Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z Challenge: O is for Oops

It was an Oops sort of day.

#1 Son found out his car insurance premium will almost triple, because of his accidents and tickets.

Bigger Girl lost her wallet.  It fell out of her pocket at the library.  Someone turned it back in, minus her cash.

And, to top off the day, Little Girl had that day's biggest Oops of all:

Part of the front of our house.

Another view.
The good news?  The Jalopy is fine!

Today is

American Academy of Arts and Letters Charter Day

Bat Appreciation Day -- sponsored by Bat Conservation International, at the time of year when bats begin awakening from hibernation

Blah, Blah, Blah Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Ellis Island Family History Day -- US (by proclamation of the nations governors and in conjunction with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a day to celebrate the achievements and contribution of the immigrants and their descendants who came through Ellis Island; on the anniversary of the day, in 1907, when 11,747 immigrants were processed through the island, the most in one day)

Equality Day -- Canada (the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force on April 17, 1985, guaranteeing equality without regard to race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability)

Flag Day -- American Samoa

Ford Mustang Day -- International (on the "birthday" of the vehicle)

Get to Know Your Customers Day (celebrated the 3rd Thursday quarterly)

Independence Day / Evacuation Day -- Syria

International Day of Peasants Struggle

Maundy Thursday -- Christian (a/k/a Holy, Green, Chare, Sheer, or Shere Thursday; commemoration of the Last Supper)
     Procession of the Addolorata -- Taranto, Italy

National Cheeseball Day

National Haiku Poetry Day -- US, sponsored by The Haiku Foundation

National High Five Day -- raising money for cancer research, sponsored by the National High Five Project

New Year -- Myanmar (celebrated through the 21st)

Nimble Fairies' Scattering -- Fairy Calendar

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day -- to be celebrated, if you dare, by greeting and thanking your neighbor for being nosy

Nothing Like A Dame Day -- a day to pay homage to the unique wit, wisdom, style and strength of dames past and present, and to cultivate the dame in you or in your life

St. Kateri Tekakwitha's Day (Patron of ecologists, ecology, environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, exiles, people who have lost their parents, people ridiculed for their piety)

St. Stephen Harding's Day (Co-founder of Cistercian Order)

Support Teen Literature Day -- US (on the Thursday of National Library Week)

Thargelia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (two day festival for the birthday of Apollon and Artemis; date approximate)

Toothbrush Appreciation Day -- think of what it would be like without one!

Verrazano Day -- New York, US (Celebrates discovery of New York harbor by Giovanni Verrazano, Florentine navigator)

Women's Day -- Gabon

World Hemophilia Day

Birthdays Today:

Victoria Beckham, 1974
Jennifer Garner, 1972
Liz Phair, 1967
Lela Rochon, 1966
Norman Julius “Boomer” Esiason, 1961
Sean Bean, 1958
Olivia Hussey, 1951
Don Kirshner, 1934
Cynthia Ozick, 1928
Harry Reasoner, 1923
William Holden, 1918
Thornton Wilder, 1897
Nikita Krushchev, 1894
Adrian Constantine “Cap” Anson, 1852
J.P. Morgan, 1837
Samuel Chase, 1741

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Caveman(Film), 1981
"McCartney"(Album), 1970 (first solo album)
"No Time for Comedy"(Play), 1939

Today in History:

Geoffrey Chaucer tells his Canterbury Tales for the first time, at the court of Richard II, ten years to the day after the pilgrimage actually began, 1397
Christopher Columbus signs his contract with Spain to find the Indes, 1492
Martin Luther stands firm and refuses to recant before the Diet of Worms, 1521
Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico in what would be one of the largest invasions of the Spanish territories in America, 1797
The first Sino-Japanese War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895
A one day record 11,747 immigrants are processed at Ellis Island, 1907
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios is formed by the merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company, 1924
Cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J Fudd & Petunia Pig, debut, 1937
At midnight, 26 Irish counties officially break with the British Commonwealth and form the Republic of Ireland, 1949
The Bay of Pigs Invasion fiasco begins, 1961
Ford Motor Company unveils the Mustang, 1964
Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air, 1964
The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely, 1970
Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa by Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, 1982
The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ends, 1986
NJ Devil Martin Brodeur becomes the 2nd NHL goalie to score in a playoff game, 1997
The 5th Summit of the Americas takes place in Port of Spain; Trinidad, thirty-four heads of government attend, 2005
An explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, Texas, causes 15 deaths and major damage to nearby buildings, residences, a nursing home and middle school, 2013

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A to Z Challenge: N is for Not Natural

Conversation overheard between Bigger Girl and a guy friend the other day:

Friend:  So, what were you up to today?

Bigger Girl:  I went to the Palm Sunday service this morning.  Amos the Donkey was there, as usual, and I brought him an apple to eat.  And the assistant pastor, whom I now call "Man Who Shouldn't Have Shaved That Morning If He Was Going to Play Jesus," couldn't find his costume so we were a few minutes late starting.  Also, no one told him that Amos always stops at the same corner to try to nibble the grass.  It was funny.  The service was great, too.

Friend:  That does sound fun.  I just got back from my mon's birthday dinner with my family.  We went to the Cheesecake Bistro and I had the chicken pasta.  It was good.

Bigger Girl:  It sounds good.  After church, Grandpa picked us up and took us to a baseball game.  He gets seats in a suite.  It's not natural to watch baseball in a suite with men in suits and eat shrimp salad, you know?  That's just not natural to watch a baseball game that way.

