Birthday presents

My birthday is tomorrow, but I’ve already been surprised with a few very nice presents.

First I got to see a no-hitter for the New York Mets.

Then I got to see the 2012 Transit of Venus (online, anyway, it was cloudy here).

I feel privileged to have witnessed both of those, because neither is expected to be seen again during my lifetime.

Then I learn via TBogg that tomorrow will also be a very special day in the blogosphere, with some of the louder bloggers on the far right calling for a day-long blogging strike. Tbogg says, “Seriously, I don’t know what the hell they think they’re doing but it’s hard to see any downside to this, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.” I’ll second that.

Apart from my birthday, this month marks a couple of other big milestones or anniversaries for me.

I started this blog in late June of 2002 (on Blogger, where most of the archives have fallen prey to link-rot). My first post, if I recall correctly, praised the “sentergistic” energy supplements sold by Pat Robertson — the miraculous formula that enables the televangelist to leg-press 2000 pounds.

Ten years later and Robertson is still hawking that stuff — now in a tasty protein shake. And, oddly, I’m still here writing about it.

This month also marks the one-year anniversary of my getting laid off from the newspaper biz. Like far too many others “celebrating” such anniversaries, I really, really didn’t think that a year later I’d still be trying to find my next job.

I started this blog almost 10 years ago because I worked in a cubicle at a job where I had 30 hours of work to cram into a 40-hour week. I wouldn’t have suspected then that something I’d started because I was bored in between assignments at work would become the thing that helped me get by in between jobs.

So, anyway, I’ll probably end up spending a good bit of this month muttering those three numbers under my breath in disbelief — 44 years, 10 years, a whole year

As far as that first one goes, well, as the pictures here illustrate, 44 is a pretty good number. I’m older than I’ve ever been before, but that beats the alternatives.

By the time Kierkegaard was my age, he’d been dead for two years.

(Yes, I tell some version of that same joke every year. That’s what middle-aged people do — we repeat jokes. And I intend to keep repeating this one until I can tell it about Irving Berlin. I hope you’re all here to read it.)


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  • glendanowakowsk

    Happy Birthday, Fred!

  • Have a great birthday, Fred.

  • Kiba

    Happy Birthday!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Happy birthday Fred! I found our blog a few years ago via a link from a news site that I no longer read…so congrats on holding my attention better than they :)


    In advance of turning 33 I expected to spend the year facetiously measuring myself up against Jesus, and subsequent years joking that I outlived him so that’s one point for me.
    A few weeks ago my mind wandered into figuring out when I’ll start being older than my brother, if I live that long–it’s a date next June. I can’t uncalculate that now.

  • Amaryllis

    Happy birthday, Fred! May you have a happy year, and many more happy birthdays.

    Happy blogging anniversary, too, and thank you for all you do. How far that little candle sheds its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world, and certainly in a naughty Internet.

    As for the last, that’s one of things that makes this world a naughty one. Something is backwards when a person of your quality is in your situation. I hope things improve for you.

    (And let us know when you write a book.)

  • flat

    Happy birthday mr Clark.
    Sorry that some things don’t exactly go as planned, but that other things are completely amazing.

  • christopher_young

    Many happy returns of yesterday, youngster! Keep up the good work.

  • Dave Lartigue

    Happiest of Birthdays, Fred!

  • Twig

    Happy Birthday, Fred!

  • Mathbard

    Happy Birthday!!! And may you have many more!

  • Happy Birthday Fred!

  • malpollyon

    Happy Birthday Fred!

  • ArianaDream

    Wait wait wait. My favorite blogger has the same birthday as me?! :O

    Happy birthday, Fred!!

  • Ouri Maler

    Happy birthday Mr. Clark. I have been enjoying your writing on a daily basis. Hope the job situation works out.

  • Georgia

    The fact that you and I have the same birthday, Fred, brings me lots of happy feelings <3  I hope you have a great one!  You are an inspiration to me in so many ways.  

  • redcrow

    Happy birthday, Fred!

  • kelly

    Happy birthday, Fred. Your blog is fantastic. Thank you, and God bless you.

  • Beroli

    Happy Birthday, Fred.

  • /gratz on another trip around the sun!

  • ReverendRef

    Happy Anniversary — all of them, birthdays, blogs, and even the unfortunate ones; they are part of our story.

    May you find your life richer for all of them.

    Oh, and thanks for all the good reading.  Sometimes it helps to make my job easier.

  • Happy Birthday, Fred.  This also means that I’ve been reading your blog for something in the neighborhood of six years.  I’ve graduated college, left Evangelical Christianity, left Christianity, left Illinois for Texas, left Texas for Illinois, and bought a house since then.

    Man, time flies.

  • karasumaru

    Happy birthday, Fred, from a longtime lurker and daily reader.  Your blog has gotten me through more than a few dark days.  

  • Kit Whitfield

    Happy birthday!

  • Lori


    I’m glad to hear that you feel that way.  No one should be harassed and
    suffer the loss of their job and threats to their family  for posting
    facts and opinion to a blog.  And no one should have their identity and
    private information including address, private contact information, and
    family details published without their permission.  It doesn’t matter
    whether the target is a conservative or liberal or libertarian or

    Yes. It’s still funny that the people who actually act as if this is true tend to be on the Left of the blogosphere, while those on the Right only act as if it’s true when the target is conservative. Why to totally ignore that.

  • Doc_Hawkeye

    Willie McCovey, as I live and breathe! Back in the day I saw him hit a home run at Candlestick, before they closed the right-field area off and moved the scoreboard. It went to right field, and I swear the ball was still going UP when it went over the fence. Also, I was at the Stick on the season opener when McCovey returned to the Giants. They introduced the players, and when they got to McCovey, the whole stadium got on their feet and cheered for what seemed like forever. Great days!

  • Happy Blessed Birthday, Fred Clark!

  • Dash1

     aunursa, there seems to be a quotation mark failure or something; I’m pretty sure you’re not Aaron Worthing/Walker, so why the first person pronouns?

  • Raj1point618


    I am honored to have been associated with you all these years. Thank you, Mr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins!

  • renniejoy

    Happy Birthday!!

  • Dash1

    Very best (belated) birthday wishes! You are, in the immortal words of Fred Flintstone, one of the good ones!

  • pwotSanchez

    Happy belated birthday, Fred. You’re still a couple of years younger than The Offspring

  • Happy birthday and blogiversary, Fred!

  • Sorry I missed it. Happy Birthday and Bloggiversary, Fred!

  • Happy belated birthday