Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More idjits with GPS devices.

The insurance lady was supposed to meet us at the house. My wife went ahead to the house, while I took care of some other stuff at the old house. Half an hour later, she called me to ask me to look up the insurance agency and contact the appraiser, to see if she was lost. I dutifully did so, and soon met the frustrated appraiser on the phone.

"I just called to see if you're lost," I said.

"Oh, my lord, YES, I'm lost," she replied.

"Well, where are you, and I'll vector you...?" I began.

"This darned GPS! It wasn't finding new streets, which are important when you're an insurance appraiser, what with new construction..."

"If I could just get the..." I tried to interject.

"...So I downloaded the upgrade, and now the stupid thing won't find the new streets correctly. Or even the not-so-new ones," she complained.

"Or the streets that have been platted for one hundred years," I chuckled wryly, thinking of the old town plat that I had seen at our city hall, showing my street planned by the railroad in the 1880s.

"Uh huh," she responded. "Can you help me?"

Finally. "Sure. What road are you on?"

"Well, I'm near a silo, and a mailbox that says... wait, does your mailbox say Weinhardt on it?" she asked, completely ignoring my question.

"You're near the Weinhardt place?!?" I said. "So you're at the corner of Harding and FM 1234. Come south," I advised.

"Is that to the right or the left?" she asked.

"I don't know which way you're facing. Just come south on FM 1234," I responded.

"But I don't know which way that is," she said.

I was perplexed. She had a GPS on her dashboard. Every screen indicates N, S, E, W of every GPS I've ever seen. The time was 9:30 in the morning, with the sun still closer to the eastern horizon than to the zenith. My children could easily extrapolate "south" from that information. FM 1234 is a north/south road, with Smallville to the north, and Tinytown to the south.

"Okay," I said. "Do you know where the main four way intersection in town is? Go that way."

"Of course I do," she said tersely. "I've lived here all my life."

Of course she has.

- - - -

I'm beginning to formulate a plan to implement Basic Orienteering into the mandated skill set that must be shown to receive a state driver's license. Normally it goes against my nature to add more requirements, but to most of us, this would be a cinch. To those whom it is not, this would be a valuable vetting technique for the safety and well-being (and sanity) of the rest of us.

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At Friday, October 24, 2008 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Too funny! If she was that lost WITH a GPS, wonder what she was like before???

At Friday, October 24, 2008 11:12:00 AM, Blogger BobG said...

I can see a GPS as an aid on long trips, but if a person is unable to figure out local addresses, maybe they should start taking a cab.

At Friday, October 24, 2008 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

High School grad.

Aren't required to learn ANYTHING these days.

At Friday, October 24, 2008 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fozzy Bear said it best with, "Hey, I've never seen the Sun come up in the West!"

At Friday, October 24, 2008 1:18:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

She said she has lived there all her life. What is she? 20 - 25 years old. I think many folks that are less than say 35 have never been anywhere or done anything without a cell phone, computer, MP3 player and GPS device within arms length.

That's not intended to be a cut down. It's just an observation that the more advanced our technology becomes, the dumber the human race becomes.

I shudder to think what life will be like in my twilight years (not that far away) when these numbskulls are running our country.


At Friday, October 24, 2008 3:20:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

"She said she has lived there all her life. What is she? 20 - 25 years old."

About 50, 55 years old.

At Friday, October 24, 2008 4:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really didn't learn NSEW until I started driving. But really, there's no excuse NOT to know them.

Heavens it's easier at night, at least on clear nights.

At Friday, October 24, 2008 5:26:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

Being one of those people who always knows exactly where she is, I have a hard time remembering that not everyone else does as well.

I remember leaving on a roadtrip for my uncle's place in Kansas City when I was 19.

Mom:"Aren't you taking a map?"

Me: "Why? I've been to Uncle P's before."

Mom: "Yes, but you flew."

Me: "Well the only part I need to remember exactly is how to get from the interstate to his house. I can get from here (ATL) to Kansas City on the interstate without a map."

Mom: "What? How?"

Me: "All those big green signs on the interstate tell you what direction you're heading and what the next major city is, and I didn't fail geography..."

At Friday, October 24, 2008 6:40:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

My ex has a horrible, horrible sense of direction. Me, if I've driven there once, I can get there without directions/a map or anything of the sort. Even years after going there last. (I drove to my sister's old house off of instinct after 8 years.) He has to drive somewhere a good dozen times or more before there's any hope of him remembering how to get there.

Funniest part? He came very close to being a quartermaster (which in the Navy deals with navigation).

At Saturday, October 25, 2008 4:05:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Fozzy Bear said it best with, "Hey, I've never seen the Sun come up in the West!"

Clearly, he's never driven through some of the residential areas of Denton. I'm pretty sure I saw it set due north while trying to navigate one of those areas.

At Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:19:00 PM, Blogger Ted said...

This is why I keep a map and compass in my car.

At Monday, October 27, 2008 12:13:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Oh, by the way, the Mio Moov 300, and I suspect some of their other GPSs, don't give an indication of directio by default. It's one of the things you can select for the bottom right corner of the display, but if you're using the expanded time/distance display, that are will be covered up anyway.

At Monday, October 27, 2008 9:01:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I agree Lost proofing should be mandatory for a drivers license. My kids are very tired of me asking them what are the "landmarks" at each traffic light in town, and then asking which way is north or south east west. But now I can ask the kids what direction we're heading and they are usually spot on :o)

At Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:25:00 AM, Blogger Cybrludite said...

Well, during Gustav I made it to and from a friend's house in Cleveland, Ms. via back routes, with significant detours each way, memorized maps, and having to ask directions only once. Some of us relatively young 'uns can manage this land navigation thing. Perhaps your appraiser should put in for a commission as a 2nd. Lt...

At Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:35:00 AM, Blogger Diamond Mair said...

Just remember, Matt, it could be worse:

We moved from the Tidewater area of VA in ~ 1967 - 20+ years later, I navigated my way, on my own, back to the house we'd had ................... this from someone who, in 1999, thought I could make it from VA to TX {driving a move-it-yourself truck while towing another vehicle} without stopping ................ ;-)

Semper Fi'

At Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girls understand landmarks, not compass directions. Where the sun rises or sets is not relevant to where the landmark is because the landmark is in the same place even if it's dark.

Boys understand compass directions often, but not always. Boys, once edumakated to sunrise/east, sunset/west, and the correlation of each to a compass, usually understand it and can use it, to varying degrees.

Interesting that she felt it more important to learn the ins and outs of the GPS device rather than simple directions.

At Friday, October 31, 2008 8:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long, long before we get to anything as complicated as Basic Orienteering, we need to find a way to make sure that to hold a driver's license you must have at least one functioning brain cell.

It literally frightens me that when, in the late 1990's, I re-acquired my driver's license after a period of ten years (I lived a decade in DC, and was SCARED to drive there. Didn't see the point in paying insurance if I was absolutely NOT going to drive. Gave up my license), I PASSED the test ON MY FIRST TRY!

I'm not a good driver. I know this. That's why I didn't want to drive in DC in the first place. If I could pass a driving test the first time out, how bad are the mouth-breathers who have to try two or three times?



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