Coping: With Presidents’ Day

Well, here we are, just a few days from what will be – for many – a three day weekend.

So nothing better than a little humor to set the mood, from reader D:

“Gotta love those grand-kids ..

I was eating breakfast with my  10-year-old Granddaughter and I asked her,

What day is Monday?”

Without skipping a beat she said, “It’s Presidents Day!”  ..

She’s smart, so I    asked her “What does Presidents Day mean?”  ..

I was waiting for something about Washington, Lincoln, Obama, Bush or Clinton, etc.

She replied,    “Presidents Day is when the President steps out of  the White House, And if he sees his shadow, we have another year of Bull Shit.”

You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out your nose.  “

(rim shot)

So who gets the day off and on?

The Federal Office of Management and Budget has the federal list over here – click on the backwards tabs up topside.

As for banks, the Chicago Fed has a list of banking holidays, over here.  Most of them make sense, except for Columbus Day which will fall on October 12th this year.  I mean, it’s not like Columbus discovered time deposits, nor (as the case builds) did he discover America.  Scandinavians and Chinese had documented the area’s existence ahead of his voyage. Which didn’t include the first installation of an ATM, either.

That didn’t happen until 1961 according to Wikipedia:

In the US patent record, Luther George Simjian has been credited with developing a “prior art device”.[5] Specifically his 132nd patent (US3079603) was first filed on 30 June 1960 (and granted 26 February 1963). The roll-out of this machine, called Bankograph, was delayed by a couple of years, due in part to Simjian’s Reflectone Electronics Inc. being acquired by Universal Match Corporation.[6] An experimental Bankograph was installed in New York City in 1961 by the City Bank of New York, but removed after six months due to the lack of customer acceptance. The Bankograph was an automated envelope deposit machine (accepting coins, cash and cheques) and did not have cash dispensing features.

We can save the debate over Columbus Day for later, except to note that first people/Native Americans might more accurately label it “Introduction of smallpox and genocide day.”

The NY Times calendar over here points out that the stock market will be closed Monday.

The bond market will also be closed Monday, although that’s only a recommendation.

I reckon I won’t hear from my son Monday.  Where he spends most of his work time (U of W school of Medicine) will be mostly closed along with the rest of the school. 

Between the calendar and the weather forecast for his home skydiving area, it’s a safe bet Mr. FreeFall will be jumping out of airplanes Monday, looking for holes over the drop zone..

Both of my daughters are madly in love with significants, so no calls from them are anticipated, either.  Besides, the National Band of Dad will be closed Monday, as well.

Parking meters will depend on where you live.  In Washington DC, Presidents’ Day means there will be free parking.

Other cities are not nearly as generous.  Take New York City, please, as an example.  The only slack they cut is suspending Alternate Side Parking Days for the Presidents.  Parking meters will be working.  Of course, the Alternate Side rules are also suspended for days like both traditional and calendar Good Fridays and Holy Thursdays in April (2 each this year).

And if that seems like multiculturalism grinding into a morass of complexity, how about New York observing the Solemnity of Ascension Day May 143th as a suspended off-side rule day?

If that’s not mind-boggling enough, residents of New York can find the parking crib sheet in Bengali, Chinese, and multiple other languages including Russia.

I’m just making a guess that the Chinese version of NY Parking rules was not developed by the same person who translated the Haitian Creole version.

I’ve often mentioned that the problem with the idea of an American Melting Pot culture is what made this country great, although government is doing its best to keep things even-handed.  New York suspends alternate side parking for Eid al-Fitr’s three days (Friday through Sunday July 17-19 this year.

Still, we have a lot more expansion from ending the silly melting pot idea.  The Haitian community, for example doesn’t make the calendar for their Breaking the cakes celebration(case gateaux) Jan 2-4. No reason major VooDoo religious dates shouldn’t be on there…

I’m sure there’s a Department of Political Correctness mandate from somewhere that will correct these oversights. 

Why, New York’s entire Korean community should be angry about Chuseok being left off, too:

Chuseok is one of the year’s most important traditional holidays. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Chuseok is often referred to as Korean Thanksgiving Day.

And what about the Canadian expat in the Big Apple?  No Canadian Thanksgiving on there, either.

The Korean oversight, however, is really the most important (from a making up government due to political correctness reasons) viewpoint:   Both the Chinese and Koreans are big into Lunar Months…so why shouldn’t New York City have an official Office of Astronomy/Astrology to settle any date disputes?

Shortcomings?  I couldn’t find a NYC parking calendar in Japanese. French, or German.  Perhaps this is New York’s way of making some kind of statement on things like the EU or South China Sea Oil war lurking out there in the future somewhere.

Either that, or the city is verging on inoperable due to multiculturalism.  Take your pick.

– – –

I was sitting on one of our decks last night, staring off into the woods.  We can’t see any neighbors out here in the outback.

