It’s My Birthday. It’s Not Too Late to Buy Me a Present.

06.18.2009 | 7:57 am

Hey, I’m 43 as of today. I would like to offer that number, in addition to the following anecdote, as evidence that I am now well- and fullly-middle-aged.

Earlier this week, Susan asked me what I want for my birthday. This is not an easy question to answer for me, because generally when I want something, I don’t wait around to see if someone will buy it for me. I just go and get it.

So I thought for a few minutes. And then it hit me. There really is something I want. Something I don’t have.

“I want spoons,” I told Susan.

“Spoons?” she replied, not unreasonably, because it is not an answer she should be expected to expect.

“Spoons,” I affirmed. “Our family uses spoons a lot. We always run out of regular spoons before the day is over, and then everyone starts having to use improvisational spoons to eat with: big salad-serving spoons, wooden mixing spoons, butter knives. It is not easy to eat Jell-o with a butter knife.”

“Really? You want spoons for your birthday?”

“Yes. Spoons.”

And judging from the heft of the Amazon box that came in the mail yesterday, I’d say I’m about to have my Very Exciting Birthday Wish fulfilled.

What You Can Get Me200906180735.jpg

Earlier this week, I gave a very positive review of the Arriva Shuffle headset. Well, Ben of Arriva emailed me and said that by way of thanks, he’d like to donate 5 of their headsets — any size, style, or color — for me to use to help raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

I’d like to combine that generous donation with the fact that it’s my birthday to ask you to do something for me — to buy me a present, essentially.

I want you to go to my San Jose LiveStrong Challenge page and donate $5.00.

No more, no less. Just $5.00.

And I want you to do it now. Because my birthday only lasts one day. Which is lucky for my Mom, I suppose.

Tonight at midnight, I will select five people at random to win the Arriva headset of their choice. I’ll notify you by email, and will list your names (first name, last initial) in my post tomorrow just in case my email goes in your spam folder.

Why This Would Be An Awesome Birthday Present For You To Give Me

There are several reasons I really, really want you to make a $5 donation to the LAF through my San Jose LiveStrong Challenge page today. Here are some of them.

  1. You might win a set of headphones you’ll really like.
  2. You’ll be telling me in a meaningful way that you like what I’m doing with this blog, and that your thoughts are with Susan. It would be a really great present for me if, at the end of the day I could tell Susan, “Hey, a thousand people said ‘happy birthday’ to me by joining us in the fight against cancer.”
  3. You’ll help Team Fatty-San Jose win in the second LiveStrong Challenge. I love the idea of Team Fatty winning the awards for most members and most funds raised in all four cities.
  4. Every time I get a donation, I get an email, which makes my phone — which I always keep in my front pocket — vibrate.
  5. I’m pretty sure I have plenty of spoons now, so this is a better present.

And now, I’m off to go make myself a cake. And then make a giant cake shake out of it.

Hey, it’s my birthday. I’ll eat my cake however I want.

(Now, go donate that $5.00.)


  1. Comment by SDM | 06.18.2009 | 8:08 am

    Just curious…will these headphones work with hair?

    yes they will. All the demo photos on the Arriva site are of people with hair. – FC

  2. Comment by Whitney | 06.18.2009 | 8:11 am

    Very persuasive message. I’m off!

  3. Comment by Kyle | 06.18.2009 | 8:11 am

    Happy birthday (present given).

    Too bad my birthday has passed or I would use it to raise $ for team fatty Austin!

  4. Comment by Carla and Jeff Ungerecht | 06.18.2009 | 8:18 am

    Happy Birthday. Hope your phone vibrates all day! Just sent our present.

  5. Comment by Sandy | 06.18.2009 | 8:24 am

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your spoons!

  6. Comment by Philly Jen | 06.18.2009 | 8:33 am

    Oh well, hair today, gone tomorrow!

    A very happy birthday to you, big guy. [Insert theremin music from "Good Vibrations" here.]

    Go, Team San Jose!

