Life Day 25114: Beware The Ides of April?

April 15, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning everyone. I hope that you are not feeling “over-taxed”. Today is April 15th. The first holiday today is That Sucks Day. That Sucks Day is an umbrella-type holiday that incorporates a number of other different holidays or events, all of which occur (occurred) on April 15th, that can be deemed “to suck”. National That Sucks Day was created by Bruce Novotny, who noticed that April 15 has historically been a very unfortunate day. He includes the following “holidays” or events in his list to support his premise:

The first and foremost of these is Tax Day. Tax Day is the day when Income Taxes are due in America. Today is the deadline for Americans to file and pay their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, if they haven’t already done so. Every year since 1955, people have paid their taxes on April 15, except when this date falls on a weekend or holiday. (In that case, Tax Day is the following business day.) Federal income tax was first established by the Revenue Act of 1861. Its purpose was to fund the Civil War. Over the years there have been several Supreme Court cases that have challenged the constitutionality of income taxes, however, none were successful.
I don’t have a problem with paying taxes to provide basic services that benefit all. However, these days it seems that more and more of my tax dollars are being squandered by elected representatives who spend them on meaningless “pet projects”, or to pay back all of their “high-dollar” contributors who donated to their campaigns (through back-door legislation which benefits them), or to advance their own personal political agenda and increase their political power, or to benefit themselves financially, or to undermine the Constitution, or to strip away the rights and freedoms of those citizens who elected them, and/or to subvert the law so that it is easier for them to get their corrupt, self-serving, sorry a$$es reelected in the future. Any perceived benefit to the citizenry who elected them is purely coincidental. THAT SUCKS!

The next holiday that falls under this umbrella is Titanic Remembrance Day. Titanic Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1912 when the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, killing 1517 people. THAT SUCKED! (On a more positive note, more than 700 people did actually survive the ordeal).
The third event under the umbrella is the death of Abraham Lincoln. On this date in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died as a result of the bullet wound inflicted by assassin John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater the night before. THAT SUCKED!

The last event that Mr. Novotny used to illustrate “That Sucks Day”, is not a holiday, but certainly falls into the category of “That Sucks Day”. April 15th is the day that President Abraham Lincoln succumbed to the wounds which he suffered the previous evening at the Ford Theater in the assassination attempt by John Wilkes Booth. THAT REALLY SUCKED!

I included two more holidays which I consider to be a part of this holiday. These were not part of Bruce’s original list, but, in my opinion, should have been.

The first of these is Avoid the Post Office Day.  Although it is not as significant as those above, Avoid the Post Office Day is still valid. With millions of people rushing to meet the midnight deadline for mailing their tax returns, it is only logical that anyone with an IQ above room temperature would avoid using the Post Office today, unless you absolutely have to go there; for example, if you are among those procrastinators who put off doing your taxes until the last possible minute.
I dislike going to the Post Office in general. I celebrate Avoid the Post Office Day every day. I lump going to the Post Office, trips to the DMV, root canals, and encountering a rabid wolverine into the same category…Something to be avoided at all costs. Going to the Post Office today for routine business would also REALLY SUCK!

The other ‘holiday’ which I included under the “That Sucks Day” umbrella is McDonald’s Day. On this date in 1955, the first franchised McDonald’s™ restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. I have never liked McDonald’s™, but I may be in the minority on this issue. I find most of their menu items unpalatable. I can, in desperation, digest their Filet O’ Fish sandwich, their fries, and some of their breakfast items. Walter and Wolfie, by beloved fur-babies, who traveled with me when I was an over-the-road truck driver, enjoyed the “Happy Meals” they got on their birthday, and the occasional pancake they got from there; but then again, they also enjoyed licking their own butts and genitalia, so draw your own conclusions. In my opinion, McDonald’s™ SUCKS too.

Author’s Note: William Shakespeare famously wrote in his play Julius Caesar: “Beware the Ides of March”. Well, with all of the ominous things which have occurred on this date, I would update that quote to include: “Beware the Ides of April” also.

