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Musing upon Milestones - Howard Tayler
Ramblings of a Happy Cartoonist
Musing upon Milestones
So... today I turn 40.

(I'll give the leap-day jokes a miss.)

Statistically, this is probably a little past the half-way point for me, at least in terms of life expectancy. Since my dad only lived to be 56, and his dad died sometime in his 60's (maybe early 70's) I can be accused of optimism if I call 40 "half-way."

In terms of physical ability I'm also past the half-way point. Oh, I may be able to push back the clock a little bit through healthy living for the next twenty years, but there's no going back to age 25 (not without blood-nannies, or something similarly techno-miraculous.)

All of this might be kind of depressing. It's also a very inaccurate way to look at things, since the only person for whom any of this is true is me. It's a very selfish perspective, and it's not worth dwelling on. Let's consider some others:

My oldest daughter has had 12 years of shared experience with me. Even if I only live to be 56, this birthday is still a couple of years shy of the half-way point from her point of view -- more if you account for the fact that she doesn't really remember the first three.

My youngest son has had 5 years with me. If I live to be eighty (look! Optimism!) then the times we've already shared as of this point represent only one-ninth of the times we can share going forward.

Sandra and I have enjoyed fifteen years together. If we get another forty, then obviously today isn't anywhere near the half-way mark.

I suppose the oldest of my siblings, who joins me in her forties next year, can claim that this is pretty close to half-way for the two of us, but she's the only person I've known for that long (okay... there are aunts, uncles, and cousins OLDER than me for whom the halfway point has long since fled... but let's not dwell on that right now.)

And now let's consider you, the reader. How long have you known me? Maybe five years? Perhaps eight?

I plan to keep cartooning up until the end. If I hold true to that (and the indications are that I will) then you and I haven't even hit the 20% mark. I may be "mid-life," right now, but I've got decades in which to continue building worlds in my head and then telling stories about them. This ride isn't half-way over. It's barely started.

That's my happy thought for my Birthday this year.

I feel: satisfied satisfied

47 comments or Leave a comment
grrlgoddess From: grrlgoddess Date: February 29th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Happy Birthday! For all the joy and laughter you bring to me and your readers, i wish that joy and laughter doubled back to you.

And come to Canada - some of us here want to meet you!! :)
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: February 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll be in Toronto at the end of March for Ad Astra. I know, I know, Canada is a big place. Still... I'm getting my foot in the door.
grrlgoddess From: grrlgoddess Date: February 29th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Toronto rocks (as i'm a native). You'll love it here. i just hope the weather warms up before you get here!!
grrlgoddess From: grrlgoddess Date: February 29th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you know when you'll be speaking? i'm looking at the site now and there isn't a schedule (darn website!). i want to make sure i don't miss you! The hotel you are at is a nice one, and i believe they recently renovated it.
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: February 29th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The panel schedule is not complete yet. Once I know I'll post a link from Blogunder Schlock.
wekm From: wekm Date: March 2nd, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
While you are there you have got to go see the CN tower.
It is rather impressive. However, if you are at all squeamish about heights,while up top, do NOT walk out on the Plexiglas floor. My sphincter nearly ate my shorts.
It was a rather cool, (if disturbing) view though.
goobermunch From: goobermunch Date: February 29th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
The measure of our lives is not in our moments on the earth, but in our moments with those we love.

jcfiala From: jcfiala Date: February 29th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday sir!
shana From: shana Date: February 29th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday!
steltek From: steltek Date: February 29th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Man, I'm only 23 but you're making me feel my mortality, Howard. :)

Anyway, happy birthday. And here's to 40 more good years, or maybe even an old-testament patriarch lifespan.
l0stmyrel1g10n From: l0stmyrel1g10n Date: February 29th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
happy birthday! you rock. here's hoping you're nowhere near the halfway point.

<obligatory>you're not 40! you're only 10!</obligatory> sorry.
sandratayler From: sandratayler Date: February 29th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday love!

I'm so glad you took the time to write this down. It is a joyful way to see this birthday.
skippyclese From: skippyclese Date: February 29th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday!

As a thought exercise, look at some of the first editions of a lot of the great classic literature. Some of them didn't sell too well. If you find the number of copies sold for some of them, guestimate at the weight per copy, and compare to pallets of Schlock I but the numbers will look pretty good. Ton for ton, you've got a good start on a lasting legacy.
(Deleted comment)
admiralmemo From: admiralmemo Date: March 2nd, 2008 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)

I wonder if he's got an observer to help him like Sam Beckett did. ;-)
calogipi From: calogipi Date: February 29th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday. Once I hit 40 I realized how young it really is! :)
mike_brendan From: mike_brendan Date: February 29th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday! May the numbers add up in your favor!
smithee_awards From: smithee_awards Date: February 29th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday! We were going to send you a home made post card but Illustrator crashed :( Fortunately, we still have Norbert "The world's cutest crawling eye monster" as an LJ icon so please except birthday wishes from him in electronic form.

