Monday, May 18, 2020

May 2020 Reading

May Reading
  • 5/31/2020:
  • 5/30/2020:
  • 5/29/2020:
  • 5/28/2020:
  • 5/27/2020:
  • 5/26/2020:
  • 5/25/2020:
  • 5/24/2020:
  • 5/23/2020:
  • 5/22/2020:
  • 5/21/2020:
  • 5/20/2020:
  • 5/19/2020:
  • 5/18/2020:
  • 5/17/2020:
  • 5/16/2020:
  • 5/15/2020:
  • 5/14/2020:
  • 5/13/2020: The Future of ML and AI with Michael Jordan and Ion Stoica by Anyscale (weird mix of super general and super deep);
  • 5/12/2020:
  • 5/11/2020:
  • 5/10/2020:
  • 5/9/2020:
  • 5/8/2020:
  • 5/7/2020:
  • 5/6/2020:
  • 5/5/2020:
  • 5/4/2020:
  • 5/3/2020:
  • 5/2/2020:
  • 5/1/2020:

Thursday, April 16, 2020

March/April 2020 Reading

  • 4/30/2020:
  • 4/29/2020:
  • 4/28/2020:
  • 4/27/2020:
  • 4/26/2020:
  • 4/25/2020:
  • 4/24/2020:
  • 4/23/2020:
  • 4/22/2020:
  • 4/21/2020:
  • 4/20/2020: "STET" by Sarah Gailey: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • My least favorite so far....I get the angle around autonomous cars and the value of life, but didn't like it.
  • 4/19/2020: "Dead Lovers on Each Blade, Hung" by Usamn Malik: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Extremely Cthulhuesque.  With snakes.
  • 4/18/2020: "When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis" by Annalee Newitz: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Maybe my favorite so far...clever story about a small AI left on its own who bonds with a human and crows. Really embraces the centaur aspect of AI beyond just the human.
  • 4/17/2020: "The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" by P. Djeli Clark: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
  • 4/16/2020: THEMATIC THREAD: RELIGION IN HORROR - Richard had a bit on The Wicker Man.  Check out  Blood on Satan's Claw and Witchfinder General.  Should be able to catch them on Shudder.
  • 4/15/2020: "The Kite Maker" by Brenda Peynado: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • A bit District 9.
  • 4/14/2020: " Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Memphis Minnie Sing the Stumps Down Good" by LaShawn M. Wanak: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Weird, hisorical, and really, really good.
  • 4/13/2020: "Through the Flash" by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Reminded me a LOT of the Heaven, Inc. story I wrote 20 years ago.
  • 4/12/2020: "Variations on a Theme from Turandot" by Ada Hoffman: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
  • 4/11/2020: "Hard Mary" by Sofia Samatar: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Interesting dig into what makes an AI human....useful....part of a community.
  • 4/10/2020: "Six Hangings in the Land of Unkillable Women" by Theodore McCombs: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Particularly original
  • 4/9/2020: "Poor Unfortunate Fools" by Silvia Park : The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
    • Very little mermaid driven with a touch of The Newts.
  • 4/8/2020: "The Storyteller's Replacement" by N.K. Jemisin: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
  • 4/7/2020: "What Everyone Knows" by Seanan McGuire: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor 
  • 4/6/2020: "Pitcher Plant" by Adam-Troy Casto: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (The Best American Series ®) - Carmen Maria Machado, Editor
  • 4/5/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Methods and Functions (2 hours and 2 minutes)
  • 4/4/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Methods and Functions (2 hours and 2 minutes)
  • 4/3/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Methods and Functions (2 hours and 2 minutes)
  • 4/2/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Methods and Functions (2 hours and 2 minutes)
  • 4/1/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Statements (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • 3/31/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Statements (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • 3/30/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Comparison Operators (9 minutes)
  • 3/29/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Object and Data Structure Basics (2 hours 2 minutes)
  • 3/28/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Object and Data Structure Basics (2 hours 2 minutes)
  • 3/27/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Object and Data Structure Basics (2 hours 2 minutes)
  • 3/26/2020:  Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Object and Data Structure Basics (2 hours 2 minutes)
  • 3/25/2020: Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Python Setup (40 minutes)
  • 3/24/2020: Udemy.  Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3 - Course Overview (15 minutes)
  • 3/23/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning) - enjoyable  A bit on the YA side with a weird ending, but the reading of it was enjoyable.  A bit of a scooby doo vibe (which they reference in the book).
  • 3/22/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning)
  • 3/21/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning)
  • 3/20/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning)
  • 3/19/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning)
  • 3/18/2020: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Good Mythical Morning)
  • 3/17/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series) - loved this series.  Recommended by Dave.  The science fiction is deep hard scifi, almost to the extent you have to reread parts of it to understand what you just read.  But overall I loved it - very different.
  • 3/16/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series)
  • 3/15/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series)
  • 3/14/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series)
  • 3/13/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series)
  • 3/12/2020: The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (book 3 of the Jean LeFlambeur series)
  • 3/11/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey - my apologies to Mr. Tobey but I hated it.  I read the whole thing, but the self interest and how it moved situationally for characters made me sort of dislike every single one of them.  And the AI didn't seem very smart or God-ish at all.
  • 3/10/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/9/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/8/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/7/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/6/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/5/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/4/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/3/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/2/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey
  • 3/1/2020: The God Game by Danny Tobey

Sunday, March 08, 2020


E played her bassoon at the band fund raiser yesterday.  Lot of cool performances.  This isn't the actual graded competition, but that's coming soon.

