February: More than romantic love.

February 1, 2016
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Vince Lombardi Trophy awarded to winner of the Super Bowl. Photo: SB Davis, at Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, OH, Sept. 2015

February the month of romantic love. Sorry but in my opinion just another excuse for card companies, florists and chocolatiers to make money. For me February is a month closer to spring and golf season, not only that but it is the shortest month of the year. Hurry up March and spring.

Planet Earth takes 365 and one quarter of our days to make its transit around the sun. How do we reconcile that odd figure? Every fourth orbit around the sun earthlings make an accounting adjustment. The year 2016 is a Leap Year. Normally February has 28 days but in Leap Years (every fourth year) it has 29 days to facilitate this accounting adjustment.

Those who happen to have been born in a leap year on the 29th day of February get to celebrate a birthday only every four years. Nice way to deceive oneself I think.

The big sports event of February is the National Football League’s Super Bowl. This is a major event this month and this year is the 50th time the game has been played. Football makes this a great month, but then the season is over which is sad. The big games is usually played the first Sunday of the month.

The new Canadian flag was introduced in February 1965 which is another reason to celebrate. The red maple leaf gives us a rallying point and has become the symbol of Canada throughout the world.

Here are some other interesting observances for the month of February.

Month-long observances:
American Heart Month – United States
Black History Month- Canada and United States

International Days:
Lunar New Year – Traditional Chinese Calendar
Chinese New Year – Chinese Calendar

Odd or Unusual observances:
National Wear Red Day – Feb 5th United States
First Saturday – Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (I really like the idea of this one)

National, State or Provincial Holidays:
Second Monday – Family Day – British Columbia, Canada
Third Monday – Family Day – Alberta, Canada
(Note: Family Day is now celebrated in other provinces too)
Third Monday – President’s Day – United States
Last Friday – International Stand Up to Bullying Day

February Symbols:
– flower – violet
– birthstone – amethyst
– zodiac signs – Aquarius (until Feb 18th) and Pisces (Feb 19th on)

So enjoy February whatever your perspective.


Interesting Weekend

May 11, 2009

This past weekend was interesting from this writer’s point of view. First May 8th was the 64th anniversary of V-E Day. Germany surrendered on May 7th to the Allies and May 8th was then proclaimed as Victory-in-Europe (V-E) Day.

The next day May 9th was the 60th anniversary of my entry into the world. Yes I turned sixty. A party was held for me and a good time had by all. I’ve in a reflective mood lately, but all in all so far life hasn’t been bad at all. In fact I’m probably happier at this stage of my life, then I’ve ever been.

Finally and likely most important of all May 10th was Mother’s Day. Time to salute those who hold the hardest job in the world. Don’t believe that?  Then try doing it for a day or two without any help. Thank goodness I’ve never had a performance appraisal written on my experiences.


Turning Sixty: Flash Fiction

April 20, 2009

Jake sat in the park people-watching and daydreaming. He had an inner sadness he couldn’t seem to shake.  His sixtieth birthday was tomorrow. What hit him was how fast the years had gone by and how few years remained. If he was lucky he’d have another twenty or twenty-five years.

Life so far had been a series of ups and downs, highs and lows.

He’d married, had kids, got divorced, and lived the single-life again, much to his dismay.

Somehow he’d lucked out and found another woman to love and put up with him. He married again, this time a much younger woman. He had kids again. He was happy, but his life was slipping away. Then the birthday jumped up to rouse his fears.

He found himself thinking more and more of his own inevitable death. He’d watched his father die. During the subsequent funeral his thoughts drifted to his demise and his own funeral. Death threatened and loomed. Religion told him death was not to be feared. It was the end of one life and the start of a new one.

Deep in his gut he believed death was the end. After all what made humans different from other life forms. When you die you cease to exist. The body decays and returns to the earth. When you’re dead, you’re dead.

He only hoped his wife and kids remembered him as a good man, but a man none the less. One who had good qualities, and also who had faults.

He visualized his funeral. The mourners came to pay respects, visit, and talk about him.

His body was lowered into the grave. Family and friends shed some tears, and then returned to the problems of everyday life. His mortal remains lay in the coffin in the cold ground. A headstone marked his final resting place. Maybe his wife and kids would come to visit his grave, and maybe not. He hoped they would come and find solace, especially his children.

Yells and squeals of delight shook him from the melancholy place he’d been. His wife and kids came running into the park. Arms of love surrounded him. Life was good, at least for now. Death was shunted aside until its inescapable return.

Steve B. Davis, 2009


Today in History – Book Full of Ideas

May 9, 2008

I have an excellent book that I use for ideas and as a reference in my writing and research. It is called,
“A Day-By-Day Review of World Events: Today in History”. Published by DK, 2003. The book is based on The History Channel television series, “This Week in History”.

This is a fantastic resource for a history writer like me who looks for ideas to write about. Along with dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, desktop encyclopedia, and the internet, this is invaluable to me.

 

Here are just some of the interesting entries for today May 9th:

  • 1754 – first American newspaper cartoon is published in Pennsylvania Gazette (it’s a political one).
  • 1914 – President Woodrow Wilson proclaims a new holiday in the United States, Mother’s Day.
  • 1960 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the birth control pill (The Pill) for use in the United States.
  • 1962 – The Beatles sing their first recording contract with EMI.
  • 1974 – House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.
  • 1994 – Nelson Mandela is officially installed as South Africa’s first black president.

List of Those Born on May 9th:
1800 – John Brown, American abolitionist
1874 – Howard Carter, co-discoverer of King Tut’s tomb
1914 – Hank Snow, country musician
1918 – Mike Wallace, American news reporter (60 Minutes)
1946 – Candice Bergen, American actress (Murphy Brown, televison series and also movies)

Wait a minute there’s been an omission from this list. Guess I’ll have to write it in.

1949 – Steve Davis, Canadian husband, father, writer, and for an old guy, not too grumpy – yet.


A Few of My Favorite Things

May 8, 2008

Turning 59 tomorrow I thought I would wax philosphical on some of my favorite things. By the way I have the day off work on my birthday this year. Not only that but I will be spending time with some of the kids. The boy is in school, but I will be getting up and getting him ready. This involves feeding him and ensuring he goes out the door with clothes on. Believe me this is not as easy as it sounds. Then the twins who have the day off from preschool will likely be getting ready for action just after that. At least I won’t have to rush them out anywhere. They can veg out on the couch watching their cartoon heros while I relax with my coffee. My better half is working but comes home at noon.

She is having a get-together for me in the evening and I have been designated to prepare the food. Guess that’s a compliment. We are having a big feed of ribs and wings. All the family are coming to rub it in and remind me of the extra year. 

So anyway here are the things I like in life in various categories starting with my very favorite:

  • Best Moments – special time with my wife, cuddle time with the kids
  • Color – Red
  • Sports Teams – NFL – Oakland Raiders, NHL – Montreal Canadiens
  • Sports to Play – Golf
  • Authors – Vince Flynn, John Grisham, Elmore Leonard, Robert Dallek
  • Genre to Read – Thrillers, Nonfiction, especially American history
  • Hobbies – writing, philately (stamps, postal history), reading, computers, crosswords
  • Movies – John Wayne westerns, action thrillers, Alien series (Alien, Aliens, etc)
  • TV Shows – The Office, Scrubs, PBS documentaries

 


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