Day 32 the one where a new month started and my office got clean

2018: Day 32 the one where a new month started and my office got clean
Word count 84,161 + 3,341 or 87,502 of 1,000,000

Dear Reader,

I’m writing about 6 single spaced pages in Google Docs per day this year. That is exciting. Welcome to the first pages of February. I’m glad that you are here to enjoy the journey. My glasses are still missing, but hey I’m sure they will show up at some point.

I am getting emails and application alerts from Netflix today. For some reason the algorithms over at Netflix seem to think that I should be watching Cars 3 tonight. Yeah that last sentence presumes that the algorithms over at Netflix are capable of some degree of thinking or at least independent processing with some element of decision making built into the process. Sure that is probably a little premature in the life cycle of the algorithms that Netflix has built. General AI is probably a few years away and most of the specific use case AI efforts are very focused. This is an example of an area where I could see a combination of things being built out in concert. It is also possible that the algorithms are built to be adaptive and capable of organic expansion based on mutation. I’m sure they are in the aggregate built to make suggestions and improve success rates over time. Even a series of A vs. B tests working at a high enough volume testing a variety of theories could get us to a useful setup. Yeah I just lost about 20 minutes thinking about how I would work out movie picking algorithms. Sometimes I wonder what building out algorithms and doing data work would be like on a daily basis.

Today is another day where things started off slowly. I’m contemplating writing a short story tonight. Today might just be a night of venturing off into the world of being a fiction writer. Yeah —- I should have gotten up at 5:30 AM and written a sweet vignette. Instead I just wasted an hour or so and had some espresso. That new Nespresso Expert machine really does make some pretty decent coffee. I’m not 100% sold on the price of the pods. My first experience recycling pods worked out well enough. All that nonsense was enough to just help get me going. Getting into the groove of writing took a little bit of time tonight. Things are just getting going and it is 7:30 PM. that might just be a little late in the game to get going.

Ok things are just going to divert to fiction writing time. I’ll try to signpost it all. My first attempt at a short story did not go all that well. It was not natural and organic writing. It felt forced and uncertain. A good short story should take you along the way. You should not be trying to drag it to the finish line. That is a key indicator that you are working on a false start. That happens sometimes. Back when I used to write in notebooks it was not a very big deal to just tear up a page and move on. Things are easier to cross out and give up on when you are writing by hand on paper. Computers are supposed to make things easier and in a lot of ways they do achieve that goal. In some very important ways they change the dynamic between the writer and the page. They breakdown that hidden wall between the production of prose and the publication of prose.

Maybe tonight could be devoted to working on some foundational ideas about the nature of quality along the journey. The inquiry does appear to be the journey and the journey does appear to be inherently linked to the inquiry. This could be the night that things gear up for a chautauqua geared around the metaphysics of things related to this journey. We could dig into quality and value. That might be the right way to go. It might be easier than trying to force the production of a short story that does not really want to spring into existence. Every option for writing tonight is about talking this stream of consciousness in a different direction. It is about focus my attention on something meaningful and really digging into that topic. At some point this year I am going to write a series of missives that will make up the foundation of a spycraft thriller. That is probably going to happen sooner or latter. I would say that it is almost inevitable. Those short stories have to be inspired. They have to really pull a reader into a world that feels completely real and plausible. Those are the types of books I write.

It has been some time since i sat down and just devoted time to writing a book from start to finish. These blog posts if you have not figured out are written from start to finish. No real editing. No effort to censor or delete the previous sentence. If things feel like a false start, then I just call it out and try to do better. I broke that rule here during day 32 here and circled back up to the vignette section. I think it was worth it. A little bit of a short story is trailing this paragraph. I had to jump back in front of that block of prose and write a little bit of an introduction to help explain how all of this happened. That does not justify the poor quality of the following prose, but at least it acknowledges that the level of quality was not there for prime time.

False start 1: A poorly executed attempt to write a short story titled, “Weekend Recruitment a short story from the Robert Heart Series.”

Desert roads always give you time to think. Those long hall drives are the ones that spark the imagination. Walter has been making trips from California back to Colorado and all over the southwest for decades. They always give Walter the time to remember that we all want to belong to something big. Believing is a healthy part of what drives us forward. That is pretty much the premise of every approach for any recruitment that has happened in the last two decades. Things are getting more complex every day. Folks talked about the widing net of social control and that was no joke. At some point you will get to know Robert Heart and you will learn what being a real patriot is all about. That is a story for another time. This story of recruitment is about something different. It is about what Walter K. Wilburton does best. Bringing people into the fold takes a certain level of skill. It really does. Every recruitment has to work. That is the name of the game when you reach the level that Walter is at.

