2018: Day 7 of 365 writing 3,000 words per day
Word count 16,843 of 1,000,000
I went back through my week of epic writing weblog posts and added an opening to each day. The last seven days have been epic. Now that you have been able to enjoy a solid week of lengthy weblog posts I am sure that you are ready to truly enjoy 2018. That new weblog post opening sequence includes the day of the challenge and an approximate word count. At some point along the journey to 1,000,000 words written in 2018 I’m going to figure out or write an automated plugin that counts the words for me. That seems like a good use of my coding skills. Maybe some type of writing plug exists that will show daily writing statistics or something that effect. I’m sure some other writers are looking for daily writing statistics within their weblogs.
Today was the day I finally opened up and played my 25th anniversary edition 180 gram vinyl pressing of R.E.M.’s album Out of Time. Throughout all of my efforts to update my posts with interesting statistics about my journey the album Out of TIme was playing. For those of you who may not be aware I picked up an audio-technica AT-LP60 stereo turntable that connects to my Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speakers. That configuration has worked well enough for listening to music for the last few years. Sure better turntables exist these days. The number of really awesome and epic models has exploded recently. This one works well enough for my needs. At some point I might upgrade, but that is probably going to happen any time soon.
My Audioengine A5+ speakers have been great. They provide audio with a clearly defined right channel and a clearly defined left channel. Most of my records were recorded with just two channels in mind. Some folks call that stereo. To that end it seemed like a good idea to setup my office sound system with just two desktop speakers that were ready to bring audio joy to my life. At one point that was a continuous playlist from my Warren Zevon seeded Pandora station, but lately it has been a mix of full digital album plays and vinyl records.
Topic 1: Today’s scenic thumbnail image
Those algorithms over at the Google Photos server made a stylized black and white photo from one of the downtown San Antonio photos I took. That photo seemed decent enough and was chosen as the thumbnail for the weblog post today. One of the real challenges hidden within my march toward writing 3,000 words per day is picking good featured images for my weblog post and social media thumbnail. Taking a really good photo that captures the essence of each day is going to be a serious challenge. Years ago my random photo taking skills were nearing epic proportions. They were really good. These days I just don’t manage to pull my phone out and snap random photographs in the same ways. Briefly the idea of using a selfie each day crossed my mind, but that however was quickly rejected.
Topic 2: keeping up with 3,000 words per day on the weblog is hard
Please keep in mind that I write way more than 3,000 words per day. Between Microsoft Office products, emails, chat sessions, and random social media posts my output far exceeds my 3,000 words per day target. Those words however will never grace my weblog screen. That means that keeping with a true 3,000 words per day in a weblog publishable format is going to be hard. My overall goal is to focus on writing 1,000,000 words on this weblog in the same year. That year being 2018. The daily target to help me achieve that 2018 goal is 3,000 words per day.
I watched yet another Andertons Music Company YouTube video. This one happened to be titled, “Blackstar 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Amps.” That probably slowed down my word output for the day by just a little bit. Certainly that has to wholesale be Rob’s fault. Writing on my main computer is a little bit different. I’m using a 34 inch monitor with my word processor on the right half and the aforementioned YouTube video playing on the left half of the monitor. You may be wondering how the audio is getting from the computer to my Audioengine A5+ speakers. That digital to analog conversion is happening via an Audioengine D1 24-bit DAC/Headphone AMP. Seriously, I never thought a digital to analog converter would make a difference, but it does. At some point when inspiration strikes I will try to provide a more articulate full throated explanation of D1, but today is not that day.
Topic 3: A Kansas City Chiefs home playoff game
Today is the day Kansas City will be hosting a home playoff game. This year I got to attend a home Kansas City Chiefs game. The Kansas City Chiefs played the Miami Dolphins. It was cold. Arrowhead stadium was pretty much the same place I remember visiting as a kid. Kansas City really does have a great setup for driving to games and parking with relative ease. Going to a game in Denver is a lot wilder proposition. Parking is harder and you cannot really see the same type of tailgating that you see in Kansas City.
Today should be a very interesting. We will be making nachos. Based on some nachos I got in San Antonio. They had an interesting mix of toppings including chips, a cheese sauce, some type of microgreens, sliced black olives, sall avocado pieces, pickled jalapeno slices, very thin fresh radish slices, and slices of cherry tomatoes. Today I will be making the same type of nachos during the Kansas City Chiefs game. Maybe I will compare my nachos to the photo taken of my San Antonio nachos. That sounds like a brilliant case for a side by side comparison.
This morning involved some housekeeping. Dry cleaning was picked up. Christmas lights were taken down. At some point, I’m going to take down the Christmas tree. Taking the tree down is pretty easy and should probably happen before we watch the Chiefs game today. The tree disembles into about 5 pieces. They fit into this very large bag. Seriously, the bag is pretty heavy. Next year we may switch back to a live tree.
The game is about to start. Most of the professional pundits seem to think Kansas City has good shot at defeating the Tennessee TItans. I’m getting ready to watch the game eat some nachos.
