The Army! Twinkies! Teflon and MORE! Come Celebrate This Sunday With Me!

Apr 6th

Good Morning! And what a wonderful morning it is!  Last night hubby took me on a real date!  We go out to dinner once in awhile, and it’s always fun, but this was a real, dress up, put on fancy shoes and go out date.  Somehow dinner and a few games at the casino just feels fancy when you’re in a dress and high heels, and when hubby is in a nice dress shirt and slacks.  We eat at the casino once in awhile, but typically it’s at the buffet – the food is fresh at this one, not cookie cutter buffet food by any means – but it’s still a buffet.  Tonight he took me to the Bistro at the casino where the restaurant somehow is buffered from the exterior noise,  the menu has some really tasty choices, and the wait staff actually acts like they value the customers.  I can honestly say that our hydration needs were at the top of their priority list, since I couldn’t get two swallows out of my glass before they were filling it up again. Nice, right?  We’ve all been out to eat and couldn’t get the attention of someone to give us something to drink to save our lives, so it was quite refreshing to not have to even think about it.  Our meal started with a delightfully crusty loaf of sourdough bread, and butter that wasn’t only NOT cold, it was actually creamy.  Even in other restaurants that are considered to be better places to eat, we’ve gotten cold butter that wouldn’t spread for anything, so it isn’t a small thing to get smooth, creamy butter on fresh, warm bread.  Our before dinner drink wasn’t bad either – cold, icy, and well mixed. Hmmmm. . . . close to home with good service and decent food?  At this point I was really looking forward to our meal!  The dinner salad was fresh, crisp and brightly colored, topped with lovely shredded beets, sweet tomatoes and a very tasty herbed basil salad dressing.  It would have been really tacky to lick the salad dressing cup, but it was good enough to consider.  My entrée was something I wouldn’t typically order – since I’ve been eating pretty healthy lately, but the moment I read it on the menu I had to step outside my usual box of either chicken or fish and try something completely unusual . . . well, unusual for me anyway.  I ordered the Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese with spring vegetables.   Though I know that hubby could have made it better, because he always is able to improve on anything we get out in a restaurant, it was pretty doggone delicious.  Creamy aged white cheddar, chunks of delicious crab, topped with crispy crumbs of goodness . . . decadent, frighteningly high in calories, but oh-so-good.  No room for dessert . . . but their menu had me giggling.  The last item on the dessert list was a Hot Chocolate Tiramisu . . . with raspberry marshmallow mouse inside.  Mouse? Marshmallow Mouse? HAHAHAHAHAHA   Though we knew they meant mousse, it was still pretty funny.  It wouldn’t have mattered if the meal was mediocre though, because quite honestly, a date with my handsome guy is a always an event worth savoring, and even the worst meal with him is better than the best one with someone else.  I am truly one blessed woman.

Holy Humor Month – Joke of the Day

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.  The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.”  God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this?  Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”   But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”   The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.   God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!”

Plan Your Epitaph Day – The usual reaction to this day is “ewwww, morbid!”  Well, yes, at fist maybe, but when you really stop to think about it, it’s all a part of life.  At some point we are going to die. Period. And when we do, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little control over what is being said, and by whom, on your gravestone?  Think about how awful it could be for your family if that cousin who’s always held a grudge has any input in what’s engraved for you.  So, perhaps it would be best if you took care of it yourself ahead of time!  People are actually getting into the planning act and taking care of a Lot of the things they should be doing ahead of time.  Maybe this holiday is the nudge you need to get the planning ball rolling.  After all, some day it really is going to happen, may as well have the input you’d like to have right from the start

Sorry Charlie Day – Rejection stinks, doesn’t it?  Have you ever been rejected?  You’d be in a big minority if you haven’t.  Rejection hurts, and Sorry Charlie Day is for all of us who have had someone we care about turn their backs on us, and yet we survived it.  Take a moment to reflect on that rejection, then smile and realize that it happens to all of us once in awhile, then assess your current situation – you not only survived it, but I’m betting you’re better off for it.

