(Note: If you landed here from my blog profile wondering how I obtained that rare genuinely smiling profile photo and want a quick explanation, surf over to grandpa's secret weapon)
Ah! presents! I have problem with presents. I want to tell people not to buy presents for me as I have enough material things as it is, and don't want more but find it hard to. And when they buy presents for me, it creates a dilemma for me as it would be very bad on my part if I do not express appreciation for the gifts, at the same time, I don't want them to spend money unnecessarily on material things that add to the clutter of the house. But this birthday gathering birthday was the best birthday gathering I ever had. And the reasons, I will explain later.
First some background. Since I retired, I have become something of a hermit, hardly going out of the house and glued to the computer. I shave only when I have no choice, I drag my feet over getting my nails, especially toenails, cut. I only go to the barber when my hair gets unmanageable. I am also an introvert. I don't laugh easily, I find it even harder to smile for the camera except if I am prepared for a very artificial smile. But I am happy the way I am (except for the inability to easily laugh and to smile for the camera).
Well, this evening, (actually yesterday evening, but I am going to change the date of this post to the actual date of my birthday), I shaved, I bathed, and I enjoyed a nice dinner with my children (I should not be calling them children anymore as they are now adults. But what should I call them?), my sons-in-law and my first grandchild (still in his/her mother's womb). We returned home, and I proceeded to open my birthday gifts, wondering what to say, to pretend that I like it, or to tell the truth. There were 2 gifts (actually 3, the 3rd one was from Google from my participation with Google AdSense. And the cheque arrived exactly today, my birthday). Anyway, when we reached home, I proceeded to open my presents. When I opened the first and smallest one, I started to laugh, really laugh. It was a long time since I had a real laugh, and the laugh was my best birthday present. I will let you guess what I found when I unwrapped the gift and to give you time to guess, I will put some pictures here for you to view before you get to the answer (click to enlarge. It is a large photo, 1024x768 pixels and may take some time to load. So best is to right-click on your mouse and select "Open in new window/tab" and let it slowly download in the new window/tab while you continue with this page). Further, I will do what I promised to do at the bottom of the post if you honestly guessed the correct answer before you read it (don't want to keep you in suspense. What I promised to do if certain condition is met is to exercise 10 minutes, something which I need).
That is my family gathering to celebrate my 58th birthday, me sitting at the center, my sons on my side and my daughters, sons-in-law and my first grandchild (hidden) standing behind. I will let you guess where my first grandchild is hiding. Same condition apply as above.
More photos - me just starting to blow all the six candles at one go (no easy task because they were in a long row). That is 6 candles for 60 years. That mean they don't need to celebrate my birthday till I am 61 years old.
OK. Here is the answer. What my youngest son gave me was a nail clipper! Well, I can take a hint and I can laugh at myself! And to my son, I really appreciate your gift. Now I give you somemore time to guess what the second present given by my other children and their hubbies was by showing somemore pictures (of me laughing at myself, holding the nail clipper) before I give the answer. Also, same as above. Guess correctly, and I will do what I promised at the bottom of the post, that is, do 10 minutes of exercise.
More photo so you have more time to guess. Below is the photo of my daughter looking through the photo album. I think she was pointing out the place she visited (Tivoli, Rome) on her company's trip last year. She later showed me the photo of me, my late wife (and her, hidden too, like my first grandchild) at exactly the same spot.
Well, the second present was a Phillip electric shaver, and a pretty sophisticated one at that! With rechargeable battery, so I don't need to go out to buy new batteries every time the old ones run out of juice! How considerate of them. And again I can take a hint and I can laugh at myself. But my regrets are, now, I have no excuses anymore not to shave and not to cut my nails. Thank you, all of you. And still more photos. Here is one showing me with the Phillips electric shaver:
If you want to see more photos of my birthday gathering, you can surf over to Calvin's album
Just one more thing. One of the readers of my blog, commented in one of my post, and I reciprocated, visiting her website to comment thank her and to let her know I have responded to her comment. I read her post. It had something about exercising for comments. For each comment she received in her post, she will do a certain amount of exercise. I am going to be a copy-cat today. I realise I need exercise, but not doing very much about it. My late father was diabetic. A long time ago (20+ years I think), I was diagnosed as having Impaired Glucose Tolerance, meaning that when I take in sugar, the blood sugar falls slower than a normal person. They call it pre-diabetes now, I read in the papers recently. Going by what the report said, I should be diabetic now. Thank God I am not. They also say one need to exercise to keep diabetes and high blood pressure at bay. I need inspiration or persuation. So for each comment you put in this post, I will exercise 10 minutes. Deal?
Update 12 February 2007: Got the URL of the post from where I copied this exercise for comments: Healthy Blogger Life Style.
No tears funeral - don't be sad