George’s 42nd Birthday Start to Finish

This is a live blog from the events of March 17, 2012– my 42nd birthday.

Stacy Jones and Wesley Britt helped me remember this night with a quick birthday photo seconds after I blew out the candles on my birthday bread pudding.

9:15 p.m.  UA Friends Throw Impromptu Birthday Party At Chuck’s Fish

What started as a salmon supper at Chuck’s Fish in downtown Tuscaloosa became a 42nd birthday party among UA friends tonight.

One of my good friends, Stacy Jones, set everything in motion as we arrived for the dinner.

We started with Lobster Claws and then I was pretty full on my seafood platter.

Then, it was time for dessert and after I ordered my white chocolate bread pudding (YES, I know I will pay for it when it’s time to weigh in next week), Dr. Jones decided to make it a birthday bread pudding.

I thought, ‘What is she up to?”

Minutes lady the waitress brings out the dessert all lit up with the candles and the entire restaurant broke out in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” right before I blew out the candles…two of them– as I’m forty-TWO today.

It was a great way to top off a great birthday.

The other folks in the UA party– two of our graduates Katie Boyd Britt, former Student Government Association President and Wesley Britt, who played for the Alabama Crimson Tide before going on to a career on the New England Patriots.

Wesley is in graduate school now at Bama and I believe Katie is in law school.   Katie and Wesley happened to be sitting at the table next to us.

Where would I be without my Crimson Tide family?   This was definitely a memorable birthday celebration. 

5:11 p.m.  Can’t Escape Working on One’s Birthday

Finally, I’ve finished reading and grading a set of writing assignments.  There is still more work to be done.  But, I consider this a major accomplishment of the day.

It’s been hard to work while thinking about an upcoming birthday supper that is planned for later this evening.

1:50 p.m. Update   My Panera Surprise:Carrot Cake Muffin

OK- Remember that 2.6-mile walk this morning?   Yeh, I remembered it too as the cashier at Panera Bread revealed my birthday “surprise” was a free pastry.

When it opened a couple of years ago in Tuscaloosa, Panera Bread was a welcome addition to our hangouts for quick meetings and “treat yourself” kind of snacks and foods.

The company is known for its artisan breads.  But, the bakery cafe always features the delectable desserts that you’re not supposed to have if you’re concerned about your weight.

Each year, on your birthday, Panera notifies you that with your MyPanera card, you bring it in for a surprise.

It’s a great customer loyalty program.

I didn’t claim my surprise last year.  So this year, I was definitely going to take advantage of it.

I was thinking it would be an entree or a salad.  That was going to be my lunch today.   Turns out I’m walking out of  with a carrot cake muffin with walnuts and a lowfat strawberry smoothie. 

Felt good about the “lowfat” part of the smoothie, but not so good about the muffin.   I just tried to lock up the nutrition information on these items.  Not available.

1:25 p.m. Update   Uh-Oh, You Mean I Need New Running Shoes?

One of my errands for this 42nd birthday was to replace insoles in my relatively new running shoes that I purchased last summer.

“New” for me means that I’ve had the shoes for less than a year.   My last pair of tennis shoes lasted (and I still wear on and off) at least four or five years.

Well, it turns out that today I learned even more about shoes.

If they’re going to support your weight in exercise, they really only last a few months.

Today I learned there are shoes with built-in stability controls and that I should have shoes JUST for exercise/working out.  Really?

The description  online for “Brooks Beast” says my new shes provide “the ultimate in motion control shoes available to runners.

They’re “designed explicitly with the severe over pronator or larger runner in mind.”

Guess I’m that “LARGER runner”   I was NOT expecting to spend my birthday gift money on shoes.  But, such is life.

8:06 a.m. Update       A Birthday Waffle for Old time  Sake

I debated about whether to blunt the impact of my walk by having my favorite breakfast.

I promised myself not to make this birthday about food.

But, then I said– the more important thing is the eat what I want and keep track of it.   You see here my Birthday Waffle..

For the first time in my nine years in Tuscaloosa, I went to Waffle House and had myself a waffle itself, which is only 314 calories.

Weight Watchers says that’s 13 PointsPlus.

The waffle was delicious, but not the same without my morning anchors– WTVR’s Angie Miles and Meteorologist Kevin Selle.

We used to go out for waffles after our morning shows back in the mid 90s during my days at Richmond’s WTVR NewsChannel 6 (now CBS 6).

On my last day at the WTVR in 1993,  the morning team brought in the waffles for a real memorable send-off to my new job in Cincinnati.

Had so much fun getting up and producing the morning news at Channel 6.

Today at 42, I remember that fondly.

7 a.m.           2.6 miles in 53 minutes- DONE!

Well the sunrise walk around the UA Quad is done.  We accomplished our goal today of adding a lap, but our time was about the same — roughly 13 minutes for a lap.

I felt better today than I did yesterday in that I was not sore in my lower back.  (The soreness is usually a sign that I haven’t been exercising or walking)

No soreness today.

Best of all, I started in the final minute of moonlight at 6:06 a.m. and I completed the morning after stretching with beautiful daylight over a very quiet University of Alabama campus.

This sunrise walk was memorable.   And, yes I did dress out in (hunter) green shirt and (hunter) green shorts today.

After all, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day.

5 a.m.   Rise and prepare for Catch-Up Walk #2

Short version: I was supposed to be doing cardio workouts throughout the spring break and I kind of slacked off.  So I’m making it up in the final three days before spring break ends.

Yesterday– we managed three laps around the University of Alabama quad in 39 minutes.  Our goal today is to add a lap and improve our time.

Why We Are Live Blogging

Web logs are great for conveying up-to-the-minute information.

One way to provide such information is to be aggressive in updating what we are doing.

The transparency IN the PROCESS is what makes the medium appealing.

So we’re being transparent about what happens on this special day for me.

Assuming no one cares about my 42nd birthday but me, I am making my special day public and practicing a journalistic reporting tool that has defined my work over the last year– blogging.

We’ll see how it goes.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

3 thoughts on “George’s 42nd Birthday Start to Finish”

  1. George! I care about your birthday. I loved reading this and am still thinking of the beautiful phrase “in the final minute of moonlight.” Bunny Cox

    Wishing you all the best on your 42nd Birthday!!!..
    You are a great person … and writer/producer.

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