September 16th – A Rocky Start

September 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning rock hounds. Today is Saturday, September 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Collect Rocks Day

Collect Rocks Day is a day to enjoy and add to your rock collection. If you were a normal kid growing up in my generation, at one point in your childhood, you had a rock collection. It may not have been a large collection, and it may not have had any intrinsic value, but it was yours. As far as I know, there are no books available about rock collecting and no rules about which rocks are deemed collectible, and which are not. The size, type, shape, and color of the rocks collected are a matter of personal choice. I used to collect “skipping rocks” (flat, round or oval-shaped rocks about 1½ inches in diameter). Then every time I was near a lake, pond, or canal; or after a good rain, I would take my collection and “skip” them across the water. Then I would begin the collection anew. I was quite adept at both finding perfect “skipping rocks” and skipping them. It’s an art form.
Meet “Spud”. Spud comprises the entirety of my rock collection at the moment. He is also my last remaining pet. I named him Spud because of his uncanny resemblance to a potato. I found him in the depths of despair trying to drown himself in a creek a couple of decades ago. I plucked him from the clutches of the “Grim Reaper” and gave him a “forever home” with me. Spud makes no demands on my time. He requires no food or water, doesn’t need to be taken for walks, and doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night to go outside. He doesn’t require costly trips to the veterinarian for semi-annual check-ups and vaccinations, never needs grooming, and requires no license. Spud is a good companion. He never makes any noise (unless you drop him), he is a good listener, and he never complains about being left alone for extended periods of time. He is the perfect pet. He even does a couple of tricks. He sits, stays, and plays dead better than any pet I have ever owned. If he is in the mood and the conditions are right, he will occasionally roll over as well. However, he absolutely refuses to play fetch or come when called.
Besides beginning or adding to your rock collection today, there are a number of other ways to celebrate this holiday.

1)  Listen only to “rock” music today.
2)  Listen only to songs with “rock” in the title, such as Standing on a “Rock” by the Ozark Mountain Dare Devils, I Am a “Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel, or “Rock” Your Baby by George McCrae.
3)  Watch The “Rock”y Horror Picture Show.
4)  Watch “Rock”y and Bullwinkle cartoons.
5)  Relax in your “rock”er all day.
6)  Have “Rock”y Road ice cream for dessert.

Did any of you have a rock collection as a kid? What became of it?

Mexico’s Independence Day

Mexico’s Independence Day celebrates the date in 1810 when the people of Mexico began their fight for independence from Spanish rule. It holds the same significance to the people of Mexico as does July 4th, 1776  to Americans. The war lasted 11 years before Mexico emerged victoriously. For a slightly more detailed account of the struggle, click here.
Just like Independence Day in America, in Mexico, this holiday is celebrated with parades, fiestas, fireworks, and picnics.

Oktoberfest Begins

Oktoberfest is a traditional German festival that dates all the way back to 1810. In October of that year, the crown prince of Bavaria married the princess of Saxony-Hildburghausen, and all the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the royal wedding. The celebration turned into an annual autumn event.
Today, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair. Over 5 million people travel to Munich to take part in the festivities. Over the course of the sixteen-day festival, they will watch parades, participate in massive sing-a-longs, eat Bavarian foods like soft pretzels, wear traditional lederhosen, and consume more than 10 million gallons of beer…and that is just for Munich alone. I won’t even attempt to calculate the amount of beer consumed throughout the whole of Germany during Oktoberfest – just thinking about it makes my brain hurt.
Here in America, Oktoberfest is not a holiday, but many bars, restaurants, and even whole communities will hold some sort of Oktoberfest celebration for at least a portion of the traditional German festival. To celebrate your own Oktoberfest, don your lederhosen, put on the oompah music and sample some German beers. Cheers! Or, as the Germans would say, “Prost!”
Author’s Note: The date on which Oktoberfest begins each year is determined by calculating 16 days prior to the first Sunday in October. There are exceptions to this rule and although it may not make it any clearer to you, this link will explain how the date for the beginning of Oktoberfest is determined far better than I ever could.
Like Easter, figuring out the date on which Oktoberfest begins is akin to doing Chinese algebra (for me at least). When I was stationed in Germany, I used this formula — When the big tents started being assembled in the field adjacent to the NCO Club, I knew that Oktoberfest was nigh upon us and when I heard the oompah music, I knew that Oktoberfest had begun. Truly a fool-proof system.

Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Responsible Dog Ownership Day is observed annually on the third Saturday in September. The American Kennel Club promotes Responsible Dog Ownership Days across the country annually. Since the 119th anniversary of the AKC in September 2003, Responsible Dog Ownership Day has encouraged dog owners to be respectful, caring, and responsible caregivers to their canine companions.
If there is or soon will be a canine companion in your life, Responsible Dog Ownership Day encourages you to make a promise, not just to your loyal hound, but to all of those who may be affected by him. Dogs bring many benefits into our lives and to ensure they remain healthy, happy and safe; we need to be on the lookout for their well-being and the well-being of those around them. Many people don’t consider all the care involved when taking in a canine companion. Their size, energy, medical care, temperament, and many other needs are the dog owner’s responsibility. Too often, this results in the dog being turned over to an animal shelter, or worse yet, simply abandoned.
To celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Day, consider a donation to an animal shelter.

International Red Panda Day

Red Panda Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of September.
With the decline in their habitat, International Red Panda Day seeks to encourage people to learn more about these adorable creatures and help save the environment in which they live. Like so many other species, Red Pandas are experiencing a loss of habitat which is leading to a decline in their population. With less than 10,000 individuals remaining in the wild, the time to begin conservation efforts to save the Red Panda from extinction is now.
The Red Panda’s habitat is the slopes of the Eastern Himalayas. Like their larger black and white cousins, Red Pandas spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft. When foraging, they are mostly nocturnal but also forage in the gloaming hours of dusk and dawn.
Red pandas typically grow to the size of a house cat, though their big, bushy tails add another 18 inches to their size. They have a taste for bamboo but, unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well—fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. Like giant pandas, they have an extended wrist bone that functions almost like a thumb and greatly aids their grip when climbing.
To celebrate International Red Panda Day, learn more about these cute creatures. If there is a zoo near you that has a Red Panda exhibit, visit it today – but don’t look for them on the ground. As I stated previously, they spend most of their lives in trees so they can be hard to spot even in their enclosures.
Red Panda Factoid: The trademark symbol for the web browser ‘Firefox’ is not a fox at all, but a Red Panda.

National CleanUp Day

National CleanUp Day encourages all of us to take action to make the entire country a better place to live. This holiday was founded to celebrate the importance of uniting to care for our outdoor spaces and remove litter so our trails, parks, and community spaces remain pleasant and unmarred by waste.
From coast to coast, organizations and individuals alike join forces to clean up parks, trails, beaches, mountains, and open spaces. Outdoor spaces that are free of trash and litter are a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Preservation of our forefathers’ legacy is up to all of us.
Litter, debris, and trash mar the beauty of our natural landscapes. National CleanUp Day puts litter in its place – in the trash and recycle bins. It provides an opportunity to make those messes right and give the landscape a fresh, clean sweep. Communities, corporations, civic organizations, parks and recreation departments and private citizens will all be uniting together to make National CleanUp Day a success.
To celebrate National CleanUp Day, pick up after yourself…and the ‘other guy’ too.  If your community is sponsoring a National CleanUp Day event, participate.

International Coastal Cleanup Day

International Coastal Cleanup Day is basically the same as the holiday above…except concentrating on our shorelines and waterways. It was established by the Ocean Conservancy and encourages us to head to our beaches and help to clean up the garbage that has washed up on shore, and that has been left by visitors every day.
Every year thousands of tons of garbage wind up in our oceans, with 60% of that being composed of plastic material. Plastics last a very long time in the ocean is so prevalent that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter for every square mile of ocean. Plastics are harmful, if not deadly, to marine life…killing more than a million birds and over 100,000 seals, turtles, and whales, and an uncountable amount of fish in our oceans each year.

