August 12th – Road Warriors

August 12, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of well-stocked shelves. Today is Saturday, August 12th. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Truck Driver Day

If you eat it, wear it, sit on it, sleep on it, watch it, drive it, play with it, or build with it, it is almost certain that it was delivered to the warehouse or retailer by a truck driver, and before that, the raw materials were delivered to the manufacturer by a truck driver as well. The trucking industry is a vital part of what keeps this economy thriving.
Truck driving is an arduous job requiring a special kind of person…one who is independent but can deal with all sorts of people on a daily basis. If you want to be home with your family every night, then truck driving isn’t for you. Truck drivers are away from home for days, weeks and sometimes even months at a time — often driving all night to make it to their destination safely and on time. Once they are done with that, they pick up their next load and do it all over again…after getting their mandatory rest, naturally. Truck drivers mostly work a 6-day week, often working different shifts in the same week…a day shift followed by an ‘over-nighter’ followed by a night delivery. It can take a real toll on one’s health unless they are smart. Proper diet and proper rest are essential.
Truck Driver Day is celebrated on the August 12th and is a part of the transportation industry’s Driver Appreciation Week – which is always celebrated in the first full week in August. It pays homage to those dedicated “road warriors” who consistently ‘deliver the goods’.
Author’s Note:  As most of you know, I was an over-the-road truck driver for over 20 years. I can pretty much sum up my driving career with “been there, hauled that…did not have time to buy the shirt.” Most of my career was spent hauling dry van trailers and “reefers” (refrigerated trailers). I hauled a wide variety of freight within the continental 48 states, with a few trips to Canada as well. I enjoyed my driving career immensely, but since I retired in 2009, I don’t miss it at all.

World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day was co-founded on August 12, 2012, by Canadian Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand and is a rallying call for the support of organizations working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, protect wild elephant habitat, and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.
Since then, World Elephant Day has grown and now has partnerships with 100 elephant conservation organizations worldwide and reaches countless individuals across the globe. The goal of World Elephant Day is to get people and organizations to work together across borders and political lines to support this critical global issue which demands immediate attention.
The hope is that World Elephant Day will provide citizens, politicians, and governments a means to create and support conservation solutions that will, once again, make the world a safe place for elephants.

Middle Child’s Day

Middle Child’s Day salutes all of the people out there who have both older and younger siblings. It is commonly accepted that the oldest child has all of the attention of his parents until a second child comes along. And, the youngest child is always the “baby” of the family. But what about those children in between? Sometimes middle children are ignored by their parents in favor of their older and younger siblings. This can lead to all sorts of behavior problems. Some tend to become introverted and are often loners. Others might tend to act out to get the attention they need from their parents. There is even a psychological condition known as Middle Child Syndrome. I won’t go into detail here, but this link will give you further insight into this condition.
Not all middle children become introverted loners and social outcasts. Most go on to live normal lives. Because of the lack of attention while growing up, many often are independent, and make good leaders. Many famous people are middle children, including Madonna, Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump, Julia Roberts, and Charles Darwin. In fact, 52% of our Presidents have been middle children.

National Garage Sale Day

National Garage Sale Day is observed annually on the second Saturday of August, It reminds us that holding a garage sale is a great way to rid yourself of unwanted and unused items or to urge you to visit a garage sale to find that unique item that will fit perfectly in that space on your mantle.
Most garage sales are held on Saturdays and Sundays and make no mistake about it, garage sales are big business. While the average cost of an item at a garage sale is a paltry 85¢, to paraphrase a quote from Karl Sagan, “85¢ here and 85¢ there, and the next thing you know, you’re talking real money.” The average amount spent at garage sales each week in America is $4,250,000 – that’s over $220-million per year.
Running a yard sale is not rocket science, but if you put a little effort into creating an environment where it is pleasant to browse and easy to find treasures, you’ll make a lot more money. Preparation is critical and being prepared means a lot more than simply making sure the merchandise is neatly arranged and the cash box is filled with coins and small-denomination bills. (No one, after all, wants to lose a sale just because of an inability to break a $5 bill). Another tip in preparation is advertising your sale. Ads should be placed in local newspapers and on websites five or six days before the sale. Your neighborhood signs should be eye-catching, simple and, above all, readable. It’s best to use big, bold text like ‘HUGE SALE’ with an arrow pointing the right direction. Also, be sure to check on the laws in your area concerning the posting of bills and advertisements. You don’t want the Po Po to come along and “rain on your parade.”
Another thing to consider is: Why are you having the sale in the first place? Are you selling things to make money or to get rid of them? This question affects everything you do, from how you price things to how willing you are to negotiate. Surprisingly, you can often make more money (and get rid of more junk) by pricing things low.
Finally, Consumer Reports offers these guidelines about hosting a successful garage sale:

