Hi! I'm Alex.
I share my love of:
🛠️ Making things
AI-Powered Creativity: How GPT-4 Helped Me Build DripArt.io
Introduction In my spare time, I love to explore my creative side. Lately, I’ve been having a blast working with GPT-4, ChatGPT, and other AI language tools. They’ve helped me create everything from funny poems to collaborating on code projects that once seemed out of reach. A Spark of Inspiration My journey began with a fascination for Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. I wondered if I could create digital versions of these mesmerizing works.
Fall-ing in love with nature, one waterfall at a time!
Escaping to a cabin with my wife for a much needed vacation, we woke up to a stunning view of a mountain covered in wispy fog. Sipping coffee together, we felt grateful for the beauty of nature and each other’s company. Excited for the adventures ahead! ☕️🏔️
Adventure Time with My Girls at Lake Apopka
Today my wife and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip with our beloved corgi, Tilly. We decided to drive out to the Lake Apopka Wilderness Trail and take in the fresh air and wildlife. The drive was beautiful, as we drove through lush greenery and marshes. We arrived at the trailhead and began our journey. The path is a driveable wilderness trail that takes about an hour and a half to get through, as you cruise through at 10 mph.
Enjoying the Little Things in Life Again
Life can be full of stress and pressure, making it hard to enjoy the little things in life. But it’s important to remember that these moments are often the most precious, and taking time to appreciate them can make all the difference. This weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that. My wife and I had a homemade pizza night, and then went to Epcot for a date night at the Festival of the Arts.
Making Homemade Edible Cookie Dough
Today, I experimented in the kitchen with the sous vide circulator to make edible cookie dough! I have always been a fan of homemade cookie dough, but the fear of consuming raw eggs always held me back. With the sous vide method, I was able to safely pasteurize the eggs and enjoy the cookie dough without any risk. To start, I set my sous vide machine to 135 degrees and placed the whole eggs in a water bath.
Got a lot of big stuff happening in my life in 2023, so spending this last day off work to build some systems to keep me organized and sane throughout the new year!
Revolutionized my Kindle reading experience with a Popsocket! I had read about this before and finally decided to pull the trigger and wow has my reading experience has improved!
Finished my first run with just my Apple Watch and Airpods (no phone) and felt so damn nice being more disconnected than usual!
The baby got her shots and a good checkup! Looks like we’re doing good on health!! Got her weight down to where the vet is happy! If only I could do the same 😂😂😂
😞 RIP Kevin Conroy. I feel like I just lost a significant part of my childhood. He will always be the definitive Batman voice for me.
What to blog about
Had a blast this weekend testing out the new truck tent!
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Trying to Figure out the best way to start studying for my Board Certification exam that I applied for. Everything I’ve been told makes this feel like another bar exam except this time I don’t have a “bar prep” course to follow. Need to structure this out myself.
Testing out our new harness before we go camping next weekend!!
The face of “I’m about to get a French Fry!!”
⛺️Just purchased a Truck Bed Tent for my new truck and reserved a camp site at Florida’s first Dark Sky Park! Excited to go see the stars! ✨⭐️🌌🌠
Does anybody have any good software recommendations for reading thousands of saved PDFs, highlighting them, and quickly exporting the highlighted text for quick reference later? Preparing to study for Board Certification and have to read a couple thousand PDFs of case law for it
My board game buddies while the power is out post-Hurricane Ian (Scratch that. Power was just restored while I was typing this! Still finishing this game haha)
Considering ourselves lucky. Hurricane Ian feels like it’s pretty much past us now. Currently without power and had a small leak above one of our windows when the rain was being blown into the window but otherwise we are safe and secure!
Two episodes into The Patient on Hulu and really loving the premise and tension so far
Having some fun tonight experimenting with StableDiffusion’s public release today. Completely blown away by the results I can render with my own computer at home.
On Small Projects
I've been thinking a lot lately about small projects. You know, the kind of projects that you can complete in an afternoon or a weekend. The kind of projects that don't take weeks or months. I’m not sure what got me thinking about this, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. I have a lot of big projects going on in my life right now and it feels like I’m never going to get them all done.
📷 Can’t get enough of my girls 😍
Just ordered a Uni Keyboard to start learning stenotyping! After watching court reporters in my courtrooms for years and doing some quick reading, I’m excited to learn a new way to type that could be even faster than my current speed!
Making a "like" button for my blog
In my effort to start posting to my own personal blog more, setting up the blog, and using a static-site generator to build this blog, I quickly realized that I wanted a “like” button for each post. I didn’t want to use something like the Facebook “like” button, because I wanted to keep track of the number of likes for each post on my own, without relying on a third-party service.
Found my new favorite use for using GPT-3: Generating plot outlines for Hallmark Christmas Movies
🚀So happy to see that BPS.Space successfully propulsively landed a model rocket! I’ve been watching this project for years and the fact that it finally happened feels so great!