And a video...because it's better with actual bassoon...
Eryn Bassoon

The World, The Flesh, and the Devil (1959)

Last night Kyle and I went to Lawless Distilling for some drinks (I had the Sargasso Sea, the pink gin shot, and the Cuban gin and tonic highball.  I tried to get Pooteewheet a 375 ml of pink gin, but they were out.  He offered me a cinnamon gin as an alternative. If you know Pooteewheet, that means what was intended as a present becomes a punishment.  So not a viable alternative).  It was really busy.  A very different experience than when I was there almost all by myself while E was doing Cardboard Camp planning and fun days over at the Ivy building.

This is Kyle with his super fancy coconut drink.  He said it was pretty good despite having to drink out of what looked like a penis coming out of a boob.  My Sargasso was delicious.  I'd definitely drink that again.  And the leftover crushed ice on top of square cubes made a perfect glass for a chaser of cold water.

Afterwards we went to The World, The Flesh, and the Devil (1959) at the Trylon.  It starred Mel Ferrer, Harry Belefonte, and Inger Stevens.  And them alone.  That was the total cast.  The plot...some sort of radioactive incident/cloud disintegrates everyone on the planet.  Except: Harry Belefonte who was trapped in a mine in PA.  Inger, who was in an immersion tank and came out a day later than her friends.  And Ferrer, who was alone at sea in just the right location.  The thought experiment, it's more an idea than a plot, is that in a world devoid of people, do racial politics reassert themselves?  Spoiler: they do.  And...can they be overcome?  Spoiler: they can.  Everyone can live together in a happy Morman-polygamist dream at the end. 

Here's the original New York Times review.  Pretty cool you can find this on line:

The film's title is based on Ephesians 2:2: (NIV): "You once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh”.  I'm still trying to sync that to the movie.  The flesh....yes.  The world...sure.  The devil?  I think they're referring to racial politics and prejudices as the devil in this case. 

I looked up some of the details about the movie. Per Wikipedia, Inger Stevens, the lead actress: "After her death, Ike Jones, the first African-American to graduate from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, claimed[16] that he had been secretly married to Stevens since 1961. Some doubted this due to the lack of a marriage license, the maintaining of separate homes and the filing of tax documents as single people.[17] However, at the time Stevens' estate was being settled, the actress's brother, Carl O. Stensland, confirmed in court that his sister had hidden her marriage to Jones "out of fear for her career".[18] Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner A. Edward Nichols ruled in Ike Jones's favor[19] and made him administrator of her estate.[20][21] A photo exists of the two attending a banquet together in 1968.[5] Her website also states that the marriage to Jones took place in Tijuana, Mexico."

She had an interesting life from a narrowly-missed-that perspective (NYT obit): "Bad luck always plagued her, Miss Stevens said. She col lapsed, along with 11 others filming “Cry Terror” in the Hudson Tubes, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her jaw was dislocated while film ing a “Zane Grey Theater” TV show. In 1959, after a depress ing New Year's Eve party, she attempted suicide. And in 1961, she was the last passenger to leave a jet that crashed on landing at Libson and exploded half‐minute after her exit."  In the end, it wasn't that narrowly missed as she died of what seemed to be a barbiturate suicide.  She seems like she had such a wild life (burlesque, married to Ike), but couldn't synthesize something positive out of her accomplishments.

I wanted to capture what my friend's mother, Pat, said about the movie so I don't lose it: "One of the first "adult themed" movies I was allowed to see( at age 17).  I was amazed and awed. I couldn't believe it, having lived in small towns my whole life, and loving science fiction, that the books I had read were all so bland- I guess the library was good at censoring for teens. It is hard for people today to understand how protected and watched some of us were, especially girls. When raised by parents like mine , I remember getted grounded for two weeks for saying the word "pregnant" instead of "expecting" or "in a family way".  I thought the movie was amazing in its feeling of desolation and I was actually stunned at the interaction of the 3 people, and at the positive ending. Two years later I was having screaming fightswith my parents about not being able to go south with the freedom riders,and about sex before marriage (college will do that to a kid!)"

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Twelfth Night

Last night Pooteewheet and I went to Twelfth Night at the Guthrie.  Her parents were out of town and gifted us their tickets.  I strongly recommend the play.  The cast was great.  The set was exceptional and they used a mixture of raised metal rigging, hanging items (like a swing), slatted wood platforms, and water.  All those differences in material meant that when they were moving there were different noises going on so the usual silences in a Shakespeare production were hurried along by constant noise.  Parts of it were put to song as well, further keeping the pace brisk.

Acting direction was exceptional, and they did an amazing amount of characterization and interpretation of the lines using body language.  Twelfth is one of my favorite plays and they certainly did it justice.  It's been a long time since I was at an "upscale" theater in Minneapolis (well, outside touring plays like Waitress and Six (the musical) and it was a real treat what they can do with a lot of money and talent behind a classic.

