Monday, June 29, 2020

Through the porthole of 2020 isolation, we spent roughly 100 days on full-repeat. Sure, Saturdays would mean doughnuts and not walking across the hall to my “office”. And these celebrations have certainly dotted the days with quirks and weirdness. But it was still the same day over and over. Then our kids landed in town and we’ve suddenly been social. We’ve laughed more, drank more, and had more raw fun in the last three days than in all of 2020 combined. So please excuse this article – as with the last couple – for being brief. Yesterday was our last day to live in a jam-packed joyous household packed with humans and love. Writing was merely a blip in the plans. Also there was this:

National Alaska Day

We actually rocked our Alaska celebration a day early. We’d received word that Da-De-O, our beloved Cajun fun-house, had closed its doors due to a staff member testing positive for Covid. Our plans required tweaking. So for Saturday’s evening repast we grilled some steaks and dug into some pure Alaskan king crab legs. Our culinary travels around the United States may have hit their peak with this one.

As much as I aimed to abridge my wordsmithing yesterday, I felt I needed to pause and soak in some info about the Last Frontier. I already knew it was the largest state by area, and one of the least populous (only about ¾ of a million people live there). But I wasn’t aware that a full 50% of the state’s population lives in or immediately around Anchorage. Nor did I know that Juneau is the second-largest city in America, despite having a population of around 32,000. Even more impressive is the largest city in America: Sitka, Alaska: population under 9,000. It’s simply a matter of having the room to draw those city boundaries wide; the top four cities in America (by area) are all in Alaska.

Juneau is also one of the only state capitals (along with Honolulu) that is considered an island. It’s not – Juneau is very much on the mainland, but because of the mountainous terrain around it, there are no roads connecting Juneau to the rest of the state. The only way in or out of the city is by boat or by plane. And if that isn’t enough weird trivia, the state also has the highest per capita income in the country.

With all that, could the list of famous or interesting people from Alaska really be that long? Well, you’ve got Artis the Spoonman from Kodiak, who played with Frank Zappa and inspired that song by Soundgarden, Steve Smith from Anchorage, a wide receiver who helped the Giants to triumph over the lowly Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Irene Bedard from Anchorage, the voice talent and physical inspiration for the Disney characterization of Pocahontas, and Dan Mintz from Anchorage, provider of the magnificent vocal stylings of Tina Belcher on Bob’s Burgers. It’s not a huge list. But then, it’s not a hugely populated state.

But it’s a delicious one.

Tau Day

Pi, as I have just learned from tauday.com, the official site for this celebration, is wrong. Now we know.

We celebrated Pi Day on March 14 (Pi, of course, is 3.14…). Tau is 6.28… so that number got its celebration yesterday. But we know of Pi’s use in calculating circumference and for being all fancy and revered by mathematicians everywhere, so what’s Tau about?

If you are genuinely curious, check out the official manifesto. Tau is essentially double Pi, and from what I understand, doubling Pi is frequently done in mathematics. Tau should – apparently – be the number we make greater use of to calculate anything relating to a circle. The explanation is lengthy and unintelligible to a non-math person like me. They use those tall symbols that look like lower-case f’s with no crossing line, they use those egg-shaped zeroes with a line through it horizontally, and fractions wherein a square-root symbol factors into a denominator.

In short, my eyes glazed over as I tried to read through this manifesto. But if you love math and still worship Pi, maybe you should check this out and learn the truth. I’ll just take your word for it.

Insurance Awareness Day

Are you aware of insurance? We are aware of insurance. And thus, this day has been celebrated.

Look, we’ve got life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, and probably insurance insurance if we look closely enough. We have almost never used our insurance, and I’m convinced that we probably pay too much for it. I’m not a fan.

We do have glass protection on our vehicle now, which is good because we’ve been getting a few flying rocks adding cracks and dings to our windshield. So we’re aware we may need to use our insurance for that, though we wonder if after paying the deductible it will be worth the effort.

Insurance exists. We are aware. Let’s move on.

Tropical Cocktails Day

I had no idea this was coming – it wasn’t on my radar from any of my research leading up to this project. But there it is, apparently created by some tiki-drink lover named Jace Shoemaker-Galloway seven years ago. Whatever shall we do?

The quick answer, of course, is to purchase some rum. I make a dangerously potent mai tai, and in case the mood strikes for something else, we’ve got a fairly stocked bar. But one cannot make very many tropical drinks without rum. I assure you, we did just fine for this celebration. The above drink was Colton’s take on a tropical old fashioned. We got creative.

International Caps Lock Day

There are two Caps Lock Days in the calendar year, so twice this year we are meant to honour that key that sometimes gets accidentally nudged by our left-hand pinky finger, making it seem as though we are yelling on social media.

The official Caps Lock Day was created on October 22, 2000, to make fun of “the small-mindedness of Western individuals.” Okay. The June 28 version of the day was commemorated in honour of Billy Mays, who died eleven years ago on this date. Billy, for those who don’t recall, was the perpetually-shouting pitch-man for Oxi-Clean, Orange Glo and Kaboom.

HAPPY CAPS LOCK DAY TO ALL. IT MAY SEEM SILLY, SINCE FEW OTHER KEYS ON THE KEYBOARD ARE LIKELY TO HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL DAY (LET ALONE TWO), BUT HERE WE ARE. AND WE ARE LOUD.

We could have done more, but we needed to focus on ourselves yesterday. Even the day I invented for this year had to be bumped. Here’s what we’re doing today:

  • National Camera Day. I guess we take some photos. With our phones, since I don’t think we own a camera anymore.
  • National Waffle Iron Day. We actually celebrated this a day early with some delightful waffles that I absolutely forgot to take a picture of.
  • National Almond Buttercrunch Day. Can’t make this without a candy thermometer. Unfortunately.
  • Hug Holiday. It’ll be limited to family, but hugs will be given and received today.
  • Please Take My Children To Work Day. Not really applicable, but maybe we’ll figure a way to celebrate it.

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