Sunday, December 21, 2014

Silly Sunday: Cheep! Cheep!

Silly Sunday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus.  It's the place to come for weekly laughs, which everyone needs.  It's easy to do, post something funny, Laugh and Link Up!

Anyone who knows me knows that i am not frugal, i'm a tightwad.  It takes putting a crowbar to my wallet to make me let go of anything, i really want my money's worth.

In fact, i used to say that if you are what you eat, does that make me cheap, quick, and easy?

A friend used to say my wallet makes a "cheep! cheep!" noise when i pull it out!

My own reticence to part with even a penny unless i know it's well spent reminds me of a joke.

Boudreaux an' Clothile din't never have a lot, but dey allus tried to make de holidays nice wit'out havin' to spen' a lot. 

One year, Boudreaux he stop an' help someone on de highway change a tire.  It was a wealthy lady who insist she give him a bit of a reward.  He protest dat he not done it for de reward, but she insist an' tell him to got his wife somet'in' for Christmas.

Now Boudreaux take de money an' go to de big store in de city for to get Clothile some nice toilet water.  He go in, an' he get up some nerve, because he not used to bein' in de big store, an' he tell de nice lady he want some nice smellin' toilet water for his wife.

The saleslady bring him a nice bottle, an' he say, "How much?" an' she say, "One hundred dollars," an' Boudreaux about pass out!

"Mais, no!  Dere ain't no way!" he tell her.  "I got to get somet'in' dat cost less."

The saleslady went to the back and came out with another bottle, an' he say, "How much?" an' she say, "Fifty dollars," an' Boudreaux jus' shake his head.

"Mais!  I don't got dat much!" he say.  "I want to see somet'in' cheap!"

So she handed him a mirror!




Today is:

Divalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (part of Saturnalia; feast of Angerona, goddess of secret sorrows)

Flashlight Day -- what better day, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, when dark is with us longest, to make sure you have one in good working order

Forefathers' Day -- Plymouth, MA, US (celebrates the landing of the Pilgrims)

Fourth Sunday of Advent -- Christian
     Lighting the Candle of Love

Homeless Persons' Memorial Day -- US

Humbug Day -- those frustrated with their holiday preparations are allowed up to 12 humbugs today, just to help vent their frustrations; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Gluggagaegir -- Peeper, who peeps through the windows and will come steal toys he likes the look of

Kayin New Year -- Myanmar (The Kayin, or Karen, are the second largest ethnic minority in the country)

Kiwi Fruit Day -- California, US (celebrate with them, these are good!)

Look At the Bright Side Day -- Northern Hemisphere, and why not; after all, each day after this will have more sun!

National Hamburger Day

Pancha Ganapati -- India (through the 25th, a modern Hindu festival honoring of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Culture)

Phileas Fogg Wins A Wager Day (1872)

Poseidea -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival to honor Poseidon; date approximate)

Solstice -- Northern Hemisphere Winter begins/Southern Hemisphere Summer begins
     Anne and Samantha Day -- celebrating the lives of Anne Frank and Samantha Smith, a day to work and pray for world peace
     Alban Arthuan -- Druid Festival, 4th Station; through the solstice
     Bruma -- Ancient Roman Calendar
     Dongzhi Festival -- East Asia (literal meaning, "Extreme of Winter")
     Festival of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (celebration of the seeking of Osiris by Isis and her resurrection of him)
     National Haiku Poetry Day -- US (because haiku is traditionally about the seasons, it's celebrated on the first day of winter)
     Wild Hunt reaches its peak -- various Norse traditions
     Soyala New Year Festival -- Hopi and Zuni Native Americans (a festival of purification as well as celebration, with homes cleaned, fires doused, and personal restraint observed)
     Yalda -- Iran (Persian/Zoroastrian winter solstice festival; to celebrate the longest night of the year, many stay up for the fight against dark and evil.)
     Yule/Jul/Jol Festivals begin -- various calendars, religions, countries and observances, both ancient and modern
          Yule -- Wicca/Pagan, northern hemisphere
          Litha -- Wicca/Pagan, southern hemisphere
          from the Old Norse Hjol, meaning "wheel" to signify the year is at its lowest point and ready to rise again
     Ziemassvetki -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (birth of Dievs, highest of the gods; modern Latvians celebrate this on Christmas Eve/Christmas, but it was originally a three day solstice festival)

St. Peter Canisius' Day (Patron of Catholic press, Germany, writers of catechisms)

