The John Shinnick Web Site (Prior)

John Shinnick 3.0: It's All About Me

71 – Big Deal


First, a follow-up. I did NOT get selected for jury duty.


I suppose I had my chance to do great things on my birthday, March 3. But I did nothing. I make it a point to do something of consequence on my birthday. But I allow myself a week on either side so I can pick up certain events that are really cool. This year, for the first time ever, I went to the Fillmore auditorium a week earlier (see Shinn the Musician) but on March 3 I did nothing but turn 71 years old. 


Actually, I joined the ranks of many notable 71-year-old people. These people include Ivana Trump, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Stevie Wonder, Bill Murray, Richard Branson, Steve Wozniak, Chuck Schumer, Dr. Phil, Phil Collins, Bernie Taupin, Jay Leno, Robbie Coltrane, Martin Short, Peter Frampton, Huey Lewis, Arianna Huffington, Christine Lahti, Gary Larson, Bobby McFerrin, and Ken Griffey Sr. Some will turn 72 really soon, like Christine Lahti who will turn 72 on April 4. I take note of this noted actress/director because I went to junior high school and high school with her. We never met, she was a year ahead of me.


I share a March 3 as a birthday with several notables, Alexander Graham Bell, James Doohan, Charles Ponzi, Tone-Loc, Jean Harlow, Doc Watson, and Willie Chambers of the Chambers Brothers. Even before I found out that we shared a birthday, I was a fan of Alexander Graham Bell, because we also shared our middle name. Charles Ponzi? Yeah, that Ponzi!


Events of March 3? In 1923, the first “Time Magazine” was published. In 1931 (14 years after it was played at a World Series game) the Star-Spangled Banner officially becomes National Anthem. And in 1991, the Rodney King Beating took place.


What does this all mean? Not much. It’s trivial. Pic any age or birthday, stuff happened. I could pick any birthday and come up with similar lists. When you get right down to it, turning 71 on March 3 was a non-event, and I treated it as such. I didn’t even go out for dinner. Instead, I got some cooked turkey (dark meat) from Safeway and a piece of carrot cake. It was good (poultry is an exception to my generally pescatarian diet) but hardly worthy of a birthday dinner.


I’d hoped to go to Maui this year, and but for the blasted Omicron Variant, likely would have. I was there three years ago and caught a cold with an ear infection which pretty much ruined it. Snorkeling is my favorite activity there, and I couldn’t do it. I’d gotten in the habit of going every other year, and two years ago was an off year. I spent the weekend before my birthday with my brother and sister-in-law in Monterrey, and the weekend after at the beautiful Benbow Inn just before the lock-down started. I’m overdue. Next year. And I just saw on their website that the Benbow is open full-service again. It doesn’t have to be my birthday for a getaway!


So I’m settling into 71. Not anything notable, about as nothing of a year as I can imagine. I have no plans for it. Maybe head back to Michigan for a bit. Maybe hit Canada or even visit Ecuador when my friends are there. Maui either at the very end of it or at the beginning of 72 (which is half a gross.) But no commitments just yet. 

I guess COVID-19 is close to being in the rear-view mirror, and my options are growing. Heck, even my church in Oakland is


Last Update: March 7, 2022

71? Why even have it? But I guess if I'm gonna get to 72... 

opening up on the 6th. At that point I’ll be about two reopening restaurants away from reaching normalcy. I used to eat breakfast out nearly every day, but I don’t know of what I would consider a good breakfast place. The place I used to go to is still take-out only. Not the same. And though there are some dinner places open, my favorite, Inn Kensington is currently lunch only.


I was invited back to Colorado for another band reunion, but I really didn’t want to go. Last year I was so in need of a road trip that when the opportunity arose, I jumped. The weather was way too hot, and while the music was fun, setting up and breaking down was too much for me at age 70. I don’t think 71 would get any better. Somehow, I’m just not missing being in a band anyway. Subbing as a bass player for Void is really all I seem to want, and even that I can take or leave.


As for travel, for obvious reasons, Europe is probably off the table. If the price of gas doesn’t ease up, road trips may not happen either. Ecuador begins to look better as my big trip, but I may just stick close to home. Just like my birthday.


First order of business is to get my taxes done.