Friend:  But I'll bet it tastes good!

Bigger Girl:  Yes.  Oh, and by the way, remember how we were talking about the upcoming superhero movies being made, and I was so excited they might be thinking of having one starring one of their female characters?

Friend:  Yeah.

Bigger Girl:  Well, it wasn't true.  They've decided they don't think it will make enough money if it stars a female superhero.  It's always guys who run things making those decisions, too!  Always thinking the girls are lesser or can't draw enough interest.

Friend:  Unfortunately, that's only too natural.

Today is

Day of Mushroom Encouragement -- Fairy Calendar

Dronningens fodselsdag -- Denmark (Birthday of Queen Margrethe II)

Emancipation Day -- Washington, D.C., US

Holiday of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Jim Thorpe Day -- US (by Presidential Proclamation in 1973)

National CPA's Goof Off Day -- US, the day after tax day because they deserve it!

National Bookmobile Day -- US, on the Wednesday of National Library Week

National Eggs Benedict Day

National Healthcare Decision Day -- US (to inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning)

National Stress Awareness Day -- sponsored by the Health Resource Network (always on the first workday after paying taxes)

Offering to Demeter Khloe -- Ancient Greek Calendar (honoring Demeter as goddess of green shoots; date approximate)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes' Day (Patron of people ridiculed for their piety, poor people, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people; Lourdes, France; against bodily ills, poverty, sickness)

St. Padarn's Day (Celtic peoples traditionally begin weeding crops on this saint's day)

Thank Your School Librarian Day --US, the Wednesday of National Library Week

Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day -- US (the day after you pay your taxes, bring the comforts of home to the office; sponsored by PajamaGram)

World Entrepreneurship Day

World Voice Day -- if you've ever had laryngitis, you know how important it is to protect your voice

Anniversaries Today:

Harry Connick, Jr. marries Jill Goodare, 1994
Founding of the University of Queensland, 1910

Birthdays Today:

Lilliana Mumy, 1994
Lucas Haas, 1976
Selena Quintanilla, 1971
Martin Lawrence, 1965
Jon Cryer, 1965
Ellen Barkin, 1955
Jay O. Sanders, 1953
Kareem Adbud-Jabbar, 1947
Dusty Springfield, 1939
Bobby Vinton, 1935
Herbie Mann, 1930
Edie Adams, 1929
Pope Benedict XVI, 1927
Henry Mancini, 1924
Kingsley Amis, 1922
Peter Ustinov, 1921
Barry Nelson, 1920
Merce Cunningham, 1919
Charlie Chaplin, 1889
John Millington Synge, 1871
Wilbur Wright, 1867
Jose De Diego, 1866
Anatole France, 1844
John Franklin, 1786
Hans Sloane, 1660

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Fibber McGee and Molly"(Radio), 1935
"Mazeppa"(Symphonic poem, Liszt' S 100), 1854
"The Contrast"(Comedy), 1787 (First play by an American author, Royall Tyler, to be professionally produced on stage)

Today in History:

Calculated date of the return of Odysseus from the Trojan War, BC1178
The Jewish fortress of Masada falls to the Roman Army, ending the Jewish revolt, 73
Martin Luther is called before the Diet of Worms, 1521
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina, 1582
The United States Senate ratified the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada, 1880
The first passenger rail opens in India, 1853
Ebenezer Bassett, the first African-American diplomat, begins his service in Haiti, 1869
US Marshal Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle, in Dodge City, 1881
Harriet Quimby becomes the first female pilot to cross the English Channel, 1912
Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British, 1919
Annie Oakley shoots a record 100 clay targets in a row, 1922
Dr. Albert Hofmann first ingests LSD, thus discovering its effects, 1943
Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, 1947
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation, 1963
The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique and 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean, 1992
The Queen Mary II embarks on her first transatlantic voyage, 2004
President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo declares the First Ivorian Civil War to be over, 2007

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z Challenge: M is for Mikey

Okay, everyone!  Pipe down!  It's my turn, so clear out!

Everyone else gone?  Good.

Hi, I'm Mikey.  I own #1 Son, well,  co-own him with Enigma.  I don't mind admitting that, either, as she's cool.   She grooms me, and with my long hair, that's a good friend who does that!

Me, guarding the front door.

As for the rest of these clowns in this house that try to pass for felines, well, some of them don't want to acknowledge me as boss!  Can you believe it?  I mean really, you move away for a year, and when you come back Link goes out of his way to pick fights!  I mean, I helped raise that little stinker.

Me, just chillin'.

Now, Dansig, he remembered that I am top cat, and he is my friend, always was and always will be.  Most of the others are afraid of me enough not to argue.  That's the beauty of being the biggest and a Maine Coon mix, I'm big enough to get the point across to everyone.  Well, i keep having to prove that to the Tripod, who is a foster and just visiting and ought to be glad she even has a place, and that Siamese.  She is stuck up.  We get on as long as we mostly stay away from each other, and I'm willing to let her think she's in charge since she's 12 years old,  I know I'm the ruler, though

I'm king, and sit where I choose!

Don't get me wrong, either, I'm a great person owner.  I love my boy and his whole family.  I'm one of the most loving cats there is with the people I claim.  I just don't tolerate any nonsense from other cats.  Come on, I even let Little Girl put flowers on me, so you know i'm mostly laid back.

