Over There: Stupid Decisions for a Smart Home
The brain is truly amazing.
You can catch lightning in a bottle once or twice a year and find yourself in a Costco warehouse when it’s not completely infested with people who don’t understand this when they leave a cart in the middle of an aisle. while they’re inspecting a package of crew socks, they’re in effect blocking that aisle for the rest of us. But no, hey, go ahead. We can wait.
Getting into a Costco and realizing it’s not full of idiots is just an amazing, calming moment that I never savor.
It happened recently, and I took my time to browse, browse, and study every item on every shelf.
I came across a fire extinguisher and thought, “Hmm. Don’t have one. He should probably have one. How much? $39.99. Hmm. OK. Let’s think about this before rushing into any decision.
Literally, 12 seconds later, I saw something called “smart plugs” and said, “Hmm. Outlets that will allow me to control electronics using WiFi? I have no use for it.
The smart plugs went straight to the cart without further internal debate.
Why does the brain work this way? I can’t begin to imagine the high speed calculations that take place. All I can do is slow down and think about it in terms I can understand.
My brain told me, “A fire extinguisher is a potentially life-saving, life-saving device at a very reasonable cost. It would be nice to have one. I should buy this.
Then he said, “Smart plug? I don’t know what we would use it for, but it looks really good and we must have it.
The debate raged for nanoseconds.
“Fire extinguisher? Well, it’s $40, and my house isn’t on fire right now, so maybe that purchase can wait. But that smart plug, I mean, right now I have lamps at home that I can’t turn on or off using my WiFi.
So I bought the four pack of smart plugs and left the fire extinguisher on the shelf because I’m an idiot.
When I got home, I looked for four outlets that I could use for my new smart plugs. There is a lamp in the dining room, so I plugged it in and got it working with my WiFi. I also have an Alexa device so everything is also connected.
Now I have a smart home and I can turn on my lamp just by taking out my phone, unlocking it with my face, opening an app, finding “Dining room lamp” on the app and pressing the button. ‘icon. Or I can say, “Alexa, turn on the dining room light.”
After this success, I connected another lamp in the guest bedroom/office. It’s so convenient, this new technology. If I’m in the office and want to be able to see, all I have to do is go back to the living room where the Alexa device is and ask it, “Alexa, turn on the light.” Alexa, not this lamp. Alexa, the other lamp. The desk lamp. Alexa, the desk lamp. Alexa, turn on the desk lamp.
It’s way better than The Clapper.
When it’s time to stop it, I do the same. I walk from the office to the living room and say, “Alexa, turn off the desk lamp.”
I’m so glad I don’t have to turn off old-fashioned lamps by reaching out and flipping a switch. So silly.
Oh, and the smart plug setup requires some oversight because if someone turns off the lamp the old-fashioned way, it won’t turn on in the high-tech smart way. For the smart plug to do its job, the light switch itself must remain on.
I have two other smart outlets in a drawer and I don’t know what to do with them. My wife suggested plugging in the coffee maker, but the coffee maker already has a timer. It’s a smart coffee maker that doesn’t even realize how ahead of its time it is. I have a fan in the basement. I could make a smart fan out of it, I guess.
What I really need is a smart or even stupid fire extinguisher.