National Julienne Fries Day
August 12th is Julienne Fries Day. Call them French fries, or call them Freedom Fries, but these long, thin potato strips are the order of the day on August 12th.
Do you dip your fries into ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise or mustard? Or do you prefer to eat your fries plain?
However you take them, Julienne Fries are a favorite on August 12th - Julienne Fries Day.
Vinyl Records Day
August 12th is Vinyl Record Day (VRD). Launched in 2002 by Gary Freiberg, the annual event was established to celebrate music and the “cultural influence, records and the cover art of the vinyl records.” VRD also raises awareness on the importance of preserving vinyl records that once played such a pivotal role in American pop culture. And VRD coincides with an important day in history - Thomas Edison invented the phonograph on August 12, 1877.
Before the Internet, iPods, CDs, MTV, cassette tapes and even 8-track tapes, people would hang out at local record stores to check out the newest albums and amazing cover art. Nothing was sweeter than playing that brand new album or 45 on the record player for the very first time and sharing it with friends and loved ones. While the medium has changed over the years, music continues to play a pivotal role in today’s culture.
The United States Postal Service is considering a series of first class stamps that commemorates the historical importance of vinyl records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), because only 5 percent of all audio recordings have been digitized, it is even more important to preserve our audio history. If you would like to see vinyl records commemorated on postal stamps, please sign the petition available online.
In honor of Vinyl Record Day, why not take a trip down memory lane? Dust off the old record collection, crank up the record player, listen to a few of your favorite tunes from days-gone-by and get your dance on! Happy Vinyl Record Day!
National Middle Children's Day
While the origins are unknown, August 12th is an annual holiday that celebrates the middle child in the family – it’s National Middle Child’s Day or Middle Child's Day. Whether you are one or have one, being in the middle is not always the best place to be.
Middle Child Syndrome
Some believe birth order, also referred to as ordinal position, can play a pivotal role in the personalities of children. According to the “Middle Child Syndrome,” the first-born child is often regarded as the leader of the pack while the youngest is considered the baby. But the middle child does not receive much attention and often lacks emotional support, resulting in low self-esteem, insecurity and jealousy. Middle children often feel unloved. They can be introverts and loners and often act out to get attention.
Some believe first-born children are often confident and born leaders. In fact, most of the United States presidents were the eldest sibling or the first-born son. Some believe the youngest in the family can be the most outgoing and charming but can also be spoiled.
As parents, we should never compare one child to another – each child is special in his or her own way. Despite our busy and hectic schedules, it’s important to take time out of our day for each one of our children. In honor of National Middle Child’s Day, why not do something extra special for your middle child? Make him or her feel loved and special today.
National Toasted Almond Bar Day
Today is National Toasted Almond Bar Day; but we decided to eliminate the “Bar” and substitute “Salad”. After all, that’s the cook’s prerogative, right? Keeping to the theme of the sweetness of almond bars, Sugar-Toasted Almond Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette provides the best of both sides of the meal: almonds sweetly cooked for a more intense flavor, and green salad with a hand-crafted balsamic vinaigrette.
And right now, while they’re in season and considering it's National Berry Month, substituting garden-fresh raspberries or sliced fresh strawberries for the ordinarily-used mandarin oranges is a great way to add vitamins, flavor, and color to this vegetarian main-dish salad.
Toasted almonds impart a superlative flavor to many dishes such as Toasted Almond Pie and Toasted Almond Ice Cream. But we don’t need to limit ourselves to eating almonds for dessert. Toasting imparts a deeper, richer flavor, thus enhancing many recipes for different courses.
Three ways to toast almonds
1. Place almonds in a heavy, ungreased skillet. Stir often over medium heat until golden brown.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
3. Place 1/2 cup slivered almonds and 1 tablespoon butter in a 9-inch microwave-proof pie plate. Microwave on high, stirring every minute until brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
International Youth Day
Today is International Youth Day! The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the state of young people around the globe. It is our opportunity to think about the different problems that the youth of today face, such as malnutrition and disease, and to work together to find solutions. Together, we can make a difference.
In 1999, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated August 12th as International Youth Day. The hope was that people would organize activities on this day that would educate the public about issues that involve youth. The assembly also wanted to promote the World Programme of Action for Youth, which is dedicated to finding solutions to these situations.
