Computer Security, Mason Jars, Perpetual Youth, Giving, Meth, and Mousse

November 30, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning security-conscious compadres. Today is Tuesday, November 30, 2021. November 30th is the 334rd day of the year, and 31 days remain.

Computer Security Day

Computer Security Day Is celebrated each year on November 30th [However, some organizations choose to observe this holiday on the next business day if November 30th falls on a weekend]. As you might suspect, this holiday urges us to become more vigilant about computer security.  This holiday was created in 1988 by the Association for Computer Security to raise awareness concerning computer security issues. The goal of Computer Security Day is to remind people to protect their computers and information.
In 1988, the internet was in its infancy, but even then, the need for security was becoming apparent. Hacking and computer viruses have been around since the early days of modern computing, evolving and becoming increasingly more sophisticated as technology advanced. More importantly, data stored on computers and servers became even more valuable to hackers – from big corporations to individual’s personal information.
These days, electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers are a part of our everyday lives. While they make communication easier and more efficient, they also bring with them new concerns about privacy and security. Today, there are a growing number of threats to your devices that can make our online experiences challenging – Identity theft, fraud, ransomware, viruses, to name a few. If you are a shopper who prefers to shop online for the holidays rather than face the hordes of shoppers pushing and shoving their way through stores and malls across the nation, then it behooves you to ensure the safety of your online shopping experience.
If you haven’t already taken steps to ensure your computer’s security, I urge you to do so today in observance of Computer Security Day. Below is a list of things that you can focus on to ensure that your computer, your devices, and the data you have in the cloud are all secure.

  1. Create strong passwords and keep them updated regularly. — This reduces the chances of your personal data falling into the wrong hands. If you aren’t the sort of person who’s good at coming up with strong passwords (and let’s be honest, some of us aren’t), then there are a number of password managers which you can choose from to generate random passwords and save them so you don’t have to remember.
  2. Mix upper and lowercase letters with symbols, as this can be harder to guess and difficult to hack – and passwords increase in difficulty the longer they are. Surprisingly, even with the emphasis on cybersecurity, too many people still use passwords like “123456” and “password” (they have been the two most popular passwords for years now).
  3. Don’t use the same password over and over for every online account you have – this ensures that if someone manages to get into one of your accounts, then they can gain access to all of your accounts. Bad idea. So, make strong passwords, don’t recycle them, and update them regularly.
  4. Update all of your spyware and malware protection software.  — Any good anti-virus program will not only protect your computer from viruses and it should already include the software needed to make your computer secure and safe for online shopping. There are a number of products available from which to choose, and no matter which one you choose, it will be well worth the investment. Follow up with thorough scans, and you should have a more secure computer or device.
  5. Remember that your other devices such as tablets and smartphones are also vulnerable to malware and spyware – so take the necessary measures to keep them secure.
  6. If you are using an outdated operating system such as Windows Vista or Windows XP, upgrade the OS on your device or buy a new one. Even if you have a newer operating system, it’s still important to keep your device up to date by installing the latest security updates from the manufacturer.
  7. Encrypt all of your files and back them up. — Your device should give you the option to encrypt all of your files (this is typically found in the settings). Be sure to regularly back up your important data onto a separate external device or one of the many “cloud” services available.

National Mason Jar Day

National Mason Jar Day is celebrated annually on November 30th. As you can easily surmise, this holiday celebrates mason jars – an ingenious invention who’s primary and intended uses are in food preservation – although, they have myriad other uses as well. This holiday was created by Misty Campbell-Olbert, to celebrate the versatile mason jar.
While some forms of food preservation have existed for centuries, it wasn’t until John Landis Mason’s patent (#22186) for an “Improvement in screw neck bottles” was issued, that home canning became safe and reliable. The young tinsmith from New Jersey had created a revolutionary design using a screw cap, a tin lid, and a rubber seal. Ever since, gardeners have stocked their pantries with canned fresh fruits and vegetables from their gardens. Mr. Mason’s invention made it possible to enjoy the flavors of summer even in the harshest winter. For those who like to pickle foods, Mr. Mason’s patented jar makes it possible to pickle just about every fruit and vegetable in the garden – from the traditional cucumbers to green beans to watermelon.
For decades, mason jars have been synonymous with ingenuity, independence, and creativity – all things worthy of celebration. Aside from their intended purpose, mason jars can be used to store your valuable collectibles or the olio of small, odd-shaped items that “you might use someday.” Mason jars can be used in a variety of DIY projects as well.  They can be made into candles, used as sconces, filled with colorful rocks, sand, or beads and used to decorate your home, used as “shabby-chic” vases for your flowers, or can even be used as desk caddies for your office items. Your imagination is the only limiting factor to the usefulness of your mason jars.
To celebrate National Mason Jar Day, count the ways you already use your mason jars around your home and/or devise other ways to use them. Buy some food packaged in mason jars, eat it, then add the empty jars to your collection. I’m sure that you’ll find another use for them in no time.

