The mornings have been lighter and lighter, thank heaven, though the zero and subzero temperatures have been disappointing. Two more miles this morning, anyway.

David Weinberger reports his extended interaction with ChatGPT which pivots on the topic of cultural situatedness. He elicits from his LLM interlocutor the acknowledgement that it operates on cultural assumptions (about food and ethics) that belong to the global North and West, but the moment that strikes me arrives toward the end, when it looks as though ChatGPT begins to repeat back to David the analysis that he had provided earlier in the conversation — that, in other words, ChatGPT seems to have assimilated David’s perspective into its database of responses. I find that both eerie and reassuring (in that the so-called AI seems still to be mostly just an extremely high-powered chatbot).

Speaking of AI, Mark Liberman wonders what accounts for a blogger at Medium suggesting that a particular idea — that Nickelback is a mediocre hack-rock act — has ‘boroughed’ into our consciousness. I note that the author seems to havve misspelled the name of the infamous WWII German dictator in the very first sentence, which seems to reflect poorly at least on their editing skills, if not their spelling overall. I wonder, though —is there some positive value in making obvious careless errors in such writing, as a measure of human authorship, over against AI writing that would never misspell Aldof Heltir….

Two, Too

It wasn’t raining this morning, so — why not run my two miles even though it was -1° out on 2 March? I made adequate time. I had spent yesterday working on two sermons (two different congregations, two different sorts of ethos). I was knocked out, then; and it knocked me out again delivering them. Struggled unsuccessfully to stay awake this afternoon — but I really need to catch up on marking. We’ll see what develops.

Rain, Rain, Go

Steady rain this morning, so I doubt that I’ll go for my morning run. At any other point in my life, I would just roll my eyes and marvel at the rainiest spell in memory; now that I live in a low-lying house between two rising rivers, my feelings about a protracted rainy spell run more toward the trepidatious or even disastrous. Margaret takes a more confident outlook, but then, I spend more time walking along and across our rivers.

Two More

Ran my morning two miles on stiff, resistant legs, but came in at a reasonable pace. Coffee and fruit, clean up, Morning Prayer, and will spend the morning marking essays till I head in to Oxford for a tute.

And I Ran…

Ran my usual two miles this morning, and although my legs were attempting passive resistance tactics, I kept to a pretty good pace. Fruit breakfast and coffee, cleaned up, Morning Prayer, a morning meeting with the Team Vicar (one of my two line managers), Staff Meeting, and in the meantime Margaret had arrived safely at home with two heavy suitcases. After lunch I caught up on email, installed a new doorbell, and now am set to square away some marking (of which I have a backlog that would be criminal were it not for my valid ‘mother-in-law’s funeral’ explanation). Have to work on Sunday’s sermon, and hammer away at my marking — but this is seventh week, only one more week of term, and beginning the week after next I’ll have more time, which will be welcome.

Did I say that Margaret’s home? Oh, and the dogs, too, but they’re definitely not the main attraction.

Welcome Back

I slept almost nine hours last night, after napping on and off through the afternoon and evening — I expect that I’ll have some sleep-transition jetlag issues, but at least I’m off to a good start at returning to my home sleep-cycle pattern.

I ran my short route this morning to give my legs a chance to remember what they’re to be doing. Then coffee (no fruit at home), Morning Prayer, coffee in Oxford, two jolly tutes, hastened home for a phone appointment, then lunch, then grocery shopping, and a short break before cooking.

Best of all this, though, Margaret comes home tomorrow!

Mission Somewhat Accomplished

In all the spy and superagent and honest-cop and determined scientist-rescuer films, the travel from one exotic location to another goes largely unremarked, even though it takes up more real-world time than the dramatic confrontations, clandestine revelations, fight sequences, mind-blowing plot twists, and near-death experiences.
You can probably guess why this is particularly vividly on my mind this morning (US)/afternoon (UK). Yesterday morning I got out of bed in Abingdon after a fretful night’s tossing and turning (every raindrop that fell called out to me, ‘We’re going to flood your house while you’re away!’) at 4:15. I dressed, closed up my baggage, strode purposefully to the bus stop on Abingdon High Street, caught the X3 (I always forget that my magical ‘ride the transport system free’ card doesn’t work before 9:00 in the morning), changed for the Heathrow Airliner at St Clement’s, arrived at Heathrow around 7:40, checked my bag, ate a hearty airport breakfast, did an errand, made my way to the gate, at 11:30 or so took off for Boston, landed and made my way through passport control and customs rapidly (once bags started arriving), waited for and caught the 15:35 Concord Coach to Portland, changed at Portland for the 18:15 coach to Augusta, arrived at the Augusta Transportation Center (a designation that conjures a busier, more expansive enterprise than this humble depot), where Nate picked me up and brought me to our hotel at about 7:30 — meaning that I’d been more-or-less awake for twenty hours, most of them spent sitting in an airplane or coach seat. I had eaten breakfast, a reasonable in-flight lunch-dinner, and one of those peculiar savoury pastries that planes serve you to avoid giving you anything that resembles earth food. I devoured a serving of takeaway fajitas and Nate had already picked up.
I was in no fit condition for a dramatic confrontation, clandestine revelation, fight sequence, or a mind-blowing plot twist, though I wouldn’t argue if you suggested that it all amounted to a near-death experience.

What a Day(s)

So, beginning yesterday morning: it was raining, so I didn’t run. Then I waited for the dog minder, who got stuck in traffic; he arrived a half hour late, just after the Archdeacon arrived for our scheduled appointment. We had a very good talk, and I proceeded to the parish centre for our weekly staff meeting. After staff meeting, I cam home and worked on my homily for the evening Communion at Oriel. Got to Oriel with vestments, etc., and preached the evening homily, then to High Table with Fr Rob. Had a stellar dinner — I’ve never had aubergine so exquisite — and got home to an empty ouse at just the right time of night.

Woke up and ran my short route, widdershins. I ran in reverse direction cos I wanted to cross the Ock at the Iron Bridge first, in case the river was flooding my path. All clear; the water as high, but not that high. Ran home and had some coffee, showered, Morning Prayer, home to mark essays, in to Oriel for a tutorial, home to pack, and…

Waiting For Hilary

Waiting for Hilary Term to end, that is. It’s my intense teaching term at Oriel, and my parish responsibilities have been steady — and I’m flying to my mother-in-law’s funeral in the States for the weekend. So I’ll be ready when term-time ends.

I ran my miles this morning, then coffee and fruit and Morning Prayer, then home to do some marking. That was my day.


I didn’t run this morning cos it was raining steadily when I woke up. That was convenient, since I needed time before the 8:00 Mass to go over my sermon one more time and then print it. The weather’’s changed since then — mostly clear skies this afternoon — but I don’t think I’ll try a make-up run. I have marking to do, and would benefit from a nap if I can squeeze one in.


I could be referring to my sleepy feet on our early-morning run, or doing the washing-up, or writing a sermon for the nth week in a row(or cleaning up after the dogs). In any case, I have to extrude a sermon from my imagination, but apart from that I will be taking things easy today.
(For the journal, I did my morning run, hot breakfast, a couple of errands for Margaret, and had a long visit with a wonderful couple whom I’ll marry eventually.)

More Miles, More Days

I ran my morning route both of the last two days (in unseasonably, unreasonably warm weather), had my fruit breakfast and coffee, cared for the Margaret-bereft canines, made a foray in Oxford yesterday and will do today as well, picked up a grocery or two, and have been thinking hard about Sunday’s sermon. It’s been a long time since I’ve preached as often as I do now, and my idea-muscles are a bit stiff and shaky. First Lent, here I come!