Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I like maps. Atlases for the bigger view, state maps for the more close-up look, detailed city maps for getting around. It saddens me when we purge our drawers and files and toss out old maps we no longer "need." Yes, they may be outdated but that doesn't make them trash, that makes them history. How much fun is it to return to a place last visited years earlier and make note of how things have changed, been moved, roads redirected. We actually go to museums and libraries to see old city layouts and maps.

Cartography has been with us since the cave man drew in the dirt with a stick to let his neighbor in the next cave know how to get to the herd of mastodons while avoiding the sabre toothed tigers. Where would our world be without the early cartographers making rough sketches of coastlines and new worlds? And I believe, as a cartophile, that maps are works of art.

Image from Google.com
Our modern times have brought to us satellite views and Google Earth. We have Google maps, complete with street views. If you see the Google car, be sure to wave. And most cars and phones come with GPS (Global Positioning System) giving us not only maps of where we are, but directions on how to get there. AND THEY TALK!

We have named the voice of our car Joan. She is bossy and a tad patronizing when giving directions. Heaven help us if we pull off the highway for a rest stop or something to eat. She berates us with anger and impatience and says "recalculating." It's her way of saying, "you went the wrong way, stupid."

The other day, Husband mentioned something that went contrary to the schedule/plan/already-in-place actions (can't remember what it was and he was only making a spontaneous suggestion). I simply answered, "recalculating." We laughed and now it has become a "nice" way for us to say, "ummm... no."

But it's not just "no." It also means that things have to be rearranged. Sometimes, there will be an alternate route that is equally efficient and perhaps more scenic. Or there could be something interesting off the planned path worth exploring. Other times, no, there is no other alternate route at this time. Recalculate.

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