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84-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 26, 2000
Here we go again.
The world did not shut down
at 12:01 a.m. on this past Janu
ary 1. Computer networks did
not roll over and go belly up.
Banks did not lose all our money
(or debt data), credit cards
charged on, and the phones kept
ringing off the hook.
Fact is, the whole Y2K thing
turned out to be mostly one big
yawn. Except for some govern
ment defense and spy technol
ogy. Which, fortunately, the
hackers didn’t know about until
Or maybe they did. It didn’t
seem to matter.
So here we go again.
Because Sadie Hawkin’s Day
is coming up.
You know. Said Hawkin’s
Day. February 29. The Leap
Year calendar catchup. Even in
our long-esteemed, down-to-a
nano-second practice of keeping
time, every fourth year we have
this extra day that has to be
tucked in to even everything out.
Sadie Hawkin’s Day, by the
way, is the traditional day on
which women are allowed to
openly pursue men, a role rever
sal of the old-standard, male
pursue-female behavior. Sadie
Hawkins, I think, was a man
chasing character from the Li’l
Abner comic strip. (If that’s
wrong, someone with a better
memory will update me.) But I
don’t know the exact tie between
the comic character and Febru
No, you probably won’t find
Sadie Hawkins Day listed on the
February calendar, unless you
have one of those off-the-wall
ones which keep track of obser
vations like National Pickle Day
or Don’t Forget To Floss Month.
Not that it probably matters
any more. Or, that anyone even
More likely, in this Leap Year
2000, we’re going to be uptight
one more time over possible ob
servation of Will You Computer
Fail This Time? day. For awhile,
those same computer consult
ants who ranted and raved
about Y2K, while making mega
bucks selling correction soft
ware, were chanting the same
thing about the first Leap Year
day of the millennium.
Our PC rolled over to the new
century with nary a hiccup on
the stroke of midnight as the last
one bid farewell. So, I haven’t
worried that it will somehow
mislay this February’s extra day.
And if it does, does it matter if
my checks for that day are dated
(I guess it would matter if you
had a gazillion bucks sitting in
some investment fund and
missed a day’s interest, but
somehow I can’t get too uptight
Why, though, when this day
only comes every four years,
don’t we observe some really
unique celebration? Why not set
it off the calendar completely?
Just shut down for the day.
Monday would be February 28
and Tuesday would be March 1.
And February 29 would be
Worldwide Non-Day Day.
We could take those 24 hours
and sleep in. Visit with our fami
lies. Play with the dog and cat.
Kind of like an international
“snow” day. Without having to
run to the supermarket for milk
and bread ahead of time.
No meetings or conference
calls. No cell phones. No traffic
jams, no music lessons, no team
practices. No malls open. No
mass transit. No bills. No tele
marketers. Boggles the mind,
just to think about it.
Only critical emergency ser
vices would be acceptable busi
ness functions. Stores would
close. Electronic mass media
would go blank. No computers,
no internet, FAXs or pagers,
unless strictly personal. (Let’s
not get totally carried away and
do away with power, heat, or
Basically, the day that nor
mally doesn’t exist, wouldn’t
this year, either. Think we could
Wood Stove Safety
With a few more weeks of
winter remaining, wood burning
stoves will still be in full force.
Every year there are many unex
pected fires, property damage
claims, and personal injuries as
sociated with wood burning
Most problems occur due to
carelessness, lack of proper in
formation and poor, mainte
nance and inspections. The
following ten safety suggestions
may help reduce possible dan
1) Burn dry seasoned wood,
which produces more heat and
also prevents soot (creosote)
buildup. Flue vents should be in
spected according to manufac
turer guidelines, and cleaned as
appropriate by a qualified indi
2) Keep the area around the
heating unit and flue clear.
3) Keep a fire extinguisher in
a central location known to all
household members. Be certain
that it is in good working order
and that everyone knows how to
4) Place smoker detectors
throughout the house (at least
one in the room containing the
wood stove) and test regularly.
5) Children must be su
pervised at all times when using
6) Other household venting
handle 24 hours of very basic
simplicity of life, without going
A small personal problem
with this whole concept, how
How do I convince the cows to
go along with it.
appliances (down draft exhaust
fans) can diminish proper vent
ing of your wood stove, causing
possible smoke damage. During
appliance installation, test all
other appliances (bathroom
fans, stovetop venting, HVAC
units, etc.) to ensure that they
don’t interfere with proper stove
7) Wood stoves should be
safety tested and bear a label
from a recognized authority
such as a testing lab (UL) or
building code group (NFPA).
8) To start a fire in your wood
stove; crumple up paper on the
stove floor and cover with small
kindling. Open the draft
/damper fully and light. Hold
the door sightly ajar for a few
minutes and then close tightly.
Once the wood is burning
brightly, add additional dry sea
soned wood to the fire. Use the
draft control to adjust the burn
rate. Never light or rekindle a
fire with kerosene, gasoline, or
charcoal lighter fluid.
9) When re-fueling, open the
door slowly to prevent smoke
10) Store ashes in a non
combustible metal container
with a tightly fitted lid. Place the
closed container on a non
combustible floor, well away
from combustible materials. If
ashes are to be buried or other
wise locally dispersed, store in a
sealed container until all cinders