Saturday, June 11, 2011

Step by Step

Tuesday is Navy Day for us.

The Pensacola Naval Air Station is the spring and summer home of the Blue Angels, and practices are open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Only Bigger Girl, Teresa and i were up to getting up so early, and we got to see an extra long practice run. What i didn't know before we went was that there had been a stand down in the several weeks before this, and no practices were allowed. So they were making up for lost time with the show season coming up, having to practice long, and, as i found later, twice a day.

So we saw the show, then went into the museum. They have opened a new wing, and changed some displays, but the WWII exhibit looks just as always, being one of my favorite areas. Sweetie came out to have lunch with us, bringing Teresa's packages her mom had sent, so she would have another camera. She was in photographer's heaven, i believe.

A funny occurrence at lunch. The menu is limited, mostly soups, sandwiches, nachos, and some salads. Everything but the small garden salad has meat or cheese in or on it. So i ordered the larger salad that usually comes with grilled chicken and fruit, asking that they leave off the meat and give me lots of fruit. The server noted that, with the word "vegetarian" next to the order as i saw later on the tab. Well, the chef must be clumsy or have a sense of humor or hates vegetarians, because the salad was just as i wanted but with one tiny speck of grilled chicken under a couple of lettuce leaves, hiding. It made me laugh, as i wonder if it was an accident or not. That speck i left pointedly on the side of the plate, with a grin.

After lunch, we felt like we were up for the lighthouse, and so over we went. The place is supposed to be haunted, and while i don't know about that, i do know that it wasn't an easy life, being a lighthouse keeper. This tour just brought it home to me even more. There were displays in the basement from a school's history fair about lighthouses, and one was about women who worked as keepers. Up every two hours at night to pull the chains that kept the light revolving, sort of like winding a clock, having to haul huge amounts of fuel up the stairs and trim the wicks, and keep the light burning no matter how bad the weather.

"Up the stairs" is one of the key phrases. Bigger Girl and i paid to go up, it is equivalent to about 15 flights. When we got up there, we received the award of being able to see the Blue Angels in their second practice run of the day. Watching from up there is even more impressive. The lighthouse keepers hauled supplies up those stairs and only got more work for their reward. They were brave souls, and deserve more credit than most of us think.

We went back to the antique shop/flea market after, and then home to see what everyone was doing. Turned out all were lounging, eating, swimming, lounging more, and just generally doing what you do on vacation. So i took the opportunity to go to the store and pick up a few things we had forgotten, like orange juice.

Today is

Belmont Stakes

Billy the Kid Tombstone Race -- Fort Sumner, New Mexico (racers carry an 80 pound tombstone through an obstacle course!)

Corn on the Cob Day

Davis Day -- Cape Breton, NS, Canada

Kallemooi -- Holland (Fishermen of the North welcome spring)

King Kamehameha Day -- Hawai'i, US

Luilak -- Holland (Lazy bones day, celebrated in the west)

National German Chocolate Cake Day

Rites of Matralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar

St. Barnabas' Day (patron of harvests, Cyprus) a/k/a Barnaby Bright Day or Long Barnaby*

St. Bartholomew's Day

The Wicket World of Croquet Day

Trooping the Colour -- UK (military celebration of the monarch's birthday)

*Under the Julian calendar, June 11, St. Barnabas' Day, was the longest

day of the year --

Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright,

The longest day

And the shortest night

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon, 1509

Birthdays Today:

Shia LeBeouf, 1986

Caroline Quentin, 1961

Dr. Mehmet Oz, 1960

Hugh Laurie, 1959

Joe Montana, 1956

Adrienne Barbeau, 1945

Chad Everett, 1936

Gene Wilder, 1933

Vince Lombardi, 1913

Jacques Cousteau, 1910

Today in History:

Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes, BC1184

Philip II recognizes the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paves way to the creation of the Principalía, 1594

The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence, 1776

Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska, 1788

The first American stove patent is granted to Robert Haeterick, 1793

The Limelight Department, one of the world's first film studios, is officially established in Melbourne, Australia, 1892

New Zealand annexes the Cook Islands, 1901

Sir Barton wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown, 1919

Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States at Alpine, New Jersey, 1935

Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island, 1962

Antonio Meucci is acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress, 2002

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes an historic official apology to Canada's First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children are isolated from their homes, families and cultures for a century, 2006

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