The Special

Inspired by the recent release of From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi.

Gavon found an open spot between a pair of larger troop carriers and set the shuttle down with practiced ease. He bounced out of his seat, and ducked into the passenger area. “All right, everyone! The festivities shouldn’t be far. Just head more or less northwest. I hear the locals have sticky fingers, so you can leave your helmets and gear here.” He hit the hatch release with his fist and gestured for everyone to depart. The door opened the width of a spanner turned sideways, then shuddered to a stop. The sound of gears grinding filled the cabin, drowning out a string of Nikto curses coming from the ship’s pilot.

Gavon took a step back and aimed a full-bodied kick at a boot-shaped dent in the door. It fell open another spanner length, the motors caught and it lowered the rest of the way normally. “Karking piece of junk,” he muttered, backing out of the way again for everyone to disembark.

A Twi’lek hung back. “When should we plan to rendezvous back here?”

Gavon hit the external door control with his fist and watched as it lurched back up half-way and stopped. Squatting under it, he shouldered it past the stuck point and watched in satisfaction as the hatch sealed. He slapped the hull, a gesture somewhere between affection and “showed you.”

Turning around, he jumped at the sight of the Twi’lek in front of him. “Can I help you? Lieutenant…?”

“Kiki. When should we return to the shuttle?”

Gavon shook his head. “No idea.”

Kiki leaned in, sure she had misheard. “Sorry?”

“No idea. Some time tomorrow, I imagine.”

“Oh.” Kiki looked at the forest around her, dubious. 

Gavon clapped her on the back, laughing. “I doubt there’s anything here that would find you appetizing. Do you want your blaster?” He indicated the recalcitrant door. “I should be able to wrestle us back inside.”

“I don’t have blaster.”

Gavon’s brows raised in surprise. “How do you not have a blaster?”

“I mean I don’t have it with me. I left it in my quarters.” She pointed vaguely up, indicating the fleet still orbiting Endor.

“Ah,” said Gavon, nodding without understanding. 

“There’s not much call for blasters in logistics,” she explained. “I spend all my time pushing data around, making sure shipments get where they need to be. If I’m going to wear a holster, it makes more sense to have a data pad in it, or spare power cells. So I’m not in the habit.”

“Gotcha,” replied Gavon. “Well, stick with me and you’ll be fine. Best shot in the Outer Rim.” He blasted a pair of imaginary womp rats with finger guns.

Kiki offered a weak smile. She’d met enough “best in the Outer Rim” hotshots to fill the stands at Ando Prime. “Lead on, then,” she said.

As they started towards the forest, Gavon asked, “So, what are you going to do now that it’s all over?”

Kiki stopped short. “‘Over’?”

“Yeah, did you not get the memo? The Emperor’s dead, and I hear Vader too. We won. Remember, party?” He touched her elbow, attempting to coax her back in motion.

Kiki yanked her arm away. “The Emperor may be gone, but you’re crazy if you think it’s over. An organization the size of the Empire doesn’t just dissolve overnight.” She pointed towards the darkening sky. “How many Star Destroyers up there vanished into hyperspace today? How many more are still flying around the galaxy, carrying Moffs, Grand Moffs with their legions of stormtroopers? How many systems are still utterly loyal to, or dependent on the Empire? Do you know—“

“Whoa, okay! Okay, I get it. There’s mopping up to do. Maybe it’s not over for you yet, Lieutenant Ships-a-Lot, but I’m done.” He pointed at the shuttle. “I’m going to scrap that ship we came in, and use the proceeds to set up shop, maybe a night club or cantina…” 

Kiki growled, “We’re in for more than just ‘mopping up.’ There’s—” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and resumed walking. “Let’s not do this. I get it. There are going to be a lot of people like you, who just want to get back to their normal lives. I’m afraid Home One will be a ghost ship within the week.”

The pair walked in silence for a while, following the path as the trees grew ever denser. Eventually, they hit a point where multiple paths intersected. None seemed more trafficked than the other. 

“So, Lieutenant…which way?” Gavon squinted as a beam of sunlight somehow found its way through the massive tree canopy above and poked him in the eye.

“I told you, just call me— hang on, I think I hear something.” Kiki turned her head to listen, then pointed left. “Yes, the party’s definitely that way.”

“Are you sure? I don’t hear anything.”

“Yes. There’s definitely someone puking in that direction.” Kiki took off at a brisk pace, head tails bobbing. “Puking equals party.”