There are also some holidays today that do not fall under the “That Sucks Day” umbrella. The first of these is Take a Wild Guess Day. Take a Wild Guess Day is a day honoring guesses, hunches, inspirations, speculations, and other forms of “intuitive intelligence.” The military uses the acronym WAG which stands for Wild A$$ed Guess. It is used to convey to others that the information you are about to relate to them is not a certainty, but is nonetheless, the best estimate you can give with the information you currently have.
For example, The Chief of Operations calls your shop and says, “We really need aircraft XYZ for tomorrow’s flight schedule. When will it be available?” You then consult the all of the information you have concerning that aircraft and reply, “My WAG is 0300 tomorrow morning. We still need to do this, that and the other; then it the blah-blah shop, and the yadda-yadda-yadda shop need to do their thing. Our part will be complete by 1800. You’ll have to consult the other shops involved for their part. I have no control over them.”

The next “non-sucking” holiday is Rubber Eraser Day. Rubber Eraser Day commemorates the date in 1770 when Joseph Priestly discovered that a “new” product imported from Brazil, rubber, could be used to “rub out” print from paper. But why not just plain old Eraser Day? Well, the fact is that, even today, a majority of erasers are still made from rubber. In fact, in England, erasers are still referred to as ‘rubbers’. You could also ‘loosely’ correlate this holiday to Tax Day because there are probably thousands of people right now frantically using an eraser to correct a mistake on their tax forms.

The third holiday that “doesn’t suck” today is Jackie Robinson Day. Jackie Robinson Day commemorates the date in 1947 that Jackie Robinson became the first acknowledged black man to play major league baseball.
Jackie Robinson ranks with Babe Ruth in terms of his impact on the national pastime. Ruth changed the way baseball was played; Jackie Robinson changed the way Americans thought. He was the first black man to win a batting title, the first to win the Most Valuable Player award, and the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won major-league baseball’s first official Rookie of the Year award and was the first baseball player, black or white, to be featured on a United States postage stamp. He played his entire career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
During his 10-year career, his lifetime batting average was a solid .311, but because of the brevity of his career, his cumulative statistics are relatively unimpressive by Hall of Fame standards. Robinson hit a respectable .319 and averaged more than 110 runs scored per season. He drove in an average of eighty-five runs, and his average of nearly fifteen home runs per season was outstanding for a middle infielder of that era. And he averaged 24 stolen bases a season for a power-laden team that didn’t need him to run very often. He was an excellent bunter, good at the sacrifice and always a threat to lay one down for a hit. Not known as a home-run hitter, he displayed line-drive power to all fields, had a good eye for the strike zone, and rarely struck out. For his entire big-league career, he drew 740 walks and struck out only 291 times—an extremely impressive ratio. Robinson was an impressive base runner, and successfully “stole home” nineteen times in his career—tied with Frankie Frisch for the most home-base steals since World War I. At the age of thirty-five in 1954, he became the first National Leaguer to steal his way around the bases in twenty-six years, and a year later he became one of only twelve men to steal home in a World Series.

The next holiday today is National Griper’s Day. Griping relates to the small irritating things that are too small to take the time to change but are still a nuisance. Leaving the cap off the toothpaste or squeezing in the middle instead of from the end, leaving your dirty clothes strewn on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper, or leaving about a teaspoon of coffee in the pot rather than making a fresh pot for the next guy, along with myriad other petty things are all examples things people gripe about.
National Griper’s Day serves to remind us that no matter how much we complain about our gripes, very little can be done to change the things that other people do to irritate us. — short of slow, excruciatingly painful torture, which is probably illegal. About the best we can hope for is that we don’t strangle them the next time we see them.

The remainder of today’s “non-sucking” holidays are listed below. Each will have a link to provide specific information if one piques your interest.

The first food-related holiday today is National Glazed Spiral Ham Day. Gee, I wonder if this holiday was created by those good folks over at Honey Baked? If not, they are missing a golden opportunity. Glazed spiral ham is a hearty, savory dish that often makes an appearance at holiday feasts. A traditional ham glaze contains sugar, honey or orange juice, and flavorful ingredients like cloves, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Americans have been making glazed ham for many years. Recipes for the dish first appeared in local newspapers during the 1940s. Around the same time, a man named Harry Hoenselaar invented a piece of equipment that could efficiently cut glazed ham into uniform slices. His patented machine carved the ham into a single, continuous spiral. In 1957, Honeselaar opened the first Honey Baked Ham store. Today, the company has over 400 stores nationwide and sells millions of glazed spiral hams during the holiday season.
Ham is the upper haunch of the boar or pig. There are two basic types of ham.
The first type is wet-cured ham. Wet-cured hams, while less expensive, are those briny, watery, tasteless hams that you find in cans at most supermarkets. Many include other “pig parts” that are pressed together, injected with salt water, then cured in even more salt water.
The second type of ham is dry-cured (as in smoked, aged, or country ham). Dry-cured hams are far more flavorful, well-marbled, and juicy. You actually get to taste the meat rather than the brine. Although considerably more expensive, I think the extra cost for a dry-cured ham is worthwhile. Enjoy some ham for dinner tonight. Whether or not it is glazed and/or spiral-cut is entirely up to you.