Touching Things

I was off work for three days with some sort of illness.  Longer if you consider I had a sore throat starting Friday afternoon when I was working from home and really only came back to the office today.  Plenty of working from home during that time, even extra, but at least Monday I could barely see the computer at some points my sinuses, eyes, and lungs were leaking so much.

Today that gave me some pause while I was thinking about being contagious.  I'm fairly certain I'm fine given usual contagion rules, and it's not a baddy, because I haven't gone anywhere.  But I thought about what I might touch that could transmit germs.  My first meeting of the morning was standup.  I touched:

  • the outside door handle to the room.
  • the inside door handle to the room
  • the light switch
  • the cord to the computer from the t.v.
  • the dongle to the computer from the t.v.
  • the tv remote
  • the phone and almost every single number on the keypad
  • my pen
  • a notepad
  • my computer
  • my mouse
  • a white board marker
  • a white board rag
  • a bottle of white board cleaner
  • the hand sanitizer
No wonder the world is generally doomed when there's a risk of pandemic.

Friday, February 07, 2020

February 2020 Reading

And...a whole bunch of online training in Machine Learning.

  • 2/29/2020: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  • 2/28/2020: Kindred: A Graphic Novel Interpretation by Octavia E. Butler
  • 2/27/2020: Parable of the Talents (Earthseed 2) by Octavia E. Butler
  • 2/26/2020: Parable of the Talents (Earthseed 2) by Octavia E. Butler
  • 2/25/2020: Parable of the Talents (Earthseed 2) by Octavia E. Butler
  • 2/24/2020: Parable of the Talents (Earthseed 2) by Octavia E. Butler
  • 2/23/2020: Stuff Every Sushi Lover Should Know (Stuff You Should Know) by Marc Luber and Brett Cohen

  • 2/22/2020: Stuff Every Sushi Lover Should Know (Stuff You Should Know) by Marc Luber and Brett Cohen
  • 2/21/2020: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
  • 2/20/2020: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
  • 2/19/2020: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
  • 2/18/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi

  • 2/17/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • 2/16/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • 2/15/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • 2/14/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • 2/13/2020: The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 2) by Hannu Rajaniemi

  • 2/12/2020: Go East, Old Man: A Father, A Son, and a Coast-to-Coast Bicycle Trip by Buzz Joseph
  • 2/11/2020: Go East, Old Man: A Father, A Son, and a Coast-to-Coast Bicycle Trip by Buzz Joseph
  • 2/10/2020: Go East, Old Man: A Father, A Son, and a Coast-to-Coast Bicycle Trip by Buzz Joseph
  • 2/9/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler
  • 2/8/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler
  • 2/7/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler

  • 2/6/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler
  • 2/5/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler
  • 2/4/2020: Parable of the Sower: A powerful tale of a dark and dystopian future by Octavia Butler
  • 2/3/2020: – [19:50] Shut Up and Sit Down, Undaunted
  • – [24:37] Geographics, Clipperton Island: Mexico’s Forgtotten Murder Colony 

  • – [19:15] Watch it Played, Undaunted 
  • – [1:42:58] Heavy Cardboard, Undanted Normandy 2p 
  • – [32:36] Harsh Rules: Let’s Learn to Play – Fortress America
  • 2/2/2020: The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President: How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election - The Atlantic

  • Censorship through noise.
  • 2/1/2020: An algorithm that can spot cause and effect could supercharge medical AI - MIT
  • Sunday, January 19, 2020

    Code Freeze 2020 - Observabillity

    Sorry for the loose nature of the notes rather than a good writeup, but I wanted to get things collated so I can work with them.  Good conference.  I ate at Al's for breakfast and Hong Kong Noodles for lunch.  And I realized I take the green line over to the U of MN for lunch anytime I'm downtown at work, which didn't occur to me these last six months.  If I had my bicycle, it's even a short ride that way across the campus bridge.  I need to get my urban on.  Not as much practical knowledge at this one (for me) as some of the past events, but that means I can focus on the few things I think have practical value rather than being all over the place.

    Observability and the Glorious Future - Charity Majors (

    • O'Reilly Database Reliability Engineering (November 2017:
    • How often do you deploy.  How long, how often do you fail, recovery time - the basics.
    • Hires for communication skills (initial tech interview is to get them talking at the in person).  "Empowered to do their jobs". 
    •  "How do I know if it breaks?" - all changes, all features
    • "Serverless was a harbinger.  Deployless is coming."
    • Developers (senior+) should amplify the hidden costs.
    • Team happiness = customer happiness (Steve says this too)

    Observability in Big Analytics - Bonnie Holub, Teradata

    50 Years of Observability - Mary Poppendieck

    • What is the equivalent of metal fatigue in software?  Operator fatigue. >> e.g. what Steve pushes that a focus on PIs is important.
    • Talked planes, bridges, three mile island
    • She likes the Control series by Brian out on Youtube....they're deep:
    • Observable - all critical states known from system outputs
    • Observable is at war with complexity.
    • Controllable activator - sensor can get back to a set state in a set time.
    • If it's not observable, can it be totally controlled? (no)
    • Fault Tolerance: replication and isolation.
    • Responsibility (and understanding the big picture) leads to desire for observability (and isolation/duplication). >> PLEX team at VP is a form of big picture.

