Friday, October 31, 2014

It's The Great Neighborhood Candy Exchange!

Time, once again, for The Great Neighborhood Candy Exchange!

The day of the year when we dress our children up in costumes and all the moms in the neighborhood trade candy through them.

Since i don't have little ones going door to door any more, may i turn in early?

Yesterday i put in a good, long day at work, with 6 loads of laundry and the whole place a wreck.  Since i forgot my mop, i had to clean the floors by hand.  Because i had so much to do, and i had to be out by a certain time, i didn't stop to eat, or take any breaks.  In fact, i didn't get breakfast or lunch because i was so busy -- running on adrenaline and coffee, which is unusual for me.

As soon as i left, i rushed to church where Sweetie and i met up, as we were ushering for a special performance.  The Senior Pastor co-wrote a musical play years ago, and in honor of his ten years as Senior Pastor, our musically talented people put on a show.  Handing out programs and making sure guests know where the restrooms are is about the extent of my ability to help with these thing.

It was a really fun evening, the book of Genesis from creation to Abraham's offer to sacrifice Isaac, set to music, with dance, and Satan played by a red-headed soprano!  We enjoyed it thoroughly, then had to go to find sustenance.

There was good news at home, as the children had rallied and done a lot of cleaning at the house!

Today, though, i'm a bit wiped out.  After i pick up Little Girl at school, and we take care of our shift at the shelter, i think i'll let someone else do the honors of handing out candy to the little goblins.  Red-Headed Alec is going to be a zombie and be in the kitten cage, and the pumpkins will have candles, and it's going to be a great time that i will enjoy watching but not so much doing.

Give them my regards, i'm off duty tonight.

Today is:

Admission Day -- Nevada, US

Allantide -- Cornwall, England

All Hallows Eve -- Christian

Apple and Candle Night -- Wales

Books for Treats Day -- San Jose, CA, US (give gently used books to kids, not candy -- feed their brains, not their cavities!)

Breeder's Cup World Championship -- Santa Anita Park, Los Angeles, CA, US (the world's best horses compete in 14 races; through Sunday)

Chiang Kai-Shek Day -- Taiwan

Day of the Seven Billion -- day in 2011 the UN declared the world population to have reached 7,000,000,000

Dias de los Muertos -- Mexico, esp. Michoacan and Oaxaca (through Nov. 2; ceremonies, sand sculptures, decorated altars, and parties through the nights in the cemetaries)

Dookie Apple Night -- Newcastle, England

Duck Apple Night -- Liverpool, England

Feast of Sekhmet Bast Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of Fisher's Ghost -- Campbelltown City, Australia (ten days of celebrating the legends of Australia's most famous ghost, Frederick Fisher)

Festival of Inner Worlds -- Pagan (fight between the old and new year)

Founder's Day -- Girl Scouts of the USA (Juliette Gordon Low's birth anniversary)

Frankenstein Friday -- a day to celebrate the "mother" and "father" of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff

Ghostwriter's Day

Hallowe'en or Beggar's Night

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day -- originated in England in the 19th century, some celebrated on the 30th

Jounen Kweyol -- Dominica (Creole Day, one of the nation's biggest and most colorful celebrations)

King Father Nordom Sihanouk's Birthday -- Cambodia

'Makoshe's Holiday -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar (honoring Mother Earth)

Mokosh Day -- Ukraine (Slavic goddess of "women's work", a wanderer and spinner, still popular as a life giving force and protector of women, always associated with Friday; date approximate)

National Bandanna Day -- Australia (to raise funds for kids with cancer)

National Candy Apple Day

National Knock-Knock Joke Day
     Knock, Knock
     Who's There?
     Police who?
     Police stop telling knock-knock jokes!

National Magic Day -- Society of Americ
an .Magicians (in honor of Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926, and who was president of the SoAM)

National UNICEF Day

Nut-Crack Night -- England; Scotland

Old Celtic New Year's Eve

Out of the Broom Closet Day -- Pagan, Heathen, and all earth-based and ethnic religions

Reformation Day -- Protestant Christian (trad.)
     Dia de las Iglesias Evangelicas y Protestantes -- Chile
     Official Holiday -- BB, MV, SN, ST, & TH, Germany; Slovenia

Samhain (northern hemisphere) / Beltane (southern hemisphere) -- Druids, Gaels, Welsh peoples, Neopagans, Wiccans (begins at sunset)

Scare a Friend Day -- just not so much that he/she isn't a friend any more

Senior Absurdity Day -- Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY, US (a day the kids look forward to each year)

Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day

St. Quentin's Day (Patron against coughs)

St. Wolfgang of Ratisbon's Day (Patron of apoplexics, carpenters, paralysed people, stroke victims; Regensburg, Germany; against apoplexy, paralysis, stomach diseases, strokes)

Thump-the-Door Night -- Isle of Mann

Trick or Treat Night

Vetmaetr -- Norse Calendar (Winter Nights; beginning of winter, the New Year, and the start of Odin leading the Wild Hunt)

Youth Honor Day -- Iowa, US

Anniversaries Today:

Mt. Rushmore is completed, 1941
Nevada becomes the 36th US State, 1864

Birthdays Today:

Robert "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle, 1967
Adam Horovitz, 1966
Dermot Mulroney, 1963
Rob Schneider, 1963
Peter Jackson, 1961
Larry Mullen, Jr., 1961
John Candy, 1950
Jane Pauley, 1950
Deidre Hall, 1947
Stephen Rea, 1943
David Ogden Stiers, 1942
Ron Rifkin, 1939
Michael Landon, 1936
Dan Rather, 1931
Michael Collins, 1930
Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922
Dale Evans, 1912
Ethel Waters, 1896
Chaing Kai-shek, 1887
Juliette Gordon Low, 1860
John Keats, 1795
William Paca, 1740
Jan Vermeer, 1632

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Car Talk"(Radio), 1987 (national debut, ten years after their start as a local show in Boston)
"Jamaica"(Musical), 1957
"Capricio Espagnol"(Rimsky-Korsakov Op. 34), 1887

Today in History:

Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites after their return to Jerusalem from exile, BC445
First All Hallows Eve observed to honor all the saints, 834
Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door, marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, 1517
Georg Ludwig van Hannover is crowned as the English King George I, 1714
Execution of Girondins at Paris during the Reign of Terror, 1793
Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents the miner's safety lamp, 1815
A standard uniform is approved for US Postal workers, 1868
A tropical cyclone hits Bengal, about 200,000 die, 1876
John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tire, 1888
Arthur Conan Doyle publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", 1892
Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States, 1913
The Battle of Beersheba of WWI marks the last successful cavalry charge in history, 1917
The first of 160 consecutive days of 100°F + temps at Marble Bar, Australia, 1923
World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress, 1924
Mt. Rushmore sculptures are completed, 1941
The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal, 1956
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards, 1984
EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board, 1999
Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted, 1999
Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station, which has been continually crewed since, 2000
Surfer Bethany Hamilton loses her left arm and 3 liters of blood in a tiger shark attack; within a month she would be back on her board, and competing again within the year, 2003
The NYSE reopens after its first weather related shut down since the late 19th century; the two-day closure was due to Hurricane Sandy, 2012

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Well, we got the A/C repaired...

...just in time to not need it.  The temperatures are down, and have been moderate for a while, and are expected to continue that way.

Winter is on its way, whether we want it or not.

Part of me does, because the heat can be oppressive.  Part of me doesn't, because cold causes pain.  Yesterday and the day before i went to babysit Gracie so her mom could attend to some things.  So i spent part of two days in their house, and both of them get hot very easily.  They keep their A/C on arctic blast.  It was so cold i had a coat, and used one of their blankets, and heated up water on the stove to have a glass of hot water to warm up, and i even had to step outdoors for a couple of minutes to thaw out.

It was a preview of what is to come, especially if this winter is as difficult as last winter.

In other fun happenings around here, i overheard part of a conversation between #1 Son and his friend Steve.

Steve:  Yes, I think iron is usually Fe3+, so putting tomato products in it will leach iron into the food.

#1 Son:  Steve, are you sciencing again?

Steve:  Yes, and I'm going to keep sciencing, especially since I want to build a solar powered water filtration system.  I've got to do more research on that, though.

After that, Steve turned to me as i was putting a cup of water into the microwave to get the inside all steamy so i could clean it out.

"You aren't using distilled water, are you?" he asked.

No, i assured him, i know better than that.

"Good," he said.  "They showed what happens on Mythbusters.  You should have seen the water explode out of the cup when they dropped a fork in it!"

Actually, i noted, i'm rather glad i didn't see it, and hope i won't see such a thing.

Sometimes these kids are so smart it's scary, and sometimes they do such dumb things it's scarier.  All i can do i pray and hope they live past the dumb stuff.

Today is:

Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation -- Slovakia

Buy A Doughnut Day -- any wonder who started this one? (insert eye-roll here)

Checklists Day -- prevent tragedy, create great checklists; in honor of the development of the first well known checklist following a B-17 prototype's crash due to pilot error

Create a Great Funeral Day -- don't make your family choose the plans in the midst of grief, plan your sending away party now, it's more fun when it's done -- in advance!

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions -- most former Soviet Republics

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US (hosted at the "Yachting Capital of the World"; through Monday)

Look in the Back of Your Refrigerator Day / Haunted Refrigerator Night (And hope the old hamburger isn't grazing on the moldy salad.)

Mischief Night, a/k/a Goosey Night, Devil's Night, Cabbage Night -- US

National Candy Corn Day

Practice Winter Snuggling Night -- when it gets really cold, you'll be glad you practiced

Punky Night -- Hinton St George, Somerset, England (a celebration for children and adults who carry candle-lit punkies -- the best one wins a prize -- made out of mangel-wurzels, a type of beet, and sing old punky songs asking for money or treats)

Pushkar Camel Fair -- Pushkar, India (for the camels, racing, fancy dress, changing owners, taking tourists on rides, and the chance to liven up this usually quiet town, and for the people, singing, dancing, exotic food, and watching the camels, as well as religious rituals at the time of the full moon; through Nov. 6)

St. Dorothy of Montau's Day (Patron of brides, difficult marriages, dying children, parents of large families, widows; Pomerania; Prussia)

St. Marcellus' Day  (as a Roman centurion who threw down his armor and refused to take part in pagan worship, he is Patron of conscientious objectors)

The Rhyne Toll -- Chetwode Manor, UK (through Nov 7) -- the Lord of the Manor may tax any cattle he finds on his Liberty (free pasture) on these days