Topic 4: Gearing up to take action
The Christmas tree has been taken down. I believe it is a General Electric pre-lit Christmas tree from Costco. It was heavy. All of the pieces have been taken apart and are in a giant red bag. That bag is now in the basement. That tree will probably spend the majority of the year in the giant red bag in the basement. You will at some point be able to look at the book end weblog posts that describe putting up the tree and taking down the tree. We will be able to see if putting up the tree is more exciting than taking it down. That is probably the case, but I seem to be blocking out how the tree got up the stairs last year.
It was a process to gear up to take down the tree. That process involved eating lunch and storing up just enough motivation to jump in and take care of the tree. Getting to that point was not very easy. I had to gear up to taking action. Staying positive is very important. Staying real time and keeping things off the to do list is very important. That is why having to gear up to take action was so much troubling.
My outlook on things is firmly grounded in the idea of staying positive. Enjoying life and having fun is about staying positive and having fun. That might sound simple enough to read, but it is also pretty simple to say. It remains a little bit harder to think about. Staying positive and keeping a positive outlook might take a little bit of effort at first. After some time you might just find that staying positive will transition into just being positive.
Topic 5: Hope and the NFL playoffs
Unlike some folks I’m not mad at the NFL this year. Like most Kansas City Chiefs fans I am hopeful that they will do well in the playoffs. That slump in the middle of the year did not inspire confidence in the team, but every playoff game is a chance to move on. A home game is an even better shot at moving on in the playoffs. I’m still surprised that Andy Reid asked the fans to stop tailgating a little bit early and ensure the stadium was full at kick off. It does appear that they gave out some type of towel to the fans for the game. My new Xbox One S support 4K, but my TV and my cable provider do not support 4K broadcast content. Apparently, my cable provider has some limited content on a Television based application that only runs on Samsung and maybe a few LG televisions. They call it the Ultra HD Sampler App. To me it is just a pile of disappointment.
Let’s consider for a moment the primary use cases for how people will consume 4K content. First, people are buying 4K televisions. They were all over the seasonal holiday advertisements and I personally witnessed them flying off the shelves at Costco this year. Second, people are starting to get smartphones, tablets, and other devices that support very high resolutions. Third, a number of folks have desktop computers capable of displaying 4K content. None of those use cases have been enough to motivate the cable company to start delivering 4K content in a meaningful way. I see a number of advertisements about satellite based 4K channel delivery.
We are more likely to go internet only than to subscribe to satellite television again. We cut the cord and went internet only for several years. That was fine. We had a TiVo and it recorded over the air content. I’m sure TiVo has gotten much better at being a content hub since my cord cutting days. A quick search of my weblog told me that the last time I mentioned TiVo was 2012. It looks the first references happened during 2011. I may do some searches on my collective works to see if anything shows up. To the best of my recollection we liked having TiVo. It worked pretty well and I remember liking it.
It does appear that my TiVo box is still in the basement hanging out in a box. Maybe at some point I’ll bring it upstairs and get it plugged in. I’m sure the modern boxes are much better, but it would be interesting to see what is still saved on it. It would be like a digital time capasle of pure nonsense.
Topic 6: Taking the time to edit all these posts
Writing and producing prose has been my primary goal this week. Taking the time to read through my posts and edit them as not been my primary focus. Now that I’m sitting here watching the Kansas City Chiefs and reflecting on things that stood out to me. Sometimes sitting down and watching a good game can help me focus. Nothing helps clear my mind like two hours of focusing in and out of an NFL game. It has been a long time since watching a game without interruption from start to finish was an option. That pretty much extends to all of my time these days. I can break out a few hour and half hour blocks.
Editing something takes a little bit of perspective. That normally starts to develop several hours after writing something. Writing and editing the same prose in on session is problematic. Sometimes that same sentence with a grammatical error will seem ok during the same writing session, but the next day I could correct it. Right now my writing efforts have yielded about 15,441 words so far. That is actually a little bit behind schedule. Seven days at 3,000 words per day would equal out to 21,000 words. You may have deduced that I need to have a little 5,559 word burp of productivity to catch up here today for the week. That may require picking a topic that inspired a little writing passion and going with it.
Topic 7: Just going with it — My thoughts on getting an education
I’m sitting here trying to figure what what topic could anchor this week with a 5,000 word explosion of productivity. Those couple days of allergies in Texas did slow me down just a little bit. This will be a good lesson for the rest of the year. It is better to keep up with the 3,000 word writing goal each day vs. having to work really hard to catch up. Based on my list of writing topics that has been appended to the bottom of each post now would be the time to write about my thoughts on higher education.
