Thursday, April 30, 2009

Killer App

As anyone who has followed us here from Our Ladies of Perpetual H.O.P.E.  knows, although I am not the oldest Walk Star, I am the most 'old ladyish' of us all!  I am computer literate but beyond that I sometimes sound like a librarian from the 50's tsk-tsking about the young people and their vulgar habits!   My middle son and our friend, Cat, tease me about being "jiggy with the lingo".

I have (she says with an embarrassed shrug) recently learned to text.  But since I still haven't learned how to drive and talk on a cell phone at the same time I don't see myself texting while driving.  And I certainly don't see myself sexting!   

And since I am not a twit, I do not tweet.  

When I talk about MySpace, I mean my half of the bed!  Facebook?  Well that's another long story I'll bore you with another day.

Today we are going to discuss a killer app for your blackberry.   Or maybe your iphone.  Or both - who knows.  When I first discovered the site in question there were no iphones!  It's a walking site called mapmywalk.  

It's pretty cool as just a website; you can route out different walks and find mileage.  You can see where other people in your neighborhood enjoy walking.  Here is one of our favorite places to walk:


It's the Tempe ASU Research center. I don't know if they do any actual research there or just rent out office space but it's nice.  I had not known until I started going to Map My Walk that the research park is deliberately shaped like the double helix.  I like that.  I understand there is an entire neighborhood in Milwaukee that is shaped like a Prussian helmet.  I'll have to look that up and we can discuss it another day!

Back to Tempe. . . . . When we first started going to Map My Walk there was something on the site about meeting other people to walk with.  Which sounds great but the old lady in me said, "sounds like a good way to get stalked!" 

 I know that, unlike the Walk Stars, most walkers do not walk around armed - but there are always dangers.  There have been stalkers and other varieties of psychopaths in the world for as long as there have been humans.  [Neanderthals didn't stalk; not because they were more moral but because they couldn't be quiet and because they smelled rather rank.]    

Technology seems to make the business of stalking easier in many ways but it also offers foils such as cctv cameras, cell phone cameras, cell phones, and tasers.  I'm guessing it's a wash.  

So back to the site in question. . . . 

If I understand correctly (a pretty big "if" given my limited tech skills and my ever decreasing attention span) one can download something onto their iphone which talks to the map my walk site and allows one to get routes on their phones.  And then it sends your route to the site and keeps track of your mileage, any changes to your route, your speed and whatnot.  It also claims to record the calories you burn.  

Ha!  The only way it can make even a rough estimate is to know how much you weigh.  Like I'm going to tell my phone that?  One little burst of static electricity and my phone would be sending my weight to everyone in my phone book and to the Internets!  I haven't even activated the gps map thingy on my phone yet because I don't want Verizon and the satellites telling that odd phone man from TV and the million people he has milling around him where I am!  I'm sure he's a nice guy but I hate crowds.   

But I digress. . . . 

Here is the list of imapwalkphonewhateveritiscalled features:

  • Total Time
  • Total Distance (in miles or kilometers)
  • Pace (minutes per km/mile) or current speed
  • Average Speed / Pace (km/mile)
  • View your running maps directly on your iPhone
  • Training Log including Distance, Calories Burned, Time, and Date
  • Add Your Workout to Twitter

  • Add my workout to Twitter?  Oh yeah,  I'd have followers galore just waiting for updates about my latest aches and pains, my thoughts about people who don't clean up after their dogs,  my wondering if I'm having a heart attack or if I'm just out of breath, my sudden understanding  that maybe the entire world is correct and smoking is not healthy, my amazement and delight that I made it to mile 2 without collapse, my sudden fear at the realization that there are no public restrooms within three miles, my internal debates about whether that is a stick in the path or a sleeping venomous snake, and of course my panic when I see a balloon in a storm grate!  

    So for now I will just use the online map-my-walk features and leave the killer app for when I have killer abs.  But if any of the other walk stars decide to twit or tweet or twitch about their walks I'll let you know so you can follow them.  (just not in person cuz that would be stalking!)  

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