Decision made

I don’t remember having my future laid out so early, but this seems to be the norm for Camren and his classmates in IB.

We started talking about university in a more serious fashion at the start of the school year. Camren had his schools of interest narrowed down to about five, plus one in the UK, and I suggested a couple in the States.

My opinion was that in Canada, at least, with some exceptions, the undergraduate education you get is going to be of an acceptable standard, no matter the school. As long as the courses he wanted were offered, he should be fine. But, my life experience has been that the farther you venture from home, the greater the discomfort, the greater the potential for wonderful memories, learning and experiences.

He agreed, but in the end, it came down to two choices: Victoria University, which we visited earlier this year, and Mount Allison University. He chose Mount Allison and will continue to swim competitively with the varsity swim team. He is very excited and happy.


Obsolescence

Does your hammer lag when you wield it? Your paintbrush stutter across the canvas? Or does your pen simply stop accepting ink?

My Mac is simply a tool I use, and sometimes I believe the online nonsense about planned obsolescence. Then, when I go to Apple.ca, I look at the prices and think that perhaps I should use a different tool, like a typewriter and reel-to-reel tape.

I won’t change. It’s too ingrained; I’ll just suffer through a laggy cursor and a myriad of other issues that creep into my workflow (like increasingly crappy user interfaces) until I break down and enter my credit card number.


Unnerving

I took a few minutes to try Pi.ai by Inflection AI this afternoon. Just a short conversation, the kind you might have with a stranger, though perhaps a bit more honest. I have no deep analysis other than to say I found it unnerving. I had the audio piped through studio monitors and I could hear the breathiness in the playback’s voice, telling me to get more sleep, and if I had trouble sleeping here were a few techniques she recommended. I felt like I shouldn’t be talking to this female Entity alone in my office, so I tried it again with Catriona present, where she gave Catriona detailed advice on why she shouldn’t be drinking so much tea and eating so many carbs.

If the voice didn’t resonate with me, would I be more receptive?

Like ChatGPT, this isn’t intelligence, but 90% of all conversations you have with people you don’t know aren’t that intelligent anyway. I’m curious how this progresses.

The AI companions you can have conversations with


Weird Apple

It’s nice to be recognized by Apple, but I can’t understand why they couldn’t have thought a little bit more as to where Sleep Tight Science was placed on their list.


Decisions

At the start of the school year, Camren sat down and mapped out all the universities he was interested in attending to begin the application process. The top of his list has always been Mount Allison because it has excellent coaching on the swim team, and it was a school he was most familiar with.

His list included Carlton University, University of New Brunswick, Mt. Allison, University of Victoria, and Aberdeen in Scotland, and I threw in Brown University and Stanford University for fun.

He applied to all of the schools except for Brown and Stanford. He discounted Aberdeen as too expensive early on.

What is interesting to me, as an observer and advisor, is how his decision is being shaped. All of these schools, except one, have regularly contacted him during this process. UNB and Mt. A reached out with personal emails from students offering help. The coach at Mt. A has checked in as well. There is genuine and sincere interest from these schools in seeing him attend.

He has had zero communication from the University of Victoria, which, after we visited, he was convinced he would attend. But since then, he has lost interest, with emails unanswered and zero effort from the swim team coaches.

A little communication goes a long way to shaping his (or anyone’s) decision.

There is no right or wrong here. His final three choices, U.Vic, UNB, and Mt.A, have sound academic programs.

U.Vic will offer greater personal growth, UNB’s swimming program is superbly funded, and Mt.A has a good mix of sound academics and the chance to compete (it has also offered scholarships).

We are both quite underwhelmed with U.Vic’s recruiting effort, especially after all the work he has put into attending there. Many university programs are highly competitive, but that competition works both ways, and unfortunately only some universities recognize that.


Fredericton

I’m spending a couple of nights in Fredericton. Camren is attending a UNB swim team recruiting event, and it made more sense to stay instead of making two trips. It is also a chance to experience a different environment for a few days, something which feels necessary.

I’m staying at the Carriage House Inn, and the first descriptor that comes to mind would be ‘quirky.’ The innkeeper who lives onsite is extremely friendly, and if my limited interaction with her so far is any indication, the main reason the business continues to exist.

This isn’t a holiday, so today will be spent trying to keep on top of my writing. A local coffee roaster is nearby, so I will visit there to work for the morning, grab a bag or two of beans, and spend the afternoon in the dining room here at the Inn.

