The Daily Broadside


Posted on 08/31/2023 5.00 AM

JCM 8/26/2023 8:18:09 PM

Posted by: JCM

vxbush 8/31/2023 6:21:51 AM

Greetings and salutations, campers. Normally I would be reading the news this morning to find a few stories to post, but for today it doesn’t seem worth it to be reminded of yet more bad news. 

Instead, let me pose a question in the hopes that it might stir a discussion completely unrelated to politics. 

Q: What is your favorite memory from your birthday over the years? 

vxbush 8/31/2023 6:22:54 AM

Reply to vxbush in 1:

I ask this, knowing that OR will definitely pipe up with something. 😝

doppelganglander 8/31/2023 7:10:19 AM

Reply to vxbush in 1:

My birthday is the day before Halloween, so in high school I celebrated with costume parties. Most of my friends were theater nerds, or band and chorus nerds, so they loved it. I had an ideal setup - a finished basement with direct entry through the garage, a refrigerator, a stereo, and a clueless mom.

Occasional Reader 8/31/2023 7:12:50 AM

Reply to vxbush in 2:

Huh... am I particularly noisy about birthdays?

Well, to answer your question; there comes to mind my 50th birthday, which came a week and a half after my son was born, and was the first time his mom and I got a babysitter and had dinner out since is birth; the birthday dinner/ party thrown for me by my wonderful host family in Lima, Peru during my year of volunteer work there; and numerous childhood birthdays with my family at a rented cottage in Cuba Lake, NY (summer vacation).

buzzsawmonkey 8/31/2023 7:41:30 AM

My father did some remarkable things for my childhood birthday parties.  Several of those had themes; I was mad keen on AA Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books long before the Disney film (which I have never seen), and for the Pooh-themed birthday party I had at 6 or 7, he carved linoleum-print blocks of two of the Shepard illustrations to decorate the party napkins.  I still have them.

Another time, he took me and my guests to the Chicago Historical Society for a showing of the hilarious WC Fields film "Million Dollar Legs" (not to be confused with the later, identically-named Betty Grable film).

For a later, King Arthur/Round Table-themed party, he brought home some dry ice from the lab, which he dropped in bowls of water to provide a Merlin-esqe magical atmosphere of clouds of white smoke/fog.

vxbush 8/31/2023 10:11:49 AM

In #4 Occasional Reader said: Huh... am I particularly noisy about birthdays?

It seems that way to me, because I swear every year when it's your birthday you make a point of noting it. I got in trouble with my family when I did that growing up, so that's probably why I notice it. 

No harm, no foul. 

My birthdays were nothing special, but with my daughter's birthday in the month of December, several years in a row we had her party set up so everyone could decorate Christmas ornaments. It seemed to be a success. 

Occasional Reader 8/31/2023 11:47:42 AM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 5:

Your dad sounds like he was quite something. 

/I'm just slightly disappointed if he never gave you a tritium-themed birthday party, complete with tritium gift bags for all the attendees... 

buzzsawmonkey 8/31/2023 11:58:07 AM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 7:

It is only now, in my later life, that I realize how amazing he actually was.   

He used to blow laboratory glass to make little animals---I have one of his little elephants, which were his specialty---but it is my understanding that he used to make other little animals out of glass also, and would give his mother checks rolled up in the hollow bodies of glass-blown deer.  

All of this seemed like "normal life" to me; it is only as I've become older that I have realized what an astonishing range of skills and actions which I took for granted as a child I was privileged to be the recipient of.

vxbush 8/31/2023 1:52:22 PM

In #8 buzzsawmonkey said: All of this seemed like "normal life" to me; it is only as I've become older that I have realized what an astonishing range of skills and actions which I took for granted as a child I was privileged to be the recipient of.

Buzz, you were incredibly blessed to have the childhood you did and the parents you had. Take it from someone who did not have a good childhood--that kind of blessing is something to be treasured. 

buzzsawmonkey 8/31/2023 1:58:42 PM

Reply to vxbush in 9:

I agree.  It is only lately that I've begun to realize I had an exceptional childhood.

Kosh's Shadow 8/31/2023 6:33:03 PM

My first birthday really sucked. I was all warm and had nothing to do; next minute I'm outside and realizing the world sucks, and I'm crying my brains out. And it was all downhill from there.

OK, I don't remember that birthday.

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