Life Day 24216: Wake Up, Check. Write This Blog, Check.

October 30, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Author’s Note: Before I begin, I would like to request some feedback on the new format of this Blog. Is it easier to read? Does it “flow” better? Does it have more “eye appeal”? Let me know your thoughts please; good or bad. Now to begin.

Good morning checklist users. Today is Wednesday, October 30, 2013. The holidays today are as follows:

Checklist Day.

Checklists are a great way to remind you to pack what you need for a trip or as a reminder of the sequence of steps you need for a highly detailed activity. But, just how important are they?  Well, variations of the familiar checklist have probably been used for centuries, but the first recorded widespread use of a checklist came about due to a tragic aviation mishap. On October 30, 1935, a prototype for the familiar Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed during takeoff. The crew had forgotten to disengage a gust lock. As a result, a group of pilots instituted a series of checklists for takeoff, flight and landing that helped to prevent future accidents and they were able to deliver their next batch of 12 B-17’s without a mishap. In commemoration of the accident that led to a more widespread use of checklists, October 30th of every year is Checklist Day.

If you spent any time in the military, you know that the military is notorious for using checklists. They have checklists for everything from maintaining and operating the most sophisticated military hardware and equipment to making their beds in the morning. Other notable users of checklists are law enforcement, fire departments, medical facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Even auto mechanics use some kind of a checklist when they change the oil in your car.

But, are checklists important to me? I don’t have a critical job. Or, I’m retired, why do I need a checklist? Well, the answers to those questions is that we all use forms of checklists everyday without even thinking about it. If you use a recipe to cook a new dish for dinner, you used a form of a checklist. If you made a shopping list to make sure you had all of the ingredients on hand to make that new dish, you used a form of a checklist. If you are one of those people who use a “day planner” you are making and using a form of checklist. If you travel, chances are you use a checklist, either mental or written, to make sure that you pack everything you need for your trip, stop the newspaper and mail delivery, and make sure that all electric and gas appliances are turned off, etc, etc.

So, as you can see, checklists are important, and play a part in everyone’s daily lives, whether or not we are aware of it. So, begin today, and every other day from now on, by making a checklist of the tasks you want to accomplish. And, in my humble opinion, somewhere near the top of your daily checklist should be “read Ernie’s Blog”.

Create a Great Funeral Day.

Planning ahead is always a good thing. Even something as morbid and distasteful as a funeral should be thought out in advance. I don’t mean to disparage a profession, but most funeral homes make their living by preying on families who are grieving over the loss of a loved one, and didn’t have a plan for a funeral in advance. You should discuss with your loved ones what their wishes are when they are gone. Do they want a big elaborate funeral, a small quiet ceremony with just family and a few close friends? (Do you have the money to comply with their wishes)?  Or perhaps, like me, they don’t want a funeral at all and want to be cremated; have a “toast me and toss me” ceremony among family and friends where they toss my ashes somewhere, plant a tree in my honor, and then drink a toast to celebrate my life, not mourn my passing.

There’s still a lot of resistance to the whole notion of planning ahead. Funeral homes look upon it as a form of competition. If you are prepared, the “guilt trips” and other despicable means they use to profit from your grief probably won’t work. Plus, no one really wants to accept their own mortality so it is difficult to get them do discuss such matters. But, fate is a fickle mistress. Anyone can go at any time, so having a plan only makes sense; if for no other reason than to alleviate the stress on the loved ones you leave behind. Create a Great Funeral Day urges us to be mindful and self-aware, to plan reflectively in advance, rather than in reaction after losing someone dear.

This holiday was created in 1999 by Stephanie West Allen, who wrote the book “Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook” after watching her husband struggle to pull together a meaningful funeral for his mother, who had left no directions. Observing his grief, Allen felt that knowing what her mother-in-law might have wanted would have made holding a funeral so much easier. It is unclear why she chose October 30th as the date for this holiday.

Devil’s Night or Mischief Night.

In the 1950’s when I was misspending my youth we called it “Gate Night”, but whether you call it Devil’s Night, Mischief Night, Gate Night, or something else entirely different, this holiday is an evening when young people traditionally participate in harmless mischief. Keep it harmless please. There is a thin line between harmless mischief and vandalism. You should also be aware that law enforcement takes a dim view of this holiday, and will be out in force.

Mischief Night, or whatever else you want to call it, appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century. Some documentation and readings has it occurring on Halloween night. Other, references, have is on the night before.

Haunted Refrigerator Night.

“Who knows what evil lurketh in the nether regions of your refrigerator”.  If you dare, venture in the very depths of the back of your refrigerator, find that plastic container that had been long forgotten and slowly, slowly open it and prepare yourself for a sight more frightening than any “haunted house”. Beware, the toxic aroma trapped inside that container may well render you unconscious.

Use Haunted Refrigerator Night to exorcise from your refrigerator any bits of  decaying animal flesh, rotting vegetable matter, or curdling dairy products you find hiding in its bowels; before the take on a life of their own. Although you probably won’t require the services of a priest, it is probably a good idea to have a stalwart friend or family member on hand to assist you in the undertaking of this endeavor; just in case.

National Candy Corn Day.

