Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Didn't Get The Memo

The good news is that Dan and Sasha got adopted this past weekend. Along with a slew of other kittens. People are coming out for Christmas cats.

The bad news came from Meg.

The phone rang, and #2 Son looked at the Caller ID. He said her name, and before he even answered Little Girl was yelling, "Are we getting more kittens?"

I have no idea, I told her, I haven't even answered the phone yet! Son handed it to me, and sure enough.

"Another mama didn't get the memo, can you take them?" Meg sounded tired. "The people found them in a car that someone abandoned on their property, out in the woods. They waited for mama, but it is getting so cold out, they felt they couldn't wait any longer."

I get it. Mama went hunting her own dinner and something happened, or she was spooked away and wasn't coming back.

Meg came with the last bag of kitten formula in the shelter, vaccines and needles, our carrier that got left at adoption day, and four babies with eyes just opened in the last 3-4 days.

One black with so much white on his belly that it looks almost gray, one gray tabby, one gray tabby with white, one marble tabby. Marble is the only male, at least according to my unthinkable snooping, but I have been known to be wrong before. Sometimes it's hard to tell when they are young.

They are not happy with the bottle yet. It might take a couple of feedings to get them to where they realize mama is gone and this is all they get.

So now we are 14. Two steps forward, four steps back. Pray for lots of adoptions this next month.

Today is:

Bonifacio Day -- Philippines

Cities for Life Day -- commemorates the abolition of the death penalty in many countries

Clear Up The Clutter Day

Computer Security Day

Ham and Roast Beef Night

Independence Day -- Barbados

National Day -- Scotland

National Meth Awareness Day

National Mousse Day

Stay Home Because You're Well Day (sponsored by the Wellness Permission League -- if you get in trouble with the boss, make sure they will take the fall!)

Saint Andrew the Apostle's Day (patron of Scotland, Greece, Russia, golfers, fishermen, sailors, spinsters; against gout, neck problems)

St. Frumentius' Day

Whisp and Thread Fair -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today:

Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz, 1940

Birthdays Today:

Clay Aiken, 1978
Ben Stiller, 1965
Bo Jackson, 1962
Billy Idol, 1955
Shuggie Otis, 1953
Mandy Patinkin, 1952
David Mamet, 1947
Abbie Hoffman, 1936
G. Gordon Liddy, 1930
Dick Clark, 1929
Robert Guillaume, 1927
Richard Crenna, 1926
Shirley Chisholm, 1924
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 1923
Gordon Parks, 1912
Winston Churchill, 1874
L(ucy) M(aude) Montgomery, 1874 (Anne of Green Gables)
Mark Twain, 1835
Jonathan Swift, 1667

Today in History:

Amsterdam bans assembly of heretics, 1523
Death count by plague in Venice is officially set at 16,000, 1630
Beijing earthquake causes 100,000+ deaths, 1731
Britain signs agreement recognizing US independence, 1782
Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day, 1786
Spain cedes her claims to Louisiana Territory to France, 1803
First ground is broken at Allenburg for the building of the original Welland Canal, 1824
First Welland Canal opens for a trial run, 5 years to the day from the ground breaking, 1829
Work begins on the first US underwater highway tunnel, in Chicago, 1866
The first international soccer football game is held, in Glasgow; Scotland-England 0-0, 1872
The first commercially successful AC electric power plant opens, Buffalo, NY, 1886
A German engineer patents front-wheel drive for automobiles, 1900
American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor, 1902
Pike Place Market is dedicated in Seattle, Washington, 1907
The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London destroyed by fire, 1936
Baseball's Negro National League disbands, two years after major league baseball integrated, 1948
In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap in the only documented case of a human being hit by a rock from space, 1954
Exxon and Mobil sign a $73.7 billion USD agreement to merge, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest company, 1998
Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with US$2,520,700, television's biggest game show winnings, 2004
John Sentamu becomes the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York, 2005

Monday, November 29, 2010


#2 Son's latest.

"Mom, I fell, and landed on my pinkie. I think it is broken!"

This as we were cleaning the church.

"Got any tape?" he continued.

What in the world do you need tape for?

"So I can splint it!" looking at me like I was a dork as he dug in the Sunday School supply closet for popsicle craft sticks.

Splint it? How about going to the hospital to have it X-rayed?

"Nah, I hate hospitals, I won't go. Here, hold this still."

I held a craft stick and appraised the finger. It wasn't crooked in any way, and looked like it was just sprained and hurting from the way he had landed. If I had thought different, I would have had him to the doc whether he agreed or no.

"There," he said, after applying several pieces of tape to his makeshift splint. "That should be fine. I've done this before, you know."

No, you didn't mention that, I dryly responded.

"Yeah, I've broken a finger before. At least, I figure it was broken. I just splinted it myself, kept it still for a couple of weeks, it was fine."

Glad to hear it, I noted. The sarcasm in my voice went right past him.

"Okay, back to work!" he cheerfully waved and disappeared.

I think I need a vacation.

Today is:

Cyber Monday

Fairy Flute Fantasy -- Fairy Calendar

Festival of the Sons of Saturn

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People -- UN

Liberation Day -- Albania

National Chocolates Day

Newspaper Day

Parliament Night

St. Cuthbert Mayne's Day

St. Saturnius' Day

Square Dance Day

Throw Out Your Leftovers Day

Anniversaries Today:

Erwin Rommel marries Lucie "Lu" Mollin, 1916

Birthdays Today:

Jon Knight, 1968
Kim Delaney, 1961
Cathy Moriarty, 1960
Jeff Fahey, 1956
Howie Mandel, 1955
Garry Shandling, 1949
Chuck Mangione, 1940
Peter Bergman, 1939
John Mayall, 1933
Diane Ladd, 1932
Vin Scully, 1927
Madeline L'Engle, 1918
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., 1908
C.S. Lewis, 1898
Busby Berkeley, 1895
Louisa May Alcott, 1832
Christian Doppler, 1803

Today in History:

Jews of Augsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349 (Sometimes, it seems, the more things change...)
King Philip II devalues Spanish currency, 1596 (See above...)
Sir James Jay invents invisible ink, 1775
San Jose, California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, 1777
Dessalines & Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent, 1803
First Italian opera in US, "Barber of Seville" premieres (NYC), 1825
Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph, 1877
The first motorcycle race ever is held in Surrey, England; the distance was one mile and the winner was Charles Jarrot in a time of 2 minutes, 8 seconds, 1897
The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest Sirrine. 1910
Fire destroys most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California, 1915
Howard Carter opens the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public, 1922
Richard Byrd becomes the first person to fly over the South Pole, 1929
The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, 1944
The United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Palestine, 1947
Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space, orbits earth twice, and is successfully recovered after splashdown, 1961
Canadian Space Agency launches the satellite Alouette 2, 1965
Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California, 1972

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our trip to the shelter on Thanksgiving was as short and well conducted as the holiday itself, especially when compared to the week before. There were 10 fewer cats, mostly because Suki, Lulu, Sasha, Daisy, and Sandy were adopted and the others went to the adoption station at the pet store for the week.

The biggest adventure of the evening was Grady's great escape. He managed to get himself wedged under one of the shelving units and had to be dragged out with a broom, growling all the way. After we got him back in his room, he didn't come near the door again.

Clint actually made an appearance for a moment.

Katie, a new beautiful girl, is in isolation for possible upper respiratory infection. Gidget is recovered from her urinary tract infection. We have a new Sebastian, a gorgeous gent with long black and white hair.

Baby is still growling, but allowing an occasional pet. Peepers and Squirt are getting less shy. Everyone else is holding steady.

We were there for barely an hour, compared to over 2 last week.

Another thing to be thankful for.

Today is:

Advent Sunday -- start of the Advent season

Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha -- Baha'i

Feast of the Holy Sovereigns -- Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii (in honor of King Kamehama IV and Queen Emma, the founders of the Anglican Church of Hawaii

Independence Day -- Albania; Mauritania

National French Toast Day

Red Planet Day

Republic Day -- Chad

Runic Half Month of Is (ice) commences

St. Simeon Metaphrastes' Day

Birthdays Today:

Jon Stewart, 1962
Judd Nelson, 1959
Ed Harris, 1950
Alexander Godunov, 1949
Paul Shaffer, 1949
Joe Dante, 1946
Randy Newman, 1943
Berry Gordy, Jr., 1929
Brooks Atkinson, 1894
William Blake, 1757
John Bunyan, 1628

Today in History:

Skanderbeg and his forces liberate Kruja in Middle Albania and raise the Albanian flag, 1443
Ferdinand Magellan and his men become the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean, 1520
The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience, 1814
Ka Lahui: Hawaiian Independence Day - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation, 1843
Women vote in a national election for the first time in the New Zealand general election, 1893
US-born Lady Astor becomes the first female member of British Parliament, 1919
Capt Cyril Turner of the RAF gives 1st skywriting exhibition in NYC; Turner spelled out "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200." 47,000 called, 1922
"Hopalong Cassidy" premieres on TV, 1948
The first Polaroid Camera is sold, 1948

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sad Ending

Our Thanksgiving celebration did have a sad ending.

