Friday, March 31, 2023

Golf is two minigames thrown together

Deep thought of the day: Golf is basically two marginally related minigames thrown together. A bit like if football required a round of Lawn Bowling once the ball enters the goal area.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Planetary Entanglement

For some reason, I sometimes dream about the movement of planets on which I walk. I've had several dreams about sudden shifts in gravity as bodies move closer to each other, such as the moon drifting rapidly towards Earth.

Last night, I had another such dream, but in the context of it being a common event, of sorts. I was working my job, preparing and completing tasks, engaging with co-workers in the office, all the while being aware that a planetary collision was imminent. The planet upon which I stood was similar to Earth, even with modern North American buildings and civilization. It seemed far less populated than Earth. The planet was in a close orbit around a giant brown gas giant. Somehow, another smaller gas giant was also in a similar orbit around the same brown gas giant.

This set up a situation in which the terrestrial planet was on a path to collide with the smaller gas giant. This fact was well-known to everyone on the planet, so perhaps that's why the planet's population was sparse. Even those at work seemed sparse. We all knew about the collision. But, this fact didn't seem to faze those who remained. The evacuation was coming, but to me, it seemed like the egress should have happened already, not in the future.

At some point, I went on a drive (I don't recall the vehicle I used, but it moved very quickly and I don't remember the roads once outside the city). I saw the closeness of the smaller gas giant and realized I was already experiencing a subtle shift in gravity. There also seemed to be weather effects starting to happen. The brown gas giant filled the western sky with half the planet above the horizon. The smaller gas giant was fully visible in the northern and western sky, in front of the brown gas giant. The star was north and east.

Once I saw the weather and felt the gravitational effects, I decided it was time to leave. The dream ends with me back in the office and packing up. A co-worker came by. She asked if I was ready for the meeting that was about to start. I didn't respond. I just kept preparing to get off-world quickly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Wild Raspberries

'Midst verdant New Hampshire groves,
Midsummer rambles begin,
Paths dappled with sunbeams in droves,
Thru valleys and over crest therein.

Beneath the boughs, a shaded trail,
Respite from day's warm gleam,
Where birds chirp, squirrels flit and hail,
A hushed wonderland, a dream.

A crimson glint amidst the thorns,
Bramble with hidden treasure,
Sweet raspberries, ruddy adorn,
Luring with their vibrant pleasure.

Fragrance wafts upon the breeze,
Drawing with an urging thrill,
As if by magic they appease,
Beckoning call to nature's will.

Berries gleam, a ruby hue,
So plump, ripe, and tempting,
Flavors tart, sweet, and true,
Nature's gift, pure and uplifting.

Nectar of the sun, they hold,
Jewels on the verdant earth,
A bounty to be savored bold,
A moment of unbridled mirth.

With each indulgent, blissful bite,
Their sweetness floods my senses true,
And in this fleeting moment's light,
I am one with nature anew.

A fleeting visitor, am I,
In this wild, enchanting space,
Yet memory of the berry's lure,
Lingers long, a smile on my face.


I worked with ChatGPT 3.5 to write this poem.  Though most of these words and phrases aren't directly mine, the key phrases are directly from me; with most of elements being prompted by me in one way or another.  The poem isn't a masterpiece, but it's not bad either.  The creative role I performed was actually in the interaction with the chatbot trying to work though its abilities and limitations to get a modestly good result.  

The first chatbot version of this poem was passable, but not good.  In several iterations, the chatbot "forgot" the topic of the poem and focused on some secondary detail.  I had to redirect the chatbot several times.  I was moderately impressed with how well the chatbot handled minor edits, though it made unrequested changes to unaffected portions of the poem almost every time, so I had to review each iteration to revert unintended edits.  Of course, the process took a couple of hours.  

I could've written something better than this in the same amount of time on my own.  I might try this experiment again with different prompt.

BTW, the image above is from Stable Diffusion.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Remote thought control

The following is a poem I asked Google Nest Bard to write.  Prompt was an 8 stanza poem about the virtues of remote thought control.  Though not the stature of Vogon poetry, it's not going to win any awards for quality.