“Can’t argue with that,” said Gavon as he jogged to catch up.

Sure enough, they soon came across a pair dressed in coveralls, taking turns hurling into a bush. Kiki frowned. “I recognize them. They couldn’t have left Home One more than half an hour ahead of me.”


“How are they already so intoxicated?”

Gavon laughed. “That’s called being goal-oriented.” He pointed ahead. “C’mon, I think I see where the food is at.”

They entered a small clearing. There was a large hut on one side with heavy fabric covering the entrance and smoke pouring out of a chimney in the back. There was an array of fires nearby, hosting a variety of simmering pots, covered and not, or spits with roasted meats on them. Gavon leaned over one of the pots and took a tentative sniff. “Smells pretty good.”

Just then, a trio of Ewoks burst out of the hut, chattering excitedly to each other, trailed by smoke billowing behind them. One ran straight at Gavon and gave him a shove, waving him away before dumping something green and leafy into the pot. The second made for a series of spits and gave each of them a turn. The last ladled something from a different pot into a bowl and presented it to Kiki. He then did the same for Gavon. The three then barreled back into the hut, never having stopped gibbering at each other.

Kiki and Gavon looked at each other, then the bowls they had been handed, and back to each other. “I guess we dig in?” asked Gavon.

“I’d kind of like to know what we’re eating first,” said Kiki.

Gavon shrugged. “You can ask. Do you speak Ewok?”

“No,” admitted Kiki. “But I can point and grunt.”

“Suit yourself,” responded Gavon as he shoveled a spoonful of stew into his mouth.

Meanwhile, Kiki lifted the fabric to the tent and poked her head inside. “Hello? Excuse me?” She dropped the fabric as the smoke hit her in the face, and she stepped back coughing. “Can’t see a thing in there.”

She stumbled backwards again when one of the Ewoks suddenly appeared in front of her brandishing a surprisingly large knife. She didn’t need to speak Ewok to grasp his intent, which was very much, I’m busy what do you want get out of my kitchen.

Kiki indicated her bowl and asked, “Can you tell me what’s in this?”

The Ewok chattered something in reply, pointing at the cooking apparatus around her.

“No, I mean what is it?” She fished out a couple different bits from her bowl and made what she hoped was universally understood body language for “I don’t understand.”

In response, the Ewok pointed at the cooking apparatus around her again, only this time more slowly and emphatically.

Between mouthfuls of stew, Gavon offered, “You better be careful, or the chef there will take it away from you.”

Ignoring him, Kiki tried again, trying to indicate that she understood where the contents of her bowl came from, just not what those contents were. Before “the chef” could respond even more slowly and emphatically, his companions emerged again with more raw ingredients.

Kiki darted to the side, intercepting them. “Wait — can I see what you have?” The Ewoks stopped in surprise, and turned to the chef, questioning. Having more important things to do, he just turned around and stormed back into the hut.

Taking advantage of the moment of confusion, Kiki knelt down and began investigating the contents of the bundle the Ewok in front of her was carrying. “Looks like a bunch of local vegetables, I assume herbs. I don’t recognize any of it, though. And some chunks of meat.”

The Ewok yanked his bundle away from her, annoyed. A few bits fell to the ground as he hustled to dump it in one of the stew pots. 

Gavon laughed. “They’re going to put your picture on the wall, and you’re never going to be allowed here again.”

“I can live with that,” Kiki retorted. Something caught her eye, and she bent down to pick it up. After a that explains it nod in the direction of the path they had taken, she approached Gavon. “Hold out your hand.” Gavon complied, and she dropped the item in his palm.

Gavon paled as he stared at the bloody chunk of flesh he was now holding. “Is that…”

“A human finger? Yup.” She rolled it over. “No callouses, the fingernail’s neatly trimmed. That finger spent most of its time in a glove. I’m pretty sure you’re looking at the finger of a stormtrooper.”

Gavon made a retching sound and hurled the digit into the woods like it was on fire. He bent over, breathing hard and struggling to keep the contents of his stomach from launching itself onto the forest floor. “I can’t believe I was eating— urgh…stormtrooper stew.” 

“It’s not too bad, though,” replied Kiki, having just taken a healthy spoonful. “Could use some seasoning.”

“You’re eating it?” cried Gavon.

“You already ate it,” Kiki shot back.

“But I didn’t know what was in it. After all that fuss you made…”

“Well yeah, because I like to know what’s going in my body.” She took another bite, chewing thoughtfully. 