Then way off in the distance, I heard a car go by on the county road that runs along the bottom of the south 16-acres.  Then a dog barked, a mile, or so, off.

In a minute, the car had faded back into the wind blowing through the tall pines and the dog settled down.

So I asked Elaine… “Think we could ever live where we’d be looking at a neighbors house, around where the end of the deck is? A place that’s big and so highly regulated?”

She poured us another glass of cheap champagne and thought about it.

No sooner had she concluded her remarks, brushed the cat, and made another 20-minutes of chit-chat than we caught (way off in the distance) the sound of another vehicle.

Two!  In less than a half-hour. It was the last straw.  We adjourned to the almost soundproof inside of the house.

Rush hour out here in the Outback is becoming intolerable.    Still, it’s preferable to being in a crowd when the melting pot idea is thrown out.  As long as there’s the occasional cheap bottom of bubbly and the dog doesn’t get too carried away.

Adventures in Compunism

That’s where old ideas, like capitalism, socialism, and just about every other “ism” you were taught, gets replaced with a computer-modeled version of reality and no one notices.

Except up, of course.   We call it “Compunism.”

Our latest reader experience with it?

Your recent focus on compunism comes at a time where that business model has affected my dental practice and its public representation. For the past 22 years I have owned and operated a modest dental practice out of my home just outside a NW Illinois tourist town of 3600. Every year I have had a contract with DEX/ATT yellow pages for a display ad and listing and, every year, I would be called by an account rep to edit/ reup the ad.

This year…no call…the book arrives…no ad or listing. Another local dentist (33 year continuous ad/listing) has the same issue.

Apparently, we both changed our phone service to an Internet based service (same number and company) who notified ATT/DEX that our number was discontinued without letting either of us know.

A return call from a DEX CS rep supervisor explained that there was a 1000 person thinning of the payroll and account reps were replaced by software.

Some basic sales fundamentals were ignored…no one looked at last year’s book to see if current customers were asked to reup (not in the program). Disconnect notices were treated only one way by the software (out of business). These are just two businesses that I know of….imagine the lost revenue on a national scale. Gotta be substantial.

A letter to the editor of the local paper explaining that this year’s yellowpages is missing many local business listings may be enough to encourage the use of last year’s book. It’s a small town…word gets around. Bad on DEX…penny wise and pound foolish.

All the best,

A DDS in Illinois

Ah, the joys of cost-saving computers.  But, like I used to preach to senior management all the time:  “You don’t like our sales expenses?  Let me get rid of them completely for you…then you won’t have any customers, but you don’t really want THAT do you?  Customers cost money.  Spend more on sales, make more customers.  It’s a nonlinear relationship, but fairly linear in the middle and you want to be nibbling at the nonlinear upper end all the time…”

World of WooWoo

This has got to be one of the oddest emails of the week:

Dear George, I am one of those people who pray directly to God on a daily basis….and I have been having  headaches in the back of my head for the last year. Naturally I was alarmed to read your column about the crab thingies attachments.

Unfortunately using a firewall would not work for me. I am a spiritual, not a religious person.  Most religions do not appeal to me.

It’s not that I don’t think Jesus or Buddha, etc. are not great Avatars; I’m sure they are. It’s just that I have  no impetus to pray to them, the direct line works for me.

However, now I do wonder about the headaches.

I will, of course, ask to be surrounded  and filled with Spirit,  White Light, etc.,etc. and see if that helps.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.


Before you write this off, please consider that good wholesome personalities do get “attacked” by nonmaterial entities and they have been called “crab thingies” because that’s how they are depicted in Sci-Fi and elsewhere.

There are non-human entities that “attach” to people…and the only ways to get rid of them are counseling (deep, soul level stuff), exorcism (hard to find good practitioners), or personal purification rituals.

Most people have them, too.  That’s one of the dangers of alcohol and drugs…there’s a reason booze, for example, is called “spirits” – because one aspect of personality fades and one replaces it.

Our reader might want to try a somewhat unconventional approach by my friend Edwin Steinbrecher called “The Inner Guide Meditation: A Spiritual Technology for the 21st Century.”

The technique (which requires personal purification before use!!!!) is a self-guided, or partner guided regression down into the Jungian archetype levels of self. 

Over time, you begin by calling down each aspect of your personality (using astrological symbology) and then converse directly with aspects of your inner self.

You might find some of the requests odd (go eat a piece of cheese, right now) but the archetypes have odd news and wants.  When in balance, they can handle the crap that is non-attached to humans.

When out of balance, you can be “attached” – and if direct work doesn’t fix it, see the exorcism folks…there are a few good ones, but that/they will find you when you’re ready/open if needed.  Funny how all this works in a serendipitous way…

Another variant might be to work (after the archetypes) on your DNA through them…but that’s another story.  Just be aware that your Jungian “Inner Guide” is metaphorically your Guardian Angel and work it from there.  You’ll be amazed at how consistent things are once you bridge the linguistic differentiations.

