I had two conversations with salesmen today - one at the cellphone store, the other at the bank. Both were late-30s, big, friendly, adept at casual put-you-at-ease conversation, and both devoted to getting me into that new promotion. Both conversations were immensely enjoyable and left me feeling as if I'd been savvy, and perceived as savvy. It's always good to deal with someone who enjoys their work, or at least puts up a seamless simulacrum of enjoyment.

Here's the odd part: they were so close in mood and spirit and physignomy I cannot recall any differences between them, which says something about me, or proves that this is a simulation, and the AI didn't introduce enough details into the prompt.

I don't use ad blockers, because I want to support certain sites, and it's no problem if there's a bad ad somewhere. Sometimes they're amusing, because they're a reminder of the brain-dead zombie internet out there, clicking and harvesting, filling countless pages with tripe, read by no one. But then you see something that seems to change the baseline:

  This is . . . bad

But there's something worse.

The same page had an ad so revolting I'm going to make you click to see it.

If you dared, you were presented with something disgusting in a way you had not considered before. It triggers a lot of reactions as you attempt to process what you're seeing.

Related: I'm sure there's an animated version of this, too. Yes, that's supposed to be a foot.

I don't even know what hypersomnia is, although it sounds like . . . falling asleep too quickly? No, sleeping too much. Perhaps that's the point of the ads: you won't sleep too much because you bolt up screaming from a nightmare as you remember the ads.

There's a marvelous opportunity for a pleasent ad experience on the web, if anyone could figure it out. Video ads on YouTube are desperate to snag you in the first 5 seconds, but rarely do it with anything clever. Cheap ads use gifs to distract you from your purpose and hypnotize you. Chum ads link to shite-sites with junk content.

What is the answer? Subscriptions everywhere? Well, I signed up for "Ad-Free" Hulu and I still get ads, because, as the nice fellow in the Support Chat told me, the Hulu library is free, but my Hulu Live + subscription grants access to a library of programs provided by other networks, each with their own policy on ads.


So it's not "Ad Free." That would seem to be a misreprentation, no? And when your page on this very question notes that some shows may be excluded from the ad-free policy, and links to a list of those shows, and the list contains one (1) show and is dated 2021, that's not exactly full disclosure, is it?

I was assured that my observations would be surfaced to the relevant authorities the second our business was concluded.

Anyway. What is to be done? How do we build a web where we are not seeing people shave a thick carpet of seedlike growths from people's necks and feet? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK

Let's check in on the Firehouse complex:

That's a substantial project. If you're wondering about the other building we've been following, the Stadium apartments: done.

The stone makes it rather bland. At least the glass segment turned out well.

Remember the RBC we watched go up? Thought I'd give you another look.

Hey, remember a year or so ago, when I showed you a new project going up by Target Field?



Not exactly a triumph of ingeneous massing. Connected:

And the whole view:

It beats a parking lot! And it'll look nice at night.





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

I was walking down the street at a brisk clip, because I had to deliver a dog and a pipe. That's it.

Not sure I like this result.

Let's take "short" out of the prompt.

Not that kind of pipe! Ah, I give up, not going to waste the credits.

By the way, next year will have an "Adventures in AI" feature, just because it's a popular thing these days. And it raises interesting issues and questions.

Sometimes the question is just "guess the prompt."



Don't tell me it's because Lance thinks the bag should still be swinging.

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.


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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