Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Five Largely Unknown Things About Mike

For the last couple weeks, or really, since Summer Vacation gave way to Back to School time, I've had a hard time keeping the regular posts coming. It's a little bit of writer's block, mixed with a large helping of not enough time on my hands. Most of my recent posts began their life as comments on my sister Susan's blog. She's done a great job of inspiring me to leave a comment, I start typing, and before I know it, I've put three paragraphs in the little comment box! Then I do a quick cut 'n' paste, and voila, there's a new post here! It's not a perfect solution, but hey... when the words start flowing, you gotta direct them to the right place!

Apparently she thought I was taking too long between posts again, because yesterday she posted one of those "tags" that are so popular in the bloggoverse, and rather than run the risk that I might not spawn my own post from it, she went and tagged me so I'd HAVE to write something. So here I go...

The topic of this particular tag is "Five Things About Me That You Don't Know."

Wow. This is a really tough one. I don't hide much at all, so the only things that You, the avid consumer of Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs, wouldn't know are simply things that I haven't had a chance or reason to mention yet. So my always supportive (and very, VERY beautiful) wife Cindy helped me come up with a few things...

I hate carrots. Now, I realize that's not a huge shock in and of itself... Heck, ten years ago, I would happily go three months between ingesting ANY kind of vegetable! But then I married the woman my mother calls "The Veggie Police" and I discovered that for the most part, I actually really DO like vegetables! Our first year or so together, Cindy would mention a veggie, and I would turn my nose up. Her response would always be, "You just haven't tried them the way I make them!" It worked with asparagus... It worked with brussels sprouts... It worked with green and yellow zucchini. But Carrots? She tried many times, many methods, and I STILL HATE CARROTS. The really weird thing to me is that according to several shows on the Food Network, Carrots have a higher sugar content than any other vegetable. And I love me some sugar! But boy, do I hate carrots.

I also hate long sleeves, and to a lesser extent, long pants. When I have been fortunate enough to not have a "business casual" dress code at work, I've worn shorts all year round. I don't want to look like a slob, and Cindy has definitely helped to put me into shorts and short-sleeved shirts that look nice, which is great! Because in my perfect world, that's all I'd need to wear! That picture that goes along with this item? That's me at some really young age... Maybe 2 or 3. Why do I look so sad? Because my mother dressed me in a long sleeved sweatshirt. Guess who hated long sleeves just as much all those years ago?


I MAY have shoplifted something once. And no, that's not some sort of lyin' & justifyin'... It was 1986ish, and I was at Bellevue Square with a friend, probably buying something, definitely crawling the mall. One of the stores we crawled through was the Curtis-Mathes store, filled with highly overpriced TVs and stereo systems. We browsed and browsed, and on one of the display tabletops was a stack of catalogs. I grabbed one to thumb through, looking to see if there was anything even cooler than what was on display at the time. Nah, not really... but it was at least cool to look through.

A few minutes later we had browsed all there was to browse there, so we headed back out into the mall. As we were going down the escalator, my friend pointed up at a security guard on the upper level and said "I hope he's not coming for us..."

I was completely baffled as to why he would even say such a thing. He then proceeded to unroll the Curtis Mathes catalog I had in my hand, and pointed at the top right corner. Where it said "$2.50" or some other small, yet unbelievable for a catalog amount. I was shocked!! They were in a stack on a display! They were practically SCREAMING to be taken! Plus, I think it was an outdated catalog. The mall cops never came after us, and I think we ditched the "goods" in the first garbage can we passed after the discovery of what I may have done. I was also pretty mad at my friend for not mentioning my potential thievery until AFTER we had left the store! Other than that, I don't believe I've ever stolen anything.

I am incredibly shy. Many people don't believe this about me, but trust me, it's true. I learned early in my teenage years that I could compensate for the shyness by using humor, wit and other tools to break the ice in social situations. These days, I still use those tools, but for the most part I just PRETEND that I'm a confident and secure adult who is totally comfortable. Nine times out of ten, that works well and within a few minutes I actually AM a confident and secure adult. But for those first few minutes, and the seconds leading up to "first contact" have my stomach in knots!