Army Day – This is a proclamation by President Franklin Roosevelt regarding Army Day: 

I” have proclaimed April 6 Army Day. That day means more than ever to us this year. We are fighting an all-out war in defense of our rights and liberties. Army Day becomes, therefore, in fact a total-war day. It becomes a day when all of our citizens in civil pursuits can rally to the support of our armed forces, for only in the united effort of all of our forces—Army, Navy, and civilians—can we find the strength to defeat our enemies.

Never before in the one hundred and sixty-six years of our history as a free Republic under God have our armed forces had so much meaning for us all. We are engaged in our greatest war, a war that will leave none of our lives wholly untouched.  We shall win that war as we have won every war we have fought. We are fighting it with a combined force of free men that is, in Lincoln’s words, of the people, by the people, for the people of the United States of America.  Our Army is a mighty arm of the tree of liberty. It is a living part of the American tradition, a tradition that goes back to Israel Putnam, who left his plow in a New England furrow to take up a gun and fight at Bunker Hill. In this tradition American men of many ages have always left the pacific round of their usual occupations to fight in causes that were worth their lives -from Lexington to the Argonne.  In times of peace we do not maintain a vast standing Army that might terrorize our neighbors and oppress our people. We do not like to rehearse interminably the cruel art of war. But whenever a tyrant from across the seas has threatened our liberties, our citizens have been ready to forge and use the weapons necessary for their defense. 
It is the men of the regular Army together with the citizen soldiers, our friends and relatives and neighbors of a few short days ago, and the men of all our armed forces, that we honor on Army Day.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT


To the men and women in the Army, past, present and future, we thank you for your service and we honor you today.

New Beers Eve – This day is an unofficial holiday in the United States, celebrating the end of Prohibition on April 6th.  The end of Prohibition happened as a result of the Cullen-Harrison Act, and its signing into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 23, 1933.  Sales of beer in the United States would become legal on April 7, 1933, provided that the state in question had enacted its own law allowing such sales.  The beer had to have an alcohol content of less than 3.2% because this amount was considered too low to produce significant intoxication.  On the evening of April 6th, people lined up outside of breweries and taverns, waiting for midnight when they would be able to legally buy beer for the first time in over 13 years! Since then, the night of April 6th has been referred to as New Beer’s Eve!  Cheers!

Drowsy Driver Awareness Day –  This is an observance set up in California, but honestly I believe it’s something we should all be aware of, and take steps to prevent tragedy for ourselves and our loved ones.  On April 6, 2005 the Governor of California made a proclamation to designate the state’s observance of April 6th every year as a memorial day for those people who have died as a result of a collision involving a drowsy driver.  The statistics for drowsy driving deaths are actually quite high, and they were only listed for California!  I’d be interested to see what they are nation wide.  From 1993 to 2003 – according to the statistics compiled by the Department of CA Highway Patrol, about 100 people were killed each year in collisions where a drowsy driver was involved.  In that 10 year period 41,228 people were injured in collisions involving a drowsy driver, and 28,533 collisions happened involving a drowsy driver where no one was injured but there was significant property damage.  Every single one of these accidents could have been avoided had the drivers used common sense, pulled over and either taken a nap, gotten out and gotten some fresh air and something to drink and woken up.  In 1999 the National Sleep Foundation discovered in a poll that 62% of all adults surveyed reported driving a car or other motor vehicle feeling drowsy in the prior year, and that same poll showed that 27% of the adults reported that at some time they had dozed off while driving.  23% of the people polled stated that they knew someone who had experienced a fall-asleep crash within the past year.  The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the about 100,000 police reported crashes each year – that’s about 1.5% of all crashes, involve drowsiness or fatigue as the main cause.  These numbers are just shocking !  The NHTSA estimates that at least 71,000 people are hurt in fall-asleep crashes each year, and the estimates are that these crashes represent $12,500,000 in monetary losses each year.  These numbers are actually saying that many more people die each year from crashes related to drowsy, sleepy or fatigued drivers than from many serious illness.  The drowsy driver doesn’t just affect themselves, they affect every person who operates a vehicle or rides in a vehicle, or who walks, stands or sits near the roadway where one of these crashes occurs.  This is a problem that can be easily solved!  Just being aware of yourself and how you’re feeling, not driving for more than a specified amount of time before you make yourself stop and get out to take a walk could do wonders for getting these numbers to drop.  I know that the cars my husband and I drive both have automatic alerts in them that start binging at the 2 hour mark.  They will keep binging until the car is stopped and the motor turned off.  Since I know that I get drowsy while driving, I stop at least that often, sometimes more, when I am on a road trip by myself (which honestly isn’t that often) to get some fresh air, walk around, get something more to drink – which translates into automatic stops a little later – and make sure I am awake. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I got drowsy and caused someone else to be hurt because I wasn’t responsible enough to pull over and take a break when I needed one.  Please, be aware of this, know your physical limitations, and if you think you feel OK, stop every couple of hours to make sure.  You may not just be saving your life, but the lives of others around you.


