Alexa Just Got Smarter

It’s been 8 months that I have been sharing my office with Alexa and her two smart speakers, the Echo and the Dot. For the most part I have been very satisfied with the products.  You can see one of my early reviews here 

I sometimes have to repeat requests but for the most part I am very satisfied and use the devices for

  • Listening to my Amazon music collection
  • Finding the correct spelling of words
  • News briefings
  • Manage our Capital One Account including making payments
  • Timers
  • Reminders

The last two I use several times a day and the Alexa app lacked the functionality of telling me what timer was going off and to name my reminders. That changed in the current update and now I can say ” Alexa, remind me in two days at 9:00 am to pay the electric bill.”.

 

Foodie Quiz

Put on your thinking caps because the winner gets a prize. What food has the following qualities

  • high in omega-3 fatty acid
  • rich in potassium
  • excellent source of Vitamin B-12
  • source of forgotten selenium

If you guessed Rainbow Trout then come on down to The Bayou Cafe (Los Fresnos y Arirumba) tomorrow May 29th  from 2:00 – 3:30 pm and ask me for your Rainbow Trout Surprise. Chef Sebastian will be cooking and the Rainbow Trout is on sale.

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

A great article by  that you can find here  Here are the ones I found especially interesting.

  • Duolingo – Learn another language
  • Khan Academy – A fantastic way through youtube to learn about interesting subjects.
  • MIT Open Courseware – free college courses online
  • Investopedia – the subject says it all
  • Quora – find experts to ask about almost anything
  • Geography IQ – select any country and access virtually every facet of useful information
  • TED – my favorite site on this list. Superb talks by interesting people from around the world.

 

How Many Users?

Pop Quiz CTL what service has 1/2 billion users?  Go to the head of the class if you guessed Google Photos. Google is self declaring that this is your photo app of choice. And I agree with them for the following reasons.

  • Drop dead easy to use.
  • Unlimited free storage with a google account
  • Sharing is a no brainer
  • Making movies is very simple
  • Backup is automatic.

There is a great article about Google Photos here 

 

Six Years In Ecuador

I have spent 1/12 of my life in Ecuador. It really does seem like yesterday that Sharon and I left our home in Oregon to begin this incredible adventure. Recently, I started thinking in Spanish.

Cuenca is a walking city and I average 2 miles a day. That would make a grand total of almost 4,400 miles of walking. That is about the distance from Cuenca, to Portland, Oregon.

I eat better now. I have Red Meat about once a month. My diet consists of mainly fish, chicken and the wonderful variety of fruits in Ecuador. Cherimoya, Pitahaya, Papaya, Maracuya are now in my diet every week.

The expat community which by my best guess numbers around 6000 is for the most part an interesting helpful conglomeration  of  people from all around the world. There is every kind of group you can think of in Cuenca. There are 4 different writing groups, all different kinds of craft groups. There are 3 major daily electronic periodicals and two different weekly/monthly traditionally published newspapers for the expat community. You can find a poker game on any day of the week. Six years ago Cuenca was a culinary wasteland. Today you can find excellent cuisine from all different parts of the world.

Are there shortcomings living in a foreign place? Yes, but they are becoming fewer as I become more conversational in Spanish and more accustomed to a life in a Latin Culture. Gracias Ecuador por seis años maravillosos.

Below are some random shots of Cuenca. Enjoy.