Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Finis

As is typical, i walked in to chaos.

The clothes i had so carefully folded before leaving, telling the kids to claim their own and put them away, were still sitting on the table.

The kitchen was the usual disaster. About 3 morning's worth, as i awake to a dirty kitchen every morning which i left clean the night before and is apparently caused by gremlins, no one else in the house having anything at all to do with it.

Laundry to be done hadn't piled up sky high for the simple reason that they had hoarded it in their rooms.

My plan to use the frozen meatballs for supper wasn't such a great plan after all, as Sweetie had lived the whole week on spaghetti with chili he had stretched out by adding more canned sauce each day.

The place looked like a bachelor pad at its worst.

Oh, well. It was time to dig in, and by bedtime the kitchen was close to done, except for the insides of the appliances. Those had been recently cleaned anyway and would have to wait.

As usual, i'd say it was nice to be home, but i'm too busy. ;)

Today is:

Agricultural Reform Day -- Sao Tome and Principe

Celtic Tree Month Gort begins (Ivy)

Come and Take It Festival -- Gonzales, TX, US (through Oct. 2; celebrating the cry of Texans fighting for independence when the Mexican military demanded a cannon be returned)

Independence Day -- Botswana

International Translation Day -- International Federation of Translators

Kokkeisetsu -- Chinatown, Yokohama, Japan (Chinese National Founding Day in the largest Chinatown in Japan; through tomorrow)

Literally, A Haunted House -- New Albany, IN, US (each weekend through Hallowe'en; a haunted house in a literal haunted house)

Medetrinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival fruits offer to the goddess of medicine)

National Mud Pack Day -- give yourself a facial

National Hot Mulled Cider Day

Neptune Festival -- Virginia Beach, Virginia (through Oct. 2)

St. Gregory the Enlightener (or Illuminator; patron of Armenia)

St. Jerome's Day -- also an Apache celebration of Geronimo, the Native American who was named after this saint

Swappin' Meetin' -- Cumberland, KY, US (through tomorrow; celebrating the rich heritage of mountain people)

Birthdays Today:

Eric Stoltz, 1961
Fran Drescher, 1957
Marilyn McCoo, 1943
Z.Z. Hill, 1935
Johnny Mathis, 1935
Angie Dickinson, 1931
Truman Capote, 1924
Deborah Kerr, 1921
Buddy Rich, 1917
Rumi, 1207

Today in History:

Rambam (Maimonides) authorizes Samuel Ibn Tibbon to translate the Guide of the Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew, 1199
Mozart's last opera, The Magic Flute, premiers, 1791
Anesthetic ether is used for the first time by Dr. William Morton, who extracted a tooth, 1846
German scientist Hermann von Meyer announces the discovery of the first fossil of an archaeopteryx, 1861
The first Portuguese immigrants arrive in Hawai'i, 1878
The world's first commercial hydroelectric power plant begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, United States, 1882
Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, 1901
The first manned rocket plane flight, made by auto maker Fritz von Opel, 1929
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Yemen join the United Nations, 1947
The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time, 1947
The U.S. Navy submarine USS Nautilus is commissioned as the world's first nuclear reactor powered vessel, 1954
James Dean is killed in a road accident, 1955
Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers, 1962
James Meredith enters the University of Mississippi, defying segregation, 1962
General Suharto rises to power in Indonesia after an alleged coup by communists, and massacres over a million Indonesian people suspected of belonging to the Communist Party, 1965
BBC Radio 1 is launched and Tony Blackburn presents its first show, 1967
Ethernet specifications are published by Xerox working with Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation, 1980
The Dalai Lama unveils the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights in Canada's capital city of Ottawa, 1990
The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo, 2004
The controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Monday Blues

Blues because it was finally time to go home.

While i didn't wake quite as early as i wanted, too many late nights caught up to me, i did manage to be up and packing while it was still dark.

Westie, never an early riser, got up long enough to say good-bye and went back to sleep. Eagle and i had a great final conversation that was worth staying for, and she helped me load everything.

Since i hadn't written down the directions in reverse, i found myself on the side of the road a couple of times trying to sort out exactly which way to go. It was an adventure, with me singing along to the radio, again stopping where and when i wanted, sleeping in the car at a truck stop, enjoying the wi-fi at McDonald's when the fancy struck. It especially struck during rush hour Tuesday morning in Jackson, Mississippi. Much better to sip coffee and watch everyone else bog down on the interstate. After all, i was on my own clock.

A bit of a pang hit Monday evening around the time those who hadn't yet left the Quad Cities were getting together at the Smalltown Movie Theater. Monday is $5 tickets and $1 popcorn night -- bring your own bowl, of any size, they fill it for one buck. Smalltown. Gotta love it.

Gotta miss it, too.

Today is:

Battle of Boqueron Day -- Paraguay

Festival of Tezcatzonctl -- Ancient Aztec Calendar (chief god of intoxication; date approximate)

Great American Beer Festival -- Denver, CO, US (festival that holds the Guinness World Record for most beers tapped in one location)

Gwynn ap Nudd's Fest -- Celtic Calendar (god of the underworld; date approximate)

Inventors Day -- Argentina

National Coffee Day

National Day of Remembrance for Policemen Killed -- Australia (St. Michael, Patron of police officers)

National Mocha Day

Payment of Quit Rent by London Royal Courts of Justice

Rosh Hashanah -- Jewish (through sunset)

Sts. Gabriel and Raphael's Day

St. Michael's and All Angels Day (Michaelmas) (patron of bankers, the Basques, Brussels, Germany, grocers, Papua New Guinea, radiologists, paratroopers, policemen)

World Heart Day

Birthdays Today:

Bryant Gumbel, 1948
Lech Walesa, 1943
Madeline, Kahn, 1942
Jerry Lee Lewis, 1935
Anita Ekberg, 1931
Lizabeth Scott, 1922
Stanley Kramer, 1913
Greer Garson, 1908
Gene Autry, 1907
Enrico Fermi, 1901
Horatio Nelson, 1758
Miguel de Cervantes, 1547
Pompey the Great, BC106

Today in History:

Darius I of Persia kills the Magian usurper Gaumata, securing his hold as king of the Persian Empire, BC522
Battle of Salamis, at which the Greek fleet under Themistocles defeats the Persian fleet under Xerxes I, BC480
Pompey the Great Celebrates ending the Mithridatic Wars on his 45th birthday, BC61
Saladin's army marches into Jerusalem, 1187
The First Congress of the US adjourns, 1789
"Scotland Yard", London's Metropolitan Police Force, goes on duty, 1829
The first practical public electric tramway ever opens in Blackpool, England, 1885
John D. Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire, 1916
The convention establishing CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is signed, 1954
Alouette 1, the first Canadian satellite, is launched, 1962
WGPR in Detroit, Michigan, becomes the world's first black-owned-and-operated television station, 1975
Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to set foot on Irish soil with his pastoral visit to the Republic of Ireland, 1979
The asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes within four lunar distances of Earth, 2004
The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history, 2008
An 8.0 magnitude earthquake near the Samoan Islands causes a tsunami, 2009

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Galumphing to Galena

Because of the timing of our Sunday plans, it turned out that i didn't get to go to a church service. Instead i spent the time puttering and nursing this computer, which now doesn't stay open the way it should. Oh, well, Ol' Bessie is doing the best she can.

So, Sunday. Celestine had invited all of us to her home for lunch, to be followed by a trip to Galena. The day had dawned wet, and weather reports showed the wet would follow us up.

That didn't matter a bit. We were determined to have a great time, and so we did.

Getting everyone together that morning, to head out as a group, proved a fun comedy. It took lots of finagling just to figure out who would ride with whom, and who had to go home from where and when. Finally, only 45 minutes late, SG and Mickey in their van with Westie, and Ninja, Eagle, Sleepymom and i in Sleepymom's, we headed out to pick up Script and Grace.

While the ride was wet and gray, the talk was lively and views were still lovely. Equally lovely was the home of the wonderful Celestine, who had a spread for us that could satisfy anyone. Eagle had added her seitan cacciatore for a vegan protein, and it was my first taste of such a thing. It was very, very good.

Script was thrilled the most with the cupcakes.

Then on to Galena, a city with 85% of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Even the house of the original founder of the town still stands, and is open for tours.

The downtown district is shopping and restaurants, and we spent a couple of blissful hours wandering. The architecture was a feast to my eyes. We wandered off and met up at different intervals, each enjoying ourselves in our own way.

My only regret is that everything closes so early on Sunday. So the time came, all too soon, to say good-bye. Celestine returned to her home, SG and Mickey headed back west, and all the rest of us piled into Sleepymom's van. Ninja drove both ways so Sleepymom wouldn't be too worn out to drive home later that evening.

We dropped Script and Grace back at the hotel for another sad good-bye, and sent Sleepymom off with regret when Ninja got us safely back to the Aerie.

Then Ninja, Eagle, Westie and i stayed up way too late for a morning person, but i didn't regret it at all.

Today is:

Ask A Stupid Question Day -- teachers wanted to get students asking more questions, so they did, even if the questions were stupid; now, it's a holiday!

Confucius' Birthday -- China

Czech Statehood Day -- Czech Republic

Drink Beer Day

Feast of Hapi and Creation of the Nile -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Frances Willard Day -- Minnesota

Michaelmas Eve -- Celtic celebration, bake your bannock bread tonight for eating on St. Michael and All Angel's Day tomorrow

National Day of Awareness and Unity against Child Pornography -- Philippines

National Good Neighbor Day -- US (go greet the neighbors, and be a good neighbor yourself!)

