Tuesday, June 15, 2021

June 2021 Reading List


  • Started, but finish next month Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code [172 pages] by Ruha Benjamin

  • 2/15/2021: LinkedIn Training ML - ugh, being derailed by annual reviews and paperwork. [ 2 hours]
  • Kids on Bikes: Strange Adventures Volume One [82 pages]
  • AWS Data Science book [other 350 pages]

Sunday, May 02, 2021

May 2021 Reading List

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Loop Hero

 This is for my kid.  I think I have finished Loop Hero.  I realize there's a hidden frog king and level four, but still....I had to quit because I was bored.  That's a lot of levels and max hp.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Things I Learned Today

I learned that your Instagram network is your Instafam.  That's really annoying.  It makes me feel like one of those old dudes who doesn't want to learn new terminology because it feels so dumb.  I blame Alia Bhatt because I learned it reading about her social media from isolation.  I like Alia's movies.  The fact that this picture of her on a bicycle exists from Dear Zindagi with Shah Rukh Khan has nothing to do with my interest in her [I first saw her in Gully Boy, a recommendation from a co-worker at my last work place].

This is less learned and more learned someone.  I got half an M and M out of the house dispenser.  My wife said she only got a half the previous day.  I said that was my half.   She asked what color my half was.  I asked what color her half was.  Mine was blue.  Her half was yellow.  I said, "See."  She noted they were different colors and "see" made no sense.  I explained to her that it was what happens when you split a green M and M.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

April 2021 Reading List

I learned I'm not a fan of Grant Morrison.  Just not my thing.  But Toil and Trouble and LaGuardia were both excellent.  Great books this month.  Got them primarily off the NPR Concierge.  I was amused at the bad reviews for The Only Good Indians listing the cadence of the language and the slang being issues to enjoying it. Aka...it was written by a Native American.  I recommend the Youtube series Patrick Is a Navajo if you want a fun immersion in Native American culture and memes.  I was surprised at what I had picked up from him [and his co host and guests] that made the book more enjoyable.  Mexican Gothic was also a great book...definitely nailed the gothic part.


My wife came home and stuck her wrist in my face as I crawled off the bicycle and ordered, "Sniff this."  A weird thing to do when you're dripping sweat all over the place.  But I did and it was fine.  Then she grabbed her shirt off the table - the outer layer, she wasn't shirtless this whole time - and told me to smell the sleeve.  I pondered it and replied, "Smells like you spilled beer on yourself."  She looked confused and then sniffed it herself and said, "I get that, it does now."  I told her if she was trying to arouse me, a perfume that smelled like old IPA was probably a solid move, but it was going to arouse our neighbor as well.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

March 2021 Reading List


  • 3/31/2021: 

  • 3/30/2021: Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright [400 pages]
  • 3/29/2021: Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright [400 pages]
  • 3/28/2021:
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 16 - The Truth About Owls by Amal El-Mohtar [48:40]
  • 3/27/2021:
  • 3/26/2021:
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 15 - Repairing the World by John Chu [48:30]
  • 3/25/2021:
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 14 - Bonus Episode: Goat by James McBride [68:21]
  • 3/24/2021:
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 13 - No Mans Guns by Elmore Leonard [49:37]
  • 3/23/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 12 - The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu [52:55]
  • 3/22/2021: Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright [400 pages]
  • 3/21/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 11 - Navigators by Mike Meginnis [46:09]

  • 3/20/2021: 
    • https://bdtechtalks.com/2021/03/15/machine-learning-causality/ 
      • I liked this statement "For instance, during the coronavirus pandemic, many machine learning systems began to fail because they had been trained on statistical regularities instead of causal relations. As life patterns changed, the accuracy of the models dropped."
      • Why machine learning struggles with causality
      • Machine learning systems thrive on finding and exploiting statistical regularities. This is why they can’t do causal reasoning.
      • I also like "we don't need to drive a car off a cliff to know what will happen" - reminds me of Dwight and Michael following the GPS despite what their eyes told them was wrong.
      • ML and computers in general can interfere with your native capacity for counterfactuals is probably an amusing area of study.

  • 3/19/2021: [GAME] 7th Continent with my wife [first scenario/curse - we lost]
  • 3/18/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 10 - 1000-Year-Old Ghosts by Laura Chow Reeve [35:06]
  • 3/17/2021: Multicloud Deployments Surge as Microsoft Azure Duels with AWS
  • 3/16/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 9 - Bonus Episode: A Conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah [30:39]
  • 3/15/2021: 5 Stages of Team Development Ever Leader Should Know
  • 3/14/2021: Women's Month Panel [64:00]
  • 3/13/2021: Notes on a Case of Melancholia, or: A Little Death by Nicholas Gurewitch [48 pages]

  • 3/12/2021: 
    • [GAME] Legacy of Dragonholt - Day 3
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 8 - The Second Bakery Attack by Haruld Murakami [44:44]
  • 3/11/2021: Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf [288 pages]
  • 3/10/2021:
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 7 - Chivalry by Neil Gaiman [43:40]
  • 3/9/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 6 - Graham Green by Percival Everett [52:47]
  • 3/8/2021: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf [224 pages]
  • 3/7

