Happy New Year

 

 

Wishing You All The Joy of a Happy & Healthy New Year!
~ Your Friends at Kowalski Heat Treating ~

NEW YEAR BONUS
Download “Steve’s Feel Better New Year Recipes” and feel good all year long!


 

And A New Year Begins

(top to bottom) Make Healthier Choices, Travel, Volunteer, Get a Pet, Find a New Hobby, See a Dentist, Pursue a New Career, Enjoy Life to the Fullest, and Call Me!

 

I get excited when the new year begins.  I find myself cleaning my desk and office, filing things that have been sitting around for months, and making new “to do” lists.  (I’m a list junkie, but also good at crossing things off once completed).  As I am writing this, I’m laughing because Jackie knows that I have somewhat of a challenge getting rid of “things”… yep almost all things! I enjoy updating my new KHT calendar and showing off my new socks I got for Christmas (I’m a bit of a sock nut, too). Check out my previous post!  I also have my list of resolutions – things I plan and sometimes don’t get to.  Here’s a nice reminder list from thoughtcatalog.com writer Anjana Rajbhandry – pick a few and give them a try.

 

1. Make Healthier Choices – Everyone thinks about a new exercise program or just going for a walk to start. Do something active. Eat better. You don’t have to start a trendy diet, just start by avoiding processed and fried foods and cut back on the unnecessary sugars.

2. Travel – now is a great time to plan a trip.  Escape from the cold or visit somewhere exotic and fun.  Tons of spots in the US and abroad.  I’m heading to Florida and the West Coast – can’t wait.

3. Volunteer – there is nothing like being a coach or teacher.  Share your skills, especially in your local community.  Raise your hand and find the time to share and make a difference.  Whether it is at a food pantry or an animal shelter, there is always a need for help. Plus, it will make you feel so much better and happier.

4. Filter Your Clothes (and shoes) – Make it a point to get rid of all the clothes and shoes that you have not worn – that look is so last three years… Decluttering gives you unexplainable mental peace and opens space for some new finds.

5. Get a Pet – It has been proven that having a pet makes us happier, so why not get yourself a little dog or a cat? And if you don’t want that much responsibility- get a fish.  Watching fish swim can actually lower your blood pressure. If you can’t manage a pet, buy yourself a new plant and watch it grow.

6. Find a New Hobby – We spend so much time on our phones that we tend to forget there are other things to do out there. Knitting, cooking, hiking, painting, gardening and cooking – even learning a new language- keep learning, challenge that brain of yours. Jackie and I took up kayaking a few years back and we love it.

7. Buy a New Mattress – You know you need to. We spend more than half our lives in bed- sleeping, resting or watching Netflix. Your back and your body need the best support and comfort it can get. Good sleep is essential for overall health, so investing in a good mattress and soft sheets is a smart investment.

8. Go See a Dentist (and get a physical too) – It’s amazing how many people do not go to the dentist. A yearly checkup and cleaning will keep you on track and give more life to your pearly whites.  A lot of our health is under our control, how we treat our body is how our body will treat us back. A yearly visit to the physician is important to see everything is running okay and pay a little for the basic blood work- it’s always better to know your sugar and cholesterol numbers.

10. Pursue a New Career – If you ended the year complaining about your job, what have you been doing about it? Go to networking events, research online and pay someone to redo your resume – you will not regret it.  The job market has NEVER been better!

11. Talk to your Parents Weekly – and go visit –  I am so lucky to have Mom and Dad around – and all of my extended family – Make it a point to talk to your parents on a weekly basis because you have no idea how much they have done for you and how much it will mean to them – if you are a parent, you get it.

12. Make Plans to See Your Best Friends – Life happens, work happens, and relationships happen- but best friends go on forever. It is easy to get distracted and forget to make time with the closest friends in life. I plan a trip with my buds every spring – and it’s simply a blast.  Even our “planning” get togethers are fun.

13. Use Sunscreen and Quit Smoking – If you do not already, please start soon. The sun’s harsh UVA (causes aging) and UVB (causes burn) have been affecting your skin everyday so protect it. Being tan will never be more important than being safe. And, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions does not need a January 1 date. The best time to quit is right now, not tomorrow or the 1st of any date. So quit that smoking habit- it is bad for you, for others, the environment and your pocket.

