In a past life, I covered sports for a living. Even in the relatively small town of Lindsay, northeast of Toronto, I had the opportunity to interview and follow some pretty solid athletes.
For example, I tracked ex-CFLer Carl Coulter, and former NHL star Jason Arnott. Carl was a local lad, while Jason played Junior B for a year before climbing the ladder.
I saw them play on the tube and in person.
This past week, I had the pleasure of something entirely new: seeing a friend’s daughter earn a spot on a national team.
Jessie McPherson, 16, was in Calgary last week and worked her way onto Team Canada’s U18 developmental team.
Her parents, Nathan and Sandy McPherson, are understandably elated.
So too are Jessie’s close Chatham friends, including some kid named Brenna Corcoran. She’s known Jessie since junior kindergarten, and we’ve known the parents for about as long. They used to be neighbours just down the street.
Nate had the smarts to gather friends and family to watch Jessie play. No easy feat, considering she was in Calgary. But Nate asked the folks at the Ultimate Sports Bar if they’d stream the games Jessie was to play in on a big screen.
And in walked a couple dozen supporters last Wednesday and Saturday to watch Jessie play against first a Russian squad, and then against fellow Canadian hopefuls.
So, yeah, it was cool to see Jessie on the big screen, following her dreams, and even taking on international competition.
Brenna snapped a photo of the game and sent it to Jessie in a message, which she’d get later that day in Calgary: “Remember me when you are famous,” along with various supportive and loving emojis that kids use.
Nate is a well-known face around our office, as he regularly pops in to help out as we do our inserting and organize papers for our carrier force. His light-hearted sense of humour brightens up the day here. His booming voice can make caffeine unnecessary.
And his daughter is one of those kids whose busy life takes her all over the place. But when Jessie has a free moment, she’s quick to try to connect with her lifelong buds.
She’s soaring high, but she’s nicely grounded. Well done, Nate and Sandy.
For Jessie, it’s onto Lake Placid this week and more on-ice action.
New tech, new things to learn
OK, early returns on the new phone are positive, but the learning curve is steep. With the assistance of my daughter, Brenna, and friend and coworker Fatima, both iPhone users, I’m doing much better than I thought.
Naturally, it began with a hurdle: the SIM card. I pulled mine out of my old Samsung and went to put it in the new phone … but it wouldn’t fit. The newer phone uses a nano card and my old one was only a micro (yeah, things get smaller and smaller).
Bell tech support explained I had to use the new card and download an app to my old phone to transfer all my info over.
OK, that was easy. It would have been nice to know coming out of the gate, and that’s a huge reason I prefer to buy and shop local rather than have something shipped to me – on-hand help. I am also a huge believer in buy local, shop local.
But having the phone shipped was my only option.
So, with the phone now having my contacts, messages, etc., etc., it should have just been ready to rock, right?
Remember, I went from Android to Apple. Nothing is seamless. I had to set up multiple email addresses, as my work email address didn’t transfer over. Then it meshed my work and personal addresses together. Ugh.
But I fixed that.
I connected the phone to my truck’s hands-free system no problem and of course had to call someone – Mary Beth. She knew right away I had called for no real reason (29 years of marriage has her beyond clairvoyant, and I’m not exactly a tough read).
I continued to flip through stuff at home, but something really felt off – the size of the device.
I needed a case. I needed the protective feel, and more importantly, I needed the protection. My phone has fallen out of my pocket as I’ve exited the truck in the past. It has also somehow wound up on the tonneau cover (what covers the truck’s bed) and I have driven a short distance before realizing it was there (don’t tell Mary Beth).
And I keep the phone in my pocket.
Furthermore, the camera lens sticks out a bit, so I bet it would catch on everything.
Plus, it turns out that the back of the new phone is glass. Glass! Who does that?
The phone now sports an Otter Box.
There was a hiccup with iTunes and getting all my purchased songs on there. Online tech support solved that one.
So then it would be a simple procedure to transfer my music library that I had painstakingly pulled off my CD collection and saved onto my computer years ago, right?
Not exactly. But thanks to Google, I figured this one out on my own (well, my kid did answer a few questions).
Brenna was very curious about the phone from the get-go. Which is great, because she knows more about the thing than I do. That’s the kid factor. You go to your kids for tech support on your devices. That stuff comes more naturally to them.
One thing I loved on the old phone was how easy it was to delete e-mails. You swiped left and an e-mail went into the trash. On iProducts, that same move sends the e-mail into an archive.
But with Fatima and Brenna on hand, they showed me how to send those e-mails straight to the trash.
So, my phone now recognizes my face to unlock, has some of my old apps on it, lets me delete e-mail with a single swipe, and has more than 1,500 classic rock songs on it.
Do I sound like an expert? Hardly. Every new thing moving forward will very likely be done thanks to Brenna’s help.