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Monday, 25 February 2019


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Mike. I’m worried. Also Happy Birthday

That is so funny! And please check yourself for concussions - and do be carefull of using screens, books, TVs or anything which makes you consentrate via your eyes...

Re your stories within the story (just like Fjodor Mikhajlovitsj Dostojevskij ): I think Cicero also said: "Dum Spiro, Spero" (While I breathe, there is hope).

Love your blog - take care, rest your head!

Hallucinations, even wonderful ones, are not good after a blow to the head. Do have yourself checked out for concussion, Mike. And get well (all issues) soon!

Happy birthday!

Sounds like you had gas on the stomach.

Hell, I'd gladly take one on the head for the team- if it accomplished all that!

Happy B'Day...


I had a fall exactly like that but onto concrete two years ago. It took a while to convince me to go to the ER, but I finally did a few hours later.They did a CAT scan and found that I not only had had a concussion but that it had produced a sub-dural hematoma, AKA a brain bleed.

It's been two years now and I'm still recuperating. Loved your fantasy but not your implied self-diagnosis. Your fall could be nothing, it could be life threatening and it could most certainly big party of life impairing, I especially for someone who depends upon his brain for his livelihood

Go get checked out ASAP.


Can’t hurt to get checked out by a Doctor. You live alone , and you took a bad fall . Don’t fool around with it.
Your post was quite lucid and funny , so you are probably fine , but you have a doctors appointment , if it’s not too far , and you feel up to it go to that , and then let them tell you if you need any testing. Head bumps should be checked out.
If it is far, I wouldn’t drive, let an Ems tech check you out.
Good luck,

Happy Birthday ! Wish you all the best.
PS: accidents happen...sorry for your pain...keep smiling :-) be quiet and recover...

Happy Birthday Mike, and stay the hell away from that "old age" moniker. It appears you're treading those waters too much for your own good already. From a reasonably healthy 76'er I wish you a healthy future too! You give me so much pleasure with your blog.

While I wouldn't advise you to hit your head on a regular basis for inspiration, that was funny. You take care, and thank your deity of choice in charge of your luck. Last time I slipped hard on the ice it was months of physical therapy and over a year of healing my knee. Also, it will likely feel worse tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Mike! (I'm sorry, but your concussion-addled arithmetic confused me: Are you 62 today or 63?)

I turned 77 on Saturday. Rather than fight it, I've chosen to embrace the cold, clammy, dank grip of getting old. Is that what it means to be "aging in place?" (Actually, I am fighting "it." Not getting old; that's a given. Rather, getting decrepit as the years pile on.)

Happy birthday, Mike. Seems like you've had your share of gas attacks. ...trots and propane... The pendulum will swing. Spring isn't far off.

Medical and propane bills both at once!
Hang in there Mike. I'm still a month ahead of ya, we'll keep it that way until one of us breaks the finish line - but let's not rush things.

Happy Birthday Mike! What a way to start the day. Hope you are OK..

if only your alternate reality were true.
Hope you feel better soon.

I recently had an annoying fall - nothing serious, nothing broken, but lots of painful scrapes and bruises. If I must be brutally honest, they weren't even all that painful; just painful enough to be really annoying.

Anyway, to get to the point, I found that a hot Epsom salt soak really made me feel better. It may be the placebo effect, but I even think it made my injuries heal faster. An added bonus is that I'm an Audible fan, so I can listen to my book while soaking.

Just a little suggestion.


Look on the bright side, winter is almost over.

But did you stop the propane guy in time? Happy birthday in any case.

At least you still have your sense of humor.
Signed, Roger Rabbit

I've seen that movie. It starts out in black and white, there is some severe weather, and then it is in color which turns out to be caused by a bump on the head.
Happy birthday and good luck with the wizard!

Happy birthday Mike! But you are looking at this birthday stuff all wrong.

I turned 13 for the 5th time last year. And this year, I get even younger, turning 11 for the 6th time.

I only feel old in years of age that are prime numbers. Next year will be a bitch.

Mike, I would have your head checked out six ways from Sunday... blood clots, contusions, hematomas, etc. can form afterwards...

Firstly, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Mr.J. Sad to hear it has not started out more auspiciously. Hope you got some ice packs on those bruised and your head PDQ and feel better equally PDQ. Do take care of yourself.

