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Ok Google…

We bought a Google Home Smart speaker in May.

It took me a while to be certain of that first sentence. Should I just call it Google Home? Do you need to clarify that it’s a Smart speaker? I’m not sure of the correct etiquette.

Ok Google, what’s your name?

“You can call me your Google Assistant”

 

Bit formal eh?

From a gadget/techie viewpoint, Google Home is a pretty cool piece of kit.

I’ll level with you though…

I bought it primarily so we had a speaker to stream music or play radio stations on.

I know I know, there are better speakers out there if you want professional sound perfection. But – and I mean this – Meh!

Who has time for that treble, bass perfection and blah blah blah…

Most of my time spent listening to music is in my office whilst at work and, i have a set of Bose speakers for that. I get all the treble and bass that I need at my desk…

Ok Google, why did I change my mind?

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that.” 

 

There are just some questions that Google cannot answer!

At some point in the last few months I decided that I really wanted a smart speaker. We’d actually said a few times in the last year or so that we weren’t going to buy a smart speaker. We didn’t want to be listened to or have our speaker start buying stuff online that we didn’t want.

What can I say. I changed my mind.

Besides, we’re all being listened to anyway and, you can never have enough home deliveries right?

Verdict

Ordinarily we don’t really ask Google too many questions, yet. Maybe that will change over time.

And before you start telling me about reminders and phone calls and calendar syncing… yes, I know how that works. I’m just not really sure I need to do all that 21st century faux productivity workflow nonsense. My pace of life doesn’t call for that hilarity.

One odd little anomaly is that Google has joined in the conversation a few times when other people have been in the room. It’s as if it feels left out and wants to interject with some kind of fascinating insight. Also and only occasionally, the Google Home ads on Television have activated the speaker but, that’s not such a big deal.

Although when John Boyega asks who John Boyega is and Google tells him and us who John Boyega is, both on my tv screen and in my room… yea that’s annoying.

 

 

It’s not really that big of a deal.

Since we renovated our living space we have a more minimal open plan area for cooking, eating and living so it’s a perfect fit on our worktop and, as a speaker it’s more than satisfactory for what we want. 

So, that’s a thumbs up.

Although, maybe the coming soon to the UK Google Home Max will be a nice upgrade in the future? We’ll see.

Ok Google, switch off.

Boiling Water on Tap

This is not a review per se but, I wanted to share a few thoughts on the Quooker Tap which we added to our kitchen when renovating the house this summer. 

If you want to read the story of he renovation, it’s here.

Why no kettle?

If you know me, you know that I am a bit of a coffee fanatic.

Most speciality coffee shops have a very specific type of water boiler/tap on their bar and for a few years we had this running joke that I should have one installed at home. I already have a somewhat imposing Mahlkönig Tanzania coffee grinder which, despite some reservations sits well in our kitchen. A boiling water source seemed extravagant but, having instant boiling water? Handy right?

The truth is though, we hadn’t discussed a boiling water tap until we sat down with our kitchen designer and saw the tap in their showroom.

While she demonstrated the instant boiling water, Alan Partridge rattled through my brain;

‘Kettles are saaaaaad’

I’m not going to break down costs for you but, when we looked at the bigger picture, we decided to remove a part of the initial kitchen plan to make space in our budget for and also to justify the cost of the tap. It wasn’t a tough decision.

The Verdict

We love the tap. It’s easy to use. I keep telling people it’s idiot proof but what I really mean is, it’s safe. It’s efficient too.

“The Quooker’s perfect high-vacuum insulation means that it only costs 3 pence a day to have boiling water at hand, exactly when you want it.  What’s more, the Quooker ensures that you always have the exact amount of boiling water you need.”

We had a few little issues initially in the first few days of use. The light on the tap flashed on/off  which indicates that a reset is required. It did this a few times and we instigated a service call from Quooker but, then it stopped flashing. It’s as if our tap knew that someone was going to come and give it a good seeing-to. Oooh er!

It’s been perfect since then. We blamed the hot weather and, the world cup and ya know, the tap was still getting used to us!

What more can I say, we love it. It’s great to not have to wait for a kettle of course but, it looks great, takes up less space and we love the efficiency which is important whether you think so or not.

If the stats are true – and we’ve no reason to believe they are not – then it saves water and costs less over the long-term. Wasting less water has to be a good thing. I know these kinds of things are often met with scepticism, like me not washing my jeans…

But we’re sold on it.

‘Kettles are saaaaaad’

We bought our Quooker in Basil Knipe Electrics.

Dickies 872

Dickies trousers 872

Adidas Superstar. Dickies 872 in Olive Green. H&M Shirt.

And, proof that I don’t always wear denim jeans.

The trousers came from Urban Industry and are a super comfortable nice alternative to denim.

Pin of the week

Jose Mourinho

Football fans have short memories…

The new season starts today. I’m excited, always optimistic and try not to forget recent successes. 

My Pinterest.

Gutenberg

If you are a WordPress user you may have already used Gutenberg or at least have heard that it’s coming very soon. It’s been an optional editor for a while, available via plugin but in WordPress 5 we all get it automatically.

Exciting. Maybe. For some users they may not know anything until they update and, it may be a shock…

What is Gutenberg

“We call the new editor Gutenberg. The entire editing experience has been rebuilt for media rich pages and posts. Experience the flexibility that blocks will bring, whether you are building your first site, or write code for a living.”

You can try it out in your browser here.

WordPress has looked very similar for a long time now so, I think this is a good change and Gutenberg certainly looks slick. I like it. The aesthetic focus seems to be on writing and providing a less cluttered environment on your screen. I think Gutenberg has always done a decent job of achieving this but, it will be interesting to see if all WordPress users agree when it’s placed in front of them.

Of all the in-depth looks at Gutenberg around the web, I thought this one was worth linking to. A lot of web design I have worked on has been created using WordPress and some of those clients blog so I think this will be my go-to ‘you need to read this’ article as I’m sure there will be questions. 

Change is good though right? 

Favourite Jeans

Last week I gave away my first pair of Hiut Denim jeans. Here’s my favourite pair… the organic slimr, worn A LOT, repaired several times around the pockets, knees, crotch… they are truly loved. Like an old friend.

Boots Boots Boots

Chronicle Boot by Cat here. The sudden arrival of late summer rain meant I had to break out the boots…