Monday, January 21, 2013

The annual increasing number: 54

Birthdays happen every year, if we’re lucky, and that makes it something to blog about every year. So, I am.

The graphic above was today’s special oddity. I went to Google something and saw the Google Doodle. At first I thought it was for the Inauguration, but then I realised the graphics related to a birthday party. Curious, I put my mouse over the Doodle and “Happy Birthday Arthur!” appeared. It freaked me out a little, but I thought it had to be a coincidence. So, I clicked on the Doodle and took me to my Google+ profile—so, yeah, it really WAS for me. I have no idea when they started doing personalised Google Doodles, but I thought it was kind of nice, actually.

For those who are more paranoid than I am, Google knows it’s my birthday because it’s registered on my Google account, the public profile for which is on Google+ (you can see it by clicking on “View my complete profile” on the right side of this blog). Google also places cookies on people’s computers to make it possible for them to deliver specific content (like ads) relevant for them. Put it all together, and it’s easy for Google to serve up a personalised Google Doodle without anything being publicly compromised; not even my friends on Google+ saw it.

As I do with annual posts, I’ve included links to previous years’ posts, and I noticed that for three years in a row I used the exact same title for the posts. So, this year I’ve added what that annual increasing number is.

I also actually read those previous posts—not exactly a burden, since only four of them are real posts, with text and everything. I check all my previous annual posts so I can try and avoid repeating myself too much. Easier with this post than with others, and Google added a unique twist.

As I frequently say, I like birthdays, which I always think of as my personal New Year’s Day. Even so, I’m not one of those people who needs piles of presents, stacks of cards and so on. I’ve received some Tweets, some emails, some Facebook and Google+ messages, a phone call or two, and that’s really enough. I just like the acknowledgement, and I don’t care whether someone remembers or is prompted.

Still, this is one of those funny birthdays, between the zero year (like 50) and the 5 year (like next year for me). No one really notices the specific years apart from those and the 9 year (I know 59 will be a big one for me). At least, that’s the way it’s gone for me ever since I turned 30.

This year has been low-key mostly because it’s on a Monday, and because over the weekend we went to our niece’s birthday/celebrate-a-new-job party near Paeroa. We stayed overnight at Nigel’s Mum’s house, with his sister and brother and one of his young daughters (who was staying with us part of last week), so we had our own mini-party that evening.

My sister-in-law took me out for lunch today, and tonight we’re going out to dinner. When one of our birthdays falls on a weekday, we often celebrate it by going out to dinner. Lunch was a bonus this year, since I’m off at the moment and Nigel’s sister had the time.

And that’s it so far. A quiet, low-key birthday that nevertheless had some new elements thrown into the mix. That makes it a good one—and it has several hours to go!

My Previous Birthday posts:
2012: The annual increasing number
2011: The annual increasing number
2010: The annual increasing number
2009: Happy Birthday to Me…
2008: Another Birthday


Roger Owen Green said...

Frankly, I'm appalled that Obama didn't have you picked up on Air Force One and jetted to DC for the inaugural/Arthur birthday bash.

Roger Owen Green said...

I found it difficult to keep track of how old I WAS when I was in my 50s. 53 was easy (I was born in '530. 54 was 54'40" or fight. 55 was the speed limit, 56 was Joe DiMaggio's streak, 57 was Heinz ketchup, 58 was... what WAS 58. 59 will be easy for you, because you were born in '59.

Arthur Schenck said...

I don't think I'll have any problems remembering how old I am in this decade—it's other decades I have to stop and think about. But I can usually work it out without a calculator.

As for Air Force One, well, it was clearly an oversight.