Category Archives: Birthdays

Anniversaries I’ve noted

17th > 4th

It’s arithmetically trivial, but this equation is probably debatable for people who compare the dates for two documents that are important in US history: the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Because today is one of the anniversaries for the former, it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate their importance.

Adopted on 17 September 1787 by delegates from the governments of the states participating in an agreement among the 13 former British colonies on the North American continent, the Constitution supplanted the US Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Constitution created a stronger federal government than the Articles, resolving substantial economic and legal woes befalling the states under the latter.
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Pre-race runs are cool but daunting

I ran Jay’s Wilderman’s race course this AM. It’s the local (CHO) Independence Day Race and Jay’s been directing it for something like 15 years (más o menos). It was a beauty-ful AM for such an event, especially given that there have been many sweltering races in the past and many sweltering days in the recent past. My guess is that today’s start was in the low 60s with modest humidity.
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1st to 17th bdays?

Dear Little Baby

I hope you have a happy birthday, today. I suspect your parents and many others will provide a big party for you. You may not understand much about birthdays, and it’ll be a many moons before you understand these celebrations. That’s O.K., because this is your first one. What do you know? You’re just learning.

After perhaps your third birthday, you’ll get the idea that birthday parties are pretty exciting for parents. Parents help to make them exciting for you by associating your annual start of another year around the our Sun with special foods, gifts, animated talking, and even some bouncy, jumping movements.

Over the years (in keeping with pretty fancy educational programming, even if your parents didn’t know that they planned it that way) these things will gradually change. For example, in few years, the food aspect will be less about cake and ice cream and more about where you’d like to go for dinner and the movements will become be less bouncy-jumpy and more about hugs (still about closeness!). The talking will change from “ga-gah-goo-goo” to remembering previous birthdays or tolerating other guests at the birthday party when they say, “Oh, I remember you when you were just this big” (thumb and fore-finger held closely together).

As should be the case at this early party, your parents will be very closely associated with your birthday celebrations. That’s because these celebrations are especially important to them, too. That’s because they get to be at the party. That’s because it’s really great for them to see you…just to see you, to marvel at your very existence. Just to feel their chins muscles move up and the corners of their eyes crinkle. That’s because, each year, they’ll be so happy to have loved you for another year.

Enjoy this one as best you can. You’ll come to anticipate these little events, I am pretty sure.

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Filed under Birthdays, Humanism, Memo to me, Memories, Neighborhood, Notes and comments

HB, Bob Davidson

Raising a beer

Hoppy birdthay, Bob.

Today would be the 60-somethingth birthday of my friend, Bob Davidson. In his honor, I’ve taken an obligatory celebratory run and, true to Bob’s routine, I’m having a beer afterwards. Although the beer’s not Bob’s usual Bud (and I don’t drink beer often), the run was on trails and that’s quite fitting.

I recall more than one trail run with Bob, but one was sticking with me this morning. It was a Saturday morning in Phoenix in the early ’90s and he took me to South Mountain Park. We parked somewhere near where a lot of kids were riding mountain bikes (they were just becoming fashionable, or at least the fashion was just coming into my consciousness) and we took off on foot. Bob knew where he was going. Very soon we left the pavement and wound up on single-track paths. We ran and ran: up hills, down slopes that nearly required scrambling, along ridges, and through canyon bottoms.
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HB, Founder

Just to the west of here, on the nearby ‘grounds,’ we’ll be celebrating the birthday of the university’s founder, Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson, as he’s known around these parts, was born in 1743 in Shadwell, a few miles to the east of where I sit. In addition to the sensational references to apparent mis-steps and perhaps even one or a few about T.J. and the Revo (thanks, Parker), there are sure to be very many references to the many, many excellent ideas Mr. Jefferson provided to humankind and his accomplishments, including founding U.Va. It’ll be a wonderful day here.

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B. F. Skinner’s b’day

B. F. Skinner; thanks to WikiCommonsB. F. Skinner was born on this day in 1904 in Susquehanna, PA (US). He changed the way we understand animal behavior (and humans are animals).

Our great advantage in relation to other species is that we can describe things, form complex hypotheses, and etc. That’s also one of our great disadvantages, as we too often confirm false hypotheses and many of those hypotheses have to do with mythical and mystical mental representations of the causes of our behavior. Skinner pushed back the curtains and showed how we learn to behave the way we do.

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HB, number 42

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the baseball player who wore number 42, Jackie Robinson. Given his contributions to baseball and America, it’s fitting that he was honored by having his number retired, never again to be worn by another baseball player. As I’ve argued in previous entries, Mr. Robinson’s efforts deserve special recognition. For today, though, it’s just a day to celebrate his birth.

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