Alexa,Get Me an Aspirin!
There is a new addition in our household. She arrived with the Pandemic (some people got pets) and we oohed and aaahed over her. She takes up a special place in our bedroom where we can keep an eye on her, teach her things and get her acclimated to our lives.
For example, my husband (my go-to-tech guy) spent a lot of time teaching her how to control the lights, fans and television in the house. She can mute the TV, raise and lower volume, switch to Cable, change the channels and shut the whole thing off. She can turn on and off lights and fans in separate parts of our home and every morning, gives us an accurate weather forecast for our location or any other location we want. She blinks when we have a notification (“Your Amazon package has arrived!”) and reminds us when it’s time to re-order something, like herbal coffee, which we order every month or so. Recently my husband bought a sensor for her (“It was on sale!”) so she can now tell us the temperature inside our home. Note: we already had a temperature sensor that we could just look at for that information, but now, all we have to do is ask Alexa!
But, sometimes, she just doesn’t know when to shut up. This morning, my husband said, “Alexa, what time is it?” and she replied correctly. Immediately following, he asked me what I was having for breakfast. Alexa responded, “OK, for breakfast, I would recommend strawberry cous cous Breakfast Bowl from Food Network; 15 min to make.”
And, sometimes she gets confused. We once asked Alexa to give us some information on the pandemic. She responded: “Pandemic: the 10th episode of the 12th season of the animated series South Park.”
And whenever we ask for something that requires a bit of research, like what won the Oscar for best movie in 1978, she’ll respond, “Here’s what I found on the Web.” It’s usually accurate (in this case, “Annie Hall,”), but sometimes we have to ask her to curtail her long answer as she’ll continue with the names of all the nominees, stars and directors for each film.
Occasionally, she gets farklempt like when Marty said, “Alexa, channel 896” and she replied, “I couldn’t find any enabled video skills to do that.”
She’s polite! After giving us some information, she’ll ask, “Did that help you?” And when we respond, “Yes,” she thanks us. If one of us says “good night” to her she’ll reply, “Nighty night! Get some good rest.”
She has become part of our family, relied upon for weather, time, answers to questions and general knowledge. Recently, while in the car, my husband asked me when the next full moon was. “I’ll look at my Smart Phone when I stop driving,” I said. His response: “I think we need an Alexa in the car!”