Tag: crime

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    If you follow me on Twitter or are a friend on Facebook, you probably already heard that my bike got stolen. A brief memorial to my thorughly well-used 2005 Trek 7500 FX ::cue sappy music::…

    My 2005 Trek 7500 FX, fresh of the moving truck, clean, and unused.
    My 2005 Trek 7500 FX, fresh off the moving truck, clean, and unused.

    It was a solid bike, and it served me well, in spite of occasional abuses such as forgetting to oil the chain often enough or wiping out on wet leaves and bending a pedal out of whack. I certainly put money into this on top of the base purchase price (adding cargo racks, new handlebars, replacing shifter cables, new brakes, etc.), but it is still well below the cost of dealing with a car… and I get some form of exercise, as well.

    As for the theft itself, I have learned the hard way regarding cable locks. I had switched to one a while ago for the weight and convenience of being able to lock to more things, but they are of course eminently more cuttable. This particular one, a Kryptonite KryptoFlex 1218 6′, was sliced mostly silently right below the window of my girlfriend’s apartment, locked to a lamppost. I took a taxi home, and first thing in the morning filed a police report and an insurance claim.

    Thankfully, my renter’s insurance from Liberty Mutual (obtained through work) covers loss, theft, or destruction of personal property even if it’s outside of my apartment; there’s just a $250 deductible (and potentially depreciation calculated) that comes out of the value of the item(s), which means it’s really only useful for replacing something on the order of a laptop or bicycle.

    In the end, I’m getting a check for almost $500, which should mostly cover a new bike purchased during the Eastern Mountain Sports winter sale. My natural disposition then is to see the silver lining, and take this frustrating theft as an excuse to get a new bicycle for cheap (even after you amortize what I pay biweekly for the insurance).

    Incidentally, while googling for the insurance quote, I discovered that when he still lived in Chicago, Obama rode a 7500 FX :oD.

    Hopefully, the new bike (I’m currently leaning towards a Trek Valencia) will serve me as well as the last one.

  • 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.

    Bridge:
    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.

    Outro:
    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] https://chat.openai.com/

    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.