Hostess Twinkie Day – What can we say about Twinkies?  That lovely golden sponge cake with the creamy filling.  Twinkie, and all Hostess goodies have been through a rough time t his last couple years, but they have landed on their feet.  They used to be made and distributed by Hostess Brands, and were temporarily off the market when Hostess went bankrupt.  The brand was purchased by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co, and went back into production under Hostess Brand names again on July 15, 2013.   What about the history of the Twinkie though?  Well, they were invented by a guy named James Alexander Dewer on April 6, 1930.  He was a baker for the Continental Baking Company.  Being always a thinking sort of guy, he was looking at the machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sit idle when strawberries were out of season and he came up with a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he named the Twinkie.  He thought of the name when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for “Twinkle Toe Shoes”.  During World War II, bananas were rationed and the company was forced to switch to vanilla cream.  This was a pretty popular change and banana-cream Twinkies were not re-introduced – though they did have limited-time promotions with banana, but for the most part they stuck with the vanilla filling from that point on.  In 1988, Fruit and Cream Twinkies were introduced with a strawberry filling swirled into the cream.  It didn’t turn out to be popular and the product was soon dropped.  What I think is funny is that the Twinkie played a part in the movie Zombieland.  I admit I really enjoyed that movie and every time I watch it I get this craving for Twinkies!  If you haven’t seen the movie to know what I mean, please, put the younger kids in bed (it’s a silly movie – but there is a lot of zombie related blood), buy a few Twinkies and settle in for the evening.

National Student Athlete Day – Today is the 2yth time that National Student-Athlete Day will be celebrated.  It is a special day that is set aside to see high school and college student athletes honored for their achievements in academics, athletics and service to their schools and communities.  Since it first started it has seen 3,669, 875 student athletes honored and has become one of America’s strongest efforts to promote the positives in school sports and in student athletes as a whole.  Now it wouldn’t me be and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t insert a bit of my own opinions on this one.  I was a book worm in school – not the best student, but certainly not the worst.  Even so I had eyes to see that the athletes were given  a LOT of latitude with their studies, they were pretty much shown favor in every way.  It was a source of great frustration for the rest of us who had to bust our backsides to get the grades.  Case in point – I was in an algebra class I was struggling with, and being tall I’d always been the focus of attention from the girl’s basketball coaching staff.  The head coach was my algebra teacher – oh the joy – and he LITERALLY told me he would only help me with my struggles if I would join the team.  Stupid man really – I’m HORRIBLE at sports.  I refused, and barely passed the class.  I tried to go to talk to my counselor about it – something I’d never done before – and turns out he was also my assigned counselor.  So excuse me if I choke a little on this one. Yes, I believe that sports are very important.  They help keep a certain percentage of students active and focused on something besides getting into trouble.  Do I think they should be spoiled rotten and treated like they are kinds and queens on campus?  No, I most certainly do not.  If you have a student athlete at home, you may want to celebrate this one.  I’ll pass though – it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.     

Tartan Day – you see a lot of people wearing tartan this weekend, don’t be surprised.  Today the United States is celebration National Tartan Day.  It is intended to recognize the contributions of Scottish Americans to the United States.  Here are 5 things you may not have known about Scotland –

* Tartan – The famous woven cloth is the most recognizable pattern associated with Scotland.  Tartan consists of interwoven vertical and horizontal lines, known as sett.  The pattern is seen on shirts, kilts and other clothing and different patterns denote different family groups – each having their own identifiable and distinct colors and patterns.

* Scotland’s declaration of Independence – or the Arbroath – was signed on April 6th, 1320.  Scottish barons and earls sent the declaration, in the form of a letter, to Pope John XXII to assert their status as  an independent state.  The letter also the Pope to recognize Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king. 

