Voice Control is On its way

Each year I spend a week upgrading the network, theater, and home automation. This year I have an ambitious agenda that includes incorporating Voice control to otherwise tedious duties. For example, there are a lot of light switches in the kitchen and it is a hassle turn turn each one off. I want to be able to say "Alexa, turn the kitchen off," and have the all lights and music turn off. Other commands are possible such as "Lock the front door," "Turn the movie theater on," "Play a Movie," "Play Pandora Jazz." I have set this up in Pittsburgh and it is incredible and very reliable. For guests, it means not having to learn what switch to flick, or what knobs to turn for entertainment.

amazon Echo home automation

Summer preparations

We always spend time in May to get ready for summer season. Here is some of what we did.

Varnished the dinning room table and bar

Re-finished the kitchen island with food-safe butcher block oil

Tested air-conditioning

Tested Nest system of Fire alarms and thermostats

Installed custom made copper motion night lights on the stairs

Re-programmed the entertainment system remote and added Amazon Echo voice control

Installed new home automation computer system

Added lights under the bar

Hauled out a ton of Virginian creeper and bittersweet

Added sensors to determine if various doors have been left open

Replaced gears in the garage door opener.

The bar predicts the weather!

The fossil bar is now lit from below. The color of the lights is based on weather forecast. The lights turn on at 9:00P and off at 11:00P

bar made of pewter, fossils, resin, and walnut

Blue = < 20% chance of rain

Green = 20-80% chance of rain

Red = > 80% chance of rain

New Osprey Cam

Just installed an upgraded camera to view the osprey nest behind the house. The new camera provides high def pics with 20x optical zoom. We get good pics now, although if I could just get it little higher, we could see into the nest a little bit. I am still fiddling with the software that records the videos and posts them to the website

New Sound System

We new powered speakers in the kitchen. It took awhile to hide the wires, but it turned out really well. Music can be streamed form computer, tablet, or phone or you can instruct Alexa to play music for you.

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