14. Enjoy Life to the Fullest – According to psychology, the key to enjoying life to the fullest is not making major life changes or big achievements- it is in enjoying the little pleasures of everyday life, like going for a walk or treating yourself to that ice cream. Also having a daily ritual adds a lot of satisfaction to life.  Stop watching polar politics and everything that’s bad … celebrate!

15.  Try the Serenity Prayer – we all know the prayer, or have heard of it, as it’s often associated with people in recovery.  But, if you say it out loud, and try a few of the versions, I think you’ll know what I thinking here – especially that “wisdom” part.  Give it a try:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

AND, My Favorite – Call Me! – I absolutely love hearing from all of my customers, vendors, business partners and friends who read our blog – each week I get calls and emails from you – and it makes my day.  Give me a call and let’s catch up – I’d love to hear about your holiday, your business successes from last year, your plans for 2020, and all that’s fun in your life.  216-631-4411 (office) If I don’t pick up, I’m likely working on a very important PIA (pain in the #%$) Job! so leave me a message and I promise I’ll call back.  If email is easier, skowalski@khtheat.com and include a number so I can call you.

And did I mention: Get a Pet???

 

 


 

Flying Houses

The future ain’t what it used to be… (top to bottom) We’ll have ape chauffeurs. We’ll live in flying houses. We’ll have personal helicopters. We will have telepathy. We’ll finally make it to Mars. There will be “nanobots” capable of entering the bloodstream to “feed” cells. The new and improved Kowalski Heat Treating door greeter!

 

With the New Year approaching, it’s hard to imagine that we’re almost living in the year 2020. 2019 seemed ok to me, but 2020 is hard to get my head around – (has it been 20 years since we worried about the computers flipping to 2000??) Back then I vividly recall going to a New Year’s Eve party at the local lodge with a bunch of friends along with their kids.  We all were looking forward to what crazy things would be happening or not due to the new millennium!  I remember one of the Dad’s being a DJ and the kids all thinking is was so cool to be able to stay up late with their parents. Now fast forward 20 years, though we’ve seen plenty of impressive technological advances, like artificial intelligence and phones that unlock by scanning our faces, it’s not quite the world of flying cars and robot butlers people once imagined we’d be living in by now. In fact, decades ago, predictions about the futuristic and revolutionary changes we’d see in this far-off sounding year were quite lofty. Want a good laugh? Here are crazy 23 predictions about the year 2020 that at some point in time, people really expected to happen. Enjoy reading these while diving deeper to see what actually has happened and thanks to Bob Larkin and bestliviningonline.com for the info.

 

1 – Human feet will become just one big toe.
So, what’s going to happen to our feet—or, more specifically, our toes—in 2020? In a lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1911, a surgeon by the name of Richard Clement Lucas made a curious prediction: that the “useless outer toes” will become used less and less, so that “man might become a one-toed race.” This Little Piggy would get a whole lot shorter!

2 – We’ll have ape chauffeurs.
In 1994, the RAND Corporation, a global think tank that’s contributed to the space program and the development of the internet, said they expected us to have animal employees by the year 2020. “The RAND panel mentioned that by the year 2020 it may be possible to breed intelligent species of animals, such as apes, that will be capable of performing manual labor,” Glenn T. Seaborg wrote of the corporation’s prediction in his book Scientist Speaks Out. “During the 21st century, those houses that don’t have a robot in the broom closet could have a live-in ape to do the cleaning and gardening chores. Also, the use of well-trained apes as family chauffeurs might decrease the number of automobile accidents.” Yikes, who’s gonna tell them?

3 – We’ll live in flying houses.
Inventor, science writer, and futurist Arthur C. Clarke—who co-wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey—believed that the boring houses of 1966 would be radically different by the time we reached the 21st century, according to Inverse. Evidently, the houses of the future would have nothing keeping them on the ground and they would be able to move to anywhere on earth on a whim.  Oh, and it wouldn’t just be one home that would be able to relocate without the owner even needing to get out of bed and put on pants. “Whole communities may migrate south in the winter, or move to new lands whenever they feel the need for a change of scenery,” Clarke promised. Up 2, anyone?