  1. Schedule your garage sale to coincide with a local event that’s likely to generate extra traffic near your home.
  2. Place the items with the broadest appeal close to the street to grab attention and lure potential buyers up the driveway.
  3. Sort clothing into categories — by gender, season and age group, for example — and display those items, if possible, on hangers.
  4. Keep a mirror handy if you’re selling accessories.
  5. Place fresh batteries in items that require them and keep a power source handy so shoppers can try electronics and other plug-in appliances.

National Bowling Day

National Bowling Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in August.  The first National Bowling Day was held in 1956 and was sponsored by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, Inc. in association with General Cigar Company and NBC-TV. It was the accumulation of hundreds of bowling tournaments in 48 states attracting millions of bowlers across the country to raise money for the Red Cross. The televised Final Bowl Off was held on National Bowling Day on October 14, 1956, in Macon County, Illinois. While the event was never repeated, National Bowling Day traditions have started anew. Continuing in the same spirit as the 1956 event, the modern era National Bowling Day takes care of others while taking down those pins. One example is the Million Pin Challenge. Donations will help provide half a million meals to Feeding America to fight domestic hunger.
Although it is possible that bowling style games existed in ancient civilizations around the world, we likely owe our modern game of bowling to Germany. Kegels were used much like batons for protection or sport. They would place them at the end of an alley and roll a stone, attempting to knock them down. It was believed that by knocking down the kegel, their sins would be forgiven. Other lawn games such as bocce and petanque may also be precursors to bowling. American literature’s first mention of ninepins is in Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. Bowling, like many sports, was fodder for gambling and often came under scrutiny. In 1841, Connecticut passed a law prohibiting ninepin bowling alleys. Circumventing the law, alleys added one pin to the line-up. Very little about the game has changed since.
Bowling Factoids:

  • In 1905, the first rubber compound bowling ball was introduced. Wooden balls made of “lignum vitae” were used up until then, but this modern ball launched the modern era of bowling.
  • Bowling was featured as a demonstration sport in 1988’s Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea. However, it has never returned to the Olympics.


On this date in 1981, IBM introduced the first personal computer. Known as the IBM PC or the IBM 5150, the computer had no disk drives and sold for about $1500. This event revolutionized the world of technology. By today’s standards, the technology was crude and inefficient.
With such a hefty price tag, not every family could afford one in the beginning. But through the process of supply and demand and good ole competition, the price came down, and soon home computers became more affordable to the average family.
I got my first PC in 1984, a “state of the art” Commodore 64. Heck, it even came with a built in 3¼ inch floppy disc. WOOHOO!!

Vinyl Record Day 

If it weren’t for the telephone, there might not even be vinyl records today. Thomas Edison used the $10,000 prize money he received from the French government for winning the “Volta Prize” for inventing the telephone to set up a lab for acoustical and electrical research. What came out of that lab on this date in 1877 was the phonograph.
On Vinyl Record Day, set aside your iPods, mp3 players, and cassette tapes and listen to some music as it was intended; on vinyl records (scratches and all). That is assuming you still have your old vinyl record collection and turntable.

