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Tales of the GPS

November 18th, 2009 at 09:40 am

My time has been filled up and busy, but a break from real life leaves me feeling pretty refreshed. Big Grin

My folks visited Sunday and stayed quite late actually. I went to bed quite a few hours later than usual!

Monday night I drove to visit them and stayed up too late again!

Woke up at dawn to get to South San Francisco by 8. Tried to stay awake for a so-so seminar. I went to an excellent one last week, so my expectations were probably too high. What a snore!

Drove into the city and glad I Was prepared for rain. IT didn't rain much at all (phew) but rained a good bit while I had an hour to wait for my friend.

I plopped my GPS in my pocket and set it to "pedestrian mode" so I wouldn't get horribly lost. Though I felt uncomfortable looking lost and touristy, so didn't touch it. (My friend later commented it would be mistaken for an iPhone - quite normal - but I didn't want to get mugged either). LEst you think I am paranoid in the city - no. I don't make it a habit to walk alone at night, and not with expensive gadgets - I live in a fairly large city myself!

Was in Union Square, and so headed to Macy's/Cheesecake Factory for some dryness and a restroom. I was sure Macy's would have one, but the Cheesecake Factory is on the top level - gorgeous view. & I was kind of curious to see how crowded it was. I've never been there with less than a 2-3 hour wait - and I knew no one would notice if I popped in the bathroom. Big Grin

It was hopping and had quite a few people waiting, but didn't look like the 2-3 hours wait of years past.

I walked around the immense building for a while and browsed insanely expensive clothing.

That was it for the rain - and I was prepared in a rain jacket. Phew.

With the weather and ambiance, the area struck me very much like NYC. I've never really equated the two cities. Was in a very NYC-like section of town.

My friend escaped from work and we ate appetizers at a little Indonesian restaurant - Yum! & talked for hours. I left the city feeling rather refreshed!

Wasn't too expensive.

Gas - $20? (Took the gas sipper - good for city parking too).
$ 6 Lunch
$16 Dinner
$ 9 PArking (a Steal!)
$ 4 Bridge Toll
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$55

In the end - really only $29 to visit my friend - gas would have paid otherwise, with the seminar and all. I could have just had dinner with my folks and gone home a different route with no bridges, and no parking expenses, otherwise.

Was well worth it!

& I have tentative plans to visit her again in a couple of weeks. LM and I are going into the city, regardless. I promised him an adventure. (& a train ride - am taking him down to the Bay Area during my next Friday seminar).

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Tales of the GPS...

It got interesting when I left. The GPS wanted me to turn on a billion streets to get to the freeway (I assumed), which struck me as odd. I gave up and stayed on the major street I Was on. I *knew* there was a freeway connection there, and in fact saw it as I passed it. I thought it was odd the GPS ignored it, but I think I was a bit turned around, and so kept going. GPS said "Go 1 mile" or something, so I figured I could catch the freeway up ahead.

After driving a while I ended up on some dark, deserted streets and realized I wasn't quite sure where I Was. I wasn't thrilled with this, but knew the freeway couldn't be too far. I started listening to the GPS and making all these turns.

As I drove through some unsavory neighborhoods I started to get more frustrated. What the heck is going on? Where am I???

I realized as I entered some sort of "expressway" with no place to stop, what the problem was. It dawned on me the GPS was in "pedestrian mode" and was avoiding the freeway! I guess it thought I wanted to WALK the 90 miles home?

I pulled over the first place I could - which was a dark neighborhood. Of course I couldn't figure out how to change it back, and was worried about getting mugged.

I finally figured it out, and went on my merry way. Except I was in a very confusing area and drove through the same intersection 2-3 more times before I finally found the freeway. Like I came to a fork in the road and ended up going the wrong way (I decided to go right when I should have gone left). The GPS was no help in that area - the intersection was confusing when I approached it from a different street - so round and round I went.

I can laugh about it now because I eventually got home safe! Took me 2 hours to drive home - ugh!

Next time I think I will remember to switch the mode!

All in all, it was my frist time using the GPS alone (on such a large drive anyway) and I was pleased with it. I just had the luck to have the mode issues and to figure it out in a very confusing area. Usually dh and I read the directions to each other. So, overall, problems aside, I Was quite pleased with it, and I Think it opens up a bit of a new world for me. I am VERY directionally challenged. & the GPS makes me open to trying new things. I probably learned not to overly rely on it and check my brain out when using it though. Big Grin

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I am only in the office a couple of days this week, and then to Tahoe for the weekend. What an exhausting week this is turning out to be! But, I am enjoying it.

Dh has his MRI Friday. I think the distractions are helpful. The weekend should help get our mind off of it as we await results.

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In other interesting news, an "America's Most Wanted" fugitive was found in the area I live.

That's just the sort of the media attention we need! (NOT!) We had a murder a few weeks ago - and all sorts of exaggerated reports about crime and gangs in the area, has been spread by the media. I find it very frustrating. (Was first murder of the year - it's freaking November - the population is large - murders are expected, and are usually domestic anyway - someone you know). Most my friends think I am a poor sap who lives in denial in "the ghetto." Which is completely absurd.

Now our neighborhood harbors fugitives! I can hear it now...

Anyway, I actually do enjoy watching AMW and always think to myself that I would never run across anyone featured on that show. I know the point of the show is that we all do run across these people. BUT, it's hard to stomach that you could be working or living next to an insane psycopath!

Um, maybe I will pay closer attention? Yikes!

5 Responses to “Tales of the GPS”

  1. miclason Says:

    I would have cried. I hate being lost (and, sadly, I'm one of those people that REALLY need a GPS!!)... I get super nervous and, of course, once you get to that stage, everything seems even more confusing and, you get even more lost, if that is at all possible.

  2. whitestripe Says:

    there was a story on the news yesterday about an older guy (read: old and a few screws loose) who took a wrong turn on his way home and kept driving for 600 km. ummmm...?

    i hate gps's and will probably never get one. too many friends have gotten lost while using one who don't have a street directory in their car as well (because they have a gps! why would they need a street directory? books are old-school!). also i really dislike the fact that you have to constantly pay to upgrade the system. of course the argument would be that you have to do that with a street directory too, which is fine, but i just prefer to be able to see what other streets are around the street i am going to. i feel like sometimes it's the blind leading the blind with a gps lol. Smile

  3. Lisa Says:

    I think GPSs are great. I use mine almost daily to get to all kinds of places or to check the traffic or to confirm drive time. I DON'T have a map in the car anymore. I've never had mine fail me, but then again, I haven't put it on "Pedestrian" ever!! On mine, I can even search for someplace (the name of a school, Kohls, Taco Bell WHATEVER) and it will find the nearest location.

    Whitestripe, I haven't had to pay, because mine works through Google Maps, which is free.

    Glad it all worked out!

  4. frugaltexan Says:

    Getting lost like that is never any fun. Although I generally love my iPhone google maps gps function, I sometimes wonder what it is thinking. I've had some pretty strange "paths" suggested.

    That's awesome you were able to spend time with your friend - it's nice to be able to do that sometimes. Smile

  5. sweetmama Says:

    HeHe! I had a similar experience in SF a few years back. I had driven down for a test. No problem finding the place, but afterward I got all turned around. All the one-way streets, round and round, back and forth. Ugh, it took me about 45 minutes to get on track! Of course it's funny NOW... Big Grin

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