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280 Dog Years


The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.



Word of the Every So Often  

May 27, 2022

wonk:  (noun)  often used derogatorily, a person who takes a particularly specialized interest in the minute details of a field of study, especially with politics.  You want to know about the influence of Russian immigrants on the passage of the infrastructure bill?  Then just ask Bill, he's our resident wonk.


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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

9:06 am pdt 

Friday, June 26, 2020

11:55 am pdt 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Fourth of July

Every year we dutifully celebrate the Fourth of July on, of all days, the fourth of July.  But what, exactly, are we celebrating?  Truth be told, not much.  By July Fourth, 1776, our independence had already been declared.  That was two days earlier, on the Second.  And the Revolution had been underway for well over a year, starting back in April of 1775.  The first draft of the Declaration of Independence had been written in June of 1776, it was signed on August 2, 1776, and it was officially delivered to England in November of 1776.  (The Story of the Fourth of July)

It was on July 4th, 1776, that the Continental Congress approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.  That’s it.  In essence, we are celebrating proofreading.  But like all good editors, they dated it.  And that’s the date we remember.  (The Story of the Fourth of July)

John Adams, with good argument, thought the correct date to celebrate the birth of America was on July 2nd, and supposedly he never attended any Fourth of July celebrations in protest.  (July 4th) And that makes it all the more ironic that he died on the Fourth of July, along with Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe – Adams and Jefferson in 1826, and Monroe in 1831.  (Bet You Didn’t Know)

From the very start, we’ve celebrated the Fourth.  The day after the Declaration of Independence’s adoption on July 4, 1776, copies went out, and it was first published on the 6th by The Pennsylvania Evening Post.  Two days later, in Philadelphia’s Independence Square, the Declaration of Independence was first read publically.  (History of the Fourth)  The following celebration, appropriately enough, included the ringing of the Liberty Bell, as well as anything else that would make noise.  (Bet You Didn’t Know) However, contrary to what some may believe, that wasn’t when the famous bell cracked.  It had been cracked from its very start in 1752.  But what do you expect from British bell makers? (Why is the Liberty Bell Cracked)

During the following years of the Revolutionary War, there were some parades, shooting of artillery, and public readings of the Declaration of Independence, but nothing on a national scale, even relative to how small our nation was at the time.  But keep in mind, there was a war going on.  In 1777, Philadelphia became the first city to hold an annual celebration on the Fourth, and Massachusetts became the first state, in 1781, to officially celebrate the holiday.  (July 4th)

It wasn’t really until after the War of 1812, when we gave Britain another whoopin’, that the holiday truly started to shape itself into what we know today – an excuse to drink and to blow things up.  The Fourth of July was made a Federal holiday by Congress in 1870, but it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a paid holiday for all federal employees.  (July 4th)  And if you need more trivia than that, the Fourth of July is one of only four Federal holidays that are celebrated on the same calendar date each year.  The others are New Year’s Day, Veteran’s Day, and Christmas. (Bet You Didn’t Know)


Work Cited

 “Bet You Didn’t Know:  Independence Day.”  2014.  History.  10 June 2014.  http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th/videos/bet-you-didnt-know-independence-day

“History of the Fourth.”  2013.  PBS:  KCTS9.  10 June 2014.  http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/history.html

“July 4th.”  2014.  History.  10 June 2014.  http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

“The Story of the Fourth of July.”  ConstitutionFacts.com.  10 June 2014.  http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/

 “Why is the Liberty Bell Cracked.”  Wonderopolis.  10 June 2014.  http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-is-the-liberty-bell-cracked/

9:05 am pdt 

Monday, June 15, 2020


"I don't know...  I mean, after the first few seasons... well... not hooking up...  I don't know.  It wasn't for not trying.  You know how it goes.  But, you know... maybe mating's not for everyone.  I mean, I don't have to mate... do I?  Like anybody's going to care if I don't.  I mean...  It's OK if I don't.  Isn't it?"

