It’s the bit of technology I love most, probably even more than the internet, way more than the phone, but since GPS is so intimately linked to computer technology in general, and satellite technology, and the internet, well, I almost guess I have to say I love technology.
Funny thing is, I knew GIS long before I had a GPS, learned that in school, used it in research, got a feel for it from the other side of things way before I went out and bought that little thing that I plug into the lighter of the car to tell me how to get places.
And I love it, even though its not a very good one, and sometimes it tells me to drive around in circles, and the only voice it has is that of a mechanical woman, and she mispronounces stuff all the time, and I think ‘dumbass’, and I wonder if I’d be more patient with her if she had some other voice, a more likable one, but eventually I get her limitations and figure out where I need to go or else just go off in one direction and trust that eventually, she’ll get me there.
She usually does. Well, not in Canada, she doesn’t know squat about Canada. But here, in the US, she rocks.
As I sit here and program the location of the concert, and the hotel, and the campground, had to put in lat and long on that one, but easy enough, I put all those things in there and hit save and I know that tomorrow when I set out all I have to do is push the take me to this place buttons, and she’ll get me there.
Back in the day, my days on the sea, I used a Loran C, something the worked in the same way in lots of ways, it used radio signals instead of satellite, but still, triangulation of multiple signals, well, three I guess, if it’s triangulation, but that’s not something I’ve ever looked up. Not going to, either.
Anyway, old fart that I am, I totally fought the GPS thing, figured I’d been finding my way around for fifty something years, I didn’t need no steenkin’ little computer to drive me around in circles, especially not one with that nothing of a voice, and I’ll never forget what a bitch I was to the guy I went out with a couple of times in OKC who insisted on having the freaking GPS telling us how to get home when I so totally knew how to get home, I mean, the first time it was fine, it was a toy, but like by the second or third time, he knew how to get there, too, so why he wanted to have the freaking GPS telling us was a mystery to me, and I told him so.
I’m such a bitch.
But then came that time that I was trying to find John’s house in Providence, an Airbnb house, and it was night, and he lives in a pretty densely populated area in Providence, and I couldn’t find it, and I called him, like, three times, told him I was near an old warehouse, and he laughed, asked which one, and of course I didn’t know, it was dark, it wasn't marked, and I’m freaking blind at night, and so finally I found an intersection he knew and he came and got me.
It’s that blindness thing. And driving. And poorly marked streets. All of that stuff, things used to be simpler, back when I could see and streets were well marked. Something has changed, for sure.
Because I don’t know how the heck I ever got by without the GPS, and I did.