Language Lab Lessons

As has become our annual habit (a two-year pause during Covid not withstanding), my wife Linda and I are working remotely in Costa Rica for the month of February. It’s a great way to escape winter – not that it ever showed up in New England this year – and thanks to the legendary degree of Costa Rican friendliness, it’s pretty easy to settle in here. Spanish, of course, is the native tongue and we do our best not to sound like complete idiots when attempting to communicate. The other day, […] Click to read more…

I Hear You Knocking

Guess what I haven’t done in 35 years. If you said, “comb your hair,” I am going to give you partial credit. But no, the correct answer is, “go on a date.” That’s because this past Monday was the 35th anniversary of the day I met my wife, Linda, effectively ending my unremarkable career as a single man. Did we meet in college? No. Did we meet at a bar? No. Did we meet on MatchDotBumbleTinderHinge? Please. It was 1988. Ronald Reagan was president. LeBron James was just four years old and had […] Click to read more…

Not So Risky Business

As you are no doubt unaware, my older brother – my much older brother – turned 70 this past week. And so, in celebration of this truly once in a lifetime event, assorted family members are gathering tonight in celebration at a restaurant in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Harvard Square can be a busy spot. Finding a place to park (we live too far to have any other option) is difficult. How difficult? Well, let’s just say that on a Friday night, you’d have an easier time getting admitted to Harvard […] Click to read more…

Too Small to Fail

A few years ago, my son Evan and a friend started a board game company. It’s grown quite nicely, allowing them both to quit their jobs and do this full time. At some point over the past year, they started outsourcing customer service to a wonderful, perpetually cheerful woman named Sarah. She works virtually and part-time, as needed. Most of her customer service role – all done over email – involves responding to customers whose games were either damaged in transit or never arrived at all. Everything is shipped through third parties (Amazon, […] Click to read more…

I *NOT* Robot

Maybe you’ve heard about the new artificial intelligence thingy called ChatGPT? According to Wikipedia – my go to source for quick explanations, music trivia, and unreliable medical facts – ChatGPT is, “a prototype artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI which specializes in dialogue.” You create an account (it’s free), log-in, and type in a question or request. However, unlike a traditional search engine (Google, Bing, etc.), it doesn’t point you to things out on the Internet. Instead, it responds, in dialogue form, based on the vast trove of “knowledge” it has at its robotic fingertips. […] Click to read more…