There's a birthday party in my computer

From the editor

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BRAD SPENCER

Here we all are gathered in the motherboard of my Dell Dimension 2400. The Shift key brought candles, cake, and ice cream. Cursor brought balloons, streamers, and party hats. Space Bar is spiking the punch bowl, while Backspace and Delete argue semantics. Escape sits in the corner like the castoff he is. Sing it to me Keyboard and try to stay in sync with the Monitor.

It's my birthday. I'm 5 years old. And the only way I want to celebrate is for all of us to join together and rap out snippets of some of the columns we've managed to produce in the last five years. Please, no gifts, unless the system crashes.

If I recall, we started out lamenting on outlandish salaries in professional baseball. File, you and Find, pull us up that column. Copy and Paste, do yo thang.

"Major League Baseball's club owners, blame them for the demise of professional baseball. Blame them for the skyrocketing salaries. Blame them for soiling America's pastime with greedy, overpaid, egomaniacs."

Ah, we were young and brash, not to mention fond of the word "Blame." Our diatribe worked, for Paul Konerko's annual salary has only jumped $10 million in the last five years. Here's to making progress!

The Fenwick girls' basketball program grounded us locally. The team won a State title in our first year, then in '03 finished runner-up. Contacting March 12, 2003? Come in March 12, 2003.

"Calm, cool, and collected the Friars tore through the quarterfinals and the semifinals of the Class AA State tournament, confidence emanating everywhere from head coach Dave Power's slick alligator shoes to [Nicole] Rivera's black headband. 'FEAR THE FRIARS' read a poster in the upper deck of Illinois State University's Redbird Arena. They were certainly feared, all the way up to the final seconds of overtime."

It's a shame the program has gone downhill ever since. That's sarcasm for you folks that don't realize Fenwick is currently ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 10 in the nation.

Let's scan forward, bypassing those self-serving columns about grandma, mom, dad, and Seabiscuit. Let's toggle past those columns that may have tugged at people's hearts: Kevin Bolin, Bob Grayson, Evan Hilton, Patrick McCarthy, Chris Pisani ? or those that may have tickled our USB port: Sports aptitude tests to sports related horoscopes?#34;
" SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) ?#34; Comfort will find you easily. It will be soft. It will be safe. It will be custom made. It will have a beverage holder in the armrest. It will vibrate, warm, and massage instantly. It will recline. It will let you stay attached to it for hours, days, weeks. Do not stray far from the comfort, for blood circulation will be minimal. Posterior numbness factors in at some point."

I haven't been the official scribe of all the columns in the last five years. My mind's been overtaken by God, a goat, a martian, and the devil's advocate?#34;"Three reasons to be worried the end of time is nearing: Shrinking frogs in Hawaii, jumbo squid in California, and the Bulls above .500."

We've brought you the unedited transcripts of the House Government Reform Committee's congressional hearing on steroid use in Major League Baseball?#34;"Sammy Sosa (Baltimore Orioles): My name is Sammy Sosa. I am clean. I am leaving early. In a limo. Not a big town car. Thank you. (Sosa kisses his fingers and pats his chest.)" And boy, did their lawyers fight us on that one.

So, the birthday party is getting a little wild?#34;Caps Lock is beating Tab with F12, not to mention the Save key is beckoning. Happy 5th to us.

Wait, what's this? Am I sure I want to delete this document?

Contact: bspencer@wjinc.com

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