First of all, let's talk about this:

Or not. We'll get to that.

The oddest thing has happened: I love Microsoft!

For a long time they were the enemy, because I was Mac, and Microsoft was lame. They were everywhere, had everything - all the cool games were on PCs, and we had nothing, really. Oh sorry, Marathon by Bungie? Just like Doom! Nah.

The other day I wanted to try out the Bing AI art generator, since the Adobe AI built in to Photoshop wasn’t giving me anything close to what I wanted. This required that I sign in to my Microsoft account, and that’s fine. But hello: look at this shiny Bing page, with points? Points I could earn? And then exchange for things? I’d get points just for using Bing to search?

Do I look like I can be bribed?

I do? Good. Okay, let’s take a quiz! I got 30 points. Let’s do a tutorial - 100 points! I’m rackin’ ‘em up here. I downloaded the Edge browser, because hey, why not see if I can shake Google for good? Okay, done that, signed in . . . say, why did I ever use my google account for my Microsoft sign-in? Well, let’s change that.

(12 minutes pass, during which codes are sent, codes are entered, preference boxes ticked, color schemes adjusted, contact requests rejected, and so on)

End result: I have added another layer of complexity to my life, since now I have three browser worlds, each of which serves its own purpose. Chrome I only use to troubleshoot. Otherwise everything about Google gives me the jeebs. The pre-school color scheme, the insistence that they are so concerned about my privacy, the tiresome nagging about one cause or the other, and the sense that somehow, unseen, the site is sending microscopic filaments that infiltrate every pore of your online experience.

It’s not that I’m paranoid about being Found Out or Tracked or anything - I assume, as we all do, that any consumer-level attempts to stay nameless and faceless on the internet can be easily defeated by more capable and determined agents.

It’s just odd that Microsoft is now the good guy for me, compared to Google, which was once the really cool thing that was going to usher in the New Era of the internet.

Granted, the old Microsoft lack-of-taste problem still persists.

And there are so many ads. So much middle-brow dreck. Okay, I hate Microsoft again.

UPDATE: I also have .15 cents in my Microsoft account! Why, it pays to use Edge! I love Microsoft!






The banner at hte top is the Baker building, reflected in the Northstar's new restaurant. Across the street, something that worried me:

I mean, they can't possibly be stripping it, can they? Doesn't even look as if there was anything there. Well, there wasn't. It's always been blank. They're fixing some stone. Whew. Across the street, let's check in on that big Northstar Center renovation, going on for months:

Diddly and/or squat, it seems.

Well, let's wander over to the IDS for a nice end-of-week view:

Not a sight you get when you work from home.

But that's a fair trade for most.


And now, the weekly dream-journal entry, illustrated by AI, because that's what this week is all about.

As much as I liked my house, I was ashamed of the backyard garage-shed. It was huge, ramshackle, ready to collapse. It was also painted a bright red. I apologized to everyone at the party, and said I want to do something about it.

Elvis Costello showed up at the party, wearing his dark glasses and a dark suit with a red shirt; he was staying over. Said he’d rejoin the party later, perhaps. I said that would be fine, and busied myself with some task upstairs. When I returned - not too long later - the entire garage-shed was gone. It had been disassembled by the party guests as an act of charity. I was stunned, because they’d managed to clear away everything inside of it, including the submarine. (It was all there when I’d bought the house.)

The only question now was payment. How much to reimburse them? They said no, no, this was something we wanted to do for you, but it was said a bit half-heartedly. No, I insist, I said. By now Elvis was downstairs, pouring himself some coffee. One of the guests had put on a Fender Jazzmaster (but with a Telecaster head) and was standing there looking as if he expected Elvis to talk to him about his guitar.

Meanwhile I was looking for the checkbook, to write everyone a check for helping out.

No, no, they said. It was our pleasure.

Nonsense! How about this? Everyone draws for a gift of cash.

This went over well, and I realized why: not everyone had participated in the garage removal - in fact the majority hadn’t. They were now thrilled at the idea of getting some cash. I went to drawer in my room where I kept the cash and took out four one-hundred pound notes. Then I put one back. Three hundred pounds was fine. Whether they realized that would be more than $300, I don’t know. What was the exchange rate these days?

Prompt: man with three hundred-pound notes in his hand looking at a sign that has the exchange rates


Another. Yikes:

Another. AI art is full of people who are full of confidence but really have no idea what they are doing.


A guy can't even spend a day off having a hike without getting annoyed by lying murders:

That will concentrate a fellow's mind.

Solution is here.


This year's old newspaper feature: a social no-no single-panel illustration. Can you figure out what's wrong?

The answer will be provided on Monday. I think we all know where this one is going.


Now two ways to chip in!

That will do! Thank you for your visits, and I'll see you on Monday.




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