It’s Not All Bad…

Photo by Good Good Good on Unsplash

 

We’re almost halfway through 2020!  It’s no secret that this year has been challenging for most of us and that it is sometimes difficult to stay positive.  However, with all of the bad there’s also a lot of good in the world.  In the wake of our pandemic, actor John Krasinski from the show The Office created an entire online news program called Some Good News, which was dedicated to sharing good news that’s happening in the world.  This has inspired us to share some good news with you. 

Here are a few positive things that have happened so far in 2020:

  1. 7-year Old Holds Prom for His Babysitter:  When Rachel Chapman’s prom was cancelled due to Covid-19, young Curtis decided to take matters into his own hands.  He surprised her with dinner and a dance.  Curtis dressed up and picked out a menu based on what they would eat together when she babysat: peanut butter and apples, Chick-fil-A, and smoothies.
  2. 99-year-old Veteran beats Covid-19 and Surprises Granddaughter on Wedding Day:  WWII veteran, Vincent Simeone, was hospitalized for Covid for two weeks.  When he recovered, he was able to surprise his granddaughter, Amy Zimmerman at her wedding on May 24th.  This also would have been his late wife Millie’s 100th birthday. 
  3. Iowa Teen Launches Free Grocery Delivery Service for Seniors:  Seventeen-year-old Tenner Kenin has a mission to keep senior citizens safe during the pandemic.  He started T’s Angel Hands to help out seniors who are struggling to find delivery times and aren’t able to go to the store for fear of getting sick.  He and dozens of volunteers are not only helping seniors, but they are also helping people with underlying health issues and pregnant women.  
  4. Canadian Company Aims to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2020 Using Drones: Flash Forest, a Canadian startup, is using drones to drop seed pods into areas that may otherwise not be reached.  They are currently able to plant 10,000-20,000 trees per day, but are hoping to reach 100,000 trees per day.
  5. Singer Rents Cherry Picker to Sing to a Senior Center: Since nursing homes currently do not allow visitors, Colette Hawley of Chicago decided to take matters into her own hands.  She rented a 30 foot cherry picker bucket truck to lift her up to sing through the windows of Chicago Methodist Senior Services.  The grateful residents were seen clapping and waving through the windows.  Some were even brought outside to dance.

Hang in there.  

 

 

 

National Electrical Safety Month

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

May is National Electrical Safety Month!  This month is a great time to double check all of your electrical equipment in your home.  It’s also a great time to learn about electrical hazards and how to avoid them.

Electrical Safety Checklist:

  1. Check all electrical cords for fraying and replace any that may be damaged.
  2. Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
  3. Don’t nail or tack cords to the wall or floor.
  4. Use outlet covers to protect children from electrical outlets.
  5. Never touch a downed powerline!  Stay at least 35 feet away and call 911.
  6. Don’t plant trees near utility equipment or under power lines.
  7. Stay at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.
  8. Do not touch anything that’s touching a powerline.
  9. Check your extension cords.  These are meant to be temporary and not a permanent fixture.  All appliances should be plugged directly into the wall and not into an extension cord.
  10.  Don’t overload your electrical circuits.  Flickering lights, warm or discolored wall plates, and mild shock from appliances or switches can all indicate overloaded circuits.

   Have a safe day!

National Lineman Appreciation Day

 

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

National Lineman Appreciation Day 

Imagine being quarantined without power.  No Netflix.  No refrigerator.  No video games to keep your kids occupied while you’re trying to work.  No computers to allow you to work.  No power or technology of any kind.  Thanks to linemen, we are able to have all of these things.  Saturday was Lineman Appreciation Day.  Linemen work around the clock to make sure that we have power.  They work under high risk conditions on a daily basis.  Without them, we would not be able to function in our high-tech world.  How did this appreciation day come to be?  On April 10, 2013, U.S. Senate Resolution 95 declared April 18th as Lineman Appreciation Day.

Here are a few facts about the history of linemen:

  1. The profession began in the 1840’s due to the invention of the telegraph.  Lines were originally strung on trees, but eventually wooden poles were put in place.  There was very little training available and the job was extremely dangerous.  They were responsible for connecting communities to the ever growing power grid.
  2. Between the 1890’s and 1930’s, line work was considered one of the most dangerous jobs in existence.  One in 3 linemen were killed on the job, typically from electrocution.
  3. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, electricity became more publicly dependent.  Maintenance of power lines and quick repairs became more important.
  4. In the 1950’s, some electric lines began to be installed underground.
  5. Now, industry standards and best practices have been put in place to protect our linemen.  There are 3 organizations leading lineman health and safety: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If you see a lineman, thank them.  If you see anyone on the front lines, thank them, too.  There are many essential workers on the frontlines right now.  We at Brainfiller appreciate ALL of you who are still working to keep life as normal as possible for us during this time.