“But how can you just calmly eat a sentient being?”

Kiki shook her head. “Meesnosennyen.”


Swallowing, Kiki tried again. “It’s just meat. Meat’s not sentient. Well, most meat, anyway.”

“But that’s — wait, what you mean, ‘most meat’?”

Kiki shrugged. “It’s a big galaxy. You know how Trandoshans can grow back a limb if it gets cut off? Well, there is at least one documented case of a species where if you sever a limb, not only does the creature grow back the limb, the limb grows back a new creature. I can’t remember if they’re sentient or not, though. I’ll look it up later if you’d like.” 

“Thanks, I’m good—“ Gavon turned away in revulsion as Kiki pulled a chunk of something white out of her mouth and flicked it away. “Ugh, I can’t watch you do that.”

“Don’t worry. I think it was just a bit of plastoid.” She looked over in the direction of the hut, curious. “I wonder if they realize the armor can be taken off before they start breaking down the carcass.”

Gavon threw up his hands in resignation. “You know what, I’m done. I can’t have this conversation anymore.”

Before he could get more than two steps away, Kiki stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, no blaster, remember? I need you to stick around.”

Without a word, Gavon unclipped his blaster and offered it to her.

Kiki snorted, but didn’t accept the weapon. Instead, she put her bowl on the ground near one of the cook fires. “Tell you what, let’s go find the main group. Maybe there’s something vegetarian for you.”

Before Gavon could reply, a different trio of Ewoks exited the hut. Two were carrying a pallet with a pile of armor, half a dozen dirty, cracked stormtrooper helmets perched on top. The other held a scout trooper’s helmet under his arm, and he was slapping it like a bongo as he skipped beside them. “Yub nub,” he sang. Gavon watched them pass, stunned.

Kiki elbowed him. “Yub nub,” she said, grinning.

“Unbelievable,” muttered Gavon.


If famous people in their mid-fifties could quit dying, that’d be great

I know none of us gets out of this alive, but could really do without periodic reminders that the Grim Reaper is lurking over all our shoulders, just waiting for his shot.


And now, at the end of a long, exhausting week, a grab bag of random garbage that’s on my mind

This week’s meal plan didn’t even make it to hump day before things started getting replaced by “whatever we can microwave.” After scrawling arrows moving days around, Chandra just gave up this morning and declared we were doing Door Dash or McD’s tonight.

I mounted my bike to the trainer last weekend, first time in…well, let’s just say a long time. I also got a pair of Zwift Play controllers, which if nothing else will make controlling the app easier. I can’t report on how well they work yet, because 1) I just got them yesterday, and 2) I think I sprained something in my hand putting the damn things on.

Reading! I recently finished Black AF History, by Michael Harriot. It’s another in our collection of “White people are the worst” books, and entertaining, even if it did make me realize that the family racists are more the norm for America than the exception <sigh>. I’m currently reading Black River Orchard, by Chuck Wendig. It’s a chonky boi, but he does keep it moving, and the chapters are short enough it’s easy to keep reading “just one more” until you look at the time and it’s stupid late o’clock.

Those House GOP guys, what a bunch of scamps, eh?

A pair quotes from Israel/Gaza explainers that have come across my radar and stuck in my brain like that stubborn bit of chicken you can’t extract — from the Washington Post: “Even though Israel gave up control of the Gaza Strip, it has kept a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007.” I’m no expert, but that seems pretty bad. And from The Onion:

Q: How many people have died?

A: That depends on whether you count Palestinian deaths as well.

In the last bit of news commentary, from Sure, Trump is an Authoritarian Grifter, But At Least He’s Three Years Younger Than Biden: “I mean, Biden was alive when the Allies won World War II. So you can understand how that is of concern to Trump supporters. Their side lost World War II.”

And hey, “Doom Patrol” is finally back! I only barely remember what they were up against beyond the asspocalypse and am constantly distracted by the different ways they (more or less) hide April Bowlby’s pregnancy, but it’s good to have those foul-mouthed, broken misfits back on my TV again. Now where’s the danged Resident Alien season 3?

Finally, this will seem random, but I’ve been doodling a lot of Woodstock lately. Like a lot a lot. Like page after page of Woodstock, channeling whatever’s going through my mind through him. This is him 3/4 of the way through an interminable meeting, but it also does a pretty good job of capturing my late Friday afternoon mood:

Woodstock passed out on the floor

I mostly pretend to forget our wedding anniversary, but this one I honest to god missed

A couple blogs and a webcomic or two I follow have recently marked notable anniversaries, which led me to wonder how long this particular blog has been around. So, go to the posts, sort by date ascending, and I see the first post was…(drumroll please)…

December 31, 1969!