Perpetual Youth Day

Perpetual Youth Day is celebrated each year on November 30th. Contrary to what you might think, this holiday has nothing to do with the imaginary “Fountain of youth.” Rather, this holiday pays tribute to Dick Clark, born on this date in 1929. Clark, who appeared to age very little during the five-plus decades of his career, earning him the nickname of “America’s oldest teenager.”
In 1952, Clark began hosting a local Philadelphia television show called Bandstand. In 1957, he pitched the show to ABC as cheap, easy afternoon programming that would appeal to youth. The network, perennially in third place, was desperate to capture that demographic. On August 5, 1957, American Bandstand premiered to a national audience. It was an instant hit. Clark hosted the show for thirty years, giving many bands their first United States TV appearances. Among the diverse artists he introduced to American audiences were Aretha Franklin, Madonna, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, Barry Manilow, Adam and the Ants, Kim Carnes, Blondie, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Prince.
Clark, the clean-cut, “square” host, sometimes made music history. According to one source, on August 6, 1960, the scheduled guest Hank Ballard and the Midnighters failed to show up to perform their hit R&B song “The Twist.” Clark convinced his friend Chubby Checker to go into the studio quickly and cut a soundalike version in half an hour. Demonstrating the dance on TV, Chubby got an instant #1 hit and set off a new nationwide “dance craze”– The Twist, that lasted the better part of two years.
American Bandstand was not Dick Clark’s only claim to fame. In 1959, he hosted a forty-nine-day road show called Caravan of Stars that traveled throughout the United States and Canada and featured Bo Diddley, Bobby Darin, Buddy Holly, Annette Funicello and Chuck Berry, backed by a seventeen-piece orchestra. He hosted the Dick Clark Show (1958-60) and Where the Action Is (1965-67), produced and/or hosted TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes (on-and-off, in one form or other, from 1984-2012). He founded Dick Clark Productions in 1957, which is now the world’s largest owner and producer of events such as Academy of Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Miss America and weekly programs such as So You Think You Can Dance. Dick Clark hosted New Year’s Rockin’ Eve from January 1, 1974, through January 1, 2004.
In 2012, Clark suffered a massive heart attack during prostate surgery. He died on the operating table at the age of 82 – however, his legacy will live forever.
To celebrate Perpetual Youth Day, learn more about this iconic entertainment legend.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, also known as National Day of Giving, is celebrated annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. After the crass commercialism of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the season of giving.
The tradition of charitable giving during the holidays began thousands of years ago. Today, it continues to be an important part of many cultures and religions around the world and has been a long-standing tradition in America since its creation.
Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving. Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving. Social media played a big part in spreading the word about Giving Tuesday quickly. The first announcement about Giving Tuesday was made through Mashable, a technology website. The first Giving Tuesday was covered extensively by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Deseret News, and the White House official blog, causing the scheme to gain an enormous amount of popularity in a short period of time. Giving Tuesday is organized and celebrated each year with the simple aim of encouraging individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to give to the less fortunate.
There is no shortage of ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Secret Santa programs, donating money, and volunteering your time are just a few.

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day  

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is observed each year on November 30th. As you can easily infer, this holiday’s primary objective is to generate awareness about the damaging effects of ‘meth’ abuse on individuals, families and communities. Education and public outreach are at the heart of the national drug control strategy, and National Methamphetamine Awareness Day will play an important role in highlighting the nationwide efforts to increase awareness and decrease demand of this highly addictive and dangerous drug.
Each year, the Department of Justice joins with state Attorneys General, along with state and local leaders, and state and local law enforcement to discuss the broader impact that meth production and use are having on our communities. Together, they coordinate a variety of educational events designed to combat ‘meth’ addiction and target problem areas in their specific communities.
National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is a coordinated effort not only to reach potential meth users with a message of prevention but also to educate current users about the programs available to them.
To observe National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, learn more about the problem of methamphetamine addiction in your area.

National Mousse Day

National Mousse Day is celebrated annually on November 30th. This holiday does not celebrate the device that you use to navigate your way around your desktop computer, nor does it celebrate those pesky rodents that occasionally invade your home, nor does it celebrate the largest antlered, cloven-hooved ruminant in North America. National Mousse Day celebrates mousse – the sometimes savory, sometimes sweet, food product – in all of its forms.
The word mousse in French means froth or foam. A mousse is a soft prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture and is typically made with whipped egg whites or cream and is often fortified with gelatin. Its consistency can vary from light and airy to thick and creamy. Mousse first became popular in 18th century France but did not become prominent in the United States until the end of the 19th century. Mousse is soft, and is often light and fluffy, but can also be creamy and thick. It can be sweet or savory and is often served chilled, although some types are served hot.
Savory mousse can be made from meat, fish, shellfish, foie gras, cheese or even vegetables. Hot mousse usually gets their light texture from the addition of beaten egg whites. They’re generally baked in a water bath to prevent the mixture from curdling.
The sweet variety of mousse is made from whipped egg whites and whipped cream and is flavored with things such as chocolate, coffee, caramel, nuts, fruit, and herbs and spices, such as mint and vanilla. It is served as a dessert and can be used as a cake filling.
Whether sweet or savory, a mousse can complement your meal. From a smokey salmon mousse as the first course to a tart lemon or creamy chocolate mousse for dessert, there is virtually no limit to the flavors we can incorporate into your mousse.
So, to celebrate National Mousse Day, simply enjoy some mousse today – whether it is sweet or savory is up to you.
Factoid: 
When applied to wine, the word mousse describes the foam that forms on the surface of champagne or other sparkling wine when it is first poured. Mousse is analogous to the term “head,” which is the foam on a freshly poured glass of beer.

