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25 September 2019 @ 01:32 pm
Well, that was quick...  
We drove our son down to L.A. for college on Saturday, and then drove home on Sunday. Boy, I remember the days when a quick trip like that just meant a lost weekend. Now, it wipes me out!

Not to mention the funk that settles in afterwards as empty-nest syndrome returns all over again. :( It's better today than Monday, but it's still hard...

On a lighter note, trips out of town mean bringing along the Garmin GPS unit, which is both helpful and a source of unplanned entertainment.

Our GPS system butchers Spanish and other foreign-language words pretty badly, and sometimes struggles with fairly typical English ones. It doesn't always recognize composites, so Lakeshore comes out as lacka-shore, and it uses a peculiar half-French pronunciation of boulevard that sounds like BOO-leh-vard. Like other algorithmically-generated audio systems, it also sometimes resorts to yodeling when it's really unsure what to do. So, Terwilliger (in Portland) comes out as Teh-ER-eh-wil-AZH-er (which is also oddly half-French, for no good reason).

During our weekend trip, the GPS unit launched into some Spanish street-name begining with "La" and immediately mangled it into "Lay," which brought back memories of one of our Hawaii vacation highlights:

We took the GPS along for that too, and it was REALLY hopeless with Hawaiian words—absolutely pathetic. Still, the last thing you expect for a street named "Kamehameha III" is to hear it pronounced "Kammy-hammy-ha Ai-yi-yi!" :O


The hotel location in Kona was totally worth it just for the number of times THAT little surprise popped up whenever we drove around. Holy cow! \0/

Direst Ryl: Sea Is for Cookieryl on September 25th, 2019 11:28 pm (UTC)
I have yet to hear a GPS system pronounce "Brevard" correctly. The emphasis goes on the last syllable, but for some reason GPS always wants to put it on the first.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 26th, 2019 12:52 am (UTC)
'Brevard' looks like it should be 'breh-VARD' to me, but not for any good reason. I suppose that one's a coin toss.

But you would think the software might be updated with known regional pronunciations, unless there are just too many possibilities?

My daughter has her iPhone on Aussie Steve, for the LOLs, and that results in words like "BAL-bwuh" for Balboa, because that word isn't part of the regional knowledge-set for Australia.
Direst Rylryl on September 26th, 2019 01:11 am (UTC)
You're right. It is "breh-VARD." But GPS and people who overthink it say "BREH-vrd."
Muriellemurielle on September 26th, 2019 12:21 am (UTC)
Don't drive so I don't have a GPS, but I have heard them in other people's vehicles and they are hilarious. I love it when the driver goes a different way and the GPS goes berserk for a minute or so. I'm totally perverse enough to do that just to drive it crazy if I drove and if I had one.

Sounds like your trip with the boy was fantastic. So happy for you. New kitty is going to have to work extra hard to fill the void I think.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 26th, 2019 12:55 am (UTC)
We ran into a little aggravation with our GPS unit, where it started to lag. So, by the time it told you to do something, you'd already passed that option. Then it would offer a new option just after you'd passed that one, too. We finally had to turn and wait for it to catch up. :O

Though my favorite version of CPS is the Mayhem one in Allstate Insurance commercials. ;)

Our poor kitty. Between our trip to Oregon, and then this trip to Hawaii, he had a couple of 10-day stints where we were gone, and it was hard on him. He was SO glad when we came back after only one day this last time. Although his favorite toy did not come back with us. He doesn't know that yet, but eventually, it's going to sink in... :O
cindy: spn - metallicar (by mara_sho)tsuki_no_bara on September 26th, 2019 04:09 am (UTC)
i think my favorite gps weirdness is when wrenlet still lived in dallas and i went to visit, and we were going somewhere and needed to turn onto fm [street number] - i guess "fm" stands for "farm to market" but the gps apparently forgot where it was and kept calling the road "federated states of micronesia [number]". we cracked up every single time.

also my sister lives off st paul street, which my gps consistently refers to as "street paul street".
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Laugh SPNhalfshellvenus on September 26th, 2019 07:10 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, "FM" is not really a word outside of a radio context, so it doesn't seem like a legitimate street name. But extrapolating "federated states of micronesia" out of it? Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Boy, it really takes some extra work to come up with something that incredibly wrong. :D

"Street Paul Street" is impressive, too. Someone really needs to improve the software algorithms for that GPS. Wow! "Street" is only an approriate interpretation at the END of a street name, not at the beginning.

You know, I'm betting there are a ton of "Mulk" renderings for the various MLK streets in cities across the country that don't list the name as "Martin Luther King Drive/Avenue/Way" or even "M. L. King".

Though come to think of it... in my trips to southern California years ago, I initially thought that "Cyn" was some sort of possibly Welsh word for a specific type of place or location. I didn't realize it was an abbreviation for 'canyon.' Now I'm wondering if some GPS software renders that as "kin" or "sin" instead of using the full word. :O

passing_through: good things are going to happenpassing_through on September 28th, 2019 04:01 am (UTC)
Your trip to Hawaii sounded so awesome! We have a girl in our training class that's from Hawaii and when you say her full name it has a lyrical sound to it. It's so pretty. She goes by Grace which is part of her first name.

I have a question about your snorkeling. Weren't you afraid you would float away from the boat? I would be terrified to get in the water at night. Actually, I would be terrified to get in the ocean at any time of the day. I love the beach but will not go into the water.

Was your son excited to go back to school? I know the girls always looked forward to it. I think they were ready for their independence again :)

Empty-nest syndrome is terrible. I still miss the girls living at home and being around all the time. Having them and the boyfriend here last weekend was so special and spending Sunday in downtown Austin with the three of them is something that I really want to do again. I'm just happy they wanted their mom to go with them :D

My brother's GPS is set to the voice of a British woman. He says it makes him feel like James Bond when she gives him directions, lol!