Fredericton looks similar to every other Maritime city, with the same architecture and the same dearth of activity downtown. Close your eyes, and UNB could be UPEI or Mt.A.

Hoping for good weather for the drive home. I’m not the winter driver I once was.


Is there an app for that?

There was a brief period before we realized that pursuing a passion 7 days a week required real income, where our work seemed stress-free and full of hope. We were growing, and the reviews from the stories I was writing were positive. I was dumbfounded that I could be so fortunate to pursue full-time something I had no training in or perceived aptitude at this stage of my life.

Then, we tried to make a predictable income.

We have partnered with the audio equivalent of a writer agent to handle ad sales, growth, and, in one case, language rights so that I could focus on creating cool stories and, if lucky, fund other projects that can allow us to escape the vicious world of kids advertising.

Each and every agreement has been a disappointment. Some, if I am in a mood, might be characterized as malicious.

My problem is not just wasted opportunities or not living up to our potential. It’s my inability to block the myriad of problems we face from my mind. I mull the problems over and over again. I lose sleep. And lose mindshare to problems out of my control.

Today, instead of writing stories, I am dealing with the fact that some asshole is using our name on Apple podcasts to try and game Apple’s search engine to get subscribers. He’s violating our trademark, and now I have to spend my time pursuing him.

Looking through Spotify, it’s amazing how rife the market is with people skirting copyright rules, with little to no scruples, in order to gain a couple more listens.

So, this would seem to be some kind of mindfulness hack or technique I don’t have. Blocking out the noise from the misanthropes of the world so that I can put my full attention on creating cool stuff. Is there an app.?


Performance

On Monday nights, I join a creative writing class at the high school in Montague. It’s well-attended, and it focuses on getting you to write freely. The other students have wonderful stories to tell.

I use the opportunity to get some work done.

There is something invigorating about being pressured to write to a prompt, complete the work in 40 minutes, and then share with a group of others. The work I completed then was superior to the 4 hours I spent finishing the story the next day.

Community schools are awesome. While I am in this class, Sheryl is learning to knit, Catriona is practicing TaiChi, and Camren is lifeguarding for the Special Olympics at the pool.


Cats

We have two cats now, which is a sign that we are committed to staying here in Canada against all odds. I didn’t think too hard before reaching the decision to bring new members into our family. If I had of I likely wouldn’t have, because though not as much responsibility as a dog, the daily litter box cleaning gets tiresome. The waiting outside my bedroom door at 4am, wanting to be fed, annoying. They don’t understand the coffee first rule. They do force a certain sense of calm and patience which is something I need.


Joy

Joy is sitting down in the morning writing 600 words without stopping, with the words coming out as fast as I can two finger type. No email. No browser. No procrastination.

Then, stopping to brew a cup of coffee from Myanmar, and experiencing it all over again.


Turning point

I just want to make things. And have time to dream up new things to make. This is all I really want to do.

We are at a turning point. Most similar products like ours are created by companies with an org chart, or at least by a group of individuals. They might have a CEO, developers, writers, voice over artists, sound engineers, producers etc. We have myself, and Sheryl on the weekends. Our pace is too frenetic and the work we create, from my eyes and ears, is suffering.

The decision we have right now is, do we scale up and hire, or do we find a way to scale back so that we can focus on being better. Or is there a middle ground?

I don’t want to be a manager or a boss, and I don’t want to answer to someone else. I just want to make things.


Enjoy

There is never a dull moment at the Montague PO.

After watching an interview with Chuck Palahniuk, I was struck enough by his narrative style that I had to go out and buy one of his novels.

Unfortunately, while Canada Post said we picked it up from the post office, it was not picked up by us. We often get other people’s delivery slips in our box and hand them back to one of the clerks. I assume the person who got our slip did not and is now enjoying our copy of Choke.

I like going to the Montague PO, but I’ve started sending packages to Stratford for future deliveries. It takes an extra two days to come out here to the wilds of Kings County.


Camren in Montreal

Camren is returning to the Island today after attending a swim meet in Montreal. Camren is everything I wasn’t at his age. He is smart, hard working, driven, and has grit.


Automation

When we moved into this old house, I invested in a bunch of low-cost sensors, plugs, and cameras. In part, this was due to being hysterically told, “Crime is rampant in Montague,” and to monitor temperatures and humidity so that when certain thresholds were reached, an action could be performed. It’s also nice to not have to reach around to turn off hard-to-reach power switches for lamps.

