Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Years

Who came up with Leap Years? Let’s just tack on another day to February, maybe it has month length envy and the ACLU arranged same compensation. A complete revolution around the sun takes 365.25 days, so if we don’t do Leap Years then eventually we’ll celebrate the 4th of July in the middle of winter. Who wants that? I think the Romans finally put an end to that madness. Well, their perfect calendar has ruined my day. Thanks, Caesar!

February 29th is always a weird day for me. I look at the calendar and something strikes me as…odd. February has 28 days! Should this day really be happening? What if something anniversary worthy happens today? How can I celebrate it next year? Do people get married on February 29th? Does that save money on flowers?

The last time I was in Iraq was 2004, which was a Leap Year. I’m back for 2008 and yet another Leap Year with a day added to my time in Iraq. When you’re on a salary, an extra day does nothing for your bank account.

There is a very small benefit. Soldiers received $3.50 a day in per diem. The money is supposed to cover toiletries and such while deployed. But, we don’t get that money until after the deployment. Last tour, I kept a running total of how much money we made in per diem. It was a fun mind game that kept me busy. Day 215….that’s $725.50. So, this Leap Year day means an extra $3.50 when I get home. Huzzah! That might cover a gallon of gas.

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