Victory Day -- 08/11/03

It was nice to have a three day weekend. (I took a vacation day on Friday.)

It would have been even nicer to make it a four day weekend, especially since today is a holiday in Rhode Island.

Today is Victory Day. "Which victory?" you may well ask. Why, Victory over Japan in World War II.

Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 -- a day celebrated nationwide as "VJ Day" [A little more than three months earlier, Germany had surrendered (on May 7th) and Victory in Europe -- "VE Day" -- was proclaimed to be celebrated on May 8, 1945]

Almost six decades later, Rhode Island continues to celebrate VJ Day. For most of that time it was called VJ Day or Victory over Japan Day. In recent years, the forces of Political Correctness have managed to get the name generally shortened to just plain "Victory Day" in most listings of state holidays, etc. They have failed in their attempts to eliminate or completely rename the holiday. Rhode Island veteran's groups rise up in outrage every time such proposals have been made. "Peace and Remembrance Day" was defeated by a unanimous vote. Okay, so they tried "Rhode Island veteran's Day." Nape, no victory for that one either. The second Monday in August remains Victory over Japan Day.

No other state still celebrates this holiday. It was abandoned decades ago. Not in Rhode Island. Rhode Island continues to celebrate Victory Day and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come. This is not peculiar once you come to understand how stubborn Rhode Islanders can be. They were the first to strike against England (Rhode Islanders had captured and burned the British revenue sloop the Gaspee long before those folks in Boston decided to throw some tea into the harbor), first to sign the Declaration of Independence, but the very last of the original thirteen to ratify the Constitution (and for a period of time they were threatening not to sign it at all -- expressing concerns about too much federal government power, finally mollified by the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution).

State offices are closed today. Don't expect to be able to renew a license or register a car. Town offices are also closed. Most public libraries... I was tempted to take the day off to get that four day weekend, but I had a session scheduled for a course I was taking online (and, because it was inside the company firewalls, I really had to be in the office to do it -- I should be able to do it from home using tunneling with my cable connection, but my laptop only likes to do dial-up connections from my house, whenever I try to connect via cable it just complains that it can't find the right server) -- the class was about how to use Lotus LearningSpace to develop and deliver Internet-based courses, so it is naturally quite appropriate to use the tool to teach a class in how to use the tool, right? (I really need to get a headset and microphone for my office telephone -- three hours is a long time to hold a phone -- and I keep ending up in more and more long telephone conferences.)

My brother -- who twisted his ankle a few weeks ago while trail running -- dumped his bicycle while doing some mountain bike style riding. He thought at first he had cracked ribs but x-rays showed no broken bones... however, he is very sore, with major contusions... bruises all over his chest and side and and shoulder, plus a very sore back... so he is temporarily not able to train. I've told him he's got to stop doing silly stuff like that because in three years he's going to be as old as I am now. I'm beginning to wonder if he's going to be able to come over here to run in the Run Around the Block -- that's less than four weeks away. (Since the "block" in question is Block Island, that run is fifteen kilometers.) There's a nice 5k race in Providence the following day and I'm wondering if we should run that instead. The CVS Downtown 5k -- a very nice 5k, more than two thousand runners, lots of top runners (it's this year's USATF men's 5k championship race) -- that could give us an excuse to get together for a race without having to knock ourselves out.

Yeah, you guessed it... I'm having trouble getting miles in myself... weather has been hot and extremely humid (it has rained every single day this month!) and I just get wiped out by it... I did get in a decent eight mile run about three weeks ago, but when I tried that same route a week ago I couldn't struggle past seven miles, just totally soaked with sweat and exhausted, I had to walk the last mile or so. And this Saturday I set out to try it again -- but it was around noon time, mid-eighties for temperature but around ninety percent humidity -- and after around five miles I felt as if I were swimming instead of running, so I walked for a mile, then started to run again, but finally decided it was no use and walked the rest of the way home.... and was exhausted all afternoon. (Okay, so Saturday night I did ride my bike into town for the block party and back home again, but that's only about three miles each way.) Yesterday I ran some 400 meter intervals on a track and was not totally displeased with the results, but this hot and humid weather just wipes me out when I try for longer distances. (And there is a limit at to how hard I'll push myself; I do realize that I am sixty, not forty.)

previous entry

next entry

To list of entries for 2003

To Home (Index) page