… of the day I came squawling into this world (and haven’t stop complaining since).

To all who’ve sent birthday greetings: Thanks a bunch. To all who’ve failed to send me the riches and fame I so justly deserve: what are you waiting for? I’m not getting any younger.

Ten years ago, in the autumn of 1996 — back in that halcyon era before Bill stained Monica’s dress — I posted my first Web page. Since then I can’t imagine how many pages, how many paragraphs, how many words, how many links I’ve posted. Most of the stuff on my first page is out of date, The cats have passed on; we’ve moved 2,000 miles to California. I’m still newspapering, and my siblings are married to the same people, that much is still true.

Back in the day I posted a page called “Toxic Emissions” in which I stated things I considered inerrant. An example:

Tom On Politics: It’s the natural state of
existence for a Republican to be an enemy of the common people and a
Democrat to be an enemy of common sense. (12,327 Brownie points to
the person who tells me the wit who said this first. It sounds so
familiar I could not have invented it on my own.)

Criminal Element Corollary: A man who will not steal you
blind and swear it is for your own good has no right to call himself
a politician.

I stand by these remarks.

My accomplishments of these past 45 years have not been remarkable, but these pages of mine have given me one thing which belongs to nobody else: The first “Tom Mangan” listing in Google. Every other personage on this planet who shares my name is in line behind me. An obscure honor, for sure, but still nice to have. If only one of those other Tom Mangans would get busy so I could enjoy the pleasure of being mistaken for somebody who is rich and famous.