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

Cyber Monday, Square Dancing, Chocolates, and Lemon Cream Pie

November 29, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of online shopping. Today is Monday, November 29, 2021. November 29th is the 333rd day of the year, and 32 days remain.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is celebrated each year on the Monday after Thanksgiving. You don’t need to be a member of MENSA to discern that this holiday celebrates ‘cyber shopping’ (aka: “e-tail”). More specifically, this holiday is the third side of the ‘retail triangle’ designed to separate you from your hard-earned dollars at the official start of the Christmas shopping season. It is the online counterpart to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. This popular online shopping day was first created in 2005 by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term Cyber Monday was coined by Ellen Davis, the Senior Vice President of the National Retail Federation.
Just like their brick-and-mortar cousins on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, online retailers hope to realize a spike in sales on Cyber Monday. Sales on the first Cyber Monday were about $450 million dollars, but as Cyber Monday caught on, sales increased. In 2006, sales were up 25% to a little over $600 million, and by 2010, sales topped $1 billion dollars for the first time. The latest sales figures, for 2015, showed that shoppers spent $2.28 billion dollars on this holiday. In 2015, online shoppers spent an average of $124.00 per person for Cyber Monday – with 46% of people using credit cards, 43% using debit cards with the rest using online payment services such as PayPal. Social media has also ramped up the advertising opportunities, bringing, even more, potential shoppers to retailers’ online stores. Cyber Monday shopping is expected to be up again this year with a predicted $3-billion in sales.
As technology emerges, so do the ways people do their online shopping. Purchases using mobile devices have increased significantly, adding to the convenience of Cyber Monday. No longer do you have to be strapped to your PC or Mac in order to make an online purchase. Last year, 41.2% of all Cyber Monday [e-tail] transactions were done on a smartphone or tablet.
But what the heck are these people spending their money on? The most popular online purchases on Cyber Monday tend to be tech items –especially wearable technology and the traditional small appliances, clothing, gift cards and digital media.
To celebrate Cyber Monday, simply let your “fingers do the shopping” today.
Author’s Note:
I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you about cybersecurity. While you are doing your online shopping today, make sure that you have taken the necessary steps to protect your personal information.

1. Make sure that you have adequate computer protection software installed on your computer to prevent ‘cyber theft’.
2. Buy only from reputable online retailers that you trust.

Remember, it’s not a “good deal” if someone steals your credit card information – or worse yet, steals your identity.

National Square Dance Day 

National Square Dance Day is celebrated annually on November 29th. You don’t need to be a professional “hoofer” to conclude that this holiday celebrates square dancing – a popular type of folk dancing, especially in rural America. Square Dancing is both fun, and great exercise. Medical sites and journals speak to its health benefits for people of all ages. The origin of National Square Dance Day is unknown.
Square dancing is a form of folk dancing that has its roots in traditional English, Irish, and Scottish folk dance. Square dances were first documented in 17th century England. They came to North America right along with the European settlers, where they were modified over the years. The Western American square dance is perhaps the most famous type of square dance worldwide – in fact, the square dance is the official dance of 19 American states.
Square dancing is mainly associated with a romanticized image of the Old West, and cowboys wooing young belles during dances organized to celebrate various occasions. The dance is accompanied by jolly, lively music on guitars, fiddles, accordions, and bagpipes. The dances normally form patterns of lines, circles and, as the name suggests, squares, with couples – male/female, female/female or male/male – taking a turn in every role. As it evolved in the America, a caller was added, to help dancers stay in step. The dancers are prompted through the square dance choreography to the beat of the music. Sometimes, this so-called “caller” is one of the dancers, but more commonly the “caller” is found on the stage with the band. Interest in square dancing, which had waned during the World Wars, experienced a revival in New York City in the 1950s during the American folk music revival.
Logically, the best way to celebrate National Square Dance Day is by doing some square dancing. If you don’t already know how to square dance, perhaps this holiday is the day to learn. “Do Si Do” everybody.

National Chocolates Day

National Chocolates Day is celebrated each year on November 29th. You needn’t be a master chocolatier to deduce that this holiday celebrates chocolates in general – the many varieties of chocolate treats that you normally buy at your favorite confectioner’s shop for numerous special occasions throughout the year.
If it seems like we celebrate a chocolate-related holiday every month, it’s because we do. Farmflavor.com has compiled a comprehensive list of them. Since I have covered the history and origins of chocolate in previous posts, I won’t bother to do it again here. However, if you want a refresher course on the subject, this link should suffice.
To quote a famous line from the 1994 movie Forest Gump;

“My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” 

So, to celebrate National Chocolates Day, buy a box of chocolates today and share them with your family.

