Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-31 Halloween

Click here to download Halloween Card
October 31st is, of course, Halloween or Hallowe'en, short for All Hallow's Evening.  This yearly celebration started out as a Christian feast day to remember the dead - especially saints, martyrs and faithful dead believers. The Roman Catholic Church Christianized the old Gaelic pagan festival Samhain, although some academics argue that Halloween originated independently of the pagan Samhain and has solely Christian roots. Whatever the case, the association of Halloween with tricks, treats, pranks, costumes, monsters and general scariness seems to hark back more to the pagan festival which was once celebrated by building fires in the dark and wearing frightening masks in order to frighten away the ghosts of any unsettled dead that might be walking around the evening before All Saints Day.

Nowadays Halloween seems to be more about dressing up and eating candy for the kids and dressing up slutty for adults going to parties than it is about any religious observance. Most churches these days like to offer an alternative "harvest" party for their young people to de-emphasize the "evil" associations that go with Halloween.  Send your sweetheart a Happy Halloween Card to let her know you're willing to scare off any ghosts for her and that she's your "greatest" pumpkin.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the pumpkin.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs.  Download the file. Don't try to print the file from within Google Docs. I use a lot of fonts and Google Docs doesn't seem to like them very much.  Instead, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "download" and copy the file to your own computer. Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you prefer.  Print the card from there and it should be fine.

This is a side fold card, so when you print it, be sure to select "landscape" and if you have two-sided printing, choose "flip on the short side" so that the inside of the card is the same way up as the outside.

Don't forget to write something sweet inside for your best girl - something more than just your name. And heaven help you, don't forget to sign it. 

© 2013 by Tom King 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-30 Mischief Night

Click Here to download your Mischief Night Card
Want to get an extra day out of that costume of yours.  Then go somewhere on October 30 where they celebrate "Mischief Night".  Well, "celebrate" might be too strong a word, especially if you're in the law enforcement business in the US, Canada and the UK.  The tradition dates back to the 1700s and is also known as Devil's Night, Hell Night, Cabbage Night (because the kids throw rotting cabbages at people), Gate Night, Mizzy Night, Miggy Night or Goosing Night.  The annual tradition turns loose mostly teens and preteens on the community to play pranks and to do mischief in their neighborhoods. Some communities have moved the date, but most celebrate it on the night before Halloween. Many communities combine the pranks with Halloween and create a dual holiday, thus the tradition of demanding "tricks or treats".  Toilet paper manufacturers particularly enjoy the holiday because they move a lot of extra product.

Give your favorite prankster this downloadable Mischief Night Card to show her how much you care. Just click on the caption below the picture of the prank-in-progress. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

© 2013 by Tom King


Greeting Card Campaign: 10-29 Hermit Day

Hermit Day. No one knows why. Perhaps it originated in the 60s as "Herman's  Hermits" Day.  Who knows?  Nowadays nobody much remembers en-er-y the Eighth I Am, or Kind of a Hush or Leanin' on the Lamppost so Peter Noone and his cohorts are largely forgotten now. Now we just celebrate hermits - strange agoraphobic people who like to live far away from Thomas Hardy's "madding crowd". It's rather nice, though, to get away from the crowds and the general sea of humanity. So sneak off alone somewhere and celebrate or better yet, bring along your sweetheart and be hermits together. Give her this free downloadable Hermit Day card to start off the day.
Click here to download your Hermit Day card.
Today, October 29th is

Just click on the caption below the picture of the hermit.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs.  Download the file. Don't try to print the file from within Google Docs. I use a lot of fonts and Google Docs doesn't seem to like them very much.  Instead, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "download" and copy the file to your own computer. Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you prefer.  Print the card from there and it should be fine.

This is a side fold card, so when you print it, be sure to select "landscape" and if you have two-sided printing, choose "flip on the short side" so that the inside of the card is the same way up as the outside.

Don't forget to write something sweet inside for your best girl - something more than just your name. And heaven help you, don't forget to sign it. 


