Saturday, June 25, 2016


So, I've made casual references to having the iPhone/Apple Watch combo recently, but never really explained how that came to be.

Both Marko and Mike Grasso had Apple Watches and I thought they were pretty cool, but not enough to run out and change phones. My several-year-old Virgin Mobile Galaxy SII burner phone, with its grandfathered data plan and wifi hot spot, was just fine for me, even if I was about to buy its third battery.

I joked that Virgin Mobile's coverage was spotty, but the only places it really affected me were when I was at Blogorado and visiting Castle Frostbite; two times of the year that I really didn't mind being incommunicado for a bit. (Seriously, heading out from Nerd Ranch, my cell phone signal would cut off abruptly north of EspaƱola and I wouldn't hear a peep from my phone until returning; it was like the signal that Vacation had Officially Begun.)

This February I was house-sitting up in New Hamster and, it being an unseasonably warm winter, there was a nasty spot of freezing rain that turned the front lawn and driveway of Castle Frostbite into something like a skating rink with a 25° slope. I was wrestling the rolling trash bin down through the lawn, which offered marginally more traction than the driveway, thinking I needed to put on some crampons before coming back for the recycling bin when it hit me... I was way hell and gone in the middle of nowhere, out past where Jesus left his sandals, and if I fell and broke a leg badly or something, it was going to be days before anyone came looking.

Suddenly not having a cell phone signal wasn't as cool.

So on my trip up in April, I asked Marko which carrier he and Robin used, and while we were at the mall up there, I picked up an iPhone 6 and, thinking "What the hell, why not?" an Apple watch while I was at it.

And the watch has been useful. The way the phone transmits driving instructions to it is neat. Being able to receive and reply to texts without taking your phone out of your pocket is cool. In fact, lots of things that normally involve taking the phone out of the pocket, like seeing who's calling and whether you need to answer in the first place, can be accomplished with a glance at the wrist. That's handy.

For the first couple months I used the various analog faces and enjoyed tinkering with the selection and arrangement of the complications. But when I was hanging out on the range with Mike last Friday, I noticed the face he was using on his and, being a copycat, copied it.

It was a revelation.

I have never been the most organized person in the world, so the idea of making to-do lists is something that is not second nature to me. Besides, I'd lose the lists.

But what if I could make the notes and the to-do lists on my phone or iPad and my watch would automatically display the next thing on my schedule, strapped to my wrist, and tap me on the wrist thirty minutes (or whenever) before it was time to do the thing?

Wow, this is how you organized people must feel all the time! This is great! It's like a cybernetic aid for the disorganized.