Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Tell Me Where To Go

Today's post is one of my random little ramblings.  As most of you are sadly aware of my propensity to come up with some  totally useless idea and spends hours wasting my time pondering the "what ifs" and "why nots" of it. 

So the other day, I am having coffee with some friends and they get started at how annoying the "recalculating" phrase on their GPS is.  This tells me two things.  They drive in the wrong direction a lot of the time or they aren't having fun pretending the following scenarios exist.

For those of you that need help in thinking totally useless, mindless, nonsensical thoughts, here is a post dedicated to you.

I know a lot of you are probably using GPS systems to get you where you want to go but there seems to be a lot of individual preferences that go with these little gadgets.  My hubby's GPS has a lot of voice options such as the choice between a female voice and a male voice.  There are options of different accents such as a British accent, Australian accent  or a Midwestern dialect.  You can even download voices such as Homer Simpson,  Mr. T, Burt Reynolds or Gary Busey. (I am at a total loss why someone would take the advice of Gary Busey even in the form of a GPS.)   The problem with downloading new voices to your GPS, the rhetoric is still the same.  The machine is still going to say "Recalculating" when you make a wrong turn.

I have a suggestion or two to keep things interesting.


Now some of you may have gotten accustomed of having a family member tell us how and where to drive.  If you are driving by yourself perhaps the "quiet" is throwing you off kilter.  My idea would be to have the ability for your GPS to say things like"
In point 5 miles turn left at Main Street...but if I were you I would go up to Broadway.  There is less traffic there.  You are going kind of fast aren't you?"

Another feature of this voice would acknowledge when you approach intersections by saying:
"Are you gonna stop or what?" or "Gosh, you about put me through the windshield."

Instead of Recalculating this voice says:
"You never listen to a word I say"

Bonus feature: This one has the ability to "gasp" every once in awhile.


*Note: the voice on this one has a rapper kind of quality, so keep that in mind when you read it.

This voice would say things like:
Yo, dog, we'll be hangin left at the next corner.

When approaching intersections  this one will say"
Come on bro, let's do it, go through it  (bonus feature..on the little screen their will be hands doing the raise the roof motion)

Instead of recalculating
Come On, dude, really??? Or the female voice might say "Oh, no you dihn't"


For your upcoming turn left it would say something like this:
If you really wanted to be nice you would turn left at the next light.  After all I have done for you it is the least you could do for me.

Instead of recalculating it would say:
You're just intent on breaking my heart. I was in labor with you for 72 hours and this is the thanks I get.


If you are just used to being yelled at and abused and this is what you are comfortable with, perhaps this is the voice that would  motivate you. (Clearly some of you respond to this or you wouldn't be with the jerk you are with)

For upcoming turns it would say something like this:
Listen you dumb a**, you need to get over in the right lane, now.  Turn right, are such an idiot.

If you make a wrong turn with this voice, instead of recalculating it says:
You are such a freakin' moron.

I will tell you that both hubby and I like having GPS in our cars and most of the time they are quite handy.  I like the feature on mine that tells me what the current speed limit is and what I am actually driving.  I always find the disparity surprising, alarming,  interesting.

One in a while, I will say that my as-of-yet-to-be-named co-driver has let me down a time or two.  Not long ago I was in a strip mall having just gone to the grocery store.  I was on the hunt of a certain type of vitamin which the Price Chopper didn't carry so I went out to the car and asked yet-to-be-named where there might be a GNC.  So she told me to leave the parking lot  going west

As I pulled out of the lot, she told me to take an immediate right hand turn......Go two miles to 127th St.

At 127th Street take a right....go two miles .......

At Antioch Road take a right and go 1.8 miles

Are you seeing what is happening here?  Right, right, right,  Turns out the GNC is just to the east of  the Price Chopper.  If I would have gone east out of the parking lot, I would have already been THERE.

Does this piano have a GPS on it? 

The Good for the Day....all the gadgets that are fun and usually help us.

