Monday, April 4, 2011


I was talking to a young man of about 25 the other day.  I happened to mention to him that I didn't have GPS.  He assumed that I meant that my unit was not working or that I was in-between units.  I had to tell him that No, I didn't own one at all and never had.  In fact if my next car should have one, like the cruise control I have on my current car, I would not bother to turn it on.

I'm rather proud of my sense of direction.  I've honed it over a lifetime of travel.  It's not a particular gift, it's more that I've studied maps all my life and as a result I know where I am most of the time.  And if I don't, I certainly will in a few miles.

Years ago, it was possible to stop and ask directions from pretty much anyone, as the population in general didn't move around from their spot.  Unfortunately today you can't rely on that as a lot of the people who work in shops or gas stations don't know the immediate area as they drive a long way to get there.
I've seen GPS units in operation and they are wonderful things, but there is a downside, as I'm sure they rob one of a natural sense of direction.  They also go wrong.  I borrowed a car from a friend some time ago to try it out.  It was a very flash Cadillac and had a GPS unit working on the dashboard.  We went around the lake and it was interesting that as we turned onto the final road, the unit didn't know we were on a road at all and had us going across the water.  Funny but unnerving if that's all you were relying on.

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