I Heart My GPS
There is no way around the fact I am a geek. Not an Ubergeek who would know how to put the umlauts (2 little dots) over the “U” in “Uber,” or a geek who can talk someone through a complex computer problem, but I do LOVE technology and toys. The latest gadget I consider to be life-altering and fabulous is our GPS.
We’ve actually had a GPS in the family for around 10 years. It’s a little hand held item I bought my husband for boating. It’s pretty nifty and really just for nautical use. Our exposure to a land type GPS was last May when we took a trip to Atlanta for a friend’s wedding. We rented a car and were tickled to see it had GPS. Since I was the navigator, I was entrusted with getting the device going. Kind of like Sulu in Star Trek, or maybe Mr. Chekhov, a Russian like me. Yes, a geek reference.
Anyway, upon turning on the device we found it to have a female voice so as a nod to our Georgia locale, Arthur dubbed her “Scarlet.” I was able to quickly program in our destination about an hour away, and we left the rental car lot to head on our way. We were also armed with written instructions to our destination. As we drove down the highway, Scarlet was telling us things that did not match up with our printed out directions. Whom to trust. It was a tough call but I think we went written. Passing Scarlet’s recommended route, she would patiently state she was “recalculating.” I explained to Arthur what she was really thinking was “listen you damn Yankee assholes, I told you to take exit 11!” Later on in our trip, Scarlet kept trying to get us to leave our written instructions guiding us to our friend’s lake house, and turn onto Short Bridge Road. One day we figured what the heck, we’ll take Scarlet’s route. Sure enough, in what we interpreted as payback to our arrogant Yankee selves for ignoring her day 1, Short Bridge Road was indeed short; it stopped abruptly and would have landed us in a lake had we not proceeded slowly with caution. “Scarlet tried to kill us” we proclaimed! Overall, we left Atlanta sold on the value of a GPS and intent on getting one. As luck would have it, Arthur’s birthday was coming up, so that was his gift.
I love the damn thing. So much that we even got one for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Around the holiday season last year, it was amazing at getting me to various offices and hospitals I needed to visit for work. One night when both Arthur and myself were headed to different destinations and he claimed the GPS first, I borrowed my parents’ for the night. I see my boss using Mapquest and shake my head sadly. I’ve given him the sales pitch and think he will cave any moment.
The voice our GPS is set to use is English Emily. It’s funny to hear her not able to pronounce the “th” sound we enjoy, and giving a British spin to other words. In an effort to be supportive, Arthur even downloaded the sexy Latin voice of Javier for me, but found it only spoke Spanish. We were both disappointed. If Javier spoke English, I wonder if we could have programmed it to say my first name before he spoke. Maybe there will be a Jean-Claude who has a wonderful accent and says my name. If they did, I might just have to drive cross country for milk, making lots of turns along the way *sigh*