    /2021: X-Men Grand Design III: X-Tinction [120 pages]
  • 3/6/2021: 

    • The Heap by Sean Adams [325 pages]
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 5 - What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah [48:16]
    • [GAME] Legacy of Dragonholt - Day 2
  • 3/5/2021: 
    • The 7th Continent: Setup and Rules [26:55]
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 3 - Empty Places Part One by Richard Parks [48:18]
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 4 - Empty Places Part Two by Richard Parks [36:25]
  • 3/4/2021: 
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 1 - Kin by Bruce McAllister [36:24]
    • LeVar Burton Podcast ep 2 - The Lighthouse Keeper by Daisy Johnson [33:54]
  • 3/3/2021: 7th Continent - How to Play [33:53]

  • 3/2/2021: After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard [part II of Carter and Lovecraft] 
  • 3/1/2021: After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard [part II of Carter and Lovecraft] [361 pages]

Saturday, January 30, 2021

February 2021 Reading List

Is that really 4066 pages below, not including a day and a half of conferences,  two hours of  ML online training, and all the Dragonholt reading?  Busy month.

  • 2/28/2021: [GAME] Legacy of Dragonholt
    • Watched some how to play videos as well and got started playing the first scenario before deciding it would make a better family game.  No dice, no rolling or randomization whatsoever outside the skills you pick for your characters.
    • Jen and I have been playing.  We're on Day one of the City .[so two rounds so far, about an hour and a half].
  • 2/27/2021: Hench [416 pages] by Natalie Zina Walschots
  • 2/26/2021: Nimona [272 pages] by Noelle Stevenson.  Graphic Novel, very good.
  • 2/25/2021: Code Freeze U of MN 2021 [all day] - AI / ML Ethics and Bias and Mob Programming

  • 2/24/2021: AWS Innovate AI/ML Edition: Bias, Lookout, Clarify, and more [half day].  Lot of new tools in the Sagemaker Suite I didn't know about.
  • 2/23/2021: If It Bleeds - "Rat" by Stephen King
  • 2/22/2021: If It Bleeds - "If It Bleeds" by Stephen King
  • 2/21/2021: If It Bleeds - "The Life of Chuck" by Stephen King
  • 2/20/2021: Security training - on own time, CDA, GDPR, HIPAA, PHI, et al. [2:49 - oof]

  • 2/19/2021: If It Bleeds [447 pages] - "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" by Stephen King
  • 2/18/2021: X-Men Grand Design II: Second Genesis [130 pages]
  • 2/17/2021: Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontes [224 pages] by Isabel Greenberg, Hoopla
  • 2/16/2021: X-Men Grand Design I [122pages]
  • 2/15/2021: LinkedIn Training ML - ugh, being derailed by annual reviews and paperwork. [ 2 hours]
  • 2/14/2021: Beacon 23 - The Complete Novel
  • 2/13/2021: Beacon 23 - The Complete Novel [258 pages] by Hugh Howey

  • 2/12/2021: I usually count 50 pages a day - so just throw 50 pages from any of those other books right here.
  • 2/11/2021: Fantastic Four: Grand Design [120 pages] - read on Hoopla
    • At this point I've read 2199 pages....that's enough for 42 days using my usual 50 pages a day or an article formula.  I've got some training to include as well.  It's been a busy February.  Having the first week off at my folks' cabin with them gave me a bit of a boost.
  • 2/10/2021:

  • 2/9/2021: Kids on Bikes: Strange Adventures, The House on Poplar Court, a mini-campaign about a strange adventure in a small town [20 pages] by Ryan Schoon
  • 2/8/2021: 'I Longed To See Something Different, So I Wrote It': Questions For Rebecca Roanhorse - NPR
  • 2/7/2021: Carter and Lovecraft [317 pages] by Jonathan L. Howard
  • 2/6/2021: Kids on Bikes RPG Rules [76 pages]
  • 2/5/2021: Building Machine Learning Powered Applications: Going from Idea to Product [264 pages] O'Reilly Press - by Emmanuel Ameisen
  • 2/4/2021: A Group of Orca Outcasts Is Now Dominating an Entire Sea: Killer whales that feast on seals and hunt in small packs are thriving while their widely beloved siblings are dying out by Katharine Gammon for The Atlantic

  • 2/3/2021: Black Sun [464 pages] by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • 2/2/2021: The City We Became [ 448 pages] by N.K. Jemisin
  • 2/1/2021: Weapons of Math Destruction [288 pages] by Cathy O'Neil

