A BlogSnax© post about a snack

BlogSnax© are quickie posts I write occasionally to keep the momentum on this site. Read all about them here. This one happens to be about a snack, one of my favorites.*

I love potato chips. I eat way too many of them, be they plain, barbecue, sour cream & onion, or salt & pepper. (Note: Pringles don’t count. They are not potato chips. They’re overpackaged compressed industrial waste.) Barbecue chips are my flavored chip of choice. Among those, the primo brand, IMHO, is Route 11.

However, there’s nothing like a plain and simple potato chip, unflavored and unadulterated. After all, they already have a flavor: potato chip flavor! In that category, one brand rises above the rest so supremely that it stands in a class by itself.

Utz Kettle Classics Potato Chips Dark Russets

As we say here in New England, they’re wicked good. And look at the ingredient list:

It doesn’t get any simpler than that: Potatoes, oil, and salt. What else do you need? Nothing! And the flavor is incomparable. If I could only eat one kind of chip for the rest of my life, this would be my chip of choice, hands down.

*I should be more discreet in naming my favorite foods. Whenever I do that, they seem to disappear. See this post for ice cream examples. I’ll take my chances. I think Dark Chips, as we call them in my house, have staying power. At least, I hope so.

AI Addendum

Little did I know when I posted last week’s column on the dangers of AI running our lives that I’d experience the most egregious example of genuine AI stupidity this week.

I was visiting a friend where there was an active Alexa unit nearby. We told it to play a couple of songs we wanted to hear, which is about all an Alexa unit is good for IMHO, although that feature isn’t worth the pitfalls it presents in terms of loss of privacy and security, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

When it was time to leave, I thought I’d let Alexa bid adieu for me. I said, “Alexa. Play ‘Hello, I Must Be Going’ by Groucho Marx”. Well, Alexa is a young thing and might not be familiar with the brilliant Marx Brothers, nor with “Animal Crackers”, the film whence the song came. She said in no uncertain terms that she didn’t have access to that fun little ditty. Fortunately, she had a another number she was sure we’d find a perfectly suitable replacement.

What did she play for us? Johnny Cash’s rendition of the old hymn, “Were You There?”:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

I’m failing to make the connection, either between the hymn about the crucifixion of Christ and the song I requested (unless a blasphemous reference was intentional) or between the estimable man in black and the outrageous man in the greasepaint mustache, but that’s Alexa for you.

Sleep well knowing she’s listening and AI is in control.

Artificial Intelligence or Genuine Ignorance?

[A genuine Blog Snax© post!]

We’ve been told all along that AI will be controlling our lives eventually. It will drive our cars, determine our medical care, identify us by our appearance, as well as our purchases and preferences.

Unless there are incredible leaps in the technology, the future is bleak, based on my observation of the current use of AI.

Example: On Instagram, one of the few social media platforms I subscribe to, I’m inundated with cat and dog videos. I have less than zero interest in cat and dog videos. They annoy me no end. I’ve never watched one, much less lingered on one, which would supposedly trigger the “swamp this guy with cat and dog videos!” trigger. I don’t buy or search for cat or dog related products. So why does Instagram insist on showing me these videos?

There are countless clothing ads and recipes yet I’m the last person anyone would call a clothes horse (99% of my clothes were free and have dates on them going back to the 80’s) or a foodie (my idea of a gourmet meal is a burger and fries from a now defunct establishment).

Hair styling, knitting, jewelry, colleges, souped up cars and trucks, and so much more that are wasted on me. Why? AI.

Then there’s Amazon. I’ve vented on this before. (Buried somewhere deep in this post.) When you buy something, they always give you helpful ideas about what to buy next. First, if you’re letting Amazon decide what you need, punch in, folks. You’re losing it. Second, they always recommend I buy another of what I just bought. Coffee maker, refrigerator, cell phone cover? Who couldn’t use another one of those, just in case?

That’s AI for you. Someday, that will be the technology that will guide the surgeon’s scalpel (if there’s a surgeon at all) during your open heart surgery. And driving that bus heading toward me on the highway.

Maybe they’ll show cat videos at my funeral.

The NFL’s Priorities

The NFL’s Cleveland Browns signed Deshaun Watson. He didn’t play at all in 2021 and he faces civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct from 22 different women. He has lost endorsements from Nike and Beats. But the Browns, perennial NFL bottom dwellers, believe in him.

Now, it’s possible that every one of those accusations is false. It’s as likely that Donald Trump will win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Watson’s resume includes exactly one playoff win. He has never made it past the first round of the NFL postseason.

Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick, who had the gall to exercise his constitutional right to protest this nation’s continued oppression of African-Americans, can’t get a cup of coffee in the same league. Here’s a guy who has a 4-2 record in the playoffs with one Super Bowl appearance and he can’t get a job in a league with an overabundance of poor and mediocre quarterbacks.

In other news, the Cleveland Browns have announced they’ll be playing reruns of “The Cosby Show” during the halftimes of their games.

Happy First Day of Spring!*

Today, March 1, is the first day of spring. Many will deny this, claiming that the first day of spring is somewhere in the 20’s of the month. That’s fine if you’re into stars and constellations and such. If you care about the weather, however (and for what other reason would we anxiously anticipate the season of rebirth?) you celebrate the start of the season on the first day of March.

The fact is that March 21 is the vernal equinox, the first day of astronomical spring. But who cares about equinoxes or astronomy?!? What we (or, at least, I) care about is the weather and that means meteorological (that’s weather, folks) spring, which begins on March 1.

Happy Spring!

(See this article for a full explanation.)


*This brief post marks the debut of Blog Snax® q.v.