Happy Today!

When was the last time you woke up and said, “Today is going to be the best day in my life!”? Although there are no scientific studies to back it up, there is a pretty good chance it wasn’t today. With that in mind, here is a completely unscientific poll:

Which of the following is a wish for a special day
a.  Have a good day
b.  Good morning
c.  Happy birthday
d.  Have a great day
e.  All of the above
If you answered e. All of the above you’re likely on your way to a great day and maybe it is going to be the best day of your life!

Why can’t every day be special? Let’s rephrase that. Why, every day can be a special! It’s time to ditch the idea of “Have a nice day” as platitude and get back to really meaning it. Have a nice day and its close relative Have a good day, had appeared in print as far back as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (“”And hoom wente every man the righte way, there was namoore but ‘Fare wel, have a good day'”) and was a friendly but serious way of closing communications between air traffic controllers and pilots through the early days of jet travel. It wasn’t until the 1970s when Americans began associated the phrase with the soon to be ubiquitous smiley face that those words were stripped of their happiness and joy, when in fact, each day should be one of happiness and joy. We are allotted only so many days. And according to recent reports, Americans can expect less of them. Earlier this year, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reported American life expectancy dropped from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.3 years in 2020.  It cannot all be blamed on COVID. Life expectancy in the United States has been declining since 2014.

Undoubtedly there are a variety of reasons for this decline. One thing that is rarely mentioned is that happiness and longevity go together. Ten of the 20 countries with the longest reported life expectancies are also ten of the top 20 countries ranked as the world’s happiest in the 2020 World Happiness Report conducted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It may not be the most formal research, but it appears it you want to live long, you have a better chance at it if you’re living it happily. And how do you make live a happy life. Make every day special.

Each day, over 150,000 people spend their last day on earth. It is estimated that only about 2/3 of those people die of age-related complications and one can make the argument that 1 out of every 3 people who die don’t expect it. Almost everybody who has survived a life-threatening event acknowledges the specialness of each day. To them every day of their new life is a gift. You should not have to have been threatened with the loss of future days to recognize each day’s presence as exceptional. Nor should a day need a special event for it to be special. Every day is exceptional and each day is an event in its own right.

2 + 2 5 (2)Fred Rogers knew about special days. He closed each episode of his Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood television show with “You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” There was no question that he meant it and that every day was special to him.  In a 2019 Los Angeles Times interview, his widow Joanne said, “People invariably say, ‘Well, I can’t do that, but I sure do admire him. I would love to do it.’ Well, you can do it. I’m convinced there are lots of Fred Rogerses out there.” Fred Rogers made everyone feel special because he genuinely cared for people and was not afraid to express it.

if you search “How to make someone feel special.” on the Internet, you will find, “Bring them chocolate, write them a note, give them your full attention, surprise them with a gift.” None of the returns say, “Be honest and genuine with everyone you meet, don’t be mean, treat everyone with respect, make everyone leave feeling good about having been with you.”

To make others feel special you need only show genuine them concern and respect. We uplift each other while we can, because there is no guarantee of a tomorrow. “You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you.” It’s time to celebrate this special day, today!

All In

Through thick and through thin, all out or all in
We’re gonna go through it together
With you for me and me for you
We’ll muddle through whatever we do
Together, wherever we go

June 8 is Best Friends Day. I don’t know about the rest of the world but when I think of “best friend” I think of that number. Keen eyed readers with keen ears and keen theater sense will recognize those lyrics from that number don’t go together which is pretty okey dokey. I mixed them up a bit because that’s how I sing them in the shower or wherever I am thinking about best friends and that’s okey dokey too because, all things considered, that musical isn’t about friendship.

The musical in question, of course, is “Gypsy,” the 1959 David Merrick stage production written by Arthur Laurents, and those lyrics came from the pen of Steven Sondheim. In the play, Rose, the prototypical stage mother wants to see her daughters become stars, and so she drags them through the Vaudeville circuit across America. Long story short, outgoing talented daughter sets out on her own, leaving mother and introverted less talented daughter to fail or succeed on their own, Vaudeville dies, the act ends up in burlesque, introvert becomes successful stripper sensation Gypsy Rose Lee, mother confides she always pushed them only so she could live vicariously through them but instead eventually loses them and in the end mother Rose and daughter Louise (Gypsy Rose) sort of, kind of reconcile.