4 – And our houses will be cleaned by hoses.
The New York Times’ longtime science editor Waldemar Kaempffert, who worked for the paper from the 1920s through the 1950s, had lots of opinions about how different the world would be by the 21st century. In a 1950 Popular Mechanicsarticle, titled “Miracles You’ll See in the Next 50 Years,” he predicted that by the 21st century, all you’ll have to do to get your house clean is “simply turn the hose on everything.”  That’s because Kaempffert imagined furniture would be made of synthetic fabric or waterproof plastic. “After the water has run down a drain in the middle of the floor (later concealed by a rug of synthetic fiber),” all you’d have to do is “turn on a blast of hot air” to dry everything. What about not-so-resilient material, you ask? Just “throw soiled ‘linen’ into the incarcerator!”

5 – We’ll eat candy made of underwear.
In the same Popular Mechanics article, Kaempffert predicted that all food would be delivered to our homes in the form of frozen bricks by the 21st century. “Cooking as an art is only a memory in the minds of old people,” he wrote. “A few die-hards still broil a chicken or roast a leg of lamb, but the experts have developed ways of deep-freezing partially baked cuts of meat.” And, thanks to advances in culinary technology, Kaempffert predicted it would even be possible to take ordinary objects like old table linens and “rayon underwear” and bring them to “chemical factories to be converted into candy.” No thanks!

6 – We’ll have personal helicopters.
Forget jetpacks and flying cars. Popular Mechanics was pretty sure back in 1951 that every family in 21st century would have at least one helicopter in their garage. “This simple, practical, foolproof personal helicopter coupe is big enough to carry two people and small enough to land on your lawn,” they explained. “It has no carburetor to ice up, no ignition system to fall apart or misfire: instead, quiet, efficient ramjets keep the rotors moving, burning any kind of fuel from dime-a-gallon stove oil or kerosene up to aviation gasoline.” Yes, but then, we’d imagine, your teenage son would ask to borrow the chopper, and you’d wake up the next day to discover your helicopter stuck in a tree. It’s always something!

7 – C, X, and Q will not be part of the alphabet.
When you’re curious about the future of language, you probably should ask someone other than an engineer about it. And yet, that’s what Ladies’ Home Journal did in 1900, asking John Elfreth Watkins Jr., the curator of mechanical technology at the Smithsonian Institution, for his educated guesses about the 21st century.  The man of science had no love for what he considered extraneous letters, and he boldly predicted that by the 2000s, “there will be no C, X, or Q in our everyday alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.” Instead, Watkins wrote, we’d be spelling mostly by sound and would only communicate with “condensed words expressing condensed ideas.” So, in 2020, we may say to our friends, “Me happy good, hi!”

8 – We will have both telepathy and teleportation.
Michael J. O’Farrell, founder of The Mobile Institute, has been an expert in the technology industry since 1985. But even the experts can make mistakes. In the 2014 book Shift 2020, O’Farrell predicted that 2020 would be the dawn of the “nanomobility era.” “In the pending nanomobility era, I predict telepathy and teleportation will become possible by the year 2020—with both commonplace by 2040,” he said. I think this already happened – Jackie already knows just about everything I’m thinking.  Beam me up Scotty.

9 – All roads will become tubes.
If you’re sick of asphalt roads and all the potholes that come with them, then you’ll wish Popular Mechanics was right about this prediction for the 21st century. In a 1957 article, the magazine predicted that every road and street in America will be “replaced by a network of pneumatic tubes,” and your car would only need enough power to get from your home to the nearest tube. Then, by the calculations of a Honeywell engineer, “they will be pneumatically powered to any desired destination.”

10 – Nobody will work and everybody will be rich.
In 1966, Time magazine reported that the 21st century would be a pretty awesome economic era for just about everybody. In an essay called “The Futurists,” they predicted that “machines will be producing so much that everyone in the U.S. will, in effect, be independently wealthy.” Without even lifting a finger, the average non-working family could expect to earn an average salary of between $30,000 and $40,000, according to Time. That’s in 1966 dollars, mind you; in 2020, that’d be about $300,000—for doing nothing.

