# Monday, May 3, 2021

Episode 659

Danielle Walker on Technology Startups

Danielle Walker assists entrepreneurs in starting technology companies. She discusses some of the things that they can do to launch a more successful product.

Monday, May 3, 2021 9:33:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, May 2, 2021

5/2
Today I am grateful that my refrigerator and freezer are finally working for the first time in over a month.

5/1
Today I am grateful to attend the wedding of Laurent and Vanch yesterday.
 
4/30
Today I am grateful for coffee with Steve yesterday.

4/29
Today I am grateful for the convenience of online shopping.

4/28
Today I am grateful for a 15-mile night ride yesterday through downtown Chicago with the Streets Calling Bike Club.

4/27
Today I am grateful to celebrate Ronald's life with his family yesterday.

4/26
Today I am grateful for new sweatpants

4/25
Today I am grateful for those who responded when I asked for advice and counseling.

4/24
Today I am grateful to visit my son's new home for the first time.

4/22
Today I am grateful to own a reliable car.

4/21
Today I am grateful that the criminal justice system sometimes works correctly.

4/20
Today I am grateful that I continue to learn new skills.

4/19
Today I am grateful for a freshly-washed car.

4/18
Today I am grateful for a long walk around East Lansing and Michigan State University yesterday afternoon.

4/17
Today I am grateful to celebrate Joe's life with my family yesterday.

4/16
Today I am grateful I have at least 1 right glove and 1 left glove remaining at the end of winter.

4/15
Today I am grateful to have 2 light switches now working properly after being defective for a long time.

4/14
Today I am grateful to interrupt a bike ride for a taco dinner in Little Village last night.

4/13
Today I am grateful I was able to return $80 worth of clothes that did not fit me properly.

4/12
Today I am grateful for my new kitchen faucet.

4/11
Today I am grateful for a hot bath after a long walk and ride in the rain yesterday.

4/10
Today I am grateful to attend my first concert of 2021 last night - Ivy Ford at Rosa's Lounge!

4/9
Today I am grateful to Shahed, who called to see how I was doing yesterday.

4/8
Today I am grateful for my first time biking to Midway airport.

4/7
Today I am grateful for the Chicago Nature Boardwalk.

4/6
Today I am grateful for my new sweater.

4/5
Today I am grateful to spend Easter weekend with my boys.

Sunday, May 2, 2021 2:20:18 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, May 1, 2021

It was World War II and Captain Yossarian was panicking because everyone was trying to kill him. He served as a US Army bombardier and each mission he flew brought the deadly anti-aircraft fire from the Germans. In addition, his commanding officers repeatedly raised the required number of missions before Yossarian could go home.

So Yossarian approached Doc Daneeka to seek a discharge by reason of insanity. This was allowed, but there was a catch: Catch-22. Catch-22 states that recognizing the dangers of war is the act of a rational mind, so requesting to leave the war was proof of sanity and made one ineligible for discharge on those grounds.

From Joseph Heller's 1961 novel Catch-22:

"Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to."

This is the first of many absurd rules enforced and defended by the military bureaucracy. The soldiers are illogical, the orders are nonsensical, the officers are incompetent, and the rules are meaningless but must be followed.

"Catch-22" recounts these absurd incidents, rules, and conversations - often with laugh-out-loud hilarity. The logic presented is often circular and usually contradictory. The most common spoken phrases are "Are you crazy?" and "You're crazy!" and in many cases, they are crazy. Virtually every character suffers from some degree of neurosis or psychosis.

Heller introduces some of the most memorable characters in literature, including:

- Milo Minderbinder, an unchecked capitalist who is so greedy, he accepts contracts from the German to bomb his own air base and to help them shoot down American fighter planes.

- Major Major Major Major, who will never agree to see anyone in his office until after he leaves his office.

- Doc Daneeka, who dismisses the complaints of his patients because they don't compare to the agony of his being drafted and having to give up a lucrative practice.

This is not an easy novel to read. Dozens of characters come and go, and each has an interesting story, and many have a disturbing backstory. In addition, the story is told non-chronologically, often looping back on the same events, providing more detail with each pass. I found it nearly impossible to determine the actual order of events. Multiple readings help understand the details of the story, but re-reading is not necessary to enjoy Heller's language and the overall messages he strives to convey. These situations are absurd because war is absurd. And you would be crazy to think otherwise. Individual scenes could stand on their own as a short story; but together they weave a classic as each of the numerous threads come together.

After three readings, Catch-22 remains one of my favourite novels of all time. I found myself teetering between Heller's hilarious dialogue and the poignantly tragic circumstances he portrays.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.”

Catch-22 is an anti-war novel, written before anti-war novels were cool. It succeeds brilliantly.

Saturday, May 1, 2021 9:12:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# 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.

https://jwgoerlich.com/blog/
https://jwgoerlich.com/principles-for-designing-security-capabilities/

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.

https://matthewrenze.com/
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)