Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Technology and Civil Engineering - the real thing

After finishing the post, I realized I missed what I was going to talk about. Must be something in the air.

Anyway, my wife and I are trying to locate a hotel to stay at in Saint Johns, New Brunswick, Canada. We followed instructions pulling off of route 1, but that one is full. We key in another location to the GPS to head there, and the device keeps sending us around the block. The device kept saying that we had missed the turn off, but the on ramp to route 1 was closed. After the second time around the block, I ignored the device and drove EAST. Right by another on ramp, the device kept telling me to go to the other on ramp, but it didn't matter to me.

Not the first time the GPS device was annoying on this trip. When we first arrived across the border, we were driving up route 2 (trans-canada highway), and (while in the middle of the route, at the speed limit of 100 kph), the device kept saying "please proceed east to the unpaved road, then proceed to route 2". It thought we were in a field.

Two things - either the road moved, or the GPS satellite in the area is not synchronized. Sometimes the device thought we were heading east instead of north, and just plain got it wrong.

All this time I thought nerds were smart!

Technology and Civil Engineering

Wahoo! Another rant!

It's been an eventful trip. We pack up, and head on in to Plaster Rock, NB, Canada for a family reunion. I've never had to tell my "banking institution" where I'm traveling. Usually, I just end up with a nice "these charges are suspect" message waiting for me when I get home.

Not this time. They locked my checking account (and the visa card associated with it), while in Plaster Rock. How do they think I can get out of this place? Ah, resorting to an American Express. (Keep credit cards, even if you don't use them).

So, I call to find out why - and I get told that I had insufficient funds. I was spending $55.05 on fuel. I had $600.00 in the account. Yup, my math must be messed up. $55.05 is definitely greater than $600.00. So they released it, and they took down notes as to how long we'd be gone so they wouldn't do this again.

Next up, I get a phone call from them. Since reporting where I was, they then flagged ALL transactions in the area as potential fraud. I had to manually verify EVERY ONE!

What happened to the notes?