So, get lost and have a happy, secluded, quiet, and peaceful Hermit Day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-28 Animation Day

Click here to download your Animation day Card
October 28 is Animation Day. Celebrate the art of animation by putting pencil to paper and bringing your characters to life.  We've all probably taken a stab at animation at one time or another, whether with simple flip page animation using drawings on the corner of a pad of paper or with one of those simple Basic computer programs where you make the stick man do jumping jacks (I spent two hours programming a little animated stick guy who waved his hand - time I will never get back). We are all at the very least, consumers of animation, having seen Disney movies and cartoons and Toy Story and all its sequels.

Tell your sweetheart she animates your life with this Animation Day greeting card you can download.  This card has a special feature. If you flip it open and closed quickly, you will see a simple animation.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the Cartoon Animator above to download your free Animation Day Card.
The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.
 

© 2013 by Tom King

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-27 Navy Day

Click here to download your free Navy Day Card.
In the United States, October 27 is Navy Day in commemoration of the founding of the US Navy. This date was selected because it is President Theodore Roosevelt's birthday.  Unlike Thomas Jefferson who had to practically be dragged into building a US Navy, Teddy Roosevelt was an avid supporter of the U.S. Navy.  Recently, a historian discovered that the U.S. Continental Navy was October 13, 1775. There was, for a time an unsuccessful effort to move Navy Day to the 13th, but Navy Day remains the 27th. Salute a sailor today and send your Sweetie a Navy Day card from her favorite sailor man.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the big old boat with the big old guns. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-26 Mule Day

Click here to download your free Mule Day Card.
October 26 is the historical commemoration of Mule Day in America.  The day honors the date when the first Spanish Jacks arrived in Boston on October 26, 1785, a gift from King Charles III of Spain. George Washington took to mules right off and began breeding them in the US as a sturdy plow animal - tougher than a horse and more tractable than oxen. Several communities actually celebrate Mule Day Festivals in honor of the contribution made by mules to the growth and development of farming, especially in the South. These festivals take place on different weekends throughout the year. Columbia, Tennessee, the self-proclaimed "Mule Capital" of the world began it's Mule Day Festival in 1840 as "Breeder's Day", a meeting for mule breeders. One of the more successful of the Mule Day Festivals the four day celebration attracts more than 200,000 people with Appalachian food, music, dancing, arts, crafts and mules. 

Send your Sweetie a Mule Day card today to let her know how much you love her. I hope you appreciate this, because it was really tough to make a romantic card based around mules.  Just click on the caption below the picture of the Mule above. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.

© 2013 by Tom King





Friday, October 25, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10 - 25 Saint Crispin's Day

Click here to download St. Crispin's Day card.
For some reason famous battles immortalized in English Literature tend to occur on October 25, known in Shakespeare's "Henry V" as St. Crispin's Day.  Henry's famous St. Crispin's Day Speech as presented by the Bard of Avon inspired his heavily outnumbered English forces to fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt. The Speech, one of the best pre-battle speeches ever ends like this:


For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.


Saint Crispin's day honors two Christian saints, Crispin and Crispinian - twins who were martyred in 286 A.D. The twins are the patron Saints of cobblers, leather workers and tanners. Though their holiday was removed from the Catholic official Saint's day calendar after Vatican II, it still rates bold lettering on the church calendar.  The day is famous as the day on which several important history-making battles were fought.  The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is the most famous as the setting for Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech to his troops just before the English demonstrated the power of the English longbow and introduced the military strategy of the "killing field" to a whole lot of French knights who generally were not used to be slaughtered wholesale in that fashion.

The Battle of Balaklava was another disastrous battle (for the Brits this time) that was made famous by poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in his oft-quoted Charge of the Light Brigade).

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


The battle took place during the Crimean War in 1854. The generals screwed up and sent 600 men into a killing field with no chance of victory and sadly, they obeyed orders.

A more successful fight (for the Allies in WWII) was the Battle of Leyte Gulf which took place between the combined US/Australian fleet and the Japanese Navy in the Pacific during 1944. It was possibly the largest naval battle in history and after it was over the Japanese Navy was never able to muster enough of a fleet to challenge the Allies again.

