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Thoramel

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  1. Right now what I'm most grateful for are my wife's continued health, a couple of good ER doctors, an understadning pharmacist, and my handyman who tried to cook us a meal this weekend when we otherwise super busy. It wasn't very good, but it's the thought that counts. Yep. I've got to tear my yard up and get ready for some garden planting early next month. I didn't do any gardening the last couple of years so everything is overgrown and in need of a lot of work. I actually enjoy yardwork though. You've got something nice to look at when you're done and there is no better beer than a beer consumed after working outdoors all afternoon. The most detested chores are cleaning the litter boxes, vacuuming the stairs, scrubbing the bathrooms, and anything done in the basement because I'm too tall to stand up straight in a lot of it. I personally like making pot pie (and shepherd's pie) the best. My wife likes it when I make a meatloaf (honestly it's almost as much veg as it is meat so not sure that name meatloaf should apply) with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and broccoli. That's actually way down in the mix for me, but since it is well recieved and can be stretched out into several meals I make it more often than I prefer.
  2. Huh, I never thought of using it to generate gaming encounters, that's pretty neat and I may have to try that at some point. I haven't really had a chance to play around with "AI" yet. There's no good application for it in my field so it just hasn't made it to me. There's a few folks in management who like to say they're exploring the use of AI. But I"m fairly certain they have no clue what it is or how it works and they just like throwing around buzzwords. I think that language learning models have great potential in some fields. For example my nephew just started his PhD in biochemistry and he has some pretty cool ideas about using AI to compare different studies across several languages and regions that a researcher in any given area may not be exposed to in order to find new correlations across different lines of biochem research. That's pretty awesome. But on the other hand, things like AI generated children's books may represent a real harm to children. A buddy of mine works in the children's book industry in a distribution capacity and their company has found some examples of this being pushed by self publishers and less than reputable companies. There's a line of thought that children learn about how to interact with the world, at least in part, by being told or reading stories. But those stories need to have an actual structure, like a beginning and end, an antagonist or conflict, and logical structure or they're not beneficial to developing minds. And could actually be harmful. Most of the AI generated stories do not have these elements and are being pushed out in quantities that make them hard to catch by companies who do the distribution. Or they end up on Amazon and get ordered by parents who don't review the product before giving it over to their kids. It things like that, and other possible societal harms, that makes me think we should be exploring regulation of the AI industry at the same time we're developing and using this kind of software.
  3. Normally I'm quite happy to tell people when they're being an idiot, though usually in much nicer language than that. But at some point in government work you run into folks who are protected from reprisal just by being close to the right politician or political appointee. And it's been my experience that while they can't out and out fire you (union!) they can retaliate in ways that make you want to leave your job. And since I actually like my job, and would like to retire with a pension some day, I find it best to just let them bumble on and be fools. After all, they'll likely be gone after the next gubernatorial election. And the rest of us who actually know what we're doing will still be here getting on with the dirty work. Still, telling them off would be a whole lot of fun. Maybe I'll save that for the day I retire!
  4. Oof. I'm in an agency wide meeting telling us about how we need to adopt new security procedures. Our IT chief (political appointee) can't figure out how to share her screen to show off the new features and is yelling, on mic, at her staff to fix her screen. She can't tell us anything about the new software, and she keeps referring to the user interface cursor as the clicky carrot thing. Wow. This would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.
  5. Nope. Didn't see any media coverage and not particularly interested in what they have to say about the alignment of celestial bodies. Sure. Nature? Nature stuff is always good.
  6. We were set up to view it next to a little woodlot and wetland that was full of birds and frogs. The birds mostly all quieted down except for a couple of species that are active at dawn and dusk. Those started making noise. It's Spring Peeper mating season right now and they all woke up when it got dark and started calling to potential mates. A few Chorus Frogs joined in as well. several vultures that had been circling something way out in the farm field behind the house landed and didn't take off until it got light again. My dog went from his begging everyone for food routine to his time to snuggle up for a nap routine for a few minutes. Pretty neat all in all.
  7. Yep. My parents place is right in the middle of the path of totality and we have great weather today, so yes! Several family members gathered here last night and camped out and today we're all using it as an excuse to have an impromptu family get together. We're grilling out later, someone brought a bunch of viewing glasses, and I bought a solar filter for my dad's telescope so we can all take turns getting a close up view. The nearby town seems to be hoping for an influx of eclipse watchers. When we drove through town yesterday a bunch of shops had a bunch of space themed displays set up in their windows and there was a couple of guys in inflatable alien outfits waving at people driving by. Every hotel in town is sold out as well, and for at least three times the normal price. So hopefully some of those people spend at some local places. Last time one of these came through we got about 70% coverage. I was working way out in the woods and when it hit it's peak the birds and insects flipped out for several minutes. I'm interested to see if that happens out here today.
  8. Let's see, there's my dog Benny running around outside. That's always joyous. We're camping out at my folks place for the night and watching the eclipse from there tomorrow. So he's going to get to run leash free himself stupid for the next 24 hours or so. And there's this sign I saw on the highway today. I don't know about joy. But it sure made me laugh.
