Google Home Might Be Greatest Thing Ever

Don’t tell my wife, but I’ve fallen in love with another woman. Well, another woman’s voice. OK. Not another “woman” in the literal sense, but the female voice that greets me when I say, “Hey, Google,” many, many times each day.

How did I not rush out and buy one of these things the minute it was invented? At one point in my life, I was an “early adopter” of things, and now I’m a Johnny-Come-Lately.

But I don’t care. I love the Google Home Mini that I got in a white-elephant gift exchange last weekend. Yes. It’s only been one week, but that’s all it took to fall head over heels in love.

“Hey, Google …dictate a WordPress Blog entry…”

Full disclosure, no, I didn’t do that, but I’ve synced a buncha stuff. I can play anything on Spotify (I have premium …because I’m awesome). I can ask for any local station on iHeart. I can ask for the sound of a rain forest or ocean waves. I can ask for the 5-day forecast. I can ask for a joke. I can ask for The Eagles Greatest Hits played on shuffle.  I can ask it to play Penatonix Christmas CD, or for an Old-Fashioned Christmas playlist. I wanted to hear Paul Simon’s Graceland and it was as simple as, “hey, Google …play Paul Simon’s Graceland album.”  And …poof …just like that, there it was, playing in brilliant sound from my Mini.

google-home-product-photos-20Did I say, “brilliant,” sound? I did. For a small speaker, it has surprisingly quality audio. And when I upgrade to the original Google Home, and pair that with two Minis in well-positioned spots around my main room, I’m going to have a poor man’s Sonos system that fills my house with sound, recipes, news reports, and eventually will control my lights and crap. Remember when I wanted a Sonos system in the worst way? Well …you probably don’t remember, but I did, and now . . . no more.

I’m surrendering my life to Google Home. I have 9 Google Apps on my iPhone, now, and used Googe Assistant to set myself a few reminders. I’m becoming addicted to voice commands.

My life will never be the same.



Things I Love: Other Bloggers

It’s week three of my #ShareSunday experiment. I had to pick a new #hashtag because #SS is already pretty popular on Twitter, and since I can’t figure out what #SS means (though I’ve concluded it’s not Nazi related, which is a relief), I’ll just write shorter Tweets and go with #ShareSunday.

#ShareSunday is where I applaud other blogs I read, hoping you’ll take a look, and be inspired by them, too. Usually it’s three blogs, but this week, I’m only talking about two.

Jeff Goins: Writer (you might have to try this URL:

I’ve heard it said dozens of times, but if you want to be a writer, you have to read. First, read the type of books like you want to write and second, read about other writers. Luckily for the modern writer, most authors have their own blogs where they “brain spill”. That’s what I call what is written between projects and books. Think of a writer like an Olympic athlete. We see them swimming and sprinting every four years. In between those times, we don’t think about them. But trust me, they’re out there, liftings weights, running, waking up early, skipping sweets and candy, hoping to stay in perfect shape for another shot at medaling or being invited to the next Olympics. Writers are like that. In between critically acclaimed best-sellers, they’re up early writing, jotting down ideas, and hoping to get back onto a best-seller list again.

Well, reading Jeff Goin’s blog is like having a training partner. He’s an accomplished writer, and I’m not really his peer, but his blog doesn’t make him sound like he’s dictating his next book to a paige he hired to record and transcribe his every word while he sails around the world. He’s slugging it out, writing daily, little by little, and sharing his advice as he discovers it.

Earlier this week, I wrote something for my wife on her 40th birthday, but I almost didn’t …until I read what Jeff Goins said. He said, “learn to write for yourself.” I’ve always kinda felt this way, but assumed it was a completely self-defeating way to write. It’s like saying, hey, I’m going to write about myself and when I don’t sell any books and nobody reads my blog, I’ll blame the lack of readers on the fact they don’t ‘get’ me.”

Message received, Jeff. Now, I’m not going to start blogging about how long my shower was this morning (3 minutes 14 seconds, by the way), but I’ll write what I think is important, interesting, or funny and see if readers like me for me.

Here I Go With All My Thoughts by Megan

Every blog starts somewhere. Every writing life starts with the discipline of writing, which involves learning to observe life, notice things others maybe don’t realize they’re noticing, and learning to express yourself in an unguarded way. Megan started her blog, I wanna say, 2 or 3 years ago inspired by the passing of a dear friend, and she wrote it like therapy (that’s how I saw it) and it’s grown into so much more. Part journal, part creative writing, part motivation …what it’s grown into is a story of a Millenial in her early 20s navigating life. I think everyone wants to write a blog and immediately have 1,000 readers and be asked to be on a radio show to talk about the book she’s releasing, but it doesn’t happen that way. Instead, it starts with hard work and being there nearly every day with something to say. She writes from the heart. Her struggles, challenges, and triumphs are familiar, I think, to almost everyone. Megan doesn’t hide from the bad and sad moments, doesn’t sugar coat her feelings, and is proud of her faith and her friends. Reading it reminds me that blogging and writing must be done in your voice.

As a blogger, I like to read other blogs. Big, small, funny, deep, meaningful, and some with pictures of cups of coffee. I hope you’ll add these to your blog roll and read them from time to time.

I sometimes Tweet some other blogs, so if you want to know more blogs I’m reading on a daily basis, follow @donkowalewski.

Things I Wonder: Is it Really Thursday, Already?

Why does my HP Mini laptop have a power chord with three prongs and the cord is thicker and more industrial looking than most of the cords on my power tools?

How did it get to be Thursday, already. I had many goals for this week, and wondering about how passage of time works wasn’t one of those goals.

What do you think would be a good name for my salsa and/or salsa company? Right now, the only thing I can come up with is Donnie Jalapeno Super Salsa.

Why do people say they “hate the Woodward Dream Cruise?” Especially Detroiters? They site traffic, exhaust fumes, and too many people all jamming around an 11-mile stretch of road and making things crazy for 4 or 5 days. I think even the haters, deep down, love the Dream Cruise just like I do. It’s such a celebration of Detroit and our nickname, “The Motor City.” Way back when, we proud Detroiters had the hardest working people building cars for the world. And we had the smartest marketers telling the world, oh, you need cars. In fact, they said, you need two cars. Further, do you know your car defines you and tells the world who you are? Yes …think about it. Somehow in a world without highways, expressways, and sprawling suburbs, auto and ad executives convinced people life would be better with a car and a car payment, and the added expense of gas and maintenance, not to mention adding one more thing to a long list of things that could kill you.

Once we wanted cars. Now we NEED cars.

So, that’s just something that makes me scratch my head. People hate the Dream Cruise. They mock it. They act as if it so negatively impacts their life, it should be cancelled.

Do these haters realize you can drive less than a 1/2-mile east or west of Woodward and barely know it’s even happening?


Why can’t people relax? Don’t watch the news channels …nobody ever relaxes there.

What were those firecracker/explosion noises that woke me up at 1:30am, last nigh?

Who is reading this blog entry?

And, really …I need ideas for names for my salsa. Help.

Do you get rubber in all four gears?