    What's Happening in Your Production Data and ML Systems  - Don Sawyer, PhData

    • Most practical of the lectures.
    • Focus on decoupled systems: Data warehouse, ML Models.
    • Talked Provenance as both origin and change over time.
    • Timestamp everything UTC (use Google Time API as an example to change it during compute).
    • Focus on: audit trails, data quality, repeatability, added info (pipeline).
    • Metadata payload.  PROCESS: id/version, start/end, transformations, inputs, configuraitons, DATA VERSIONS: traces of issues, data change history, defect data, LINEAGE: sources, frequencuu of read.
    • Last point was a little messy (from me) but you want to trace right down to the node data touched in transit so you can hydrate anything from the last known good state.
    • NOT ALL DATA RECORDS require granular povenance.  Can be expensive (so much data).  Use a flexible or generic schema.  Don't use S3 (slow).  Storage considerations.
    • Storage: 1.) attach info to the record (can get big, note that Avro and Parquet are meant to do this), 2 send a separate event message - separate provenance API, 3.) only track some.  Note that for API approaches you may end up going down a rabbit hole of tracking the tracking api.
    • Alternatives: Amundsen (Lyft), Marques (WeWork), DataBook (Uber), DataHub (LinkedIn)
    • Look at Apache Nifi (there's a pluralsight class)

    Evolving Chaos Engineering - Casey Rosenthal, Verica

    • Ships, shoes, fruit (apricots), helium mining.  He's a very funny guy.
    • LOOK FOR  A VIDEO to watch with the team
    • Reversibility: blue/green, feature flags, ci/cd, agile to waterfall.
    • Moved responsibility away from the people who do the work (hierarchy)
    • Myths:
    • 1. remove the people causing the accidents.
    • 2. document best practices and use runbooks.  (most interesting problems are unique)
    • 3. defend against prior root causes, aka defense in depth.  Root cause analysis: "at best, you are wasting your time."  Was our sponsor audience issue an example?  The answer was in part to restrict audience size.  But the dig highlighted system no longer supports system-wide features after growth, high processing cost of feature, inability to test with all users, etc.
    • 4. enforce procedures
    • 5. avoid risk
    • 6. simplify
    • 7. add redundancy
    • Do NOT eliminate complexity.  Navigate it.  CI, CD, CV - continuous verification (here's a link to a CV article:  That's New Relic for us.
    • Has two books: Chaos Engineering and Learning Chaos Engineering.  First book comes out June 2020.

    Monday, January 13, 2020

    January 2020 Reading

    Sunday, December 22, 2019

    2019 British Arrow Awards

    We've been going to the Arrow Awards for a long time. I won my first tickets in a drawing at TR and when they got more popular with the younger crowd (I assume that's what happened when I quit winning tickets after about three-four years), we switched to buying them.  We generally make it an anniversary event (26 years this year) with dinner.  This year was my first anniversary working downtown, so I met them at Christo's.  We should have given ourselves a bit more time.  It was pretty rushed to get through dinner and over to the Walker.  I had the added gift of taking the Route 18 down Nicollet.  That's the route I took 30 years ago when I was working at Third District Nurses.  Back then, I expertly avoided working during rush hour traffic.  So after a quarter century, it finally caught up to me.  It was PACKED.  I offer this anecdote:
    I took the 18 down Nicollet to meet my family for dinner. The bus was a sardine can. One more person tried to get on and was turned away. There was a pause and then a guy near me said, "What? No. The bus is like county lockup. There's always room for one more."
    The Amazon commercials were funny, both the Alex voice variants and the variants where individuals watching binge-able shows began to exhibit the characteristics of the main characters.  The Old Spice ones were funny.  The Rang-Tan in my bedroom one explains a piece of paper I saw when we went to a very strange movie at the Trylon: The Final Level: Escaping Rancala".

    And Viva La Vulva is an experience.

    BBC One's spend time with your kids one had me thinking they'd go Doctor Who somewhere during the play.  And I'd Rather Get Paid by Secret about equal wages was very well done.

    Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    December 2019 Reading

    December reading...
    • 12/31/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/30/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/29/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/28/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/27/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/26/2019: Dead Astronauts - Jeff VanderMeer
    • 12/11/2019 - 12/25/2019: "I Remember Nothing" - Anne Billson, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 11 (2019) ed. by Ellen Datlow  and all the following.  Ellen's recommendation in this volume is what got me to read Rutger's The Anomaly last month which I really enjoyed.  I ordered one or two other of her recommendations as well, although my current queue is like 20 books lone.
      • Monkeys on the Beach by Ralph Robert Moore
      • Painted Wolves by Ray Cluley
      • Shit Happens   by Michael Marshall Smith
        • I enjoyed this one - I get along with his writing style.
      • You Know How the Story Goes by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
      • Back Along the Old Track by Sam Hicks
      • Masks by Peter Sutton
      • The Donner Party by Dale Bailey
        • Interesting alt history, although I intuited the ending far in advance.
      • Milkteeth  by Kristi DeMeester
      • Haak by John Langan
        • Maybe my favorite.  Peter Pan alternative.  Genuinely Cthulhu lore style.
      • Thin Cold Hands by Gemma Files
      • A Tiny Mirror by Eloise C. C. Shepherd
      • I Love You Mary-Grace by Amelia Mangan
      • The Jaws of Ouroboros by Steve Toase
        • More scifi than horror in my opinion, but scary scifi, I'll give it that.
      • A Brief Moment of Rage by Bill Davidson
      • Golden Sun  by Kristi DeMeester, Richard Thomas, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt
      • White Mare by Thana Niveau
      • Girls Without Their Faces On by Laird Barron
      • Thumbsucker  by Robert Shearman
      • You Are Released by Joe Hill
        • End of the world tale.  More realism than horror story.
      • Red Rain  by Adam-Troy Castro
      • Split Chain Stitch by Steve Toase
      • No Exit by Orrin Grey
      • Haunt  by Siobhan Carroll
      • Sleep  by Carly Holmes
    • 12/10/2019: Challenging SQL on Hadoop Performance with Apache Druid
    • 12/9/2019: Basic Druid documentation
    • 12/8/2019: Accessing data using Apache Druid (Hortonworks)
    • 12/7/2019: Introduction to TWO approaches of content-based Recommendation System - not my favorite ML breakdown
    • 12/6/2019: Druid: A Real-time Analytical Data Store - a more technical paper about time series and Druid.
    • 12/5/2019: An Introduction to Event Data Modeling
      • Read a LOT more from Snowplow besides this article.  A lot.  So much.  We've been talking event tracking and streaming, so I was interested in their details.
    • 12/4/2019: Why We Don't See Many Public GraphQL APIs
    • 12/3/2019: A Beginner's Guide to the OKR Framework -
      • OKR = Objectives and Key Results
      • Company, team, and personal >> line of sight (in my old org)
      • Not the how, the goal.
      • Objectives: "ambitious, qualitative, time bound and actionable "
      • Key results: numeric-based expressions of success or progress towards an objective.  No more than 4 per objective.
      • My concerns...these are experiments.  And the boldest changes are true experiments with concrete demos in front of real customers.  See the Sprint book >> you might not know what you're going to produce until you dig in (so maybe the goal is to dig in before the quarter starts).
      • Business specific.  Ambitious.  Less is more.  Not a task list.  Public.  Grade them mid-term.  Grade between 0 and 100 (0 and 1).  .6 to .7 is success! (woo, we are C to D students!)
      • Cascading OKRs.  (line of sight)
    • 12/2/2019: The Root Causes of Product Failure by Marty Cagan at Mind the Product San Francisco [49:14] - Ofeliya had me watch this one
    • 12/1/2019:

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    Bus Ride

    Below is a picture of me reading short horror stories during the express bus ride into Minneapolis in the morning.  It still hasn't been the coldest I expect.  I'm not looking forward to that.  But the average ride is about half an hour one way if I don't screw around.  A little longer if I walk to the stop and walk home from the park and ride.

    That's how I started my day.  I finished my day by getting ill by having an allergic reaction to prepackaged fish.  I don't known when they changed their ingredients, but my wife says the fish tastes different with the new packaging, and I agree; so we both suspect they did.  This is the second time I've had a reaction to the tilapia, so I'm pretty sure that's what's causing it.  The reaction follows a pretty consistent pattern: 1.) sleepy and back hurts (diaphragm spasming), 2.) stomach problems, lots of belching, probably precipitated by the spasms, 3.) ride my bike or exercise to try and blow through the worst of it unless my back hurts to much from the spasms or I belch so much I can't really breath, 4.) feel like I have to take a big dump, not because of the food allergy and my bowels, but because of the spasms.  It's what I traditionally get from fresh tomatoes and certain casks (particularly rum) as well.  The fish nonsense is completely new.  Maybe I'll slowly become allergic to a few new things a year until I'm sitting around eating nothing but ice cubes.

    Sunday, November 17, 2019

    Sakura (and more)

    We've been doing a monthly dinner event for almost a year now.  We've gotten around.  Tonight we went to Sakura in downtown St. Paul.  I had the Chriashi sushi - it's in the foreground.  K and L are eating primarily appetizers and rolls.  The food was good, although Kyle had the most positive things to say about the whiskey flight they tried before I got there and my sushi was better than Poot's salmon teriyaki, which looked like what you'd order if you didn't like sushi.  She did enjoy her dumplings.  I particularly liked them when I squeezed some orange on them (as in citrus, not simply the color) to complement the soy sauce.

    Our historical venues:

    • November 2019 (Kyle) - Sakura
    • October 2019 (Matthew) - Chimborazo
    • September 2019 (Larry) - Mesob (Ethiopian on Hiawatha)
    • August 2019 (Scott) - Apoy Phillipino Bistro
    • July 2019 (Ming)- Mama Sheila’s Soul Food Kitchen [Buffet]
    • June 2019 (Kyle) - Babani’s Turkish
    • May 2019 (Matthew) - Winzer Stube German Restaurant
    • April 2019 (Larry) - Adelita’s
    • March 2019 (Scott) - George and the Dragon [Brunch]
    • February 2019 (Ming) -  City Afrique (Poot and I missed this one)
    • January 2019 (Kyle) - Peninsula

    Outside the restaurant someone had dropped their sushi roll.  Very sad.  I hope it wasn't the Zach Parise specialty roll.  And I assume they dropped it rather than flung it at the wall/ground in anger.

