Ed’s Weekly Rant- Navigation – Paper Map or Electronic Device

a user is setting the gps on his carCall me old and stupid because I’m a map guy, but has anyone else every put their trust in a GPS while driving and ended up in a parking lot or dead end street? Maybe I wasn’t listening and should pick a better voice, one that says, “turn now you big dummy.” I’m sorry, but these devices are not foolproof and I know I’m not the only person who’s been led astray by one.

My first experience of trusting a GPS was on a boys bike trip where I was the old map guy and the three younger dudes all had fancy electronic gadgets that were supposed to take us to our cabin in the Smokey Mountains. When my buddy’s GPS said we’d arrived at our location I laughed out loud. There wasn’t a cabin, house, mailbox, or anything inhabitable in sight.

Cathryn and I relied on our GPS, a road atlas, and a guidebook on our recent cross-country trip on Route 66. Although not perfect, the book was the most reliable resource. I’m ranting on this topic because of Cathryn’s niece who recently told us paper maps are completely useless. This is from a Millennial who relies on Google to find the nearest shopping mall in the city.

Navigation systems are now built right into our vehicles and are supposed to be safer and more convenient – no more distracted driving or wire plugs hanging from your rear view mirror. But what about those fancy displays that tell you everything except what you ate for lunch?

The display on my dash likes to change when it feels like it and I constantly have to take my eyes off the road to get the proper screen back up. Same with the read-out for my odometer and speedometer, fluid levels and tire pressures that change with the weather.

My favorite is when my display goes black with a message that’s it’s unsafe to take your eyes off the road while driving. And how does one clear such a message? By taking their eyes off the road to select the appropriate button. It must have made perfect sense to the idiot engineer who designed it.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Turn Signals

left1In addition to my daily posts of our travel photos on my Facebook Author Page I thought I’d do something weekly in an attempt to make you laugh, cry, pump your fist in the air in agreement, or just say ‘chill dude.”

This will be my forum for the little things that irritate, agitate, frustrate, infuriate or just plain piss me off. I’m sure some of you will be able to relate to these things – we experience them or have them happen to us every day.

I’ll start with a traffic rant. Turn Signals. I can already hear your wheels turning, thinking about the last idiot who had you shouting at your windshield, honking your horn or flipping the bird.

I traveled east on Tecumseh Road (4 lanes) from Lauzon today, and being what I believe to be an astute driver who looks way up road I moved to from the curb to the left lane to avoid the lineup of about a dozen cars that were stopped for the light at Forest Glade Drive. There was only one car in the left lane, which I would have avoided if the lone car had his signal on – there is no turning arrow there.

I patiently waited behind the car in front of me and casually noted the Alberta licence plate (old cop habit). Less than a minute later the light turned green and I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The car in front of me remained stationary and put his left turn signal on. F*%&!

I did a shoulder check to my right rear and saw there were now fifty cars in the right lane. It’s a good thing I’m retired and was in no hurry. Summer almost became winter while I waited to go through the intersection, but I remained composed. Until the idiot turned and I laid on my horn…just a little bit.

Tune in each week for more good stuff to make your blood boil or to have a good laugh at my expense. I promise the posts will be shorter than this one (no preamble).

Getting Gassed at the Pumps

oregon-woman-pump-gasHas anyone figured out the method to the madness of gas pricing across the Province of Ontario? It surely doesn’t have much to do with the price of a barrel of oil anymore. I used to think greedy petroleum companies jacked their prices up on the weekends and then slowly lowered them during the week, but there seems to be no master plan.

Driving through the eastern states and provinces this summer I noticed fairly consistent prices in each area. In Ontario prices can vary up to fifteen cents a liter between Windsor and Toronto. Where we used to hate having to gas up on the 401, now the prices along the route can be cheaper than in the city.

Continue reading “Getting Gassed at the Pumps”