Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!
What to do on Memorial Day? Well first of all, what is it?

Wikipedia defines Memorial Day as:

"Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. By 1865 the practice of decorating soldiers' graves had become widespread in the North. The first known observance was in Boalsburg, Pa on October, 1864, and each year thereafter.

"On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

"Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end."

There are many people traveling around to see family, spend time in the great outdoors, and general fun mayhem and anarchy. Drinking, camping, extreme sporting, etc. Just remember, go nuts, but be safe. Professionals have always played the odds and consider calculated risks. Inebriation and sport is fun, but be smart and do it in such a way that you cannot get (too) hurt. Be sure you have help available to the possibility level of how damaged you can get. First aide, both skill and equipment is a good thing to have available.

Camping requires fire usually in some form. Do not burn down a forest.

Travel is usually involved. Be considerate (no road rage, take your time, plan with time buffers so you don't FEEL like killing that idiot in front of you or the fool that just cut you off. Remember that this is a time to have a good time, but to have a good time you survive to think back on at the next Memorial Day so that you are alive to have a memory to begin with and still have all your limbs and family members and friends to enjoy it with.

It is also a good time to get some things done around the house for you "staycation" types. Maybe people are choosing to vacation home due to the current financial situation. Do not just simply work all weekend. Take time to blow off some steam, then you'll be even more fresh at work next week. We all need down time. Exchanging your day job for your work on the house/yard job may give some pleasure, but for some it will just be another job and you need your time to do nothing, do fun, experience the new, novel and entertaining.

Do something extraordinary, out of the ordinary. Even go do something you don't really want to do, if you've never done it before. Never seen a 3D movie? Pick one, go see it. Take yourself out to dinner, or with a friend or loved one. If you are broke, try to expend a few bucks, it will be a good investment. If not, plenty of free things are available. Simply, go for a walk. But go walk miles somewhere. I've had some of my best times doing that. Walking around Seattle at night, suddenly going in this or that place.

I've had completely unexpected adventures that way. I saw a football player bounced off a brick wall by the biggest bouncers I've ever see at JR's Cafe in Pioneer Square; he was being a drunk ass and even his friends tried to tell him to knock it off; I was picked up by an out of town rock band with a "posse of bitches" (their words, and yes, the girls too) and they took me with them all over town in two vans of people. Then I've seen things that were just laughter invoking or odd or interesting. And the next day I woke feeling I'd had a grand adventure.

You don't have to spend a lot of money, drink, or do anything unnatural. Just something unusual. Break out of your rut if you're in one, and who isn't? Have some fun. Take a little while to think about how you got here, who spent what so you could be here, or live this lifestyle, or live in this country that yes, could be better, but certainly could easily be worse. Many lived and died and gave the ultimate sacrifice for your freedoms. Pay them back by making them proud they gave for what you (and I) got for it.

Have fun. Be appreciative. Be sane (okay, get a LITTLE crazy) and be safe.

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

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