Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oddball Hallowe'en

Yes, i know the picture is sideways.

It's because Little Girl took the picture that way.

It's her Hallowe'en pumpkin, though, and she carved it freehand.  So i thought it was worth using.

Have a great Hallowe'en, everyone, even if it's sideways.

Today is:

Admission Day -- Nevada, US

Allantide -- Cornwall, England

All Hallows Eve -- Christian

Apple and Candle Night -- Wales

Books for Treats Day -- San Jose, CA, US (give gently used books to kids, not candy -- feed their brains, not their cavities!)

Chiang Kai-Shek Day -- Taiwan

Dias de los Muertos -- Mexico, esp. Michoacan and Oaxaca (through Nov. 2; ceremonies, sand sculptures, decorated altars, and parties through the nights in the cemeteries)

Dookie Apple Night -- Newcastle, England

Duck Apple Night -- Liverpool, England

Feast of Sekhmet Bast Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of Inner Worlds -- Pagan (fight between the old and new year)

Ghostwriter's Day

Hallowe'en or Beggar's Night

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day -- originated in England in the 19th century, some celebrated on the 30th

King Father Nordom Sihanouk's Birthday -- Cambodia

National Candy Apple Day

National Knock-Knock Joke Day

National Magic Day -- in honor of Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926

National UNICEF Day

Nut-Crack Night -- England; Scotland

Old Celtic New Year's Eve

Out of the Broom Closet Day -- Pagan, Heathen, and all earth-based and ethnic religions

Reformation Day -- Protestant Christian (trad.)

Samhain (northern hemisphere) / Beltane (southern hemisphere) -- Druids, Gaels, Welsh peoples, Neopagans, Wiccans (begins at sunset)

Scare a Friend Day -- just not so much that he/she isn't a friend any more

Senior Absurdity Day -- Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY, US (a day the kids look forward to each year)

Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day

St. Quentin's Day (Patron against coughs)

St. Wolfgang of Ratisbon's Day (Patron of apoplexics, carpenters, paralyzed people, stroke victims; Regensburg, Germany; against apoplexy, paralysis, stomach diseases, strokes)

Thump-the-Door Night -- Isle of Mann

Trick or Treat Night

Ventiane -- Laos (Boat Racing Festival)

Vetmaetr -- Norse Calendar (Winter Nights; beginning of winter, the New Year, and the start of Odin leading the Wild Hunt)

Youth Honor Day -- Iowa, US

Anniversaries Today:

Nevada becomes the 36th US State, 1964

Birthdays Today:

Adam Horovitz, 1966
Peter Jackson, 1961
Larry Mullen, Jr., 1961
John Candy, 1950
Jane Pauley, 1950
Deidre Hall, 1947
David Ogden Stiers, 1942
Michael Landon, 1936
Dan Rather, 1931
Michael Collins, 1930
Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922
Dale Evans, 1912
Ethel Waters, 1896
Chaing Kai-shek, 1887
Juliette Low, 1860
John Keats, 1795
Jan Vermeer, 1632

Today in History:

Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites after their return to Jerusalem from exile, BC445
First All Hallows Eve observed to honor all the saints, 834
Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door, marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, 1517
Georg Ludwig van Hannover is crowned as the English King George I, 1714
Execution of Girondins at Paris during the Reign of Terror, 1793
Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents the miner's safety lamp, 1815
A standard uniform is approved for US Postal workers, 1868
A tropical cyclone hits Bengal, about 200,000 die, 1876
John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tire, 1888
Arthur Conan Doyle publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", 1892
Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States, 1913
The Battle of Beersheba of WWI marks the last successful cavalry charge in history, 1917
The first of 160 consecutive days of 100°F + temps at Marble Bar, Australia, 1923
World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress, 1924
Mt. Rushmore sculptures are completed, 1941
The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal, 1956
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards, 1984
EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board, 1999
Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted, 1999
Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station, which has been continually crewed since, 2000
Surfer Bethany Hamilton loses her left arm and 3 liters of blood in a tiger shark attack; within a month she would be back on her board, and competing again within the year, 2003

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Comes First

This time of year, i have to put on blinders.

It's too early to be celebrating Christmas.  Really.

While i cannot wax nearly as eloquent as the founder of this blog-based Thanksgiving Comes First movement, the wonderfully intelligent wordsmith Suldog, i can say that i hate having to put on seasonal blinders.

When the music plays, i change the station if i can, or ignore what i am hearing if i can't.  But i still have to consciously choose to ignore it.

When i pass the displays of decor so out of place to the time of year it truly is, i avert my gaze.

Yes, i know the retailers have to place the orders months in advance, whatever the seasonal item in question.

There is still a time to put it out on the floor, and a time to refrain.

We need to take time to be thankful, as a people.  Just to sit with family and friends and feel gratitude for all the amazing blessings we have.

This needs to be a season set aside to do that.

Christmas will come, as the Grinch found out, it will come just the same.

Even if we wait and practice patience and enjoy each other and our many blessings first.

In fact, we might find we enjoy it much more if we do exactly that.

Christmas can wait for its own time.

Thanksgiving Comes First.

Today is:

Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation -- Slovakia

Boun Ok Phansa -- Laos (Buddhist Lent ends)

Buy A Doughnut Day -- any wonder who started this one? (insert eye-roll here)

Checklists Day -- prevent tragedy, create great checklists; in honor of the development of the first well known checklist following a B-17 prototype's crash due to pilot error

Create a Great Funeral Day -- don't make your family choose the plans in the midst of grief, plan your sending away party now, it's more fun when it's done -- in advance!

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions -- most former Soviet Republics

Look in the Back of Your Refrigerator Day / Haunted Refrigerator Night (And hope the old hamburger isn't grazing on the moldy salad.)

Mischief Night, a/k/a Goosey Night, Devil's Night, Cabbage Night -- US

National Candy Corn Day

Practice Winter Snuggling Night -- when it gets really cold, you'll be glad you practiced

St. Dorothy of Montau's Day (Patron of brides, difficult marriages, dying children, parents of large families, widows; Pomerania; Prussia)

St. Marcellus' Day  (as a Roman centurion who threw down his armor and refused to take part in pagan worship, he is Patron of conscientious objectors)

The Rhyne Toll -- Chetwode Manor, UK (through Nov 7) -- the Lord of the Manor may tax any cattle he finds on his Liberty (free pasture) on these days

Try on Your Hallowe'en Costume Early Day -- to see how goofy you look, and make sure you have everything you need

Birthdays Today:

Gavin Rossdale, 1967
Diego Armando Maradona, 1960
Harry Hamlin, 1951
Henry Winkler, 1945
Grace Slick, 1939
Claude Lelouch, 1937
Robert Caro, 1935
Louis Malle, 1932
Ruth Gordon, 1896
Charles Atlas, 1893
Ezra Pound, 1885
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821
John Adams, 1735

Today in History:

