Feb. 29, Leap Day, 10 points to consider

Hugh M. Hefner, surrounded by a dozen Playboy Bunnies, at the original Chicago Playboy Club in 1960. (PRNewsFoto/Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

Feb. 29 is Leap Day, 10 points one might want to consider.

Today is the day to leap first, ask men out later.

Today is the day to leap first, ask men out later.

1. Monthly salary — oops. An extra day when getting paid on a monthly basis doesn’t account for much. It counts, actually, for nothing.  People getting paid a monthly salary are paid the same whether the month is 28 days or 29.

2. Tale of the tape — yeah. The sun rose at 6:17 a.m. over Escondido from a 99 degree East angle. After 11 hours, 28 minutes, two minutes more than Feb. 28, it was scheduled to set at 5:45 p.m. 262 degrees West. The Waning Gibbous Moon is at 59.6 percent fullness.

That could have been March 1, but it wasn’t, so there.

Feb. 29 likely will witness an additional 25,000 people being born in the U.S. as well as roughly 0.07 percent of the world’s population. This translates into a not so exciting crop of celebrity birthdays. Motivational speaker Tony Robbins? Rapper Ja Rule? Actor Antonio Sabato Jr.? Convicted killers Aileen “Monster” Wuronos and Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez.

Ouch. On the good side, the date gave the world Dinah Shore, but still. Yecch.

3. Today in history — hmmm. It’s a lot easier to run down the significant events for Feb. 29 in history because there’s only 25 percent the number as in the standard day. ABC News ends its recounting with a quote from Leap Day legend Shore — see above.

Ms. Dinah Shore, Feb. 29 baby.

Ms. Dinah Shore, Feb. 29 baby.

“Trouble is a part of your life,” Shore said. “If you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.”

We digress. Eight years ago on Feb. 29, violent weather all over the South and Midwest, the death of  Davy Jones of the Monkees.

Twelve years ago, “Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama accused rival Hillary Rodham Clinton of trying to “play on people’s fears to scare up votes” with a TV ad showing sleeping children and asking who would be more qualified to answer a national security emergency call at 3 a.m.” Oh so tempting, to comment more on that from lots of angles.

It’s hard to find highlights. The first Playboy Club debuted in Chicago in 1960. “Gone with the Wind” won eight Oscars in 1940. President Teddy Roosevelt appointed a seven-member Panama Canal commission in 1904. Christopher Columbus correctly predicted a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile natives into providing food to his crew stranded in Jamaica during his fourth Western voyage in 1504.

4. Today in Escondido (related) history — okay. Entering the way-back machine to Feb. 29 — ta-da — 2012, Escondido resident Felipe Soto had a bad driving day in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. Anthony Dunn Jr., a 31-year-old postal worker had an even worse day to say the least.

Soto’s vehicle struck Dunn in a freak accident, pinning Dunn, severing his legs and killing him. Dunn died. Soto was charged with driving without a license. His car was impounded but Soto wasn’t charged with a crime and released. He said he had swerved to avoid a dog when he struck Dunn.

Feb. 29, 2008 was no less disturbing. Randy Nack, 32, an Escondido High School art teacher accused of having sex with a female student, surrendered to police. He was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Otherwise, Yelp reviews released that day showed Salon Sultry had best reviews for hair stylists at 5-stars from 66 reviews barely besting Elements Salon with 5-stars from 58 reviewers.

The life of Ronald J. Pritchard, 54, was celebrated in the the Union tribune obituary section. Mr. Pritchard was born Oct, 26, 1949 at Corpus Christi, Texas and worked for K.J. Hogue Enterprises Inc. A downer, but keep in mind the Internet only started thanks to al Gore in the late 1990s and Feb. 29 information before the turn of the century is hard to find.

5. Random musings — look. There’s a whole lot of stuff about Feb. 29, it’s history and meaning. The short explanation is t takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 47 seconds for the Earth to circumnavigate the sun.

That’s a problem. An Earth year is supposed to be 365 days, flat. Yada yada, blame it on Julius Caesar who introduced the Julian calendar in 46 BC, His calendar 30 days in February and 29 days in august while the month he named for himself in true Donald Trumpian fashion, i.e. July, had 31 days.

Augustus Caesar, the emperor behind Feb. 29.

Augustus Caesar, the emperor behind Feb. 29.

Augustus Caesar, who followed and founded the Roman empire, and by definition an aggressive fellow,  got the calendar thing together by giving August, d’uh, 31 days, too, and taking it out of poor February.  When the United Kingdom moved to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, Leap Day was added officially to get the calendar in sync with the journey around the Sun.