Along those same lines, when I had my radio show, I LOVED it! I loved playing the music, introducing the songs, taking phone calls, and I loved knowing that there were people all over western Washington tuning in for my little 8:00 to Midnight hobby. But even at the end of its seven year run, sometime between 7:30 and 7:59, I would get a stagefright panic attack. Once the clock struck 8 though, I entered the zone (the PartyZone!) and it was smooth sailing til midnight...

I have never had so much as a drop of alcohol, a molecule of illegal drugs or anything more than unwelcome, involuntary second hand smoke enter my body. From a very young age I developed an unwavering commitment to keep my body free from those substances. I remember telling my friends in 5th or 6th grade that I would never drink alcohol. They would respond with questions like "But what about graduation night?" and I'd shoot back with not only "No!" but also "you're not even 21 at graduation - now you want me to break the law as well as my own commitment?"

I would say that it was hard to stay away from it all, but really it wasn't so tough. By knowing my decision was NOT negotiable, I chose my friends and situations based on that framework. There certainly have been people who have mocked me for not drinking. However, their mocking never convinced me to change my decision.

Now that I've gone almost 40 years of alcohol and drug free living, I've made a few observations. First, I can acknowledge that consumption of these things does not always or immediately result in trouble. However, I can say with absolute certainty that while something bad MAY NOT happen, there is NO GOOD that will come from it. No problems will be solved. So weighing the risk of addiction and critical damage to internal organs from the brain to the spleen, against the fact that the BEST you can hope for is that you can escape those problems, I hope and pray every day that my kids won't even try those things. End of sermon.

There ya go! You now know more things about me than the people who don't read my blog! Yay for You! In keeping the tradition of tagging alive, I challenge my wife Cindy to reveal 5 unknown things about herself!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Here's Andy!!!!

Age: 15 (almost 16)

Grade: 10, Henry Foss High school

Interests: computer animation, writing, bike riding, video game programming, blogging and of course his Rodney and Jim comic strip.

Andy's average week day looks like this:

5:45a - Beep, Beep, Beep, the alarm goes off

6:00a - Off to drop Ellysa at school and then Andy goes to Seminary

7:05a - Dad picks up and then it is off to school

"whah, whah, whah whah, whaaaaah...."

2:00p - Ding, Ding, Ding, School's out!

2:20p - Bus ride home (Cindy often forgets to leave a door unlocked for him and he patiently reads on the front porch until 3:00)

3:00p - Homework

4:00p - Bike ride to just about anywhere in the greater Tacoma area

His favorite hot spots are Point Defiance 5 mile drive, Lakewood, Steillacoom and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor.

He also eats A LOT and enjoys playing the Wii....

This year was a big transition for Andy. The last two-plus years, he did his school from home, on Internet Academy. Toward the end of last school year, he decided he liked the idea of having a teacher in the classroom again, and wanted to go back to traditional school.

We were a little nervous because of some of the problems we've had with his earlier experiences in traditional school... I went with him last Spring to meet with administrators at Foss, and we were both impressed, so we went ahead with the plan.

The school has really done a great job, but the biggest and best surprise of the year so far is Andy himself. He has matured and grown so much in the past month, it's truly amazing to us! He is doing all of his school work well, earning very high marks, doing his homework as soon as he gets home, and TURNING IT IN the next day! (this had been one of the previous issues) Andy is about to turn 16 (as mentioned above) but he is already acting much older than the kid who turned 15 a year ago.

Have a great Sophomore year buddy. Dad and I love you and are SO PROUD OF YOU!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Tastebud Alert System

I am very thankful for a powerful protector that I have in my life. It protects me from dangers most people never even realize are there, or may see them but have no idea just how dangerous they are.

My protector is my tongue.

Well, specifically, the taste buds ON my tongue.

I've mentioned before that I'm rather adventurous with the foods I eat, and I'm good to try anything once, as long as it's not TOO disgusting in concept or presentation... My tongue is always happy to try these new things - the taste buds are always open to new experiences.

But there are certain substances that they can detect on impact, setting off a warning system like the ones throughout the Puyallup valley that are there to warn of a Mt. Rainier eruption. This alarm is so intense that it's almost painful to endure, which is my clear sign that whatever recently entered my mouth must NEVER enter it again. With a reaction that strong, I know that it's not just a "matter of taste"... No, it's got to be that a life-threatening substance has crossed my lips, and I am being given fair warning by my protector so that I can shut off the supply before any serious damage is done.