A masterpiece of the theater. Over 700 performances, four Broadway revivals, one London revival, two movies, a Great Masterpieces performance, a triumph indeed, but not the thing of friendships. But that song! “We’ll muddle through.” whatever it takes. Now that’s the thing of friendship – best friends. Not good friends, not close friends, not even canine friends. Best friends. Best, best friends. Bestest friends!

Real best friends aren’t typical friends. They are not the best friends of childhood. You could have had a different best friend every week of summer then. They are not the best friends of a contract like married best friends. You might well be as close as best friends but you’re also there because you’ve formally committed to each other. They are not the best friends of circumstances perhaps of being together in the military, serving or fighting side by side until transfers or separation orders send them apart.

Best, best friends could walk away any time. They could leave or be transferred. They could hide out, remember an important meeting, or realize their tardiness somewhere else when a real need comes up. They could grow tired of each other after so many years together and move on, nothing legally holding them together. But they don’t. Whatever obstacles they face, best friends face together and muddle through, because they want to. Even when it’s hard. Sometimes seemingly especially when it’s hard.

I have a best friend. A best, best friend. A bestest best friend. We greet each other every morning, wish each other a good night at the end of each day. Always we find a way to communicate sometime in between, often many times in between in by texts, or calls, or videos, always there for each other. We know we’ll never move apart. We already live apart, 3,000 miles apart. How much farther apart could we be? Physically. Physically we have been in each other’s company four times in the last ten years, totally maybe 12 days. But we’ve been in each other’s company every day. Together. Wherever we go.

I wish you a best friend like that for Best Friends Day. There aren’t many. Only the bestest. I have mine and I’m all in!

Dedicated to my best friend.

And like I always say, you’re lucky.
Because, you don’t have to take it alone.
Wherever we go, whatever we do, We’re gonna go through it together.


From Gypsy, the Musical, PBS Great Performances, November 11, 2016

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Kindness Is Not an Option


Two big things happened in my general part of the country this past weekend. Pennsylvania celebrated 143 Day for the entire weekend and the city of Toledo, Ohio renamed its airport The Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport. Gene Kranz was the director of NASA mission operations, noted for the modern mantra, failure is not an option, and 143 Day was inspired by America’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. Naturally these two belong in the same discussion. Don’t they?

MrRogers_ImagineWhatOurIf I had to make a list of the Top Ten People to Ever Walk the Face of the Earth, Pittsburgh native Fred Rogers would be high on that list. He lived for kindness and his type of kindness is returning to vogue, especially now that the generation that mocked him, his quiet, unassuming manner, and his gentleness to everybody, is now having grandkids and their favorite expression is “why can’t you be nicer?” Mr. Rogers didn’t love everybody regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, or gender identity. Mr. Roger loved everybody. Period. His mantra, “I like you just the way you are,” ended every one of his 912 shows. “You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you, just the way you are.”

If I had to make a list of the Top Ten People to Ever Walk the Face of the Earth, Toledo native Gene Kranz would be high on that list. As the division chief for the Apollo missions, Gene Kranz was in the midst of it all at the time of NASA’s Apollo 1 disaster that took the lives of Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee. He told his assembled team during the aftermath while several investigations were ongoing, that although he had no knowledge then of what the investigations would determine to be the cause, “…I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job.” He further went on to say that from then on, “Flight Control would be known by two words, Tough and Competent.” To him, tough equaled accountable, and competent meant to be never short on knowledge and skill.