11 – Mail will be sent via rocket.
As out there as it sounds, mail delivery via missile was successfully attempted in 1959. That year, a Navy submarine—the U.S.S. Barbero—sent 3,000 letters, all addressed to political figures like President Dwight D. Eisenhower, using only a rocket. The nuclear warhead was taken out and replaced with mail containers, and the missile was launched towards the Naval Auxiliary Air Station.  The mail was successfully delivered, and Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield was so excited by the “historic significance” of mail delivery via instruments of war that he predicted it would become commonplace by the next century. “Mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India, or Australia by guided missiles,” he said. “We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.”  Though we never got rocket mail, we did get something better: email.

12 – We’ll finally make it to Mars.
We’ve been dreaming of putting humans on Mars for as long as we’ve known the red planet existed. However, it’s only recently that the venture has started to feel even remotely realistic. And yet, in 1997, Wired magazine’s Peter Schwartzand Peter Leyden picked the year 2020 as the time when “humans arrive on Mars.”  “The four astronauts touch down and beam their images back to the 11 billion people sharing in the moment. The expedition is a joint effort supported by virtually all nations on the planet, the culmination of a decade and a half of intense focus on a common goal.” Ah, sounds nice, doesn’t it?  NASA projects that the earliest we could get a human on the surface of Mars is 2030, and that’s only if we’re really, really lucky.

13 – Women will all be built like wrestlers. 
In 1950, Associated Press writer Dorothy Roe revealed some shocking predictions of what life on earth would be like in the 21st century, according to Smithsonian magazine. Among her more head-scratching forecasts were that the women of tomorrow would be “more than six feet tall” and would “wear a size 11 shoe, have shoulders like a wrestler, and muscles like a truck driver.” Their proportions, Roe wrote, would be perfectly “Amazonian,” all evidently thanks to science providing “a balanced ration of vitamins, proteins, and minerals that will produce maximum bodily efficiency.”

14 – We’ll wear antenna hats and disposable socks.
For a 1939 issue of British Vogue, product designer Gilbert Rhode was asked what he believed people in the 21st century would be wearing—and he had lots of thoughts. He imagined that, by 2020, we would have banished buttons, pockets, collars, and ties, and that men would revolt against shaving. “His hat will be an antenna, snatching radio out of the ether. His socks—disposable. His suit minus tie, collar, and buttons,” Rhode declared. He almost described a modern-day hipster living in Brooklyn, but we suspect even the antenna hat might be pushing it a little too far.  Goggle glasses perhaps?

15 – Everything—even baby cradles—will be made out of steel.
Thomas Edison played a role in some of the greatest inventions of all time, from light bulbs to movie cameras. But that doesn’t mean he only had good ideas. Take his vision of the future of steel, for instance: During a 1911 interview with Miami Metropolis, he predicted that “the house of the next century will be furnished from basement to attic with steel.”  And according to Edison, the steel obsession wouldn’t end there. “The baby of the 21st century will be rocked in a steel cradle,” he said. “His father will sit in a steel chair at a steel dining table, and his mother’s boudoir will be sumptuously equipped with steel furnishings.” All of this heat treated of course !!

16 – We’ll be able to vote electronically from home.
In the aforementioned 1997 Wired article, Schwartz and Leyden predicted that Americans would be able to partake in “e-voting,” voting in the presidential election from the comfort of their own home. They actually predicated we’d be able to e-vote as early as 2008, but at this point, even the possibility of e-voting in the 2020 election seems a little far-fetched.

17 – Everyone will stop drinking coffee and tea.
In 1937, Nikola Tesla predicted that “within a century, coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue.” “The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly,” he wrote. “It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients.” He’s hopefully right about tobacco, but the coffee and tea? Not just yet.

