July 18th National Caviar Day

Considered a snack for high society these Sturgeon eggs have been served for hundreds of years to the elite. Though the Sturgeon provides most of the “roe” other fish do provide lesser quality eggs where the black caviar is considered better than the red caviar. The best of it seems to come from Russia with some going for thousands of dollars for just few ounces. In fact, some caviar has actually put certain fish in the endangered species category since these eggs would be used to maintain the fish population in the world. While many love caviar you need to like fishy dishes to enjoy most of them. I will not be endangering the species or creating a demand for roe, so if you like it… you can have my share.

How to celebrate – If you have never tried caviar, give it a shot. Travel to Russia to get the freshest caviar. See if you like the black better than the red.

April 25th National East Meets West Day

There has always been a difference in culture between the East and the West. Look at Japan and Canada, Russia and America, Indian and Mexico. It doesn’t mean one is better than the other or that one is right and one is wrong, it just means… well… there is the east and there is the west!

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If you go far enough east you will eventually end up in the west and vise-versa. There are football games and other sporting events that tries to prove which is better but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. Take a football game many of the players that play for a western team came from the east, and many playing in the east came from the west.

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During World War 2 a big drive was for the Americans to meet up with the Russian to end the war. the Russians were considered the Eastern troops, the Americans the Western. In fact when the two sides decided they could not get along they separated Germany into East Germany and West Germany.

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Even in America the life styles were different. The above photo is of an 1800’s street in Philadelphia. Well established by the mid 1800’s, Philadelphia became a point of culture and refinement. It had been around longer, gone through more was a permanent fixture.

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An old west town of the same era was a little cruder and contained a not so refined culture and citizens. The buildings were smaller and less secure because frankly, the owners didn’t know if they were going to stay there or not. One was not better than the other, they just served different needs and purposes.

How to celebrate – Try and determine where east meets west where you live. If you live in the East take a trip West. If you live in the West take a trip East. (Note what difference you see, and don;t see, on your trip)

July 29th International Tiger Day

There are probably less than 3,000 tigers left in the wild today. We have encroached on their homeland, killed them for sport and trophies and polluted their water and hunting territories all in the name of what? To prove we are the higher species? Well, let’s see a hunter without a gun stand up against a tiger for even five minutes!

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I’m not against hunters or hunting but do so with reason and purpose (Just like most animals do) not just because you can. Beautiful creatures like tigers deserve to live just as much as man does, maybe even more, and we are the invaders not them. When was the last time you saw a tiger shopping at a Walmart or racing to get a parking spot before we can? international-tiger-day

The tiger is the largest cat in the world and it’s life in the wild has been decimated by 97%. 97%, can you really imagine that!?! Do you really understand what that means!?! Out of every 100 that walked the earth a few years ago only 3 are still alive!  Now you might say, “well there are plenty in zoos!” And yes, there are, but that’s like saying that humans in prison represent mankind.

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They are loving, caring animals who really want nothing to do with humans other than to be left alone. They do not go to the local malls and hunt for us, why do we go where they live to hunt them? I have to honestly say that I do not understand the sport in that. In sports, someone is going to win and someone lose, who do you think is going to win here?

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International Tiger Day was established in 2010 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Maybe Donald was there!) I’d love to say they have made a big difference but in all honesty, they really haven’t. Hunters do not go to save the tiger rallies. I think maybe we should turn things around a little and let a pride of tigers into the local gun shows we have. Let them hunt us for a while instead. (And again, I have nothing against guns or hunters at all, just be responsible!)

How to celebrate – Take a tiger to lunch today. (Or be a tiger’s lunch today) Learn what you can do to help stop the slaughter of our precious resources. Start an International Tiger Day chapter in your town.

 

July 18th National Caviar Day

They say that caviar is one of the finest delicacies on the face of the earth. Today they say is the day to celebrate it’s gift to mankind. I will have to take their word for it since I am not about to put jellied fish eggs in my mouth.