Antioch surrenders to Rashidun Caliphate and his Muslim forces after the Battle of the Iron Bridge, 637
End of the 8th Crusade, 1270
King Henry VII, Tudor, crowned, 1485
Queen Isabella bans violence against Indians, 1503
The first Methodist church in the US is initiated (Wesley Chapel, NYC), 1768
Dr. Richard Gatling patents the machine gun, 1862
Founding of Helena, Montana (capital city), 1864
John Willis Menard, of Louisiana, becomes the first black elected to the US Congress (by special election, he was challenged by the loser, but was allowed to address Congress from the lectern), 1868
Daniel Cooper patents the time clock, 1894
Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah becomes the first woman US Senator, 1896
The first US Automobile Show opens in Madison Square Garden, NYC, 1900
Czar Nicholas II of Russia grants Russia's first constitution, creating a legislative assembly, 1905
Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy, 1922
John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter, 1925
Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States, 1938
Anne Frank and sister Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1944
Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier, 1945
Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1960
The Soviet Union detonates the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 58 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise, 1961
The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time, 1973
The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire, 1974
Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain's acting head of state, taking over for the country's ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, 1975
In Japan, NEC releases the first 16-bit home entertainment system, the TurboGrafx-16, known as PC Engine, 1987
Quebec sovereignists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada (vote is 50.6% to 49.4%), 1995
The last Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) early time-sharing operating system is shut down at the Canadian Department of National Defense in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000

Monday, October 29, 2012


Is pushing people down a good way to treat them or a bad way? i asked as the 6 children and i gathered for our story circle.

"A bad way," chimed several voices.

Well, what about sharing your swing?

"A good way!" the responded.

All right, who can think of some other good ways to treat people?

As the answers came in, we discussed the simple things like sharing and taking turns, and the harder things like feeding the hungry, clothing those who have none, visiting the sick.  We discussed a few practical ways we could all serve G-d by serving and doing good to others.

They got it, and it showed.  Outside, they didn't argue over the swings or balls.  Back inside, Timmy made a special point of helping the newest student find a pencil when he wanted to write something specific on his take home paper, and didn't want it in crayon.

The best of all, thought, was when Timmy sidled up to me when no one else was looking and said, "This is a good way G-d wants us to treat people, too," and gave me one of his long, hard bear hugs.

There are perks to being a Sunday school teacher, and hugs are one of them.

Today is:

Buffalo Races -- Chon Buri, Thailand (lots of water buffalo contests, including fancy dress!; through the week)

Candies Day -- they have to be kidding -- this close to Hallowe'en?!

Coronation Day -- Cambodia

Cumhuriyet Bayrami -- Turkey (Republic Day)(1923)

Full Hunter's Moon/Full Blood Moon/Full Sanguine Moon (some also consider this the true Harvest Moon, if last month's came too early)
     Thadingyut Full Moon/Buddhist Lend ends -- Myanmar
     Vap Full Moon Poya Day

Hermit Day / Hide From Everyone Day -- internet generated, for those who would rather have a peaceful day today than celebrate the other holidays listed; look up how to be a hermit on wikihow

Internet Day -- it's predecessor went live today, see Today in History for detail

Laugh Suddenly For No Reason A Lot Today Day (And end up either getting yourself and everyone around you in a good mood, or yourself being observed at the hospital in a padded room.)

Naming Day -- Tanzania

National Cat Day -- US (with the goal of getting 10,000 cats adopted from shelters today)

National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day

National Oatmeal Day

October Bank Holiday -- Ireland

Second Fiddle of the Month -- Fairy Calendar (a very poorly attended event -- who wants to play second fiddle?)

St. Mary of Edessa's Day (Patron against sexual temptation)

World Psoriasis Day

Birthdays Today:

Winona Ryder, 1971
Kate Jackson, 1948
Richard Dreyfuss, 1947
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 1938
Bill Mauldin, 1921
Fanny Brice, 1891
James Boswell, 1740 (wrote the biography of Samuel Johnson)
Edmund Halley, 1656 (yes, that Halley, found the comet)--this is the
date based on the OS calendar, often you will find his birthday listed
as Nov. 8, because of the switch in calendar use.

Today in History:

Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, BC539
First trial for witchcraft in Paris, 1390
Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, writer, and courtier, is beheaded, 1618
A severe earthquake shakes New England, 1727
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague, 1787
The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans, 1811
Queen Victoria grants Cecil Rhodes rights to Zambezia, 1889
The first intercity trucking service, from Colorado City to Snyder, Texas, begins running, 1904
Turkey declares its independence as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, 1923
Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal, 1956
Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, 1960
Syria exits from the United Arab Republic, 1961
Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors, 1967
The first-ever computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, 1969
The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid, 1991
In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities, 1998
Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space, 1998
In Rome, European heads of state sign the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution, 2004

Sunday, October 28, 2012

While i was technically there, i cannot say i remember Betsy -- i was only a few months old.

Camille i remember somewhat, but being a young child, i did not understand the implications.

Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Ike, and, most recently, Isaac, all have left seared in me the knowledge of what it means to be in the probably path of, to live through, and to deal with the aftermath of, major storms.

So my heart goes out to those in the path of Sandy as storms converge and threaten.

Today, and for the next few days, i will be holding them in my heart and prayers.

To paraphrase a line from Little Women:  Big Storms ain't no joke.

Today is:

Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day -- just check the fire code before you light that candle

Celtic Tree Month Negetal (Reed) begins

Dia do Servidor Publico -- Brazil (Civil Servants' Day)

Flying Baby Day -- celebrating the first baby born on an airplane on this day in 1929

Fyribod (or Forebode) -- Ancient Norse Calendar (announces the beginning of winter; date approximate)

Hari Sumpah Pemuda -- Indonesia (Youth Pledge Day)

Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade -- Long Beach, CA, US (dress up your dog and have a howling good time)

Independence Day -- Czechoslovakia (from Austria-Hungary in 1918; still celebrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

International Animation Day -- ASIFA (to honor the day Emile Reynaud presented the first animation to the public)

Isia -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (dates approximate; first day of the 6 day Isis festival)

National Chocolate Day

Milvian Bridge Day -- Christian (day to reflect on the interrelationship of religion and government)

Mother-in-Law Day -- a day to honor good Mothers-in-Law for their contributions to their families and for enduring all the bad jokes; if you have a lousy one, go listen to Ernie K-Doe's song

Okunchi Matsuri -- Karatsu, Japan (with floats that date back to the 1800s; through the 30th)

Oxi Day -- Greece (Sometimes "Ochi" or "Ohi", literally "No Day", celebrating resistance to Mussolini.)

Part Your Hair Crooked Just To See If Anyone Will Say Anything About It Day -- internet generated, celebrate at your own risk

Plush Animal Lovers' Day -- internet generated; celebrate your love of stuffed animals today

Reformation Day/Reformation Sunday -- Protestant Christian (obs.)

Runic Half-month Hagal (hailstone) begin

St. Jude Thaddeus' Day (Patron of desperate or hopeless cases -- the reason Danny Thomas chose this saint to invoke as patron of the hospital he helped found.)

St. Simon the Zealot's Day (Patron of curriers, sawmen, tanners)

Wild Foods Day -- as in, grown or caught in the wild (please be careful if you like mushrooms and want to gather your own!)