St. Thomas' Day, the Doubting Thomas (old date, now celebrated on July 3, but many of the superstitions related to it are still observed at this time)
     Mumping Day a/k/a Gooding Day -- UK (traditional day on which beggars beg for, or "mump", good things for Christmas, always on old St. Thomas' Day)
     Sao Tome Day -- Sao Tome e Principe (Dia de Sao Tome e Principe)



Anniversary Today


Captain James Cook marries Elizabeth Batts, 1762


Birthdays Today:

Jackson Rathbone, 1984
Jack Noseworthy, 1969
Kiefer Sutherland, 1966
Andy Dick, 1965
Florence Griffith Joyner, 1959
Ray Romano, 1957
Jane Kaczmarek, 1955
Chris Evert, 1954
Tina Brown, 1953
Samuel L. Jackson, 1948
Michael Tilson Thomas, 1944
Frank Zappa, 1940
Jane Fonda, 1937
Phil Donahue, 1935
Joe Paterno, 1926
Paul Winchell, 1922
Heinrich Böll, 1917
Josh Gibson, 1911
Joseph Stalin, 1879
Henrietta Szold, 1860
Benjamin Disraeli, 1804


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Tap Dance Kid"(Musical), 1983
"Billion Dollar Baby"(Musical), 1945
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(Disney animated film), 1937
Tillie's Punctured Romance(Silent Film, first full length comedy), 1914
The Crossword Puzzle(First one ever published, in The New York World), 1913
Basketball, 1891 (first game under the direction of James Naismith, by the rules he had published)


Today in History:

A hurricane hits Holland/Friesland, destroying villages with widespread flooding, 1163
The Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche Native Americans, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile; all Spanish cities south of the Biobio river are eventually taken by the Mapuches, and all conquest of Mapuche territories by Europeans practically ceases, until the 1870s "Pacification of Araucania", 1598
William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620
Hue Tay Son becomes emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam, 1788
The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement, 1844
The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army are formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment, 1883
The first Word-Cross puzzle, which the printer mislabeled as a Cross-Word (the name that stuck), is published in the New York World, 1913
The first feature length color and sound cartoon, Disney's Snow White, premiers, 1937
Rondane National Park is established as Norway's first national park, 1962
Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew performs the first ever manned Trans Lunar Injection and become the first humans to leave Earth's gravity, 1968
The United Nations adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1969
Mexican volcano Popocatepetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts gases and ash, 1994
The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control, 1995
Scientists studying the Sutter's Mill Meteorite announce it contains the oldest material in the Solar System, 2012

A series of spacewalks are made by two NASA astronauts in an effort to fix the faulty coolant pump on the International Space Station, 2013

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sea of Blue

This is another one for Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, who so graciously hosts Feline Friday.

A couple of weeks ago, he wrote about all who have died in active military service, and remembering them with a wreath.

Now it's a blue ribbon in honor of police officers.

My mother, a staunch Catholic, has a bumper sticker that reads, "I am grateful for the thousands of GOOD priests."  She's right, in that the bad apples and sensational press make so many forget the ones who quietly do their jobs, and do it right.

These days, police officers, whose families just hope they will come home after each shift, face a lot of the same thing.  Yes, there are those who are brutes who went into this job so they could legally do what they like doing, brutalize people.  They, i like to believe, are the minority.

Last week, we had rEcess at our church.  After it was over, all the disabled kids had been picked up by parents, the building cleaned, and all of us were leaving, our leader got a call from her brother.  He was drunk, upset that his girlfriend wouldn't let him see their child, upset she wouldn't move to another state with him where he had a good job, and he told her, essentially, that he was going to end it all.  He said he would, when his girlfriend called police, point a gun at them, and let them go ahead and kill him.

A couple of hours later, that's what happened.  His car was parked in front of his girlfriend's house, and he wouldn't leave.  She called the police.  He didn't want to shoot anyone, he wanted to die, so he pointed the weapon at them and left them no choice.

Police officers have one of the toughest jobs in the world.  Yes, there are bad apples.  Yes, we probably do need body cameras on all of them for everyone's protection.  Yes, they are human and make mistakes.

Most are not villains, though, and i hope all of them on duty today come home safely tonight.  Sadly, the statistics tell us, every 58 hours on average, one will not.





Today is:

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover Day -- marking the debut of the song, think of 50 ways to stay with the one you love, and do one!