(Wait, that can’t be right.) For anyone who doesn’t know, if a computer spits that date out, it often means there’s a null value or maybe “0000-00-00 00:00:00” lurking in the database. Anyway, scroll a bit to find a date when I was alive…

January 16, 2003.

For the record, I’m also approaching a nice round number of posts, at least according to WordPress. However, there are also some duplicated titles, so that number is sketchy. I expect I’ll miss that marker too, even though WordPress does show a post counter so it’s much more visible.

Here’s to the next two decades… 🎉


The title for this could really just be “Heavy Sigh” but I’m too committed to the bit and anyway if I have to suffer you assholes the rest of my natural life you can suck it

We’re up to three indictments now, which is good even though JFC the DOJ took their sweet time with this last one, didn’t they? At least this time you don’t get the sense the judges in DC are actively working for the defense. “Mister” Trump, indeed.

But but but…

In one sense it doesn’t matter, because whatever happens in the courtroom he’s not going to stop running for president. But even that doesn’t get to the core of the problem. Every cycle there are all kinds of people running for president we never hear about, because they don’t have a prayer in hell of winning. Ideally, that would be true of DJT as well. It’s not, thanks to the hordes of fash-curious we have running around the country, family included. (Those would be the titular assholes of this post, if you were wondering.)

So, great — we’re going to have to live through the spectacle of a man who should be wearing a jumpsuit the same shade of Oompa Loompa as his bronzer being treated like a viable choice to occupy the White House again. Maybe I’m wrong on this, and we’re months away from official primaries & caucuses taking place, but as things stand it’s hard to see how he doesn’t start racking up wins, and then getting a terrifying number of votes come November 2024. Because what you do when someone attempts a coup and fails is…give them another shot at it?


Books Film

In which I write a longish list of things I’ve read or watched recently, only to make a tiny point

Except for the last one, there’s no particular order to these. The movies/TV shows are all since mid-June, the books & comics go back at least into May, maybe as far as April:

Taking those in order we have protagonists who are: trans/gay (more so in the movie than the comic), female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, female, and…female. I would have to go back for a proper analysis to be sure, but I suspect many (most?) of them wouldn’t pass a male version of the Bechdel Test.

Which is maybe why early in Rage is a Wolf after yet another douchey male character showed up, a little voice in my head sighed, “I need to read something with some proper dudes in it.” This was quickly followed by a dawning realization. “Oohhh…is this what it’s like for women and minoritized groups who hardly ever see themselves properly represented?”

Yes, I’m well aware this is a dilemma of my own making. It’s not like there’s a shortage of male-centric fiction out there. I just happen to have stumbled into a run of works that are less so, and had that weird little moment of clarity that seemed worth noting.


I’ve had captchas with more opportunity for input than the AI feedback form they gave me

Work had one of those “lunch & learn” type things recently on ChatGPT, which I skipped because 1) I’ve been exposed to enough hype on AI/LLM/ML whatever you want to call it, and 2) I’m not a religious man, but lunch downtime is sacred. A couple days later they followed up the lunch session with an email linking to the video of it that more or less read, “Did you see it? Did you see it?” And that email was quickly followed by yet another message with a survey asking for input/interest in our unit using ChatGPT in some way.


So like a tired parent with a hyperactive child obsessed with the latest craze, I put aside what I was doing to engage. The video was fine — an overview of what the various acronyms mean, how the technology works, and a couple demonstrations. The latter consisted of asking ChatGPT to generate Python code for a quicksort algorithm, then asking it to do the same in Rust. They then asked for an explanation of the same in the voice of Jean-Paul Sartre, Ayn Rand, and Kanye West. It did manage to do all of this fine. There was some discussion about how these LLM tools have a tendency to just make things up, as well as copyright issues, but it was only a 30 minute session so it didn’t get too deep.

On to the survey form, which was basically two yes/no questions and a pair of text fields that looked like they would accept maybe 50-100 characters. That may have been enough to write, “ChatGPT and generative AI are bullshit and I want no part of it,” (63 characters) but swearing is kinda frowned upon at work, so I just went on with my day.

