it is going to help me manage citations and references on my Chromebook. Ok —- it looks like I need the Mendeley Web Importer plugin for Google Chrome. That should allow me to save articles that I stumble across online. I’m not entirely clear on how that turns them into citations, but I guess tonight is a night for learning about this process.

For some reason I ended up switching over to a product called zotero. It was really pretty easy to setup and attempt to use. You can see a reference that I imported a tonight below using Google Chrome on my Chromebook. It was pretty easy. The application had to be linked to the blog and I had to generate a shortcode to make the citation appear. That part of the whole thing I do no like. The short codes and display will pretty much require the plugin and the content to be available and working for the posts to live on and be ok for viewing years from now.

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

References:

Day 110 The one with a long flight back to Denver

Screenshot of Colab in flight

2018: Day 110 The one with a long flight back to Denver

Dear Reader,

This flight apparently has 3 hours and 18 minutes remaining. I’m not exactly sure if I can manage to write for 3 straight hours, but I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens. My Warren Zevon Radio station on Pandora is booted up in offline mode. We will see if Pandora as a company has tempted me to pay for their subscription service. Right now that 30 day trial is moving along and I have used the offline mode a few times including during a set of very long car rides this week. My Pixel 2 XL smartphone was paired to the car Bluetooth and Pandora just went about playing without chewing up my bandwidth. That seemed like a good use case for the service in offline mode. I’m not sure it will end up replacing my subscription to satellite radio in my car, but it could potentially replace the music portion.

My thoughts at the moment are pretty scattered. I’m ready for the weekend and a few moments of slower paced interactions with the world. Most of my efforts to study and confront the opioid crisis were focused on research and statistical modeling. A ton of research exists out in the wild about opioids. I’m starting to sketch out a book that can capture everything that I know and what tracks of research have promise. Some of that research effort is related to writing that article. I found a format template that seemed reasonable and a target publication platform has been targeted. The steps toward converting idea into reality are all going to have to fit in the next 30 days. I have time-boxed and limited my efforts on this paper to a very targeted window. That seems like the best way to approach things. A lot of the writing process will involve pulling together all the sourcing and reference articles necessary to bridge method and practice in a way that is very informed by the literature.

During the flight it looks like i can connect back out to my Colab instance of Tensorflow and work on a little bit of the magic during the flight. Maybe that means that I will write until I run out of words and then engage in a little bit of coding from about 30,004 feet in the air. That really is the beauty of being able to access a machine learning platform from a Google Chrome browser tab. All of that hardware and software is ready to go and it is even accessible during my flight. I got distracted and switched over to chewing through a guide called, “Overview of Colaboratory Features.” I’m connected to my Colab instance and running some items from the guide right now. Technology is capable of some surprising and amazing things. Deep learning on an airplane just brought me a little bit of joy mixed with a whole lot of amusement.

I’m out on Google Scholar right now reading articles from a search for “opioid prior authorization.” That type of open ended search is really just about going back to basics during this flight and casting a really wide net to see what I can learn and pull into my knowledge base for my literature review. During my analysis and paper writing efforts I have also started to sketch out a paper related to the methodologies deployed within published opioid crisis research. I’m thinking about a cross-sectional analysis of the methods at play and what which ones maybe are not getting a ton of usage by researches. I think that might be a good little methodology related side project.

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

Day 109 The one with some hesitation and not enough time

A photo of a salad

2018: Day 109 The one with some hesitation and not enough time

Dear Reader,

Today things just did not get going fast enough. Right now it is 2226 hours on the East coast and I’m just sitting down to hammer out a few words. I’m going to try to write here for like 15 minutes before going to sleep. All day things just felt like I did not have enough time to get things done. That happens. It is a weird feeling. Maybe it is the kind of feeling that slows you down and compounds the problem. Tomorrow should be a really interesting day. I’m really starting to dig into some new methodology questions related to deep learning models. Picking the right model is a really important part of conducting good research. The other day it had seemed liked a good idea to build a setup for conducting focus groups and targeted surveys. I’m not sure why setting up that type of business pulled in so much of my time and energy. It was one of those things where I pretty much sketched out the entire model and had things set up in my mind.

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

Day 108 the one where I had some snacks and thought about writing articles

2018: Day 108 the one where I had some snacks and thought about writing articles

Dear Reader,

The post for today is going to be on the shorter side. At the moment, I just do not have enough time and energy to produce a 3,000 word oppus devoted to writing academic papers. I’m really focused on my academic output. That is for sure. The last couple days have been devoted to thinking and writing. Most of that effort has been focused around writing an article titled, “Using Tensorflow to evaluate persistence at both edges and nodes within opioid prior authorization requests.” A lot of my time and effort this year are going to be devoted to figuring out ways to advance the currently available methods and models for fighting the opioid epidemic. Modifying deep learning models to help tackle the opioid crisis seems like a great way to spend my time. I realized this week that my writing efforts need to get more focused on both methods and the application of those methods. A ton of new research and models for breaking down very complex datasets exist. Some of those methods are really useful and interesting. Adapting those models has been occupying my focus.

