Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Well here it is past Labor Day. Kids are going back to learning: in one form or another. It looks like there might be high school sports. We will see I guess.
Most of us are tired of this year. Tired of doing this – or not doing something else. Just remember, 2021 could be better or possibly even worse. Cross your finger on this one!
I had to buy a new “stick” the plug in device you use on the TV to access your subscription channels. In the past there have lasted at right about four years. I guess that is pretty good.
Computers laptops and tablets seem to be outdated once the box is opened; well this little shiny doohickey has a voice search you can use. I can tell it to find me The Three Stooges for example, and it will search my subscription programs to see if that title is anywhere. I find this pretty nifty. If a co-worker or one of my kids suggests a movie, and I forget if it’s on HBO or Netflix or whatever I can ask and it will be found.
Ahh . . . technology.
I also acquired another gadget with the sultry voiced Alexa who speaks to me.
She can do many things around your house for you. Tell you the weather for Gardner. Find music from the 1970’s. In some cases she can turn off and on your lights, adjust your thermostat, or turn the TV off. She is sort of an all purpose household assistant.
Alexa apparently was raised on a distant planet or possibly just in another country. She can tell you a joke but cannot for the life of me, pronounce my name right. I have tried re-instructing her in the pronunciation, very politely, but what comes out is – as she put it, is “JOE HWAN.”
Back in the old days, our phone hung on the wall or sat on a phone table. If you answered, and they said your name wrong, well they obliviously had never met you. It was an easy test and a sure way to get past sales people. “Is Joan (JONE) home? Well no one by that name lives here…”
Short sweet and off the hook.
But I have tried to update my name on my new device. I can mostly ignore the wrong pronunciation. I identify myself as Joan to most doctor’s offices and business. In their system that is how it is spelled. I cringe when they call me that when I arrive for an appointment. But at my age, it is easier to just let them be wrong.
I am however tired of having my unseen roommate say “goodnight Joan“ as I trundle off to bed. Or ask me if I would like the news or weather. She can hear me in almost every room and even answered one of my kids when we were chatting the other evening. She could at least call me by my correct name.
This year is wearing on all of us. If this is the worst problem I have I should just be grateful and be quiet.
So I guess for now Alexa and I will just be casual acquaintances. I will be careful when I speak around her. I will realize we aren’t as good of friends as she would like to be.