Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day

We've made up things more far-fetched than this, but this is no hoax: Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina on January 21, 2001.

According to Holiday Insights:
Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels. It's held in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife.

It goes on to say:
Not everyone likes squirrels. While they are fun to watch skirting around the yard and trees, they are aggressive at bird feeders. Squirrels tip almost any bird feeder and spill the seeds in search of the particular seeds they want. In the fall, they attack pumpkins on front porches in search of the seeds inside. For gardeners they dig up and steal flower bulbs, and may eat some of the veggies in your garden. When you think about it, mid winter is the best time to appreciate squirrels. In the winter they provide a little entertainment. During other times of the year, you may look at them as a pest in the flower and vegetable gardens.
Doesn't sound all that appreciative.

According to Ms. Hargrove, "Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group -- anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to to learning something new about the species."

So how do you learn more? Visit the National Wildlife Foundation website:

How can you celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day?If you have small children, play a game of squirrelly seek with them.
Share your squirrel sightings with NWF's Wildlife Watch.
Learn the facts about squirrels:
-- There are more than 300 species of squirrel.
-- Different types of squirrels range in size from five inches (the African pygmy squirrel) to three feet (Indian giant squirrel).
-- The word "squirrel" comes from the Greek word skiouros, which means shadow-tailed.
-- Squirrels have brought down the NASDAQ stock market twice, once in 1987 and once in 1994.

But why should you care???

Back in 1988, a few folks in a freshman dormitory dubbed G:TB founder Rob "Squirrel" based on his squirrel's nest of clutter. Unlike his tour of duty in ROTC or his Government major, the nickname stuck. Much to his chagrin. Throughout college, he tried to go by Rob, but he was Squirrel. He tried to change his nickname to "Meat," but no, he was Squirrel. More than a couple of his friends' parents know him only as Squirrel. More than once in my life, someone has been talking about our friend "Rob," and I responded, "Who?"

In recent years, he's distanced himself a bit from the moniker. He got jobs where they call him by his Christian name instead of his college name. He married a girl who refused -- and believe me, I insisted -- to call him Squirrel. And now he's an Internet phenom on the "Blogger" and the "Twitter" and such, where he's "rob." Only occasional nibbles about the Richmond Flying Squirrels give us cause to bring the old name up. For all intents and purposes, he's now just plain ol' Rob.

Somewhere deep down, though, he knows. He's still our Squirrel.

As a tribute to a once-great nickname, I commissioned a team of technical wizards to assemble an animated video that would appropriately honor both this holiday and our friend. Here's what they came up with. I think you will agree that it's a solemn, fitting tribute, and a parable for our blog . . . and our lives.
(Watch the entire clip, have sound on. It's safe for work and children.)

28 comments:

rob said...

appreciate me, bitches

T.J. said...

Love that pic of rob in the suit and hat

T.J. said...

Not true at all Igor - the people I work with only know him as "Squirrel". My wedding invite is being mailed to "The Squirell Family".

Shlara said...

Most of the people I'm with this weekend only recognize him as Squirrel.

Happy Day Rob!

Igor said...

Has anyone clicked on the picture of the squirrel with the banjo and watched the ensuing video? It's high tech genius.

Jerry said...

Happy Birthday rob.

Dave said...

wait . . . "rob" is actually squirrel?

it's way too easy to hide your true identity on the internet.

Dave said...

and i thought the derivation of the nickname was because his dad called his sister "squirrel," but we misheard this when we were moving in to monroe.

Igor said...

No, but feel free to tell the story about your parents seeing little shoes in your room and making assumptions.

Danimal said...

so i read this post while in the restroom. i come out and my wife & son are playing....wait for it...."The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game" on the kitchen table. i chuckled. isn't it ironic? don't ya think?

Jerry said...

You have to wonder if the fix is in on this Rutgers-Georgetown game.

Dave said...

story about the little shoes is true. my parents came sophomore to check out my frat house dorm room and saw a little pair of sneakers by the door and assumed i had a petite little southern belle as a girlfriend, but then i had to break the news to them that there were no petite girls in the vicinity, only a grouchy little dude named "squirrel."

rob said...

you know what they say about little feet: perfectly proportioned people.

rob said...

effing tribe

T.J. said...

Wow, Rutgers really got hosed on that "foul" call.

Igor said...

So yesterday I interviewed the most arrogant person I've met in some time. Dave and I are frequently prone to thinking we know everything, but this guy came out and actually spelled it out. He told us he is in MENSA. Who does that?

rob said...

joe paterno reportedly on his deathbed. the parallels with bear bryant are a little bit eerie. sadly ironic, as paterno told people he was worried about going out like bear once he stopped coaching.

Danimal said...

I guess I shouldn't bitch then about these long lines at the movie theater?

Mark said...

Quite and educational post. I assumed Rob was dubbed Squirrel because he's small. You know, like a squirrel.

zman said...

I thought it had to do with his love of carrying nuts in his mouth.

mayhugh said...

At a bar televising VEN-US futbol match, which looks like it's headed for fisticuffs. What's a good birthday shot?

Dave said...

i think if you're smart enough to join MENSA, then you're smart enough not to join MENSA.

or at least smart enough not to mention you're in MENSA. if you mention it, you're not so smart.

but, of course, i'm not in MENSA and i'm really drunk, so what do i know?

mayhugh said...

Me too. The club can't even handle me right now. Or something.

Mark said...

Happy Birthday Mayhugh. I'd go with tequila or Jagermeister. But I'm a boring drunk.

mayhugh said...

Oh, it's not my birthday. But you're covered for most of this year. I was trying to make it rain at future in-laws party.

Igor said...

Happy Birthday Mayhugh!!!

And Mark!!!

I've known for some time you are the same person.

Also, vodka works.

Igor said...

Here's the thing. I know some of the smartest people I will ever care to meet, and none of them are in MENSA. Dave is a genius (as far as I'm concerned) and got a 2.2 at William & Mary. Squirrel is brilliant and got a 2.4. (I think -- he cleaned up his academic act late in the game, maybe it's higher.) I am a moron and took the College literally when they said you had to have a 2.0 to graduate. We aren't blue collar idiots, but our grades would have you think it. MENSA isn't coming a-calling.

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