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

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

Dear Reader,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topic 1: Cut and paste is still making me sad

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

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

Topic 2: Espresso thoughts

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

Topic 3: Top Chef Denver

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

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

Topic 4: Some editing needs to happen at some point

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topic 5: Some thoughts on the band Dream Theater

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

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

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

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

Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:

— Recap of all the video camera equipment I have owned
— All the promise and failures of my first Sony camcorder
— That one with a roadtrip to Florida
— Applied AI: A use case based exploration
— My ode to minor league hockey
— Progress within general AI vs. specialized use cases
— My review of the ASUS C101P Chromebook
— On leadership and the modern workplace
— The best way to archive digital content

Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.

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