The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things Not Blogged, Part One

It wasn't until someone mentioned on Facebook (that bastion of social small talk) about bad experiences with GPS systems that I realized I'd never written about my little "incident" with a GPS from December of 2007 of last year.

Let us flash back to that time: we'd gotten dumped on by a ton of snow, but suddenly in the weeks before Christmas it had warmed up a bit. That led to a decision one Tuesday when I didn't have to work to head to the old alma mater, UW-Whitewater, to pick up a 2007 NCAA Division III National Champions sweatshirt. Or three.

Now, there is no direct route to get to Whitewater from Waukesha, except for Highway 59. It was a rather strange day - very foggy in spots, with the snow basically causing visibility to be nil in some spots. This wasn't a huge problem, until I got outside of Palmyra on 59. Apparently, a trailer truck had jackknifed or otherwise had an accident to block the highway, and there was a long line of cars looming ahead in the mist. I decided to take a U-turn and head back to the previous side road, and try to cut across to one of the other roads that led into Whitewater.

After spending some time wandering through the countryside, I remembered that I had signed up for EasyEdge with US Cellular, their Internet-like application that would allow me to download and use all sorts of apps - like, for example, a mini-GPS app known as "Your Navigator". I fired it up, set my phone to send GPS signals, and entered the address of the UW-W Bookstore on Starin Road.

Only one problem: it kept telling me to head down roads where there were these signs saying, "ROAD CLOSED AHEAD." Then, I finally get to a point where it tells me to "Turn left", and I can't - because there's this long "ROAD CLOSED" barrier and, beyond that, a bridge that is completely out.

I gave up on the GPS after yelling at it a bit, then ended up swinging north and onto Highway 106. Somehow, I got turned around, ended up over on the far west side of Whitewater, and came into the campus from Tratt Street. This wasn't all that bad, but I was NOT looking forward to the drive back home.

I was reminded of this earlier this month when Sarah and I decided to drive to Whitewater in her convertible on the 12th. This time, we had to take a complete detour of Highway 59, which is under construction between Whitewater and Palmyra. I'm pretty sure I drove over the bridge that was out back then.