Try on Your Halloween Costume Early Day -- to see how goofy you look, and make sure you have everything you need

Birthdays Today:

Nastia Liukin, 1989
Matthew Morrison, 1978
Gavin Rossdale, 1967
Diego Armando Maradona, 1960
Kevin Pollack, 1958
Charles Martin Smith, 1953
Harry Hamlin, 1951
Andrea Mitchell, 1946
Henry Winkler, 1945
Ed Lauter, 1940
Grace Slick, 1939
Claude Lelouch, 1937
Dick Gautier, 1937
Dick Vermeil, 1936
Robert Caro, 1935
Louis Malle, 1932
Ruth Gordon, 1896
Charles Atlas, 1893
Ezra Pound, 1885
William "Bull" Halsey, 1882
Emily Post, 1872
Alfred Sisley, 1839
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821
Richard Sheridan, 1751
John Adams, 1735

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Symphony No. 11 in G minor(Shostakovich Op. 103), 1957
"Panama Hattie"(Musical), 1940
"War of the Worlds"(Radio), 1938

Today in History:

Antioch surrenders to Rashidun Caliphate and his Muslim forces after the Battle of the Iron Bridge, 637
End of the 8th Crusade, 1270
King Henry VII, Tudor, crowned, 1485
Queen Isabella bans violence against Indians, 1503
The first Methodist church in the US is initiated (Wesley Chapel, NYC), 1768
Dr. Richard Gatling patents the machine gun, 1862
Founding of Helena, Montana (capital city), 1864
John Willis Menard, of Louisiana, becomes the first black elected to the US Congress (by special election, he was challenged by the loser, but was allowed to address Congress from the lectern), 1868
Daniel Cooper patents the time clock, 1894
Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah becomes the first woman US Senator, 1896
The first US Automobile Show opens in Madison Square Garden, NYC, 1900
Czar Nicholas II of Russia grants Russia's first constitution, creating a legislative assembly, 1905
Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy, 1922
John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter, 1925
Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States, 1938
Anne Frank and sister Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1944
Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier, 1945
Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1960
The Soviet Union detonates the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 58 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise, 1961
The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time, 1973
The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire, 1974
Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain's acting head of state, taking over for the country's ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, 1975
In Japan, NEC releases the first 16-bit home entertainment system, the TurboGrafx-16, known as PC Engine, 1987
Quebec sovereignists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada (vote is 50.6% to 49.4%), 1995
The last Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) early time-sharing operating system is shut down at the Canadian Department of National Defense in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000
George Lucas sells Lucasfilm, Ltd., to the Walt Disney Company, 2012

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doesn't drive me crazy.

Red-Headed Alec doesn't, that is.

Yes, we now not only have all four of our kids living here, but Festus was told to move out by his parents, so he and #2 Son share a room, and Red-Headed Alec's mom and stepdad have been full of promises that never materialized, so he's here.  It's that, or the homeless shelter, and he actually asks to help around the house.  No use putting a young man who does that in a homeless shelter.

And giving him driving lessons doesn't drive me crazy.

Red-Headed Alec is 23, and between his biological dad who tried to kill him, his biological mom who abandoned him and then took him back in a year ago and has, as noted, promised but not delivered, and his Grandmother who legally adopted him and wouldn't teach him to drive and now won't let him live with her, he's really not had much of a chance to do something with his life.

There were promises, but no one taught him to drive until recently, when his girlfriend took him to lessons.  So now he has a permit and needs practice.  The Jalopy is a great practice vehicle.  It's big enough that you will be comfortable driving a smaller vehicle later, but not so big as to be scary.  The anti-lock brake system might or might not work at any given time, but we aren't doing any driving that will make it a problem.

Every evening, for about a half an hour, we get out in the Jalopy and he drives around the neighborhood.  He knows what he's doing, he is a very careful, defensive driver, and all he needs is practice for confidence so when his girlfriend has her day off in a couple of weeks and takes him in for the test he won't be so nervous.

This what what i did with the other kids, but except for Little Girl, they made me a bit nervous.  #1 Son has had several tickets and an accident since he got his license, and most of his friends are afraid to get into the vehicle with him.  As much as i tried, i just couldn't get him to see that the way he takes chances could get him hurt.  He mostly behaved behind the wheel with me, but i could see those tendencies.

Poor Bigger Girl took a while to learn because of the unique way her brain works.  She's fine now, but it took a long time.

#2 Son was okay except for his propensity to want to just get on with it and gogogogogo.

Red-Headed Alec, though, won't go above 20mph if he even thinks children or pets might be around, and he counts the number of seconds he is stopped at a stop sign, counts out loud.  This one i'm not going to have to worry about much.

Especially if he gets that job with #2 Son's store, and his mom actually does give him the car she promised, he will drive with extreme caution to keep his insurance rates down.

That is a good thing in a 23-year-old unmarried male.

Today is:

Candies Day -- they have to be kidding -- this close to Halloween we need another candy day?!