National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

National Women's Health and Fitness Day -- US

Navaratri -- Hindu (through Oct. 5)

North American Sand Sculpting Championship -- Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Rosh Hashanah -- Jewish (begins at sunset)

Runic Half Month Gyfu begins (gift)

Strawberry Cream Pie Day

St. Wenceslaus' Day (Patron of Czech Republic)

Tales of Kelp-Koli's Second Visit -- Fairy Calendar (through the 30th)

Teacher's Day -- Taiwan (on Confucius' birthday, of course)

World Rabies Day

Birthdays Today:

Hilary Duff, 1987
Naomi Watts, 1968
Mira Sorvino, 1967
Janeane Garofalo, 1964
Koko Taylor, 1935
Brigitte Bardot, 1934
Arnold Stang, 1925
Marcello Mastroianni, 1924
Al Capp, 1909
Ed Sullivan, 1901
Confucius, BC551

Today in History:

Pompey the Great, member of the Triumvirate, is assassinated by order of King Ptolemy of Egypt upon landing in that country, BC48
King/Saint Wenceslas murdered by his brother, 935
William the Conqueror invades England, 1066
Sinking of the Spanish fleet during a hurricane off the coast of Florida, 1528
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo becomes the first European to reach San Diego Bay, 1542
Publication of "Pilgrim's Progress", 1678
Divorce is legalized in Maryland, 1701
American and French forces begin the siege of Yorktown, 1781
Napoleon Bonaparte, age 16, graduates from the Military Academy of Paris -- 42nd in a class of 51, 1785
Donati's comet becomes the first to be photographed, 1858
Toronto becomes the capital of Ontario, 1867
Sir Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin, 1928
Indonesia joins the United Nations, 1950
Mali and Senegal join the United Nations, 1960
SpaceX launches the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit, 2008

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Mighty Mississippi

The closest we have come to everyone being together at once is when we went on a riverboat tour of the Mississippi.

Eagle and i had walked to the farmer's market in the park that morning, where she got apples and a few other items. Even i picked up a nice cinnamon bread loaf to put on the table for anyone to share and a jar of home made bread and butter pickles for Sweetie. He loves those.

Then brunch, and off to the River.

It was beautiful, windy, cool, and the weather cooperated and rain held off until it was over and we were driving back to Eagle's to regroup.

Brunch Saturday morning was 10 of us -- Eagle, Mr. Eagle, Westie, Ninja, Script, Dawn, SleepyMom, SG, Mickey, and me. Then we regrouped at the Aerie and drove to Bigtown to take a sightseeing cruise on the River.

Linnie and Celestine met us at the River, but Mr. Eagle had to leave after brunch to get ready for work. Thus there were eleven on the cruise, and it meant that at no one time were all dozen of us together, which made me a bit sad in the sentimental way of missing that perfect opportunity always does. Yes, i got over it.

The River up here is clearer, and used to even have rapids. The locks have changed that, but it is still a far cry from the wide, muddy, and very dangerous thing it is nearer the Gulf. Up here, there is recreation on the River, including swimming, and water skiing was invented up here. Where i live, you jump in the River, you won't ever be heard from again unless you are a very lucky duck indeed.

All good cruises end too soon, so Celestine headed home, and SG and Mickey headed to visit relatives nearby. Linnie visited for a good while, but has had surgery recently and finally needed to get home to rest. Dinner plans were discussed, and Italian was chosen.

There is a nice little Italian restaurant in Smalltown, started many years ago by a native Italian whose family was here and he came over to join them. He died a few years ago, but the family still runs the place, and they have a salad bar. It was a fun dinner, with Mr. Eagle joining us about halfway through when he got off work. It was busy, as Saturday nights usually are. Apparently this is the place to come after local football games, and many people in town grew up working here when they were teens. Smalltown. Everyone's a friend or relative.

Today is:

Ancestor Appreciation Day

Crush a Can Day -- internet generated, so have fun seeing how many (safe) ways you can crush a can, and how flat you can get it!

French Community Holiday -- French community of Belgium

Iroquois Squash Ceremony -- Iroquois Native Americans (thanksgiving for the squash harvest and the secret Little Water Ceremony to preserve the potency of medicine and the Dark Dance for appeasing the spirits; through the 30th)

Meskel -- Ethiopian/Eritrian Orthodox Christian (True Cross Day)

National Milk Chocolate Day

National Corned Beef Hash Day

Phuket Vegetarian Festival -- Phuket, Thailand (9 days of purification by eating vegetarian/vegan and performing sacred rituals like walking barefoot on hot coals and climbing ladders with razor rungs)

St. Vincent De Paul's Day (patron of Madagascar, hospital workers, prisoners)

Thanksgiving Day for Disappearance of Kelp-Koli Again -- Fairy Calendar

World Tourism Day

Birthdays Today:

Avril Lavigne, 1984
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1972
Sophia Milos, 1965
Shaun Cassidy, 1958
Mike Schmidt, 1949
Wilford Brimley, 1934
Greg Morris, 1934
Arthur Penn, 1922
William Conrad, 1920
Jayne Meadows, 1920
Thomas Nast, 1840
George Muller, 1805
Samuel Adams, 1722

Today in History:

Severe earthquake in the Gulf of Chili, China; reports of 100,000 killed, 1290
Jesuits founded by Ignatius Loyola, 1540
John Adams negotiates peace terms with Britain, 1779
Constitution submitted to the states for ratification, 1787
Jean-Francois Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone, 1822
The Stockton and Darlington Railway opens, and begins operation of the world's first service of locomotive-hauled passenger trains, 1825
The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc²,1905
The first production of a Ford Model T automobile rolls off the line at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan, 1908
First test of a twin engine airplane, in France, 1910
Native American Day is first celebrated, 1916
Democratic National Committee votes to allow female members, 1919
The first Santa Clause Training School opens in Albion, NY, 1937
The Balinese tiger is declared to be an extinct species, 1937
Sierra Leone joins the United Nations, 1961
Richard Stallman announces the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system, 1983
Google is founded, 1998
East Timor joins the United Nations, 2002
CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7, 2008

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Bits and Pieces

As any of you who routinely read anything i write here may be able to tell, i'm not getting very detailed in some of this as compared to what i've written in the two past years at S-Fest.

That's partly because i'm having too much fun being with everyone to get much computer time, and partly because i'm fearfully sleepy. Staying up until 11pm or midnight and getting up at zero ack emma every morning tends to wear me down, and i feel like i'm wasting time sleeping. There is so much more to do.

Like the child who doesn't want to go to bed because she might miss the fun the grown ups are having, i'm not inclined to go to bed any earlier. How could i sleep knowing there's laughing and talking and singing and dancing -- yes, i know i don't sing, and i only sway when i dance because i have two left feet, but it's fun being a part of it.

Thus i'm getting to where my brain, which at the best of times runs like a car with two squirrels in a cage for an engine anyway, is becoming slow and thick and as sludged as old cooking grease left on the stove overnight to harden so it can be thrown away. The thoughts are as tough to cook as a "two-bit steak," as the old saying goes.

So today perhaps my slow brain can fill in a few gaps of back story, if i can remember what happened on which day.

On Friday, Westie pulled out the computer she had brought, and noted that she did not have a wireless card. So Mr. Eagle, ever helpful, got her an ethernet cable and hooked her to the back of their modem. Dummy, i told myself after i went to bed that night, if he can hook her up that way, you can use that cable, too. So Saturday morning, i plugged in, and haven't had to trouble the McDonald's up the street. This is especially helpful since there is only one plug that customers can use, and it's right next to the drink machine, a popular spot. My battery has a 30-second life, and so a plug is essential.

With all the comings and goings at different hotels, it's been the usual fun trying to meet up with everyone, this time with a twist. The hotel in Smalltown proved woefully inadequate for the needs of some people. There were rooms not clean, or rooms with non-functioning plumbing, and a couple of other difficulties. So a bit of shuffling around to Bigtown was needed, done on the fly as we drove hither and yon to other destinations.

Ninja brought fun with her in the form of colored braids of fake hair on bobby pins for us to wear, and blow up microphones to sing into, blow up musical instruments to pretend to play along, and an extensive playlist for the Karaoke machine. We've danced, and sung (well, i sway and hum, no need to let them watch me trip and deafen them with my lack of tone), told jokes and stories, and been serenaded by our lovely Script with her recorder.

Script is a real musician. She plays the recorder beautifully, works written for that instrument that has so been degraded by the dreadful cheap reproductions crammed into the hands of schoolchildren everywhere, with which they are forced to attempt to learn nothing but the ABC song and Greensleeves. Her wooden recorders, very expensive, are too nice to travel on a plane, so she brought the plastic one. Thank goodness, because her luggage was searched, and it was broken at the end. She managed to put a piece of tape on it and play it anyway. If i could, i would have listened for hours. She cannot play that long, of course, but i would have listened. She played as i cooked etouffee, each of us contributing what we could to the fun.

SG and Mickey (her very nice SO who speaks very little English, he has a beautiful smile, though) drove in and got lost on the interstate, so by the time they came Friday night things were winding down. So i didn't get to meet them until Saturday, when we met up at the same small restaurant for brunch as on Friday.

The place is nice, but they just don't know what to do with vegetarians, and especially with those like me, so i stuck to salad and picked out the bits of bacon that had accidentally made their way in despite my request to the contrary. The cheese i ignored -- sometimes you just have to.

It just occurred to me that at no one time have all of us been together in one place. The comings and goings and coordinatings have been a bit complicated, but we've all had fun, if the smiles and laughing are any indication. It's been refreshing, and Eagle doesn't mind if i putter in her kitchen a bit.

These are some of the best people anywhere, and i'm glad i know them and get to visit.

