Happy 25th to the Big Ugly Box


So today marks the 25th birthday of the personal computer—yes yes, Happy Birthday to you too, Ray—call me when you’re 40, okay?


[Ahem] So as I was saying… Looking at the above photo of the first IBM PC makes me lament the lack of innovation in the basic form factor of the PC over the years… Sure, there have been many updates to the basic set-up of monitor, CPU and keyboard—you can check out PC World’s 25 Greatest PCs of all Time for proof of that. But it seems to me that there’s a lot more innovation going on these days in the design of mobile phones… Maybe because they haven’t quite been standardized yet?

At any rate, I won’t argue for a second that personal computers haven’t changed the world, but I will point out that the ones I used have definitely risen in status beyond glorified calculators and word processors thanks to a certain series of tubes

My Big, Fat 40th Surprise Party

(Too much love for this old man to handle!)

So the tradition of posting my birthday Globe & Mail Horoscope is no more, as the Globe is now charging people to access that part of their site.

And you know what? Fuck ‘em!

After what happened to me in the dwindling hours of my thirties I’ve realized that I don’t need anyone to chart my future for me—I’m doing just fine, thanks.

Tuesday night I was invited to an intimate dinner with a small circle of friends, and through no small amount of subterfuge was led to the restaurant where my ladyfriend works, where a much larger circle of friends was waiting to surprise me. And surprise me they did! This Flickr Photo Set tells the story better than I ever could.

The next morning as the emails started flooding my inbox I was reminded that my circle of friends was larger still. And all I can give you in return is my heartfelt thanks—you’ve all made an old man very happy…


Birthday Season Begins


(a favourite indulgence from my favourite specialty bakery…)

Birthday season kicked off yesterday with a family lunch up at mom’s place. I say birthday “season” because in the span of about a week my presence has been requested at no less than five separate events!

What can I say? I’m flattered and soon to be fattened…


It’s a Dog’s Year


As an addendum to my Asia and me post of a few days back, here’s more proof of the continent’s growing influence in western culture. No less than Forbes magazine has a feature on business horoscopes for the upcoming Year of the Dog. Here’s mine:

The Horse

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Your benefactor is the Ox.

“The Horse will find the Dog year a rather auspicious one. Your career will be smooth sailing. Though you will meet with a lot of competition and pressure in your work, luck is on your side. It is a year for making plans or learning something new. Students can expect good academic results. However, the Horse should not be too ambitious so as to avoid ending up with nothing. There are signs of hidden danger and sorrow for Horses born in 1966 and 1978. They will encounter backstabbers and find it easy to arouse misunderstandings with friends and relatives. Avoid squabbling with others, especially in winter. It will be a losing game for you. As for money luck, salaried workers will have more stability than the self-employed. If you are a salaried worker, you may discover a new source of income. If you are self-employed, there is a need to budget wisely. Be alert for signs of overspending.”—Master Sang

And in case you were wondering, I was born in 1978, and immediately bumped up to Grade 7…