Knowing what I do about Computer Security, I won't have any smart speakers like Alexa or the rest in the house.
They work by listening to you, every second of the day, every room they are in.
Since nobody outside of the manufacturer knows what they are doing with the information, I'll pass.
It seems to me that it is beyond creepy, like having a horror movie take place in your house and you invited it in.
However I realized I did exactly that with Rack, the Mc Nab SuperDog (TM).
It is amazing how many little things that our little black and white tape recorder has picked up over the years.
He learned a while ago that he gets an ice cube in the morning from me only when I have my first mug of coffee. Not the second one, just the first. I don't like taking the chance that he may chip a tooth having that treat, so I do limit them.
But it is more than that. After all, he only comes out now for that first cube, past that he has learned not to ask.
He sleeps on a pad that is wrapped in a blanket next to my chair in the living room during the day. At night he's on a dog bed that he ignores and sticks his head in the closet to limit the amount of noises he has to contend with. It was a very windy night last night and lately and I have found him curled into a dogball sleeping next to my inline skates and the gear box that I keep there. Quiet and secure I guess, dogs like smelling things, I just hope I'm not going to be judged by a wet nose by some sporting gear I have used to propel myself 22,207 miles, to date.
The stuff has to be treated with care and being next to you for all that time... well you get the picture.
The other night he was laying there as we had on the TV. That's normal after dinner, we sit back and watch crusty old Re-Runs. That particular night was Petticoat Junction. Kate was telling "Dog" "Good BOY!". I heard a thump. He was quite happily asleep and wagging his tail against the floor boards.
We call that "Command Shrapnel" when a comment "explodes" and he does what he's told. In this case he got hit by Kate's praise.
And it happens frequently.
Mr Dog was doing a "Perimeter Search" of the house and walked by the TV. As he glanced up at it on his way to the door, another "Good Dog" came out of the speakers. He smiled, wagged his tail and walked to snoop the door.
"Resource Guarding" so I don't escape I think. He can't have that.
But there is a lot of that Command Shrapnel.
At 7:30 AM, the irrigation systems fire up. The orchids have to be misted every morning and I go out to inspect them. Yard Inspection time. I put my keyboard on the table, rinse out the coffee mug french press and then walk out to do a lap of the yard.
It used to be just putting the keyboard would get him up. He's learned the Art of Subtlety.
The Keyboard was apparently not a 100% sure fire lock that I'd be getting up. I may just be doing Me Things and had to get that old IBM Model M clicky monster from 1992 off my lap.
Rack has learned to wait for the irrigation pump to turn on. Not every day. He knows that Thursday and Sunday we have three zones that turn on. Every other day it is only the 7:30 AM watering. Zone Three is the only one he gets up for.
I'm amused and amazed.
The third thing is that apparently my brushing my teeth on an evening shortly after dinner is a signal that I am going somewhere. Specifically.
Mind you, I do it a couple times a day. I'm home, if I am in there and want to freshen up, it is not a big deal, but usually, apparently, in the evening, I wait until I leave.
If it is just after dinner, there's the possibility of a Ride. As in "RIDE! IN THE CAR!!!!!".
So I get the campaign. The Twin Brown Laser Beam Eyes, the erect ears, the pacing, and perhaps the whining.
If we are not going anywhere, I piece it together and say "Nope, Rack, Stay Home And Watch The House." Repeatedly. Until I grab Mask, Sanitizer, Keys... you get the picture.
But since sometimes, it's a haul for that Vanilla Soft Serve With Caramel Sauce on top, he Campaigns.
If it is a yes, I tell him "Go get your leash". The stupid ensues at that point. He loses his mind in excitement. He isn't calm enough to go to the back room on top of his crate that he refuses to use, nor does he think he is allowed to do so. So we get 45 pounds of black and white dog running full speed to the heavy glass door in front, then back to the crate, repeatedly.
All the while he is speaking in tongues and trying to calm down enough to follow orders.
"Rack, you'd never make a good police dog" I tell him and let him off the hook by grabbing his harness and leash.
All this from my using a toothbrush at a strange hour.
Yes, I should have named you Alexa.
Now, if you will excuse me, it may be one of his better days, but he is still a dog. He got it wrong. They're working on the duplex across the street and a truck arrived. It wasn't the white panel "Free Candy" van that shows, it was a pickup truck delivering two stackable washers for the units.
The places may have everything but he's still going to ask $500 a month too much for them.