Fred Rogers used 1-4-3, his favorite number, as his special code for “I Love You” based on the number of letters in each word. He once said, “Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.” Putting those two together, 143 and offering a kind word to somebody, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in 2019 established 143rd day of the year (May 23 most years) as ‘143 Day In PA,’ and even created a tracker on their website asking people to report when they did something nice for someone.

genekranzGene Kranz was the Flight Director for Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. Apollo 11 is known for its success, landing two men on the moon and meeting President John Kennedy’s 1962 challenge to reach the moon before the end of decade. Apollo 13 is known for its inflight disaster, potentially losing another full Apollo crew, when faulty wiring caused a spark and explosion that caused the spacecraft to lose its oxygen supply. Rather than a moon mission it became a survival mission, racing the clock to return the astronauts to earth before their oxygen ran out. Those who read the book or saw the movie know the Flight Control team took accountability for the disaster and used their knowledge and skill to bring the flight crew safely home.

Time magazine recently published an article suggesting 143 Day should become a national holiday. In the article they quoted from a Pew Research Center study and reported, “nearly 90 percent of Americans think it’s possible to improve our confidence in one another. Their prescription, it turns out, is a simple one: neighborliness.” One of those polled in the study was quoted, “Get to know your local community. Take small steps towards improving daily life, even if it’s just a trash pick-up.” The magazine’s recommendation to make it a recognized national holiday rather than an informal day of remembrance would make a dedicated date as a permanent reminder for kindness, “even if just for one day.” They conclude the article with the thought that a national 143 Day can be, “A day not to accept every neighbor’s views, or to abandon accountability, or to sacrifice justice at the altar of being kind, but instead to do the most difficult work there is: loving thy neighbor exactly as they are.”

After the Apollo 1 fire and his meeting with the Flight Control team, Gene Kranz instructed his team to write on their office blackboards, “Tough” and “Competent” and to never erase them. “They are the price of admission to Mission Control,” he said. Tough and Competent may have been reserved for his inner team but the outside world may more readily remember another statement by Gene Kranz. Failure is not an option. As is so common of these things, even though Mr. Kranz used the phrase for his autobiography, he did not originate the phrase. It was coined by a screenwriter working on the “Apollo 13” movie project. He did live the phrase however, and his life and work epitomizes true leadership: dedication to excellence beyond self.

Fred Rogers may never be remembered with a national celebration of 143 Day and Gene Kranz may never have another airport dedicated to him, but both men have otherwise long resumes of competence, compassion, accountability, and kindness. Failure is not an option. Neither should be kindness. That should be a the natural course!

Kindness tough-competent

Continuing with my experiment on the WordPress/Anchor partnership, Don’t Believe Everything You Think is available on these platforms. 

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Please let me know what you think. So far I’m still mostly just recording the blog posts but eventually there will be more than that. We might even get into a discussion about how we all got into blogging. 

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Under Pressure

May is an interesting month. It starts out somewhat Spring-like with weather in the “Not Too Warm Days, Not Too Cool Nights” range, newly planted gardens beginning to flower and promising what one hopes will be a bountiful harvest, lawns fresh from their first cut already starting to show the unmistakable lushness from the early application of grass food, and energetic people everywhere waiting for the first long bike ride or counting the days until the outdoor pools will again open. And then it ends with hot dry days and hot humid nights, the sun so high you’ve already gone through a year’s allotment of sunscreen, weeds, weeds, weeds and more weeds where you were sure you have planted zucchini, that grass needs cut again(!), the bike rack is still in pieces in the garage and the pool looks more like a mosh pit from an early 80s Slayer concert! Perhaps this explains why May is also National Blood Pressure Month. With escalations like these your blood pressure has a good chance of escalating also.

But May is also a month filled with days dedicated to practicing self-care, self-restraint and self-satisfaction, and keeping that blood pressure in the “Make Your Doctor Happy” zone. Seriously, can you imagine stressing yourself to the point of elevated blood pressure readings on Dance Like a Chicken Day?

May’s earliest days have already gone and we may have missed National Fitness Day or World Laughter Day, but you don’t need a special day to stretch out those winter bound muscles or snicker at a corny knock knock joke. We might have missed Garden Meditation Day but meditating any day will increase your positivity.

I’ve listed some of May’s contributions to keeping your blood pressure down. You can keep this list handy whenever your day starts mounting more pressure on you than you are comfortable with and remind yourself of the many ways a little physical activity or mental and spiritual awareness might ease some of that pressure and lighten your heart. (Warning: Visit Your Relatives Day might have the opposite effect on some!)

