Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Stuff...

1) The Zed Drei came with the make-your-kidneys-bleed sport suspension. Combine that with 40-series rim-protectors on butter-soft alloy rims, and I tend to plan my local routes based on how recently a road has been resurfaced and whether or not there are any axle-breaking bomb craters lurking un-patched in the middle of the travel lane. The GPS does not understand this, no matter how loudly I explain it to the gizmo.

2) When the GPS gives you an inane direction, and then nags you when you don't obey, it is apparently amusing to your passenger when you are reduced to yelling "Shut your whore mouth!" at a little plastic box suction-cupped to your windshield.

3) The law on alcohol and toting in Texas. tl;dr version: Don't.

4) Some boneheaded legislator in Indiana has decided that a 10¢/bag "deposit" on plastic bags at the grocery store is a splendid idea. Every day, I feel more like an extra in Atlas Shrugged. Aside from the questionable philosophical underpinnings of the whole concept, has this asshat ever even been to a grocery store? Generally the cashier has you all rung up before they have any idea how many bags you'll need. Sweet Shiva, I hope this one goes down in parliamentary flames. All I need is another legislative roadblock in the checkout lane; I already have to wait for the guy in the "WWII Veteran" ballcap to pull out his ID and prove to the government's satisfaction that he's old enough to buy a Budweiser.

34 comments:

DaveFla said...

I've found that unless I'm listening to an audiobook, the GPS is best left muted. Mainly that's because I have similar experiences; it's also because the voice setting is Mandarin, in order to amuse my China-born spouse...

Mousie762 said...

There's not that much that causes me to truly LOL sitting at my computer, but the idea of a passenger's reaction to yelling "Shut your whore mouth!" at the GPS was one of them.

My ex used to refer to the GPS as "the other woman."

Desertrat said...

A GPS doesn't have an "Off" switch? Aw, well, since I memorized the US Hwy system, I don't figure I need one.

Given the history of courtroom squabbles in Texas about "impairment" and all that, the key point is that you stay below 0.08 and have a modicum of common sense. By and large, most CHL folks have almost zero problems there. Proof in reverse: If they had such problems, they wouldn't have CHLs.

Plastic grocery bags? Hey, the dude wants to raise the cost of sanitation. Those critters are real handy if your away from home and have to deal with a full colostomy bag. They make good liners for wastebaskets, as well. Handy as quick tote-bags, or for in-car trash. I re-cycle my plastic bags; sounds like folks need to re-cycle that legislator.

Midwest Chick said...

We will deliberately go a different direction just to see how long it takes to recalculate, especially when we know from experience that a certain path is better. I think the winner was about 10 miles of it telling us to U-turn every mile or so to go back to its chosen road.

Justin Buist said...

The last time I used a GPS for a long trip I was sorely disappointed that it didn't have an "Avoid Canada" option.

It's a nice place and all but they might have taken issue with the handguns I had with me.

zeeke42 said...

The plastic bag thing is just asking for massive fraud. You can fit a lot more plastic bags in a truckload from a neighboring state than cans or bottles. I just read an article about the massive fraud problems Maine has with their 10 cent bottle deposit.

Bubblehead Les. said...

re#2: "I'm sorry Dave. I am unable to comply with your request". Maps are cheaper and don't talk back.

TBeck said...

I'd say #3 is good advice for anywhere.

Rick C said...

"Shut your whore mouth!"

"Shut up, robot!" yelled at the auto-cashier at Wal-Mart is endlessly satisfying, especially if you say it like Doctor Zoidberg ("Shut up, robutt!")

"iven the history of courtroom squabbles in Texas about "impairment" and all that, the key point is that you stay below 0.08 and have a modicum of common sense."

This, no doubt, is why the sheriff in Austin (I think it was) wants to invent a new class of drunk driving, "Driving while ability impaired", to take effect at a 0.04 BAC.) Why nobody's ridden him out of town on a rail yet, I don't understand.

Montie said...

Rick C,

Oklahoma HAS this law. DUI (driving while under the influence) is .08 or more BAC, while DWI (driving while ability is impaired) is .06 to just less than .08 BAC.

Stranger said...

Enjoy it while you can. The FCC has empowered a "wifi" service to build a network of 40,000 "high powered" wifi transmitters immediately adjacent to the GPS band.

GPS receivers will be blocked for several miles from each transmitter. So 280,000 square miles of largely metropolitan areas of the US will lose GPS entirely and another 1.25 million square miles will be compromised.

"Lightsquared" says they will "filter" the unit you have. That will be a neat trick.

Stranger

Standard Mischief said...

You should have something like "Avoid part of route". I do on my pre-Columbian era tomtom.

Mine sorely needs a shut-up button too. Oh, a mute is there, but I requires three presses on a touchscreen with no feedback while I'm trying to concentrate on my detour. The off button only takes holding down a real hardware button for one second. You can guess what gets used more.

Jeff said...

Did they leave the name of the asshat legislator out of the story so we wouldn't know who to send our letters and make our phone calls to? I agree with the word verification; the whole idea is "bulske!"

Ian Argent said...

@Stranger: that is the second time today I've seen that FUD. Investigating further is on my to do list now, but off the cuff response is "it is still FUD, LTE does not work that way"

perlhaqr said...

Yeah, my wife finds my back talk to the GPS lady really hilarious, too. :)

"Shut your electronic piehole you cybernetic retard!"

"I'm going to reprogram you with an axe!"

etc.

Randy said...

A few minutes with appropriate screw/torx drivers and a pair of wire cutters can alleviate the problem of uppity GPS types for good.