  7. Comment by winner27 | 06.18.2009 | 8:33 am

    Done! Happy Birthday Fatty & love to Susan.

  8. Comment by Gillian | 06.18.2009 | 8:39 am

    Happy birthday, fatty! Win Susan.

    A fiver it is.

  9. Comment by mark | 06.18.2009 | 8:49 am

    Happy birthday. Can’t wait to celebrate tomorrow.

  10. Comment by Heather Bond | 06.18.2009 | 8:50 am

    May your birthday be spoony! Hope you felt some phone tickles!

  11. Comment by snapper | 06.18.2009 | 8:56 am

    Done. And Happy Birthday!

  12. Comment by Pink | 06.18.2009 | 9:01 am

    Happy Birthday

  13. Comment by Lana K | 06.18.2009 | 9:10 am

    Ask and you shall receive! Happy Birthday and many spoons to you!

    Will you let us know how many $5 dontations you get today? I wonder how many spoons that would have bought…

  14. Comment by Brian | 06.18.2009 | 9:15 am

    Best wishes for a fantastic birthday

  15. Comment by Mom2BJM - Amy | 06.18.2009 | 9:21 am

    okay okay.. you have your $5, and my best wishes for a very Happy Birthday!

  16. Comment by Paul | 06.18.2009 | 9:24 am

    Happy Birthday. I hope you like my present :)
    (Um… Yea.. It was 5 bucks on your LiveStrong page)

  17. Comment by bikemike | 06.18.2009 | 9:26 am

    CAKE FIGHT !!!!

  18. Comment by sllym | 06.18.2009 | 9:28 am

    I sent $10 since it’s too late to get you a spoon too. Happy Birthday! WIN!

  19. Comment by Angie F | 06.18.2009 | 9:28 am

    Happy Happy Birthday! This was the motivation I needed to donate and such an easy amount!! :) Take Care! WIN Susan!

  20. Comment by rich | 06.18.2009 | 9:28 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty!
    Present submitted

    Win Susan!

  21. Comment by Neil | 06.18.2009 | 9:30 am

    Can you donate via Paypal?

  22. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 06.18.2009 | 9:34 am


    Enjoy the vibration…………you’re welcome.

  23. Comment by akaKathy | 06.18.2009 | 9:36 am

    Happy Birthday pocket tingle sent your way.


  24. Comment by Jenn | 06.18.2009 | 9:36 am

    Done – and happy birthday.

  25. Comment by Clay | 06.18.2009 | 9:44 am

    A very Happy Birthday Fatty. Enjoy your day, the 5 bucks, and of course, the pocket tingle.

  26. Comment by James | 06.18.2009 | 9:48 am

    Done. Just how suggestible am I? Very.

    Elden, I expect a headphone-tan-line pic next week.

  27. Comment by buckythedonkey | 06.18.2009 | 9:52 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty!


  28. Comment by chtirch | 06.18.2009 | 9:56 am

    Happy Birthday!!

  29. Comment by dicky | 06.18.2009 | 9:59 am


    I beat you to the birthday post. I rule.

    Happy B-day fatman.


  30. Comment by Aaron | 06.18.2009 | 10:02 am

    Happy Birthday Man. And you’re not middle aged until you turn 45. So you have a couple years of youth left.

  31. Comment by Shawn | 06.18.2009 | 10:03 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty.


  32. Comment by MrsTeamPhillips | 06.18.2009 | 10:07 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty! My fiver is in the pool. Since my birthday is next week, maybe I’ll just have to donate again. I’m personally hoping NOT to get spoons next week, although I have been known to ask for knives (that sounds bad).

  33. Comment by Jayson | 06.18.2009 | 10:15 am

    all this talk of eating things with big spoons reminded me of this…

  34. Comment by Dingbat | 06.18.2009 | 10:18 am

    In our family, we have a tradition of ‘unbirthday’ presents. In essence, to reduce the amount of fraternally-inflicted injuries on any given birthday, the non-birthday brother got something, too. So I gave yours $5 and my own Livestrong $10.

