fifty years old

quinquagesimus stilus! (sorry, I like Latin)

This entry marks my 50th blog entry.  I haven’t made the time to do some introspective, wildly amusing piece, but I do have a list of 50 about 50, that I have managed to collect from various and sundry sources.  I suppose a bit of rambling and intelligentia are suited for this momentous occasion.  So have at it my trusty few:




  1.  Me
  2. 50 is the smallest number that can be written as the sum of two squares, in two ways
  3. The atomic number of Tin
  4. In Kabbalah, there are 50 gates of Wisdom (or Understanding and 50 gate of Impurity
  5. In millimeters, 50 is the focal length of the normal lens in 35mm photography
  6. In Bingo, ball number 50 is called blind 50 or half of a century
  7. 50 is the score in the center of a dartboard (the bullseye)
  8. A mother hen turns her egg approximately 50 times a day.
  9. Taipan snakes have 50 times more venom than a cobra.
  10. The median number of text messages teenagers sent in 2010 was 50.
  11. The 25th even number is 50.
  12. In Greek, Pentecost means 50th.  Pentecost is a Jewish summer holiday celebrated on the 50th day after Pesach.
  13. The Roman numeral for 50 is L.
  14. The moon is 50 times smaller than the Earth.
  15. 50-move rule in chess:  if there have been 50 consecutive moves of white and black chess pieces without any piece taken or any pawn moved then a player can claim a draw.
  16. The premium for using all 7 letters in a game of Scrabble is 50.
  17. The critical speed in the movie “Speed” is 50mph.
  18. The ISO country code for Bangladesh is 050.
  19. The purpose of the number 50 is to promote fusion between body and soul, mind and spirit. (Numerology)
  20. 50 is the cardinal number equal to 5 x 10.
  21. Another name for the 50 dollar bill.
  22. Emory University in Atlanta, GA is listed as the 50th best college (
  23. Project 50 – 50 days, 50 photos with a 50mm lens (
  24. 50 in 50: Fifty stories for fifty years!,  Harry Harrison
  25. “Fifty/Fifty” (1992), directed by Charles Martin Smith
  26. The age one is eligible for AARP membership.
  27. Ongoing project:
  28. 1861: Three year $50 interest bearing notes issued that paid a cent of interest a day 7.3% (seven-thirties)
  29. Fifty Hats that Changed the World, (review –
  30. Song: “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, Paul Simon
  31. Movie: “50 First Dates”, (cute for an Adam Sandler vehicle)
  32. 50 United States of America
  33. 50 Chapters in the book of Genesis
  34. Its the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight.
  35. Its the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs.
  36. Europe has approximately 50 states.
  37. The Peace Corps is 50 this year.
  38. Its the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first performance at the Cavern Club.
  39. Six Flags Over Georgia is 50 this year.
  40. Asia has 50 countries. (Thank you Yoda.)
  41. The Volvo P1800 is 50 this year.
  42. The 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders.
  43. A volcano has enough power to shoot ash as high as 50 km high.
  44. The 50th anniversary of Penguin Classics
  45. The 50th anniversary of Radio Nord
  46. The 50th anniversary of Dr. Who
  47. The 50th anniversary of Ezra Jack Keats’ “Snowy Day”
  48. “Throw Out 50 Things”, Gail Blanke
  49. Cai Lun, Chinese inventor of paper & papermaking process was born in 50CE.
  50. 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall being built

You Say Its Your Birthday; Its My Birthday Too

Today was the magic day.

I hit 50.

Its a tired cliché to say it all went so quickly. Its rather like the vacation we are on now.  You plan and save and it all seems so far away and then voilà there you are.

I can honestly say nothing has gone according to any plan I ever had.  If it had, I would be single, living alone in a small neat house, surrounded by books and antiques.  There would be maybe a couple of cats for company.  And I would have lots of money.

As it turns out, I am happily ‘married’ to the most passionate side of my soul, have two spectacular children, three cats and one dog.  Our house is small, but decidedly not neat and the antiques are in short supply.  Money, well…I do have books.

There are many things I would have rather not gone through to get to this point in my life. Really – many things, but as the other really exhausted cliché goes, I wouldn’t be the person I am now except for those experiences. (Sometimes, I would like to have known that person – the one without the other stuff, but I don’t want to be visited by three creepy guys in the night on Christmas Eve just to see what might have been.)

But here I am, pudgy waisted, greying of hair and happier than any solitary life would have ever provided.  I have 50 years of life and wonderment to reflect on.

Bashert gave me a book of memories and letters from friends and family.  It is wonderful.  Its a treasure for me and those who read this and contributed will be getting thank you notes…eventually.

Bashert gave me a special memory today to put in a new edition. Get your mind out of the gutter, its not that type of memory (at least not yet – day’s not over).

We had been touring Colonial Williamsburg all morning.  We were tired and hot. Yoda had reached his limit and was getting a bit, shall we say vocally high pitched about something he could not have.  So we thought it best to come out of the midday heat and get some refreshments.

We stopped into Chownings Tavern for lunch.

Our waitress was quite delightful and quite the salesperson.  Before you knew it we were all quenching our thirst on some of the tavern’s homemade root beer and dining on the recommended house specialty sandwich (which I will not reveal because I am now going to rot for eternity because I broke the one kosher law I have kept since 1999, but man, was that sandwich worth it!).

We saved room for dessert, but before it arrived at the table, Yoda had to visit the ‘necessity’.  So up the stairs we went, with me explaining the entire way up that he was lucky it was in the house as the lavatories were outside back then, blah, blah, blah.

When we returned, a man appeared at the table side and proceeded to ask who it was who had the birthday.  Yes, they do this even in 18th century Williamsburg.

I was treated to a rousing rendition of “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” followed by a lovely tin whistle serenade of “Brian Boru’s March”.

They even brought out my piece of apple pie with a huge mulberry candle in the middle of it.  They let me keep the candle. Yoda asked if we can use it on his cake in a couple of weeks.  Cool.

The waitress then took our picture with our ‘shutterbox’, making sure to move all 21st century items out of the way first.  Except the visitor tags we were wearing and the San Diego Zoo baseball cap I was wearing and well..we have a great shot of the three of us to remember the occasion.

It’s a memory I will cherish. I’m smiling even as I write this.

Thank you, my love.

Here’s to the next 50 years. May the memories keep coming and may I remember at least half of them.