Networking and Hydration

I managed to get my US news back on my Amazon Alexa. I bought one of these tiny pocket routers/hubs, plugged it in, uploaded a small zip file which I downloaded via my VPN, which contained al the OpenVPN details for the account I use. Minutes later, I’d connected my Alexa to it and was back with news on tap. The only downside is that my every interaction with Alexa bounces across the Atlantic, meaning there’s a lag of about one or two seconds more than if I was using UK servers.

Yet now I’m back using Alexa, I also find myself swearing at it more than I’ve done recently. I’m not sure if there is a setting I’ve changed but the damn machine keeping wishing me a good day. Not sure what the US servers will make of my northern accent telling Alexa to “piss off” but there’s something  particularly annoying about an automated service saying things like “hope you’re having a good Monday” when you’re not.

So far today, I’ve been up to my ears with phone calls, arrangements, and other things today and really don’t need to hear “have a good day” from a machine that’s never had to endure being put on hold. First, it’s entirely meaningless coming from a machine, and, second, it’s filled with the kind of optimism that might be prevalent among Amazon engineers on their oodles per year, with healthcare, pensions, and supermodel waiting for them at home, probably in a beachside house with a Labrador and white furniture made from organic pine and recycled polar bears.

My other purchase from Amazon (and, yes, I know how evil it is to use Amazon but I don’t have the luxury of the kind of income where I can buy morally) was a 1.5 litre water bottle which I’ve now emptied for two days running. After recent events, I realised I should probably be hydrating more myself. I bought the bottle thinking it would be impossible to hit the government’s recommended 1.2 litre a day target (in the U.S. it’s 1.8l). Fact is, I tend to finish it by about 3pm, which is either good going or foolish given the number of interruptions I find myself having…

Tricky business this hydration.

4 thoughts on “Networking and Hydration”

    1. Not a stupid question at all and perhaps I hadn’t explained it well. A few of the big US news networks also broadcast their channels audio only (most carried, I think, on TuneIn which is available on Amazon devices). Unlike UK news channels, US cable news tends to be more commentary and discussion rather than news reports. I like listening to them rather than actually looking at them. They’re like one huge never-ending political podcast.

  1. Well that sounds hellish to me but if it makes you happy I’m glad you got it back. 😝 Seriously though I may look into that for election night.

    1. I consider it work and I also know there’s far worse work I could be doing. Plus I genuinely enjoy listening to political arguments around big subjects. Of course, it also helps that I’m often listening when drawing or playing a game.

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It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?


Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.