This week I have taken delivery of an Amazon Echo, a voice controlled speaker. Why did I purchase it? One of my reasons is that I have wanted an entertainment device in the kitchen, the Echo is a hands free streaming radio. The audio quality is good enough for the environment and at half volume is plenty loud enough.
I wanted to time my cooking of a pizza, I set the timer with my voice. The Echo alerted me once the timer expired. This morning I walked in and asked for a weather report, I listened whilst I opened the curtains.
I’m still getting used to calling out to “Alexa” but its suprising how easily it is beginning to fit in to my life. It allows me to multitask in the moments where I have my hands full.
The only limitation so far has been the microphone. It doesn’t pick up well when the kettle is boiling. I’m guessing it generates too much white noise. Microphone pickup is generally good otherwise.
This morning I setup my slow cooker to produce a nice chicken curry. The gentle aroma has been drifting about the house all day. The only downside is I am still waiting for it to cook and I'm hungry now. Only another hour to go.
Last night I made the unwelcome discovery that my garage has been reaching the low low temperature at which my freezer stops cooling and starts warming. What made the discovery more unwelcome was my arrival back from the supermarket with a selection of goods to freeze. Rearranging a few items and consuming half a crispy duck; most of my provisions had been relocated. Tonight however was the big pizza bake. Three frozen pizzas (or thawed in this case) went in the oven. Stuffing my face I was still left with a remainder to go into the fridge. Tomorrow I have the option of 2 more pizzas or a pork dish for 4 people. It now appears that the freezer in the kitchen isn't too happy either. I wasn't planning on it but it's a weekend of Man V. Food.
My recent posts have been detailing my war with the local rodent population. The battle has moved from the kitchen into the loft in recent weeks. During the loft insulation project several large holes were sealed trapping the enemy in the loft, numbers unknown. A clean kill and subsequent silence on the front lead me to believe a victory had been achieved. A scouting mission today showed the bait had been taken and my foe had gone to ground avoiding detection. Cut off from its usual supply line it had taken the tainted food cache. I can't see my enemy but they are there. The signs of droppings not present before are an indicator of the restriction in their movements. The trap has been set, it is only a matter of time before their desperation leads to their downfall.
The food pictures are evidence from almost 2 months ago. Since that time there has been no more evidence of rodent food consumption. This week there was a smell in the kitchen that I assumed was the bin. Emptying the bin didn't shift the smell but I was preoccupied by an plague of flies that were seemingly entering by the window vents. After dispatching with 10 of the winged tormentors I set about an in depth search for the continuing smell. It was at this point I discovered a rodent in the food preparation area and was unsure about how to proceed. If only there were some kind of song for situations like this. So I present Gaddafi- the Rat. Why did I name it Gaddafi? Well much like the Libyan dictator there is a mystery surrounding its death and do I care as it's the outcome that matters most.
The puzzle is why did it settle on that location as its final resting place? It's a rather exposed position when the alternate option would have been behind the fridge or washing machine. I didn't set any traps nor use any rodent bait/poison. There was a dusting of ant powder about but that was mainly for controlling that invasion from the summer months. So how did it get in? Another mystery, perhaps from behind the sink, something that will not be known for sure until a new kitchen is fitted.
What will I find in my kitchen next? After invading ants, flies and a rat I am worried about the increasing size of the invasion force. Maybe an angry cat, a curious fox or a misplaced bison will be next. I will be keeping my kitchen door firmly shut and in future only entering with suitable armament.