The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Turn here, you idiot!

As I mentioned before, I recently purchased a Garmin Nuvi. Well, I actually said "GPS unit for the car" but I thought I would reveal the brand and model. So you could avoid it, or not, as you are so inclined.

These things "speak" to you. The voice is odd, inflections don't seem to fit the words properly. I mean when it is reciting less commonly known city names and streets. The reason for this is in how they record the voice for the machine. It is an exercise in phonetics. They record the phonetic sounds the letter combinations make and then piece them together on playback. Letter combinations produce certain sounds but they are not consistent and the machine must choose which sounds are appropriate. An "e" can be "ee" or "eh" or even a long "a". I will use my town of Sebring for an example. It is pronounced see-bring but the Garmin calls it sehb-ring. It sometimes adds to the confusion.

They use a woman's voice. I suspect there are two reasons for this. One is that a woman's voice is deemed more pleasant than a man, more passive than aggressive. The other is that we males are used to be told what to do and where to go by women.

I experienced a couple of problems with the unit. One is that it got an address wrong. It told us a hotel would be on the right side of the road when it was actually on the left. The other was when it had me exit the I-15 freeway and then re-enter it again. It went something like this (think sexy, but not too sexy, babe voice)...

In point 2 miles exit right on the ramp to [something, something] road.
[pause 10 seconds]
In point 2 miles take on ramp to I-15 south.

Whenever you make a wrong turn or turn into a fast food place or whatever as you are traveling under its "control", it tells you it is "recalculating...recalculating" and then begins giving you directions to get back to the designated route. This can be a little annoying. Mostly because it is like having a mother-in-law (or a wife) in the car directing you and "recalculating...recalculating" is a euphemism for "You moron! I told you to turn left back there!"

These "recalculating...recalculating" comments, of course, caused me to fall into my modified Walter Mitty mode...

In point nine miles, turn left into oncoming traffic.
(turning right)
I told you to turn left.
You never listen to me. How am I supposed to get you to your destination if you won't listen to me
(heading for the nearest bar)
You shouldn't be drinking this early in the day, you know. Not to mention it is illegal to drink and drive. And you know how you get with a couple of shots under your belt.
(pulling into parking lot)
Mother told me you would do things like this but I wouldn't listen. No, not me, I knew better. I said you'd change but noooooo...
(Pulling to a stop and getting out of car)
You can't just leave me out here. I have a good mind to call the highway patrol and report this. And I would if it wouldn't be so embarrassing.

Ah yes, the perfect traveling companion...


Irish Gumbo said...

Suspicions confirmed: I thought there was a tone when it said "recalculating"...

The Jules said...

I was quite tempted to get a sat-nag, which features a harridan's voice telling you what to do, or maybe a Darth Vader one. I feel the novelty might soon wear off though.

Still, I haven't really found a sat-nav that is as easy to use for the price as a paper road atlas.

T.C. said...

Don't get me going on GPS.