🍿Vengeance (2022): On a whim, watched this surprisingly lighthearted movie by BJ Novak. Loved all the characters and laughs. Would definitely love to flip the first 2 acts on in the background at home when this comes out on home video!
The End for Me on Social Media
So, I’ve been working on my blog over at madeinsparetime.com and I’ve also been doing a lot of reading about the “IndieWeb” lately. I’ve had more fun posting on my blog recently than I’ve had posting similar content to Facebook or Instagram. There’s just something more satisfying about your words getting cemented on your own domain than getting buried in someone else’s feed. I know I don’t get as much instant feedback when I post stuff to my own blog, but I’d rather have more thoughtful replies than a bunch of likes on someone else’s platform.
New laptop means finally tidying up my files on my computer, setting up new methods of backing up important files like my picture collection that’s been quickly growing, and also getting all of my accounts locked down and secure!
Automating My Life
I’ve always been a bit of a productivity nerd. I love finding new ways to optimize my workflow and get things done more efficiently. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with automating some of the tasks in my life in order to free up even more time for the things I love. This weekend, my wife and I sat down and dug through our finances. We’ve been living with each other for some time now and we’ve been living with a shared budget.
📷The Queen of the king sized bed
Using AI to generate a quick first draft for my motions at work as a Public Defender
When you’re a public defender, time is of the essence. You’re often up against a clock, trying to get your motions in as quickly as possible. But what if there was a way to get a quick first draft of your motion, without having to spend hours writing it yourself? Enter, Artificial Intelligence. By using Artificial Intelligence to generate a quick first draft of your motion, you can save yourself valuable time that can be spent on other cases.
📖Building My Second Brain
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the concept of a “second brain” - an external system for storing and organizing all the information that our brains simply can’t hold on to. I was intrigued by the idea, and decided to try building my own second brain while I’ve been reading Tiago Forte’s book, Building a Second Brain. This inspired me to look into some of the popular notetaking software options.
📷Protecting My Camera With Pizzazz
I’ve really been enjoying my new Ricoh GR III camera for beautiful shots of adventures around town with my wife and capturing peaceful moments at home with our corgi. It’s a great camera that captures incredible sharp images while looking like an inconspicuous point-and-shoot camera that doesn’t attract much attention. While reading up on the GR III when I was making the decision to buy one, I read that this camera is susceptible to dust getting in the lens and sensor assembly.
📝Using GPT-3 to Quickly Write Blog Posts
I would really love to write more on this blog but I often find myself short on free time to be able to do so. I’ve looked at trying to do more short form content to post more regularly but that doesn’t seem to keep readers as engaged. So, I’ve been looking over alternatives and then, completely unrelated, came across the amazing tool that is GPT-3. GPT-3 is an artificial intelligence platform that can be used to generate text.
Really enjoyed watching the AlphaGo documentary and learning more about this amazing accomplishment in artificial intelligence. I remember seeing articles back when this happened in 2016, but didn’t understand the gravity of what was accomplished till today.
So excited to finally see the first images come out of the James Webb Space Telescope! I’ve been waiting so long for this day! It was absolutely worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what more comes out of this technological marvel.
📷 Peaceful day downtown with the missus
Weekend project is accomplished! I’ve successfully ported over my blog from a self-hosted Eleventy page to being on Micro.blog! (Only have to get my domain pointed here but that looks relatively simple) Looking forward to much less friction in posting to my blog!
“War… War never changes…” Testing out some new tools that were gifted to me and paying homage to one of my favorite video game series of all time! Did my first vinyl cut with my new Cricut Maker, used some Armor Etch glass etching cream, and I’m super satisfied with the result!
Getting ready to say “I do” in just over a month by making a custom Funko Pop cake topper of me and my bride-to-be!!
What it looked like to create the generative art for my NFTs
NFTs: a deep dive
Creating my first NFT collection Okay. So. NFTs have been popping up everywhere online and I’ve been genuinely curious about the whole NFT process. In order to learn more about NFTs, how they work, and whether they’re something that can be useful, I decided to take a deep dive and generate my own NFTs. This is an article about what I’ve learned about NFTs and my process of creating my first NFT collection.
Say hello to newest addition to the shop! She’s a 1965 Sears Forecast 12. I’m hoping to combine this with the press that I’ve been working on and someday print designs and combine that with typewritten text. Might also take another whack at writing short stories again or revisiting some long abandoned ideas. Either way, it feels good to have a new machine that looks good, works great, and sounds so satisfying!
Hot off the press! This is my brand new press that I built in the shop today. Been wanting to whip this thing up for awhile so I can tackle some more projects in the future. Tried keeping it big enough to be versatile and small enough to be stored on a shelf. Looking forward to doing some block printing and some bookbinding in the future with this bad boy!