Churches do a lot of this work and most have it coded in their rituals somewhere, so don’t be put off by them.

So yes, there are tools.  Yes, in big cities you can find a local chapter of the Jungian Society, and yes, as above, so below is a metaphor for the various levels of Self.

There…glad you asked?

Cruise Planning, Goodbye to Luggage

Next week, Presidents’ Day excepted) should be pretty normal around here. 

The week after, though, Elaine and I will be on the Norwegian Jewel and off rubbing elbows with 2,350 of our closest friends.

Panama always looks forward to our departures on adventures, as he will get able to patrol without interference.  He likes peace and quiet as much as we do.

Elaine’s been working on the “What to wear” problem for weeks, now.  I couldn’t imagine a decision between taking our lightweight flying bags (soft side, rollers and handles built-in) as taking more than 2-seconds.

But research stretched into days.  Will things be crushed in the soft-sided bags?

I’ve been growing my beard back for the trip, so no razor.  And the odds of a can of deodorant being crushed are low.

This is another example of how the world has changed in form and function:  The glory days of American travel appointments have disappeared into soft-side ubiquity.  Still, Samsonite had their “inflation” ad while American Tourister locked up with an ape to make a point.

Nearly impenetrable luggage made sense, once upon a time.  Today?  Who has anything left of value?

The days of wearing diamonds and jewels at sea are pretty much gone.  I’m meaning my $39 altimeter Timex, though I’m pretty sure on a cruise ship I could find sea level if I put my mind to it.

Elaine may wear a ring or six, but no watches for her.  She’s one of those “gets up when it’s right” and go to bed when tired kind of people. Neither of us fit for digitizing.

Still, week after next should be interesting as I try to sort out how to write a column and upload from Mexico, Belize, and Honduras.

We’ll do pictures along the way…so should be run.  As much as a cruise to celebrate the arrival of the first Social Security check can be considered fun.  Mixed blessing.

OK, off to slam into some headlines…

Write when yahoo break-even…


10 thoughts on “Coping: With Presidents’ Day”

  1. Hi George,

    Like you we are getting ready to sail. We leave out of San Pedro Calif. Feb. 17th on the Princess ship Grande. It is a 15 day trip to Hawaii with a stop in Ensenada.

    Have a great trip and we will be looking forward to reading your blog each morning.

    Bill & Maxine Jackson

  2. George: I think that you should just relax on your cruise – no flying, no scanning news headlines, no writing columns. That is what a ‘get-away’ should be, especially, since you are so diligent with your just about every day columns. Having been a reader from the very beginning, I think you are entitled to some dedicated r&r.

  3. George, I found this note on another site this morning, thought I would share. Hanjin shipping is pulling out of Portland. They are the biggest (one of?)shipping companies coming into the port there. Will someone else take advantage of the gap? If not, probably hundreds of high paying jobs lost and higher freight costs for a good section of the country.

  4. The ‘spot’ video from BD and the research into compunism really reminds me of one of my favorite video shorts- ‘Keloid’. Seems like a relatively plausible outcome of the current advances being made in AI. Now if only they’d make a feature film out of it! :-)

    Great information on compunism, George! Really enjoyed the long version yesterday. Keep up the great work!

    • Yet another reason why people who read Urban are only getting half the story. The deeper thinking is on Peoplenomics.
      Saturday, we’ll show on compunism has wrecked the music industry.
      Give me a network and enough software and I can wreck any industry you name.
      Hell…even the world’s oldest profession has been replaced with webcams and porn.
      So THIS is progress?

  5. No visible neighbors, and only a dog barking in the distance. What a wonderful case of American exceptionalism. How many humans on the earth can afford to live like that?Not the 90 plus humans who lived a subsidence lifestyle in order for each of you (Americans) to have that life.

    My wife and I walked to coffee today. Greeted 8 Ecuadorians on the street by first name, had more than 16 people stop by our table for a hug or a chat. Half were not Americans. Spontaneously sang happy birthday for one of them. Home for lunch to free up our table for the lunch crowd. Nap in my recliner after lunch, dog barking, roosters crowing, screaming kids throwing water in the street. (It’s carnivale week.) A hike up the mountain after 4PM when the uv goes down. Will do about 500 ft vertical during the three miles. Seems like once a human de-stresses, noise is no longer a factor in one’s life. My blood pressure is lower than it has ever been. It helps to be able to look out the window and see beauty in every direction.

  6. As regards the “prayers direct” reader: Jesus did not say pray to him. Praying to the dead is verboten as well. What Jesus did say about praying, is to pray like this: “Our Father, who art in heaven … ” There’s more, anyone with interest can Google the rest. So, looks like the reader is doing as we were told to do anyhow.

Comments are closed.