Thursday, May 29, 2014

The back way....

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Whenever I start feeling too full of myself, just say one word to me.....Rochester!

The other day, Memorial Day in fact....Mama Bear and I were out at the cemetery placing a Marine Corps. flag on my fathers grave.

After some time of quiet contemplation, and cleaning off of the headstone we left.

Now Mama Bear had bought a dress online for a friends wedding in August, but when she tried it on it laid funny and fit her oddly so she decided to return it. 

It came from the "Gap", and could be returned to any Gap brick and mortar store according to the receipt.
But when she attempted to return it to the Gap store at Great Lakes Crossing (our local mall) they refused saying "We're an 'Outlet' store, we can't do that!"

So then, the nearest store is in Rochester, MI.
We still had it in the car, so why not?

The cemetery my Dad is in, is in Lake Orion.
There is a back way to Rochester, from Lake Orion....
But not being my stomping grounds I had no idea how to do it. The way I KNEW to get there would require much back tracking, and about 40 mins.

I had an "Ah ha" moment! 

My wife and I had both gotten new phones, Samsung Note 3's. Being the big techno geek that I am...I use many more of the phones features than Mama Bear, even bought a Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch to pair with my phone!(a blog for another day)

So I whipped out my new Super Phone, hit my S-Voice
button (think Siri, without the Birkenstocks and snotty, know it all attitude) and said:

"Navigate me to "The Gap" in Rochester..."

I watched as the screen briefly flashed our end destination as Meadowbrook "something" mall, which sounded right as the mall with the Gap store is near Meadowbrook Music Theater.



We laughed, around here the town AND the road are both pronounced Lake "Ore-ian".

So I turned right on Lake Orion rd. and started on our way...heading East.

God I love Technology!

As we went, hop-scotching through back roads that I was sure would take us on the most direct...if not the fastest way there.

We eventually came to Rochester rd. and the Navigation told me to turn left....Hmmm.

Pretty sure I should be turning right, Mama Bear agreed. I said:

"Well maybe there is a shortcut that will take us left first..." Mama Bear looked skeptical.

So...I turned left.

Surely my technology won't let me down....right?

So when it had me turn right a couple miles up the road, I looked at Mama Bear with that smile that said
"Told ya so..."

But at the next turning it wanted me to turn left I KNOW that's not right! This keeps routing me North East, when we should have been going East by South/East almost as if....

No. It couldn't be doing THAT! Could it???

So I pulled over and stopped. Hit the "time remaining" button...5hrs. 49mins. 347 miles!


So I hit the "show entire route" button.

It was taking me to "The Gap" store in Rochester alright. The one in Rochester, NY!!!!! It was...

The damn thing was taking me the back way to Port Huron, to cross the bridge into CANADA, only to re-enter the U.S. at Buffalo, NY. then on to Rochester!
I thought I'd said Michigan...I guess not!


"What's wrong?!?" Asked Mama Bear...knowing that look on my face.

"Uhhhhh, slight recalculation is in order" I said, hitting the S-Voice button again "Navigate me to "The Gap" in Rochester, MICHIGAN!"


As I pulled a U-Turn at the corner of "the middle of nowhere" & "Bumfuck Egypt" I looked over at Mama Bear who was now looking like the cat that ate the canary:

"Soooooo, there was no shortcut?" She asked innocently.



"Hmmm I think we passed this gas station before...I recognize the sign." She offered "helpfully".



"Hey, isn't that the road where I said 'We should turn right on Rochester rd.'?" She was enjoying this way too much! Breaking into intermittent giggles like a schoolgirl!!!

When finally we reached our destination, it was one of those "open air" malls. I DETEST open air malls!

Let me tell you why.

Most enclosed malls are built on the same premise.
A large open area with multiple access points with stores arranged around the perimeter. A lot of wasted space? Sure. But if you know the layout of the mall you can pick your point of ingress as close to the store you need as possible. In and out, shop like a man!

Open air malls, and this one in particular are the opposite. 

Some inbred, self important, degenerate architect got it in his head to make this mall like a miniature "downtown" European city! Replete with one way drives, curving roads with minimal sightlines, and stores back to back. So even if you KNOW where you're going, there is no easy way to get from here to there!!! You have to walk around "the block" if the store is not on your "street". 

Then there are the dead end parking areas! Once you get your shit and want to get out, you have to navigate a rabbit warren of traffic islands, barricades, and one way drives!!! You can see the way out, you just can't get there from here! 

All designed to force you by every damn store in the place! If I wanted to stroll through a downtown area to shop...I'D GO DOWNTOWN!!!

An obnoxious, pretentious place...we finally found the Gap store and made our "return", then got the hell out of there.

We grabbed some lunch and were about to head home when Mama Bear asked:

"Gonna use your phone to find a shortcut?" Breaking again into schoolgirl giggles...

Did I mention she's considering a new career in comedy!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. I only use that phone thing to confirm what I know or have been told direction wise. Of course, Mrs. C has a built in GPS and we seldom need outside assistance.

    Siri is really bad with the pronunciations, I have to key it in.

    1. Took a friend and drove to Caramel, IN. by my phones GPS...took us right there, but had the store on the wrong side of the street!

  2. There have been a few people that drove right into lakes because the GPS sent them that way. I've heard my stepson ask Siri for directions to things and strike out, which usually leads to him then unleashing a string of obscenities at Siri. Cracks me up. I just kick it old school with a road atlas.

    1. Good Lord!!! I don't trust it that much!!!
      Gotta say though, had I been going to the one in NY it would have taken me right there! Lol

  3. I use my google maps GPS application on my I PHONE all the time. Many stories of bridges being gone, roads closed, driving under a freeway on a dirt road with a gate to keep people like me out during high water

    I will say that I do not get lost but I also don't know how to get anywhere without it now.

    1. After driving all over the state for years, I can get just about's the back way shortcuts I never know...driving a big truck doesn't lend itself to experimentation!!! :-)

  4. In this case you should have done what Mary used to do. That is, call Ed for OnStar -esque drive instructions! As I was reading, I had your route all planned. :)

    1. Do I get dinner too, like Mary?!? Lol
      At least I didn't end up in NY!!!

  5. um yes, Ed OnStar gets me right there, and if the directions are odd or slow and and I let loose with a string of not-so-nice-ities, it's nice to hear "sorry dear, let me try again; and I'll buy you dinner later". LOL

    1. Wow, Directions AND dinner?!? My phone surely doesn't do THAT!!! LOL

  6. Hahahaha! I LOVE that mall!!! You coulda' called me! I'd of got you there! - I'm sorry Joe but this whole story just makes me really laugh out loud! :D

    1. Then mission accomplished MiMi! Glad you enjoyed it...I still hate that mall! Lol

  7. Those GPS thing a dings drive me insane and like you found out they don't always lead you where you want to go. Sometimes where you need to be is in a totally different direction.

    1. As usual Kathy, the problem was the but behind the wheel!!! Once I was specific, it took me right there!