    We also made it to the play "Towards Zero" by Agatha Christie this weekend, over at Theatre in the Round. Good play.  I really enjoyed the first 99%.  And then there was a weird Christie twist at the end that made it feel like a bit of a rom com.  The acting was great and her murder mysteries are fun. This one had the motto that the murder should occur at the end of the story.

    Kyle gave me a birthday present, a bottle of Ohishi Whisky. 

    And Joe gave me a birthday present.  Schematics for a keg and other brewery related items.  I'm going to ask my father in law to frame them for me.  They'll be really nice wall art.  My family got me a cast iron bank.  A dog.  I have a small collection, and it fits in nicely.  Poot says she picked it up in Wisconsin near the cheese shop while on her visit to a friend last month. No picture.  You'll have to trust it looks like a cast iron dog.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    Gameholecon - March of the Ants

    I played March of the Ants at Gameholecon - one of the few I played without anyone else in our party.  I told Eryn and Klund, "I really liked it and had a great time, but I only ever need to play it once."  It has mechanics very much like any other worker placement game.  You have larva, you "harvest" them into your space, and then you play them as ants.  Ants have to be fed.  More ants.  More food. And there are options for collecting food, getting bonuses, expanding territory, etc.  I did like the additional ant evolution options to evolve your ant colony's heads, abdomen, and thorax multiple times - definitely gave it a bit of color.

    Here we are, a few turns into exploration with the ants owning some breeding grounds, food production areas, and card generation areas (cards are good for evolution and bumping your attacks among other things).  That green giant is a centipede.  They eat your ants, so you need to maintain a strong enough population to kill them, but when you do you get a nice resource bonus.

    Grabbing an exploration tile.

    You can see my colony with evolved heads here.  Those were good for attacking and defending.  The two big ants are from an expansion (I think) and we barely got to play them because the game is very limited in turns.  The guy leading the game had a separate turn track he'd made himself in order to play slightly longer games.  It was a surprise how fast the end snuck up on us.  Those worker ants, master ants, whatever they are, give extra bonus options and reinforce your hex presence.

    Finally, I simply thought this was funny.  He labeled which bag held which color cubes.  I am 100% certain that was not necessary.

    My review.  Great worker placement game.  Didn't need the expansion.  Not too different from other worker placement games, but a great theme.  The evolution is a positive feature.  The constrained length is a positive feature.  The pressure on food versus population versus evolution seems balanced.  But I'd probably play Champions of Midgard (rated 96 overall) for a similar experience instead of buying the ants game unless I had a budding etymologist in my family.

    Sunday, November 10, 2019

    Reading November 2019

    • 11/30/2019: Apache Druid: Technology -
    • 11/29/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/28/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/27/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/26/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/25/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/24/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/23/2019: The Anomaly, Michael Rutger
    • 11/22/2019: Walkme (Druid) Implementation by Yotam Spencer [37:00] -
    • 11/21/2019: Apache Druid (at Imply)
      • Druid and Kafka [7:28], Druid Native Batch [4:54], Druid SQL [9:51], Imply Pivot Analytics [5:45], Conclusion [2:18]
    • 11/20/2019: Apache Druid (at Imply)
      • Druid File Format [11:22], Data Modeling with Druid [13:28]
    • 11/19/2019: Apache Druid (at Imply)
      • What Can You Use Apache Druid For [ 10:19], Druid Architecture [11:44]
    • 11/18/2019: Apache Druid (at Imply)
      • Course 0 [2:38], What is Apache Druid [5:58], How Does Apache Druid Work [ 17:26]
    • 11/17/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/16/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/15/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/14/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/13/2019: 5 Tips on How to Manage Former Peers - corporate manager training
    • 11/13/2019: What Do You Expect? Four Areas of Expectations Required for Great Results - corporate manager training
      • Time, the work, the communication, the culture
    • 11/13/2019: Managing Remote Employees [5:02] - 2013 - corporate manager training video
      • the right tech
      • measure by deliverables, not activities - map it to goals
      • focus on communication and inclusion (this is difficult >> e.g. playing games/informal activities)
      • healthy work life balance (how to monitor time, dedicated space, etc)
      • "dispersion": geographic, temporal, inequality in configuration, cultural diversity
    • 11/13/2019: 21 Essential Rules for Managing a Remote Team - Liam Martin of Time Doctor [21:07]
      • Video >> audio >> chat >> email
      • He recommends Jing (basically Screencast)
      • Consistency (in remote, meetings, expectations)
      • He hires two people at part time to make them compete - awful.  But he does say to pay well once you hire them.
      • Goal is to address expectations (for all those items above) - e.g.
        • Expect you to value the diversity and individuals on a team even if you don't always like them.  Learn to assume positive intent and learn to trust or communicate issues around trust so they can be resolved.
        • Be honest.
        • Expect you to build what's being asked for and ask for clarification if that's not clear.
        • Expect you to communicate risk and options and blockers.
        • Expect you to surface new work early and share.
        • Expect you to show up, although not necessarily in office, but be part of the team culture.
        • Expect you to be curious.  Ask why, ask how, continuously learn...
        • Expect you to do a dig on what you get w/in a time bucket and pass things along with more information than you probably got them (and make sure there's a communication loop for follow up, even if it's not your issue).
        • Expect to have some employees where you can't agree on expectations.
    • 11/12/2019: The Danger of AI is Weirder Than you Think - Janelle Shane, TED2019 [10:21]
    • 11/11/2019: Reading Management Books as an Individual Contributor - Tamara Atanasoska -
    • 11/10/2019: How Couples Can Sustain a Strong Sexual Connection for a Lifetime by Emily Nagoski (TED - [9:46]) 
      • 1.) Best Friends.  2.) Prioritize Sex.  (and trust)
    • 11/9/2019: How to Get Canceled - Lauren Duca
      • "I must disclose, I'm biased toward myself"
    • 11/8/2019: Secret chats involving Republican lawmaker reveal fresh evidence of plots and paranoia - the Guardian
    • 11/7/2019: Dive Into Speculative Fiction With the Winners of the 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards
      • Already reading Bastards because of a Jeff Vandermeer recommendation.  Ordered M and reached out to Mendoza for a copy of the play (that is a hard play to identify in performance lists because of the "Machine Learning" title).
    • 11/6/2019: The Greek Myth of Talos, the First Robot - Adrienne Mayor - (TED [3:44])
    • 11/5/2019: Queens of Infamy: Zenobia -
      • Zenobia and her husband wanted a capital as great as — if not greater than — Rome, which, to be fair, shouldn’t have been that hard because Rome at that point was a masturbatory cesspool. I mean that mostly figuratively (if there was one thing Roman orators loved doing, it was verbally wanking off about their city), but it applies literally too, presumably.
    • 11/4/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/3/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/2/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman
    • 11/1/2019: Theory of Bastards, Audrey Schulman

