2018: Day 38 the one without a ton of market coverage
Word count 103,811 + 3,002 or 106,813 of 1,000,000
Both the dow jones industrial average and bitcoin seemed to do better today. You can be thankful that I’m not going to spend the next 3,000 words writing about how inflationary pressures, bond market stress, and overvalued commercial real estate could be enough to trigger several thousand points in market correction. Economic considerations aside. This is not a market driven functional journal. My words are always a reflection of the things that draw in my attention and at the moment that is not a detailed macro economic analysis of inflationary effects on the market. Maybe if it was related to the cryptocurrency market I would cover it in detail.
Today should have been a big adventure. It was going to be one of those days where things work out well enough. Tonight the TCU Horn Frogs are going to play the University of Kansas Jayhawks on ESPN2. You may have already considered that my plan to give up cable television might be interfering with my ability to watch that game. Nobody is giving me the option to pay to watch the game ondemand live via an À la carte streaming service. That option does not exist. At least I’m pretty sure that option does not exist. On option did jump out at me and that happens to be a very interesting one. YouTube TV was offering a 7 day free trial that includes ESPN2. You can imagine that it only took a couple of clicks to make that happen.
Right now ESPN2 is streaming to my Sony Bravia television via a Chromecast Ultra device. It had some trouble streaming to my generation 1 Chromecast. Oddly enough that television has two Chromecast devices attached. That original generation 1 Chromecast and the 4K capable Chromecast Ultra device. Yeah I know my television is not capable of displaying 4K content, but I had plugged it into my 4K computer monitor. At the time I had thought it was a good idea to try to do some multiple content source picture in picture type display work. I gave up on that after about one day. It just did not work the way it was pictured in my mind. It didn’t really work out well at all. That meant one thing had to happen. Instead of wasting the new device and just putting it on the shelf it became my backup Sony Bravia Chromecast. When for some reason one of them is having trouble I flip over to the other one. That happens from time to time. I have no idea why or how it does, but Chromecasts devices tend to give me trouble right when i need them to work.
Topic 1: Kansas vs. TCU
We are sitting down to watch the University of Kansas Jayhawks play some basketball against the TCU Horn Frogs. I’m hoping this game will be better than the last game. Coach Bill Self has had a lot of work to do this year. This year is a year that is really going to come down to coaching and the quality of point guard play in the tournaments. The game seems to be streaming well enough. YouTube TV really does deliver ESPN2 via Chromecast to my Sony Bravia. The wireless internet connection the Chromecast Ultra does hold up well enough. I have never tried to stream 4K content on it using wireless, but it works just fine with regular old high definition content. We will see if I end up keeping the YouTube TV service after the 7 day free trial. It does look like the Jayhawks have 6 more games on the ESPN family of networks this year. That probably means paying for either YouTube TV or maybe Hulu Live TV for about 30 days. It looks like I need access to the ESPN family of networks until March 3, 2018. We used to be able to go out to a restaurant and watch the game, but with two kids trying to hang out at a restaurant for 2 hours seems like an impossible dream. They have a hard time sitting still for 45 minutes during a regular dinner vs. a 2 hour basketball game.
You might be wondering if it is really necessary to watch every University of Kansas basketball game. If you have not figured out by now, then you may have missed something. Our entire schedule is planned around being able to watch these basketball games. That has been the case for years. It is probably not something that is likely to change. It is really the only strong use case we have for cable television. Live sports are really the last thing you cannot stream online with ease. It does appear that even the new offering of ESPN Plus that will be coming out soon won’t give me access to the primetime games on the base ESPN family of networks. I guess that must be the one thing traditional broadcast media is not willing to give up. I gave up on cable television and it reduced my overall bill by almost $150 per month. YouTube TV and some of these other streaming services are not all that expensive, but they still do not let me just pay for the one channel or game that I want to watch.
I’m sitting here writing and watching the Coinbase dashboard. It has been a wild month for bitcoin and the Coinbase dashboard shows the values 24/7. Bitcoin trades like a currency and it trades all day every day. That means the value when you went to sleep and when you wake up are not going to be the same. Something has to give. Something will probably change. Stocks are based on the market they trade in. Other than gaining or losing momentum outside of trading hours the stock price when it opened will be generally what it opens at on the market. Sometimes the momentum on a stock will change overnight and it will radically jump up or down at the opening bell, but that shift will happen at the bell. That makes cryptocurrency a very interesting case study. It has a real follow the fun cycle where people are buying and selling it at all times.
