Friday, August 17, 2018

The Do I Race It or Talk to It? Weekly Link Round-Up

My experiences with technology might be a tad mixed from time to time, but-- on the whole-- I do like it. Especially when someone invents something that gets me out of doing some housework. I've always considered housework to be a waste of time. My grandmother, who caught the dust before it had a chance to land on her furniture, would spin in her grave if she could hear me now. Unless you live alone, chances are that you can spend a lot of time and elbow grease shining something to a fare-thee-well only to have someone come in less than five minutes later and dirty it up again.

When iRobot's Roomba came out, I perked right up, but I've learned that it's not always a good idea to get something the minute it comes on the market. So... last week our very own Roomba (which has been christened Gracie) came to live in Casa Kittling.

I quickly learned that when I turn Gracie on, she means business. I was trying to cook and was walking from the refrigerator to the sink when Gracie came in from the dining room. It didn't take me long to realize that Gracie will win if we're ever in a foot race. I guess I need some track shoes.

And I laughed when I received a text from Gracie telling me that she was stuck at the edge of a cliff and needed my help. (You have to step down into the craft room from the dining room, but I'd never called it a cliff before.) Denis and I have been very pleased with the work that Gracie does, but when Denis smiled at me and said, "Alexa, tell Gracie to start cleaning," the first thought in my mind was... am I ever going to get a word in edgewise with all these gizmos in the house?

I'm tired of doing the two-step around Gracie, so I'm heading out to the corral. Head 'em up! Moooooooooooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
  • An earthquake revealed a 12th-century temple hidden within an Aztec pyramid. 
  • The original Winnie-the-Pooh map sets a world record at auction.
  • Two men have been charged with stealing more than $8 million in rare books from a Pittsburgh Carnegie Library. 
  • Jamestown mystery: Whose bones have been uncovered? 
  • A noblewoman who was buried in her jewelry 1,800 years ago was found recently in Greece.
  • A 1,000-year-old handprint from "Europe's Lost People" has been discovered in Scotland.

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • This spectacular Canadian wildlife reserve is so remote, you can only get there five weeks a year.
  • The unexpected afterlife of ill-gotten wildlife goods.
  • New research suggests Dr. Seuss modeled the Lorax on this real-life monkey.
  • Indigenous peoples manage one-quarter of the globe, which is good news for conservation.
  • A woman found a mountain lion napping in her living room. (I bet she doesn't leave her doors open anymore!) 
  • Why a female duck was spotted with a huge brood of 76 ducklings.

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I love that mental picture of you being chased around, Cathy! What a hoot! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Greek noble to visit...

  2. Gracie sounds like a little terror! I'm not sure I would want to receive text messages from a Roomba, have to step over it in the kitchen, or rescue it from "cliffs." Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of using it to save time? Best just to keep on ignoring all the chores like I've been doing!

    1. It's a learning curve. There are little "beacons" you can put in front of the doorways of rooms that you don't want the Roomba to go into, so thus endeth the cliff text, and don't have it cleaning while you're trying to do something like cook. (Denis was the one who set it cleaning while I was in the kitchen, bless his heart.) Now Gracie and I are getting along fine, I don't have to buy track shoes, and someone else is doing the vacuuming!

  3. I don't have a Roomba/Gracie, but we've thought about it. Maybe one day. And, yes, sometimes the early bird gets the yucky worm. We don't have Alexa either. All that kind of gives me the creeps - like someone watching me. I also don't use Siri. I'm a rebel!

    1. I don't use Siri either, and if I were living alone, Alexa would never've darkened my doorstep. Gracie, on the other hand, I really like.

  4. I think it would be hilarious if you left the house with Gracie and Alexa home alone. Then Alexa could give Gracie commands and you nor Denis would have to do anything, and would come home to a clean house.

    This high-tech world with robots taking over is kind of eerie. But if it gets the house cleaned, what could be better?

    And, yes, I would be leery of any robot hearing my every word to myself, over the phone, my TV, etc. There are enough privacy issues living in an apartment building where people can hear each other in hallways and sometimes in the next apartment.

    But have fun with those two. You both must have a lot of laughs.

    1. Well, I did say "plexiglass" this afternoon and Alexa thought I was talking to her...

      I've always yearned for Rosie, the robot housekeeper on "The Jetsons," a cartoon that I watched when I was a child. Not only would Rosie keep the house spotlessly clean, she'd do the cooking, too. You can't get better than that.

      All Gracie can do is vacuum the floors. Now, if she could dust as well as scrub bathrooms, I'd be ecstatic.

  5. Yes, a Grace or a Herbert to dust and scrub bathrooms and kitchens. Why can't these robots be male, too? Even in robot world, there is sexism!

    1. Yes, it seems so, and I'm not happy about perpetuating it. Problem is, I have absolutely no experience with males keeping a house spotlessly clean. Maybe I've grown up/lived with the wrong men?


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