Two parts to this story involving our television causing interruptions
in our viewing pleasure. ;~)
1. Dog vs. Machine.
Several years ago our young Great Dane was not yet tuned in to exactly
how our door bell sounded. She heard a door bell and she barked. And
that is about the only time she barks unless someone knocks on the door.
So my wife and I are watching a prerecorded program on the TV. A door
bell rings on TV and our dog begins her barking routine and runs to the
front door waiting for one of us to get up and check things out.
We knew it was the TV so we tell her that it is OK and to go lay down.
But during a Great Danes barking episodes that is all you hear and I had
to back up the DVR and replay the conversation that took place then the
door was opened on the program. Replaying the scene begins with the
door bell ringing again and the dog barking and running to the front
door again. It took me until about the third time to realize that I was
not going to hear the conversation. A few years later the dog can
distinguish the difference and all is well.
2. Machine vs. Machine
So just when you think all of the above is in the past... we buy an
Amazon Echo. If you have not heard of this device it is like a
radio/Siri appliance. You talk to it and it responds with music or
answers. To begin the command you speak the code word, Alexis and
she/it wakes up and waits for a command or question. It will play music
of your choice, answer your questions, tell you the news, weather, and
or spell words for you. It will even create a grocery list and the
items show up on the Echo app on our iPhones. Pretty cool!
So my wife and I are watching a prerecorded program on the TV. The
program goes to commercial, an Amazon Echo commercial. The commercial
demonstrates how the Echo works and the guy calls out, Alexis, and then
asks the Echo what the news is. Our Echo hears the TV and responds also
with the news. I thought that was a fluke but after rewinding and
replaying 2 more times..... Our Echo responded to the commands coming
from the TV....
Hummmmm, what next?
Between great danes and smart phones, Leon's privacy is rapidly decreasing.
If this keeps up, he may need to establish a "cone of silence" in his home
to have a normal conversation! Big brother is not lurking out there. He
has taken up residence in his home.
Not that I am paranoid or anything.
A friend had a cockatoo and a dog. They hated each other. The dog would
also go crazy when the doorbell rang - barking and running around until
somebody opened the door to prove no one was there.
The bird learned to mimic the door bell. He'd wait til the dog was asleep
and say "ding-dong". When the dog finally calmed down the bird would say,
"damned dumb dog!" and then laugh.
It got so bad they had to disconnect the door bell.
Couple of years back we babysat an African Gray parrot for almost a
year. Stayed in a cage on the balcony above the front porch, but was
basically invisible from anyone walking down the sidewalk.
I generally have a glass of wine on the front porch before dinner.
Damned parrot would wolf whistle every female that walked down the
sidewalk ... and the only person they could see was me.
Had to do a bit of explaining on more than one occasion, and pretty
sure, to this day. there is more than one lady who didn't buy my story.
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