Friday, September 25, 2015

Mad Magazine

Top of the day to all...

When I was a kid, my brother had a subscription to Mad magazine.  This was back in the days of Don Martin and William Gaines.  I remember their movie and television spoofs, 'Spy vs Spy,' and a few other things.

Two specific memories stick out in my mind.  The first was a spoof of the animated version of "The Hobbit."  It was a musical.  One of the lyrics, reworked to "Blowin' in the Wind," was 'how many days can a Hobbit go on, when he's hungry and tired and hurt?"

There was once a feature on laws we would like to see.  It is this section that brings these other memories to mind.  What triggered my memory of this section?  It is the only law that I remember, and it is highly relevant as we go into a federal election here in Canada, and then prepare for an election in the United States.

All candidates will be required to eat any campaign signs still posted three days after the election.

This still strikes me as a good law.

Have a great day everyone.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Instincts and the GPS...the Rest of the Story...

Top of the evening to all...

I wrote the piece on instincts and the GPS while we were on vacation out east.  I did not want to be too specific, as we were away.  Announcing that the house is empty is not exactly smart personal security.

We are back now, and I must tell you that the Province of New Brunswick is just lovely.

Let me tell you about the GPS problems we had.  Please note that these problems were with both the Garmin GPS and with WAZE.  The car's built-in GPS was not helpful either.  However, it is the original that came with our car.  The car is a 2009.  Much has changed since then.

For example, there is a bypass around Montreal.  The signage there is a little confusing.  The GPS and WAZE did not direct me to it, and I did not realize the correct detour until it was too late.  Not that it matters.  The computers, as you are aware, are all-knowing.

Both devices told us to get of the Trans-Canada Highway near Canterbury.  Well we did, and this is most definitely a Canterbury tale.  We drove for about 12 kilometres along route 122.  It was a two-lane road, but it moved nicely.  Then we were supposed to switch to route 630.  About 30 seconds after making that change, the pavement disappeared.  It was a dirt road.  Well....that is an overstatement.  It was a dirt pothole.  We turned around, and went back to the highway. 

As soon as we got back on the highway, the GPS recalculated, and sent us the way I thought we should have gone in the first place.

On the way back, we stopped in Montreal for dinner.  Jennifer was not pleased with the fact that I had consistently started driving and gotten to decision-making points before she even had the chance to plug in the address.  So I waited.  This time, the GPS said to turn right, but had not yet registered that I had turned the car around.  As such, again, it sent me in the wrong direction.

All of this computer gadgetry does have its purposes.  I do like the fact that I can tell the GPS to find the nearest gas station or restaurant.  I like the fact that it may get it wrong from time to time, but probably gets it right way more often than not.  Not always finding the best way is far better than getting hopelessly lost.

I made a suggestion for WAZE.  With permission from both users at that very moment, it could become a useful way to find someone in a crowd or in an unfamiliar area.  If we could program it to find a cell phone, it can become very easy to avoid getting lost in a crowd.

Have a good evening everyone.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Instincts and the GPS...

Top of the evening to all...

Over the last several months, I have been more and more reluctant to use my GPS.  I find that I am getting sick of it.  For the most part, the only reason I use it lately is for an ETA.  I usually know more or less where I am going.

Recently, my GPS and Waze have failed me.  Waze took me an extra exit, only to require a u-turn to get back to the exit I needed in the first place.  My GPS has also goofed, sending me down a side road that was not remotely paved.  When I got back to the highway and went the way I thought was right in the first place, it shortened the travel time.  I lost 30 minutes on a detour I should not have taken.

Reasons I do not like my GPS:

1.  I trust my instincts.
2.  I would like to maintain my instincts.
3.  My instincts tend to be right.
4.  I find both the picture and the voice disturbing.

My friends, the GPS and Waze instructions always tell you to look at a map before traveling.  You can bet I will do that henceforth.  I have been to too many places that I have not intended recently.

Have a good night.