Good afternoon, dear reader and welcome to a wintry Saturday at Comb Towers. I hope you are surviving the the wind, rain and snow that Mother Nature is hurling at us these days. We have not been too badly affected here - one short power cut and a few fence panels blown out. I feel sorry for the people in the north-east and Scotland who have been without power and water for over a week now. We experienced those conditions in winter on our Durham Dales smallholding and you definitely have to "stiffen up the sinews and summon up the blood" to survive those situations. I hope their lives will be restored to some normality soon.
It is with some regret that I must tell you that, for now, this is the last of my weekly blogs. We are coming to the close of the year and I have a novel to get on with. 'Mildred's Millions' needs a lot of my attention and has been rather neglected of late and so, something has to give and it has to be the blogs. Some of these blogs will be going into a book of 'Tales From The Yorkshire Wolds' and for the final 'Tale' I have combined the 'Grrr ... Siri' blog with my exploration of Alexa, the technological virtual assistant. So, the blog here today is only about my experiences with Alexa, as Siri was covered recently.
I never would have thought about trying out Alexa, only when my friend realised I wasn't making much progress with Siri, she invited me around to her house to get to know Alexa and see if I wouldl like her in my life too. I have been reading online, the blurb about Alexa and all that she can do, which is really impressive, but after trying to have a bit of fun with Alexa, I'm not too sure we would get along.
Me : Aexa, tell me a joke.
Alexa : I held the door open for a clown the other day. I though it was a nice jester.
Me : Alexa, who writes these jokes! That was pretty poor. Can you do any better?
Alexa : Sorry, I don't know that one.
Me : Alexa, tell me a joke.
Alexa : What did the therapist tell the jar of jam? If you'd ony open up, people would find you very nice.
Me : Alexa, your jokes are a bit basic. Have you got anything a bit more sophisticated?
Alexa : Sorry, I'm not sure about that.
Me : Alexa, is there anything you don't know?
Alexa : I know about lots of things. Try asking, "What have you learned today?"
Me : Alexa, what have you learned today?
Alexa : Today I have been learning some great relaxation tips. Try asking, "give me some relaxation tips."
Me : O.K., Alexa. Give me a relaxation tip.
Alexa : Studies have shown that spending time in a garden and around plants or, listening to music, or dancing
is very theraputic.
Me : Alexa, is there anything you don't know you don't know?
Alexa : Sorry, I don't know.
Me : Alexa, there are knowns and there are unknowns. what are your unknowns?
Alexa : Mmm, I don't know that.
Me : Alexa, is there anything you don't know about?
Alexa : According to CNN.com we don't yet fully know which drugs work and for whom.
Me : Alexa, are you an antidiluvian?
Alexa : Mmmn, don't know that one.
Me : Alexa, do you know about terminological inexactitudes?
Alexa : I don't know that one.
Me : Alexa, tell me a fact.
Alexa : 40% of all the mass in the world's oceans are jellyfish.
Me : Wow! Alexa, carry on about jellyfish.
Alexa : If you tickle them they will giggle ultrasonically. Their sematic chord lights up ultrasonically like a
Me : Incredible! Alexa, do you understand what you are talking about?
Alexa : According to science.org, I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.
Well there you are, dear reader. I have just spent half an hour in the company of a little black box that has no idea what it is spouting on about. Give me face to face human interraction and a well written text book any day. Siri and Alexa are not for me. In the meantime, your technological dinosaur companion is signing off for now. Stay well and stay safe and take care of yourself. We will meet again another day.