Day: October 12, 2004

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    As I mentioned, there was a lot of bar-hopping after the TBP convention in Orlando. I consumed the most alcohol I ever have in a single night, and yet I never felt drunk. I did experience some slight distance vision blurring, but that may have been more related to lack of sleep and the fact that is was dark, and I’m just on the borderline of needing correction for my right eye.

    At any rate, Saturday night started off with Yukka. For those of you who don’t know what Yukka is, it’s apparently a fairly common frat drinking game that involves passing around a pitcher of ice, vodka, lemons, and sugar. I had about a half-dozen gulps from various pitchers at our first District 3 event, but I don’t think I actually drank that much, since the ice cold bothered me. I also had a few swigs of bad whiskey. There was jumping on a hotel bed.

    The Yukka tradition was introduced to Tau Bet Pi District 3 (PA and DE) by members of the Bucknell chapter.

    After a brief bus ride (courtesy of the hotel) into the club district of Orlando, a small group of us started making the rounds. I was with some people from my district, plus a few from Clemson, one of whom is from Minnesota.

    Our first stop was the Red Square Lounge, at which I had a pint of Guinness. I was feeling like dark beer at that point, and wasn’t really in the mood to drink much more. They had very good trance music. I made the mistake of using my card (having not had the opportunity to hit an ATM), opening a tab for the night because I expected we’d be there longer. They were busy, so when we wanted to move on, it took at least ten minutes to get my payment actually processed.

    We wandered around for a bit, trying to simultaneously decide where to go and where to get cash. We ended up at Chillers, whose gimmick is a wide variety of alcoholic slushees. I had a Suicide; I don’t know what was in it, but it was fruity and vaguely alcoholic. Someone found out that there was another bar on the roof, so we went up the several flights of stairs to get there and found ourselves in Latitudes, where at least 30 other Tau Bates were already present, including almost all of my district.

    That place definitely caters to a slightly older crowd, based on the music selection. Our alumni advisors seemed to be enjoying themselves. :o) Still, it was fun to dance, mostly, although I would have liked to have been a bit tipsier so I could have enjoyed myself a little bit more. Dancing isn’t really my thing, as you probably already know.

    While I was up there, I had a test tube full of something fruity (it was someone else’s turn to buy the shots, and I didn’t catch what it was), a Smirnoff Ice (meh), and a Chocolate Cake (which involves Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur).

    You have probably noticed at this point that I drank a lot of alcohol (for me). All I can conclude is that some combination of the lack of sleep and the heavy activity kept my metabolism at a point where I wasn’t getting that drunk. I drank a lot of water at the end of the evening before going to sleep, so I felt fine when my hotel roommate got up at 6 to catch his flight, waking me up briefly, and I completely got up at 7 to grab my shuttle bus to the airport.

    At any rate, fun times.

  • 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.