February 29th, 2012 by Richard
Yep, it’s just about that time of the cycle. Every four years we get that special, magical time called the Leap Year! And on that wonderful, rare and incandescent moment of the Leap Day we get. . . just another day.
Not really sure why some folks make a big deal out of the Leap Year, probably something to do with scarcity. That is, it only comes around once every four years and, because it’s so rare, it must be important.
By that rationale, since we rarely get a nasty smelling foot fungus, it must be important and something to celebrate. Or not.
The leap year actually does serve an important purpose. See, the seasonal or astrological years (the actual passage of time in the real universe outside of human measuring systems) doesn’t pass in neat, one-day (or 24-hour) increments. There’s partial days in there.
Because of those partial days, if we didn’t have the extra day thrown into a Leap Year every four years, our calendar would gradually drift off correlation with the real world around us. It might be that we’re celebrating Christmas in the northern hemisphere with Santa on his water skis, pulled behind the swimming reindeer. Or enjoying our summer break by going out and snowsledding down a hill.
You get the point.
Basically, what we’re celebrating is a mathematical error-correction mechanism.
I mean, really, the only people who should be celebrating today are those born on this day. They only get to celebrate their actual birthday every four years. The other three years in the cycle, they have to celebrate on Feb. 28 or March 1. And that’s no fun.
So, here’s to you, Leap Dudes! Enjoy your birthday (for realsies) today!
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Tags: A Dude's Guide to Life
, Celebrating Christmas
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February 28th, 2012 by Richard
This year’s flu season won’t really wrap up until around May or so, but I’m going to call it right now. We got lucky this year.
With the unseasonably warm weather (and, no, this isn’t taking a stance for human-assisted catastrophic global climate change ((aka global warming)), although that is happening. No, I know a cold winter isn’t proof against HACGCC, just like a warm winter isn’t proof of it.) we’ve had this winter, it’s been a very mild flu season.
That’s not to say we haven’t seen quite a few cases of the influenza in hospitals and doctors offices around the country. We have. But it’s been nowhere as severe as in years past, in terms both of the number of cases and the severity of the actual individual infections.
In our house, everyone got the flu shot no later than October of the year. We don’t like to wait until we get hit before we inoculate. Even with the flu vaccine, we saw our share of sickness in the house, but these came more from colds than the flu.
Which brought up a good question: How can you tell the difference between the cold and the flu? Good question, yeah? I mean, it could be a cold, or the beginnings of a flu and you treat those differently. So, how do you get the 4-1-1 on the difference?
Here’s the skinny on how to tell the difference between the two based on the symptoms.
Firstly, if you’ve got muscle aches and you didn’t work out, it’s more likely the flu than a cold.
Getting the chills is more likely with the flu. Which goes along with the fact that fevers are more often found in people suffering from the flu, rather than a cold.
You also get a hint by how your illness comes on. If you slowly start feeling grungier as the days go past, it’s probably a cold. If your illness drops on you like the American tree-dwelling spider bear, it’s the flu.
Finally, if you’re so tired even the thought of blinking your eyes seems like too much effort, you’ve probably got the flu. Not that you dudes would be able to do anything about it at that point, but it’s good to know. And you can hope you’ve got good caretakers.
Oddly, and easily, the best way to make sure you don’t contract either a flu or a cold is really simple: just wash your hands often with warm water and soap. And stop touching your face. Really. Just stop it.
Take a few simple precautions and you might just make it out of the flu season in good shape. Until the next flu arrives. But I’m sure you don’t have to worry about that.
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February 27th, 2012 by Richard
Over the weekend, we got the last piece of good news. Zippy the Monkey Boy received word from the seventh college to which he applied that he’d been accepted.
So that was seven for seven, which was good. He got into the one college he really wanted to attend, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and, according to the news from the weekend, he also got into the school he didn’t think he had a chance at: my alma mater, the University of Florida.
Now I’m torn.
See, both Zippy the Monkey Boy’s mom and I graduated from the University of Florida. I was born in Gainesville, FL, and she attended medical school there. Additionally, both my parents graduated from there and my grandfather coached football there. So, yeah, UF runs deep in our family.
Now, the odds of Zippy the Monkey Boy getting accepted to the University of Florida were, at best, slim. Seriously slim. He was from out of state. He didn’t have that outstanding an SAT score. He was in the top 5% of his high-school class, but that was about it. Looking at it objectively, I didn’t think he had a chance.
Heck, looking at it objectively, I, with my test scores from back then, didn’t stand a chance at getting into UF with this class and I had a better SAT result than Zippy the Monkey Boy.
Things, as they say, were not looking good. And then we never heard from the University of Florida. Acceptances came and were disregarded. He got into all six of the other schools to which he applied, but still no word from UF. And then, finally, here in the ides of February, he finally heard.
I gotta say, I’m torn. Really, really torn. Zippy the Monkey Boy’s wanted to go to UNCW since he was old enough to know what a college was. But, as a son raised in a rabid orange-and-blue loving home of the Gators, he also loves UF. I really do want to keep pushing him to go to UF. I know it’ll be (much) more expensive, but I think Zippy the Monkey Boy is the last chance we have for any of our next generation to go to UF. I mean, I doubt Sarcasmo will be going to UF if he ever goes back to school and I know Hyper Lad, who’s currently getting his room painted in *gah* Alabama *gah* colors, won’t even consider it.
Zippy the Monkey Boy was our only choice. And I have this sinking feeling he’s not even really, seriously considering it. When the other choice is UNCW, a school he’s loved for so long and loved on his own, well. . . There’s no choice.
I guess I’ll have to get used to yelling, “Go, Seahawks!” during basketball season. At least since UNCW has not football team, I can still cheer for the Gators on the gridiron.
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