    Friday, November 08, 2019

    Dinner and More...

    My day...pretty casual.  I worked from home.  Which is a good thing for work as I get a lot of extra time in never leaving the house.  I even tend to move less unless I remind myself.  I was going to study spring boot all day and barely got started I had so many other things to do.

    We went out to Buster's for dinner with Kyle and Lisa.  Wings and chips and beer and fish tacos and such.  Nice dinner, although we finished up a little early.  I think they were headed over to Elevated (liquor store) to pass some time before they picked folks up at the airport.  Kyle handed off a bunch of mugs he'd picked up for me at Good Will.  I'm going to try the mugs for developers thing again now that I'm at a new place and no one can find my list.  He's got some good ones.  I should add, not only are these new people who probably won't find my list, but the person who found my list last time retired and can't tattle on me.

    Lara, our German foreign exchange student, left yesterday after two and a half weeks.  She was a great addition to the family.  Poot took her to the pumpkin event at the zoo and Parasite (movie) while we were at Gameholecon.  Peter took her trick or treating.  And we got her to the D Spot and Chipotle (three times) and she watched a lot of baking tv and played a lot of board games (Sushi Go was her favorite).  It was sad she was gone so soon.

    And Joe flew back to Ohio.  It was great to go to wings with him at D Spot and out for a beer at Town Hall while he was here.  I'm glad he's got his new gig.

    Ah....and Sandy (my first boss) had her severance party last night.  Whole bunch of my old co workers were at Union 32 for several different "lay off" events.  Crazy.  At least they're all pulling down a package.

    Thursday, November 07, 2019

    Gameholecon - Eating and Other Things

    The first few trips to Gameholecon we ate almost exclusively at the food trucks and on site.  The last two years we've gotten out to eat some better meals and treat it more like a mini vacation.

    This is from Mickey's Dairy Bar.  We went there last year too - cash only.  It's incredibly popular.  My pancakes were WAY more than I could eat.

    They have this monkey with bananas and this year we were there after Eryn went to Hausu at the Trylon with Peter and Lara, so it had special significance.  Bananas, Bananas, Bananas!

    We had sushi the second night.  This is Muramoto Hilldale,which is the upscale mall. The dumpling place next door smelled better, but Eryn was really happy and I'm always happy with the sashimi plate.

    The last night we went out for ramen at Morris Ramen right downtown.  We went there last year too.  Hard to find, small place, but delicious.  I had the corn and sausage ramen which is a little midwestern (aka not very spicy) but has a great flavor profile.  Eryn went spicy.  There was s small woman sitting next to us who had hair dyed like my niece and was the same height, but on closer inspection was probably a 40 year old.

    And on the way home we went past the Norske Nook in Osseo, WI.  I wanted pork and gravy, but it wasn't lunch time.  And then someone stole my berry pancake.  And so the waitress thought I could have the pork and gravy.  But no.  So I got my blackberry pancake, just after a long wait.  And she gave me my banana pie and Eryn's sugar cookie comped, which was nice but unnecessary.  I was AMAZED that she remembered us from our trip to House on the Rock in the spring.  Hell of a memory on that waitress.  She said she wasn't sure until Eryn ordered her burger.

