Friday, August 13, 2010

Turning 40; Part One!


I decided instead of lamenting the fact that I'm turning 40, I might as well celebrate the fact, by doing a post celebrating "40". I've discovered I have way too much stuff for just one post, so I'm going to divide it into at least two big posts, and see what happens...

OK, so I was born in 1970, and while I was technically alive for the whole decade of the 70s, I remember exactly none of it. I know most people can remember stuff from as early as age four or five or so, but I'm not one of those people. My memory sucks. I like to think it's because I live so much in the "right now" -- and with an eye toward the future -- that I don't have the time or mental capacity to dwell on the past! Honestly, it's probably just because I'm flighty.

My first relatively vivid memories have to do with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 - he was our 40th President, by the way! Here, lemme post a pic...

He's our country's best President, since he was the only one who could make a giant, ethereal American flag magically appear behind him in the sky. How cool is that?

Not having any real clear memory from the age 0 to 10, I can only assume all was well, since I survived it... And you know how nuts the 70's were! *shudder*... Think of the pants I must have worn!

After trolling several "Today In History" sites, I've come to see that absolutely nothing of interest happened on August 16, 1970 -- I mean worldwide! Therefore, I am forced to conclude that the most important event to occur was my birth. My logic is unassailable! In any case, here's a quick rundown of the tops in music/books/movies in 1970...

Top songs of 1970

1. Layla - Derek and the Dominos
2. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
3. Let It Be - The Beatles
4. Your Song - Elton John
5. Get Up - James Brown
6. Lola - The Kinks
7. Who'll Stop the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
8. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
9. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
10. All Right Now - Free

Top Albums of 1970

1. Led Zeppelin III - Led Zeppelin
2. After the Gold Rush - Neil Young
3. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
4. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon
5. Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon and Garfunkel
6. Loaded - Velvet Underground
7. Fun House - The Stooges
8. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek & the Dominos
9. Moondance - Van Morrison
10. Let It Be - The Beatles

Top Books of 1970 (Best-Sellers)

1. Love Story, by Erich Segal
2. The French Lieutenant's Woman, by John Fowles
3. Islands in the Stream, by Ernest Hemingway
4. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
5. Great Lion of God, by Taylor Caldwell

Top Movies of 1970 (By gross)

1. Love Story
2. Airport
4. Patton (won Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director)
5. The Aristocats
6. Woodstock
7. Little Big Man
8. Ryan's Daughter
9. Tora! Tora! Tora!
10. Catch-22

In continuing my 40 Theme, I'll now play a song. It is 40 by U2...

That's the song they've ended every concert they played, for decades now... they still might, I don't know... The lyrics of that song come from Psalm 40, actually...

Psalm 40: 1-3:  I waited patiently for the LORD;  he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Read the rest of the the Psalm here. Some good verses in that Psalm. The first chapter in the bible to have a verse 40 is Genesis, during the story of Abraham sending his servant out to find a wife for his son Isaac. Not many "verse 40's" in the Bible. I'll sift a couple good ones out for the nest part of this post.

Moving right along, here's the White Ninja comic #40, from their archive...

Not exactly his best work, but still good for a chuckle, methinks...

There's a curious little "club" in Major League Baseball called "The 40/40 Club", which a player can belong to, if he hits 40 (or more) home runs and steals 40 (or more) bases in the same season. Only 4 players have ever done such a thing, making it an exclusive club indeed! Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano. Usually, homerun hitters are too slow to steal many bases, and good base stealers are too lithe and wiry to hit many homeruns... so to find someone swift enough to swipe bases and strong enough to belt homers is rare - and frankly, 3 out of the 4 people in the "club" have been involved in accusations of steroid abuse.

I promise, I don't take steroids!

Here's another song, this time by UB40, called Red, Red Wine.

Odd that someone would go to the trouble of laying the album audio over live footage like that... anyway, I thought it was fitting, since IB40....

Not only did nothing interesting happen 40 years ago, but there's also a surprising dearth of professional sports players that wore the number 40. The closest I could find was in football, where legendary running back Gale Sayers wore number 40. But that's it...

Granted, Sayers is a legitimate Hall of Fame player, so he's no small potatoes. Still, I thought I'd be able to find high-caliber playas in all the major sports to pick from.

Well, I guess I could go into the (admittedly interesting) history of wonder-product WD-40, but I think that might be pushing the theme a bit too far... instead, I'll post one last piece of music, this time Mozart's Symphony 40 in G Minor, which you should immediately recognize...

There, now you have been sufficiently cultured and (hopefully) entertained for the day! I have more 40-related goodies to post in part two, but there will likely be a post about my birthday party on Saturday first, with "40 part two" following Monday (which is the 16th, actually). Thanks for browsing this far.




Drydoryssus said...

Hmm ... [ lies back on couch and crosses his hands ]

From your desperate attempts to familiarise yourself with the number 40, I'd say you're scared ...

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from someone who remembers all 40 of your years ...especially the first ten..don't worry, I recognized the 70s for what they were and dressed you accordingly...when I learn how to post photos I will share some good ones with your have always amazed me and being your mother is one of the true pleasures of my life...also, you have always been a little

David Wagner said...

Omg, Im writing this comment on my new iPad while taking a dump! Classic!!!!!!! Lol, this is the greatest thing ever...

Abbie said...

haha, happy birthday dave :) see, forty isn't so bad! its got the word fort in it ;D

logankstewart said...

Very interesting. Glad to see you're embracing the birthday. Your comment, by the way, cracks me up.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Lots of very interesting facts! I liked reading through them all.

Now, as my husband tells me... It's time to trade you in for two twenties. ;) He keeps telling me when I hit forty he is trading me in for two twenties. We shall see... lol.

Happy Birthday!