    I should have unbirthdays more often.

  35. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.18.2009 | 10:25 am

    Happy Birthday, Elden! Glad you were clear about where you store that phone. And that it is in your shirt pocket.

  36. Comment by dinglearm | 06.18.2009 | 10:27 am

    Five on its way. Happy Birthday.

  37. Comment by Deb Mc | 06.18.2009 | 10:28 am

    done and done
    Happy Birthday, Mr. Nelson

  38. Comment by Sean | 06.18.2009 | 10:29 am

    As I sit here I am thinking of your lovely wife. I admit that I have not been following as much as I would like, but hope that things are going well. I lost my Aunt a few years ago to cancer. She fought it for 6 years until if finally just attacked her and took her home. Your cause is deep to my family. Carry on!

  39. Comment by Kristine Shreve | 06.18.2009 | 10:29 am

    I donated $10. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Happy Birthday, and thanks for all the work you do.

  40. Comment by Canadian Roadie (posing as a mtn biker) | 06.18.2009 | 10:33 am

    Happy vibrating pocket day! Another one sent your way. Enjoy the spoons!

  41. Comment by fremont mike | 06.18.2009 | 10:48 am

    Done deal.

    Happy Birthday and best wishes for you and your family.


  42. Comment by Heidi | 06.18.2009 | 10:49 am

    Happiest of birthdays and may you be the recipient of a multitude of spoons!

    Question: Is there a way to donate via PayPal? Your form requires a phone number. Why? As it is, so many people call asking for further donations that I now have the machine pick up 100% of the time. Takes all the fun out of it…

  43. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.18.2009 | 11:13 am

    BTW I love spoons. On many levels.

  44. Comment by ChefJT | 06.18.2009 | 11:13 am

    $5 Bucks it is, then. Done, Happy Birthday. My wish for you is that 100,000 people do what I just did.

    Note to Heidi—It’s not his form, it LiveStrong’s form. Take the issues up with them.

  45. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.18.2009 | 11:15 am

    Heidi – not sure why the phone # is required, but the Lance Armstrong Foundation is very good about respecting privacy and I do not believe they will ever call you unless there is a problem with your credit card or something and they cannot get you to respond to an email. And they don’t sell your info to other people or organizations.

  46. Comment by Kt | 06.18.2009 | 11:24 am

    I am, apparently, also easily led. I have donated $5 to your San Jose page for your birthday. Let’s kick the SJ team’s numbers up, people!!

    Happy Birthday, Elden– hope it’s great. Enjoy your spoons. :)

    WIN, Susan! And Lara, and Matt, and Carrie, too!!!!

  47. Comment by Carl | 06.18.2009 | 11:30 am

    Happy Birthday from one Gemini to another! Spoons… now that’s a practical present.

  48. Comment by Julie | 06.18.2009 | 11:35 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty!

    I’m gonna go donate know. I’ll be reppin’ Team Fatty at the Tour de Blueberry this weekend.



  49. Comment by Team Spike | 06.18.2009 | 11:36 am

    See you in San Jose. Love your Blog, even though you’re wrong about knee warmers.

  50. Comment by Eric F | 06.18.2009 | 11:39 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty! Our love and prayers for Susan!

  51. Comment by Angie G | 06.18.2009 | 11:52 am

    Happy BDay Fatty, $5 bucks are on the way. I think the spoons are awesome. I too am a very practical person. I love getting things I can use for gifts.
    My husband went Bday shopping for me with some of his friends once and when he picked out the coolest DeWalt cordless drill and accessories. His friends all laughed and asked if he would be at work the next day or would they be attending his funeral. He just smiled and told them I am the one who fixes everything around the house and he was very confident I would be pleased.

    He of course was right. :-)
    Enjoy your Bday and the opportunity to share it with your family! Those are really the greatest gifts we get.

  52. Comment by Becky | 06.18.2009 | 11:53 am

    Done…Happy Birthday!

  53. Comment by Harrison | 06.18.2009 | 11:54 am

    Happy Birthday Fatty!