One of your best in quite a while, Mike. Checking 'the situation' I see that you're using Patreon- excellent. By the way Patreon also serves "the Age of Napoleon" very fine but more than a little addictive.
Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mike "if it ain't out of keepin' with the situation"*.

"I'm three years away from being old. (The DSM now defines "middle age" as the years from age 45 to 65, and I'm clinging to that.)"

"I've got abrasions on my hands and arm, my back is killing me, and I've got a big bump on my head for the first time since I was little."

Just let it go. Think of all the folks who would love to be celebrating their 62nd again today.

* Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

Work For Hire. A company hire YOU to shoot for THEM. A common practice in Hollywood. Union still photographers do this all the time for union wages.

When offered Work For Hire you can turn it down or negotiate wages that are beneficial to you. Because I have a union pension I was able to retire. YMMV.

You'd better lie down.

Happy Birthday Mike, hope your head feels better.

From an "aging" reader (and Fujifilm fan, earlier Nikon) based in Budapest, Hungary.

Ah Mike, I see you favour European style democracy – if the people don't vote the way they should, then declare the referendum null and void. If you'd like a good idea of how good the EU is for the countries that belong to it, then do some research into the how the financial crash of 2008 affected both Greece and Iceland, and how both countries dealth with the fallout. You may notice that Iceland no longer wants to be part of the EU, and after what happened to Greece, who could blame them?

Happy Birthday you young whipper-snapper!
I found out about the DSM "middle age" thing after I was chronologically out of the range, as it were. So I decided to accept senior discounts and ignore the rest of it.
Now I have heard the the elderly are invisible. If true, it would make street photography much easier.

But after helping you as you lay on your rear on the snow and ice, did you still have the heart to cancel his delivery? That was of propane, if you remember?

I don't trust bathrobes one iota. They spring open when they should remain gathered together, and could lead to all manner of misunderstanding and trouble. There is no innocence anymore; guilt is presumed right away and you gotta be rich to fight that! Look at recent Hollywood, if you doubt me.

Oh, happy birthday, kid. And like my bro'n'lo says, after a certain age, never trust a fart. Especially in your delicate condition.


Another priceless post from our favorite photo philosopher. Hoping the aches subside soon.

Happy Birthday Mike. I wish you the best. Sorry to read about your fall. It should be illegal to supply gas or anything else at 05:30.

Happy Birthday, Mike. I wish you many more...especially if you share such entertaining stories with us! Ha...

Get checked out for a concussion! Beyond that kick in the pants on your birthday I wish you a better year than the first day (your birthday). Some people just need to take getting the "bumps" to a new level I guess. Show off ;)

Congratulations, Mike. In spite of the occasional fall it seems to me you're doing excellenty. I am not a doctor, let alone a brain specialist, but when you can write a piece like the current one, you have no concussion.
And when middle age ranges from 45 to 65, the exact mid-life point is 55 and you still have 110 minus 62 equals 48 years ahead of you! Now take your time and enjoy, you've deserved it.

Well, happy birthday to ya young feller. I am ten years ahead of you and still enjoying life and photography.

Your fall is one reason that we moved to Florida from Vermont 25 years ago. I had a couple of near miss falls on ice where my head could have easily hit a large, metal immovable object on the way down, I was just lucky. That and the cold and the price of heat made it an easy move. Today it is a chilly 63f and windy and I have heard people complain about it.

Ahh, if only your conversation reflected reality instead of a pipe dream.

So, happy birthday and I hope NY returns your Acura soon

Happy birthday! Hope you will recuperate quickly. In the meantime, be happy you can still run...

"I'm pretty sure the propane guy doesn't go around quoting Cicero!"

Did you ask? Never assume things about people ;-)

Dear Mike
Wishing you a very happy birthday. What a very, very odd coincidence. It's also my wife's birthday today. We're sitting waiting in the hospital emergency room. She also tripped over this afternoon whilst we walking our dog.

Cripes Mike, rough way to greet a new orbit! (Uncharacteristically avoids obvious obit joke.)

Have you considered, really considered, moving somewhere the weather does not annually conspire to maim or kill? Your place is lovely as can be for at least half the year but wow, takes a heavy toll in winter. Some of us just have short days and rain to gripe about.

Anyway, HBDTY from another February kid. We're all sorting out this advancing maturity thing.

I slipped on ice august 2018, no head bump but I didn't know who anyone was for 6 hours.
Even now I'm clumsy and my memory has turned to crap.
Please don't underestimate concussion and get a head scan, I feel like I've lost a chunk of my life.....