BPT Remembrance Day -- try to remember what breakfast was like BPT (before Pop-Tarts)

Cathode Ray Day -- the kinescope (cathode ray tube) was patented by Vladimir Zworykin on this day in 1938

Dot Your I's With Smileys Day -- a great internet generated idea, if you are a 9-year-old girl

Fete des Cafres -- Reunion (Abolition Day)

Go Caroling Day -- if you have the voice for it, enjoy

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Bjugnakraekir -- Sausage-pilferer, who will steal any kind of sausage you don't manage to hide from him

International Human Solidarity Day -- UN

Louisiana Purchase Day -- US

Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day -- Macau

Mudd Day -- for Samuel Mudd, the doctor who accidentally treated a disguised John Wilkes Boothe after he assassinated Lincoln; don't hang your head in shame if your name is Mudd!  Today is your day.

National Fried Shrimp Day

National Sangria Day (If you still aren't ready for Christmas, you might need it.)

Old St. Thomas' Eve -- St. Thomas, whose feast is now in July, was formerly on Dec. 21, and the evening before used for prognostication; related observance
     Tammasmass E'en -- Orkney Islands, UK (from tonight until Yule, no work was undertaken or amusements enjoyed after sunset; all alemaking for the Yule celebrations had to be done by this day

Snowflake-Riding Championships -- Fairy Calendar (no Goblins allowed!)

St. Dominic of Silos' Day (Patron of captives, pregnant women, prisoners, and shepherds; against hydrophobia, insects, mad dogs, and rabies)

Try to Remember Where You Hid The Christmas Gifts Day -- it's getting close, and you don't want to have to go out at the last minute and buy more; sponsored by "Marlar in the Morning," QFL-101 Radio, Rockford, Illinois

Winter Solstice Eve


Anniversary Today:

Donald Trump weds Marla Maples, 1993
Montgomery Bus Boycott ends, 1956


Birthdays Today:

Jonah Hill, 1983
David Cook, 1982
Billy Bragg, 1957
Jenny Agutter, 1952
Uri Geller, 1946
Peter Criss, 1945
William Julius Wilson, 1935
John Hillerman, 1932
David Levine, 1926
George Roy Hill, 1922
Irene Dunne, 1898
Susanne K. Langer, 1895
Robert Gordon Menzies, 1894
Hazel Virginia Hotchkiss Wightman, 1886
Wesley Branch Rickey, 1881
Harvey Firestone, 1868


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Sunshine Boys"(Play), 1972
"The Dating Game"(TV), 1965
It's a Wonderful Life(Film), 1946


Today in History:

Vespasian enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor, 69
Richard the Lionheart is captured in Vienna, 1192
Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta, 1522
Peter the Great orders the Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1, 1699
The Louisiana Purchase is formally transferred from France to US for $27M, 1803
The international cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls, 1883
North America's longest railway, at 50,000km, the Canadian National Railways, is established, 1919
The first international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec, 1928
The cathode-ray tube is patented by Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin, 1938
Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom, 1955
Djibouti and Vietnam join the United Nations, 1977
NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X, 1996
US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days, 2007
In Cairo, thousands of Egyptian women demonstrate against military police for abuse against female demonstrators in Tahir Square, 2011

Friday, December 19, 2014

Feline Friday: The Only Flat Surface

Feline Friday was begun by Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.

KidaMosquito, the aging, asthmatic Siamese, lives for one thing, and that is her canned food.

There is only one difficulty, and that is the only flat surface where i can feed her and keep an eye on her so the other, younger cats don't steal from her is here:

Kida and her Friskies.

Yes, that's right, the only flat surface is the top of the trash can.  Yes, we have to label it, and the recycle bin next to it, so that i don't get trash in the recycling.

Kida gets up there and eats, and then stops and stares into space.  Red-headed Alec says when she does that, she is communing with the spirit world, telling it she isn't ready, she still has more eating to do!





Today is:

Build a Snowman Day -- occupy your mind, as Christmas seems too far away still; if you have no snow, make snowball cookies

Chocolate Pizza Day -- yes, really

E-Mail Santa Claus Just in Case He Didn't Get Your Letter Day -- northpole.com/Mailroom/

Festival for Juventas -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of youth, protector of young soldiers)

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Skyrgamur -- Curd-glutton, who loves skyr (milk curd) so that he sneaks in the pantry to try to get it all

I've Got My Big Fat Guy Pants On Day -- someone tired of tight clothes started this, a day to wear whatever you like, so long as it is comfortable -- and roomy

Look for an Evergreen Day -- although if you haven't bought your tree by now, you may have waited too long

National Hard Candy Day -- this time of year, it probably means candy canes

National Heroes and Heroines Day -- Anguilla

National Oatmeal Muffin Day

Opalia -- Roman Empire (feast of Ops, goddess of abundance; 3rd day of the Saturnalia)

