Saturday, December 12, 2020

Spent and sleepy. That was how my yesterday began. My alarm told me it was 8:00 but I spent at least two minutes with my eyes closed, not believing it. Surely if it was already 8:00 I would have made it to the Chrysler Building by now to fight the orange minotaur. Anyway, it was a weird dream and it ended without resolution. And there I was, with a very limited slate of potential celebrations. Which is fine, as I had a virtually unlimited amount of actual work to tackle. Still, I crammed some stuff between the cracks, and wound up getting around to this:

National App Day

My plan was to use this day to try out a few new apps. I really don’t need anything new for productivity or music production or photo effects, so I thought I’d try a couple of games. It was not the thriving success I’d hoped for. I tried a maze app called “Maze” that was clunky, uninteresting and full of ads. I tried something called Word Pearls that looked interesting, but crashed my phone. So, instead I thought I’d share a few of my own favourites.

I’ve been using Google Calendar for keeping track of these celebrations, and it has been fantastic. It syncs up with the browser app, so it was the best way to trace my way through more than 2,000 celebrations and hundreds of album anniversaries that I never wound up using for this project. With that in mind, happy 50th birthday to John Lennon’s brilliant Plastic Ono Band album.

For reference all I need is the IMDb app and the Wikipedia app. Between those two brilliant sources you’ll never have to remember who that guy was who was in that thing, that movie with the dude and the explosions. Weather Office is my preferred meteorology stopover, and the Transit app was extremely reliable back in those dark days when I needed to take public transit to work.

For games I can’t praise the Bart Bonté puzzle games enough. He’s got a number of them: Red, Blue, Yellow, Black… probably other colours. They are clever and inventive little puzzles. For fun I still play the Wordscapes daily puzzle, the pictogram puzzles in Picture Cross, and I actually pay to play Puzzle Page, which I’ve plugged on here before. I’m always up for a new suggestion, so if you’ve got one, fire it my way. Let’s make National App Day the special and wondrous beast it was always meant to be.

International Mountain Day

The United Nations created this day to help remind us that mountains are… well, they’re pretty neat. Big ol’ pointy rocks. Planet Earth’s natural accordion landscape. So crank up that “Mississippi Queen” and let’s learn a little something interesting about mountains, shall we?

I’m told that, before we had GPS and altimeters, people used to measure the height of mountains using triangulation from other mountain peaks. This does nothing to explain the process to me, but hey, it’s out there. On average six people die every year trying to climb Mt. Everest, and their bodies are littering the mountainside. This is why my bucket list is more about beating people at Mario Kart than scaling a giant rock.

Five of the ten tallest mountains in our solar system are located on Mars. There were about 80,000 troops stationed in the Alps in Austria during World War I. More than half the deaths there came from avalanches, not bullets. Mountain goats, those impressive wall-walking beasts, are technically a type of antelope.

People still venture out to track down the Yeti in the Himalayas. Mount Everest was named for Sir George Everest, the guy who first identified it, then said “nope” and turned around without climbing it. The longest mountain name is located in New Zealand, with the impressive summit of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu. And yes, I copy-pasted that; I did not type it out.

Mountains are great. We had planned to visit the mountains this month, but then we’ve made a lot of plans that Covid has cancelled. Such is the nature of this year.

Official Lost And Found Day

On this day, which has been celebrated (no doubt with wild, reckless abandon) since 2012, we are supposed to put a little extra effort into finding something we’d lost. Okay. Some time this fall one of my cannabis grinders went mysteriously missing. This particularly odd because I would have only taken it to the garage, never out of the house. There was no explanation, and while I was disappointed, I had a backup.

You should always have a backup.

So I dug around in some jacket pockets, and under a few things in our garage in an attempt to track it down. I even got down on my knees to see if it may have rolled under the shelf. I didn’t have much hope of spotting it, and I was right. I still have no idea where on this planet that thing could have gone. No one was here to steal it, and it never left the house. I think I’ll chalk it up to some Toy Story type of situation, in which it came to life and left on some grand adventure. Hopefully it makes it home one day.

The first public lost and found office was set up by the Paris police in 1805 at Napoleon’s behest. This is a weirdly positive contribution to the world by Napoleon, though it should be pointed out that the police never actually made an effort to track down the owners of these objects until a new policy was enacted in 1893. Still, I’m sure the office workers in that Paris office had a few interesting laughs in the course of their work.

Today is our weekly supply run. That, along with prepping the spare bedroom (which was our master bedroom not long ago) for the kid, will take up most of the day. But we also have this:

  • Bonza Bottler Day. It’s our final Bonza Bottler Day, unless we decide to get a special something to drink on January 1.
  • National Ambrosia Day. I doubt Jodie wants to make a 60’s-style ambrosia salad, so we might listen to some of the 70’s-style soft rock group by that name.
  • National Ding-A-Ling Day. It’s a day to call people you haven’t talked to in a while. But we’ll all be playing that Chuck Berry song, won’t we?
  • Poinsettia Day. A day to celebrate those plants that will allegedly kill our dogs if they ate them. So we won’t be bringing any inside the house.
  • Gingerbread House Day. That might be fun.
  • Kanji Day. This is a Japanese celebration I might check in on.
  • Festival of Unmentionable Thoughts. Oooooh, I have lots of these!
  • International Shareware Day. I guess that’s something to celebrate.
  • National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day. Just twelve? Okay.

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