# Monday, April 26, 2021

Episode 658

Matt Adamczyk on Title Town Tech and Startups

Matt Adamczyk is the Microsoft Technologist in Residence at Title Town Tech in Green Bay, WI. He talks about this organization and what it brings to startups in Wisconsin.

Monday, April 26, 2021 2:17:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, April 24, 2021

An economic downturn affects some people more than others. The recession and housing crash of the early 21st century caused many Americans to make difficult choices. Many owed more on their house than it was worth. They were forced to surrender their home to the bank and walk away. Others lost their job and could no longer afford to pay their rent. Stock market losses reduced or eliminated pensions. Older Americans were particularly hard hit. A significant minority of these people decided to abandon the idea of living in a traditional house and opt for a life on the road - living in a van or a mobile home.

Jessica Bruder's Nomadland is the story of those people.

These American nomads are not homeless - they are houseless; they have chosen a life on the road.

There are some advantages to this lifestyle, which is not dissimilar to being on a permanent camping trip. Many people have formed a support community, sometimes referring to themselves as a "Tribe" and folks in that community support one another. Facebook groups and in-person events exist to help them learn and connect with one another. This lifestyle allows individuals for more freedom to explore the country.

But there are many disadvantages. Most of these migrants work low-paying jobs without health insurance or retirement benefits. The workers put in long hours and find it difficult to accumulate savings. The work is often physically demanding - especially for older people. Additionally, society makes life difficult for transients. For example, local ordinances often restrict where one can park a camper and often forbid sleeping in a vehicle; most camp sites limit lengths of stay; and a permanent address is a requirement for a driver's license and for many other basic tasks. Many of these "workampers" work temporary seasonal jobs such as maintaining a campground, picking beets, or scanning package at an Amazon warehouses. As a result, they must travel frequently, moving to where they can find work.

Given these challenges, it is surprising how much optimism, hope, and positivity projected by those interviewed by Ms. Bruder. Time and again, the people to whom she introduces the reader show an impressive resiliency that helps them to survive.

Bruder focuses most of her attention on Linda - a divorced 60-something woman traveling the country in a mobile home. Linda has a dream of buying land and building an "Earthship" - a solar-powered home made of recycled materials. As Linda ages, her options to sustain herself lessen; but she perseveres, keeping her positive attitude intact.

Bruder even travels in a van of her own to get a firsthand taste of life on the road.

This is not the story of wealthy retirees touring the country for pleasure; it is the story of older Americans, who feel they have fewer choices to survive and have opted for this lifestyle. As Bruder puts it:

Bruder quotes Bob Wells, who writes about the houseless culture on his site https://www.cheaprvliving.com:

"At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules (went to school, got a job, and worked hard) everything would be fine. That’s no longer true today. You can do everything right, just the way society wants you to do it, and still end up broke, alone, and homeless."

Nomadland is the story of those who ended up that way and found a way to survive.

Saturday, April 24, 2021 9:32:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, April 22, 2021

GCast 108:

Managing Deleted Facebook Posts

Learn how to archive, permanently delete, and restore Facebook posts after they are moved to Trash.

Thursday, April 22, 2021 7:30:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 19, 2021

Episode 657

Wolfgang Goerlich on Cyber Security Design Principles

Wolfgang Goerlich has written a series of articles featuring the ideas of classic designers, which he relates to principles of cyber security.


Monday, April 19, 2021 9:31:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, April 17, 2021

"Alright! Alright! Alright!"
- Wooderson

Matthew McConaughey sees the world in terms of Red Lights (things that stop us), Yellow Light (things that slow us down), and Greenlights (things that allow us to move forward) and explains how he has been able to convert Red and Yellow lights into Greenlights. Greenlights is, of course, the title of McConaughey's 2020 autobiography.

The book is a series of anecdotes, mostly about overcoming adversity and turning negatives into positives. He grew up in a dysfunctional family with an overbearing, sometimes violent, redneck father, but he learned some valuable lessons about self-reliance from that father.

While a high school exchange student, he was assigned to live with a crazy Australian family who tried to control all his actions, but he asserted himself and was able to maintain his independence and move to a more normal home.

He was a film student struggling to find his first break when he won his first movie role, playing Wooderson in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" - a small part, but a memorable character in a movie that would later become a cult favourite.

When confused about his next step, he took a sabbatical to travel along the Amazon River or through central Africa or across America - in each case returning with greater clarity.

After establishing himself as a bankable leading man in romantic comedy films, he decided he needed new challenges and refused to accept any more rom-com roles. After a few months, the phone stopped ringing; but he eventually landed the lead in "The Dallas Buyers Club", which earned him his first and only Academy Award.

In each case, McConaughey was able to create a positive (or "Greenlight") through a combination of talent, positive thinking, hard work, cleverness, and perseverance. McConaughey comes across as an eternal optimist who lives life on his own terms. He was blessed with looks and talent, but he did not rely solely on that. He also comes across as a bit of an oddball, as he describes his drug use and his wet dreams.

Each chapter includes at least one poem or a philosophical statement or a "Note to Self" or a clever bumper sticker that relates to the coming or preceding story. It is a bit cheesy, but it works.