Other Crispin's Day battles include The Fall of Lisbon to Crusaders from England, Portugal and Flanders,  The Battle of Dorylaeum (Turks defeat German Crusaders), second battle of Cape Finisterre (British Admiral Sir Edward Hawk defeats the French Navy), the American Frigate United States under Captain Stephen Decatur) captures the British HMS Macedonian (sending the British Navy into a deep depression) and Operation Urgent Fury (The US invades and liberates Grenada from Cuban occupation).

You can also click here to download the card.

Send your wife or sweetheart a St. Crispin's Day card today to commemorate your winning the Battle for Her Heart! Just click on the caption below the picture of the archers who were the English secret weapon at the Battle of Agincourt. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet. And if you haven't won the battle for her heart yet, why not?  Just go ahead and ........

Chaaaaaaaaaaaaarge!!!


© 2013 by Tom King



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-24 National Bologna Day

Download your National Bologna Day card by clicking here.
October 24 is a day to celebrate for all those guys out there that are, to put it politely, "Full of bologna." It's not always spelled that way.  Bologna is the proper way to spell it as we were taught by Oscar Meyer in the little "My Bologna Has a First Name" song on the TV commercials.  It's also sometimes spelled "baloney" and either way you spell it this member of the sausage family is pronounced "baloney".  Baloney is one of the most common luncheon meats and sandwich ingredients. There are all kinds of variations on the baloney theme including regular old Bologna, German Bologna, Beef Bologna, Kosher Bologna, and varieties made from pork, beef, chicken, turkey, buffalo and soybeans.


To celebrate National Bologna Day, simply make yourself a bologna sandwich.  I like to fry mine. Nothing like a fried bologna sandwich with mayo and a slice of cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and a sweet pickle.  Not sure where the celebration of bologna came from, but, hey, why not? 

While you're at it, send your Sweet Baboo this handy free National Bologna Day card to celebrate. Tell her you love her and that's no bologna.   Just click on the caption below the picture of the bologna roll above. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-23 National Mole Day

Click here to download Mole Day card.
October 23 is National Mole Day. It is not a day for celebrating tiny furry pests that dig tunnels in your front yard. The day is actually designed to celebrate a concept in chemistry that my high school chemistry teacher was somehow unable to explain clearly to me.

So, the guy that got a "D" (the only one I ever got in school) is going to explain to you what a "mole" in chemistry is.  But first you need to know a couple of details about National Mole Day that will help you remember what a mole is forever and ever (or at least till tomorrow).  National Mole Day is celebrated on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m..  There's a reason for that. You see Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic unit of measure in chemistry. Now here's how a mole works:

  • For a given molecule of any substance, one mole is the mass (in grams) or Avogadro's number of molecules of that substance.  In other words if the atomic mass of a molecule, water for example, has an atomic mass of 18.  So, if you put 6.02 x 1023 molecules of water into a cup, then that much water would weigh 18 grams.   Therefore, a mole of neon, which has an atomic mass of 20, would weigh 20 grams. As a general rule of thumb, a mole of any element or compound is made up of Avogadro's Number of atoms or molecules or atoms of that substance. A scientist named Amadeo Avogadro discovered this and after he died the number was named for him.

The holiday is a mnemonic for Avogadro's number.  Multiply 1023 (the date) by 6:02 (the time) and voila' - you have Avogadro's number which is the number of molecules or atoms in a "mole".  So send your favorite girl a National Mole Day card and show her how smart you are.  You know what  "mole" in chemistry is, you know how much Avogadro's number is (the time x the date) and you chose her as your one true love. See how smart your are.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the National Mole Day logo. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

You're smart enough to figure it out - after all, you know Avogadro's number (at least until you seal up the envelope.

