Monday, July 10, 2017


There's been a long battle fought here, folks, the battle to bring Larry into the 21st century -- the struggle, as tech-savvy Brian puts it, to get him to trust the machine. We've made a bit of progress - he does have a smartphone, after all; but there are still some modern-day staples Larry simply refuses to get on board with.

So pretty! And fun!
For instance, on Father's Day, we bought a GoogleHome for him (oh, okay, it was for us), and he made us bring it back. "Why would you want a microphone in our home, listening to everything we say?" he demanded, exasperated at our naivete.

"But it's fun!" I said. "Look! You can talk to it!"

He shook his head in disgust. Obviously I was willing to sell my soul for a mere mess of pottage, or - in this case - the ability to say, "Hey, Google, play some Billy Joel" and have "Piano Man" come blasting out the living room speakers.

Similarly, Larry fought the good fight against that newfangled thing called GPS for a long time, instead printing out his trusty MapQuest maps like it was 1999. But he has gradually become accustomed to using Google Maps on his phone when he drives somewhere new; so last Saturday, when he had to drive Rachel and 3 other Civil Air Patrol cadets to their week-long Encampment in a rural part of our state, he threw caution to the winds and left with only his cellphone - no stacks of computer-printed routes or maps whatsoever. Oh, we were so proud of him!

You know what happened, right? Do I even need to tell you?

His connectivity dropped out somewhere in the middle of farmland, in an area he was not familiar with. Luckily, one of the cadets had a different cellphone provider, so they got by on his GPS for a while. In fact, they were on a road Larry remembered from previous years and he was pretty confident where he was going, when the cadet said, "It wants us to turn right here."

That didn't sound right to Larry, but hey - trust the machine. So he turned from a paved highway onto a paved 2-lane road. Which became a not-so-paved 2-lane road, and then a dirt road, and then nothing. Nothing but a rutted track and some cornfields, one of which happened to have a huge Confederate flag draped across it.

This is usually the point in movies where you know things are not going to end well.

So Larry turned his car full of Yankees around and hightailed it back to the main road, where by luck and Apple Maps (which came to its senses) he finally made it to the Army base they were aiming for. And he came home swearing never to leave the house without his MapQuest printouts again.

It would be hard to overstate how smugly vindicated Larry is feeling right now. I think it rivals the purple paint episode of 8 years ago for smugness, actually. I mean, if he was right about the fallibility of GPS, WHAT ELSE must he be right about, his lone voice crying out in the wilderness of 21st-century technology? Or so he thinks.

Meaning, I'll NEVER get him to come around on that GoogleHome gadget now.

[GoogleHome image: PCWorld]
[Children of the Corn image: Random Enthusiasm]


  1. I love Google maps, but I still have a road atlas in the car, and if it's really important? I'll have looked up the directions online and printed a paper copy of the map. Because my very inexpensive phone doesn't have the best coverage either.

  2. That's my brother. He's a road atlas guy, all the way. My husband though, LOVES saying " Hey Google" into his phone and asking whatever pops into his head. Also, did they even have Mapquest in 1999??

  3. I'm with Larry on this one!

  4. My only question is were they in LoCo? Some of those roads sound familiar.
    I don't do MapQuest but I do study Google Maps at home before trusting TomTom, a.k.a. "Babette."

  5. Oh, my sympathies on the husband embracing technology setback. Once again, this post proves that my husband Coach must be a long lost brother to Larry. I must adit that Coach DOES use mapquest, but I'm convinced that he was the last man to own a smartphone. As with ALL gifts we've ever given him, his father's day gift of speakers for our new kitchen had to be returned.

  6. I'm with Larry on the evesdropping thing. Who wouldn't be? says I. But I have tried to use the mapping app on my phone, but I've had to revert to the Garmin because no matter what I do, the phone will not TALK to me so that I know turns in advance and whatever filter is in my Rx sunglasses does not allow me to read the devices, so they must talk to me.

  7. I have had that happen to me with my phone too, so for the longest time I would pack my garmin in my suitcase, or into the car wherever I went. I always maintained that the more remote the area, the more likely I am to get lost and the less likely T-Mobile is to have coverage in that area.But then I am in Utah, so there is a lot of remote. Also? T mobile is the worst coverage. But even I have gotten on board with phone directions. I like that I can voice input on the fly.