May. 19th, 2017

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R. went for a bike ride today. I got one mile walk by myself and one much later with M. I ate all my meals at home. I think that was two days in a row of that, which is weird for me these days. I could sure tell because by the time I went for that second walk at 2 p.m., I had ingested far less sodium and had my feet up in the AC for a good chunk of the day. My sandals felt clownishly huge on me at the beginning of the walk, and still kind of sloppily large at the end. There is little I hate so much as the combination of heat and salt to make me swell up like a balloon. You can say it is middle age, except it has been going on pretty much all my life.

I picked T. up at school early, because he has a cold. He really wanted to go to school, tho, because it was Battlefield day in social studies, and they were doing the Battle of Bennington as the culmination of a long project involving collecting recyclables and making a quite large display thing.

Lego Batman is out on iTunes, so he's been hanging out in my room watching it on a big TV.

R. bought groceries. Other than that, I have been doing as little as possible, altho for obscure reasons I decided to vacuum the kitchen. I didn't even break out roomba for it -- I got the canister out. I did the main hall while I was at it, but then I stopped. If more than that needs to be done, it's time to invoke robots.

I had a nice, if interrupted (phone problems) conversation with K. today. I think there was some laundry done as well, and I'm continuing to slog my way through a book about the grid that I'm really unimpressed by, and has at this point started quoting Glenn Fleishmann (<-- I often spell that wrong. Sorry.). There's just something about books that quote people I actually (have) know(n) that makes me even more skeptical than I otherwise might be.

The citric acid arrived today, along with the lemon essential oil and the sprayer. So I have assembled a home-made cleaner (a first in nerdy/crunchy housewifery for me). Now I just need to get up the motivation to clean something to see if it works. If future me wants to know what is in that bottle, it's 1 ounce of the Anthony's citric acid, 16 ounces of water warmed in the microwave to maybe 160 degrees or thereabouts, and a few drops of the lemon oil. Also, I put the oil in the spice shelf with the other essential oils. If you are wondering.

ETA on Saturday: You upped it to 10 ounces of citric acid granules per 16 ounces of water.

ETA: We meant to go to the tile place today to pick out tile, but never got around to it. We do have a formal quote, however, and are working our way 'round to having a contract. Looks like this shower renovation is really going to happen.
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Amazon Alexa Prize or something along those lines is a competition to create a socialbot. Basically, it's become very apparent that people are talking to Alexa and expecting conversation. Amazon believes in a satisfied customer, so they are trying to get some innovation in a tricky arena.

A. likes talking to Alexa. This started before we had our own, when her uncle introduced her and T. to the joys of Ask Forafart. Alexa also tells a few jokes. Alexa's jokes are relentlessly safe for small children and mixed company. I'm sure someone could be offended (obviously, by the bad puns, but I mean for content), but I cannot actually imagine how, so I'll be requiring details if you were.

The socialbot feature, however, is NOT relentlessly etc. We went through several socialbots trying to get one that might be fun for an 8 year old girl to talk to, and we picked the first one that offered to tell jokes, and asked it for a joke. Here was the _FIRST_ joke it told.

"What should you do if you come across a tiger in a jungle?"

Answer: "Wipe it off and apologize." Could have been "Say you're sorry" -- I don't recall. I was so startled, that I didn't say anything at all until A. said, "I don't get it. Why is that funny?" and then I was pissed. I said "Stop", gave it a 1 out of 5, and gave additional feedback that they should tell jokes about orgasming in something likely to be used by small children, and for good measure, tossed in the Always Popular, "What the fuck is wrong with you people?" because hey, she's already just heard a joke about coming, let's just toss an f bomb in there for good measure.

I don't worry about f bombs around my kids. They've all heard that word and a variety of others many times and grasp that they are not supposed to be saying that around [insert long list of people here] or their parents will be in a lot of trouble (I'm quite clear that _they_ aren't the ones likely to be in trouble -- it would be us, for letting them use that kind of language). So far, I have heard nothing to indicate my kids are cussing like me whenever I'm not around.

But my kids are in that experiment with humor stage where someone is going to have to explain why each joke is funny in excruciating detail. And _that_ is NOT a joke I want to have to explain. Seriously.

I get that the teams are all university kids, and I, too, would have thought this was absolutely hilarious (wait, no, I wouldn't have, I would have eye rolled at the pun and probably punched the young man who made the joke. All of my inappropriate humor in college revolved around the number 69). However, it's no secret that kids are talking to Alexa. And the socialbots are supposed to be making that work better. So, really, pretty sure that I'm not the only parent who doesn't want to be explaining those jokes to their small children. Altho probably I'm one of the few who will complain about it via alexa while dropping an f bomb in front of said child.

ETA: Links to prove I'm not the only parent whose kid finds Alexa entertaining:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/amazon-alexa-kid-friendly/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-millions-of-kids-are-being-shaped-by-know-it-all-voice-assistants/2017/03/01/

Before you ask, yeah, I've seen the "digger, digger" video. A. was trying to get Alexa to play "Good Morning" by Grouplove (seriously, I don't _care_ how inappropriate something is around my kids, as long as (a) they can't understand it and (b) don't ask me to explain it. No one was ever harmed by a series of nonsense syllables they didn't understand as a small child. What those nonsense syllables _triggered_ maybe, but not the syllables themselves.). She kept getting something else. I eventually helped her out.

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