© 2013 by Tom King











Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-22 Fechner Day

Click here to download your Fechner Day card!
Fechner's color wheel

Fechner wheel spinning

























It's Fechner Day, a celebration of the contributions of Gustav Theodor Fechner (April 19, 1801 – November 18, 1887).  Try to contain your excitement, especially all you psycho-physicists out there.  This weird little holiday celebrates the German philosopher/physicist/psychologist who founded the esoteric science of psychophysics.  For a taste of what that's about, one of his greatest achievements was demonstrating the non-linear relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus via the formula: "S = K Log I".  This tidy little formula is known far and wide as the Weber–Fechner law.  Who Weber was and why he doesn't have his own day is not clear.

However, Fechner did do one fun thing in his life.  In 1838, he discovered the mysterious perceptual illusion we call the Fechner color effect.  You can see the effect when you spin a top with a black and white design on top that was invented by British journalist, amateur scientist and aspiring toy-maker Charles Benham, in 1894 invented A kind of spinning top called Benham's top.  The pattern in figure 2 was printed on top and when it's spun, you can see the Fechner color effect. When you spin the disk, most people see arcs of pale Fechner colors.  These are also called pattern-induced flicker colors (PIFCs).  Not everyone can see them or even see the same colors or even see the same colors at the same time of day or age of life.


Fechner was more of a philosopher than a scientist. He once said, "God, the soul of the universe, must be conceived as having an existence analogous to men. Natural laws are just the modes of the unfolding of God's perfection." He was an indomitably positive sort of fellow who felt the thrill of life in everything.

Fechner taught us that it's possible to find color even in a black and white world. Send your darling spark of color a Fechner Day greeting card to let her know that she brings color to your life.  

Just click on the caption below the picture of Gustav Fechner at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.

Then go out and find a Benham top and enjoy the Fechner color effect. Or, if the gif file in figure 3 works and you can get it to spin, perhaps you can see the colors yourself.


© 2013 by Tom King

Monday, October 21, 2013

How to Make Your Own Tyvek Sails


If you've inherited an old sailboat as I did and discovered that the sails were pretty deteriorated, you may have been stunned at what new ones cost if you looked it up. New sails can cost you more than the price of the boat. Fortunately, there's a solution if you care more about saving money and sailing than you do about looking yacht club smart. There is an affordable material that actually lends itself to making sails that you can pick up down at the lumber yard. It's Tyvek™, the amazingly tough and resilient material you see builders wrap around the frames of houses.  Here's how to do it.


Materials You Need:

  • Large enough Tyvek sheets to make the sails.  If you have exceptionally large sails you may have to put two pieces together with a seam.
  • Double sided Tyvek tape or carpet tape.  Try to get the widest tape you can find.
  • Very sharp scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Very long straightedge or yardstick
  • Chalk line
Directions:

  • Use the old sails to make a pattern for the new sails.  You can trace the pattern
    directly on the Tyvek or trace it out in chalk on a large flat
    floor or concrete patio or driveway.  Add 12 inches of extra material along all sides of the sails. This allows you to trim the sail as you work to fit it to the right size. You'll need at least four inches where the sail attaches attach to the spar and the mainmast. The extra allows you to recover from measurement errors, especially along the spar and mainmast. You will be wrapping a rope into the edges for attaching the sail to the spar and mainmast if your boat uses that type of sail mount.
  • Cut out the Tyvek with scissors.  Tyvek is very resilient. It's made not to puncture, so it may be difficult to cut. Make sure your cutting implement is very sharp.  
  • If you need a seam to put two pieces together, make it parallel to the leach of the sail (the hypotenuse of the right triangle of the sail).  This reduces pressure on the seam. 

  • Tape the sail to the floor with duct tape to hold it down.  
  • Apply one double sided tape to the edges and any seams.  Lay the tape just outside
    the sail pattern mark and on the extra overlap material.  Only expose one sticky side. Leave the other side covered for when you make the seams.  Work slowly.  Tyvek is stretchy, so don't pull on it or you'll get wrinkles and puckers in the seams. 
  • When you get to the corners, trim them as shown in the picture above to avoid creating lumps of tape where the seams come together.
  • Now pull off the protective paper on the other side of the tape as you work along
    Grommet hole reinforcement patch
    the seams, pressing down the material as you remove the paper.  If you did your cuts properly, any seams and edges should line up. If they don't, you can always trim off the excess.  Do any internal seams first and then work around the edges.  Cut off excess Tyvek at the edges so you get a two to four inch overlap for strength. The overlap needs to be wide enough to cover the seam tape.
  • Do not tape the foot or the mainmast side of the sail if you need to fold a rope into the foot to attach to the spar or mast.

