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This is why I love technology

As I was thinking up the title for this particular article, I am 99.9999999% sure I will write another article sooner or later called "This is why I hate technology." Or maybe I've done that already? Ehh... no. I wouldn't count that one. I'd have to write one that didn't include "suck ass" in the title. For the time being, this one's on non-suck side.

Tomorrow is the big day. I get my GPS thing for my truck. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself by saying that. Some out there may be wondering why this is such a big deal for me.

Here goes... (is it just me or is that a really weird phrase?)

I actually do love traveling to different places and seeing different things but rarely do so. Why? Because I get utterly paranoid about not knowing how to get where I'm going, or more importantly, not knowing how to get back from whereever it is I am.

When traveling, I prefer to drive my own vehicle or at least have a rental car ready after getting off the plane. It's a feeling of independence I just don't want to be without. The problem is that when you're in unfamiliar territory it's real easy to get lost.

Whenever I get lost driving, one of three scenarios happens:

1. I end up in a really bad neighborhood where I have to turn 'round real quick and get the hell out of there.

Of course, you only take turns that get you deeper into the bad neighborhood, further scaring the hell out of you until you magically find that one road that leads to freedom(!)

2. In city driving, I go in circles.

I think this happens to everyone. Fortunately, after two or three times I recognize the pattern and alter course accordingly - but it sucks if you're low on gas. You can't really second guess yourself too many times. Getting lost is one thing, but getting lost and running out of gas is even worse. Even though most of us have roadside assistance thru our insurance companies, you gotta sit, and wait, and wait and wait...

Small side story: I learned how to navigate Boston Massachusetts (as in deep in the heart of the Financial District of Boston) by going there at 5am on a Sunday and just driving around for several hours. I was with a girl I was dating at the time (I needed the company - I was paranoid about it) and it was fun. There was no traffic and it was easy. After that, navigating Boston was a snap. I got the idea to go at 5am on Sunday from a relative - and he was right. It's a million times easier when the streets are clear.

3. I end up in the middle of the woods somewhere where route signs are uninformative and there isn't a "direction" for miles.

I've actually had this happen to me in Connecticut if you can believe it. Several times. It usually happens if you're forced off the highway (by some accident up ahead or whatever) to an exit that puts you somewhere you've never been. Logic would dictate:

Okay, I'll just drive a little bit down the road past the exit where the accident was, and get back on the highway at the next ramp.

Does this happen? Nope. You're doomed to land on some two or three-numbered two-lane country highway and the interstate highway ramps magically disappear. The vast majority of the time the route signs will NOT tell you what direction you're going in, like East or West. It'll just state the route number - THAT'S IT.

After driving about twenty or thirty minutes you finally get a route sign with a direction on it - and it's always the case where it's not where you wanted to be heading (South instead of North for example). Frickin' sucks.

The only way I ever get out of those situations is that I know for a fact I live in the Northeast corner of Connecticut, so I just look for NORTH and EAST. Eventually Interstate 395 will show up - and it always does.


So anyway, you can see why I get a lil' freaked out about driving in unknown territory.

My driving savior: GPS.

This little piece of technology will tell me exactly where I am at all times. No longer will I need to fear the open road. And yeah, I admit it, I fear it - but not for long. I now have a guide.

A guide.

That's what I've always wanted.

Something to tell me where the FRIG I'm going.

That's a beautiful thing.

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