Anniversaries Today:

Universidad Santo Tomas Aquino is established, 1538 (first university in the New World)
Founding of Harvard University, 1636
Maimonides College is founded, 1867 (first Jewish college in the US)
Statue of Liberty dedicated, 1886

Birthdays Today:

Joaquin Phoenix, 1974
Julia Roberts, 1967
Daphne Zuniga, 1962
Bill Gates, 1955
Bruce Jenner, 1949
Dennis Franz, 1944
Charlie Daniels, 1936
Cleo Laine, 1927
Jonas Salk, 1914
Edith Head, 1907

Today in History:

Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius, 312
Battle of Yaunis Khan in which Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza, 1516
Battle of Amba Sel, in which Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia; the southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad's control, 1531
Peruvian cities of Lima & Callao are demolished by an earthquake, 18,000 die, 1746
Eli Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin, 1793
The first railroad in Spain, between Barcelona and Mataro, is opened, 1848
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland, and celebrated by the first ticker tape/confetti parade in NYC, 1886
An earthquake strikes Mino-Owari, Japan, kills 7,300, 1891
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, receives its première performance in St. Petersburg, only nine days before the composer's death, 1893
The St. Louis police try a new investigation method -- fingerprints, 1904
Czechoslovakia gains its independence in the break up of Austria-Hungary, 1918
The Volstead Act, passed by Congress over Wilson's veto, starts Prohibition, 1919
The first coast to coast radio broadcast of a football game, 1922
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary, 1936
The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska, 1942
Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT, 1948
The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands is re-founded as a federal monarchy, 1954
Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, 1962
Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, 1965*
Britain launches its first satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket, 1971
The centenary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty is celebrated in New York Harbor, 1986
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner becomes the first woman elected President of Argentina, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Always on Friday After 3:30

 It was a typical Friday in that i was downstairs scooping the litter boxes while Dave Ramsey was giving someone advice.  That's when i heard the thunk of #2 Son's steel-toed boots stepping over the boxes we use to keep the tiniest kittens in the kitchen when they are too young to run around the house.

The thunk was followed by a mew, and #2 Son yelling in distress.  One of the kittens had run right under his foot as he stepped over, and was limping.

By the time i got into the kitchen, he was holding the kitten which had blood dripping from its foot.  He headed right for the car, no carrier, just the kitten in his hands, and i grabbed wallet, phone, and keys, and ran after him.

Of course, i thought, these things only happen on Fridays after 3:30, when most vets have headed home already.  A call as i drove through the neighborhood to the highway confirmed that indeed, Dr. Bea, my favorite and the closest vet, had left the office already.

That meant i had to jump on the interstate and go straight to the emergency clinic that is just a mile up the road from the shelter.  While on the way, i called the shelter and asked to speak to either Cathy or Miss W. immediately.  When Cathy came to the phone, i told her the situation and asked her to call ahead and authorize the vet visit.

As much as i hate merging onto interstate traffic and talking on the phone (in fact, i consider being on the phone in the car a major no-no, and i make the kids answer), this was one time i'm glad i did, as the lady behind the counter was ready to take little Romani back there with no hesitation.  Usually they have a bucketload of paperwork, wanting to be certain someone is responsible to pay.  This time, it had already been faxed to them.

#2 Son was distraught as we left, so i took him straight home.  Then Little Girl and i got up to the shelter to do our usual Friday routine.  On they way they called us.  It looked worse than it was, a laceration that they had already glued shut and bandaged.  She needs antibiotics for ten days to make sure there is no infection.  After all, i agree -- those boots of his get worn to the creek and tons of other places, heaven only knows what's on them.

We picked her up after we finished at the shelter.

She has a pink camo bandage on her left hind leg, and is still so young she was just learning to walk right anyway, so now she just rolls in circles. 

She goes back for a recheck on Monday, but i may take her to Dr. Bea for that.  The animal emergency people are nice, they are a regular vet's office, too, but if it's not an emergency they make the shelter cats wait until all the paying clients have been seen and they have a minute between appointments to tend to them.  This means you bring the shelter cat to them in the morning and it may not be seen for several hours.  She's too little to go several hours, as she needs her bottle.

Always on a Friday.  If there's going to be excitement, it's going to be on a Friday, after 3:30.

Today is:

American Beer Day

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival -- Banff, AB, Canada (38th annual; through next Sunday)

Big Bang Day -- London, England

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival -- Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA, US (largest celebration of authentic folkways of Virginia)

Boxer Shorts Day -- ?????

Cernova Tragedy Day -- Slovakia

Cranky Co-Worker's Day -- because we all have occasional bad days; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Emma Crawford Festival and Memorial Coffin Race -- Manitou Springs, CO, US (spooky fun for the whole family)

Feast of Osiris in Abydos -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Forgiveness Day -- a day to reconcile or forgive, for your own peace of mind; sponsored by Positive Peaceful Partners and the Center of Unconditional Love

Good Bear Day -- on Theodore Roosevelt's birthday, celebrating the stuffed toy created in his honor

Gormanudr -- Old Icelandic Calendar (beginning of "Innards Month," after all the animals have been butchered and fresh innards figure predominantly in the menu, as the rest of the meat has been preserved for winter)

Hogeye Festival -- Elgin, TX, US (Road Hog Car Show, crowning of King Hog and Queen Sowpreme, Cow Patty Bingo, and more!)

Independence Day -- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines(1979); Turkmenistan(1991)

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu City, AZ, US (come celebrate London Bridge; through tomorrow)

Make A Difference Day -- US (Whoopie Goldberg once said that if every American would donate 5 volunteer hours a week, it would be the equivalent of several million full time jobs; whether or not it's strictly accurate, volunteering is a great thing to do no matter where you live.)

National Potato Day

Navy Day -- US (on T.R.'s birth anniversary)

Radio Day -- US (US Commerce Dept. issued the first broadcasting license this date in 1920)

Scared Silly: Halloween in Prospect Park -- Brooklyn, NY, US (hauntingly good fun all weekend)

St. Frumentius' Day (Patron of Abyssinia; Ethiopia)

Sylvia Plath Day

Texas Book Festival -- Austin, TX, US (one of the nation's most prestigious literary festivals, especially celebrating renowned Texas authors; through tomorrow)

Tunch Puddling -- Fairy Calendar (a contest of throwing twigs in a pond -- awards are for artistically thrown twigs and throwing style, among other things)

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage -- International

Xterra Kapalua Trail Run -- Kapalua, Maui, HI, US (extreme trail runs of 6k and 10k; through tomorrow)

Yambilee Festival -- Opelousas, LA, US (a sweet festival, all about the nutrient packed sweet potato; through the 30th)

Birthdays Today:

Jayne Kennedy, 1951
Carrie Snodgrass, 1946
John Cleese, 1939
Ruby Dee, 1924
Roy Lichtenstein, 1923
Bette Babray, 1920
Dylan Thomas, 1914
Emily Post, 1872
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858
Niccolo Paganini, 1782
Captain James Cook, 1728
Erasmus, 1466

Today in History:

Constantine the Great is said to have received his Vision of the Cross, 312
Founding of the city of Amsterdam, 1275
Founding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1682
US Navy forms, 1775
Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated, 1838
R.H. Macy & Co. opens its first store, on 6th Ave. in NYC, 1858
Boss Tweed is arrested, 1871
The first underground New York City Subway line opens, 1904
The first published reference to "jazz" appears, in Variety, 1916
Chuhei Numbu of Japan sets the long jump record at 26' 2 1/2", 1931
"You Bet Your Life," with Groucho Marx, premiers on ABC radio, 1947*
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force, 1954
Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations, 1961
The British government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang, 1986
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history, 1994
Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified, 1994
Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown, 1997
The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years, 2004
The SSETI Express micro-satellite is successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 2005

*(Ultimate result of this a few years later is, of course, the funniest line ever on TV, when a man with 8 kids admitted to Mr. Marx that he did indeed love his wife, and Groucho countered with, "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth sometimes!")

