Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Whatever happened to just good old fashioned getting lost?

I am starting to wonder if we, as a race, are getting to the point where we need to invent something. Just .... anything.

GPS, TomTom, On-Star ... all of these "navigational" devices. Are they for the man who loves gadgets, or are they really for the good of the human race?

Here's where I go all grandpa on you...

In MY time, we used to set out in the old Buick Limited without a care in the world. If we got lost, we got lost. It was good for some fine family entertainment.

Pull over. Ask directions.

I know where I'm going.

No you don't. If you did, we would be there already. ASK for directions.

Nope. Going to figure this out on my own.

It was the sign of a strong man who could "find his own way." Or a strong woman. Whoever was doing the driving.

It led to self-confidence.

One time, when your Mom and I were out driving around, we got so lost that I had to actually stop, grab some berries on the side of the road for us to eat, throw some dirt to the wind to figure out wind direction, and I was able to figure out which direction to go.

Of course, if you asked my Mom for HER rendition of the story, it went more like this:

We were so lost, your father finally gave in to my hour and a half worth of nagging and stopped at Stuckey's for directions.

Now there is GPS. My FIL has it. And he has been known to use it for his trips up here. Mind you, my house hasn't gotten up and moved or anything, nor have the highway departments changed the numbers on the signs. He uses it ... just because he has it. To show off.

I have been in a Caddy with On-Star. The driver wanted to show how cool the feature was, so she called it. She didn't want anything. She just wanted to show us. So I am sure the On-Star operator loved that call. And can you imagine the calls they get?

No offense to those of you out there who have these services or items. I am sure they are wonderful gadgets to have. But doesn't it kind of take the fun out of .... getting there?



Anonymous Robin said...

My in-laws also have a GPS and as you well know, we travel a lot with them. We still manage to get lost. And, she only works about half the time. (Notice I call it "she"..they talk about her constantly, the whole trip, as if she is another passenger requiring a seatbelt.) They spend the ENTIRE time turning her on and off, questioning her (as if she will answer)..then when she is working, the voice (that blasted voice!!!) will say "turn in 500 feet". Matt's dad will then argue (one-sidedly mind you).."now that just can't be right!"
Matt and I just roll our eyes and hope that we will hit a bump and the window will happen to be open.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

That would drive me INSANE!

I remember going up to the Detroit Airport with my good friend from high school. That was when we were going to Germany ... Her Mom would have to read all of the signs to her Dad.

Now .. this is where you need to get off here ... Detroit International Airport (or whatever it is named on the sign).

Which one? THIS one? Is this the only airport in Detroit? Are you sure this is it?

Yes, Ralph. THIS is the exit for it.

Well, I'm not sure that's right... but.... ok.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I have yet to ever experience one of these gadgets. Not interested. I am of the "get-lost-once-and-it-won't-happen-again" ilk. No better or faster way to learn about a new area.

Step-mom-in-law has one. She's so proud of it it yanks my chain. Ick.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

On-Star has actually prevented me from killing my husband when we go on road trips, being that he has no navigational skills, and refuses to ask for help. On-star has saved him, and we havn't even been in an accident....

7:08 PM  
Blogger The "Mind" said...

Oh, I have a funny story. My friend has On-Star on her Saturn. Her brand-new Saturn (ok, so new last year).

Anyhow, she went to Home Depot (in LA) and parked by the only wall in the parking lot. She went in, did her stuff and came back out only to find that her vehicle was gone.

Long story short, she ended up calling On-Star to have them track her vehicle and call the cops. Her hubby drove into the parking lot and saw her vehicle at the opposite end of the lot.

I bought her one of those 99 cent Wal-Mart smiley face antenna balls wearing a joker hat and paid $3.95 to ship it to her just for the joke factor.

I'm an evil friend. LOL!

I hate the GPS systems and don't even get me started on the cars that park themselves. If people can't parallel park reasonably enough to pass, do we really want them licensed? Hmmm?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

Oh Sue ... THAT is hilarious!!!!

And yeah... those cars that park themselves. WTH is that? Please....

10:48 AM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

Well I am super paranoid about getting lost, so I would consider using one if it was a heck of a lot cheaper. Until then I use yahoo directions and print them off to take with me.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Ellie said...

I cannot stand getting lost because I am always running late as it is and getting lost does not help. I can't imagine driving without my TomTom ONE XL, it always gets me where I need to be. I tried the whole map thing a while ago but I always had to pull over and read it, GPS is so much better!

6:28 PM  

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