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Posted: July 30, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Telling It Like It Is... Teaching old dogs new tricks

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Seems everywhere I turn things are changing. Now some change is good but I can only handle a little at a time. Not to worry though, with a little help from the kids and grandkids, I'll figure it out. Bout the time I figure out how all this new “smart stuff” works they come out with something better.

New and improved doesn’t always mean better and simpler and they know this so the manufacturers took it up a notch and even gave it names and voices that tell you how it works. That might be helpful to some folks, but I don’t like all these little voices telling me what to do.

Alexa keeps me up to date on the news, Siri can answer anything I ask her and gets me anywhere I need to go, so, now I have two back seat drivers including Sweet Pea. I must admit having GPS has been a lifesaver and she certainly makes road trips interesting but she ain’t no southerner, though, so we laugh at the way she pronounces some things.

The one gizmo I like the most is Roomba that helps me clean the house. She and I have become very best friends and she is worth every penny so if you don't have one, put it on your wish list. I was housesitting recently and was awoken by a strange noise at 3 a.m. You'd think an 80-pound dog would be my best friend at a time like this, but, he cowered between my legs and wouldn't budge. I cautiously approached the living room and found the alleged perpetrator as it came toward me, then stopped at my feet. I was ready to smash the unknown object with a broomstick when a woman's voice announced “Roomba is finished, floor is clean” and scurried back to its base to recharge. I gave her a kiss good night and got back on bed and slept peacefully the rest of the night. Imagine that – hearing strange voices inside your house, fearing the worst, preparing to defend yourself with Smith and Wesson and your trusted guarddog for backup, only to discover a fairy has granted one of your wishes, so that's one down and two more to go.

Doing the laundry got a bit easier with these computers and watching TV has become a little more complex, depending on how many gadgets you have hooked up. Everything I learned about TV's and computers from working in electronics at WalMart just a few years ago has changed. High Definition TV has been replaced by Smart TV and you can do just about anything from your comfy recliner with your remote, providing you have the right one. What I love the most is the bigger screen and the ability to watch whatever I want whenever I want.

Theres even a smart gadget to simplify life with Fido. Ever wondered what Fido does during the day? Furbo is a smart dog camera which lets you see what your dog’s up to, when they’re in front of the lens. A microphone and speaker let you talk to the dog or get an alert when the dog’s barking. And Furbo has one more trick up its sleeve: before you go out, fill the device with treats. Then, with a press of the screen in the smartphone app, Furbo will eject a treat for your dog to enjoy. Mind you, you shouldn’t be leaving your dog on their own all day, you know that, right? Now if somebody would come up with something to take care of the husband and kids, life would be sweet!

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