Kaylee is almost asleep. Some yawns and a little bit of babbling are the key indicators that sleep is quickly approaching. Based on what I can hear from the game downstairs it does not appear that things are going all that well 10 minutes into the first half. I am about to venture downstairs and watch the game. I need to drink a bunch of water tonight. My water consumption for the day is behind schedule. My Fitbit data is also suggesting that today did not involve enough steps. Sitting down and watching this game is not really going to help either. I should Chromecast the game on in front of my treadmill and walk a couple miles during the game. My walking desk has not really made an appearance during my journey to write 1,000,000 words this year. Maybe it should be more prominently featured.
TCU players are having a lights out 3 point shooting night. The clock is ticking down to halftime and things are not looking all that promising. Oh they were going for the 2 for 1 at the end of the half and that first possession did not go all that well. That first half of the game gave me heartburn, but the Jayhawks are only down by 2 points. Coach Bill Self has a little bit of work to do at halftime to get the team ready to win the second half.
Topic 2: Graphics cards
I really thought the market for graphics cards would be getting weaker today. A few quick eBay searches for NVIDIA GTX 1080 do not appear to be showing softness in the market. I will admit to spending a couple minutes thinking about the newly released NVIDIA Titan V graphics card that is on sale now for the exalted price of $2,999.00 on the NVIDIA website. Don’t worry they limit people to only buying 2 at a time. It looks like an amazing piece of technology. At some point that Volta technology will get applied to the whole line of graphics cards. It is more likely that a soft mining market would make some GTX 1080 cards available to me compared to getting one of those amazing Titan V cards. It would be fun to try to train some deep learning models on that new Titan V card.
My last trip to Best Buy on Saturday did include a trip to the area of the store where they sell NVIDIA graphics cards. It was completely empty. That is the really how things seem to be everywhere. Graphics cards are in short supply these days. My NiceHash Miner software is mining at about $3 per day. That is between two GTX 1060 graphics cards that are running at about 80% power. My cards will be mining for at least 64 more days. At some point my new power supply is going to show up and I’m going to try out some mining on that system. It may be a Ubuntu Studio based system. I have never tried to mine using Ubuntu and it seems like that would be a fun thing to get setup and try out. All of that fun will happen after my power supply arrives. It is on backorder. I pretty much check every day to see if it is switches from backorder to preparing shipment.
This second half has been full of opportunities so far. That dunk from Udoka with about 16 minutes left was intense. Ok that one that followed on the next position was also pretty intense. My writing efforts tonight seem to be going well enough. Yesterday I just fell asleep and did not close out my writing assignment for the day. This is Day 38 and we are just moving along toward 1,000,000 words. The Jayhawks will have had an off season and will return before this writing journey is over. Even the thought of writing 3,000 words per day for the next 300 or so days is daunting. It is a very intense proposition. This year’s Jayhawk team seems to really love shooting beyond the arch. That just appears to be the way basketball is trending.
Tonight I’m sitting and writing in the family room. That probably means that it is highly unlikely that I will fall asleep during the basketball game. I guess that means that my writing productivity needs to increase a little bit here so I can close out before going back upstairs.
Topic 3: Audiobook fun
The game is almost over. Tonight I’m going to listen to just a few minutes of my Google Play Books audiobook. This version of Dune (1965) is read really well. The folks doing the voicing are really locked in and doing a good job. Given that this is well over 20 hours of reading that is pretty decent. The last book I listened to on audiobook was an authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. That book came out in 2011 and I got the audiobook from Audible. It may still be in my library. Maybe tomorrow I will check to see if that application is installed on my Android phone. It is entirely possible that the application may still have my Steve Jobs biography available for download. That was a pretty decent book. I might listen to the first half of it again. That part was written very well.