Quincy Preserves Christmas Candlelight Tour -- Quincy, IL, US (walking tour of beautiful homes in a different neighborhood each year; also next weekend)

Riddle-Making Trials -- Fairy Calendar

Robinson Crusoe Rescue Day (1686)

St. Bernard Valeara's Day (Patron of Teramo, Italy)

St. Samthann (Samantha) of Meath's Day (Patron of the spiritual life)

Underdog Day -- the day to celebrate all the number two people who make the number ones what they are (as in Friday to Crusoe); day founded by by the late Peter Moeller, THE Chief Underdog

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation -- UN


Anniversary Today:

First radio broadcast from space, a Christmas greeting from President Eisenhower, 1958


Birthdays Today:

Jake Gyllenhall, 1980
Alyssa Milano, 1972
Tyson Beckford, 1971
Amy Locane, 1971
Kristy Swanson, 1969
Criss Angel, 1967
Jessica Steen, 1965
Jennifer Beals, 1963
Kevin Edward McHale, 1957
Janie Fricke, 1952
Robert Urich, 1946
Richard Leakey, 1944
Alvin Lee, 1944
Tim Reid, 1944
Cicely Tyson, 1939
Al Kaline, 1934
David Susskind, 1920
Leonid Brezhnev, 1906
Ralph Richardson, 1902
Carter Godwin Woodson, 1875
Minnie Maddern Fiske, 1865
Mary Ashton Livermore, 1821
William Edward Parry, 1790


Debuting/Premiering Today:

Titanic(Film), 1997
The Man with the Golden Gun(Film), 1974
"Homecoming A Christmas Story"(TV introduction of "The Waltons"), 1971
"The Music Man"(Musical), 1957
"La Folle de Chaillot/The Madwoman of Chaillot"(Giraudoux play), 1945
"A Christmas Carol"(publication date), 1843
"American Crisis"(publication date of the Thomas Paine essay in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."), 1776
Poor Richard's Almanack (publication of first issue by Benjamin Franklin), 1732


Today in History:

Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor, 324
The Seldjuken under Toghril Beg occupy Baghdad, 1055
The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery depart England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States, 1606
Benjamin Franklin, under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack", 1732
Thomas Paine publishes his first "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote that "These are the times that try men's souls," 1776
Chinese troops occupy the capital Thang Long Vietnam, 1788
The US state of Kentucky becomes the first to appropriate money for road building, 1795
The US state of Georgia becomes the first to pass a birth registration law, 1823
Allen Wilson of Connecticut patents a sewing machine that can sew a curved seam, 1854
Albert L. Jones patents corrugated cardboard, 1871
The first black US Catholic priest, Charles Uncles, is ordained in Baltimore, 1891
The first city ordinance requiring separate neighborhoods for blacks and whites is passed, in Baltimore, 1910
Robert Ripley begins his "Believe It Or Not" column in the NY Globe, 1918
The British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas, 1932
The US Earth satellite Atlas transmitted the first radio voice broadcast from space, US President Eisenhower saying,
"To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men Everywhere", 1958

The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, returns to earth, 1972
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People's Republic of China, in 1997, would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, is signed, 1984
Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from internal exile in Gorky, 1986
A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia, 2001

UBS becomes the second bank after Barclays, to be fined for attempting to manipulate the Libor interbank lending rate; the company is fined $1.5 billion, 2012

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Busy Bees

"Hey, Mom, did you hear about the conversation between the Mormon and the Scientologist?" Bigger Girl asked.

No, what happened? i asked.

"The Mormon said, 'I can't wait to get my own planet, I'll be a god!' and the Scientologist said, 'Not if Xenu escapes his volcanic prison first!'"

Very funny! i said, laughing.  Then i added, thanks, i needed that.

"Hard day?" she asked.

Well, i answered, i got up to take your sister to class for her one exam, and i couldn't get your car to start.  So i got your younger brother's car, and it had that light on that means the tires are low on air.  Your sister told me it had been that way since he got the car!

After dropping her off, then, i stopped at Kevin and Lenny's, and they aired up the tires and told me he needs new ones, and i'll drop it off tomorrow to get that because they didn't have them at the store. Then i came home, put laundry on the line, started another load, and got your car started, ran my errand, and went to pick up your sister.

On the way home she and i both heard your car making a weird noise when braking, so i stopped again and Lenny rode with me and the noise stopped!  So i brought your sister home, put the rest of the laundry out to dry, did some chores and stuff around the house, and ironed everything when it was dry. 