Brother-in-Law came over that evening for leftovers, as he does every year. When he left, he took a small container of food with him, and set it on the seat of his truck, then came back in to tell Sweetie one more thing.

When he got back outside, someone had slashed two tires on his truck and, adding insult to injury, opened the door and taken the food.

We are still trying to work out how to get new tires for him.

Today is:

Asatru -- Ancient Norse Calendar, a feast of Ullr.

Bargle Day -- Fairy Calendar

Electric Guitar Day

Flossing Day

Freckle Pride Day

Lancashire Day -- Lancashire, England

Maize Day

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

Pie in the Face Day

Pins and Needles Day

St. Maximus' Day (patron of babies, the dying)

Anniversaries Today:

William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway, 1582

Birthdays Today:

Jaleel White, 1976
Brooke Langton, 1970
Robin Givens, 1964
Caroline Kennedy, 1957
Rick Rockwell, 1956
Jimi Hendrix, 1942
Eddie Rabbit, 1941
Bruce Lee, 1940
"Buffalo" Bob Smith, 1917
Chick Hearn, 1916
James Agee, 1909
L. Sprague de Camp, 1907
Forrest Shaklee, 1894
Anders Celcius, 1701
Emperor Xiaozong of China, 1127

Today in History:

The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament", 1295
The first Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703
The Portuguese Royal Family leaves Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops, 1807
Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, 1815
NY Times dubs baseball "The National Game", 1870
Alfred Nobel establishes the Nobel Prize, 1895
In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held, 1924
The Soviet space program's Mars 2 orbiter releases a descent module; it crashes, but still becomes the first man-made object to be on Mars, 1971
The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history, 1999
A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet, 2001
The Canadian House of Commons endorses Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada, 2006

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wow, that was fast.

That was absolutely the speediest Thanksgiving we have ever had.

I woke up to my usual morning routine, including feeding the bottle kittens over and over. I also added making stuffing. I will admit that since the Angel Food this month included stuffing mix, which I never buy myself, I cheated and doctored that up until it tasted good. Lots of extra sausage and spice and broth.

I also ran to the gas station, and when I got back we packed up and left at 8:39, excellent for us, as our target was 8:30. On the way, we talked, and #1 Son kept sneaking into the stuffing for a taste, because he woke up just half an hour before we left and didn't get breakfast. Typical college student behavior.

On the way out of town we had our obligatory stop at the convenience store for coffee, juice, or soda. They won't leave town without it.

We made good time, and grandpa was happy with his hojaldras for his birthday present, even though I had trouble with the dough. We had worked on it until almost ten the night before, but it was still too crumbly. At least it tasted good, and he can break them into smaller portions this way so they last longer.

For once I also remembered everything. When the rest of the gang showed up, I had my niece Bryn's birthday gift of cash, in an envelope with a signed card. That was an accomplishment, as it is like pulling teeth around here to get everyone to sign cards for some reason. The pie, the stuffing that never got put in the bird so turned out to be a dressing instead, and even an ice chest for the leftovers they always send had also made it.

No one argued over what we were going to watch on the tv for once. The Macy parade kept everyone entertained, and we chatted and laughed and came and went as we got everything together. Santa made his appearance, and it is now "officially", at least for me, the holiday season.

We gathered around and prayed, and told what we were grateful for. Even nephew Dre, who said in his little 5-year-old voice that he was thankful for G-d. Granted, he said it into the couch cushion so only I could hear him, but he was so cute.

Everything was served buffet style, and it was all good. The dog even got her share when #2 Son dropped a big hunk of turkey, and she behaved and didn't try to go after the smaller children's plates.

After dinner, we sang happy birthday to my youngest brother, as his is the day after Thanksgiving this year. My other younger brother had brought a doberge cake, and we passed around cake and pie to all who wanted it.

Packing up the leftovers went well, it actually all fit in the ice chest for once. Everyone got to take home huge helpings of their favorites, and grandma and grandpa will have plenty as well.

The ride home was uneventful, and we did listen to Christmas music. We pulled up to the house at 1:38, exactly 4 hours and 59 minutes after we pulled away. Never have we had a holiday go so fast, so smoothly, or with so few arguments from the kids.

All in all, a good day, for which I am indeed thankful

Today is:

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day (I will observe the latter)

Cake Day

College Fraternity Day -- US

Day of the Covenant -- Baha'i

Day of the Tan-Wallopers -- Fairy Calendar

Good Grief Day (in honor of Charles Schultz)

Independence Day -- Mongolia

National Cake Day

Sinkie Day -- A day to eat over the sink, celebrated by some on Nov. 24, by others on the day after Thanksgiving, and only leftovers from the feast may be eaten.

Sojourner Truth Day

St. John Berchmans' Day

St. Siricius' Day

What Do You Know About America Day

You're Welcome Day -- US, always the day after Thanksgiving.

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Notre Dame, 1842
Founding of Sigma Alpha Mu in the City College of New York, by 8 Jewish young men, 1909

Birthdays Today:

Natasha Bedingfield, 1981
Tina Turner, 1939
Rich Little, 1938
Robert Goulet, 1933
Charles Schultz, 1922
Eugene Ionesco, 1912
Eric Sevareid, 1912
John Harvard, 1607
Emperor Go-Daigo of Japan, 1288

Today in History:

The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed, BC43
Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time, 1476
The first lion exhibited in the US makes his debut in Boston, 1716
Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui, 1778
The Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the United States established, 1784
The first national US Thanksgiving is celebrated, 1789
The first streetcar railway in the US begins operation in NYC, fare 12 cents, 1832
The refrigerated railway car is patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, 1867
The first photograph of a meteor is taken, 1885
The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams, 1917
King Tut's tomb is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter, 1922
Four young lads from Liverpool have their first recording session under the interesting name "The Beatles", 1962
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's parliament, 1998
Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England, 2003

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Today, I am thankful for so much, there is no way to list it all.

I don't have a working dishwasher, but I have water, and soap, and dishes, and food to put on the dishes. I can live with washing by hand.

We have old cars, but they work.

We can't get everything we want, but #2 Son needs new shoes, as his old ones have holes in them, and we will be able to get them for him.

Our house has many problems, but it is here, and is better shelter than what so many people have in this world.

I have friends, and things to laugh about, and even though my lung is wheezing and I've had a few SVT's, I'm basically healthy, and so is the family.

May all of you who celebrate have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

Today is:

Cat-Nipping Convention -- Fairy Calendar

Celtic Tree Month Ruic (Elder) begins

Evacuation Day -- 19th Century New York City

Hari Guru -- Indonesia (Teacher's Day)

Independence Day -- Suriname

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

National Day -- Bosnia and Herzegovina

National Don't Utter A Word Day (while trying to cook for Thanksgiving? Right!)

National Parfait Day

Shopping Reminder Day (One month until Christmas!)

Saint Catherine Laboure's Day -- promulgator of the Miraculous Medal

Thanksgiving Day -- US

Vajiravudh Day -- Thailand

Windmill Blessing Day -- Holland (millers bless their windmills by throwing a handful of flour into the wind as an offering to the mischievous windmill spirits)

Women's Merrymaking Day -- Women go 'Cath'rining' and have a good time (in some places, especially France, women may propose marriage on this day)

Birthdays Today:

Barbara and Jenna Bush, 1981
Donovan McNabb, 1976
Christina Applegate, 1971
Jill Hennessy, 1968
Amy Grant, 1960
John F. Kennedy, Jr., 1960
John Larroquette, 1947
Paul Desmond, 1924
Ricardo Montalban, 1920
Joe DiMaggio, 1914
Solanus Casey, 1870
Carry Nation, 1846
Karl F. Benz, 1844
Andrew Carnegie, 1835

Today in History:

A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastates Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places, 1343
The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins, 1491
A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha, in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people, 1667
The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reaches its peak intensity which it maintains through November 27. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died, 1703
First English patent granted to an American, for processing corn, 1715
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is founded, 1758
Farmer's Almanac first published, 1792
The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy, 1826
A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (never to be entirely rebuilt again); the storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster, 1839
Alfred Nobel patents dynamite, 1867
John B Meyenberg of St Louis patents evaporated milk, 1884
American College of Surgeons incorporates in Springield, Illinois, 1912
First Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in Philadelphia, 1920
690 earthquake shocks recorded in 1 day in Ito, Japan, 1930
The first Soviet liquid fuel rocket attains altitude of 261' (80m), 1933
Woody Woodpecker debuts with release of Walter Lantz's "Knock Knock", 1940
New Zealand ratifies the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom, 1947
Agatha Christie's murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history, 1952
The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroys an entire city block, 1982
Powerful storm brings 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sparking terrible floods, 2009

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Change of Plans

Everything has gone all catawumpus, and plans have changed again.

