Ahhh Karen, My New, Pedantic GPS friend…

Yes it’s true I bought a GPS at last!  I didn’t really buy it because it is one though – I bought it because it’s also an Mp3 player and a video player and an e-book reader! Woohoo.   And yes, it’s true I haven’t got the hang of any of it yet.  But I’m getting there.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.  Give a woman a break I’m still on a learning curve, it just takes me longer.   I kept forgetting to take it with me the first week.  So on Thursday I took it – Karen – out for a drive.   Why call it Karen?  Well, the unit has 4 choices – Karen and Bradley who call out the street names, and two who don’t.  So glad I chose Karen she’s brightening up my life immensely.  I’m having soooo much fun.  Firstly, you have to understand that I always talk in the car anyway – to the car, about the other cars/drivers/the wildlife whatever.  And secondly, you have to understand that the kids get into the car and put their headphones on and …… Now I have a friend to chat to!   Trouble is she hasn’t quite got the ‘out rural’ thing sorted yet – I have to reset her GPS setting apparently.  Currently she thinks our driveway is 200 metres up the road.  She gives me two chances (one as I turn into my driveway) You will arrive at your destination in 200 metres;  (two, when I stop to shut the gate) You will arrive at your destination in 250 metres ie you dipstick you’re getting colder!  Then as I drive up the paddock she gives me the cold shoulder – the little car icon stays sitting on the road where she thinks we belong, the black and white Finish flag sits 200 metres up the road and this little black tiny cross moves steadily sideways up the paddock!  It’s kind of like – I know where you are but I don’t have to like it!

When I take her into town where there are streets and roundabouts it’s even more fun.  I think she has PMS – she does not like it when she tells me to go one way and I go the other.  Or we are happily travelling on one road and I turn off – Excuse me, excuse me…who told you….well she sounds very disapproving anyway.  You’d think that a pre-recorded voice would always sound happy and cheerful?  First trip into town I set Karen to stop at a roundabout.  She told me we had arrived and then to turn left, well no Lovey, the post office is to the right.  Apparently I had set the return trip as well – hope there’s a shopping setting in there as she does not like pottering around town much.   By the time I went to the post office and Woolies she was beside herself.  Then she lost GPS contact TG – until the hotel corner where she found it again, and I went up to the high school to pick up the daughter before the return home.  She kept trying to get me to turn right, take the next right and reading out the street name (I was amused as I never remember street names so it’s interesting.)  The problem was that because it was a school zone she had plenty of time to try and change my mind to turn right, and she kept trying and trying.  By the time we reached the last turn she had deteriorated to ‘Take a SHARP right!’  Oooooh, don’t get sharp with me girlie!   The trouble is that at the moment she has a big glitch around the outskirts of town, so she gives me directions that aren’t correct (but may be when I reset the GPS settings) but she get’s ticked because I turn ‘the wrong way’ and then keeps trying to get me to turn into dead ends – she even tried to get me to take a ‘closed road’ one day.  I was amazed that she had a ‘closed road’ in her settings, but there was no way I was going to jump a barbed wire fence just because Karen thought I was going the wrong way.  She does speed readings when she thinks you are speeding.  And she has no tolerance for even 1 K over the limit!   Problem being when she thinks you’re on a 60kph street and you’re really on an 80kph one.  

Talking with friends someone said that there are GPS’s with voices of John Cleese haha, now that would be fun!  And imagine Billy Connolly – Shyte y’ve missed the freakin turn agin you useless old untechie!  Mind you after his diatribe on road systems in the UK, and also the tv/video set up he might actually have some sympathy with me – y puir wee untechie, get into a pub somewhere and have a wee drop to cheer y’self oop!

Karen is pretty quiet when you get out on the country roads though.  She does try to get you to keep to the speed limit still, so if you want some company you just creep up to the speed limit and ‘Helloooo Karen.’   I was thinking while she shut up the other day that there are things that could be useful with these GPS’s – especially for mothers of teenagers.  They could teach the teens to drive!  Yes, I could sit at home with the monitor and have Karen or Bradley tell them what to do!  Well they never listen to me, so it might actually work.  I don’t mean a simulator room where the road is in front of you;  I mean a real car on a real road with a real painful teenager in it, and Karen and Bradley could say ‘Stay on your side of the road’ and ‘The speed limit is.’  I even thought you could teach Karen and Bradley to do some other useful things like report ‘local driver ahead in middle of road’  ‘logging truck ahead’  ‘aminal transport hogging the road’and ‘roo, roo, WOMBAT!’   I’m not sure that I actually trust Karen and Bradley yet with directions (and I can’t wait till I’m stuck in traffic and they want me to change lanes in Sydney Peak Hour Traffic – man crossing that Harbour Bridge 3 or 4 times with them would be even more stressful)  but there are some really useful community services that they could provide.  I’ll have to look into that.  And no, I still haven’t used the ebook reader, the Mp3 player or the video player, because I’m having so much fun winding Karen up! 😉

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