Monday, February 01, 2010

Groundhog's Day

I went to my car this morning. The temperature out side was a bone chilling 18 degrees. As I sat inside the vehicle I waiting patiently for the heater to show me the slightest sign of warmth. I then climbed back out of my icebox like car to perform a morning ritual. I had to scrape the ice and frost off the windshield of my car. As I scraped away, I looked around. I saw the snow on the ground. I saw the lifeless trees with the shine of ice hanging from them. The freezing cold around me stung what little skin was exposed to the elements. This is February in Connecticut and we are in the dead center of winter.

I'm not the winter type of guy. Give me sun and the beach any day over the white, drifting snow. I'm not saying I don't like winter. I'm just saying that winter is far to long. This is the reason why February 2nd. is so important to me.

In a time of super radars and satellites that could read the year on a penny from outer space, our weather men have it all. The now attempt to predict the weather weeks in advance. They could tell us with near precession the amount of rain that will fall. The could warn us of advancing storms and wind speeds to a breeze that hasn't even started blowing yet. But on this day, February 2nd, it's not the weather man I turn to for the forecast, it's a furry little rodent named Punxsutawney Phil.

Punxsutawney Phil is aground hog that lives in the state of Pennsylvania. On this day, Phil emerges from his little home and walks outside. As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow, we are in for at least 6 more weeks of winter. If Phil goes shadowless, that is a sign that spring is right around the corner.
Now I won't be the only one looking out for Phil's shadow, or lack of one. There will be literally millions of people waiting to hear if the dead of winter will soon be replaced with the colorful life of spring.

This strange custom of replacing our weather men with a groundhog started in the 18th century in Pennsylvania. It actual origins come from Europe where a badger decides the upcoming end to the harsh winter depending on it's shadow. The date chosen, February 2nd, is the date used by the Celtics as a seasonal turning point.

So on this date I'll keep my frozen fingers crossed in hope of a shadow and a early spring. So here's to Punxsutawney Phil and to putting away my windshield scraper and turning on my air conditioner instead of my car heater.
Now I don't hold much hope in a forecast from a brown, furry, bucked tooth animal but then again, that's kind of the description of some weather men.

Thanks to one of my favorite websites,, here's a list of some other famous groundhogs.

Names of many other prognosticating groundhogs:

  • Punxsutawney Phil found in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

  • Wiarton Willie found in Wiarton, Ontario

  • Staten Island Chuck found in New York City, New York

  • General Beauregard Lee, PhD found in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Malverne Mel and Malverne Melissa found in Malverne, New York

  • Brandon Bob of Brandon, Manitoba

  • Balzac Billy of Balzac, Alberta

  • Shubenacadie Sam of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia

  • Gary the Groundhog of Kleinburg, Ontario

  • Spanish Joe of Spanish, Ontario

  • Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Pardon Me Pete of Tampa, Florida

  • Jimmy the Groundhog of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

  • Octoraro Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Gay Marriage and NJ

    In a state that's known for it's dirty beaches, smelly air, over crowded highways and a reality TV show that portrays them as a bunch of dumb ass meatheads, now New Jersey could add at least 20 closed mind, bigot senators to the list which makes the garden state more and more less appealing.

    Today the NJ state Senate denied gay people the right to marry, very much like the way this country's dark past denied blacks to marry whites, women to vote and black children to attend "white schools". This is one more example of how we didn't learn from our past. It's one more example of how hate and ignorance still runs through our country so deep that most of the civilized world sees it as one more reason this great country has lost it's legacy as the "land of the free".

    After the vote was announced that the bill was defeated, the room broke into applause. To me that was a show of so much lack of respect to the many who held on to the dreams of marrying the ones that the love. It was a slap in the face.

    I stated to a fellow blogger that the ONLY comfort I get from these "people" clapping on video because of the bills defeat is that in the future, when the world sees everyone as equal, they will look back at that video and portray these senators as part of the ignorant and bigots that held back people's rights in the early 21st century.

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    How To Keep Those Resolutions Alive.

    Ok, we're five days into the new year. On day one, many of us have made "New Year's Resolutions". By day five, many of us have broken or didn't even start what we promised ourselves.

    Now don't come down to hard on yourself. This is actually a common thing. A whopping 92% of people don't keep their New Year's resolutions. 45% of them fail by teh end of the first month of the new year.

    I don't want you sitting there reading this and thinking the "new you" is doomed, because it's not. Here are a few helpful hints to make sure you're one of the 8% that successfully keep the promises they made to themselves.

    1.) Don't put to many pebbles in your basket.
    One of the biggest mistakes people make when thinking of resolutions is that they make to many. Think about it people. You're changing something about you. One thing is tough enough so why would you want to make six or seven? Keep the number low so you could really work on it. Choose something really important about you that you want to change. Don't set the goals to high and plan it out.

    2.) Keep your big mouth opened.
    Tell your close friends and family about your goals. Yap away about it to your wife, husband, co-worker or neighbor. This way you'll have people keeping an eye on you and asking you about how you're coming along. After all, you always want to look like a winner in the eyes of people.

    3. If you hit a bump in the road, keep going.
    Many people slip up on their resolutions and just give up afterwards. If you mess up, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep at it. Just get back on track. One bump doesn't spoil the ride.

    4. Rewards are awesome.
    If you're trying to save money and you pass on buying that $400 hand bag then go out and celebrate by joining a friend for a quick lunch. Trust me, it's a lot cheeper then some over priced, pretty now but ugly in a year, handbad. If you're trying to lose weight and you lose a few pounds then go out and buy something that you could wear or something that makes you feel good. NO, I'm not talking a triple layered brownie with ice cream. I'm talking maybe something for the shower or a massage. You get my point.

    5. Break the habit by making it a habit.
    Now that my sound a little confusing but it's not. Research shows that it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, such as exercising. It takes six months for it to become part of your life style and personality. Now the bad habit you are trying to lose probably was with you a lot longer then six months so this isn't a lot of time to hold in there so go for it.

    I hope these little pieces of information help out in your quest to keep your goals. I wish you all the best luck. Drop me a comment on your resolutions and how you're keeping up.

    Peace out.