Out of curiosity (and because we were talking about leap day babies) you are only technically 9 years old as far as birthdays celebrated yes? Can you count that in your life expectancy math? Because that would wrock.

-JQ of the Smithee Crew
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: February 29th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, if you're counting the number of times February 29th has passed since my birth, I'm celebrating my 10th. People overthink it. We DID have 29 days in February during the Year 2000. I know. I counted.
mbarker From: mbarker Date: March 1st, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Algorithms and world wars

That's because most people know the first two conditions, but not the third.

Leapyear when divisible by four
But not when divisible by one hundred
Except when divisible by both four and one hundred.

So 1900 was not a leap year, but 2000 was.

And only since about 1752 in the US (WWI in the wider world - see my LJ entry at http://mbarker.livejournal.com/57593.html for references)

Happy day after, Howard! Does sushi excess leave a hangover?
From: leons1701 Date: March 2nd, 2008 10:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Algorithms and world wars

Actually, that's divisible by 400. Any number divisible by 100 is also divisible by 4.

Anyhow, happy birthday Howard.
mbarker From: mbarker Date: March 2nd, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Algorithms and world wars

Oh, drat - you're right, of course. This is why when I programmed it years ago, I wrote a test harness - and test conditions for the test harness.

shannont From: shannont Date: February 29th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday! Hit 36 myself, today.
lionsphil From: lionsphil Date: February 29th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have a good one!
unixronin From: unixronin Date: February 29th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I plan to keep cartooning up until the end. If I hold true to that (and the indications are that I will) then you and I haven't even hit the 20% mark. I may be "mid-life," right now, but I've got decades in which to continue building worlds in my head and then telling stories about them. This ride isn't half-way over. It's barely started.
Wheee! :)
ericjamesstone From: ericjamesstone Date: February 29th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Many happy returns of the day.
ambassadorona From: ambassadorona Date: February 29th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope this birthday is a happy time to look back on where you have been and to look at where you are going, not just how long you have to get there.

agilebrit From: agilebrit Date: February 29th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Happy Birthday!
mspurrmeow From: mspurrmeow Date: February 29th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Happy Birthday Howard. You, your talent, and your family are a valuable part of our lives for however long you are willing and able to share them with our world.

r_caton From: r_caton Date: February 29th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday and many of 'em!
Best wishes to you all, and thank you..........
quingyar From: quingyar Date: February 29th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

well, happy b-day

so congrats on making yet another trip around the sun, and making the world a funnier ( a and better ) place!
kazriko From: kazriko Date: February 29th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday! I see you got my encapsulated postcards. :)
gurgi From: gurgi Date: February 29th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday, HoTay!!

May you have many, many, MANY more.
anyaristow From: anyaristow Date: February 29th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome to level 5. The fifth decade, that is. Lemme know when you find the cheat codes.
axolotl9 From: axolotl9 Date: February 29th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

well, darn it all to heck

i meant to send you a postcard... and i just got home from work to find it still sitting on the kitchen table. d'oh!

happy birthday, Howard. isn't it fortuitous that it falls on a Friday?
From: akumatatsu61 Date: March 1st, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday, Howard. And many happy returns.


There must be BLAM!
conflicted_hero From: conflicted_hero Date: March 1st, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're 21 with 19 years experience.
rlg From: rlg Date: March 1st, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's boom ... no boom today, boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow.

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes Howard.
zenkitty_714 From: zenkitty_714 Date: March 2nd, 2008 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I covet your "misspellings" icon.
rlg From: rlg Date: March 6th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
please, steal away, just make mention of the source. That's what I did.
longbottle From: longbottle Date: March 1st, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats, and happy birthday! My aunt Mary is also a leap-year baby.

I've been reading since 2003 or so, so I fall into the same percentile as your youngest son.
zenkitty_714 From: zenkitty_714 Date: March 2nd, 2008 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
The forties are the best! In my humble opinion. And with medical technology advancing, we can expect to live to a healthy 100 at least. I plan on living to be 120 and still be reading new Schlock every day!
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: March 2nd, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I shall endeavor never to let you down. :-)
pockypimp From: pockypimp Date: March 2nd, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Happy Birthday Howard, I've been along for the interesting ride for the past 4 or 5 years and I've enjoyed every minute. Even the few times you've made me want to hunt you down and strangle you for killing off characters.
wekm From: wekm Date: March 2nd, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess I should wish you Happy Birthday here too.
You know when you look at it in the eternal perspective, 40 years is nothing.
There are some trees that don't even begin to bear decent fruit at 40 years.
As well think about how long the universe has been around, let alone God. Of course he created the world in seven days, so I guess the fact that it took you 32 years to start putting out Schlock Mercenary, I will have to say that you are a bit of a procrastinator. ;P
(Deleted comment)
christoffajukes From: christoffajukes Date: March 4th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

heres to many more to come...

Hi Howard,

If we reap what we sow, and I know we agree we do, you are nowhere near half way my friend :-)

Happy Birthday, and many more to come...

47 comments or Leave a comment