Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GPS Can Bite My Ass

My work phone has Google Maps on it, so I can find my way around...and it's a pain, to be kind about it. The routes it likes to send you on are not always the best insisting on going up the Van Wyck Expressway in NYC instead of the Grand Island Parkway because it's more direct to JFK (even though it's always packed with heavy traffic)...or vise versa when you're in a cargo van (they aren't allowed on NYC Parkways). And the only way it seems you can change it is if you deliberately ignore it and let it yell at you; then it adjusts to your settings, but not happily.

However, today was the epitome of Google Map insanity. I'm in Washington DC, staying at a hotel just outside the 495 loop, and I need to get to Silver Spring. It's morning rush hour so I know it'll take a while, and the location I'm headed for is on a side road down a dozen other side roads by a park, so I input the address...and Goggle took me off this ramp and turn left here and right there and get on this road and follow it to that fork but stay left...when all it had to do was let me travel along the 495 to the second exit farther and go left...and I'd have been there in half the time.

Then I'm trying to get from Baltimore's Airport to hit the 83 for my return to Buffalo (I'm staying overnight in Harrisburg). I get to the 695 and I know that connects to the 83, so I'm toodling along in VERY slow traffic (it's like the 101 in the morning between Woodland Hills and downtown LA) when Google startles me by saying, "Take the exit for I-95 North." I'm thinking, maybe the traffic isn't as bad that way, so I do it. And it takes me into downtown Baltimore. As in, the city streets. Where you not only have to worry about drivers who know nothing about driving, but pedestrians who think the streets are to be crossed wherever and whenever they want. For miles. By the time I was on the 83 (which, apparently, does not have a direct connection to the 95) I was ready to pull out an Uzi and blow away a few hundred people. Harrisburg, it turns out taking me off the freeway and down some back residential streets is a more direct route to my hotel than just following the freeway around.

It's times like this you wish technology was still in the stone you'd have the damn stones to throw at people when they pissed you off.

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