By Steve Palec Special to OnMilwaukee Published Oct 19, 2018 at 7:01 PM

I always try to stay open minded and young at heart.

Sure, I live in an assisted living center, but that’s because my wife does everything. Great pride is taken in my lawn, but kids can play on it. And sometimes GARCHSLGHUUUUUUUCF I clear my throat at inopportune times – but it’s only because I like attention.

There is one thing, however, about life in 2018 that does have me questioning my full participation in it: the insistence of every company to direct you to their app.

Certainly, most of the time-saving technology that exists has my full endorsement. I love ordering food from restaurants without talking to a human, feeding a parking meter without standing in the rain and asking a mostly infallible GPS system for directions rather than a very fallible stranger at a gas station.

I love that we carry computers in our hands the way people in the Wild West days had their firearms always with them. I am not one to look around and count how many people I see on the street are looking directly at their phone (OK, 11 out of 13 in two blocks the other day) because I do it myself.

What is starting to impact me, and what is seeming increasingly systemic, is that I can’t just do something in one step without being redirected to an app. I realize these entities tell me it will be easier in the future, and I know that they are looking for repeat business. But every once in a while, it would be refreshing if the person next to me would just hand me the document they want me to see for five seconds without having to go to Dropbox first.

Can I hear your song, get my paycheck, buy tickets, get my hair cut, change the temperature in the house, buy a hat, find a burger or read this very article without first adding each individual company's very specific app? Just saying. Not complaining.

OK, allow me one complaint. 

I have been blessed to attend every Brewers postseason game. But the other day, I got an email that allowed me to go online to buy a parking pass. After paying, rather than being able to download it, I was redirected to a link, then to the MLB app, where I was then told my username was already registered and forgot so I had to change my password, which sent me to another site where I had to download another app. By the end, I never got the parking pass in time for the game.

So I called an Uber.

Steve Palec Special to OnMilwaukee
Steve Palec, the host of WKLH's "Rock and Roll Roots" wrote a letter to every radio station in town when he was a sophomore in high school. He offered to sweep floors.

Two responses came back, including one janitor position. Steve took the other: the opportunity to hang out at WUWM.

After that, he worked at WAUK, then WQFM, then WZUU, then back to WQFM ... and finally worked afternoons at WKLH for a little while.

"I gave up Eddie Money to earn money in 1986," says Steve, who eventually entered the world of commercial real estate.

"But 23 years ago WKLH offered me the chance to wake up early every Sunday morning," he says. "I mean every Sunday morning. I mean like 5:30 am. I mean no matter what I did on Saturday night. Live every Sunday morning. I love it."