We will be cleaning the church on Friday as usual. Sweetie will have the van for Wednesday, so he can go see his out of town doctor. He has put it off too long, thanks to football season, which takes no prisoners.

My Wednesday will be spend making my father's birthday present to take with us on Thanksgiving day. I will also make the stuffing and #2 Son will make a pumpkin pie.

I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving this year, and for a different reason than ever before. My own family, the traitors, are very upset about my stand on Thanksgiving Comes First. They are waiting until I am not in the vehicle or the room, and tuning the radio to the station that started holiday music early. I have caught them, and they look a bit ashamed, but don't stop. They keep using the excuse that it is so close, what difference does a song or two make.

The difference is we are letting the commercialism get out of hand, I wail to them loudly. For the most part they agree, but still keep sneaking time on that station on the radio.

So, after Thanksgiving, I won't have to worry about this any more.

If only all of our concerns had an expiration date.

Today is:

Brumalia -- Byzantine Empire celebration of Dyonisus and New Wine Festival; until the solstice

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

D.B. Cooper Day

Discovery Day -- Tasmania

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom - Sikh

Lachit Divas -- Assam, India

National Espresso Day

Persephone Day (a/k/a Kore -- celebration for the goddess of the underworld)

Sinkie Day (celebrated by eating over the sink!) -- Some people only celebrate this one on the day after Thanksgiving, and eat the leftovers; some celebrate it always on Nov. 24, some ask what's to celebrate, where else would you eat?

St. Catherine of Alexandria's Day (patron of philosophers, maidens, jurists, mechanics, lawyers, librarians, nurses, secretaries, schoolgirls, spinsters, teachers, universities; against tongue disease)

St. John of the Cross' Day

Teacher's Day -- Turkey

Use Even If Seal is Broken Day (Observe at your own risk, always!)

Venus Day

Women's Merrymaking Day

Birthdays Today:

Katherine Heigl, 1978
William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925
Charles "Lucky" Luciano, 1897
Dale Carnegie, 1888
Scott Joplin, 1868
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864
Bat Masterson, 1853
Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1849
Bram Stoker, 1847
Zachary Taylor, 1784
Charles Theodore Pachelbel, 1690

Today in History:

Theodosius I makes his formal entry into Constantinople, 380
Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes his Talmudic dictionary, 1105
The Thames River freezes, 1434
First observation of transit of Venus occured (only 2, record event), 1639
Abel Janzoon Tasman becomes the first European to see Van Damien's Land, later renamed Tasmania, 1642
First Lutheran pastor ordained in America, Justus Falckner at Philadelphia, 1703
Mt. Vesuvius erupts, 1759
Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species", 1859
Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens, 1861
Joseph F Glidden patents his improved barbed wire, 1874
The first US absentee voting law enacted by Vermont, 1896
Clyde Coleman of NYC patents automobile electric starter, 1903
Radio Belgium makes its first transmission, 1923
The first woman pilot on a transcontinental air flight, Miss Ruth Nichols (Mineola, NY to Calif), in a Lockheed-Vega, took 7 days, 1930
In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens, 1932
Lee Harvey Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby, 1963
During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again, 1971
A national speed limit is imposed on the Autobahn in Germany due to the 1973 oil crisis; it lasts only four months, 1973

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another death. The dishwasher.

It is now just a huge dish drying rack. I have a system set up for hand washing. Sweetie is ecstatic, this is how he was raised. When he asked his mom when she was going to get a dishwasher, she answered that she had 3, and pointed to the kids. I fuss at him for wasting water rinsing dishes, and now he has to rinse before putting them in the soapy side of the sink. He loves that, gets very upset about just scraping plates, not rinsing them.

Also, we have finalized Thanksgiving plans. Part of the family will go to my parents on Wednesday, the others will follow on Thursday. This is so we will have space in the vehicles, as my van has a seat that got laid down and won't come back up again. It is also so that the younger kids and I can go straight to the shelter, and #1 Son and Sweetie can go straight home.

We will bring the pumpkin pie and the cornbread dressing.

Today is:

Eat A Cranberry Day

Feast of Qawl -- Baha'i

Jukebox Day

Kinro Kansha no Hi -- Japan (Labour Day Thanksgiving)

National Cashew Day

Opera Day

Repudiation Day -- Maryland, US

Rudolf Maister Day -- Slovenia

St. Clement's Day (invented felt; patron of blacksmiths, hatters, stonecutters, tanners)

St. Columban's Day (patron against depression, floods)

St. Felicity's Day

Birthdays Today:

Miley Cyrus, 1992
Salli Richardson, 1967
Bruce Hornsby, 1954
Johnny Mandel, 1925
Harpo Marx, 1888
Boris Karloff, 1887
Billy the Kidd (William H. Bonney), 1859
Franklin Pierce, 1804

Today in History:

Thespis of Icaria becomes the first actor to portray a character onstage, BC534
Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III, 800
Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1248
Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published, 1644
People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England's Stamp tax, 1765
Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine, 1835
Patent granted for a process of making color photographs, 1863
The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, 1889
King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir, 1890
Andrew J Beard invents "jerry coupler," to connect railroad cars, 1897
Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love, 1897
Enrico Caruso makes his US debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, NY in "Rigoletto", 1903
Wright Brothers forms million dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes, 1909
Life Magazine publishes its first issue, 1936
The Cocos Islands are transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia, 1955
The BBC broadcasts the first ever episode of Doctor Who (starring William Hartnell) which is the world's longest running science fiction drama, 1963
Representatives of the People's Republic of China attend the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, for the first time, 1971
A series of earthquakes in southern Italy kills approximately 4,800 people, 1980
The first all woman expedition to the south pole (3 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 Russians), sets off from Antarctica on the 1st leg of a 70 day, 1287 kilometre ski trek, 1990
Convention on Cybercrime is signed in Budapest, Hungary, 2001

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is very special, because it is my father's birthday.

I call my dad Dr. Born Organized Clean. He is absolutely one of the most organized people you will ever meet, and he personally and his surroundings are always spotless.

He was a fabulous doctor, ob/gyn, and worked very hard. His dad left when he was young, so he went to work at age 11, delivering newspapers. He also worked summer jobs, and the money he earned went to support the family.

His hard work paid off with a full scholarship to college, or he wouldn't have been able to go. He had to sell several prized possessions he had earned to go to med school.

Even with a full class load in college and med school, he worked, and had time to date. In fact, he dated every nurse in the nursing school, my mom said. Since she was the only one his dog liked, she was the one he married, a month after graduation.

There are some great stories about how hard residency was. At one point during his last year, he needed his tonsils and wisdom teeth taken out. They gave him a Friday afternoon for it, and told him to be back at work on Monday morning. On Monday morning, someone found him passed out on the ward floor. Very generously, they sent him home until Tuesday afternoon.

Then there are the stories about his practice. When he first started, there wasn't a day that he wasn't called to the hospital to catch a baby. He had worked every single day for years and my mother finally said, "Get a partner, or get a divorce!" The partner was cheaper, so he went that route. By the time he retired, there were 5 in the practice.

I remember days where he would get to the hospital for 6am surgery, and not get home until after evening rounds at 6pm, and then have to get up in the middle of the night to go back for a delivery.

He was and is an amazing person, and to this day he stays busy with boards he is on, and charity work. At least twice a year he goes overseas, with my mom the nurse, as a medical missionary, taking care to people who often have never seen a doctor.

He is my hero.

So, happy birthday, Dad. You are amazing.

Today is:

Feast of Artemis/Diana -- Ancient Greece; Roman Empire

Go for a Ride Day

Independence Day -- Lebanon

National Stop the Violence Day

Start Your Own Country Day

St. Cecilia's Day (patron of music, composers, musicians)

Sts. Philemon and Appia's Day

Ydalir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (Celebration of the wintertime god of skiing and archery, Ullr)

Birthdays Today:

Scarlett Johansson, 1984
Scott Robinson, 1979
Mariel Hemingway, 1961
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1958
Billie Jean King, 1943
Robert Vaughn, 1932
Rodney Dangerfield, 1921
Benjamin Britten, 1913
Hoagy Carmichael, 1899
Charles de Gaulle, 1890
George Eliot (Mary A. Evans), 1819
Abigail Adams, 1744

Today in History:

The first Duke of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon, 845
Spain delegates "New Laws" against slavery in America, 1542
Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island, 1635
Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, 1718
Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen, 1809
Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain, 1837
In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day, 1869
Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia, 1886
The Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet, 1908
1st snowmobile patent granted to Carl Eliason of Sayner Wisconsin, 1927
The premier performance of Ravel's Boléro takes place in Paris, 1928
Gasoline pump patented that computes quantity & price delivered, 1932
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" first heard on Eddie Cantor's show, 1934
The Humane Society of the United States is founded, 1954
US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963
The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status, 1974
Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco, 1975
In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed, 1988
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery, 1995
Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany, 2005

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kittens, Ball Games, Begging, and Light My Fire

Neither Sasha nor Dan were adopted out this weekend.