Mayflower Day

Mayflower Day celebrates the date the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England to America. On this date in 1620, 102 men, women, and children set sail from Plymouth, England. Their destination was the New World, where they could have religious freedom, and continue using their native language, culture, and customs. They were the very first immigrants and helped to pave the way for millions more to follow, in search of freedom and the dreams and promises of a New World
Below are a few more Mayflower facts:

  1. The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth England on September 16, 1620.
  2. The Pilgrims were headed to the settlement in Virginia. They had an agreement to settle there.
  3. The voyage took 66 days. Whether by accident or design, they landed at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1621; a few hundred miles north of their intended destination of Virginia.
  4. 102 passengers were on board. This included three pregnant women. One of these women gave birth just before landing.
  5. On November 21, 1620, the passengers on board the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact, which set forth the rules of governance of the fledgling colony.


National Guacamole Day 

I’m sure that National Guacamole Day falling on the same date as Mexico’s Independence Day is purely coincidental. Guacamole was first created by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico. The name comes from an Aztec dialect and literally translates to “avocado sauce”. A Spanish-English pronunciation guide from 1900 lists guacamole as a “salad of the alligator pear”. Avocados were first cultivated in South Central Mexico and Central America and as far south as Peru.
Guacamole is a dip commonly made with avocados, lime juice, cilantro and green onions. Guacamole recipes vary to individual taste, but that’s the basic recipe. It is easy to make, and relatively healthy. It contains only monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy. Enjoy some today.

National Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Day

Cinnamon-Raisin bread is a favored treat, usually enjoyed at breakfast, but equally as good anytime. Although it can’t be considered “health food”, cinnamon and raisins both have health benefits. Cinnamon has been found to help control blood sugar, fight fungus, and help curb stomach ulcers. Raisins give you energy, help to boost your digestion, prevent tooth decay, strengthen your bones, and are good for your eyes.
So, enjoy a slice or two of this sweet treat today. Don’t think of it as cheating on your diet; think of it as starting a healthier lifestyle. (Just kidding).

On This Date

  • In 1630 – The village of Shawmut changed its name to Boston.
  • In 1782 – The Great Seal of the United States was impressed on a document to negotiate a prisoner of war agreement with the British. It was the first official use of the Great Seal of the United States.
  • In 1893 – The “Cherokee Strip” in Oklahoma was swarmed by hundreds of thousands of settlers.
  • In 1908 – General Motors was founded in Flint Michigan by William C. Durant and Charles Stewart Mott. The company was formed by merging the Buick and Oldsmobile car companies. The company, also known as GM, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cars and trucks. Most notably, the company manufactured Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Hummer brand cars.
  • In 1920 – A bomb exploded on Wall Street, New York killing 38 people. The Wall Street Bombing, as the incident is known, was the deadliest bombing on American soil to that date. It is still not known who was responsible for the bombing.
  • In 1924 – Jim Bottomley knocked in 12 runs in a single game setting a major league baseball record.
  • In 1940 – Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served for 17 years.
  • In 1953 – The St. Louis Browns of the American League were given permission to move to Baltimore, MD, where they became the Baltimore Orioles.
  • In 1963 – Malaysia was created. The Federation of Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to create Malaysia. Singapore left the arrangement two years later.
  • In 1974 – President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for draft evaders and deserters during the Vietnam War.
  • In 1976 – The Episcopal Church formally approved women to be ordained as priests and bishops.
  • In 1978 – An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale rocked the city of Tabas, Iran. More than 11,000 people were killed during the natural disaster.
  • In 1982 – Members of a right-wing Lebanese militia massacred between 1500-3000 people in two Beirut-area refugee camps. The killings took over three days in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila and were led by the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia.
  • In 1985 – The Communist Party of China announced changes in leadership that were designed to bring younger officials into power.
  • In 1987 – The Montreal Protocol was signed by 24 countries to save the Earth’s ozone layer by reducing emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.
  • In 1988 – Tom Browning pitched the 12th perfect game in major league baseball history.
  • In 1994 – Exxon Corporation was ordered by a federal jury to pay $5 billion in punitive damages to the people harmed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
  • In 1994 – Two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery went on the first untethered spacewalk in 10 years.

Noteworthy Birthdays

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

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