11:52 am pdt 

Friday, June 12, 2020

10:42 am pdt 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Father’s Day

Ask any father.  He’ll tell you.  Father’s Day is a crock.  Oh, sure, you get a tie, but to a dad, a tie is like giving your mother a vacuum.  You see, the thing is, Father’s Day is in the summer, and Mother’s Day is during the school year.  So moms get all the fun stuff that the kids make, like homemade cards or baby food jars filled with water and glitter.  Fathers get doodley.  What we need is a holiday that we can appreciate, one where we get to sit around and drink beer and watch sports... well... other than the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or Nascar, or any given weekend from, say, August through February, or March through July. 

Even the history of Father’s Day is a crock.  For instance, President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into law.  Who do the fathers get?  Richard Nixon.  And even at that, it was Johnson who, in 1966, “declared that the third Sunday in June would be Father's Day.” Nixon only signed it into law in 1972 to help with his re-election... and we all know how well that presidency went.  (Honor Your Father... At Least Once a Year)

Probably the only reason Father’s Day exists at all is because of Mother’s Day.  Oh, sure, you can say it stems from the memorial service in Monongah, West Virginia, following a mining accident in 1907 that killed a whole bunch of men, many of whom happened to be fathers (which, curiously enough, often seems to be the case when a large group of men gets killed).  Or you can credit a lady named Sonora Smart Dodd, who, along with her five brothers and sisters were raised solely by her father when her mother died in the early part of the 20th century.  But even Dodd was inspired by Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day. (Father's Day in United States)

In 1909 Dodd began her campaign in her home town of Spokane, Washington, and by the following year succeeded in getting Washington State to recognize “...the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.” (Father’s Day)  And from there, the holiday spread... slowly.  President Wilson observed the day in 1916 by unfurling a flag in Spokane by pressing a button in Washington, D.C., a technological feat for the time.  In 1924, still well short of a national holiday, “President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event to ‘establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.’" (Honor Your Father... At Least Once a Year)  You know, guys, it’s pretty pathetic that we need a presidential proclamation to remind us to take care of our families.

But then, probably the biggest obstacle in recognizing Father’s Day was the fathers.  I mean, we are talking guys here.  “As one historian writes, they ‘scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products – often paid for by the father himself.’” (Father’s Day)

Even so, the idea of Father’s Day continued to grow, surviving the well meaning attempts in the ‘20s and ‘30s to scrap the day altogether, along with Mother's Day, in favour of just one single holiday, Parents’ Day, based on the idea “‘that both parents should be loved and respected together.’” (Father’s Day)  But any kid, and every retailer, knows that if you share a holiday with somebody else, like having your birthday fall on Christmas, then you get shafted on your presents.  And even during the Depression, or maybe especially because of the Depression, retailers weren’t about to get behind any holiday that limited their sales.  By the time WWII engulfed the United States, even though Father’s Day still wasn’t a nationally declared holiday, it might as well have been.  And with the War, it became a way to honor those men in uniform. (Father’s Day) 

Since 1972, Father’s Day has been an official national holiday.  Even so, it’s still hard to get excited about it.  I mean, let’s face it:  Nobody’s going to buy dad a corsage, he’s not going to wear a new dress to church, and it’s doubtful that he’s even going to go out to lunch on that Sunday afternoon.  Sure, he’ll get some phone calls if his children can remember, but for the most part, it’s just another Sunday.  And since it’s in the summer, the lawn probably needs to be mowed... by dad.

And just so you know, Father's Day is the third Sunday in June.  In 2020, it's on the 21st.  So reserve your table at Denny's now! 


Work Cited

“Father’s Day.”  2012.  History.com.  15 Aug. 2012.  http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day

“Father's Day in United States.”  2012.  timeanddate.com.  15 Aug. 2012.  http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/fathers-day

“Honor Your Father... At Least Once a Year.”  June 2003.  Wise Guide.  15 Aug. 2012.  http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/jun03/father.html

9:35 am pdt 

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