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Dancing with bears or using an iPhone which is easier?

July 24, 2016

We cut the power as we approached the shoreline and the boat silently rolled up onto the beach. It was late May and we were inspecting the various bear bait stations we had set up weeks earlier to see if there was any sign of bears visiting. Being an assistant hunting guide, in Alaska, was basically a nice way of saying I was back in school and learning the ropes, only this time a mistake in school could cost you your life.

Now learning anything new as one gets older takes longer for things to sink in and I am sure if I could turn your computers camera on I am sure I would find most of you black-bear-montana-01smiling at this, but I am serious there is actually a mathematical formula for this. It shows that each individuals learning time is directly proportionate to ones age and stubbornness factor. Now that age thing is fudge-able because we do not all loose our neurons at the same rate as each other, but it has been noted that those that are stubborn almost always find it hard to learn and accept new things.

I guess I was lucky when I was learning to hunt bears I not only was a ‘young’ 50 year old I also had a good Master hunting guide to teach me. Though he never made his teaching easy the lessons learned allowed me to survive 30 ‘close encounters’ with bears while being with clients. To him their was no place for stubbornness when it came to peoples safety.

The iPhone is a totally different situation when you consider no one can die from not understanding their phone. For the past 14 years I have only had an old basic flip phone, because there was never any need to pay for a phone contract, or have a ‘smart phone’, when you only used the phone only four times a month, and had no access to the internet. Now however living in civilization it is a different story because the urge to call my son and daughter happens more frequently and using that old ‘go phone’ suddenly becomes more expensive than signing up for a regular phone service.

Enter my son… he has over the years upgraded his phones and gave me one of his older iPhone’s and a connection deal that one could hardly turn down. But along with the now 24/7 access comes a phone that to me is akin to learning how to operate the controls of a 757. Yes I finally accepted the offer but now I am faced with the daunting task of learning how to use it.

Yesterday was my first day alone with it and I jumped in to that brave new world and tried to send a text… but ended up so frustrated I just gave up and used the old flip-phone. With more ‘icons’ staring at me then lights on the dashboard of my truck I have relegated it to just phone calls for now. This however makes me even more amazed when I see grade school aged children zip through their icons and do the same amazing things I do on my computer. Unlike my journey from Atari, Macintosh Duo to iMac I learned in steps but these children started out with a smart phone…. never knowing what a party line was.

I am sure I will grump and groan
and it may take some time
but I know I will master that smart phone
…and unlike dancing with bears
one mistake
will not jeopardize
your life.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Dwight permalink
    July 24, 2016 12:21 pm

    You just have to experiment a bit. Click on everything. Drag everything. You’ll catch on fast. I still prefer my notebook computer though. Bigger screen and bigger keyboard.


  2. john permalink
    July 24, 2016 2:08 pm

    good!!, I am about to enter that arena (era) also–please notes and pass them on !! 73 john w8wej


  3. Jon permalink
    July 24, 2016 11:19 pm

    I’m holding on to my flip phone. The only reason I have to “move up?” is to buy one with a 12-14 pixiel camera to take pics at concerts, etc. Other than that, I get along just fine & I’m not one of those who as soon as they stop moving, out comes the phone to see what they’ve missed in the past 10 minutes!
    However, my screen has developed bubbles along the right side border, so one of these days…………
    You’re also reading a post from someone who still hasn’t learned to copy & paste!


  4. July 25, 2016 6:56 am

    Pete, I’m a ‘brother in spirit’ regarding smart phones! I resisted them mightily and still believe a cell phone is good for only making/accepting calls and maybe taking some pictures. The number of times I’ve actually used ‘net based apps and/or functions I can count on two hands. With that said when unable to locate an address in a strange place the GPS based mapping functions can be darn handy. And I’ve used the weather radar a few times during winter drives to Wasilla to figure out if I can make it before a line of snow moves in or maybe need to take a bit more time before heading out. What finally pushed me to use a smart phone were the plans; the standard ‘flip phone’ package actually cost a bit more than the basic smart phone plan! I have minimal data but still never come close to using it in a month. And, like ‘Dwight’ mentioned, I’m much happier with a laptop or desktop for the same reasons – a ‘real’ keyboard and a much larger screen! Lots and lots of rain ’round your old digs; this is going to be one of the wettest July’s in history for that area… Definitely marching towards fall now as I’m seeing more and more Spruce Grouse and the Chickadees are again flocking to the feeders but they’re just hauling the black oilers to trees and stuffing them into the bark for the upcoming winter – assuming we have one this year…


  5. July 26, 2016 4:35 pm

    LOL…I feel my neurons misfiring more these days. I can’t live without my phone. I especially love it for photos. Hope you figure it all out before the neurons make less and less proper connections! ;)


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