A week ago Saturday, we went to Alan and Fiona’s house for dinner here in the park. We were seated on the veranda enjoying fantastic “starters” suitable for my way of eating (Alan also eats low-carb) and watching the animals come to their garden for pellets, as they do to ours.
We sipped on our chosen beverages while engaging in lively and animated conversation. The weather was cool but not uncomfortably so, and as the evening wore on, Fiona handed me a wooly blanket which sufficed until we went indoors after dark for the main course. The dinner was delicious and prepared perfectly.
As we embraced the calm of the evening, especially when we were outdoors. Suddenly I heard music emanating from inside the house. I recognized Andrea Bocelli’s melodic voice in the background, so clear and concise. It sounded as if he was right there. I mentioned this to Alan, and he jumped up to show us where the music was coming from.
In his house, on a shelf was a small device, a JBL Flip Essential Speaker, that spewed out music as if it was coming from a powerful built-in sound system, similar to that we experienced at son Richard’s home in Henderson, Nevada. We were blown away when he suggested we ask “Alexa” to play a favorite song. In seconds, the music wafted through the air from speakers appropriately placed in the ceilings of every room in his house.
Now keep in mind that we’ve been “out of the loop” for many years, and although we were well aware of such technology, we didn’t have the “home” or suitable environment for such technology in our lives. However, I have particularly enjoyed talking to my Google phone, saying, “Hey, Google, play a song or do this or that.” That technology alone makes me squeal with delight.
Then, in the past six months when I had my FitBit Sense and found I could talk to it as well, reading texts, WhatsApp messages, and incoming phone calls, again, I found myself tickled with the technology, using it often, especially for setting timers needed for cooking, by simply saying to the app on my Fitbit, for example, “Set a timer for 10 minutes.” Ten minutes later, my Fitbit vibrates, reminding me the timer is up. I use this feature almost every day.
But music? I’ve missed it. In our old lives, we had an older but high-quality “stereo system” from the 1980s that blasted out great music any time we’d like, but of course, wasn’t Bluetooth enabled to perform like systems of today. We had parties playing in the background, quiet romantic dinners with music playing in the background, and busy times performing tasks around the house with music playing in the background. I’ve missed those times.
So, when Alan showed us a birthday gift he received from his son, which plays music in a manner comparable to a primary sound system, I was particularly enthralled. He explained how he could “tell” his phone to play a song or album on the “free” version of YouTube Music, and seconds later, the piece (s) were emanating clearly from the little device.
Yesterday afternoon, Vusi dropped off the package containing the machine I had shipped to Louise and Danie’s office. Within minutes, I checked South Africa’s local equivalency of Amazon, Takealot, found the device, and ordered it without flinching. It was priced at ZAR 1999, US $133.80. If you are in the US, you can purchase this product for ZAR 1478, US $99, at this link on Amazon.com. (Imported items always cost more in South Africa). (It’s too complicated for delivery trucks to get to our house on the bumpy roads).
We opened the package, charged the device, and within a few hours, it was fully charged using the orange USB cord plugged into my laptop. It took me less than five minutes to set up the Bluetooth connection with my Google Android phone. It works with Bluetooth on most brands of smartphones. We suggest you check online to see if it’s compatible with your phone.
Moments later, I told my phone using voice activation, “Hey Google,” to play Barry White’s old song, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” It didn’t have to have the YouTube app open! The music played, clear as a bell bringing both of us down “memory lane.” Time after time, we requested old favorites. The lousy mood I’d been in for days wafted away. The music was such a boon to my state of mind.
Our dinner company arrived promptly at 4:30, Kathy and Don and Linda and Ken, while I had an “oldie” playing. I couldn’t wait to show off my new toy. I only left it on for a few minutes. We had lots of catching up and didn’t want the music to drown out the conversation. Everyone shook their heads in wonder over my enthusiasm, and we went on to have a lovely dinner and evening in the bush, entertained by the great conversation and an endless stream of wildlife visitors.
With the 2200 hrs, 10:00 pm curfew in Marloth Park, the evening ended early. Tom did dishes while I cleaned up, and before too long, we were off to bed for a good night’s sleep.
We highly recommend this product if you’ve been longing for great-sounding music, whether or not you have Alexa, “Hey, Google,” or any other voice-activated phone that is compatible. It can also be used with laptops, tablets, and other devices, but I’ve yet to give that a try, so I can’t guarantee anything.
We’ll be “dancin’ to the music” yet again this evening as sunset falls. Of course, not too loudly. After all, it’s intended to be quiet in the bush.
Photo from one year ago today, August 25, 2020:
|One year ago, this photo was posted in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day#155, halfway through our confinement in the hotel. This building in London is the Royal British Society of Sculptors. For more, please click here.|