Chhat Parwa/Chhath Puja -- Nepal (Hindu/Vedic Festival of the sun god Surya)

Coronation Day -- Cambodia (anniversary of King Norodom Sihamony, in 2004)

Cumhuriyet Bayrami -- North Cyprus; Turkey (Republic Day)(1923)

Fiestas Patrias -- Honduras (through Friday)

Hermit Day / Hide From Everyone Day -- internet generated, for those who would rather have a peaceful day today than celebrate the other holidays listed; look up how to be a hermit on wikihow

Internet Day -- it's predecessor went live today, see Today in History for detail

Laugh Suddenly For No Reason A Lot Today Day (And end up either getting yourself and everyone around you in a good mood, or yourself being observed at the hospital in a padded room.)

Naming Day -- Tanzania

National Cat Day -- US (with the goal of getting 10,000 cats adopted from shelters today)

National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day

National Oatmeal Day

Second Fiddle of the Month -- Fairy Calendar (a very poorly attended event -- who wants to play second fiddle?)

St. Mary of Edessa's Day (Patron against sexual temptation)

World Psoriasis Day --

Birthdays Today:

Gabrielle Union, 1972
Winona Ryder, 1971
Joely Fisher, 1965
Randy Jackson, 1961
Finona Hughes, 1960
Kate Jackson, 1948
Richard Dreyfuss, 1947
Melba Moore, 1945
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 1938
Dominick Dunne, 1925
Bill Mauldin, 1921
Fanny Brice, 1891
Charles Hercules Ebbets, 1858
Daniel Decatur Emmet, 1815
James Boswell, 1740 (wrote the biography of Samuel Johnson)
Edmund Halley, 1656 (O.S. Date) (yes, that Halley, found the comet)

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Internet, 1969 (the first connection between computers that would become the Internet someday was made on this date when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute; this grew into ARPANET, and is now the Internet we know and yell at.)
"Let's Face It"(Musical), 1941
"Don Giovanni"(Mozart K. 527), 1787

Today in History:

Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, BC539
First trial for witchcraft in Paris, 1390
Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, writer, and courtier, is beheaded, 1618
A severe earthquake shakes New England, 1727
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague, 1787
The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans, 1811
Queen Victoria grants Cecil Rhodes rights to Zambezia, 1889
The first intercity trucking service, from Colorado City to Snyder, Texas, begins running, 1904
Turkey declares its independence as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, 1923
Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal, 1956
Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, 1960
Syria exits from the United Arab Republic, 1961
Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors, 1967
The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid, 1991
In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities, 1998
Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space, 1998
In Rome, European heads of state sign the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution, 2004
The 3G wireless transmitters at Mt. Everest make coverage available to the summit, 2010
Random House and Penguin merge to become Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the world, 2012
Turkey opens the first underwater rail tunnel linking Europe to Asia, 2013

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shopping Mecca

"Mom, could you take me to the mall?" Little Girl asked while i was preparing supper.

Sure, i said.

"Thanks.  My favorite teacher's birthday is next week and we both love the show Game of Thrones, so I want to get her something."

That's why i found myself, at 6pm, heading to the Jalopy to go to that shopping mecca called a mall.

It's not something i find myself doing often.  In fact, i hadn't been to the mall since my last flower delivery stint -- i almost always have at least one delivery in the mall.

The mall is just up the highway, and for once in my life i actually found a close place to park in the area Little Girl pointed to when i asked where she wanted to go in.

Is it okay if i come in with you, or do you not want to be seen with the mothership? i asked, laughing.

"You can come in -- I wouldn't expect you to wait outside.  And I don't mind being seen with you," she answered.

She knew just what she wanted and where it was, and headed in the door and straight to the escalator, then into the Hot Topic.  Right before she went in she said, "I know you don't like this store, so you don't have to come in with me."

She's right, i really don't like a lot that's in that store.  This gave me the chance to walk through the mall for a short time.  In the immediate vicinity there were 4 jewelry stores, a couple of places selling lotions and potions and bath paraphernalia, shoe stores galore, and even a Game Stop and Best Buy Mobile.

As i walked up and down, watching people and gazing in windows, i wondered what the fascination was.  The only time i really go to a mall is for our once a year trip in Florida when i get any new clothes i might need at an outlet place.  Spending hours and hours wandering a place like this isn't my idea of a good time, but i didn't mind getting a bit of exercise and people watching in.

One family that struck me was a mom and dad who had their two youngest kids wearing surgical masks.  They were decorated with a kid theme, too.  It makes me wonder if the children have some kind of immune problem and they have to be protected from the rest of us, not that we have to be protected from them.

The  place wasn't too crowded as it was a Monday night, and a few teens were there in spite of the threat of having to go to school the next day.  One mom pushed a stroller that had a toddler obviously past his limit because he was crying as loudly as he could with the pacifier held tightly in place by his clamped teeth.  Another young dad walked his toddler son, blond curls bouncing on both of their heads, they were obviously the best of comrades and having a good time.

She thought she took a long time, but really it wasn't more than a quarter hour before Little Girl came out with her purchase clutched tight in her hand.  We went past the food court and i saw that they have choices i'd have never thought to see years ago -- some of them healthy.  Hummus, wraps with lots of veggies, and even smoothies.  It balances out the pretzels and cookies and junk that is still there, and i was glad to see that.

We were back home just before 7pm, as she really didn't take anywhere near as long as she thought she did.  It was a nice outing.

And yes, the A/C is fixed.  Not that we need it much these days, the evenings are so cool that even the warm days don't heat the house up enough to make it uncomfortable.