Friday, October 26, 2012

Photo-Finish Friday - Ice, Ice Baby II

The only way to get my aging, ailing laptop, Ol' Bessy, a/k/a Crankypants, to run a full virus scan without overheating is to put her in the freezer and shut the lid.

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

Today is:

Angam Day -- Nauru ("Day of Fulfillment; a celebration of overcoming hardships)

Armed Forces Day -- Benin

Day of the Ancients -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar

Day of Mourning -- Libya

Exaltation of the Shellfish -- Pontevedra, Spain (can confirm they celebrate this each year, cannot find confirmation on this specific date)

Frankenstein Friday -- a day to celebrate the "mother" and "father" of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff

Jounen Kweyol -- Dominica (Creole Day, one of the nation's biggest and most colorful celebrations)

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae -- Roman Empire (celebration of the victories of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, through Nov. 1)

Makoshe's Holiday -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar (honoring Mother Earth)

Mokosh Day -- Ukraine (Slavic goddess of "women's work"; date approximate)

Mule Day -- anniversary of the first importation of donkeys to the US, which George Washington used to breed the first mules in the Americas

National Bandanna Day -- Australia (to raise funds for kids with cancer)

National Day -- Austria

National Gospel Day -- Cook Islands

National Mincemeat Pie Day

National Tell A Story Day -- Scotland (preserving the heritage of traditional stories)

Pretzel Day

Pumpkin Day -- time to get one for the 31st, if you haven't already

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler's Festival -- Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach, DE, US (parade, costume contest, Sea Witch Hunt, horse show on the beach, and more; through Sunday)

St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki's Day (Patron of soldiers; Thessaloniki, Greece)
     Greek day to broach the wine barrels and taste the new season's wine in honor of this saint

Sts. Lucian and Marcian's Day (Patrons of converts, possessed people)

Toping Wagglegammon -- Fairy Calendar (no human knows what this means, but it sounds intriguing)

Workaholic Stop and Smell Something Day -- internet generated day to encourage workaholics to stop and consider what they might be missing

Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night -- some organizers even have howling parties

Birthdays Today:

Cary Elwes, 1962
Lauren Tewes, 1954
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1947
Pat Sajak, 1947
Jaclyn Smith, 1947
Bob Hoskins, 1942
Jackie Coogan, 1914
Mahalia Jackson, 1911

Today in History:

Comet 55P/1366 U1 (Tempel-Tuttle) approaches 0.0229 AUs of Earth (2.1 million miles and 3.4 million kilometers)--marking the third closest approach of any comet to our planet in recorded history, 1366
First use of lead pencils, 1492
William Penn accepts the area around the the Delaware River from the Duke of York, 1682
The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, and the Minute Men begin to organize in the colonies, 1774
King George III goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution, 1775
Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution, 1776
The first of the "Federalist Papers" are published, calling for ratification of the US Constitution, 1787
The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, is created, 1795
Hamilton Smith patents a rotary washing machine, 1858
Soccer football rules are standardized and rugby starts as a separate game, 1863
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona, 1881
First use of a "getaway car" after a robbery in Paris, 1901
The first Soviet (worker's council) formed, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1905
Margaret Sanger arrested for the obscenity of advocating birth control, 1916
The Maharaja of Kashmir agrees to allow his kingdom to join India, 1947
Mother Teresa founds her Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, 1950
Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France, 1958
The world sees the far side of the Moon for the first time, in pictures taken earlier in the month by the Soviet Luna 3, 1959
The last natural case of smallpox is discovered in Merca district, Somalia, 1977
"Baby Fae," born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, receives a controversial heart transplant from a baboon, dies of kidney infection 21 days later, 1984
The Charlottetown Accord fails to win majority support in a Canada wide referendum, 1992
Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty, 1994
Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament, 1999

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just in time for Halloween...

 ...comes what has to be the weirdest and most ghoulish lost and found story i've ever heard.

The owner of the OB Suds Car Wash in San Diego, California, is probably used to people leaving items behind.

Not cremains, though.  Yes, someone left the cremated remains of a man named Henry Efebvre at the car wash.

Stranger still is the fact that Henry died back in 1995.

So, who has had his remains since then, and why are they still being hauled around San Diego?

These and other questions remain a mystery.  Liz Greene of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association is holding them until the rightful owner comes forward to make a claim.

It's not every day you get to put cremains in the lost and found, that is for sure.

Today is:

Arafat Day -- Afghanistan; Bahrain; Kuwait; Libya; UAE

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Constitution Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Basque Country -- Basque Country

Eid al-Adha -- Islam (Festival of Sacrifice, a three day commemoration of Abraham's obedience and willingness to sacrifice his son; begins at sunset)

Feast of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales -- Roman Catholic

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US (through the 29th)

French Food Festival -- LaRose, LA, US (local specialties, dancing, music, and fun; through Sunday)

Great Pumpkin Carve -- Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford, PA, US (carving pumpkins that weigh about 150lbs or more each; through Saturday)

Munzipan Feast -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy delicacy, and you don't want to know how it's made)

National Greasy Foods Day

Punk-for-a-Day Day -- internet generated; if you've always wanted to be a punk, try it out for a day

Punky Night -- Hinton St George, Somerset, England (a celebration for children and adults who carry candle-lit punkies -- the best one wins a prize -- made out of mangel-wurzels, a type of beet, and sing old punky songs)

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

Sourest Day -- as a balance, because we have so many days that emphasize sweet

Sts. Crispin and Crispian's Day (Patrons of cobblers/shoemakers, glovemakers, lace makers/lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, tanners, weavers)

Thanksgiving Day -- Grenada

World Pasta Day -- as established by the first World Pasta Congress in 1995

Birthdays Today:

Tracy Nelson, 1963
Jon Anderson, 1944
Helen Reddy, 1941
Bobby Knight, 1940
Billy Barty, 1924
Minnie Pearl, 1912
Leo G. Carroll, 1892
Pablo Picasso, 1881
Georges Bizet, 1838

Today in History:

Seljuk Turks defeat the German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1147
Battle of Agincourt, in which the Welsh longbow defeats armored knights, 1415
Christopher Columbus, aboard the Santa Maria, lands at the Dominican Republic, 1492
Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast, 1616
Governor Bradford of the US colony Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day, 1621
Wedding of future US President John Adams and Abigail Smith (the marriage lasted 54 years), 1764
Canadians and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay, 1813
Opening of the Erie Canal, 1825
Battle of Balaclava, memorialized as the "Charge of the Light Brigade", results in the deaths of 409 troops, 1854
The Toronto Stock Exchange is created, 1861
Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution in Russia, which corresponds to November 7 on the Gregorian Calendar, 1917
The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing  music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell", 1938
Adlai Stevenson shows photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba, 1962
Uganda joins the United Nations, 1962
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to five years in prison, 1962
The United Nations seated the People's Republic of China and expelled the Republic of China, 1971
Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction conclude at The Hague, 1980
Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army leaves the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, 1991
Fidel Castro announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned in Cuba, 2004

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Mom, since the definition of war is, in and of itself, destruction, does that mean that the opposite of war is not peace, but creation?"

Bigger Girl can come up with some humdingers, and this was one of them.

Well, i answered, i guess in the same way that the opposite of love is not really hate, it's fear.

Then i realized most stuff we say we "hate," when we look behind that statement, we either see dislike, distaste, or fear of what we don't know.  Dislike of certain styles of music, distaste for certain foods, or fear of people because we don't know enough about them.  We might still dislike those people after we do know them, but at least we have more understanding of them and ourselves and our reactions.

While i love that she brings this stuff up, i wish she would wait until i've had my coffee in the morning or do it before i'm sleepy and on the way to bed in the evening.


Today is:

Dasera/Dussehra -- Hindu (celebration of victory of Lord Rama over evil)

Feast of Good & Plenty -- the candies

Independence Day -- Zambia

Lilith's Day -- Ancient Mesopotamian Calendar (Lilith, legendary first wife of Adam, mother of the giants; date approximate)

Maladay -- Discordianism

National Bologna Day

Share a Pop Tart With Someone You Love Day -- internet generated, and how much do you want to bet the Kellog company may have had a hand in it?

St. Anthony Claret's Day (Patron of weavers; Catholic press; Claretians; Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)

St. Crispin's Eve Celebration -- Tenby, Wales

St. Raphael the Archangel's Day (traditional date; Patron of health inspectors, druggists, happy meetings, leaving home, travelers; against blindness)

Suez Victory Day -- Egypt

Take Back Your Time Day -- Canada; U.S.

United Nations Day
     Disarmament Week begins
     World Development Information Day

Waqf al Arafa - Hajj Day -- Islam (begins at sunset)

World Origami Days

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Kline, 1947
F. Murray Abraham, 1939
David Nelson, 1936
J. P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, 1930
Y. A. Tittle, 1926
Moss Hart, 1904
Alexandra David-Neel, 1868 (first female foreigner to explore Tibet)
Sarah Joseph Hale, 1788 (author of "Mary had a little lamb")
Antony van Leeuwenhoek, 1632
Domitian, Roman Emperor, 51

Today in History:

Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated, 1260
The Treaty of Westphalia ends the 30 Years War, recognized the independence of Switzerland, and marks the end of the Holy Roman Empire, 1648
Felix Mendelssohn, age 9, performs his first public concert in Berlin, 1818
The match is patented, by A. Phillips, 1836
The first US transcontinental telegram is sent, from San Francisco to Washington, DC, ending the need for the Pony Express after only 2 years, 1861
Levi P. Morton, US ambassador to France, drives the first rivet for the Statue of Liberty, 1881
Dr. Robert Koch discovers the germ that causes tuberculosis, 1882
Anna Taylor becomes the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901
The first NYC subway opens, 1904
Harry Houdini's last performance, 1926
"Black Thursday", the start of the stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8%, 1929
Al Capone is sentenced for tax evasion, 1931
The George Washington Bridge, connecting NY to NJ, opens, 1931
US forbids child labor in factories, 1938
The United Nations Charter is signed by the first member nations, 1945
Eisenhower pledges US support to South Vietnam, 1954
Government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union, 1980
Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission, 1998
The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, 2003
Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the "motive clause", an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, 2006
"Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices, 2008

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Sweetie and Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, are (mumblety-mumblety) years old today.

Out of deference to them, i won't get too specific, but let's say they are "old enough to know better."

Please note that old enough to know better does not mean they always choose to do better.

My father, Dr. Born Organized Clean, the Ob/Gyn, would always note to a newly expecting mother that she was going to love having two children if it was her first, three if it was her second, etc.  When the woman would respond with, "But this will only be my first/second/whatever," he would answer, "Isn't your husband your first child?"

It always got a laugh.

The Boys, as i continue to refer to them even if the gray hair belies the name, will go out to their very favorite restaurant of all time, Superior Grill.  Yes, Tex/Mex all the way.

Then they will come home for dessert.  No cake for these two, they want home made banana pudding, thick and made of nothing but real butter and cream and sugar, bananas ripe but not overripe, cut into thick medallions, and the vanilla wafers soggy enough to eat it all with a spoon.

Happy Birthday, boys.  Don't forget to take your digestive aid tablets with you.


Today is:

Canning Day -- get that harvest preserved!

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand (Rama V Day)

Chung Yeung Festival -- China; Macau (Double Nine Festival; date differs in other parts of Asia)

Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle -- Republic of Macedonia

Dia Nacional de la Aviacion -- Mexico (National Aviation Day)

Festival of Forgotten Gods -- so we don't offend anybody, i guess?

Festival of Selket and Ceremony of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Finding of King Look Under Your Mattress Jubilee -- Fairy Calendar

Liberation Day -- Libya

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day / Revolution Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day -- US Chemists; from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number; this year's theme is "Molar Eclipse"

Peace Treaty Day -- Cambodia

St. John of Capistrano's Day (Patron of judges, jurists, military chaplains)
     Swallows Depart San Juan Capistrano Day -- after today, in spite of what you think, the natives will tell you that bird is not a swallow

TV Talk Show Host Day -- the way some of them behave, do they deserve a day? Well, I guess everyone is good for something, even if only for being a bad example!

Ueno Tenjin Matsuri -- Mie, Japan (festival and parade of oni gyoretsu -- demons or ogres -- dating back to the 16th century and said to halt plague, dispel illness, and ward off bad luck; through the 25th)

Birthdays Today:

Al Leiter, 1965
Randy Pausch, 1960
Nancy Grace, 1959
"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1959
Martin Luther King III, 1957
Dwight Yoakam, 1956
Michael Crichton, 1942
Pele' 1940
Johnny Carson, 1925
Frank Rizzo, 1920
Gummo Marx, 1893

Today in History:

According to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher and based on the Bible, Creation begins, BC4004
Second Battle of Philippi, Brutus defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony, Brutus commits suicide, BC42
The Jews of Barbados are forbidden from engaging in retail trade, 1668
A revolt is held in Haarlem after a public ban on smoking, 1690
First Jewish prayer books printed in the US, 1760
The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring blacks from the army, 1775
Failed coup against the Emperor Napoleon, 1812
The first plastic surgery is performed, in England, 1814
72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate, 1867
The New Orleans Mint reopens as an assay office, 1876
The First National Horseshoe Throwing Championship is held in Kellerton, Iowa, 1915
The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California, 1929
Husband and wife Dr. Carl Cori & Dr. Gerty Cori are awarded joint Nobel Prizes, 1947
An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time; only 100 were rescued, 1958
A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria, 1973
Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil, 1992
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a "land for peace" agreement, 1998
Apple unveils the iPod, 2001

Monday, October 22, 2012

Grandpa Will Be So Proud

"Hey, mom, when is the fair in NOLA this year?  You know, the parish fair Grandma and Grandpa always take us to?" #2 Son asked.

