Some of you may be wondering—after reading these essays for the past few years—if perhaps I’m not just a bit different from other people.
You’d be right.
It’s not that I’m schizophrenic, not at all, but I do have a dual personality. About some things I am a gung ho, let’s get ‘er done, take charge, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead kind of gal. And about other things—well, let’s just say that procrastination is my first, middle, and last names.
My beloved bought me a wonderful Christmas present this past December 25th, something that I really wanted and that will undoubtedly prove to be a great time and stress saver. He bought me a GPS unit for my car, a device called a TOMTOM.
This past week, we finally took it out of the box and began to learn how to use it.
Now here I must confess that what actually happened was that one day last week when my daughter brought her father home from work, they came into the house, and my daughter said, “Where’s the GPS?” Clearly they’d had a discussion in the car on the way home and decided that the time had come for me to breach this latest technological frontier.
She took it and the instructions, and, as my dear husband sent me a smug ‘so there’ kind of look, sat down and began to figure out how to use the device.
In my defense, I could point out to my beloved that it was also his daughter who put together his brand new 55 inch Samsung 3D TV and showed him how to use it, and who also comes over to ‘fix’ it from time to time when it ‘acts up’.
But I have to admit, I had put off learning how to use the GPS. I do much better when someone can show me how to use something new: when they can say do this, then that, then the other, and ta-da, I’ve got it!
To be honest, some of this modern technology intimidates the hell out of me. I usually can figure it out, eventually.
Given enough time I might even become proficient at it. Of course, given that same time, the creators of technological do-dads reinvent the darn do-dads and you have to start all over again.
This GPS device has proven, so far, to be easier to use than a lot of the other things I’ve acquired over the past year or so. I like that it talks to me. That way, I really don’t have to look away from the road and focus on it. I like that it gives me a 500 meter turn warning for upcoming turns, and that it repeats the instructions a couple of times.
And if I make a wrong turn it doesn’t chew me out. It doesn’t huff, get angry, or give me the cold shoulder. It just stays silent until it recalculates a new route for me to follow, starting from where I am. And then it resumes giving me directions as if nothing untoward had happened.
In other words, my new GPS device is a much better navigator—temperament-wise—than Mr. Ashbury.
As we were testing the device, and driving down one of the area’s major highways, I noticed that the GPS screen not only displayed the speed at which the car was moving, but the speed limit as well. Did you know, if you go 10 kilometers over the posted speed limit, those two indicator numbers on the TOMTOM turn red?
My daughter and I discussed this, and we wondered. If the device is capable of receiving information from a satellite, is it also capable of sending information to a satellite?
I can foresee a time when if your vehicle is equipped with such an apparatus, your driving in the red zone will be followed shortly by you receiving a speeding ticket.
I have every faith in modern technology. It definitely, eventually, and without fail will get you in the end.
It’s really only a matter of time.