  54. Comment by msykes | 06.18.2009 | 12:00 pm

    Happy Birthday! Today also happens to be my wedding anniversary, and we clearly chose to get married on this day specifically because it was your birthday.

    Also, spoons is an awesome gift. We work our way from regular spoons to small spoons to grapefruit spoons, at which point I always wonder if the grapefruit spoons are too sharp to give to a 2 year old. That’s when things start coming out of the dishwasher for a handwashing…

    I also predict that with all these new spoons, you are going to be asking for more bowls next year.

  55. Comment by Oscar | 06.18.2009 | 12:18 pm

    Happy 43rd Birthday, Elden!

    There’s five bucks coming your way. BTW, my 43rd birthday is on Sunday…maybe you can “randomly select” one of the headsets for me (wink, wink).

    Win Susan!

  56. Comment by rexinsea | 06.18.2009 | 12:21 pm

    Happy Birthday old man. Wait you’re 18 months younger than me. Happy Birthday YOUNG man.


  57. Comment by Bob | 06.18.2009 | 12:23 pm


    Happy b-day Fatty

  58. Comment by Rantwick | 06.18.2009 | 12:23 pm

    Mmmmm, cake shake! You’re 43? No wonder you write like such an old man!

    Totally kidding, man. You deserve all the cake shake you can consume, and best wishes on your big day. You are neither old nor fat, as far as I can tell.

  59. Comment by Jason Crane | 06.18.2009 | 12:41 pm

    Done. WIN.

  60. Comment by Liberty on Bikes!/bob | 06.18.2009 | 12:42 pm

    along with all the other readers-
    Happy Birthday!
    For the last couple of days you’ve
    been stuck in my head -
    My wife had her back go out – so
    with three kids under ten, and three
    dogs, and a busy work week -
    I feel like the ringmaster in a circus
    filled with deaf clowns.
    Then it hits me in the middle of all
    the craziness- fatty’s been doing this for
    ALOT longer that a week, or a year.
    So respect to you, not just on your birthday,
    or father’s day that’s coming up,
    but everyday! Hope to see you in Philly.
    Thanks for all the inspiration you give us.

  61. Comment by Hamish A | 06.18.2009 | 12:50 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty!

    It is wrong that when you wrote about wanting Spoons I totally had a Tick flashback? Hmmm, maybe not wrong, but definitely a little disturbing.

    I’ve got a Flip Ultra HD camcorder up for grabs until Monday. Just donate $5 to my San Jose Livestrong Challenge page and get an entry to the draw!

    *ahem* Comment hijack over, sorry about that.


  62. Comment by Jaime O. | 06.18.2009 | 12:56 pm

    Done. Happy Birthday from one Gemini to another. I hope you love having enough spoons for a single day. :)

  63. Comment by Julie | 06.18.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Happy Birthday!!

  64. Comment by Accident Prone | 06.18.2009 | 1:04 pm

    No muss, no fuss and done.

    Happy Birthday Fatty!
    Win Susan!

  65. Comment by GrannyGear | 06.18.2009 | 1:16 pm

    You have made me laugh so many times (although the recent ride video made me sick), making a donation was a simple payback. Keep the humor coming and WIN Susan.
    Happy Birthday Fatty.

  66. Comment by El Animal | 06.18.2009 | 1:18 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty, this is the 3rd or 4th birthday you celebrate since I read your blog, and I was trying to remember this morning which day it was (Ithough it was the 21st). Very funny, I don;t remember many people B-Days and I almost got yours….I don;t even know you…..weird world this one we live in. Anyway I made my donation and I hope you gain 3 pounds with your cake shake…… ok forget the extra punds and enjoy. Win Susan and Win fatty

  67. Comment by Elizabeth | 06.18.2009 | 1:33 pm

    Alors que je respire, je l’espere.
    Happy birthday to a truly good heart.
    Win Elden (birthday boys always get to win)
    and Win Susan!

