Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Three Ancient Jocks Attempt to Conquer Spring Training in Phoenix – Post #2
My Smart Phone Saves Our Bacon
When three old codgers, once proficient baseball team mates, rendezvous in Phoenix some 50 years after their prime to take in several Spring Training games – well, strange things can happen.
Cell phones can vanish. Deteriorating brain cells can short out and cause the loss of all sense of direction. Meticulously laid plans can unravel. And it all happened the first day we were there (see previous post).
Of the three of us, Joe is probably the least tech savvy, but I’m not around him enough to really know. He’s a retired high school teacher, as is Dwight, and they obviously had to have enough skills to navigate the school system – of 10 years ago. However, Joe had given his cell phone to his daughter recently and came on the trip without one.
As we learned after the fact, Dwight’s cell had fallen out of the pocket of his loosely fitted pants onto the floor of his car on the way to his departing airport, and he arrived in Arizona without one as well. As for myself, I’m an age-appropriate tech junkie, so my phone was strapped securely to my belt.
Why is this important? My smart phone (an i-phone4) saved our bacon. Many times.
Of course the phone has built-in GPS, and so we were able to easily navigate out of the airport and quickly head in the right direction to the ballpark of the first game we were going to see. Dwight drove the rental car, I sat in the right seat as navigator, and Joe periodically – no, often – shouted what he perceived as warnings from the back seat – which were usually ignored.
The phone GPS system does not talk to you sweetly with directions. However, it is a good mapping device, and shows your location, so you can navigate better than if you had a paper map. And it’s search feature was primarily the element which saved the hides of these old, directionally handicapped friends.
For example, after the first game in Scottsdale on Tuesday, I just plugged in the name of our hotel in Mesa (we got by far the best deal there), and my trusty phone pointed the way without error. When we got hungry later in the evening, the i-phone suggested three great restaurants, all less than a mile away.
And so it went. When Joe needed to text his daughter, it was a snap. When we needed to find the Giants’ minor league practice facility (photo above) – no problem. And when we needed to find the best way to drive 60 miles to the Mariners’ game in Peoria on Thursday, the i-phone came through again.
I wonder how bad-off these three old friends would have been without a smart phone. Not sure I want to think much about that.