My thoughts on getting an education
Trying to give somebody feedback on getting an education is a tricky topic to tackle. My honest thoughts on education are that you get out of it what you put into it. That might sound simplistic, but it is really my attempt at sharing an absolute truth. Say for example that you take an introduction to public administration class. That class is either going to use a textbook or have a guided journey through a syllabus full of classic citations. Either way you are going to have a chance to absorb a lot of information and learn about the field of public administration. Somebody who attends all the lecture and skims the reading materials will probably move through the course like most of the students in any college course. Somebody who does not attend any of the lectures, but takes the time to really read and understand every word of the source materials will probably have a rock solid command of the material.
That is basically how learning works. You get out of it what you put into it. Some folks will get a college education and will go on to a career. They might look back and thing that they could have gotten more out of certain classes or they could have gotten more out of the experience. I did not really start taking my classes seriously until graduate school. You might have read that last sentence and frowned. As a truly reflective practitioner I spend time thinking about what could have been done better. That is always a great question. You don’t want to spend all your time second guessing or breaking things down, but it is healthy to spend a certain amount of time thinking that way. I could have absorbed a lot more information during my undergraduate years.
I did not really pick a direction and start moving toward it until later in my college career. That is really the crux of my thoughts on education and getting an education. I look at it based on two key factors. First, handling the process of getting an education. Second, figuring out what all of that education is going to do for you as you move forward into a career. A lot of professions require a certain amount of education and that forms the basis of a career. Going to school and getting an education to enter a certain profession is a lot safer a course of action than getting an education and trying to plot a career after graduation. Think about that proposition for just a second. Seriously, beginning with the end in mind and working toward that goal is always an easier value proposition to justify.
Topic 8: The Chiefs 2nd half
During the first half things seemed to be going well. People in Kansas City were happy and the game seemed in hand. Maybe things did not go well at halftime. Throughout the start of the 2nd half things have gone poorly for the Kansas City Chiefs. Marcus Mariota just passed the ball to Marcus Mariota via a deflection for a touchdown in a playoff game. That happened. Travis Kelce has also been ruled out. Those two things happening are probably enough to make the 11 point lead seem suspect. We will see if the Kansas City Chiefs can stand up to some adversity and play defense while focusing on running the ball.
Now the Chiefs have gone 3 and out… they need to focus. Somebody from the Tennessee Titans special teams just ran into the punter. Oh no… a phantom offsetting penalty… here we go again with the punt. Wow that was an amazing turn of events… the punt was fumbled and recovered by the Kansas City Chiefs. This game has gotten rather exciting. I may sit here and react to the rest of the game. It has been a long time since i went with a sporting event live blog. People still do live blogs of things, but it seems to be something that peaked a long time ago. Now it seems that people would be more likely to react to a sporting event by sending out a tweet storm. That Chiefs field goal attempt that just hit the bar will be inspiring tweets from people for the next hour. That wave of social media interactions is about to unfold.
The Chiefs are probably going to have to abandon the running game and move to a short passing based offense. Only 2 minutes are left until the 4th quarter, but the game seems to have really had a swing. Even the Arrowhead stadium crowd is a little hesitant. Everybody has moved into the main television room here in the house. We are all just hoping that Kansas City has a few defensive stands here and close out the game.
I’m pretty much in the write about what happens mode. That pretty much means that I will be writing about the things that catch my interest and are happening around me. Oh that last touchdown rushing play by the Tennessee Titans just made things very interesting. They had an illegal shift during the 2 point attempt and that penalty just got declined. The Kansas City Chiefs are up by 5 in the 4th quarter protecting a lead during a playoff home game. Nobody can say the game is not interesting.
To mix things up I just fed the dogs. This game is getting wild. Both Captain Pickles and Peppercorn were ready for dinner. At the veterinarian clinic today Captain Pickles weighed in at just under 50 pounds. Soon enough our puppy will stop growing so rapidly, but probably not for another few months. The Chiefs just failed to convert on a 3rd down and 2 yards to go play. This next drive will be very interesting. This is playoff football in the National Football League. This drive with 10:00 minutes to test the Chiefs defense.
Timeout with just under 7 minutes left in the game. My Chromebook battery has run out of charge. I’m now just texting this on my phone. Writing on my phone is much slower, bit that is ok. This game has been stressful. Tennessee scored and went for 2 and failed. The Chiefs are now down 22 to 21 with more than 6 minutes left. This game went from potential blowout to very competitive. I wanted the rest of the game. It was like watching a balloon full of hope deflate every so slowly. This may have been the game where the hope people had for the franchise faded away.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker Custom Build using Google Docs
P.S. As this week comes to a close it would be good to take a moment and recognize how important writing with a purpose is writing quality prose. My goal for next week will be to change directions and start working toward writing about one solid topic for 3,000 words a clip. That may take a little bit more planning and a lot more focus. Part of this entire exercise is focused on improving my overall writing skills. That is something that will pay dividends on a go forward basis. Part of what I want to accomplish is developing a more fluid and conversation writing tone that can span several pages of contained purposeful prose. That I believe is something reasonable to accomplish within a year. You could sum it up within a simple proposition related to writing better essays.
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
— Short story “The Knock”
Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.