Best Birthday Ever!

I’ve always loved birthdays.  My siblings and I were lucky to grow up with a Mom who without exception tried to make them really special for us.  Even though money was tight, she would make a cardboard crown, often adorned with a poem she had written for the birthday boy (or girl, sorry Megan!) and of course our favourite birthday cake with candles.

As a result, I have a number of great birthday memories over the years, but the best birthday ever was my fifth.  I didn’t realize it then, but that cherished day would greatly inform my life.

There was a little party with some of my Kindergarten classmates, a plastic baseball bat, glove and ball, and an Expos hat that I still treasure to this day.  Those gifts set me on a lifelong path of following professional sports; I believe the only member of my immediate family to do so.
I would listen to the Expos games on a little radio in my bedroom, often staying up into the wee hours of the morning when they were playing on the west coast, and being wiped out for school the next day.  I’ve been a night owl ever since.  If you’re a Radique colleague or customer and you’ve received an email from me at 3 or 4 AM, you can probably credit my fifth birthday for that.

I was crushed when the Expos left Montreal (and Canada) back in 2004.  Very sad day for me and hundreds of thousands of other fans of “Nos Amours”.

Fortunately my other favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens, are still very much in business.  While the Habs are on the sidelines for the playoffs this year, they have a really impressive crop of prospects moving up the organization’s ranks, and a shot at a generational player in the upcoming draft.  I’m looking at you,  Connor Bedard!

But I was talking about birthdays – this is my first “Ramblings” blog post, so please bear with me. 🙂

Remember the little radio I mentioned listening to at all hours of the night?  That small bright blue radio was another gift for my fifth birthday.  Not only did it connect me to my favourite sports teams, it also provided my first agency when it came to music.  Not exactly high fidelity, but flicking back and forth between radio stations and listening to Abba’s “Waterloo” or Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”, brought a special joy that decades later led directly to Radique.

In fact in 2011 when La-Donna and I were brainstorming names for our nascent stereo business, it was that little blue radio that inspired the “Rad” portion of Radique’s name.  (LD’s nickname “Shanique” provided the “ique” portion); and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today was Radique’s Monthly team meeting and we had a chance to celebrate a couple of birthdays, for Rosemary (just past) and Sarah (almost here).  We enjoyed some BBQ ribs and trimmings from “Big Bone” (yummy) and ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. (Pictured)
We chatted about the latest Radique news, in particular I was quite excited that our (still very new) www.Radique.com website had over 500 unique visitors yesterday.  Yes, a humble number in web terms, but still a nice milestone for us, and hopefully a sign of good things to come.

But bringing this back to birthdays, they are something we all share, and like music, something that can bring us together in celebration.  So raise a glass of your favourite beverage, turn up the volume on your stereo and don’t be afraid to sing out loud.

Enjoy the Music 🙂 and Happy Birthday Everyone!

Mark Habinski

2 thoughts on “Best Birthday Ever!

  1. Salim A says:

    Looks good.

  2. Rosemary Vaughan says:

    Great post Mark!

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