The kittens have the runs again -- I thought I had conquered that -- and some of them are now sneezing.

Oh, help. If they have any sort of upper respiratory, they cannot be adopted out. Poor babies, I hate to see them get sick, and by the time they are able to be adopted they're not tiny "aren't they so cute" kittens any more, and get passed over.

In somewhat happier news, the home team held on for a win this weekend, Barely, but it counts. This is a good thing, too, for Sweetie. He gets cranky when they lose, as he works in alumni relations, soliciting donations (say that three times fast!), and the alums don't give when the team loses.

Speaking of donations, 'tis the season. The calls and mailouts are coming in thick and fast, as everyone tries to make quota or budget or whatever by the end of the year. I have had more than the usual number of begging calls already this year. Please know that I don't mean that in a nasty way, I call Sweetie a professional beggar because that is what he does, too. I'm just noting that the numbers are up for before Thanksgiving.

I wonder if this is in any way related to the fact that stores have forgotten that Thanksgiving comes first. What I mean is, in the retail community, no one wants to miss a possible sale, so when one place starts early, everyone else seems to feel compelled to do the same, and the result is madness. Have the charities soliciting donations noticed that people run out of patience, not to mention money, if they wait too long, and everyone is trying to beat everyone else to the punch?

It's something to think about, but not just right now. #2 Son has come in asking if anyone has any fire starting liquid he can have, and is heading for his dad's cabinet where the cologne is. Time to go divert a pyromaniac.

Today is:

Alascattalo Day -- Anchorage, Alaska (The longest running, shortest parade in the world, held in the alley behind Club Paris from 12:03 to 12:07 pm. A prize is given to the smallest and ugliest float -- yes, it must be both small and ugly. An anonymous queen will be crowned, if she has the bad sense to show up.)

Armed Forces Day -- Bangladesh

Feast of Christ the King -- Catholic Christian

Feast day of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin -- Catholic Christian

Festival of Madonna della Salute -- Venice, Italy

Full Beaver Moon a/k/a Full Frost Moon

Mother Goose Parade Day -- San Diego, California

National Stuffing Day

National Survivors of Suicide Day (There are lots of people out there who had a loved one die by suicide, so go give one a hug and some support.)

Our Lady Halfsower/ Our Lady Manysower -- Greece (a good Greek farmer has half of his field sown by the Feast of Presentation.)

St. Gelasius' Day

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

World Hello Day

World Television Day

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 12 US State, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Ken Griffey, Jr., 1969
Troy Aikman, 1966
Bjork, 1965
Cherry Jones, 1956
Goldie Hawn, 1945
Harold Ramis, 1944
Juliet Mills, 1941
Marlo Thomas, 1938
Joseph Campanella, 1927
Stan Musial, 1920
Coleman Hawkins, 1904
Rene Magritte, 1898
Hetty Green, 1834
William Beaumont, 1785
Voltaire, 1694

Today in History:

Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem; this is the event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah, BC164
The Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reach what is now called Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, and sign the Mayflower Compact, 1620
Richard Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Virginia, 1654
In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight, 1783
Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic, 1791
First Jewish Reform congregation in US forms, Charleston, SC, 1824
Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter, 1871
Tom Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), 1877
Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator, 1922
First commercial crossing of Pacific by plane (China Clipper), 1935
The Alcan Highway is completed, 1942*
The British Natural History Museum announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull is a hoax, 1953
The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI, 1969
The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995
NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members, 2002

*Not opened to general vehicular traffic until the next year

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Historied Out

We spent the evening on a whirlwind tour of Louisiana history with the kids.

It was history project night at the school Bigger Girl and #2 Son attend. Our own state was the theme, and there were 32 presentations.

Each student sets up a board and any props on a table, and has a few chairs gathered around. Parents, relatives, and friends move from station to station listening to a 3-5 minute speech about the subject the student is reporting.

So I went from student to student, and my head is swirling with facts about Louisiana music and food, prisons and disasters, museums and festivals, Native tribes, agriculture, resources, government, and politics, which ties with football for our favorite state sport.

Many of the young people are very creative. The young man who talked about the Battle of New Orleans had a real Kentucky long rifle, to show how it was used to defeat the British. The young lady who talked about our cuisine had gumbo to sample, which her uncle, a former chef, helped her prepare. I found the demonstration of bousillage, a type of building material made of mud and Spanish moss, to be very fascinating.

It did make for a long, but interesting evening, and even though a good time was not had by all -- #2 Son was particularly disgusted by having to do such a thing, thinks it was a waste of a good Friday evening -- I enjoyed it.

Makes me want to reread some of those history notes from long ago.

Today is:

Absurdity Day

Africa Industrialization Day (UN)

Air Your Dirty Laundry Day (Be careful with this one!)

Beautiful Day -- Fairy Calendar

Child Day -- Canada

Children's Day -- Egypt; Pakistan

Cote d'Or -- Savigny-lès-Beaune. Bourguignons, France (wine tasting festival)

Day of National Sovereignty -- Argentina

Fast for an Abundant World Harvest

Name Your PC Day

National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Praetextatus and Paulina's Day (Guardians of the Eleusinian Mysteries)

Revolution Day -- Mexico

St. Edmund the Martyr's Day (patron against plagues)

Teacher's Day -- Vietnam

Universal Children's Day -- International

Writing On the Wall Day

Zumbi Day -- Brazil

Anniversaries Today:

The Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London, 1947

Birthdays Today:

Bo Derek, 1956
Duane Allman, 1946
Veronica Hamal, 1943
Joe Biden, 1942
Dick Smothers, 1939
Richard Dawson, 1932
Estelle Parsons, 1927
Kaye Ballard, 1926
Robert F. Kennedy, 1925
Alistair Cooke, 1908
Edwin Hubble, 1889
Susanna Wesley, 1669 (mother of John, Charles, and 17 other children)
Peregrine White, 1620 (born on the Mayflower)
Maximinus, Roman Emperor, 270

Today in History:

Bögü, Khan of the Uyghurs, conquers Lo-Yang, capital of the Chinese Empire, 762
Zumbi, the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares of Brazil, is executed, 1695
New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the US Bill of Rights, 1789
Curacao's government forbids slave work on Sunday, 1795
Howard University is founded in Washington, D.C., 1866
US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports, 1914
1st municipally owned airport in US opens, in Tucson Az, 1919
In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation, 1962
The SETI Institute is founded, 1984
Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released, 1985
The number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million, 1989
In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage, 1992
The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched, 1998

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank Heaven It Wasn't An Emergency

We finally got to the cat shelter, thank you traffic, and it was a mess.

My phone was dying even though I recharged it the night before, so I used the shelter phone to try to call one of the people whom I am supposed to call when something goes wrong.

Yes, they are volunteers. Yes, they have jobs and lives. Yes, at least one of the 5 people I can call should answer the phone, not let it go to voice mail. Really, what if I walked in and a cat was bleeding, or having a seizure, or some other big emergency? I would know to take one of those vet authorization forms and go to the emergency vet about two miles up the road. Would all of the other caretakers?

Miss W. did finally call me back, and I reminded her to order vaccines and KMR and microchips, as well as getting my questions and problems sorted out. We were almost done for the evening, though, by the time she did call. There has to be a better system, including preventing some of the problems I ran into tonight.

Curley Sue, Piper, and Felix have been adopted! I sure hope it "sticks" for Piper this time. Poor guy. Felix will be picked up Saturday.

Clint was hiding in the big room in his usual spot, and it was Zoey, "the porcupine" as Little Girl calls her, who was hiding in an unusual spot. It took me several minutes to find her. Nacho is healing, but I think he will have a scar and furless patch on his throat where he scratched himself raw so many times.

Grady didn't try to escape! He apparently loves his new rug, and every time I opened the door, or tried to leave, he went and draped himself all over his rug. It was Prissy who guarded the door, although she didn't try to escape. Ginny is still hissing at Prissy, and I think one of them might make a break for it someday, though.

Frieda, the office cat, has become very friendly, as long as you don't touch her back or tail. Scratch her ears a good bit, and she is putty in your hands.

