Day: May 23, 2004

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    I’ve got all of my stuff moved into ML 113 now, but I need to unpack most of it. It is very, very hot in here. I will try to find my fan before anything else. In the meantime, I am checking my e-mail and updating my LJ.

    I was back home in Minneapolis from Saturday afternoon until Friday morning, and I certainly managed to pack a lot of activities in. Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:


    • Arrived at PHL, got checked in, had Burger King’s new Angus Steak Burger (which is pretty good)
    • Arrived in Minneapolis after sleeping almost the entire flight (a rare event), although I was on the flight next to one of my future hallmates in the new dorm
    • After showering and unloading Ernie (my family’s burnt orange Honda Element), we went out to have dinner at Old Chicago. I had a good stout of some sort with my calzone
    • Unintentionally fell asleep on futon in front of TV
    • Refused invitation to go drinking with my high school friend Markus, staggered to my bed (complete with Anakin Skywalker sheets), and slept


    • 7:30 – Woke up very early due to excessive sleep, talked with parental units
    • 11:00-12:00 – Church service
    • Ate leftover calzone for lunch
    • Fixed my Ogg Vorbis stream reading code for the Advanced Perception music analysis project (with and Zach), speeding it up by a factor of about 20, and removed some unfortunate pointer math that led to memory problems
    • Helped to entertain guests at my parent’s bible study/dinner party
    • Started to catch up on this semester’s West Wing episodes
    • Had very late-night microwaved Macaroni and Cheese while watching Minority Report


    • Slept in, did very little all day other than watch West Wing and muck around on computer
    • Went to high school friend Gus’ house to drink with him, his girlfriend Chelsea, Markus (also from my HS), and Markus’ roommate (a computer engineer, as it happens)
    • We played drunken Telephone Oracle; I think they’re hooked, because the game was great fun (albeit more vulgar than usual)
    • I had a couple of Kamikazes, as well as my first batch of Jello shots (Yum, but they sneak up on you)
    • Got home at 5 am :o)


    • Slept in again, finished up West Wing episodes in preparation for season finale airing on Wednesday
    • Went to brunch with my mom, who was working from home
    • Beat my mom at canasta before she had to leave for the airport
    • Started to prepare D20 Modern one-shot
    • Went to see Big Fish with my dad and my sister
    • Emery arrived early after two days driving from Pullman, WA
    • I tried to disassemble my parental units’ old DVD changer to fix the drawer I had broken, but I gave up


    • Emery and I slept in, then did work
    • I coded up the last step in our image clustering program for E127
    • Emery drafted a proposal for my parents’ home theater in their new house
    • We went to Gus’ house to play the D20 Modern one-shot I had prepared
    • I finished some encounter information while Gus, Markus, and Emery generated their kick-ass characters
    • The party blew up two apartments (one by booby trap, one by grenades), and destroyed an intersection by ramming a delivery truck leaking fuel with their government-issue black suburban and causing a huge (but awesome) explosion
    • Emery and I returned to my house and he got to sleep around 6 am
    • I stayed up to 7:30 finishing up the image clustering code and packaging it for Bruce to look at


    • Somehow woke up at 11 to go meet Jenny for brunch in Wayzata
    • Got a call from that made it sound like was really pissy about our E127 work
    • Stayed at home working while Emery and Jenny had fun
    • Discovered that my e-mailed code never went through, so I finished that, and added a lot of content to our class wiki for the final project reports
    • Took a nap after Emery got back
    • Had dinner (falafel, hummus, peppers, pitas, etc.) while watching this week’s Enterprise episode (the effects were absolutely amazing; they one-up themselves every week)
    • Emery and I went to Jacqui’s in Edina to visit, hangout, etc.
    • Jacqui showed us her hundreds of pictures from her Tanzania trip, and we were naturally jealous and amazed
    • We ate carrot cake and hung out with Jacqui’s little sister (Tweeblet) and talked about what high school was (is) like
    • I got home and watched the West Wing season finale
    • Woke up early to get packed, and made sandwich lunches for Emery and I
    • Emery picked me (and all of my stuff) up, and we dropped Jacqui off and said goodbye, since she had tagged along for the ride to my house
    • We hit the road, although it took us forever to get out of the Twin Cities along 494
    • We made very good time, with the exception of the JFK and Dan Ryan expressways through Chicago. Gotta love it when the express lanes are practically a parking lot
    • Very quickly looped around the bottom of Lake Michigan, stopping for some TBell outside of Gary, ID
    • Got situated at my grandparent’s house, and then rushed to the beach to try to catch the sunset over the lake
    • We were thwarted by clouds, so we ate as much fruit salad as we could, just as it was starting to rain
    • We watched some DS9 on TV (yay Spike!), and then took much deserved showers before hitting the hay amid the thunderstorm


    • We got up early to get a head start on our (well, Emery’s) longest day of driving
    • We grabbed some food at a truck stop, but the portions were so huge, I barely ate half of the theoretically normal sized meal I ordered (aren’t silver dollar pancakes supposed to be tiny?)
    • We cut across part of Indiana on US 20 to go from 94 to the 80-90 turnpike at South Bend, which gave us a nice view of a few small towns (as well as saving gas and tolls)
    • I read some stories from my latest issue of Asimov’s to keep Emery entertained, so my voice got a bit hoarse
    • We were parked on I-80 for about 20 minutes while an accident ahead was cleared, so we started watching “The Best of Both Worlds”; it was nice that Emery could actually watch the screen while we waited
    • We grabbed lunch outside of Youngstown at a rest area; I had an excellent sandwich from Au Bon Pain, while Emery had a McDonald’s gutbomb
    • We cruised along the turnpike through PA, despite some very narrow lines, construction, and jerk drivers
    • We determined that there is a continuous spectrum of asshole drivers that increases as you get farther east
    • Emery (probably) killed a turtle, although he didn’t hit it with his wheels
    • When we inspected the turtle damage at dinner outside of Philadelphia, we found that Emery’s bumper had cracked and his license plate was bent
    • Since the turtle wasn’t that big, we concluded that it must have gotten sucked into the underside of the car by our wake
    • We reached Swat (mostly) in one piece, and dumped some of my stuff in ML
    • Since it was so hot there, we decided to sleep in Hicks, which is air-conditioned
    • We moved the couches from the lounge into 211, a classroom with a projector, and watched some more ST:TNG
    • A worthless public safety officer found us and asked us to turn the projector off when we were done; he didn’t ask us for student IDs, or if we had keys to the building (which we do), and this is after a number of projector thefts…
    • Emery and I slept on the couches in the back of the classroom


    • Woke up in Hicks 211, stuck to vinyl couch
    • Picked up Emily and Mike and went out for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts
    • Moved Emily’s futon to Hicks
    • Took two carloads of stuff from Hicks to ML
    • Picked up Emery’s carload of stuff from Yale House
    • Went to Genuardi’s to get food
    • Had lunch with Emery in front of ML
    • Unpacked, and as luck would have it, my fan was in the last box I opened
    • Sat completely immobilized for a long period of time
    • Went to Nifty Fifty’s with , , , and ; good food was had by all
    • Played a number of card games with same (excluding ) in the Science Center commons
    • Came back to ML and had a beer with Aongus while talking about grad school and the future
    • Wasted time; may play Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates…

    Rocky Racoon” 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.