Aren't I patient -- and handsome1

Well, I guess that's about all I had to say, except that when I was orphaned as a  baby and raised here, I lucked out that #1 Son realized I'd make such a good person owner. 

Hey, hey!  Why are you sneaking back in here!

Sorry folks, gotta go.  See you soon!

Today is

Celtic Tree Month Saille (willow) begins

Day of the Sun -- North Korea (Kim Il Sung's Birthday)

Eighty-Niner Days Celebration -- Guthrie, OK, US (commemoration of the Oklahoma Territory Land Run of April 22, 1889, celebrating their heritage with chuck wagon feeds, "gunfights", a parade and carnival; through Saturday)

Fast Food Day -- the first franchised McDonald's opened this day in 1955 in Des Plaines, IL, US

Father Damien Day -- Hawaii, US (Patron of lepers)

Festival of Heru; Festival of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Fluff Appreciation Day -- internet generated; i guess as a distraction for Tax Day

Fordicalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (cow sacrifice to the earth mother, Tellus Mater)

Full Pink Moon -- a/k/a Full Sprouting Moon, Grass Moon, Egg Moon, White Moon, Virgin Moon, and Fish Moon; in other traditions
     Bak Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Tagu Full Moon -- Myanmar

Guangzhou (Canton) Spring Trade Fair -- Guangzhou (Canton), China (a month-long spring trade fair held the same dates each year)

Hanuman Jayanti -- Hindu (local dates may vary)

Hillsborough Disaster Memorial -- Anfield at Liverpool, England

Income Tax Pay Day -- Philippines; US
     related observances:
     Freak Out Day
     National Griper's Day (after all, you have to pay your taxes, and the Titanic sank today*)
     Tax Resistors' Day -- good luck!
     That Sucks Day (appropriate, isn't it)

Jackie Robinson Day -- Major League Baseball

Lord's Evening Meal -- Jehovah's Witness

National Glazed Ham Day

National Library Workers Day -- US (always the Tuesday of National Library Week)

Passover -- Judaism (began sundown yesterday; ends evening Apr. 22)

Rubber Eraser Day -- today in 1770, Joseph Priestly described a vegetable gum which had the ability to rub out pencil marks

St. Hunna's Day (Patron of laundresses, laundry workers, washerwomen)

Swallow Day -- England (traditional date of the return of chimney swallows)

Take a Wild Guess Day -- sponsored by Jim Barber as a day to honor guesses, hunches, inspirations, speculations and other forms of “intuitive intelligence;” just not on your taxes, please

Tipsa Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (celebration of the start of plowing)

Titanic Remembrance Day

World Creativity and Innovation Week -- always begins on DaVinci's birth anniversary
    World Art Day -- because he was an artist as well as inventor

*If you want to add others reasons why today should be considered "That Sucks Day", please go share your horror story of the day at

Anniversary Today:

Gallaudet University is founded, 1817 (first US public school for the deaf)

Birthdays Today:

Emma Watson, 1990
Ilya Kovalchuck, 1983
Seth Rogen, 1982
Patrick Carney, 1980
Anna Torv, 1978
Emma Thompson, 1959
Evelyn Ashford, 1957
Heloise Cruse Evans, 1951
Amy Wright, 1950
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, 1947
Claudia Cardinale, 1939
Roy Clark, 1933
Elizabeth Montgomery, 1933
Leon Schotter, 1922
Harold Washington, 1922
Hilda Simms, 1920
Hans Conried, 1917
Bessie Smith, 1894
Thomas Hart Benton, 1889
Sam Rodia, 1875
John Munroe Longyear, 1850
Henry James, 1843
Joseph E. Seagram, 1841
Charles Willson Peale, 1741(O.S. date)
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"In Living Color"(TV), 1990
"Driving Miss Daisy"(Play), 1987

Today in History:

Pope Innocent III refuses to grant permission to the Jews of Cordova, Spain, to build a synagogue, 1250
Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London, 1755
The first school for the deaf in the US opens in Hartford, Connecticut, 1817
The last day US silver coins are allowed to circulate in Canada, 1870
Harley Proctor begins producing Ivory Soap, 1878
General Electric Company is incorporated, 1892
The Titanic sinks, 1912
Insulin becomes available to diabetics, 1923
Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas, 1924
Jackie Robinson debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947
White Rock, British Columbia officially separates from Surrey, British Columbia and is incorporated as a new city, 1957
Tokyo Disney Resort (and the Tokyo Disneyland park) opens in Tokyo Bay (Japan), 1983
Upon Hu Yaobang's death, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 begin in the People's Republic of China, 1989
Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities sign the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and initiating the World Trade Organization, 1994
Astronomers at San Francisco State University announce the discovery of the first multiplanet solar system besides our own, three planets around Upsilon Andromedaie, 1999
Volcanic ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland leads to the closure of airspace over most of Europe, 2010
In a Schrodinger's cat experiment, researchers in Japan and Australia successfully teleport wave packets of light; this is the first transfer of quantum information from one point to another, 2011

Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z Challenge: L is for Link and Little Girlie

Hello, everyone!  I'm Link!  Also sometimes called Linker-Stinker, or Tuna Breath by Little Girl, whom I own.

I'm so good looking, and I know it!

They say a wonderful lady found me one day, after a huge rainstorm, when she was out for a walk.  I was in the leaves by the ditch, yelling for my mama.  Since mama was nowhere to be found, and I was wet and cold, the lady brought me where I could be bottle fed.