This system is effective enough that it is known as the Tastebud Alert System.

What foods set off the alert?

One of the worst offenders is pictured here:


I don't know why they even MAKE the nasty green and orange ones!

SOME varieties of orange candies are okay, in fact I actually like the Brach's orange slices. But for every other candy that comes in colours (except for M&M's, where the colour truly doesn't matter) I can not STAND the orange and green ones.

Mike & Ike? Red and Yellow are delightful! Orange and green are "for the kids" or even "for the garbage can." Dots, Jujyfruits, Skittles and Starburst? Same thing. Tastebud Alert System goes off, complete with the notification that this is not a test.

Back when my beloved Mad Jack's was in business, they always had a "Mystery Flavor" in the freezer. They'd give you a free spoonful and see if you could identify it. One time I took my bite and immediately recognized the same horrible artificial flavoring that's in all the green (and often the orange) candies. I made a twisted face, and when they asked me what flavor I thought it was, I just said something about how much I hate that awful artificial citrus flavor. It turned out to be Cherry-Lime, but all I could taste was that nastiness.

My tastebuds seem to be hyper-sensitive to tastes that I really hate, and I assume this is because they're actually really bad for me and it's a defense mechanism. Someday when it's confirmed that all artificially orange and lime flavored candy actually contains alien DNA and that 85% of the population is being transformed into big-eyed, grey-skinned human eaters, I will be left to say that I told you so!

There are other foods that get the same reaction, in fact maybe an even stronger reaction. Top of that list?


As far as I'm concerned, this stuff isn't even food. And I can taste even the smallest amounts in a larger recipe as if I was chewing on a big ol' leaf of it. It sets off the Tastebud Alert System, and even my nose gets in on the action. I don't think I've ever been able to actually describe the feeling so I'll just say that it's the kind of negative reaction that lets you know you've stumbled across some seriously heinous evil, and you should endeavour to stay far, far away in the future.

There are others, but I have definitely covered the two largest ones. Like I said, I'm not really picky - quite the opposite actually! Which just serves to further my case against these two items.

Now you've seen the evidence. You possess the facts. You can make your own decisions from here on out. This concludes this test of the Tastebud Alert System.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It seems like I keep having reasons to reference my time at AEI Music!

Today's reason is related to a wedding I'll be DJing this Saturday. I don't do many DJ jobs these days, and have done ZERO promotion for the past several years. But there are a few very happy repeat customers who just keep referring me to their friends and families. This Saturday I'll be providing music for one of those family members. It's kinda funny, after all this time, and literally 3-4 different weddings, I'm starting to recognize people, see the babies growing up... I almost feel like part of the family!

So - there's this wedding on Saturday. A few days ago I got the list of specific music they're requesting for the night. This will be a BIT of a stretch, as they want the mix to lean heavily toward the country side of things. Not a big problem, I've got the basics of current country, and made sure I've got the specific songs they want for the "First Dance" and other assorted events of the evening. Oh, and as a bonus, the bride is specifically requesting NOT to have the YMCA or the Macarena played during the reception. That'll be nice for a change!!

She also made a unique request - the kind that I love, that keeps me coming back to these gigs whenever they call me... This request is likely to be met with uproarious laughter from all within earshot. Here is her request:

And as a surprise for David, I would like you to play "Another One Bites the Dust" after we are introduced by the Pastor. Only a short part of that please.


The only thing is, I completely agree that it needs to be just a short part... The song is recognizable enough just from the first few notes that they alone would get the point across. But I really don't like doing the fade-out in the middle of a song, especially if people still haven't figured out what's playing yet.

This sounds like a job for... EDIT MAN!

Back when I worked at AEI, I was the go-to guy for edits.

"That hot new single you want to put in Limited Too's new program has a bad word in it? CONSIDER IT CLEANSED!"

"For some completely incomprehensible reason to any sane person, Old Navy needs to have the entire second verse removed from that classic disco song? DONE!"

Although it's been several years since I've had either of those conversations, I can still hear the call when EDIT MAN's skills are needed.

