Monday, May 07, 2012

Welcome Aboard Mrs. Landingham

Everyone knows that fulltime RVing requires lots and lots of gadgets and gizmos.  Back in the spring of 2006, when we were getting ready for fulltiming, we purchased two absolutely positively necessities; a Pressure Pro Tire Monitoring System and a Garmin Quest GPS.  In two thousand and seven we added a Sprint Air Card and a Kyocera Router to the equation.  We are now on our third air card (a Verizon Modem) and our third router (a Cradlepoint CTR35), but we have still been using the same TPMS and GPS.

We named the Garmin Quest GPS Maggie which is short for Nagy Maggie – “Off Route, Recalculating!”  Being that she was purchased back in the spring of 2006 she’s getting to be quite an ol’ gal.  Remember that electronics age at around 21 years for each human year, that makes her 136 years old, and she has been getting real crotchety in her old age to say the least.

First of all, her map sets are way out of date.  She’s back in the pioneer horse and buggy days when it comes to a lot of new interchange additions to the Interstate Highway System.  We can live with this short fall, but the real issue as become her attitude.  We don’t always see eye to eye on which route to take from point A to point B.  After she “Off Route, Recalculating!” for about the third time, she gets real nasty and sends us down some really weird back roads.  Oh, she gets us to our destination alright, but she certainly gets her “pound of flesh” for not following her instructions to the tee.

Mary and Joel now have smart phones with the Maps App on them and no longer had use for their Garmin NUVI GPS so they gave it to us with one stipulation.  They named the GPS unit Mrs. Landingham and we had to agree to not change her name; so Mrs. Delores “Samantha” Landingham it is. 

Mrs. Delores Landingham was President Bartlet’s personal secretary on one of our favorite television shows, West Wing.  She was responsible for maintaining the President’s agenda and so it is with Mrs. Landingham the GPS unit; that is, she will be responsible for maintaining our traveling agenda from here on out.

Now, like all updated electronic devices, there are pros and cons to each new device.  The pros are an up-to-date map set for the entire country, a larger clearer screen, and a much easier method of programming.  The cons are you have to “scroll” to the dash board to see “Distance to Destination” and there is no “Elevation” read out (or at least I haven’t found it yet). 

With Maggie we could see “Speed”, “Distance to Next Turn”, “Elevation”, and “Distance to Destination” on the right side of the screen.  Mrs. Landingham shows us “Distance to Next Turn”, “Speed”, and “Time of Arrival” and, as I said before, you have to scroll to dashboard to see “Distance to Destination”. 

I really don’t know why “they” consider “Time of Arrival” as relevant information.   There are waaaaay tooooo many variables that affect that information, such as, weather conditions, travel speed, rest stops, fuel stops, red lights, road construction, accidents, etc., to make it useful.  But, at this point in time, I have not found any way to change that display to show “Distance to Destination” instead nor have I found anything showing “Elevation” which is information that I like to have. 

However, we can change Mrs. Landingham’s language making her British, Aussie, etc..  That’s kinda neat and we really liked the British accent, but it puts the ass-CENT on the wrong Syl-LAH-ble thereby making it confusing from time to time when your trying to figure out the street name.  So we have programmed her to speak “American English – Samantha” which is what gives her her middle name. 

Finally, in the words of President Josiah Bartlet, “What’s next Mrs. Landingham?” to which she replies, “Follow the highlighted route.”  “Well alrighty then.  Welcome aboard Mrs. Landingham, welcome aboard!!”  “And, Maggie, we wish you a long and happy retirement.  Thanks for your many years of service.”

Happy Travels and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -


  1. I'm gonna miss Maggie. I just can't see Mrs. Landingham getting blamed for a poor route decision ... you may have to resort to blaming those on Darrell.

  2. I'm not sure which NUVI you have, but on my 750, if you touch the vehicle icon, it will show the current, location, nearest address, elevation, and quick access to important services.

    Bob Sanders