National Lemon Cream Pie Day 

National Lemon Cream Pie Day is celebrated annually on November 29th. Even if you aren’t a pâtissier, you should be able to ascertain that this holiday celebrates lemon cream pie – a popular, tangy, refreshing variety of cream pie.
Cream pies, in general, are among America’s favorite desserts. Chocolate, banana, strawberry, and coconut are traditional favorites, but today’s holiday specifically celebrates their lemon-flavored cousin. Lemon Cream Pie is a tart, but sweet dessert usually made with a lemon custard and topped with [often lemon flavored] whipped cream.
Alas, Lemon cream Pie is often overshadowed by its [not too distant] relative, Lemon Meringue Pie, but, in fact, they are actually quite different in both flavor, texture, and of course, the topping. Many people often incorrectly use the terms ‘cream’ and ‘meringue’ interchangeably, as the waitress did in this personal anecdote below.

In my travels as an over-the-road truck driver, I seldom ordered dessert, but on this occasion, I was craving a piece of chocolate cream pie, so I ordered a slice.
The waitress brought me a piece chocolate pie topped with meringue.
When I told her that I ordered chocolate cream pie, not chocolate meringue pie, the waitress then actually said to me: “cream, meringue, what’s the difference?”
I replied: “I don’t know. What’s the difference between a cow and a chicken?” — I told her to take it back and bring me my check.

Anyway, I digress. Treat yourself to a slice of tasty and refreshing lemon cream pie today in celebration of National Lemon Cream Pie Day. Just be sure that it is lemon cream pie – not lemon meringue!

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

Mars, Make Your Head, Letter Writing, Turkey Leftovers, and French Toast

November 28, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning, Martians. Today is Sunday, November 28, 2021. November 28th is the 332nd day of the year, and 33 days remain.

Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day is celebrated each year on November 28th. Even if you are from another world, you should be able to deduce that this holiday celebrates Mars – our closest celestial neighbor, and the fourth planet in the solar system. However, more precisely, this holiday commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28,1964. The 228-day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965. In the 8 months that it was on its mission, the Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by Mars. It also gave the world the first close-up images of Mars. Since then, several exploratory missions have been sent to Mars to gather data about the planet.
Today, 5 spacecraft orbit Mars and 2 spacecraft – the Curiosity Rover and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity – are on the planet’s surface. All 7 send an incredible amount of data about the planet back to astronomers on Earth.
Mars is similar to Earth in many ways – it has the same rotational period and seasonal cycles. Mars has 2 moons, Deimos and Phobos, and has the largest volcano, Olympus Mons, in the Solar System. Because of its similarity and proximity to Earth, many astronomers and scientists believe that at some point in its history Mars may have been a hospitable planet for life. Exploration of Mars has been high on the agenda of the space programs of many countries. NASA, the American space agency has estimated that it could send humans to the Red Planet by the 2030’s.
The planet Mars is referred to as the “Red Planet” because it appears red when viewed from Earth. Scientists speculate that it gets its red hue from the high amount of iron oxide (rust) on its surface.
On Red Planet Day, take a few minutes to look upwards into the sky tonight, and gaze at our neighbor. Hopefully, you will have a cloudless night sky for viewing. You can also recognize this holiday by learning more about Mars and viewing pictures of it. There are plenty of pictures online.
As I mentioned earlier, there is still much debate about whether or not life ever existed on Mars. What do you think? Was there ever ‘life’ on Mars?
“Marvin the Martian” – Bugs Bunny’s extraterrestrial nemesis in a number Warner Brother’s cartoons, weighs in on the ‘yes’ side of the argument – and will likely “scrooch” you if you disagree.

Below are some interesting facts about Mars:

  • Mars is the fourth Planet from the Sun.
  • Mars gets its name from the Greek word “Ares”, the God of War
  • Mars is often visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
  •  The distance of Mars from the Sun averages 136,764,000 miles.
  • Mars’ rotation around the Sun takes 687 Earth days.
  • Mars’ rotation period: 1.026 Earth days.
  • Mars’ gravity is 1/3 that of Earth.
  • Mars is the 7th largest planet, about 1/10th the mass of Earth.
  • Mars’ temperature range is -207 to +81 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mar’s atmosphere is nothing like the Earth’s. It’s thin and composed mostly of carbon dioxide.
  • A person who weighs 100 pounds on Earth would only weigh the equivalent of 38 pounds on Mars because of the difference in gravity.

Make Your Own Head Day

Make Your Own Head Day is celebrated annually on November 28th. This holiday makes absolutely no sense to me. I think whoever created this holiday was prematurely dipping into the holiday eggnog. From what I can glean from my sources, you are supposed to make a piece of art in your own image.
Aside from the literal translation, this holiday could also be interpreted to mean that you should make up your own mind, take some time for self-reflection, or just be yourself. Stop trying to wear someone else’s hat if it doesn’t fit. Or, perhaps this holiday is about your perception of yourself – in other words, how you see yourself as compared to what others see. I just don’t know.
There was an interesting video on YouTube a while ago where a forensic artist drew a picture of each member of a group of people according to the way they described themselves – then drew another picture of that same person according to the way another person described them. The artist was behind a curtain and couldn’t see the subjects. The results were surprising.
Not being artistically inclined [it takes me 3 attempts to draw a “happy face”], I probably will not be celebrating Make Your Own Head Day. But, if you are artistically inclined, why not give it a try?

