The old ones are still the best. Old jeans. Old boots. Old friends. Old movies. Old tunes. Old times. Old passwords.

Oops, strike that last one. It’s one old thing that will never, ever, do. If there’s one thing we’ve come to accept in our zoom-zoom modern world, nothing works if you ain’t got the password. Our constant companion, the internet, has an unquenchable thirst for new passwords, but not just any old passwords. They’re supposed to be nigh impossible for others to discover (and for you to remember). If you mess up and use the wrong username with the wrong password you can’t do what you were expecting to do. And if you get it wrong more than two or three times, God help you. You get thrown into internet purgatory and feel like an idiot.

You now have to spend who knows how much time going through the process of setting up a new password and by the time you’ve done that all and were allowed to get where you were going, you’ve probably forgotten what you wanted to do and the fun has gone out of it. For me, this has happened so many times I’ve run out of “easily remembered” passwords, and the cycle of regularly setting up new passwords continues.

But that’s not all. I was reading a report last week that said if your password is 10 characters long and includes numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and symbols, it would take a hacker five months to decode it. If you want to go super-safe, make it 18 characters and it will take a ne’er-do-well with the latest technology 438 trillion years to figure it out.

To paraphrase Dirty Harry, “how lucky do you feel, punk?”

Anyway, I got this message from Facebook last week that my password is no longer safe, and now I have to have a two-factor authentication thingy. Hmm … a password for my password.

This never happened when we didn’t have the convenience of shopping or banking or writing letters through the Internet. You know, the olden days when we went to buy things at a real store, walk into a real bank and mail our letters in a real envelope.

Those days are long gone, but like crusty old Harry R. Truman who had a lodge at the base of Mt. St. Helens, I’m still stubborn about completely committing to moving forward. Unless Facebook makes me.

But I’m wondering how those born after, say, 2000 would comprehend the world where everything’s not computerized. Probably the way I looked at life before the introduction of 8-track tapes.

Speaking of old things, this week was the 146th anniversary of the granddaddy of the cell phone, when Scottish immigrant Alexander Graham Bell made a short-distance call to his assistant Thomas Watson in the next room. That call was memorialized in the 1939 movie The Story of Alexander Graham Bell where Don Ameche spilled acid on his leg saying, “Mr. Watson come here, I need you,” and then Henry Fonda came bursting in yelling, “It talked!” I learned that from the late show when TV was a black and white world. This is where I learned history as a kid.

I’m wondering if Mr. Bell could have ever conceived of how far we’ve come with his new gadget, but what’s funny is that people now have a snazzy cell phone to talk to someone in the next room.

I confess I still think of a telephone as a heavy black thing that when picked up a lady would say, “number please,” and you would tell her the number with your actual voice. Voice actuated, years before its time.

I don’t have to remind you that we’re going to lose an hour of sleep this Sunday morning, do I? Well, actually we’ll lose an hour of clock time. But not like those alien abductions I’ve been reading about where people can’t account for a bit of time and then under hypnosis they relive all kinds of mean and nasty things done to them by gray bipeds with oversized heads.

I’ve not experienced it, being hypnotized that is, unless you count in the 12th grade with the droning of my teacher in Senior Math class, putting me in an eyes-half-closed dream-like state.

No, the hour you lose – between two and three o’clock this Sunday morning – has nothing to do with aliens; it’s so we can all get in another hour to tend to our crops down in the lower 40 before the sun goes down. That’s what we’ve always heard, but I read that Ben Franklin first came up with the idea to save on candle wax.

To me, it meant we could play outside longer in the summer, or at least until Wagon Train came on…