Poor Biff’s Almanac — Just How Far Along Are We?

Poor Biff's Almanac Graphic (Colored) #1


I was leaning back in my office chair today and gazing at my year-at-a-glance calendar.  It is a large, poster-sized affair given out every January by The Company™ for us hapless employees to hang on our wall in lieu of windows, personal pictures, or reasons to look up from our computer monitors.  It is convenient for work because it shows the beginnings and endings of fiscal months and quarters.  It’s very handy for discovering things.  Things like:  January really ended this past Friday, and not on the 31st.  This is important for … well … it’s just important.

But that’s not why I was gazing at it.  To be honest, I was looking at it to see when the next paid holiday is coming up.  Sadly, it won’t be until the end of May.

But then I noticed that tomorrow is the 31st, which means that, for all intents and purposes, January will be over.  That is, the calendar month of January will be over.  The fiscal month of January is already just a distant memory.

Then I said something in my mind that office dwellers say to encourage ourselves.  I said, “Wow, I can’t believe January is already over.  This year is flying by.  It’s already 1/12th gone.”

But, being an engineer, I could not just let it go at that.  My eye was mesmerized by how the year is so beautifully divided up into a 4 x 3 grid of months, each containing 4 full weeks (except every 3rd month, which contains 5 full weeks).  Were we really 1/12th (or 8.3%) of the way through the year?  It feels like we should be further along.

To be more accurate, we’re really 30 days into a 365 day year.  That means we’re 8.2% through the year.  That’s taking us in the wrong direction.

But wait!  The calendar grid said that, in reality, we are 4 3/7 (4.43) weeks into a 52 week year.  That means we’re actually 8.5% through the year.  Things are looking up!

But hold on there, Pardner.  As I write this, we are 718 hours into the new year.  And there are 8760 hours in a year.  That means we’re back down to 8.2% along.

So where are we in this new year?  Let me put it this way.  We are on foot on the road pictured below, and Christmas is on the other side of those mountains.  So we’d better start hoofing it if we expect to make it to Christmas before the end of the year!

Desert highway


  1. Oh, fun with numbers. I love it! And I think I’ve seen that road–when I was riding (my motorcycle). One of those dust devils popped up and I caught the end of it as it crossed in front of me. (The bike went nuts.) Sorry you won’t have another holiday until May–that just sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my Fun With Numbers segment. 🙂

      I’m quite jealous you got to ride down that road on a motorcycle! I’d love to go for a ride down that road in any sort of vehicle (except maybe a paddy wagon).

      I’m glad your dust up with the dust devil ended up okay!


    • I flunked chemistry with extreme prejudice. My high school chemistry teacher suggested that I consider a profession where no math was involved, such as a monk, a roadie for a didgeridoo band, or a CFO for a large corporation.


    • Pushing back Christmas to give us more time to shop and decorate would sure be nice!

      And fiscal months can be confusing. For instance, in some years, Thanksgiving actually falls in fiscal December. It just seems unnatural.


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