    These next two have nothing at all to do with food.  This is from the True Dungeon.  Not this year - this year's theme was a blue snake woman and a giant demon.  This was in the dungeon last year and Eryn has fond memories of a woman on her phone who was oblivious until the tree grabbed her from behind.  Our team this year was much more inexperienced and we actually failed a puzzle challenge and one of the guys dropped unconscious and I had to revive him with a potion as we had no cleric.

    My favorite part was on the puzzle we failed where we handed gems into a crypt in the right order to turn some skulls.  One of the guys didn't realize there were people in the tomb and kept tossing his gems into the holes.  I'm surprised no one got seriously beaned.

    And this is the original Greyhawk map they used for inspiration (the Gygaxes are from WI) for the modules.  Chris (from high school) was excited to see this photo when I sent it his direction.  Eryn's excited about making her own map and has my old D&D map out at the moment to see how I handled it back when I was world building (my rules were: only part of one continent so there was lots of space to expand, different land types, countries basically had a theme (Sherfora, horses, Cthulhu-y, Romanesque, Persian, various novels, ruled by Dionysus, Atlantisa) an; d then populated with geographical features appropriately (Sherfora, forest in the middle of a plain that was more English-like; the Cthulhu area had lots of mountains and the borders were determined by how far someone had managed to make it without disappearing; Atlantis, big volcano; Dionysus area lots of dunes and grapes....etc).  It did make it about a million times easier to put a basic framework around any adventure and local color/character building.

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    Out of Town Visitor

    Not a euphemism.  My old coworker, Joe.  As in we used to work together, not that either of us is old. We're not!  My old coworker, Joe, was in town for a new job over at phData, doing his video training.  Last night he trained (as in on a train, not watching corporate videos) down to the MoA and Eryn, Lara, and I picked him up and took him to the D Spot for wings in Oakdale.  We met Erik, Jestine, Pat, and Jessica there, so we had a full on mini reunion of sorts.  It was a pretty nice evening getting to see everyone after three months.

    Tonight I stayed in town late and met up with him at his hotel and walked to Town Hall Brewery for beer and dinner.  He seems pretty sure he made the right move.  Does not surprise me.  We had some of the some complaints.  About the same things and the same people.  It's a bummer he lives in another state, but I'll probably get to see him in January again when he's back for 2020 planning.

    Monday, November 04, 2019

    Gameholecon - Martian Dice

    Whoa....I don't think I realized I had quite so many photos of Gameholecon, and that's after pruning the duplicates, the bad photos, and the uninteresting ones.

    Here we are playing Martian Dice. The folks who run the game library - the Milwaukee Company of Gamers - put on a tournament and gave us free dice.  The concept is simple.  You're the Martians.  If tanks show up, you need as many death rays to offset the humans.  After that, you get a point for everything you abduct: humans, chickens, cows.  If you get at least one die from each set, then you score an extra two points.  But you have to either play a death ray or another set you don't have each time.  First person to 25 wins.

    Eryn setting aside some dice.  Those are all my tanks in the foreground.  That was a real roll.

    I made it into the semifinals.  One of the Milwaukee gamers was dressed as a yeoman from Star Trek. 

    Ming not happy with his dice.  Or else getting lectured by that wagging finger across the table.

    Ming happy with his roll.

    Sunday, November 03, 2019

    Gameholecon - Our Fourth

    E, Me, Ming, and Klund went to Gameholecon Thursday through Saturday (came back Sunday morning, but at least Eryn and I didn't play games).  It's our (Eryn and me) fourth visit to Madison to play games for days.

    It was snow free in Minnesota, but by the time we got to the Dells, there was snow on the ground.  And Madison had a big snow storm.  Enough that they were worried about cleanup for sports games on Friday.

    On Thursday after we got there, we checked into our AirBNB (and almost tumbled down the slippery snow-covered steps) and then got to gaming.   Eryn and I played some short games first.  Apoteheca was a hidden information game where you used your abilities to move the tiles so you could get several in a row.  That's Kevin lurking in the background.  And that's Eryn's Displacer Beast skulking at the end of the table.  It's funny how cute they made a displacer beast.  Eryn was amused to find out he had a little red x for a butthole.

    More Apotheca.  We played a few rounds.

    Eyrn and her displacer beast enjoying getting gaming.

    The first day was on Halloween, so there were all sorts of attendees dressed up / in costume.  This guy was very proud of his fairy costume.

    Surprise photo of me playing 5 Minute Dungeon.  Our initial group liked this one best out of the four games we played.  It was fast.  That poor guy next to me had hearing aids, however.  So people were talking and doing things all at the same time and it was tough to keep up.  They did like it much better than Fuse which had the same issues (lots of noise and motion, so difficult to pay attention).

    Our hostess dressed up as Sally in A Nightmare Before Christmas.  We're busy cleaning up after throwing all our cards on the table in 5 Minute Dungeon here.

    And a game of Forbidden Desert.  In my opinion, this was the pickiest game for n00bs.  The water carrier and the mover (me) should have sat on the oasis/well and just moved other teammates and water around.  Anything else (which is what we did) was foolish. I"m not fond of games that aren't forgiving at all without a good organic incentive to use the game mechanics.  But it was a fun round of team building.