Saturday, January 16, 2021

January 2021 Reading List

Saturday, December 05, 2020

December 2020 Reading

  • 12/31/2020: Shorefall: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett

  • 12/30/2020: Shorefall: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/29/2020: Shorefall: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/28/2020: Shorefall: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/27/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/26/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/25/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/24/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/23/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/22/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/21/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/20/2020: LinkedIn Microservices Overview - kind of basic.  [60:00]
  • 12/19/2020: Testing overview [work related, 15:00]
  • 12/18/2020: Arch overview [work related, 57:37]
  • 12/17/2020: Enrollment overview [work related, 25:00]
  • 12/16/2020: AWS This week [33:00 inc re:Invent]

  • 12/15/2020: Admin site overview [work related, 34:41]
  • 12/14/2020: Admin site overview [work related, 20:00]
  • 12/13/2020: Arch overview [work related, 18:14]
  • 12/12/2020: Arch overview, team specific [work related, 60:00]
  • 12/11/2020: Arch overview [work related, 30:00]
  • 12/10/2020: Arch overview [work related, 30:00]
  • 12/9/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/8/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/7/2020: Foundryside: A Novel [The Founders Trilogy] by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • 12/6/2020: AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate 2020, IAM [25:00]
  • 12/5/2020: AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate 2020, IAM [25:00]
  • 12/4/2020: AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate 2020, IAM [25:00]
  • 12/3/2020: Funkin on the Northside, Minnesota Historical Society [60:00]
  • 12/2/2020:  AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate 2020, IAM [25:00]
  • 12/1/2020: AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate 2020, Overview [25:00]

Sleeping and Brick Gollums

I think I've been sleeping too much.  I know, if you sleep, then it's probably not too much, but it's considerably more than pre-covid.  Doom scrolling and other behaviors seem to have an impact on my hours of shut eye.  I noticed the difference this week when I got up at my old commute time for several days and had several hours of pre-work time to myself to...well, work, and read, and watch some television, and walk...I definitely felt more productive.

This morning I overslept - imo - but I got to enjoy a weird dream on the tail end of those hours.  In some run down factory that had been semi-gentrified, I was hosting a D and D game.  But I'd lost all my notes from previous games and had fifteen players participating I couldn't remember a thing about.  So I looked out the window, took note of all the broken brick and trash in the neighborhood where they/we were trying to repurpose an old factory, and decided I'd have to do a hack and slash that was challenging regardless of the number of players and/or their level.  The result...a brick and garbage gollum the size of a factory that had fists, hands, mouth, but could also form tree sized pseudo appendages that would slam into a player, enveloping them, suffusing their lungs and stomach - unless they made their save - and possessing them as a gollum zombie under the gollum's control that would start to ooze and collect trash, ala the Japanese movie Tetsuo, the Iron Man.  I remember thinking in my dream that it was clever to have a gollum, traditionally under control, be the one controlling.  It's less clever when I'm awake because gollums don't work that way, so it was likely more of an elemental, or the zombie players were under the control of the gollum's owner.

I suspect all that is related to helping E with D and D lately, as well as playing it myself with my old crew.  When E and I were talking I pointed out I have a few standard scenarios I pull out when I need to buy some time for future ideation, or want the party to enjoy a bit more hack and slash than usual.  Crippled beholder with fewer stalks, weird spells, and a tribe off worshippers, like bullywugs or kobalds, plus associated pets [maybe the beholder has a tame spell it uses on behalf of it's worshippers, so anything is fair game].  I also like rando nemesis.  Maybe you trespass, maybe you find a small abandoned temple and loot it, maybe you ruin something that seems innocuous like a nest or a colony of bugs, and the local wood demon/deity decides to make an example out of you and keeps upping the challenge until something "works".

Friday, November 13, 2020

Not a Reading Post

Every once in a while I feel like getting back into not-reading posts.  Bare with me.  Hmm...I bet it's bear with me.  Otherwise we're going to have to shed some clothes, right?

So what did I do for my birthday this year?  Celebrated it a day early for one.  We headed up to the cabin to see my folks and took a bunch of steak, porkchops, and potatoes with us.  And some games.  My wife and kid took crokinole.  We learned to play it at a gaming day with friends last weekend and they loved it.  Then discovered that the board I'd had forever because it was the same board I'd had as a kid in the old farmstead home when I farmed in the summers, was a crokinole board on the flip side.  So there was a bunch of cribbage and crokinole pre-steak.  

You can tell we're in heavy covid concern because of the masks.  I literally used my mask between bites of dinner.  I was pretty sure we were all safe, but my kid bags groceries, and we talked to the neighbor to get Luna - the dog - watched, and the meat store in Osseo was off the hook with people.  Better safe than sick with all the hospital beds pretty much full.

I got a cool pillow case from my mother that means I'll never have to guess which pillow is mine again, and I'll know if my wife is stealing my pillow to use as a reading pillow in the living room.  Reminds me that I need to get mounting bolts for the bars to hang my cycling quilt she made me.

And I got a cycling game.  I told my wife Flamme Rouge was on my short list of potential gifts.  She got the expansion as well so I can play solo.  I'm worried that it's sort of pathetic if I sit around drinking and playing cycling games all by my lonesome, but I'm willing to deal with the shame.
I got this game