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Like it or not, computers are destiny

You might say this has been my Christmas of discontent, but puzzlement, or even amazement, would be more like it.
You see, Virgil and I have fought the good fight for about a decade, trying to keep our home as computer-free as possible because, obviously, we didn’t grow up in the shadow of the wonder chip. In fact, I am still trying to figure out how the microwave works. We remind me of some of those people in the ’50s who wouldn’t allow a TV in the house. (They were a lot smarter than we thought back then, huh?)
Little things are creeping into the picture, so I’m afraid that if we’re not careful, a home computer couldn’t be far behind. This Christmas my stocking overflowed with digitized stuff, like a spy-sized digital recorder from my husband, which can come in pretty handy in my line of work, and a red and black GHz Digital Cordless Phone from my daughter in California. I can hook the phone to my belt and the headset over my ear and talk for hours, hands-free! This is an important feature when your daughter calls from 2,000 miles away and you’re knee-high in ironing.
I am getting to know these items well, but the learning did not come easy. And, no, it did not come from those written instruction guides. I have a quicker solution, one that allows me to ask questions about things I don’t understand, like ‘digital.’ My advice ‘ if by chance you get in this situation ‘ is to borrow your sister’s third grader, or, if there’s no such child around, ask a friend to borrow one of theirs.
My point is, computer usage has been taught so well in school that just about any kid can pick up a mouse and tell you how to use it. (They may not be able to tell you how much change you get if you buy something that cost $1.69 with a $5 bill, but they can find a financial wizard on the Internet who can.) Children and teenagers love computers and have been known to sit in front of one for hour after hour. They understand about things like computer files and how to store stuff in them. We old-timers (me, not you) are just getting comfortable with the TV remote, and some of us even know what a dish is.
One ‘wonder’ we received this year is a round Quartz wall clock that allows 12 birds to chirp, one each time on the hour, so you can identify them in the wild. The volume is controlled by the amount of light that hits a sensor on the face of the clock. So as the sun sets, so do the birdies. Amazing.
As I wind up this tale, I can tell. That computer is destined to arrive in our house sometime in 2004. Destined.