By then, it was time to take your sister to her fundraiser and for your dad and i to go to church for choir and the choir Christmas party and for prayer.  Once the party was over and they were all singing, prayer was over so i put all the leftovers up and cleaned, and then we went back to get your sister, and now i'm home laughing over your jokes and getting ready to take the garbage to the curb.

Not a hard day, i concluded, but certainly busy.  Oh, i added, and by the way, i need for you to help me get your brother's car to the shop tomorrow, and then for you to drop me off at work.

"I can do that, then I'm taking all of my friends for a day at the zoo.  That's my Christmas gift to them this year, I'm treating them all to a day out there, and I'm packing a picnic lunch to have at the park up the road!"

Sounds like you will have a great time, i noted, as i headed upstairs.



Today is:

Bake Cookies Day -- the holiday for everyone!

Eponalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (feast of Epona, goddess of fertility and horses, mules, and donkeys; during the Saturnalia and the only Roman honoring of a Celtic deity)

Flake Appreciation Day -- snow or human, your choice!

Free Shipping Day -- with hundreds of participating merchants at http://www.freeshippingday.com/ 

Hanukkah -- Judaism (began sundown yesterday; through sundown Dec. 24)

Hug a Soccer Player Day -- this "holiday" has a Facebook page, but no other history

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Hurdaskellir -- Door-Slammer, a noisy fellow who tries to keep everyone awake

International Answer the Phone like Buddy the Elf Day -- for fans of the film Elf, starring Will Ferrel

International Migrants Day -- UN

Khoiak Ceremony for the Sokar Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (falcon god; date approximate)

Let's See What We Find In the Fridge Day -- to bravely see if you've left anything in the back that you shouldn't have

National Day / Founder's Day -- Qatar

National Roast Suckling Pig Day

National Scrooge Week begins -- at least according to Mr. Ed

Nuestra Senora de la Soledad -- Oaxaca, Mexico (Our Lady of Solitude, Patron of the lonely, of Oaxaca, and of sailors who bring her pearls)

Republic Day -- Niger

St. Flannan's Day (Patron of Killaloe, Ireland)

Tulya's E'en -- Orkney Island (beginning of the Yule season when evil spirits roamed; date approximate, as we aren't sure if they equated Yule initially with Dec. 25 or the 22nd)

Wear a Plunger On Your Head Day -- observe this internet generated holiday at your own risk (and you will be one of the human flakes, i guess, that the rest of us appreciate)*


Anniversaries Today:

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's future president, marries Asif Ali Zardari, 1987
Capitol Reef National Park established, Utah, US, 1971
The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, outlawing slavery, takes effect, 1865
New Jersey becomes the 3rd US State, 1787


Birthdays Today:

Christina Aguilera, 1980
Katie Holmes, 1978
Earl "DMX" Simmons, 1970
Rob Van Dam, 1970
Rachel Griffiths, 1968
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, 1964
Brad Pitt, 1963
Ray Liotta, 1955
Leonard Maltin, 1950
Steven Spielberg, 1946
Keith Richards, 1943
Ossie Davis, 1917
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, 1917
Douglas Fraser, 1916
Betty Grable, 1916
Willy Brandt, 1913
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., 1912
Ty Cobb, 1886
Joseph Grimaldi, 1778


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Sunshine Boys"(Play), 1972
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas"(TV premiere), 1966

"The Pink Phink"(first animated Pink Panther short), 1964
"To Tell The Truth"(TV), 1956
"The Nutcracker"(Ballet), 1892


Today in History:

Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia - Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic, BC218
Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan", officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China, 1271
The Mayflower lands in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts with 102 Pilgrims on board, 1620
Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand, 1642
Thomas Fleet publishes "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children", 1719
Empress Maria Theresa expels Jews from Prague, Bohemia & Moravia, 1774
The first celestial photograph (of the Moon) is made in US, by John Draper, NYC, 1839
William Bond obtains the first photograph of Moon through a telescope, 1849
Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde, 1888
The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic, 1900
The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is supposedly found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson, 1912
Japan joins the United Nations, 1956
Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker, 1966
Dominica joins the United Nations, 1978
HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium, 1997
The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia, 2006

United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II attends a meeting of the Cabinet for the first time, receiving a gift honoring her Diamond Jubilee; this was first time a Cabinet meeting was attended by a British monarch since the reign of Queen Victoria, 2012

*Unless this should have been Wear A Brand New, Never Before Used Plunger on Your Head Day, and was started by the plumbing supply industry

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Not Very Wordless Wednesday: Tree

When Sweetie and i first got married, we put up a tree in whatever spare room we had and shut the door on the cats.  It worked.