It’s Letter Writing Day

It’s Letter Writing Day is celebrated each year on November 28th. You needn’t be a wordsmith to conclude that this holiday urges us to, oddly enough, write some letters today.
In the age of ‘instant communication’ these days, letter writing is sadly becoming a lost art. It seems that people today can’t or won’t take the time to sit down and convey their thoughts to their family/friends the way they once did. What a shame!
To celebrate It’s Letter Writing Day, sit down with pen and paper and write some letters to your friends and distant family today. They’ll be glad to hear from you — Bonus points if you use the cursive alphabet that your teachers so painstakingly tried to teach you in Elementary School (if you still remember how). Heck, why not kill two birds with one stone and use this holiday to compose those epic tomes that you include in your Christmas cards updating your friends and family on the happenings in your life over the past year?
Semi-writing-related Factoid:
The first skywriting occurred on this date in 1922. Captain Cyril Turner, British Royal Air Force ace pilot, flew into position over New York City, spelling out “HELLO USA CALL VANDERBILT 7200” in plumes of white smoke. Over 47,000 people called the number.
The telephone number was that of the Vanderbilt Hotel, where, by happenstance, George Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company, was sitting with aviation pioneer and RAF pilot John Savage. So convinced was Mr. Hill by this exhibition that he contracted Mr. Savage to use skywriting advertisements to promote Lucky Strike Cigarettes – and the first widespread commercial use of skywriting was born.

Turkey Leftover Day

Turkey Leftover Day is celebrated annually on November 28th. In the interest of your and your family’s sanity [and food safety], this holiday urges you find a way to use the remainder of your Thanksgiving bird today.
By now, you’re probably pretty tired of eating turkey. You’ve made hot turkey sandwiches, cold turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle soup, turkey hash, turkey fried rice, and turkey a la king – turkey, Turkey, TURKEY, TURKEY, – and now your family are on the verge of becoming homicidal. It’s time to either finish the last vestiges of your Thanksgiving bird, or throw it out.
It only takes a few days for leftover food to go bad. Bacteria can grow in any food that needs refrigerating when left at room temperature for longer than an hour, so, after a few days of heating and cooling and heating and cooling your leftover turkey, it’s best to throw it out to avoid the risk of food-borne illness.
To celebrate Turkey Leftover Day, make one last meal from your turkey leftovers – then relegate the remainder to the garbage disposal.

National French Toast Day

National French Toast Day is celebrated each year on November 28th. It celebrates, as you might suspect, French Toast – a world-renowned breakfast/brunch staple.
French Toast is the perfect way to start your day. The basic recipe for French Toast is bread, milk, eggs, vanilla, and some sugar and cinnamon, and then topped with delicious maple syrup, but many variations of this classic breakfast can be found around the world.
The origin of French Toast is unknown, but recipes date back to the sixteenth century in Europe and although we tend to call it French Toast, the dish didn’t originate in France. Some ancient Latin recipes from the 4th-century mention soaking bread in milk before frying.
What we in America know as French Toast has many other names depending on where you are from, including – eggy bread, German toast, and Bombay toast – but they all start with the same basic ingredients in mentioned above. Prior to the Hundred Years War, French toast was known in England as “poor knight’s pudding” because it was a simple and inexpensive dish that a knight with no money could afford. In France, it was called “pan perdu” or lost bread, because it was a way of using lost or stale bread.
Regardless of what you call it, treat your family to some French Toast for breakfast this morning in celebration of National French Toast Day.

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

Small Business, Turtles, Auras, Pins and Needles, Craft Jerky, and Bavarian Cream Pie

November 27, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning community-minded shoppers. Today is Saturday, November 27, 2021. November 27th is the 331st day of the year, and 34 days remain.

Small Business Saturday 

Small Business Saturday is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As you can easily discern from its name, this holiday urges us to patronize small, locally-owned brick and mortar businesses today as we begin our holiday shopping in earnest during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. This holiday was first observed in 2010, as a counterpart to Black Friday and the [upcoming] Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively.
I know, I know! After risking life and limb, and sacrificing sleep and any vestiges of sanity, decorum, and dignity yesterday by participating in Black Friday – along comes Small Business Saturday, and the last thing you want to do is more shopping. But, despite not being able to offer the deep discounts on specific items that the retail giants use to lure you in on Black Friday, small businesses still need your support as well.
The first Small Business Saturday was conceived of and promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio, television, and social media advertising campaign. The ad campaign gained momentum on Facebook when Amex bought advertising inventory on the social media website. AMEX then gave that ad space to its small merchant account holders, who were encouraged to give rebates and other incentives to new customers to promote the event. Over 40 local politicians and many small business groups in the United States issued proclamations concerning the Small Business Saturday campaign. It generated more than one million Facebook “like” registrations. Additionally, some small business owners began to run marketing specials on Small Business Saturday to help capitalize on the boost in foot traffic or online traffic, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.
Celebrating Small Business Saturday is easy. Simply avoid shopping in those corporate giant big-box stores and shop at businesses owned and operated by small local merchants.

