Prime Day shmime day!

When Amazon started its “Prime Day” deal a few hundred internet years ago, it was obvious what would happen if it became a success:

  • Amazon would expand it to be more than just a single day to better milk it. (Done. It’s now spread over two days.)
  • Other stores/sites would shamelessly copy it and cleverly call their versions something different (“48-Hour Sales Event”, “Black Friday in July”) but you totally know it’s their version of “Prime Day.” (Done. Two-day sales are everywhere now during Amazon’s event.)
  • Amazon would start to make the deals worse because now they have the inertia and know people are going to look and buy, anyway. They’d also start making it harder to get good deals by making them time-limited (even within the two days of the sale) or require you to reserve a spot to qualify to give them your money. (Done and done.)
  • Every tech (and many other) sites would report on “Prime Day” as if it were legitimate news. It is not legitimate news. (Done x1 billion.)
  • A lot of those same tech (and other sites) would be filled with articles on the “best deals” for the entire two days, crowding out more interesting content. Or just any content. (Done. My favourite punching bag, engadget, has 17 hits for “prime day” on its main page–which actually seems on the low side!) EDIT: Just for fun, The Verge has 10 hits, Ars Technica has 2.
  • I would complain about “Prime Day” in a blog post and refuse to write it without surrounding it with quotation marks, implying I’m saying it with sarcasm. (Boy howdy, done!)

Here is an image of a prime cat for your viewing pleasure:

A small list of symptoms: Day 9 of Whatever this is

Mentally, I feel I am mostly recovered from this flu/hell I’ve been suffering from, and my energy level is mostly back, too. For posterity, here are the lingering symptoms I’m still feeling nine days after the plague hit me:

  • Nose is still slightly stuffed up
  • Chest is still slightly congested
  • Ears are still slightly plugged

It is all slightly annoying, which is a vast improvement over last Sunday where my brain felt like it was in some kind of hell fog, while my body felt like it was alternately on fire or being plunged into invisible ice, all coupled with the ability to only sleep uninterrupted for minutes at a time. That was fun!

Anyway, here is a glorious kitten battle:

Letting AI name your cat

I asked ChatGPT to come up with ten cat names. Here they are:

  1. Whiskers
  2. Luna
  3. Oliver
  4. Bella
  5. Simba
  6. Lily
  7. Charlie
  8. Chloe
  9. Max
  10. Lucy

I mean, Whiskers is probably the most obvious cat name, sort of the cat equivalent of Fido or Rover. The others are all just human names that don’t seem very cat-like to me, except for Simba, which is a little too on-the-nose.

I asked for ten more names, but didn’t apply any new conditions:

  1. Leo
  2. Cleo
  3. Shadow
  4. Ginger
  5. Molly
  6. Jasper
  7. Willow
  8. Felix
  9. Nala
  10. Oscar

Some of these are more cat-sounding, like Shadow and Ginger. Overall, the names are pretty unimaginative. Since ChatGPT is drawing answers from what it finds on the internet, you can draw your own conclusion on how clever most people are with naming their cats.

Finally, I asked for unconventional cat names:

  1. Moxie
  2. Ziggy
  3. Nimbus
  4. Pixel
  5. Pippin
  6. Sprinkles
  7. Quirk
  8. Whiskerdo
  9. Zephyr
  10. Glimmer

Whiskerdo just makes me laugh. Well done, ChatGPT. Ziggy is cute, and Sprinkles is about perfect for some kind of weird Calico.

Anyway, I’ll keep these in mind if we ever get a cat, and we decide not to go with Fuzzy McPurrPants.

Also, here is a cat I’ve posted before and continues to make me laugh every time I see it:

Culling 2022: The daily BookBub newsletter

Today I yoinked another newsletter, BookBub. I did this despite BookBub doing exactly what it sets out to do: Highlight sales on books in genres I’m interested in.

I did this for a few reasons:

  • As a general part of this year’s culling, winnowing out inessential things and clutter from my life
  • My book reading has fallen off a cliff this year
  • I have a backlog of books to read for when I climb back to the top of the cliff
  • The majority of the BookBub recommendations are for unknown authors and my hit/miss ratio with them has left me increasingly risk-averse
  • A corollary to that: Established authors rarely show up in BookBub deals

My inbox has gone from being essentially unmanageable (so many newsletters coming in that I just plain didn’t read some of them) to so svelte I can breeze through it in a few minutes.

I like it.

Here is a cat seizing the day. And the mail.

AI likes cats

I asked the AI chat tool ChatGPT to write a blog post about cats. This is what it came up with. It seems very pro-cat.

A Blog Post About Cats

Cats are fascinating creatures that have been beloved by humans for thousands of years. From their playful personalities to their graceful movements, there is something captivating about these mysterious animals.

One of the most interesting things about cats is their unique ability to make themselves at home in any environment. Whether they are living in a cozy house with their human family or roaming the streets as a feral feline, cats are experts at adapting to their surroundings.

Another thing that makes cats special is their independent nature. Unlike dogs, which are known for their loyalty and eagerness to please their human companions, cats tend to be more self-sufficient and aloof. This can make them somewhat challenging to understand, but it also adds to their charm and allure.

Despite their independent nature, cats are also highly social animals. They are known for their strong bonds with other cats, and they can form close relationships with their human companions as well. Many cat owners describe their feline friends as being like family members, and there is something deeply satisfying about the special bond that can develop between a human and a cat.

In conclusion, cats are fascinating creatures that are full of surprises. From their adaptability to their independent nature, there is always something new and interesting to discover about these captivating animals. Whether you are a lifelong cat lover or just getting to know these mysterious creatures, there is no doubt that cats are truly one of a kind.


And here’s a picture of cat from DALL-E (prompt: house cat sunning itself indoors) to round off this AI edition of cats cats cats:

And a somewhat less successful (that “face”) “digital art” version:

Treadmill workout: Hey, it snowed again

I missed runs on Wednesday and Friday due to all that dang snow and, as they say on the interweb, had a sad.

Today I was feeling lazy, but mid-afternoon I got on the treadmill, queued up some YouTube videos and did a not-overly strenuous walk until I hit my Exercise and Move goals.

It was kind of casual, but like I said, it was a lazy day.

Here is a depiction of how I felt, in convenient cat form:


Speed: 6
Incline: 0

Pace: 9:41/km
Time: 55:50
Distance: 5.77 km
Calories burned: 317
BPM: 110

Welcome to December 2022 ~or~ Ice to meet you

Because it’s cold out there today. It’s -6C as I type this and the expected high is -1C, which scientists refer to as BRR. At least it isn’t snowing anymore. Or raining, because that would be even more fun with everything covered in crunchy snow right now.

I must venture out at some point to get some foodstuffs, plus I also want to go to the lake to see how viable it might be for running tomorrow. I’m not super hopeful, but you never know!

Also, I was down this morning, woo. Weight-wise, I mean, not in terms of my spirits. I am officially 10.9 pounds from my weight goal of 150. Can I get to 150 pounds in the month that plies people relentlessly with candy, chocolate, eggnog and the horror known as fruitcake? Possibly!

Also, here is a cat in the snow.