Once we had kids and no spare room, i decided that i couldn't cope with children and cats tumping the tree over on a regular basis, so we quit putting one up at all.  No, my children were not deprived.  They got to help Grandma and Grandpa decorate their 14-foot tree each year, and when Grandma and Grandpa had a second home not far from here, we would put ours there and i would let them decorate it all by themselves (except the lights, because i didn't want anyone electrocuted).

We haven't had a tree, besides the odd tiny tabletop one that we used to borrow from a friend, for many years.  

This year, Little Girl decided she wanted a Charlie Brown tree.  She found one that was just sticks, put it in a tin, and put a few odd ornaments on it.  How odd?  One of them has the name "Gretchen" on it, and no one in this house, now or ever, has had that name.

A Charlie Brown Tree.

To keep the cats from eating it -- yes, really, Link has tried -- we have to put it on top of the fridge.

On top of the fridge with the feather duster the cats think is prey.

It works for us!


Today is:

Christmas Festival in Salvador -- Salvador, Brazil (begins around now, lasts until New Year's Day)

Clean Air Act Day -- US (passed this day 1963; a day to give thanks for the air we breathe)

Cookie Cutter Day

Daniel the Prophet's Day -- Orthodox Catholic Feast Day

Feast of Babalu Aye -- Yoruba/Santeria (celebration of the healer of deadly diseases)

Feast of the Fairy Godmothers -- Fairy Calendar

Hagoita Ichi -- Sensoji Temple, Japan (sale of specially decorated paddles, called hagoita; through the 19th)

Hanukkah -- Judaism (Festival of Lights; begins at sundown, through sundown Dec. 24)

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Askasleikir -- Bowl-licker, who hides under the bed and snatches bowls set on the floor to lick them clean

Kasuga Wakamiya Festival -- Nara, Japan (rarely performed traditional dances at a festival held every year since 1136)

National Day -- Bhutan

National Maple Syrup Day

Procession of Agnios Dionysios -- Zakynthos, Greece (one of the biggest festivals of the year, when the relics of this island's patron saint is honored)

Saturnalia begins (through Dec. 23) -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival for Saturn, the planter god)

Sow Day -- Orkney Islands, Scotland (ritual slaughter of a sow for the Yule feast)

St. Lazarus of Bethany's Day

Take a New Year's Resolution to Stop Smoking -- Tanyrtss, the 25th annual campaign goes through February; make the decision now to improve your life and health next year 

Wright Brother's Day -- US


Anniversary Today:

Tiny Tim weds Miss Vicky, 1969


Birthdays Today:

Milla Jovovich, 1975
Duff Goldman, 1974
Sean Patrick Thomas, 1970
Mike Mills, 1958
Bill Pullman, 1954
Wes Studi, 1947
Eugene Levy, 1946
Chris Matthews, 1945
Ernie Hudson, 1945
Bernard Hill, 1944
Tommy Steele, 1936
Bob Guccione, 1930
William Safire, 1929
Willard Frank Libby, 1908
Arthur Fiedler, 1894
John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807
W. L. Mackenzie King, 1874
Joseph Henry, 1797
Deborah Sampson, 1760
William Floyd, 1734


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Simpsons"(TV), 1989
Turner Broadcasting System(Cable TV Network), 1976
"El Pessebre"(Casals' Oratorio), 1960
"On The Beach"(Film), 1959

"The Symphony No. 10 in E minor"(Shostakovich Op. 93), 1953
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy(first radio broadcast), 1936


Today in History:

The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison, 546
Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies in Delhi are defeated by Timur, 1398
Pope Paul III excommunicates England's King Henry VIII, 1538
Go-Yozei becomes Emperor of Japan, 1586
Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rise against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu, 1637
Congregation Shearith Israel of NY purchases a lot on Mill Street in lower Manhattan, to build NY's first synagogue, 1728
France recognizes independence of English colonies in America, 1777
Aztec calendar stone discovered in Mexico City, 1790
NYC traffic regulation creates first 1-way street, 1791
Opening of the first legislative assembly of Lower Canada in Quebec city, 1792
The US state of Kentucky abolishes debtors prisons, 1821
General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky, 1862
First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert, 1865
Violent riots in Montreal, as workers demand work or bread,1875
France declares Madagascar a protectorate, 1885
George Brownell patents a machine to make paper twine, 1895
A first prize of 100,00 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrialsbut Martians are excluded - considered too easy, 1900
The Wright Brothers make their first successful flights, 1903
First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane, 1935
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and dummy Charlie McCarthy first appear on TV, 1936
The SALT I talks begin, 1969
Fernando Collor de Mello defeats Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, becoming the first democratically elected President in almost 30 years, 1989
SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight, 2003