Turtle Adoption Day

Turtle Adoption Day is celebrated each year on November 27th. Despite what its name infers, this holiday does not encourage you to dash out and adopt a turtle today. In fact, the exact opposite is true. This holiday serves to inform you that turtles are not the easiest pets to raise and you should do thorough research before deciding to adopt a turtle as a pet. Aside from living for decades, turtles require a lot of care and have particular dietary needs depending upon their species.
All turtles start out small. They are hatched from eggs. However, they grow rapidly and will soon outgrow that little terrarium you got from the pet store when you bought your cute little turtle. The turtles that you buy in pet stores are actually babies. This article explains the do’s and don’ts of having turtles as pets better than can I. If you are contemplating buying a turtle for your children or grandchildren, I suggest that you read the article first.
To celebrate Turtle Adoption Day, simply learn more about turtles.

International Aura Awareness Day 

International Aura Awareness Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in November. As you might suspect, this holiday seeks to make us aware of our aura – that special inner light that each of us have. This holiday was created in 2002 by Cynthia Sue Larson, a best-selling author, life coach, and inspirational speaker
It’s been said that true beauty emanates from within, and an aura is a quality or energy emanating from a person or thing. While every one of us has an aura, few people give much thought to them. Auras have been recognized for millennia to exist in all living things. Our auras have been recognized and artistically portrayed for millennia. Our aura surrounds each and every one of us and changes according to our health, mood, and character. Dark or damaged auras can be an early warning indicator of myriad physical, emotional, and psychological problems.
International Aura Awareness Day contends that you can both feel and see auras with practice relatively quickly and learn how to energize and repair your aura through visualization and meditation.
Depending on the beliefs of your religion, your aura might manifest itself differently. Hindu and Buddhist scholars link the colors that symbolize our auras to Kundalini energy and chakras. In the Christian and Islamic faiths, it is believed that auras are the halos around the heads of the holy – or the concept of a “body of light”.  British occultist W.E. Butler connected auras with clairvoyance, and he too believed that auras serve as a visual measure of the state of the health of the physical body.
With all that said, I have yet to see my aura – or anyone else’s for that matter. You’ll convince me of their existence only when you can show me one. Celebrate International Aura Day in whatever manner you deem personally appropriate.

Pins and Needles Day

Pins and Needles Day is celebrated each year on November 27th. The actual meaning of this holiday has been obscured by time. However, from what I glean from my sources, the origin of Pins and Needles Day dates back to the labor movement in the 1930’s. The pro-labor Broadway musical Pins and Needles, opened on this date in 1937, at the Labor Stage Theater in New York City. This play was written by Harold Rome. It was produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Union members made up the cast. It ran for 1108 performances, once holding the record for longevity.
As the popularity of the play waned, WWII broke out. The focus of Pins and Needles Day then shifted from the literal meaning of the pins and needles used in the sewing trade to mean that tingly pins and needles feeling people get when they are anticipating something – like awaiting the return of their loved ones from the war.
Today, the focus has shifted once again. These days it means something akin to children being on “pins and needles” anxiously awaiting the arrival of jolly ole’ St. Nick on Christmas Eve. So now you have options. No matter which version of Pins and Needles Day you choose to celebrate, you will be correct.

National Craft Jerky Day

National Craft Jerky Day is celebrated annually on November 27th. You needn’t be clairvoyant to deduce that this holiday celebrates craft jerky – a burgeoning industry in America. This holiday is intended to awaken the taste buds and ignite the opinions of jerky fans the world over by focusing on artisanal creators of this dehydrated, seasoned meat and snack. The Long Beach Jerky Co. created National Craft Jerky Day to honor all the small batch jerky makers.
In a world sedated by mass produced “jerky,” National Craft Jerky Day honors those who stubbornly refuse to give into the hype and insist on making their own jerky. For many people, making jerky is a family tradition – created from recipes passed down through generations from a time when making jerky was a necessity in order to survive.
Quality meat and small batch production is the foundation for making your own jerky at home. Creative and unique recipes are the product of your environment. You use whatever meat or game most readily available to you – be it beef, pork, venison, bird or buffalo. The spices and wood used are what makes your own jerky recipe unique.
I know that unless you already have some of your homemade jerky on hand, you won’t be able to enjoy your own craft jerky today in celebration of National Craft Jerky Day. But you can celebrate this tasty holiday by starting a batch of your ‘secret-recipe’ jerky today. If you don’t already have a time-tested family recipe, there are myriad recipes available online.

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day is celebrated annually on November 27th. You don’t need to be a pâtissier to conclude that this holiday, oddly enough, it celebrates Bavarian Cream Pie – an eggy, custard-like pie renowned the world over. Bavarian Cream Pie, as we know it today, isn’t actually a pie at all, but rather a cake layered with Bavarian Cream.
Cream, custard, and pudding pies have been around since the Middle Ages. Bavarian cream pie is a delicious, chilled dessert made with a cooked egg custard layered with whipped cream and toppings in a pie shell. However, French chef, Marie Antione Careme is given credit for the invention of [what we now call] Bavarian cream, which is a gelatin-based pastry cream originally served in gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels in France in the early 19th century.
After the technological advances in cornstarch extraction in the 1900s, instant pudding and custard mix helped popularize these kinds of desserts even further.
To celebrate National Bavarian Cream Pie Day, simply enjoy a slice [or two] for dessert tonight. This is one recipe for Bavarian Crème to get you started in your quest for Bavarian Dream Pie today.

