Tag Archives: special occasions

Happy birthday, Rachel!

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to Rachel! I hope you have a great day!

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

A big HAPPY 41ST ANNIVERSARY goes out to Mom (rubysnina) and Dad (bigblu4). It was just a year ago today that we celebrated their anniversary on a beach in Mykonos, Greece. Happy Anniversary, kids. I hope you have a great day!

Independence Day

Today was the first time since living in the D.C. area that I actually went to the National Mall to watch the fireworks. Kelly and I headed over to her place around noon. We took care of a few things there (and I managed a nice nap) and then, around 3 PM, we headed over to Sarah’s house for an Independence Day BBQ. It was a lot of fun.

There were 10 or 12 people at the house. We hung out, drinking beer, eating chips, listening to music. And the BBQ was excellent as well. Burgers, brat, pork, potato salad. It was all delicious. Eventually, we played flip cup, guys vs. girls (except that Kelly was on the guys team) and boy did we blow the girls away. I think we only lost two rounds. That was a lot of fun too.

Around 8:30, we all headed out toward the Capitol building. The streets and sidewalks were crowded with people, but it was a festive atmosphere. Eventually, we found a spot west of the reflecting book in front of the Capitol (and not more than 50 yards away from some massive cannons that kept firing in tune to the “1812 Overture”). Sometime after 9 PM, the fireworks started. We were somewhere around 1/2 mile away but we still managed to get a good view of most of them. And we had the band behind us supplying music. It was a lot of fun.

We walked back to Sarah’s afterward and watched as fireworks (big and small) were launched from the street in front of her house. Sometime around 11 PM, Kelly and I decided to call it a night and headed back to her place.

“Perfect” anniversary

Perhaps there is already a name for this phenomenon, but if so, I am not aware of it. Suppose there is a special event that takes place, birthday, anniversary, etc. Suppose it take place on the nth day of the month. When the anniversary of the event is on the nth year, it should be an even more special occasion. For instance, if you were born on June 23, then your 23rd birthday should be a specially marked event. I don’t know of any name for this, but I am coining one, calling it a “perfect” anniversary. (This is derived from the idea of perfect numbers.)

If such a “perfect” anniversary were to exist, then today, June 23, 2008 is the “perfect” anniversary of my bar mitzvah ceremony, which took place 23 years ago, on June 23, 1985.

There are two things that I look back on with astonishment. One is that I managed to get my pilot’s license, that I actually flew airplanes by myself. The other is that somehow managed to get through my bar mitzvah service, although I felt completely unprepared. Keep in mind, I had to memorize vast amounts of Hebrew. Keep further in mind that I had to chant this Hebrew before a large audience. Finally, understand that there were frightening lapses in my ability to memorize this stuff, and in fact, most of the second part I had not memorized at all. I remember as though it were yesterday, getting to the portion that I had not yet memorized, wondering what to do, and finally decided to push my way through it with brute force. No one ever said if they noticed that I was making up what seemed to me to be gibberish at that point. I was infinitely relieved when it was all over. By comparison, my first solo flight was a piece of cake.

I did no lip-syncing at the reception of my own bar mitzvah, which is a great relief to me and everyone else around, seeing as how strausmouse will recall the lip-syncing debacle in which I starred at a mutual friend’s bar mitzvah reception around the same time.

Happy Birthday, Vicky!

Just wanted to wish a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Vicky half of vickyandnorm. I hope you have a great (comfortable) birthday. Well done! Take two episodes of CSI Miami out of petty cash.

Happy Father’s Day

A big Happy Father’s Day wish goes out to Dad today. I hope you had a great day! And while I’m thinking about it, Father’s Day wishes go out to Doug, strausmouse, Andy, to say nothing of father-to-be vickyandnorm. I hope you all had great days today.

Friday the Thirteenth

Welcome to another Friday the Thirteenth. Hope you have a lucky day.

Anyone who knows me knows that I lack the superstitious gene, so Friday the Thirteenth is just another day to me, one which perhaps allows me to indulge a bit more in my penchant for mocking pitying those who retain the superstitious gene. (The previous statement, those people will say, is called “tempting fate”.)

