Previous month:
January 2023
Next month:
March 2023

My Grandchildren: Joyous Greeting

My Grandson
When he hears the doorbell ring, he runs towards the door shouting “Abba, Abba” with a big grin on his face. He hugs me as soon as I get inside.

I have never been greeted anywhere, by anyone, with such open-faced and enthusiastic joy. My wish is for us to have something like that relationship as long as both live.

  This and That

Journalism Feedback
In every newsroom, the most junior person on the staff used to be in charge of answering--or should I say ignoring--calls from the public. Now, we beg for the feedback. Sigh. I am SO glad I was born in 1952 and not 1992. And, thanks for your comments!

More Fun With AI
AI gone mad. I can’t get AI to write me a Chatanooga Choo-Choo joke, but this guy, among other things, can get all American presidents rendered as Pixar characters, and portraits of creepy AI families. Worth a look.

Short Light Bulb Life
In 1925, the international cartel Phoebus set light bulb life low and punished members whose bulbs lasted too long. The members claim it wasn’t planned obsolescence, but a scientific decision. That’s codswallop. An international cartel is almost certainly meeting this week to lower standards.

AI and Choo-Choo Jokes

Comedians, at least, appear safe from AI. At my request Daniel Dern tried to get ChatGPT to write Chattanooga Choo-Choo jokes, like this one:

Pardon me, goy, is that the chatty guru’s new pew?

Here are the results

Write some punning jokes based on "Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo"

    "Pardon me, do you have the time? It seems like my watch has choo-choo-ed away!"

    "Excuse me, do you have a map? I seem to have gotten derailed on my way to Chattanooga!"

    "Pardon me, is this seat taken? I'd hate to be a choo-choo-crasher!"

    "Excuse me, do you know the way to Chattanooga? I'm feeling a bit train-wrecked."

    "Pardon me, but do you have a ticket to...

Write some punning jokes based on the song title "Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo"

    "Pardon me, but do you know the way to Chattanooga? I don't want to be a train-wreck!"

    "Excuse me, do you have the train schedule? I don't want to miss the Chattanooga choo-choo!"

It did a decent job with other  assignments:

Better AI Humor

While he was at ChatGPT  at my request, Daniel Dern tried a couple of prompts that produced decent results.

Here's how William Shakespeare might tell a knock-knock joke:

    Knock, knock.
    Whose there?
    Boo who?
    Indeed, why dost thou make such a sorrowful cry?

    Knock, knock.
    Who's there?
    Lettuce who?
    Lettuce in, tis a jest most fair and full of mirth.

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

The famous riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" was posed by the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.” This riddle is considered to be a paradox and has no answer, as the two objects are completely unrelated and cannot be compared in any meaningful way. The answer "because Poe wrote on both" is often given, but this is a reference to Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote stories about both ravens and desks, and not a solution to the riddle itself.
Who is buried in Grant's tomb?

Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant, are buried in Grant's Tomb in New York City. The tomb, which is located in Riverside Park, is the largest mausoleum in North America and serves as a memorial to one of the most famous and successful military leaders in American history.

Adventures in Ex Post Editing

From my friend and colleague Robert Malchman:

In the NY Times obituary of Raquel Welch  there is now this sentence:  “She even called her 2010 book, a memoir and self-help guide, Beyond the Cleavage.” When I read it yesterday, it described the book as "a memoir cum self-help guide.”

I guess I wasn't the only person who thought there was some ambiguity there because Welch was certainly the source of a great deal of cum self-help guidance over the years.  Someone at The Times obviously got their hands on the line and pulled off the change.

Finding Beaumont Music Teacher Miss Wilson/Mrs. Olson

Once again, I’m going to try to find (and thank) my amazing 6th-grade music teacher, Miss Wilson of  Portland, Oregon’s Beaumont Elementary, 64-65 school year. She was amazing and created a lifelong love of music.

I’m pretty clever, but I have not even been able to learn her first name for certain. Or even her last; I don’t do Facebook, but it appears someone there thinks the music teacher that year was Mrs. Olson.

All I know is that I still sing songs from Oliver and The Music Man she taught us. I am pretty sure it was NOT Mrs. Olsen, because I was able to reach Mr. Nakvasil, who said he dated her; unlikely if she was a Mrs. He thought her first name might be Nancy, but he might have been thinking of the famous singer, not the elementary teacher. The state teachers retirement fund and the school district were no help.

The band teacher: can’t remember his name, lit no fire. Miss Wilson: the fire still burns.

Of course she’d be in her 90s by now, and is probably long gone. But if not, I’d love to let her know of her lasting impact on at least one of her students. Who knows, maybe they have the Internet in heaven and she’ll find this when she Googles herself.

Top 5 Signs an AI is trying to kill you

The Top5 list is coming back March 1; details on how to subscribe to the Internet’s first and best crowd-sourced humor site when they are available. My submissions for the first list:

*“Hey ChatGPT, teach me the Lambada.” “Step one, go to the top of a tall building and stand on the ledge.”

*Asked to draw a picture of you from next week, the AI  draws a tombstone.

*Siri says the quickest way to clean a dirty fork is to stick it in an electrical socket.