I have quit using the Garmin, except on long trips. I like to find my own way around, and I think that getting the directions from Google Maps and finding the path keeps you sharp. I’m one of those lucky people who usually always knows where I am, and which way is west, unlike my hubby who has no sense of direction.
I navigate by landmarks, and I am always updating my mental map of the area, so that new landmarks are duly noted and don’t throw me off track.
However, some of our best adventures have been at the hands of the Garmin lady.
One of the first things we found out was that if you have the Garmin set on “Pedestrian” mode, it will tell you how far and how fast you have walked. This has been really helpful for my hubby who regularly takes long walks on his lunch break. It’s amazing how far he can walk in an hour.
I will say, there is a down side to this:
IF you forget to switch it back to driving mode, and you decide to make a random trip down Interstate 5 from Olympia, Washington to, oh, let’s say McMinnville, Oregon, you may have a random encounter with The Garmin Lady that goes like this:
Me and Greg: “What? No way, we aren’t even in Chehalis yet!”
Garmin Lady “Recalculating. Take Next Exit, to the right.”
Me and Greg: “There’s something wrong with this thing. We’re passing Longview. We’re nowhere near McMinnville yet. We’re still in Washington, so what she wants us to do, I can’t imagine.”
Garmin Lady “Recalculating. Make U-Turn at next police turnout and then exit freeway, to the right.”
Us: “What?!? That’s just plain crazy, not to mention illegal! Turn that damned thing off! It’s broken!”
I kid you not–that actually happened. The Garmin was on pedestrian mode, and was trying desperately to get us off the freeway. However smart the Garmin is, it did not connect the fact we were traveling 70 mph, which is a brisk pace for your average walker, with the notion that maybe we were in a vehicle.
I sometimes wonder if all my helpful devices aren’t rendering my brain obsolete. I have my PC, which I am using right now. I have my ancient Acer Aspire laptop, which is a difficult device to enjoy using, and which gets sworn at regularly in coffee shops. It’s slower than a pencil and paper, and is less likely to make a connection to the internet when I really want one. It shall be replaced someday.
I have my Kindle, with more than a thousand books in it. A thousand books! That’s the library of my dreams, and it takes up less space than a regular book! I have my iPod for walking, and I stream music all over my house through the PS3. I have more music in my iPod and on my computer than most radio stations have in their music libraries.
I’m in possession of more external brain power than a bus full of physicists.
But it’s not enough.
The only way to get the speed and connectivity I really want is to go Borg. Of course, I will want my headset to coordinate with my clothes–I don’t wear leather, so mine will have to go with tie-dyed cotton. And maybe I can Be Dazzle it, for special occasions.