Posted by: David | June 8, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I am 51 today. Thought 51 was a prime number. I mean it sounds kinda prime doesn’t it? But it aint. 3 x 17 = 51. So it’s the product of primes, how about that? Besides I’ve always had a “thing” for the number 17. And 3, well, it’s special on so many levels, mathwise and non-mathwise. So I’m 3 times 17. That’s cool.

I sat in the squeaky cushy chair to check up on interweb affairs this morning. My wife called to wish me happy b’day- she was my first happy birthday wish of the day. She’ll be back from SC tomorrow. Yay! So morning is getting underway while the rat patrol  surveyed chippy activity from the picture window. Here’s my view of it:

Dog butt. He’s spotted a chipmunk when the butt quivers.

I now have two photos of the similar events from opposite perspectives. First from the dog’s perspective. Chipmunk is object on rock at top left corner. Yes, it’s a real, live chipmunk standing on the rock, and not a dead parrot. Why else would the dog be so riveted?


And then from the chipmunk’s perspective. It’s that same smart-ass chipmunk you’ve seen on this blog before. Little brown dot on the rock wall.

Racist DOG! Come and GET me!

So the Jack Russell – Chipmunk War rages on … Ollie had a few minutes of untethered freedom this morning when he took off out the door as I was getting ready for the morning’s bike ride. He went straight to this stone wall to do his highly regimented and perseverative sniffout maneuvers. I had to yell really loudly at him to get him to come to me.

So my friend from work was a little late but we got 2 bikes loaded up on her car, and got my car dropped off at the shop for it sway bar bushings and fuel system flushing. And we were only 10 minutes late to meet the other friend. The other friend is the one whose bike appears in the previous post. She and I ride together fairly often. She brought me a cute little birthday cake and candles! She even brought and ice pack to keep it cool while we went on our ride. Told you she was nice.

The 2 friends were meeting each other for the first time, and one of them was experiencing riding a road bike for the first time. She’d been riding a mountain bike for about a year. She really liked the road bike feeling – it’s quite a feeling really. After the rumbly friction of the mountain bike, where you pedal like mad and don’t go anywhere, the road bike just glides forward like it was self propelled. That feeling has kept me getting back on the bike for a few years now. It’s not unlike dream-flying.

So our ride was short, as the 2 ladies had a rock-climbing date for the afternoon, so I rode home for lunch- some toast, scrambled eggs, and kim chi. Then I headed back out for a more substantial ride. Heading north on 114, I was well into Sutton when the cell phone rang. The car was done. Continued up to North Sutton, Hominy Pot Road, King Hill Road, 103A up Grace Hill to Newbury and down to the shop. Got there around 4:00. Well they were not able to flush the fuel system, but they got the sway bar bushings on OK. So I saved $100. I had not noticed any fuel system issues anyway. But it sure is nice to have that nasty clunk gone.

Nothing like new bushings!

After picking up the car I went to Marzelli Deli for the second time in 2 days to get an eggplant and pasta dinner. MMMMMMM, eggplant! On getting home I got all the bikes and stuff put away and walked around to check on garden stuff. I saw an indigo bunting at the bird feeders, but didn’t get the camera out fast enough. But I did get a picture of the female cardinal. Not a very good shot- too much digital zoom.

Female cardinal in the brushpile. Looks a bit pissed, huh?

Gardens are doing OK. Nothing major to report. Have had 3 nice sunny days and now need some rain. One purple cabbage was a little chewed up. The butternut squash seeds have germinated.

Baby butternut squash plant.

My daughter stopped by after getting out of work to wish me happy birthday and brought me some lovely sushi and dumplings and a Red Hot Chili Pepper disc (2 discs actually-  Stadium Arcadium- hope it’s good! ). And some Dark Spicy Aztec chocolate – pumpkin seeds and cayenne- mmmmm- spicy hot chocolate made in Vermont. That was so sweet- my daughter is pretty awesome! Her birthday is coming up soon too.

Even the clivia wished me happy birthday.

So my vacation week draws to a close. It’s been pretty nice even though there has been no action on the garage front. Waiting for the foundation guys to come back and fill in the hole and pour the slabs. Maybe next week.


  1. Happy Birthday Dave!
    You share a birthday with Robert Schumann, Barbara Bush, and Frank Lloyd Wright. And you are exactly one year older than the worst comic writer ever. So you get to punch him in the arm if you ever meet him!

    Baby butternut squash is quite cute. But not as cute as it is at the end of it’s life, all chopped up and presumably cooked in some vicious manner. Mmmmmmmmmm.

    You need to name your pet chipmunk.

  2. party?

  3. Thanks Keath. I knew about Barbara Bush and Frank Lloyd Wright, but not Schumann. Not a Dilbert fan?
    Chipmunk names … Nimish, help me out here, you’ve seen every cartoon known to mankind, perhaps Alvin? Theodore? What was the 3rd chipmunk’s name? No peeking on the internet.
    No party, just me. Paris was supposed to come over but you probably heard what happened to her. What a kerfuffle1!
    Yeah, I know!
    At least they remembered to launch my space shuttle!

