October 30th – Checklist Day ✓

October 30, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my organized friends. Today is Monday, October 30, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

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 of this tragedy, 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 aircraft without a mishap. In commemoration of the accident that led to a more widespread use of checklists, Checklist Day is now celebrated annually on the anniversary of the incident.
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 are that we all use forms of checklists every day 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 a 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

Create a Great Funeral Day 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.
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 an entire 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 to 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 reacting after losing someone dear.

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 have 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 into the depths of your refrigerator…and find those containers that have been long forgotten. Slowly, slowly open them 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 they 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.  It was made to mimic a kernel of corn and became instantly popular because of its innovative design. It was one of the first candies to feature three different colors.
Nowadays, candy corn is mass produced by Jelly Belly® using a recipe unchanged since about 1900. The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually.
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 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 denser than the fluffier, yeast-leavened doughnuts. Originally a Dutch recipe without a hole, the dough is dropped into hot oil and, in fact, 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 not 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 affect your health, you can buy a doughnut and give it to someone.  Additionally, when purchasing your doughnut you can also take comfort in knowing that, should the need arise, there is a strong possibility that a policeman will be nearby.

More Holidays  

On This Date   

  • In 1817 – The independent government of Venezuela was established by Simon Bolivar.
  • In 1831 – Escaped slave Nat Turner was apprehended in Southampton County, VA, several weeks after leading the bloodiest slave uprising in American history.
  • In 1875 – The constitution of Missouri was ratified by popular vote.
  • In 1889 – The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul opened. Construction on the suspension bridge over the Bosphorus began in February 1870. The bridge, which connects Asia with Europe, was designed by British engineers Gilbert Roberts and William Brown.
  • In 1893 – The Senate gave final approval to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.
  • In 1894 – The time clock was patented by Daniel M. Cooper of Rochester, NY.
  • In 1905 – The October Manifesto was issued by Nicholas II. The manifesto was a response to the Russian Revolution of 1905 in which there were widespread strikes and protests directed towards the government. The key features of the manifesto included the creation of an elected legislative body called Duma and universal suffrage for men. It also paved the way for a new constitution in 1906.
  • In 1908 – First cross-country flight in Europe took place. French aviator Henri Farman flew from Bouy to Reims in France. The 14-mile journey took him about 20 minutes. Farman was also the co-founder of the Farman Aviation Works, an airline, and engine manufacturing company.
  • In 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 many listeners of the broadcast.
  • In 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.
  • In 1945 – The United States government announced the end of shoe rationing.
  • In 1953 – General George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • In 1961 – The Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb with a force of approximately 58 megatons. Nicknamed Tsar Bomba or Big Ivan the bomb was detonated over the Mityushikha Bay test range on the Novaya Zemlya Island in the Arctic Circle. The 58-megaton bomb was one-of-a-kind and the flash of light when it exploded at a height of 13,000 feet was visible over 1000 kilometers away. It was the biggest bomb ever detonated at the time.
  • In 1961 – The Soviet Party Congress unanimously approved an order to remove Joseph Stalin’s body from Lenin’s tomb.
  • In 1972 – President Richard Nixon approved legislation to increase Social Security spending by $5.3 billion.
  • In 1972 – In Illinois, 45 people were killed when two trains collided on Chicago’s south side.
  • In 1975 – The New York Daily News ran the headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” The headline came a day after President Gerald R. Ford said he would veto any proposed federal bailout of New York City.
  • In 1993 – Martin Fettman, America’s first veterinarian in space, performed the world’s first animal dissections in space, while aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
  • In 1993 – The United Nations deadline concerning ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide passed with country’s military still in control.
  • In 1995 – Federalists prevailed over separatists in Quebec in a referendum concerning secession from the Federation of Canada.
  • In 1998 – The terrorist who hijacked a Turkish Airlines plane and the 39 people on board was killed when anti-terrorist squads raided the plane.
  • In 2001 – In New York City, 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.
  • In 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.
  • In 2014 – Sweden became the first EU country in Western Europe to recognize the State of Palestine. Yasser Arafat declared an independent Palestine on November 15, 1988. The UN General Assembly recognized it a month later.

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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