Saturday, August 8, 2020

The thunderous clang of a long-awaited epiphany can resonate off the surface of the inside of one’s skull for months. If that clang hits just the right tone, it can be life-affirming. For me it was the realization that my true happiness exists when my home base is sacred and secure, intricately linked with my art, my work, and my joy. This weekend is all about the joy part, and it’s a time we have locked in for a more visceral present, with the prosaic waxing pushed into next week. Even a few of the more fun celebrations will be bumped for time. We’re all about music and recreation for a few days. Also, there was this:

National Lighthouse Day

What? He’s focused on staging a brilliant weekend of pretend live performances by people who will never actually enter his backyard and he’s going to take time out to write about lighthouses? Well, most of this article was written yesterday, and the show didn’t start until 6, so I had time. And lighthouses are really cool.

As far as I can remember, I have never seen a lighthouse in person. This makes sense – I haven’t spent a lot of time near a coast, and when I have it has been on a crowded beach, along the western rim of Santa Monica or along the edge of Upper New York Bay. You won’t find a lot of lighthouses there.

The original lighthouse wasn’t even a house – people would light fires on hilltops near the water to provide the best possible visibility to sea vessels. The lighthouse simply took that fire indoors, and blasted its light in a more concentrated beam to show where the rocks were at. Before electric light, the houses served more as beacons to welcome boats into a port, or to provide a look-out for the folks who lived on land.

Once commerce started spreading its long, gangly arms across the Atlantic in the late 1600s that’s when lighthouses started to become in fashion as guidance aids. I read up on the technology growth from coal embers to radioisotope thermoelectric generators, but I’ll save you the pains of having to read through a hastily-scrawled summary here. Needless to say, it’s interesting stuff. Lighthouses rock.

National Sea Serpent Day

This is the day during which people should be asking, “Are sea serpents real?” They should then be replying, “Nah, probably not,” and continuing about their day. But we’ll dig a little deeper, because dammit, we care about you, the reader.

On August 7, 1848, some 172 years ago yesterday, the HMS Daedalus was scooting through the waves down to Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. Wait – the South Atlantic? There’s something in the South Atlantic? Why, yes there is – Saint Helena is a volcanic island about as close to the middle of nowhere as you’ll find on this planet. It’s roughly 2/3 of the way across the Atlantic if you head out from Brazil toward Angola in Africa. It’s actually where Napoleon was imprisoned post-Waterloo until his death.

But enough about that – the HMS Daedalus was making its way through the ocean when it came across a 60-foot sea serpent whose massive maned head poked out of the water as if to say, “Hey, you should make note of this date so people can celebrate it someday in the distant future, perhaps whilst enjoying a root beer float.”

There’s no denying the men aboard the Daedalus saw something in the water that day. Was it a shark? An oarfish? A whale? Or are there still remnants of prehistoric sea life still swooshing about in the big blue deep? That’s the best part about the ocean – with all of our learning, with our ability to source any piece of practical knowledge with the push of a Google search, we still know almost nothing about what’s going on under the water. We can’t explore it all, nor can we fully explain everything we have explored.

So no, I’m not believing this was a genuine sea serpent, but it’s possible. I hope I never meet the thing in person, whatever it is. Then again, I’ll likely never be sailing out to the middle of nowhere, so it’s not likely.

Beach Party Day

Please, don’t have a beach party. Unless you have the ability to seriously limit attendants to people within your quarantine group, it’s just not a good idea. I know, you can breathe outside and not be too concerned about spreading anything, but still. Why not be over-safe?

That aside, above you can see our ‘beach’, such as it is. On warm days, I lay in the hammock while Jodie stretches out in the hot-tub, which has been cranked down to its lowest temperature. Sure, there are no waves, no smell of salt air, no sand. But it’s a refreshing escape from the heat, and that’s something. This weekend our beach is functioning as our festival grounds for our fake folk fest, and the weather will prevent us from wanting to really beach it up.

But a beach is as much a mental state of being as it is a physical location. You can build your own beach replica and have some fun with it, all while keeping yourself safe from grotesque strangers and their grotesque germs. Keep the party safe.

Pay no attention to the pile of wood and leaves – those have already been removed and replaced by lawn chairs and a cooler full of delicious beer (pictured below). The party will continue all through today and tomorrow. It may not be an actual beach, but it’s beach enough for 2020.

International Beer Day

This is not an ancient, sacred celebration. Some guy named Jesse Avshalomov came up with it in 2007, likely whilst downing a few beverages at his home in Santa Cruz. But there was no International Beer Day up to that point, so somehow Jesse’s little brainsplosion caused quite an effect around the globe. Within a decade it had spread to 207 cities in 80 countries, people all unified by their love of beer.

There are three principles upon which this day is founded: we should gather with friends and enjoy beer, celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving us beer, and to celebrate the beers of all nations. Well, we covered the first one easily, we have invited our bartender (and my barber) from Da-De-O to join us for some drinks, and while the beer we consumed was solely Canadian, it did feature a terrific Kolsch (German style) and a classic brown ale (English style). So I’m counting it.

No, this not our only foray into a beer-related celebration this year, but that’s okay. Beer is one of the greatest inventions humanity has ever spurted unto the world, and it deserves all of the accolades we can throw at it. Besides, what goes better with an outdoor music festival than beer? Okay, there is an answer to that, and it does involve a substance which is now legal to consume in Canada, but forget that stuff. I mean – enjoy that stuff (as we did), but this is the weekend we should concentrate on beer.

That’s pretty easy to do when the beer, the company, and the music are this good.

Today’s article will be scribbled hastily upon a laptop during the tiniest of windows when I won’t be paying attention to the music. Here’s what we could celebrate:

  • Bonza Bottler Day. I won’t write much about this, but yes, we did choose a couple of new drinks.
  • National CBD Day. Hey, speaking of that other substance…
  • National Happiness Happens Day. Celebrate the things that make you happy. Yes, this is another generic happiness celebration, but we’re happy so we’re in.
  • National Frozen Custard Day. We will be passing on this one, but dive in if you’re feeling it.
  • National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbour’s Porch Night. We are actually doing this. It’s too ridiculous to skip.
  • National Dollar Day. This day celebrates the founding of US currency. Up here we have loonies.
  • International Cat Day. We will be accepting pictures of cats once again, as we have none around here.
  • National Bowling Day. I was looking forward to doing this, but it is not likely in the cards, even next week.
  • National Garage Sale Day. We aren’t much for garage sales, as we don’t like accumulating too much stuff, but we would have gone were this not Covid year.
  • National Fried Chicken & Waffles Day. Jodie actually had this last weekend but we forgot to take a picture. Mostly because we don’t photograph our food unless it’s for this project.
  • Middle Children’s Day. Congrats to all of you. Jodie is an oldest and I’m an only, but we fully support all you messed-up middle kids.
  • Celebrate Your Lakes Day. If you’ve got ‘em, celebrate ‘em.
  • Odie Day. Yes, a day specifically to celebrate Garfield’s dog friend.
  • The Date To Create. Well, we do create a fresh article every day, though today’s does not promise a whole lot of freshness. I guess we’ll see.

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