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

Day 106 the one with a flight over Disney World

2018: Day 106 the one with a flight over Disney World

Dear Reader,

This flight is about to take off. It is going to be a long flight. The flight plan is to go directly from Denver to Orlando. If you remember your basic geography lessons of North America that is a pretty good hop, skip, and a jump across about half the United States. One of the more liberating things I have done in a some time is remove the word count from the top of the blog posts. Is that akin to admitting defeat. It probably really is akin to admitting defeat. Writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is totally possible. Writing 1,000,000 words on the blog in the same year might be a little bit more challenging than I had previously considered. By challenging I mean it is really hard and very time consuming. During the flight I’m going to be listening to the album Grinding Gears by Rabea Massaad. It is an extended play release that first came to my attention on YouTube and using the links at the bottom of that post I went out to Google Play Music and purchased the album in a digital form. It did not appear to be for sale in vinyl at this time. That pretty much meant digital was the way it was going to be for now.

The album contains 9 tracks and a has a release date during 2018. The entire thing is instrumental and does not include any audio clips or sampling of any kind. That makes it pretty ideal to write to in my humble opinion. After this album completed, then I’m going to queue up my Pandora application to run in offline mode. I still have some time left on my 30 day trial that includes 4 stations in offline mode. One of those stations happens to be my perennial favorite Warren Zevon Radio Pandora internet radio station. I’m pretty sure that is going to get some usage on this flight. For better or worse the next 3 hours of my time will be spent in this seat thinking and pondering life, the universe, and everything in between those two ideas. I’m sure somewhere in the middle of that I’ll spend just a few moments wondering about the intersection of technology and modernity.

We are about to take off on this journey. Things are moving along here. A certain amount of speed is just starting to build up and before you know it that speed on the ground will generate enough lift to send us along our way to Orlando, Florida. I’m wondering if when I finally get to my hotel a livestream might be possible tonight. I know it is technically possible, but the amount of energy required to host a livestream is sometimes more than is available. Today could end up being one of those days. Traveling this far sometimes takes it out of me. We will see how things end up. I brought my running shoes today could be the day that a little 10 kilometer run happens. Alternatively, it is also very possible that I will end up walking on a treadmill at the hotel. Getting outside and just running for the sake of running is not something that I have done in years. It has been a long time. Peppercorn the dog used to go on pretty long walks with me all over Colorado Springs. That was fun and exciting, but it has not happened in a long time. One of the best parts about a really long walk is just how much time you have to think as you take one more step along the journey.

Procrastination almost occurred a few moments ago. I tried to access the United private screening inflight entertainment options. All I managed to do was stare at a wonderful, “Additional software required,” message in the middle of the page. That is apparently not going to happen on this flight. It is probably a better option for me to sit and write during the flight. Sitting back and watching some type of nonsense on my Chromebook is probably not the best use of my time. Given that I’m not always the best decider of what my time should be spend on you can imagine that is a true declaration of intent. This flight is weirdly over lunch time and that is probably why I have been looking at the snack options. They have one with cheese and one with nuts apparently. The flight does appear to have a ton of turbulence today. I’m starting to think either flights these days are more and more turbulent or my tolerance for turbulence is decreasing. It could be possible that both arguments are in fact true.

On that series of Google searches just cost me like 10 minutes. It is amazing that I can sit here and surf the internet at 35,002 feet or 10,668 meters. Having access to wireless internet at this speed and height is rather amazing to begin with. I had meant to take a photograph of the airplane before everybody boarded, but that did not happen. Maybe I’ll be able to get a good photograph after we land. Right now the blog post has a theme and is loaded and scheduled, but no photograph has been added for the thumbnail just yet. Today we are going to fly over Disney World or near it or something. The captain of the airplane keeps talking about it. The folks up in the first class cabin got a real thorough briefing on the matter. I was sort of listening and handling a couple phone calls at the same time. I know that listening to two calls at the same time with one in each ear is not the best way to go about things. Most of the time when I am traveling people do not notice the duel calls unless I have to hold both phones at the same time and that makes it pretty obvious.

Somebody I’m sure somewhere has posted photographs making fun of my efforts to listen to multiple calls on the internet. That has to have happened by now. Ok —- I have set up a new challenge for myself in the next 30 days. Some of my current research on artificial intelligence is going to need to get collassed into a paper. I’m hoping to publish that paper on arXiv. That is going to require some effort. They have that platform gated with an endorsement requirement. I’m going to have to send somebody and email with the subject, “arXiv endorsement request from Nels Lindahl.” That is probably the harder part of the challenge here. Writing the actual paper is just going to be a matter of time and a small amount of effort. Figuring out how to get an endorsement is going to require a little bit more time and effort.

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