Do you think you can't get lost while using a GPS? Think again.
GARMIN, SHOW ME THE WAY
Our world of technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, as I’m sure everyone has noticed. Keeping up with the times is a near impossibility, especially as we begin to slow down in our senior years. I just don’t seem to have the energy to even attempt to keep up any more.
I remember during my working years, when our office converted to computers. Oh, the headaches! I could never begin to explain all the struggles we had learning about these new machines. If I heard, ‘Garbage in garbage out’, one time, I heard it hundreds of times. It was the answer I was given when the computer insisted on spitting incorrect information out to me. My fault? Someone was actually saying this misinformation was my fault? How dare they! As new programs were introduced, obsolete ones were discarded. And again, OH THE HEADACHES. And of course, more ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ quotes.
By the time I retired I was pretty convinced that I had learned as much as I wanted to learn. Retirement years are not to be used taxing our poor brains. There’s only so much space there and who wants to walk about with a head bulging because it’s so full of new information?
I don’t live completely in the dark ages, however. I have a cell phone. I’m quite good with it too. I know how to make and receive calls. I know how to send and receive texts AND I know how to take pictures. I haven’t figured out how to send those pictures on to anyone else so they just sit there in my phone memory. I don’t waste them, though, I use them as the background (is it called wallpaper?) on the phone’s screen. I don’t feel the need to have internet access on my cell phone for three reasons. 1.) It probably is an expensive extra fee 2.) I don’t want to be forced to learn how to access it. And 3.) If I did actually pay the extra money and learn how to bring the internet up on my phone, the screen is so small that I wouldn’t be able to read anything on it anyway. So there, three good reasons.
I have had a home computer for a few years and know enough to cause it to occasionally freeze, refusing to cooperate with me at all. At times it can be even more stubborn than it’s owner but we’ve finally come to a sort of truce. I try really hard not to feed it garbage and it tries real hard not to spit nonsense at me.
Recently I had a complete loss of sanity and purchased a laptop, which of course is a complete story in itself. I have to admit that it was very handy to take along on vacation. To keep up with those important emails from Facebook friends it’s priceless. I know that it can be used for many more things than retrieving email or checking Facebook (yes, I have Facebook friends and I even remember to check on them once in a while.). I haven’t given up. Eventually I will learn what else this little bitty computer can do. Baby steps, I have to take baby steps or the senior brain begins to tire.
The main reason, I sat down to write this evening though is to tell about my very favorite electronic devise ………………. The GPS. How in the world I ever found my way to the grocery store before I had good old Garmin is beyond me. When I was in Best Buy talking to the salesgirl about which GPS to purchase, I distinctly heard her say “The Tom Tom is a bit more complicated than the Garmin.” After that I heard very little. I wanted the LEAST complicated so Garmin went home with me. Also going home with me that day was the sand bag thing that sits on your dash and an electrical cord, although I haven’t found a reason to use Garmin while sitting in my living room. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a salesperson’s dream come true when I walk through the door ready to buy.
Garmin has been with me for almost a year. We’ve been on a few trips together and she’d never steered me wrong. That’s why I was so surprised on our last trip to Michigan when my honey and I found ourselves on the wrong side of the state.
Richard, aka my honey, had been to our destination many times so when he said that he didn’t think we were going the right way, I should have believed him. Instead, I put my trust in Garmin. Garmin sees the earth from some satellite in the sky. We were seeing the world from the car’s windshield. Now, I ask you, who has the better view?
Time passed and Richard was becoming more and more insistent that this route just could NOT be correct. He had me check the address I’d entered into Garmin. It appeared to be fine. He had me check it again. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it. He asked me to read the address to him, distrusting man that he was. I read off the house number and the street. Richard nodded his head. That’s correct. I read off the city and state, Everett, Michigan. Again he nodded. That’s correct.
Another hour on the road passed and Richard was even more uneasy. As for me, I was fine, not a worry in the world. But my confidence in Garmin would not rub off on him. He asked me to dig through the glove compartment and find the Michigan map. Once I had the map opened, I checked Garmin to find out exactly where we were, proudly pointed out to him how close we were to Everett. “No,’ he said, very confused, “That’s not where we’re going. We’re going here.“ And he pointed to a completely different section on the map.
Then I see it. EVART, Michigan, not EVERETT, Michigan. What state but Michigan could have two towns pronounced exactly the same but with different spellings. We were on the wrong side of the state, evidently taking the scenic route.. I quickly entered the CORRECT spelling of the city and Garmin instantly began to direct us.
The friends we were trying to get to couldn’t understand why we were on the road for so many extra hours. . My explanation, garbage in, garbage out!!
© copyright Donna Hale Chandler
DONNA HALE CHANDLER
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