Friday, August 29, 2008

Herb who?

August 29, 2008 - So there you are, ready to start making dinner. Do you go for the tenderloin stuffed with figs and blue cheese? Roast lamb with rosemary and sage stuffing? Mac and Cheese? Seriously, I'm not alone in the notion that Mac and Cheese is a delicacy... a meal fit for candlelight and wine. One of my best friends can't wait for her husband to head out of town so she can trade in the roast radicchio and pork medallions for a box of the good ol' noodles and cheese sauce.

There is comfort in the foods that we secretly love but hate for anyone to know about. In secret... I'm a sucker for ravioli from the can, Mac and cheese with ketchup, cold pizza reheated in a fry pan... real gourmet food.

When it comes to cooking, I'd really rather someone else do the work. If I'm going to bother to cook, I only want to do that for someone. Cooking for myself is just easier with a menu to work from - and my kitchen repertoire includes every takeout menu for a 3 mile radius. But... alas, eating out means salt. Loads and loads of salt.

I don't fully understand the need for the amount of salt that restaurants seem to use. I can cook a similar dish at home, use no salt to speak of, and it tastes dang close to the same. Looking at the sodium content of some of the restaurants dishes, one meal could have the equivalent of 2 days salt. Go figure. I don't use salt, and then I wonder why when I eat out I need to drink so much ah, water. Today is Less Salt More Herbs Day. Got to be better for the body, and I'm sure it will be better for the pallet. Tonight, I shall try Mac and Cheese with a bit of rosemary and thyme. You never know, maybe I'll create a new delicacy I won't have to hide to enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I did it just because...

August 27, 2008 - People do strange things... but then again the things we do only qualify as strange because of someone else's reference points. My reference points reach a long way in each direction. I'm sure there are odd things I do on a regular basis that would have others claim they are strange. And maybe they are, but I do them because they entertain me, make me laugh, or get me through an otherwise long day.

It poured rain in Vancouver yesterday. Problem is... we had a tee time. Not one to miss an opportunity to get in a round of golf... we strapped our clubs to a power cart, changed golf gloves, and hit the course. Can't say I played well, but I can say we played. We were soaked to the skin, and the score card was a bit soggy, but... it was a pretty good night all around. Was that a strange thing to do? Why on earth would we want to get out there in the pouring rain? Just because.

In June myself, and two friends jumped out of a plane at 12,500 feet. One friend is in her 60's, the other was almost 85. Why did we jump? Just because. When I pass a decent sized puddle and the sun is shining, I can't jump in to the middle of it fast enough. Why? Just because. I can't say what I'll get in to today, but I do know that whatever it is, I will do it just because. Today, afterall, is Just Because Day. A day to do something because. Not because it is a great idea, or the right thing. Do something because it is something to do. Just be safe in doing it. I don't think if you put yourself or someone else in danger it would be much of an out. But hey... you want to sprinkle potpourri on the front lawn - go for it. Want to change the tires on your scooter to pink wall tires... just go ahead.

You may also want to consider being kind and compassionate to someone in need today. In celebration of the anniversary of Mother Teresa on August 27, 1910, today is Compassion Day. Take an extra sandwich to work and share it with someone in need. If anyone asks you why you did it, tell them you did it just because.

All for Parking and Parking for All

August 26, 2008 - Parking meters are the bane of my existence. Expected to always have a handful of change to be able to go anywhere, I am constantly re-stocking the parking meter money tray. Yet somehow, I get to where I want to be, find the perfect place to park, and no change. In Vancouver, parking downtown is $6 an hour in any meter and a tad cheaper on Sundays in some areas. That means that to go for brunch, one needs to carry four (4) Loonies, and four (4) twoonies at a weight of roughly four (4) pounds just for eggs and toast. If you were to carry around your parking money in your trousers, the weight of all those coins would wear holes through your pockets. It is actually cheaper to walk to Brunch and take a taxi home.

This weekend, while digging around in the car looking for that elusive Loonie for just 20 more minutes on the meter, I stumbled across the American version of the crazy Canuck coin... the Susie B. A one dollar coin featuring Susan B. Anthony. I was on the verge of putting her in the meter when at the last minute I found another coin in my pocket. I saved Susie B from what would surely have been a dark end. Today is Women's Equality Day or Susan B. Anthony Day. It is the day that women were given the vote. It was a marked day in history, and they commemorated it by issuing a coin that nobody uses. It is almost like saying the vote is worth no more than a buck, but you'll be damned to part with it or put it in the meter for a mere twenty minutes of parking.