Today is:

Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day -- just check the fire code before you light that candle

Celtic Tree Month Negetal (Reed) begins

Dia do Servidor Publico -- Brazil (Civil Servants' Day)

Flying Baby Day -- celebrating the first baby born on an airplane on this day in 1929

Fyribod (or Forebode) -- Ancient Norse Calendar (announces the beginning of winter; date approximate)

Hari Sumpah Pemuda -- Indonesia (Youth Pledge Day)

Independence Day -- Czechoslovakia (from Austria-Hungary in 1918; still celebrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

International Animation Day -- ASIFA (to honor the day Emile Reynaud presented the first animation to the public)

Isia -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (dates approximate; first day of the 6 day Isis festival)

Milvian Bridge Day -- Christain (day to reflect on the interrelationship of religion and government)

National Chocolate Day

Okunchi Matsuri -- Karatsu, Japan (with floats that date back to the 1800s; through the 30th)

Oxi Day -- Greece (Sometimes "Ochi" or "Ohi", literally "No Day", celebrating resistance to Mussolini.)

Part Your Hair Crooked Just To See If Anyone Will Say Anything About It Day -- internet generated, celebrate at your own risk

Plush Animal Lovers' Day -- internet generated; celebrate your love of stuffed animals today

Runic Half-month Hagal (hailstone) begin

St. Jude Thaddeus' Day (Patron of desperate or hopeless cases -- the reason Danny Thomas chose this saint to invoke as patron of the hospital he helped found.)

St. Paraskevi of Iconium's Day (Patron of fairs and traders; in Russia, patron of marriage; associated in Ukrain with Mokosh, the ancient women's divinity, and celebrated on the final Friday of the month)

*St. Simon the Zealot's Day (Patron of curriers, sawmen, tanners)

Wild Foods Day -- as in, grown or caught in the wild (please be careful if you like mushrooms and want to gather your own!)

Anniversaries Today:

Statue of Liberty dedicated, 1886
Maimonides College is founded, 1867 (first Jewish college in the US)
R.H. Macy & Co. in NYC opens, 1858
Founding of Harvard University, 1636
Universidad Santo Tomas Aquino is established, 1538 (first university in the New World)

Birthdays Today:

Matt Smith, 1982
Joaquin Phoenix, 1974
Brad Paisley, 1972
Jeremy Davies, 1969
Julia Roberts, 1967
Andy Richter, 1966
Jami Gertz, 1965
Daphne Zuniga, 1962
Lauren Holly, 1963
Bill Gates, 1955
Annie Potts, 1952
Bruce Jenner, 1949
Telma Hopkins, 1948
Dennis Franz, 1944
Jane Alexander, 1939
Charlie Daniels, 1936
Cleo Laine, 1927
Jonas Salk, 1914
Francis Bacon, 1909
Edith Head, 1907
Howard Hanson, 1896
Georges Auguste Escoffier, 1846
Desiderius Erasmus, 1467

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Jack Benny Program"(TV), 1950
"Dead End"(Play), 1935
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathetique(Tchaikovsky Op. 74), 1893

Today in History:

Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius, 312
Battle of Yaunis Khan in which Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza, 1516
Battle of Amba Sel, in which Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia; the southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad's control, 1531
Peruvian cities of Lima & Callao are demolished by an earthquake, 18,000 die, 1746
Eli Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin, 1793
The first railroad in Spain, between Barcelona and Mataro, is opened, 1848
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland, and celebrated by the first ticker tape/confetti parade in NYC, 1886
An earthquake strikes Mino-Owari, Japan, kills 7,300, 1891
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, receives its première performance in St. Petersburg, only nine days before the composer's death, 1893
The St. Louis police try a new investigation method -- fingerprints, 1904
Czechoslovakia gains its independence in the break up of Austria-Hungary, 1918
The Volstead Act, passed by Congress over Wilson's veto, starts Prohibition, 1919
The first coast to coast radio broadcast of a football game, 1922
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary, 1936
The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska, 1942
Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT, 1948
The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands is re-founded as a federal monarchy, 1954
Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, 1962
Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, 1965*
Britain launches its first satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket, 1971
The centenary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty is celebrated in New York Harbor, 1986
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner becomes the first woman elected President of Argentina, 2007
The US celebrates the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, 2011

Monday, October 27, 2014

Big Day

Today, if all goes well, we get the A/C repaired!  It looks like it may come under the warranty, so it won't cost much.

And, if we can pry the back door downstairs open -- the house has been leveled more than once, but we still don't know if it will open and then close again -- a family that is remodeling may give us a five year old washer and dryer!  We've had old models, and bought well used ones, for so long now, having an almost new set would be delightful.  It's just a matter of that door, and i have a week or so to work on it.

We've had a couple of offers from people who can come look at the roof trouble, and maybe get into the attic to make sure all is well up there.  Not the regular part where we store stuff, but the other part that we don't get into.  The roof probably just needs caps and new flashing around the bathroom vent pipes.

Bigger Girl has started her job as a pizza delivery driver part time.  She wants to earn some of her own way as much as possible, and she's been turned down so often as "overqualified" because of her training at the research lab.  She's glad someone finally took a chance on her.

