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13 October 2009 – About Sixty Reasons

This morning I tried not to swear, out loud or to myself. Pretty good success with the former, and fifty-nine failures with the latter. One for each of my, as of today, mounting years. Work was unhinging me. Once I thought the top of my head was going to blow off. We were laying out the 2′ x 2′ paving stones for the foundation pilings of the children’s houses. It’s pretty simple geometry, but not a single Euclidean thing went right. If I had been a spoiled child (instead of a spoiled adult) I would have plopped down in a huff and bawled. Instead I turned to mumbled imprecations.


About a half hour later I came off the boil. And not surprisingly, the math started to work. I felt stupid because I had been, and moved on. I settled into a birthday of shoveling concrete, which may not sound like much, but considering the other available relationships to the stuff, say, Jimmy Hoffa’s, or having my full name and a couple of sets of dates inscribed in it, I like it a lot. I like the just born weight of it, before it gets set in its ways.


Later I saw some synchronized ostriches and a few scarecrows, or here, scare wildebeests, and got a wide-eyed howdy from some small uniformed people. I got calls from nearby and across the sea, and apart from a painful longing for the annual family underwear dive in the Mokolumne, came out on the happy end.


If you’re in the mood for a present for yourself…Bon Iver’s album, “For Emma, Forever Ago.” Try on Skinny Love and Re:Stacks.


Here’s how some of it looked today.[nggallery id=131]


We’re awful lucky,




  1. REPLY
    Joseph Latino says

    Sounds like a decent way to spend your birthday!!! Wish I could share it with you! I will send white light and love!!! It’s on it’s way at 1:20 p.m. San Diego time. We will celebrate when I see you again. I want you to know and remember that the dreaded 60’s are not half bad once you ease in to your sixth decade. Take very good care, your good friend and cousin Joe

  2. REPLY
    Debi Lorenc says

    I can’t wait until I get to swear 59 times–won’t be long now. Happy birthday old man!

    I missed seeing you while you were home. Can’t do that next time.

    Love ya,

  3. REPLY
    martin says

    raising a Tusker to your 59th, from this side. and wishing you a glorious becandled t.tot mandazi…


    p.s. here’s a link to Bon Iver and Black Mountain live… http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19086361

  4. REPLY
    Peggy says

    Thanks for sharing your birthday with us, however harrowing it might have been. I had just realized what day this is and sent off a greeting to you when here you remind me that your day has passed already. I am a little slow, but heartfelt birthday wishes are sent your way.
    P.S. The finished grid of concrete is a beautiful set of fractals!

  5. REPLY
    Michael Edson says

    A very Happy Birthday to you David! The uniformed puffins indicate a good day for the celebration. We miss you here.

  6. REPLY
    Chris L says

    I even remembered pre- Red Rhino post. And from where I sit, it’s your birthday still. I suppose we look at it both ways now: what we can’t do quite so well (like get up and down the court), but simultaneously, what we’re still grateful to be able to do at all (like dispense cement and still flirt cross-country with the king of beasts).

    I know which way you home — towards gratitude. As we all do towards you.

    Be well, dear brother, this day and every day.



  7. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the light and love straight from Diegoville. I’ll look forward to the bday celebration when we reconvene. I’m going to stretch this year out til I have to march into 60. I’ll be calling you for the reassurance then. Lots of love to you, dear Joe.


  8. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Debi,

    You can start swearing now, but only in small doses. Old age has its privilege, etc., etc.
    By the way, when are you guys starting another world tour? I’m hungry! and ill fed currently.

    See you for sure at Christmas.



  9. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Martin,

    I just discovered that Faith, Mrs Masa, and I share the 13th. So Tuskers raised this weekend here by the Great One and all of us lesser ones. And a mandazi thrown in for good measure.
    See you here or there, my friend.


  10. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for the warm wishes. The fractals temporarily fractured us, but we are well-recovered this day. And a whole new grid has sprung up today. Renewal when we most need it.


  11. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Ed,

    I miss you too. The puffin parade continues. And the lilac breasted rollers too. Cold on Cobb yet?


  12. REPLY
    migdalia says

    happy happy birthday…..

    a day to remember getting over…..everything! hahahahaha

  13. REPLY
    Pam Burns (Furlong) says

    Your tiredless work is amazing. God is so good and we are blessed. Hope to see you in July. With love, Pam

  14. REPLY
    Michael Carlbom says

    David ! Happy birthday Brother ! Sorry to hear you had to work so hard on your birthday. Maybe you should have used the math that was causing you to swear 59 times to refigure your age. Keep up the good work , your an inspiration to us all.

  15. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Pam,

    You are always encouraging. Thanks. I’m also very often tired. But, yep, we are blessed beyond what we could hope for. I’ll look for you in July.

    Love to Joel and the kids,


  16. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Migdalia,

    I learned a lot about working on this project and this property from you and Janine when you were here. Digging in and doing what could be and needed to be done. Folks still ask after you both here. And I miss you. Thanks for everything.


  17. REPLY
    david says

    Hi Bomber,

    If you find the math book that teaches how to do that, send it right over. Otherwise I’ll be too old to read it soon. Great getting together with you and Tom and Billy. Old and deep ties. I had forgotten some of the stuff we reminisced about. Is that selective forgetting, or just that 59 thing again? Be well, Brother,


  18. REPLY
    david says

    Dear Christian,

    We’ve looked at a lot of things in a lot of ways together, and here we are, still lookin’
    I’m glad for the perspective I get from seeing through your eyes, so to speak. And I am always grateful for your willingness to look straight at the thing, even when it is the king of the beasts. That and your bartending skills.

    I’ve wondered, since being back here, how your reentry is going. To what, from what.

    Your hat is still here,


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