Today is:

Bureflux -- Discordian Calendar

Cobweb Pie Making Day -- Fairy Calendar

Day of the National Flag -- Ecuador

Dominion Day -- New Zealand

European Day of Languages -- European Union

Family Day -- sponsored by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, urging families to have dinner together tonight

Festival of Venus Genetrix -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Tool Day -- internet generated, now gladly embraced by toolmakers

Johnny Appleseed Day

Metropolitan Opera in NYC Opening Night

National Pancake Day

Metropolitan Opera in NYC -- Opening Night

Pchum Ben -- Cambodia (Ceremony of the Dead; through the 28th)

Revolution Day -- Yemen

St. Cosmas and Damian' Day (patron of physicians, barbers, druggists, chemical workers; against bladder diseases)

St. John Cyprian of Carthage's Day -- Eastern Christian Churches

Birthdays Today:

Lawrence Leritz, 1962
Linda Hamilton, 1956
Olivia Newton-John, 1948
Anne Robinson, 1944
Kent McCord, 1942
Julie London, 1926
Jack LaLanne, 1914
George Gershwin, 1898
T.S. Eliot, 1888
Edmund Gwenn, 1877
John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman, 1774
St. Francis of Assisi, 1181

Today in History:

In keeping a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus, Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix, BC 46
Sir Francis Drake returns to England with Spanish treasure, 1580
In a battle between Venetians and Turks in Athens, the Parthenon and Acropolis are seriously damaged, 1687
New Jersey passes a bill requiring a license to practice medicine, 1772
Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first Secretary of State of the US, 1789
Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proved tomatoes weren't poisonous by eating several on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey, 1820
The Diamond Match Company patents book matches, 1892
New Zealand and Newfoundland each become dominions within the British Empire, 1907
Indonesia is admitted to the United Nations, 1950
Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time, 1973
The United Kingdom agrees to the handover of Hong Kong, 1984
An earthquake strikes the Italian regions of Umbria and the Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse, 1997
Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel, 2008

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Getting Together

When we unpacked from Aldi, Eagle and i both freshened up a bit and made a shopping list. Then we headed for Bigger Town where the health food store and larger grocery are.

The health food place reminds me of Everman's in Pensacola. Arranged like a small mom and pop grocery with a place for ordering fresh food and juices, it had a wonderful selection. We got some fresh fruit and for the first time i was able to buy and try sprouted almonds. They were delicious.

At the grocery, there were specials i would have taken advantage of had i been at home -- isn't that always the way. We were in and out quickly, then went to the restaurant to meet up with Grace, Ninja, and Script.

Grace was there and it was fabulous to see her again. We talked and caught up and waited, and poor Script and Ninja got lost. The restaurant is in a strip mall, and they passed it a couple of times.

When we did finally all get there, we hugged and talked and ate family style and had a great evening. These things never last long enough, but since we closed the rather small restaurant, i can guarantee the people were glad when we did have to finally head out.

Ninja and Script went back to their hotel while Eagle, Grace and i went to the airport to pick up Westie.

Eagle told me it was a small airport, and it is. She also said it was never very crowded, but since i was there, something had to be different that day. There was a record crowd, there to meet some returning veterans. Flags everywhere, and enough people to line the corridors as they deplaned. It took the people on the other plane that had landed a long time to get through, but we were finally able to see the person with a blue jacket and blue carry on we were looking for.

Talking a mile a minute, we left the crowd welcoming the veterans and took Grace back to the restaurant parking lot and her car. Then Eagle drove her two foster eaglets back to her house.

The next morning, i got up, dressed, and went downstairs to go to McDonald's for coffee and internet. Mr. Eagle was up and told me not to expect a typical McD's experience. When i asked why, he told me that is where his father and all the men of that generation meet for coffee every morning.

In fact, they don't just meet there, taking up a good 1/3 of the restaurant, the employees circle with the pots to give them refills. Smalltown. Wow.

Internet done and coffee cup empty, i went back to the Aerie to start the roux, chop vegetables, and get the vegetable stock cooking. Eagle and i worked in the kitchen and talked to Mr. Eagle, then woke Westie so we could walk to a local grill for breakfast.

It's a nice place, with Swedish pancakes and lingonberries that impressed even Script, World Traveler. The waitress was a bit surprised when i asked for nothing but the veggies they put in the omelet, grilled, but told me the chef didn't even bat an eye at it.

Since the restaurant is right in the business district, we wandered and went in a few of the shops. Eagle told us a few things about Smalltown, which is where Mr. Eagle grew up. Apparently everyone waves at you, and you are supposed to wave back, it might be a relative. One stop was the bakery for the cake Eagle had ordered.

Back at the Aerie, we spent the rest of the day cooking, dancing to the music Ninja so carefully put on her playlist for her Karaoke machine, eating shrimp etouffee and salad and cake, and waiting for SleepyMom. Altogether a lovely day

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mozambique

Fukuro Matsuri -- Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan (a fun-for-tourists way to learn about Japanese culture, through tomorrow)

Gold Star Mother's Day -- US; remembering those mother's who have lost a child in military service

Join a Cabal of International Bankers Today Day -- internet generated, and only for people without a conscience

Kamarampaka Day -- Rwanda (Republic Day)

National Comic Book Day -- internet generated, but go read one, they are fun

National Crabmeat Newberg Day

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims -- US

National One-Hit Wonder Day -- US, remembering those who had only one hit on the rock charts

St. Cadoc's Day

St. Finbarr's Day

Toad Tempting Day -- Fairy Calendar

World Ataxia Awareness Day

Birthdays Today:

Catherine Zeta-Jones, 1969
Will Smith, 1968
Scottie Pippen, 1965
Aida Turturro, 1962
Heather Locklear, 1961
Christopher Reeve, 1952
Mark Hamill, 1951
Cheryl Tiegs, 1947
Michael Douglas, 1944
Juliet Prowse, 1936
Glenn Gould, 1932
Barbara Walters, 1931
Shel Silverstein, 1930
Phil Rizzuto, 1918
Dmitri Shostakovich, 1906
William Faulkner, 1897
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, 1358 (Japanese Shogun)

Today in History:

St. Ferment is beheaded in Amiens, France, after voyaging there to preach the gospel, 303
The Battle of Stamford Bridge marks the end of the Anglo-Saxon era, 1066
Columbus begins his second voyage, with 17 ships, 1493
Vasco Nunez de Balboa becomes the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of the Americas, 1513
The first printing press in the Americas begins operations, 1639
Old Style date; two very accurate clocks are set in motion at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, the start of Greenwich Mean Time, 1676
Ethan Allan, American Revolutionary War hero, is captured, 1775
Benedict Arnold joins the British, 1780
The first all-black university in the US, Howard University, is created by Congress, 1867
Yosemite National Park is established by Congress, 1890
Charles Follis becomes the first black to play professional American football, 1904
Birth of the remote control -- Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the "Telekino" and guides a boat from the shore in the port of Bilbao, 1906
Jimmy Doolittle performs the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible, 1929*
Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, is integrated by the use of United States Army troops, 1957
In a referendum, the people of Norway reject membership of the European Community, 1972
Belize joins the United Nations, 1981
The last of the Magdalene Asylums closes in Ireland, 1996
The Vitim event, a possible bolide (comet nucleus) impact in Siberia, Russia, 2002
China launches the spacecraft Shenzhou 7, 2008

*Personal family history: He was a great man, and taught my brothers to hunt dove.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Smalltown Fun

Singing along to whatever radio station i wanted -- mostly Christian radio, so i'm sure i won't hear crud i don't want rolling in my brain, although i did manage to catch part of the Dave Ramsey Show the first day -- i stopped and started whenever fancy struck.

A couple of times i stopped and asked directions of truckers at truck stops. Each time, i was heading the right way, but my dad, Dr. Born Organized Clean, told me it's better to stop and make sure, so you can turn around quickly if you need to. Since then, i've also learned that it's okay if you are lost, you are still in your country, you are still probably in the same state, and it's not that hard to turn around and take the correct way.

In fact, i found that out when the road construction in Memphis deposited me off of the interstate before i realized it. A u-turn on that street, and i was back on in less than one minute.

Because i made good time, i pulled into Eagle's Smalltown at around noon.

Now Smalltown (obviously not its real name, but i'm good at pointing out the obvious and i'm trying to help preserve a bit of anonymity) is really a small town. Not far from the Quad Cities area, her house is easy to find. Get off the interstate and take a left. Stay on Main Drag, and hang a left at the City Hall. She and Mr. Eagle live four blocks up. Really.

Last year, when i got to Grace's house, she wasn't there and her son was asleep, so i went and passed time for a bit and went back.

This year, when i got to the Aerie, Eagle was out in the back yard, and didn't hear her phone. Mr. Eagle wasn't home yet. So i went to the Shell station for gas -- and read the announcement that it was Bob's birthday -- and found the grocery store.

It's a real small town grocery store. They carry the groceries to the car, and aren't open on Sundays.

When i headed back, Mr. Eagle was home and Eagle was inside, so i got to go in and see her beautiful nest.

Eagle is an amazing woman. Not just a room for me, but with a bottle of water and a set of towels, and a clean robe hanging in the closet if i needed it! Wow.

The shrimp had survived the trip, and went back in the freezer. As i unpacked the rest of the stuff, we talked about plans for the rest of the day.

A grocery list, a planned trip to a nearby Biggertown for a health food store visit and a dinner at a restaurant with Grace, Ninja, and Script, and meanwhile, we would walk to Aldi.

Yes, this is Smalltown. Aldi is walking distance. The Post Office is behind City Hall and next to the Fire Station. Nothing is more than a 5 minute drive away. Walking home, i noticed that Sue is retiring from the Regional Bank, everyone come on in Friday and celebrate. Smalltown, really.

Yes, i remembered that Smalltown is slow. Yes, i managed, when driving, to stay at the speed limit of 30mph. Yes, at the corner where the stop sign is missing, i figured it out and stopped anyway.

Eagle and i discussed the differences between Smalltown and bigger places. Her sons never liked living in small towns, they couldn't get used to the fact that so little goes on. It's a nice change of pace, and i could probably get used to it, but it would take a while, since i'm used to being able to get up at 4am and be at the 24hr. Wal-Mart before 5.

The only difficulty i had settling in to the Aerie is that Old Bessy, my computer, has decided she doesn't like Eagle's wi-fi. It will not connect. So i will be visiting the McDonald's every morning to check email and blog.

Today is:

Aloha Festival Floral Parade -- Oahu, Hawai'i (part of the larger Aloha Festival celebrations this month and next on all the islands, celebrating native Hawai'ian culture)

Apple Saturday -- Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, ME, US (tours of the Shaker orchard and exhibits; also two Saturdays following)

Armed Forces Day -- Peru

Banned Books Week begins -- through Oct. 1, celebrate your right to read what you want!