Equality isn't something that we have been given in a congressional vote. Equality is something that we have to earn as human beings. If you can treat those in your life with equal parts of respect and compassion, than equality is something you have earned in return. Equality is blind to gender, race, orientation or ability. I have always felt that I treated everyone in my world equally, yet I sometimes treat myself differently than I do others. I don't give myself the credit I maybe deserve while I second guess my abilities. In the end, it isn't so much about me, but about the people around me - and I have nothing but respect and belief in those who surround me.

Equality comes in a few other forms as well. It turns out that both men's and women's steel toe boots are equally ugly and nobody looks good in a hard hat. If this is equal - then all for equality, and equality for all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Appologies All Around

August 25, 2008 - You know that saying time flies? It seems it goes by in a heart beat. I have been remiss in publishing my blog for two weeks now. In fact, life has gotten so fast and exciting, that I almost completely forgot about this blog - as I am sure you have too.

Here is hoping that this isn't the first time you've read it, or worse, the only time that you have visited is in the past two weeks. Seriously, I'm not this irresponsible. What I indeed am is living a life that I forgot how to live. Seriously... I am working at with a new company that is so far out of my realm of knowledge that going to work each day is a little like going to kindergarten. I'm never sure what new toy I'm going to get to play with or what new thing I'm going to learn about. I have learned about fall arrest, ladder safety, union negotiation, 25,000 watt power safety, transformers, power collection shoes, tunnel construction, shunt straps, rack out and lock out of power breakers, feeder breakers, and all kinds of other things that I never knew I didn't know.

I haven't done much about this blog for other reasons as well. I have to attend safety meetings each morning at 7:30 am. Until this last week, I didn't know there WAS a 7:30 in the morning. Outside of work, I have found a few new distractions that have kept my evenings occupied - some of which are new to me, some are re-newed to me. And with all this going on - I was still anxious to fit in a bit of golf. Did I mention the new iPhone? Surely a phone shouldn't entertain so.

So all this to say, I am sorry. I am remiss, and I feel bad. I will make it up by attempting to be extraordinarily astute and funny for the next little while. I promise you that I am indeed sorry. Today is after all Kiss and Make Up Day. I am kissing and making up. Please forgive me.

If there was a way to turn back time and get the last two weeks back, I would surely have written more. The only one who may be capable of that would be the great Wizard of Oz. After all, I hear he is a wiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was. Yes, today is also Wizard of Oz Day. It premiered on this day in 1939. I am also sorry that Wizard of Oz is so dang hard to type. I beg your forgiveness dear backspace key. I didn't mean to pound on you so hard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First born, second born, only born HEY!

August 10, 2008 - Can an only child ever really appreciate the dynamics of brothers and sisters? Probably not. Infact, I doubt the average only child could know what it is like to have siblings. Some of us are lucky enough to have cousins. Some have friends that are so much more than friends, they are family. On the other hand, only children didn't get labeled the 'oldest', 'youngest', the dreaded 'middle child', or worse... 'the baby of the family'. Nope, we only children were merely princes and princesses.

But what about the middle child? According to psychologists, the middle child has a sense of not belonging. The fight for attention, and often try harder to be different. On the flip side, the middle child will often be middle achievers - working only hard enough to get through. Psychology says that middle children are also more likely to be creative and artistic, but have a hard time staying focused on one thing. This spills over to their personal relationships. It is insecurity? Are middle children loners or are they just trying to find their place in the world?

I was an only child, but by reading this I want to know where my brother and sister are? Sounds like I was a middle child. Of course, I was also the oldest and the youngest too. So are single children messed up because they don't know if they should be over achievers, under achievers, or coddled? Does this describe any middle children you know? Today is their day - Middle Child Day - so celebrate. Spend the day on the patio, under-achieving. Let that project sit unfinished. Don't look to the first born for direction, just hang out coddling your lack of interest - no pressure. Oh hell, just be down right lazy.

