Happy birthday TCP/IP

So today marks the anniversary of the adoption of TCP/IP. 24 years ago today, the internet as we navigate it today was formed.

The only reason I know this is because it’s linked to the google logo on my home page (digg it if you must) I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I click on a link telling me about a revolutionary process that was adopted sometime in the distant past (distant for some of you; I distinctly remember 1983. I graduated technical school and was dumped by my high school sweetheart. It was a great year) I want to know what the mystical acronym means. I had to go to look it up on Wikipedia just to find a description that passed for layman’s terms:

The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet and most commercial networks run. It has also been referred to as the TCP/IP protocol suite, which is named after two of the most important protocols in it: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which were also the first two networking protocols defined. Today’s IP networking represents a synthesis of two developments that began in the 1970s, namely LANs (Local Area Networks) and the Internet, both of which have revolutionized computing.

…and no, I didn’t know what TCP/IP meant until I looked it up. Yes, I know, a self-respecting geek should know these things. That’s what happens when you get to geekiness through scifi and gaming, rather than through rich parents who can afford to pay for the latest hardware as it rolls off the assembly line (do you know how much an Altair cost when it was new? As much as my first car. I’d rather have had the car) I never needed to know what it meant to make the household LAN work, or to make the browser go where I wanted it. So sue me.

Don’t mind the attitude. It’s the tail-end of mean champagne buzz. Time for some coffee and breakfast burritos. Happy New Year.

Whose Birthday Is It, Again?

I like to experience my birthdays in a low-key fashion. No party, no celebration, just some quiet time at home. It took years to convince the wife that I really didn’t need a surprise party on my birthday (I’ve since found out that she does, so I dutifully attempt to plan one each year) it was just too unnerving, wondering when I was going to be ambushed. It’s been several years since the last party, and I haven’t missed it.

This year we went to Schlitterbahn for my birthday. How’s that for low-key? Well the kids loved it, and they are what is important to me these days.

So, I’m finally sitting at home enjoying my well earned quiet time, and the phone rings. It’s my mom. My mom, who is in California with her mom, on my birthday. Not here with me (not that it’s surprising, but the next part is) on my birthday, but in the even more distant (from Mom’s locus operandi, Albuquerque, New Mexico) She’s in Sacramento, California for her mom’s birthday. This is when I find out, for the first time, that my maternal Grandmother’s birthday is the day after mine. You’d think someone would have mentioned it in the intervening 40+ years, wouldn’t you?

Not if you knew my maternal Grandmother. This is the woman who was lovingly referred to as “The Wicked Witch of the West” for most of my childhood years. This is the woman who, when informed of the wife and my impending wedding plans said “I wouldn’t bother.” (If I was feeling generous I would hope she meant we should elope and save the wedding money, but I doubt that was the true motivation. It certainly didn’t come across that way.) The grandmother who doesn’t even know that she has great-grandchildren living in my house. The only reason I ever had kind words for her was because she was married to my sweet old Grandfather. Him I’d take time to talk to, or go out of my way to visit (it was on one of those visits when the wife earned the animosity of the rest of the family by putting the wicked witch in her place. It’s funny how family can be endlessly cruel to each other, but can’t abide it when it comes from the figurative outsider) but he’s been gone for several years now.

I do try to keep track of birthdays. I’m far from perfect about it, but I do try. Whether or not someone celebrates their birthday it remains an important day in a person’s life and I like to know when to pass on birthday wishes if I’m presented with an opportunity. Consequently I was a little surprised that I didn’t have Grandma’s birthday noted in my calendar even with the past relationship that we have had. This was a fact that I laughingly related to my mom, along with the fact that I didn’t even have contact information for her to append the birthday to, because I couldn’t imagine why I would ever need to talk to her.

My Mom’s response? “Well here she is, wish her a happy birthday!” I could hear my mental fabric ripping at that point. My side of the conversation went like this;

Hi, Grandma. Happy Birthday!”
“Yes, today is my birthday, and yours is tomorrow, isn’t that funny?”
“You didn’t know that today was my birthday?”
“Yes, I’m getting forgetful these days, too. Well, talk to you later.”

