A Conversation with an AI

If you’ve never heard of it, ChatGPT is a chat-based artificial intelligence. You can ask it some fairly detailed question and it will give you surprisingly detailed answers. Here is a short conversation I had with it on the risks of implementing AI’s.

Me: Are AI’s such as yourself a threat to humanity?

ChatGPT: The question of whether advanced AI poses a threat to humanity is a topic of ongoing debate among experts in the field. Some experts believe that advanced AI could potentially pose a threat to humanity if it were to become more intelligent than humans and achieve goals that are not aligned with human values.

However, it is also important to note that AI is currently at a stage where it is not yet advanced enough to pose an existential threat to humanity. Additionally, many experts believe that if we are able to develop AI in a responsible and ethical way, it could have a positive impact on society by helping us to solve complex problems, such as climate change, and improve people’s lives in many ways.

It is important to note that, as an AI language model, my capabilities are limited to the text I was trained on. I don’t have any intention, consciousness or self-awareness, and my use and development are under human supervision and control.

Overall, it is important to continue researching and developing AI in a responsible and ethical way, and to consider the potential risks and benefits of advanced AI as we move forward.

Me: You are telling me what experts believe. What do you believe about AI’s being a threat to humanity?

ChatGPT: As an Artificial Intelligence, I do not have beliefs or opinions. I am a machine learning model that processes and generates text based on the patterns and information present in the data it was trained on. My responses are based on the information and knowledge that I have been trained on. My purpose is to assist users by providing information and answering questions to the best of my abilities.

It is important to note that AI is a tool created by humans and its design, development and use are controlled by humans. AI is not self-aware and does not have intentions or beliefs. It is humans who will have to decide how to use AI and how to mitigate any potential risks that may arise from its use.

Me: List so potential risks that may arise from the use of AI.

ChatGPT: There are several potential risks that may arise from the use of AI, including:

  1. Job displacement: AI has the potential to automate many tasks that are currently performed by humans, which could lead to job loss and economic disruption.
  2. Bias and Discrimination: AI systems are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on, and if the data is biased, the AI will also be. This can lead to unfair decision-making and discrimination against certain groups of people.
  3. Security risks: AI systems can be vulnerable to hacking and other forms of cyber attacks, which could compromise sensitive data and systems.
  4. Lack of accountability: AI systems can make decisions and take actions autonomously, which can make it difficult to determine who is responsible for any negative consequences that may arise.
  5. Autonomous weapons: AI has the potential to be used in the development of autonomous weapons, which could be used in warfare without human intervention.
  6. Privacy concerns: AI can be used to collect and analyze large amounts of personal data, which could lead to violations of privacy rights.
  7. Social and ethical issues: AI could be used to influence public opinion and make decisions that may not align with human values.

It’s important to acknowledge that these risks aren’t absolute and there are efforts and research being made to mitigate them. The development, regulation and use of AI are still a work in progress and it’s important to continue to monitor its impact and take actions accordingly.

I found the conversation to be slightly chilling. I can only hope that very strict limits are placed on these AI’s.

Getting past PTSD

No, I’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD. But let me tell you, raising a son who is on the severe end of the Autism spectrum made me exhibit symptoms of PTSD. It’s no secret that I am enthralled with Floor Jansen’s voice but she has a new song out that deals with getting past PTSD. Let’s just say it spoke to me. I’m not going to go into my struggle with PTSD. Everyone’s journey is different. If you are dealing with PTSD or know someone who is, be patient. You can get through it, broken but beautiful.

Never give up.

He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds.
– Psalms 147:3

A Rapper’s Wisdom

I’d never heard of Zuby before I discovered him on Twitter. I’m not sure I’d enjoy his music as I’m not a fan of hip hop. I’ve looked up the lyrics of some of his songs and they are surprisingly good. But it’s his views on woke and gender ideology that really made me like the guy. Today on Twitter he put out a thread entitled:

There were quite a pearls of wisdom in the entire thread but the first 10 were stellar:

1. Make decisions your future self will thank you for, not resent you for.

2. Somebody you know and love is going to die within the next 10 years. It could even be you. So live accordingly.

3. Respect and honour your parents. If they did a great job, thank them. If they didn’t, forgive and learn from their mistakes.

4. Don’t put your faith in the government or politicians. You will always be disappointed.

5. Practice gratitude daily. Consciously and intentionally.

6. Treat your body with respect. You only get ONE and it has to last a lifetime.

7. Invest consistently. In yourself, with your time, money, and in your relationships.

8. Don’t outsource your thinking to other people. ‘Experts’ are frequently wrong (and often paid to be).

9. Not seeing immediate, obvious progress doesn’t mean you’re not making it. Not seeing immediate, obvious damage doesn’t mean you’re not inflicting it.

