gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
It's my birthday in a couple of days, and I'm going to ask you all to please ignore it. I have a lot of reasons for not particularly like my birthday, which I'll go into in a moment, but I really shouldn't have to do that. I should be able to ask my friends to be cool about it. But that never works.

We'll go backward. Isn't it grand how every social media site trumpets that it is your birthday to hundreds of people you might not know that well? Well, I hate it. I've removed my date of birth from both Facebook and Twitter, but I have little faith in them remembering that setting. As a result, I have in the past received hundreds of birthday wishes from people I've never met and have little clue about. That reduces a birthday wish to a rote machine action. *Ping* Fred has a birthday. Send cake? y/n.

Screw it, let's go all over the place. I was born on Independence Day. Seems cool, right? All those fireworks and parades for you? Except that when I was growing up it meant my friends - the few I had - usually had plans with family around the 4th. Then I got a little sister for my 5th birthday. Yup, we share the day, five years apart.

So now I was not only sharing the day with the country but with a sibling. As you can imagine, this quickly meant having to alternate who got the big day. I'd celebrate my birthday on the 3rd, or the 5th, every other year. And still, trying to get parties together sucked.

To be honest, the only thing I liked about my birthday was a massive taco feast and my favorite cake. Even presents lost their luster as I grew older. I became extremely cynical about the entire 4th of July thing by the time I was 16.

Then I joined the Army. You think the US Army takes Independence Day off? Ha! I spent my 19th birthday marching in a parade in dress greens then manning a table where I explained the M-16A1 to a parade of goobers. Did I mention that this parade was in Columbus, Ga? It was near 100 degrees and the humidity had to be in the low 90s. And I was there in a freaking suit.

Needless to say, I didn't celebrate that much that year, or any year after that. I just endured my birthday. It's just another day, really. I don't see why such a fuss is made over the simple reality of surviving 365 days.

Because when I think of survival, I look at what I've been through. I've come close to dying several times since 1995, and it deeply affected how I look at like. This was where I started actively hating my birthday. I'll freely admit it was based on a rather nihilistic outlook. I'm doomed to die, why are you reminding me that I'm one day closer to that! It sounds silly, but as someone who is keenly aware of personal mortality, I prefer to look ahead and strive for the new, rather than celebrate the meaningless passage of time.

So on Tuesday, I turn 51. I'll be the same person I was the day before and the day after. Since we got the Omaha Steaks order, we'll celebrate with a nice steak dinner, and the next night we go to see Iron Maiden at Oracle Arena with Ghost opening. The weekend brings the new Spider-Man movie. This would be a great week if it were in June or August.

So this is my request to you all. If you know me personally. If we've spoken face to face or worked on a project together, if you are someone I KNOW, feel free to mention the landmark. You don't have to, but if there is some cultural touchstone that compels you to do so, go for it. If the only reason you know my birthday is July 4th is a notification, and you don't really know me, please refrain.

Look, I know this sounds really anti-social. But it's how my brain works. Last year I nearly smashed my computer over this. It's one of the myriad issues I hope to get into when I get a referral for a therapist. Who knows, this time next year I might be demanding a trip to Reno. After All, I'll be 52 and finally be playing with a full deck!

One birthday present I would like, the California Lottery's MegaMillions game is up to $167 million. The draw is Tuesday.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Much Rejoicing)
Happy birthday to the lovely [personal profile] fimbrethil! May the day be filled with joy.
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
Is July fourth.

That day, the San Jose Giants play the Stockton Ports at Memorial Stadium in San Jose. I want a birthday extravaganza at the ballpark, people!

If we can get fifteen people, we get a group rate. I want everyone who might be interested to look at the Group options and let me know what works for you if you'd like to attend. I think the Baseball with BBQ ($27/adult, $15/child) is a great option because it includes food and drinks. But I'd be willing to go with the General group prices ($10/person).

Right now we have 10-12 people we're pretty sure can make it. But join the party!
gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
Last night we attended our first Single-A ball game, San Jose Giants v. Visalia Rawhide. By the sixth inning we were talking about season tickets.

Are you kidding me?

