Trick's Blog

Be curious, not judgmental - Ted Lasso

3x+1 (

3x+1 is a wonderful thing, I wasn't aware of it this morning but now I'm thinking about it. I'm certainly not going to be the person who solves it, but looking at it I was immediately seeing a relationship to binary.

With the loop end at 4, 2, 1, being powers of two, makes it a natural realization and I am quite certain I'm not the first person to consider it in this way.

The rules of 3x+1 in binary are the same, except dividing by 2 in binary is extremely simple. An even numbers in 0, to divide by 2, you drop the last 0.

So for example, I quickly jotted out the paths of 1-7 in binary:

  1. 1 -> 100 -> 10 -> 1 -> L (the loop)
  2. 10 -> 1 -> L
  3. 11 -> 1010 -> 101 -> 10000 -> 1000 -> 100 -> 10 -> 1 -> L
  4. 100 -> 10 -> 1 -> L
  5. 101 -> 10000 -> ... -> 1 -> L
  6. 110 -> 11 -> 1010 -> 101 -> 10000 -> ... -> 1 -> L
  7. 111 -> 101010 -> 10101 -> 100010 -> 110100 -> 11010 -> 1101 -> 101000 -> 10100 -> 1010 -> 101 -> 10000 -> ... -> 1 -> L

Mostly did this as a mental exercise and to explore the tie I noted with binary, but it is interesting. I am certain I'm not the first person to explore it this way, so I'm retreading well trodden ground, but it is still a nice stretch out of my normal day-to-day thinking.

7/30/2021 9:23 am
Tags: mathematics, binary

From the Archives: The Evil F-Word: Fine (

It’s easier to convince us that what we’re feeling is happiness, simply because we can’t tell the difference. If I’m not in active pain, then I must be happy, right? I must be fine, right?

I originally wrote this post 7 years ago, but it is more applicable today than ever before.

7/20/2021 12:58 pm
Tags: archives, blog, writing, happiness, philosophy, capitalism

Antivaxxers Want You To Believe Vaccines Don’t Work Against the Delta Variant. They’re Wrong. (

7/4/2021 10:36 am
Tags: covid 19, science, vaccinations

SSH Config Files (

This morning's Linux learning is the power of the ssh config file. Super exciting and useful.

7/4/2021 10:09 am
Tags: linux, ssh

Today is spent in the final stages of preparation before we host our first party gathering since 2019. Normally we do it twice a year and I am so excited to see a house full of friends again.

7/3/2021 12:09 pm
Tags: life

New Mexico Bans Qualified Immunity For All Government Workers, Including Police (

Thanks to HB 4, New Mexico is now at the forefront of a growing trend to hold government officials accountable. Last June, Colorado became the first state to pass legislation that explicitly bans qualified immunity as a defense. While law enforcement lobbyists warned that Colorado's reform would lead to mass resignations, that hasn’t come to fruition. According to the Denver Post, “at least 1,756 Colorado peace officers left their departments in 2020, which is fewer than the 2,061 separations recorded in 2019 and the 2,050 recorded in 2018.”
7/2/2021 7:43 am
Tags: us politics

Khan leads first public FTC meeting in decades (

7/2/2021 7:38 am
Tags: us politics, ftc

Soccer Broadcast Rights in the US

What an absolutely amazing time to be a soccer fan in the US. I just compiled the leagues and competitions which are broadcast by the major networks and this is what the landscape looks like:


NBC / Peacock

Paramount+ / CBS

FOX Sports

7/2/2021 7:06 am
Tags: soccer, football, television, streaming

End of Junio Report

I decided in May that I would focus in June on learning Spanish. After a little research I settled on two primary tools: Lingvist for vocabulary memorization, and LanguageTransfer for the free lectures on grammar. Having used them for the month, they weren't the perfect tools and I have a better idea of what I need going forward.

In total, I think I spent roughly 25 hours over the course of the month on it. As I noted before there were two primary apps that I used: LanguageTransfer, and Lingvist. Lingvist tells me I've spent nearly 19 hours in it as I completed flashcards. Looking over the lectures in LanguageTransfer and where I am, I think I spent nearly 4 hours with those lectures. And then there were various other smaller things I did to try and learn, or videos I watched, etc.