It was the same weekend as the last home football game.

"Oh," he replied, looking and sounding dejected.

You don't sound too happy about that.

"Well, really, I was looking forward to it."

Yes, but Grandpa thought you would all want to go to the game more than the parish fair.

"Well, of course I'd rather go with Grandma and Grandpa!  After all I'd rather spend time with them and just watch the game on TV."

Well, i'll tell Grandpa that.  Not many 16-year-olds would rather hang with their grandparents than go to a live SEC football game.

Grandpa will be so proud.

Today is:

Abu Simbel Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (along with Feb. 22, the day when the sunlight fell perfectly on the statues of Ramses, Ra, and Amun at the temple complex)

Caps Lock Day -- celebrating life in screaming CAPITALS (i'd include a link to the promo site, but it's rather annoying)

Color Day -- a day to consider how color affects your life, health, and world

Eat a Pretzel Day

Feast of the Hunters' Moon -- West Lafayette, IN, US (through tomorrow; come help recreate French and Native American life at a mid-1700's fur-trading outpost)

International School Library Day

International Stuttering Awareness Day

Jidai Matsuri -- Kyoto, Japan (Festival of the Eras or Festival of the Ages)

Labour Day -- New Zealand

National Nut Day -- grab a handful of nutritious almonds or walnuts or your own favorite mix; if you don't like nuts, you can just choose to go be one, instead

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Mary Salome's Day (Patron of Veroli, Italy)

Birthdays Today:

Brian Boitano, 1963
Jeff Goldblum, 1952
Deepak Chopra, 1946
Catherine Deveuve, 1943
Annette Funicello, 1942
Tony Roberts, 1939
Christopher Lloyd, 1938
Timothy Leary, 1920
Joan Fontaine, 1917
Curly Howard, 1903
N. C. Wyeth, 1882
Sarah Bernhardt, 1844
Franz Liszt, 1811

Anniversaries Today:

Toastmasters International founded, 1924

Today in History:

The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire, 362
Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto), 794
Battle of the Southern Fujian Sea, Ming Dynasty wins a victory against the Dutch East India Company, 1633
Princeton University is chartered, 1746
Andre-Jacques Trim becomes the first sky diver, parachuting over Paris from a balloon, 1797
Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas, 1836
First telegraph line linking US east and west coasts of the US is completed, 1861
First concert performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1881
World's first automobile dealer opens in London, 1897
President Hoover gives the "American system of rugged individualism" speech, 1928
The FBI ambushes Pretty Boy Floyd, 1934
First commercial flight from the mainland to Hawai'i, 1936
Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor, 1964
A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada, 1964
The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus, 1975Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it
is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs, although the dye is still used in Canada, 1976
Tropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms, 2005
A Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum held in Panama, 2006
India launches its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, 2008

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Sunday Smiles

"Mom, something is either fundamentally right or fundamentally wrong with this country."  Bigger Girl had just come in from speaking with our neighbors.

What's up?

"Well, I just had a conversation in which I explained some of what Mormons believe to our Muslim neighbors, and I'm a Presbyterian!"

That's fundamentally right.  We have diverse neighbors, we know them, and we can have a civil discussion about religion and still be friends.


Listening to a Christian radio station:

Radio DJ#1:  It's  time for today's Encouraging Word Bible verse.

Radio DJ#2:  Proverbs 26:20, "Fire goes out without wood, and squirrels disappear when gossip stops."

Moment of silence.

Radio DJ#1:  Um, shouldn't that be...

Radio DJ#2:  Oh, quarrels.  Yes, those, too.

Radio DJ#1:  laughing too hard to introduce the next song.


Today is:

Apple Day -- U.K. (to inspire local orchard revival and celebrate local varieties)

Antillean Day -- Bonaire; Curacao; Saba; St. Eustatius

Armed Forces Day -- Honduras (Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas)

Babbling Day -- an internet generated day for Blatherskites

Caramel Apple Day -- US (leave it to the US to add sugar to a nice healthy piece of fruit!)

Count Your Buttons Day -- whoever came up with this one needs to count his marbles maybe?

Dashain Festival -- Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan, Nepal (Nepal's longest and most auspicious religious festival)

Egyptian Naval Day -- Egypt

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day

Humble Yourself By Having Your Picture Made Wearing A Bicycle Helmet Day -- no comment

Independence Day -- Marshall Islands(1986)

International Day of the Nacho -- Mexico; U.S.

Jailhouse Rock Day -- Elvis' song hit #1 today in 1957

Nagoya Festival -- Nagoya, Japan (biggest festival in the city)

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

Pastoral Care Week begins -- honoring all clergy who provide spiritual help and care

President Ndadaye Day -- Burundi

Reptile Awareness Day -- hooray for snakes and turtles!  and lizards, don't forget lizards, and gators, and...

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. John of Bridlington's Day (Patron against complications in childbirth)

St. Ursula's Day (Patron of educators/teachers, holy death, schoolchildren, students; British Virgin Islands; Catholic education, especially of girls; Cologne, Germany; University of Paris)

Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day

Trafalgar Day -- British Empire (noted, but no longer an officially holiday)

Anniversaries Today:

Juan Peron marries actress Evita (María Eva Duarte), 1945

Birthdays Today:

Jeremy Miller, 1976
Carrie Fisher, 1956
Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949
Judge Judy Sheindlin, 1942
Celia Cruz, 1925
Joyce Randolph, 1925
Dizzy Gillespie, 1917
Alfred Nobel, 1833
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772

Today in History:

Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders, 1096
Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg., 1512
Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean), 1520
Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish Armada under De Oquendo, 1639
First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America, 1774
US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston, 1797
Battle of Trafalgar, Adm Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet & dies, 1805
The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia, 1816
Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England), 1824
Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb, 1879
First transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris, 1915
Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time, 1945
Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun, 1965
The European Patent Institute is founded, 1977
The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, 1983
Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz, 2003

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Well, i would rant, but... wouldn't do any good at all.

Yesterday, thank heaven, the kids didn't have school because it was the second day of parent/teacher conferences for the first quarter.  My conference had been the first day; again, i am grateful.

The interstate got shut down for the third time in just a couple of months.  Two big rigs hit each other on the other side of the river late Thursday night.  One was carrying drilling mud, whatever that is, which caught fire (and no, i don't know how mud can burn).