This was a blast. For less than what we normally pay for bleacher seats at AT&T, we had box seats behind home plate. Great food, great entertainment, and just one hell of a lot of fun. We will be going back.

Sadly, the Giants lost to the Rawhide 4-2.

I was introduced to the concept of the "beer batter" for the first time. For the uninitiated, a player on the visiting team is designated the "beer batter." If that player strikes out, beer is half-price for the next fifteen minutes. Visalia's catcher made the crown very happy by striking out on four pitches. Later in the game, after the suspension of beer sales in the seventh, he becomes the Martinelli's apple juice batter. This led to the weirdest chant I have ever heard at a baseball game, nearly 5,000 people chanting "APPLE JUICE! APPLE JUICE!"

I had the traditional hot dog and a beer. Hot dogs just taste better at a ballpark. Also got garlic fries, but they were oddly sweet. Kirsten hit Turkey Mike's for BBQ ribs, a baked potato, and garlic bread. Prices very reasonable.

The complete photo set is here. We completely forgot to get pictures of ourselves, or of the Giants' mascot Gigante.

Next time.
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
On July 5th, the day after my birthday, your World Series Champion San Francisco Giants play the Dodgers (spit) at AT&T. I would like to get a group together for the game.

Anyone local interested? If we can get a good-sized group together, we get a break on tickets and can have dinner before/after the game.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
As of 0136 this morning, I am 46 years old. Or you could say that I have lived for


  • 2400 weeks (rounded down)

  • 16,802 days

  • 403,248 hours

  • 24,194,880 minutes

  • 1,451,692,800 seconds



Last night Kirsten and I had a lovely dinner date; after which I grabbed myself a present at GameKastle. There was also the battle of the PT Cruiser, in which Kiri fought a valiant battle, while driving, against a jumping spider that had decided to build a web on her steering wheel. Today, the Giants play at 0800 local and then we're all going to Santa Clara's 4th of July All-City Picnic. Tomorrow night is the traditional taco bash at mom's place.

Happy birthday to all my co-holiday crashers; Ann, Amanda, Lynn, Nate, and anyone I've forgotten.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
We survived a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Kylie and Regan (and their friends) had a great time and the grown ups enjoyed watching the kids. Kiri and I played some Skee-Ball. As usual, she whipped me good. What was shocking was how trashy the place was. They had a specific area set off for the multiple birthday parties going on. This was right in front of the stage with the really bad animatronic band. There were three TVs that were supposed to be part of the show. The main one, an eighties-era big box big screen, was showing everything in black and white with multiple picture issues. The other two had blown color levels. The sound system was junk. When the rat finally showed up, the kid in the suit barely qualified as phoning it in. The little kids didn't notice, but the adults did. I had a chance to chat with one of the employees, and then seem to be enthusiastic about what they do. But if your entire business model is attracting kid's parties (seriously, who goes to Chuck E Cheese for the food?) then it seems that a little money spent on fixing things would be in order.

But the 'za was tolerable, it was great to see the extended family, and the kids had fun. So a success. Probably the last of the big family birthday parties as well. This was more for Regan, the Niece of Last Resort who is turning 4. Kylie, the Emergency Back-Up Niece, who is now 6, is having a party with a small group of friends tomorrow. They are both entering the stage where friends are more important than family on a day to day basis. Good for them. It was fun to watch both of the girls riding this virtual roller coaster. Front camera footage from a variety of famous coasters coupled with hydraulic jacks that tilt and shake the car appropriately. It was all we could do to pry Reagan out of there. She's a bit upset that she isn't big enough to ride the Demon at Great America. Couple of thrill-seekers there!

Coming back we stopped by the +5 Gamestore of Awesome. Where I found something that was both really cool and quite affordable. The Kingdoms of Legend World Guide and World Map Poster. Created for the Pathfinder RPG, this is close to my heart. It's set in an alternate early 15th century where magic works and the religious situation is.. complicated. Very nice.

Full day. A good day.

Happy birthday to Kylie and Regan!!!!!!!!!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • Wow. Things are getting really busy for my poor broken butt.

  • This weekend is the annual birthday taco feast at [livejournal.com profile] baka49er's place. Ann and I both have places to be on our actual birthday, so we're doing it a week early.