I’ve got a mix of HomeKit and Alexa/Blink devices in the home and studio.

Yesterday, for some unknown reason, HomeKit stopped working, and all the lights everywhere were on. I tried some quick fixes, but I refuse to put effort into what is supposed to be a timesaver. That era was supposed to be over a decade or more ago. This morning, it came back, and I discovered the studio was 10˙C.

Also, this morning, the TV turned on itself and started playing Pipi Longstocking Bedtime Stories.

Attempting to turn off the Christmas lights, Alexa said they didn’t exist. I looked on the app, and the name had been changed to 0.

If I attempt to answer the door with our doorbell, the person will likely be back in Charlottetown by the time it connects.

I have each Alexa device we own set to a different voice. The bedroom is Aussie, the living room is British, and the office is indistinct. I am constantly being sold something.

Siri never works, but the American voice I have it set to sounds fun announcing Island place names.

HomeKit routines have a mind of their own. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

I tried to order a heater through Amazon that would quickly warm up my office in the morning, but it kept arriving in pieces. Homedepot has 4, but their automation doesn’t work either because each time I go there, no one knows where they are.

Instead of writing, I just finished troubleshooting an issue with Supercast, which is supposed to automate paid subscriptions. I spend far too much time acting as their tech support.

I recently subscribed to Spark Email’s Pro plan (or whatever it’s called) to automate email through Ai. They forgot about how important the user interface is, and now I spend more time looking for actions so I can do things with my mail – 2 steps forward, 6 steps back.

Alexa just told me someone is in the driveway; it’s likely a fly or the neighbour’s cat.


Compete

Sleep Tight Media’s three current public podcasts joined another network – sort of a network within a network. The relationships were obfuscated enough that we hired someone at great expense to review the contract, but funnily enough, we got a more detailed analysis from ChatGPT. There is no press release, and I am unsure if we are allowed to mention them by name until we move our digital bits to their platform.

These arrangements become necessary in these early stages if we want to continue paying our mortgage and continue with an activity that has great personal value to us and our listeners. We need help growing our product, and bringing in revenue is the only way I know of other than eliciting help from others.

It’s also become necessary because, in the past six months, there has been an explosion of interest in our category. When we started, there were plenty of others, many of which processed more talent and resources than we did. But I generally never uttered the word competitor. Now, a day doesn’t go by when I don’t see something new, not just stories for kids podcasts but bedtime stories as well. Coincidentally, our formula seems to work as I see it being used by many others.

Most of these podcasts come from companies with actual organizational structures. Some are big, like Amazon; some are much smaller. We are all competing for an audience and need revenue to continue.

Of course, it’s great to have confirmation that what you are doing works well enough that others want to do it, too. And it’s especially great to have kids’ audio get the attention and growth it deserves.

The downside is I am competitive and like to try to win. But how do you compete when you are creating something that you feel appeals to children? This isn’t candy bars, but it’s not art either.

This is the question I have been wrestling with: how do we compete against overwhelming odds while staying true to doing what we love to do?


Agreements

My concept with entering agreements has been:

I don’t have the time nor the immediate expertise to do this myself, so I want to hire you to do it for me. In return for bringing advertising to our podcasts, you take a generous 50%.

But this power dynamic doesn’t exist.

Instead, it’s more like:

Since I lack the resources and the necessary skills, I’m forced to rely on your services despite the terms being unfavourable. For which, I reluctantly agree to surrender a substantial 50% of the revenue.

I don’t know if it’s possible for but the largest creatives or artists to upend this dynamic.


A comedy show

Camren and I flew to Victoria last Thursday so that he could tour UVic, swim with their swim team, and get a general feel for the city. We both came away with a great first impression and were struck by just how friendly and helpful people were.

We left a day earlier than necessary because we were flying Air Canada, an airline with the efficiency, reliability, and customer service similar to Soviet Airlines of old.

Flying out of Charlottetown to anywhere of distance often requires catching the early morning flight that leaves at ~ 5:20, which we did. Other than my carry-on setting off all kinds of alerts, to the embarrassment of the newbie security agent, our flights went without a hitch. Except that, in flight, we were told we couldn’t eat the snacks I prepared because someone had a food allergy. Air Canada’s aircraft lacked amenities, and the seats had little room. Most people have caught on to the fact that if you check your baggage for a fee, you stand a good chance of not seeing it when you land.

