Move over, technology savvy 20-somethings - you who have grown up texting, messaging, commun-icating and accessing the world with tiny hand-held electronic wonders. We older folks are right behind you, and we're probably more astonished about it than you are.
Mastering the electronic age has been tough for me, more difficult than I care to admit. Sure, I can e-mail pretty successfully, and I can usually navigate the Internet to find what I want.
But MP3s, I-Pods, the new abbreviated text language - "4COL 459 4EAE," for example - and the other insanities of the new order leave me speechless and incoherent.
That abbreviation, according to an on-line texting dictionary, means "For crying out loud I love you forever and ever."
So why am I feeling pleased with myself? Because in the last few weeks I have conquered the Byzantine frontiers of the new world, the place where teens gather to smirk condescendingly at their elders, where nerds like me and my generation are banned from exploring.
Not only did I have a couple of very impressive virtual strikes in a video bowling game called Wii, but I also made a terrific CD containing 20 of my favorite songs from the 60s.
The Wii gadget, one of the newest video fads, involving hurling an interactive device at breakneck speed toward the family TV set, avoiding an expensive disaster at the very last second courtesy of a secure wrist strap.
Full disclosure requires me to admit that my 83-year-old mother-in-law beat me at virtual bowling. She also clobbered our 8-year-old grandson. Repeatedly. She's a whiz. See earlier point about older folks.
I made the CD by first figuring out how to pay the $1.49 fee per-song royalty fee for the darn things, and then mastering the hopelessly complex formula to download them from the Internet.
There's a certain satisfaction in perfecting a disc tailor-made for private memories. Carol and I grew up listening to songs of protest from performers who have long been consigned to the detritus of history.
If you're half my age, you may have little patience or affection for Joan Baez or Pete Seeger. But these magical singers' quintessential versions of "Farewell Angelina," "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," and "We Shall Overcome," still have the power to make us aging hippies swallow hard and momentarily look away to get our suddenly vulnerable emotions under control.
Baez and Seeger (and, yes Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and countless others) represented our youth - that glorious, heady, misspent time! - when everything seemed possible, and nothing was too difficult, out-of-reach or politically incorrect.
And anyway, mastering complicated video strategies is apparently good for us ancients.
The Washington Post says adults in their 60s and 70s who learned strategy-heavy video games improved their scores on a number of tests of cognitive function. They kept their brains sharp and had superior memory, reasoning and multitasking abilities, it says.
You know what that means, don't you? Keeping active and involved is the secret to longevity. Keep on having fun, keep an open mind, oldsters, keep on challenging and keep on questioning. We're going to live until we die.