Search Box

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Officially old

I turn 60 today.

No one else is throwing me a birthday party, so I'm throwing myself one -- on this blog. (Thanks for coming.)

The question that baffles me is, how'd I get so old? I dunno. Time just sorta went by. Honestly, I had very little say in the matter.

Had I had any choice, I would have stopped those dastardly hands from their relentless journey around the clock; but that was beyond my power.

It actually does seem like just yesterday I was graduating from college. I seem to be having all the usual cliched thoughts: it all goes by so fast. Seize each day. Et cetera.

But I hate giving voice to those thoughts because they make me sound so old.

So, I guess I should just shut up.

Party's over. You can all go home now.


Glen Filthie said...

Mind if I stick around, John? When I was a little guy I was a royal PITA for my older brother because I always wanted to hang around the big kids.

Haven't changed much.

Happy Birthday kid. :)

hooter tooter said...

Congrgats, but surely you've been receiving those splendorous AARP adverts for some year now?

John Craig said...

Glen --
Ha! No, you're welcome to stick around. I guess you know from experience that the after-party is when the real fun happens.

Hooter tooter --
I joined AARP right after I turned 50; I never read their magazine, but the hotel discounts etc. make it worth the $15 a year, or whatever it costs. Almost resigned when I saw how AARP got bought off to support Obamacare though.

Quartermain said...

Happy Birthday, John.

John Craig said...

Thank you Allan.

Anonymous said...


My son's birthday is TODAY too (my favorite basketball player). He's turning 14. Happy birthday - may you have a great day.


John Craig said...

Thank you Birdie, and Happy Birthday to your son.

Anonymous said...


To your reply, my son (with a smile on his face and a thumbs-up), said, "Cool!"


John Craig said...

Birdie --
He reads this blog? (Isn't he a little young?)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday John! Let me tell you how much I feel your emotion over this as I turned 60 in October. Huge. It's a weird feeling, it was for me anyway. An older guy said to me that 60 is the definition of "elderly" which hit me like a hammer. I'm not into it and it's not cool. The only thing I can say for you is that fortunately you have the mind and body of a much younger guy between genetics and gym. You'll get used to it:) Brian

John Craig said...

Brian ==
Thank you. I've been thinking about it and I've decided that the only smart way to deal with your age is to ignore it. I'm just going to pretend I'm a younger guy and see if that works for me. I suggest you do the same. (You, too, look much younger btw.)

Anonymous said...

would you care to comment? sounds like a great system, but ever since i saw sailer take apart gladwell, i've been very wary of him.

i think a t.v show called lie to me, with tim roth was made based on this.
it sucked.

enough of the birthday whining john. my dad, a war vet, at 65 busts his ass as a liquidator/reconstructor. stop existing and go live.

John Craig said...

Anon --
It's my birthday and I can whine if I want! (You're right, of course; and now that the day is over I'll stop whining about it -- and find something else to whine about.)

Just read the Gladwell article. It's interesting, but I don't really know enough about the field to have any sort of informed opinion. One thing I did notice, neither he nor any of the people he describes/quotes make anything of the difference between skilled (often sociopathic) liars and amateur liars. Sociopaths are well known for the ability to lie convincingly, and what makes them convincing is that they are absolutely guilt-free, so have none of the tics and hesitations that bedevil the rest of us. A lot of people will give themselves away with some sort of guilt-induced or conflicted body language; not so with sociopaths. How do you tell th difference if you don't know whether the person is a sociopath?

Gladwell also picks his examples at the beginning and end to illustrate his point. The first guy wasn't going to shoot, the second guy intended mayhem, and in both cases the police officers guessed right. But there have to have been plenty of cases where the police -- even experienced guys who've been on the beat for over a decade -- have guessed wrong as well, and these don't seem to be mentioned.

Also, the fact that a few people were able to score off the charts as far as differentiating the liars from the truth tellers is what you'd expect even from a random group of people making what are essentially heads or tails guesses -- where you have a 50% chance of being right on each answer; so I'm not sure i'd trust any conclusions drawn from that fact.

One more thing: I disagree with the assessment of Bill Clinton that's given: I don't think he wanted to be caught. I agree that he wanted to be adored; as I wrote on this blog in my sociopath alert on him, he is an affect-hungry sociopath. But he definitely didn't want to be caught, otherwise he wouldn't have spent so much energy denying the various things he'd been caught doing. I think his act was that of a naughty boy, and that act was meant to cover up the fact that he is in fact an evil man, or at least a man utterly without conscience.

Anyway, that's the best answer I can give you.

Steven said...

Happy Birthday. I'm 30 this year :-) so twice my age and a big year for both of us.

John Craig said...

Thank you Steven. Yes, any number with a zero at the end is a milestone. I hope the blog helps prevent you from making some of the mistakes i did at your age.

Steven said...

Well you're lucid and engaged, physically fit, have money in the bank (I assume from your past career, apparent free time, and stock market activities) and good kids, so if I end up where you are I'll count myself very lucky.

John Craig said...

Steven --
You're very kind, and wow, you've been paying attention. You sound like a smart guy. I've done okay, but hopefully you'll do even better.

Dave Moriarty said...

Happy Birthday John,
As I am just ahead of you time wise ( turning 61 last year) I would offer that my approach to aging to to keep hustling. I think we are like sharks int hat we need to keep moving or we slow down and die. When I was 7 or 8 years old, if i saw people my current age they looked about 100 and seemed to be one breathe away from putting a ribbon on their life.
Working out learning new things reading and pushing keep one in play. I have noticed some aging decline,however,for example when I am on the treadmill at the Y watching Jeopardy. A question is posed and I Know I know the answer but the answer doesn't readily come to me. The contestant answer and I shrug and say yeah... that is it . So you can look forward to that entertainment in your future.

Best wishes for your birthday

John Craig said...

Dave --
Thank you. Yes, I've already noticed that Jeopardy effect. My family actually plays that two or three nights a week; I know more stuff than Johnny, but the stuff we both know he manages to spit out before I do, and so beats me on a fairly regular basis.

Mike said...

Congratulations, John. I'm not far behind at 58. Seem to remember Vonnegut saying that at his 50th (?) he felt like a man crossing the spine of a roof...
You are in a small cohort of folks, being active and a world- class athlete, for real, it appears. I have a long time association with Tae Kwon Do (1975) I had quit after making 2nd deg Black in '92 and training until about '98. Had prostate surgery, and got talked into working out again a couple years ago. Got talked into testing for 3rd deg last year. Was not easy, but I made it. 20 yr olds trying to kick my head off, but you remember what they say about old age and treachery.....
My hat's off to you, John

John Craig said...

Thank you Mike. You're very kind, but I'm not really world class. I'm good as a masters athlete, but was only mediocre when it counted, when I was young. I do make an effort to stay fit, though.

Congratulations on that third degree, that's quite an accomplishment, given that it's not age-adjusted and you had to defeat some 20-year-olds to do it.

The spine of a roof, that's a perfect metaphor. You and I are actually on parallel tracks; I like Vonnegut, and got my first degree black belt in Shotokan karate in 1990 (and haven't done it since). Your black belt was more serious though, I didn't have to defeat anyone to get mine, just basically do some dances.