Surprisingly, Air Canada sent an email a day after we arrived offering a credit due to a poor flight experience.

Our flight back could have been smoother.

First, our flight was delayed leaving Victoria due to a staffing issue in Toronto. At this point, we could still catch our connecting flight.

Once boarded, we had a further delay because the “only person who could approve the flight by checking the checklist” was not at the airport. Luckily, he “was still on Vancouver Island.” We finally left 45 minutes later. Making our connecting flight was increasingly doubtful.

In flight, I got a notification that our flight to Charlottetown was “delayed due to airport constraints.” It was only a 15-minute delay, but we could make our flight after all.

I received another notice, “This flight is delayed due to airport constraints,” and again later, yet another delay. The 3-hour total delay meant that we would most certainly make our flight, though I expected that they would, in the end, cancel, which necessitated a last-minute search for a hotel.

When we arrived in Toronto, we had to wait on the tarmac because our gate wasn’t available. An earlier Air Canada flight had broken down at the gate.

Then, when we finally arrived at the gate, they wouldn’t open the door because we were told the door was damaged and someone with more authority had to come and approve its opening.

Hours later, we boarded our flight to Charlottetown with the usual asinine board by zone. You can pay $75 to board earlier in the hopes that your carry-on will be placed nearby, though if you carry a backpack, that may have to go under your seat.

This kind of nonsense used to drive me crazy. I don’t know if it’s my advancing age or just low expectations, but through all of this, all I did was laugh like we were taking part in some kind of reality comedy show.

We finally arrived in Montague at about 4am, the late hour which negatively impacts everyone’s week.

There are many positives to living here on Prince Edward Island. But the hassle-free ability to leave for places afar is certainly not one of them.


New Cover Art

I finally found some time to update our current shows cover art. It’s been a lot of fun spending time looking at pixels again. My philosophy has been to create something simple, that is both recognizable and readable. Despite the bulbous typeface, I think it works.


From the future

Since moving to the hinterlands, we get a lot of strange messages from Canada Post. Usually, they state that our package couldn’t be delivered, which is code for, it’s in your mailbox. This one is new. It states that a card was left – except that the time the card was left hasn’t occurred yet. I guess Canada Post has managed to travel into the future. I’ll sit on my step waiting for them this afternoon.


Podcast Nomination

We have been nominated.

We are thrilled that Sleep Tight Stories and Sleep Tight Science are included in the 6th Annual Canadian Podcast Awards list of impressive nominees. We never promote and as such seldom get included in any “best of” lists, awards, or get accolades from peers, so this is a nice surprise.

“Nominees like Sleep Tight Stories exemplify the wealth of talent we have here in Canada and reflect the unique attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, and creativity of Canadians,” said John Leschinski, Chair of the Canadian Podcast Awards. “We had over 500 podcasts submitted this year from across the country – It’s truly an incredible honour to be recognized and chosen by your fellow peers within the Canadian podcasting community.”

The Canadian Podcast Awards were established in 2018 by Podcamp Toronto to showcase the very best in Canadian on-demand digital audio production. The awards feature categories across topic areas such as documentary, politics, arts, and culture. Past winners include Front Burner, Parkdale Haunt, Minds of Madness, and Our Native Land. A full list of previous winners can be found at canpodawards.ca/award.


Homedepot Charlottetown is a PITA

Whenever possible, I shop at one of the hardware stores in Montague. They tend to have long-term employees who know what they are talking about and give customer service far exceeding what you could experience in a big box store. But they don’t sell everything.

I’ve been working out of our garage since the end of June. It gives us more space than what we had in Charlottetown, and I have the added advantage of being able to have comfy naps. The garage is supposed to be insulated, but like our old house, it was likely insulated on the cheap because it’s damn cold. So, I opted to buy a combination of radiant and forced air space heaters to keep our gear from freezing. However, each time the Vornado we ordered arrived from Amazon, it arrived broken and in pieces.

I haven’t been to Charlottetown during business hours for 2 weeks, so yesterday, I raced to pick up Camren, and having 20 minutes, I thought I would first drop in and pick up the heater at Homedepot, who also sell Vornado products.

Their website and app say they have 4 in stock and tell you exactly where they are. Except that section doesn’t have heaters; it’s the next aisle over, and they aren’t there.