The mama lady here says I was the smallest kitten she'd ever bottle raised.  She didn't expect me to make it.  Because I was alone with no siblings to play with, she took special care to hold me a lot and socialize me well.

I grew up to be quite the handsome, fun loving guy!  Little Girl and I love to play together, and get into mischief.  I will run around like a kitten even though I'm now about a 2-year-old.  It's such fun to run and jump on people, and tear through the house like a mad thing.

All this damage is the handiwork of yours truly!

Little Girl sometimes takes me outside, and that's so cool!  She lets me run in the grass in the back yard, and sometimes I try to dig in the mud.  I don't ever try to run away, because I'm smart enough to know I own a great kid!

The one thing I sometimes don't like is that the #1 Son moved back in, and brought Mikey with him.  I mean, I know, I grew up with Mikey and Dansig, they were the ones who played with me and taught me how to be a good cat and all, but I got used to Mikey being gone.  So when he came back, I stalked him a lot.  He didn't like it, and we fought a few times.  It's all okay now, but it really was odd having him back at first.

Well, because the mama lady is doing this by alphabet, whatever that is, I have to share my day with Little Girly, who is an old lady and cranky.  Just don't tell her I said that.

I heard that!  Old and cranky.  Well, I am 9 years old, almost 10, but I'd hardly describe myself as old and cranky.

I may be literary, and fuss at the young ones, but that doesn't make me cranky!

Since I'm supposed to tell you where I came from (my cat mother, of course!), I'll get that over with.  I was one of a litter of four who was orphaned by a car running over our mom, and bottle raised here.  Because I bore a striking resemblance to the original cat they had whose name was Girlie, I was kept.  There, that's enough of that.

Bigger Girl belongs to me, and everyone better know it.  I edit her papers for her.  She's in college, and she really does need an editor when she's writing papers.  So I sit in her lap while she types, and I watch the screen.  She asks, and sometimes, I gotta tell you, it's a mess.  Other times, it's good stuff, which she learned from me.  Trust me when I tell you, I'm always honest with her about whether it's good or bad.

If there are books, I'm around them.

She claims I'm a communist, and that I've turned her bed into the coolective, but I just say I deserve everything.  I'm a cat, after all.

Today is

Ambedkar Jayanti -- India (birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution)

Americas Day -- Honduras

Black Day -- South Korea (for those who got neither Valentine's gifts nor White Day gifts; singles wear black and get together to eat black noodle soup)

Celebrations in the Houses of Ra, Osiris, and Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Children with Alopecia Day -- children lose their hair for many reasons, some information about it is here

Day of Mologa -- Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia (commemorates the destruction of the town of Mologa during the construction of the Rybinsk Reservoir)

Day of the Georgian Language -- Georgia (marking the 1978 protests of Soviet attempts to suppress the Georgian language)

Elfin Choir Congress -- Fairy Calendar

Ex Spouse Day -- why?

Global Day of Action on Military Spending -- sponsored by by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)

Heavenly Sage Bao Sheng’s Birthday -- Taoism

International Moment of Laughter Day -- started by Izzy Gesell

Kinetoscope Day -- the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures through Edison's "peep show" device occurred on this day in 1894

Look Up At The Sky Day -- internet generated, no history on this one, but if it's a pretty day, take advantage of it (some sites say April 12, but since we don't know who started it, today is fine)

National Dolphin Day

National Love Our Children Day -- sponsored by STOMP Out Bullying and Love Our Children USA

National Pecan Day --

N'Ko Alphabet Day -- Mande Language Speakers

Pan American Day -- Order of the American States

Pathologists' Assistant Day -- US (American Association of Pathologists' Assistants)

Pesach -- Judaism (Passover; begins at sundown)

Rato Machhindranath Jatra -- Nepal (chariot races for the god of rain; cannot confirm this year's date, but always begins mid-April)

Reach as High as You Can Day -- internet generated, and listed on various dates; a good idea, anyway, whenever you decide to celebrate it

Runic Half Month of Man (humanity) begins

Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollon, Zeus, Hermes, and the Dioscuri in the Deme of Erichia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Sidereal Equinox New Year Celebrations -- throughout South and Southeast Asia, including
    * Assamese New Year, or Rongali Bihu (India's Assam Valley)
    * Bengali New Year, or Pohela Boishakh (Bangladesh and India's West Bengal state)
    * Burmese New Year, or Thingyan (Burma)
    * Hindu and Sikh New Year, or Vaisakhi (Punjab region)
    * Khmer New Year, or Chol Chnam Thmey, most commonly celebrated on April 13 (Cambodia)
    * Lao New Year, or Songkan / Pi Mai Lao, generally celebrated from 13 to 15 April (Laos)
    * Malayali New Year, or Vishu (India's Kerala state)
    * Nepali New Year, or Bikram Samwat / Vaishak Ek (Nepal)
    * Oriya New Year, or Maha Visuba Sankranthi (India's Orissa state)
    * Sinhalese New Year, or Aluth Avurudhu (Sri Lanka)
    * Tamil New Year, or Puthandu (India's Tamil Nadu state)
    * Thai New Year, or Songkran, celebrated from 13 to 15 April (Thailand)
    * Tuluva New Year, or Bisu (India's Karnataka state)

Sommarsblot -- Ancient Norse Calendar (celebration of the coming summer, with sacrifices to the gods over the next several days; through Walpurgis/May 1)