18 – There will be “blood banks” for teeth.
We already have blood blanks, where life-saving plasma can be donated and used to help patients who need emergency blood. So, what’s next, you might be wondering? Well, in a 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine, journalist Lester David promised that in the future, we’d have “tooth banks,” too. “Picture the possibilities,” David wrote in the story, aptly titled, “How About Tooth Banks?” “Into the junk pile will go all artificial dentures, all bridges, plates, partial plates. All men and women of whatever age will be able to have human teeth imbedded inside their gums until the day they die.” I’m not sure I want someone else’s teeth in my mouth – eeewww!

19 – Everyone will be a vegetarian.
In 1913, Gustav Bischoff, former president of the American Meat Packers Association, predicted that humans’ diets would consist of mostly vegetables as the years went on. Because of a shortage of meat, he told The New York Times, even the wealthiest people in the future would be vegetarians.  With the new meatless products, we’re close.

20 – This prediction comes from just 15 years ago and it was made by futurist and computer scientist Ray Kurzweil. He wrote in his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology that by the 2020s, there will be “nanobots” capable of entering the bloodstream to “feed” cells and extract waste. As a result, they’ll render the mode of food consumption as we know it obsolete. A bold prediction for just 15 years into the future, don’t you think?

21- We’ll have robots as therapists.
Robots are the typical prediction for the future—and technically, we do sort of have robots now. But global trends expert Ariane Van de Ven had some bigger ideas for 2020. She explained in the aforementioned book Shift 2020 that she believed “there will be more robots used as therapists, companions, assistants, and even friends to help people in their everyday,” according to The Next Web. Yeah… not quite.

22 – Vacuums will be nuclear-powered.
Alex Lewyt, former president of Lewyt Vacuum Company, obviously wanted the world to be excited about vacuum cleaners. But when he predicted in 1955 that “nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners” would become a reality in the future, he maybe wasn’t making the most convincing sales pitch. If the choice were between having dirty floors or plugging in a mini-Chernobyl-waiting-to-happen, we’d probably stick with the crumbs and dust bunnies.

23 – There will be no need for futurists to predict the future.
In the 1900s and earlier in the 2000s, many futurists made their predictions as to how 2020 would look. But Dave Evans, the chief futurist for Cisco Visual Networking, actually predicted that he’d be out of a job by this time because, he forecasted, everyone would be able to predict the future themselves.  “By 2020, predicting the future will be commonplace for the average person,” he told Mashable in 2012. “We are amassing unprecedented amounts of data… New image and video analysis algorithms and tools will unlock this rich source of data, creating unprecedented insight. Cloud-based tools will allow anyone to mine this data and perform what-if analysis, even using it to predict the future.”

24 – Steve’s Bonus Prediction!
The Cleveland Browns Win the Superbowl Before 2030!!  I refuse to put a date on this, but like all of the predictions above – it could happen. Just one would be fine with me.

 

 


 

Let’s Celebrate the New Year

(top to bottom) A toast to welcome 2018;  That man in red wearing the wreath on his head was responsible for many things but the most enduring is the Julian calendar he put into effect in 45 B.C. that we use to this day. Hail Caesar! (Nice salad, too);  There are many cultures celebrating the new year at various times of the year with the Chinese New Year being the most famous;   In the U.S. January 1 brings the Rose Parade, the Rose Bowl (this year features the Oklahoma Sooners vs the Georgia Bulldogs), the Polar Bear Plunge (Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!) and of course plenty of great FOOD! Happy New Year everybody!!

 

Well, here we are at the close of another year.  WOW, things sure flew by.  Seems like just the other day I was checking my new year’s resolutions to see how I did (not bad in fact).  So, as we wrap up the week, head into the weekend and the New Year here is some fun trivia you can share.  As many of you already know, I absolutely love offering bits of what my lovely wife Jackie likes to call “useless knowledge”.  I on the other hand prefer the term “Eclectic Knowledge”.  So, as you get ready for your New Year’s Day feast of Pork Roast, Dumplings and hopefully Sauerkraut, enjoy the following and share!

Now there’s nothing new about New Year’s. Festivals marking the beginning of the calendar have existed for millennia, and a few are still actively observed by millions of people around the world. These early New Year’s celebrations often had important social, political and religious implications, but in some cultures the holiday traditions were not so different from the champagne, parties and fireworks of today.