    Reinforced grommet hole
  • Reinforce each point on the sail where you will attach a slide, grommet or reef point.  For grommeted points, do this.  Cut a square piece of Tyvek large enough to wrap over the edge and cover the grommet hole on both sides. Round the edges as shown
  • Cover one side with double sided tape. Stick the square of Tyvek to the double-sided tape and then fold it over the edge so the edge runs diagonally across the patch as shown. Place another piece of double-sided tape under the folded Tyvek so the Tyvek patch covers both side.  
  • Next, follow the instructions that came with the grommet kit, Cut the hole in the center of the reinforced area. Make sure the hole is the correct size, then install the grommet halves on either side of the sale.  Pound the two halves of the grommet together and you have a grommeted attachment point.

  • Check the thickness of the rope in the foot. First prepare the foot and luff of your
    Spar and luff edges
    sail where it slides into the spar or mast.  You’ll have to wrap up a rope of appropriate size into the foot or leach of the sail. 
  • Again, lay double-sided tape along the inside of the edge mark you made for your sail. Lay the rope along the edge where the sail material will be folded over. You may want to secure the rope by coating it with epoxy or sealant before laying it in place.  Then fold over the extra sail material and cut off the excess Tyvek once the edge is folded over and fully adhered to the double-sided tape.  

  • Because of the pressure the sail will put on the sail, where it attaches to the spar and mainmast, you'll need to strengthen the edges around the rope core. With a very sharp upholstery needle, stitch along the seam just above the rope. You want the stitching to help secure the rope in place. Next apply a sealer or epoxy to cover the exposed threads at the seams to protect them from hard wear.

You will undoubtedly have to tweak the design a little as you go to make it work. Like any boat owner, you'll need a little creativity and imagination to make this work for your particular boat, but it's not hard to do if you have even a modicum of skill with tools.

Tyvek makes some surprisingly good sails.  Tyvek is typically a bit stretchier than regular sailcloth, but it's very tough and once you learn to handle the new sailing characteristics of your boat, your Tyvek sails may prove to be even faster and tougher than store-bought sails.

The biggest drawback of using Tyvek is that it often comes with the manufacturer's name printed on it and can make your boat look like a seriously redneck vessel.  But do not despair. There are some paints and colored tapes that stick to Tyvek and a few broad stripes may be all you need to not only disguise the manufacturer's marks, but also to brighten up your new sails.

© 2013 by Tom King

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-21 Babbling Day

Click here to downloadyour Babbling Day card.
October 21st is Babbling Day for all you blatherskites out there.  On Babbling Day, we celebrate those of us with the gift of gab. You know who you are. They're the folk who never quite seem to stop talking. Some of them are quite glib and witty and turn their annoying habit into a lucrative career as a standup comic, a Shakespearean actor or a preacher.  These are the folk who can turn a simple one sentence reply into a doctoral dissertation complete with footnotes and bibliography.

Or you can take another tack and remind your sweetheart what it was like when you used to babble like an idiot in her present. Send her this Babbling Day card to remind her that she still shakes your nerves and rattles your brain. Just click on the caption below the picture of the babbling man. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

Take it slow and don't let the thing turn you into a babbling idiot - though computers sometimes have that effect on people.

© 2013 by Tom King


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-20 Suspenders Day

Click here to download Suspenders Day Card
Nanoo, nanoo, it's October 20th - Suspenders Day.  Today we honor Mork from Ork's traditional Orkian clothing accessory - the venerable suspenders (also called "braces", especially in countries where they speak with an accent.  Suspenders Day is not a complex holiday. We're not sure where it came from. Perhaps someone wanted an excuse to go play golf and skip work.

