Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ms. Pacman in the casino with a dumb phone

One of the necklaces that my friend Ken
(Hi, Ken!) was handing out at a World
Fantasy Convention some years ago.

I bought a new phone last month. Actually, I bought 2.

Tale of the first. I have (had, well, still have, because it is in my possession, though it has been decommissioned) an old smart phone with a battery that lasted about 5 minutes. It used to have a good battery but I think I partial-charged it a bit. Then I got a new battery & was very good about fully charging. Apparently it wasn't much of a battery to start with, so it quickly deteriorated. Rather than get another battery, I decided to get another phone.

Now, I didn't use the smart phone features. I don't text, unless required to. I don't have a data plan. I can look things up & have the world at my fingertips when I'm at my laptop. I don't think I -- & perhaps most of us -- need that level of connectivity. It can interfere with a different sort of connectivity, which is to be in your own body, experiencing your own sensory input & feeling your own feelings.

I decided to take a baby step backwards with a new phone. Yes, a flip phone. (I know what you're thinking: do people still use those?) That lasted about a week, & then I dropped it once, from a not very great height & the back flew off & the battery flew out & I hied myself back to the AT&T store to pay the $35 restocking fee & get the flip phone's burly, robust, older brother.

Lest you be mocking me, I find that it is actually quicker to navigate on the dumb phone. (Think shortcut keys rather than drop-down menus.) I love my phone, & it's water resistant & shock resistant. Take that, Android. Kiss my grits, iPhone. Grin.

I had a lovely Mother's Day. Drove down to the casino at Cherokee & played in the Sunday tournament. Attendance was lighter than usual. I guess the "take your mother to the poker tournament" movement hasn't caught on yet. It was only a $60 buy-in, so I got to pay for it with the $75 I won at my cash game the previous Monday. I made the final table of 10. The top 3 or 4 were getting paid. Then, on the second hand of the final table, I was sitting in the big blind with 10 7 of diamonds. No raises, so I checked to see the flop. 8 9 Jack. I had flopped a straight! I put in a little "trapping" bet of $1000 to get some action. Everyone folded except this one guy who raised it to $2000. Excellent, I thought. He's probably got a Jack. I went all in. He called. I was ecstatic--until I saw that he had a Queen 10. He'd flopped the higher end of the straight. No Queen came, which would have given me a chopped pot. I went home with 10th place & a story. I couldn't have played the hand any differently. I laugh, thinking about my "trapping" move. It was like Ms. Pacman trying to trap one of the Doom guys who had a bazooka.

Blog alternative:
260. Turn off your smart phone for an hour or two. Or leave it home. Take a walk. Hug a tree. Pet a flower -- but not a bee.