Capybaras eating bamboo at the Cape May County Zoo
Capybaras eating bamboo at the Cape May County Zoo

For my birthday I was treated to a Capybara encounter at the Cape May County Zoo! Capybaras have been my favorites at my local zoo for as long as I can remember, even for the few years when they were absent. I got to go into the enclosure, get fairly up close and feed my friends some bamboo.

We got there a little extra early as it was forecast to rain most of the day, but not until around our start time. Luckily the super friendly zoo staff showed up early as well, also hoping to beat out the showers (which we ultimately did).

The staff was great, very friendly and began sharing all sorts of facts about the capybaras. They let us into the enclosure and reminded us that we could get close, but don’t make too sudden of a motion as it will likely scare them off.

There were 3 adults and 2 tiny babies. If we made the slightest move the babies would retreat, most of the time I think they just ran away because someone else had run. It was pretty awesome and hilarious at the same time.

So I just sat there fairly still and offered up some bamboo for the capybaras to feast on. Budette was the hungriest with the other 3 joining early on too. Mikey stayed back, apparently he’s been dealing with some stomach issue as of late.

I eventually got him to come over and eat up as well. Within minutes his stomach issues were on full display as here ripped an extremely loud fart accompanies with a decent poop. While it was pretty gross, we couldn’t stop laughing. He just kept munching along like nothing that epic has just taken place.

This was a pretty amazing experience and one I’m very glad I got to take!


My Pandemic Birthday

So this birthday was a bit different as it took place during a pandemic. So that ruled out adventuring somewhere, getting something to eat out, etc.

The day started with with my kind co-workers all putting up custom birthday themed backgrounds for our Microsoft Teams meeting. That was a very nice of them, it was funny. I also received some pretty amazing videos and greetings on social media.

Of note was an amazing happy birthday song by Michale Bolton and the most epic happy birthday video I’ve ever seen. I still chuckle at both while typing this.

After work I stopped over to my parents. Had dinner with them and we had some ice cream cake. The cake was great, it was from Dairy Queen and I have to admit it tasted much better than in the past. I think I was told they’re under new ownership, not sure.

Stacey stopped over the next day and brought some gifts with her. Got some nice dumbbells (couldn’t of been too fun for her to carry them up my steps), The OuterWorlds for PS4, an Escape the Crate escape room in a box, and The Master Theorem book.

The dumbbells are great. Not able to go to the gym, they’ll really come in handy. They’re nice ones too, not something you get at a yard sale. The Escape the Crate was great. It comes with 2 escape rooms, and we went through one of them that night. It was challenging, but very fun. A great idea.

The Master Theorem book has been quite the hit thus far. It’s full of really complex and unique puzzles. They’re tough, but it is very satisfying when you solve one. Highly recommended.

As well as a Lego mini-figure I also got an ice cream pie and a pint from Springer’s in Stone Harbor. Amazing ice cream, and a big surprise. Several days later I would begin to regret so much ice cream at once, but it was fine to have such treats!

So while it was a bit different without being able to go places, I was still quite happy. Definitely a memorable b-day!


Birthday Kindness

birthday giftsThis year’s birthday turned out to be a bit different than in past years, but much fun nonetheless. I’ve never really been too big on the whole birthday celebrations, it’s really just another day for me for the most part. But other’s were kind enough to take a moment to celebrate it, which was really great.

To start things off my co-workers decided to surprise me with singing For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow at my desk. I almost made an escape as I heard them round the corner, but was too late and they greeted me with song and smiles. It was nice, NGM was kind enough to make me some amazing cupcakes with chocolate frosting. He’s a pretty amazing baker. They also picked out a card with chimpanzees on it, and everyone knows that chimpanzees are awesome. The Moe’s gift card inside was well done as well. I eat lunch there all the time, so eating for free my next couple of visits will be great. Great job guys, nice to know that my co-workers would take the time for such niceness.

The next day which was my actual birthday turned out to be pretty nice too. While the morning was a bit cold, I cannot recall ever having poor weather on my birthday, and was confident that the weather would turn around as the day grew. Luckily I was right and it turned out to be a fine day outside!

I was welcomed to work with more cards and more goodies to eat! Brownies were made for myself and Rich whom shares the same birthday. Though every year when it’s noted to him that we do share the same birthday, he seems surprised by if. Perhaps next year it won’t be a surprise?

In addition to brownies, I also got a bucket of pretzel rods and a bag of peanut chews. All good stuff, but I’m fearing that I will be getting plump or plumper perhaps. I also got a little Mario Kart figure from the Rat, which turned out to be Luigi! I was pretty pumped by this, he was the one I wanted most from that mystery pack!

Though my favorite turned out to be The Pocket Unicorn card from the Rat. It had a detachable unicorn that would utter accurate rainbow unicorn sayings at the press of a button. It was pretty amazing, and I’m kinda shocked that I haven’t killed the batteries on it just yet!

