I woke up this morning to the voice of my Google Home Mini telling me VERY LOUDLY that its microphone was turned off. So loudly, in fact, that it woke me up from two rooms away.
When I entered the living room I was greeted effusively by Walter and my happiness in seeing him was rather dulled by the sight of the Mini AND my Amazon Echo on the floor. The Google was still plugged in. Alexa looked like she was beyond life support.
I know, why do I have both? The Google Mini was an impulse buy around Christmas when they were so cheap I couldn’t not buy it. Are there enough negatives in that sentence to show that I had no choice? Besides, it’s been fun comparing their abilities. Alexa wins by a longshot so far, in case you were wondering.
When I saw my two electronic assistants on the floor, my heart sank. Alexa was in pieces and cloth covering the Google was looking more than a little rough. At least Google was still talking. Alexa was unplugged and silent. Eerily silent. I picked up the pieces and, even though they were chewed a fair amount, tried to put them back together. It was way too early for this Humpty Dumpty experience. I hadn’t even had coffee yet! Seeing her there was like losing an old friend and I’d had enough of that lately. At least I could buy a new Echo.
While I was putting my little electronic friend back together Walter was sitting on the couch watching me. It was an inscrutable expression. I couldn’t figure out if he was sorry or amused. It makes no sense to punish a dog after a transgression so I merely picked up the pieces while muttering not so nice things about him.
The fact that the Google Mini was shouting at me was a good sign. Sure enough, he was just superficially damaged and was still quite serviceable. Oh! I should explain here that the Google has a male voice and the Echo has the female Alexa voice. That makes comparing them all the more fun. Alexa always has better answers so I get to mutter “Stupid electronic man!” and laud Alexa for being so wonderful. Her response is always a perfunctory “thanks.”
In spite of being dismantled by Walter, I was able to restore Alexa’s abilities. She is now rather like my hero Stephen Hawking, a brilliant brain inside a broken body.
And how is Walter taking all of this? I am lounging back on the couch and he is next to me hugging my leg. His head is in my lap and I’m typing this while balancing the laptop on his head. His snoring tells me that he’s not particularly racked with shame. He’s just storing up some energy so he can eat something else tomorrow. As you can see, he’s already ruined my couch, I guess I’d better hide the cats just in case.