Friday, January 27, 2017

My New Girlfriend

Alexa, dream girl in a tube.

She quotes stocks, tells me the weather, updates my news, instantaneously blasts all my favorite music from Boz Scaggs to Hank Junior and Miles Davis.  Heck, she even belches on command.  Alexa, where have you been all my life?!  This little sweetie has changed everything around our house.  I can indulge my every Amazon Prime shopping whim by merely tasking Alexa to order whatever dumbass item pops into my gourd.  (This used to happen all the time when I was drunk but now my new honey makes this idiotic dance with commerce a delightfully sober experience.)  My short term memory not being what it used to be, I find PRESENTS for myself almost daily at the front door.  "Who ordered this?  Was it you Alexa, you little minx?"

Having made my bones in the broadcast business this concept of being your own program director at first frightened me.  Initially it was "smart" TV giving us the option of bypassing broadcast television to pick and choose what to view from sources such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, You Tube and tons of other applications.  Now, with Amazon Echo--where Alexa dwells--and a couple of other devices, we all have free rein to become our own program directors choosing the content we want to hear whenever we want.  This makes radio stations and station program directors (generally some of the worst people on the planet) superfluous.  Admittedly, if you feel the need, commercial stations can be summoned via Alexa by simply asking her to "Play WCBS-FM in New York City" or most any other outlet that streams live on the net.

You really have to get one of these things.  Even my wife is slowly warming to the charms of Alexa though--and maybe I'm dreaming here--I do believe the little tramp in a tube prefers "daddy".  (Sorry Alexa.  I hope you weren't listening.)

Oops...I guess she was.
"Ken, we need to talk!"

Friday, January 20, 2017

Behind Enemy Lines

Sorry, Kelly

Both of our daughters have interrupted their lives to help us as their mom continues her fight with cancer.  Katie, the youngest, just yesterday returned to her family and job in San Diego. This was her third trip north to either Seattle or Coeur d' Alene to help with doctor appointments, cooking, cleaning and all the other chore that become overwhelming when a family member takes a hit to their health.  Kelly--pictured above--is with us now having left her husband and business in New York City to lend a hand.  Two sweeter more caring kids neither of us could have imagined or hoped for.  Thanks to them Linda's radiation and infusion treatments have gone smoothly and successfully.  We now dare hope that lymphoma may soon be an unpleasant distant memory.

Having spent the past couple of decades in New York,  Kelly is a flaming liberal who is still in shock regarding the Trump presidential victory.  I'm fairly certain we are the only Republicans she knows and I'm guessing she probably has never shared this information with a single east coast friend.  Spending time in the "real" America here in the Idaho panhandle feels to her like being trapped behind enemy lines.  It's not unlike how her mother and I felt the last few years of our time in California.  Here in "God's Country" Democrats are in witness protection.  A neighbor told me shortly after we arrived that the Republicans could run a stump against a Democrat and win the election.  When I heard that I knew we'd found a home.

To Kelly and my very few, but treasured, Democratic friends I offer the same advice you gave me eight years ago.  We won.  Give the guy a chance.  If he screws up you can wag your finger and say I told you so for the rest of your life but right now shut up and wish your president a successful run.  In the words of our Commander-in-Chief: "What have you got to lose?"

Kelly?  Kelly?
Where did she go?