I have my favorites that I’m looking forward to. Please join me in a discovery of how you can celebrate National Blood Pressure Month and add to your health – body and soul!

Navy Blue Oranges Squares Weekly Calendar

Beware the Raptor! (And the Garlic)

Happy National Garlic Day. The National sort of suggests USA origins but if you call one of the other countries that populate our planet home, feel free to celebrate the stinking rose along with us.

I’m not sure why somebody picked the middle of April to celebrate garlic. Apparently neither do the organizers of the many garlic themed festivals, picking instead mid-summer for the every July Gilroy Garlic festival in Gilroy California where 140% of the world’s garlic crop is grown and smells like it, or mid-winter for the every February Delray Beach Garlic Fest in Delray Beach Florida where little garlic is grown outside of backyard gardens and it smells sort of like Florida.

While the uncertainty of when to celebrate garlic may lead to some organizational questions, at least garlic is something real. You can see it, taste it and smell it (sometimes far longer than you expected), and it is a part of modern life. Unlike, say, the velociraptor.

Yesterday was National Velociraptor Awareness Day. Again, there’s that “National” designation suggesting not all Americans are consumed with political-oriented lunacy and can go out on limbs of their own making. I guess anybody can celebrate anything, but do we really need to be “aware” of an animal that hasn’t taken a breath for roughly 70,000,000 years? (Spelled out that would be seventy million years.) If one felt the prehistoric bird has been slighted in film and fiction, maybe a Velociraptor Appreciation Day is called for. But awareness? I don’t think I need to be as aware of what a velociraptor might do to me or my environs as perhaps I should be of a cavalier attitude to continuing masking and social distancing. Now that’s something to be aware of. But I digress.

If you have an inordinate amount of free time (like I clearly do), you can search National Velociraptor Day and find no end of information about the apparently feathery dinosaur including its average height, weight, wingspan, stance, fight speed, running speed, habitat, and diet. There is a huge number of “facts” about this thing that disappeared over 69.5 million years before man showed up. But then the world is also gaga over the paleodiet and I don’t think anybody was writing cookbooks back then and that was a lot more recently than velociraptors flew over the earth. (Personally, given that the world was so waterlogged then, I think the typical paleodiet was likely lizards, snails, and little amphibians (perhaps as something akin to frog legs) and more likely resembled a high end (aka snooty) French restaurant.) But boy do I digress.

Although none of the National Velociraptor Awareness Day sites mention how its predator enjoyed this early bird at mealtime, there are several that note the velociraptor du jour did not resemble the flying dinosaur depicted in most movies featuring return to life prehistoric creatures, instead they more likely looked like big chickens. So go out on your own limb and celebrate both National Velociraptor Day (a day late) and National Garlic Day (right on time) with a robust chicken dinner smothered in garlic, perhaps the famous Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic recipe. Stick that in your search engine and you’ll come up with about 2-1/4 million results which is only about 250,000 less than if you searched for velociraptors. Sigh.


You’ve Got a Friend in the Pharmacy

Tomorrow is a special day for me. Almost as special as Groundhog Day (and if you read this blog for any of the last 8 Groundhog Days you know how special that day is). January 12 is National Pharmacists Day. It’s special to me because even though you might think I could make a decent living on the goofy blog circuit I actually have a professional side to me and for over 40 years have hung a hunk of paper from the state’s board of pharmacy declaring me to be one of them. Pharmacists not groundhogs.

National Pharmacists Day is an opportunity to recognize all pharmacists for their contributions to the nation’s health and health care systems throughout the country regardless of their practice settings or specialties. Yes pharmacists work in a variety of health care settings and do sit for specialty boards in a variety of conversations from psychopharmacology to eldercare.

Pharmacists trace the root of the profession to ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Recipes for remedies have been found on papyri dating to the 15th century BC. In the 1st century AD, the Greek physician Dioscorides wrote his five volume textbook on the practice of medicine and the use of medical substances and remedies. Pharmacy and medical students may more readily recognize its Latin translation De Materia Medica. It would another 700 year though until individuals took on specific roles of preparation and dispensing of medicaments that we associate with the specialty of pharmacy when the Taihō Code defined this role in 701 at the end of Japan’s Asuka Period. The roles of pharmacists and physicians would sometimes separate and sometimes blur through the first half of the second millennium. In 1683 the city council of Bruges formally separated the practices and passed an ordinance forbidding physicians from filling medication orders for their patients.

