Day: July 9, 2005

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    Yesterday morning I went back to Belmont Center to the offices of Ingram Realty to sign (I almost typed sing… that would have been interesting) my lease and shell out the first month’s rent. I guess that’s all taken care of now. I got that all done fairly early in the morning, so I just decided to head directly to the airport, figuring I might actually pay for the wireless connection to waste 3 hours before my flight.

    The layout of roads at Logan is ridiculous. Our shuttle bus from the Blue Line airport station passed within a few feet of the road to Terminal E, but instead we had to loop completely around, hit C and D first, and then come back to E, before it looped around again to get to the station. K-dumb.

    Just as I got settled in a corner of the gate area next to a power jack and broke out my laptop, they announced the boarding for a 1:30 flight to Minneapolis. I called my dad to check if he could get me earlier, and got my boarding pass switched to the earlier flight and got on board. It’s nice to have the flexibility of carry-on luggage.

    My flight got into MSP almost 30 minutes early, so I had to wait a bit. My dad had to hit downtown first to pick up my sister at work, since we were all heading down to Sioux Falls, SD to visit my Grandma Ward one last time before moving.

    In order to avoid a ridiculous backup on 494 westbound (and presumably 169 southbound), we took 35W south out of the city, and cut west later on a smaller state highway. This allowed us to see lovely New Prague, and its newly arrived sprawl. There are huge housing developments going up over 30 minutes south of the outer loop of freeways. Mind-boggling.

    We ended up eating dinner in Mankato, MN, about an hour and a half south of the Twin Cities. My sister and I really wanted to try the new Crunchwrap Supreme (hers chicken, mine beef) that Taco Bell has been advertising, so we convinced my dad to drive to the far side of Mankato (from 169).

    Leaving town, he thought it would be more efficient to go south and then cut over west later, but we kept running into east-west Blue Earth county roads that wanted to curve north. We eventually reached 169, but after our cutoff onto state highway 60 that joins up with I-90 at Worthington. We just stuck it out, and wound westward to 15, hitting I-90 at Fairmont and not making that nice of a triangle.

    Thanks to my early flight, we were still there on time to surprise my grandma a bit, who wasn’t expecting us until much later. And I finally got to sleep in a real bed. More on this little jaunt over the river and through the woods may be forthcoming.

  • 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.