May 17th Pack Rat Day

Most of us are at least a part a pack rat. If we collect things, we are at least somewhat a pack rat. If you walk into a room and stuff starts to fall on your head because it’s been stacked up there, then you are probably on the wrong end of being a pack rat. The idea that “I may use that sometime” or “I can fix that” generally lead to being on the wrong end of being a pack rat. I am very guilty of doing that, being a part of theater and video, I tend to think I can use anything for some reason. Of course when I do break down and throw something away, well… that’s when I need it! And the pack rat in me comes back out.

How to celebrate – Be proud of what you have saved. If you can’t get in a room anymore, look what you might finally get rid of. Make a record of what you are keeping and where you’ve put it so you can find it!

January 19th National Tin Can Day

Can you imagine the world without tin cans? I’ll bet you think they have been around forever, I did, but it was not until the early 1800’s that the idea was even thought about. Now England is given credit for creating the tin can but it was French born Philipee Henri de Girard that actually invented the tin can.

The idea of canning food came from Nicholas Appertin, another Frenchman, in 1809. I am assuming both men were in the UK at the time, or maybe their work was being funded through someone from the UK. Hard to tell now. The first patent, though, did go to Englishman Peter Durand in 1810.

The United States soon followed Europe, or maybe not that soon, in 1825 when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kinsett claimed the American patent on the tin can. Since  then, the tin can has been advanced in it’s quality and safety. The original cans were sealing with lead that surely led to lead poisoning.

In fact, I had a distant relative that began serving the British troops in South Africa with meat canned by companies in the UK. He poisoned thousands of troops, many of whom died. He quickly moved to the US and I actually have some of his furniture in my home. I am sure, at least I hope, that he did not do it on purpose.

The first can opener was invented in 1858 by Ezra Warner which makes me wonder… did they just not open the can before that!?! That could explain how the soldiers in South Africa got poisoned if they were served meat that had been sealed in lead for 33 years!

How to celebrate – Admire the advanced manufacturing of the tin can. Count how many tin cans you have in your home. Learn how to can your own food.

May 17th National Pack Rat Day

Okay, I admit it, I am a pack rat! Or at least a recovering pack rat. It’s just all that stuff you never know where, or when, you might need! And to have to go out and buy what you have already had just seems wrong!

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Alright, never mind that you can’t find what you know you’ve saved because it’s under a pile of other junk that you don’t really need either. That means you still have to go buy whatever it is because it will take you a months worth of Sundays to find it. But that’s okay too cause at least you’ll have a spare for the next time you need it!

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And it’s sort of fun to go searching for what you are pretty sure you kept, but can;t honestly remember. Look at all the cool stuff you uncover that you had forgotten you had, or didn’t know you ever had.

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In theory, if you haven’t used something in a year it’s time to get rid of it. Unless, of course, you think that you might use it once again. I haven’t really used my mind in over two years but I don’t think I’ll get rid of it! Aside from all that have you ever really check out a rat?

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They really can’t carry all that much!

How to celebrate – Clean out that closet today (And put it all back in tomorrow). Determine those items you really won’t ever use again and give them to someone who will. Tell your wife, husband, children (Whoever) that being a pack rat is your hobby and tell them you don’t interfere in what they do, they should leave you alone with all your junk!