Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bed Fight

My heart thumper tonight was about holding up the top half of a bed enough to click a replacement hand controller into the box.  Next time I'll ask someone to help hold that up, as if that would do any good.  It did this time, but will it again?

I'm talking about our one remote controlled bed in the assisted care room.  The Blue House is not wheel chair accessible, however Carol has proved she's able to do the stairs it takes to stay mobile.  We're planning an outing this week.

Anyway, she has this bed she can set in position, but I'm sure it must be wearing out, like a lot of stuff around here.  The fossil fuel furnace was great in its age.  That guy's golden age was past even before we got here.  Amazingly, it's still usable.

I dove into the history of Kashmir this evening on Youtube, a long story and I'm not even half way into it.  I've been in the area on foot, my family migrating, one could say as tourists.  Do people still tour in a civilian capacity?  I'm sure they must.  I've been touring in North America, with two loops from St. Louis to St. Louis by way of Richmond (Indiana).  See previous blog posts.

Like I wrote about in a recent Medium article, if you're into doing research, the tools are great, but then it's hard to afford all R&D.

Speaking of which, regarding the Human Calculator proposal and all that (talking about a calendar invented by a TV personality), I'm looking at more of that on Facebook these days, and not a lot.  The indig stuff is great for learning Python i.e. adding digits of an int means turning it into a string, then a list, converting, summing.  All doable in one line of code basically but still a lot to think about.

I should put some hyperlinks in here.

Followup:  the HTC was my flashlight under there and I left it there when I crawled out.  Google is much better at knowing where my phone is, and how to alert me.  We can talk about the Matrix later.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Xmas 2018

PDX International Airport

The internet is slow today, given everyone using it.  I'm able to squeeze one picture at a time up to Flickr, which may have timed out by the time you read this.  I wrote this at the close of 2018.

Last year around this time, I had recently returned from Georgia and Alabama, where I was visiting family.  This year, family came to see me.  We phoned my sister in California.

Last night some of us went to Multnomah Meeting and sang Christmas carols, did Bible readings, telling the Christian story.  This included a short Meeting for Worship during which I'm told I snored lightly, whereas from my point of view I was awake for the whole thing.

There's a partial USG shutdown going on and the Wall Streeters have taken a beating or at least suffered a bear market.  USG prefigures USA OS (operating system) in my book i.e. is the prequel.

Lindsey watched all episodes of Star Wars on her flight from China, minus Episode 4, the original.

I'm not too worried about the dip in the stock market as I've always been a bear in some ways, even though the Urner emblem is an ox (a bovine).

Last night I was back to brain anatomy, but from the point of view of wanting to build a graph database about it using Cypher.  A graph database does not aim to simulate the brain, only to record what we suppose we know about it.

I've been working on a graph of dead poets, with fellow travelers.

Given the living room, recently redecorated and rearranged, thanks in part to a heat budget, contains Flextegrity, there's some discussion of futuristic businesses and their prospects.

I'm planning some more networking around T4P and GST before 2018 closes out.  Year of the Pig starts in February, which has other connotations than "pigging out" some places in the world.  "Legally piggily" is a principal association around here (parietal lobe).

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Coffee Shop Meetup

Coding with Kids

I hopped the 14 downtown, using a 2.5 hour ticket, another one coming back, this time on the 2.  TriMet has cut the 4's route in half.  I used to go all the way to St. John's on the 4, from blocks away. But the 75 heads that way too.  Why not have the 2 head into town along Division, and let the 4 take it onward?  That's what they've done.

I got to meet the founder of Coding with Kids, which has been expanding rapidly.  I've been teaching 2D / 3D animation this term, with concepts such as key frames and in betweening, with each object of interest getting its own timeline.  I know about cuts and dissolves, but we're middle school and younger and might not have a lot of patience for film school at the moment.

How to merge the new literacies with the old ones is an ongoing challenge which I think, write and talk about a lot, as do many of my peers.  Educators tend to talk about education, as a process, as a set of practices, in terms of feedback loops and so on.  Our meetup today was a first opportunity for a lot of us to meet one another, even though we're all working in the same city.  Actually, technically, we're not in the same city.  Beaverton and Portland have their own school districts.

Upon getting home I found Carol wanted to watch a documentary about Ruth Ginsberg, which she could in theory watch on her computer, but we opted for the living room player, as that gave her more of an opportunity to practice walking.  She's making a come back.  However, with headphones, on her laptop, might actually work better and we could try that for some next DVD.

Deke the Geek came over and we talked about some of the truckology I've been learning, regarding ELDs (electronic logging devices) and so on.  You'll see these blogs reflecting my surges in this or that direction.  We're not a trucking family, however the data science business and World Game have helped me leverage what little background I've had.  Traveling the twisty turny roads of the high Himalayas should count for something, whether or not I was at the wheel.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

At Bridge City


"Bridge City" is a nickname for Portland, our several bridges being what the Blue Meanies would bomb, in case Planet Earth wishes to go Yellow Submarine (again). However in this context (my blog) "Bridge City" also designates "the other Monthly Meeting" in Portland, "Multnomah" being the other Other (rhymes with "brother").