So tonight I slid down the EDIT POLE, dusted off the EDIT CAVE, and fired up the EDIT COMPUTER, and proceeded to EDIT THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of Queen's 1980 Classic!

I reduced it from its standard 3:37 down to 18 seconds... But then I thought, if the joke is over early, that is potentially a lot of time to let it play out. Another SLICE 'n' DICE is in order!

Final product: 13 seconds of Highly Concentrated '80s Greatness!

My hope is that the timing works out perfectly, everyone has a good laugh, and then it's over and on to the reception without a hitch...

And, of course, that the groom has a sense of humour!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shake It Up!

Don't bother clicking on play, it's not an embedded video. It's just a still shot from a promotional clip Nintendo put out for their new WarioLand game, "Shake It!" Only problem is, I think that Mr. Wario is shaking things a little too hard...

Click Here to watch the clip on YouTube. Even if you're not into video games, this is 100% pure marketing genius!!

UPDATE: Youtube's page for this video was broken for a while right after I posted this, but it's back up now!

MORE UPDATE: Watch it more than once. You'll see much more stuff!

Introducing: The Brinkerhoffs

Click Image for Full Size View

click for full size

With all of our kids, animals, jobs and other commitments, THIS sums up life at the Brinkerhoff house!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walkin' the Dog

Last year in our neighboring town of University Place, a new world-class golf course opened up. So world-class, in fact, that right after it opened, they announced that the 2015 U.S. Open would be played there!

Now if you know me, you should also know that golf is NOT something I follow, or participate in, unless it's the Mini-, Wii- or Super-Monkey-Ball- varieties. But our lovely new course also has a great walking trail that loops through and around it, making a very nice three mile walk. I'd heard many people talk about what a great walk it is, and have wanted to go tour it for a long time, but never had gotten around to it.

Never, that is, until yesterday after church!

We got home, had a quick lunch, loaded up the puppy and headed for the trail. I also packed the camera, just in case the opportunity arose for a few good shots of Cindy and her dog.

By the mid-point of the trail, I was so glad I'd brought the camera! I didn't take many pics of Abigail, but the scenery was spectacular! The sky was mostly overcast, with occasional bright clearings. When I saw the sparkling on the water, I snapped a shot, full of hope that I could capture even a fraction of the scene. I was actually surprised when I got home and saw that it looked this good!

Shortly after that one, it seemed like everywhere I looked there was another picture just begging to be shot!

The Tacoma-Narrows Bridge

Sweet, Juicy, Delicious Blackberries

Several Shots of the Chambers Bay Golf Course

It was such a great walk! As long as the weather holds, I think this may be a new regular after church activity!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kaylee's Scavenger Hunt Pictures

Well Chris (aka Anonymous) finally convinced his camera to give up the goods, so I am now proud to present Kaylee's group's scavenger hunt pictures!

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ellysa's Sophomore School Daze

Ellysa has almost completed her first whole month into the school year. She is amazing to me. Here is an example of a typical day in her life.

4:30- wake up
4:45- shower
6:15- dropped off at school
2:20- start swim practice
4:30- picked up from school, go home, do homework until 10:00ish
5:30- back to the pool, swim meet until 9:00.

Her fun comes on the weekends... Friday nights she enjoys playing in Pep Band and attends and cheers for her school's football team. Then all she does is sleep, text her friends, eat some more and sleep to prepare for the next week.

She is such a great student and daughter, I am very proud of her efforts and determination. Way to go Ellysa!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birthday Brownies, Scavenger Hunt and a Heart Attack!

Welcome to This Week in Pictures!

The girls returned from their epic trip to Forks to find that the boyz had thoroughly cleaned the house, and I had a flank steak all marinated and ready to throw on the grill! I also made a special batch of Birthday Brownies for Kaylee, complete with twelve non-tricky candles!

She blew them all out in one breath (ahh, youth!)

Also while Andy, Tyler and I were enjoying our Boys Weekend In, Tyler and I put together the new Super Teeter-Totter that Cindy had ordered from Costco. And let me tell you, this is DEFINITELY a SUPER Teeter-Totter!! Andy and Tyler spent most of the weekend playing on it, and when Kaylee got home, she definitely got her fair share of Totter Time in too!

