Posted by: guinness222 | September 17, 2007

Back from vacation (When do I get a vacation from vacation?)

Ok, I’m back, six lovely days in Disney World, LOTS, and LOTS of walking! (Thought twice about renting one of those old senior scooter thingies!) Been just relaxing a bit this morning, you know, checking the Credit Card balances, checking the Bank Balances, letting all the good old “real world shit” creep back into my being. Oh and I got a bucket of stories to tell as well.
Last time the wife and I were at Disney (’04 0r ’05 me thinks) they were just building the new Irish Pub/Restaurant in the Downtown Disney section. Spent a couple of evenings there (September 14-15th is afterall, mathmatically, half way to St. Paddy’s Day you know! Yeah, yeah just another excuse to imbibe seriously and sing silly Pub songs, meet other folks with a touch o’ the green in thier blood, and another chance to make sure my wife never forgets I ruined a perfectly pure, 100% Irish, then Irish American blood line, for her love and her hand! (I know, …what a guy,…thank you, thank you very much. I guess I am a romantic :), or an “you’re such an ***hole ” as she will remind me, everytime I tell her of this noble sacrifice on my part as my testimony to my devotion to her!
But comedy aside, they do seem have the best food in the Disney area, in my opinion, as the first thing out of everyone’s mouth when you say you went there is “Man, wasn’t the food absolutely great?”. (I suppose you have to put something in between pints o’ Guinness while you wait between 1st and 2nd pours!)
Before we begin a few comments. First my unchanging policy on “rides”. If it says anything about “motion” or “heart related illnesses”, or has a little line on the wall that kiddies must measure up to to be allowed to ride,….well color me “waiting at the other end for you”. Nothing could possibly be as “adrenaline pumping” or anywhere near as “fun” as going from a dead stop to 300 miles an hour in a jet fighter off the deck of an Aircraft Carrier almost straight up in the air pulling a bunch of “G’s”, or riding out a MAJOR storm or two in the North Atlantic in the Spring, or going from the 200 miles an hour, of the airplane on approach to the Aircraft Carrier and then the 200mph to Zero as you hit “the wire” and a full dead stop, or any of my other “fun experiances” in my life,….so why in the hell would I want the opportunity at 62.5 years of age, to relocate my gall bladder to a new area in my left ear, or my spleen to somewhere behind my knee cap, ..and not to mention reducing the size of my breathing capacity from gallons to thimblefulls to make room for the stomach as it compresses everything together! Besides dying for you country is noble, …dying for Disney World is just plain DUMB! I mean would Mickey or Minnie even come to the funeral, or would I have to subject all my friends to a Goofy eulogy (sorry couln”t resist the pun!)So let’s see, where should I begin this imfamous voyage to where “every man has been before”?
We drove six and a half hours to get there from my house, and it was all “super highway”, which we all know is boring as hell, but it’s a full hour and twelve minutes faster than the “shorter” route, with all the burg’s and villages and stop lights and all, not to mention the “Bubba-Bob” Deputies, all trying to get a new car from “the most speeding tickets in a month” County lottery.
Let it never be said I was a “slouch”, or “slacker” with regards trying new technology,…witness this little start to our adventure.
Just before I left I got a notice in the mail from my cellular company about a “FREE Trial” on a cellular GPS system for 30 days. What the hell, I’ll give it a shot! Ready? Ok I programmed in the Address of the Disney Resort we were going to (Port Orleans in the French Quarter), pulled the car out of the garage the morning we left and stood like an idiot pointing my cell phone (Blackberry) toward the skies like I was making an offering to the Gods of Travel, and allowed it to get a 9 satellite GPS fix on my driveway. After a minute or two the screen lit up and it said “DRIVE TO DESTINATION, PUSH NAVIGATE TO BEGIN.”
Cool, I felt like Magellan, and Cortez, and DeGama, and Captain Cook. (Let’s face it Columbus, the Pilgrims, and the rest of them really didn’t have a clue where they were going, they just wanted out of there (kind of like an office party at Christmas with no alcohol options!). So in we get, to the car, I plugged in my cell phone battery charger to the cigarette lighter and then into the Blackberry (good thinkin’, if we were going to leave it on the whole six and a half hours we don’t want the battery to croak twenty miles away with no back up!) I found a place of honor for it resting in a coffee cup holder where I could clearly see it, and we were just about ready.