"Hey, boss, I've got to go to the Suspenders Day Charity Golf Classic.  We have to all wear suspenders. It's part of the theme for the event." Your boss has to believe that doesn't he.  Well, to celebrate I suggest downloading this Suspenders Day greeting card in honor of the gal that supports you the way suspenders support your britches.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the dapper gentleman in suspenders. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.

And dig out your braces.  It's a good day for it and they make you look sooooo dapper when you take your jacket off.

© 2013 by Tom King

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-19 Say "Good Night" Day

Click here to download card
October 19th is Say "Good Night" Day.  It used to be that daylight savings time ended about now and you could celebrate with an extra hour of sleep. Sadly, the environmentalists, not content with running up my fuel prices and electricity costs, decided to spoil Halloween by making it still daylight through most of the Trick or Treating hours.

Bunch of party poopers!

The holiday does have a kind of gruesome origin. October 19th is also the Catholic Feast Day of St. Rene Goupil.  Goupil, a 17th century Jesuit missionary, is the patron saint of anesthesiologists, thus the "Good Night" tie.  Rene Goupil served in a military field hospital in Quebec. In 1642, he, a Jesuit Father named Isaac Jogues and about forty other people including several Huron chiefs took a trip to the Huron tribes.  Along the way the party was captured by the Iroquois and carried off to Iroquois encampments at Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York. The Iroquois were not a very nice group at the time. Some of the Iroquois clans, notably the Turtle and Wolf clans advocated peace and wanted to release the priests.  But members of the more blood-thirsty Bear clan began bashing heads with tomahawks and Goupil was among the dead.  Goupil's last act was to teach the native children the sign of the cross. He had the honor of being the first North American Catholic martyr and was later made a saint.

But we're not going to mention all that when we send our sweeties a "Say Good Night Day" cardJust click on the caption below the picture of the sleeper at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.

Then say "good night" Gracie.

© 2013 by Tom King

Friday, October 18, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-18 Chocolate Cupcake Day

Click here to download Chocolate Cupcake Day Card
Alright Cupcake, it's October 18th, so it's Chocolate Cupcake Day. There were some others we could pick, but none that were much fun to celebrate like "Menopause Day" and the ever-pogonophobic "No Beard Day".  You've seen my picture, so you can understand if I ain't celebratin' that one. So whip up some chocolate cupcakes today for your sweetie and give her this appetite tweaking Chocolate Cupcake Day card.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the cupcake. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

And hide yourself one of those cupcakes cause if yours is like mine where chocolate is concerned, they won't last long.


© 2013 by Tom King

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-17 National Pasta Day

Click here to download card.
October 17th is National Pasta Day in United States of America. We may not know linguine from fettuccini from fusilli or vermicelli. So boil up some al dente pasta, pour on your favorite pasta sauce and celebrate.  When it comes to romantic dinners, pasta, some garlic bread and a salad just cannot be beat. There's a World Pasta Day on October 25th, but the US of A has done so much interesting stuff with pasta, we decided to have our own Italian-American style Pasta Day. Tell your AmorĂ© you love her with a nice pasta fazool and some garlic bread and a tossed salad.  But first, invite her to dine with you tonight with this National Pasta Day card.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the romantic diners at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way. That way you'll have time to boil up some pasta, toss a salad and bake a little garlic bread for that candlelit dinner tonight.

© 2013 by Tom King

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-16 Dictionary Day

Click here to download the card.
October 16th is Dictionary Day. Today is the birthday of American lexicographer Noah Webster, father of our modern dictionary. This is a great day to play Scrabble or Boggle or work a crossword puzzle or word search - one of those other wonderful word skills honing games. It's also Learn a Word Day. There are even a couple of really good Word of the Day websites that will send you a word each day to help expand your vocabulary.