Remote thought control, a virtue,
Can help you focus on the future.
It can help you stay calm and collected,
Even when you're feeling hectic.

Remote thought control, a power,
Can help you reach your goals.
It can help you make the right decisions,
Even when you're feeling indecisive.

Remote thought control, a gift,
Can help you live a better life.
It can help you be the best version of yourself,
Even when you're feeling stressed.

Remote thought control, a skill,
Can be learned and mastered.
It can be used for good or evil,
The choice is yours.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Facebook seems to be broken as a record of past check-ins and other events

In the past, I fairly consistently made frequent check-ins as posts to Facebook for places I visited.  However, it seems Facebook is increasingly deprecating this functionality.  You can still check-in quite easily, but old check-in posts are breaking.  The issue seems to be getting worse over time.  

Facebook was very reliable at one point.  You could look back through your timeline to see what you did, where you did it, and when you did it.  There was even UI that made it easy to choose a time period to peruse.  This was useful for so many reasons, not the least of which is planning for further activities in places you already visited, or providing information to others who planned to visit those places.  Let's also no forget the value of being able to stroll down memory lane.  

Here's an example of one such broken check-in.  It's a post in 2012 that simply says "Surprisingly good and unusual".  The information about where this check-in took place, including the town and other general information has been completely removed.

The posting is useless, other than to verify I did something with Allie on that day.  Fortunately, I also maintain a blog (this blog).  For this particular event, I was able to go back to the day in question and see that Allie and I visited Salem, MA.  I'm not sure which place in Salem is represented by this check-in, however.

I am also finding posts on Facebook where uploaded photos no longer display.  No amount of troubleshooting has restored those photos.  This seems to be particularly problematic for Life Events, where posts which contain one more more photos no longer show those photos.  (These are my own photos that I uploaded to Facebook myself, so it's not an issue of someone else controlling privacy settings or removing their account from Facebook.)  When you edit the post to see what's going on, Facebook seems aware that photos were included in the post because Facebook shows a loading window, but yet that loading window never resolves. When you reupload the photos to the post, you will find that you cannot summit the changed post. Facebook just errors-out on you when you try.

Additionally, even more recently, when I've checked-in at movie theaters for specific movies I'm about to watch, those posts are losing information about the movie.  This is happening for posts that are only a few weeks old, if that.

As of this minute, Facebook is not currently adding post to the Life Events page for any posts dated in 2023.

Given all these issues, and Facebook's track record of similar buggy behavior for other deprecated tools in the past, it seems prudent to no longer rely on Facebook as a record of my past.  This means I have to fall back on my blog.  It's a bit more work to create blog posts than Facebook posts, but at this point, it seems worth the extra trouble.

I've already started replicating past Life Events posts from Facebook on this blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

New Patent issued

WYSIWYG editor for creating and editing a feature control frame for geometric dimensioning and tolerancing in computer-aided design system

US Patent number: 11,556,234

Issued: Jan 17, 2023

Inventors: Abhijeet Narvenkar and Matthew Lorono

Here's a newly issued patent by Abhijeet Narvenkar and myself for the WYSIWYG GTOL editor now found in SOLIDWORKS that allows for the intuitive and quick creation of geometric tolerance (GD&T/GPS) feature control frames based on a series of connected user choices.

Patent link

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Movies I watched in 2022

2022 isn't a full return to form for the movie industry, but it's a good few steps forward.  There was still a significant period of time for me where I just wasn't interested to see any movie in the theaters for weeks, if not months.  Overall, though, I saw quite a number of movies.  This won't be a review, per se.  I'm just going to list what I saw with links for streaming if someone else wishes to see them now.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

It's not often...

It's not often that Allie and I talk about a movie we've seen at the theater for days afterwards, but that's exactly what's happening for both movies Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis. Maverick is a fun thrill ride and Elvis is a fascinating biopic. (From facebook post in July.2022.)