A Samurai and his smartphone...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

Remember how cool it was to be a Samurai swordsman? (Just go with it) - I mean you had this ability that few others could rival, your skill was valued, you were respected and you were important (and dangerous). Then along came the gun and almost overnight it was all gone... not so dangerous except when you were "packing".

So along comes the Internet, then the smartphone and "bam" the value of knowledge for knowledge's sake isn't really that important anymore. I mean, want to know when Louis XIV reigned? -  It's twenty seconds away on your smart phone (from 1643 to 1715 btw). Facing extinction is the person who has knowledge for knowledge's sake... more and more we all have this knowledge at our finger tips, along with greater convenience and connection... the playing field is now equal and in effect we are all Samurais with a smartphone...

So here is one Samurai's story about a smartphone, decision making and risk tolerance.

When I travel, I take a Go Pro and my smartphone to meet all of my memory capturing needs. My last trip took me to Iceland and as expected my portable cameras left me with some amazing visuals and a fine tale to tell. The very last picture I took with my smartphone was of a glacier on which I was hiking and climbing- oh yes, I should foreshadow this by mentioning it was raining. With this picture you see here taken, I put my phone back into my "water proof pocket" and went about climbing and hiking said glacier. 

On the way back to the hostel and with a long bus ride ahead, I settle in and decide to listen to some music, as a smartphone is rather multifunctional compared to a cool sword. Reaching into my pocket I first ask myself why the bottom of my phone is dripping wet, then secondly recognize that my home page is half its normal size and then finally settle into the gut wrenching realization that my phone is wet, possibly ruined and I've now cut myself off from the world as well as everything that is holy! So how did this happen you may ask? Well the water proof pocket only really works when you zip it up fully. (Ugh)

Just so you know Samurais don't throw rabid tantrums or lament to the cosmos as to "why me?", they calmly review the situation, solicit advice from other travellers who have dry smartphones and envision how you can bend the universe to get a box of rice. And get this, ten minutes into the drive we make a pit stop and across the street is a grocery store - 500 Icelandic krona later I have a box of rice and a phone nestled snuggly inside. For those of you asking" why rice"? Well it is a tried and true method for drying things out as the grains of rice absorb water.

So over the next two days the functionality of my phone is restored except for the mechanical home button, which can easily be replaced by the virtual screen version (thank you Dave for helping me discover this). My worst fears have evaporated -  I'm connected with the world again and regained my equalizing smart phone.

Fast forward two months... I'm having a business lunch and all of a sudden my smart phone speaks, and keeps speaking, randomly dials people and plays music. Looks like my smartphone's voice control has become sentient and it's now a contest for the soul of my phone. Periodically for about 15 minutes the voice control takes over, wreaks havoc and then the phone is mine again. Over the next week I work with the friendly and patient people in technical service to reset the phone a couple of times as well as reinstall the operating system twice ... but still I wrestle with the voice control for supremacy. Ultimately though, it's off to have someone look at it where an hour and a half later I'm told it's water damage, the warranty is void and I can either buy a new phone or hope the voice control has surrendered the contest.

So in the end I'm hoping that between having the phone inspected and shutting off the voice control I have prevailed and don't have to spend $300 on a phone.... just incase though, I have an appointment booked in two days to buy a new phone. We shall see.

In all of this, which is probably more reflective of every day modern Samurai life than anything, I am most proud of how calmly I worked through this situation instead of looking to the stars and screaming at the top of my lungs "why does this kind of thing always happen to me!!!" As you know, Samurais don't do that sort of thing.

Oh yes, glaciers really are blue - Who knew?