Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GPS games

It is entirely possible that the GPS is indulging in a cruel joke at my expense. Yes I'm back, but I am seriously considering reporting my GPS to the society for the prevention of cruelty to Daves and other lower-life forms.

I don't do cities terribly well, and Hobart is a small city. Yes it has some beautiful sandstone (I think?) buildings in the Harbour area, but there are still a whole lot of other people determined to drive on MY road even when I am worried about getting back to Lonnie in time to fly back to the island. It is really terribly inconsiderate of them. The talk went well (I think - these things are always a haze to me. I'm good with people in small groups but when there are lots of them, I put on my crowd persona and cope. It's part of the job of being a writer - fortunately a small part. I've been told I am very funny, but that could be because of minor dress idosyncracies when I have my mind on other things. After all, if it's good enough for Superman, surely the absent-minded author can be forgiven for putting on underwear after trousers?) Anyway I had an interesting visit to the big city -- including a tolerable pizza at Cargo - and some very nice Tassie pinot noir - Tigress 2008. Almost no shopping was done as the hotel was in the middle of town, where they keep all those delightful boutique clothes shops and cafes and jewellers and electronic and sound system shops that really have all the essentials we need for Island life ;-/. And I hate driving in town and didn't have a lot of spare time.

Anyway, I managed to get out of the workshop thingy and down to my car only about 6 minutes late, and set up the GPS which said I'd be safely there at 15.03. (I kind of needed to be there 15.15 or maybe at a push as late as 15.30).

Then the cruel thing sent me plodding traffic light to traffic light MILES inland of the Tasman bridge which it has decided is one way. Time estimate was 15.10 by the time I had escaped the city... But the worst was yet ahead. It could just take me onto the midlands Highway, which is not a great road but is fairly straight and 110Km speed limit most of the way. NOOOO. It had to take me the shortest way... over a mountain with hairpin bends max 60km/H speed limits and down to 35km/H on a fair number of corners. And of course a great time for cyclists to be using this road... Then as the minutes climbed and climbed and climbed... Into the Coal river valley and through picturesque windy roaded tourist driven hills with little towns - with their 50km/H signs so you can really appreaciate their nooky-nacky shops or nicky-nacky shops - I didn't have time to stop for fuel (which I was worried about) let alone food (and lunch had not happened, and breakfast was one croussant a long time ago.) By now I'm getting worried and we've got the rate increase in GPS arrival time to slow down... but I was eventually up to 15.17... which doesn't leave any leeway for fuel, or rain or traffic hassles or anything going wrong.

Anyway, I got to the Midlands Highway, up to 110 and stuck pretty close to it... and to my relief the minutes came down and down. The GPS got me to my destination at... 15..... 03. The original prediction - which had me without ulcers.

I'm so glad to be back here where I can put the evil-minded little device back in its drawer.

Back with the family the dogs and cats... It's a little bittersweet as we know the boys have to leave soon.


  1. LOL! I once had a call for Tech support from someone wanting help with his smartphone, while talking to me on it and driving on his car. At one point his wife got on to tell me that their GPS had them crossing on an old ferry instead of a bridge, and could I help them? So I pulled up mapquest and got them headed in the right direction. Now there's customer service! Got the phone working, too, BTW. :-)

  2. Ah Hobart! How shall I count thy one-way streets? Or streets that terminate in stairs in Battery Point. It was a nice pedestrian town back when I was last there (which was when the bridge was playing "all fall down").

    But you have to admit it was the most direct route. As the crow flies. And the tourist shops. And the cyclist cycles. [Next time try going to Bridgewater first. That's Bridgewater TAS, not SA (although if you do make that mistake be sure to drop by and say hello).]

    [Probably not as interesting as the west coast road which motorcycle enthusiasts liked to use as a "shall we become a hood ornament" test, back in the day.]

  3. I think I figured it out. Take a look at the back, and see if you have the CASNDRA GPS? That one always gives on-the-nose predictions, but no one believes it, and it loves to send you around three sides of the house to get to the near corner, because let's face it, when you're cursed to tell the truth, you might as well have fun...

  4. My realtor was always shocked that I knew an easier, straighter route to the places we were looking at than her GPS wanted to use. Why, I used MAPS! and REMEMBERED routes! How very outre' --