7:08am CST – We’re off, “turn left for one tenth of a mile, turn right for less than one tenth of a mile, turn left for less than one tenth of a mile, go one tenth of a mile and turn left onto Sugar Drive, proceed 5/10th’s of a mile on Sugar Drive, then turn Right onto U.S.Highway 98 and go 4.3 miles to Route 331 on the left.” All that before I even got out of the driveway, but it was correct, so my confidence level increased in this “newfangled” GPS technology.
So I do the lefts and rights and tenths and “less than a tenths” and “poof” we turn onto the highway,…..and the screen goes blank and then it flashes “re-computing route” after about two minutes it comes back on and shows where we are and says “continue on this road until further instructions”,….and we did. The next few instructions were also right on and I was feeling pretty comfortable with this thing as we cruised up the road, under the watchful eyes of nine different satellites.
About fifteen minutes later we get to this intersection where the GPS says “take a left turn onto Route 331 North” Ahahhh! Now being the human, and having far more “un-killed” brain synapses than a cell phone, I knew if I turned right onto Rt 20 and then left about seven miles down the road, I could cut off about twelve miles with no traffic, no lights, and no fuss. So I did.
Then the “beast” began to fight with me,…”make a legal U-turn now”, which I ignored and kept going. Ten seconds later it reared it’s ugly head again, “make a U-turn and proceed west on Rt 331 for 3 miles then turning northward and proceeding until further instructions”, again I ignored it, so it sought to play upon human insecurities. The screen went blank and the “re-computing route” and spinning little hourglass showed up. (We’ll teach this little electronic beast who the boss is!) After a few minutes, as I was tooling along eastward on Rt 20, the screen lit up again. “GPS signals unreliable at this point”. Was that a veiled threat to me,….from a little machine? Was that translating to “Do what I tell you to do dummy or I’ll see you get so lost you wouldn’t be able to find your own ass with a cattleprod!”
Well little machine buddy, that’s your problem, I know where I’m going, so “re-compute” your little electrons off, and flash your “Danger Will Robinson Danger” messages in full technicolor for all I care, but remember you work for me! I pull your battery and you’re nothing,….got it?
The machine stopped flashing the “re-computing” shit as well as the “GPS signals unreliable” shit at me, and ten minutes later I arrived at the entrace to the super highway, I-10, on my terms, and my chosen route. As I got about 300 yards from the ramp to turn onto the highway, it mechanically re-acquired it’s verbal wisdom, “Turn right in 300 yards, onto Highway 10”, then “Exit to the right in 100 yards”, and I slide up onto the high way with a smug grin on my face.
(Now notice the “voice” of this thing is feminine, and being a “woman” it had to have the last word. Now, I was willing to let bygones be bygones and just keep trucking along to Orlando, but nooooooo. This little bunch of chips and resistors and shit thinks SHE has to get back into the act,….”continue on this road until further instructions”. And onward we went, eastward for about another two hundred mile to see who would ultimately win this battle of wits!
I turned to my wife who had been watching this whole battle of man versus machine, up close and personal, and she just shook her head and said something like, “Are you two done for now?” I grin sheepishly and said, “Hey honey, would you put one of those books on tape on for me?”
More tomorrow.

Oh by the way, I got an e-mail on my Blackberry as we were rolling along that Fred Thompson, my choice for our next President, would be having a “morning coffee session” for 2500 of his closest friend next week, and for only $2300 I could get a cup of coffee, a stone cold Danish, and see the man from a distance and hear him say the same thing I saw him say on his website. Maybe I’ll just invite him over the house for coffee next time he’s in town,….I know for a fact coffee ain’t that expensive!


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