"Fifty is the new forty" is my new mantra. Yes, today is the big 5-0. Aloha! Although technically I'm just another day older than I was yesterday, turning fifty is a major milestone. When you turn fifty, you can no longer kid yourself about still being somewhat young. You can't even really say that you're middle-aged, unless you really think you're going to live to be 100. That's not impossible, but it's actuarially unlikely. Nope, fifty is the beginning of the long slide into geezerdom.

All is not entropy and decrepitude, however. Yesterday afternoon, I was hanging out with my Dad and my younger brother, Kurt, who flew in from Kansas City yesterday specifically to help me celebrate my birthday. We were waiting for news from my other brother, Karl, in New York, who was at the hospital's maternity ward with his wife, awaiting the arrival of their first child. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, we got a call from Karl, letting us know that little Maya had arrived. An everyday miracle, of course, but a miracle nevertheless. We were all smiles at Dad's place.

Maya has an interesting heritage: Her mother, Monika, is a first-generation American who immigrated with her parents and sister from Poland after the Cold War ended. Our family has been in the U.S. going back to colonial times, with the most recent known immigrants being one set of maternal great-great-great-grandparents who came from England and Scotland respectively before the Civil War. Maya is the first member of our family to be born on the East Coast in at least two hundred years.

Karl sent us a text message with a baby picture around 6 p.m. Technology is a wonderful thing.