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I love you all so very, very much

Dear Reader,

“…so I pinged Naramore…”

That’s my favorite line from my birthday party last night thrown for me by the Lovely and Talented Kathy, and attended by a few close friends. It was a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship.

A couple of highlights of the evening:

  • Jacques Woodcock and Paul Jones both bought me bottles of Ron Zacapa 23yr old rum. I now hate you both. I had been happily drinking their regular rum. Now that I’ve tested the 23yr old, I can never EVER drink the other stuff again. It is THAT good. Thank goodness I have 2 bottles…and 2 awesome friends.
  • The lovely and talented Kathy gave me an iPod. It’s not the gift that is remarkable – although I do love it – it’s that after 30 years, she still listens when I say things.
  • My son – whom for most of his life I’ve loving referred to as “the boy” – bought me the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu on vinyl! This more than makes up for the fact that on the tumblr page his comment started with “…some would say that you’ve been like a father to me over the past years, but I think of you more as an ATM that has been taught to love”.
  • Ben Ramsey telling the tale of how my foot got sliced open at PHP Appalachia ’08.

There were so many other great memories of the night, I want to thank all of you who attended for helping make my Birthday special.

The party however was just the beginning. Many of you know now, what I was going to find out. The PHP community got together and helped celebrate my birthday in ways that sincerely humbled me to my core.

First, a tumbler page – “Happy Birthday Cal Evans” – was setup so that friends could wish me a happy birthday. I pride myself in knowing what is going on in the PHP community and I didn’t hear a peep about this till Kathy brought it up on her ipad at the party to show me. I was floored. The outpouring of love, the well wishes, the stories, the videos, and Michelle’s happy birthday song, were almost more than I could take. It took me a long time to read all of them, watch the videos, and listen to the song. I had to keep stopping and cleaning my glasses, damn things kept getting wet and had to be dried off.

Second, many of my friends, more than I knew I had, all chipped in to buy me a present. Together, they raised enough to buy me a Bitcoin! (1.35 to be exact) Honestly, I was speechless. They presented me with a paper at the party telling me what had been done and it was all just so overwhelming. It really wasn’t until this morning, after the fun and fellowship of the party, after the afterglow with my wife and son, and after the rum wore off, that I began to understand just what all of you had done for me.

Third, this morning I woke to be greeted with another tribute from another good friend I’ve never met, Khayrattee (7php) Wasseem had posted a page of birthday wishes from friends. Again, it took me way longer than normal to read through them.

I say with all sincerity that I am not worthy of the love that has been shown to me this weekend. I am amazed, I am happy, but most of all I am humbled.

I have said it before and I will repeat it here. The community is the greatest asset that PHP has. Not me, all of us together. There are so many giants in the community and I am just honored to be a small part of it.

Thank you to each and every one of you who had a hand in the party, the gift, the tumbler page, or 7PHP’s page. Thank you to each of you who tweeted happy Birthday to me, sent me birthday wishes by Facebook, or dropped me an email. I can’t fully express to you how much I love you and appreciate what you’ve done for me.

One day I hope to grow into the man you all see me as; until then, I’ll just have to keep trying.

Until next time,
I <3 all of you! =C= p.s. Thank you to the following people for participating in the Tumbler page, the 7PHP article, the awesome gift, and my birthday party. I love you all so very much.

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