Fixing fence and  a ‘smart’ watch


Last year, after my heart surgery and subsequent complications, my wife purchased one of those new-fangled smart watches for me. This high-tech gadget measures my heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, heart rhythm, and a whole host of other health-related measurements. Even my doctor concurs that the readings performed by my wrist watch are extremely accurate, and encourages me to wear it and pay attention to what it tells me.

Even after wearing it for a full year, I’m still amazed at what it does and continue to be surprised by its messaging. For instance, it has started sending me messages after I wake up and before I go to bed, instructing me to appreciate the little things in life and be thankful for what I have. Good advice – but a little too hippie-dippy for this old codger.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my bulls decided to swap cow herds with one of my neighbor’s bulls. There was about 50 feet of fence completely flattened, with several cow/calf pairs confused and in the wrong pasture. My neighbor, and good friend, alerted me to the problem and told me that he would be over that afternoon and fix the fence. Evidently, he felt sorry for an old man and instructed me, rather firmly, not to attempt to fix it by myself. 

Later that morning, I happened to notice that almost every one of the cows and calves had gone back to their correct pasture. Even the bulls had gone home. I loaded up the fencing material and headed to the downed enclosure. This was the perfect opportunity to repair the breach. Driving the steel T-posts into drought-hardened, rocky soil was akin to trying to sink them into old concrete. I drove a total of six posts into the sunbaked ground, having to stop and rest at least 10 times. I felt like the old man that I am, but, by golly, I got them driven. Upon finishing the job, I sat down on the ground to dry the sweat and rest enough to make it to the UTV. All of a sudden, my watch began to vibrate, and make a sound I had never heard. Looking at the watch, it displayed the following message: “It looks like you’ve taken a hard fall,” followed by two different prompts: “Emergency SOS,” or “I’m OK.”

I pressed the one that indicated I was OK when the watch immediately responded, “Are you sure?” Geez, is my wife hiding in the little timepiece?

I suppose I should be thankful that a piece of technology is assisting me to stay healthy, but my question is, “Did the first five posts drive so easily that the watch wasn’t concerned about anything?

Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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