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

Black Friday, Buy Nothing, You’re Welcome, Good Grief, Native American Heritage, Flossing, Listening, Sinkies, Maize, and Cake

November 26, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning bargain hunters. Today is Friday, November 26, 2021. November 26th is the 330th day of the year, and 35 days remain.

Black Friday

Although not an officially sanctioned holiday, Black Friday is a retail event held annually on the day after Thanksgiving. It is the single best shopping day for retailers and signifies the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Fun Fact:
About 66% of shoppers say that they are shopping for themselves on Black Friday.
The name “Black Friday” comes from the accounting terms, “in the red” and “in the black.” Retailers hail the day after Thanksgiving as the turning point in the year when they transition from the red (losing money) to the black (making a profit).
Black Friday can best be described as “retail anarchy”. Stores offer selected merchandise at significantly reduced prices to entice shoppers into their stores in hopes that they will be induced to buy other things while they are there. People actually wait in long lines just to be one of the first people in the store to get the best bang-for-their-buck. It doesn’t bode well for our society in my opinion. This link provides information regarding the origins and history of this “holiday”.
Although Black Friday is the biggest day for shopping traffic, it is not always the day with the most sales. That distinction typically belongs to the last Saturday before Christmas.
Author’s Note: In recent years, there has been an upsurge in violence occurring on Black Friday. Fights breaking out, stabbings, shootings – all for the sake of saving a few bucks. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.
Additionally, I refuse to patronize businesses who make their employees come to work, often as early as 6:00 PM or earlier on Thanksgiving Day, just to jumpstart their Black Friday sales for more profits. DAMMIT! Christmas Season Starts on the Friday AFTER Thanksgiving – let your employees enjoy some time off with their families.

Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day is also celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving. In stark contrast to Black Friday above, this holiday urges us to buy absolutely nothing today – which is, logically, the safer, saner alternative.
Buy Nothing Day is basically a protest against consumerism. It urges you to stay at home and refrain from doing any shopping of any kind. Let the unwashed masses deal with the stress and aggravation of rude, obnoxious people; frazzled, overworked employees; and voluminous traffic. This link gives you the history of this holiday.
This is the shopping holiday that I celebrate each year. To celebrate Buy Nothing Day, simply stay at home today and buy nothing. I’ll be at home relaxing without a care in the world.

You’re Welcome-giving Day

Sometimes referred to simply as You’re Welcome Day is celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving – which seems appropriate. It’s just good manners to say “you’re welcome” after someone says “thank you.” It is very likely that this holiday originated on a blog in 2002 declaring that the day after Thanksgiving should be You’re Welcome-giving Day – however, the author remains anonymous.
Although there is little information in my sources about this holiday, I think that gratitude is woefully lacking in today’s society. And one of the best ways to show gratitude is through generosity.
So, the best way to celebrate Your Welcome-giving Day, is to be generous. Make a donation to a local food bank so that they can replenish their supplies in time for Christmas. Sign up to become a “secret Santa” for a family in need in your area. Volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless. And, of course, simply say “you’re welcome” when someone thanks you for your generosity.

Good Grief Day

Good Grief Day is celebrated each year on November 26th. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this holiday has absolutely nothing to do with dealing with the stages of grief, or suffering the loss of a loved one. Instead, Good Grief Day celebrates the birthdate of Charles M. Schulz, born on this date in 1922 – the creator of Charlie Brown, the little boy in the striped yellow shirt who never, ever, manages to kick the football, and the rest of the Peanuts characters.
This holiday not only celebrates Mr. Schulz, it also celebrates the whole Peanuts gang. Good grief, Charlie Brown! Although Mr. Schultz passed away in 2000, his legacy will live on forever. Today would have been his 99th birthday.
To celebrate Good Grief Day, peruse some old Peanuts comic strips or watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (after all, it’s after Thanksgiving so it’s OK to watch it now) – or, watch one of the many other classic Peanuts television specials. Also, add a trip to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California to your “bucket list”.

National Native American Heritage Day

Native American Heritage Day is a civil holiday observed on the day after Thanksgiving. President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-California), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.
The Native American Heritage Day Bill was supported by 184 federally recognized tribes as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
To celebrate Native American Heritage Day, learn more about the positive contributions of Native Americans to our society.

Flossing Day

Flossing Day is, yet another, holiday today that is celebrated annually on the day after Thanksgiving. You don’t need to be a clairvoyant dentist to determine that this holiday urges us to floss today. It also encourages you to include daily flossing as a part of your daily oral health regimen if you haven’t already.
According to the American Dental Association, flossing is one of the best ways keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from cavities and gum disease. It also helps prevent plaque build-up which can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth. And, plaque that is not removed can harden into tarter – which only your dentist can remove by grinding and scraping it off.
So, that’s right folks, it’s time to celebrate Flossing Day by flossing away the last vestiges of that green bean casserole that aunt Bessie brought to your Thanksgiving feast.

