Just Talkin’


To survive these days, you have to find the humor in every situation.

Such was the case Monday evening at City Council in the midst of a report on the brown and yellow water flowing from water pipes. One resident was telling about the “yellow water” in his commode and scolded his young son, just 7 years old, for not flushing. He was relieved to find out the yellow water is from the pipes, not from the youngster.

JT was heartened because he has had no brown water so far but the consultant said it will surely reach his house eventually. No one will be immune.

JT is happy to relay a story from a couple last week who had a great experience on the NSU campus. They prefer to remain anonymous but asked JT to pass this on. “We were at Café Demon last week, when a student insisted on paying for our smoothie drinks.  His name is Braxton Brown from New Orleans. He would not take our money and swiped his card to pay for our drinks.

Later I asked his name and told him I would tell Dr.(Chris) Maggio about his courtesy.  He replied, ’When I first came here, I got locked out of my room. Dr. Maggio helped me get it open and helped me move my belongings inside.’  Braxton said he just wanted to “pay it forward” and did so with his kind gesture. His attitude shows why NSU is such a great place to be.”  The couple passed the story on to Chris and he responded, “As you know, we have some great kids and this story has made my day. We continue to stress to these kids service and giving back and I’m so glad to see this!”


JT heard about this and couldn’t wait to share it. Techno-gadgets are everywhere and doing everything, with the intent of making our lives easier and more organized — until something goes wrong. Then this happens. Buddy the parrot showed he’s a pretty clever boy by mimicking his owner to go shopping via Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled system. Shocked owner Corienne Pretorius could not work out how she had requested a $16 set of gift boxes until she realized her African grey had bought them. The five-year-old pet had impersonated one of her conversations and placed the order while she was out. Buddy activated her $250 Amazon Echo smart speaker, which connects to the internet shopping giant’s artificial intelligence hub. Users can bark commands at it to control heating, order takeaway or access a host of other services. It responds to the name “Alexa” and hilarious footage filmed by South Africa-born Corienne shows Buddy squawking “Alexa!” in her voice. The bird adds in the film: “Oh, um, hang on! Alexa!” As Buddy shrieks, the top of the device on a shelf next to his cage can be seen lighting up blue — showing just how the shopping order was made. Corienne, 39, of Greenwich, South East London, had ruled out civil engineer husband Jan, 45, and son Jaden, eight, before she worked out who was responsible for the order. She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I realized that Buddy had made an Amazon order. “We’ve had the device for four months and I use it to play music or make ‘to do’ lists but I’ve never ordered anything online.

“When I came home on Sunday, I could hear Buddy talking but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. Then I heard Alexa say, ‘Sorry I didn’t quite get that.’ Buddy said ‘Alexa’ and some gibberish, and the machine replied, ‘What is it you want to order?” “I didn’t hear what happened after that and didn’t think anything of it until I got a notification that my Amazon order had been placed. “I hadn’t ordered anything. I asked my husband and my son who didn’t know what I was talking about.

“So then I asked Alexa, ‘What was my last order?’ and she said it was these golden gift boxes. “I laughed out loud because I knew then that it was Buddy. “Buddy is hilarious. We have a cat and he mimics that too.” An Amazon spokesman said customers using Alexa are asked to confirm a purchase by saying yes. He added: “You can also manage your shopping settings in the Alexa app, such as turning off voice purchasing or requiring a confirmation code before every order. “Additionally, orders placed with Alexa for physical products are eligible for free returns.”

JT saw Times editor Juanice Gray hobbling along with a walking boot on her left foot after coming back from vacation. Seems she got a nice cow elk with her muzzleloader while hunting in Colorado, but the cow got her back later. She and husband, Ralph, were getting the elk packed out when they had a mishap in the mountain terrain and Juanice wound up with a severly sprained ankle, with fracture. The boot will be her friend for a few weeks. Juanice said every time she goes to work at the Natchitoches office she manages to wind up in some kind of leg brace within a few months. Last time she was here, as Lifestyle and News editor, she tore her miniscus and was on crutches and a full leg brace for months. JT said it isn’t the Times fault, she just keep putting her foot in her mouth! Juanice just chuckled and said “Always.”