Today was business meeting for BCFM, however Tara and I, not frequent attenders, didn't stay for that, and instead hit the nearby Andy & Bax.  I needed new pants and a belt.  Alexia joined us there and took off with her sis whereas I buzzed home in the Maxi Taxi to make lunch for Carol.

Ron B. and I got talking, about the public television archives he's helping to build, in terms of protocol (something already out there). I asked him if it were "XMLy" and he said yes, but also "JAY-son" (we were speaking geek).  I caught up with Chris and Larry re Amanda and Greg.  I'd been bouncing back and forth with Greg and Nick H., the stats guru, in my Machine Learning phase (for now behind me).

That gets me thinking about CUE's weekly cable TV show by, and for, seniors (CUE = Center for Urban Education, deceased but ressurrectable). I was not directly involved in this production. I went through the cable TV training more on my own, working both sides of the camera in various roles, but with primitive technology compared with today's.

One cable TV show I was on got us talking about the Icosahedron and I realized the show's host imagined the radii were equal in length to the outer edges.  He was probably remembering how that was an important attribute of another related shape, the so-called "vector equilibrium", and juxtaposing that with this better known Platonic.  I was being interviewed I think with Trevor and Walter Alter.

Speaking of Trevor, I mean to ask him, having archived the Joe Moore archives (BFVI), which other ads Bucky might have starred in.  Did he participate in the Think Different campaign staged by Apple?  The one getting this thread started was for Honda. I wonder if Synchronofile has a file on that.

"Captain Bucky" was ahead of his time in doing a "Facebook profile" (this was well before FB was invented), into which he'd dump a lot of souvenirs from his life, such as parking tickets, awards. He called it his chronofile, reminiscent of the "ship's log" like on Star Trek.

As Trevor points out, things Bucky innovated, like self-profiling, jogging, paleo diet, were later imitated or we could say were in the Zeitgeist.  Some catch a whiff sooner, of this or that trend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

At Linus Pauling House


I've not had a Tuesday night off in awhile, one of my Python nights.  However my course wound up last week and I'm free to join Wanderers.  Steve Mastin is doing Blood Pressure a second time, and I missed the Wednesday morning event, so this is a fine opportunity to learn from a scientist.

I'll not be staying to the end though, as I'm trying to supervise Carol's recovery.  It's a cold wet night, with a furnace repairman coming in the morning.  Not a night for partying.  I'll do my homework and drive back (no, I don't usually drive, unless bringing props).

Speaking of props, I finished up at Glencoe today, where I face whether to hammer down as their best ever animation teacher, when that's not what I know, but am learning.  I've got a new Medium story on that.

I won't blog during Steve's talk.  You might find out what I learned about blood pressure by reading elsewhere.  I recently had an echo of my chest in followup to the year-ago PE.  They've got me on a stable regime so at the moment future doc visits are spaced wide apart.  That's a measure of current health I suppose.

Actually, now that the night is over, let me do a recall of Steve's talk from memory without even looking at the slides I photographed (still in the camera, not uploaded yet).

He took us through the various ways the body naturally self regulates, and what it self regulates. The rate at which the kidneys clean the blood governs glandular hormonal responses which medications may inhibit or block, should medical science consider that a prudent move.  The adrenal glands, as well as various cells in the heart, take their signals from chemical pathways.

The body takes blood pressure seriously, as should we.  He talked about how it fluctuates throughout the day and how it's important to replicate measuring conditions, down to the equipment, if wanting to get an accurate sense of change over time.  This is not super easy.

The talk dove pretty deeply into the structure and function of many organs, and provided some history as to the concept's evolution.  By convention we measure at the arm, though other body parts may be used.  Use a scale factor.  Newer devices are getting continuous readings from less bulky devices.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Intergenerational Cyberia

Traditional societies, such as commuter cultures in big cities, put children in the care of people other than parents, as the latter need to go foraging for berries, or pick fruit in the fields.

Professional caregivers, such as teachers, may pick up the slack, but then you have grandparents also.  Those who have become more frail and perhaps scattered, perhaps not, stay behind in the camps and share skills with the next generation to assume a parental role.

This pattern repeats in Cyberia, where retired people finally get the time to reflect on their lives, including the history they lived through.  Many boomers today are consuming hours of conspiracy theory documentaries, trying to make sense of what happened.  Who else has that kind of time?  The grandchildren, momentarily spared the need to earn a living, retired young people.

I'm not saying there's anything particularly wrong with this pattern in principle.  You want the wise elders, who've seen it all, who've raised kids, held a job, to pass on what they know to the younger ones.  Mom and dad need a break to get out there and forage, to commute, to spend time on freeways listening to radio.  A different caste of adults gets to work with the younger people.

Of course this pattern I'm sketching grossly oversimplifies.  Some folks in that middle generation, young parents for example, do work with little kids for a living.  A lot of job descriptions involve kids as a target audience, even if you don't interact with them personally on a daily basis.  Getting the toy stores properly stocked and decorated is kid-oriented work.

However, the fact remains, that many don't get the time to reflect on history much, even at the university, if lucky enough to attend.  Depending on one's area of focus, the demands on one's time may be such that no academic credit accrues in exchange for spending time studying the custody of the Zapruder film (to take the highlighted example).