Blown away at how beautiful the Georgia Aquarium is 📷
Blade Runner: The Movie
Ah. The cult classic. The neo-noir, cyberpunk, whatever you wanna call it, sci-fi detective movie made by Ridley Scott: Blade Runner. I definitely came into watching this movie with a bias. First off, I’ve seen it before. Second, I love most things science fiction. And third, I love me a good detective story. Matter of fact, I’ve previously self-published a sci-fi detective story because I like movies like Blade Runner. But, I digress.
📽 I get to fulfill a dream today! I never got the chance to see Jurassic Park in theaters and today that changes!
Currently reading: On writing well by William Zinsser 📚 While I’ve been taking a deep dive into writing again, I figured it’d be good to brush up on the basics as well. Never read this before but have seen so many recommendations for this book.
🚀📺 First episode of For All Mankind is in the bag and really loving this alternate reality and all the changes it can bring!
🎙 Listening to Matthew McConaughey on the Tim Ferriss Show and god damn that man can tell a story. Never knew he was originally going to be a defense attorney. I bet he could have sold a jury on anything with that smooth talking voice lol
I have to say… I thoroughly love the idea of micro.blog! It’s funny. Awhile ago I was thinking how nice it would be to have a social network with no like counts and the only way to interact was by way of comments. That way social networks would actually be social again!
(#98) Yankee Doodle Dandy: The Prop
Sometimes things go wrong. Even on the simplest of projects, things go wrong. But the upside of having a failure is that it can turn into a teaching moment. This prop, even though I thought it would be super simple, would ultimately turn into one of those teaching moments in my quest for making things. Finding the prop While I was watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, I was keeping an eye out for the perfect prop to make for my 100 Movies, 100 Props project.
(#98) Yankee Doodle Dandy: The Movie
Alright. I’m going to be 100% honest here. For as much as I wanted to appreciate Yankee Doodle Dandy, I just could not get into it, at first. I know it’s in the AFI Top 100 Movies, and I know that it’s been critically acclaimed. But I have never really had a thing for musicals. That’s not to say that I don’t like musicals altogether. I do enjoy one every now and then.
(#99) Toy Story: The Prop
I knew right from the get-go which prop I wanted to do from the 99th movie on the AFI Top 100 Movie list! I didn’t want to make one of the main characters from Toy Story. That seemed like a bit much of a challenge for trying to crank out a prop on a short deadline and an invitation for a legal battle from Disney for replicating one of their best selling toy lines.
Number 99 on the @americanfilminstitute Top 100 Movies list is Toy Story! This movie from 1995 is a movie that I’ve seen a bunch of times and it’s a movie that I’ve absolutely loved for the entirety of my life. But watching the movie through the lens of it being a “top movie” changed my perspective on just how great Toy Story is!
(#99) Toy Story: The Movie
This movie is one of those on the AFI Top 100 list that I’ve previously seen before. And I’ve seen it a bunch of times. But this is the first time in years that I sat down and watched Toy Story from start to finish. When I first saw Toy Story on the Top 100 list, I thought it was kind of weird that one of the staple movies of my childhood was on there.
(#100) Ben-Hur: The Prop
While I was watching Ben-Hur, I was keeping an eye out for the perfect prop to kick-off this 100 Movies, 100 Props project. I wanted something small and easily finish-able to build my confidence in building props on a deadline. That definitely eliminated building a full-size chariot from the climatic race sequence. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out last week’s post over here. Early on in my viewing experience, one prop in particular caught my eye.
Fired up Fusion 360 to do some 3D modeling for the first prop out of 100 in my 100 Movies, 100 Props project. Feels good to learn some new skills while I’m trying to watch the Top 100 movies of all time and make a prop from each one!
#100 on the @americanfilminstitute 100 Years…100 Movies list is Ben-Hur from 1959!â Watching this as the first movie in the 100 Movies, 100 Props project was an exciting beginning to this quest.
(#100) Ben-Hur: The Movie
Kicking off this 100 Movies, 100 Props project in truly epic fashion, we have Ben-Hur. When I say epic, I mean quite literally that this film is tagged in the genre of “epic”. At a running time of 3 hours and 32 minutes, this film covers it all. There’s romance, action, drama, revenge, a prison-break, and we even get to meet Jesus Christ in the flesh. Once the movie gets going, it is a non-stop thrill-ride that just keeps going.
100 Movies, 100 Props - My New Project
Hi there! My name's Alex and I'm setting out on a quest to watch the top 100 movies of all time and make a replica prop from each of those movies. You might say to yourself "Why would anyone do that?" or "That sounds like a lot of work." And you're absolutely right. It is going to be a lot of work. But that's because this is a quest that's focused on the process of the journey more so than the destination.