Love the Garmin!

Some people have amazing skills. They can wrap any odd-shaped present to look like a thing of beauty. They can craft a stack of old photos, colored paper and lettering into a beautiful scrapbook. They can bake cookies that will delight you aesthetically and digestively. And they have a sense of direction.

Alas, not I.

The first three skills are not particularly important, but I can not find my way out of a paper bag. I get lost so often I simply allow extra time to get anywhere. It happens so often it doesn’t even bother me.

Behold the Garmin!

My first experience with the Garmin was when a friend of mine (let’s call her D) and I were heading to a mutual friend’s home. D had her Garmin on and it directed us, or should I say, cajoled us, to the correct place without a hitch. Considering that the location was several miles away in a suburb with many turns, I was impressed at the ease and simplicity.

Later on I rode as a passenger in other friends’ cars and they, too, had GPS gadgets which got us there in no time.

While I lack crafts skills, I love gadgets. Gadgets do cool things and all you have to do is plug them. Good.

By now, I saw the advantages to owning a GPS gadget.

Then recently I got lost (as I normally do) trying to get to someone’s house, and decided to take the plunge and get a Garmin. No, I didn’t check Consumers’ Reports or anyone. I just drove myself to Best Buy – mercifully I had been there enough times that I could get there without getting lost – and got the Garmin on display on the aisle.

Bought the Garmin, and been using it for the past week. Love it! Did not get lost once in the entire week.

However, I switched the female voice – “Barbara”, to the British male voice – “Daniel.” “Barbara” sounds like she’s nagging when she insists that you TURN RIGHT or TURN LEFT, tetchy when you’re approaching an intersection, and downright bitter when you take a different route forcing her to go into RECALCULATING mode.

“Daniel” keeps his cool, aloof tone all throughout. Not sure why they call him “Daniel.” Instead, he sounds a lot like this guy,


However, maybe “Daniel” is named after C3PO’s voice, Anthony Daniels.

Either way, it’s nice to have him in the car.

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10 Responses to “Love the Garmin!”

  1. Francis W. Porretto Says:

    Yes, the female voices on GPS guidance systems can be…a bit much. I named the one in my Mercedes ML-500 “Ilse, the She-Wolf of the SS.”

    Unfortunately, there are no preprogrammed alternatives to Ilse. And like yourself, I have no directional sense. Sigh.

  2. GM Roper Says:

    I bought a really cheap one not too long ago and it went to pot after only 2 months…and amazingly, it came with a 30 day warranty.

    Next time, and soon, it will be a more expensive one, that has stood the test of time or that Consumer Reports approves of or maybe even a Garmin.

    I don’t typically get lost in a closet, but I’ve been known to have been nagged by the wife to “ask for directions” a time or two when we travel to new places and go touring.

    Well, nagged is not quite the word, especially if the wife reads this comment.

  3. Fausta Says:

    Get a Garmin, GM.

    Sorry to hear there’s no Hans alternative to Ilse, Francis.

  4. Pat Patterson Says:

    I never get lost except when I’m the passenger. But the person I’with who does drive and gets lost repeatedly now has a Garmin and uses the Daniel voice as well. Daniel sounded like Alan Partridge, the English comic, and she said she had been told it was when buying her Garmin. Just wait till you try to listen to Daniel trying to pronounce a whole series of Spanish language street names. Then the fun begins. Or tell us how Daniel does with Gloucester?

  5. Jim - PRS Says:

    I would spend most of driving time being hopelessly lost, were it not for my GPS. I liken it to instrument flying.

  6. AndyG Says:

    I am a caver, ( spelunker to many of yall) we spend a lot of time hiking around in the woods and thick brush trying to find some obscure little hole hidden in the hills. When it was announced that Bill Clinton had the distortion factor from the satellites turned off years ago there was a standing ovation at our club meeting. We always spent a bit of time wandering lost, following the wrong fence line or in the wrong pasture. That was sort of a traditional part of every caving trip. My friends came back from a trip to Mexico. Part of their group was ready to hike to the cave and tired of waiting for the others to finally get ready, so with verbal instructions they took off and promptly got lost. They made their way back to the trucks, sat on the tail gate and called the others on their cell phones. They told them ” when you get to the cave entrance, call us back and tell us what the coordinates are ” When I do a professional geologic survey that involves walking over a ranch every 50 feet I tie a little garmin to my packstrap. When I get back to my office the track log shows everywhere I walked. even when I was lost going in circles.

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