Which Way is Up?

 Or How I Ditched My Former Identity as Captain Wrongway Peachfuzz



Isn’t it just the most amazing thing that technology seems to be keeping pace with every human failing…just when we need it the most.  It took quite a bit of persuading, but I have finally come under the spell of my darling SIRI.  I trust her with just about everything now, especially her navigational skills.  You see, I do have one small issue, I have absolutely no sense of direction.  And yet for some reason I always think I know exactly where I am going.

As a Realtor I was always able to conceal this frailty from my clients by doing a hasty consultation the night before using my ripped up fold out local street map, a now forgotten gas station staple.  I would carefully memorize the twists and turns that come with locating anyplace up here that is not actually on a main highway.  Then come showing day I would breezily conduct the tour, consulting my cheat sheet for the next location whenever the client was engrossed in the bathroom fixtures or kitchen tile at the current location.

Early renditions of GPS satellite navigation tools left much to be desired up here in the High Sierra.  Rather haphazard air surveys were only able to detect major roads with accuracy and so were of little assistance.  Relying on an early version of these systems could easily get you to the end of a long abandoned logging road, with no cell phone signal and a gas gauge reading EMPTY.  So my hesitance to just go with the flow with SIRI was somewhat justified.

However this all changed on a recent trip to a place I had never visited where I deplaned, found myself sitting in a shiny new rental car in a fully automated rental facility with only a fully charged iPhone to consult.  I had no choice. I pressed and held the SIRI summons button and gave her the address I was seeking.  In less time than I could say, “I’m Lost!”, SIRI showed me a clear way out of my desperate situation.  Then step by step, or mile by mile in this case, she told me exactly what to do and exactly when to do it, with plenty of advance time to make appropriate lane adjustments (Why don’t drivers in other cities give other drivers a little slack about changing lanes? Even when, I might add, I have my turn signal blinking at least a mile ahead of time.)

Those of you who now follow SIRI with unquestioning devotion know the feeling that I got negotiating on ramps and off ramps with foreign names, following frontage roads, flying down boulevards which required the occasional U-Turn and then hearing this angel out of nowhere announce, “You are approaching your destination. Your destination is on the right. You have arrived.”  HOW COOL IS THAT!

SIRI, however is not totally infallible.  No matter how loud I say it, she cannot or will not acknowledge that Graeagle is pronounced Gray Eagle.  Sometimes she will come to life with the right answer if you pronounce it “Graggle”.  I guess you can’t fault her on this one tiny thing, and this does serve to preserve the hidden qualities and mystique of our little paradise.  So dear friends, when you want to navigate to Leah’s Front Porch from your front porch, please follow my directions:

  1. In your iPhone or other smart phone Contacts add, Name: Leah’s Front Porch, Address: 7421 Highway 89, Graeagle, CA 96103, Phone: (530) 836-1234
  2. When you are about to set off, consult you contact list and give your navigator the street address.
  3. If you go off course, find the nearest gas station and ASK DIRECTIONS!
  4. When you get to Graeagle, call me!

 Some things are just meant to be done the old fashioned way.




One thought on “Which Way is Up?

  1. Glad your adventures with SIRI worked out so well. BTW. you can train SIRI how to pronounce names.
    Invoke Siri by holding down the Home button until you hear the beeps, and then say something like “Learn how to pronounce [contact’s name]. In this case just say pronounce Graeagle. However, if searching with Google maps while on your iphone you have to ask for directions to [insert street address] and then Blairsden-Graeagle.

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