Friday, February 2, 2024

Good, Bad or Otherwise

Okay, so the age of Artificial Intelligence is here. Yes, it has been around for quite a while, but now it is in your face, everywhere. Have you ever seen a picture of cute otters on Facebook? Everyone in the comments oohs and ahs over them, saying how adorable they are...on and on. 

Do they not realize that the majority of these cute critters are just the product of AI?

Here you see my otter "photo shoot". Isn't he sweet and adorable"?

Full disclosure, the snow scene in a recent post was AI generated, just for fun.

What else does AI do? Well, it can write recipes for you. There is a site called goblin tools and it has a "chef" (link at the end of the post). You can put in your ingredients and it will give you a recipe. For the most part, these recipes will work, but you do have to check each one closely. If you leave out an ingredient such as broth, it may not automatically assume that more liquid is needed to make the dish work.

For example, my ingredients were ground beef, potatoes, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, egg noodles, onion powder, garlic powder. I intentionally used one can of soup and no additional liquid. It have me a recipe with one can of soup. I changed it up and did not specify the amount of soup, and it assumed two cans would be necessary. 

Dish Name: Creamy Beef and Potato Bake

- 500 grams (1.1 lbs) ground beef
- 4 large potatoes, thinly sliced (approx. 500 grams or 1.1 lbs)
- 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
- 200 grams (7 oz) egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat.
3. Spread half of the sliced potatoes evenly in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well.
5. Layer half of the cooked ground beef on top of the potatoes in the baking dish. Pour half of the soup mixture over the beef.
6. Add a layer of egg noodles on top of the soup mixture.
7. Repeat the layers with the remaining potatoes, ground beef, and soup mixture.
8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender.
9. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
10. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Give it a try for yourself.

Until next time, take care and stay safe.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

And the Rains Came Down

A little January porch time.
In my last post I said that we would soon be having warmer temps, but that they would come with rain. Well, that was a complete understatement. Twice in the past 5 days, we have been inundated with enough rain to strangle frogs

It started Wednesday with some showers during the day and rain overnight and Thursday. Pull out the water pump for the basement...again. We had just gone through this several weeks earlier, before the cold snap.

It was a nice sunny-ish day on Friday with a high of 72. This is not unusual in this part of the country, but!

Then on Saturday - round two. Fortunately, it didn't start until late afternoon, but when it did it didn't let up until well past dinnertime. More water pumping ensued.

Sunday started off with some clouds and high fog, then a shower (which did not show up on the radar), and cleared up and the sun came out. Still way cooler than Friday at around 54, but nice enough.

We seem to be in the clear until Wednesday, and maybe we can get our basement dried out.

I hope the weather where you are is what you want. Either way, feel free to tell me about in the comments.

Until next time, take care and stay safe.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Just Another Day in January

It has long been said that January is the longest month in the year. In reality, it ties for the longest month with March, May, July, August, October and December. My thoughts on this are that January is one of the coldest months in most places in the northern hemisphere. When you combine cold with dark and often wet, windy or snowy, you get a LONG month.

Weather update here. We have climbed out of the freezing temperatures and will be quite balmy during the daylight hours for the next five days or so, hitting the mid sixties a couple days. Now we will still have two of the three elements for a long month...the dark and wet. Yep, our nice days come with some showers, again. It would appear that January will not duplicate this scene, but there are still eight days left, so we'll see.

Until next time, take care and stay safe.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

It is another chilly day in the sunny South. We never got any snow in my area, nor sub-zero temps, but mind you it did get down into the teens for several nights. It is supposed to warm up in a few days and then the rains return.

This was a typical Sunday afternoon, going to lunch after church. We went to McDonald's for their Big Mac deal, buy one get the second for a dollar, and then a quick stop at Dollar Tree (now $1.25 Tree).

In days gone by, there would have been a group of us meet up after the service to decide where to go for lunch. Well, when the plague hit in 2020, that put an end to that. Services were streamed and group lunches were a thing of the past.

Even when we were "allowed" to go back to in-person worship, things were changed forever. There is now one service at 10 a.m. Hubby and I still get lunch out and perhaps pick up a few things at the store on the way home like today.

Another thing I have noticed is how people respond now to getting sick. Do you remember when folks got a cold, or the flu, they would just say "I've had the crud"? Now it seems at the first sniffle, they get themselves tested. Unless you're seriously ill, why bother? Just my opinion, of course. 

I had the flu in early 2020 before the Vid was officially in our state. It was the same as any other time I had the flu. Now I must be clear here that it was a "flu-like illness" since I have never been tested for the flu (or anything else for that matter). 

Here it is four years later and the most I've had since is a very minor cold back in September. Could it have been the "thing"? Possibly, but most likely not. What would it matter anyway?

Now I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice. You do what works for you and I'll do what works for me. 

Until next time, see ya round!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Getting Inked or Not

The prompt for Day 2 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge is Inked.

When Gina picked up her daughter after school, Tamara told her mom she wanted a tattoo. "I'm thinking about a spider web and a black widow hanging in the center. 

When her Gina said no way, Tamara brought up the age-old reasoning of every teenager, "but Mom, Jody has one." Jody was a new kid at her school and she was also goth. "Hers is really cool, and she said it didn't even hurt...much." Gina wasn't sure she liked this new friendship and felt Jody might be a bad influence on Tamara.

Her mom responded with the parental logic of, "so if everyone else walked off the cliff, would you follow?" This was typical of many of their mom/daughter discussions, and usually resulted in Tamara huffing off to sulk, and her mom sighing in disbelief at the stubbornness of teens.

"Please" begged Tamara again.

"No! For the last time NO. You are not getting a tattoo" her mom said emphatically. To her it was absolutely unthinkable to "decorate" one's body in such a manner, besides, no one under the age of 18 could get a tattoo without parental permission.

The final word had come down. "No one in this family gets inked! End of discussion!"

When they got home, Tamara marched into the house and to her room where she promptly slammed the door.