Spring Hula Hooping Day -- try out the old hula hoop one more time, then toss it

St. Benezet's Day (Patron of bachelors, bridge builders; Avignon, France)

St. Lydwina of Schiedam's Day (Patron of ice skating/roller skating/skaters, prolonged suffering, sick people; Schiedam, Netherland; against bodily ills and sickness)

St. Peter Gonzalez's Day (Patron of boatmen, mariners, sailors, watermen)

St. Tiburtius' Day (Considered the day the cuckoos return to England for the spring)

Takayama Spring Festival -- Takayama City, Japan (often considered one of the 3 most beautiful festivals in Japan; through tomorrow)

Vaisaki/Baisakhi -- Sikh (celebration of the spring grain harvest and of the rebirth of the Sikh religion in the 15th Century)

Youth Day -- Angola

Birthdays Today:

Abigail Breslin, 1996
Sarah Michelle Gellar, 1977
Adrien Brody, 1973
Anthony Michael Hall, 1968
Greg Maddux, 1966
Cynthia Cooper, 1963
Robert Carlyle, 1961
Brad Garrett, 1960
Emma Thompson, 1959
Ritchie Blackmore, 1945
Julie Christie, 1941
Pete Rose, 1941
Loretta Lynn, 1935
Rod Steiger, 1925
John Gielgud, 1904
Arnold Joseph Toynbee, 1889
Anne Sullivan, 1866
Emperor Momozono, 1741
Christiaan Huygens, 1629

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Boys in the Band"(Musical), 1968
"Bye Bye, Birdie"(Musical), 1960
The Grapes of Wrath(Publication date), 1939
"Jeux d'enfants"(Ballet), 1932
"Murders in the Rue Morgue"(Publication date), 1841
American Dictionary of the English Language(Publication date), 1828

Today in History:

Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar's assassin Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, who is wounded, BC 43
Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, surrounds the Jewish capital with four Roman legions, beginning the Siege of Jerusalem, 70
Temur, grandson of Kublai Khan, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, 1294
The foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France is laid, 1434
Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush establish the first abolitionist society in the US, 1775
Napoleon calls for establishing Jerusalem for the Jews, 1799
Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary, 1828
The Donner Party departs Springfield, Illinois, 1846
Harriet Tubman begins her first Underground Railroad run, 1853
William Bullock patents the continuous-roll printing press, 1863
Abraham Lincoln is shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth, 1865
Canada sets denominations of currency as dollars, cents, & mills, 1871
Canada passes the Dominion Lands Act, 1872
The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg  at 11:40pm and sinks 2 hours later, 1912
The first Volvo car premieres in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1927
The Grapes of Wrath, by American author John Steinbeck is first published by the Viking Press, 1939
The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 falls from orbit, 1958
The heaviest hailstones ever recorded, at 1 kilogram, hailstones fall on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92, 1986
The most costly natural disaster in Australian history, a hailstorm, strikes Sydney, Australia, 1999
The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%, 2003
The Oregon Supreme Court nullifies marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County, 2005
Ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano drifts towards Europe, causing air traffic to close over Northern Norway, 2010
The first-ever European MP's of Croatia are determined in an election held in anticipation of Croatia gaining formal entry into the European Union, 2013

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Silly Sunday: Tee Boudreaux and the Preacher

Silly Sunday is hosted by Sandee at Comedy Plus.  It's easy to link up and laugh up!

Today is Palm Sunday.  Our church usually has multiple services, but today is different.  We all gather for one service.   Before it begins, Amos the Donkey leads us around the block in front of the church, and then we file in.  After the service, we gather again outside where the children hunt eggs and play in the "bouncy houses" or whatever those things are actually called, and we have a big picnic lunch.  It's a nice time, and we all look forward to it every year.

Thinking about church has reminded me about Tee Boudreaux and the preacher.

Like mos' Cajuns, de Boudreaux's is Cat'lic(Catholic).  But when dere frien' from up dere in Shrevepo't died, dey went to de service, even though de frien' was a non-denomination Christian.

Well, it were an ol' church, and de equipment weren't de newest, and de preacher carried a mic dat had a cord, not one of dem new cordless ones.  An' dis preacher, let me done tole you, when he get to preachin', he start pacing back and forth, and turnin' dis way and dat, and he get hisself all worked up.  He keep preachin'. and movin' aroun' dat stage, an' de cord from dat dere mic end up wrap aroun' him a bit, an' he kick it out de way, but it keep doin' dat as he gets more and more worked up.

After a while, he jes' ignore dat cord, and keep stridin' up an' down and it gets aroun' him, and he's 'bout hollering, an' Tee, who ain't never seen nothin' like dis in a church, well, his eyes dey be as big as saucers.

Fin'ly, Tee lean back against his mamere, Clothile, an he ax, "Mais!  If he come loose from dat rope, is we gonna be safe?"

Today is

All Ireland Dance Championships -- London, England (the world championships of Irish Dance; through next Sunday)

Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis -- Holy See (Vatican City)

Day to Give Thanks for Fish/Seafood -- anniversary of the US Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1976

Environmental Protection Day -- anniversary of the 1962 publication of Silent Spring

Feast of Rotten Endings -- because some stories just don't end well

Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse -- sponsored by The Innocence Revolution

Huguenot Day -- Huguenot Society of the US (anniversary of the 1598 Edict of Nantes, in which King Henry IV promoted peace between Catholics and Protestants)

Ides of April -- Ancient Roman Calendar; also
     Festival of Libertas -- personification of freedom and political liberty
     Festival of Jupiter Libertas
     Festival of Jupiter Victor

International Plant Appreciation Day -- unsponsored by any but those who love plants

London Marathon -- Greenwich to The Mall, London, England

Mahavir Jayanti -- Jain (local dates may vary)

National Library Week begins -- US (sponsored by the ALA, this year's theme is "Lives change @ your library.")