On Wednesday, there was another cool youth activity at church. Ellysa had a flute sectional that night, so only Andy and Kaylee went and took part in a photo-scavenger hunt!

One of the things they had to do was make a human pyramid... Andy did a good job supporting the rest of his team, as you can see!

Another thing they had to do, apparently, was to run all crazy-like through a grocery store in a piggyback formation. And maybe shake hands with a cashier. Or something.

While still at the store, they were challenged to help someone out with their groceries.

While helping, Andy just may have found a girlfriend!

Kaylee's group did lots of neat things too, and they have pictures to prove it. But the pictures are trapped on an antique camera that wouldn't talk to the laptop that was set up to display everyone's exploits... And the camera's owner (commenter Chris, aka Anonymous) hasn't liberated the pics yet... Ahem.... Otherwise they would totally be here too!

Wednesday night's moon was really gorgeous, so Kaylee grabbed the camera and snapped this very impressive picture:

Thursday, while Kaylee was at soccer practice, her new classmates in the Young Women's program at church snuck into her room and gave her a "Heart Attack!"

It has been quite a week! We're still getting used to the schedule of seminary, school, swim team, soccer practice, work, work, work, youth activities, work, and when we get really lucky, some family down-time...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Corporate Suck-up Like No Other

My sister Susan has inspired this one, by telling of her recent experiences with her local Red Lobster restaurant.

Personally, I haven't eaten there in a long time. Like without exaggeration, it's easily been over five years... I read Susan's story, entertained by the inconsistency of the big-box dining experience.. And then at the end, she posted the picture you see above, the Red Lobster Logo.

Seeing that logo brought back a memory so ridiculous it made me chuckle to myself. Why would a cartoony lobster have that impact on me? Read on, dear reader. Read on.

I mentioned a while back that I spent the bulk of the '90s working for AEI Music Network, programming music for businesses. One of our larger customers was Darden Restaurants, primarily known for their Red Lobster and Olive Garden brands. At the time, there were over 1000 Red Lobster locations alone, and Olive Gardens were popping up all over the country. Definitely an important customer to our company. I personally didn't handle music for either brand, which was a relief because somewhere in the mid-'90s they left us for a competitor. Pretty sure they headed over to Muzak...

In the cutthroat world of business music in the 1990s, Muzak was always trying to steal away AEI's biggest customers with promises of more personalized attention, better service, and in the case of Red Lobster, a special speaker system that would "turn their entire dining room into one big speaker". Well, the guy who was in charge of "visual merchandising" at the Lobster was a sucker for that line, so he packed up their business and headed off into the abyss.

I don't remember the EXACT timeline, but I think less than a year went by before the rumours started popping up that they were less than thrilled with their new business partner, and that we had a chance to snag them back. Time went on, and the rumours were confirmed as fact. Our equipment department went crazy setting up demos of all the different speaker setups we could offer, we put together countless music demos aimed at making every song, Red Lobster's target customer's favorite song.

Finally, the day of "The Big Meeting" came. The entire company was aware that up in the conference room, our sales team and company executive officers were waging the Battle for the Lobster, and we weren't planning on coming out empty handed. There was a combined feeling of desperation and confidence that seemed somewhat surreal. And when the doors were shut and the meeting began, the marketing department unveiled their top-secret weapon.

Various helper-monkeys from the marketing team went department to department through both of our buildings, handing out special T-Shirts. Everyone was REQUIRED to put their shirts on, and keep them on until all Red Lobster people had left the building, and were on their plane back to Florida. These T-Shirts were going to be the final, guaranteed WIN for the deal.

These T-Shirts were the single largest, most pathetic corporate suck-up I've ever witnessed in my life.

They were white. The front had the very familiar, and at the time, very stylish AEI logo printed on it. But this was a special AEI logo. It had a cartoony, red, lobster perched atop the letters. That, I have to admit, actually looked pretty good, even clever.

But they also printed the back of the shirt.

The back of the shirt was the full Red Lobster logo you see at the top of the page, along with big, bold letters saying "WE WANT YOU BACK!"

