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Wannaskan Almanac for Saturday, February 17th

Greetings from the newest, contributing author of the Wannaskan Almanac! I’m the pup of the bunch. Hopefully my WA counterparts will be enamored by my bouncy energy and enthusiasm instead of annoyed by the latest yipping goulash.

Disclaimer: I am not fond of research. Actually, I abhor it. If I were to take the CliftonStrengths quiz (formerly Strengths Finder 2.0) that assesses and ranks, from strongest to weakest, my entire cadre of 34 strengths, I’m pretty sure that anything involving research and analysis would fall into the bottom five. Scratch that. The bottom three. For sure.

However, given the spirit and purpose of an almanac – to inform – I will pluck these strengths from the bottom of my heap and pair them with my top five - Positivity, Woo, Maximizer, Connectedness, and Communication.  If I were a dog, I like to think I’d make a great Golden Retriever.

Speaking of dogs, here’s my first useful bit of intel to impart. Two great, dog-related books I can heartily recommend include A Dog’s Purpose and The Art of Racing in the Rain. I am NOT a dog lover (although I have been wooed on occasion) so don’t take this recommendation lightly.

Okay, another disclaimer. I haven’t actually read A Dog’s Purpose. My book club did, but I just couldn’t get past the whole dog reincarnation bit. But recently I saw the movie with my kids and cried more than the five-year-old.  Book club loved it too, so there you go; fortification for my recommendation. (P.S. The whole dog reincarnation thing ends up making sense.)

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, I have read. This is one of the most brilliant and beautiful works of fiction I have ever read. Definitely in my top five. This assurance of my recommendation either reveals great sense of taste or how little I read. You be the judge!

Speaking of kids, I have five. This has proven useful. Did you know kids are a wealth of information? While gaining the oomph to finally put on my big girl pants and start perusing the internet for fun facts, the aforementioned five-year-old told me something fascinating. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was - another byproduct of having five children - but what I do remember is that Eureka moment.

Unbeknownst to them, the kids did not disappoint. The rest of the week was fun-fact laden. However, eventually they caught on, the teens especially suspicious as to why I kept asking them to write their fun facts down on post-its. They made it clear that if I wanted to take advantage of their seemingly random, yet useful, knowledge, I would have to record it myself. The middle child, on the other hand, is now sending me emails.

So, without further ado, I add to the wealth of Wannaskan Almanac knowledge three bits of information the kids deemed worthy to share with their mother.

Fun Fact #1: In Colombia, young teens are taking care of robot babies to teach them how to take care of real babies. This is because, between the ages of 15-19, there is a large number of teen parents. (Source: Most recent National Geographic magazine lying on the kitchen counter.)

Fun Fact #2: Panama is the only country in the world where you can see the sun rise in the Atlantic and set in the Pacific without moving.” (Note: Yes, I know, the sun doesn’t set in the oceans, but that’s what he wrote.)

Fun Fact #3: “If the Hinden Burg didn’t crash then the first nuclear bomb would never have been made and Hitler would unleash it. (Note to self: Work with boy on grammar and word spacing. “Unleash” and “it” were so close together, I almost didn’t understand what he’d written. Also, not sure if the “e" in unleash was indecipherable or absent.)

And here are some brief highlights to celebrate accomplishments ON THIS DAY.

Happy February 17th Highlighted Events!
- 1568 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace.
- 1865 Columbia, South Carolina, burns down during American Civil War.
- 1876 Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine.
- 1969 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
- 1972 British Parliament votes to join the European Common Market.
- 2017 Discovery of a new mostly underwater continent Zealandia in the South Pacific announced in research journal "GSA Today."

I love how the importance of canning sardines is equated with world peace. It's practically poetic justice that the burning down of Columbia is countered by the discovery of Zealandia.

Happy February 17th Birthday!
- 1754 Jan Jachym Kopriva, Czech composer and organist, born in Cítoliby, Czech Republic,
(d. 1792), He came from quite the musical family.
- 1844 Aaron Montgomery Ward, found mail-order business (Montgomery Ward)
- 1924 Margaret Truman, pres daughter/writer (Murder at FBI)/pianist
- 1929 Chaim Potok, American novelist (Promise), born in NYC, New York, I loved his book, The Chosen.
- Michael Jordan and Larry the Cable Guy were born on the EXACT same day in 1963.
- A grand total of 1 of my Facebook friends has a birthday on this day.

As the texting lingo goes, TTFN!



  1. WELCOME, Kim! What a fun-filled Daily! I like the way that you managed to work in a Czech (although there are so many important Czechs, who could possibly question your motives)...

    Please ask the source of Fun Fact #3 what would have happened if the Tita Nic had never crashed into the ice burg, and what otherwise might have been unlashed.

    As a public service, here are the entire 34 CliftonStrengths, in alphabetical order:
    achiever, activator, adaptability, analytical, arranger, belief, command, communication, competition, connectedness, consistency, context, deliberative, discipline, empathy, focus, futurist, harmony, ideation, includer, individualization, input, intellection, learner, maximizer, positivity, relator, responsibility, restorative, self-assurance, significance, strategic, and of course, woo.

    According to the official definition:
    "Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet—lots of them."

    Yes, folks; Kim got woo.

    1. Thank you for the public serve and definition of 'woo.' While it's obvious to me, I have had many people ask me what it means. In the formerly-known-as Strengths Finder 2.0 they also say, Woo = Winning Others Over.

      The source of Fun Fact #3 didn't have an answer to your question, but the point was well taken. :)

  2. Dear キム・ゴー・ウー・トゥー (Kimu gō ū to~ū),(Kim Got Woo Too) Much you bring this almanac, so big. Your column is refreshing in so many ways--and to think you cry at movies, awwwww. Can't wait to read more of you next weekend! Had I known you would risk any of your children's healthy lives by dangling them by the ankles, I'm glad I didn't joke about finding Tarzan books in the Wannaska dumpster. Most readers know they can't believe a word I write, much less say. Whew--that was a close one!

    1. When in doubt about any of WannaskaWriter's offerings, just say "Really dad?" and he'll tell you the truth.

    2. What?! The almanac information isn't accurate?! Oh the horror! There's a certain amount of sincere and optimistic naivete that comes with being the newbie, but I'm glad for it in this case because we had quite an adventure. :)

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and I'll be sure to take Joe's advice, so be prepared for future comments asking, "Really, dad?"

  3. Kim, welcome to the Almanac. You are a great addition to our fine crew. I learned a lot from your post. I always thought Montgomery Ward was two people, like Sears and Roebuck, or Ben and Franklin.

    1. Glad to provide you with a useful bit of knowledge. I predict victory for you the next time you play Trivial Pursuit or - if you're an online kind of guy - Trivia Crack! :)

  4. Wow, Kim! You really won my heart ( and the heart of my service dog, Willa) with placing canines near the head of your post, along with the lovely pics.

    Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Not only for your writerly expertise and the fine research sources you bring in the form of your five children. (Not fair!) Willa can't talk. Just think if she could! It would be a wonderful and very loving world if dogs could share their wisdom, and their opinions of those at the other end of the leash.

    On another note, I welcome you because before you joined us I was the only writer of the superior gender. Now it's 4 to 2, a much better balance; plus our 2 is actually exponentially squared, so we are now even. Woo-hoo! as you often say.

    Once again, our group is fortunate to have you with us. On Saturdays, after the work of the day, I shall look forward to your posts.

    Three cheers for Kim!

    1. Thank you, Catherine! It's fun seeing you in cheerleader form. Rah! Rah! Rah! right back at ya! Looking forward to more poetry from you!


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