Confucius' Birthday -- China (observed, 27th day of 8th lunar month)

Constitution Day -- Cambodia

Eldon Turkey Festival -- Eldon, MO, US (top producer of turkeys has the top turkey festival in the world)

Family Health and Fitness Day USA

Feast of the Ingathering -- UK traditional (also called Harvest Home; in Scotland, Kirn; in northern England, Mell-Supper)

Feast of Our Lady of Mercy -- Catholic Christian

Festival of the Latest Novelties -- an internet generated holiday to celebrate everything from traditional whoopie cushions to some of the more modern and weird novelty gifts out there; a great day for practical jokers

Fish Amnesty Day

Going Forth of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Heritage Day -- South Africa

Independence Day -- Guinea-Bissau

Innergize Day -- the day to take time for yourself!

Mahidol Day -- Thailand

National Bluebird of Happiness Day -- US (and no one knows why, but it's supposed to be a day to go spread some happiness)

National Cherries Jubilee Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day -- US

National Public Lands Day -- US (Helping Hands for America's Lands -- a day to volunteer on America's Public Lands)

National Seat Check Saturday (Check it for what, sagging? I'm old, of course it is! Oh, make sure car seats are secured -- my kids finally outgrew those, phew.)

New Caledonia Day -- New Caledonia

Punctuation Day -- make sure you are using those punctuation marks correctly!

R.E.A.D. in America Day -- sponsored by CheeREADing

Republic Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Responsible Dog Ownership Day -- sponsored by the AKC

Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving -- Pennsylvania Dutch followers of Silesian Reformation theology

St. Gerard's Day (patron of Hungary)

UCI Road World Championship -- Copenhagen, Denmark (road cycling's premier event; through tomorrow)

Wild West Show and Bullwhacker Days -- Olathe, KS, US (celebrate the Santa Fe Trail; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Nia Vardalos, 1962
Phil Hartman, 1948
Linda McCartney, 1941
Jim Henson, 1936
Anthony Newley, 1931
Sheila MacRae, 1924
Jim McKay, 1921
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896
Horace Walpole, 1717

Today in History:

Prophet Muhammad completes his hijra from Mecca to Medina, 622
The last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration of the Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Komnenos, dies; the empire slips into terminal decline, 1180
The Dutch Republic surrenders New Amsterdam to England, 1664
The first autopsy and coroner's jury verdict is recorded in the state of Maryland, 1657
John Jay is appointed by George Washington as the first Chief Justice of the then six-person Supreme Court, which was instituted by the Federal Judiciary Act passed that same day, 1789
US Attorney General Office is created, 1789
The Northern Daily Times becomes the first provincial daily newspaper in London, 1853
Alexander Dey patents a dial time recorder, 1889
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy, 1890
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's first National Monument, 1906
Cathay Pacific Airways is founded in Hong Kong, 1946
The Honda Motor Company is founded, 1948
Forest fires black out the sun over portions of Canada and New England, and a Blue moon (in the astronomical sense) is seen as far away as Europe, 1950
Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, is opened in Barcelona, 1957
President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation, 1957
The United States court of appeals orders the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith, 1962
Swaziland joins the United Nations, 1968
Compu-Serve launches the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service, 1979
Periodic Great White Spot observed on Saturn, 1990
Hurricane Rita devastates Beaumont, Texas, southwest Louisiana, and finishing off some of the parts of New Orleans and southeast Louisiana that Katrina missed, 2005
The G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA, US, marks the first use of LRAD for crowd control in the US, 2009

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie: Of Boxes, Bugs, and Blytheville

The car i rented is a box.

We used to have a box on wheels, a Volvo. At least, i thought it was a box. The Nissan Cube has it beat by a mile in that sense.

Sweetie loved the fact that it was a Nissan, and thought it was great, a nice, safe car.

Because it is a box, it's not very aerodynamic. The windshield/windscreen, whatever you wish to term it, goes straight up. Every bug that comes anywhere near splatters all over it.

There was no fluid in the reservoir for the wiper blades.

Of the several times i stopped to get gas, or water, or whatever, i kept forgetting to use the squeegee at the station, until Blytheville.

That's where i stopped at a store to buy more bananas, and grapefruit, and ice to keep the shrimp cold.

To save money, i never checked into a hotel, i just pulled into the corner of a truck stop, leaned back, and was almost asleep when Ninja texted me, at 12:30 am to tell me SG was also going to be there. It took another while to fall back asleep, and i was up by 4am and on the road again not long after.

Today is

Augustalia -- Roman Empire (birthday of Caesar Augustus, still the traditional New Year's Day in Constantinople and in the Eastern Orthodox Church)

Bunster Winding -- Fairy Calendar

Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival -- Bethlehem, PA, US (US's largest highland games and Celtic Festival; through the 25th)

Chästeilet im Justistal -- Switzerland (dividing of the cheese, annual)

Checkers Day/Dogs in Politics Day -- thanks to Mr. Nixon; and i'm tempted t further comment, but this one is too easy

Citua -- Ancient Inca Empire (feast to the Moon, and to banish disease, in the month of Coyaraimi, date approximate)

Mabon -- Wicca/Pagan Northern Hemisphere
Ostara -- wicca/Pagan Southern Hemisphere
related celebrations:
Alban Elfed -- Celtic Winter Finding
Chuseok -- Korean harvest festival
Feast of Carpo -- Greek Horae, goddess of autumn
Kukulcan Snake God Celebration -- Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico (the snake appears at the equinox, a time to honor this Mayan god)
Festival of the Sea Goddess -- Eskimo
Higan -- Japan
Mabon/Fallfest -- Ancient Norse Calendar (harvest festival, time to make wine and mead for the next winter)
Oenach Carman -- Ancient Celtic Calendar
Sendai Great Tug-of-War -- Sendai, Japan (festival on the equinox that dates back over 400 years)

Hug a Vegetarian Day -- i'm open!

Indigenous Peoples' Day -- a day to honor Native Americans and their life-affirming spiritual traditions

Love Note Day -- take pen and paper and send that special someone a love note today

National Day/Foundation of the Kingdom -- Saudi Arabia

National White Chocolate Day

Neptune Day

Rettir -- Iceland (through the 26th in Reykjavic in association with a music festival; a traditional sheep round up celebrated in Iceland during September, actual round up dates may vary from region to region)

Shubun no hi -- Japan (honoring of the ancestors)

St. Adamnan's Day

St. Padre Pio's Day

Svarog's Holiday -- Slavic Pagan Calendar (day to drink mead in honor of Svarog, god of fire and the sky)

Anniversaries Today:

The University of Alberta in Alberta, Canada, is founded, 1908

Birthdays Today:

Jason Alexander, 1959
Bruce Springsteen, 1949
Mary Kay Place, 1947
Paul Petersen, 1945
Julio Iglesias, 1943
Tom Lester, 1938
Ray Charles, 1930
John Coltrane, 1926
Mickey Rooney, 1920
Walter Pigeon, 1897
William H. McGuffey, 1800
Kublai Khan, 1215
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, BC63
Euripides, BC480

Today in History:

Concord of Worms, 1122
The first major battle of the Wars of the Roses, at Blore Heath in Staffordshire, 1459
First commencement exercises of Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., 1642
Liechtenstein declares its independence from the German Empire, 1719
John Paul Jones' "Bon Homme Richard" defeats the HMS Serepis, 1779
Lewis and Clark arrive back in St. Louis from their explorations, 1806
The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, is founded in New York, 1845
Neptune is discovered by French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier and British astronomer John Couch Adams, 1846
Nintendo Koppai, later known as Nintendo Company, Limited, is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi; it produces and markets the playing card game Hanafuda, 1889
The Phantom of the Opera (original title: Le Fantome de l'Opera), a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, was first published, 1909
The MS Princess of Tasmania, Australia’s first passenger roll-on/roll-off diesel ferry, makes her maiden voyage across Bass Strait, 1959
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos announces over television and radio the implementation of martial law, 1972
Juan Perón returns to power in Argentina, 1973
Saint Kitts and Nevis joins the United Nations, 1983
Qantas Flight 1 overruns the runway in Bangkok during a storm; some passengers only receive minor injuries, it is still the worst crash in Qantas's history, 1991
The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox ("Phoenix 0.1") is released, 2002
Hurricane Jeanne strikes Haiti and leaves at least 1,070 dead, 2004

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adventures at Eagle's Aerie

All adventures start somewhere, and mine started with the night before.

It's always hard to sleep the night before travel, but when you add the fun of a text from a friend who loves to stay up very, very late just as you are about to fall asleep, it makes for an even more difficult night before. So after about 5 hours sleep, i got up to the usual laundry, kittens, dog walking, kitchen cleaning and an additional list of to do's.

The always tentatively scheduled departure time was 7am. After all the usual, plus packing, ironing extra clothes for Sweetie, and lots of screaming from the kittens, it was 8:15 not when i headed out of town, but when i headed to the gas station for fuel and ice.

Yes, ice. As usual, i travel with food and cast iron in tow. When people want shrimp etouffee, they get it, if i can possibly deliver.

The original plan was for me to go pick up Daye in Arkansas on the way to Illinois. Since she was never able to call me with concrete plans, i simply headed for I-55 N.

The great thing about interstates is that you can really click the miles off. The sad thing is that what used to be scenic 35mph drives through small town centers with cops patrolling to make sure the visitors obeyed the speed limit or payed a nice fine to the city coffers on the little highways has instead become occasional stops at the cookie cutter exits that have built up away from the historic centers of these towns, featuring the same smorgasbord of chain gas stations, fast food restaurants, and the ubiquitous Wal-Mart.

Traveling alone is a good and a bad thing. It's good, because you don't answer to anyone else; if you want to stop and use the facilities or get a cup of coffee or put your feet up and read the paper for 20 minutes, you do it. It's bad, because it can get lonely.

