Adventures with GPS

My husband has discovered portable GPS (global positioning system) technology. This is a little box you can put in your car that speaks to you and tells you where you are and how to get where you want to be.

He is absolutely entranced by them (he actually owns two of them, a Garmin Nuvi and a TomTom). Before he goes to bed at night, he fiddles with the GPS; when he comes home, there’s the GPS again in his hot little hands. He doesn’t speak to me or hear what I am saying, that’s the hold these little machines have on him (of course he does hear the little voice of the GPS which comes in both male and female versions). I know it’s temporary and will pass, but it seemed like good blog fodder.

Besides loneliness for the non-GPS leaning spouse, here are some other things that go on once a GPS is actually used while driving:

Blabber – I asked Bill to turn off the machine’s speech yesterday as we were driving to Pasadena. Everytime I opened my mouth, the machine would literally interrupt me with some bit of information not strictly necessary, like repeating an instruction every 1/4 mile or so. I know-it’s just a machine but it really pissed me off! I found myself unreasonably insulted that this woman in a box wouldn’t let me speak to my husband. I’m not a jealous person, but this made me wonder…

Interesting accents – these machines give you a choice not only of male and female voices, but also different accents. Currently, the Nuvi has an Australian fellow (named “Lee” by the software writers) and he is amazingly easy to understand; I like Lee. The TomTom has a regular American English female on it right now (I hate her, that husband-stealing bitch).

Inability to pronounce foreign street names – as you may know, a lot of things out here in California have Spanish names. The streets in my particular tract are ALL in Spanish. Some of the letters in Spanish have different sounds than English. For instance, if you see the letter “L” doubled in a word, it is a unique Spanish letter that sounds like an English letter “Y”. And the letter “H” is silent in Spanish. For example “Calle Hogar” would be pronounced “Ka yay Oh gar“. However, Lee the Australian virtual navigator has a lot of trouble with this. He believes the name of the street is “Call Hogger”. I found that absolutely hilarious the first time I heard it. Also a street named “Rojas” where the “J” sounds like an “H” in Spanish is pronounced “Rajiss” by Lee (it should be “Ro haas”). Not as funny, but still amusing.

The ding – On the Nuvi, a ding is sounded as an attention getter before instructions are spoken. It is identical to the ding you hear on a jet before takeoff when they want you to listen closely before a safety announcement. So the first few times I heard the ding on the GPS, I was compelled to recite the mantra “Please turn off your cell phone and extinguish all smoking materials now”. The ding has now been muted.

Getting there – The system actually works. Sometimes it maps out a route that is circuitous instead of taking a known shortcut, but it seems that you will get to your destination most of the time (I’d still keep a mapbook in the car though – you never know if that pesky satellite you’re locked on to will be obstructed or whatever it is that happens when the GPS announces that it has lost the satellite).

So, now you know the hazards and pitfalls involved when your spouse catches the GPS bug. Take precautions now and do not let him or her wander into electronic stores alone. Monitor their internet usage and lock out inappropriate electronic sales websites. You will be glad you did.



Filed under Humor, Life, Musings, Travel

10 responses to “Adventures with GPS

  1. I can’t believe your jealous of a GPS Sonja. Maybe you just need to hack it, so that when you’re around it gives your husband directions to talk to you 😉

  2. Those were all the rage this holiday shopping season. On Black Friday, there were so many sales on them!

  3. branwynne77

    LOL, funny post.

  4. I want one that talks like trailer trash.

    ” Go left you scanky ho’er” No not left the other left Numnuts”

  5. After reading this article,I want to go out to see the movie with my boy firend.
    Goodbye and Good Luck.

  6. A couple years back Rick inherited some money from a good friend and I suggested that he buy something to remind him of his friend whenever he used it. He bought a Garmin GPS, which he uses every day, and thinks of his friend and says “Thank you Bill” a lot (co-winkie-dinkly, also his friends name), because he drives that previously blogged LA traffic daily.

    Yes, I too hate that Bitch in the Box who has yet to learn the local street names. But she is soooo stupid that she cannot even pronounce “A” street, so that her directions are “turn right at a street”, and I am thinking “Turn right at a street? Which street? Any street? Really,just any street? You can’t do any better than that? You’re gonna get us close to where we want to go instead of right to where we want to go? Gee, thanks!”

    This has become the running joke whenever we go to OERM. Rick, the king of repeat jokes, will take a dead joke and revive it repeatedly and beat you over the head with it for, well so far it has been nine years that I have been hearing the same material and am still expected to laugh. Yet somehow, when I repeat this joke about his darling GPS unit, that Bitch is somehow no laughing matter, cause he just gives me the look. Yes folks, the GPS is the other woman, don’t go insulting his GPS or you might just find yourself walking home.

    On the other hand, Sonja, perhaps we should just be grateful. We have finally gotten our men to ask for directions. Just don’t tell them that is what they are doing, cause I do not think they have realized it yet… This is a sexy woman whispering in their ear, not some gas station attendant finding out they are lost, after all. No evidence of a testosterone deficiency between men has been exposed, no need to make them aware of anything that might set us back and cause us to meander the wilds ever again.

    So, until Garmin gives her a face and a Playmate of the Years body, I will overlook the Bitch in the Box ~ after all, when it comes to brains, she is clearly not as bright as we are, and that is what our men married us for. And frankly, as smart as they are, and I don’t know about Bill, but I think Rick might have a bit of trouble finding his way out of a box… Even with the Bitches help…

  7. I like the idea of hacking into the GPS! Not only would it tell hubby to pay attention to me, but also I could program it to talk in “trailer trash”. Both good ideas. Also it is definitely amusing to think that our men are finally asking for directions but don’t realize it.
    Newsflash: hubby changed the female voice to a guy. He says he did it because it seemed to bother me. Who says guys don’t pay attention, LOL!

  8. Question is, did he change it to George Clooney or Larry the Cable Guy? I want GPS with PJ O’Rourke, that way I can laugh while the country is going to hell in it’s proverbial hand basket…

  9. I really enjoyed your post as I, too, have a little wonder off to the side in my car, but I can always see him.

    What I wanted to say is this: The female voices get really sarcastic when they have to recalculate… re-CAL-culating! The male voices are more accommodating, or maybe they just hide their annoyance when I veer off on my own in a different direction.

  10. Garmin Nuvi 265WT
    Garmin’s nüvi 265WT improves upon its 200-series predecessors by adding free real-time traffic updates from Navteq (for the life of the device) as well as Bluetooth connectivity to your cell phone. Other significant improvements in the 2×5 series include a predictive technology that provides faster satellite lock, a redesigned screen with more information, terrain maps, and an exciting new photo navigation feature. The 265WT provides complete maps for North America and the handy Text-to-Speech feature, so you get turn-by-turn spoken directions with the real names of streets (e.g. “turn left in 50 feet at Nebraska Way”, rather than merely “turn left in 50 feet”).

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