(Fortunately it's a setup menu setting in my ancient Street Pilot. But surgery is always an option!)

Ian Argent said...

"As the Washington Post article points out, LightSquared's success depends on the terrestrial network. GPS receivers are used at cell sites for critical timing functions. They have a lot of reasons to avoid even a hint of interference to GPS." - Found at http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/112844.

If lightsquared goes live and hoses GPS, the cell carriers will have them shut off the transmitters quicker than you can say "fcc complaint". Knocking out GPS knocks out E911k something the FCC takes very seriously.

Anonymous said...

/Bags

Word to the wise:

IKEA blue tote bags, they hold about 5 bags of groceries or more, they fold into your pocket.Ikea charges a few cents for them.

I keep a couple in the car, and load grocery bags into them so I don't have to make 3 trips.

Works at COSTCO too.

Homer said...

You want kidney bleeds, I'll loan you my 4WD with the 10-ply E-rated tires for a week. I think the last time the suspension actually moved was when they were bolting it on at the factory, and I'm pretty doubtful about that.

As for the GPS, I'll stand by my comment from yesterday: map, compass, sense of direction, desire for adventure. Scrap the $%!@ electronics and go tackle life.

Incidentally, Differential GPS radically improves the accuracy, if not the smarts about what route the GPS wants. Usually the Coast Guard does the DGPS stuff, which makes it work well in coastal FL, but probably not so much in Indy. Any Diff stations near you?

Crucis said...

My wife doesn't nag me while driving. Why should I let an electronic device nag me? Besides, I'll listen to my wife when behind the wheel. She has eyes and a brain. The GPS gizmo has neither.

Nancy R. said...

Regarding #2: Much as I love your comment better, it's not something I want the 5-year-old repeating. Instead we yell "I DEFY YOU!" Almost as satisfying.

Kristopher said...

Check the prefs.

You can tell it to STFU, as well as tell it to stop attempting crow-flight routes through people's backyards.

perlhaqr said...

Homer: You want kidney bleeds, I'll loan you my 4WD with the 10-ply E-rated tires for a week.

Ayup. Suburban 3/4 ton chassis with most of the superstructure cut away (making a dedicated off-road rig) on 265/85-16s slightly underinflated to "only" 70 PSI... it's a bit rattling.

Mousie762: My ex used to refer to the GPS as "the other woman."

Did... you leave her for the GPS? ;)

Bram said...

We have said worse to our GPS. I was considering switching to one of the male voices so I could try different insults. When I make her re-calculate, then get an earlier arrival time she really takes a verbal lashing.

The wife recently drove her Krautmobile into a canyon of a pothole and bent three rims (sports suspension w/ run-flats). Not cheap.

GuardDuck said...

Here in the People's Republic of Oregon they're trying to ban the plastic bags completely and then force the store to charge a nickel for paper.

As to the GPS, I've been know to mutter "recalculate this b^+@#" when taking a more preferred route.

Anonymous said...

I have analog gps. Never failed yet!
Ulises from CA

D.W. Drang said...

When driving to Reno for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous last year, I realized I needed to gas up before heading off on the shortcut that goes through the wilds of Orygun via Klamath Falls--no, I didn't stop to say "hi" to Clint and Heidi Smith--but there was no station at that exit in Eugene. Got back on 5 heading south and the Navigator on my Droid immediately recalculated my route, to go down into Cali as far as Yreka and then head east.
When I turned around to head to the first exit in Eugene, The Voice was telling me to turn back around.
Topped up and got headed back south, and The Voice was telling me to take the K-Falls route again.

Carl H said...

I worked for one of the big GPS makers for a while, kept trying to program in the 'Tom Waits gambit'. That's where you drive all the way to Reno on the wrong side of the road.

Will Brown said...

Thanks for the link, Tam.

When your "little plastic box starts calling your morals into question in return, then is when I'll start really worrying about the threat posed by AI.

Steve in IA said...

Our GPS's name is, less than affectionately used from every seat in the SUV,"MAP BITCH", which was well-earned on multiple trips for "her" constant nagging about "legal U-turns", recalculating, and reminding us that we will take an exit on the left in 228 miles...

wolfwalker said...

When the GPS gives you an inane direction, and then nags you when you don't obey,

Hakuna matata.

My GPS doesn't talk. :-)

Anonymous said...

You need to get a better car, Tam. Let me suggest a 1963 Dodge 440 or an F350 4 x 4 pickup. A '66 Chrysler Town and Country Wagon with tow package gets you a front sway bar, limited slip diff and a 4v carb on the 383 V8 with oversized brakes and power everything. Pure awesome. -- Lyle

Windy Wilson said...

I do not care for GPS. I can read a map, orient myself to it, and follow a route. Cursing the GPS does not go over well with your passengers, particularly if the GPS belongs to them :0

Once, driving the Grapevine in So Cal the @#$%^&*! GPS wanted me to take the "old road", the predecessor to I-5 which is today usually used by bicyclists and motor cycles.
The Other Time, it sent me out in the California Central Valley to God knows where in search of State 99.
If I plan the route myself I have the map, the route instructions and the idea in my head, and we get there cool calm and copacetic (sp?).

Windy Wilson said...

Oh, and I don't think you mean literally an extra in "Atlas Shrugged". That implies it's only a movie and you can go home after your scene is in the can. A better analogy might be from some Star Trek fan fiction, like where the actors from the TV series find themselves switched somehow into an alternative universe where their characters are real (and Leonard Nimoy is stuck with the fake ears). THAT would be distressing.