Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stroking The GPS

I have a Magellan GPS that I love, love, love. On an earlier post I mentioned how map challenged I am and how much I love and am addicted to my little electronic friend. I even have a Garmin back up in the glove compartment should my Magellan go belly up and I be stranded on some winding back road. I'm addicted and proud of it.

I am kind of proud of how I have learned to manipulate and play with the Magellan. Every GPS has quirks. Mine is no exception and I have learned how to make it cooperate every time. Most of the time, a town will be listed twice, such as "Saugarties, NY", and "Saugarties, NY, Town Of". Sometimes the address or intersection will only be found in one of those listings. Or if I don't type the full town name and let the GPS complete it, the address won't be recognized. But if I type the whole name, the address is recognized. Or it won't recognize the address in any of these and I'll type in the zip code, then select the town and it recognizes the address. Weird but doable.

This may all sound confusing but I am so used to it that it doesn't bother me. And most of the time all these quirks don't happen. But with some locations they do. The GPS may recognize "Route 2" but not "Main Street", which according to Google maps, the route turns into when you hit town. So I'll just use "Route 2" and I'm good to go even though the address I have is on "Main". Using Google Search, Google Maps, and the GPS I can find even the tiniest, most obscure cemetery or an intersection nearby.

I DESPISE driving around and not knowing which way to go so my GPS has to be loaded before I set out to find letterboxes. Oftentimes a planter says the nearest town is "So And So" but as far as Google Maps and then the GPS is concerned it is the town next to it. I think this is because the planter lives there (or nearby) and everyone just thinks of it as "So and So" when it is really across the line into the next one.

But once I hit the road, my little talking friend performs wonderfully, with no quirks or hitches. It dings and tells me when to turn, lets me know when the exit is 2 miles, 1 mile, .5 miles, and then which way to turn when I get off the highway...........immediately. I can look and see the whole route, all the way to my destination. One reviewer of my Magellan (a man of course) said that he didn't like being "led by the hand". My response to that is "Take my hand and lead me, please!!!!" I want to be told everything and as often as possible!!!

As for those stories you hear about people doing something dumb because their GPS told them to? Personally I think they were dumb to begin with and the GPS probably had a higher IQ.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Letterboxing 101 For Children

Children should be taught that although it is acceptable for them to run and get the box they should not do so unless the adults present have made sure there are no non-boxing folks nearby to observe.

The child should hand the container to an adult instead of sitting down, opening it and immediately stamping the image into their logbook, failing to hand the found logbook to someone to stamp into. They should also learn that when they take the stamp image it should be done in a timely manner instead of deciding to do it again and again, while the adults are forced to simply stand there watching them with nothing to do because the child has not passed along the found logbook. Of course in retrospect, any of those adults could simply bend down and take the found logbook.

When an adult does manage to get to the found letterbox before the child, that child should not reach across in front of the adult, grabbing the found logbook or stamp away from them before they have had a chance to do ANYTHING, stamp or pass along.