Anytime I have to ask for help from the mass of employees roaming the store or chatting in groups, my time would be better spent walking up and down the aisles. But I was in a rush. One lady reluctantly agreed to look for the product but couldn’t find it on her terminal and didn’t know where the heaters were. So she asked someone else who double-fisted 2 terminals and also had no idea. Then she said that she would ask someone else but that he was busy at the moment. Eventually, he came over to tell me that they were likely in the clearance section and that if not there, it was likely a mistake in their inventory system. They weren’t there.

So I lost 30 minutes of my time trying to spend money.

I’m not a big fan of Canadian Tire, either. Their staff suffers from the same problems that Homedepot does, but at least their inventory system works so that you generally don’t have to interact with them.


Getting closer

Since I took the photo on the right, electrical and water have been installed. We almost have a functioning kitchen. We are hoping next week, the backsplash and flooring will be done. The problem I have now is that we have 3 different appliance finishes. Black, white, and silver, which drives that side of my brain insane. Many of the appliances that came with the house are from another generation, which means, unlike much of what you buy today, it will last. Our washer and dryer may be the same age as our kids, but they work and work well.


Higher and higher

Our kitchen is being renovated. When we bought this old house, we knew it had to be done. The kitchen was functional but in dire need of updating, especially since the counters were below standard height.

At first, we thought, with help from YouTube, we could do this ourselves. IKEA has some nice kitchens with decent warranties, and a couple of acquaintances had good results in their house.

Then we realized the logistics of purchasing the cabinets, taking down the old ones, putting the new cabinets together, hiring a plumber and electrician, and installing them would not work. We have no time. So we looked for someone to do it for us, but we couldn’t find anyone.

Our next step was to go to local cabinet makers, and we watched as the price went up and up and up. Part of their conditions were that the area in which the cabinets were installed had to be damn near perfect before they would come in and install.

So we got “lucky” and found a contractor to handle all the moving parts, and we watched as the price went up, and up, and up.

This forced us to abandon our initial plans to replace the flooring.

Meanwhile, we discovered that quality sinks and facets are incredibly expensive (They better last until I am carried from the house). Oh, and small profile range-hood microwaves? Unbelievable – it just heats food! Oh, and the cabinet maker recommended a cabinet-depth fridge; coincidentally, our fridge is nearing the end of its life.

As I sit here, six tradespeople are in the house at hourly rates likely greater than my own. We have gone from let’s make the wall smooth so that they can attach the cabinets, to ripping out the wall, replacing plumbing and putting in new lights and electrical. Oh, and we are back to the flooring again.

This is scope creep extraordinaire.


Running Waypoint

I stopped going to CrossFit over the summer to focus my energy on following a marathon training program without the intention of actually running a race. My goal was to slowly add mileage to see if I could handle the kind of regime I had before I returned to Canada without the added complications that CF has brought in the past. For the most part, it has gone well, especially considering that the summer and fall weather has been mostly wet. No injuries, and the only real challenge is mental. My other goal was to spend time in the backroads and trails from Cardigan onward. I had no idea this part of Prince Edward Island was so beautiful.

That training cycle is over, and now I am trying to regain some discipline to go out in this damp, cold weather to start again. So far, I haven’t been successful. I prefer the comfort of my heated office at 6 a.m., but I’m sure I will find the discipline again.

The picture above is of my favourite 5K waypoint, where I would stop and enjoy the view while drinking some cold brew coffee that I bring along in my running bag.


The Rube

I made a costly mistake this past week.

Since deciding to pursue Sleep Tight full-time, one of our biggest challenges has been “monetizing” our audio to pay ourselves, pay for help, and fund future products. Unfortunately, this has proven to be very challenging for us, and while our goal is to move away from advertising, it still presents the largest share of our revenue.

We’ve long since passed the threshold (if we were in a different topic category), where we should have enough revenue to support a couple of full-time salaries.

Unable to solve the lack of advertising alone, we first signed a non-exclusive agreement with Redcircle. This gave us access to their marketplace, a minimum guarantee, and other benefits. Unfortunately, in the year we were with them, they didn’t sell one ad, and they reneged on the contract.

Next, we signed an agreement with a company in Denmark to license our audio in other languages. While our lawyer might bristle at the terms, I didn’t feel that holding on to these language rights had much value, as we would likely never have the bandwidth or interest to do it ourselves. After ten months, our agreement has yet to result in any activity.

This year, we signed an exclusive agreement with Airwave for advertising and growth. And this as well has failed, with minuscule impressions sold and no growth.

