by Craig Cooper
Editor

Good ol' technology. Things have become a lot simpler when it comes to Bluetooth hands-free sets in cars.

I accidentally connected to the built-in, hands-free in my vehicle for the first time this week.

And then driving to Dargaville, my phone rang.

The radio stopped and the ring tone seemed to be louder than usual (it was coming through my car speakers).

Advertisement

I pulled over and took the call by pressing the "answer" button on my phone.

I was mildly startled when the person's booming voice emerged through my car speakers.
It was Charmaine Seljuk from The Hits.

It sounded like God was speaking to me from all corners of the vehicle.

I turned Charmaine down, took my phone away from my ear and realised she could hear me through the hands-free if I spoke out loud.

Driving home that night I thought I'd call my wife.

"Call Em" I said.
"Call Kim?" Was the response.
"No" I said.
"Sorry" said the car.

I tried again.
"Call Em".
"Call Kim?"
"No".

At one point, we were dialling Kim. Who I know pretty well and hung up on.
Although I may have to explain a couple of random missed calls from me.

I tried phonetic variations, I even tried different accents.
No luck.

Ms Bluetooth somehow directed me to the "dial number" option.
Easy, I thought.

Except that any word you say is interpreted as a number.

"I am not an idiot" equals 3, 6, 2, 9, 4, for example.

(Tragically, for the sake of accuracy I left my keyboard to go out to my car and check what "I am not an idiot" translated to as a number, and forgot my phone).

Time to read the instructions, me thinks.

And for a quick change in tack: Team New Zealand's move from arm-powered to pedal-powered grinders has an air of an April Fool's joke about it.

I need to say first up that my yachting experience is limited to a beach umbrella in a dinghy in the Ngunguru River, and acting as ballast in a single race that was on the Whangarei Harbour.

We had motored to the start point.

When we switched to sail power and began to tack I fell into the back of the boat because I was unaware of the angle we were about to lurch to.

Lurch is probably the wrong word, the control of the skipper was admirable.

We won. Not because of anything I did other than turn up, and eventually extricate myself from the back of the boat while the person who had invited me wet his pants laughing.

You need to move about a boat with sureness of foot. Are Team New Zealand's new grinders going to be constantly hopping on and off their bikes?

My cycling experience is marginally better than my yachting endeavours, but will ballast be an issue? Cyclists tend to be whippets.

Powerful whippets. I witnessed one cycling at 50km/h recently, looking like he was doing it with ease. He didn't seem to be having any problems with his Bluetooth either.

Good luck to them, I guess.