One wonders about the veracity of his stories: Did he really fight a champion wrestler to a draw in remote Mali? Was teenage McConaughey as successful at outwitting adults as he claims?

But we cannot doubt the entertainment value. McConaughey speaks with an engaging humor and his stories are fun.

Saturday, April 17, 2021 9:44:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 12, 2021

Episode 656

Matthew Renze on the AI Developers Toolkit

Consultant and trainer Matthew Renze describes the different categories of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, as well as appropriate tools for each category.

Monday, April 12, 2021 3:00:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, April 10, 2021

In Jack Kerouac's On the Road, narrator Sal Paradise and his friends crisscross the United States, searching for America, God, and themselves. Along the way, they also search for jazz, booze, drugs, girls, and adventure.

Although Sal narrates, this is really the story of his friend Dean Moriarity. Dean constantly lives in the moment - experiencing life to the fullest and searching for thrills and satisfaction at each turn. He falls in love and marries and fathers children with no sense of responsibility and no thought of the future. Sal follows along, soaking in the energy that Dean exudes.

They live fast and they observe the sights and sounds and smells of all they encounter; they connect with people; they drink in jazz clubs and feel the music flowing through them. It all sounds great, but there are consequences. Dean is self-absorbed and, although charming and fun, feels no responsibility to others. The ex-wives and children he leaves behind suffer the consequences of his abandonment; and the drug use eventually take a heavy toll on Dean's health.

This was the novel that defined the "Beat Generation" - that inspired millions to dream of freedom from social mores. It is entirely impractical, but it is a wonderful ride.

Saturday, April 10, 2021 9:09:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 5, 2021

Episode 655

Ted Neward on Technology Culture

Ted Neward describes things that Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans is doing to develop and evolve their culture within the IT departments.

Monday, April 5, 2021 9:37:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, April 4, 2021

Today I am grateful
-to spend yesterday with my sons and  their girlfriends
-to see an exciting NCAA semi-final game last night

Today I am grateful to hang out virtually with Josh yesterday.

Today I am grateful to Jesus Christ, who died for my sins.

Today I am grateful for all the success by the BIG10 teams in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Today I am grateful for
-a free lift pass yesterday
-making my first unassisted ski run

Today I am grateful for
-a walk around downtown Park City, UT yesterday
-a gift of a massage yesterday

Today I am grateful for:
-My first experience snow skiing yesterday
-Dinner last night with Robert and Colette

Today I am grateful to see a Jazz - Grizzlies game in Salt Lake City last night.

Today I am grateful for my first visit to Utah.

Today I am grateful to begin my first vacation of 2021 today.

Today I am grateful to Dave for showing me how to save $150 a year on my AmEx card.

Today I am grateful for Inbox Zero.

Today I am grateful to put my emissions test and plate removal behind me.

Today I am grateful for a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden yesterday.

Today I am grateful to hear of all those who have received or scheduled a vaccine.

Today I am grateful for 12 hours of much needed sleep last night.

Today I am grateful to receive my second COVID-19 vaccination yesterday.

Today I am grateful for my CPAP machine.

Today I am grateful for home-cooked meals.

Today I am grateful for 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Today I am grateful for my first oil change of the year.

Today I am grateful I was able to resolve yesterday's issue viewing MS Teams on my phone.

Today I am grateful for ice cream.

Today I am grateful to receive thousands of dollars of my unclaimed money from Michigan and Illinois.

Today I am grateful for great books.

Today I am grateful for all of the amazing women I've known in my life.

Sunday, April 4, 2021 2:05:24 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, April 3, 2021

When poet John Shade died, he left behind his just-completed epic poem "Pale Fire", which was snatched up by his neighbor and colleague Charles Kinbote, who planned to write an analysis of the poem. Kinbote - an immigrant from the northern European country of Zembla - expected the poem to be about Zembla's ousted king Charles the Beloved, as Kinbote had been relaying stories of Zembla and its king to Shade for months and assumed this would serve as inspiration for his epic poem. He is disappointed to learn the poem is about Shade's impressions on life and death - particularly the death of his daughter Hazel.

Kinbote analyzes the poem anyway, but quickly turns his focus away from Shade's words toward himself, his relationship with Shade, his conflicts with Shade's wife, and the escape of King Charles from Zembla. He begins by describing (and likely inflating) his close kinship with the author; then describes his stalking of the author during the writing of the poem; followed by a detailed description of the ouster of the King Charles. Frequently, Kinbote follows a sentence fragment of the poem with a multi-page monologue completely unrelated to that fragment. On rare occasions when the analysis focuses on the poem itself, Kinbote admits that he cannot be bothered to look up any references.

In Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov weaves a great deal of humour into his work. Kinbote suffers from extreme hubris - exaggerating the influence he had over Shade's work and underestimating the contempt in which he is held by everyone around him. Of course, everything is imaginary - the poet, the narrator, the king, and Zembla. The unreliable narrator provides his own absurd story, weaving together fact, fiction, personal prejudices, and narcissistic rants about himself. In the end, it is impossible for the reader to identify exactly what is real.

Saturday, April 3, 2021 10:07:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)