National Day of Listening

National Day of Listening is observed annually on the day after Thanksgiving. Listen up, people. This holiday recommends that you to actually listen to what people are saying today – instead of letting it pass through one ear and out the other.
Sometimes the best gift one can give to another is merely listening to what they have to say. One of the biggest problems in today’s society is that people are so polarized that they won’t even listen to another’s point of view.
To celebrate National Day of Listening, simply be more attentive when people are speaking to you. You’ll never know that you missed if you don’t listen.
Author’s Note:
My parents are both long since deceased. I regret not listening to their stories when I was younger. A typical youth, I thought I had all the answers and my stodgy parents were akin to dinosaurs [my father was born in 1893, and my mother in 1910] and had nothing relevant to impart in the “modern world.” I wish now that I could turn back the clock. I would know much more about my family history, and about life in general. However, somewhere along the line I became my parents, so maybe, just maybe, I was listening after all – at least some of the time.

“Sinkie” Day

“Sinkie” Day, like so many other holidays today, is celebrated annually on the day after Thanksgiving. “Sinkies” are people who choose to eat meals hurriedly over the sink rather than sit down at the dinner table, and this holiday is dedicated to them. Thanksgiving leftovers provide perfect reason to enjoy a quick meal over the kitchen sink, and after you’ve finished, hit the Black Friday sales.
Sadly, to many people these days, this holiday is more than a one-time event during the holidays. Many people are “sinkies” as part of their daily routine. These people are famous for grabbing a jelly doughnut and a cup of coffee while racing out the door in the morning late for work, dashboard dining in the car, and/or having a desk lunch of M&Ms and Diet Pepsi from the vending machines in the break room. They seem so wrapped up in whatever task they’re doing that they can’t even find the time to eat a proper meal. In today’s hustle-bustle society, millions of people around the world eat on the run. Eating and snacking over the kitchen sink has become a way of life. I must confess that I am guilty of this all too often. It’s certainly not the healthiest way to eat, but if you’re pressed for time, it’s a viable option.
To celebrate “Sinkie” Day, grab some leftovers and eat them right there on the kitchen counter.

Maize Day

Maize Day is celebrated annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  As you might be able to guess, this holiday celebrates all varieties of maize. However, you probably know maize by its most common American name – corn. National Maize Day was started by artist Corinne Lightweaver in 2004. According to Ms. Lightweaver, “It began as a small research project through which I intended—with my family—to commemorate the United States holiday of Thanksgiving through the viewpoint of the indigenous people.”
Maize was first cultivated thousands of years ago, and by 1500 BC in Mesoamerica (in and around Mexico). After Europeans discovered the Americas, corn spread to the rest of the world.
There are many varieties of corn/maize grown for different purposes, such as flour corn, popcorn, sweet corn, ornamental maize, and so forth. Corn can be eaten “on-the-cob” or removed from the cob to be cooked and served as a side vegetable or mixed into some other dish. It can be popped and eaten as a snack or pressed and made into the sweetener called corn syrup. Kernels can be bleached with lye (hominy), can be coarsely ground (grits), or finely ground and made into masa (cornbread, corn tortillas, tamales) or into porridge (polenta, mush). Cornmeal can even be baked or fried into crispy corn flakes or corn chips.
Apparently eating corn-on-the-cob is mostly an American thing. Although there are many other cultures that eat a lot of corn-based products, they don’t commonly eat it off-the-cob.
To celebrate Maize Day, simply enjoy some maize/corn today – in whatever form you desire.

National Cake Day 

National Cake Day is celebrated annually on November 26th. You needn’t be a pâtissier to deduce that, oddly enough, this holiday celebrates cake – one of the world’s most-ancient sweet treats.
Cake is one of the world’s favorite desserts, but all cakes that exist today are actually descended from ancient breads – round loaves of dough placed on hearthstones to bake. The cake we know and love today evolved from early leavened bread which was sweetened with honey, fruit, and nuts. The word “cake” comes from the Old Norse word, “kaka,” meaning a baked flour confection.
The ancient Egyptians were the world’s first great bakers, with large-scale bakeries that produced unleavened bread and cakes, first baked on hot stones. They were the first to discover how to use wild (natural) yeast to make those flatbreads and cakes rise.
Fast-forward a few millennia to the 18th century. This was around the time when the technique of whipping eggs to make cakes rise was discovered. While it required many hours of beating, it heralded the dawn of modern baking. By the 1840s, baking soda had been invented, followed by baking powder in the 1860s. As ovens with regulated temperatures became available, and sugar became affordable to everyone, more people were able to bake, resulting in more creativity in recipe development. The modern cake as we know it began to take shape in the mid-19th century.
Even though sugar originated in Asia, cakes as we now know them—flour, eggs, butter and sugar baked to a sweet, fluffy deliciousness are a Western evolution. There are thousands of different types of cakes in the world today, and each culture has its own specialties – most of which we have never seen, or even heard about.
Whether you prefer vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, pineapple-upside-down, or one of the myriad other varieties, have a slice of your favorite cake today to celebrate National Cake Day.

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

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