The kitchen/storage area is still the home of Ms. Baby and T-Boy, and Gidget has been added to that. Ms. Baby let Little Girl touch her, just a little bit. T-Boy didn't want his eye meds, but I don't scare easy, and he is a wimp.

Mamie still sounds like she has asthma, not an upper respiratory. She isn't on meds, and she is happy with Maisie, and there is no quarantine sign on the door.

Bowie, poor boy, is the one who is in quarantine, but not for illness. He was in the adoption center cages for the week, but he was banished for 10 days for biting a store employee! Sweet Bowie must have been very provoked to do that, I wish I knew what had happened. He is back in with JuJu, who still won't let anyone near her, and Tiger and Buddy.

Suki, Sebastian, and Felix are in the cages in the back. Felix will be picked up, as stated before. Sebastian seems to have watery eyes, and is being watched. Suki is just out of spay surgery, and is one of the most loving Siamese cats I have ever seen. Never met a stranger, would probably let you pet the fur clean off of her little hide.

Everyone in the other colony rooms seems to be doing well. I put my own eyes on every cat, even though the kids clean some of the rooms, to make sure I can say that no one was looking sick and it wasn't noted. So rounding out the 36(!) occupants of the shelter we have Angel, Dustie, Roxanne, Sophia, Rosie, Iggy, Francie, Dora, Heathcliff, Squirt, Peeper, Katy, Tiffany, Muffin, Sashe, Daisy, and Lulu. Goodness! Try saying that 3 times fast.

If you are a praying person, pray for lots of adoptions for us and shelters across the country this holiday season. We are running out of space!

Today is:

Alligator Wrestling Day (will a cat that doesn't want its meds count?)

Children in Need Day -- UK and Ireland (telethon begins)

Discovery of Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico

Equal Opportunity Day

Flag Day -- Brazil

Garifuna Day/ Carib Settlement Day -- Belize

Have a Bad Day Day (for the hidden, or not so hidden, grouch in all of us)

International Men's Day -- Australia; Canada; Ghana; Hungary; India; Ireland; Jamaica; Malta; Singapore; South Africa; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States

Liberation Day -- Mali

National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

Pencil Day

Please Maintain Your Focus Today Day

St. Mechchild's Day

St. Nerses' Day

Thanksgiving, Marshall Islands

Thrift Day a/k/a Use Less Stuff Day

World Toilet Day

Birthdays Today:

McCaughey Sextuplets, 1997
Kerri Strug, 1977
Jodie Foster, 1962
Meg Ryan, 1961
Calvin Klein, 1942
Ted Turner, 1938
Dick Cavett, 1936
Larry King, 1933
Indira Gandhi, 1917
Tommy Dorsey, 1905
James Garfield, 1831

Today in History:

The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, begins, 1095
Rabbi Isaiah b Abraham aha-Levi Horowitz arrives in Israel, 1621
The Jakobinen club forms in Paris, 1794
The Jay Treaty, the first US extradition treaty, is signed with Great Britain, 1794
Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the continent, 1805
Warsaw University is established, 1816
The St. Petersburg flood, caused by storms, kills 10,000, 1824
The second Canadian railway line, the Montreal and Lachine Railway, is opened, 1847
Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, 1863
Boss Tweed is convicted, sentenced to 12 years, 1874
Carrie Nation attempts to address the US Senate, 1903
NY receives the first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy, 1911
Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures (anybody want to guess what this eventually became?), 1916
The first issue of Time Magazine is published, with Emperor Hirohito on the cover, 1928
Télé Monte Carlo, Europe's oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III, 1954
Ford cancels the Edsel, 1959
Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon, 1960
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement, 1977
Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrives in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire, 1996
Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $71.5 million USD, 1998
The People's Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft, 1999

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday Already?

Gracious, it's Wednesday already!

I seem to have lost a couple of days, somehow. I am behind on my email, need to pay some bills and write a thank you note, send a letter, and a very thoughtless mama cat has dropped more kittens in our laps.

The story was that a box of 5 black kittens was found at the shelter by the business next door. They know that the shelter only has people in it sporadically through the day, and didn't want the little things to freeze before anyone got there, so took them to the nearest vet.

When Meg went to get them, a new volunteer, who has applied to be a foster, wanted to take 3 of them. She has bottle fed before, and is a SAHM. She did not feel comfortable taking 5, though, as she wants to make certain they are getting the best possible care. So we have two, and if she wants all 5 and feels she can handle them, they will go to her next week.

So, we have the bottles out again. And I am behind on email, and have a bill to pay ... oh, wait, I am repeating myself again. Oh, well, it must be Wednesday already.

Today is:

Calvin and Hobbes Day

Day of Ardvi Sura (Aredvi Sura Anahita), Mother of the Stars -- Ancient Persian Calendar

Ebisu-san Matsuri, Ebisu Shrine -- Hiroshima City, Japan

Feast of the Virgen de Chiquinquirá -- Maracaibo, Venezuela

Great American Smoke-Out

Tap-Dancing and Tiger-Turning -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Latvia; Moracco

National Day -- Oman

National Educational Support Personnel Day

National French Vichyssoise Day

National Farm Joke Day

Ned Ludd Memorial Machine-Smashing Day

St. Odo of Cluny's Day

St. Romanus' Day

Vertieres Day -- Haiti

Birthdays Today:

Elizabeth Perkins, 1960
Sinbad, 1956
Wilma Mankiller, 1945
Linda Evans, 1942
Brenda Vaccaro, 1939
Mickey Mouse, 1928
Alan Shepard, Jr., 1923
Imogene Coca, 1908
George Gallup, 1901
Eugene Ormandy, 1899
Clarence Shepard Day, 1874
Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer), 1861
Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1860
William Gilbert, 1836
Louis-Jacques Daguerre, 1787
Sojourner Truth, 1787

Today in History:

Old St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated, 326
The Japanese Emperor Kammy relocates the residence of Nara to Kioto, 794
William Tell shoots the apple off his son's head, 1307
The Holland/Zealand dikes break during a storm, resulting in thousands of deaths, 1421
The first English printed book, "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers", is published, 1477
Christopher Columbus first sights the island now known as Puerto Rico, 1493
Vasco da Gama reaches the Cape of Good Hope, 1497
The worst earthquake in Massachussetts Bay/Boston area, 1755
The first Unitarian Minister in the US is ordained in Boston, 1787
30 women meet at Mrs Silas Lee's home in Wiscasset Maine, to organize the Female Charitable Society, first woman's club in America, 1805
Mark Twain's story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is published in the New York Saturday Press, 1865
National Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizes in Cleveland, 1874
Standard time zones are formed by railroads in the US and Canada, 1883
The first newspaper Sunday color comic strip is printed, in the NY World, 1894
Britain flies its first sea plane, 1911
Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop, over San Diego, 1913
Sigma Alpha Rho, a Jewish high school fraternity, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1917
Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, 1928
Off the south coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean, a Richter magnitude 7.2 submarine earthquake, centered on Grand Banks, breaks 12 submarine transatlantic telegraph cables and triggers a tsunami that destroys many south coast communities in the Burin Peninsula, 1929
New York City's Mad Bomber places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison, 1940
In the United States, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is ratified, 1993

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why Coca Cola?

Why, the kids at co-op wanted to know, did someone come up with Coca Cola cake?

I explained that some people say it is because during the war, sugar was rationed and Coke was not. So it was used as part of the sweetener. I really don't believe that, and told the children so.

The more likely explanation is that the company came up with these recipes to increase desire for the product.

Since they wanted to try it, we made my mother-in-law's recipe for Coca Cola cake, and for the most part they liked it. Some thought it was too sweet.

Mix together 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar.

Boil together two sticks of butter, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and one cup Coke. Pour over the flour/sugar mix.

Add a teaspoon each of baking soda and vanilla, 2 beaten eggs, and a half cup of buttermilk.

Mix well and add 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, then pour into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350* for about 30-35 minutes.

Some recipes say to wait until it cools to ice it, but this recipe says to ice hot, so we did.

Melt together a stick of butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 6 tablespoons of Coke. Bring to a boil and pour over a pound of powdered sugar. Add chopped pecans if you want, and pour over the cake.