Babylonian Akitu

Following the first new moon after the vernal equinox in late March, the Babylonians of ancient Mesopotamia would honor the rebirth of the natural world with a multi-day festival called Akitu. This early New Year’s celebration dates back to around 2000 B.C., and is believed to have been deeply intertwined with religion and mythology. During the Akitu, statues of the gods were paraded through the city streets, and rites were enacted to symbolize their victory over the forces of chaos. Through these rituals the Babylonians believed the world was symbolically cleansed and recreated by the gods in preparation for the new year and the return of spring.

One fascinating aspect of the Akitu involved a kind of ritual humiliation endured by the Babylonian king. This peculiar tradition saw the king brought before a statue of the god Marduk, stripped of his royal regalia and forced to swear that he had led the city with honor. A high priest would then slap the monarch and drag him by his ears in the hope of making him cry. If royal tears were shed, it was seen as a sign that Marduk was satisfied and had symbolically extended the king’s rule. Some historians have since argued that these political elements suggest the Akitu was used by the monarchy as a tool for reaffirming the king’s divine power over his people.

Ancient Roman Celebration of Janus

The Roman New Year also originally corresponded with the vernal equinox, but years of tampering with the solar calendar eventually saw the holiday established on its more familiar date of January 1. For the Romans, the month of January carried a special significance. Its name was derived from the two-faced deity Janus, the god of change and beginnings. Janus was seen as symbolically looking back at the old and ahead to the new, and this idea became tied to the concept of transition from one year to the next.  Romans would celebrate January 1 by giving offerings to Janus in the hope of gaining good fortune for the new year. This day was seen as setting the stage for the next twelve months, and it was common for friends and neighbors to make a positive start to the year by exchanging well wishes and gifts of figs and honey with one another. According to the poet Ovid, most Romans also chose to work for at least part of New Year’s Day, as idleness was seen as a bad omen for the rest of the year.

Ancient Egyptian Wepet Renpet

Ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River, and it appears their New Year corresponded with its annual flood. According the Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year was predicted when Sirius—the brightest star in the night sky—first became visible after a 70-day absence. Better known as a heliacal rising, this phenomenon typically occurred in mid-July just before the annual inundation of the Nile River, which helped ensure that farmlands remained fertile for the coming year. Egyptians celebrated this new beginning with a festival known as Wepet Renpet, which means “opening of the year.” The New Year was seen as a time of rebirth and rejuvenation, and it was honored with feasts and special religious rites.  Not unlike many people today, the Egyptians may have also used this as an excuse for getting a bit tipsy. Recent discoveries at the Temple of Mut show that during the reign of Hatshepsut the first month of the year played host to a “Festival of Drunkenness.” This massive party was tied to the myth of Sekhmet, a war goddess who had planned to kill all of humanity until the sun god Ra tricked her into drinking herself unconscious. In honor of mankind’s salvation, the Egyptians would celebrate with music, lewd behavior, revelry and perhaps most important of all, copious amounts of beer.

Chinese New Year

One of the oldest traditions still celebrated today is Chinese New Year, which is believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago during the Shang Dynasty. The holiday began as a way of celebrating the new beginnings of the spring planting season, but it later became entangled with myth and legend. According to one popular tale, there was once a bloodthirsty creature called Nian—now the Chinese word for “year”—that preyed on villages every New Year. In order to frighten the hungry beast, the villagers took to decorating their homes with red trimmings, burning bamboo and making loud noises. The ruse worked, and the bright colors and lights associated with scaring off Nian eventually became integrated into the celebration.  Festivities traditionally last 15 days and tend to center on the home and the family. People clean their houses to rid them of bad luck, and some repay old debts as a way of settling the previous year’s affairs. In order to encourage an auspicious start to the year they also decorate their doors with paper scrolls and gather with relatives for a feast. Following the invention of gunpowder in the 10th century, the Chinese were also the first to ring in the New Year with fireworks. Since Chinese New Year is still based on a lunar calendar that dates back to the second millennium BC, the holiday typically falls in late January or early February on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Each year is associated with one of 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2018 is the year of the year of the dog, and begins February 16th.

