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RE: Weekend-engagement topic week 38: Inventions

in THE WEEKEND7 months ago

My Alexa device ranks right up there with my favorite inventions. I am handicapped and live alone and Alexa has played a big part in allowing me to live independently.

Amazon released Alexa in 2014 and it wasn't long after that my son bought one for me for a Christmas gift.

Wiki says that in 2018, Amazon had more than 10,000 employees working on Alexa and related products. And in 2019 they had sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices.

I use mine for setting timers and. alarms, and can tell her to remind me when there is an MSP Waves or Vimm broadcast I don't want to miss.
I use it for listening to audio books while I am folding laundry or working in the kitchen. I can download books from my local library and Alexa reads them to me! That alone has been a great feature during this past year while staying isolated at home.
She can read me entire recipes, or play a news broadcast or tell me the weather forecast.
I can ask her what time the F1 qualifying begins or the race starts.

I love it when I randomly think of a song I love and haven't heard for a while and Alexa will play it for me, or shuffle through songs by a particular artist or albums I'm in the mood for. Her speakers are really nice quality.

I have lights in the house plugged into smart plugs and I can direct her to turn lights on or off without getting out of my chair or out of bed. She can turn the outdoor lights on for me, and during the holidays, even the Christmas decorations I put on the front porch.

And I have had a couple of situations where I got myself into a predicament and needed assistance and didn't have my phone close at hand. I have a skill set up where I can tell her to notify my daughter and she is set to emai, text, and place a phone call simultaneously that says I need help.

I definitely feel safer with her in the house!


What the hell? I had no idea you were an F1 fan! We've got that in common. This blew me away.

Anyway, I'm often critical of these devices listening into us all the time and of people who are too lazy to look at their watch to get the time...But here you are changing my whole perception of how these things can be used! I imagine your Alexa device to be almost irreplaceable to you considering how you use it.

There's definitely an excellent use-case right here and I can understand why the invention has meant so much to you.


Lando all the way!

My mobility scooter...

Hmm...I'd say quite reminiscent of the 2021 McLaren F1 MCL35M I'd say. :)
Image from

I like Norris, he's funny, a good driver and seems to be a really nice chap. I htink he'll be a good pairing for my Aussie bloke Danny RIC and I hope they excel this year. I'm pretty keen for the season to get underway.

It is gorgeous, isn't it! I still need to warm up to Danny Ric..... I will, I'm sure. He seems to have a huge ego and need to be center stage, but I don't know much about him yet. I loved the camaraderie between Lando and Carlos. I'm not sure that will happen with Danny.

I can see that...He's pretty fun-loving and I think that comes across as ego...But I think they all have some of that, think that they're the best. It's a tough line of work. I liked how Sainz and Norris worked together, it was refreshing...I think you'll see a similar thing, although RIC is a little older...Might be a different dynamic. Give it half the season and see how you feel.

I will become a huge Danny Ric fan if he is on the podium for McLaren!
I can't wait for the season to begin and in the meantime I am being entertained by cheering my son on in his SIM racing league!

Lol...Who would have thought Melinda would love F1! You're a mystery! 😂

Blame it on my son..... Even though he is a 150 miles away in Chicago, and hasn't been able to come spend the weekends here this past year, we still watch races together and text back and forth throughout the race.

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Wow. Alexa is pretty cool, but I never thought about how cool. That's some really good stuff there.

I know this will surprise you, but I've ridden a motorcycle a couple of times. And I pay attention to the business of motorcycles. So I have to show you, Yamaha has made some mobility products.

It's a longish article on elektric, but just go to the bottom. My first motorcycle 55 years ago was a Yamaha and I've owned 3 more since then. Really good gear. Anyway, that 4 wheel drive would take you places that would amaze you I'm thinking...

Wow! Those are all really great looking! Bravo Yamaha. The newest one I have from PRIDE is zero turn, all wheel drive, but I'm not terribly impressed with the quality. I had the repair man here last week about some charging issues.
It's good to know about alternatives! Thanks! My guy restored old bikes and 70s Yamahas were a favorite. He died 4 years ago and it still feels odd not to find motorcycle parts in my laundry room!

I'm sorry that your supply of parts in the laundry went away. I don't think I owned a 70's vintage Yammie. 60s and 80s. I never owned a bad Yamaha. I'm glad to see them lead the way in electrics and mobility products.

Did your guy ever overhaul a carburetor in the kitchen sink? I got yelled at for that a couple of times but it was the perfect cold weather option :)

Like the motorcycle in the corner of the kitchen because it was too cold in the garage? Oh yeah.

Ahahahahahaha. Yeah, that's the one.

The kitchen table got moved to the garage.... 😜

It's all about priorities, isn't it?

I did an overhaul on a dirt bike motor in my basement shop but there was no oil or grease involved. I cleaned it outside before the weather got awful. You can believe my wife checked pretty carefully...

I just laughed and served our meals in the dining room! Looking back now it was another great Jim memory. He was like a little boy seeing the reactions of people that came over and it inspired plenty of jokes!

Waoooo!!! Awesome, what a great utility Alexa can be, I had never thought of that technology in that way, but now I can see it in another way. I think it's wonderful that you have that tool to make your life easier in so many different ways. Really amazing!

Alexa is one of the most valuable tools that I have that allows me to live alone in my own home. There are more and more things that she is capable of doing all the time and I am probably not utilizing half of them in useful ways.

Amazing! I had heard a few things about Alexa but had no idea how useful it could be 🤗

I complain about our Alexa all the time as I have concerns about relying too much on tech for simple stuff and privacy issues but wow, it is an absolute godsend for you, I am thrilled it has given you such essential piece of mind.

I have a skill set up where I can tell her to notify my daughter and she is set to email, text, and place a phone call simultaneously that says I need help.

Never in a million years would I have even conceived of this! I am far more grateful that Alexa exists today and very pleased that she has an eye on you in the greatest way imaginable. Technology really is a multi-faceted beast isn't it, the difference in use and potential use range from terrifying to amazing.

You raised another amazing part of the technology that we have at our fingertips nowadays, when I was young, there was no way to hear a song you loved unless you had the money to buy it OR the nimble fingers and ears to record it on to audio-tape from the radio, this is one of my favourite parts of the present day. Now we have websites, YT, Alexa and even our phones can store a vast catalogue of tunes perfect for any mood. 🙂👍

Having Alexa gives my kids some valuable peace of mind knowing they don't have to worry quite so much about me. My daughter lives 10 minutes away, but if she does not respond Alexa goes on to contact my son and daughter in law who have assured me that even though they are 150 miles away they can call emergency services. I have a remote that allows me to talk to Alexa that I can carry in my scooter basket, that let's me feel secure if I go out to the mailbox or around in the yard. Even though I can't walk, she gives me so much confidence!