So i stopped when i wanted, rested when i wanted, and ate a grapefruit in a grocery store parking lot without let or hindrance.

As for blogging, well, lots of places have wi-fi, and so i can sit here near the Mississippi/Tennessee border and drink decaf and get a post ready.

Today is:

Aizu Byakko Matsuri -- Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, Japan (ceremonial recreation of a march to war in 1868; through the 24th)

American Business Women's Day -- US

Barnesville Pumpkin Festival -- Barnesville, OH, US (through the 25th)

Breakfast, Snack, Elevenses, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Tea, Snack, Dinner, Snack, More Snacks, Supper, Snack, and Bilgewack Celebration Day -- Fairy Calendar (Borms; they are little known relatives of Goblins, given to being overweight and sedentary and lying around feeling ill; bilgewack is their term for having eaten too much and having to lie down.)

Car-Free Day -- Europe; Montreal, Canada

Coya Rayni -- Inca Native Americans (festival to honor Moon Goddess Quilla, with a focus on purging sickness and evil; through tomorrow)

Dear Diary Day

Elephant Appreciation Day

Fairmount Museum Days/Remembering James Dean Festival -- Fairmont, IN, US (through the 25th)

Feast of Mikeli -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (harvest celebration; through the 24th)

Hobbit Day

Ice Cream Cone Day

Independence Day -- Bulgaria; Mali

International Day of Radiant Peace --

National Centenarians Day -- US


Princess Martha Louise's Birthday -- Norway (an official flag day)

Ritual of the Netjers of the Two Lands (Upper and Lower Egypt) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

St. Maurice's Day

World Maritime Day -- UN

Birthdays Today:

Bonnie Hunt, 1964
Scott Baio, 1961
Joan Jett, 1960
Andrea Bocelli, 1958
Debby Boone, 1956
Shari Belafonte, 1954
Tommy Lasorda, 1927
Michael Farriday, 1791
Lord Chesterfield, 1694

Today in History:

Legion I Italica is created by Emperor Nero, 66
Switzerland becomes an independent state, 1499
The General Provincial Court at Patuxent, MD, US, empanels the first all female jury in the colonies to try the case of a woman accused of murdering her child, 1656
A final 8 people are hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Mass., 1692
Nathan Hale is hanged for spying during American Revolution, 1776
Russia establishes a colony at Kodiak, Alaska, 1784
City of Des Moines, Iowa, is incorporated as Fort Des Moines, 1851
Richard Wagner's opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich, 1869
The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published, 1888
Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather, King George III, as the longest reigning monarch in British history, 1895
Italo Marchiony granted a patent for an ice cream cone, 1903
The Duke of York's Picture House opens in Brighton, now the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain, 1910
Ralph J. Bunche becomes the first black winner of the Nobel Peace Price, 1950
The Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library, 1991
David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon, 2003

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Going, Going, Gone

This internet thing is quite funny, when you stop to think about it.

We connect with so many people through it, it shrinks the world in ways we couldn't even imagine just a few short decades ago.

Now, i get to go visit people all over the world in the comfort of my own home, and sometimes even in person.

Three years ago, a friend i made online named Pickles invited all of us on a particular website out to her place in Albuquerque.

Well, i've always wanted to go there. Being a Looney Toons fan, i wanted to see how Bugs Bunny always managed to miss his left turn there.

So i arranged to meet another online friend, Grace, in San Antonio, and drive the rest of the way out with her. We had a blast.

It was so much fun that Grace decided to host it in her home last year. That was convenient, i knew where she lived. In fact, i now know how to get to the store and a couple of other places from her house.

Then it came down to this year. Eagle has decided to open up her Aerie to the rest of us, so i am heading north to a small town in Illinois. It's not far from any of the Quad Cities, but i won't say exactly, just as i don't use their real names here, to help them keep their privacy.

The first year, Eagle, Grace, Script, LuckyLaura and i descended on Pickle's hospitality and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Last year, it was Pickles, Eagle, Mr. Eagle, BonBons, CanDo, and LittleNinja who joined me in the trek to San Antonio.

Now, it's going to be me, Dawn, Script, Westie, LittleNinja, and SleepyMom joining Linnie, Eagle, and Celestine, who all live in the area. In all the confusion, i may have lost track, but in 3 years we have about doubled the size of our gatherings.

While i do expect to be cold up there, i also expect to have fun.

Illinois, here i come. Swamp, i'm outta here.

Today is:

Arbor Day -- Brazil

Black Walnut Festival -- Stockton, MO, US (through the 24th; tour the world's biggest black walnut processing plant, along with a parade and other fun)

Breakfast, Dinner, and Supper Celebration Day -- Fairy Calendar (Goblins)

Chelsea Antique Fair -- Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, England (through the 25th)

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 11, Peace (to coincide with the International celebration; sponsored by We, the World)

Founder's Day -- Ghana

Independence Day -- Armenia; Belize; Malta

International Day of Peace

Mabon begins -- Neopaganism

Miniature Golf Day -- golf the fun way!

National Pecan Cookie Day

Petit Jean Fall Antique Auto Swap Meet -- Morrilton, AR, US (through the 24th)

St. Matthew the Evangelist's Day

Student's Day and Spring Day -- Argentina

World Alzheimer's Day

World Gratitude Day

Birthdays Today:

Faith Hill, 1967
Darva Conger, 1965
Rob Morrow, 1962
David James Elliot, 1960
Dave Coulier, 1959
Bill Murray, 1950
Stephen King, 1947
Henry Gibson, 1935
Leonard Cohen, 1934
Larry Hagman, 1931
Chuck Jones, 1912
H.G. Wells, 1866
Maurice Barrymore, 1849 (family patriarch)

Today in History:

Richard the Lionheart captured, 1192
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa orders Jews of Holland to wear a badge, 1451
John and Nicolaas van der Heyden patent a fire extinguisher, 1677
Nathan Hale arrested for spying, 1776
The Pennsylvania Packet & Daily Advertiser becomes the first successful US daily newspaper, 1784
Joseph Smith, Jr. claims that the Angel Moroni gives him the gold plates from which he translates the Book of Mormon, 1827
The Duryea Motor Wagon Company becomes the first auto manufacturer, 1895
"Kit Carson", the first cowboy film, premiers in the US, 1903
Publication of Tolkien's "The Hobbit", 1937
Bahrain, Bhutan and Qatar join the United Nations, 1971
Sandra Day O'Connor is unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female US Supreme Court justice, 1981
Brunei joins the United Nations, 1984
Deep Space 1 flies within 2,200 km of Comet Borrelly, 2001
The Galileo mission is terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter's atmosphere, 2003

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Talk About Timing

Here's what you want to be focused on as you are leaving town.

Identity Theft.

And you thought i was going to say the safety of your family and your driving plans and getting the bills payed and making sure the kids can get to school, etc.


This is another of those adventures you don't want to have.

A few days ago, on our home phone, i answered a number i didn't recognize. It was a payday type loan place, calling to offer Meghan a great deal. Well, there has never been a Meghan here, and i said so, and the person said, "Thank you" and hung up.

No further calls have come on the home phone.

My mobile, the cell phone, is another story.

Within about 10 minutes of that first call. i got a text message for Meghan, again asking her if she wanted a loan.

The calls and texts have not stopped since.

With the calls, i tell them my identity has been stolen, i don't want a loan, take me off your calling list. One guy, when i said that, said, "Oh, no!" and hung up fast.

The texts all tell you how to "unsubscribe," but i know better than to respond in any way. Then they won't just keep texting, they will sell your number to everyone on earth.

Instead, i have just been deleting the texts.

So, Meghan, whoever it is, has put her name and both of my phone numbers on the lists of these predatory loan people, and i am not amused.

After a call to my ID Theft Protection company ( , if anyone wants to know, they sell the best protection on the planet), i am going to treat it as theft and monitor the situation very closely.

A call to the phone provider has shown no unusual activity on my account. If i get sick enough of the calls and texts after a few days, i can pay an extra $5 a month to allow my to put up to 15 numbers in a database and block them from contacting me. That would be a last resort.

Right now, my hope is that whoever this is just has nothing but my phone numbers, and used them instead of his or her own, but had no other info of mine. Possibly she wanted to take out a loan, but didn't want to get all the calls associated with it.

Because they have both the home and the mobile number, it could also be a practical joke, or just a mean trick, from someone who knows me and wants me bothered by all of this.

Either way, i'm not going to let it interfere with my plans.

Nor will i let it get me down.

S-Fest, here i come.

Today is:

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 10, Disarmament (sponsored by We, the World)

Feast of Zywie -- Poland (goddess of longevity and health; date approximate)

Haustmanuour -- Iceland (beginning of traditional Autumn Month, during which all the summer chores are finished, including livestock rounded up, before winter begins)

National Rum Punch Day

National Youth Day -- Thailand

Okuma-kabuto Festival -- Nakajima, Japan (Noto Peninsula's top autumn festival)

Opening of Parliament -- Netherlands (holiday in The Hague)
Prinsjesdag -- Netherlands (technically translates "Prince's Day;" the day Parliament opens and the reigning sovereign, now Queen Beatrix, gives the Speech from the Throne)

Seventh day of the Eleusinian Mysteries, when the secret rites in the Telesterion began -- Ancient Greek Calendar

St. Eustace's Day (patron of hunters, difficult marriage situations; against family troubles)

Birthdays Today:

Taro Aso, 1940
Sophia Loren, 1934
Anne Meara, 1929
Dr. Joyce Brothers, 1928
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, 1890
Upton Sinclair, 1878
Rama V, King of Thailand, 1853 (eldest son taught by Anna, of "The King and I" fame)
Emperor Takakura of Japan, 1161

Today in History:

Atilla the Hun defeated at Chalons-sur-Marne by General Aetius, 451
Saladin begins the siege of Jerusalem, 1187
Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe, 1519
Galileo Galilei is tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun, 1633
Maryland passes the first "anti-amalgamation" law to stop English women from marrying black men, 1664
The Negro Convention of Free Men agrees to boycott slave-produced goods, 1830
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created, 1848
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ends with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company, 1857
The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States, 1891
Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania is launched, 1906
The first Cannes Film Festival is held, 1946
James Meredith, an African-American, is temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi, 1962
The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched, 1967
Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match, 1973
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam joins the UN, 1977

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crazy Crazy Crazy

So i'm supposed to leave town on Wednesday.

There is so much to do between then and now, i've lost track. In fact, i'm to the point where i'm not even sure i ever had a track!

A few things to do:

Contact Daye, firm up where we will meet. Then i can actually decide on my driving directions.

Go to Whole Paycheck for a few things.

Go to big box store and stock up on the roughly 17,000 things the family think they can't live without while i am gone.

Go to smaller store for another 12,000 things.

Go to the local mom and pop store for yet another 6,000 items.

Continue to do laundry, ironing, kitten care, puppy walking, cooking, cleaning, and running Sweetie to and from work and kids to and from school.

Answer a ton of emails and pay bills.

Find time to pack.

After writing it all out, if any of you want to find me, i'll be that blithering idiot in the corner, talking to my precious.

If i didn't need time away before, i will after the next two days.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Chile

Cosmetic Bridge Day -- seems internet generated, but i'm sure your dentist will approve

Day of the First Appearance of the Slovak National Council -- Slovakia

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 9, Freedom (sponsored by We, the World)

Independence Day -- St. Kitts and Nevis

International Love Your Files Week -- through the 23rd (love your files, clean them out and get a good system going)

International Women's Ecommerce Days -- through the 23rd (celebrating women's buying power)

Jubilee of the Moth Moons -- Fairy Calendar

Keiro no hi -- Japan (Respect for the Aged Day)

National Butterscotch Pudding Day

National Women Road Warrior Day -- US

Potato Bowl -- Grand Forks, North Dakota (through the 24th; including the World Largest French Fry Feed)

St. Januarius' Day (patron of blood banks, Naples; against the evil eye)

Talk Like a Pirate Day -- International (believe it or not)

Birthdays Today:

Jimmy Fallon, 1974
Jim Abbot, 1967
Trisha Yearwood, 1964
Joan Lunden, 1950
Leslie "Twiggy" Lawson, 1949
Jeremy Irons, 1948
Randolph Mantooth, 1945
"Mama" Cass Elliot, 1941
Bill Medley, 1940
Paul Williams, 1940
David McCallum, 1933
Adam West, 1928
Duke Snider, 1926
Joseph Pasternak, 1901

Today in History:

Edward, the Black Prince, commands the forces which defeat the French army and capture France's King John II, 1356
Giles Corey is pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem Witch Trials, 1692
The Continental Congress passes the first budget of the US, 1778
Ephraim Morris patents the railroad brake, 1838
Bond and Lassell discover Hyperion, moon of Saturn, 1848
New Zealand becomes the first country to grant all of its women the right to vote, 1893
Funeral of assassinated President William McKinley, 1901
Mickey Mouse makes his screen debut as Steamboat Willie, at the Colony Theater in NYC, 1928
The Council of Europe is founded following a speech by Winston Churchill at the University of Zurich, 1946
Nikita Khrushchev is barred from visiting Disneyland, 1959
Betty and Barney Hill claim that they saw a mysterious craft in the sky and that it tried to abduct them, 1961
The Solomon Islands join the United Nations, 1978
Scott Fahlman posts the first documented emoticons :-) and :-( on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System, 1982
Ötzi the Iceman is discovered by German tourists, 1991

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good-Bye, Bacon

"Hey, mom! We're going out to French Settlement tonight, okay?" #2 Son breezed in and pulled open the fridge door.

Who's the 'we'?

"Oh, just the two of us, we've been invited out there for the night, and I don't have to work tomorrow." #1 Son had followed his brother in and grabbed a cup of water.

"They don't keep much food out there, either," #2 Son added, "so we're going to take a few things."

When i asked if they wanted some of the leftover stuffed chicken breasts, they looked at me like i was crazy.

"Nah, we don't need anything that fancy," #2 Son said, and #1 Son added, "And we don't want to have to worry about bringing back your Pyrex, or breaking it."

They dug through the fridge and freezers and came up with a whole pack of the thick smoked bacon and a carton of eggs.

"This should do," #1 Son noted as he grabbed a loaf of bread from the other freezer in one hand, and used his elbow to push the door closed, still holding his water cup.

"Yeah, this will hold us through the night," #2 Son agreed.

Have fun.

"Oh, don't worry, we will, it's a guy paradise," #2 Son grinned, and they were gone.

Well, good-bye, bacon, eggs, and loaf of bread. That ought to last them about a nano-second.

Today is:

Back to Church Sunday

Biosphere Day -- Noosaville, Australia

Clypping the Church Ceremony -- Painswick, Gloucestershire, England (since 1321, surrounding the church hand in hand for the Clypping Hymn and an open air ceremony)

Deaf Awareness Week begins -- to promote deaf culture and heritage

Ear Wig Fitting Day -- Fairy Calendar

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 8, Human Rights (sponsored by We, the World)

Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day

Independence Day -- Chile

National Cheeseburger Day

National Neighborhood Day -- US

National Respect Day -- US (encouraging abused women to respect themselves enough to get out)

National Singles Week begins -- US, celebrating those who choose to stay single, and what they contribute to society

St. Joseph of Cupertino's Day (patron of pilots, air travelers, Air Force, astronauts)

Tolkien Week begins -- celebrate the works of the master

Turn-Off Week Autumn begins -- formerly TV Turn-Off week, the Center for Screen-Time Awareness encourages people to unplug from electronics for 7 days

Victory of Uprona Day -- Burundi

Women's Friendship Day -- created by Kappa Delta Sorority

World Water Monitoring Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Constantine II of Greece marries Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, 1964

Birthdays Today:

Lance Armstrong, 1971
James Gandolfini, 1961
Ryne Sandberg, 1959
Frankie Avalon, 1939
Robert Blake, 1933
June Foray, 1920
Jack Warden, 1920
Greta Garbo, 1905
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, 1905
Samuel Johnson, 1709
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajanus, Emperor Trajan, 53

Today in History:

Christopher Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his 4th and final voyage, 1502
Ft. Ticonderoga, NY opens, 1755
The British capture Quebec City, 1759
John Harris builds the first spinet piano in the US, 1769
President Washington lays the cornerstone of the Capitol Building, 1793
Royal Opera House in London opens, 1809
A horse beats the first US made locomotive, near Baltimore, 1830
Tiffany and Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) is founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City; the store is called a "stationery and fancy goods emporium", 1837
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is first published, 1842
First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becomes The New York Times, 1851
Old Faithful Geyser is observed and named by Henry D. Washburn during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition to Yellowstone, 1870
The banking firm of Jay Cooke & Co. in Philadelphia declares bankruptcy, which starts the Panic of 1873 and a severe economic depression, 1873
The Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time, 1879
Riots break out in Montreal to protest against compulsory smallpox vaccination, 1885
In appreciation for all she had done for the tribe, Harriet Maxwell Converse, adopted as a member of the Seneca tribe, is made a chief f the Six Nations Tribe at the Tonawanda Reservation, 1891
Daniel David Palmer gives the first chiropractic adjustment, 1895
A typhoon with tsunami kills an estimated 10,000 people in Hong Kong, 1906
The Irish Home Rule Act becomes law, but is delayed until after World War I, 1914
The Netherlands gives women the right to vote, 1919
The Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air, 1927
Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro crossing of the English Channel, 1928
Margaret Chase Smith of Maine becomes the first woman elected to the US Senate without completing another senator's term, 1948
Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations, 1960
U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in a plane crash, 1961
Burundi, Jamaica, Rwanda and Trinidad and Tobago are admitted to the United Nations, 1962
The Bahamas, East Germany and West Germany are admitted to the United Nations, 1973
Hurricane Fifi strikes Honduras with 110 mph winds, killing 5,000 people, 1974
Voyager I takes first photograph of the Earth and the Moon together, 1977
Soyuz 38 carries 2 cosmonauts (including 1 Cuban) to Salyut 6 space station, 1980
Joe Kittinger completes the first solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic, 1984
Liechtenstein becomes a member of the United Nations, 1990
ICANN is formed, 1998
The 72 year run of the soap opera The Guiding Light ends as its final episode is broadcast, 2009

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Note the Sarcasm

As i told Sweetie: i'm thrilled, note the sarcasm.

We have gone around and around about the car.

The dealership is still putting us off.

Now we are certain it will be next week at the earliest before we even know if it can be repaired, and whether the insurance will pay or consider it totaled.

Yes, there are worse things in life than a busy family being down by one car.

Being down by one car as i am planning to leave town for a week and not knowing if i will even have a vehicle to leave with, or if i will have to spend my hard saved travel money for a rental, is just icing on that cake.

One thing i know, Sweetie will not tolerate us buying another used car from this dealer, even if the owner is a friend of my dad. Everything we try to do with them turns sour.

That is not sarcasm or exaggeration, either.

Today is:

Big Whopper Liar's Contest -- New Harmony, IN, US

Citizenship Day -- US

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 7, Women (sponsored by We, the World)

Feast of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

German-American Steuben Parade/Von Steuben Day -- New York City, and other smaller parades in US

Goroka Show -- Papua New Guinea (a cultural festival and showcase of many clan and tribe customs; through tomorrow)

Heritage Weekend -- Blue Ridge Parkway Cultural Heritage Center, Ashville, NC, US
featuring the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Championships today

Heroes Day -- Angola; St. Kitts and Nevis

International Coastal Cleanup -- volunteer and clean a beach!

International Eat An Apple Day

Johnny Appleseed Festival -- Fort Wayne, IN, US (through tomorrow)

King Turkey Day -- Worthington, MN, US (includes a turkey race!)