The other food-related holiday today is National Eggs Benedict Day. Eggs Benedict is a dish, traditionally eaten at breakfast or brunch, that made with two toasted English muffin halves topped with poached eggs, Canadian bacon or ham, and tangy Hollandaise sauce.
Many people claim to have invented Eggs Benedict. According to one story, in 1894, a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict went to the Waldorf Hotel to find a cure for his hangover. At the hotel restaurant, he ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and Hollandaise. The restaurant chef Oscar Tschirky loved the dish so much that he added it to the menu and named it after Mr. Benedict.
Another account comes from a man named Edward P. Montgomery. In 1967, he wrote a letter to The New York Times Magazine claiming that he’d discovered the true inventor of Eggs Benedict. Montgomery’s note contained a recipe created by Commodore E.C. Benedict before his death in 1920. Montgomery received the recipe from his mother who was an acquaintance of the Commodore.
Today, there are many different variations on the traditional Eggs Benedict. You can change or swap out pretty much any of the components; from using bread instead of muffins, using fried or scrambled eggs instead of poached, to cheese instead of sauce, or adding extra ingredients such as paprika. On of my favorite variations is listed on some menus as a Country Benedict. It changes about every component of the recipe. The English muffin is replaced with a biscuit, split in half and lightly toasted, the ham is replaced with a sausage patty or two sausage links, the eggs are scrambled, and the Hollandaise sauce is replaced with sausage gravy. It’s yummy!
Celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day by having Eggs Benedict or one of its variations for breakfast…you can use some of your Glazed Spiral Ham to make it.

On this date:

  • In 1784 – The first hot-air balloon was flown in Ireland.
  • In 1817 – The first American school for the deaf was opened in Hartford, CT.
  • In 1850 – The city of San Francisco was incorporated.
  • In 1861 – U.S. President Lincoln mobilized the Federal army in preparation for the Civil War.
  • In 1871 – “Wild Bill” Hickok became the marshal of Abilene, Kansas.
  • In 1892 – The General Electric Company was organized.
  • In 1923 – Insulin became generally available for people suffering from diabetes.
  • In 1934 – In the comic strip “Blondie,” Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead welcomed a baby boy, Alexander. The child would be nicknamed, Baby Dumpling.
  • In 1945 – During World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.
  • In 1947 – Jackie Robinson played his regular season first major league baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Previously he had only appeared in exhibition games.
  • In 1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman signed the official Japanese peace treaty.
  • In 1952 – The first B-52 bomber prototype was tested in the air.
  • In 1953 – Pope Pius XII gave his approval of psychoanalysis but warned of possible abuses.
  • In 1953 – Charlie Chaplin surrendered his U.S. re-entry permit rather than face proceedings by the U.S. Justice Department. Chaplin was accused of sympathizing with Communist groups.
  • In 1956 – The worlds’ first, all-color TV station was dedicated. It was WNBQ-TV in Chicago and is now WMAQ-TV.
  • In 1959 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro began a U.S. goodwill tour.
  • In 1967 – Richard Speck was found guilty of murdering eight student nurses.
  • In 1986 – U.S. F-111 warplanes attacked Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5, 1986.
  • In 1987 – In Northhampton, MA, Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 others were acquitted on civil disobedience charges related with a CIA protest.
  • In 1989 – In Sheffield, England, 96 people were killed and hundreds were injured at a soccer game at Hillsborough Stadium when a crowd surged into an overcrowded standing area. Ninety-four died on the day of the incident and two later died from their injuries.
  • In 1989 – Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests upon the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang. The protests led to the Tiananmen Square massacre.
  • In 1994 – The World Trade Organization was established.
  • In 1997 – Christopher Reeve received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1998 – Pol Pot died at the age of 73. The leader of the Khmer Rouge regime thereby evaded prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.
  • In 2000 – Six hundred anti-IMF (International Monetary Fund) protesters were arrested in Washington, DC, for demonstrating without a permit.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following illustrious individuals:

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