Real-Time Fire Map for California

There are only a few maps I really find useful. However, the real-time fire map for California is really a thing:

Fires are a natural part of California ecosystems. Historic fires occur at frequent intervals, but with lower intensity. The high severity and acreage fires commonly seen today are driven by more extreme weather and build-up of fuel from our ongoing fire suppression activities.

There is a lot of useful information about the current fire situation on this map, such as fire perimeter and hot spots. In addition other useful information such as wind patterns and air quality are considered.

The data used is also available via GeoMAC Wildland Fire Support.

Real-time fire map:

Hack-The-Planet TV – My Streaming Side Project

I have struggled with this idea for a while. Meanwhile, I live in the countryside. I have to drive 45 minutes to the next city. It’s quite a distance. And I have a toddler. Two, there will be soon. Consequently, it is not that easy to quickly join a Meetup or User Group meeting in the evening. And I miss talking to other techies. Kids change you live. Especially if you are a nerd, geek, and techie.

In addition, I will start a new position in September 2019 as a professor for Software Engineering. I will cover all the hot shit topics like DevOps, Cloud Computing, maybe some Big Data stuff and basically everything that will come along in the future.

Teaching at university, however, is old school. Platforms like Coursera and others are nothing else. It’s just old school (but online, yeah). So I have a plan. I will try to make things different. I will meet my students (and probably a lot of other folks) in the world I grew up and still live. Here. Online.

Therefore, all the above points led me to a new project called Hack-The-Planet TV.

What do I do? Rising Geeks! Teaching computer science and software engineering by day, I will do the fun parts not covered in the official curriculum by night.

We’ll do Let’s Plays, Let’s Codes and just talk. I teach in German, and so the overall Project will be in German. Sorry to you all out there as you’ll miss the best parts.

While this is going to be a challenging project I want to cover a couple of things:

  • Streaming: I’just started my Twitch channel HackThePlanetTV.
    I’ll be working on a schedule. I plan to stream once a week. I have to figure out a schedule. Until then I will rather stream occasionally. Apologize for the short notice in the near future.
  • Let’s Code: Not only but also in the streams, I want to cover typical problems you are taught at university. I’ll do live codings with whatever technology and other stuff – record these and put the videos online.
  • Open Source: I’ll try to put as much as possible everything OSS. Therefore, everything will end up on GitHub.
  • Podcasts: I commute a lot. I enjoy listening to podcasts. I’ll try to set something up where we (currently looking for to with whom I’ll team up) talk about all the geeky stuff creating an own podcast.
  • Of course, I will try to host as much content as possible by myself. Therefore, during my first stream, I have set up my own web presence for the project:

And now you probably think: Why the heck is he doing this? I used to be a developer, architect, I run my own business, I was a team led and spend the last five years as a product manager. I got bored with engineering stuff. In was challenged by a higher manager, if I would do my job if it would not be necessary to earn money. That’s like living in the Star Trek universe. So I quit my job. I don’t think he is aware of what he caused by his question. I went to university to teach. I started to teach the kids to get well-paid developers. And I want to do the fun stuff.

Organizing Ideas – A not yet lost Battle

Recently, I have the problem to organize my ideas. To put it upfront: I don’t provide a solution. I simply describe the problem here.

Every time I surf the web, read blogs or news sites and scroll through my twitter feed, I find something interesting. Sometimes colleagues or friends point me to something, sending my a message through on of the many messengers.

Eventually, I want to work through all these articles and sources but often I simply get lost. I forget, don’t find the time and when I have time I don’t remember what or where to look at.

Problem 1: To many Inboxes

Multiple private E-Mail accounts, work e-mail, SMS, multiple messengers, blogs, news sites, work e-mail, Confluence to-do lists, private Microsoft OneNote, work Microsoft OneNote, Teams at work, an Evernote account and so on, this is an endless list of inboxes. Fome quite some time I used Pocket to collect many of these inputs but eventually Pocket turned out just be one additional growing inbox.

For now, I became very pragmatical and forward everything to one single mail account. Links, tweets, articles, photos and so on. Everything I want to read later just piles up on one single account.

Problem 2: Working through the Pile of Shame

For those with kids, they know the problem. Between work, preparing meals, keeping things up and running and spending time with the kids, there is only a little time to get other things done. Especially tasks which take a good amount of thinking, coding or diving deep into technologies. Over time this became a growing list, a queue with no consumer. One problem here is indeed to organize your ideas. I tried Microsoft OneNote, Evernote TheBrain. Eventually, I created just more lists to work through.

At one point I thought about how I organized my ideas and thoughts while writing my doctoral thesis. Eventually, the answer was the act of writing itself. I wrote everything down into a large document which ended up as my thesis. A lot of information was deleted on the way, but at the very end everything was well structured, perfectly organized and compressed to the most relevant information.

While writing another book is still on my list, the solution to my utter problem became obvious. I started to revive my blog. I wrote regularly until 2011 but due to changed focus in my jobs, blog entries became more and more infrequent. I rethought the initial idea of the blog: writing for myself and started to work through my lists and putting down as much as possible to my blog.

How is it going?

Here you are and read one of the things I had on my list. I recently tried to get rid of my “old” lists, one after another is being worked through for interesting stuff, ending in the blog. I am still looking for a nice tool setup which might help me to organize all this information without creating just another inbox, though. Therefore, the problems are not solved yet, but at least they are addressed.

Blue Dragon Smoothie

In my current position, my co-workers are very disrespectful considering my time. Therefore meetings are often scheduled over lunchbreak or they intercept one in front of the elevator absorbing your lunch break starting with the words “Do you have a few moments…?”

Eventually, I start to bring in my own kind of “fast food” in the form of smoothies. As I am very bad in memorizing recipes, I started writing them down in my blog. Feel free to experiment and comment on them.

For the logistics I started to recycle true fruits bottles which are available in various sizes.

So my first try, I call Blue Dragon with the following ingredients:

  • 1 handful of frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 2 apples
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 slice of honey melon
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • 100 ml of almond milk
  • some water

As tomorrow is my first working day after the christmas brea, I am looking this one is getting me through the day…