  68. Comment by Michelle | 06.18.2009 | 2:11 pm

    Happy Birthday Elden! May your pocket vibrate all day long! Enjoy your spoons! and your cake shake and your family. Hippo birdie two ewes!

  69. Comment by Victoria | 06.18.2009 | 2:14 pm

    Happy Birthday!! I meant to tell you that there was a Fat Cyclist jersey sighting last week in Hercules, CA. I was on my way to lunch with some co-workers and they were in the middle of a conversation, so I didn’t shriek out in glee, but still– Fat Cyclist is reppin’ in Hercules.

  70. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 06.18.2009 | 2:15 pm

    Happy “vibrating” birthday.

  71. Comment by Janet | 06.18.2009 | 2:34 pm

    $5 for the tingle! Just learned that we won the Seattle Challenge and we’ll be rolling out at the head of the pack! Woot!

  72. Comment by rokrider | 06.18.2009 | 3:01 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty. That good vibe you just felt was mine. My Birthday is Saturday, and a set of headphones would make a nice present (hint, hint)

  73. Comment by Fat Cathy | 06.18.2009 | 3:03 pm

    Happy BDay Fatty. Hope you enjoyed the vibe.

    Win Susan!

  74. Comment by Beth K | 06.18.2009 | 3:17 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty; I don’t follow directions well….sorry about that.

    Have a great day ~ It only gets better

  75. Comment by Lorie | 06.18.2009 | 3:25 pm

    Happy B’Day! My present has just been sent and I hope that phone of yours is going all day today! Enjoy that cake shake!!

  76. Comment by Maggi B | 06.18.2009 | 3:25 pm

    Happy birthday, Fatty! Donation made. [One of the best things about getting a job after being unemployed for a while has been the sudden ability to donate to the people who have inspired me. GO TEAM FATTY!!]

  77. Comment by Teri | 06.18.2009 | 3:36 pm

    Okay, okay, okay….I’m on board. But….if you happen to pull my name out of the hat for the headset, please donate it to someone else (I don’t have an iPod).

    Win Susan!

    and happy birthday Fatty

  78. Comment by Gordon | 06.18.2009 | 3:37 pm

    I hope you have a happy birthday Fatty! Great post and great idea. Donation done.

  79. Comment by Dipster | 06.18.2009 | 3:50 pm

    Happy Birthday! Now even more reason to think we are twins (well almost my 44th was last week) Whenever I read your stuff I always think, “how does he know what I’m thinking?” I’m about the same size (larger than I should be) and have very similar interests to yours (I can’t write as well).

    Donation made! Have you ever tried cake in your cereal for breakfast? Works best with Cheerios or Rice Krispies. Wedding Cake is the best this way!

  80. Comment by Triflefat | 06.18.2009 | 4:52 pm

    That tingle came from australia. happy birthday big fella!

  81. Comment by Mary | 06.18.2009 | 5:03 pm

    chocolate chip oatmeal birthday cake by any chance?

    The visual of a giant box of spoons from Amazon. ha. I hope Susan spent more than $25 to qualify for free shipping. I imagine a giant box of spoons weighs a significant amount.

    Happy Birthday Elden.

  82. Comment by KatieA978 | 06.18.2009 | 5:24 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty!

    I’m going to go and donate now, I don’t care if it’s past the deadline anyway – always a good cause.

    I hope there are LOTS OF SPOONS in the box. You could make sculpture!

  83. Comment by Mike | 06.18.2009 | 5:34 pm

    I certainly hope the number of unique page views today divided by the number of donations = 1.

    Happy birthday! Win!

  84. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 06.18.2009 | 5:47 pm

    Happy birthday Fatty !

    I’ve made my birthday donation for you.
    I can also send a spoon from Australia if you want one?

  85. Comment by Uphillbattle | 06.18.2009 | 6:21 pm

    Wishing you all the best!

  86. Comment by donbiker | 06.18.2009 | 6:24 pm

    Sorry, couldn’t find the #5 button.

  87. Comment by Joan Erwin | 06.18.2009 | 6:28 pm

    Don’t say I never gave you anything! Happy B-day!