National Peach Cobbler Day

Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday -- Christian/Orthodox Christian

Poshui Jie -- Jinghong, China (Water Splashing Festival; a 3 to four day festival around this time)

Scrabble Day -- anniversary of the 1899 birth of its inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts

Semana Santa -- Holy Week in Spain and Spanish speaking areas; special celebrations:
     Mexico -- through the country, but especially in Chiapas, with processions, costumes, and even fireworks, music, dance, and syncretic rituals
     Seville, Spain -- with hundreds of shuffling penitents in their hoods making the torch lit processions through the town; through Easter)

Songkran Festival / Chiang Mai Songkran / Tamil New Year / Bangla New Year / Bisket Jatra -- Bangladesh; Cambodia; India; Laos; Myanmar; Nepal; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand (New Year festivals, celebrated over the next few days, as the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries)

Squashing of Moonhopper Day -- Fairy Calendar

St. Hermengild's Day (Patron of converts; against drought, flood, and thunderstorms)

Thingyan -- Myanmar (Water Festival; through the 16th)

Thomas Jefferson Day -- US

U.S. Elephant Day -- marking the arrival of the first elephant in the US in 1796

World Youth Day -- sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church; this 29th celebration is themed "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3) and Pope Francis message to young people for this day is here

Yayoi Matsuri -- Nikko, Japan (five day spring festival)

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Brandis, 1976
Rick Schroder, 1970
Garry Kasparov, 1963
Saundra Santiago, 1957
Max Weinberg, 1951
Peabo Bryson, 1951
Ron Pearlman, 1950
Al Green, 1946
Tony Dow, 1945
Lowell George, 1945
Jack Casady, 1944
Bill Conti, 1942
Paul Sorvino, 1939
Lyle Waggoner, 1935
Don Adams, 1926
Howard Keel, 1919
Eudora Welty, 1909
Samuel Beckett, 1906
Butch Cassidy, 1866
F.W. Woolworth, 1852
Thomas Jefferson, 1743
Guy Fawkes, 1570

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Arcadia"(Play), 1993
Casino Royale(Film), 1967
Silent Spring(Publication date), 1962
"El Capitan"(Operetta), 1896
"Messiah"(Oratorio, HWV 56), 1742

Today in History:

The Seventh Crusade is defeated in Egypt with the capture of Louis IX of France, 1250
Henry IV of France signs the Edict of Nantes, granting freedom of religion and political rights to Huguenots (French Protestants), 1598
John Dryden, age 36, becomes the first English Poet Laureate, 1668
George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland, 1742
The first elephant seen in the Western Hemisphere arrives from India, 1796
The British Parliament grants religious freedom to Roman Catholics, 1829
Hungary becomes a republic, 1849
The first US Pony Express run is completed, 1860
George Westinghouse patents a steam powered brake, 1869
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded, 1870
J.C. (James Cash) Penney opens his first store, 1902
British troops fire on unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India, killing at least 379 and wounding over 1,200 more, 1919
Helen Hamilton becomes the first woman US Civil Service Commissioner, 1920
Lord Clydesdale makes the first flight over Mt. Everest, 1933
The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated on the 200th anniversary of his birth, in Washington, D.C., 1943
Van Cliburn becomes the first American to win the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, 1958
Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies of the Field, 1963
An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the spacecraft while en route to the Moon, 1970
The Universal Postal Union decides to recognize the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate Chinese representative, effectively expelling the Republic of China administering Taiwan, 1972
Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1, 1974
Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999, 1987
Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament, 1997
Former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and sons, Alaa and Gamal, are detained for 15 days of questioning regarding charges of corruption and abuse of power, 2011
The People's Republic of China and the U.S. agree to work towards eliminating nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula, 2013

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A to Z Challenge: K is for Kida

Greetings, underling humans.  I am Kida.

As you can plainly see if you are even a little bit smart, smart for a human at least, I am a Siamese.  This, of course, means that I Am Cat.

I am Siamese.  I am also literary.

This is something i have been trying to convince the mother person when she dares to call me "Kida the Mosquito."  She pretends she can make that rhyme, by the way, pronouncing the final "o" incorrectly.  Nevertheless, she claims that I am always buzzing around.

It's amazing what they try to get away with if I'm not on the ball!
To continue my story, though, it reaches back into a dark and mysterious past and I prefer to keep it that way.  I was found on the streets with my very fine litter of 5 kittens, whom I was raising quite well thankyouverymuch.  The rescue group, of course, decided that it wouldn't do for one of my stature to be on the street, and so I was taken in.  When my litter were ready to be weaned and adopted out, they gave me 3 more kittens, orphans, to raise, and I did so.

At that point, I was done with motherhood.  They tried to slip another litter in on me.  I had enough of that.  I kept them warm and clean, simply because I cannot stand the smell of unwashed kittens and I wasn't going to let them freeze.  I would not nurse them.  So the mother person here bottle fed them and I did most of the rest of the work.

