Friday, May 19, 2017

47th Birthday, Part 2 - GPS


Recap: The night before I was to start my blacksmithing class, I realized it was in Oakland.  As I live far away, I figured the drive would be long, but not the two hours Google Maps said.

I arranged with my (disgruntled) wife for her to pick up and drop off the kids; if I was gone from dawn to dusk, I wouldn't be able to take them to school and other appointments.  I packed a lunch and a water bottle and snacks.

I grabbed Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls.  If I was going to put in 30 hours of driving, I needed something to entertain me besides NPR pledge breaks and road accidents. David Sedaris would enthrall me with fanciful tales of his fatty tumors.

I headed towards the highway, started the audiobook, and turned on my phone's GPS.

Me: Navigate to The Crucible, Oakland.
GPS: You will reach your destination in two and a half hours.
Me: Fabulous.  Let's go.
GPS: Do not get on the highway.
Me: Oh, is there an accident?
David Sedaris: French doctors are weird.
GPS: Go around the bay.
Me: Around the bay?  The bay is this big...  Lake-like thingy.
GPS: It's a broad inlet.
Me: They could just call it a lake.  I don't know why we have so many different words for water and the land that's near it: bay, peninsula, isthmus, spit.  Makes me wonder if cartographers get paid by the word.
David Sedaris: "There's a story behind this," the man said, handing me the severed arm...
GPS: I said to go around the bay.
Me: You're wrong.  The bay is huge.  That's why California built three bridges over it.  It'll take forever to go around it.
GPS: One of us is in constant contact with supercomputers and satellites to figure out the quickest route.  That one is not you.  Go around the bay.
David Sedaris: My father once half-strangled a small child in front of me.  I love my family.
Me: Are you sure you're using the right preposition?  In 9th grade, Mrs. Bengtson made us memorize a list of prepositions in alphabetical order.
GPS: I know what "about" means.
Me: I can still recite them.
GPS: Please don't.
Me: About above across after against along among around butt by before between beneath beyond-
GPS: Butt?
Me: Not sure where that came from.
David Sedaris: Obama!!!
GPS: Now, take the Central Expressway.
Me: What?!
GPS: You don't have to yell at me.
Me: That'll take me in the entirely wrong direction!
GPS: It's the only way to go if we're avoiding highways.
David Sedaris: Then my father beat me with his belt for singing too loud.  I love my family.
Me: I'm sorry, what?
GPS: We have to take Central Expressway if we're avoiding highways.
Me: Why would we avoid highways?
GPS: You told me to.
Me: I did not.
GPS: Sure you did.  Saturday, when you were driving through San Francisco and wanted to avoid traffic.  You set me to "Avoid highways."
Me: How long will it take me to get there if I took highways?
GPS: 45 minutes.
Me: I'm putting you on mute now.
David Sedaris: Now that gays were able to marry, I shot my wife and pregnant daughter.


I arrived at The Crucible two hours early.  I immediately started my Pokemon Go/homeless camp experience, which we'll have to cover next week.

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