As I noted a few days ago, one thing I have realized with this challenge is that I lacked a proper way to keep motivated by seeing visible progress. Lingvist gives me some small tools to do this, but they ended up not being enough. Things like the daily calendar that tracks that I did flashcards. LanguageTransfer only has it by seeing the number of my lecture increase. For the latter, I quickly lost steam. At the start of the month I was doing 2 or 3 lectures, and taking long notes as I did translations and tried to absorb it. But by the middle of the month, my drive for them fell off and I kept making excuses of other things I needed to do.

I would repeatedly plan to do the lectures during lunch, but since I had my work laptop open in front of me, I would instead do work (sometimes) or more frequently just watch YouTube or something else.

I did keep up my flashcards, doing on average 2-3 sets of flashcards a day. Lingvist estimates I know 1450 Spanish words but I believe what they are actually saying is they think I know how to translate 1,450 English words into Spanish. Things like adjectives which have a masculine and feminine form count as two, verbs with different conjugations count as multiple for me knowing how to say, "I know" and "You know" and "he knows" and "they know" all count differently.

So, I take that number with a grain of salt.

At the start of the month I took a 50-question Spanish Proficiency Test I found online, knowing I would want a way to quantify my progress. Unfortunately, I did not write down my score when I took it at the start of the month, but I believe it was a 12/50. I just retook the test and am, frankly, embarrassed to say I only got 18/50. It's progress but I honestly expected to have done better. Not that I expected to ace it, but that I thought I'd get somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 questions right.

I did save each page of the test so I can go back and try to figure out the answers and understand what I got wrong.

My Takeaways

  1. I did some things right - I have made progress. I know more words. I understand more of Spanish grammar. But in both cases I don't think the way I did it was the best and if I am going to take on a new language in the future I won't do this same method without additional supplements or changes.
  2. I have to manage expectations, learning a language is a slow process - I had dreams of it being a 30 days and then I'd be much more fluent. I knew I wouldn't be completely fluent doing this. I'm doing it as a side project somewhere that I am not immersed in the language at all. But I still imagined my improvement being bigger and more obvious. So, I will have to keep in mind for future languages to know it is a slow process.
  3. Lingvist wasn't as great as I thought at the start - After a month of using Lingvist I have actually been fairly disappointed. There are a number of things about the app I don't like, so I will probably look to move off of it and figure out a new tool for vocab spaced memorization. My complaints come down to 3 things:

What's Next

So, the 30 day challenge is over, but I am of course not stopping my efforts to learn Spanish. I will continue to do the flashcards, probably not as intensely as I have been. Lingvist recommends doing 4 sets of flashcards a week (vs. the 14+ I was doing each week this month). As mentioned above, I plan to move away from Lingvist, but will still do vocab exercises. I still want to do LanguageTransfer lectures. And I might now look for a formal Spanish tutor to work with once a week or so and try to further it that way, there is a website called, which connects people with tutors or teachers in various languages.

In addition, I plan to come back in a few months with another focused study period for Spanish, it probably won't be for a full month, but we'll see.

How Donald Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered (

But Rumsfeld was the chief advocate of every disaster in the years after September 11. Wherever the United States government contemplated a wrong turn, Rumsfeld was there first with his hard smile—squinting, mocking the cautious, shoving his country deeper into a hole. His fatal judgment was equaled only by his absolute self-assurance. He lacked the courage to doubt himself. He lacked the wisdom to change his mind.

Fuck. That. Guy.

6/30/2021 8:55 pm
Tags: obituary, us politics

I am 100% adapting to the Pacific Northwest. I am so eager for the next time it rains, I plan to go out in it. Not the first time I've thought about it, but given this heatstroke I am even more eager for it.

108 degrees (

6/28/2021 10:05 pm
Tags: heat wave, weather, seattle, climate change

Interview with Nadella (

A bit of a longread but I greatly enjoyed this interview with Satya Nadella. I didn't listen to the podcast and just read the transcription. Some great insights into how Microsoft, or perhaps Nadella, views Microsoft and its challenges. I particularly liked the insights that he gained during the pandemic.

6/28/2021 9:42 pm
Tags: microsoft, windows, azure, technology

Accuracy takes power: one man’s 3GHz quest to build a perfect SNES emulator (

6/28/2021 6:55 pm
Tags: emulation, gaming

The weather in Seattle this week is brutal. It is the final straw, we'll be looking to get central air or a heat pump or something to ensure the house is manageable in times like this in the future.

6/28/2021 7:03 am
Tags: climate change, weather