Today is:

Day of National Revival and Feast of Sacrifice -- Azerbaijan

Electronic Greeting Card Day

Homemade Bread Day

International Students Day -- International (meant to celebrate all students around the world, not specifically students studying in countries other than their own)

National Baklava Day

National Community Education Day

National Prematurity and Infant Loss Awareness Day -- United States

Polytechneio -- Greece

Shogi Day -- Japan (a chess-like game)

St. Elizabeth of Hungary's Day (patron of nursing, bakers; against plague)

St. Gregory of Tours' Day (aka Gregory Wonderworker; patron of desperate situations; against floods, earthquakes)

St. Hilda's Day (patron of business women)

St. Hugh of Lincoln's Day (patron of sick children)

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day -- Czech Republic; Slovakia

Take A Hike Day

Winter Welcome Quadrilles and Dainty-Sixes -- Fairy Calendar

World Maritime Days -- through tomorrow

Birthdays Today:

Laura Wilkinson, 1977
Daisy Fuentes, 1966
Danny DeVito, 1944
Lorne Michaels, 1944
Tom Seaver, 1944
Lauren Hutton, 1943
Martin Scorsese, 1942
Gordon Lightfoot, 1938
Rock Hudson, 1925
Lee Strassberg, 1901
Atahualpa, last Emperor of the Inca, 1502
Flavius Claudius Julianus, Roman Emperor, 331
Vespian, Roman Emperor, 9

Today in History:

Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, 284
England and Spain sign an anti-French covenant/treaty, 1511
Elizabeth I ascends the English throne, 1558
France and Spain sign the Peace of the Pyrenees treaty, 1659
The Church of England organizes in New England, 1785
Congress holds its first session in the still incomplete Capitol Building of Washington, D.C., 1800
The Delta Phi fraternity, America's oldest continuous social fraternity, is founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York, 1827
Ecuador and Venezuela separate from Greater Colombia, 1831
Street signs are first authorized at San Francisco intersections, 1853
David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls, 1855
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March is given its première performance in Moscow, 1876
Japan and Korea sign The Eulsa Treaty, 1905
The first US dental hygienist course is formed, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1913
US declares the Panama Canal Zone to be neutral, 1914
Lenin defends the "temporary" removal of freedom of the press, 1917
American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain observe the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th Century, 1947
Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse, 1970

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Oh, woe is us. We are in mourning. It is so sad.

It began as a simple statement from Bigger Girl. "Mom, there is water dripping over here, and I can't tell where it is coming from."

Those are words that send a chill to my heart in this money pit of a house. Often, it is coming from where it shouldn't and where it will cost the most. With the rain falling, I looked up, expecting the worst, but the ceiling was dry.

The water was dripping from a shelf mounted to a wall, and there was water all over the shelf. The bottoms of the toaster and toaster oven were sitting in a puddle, not a good thing.

#2 Son walked over and said, "Well, I tried to make coffee" -- the coffee maker is there, too -- "and even though I put in lots of water, I only got a little coffee. It was weird."

Weird? He calls this weird? I call it terrible. It means the coffee maker is dead.

Oh, gloom and despair! Oh horrors! I tossed it in the trash can, and we mourn the coffee maker, and wonder what we will do.

Rest in peace, Black & Decker. You will be missed until I can get to the store for a replacement, as the use of Mom's Go Juice cannot be interrupted.

Today is:

Dagur Islenskrar tungu -- Iceland (Icelandic Language Day)

Day of Declaration of Sovereignty -- Estonia

Day of Repentance and Prayer -- German speaking Lutheran, Reformed, and United Protestants

Have a Party with Your Bear Day

Hecate Night -- Wicca

International Day for Tolerance - UN

National Moms and Dads Day

National Button Day

National Fast Food Day

Resident Aliens' Day

St. Echerius' Day

St. Gertrude the Great's Day (patron of the West Indies)

St. Margaret of Scotland's Day (patron of Scotland)

St. Matthew's Day (Eastern)

Anniversaries Today:

Oklahoma becomes the 46th US State, 1907

Birthdays Today:

Oksana Baiul, 1977
Lisa Bonet, 1967
Dwight Gooden, 1964
Shigeru Miyamoto, 1952
Daws Butler, 1916
Burgess Meredith, 1908
W.C. Handy, 1873
Tiberius, Roman Emperor, BC42

Today in History:

The second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published, 534
Francisco Pizarro captures the Incan emperor Atahualpa after the victory at Cajamarca, 1532
The first colonial prison is organized, in Nantucket, Massachussetts, 1676
Kentucky becomes the first state to nullify an act of Congress, 1798
The New York Evening Post publishes its first edition, 1801
An earthquake in Missouri causes the Mississippi River to flow backwards, 1811
Missouri trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail, 1821
Napoleon Guerin of NYC patents a cork life preserver, 1841
Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death for anti-government activities; sentence is commuted to hard labor, 1849
Amsterdam post office at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal opens, 1856
William Bonwill patents dental mallet to impact gold into cavities, 1875
6,000 Armenians massacred by Turks in Kurdistan, 1894
Arturo Tuscanini begins conducting NY's Metropolitan Opera, 1908
US Federal Reserve System formally opens, 1914
LSD is first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, 1938
UNESCO is founded, 1945
Touch-tone telephone introduced, 1963

Monday, November 15, 2010

Laid Back Kittens

Well, in spite of several snafus, including that # 1 Son didn't even get to come to the game, his workplace was so busy they couldn't let him off on time, we had a very good thing happen this weekend.

Meg took four kittens to adoption day, and two of them found homes!

One lady came in with her two daughters. They were looking for a kitten for the younger daughter, since the older daughter had one already. She picked up Crowfeather, and that little charmer just melted into her arms. She did not, indeed would not, put him down for the rest of the time they were there.

She took him along to go pick out toys for him, coming back with two package selections and asking if she should pick the blue ones because he was a boy, or the pink ones because it had a crinkly ball in it, and she really liked that. She was convinced by Meg that it wouldn't bother him a bit to have pink toys, and that is what she got.

Then there was the very nice couple who came in with their Weimaraner, looking for a kitten of a color to match it, of all things! Stormfur, a "blue" tabby -- am I the only one who thinks it should be called gray? -- caught their eyes and their heart. Then he came up to scratch when the held him, and he looked over at the dog, and just looked. No hissing, no arching, no reaction. The other cats were still needing calming several minutes later, he just looked.

Then, the big test, they held Stormfur and the dog nose to nose. Stormfur sniffed, and looked for all the world like he was saying hello, lets be friends.

So two of our babies are out in the world in their forever homes, and Dan and Sasha will get their chance again next week.

Oh, there were also other adoptions, and apparently the pet store was very busy. Holiday crazy busy. I have seen it at several stores, and in the traffic pattern, over the last week. I think this area has decided that to heck with the doom and gloom news, we think the hard times are over and we are going to enjoy our holiday and start early. If I am right, and that is the trend here, maybe we will get all of our kittens and several adult cats adopted as Christmas cats. That would be a very good thing indeed.

Today is:

American Enterprise Day -- US

America Recycles Day -- US

Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium -- German-speaking Community of Belgium

Dynasty Day a/k/a King's Day -- Belgium

George Spelvin Day

I Love to Write Day (perfect, in the middle of NaNoWriMo)

National Bundt Pan Day

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

National Spicy Hermit Christmas Cookie Day

Nativity Fast begins a/k/a Winter Lent(through Dec 24) -- Orthodox Christian

Republic Day -- Brazil

Shichi-Go-San (Shrine Visiting Day) and the Seven-Five-Three Festival -- Japan

St. Albertus Magnus' Day (patron of science students, scientists, and technologists)

St. Gertrude's Day

St. Leopold's Day (patron of Austria)

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Eubanks, 1957
Sam Waterston, 1940
Petula Clark, 1932
Ed Asner, 1929
Bill "C.W. McCall" Fries, 1928
Joseph Wapner, 1919
Georgia O'Keeffe, 1887
F. William Herschel, 1738
William Pitt the Elder, 1708

Today in History:

Christopher Columbus notes the first recorded reference to tobacco, 1492
The NY General Assembly permits Jews to omit the phrase "Upon the faith of a Christian" from adjuration oaths, 1727
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, 1763
The Articles of Confederation are adopted by the Continental Congress, 1777
Georgetown University, the first Catholic college in the US, opens, 1791
Zebulon Pike gets his first sight of Pike's Peak, Colorado, 1806
Isaac Pitman introduces his steno/shorthand system of writing, 1832
Union Major General Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia, 1864
King C. Gillette patents the Gillette razor blade, 1904
The first telecast of an unscheduled event, a fire, takes place on W2XBT, in NY, 1938

Sunday, November 14, 2010


It is homecoming weekend at the local university. For part of this family, it means a weekend on the campus, enjoying what should be a fun time with no responsibilities.

Think again, friend. Sweetie doesn't like to take his van to work on home game Saturdays, because he can't get back off the campus to get home, and then back for the game. Way too much traffic for that. He also won't stay on campus with us, as he sees enough of the place during the week for his liking. #1 Son is working, and has grown to big to enjoy the parade, the decorations at the Greek houses, the 4-H animals, watching the band, etc.

So in the midst of the festivities, I get elected to go home and feed cats, who are all weaned now, scoop boxes, bring Sweetie to work, and do a load of laundry at the hotel, because my kids are messy.