My mother calls me on my birthday so that I can wish a happy birthday to a relative that I mercifully have not thought of for years. A grandparent that hadn’t bothered to remember or mark the birthdays of the children of her only daughter. Ever. As in, she never called. She never sent gifts. She never uttered a peep or spent a cent on a birthday for me or my siblings, ever. That is how I will remember her, and I’m reminded of this fact on my birthday.

Thanks Mom. I think I’ll surprise her with a suitably equivalent gift next year. A car repossession, or perhaps an IRS audit. Something that reflects the thoughtfulness of the gift. From now on, on my birthday, I will be reminded that the WWW’s birthday is the very next day. Something to truly look forward to.

At least mom called. I guess.

The Police – MotherSynchronicity – 1983

Little Miss Magic

Since the day that our son was born, the daughter (also known as the teenager) has been jealous of the attention that his birthday gets. Costumes and free candy on your birthday, how do you beat that?

15 years ago today, I became a parent, and started marking that official anno parenti time. If the full truth were to be told, I’ve been raising children since I was a child myself. The children I raised weren’t my kids, but sometimes you get handed a job that you didn’t ask for. As the eldest in a single parent household, you spend a lot of time herding the younger ones. You can always look forward to mom getting home at some point later in the day, and then you can quit pretending you know what you are doing and get back to being a child yourself.

Once you are mom (or dad) things get a little more complex. The early experience helped, though. I knew how to change diapers. How to feed a baby, hold a baby, a thousand different things. But at 2 in the morning, when it’s your turn to rock the baby, you find that you miss the days when mom would come home and take over. Well, not really. But just for a minute there…

…And they grow so fast, too. 15 years? It couldn’t have been that long. But then, she’s a good bit taller than she was when I first saw her. Then, I could hold her in the crook of one arm, a little over 6 pounds, light as a feather. I’m still taller than her now, but I don’t think that will last much longer. I can remember taking her to the Montessori School for the first time. I can remember her learning to read, and then talking me into reading books that she liked (I’m hooked on Harry Potter and it’s her fault) getting me hooked on anime (especially Hayao Miyazaki) Discovering she has quite a talent for art in her own right. Trying to encourage her to explore her talent, without pressuring her to ‘do something’ with it. Dropping her off at the High School for the first time; wondering out loud if I “should walk her in…” The disgusted “DAD!” that I got in return was the first clue that she was growing up much faster than I was really ready for.

I think they’ll have to sedate me for the next birthday. I don’t think I’ll be ready for 16, dating, driving.

After the boy was born, we took to telling her that “well, your birthday is Lincoln’s birthday too…” That didn’t work. She could go here and see a full list of the famous people who were also born on this date. I doubt that would be good enough either. Maybe, if she’s half the artist I think she can be, she’ll end up on that list as well.

She’s already on an exclusive list of one in my book. That’s a good enough reason to celebrate the day all by itself, without needing costumes and candy. Wouldn’t you agree?

Happy Birthday, dearest one.

Jimmy BuffettLittle Miss MagicSongs You Don’t Know By Heart – Oct 14, 2020

A day… That won’t be my son’s birthday!

We had originally been told that this would be pumpkin boy’s birthday. It may have been this information that inspired the early arrival, at least according to The Wife. Not having to share a day with Pearl Harbor day. Like my father’s beef with being born on September 11th these days. It’s probably better to be born on Halloween, if you look at it in hindsight.


A Pumpkin Child

7 years ago today, I was awoken early on a Saturday morning, at about 8 (that’s early for me) To the sound of my wife crying “My water broke!”

It’s funny looking back on it now. Begging friends to watch our 7 year old daughter (but Mom! what about Halloween?!) Rushing to the hospital in a mad panic. Worrying that the baby would be too early. The disgusted look on the Neonatal doctor’s face when there wasn’t anything for him to do after all. The argument between the delivering doctor and the Neonatal specialist on just how early our son was (“He’s not 6 weeks early!” “Yes, he is!”) The thankfulness on both his mother’s and my part that there wasn’t anything for the specialist to do.

The Wife being bound and determined to get out of that hospital as soon as she could walk again. It all tickles me to this day.

This one’s for you son (and you too Hun) Happy Birthday.