<<< This is the end of false start 1. >>>

I just was not feeling it and the prose suffered. That short story went sideways and pretty much crashed into the mountain of its own failure. Sometimes I guess it is just not the right time to sit down and try to write a short story. Maybe the process of producing 3,000 words per day has stolen some of my whimsy and imagination. Maybe constant production has sapped my creativity. It is also possible that I’m just a little bit tired and a good short story will show up at the exact time and place it is meant to show up and not a moment sooner or later. It could just be as a professional writer I’m not able to muster enough creativity to produce a short story on command. Reacting to the world around me and chasing down the things that catch my interest is a lot easier to write about on a daily basis than allowing a world to spring forth from a fountain of creativity.

Topic 2: Searching for a new router

Back in 2014 I purchased an ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 dual band gigabit router. It has worked well enough over the last few years, but it has started to go wonky. By wonky I mean it has to be reset and then it starts providing internet to the house again. You can imagine that is discouraging and at first made me thinking the security had been compromised. I do not believe that is the case. I think maybe it just got hot from sitting on top of my cable modem and stopped working 100%. It could have also gotten hot from a combination of the sun and the cable modem or something I guess. It is also possible that maybe the router just has not stood up to the test of time and it is starting to fail. I started looking at some new options to replace that router and they are very expensive. Routers seem to have gotten more expensive than I expected. Two of the models that I looked at today that seem to be really good devices were also about $400 and that alone was enough to make me want to factory reset my current router and hope for the best.

Topic 3: Updating my Fitbit Aria scale

Talk about devices that are challenging to update. I’m pretty good with technology and I gave up trying to get the Fitbit Aria scale to accept a new network. It could see them and I know the password was right, but it failed to connect to three of my home networks. In a last ditch effort to make it work I renamed one of my networks and reset the password to the combination I knew the scale had used before. Even that attempt failed miserably. I started search the Fitbit help forums for answers. I would like to track my weight on a daily basis, but my technology is not making that easy. The Fitbit support forums on the subject are just full of reports from sad and frustrated customers who cannot get the scale to connect. I may just give up on the device after one more attempt.

Topic 4: 1,500 words in and no title

Most of the time before reaching the halfway point these blog posts have a title. Today I’m considering calling this the blog post without a title. That is probably a bad idea. At one point, I gave up on giving my posts clever titles and just named them using a standard Year Month Day (YYYYMMDD) naming convention. That would make things easier, but it makes it really hard to sort things out in the end. Sometimes a title helps make things more focused and allows the reader to have some idea about what is about to happen. Not all of my titles are that useful really, but at least they provide some idea about the content of the posts. Throughout this journey I have been trying to make sure that each post is at least a window into something. A new chapter. A new story. At the very least, I have tried to make sure that each day is different to some degree. That is the spice of life that brings joy to the world around us. Striving forward in a variety of ways to experience different things.

Topic 5: Rounding out this blog post

You may have already guessed that last night I was just not feeling it. Today however things have returned to normal operations and I’m back at it at full enthusiasm for life, the universe, and well everything. It could be the wonderful lungo style espresso beverage from my Nespresso Expert or it could just be a nice of good sleep. Either way things are moving forward and progressing along today. Yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to listen to my Nirvana Unplugged vinyl record today. That recording is one of my favorite albums to hear from start to finish. I started looking for a copy on DVD from eBay. Maybe buying up concert films of bands that I enjoy could be fun. It only looks like a few Nirvana DVDs are out and about on the open secondary market. It really does seem like I have doubled down on buying up physical media. From my vinyl record collection to all my DVD and Blu-ray purchases. My stockpile of physical media just keeps growing.

That is probably just foreshadowing of the size of my future collections. Just thinking about my sports trading card collection alone the amount of space it takes up just grows from year to year. The last time I sold a ton of my sports trading cards was before I got married. That was a long time ago in what seems like a very far away land. Well I guess it was not all that far away it was up in Boulder, Colorado. That is about 15 minutes up the road from where I am at now. We lived right next to the post office and selling trading cards was pretty easy at the time. Cards sold on eBay and I packaged them up and walked next door to mail them that same day. It usually was a process that happened in batches. Most of my eBay listings were all done pretty close together. That meant the auctions ended at about the same time. A lot of people paid right after the auction ended. Some folks did did not pay very quickly.