But it’s possible I’ve been stewing over it ever since, because ChatGPT and generative AI are bullshit, I want no part of either, and yet they keep getting shoved in my face like the greatest thing since the invention of undo. I suppose I should pause for a moment to acknowledge that there are reasonable uses for machine learning, but I would argue they are limited and best leveraged under the hood. For example, Pixelmator Pro has image tools based on machine learning that are genuinely useful. They are also very different from how ChatGPT and its ilk are sold.

Let me blow through some basic things first. Yes, tools like ChatGPT can spit out code for self-contained, well-defined problems like the above. I would argue that this ability is no more remarkable than being able to punch “quicksort algorithm python” in a search engine, which will give you multiple results with working code and/or explanations. A web search can’t give you the results in the style of, let’s say, Dr. Seuss, but that’s just a parlor trick and not very practical anyway. It can also give you answers to non-technical questions. Many of these answers might even be right! Either way, you can get paragraphs of authoritative-looking text out of it. Tools like Stable Diffusion can even generate images that look vaguely like what you’re asking for as long as “surreal” is part of the mandate. You would be a fool to rely on it for professional work, though (<cough> Secret Invasion)


Let’s take a recent example of something I had to do for work. One of the apps I’m responsible for has a feature that allows users to send a bulk email to pre-defined sets of recipients. There’s a mail merge function as well, so these messages can be customized. This basic system has been in place for roughly a decade now. This summer, I was tasked with altering this to allow a user to send a message to a group of users, and this message was to contain a hyperlink with a draft email to a different set of recipients. This called for a mail merge within a mail merge, complicated by the fact that one of these had to generate encoded content. The source code for this app is not publicly available, and the frameworks it relies on are not widely used, where they’re not completely custom. This is not a problem ChatGPT is going to be able to help with, any more than I can hit Google for a solution.

Let’s also consider the tendency for tools like ChatGPT to just make things up. I would argue this is not just one of the tool’s greatest weaknesses, but also their greatest danger. If you’re not familiar with the lawyer who used ChatGPT as a research tool to his regret, you should read up on it. In the lunch session, someone did bring this up, and they suggested you should basically ask the tool, “are you sure?” But can you trust that answer any more than the first? The problem is, ChatGPT will sound absolutely confident in its responses, whether there is any truth to them or not. And you can’t really ask for citations without having to then follow up to verify those are real, too. Here again, I would argue you’re better off with a more traditional tool like Google that directs you to source materials instead of synthesizing content and spitting it out context-free.

What really gets me about all this isn’t just that the tools are more limited than the hype would have you think, and that they can be dangerous if you’re not careful. For the limited results we get from them, neither the infrastructure required to make them work nor the changes they would in turn demand from users are sustainable. Remember, in order for something like ChatGPT to work, it not only has to have vacuumed up massive amounts of content, it has to have humans annotating the data in order for the computer to do anything intelligent with it. Further, this data intake and annotation has to be ongoing, because spoiler alert, the world is a dynamic place. But surprise, annotation doesn’t pay well. So what’s already happening? People are using AI to help train AI. But if AI can’t be trusted to get things right…it’s like trying to build a skyscraper by taking girders from the basement to support the 20th floor.

And on the other end, in order to use ChatGPT well, you have to be skilled in how to prompt it, to the extent there are university courses on prompt engineering.

And I’m not even getting into copyright or the ethics/legality of essentially hoovering up the entire Internet without any compensation or acknowledgement, let alonefair compensation to the original creators. Last I heard, OpenAI won’t even disclose where its data set comes from.

So yeah, I don’t think these tools are going to stick around in any kind of generalized form, and I’ll be happy when they go back to being the province of specialized tools and research. Hopefully they’re already on their way. In the meantime, I’ll just stick to what I’m doing, thanks.

Film Politics

Nick Fury and the black-robed dinguses

There’s a scene in episode 2 of “Secret Invasion” where Nick Fury and Talos are on a train somewhere in eastern Europe, and Nick tells Talos about taking the train from Alabama to Detroit when he was a kid. He does this primarily to get Talos to play a game of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” (exposition!), but along the way he mentions having to ride in the “Colored Car,” and how they had to bring their own food because they weren’t allowed into the dining car.

I had one of those record skipping moments in my head. Wait, how old is Nick Fury supposed to be? Looks like the MCU version was born in 1950 (for comparison, Samuel L. Jackson was born in 1948). Okay, so next check a Civil Rights timeline. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was 1954, followed by lots of protests and attempts to maintain segregation in schools. Rosa Parks is 1955. Sit-ins are late 50s into the 60s. Riots in 1961 at UGA over the first two Black students to be admitted (and they get suspended). Alabama Gov. George Wallace calls for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” in 1963, same year as MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The Civil Rights Act came in 1964.

