Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sometimes The Plan is not so useful


1. Google maps lies
2. I am way too inflexible and rigid and sometimes I need to abandon The Plan

Note how I have written the points I want to make today at the beginning of this post. I do this frequently to keep myself from wandering off topic. That's why my posts are always so focused and razor sharp.

You may borrow this technique for yourself if you want.

Google maps is obsessed with highways. Even if there is a county road between East Troy and Lake Geneva - a direct north-south road - google maps wants me to continue southwest to Elkhorn to pick up the highway that then runs back through Lake Geneva. What they neglect to tell me is that the East Troy-Lake Geneva road is COMPLETELY EMPTY and will cut ten miles from my trip.

But CF! google maps protests. It's a COUNTY ROAD! Why would you take a COUNTY ROAD when you can take a state highway?

Google maps also fails to take into account that the state highway in northern Illinois from Wisconsin to Elgin goes through artsy little towns that are jammed with Chicago daytrippers and that it takes five cycles of the light to get past Main Street in Algonquin.

But when I ask google maps if I should just take I94 to I90 to Elgin, google maps says, No! No! There might be construction!

Well of course there will be construction. It's Illinois. It's the highway. It's summer. That's how they roll.

Next time, I do not trust google maps.

Why was I driving to Elgin Illinois you ask?

Because I saw on facebook that my friend Brooke, whom I met in Cedar Rapids 12 years ago and who now lives in Austin and whom I have not seen in 12 years, was going to be there this weekend with her husband so he could compete in a speedboat race.

I looked at the map and thought, Heck it's just 95 miles from my house to Elgin how much trouble can it be?

Then my next thought was, But I have tennis class on Saturday morning and then I have to pick SH up at the airport at 5:30 which leaves me not very much time in Elgin visiting with my friend.

Most normal people, when confronted with a situation like that, would not consider the tennis class to be an unyielding constraint. Picking SH up at the airport? That could not be changed. He certainly would not appreciate being told to take a taxi home, especially after his ten days in a Place That Shall Not Be Named but trust me this was not fun for him.

Most people would think, But if I skip my tennis class, then I can spend more than an hour with my friend!

Actually they would think, I could spend more than three hours with my friend because they think 95 miles = 1.5 hours of driving, which would be the case in someplace normal like Texas or Tennessee or Wisconsin but all bets are off when you get to northern, Chicago-area Illinois. No, northern, Chicago-area Illinois driving follows the Latin America Rule of Travel Time Calculation, which is to take the number of kilometers to be traveled and allow one hour per 50K.

Most people would not think, But the Wednesday class was cancelled because of rain and I totally forgot to go to the Tuesday class, so how can I miss the Saturday class?

Most people would think, Honey. You are not Venus. You are not Serena. This is a hobby. It is not a requirement. Skip the darn class so you can spend more time with your friend.

But I am not most people. I stick to The Plan. Which is good for many things, such as exercising and housecleaning and school, but not so good for unexpected situations like a friend I haven't seen for 12 years comes within 100 miles of me.

Next time, I will skip tennis and spend more time with my friend.

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