Monday, September 10, 2012

RIP, Nigel the GPS

I am seriously broken up over the sudden death of our beloved GPS, Nigel, who gave up the ghost early Wednesday morning. He served us well for almost four years and was chock full of our favorite places and otherwise unfindable personalized locations. It is a fact that I sometimes took Nigel in my hands and zoomed out from the UAE, scrolled over to the US, and zoomed in on the favorites saved there. Most of the US showed up on Nigel as an unpersonalized white mass, but there were clusters of favorites in upstate NY and on the East Coast. Somewhere near the middle of the white mass, there were dots for the place in Nauvoo where we camped, and our friend's house in Nebraska where we stayed on both of our cross-country drives. Near the West Coast, Nigel's map was populated with saved locations in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, California, and Oregon. It was This Is Your Life, GPS style.

Closer to home, if I zoomed back in on the Gulf, I could peruse our favorite ad-hoc camping sites in Oman, or the minutiae of our lives here in Sharjah - this clinic, that tailor, a few grocery stores: "close co-op," "New Carrefour," "Corniche Roastery."

I know I can have those favorites on the new GPS because I backed up the file (but not so recently that we aren't losing some data), but it won't be the same without Nigel as the guardian of them.

Nigel stood by my side when I was late to my first day of training for my WAHM job. He made us laugh by mispronouncing things all the time. He guided us straight into Lake Champlain that one time. I will miss his authoritative-yet-ingratiating voice, and the way he took it like a man when we complained that he was guiding us astray, tossing off only a slightly offended and exasperated "recalculating."

Nigel was accompanied in death by the pricey Middle East/North Africa map update I purchased for him almost a year ago, which, according to Garmin, "can only be associated with one device." We'll see about that.

The truth is, I would take Nigel back indefinitely if I could, even if it meant forgoing the excitement of shopping for a new model. New models aren't Nigel. We brought home a Garmin Nuvi 40 this afternoon, fresh off the rack from Carrefour, and I can hardly look at it without narrowing my eyes at the skeezy newcomer.

Maybe giving it a name will help. So far, all I've got is Nigel 2.0, which doesn't roll off the tongue quickly enough to be used when under navigation duress. Jeremy wants an Arabic name since the native habitat of this GPS (aka the pre-loaded map) is Arabia. I could still go British. Whatever the language, the name must exude equal parts confidence and nerdiness; a little bit subservience with a dash of moxie. Any suggestions?

19 comments:

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Mustafa. Too many syllables?

Jessie said...

Felix

Bridget said...

I know too many actual Mustafas to take seriously a GPS named that. Felix, on the other hand, might just be perfect...

Melody said...

My GPS is named Toni. But I second Felix for yours.

Bridget said...

And by the way, I'd also accept female names.

Liz Johnson said...

Seamus? It sort of denotes the shame that this GPS at being woefully inadequate compared to its predecessor.

Kathy Haynie said...

I was feeling super worried you had lost all your marked locations - so glad to read that you backed up the files! Smart people!! Would a female name work? What gender does the new GPS's voice sound like?

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Norry.

Christi and Clifton said...

James so you can say "Home James".

elliespen said...

Ali. Short for Alistair, like in the Mary Russell novels (by Laurie R. King).

Crys said...

Seabiscuit, Thomas from downtown abbey, Katniss, I'm out :)

Crys said...

Seabiscuit, Thomas from downtown abbey, Katniss, I'm out :)

Abu Halen said...

This is a good time to tell you that we named our GPS unit Bridget. Hopefully she won't die.

Sarah said...

I like James too. I was going to suggest Chadwick, but I think maybe James or even Harry would be better.

Julee said...

Female names, hmmm. Louise, Maude, Gertrude... Gertie or Gert for short.
I just looked up 'nerdy boy names'. Here are my top picks:
Irwin - English for Practical
Niles - English for Smooth
Seymour - French for Prayerful
Simon - Hebrew for thoughtful, good listener
The meaning is fitting but the association as the site refers to ruins it *Barney - Short for Barnett, means leader of men. Barney can be associated with the purple, pre-school teaching dinosaur.
Yes, this was on the site *Urkle - Steve Urkel, a fictional character on the ABC/CBS comedy sitcom Family Matters has made this nerdy name popular. While funny, you may not want to put this undue stress on your child.

Liz Johnson said...

We had a GPS named Eloise, after one of the characters on Lost. I loved that name for a GPS.

Or Berta. Pronounced with a British accent, of course.

Juliet?

Teresa Jane said...

What about Cecil? I know you named your car that once, but it's a good one.

Bridget said...

The GPS has a name! She's a girl, and her name is Lady Edith. The perfect name for someone who's almost always right but can be kind of smarmy about it.

Jennifer said...

Perfect!

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