Today is also Lazy Day. Even if the middle children you know don't fit the so called "Middle Child Syndrome" mold - encourage it for just the day. Hey, it's Sunday, it's August, and that seems like a perfect day to do nothing. As an only child, I will first get up, wonder what's in the day for me, get around to it when I get around to it, golf, brunch, and then be deadly lazy. See, as an only child, I get to do it all. Wonder when Only Child Day is - or rather, which day this year ISN'T Only Child Day?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

12 Step Programs for email?

August 9, 2008 - Email. Could you live without it? Would you even remember how to put a document in an envelope, find a stamp, lick a stamp, find an address, write the address, and then wander the streets aimlessly looking for a big red or blue box that will receive your envelope and hope it got there in time? Heck, I don't remember the last time I had to print a piece of paper and personally hand it over. Email rules my world. I rely on Email to send info, receive info, touch base, entertain, plan, and organize my life. Even before the Blackberry, I was addicted to email.

Today is Send an Email Day. So in honour of send an email, an iPhone was born into my life at 0545 hrs. It is a beautiful bouncing baby boy, weighing approximately 4.7 ounces. I'm sure this is the beginning of an even bigger email addiction. A relationship with 0's and 1's that even the most self controlled can't fully control. For people like me... addicts... we are probably exactly who the carriers want as iPhone customers. So today, I will send an email. I will likely send more emails than I needed to send just because I can. Worse, I may send text messages like a fiend, and play online, and update facebook from the car because I can. When all is said and done, it is a phone, and I don't pay for calls on the weekend. Today, I will also count the calls I place from the phone capable of having sending an email. I got today covered.

Today is also a great day to go yard sale'ing. Why else do people sell their yards on a Summer weekend? Some people are even selling their garages, junk, furniture, and junk. If you are in the market for a new garage, a lawn or someone else's junk... National Garage Sale Day is definitely the day to do it. I often drive by these Summer events and there is indeed a part of me that wants to stop and take a look. A part of me wants to join in on the festivities and offer up my junk. Another part of me wants to have a by-law written to limit the days in which one can hawk their junk out on the sidewalk. Environmentally, they may have some benefit... recycle, reduce, reuse. I just don't think it meant reduce your crap by putting it out on the front lawn, reduce the crap in your house by re-locating it to someone else's house, and make sure it gets a second use. What isn't new to you is new to someone else? Maybe this is the weekend for the by-law. I'll go write that email - on my new to me iPhone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy happy joy joy

August 8, 2008 - Or... as the Chinese are promoting... 08 08 08 - Eight is a lucky number. Eight is a number much sought in license plates, addresses, and phone numbers. The number 8 in Chinese sounds like the word for wealth and therefore is lucky. Hence, the Olympics will begin on 08 08 08 at 8:00 in Beijing. For a friend who's birthday is today, this must be the start of a great new year. And for the athletes at this year's Olympics, luck might come in handy since breathing might be a tad difficult.

But 08 08 08 is also The Day to Create. For the creative, today is your lucky day. I create a daily article, often pulled from thin air, and most certainly created on the fly. I tried to create with paint once. I made a lovely painting in oils of blue. I thought it was of he bay at Chippewa Park, but really... it was just 'blue'. My grandmother however, thought it was the best blue. She framed it, and hung in on the wall for all to see. My grandmother was the best. She tried to teach me how to knit so I could create something from wool. I didn't much get the hang of it and created instead a lovely square of beige. Not long enough to be a scarf, not big enough to be a place mat, it was just a big of beige. Eventually I did learn to knit, but my aunt was the one who finally taught me that skill. I did eventually create a sweater - but at 14 months and a conservative $15 per hour, that sweater cost thousands of dollars in labour and by the time it was done - it was summer. The next sweater I knit will be knit in Taiwan.

In University, I thought I would learn to sew. I could buy fabric and turn them in to clothes. I brought out the sewing machine, bought a patter, and proceeded to create a house coat. What I ended up creating was more of a blanket. Too long to walk in, and too big to fit in a regular wash machine. It was a giant square of burgundy. The next time I thought I wanted to sew, I went to the mall and picked up a little something someone else had already sewn.