This week i'm working 3 days, two babysitting Gracie and one cleaning Ms. P's house, as so i'm going to get us a GPS that she can use at work and i can use when i go on my trip next year, or when i deliver flowers.

Then it's just a matter of hoping the cars last a while longer, as i've been saying for a few years now.

Today is:

American Beer Day

Big Bang Day -- London, England

Boxer Shorts Day -- ???????

Cernova Tragedy Day -- Slovakia

Cranky Co-Worker's Day -- because we all have occasional bad days; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Feast of Osiris in Abydos -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Good Bear Day -- on Theodore Roosevelt's birthday, celebrating the stuffed toy created in his honor

Independence Day -- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines(1979); Turkmenistan(1991)

International School Library Day

Labour Day -- New Zealand

National Potato Day

National Tell A Story Day -- Scotland (preserving the heritage of traditional stories)

Navy Day -- US (on T.R.'s birth anniversary)

October Bank Holiday -- Ireland

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue

Radio Day -- US (US Commerce Dept. issued the first broadcasting license this date in 1920)

St. Frumentius' Day (Patron of Abyssinia; Ethiopia)

Sylvia Plath Day

Tunch Puddling -- Fairy Calendar (a contest of throwing twigs in a pond -- awards are for artistically thrown twigs and throwing style, among other things)

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage -- International

World Occupational Therapy Day -- International

Anniversary Today:

The NYC Subway begins operation, 1904

Birthdays Today:

Zadie Smith, 1975
Marla Maples, 1963
Simon LeBon, 1958
Roberto Benigni,1952
Jayne Kennedy, 1951
Fran Lebowitz, 1950
Carrie Snodgrass, 1946
John Cleese, 1939
Ruby Dee, 1924
Roy Lichtenstein, 1923
Bette Babray, 1920
Nanette Fabray, 1920
Dylan Thomas, 1914
Emily Post, 1872
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858
Niccolo Paganini, 1782
Captain James Cook, 1728

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Lettice and Lovage"(Play), 1987
"Beyond the Fringe"(Revue), 1962
"Walt Disney/Wonderful World of Color/Wonderful World of Disney"(TV), 1954 (the show had several different names over the years, but even when it switched stations, it was still the same show)
"You Bet Your Life"(Radio), 1947
"Nocturnes"(Debussy orchestral compsition), 1901(first performance of all three parts together)

Today in History:

Constantine the Great is said to have received his Vision of the Cross, 312
Founding of the city of Amsterdam, 1275
Founding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1682
US Navy forms, 1775
Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated, 1838
R.H. Macy & Co. opens its first store, on 6th Ave. in NYC, 1858
Boss Tweed is arrested, 1871
The first underground New York City Subway line opens, 1904
The first published reference to "jazz" appears, in Variety, 1916
Chuhei Numbu of Japan sets the long jump record at 26' 2 1/2", 1931
"You Bet Your Life," with Groucho Marx, premiers on ABC radio, 1947*
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force, 1954
Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations, 1961
The British government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang, 1986
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history, 1994
Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified, 1994
Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown, 1997
The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years, 2004
The SSETI Express micro-satellite is successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 2005

*(Ultimate result of this a few years later is, of course, the funniest line ever on tv, when a man with 8 kids admitted to Mr. Marx that he did indeed love his wife, and Groucho countered with, "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth sometimes!")

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Silly Sunday: Come On Home

Silly Sunday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus, and it's the place to come to have a laugh for the week.  It's easy to do, just Laugh and Link Up!

How in the world do you described Homecoming?

It was a nice, peaceful morning, with coffee and fruit and a walk by the lake.  The parade was just what a Homecoming Parade should be, little kids catching beads and candy, having a blast.

Then a bit of rest, and a walk around the campus.  Finally, to the stadium for one of the toughest fought, most ground out games i have ever seen in my entire life.

Every minute was like pulling teeth.  The first quarter lasted an hour, and the game that started at just after 6pm didn't end until almost ten.

It came down to the last play, too.  There wasn't an easy moment, there wasn't an easy score on either side, and there were several calls by the referees that will be argued until doomsday.

Somehow, some way, the home team pulled it off.  By that time, i'd had an SVT (heart palpitations) from nerves, and one friend said, "I was on blood pressure medicine for three years, and I eat right and exercise and I don't take medicine any more, but this game is going to put me back on it!"

But in the end, the home team won, and so Homecoming was a success.

All this, of course, reminds me of a football joke.

When Boudreaux was a young man, and very strong, he decided to try out for the college football team.  He went out to the practice field and talked to the coach.

The coach asked him, "Can you tackle?"  Boudreaux say, "Watch dis," and proceeded to run at a telephone pole, knocking it over!

"Wow!" the coach said.  "Now, can you run?"  Again, Boudreaux say, "Watch dis" and proceeded to run 100 yards in under 9 seconds.

"Glory!" the coach exclaimed.  "And, can you pass a football?"

This time, Boudreaux stop to think about it.  Finally, he say, "Mais, coach, I guess if I can swallow it, I can pass it!"

