If you have been following the weather in California, you are probably somewhat in awe of the sheer volume of rain that has been dumped. The phenomena of “Atmospheric Rivers” have essentially led to wave after wave of intense, constant rainfall, quite atypical of California weather patterns.
What this has led to is that my morning walk with Cerberus have become both wet and treacherous. Last year, the very day that our Christmas shutdown began, I slipped and fell on the algae slicked sidewalk, needing stitches, as well as a few days of concussion protocol observation, a huge “no bueno” situation.
The net-net of that event was that I had to walk he half mile or so back home with blood streaming down my face, looking like I tangled with an axe murderer.
This year, I didn’t repeat that excitement, but the risk remains that something untoward might happen and I could need rescue. Getting old sucks.
On Saturday, the morning was a rather gushing downpour, and of course Cerberus didn’t let me fob off without a walk, so I set out, later than usual. My wife was frantic that at 8:30 I hadn’t returned home, and was about to go out searching for me (a futile exercise, as Cerberus takes me in a variety of different routes), and she laid down the law. I needed something that would allow here to track me if I became incapacitated.
The answer is an Apple Watch.
I have resisted buying one for a long time. While I like the idea of tracking my activities, and having access to my various media choices wherever I am even without my phone, I am wary of the degree of tracking and collection of potentially misused data about me.
But, I figured that if I caved in, bought the minimum offer, I could appease my wife’s concerns.
So, I ordered up an Apple Watch SE, the smaller size, with the GPS + Cellular, and like magic, 4 hours later a courier showed up at my house and voilá it was here.
I had always wondered how they handle the combinatorial combinations of watch and band. But that is simple. They appear to manually pair the two components, the watch and the band, in a meta packaging solution, and thus you can mix and match at will.
The watch has enough juice to setup and last the first day.
Since the band and the main body are separate, you get to “assemble” the watch, and that is really really simple. Seriously trivial, but cool nonetheless.
Pairing it with my iPhone was simple. The watch has this moving pattern like some magical QR Code that you point the camera at, and boom, it just begins. Took about 20 minutes to set up, most of the time being the activating of the cellular connectivity to my account, and mirroring the phone number of my phone (so I can make calls with the watch when I do not have my phone with me).
I spent much of the day acclimating to the use of the watch, exploring the apps, and making sure it all works as expected.
The real reason to have it – Dog Walks in lousy weather
Since we are still getting wave after wave of rain via the atmospheric rivers pounding California, the next day I got to try it out, and my wife was able to achieve her goal, to be able to see where I was, and to potentially rescue me should I have some mishap.
And it worked brilliantly.
I was able to listen to my Suspense (old time radio show) podcast.
But about 10 minutes into the walk, the watch prompted me that it appeared that I was on an outdoor walk, and did I want to track my activity in the exercise app?
Why, don’t mind if I do!
It seems to have a far more accurate measure of the distance traveled than when I just carry my phone.
Plus it has those activity rings, and I slay it (both the movement and the exercise ring are filled multiple times before 8:00 AM most days).
I am addicted. It alerts me to incoming mail and other events, it tracks my exercise, and it even unlocks my computer when I sit down at it.
Why the hell did I avoid this for so long?
One regret, I wish I had bought the latest release and the larger size. But this works well for me, so I am in the ecosystem. My poor Casio G-Shock will remain unused on my desk.