Happy Birthday! Hope you feel better soon. Getting old sucks! Take it from a slightly even older guy.

Now I feel like I've hit me head. Oh, if only. This was perfect—thanks!

"Bokeh," I said weakly.

Now that’s funny…

“Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever.” ~ Don Marquis

Sounds painful- but I'll have what you're having!

Please just don't mention Brexit.

As a working class northern English Brexiteer I'm heartily sick of having 99.9% of the British ruling class and media fighting as hard as they can to go against the biggest exercise in democracy this county has ever seen and I don't want to come along and see yet more of it here.

If you want to know why so many in the UK want to leave the EC I'll tell you... but I guess you don't so please just keep an impartial and remote distance from this and leave our UK ruling class to act like some third rate African dictatorship and not only ignore but reverse the democratically expressed wish of the people.

And a PS.
Yes we could have another vote but after years of Remain propaganda, half truths and lies how fair would that be?

Happy Birthday, Mike!

I really, really hope you get that head trauma checked out as soon as possible.

Yep, T.S. Eliot got it wrong. February is the cruelest month. Every friggin' year. Always the worst weather, it seems, and that's just for starters. But, hey! only a few more days left, and then it's the Ides of... Doh!

So did you at least end up saving yourself an expensive tank refill?

That is just LOL funny. And a birthday you won't forget or remember entirely. Rest up.

When I left Cleveland in 1961 to attend Hobart College, many people said "I didn't know there was a college in Geneva (Ohio)".

Today is my birthday too! Happy Birthday and feel better soon!

That was good! But I wouldn't recommend knocking yourself on the head any more to stimulate any further, uh, creativity. Take care!

John Camp might suggest there’s a novelist lurking in there somewhere. Cato’s your man, though.

What might have been.........a sure sign your getting old.

I know you were hurrying, but learn how to walk like a penguin. I have not had a fall since I started doing this.
Oh, and happy birthday, my man. I just turned 64 a couple of weeks ago. Hoping this year passes quickly so I can sign up for that !#@&! socialist Medicare.
Bummed at Kirk Tuck's decision, because I'm still learning from him, but I understand completely.

Happier rest of your birthday Mike - and thank you for the delightful story.

I'd be willing to take a bang on the head to get those political results.

That sounds like a birthday you won't forget. I wish you well and hope you are feeling better soon.

Walking up Houston St. one very wintry afternoon in NYC, I marveled at how the tips of my shoes were completely parallel with the horizon! How was that even possible? Within a millisecond of formulating said question, BOOM- the ice laden concrete knocked the wind from my back...

A car screeched to a halt, the doors flying open (and they say New Yorkers are heartless) and the entire carload of passengers were pointing, hooting and hollering at my supine, outstretched body.

If there really was global warming you wouldn’t have slipped on ice in the first place....

Ah - 'Counterfactuals' - I love them. Thank you for a wonderful minute when I contemplated a world in which I would much rather be living. But the Brexit thing is not done and dusted yet....

I hope you are beginning to recover from your various aches and pains by now, although experience tells me that, sadly, they often hurt more the day after than on the day it happened. But they will get better.

As for 'the other issue' (putting it delicately), I hope that gets sorted out as well. I suffered thusly in the last couple of years before I retired, and in my case I have found that just being retired worked a slow, steady but real improvement. Though that may not be the message you want to hear.

And finally - Happy Birthday! I hope there are many more yet to come, and I'm sure there will be.

Great piece Mike, and Happy Birthday. I had my 72nd on the 12th so I'm officially old, but I sure don't feel old. I'm blessed with the no-wrinkles gene, so I don't look old either.

It's harder to go out pixing though (I don't like the word shooting). It's more than four years since I bought my last camera! I've almost lost the urge. My GAS has vapourised.

Good news: your expenditure tends to decrease as you get older. Books, making photobooks and quality TV tend to satisfy the urge, along with a fine watch or three.

My memoirs are lurking in my head too, waiting for a good knock, as you've had, to burst forth. I have enough pictures of my life to write a book. There's an idea.

PS: my late-life romance worked out. She's with me now. That keeps me young again.

But you did manage to cancel the propane delivery, right?
Happy birthday!

Well, damnit, were you able to stop the propane delivery or not?!?

