Working in LaTeX again

Edge of a thunderstorm

Normally my writing happens in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. I have not tried to use any other work processing software in years. Seriously, I have not even looked at LaTeX editors in some time. However, in my infinite search for bound of joy yesterday it seemed like now is the time to take the plunge and reintroduce myself to the joys of writing and working in a LaTeX editor. This effort is directly related to my renewed interest in publishing content at a much faster rate. Maybe the best method to move forward it to compose survey builds based on answering relevant questions, collect data, analyze that data, and publish papers based on that activity. Perhaps that is the best method to begin to move forward at a rate of producing 3 to 6 articles per year. Honestly, to accomplish that goal I am working on a strategy to produce a paper every 30 days next year. That should allow enough false starts to really get to a genuine pace of 3 to 6 articles a year.

Working on a Qwiklabs quest

It turned out that I had 100 expiring credits from Qwiklabs. At that point, I just started searching the catalog to find something to tackle this afternoon. It seemed like a good idea to take on one of the more advanced quests. Today I had the day off and the afternoon free. That combination is epic. The quest I took on was called. “Data Science on the Google Cloud Platform.” It was a 60 credit quest and it was labeled as advanced. The quest involves 10 steps. During the first hour of my quest here I have finished the first step and am working on knocking out step number two. 

  1. Introduction to SQL for BigQuery and Cloud SQL
  2. Ingesting Data Into The Cloud

Whoa that weekend went by quickly

Yesterday, I had a cherry Pibb Xtra soda while watching the movie Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) in Dolby Cinema at an AMC theater. Over the last couple of years I have really enjoyed the Dolby Cinema format. The combination of screen clarity and sound immersion really makes a difference during the movie going experience. Between IMAX and Dolby Cinema my favorite at the moment is hands down Dolby Cinema. My central criticism of the design would be the strangely tall walls between the rows. I’m generally considered exactly average height and I find the height of the wall distracting. My guess is that a large swath of folks find the wall distracting. Oh yeah, I got a little distracted in that aside and missed the main point about having a Pibb Xtra.

Generally, I go out of my way not to consume soda. We don’t really buy and keep it in the house. Movie theaters are really the one place where consuming a vat of cola is probably going to happen. Yesterday, it really was a vat of Pibb Xtra. That is a soda that I do not often come across, but for some reason it always catches my attention. Being able to kick it up a notch with some cherry flavoring made my selection inevitable. My rate of going to the movies has increased recently. Years ago, I used to go see pretty much every movie. Back in graduate school I went to Blockbuster and used a movie pass to rent a new movie every day. Oh yeah, Blockbuster was a video rental chain that allowed people to borrow physical media.

Whoa — now is probably the right time for a public service announcement about your old physical media. Unless you were using archival grade CD, DVD, or Blu-ray physical disc media your content is slowly degrading (aka Disc rot). Seriously, I’m not kidding about the degradation. If that content was important to you, then you might want to consider checking on those old movies or pictures and storing them in a more modern way. All of my physical media was stored in those binders in a temperature controlled dark place. For the most part, all of the discs seemed to work just fine. My latest computer built used a Corsair Air 740 high airflow ATX cube case that does not actually have a disc drive or any external bay for physical media of any kind. This is my first build without a disc drive of some type (I’m including magnetic tape as a type of disc storage). The moral of this lengthy passage of prose is backup your data in multiple ways if it is important to you.

Wondering about the next Pixelbook release

My ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P

Today was one of those days where I started to ponder my next Chromebook. At Costco, I looked at a 14 inch HP Chromebook for a few minutes. All of my other Chromebooks have been built by ASUS and they have been aluminum body models. They have also been touchscreen devices. I’m hoping that the rumors about the Pixelbook 2 being a nice midrange device are true. At this point, I’m waiting for the release of the next Pixelbook version. The Pixelbook 2 is going to be my next Chromebook. It needs to show up here sooner than later. This ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P has several broken keys on the number row.

Deciding where to store a backup phone case

Today I started wondering if my backup phone case should be kept in my travel bag. Yesterday a new phone case arrived. It is a silicone jacket for my Pixel 3 XL. You might be wondering what color the case happens to be. The answer to that question would be pineapple. That is the color designation of the new phone case that arrived. My curiosity is if it should just be stored in my travel bag. Chances are that if a phone case was destroyed it would be on a trip and therefore having my backup phone case with me would be prudent.