It’s my birthday and I was trying to come up with a good birthday themed post. I’ve got several good posts coming up, like my review of theÂ VPL-HW10 – theÂ BRAVIAÂ® SXRDâ„¢ 1080p Home Theater Front Projector – which will be arriving on Wednesday, or the coverage I’ll be giving to the plight to get my previous projector fixed. But neither of those are really birthday themed, unless you consider the new projector as a bday present.
This birthday has made me think a lot about the past, which is why I posted this picture from a 1974 vacation. Since my bday is so close to Christmas I often confuse some of my bday memories with Christmas ones. When I was young my parents celebrated my birthday on Thanksgiving, but were careful to explain “This isn’t your real birthday – we’re just celebrating it now.” Then they would celebrate my birthday again on the actual day. This had two results – one is that I was fairly confused as a child and two, my brother and sister surely felt cheated about me getting two birthdays when they only got one.Â Now if you ask my wife, I basically celebrate my birthday straight through from Thanksgiving until the end of the year.
When I was in Jr High School, I think it was 1979, I left all kinds of hints that I wanted a computer for my combined birthday and Christmas gifts that year. I had picked out the one I wanted – an Imagination Machine. It was quite expensive for the time, retailing at $600, but yet I held out hope that somehow my parents would figure out a way to afford it.
Unfortunately (for them) my parents picked that year to hype up the gift they were giving me, which was NOT an Imagination Machine – but a bicycle. When I “opened” the present – let’s just say that I did not act appropriately. I was extremely upset and let everyone know it. I’ve always felt bad about my behavior – I even felt bad as it was happening.Â To live in grace and forgiveness I attribute it to just being a kid: 12 or 13 years old. And to be fair (to the 13-year old me) their gift had been hyped up so much that even though I should have known they couldn’t afford the computer – I believed that they somehow worked it out. I’m sure everyone in attendance remembers that year’s celebration – or at least my outburst. But I also remember other things about that Christmas, like that my brother was sick and we opened gifts on his bed. The bicycle wasn’t wrapped. They gave me a small box with a note in it – and the bike was hidden behind his door.
Needless to say, I never got an Imagination Machine – and the bike was actually quite awesome. I loved that bike and used it to get anywhere in the city until I got a car in High School. I also used it to deliver papers which allowed me to raise enough money to buy a computer a couple of years later: a TRS-80 Color Computer.
What will I remember about THIS birthday? Probably that my 3 year old daughter called me and sang Happy Birthday to me over the phone. And that last night at 11:45 pm, after a very long day including a 5 hour car ride home from Hemet, that Gillian and I made a snowman with what little snow was left in our back yard. I hope she remembers that for years to come as well.