Questions I Am Saving For Alexa

For Christmas, my sister and brother in-law gave us an Amazon Echo. Not because we are in any way cutting-edge tech adapters, but more because I think they were having such a good time amusing themselves with Alexa that they thought they'd share the fun. Within minutes, one of the kids home from college had it up and running and was shouting orders about his Spotify playlists.  My wife keeps asking Alexa about the weather, although a quick pop out the backdoor will confirm current conditions.

Over the years I have relied on Google searches conducted at my desktop — or increasingly, on my phone — to provide answers to burning questions like "What time will the NFL playoffs be televised today?" and "What happened at the Battle of Hastings?" So, in the few weeks she has been in our kitchen, I have found little to no reason to interact with Alexa.  That has bothered me greatly, so I have been trying to think of the MOST important questions to ask, perhaps all in one cosmic seating.



Direction of the toilet paper roll: It is clear to any right-thinking person that toilet paper in the home should unroll from the top. YET for nearly the past 30 years, someone in my house insists on flipping it so it unrolls from the bottom. I think Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for less heretical beliefs, but there is a town ordinance against outdoor fires.

Should deleting an episode your significant other hadn't watched yet be a capital offense?  For all of the vast utility we get out of our cloud-based, cable-system-provided DVRs, you would think that they could add little personas in the recorded list section indicating who has watched what. Does a stop at 25 minutes indicate a lack of interest in finishing? Does a stop at 52 minutes mean the rest of the hour is promotions? These questions require urgent answers if the ONE person in the house who likes to keep a clean list up-to-date does not want to fear for his, um, their lives.

Am I a bad person if i don't go to CES (or Cannes or SXSW)? Instead of stumbling from exhibit to panel discussion to press conference trying to keep up with everything, is it OK if I just stay home and read the extensive media coverage?  I know there are lots of potentials contacts just across the room, but I can't afford MediaLink to make a formal introduction — and besides, I have a low tolerance for over-served ad-tech "stars" opining ad nauseam.  Did I mention the cost?

Are Doug Ferguson and Paula Lynn real people?  Given that each of them comments on about 50 MediaPost stories a day, I have long suspected they are bots controlled by the same folks who "don't" have compromising hotel room videos of The Donald. Besides, I go to Charleston all the time and I have never seen a guy named Doug Ferguson on the campus or sitting at the bar at FIG. I am pretty sure that when the Chinese shift a molecule one slot to the left to evade current narcotic laws, they ask Paula to be the first to try out the new designer drug.

Why do they call it “sweetbread”? If I order that, it seems like I should get a derivative of coffeecake (no coffee in it, go figure) or pound cake, right?  Who in their right mind wants to eat thymus (also called throat, gullet, or neck) or the pancreas (also called heart, stomach, or belly), especially of calf — and, less commonly, of beef and pork?

"Stevie" Ray Vaughan or Hendrix?  Take your time Alexa, there is only one right answer.

3 comments about "Questions I Am Saving For Alexa".
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  1. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, January 20, 2017 at 12:25 p.m.

    Thx for being a good sport about all this. I am right there with you with the statins and the Advil....

  2. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, January 20, 2017 at 1:29 p.m.

    I *knew* I was missing the boat by not commenting more often... Also in the Philly market. Clearly, MP commenters need a MeetUp.

  3. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, January 20, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

    Joe: check the comments section of my column. I think bots are placing those get-rich-quick ads about how much money can be made if you live in Philadelphia. Thx G

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