The Bad for the Day... When they don't

The Weird for the Day...Both hubby and I happen to buy Garmin GPS's.  The Garmin International Headquarters is just down the street from where we live.  I always find it amusing when I call in for some reason or another and they ask me what the weather is doing where I am.  So much for small talk.

Do you use a GPS?  If so do you find it annoying? or helpful?  Do you use a GPS on your phone instead of your car?


Bob S said...

I love your posts. You are always so spot-on with the idiosyncrasies of everyday life. My Garmin has said "recalculating" so many times I keep expecting it to say "If you are not going to pay attention to me, I quit!"

The GPS on my Android phone skips the "recalculating" part and just gives the "new" directions without complaining. You know you have done wrong without having to put up with the indignity of being scolded for doing so.

The other part about GPSs that I find curious is the strange routes they will pick from time to time. On a recent trip to Dairy Queen in a strange town, the GPS took us off the main route and ran us through a quaint neighborhood. We made it, but a "real" person would have stayed on the main street. I just consider these side-trips as one of life's special adventures.

I hate to admit it, since "real men don't ask directions", but I really count on my phone GPS to get me to where I need to be. Even if it means that I take some strange paths to get to my destination.

Marcy L said...

So funny! I definitely hear "recalculating" a lot and could use some alternatives. I first used a GPS while on vacation in Ireland, and I still miss her Irish accent while driving around Connecticut. "Take the third exit at the roundabout..." I still call my GPS "lassie."

Cheryl P. said...

Loved you comments. True so true!!! I didn't realize the Android doesn't deem it necessary to scold. They should advertise that as the kinder gentler GPS.
And yes the routes are occassionally the scenic route. My voices should intro it as "Relax and enjoy today's tour". But it does always get me where I am going. Frankly even if I know the way, I like looking at the arrival time to see if my reputation for always being late is safe.

Thanks for the comment, it's should be the epilogue to my post.

Cheryl P. said...

Irish accent?? How fun is that? The only problem that would pose is I occassionally have trouble understanding Irish brogue. (which is really funny in itself, as I am of Irish desent). I always need a GPS when I drive on the eastern seaboard. Those roundabouts confuse the absolute crap out of me. Once I was driving from Newark airport to Scranton and got turned around on a roundabout and drove back 50 or so miles in the wrong direction. I am roundabout challenged.

Love the name Lassie for your GPS. I need to start thinking of a name for mine.

thanks for stopping by Marcy.

L.C. Griffith said...

Cheryl, I LOVE this post!! I would pick the backseat driver because it reminds me of my late mother. She never had a driver’s license but she was an expert driving instructor ;)

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Leah, that does make it extra funny that she was a backseat driver without ever being a frontseat driver. Heh heh.

For those of us that do drive.... I think I have a little of that in me too. It's hard not to be in control when you are used to doing the driving yourself.

Jewell said...

This was awesome! LOL I particularly like the idea of the "raising the roof" visual on the Urban Cool version.

That being said...I'll never consciously go out and buy a GPS system. They irritate me. I much prefer using an actual map. Especially after Springfield built the most recent version of the airport. They put on the local newscasts to NOT rely on your GPS system because it would take months if not a couple of years to update the systems with the directions to the new airport. Seriously? No thank you!

Not to mention actual paper maps don't require customer service. Unless you can't read, or the lines of a map manage to give you vertigo, then you probably should just hand over co-pilot duties to someone with a clue. =)

Cheryl P. said...

This is a case of me being conflicted. Kansas City has purposely made every subdivision a series of loops, curves and dead ends. I found that when I was still actually working that trying to find houses in some of the mazes of suburban streets was making me crazy. Plus I had the bonus of people in the car asking stupid questions like "do you think I could buy that house listed for $250K for $180K. It has purple in one of the bathrooms that would need paint." So I invested in a really good GPS that I could glance at at see the map while I drove. Live saver. But you are right in that if it is an area with new roads, you are in deep shit. That is why, I bought a lifetime update from Garmin. They will upload all the new maps as soon as they are available. Royal pain in the butt if you don't need it. But when you need it they can be your bestest, nicest friend. I really should get yet-to-be-named a name.