Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Near, Far, WhereEEEEEver You Are...Fighting with Magellan, Round 1

A friend of mine has a Garmin GPS unit voiced by an Australian chickie he calls Rayleen. My GPS at home is voiced by a very proper Brit I have named Nigel. My GPS in Newfoundland quickly earned itself no name other than "Magellan," which proved to be the most ironic name ever given to a GPS unit.

But maybe I actually started the fight.

MAGELLAN:  Please enter destination.
ME: I.C.E.B.E.R.G.S.

I didn't figure Magellan would respond, but the confounding letters kept him busy spinning his wheels for a few seconds until I took pity on him and entered "Signal Hill."

MAGELLAN:   "Make left turn on Cavendish Square."

Naturally, I went right, because I figured -- correctly, as it turns out -- that if you're driving uphill instead of downhill, perhaps you're headed to the top of Signal HILL.

"Recalculating....Turn right on Lower Battery Road."

I took a big risk here and turned right on Signal Hill Road.


Eventually, after infuriating Magellan ("turn left at hairpin curve and throw self into Atlantic"), I arrived at:

 Signal Hill.  This is it, ladies and gents. The place where:

the first transatlantic radio signal was received by Marconi, which led, inevitably, to the worst line ("Marconi plays the mamba") in what has been voted the worst song ("We Built this City") in pop music history, especially, perhaps, because "mamba" is not a dance (that would be mambO), but an extremely poisonous snake.

Luckily for all, there was no, er, mambaing on Signal Hill this day, only my new friend, Schooner.

Schooner's pretty hard to see in the picture (who took these crappy pictures anyway?) but Schooner's a Newfoundland dog, like this guy:

I tried to convince Schooner to eat Magellan for lunch, but he had better sense than that and, like most Newfoundland dogs -- and Newfoundland people -- Schooner was about the friendliest thing going.  Unfortunately, and hopefully unlike the people of Newfoundland, Newfie dogs are also huge droolers and, based on my past experience with a Newfie dog, chicken thieves.

Other than Schooner, impressive enough in and of himself, I got to see what I had come to see when on top of Signal Hill:


Whoops! Not Celine, I mean this:

ICEBERGS! In the Atlantic! So, you can't see them really well from the top of the hill, and they were kind of smallish ones, from the looks of it (Hold that "smallish" thought for a later post and, by the way, see how I did that? Kinda hooked you in about a later post so you have to come back? High five), but which, nevertheless, made me think of:

and also made me adamant that I'd get up close and personal with those icebergs. Perhaps even make a snow cone, with good old Newfoundland Screech (i.e. rum). But first, Magellan needed to go on a time-out.  Because, really, who needs a GPS when...

...you can get there from here?

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