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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 ...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2003 09:12 pm (UTC)
Doh! I missed wishing you a timely happy birthday by five minutes! Oh well... Happy Birthday anyway!

I know exactly what you mean about not feeling your age, even though I'm not even 30 yet. Heh, that's the first really big base-10 milestone of age. 10, you're still just a kid, 20, well 21 is more important... but 30, 30's "important". You're over the hill at 30. But I still feel like I did when I was a teen, and I guess I always will. Except I feel more fragile now, and my hair doesn't like my head. It's leaving.

Damn, that's some food adventure. I'm not that brave. Though I've been known to eat some slightly slimy ham before. I just rinse off all the bacteria undert the tap.
Nov. 12th, 2003 11:25 am (UTC)
I cheated. I rinsed off the ham under the tap before I made the sandwich.

It was a swell birthday. The last present I opened was a set of car keys to a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX. We had been test driving new cars because our 1989 Honda has 200,000 miles on it. I loved the Impreza I had test driven, and then my wife found a fantastic deal on the 2002 WRX in a little town 45 minutes from here, so she sprung the surprises on me. We'll complete the purchase today, so tomorrow when I drive to work I will be cool.
Nov. 12th, 2003 04:08 pm (UTC)
Damn, I want an Impreza WRX :(

I just bought a '99 Toyota Avalon. Nice big luxery sedan. I'm pleased with it but sometimes I wish I'd bought something more sporty. Ah well, next time.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )