Rather weird title to a story, right?? I mean, nobody has ever asked whether my car was a professional wrestler. Come to think of it, nobody has ever asked whether my cordless drill is a veterinarian; nor has anyone wondered if my antique radio is related to the Queen of England. And I have absolutely no idea what any of that is all about, but it was fun to write those silly things with my typing fingers.
OK… so one might (or might not) ask, why would I tell all of you that my car is not a professional wrestler? Well you see it’s like this: my car is a minivan named Sienna. I only recently learned that she is female; but when I went to the Google to look up her name, the photo of a woman from Detroit popped up on the side of the screen. Apparently, Sienna the wrestler is a “two-time Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion.” I never met her, but I’m thinking I’d never want to make her angry.
No, my Sienna is from a factory in Princeton, Indiana. We recently found her sitting in a lot in Holland, Michigan. Her appearance was very timely; because my brand new 2001 Chrysler Town and Country was starting to behave rather badly. I don’t know if the Chrysler was a boy or a girl, but I dubbed it “Old Rattle-Bonken” because of the strange noises the suspension made when going over even the smallest bumps. I was hoping to drive it a couple more years, so we got the transmission rebuilt. Then the speedometer started dancing strangely and my brain started worrying about what was next. Therefore, Old Rattle-Bonken was traded in for Sienna.
When we first got the Town and Country, we thought we had something really special. Heated seats, leather interior, electric sliders, no rust… very clean. But then came this crazy Toyota thing. All kinds of bells and whistles, many of which I still don’t know how to use. It even warns me when cars are coming if I’m backing up!! Warns me if somebody is next to me in my blind spot!! Has a navigation system!! Moon roof!! VERY QUIET!! One of the quietest cars we’ve ever owned.
Just like the Chrysler, Sienna has steering wheel controls for the radio. Also has even more… I can connect my smellphone to her brain with bluetooth. Haven’t done that yet. Oh wait, I did by accident once. Then the other day I noticed this strange picture of a face with its mouth open on one of the little buttons on the steering wheel. I pressed it… a menu came up on the dashboard, and a woman started talking to me!!
“Blah blah blah… voice recognition… blah blah commands blah blah help.” I was so amazed I only comprehended bits and pieces of what she was saying. Then she went silent and the menu disappeared from the display screen. My experience with computers started to kick in, and I pressed the button again. More voice command stuff… but this time after she quit talking I said, “play the CD please.” She replied “disk,” and I answered, “yes.” Then she said “yes;” and VOILA!! the CD started to play. Then I said, “FM radio,” and she echoed my command, and I said “yes” and she said “yes” and the FM radio started to play.
Was this cool or what??
Then I got more adventurous: “tune to 720 AM.” She replied, “pardon?” Hmm… ok let’s try FM… “tune to 90.3 FM.” “Pardon?” she responded. I guess some commands just don’t register. Tried to go to the Google again and look for a list of voice commands that work but came up dry. Oh well, I’ll just keep trying. Maybe I’ll scour the interwebs some more to see what I can find. I’ve often wondered how safe some of this high tech car stuff might be, but looks like it might actually be helpful. Unless I’m hungry.
“Sienna, where’s the nearest restaurant?”
And now for something completely different…