Hostirad (hostirad) wrote,

Base ten birthdays and food experiments

Today is my 50th birthday. Because many would regard this as some kind of extra-special occasion, I feel obligated to say a few words about this date.

First of all, I feel pretty much the same as I did yesterday, when I was 49. And the day before that. And the day before that. Except for knowing a few more things and feeling a bit more confident in my abilities these days than when I was 15, my typical thoughts, feelings, and self-perceptions have not changed that much over the past 35 years. When I was a kid looking at the world of grown-ups, I assumed that I would undergo some kind of transformation eventually into a qualitatively different grown-up status. I kept waiting, but it never happened. Something tells me it never will.

Second, I have always thought that people make too much of multiples of ten, as if the number 10 had some kind of special ontological status. People talk about decades--the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc.--as if they represented some kind of natural unit of time. Of course this is all an artifact of our base 10 number system, which is an artifact of having 10 fingers. There is nothing special or natural about multiples of 10. If we had seven fingers and a base 7 number system, my previous birthday might have been seen as ultra special because is was 7 x 7.

Okay, on to the food experiment, which has nothing to do with my birthday today. Due to the availability of food in our kitchen this morning, I packed myself a ham sandwich with deli ham I had bought six days earlier. It smelled maybe a little sour, and we did have some fresher lunchmeat, but I hate to waste food so I made the sandwich with the older meat. We had one banana left, and it was quite dark. It was not as fermented as some old bananas I have eaten, but it was getting there. On our yogurt shelf were a variety of yogurts purchased over the past month. I found two with sell-by dates of November 2nd, which is nine days ago. I have never eaten yogurt quite that old, so I threw them away. I picked a blueberry yogurt dated yesterday instead. So .... now I am wondering how this is all going to settle with me this afternoon. So far, so good ...

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