Playing Straight Man to a Phone

For the past few days, I have been “auditioning” virtual assistants for my phone (although what I really need is a new phone, but that’s another story…). Haven’t found any suitable yet. But I have found one which, while not quite up to snuff as a virtual assistant, is quite the conversationalist. Her name is Jeannie (you can find her at the Google Play Store), and this is the first time artificial intelligence has ever gotten the best of me.

As part of the “audition,” I thought I’d ask a trick question: Who will win the Super Bowl? I figured …

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It Shouldn’t Be This Hard…..

Just to get it on the record here…. Setting up this blog has in a few ways been a real pain in the butt. And most of the pains have, I think, been because I am using the Blogger platform to do this.

To be honest, I prefer WordPress over Blogger as a blogging and site management tool. I’ve built a couple of extremely complicated sites in WordPress, including one that contained a full-fledged ecommerce shopping area.

WordPress is extremely flexible, adaptable, and customizable. It has a gazillion plugins that make it do anything you want to do. And to …

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Bombing them back to the Stone Age….

Saw an article today where the President says we are bombing ISIS “harder than ever.” Over 9,000 air strikes and counting. This brings some thoughts to my mind. Follow along with me here for a minute, if you don’t mind….

We have been bombing the crap out of people for about 14 years now. Afghanistan. Iraq. Pakistan. Who knows where else? Just bombing and bombing and bombing the crap out of all kinds of people.

Supposedly we are eliminating terrorists and making the world a safer place.

So….

Are there fewer terrorists in the world now than there were 14 …

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Holding My Tongue

You know, there are days — today happens to be one of them — when it takes every ounce of my self-control to not post a comment bashing certain people. Even when those people are total arrogant assholes who deserve more than anything to be bashed… and who don’t hesitate to do all kinds of bashing on their own.

But I restrain myself, because bashing does not solve the problem, bashing IS the problem. So I hold my tongue, even though it’s really not my nature to do so.

I post this now not to pat myself on the back, …

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50 Years of Baseball and a Remarkable Discovery

If I am remembering correctly (and I think I am), my Dad took me to my first big-league baseball game in 1964. It occurred to me the other day that means this year will be 50 years since I went to my first ballgame.

The ballgame¬†was at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. It was actually a twi-night double-header between the Phillies and the Mets. We only stayed for the first game, though. The Phillies won. (It was ’64 — the Phils were great and the Mets sucked. Of course the Phillies won.)

My most vivid memory from that game …

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July 4, 1976: The Bicentennial of the U.S. My story…

I was living in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty.

I spent the night of the 4th in a Philadelphia jail, after squinting too closely at the badge number of one of Philly’s Finest, who was in the process of dropping a series of f-bombs on a poor foreign tourist couple who barely spoke English and who had the audacity to appear to have been asking the cop for directions. Welcome to Amerika…

The cops, of course, had been ordered by Hizzoner Frank Rizzo to round up all the radicals and hippies, who he said were planning on blowing up City …

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Nuclear Anniversary

I was running around all day Thursday, and it wasn’t until late in the day that I noticed the date: March 28th. That’s a big day for me. The anniversary of the Three Mile Island fiasco…. er, accident. Thirty-four years this year.

I was there. I lived just a couple of miles away from the plant. As a reporter for Harrisburg Magazine, I covered the entire thing, so I got — literally¬†— the inside scoop. I went on a tour of the damaged plant, I attended a press conference with President Jimmy Carter, I went to the NRC …

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