Yep. Here’s how old I am: when I turned 14, my parents got me the new Beatles album, which was the White album; I hadn’t heard any of it, and put it on and the first song was Birthday, whose first lyrics are the title above, a wonderful fast rocker with a glorious blast of teenage noise in the middle. Good birthday present! That record is the one that I’ve maybe listened to more than any other over the years, and it doesn’t seem to wear out. Even if it did inspire Charlie (check some of those links) to carve up beautiful people. Other people in the computer biz that I know about who were born in the same year include (in alphabetical order) Berners-Lee, Gates, Jobs, and Winer. Obviously it was a good time to be born if you were destined to have fun in this neck of the woods. (The day turned out pretty well; added some pix, including a Harry Potter rarity.)

The day started out with a morning Harry Potter book-launch bash put on by Antarctica’s law firm. There were magic tricks and kids’ games and breakfast and so on, and some of the attendees dressed up.

Original British cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher

As regards Harry Potter, I was an early adopter. Back sometime in the 45 seconds between the first book and Harry hitting the big time, I was going home through Heathrow and needed something to read for the trans-Atlantic flight (London to Vancouver is a long haul). The bookstore there had a staff-picks shelf (an excellent idea in book and music and video retail), and here was this book with a dark menacing-looking picture of a train on the cover, the staff member loved it. I was seventy-five pages in before I realized it wasn’t “adult” literature, but was stuck by then, and still am.

The Rowling books are really not that deep, but I find them compelling because they move right along, because the characters are interesting, and because they are entirely unsentimental.

The event was a little on the lame side (the magic show entertained the kid so I guess that’s the main thing). I’ve retained the first of these photos though it’s out-of-focus because something led to these weird spooky-looking circly anomalies speckling the scene.

Scene from the Harry Potter book launch
· · ·
One of the displays at the Harry Potter book launch

The launch was in the Northeast part of town, so for lunch we went on as far Northeast as you can go in Vancouver, which means Deep Cove, a charming little place; the picture below is an ordinary enough coastal panorama, only if you enlarge it enough you can see the raindrops. The idea strikes me that we need a new school of Pacific Northwest nature photography in which the rain is celebrated and photographed. The technical challenges would be severe.

Deep Cove in the rain

In the afternoon, I sat in the sun on the porch and read Harry Potter, while the cat sat in the sun and washed.

Sunlit cat on striped chair washing

To close out the day, we went to the home opener of the local minor-league ball team. They play at Nat Bailey stadium, which is lovely if run-down as the shot below would show better if I could figure out a way not to have to shoot through the screen. We took the kid and his little friend from two doors down, and they had so much fun it was impossible not to enjoy being there.

Vancouver Canadians

This is single-A rookie league baseball, and the locals were having a bad night, they put on a really putrid display of fumble-fingered defense and uncoordinated offense and got pounded. But we stayed long enough for our Australian house-guest to experience the seventh-inning stretch and Take Me Out to the Ball-Game, which the crowd performed with fine spirit, and walked home a little after ten; the longest day of the year and the clouds were a thousand shades of soft grey over the mountains in the North.

Stayed up late, ended up reading 354 pages of The Order of the Phoenix. Not bad so far, Harry’s been in a grumpy mood for all those pages, but as Sally pointed out, “After all, he is fifteen years old.”

author · Dad
colophon · rights

June 21, 2003
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