It is snowing right now in Denver. It is a thing very light snow that is sticking to the road and is just sort of applying a dusting to things. I’m curious to see how much snow we end up getting. This week I did manage to venture out and buy some kind of pet safe not salt product that can breakdown ice on the driveway. That is an important part of keeping the household up and running. Google local weather seems to indicate that snow might just be happening until about noon and then things will clear up. I’m ready. I have some Nirvana booted up and I am ready for the day. Maybe two more shots of espresso would help, but at the moment I’m ready for the day.

Topic 6: An update on cleaning my office.

Yesterday one of the three bookshelves in my office got picked up. Some stuff did shift from that one bookshelf to another one. That means that the last two shelves will be harder to clean than the first two shelves. The whole process of getting things picked up and removing the clutter has been a challenge. I need to finish cleaning up the 2nd shelf today or you just might see that mess during my triumphant return to YouTube today. My plan is to turn off the NiceHash miner software during the live stream and just jump back into mining cryptocurrency after the broadcast ends. Building a second computer will allow me to remote into one box and show some live mining during my YouTube broadcasts. It will also let me dig in and show you some more complex Tensorflow and other deep learning screens.

The second bookshelf is really not all that dirty and it is really just a matter of cleaning up some clutter and organizing the books a little bit better. This blog post finally got a title, “Day 32 the one where a new month started and my office got clean.”

Topic 7: Cable management

You may have been wondering how long it would take me to clean up and manage the cables under my desk. Yesterday I crawled under my Studio RTA executive glass desk and zip tied all the cables together up and away from sight. That is working out pretty well given that Captain Pickles the dog is now sitting under my desk. Now that things are cleaned up our 8 month old puppy just wants to sit and look out the window all day. That is fine. Nothing really happens in our neighborhood. Sometimes the squirrel the dogs are at war with runs by the window and a bark-storm occurs. My new cable management has helped remove clutter and get things in order within my office. At the same time, that change has opened the door to some extra puppy driven wildness.

Topic 8: Today’s thumbnail

Yesterday I called an audible and replaced a photo of my Google Nexus 9 tablet with a photograph of my new Fitbit Iconic fitness watch. That was a good change and I stand by that decision to bring in a more relevant thumbnail for the blog post. Today however I have elected to use that photograph. I tried to grab a photograph of the snow outside and so far it is not very compelling. That fact has been taken into consideration and today will be the day that you get to enjoy this Nexus 9 photograph. It is now an end of life technology that may not get to be the center of attention again.

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

P.S. You may have noticed that the end of the blog post has changed a little bit. I have removed the upcoming topics list from the daily post. It was just adding an offset to the daily word count and it was not something that was being used a ton. That pretty much meant that it had to go. I’ll try to keep the list in a running topic list in a separate document. It may be something that I keep in a notebook. Writing the topics down by hand just might help them become more meaningful for me. Something needed to change. Those topics were supposed to inspire me and help me push forward entire blog posts. That just was not happening. My writing routine was not sparked by a featured topic or even a theme. Each new day just began the process of muddling through from start to finish. At the moment, I’m leaning toward a framework where any topic that bubbles up gets tackled real time instead of getting added to a list for future consideration.

On the brighter side of things the copy and paste function is still working and working well. That has saved me countless minutes each day. For some reason I am still writing in Google Docs and pasting into my blog post. The squirrel just ran by my office window and Captain Pickles missed it. It is snowing and very cold outside. I guess it is just one of those days. Here in just a few moments I’m going to go make two shots of espresso and start the day. This morning writing session was required to fill in some word count from yesterday. I have to stop going to bed without finishing my writing for the day. I’m basically tracking at about 1,000 words behind schedule each day. That means I’m going to sleep knowing that I’m going to have to get up and write frantically in the morning to catch up before the day starts. Without question that is not the best strategy to take to move things forward on a daily basis. My morning writing session should offset the daily word count and help kickstart things to make my nightly writing session more manageable.

This last paragraph here today is being written to stretch out my word count to more than 3,317 words for the day. Getting to that word count will help me catch back up to my daily writing target. Welcome to February the month tagged with an extra goal to make up for certain writing goal deficines in January. It could be worse I guess. The journey toward writing 1,000,000 words in the same year will truly test my resolve, dedication, and persistence. Today we are rounding out to just a little bit above that word count and we removed the upcoming topics section. That means that today happened. Was completed within target and is now complete.

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