  • Yay tacos and time with the nieces of awesome!

  • Next week I have a pulmonary function test. Dr. Butcher and I thought it would be a good idea to get a new baseline since the last test was done before we knew there were blood clots in my lungs.

  • Not very social, but it gets me out of the house.

  • Then comes WesterCon 64. We're po'folks for this event, so feel free to buy me a beer.

  • Without so much as time to draw a breath, we're going to see Tales of the City at the ACT. Kiri won the tickets from KFOG

  • So, after all that we get to rest right? Ha.

  • We have a fannish event on Saturday the 9th.

  • Then the Mayhem Festival on Sunday. \m/

  • I won the tickets to that one.

  • Luckily after that we get two stress free weeks to prepare for an event that promises to be louder than Mayhem Fest..

  • The Niece of Last Resort's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese!

  • She's turning 4! Her big sister is turning 6!

  • How did this happen????

  • After that, we're cool until mid-August when we go to Reno for Worldcon.

  • There is very good news on the medical/financial front.

  • My application for Social Security was approved. So money is a bit less of a problem.

  • Not cured, but not quite at the "selling organs" state anymore.

  • The Giants are 41-34, half a game out of first in the NL West, and tonight face the Cleveland Indians.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Giants 50 years)
Happy 80th birthday to the greatest Giant of them all, Willie Mays!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Typing)
to the HP-35! Introduced on this date in 1972!

Only $395!

So, what was your first piece of geek hardware love?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (US Flag)
Happy 4th, every one! Now, if you'll all stand and please remove your hats, Zakk Wylde will perform our national anthem:



Since it's also my birthday, we're going off-genre a little for some classic Grateful Dead, the US Blues!



And finally, John Williams conducting the Boston Pops. The Stars and Stripes Forever

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Kirsten and Me)
My lovely, talented, and just all-around awesome Kirsten is 40 today! Yayyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Sadly, I'm going to have to pass on the party tonight at King of Clubs. Viral pneumonia and karaoke don't mix. But everyone within range should try to make it down to wish my Boo a good one.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] isomeme!

My eternally-older brother ages another year. By the time he's 1,000 and I'm 996 the difference will be statistically insignificant.

All creatures will make merry upon pain of death!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
We spent the better part of the morning at the combined birthday party for Kylie (who just turned 4) and Regan (who turns 2 in a few days.)

Good grief, those two made out like bandits!

There was screeching, lots of running around, the park has a very cool water feature, and I got to play on the swings.

All the cool kids are on the swings.

I'm on the left, Regan on the right. She could swing higher than me.

A whole pile of fun, and it's always great to see the kids. But damn, they wear you down!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Linnecum)
San Francisco Giants: 9
Houston Astros: 0


Timmy!

Great day at the ballpark. Perfect weather, a really good game, good company. Bit of a bother getting up there. You really don't want to hear that your train has lost all its air, but we made it eventually. I bought myself a present. A black Giants home jersey. Because I look good in black.

I bought myself a present

Stopped at Chili's for dinner. More beer, and fajitas. Yum.

I think, after the amount of beer consumed today, that an early bedtime is called for.

As birthdays go, this was a good one. Thanks to everyone for the happy birthday wishes.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Desk)
After a great day.


  • We went to see Public Enemies. Kirsten liked it more than me. I thought is was a well acted film with a strong script, but the director called too much attention to the fact it was a movie through the use of hand-held camera, odd cuts, and lens flare.

  • Had an excellent dinner at my mom's with my sister and her family. The Emergency Back Up Niece and the Niece of Last Resort are getting big! Tacos were excellent, cake was excellent.

  • Learned that Sarah Palin is quitting as Governor of Alaska. Word is there's a major criminal case coming in the next few weeks.

  • Giants: 13, Astros: 0.



Tomorrow, baseball on the Fourth of July!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Revolution!)
Tomorrow is my birthday.

My Amazon.com Wish List
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  dance)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY KIRI-BOO!

Yaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!!! Dancing penguins for everyone!!!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Giants 50 years)
Happy 78th birthday, Willie Mays!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Atheism - Happy Birthday Darwin!)
Celebrate Darwin Day!

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