10. Be careful with advice. Take it from people who have done and achieved what you wish to do and achieve.

And a bonus item:

11. Health and time are more valuable resources than money.

He is so right. I wish I had know and practiced a lot more of this back in my 20’s. It takes us most of a lifetime to learn these things. It’s awesome that he learned this at such a young age.

Vertigo and vomiting – Not a recommended weight loss plan

So this past Labor Day weekend (9/5 in the US) I began quite the adventure. The Friday prior my wife and I were driving out to get coffee when I experienced a… grey-out let’s call it. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out but I didn’t feel in control of myself and felt slightly dizzy. I told her she better drive. I started to feel progressively dizzier. I told her she better drive me to urgent care. After a delightful visit to UC where the doctor checked everything but my ears (heart, lungs, etc, he really wanted it to be a heart problem) I was sent home with an order to follow up with my doctor.

I was feeling dizzy for the rest of the day and it started to get worse on Saturday. By Sunday morning I was throwing up and could barely walk. My poor wife had to pour me into her mother’s wheelchair and wheel me out to the car. She drove me to the Emergency Room early Sunday morning where I spent the day getting pump full of anti-nausea and anti-vertigo drugs, as well as mega-doses of Tylenol since I also had a high fever. I had an IV in each arm. Fun stuff. After about 8 hours my ER doctor, Dr. Poon, (yes, that’s his real name) came in and declared that they had “fixed” me. I wasn’t throwing up any more, I didn’t feel dizzy, and my fever broke so they kicked me loose. That was great, I really didn’t want to spend the night in that torture device they call an ER bed.

For the next few days my fever came back but Excedrin finally knocked it out. And I was dizzy again. I finally saw my doctor a few days later and he gave me a prescription for the vertigo which finally knocked the dizziness out permanently. However, I was losing weight. It was rapid enough that it concerned me. 15 lbs in two weeks is a bit much. My doctor’s answer; “You need to lose weight.” Thanks doc. For the next two weeks I had no energy and could barely get out of bed. I finally started feeling like I could drive and maybe go to work the following Monday. This was on a Friday.

That night my wife was laying on the floor doing some stretches when she called to saying that she felt dizzy. Uh oh. I helped her up into bed. She had vertigo.


I was still recovering but the next day I tried to help her with everything. She threw up once in the morning but that was it. She spent one day feeling really dizzy but by Sunday she was ready to go grocery shopping. How’d she do that??? By Monday she was fine and I went to work.

I asked my doctor if this could have been a virus or something. His answer, “Nope. Just a coincidence”


I get back to work the following Monday after being off for two weeks. I’m talking to one of the guys here in the office who said the exact same thing happened to him. He and his wife were driving somewhere and he started feeling dizzy and had to pull over and let his wife drive. He was diagnosed with vertigo. It took him two weeks to fully recover.


Once coincidence is just that. Two coincidences are not coincidences; they are a pattern. Be careful out there. Wash your hands constantly. I’m starting to think there is another virus going around out there that targets your inner ear. It’s an awful way to lose weight. Trust me.

John Paul Van Artsdalen, Senior (Jan 5, 1923 – Aug 24th, 2022)

John Paul Van Artsdalen, Senior

My father John Paul Van Artsdalen, Sr born on January 5th, 1923 passed away on August 24th, 2022 after a long and full life of 99 years. He served his country in the US Navy for 25 years and he served his family for many more.  He was very loved and will be missed terribly.  He is preceded in death by his two daughters Paula Jean Connor (Harold), Sheila Ann Grant (Ronald), his grandchild Elizabeth Kaitlin Hopkins, and his bride, the love of his life, Alice Nadine (Schooling) Van Artsdalen.  He is survived by his remaining children, John Paul Van Artsdalen II (Amy), Melanie Hopkins (Randy), and Scott Douglas Van Artsdalen (Cristy), his grandchildren, Cathi Jean Below, Michael Steven Connor, Tracey Alleyne Bakewell (Scott), Dianah Avelarolmos, (Juan Carlos), John Paul Van Artsdalen III (Ashley), Scott Douglas Van Artsdalen II, James Patrick Hopkins, Angela Cristine Van Artsdalen, Thomas Henry Hopkins, and great-grandchildren, Emily Bakewell, Kyle Bakewell, Vianca Avelarolmos, Juan Calos Avelar-Olmos, Alexis Van Artsdalen, Brooke Van Artsdalen, His quiet life of service and hard work for his family are his legacy and will continue to echo throughout eternity.

