For several years I thought my cheap-o digital point and shoot did not offer any way to adjust the exposure. Then one day I stumbled across the option buried many menus deep.

And you know what? The camera instantly became less-fun. I kid you not. Now instead of just enjoying myself and snapping photos, the thought is constantly in the back of my mind, “should I add or take away some exposure here?”

I wish I’d never found it.

Recently I purchased my hunting and fishing license for the year and I was reminded of a similar experience.

Back when I picked up fishing again as an adult I spent a pretty decent sum on a fancy rod and reel from one of the big name outdoor stores.

And you know what? I spent more time untangling the fishing line than I did actually fishing. I am fully willing to admit the problem might have been more me than the rod, but it was a decidedly un-fun activity.

But one day, after about the bazillionth bird’s nest. I hopped in the car and went to Wal-Mart where I picked up a Zebco 202 spin casting rod and reel for about $10.

And I love it! I have not bought any other rod and reel since. I catch tons of fish. This photo was after fishing a little farm pond at a friend’s place.

If I wear it out, I buy a new one. But I don’t think I’ve worn one out yet. In fact, I tend to give them away. I like to share! And the price allows me to do that without a second thought.

Anyway, thinking about these memories has really re-enforced my idea that more complicated things make for less enjoyable times.

Not that there isn’t a time and place for complicated equipment, but when you’re just out trying to have some fun it really rather detracts from it.

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