  9. Strangely enough, I have quite a few... When we were kids there was a family of Mallards on a pond on our property. The mother mallard got taken by an owl. So we caught the ducklings and raised them indoors so they wouldn't meet the same fate. My dad didn't realize that ducklings aren't natural swimmers and tossed a couple of them in the kitchen sink while he was cleaning their enclosure and they immediately sank. He grabbed them out but one was unresponsive. So he gave it mouth to beak resuscitation and amazingly it worked. Later, that same duck imprinted on my sister and would follow her everywhere. She was 13 and wanted to learn to walk in heels. So for a couple of weeks she'd practice walking in them out back of the house until she got good at it. Unfortunately for her the waddle of a teenage girl learning to walk in heels is very much like the waddle of a regular old duck. Watching the duck and her shakily march back and forth during that time period was so hilarious the whole family would sit outside and laugh. Probably not one of our finest moments as a family, but man did we all laugh so hard (sister included). That duck (named Webster, because what else are you going to name a duck?) eventually flew south and we didn't think we'd ever see her again. We were wrong, she came back for something like five summers and lived on that little pond raising ducklings and visiting my sister. It was pretty sad the year she didn't return, but that's life. There's still mallards that live on that pond and I like to think they're Webster's descendents. Another time when I was a kid me and a couple of friends borrowed a canoe and were explroing a nearby lake. I think we were playing pirates or something and we decided to "storm" this little island. We hopped out of our canoe and ran over a little crest on the island only to find dozens of angry Canada Geese on the other side with a bunch of goslings. Well, everyone knows geese are mean so we ran back to our canoe being pursued by what felt like every goose in the county and breathed a sigh of relief when we got our canoe back into the water. Which didn't last long because of course geese can swim really well. We were all covered in bruises by the time we got away from the last one. And that's the story of how we lost the Battle of Goose Island. I've got a bunch more I could tell, but that seems like enough.
  10. That's a tough one. I don't normally paint cute stuff. I'm an Evil DM, so most of my stuff is intended to eat characters. But I did go on a cute kick for a couple of weeks last year. Here were a few of my favorites... Somewhere I also have a pair of zombies holding hands, but I can't seem to find a picture of those.
  11. Other than walking the dog, no. And he's a pretty small dog so he doesn't go far before getting tired. I'm not inactive, I spend a lot of time outdoors and hiking around in places where trails don't exist, which I'm sure burns some calories. But I really should adopt a regular exercise routine for things like cardio and weights. As I meander through my 50's I'm starting to get all manner of joint pains and stiffness that a regular exercise routine would probably help with.
  12. Like every spring I'm just excited about warmer weather, more sunlight, and everything flowering and turning green again. But this spring in [articular there's a few events I'm especially excited about. The first is the total solar eclipse next week. My folk's place is right in the middle of the area of totality and we're all getting together to watch it through my dad's telescope (I bought him a solar filter for it this past christmas). Second, the first weekend of May is always National Homebrew Day when a bunch of folks in my homebrew club get together at a local brewery and make a beer together. The brewery makes the wort and the homebrewers finish it off with the hops of their choice. Since it falls on May the Fourth this year (Star Wars Day) everything is going to be Star Wars themed, which should make it more fun! And finally, the second weekend of May is when the biggest part of the spring bird migration occurs. There's this little swamp on the southern shore of Lake Erie where birds from the Atlantic, Mississippi, and even the Central flyways all converge and rest before making the Lake crossing. It can get nearly 200 different species of birds in any given day as they fly from South and Central America to the Boreal forests of Canada where they breed. It's pretty fantastic. I've heard it said that if you weren't a birder before going to this event then you are once you leave. Anyways, we booked a nearby hotel for three nights during the height of the migration and are going to spend that time tracking down as many birds as possible. Our record is 127 species in 2 days, hopefully we'll beat that this year!
  13. The classic taped open sink sprayer so that when you go to turn the faucet on the sprayer hoses you down with water instead. Had it done to me and have used it many times. Great prank, except for having to clean up the puddles of water afterwards.
  14. 30th: I had to go back and look to see what I was doing. Turns out I was gluing models together. Some of those were Victrix Roman Legionnaires I'm using for a Cthulhu campaign set in Roman times I'm running. They managed to get paint on them: 31st: Like @TGP said. If you are interested in being a quistor reach out Talespinner and he'll take care of you. Also, don't worry about coming up with original questions. You can always google "weird questions to ask your friends" and you'll get a pkethora of options. Anyways, cheers all and thanks for participating this month!
  15. Question March 30: Back on the 9th I asked what projects you were working on. Did you manage to get any of those projects done? Or finish any hobby projects in March for that matter? Care to show them off? Question March 31: Have you ever been a Quistor for a GTKY thread? If not what's preventing you from taking over for a month? (Looks like there may be four months still open this year)
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