  88. Comment by Hillphobic | 06.18.2009 | 6:33 pm


    Happy Birthday, Elden. Welcome to middle age! Don’t forget today that you also have to get perscription sunnies, order triple rings for all your bikes, and reserve the domain name “oldfatcyclist”.


  89. Comment by Hillphobic | 06.18.2009 | 6:44 pm


    If I happen to win one of the Arriva headsets in the raffle, please re-draw it. After reading your post yesterday, I purchased an iPod Shuffle (2nd Gen) in Australia and ordered my Arriva Shuffle Headset online. I obviously have low sales resistance – so be very careful what you recommend in future. With great power comes…

  90. Comment by MattC | 06.18.2009 | 6:45 pm

    FINALLY able to sneak a peek at your site today (after 5:30pm…so VERY busy lately!)…very cool.

    So…with that said, I JUST set off your phone (approx 7:40pm your time). Happy birthday Mon-Capy-tan! What a wonderful idea! My best to Susan! And good luck Team Seattle, WELL DONE! Quite impressive!!!! I’ll anxiously be awaiting details.

  91. Comment by BamaJim | 06.18.2009 | 7:04 pm

    Happy Birthday! Gift is blazing its way over the internet to you. (Thanks for the hint on what you’d like.)

    Win. 2:01

  92. Comment by 29er | 06.18.2009 | 7:16 pm

    Happy Birthday and welcome to 43! I’ll beat you to 44 though.

  93. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 06.18.2009 | 7:42 pm

    Hey Aaron (and FC) you are not middle aged until next year. It’s always next year unless of course you are dead in which case you can work it out.

  94. Comment by my middle name is fred | 06.18.2009 | 7:42 pm

    Hi Elden – Happy bday and many more! $5 just sent your way from Boston. (I have no ipod, so in the off-chance my name is chosen, pls go to the next in line.)

  95. Comment by Spiff | 06.18.2009 | 7:50 pm

    Donation made – Happy Birthday!

    BTW, it’s also my birthday today. I hit the big 3-0. It was a great day though. I hope yours was too!

    BTW(2), I’m flying to Utah tomorrow! Maybe we’ll cross paths at Lambert.

  96. Comment by Christopher Stephens | 06.18.2009 | 8:51 pm

    My birthday was yesterday, so birthday greetings all around. And I run out of spoons before anything else, too, so now I know what to ask for next year.

  97. Comment by Chris | 06.18.2009 | 8:59 pm

    you could get yourself this nice travel bike for your bday.

  98. Comment by jen | 06.18.2009 | 9:25 pm

    happy birthday !!!! I wanted to donate the mere $5 but I am at a hotel and don’t know how to secure such a transaction. I did want to make your pocket buzzz. when I am out of this hotel I will donate some money in honor of your birthday a little late. I hope you had enough spoons for ice cream with the cake.

  99. Comment by Hilslug | 06.18.2009 | 9:35 pm

    Happy Birthday Fatty!

    I got my dad one of these spoons for his birthday and he loves it!

  100. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 06.19.2009 | 2:00 am

    Good vibrations sent to you.
    Happy Birthday.
    may you have a spoon filled day.

  101. Comment by stewoz & miss | 06.19.2009 | 3:50 am

    Happy Birthday Mate.


  102. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 06.19.2009 | 3:52 am

    So if I read those last few lines correctly, you’re asking us all to shake your pants while you’re shaking cake. I’m sure as a teenager in college I saw the original of that genre. But here’s 5 bucks anyway, who am I to spoil and old man’s dreams.

  103. Comment by neca | 06.19.2009 | 6:23 am

    Sorry I’m a day late! Happy birthday!

  104. Comment by Dustin | 06.19.2009 | 9:57 am

    Happy birthday tubby!

  105. Comment by Charisa | 06.19.2009 | 11:36 am

    Happy birthday – enjoy those spoons!

  106. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 06.19.2009 | 2:16 pm

    Tardy too here, but done.
    Many many more happy birthdays to you!


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