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Lost with a GPS

Tomorrow is the big day and Katy will be taking her state board exam for teachers in South Carolina.  I am proud that Katy has overcome the many obstacles that she has had to endure to get to this point.  Katy finished her B.S. degree at University of Texas at Austin  in 1984 and she recently completed her Masters degree in Special Education and Cross Category.  She is now working on her second Masters degree which is Curriculum instruction Reading. 

Ask me if I feel like a mental midget next to my “brainiac”wife.  I do not have a degree yet, and she is working on her second Masters degree.  Like I said, she has worked hard to get where she is today.  When she successfully passes the state board exam, she will be allowed to teach Special Education classes in South Carolina.  We are hoping that this will fulfill her dream of being a full time teacher, working with children with special needs,but will also bring in some extra income to our budget. 

The trip was relatively uneventful until we got to mile marker 125 when I-26 West bound came to a halt.  It took us 90 minutes to make it to mile marker 122 and then we crept in to Columbia doing about 45 mph. 

Once we got into Columbia and traffic was at a crawl it gave me the opportunity to whip out the iPad and fire up MotionX GPS software.  I searched for the address for Days Inn and it gave me two choices.  Thinking I had the correct address I chose the first one and clicked the navigate button.  We were off to the races, which took us to a very nice private community that had two streets with the exact same street address, and no Days Inn.  Katy looked at me when we turned into the gated community, and told me that she thought the GPS was taking us for a spin.  Come to find out Katy was right and I did not search for the location correctly.  I stopped and searched for the Days Inn first and then verified the address.  I was supposed to be in West Columbia, not Columbia.  It is nice to have a technology tool but it is equally important to know how to use it. 

When I woke up this morning I logged on to Wyndham Rewards website and booked a room for the night at Days Inn.  I chose this hotel because it has free Wi-Fi, an exercise room and pool.  While I was checking in I inquired about the pool and I was told that the pool is out of order.  They found a leak in the pool and had to drain it.  The pool is buried in the ground and is made of concrete. If the thing is buried in the ground and it springs a leak how do they know?  I guess the water comes to the top?  My hopes for some swimming vaporized right along with the water that is no longer there.



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The only reason we decided to stay is because the free Wi-Fi does work and we are very close to the testing site.  We figure we can endure no pool for one night.  I went by the exercise room and found out that it has one stationary bike and one treadmill.  If more than two people decide to use the equipment someone will have to draw a straw.  From the looks of the equipment I bet that it has not been used in quite some time. 

Have you ever checked in to a hotel and then when you get to the room you find yourself going HMMMMMMM…. ?

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Turn your iPad into a GPS Navigation System

On our way to Greenville tonight Katy and I decided that we would stop in Columbia and eat at Fuddruckers on Bush River Road.  I fired up VZ Navigator on my Blackberry Storm 2 so that I could find the restaurant via the GPS app.  I searched and searched for Fuddruckers on VZ Navigator by Bing and it never found it.  Luckily for us, I have been to this restaurant on many occasions and I really did not need the GPS to begin with.  I had forgotten what the name of the road was but knew it was something with River in it.  When I saw the Bush River Road exit I knew that was the exit to take and then I knew where I was. 

While we were eating Katy told me “there must be an app for that” on your iPad.  When we stopped at the Murphy’s gas station in Columbia we saw an advertisement for their Murphy’s gas station locator app for iPad.  I think that is what reminded Katy to tell me this.  I downloaded an app called MotionX GPS for iPad.  The price for the app is 2.99 and there are several other apps on the iTunes store that cost 40.00 and 50.00 as well.  I figured I would try the 2.99 app first and see if I like it.  I downloaded it and after about 10 min of fiddling with it I was tracking our way to the Wingate by Wyndham hotel without a problem. 

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This is the GPS location screen that gives you the address, latitude, longitude and your GPS strength levels.

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This screen is a Map screen that shows you your location with a yellow triangle with headlights shining out in front of your location. 

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If you are a former Boy Scout and you know how to use a compass this app has one for you.  It works nicely too.

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This screen shows you step by step instructions both visually and by voice commands.  When we arrived at our destination the female voice did not announce “you have arrived at your destination” with as much vigor as some GPS devices do.  I think they need to put  a little more emotion and excitement into those voices.  LOL.

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