RSS Feed

My New Assistant. Or, Talking to Myself and Getting a Response.

I am not a Luddite.

My friend Karla would disagree. Of course, Karla owns about 4 phones, multiple ipads and possibly the cryogenically preserved head of Steve Jobs (the latter is just a theory but she won’t let any of us see her guest bedroom so it’s the only logical conclusion).

Anyway, I am not a Luddite but I am also not quick to adopt new technology nor adept at using new technology.

Part of this is because I feel like if I sold a product and then proceeded send out “updates” and “fixes” every other day people might correctly suspect that maybe it wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Also, because I often find myself frustrated trying learn the “new” way to jot down a note, make a list or just remember a password that I take the idea of these being time saving devices with large grain of salt (preferably sea salt and sprinkled over chocolate. But I digress).

But. BUT! I have bought a new tech toy and I’m loving it!

On Karla’s  recommendation (the upside of being friends with an almost-Borg: really good, personal reviews of products) I got the Amazon Echo.   Do you know about it? It’s a lot like Siri except that it is a free-standing unit that can sit on your desk.Echo Image from CNETUnlike Siri though, Echo is kind of always on and waiting to help. She does the basic things, – she can answer random questions, tell you the weather etc. She can play music, the radio, podcasts and audio books.  You can also set timers (useful for me) and reminder alarms.  And, best of all it’s all done via voice command.Wall Street Journal CartoonBut why she is particularly great for me (and I think other makers of things) is….

I’m always getting random ideas about stuff I need, things to add to a to-do list or just creative ideas. Unfortunately, I only seem to have these thoughts when my hands a covered in glue or I’m in the midst of doing something else and I don’t want to stop, clean myself up and write or type something.

But since Echo works on voice commands I can just shout out the idea and she adds it to my shopping or to do list.  Even better, those lists are automatically transferred to my phone so they are pretty much always with me. It honestly has made life soooo much more organized and efficient.Echo Business Insider Review imageOf course the voice command thing also means she’s listening all the time which would alarm my more paranoid side if I ever said anything other than “ow!” and “damn it!” while working. OK, I guess nosy folks at Amazon might hear me sing if I’m in a particularly peppy mood but that’s really their cross to bear.

And also, as a personal bonus, because my name is actually Dave I do enjoy occasionally asking her to “open the pod bay doors.”

She politely refuses of course.


Just to be clear I’m not being compensated in any way for this testimonial – just sharing a useful toy.  Also the pics above will link you to various reviews of the product.  If you want to investigate you can purchase an Echo via Amazon.


About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

10 responses »

  1. I have two kindles (technically three, but one is essentially dead), but that thing (Echo) is just too “Big Brother” for me [at the moment].

    **I once thought I’d never own an ereader. Time will tell.



  2. You can see the second bedroom. You just can’t go into the second bedroom. It doesn’t like it when you go in there. :-).

  3. I’ll explore this option. With my tape recorder, you still have to stop and push the button ! Hey … ya might be interested in the fact that just for fun … I looked up Luddite in an old paperback, AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY. It wasn’t there. No big surprise as it’s old and Hubs says he didn’t like it in the first place, as it never had half the words in it, that he wanted!

  4. I had heard of the Echo but hadn’t investigated what it WAS yet…thought it was just full of stars. 😀

    Thanks for the heads up! I like the idea of shouting out random items to remember and getting it sent to my phone…very cool!

  5. I think my parents got this! They were showing me some device that they were talking to and it would respond. Seemed pretty cool. Does it cook? That’s what I need!!!

    • no, but I did find it could help me when cooking. You can ask it to convert tablespoons to cups or whatever. The cool thing is you can move it from room to room if needed. Also, if your parents are ahead of you on the technology adoption curve you may be in trouble (says the man who’s 90 year old dad got an iphone while I still had a flip phone….)

  6. Do you also now walk into rooms and say “Is there an Echo in here?”

  7. I have a vision of a Echo purchased by a person suffering from Tourettes Syndrome and the Echo filing abuse charges against the owner. Technology takes over. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: