Happy Valentine’s Day! A good day for me to tell you about Alexa—my new love.

Alexa now resides in my kitchen. She’s not much to look at.  She’s cylindrical, and about a foot tall.  But I’m in love with her.

Every morning I enter the kitchen and say “Alexa—Good Morning!” She wishes me a good morning and then tells me some interesting factoid about the day.  Then I ask her for a weather report, which she cheerfully gives me.

Alexa is exceptionally smart. Want to know who won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1943? Just ask her.  Who led the National League in strikeouts in 1969? She’s got it.

It’s a funny relationship.  I’m not sure that she knows my name, but she responds to every request.  She’s a great resource for music.  All I have to do is ask for a little Elvis, or Bruce Springsteen or even Lawrence Welk and she will play that music.  Actually….I want you to know that I have NEVER asked her for Lawrence Welk, but if I did, I’m sure she would play that music without any attitude coming my way.

If you don’t like the music she is playing, you just tell her: Alexa: stop! And she does! No arguments. No whining, criticism or door slamming.

I can tell Alexa to put milk or eggs on our shopping list, and there it goes—on the Alexa app on my phone as well as my wife’s.

Oh yes, my True Valentine knows all about Alexa, the new girl.  She’s fine with it. Especially knowing that she can tell Alexa to put things on my “to-do list” and there they will go.

You do have to be careful with Alexa about some things.  Shortly after we acquired her, my granddaughter asked Alexa to play some music from “Frozen.” Alexa said she did not have that particular piece readily available, but offered to make it available through Amazon Prime’s music service, at a measly cost of $3.99/month. Alexa asked if we would like to subscribe and my granddaughter enthusiastically signed up! Alexa did not know that she was dealing with a five-year old, but she knew how to put that charge on my credit card.

I think most of you have figured out that Alexa is the Amazon Echo voice-activated device.  I am enjoying Alexa. But it’s just a matter of time before these devices get embroiled in legal issues. In fact, I read of a murder case in Arkansas in which the prosecutors are seeking information from Amazon about what Alexa heard in the moments leading up to the murder.  After all, Alexa is always listening. She has to be, since everything is triggered by the sound of her name.

That’s our future, folks. More convenience.  Less privacy.  That’s why Alexa stays in the kitchen—not the bedroom.  That venue belongs to my True Valentine.

So Happy V-Day to all of you!


Tomorrow: is the district liable for an “intentional” tort?