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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 09:10 AM   #21
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Hi BUM,

Just wanted to add some information to the GPS discussion. I spent some of my career developing (or at least managing the development) and improving GPS hardware and systems, and my DW had a job developing sofware for GPS units for several years. For at least 8 years, we've been using GPS for a variety of applications from locating and mapping archaeology sites in remote areas to finding the best route to Grandpa's house. Because of my DW's job, we actually had a military version handheld GPS unit for several years -- more accurate, but terribly awkward design and software.

Here's what I've learned about GPS units:

1) The most critical distinguisher is the software that the unit runs and that it links to . . . not the hardware. The actual reciever is a relatively tough design challenge, but the designs have been accomplished and now the companies can buy these parts like commodities. The software, on the other hand, is still evolving and even buggy sometimes.

2) The commercial companies like Magellan and Garmin provide such useless and misleading information about how their software really works and what it will do that it is very difficult to figure out what product you want. But today, if you buy at least a mid-priced unit from either of these companies you will probably get something that you can make pretty useful.

3) Most people who get GPS units are like the people whose VCRs always flash 12:00 AM. They never learn how to use them and don't get much out of them. If you aren't inclined to fiddle around and learn the features, you are probably better off printing out a lot of maps from Yahoo and navigating with them.

4) If you do become a power user, additional memory can be very useful. Magellan uses some standard flash memory cards in some of their units that are dirt cheap and might be compatible with your digital camera, etc.

I will say that we use our GPS units to great advantage when we travel. Each evening we can plan the next day's route and enter key waypoints along the way into the GPS unit plus upload any detailed topo maps for offroad travel. During the day, we can refer to the maps and waypoints to see how far away we are from critical turns, etc. You can even set alarms so that your GPS unit will remind you when you approach critical highway turns, etc. We also can save locations of points of interest that we visit or discover and write short notes to ourselves in the database. This information can be downloaded into our computer database in the evening and the next day's travel planned. You can download your digital pictures at thes same time and tie the files together. This may not be as important to people who aren't doing archaeolgy documentation. Even if you only use the unit for street and highway navigation, the laptop link can be useful if you change you decide to change your itinarary and take a detour once on your route.

This might be more effort than a lot of people would want to do, but for the kind of things we do, it really pays off.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 09:13 AM   #22
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Slightly off the topic,

Quote:
Re. the Kurt Russell movie, I've seen it (twice). You will probably feel like packing "heat" on any long trips.
I saw that scary movie several times myself and I don't think that packing heat would have help the Russell character as his wife voluntarily went with the trucker. Plus there was a whole bunch of bad people around him trying to do him in. I don't believe there is need for guns in metro environment though I would agree that they may be necessary in a rural setting. I certainly will say those bad folks in the movie needed killing real bad (no trial needed) after all the innocent folks they killed.

MJ
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 11:27 AM   #23
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Fortunately the "bad places" are fairly well marked.

I noticed that in certain areas of the country, road signs started gaining bullet holes.

A few large caliber handgun holes are certainly something to be concerned about. When you're going by your third highway sign thats been obliterated by buckshot, its probably wise to keep driving...
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 12:12 PM   #24
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
When you're going by your third highway sign thats been obliterated by buckshot, its probably wise to keep driving...
.....but what if your car mysteriously breaks down in one of these areas * and your cell phone is out of range * and you have to take a short-cut to salvation through some privately owned land with "No Trespassing" signs with lots of buckshot?
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 12:56 PM   #25
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

I think I saw that movie.

Wasnt that the one where in the middle of everyone getting killed by a mysterious evil peson all the girls decide its time to take a shower?

Anyhow, faced with that situation (the scenario, not girls in the shower) I'd try as hard as humanly possible to NOT look like a road sign. Thats all I can come up with.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 01:56 PM   #26
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
I think I saw that movie.

Wasnt that the one where in the middle of everyone getting killed by a mysterious evil peson all the girls decide its time to take a shower?

Anyhow, faced with that situation (the scenario, not girls in the shower) I'd try as hard as humanly possible to NOT look like a road sign. *Thats all I can come up with.
Well of course you wouldn't be looking at the road sign -- not with all those girls in the shower to look at.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 02:16 PM   #27
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

A bunch naked girls :P showering in large slow moving shower stall in the middle of the desert following you or "vice" versa while you are dodging bullets.

Interesting fantasy.

