June 20, 2005, 3:52 pm
From the Clerk-Register: I keep thinking of things I ought to
blog about, and I keep not getting around to it. In the meantime, here
are a couple more letters to the County Clerk/Register of Deeds staff.
Tuesday, May 31:
Last week, I received a note from a customer:
I Love Washtenaw County.
I Love the clerks who are always helpful & friendly.
I'll never go back to Wayne County.
Over the weekend, I also heard from some folks who appreciated the service
they'd gotten from the office.
"I'm sure you most of what you hear are complaints," one of them
said, "So I thought I'd let you know how impressed I was."
Of course complainers tend to be more motivated communicators than
satisfied customers. But in truth I have heard few complaints and
many favorable comments from our constituents.
I can take very little credit for this. Rather, it reflects the
wonderful job that all of you are doing, which I appreciate beyond
Washtenaw County received another boost recently with a
high bond rating from Fitch Ratings.
According to the report, "Washtenaw County's strong tax base and
prudent budget practices have produced consistent financial
operations and solid reserve levels over the past eight years. . . .
The county's debt burden is low."
Credit for the sound management of
our finances goes to county treasurer Catherine McClary, county
administrator Bob Guenzel, and the county commissioners.
Let's have a great week!
Monday, June 20:
I hope you had a good Father's Day yesterday.
Father's Day is one of those "minor" holidays, along with Halloween,
Valentine's Day, Ground Hog Day, St. Patrick's Day, April Fool's Day,
and of course Mother's Day, which are observed by tradition, but are
never listed in labor contracts or official work schedules.
When I started working at the University of Michigan in 1998, I was
startled to see decorations for each of these holidays, and others,
appear in turn in the workplace, including around doors and mirrors
of the men's room. Apparently many University bathrooms were done up
this way, as staff members looked to remember and enjoy each of these
small occasions, as well as staff birthdays and so on.
There are many such special days, but each one comes but once a
year. Whether it's your birthday, or Halloween, or the (soon to
arrive) Summer Solstice - we come to work as usual, but we anticipate
a nicer day; ordinary work becomes a sharing of a pleasant occasion
with our co-workers.
What if EVERY DAY was a small holiday?
revolutionary calendar, used in France and its colonies from 1793
to 1806, seems far-fetched to us now, but the folks who invented this also
gave us the metric system which is still in use.
Each month in the French calendar was 30 days long (they had pretty
names based on the seasons and weather) and consisted of three 10-day
weeks. At the end of the year there were a varying number of extra
festival days depending on whether it was a leap year.
But the most intriguing aspect of the calendar is that each day of
the year had its own name. The days were named for plants, foods,
flowers, crops, animals, minerals, farm tools, among other things.
Imagine what life would be like under such a calendar! Every day
would automatically have a "theme".
Surely we would have dessert potlucks on Strawberry Day, or Orange
Day, or Cherry Day. One day in the autumn (around the same time as
Thanksgiving) was literally called Turkey Day. People would say "I
don't smoke any more, except on Tobacco Day."
I'm not as sure what kind of observance would occur on Iron Day, or
Salt Day, or Plaster of Paris Day, or Broccoli Day, or Dandelion Day,
but I bet somebody would be ready.
There's a web site which claims to calculate the French calendar
date for any day since 1792 (though obviously any dates since 1806
are pretty much moot). According to their calculations, today is the 1st
day of the month of Messidor, which is "Seigle", or Rye Day.
Did you have a rye bread sandwich at lunch?
Tomorrow, the 2nd day of Messidor, is "Avoine" (Oats Day), perhaps a
good morning to have oatmeal for breakfast.
Every day is an occasion to celebrate. But it's easier when the sun
....Posted by Lawrence Kestenbaum.
- Laura, 7/7/2005: (taps foot impatiently) Where's
the "Fourth of July" update?
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