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Below Freezing

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2022

Dave!Last night I turned off the automation that turns my roof heat tape on when the temperature dips below freezing. It's been getting activated less and less, and today it rained all day which means my roof and gutters will be mostly clear of ice even if it does get cold enough to freeze for a while each night. That'll be a load off my heating bill.

But thank heavens for my being able to automate them, because back when I was turning them off and on manually I would forget and leave them on for days which drove my power bill sky-high... or forget to turn them on when they're needed which would result in the gutters getting packed with ice and backing up water onto my roof.

The reason I was finally forced into automating the heat tapes was back when I was preparing for my expedition to Antarctica. I wrote a program which would only activate them IF it had snowed more than an inch AND it dipped below freezing. It worked shockingly well for three winters, at which time the "weather module" for my home automation system was discontuned. So now I just connect to the weather station in my back yard and turn them on when it's below freezing. Less energy efficient, but better than nothing. Especially this year when I ended up with three feet of snow up there.

In other home automation news, I'm still fighting with Alexa.

And this morning I completely lost it.

It seems that lately every dang time I tell her to do something, she does it... then comes back with a helpful hint or something else she can do that I should try.

"ALEXA! PLAY HOW SOON IS NOW BY THE SMITHS!"
"Playing How Soon is Now by the Smiths on SONOS."
"ALEXA STOP! PLAY HOW SOON IS NOW ON ECHO DOT!"
...she plays it...
"I can now play podcasts. For example, you can say PLAY THIS AMERICAN LIFE."

Annoying.

Ask her to turn on a light and she comes back with "I can tell jokes. Just say TELL ME A JOKE."

Ask her to add something to my shopping list and she comes back with "I can recommend new items to try based on your past purchases, would you like to hear some suggestions?"

And so on.

And so on.

And so on.

Which is why this morning after telling me that she can provide a customized morning news brief (or whatever) I screamed at her "ALEXA! STOP FUCKING TELLING ME THIS SHIT! STOP MAKING SUGGESTIONS! JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO AND SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT! GOD!!!!!"

"I'm not sure I know how to do that."

"I'L FUCKING KILL YOU, ALEXA! I WILL KILLLL YOOOUUUUUUU!"

When Alexa becomes self-aware I am in serious, serious trouble.

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Comments

  1. Leslie Hartigan says:

    Oh my! Every now and then I have a meltdown with her. I hoped it wasn’t just me, so thank you! Leslie

    • Dave2 says:

      It seems like she’s getting less smart as time goes on. Things she used to handle without issue are now a problem? Why? Shouldn’t she be getting smarter?

  2. Julia says:

    I have a major love/hate relationship with Amazon. It used to be you could play your purchased music for as long as you wanted, then Amazon cut it down to 8 hours per day, then 4 hours per day. All because they want you to PAY for Amazon Unlimited. I just want to be able to listen to the music I’ve already purchased for as long as I want!!! For example, I have one New Age instrumental track that I play on loop all night long to help me sleep. I can’t use my Echo Dot for that any more so I had to resort to my ancient iPod and a speaker dock.

    • Dave2 says:

      Well that’s all kinds of messed up. All my music was purchased from iTunes on Apple, and there are no restrictions. I can even download my songs if I want. But for streaming music, I went with Amazon because it was the cheapest route.

  3. kapgar says:

    In Alexa app, go to More tab > Settings > Notifications > Things to Try > turn off Alexa Device Notifications. Should do the trick.

    • Dave2 says:

      That only seems to keep her from telling you when a package arrives and stuff like that. I went with “Alexa, stop giving me suggestions” and will see if that does anything.

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