Saturday, January 31, 2004

Before I Get Old: One thing about getting old. It's not so much that you can't learn new things; it's that you really don't want to anymore. You have a lifetime of pointless information in your head so learning a new skill means trying to free up some space in there to remember stuff, which means you probably have to take the opportunity to throw something out, which means you lose some of that hard-earned prowess in trivial pursuit and you risk accidentally disposing of something important, like the fact that underwear goes on the inside. It's fraught with difficulty.

Take, for example, a digital camera. Miss Kate and HRH Miss Anna bought me a Kodak digital camera and mini-printer for Christmas. An excellent gift. I think I could really enjoy photography once I figure out how to take more than just a snapshot, or maybe I could have some fun Photoshopping. In the past I would have just picked up the camera and started blasting away until I figured out how to do everything. (This was Anna's chosen method when she unceremoniously wrenched it from my hand to play with before I could even say thank you.) Now I find myself over-thinking it, trying to grasp the functionality like some senior citizen confronted with a new-fangled remote control.

Look: I know what offside is in hockey. I prepare and file my own taxes. I can tell you how to price stock options. Hell, I once learned the basics of Unix, for Pete's sake (that was the first thing to go once the noggin filled up). I can pretty much figure anything out.

That doofy guy struggling with a simple camera -- that's not me. That's me thirty or forty years from now when I've got my pants hiked up around my armpits.

I am not old. I WILL learn to use this camera and take reasonable photographs. And if it kills me, at least I'll leave a good looking corpse.

(Don't worry; I will not inflict my pictures on you. At least not yet.)