Monday, July 23, 2012

Road Ninjas

Today was another long travel day. We started out in Omaha, NE and made our way through a large part of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Michigan is our 10th state in 4 days and we have four left before we get to Virginia. Hopefully, between now and then I will not throw Rosie out a window.

Rosie is my brother's GPS. I don't own a GPA and Rosie is partially responsible for that. She's named after the robot from The Jetsons. Scott thought the voice on the GPS sounded like the cartoon character. Rosie the GPS and Rosie the Robot have a lot in common:
  1. The voice is the most obvious. Rosie the Robot's voice is a bit huskier but they definitely could be related.
  2. Both are bossy and know everything. Rosie the GPS just won't stop with her demands: "Turn left, then turn right." "Turn left, turn left. Turn right." "Didn't you hear me you moron -turn left!" Sadly, Rosie doesn't often realize that we're stopped at a stop sign or light. You can't turn left on red.
  3. In theory, both have their owners' safety in mind. Rosie the Robot took excellent care of the Jetsons and gave sage advice even in her bossy way. Rosie the GPS is great if you're going from point A to point B on a the highway (she even avoided a roadway my brother hates near our hotel) BUT Rosie the GPS is also rather fond of sending us through the set of The Wire. No matter where we are, she seems to find the worst part of town at least for part of the trip. Her focus on safety is questionable.
Rosie the GPS has gotten us here and I know she'll help get us all the way to Virginia. That doesn't stop me from hating her just a little bit every time she says "Recalculating" or tells me to turn left but stay right. That just doesn't make any sense.

As we were driving through Illinois (Scott was driving, I was reading), Scott happened to see a road sign about a road ninja. I looked up just in time to see what he was talking about but not in time to take a picture. Road Ninja is an app so I did what anyone with an iPhone would do, I looked it up. It's a free app, created by the company that is responsible for most of the signage you see along the highway. It lets you search upcoming exits and find nearby services. Road Ninja may be my favorite thing ever. 

We used Road Ninja to find an Arby's in Indiana (if you have to eat fast food you might as well eat what you like) and figure out what restaurants were in Jackson, MI where we decided to stop for dinner. Road Ninja, like a real ninja, doesn't talk but sends you awesome advice like "You are too far away from an exit to strike. Remember your Road Ninja training: Creep closer and try again." Or "Road Ninja senses nothing at this exit move along." 

Road Ninja balances Rosie since it's quiet, stealthy, and provides information that isn't always easy to use when you look up places on Rosie's search option (Road Ninja displays exits 40 miles or more away). Did I mention that one of the icons on the options menu is a throwing star? 

Road Ninja led us to Jackson for dinner this evening. Earlier in the day, Scott and I were discussing where we might stop for dinner. We knew we'd have to stop before we got to the hotel since it would be late and our dining options would be limited. I made some comment about our attire and Scott replied, "We're basically dressed to go to the Olive Garden." This may be the funniest thing my brother has said so far on this trip (and he's said a lot of funny things). So when Road Ninja displayed our food options and the Olive Garden was listed we couldn't help ourselves and went there for dinner.

Scott was 100% correct in his clothing assessment: we fit in perfectly. I have this habit of trying to figure out what's going on with people at other tables when I'm in a restaurant. Are they on a first date? Is it awkward? Are they fighting? It's probably not a great habit but it's fun to do particularly when I'm by myself. Anyway, we were seated by a window and there was a couple at seated right behind Scott. I was trying to figure out if they were a couple couple, related to one another, or friends. I admit that I still haven't figured it out.

The guy was in his 50s, tall and rotund (a big, big guy). He had one of those bluetooth earpieces in and a big, diamond encrusted ring. The woman was younger and blond, dressed in a shiny, lowish cut shirt and Olive Garden appropriate shorts. I couldn't figure out what their deal was. We overheard a part of their conversation and that centered around "the girls" at work who weren't doing their jobs and just wanted to sit around and listen to their music. Yes, they were discussing strippers. We still haven't figured out if the guy was the owner or manager of the club or her boyfriend. They left shortly after we overheard this nugget of conversational amazing but they were still in the parking lot when we left, hanging out by a very large white pickup truck. Keeping it classy Olive Garden style.

I leave you on that note, Island readers. I'll post more later this week.

Can't talk about ninjas without mentioning pirates.

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