But Friday the Thirteenth got me thinking about numbers and that in turn got me thinking about the price of a gallon of gas. Not how much it has gone up recently. Not the fact that it is now over $4/gallon. That kind of stuff is way over-reported at this point. No, what I was thinking about was how gas prices are displayed, with that silly 9/10 of a cent tacked onto the end of the price. It’s been done forever. I have photos of my grandpa’s gas station in the Bronx, taken in the 1970s and the prices are listed with that extra 9/10 of a cent per gallon.

Given that gas prices are as high as they are, I think that service stations could pull of a minor marketing coup by finally getting rid of those 9/10th of a cent. In fact, while many politicians are proposing all kinds of freezing of gas taxes to weather the high price of oil, I think Joe (“Six Pack”) American would much more appreciate the symbolic discount of 9/10th of a cent per gallon. Removing that near-penny says, “We realize that you are not idiots after all, and that for all of this time we were fooling no one, so we are getting rid of the 9/10th of a cent. Let the cheering begin.” Just imagine how much service stations across the nation would save on those extra, smaller-sized numbers that they have to buy to display 9/10 twelve-to-24 times at each service station. When a price of gas read $4.19, we would know that it was $4.19, and not have to do any kind of mental trickery to remember that in fact, it is actually $4.199, or rounded up, $4.20/gallon.

Gasoline would become minutely cheaper. Life would grow minutely easier.

Besides, they haven’t been fooling anyone with their deceptive pricing schemes.

Or have they? It seems to me that when I hear people refer to the price of gas, they refer to the posted price and ignore that extra 9/10 of a cent. When they report prices on the news they seem to report the price per gallon, without reference to the 9/10 of a cent. And remember, the people doing the buying are the same people who build buildings without a 13th floor; who don’t walk under ladders; who shudder when they break mirrors; who throw salt over their shoulders; who cross their fingers for good luck; who avoid seats in the 13th row of an airplane.

On second thought, I look grimly upon the fact that the extra 9/10ths of a cent will ever be repealed. We are too oblivious to it to even know that it is there.

Now maybe if it was changed from 9/10th to 13/14ths…

Happy birthday, Doug!

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY cheer goes out to Doug today. I hope you have a terrific day, one that is perhaps somewhat less hectic than it sounded last night when I spoke to you on the phone. 😉 Happy Birthday, bro.

Happy Birthday rubysnina!

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish goes out to Mom today, who is celebrating her birthday in New York City this weekend with he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother. Hope you have a happy one!

Good luck, Norm!

Norm (of the infamous vickyandnorm clan), defends his Ph.D. thesis tomorrow, and then graduates from UConn on Saturday.

Not to belittle the professions (doctors, dentists, and lawyers), but a Ph.D. is the highest academic agree awarded for original research. (True, M.D.s spend years in school, but it is technical training, and usually does not involve original research.) We’ve already got one Ph.D in the group, Doctor rmstraus, and I am exceedingly eager to welcome our second, when this weekend, Norm will officially change his first name from “Norm” to “Doctor Norm”.

I must be perfectly honest and admit that I am fearfully envious of both Norm and Ryane. I have often dreamed about going back to school and getting a Ph.D. in some subject that fascinates me. Alas, there are too many subjects to choose from (astronomy, computer science, history, and physics to name just a few), and too little time. And besides, I have grown use to my lifestyle and it would be incredibly difficult to change things now. I’ve had some achievements of which I have been proud (graduating from college, getting my pilot’s license, selling a science fiction story) but getting a Ph.D. makes these achievements pale in comparison in my mind. I am exceedingly lucky to have such hyper-talented friends and I am thrilled for Norm and I wish him the best of luck on his defense tomorrow, although I’m certain he doesn’t need it.

Happy birthday, Jason!

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to stubiebrother, who celebrates a milestone birthday today. Propriety prevents me from saying just how old Jason is turning. In any case:

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Happy Birthday, Jen!

As I said yesterday, April is birthday month, so a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to he11o_sunshine, who today celebrates the beginning of the end of her 20s. I hope you have a great day (the weather should certainly be good for you)!