  4. Alvin, Theodore et al, sadly, were not available in “certain territories”… what we did get were Chippendales… I mean Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers.

    Chipmunk names… how’s Thunder Crack [he can be the assistant to Lightning Bolt! The Super Squirrel-la-la-la! *]

    * – I swear that that’s what that squirrel was called… part of the Tom and Jerry Kids Show alongside Tyke… the son of the the dog Spike.

  5. OK, problem.

    I have to admit to some chipmunk racism. The problem is that all the chipmunks look alike to me. And to the dog.

    Therefore we cannot name the chipmunk, sorry.

    However, for the record, the other chipmunk’s name was Simon. He was the nerdy one. Theodore was the cute one. With Alvin, the lead, and their human, Dave, they were a foursome who bore a very rough correspondence to their contemporaries, The Beatles, The Monkees, and The Dave Clark 5ive. [OK sorry, fivesome minus one.] My age should be showing nicely now.

    Bless Wikipedia for bringing it all back to me.

    However, for the present, the enemy combatant chipmunks shall remain nameless. We shall only refer to them as “the enemy”.

    Nimish, I don’t understand the syntax:

    * –
    Please explain. TIA.

  6. * means notifying a footnote… doesn’t work very well in comments… unless I install some olde book voodoo amgick street theatre puppets.

  7. I forgot to mention, in some countries, the use of * for footnotes is copyrighted under the respective DMCA law… so by looking at my comment, you’re comitting an act of piracy and are liable to criminal prosecution for this civil violation… or something like that.

    Have fun.

  8. Happy birthday David. Many happy returns.

  9. You seriously forgot Simon’s name? For shame. Simon’s the coolest of the three, you know.
    Are you sure it’s a boy chipmunk? Because if not, you could name her Brittany, Jeanette, or Eleanor, for one of the Chipettes.
    It’s a shame Nimish had to grow up without the Chipmunks, but at least he had the Rescue Rangers (though original Chip ‘n’ Dale shorts are significantly better! “Applecore.” “Say no more.” “Who’s your friend?” “Him!” D’oh!) You can name your chipmunk Montery Jack or Gadget.
    But then there’s the issue of your chipmunk racism. Perhaps you could brand the chipmunk you name. Then you’d know if you saw him/her again. But you’d also probably be guilty of some animal rights law. I now sure how it extends to chipmunks. You could probably use the defense that you just wanted to ensure that you could tell Montery Jack and Gadget from Simon and Eleanor.
    This post was about your birthday, right? How’s 51 going?

  10. Thank you Keath, Nimish, and anttyk for your comments and birthday wishes. So far 51 is going nicely.

    Except for the senility. I should have recognized the asterisk instantly, since I use asterisks (for other things) frequently. I’m going to blame it on the brackets. Next time Nimish, please use conventional parentheses so you don’t confuse this old man. And since looking upon the asterisks now is an illegal act, maybe you should stop using them too. Perhaps you could use numbered footnotes like Keath does.

    In regards to the enemy combatant rodents, I am forced, because of family politics, to take the dog’s side. He is a very insistent little terrier. He’s almost 3 years old and has only 3 kills so far. 2 mouse-like critters and one chipmunk. I personally, have nothing against the chipmunk.

    Chipmunks, due to their extreme cuteness, are probably already wholly-owned subsidiaries of Disneycorp, so any attempt at branding them would cost me dearly. I would need lawyers for my lawyers. Additionally, since I’ve been told by a woman very knowledgable on things canine, the dog needs “employment” to stay sane. Unfortunately his chipmunk control job drives us all a bit crazy.

    Oh well, what you gonna do?

  11. Happy Birthday! Some may call this wish late or belated, but I say it’s extending your celebration.

  12. Thanks for the extension Ceridwen!

  13. It was really nice to see the chipmonk as seen by the dog, and the dog as seen by the chipmonk, but I did not know what a chipmonk is. I googled and found that maybe I mean chipmUnk?

    I went to Google images and looked and saw. However,( do you know?) if you see something quite clearly but don’t know what it is called, you feel that you do not know what it is. So I went to a multilingual dictionary that I have on my toolbar at and it said that chipmonk is chipmunk and is ardilla listada. That sounds like Eichhörnchen, which in turn would be a squirrel.

  14. Oh cantueso, you are funny. 😉 I’m sure there is such a creature as a chip monk, in one of those alternate universes branching away from ours at dimension 10.

    To our dog Eichhörnchen, chipmonks, squirrels and mice are all the same thing: The Enemy.

  15. Is that the little plant? I was sure it had been photographed coming up through straw, and the straw cover neatly defined as a rectangle.

    Part of the charm was just in that geometrical look to make it look more man-made and less reminiscent of “mother nature”.
    I’ll look again another day.

    You may have seen another picture of a seedling on my blog, but the one in this post is a seedling of a hard squash variety that we keep into the winter. It is easy to cook and is often sweetened with brown sugar or maple syrup. And yes, young seedlings’ primary leaves do have a lovely symmetry don’t they?

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