Here's a quick riddle:
They both shoot.
They're both protected by cases.
They're both locked to keep our kids from using them.
What's the answer?
Glen's new rifle and my new smartphone.
I've been contemplating upgrading to a smartphone for more months than I can remember. But every time I thought I had myself convinced to upgrade, a part of me objected. The part of me that sometimes craves a simpler life with fewer obligations, fewer expenses, and less technology.
This time, when the thought of a smartphone started rolling around in my head, another part of me won the battle. The part of me that finds new technology, digital photography and social media exciting. My inner techie wanted a simpler way to take photos and use them on my blog or on my blog's new Facebook page. My old phone takes great pictures and so do both of my cameras, but they all require multi-step processes to use the photos, which makes sharing them less enjoyable and more chore-like.
When I told Glen I was finally going to get a smartphone, he just looked at me quizzically.
But then, after I'd had the new phone for a couple days, we were chatting in the milkhouse and he said, "You're pretty excited about your new phone, aren't you."
"Yeah, I am. It's pretty amazing what it can do," I replied.
I told him that the phone takes excellent pictures and that it was super easy now to insert them in blog posts. And that I could check the weather and my email while we were unloading feed. It takes multi-tasking to a whole new level - a more efficient level. It'll be even more efficient once I perfect the technique of typing on a touch screen with milking gloves. But I could tell that Glen couldn't quite make sense of my excitement.
So I added, "It's kind of like the excitement you feel when you get a new gun."
Little did I know I was foreshadowing the events of the coming week.
During another chat in the milkhouse last week, while I was washing the bull calves' bottles, we were going over plans for the day.
Glen said he needed to get gas for the straw chopper and the feed cart. Then he said, "And I need to go pick up my new gun."
Glen went on to say that he had come across a bolt-action rifle advertised in the newspaper the night before.
I think he thought I might not understand, because he went on to explain all of his reasons for getting the new rifle. One of which is that it is a left-handed bolt-action, which are pretty hard to find, especially used. Glen shoots left handed, I shoot left handed (even though I haven't fired a rifle since my gun safety course), and, one day, Dan will shoot left handed.
I told him that, while I might not share his excitement about getting the new gun, I could understand his reasoning. Glen loves hunting. Heck, he even loves target practice. Doing the things you love is always more fun when you have the right equipment.
"I understand why you're excited about this gun," I told Glen after he brought it home. "It's just like getting a smartphone."