Of Phones and Cars

In my life I’ve owned exactly four cell phones.  In 1997 I purchased a cell phone when my father was hospitalized with a major stroke and I wanted to stay in touch with his doctors.  In 2002, Heather and I purchased the then trendy flip phones just after we were married.  In 2013 we purchased our first smart phone, iPhone 5s – partly because Heather ran into the ocean with hers in her pocket and partly because I needed one for work.

Last summer tragedy struck again when, in rapid succession: Apple announced no more iOS updates for iPhone 5s and Starbucks announced that its app would no longer be supported on iPhone 5.  It was very sad as I had only just started using the Starbucks app to order our drinks so we didn’t have to wait in line for our Saturday fancy drinks.

Sigh …

That was August and at that moment I decided that I wanted an iPhone 11.  So I researched, discussed with Heather and generally procrastinated because I was afraid I’d lose all my contacts if I upgraded.

In January I finally called Verizon and told the nice lady on the phone, “Send me two new iPhone 11s.  Here’s my credit card number … no don’t tell me the price or I’ll hang up on you.”

It’s great!  I love the thing – big screen, face recognition, still plays my favorite solitaire game and Starbucks works again!!!  Now I wonder why I waited so long to buy one and I’m still apologizing to Heather for that.

When it comes to cars – I do the same thing, rarely buy one.  The last car I bought was in 2006.  Heather’s was purchased in 2003 and in 2012 I finally scrapped the truck I purchased in 1991 …

Recently we became aware that our younger grandkids were learning to drive and could use a car to drive to college.  When did that happen? I swear we were just buying them Lego for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Then I started to hear something about Apple CarPlay.  I looked it up on the internet, cool stuff – I can download music from my computer and play it in the car, use the Siri to send text messages and tell the map system to find the nearest Starbucks.

Well, that sold me and we decided to give both our old cars to the grandkids and buy new cars for ourselves.  We did our research and annoyed car salesmen all across town in our search.  My first question was always, “Does this support Apple CarPlay?”

Of course there were the boring questions like, “What are the safety features? Milage? Why do you need heated seats in California?”  Last time I  went shopping for a car I annoyed sales staff by counting cup holders.  This time I counted USB connections.

Last weekend we walked onto a Subaru lot and met a salesman who’s first name was, “Ford.” At that moment I knew he’d just sold two cars.  Come on — a guy named “Ford,” selling Subarus?  It was a moral imperative to buy cars from this guy.

They had my car on the lot and Heather’s had to be driven over from a different dealer.  By Tuesday we had four cars on the driveway and I had a stack of manuals to figure out how to drive these things.

I have to say, these new cars are a bit like driving a computer – apps on the dashboard?!?  I just hope they never update while I’m driving.  Anyway, I got the iPhones paired with the right cars and was able to ask my car for directions to Starbucks, stock prices, play music, etc …

So this week has been car paperwork, cleaning out old cars, trying to figure out why my new car was beeping at me and why is the speedometer telling me to check the back seat when I turn the engine off. I do have to say it’s a very polite car – the dashboard says hello when I start it and goodbye when I get out.  Plus it leaves the headlights on long enough from me to get the key in the front door.

Next weekend we’re delivering old cars to grandkids and I’ll be driving around asking the new car questions.

I’m going to see what happens if I say to Siri, “Order me a grande raspberry latte from Starbucks and then give me directions to it.”

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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34 Responses to Of Phones and Cars

  1. Pingback: In which I show my blog buddies I care. | parentingisfunny

  2. Okay, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute… Starbucks has raspberry lattes now??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I resisted any cellphone for a long time — afraid that people at work would use it to tether me to work 24×7. But now, I take it everywhere. I don’t generally buy things that work just because a newer version of car or phone or whatever is available.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. George says:

    Congratulations! We got hooked on Subaru’s a few years back and when I got my Outback, I knew it would be with me for a long time I’m not a fan of the feature that shuts the car off every time you come to a stop so I have to disarm it each time I get in the car, but I love that car. Good luck on that learning curve..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LOL! “A moral imperative” to buy a Subaru from Ford? Absolutely! 🙂 Congratulations on your new phones and vehicles. I’m afraid that soon the iPhone SE will go the way of the 5 and I’ll have to upgrade, too. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christi says:

    Ah, we got a Subaru last year and absolutely love it! It’s an Outback and it’s mostly my husband’s, handles Minnesota winters like a dream. I drive the Toyota and now I’m trying to talk him into getting me a Forester. Only seems fair, right?!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I literally laughed out loud that your Subaru salesman’s name was Ford! As a Subaru owner three times over, I approve of your choice. Both my hubby and I drive Foresters and we are finding it’s time to part with the oldest one that has a ton of mileage on it. We went car-“hoping” (yes, hoping, not hopping) last weekend. Looked at several different brands and models and kept coming back to the new Foresters. Not ready to buy yet, but it’s more than likely that’s what we decide upon. Although, I may need lessons on how to drive it if it’s anything like the ones you just got. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dfolstad58 says:

    New vehicle sounds fantastic but also a little intimidating to me

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lorieb says:

    good for you for embracing what modern technology has to offer. I am always telling my hubby to get out of the past and move on. Time (convenience) is money!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My son is looking for a car based 99% on its infotainment center. I barely knew that was a word!

    BTW, don’t check the stock market today. It will not be good for your health.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A lot of the young folks at my office are doing the same thing when looking for a car. and too late, checked the market before my email. The only good news, I don’t need to sell stock this week …

      Liked by 1 person

  11. dorannrule says:

    Looking forward to the continuing saga about learning to drive your new cars. We gave our old Crown Vic to youngest grandgirl and she loves it. I am still trying to figure out my new car…a 1999er.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. G. J. Jolly says:

    A humorous post, Andrew, although, it does tell me how far apart we are in income. Enjoy your new toys!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Alien Resort says:

    As busy as everyone is, I wonder how anyone finds the time to read the owners manuals.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. PiedType says:

    So much fun and useful stuff on cars these days. My Suburu Forester is a 2011 and has run flawlessly. So I approve your choice!!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Debra says:

    How exciting to have two new cars with all the bells and whistles. Your grandkids are lucky you were really curious about Apple CarPlay. And you must have made Ford a really happy man. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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