Getting GPSed

This is off topic – way off topic – but please indulge my little rant. This week three of my brothers and I took our soon-to-be-95-year-old father on our annual tour. It used to be old car museums but has since expanded to also include tractors, airplanes, trains and historical sites. Getting useable directions to these places is always a challenge so two of my brothers used technology to address this problem – two different technologies.


One searched the Internet for maps with driving directions that are all-too-often questionable if not downright wrong. The other had a $300 GPS unit. Having heard others besides  him sing the praises of these magical units, I had him ride shotgun and get the driving directions to the new Air and Space Museum by Dulles airport near Washington, DC. It worked perfectly. It put us on the right roads and told us where to turn right up to pulling in the gate. That’s where the problems began. Fortunately the guard had dealt with people using GPS units before and quickly got us turned around and on our way to the main entrance. It seems that GPS units take you to the closest entrance, whether it is open to the public or not. Sending us to the back gate wasn’t the only thing it did wrong.


I started to say that we got GPSed but, after wandering around in Baltimore and Philadelphia, getting GiPSied may be more accurate. It had trouble finding the Schuylkill Expressway where it was lower than the streets that ran alongside it and seemed to be oblivious to one-way streets. For awhile we felt like Charlie in the Kingston Trio song, “The MTA.”

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