Following the Loons

I did not follow soccer at all growing up.

However, with Minnesota United FC starting its second season and my oldest son showing a little bit of an interest in soccer, it has been fun to watch the game a little more closely and start following the local team as well. It was also a World Cup year, so I was able to get updates on the day’s games from my two older sons as they followed the action in the afternoon.

One thing I have benefitted from has been my age as I am able to watch the game itself with a new set of eyes. Where in the past I might have seen nothing more than some (a lot) of running, now I pay more attention to the little things going on around the entire pitch. There is a lot going on away from the ball, and sometimes there is a lot more to enjoy when watching for the entire build up to something happening instead of focusing only on where the ball is.

So it has been a fun season so far, with three straight wins and 9 straight points. I am hoping the new additions will bring some more dynamism and that Darwin Quintero continues to find his extremely exciting niche in the league.

You don’t have to live in public

You don’t have to live in public by Austin Kleon

It seems ridiculous to say, but 2013, the year I wrote the book, was a simpler time. Social media seemed much more benign to me. Back then, the worst I felt social media did was waste your time. Now, the worst social media does is cripple democracy and ruin your soul.

A lot of think about and digest in this one, and maybe a little bit of hyperbole at points, but there is a lot to like as well.

Lawnmowers and Coax

This is a story in two pictures.

The cable hasn’t been buried since we moved into the house, so I am going to have someone come and take care of that now that I have sufficient mangled the poor thing and then patched it up so that we have access to the internet for the time being.

Laptop Required: Teaching Online While Mobile

It was not terribly long ago that I had almost completely rid myself of carrying a laptop. I was able to keep a desktop at home, a desktop at work, and a tablet for those times I was traveling and really needed to get online for something more involved than checking my phone.

laptop on tableHowever, that was then, and teaching online courses has tethered me to a laptop far more than being a sysadmin ever did. My dream of whittling my bag down to a tablet and various other small materials is essentially dead. Current online teaching platforms require a laptop to be effective while doing some of even the most mundane of tasks.

This is not a real complaint, more of an observation about how our tools are dictated by the platforms and the assumptions developers make. While my students could effectively handle most of their course from a mobile device (and I have in mind to work toward making the courses I have complete control over as mobile friendly as possible), the teaching experience still requires access to at least a laptop, and often a desktop with multiple monitors.

When Steve Jobs spoke about the stratification of computing into different categories (traditional PCs as trucks, tablets as cars, etc.), I thought the metaphor was apt, but I hoped to be able to stick myself into a car when it came to mobile computing.

Instead, I now carry a crossover in my bag so that I might be able to get work done even when I am away from one of my desks. While it works well, part of me wishes I could still stick with just a hatchback.

Pi-hole in the future

Today I ordered what is needed to implement a Pi-hole instance in my home. A friend of mine showed me some graphs from his instance and I have been curious about monitoring what is happening on my home network for a while. So I have a Raspberry Pi 3 with a case and power supply coming soon which I will setup as the DNS server at home and then I will see how it goes.

This is also the first Raspberry Pi I will have in my home. We have been suing them for a while at work for various things, but now I have opened the flood gates to running additional software at home. It will be an interesting experience.