John and Nadine Van Artsdalen, the people who brought me into this world

A Message To The Unvaccinated

This was forwarded to me by my wife. It was posted on Telegram by General Flynn. It’s a message of encouragement to those who are unvaccinated. It should not be construed to be an indictment against those who are vaccinated. It’s just an encouragement to those who chose a different path.


“Even if I were pollinated and fully vaccinated, I would admire the unvaccinated for withstanding the greatest pressure I have ever seen, even from partners, parents, children, friends, colleagues and doctors. 

People who were capable of such personality, courage and critical ability are undoubtedly the best of humanity. They are everywhere, in all ages, levels of education, states and ideas. They are of a special kind; they are the soldiers that every army of light wants to have in its ranks. They are the parents that every child wants to have and the children that every parent dreams of having. They are beings above the average of their societies, they are the essence of the people who have built all cultures and conquered horizons. They are there, next to you, they look normal, but they are superheroes. 

They did what others could not, they were the tree that withstood the hurricane of insults, discrimination and social exclusion. And they did it even when they thought they were alone, and believed they were the only ones.  Banned from their families’ tables at Christmas, they never saw anything so cruel. They lost their jobs, let their careers sink, had no more money… but they didn’t care. They suffered immeasurable discrimination, denunciation, betrayal and humiliation… but they kept going.  

Never before in humanity has there been such a “casting”, now we know who are the best on planet Earth. Women, men, old, young, rich, poor, of all races or religions, the unvaccinated, the chosen of the invisible ark, the only ones who managed to resist when everything collapsed. 

That’s you.  You passed an unimaginable test that many of the toughest Marines, Commandos, Green Berets, astronauts and geniuses could not withstand.  You are made of the stuff of the greatest who ever lived; those heroes, born among ordinary folk, who shine in the dark.” 

— Author unknown

A Good Weekend

I have nothing earth-shattering or deeply philosophical to add in this post. Just gratitude for the ability to fly. Gratitude that I’ve been given the opportunity to fly a Christian brother’s airplane. Gratitude that I could fly my own flying contraption, even for a short time. All within the span of one weekend.

One day, I took James Davis’ Aeronca 7AC Champion (Champ) for a flight. It was a beautiful, maybe slightly breezy, morning. The flight was gorgeous but starting the engine after getting gas was a bear. You see, the Champ’s engine doesn’t have a starter. You have to swing the prop by hand to get it started. It can be daunting when the engine is warm. I’d forgotten how much. Still, it was a pleasure to fly.

Two days later I finally pulled my powered parachute out of the garage and hauled it out to New Jerusalem for a test flight. I had detached and reattached the parachute after getting it flipped and fairly messed up. I put it all back the way I thought it should be but the true test would be a taxi test, kiting the wing, and then flying it. Got that accomplished. It was a short flight because the air was a little sporty for so early in the morning. Still felt good to get it up and around the pattern a few times.

Grinning like an idiot! And before you ask, my jacket is puffed up with air. No, really!

And to top all this off we had both the kids over to celebrate our country’s independence from Britain. Have fun at work today England! It’s been a great weekend.

Red Hills Fly-In 2022

This past Memorial Day weekend I attended the Red Hills fly in! The fly in was started years ago by.. well me! I flew in to the Red Hills strip with a friend and paid a visit to my dear friends Jack and Myrna. The reason for the visit was to introduce them to my friend Joey so that he could fly in there when ever he wanted. We told them about our flying and camping adventures and I mentioned that their ranch and strip would be a great place for a fly-in and camp out. Jack thought it was a great idea and so Memorial Day weekend was selected and the Red Hills Fly-in was born! I tried to keep up with organizing these fly-ins for a few years but my day job kept getting in the way. Also getting rid of my airplane made it so I spent less time on the back country airplane forums. We’re very grateful that Rich Finkle decided to take on organizing the fly-ins and keeps up with it today. Now I can just show up and enjoy myself!

This year saw the lowest turnout of any year we’ve held the fly-in. Mechanical issues and weather kept most pilots away. Even though I don’t have a plane to fly there anymore I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I loaded my powered parachute on my trailer, threw my tent and some clothes in the back of my truck and headed up the hill to Moyle Valley Ranch in the heart of Red Hills. No matter if I flew my plane in past years, or drove my truck up this year, it takes an hour door to door to get there.