Today is:

A Family Halloween -- Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock, VT, US (a great time for all)

Angam Day -- Nauru ("Day of Fulfillment"; a celebration of overcoming hardships)

Armed Forces Day -- Benin

Daylight Saving Time ends -- Albania; Andorra; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovena; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland (some areas); Holy See; Hungary; Ireland; Isle of Man; Israel; Italy; Kosovo; Latvia; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Malta; Mexico (most areas); Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Western Sahara

Day of the Ancients -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar

Day of Mourning -- Libya

Exaltation of the Shellfish -- Pontevedra, Spain (while i can confirm they celebrate this each year, i cannot find confirmation on this specific date this year)

Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade -- Long Beach, CA, US (dress up your dog and have a howling good time)

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae -- Roman Empire (celebration of the victories of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, through Nov. 1)

Mother-in-Law Day -- a day to honor good Mothers-in-Law for their contributions to their families and for enduring all the bad jokes; if you have a lousy one, go listen to Ernie K-Doe's song

Mule Day -- anniversary of the first importation of donkeys to the US, which George Washington used to breed the first mules in the Americas

National Day -- Austria

National Gospel Day -- Cook Islands

National Mincemeat Pie Day

Pretzel Day

Pumpkin Day -- time to get one for the 31st, if you haven't already

Reformation Day/Reformation Sunday -- Protestant Christian (obs.)

St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki's Day (Patron of soldiers; Thessaloniki, Greece)
     Greek day to broach the wine barrels and taste the new season's wine in honor of this saint

Sts. Lucian and Marcian's Day (Patrons of converts, possessed people)

Toping Wagglegammon -- Fairy Calendar (no human knows what this means, but it sounds intriguing)

Visit a Cemetery Day

Workaholic Stop and Smell Something Day -- internet generated day to encourage workaholics to stop and consider what they might be missing

Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night -- some organizers even have howling parties

Anniversary Today:

Grand opening of the Erie Canal, 1825

Birthdays Today:

Sasha Cohen, 1984
Keith Urban, 1969
Tom Cavanagh, 1968
Natalie Merchant, 1963
Cary Elwes, 1962
Dylon McDermott, 1962
Jeff Probst, 1962
James Pickens, Jr., 1954
Lauren Tewes, 1954
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1947
Pat Sajak, 1947
Jaclyn Smith, 1947
Ivan Reitman, 1946
Pat Conroy, 1945
Bob Hoskins, 1942
Jackie Coogan, 1914
Mahalia Jackson, 1911
Abby Greene Aldrich Rockefeller, 1874
Joseph Hansom, 1803
Georges Danton, 1759
Domenico Scarlatti, 1685

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"St. Elsewhere"(TV), 1982
Doonesbury(Comic strip), 1970
The Village Voice(newspaper, first issue), 1955
"Mourning Becomes Electra"(Play), 1931

Today in History:

Comet 55P/1366 U1 (Tempel-Tuttle) approaches 0.0229 AUs of Earth (2.1 million miles and 3.4 million kilometers)--marking the third closest approach of any comet to our planet in recorded history, 1366
First use of lead pencils, 1492
William Penn accepts the area around the the Delaware River from the Duke of York, 1682
The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, and the Minute Men begin to organize in the colonies, 1774
King George III goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution, 1775
Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution, 1776
The first of the "Federalist Papers" are published, calling for ratification of the US Constitution, 1787
The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, is created, 1795
Hamilton Smith patents a rotary washing machine, 1858
Soccer football rules are standardized and rugby starts as a separate game, 1863
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona, 1881
First use of a "getaway car" after a robbery in Paris, 1901
The first Soviet (worker's council) formed, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1905
Margaret Sanger arrested for the obscenity of advocating birth control, 1916
The Maharaja of Kashmir agrees to allow his kingdom to join India, 1947
Mother Teresa founds her Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, 1950
Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France, 1958
The world sees the far side of the Moon for the first time, in pictures taken earlier in the month by the Soviet Luna 3, 1959
The last natural case of smallpox is discovered in Merca district, Somalia, 1977
"Baby Fae," born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, receives a controversial heart transplant from a baboon, dies of kidney infection 21 days later, 1984
The Charlottetown Accord fails to win majority support in a Canada wide referendum, 1992
Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty, 1994
Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament, 1999
The water level at Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest water control and utilization project, reaches full capacity, 2010

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Late For Their Own Funeral

Friday morning i figured out how to get Youngest Boy out of bed without a meltdown.  There are two steps.

Step one, don't wake him directly.  Wake the others, with him in earshot.

Step two, make a deal with him.  When i asked him, after waking the others and noticing his eyes were open, if he would please get up, he said he didn't want to get out of bed until his pancakes were ready.  So we made a deal:  when i tell him the food is ready, he will pop right up and come down to eat.  We did a pinky swear on it, and sure enough, when i called up that his plate was ready, he came down without a fuss.

If i end up staying here again to babysit overnight, he and i are going to agree the night before on what will be for breakfast, and that he will pop up and come eat when it is ready, and that i won't call him until it is.

They got to school without a hitch, and i came back to the house and finished cleaning and tidying and the last bits of laundry, dishes, etc.  Then it was a waiting game to see when Ms. P would be home, as i needed to get home to tidy up and repack because it's homecoming weekend at the uni.  That means a stay on campus for all of the festivities.

As i figured, Ms. P ended up being later than she thought.  Much later.  As i told her son, as much as i love her, she's the kind of person who will be late for her own funeral -- he had never heard that one before, but agreed when he finished laughing.  At noon i went to pick up Eldest Boy from his school, get him a lunch, and get him home.  At 2pm i headed out to get the two younger boys.  Then i crawled through "rush hour" traffic to get them back home.  We pulled in just as Ms. P was emptying her vehicle.

