Birthday Redux

Last weekend was my birthday. (March 10, for those of you playing along at home.) Though I’ve been pretty wiped out lately, and didn’t feel up to a large party, we had a couple people over after church for pizza and enchiladas. It was a good time.
Upon hearing me lament the march of years, Lori Hendrick and Anna Larue got me a pile of candy and the Nerf Powerclip, one of the finest Nerf weapons available today. It’s a 10 dart, fully automatic, air powered blaster than can unload all of its ammo in about a second, and is highly recommended for a-bit-over-30 year olds who, though they haven’t hit a midlife crisis yet, feel it starting to loom.

Another favorite gift, this one from [Dad McMains->] and [Lana->], was a recently released CD of jazz performed on ‘cello and guitar. The ‘cello player is none other than Ken Ishii, my old instructor from high school who has been broadening his musical horizons in recent years. Ken is accomplished both as an instrument builder and a performer, and the disc is great fun.

[Kathy->] gave me two things that were wonderful: a Zoom acoustic guitar processor, and a Raleigh SC30 bicycle. I was a bit dubious about the guitar effects at first, but was quickly won over after plugging it in. “Hey, listen to this! I’m Boston! Hey, now I’m BB King! Now I’m George Harrison! Now I’m Extreme! Now I’m Don Ho! Hahahahaha….” This was a bold gift for Kathy, since she doesn’t know much about guitar gear, and had to consult with Grant, our next-door neighbor and Jedi guitarist.

The bike, however, is probably what I’ve been enjoying the very most. It’s been a couple of decades since I used anything two-wheeled as a serious mode of transportation, and I’ve been having a delightful time scooting around by the river, going out riding with [Emily->], and pedaling off to a nearby park for some quiet reading time. I brought my friend Kelly, whose parents used to own a bike shop, along for the selection process, and he was very impressed with the quality work Raleigh is doing these days. My posterior is still hardening to the task a bit, but I think this will be a great way to get around town. I already want to buy Kathy one!

A few other notables: some beautiful dress shoes from [Chris->], which have convinced me that I need to get some of my friends married so I’ll have a good reason to wear them, and Rails Across America, which panders both to my fondness for computer games and for trains, from [Mom McMains->]. Thanks, everyone, for a better-than-expected birthday!