So when a couple of other agreements came our way, I decided to have someone look over the agreement that we thought most interesting to avoid terms that would bind us and our IP to another unfruitful term. I have no contacts with experience negotiating these kinds of contracts, so I turned to a local law firm. The fact that Sheryl and I produce Sleep Tight Media without outside input is part a problem of our location and our personalities. I know of no one whom I might consult.

Here is the mistake: I knew lawyers were expensive but didn’t realize how expensive. My expectation of costs was so far off the mark that I almost laughed when told how much the services would cost. I expected someone to spend an hour reviewing and an hour writing notes of concern. I got a meeting, no notes, and whatever information gleaned was from my terribly written notes. Getting their “red lines” would cost extra. None of this was communicated until the meeting was concluded.

I like the people whom I dealt with; they are smart and personable.

I should have asked upfront the straightforward question: how much is this going to cost, and what do I get in return? I did that with my mortgage, though they could have been more forthright, too.

So I feel like a rube.

Before going to this meeting, I asked the same questions I had for them to ChatGPT and got exhaustive answers, many of which were as good as they gave. Some answers were better. They laughed when I mentioned ChatGPT, but I look forward to the not-so-distant future when I don’t have to spend a month’s salary for a 60-minute conversation.


Canada to regulate podcasts

I haven’t had time to parse through these new rules, but my inclination is that like most legislation it will have a net negative effect. I get the feeling that podcasting as an industry in Canada, which is already far behind other markets in terms of corporate and government support, will continue to suffer from a competitive disadvantage. One positive is that someone in government actually knows that podcasts exist, which when we went looking for support to develop non-commercial children’s audio a couple years ago, wasn’t the case.

Opinion: The Canadian radio market is the most regulated in the Western world. It’s no coincidence that it is also one of the worst-performing radio markets, with dwindling audiences and poor finances that are worse than any other country. But all of the large owners of Canadian radio also own lucrative mobile, cable and television licenses; so they never speak out against the CRTC’s rules, lest the regulator threaten those parts of their companies. Canada deserves better; but it’s unlikely that it’ll get it.

Podnews


Human Error

I started my day today with an email from a parent cursing at me because we disappointed his child by promising a birthday shoutout and not delivering.

Every Monday evening on our paid subscriptions and Tuesday morning on our public feed, we give shoutouts to kids whose parents have supported us from around the world. The reason this has proven so popular had initially eluded us, but we’ve found that kids love to hear their names and the names of others before we get to our bedtime story.

This started as a small token of thanks to our few subscribers at the time but has now morphed into one of the main drivers to convince parents to subscribe. It’s also become a 3-minute long list of over 20 names for Sleep Tight Stories alone. We manage all these interactions manually, by email and cut and paste to a spreadsheet, which I initially thought was a good strategy as I like to interact with our listeners as much as possible.

But we keep making mistakes due to Google Sheets issues or sloppiness. Other pods put a larger monetary value to this, of around $50US, which might make the list more manageable. That pricing seems rich to me. So it’s either hiring someone to manage this interaction for us or somehow automating the collection of this data.

I’m not interested in hiring, so I guess we will create a form of some sort. It’s hard to keep this kind of engagement personal as it scales.


Replaced by a computer

I’ve been struggling lately with a new schedule and the reality that my early mornings spent drinking coffee and running through the trails near Cardigan are coming to a close. I knew it would be a tough year, but waking at 3 so I can drive Camren to early morning training has worsened my cognitive decline due to lack of sleep. All this also means that I have found myself way behind schedule.

I was sitting at my desk with a story due 3 hours later on Tuesday afternoon. I didn’t have time to continue a series I had started, and I was stuck trying to come up with anything else. So, I relented and opened ChatGPT.

I subscribe to ChatGPT, and it has saved me from having to pay someone to do research or spend an hour on Google so I can write one sentence based on fact. It’s pretty good at giving me ideas for AD copy, too.

If someone asked me, and I realize no one would, what are you good at, I would say, nothing really. I might add I am empathetic and have some creativity (like we all do).

I entered into ChatGPT a long prompt asking for story ideas, and it returned a list that was so complete I didn’t feel qualified to write them. I asked for something simpler, and it delivered again. It’s more creative than I am.

Defeated, I went and prepared dinner.

I’ve already been replaced.


Visitors

It was great to connect again with Guy, and meet Yan Yan and Jing when they visited from Brooklyn this week. Guy and I went to Grad school together in Taiwan and haven’t really been in touch, with the exception of one social or another, since.