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Labor Day — Why Now?
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Labor Day

If you are a US resident I hope you enjoy this panicked and unsuccessful attempt to salvage the Democratic nomination for President by Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President. Having sent in Federal troops and marshals to break the Pullman Strike, Grover thought he could win back support from labor by giving them their own holiday before the bodies of the workers killed by said troops and marshals were cold in the ground, and to preempt the possibility of labor declaring May 1st, the commemoration of the Haymarket affair, a day for labor action. [Zero wasn’t the first Democrat to attack the party’s base. Grover lost the nomination, BTW.]

It is rather unique, as it is the only holiday I’m aware of that was imported from Canada where it’s spelled Labour Day.

When I was young, Labor Day was the last day of summer vacation from school, but now schools start in early August, so it’s just a long weekend filled with annoying drunken boaters clogging up my little street with their trailers.


1 Badtux { 09.03.12 at 2:18 pm }

Hrm, I thought that Labor Day was just Fall Barbecue Day, just like Memorial Day is just Spring Barbecue Day. Because heavens forbid that we remember that workers or soldiers actually *died* for our rights, eh? 😈

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

2 Bryan { 09.03.12 at 4:09 pm }

There are also the sales, let’s not forget the shopping opportunities.

It is probably going to take violence to get anything out of the 1%, and they will have the government suppress the workers again, just like Grover Cleveland did.

3 ellroon { 09.03.12 at 7:21 pm }

I wonder if your drunken boaters are as bad as my son’s experience with drunken Russian skiers….

Anyway, happy Labour Day to you, good sir!

4 Bryan { 09.03.12 at 8:02 pm }

I will assume that the skiers were not attempting to drive over-sized pickups towing trailers, but other than that obnoxious is as obnoxious does.

5 Badtux { 09.04.12 at 12:08 am }

Yah, can’t forget the sales. I did my good deed for the economic well-being of Mexico and Sweden today, I bought a new mattress set to replace my sacked-out ten year old set that has started giving me pains. A memory foam topper handled the issue of the pillowtop having sacked out, but made the squishy sacked out springs problem even worse. Sigh.

Oh well, can’t complain too much, it came with my bedroom set and was ridiculously cheap ($150 or something?). The new mattress set costs almost as much as my whole bedroom set cost. Latex foam is way expensive, but memory foam is too squishy, springs sack out within 10 years, air mattresses wouldn’t survive the fur-bearing varmints, and a waterbed would turn into a swimming pool with the fur-bearin’ varmints around, so (shrug). Latex it is.

6 Bryan { 09.04.12 at 5:12 pm }

That reminds me of the “Day The Waterbed Ate The Beetle”.

I lived on Hawthorne Street in Monterey when I was taking the Intermediate Russian course at the Defense Language Institute. Like many streets in Monterey it was extremely steep as it ran from the Bay up to the Presidio at the top.

A neighbor was having a problem with his waterbed mattress, so he brought it out on the tiny lawn at the front of his house to see if he could locate the leak. He attached the garden hose to the mattress and then went inside to get something.

I was washing my car at the time and glanced over when he came out, so I knew what was going on and continued on the car. As I was wiping the car off my roommate came out and yelled “Oh, no it’s escaping!”

Looking over, the mattress was filled beyond the normal limit and was starting to roll. The neighbor came out and turned off the hose, but the mattress was gathering speed flowing off the lawn into the street. The neighbor got in front of it in tried to push back, a useless task that my roommate and I soon joined.

The mattress turned in response to the hose connection, and then broke loose from it. When it broke loose, the valve on the mattress automatically shut, so that wasn’t causing a water loss. None of us had anything that would puncture the mattress and were forced to get out of the way before it rolled over us.

It made it through two intersections in its roll down the hill, but an unfortunate guy in a blue VW was in the third intersection and got creamed. Between the impact and the water when the mattress burst, the VW was ‘pining for the fjords’ with the drivers side crushed and everything flooded.

The cop who took the report, kept breaking into fits of laughter.

If it had occurred a few decades earlier it would have been immortalized in a Steinbeck novel.

7 hipparchia { 09.04.12 at 8:39 pm }

😆 that story made my day!

i had a waterbed back in the day, when i had a cat-killing dog and so no cat claws to worry about. i never once turned on the central heat in the winter and the mattress softness/hardness was always just right.

8 Bryan { 09.05.12 at 12:36 am }

I have always slept on a foam pad on a plywood base. I really can’t get a good night’s sleep on anything else.

My Mother has a waterbed, and it seems to work for her, but I couldn’t get used to the motion, which is probably the result of living in earthquake areas. The fact that it is heated is nice, and helps with her arthritis, but it holds no appeal for me, especially knowing how ‘dangerous’ they can be.

9 Badtux { 09.05.12 at 10:38 am }

I’m most comfortable on a 1.5″ foam-and-air Therm-o-Rest “self-inflating” camping mattress (it does mostly self-inflate if you toss it in the tent a couple of hours before bedtime with the valve open, but “self-inflating” definitely needs quotes around it), but the cats have already managed to get at it once, so it now more resembles a Patch-o-rest :). This is a pretty durable air mattress (designed to deal with gravel and sticks and stuff, duh!) so I know a regular air mattress or waterbed wouldn’t fare any better.

The thing about the air mattress is that it firms up as weight is added to it, so the parts of you that need to drop down do drop down, while the parts of you that don’t, don’t, assuming you set the pressure correctly (for me, puff into the mattress until I can’t puff anymore and the pressure is just right 🙂 ). If it wasn’t for the fur-bearing varmints I’d try one of the Chinese clones of the “Sleep Number” air beds, those clones are dirt cheap (around $100), which just goes to show you what a rip-off those “Sleep Number” beds at ten times the price are.

10 Bryan { 09.05.12 at 11:07 pm }

Now, now, charging whatever the market will bear isn’t a rip off, it’s capitalism at its best [and the invisible hand applauds].

Yeah, air mattresses have a lot to recommend them. They were a hell of a lot more comfortable that the cotton pads that they use to issue with cots in the military for the semi-permanent tent housing.

I had a really good one, but someone borrowed it, and I didn’t get it back before a transfer. It had a really tough outer cover that took an amazing amount of abuse. I know I bought it overseas, but I don’t remember where it was made, maybe Switzerland. It didn’t compact as well as most, but it didn’t leak, and it had a brass tube that was connected with a compression nut and rubber washers.

I would hate to think what it would cost today to buy another one like it, although there are much better materials available today, so no one would bother.