* Auld Lang Syne is a traditional Scottish song.  We hear it sung on New Year’s Eve, but what do we know about it?  I didn’t know anything so this was interesting to me.  It was written in 1788 by poet Robert Burns.  It was set to a traditional Scottish folk melody and Auld Lang Syne literally means “old long since”.  I never even knew that there were so many verses!  Here they are, if you’re interested, and if not, just skip to the next celebration!  

1. Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ auld lang syne.

Chorus: And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

2. And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

3. We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

4. We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

5. And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

* Scottish music is often associated with just bagpipes, but not all music is bagpipes.  There are several popular artists who come from Scotland, including Britain’s Got Talent Susan Boyle, Scottish/North Irish band Snow Patrol, and rock band Big Country. This is just a few.  I’ve never heard of them, but that doesn’t actually surprise me (well except for Susan Boyle) I don’t keep up on the new or popular bands for the most part since my kids have grown up and moved out. 


*  English is still the main language spoken in Scotland, but there more than 150 other languages spoken, including the ancient Celtic language of Gaelic. A study done in 2011 showed that 80% of the Scottish population was “aware of Gaelic being used in Scotland, with the highest awareness of Gaelic usage in the media, in education, and in transportation signage. 

There you go – your Scottish education for the day – or at least a skimming of the surface. 

Teflon Day – In 1938, Roy Plunkett was fiddling around in his lab and accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene, soon to be known as Teflon. (Nice accident, right?) It was a slippery substance that would have practical applications in everything from nonstick cookware to a presidential nickname.  Plunkett was a chemist at DuPont’s Jackson research lab in New Jersey, and made his discovery in the time honored scientific way – as the result of a mistake with an assistant’s help.  Plunkett and his assistant, Jack Rebok, were testing the chemical reactions of tetrafluoroethylene, as gas used in refrigeration.  The gas was in some pressurized canisters, one of which failed to discharge properly when its valve was opened.  When Rebok picked up the canister he found that it was heavier than an empty canister should be.  He suggested cutting it open to figure out what happened and in spite of the risk of blowing the lab up, Plunkett agreed.  It was heavy because the gas hadn’t escaped, it had solidified into a smooth, slippery white powder as a result of the molecules bonding together, a process known as polymerization.  This new polymer was different that other similar solids like graphite.  It was lubricated better and very heat-resistant.  Plunkett put aside his other work and began testing the possibilities of this new substance and eventually it was patented and in 1944 was registered under the trade name Teflon.  At first it was used for military and industrial use, but it became a household name in the early 1960s when it was used to produce the most effective, heat resistant cookware seen.  As an interesting side note, in the 1980s President Reagan was nicknamed the Teflon President, a reference to his “infuriating” ability to avoid being tarnished by the various scandals plaguing his administration (insert irritation that the media and the left haven’t changed, they’ve just gotten worse – the BEST president our nation has seen in modern times didn’t do anything wrong so he couldn’t be tarnished, so he’s given a snarky nickname. Nice, real nice.)  Teflon is seen nearly everywhere today, coating metals and fabrics, from the aerospace industry, to clothing, to pharmaceuticals.  Talk about a HAPPY accident!  DuPont has been chuckling all the way to the bank ever since!  Because of his discovery, Plunkett, who retired from DuPont in 1975, was enshrined in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

This Day In History

1909 – Explorers Matthew A. Henson and Robert E. Perry are the first to reach the North Pole.      
1896 – The first modern Olympic games opens in Athens, Greece.      
1930 – Twinkies hit the market. The first Twinkies were banana-filled. (somehow that doesn’t sound all that good to me – glad they made the change.)
Food Celebration of the Day

National Fresh Tomato Day – Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable? In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in. Decision: officially a fruit, but taxed as a vegetable.  Isn’t that just like the government?  Call it one thing . . . do another.

Tomato Sandwich With Basil Mayonnaise
Green Tomato Bread
Fresh Tomato Tart
Tomatoes Broiled With Goat Cheese
Fresh Tomato Sauce
BLT Bites

So there you go! Wonderful celebrations for a lovely Sunday!  Right now we have errands to run so I have to dash!  Have a great day! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

 

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