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

Day 91 the one with Easter Sunday

2018: Day 91 the one with Easter Sunday
Word count 180,605 + 1,426 or 180,605 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

Well today was a wild day. It was a day with an early morning visit to Church and a brunch. For me Easter Sunday is a brunch-worthy occasion. For those of you who know me well. You are already well aware of my aversion to bunch time meals. Dinner time meals provide at least some hope of interesting conversation. I’m not a fan of breakfast food or the small talk that goes with brunch. To that end my engaging in or attending brunch is highly limited. Maybe it was a bit of daydreaming, but I had thought about writing some short stories today. Earlier today that idea was at the forefront of my thoughts. The idea to sit down and hammer out some pages of a short story is always on my mind. The need to write drives a lot of my actions. The folks over at Barnes and Noble shipped my books. They will arrive here next week. That should be exciting and it will be a good excuse to read Being and Nothingness again. It has been some time since that book by Sartre has been my primary focus. That is the funny thing about reading a book it can bring a variety of worlds into the frame of your primary focus for consideration.

This is what I am considering at the moment… Apparently, the Easter bunny did not bring me any candy this year. We did make a trip to our local Walmart to get buy some 4K Blu-ray discs. I purchased the Thor: Ragnarok 4K package which includes a digital copy, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, and Blu-ray disc. Apparently, the disc I thought was a 4K Blu-ray is actually a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. They added some words to that one. Either way it works out just fine. All of my physical media purchases of movies this year have been geared toward getting both the 4K and HD versions of the movie. Given my current bandwidth restrictions based on arbitrary and capricious internet data caps from the cable company it would be unrealistic to think I can stream a ton of 4K movies. Seriously, why must all of my data have some type of cap. Putting together terrible plans with data caps cannot possibly be helping things.

I had been thinking about getting one of the Next video doorbells, but the constant 2 megabyte per second upload to the cloud connection would decimate my bandwidth limit. It seems like as the internet gets more things the demands on bandwidth will only increase over time. My plan does not even afford me the option to buy more bandwidth. I’m at the wall of what is possible with my current provider. Nothing more is really possible via my current modem. Sure I could upgrade to a 1 gigabyte connection, but that would just allow me to exceed my bandwidth allotment at a faster rate. I’m not sure it would really get me anything at this point. That is a good enough reason to avoid switching out services.

I’m considering upping my Soylent consumption for the next 7 days and shifting 66% of all my meals to a pure Soylent diet. That seems like a good thing to adopt here now that 3 months from this year are in the history books. I have two more cases of the coffee flavored Soylent in the garage. That should allow me to make this dietary change without any barriers. My Pandora internet radio station is doing a pretty good job at the moment of playing the right songs at the right time. It seems like buying the Google Home Max might just be the right option for my music needs. It would be much cheaper to just pick up a Google Home and move on, but the sound quality of the Google Home Max seems to be a much better option. I have spent some time looking at Audioengine options and some other wireless speaker products. I’m not sure what direction things are going to end up going, but I’ll figure it out here shortly.

Topic 1: Mixing things up with my computer builds

Tomorrow may just be the day that I start to mix things up with my computer builds. I quick search on eBay showed a few options for NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics cards. I tagged on the phrase founders edition to that search and a few options jumped out. At some point, I was thinking that the number of GTX 1060 graphics cards for sale on eBay would increase rapidly. That is something that is still impending. It will probably happen at some point this year. Sure the release of the next generation of NVIDIA graphics cards will probably help fuel that sell off. Tomorrow I’m considering pulling both of my GTX 1060 graphics cards out of my Storm Stryker case and dropping them over into the Corsair Air 740 case. I’m still really displeased with the amount of sound those new WD 5200 RPM drives are producing, but it is possible the graphics card fan noise will make that seem less extreme.

Topic 2: Wondering about vinyl records

This week may just be the week that I make it to a vinyl record store in my area. It looks like Denver has a few of them. My journey to buy more products local is working out swimmingly. Travel times are up and hunting things down is very real consideration. I started wondering why no application exists to just figure out how to hunt things down. You think a service for finding where to buy things in your area would be easy enough to build out. You can search the internet to find a store or to locate something. None of that will help you see the inventory or verify that the thing you want to locate is actually sold by that store. Part of the reason online sales have increased at such a rapid rate is probably related to the convenience and the specificity involved. You can pretty quickly drill down to the right product and buy it. Sure that is something that I want to work around. First, every purchase needs to be something that I want to buy and should purchase, Second, figuring out how to support businesses with at least a local presence benefits me and my community. Third, I have a bunch of other reasons, but I’m not going to write them out and make you read them today. I’ll save that for a later adventure.

Buying physical media like records or even buying 4K Blu-ray discs is about owning the content. That comes with some very real benefits. I could sell it again or give it to somebody. Digital rights to a file or even having a digital file opens up all sorts of interesting considerations. My entire online music collection is not permanent. Now I fully recognize that my vinyl record collection or my physical media movies are not permanent either. They do have a much longer potential shelf life. Sure my collection of HD DVD discs is now for sale on eBay. I totally guessed wrong on that one. Strangely enough I still think the HD DVD format was superior, but it did not win out. It probably would have made more sense to get rid of all my HD DVD discs years ago. For some reason that just did not happen. They have been with me on several moves and for several years. Somebody might very well buy them next week. We will see how that goes. You can buy one on eBay apparently. Somewhere in the basement we have one I think in a box that probably has not been opened since we moved to this hours. I’m assuming it still works.

It looks like you can buy one of these HD DVD players for sale at under $50 and you can get a ton of movies pretty cheap in bulk lots. Maybe that explains the market for them. It is some type of lingering secondary market based on pricing and availability. I’m sure the movies still look pretty good and you could get the television to upscale the signal. It is an interesting example of market conditions after a product has become end of life. I’m sure an academic paper or some type of research is hiding within that use case.

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

Day 90 the one where the Jayhawks were in San Antonio

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

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

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

Day 89 the one with some Last Dab hot sauce

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

Topic 1: Buying some N scale model trains

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

Topic 2: Deploying my graphics cards

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

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

Topic 3: The TensorFlow Dev Summit

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

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

Day 88 the one with some reflection on picking direction

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topic 2: Some new Hot Ones hot sauce

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

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

Day 87 the one where I lost a YouTube subscriber

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

Topic 1: My new hard drives are so noisy

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

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

Topic 2: Parts have been ordered

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

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

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

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

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

Day 86 the one where I wondered about graphics cards

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

Topic 1: The flawed nature of how we consume news

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

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

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

Topic 2: My thumbnail choice for today

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

Topic 3: Internet caps for cable modems are ridiculous

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

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

Day 85 the one with a trip to Micro Center

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

Topic 1: Caboose the Denver train store

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

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

Day 84 the one where my fantasy baseball draft happened

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

Dear Reader,

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

Topic 1: My fantasy baseball draft and some Jayhawks basketball

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

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

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

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

Topic 2: The Jayhawks in the final four

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

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