Today is the 13th of February, which for those who know me, means that the odometer today clicks another digit over. Any one year is not significantly different from the last, but after a few revolutions, the chassis has picked up more than a few miles.
This year (49) is not a mile-stone year by any stretch. 49 is not even a prime number, so it's just another footnote in the stats almanac and not "black ink" as baseball writer Bill James liked to say.
It's today a rainy, stormy day here in San Francisco (speaking of 49ers). It reminds me a bit of my 30th birthday, which (incredibly) is now nearly two decades ago.
I turned 30 in the year 2000, which made it especially auspicious. Remember the Y2K scare? How silly we all felt when really, nothing happened?
That February, like this one, saw a lot of rain. The Bay Area is close to a desert in terms of annual rainfall, but we do get between 15 and 20 inches of rain in a year. But that rainfall is packed into a couple of months of the winter. For eight or so months per year, we typically do not even get a cloud in the sky, fog excepted.
I remember how wet it was in 2000. I remember more than that that my mother was visiting me. At the time, I was living in San Jose, California, in a sub-division called "Naglee Park." For my 30th birthday, I took the day off. My mother and I spent the middle part of the day getting lunch and then at the Municipal Rose Garden, just west of downtown. The Rose Garden is a beautiful park in central San Jose, with crushed gravel parkways, some sculptures and topiaries, and of course, rows and rows of roses.
It's the sort of place you might expect in a European city more than the self-described "Capital of Silicon Valley."
It was rather a stormy week (much like today), and in fact, it began to sprinkle. So we went to the Valley Fair shopping centre nearby for some shelter. My mother got me a Tiffany glass mission-style table lamp as a Christmas present before we headed home.
For dinner, my mother prepared my favourite meal - a recipe of oven barbecued pork spare ribs. She and I - and my dog Rowan - shared a birthday dinner.
I'm soon heading home from work, and that same menu is on for tonight. I'll share it with my wife and son. My dog Eiffel will get a bone if he behaves as well.
I still have that Tiffany lamp; it's on the dresser in my bedroom. I think about my 30th birthday when I see it each night.