Nowruz

While it is still celebrated in Iran and other parts of the Middle East and Asia, the roots of Nowruz (or “New Day”) reach far back into antiquity. Often called the “Persian New Year,” this 13-day spring festival falls on or around the vernal equinox in March and is believed to have originated in modern day Iran as part of the Zoroastrian religion. Official records of Nowruz did not appear until the 2nd century, but most historians believe its celebration dates back at least as far as the 6th century B.C. and the rule of the Achaemenid Empire. Unlike many other ancient Persian festivals, Nowruz persisted as an important holiday even after Iran’s conquest by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and the rise of Islamic rule in the 7th century A.D.  Ancient observances of Nowruz focused on the rebirth that accompanied the return of spring. Monarchs would use the holiday to host lavish banquets, dispense gifts and hold audiences with their subjects. Other traditions included feasts, exchanging presents with family members and neighbors, lighting bonfires, dyeing eggs and sprinkling water to symbolize creation. One unique ritual that arose around the 10th century involved electing a “Nowruzian Ruler”: a commoner who would pretend to be king for several days before being “dethroned” near the end of the festival. Nowruz has evolved considerably over time, but many of its ancient traditions—particularly the use of bonfires and colored eggs—remain a part of the modern holiday, which is observed by an estimated 300 million people each year.

American Traditions

New Year’s Day is a national holiday celebrated on January 1st, the first day of the New Year, following both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. This New Years’ holiday is often marked by fireworks, parades, and reflection upon the last year while looking ahead to the future’s possibilities. Many people celebrate New Year’s in the company of loved ones, involving traditions meant to bring luck and success in the upcoming year. Many Cultures celebrate this happy day in their own unique way. Typically, the customs and traditions of happy New Years Day involve celebrating with champagne and a variety of different foods. New Years marks a date of newly found happiness and a clean slate. For many celebrating New Years, it is their opportunity to learn from the prior year and make positive changes in their life.  It wasn’t until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar that January 1st became the common day for the celebration. While early celebrations were more paganistic in nature, celebrating Earth’s cycles, Christian tradition celebrates the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on New Year’s Day. Roman Catholics also often celebrate Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a feast honoring Mary. However, in the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration and mostly separated from the common association with religion. It has become a holiday associated with nationality, relationships, and introspection rather than a religious celebration, although many people do still follow older traditions.

While celebration varies all over the world, common traditions include:

  • Making resolutions or goals to improve one’s life. Common resolutions concern diet, exercise, bad habits, and other issues concerning personal wellness. A common view is to use the first day of the year as a clean slate to improve one’s life.
  • A gathering of loved ones: Here you’ll typically find champagne, feasting, confetti, noise makers, and other methods of merriment fireworks, parades, concerts.
  • Famous parades include London’s New Year’s Day Parade and the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
  • Superstitions concerning food or visitors to bring luck.
  • Serving circle-shaped foods, which symbolize cycles.
  • A household’s first visitor of the year—tradition states that if a tall, dark-haired stranger is the first to walk through your door, called the First Footer or Lucky Bird, you’ll have good luck all year.
  • Don’t let anything leave the house on New Year’s, except for people. Tradition say’s don’t take out the trash and leave anything you want to take out of the house on New Year’s outside the night before. If you must remove something, make sure to replace it by bringing an item into the house. These policies of balance apply in other areas as well—avoiding paying bills, breaking anything, or shedding tears.
  • Toasts typically concern gratefulness for the past year’s blessings, hope and luck or the future, and thanking guests for their New Year’s company. In coastal regions, running into a body of water or splashing water on one another, symbolizing the cleansing, “rebirth” theme associated with the holiday.
  • American Citizens often celebrate with a party featuring toasting, drinking and fireworks late into the night before the New Year, where the gathering counts down the final seconds to January 1st. Some might even get a kiss at midnight. Many English-speaking countries play “Auld Lang Syne,” a song celebrating the year’s happy moments. Americans often make resolutions and watch the Time Square Ball drop in New York City. Although much of this celebration occurs the night before, the merrymaking typically continues to New Year’s Day.
  • Football is a common fixture on New Year’s Day in America, usually the day of the Rose Bowl. Some foods considered “lucky” to eat during the festivities include: Circular shaped foods, black-eyed peas, cabbage, pork and a big plate of chocolate/peanut butter buckeye’s of course(GO BUCS!!)