Today, check out the events in your neighborhood that are dedicated to this cause. Participate in one or organize your own!
IBM PC Day
On August 12, 1981, at a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria ballroom in New York City, Estridge announced the IBM Personal Computer with a price tag of $1,565. Two decades earlier, an IBM computer often cost as much as $9 million and required an air-conditioned quarter-acre of space and a staff of 60 people to keep it fully loaded with instructions. The new IBM PC could not only process information faster than those earlier machines but it could hook up to the home TV set, play games, process text and harbor more words than a fat cookbook.
The $1,565 price bought a system unit, a keyboard and a color/graphics capability. Options included a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, communications, game adapter and application packages — including one for text processing. The development team referred to their creation as a mini-compact, at a mini-price, with IBM engineering under the hood.
The system unit was powered by an Intel 8088 microprocessor operating at speeds measured in millionths of a second. It was the size of a portable typewriter and contained 40K of read-only memory and 16K of user memory, as well as a built-in speaker for generating music. Its five expansion slots could be used to connect such features as expanded memory, display and printing units and game "paddles." The unit also ran self-diagnostic checks.
Containing 83 keys, the keyboard was connected to the unit by a six-foot coiled cable, which meant users could rest it in their lap or on the desktop without moving the rest of the system. It also included such advanced functions for the times as a numeric keypad and 10 special keys that enabled users to write and edit text, figure accounts and store data.
· A printer that could print in two directions at 80 characters per second in 12 different character styles, and also check itself for malfunctions and provide an out-of-paper signal.
· A color/graphics monitor with 16 foreground and background colors and 256 characters for text applications. Its graphics were in four colors.
· Multiple 32K and 64K memory cards that could be plugged into the option slots to increase memory to 256K.
Needing new channels to distribute these new computers, IBM turned to ComputerLand; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; and IBM Product Centers to make the IBM PC available to the broadest set of customers.
The response to the announcement was overwhelming. One dealer had 22 customers come in and put down $1,000 deposits on the machines for which he could not promise a delivery date. By the end of 1982, qualified retail outfits were signing on to sell the new machine at the rate of one-a-day as sales actually hit a system-a-minute every business day. Newsweek magazine called it "IBM's roaring success," and the New York Times said, "The speed and extent to which IBM has been successful has surprised many people, including IBM itself."
National Sewing Machine Day
National Sewing Machine Day on August 12th is a good time to pamper your hardworking machine.
First and foremost check your owner's manual to be sure that you can clean and maintain your machine without voiding it's warranty. In general, newer computerized machines are factory sealed and maintenance is only allowed by a trained technician. If this is the case with your machine it is time to take your machine for it’s annual vacation to be cleaned and serviced. If you don’t have your manual you can contact the shop where you bought your machine or the manufacturer, or search the Internet. A-1 sewing machine has links to free manuals online. Another site, Sewing Machine Reviewer offer links to all the major manufacturers. It offers links to free manuals, as well as, other model’s manuals that cost a few dollars. If you have misplaced your original manual this may be money well spent.
Manufacturers suggest that machines be cleaned and oiled every eight hours or so. Most hobby sewers don’t sew for eight hours straight. (Though sometimes on deadline for a quilt show I have come close.) Maintaining your machine at the beginning of each new project is one way to remember. Even machines that are factory sealed benefit from frequent cleaning.
Please DON’T blow into the machine to clean it out. Canned air used to clean computers seems to be an easy way to go but it can cause problems in the future. You don’t want to force dirt and lint further into the machine. You want to remove it.
The best way to do this is to use a vacuum attachment that is sold for computers and electronics. It is basically a specialized miniaturized hose with small brushes that can get into the areas under your machine. It works great to remove all that fuzz that accumulates in the bobbin area.
And keep the outside of your machine clean, too. A cover at night, even if it’s only a lightweight cloth thrown over the machine, keeps out dust.
Keep your machine clean and it will serve you for years and years to come. I own a 1941 Singer Model 221 (commonly called a Featherweight) that I bought from its original owner years ago. 71 years old and still going strong. It has been lovingly maintained by the sewer/owners all that time.