Levi Coffin Days -- Fountain City, IN, US (celebrating Levi Coffin, the "President of the Underground Railroad"; through tomorrow)

National Apple Dumpling Day

Operation Market Garden Remembrance -- Netherlands

Oktoberfest -- Germany (through Oct. 3)

Return of Kelp-Koli Celebration -- Fairy Calendar (under duress, of course)

Stigmata of St. Francis' Day

St. Hildegard's Day

St. Lambert's Day (patron of children, nannies)

Trail of Courage Living History Festival -- Rochester, IN, US (through tomorrow)

VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day

Waikiki Holaulea -- Oahu, Hawai'i (part of the Aloha Festival, two months of celebrations on all the islands, showcasing native Hawai'ian culture; this is a huge street party, well worth attending)

Birthdays Today:

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, 1951
John Ritter, 1948
Ken Kesey, 1935
Anne Bancroft, 1931
Roddy McDowall, 1928
Hank Williams Sr., 1923
Jerry Colonna, 1904
John Willard Marriot, 1900
Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, 1730

Today in History:

The Battle of Thermopylae, fought between 300 Spartans, led by their king, Leonidas, and the Achaemenid Empire begins, BC480
Arabs conquer Alexandria, and destroy its library for the last time, 642
Netherland sailors discover Mauritus, 1598
Massachusetts Bay Colony gets a new charter, 1691
Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain, 1776
US Constitution is adopted by the Philadelphia convention, 1787
Sprinkler system for extinguishing fires is patented by Phillip W. Pratt, 1872
The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes killing Selfridge, who becomes the first airplane fatality, 1908
The first transcontinental airplane flight, from New York to Pasadena, is completed after 82 hours 4 minutes, 1911
The Okeechobee Hurricane strikes southeastern Florida, killing upwards
of 2,500 people, the third deadliest natural disaster in United States history, behind the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, 1928
The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives, 1949
Television is first broadcast in Australia, 1956
Malaysia joins the United Nations, 1957
Bangladesh, Grenada and Guinea-Bissau join the United Nations, 1974
The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is unveiled by NASA, 1976
The Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt, 1978
Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America, 1983
Estonia, North Korea, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia join the United Nations, 1991
The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) is released to the Internet, 1991
Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska erupts, marking the first eruption for the long-dormant volcano in at least 10,000 years, 2006

Friday, September 16, 2011

Small Town Service

There is a lot of talk going around about US Post Offices closing, especially in small towns. They are hoping to save money and avoid totally going out of business by consolidating some of the functions of these smaller offices in local grocery or convenience stores.

Gone are the days when, as one man reminisced, you hitched up the mule and went to town to get the mail. It came in once a week, weather and road conditions permitting. When you got there, the postmaster/store owner/town crier would greet you with, "Oh, you got a postcard from Beth. She says she arrived home safely!"

It would seem that such small town service has gone the way of the mule drawn wagon to town along with the passing of the offices themselves.

Not always.

Recently i was treated to a reminder that such things can still exist, among people who own their own businesses and care very much about their customers. These people strive to give service that is in keeping with their ideals, and it shows.

Having been notified by #2 Son that the rear blinker on the driver's side of the van was burned out, i spent two days using hand signals for left turns and hoping the young drivers around me knew what that meant, before i could get to my favorite oil change shop. They do lots of small repairs and maintenance service, so i knew they would be able to handle it, and not botch it by breaking something, as one big box store with an auto department did to me on a couple of occasions.

When i stopped, the first thing the gentleman who greeted me said was, "You can't be here for an oil change already, it hasn't been long enough!" He recognized me, and had a mental idea of when he thought i should be back.

Upon informing him what was up, he went to the lift gate, opened it, asked me to turn on the signals on both sides one after the other, figured which bulb, and started right in without even pulling the van into a bay.

As i went inside to pet Suzie, their Dogo Argentino mascot, i was further greeted by the assistant manager, and we talked about dog breeds for a couple of minutes.

The change took only that couple of minutes, and as i pulled out my wallet to pay, the assistant manager said, "Oh, don't worry about it, it was only a bulb, we'll put in on the bill with your next oil change. No use doing a charge for so little."

Amazing. Customer service, from people who recognize you, value your business, and want to keep you coming back. The way it should be.

No doubt, i will be going back.

Today is:

Anne Bradstreet Day -- by Proclamation of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to honor Anne Bradstreet, America’s first poet, who is also recognized as the first published woman poet in the English language

Big E -- West Springfield, MA, US (one of New England's largest fairs; through Oct. 2)

Collect Rocks Day -- i guess it means besides all the ones in my head.

Constitution Day/Pledge Across America -- US

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 6, Children & Youth (sponsored by We, the World)

Feast of St. Ludmilla of Bohemia -- (Patron of The Czeck Republic and Slovakia)

Festival for Ra, Osiris, and Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show -- Harrowgate, England (Britains finest blooms show off; through the 18th)

Independence Day -- Malaysia; Mexico; Papua New Guinea

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer -- UN

Mayflower Day -- The ship left England on this day.

National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

National Guacamole Day

National Play-Do Day

National Working Parents Day -- internet generated, enjoy if you have a working parent you want to thank

Owain Glyndwr Day -- Wales

POW/MIA Recognition Day -- US

Seven Sweets and Sours Festival -- Intercourse, PA, US (through tomorrow; celebrating all the flavors of fall)

St. Cornelius' Day (Patron against earache, epilepsy, fever, and twitching; of cattle, domestic animals, and epileptics)

St. Cyprian of Carthage's Day (patron of Algeria, North Africa)

St. Euphemia's Day

Stepfamily Day -- US (but if you have stepfamily you love, celebrate it wherever you live)

Wife Appreciation Day -- seems internet generated, but it sounds good to me!

Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival -- Wisconsin Dells, WI (fall festival; through the 18th)

Birthdays Today:

Marc Anthony, 1968
Jennifer Tilly, 1961
David Copperfield, 1956
Mickey Rourke, 1956
Robin Yount, 1955
Ed Begley, Jr., 1949
Peter Falk, 1927
B.B. King, 1925
Lauren Bacall, 1924
Allen Funt, 1914
James Cash Penney, 1875
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098

Today in History:

The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston, 1630
Handel's "The Messiah" premiers in Dublin, 1741
The Great Seal of the United States is used for the first time, 1782
Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight – the city burns down completely days later, 1812
Slavery is abolished in all French Territories, 1848
The Cherokee Strip, in Oklahoma, is opened, making land available to white settlers, 1893
Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic south pole, 1906
William Durant, carriage-maker, founds General Motors Corp., 1908
Juan Perón is deposed in Argentina, 1955
Malaysia is formed, 1963
Cape Verde, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe join the United Nations, 1975
Shavarsh Karapetyan saves 20 people from the trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir, 1976
An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hits the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people, 1978
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines join the United Nations, 1980
The Montreal Protocol is signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion, 1987
The Pound Sterling is forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and is forced to devalue against the German mark, 1992

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Learning What Caffeine Means, Among Other Things

"Mom, I made a huge mistake last night," Little Girl admitted.

What happened?

"Well, Miss Lizzie was making coffee to put in the fridge overnight for her iced coffee tomorrow, and i drank a cup at 10pm. I didn't sleep all night!"

Well, they have to learn some time.

Speaking of learning, Bigger Girl has been bugging her teacher to give her more schoolwork. She wants to make certain she is prepared for the Junior College next year. Only kid i know who wants more to do.

#2 Son has learned a new way to tease his mother. He walks through the kitchen, out the front door, goes in his outside door that opens into the storage area that leads into his own room, and walks through the kitchen again. Circles, around and around. All in the name of making mother crazy.

And i'm learning to ignore his forays. Stinker.

Today is:

Battle of Britain Day -- UK

Cherokee Strip Days -- Enid, Oklahoma (through the 17th)

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 5, Health (sponsored by We, the World)

Engineer's Day -- India

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa)

Felt Hat Day (Traditional day upon which men started to wear their winter felt hats, similar to women beginning to wear white shoes on Memorial Day)

Grito de Dolores -- Mexico (Cry of Dolores, the evening before Independence Day)

Hummer/Bird Celebration -- Rockport and Fulton, TX, US (ruby-throated hummingbirds and other avians are the stars of this show; through the 18th)

Independence Day -- Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua

International Day of Democracy -- UN

Make a Hat Day -- just for fun

National Creme de Menthe Day

National Hispanic Heritage Month -- US, through Oct. 15

National Linguine Day

Really Bad Ideas Exhibition -- Fairy Calendar (Gremlins)

Restoration of Primorska to the Motherland Day -- Slovenia

Silpa Bhirasri Day -- Thailand

St. Catherine of Genoa's Day (patron of nurses)

Birthdays Today:

Prince Harry, 1984
Dan Marino, 1961
Tommy Lee Jones, 1946
Oliver Stone, 1946
Merlin Olsen, 1940
Jackie Cooper, 1922
Fay Wray, 1907
Roy Acuff, 1903
Agatha Christie, 1890
Robert Benchley, 1889
William H. Taft, 1857
James Fenimore Cooper, 1789
François de La Rochefoucauld, 1613
Marco Polo, 1254

Today in History:

The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy, 1616
The French army under Napoleon reaches the Kremlin in Moscow, 1812
The first Negro National Convention begins in Philadelphia, 1830
The locomotive John Bull operates for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad, 1831*
HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands, 1835
Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell becomes the first woman in the US to be ordained a minister (Congregationalist), 1853
Timothy Alder patents the typesetting machine, 1857
RCA releases the 12AX7 vacuum tube, 1947
United Nations gives Eritrea to Ethiopia, 1952
The Soviet ship Poltava heads toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
*The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C., 1981
Vanuatu becomes a member of the United Nations, 1981
Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, 2008

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

But I Wasn't Broken

The Hazelnut has been "fixed."

The poor pup looked volumes as i took her out of the house without feeding her, and she kept trying to lick the empty water bowl. She even tried to eat peanut shells someone dropped outside and licked my coffee cup.

Her mood picked up when we went for a ride, and lowered again as we entered the vet's office.

She may never forgive me, but that's okay.

Miss Lizzie was sad to have it happen, and talked about what a wonderful mother Hazelnut would have made, but we talked her around to it.