Topic 4: Reading old blog posts
Early this morning I got pulled into the world of 2003. Maybe going back and reading some of words from the close of out of 2003 was unwise. That has never really stopped me from extreme self reflection. In this case it is just hard to imagine that those words were written about 15 years ago. It seems like so much time has passed. Reading those words is almost like reading about somebody else. It is a familiar story and one that I know, but the words feel different with so much time removed. Strangely enough the entire internet world from back in 2003 is backed up on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. That thing can eat up hours of my day. It is such a blast from the past to read things from that ecosystem. It is a snapshot of a world that was just coming together and in some ways about to break apart.
I’m going to do some retrospective posts on the blogs that used to capture my attention. It is hard to believe that all of that blogging was captured and stored for future generations. I’m not entirely sure what use it has, but it is interesting to see how much things have changed. Obviously, I’m still writing and still blogging, but it is different now. The level of engagement is much lower. I know some folks still have lively and engaged audiences.
Topic 5: The new TiVo arrived today
My usual FedEx driver dropped off a small box with a refurbished TiVo in it. According to the email and parts list it was the, “Bundle, TiVo Roamio OTA with AIP service TiVo-Renewed Roamio OTA 1T w/accessories.” That is exciting right. They were sold out of the non-factory renewed version. It looks great like a brand new device. If nobody had said it was factory refurbished, then I would have never known the difference. The box was covered in a thin plastic film. I got the box out and plugged it into the HDMI that is daisy chained to my Xbox One S. My Xbox One S has one of those fans that just keeps getting louder. I am literally considering pulling a noise canceling foam block on the cabinet ceiling over the unit. It would have a 2 inch gap and not be touching it, but the noise cancelling might stop the horrible pop/catching noise that the fan makes. Microsoft quality control personal owe me a series apology for bringing this noisy beast into my life.
The remote is kind of clunky and larger than it should be. I want to order another remote that either has voice recognition or the fold out keyboard. Those readers that have been here for a long time know that I have a remote with a keyboard and it is somewhere in one of my coard boxes. It is probably in the basement and it has not been unpacked since the last time we moved. Given the price of the remotes it would probably be a good idea to try to find the missing one before giving in and buying a new one. Setup took about 30 minute and I remember just how slow the TiVo boxes are. I’m comparing them to my laptop or desktop computer. If my Storm Stryker box with an i7 processor even slows down a touch I get annoyed. You can imagine how surfing on the TiVo one letter at a time for usernames and passwords made me feel. I’ll try to provide a full review of the TiVo tomorrow.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. My writing progress has been getting slower and slower each day. Getting to 3,000 words seems to be getting harder and harder to achieve. I’m sure that is a function of having written about just about everything that caught my attention. You really have to have strong opinions about things to spend hours a day writing about them. I’m a passionate person and writing about technology has always inspired me, but sometimes the topic is just lacking the fuel and the spark. Today the dogs wanted to lay in the other room. They normally just stay in my office all day. I’m not sure exactly why they wanted to nap in the family room, but I’m sure it has something to do with sunbathing.
I spun up an album from Warren Zevon today. That album was pressed back in 1980. The album “Bad luck streak in dancing school” was in a tattered and used sleeve/cover. It shows some wear and tear. The vinyl record inside is actually in remarkably good shape. That is the real difference between all of my CDs and my vinyl record collection. None of my CDs are in that good of a condition. They have lived in binders and other containers. None of them stayed in the jewel cases they came in. My CD management was a nightmare. I should have done a better job of just taking care of them. Now I know better and my vinyl records arrive and are put in polypropylene sleeves and put on my bookshelf. They are stored in an autobiographical order based on when they were purchased. That is easy enough to do with a smaller record collection. I think my record collection has probably grown to about 30 vinyl records.
Closing out the day today has been interesting. I have been writing and writing this year. It is all about the process of sitting down and pounding keys to produce prose. Today getting to that 3,000 word threshold took a little bit more energy. Maybe I should have just written about economics and the markets. That would have created a lot more controversy out their in the world. My theory of economics is probably not ready for prime time. The last time I tried to model a real time view of the economy using sampling and data feeds was not all that successful. I know how to model and measure sentiment, but translating those indicators into a real time view of the economy was illusive at the time. Maybe my skills are better now and i should give it another shot. We will see how that goes. I always love a good Perl scripting challenge. Those are my favorite server side problems to solve.
This last sentence is going to push us over the 3,000 word barrier for the day. Well —- this last one will.