Slight Blips

This high-tech world we live in moves fast… and has a lot of wonderful tools to help folks be more efficient. Everyday there seems to be an innovation that makes people’s lives easier.

When you work for a large company, there’s an IT department on standby to help with challenges, especially integration of new apps or programs. When you’re self-employed and something doesn’t connect or work as intended, there’s… well… yourself… or a “we’re assisting other customers and will be with you as soon as we can” help line.

Over the past two decades, I’ve spent many hours on hold and many more speaking with support professionals… trying to explain exactly what my issue is so they can try to fix it. Often this happens following a software update. My current conundrum is trying to get my iMac calendar and Apple Mail to connect with MS Exchange, which one of my clients uses. If the way those two products get along is a reflection of the relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, I’m certain they didn’t like each other. (Don’t get me started on Teams!)

The best solution would be a teenager living at home. These things come naturally at that age. Unfortunately, our last one moved out seven years ago, so I wander alone in the technology desert. Guess it’s time to break down and pay a pro to help me resolve the issue. 

Now that I think about it, that’s why people hire me 


Last Dance

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament begins today with 48 games to be played through Sunday. There once was time I was fascinated by what some see as ‘the best four days on the sports calendar.’ From working the games during my TV career, to later going to Las Vegas a couple of times with friends, to most recently having several TVs going in our living room, I was all in. I’d watch throughout the year, study the matchups and always submit a bracket. Heck… last year I won a pool for the first time.

Yet this season I watched exactly one basketball game: last Saturday’s Big 12 tournament championship final won by my alma mater. What changed? A few things.

First, Kathy and I are working through a list of shows we missed during their first runs, now airing on the various streaming services. I enjoyed Lucifer, Chuck and Billions. We also watch new offerings: Ghosts, So Help Me Todd and, as of this week, the final season of Ted Lasso.

Second, I’m playing a lot of golf for the first time in 30 years… and being on the course at the end of the day – right up until sunset – is relaxing and peaceful.

Third, the antics surrounding the game are out of hand. Bill Self is accused of multiple violations at Kansas? Meh. He cut down the nets a year ago. Chris Beard gets fired at Texas for allegedly assaulting his fiancé in December. No worries. He took a new job this week at Ole Miss. Alabama’s star player and potential NBA lottery pick plays a role in a teammate murdering a young mother sitting in a car. So. He hasn’t missed a game, and two fans supported him by wearing insensitive shirts to last week’s SEC tournament. 

Despite that, like millions of people, I expect to take in a bunch of basketball over the next two weeks leading up to the Final Four here in Houston. Only this time, unlike 2011 and 2016, we won’t be attending those games in person. Unless, of course, a buddy calls at the last minute and offers us tickets. Then, I might just follow the crowd and be a fan again. 


Let’s Chat

Part I of III

There’s a good chance that during the past 60 days a new phrase entered the realm of your consciousness. Yes, I’m talking about… ChatGPT. It’s all the news. It’s all the rage. It’s all the future. So much that this is likely the last blog I’ll ever need to write. From here on out, it’s simply AI for this writer. I’ll save so much time.

Well, maybe not just yet.

While I am fascinated by what ChatGPT – and other artificial intelligence – could do for our productivity, we’re still in the infant stage. To test this, I asked it to perform four writing tasks from a single prompt. Although it took less than five seconds each time, the results were… well, judge for yourself:

First, ‘Write a 150-word explanation of what ChatGPT does’

“I am an AI language model here to assist users with their tasks and queries. My purpose is to provide useful and accurate information. I can assist with writing, research, language translation and much more. I am constantly learning and updating my knowledge base. I am also programmed to understand and respond to natural language, so users can communicate with me in a conversational manner. I am able to understand the context and meaning behind the users’ words, and respond accordingly. I am always available to assist with any task or question that may arise. I take pride in being able to help users and always strive to improve my abilities. I am here to help and make things easier for users, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any task or question you may have.”

Second, ‘Write a 100-word essay about astronauts, like a fourth grader’

‘Astronauts are brave people who go to space in rockets. They wear special suits and helmets to protect them from the cold and lack of air in space. They go on space walks and do experiments to learn more about our universe. They also live in a space station, which is like a big house in space. I think it would be really cool to be an astronaut and go to space one day.’