It's also a great day to tell your true love that she defines you with this great Dictionary Day cardJust click on the caption below the picture of the Dictionary. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out rightside up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet. Or get out your dictionary and look up "confused".  It won't help, but at least you'll know you're doing it wrong.

Hint: Write "You define me, Love (insert your name here) inside.

© 2013 Tom King

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-15 Grouch Day

Click here to download card.
Put a big frown on your face today folks, it's October 15th - Grouch Day! Actually, if you really want to get into the spirit of the things though, this holiday is actually more of an Anti-Grouch day. The idea is to run around hugging and smiling at all the grouchy people you know. Who knows? Perhaps a little appreciation is all those grumpy old grouchy faces need to cheer them up. Even if they only put on a grin to make you stop hugging them, it's good for their blood pressure.  While you're at it, send your Sweetie a Grouch Day card today to let her know how much SHE cheers you up and turns your frown upside down.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the old grouch at the top left.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way. So join the effort to turn those grouchy smiles upside down.  Perhaps the smile you make today will even be one of your own.

© 2013 by Tom King

Monday, October 14, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-13 Skeptics Day

Download card here.
October 13th is Skeptics Day.  No one really knows the origins of this day of doubt, but skeptics have long been respected for their healthy suspicion of ultimate truth. Oddly, I myself came to be a true believer in Christianity with my skepticism still in tact. At my conversion I told God I'd give it a shot, but that he was going to have to prove himself step by step.

It is profoundly ironic in this often world of political, religious and even scientific true believers that may self-proclaimed skeptic will brook no challenging of their own pet theories. For instance, if you decide to be skeptical about global warming, socialism, Marxism, conservatism, libertarianism or some religious truth, watch how fast the "healthy skeptics" descend on you to shout you down.

My favorite skeptics are those who recognize the hypocrisy even of self-proclaimed skeptics. Famous physicist, Albert Einstein, once tweaked his fellow physicists said. "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."  The tendency of science to create an "establishment" is one of the reasons for the stairstep, lurching progress of science, noted by Thomas Kuhn in his seminal book, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".  Kuhn observed that scientists, who are supposed to bring a healthy skepticism to their work tend to hang on to the generally accepted "truths".  They even actively resist such evidence that challenges their favorite theories.

Scientists aren't the only ones. Politicians, writers, pundits, preachers and teachers tend to take shelter in the warm glow of group think.  Mark Twain made an observation about the publishing business that agrees with Einstein's later comment about the scientific community. "Get your facts first," said Twain, "Then you can distort them as you please."

As those who have found true love know, however, there are some things that are true. Tell your true love that your love is a fact - no skepticism necessary with this Skeptic Day Greeting Card.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the skeptical girl at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way. No need to be skeptical. It's free.....


© by Tom King

Note:  This card is out of order because I fell asleep during the creation of this card and accidentally published it on the wrong blog. It WAS on time though. Not the first time I've done this sort of thing. I have six blogs I'm currently caring for.  It was, however, the first time I didn't catch it almost immediately.  Oh, well. It was Skeptics Day and if you needed an excuse to be skeptical of my prowess as an editor/publisher, there you have it! Sorry for the confusion.

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-14 International Dessert Day

Click on this link to download the card.
October 14th is International Dessert Day. On International Dessert Day you get a day off from your diet. Pick your favorite dessert, cake, pie, cobbler, ice cream, bon-bons, you name it. After all, it's a holiday and, as everyone knows, food eaten on a holiday has no calories. What's also cool is that October is National Dessert Month in the good old, overweight United States, so eating sugary snacks this month constitute a patriotic act, at least for Americans. Tough luck all you furriners. We get a whole month!

And speaking of sweets, why not celebrate by printing up this sweet International Dessert Day card and giving it to your sweetie pie with something sweet and tasty.  Just click on the caption below the picture of Dessert at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way. Now go make yourself a treat - something international perhaps!

