Friday, October 20, 2000

What's Happenin' on my Birthday. (Dec. 31)

I was kicking around the internet and came across this page while looking at the home page for Randal L Schartz. He's written three important Perl books and been convicted under Oregon's Computer Crime Law. And while that's all interesting it was the list of things that happen on a given date that really moved me.

Moved me to put in my own birthday and see what's shakin' on that day. So here it is, the Any-Day-in-History page for December 31.

My birthday has always been kind of problematic for me. I've often had to work on my birthday. Last year I couldn't have much of a party (couldn't drink anyway) because of the Y2K scare. Not that I have much of a party every year.

Being born on Dec. 31 make it impossible to reserve any space for a birthday gathering. Like I say, "On my birthday everybody's partying ... just not with me." But don't get me wrong. It used to depress me when the best I could do was glom onto a "New Year's Eve" party. But I got over that soon after high school. Most of my birthday's now are pretty quiet. I usually celebrate by taking the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off.

Of course, I'm a sucker for getting together with my friends and acting goofy. That's why I'll always have fond memories of my 31st birthday. I was living in Las Cruces, NM and friends John and Gina Corpening (they weren't married yet but are now) came over with musical instruments and after the normal party thing we got down with a couple of other friends and made lots of loud music that was pretty bad. A memorable moment was the two girls screaming Star Wars-based lyrics over the din.

This year is special. I'm going to be 36 in a few weeks. The main thing that makes it special is that this is the birthday I've thought about since I was in Junior High. Back in '79 and '80 this was 20 years away and sometimes I would try and imagine what I would be doing or what the world would be like during the years 2000 and 2001 (don't want to get into a debate as to when the millenium starts so I include both years).

Well now it's all here and in many ways a real let down. My own personal life is doing pretty well. I'm happily married, have a wonderful son and am webmaster for a pretty good company (making more money than I've ever made before, too).

What's the real let down is that none of the promise of a future where space played an important role has panned out. There's no L5 colony, no Lunar colony, no Asteroid mining. It's just depressing. As far as I know there's not even a simulated gravity portion of the international space station. I'm not even sure what can be done in a meaningful way. I mean, I don't have 30-40 billion to throw at this problem. Unfortunately only the military has that kind of money.

On a good note I'm doing pretty well on the guitar lesson thing. I can play the rhythm sections of about a dozen songs (enough to sing to if I could do that while playing). I'm really only now getting into anything that might be close to lead guitar. Eventually, after many more years of practice, I'd like to be able to play and sing at the same time and do some lead guitar based mainly around blues and rock licks. Now I'm not saying that I have a good voice but as long as people like Pete Townsend and Tom Waits can sell records I figure I've got nothing to worry about.

There I ended on something upbeat.

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