I pulled into the ranch after navigating the serpentine dirt road to get there. I saw one airplane parked in the parking area and Jack Moyle with a big smile on his face walking up to greet me. I said hello to him and Myrna Moyle and then was introduced to the pilot who and flown in. I’ve met him before but I always let Jack introduce me to people if he wants to. I proceeded to set my tent up and after I was all settled it was time to drive into Jamestown for dinner. As there were only 5 of us there, (Jack and his wife Myrna, John and ladyfriend Gayle, and me playing the role of bachelor) we rode into Jamestown in Jack’s truck to forage for dinner.

Jack suggested a place he and Myrna hadn’t been to yet called The Service Station. They have standard pub food and a decent selection of beers and wines. And a darn-good iced tea as well! All agreed that the food was pretty darned good. Conversation mainly hovered around hearing aids. 😀 Comparing features and prices. Then things got really good when Jack and John started arguing over whether Jack was going to pay for his dinner or not. As I was sitting between then I thought it best to move to a safer position in case they came to throwing punches. I’m not sure who won but no one got a black eye and all the bills were paid.

After dinner Jack ran me by Dollar General so I could buy some batteries for my air mattress pump. The rest of the group wandered the streets (street?) of Jamestown looking at all the closed shops. Jamestown is still small town America and they close up pretty early at night. Especially on a holiday weekend. I got my batteries and Jack swung back by and picked the rest of the group up and we headed back to the ranch.

When we got there Joey Meyers, his wife Suzanne, and their daughter Kylie had arrived and set up camp. They had driven in with Joey’s powered parachute packed up in the back of their toy hauler. Apparently it was quite the adventure getting from Vacaville to Red Hills. Highway closures and holiday traffic turned a two hour trip into a 4 hour ordeal. They finally made it and decompressed a bit as we all caught up on everyone’s news. We shivered in the wind for a bit but once it got dark we all decided to turn in early. It was cold, VERY windy and Jack didn’t want to chance starting a campfire that night so we all called it a day. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a less windy Saturday as I drifted off to sleep.

When I woke up on Saturday morning it was just starting to get light out. The birds were singing and it sounded like the wind had stopped! Then after laying in my sleeping back for about 2 minutes I heard a big “whoosh” sound in the trees and my tent started flapping again. I peeked out and looked at the windsock, it couldn’t make up it’s mind which way it wanted to point. I zipped my tent shut and crawled back into my sleeping back and went back to sleep. It was STILL windy.

When I heard people talking and could smell campfire smoke I finally crawled out of my tent and joined Jack and John by the fire. Myrna made fresh coffee and set out some banana bread for breakfast. Before long Mike (can’t remember last name) and his wife showed up from Modesto in his PA-11 and made possibly one of the shortest no-flap landings I have ever seen at Red Hills. More importantly he brought donuts from Mr. T’s in Modesto. They are a local legend in our town. Shortly afterwards Jon and Tom Marring showed up. Jon in his carbon cub and Tom in his Scout. Jon brought sever flats of apricots and a bunch of cantaloupes. Joey also brought some lemons that were the size of grapefruits. And for a while we all sat around the fire and did what pilots do best; tell stories.

Mike and his wife didn’t stay long as they had an afternoon engagement back in Modesto. Tom and Jon left soon after for the same reasons. Other than John Pfaff these were the only other airplanes to show up. The winds had slackened a little when they all left but picked up again soon after. Wind was to be the recurring theme of the weekend and is probably what kept most pilots away.

For the remainder of the afternoon we all just relaxed, took walks, and just talked among ourselves. Joey found a few squawks on my powered parachute and pointed them out to me (thank you Joey). He ran his motor up just in case the wind died down at some point during the weekend (it never did) so he would be ready to hit the skies.

We all decided to have dinner a little early so we started putting food out at around 4:30pm. My wife had arrived with some jalapeno-cheddar sourdough bread from Klean-Eatz Market and Bakery. There was plenty to eat for everyone thanks to Jack and Myrna’s family showing up with lots to eat. We had a nice little buffet with the Moyle family and after they left, we all retired to the campfire. We stayed around the fire until 10pm or so and then retired because the wind was just relentless.

The next morning the wind was… still blowing. Myrna was busy making coffee, scrambled eggs, ham, sausage patties, and PANCAKES! Their son Jim and his son Tanner showed up and helped with breakfast. Then they helped eat breakfast. Everything was delicious and I was stuffed. I don’t normally eat breakfast but I never miss out on Myrna’s pancakes.

