Following Directions

On June 24, 1497, John Cabot and his ship bumped into Nova Scotia, thought it was Asia, and claimed it for England.  My, was he wrong!

I love maps and reading maps. I hate being told I am wrong. I don’t know if Cabot learned he was wrong or how he felt if he found out he was wrong.  I reluctantly use Google Maps in cities if I don’t know my way around.  I am a visual person, and I prefer to see where I am going. I wonder about the maps Cabot had to follow. I would have had a word with chief navigator about this entire continent being in the way of Asia, and no one knowing about it.

When have you been wrong? What is your favorite way of getting information?

23 thoughts on “Following Directions”

  1. in the old vw van i used to love looking at the big paged rand mcnally’s and deciding how many scenic routes i could plug into my travel plans

    i would love finding little gray roads (as opposed to good red roads) that i could meander on.

    i love taking back roads to see where they lead. they come out somewhere and it’s an adventure
    along the way

    great memories of mountain trail discoveries in oregon colorado montana and alberta as well as uk and china spain and italy

    when was i wrong ha
    when was i right?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. This morning I did not have much time to respond. I think that in past posts I have fully described the wrong life decisions I made early on. That is not fun content, so it stands in the archives.

      Recently I jumped back into the stock market. I only do this with extra money that does not go into our maintenance budget because I really consider the stock market to be gambling, especially right now when #45’s erratic presence affects the market. Back in March I bought Zoom stock because it was pretty obvious that with Shelter-in-Place, Zoom would be pretty necessary. But I did not have access to my old stock account because when #45 was elected, I sold my stock and got out. By the time I got a new account activated and funded—10 days— Zoom went from $92 to $122 a share. I sold it about three weeks ago at $152 per share. Now it is up to $259. I should not have sold that. I still made a profit though. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have always felt that it is impossible to be happy about stock transactions. If the stock you picked goes down, you wish you hadn’t bought it. If it goes up, you wish you has bought more shares. Or you wish you had bought it earlier or sold it later. You can’t win.


  2. My car that I bought in March has GPS. For a long time I didn’t learn how to use it. I was stymied by the inability to figure out how to tell the system the car is in Minnesota now, since it seemed to think it was in southern California. Eventually I sat down with the manual and got that reset, and tried it out. I probably won’t use it much, though. I really just prefer to look at a map on the computer before I leave for a destination, so I can orient myself in my mental map. Then I see everything in a sort of bird’s eye view in my head, and that usually gets me there.

    The experience of driving down a road and waiting for a voice to tell me where to turn just seems alien to me. Like driving into an abyss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get along really well with the voice telling me where to turn, Linda. Unlike some human copilots, she doesn’t hold it against me when I fail to follow her directions. She just mildly says “Recalculating” and works out new directions to offer me. No drama. No shame. No recrimination.

      I should have married her.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I use GPS, but you gotta look up the route first, and decide how you *want* to go, then sort of modify the lady in the GPS. Yes, “Recalculating” indeed!

    Sometimes she wants to go off ways that really don’t make sense to me. If I’m driving and Kelly is navigating, she gets upset if I don’t go the way GPS lady tells me. But I know that I wanted to skip that road because the next road is more direct. “Well then why did you ask her in the first place??” Because I know IN GENERAL how to get there, I just don’t know exactly where the destination is… I only need directions for the last mile.
    We need to establish that up front; who’s directions are we following and when am I going to listen.

    I also enjoy back roads and if I can take a different way home than there, that’s even better.