The Gregorian calendar had a problem, however. It required the removal of three leap days every 400 years to work right. That led to the Leap Day every four years solution. Hopefully that explains it all, because anything more will hurt my brain.

6. Women rule — sure. Always. However women supposedly are allowed by myth and custom to do the asking on Leap Day. Blame it on the Irish.

“Traditions holds that St. Bridget, an Irish nun, complained to St. Patrick (yes, that St. Patrick) that women had to wait too long for their loves to propose so he granted an exception every four years. The tradition also states that women have to wear pants or red before they can propose.”

Don't look now, it's Sadie Hawkins and her day.

Don’t look now, it’s Sadie Hawkins and her day.

Not sure, Jeopardy fans, who the heck is Sadie Hawkins, but she has her name thrown in here for good measure. Time Magazine reported she was the invention of cartoonist Al Capps in “Li’l Abner,” 1937.

“In the comic, Sadie Hawkins was a spinster at the age of 35, so her father set up a race for local bachelors. Whoever Sadie caught was going to be her husband. The town, and the reading audience, loved the idea and the race became an annual fixture of the comic strip, and soon spread into real-life society, spawning Sadie Hawkins Day dances.”

So, who’s going to ask me out? Leap Day is in their court.

7. Leap Year babies — whoo. The news business used to be all over the hospitals to get the scoop on Leap Day babies, sort of the exotic complement to the annual practices of stalking the stork on New Year’s Eve to Day.

Been there myself. The Arkansas Democrat had me on the Leap Day baby beat and it more-or-less, as we’ve seen before is a long shot. The U.S. had only 25,000 of them. Hopefully, enterprising — and general content devoid — local TV stations will be on it like the Chargers on Carson. Then again, never understate the lack of news judgment.

Pomerado Hospital at Poway where Escondido parents went to have their Leap Day baby in 2012, dissing Palomar Hospital in the process.

Pomerado Hospital at Poway where Escondido parents went to have their Leap Day baby in 2012, dissing Palomar Hospital in the process.

In any event, Pomerado Hospital at Poway featured the birth of two baby girls in 2012 for the local enough angle. Katie and Kelly Wade of Escondido were proud parents of one of them, Taylor Brooke Wade, born at 10:12 a.m.

“We honestly hoped she wouldn’t be (a Leap Day baby),” Kelly Wade said. “When we got the due date of March 4 we said we hoped she would not be … because of confusion of having a birthday on that day.

Palomar Hospital was the true loser in the Leap Day dynamic.

“Though the family has lived in Escondido for two years, they previously lived in Carmel Mountain Ranch and chose Pomerado Hospital over Palomar Medical Center in Escondido for their daughter’s birth ‘because we like the area and Pomerado Hospital,'” he said. “In addition, mom Katie Wade was born at Pomerado.”

8. Needing to remind people it’s Leap Day — whaa. Reading back story on Feb. 29 yielded the surprising addendum that the writers believed people needed an easy way to remember when the special Leap Day appears.

An easy trick. According to one source, “If a year can be divided evenly by four it is a leap year unless it can be divided by 100 or by 400 and then it’s not a leap year. (to make up for the whole Gregorian calendar error thing.)”

Get it? Or one simply can remember that its a presidential year. Think Donald Drumpf every four years from here on out and see where that gets one.

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum possibly featured half-price admission on Leap Day.

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum possibly featured half-price admission on Leap Day.

9. Top things to do in Escondido today — whoa. Several sources didn’t even consider the possibility. They went Feb. 22-28. However, one noted that within this Feb. 22-28 window, one might extrapolate that San Diego Half Price Admission in February *macy’s Museum Month with half-admission at 40+ San Diego Museum Council membership museums would continue tghrugh Feb. 29. Goodie.

However, San Diego theater weeks ends abruptly on Feb. 28. As for SeaWorld Wild Days, who cares. They enslaved Shamu, didn’t they?

10. Wrapping it up — end game. Good, bad or indifferent Feb. 29 was the Leap Day that was this Leap Year. Sparking water cooler — if they still have them — talk, trivia, perhaps confusion, it has come, will go and return another Leap Day to be sure.

Exhausting, having to consider the oddities and implications of such an odd bird of a day, but who has a choice even in today’s madcap modern society.

For those with a problem with Leap Day, rest easy, the next one is four years of tomorrows away, unless we have a Drumpf in the White House and globally fried beyond belief planet, the North Koreans and Isis don’t rise.

In any event, as Chevy Chase — who shares a birthday with me — and Jane Curtin once closed on SNL Weekend News, for all us Leap Daydreamers, and fellow travelers, “Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.”

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