Comments on

On the Grid

Original entry posted: Fri Oct 24 20:18:37 2008

Matt @ Fri Oct 24 15:43:44 2008 EST

This brings up memories of when Kim and I were in Peru and we tried to walk from Miraflores to Lima Centro. The Rough Guide maps made them look so close, but they were actually miles and miles apart. We got so sunburned from that hike that I have a permanent sunspot on my forehead. (No skin cancer, thankfully. I recently got it checked).

It'd be nice to have coverage in other countries, but that option is too expensive and only makes sense if you travel frequently, not once a year.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Fri Oct 24 17:35:42 2008 EST

I had much the same experience when the Fuzzwife (she insists that she be called that in all online writing) and I rented a car with a GPS/direction system during a trip to California. Rather than trapping us in prescribed routes, it gave us much more freedom to wander, confident that no matter how far we deviated from the directions, we'd never have any trouble finding our way back. When I'm just working off a set of instructions ("turn left here, go a few miles, then right at the yellow barn...") I'm trapped into, well, following the directions. But a computer is quite capable of revising directions on the fly, and it's a pleasant surprise just how liberating that is.

I like your point about making location nebulous, too. I well remember the delight I felt when I got a cell phone and realized that this was the ideal no-planning tool---I could just "call you when I get there." Joy!

Thomas @ Mon Oct 27 11:07:15 2008 EST

Matt - Yeah, lack of international service is a problem. In Vancouver, we had no service, and had to muddle through with WiFi when we could find it. If AT&T ever comes up with an international calling plan, or if I could ever buy data SIMs over the counter, I will.

TFB - GPS is great when it works. I'm definitely a fan. When I was in Minneapolis for the RNC, our rental van had one. Unfortunately, there were two factors working against us: there was a ton of roadwork that wasn't on the GPS's maps (great time to tear up some major bridges, right?), and the editor behind the wheel was an unbelievably bad driver.

The reporter next to her spent the entire trip trying to get his iPhone GPS to give them directions. It never seemed to occur to either one of them that they'd be better off using one of the two devices as an actual map and figuring out the route by hand. The lesson I took from it is that technology is wonderful, but there's some people you just can't help.

Interesting that your wife is so insistent on the pseudonym. Belle hates it when I use a nickname for her on here--I think we both feel like it's a little silly. But then, we're both pretty exposed online.

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