There are just too many puppies out there, more than there are homes.

Spaying is good for the animal, she won't run off when she goes into heat, and will grow up healthy without having to ever worry about reproductive system cancers.

It's good for us, as i can't afford to help Miss Lizzie with puppies.

No, she wasn't really broken. This is one time, however, when fixing what isn't broke makes sense.

Today is:

Battle of San Jacinto Day -- Nicaragua

Eat a Hoagie Day

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 4, Economic Justice (sponsored by We, the World)

Feast of the Triumph of the Cross/Elevation of the Life Giving Cross/Holy Cross Day -- Christian

Festivals and Matsuri of Japan -- several throughout Japan, today and for the next several, most as harvest festivals or traditional horseback archery rituals)
including the O Sannomiya Autumn Festival, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Festival, Tono Matsuri, Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, Tsurugaoka-hachimangu Reitasai, Yachi Donga Festival, and Furusato Hyappei Festival

Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally -- Ruidoso, NM, US (through the 18th)

Morton Pumpkin Festival -- Morton, IL, US (the Pumpkin Capital of the World; through the 17th)

National Anthem Day -- US

National Assembly Day -- Afghanistan

National Championship Air Races -- Reno, NV, US (through the 18th)

National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day

National Guitar Flat-Picking Championships and Walnut Valley Festival -- Winfield, KS, US (through the 18th)

Nutting Day -- British Isles tradition, the hazelnuts are supposed to be perfectly ripe on this day; don't pick any tomorrow, however, as the devil desecrates them tonight.

Pendleton Round-Up -- Pendleton, OR, US (traditional rodeo with the participation of local Native tribes; through the 17th)

Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna of Einsiedeln -- Switzerland

St. Notburga's Day (patron of peasants, servants)

Unclear Ideas Display (Imps) -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Wendy Thomas, 1961 (Namesake of Wendy's Hamburgers)
Sam Neill, 1947
Joey Heatherton, 1944
Nicol Williamson, 1938
Walter Koenig, 1936
Harve Presnell, 1933
Clayton Moore, 1914
Ivan Pallov, 1849

Today in History:

Domitian becomes emperor of Rome upon the death of his brother Titus, 81
Harun al-Rashid beomes Abbasid Caliph upon the death of his brother, al-Hadi, 786
The first lighthouse in the US, in Boston, is lit, 1716
George Frederick Handel finishes "Messiah" oratorio, after working on it non-stop for 23 days, 1741
Napoleon occupies Moscow; fires begin that will not be fully extinguished for 5 days, 1812
Francis Scott Key witnesses the battle which inspires him to write "The Defense of Fort McHenry", later retitled "The Star Spangled Banner", 1814
George K Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee patents typewriter ribbon, 1886
President of the United States William McKinley dies after an assassination attempt on September 6, and is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt, 1901
Groundbreaking for the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 1948
The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it, 1959
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded, 1960
The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonized by Pope Paul VI, 1975
President-elect of Lebanon, Bachir Gemayel, is assassinated, 1982
Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to fly a hot air balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean, 1984
The Toronto Blue Jays set a record for the most home runs in a single game, belting 10 of them, 1987
Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga join the United Nations, 1999
Historic National Prayer Service held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks; a similar service is held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation's capital, 2001
In a referendum, Estonia approves joining the European Union, 2003

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Horsing Around

PonyGirl told a great joke, and i have to share it.

Little Larry attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse's legs, rump, and chest.

After a few minutes, Larry asked, 'Dad, why are you doing that?' His father replied, 'Because, when I'm buying horses, I have to first make sure that they are healthy and in good shape.

Larry, looking worried, said, 'Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom ...'

In completely unrelated news, Hazelnut gets spayed today, and Datsig, the still-on-the-bottle-kitten, is doing very well.

Today is:

Defy Superstition Day -- go walk under that ladder!

Dia de los Ninos Heroes -- Mexico

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 3, Environment (sponsored by We, the World)

Epulum Iovis and Lectisternia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival for Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva)

Festival of Lighting the Fires of Neith -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Fortune Cookie Day -- you might need one after that ladder stunt

Husker Harvest Days -- Grand Island, NE, US (through the 15th; the largest irrigated working ag show on a permanent site in the US)

Independence Day -- Venda (recognized within South Africa only)

International Chocolate Day

Kentucky Bourbon Festival -- Bardstown, KY, US (through the 18th)

National Celiac Awareness Day -- US

National Peanut Day

Positive Thinking Day -- think positively that nothing bad will happen because of that ladder!

Programmers Day -- Russia, and among programmers around the world

Runic Half Month Ken begins (illumination)

Snack-A-Pickle Time

St. Venerius' Day (Patron of lighthouse keepers)

Birthdays Today:

Ben Savage, 1980
Tavis Smiley, 1964
Jean Smart, 1959
Nell Carter, 1948
Jacqueline Bisset, 1944
Bela Karolyi, 1942
David Clayton-Thomas, 1941
Judith "Miss Manners" Martin, 1938
Mel Torme, 1925
Roald Dahl, 1916
Claudette Colbert, 1903
John J. Pershing, 1860
Milton Hershey, 1857
Walter Reed, 1851
Clara Schumann, 1819
Cesare Borgia, 1475

Today in History:

The temple of Jupiter on Rome's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September, BC509
Building begins on Hadrian's Wall, 122
St. Francis of Assisi receives stigmata, 1224
Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David, 1503
Henry Hudson reached the river that would later be named after him, 1609
NYC becomes the first capital of the US, 1788
US Government takes out its first loan from NYC banks, 1789
Six teenage military cadets known as Niños Héroes die defending Chapultepec Castle in the Battle of Chapultepec, 1847
Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage incredibly survives a 3-foot-plus iron rod being driven through his head; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulate thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions, 1848
Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film, 1898
Lusitania completes her maiden voyage, arriving in NYC, 1907
The temperature (in the shade) at Al 'Aziziyah, Libya reaches a world record 57.8*C (136.04*F), 1922
Elizabeth McCombs is the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament, 1933
Chiang Kai-shek elected president of the Republic of China, 1943
IBM introduces the first computer disk storage unit, the RAMAC 305, 1956
Hurricane Gilbert is the strongest recorded hurricane, based on barometric pressure, in the Western Hemisphere, 1988*
Largest anti-Apartheid march in South Africa, led by Desmond Tutu, 1989
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted, 2007
Hurricane Ike makes landfall, damaging Galveston Island, Houston, and surrounding area, 2007

*Replaced by Hurricane Wilma in 2005

Monday, September 12, 2011

That Can't Taste Good

Of course it happened while i was out of the house.

In fact, i was taking the kittens to an adoption event.

That morning, i had informed Hazelnut that she could not eat the mushrooms growing in the neighbor's yard, they can't taste good, anyway.

So while i was gone, Bigger Girl opened the door, and the first thing the 'Nut did was go next door and eat a mushroom.

Bigger Girl called me in a panic. So i had her call the vet, who told her to administer hydrogen peroxide to induce her to bring back up what had gone down.

By the time i got home, we administered a bit more, and up came breakfast.

Hazelnut didn't show any symptoms through the day, and seems to have recovered.

Deja vu -- didn't i go through this with #1 Son not long ago?

Hard to believe it's been about 17 years since then. And still none of them believe me when i say those things can't taste good. Maybe i don't look like i know what i'm talking about.

Today is:

Amilcar Cabral's Birthday/National Day -- Guinea Bissau

Binara Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka

Chu'sok -- Korea (day to give homage to the ancestors and celebrate family)

Defender's Day -- Maryland

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 2, Interdependence (sponsored by We, the World)

Full Corn Moon (some count this as the harvest moon, some day it is too early)

Horn Dance -- Abbots Bromley, England (ancient traditional dance, possibly Anglo-Saxon in origin; it is held on Wakes Monday, along with a fair and other attractions)

Mid-Autumn Festival -- China (celebration of family, also called the Moon Festival)

National Chocolate Milkshake Day

National Day -- Cape Verde

National Day of Encouragement -- US (no matter where you live, encourage someone today)

National Boss/Employee Exchange Day -- US (or anyone else who wants to foster understanding between bosses and employees)

National Video Games Day -- set aside to encourage kids to thank the parents who buy the games!

Navajo Sing -- Navaho Native Americans (thanksgiving for the harvest, in which Estsanatlehi/Changing Woman, who represents life, is manifested in the harvest)

Popular Revolution Day -- Ethiopia

St. Alibe's Day

St. Guy's Day (Patron of bachelors and sacristans)

Anniversaries Today:

Elizabeth Barret and Robert Browning elope, 1846

Birthdays Today:

Yao Ming, 1980
Rachel Ward, 1957
Gerry Beckley, 1952
Barry White, 1952
Maria Muldaur, 1943
Linda Gray, 1940
George Jones, 1931
Dickie Moore, 1925
Irene Dailey, 1920
Jesse Owens, 1913
Ben Blue, 1901
Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. 1892
Maurice Chevalier, 1888
H.L. Mencken, 1880

Today in History:

Henry Hudson begins his exploration of the Hudson River while aboard the Halve Maen, 1609
The first submarine is tested in London, 1624
Turkish troops besieging Vienna are overthrown after 2 months by Poland's King Sobieski, 1683
First Black Masons Lodge is formed, 1787
Switzerland becomes a Federal State, 1848
The "Cleopatra Needle" is installed in London, 1878
Charles Leroux, world famous parachutist with 238 successful jumps, perishes in his attempted jump in the Bay of Reval, 1889
The world's first female police officer, Alice Stebbins Wells, is appointed by the LAPD, 1910
Cave paintings are discovered in Lascaux, France, 1940
Jack Kilby demonstrates the first integrated circuit, 1958
Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV program presented in color, 1959
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, 'Messiah' of the Rastafari movement, is deposed following a military coup, 1974
Indonesia is hit with an 8.1 earthquake, 1979
Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica, 1988
Hong Kong Disneyland opens in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 2005