Today, if I create anything, I will create happiness. I'm much better equipped to create fun and laughter. Today is Happiness Happens Day. I believe that happiness isn't a right, nor is it anyone else's responsibility. Happiness is something that you happens because you let it happen. After watching an hour of news it may be hard to believe that there is any happiness out there, but it is all around us. It happens on crowded buses and subway cars, on planes, on the street, in music, and in words. Happiness is there. If you are looking for it, it will be found. So today, when you buying your lucky lotto ticket, or starting a new project, enjoy the moment. Happiness happens between your ears.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Perfectly preposterous pictures

August 7, 2008 - When you are looking for that perfect gift, a small token of appreciation for the people in your life who do so much for you, sometimes merely by being in your life, where do you go? Do you go to the mall? Or the craft store? Do you stop in at the drug store and get the perfect card? How about getting that great picture of them printed and framed? Of course the problem with that is... the picture you think is the best picture, will undoubtedly be the one they really hate.

Pictures are a funny thing. Indeed people don't always look like themselves in pictures. When you reduce one's four dimensional self to a two dimensional image, surely they will just not look the same. It is as though when you take depth and time out, you lose the essence of a person. Are our best features found in the space and time that the camera just can't capture? But with the right lighting, and the right lenses, it is possible to get that perfect picture... but it may not be the perfect gift. No matter. Today is Say "Cheese" Day. Pull out your camera and take a few pictures. Don't shy away from the camera today. Even if you don't look your best, looking back on photos of good times in your life is always fun. So I guess today would also be a good day to go out and have a good time.

Today is also Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. I swear I do not make this stuff up. Perhaps this is a day to thank the manufacturers for all those fabulously impossible packaging options. You know the ones. You buy something, you get out to your car with the intent of opening it to use it, and without a box cutter or a pair of industrial scissors you are just not going to get it open. How about the packaging that is twelve times the size of the item - but the box looks good? And my favourite packaging... a tiny item shrink wrapped to a cardboard backing the size of a school binder. I wrapped a gift for my mom once in a box, wrapped up in a box, wrapped up in another box with a rock in it. It took more time to package it than to unwrap it. Was that preposterous? Perhaps. But it sure was fun. My mom in retaliation (or to keep me from opening all the presents I find and then re-wrapping them) uses a preposterous amount of tape on packages. Seriously? If she were her and I was me... I would do nothing different. Without all that miles of tape, I would be opening the box to have a quick peak. Oh yeah, mom? I opened every present every year and had a quick peak. Thank god for all those acting classes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breath that could curl your nose?

August 6, 2008 - Is it possible to take someone serious when they are breathing on you the breath that knocked out Kong? How is it that the worst breath possible isn't noticed by the person with that bad breath - yet they have a nose mere centimeters from the source? Are we immune to our own aromas?

We seem to be unable to detect the scents that are coming from our own person. It is an immunity that comes from repeated exposure. Much like overcoming allergies to your own cat, hanging around with your own odors long enough and your detectors shut down. How much would you then have to smell in order for your odor to be noticed? Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of soaps, scrubs, body washes, shampoos, lotions, potions and wipes that can take care of any smell you can throw at it. There are perfumes, colognes, body sprays, deodorants and antiperspirants all with the intent of ensuring your smell isn't offending anyone. For your breath there are teeth wipes, gum, mints, Tic Tacs, mouthwash, toothpastes, and breath sprays. In today's well stocked personal hygiene aisle, there is a scent and a flavour for everyone.

Toothpaste now comes in vanilla, fruit, cherry, cinnamon, mint, winter mint, fresh mint, natural mint, orange mint, spice mint, citrus burst, lemon ice, mint green tea, mild mint, lavendar, cola, apple, paradise splash, and more. Then there is the kids' flavours that includes watermelon, bubblegum, grape and chocolate. So... today, on Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day, you should be covered. Brush, rinse, spit, and chew in any flavour you choose. Today should be the one day you can get on a bus, a train, a plane, or elevator and not need a gas mask. Save those for Beijing.

If you do run across a few mouths that make your nose curl, pack a few packs of gum around. Spread the news... fresh breath is on the menu for the day. If you run across a few mouths that make your toes curl, pack around a stick of emergency gum and a note pad to get their number. And if you get a number - wiggle your toes. After all, it is also Wiggle Your Toes Day... and that just sounds like fun. I wonder if your feet smell too?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Post Weekend Hangover?

