it is a good thing that yeen teck, being the most junior new member of the consulate, has, in his words, hit the ground running, and far from a life in peeled grapes and dancing slave girls, he is attending meetings past midnight and writing incisive and cynical reports. nothing of the copious downing of nectar-and-ambrosia, or lounging in his well-appointed new home with butlers of jeevesian mold. in fact he is so busy that he has had no time to chide me (as in previous years) for not being prompt with his birthday greetings. (though it is still the 29th in the US, she claims hastily.)

so stay alive, old man. we're 14 years and counting now. longevity hasn't got much going for it, were it not for friendships and long drives. happy birthday!