Dear Garmin…


Dear Garmin,

First off, I’d like to say that in the past I have repeatedly vocalized my approval for the Garmin brand, and GPS units in general.  We have a StreetPilot® c340 and a nüvi® 2555LMT.  I have told people for years to just get a Garmin.  Trust the Garmin.  It won’t get you lost.  It’ll get you where you’re going.  Don’t give me directions like “go down whatever street and make a left at the weird looking tree,” just give me an address.  Don’t fight it.  Turn where it wants you to.  I’ve expressed to my Mom & my in-laws to not fight the Garmin.  Let it take you the way it wants.  Even if it’s different from how you would go.

I even bought the nüvi after I was royally screwed by the “lifetime updates” to my StreetPilot.  (Sure, lifetime updates… with new maps that don’t fit on your StreetPilot.  No, Garmin, I’m not settling for regional maps when I bought updates for the entire continent of North America.)

I’m wondering now how the Garmin calculates routes.  The other day, I was driving on a major expressway, and my nüvi wanted me to exit & take a smaller highway riddled with red lights for most of my journey home.  I knew that staying on the interstate meant less stops.  I didn’t turn off.  It recalculated (thankfully this model does it without telling you), and the route I had chosen was actually 3 minutes shorter than the other route.  I had asked the Garmin to calculate the fastest route.  Obviously, it didn’t.  So, what gives?  It wasn’t the shortest mileage route either (according to Google Maps).  What did the Garmin calculate?

Also finding things “along my current route”… is there any way to give an acceptable deviation?  I know that going through Pittsburgh from anywhere north of the city to our place in the south, I can take two routes.  There’s a BBQ joint along one route, and a Wendy’s along the other.  If I let the Garmin pick a route, and I ask for BBQ joints along the route… it won’t find it because it takes the Wendy’s route.  But the BBQ place is still in between where I am & where I’m going.  This is fine in town… but if I’m out of town, I’d like the Garmin to be able to learn acceptable derivations from my route.  I’d go a different way if it meant finding something I’m looking for.

So, I’ve backed Garmin up.  How are you going to back me up?

Recalculating,
-Eric

Skunk Foot Road

Skunk Foot Road? Really?

The Clarks; “Producing ire” or “to admire”?


Nothing can polarize a random group of yinzers like discussing the Clarks.  A lot of people love them, a lot of people hate them.  There’s probably even more people that could really care less about the whole issue.  The reason I’m blogging about this is, well, it blew up when I mentioned my distaste for them on Facebook.  Everybody & their mother (literally in my case) has an opinion about the Clarks:

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

English: Gary Busey in Almaty, Kazakhstan in O...

"Wahooooo!"

Have you seen the Clarks’ Toyota commercial, or any of the Gary Busey Kia commercials?  Gary Busey is bat-shit-nuts, and I’d rather buy an inferior car endorsed by him.  OK, I’d really rather buy neither… but the Gary Busey commercials don’t make me want to change the channel, and they don’t make my butthole pucker.

I present to you some video evidence for your review:

Then, I posted a status linking to the first status, asking for help building my list.  It turned into chaos.  Don’t believe Joel below.  He’s a bit mischievous.  Tiffany certainly seems adamant about her love for the Clarks.

Help make a list...

Help make a list...

So, what’s the big deal?  Personally, I find their songs trite, corny, tonally bland, and their vocalist quite annoying.  My general line is that his vocals are the aural equivalent to taking a cheese-grater to my eardrum.  When I hear them on the radio I involuntarily sigh or roll my eyes.  Yet, I know some of their songs because (thanks to local radio) I have heard them ad nauseam.

The Clarks (album)

There's a penny on the floor from our last album sale residuals...

I understand that music preferences are an opinion, and that others are entitled to theirs.  I’m just stating mine.  There’s no need to get your panties in a bunch just because I don’t like the Clarks and you do.  I’ll try hard not to consider you hopelessly tonally-challenged if you happen to like the Clarks.

I get a feeling that a lot of people like the Clarks simply because they’re from the area and mention Fayette County in their songs.  Yinzers seem to like them because they’re on the radio, or because they’ve been in a bar when they played.  They appear to appeal to the lowest common denominator,  I don’t know how many people like the Clarks because they actually like the Clarks’ music.  When I ask someone why they like the Clarks, I get answers like “I saw them at so & so’s bar” or “They’re from here” or something about allegiance to IUP.  It’s never “I really like [name of song here]” or “I really like their song writing/guitar playing/etc.”. Again, this is my opinion.

Also my opinion…  This car has more musical ability than the Clarks:

It’s been told to me repeatedly that people in bands around Pittsburgh simply don’t like the Clarks out of jealousy of their success.  I don’t believe I’m jealous of the Clarks for myself, but I guess I am a hater on certain levels.  I hate that they’re representative of Pittsburgh music.  I hate that people with no grasp of the local music scene ask me if I know/like them when they find out I’m in a band.  I hate that so many other bands around here that deserve wider recognition go unnoticed and go without radio play.  At the same time, a lot of musicians that I know just don’t like the Clarks because they write & perform bad songs.  This undoubtedly fuels the ire.  Perhaps it’s “bandwagon” to hate on the Clarks?  Maybe it’s the “cool” thing to do?  Maybe we’re all just not tone deaf.

A box grater with multiple grating surfaces.

Scott Blasey

So, please, I’d like a discussion on the comments below, not on the Facebook post about this blog.  You can comment using your name/e-mail address/url, your Facebook login, your Twitter login, or your WordPress login.

If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.  Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.  We’re (mostly) all adults here.

Perhaps I’ll make another blog post soon trying to make a list of Pittsburgh local bands that deserve more attention & a wider audience.

Again…

  • If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.
  • Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.

Cancer Benefit Show


Cancer

Image by GDS Infographics via Flickr

Borrowed this from the Ernie and the Berts blog…

⚕☣☤☣⚕ Attention Kids Under 21 and People Who Hate Cancer:

We have a show coming up that you ought to make an extra effort to attend.  We don’t do many all ages gigs, so this may be your only chance for a while.

This formerly had a slightly more impolite name, but it has been toned down a little bit:  P!$$ ON CANCER: A Musical Collaboration to fight for a friend’s life!

A friend of Bert’s has set up the show, and it looks to be (the good kind of) chaos.  Disgust in Disguise are a bunch of cool cats and it looks like there’s a really diverse set of musical genres happening, as well as a silent auction and some food & drink specials.

We’re asking you to come out, support a good cause, listen to some music, eat, drink, & be merry.  Please don’t literally pee on anything or anyone.  (This means you, Brad.)

Here are the details in case you missed ‘em!

When your body is your enemy, how would you choose to fight?

Join us as we take a stand against a friend’s cancer.
Help us fight his silent war.
March with us, beside him, as we tell his cancer to F@#! off!
He’s ours. We’re not done with him, yet!

The Bands:

  • 12:00 AM | Voices and Vessels | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Metal / Post-Hardcore)
  • 11:00 PM | Disgust in Disguise | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Metal / Hardcore / Punkrock)
  • 10:00 PM | Ernie and the Berts | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Rock / Pop / Punk)
  • 09:00 PM | Lyndsey Smith | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (R&B/Soul / Funk / Pop)
  • 08:00 PM | Midnight Rose | FB / RN / My_/ @t | (???)
  • 07:00 PM | The Ele[mental] | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Rock / Alternative / Indie Rock)
  • 06:00 PM | The Long Knives | FB / RN / My_ / @t | (Indie / Psychiatric / Distofuzzadelic)

The Place:

The Details:

If anyone has any more details, links that I missed, or a flyer, please let us know in the comments!