My Jack Benny birthday

Today is my Jack Benny birthday, and if anyone is wondering what that means,

Benny played the role of the comic penny-pinching miser, insisting on remaining 39 years old on stage despite his actual age. [Emphasis is mine.]

So that means I am 39 today and will (thankfully) still be in my 30s when the next baby is born in August. I’ve always had mixed feelings about my birthday, some years being unenthusiastic, and other years being very excited about them. For several years, I would take my close friends out for a big birthday bash dinner at the Rainbow room in New York and that was always a blast. Of course, the Rainbow Room is now closed and has been for a few years. For the last several years, I’ve taken the opportunity this day provides to completely disconnect. No Internet, no television, no carrying around the iPhone. (So what about this post, you ask? This post was written at 1pm yesterday, as were the other posts that will appear here later in the day.

I’m looking forward to spending the day with Kelly and the Little Man, especially now that the Little Man has more of a clue as to what a birthday is.

In looking back over the first 39 years, I have to say that I have been remarkably lucky. Remarkably so. I managed to get into a decent college and graduate in four years. I managed to get a good job 3 months after graduation–where I am still working today, nearly 17 years later, despite the ebbs and flows of the economy. I have a wonderful wife, and a super-terrific little boy; and we have another little one on the way. I’ve been fortunate to find myself surrounded by wonderful family and just about the best friends that anyone could ask for.

And I’ve even been lucky with those dreams most people have and that often remain only dreams. I managed to get my private pilot license a few days after I turned 28. And then, in early 2007, I sold my first science fiction story to Edmund Schubert at Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show and entered into the world of science fiction, a world that I adore. Since then I’ve sold a couple more stories. So I have no complaints. Well, maybe one complaint: I would really have appreciated it if the June 2011 Analog had showed up in the mail yesterday. I’m still waiting for it. But in the scheme of things, that is an almost ridiculously silly complaint.

I can only hope the next 39 years will be as fortunate as the first. My grandfather used to say that you’re only as old as you think you are. He also said “Books get old, magazines get old, newspapers get old. People age.”

Here’s to being 39 forever, just like Jack Benny.


  1. Happy Birthday!

    Didn’t know the Benny reference before, and that explains a coworker’s yearly comment, today is my 5th [or whatever] annual 39th birthday!”


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