Month: August 2023

At least my sliver of intelligence ain’t artificial

At least my sliver of intelligence ain’t artificial

(Photo: “Ex Machina,” 2014) Every day, I’m bombarded in the communications business about new ways I can use artificial intelligence to make my job easier. However, about the only artificial intelligence I truly enjoy is the AI that helps filter the emails about AI into my spam folder. I’m just not interested. I know there are a lot of folks sounding the alarm about how AI has the potential to steal all our jobs, take over the world and eventually wipe all of us humans off the face of the Earth. But I’m here to be the voice of reason […]

Tracing my roots from jolly ol’ England to MY very own island

Tracing my roots from jolly ol’ England to MY very own island

(Photo: My wife and I on the south side of Georgia’s beautiful Jekyll Island a few years ago.) “I’m a Derry Girl!” my wife Shellie shouted with her hands in the air after diving deep into the rabbit holes of her lineage at Ancestry.com. By the time she traced her maiden name of Hillhouse as far back as she could go, she found her roots in Scotland back in the 1500s, though her family spent much of the next 200 years in Ireland and Northern Ireland — including Derry. That’s the setting of “Derry Girls,” a brilliant series that ran […]

Brief getaways are poor excuses for vacations

Brief getaways are poor excuses for vacations

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a vacation. I mean a real vacation, not three or four days somewhere, but a real weeklong, good-luck-finding-me vacation away from everything. From my work and side projects to my wife’s work and spending time with the grandkids, a full week at St. Somewhere Off-the-Grid Can’t Nobody Find You Here All-Inclusive But Don’t Drink the Water Resort by the Sea just hasn’t proven feasible. To make up for that over the past few years, we’ve had a series of mini-vacations, often bundled around holidays like Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. I […]

What big cities can learn from small towns … and vice versa

What big cities can learn from small towns … and vice versa

Photo: Generic small-town USA — not Oglethorpe, Georgia (which is much smaller) In the early 1980s, my dad had enough with living in the city. He’d grown up in the country, surrounded by farms, farm animals and farm folks. The land was green and the air was clean. But in the 1980s, the place we were living had too many paved streets, too much traffic, too many people, too many traffic lights and too much noise. We lived in Oglethorpe, Georgia, with its one traffic light and 1,000 residents — or, as my dad saw it, way too many. I […]