MJ
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 02-16-2005, 02:50 PM   #28
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

As long as they arent in a pig truck.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-05-2005, 05:06 AM   #29
 
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

You guys are pretty funny People who shoot at road signs, telephone lines, and mailboxes should be boiled in their
own juices IMHO. But, I see something almost as
moronic every day when I walk my black lab. We live
right by 3 state parks and one state forest, plus one real nice city park (it's not in the city, which is kind of neat). Anyway, the amount of trash and junk discarded
is just appalling, and these would be absolutely
beautiful areas (almost pristine by Illinois standards).
The trash doesn't bother me as h in the cities since
avoid them anyway. People dumping old tires and beer
cans on nature's bounty really ticks me off (EOR).

JG
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-05-2005, 05:28 AM   #30
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
You guys are pretty funny * *
*People dumping old tires and beer
cans on nature's bounty really ticks me off *(EOR).

JG
Me too and well worth a rant or two. BTW Black labs are awesome dogs. Friennds have three and my cousin has one. May be my next dog. Currently have a St Bernard. Also a very cool dog.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-05-2005, 06:44 PM   #31
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:

On another topic, have you considered self-protection? That can take all forms such as clubs, knives, pepper spray, and guns. I would think someone on a cross-country trip would want to have something with which to defend themselves from either a human or animal attack.
On an RV web site I visit on occasion, someone gave the tip of keeping oven cleaner for self protection as oven cleaner is legal in all 50 states. Interesting. But I would worry about the amount of damage it could do as compared to pepper spray.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-05-2005, 08:52 PM   #32
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
On an RV web site I visit on occasion, someone gave the tip of keeping oven cleaner for self protection as oven cleaner is legal in all 50 states. *Interesting. *But I would worry about the amount of damage it could do as compared to pepper spray.
I think that would only work on a dirty crook. Also, make sure you don't spray him as he opens the front door since the backwind may cause the mist of EasyOff to blow back at you and will make for an interesting police report.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-06-2005, 03:15 AM   #33
 
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Another advantage to a shotgun (no 'backwind").
You might get a little splatter on the door and walls though. Additionally, you can hit the perp about anywhere and it will stop him/her (note - gender
friendly). Thus, you don't have to really aim, just
point and shoot. Simple and effective.

JG
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-06-2005, 03:49 AM   #34
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

A dog works better. Although RV' ers have encountered restrictions even there - certain State Parks - as I recall.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-06-2005, 07:46 AM   #35
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
Another advantage to a shotgun (no 'backwind").
I agree with the shotgun defense. Would an FID card suffice in allowing you to carry a shotgun across state borders, or do you need to pay for a license in each state you enter? I have a Class A license to carry all firearms in my state, but I haven't looked into the rules for carrying a shotgun across state borders since I don't have a shotgun, and I don't plan anytime soon on crossing state borders with the shotgun I don't have.
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-08-2005, 11:15 AM   #36
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
A dog works better. Although RV' ers have encountered restrictions even there - certain State Parks - as I recall.
How exactly do the dogs handle the shotgun?
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-08-2005, 08:59 PM   #37
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
How exactly do the dogs handle the shotgun?
Pretty well, considering they don't have opposable thumbs

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asi...ic/1065843.stm

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/...?from=storyrhs
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-08-2005, 09:31 PM   #38
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Okay. I have to ask about this.

First, I should point out that I have been a pretty adventurous travelor. I've hitchiked through 46 states and into Canada and Mexico. I have crossed the line of legal behavior to get enough money to eat on dozens of occasions. I've traveled without guides extensively in Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico, Egypt, Greece and several countries in Europe. I've worked in roadhouses and worse for a little money to get me down the road. I've stumbled into high dollar illegal deals and participated as a matter of safety. To this day, my DW and I spend a couple of nights a week in redneck dives and cycle bars where we go to dance.

Throughout these experiences, I have never carried a gun. I have never looked down the barrel of a gun except those held by corrupt or misguided law enforcement or military personnel. I have never been in a situation when pulling a gun would have seemed to have been advisable. . . in fact, my experience is quite the opposite. I feel confident that in the most tense situations I have been in, pulling a gun would have created a situation of greater danger. I cannot recall a single time in my life, when pulling a gun on another human being would have been a good thing to do.

So . . . those of you who are convinced that guns make you safer, can you tell us how many times you have used your guns for protection and how it came out? It seems like a pretty dangerous move to me, and I'm curious how you guys have managed it.

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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-08-2005, 10:16 PM   #39
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Quote:
To this day, my DW and I spend a couple of nights a week in redneck dives and cycle bars where we go to dance.
You must be a little slower to come out with "Blow Me" in these situations?

Mikey
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Re: Cross Country Trip!
Old 03-09-2005, 04:08 AM   #40
 
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Re: Cross Country Trip!

Ah yes, biker bars, a fixture of my former wayward life.

There is one nearby here which is pretty popular locally.
Saw on the news they found a dead body in the parking lot last week, a homicide of course. I am not sure if that
would be good or bad for business considering the
usual customers.

JG
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