I mean, you drag us through this Dickensian story, which was hilarious, then don’t even deliver the goods, the pay off, the denouement! Did you stop The Great Gas Rip Off of 2019...?

Or was the knot for naught?

Happy Birthday and Get Well Soon


Well that bump on the head led to a very amusing post...Hope you feel a mere 60ish soon.

Ouch! What a start to a birthday.. I hope you recover quickly and manage to celebrate another time perhaps.

I generally avoid discussing politics online, but living in the U.K I have to admit I’m kind of wishing your Brexit story was true. Off times.

Best regards,

Happy birthday Mike! May you keep seeing your dreams come true!
Sorry about your fall, maybe have your boots ready by the door in case of an emergency? I don’t have a go bag, (Sarah Connor would not approve) but ever since I was a teenager I don’t like to be in just underwear, I always wear shorts and a tshirt ready to go outside just in case. Many times I was sent out because I was already dressed. It worked beautifully in the mexican weather, not so much in the russian one.
I digress, you may not be old, but you are no spring chicken. Penguin steps in slippery ground is my suggestion.

Thank you for our birthday present, Mike.

Happy Birthday, hope you are on the mend.

Happy Birthday, Mike, heal well and speedily.

My wife had a fall in town (Glasgow) the other day - she hit the ground on her face, just above the eye. It was okay at the time but the next day she was feeling woozy so phoned up the help line and the advice was get into hospital right away. She did and fortunately the x-rays were all clear. However the following day she couldn't hold a pen properly so we called up the hospital and again were told to go straight back in for several more tests and a CT scan. Again it was all clear and now her grip has finally returned so we are feeling pretty damn lucky

But the lesson learned was this sort of thing can be pretty serious, so make sure you keep aware of how you are feeling and follow medical advice.

That said, if it meant that all you mentioned above could come true I might be up for taking a tumble myself!

Can we ALL have that hallucination?
Then wake up and discover it's REAL!?!

Happy B'Day!

Happy Birthday Mike (From someone who officially got old this month).

I wish I could write like that!

I wish your Brexit hallucination were true Mike. Brexit was touted as a dream, but has become a nightmare.
Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, and thank you for the wonderful birthday story, and do please look after yourself.

If you're taking a blood thinner because of Afib (I think you've said you have Afib), you should see a doctor ASAP after any blow to the head because of the brain bleed risk. I'm on a blood thinner, and my doc has told me to go to the ER immediately in that circumstance.

If you haven't gone to a doctor yet, after all the good advice......go now! I think of Liam Neeson's wife Natasha Richardson. She was skiing and hit her head and seemed fine. Hours later she fell ill and ended up being flown to NY with a subdural hematoma that took her life. Please get it looked at.

Happy Birthday Mike!

The great philosopher, Satchel Paige, once asked this question, "if you didn't know how old you are how would you be?" Something to think about, although considering the morning you've had, today might not be the day to consider such a question.

Take all of the other's advice, get your head injury checked out, just to make sure that you can ask yourself Satchel's question, on another day when you are feeling better.

I also agree with Stan B. I would be happy to take one for the team if it would accomplish all that you wrote.

Would that it were so easy to make all of this go away! I'd happily suffer pain and some debility for it.

Happy birthday. Thanks for letting me know I am still middle aged. Although, according to th National Park Service I am a "senior", as I now have my lifetime pass. Also, I own 2 DSLR's, which is starting to be a qualifier (although I also own a Theta V, and will soon own the new Z 1, so maybe that's a mitigation...note that I used that word in it's noun form, rarely seen these days)

Well, you are moderating comments, so that's a good sign, but the more I think about it the more imperative I think it is to get checked out.
Head injuries are not something to guess about.
PS No need to publish this, I'm just concerned.

My mother died from complications of a very slow brain bleed three months after she fell. Please go and get checked...

So you cured your existential headache by the time-honoured method of banging your head on a wall so hard that it goes away?

Just a quick note, and I know it was humor, but the idea a government would arbitrarily "void" a referendum is vastly more dangerous than Brexit itself.

Tenets of Liberty and democracy is the people get their day, and leaders do not get to ignore them... That way lies real conflict.

Happy birthday and keep well!

Getting lost in the head konk - Gut problems are epidemic! If you’re eating subsidized foods you will smack your microbiome. Study up, or you will continue hanging in the potty....with your head in your hands.

That was great! Happy belated birthday!

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