Still, a fun time is had by all, with someone else cooking the meals, the kids eating junk food and watching pay per view movies to their hearts content, lots of bead and candy catching at the parade, and, we hope, a win for the home team.

So, Go Team Go! Or, at the very least, don't humiliate us. ;)

Today is:

Children's Day -- India

Day of the Colombian Woman -- Colombia

Equorum Probatio -- Ancient Roman Empire (official cavalry parade of the equites)

Kalamazoo Russian Festival begins -- Kalamazoo, MI

Loosen up, Lighten Up Day

National Guacamole Day

Operating Room Nurse Day

St. Dubricus' Day (the saint who crowned King Arthur)

World Diabetes Day

Anniversaries Today:

Princess Anne of the UK marries Captain Mark Phillips, 1973

Birthdays Today:

Condoleezza Rice, 1954
Yanni, 1954
Prince Charles, 1948
King Hussein of Jordan, 1935
McLean Stevenson, 1929
Brian Keith, 1921
Veronica Lake, 1919
Barbara Hutton, 1912
Rosemary DeCamp, 1910
Joseph McCarthy, 1909
Dick Powell, 1904
Aaron Copland, 1900
Jawaharlal, Nehru, 1889
Claude Monet, 1840
Robert Fulton, 1765

Today in History:

Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrive in Cajamarca, Inca empire, 1533
Samuel Pepys reports on the first blood transfusion (between dogs), 1666
Loius Timothee is hired in Philadelphia to be the first professional librarian in the US, 1732
Captain George Vancouver is the first Englishman to enter San Francisco Bay, 1792
John Mason debuts the first horse-drawn streetcar in NYC, with a route between Prince and 14th on 4th Ave., 1832
Herman Melville publishes "Moby Dick", 1851
The St. Andrews Golf Club, in Yonkers, NY, opens with 6 holes, 1888
New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) began her attempt to surpass fictitious journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg by traveling around world in less than 80 days; She succeeded, finishing the trip in January in 72 days and 6 hours, 1889
Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light, 1908
The first airplane flight from the deck of a ship takes place in Norfolk, Virginia, 1910
The BBC begins radio service in the United Kingdom, 1922
The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express, 1952
NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon, 1969
After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland, 1990
The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States is shut down in New York City by Con Edison, 2007

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yes, The Shelter is Still There.

It is just taking longer and longer to get to it. For some reason, the insane holiday traffic has already started this year, and now it is way past dark by the time we get there because of the time change.

This week, we took the 4 kittens who are up for adoption with us, to give them to Meg. We won't be able to take them to adoption day because of the home football game -- it's homecoming week!

So, we finally got up there, and there was a meeting going on, which turned out to be good. Gidget is on meds for a urinary tract infection, and she is only supposed to get it once a day, in the evening. The morning person had done it, and it is one of those new meds that it is way easy to overdose on with cats. So I was able to get Lee to call the morning person and make sure she really did mistakenly give the med early, and get Miss W. to change the sheets to have her get the dose in the mornings now.

Gidget is also very vocal about not wanting to be in the cage. She will be moved to a room soon, I hope, but we will have to get her used to her new roomies slowly. She takes time to warm up to other cats. People, she loves, she would let you pet her fur off.

Nacho's neck is healing up! Being in the big room with Grady, Clint (who came out of hiding this time, hooray!), Ginny, Prissy, and Zoey has made all the difference. He is not rescratching it open every time it starts to get better. Zoey, by the way, has earned the nickname "Porcupine" from Little Girl, because she is huge and so fuzzy. Little Girl says she is a porcupine masquerading as a cat.

Mamie had her very last dose of medicine for the upper respiratory infection, and she is still breathing funny. I think it is a simple case of asthma. Maggie from that room has been adopted, so it is just the two M's now, and Maisie is doing well. If it were a URI, one of them should have caught it by now, even with Mamie on the meds.

Iggy's cage was empty, and I asked Miss W., and again it was good she was there. She had moved him to the room with Tiffany and Muffin, and hadn't moved his paperwork or his food and water bowls. We took care of that, and added an extra litter box, as he doesn't mind other cats but does mind sharing that.

Frieda is still friendly, so I think her only problem all that time was that she doesn't think she is a cat, she thinks she is a person. She will have to be an only cat. The same may be true of JuJu, but we don't have anywhere to put her so she can be alone, besides a cage. In a cage, though, she is just as grumpy. For now, her roomies Tiger and Buddy seem to ignore her.

Angel's paws are healing up, thanks to no use of cleaning chemicals in that room, and a tea tree oil ointment rubbed on them daily. Her paws have always been a bit rough and scaly, but the bleeding was a recent thing, and she may have eczema on her paws. Other than that, she and Dustie are doing well.

Dora, Squirt, Peepers, and Heathcliff are calming down, and are eating. We give them half Purina and half Science Diet Lite, to try to wean them onto the Lite. It seems to be working, and they are getting friendlier.

Lulu is all healed up from her cleft palate surgery, and she, Daisy, and Sasha are happy together.

Cherry is a love, and wants lots of loving as usual. Katy is being shy in her cage, as she just got there and is getting used to things.

Roxanne, Sophie, Francie, and Rosie are happy and eating and just cruising along.

T-Boy is now permanently out, with a lower cage set aside for his food and litter box, as Baby doesn't share. She likes him, but not that much. She is actually allowing herself to be touched on occasion, but I'm still not trying. She scarfs all of her food as soon as it is down so she doesn't have to share.

There is still debate about what to do about her. Yes, sooner or later she will have to be caught and brought to a vet. The problem is, whatever is wrong with her is possibly very expensive wrong, with a big price tag just to do the tests to figure it out. How much do you spend on a not friendly cat to find out what is wrong with it, especially if it is something bad like a brain tumor that will require her being humanely euthanized, when there are so many other needs and so few adoptions lately? I'm glad I'm just the bottle feeder, and low on the totem pole. I'm not sure I could make those decisions.

Today is:

Actor's Day

Chuang Tzu's Day

Feronia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival for Juno, Minerva & Jupiter)

Guinness World Record Day

Ides of November

Lamentation of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (mourning for Osiris)

National Indian Pudding Day

Runic Half Month Nyd begins

Sadie Hawkins Day

St. Abbo's Day

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini's Day (patron of hospital administrators, emigrants, immigrants)

St. Homobonus' Day (patron of garment workers, tailors)

St. Nicholas I's Day

St. Stanislaus Kostka's Day (patron of Poland, young people; against broken limbs, doubt, palpitations)

World Kindness Day

Birthdays Today:

Monique Coleman, 1980
Jimmy Kimmel, 1967
Whoopi Goldberg, 1955
Chris Noth, 1954
Jean Seberg, 1938
Oskar Werner, 1922
Nathaniel Benchley, 1915
Louis Brandeis, 1856
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850

Today in History:

English king Æthelred II orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice's Day massacre, 1002
Lady Jane Grey and Bishop Cranmer are accused of high treason, 1553
Patriot revolutionary forces under Col. Ethan Allen attack Montreal, Quebec, defended by British General Guy Carleton, 1775
Benjamin Franklin says, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” 1789
The first US anti-slavery party, the Liberty Party, convenes in New York, 1839
James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads him to study the subject and come up with what he later calls hypnosis, 1841
The Denny Party arrives at Alki Point, becoming the first settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington, 1851
The first shipment of canned pineapple leaves Hawai'i, 1895
French cyclist Paul Corny flies the first helicopter, 1907
Russia completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles, 1947
A 150-mph tropical cyclone hits the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. This is regarded as the 20th century's worst natural disaster, 1970
Xavier Suarez is sworn in as Miami, Florida's first Cuban-born mayor, 1985
The High Court of Australia rules in Dietrich v The Queen that although there is no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused is unrepresented, 1992
In a referendum voters in Sweden decide to join the European Union, 1994

Friday, November 12, 2010

Four Down

Four of our precious babies are now ready for their forever homes.

Dan, the orange tabby boy, answers to his name. He likes to be called Danny, and #2 Son has fed him noodles, so he really likes them.

Sasha, a brown tabby girl with a couple of calico like spots, is very fun. She plays with almost anything, and gently. When she plays with the tinier kittens, she is almost motherly with them.

Stormfur is a gray tabby boy with one habit that is either endearing or off putting, depending on whether you like this behavior in your cats. He likes to nurse, literally suckle, on earlobes. Also, don't go barefoot around him, if he can't get to your ear to suck on it, he will be glad to use a toe.

Crowfeather is from one of the younger litters, and is black with one white back toe. He is very fluffy and fuzzy, almost like a bunny fur cat (those are few and far between). A snuggler.

I have 8 more coming up for adoption, we have them scheduled for surgeries before Christmas. Anyone want a new member of the family for the holidays?