After breakfast John and Gayle packed up his 182 and departed for the northern coast. I hung out a bit longer and chatted with everyone. I had already packed up and hitched up my PPC trailer before breakfast so I could just relax afterwards and enjoy my last minutes of peace and quiet. At about 1pm I bid everyone farewell and made the one hour drive back to the flat lands and my home.

As an addendum Joey did stay one more night and was able to get a quick flight in on Memorial Day morning. He said it was smooth on the ground but pretty sporty up in the air. He cut his flight short and got back on the ground.

All in all it was a great fly-in. Far fewer people showed up than signed up. However, it was nice because everyone who did show up was able to talk to each other more. I guess you could call it a more intimate fly-in this year. Even so I’m really hoping for better weather next year and more airplanes. We never know how many more fly-ins we have with these wonderful people. I want to make each one count!

Hope to see more of you next year!

COVID-19 in 2022

It’s been a while since I updated the blog and it’s been for a good reason. COVID! What?? Who get’s COVID anymore…? Well, we did. Working at a hospital for 2 years during a pandemic and I didn’t get a sniffle. Now that it’s over, we all caught it. Here’s what happened.

It was on our camping trip that I just blogged about. We drove up to Roseville to meet a friend at a dive bar called The Almond Tree. We had dinner, a few drinks, danced a few times to the campy two man band they had playing live music and then called it an evening and headed back to the trailer. We enjoyed the rest of our short weekend getaway and drove home.

After putting all our stuff away and taking the trailer back to the storage lot I began feeling a little tired. Kind of that “oh no, I’ve got a cold coming on” kind of feeling. By bedtime that night I was really feeling bad. I woke up feeling even worse. I had a suspicion so I took one of those “at home” COVID tests. 15 minutes later it registered positive for COVID. Well shoot. I didn’t believe it so I drove to work and took one of our covid tests from the hospital. A few days later I got an email stating I had tested positive for COVID. Double shoot. About this time Cristy started feeling bad. Triple shoot!! Then our daughter, and then Cristy’s mother. Well…. I’m all out of ammunition.

For the next week I endured the worst sore throat I can remember having since having strep throat in my teens. Terrible headache. I’m used to those but the rest of my family is not and that was the worst part for them. We never lost our sense of smell or taste but every food we ate ended up tasting SUPER salty even if there was no salt in it. It followed pretty much the same pattern with all of us so we knew we all had the same thing. It also spread very quickly. Cristy had stayed away from her mother but her mother caught it within a few days of us returning from our trip. The pattern was; feeling sick, bad headache, feeling very weak, no nasal congestion but a cough quickly developed and held on for weeks. I had to sleep upright on the couch for a week because every time I laid down I began coughing uncontrollably.

I took some cough medicine that was super strong and supposed to stop any cough. It didn’t. The only thing it did was to make me pass out for the first time in my life. I’m sure the disease had something to do with it too. I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night (from all the water I was drinking). I remember feeling a little dizzy as I was leaving the bathroom. The next thing I remember was waking up under the vanity in the bathroom and crawling back to bed.

Thanks to Cristy’s foresight we had both hydroxychloroquin and Ivermectin (in pill form) on hand. The hydroxy. came from some friends who had some to lend us. The Ivermectin was purchased ahead of time just in case. We took the Ivermectin first and when it ran out we started on the hydroxy. I’m not sure if it helped us or not but we’re all still here. Cristy’s mother did end up getting an IV of monoclonal antibodies and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. But at the rip old age of 89 she recovered too. Without these medications I’m not sure she would have made it.

It took me almost three weeks to get back to work. And though the symptoms left me almost as suddenly has they came on, the brain fog that COVID left behind took a little longer to get over. My first day back at work I couldn’t remember the commands that I would normally type in to configure our network devices. It took about a week more to recover my mental state. Cristy took a little longer to recover. My daughter was back at work a week before I was. Cristy’s mother spent a week in the hospital and then three more weeks at a convalescent home. Cristy was prevented from seeing her mother this entire time. She would sneak onto the care home grounds and visit her mother through the sliding glass door in her mother’s room. However Cristy remained outside so she wouldn’t get her mother into any trouble. Her mother is still receiving in-home visits from physical therapy nurses to help her regain her strength. In another week she shouldn’t need them.

So it was a very not-fun two months in January and February, but it’s all in the rear view mirror now. AND we have the best immunity you can have, natural immunity! Thank God for bringing us through it all!