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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting From Here To There

I'm back!!!  I took time off to mourn my father and take care of family business.  My new goal is to add a new post to my blog once a week.  If I miss my goal I will jump in my pool fully clothed and post the picture on my Face book page.

You'll notice I updated my picture.  I'm truly not a procrastinator, I just take Scarlett O'hara's view, "I'll think about that tomorrow."  Of course, when tomorrow comes I'm still saying, "I'll think about that tomorrow," and so it goes on and on.  I think, I'll think about whether I'm a procrastinator tomorrow.

Now for the main focus of this blog post.

Have you ever stopped to think about the evolution of travel, finding the way from here to there? Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter.

I wasn't there but I imagine the earliest people simply followed the food supply.  Next, hunting parties had to remember landmarks to find their way back to the right cave.

I don't know who discovered constellations, but following the stars was popular for a number of years.  Compasses came along and pointed people in the right direction as did maps. With the development and use of the automobile gas stations were needed to fuel up.  Inside the station was the helpful attendant who was always ready to point and rattle off a series of left and right turns. 

It is now the 21st century and we have the GPS.  They started out as a separate unit that you carried with you, you put in a coordinate and the GPS showed the location with a dot on a grid.  The GPS has evolved into a very sophisticated unit that is standard in many automobiles.  They not only show you a map of where you are but they give verbal directions.  My brother's smart phone has an AP for a GPS, you the phone where you want to go and it starts giving you blow by blow directions on how to get there. It even tells you when you've gone too far.  The draw back to this and any other GPS is that they aren't always up to date on road construction and detours.

Over the years people have come to depend solely on their GPS's to get from here to there.  I have seen people actually hold their GPS in front of their faces to find their car in a parking lot.  The sad thing is, the parking lot was small.  The GPS has another major draw back, no signal, no directions.  Recently I went to the boondocks of Alabama with my brother.  We were trying to find an old family cemetery, he spoke the name into his smart phone and we were on our way, that is until it announced "out of range, no signal."  We didn't have a map, there were gas station attendants to ask and of course the stars were not visible. It took us awhile, but we did find our relatives that arrived in Alabama in the 1700's from Scotland.  We then found our way home to Florida without the GPS, map or friendly gas station attendant.  Until next time keep your maps of stars and roads handy, you never know when you will be out of range or if the car it is attached to breaks down.

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