Nick Fury would have been a teenager at this point. So…yeah, he could absolutely have had to ride a segregated train.

I’m sure none of this would have been a surprise to a Black person watching the show, but I guess I needed a reminder that the days of hard-core segregation aren’t that far in the past.

So imagine my surprise (not really, the writing was on the wall) when the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in college admissions.

Sidebar: Justice Sotomayor’s dissent had this bit, which generated a genuine, “Oh shit” reaction from yours truly:

JUSTICE THOMAS, for his part, offers a multitude of arguments for why race-conscious college admissions policies supposedly “burden” racial minorities. Ante, at 39. None of them has any merit.

He first renews his argument that the use of race in holistic admissions leads to the “inevitable” “underperformance” by Black and Latino students at elite universities “because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete.” Fisher I, 570 U. S., at 332 (concurring opinion). JUSTICE THOMAS speaks only for himself.

I don’t know how to properly cite Supreme Court rulings, but you can find that on page 195 of the PDF linked above. It’s page 56 of her dissent.

Anyway, Thomas aside I can kind of get where the majority justices in that opinion are coming from. They’re white people with at least the baseline of privilege that implies. No one in their family history ever had to worry about being prohibited from attending school because of their race. I haven’t dug into their personal histories, but I expect they have more than just that baseline, thus their oblivious attitude. However, the notion that this country has gone from centuries of institutionalized, and often violent racism, to a state where we can say, “Welp, no more racism here, we good?” within the span of one man’s lifetime, and any long-term harm has been wiped clean is absurd. They should be smart enough to recognize that.

Here’s what I know. I’ve attended and/or been employed at five different universities across as many states. All of them have had affirmative action programs, and none have had, let’s say, a shortage of white people. I’ve had applications rejected from four other institutions I can remember (Caltech, Carlton College, UC Berkeley, and The University of Michigan), all due to my own mediocrity, thankyouverymuch. My parents and at least one grandparent went to college, so there’s a chance1 I could have gotten a leg up thanks to legacy admissions, though I didn’t apply to any of them. At any rate, I did just fine at the institutions I did attend. I hope there were Black people admitted to all the schools that rejected me, and God speed to them. I had experiences as an undergraduate I absolutely would not have had without living and studying with people of other races and cultures, however they came to be there.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that history runs long, and it’s easy to forget how any given person may have been affected by conditions that you may not have personally experienced or remember. The MCU’s Nick Fury went from high school into the US Army, and then to the CIA, but I don’t think we know why. It’s certainly possible the army was his only option, for financial reasons or because…Alabama. As he put it in a different context, “Men who look like us don’t get promoted because of who our daddies know. Every ounce of power we wrestle from the vice grip of the mediocre Alexander Pierces who run this world was earned in blood.”

  1. A small one. Of the three institutions I checked, one very explicitly does NOT factor in legacy, one seems to, and the last I can’t find any information on.

No special reason for this, why do you ask?

Courtesy Bart Simpson Chalkboard Generator.


Happiness is sitting in the three-season room during a summer rain

Woke up this morning, grabbed my phone to see what the world had been up in my absence, and the first thing I saw was this:


A little scrolling and pop over to a news app and I get it — things are getting messy in Russia. Oi.

Moving on.

The thing with the three-season room is that as nice as it is to sit out here, there is always always always the sound of Internal Combustion Engine vs Nature. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, weed whackers, and I’m pretty sure some guys just strap engines to their backs and wander around the neighborhood to be obnoxious. But during a rainstorm? The only sound is the rain, the birds, and the occasional sound of a car going by. Bliss.

I am having the hardest time deciding what sticker to put on my new laptop so that I can distinguish it at a glance from my work laptop. Yes, I know, first-world problems.

Did I mention up top that this is going to be another random thoughts post? No? Well, guess what.

Turns out tuning the 12-string isn’t as bad as I thought it might be, though it does require a delicate touch with the plectrum. I’m getting better playing it, but do still feel like a refugee from the hot dog finger universe. Dear God it sounds glorious when I get it right, though.

Count me among those unhappy at Marvel’s (or whoever’s) decision to use AI-generated art for the opening titles of “Secret Invasion.” I’ll be skipping those to get straight to the human-generated work, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, snack time!