They had to divert all traffic coming from that direction and the result, of course, is a gridlock nightmare all over the city.

Since, i hadn't heard about it, at one point i started to go get Little Girl's glasses, but we decided to turn back and wait.

That's when i turned on the radio that gives traffic updates and found out.

Side rant -- the glasses place didn't call me and tell me the glasses were in, i had to call them.  Bad Form.

It is expected to take them until tonight, or maybe early tomorrow morning, to clean up the whole thing and get the interstate fully open again.

This on a day when there was extra traffic heading that direction because many locals were using Friday to drive west to go see the local football team play out of state.

We can rant all day about "the need for a major route around the city so people heading west don't even have to drive through" until the cows come home, it's not gonna happen.

That means we can expect that every accident on the interstate that involves injuries or rigs is going to gridlock the whole city for hours if not days.

There has to be a better way, but danged if i can find it.

Meanwhile, all it does is make me want to become a hermit.

Today is:

Adai Caddo Indian Nation Pow Wow -- Robeline, LA, US

Autumn Historic Folklife Festival -- Hannibal, MO, US (Tom Sawyer's hometown celebrates the heritage and traditions of the 1800s; through tomorrow)

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Bridge Day -- New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, WV, US (world's biggest extreme sports event)

Deutsch Country Days -- Marthasville, MO, US (authentic recreation of early German life in Missouri; through tomorrow)

Egremont Crab-Apple Fair -- Egremont, Cumbria, England (dating back to the 13th century, the most fun part is the gurning [face making] contest)

Fall Astronomy Day -- International

Feast of Agios Gerasimos -- Kefalonia, Greece (celebration of the patron saint of this Ionian island, with religious services followed by dancing and feasting)

Feast of No Excuse For A Feast Day -- internet generated, if you have no other excuse to celebrate something today, use this one

Festival of Ebisu -- Japan (the laughing god, who is the only one available this month, as the 8 million other gods of the pantheon gather at the Grand Shrine of Izumo; traditionally on 20th day of 10th month of the lunisolar calendar)

Information Overload Awareness Day -- we all get bombarded, take stock of how it affects you

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth -- Sikh

International Juan Valdez Appreciation Day -- internet generated, yet as we sip our morning wake up brew, let's remember the hardy souls who pick the beans for us!

Mashujaa Day -- Kenya (National Day/Kenyatta Day)

Miss American Rose Day -- with online only pageants devoted to high achievement and community service for girls and women of all ages, Miss American Rose suggests treating all women in your life like beautiful roses and performing community service with them

Monster Mash Day -- Bogue Falaya Park, Covington, LA, US (annual fundraiser for the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center, with a day of fun for everyone)

National Brandied Fruit Day

Old Farmers Day -- Loranger, LA, US (through tomorrow; learn how farmers used to live)

Quincy Preserves Fall Architectural Tour -- Quincy, IL, US

Rattlesnake Festival and Gopher Races -- San Antonio, TX, US (wild animal fun, Texas style; through tomorrow)

Revolution Day -- Guatemala

Saint Mary's County Oyster Festival -- Leonardtown, MD, US (oysters served every style; through tomorrow)

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Acca's Day (Patron of learning)

Sweetest Day -- begun by Herbert Birch Kingston, a candy company employee who decided it would be wonderful to distribute candy to the sick, shut-ins and orphans in Cleveland, OH; today is the day to do something for someone that makes him/her say, "Oh, that is so sweet!"

Woolly Worm Festival -- Banner Elk, NC, US (woolly bear caterpillars race up 3-ft pieces of string, winner gets to predict the severity of the upcoming winter; through tomorrow)

World Osteoporosis Day -- International Osteoporosis Foundation

Anniversaries Today:

Aristotle Onassis marries Jacqueline Kennedy, 1968

Birthdays Today:

Dann Gillen, 1967
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
Danny Boyle, 1956
Tom Petty, 1950
Jery Orback, 1935
Mickey Mantle, 1931
Joyce Brothers
Art Buchwald, 1925
Fayard Nicholas, 1914
Bela Lugosi, 1882
Charles Ives, 1874
Arthur Rimbaud, 1854
Christopher Wren, 1632

Today in History:

The first Crusaders arrive at Antioch, 1097
The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), Bolivia, is founded, 1548
Battle of Sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's Shoguns, 1600
Maria Theresa of Habsburg becomes ruler of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1740
Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy, 1781
US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
The U.S. and U.K. sign the Convention of 1818, which, among other things settles the U.S. - Canada border at the 49th parallel for most of its length, 1818
First Edition of London Sunday Times, 1822
Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the US, on the 4th Thursday of November each year, 1864
P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome featuring "The Greatest Show on Earth" opens in NYC, 1873
The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched, 1910
The first Negro League World Series is held, the KC Monarchs shut out the Hilldales, 5-0, 1924
United States of America and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time, 1947
The Nepal Stock Exchange collapses, 1971
The Sydney Opera House opens, 1973
BM-PC DOS Version 2.1 released, 1983
US accuses Microsoft of violating law by forcing IE browser on computers, 1997
European astronomers announce the discovery of 32 extrasolar planets, 2009
Astronomers announce that galaxy UDFy-38135539 is the most distant object observed from Earth, around 30 billion light-years, 2010
Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Mutassim Gaddafi are killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte, 2011

Friday, October 19, 2012

And Another One Bites the Dust

 Newsweek magazine, which has been in print for 80 years, will stop producing a hard copy and be online only after December 31 this year.

This is not the paperless society i wanted.  Not at all.

What i wanted was no need for paper receipts, no tons of files, no wondering where in the world that check could have gotten to.

Newspapers, magazines, and books disappearing -- well, i am not as happy about that, as they seem to be disappearing much faster than the other junk.  (Junk mail can go bye-bye, too, any time it wants.)

The memories go back so far.  My father, in for an hour from the hospital, with another woman in labor awaiting his return, sitting at the kitchen table, trying to shovel in his dinner and catch up on the news before heading back.

Perusing the morning paper in the morning and the evening paper in the evening, all of us sitting at the table, swapping sections as we finished with them..

Now, NOLA, where i grew up, not only doesn't have an evening paper (and hasn't for years), they will soon no longer have a 7 day a week paper.  They will be publishing only 3 days a week.

To me, it's a sad thing.

It also gives me pause as i think, what happens to our society if almost all, if not every, magazine and newspaper does this, and then there is a disaster that wipes out most of it, or makes most of us unable to access it?  Yes, extremist, end-of-the-world thinking, but seriously, as terrorists threaten more and more and are going toward cyber attacks, what's to say an attack on the electric grid wouldn't come in conjunction with an attack to wipe out as much of our information resources as possible, and block them from being able to get back up and running?

Meanwhile, the shift away from paper seems to be moving the wrong way for me.

Even so, i'm keeping the hard copies of my tax returns.  Bills don't need to be kept, non-deductible receipts can go, and once the checkbook is reconciled i don't need to know how much i spent at the local Mom and Pop store, but In the case of the tax man, cover your back.

