Gotta keep up with what's new

I am in the target audience for all those ads that promise it's never too late to learn something new about something. But to catch my eye, they really should promise it's never too soon to learn something new. I can't believe I'm alone in racing to keep up with the way we live now.

It's not only that my computer continually forces me to learn something new to fix it – besides turning it off and back on. I also have had to learn to obey the nuances of three or four remote controls in order to use the advances of digital technology while retaining a perfectly good – but old – TV.

It's not only that I have to decide whether to join the official blocking registry to avoid certain phone calls, I also have to wonder whose phone calls are being listened in on by officials unblocked by Congress.

It's not only having to grasp that comet particles can be safely brought to Earth, that a vehicle can be launched to Pluto, and that another keeps on trucking on Mars. I also have to prepare for street parking via kiosks instead of handy meters by each car.

When that happens, I'll miss the officer I met while retrieving my bicycle from a meter post. "Thanks for not giving me a ticket," I said with a wiseguychuckle.

"I phoned it in," she said, deadpan.

I'm not even getting into all I've had to learn with small grandchildren who can traipse through the PBS Kids website while I'm on hold, so to speak. "There's no noise," said one on my lap when I forgot to turn on the audio so we could hear the splats of goo seen on the screen. I remember real mud pies, but I agree we must keep up with progress.

People of all ages need a never-too-soon-to-learn list. I might be a customer if only those ads would say, "It's never too soon to learn something new about tomorrow – or even later today."

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