Racing the GPS
image via garmin.com
The dashboard GPS has to be one of the greatest inventions ever. I mean it is right up there with air conditioning and the baconator. For one thing, if you have a GPS you never have to listen to your wife
nag suggest you stop and ask a stranger for directions (which might as well be the same as getting out of the car wearing a shirt that says: I am only 75% of the man you are). This little device, though often frustrating , brings a certain calming quality to our marriage when I decide to take a short cut and dare veer off of the digital pink line of safety. Sure, sometimes we follow our digital mate precisely and put an unhealthy amount of trust into it as we wind up cursing under our breath and turning around in vacant lots or wishing we were still on the paved road but all in all, it is pretty dang awesome.
I think that my favorite thing about our GPS is that on long drives it gives me a clear competitive objective. When I am driving and using the GPS, all of the goals in my life boil down to one thing. Beating the arrival time on the GPS. It is almost embarrassing how much joy I derive from beating the GPS. I say almost because the amount of awesome clearly outweighs any shame. One of the great things about racing the GPS is that it re calibrates as you go so if you gain a minute, it will adjust giving you instant gratification. I went on two separate business road trips this week and am happy to say that I beat the GPS each time. There are a couple of ways that you can beat the GPS like catching green lights or light traffic, but the best way to win is by speeding. I drive a lot, so as a byproduct I speed a lot. I don’t mean driving reckless like a maniac but my cruise control is most comfortable at least 8 mph above the posted limit. I don’t know why it is, but anytime I cross back into my home state I feel a sense of relief like the state troopers here will welcome me home as a favorite son and overlook my GPS racing. This is stupid for several reasons, mostly because I really only seem to get tickets in Georgia.
Driving can often be a long mundane tiring task, but beating the GPS can make it totally sweet.
If Only I had a Portable Infrared Sauna
image via consumertraveler.com
Have you ever heard of a plane crashing because of an iphone? Maybe missing the runway and landing in a river because of a Kindle? No? Funny, me either. I know that in my house we have computers and cell phones and regular cordless phones and baby monitors all running at the same time with nary a glitch or disruption. So here is the thing. I don’t think that safety has anything to do with the reason that we have to turn off all electronics before take-off and landing on a plane. I think the real reason is Sky Mall. Unless you bring your own material, the seat in front of you really only contains 2 pieces of reading material (assuming you don’t need to read the barf bag or evacuation instructions) some boring airline magazine that really is just about restaurants in cities you aren’t on your way to, or Sky Mall.
Sky Mall has comandeered my attention more than once below 10,000 feet. In fact, had I not read about it only a day before Mother’s Day, my wife may have been the proud owner of one of these:
Sit back and just say ahhhhh to in-home relaxation. Portable Infrared Sauna $399.99
image via Sky Mall
Something about flipping through Sky Mall makes me feel like I am severely lacking in iphone accessories, meerkat lawn statues, and pet car-seats. Has anyone actually ordered anything from Sky Mall? Perhaps a plush mini staircase for your little dog to climb up to your bed, or maybe packets of the first ever protein supplemented ketchup? I mean surely you are all getting your credit cards out to order one of these:
The Traveler’s Bed Bug Thwarting Sleeping Cocoon. $79.99
image via Sky Mall
You know, thanks to 20/20 and 60 minutes, that one may actually be a good idea. I am sure there are folks out there that needed a bunion regulator or a generic Snuggie, I just doubt that Sky Mall is their retail destination. Have you ever met anyone that works for Sky Mall? Tell me that wouldn’t be the best job ever, getting to decide what makes it into the Christmas edition? That actually may be my dream job. I want to be in charge of all of the vendor’s submissions and test products in order to deem them worthy of mile high status.
Until then, I will continue to ask every flight attendant possible if they have ever seen one of these on an actual flight:
This person is able to sleep comfortably in any Seat! Can you say the same? Probably not, unless you have SkyRest. $29.95
image via Sky Mall
It looks like that guy is taking a restful snooze, but my guess would be that he passed out from exhaustion and light headedness after the 20 minutes it took to blow that thing up. So far zero accounts of seeing one of these in person by any flight attendant I have ever asked. I don’t know how much longer Sky Mall will be paying the airlines in order to gain a captive audience at the start and end of each flight, but until then I will participate in the flipping ritual and wonder if I need a hot dog toaster or one of those butler statue toilet paper holders.
It is funny to joke about after the fact but when you have to bring your chair to its upright position and lock your tray tables, the prospect of looking through a Sky Mall for the next 15 minutes is totally weak.