    When I was late teens, early 20’s, one of my jobs was measuring fields and grain in bins for the ASCS office (Department of Ag).
    I learned a lot of county roads and the plat book was my friend. It’s where I learned the names / numbers of roads and learned not to be afraid of just driving.
    My dad had that attitude too; “Eventually you’ll run into the Mississippi or I90 or Canada or something you recognize.” It took Kelly a long time to get comfortable with me doing that.
    I’ve never been lost, just sometimes I don’t know where I am for a while.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There was a story that went viral back when GPS units were first showing up in cars. The story was about some German guy using a GPS system for the first time. When the little voice said, “Turn right here,” he turned immediately and smashed into a wall. The story was popular because it seemed to exemplify the German willingness to follow orders. I always suspected it was an urban myth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Did you know that at some point, early on, BMW had to recall the onboard navigation system in their cars because male drivers wouldn’t heed directions from a woman? Though their on-line helpline were staffed with males who assured callers that the voice wasn’t really a woman, and that the directions she gave were all generated by males, they refused to listen. I suspect there are a lot of German males these days with their knickers in a twist because of Angela Merkel’s leadership.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hans loves his GPS, but I don’t need or want that disemboweled voice telling me how to get out of my neighborhood. I know how to get onto I-94 heading east or west, and I can find my way to I-35 heading north or south. To my mind the GPS is really handy if you’re driving in a city you’re not familiar with, especially at night; it can take you right to the door of a specific address, and that’s pretty handy.

    I love maps, the old Rand McNally roadmaps were wonderful. Perhaps I think that because I’m a big picture person, I like to see where I’m going and where it is in relationship to everything else. I think of the GPS like going shopping with a list. If you know exactly what you need, the list is handy. On the other hand, leisurely perusing items that may on special, or that look particularly tempting is more like looking at a map. Using them both in conjunction with each other is the way to go. The GPS doesn’t tell you that you’re passing within a few miles from a Presidential library or an odd little museum in the middle of nowhere, a good map can do that.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’m like Jacque – can’t remember being wrong.

    I have yet to drive a car with GPS (in our 2008 Prius it was optional), and we have no smart phone, so it’s maps for us, aided by Mapquest before leaving the house, if it’s totally new territory. And I’ve learned to use somewhere other than our house for the starting point because, as mentioned multiple times above, you know better than what’s-her-hame how to navigate your own neighborhood. So if I’m going to some winery in Trempeleau County, Wisc., I’ll say Centerville, WI, for the starting point – then I get just the last few miles of detail.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. All jokes aside, I think a lot of people are struggling right now, and I’d like to acknowledge that.

    I know I’m lucky, this shut down has affected me only minimally. Except for my hair, you wouldn’t know the difference, and truth be told, even if you used my hair as a guide, most of you have probably seen me in worse shape. Admittedly, my house isn’t nearly as clean as I’d like it to be, but no one is here to witness it, so who cares? My back just isn’t up to the task of replacing Deanna.

    But I do know that this is hard for a lot of people. No income, no idea when they’ll have one, if anything will ever return to “normal.” I can imagine that if you have a young adult in your household who is just starting out in their career that you’re worried. Ben, I think of you and your son, and I hope he’s safe and not discouraged by the backlash at the police. Vs, I think of your daughter, and how this whole pandemic may affect her future, and I’m mindful of how it will affect yours. Renee, it sounds like your kids are doing OK for now, and ditto for Steve’s Molly and her family. BiR and Michael sound like they’re in a safe place, and tim just has a remarkable ability to bounce back from whatever. I hope your kids have inherited that gene.

    I know I haven’t mentioned every baboon, that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you, but from where I sit, I think you have resources to make it through this. If I’m wrong about that, please speak up. Now more than ever we need the support of our friends.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. BiR, right now you’re grieving the loss of your mother without the “normal” ceremonies to help navigate that grief. Give yourself lots of space and recognize that you’re blazing a new trail here. Losing your mother is a major event in your life, and I know full well you’ve had others. We may or may not think ceremonies are important, but I think a lot of us look for some meaningful way of marking the passing of a loved one. I hope you manage to find a way to do that for your mom and you.


    1. I agree PJ. Things are tough for people. I am doing ok, but I do feel lonely for family and friends, which is not a big problem compared to many.

      Liked by 4 people

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