Today is:

Birth of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

Birth of Sun Yat-Sen, Doctors Day, and Cultural Renaissance Day -- Taiwan

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Constitution Day -- Azerbaijan

National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

Order of Fools

Republic Day -- Austria

St. Emillion's Day (patron of Spain, finding lost objects)

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (patron of hospital administrators)

St. Josaphat's Day (patron of Ukraine)

Anniversaries Today:

The Arches National Park established, 1971

Birthdays Today:

Sammy Sosa, 1968
Michael Moorer, 1967
David Schwimmer, 1966
Nadia Comaneci, 1961
Neil Young, 1945
Al Michaels, 1944
Wallace Shawn, 1943
Grace Kelly, 1929
Jo Stafford, 1918
Sun Yat-sen, 1866
Auguste Rodin, 1840
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815

Today in History:

Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days starting today, 764
Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament, 1439
Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic, 1847
Jules Leotard performs 1st Flying Trapeze circus act (Paris); he also designed garment that bears his name, 1859
World's Fair in Paris opens, 1900
The first movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon, 1910
Norway holds a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic, 1905
Robert Scott's diary & body are found in Antarctica, 1912
Austria becomes a republic, 1918
The first underwater tunnel, the Holland Tunnel connecting NY to NJ opens, 1927
The first photo of whatever is in Loch Ness is taken, 1933
Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia join the United Nations, 1956
Equatorial Guinea joins the United Nations, 1968
The Comoros joins the United Nations, 1975
The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings, 1980
The Space Shuttle Columbia becomes the first time a manned spacecraft launched into space twice, 1981
Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch, 1990
Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web, 1990
Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems, 2003

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What to Write?

What should I write about? I asked in chat last night, and got lots of interesting stuff.

Write about Martha Stewart, said one friend, and how her show has lost viewers since it moved to another channel. That brought up how perfect she is, how her idea of simple is so complicated, and how she was so gracious when she was in the slammer. Apparently she didn't act uppity and showed them how to make their lives better. She also showed grace under fire, taking the situation in hand and going early so she could be out for spring.

Write about duct tape, or vinegar, and their many uses was another suggestion. Well, I think the internet is rife with ideas about those, and if you need them, you can probably find them for yourself.

Write about the cat that thinks its kittens need to be shelved, said one friend. A cat she adopted ran off before she could get fixed, and now this 6 pound cat has 7 kittens. She is a mixed bag of a mother, only caring for them when the people she loves dote on them. She also thinks she now needs to put them on the bookshelf. They keep falling off, so that idea will have to be shelved.

Write about #2 Son. Well, he is trying to save up now for a fire ring and snake proof boots, but that is just in addition to all the other stuff he wants.

Write about your own kittens. Four of them, Dan, Sasha, Stormfur, and Crowfeather, are set for being fixed tomorrow, and will be up for adoption this weekend. The rest are scheduled for later this month or next month.

All of those are interesting, but one item in today's history stuff reminded me of yet another thing I could discuss.

The QE 2 is no longer plying the waves, but Sweetie and I crossed the Atlantic on it on our honeymoon. It was the first time they had used the northern crossing since the Titanic went down on that route. It was also the roughest summer crossing anyone could remember on the ship, and some of them had served for over 20 years. We went over where the Titanic hit the iceberg, at about the same it hit, in the worst storm at sea anyone had seen in years. Talk about a story. We were the only ones eating, and had a blast.

So. I guess I found stuff to write about.

Today is:

Armistice Day -- Belgium; France; New Zealand

Beggar's Day -- Netherlands

Bonza Bottler Day

Einherjar -- Norse "Feast of the Fallen"

Fasching/Karneval -- Germany; Netherlands (begins 11/11 at 11:11)

Independence Day -- Poland (independence of 1918)

Lacplesis -- Latvia (Remembrance Day)

Lunantishees Day -- Ireland (Fairies who guard the blackthorn trees, cutting a branch today means bad luck.)

National Day, Monaco

National Sundae Day

Old November Eve -- In the old calendar, this was actually All Hallow's Eve

Original Poppy Day

Pepero Day -- South Korea

Pirate's Week Festival -- Cayman Islands (through the 12th)

Pocky and Pretz Day -- Japan

Remembrance Day -- UK and the Commonwealth of Nations

Republic Day -- Maldives

Singles Day -- China

St. Martin's Day a/k/a St. Martin of Tours's Day (Western), Martinmas (Old England), Martinigian - in Switzerland- patron of beggars, drunkards, equestrians, harvests, horses, innkeepers, new wine, tailors; highly celebrated through Sweden, Switzerland, and the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten

St. Menas of Egypt's Day

Variante Festival, Angola (music festival)

Veterans' Day a/k/a Armistice Day -- US

Vox Populi (People’s Voice) Day

Wish-Spoiling Sports Day (Imps, Gremlins, and grumpy Goblins) -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today:

Washington becomes the 42nd US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

Leonardo DiCaprio, 1974
Peta Wilson, 1970
Calista Flockhart, 1964
Demi Moore, 1962
Marc Summers, 1951
Bibi Andersson, 1935
Jonathan Winters, 1925
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922
Alger Hiss, 1904
Pat O'Brien, 1899
George Patton, 1885
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, 1821
Abigail Smith Adams,1744

Today in History:

The Congress of Carnuntum: Attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, the leaders of the Tetrarchy declare Maxentius and Licinius to be Augusti, while rival contender Constantine I is declared Caesar of Britain and Gaul, 308
41 pilgrims land in Massachusetts, sign Mayflower Compact, 1620
Massachusetts passes 1st US compulsory school attendance law, 1647
Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x), 1675
The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia, as the first college society in the US, 1750
Chrysanthemums are introduced into England from China, 1790
British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign, 1813
Mary Edward Walker, the 1st Army female surgeon, is awarded the Medal of Honor, 1865
The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act is enacted in Australia, giving the government control of indigenous people's wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations, 1869
The 11/11/11 cold wave: Many cities in the U.S. Midwest broke their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolled through, 1911
The Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery, 1921
Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaims the first recognized Greek Republic, 1924
U.S. Route 66 is established, 1926
Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator, 1930
The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia is opened, 1934
Kuwait's National Assembly ratifies the Constitution of Kuwait, 1962
NASA launches Gemini 12, 1966
Antigua and Barbuda joins the United Nations, 1981
The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests, 1992
New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington, 2004
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army, 2006
The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) sets sail on her final voyage to Dubai, 2008

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity. ~ Konrad Adenauer

An example:

In New Jersey last week, the state government offered people who were wanted for non violent offenses 4 days to turn themselves in for very light sentences. That way, the state saved money on tracking them down, and the offenders now wouldn't have to worry about waiting for the knock at the door.

It worked, maybe too well. Over 500 people who didn't even have outstanding warrants turned themselves in and confessed what they had done.

Around here, there has been a similar program, where people can turn in guns, no questions asked, no need to show ID, and in return you get a gas card. A good way to get a gun you own illegally off your hands and conscience.

I wonder how many who aren't even wanted would turn themselves in around here?

What about where you live?

Today is:

Area Code Day

Cry of Independence Day -- Panama

Day of Remembrance of Ataturk -- Turkey

Day of Russian Militsiya -- Russia

Dia de la Tradicion -- Argentina (birth of Jose Hernandez)

Forget-Me-Not Day

Goddess of Reason's Day (Revolutionary France)

Hari Pahlawan -- Indonesia (Heroe's Day)

Martini -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (beginning of winter festival)

Nicnevin -- Scots Gaelic (festival honoring Diana)

National Vanilla Cupcake Day

National Young Reader's Day

St. Andrew Avellino's Day

St. Martin's Eve -- Germany; Portugal (Martimas Eve)

USMC Day -- US

Wish-Granting Championship (Sprite) -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Ellen Pompeo, 1969
MacKenzie Phillips, 1959
Donna Fargo, 1949
Tim Rice, 1944
Russel Means, 1939
Roy Scheider, 1932
Richard Burton, 1925
Jane Froman, 1907
Claude Rains, 1889
Martin Luther, 1483

Today in History:

Rene Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy, 1619
The Dutch formally cede New Netherlands to the English; it is renamed New York, 1674
France ends forced worship of God, substitute the Goddess of Reason, 1793
The US state of Kentucky outlaws dueling, 1801
Stanley presumes that he has met Livingston in Ujiji, Central Africa, 1871
The first Woman's Christian Temperance Union meeting is held in Boston, 1891
The first Gideon Bible is put in a hotel room, 1908
Hirohito ascends the throne as Emperor of Japan, 1928
The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston, 1958
The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board, 1975
A 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, Canada derails in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada just west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, causing a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history, 1979