Upon recognizing my tremendous sacrifice in doing this, and my excellent feline charms, and upon my recognizing that they simply couldn't run this house without my presence, the big man who goes to work asked that I stay here.  He had always wanted a Siamese (he has good taste, I must give him that), and i agreed.

Hope and Horizon claim that the three of us are co-owners of the big man who works.  I allow them to think so, however, I rule the roost with a stern look in my beautiful blue eyes and an iron paw.  I do not put up with nonsense from any of the other felines in the house, as I am older and outrank them in breeding and in every other way.

Trust me, when the eyes aren't so dilated, they are very pretty blue.

So, now I have told you enough about myself, and as I really don't care to know anything about you unless you are willing to brush me or give me food, I will be getting back to my other duties.

Kida, attending important business.

Today is

Baby Massage Day

Big Wind Day -- anniversary of the strongest natural wind ever recorded on the earth's surfact, at Mount Washington, NH, US; the wind gusts reached 231 mph

Cimarron Territory Celebration and World Cow Chip–throwing® Championship Contest -- Beaver, OK, US ("a highly specialized organic sporting event", as well as poker fun, food, crafts, and a parade; through next Saturday)

D.E.A.R. Day (a/k/a Drop Everything And Read) -- sponsored by the ALA, on Bevery Cleary's birth anniversary 

Eat All Your Snacks Before the Movie Even Starts Day  -- with all the ads before the movie, doesn't that happen anyway?

Feast of Pak Tai -- Macau (Pak Tai who conquered the Demon King, celebrated the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month)

Festival of Cerealia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (seven day public and private festival for Ceres)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

Halifax Day -- North Carolina, US (anniversary of the resolution adopted authorizing voting for independence in 1776)

International Day for Street Children

John Wilkes Boothe Escape Route Tours -- Surrat House Museum, Clinton, MD, US (for Civil War history buffs, a 12 hour bus tour over the route used by Lincoln's assassin; every Saturday through May 3)

Kasama Tsutsuji Matsuri -- Kasama, Japan (Azalea festival attended by about 3 million people over the next 3-4 weeks)

Kentucky Derby Festival -- Louisville, KY, US (the warm-up celebration for the big race, much of which is free; through May 2)

Laotian New Year's Eve -- Laos (celebrations last through the 15th and sometimes beyond; at the start of the monsoon season)

Lazarus Saturday -- Orthodox Christian
     Lazarovden -- Bulgaria (along with celebrating the raising of Lazarus, there are fertility rituals, especially involving young maidens, and honoring the goddesses of spring and love)

National Licorice Day -- go see the Licorice Ladies if you are a big fan!

Sinhala & Tamil New Year's Eve -- Sri Lanka

Slow Art Day -- a global all-volunteer event with the simple mission of helping more people discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art

St. Sabas' Day (Patron of Lectors, torture victims)

St. Zeno's Day (Patron of anglers, children learning to speak, children learning to walk, fishermen, newborn babies; city and diocese of Verona, Italy)

Thingyan -- Myanmar (Burmese Water Festival; part of the New Year celebrations)

Walk on Your Wild Side Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, a day in which to do something no one would expect from you

Yasurai Matsuri -- Imamiya Jinja, Kyoto, Japan (festival to prevent ill health)

Yuri's Night -- International (Commemoration of first human in space, Yuri Gagarin)
     Cosmonaut's Day -- Russia
     International Day of Human Space Flight -- UN

Birthdays Today:

Saoirse Ronan, 1994
Riley Smith, 1982
Claire Danes, 1979
Sarah Jane Morris, 1977
Nicholas Brendon, 1971
Shannen Doherty, 1971
Nick Hexum, 1970
Art Alexakis, 1962
vince Gill, 1957
Andy Garcia, 1956
David Cassidy, 1950
Tom Clancy, 1947
Dan Lauria, 1947
David Letterman, 1947
Ed O'Neill, 1946
Herbie Hancock, 1940
Dennis Banks, 1937
Tiny Tim, 1930
Ann Miller, 1923
Beverly Cleary, 1916
Henry Clay, 1777
Lyman Hall, 1724
Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, BC599

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"21 Jump Street"(TV), 1987
"Your Hit Parade"(Radio), 1935
"Madame Bovary"(Publication date), 1857
"Oberon, or The Elf King's Oath"(Weber opera), 1826
"The Tatler"(Journal, first edition), 1709 Note:  this original version of a publication with the name lasted only two years

Today in History:

Constantinople falls to the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire, 1204
The formal inquest of Galileo by the Inquisition begins, 1633
The first edition of Tatler Magazine is published in London, 1709
The American Civil War begins at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 1861
George C Blickensderfer patents a portable typewriter, 1892
Pierre Prier makes the first nonstop flight from London to Paris, in 3h 56m, 1911
Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England, 1937
The strongest surface wind gust ever measured, 231 mph, at Mount Washington, New Hampshire, 1943
The Salk vaccine is declared safe and effective, 1955
Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space, 1961
Samuel Doe takes over Liberia in a coup d'etat, ending 130 years of peaceful and democratic presidential successions, 1980
The first launch of a space shuttle, the Colombia, 1981
The Euro Disney Resort officially opens (now Disneyland Paris), 1992
Canter & Siegel post the first commercial mass Usenet spam, 1994
Zimbabwe officially abandons the Zimbabwe Dollar as their currency, 2009
Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, Japan raises the crisis level to 7, equal to the disaster in Chernoby, 2011

Friday, April 11, 2014

A to Z Challenge and Photo-Finish Friday: J is for Jalopy

What kind of vehicle does the mom of a barely scraping by family drive?

