I should clarify that sentence, stating are new vehicles smarter than me? Well it seems they are as I discovered this week when my wife and I traded in her 2008 car for one 10 years newer.

I drive a basic van with no frills or fancy gadgets, and have been primarily driving vans for decades because I just need something to carry my mobile DJ equipment in when I have gigs. My wife prefers a small car, but one that is more like a station wagon that can easily fit two Greyhounds and an Italian Greyhound.

Her 2008 did the job for seven years (we bought it used, when it was six years old), but the expense of constant repairs got to the point that it didn't make sense to keep pouring money into a vehicle that will continue to have things break. The latest bill would be in the thousands to get everything fixed to keep it running. Not worth it.

So, this week, we picked out a used 2018 car, similar to the style we had, except different manufacturer. A lot has changed with vehicles since our last purchase, including USB ports, back up cameras, heated mirrors, heated seats, remote start, huge entertainment center, phone access, app access, and other stuff I haven't figured out yet. I'm used to the basic interior look of a car with manual adjust seats, windows that roll up and down sporadically, no gadgets, no cameras, no GPS. And a simple manual tune radio that looks like it's from the 1960s.

While we were getting  to learn about the car through our salesperson, I decided to pair my wife's phone with it. It was surprisingly easy to set up. And then I attempted to set up my phone, but was having trouble getting it to set up through Bluetooth. I was pushing all sorts of buttons and screen commands to no avail.

As I was fumbling around with that, I noticed an unfamiliar phone number pop up on the screen from my wife's phone. I thought I had somehow accidentally pushed a wrong button and now was calling someone we don't know. I'm desperately hitting buttons, trying to disconnect the call as soon as I could.

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Finally I was successful, went back to trying to pair my phone and the same phone number came up again. I quickly hung up the call, but then noticed that it looked like whoever was on the other end of this unknown phone number, was calling us back. I figured it would be an irate person telling me to stop calling them.

After a few minutes of this back and forth calling and hanging up, we answered the call. It was my wife's sister. Turns out, she had been trying to call us the entire time. I mistook it as us initiating the call from the dashboard screen. What a dummy I was.

It's going to take me awhile to figure out all these news gadgets, so yes, these newer vehicles are definitely smarter than me, but in time I will figure out how everything works. I think.

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