Monday, September 24, 2007

Birthday Boy

Maybe Birthday "Man" would be more accurate.

Last weekend I celebrated a milestone birthday (celebration Saturday, actual birthday Sunday). A while ago I took a life expectancy test online and it said I'd live to 83. If that's the case, I'm almost at halfway now. I have about 43 years to win a Nationals or something.


The future missus organized a get together at my brother/dad's place and got a whole bunch of people together. We sat around, didn't drink too much, ate, and hung out. It's always nice when a bunch of friends get together - more than the one or two that usually hang out (like working on a car or going to a race). When you hit four or five, it gets to be more fun. And when there are something like 20 people, it's really nice.

The invites said no gifts but some couldn't resist nonetheless. I guess a "gift card" can hide inside a card so a bunch slipped me such a thing. My other brother (the one in Boston) mailed me a book on fighter planes - and although I didn't realize it, my WW2 fighter plane knowledge was full of a few big holes, specifically the various model variants' power, armament, and armor differences. I spent pretty much the next two days reading the various plane specs, figured out the significance of power to prop size relationships, and learned all sorts of things about all the plastic models I built 30 or so years ago.

Apparently post WW2 planes don't interest me because at some point I realized I was reading over the same planes again and announced I'd finished reading the book. Then I started from the back (when they say that some people read such reference books forwards and backwards, I'm one of those people who actually do that). When I looked at the last plane (the F-18 - for you aeronautics fans, the book was published in 1981, so nothing more exotic than that), I realized I hadn't even seen the pages before. I realized there were a whole host of jets I'd never even heard of - and then I figured out I'd read and re-read only half the book. As soon as the end-of-war jets appeared, I started flipping back to the front.

A couple friends gave me actual gifts - all related, of course, to bikes or cars. A cool gift was an old Kucharick hairnet from a guy I've known for something like 18 years or so. It was cleverly wrapped so impossible to tell what it was - and back in the day it was the best padded hairnet. Scary that they used to be considered "protection".

Then the future missus gave me her gift - and it was a modern day helmet, an '08 S Works something helmet. Incredibly light, ventilated, with a "round-the-head" locking system. My current helmet was getting ratty, the locking system was sketchy, I always had sweat in my eyes, so this was a great gift.

She'd gone to a local shop and asked for a Large helmet (I have an egg head). The guy (a co-owner of the shop, a local and former pro racer) asked "Are you sure?". She replied to the affirmative. As she has a size small head, he must have been a bit confused until she mentioned it was for me. Apparently he knew who I was, thought of what I looked like, and didn't question the size Large anymore.


Anyway, he opened up some new shipment of stuff and pulled out this spiffy helmet. The future missus was rightly impressed with its lack of weight (although, as she pointed out, I'll stick a helmet cam on it), big vent channels, made sure it was big enough, and bought it.

By the way, for you weight weenies out there, although the size S helmet is 184 grams, the size L is "guarranteed to be under 263 grams" according to the box - and that's without the visor. You know, if I had a smaller head, my kit would weigh 80 grams less. 80 grams I wouldn't have to lose (or buy off my bike somehow). Pinheads rejoice.

When it got dark my brother lit off some fireworks. We do this regularly after they de-criminalized fireworks in the state and the town, but based on the attention some of the "city folks" (from local cities), apparently we're in the minority. Lots of sparkly lights, noise, and smoke - always fun.

The mix of bike people and non bike people made it a bit interesting (perhaps boring for the one guy who has nothing to do with bikes). I figured out after the fact that I'll have to move around a bit more when socializing in a big group (like at the reception). One advantage of getting older is that you know who your friends are - although a couple of them I only met in the last 2 or 3 years, the majority I met 15 or 20 years ago.

What is incredible is that the future missus organized this two weeks before the wedding and three weeks after we moved and sold our house. In addition to all that nonsense, on the morning of the party the future missus drove an hour an a half to her dress fitting.

I should say that although we're still working out the final numbers for the wedding/reception and figuring out some final details, the wedding is looming pretty quickly. Very different from two Aprils ago when we got engaged.

Sunday we returned home after we picked up a big desk for the home office. We went for a ride on the tandem, the first up here. As it was somewhat late I brought the NiteRider and we used the blinky taillight the whole time. We explored a bit of the rails to trails system around here, passed a few families on bikes, couples walking or cycling, the dog-walker or two, and a friendly guy in a wheelchair. It was nice and relaxing ride, and although work interrupted quite jarringly towards the end, a perfect close to the weekend.


hobgoblin said...

Happy Birthday--1967 was a very good year, if I do say so myself!

Aki said...

ha yes it was. Errr I don't have any proof of it though. No new states or anything like that.