Gripers, Rubber Erasers, Income Tax, That Sucks, Customers, Wild Guesses, Jackie Robinson, McDonald’s, and Spiral Glazed Ham

April 15, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Old Straycat Blog Posts | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning malcontents. Today is Thursday, April 15, 2021. Today is the 105th day of the year, and 260 days remain.

National Griper’s Day  

National Griper’s Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. As you might suspect, this holiday 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.
National Griper’s Day is not a holiday to get on your soapbox and rage against “the man” or bemoan all of the inequities of society. Instead, this holiday relates to the petty, irritating, insignificant little things that are too small to take the time to change but, nonetheless, are still a nuisance. For example, leaving the cap off the toothpaste or squeezing it in the middle rather than from the end, leaving your dirty clothes strewn on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper, talking with their mouth full, or leaving about a teaspoon of coffee in the pot rather than making a fresh pot for the next person. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, being obsessively tidy, germophobic, or nit-picky. These are just a few examples of the myriad petty things that people gripe about.
I promise not to gripe about how, or whether or not, you choose to celebrate National Griper’s Day.

Rubber Eraser Day

Rubber Eraser Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. You can easily infer that this holiday celebrates the rubber eraser, or, more accurately, it 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.
Sometime later, in 1839 to be precise, Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization (a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material), and this process made rubber erasers standard throughout the world. Further cementing the place of rubber erasers in history, Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia, PA patented the pencil with an eraser at the end in 1858.
Prior to the invention of the rubber eraser, tablets of wax were used to erase lead or charcoal marks from paper.  Another option for the eraser was crustless bread. Students preferred this method because teachers would give them as much bread as they needed, and since crustless bread was needed, they got to eat the crusts first.
But why Rubber Eraser Day and 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’.
If like many Americans, you are just now sitting down to do your taxes at the last minute, you probably won’t have a problem celebrating Rubber Eraser Day. If your taxes are already done, celebrate this holiday by simply erasing something.

Income Tax Pay Day

Income Tax Pay Day [aka Tax Day] is “celebrated” annually on April 15th. You don’t need to be an accountant to conclude that this “holiday” is the day when Income Taxes are due in America.
In most years, today is the deadline for Americans to file and pay their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service if they haven’t already done so. Originally, Tax Day fell on the closest weekday to March 1st (from 1913 until 1917). In 1918, the law was changed, and Tax Day fell on the closest weekday to March 15th. In 1955, the law was changed again and Tax Day moved to the closest weekday to April 15th.
This holiday is certainly no cause for celebration for most of us, so celebrate Income Tax Pay Day in a manner apropos to your personal situation or feelings on the subject of taxes.
Author’s Note:
In my humble opinion, this tax money, and much more, is then squandered by their elected Representatives on meaningless “pet projects”, which are not meant not to benefit the citizenry they supposedly represent. Any benefits that “trickle-down” to the taxpayers who actually fund the government is purely coincidental. Instead, they use this money to pay back the high-dollar contributors who donated to their campaigns (through back-door legislation which benefits them), to advance their own personal political agenda, to benefit themselves financially, to undermine the Constitution, 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. 

That Sucks Day

National That Sucks Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. This holiday was created in 2005 by Bruce Novotny, who noticed that April 15 has historically been a very unfortunate day.
Usually, April 15th is Tax Day, which sucks. April 15th is also the day that Abraham Lincoln died and the date that the Titanic sank. Both of those events also sucked. Not a stellar record for a single day of the year, wouldn’t you say? What future events will occur on this date to further tarnish its reputation? Only time will tell.
To celebrate That Sucks Day, do some research to find other historical events that happened on April 15th that also “sucked.”
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”.

Get to Know Your Customer Day

Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). You don’t need to be a “people person” to deduce that this holiday is a holiday for businesses, large and small, to reach out to their patrons and get to know them better – to find out what they want and what they expect from them – then, to the extent they can, accommodate them. It is a holiday for businesses to reverse the trend toward being an impersonal entity and make it a point to get to know a little more about their customers and make each of them feel like they are their most important customer of the day.
Not too long ago, most businesses were locally owned and operated. The owners knew their customers by name and knew their shopping habits. They typically knew what you wanted to buy, and if they didn’t have it, they were willing to order for you. However, with the rise in popularity of big-box stores, chain restaurants, franchise auto repair, and other service-type businesses, and online shopping, much of the personal attention paid to customers by retailers has gone by the wayside.
Since Get to Know Your Customers Day is a business-oriented holiday, I have no idea how you, as a consumer, can celebrate it. I suppose you could patronize only businesses where you are known and appreciated today to ‘protest’ the dispassionate attitude of “big business”.

Take a Wild Guess Day

Take a Wild Guess Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. Take a “wild guess” at what this holiday celebrates. If you guessed that it is a day honoring guesses, hunches, inspirations, speculations, and other forms of “intuitive intelligence,” you were correct.
Whether it is merely the number of jelly beans in that jar on the counter at the store or our income for the current tax year, one constant in life is that we all make guesses from time to time – and hope that they are right. According to dictionary.com, one of many definitions of the word guess is, “to arrive at or commit oneself to an opinion about (something) without having sufficient evidence to support the opinion fully.” Making decisions in life based on little information is inevitable. It is impossible to know everything about everything. So, to celebrate Take A Wild Guess Day, simply take a wild guess at something today.
Author’s Note:
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. 

Jackie Robinson Day  

Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. It commemorates the date in 1947 that Jackie Robinson became the first acknowledged African-American 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.
To celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, learn more about this baseball icon.

McDonald’s Day

McDonald’s Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. You needn’t be a fast-food franchisee to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the opening of the first McDonald’s franchised restaurant in Des Plaines, IL, in 1955 by Ray Kroc. This was the first restaurant of his franchise, but the ninth McDonald’s restaurant overall. Kroc helped make McDonald’s the most known fast food restaurant in the world, but the story doesn’t start with him.
Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened a barbeque restaurant in 1940 in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, they changed up their restaurant and introduced the “Speedee Service System.” Instead of having waiters bring food to tables, their restaurant had self-service counters. They used an assembly-line format in the kitchen. Prepared food was wrapped and placed under heat lamps. They also simplified their menu to include only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, potato chips, sodas, milkshakes, and apple pies. All of these changes helped make food preparation and service quick and efficient, and kept their prices lower than competing diners. They sold their hamburgers for just 15 cents apiece.
Ray Kroc was a salesman who had sold malt and shake mixers to the McDonald brothers. He stopped at one of their locations in 1954 and convinced them to let him open a franchise for them, which he did on today’s date in 1955. At that time, Richard and Maurice McDonald claimed they had already served 15 million hamburgers over the previous seven years. In 1961, Mr. Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for 2.7 million dollars. By 1970 there were 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants, and by 1988 there were 10,000. By 2017 there were more than 37,000.
To celebrate McDonald’s Day, simply enjoy your favorite menu item from your favorite, or closest, Mickey D’s restaurant.
Author’s Note:
I have never really cared much for 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 chicken nuggets, their fries, and some of their breakfast items. Walter and Wolfie, my 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, they also enjoyed licking their own butts and genitalia – so you can draw your own conclusions.

National Glazed Spiral Ham Day 

National Glazed Spiral Ham Day is celebrated annually on April 15th. You don’t need to be a master chef or an over-emoting thespian to figure out that this holiday celebrates glazed, spiral-cut ham.
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 the 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 salted water, then cured in, even more, saltwater. 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 in celebration of National Glazed Ham Day. Whether it is cured in saltwater or dry-cured, glazed, and/or spiral-cut is entirely up to you. Your secret will be safe with me.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention. 

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