MortarBeforeIn the United States, Benjamin Franklin is credited for creating an autonomous apothecary within the Pennsylvania Hospital which opened in 1754 in Philadelphia. Although apothecaries were operating in the North American colonies, the pharmacist physician separation was not the standard practice as it was becoming common in Europe and England. Franklin’s insistence on the establishment of a separate service for the hospital was seen as an opportunity for drug research and development as well as to manage and dispense a fragile inventory.

Since 1754 pharmacists have taken more diverse roles, formally specialized, led development, and revolutionized education. Still the pharmacist is a dispenser. Whether of medications or information, whether to ambulatory patients, hospital staff, nursing home residents, fledgling students, or even to the International Space Station, pharmacists’ role is to give. Pharmacists embrace that role regardless of where they practice and continue to hone their skills and define their roles.

If you should happen to cross paths with a pharmacist tomorrow, join the dozens of people who even know this special day exists and wish him or her a Happy National Pharmacist Day!

Why did the turkey cross the road?

Driving around here you might see just about anything on the road. Still, when a large turkey led a group of 3 others from one side of the road to the other that I happened to be motoring my way along one morning last week, the first thought I had was “hmm, turkeys.” The second thought was “Oh shit, she’s fast!” (I didn’t have time to consider all the possible gender permutations and for birds, those probably still stop at two) when this one wasted no time strolling over to my open window to see what that crazy human was doing stopped in the middle of where they wanted to walk and what was that thing I was aiming at her. (Or him.)
After I got the window rolled up and the car back in gear and moving cautiously around the mini-brood I had my third thought. Why were the turkeys crossing the road? Why were they leaving the confines of high brush and much vegetation for the open back lot of a used car dealer? I didn’t think they were interested in a slightly used minivan but with turkeys who knows.
Some things I thought as the day wore on were:
They were released from a nearby turkey farm where the business was downsizing due to the anticipated lessened demand for turkeys, particularly the larger ones, this upcoming holiday season. Although … these seemed of the quite wild variety. Thus my next thought. 
They were visiting relatives still held captive at the nearby turkey farm and/or visiting said farm to attempt a release of said relatives due to the anticipated lessened demand for turkeys this upcoming holiday season.  But … that seemed somewhat implausible given that the average turkey is probably more intelligent than the average politician and therefore not given to such flights of fancy as to believe she (or he) (it?) could out talk a farmer, or talk a farmer out of a herd of turkeys. Herd? Flock? Bunch! On to the next thought. 
They were off to the large mega mart further up the road in the direction of their travel to take advantage of the discounted pricing of the fall version wrapper of snacks and candies to make way for the winter version wrapper for snacks and candies and in particular to score big on candy corn which has no winter equivalent. Then I realized I was on to something indeed! My final thought.
Why did the turkeys cross the road? To get to the candy corn! That perfect, super food that tastes better than kale and doesn’t stain like blueberries with it’s own holiday that’s not Halloween or Thanksgiving. (I know that’s all true because I read it on the Internet not just a year ago. In fact I know that’s true because I wrote it and posted it to the internet not just a year ago. All except the blueberry part. That’s new for this year. Always improving!)
So this Friday when you’re looking for something to celebrate other than the impending short reprieve of political ads, National Candy Corn Day is October 30 this year and every year. If you’re one of the weirdos who isn’t a fan of candy corn, cross the road and bring some to me. I’ll be busy looking up small turkey meal plans.
Gobble gobble!