Stay safe!

 

A Socially Distant St. Patrick’s Day – Virtual Celebrations

Photo by Hoan Vo on Unsplash

What a week! Like everyone else, we at Brainfiller have been following the COVID-19 news closely.  For many of us, we are so used to the hustle and bustle of life that when we are forced to stay home and slow down, we are unsure what to do with ourselves.  If you’re like me, you’re home with your kids trying to entertain them and make sure that they are staying happy and healthy.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day when many of us would be out socializing and celebrating.  Just because we are social distancing, that does NOT mean that we can’t still celebrate!  Here are some fun activities that you can do to celebrate from home:

  1. Dropkick Murphy’s Livestream: Every year, the iconic Celtic-punk band Dropkick Murphy’s puts on a live show to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This year, they will be doing a livestream concert for the entire world to watch.  You can watch it on their YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.  For more information, please visit Dropkick Murphys.
  2. Virtual Milwaukee Irish Fest: With the trend of putting everything online, the Milwaukee Irish Fest will also be live streaming for your enjoyment. They will also be featuring artist-curated videos, Irish Fest throwback videos, and more.  For more information, please visit Irish Fest.
  3. Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Miler: Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and run (from a distance). This virtual race will be held all month long. To sign up go to Shamrocks & Shenanigans.
  4. Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The parades have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! People all over Twitter have announced that they will be having their own virtual parades in their homes. Dress up in green and orange and have a parade in your own living room!
  5. LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival: This virtual festival has several artists performing and will have two virtual stages – one on Facebook and one on Instagram Live. This is taking place from 1pm – 10pm ET and has no cover charge. However, they will be suggesting ways to support the artists.   Check it out at their Facebook event page: LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival.
  6. Gardening: This is a great day to try out your green thumb and start planting some flowers and vegetables for the summer. You can do this indoors if it’s still too cold, or outside if the weather is nice. You can even plant shamrocks for a fun St. Patty’s Day addition.
  7. Green Volcano: If you’re at home with your kids, you should create a green volcano! This is a fun experiment for kids of any age.  You can get instructions at: Science Fun! Don’t forget to add some green food coloring.
  8. Tie-Dye Fun: Another fun project for today would be to tie-dye T-shirts! Use green and orange for a fun St. Patrick’s Day project.
  9. Green Food: Try to eat only green foods today. Turn it into a game for your kids by telling them that the Leprechaun’s rule is that they must only eat green today.  It can be a fun way to get them to eat their green vegetables.
  10. Virtually Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral: There are many museums and tourist attractions available to view online right now. One of them is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. You can view it on their app or on their website at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

We hope that you all stay safe and healthy.  Have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day!

 

National Love Your Pet Day

 

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!  We at Brainfiller have many fur babies whom we love and adore.  From cats and dogs to ferrets and lizards, we love them all.  Above is a picture of our pug Skittles dressed up as Thor.  Did you know that about 85 million households in the U.S. own at least one pet?  Although most of them have dogs and cats, there are many other types of animal companions.  As if we need another reason to love our pets, today is the day to give them some extra love and attention.

Here are some ways to celebrate your pets today:

  1. Make a special treat: Here is a link to recipes for homemade dog treats: Good Housekeeping Pet Treats
  2. Spoil your pet with a new toy: Visit your local pet store to buy a new toy for your pet. If possible, visit an independently owned store.
  3. Give them some extra play time: Take your pet to the park or play in your home. Either way, your pet will love and appreciate the extra attention they are getting from you.  You can also try to teach them a new trick.
  4. Arrange a pet playdate: If your pet loves to socialize, this is the perfect day to let them play with or make new friends. Dog parks are the best places to help socialize your pup.
  5. Take them to a pet spa: Take your pet to get a nice massage and grooming.
  6. Give them some extra cuddle time: Fuzzy or scaly, all animals love to get cuddles from their favorite humans.
  7. Take your pet to a pet friendly restaurant: This one is typically just for dogs, but that’s not always the case. I was recently at a restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and saw a girl carrying around her bearded dragon on her shoulder.
  8. Take your pet for a walk in a new place: Or maybe go hiking! Animals love getting to explore new places and smells.  Just remember to bring plenty of water for your pet.
  9. Drink with your pet: Companies like Pet Winery and Apollo Peak make pet-safe mocktails, beer, wine, and champagne so they can celebrate life with you.
  10. Share pictures of your pet on social media: Tag #brainfillerpets so we can see your adorable pets!

Have fun with your pets today!