A Jalopy, of course.  In fact, her name is Jalopy.

She's an old Saturn Relay minivan.  She had to have a new engine a couple of months ago, and she still needs more work.  Sometimes she shifts very abruptly.  One of her back seats hasn't been able to be unfolded for a couple of years, so she can no longer hold more than 5, instead of her previous 7.

There are dents from parking lots on both sides, the glove box door fell off, and because she is not really worth a whole lot, we never lock the doors unless we have something inside her we don't want taken.

She's a work horse, shared by me and #2 Son, and Little Girl is learning to drive in her.  If you look at the picture, you might be able to see that one tail light is taped back together with clear tape, and the side of the bumper looks loose.  It is loose, it's held on by duct tape, which can fix anything except a broken heart.

Part of me really enjoys Jalopy, even if the remotes quit working and she's not worth much.  She gets the job done, so she's worth a whole lot to me.

Photo-Finish Friday is the brainchild of Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail.

Today is

Barbershop Quartet Day -- founding day of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America

Buchenwald Liberation Day -- at 3:15pm local time, by the Third Army

Dogwood Festival -- Atlanta, GA, US (fine art, and beautiful trees; through Sunday)

Education and Sharing Day -- in honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994).

Eight Track Tape Day -- do you remember those; someone who fondly does has a day to honor them

Fast and Prayer Day -- Liberia

Festival of Unmediated Play -- just go out there and have fun, like kids do

Global Youth Service Day -- annual campaign to mobilize children and youth to make a difference (through Sunday)

Holiday in Dixie -- Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, US (ten days celebrating the Louisiana Purchase and what it meant to the US; at least, that's the formal excuse for a really fun party!)

International "Louie Louie" Day -- a song that caused such a stir it deserves a day; on the birth anniversary of its composer, Richard Berry

Juan Santamaria Day -- Costa Rica (commemoration of the hero of the Battle of Rivas)

Liberation Day -- Uganda (fall of Idi Amin)

Main Street BBQ & Bluesfest -- Washington, MO, US (professional BBQ competition, plus music and fun; through tomorrow)

Mennonite Relief Sale -- Hutchinson, Kansas, US (Mennonite, Bretheren in Christ, and Amish congregations from all across the area auction quilts, grandfather clocks, furniture, tools and crafts to raise money for hunger relief worldwide, through tomorrow)

M&M Crisis in Space Day -- on this day in 1996, American astronaut Shannon Lucid reported from Space Station Mir that she was out of M&Ms; it was the only thing she regularly requested for resupply in her 188 days there!

National Cheese Fondue Day

National Pet Day -- US (it's about the love)

National Teach Children to Save Day -- sponsored by the American Banking Association

Ozark UFO Conference -- Eureka Springs, Arkansas, US (experts -?- from around the world meet to exchange the latest info on UFOs; through Sunday)

Pet Day USA -- Adopt! Don't Shop!

St. Antipas' Day (spiritual student of St. John, mentioned in the Book of the Revelation of St. John)

St. Stanislaus' Day (Patron of soldiers in battle; Cracow, Poland; Plock, Poland; Poland, where he is celebrated on May 8)

Tsechu Festival -- Paro, Bhutan (religious celebration in honor of Padmasambhava, with colorfully dressed monks performing masked rituals; through the 15th)

World Parkinson's Disease Day

Anniversary Today:

Spelman College is founded, 1881

Birthdays Today:

Joss Stone, 1987
Tricia Helfer, 1974
Vincent Gallo, 1961
Bill Irwin, 1950
Ellen Goodman, 1948
Meshach Taylor, 1947
Peter Riegert, 1947
Louise Lasser, 1939
Richard Berry, 1935
Tony Brown, 1933
Joel Grey, 1932
Ethel Kennedy, 1928
Oleg Cassini, 1913
Jane Matilda Bolin, 1908
Dalia "Dale" Messick, 1906
Percy Julian, 1899
Lizzie “Lillie” Bliss, 1864
Charles Evans Hughes, 1862

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"On Your Toes"(Musical), 1936
"Matthäus-Passion/St. Matthew's Passion"(Bach BWV 244), 1727

Today in History:

William III and Mary II are crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain, 1689
The last execution for witchcraft in Germany takes place, 1775
President Abraham Lincoln makes his last public speech, urging a spirit of concilliation during reconstruction, 1865
The Shogunate is abolished in Japan, 1868
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized, 1876
Ellis Island is designated as an immigration station, 1890
Spain cedes Puerto Rico to the United States in the treaty ending the Spanish American War, 1899
The US Navy aquires its first submarine, designed by John P. Holland, 1900
Albert Einstein announces his Special Theory of Relativity, 1905
The International Labour Organization is founded, 1919
The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, is found in Arbroath Abbey where Scottish nationalist students had taken it from Westminster Abbey, 1951
Britain agrees to Singaporean self-rule, 1957
Apollo 13 is launched, 1970
The Apple I is created, 1976
Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is deposed, 1979
The London Agreement is secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan, 1987
Australia beats American Samoa in a 31-0 win, the biggest ever in an international match of football, 2001
The French ban of Islamic women's face coverings goes into effect, 2011