Archive for August, 2015

Talk About

As I was listening to a pre-game interview on the radio recently, I was interested to hear all the questions coming from the reporter guy.

  • So-and-so had a good game last time against this opponent. Talk about him.
  • The team is 3 games behind the leader in this division. Talk about the importance of this game.

I’ve written about the issue of sports reporters and the use of “talk about” before.

Since I can’t beat them, however, I will join them. Rather than trying to get reporters to ask real questions, I now suggest replacing them with a robot. Simple natural-language AI that starts each statement with “Talk about” and then adds some keywords relevant to the team and the schedule and the players – that should be indistinguishable from the current situation.

Think of it as a reverse Turing test. If the audio clips are so meaningless/predictable/boring that they could be replaced by a computer and no one would notice, then why hire reporters to ask the questions?

Also, the answers the coaches/managers/players give can be just as bland:

  • I thought everyone played well individually today, we just didn’t play as a team
  • We had a good game plan, we just didn’t execute well
  • I was glad to be able to do my part to help the team get the win today
  • We had some trouble early, but everyone pulled together and it showed in the second half

If the AI is good enough, it could replace both sides of the interview and neither reporters nor sports figures would need to be bothered.

The only problem would be the audio itself – getting the computer to sound like the actual person. Maybe have the computer generate the scripts, hire a couple of voice actors and they can read the scripts and produce the interviews for the whole league in one batch.

I’ve also come to view pre-game and post-game interviews as the equivalent of comments sections of news sites: they’re going to have them, but I know they’re a waste of time so I avoid/ignore them.

But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch.

Mark 14:68

Empty Post

Except for this introductory sentence and this link ( Blank Post ), this post is empty.

and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.

Genesis 37:24

National Days

For want of a post today, I will simply note it is both National Lemonade Day and National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day today.

I personally prefer milk with chocolate pecan pie, so maybe I’ll have to celebrate these days separately somehow.

Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.

Leviticus 25:24


image of a child with ink stamps all over his legs

And that is why you don’t leave a 4-year-old alone with ink stamps.

Thus says the Lord God, “Clap your hand, stamp your foot and say, ‘Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, which will fall by sword, famine and plague!'”

Ezekiel 6:11

Conversation Prevention

Whether I’m waiting for someone or just arrived somewhere early because I like to be early and hate to be late, sometimes I find myself with some extra time. It used to be that I would stand back and people-watch. Or things-watch. Or daydream. Or whatever – I have no problems having nothing to do.

But it does bother some people – they can’t understand that someone can just stand there and not need something to do. In the past, these people would come up to me and ask if I was okay, or if I was lost, or if I needed help.

No thanks, I’m just waiting.

They would take that as their cue to start a conversation. Something along the lines of ‘since this person has nothing to do, I will provide him with something, in the form of talking. Everyone must be bored if they are not in a conversation.’

But I was enjoying the silence and not having to talk.

But technology has furnished us with a solution – the smartphone. Or phone as it is being called these days, since just about no one has anything but a smartphone.

You can stand about anywhere, conspicuously or not, and people will leave you alone as long as you look like you are texting or scrolling through something on your phone.

I can continue doing things as I used to, now I just hold my phone in front of me and people leave me alone. ‘He must not need me to start a conversation with him since he is already in a texting conversation with someone else.’

These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

Psalm 50:21

All Horse

I saw this pile of bags near a local barn:

image of a bag of all horse feed

Looked like horse feed. But not being very knowledgeable about horse feed, I didn’t quite know what to make of this label:

image of a bag of all horse feed


Not sure what that means. Is it all horse, or only 12% horse?

I wish they would make up their minds.

And they were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all countries.

2 Chronicles 9:28


Some of you may recall that we recently moved. Part of the move process involved getting furniture from the 2nd story down to the moving van.

This was a complicated process, as some of the furniture was too big (queen box spring, long dresser) to fit down the stairs, as the stairway makes a turn at the bottom and larger items can’t make the corner. We knew it would be a problem getting those items out, as we had a problem getting them in.

Back then, we borrowed a scaffolding and used that to load the furniture in through the upstairs window. This time, we went to borrow the scaffolding and someone else was already borrowing it.

Not to be deterred, I went to the nearby store and bought 2 sheets of plywood and 3 dozen 2x4s. And some nails.

A few hours later, and with some help from friends and relatives, we had a scaffolding:

image of a makeshift scaffolding built out of 2x4s