The TV Dinner and the Hot Dog

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Places everybody. I’d say let’s get this down in one take but that ship sailed 14 takes ago. Hot Dog, wipe that mustard off your face. Again! And somebody mop the sweat off TV Dinner or it’s back in the freezer. Ok, we’re ready. Roll sound! Roll camera!
HOT DOG: Happy National Hot Day Day! That’s September 10 to you commoners.
TV DINNER: But it’s supposed to be my day, TV Dinner Day. You already had Hot Dog Day on the third Wednesday of July, July 22 this year actually. Today is…
HOT DOG: Yes, yes, today is National Hot Dog Day! The hot dog is the greatest food in the world, in the entire universe, and deserves two days. In fact we deserve 2 days every month, every week even! You can never have too many hot dogs! Who wants a nutritionally wimpy salt and fat explosion of bad taste that makes airplane food seem gourmet? You can’t even decide how to dress. You started out all shiny in those aluminum trays with bright aluminum foil covers and look at you now, boxed up in black plastic with that chintzy see through top. Now a hot dog hasn’t changed in four billion years because we were born perfect! 
TV DINNER: That’s not true! To begin with you weren’t invented until the 1870’s and didn’t become popular until 50 years after that. Based on a flash freezing process developed in the 1920s TV dinners hit the streets running in 1954 and never lost momentum. And we can be very healthy. It depends on what you pick. A frozen meatloaf with mash potatoes and gravy might have a little more salt and fat than recommended but a baked chicken with broccoli or vegetable lasagna are solid, healthy dinner choices. TV Dinners satisfy whatever mood you’re in. We are what you make of us.
HOT DOG: I’ll tell you what I can make of you. Garbage! Look at all that packaging. Waste, waste, waste. A hot dog is all food. And were portable. You won’t find a vendor at the ball yard hawking frozen dinners. You’re called TV Dinners because after somebody gorges on a box of you all they’re good for the rest of the night is watching TV. Hot Dogs on the other hand are the food of the fit. That’s why were at every sporting event around the world! Now go crawl back into the freezer and let me celebrate like the winner that I am!
TV DINNER: I think what you’re saying is wrong. Just because you are sold at ball games doesn’t make hot dogs nutritious. Nachos are big at sporting events and you really don’t believe melted cheese on salty chips is good for you.
HOT DOG: Oh baby do I love melted cheese! I look fabulous with that gooey yellow goodness oozing out of the ends of my bun. It gives me shivers just to think how much healthier I am with a layer of cheese and maybe even chili too.
TV DINNER: Healthier? Are you cra…… No, no, I mustn’t be like that. It might not be fair but if you really believe you need two days I’ll share mine with you. I’d rather give a little and live long and in peace than to spend what little time we have arguing about who is better when we know deep down it takes all of us to make a kitchen full and happy.
TVDinnerDogVOICE OVER: Be like the TV Dinner and make the best out of the situations over which you have no control. Don’t fall into the trap of believing the world can’t live without you and you deserve everything you can get. Don’t be a hot dog. Be a winner, winner, frozenchicken dinner.
DIRECTOR: Cut! Good work everybody. Thank you
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:  Thank you all. Leave your costumes in the dressing area and check the board for up coming food spots. If you’re interested, have your agents call now.
DIRECTOR: We’re doing good stuff here. Let’s eat. I have a taste for one of those little frozen apple desserts. How about you?