Outgoing U.S. Senator Jim DeMint is replaced by GOP Congressman Tim Scott, the first black senator from the South since 1881, 2011

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glad You Approve

Last night, Little Girl and i were called into extra duty at Ms. P's house.  It seemed she had a rehearsal and something to do at church, and while the evil-ex was willing to pick the boys up from school, he'd flaked (again) on keeping everyone overnight.

As we were leaving, The Big Boss paid us and said he might have to press me into more service as a nanny in the future, as evil-ex is "not going to be able to keep them," as he put it.  Yes, we made sure the kids were out of earshot.  We never criticize the other parent in front of the kids, for all his faults, he's their father and they love him

On the way home, though, i was muttering about how any man who can abandon his family would, of course, flake out on taking care of his kids.  Little Girl asked me a bit about the situation, and i told her that he had messed around on his wife with one lady, and now was with another, and that it was no wonder he couldn't handle his kids, he was a big kid himself, chasing what felt good to him and nothing more.

As we pulled in at the house, she asked me, "How many guys did you date with before dad?"

Well, i answered, i had a couple of dates, but nothing serious.

"You mean dad was the first guy you really went out with!?!" she exclaimed.

Yep, i said, i was one and done!

"It's nice to know you picked so well," she said with a bit of sarcasm in her tone, but a huge smile on her face that belied it.

Glad you approve, i replied drily.



Today is:

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day -- if you need an explanation, you don't have kids; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Beethoven Day -- celebrate the anniversary of his birth by listening to one of his fine works

Bijoy Dibosh -- Bangladesh (Victory Day)

Day of Reconciliation -- South Africa

Day of the Republic -- Kazakhstan (Independence from the USSR in 1991)

Festival of Sapientia -- Ancient Roman Empire (personification of wisdom and knowledge)

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Pottasleiker -- Pot-licker, who tries to snatch unwashed pots and lick them clean

Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society Annual Meeting

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

National Day/Independence Day -- Bahrain(1971)

Posadas Navidenas (Fiesta of the Virgin of the Lonely) -- Mexico (celebrated through the 24th, "pilgrims" go house to house seeking shelter to commemorate the search of Mary and Joseph for shelter in Bethlehem)

Simbang Gabi -- Philippines (Christmas festivals that last until Three Kings Day)

St. Adelaide's Day (Patron of abuse victims, brides, empresses, exiles, in-law problems, parenthood, parents of large families, princesses, prisoners, second marriages, step-parents, and widows)

Stupid Toy Day -- make sure you aren't giving any of those to any kids you buy for

Tea Party Day -- Boston, MA, US (anniversary of the 1773 Party)

Vijay Diwas --  India (Victory Day)

Wan Kila Haeng Chat -- Thailand (National Sports Day)


Birthdays Today:

Michael McCary, 1971
Benjamin Bratt, 1963
William "Refrigerator" Perry, 1962
Jon Tenney, 1961
Alison La Placa, 1959
Billy Gibbons, 1949
Benny Andersson, 1946
Steven Bochco, 1943
Lesley Stahl, 1941
Liv Ullmann, 1939
Bruce N Ames, 1928
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917
Margaret Mead, 1901
Noel Coward, 1899
Wassily Kandinsky, 1866
George Santayana, 1863
Jane Austen, 1775
Ludwig von Beethoven, 1770
Catherine of Aragon, 1536


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"One Day At a Time"(TV), 1975
"Dragnet"(TV), 1951
"Me and My Girl"(Musical), 1937
Variety(Magazine, first issue), 1905
"From the New World"(Dvorak Symphony), 1893 (often called "New World Symphony")



Today in History:

