Last week, I could have been one of 160,000 people who attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Last week, I also realized I have a long way to go before understanding even the most basic things CES has to offer. Here’s my story:

I was invited to an important gathering of the entire “family” recruited for an upcoming “Follies” musical appearing in April in Las Vegas. One of the producers of the function said if I came to his apartment, I could ride to the function with him and his roommates. That was great. The function was an hour away from my home–at night.

I had been to my host’s apartment twice before, so no problem. I knew the apartment was off Sahara right across Las Vegas Blvd. However when I crossed Las Vegas Blvd. I didn’t see the apartment building. I had to drive a fair way on Sahara before turning around and taking a second look. Still no apartment building. I stopped in a fast food driveway and called my host.

It wasn’t Sahara, he said; it was Desert Inn! Oh my God. I was so sure of Sahara I hadn’t checked my host’s address. And I had had plenty time to do so. Older must mean dumber!

It was dark, so I started south on Las Vegas Blvd. watching traffic and trying to look at street signs. My vision isn’t that of a 20-year-old, and soon I was almost at Flamingo. I called the host again. I had missed Desert Inn. My host was now late leaving for the function and asked me if I was comfortable driving the rest of the way on my own. I lied, “Sure!” I remembered that the address was way west near Flamingo and so I started. My host told me when I got to a certain street to call him again for the rest of the directions.

I have an older Garmin GPS which I keep in the car. I plugged it in the lighter socket, stopped again and put in the address which I retrieved from an email. No response from the GPS so I drove west…alone. I made the call as instructed and found my way to the entrance of what turned out to be a very exclusive community.

The community guard gave me a permission slip to enter and I drove in past some lovely trees decorated with holiday lights. But once in the community itself, I couldn’t see street names or addresses until I spied some mail boxes. How the heck….I was slowly driving looking at mailboxes when I heard a woman screaming. I stopped the car and saw a young woman come in front of my car to rescue a dog off leash who had stopped just in front of my car. Oh my God…

I wound down my window to ask if the dog was OK. It was. Then I asked about the street I was looking for. She asked if I had an iPhone. I did. She punched something and talked to Siri and suddenly a lady was giving me directions. I made it to the house and had a great evening, Whew!

I was somewhat anxious about finding my way back home. Singer Michelle Johnson and I were talking and she asked if I had an iPhone. I gave her the phone and she punched something and the lady’s voice as there again ready to direct me home. She knew my address? Yep. Wow.

I drove home with no trouble. The next day I was with a friend who uses Siri to make phone on her car system and I asked her how to get Siri on a phone. She told me to hit the button on the right side of the phone. I did that and the phone turned off. I hit it again and the same thing happened. We drove to our destination and I was in the car still trying to figure out how to get the Siri lady. Finally I found a site that said I should hold down the button awhile and Siri would come on. I did as told and finally found Siri.

I have had my iPhone 12 for four years. I use the phone for phone calls and looking up stuff. And I used to use my Garmin GPS for directions. However, now I have a new friend….Seri and a Maps icon.

The story has a happy ending.

This independent old dog has learned a new trick.

A favorite song comes to mind.

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