Candy corn is a popular confection long enjoyed in North America that is enjoyed any time of year, but especially around Halloween. This famous candy is said to have been invented in the United States by George Renninger in the 1880’s, and it was originally made by hand. Nowadays, it’s mass produced by Jelly Belly® using a recipe unchanged since about 1900.

So, enjoy a handful of this sweet treat today. Candy corn consists primarily of corn syrup, honey, and sugar, so it’s loaded with carbs, but on the plus side, there is little fat.

Buy a Doughnut Day.

I have covered a number of different doughnut-related holidays so far this year, but to my knowledge, none that specifically request that you to purchase a doughnut. Buy a Doughnut Day doesn’t specify any particular type, style, or flavor of doughnut, just as long as you purchase one.

To review, a doughnut is a small, fried ring of sweet, leavened dough. Doughnuts leavened with baking powder are more dense than the fluffier, yeast-leavened doughnuts. Originally a Dutch recipe without a hole, the dough is dropped into hot oil, and was originally called an olykoek, or oily cake. The first written reference to “doughnut” is in Washington Irving’s 1809 in History of New York, where he writes of “balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.” It is said that in 1847, 16-year-old Hanson Gregory created the hole in the center of the doughnut by using the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes, so the dough would cook evenly. There are many types of doughnuts. Just a few include Bismarks or jelly doughnuts, raised doughnuts leavened with yeast, squares and twists, crullers made from twisted cake-doughnut dough and French doughnuts made with cream-puff pastry dough. They can be filled or unfilled, plain, glazed or iced.

So buy a doughnut today. Although they aren’t the healthiest snack choice, one doughnut, occasionally, won’t kill you too much. Besides, this holiday specifies only that you buy a doughnut, not that you eat it. If you are really concerned that eating a doughnut will adversely effect your health, you can buy a doughnut and give it to someone you dislike.  You can also take comfort in knowing that, should the need arise, there is a strong possibility that a policeman will be nearby.

Historical Events.

On this date in:

1817 – The independent government of Venezuela was established by Simon Bolivar.

1831 – Escaped slave Nat Turner was apprehended in Southampton County, VA, several weeks after leading the bloodiest slave uprising in American history.

1875 – The constitution of Missouri was ratified by popular vote.

1893 – The U.S. Senate gave final approval to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.

1894 – The time clock was patented by Daniel M. Cooper of Rochester, NY.

1938 – Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” aired on CBS radio. The belief that the realistic radio dramatization was a live news event about a Martian invasion caused panic among listeners.

1943 – In Moscow, a declaration was signed by the Governments of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and China called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security. The goal was supported on December 1, 1943, at a meeting in Teheran.

1945 – The U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing.

1953 – General George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1961 – The Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb with a force of approximately 58 megatons.

1961 – The Soviet Party Congress unanimously approved an order to remove Joseph Stalin’s body from Lenin’s tomb.

1972 – U.S. President Richard Nixon approved legislation to increase Social Security spending by $5.3 billion.

1972 – In Illinois, 45 people were killed when two trains collided on Chicago’s south side.

1975 – The New York Daily News ran the headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” The headline came a day after U.S. President Gerald R. Ford said he would veto any proposed federal bailout of New York City.

1993 – Martin Fettman, America’s first veterinarian in space, performed the world’s first animal dissections in space, while aboard the space shuttle Columbia.

1993 – The United Nations deadline concerning ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide passed with country’s military still in control.

1995 – Federalists prevailed over separatists in Quebec in a referendum concerning secession from the federation of Canada.

1998 – The terrorist who hijacked a Turkish Airlines plane and the 39 people on board was killed when anti-terrorist squads raided the plane.

2001 – In New York City, U.S. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

2001 – Michael Jordan returned to the NBA with the Washington Wizards after a 3 1/2 year retirement. The Wizards lost 93-91 to the New York Knicks.

Birthdays.

John Adams (U.S.) 1735 – 2nd POTUS. Father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th POTUS.

Alfred Sisley 1839 – Impressionist painter.

Ezra Pound 1885 – Poet.

Charles Atlas 1893 – Renowned bodybuilder.

Ruth Gordon 1896 – Actress.

Sue Carol 1907 – Actress.

Gordon Parks 1912 – Photographer, writer, director.

Joe Adcock 1927 – Baseball first baseman.

Hamilton Camp 1934 – Actor, singer, songwriter.

Dick Vermeil 1936 – Football head coach (Philadelphia Eagles)

Dick Gautier 1937 – Actor, comedian.

Eddie Holland 1939 – Singer, record producer.

Grace Slick 1939 – Singer (Jefferson Airplane/Starship).

Ed Lauter 1940 – Actor.

Otis Williams 1941 – Singer (The Temptations).

Henry Winkler 1945 – Actor, director, producer.

Timothy B. Schmidt 1947 – Musician (Poco, The Eagles).

Harry Hamlin 1951- Actor.

Charles Martin Smith 1953 – Actor.

T. Graham Brown 1954 – Country musician.

Shanna Reed 1955 – Actress, dancer.

Kevin Pollak 1958 – Actor, comedian.

Diego Armando Maradona 1960 –  Renowned Argentinean soccer player, coach.

Ty Detmer 1967 – Football quarterback.

Nia Long 1970 – Actress.

Christopher Backus 1981 – Actor.

 

 

 

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