© 2013 by Tom King

Friday, October 11, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-12 Columbus Day

Click here to download card.
It was fourteen hundred ninety-two that Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  Since 1937, October 12th has been Columbus Day in America. FDR made it officially a national holiday.  Scheming bankers and postal workers however, got the feds to shift the date to the second Monday in October so that they would be sure and get a day off every year.  But October 12th is the traditional date since that is the date Columbus stumbled ashore on a small island in the Bahamas which he named San Salvador. Later he apparently forgot which island that was because no one knows which it is to this day, although one of the islands was later renamed San Salvador because someone had a theory that this island was where Columbus first set foot on dry land anywhere near America (which took it's name from Amerigo Vespucci, a rival of Columbus's who had a better public relations team). 

Moral of the story - if you want the place named after you - be the guy who draws the maps!

To celebrate Columbus Day, why not send your most important discovery a card to tell her how glad you were to find herJust click on the caption below the picture of Columbus at the top right.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way. 

There's one thing you have to do with this card.  On the inside it says "That was nothing compared to what I discovered in _________.  There's not actually a blank there but I left room for you to write in the year you first met her.  A black Sharpie works best.  I used a First-grader font so it shouldn't be hard to match. 

Now plant that card on her bedside table like Columbus planted his flag and let her know you've claimed her for always and forever.

© 2013 by Tom King

Stop Social Media Bullying NOW!


If you "do" Facebook or other social media sites you'll recognize the species of message that I'm talking about here.  You may have "shared" one or posted an original one following the same formula.  Have you ever posted something that says something like this:
  • "Are you against (insert something awful here)?  I bet 50% of you don't care enough to repost this."? 
It might say 99% of you (my cold-hearted friends) won't care enough about this awful thing to take the time to share it with your 1,788 Facebook friends. Whatever it says, if it ends in a guilt trip trying to induce you to fill up other people's email boxes or Facebook pages with endless versions of this stuff, it's a form of bullying. In essence, the underlying message says, "Do this or you're not my friend" or "Do this or you're not a good person", "Do this or you aren't one of the cool people" or one of the more specific versions -- "Do this or you don't love Jesus."

Any way you share these sorts of messages, it's little short of playground bullying. I don't mind if you ask em to share, but don't try to lay a guilt trip on me. It works with people who are desperate to have friends or to belong to a certain set of cool people.

Me, I'm suspicious of any group that would start something like this that resorts to intimidation to get people to do things for them. Of course, many Facebookers wouldn't understand that if they happened to be one of the cool kids or one of the several garden variety bullies back there on the playground. To bullies and their terrified toadies it would simply seem like an effective marketing tool.

I recognize the technique.  I was the kid with the broken horn-rimmed glasses with tape on the bridge who made good grades that the Neanderthal's who worked for the cool kids liked to stuff in lockers.  I was a target K-10.

What really blows me away is that one of these posts is running around on Facebook intimidating people in order to get them to pass along a post that says they "hate" bullying. The last paragraph suggests that only a cold-hearted bully wouldn't "share" the post with everyone on their friend's list. Many people pass it along from guilt. Who wants your friends to know you don't hate bullying after all?

The problem is that they're just surrendering to another kind of bullying when they hit that "share" button. When they do that, it only encourages social media bullying to continue.

Let me tell suggest a response to this kind of bullying. Just stop passing this stuff along. It's bullying plain and simple. It's like saying, "If you hate annoying Facebook posts, share this with all your friends!" 

Let me suggest another strategy. If you really hate bullying, don't share this kind of stuff. Jesus will still love you. Pass along this post instead. No pressure. You don't have to. You won't get bad luck if you don't.  Angels won't deflate your car tires and you will not develop genital warts!

Plenty of good people don't want to pass this stuff along and shouldn't be made to feel bad about it if they don't.  It's a big time suck and a huge waste of time. In what way will a Facebook post put a stop to bullying? Besides, few of your friends will "like" a post like this one and fewer yet will pass it along. The response will likely be underwhelming without all the tacked-on guilt!

Besides, it's enough to simply not pass this kind of stuff along. It does no good and only reinforces knuckling under to social bullies.

As Mrs. Reagan used to say,  "JUST SAY NO!"

Tom King © 2013