My childhood home had one bathroom, one black-and-white TV, and one telephone, and I had no idea that we were deprived. Now I can’t go anywhere without my cell phone, my lap top computer, my Ipod, my Ipak pda, my digital camera, and my car with the voice-activated navigational system.Here are a few modern, essential items that help soften the reality of being this old:Ipods. Now we can have all our favorite songs instantly and not have to move the needle and accidentally scratch the spinning record. The only downside is that I listen to my Ipod when I jog on the treadmill at the fitness center. Someone usually has to tell me to quit singing out loud while listening to the Pet Shop Boys.Online Banking. Now we can pay bills without getting a loan to buy stamps.Birds Eye 4-pack frozen peas. These single-serving packets microwave in 1-1/2 minutes so there is NO EXCUSE not to have vegetables with dinner.Bare Minerals Make-up. This “wonder powder” covers facial flaws faster than that old tube of fabric-staining liquid goo called “foundation.”The Comedy Channel. For all recovering news junkies, try watching the Comedy Channel before bed. It’s as good as Johnny Carson used to be. A second favorite irreverent show is Red Eye on the Fox Channel.A Vinturi wine aerator. Look for this great invention at www.vinturi.com. You can pour one fabulous glass of wine without consuming the entire bottle.Free funny computer cards. Go to www.jibjab.com and look for the animated cards that star your friends and you. To laugh until you hurt, watch the “farting birthday” cards.Those are just a few of the new inventions that make life easier. We deserve them.