Because i was so much later than i expected, Bigger Girl picked up Little Girl from school and the two of them did the shelter -- i hated that they were stuck doing it, but sometimes it is what it is.

By the time i got home and we got packed, Grandpa was already up on the campus waiting for us.  It was a circus getting out of the house, but we finally made it, and checked in to the hotel, and got the stuff from Grandpa that he had brought us, and unloaded and ordered pizza for delivery.  

It's been a crazy couple of days, but at least i don't need to get up early tomorrow and cook -- i get to go down to the dining room and eat what someone else has prepared.  No, i won't let it spoil me.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival -- Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, Ferrum, VA, US (a large celebration of authentic folkways)

Constitution Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Basque Country -- Basque Country
    Dia del Pais Vasco -- PV, Spain

Emma Crawford Festival and Memorial Coffin Race -- Manitou Springs, CO, US (spooky fun for the whole family)

Feast of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales -- Roman Catholic

Forgiveness Day -- a day to reconcile or forgive, for your own peace of mind; sponsored by Positive Peaceful Partners and the Center of Unconditional Love

Gormanudr -- Old Icelandic Calendar (beginning of "Innards Month," after all the animals have been butchered and fresh innards figure predominantly in the menu, as the rest of the meat has been preserved for winter)

Hijra -- Islam (New Year, began last night at the first viewing of the new moon crescent)

Hogeye Festival -- Elgin, TX, US (Road Hog Car Show, crowning of King Hog and Queen Sowpreme, Cow Patty Bingo, and more!)

International Artist Day -- with a festival this weekend in White Rock, BC, Canada

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu City, AZ, US (come celebrate London Bridge, which was disassembled and moved here and put back together, with a parade and festivities; through tomorrow)

Make A Difference Day -- US (Whoopie Goldberg once said that if every American would donate 5 volunteer hours a week, it would be the equivalent of several million full time jobs; whether or not it's strictly accurate, volunteering is a great thing to do no matter where you live)

Munzipan Feast -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy delicacy, and you don't want to know how it's made)

National Greasy Foods Day

Pit Bull Awareness Day -- it's not the breed, it's the owner

Punk-for-a-Day Day -- internet generated; if you've always wanted to be a punk, try it out for a day

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

Romp in the Swamp Fun Walk -- Appleton, WI, US (plus hayrides, face painting, an outdoor movie, animal shows, a campfire with s'mores, and more)

Scared Silly: Halloween in Prospect Park -- Brooklyn, NY, US (hauntingly good fun all weekend)

Sourest Day -- as a balance, because we have so many days that emphasize sweet

Sts. Crispin and Crispian's Day (Patrons of cobblers/shoemakers, glovemakers, lace makers/lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, tanners, weavers)

Texas Book Festival -- Austin, TX, US (one of the nation's most prestigious literary festivals, especially celebrating renowned Texas authors; through tomorrow)

Thanksgiving Day -- Grenada

World Beard and Moustache Championships -- Portland, OR, US (check out some of the former competitors here)

World Pasta Day -- as established by the first World Pasta Congress in 1995; a related website is here

Xterra Kapalua Trail Run -- Kapalua, Maui, HI, US (extreme trail runs of 5k and 10k; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Katy Perry, 1984
Midori, 1971
Tracy Nelson, 1963
Brian Kerwim, 1949
Jon Anderson, 1944
Anne Tyler, 1941
Helen Reddy, 1941
Bobby Knight, 1940
Marion Ross, 1936
Billy Barty, 1924
Minnie Pearl, 1912
Leo G. Carroll, 1892
Pablo Picasso, 1881
Georges Bizet, 1838
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1800

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Victor/Victoria"(Musical), 1995
"Newhart"(TV), 1982
"Le Repetition"(Anouilh play), 1950
"The Time of Your Life"(Play), 1939

Today in History:

Seljuk Turks defeat the German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1147
Battle of Agincourt, in which the Welsh longbow defeats armored knights, 1415
Christopher Columbus, aboard the Santa Maria, lands at the Dominican Republic, 1492
Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast, 1616
Governor Bradford of the US colony Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day, 1621
Wedding of future US President John Adams and Abigail Smith (the marriage lasted 54 years), 1764
Canadians and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay, 1813
Opening of the Erie Canal, 1825
Battle of Balaclava, memorialized as the "Charge of the Light Brigade", results in the deaths of 409 troops, 1854
The Toronto Stock Exchange is created, 1861
Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution in Russia, which corresponds to November 7 on the Gregorian Calendar, 1917
The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing  music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell", 1938
Adlai Stevenson shows photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba, 1962
Uganda joins the United Nations, 1962
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to five years in prison, 1962
The United Nations seated the People's Republic of China and expelled the Republic of China, 1971
Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction conclude at The Hague, 1980
Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army leaves the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, 1991
Fidel Castro announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned in Cuba, 2004
Sony removed the original cassette Walkman from the market, 2010
Scientists announce that the completion of the nuclear genome study of a 24,000 year old Siberian boy's remains shows 2/3 of today's Native Americans are of Eastern Asia origin, and the others from Western Eurasia, 2013