Elsewhere

The French typically celebrate New Year’s with a feast and a champagne toast, marking the first moments of New Year’s Day with kisses under the mistletoe, which most other cultures associate with Christmas celebrations. The French also consider the day’s weather as a forecast for the upcoming year’s harvest, taking into account aspects like wind direction to predict the fruitfulness of crops and fishing.

In the Philippines, celebrations are very loud, believing that the noise will scare away evil beings. There is often a midnight feast featuring twelve different round fruits to symbolize good luck for the twelve months of the year. Other traditional foods include sticky rice and noodles, but not chicken or fish because these animals are food foragers, which can be seen as bad luck for the next year’s food supply. Greeks celebrate New Year’s Day with card games and feasting. At midnight, the lights are turned off, followed by the Basil’s Pie, which contains a coin. Whoever gets the piece of pie containing the coin wins luck for the next year.

The Soviet Union’s New Year’s Day celebrations have been greatly affected by the Union’s history. As religion was suppressed and Christmas celebrations were banned, New Year’s, or Novi God celebrations often include Christmas traditions such as decorated trees, which were reconsidered as New Year Fir Trees. As the suppression left, these traditions stayed part of the New Year’s Day celebration. The holiday is also celebrated with feasts, champagne, and wishes.

Spaniards celebrate New Year’s Day with the custom of eating twelve grapes, each eaten at a clock-stroke at midnight.

In colder countries close to water, such as Canada, parts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, it is customary to organize cold-water plunges. These plunges and races, sometimes called a Polar Bear Plunge, often raise money for charity or awareness for a cause. In full disclosure, I will be enjoying time with my family in front of the fireplace!

 

 


 

Thank You for Letting Us Solve Your PIA Jobs!™

Because of you, our clients and friends, we’ve been able to fulfill our mission here at Kowalski Heat Treating – Solving Our Client’s PIA Jobs. For us, it’s what gets us up in the morning and keeps us here late at night, making sure we do great, consistent, reliable work for you, in a timely manner, and deliver as we’ve promised.

Like any business, we’ve had our hiccups and challenges, (what I like to call “HIDDEN OPPORTUNITIES!”). But looking back on this past year, I can say we’ve done a wonderful job, and had a little fun along the way.

Some of the things I’m most proud of:

  • Our Kowalski Heat Treating family continuing to grow and working together to make all of us better. My team’s been great focusing on the little things and helping each other out, especially in those times of need, both personal and professional.
  • Continuing our tradition of company ‘get togethers’ and cook outs, and finding that we have a bunch a fantastic cooks! We here at KHT all love to eat!!
  • Continually hearing from my folks, “don’t worry Steve, we got this” or “No problem”. Especially after they see all of those PIA Jobs that come into us! You can call it culture, attitude or what I like to tell everyone … THE KOWALSKI WAY!
  • Our customers, vendors and business partners – without all of you, we would not be able to do all this. I can honestly say, we truly enjoy all of our partnerships – you make what we do rewarding and FUN!

I’m looking forward to 2017. It’s sure to bring us all kinds of excitement – with the addition of new equipment, processes, people and certifications! And don’t worry, I will be keeping you all posted along the way!

Thanks again for a great 2016 from the gang at KHT!

Happy & Prosperous New Year to you and your families.

 

 


 

May the New Year Bring You Good Fortune, Good Health and Happiness

fireworks 768 blog

There will be fireworks ushering in the New Year all around the globe. Click HERE for a taste.  It’s a drone flying through exploding fireworks with a DJI Phantom 2 and filming it with a GoPro Hero 3 silver. Pretty sweet!

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At the Kowalski house, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends, with hugs and kisses at midnight. On New Year’s Day, we take down the Christmas tree, put away all the decorations (usually while still in our PJ’s), watch the parades and some football and then can’t wait for dinner – a family feast of pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings.

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Happy New Year Wish

My Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

By Joanna Fuchs