We had a good 300+ people at our headquarters, and when the meeting was adjourned, the doors opened up, and every one of them - under penalty of "disciplinary action" - was wearing this T-Shirt, shamelessly begging for the chance to provide safe adult-contemporary music to these very high-maintenance restaurants.

I have no idea if the deal was already done in the meeting, or if the shirts actually had anything to do with it, but we did get them back. And like most things that you have to try that hard to win back, it was really annoying. They felt so empowered by our epic brown nosing, that they felt THEY owned US from that point on. Installing the new custom sound systems cost us a fortune, and they were perpetually displeased with the music being played. Not because there was an actual problem, but because we had established ourselves as their serving wench, existing only to please them.

Their return did impact me personally too. By the late '90s, I was doing less music programming, and more specialty programming. This included things like overhead messages, music and messaging that plays when people are on hold with their phone systems, etc. For the Darden Restaurants group, I wound up doing their music and messaging on hold. To keep their "important" customers from being bored while waiting to talk to a live person, they put together a formula for their on-hold music. 30 seconds of music from a current Red Lobster program, followed by 30 seconds of music from Olive Garden, 30 seconds from Bahama Breeze, and then over again. Interspersed was the token "Your call is very important to us" along with various "we are so great!" messages. The total loop had to be 20 minutes or so, and I really hope nobody ever stayed on hold through the entire thing. Worst of all, each month all three restaurants got new music, so naturally their on hold loop had to be updated. On my list of "Things I produced at AEI that I am still proud of to this day" the Darden music on hold loop doesn't even place. It was a total vanity project, that they were getting for free because they were self-established as our most important customer. There are many things on that list, but I'd forgotten all about this one until my dear sister used that logo yesterday. Thanks, Sue!!

If anybody's still reading, thanks... And know this: All of the shenanigans listed above are true. As bad as it sounds, they pale in comparison to the self-important nit-picking of the large retail clients, specifically the Limited Group (Limited, Limited Too, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch and more) and the number one pain-in-the-butt company for the entire 9.5 years I worked at AEI, The Gap group, particularly, Old Navy. Even today, when I hear a song playing in Old Navy, I know how much effort, and how many revisions it took to get approval for it to be played there. And I shudder... And life as a boring I.T. guy seems a little better.

Oh yeah, one more thing... I kept my shirt, and LOVED to wear it any time I went to Red Lobster to eat. It finally hit the end of its lifespan a few years ago, which is maybe why I never eat at Red Lobster anymore - I just don't know what I would wear!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaylee!!

September 15, 1996.

Kaylee is Born!

Weighing Seven Pounds, Fifteen Ounces, and 19 Inches Long, she was born in just 3 1/2 hours!

Now, of course, she's a lady who would NEVER reveal her weight...

Happy Birthday Kaylee! Congratulations on growing into a beautiful young woman with amazing abilities. We know that you will conquer anything in life that you decide to take on!

Love You!!

-Mommy 'n' Mikey

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stick a Fork in me, I'm done!

We are back from our fun filled weekend in Forks. The Twilight books have brought in a steady stream of tourists and most of the town's people are being really great sports about it.

The Mayor proclaimed Sept. 13th Stephenie Meyer day and celebrated "Bella's" birthday with a party in the park. They had hokey vampire music playing, birthday cake, endless photo ops and of course, plenty of vendors there to sell their Twilight inspired goods. Bella's truck was there (with a new paint job - red??) Chief Swan and Edward's Volvo.... umm, where's Edward?

The local restaurants have updated their menus to represent Bella, Edward and Jacob. We enjoyed the "Bella Burger" from Sully's burger stand, where even the employees have gotten into the spirit of fangs.

The tour of the town and Forks High School was great! The actual students took the day to give tours of their school and did a car wash to raise money. They decorated various classes from the book to show where Bella and Edward would have sat, eaten and of course what the combo was for their shared locker. Edward's jacket smelled heavenly!

After shopping for dinner at the Forks Outfitters, we all headed down to LaPush and took in a Quileute Indian "wolf dance" followeb by a bonfire down at the beach. It was really cool - literally, we froze! We ate Indian Fry bread with fresh huckleberry jam, drew in the sand and even said hi to the real Jacob (the kid the character was inspired by).

All in all it was a great weekend and from what I understand the town will be celebrating for years to come!