After work my parents made chicken parm, which is a fine birthday dinner (thank god there was no cauliflower or mushrooms to be seen). They were also kind enough to give me a card and some cash in it as well. I know I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t want cash, but I will make certain to purchase myself a gift with it! They also got me an ice cream cake, but that would have to wait as we had very important kickball game in just a few minutes!

When I got to the kickball field I was greeted with happy birthday wishes from the Commish and Dustin. As other kickballers arrived, many took a moment to share greetings as well. I suppose we can thank Facebook for spreading the word out so far and fast now.

What really turned out to be a most pleasant surprise was that our team really went all out in surprising me with some birthday goodness! Brittany showed up with an embarrassing birthday hat that they would insist I wore at some point. I’m not familiar with the tradition of embarrassing the birthday person by wearing a hat (by the way, I never wear hats so it felt most foreign atop my head), but they meant well so I went along.

Then John B. shows up with a custom made card too! This thing was truly a work of art! It had a hand drawn Raiders logo, kickball on it and some powerful writing inside it. What a great guy to take the time to make that!

Fierce showed up with a tray of brownies for all! Not only brownies, but fancy brownies with icing and blue dust on them too! They were very, very delicious but I saved them for after the game. I didn’t want to be slowed down during the game. Meghan also came bearing a massive bag of assorted candy (I’m still wondering how all this candy will ever be consumed). Good stuff abounded in that glorious bad of sweetness!

After our big victory (which had some unlikely heroes), I got even more birthday stuff from the team!

Sean presented me with a certificate from the team, which was funny since I always give them certificates. And I also got a card with an awesome dog on it signed by the team and Barack Obama as well! So thoughtful!

What an amazing bunch I am fortunate to play with! They really went above and beyond what anyone could ever expect. I genuinely felt like the luckiest guy on that field.

Just when I thought that birthday goodness couldn’t be topped, Fierce gave me a bag of awesomeness! In it contained a Mario Kart building block set with Toad and a TMNT Lego set with Michelangelo and Krang! The evil alien brain Krang is so amazing, I can’t believe she picked out the set he was in! She is awesome!

Again, what a surprising turn of events I had this year for my birthday. I really am lucky to have such thoughtful people in my life. And a couple of them are pretty excellent kickball players as well, which is always a plus.


Birthday Kindness

Friday was my birthday and I just wanted to point out and thank all the people who were kind enough to make it such a fine day. Actually I pretty much could change my birthday into birthday week the way ti’s turned out.

Monday started off with a surprise Grow! Nyokki! Monkey on my desk. It’s really awesome and I can’t wait to grow it by my window. It’s so very cool.

I also got some Dwight Schrute stationary so that I can easily keep track of time wasters, excuses and complaints. It’s pretty funny stuff. It came with an The Office notebook and some of the heaviest crayola pens I’ve ever picked up. They’re seriously heavy.

Lunch Club got me a Star Wars Science Dagobah Frog Habitat. It’s amazing, it’s a scene of Dagoba with Yoda and you grow tadpoles into frogs with it. I can’t wait to start! I have to order the tadpoles in the mail, so will have to exercise great patience (like Yoda would want) in waiting for their arrival. They also gave me a really cool Yoda card too.

I also got a super fancy wallet, which was really thoughtful. It smells all new and leathery and I’m still trying to figure out just how a wallet works. Apparently it’s not meant to be kept in a front pocket, but wouldn’t that mean that I have to sit on it? Wouldn’t that feel weird? Either way I’m going to try and convert over to using a wallet and will have to see how that goes. The wallet also came with a little monkey who’s currently hanging out on the shifter in my car.

My department got me some really funny gifts. A card that they modified and added so many great inside joke signatures to. They even found some long lost haiku that were written about me! Very clever guys, I’m still impressed. They were authentically wrinkled as well with stick drawings. I also was lucky enough to get a custom Nomenclature t-shirt as well. It’s very cool, and I will be most very proud to wear it. The cake they treated me to was super yummy and delicious. I’m not sure what exact kind it was, but was certain that it was good.

Then my parent got me a cake and made me dinner, which was good. Honestly I was too filled from a weeks worth of treats to eat much. The cake was a carrot cake from Bake Works, they’re the finest cake in the land. My mom got me some clothes which was good. I kinda was due for some new stuff, and since she had the person working in the store pick everything out I will probably wear the stuff.

My older brother got me a assortment of stuff too. A Link wall decal, a wiffle ball bat, a growing unicorn, and a DVD of some cartoons. I even also got some ninja star tacks for my office walls.

All that and my phone buzzing all day with birthday texts and facebook postings/comments made for a very excellent birthday. Thanks so much to all!


Cool Birthday Gifts

Yesterday was by birthday and I was the lucky recipient of some pretty cool stuff this year.  Here’s a list of some of the stuff:

Very cool stuff.