Day: April 14, 2004

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    These are seriously getting weirder and weirder. Maybe it was something I ate?

    It started with my sister and I taking the train to New York (again). This time we had to change from a diesel to an electric train in Allenhurst, the station before Secaucus. I know that’s not the real station order, but bear with me.

    Our first train was delayed, so we just missed the connecting train, meaning we had to wait around in the station. There was this weird looking hobo guy there, which freaked my sister out, so she called the transit police and made a report. We waited for a while in the basement under the platform.

    I decided to go up to get some fresh air. At some point while I was up there, the hobo guy gave me a big hug, and stabbed me in the gut with a syringe. For some reason, the syringe looked like a wire-wrap tool, like the kind ganked from Hicks. At any rate, I stabbed him back, and he ran. I tried using the phone, but it wasn’t working, so I went over to the ticket booth, and got the employee there to call the police. The difficult part was that she had to use that little speaker thing on the window, and it was all staticky and crackly, so we couldn’t understand each other.

    I recovered the syringe and wrapped it in plastic, so it would be evidence. That was when my mom showed up on the next train. Funny how moms always show up at the right time :o). We waited for the train that would take us on to Secaucus. Various trains passed through the station as we waited, including a number of school bus trains (bright yellow). One of them had only one wheel, and was tipping back and forth over its central axle.

    We eventually got on our train. I was riding on top of the engine cab, right about the horn, with all of my bags. I had to keep ducking to avoid the low hanging catenary wires hung below low-clearance bridges. For some reason, my mom and my sister missed the train, and were running after it. We eventually reached Secaucus, and I decided to get off and wait for them to catch up with me there. I threw my bags off, and then jumped off myself. For some reason, my head wouldn’t stop oscillating back and forth after I jumped. It made it very difficult to interact with anyone. That’s what I get for playing with a computerized spring simulator before I go to sleep.

    One of the details I found amusing was how much time I spent dealing with logistics. In a number of parts I was just moving my travel bags around. My backpack, as well as my big and small duffel bags. I was leaving them on stairs, throwing them from trains, etc. I guess I just didn’t want to forget them.

    In summary, my brain is definitely broken. How do I combine all of these images so vividly? I am always a free-willed character in the dreams, and I’m usually myself. At various points, I am aware that it’s just a dream, but most of the time, I treat it as if it were real. The funniest part about that is that the fantastical content of many of my dreams doesn’t seem to bother me. I also seem to deal fairly well with the occasional logical contradiction, or even a complete discontinuity between dream sequences. At least my dreams are adventurous, even if they’re weird…

    Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” from The Beatles (The White Album) by The Beatles

  • Sunspot

    A small Yorkshire Terrier lies in a pet bed on a green upholstered chair in a sunny living room.

    I wish I could nap like Pike naps.

  • The Muppets Meet Murderbot

    For the last year and a half or so Andrle and I have been having a ton of fun as part of an online book club put together by my friend Tanya. Unlike most book clubs where you all read the same thing, we all just share things we love that we’ve been reading.

    One recommendation that kept coming up was The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, and I’m glad we finally ran with it and started reading them. We’ve been bingeing the last few weeks and they’re really, really great. Highly recommend (even though I’m only on Book 4.)

    Unsurprisingly another thing I’ve been reading about and thinking about a lot is the advent of Large Language Models, particularly as manifested by ChatGPT. My past work life as an NLP practitioner has me a mix of curious, envious, and highly suspicious of what these are and how they’re being used. In the short term I don’t mind using them as a toy that I can play with for the purpose of a joke, which is what this post is about.

    A recurring topic in this book club is how we might have the Muppets interpret a particular book, or how we might recast a movie with Muppets (but keep one human actor). This provides a lot of fun discussions, especially since I grew up regularly watching the classic Muppet movies on VHS recorded off of TV, and I really like musicals.

    That all brings me to some prompt iterating that I did to get ChatGPT to write the painfully cliché finale to a Muppet musical featuring Murderbot. (Apologies to both Henson and Wells.)

    Verse 1 (Murderbot):
    I used to be a killing machine,
    A rogue cyborg, feared and mean,
    But then I met the Muppets and Kermit,
    And learned what friendship truly meant.

    Verse 2 (Kermit):
    I'm just a simple frog, it's true,
    But I believe in friendship too,
    And when I met Murderbot, I knew,
    Together we could do something new.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    Verse 3 (Murderbot):
    I never wanted to be a tool,
    But that's all humans see in me, it's cruel,
    I used to dream of breaking free,
    From their endless schemes and greed.

    Verse 4 (Kermit):
    It's true, I'm always happy-go-lucky,
    But I've been through some tough times that were quite yucky,
    But now with Murderbot and the gang,
    I know our friendship will never hang.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    The past is gone, the future bright,
    With friends like these, we'll win the fight,
    Our love and trust will guide us through,
    Together we'll see this journey through.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    So let's raise our voices high,
    And let the world hear our battle cry,
    With Muppets and Murderbot side by side,
    We'll change the world and turn the tide.
    OpenAI. (2023, Mar. 16) [Iterative prompt conversation starting with “This Muppet movie is about a rogue cyborg traveling to different space stations and learning the power of friendship from the Muppets” and “I need some lyrics for the big finals. The music is big broadway style number about how the rogue cyborg doesn’t need to kill bad guys anymore because it has friends.” and then encouraging more dialogue between Kermit and Murderbot]

    Yes, I looked up recommendations on how to properly cite ChatGPT output.

    Overall the result was mildly amusing. I couldn’t get it to capture Murderbot’s signature style, presumably because while information about the novellas are in its model training, not enough text from the novellas are in there.

    I’m still not sure what useful things I could do with this kind of tool, but in the meantime, I can make it make silly songs.

  • Fox Ferocity

    Pike playing with a toy almost as big as he is.

  • Groomed Pike

    Tiny freshly groomed Yorkie sits on a teal couch wearing a monstera bow tie

    I love this little gentleman.

  • The Kale Wanter

    A small black and brown Yorkie stands on a cream rug in front of a brown cupboard begging for the bunch of lacinato kale in hand in the foreground.