Cleaning My Desk

Today is “Clean Out Your Desk Day” so I think I will. Before I get to the one in the corner I’ll clear out some of the mental clutter. I warn you right now that today’s thoughts cover politics, society, and religion so I’m sure to tick off everybody with something before you reach the end of this post. But if I missed you, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll be happy to try harder next time. 
This morning’s news had an report of a toddler vaping. According to their release the Pennsylvania State Police received a “Snapchat-like video showing what looks like a young toddler taking a hit with the help of a woman, then the video shows the toddler sit down and take another hit. The camera then cuts to a shot of another woman laughing.” The women have been identified as high school students and the toddler is a two year old one of the girls was baby sitting for the evening. There’s just so much wrong with this. The obvious is you don’t give a baby something to smoke, vape, swallow, or inject. Then where did high school kids get vaping pens and solution since the legal age to buy vaping accessories and supplies in Pennsylvania is 21? (Yeah, I know, nobody enforces “legal age” before the fact for anything anywhere except alcohol and that often only poorly.) Last on my list but certainly just one off many more things wrong with this picture is why is it going out on social media? If there was not an audience for this type of behavior it wouldn’t be shared so blatantly. Are we are better off now than when teenagers lived in a “Leave it to Beaver” world?
Groundhog Day is the best holiday ever!
A local supermarket chain is joining the growing number of stores eliminating single use plastic bags, plastic food containers and plastic straws. A very positive step in the fight for the environment by reducing resources required to supply a disposable world and the impact on the world after their disposal. A word of caution though. Once you put a biodegradable item into a black plastic garbage bag you just threw away all your good effort. 
If your parents used to threaten you with no dessert until you ate your veggies don’t complain that Burger King is cooking plant burgers on the same grill as the real burgers. 
In the “Just Because You Can” drawer boy do I have a lot of things I bought on sale.
Have you seen the commercial where a guy walks away from the coffee shop register after paying for his latte with a debit card and a balloon pops up displaying “overdraft fee $35?” He opines that he wishes a bank existed that won’t keep charging him all these fees. His companion happily informed him that one does, the sponsor of that very ad they are in. Imagine that! No more annoying overdraft or any other fee – yay! Hey, I have a way to avoid overdraft fees too. Don’t spend money you don’t have! Schmuck.
Thank you Ricky Gervais.
Over the weekend Ontario officials apologized for sending a false emergency alert regarding an unspecified issue at an atomic power plant outside of Toronto. It was not the first time a government warned of impending peril that wasn’t there. Most recently in 2018 the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security apologized when an erroneous alert was distributed in Hawaii warning of incoming missiles. Maybe the world is getting used to false alarms. In Canada, Jonathan Davies noticed Sunday’s alert while he was driving but he waited until after he picked up his Tim Hortons to check the news. “I can’t cope with much until I have my coffee,” he was quoted in an Associate Press article. 
Today Pope Francis tweeted (yes he does, doesn’t everybody?), “it is not enough to be knowledgeable: unless we step out of ourselves, unless we worship, we cannot not know God.” Sound advice for all religions, all societies, and all people. It’s not enough to just think, if you want to matter you have to do.
Finally,  an oldie but goodie:  love thy neighbor, no exceptions!
Okay, I think I’m ready to work on that other desk now. Altogether now,  go clean your desks!

Corn Sweet Corn

Darn that pumpkin spice craze. The real flavor darling of the season rightfully should be Candy Corn. You read that right – Candy Corn. Capitalized Candy Corn because it is something special.
Candy Corn is not only the perfect candy dish filler but it is also a perfect food and a superfood all in one. It’s a perfect food in that it contains the four basic food groups – water, sugar, corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors. It’s a superfood because it is fat free, low calorie (compared to a bag of chocolate bars), and tastes better that kale. And Candy Corn has it’s own day that isn’t even Halloween orThanksgiving. Take that, kale!
Candy Corn has been around for a long time, and contrary to some thinking, it isn’t the same corn every year you see in the stores. You would be confusing Candy Corn with fruit cake. Candy Corn first hit the confectioners’ shelves in the 1880s. It wasn’t until after World War II that it become really popular but like all things genius, Candy Corn took a while a catch on.
As far as candy goes, Candy Corn is a healthy snack. Umm, healthier snack. Each serving, officially 15 pieces or one generous handful, is fat and cholesterol free, low sodium, and contains 22 grams of sugar and only 110 calories. Unlike real corn it is also fiber free so they’ll be no uncomfortable bloating if you should go wild and eat an entire bag in one sitting. Not unheard of, let me tell you!
Thirty-five millions pounds of Candy Corn are made each year. That’s nine billion (9,000,000,000) kernels. Give or take a few. Candy Corn sales will bring in $340 million this year! That’s not chicken feed, which incidentally was Candy Corn’s original name. Those numbers are just the commercial production. Candy Corn is easy to make at home with recipes abounding on the internet even from the likes of celebrity chef Alton Brown, no fancy molds required. 
You still have a couple days to get ready for the biggest fall holiday, October 30, National Candy Corn Day! Whether you make your own or buy a bag, celebrate responsibly this year with Candy Corn!