Julienne Fries Day

Julienne, aside from being a women’s name, is a culinary technique of slicing food, primarily vegetables, into thin strips or ‘sticks’. Julienne Fries, not surprisingly, are potatoes cut in this style, then deep-fried. Also known as shoestring potatoes, Julienne Fries differ from French Fries in that French Fries are cut into broader strips. According to “Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink”,  Saratoga Springs, N.Y. claims credit for inventing Julienne (shoestring) Fries in the 1850’s.
Obviously, to celebrate Julienne Fries Day, all you need to do is have some Julienne Fries today.
Author’s Note: The potato itself is a relative latecomer to the staple food chain. As recently as 300 years ago, they were either thought to be poisonous; or food fit only for livestock, prisoners, or peasants. However, the Incas were cultivating and eating potatoes in what is now Peru, Ecuador, and northern Chile as early as 750 BC. Their method for preparing potatoes wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as dropping them into boiling water or fat. They spread them out in rows and let them sit for a few weeks, then stomped on them with their feet. YUM! The Incas, in fact, literally worshiped the potato. If the potato crop failed, a few unlucky potato farmers actually had their lips and noses mutilated to appease the Potato Gods. Eventually, the Conquistadors took potatoes back to Spain where over a span of a century or two, they spread throughout the rest of Europe. However, they were still shunned by the ruling classes. Because of poverty, the Irish were the first Europeans to begin cultivating and eating potatoes, and in the mid-1800’s, it was the Irish immigrants who first brought the potato the United States.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1851 – Isaac Singer was issued a patent on the double-headed sewing machine.
  • In 1865 – Disinfectant was used for the first time during surgery by Joseph Lister.
  • In 1867 – President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him when he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
  • In 1877 – Mars’ second moon, Deimos, was discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall. The discovery took place at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Deimos is one of two natural satellites of Mars. The other moon, Phobos was also discovered by Hall and is the bigger satellite of the two. Phobos is also closer to Mars than Deimos.
  • In 1883 – The last Quagga died in captivity at the Natura Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam. Quaggas were native to South Africa and were a kind of zebra that had stripes only in the front part of their bodies. They were driven to extinction by human activity and excessive hunting for their skin and meat.
  • In 1898 – Hawaii was annexed by the United States. Hawaii was later given territorial status and was given Statehood in 1959.
  • In 1898 – The Spanish-American War ended with the signing of the peace protocol. The United States acquired Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
  • In 1918 – Regular airmail service began between Washington, DC and New York City.
  • In 1939 – The movie “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Oconomowoc, WI. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The movie premiered in Hollywood on August 15th.
  • In 1960 – The balloon satellite Echo One was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL. It was the first communications satellite.
  • In 1964 – Mickey Mantle set a major league baseball record when he became the first player to hit home runs as both a left-hander and a right-hander in the same game.
  • In 1964 – Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond book series, died.
  • In 1976 – About 3000 refugees were killed during a massacre at a Palestinian refugee camp. The United Nations-run Tel al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp in the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon had been besieged by members of a right-wing extremist group called the Phalange during the Lebanese civil war.
  • In 1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test.
  • In 1982 – Renown actor Henry Fonda died.
  • In 1986 – NASA announced that they had selected a new rocket design for the space shuttle. The move was made in an effort at correcting the flaws that were believed to have been responsible for the Challenger disaster.
  • In 1990 – The largest dinosaur fossil to date was found. American paleontologist Sue Hendrickson found the fossilized remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the state of South Dakota. Sue, as the dinosaur is now informally called after its discoverer, is thought to have been 14 feet tall when alive.
  • In 1992 – The United States, Canada, and Mexico announced that the North American Free Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.) had been created after 14 months of negotiations.
  • In 1993 – President Clinton lifted the ban on rehiring air traffic controllers that had been fired for going on strike in 1981.
  • In 1994 – Major league baseball players went on strike rather than allow team owners to limit their salaries. The strike lasted for 232 days. As a result, the World Series was wiped out for the first time in 90 years.
  • In 1998 – Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to World War II Holocaust victims.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.


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