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The best is said to come from a sturgeon found in the Caspian Sea. That is the largest inland body of water on the earth and much of it controlled by Russia, which seems to be the best provider of expensive caviar. I have to wonder who first started eating caviar, I somehow doubt it was the rich.

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The caviar from Whitefish and Salmon apparently is acceptable, though cheaper by far. Still, as I look at it, it does not tempt me at all. I know there are many of you that like caviar out there and I do not mean to question your taste. I also choose not to eat bull testicles and monkey brains which are also considered great delicacies.

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But if you do enjoy these tempting treats, this is your day to enjoy it, or maybe at least be a brave sole and try it. I am told it’s a little salty but goes down well with champagne (maybe if I were drunk enough…)

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How to celebrate – Well if caviar is your kind of thing, enjoy some today, not the cheap stuff, the expensive kind! Throw a caviar taste testing party and see if your friends can tell the difference between good caviar and not so good caviar.

May 8th V.E. Day

Today marks the end of the war in Europe, May 8th, 1945. The actual day was supposed to be May 9th but when the press caught wind of the day the U.S. and U.K. decided to change the date to the 8th. Russia has kept the date of May 9th originally set.

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The Third Reich had started the war in the 1930’s, it is no doubt one of the darkest times in history. The destruction in Europe and the loss of life still leaves it’s mark on society. Bombed out buildings and destroyed relics of the Normandy invasion still show themselves, some on purpose, some still under repair even nearly 70 years later.

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War always shows the best of man, and the worst, the heroes and the criminals, the victims and those who profit from war. Germany, and her allies, actually surrendered on May 2nd but it took time to reach the troops in the field and to arrest those involved in the atrocities associated with war.

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The war itself raged on with those fighting against Japan but without Germany Japan was soon to fall. We now are losing many of those veterans that fought to preserve freedom. The saddest part of that is that we as a people tend to forget the causes and effects of the war, tending to make us repeat those same mistakes.

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There should be no place for tyranny  or greed in the world but as long as man occupies the Earth there will be. Let us hope that here will also be the heroes to bring it to an end as well.

How to celebrate – Thank any veteran, not only of world war 2 but of any war, you may see for their service and sacrifice. Study the reasons for war so that you can at least try to help prevent future attrocities. Visit Europe and see the scares left behind.

April 25th East Meets West Day

There are many reasons given for East Meets West Day, sports teams, political aspiration and cook-offs.  The truth of the matter is this was a very important day in 1945.  It was when American troops, the 1st American Army, and Soviet troops, the 1st Ukrainian Front, met at a small town in Germany on the Elbe River.  It is the effective day that all resistance in Germany came to an end.  The town was Torgau, a provincial capitol in Eastern Germany.  The day was originally named Elbe Day as elements of both armies reached across a bridge and shook hands.

Many proposed that the Americans keep going and take all of Germany, Poland and defeat the Russians and communism before it was too late.  The Americans, moving quickly across Germany, were actually held up so that the Russians could capture as much territory as possible.  This arrangement had been settle by the Yalta Agreement long before the end of the war.  Most of the front line troops knew little of the agreement, nor did they care.  They found friendly faces greeting them instead of an enemy bent on their destruction.

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Thousands of Germans made their way west to surrender to the Americans rather than face the Russians.  The Russians had suffered tremendously over the years of the war and they wanted revenge for their own losses, the Americans were deemed to be a little more lenient.  With the war over and Germany was divided up between the Russians, Americans, French and English, the area where the two armies met fell into the hands of the Russians and became a part of the Iron Curtain.  The Cold War would begin and an entirely different type of fighting would begin.

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But on April 25th, 1945 this was one of the happiest days for those who were there.  For them the war was effectively over and friends stood face to face, both sides having survived the atrocities of war, a real reason to celebrate.

How to celebrate: Just remember them.  They lived and died for all of us and should never be forgotten.  Now that the Elbe is free to visit again, try an attend one of the re-enactments of the event.  Read a book about the Elbe Meeting where the East Met The West.