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    Earliest memory

    I have an old friend of mine who says he remembers being born. He describes it as a warm wonderful place, then squeezed through a small hole and slapped on his ass. Which if you think about it, is really hard to argue with. I just wonder if that's a memory or something he's in love with.

    Many of my early memories involve me getting in trouble.

    I remember:
    1. Leaving my tricycle out and being scared to bring it because of the huge storm clouds coming
    2. Creating my first game by drawing a bunch of circles and scares on a piece of wood, which I had been told not to draw on, and the neighbor kid winning on the first shot.
    3. Hitting my head with a shovel while shoveling snow.
    4. Crying because my sister got a bigger present than I did... still don't know WHY we got presents
    5. Sleeping in a hole I do in the sandbox... and my father spraying me with water trying to make it seem like rain.
    6. Wrapping the cone shaped jungle gym in sheets, my sisters idea, and turning that into a fort.
    7. Moving into the house of Sherborn and tripping on the basement stars and rolling down 3 or 4 steps.
    8. Told my first joke... age 4. When my sisters hamster died: "Why not give it to the cat, he's always been wantin it".
    9. My father eating the Corn Flakes, even after he poured orange juice on it instead of milk... still makes me grossed out,
    10. Eating a lot of peas because my father had dished them out
    11. Jumping over the bushes near the front door. I still can't figure out what was wrong with that.
    I remember a lot of different events from age four to six. At age six my parents divorced and all of the memories changed.  They changed from life lessons, to the kind of stories that make my friends say: "Really?, how strange".
    1. I was the only white kid in my class when we changed schools.  THey were a year behind my last school and I was bored.
    2. I was chased home from school most days.  One kid beating me up with my grandmother 0 feet away.  She told us me to stop screaming and play "more quietly".
    3. My big toe on my left foot was smashed, lots of blood and it's not the same size as the other one.
    4. The neighbor boy next door who had never roasted marshmallows.
    5. Moving
    I actually think that moving so much has really helped me place these memories.  I know exactly which house I was in when all of the above happened. Which, given the number of moves, helps me pinpoint exactly WHEN they happened.


    My name...

    What IS in a name... well... I think we know how the rest of that goes. But my name is not rose...

    My legal name is Robert and my legal middle name is McKee.  Robert is my fathers name as well. My sister believes that it was pure ego that made him want to name me with his name.  I'm not sure, I think there were several Roberts in the family tree so having one more wasn't unexpected.  My mother believes it was tied to him wanting a basketball player for a son, so he could hear people cheering for "Bob Senour" and dream it's for himself.

    I don't know and frankly I don't care about the reasons.  My name is my name, simple as that.  I certainly have had my fun with it and then I changed it...

    I was Bobby growing up.  My grand mother on my fathers side called me Rob from time to time. But most stuck to Bobby.  I started in a new school when I was in second grade and the teacher asked all the new kids to write their name on the blackboard in big letters. I wrote mine, Bobby, and turned to tell the teacher.  While my back was turned, the new girl next to me erased it. I called the teacher over to try to show her, but she didn't see my name so told me to write it really big.

    I thought I had gone nuts, so I wrote it again, the girl erased it a second time. this time when the teacher came over, and didn't see my name, she asked me if I knew how to write it.  I assured her I had written it... so I tried a third time. This time, I caught the new girl picking the eraser. I tried to stop her, but she was bigger and explained to me: "That's not your name". It me took until I was 21 to realize she was right.

    1982, I was about to finish my first video game for a big publisher and the box people came to me to ask what name did I want on the front.  I thought about it, and "Robert" seemed too formal, and at the time there were already two "Bob" game authors so I told them I'd think about it.  My mother reminded me that weekend that she and my sister had liked the name Mac, from my middle name, and that I hould use that.

    I went in the next day and forever changed my life by saying: "Use Mac on the box".

    I often joke that I changed it from Bob because with my frequent use of chat rooms, I was only one typo away from having "Boob" as my nick name.  That's not true, but its a good line.

    I was always told that I had an uncle "Mac" and that's how the idea that my name comes from the name "McKee" which is my fathers mothers maiden name.  I was told his first name was Francis, and no one would call a man that, so people called him Mac from his last name. I was also told that the reason for using my grand mothers maiden name was that she was the last of the "Mckees".

    None of that is true.

    My grand uncles name was George and there was a Francis but she was my grandmothers sister.  There were 5 in the McKee family including a brother who has disappeared.  He might have kids... I have no idea. But my grandmother was hardly the last of the family branch.

    I never really intended for people to start calling me Mac, but once they saw it on the box it started a trend.  When I changed jobs I put Mac on my resume so potential employers could call and ask for a reference for the right guy.  I found out the hard way that once people get a name in their head they tend to keep it there.

    The only problem I ever had was when my girlfriend answered my phone, and one of my long time friends asked for "Bob" and she said: "No one here by that name, learn how to dial a phone", and hung up.  I called him back and explained to my friend that she didn't know I had gone by Bob...

    Only once have I worked at business that another "Mac".  There were actually 3 of us.  After working there for a short time, there was a massive layoff, and the other two were laid off. I always call that "Seiko's Mac layoff".

    I love my name, I have grown into it and I can't ever see myself as "Bob".

    Where it all started

    I guess you could argue that it all started at conception, but lets not go down that road.  I prefer to think it started, my life that is, at Madison General Hospital in Madison Wisconsin. It's June 6th, 1961.

    I've done those "what was happening on the day of your birth" and I gotta tell you, the most exciting thing WAS my birth. Not that it was that exciting, but what was going on in the world was pretty boring. Kennedy was still in office and everything was right in the world.  The Cuban missile crisis was more than a year off...

    Let's take a look at the old place. As you might have guessed, this is not a current picture, or even taken when I was born.  I can't show you a current picture because they tore the hospital down.

    In a job interview once I blamed my many jobs on the fact that the hospital I was born in was replaced with a strip mall. I said simply: "This trend started early".

    When people hear I was born in Madison they, naturally, ask me what it was like growing up there... I have no idea.  I don't know if its true, but I have always answered that question with: "I dunno, I was only there 3 weeks".  When they ask why only 3 weeks... "I had a job, I had to move on".  I wish I knew if that was true.

    The other story I know about is apparently I was born during one of my father's debriefings to the military.  I was told, so who knows if its true, that his job was to teach Air Force sargents to fire missiles at incoming missiles to explode them before they hit us.  When I asked if these guys ever did it, my father would smirk and say: "No, by the time they got close to getting it, they would transfer out and we'd start all over with new people". Take THAT Russia.

    My father worked for SDC, System Development Corporation, a division of RAND, Research And No Development. Probably the most appropriately named companies in the world. Reminds me of a friend who worked for SOLFAN, Sick Of Looking For A Name.

    Apparently after showing how great this system worked, my father would give a debriefing to various top officials, I  guess he explained why they missed the incoming ICBMs.  But on the day of my birth some General stood up and announced that there would be no debriefing because Mr. Senour had just had a son.

    There are two big things to notice here... my FATHER had a son?  I think my mother had a bigger part in the actual birth and the second thing to notice, my father was not there at the event. This too is a reoccurring theme. To be fair, I highly doubt you can easily reschedule these debriefings and all that went before it. I'm sure it wasn't a lack of desire to be there, it was just the circumstances.  Plus I don't think having the fathers in the delivery room became popular until later in the decade.

    Winter vacation

    I took some time off from writing this blog because I needed to focus on the busy life that was swirling around me, and also I had no great desire to drive around the country, or the San Francisco bay area, in the rain.

    But the winter is slowing down, so I think its time to ramp up and get out there...


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