Sunday, June 23, 2013

Improve Your Times

"Oh, five hours, lots of races, I'm tired!"

Little Girl came in from her swim meet wet and weary.

How was it? besides tiring? i asked her.

"Well, I only came in second in all of my races.  But I improved all my times."

That's good, and you should expect this to happen when you move up, shouldn't you?

"Yeah, last year I was the oldest in my age bracket, and this year I'm the youngest, and those 18-year-olds I swim against are big!"

Keep focusing on improving your times, though, and you'll be fine.

"I know, like Linus."


For those not familiar with the story of Linus, he's a young man who was in group piano lessons with Little Girl several years ago.  He was also on a swim team, and loved it, even though he always came in dead last in ever single race.

Then, at one meet, his race was called, and in his particular heat it was only him against one other swimmer.  The other swimmer was apparently distracted, and he began the race by himself.

Finally, his mother thought, he's going to win a race.  She was excitedly cheering him on, and he had gone the length of the pool and was part way back when the other child realized he was supposed to be racing.  He took off running, dove off of his board, and managed to cross the length of the pool and actually win the race by a hair.

Linus, with victory just snatched from him, jumped out of the pool, looked at the clock, and yelled, "Yes!  I just made my best time ever!"  It didn't even really register to him that he had once again lost, he was a winner in his mind as long as he was improving.

This is Little Girl's summer for winning by improving as she competes with the oldest swimmers in the league, and she's content to do that.

Today is

America's Kids Day -- founded to encourage parents to teach their children the value of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Anubis Ceremony -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Dandruff Dance -- Fairy Calendar (Goblins and Gnomes)

Father's Day -- Nicaragua; Poland

Festival of the Purple Void -- only one internet reference, and not explained there, either, but since purple is my favorite color, and a Purple Void sound like something fun to celebrate, i'm including it!

Festivals of Het-Hert and Bast, and Great Feast of the Southern Heavens -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Full Strawberry Moon / Rose Moon*; related observances
     Ancient Celtic month Equos (horse-time) begins
     Nayon Full Moon -- Mayanmar
     Poson Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka

Grand Duke's Birthday & National Day -- Luxembourg

Kupala -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan Calendar (Summer Solstice celebration, always on St. John's Eve, as the pagans hid their celebration by naming it "Ivan Kupala", their name for John the Baptist)

Let It Go Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; whatever you are holding on to, just let it go and the day will get better

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism -- Canada

National Pecan Sandy Day

National Pink Day -- the color or the flower, your choice, because the creator didn't leave a trail explaining it

Pink Flamingo Day -- honoring Don Featherstone, creator of the original pink plastic flamingo lawn ornament; decorate your lawn with at least four pink flamingos, and send in a picture so that the Lawn Greetings Association can record this as a world record day for pink flamigos

Poop Out Early Day -- act pooped out, see if you can cut out early; your success at pooping out early may vary

Public Service Day -- UN

SAT Math Day -- birth anniversary of Alan Turing

Singing on the Mountain -- Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC, US (traditional and modern gospel music, with local and nationally known artists and speakers)

St. Agrippina (Patron against bacterial diseases and infections, evil spirits, leprosy, storms and thunder; of Mineo, Italy)

St. Ethelreda's Day (Patron of those with neck and throat ailments, widows; University of Cambridge)

St. John's Eve -- start or culmination of many midsummer festivals, including:
     Dragaica Fair -- Buzau, Romania
     Golowan Festival -- Cornwall
     Jaaniohtu -- Estonia  
     Kupala Days begin -- Belarus; Poland; Russia; Ukraine
     Ligo / Lani -- Latvia (pagan midsummer celebration originally dedicated to the god Janis
     Midsummer Eve -- Denmark; Sweden
     Midsummer Festival -- Portugal

St. Joseph Cafasso's Day (Patron of captives, prisoners, prisons, and prison chaplains)

Thangka unveiling Tashilungpo -- Tibet (Buddha Exhibition Festival) related observance
     Zamling Chisang -- Universal Prayer Day (to the Tibetan Deities, especially Samye Dolde)

Typewriter Day -- patented this day in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes

Victory Day -- Estonia

Whitsunday/Pentecost -- Orthodox Christians on the Julian Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Jason Mraz, 1977
Selma Blair, 1972
Frances McDormand, 1957
Clarence Thomas, 1948
June Carter Cash, 1929
Bob Fosse, 1927
Alan Turing, 1912
Edward VIII, King of England, 1894
Alfred Kinsey, 1894
Johannes Gutenberg, 1400 (estimated)
Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, BC47 (Son of Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar)

Today in History:

The world's oldest parliament, the Icelandic Althing, is established, 930
First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan, 1180
First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, begins, 1314
The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson's fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again, 1611
The French residents of Acadia are given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada, 1713
Empress Catherine II of Russia grants Jews permission to settle in Kiev, 1794
Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for Type-Writer, 1868
The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada, creating the nation's first national park, Banff National Park, 1887
The International Olympic Committee  is founded at the Sorbonne, Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, 1894
The College Board administers the first SAT exam, 1926
Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane, 1931
The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, 1946
The Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent, comes into force, 1961
Title IX of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 is amended to prohibit sexual discrimination to any educational program receiving federal funds, 1972
Himmy, a pet cat in Australia, weighs in at domestic cat record 20.7 kg (45 lb) , 1982
Nintendo 64 goes on sale in Japan, 1996
Japan's Iwate prefecture experiences a 6.7 magnitude earthquake, 2011


  1. Well done to Little Girl. Our Big Girl did really well in swimming but not that many wins as she was up against national champions. Times are everything in swimming!

  2. As long as you keep improving, you'll always be a winner.

    Have a great week!


  3. The greatest competitor we all face is ourselves. Little Girl, I suspect, is on her way to becoming a champion.

  4. Paul, you are right, the time is your best gauge, and thank you for reading!

    Steve, you are right, and that goes for all of life, so she's learning a good lesson early.

    Stephen, we think so, but we are a bit prejudiced! LOL

  5. She has her priorities straight! Good for her. She's winning whether she wins the races or not. :)

  6. Little girl is great in my book! So is Linus!