One of my favorite expressions when I’m dealing with difficult situations is “Always remember the fundamentally cool thing about being you!” Whenever you deal with trying times you go back to the skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics that you should take pride in.

That said, every once and awhile its nice to have some external things that provide a nice prop. These life experiences and mementos act as little touch points on which to hang your hat. Well this week my external props got added to.

Several years ago, I had the chance to attend a reception with Stephen Hawking as a Physics teacher that was a pretty neat moment. I wrote about that in an article “A brush with Greatness” – which would have been a blog post if we had blogs then. In 2002, I attended a Cisco conference where Chuck Yeager was giving a talk and got him to sign my logbook. As a pilot that was a pretty cool feeling. Last Month, I attended a CFL game to watch my Edmonton Eskimos a team I have cheered on for 30 years. I took a picture of one of my favorite Eskimos Dan Kepley who is now a coach. That picture along with Coach Kepley’s signature sits framed on the Wall of my den.

I may not be a Nobel Laureate, broken the sound barrier, or won a Grey Cup, but I’ve gone out an experience life and got to meet the people that have. And that’s more than good enough for me. In the end it is the memory of the experience not the photo on the wall that makes it cool.

The football game was with my Dad, the Hawking reception was with my friend Wayne. Both pretty cool people in their own right. And this is three of a couple hundred experiences I think about, when I think about what’s cool about being me.

First one to make a “Quality adjusted life year” calculator app for the iPhone wins a free doughnut.

Credits to Talking Point Memo and Daring Fireball

The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) basically figures out who deserves treatment by using a cost-utility analysis based on the “quality adjusted life year.”

via Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor’s Business Daily — How House Bill Runs Over Grandma.

Following the recent post on Canada Day and Independence Day, I thought it would be useful to post some details of other national celebrations.

  • Bien Phu Victory (May 7) Vietnam celebrates victory over the french army May 7, 1954
  • Algeria celebrates 1 November as start of the War of Independence in 1954 that caused the retreat of French forces.
  • Syria celebrates 17 April Independence Day as the retreat of French forces in 1946
  • Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican defeat of French Army May 5, 1862
  • TRAFALGAR DAY celebrates British Defeat of French Navy October 21, 1805
  • L’Escalade is a Swiss day to celebrate the defeat of Duke of Savoy (allied to France) Dec 11, 1602

And, of course:

  • July 14th is Fete Nationale (Bastille Day) where the French celebration of the defeat of the French Military by a bunch of peasants in 1789

While not really National holidays;

To Celebrate the September 7,1812 Russian Victory over French Army at the gates of Moscow was Tchaikovsky wrote a pretty catchy tune in 1882. Not Very originally named “The 1812 Overture”

Also while creating a 1965 Celebration of the Battle of Waterloo one British Parliamentarian thought to ask:

HANSARD: HC Deb 02 June 1965 vol 713 c218W

72. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Defence why he invited the French Army to take part in the celebration of the battle of Waterloo.

Mr. Mulley

No such invitation was issued.”

Probably just as well, would have been one of those ‘one bitten, twice shy’ kind of moments. They don’t call it “Meeting your Waterloo” for nothing.

Also, When Asked the Germans responded “Days to celebrate beating the French, if we did that we’d never get any work done, those Mercedes and BMWs don’t build themselves!”