Lynnette Molin, of Metairie, tells an "advances in technology" story:  

"On Thanksgiving day, we face-timed with my daughter and her husband in California. At one point the son-in-law got up to go to the kitchen. We could hear him say, 'Alexa, start a timer for the mushrooms.'

"To which our Alexa Dot responded, 'Mushroom timer, 10 minutes, starting now.'

"After laughing, I had to tell my Alexa to turn off the timer.

"When I need hearing aids, I will be calling the people who make Alexa."

Good dog, Abita

Catherine Altazan, of Port Allen, says, "After reading T-Bob Taylor's Saturday story of his German shepherd lunging at a Texas lawman, I had to write of a similar, but more pleasant, experience.

"My husband, Jim, was driving down La. 1 with our 85-pound German shepherd, Abita, in the back seat of his truck.

"He was late for her vet visit, and was driving over the speed limit when he was pulled over by a West Baton Rouge constable's officer.

"As the officer approached the vehicle to ask for Jim's license and registration, our nosey and playful Abita shoved her head through the front window to see what was happening.

"With her beauty, charm, and excitement, Abita won the deputy over. After petting her a while, he let Jim go with a simple warning.

"So, considering how they can positively influence the law, maybe everyone should drive with a large German shepherd in their back seat?"

(Good idea, Catherine, but I'd make it "a large German shepherd in a good mood…")

Which reminds me

Speaking of distracting law officers:

One Sunday afternoon I was heading back to Baton Rouge on U.S. 190 after visiting my brother and his wife in Oakdale.

Just for the heck of it, I got on the Rosedale Road at Erwinville to drive into Port Allen. It's a straight shot through sugarcane fields, and I was going a bit over the speed limit when a state trooper came out of nowhere and pulled me over.

As I got out of the car and was waiting for him to walk over, I saw on the roadside a snake that had obviously been run over. Another snake, alive, was wrapped around the dead snake.

When the trooper got up to me, I pointed this out, and we speculated that the live snake was the dead one's mate, and what an unusual and touching sight it was.

After we chatted about snakes for a moment, he said, "Slow down!" and got back in his car…    

Devil's ham

After I mentioned Bill Huey's deviled ham recipe as a way to use Thanksgiving ham later in the week, I heard from Shirley:

"So, Smiley, are you going to share that deviled ham recipe or keep it for yourself? I usually have ham left over from Christmas, and a new ham recipe would be nice."

At the risk of alienating our food writers, I'm moving into their territory and giving you the recipe. Bill doesn't specify exactly what amount of condiments to use, leaving it up to your taste buds to decide:    

"Lean sliced ham, chopped fine, 5-6 ounces; handful hamburger dill pickles, chopped fine; few gratings of onion, for the juice; equal parts mayo, Durkee Famous Sauce, Dijon mustard; touch of horseradish; dash Lea & Perrins, dash Tabasco; ground black pepper.

"Mix, cover, let flavors get together at least an hour. Serve on water crackers so the flavor comes through."

Special People Dept.

— Helen Babin Harbourt, of Sunrise at Siegen in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 97th birthday Monday, Nov. 30. She's a native of Cornerview, in Iberville Parish, who has lived in Baton Rouge most of her life.

— Art and Shari McDowell, of Covington, celebrate 52 years of marriage Monday, Nov. 30.

Dangerous bird

Robert E. Thomas, of Metairie, comments on Tony Falterman's mention of rock bands in the Saturday column:

"Oh no! Mr. Falterman has opened Pandora's box with his comments on notably strange rock group names. Prepare to be deluged with submissions.

"My personal favorite — 'Atomic Rooster.'”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.