Coffee after black Friday

This is a recording of my blog from November 30, 2019

Every single day I open a blank word processing document and start writing. That is my method of creating content. For the most part, that means at the start of the day I boot up either my desktop computer or Chromebook and start writing (working). OK —- this might be a good way to start generating prose, but it is generally a bad way to write a novel or work on an academic paper. Just to be fair, it is probably important to call out that first thing in the morning or right before falling asleep i’m probably not working on anything academic. Things that happen right at the start or the end or the end of the day tend to be more reflective and less academic in nature. Seriously, I have to be in the right frame of mind to produce quality academic articles and that is generally something that happens after a lot of coffee. 

As a sales event, black Friday has come and gone. We drove around a little bit on the way to brunch during the early hours on Friday. In northern Denver we did not see very many people out and about cruising shops for early morning deals. Freezing fog and cold weather were abundant during the early house of the day. Shoppers roaming the streets were not as plentiful. I’m actually wondering if maybe the official start of the holiday spending season was not all that strong of an event.

A lot of online selling

A recording of my blog post from November 29, 2019

Well today is a day where a lot of people are trying to sell me things online. My inbox had no less than 100 offers this morning for a wide variety of things. From guitars to sunglasses the deals are everywhere today. Google put a ton of them in the Spam folder today. The one thing I have noticed over the last 6 months is that the algorithm Google is using is getting pretty aggressive to deflect improper communications from hitting my inbox. I’m wondering if it is a false positive problem or if it is a problem based on the number of people submitting subscriptions they no longer want. That is an interesting world of online content management. The economics of attention deflection are very real. Some folks call it a bubble or an insulated curated world full of only a certain slice of content.

Oh Thanksgiving

2019 ants on a log
This is an audio recording of my blog post from November 28, 2019

I was going to spend part of last night writing a review of the Google Stadia sitting downstairs, but at this point it feels like everybody already knows all they need to know about the new controller and services. For me it was something that I purchased and ultimately did not need to have at all for any reason. I shared my review on Twitter so that the great algorithm that collects sentiment will at least know of my disdain for Stadia. Which I still contend is the future of things. All of the processing power seems to be moving away from devices and into data centers. That is pretty much the whole notion of Google Stadia. They don’t want people to buy the next generation of gaming hardware in favor of cloud first gaming.

Thanksgiving is happening today. Right now I’m sitting in the family room jamming away on the Google Pixelbook Go keyboard watching the Lions and Bears play some football via the over the air (OTA) Fox Sports broadcast. The OTA broadcast is really pretty decent quality video. Apparently today will be filled with three different games. For the most part the entire day will be wall to wall football games. It does look like all 3 games are on broadcast television channels which is one of the ways football is very different from hockey. You cannot easily watch the Colorado Avalanche play hockey on television. This year it has been even harder given how a dispute is playing out this year with the Altitude sports channel broadcast rights.

Content distribution is changing rapidly. It may be one of those things where it might be easier for the leagues to just sell streaming rights to watch all the content verses trying to join some subscription package. Without question the economic models of sports broadcasting is changing based on changes to the distribution systems. Right now I am paying for YouTube TV to get access to ESPN for the express purpose of being able to watch University of Kansas basketball games. Seriously, from October to April, I want to be able to watch basketball games which right now are strongly tied to the ESPN family of networks. That is the primary motivating factor in my decision to pay for a subscription television service. Outside of basketball season we cancel the television subscription and things are just fine. Really college basketball is the only live sporting event that pulls me into buying territory on the decision making scale.

One of the things I’m going to start doing more is just sitting down and writing on my Google Pixelbook Go. I have learned I’m way more likely to sit on the sofa and write than sit at my desk and make with the magic of prose creation. Sure it should be one of those things that you are just compelled to do as a writer, but we all know that from time to time the writing magic that matters needs a little bit of encouragement.

Some thoughts on website backups

Right now I am thinking about giving up social media in the month of December. Maybe a solid 30 days without it is a good way to focus on writing a little bit more in preparation for a really big year in 2020. Before I start working on walking down that path a little bit of housekeeping is in order for the day.

I am going to archive the weblog today and make sure the backup is stored in a couple of places. Right now I’m using two methods to backup this rather large weblog. First, I’m using the standard export tool in WordPress (Tools → Export → All content) which produces a very large XML file. RIght now that method is producing an XML file with a size of 14,075 KB. Second, I’m using a plugin called “Print My Blog” which errors saving an actual file with my weblog, but does create a single page that combines 1,863 posts that I have been able to cut and paste into a Microsoft Word document. Between those two methods of content extraction that is how I’m backing up my this weblog content. Alternatively, the entire thing is backed up as a website on the server, but I do not view that as a solid cold storage plan for the content. Formats like XML and Microsoft Word will be machine readable and easy to work with for decades to come.

A few more notes on “Print My Blog” and the steps I took to extract content from a weblog the size of mine…

Step 1: Open Tools then select “Print My Blog”

Step 2: Select format paper and click “Prepare Print-Page”. This will take a couple of minutes depending on the size of your page.

Step 3: When “Print-Page Ready” shows up I simply hit “Control-A” followed by “Control-C” opened Microsoft Word and pasted the content into the brand new word document using “Control-P”. At that point, Microsoft Word got sad (non-responsive) for about 8 minutes and then was ready to save. This method has worked for me on three separate occasions producing more than 2,000 page documents. I just changed the font size for the entire document to 12 point to make it easier to manage.

(Alternative) Step 3: You can try to click print and save the page as a PDF. For research purposes only, I tried to do that again today and the screen is just non-response and says loading preview and is essentially waiting for me to “exit page” via the Chrome unresponsive prompt, “You can wait for it to become responsive or you can exit the page.” I gave it a couple minutes and then exited the page.

Alternative path: I did just try to save the whole thing as a PDF vs. the above method which helps me put the content into a Microsoft Word document. The process failed, but the other method worked so all is well.

20191126 Thoughts

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. This week has been a hodgepodge of ups and downs. I’m probably going to stay up and watch the KU basketball game that starts at 8:30 PM Denver time. That seemed a little bit late for the start of a game. Not only is Hawaii about 2,500 miles from Los Angeles, California, but it also happens to be three hours earlier. We really did get a ton of snow in Denver throughout the last 24 hours. Snow at the end of the driveway was tall enough that my car would have been plowing along if we tried to leave the house. Things should be better tomorrow, but it was an awful lot of snow to arrive in a short window.