Third, ‘Write a 50-word answer to ‘Will AI destroy our culture?’

“AI has the potential to change many aspects of our culture, but it is not necessarily something that will destroy it. It can be used to preserve and promote culture through digitization, language translation, and even creating new art forms. However, it’s important to consider the implications of AI on the job market and society as a whole, and to ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly.”

Finally, ‘Write a joke about a golfer and a car’

“Why did the golfer drive his car to the golf course? Because he wanted to be sure he could get a hole-in-one!

Before the first prompt, I received this message: ‘That model is currently overloaded with other requests. You can retry your request, or contact us through our help center at if the error persists.’ I waited 15 minutes and it allowed me in to create.

So, it may take a while for ChatGPT and other initiatives to change your world. Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure your grandchildren don’t end up connected to it by a cable in the back of their necks. Although that might make for a good movie; just not any sequels, please. 


Chatting Up

Chatting Up

Part II of III

Continuing my experiment with ChatGPT, I asked it to write a 400 word blog post on the challenges of faith. I then requested it to add a paragraph on prayer. Below is the output, achieved in less than 75 seconds. With the help of AI, I created and posted this in less than 10 minutes, a savings of about a half hour from the typical time.

Faith can be a source of comfort and strength, but it can also be a source of challenges and difficulties. In many ways, faith is a personal journey that requires us to constantly confront our beliefs and values, and to question whether we are living in accordance with our faith.

One of the biggest challenges of faith is maintaining a consistent belief in the face of adversity and opposition. When we are faced with personal struggles, doubt, and temptation, it can be difficult to hold onto our faith and to remain steadfast in our beliefs. This challenge is compounded by the many conflicting views and interpretations of religious doctrine, which can lead us to question our own understanding of our faith and to question the beliefs of others.

Another challenge of faith is finding balance between our religious beliefs and the secular world. In today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing society, it can be easy to get caught up in the secular world and to lose sight of the spiritual dimension of our lives. This can be especially difficult for those who are trying to live their faith in the public arena, where the pressures and demands of secular life can often be at odds with our religious beliefs and values.

In addition to these external challenges, we also face internal struggles in our faith journey. For example, it can be difficult to reconcile our faith with our doubts and fears, and to find peace and comfort in the face of tragedy and loss. Additionally, we may struggle with our own moral and ethical beliefs, and may feel conflicted about whether our actions align with our faith.

Despite these challenges, faith remains an important part of our lives, and it is through these struggles that we can deepen our understanding of our faith and grow in our relationship with the divine. By persevering through difficult times and remaining open to new insights and perspectives, we can strengthen our faith and find meaning and purpose in our lives.

Prayer is a powerful tool for overcoming challenges in faith. It connects us with a higher power, provides guidance and comfort, and helps build trust and faith through consistent and persistent practice.

In prayer, it is also important to listen, not just speak. This allows us to be open to the guidance and wisdom of the divine, and to deepen our understanding of our faith and our relationship with the divine. 


Role Model

Titles are an important part of organizational design, helping clarify who’s in charge of what and providing a level of designated respect. Whether a direct reporting structure or dotted-line matrixed model, a clearly defined org chart let’s everyone know where to go for information, support and approvals.

That said, some titles create more confusion than clarity. What exactly is a ‘Wizard of Want’ or ‘Chief of Chatting’ or ‘Randomness Manager’? Those would be three well-known companies’ descriptions for their Marketing Director, Call Center Manager and Administrative Assistant.

The person you want to avoid in one organization holds the title ‘Dr. No’ – otherwise known as the naysayer who occupies the office of the CFO.

Some of the unique ones I like are Creator of First Impressions (receptionist), Chief Listening Officer (social media savant) and Crayon Evangelist (graphic designer). 

My all-time favorite is Minister of Culture; however, that’s probably because the role is filled by Matthew McConaughey at my alma mater. Perhaps I’m a little biased.

As for me, nearly 20 years into this career, it might be time for an upgrade from Coach. Some I’m considering are Chief Questions Officer, Director of Discovery and Change Guru.