20 Jan 2015 In: Days Go By
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amazon echo

14 Jan 2015 In: Days Go By

Ok so I love tech-y stuff but I’m not usually one to jump on bandwagons and go out and purchase the brand new thing. But Amazon knows me too well and I guess I’m just that awesome of a customer since I’d rather purchase stuff there on my Prime membership than get my butt and the kids and whatever out in the cold or heat and endure Walmart. But I digress. Anyway, some time ago I had an invitation to give the Amazon Echo a try and being a Prime member I only paid $99. I kinda forgot about it because it was some sort of pre-order thing but it came today (though if I recall, it’s even earlier than the date it said it would be). I had thought that something like this would be perfect for the main room in the house we are building though we’re not in it yet, I figured why not hook it up and give it a try?

This thing is awesome!

It was so easy to set up, I just had to take a few seconds to get the app on my phone and install it then pretty much just put in my wi-fi password. The phone found the Echo with it only having power, no buttons to push or anything.

I thought I’d try it out with a few questions and it was spot on and quick. The voice even sounds more human than my Google phone or Siri does. I asked it, “Alexa, when is sunset on January 18?” (This after trying, “when is sunset tonight?”) Echo answered that sunset on Sunday, January 18, 2015 is at 503pm. The photographer in me is going to use that A LOT.

We’ve done “Alexa, tell me a joke” a few times and it’s delivered a few funny one-liners.

Then I said, “Alexa, play me some Elvis Presley,” and I was in heaven…

Opening the app on my phone again showed me the last thing I said to it and it asked me if it heard me correctly (it had). This is something my Google phone would be wise to take note of. Ahem.

Only thing I’ve had to do so far was to change my zip code in the settings of the app. We’re usually incorrectly tagged as the one Echo had grabbed, probably from cell towers??

It sounds great, I can’t wait to have it in the new house.

six months gone

7 Jan 2015 In: Days Go By

Today marked the 6th month anniversary of her disappearance. I still can’t believe it. It’s still so unreal, it’s not really happening. I’ve had to turn off a lot of emotions or I’d be losing it all the time. K still points out her picture in the missing posters when she sees one. Sometimes she gets excited as if it means they found her. K doesn’t understand, but how can you expect a 5 year old to comprehend this when adults don’t get it either? I’ve even had little mini arguments about this with her – there’s a few ladies at church who have the same hair color and sometimes K insists that it’s her. I don’t like breaking the heart of a kid but we also can’t have her thinking these ladies are her, she was addressing one as such and that breaks everyone’s heart.

And the nasty people are still out there. I don’t understand why the internet makes people think that they can just say whatever they want to, no matter who they might hurt. These jerks don’t know the family or the friends yet they speak as if the ideas they have formed in their twisted little heads are true. They don’t see the husband losing too much weight because he’s still too upset to eat, having aged an extra 10 years. They don’t see friends who are holding back the tears because her name has popped into their heads for whatever reason. Maybe they don’t see that by trying to hurt the person they are assuming is guilty, they are hurting hundreds of other people, too. Nah, who am I kidding? Sure they see that. They just don’t care.

Maybe this is why I woke up ill today. I couldn’t face the day. I slept it away.

Six months.

I just can’t.

moiI'm Valerie and this is where I talk about random things as well as what interests and keeps me occupied: photography, digital scrapbooking, crochet for fun and sale, Origami Owl (see below), or whatever else I feel like! I'm the mother of two, including a preemie who's now a toddler diagnosted with apraxia (of speech), a wife of one, and a second generation homeschooler.

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