Day: November 9, 2005

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    This list of my current World of Warcraft characters was prompted by a question asked by as a comment to one of my previous posts. This just has a lot more detail than anyone could possibly want or need.

    I’m strongly considering updating this every once and a while… but how many of you would actually care? Table and more details behind the cut.

    Name Level Race Class Profession 1 Profession 2 Realm Realm Type
    Feaglin 10 Gnome Warrior Mining Engineering Kael’Thas Normal
    Thrun 18 Tauren Hunter Skinning Leatherworking Bloodscalp PvP
    Macomb 16 Human Paladin Mining Blacksmithing Kael’Thas Normal
    Krios 6 Night Elf Druid Tailoring Enchanting Kael’Thas Normal
    Kjållström 20 Dwarf Rogue Mining Engineering Kirin Tor RP

    If you don’t know the lingo, “PvP” means “Player vs. Player”, so part of the game is ongoing warfare between the Alliance and Horde characters, as opposed to “PvE” meaning “Player vs. Environment”. “RP” means “Roleplaying”, so you’re expected to stay in-character in most game chats and generally try to develop some sort of backstory for your character.

    For the very observant, you will notice among those five names two of my own family names from at least three generations back, a name of one of my old D&D characters (from a campaign with Emery), a famous roboticist, and a planet in Star Trek. Totally Worthless Nick Points™ to those who can tell which are which.

    Feaglin was my first character, but I wasn’t really sure of how to play the game so I missed getting some things set up during my low levels. I also didn’t really interact with any other players significantly, which makes a lot of the quests pretty boring. I thought starting out with a Warrior would make it easier to learn, but I very quickly wanted to move on to bigger and better things.

    Thrun was my next character; I created him mainly because so many people told me that it sucked to play the Horde. I plan to continue having fun playing the Horde, thank you very much. I chose Bloodscalp because that’s where a number of Swatties play, although since they’ve had the game for many months, they’re all exponentially more powerful than me.

    Macomb and Krios were created to play with Markus and Gus, two of my friends from high school and the last remaining members of our Dungeons & Dragons group. We’re trying to relive those old days through WoW. We have a team of Night Elves for when all three of us are available, and then our human characters we play in pairs and generally keep up with each other asynchronously. Unfortunately, between work and classes and real life, we haven’t been able to get all three of us together.

    We use Skype VoiP conferencing to talk when we play, which is a lot better than chatting via text in-game. Probably something to do with the gameplaying and linguistic centers of my brain both fighting over one I/O channel.

    Finally, Kjållström is my foray into the actual role-playing component of the MMORPG. As you can see, I’ve spent the most time leveling him… largely because I found a great guild to play with, and I really enjoy the role-playing. This is on top of the fact that most of the quests I’ve completed with him were ones I’ve already done with either Feaglin or Macomb.

    Obviously, WoW supports Unicode because of all of the international players, which is why a name like Kjållström works. It’s actually a great way to detect Mac users in the game, because they’re far more likely to know how to type those characters using their default input setup (option-a and option-u o, respectively) than a Windows user (alt-character code I can never remember). This has caused some slight problems with joining quest parties, but not enough to make me considering changing. I’d considering using non-ASCII characters in many of my characters names, because it significantly reduces the likelihood of a namespace collision and makes for more interesting names.

    Still addicted to WoW.

  • 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.