August 5, 2008 - When the long weekend is over and you are expected back at the office... how do you deal with the depression? Do you put your nose down and get to it, or look at the piles of stuff and wonder if you should just wait until after lunch and the End-Over passes. (The End-Over is the painful symptoms that follow a long-weekend. An End-Over is not quite a hang over, but just as sad... They most often happen each Monday, but symptoms are more severe, and require more treatment on the Tuesday after a long weekend.)

Summer in Vancouver means racking up as many patio hours as possible before we need to return to work, saying good-bye to the Summer, the sunshine, and welcoming the rains of Fall, Winter and Spring. In attempts to push off the End-Over for as long as possible, Monday night of the long weekend is spent on a patio. Any patio will do. Coffee shop patios are good. Restaurants, bars and pubs are even better. In a pinch, you can hang around on the curb beside a street vendor hot dog cart. A patio (or curbside eatery) is a patio (or curbside eatery). Last night, a friend and I walked the dogs in search of the perfect patio to while away the last of the long weekend, and stave off the start of the End-Over. Not a unique idea by any stretch of the imagination. There was no patio table to be found, and the hot dog carts were put away for the night. The End-Over was near.

Today, we are back to work, and our noses are to the grindstone. Now I understand why today is Work Like a Dog Day. It will take really good treats and a promise of another long weekend to motivate me today. I would rather work like my dog. Since his retirement from active service, he works hardest on napping and playing.

Getting to work is another story all together. Traffic isn't any lighter in the Summer than it is in the fall. It used to be that the number of cars on the road dropped in the Summer months. Now, every day is rush hour. The only really noticeable difference is that rush hour starts earlier for the ride home. By 1500 hrs, folks are heading home, to the beach, to the bar, pub and restaurant patios, or home to mow the balcony. Imagine what that commute would be like without traffic control? The first traffic light was installed today in 1914 in Cleavland, Ohio. I wonder how bad the commute was in 1914 that they needed traffic lights? Thank god for the red, yellow and green. If you do make it to a patio for the evening, raise a pint for Traffic Light Day, and imagine how long it would have taken you to get there if not for the lowly traffic light? You might not have arrived in time to get a table.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sisters, Brothers, Friends

August 3, 2008 - Friendship is the one thing that holds us all together. Whether you have family or not, hundreds of friends or just one, friendship keeps us grounded. I live thousands of miles away from my family. Though I have great friendships with my mom, my aunts, my uncle, my cousins, I have been fortunate to also have amazing friendships with the family I wasn't born into but rather the family members I got to choose. It's probably a good thing my friends aren't the family I was born into. We are a rag tag bunch of people, each with their own idiosyncrasies and craziness.

There are my opinionated friends who are never short on words or shy to tell me what I think on any subject. It's a family trait... I too am a tad opinionated. There are friends who get a bug about something and go at it with both barrels, or are a tad obsessive compulsive. Family trait? I might have a bit of an addictive personality. There are friends who have been part of my life for what feels like centuries. Loyalty must run in this family. There are friends you travel with, friends you party with, friends you can stay at home and watch TV with. There are friends who share your taste in movies, friends that get your sense of humour, friends who don't 'get' Monty Python, friends who do, and friends who tolerate Flying Circus. The one thing that seems to be true of all the friends that I hold near and dear... is that they are all a little bit crazy. Alas, I am the one thing they all have in common. Does that say something about me?

Regardless, I will celebrate all my friends - those related and those that are not. Today is Friendship Day, and it is Sisters' Day. Seems to me they are interchangeable. So, to all my friends and my sisters, have a watermelon. Oh yeah - its also National Watermelon Day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Forgiveness and Champagne

August 4, 2008 - Forgive me readers for I have failed to post. Yesterday, my post sat in the draft folder and did not make it to the page. The best part of that is... yesterday was International Forgiveness Day. Go figure. So.. belated post, belated pardon?

Today, is Monday, August 4th. In Canada, the first Monday in August is a long weekend with various names across the country. On the East Coast, including Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, it is Natal Day. Ontario, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan call it a Civic Holiday. In Alberta it is Heritage Day, and in New Brunswick and BC we call it New Brunswick Day and BC Day. Call it what you want, it is a long weekend in the heart of Summer - and a chance to recharge your batteries. For those of us who are solar powered, this is a good thing. The golf courses are packed, the beaches are shoulder to shoulder, and the beer stores are re-stocking the shelves by Saturday morning. Beer... Canada's summer bubbly.

