Spring Break

I ended up taking off this week from work for Spring Break. It has been great to be around the house, getting the yard ready for summer, etc. I’ve also caught up on a lot of podcasts, and earlier in the week we played horseshoes with a set I bought. Because of the rainfall over the past few months, we haven’t been able to try them out until now.

Horseshoes are challenging. The regulation setup means that you have to pitch a 2.5 pound metal horseshoe 40 feet. At first, I fell into throwing them end-over-end, hoping to loop the stake. But then, we looked it up and found an interesting ESPN video that breaks down the way one of the world’s best horseshoes competitors throws. We’ve been trying his method, but it is very difficult to impart the slow rotation he achieves. I think we’ll get it eventually. His method seems to be the canonical one, judging by other horseshoe competitions you can find online.

The last two days have been spent cutting bushes, weeding, trimming, getting the grass to be more uniform (even though most of what’s growing now are wild onions). It’s looking more like respectable people live here now.

I’ve been reading/thinking a lot about two topics lately – artificial intelligence and the blockchain. I’ve come up with nothing revolutionary yet. I taught an intro data science course last semester and it was really great to have to learn all the various AI and ML techniques well enough to explain them to a class of kids from diverse academic backgrounds. I especially took a lot of time to learn how various kinds of artificial neural networks work. I am looking for something practical to use for experimenting with ML. I’ve found readily available libraries like TensorFlow that work in Java. If I use Java instead of Python it will be much easier to take something from the experimental stage to production. Stay tuned.

Finally, I think I had my first migraine headache last night. I have some co-workers who have migraines, but I haven’t ever experienced one. Last night, though – wow. I think I probably got a little dehydrated doing yard work or maybe it was my sinuses. Whatever the cause, I’m glad that’s over.

Alright, dear reader. Hope you are well. I have no idea if anyone is reading this blog. I’ve been blogging for more than 20 years. Probably should have accomplished more in that time that I have, but slow and steady wins the race. If you’re not already following me on Instagram that’s a place where I sometimes post small musical performances. I also post photographs of the hilarious crime report section from the Port Gibson Reveille – a newspaper from the town where my dad grew up in MS.

7 thoughts on “Spring Break”

  1. Jon, I’m a long time mostly silent follower. I think I found you through Mark Horne who has been instrumental to me in a lot of ways (helping me over the fence to paedo, introducing me to James Jordan, &c.). I love joyful patient plodding faithfulness, and that is why I follow you. Thanks for your example!

  2. How old are your boys now? I know they were about the same ages as ours — who are now 24, 22, 21, and 19. We added two more after a break — 8 and 5 (only girl!)

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