An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China, 755
Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000, 1631
Oliver Cromwell sworn in as English Lord Protector, 1653
The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan, 1707
A big tea party in Boston harbor -- Indians welcome -- is "celebrated" (Boston Tea Party), 1773
Fire burns over 600 buildings in NYC, 1835
In New Zealand, the Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, 1850
The Kingdom of Nepal accepts its constitution, 1862
Antonín Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From The New World is given its world première performance at Carnegie Hall, 1893
The first submarine with an internal combustion engine is demonstrated, 1897
The "Great White Fleet" sails from Hampton Downs on its round the world tour, 1907
The first credit union in the US is formed, in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1908
The first US postage stamp picturing an airplane, a 20 cent parcel post, is issued, 1912
Albert Einstein publishes his "General Theory of Relativity", 1915
The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000, 1920
Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again, 1937
Thailand joins the United Nations, 1945
William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor, 1947
Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era US city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks, 1978
An episode of Pokemon, "Denno Senshi Porygon", aired in Japan induces seizures in 685 Japanese children, 1997
George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law, 2003
The US National Institutes of Health places a moratorium on new studies using chimpanzees as research models when a report comes out showing that most of such research is scientifically unjustified, 2010
After years of receding, the Arctic sea ice is shown to have rebounded in extent and volume, 2013

Monday, December 15, 2014

Awww Monday: rEcess Santa

   

Awww Monday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus.  It's easy to play along, just post something that makes everyone say, "Awww!" and link up.  After all, on Monday mornings, we could all use a smile.

We had rEcess a week later than usual this month, because of the Live Nativity scheduling.  Of course, Santa came to visit.

No mistaking him!
Santa, of course, had no trouble getting down on the floor with Jack, one of our kids who uses a wheelchair.  He can use his upper body to roll himself across the floor, but has limited use of his arms and legs.  Gracie was fascinated, and kept sneaking up when Santa was talking to other children, not wanting to say much, but just staring.

We had a lovely rEcess time, Gracie actually played with a couple of the other children!  She's doing so much better, in fact, all of the rEcess kids doing really well right now. 

Fun in the gym; the kids on the floor are Pam and Jack, out of their wheelchairs to have fun rolling around.
We will see them all again in February.





Today is:

Alcyone -- Ancient Greek Calendar (kingfisher goddess; date approximate, but during the Halcyon Days)

Bill of Rights Day -- US

Cat Herders Day -- for those whose job or life is like trying to herd cats; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Centipede Boot-Making and Shoe-Repair Season begins -- Fairy Calendar

Consualia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival for Consus, god of graineries, with games and races in the Circus Maximus in his honor)

Coonskin Cap Day -- debut of "Davy Crocket" on TV's "Disneyland" in 1954 (and the original Davy Crockett hated the things, by the way)

Homecoming Day -- Alderney, UK

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Pvorusleikier -- Spoon-licker, who tries to steal all the wooden spoons he can find

Kasuga Wakamiya on-Matsuri -- Nara Prefecture, Japan (dates to the 12th century, to pray against plague and for a good harvest; through the 18th)

Koninkrijksdag -- Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba; Sint Maarten (Kingdom Day)

National Lemon Cupcake Day

National Regifting Day -- be careful here!

Navidades begin -- Puerto Rico (traditional Christmas celebrations that last through Three Kings Day)

Setagaya no Bori Ichi -- Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (a two day flea market that dates back to 1578)

St. Nino's Day (Patron of Georgia)

Trivial Pursuit Day -- honoring Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, who created the game on this date in 1979

Zamenhof Day -- International Esperanto Community


Anniversary Today:

Sylvester Stallone marries Brigitte Nielson, 1985


Birthdays Today:

Adam Brody, 1979
Garrett Wang, 1968
Helen Slater, 1963
Nick Beggs, 1961
Don Johnson, 1949
Dave Clark, 1942
Tim Conway, 1933
Edna O'Brien, 1931
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 1928
Uziel "Uzi" Gal, 1923
Jeff Chandler, 1918
Stan Kenton, 1911
J. Paul Getty, 1892
Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, 1859
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel,1832


Debuting/Premiering Today:

Gone With the Wind(Film), 1939 (Atlanta only, general release Jan. 1, 1940)
"Song of the Forests"(Shostakovich Op. 81), 1949
"Charlie Girl"(Musical), 1965


Today in History:

Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron, 533
Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia, 1265
Bartholomeus Diaz returns to Portugal after sailing round Cape of Good Hope, 1488
The State of Holland grants patent on a windmill with crankshaft, 1593
The first US law school is established at University of Pennsylvania, 1791
The first Irish magazine in US, Shamrock, is published, 1810
The first street-cleaning machine in US is used in Philadelphia, 1854
The King of Hawaii becomes the first reigning king to visit the Us, and is received by President Grant, 1874
The London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opens, 1906
Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, is lost over English Channel, 1944
Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida; four orbits later, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7, 1965
Samoa becomes a member of the United Nations, 1976
U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will recognize the People's Republic of China and cut off all relations with Taiwan, 1978
The 3rd reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is shut down, 2000
The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean, 2001
Boeing's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington, 2009