Thursday, October 06, 2005

Birthday Ruminations

Greetings to all who read this!

Well, I’m 42 today, how about that?  Join with me in the resounding chorus (with respects to Mildred and Patty Hill):

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Timothy….
Happy birthday to you!

Now, click over to and send money to!  Do it now!  They take credit cards!

So what am I thinking about on my birthday?  Well, I’m 42.  What kind of an age is 42?  When I was in my 30’s I felt like I was still young.  Then turning 40 was kind of a milestone.  Then 41 felt like something because it was my first birthday after turning 40.  Now I’m 42.  What’s that?  It just feels old.  

You know what’s amazing to me?  Last night my wife and I and my son Jesse played Settlers of Catan together at with a guy from Germany.  Jesse’s in his room, Molly’s in our bedroom, and I’m in the living room, the other guy’s in Germany and the computer on which we’re all playing is sitting in Belgium.  That just boggles my mind.

When I first got started with computers, I was writing dBase and Turbo Pascal code on a CP/M server.  We had to keep the server at a constant 60 degrees, so I had to keep a jacket and gloves in my office and wear them all the time.  I sat shivering in my office day by day, thinking I was really on the edge!  In my college classes we had to submit complicated JPL commands to the IBM servers just to get our C code to compile, but at my office, with Turbo Pascal I could just hit ‘R’ and my code would compile and run in a jiffy!  And 64K of memory to play with!

Then I remember the first time I heard about the “Internet”.  I was in the Zachry building at Texas A&M, in a state-of-the-art computer lab called the “Crystal Palace”.  At that time, the Crystal Palace was the only place (that I knew of) on campus with access to the Internet, and my very first introduction to it was to learn that a fellow student was going to have an “Internet date”.  This, I was told, was where a student at one university would converse with a student at another university in real time over a network which connected all universities called the Internet.  Talk about cutting edge!  

Then I remember when people started to talk about computer “viruses”.  They were pretty few and far between in those days, but quite destructive.  Writing a program that would, say, format the hard drive or clear the boot sector was a piece of cake back then.  Since the Internet wasn’t very widespread, it was something you only rarely heard about.  Most of them would come with a message like “legalize marijuana” or something.  

I remember I had a co-worker who had a collection of viruses.  It was a little stack of diskettes, each one of which could infest your computer with some malicious code.  I thought that was pretty cool, but he must be having a hard time keeping up these days!

Well, that’s about all the time I have today to write, so as usual, please don’t click outta here without leaving me some comments!  I love those comments!

Have a great day!


At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Amanda said...

Happy Birthday, Uncle Timothy!

Believe me, I would more than gladly sacrifice the dollar bills/credit card in my pocket for your present-buying pleasure, but alas, I am but a poor college student, and my pockets are filled with moths and not money.

...But words of love from your favorite niece are better anyway, right?? :)

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Terri said...

Happy Birthday, Bro!!

Glad to see you posted a birthday blog, but it took me a lifetime to remember how to get to this goofy website!! (I'll just have to stick it in my "favorites," huh??)

Glad you had a fun birthday. Sorry to hear you're 42, because that means I'm REALLY old!!

Love you!

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A mere 42 years! I'm 62 and still going. Surely you can make a little longer. My 40's were some of my best years. I went to college, got a job, and had my first grandchild. Then the 50's came along and more grand children. We move to Winnsboro and I suddenly became even younger. There are more 80 year olds here than I have ever seen in my life. And they are active, sane, and some of them are healthier than I am. We gained 10 years when we moved here.
The 60's haven't been too bad either. I'm now 'retired' and busier than ever. Enjoying life, free to babysit with the grand kids and able to leap tall building. ( just kidding.)
Love you,
Auntie D.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Raymond said...

Would you believe I now collect the genetic code for actual, biological viruses? Happy (much belated) birthday, you old man. :) Hi and hugs to Molly.

- Raymond / Scooter

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Scooter!!! What are you up to? I'm 44 now! I just found Fred Wells on Facebook... is that how you found me? How dare you come here and leave a comment without any contact information? How am I supposed to get ahold of you?


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