Dom Perignon would probably not be impressed with that nickname. After all, when Dom got busy and found bubbles in the wine on August 4, 1693, he stumbled upon something we still think is pretty special. Champagne Day is a great day to order a bottle of bubbles. We can celebrate a day off, a long weekend, the sunshine, the colour of grass, the colour of dead grass, a house full of dead Bordens (today is the day they found Lizzy's folk in their home in Massachusetts)... who cares. Any reason is a good reason to pop a cork and celebrate. Heck, maybe I'll change the name of this blog to "Daily Reasons to Pop a Cork". Now that some of the best wines are switching to screw tops... what will become of the cork in the Champagne?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Game, Set, Sandwich

August 2, 2008 - Remember those great songs of the eighties, when music attempted an 180° turn from the touchy feely music of the 60's and the 70's? There was the Police:
"De do do do, De da da da"

And Trio really racked their brain when they came up with these inspired lyrics:
"Da da da,
What you will and what you won't, aha aha aha,
Da da da"
The lyrics are, to be fair... simple. None of that bourgeois capitalist writing needed. Just a good beat, and a few syllables here and there and we'll call it music. Like the Dadaists before, anti-art was where it was at.

Dada is an informal international movement that wanted to destroy the traditional culture and aesthetics because they believed that it was this clinging to ideals that brought about war. Dadaists describe Dada as "a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic moral crises, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path". Needless to say, it hasn't caught on with art historians, artists, or for that matter, the masses. In keeping with what seems the non-sense of Dada, today is Dadaism Month.

How is a day a month? Good question. The Dadaism month was selected by randomly picking days and months from the proverbial hat. Dadaism Month will continue on on other days throughout the year. On those days... we shall hum and sing all the da da da songs we can think of.

If da da da doesn't work for you, today is also National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, and also Tennis Ball Day. I can't explain the tennis balls, but maybe a tennis game and an ice cream sandwich makes a ton more sense to me. Game, set, sandwich!

Friday, August 1, 2008

World Wide Web of Lies?

August 1, 2008 - Before the Internet, there were libraries, and reference books, and the set of encyclopedias. Before the library, there was lore, and before lore, there were cave drawings. Imagine, if you wanted to look up the weight carrying capabilities of a sparrow in a windstorm, and all you could rely on was that set of leather bound books you bought from a guy at the door, and the library across town that will be open tomorrow from 1000 - 1800 hrs... I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find the answer. You are watching a movie on TV and there is an actor on the screen that you just can't place. They won't show the credits, and by tomorrow, you won't be able to remember the details enough to ask your movie buff friend who is currently working in Beijing.

Today is World Wide Web Day, and honestly, we couldn't live without it anymore. Today is all about instant gratification. It is about having a question, and finding the answer in mere seconds. I am so hooked on having my Web, that I can't remember the last time I so much as watched TV without keeping my computer at hand. There is always something to look up, check out, find or learn. Today, I learned that oxygen, as an element, was discovered today (for the third and last time). It was discovered independently by Joseph Priestley, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and Antoine Lavoisier. Though they each discovered oxygen, it was more of a race to publish the findings. Priestley won that race. Does that make today Oxygen Day? Should we just spend the day breathing in and breathing out?

The other thing about the World Wide Web is its ability to turn all of us in to experts on some subject or another. I, for example, am now an expert in bizarre holidays and observances. In fact, Oxygen Day? I created it. Wikipedia? Could we live without it? Proof that if you do put a million monkeys in a room with the internet and a slew of information, eventually, you will create a far more inclusive, accurate, in depth encyclopedia than that slick door to door sales guy had to sell. Granted Wikipedia is a constant work in progress, but that is its simple beauty. It would be a pain in the butt if you had to change all those books in libraries around the world by hand.

Today is the first day of August. We are now nearing the bottom of the sixth inning of 2008, and the Fall is just around the corner. For this month, perhaps we should concentrate on the important things in life this month. August is Admit You're Happy Month, National Golf Month, Peach Month, and National Picnic Month to name just a few. This is important stuff. And after a round of golf, peach pie, and a picnic, who wouldn't be happy? (Well, me actually... after a round of golf, I'd rather skip the picnic for a pint at the club). There are some great days ahead of us. August is truly the heart of Summer. I bet you could look that up online and read about going out and enjoying yourself!

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