Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


I’ve Cheated Death for Another Year

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’ve survived one more lap around the sun.
How many more before the race is done?

I’m 37 today.
Yes, in spite of foolish mistakes and silly risks and all sorts of dark thoughts this year, I made it through another one. I used to think of my birthday as, well, just another day, but I’m trying to be more aware of celebratory events, so, I’ll celebrate this one, somehow. At the very least, I will enjoy a glass of Cask Strength Macallan, something I’ve been wanting to investigate for some time. Now that I’ve lost my greatest critic and dream-smasher, I feel free enough to do that.
Lots of things have happened, in history, on this day. For instance, I share a birthday with such varied luminaries as Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Bob Barker, Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, Edvard Munch, and Wells Fargo founder, Henry Wells. Not to mention, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Bros, jazz musician Grover Washington Jr, and former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch.
Also, it was on this day, in 1901, that Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. But, that’s not all! My birthday is also when, in 1925, Arthur Heinman coins term “motel”, and opened Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. On this day, in 1964, shooting started for the “Star Trek” pilot, The Cage (which was later reused in Menagerie).
A year before I was born, in 1967, the US launched Pioneer 8 into solar orbit. And, on the actual day of my birth, in 1968, the US performed its first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. So, obviously, my birthday was, indeed, earth-shattering.

As I hoped for last year, it was, in fact, an interesting trip. I’m still not sure what the next year will bring, but I’m looking forward to finding out! Hopefully, I won’t have as many close scrapes this time around the sun. Remember what your Uncle Jim says, kids, after twenty-one, every year you survive is a victory, no matter how small it may seem at the time.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
   --Susan Ertz


  1. Happy Birthday! I think that if you normally didn’t celebrate your birthday, then you SHOULD do something to celebrate. All part of your renewal and break from the past. I think birthdays are special and should be celebrated. So Happy Birthday Jim! (I’d sing, but I lost my voice.)

    Comment by Orion — 12/12/2005 @ 6:36 am

  2. Congrats on yet another circumnavigation of Sol! Drink hearty me lad!!

    Interesting that my dad was on-hand for the ground-breaking on your birthday. He was one of the drilling consultants on the Mercury test site out there in Nevada. Of course, that’s recovered history, since at the time, he had top secret clearance and didn’t breath a word.

    Anyway, don’t let ’em fool ya. The years don’t go faster, they go slower…when you keep your eyes open. (Never understood why some people close their eyes on roller coasters.)

    A tip o’ the hat to ya!

    Comment by Pol — 12/12/2005 @ 10:07 am

  3. Well, thank you both for the birthday wishes, though, I assure you, my continued survival is attributable to nothing I’ve done this year. Sheer luck, or fate, or whatever you call the mystery that propells the Universe forward in time.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 12/12/2005 @ 2:05 pm

  4. Happy birthday Jim. I don’t celebrate my own birthdays anymore. But I do hope you have a fabuous day!

    BTW, your advice is dead-on!

    Comment by Sweet Reagan — 12/12/2005 @ 2:10 pm

  5. You know, I hate it when people tell me things like that. I mean, I run my mouth, and keyboard, so much, I end up spending hours trying to figure out what I said that was so good! 😉
    Seriously, thanks. And, you should celebrate your birthday, even if it’s in a small way, like buying ridiculously expensive shoes or something. No one else has to know.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 12/12/2005 @ 2:20 pm

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you are out with a pal right now celebrating.

    Comment by sass — 12/12/2005 @ 8:41 pm

  7. Sadly, no, I was just on the phone. Though, that Macallan is mighty smooth.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 12/12/2005 @ 9:36 pm

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