Today is:

Apple Butter Stirrin' --  Coshocton, OH, US (bluegrass music, crafts, family fun, and best of all, apple butter; through Sunday)

Armilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Mars)

Belfast Festival At Queens -- Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland (International arts festival; through Nov. 4)

Bettara-Ichi -- Ebisu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan (Pickle Market Fair, enjoy the pickled radishes, a specialty; through tomorrow)

Constitution Day -- Niue

Dita e Lumturimit te Nene Terezes -- Albania (Mother Teresa Day)

Evaluate Your Life Day -- a day to make sure your life is heading where you want, and course correct if it isn't; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Fall Festival of Leaves -- Ross County, OH, US (celebrate the beauty of nature and of the arts of the region; through Sunday)

Fantasy Fest -- Key West, FL, US (a ten day costume party for grown ups)

Greasy Spoon Day -- internet generated, a day to go revel in the love of your favorite greasy spoon diner

International Human Rights Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

Jesuit Martyrs' Day

National Mammography Day -- US

National Seafood Bisque Day

Samora Machel Day -- Mozambique

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Frideswide's Day (Patron of Oxford and the University of Oxford)

St. Rene Goupil's Day (Patron of anesthetists, anesthesiologists)

Yabusame Festival -- Koyama, Japan (horseback archery, samurai costumes and dragons, oh, my!)

Birthdays Today:

Ty Pennington, 1965
Evander Holyfield, 1962
John Lithgow, 1945
Jeannie C. Riley, 1945
Peter Max, 1937
Robert Reed, 1932
John Le Carre, 1931
Jack Anderson, 1922

Today in History:

Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus and his Roman legions defeat Hannibal Barca and the invading Carthagian army, BC202
King Gauseric and his Vandals take the city of Carthage, 439
The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Treaty of Thorn, 1466
Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology, 1512
The first general court is held in Boston, 1630
Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2PM, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1781
Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree, 1849
The first 4 blacks are elected to the US House of Representatives, 1870
The USPS first used an automobile to collect and deliver mail, 1914
Streptomycin, the first antibiotic which could treat tuberculosis, is isolated at Rutgers University, 1943
Black Monday - the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points, 1987
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity, 2005
Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb, 2005

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Yesterday, in the comments, MizFit asked if my post today would follow up by talking about my dreams.

The question haunted me all day long.  It's a great question, after all, and after reflecting and thinking and trying to distract myself to no avail, i have to admit, i have no idea what to say.

Right now, i'm more concerned with making it financially through the month than i am with what i really want in life.  Every month is like that, and the kids already know their holiday gifts this year will be new tires for one of the vehicles.

Right now, i'm more concerned with raising my kids, finding Bigger Girl's lost keys, making sure the litter boxes are scooped, finding Sweetie's lost glasses, staying somewhat up with the laundry, finding Little Girl's lost notebook, scheduling kittens for spay or neuter and getting them to the vet, finding #2 Son's lost baseball cap -- yes, they lose everything --

Right now, there's not much time or room for dreaming.

Part of me wants to get sappy and melancholic and all philosophical and the other part is saying, put a sock in it, suck it up, and go get #2 Son to get the garbage out, there's no time for writing, especially on a subject that's been done before, and done well, by much better people than you.

Besides, while i've been staring at the white screen and trying to fill it, i've stopped to get a flashlight to help find the aforementioned car keys, fed the kittens, done a google search for Sweetie, and stopped to wash the dishes again.

Right now, it seems, the only "dreams" are the ones that occur in REM sleep, and it may stay that way for a while.

Today is:

Alaska Day -- Alaska, US

Biketoberfest -- Daytona Beach, FL, US (last chance to ride before winter, and enjoy concerts and shows, too; through Sunday)

Clean Water Act Day -- US (considered by many a day to give thanks for water and open any who are grateful for clean water)

East Texas Yamboree -- Gilmer, TX, US (yam it up with the family at the carnival, watch them crown the Yamboree Queen, enjoy the livestock show, and more; through Saturday)

Get Smart About Credit Day -- sponsored by the American Bankers Association

Get to Know Your Customers Day -- third Thursday of every quarter

Independence Day -- Azerbaijan(1991)

International Credit Union Day

King Look Under Your Mattress's Unique Hiding Display -- Fairy Calendar (Finally! Proof, on the internet, that you do, indeed, need to look under the mattress!)

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

National Statistics Day -- Japan

No Beard Day -- internet generated, a day to shave, which is illogical in the northern hemisphere, with winter coming

Pandrosus Festival -- Ancient Greek Calendar (all-refreshing goddess, or all-dewy one; date approximate)

Persons Day -- Canada (Marking the ruling that women are persons in 1929.)

Preaching of the Lion Sermon -- St. Katharine Cree Church, London, England (Sermon dating back to the 1640's in commemoration of a gift for the poor made by Sir John Gayer, who was delivered from a lion while in Turkey)

Procession of the Lord of Miracles (Senor de los Milagros) -- Lima, Peru (Christian celebration of the Lord's miracles, with song, dance, prayers, and parades; through tomorrow and again on the 28th)

St. Luke's Day (The Evangelist; Patron of artists, bachelors/unmarried men, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, doctors/physicians/surgeons, glass makers/glassworkers, gold workers/goldsmiths, lacemakers/lace workers, notaries, painters, sculptors, stained glass workers, Worshipful Company of Painters; Capena, Italy; Hermersdorf, Germany)

Watch a Squirrel Day -- internet generated, and different from squirrel appreciation day in January

World Menopause Day -- sponsored by the International Menopause Society

Anniversaries Today:

University of Heidelberg opens, 1386

Birthdays Today:

Zac Efron, 1988
Wynton Marsalis, 1961
Erin Moran, 1960
Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1960
Martina Navratilova, 1956
Pam Dawber, 1951
Laura Nyro, 1947
Mike Ditka, 1939
Dawn Wells, 1938
Peter Boyle, 1935
George C. Scott, 1927
Chuck Berry, 1926
Melina Mercouri, 1923
Jesse Helms, 1921
Anita O'Day, 1919
Lotte Lenya, 1900

Today in History:

Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the sun and writes a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest), 320
Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, 1009
Battle of Assadun (Ashingdon), Danes defeat Saxons, 1016
Basel, Switzerland is destroyed by the Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, 1356
Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima -- Takeda Shingen defeats Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts in feudal Japan, 1561
The shoemakers of Boston form the first labor organization in the Colonies/US, 1648
The Mason/Dixon line is agreed upon, 1767
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London, 1851
The US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia, for $7.2 million, 1867
Edison makes electricity available for household use, 1878
John Owen becomes the first formally timed person to run 100 yd dash in under 10 seconds, 1890
The first actual newspaper comic strip telling a continuing story (as opposed to a single cartoon panel) appears in American Humorist, 1897
United States takes possession of Puerto Rico, 1898
The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) is founded, 1922
The Grand Ole Opry opens in Nashville, Tennessee, 1925
Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio, 1954
The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet, 1967
Azerbaijan becomes independent from the USSR, 1991
After 8 years in exile, Benazir Bhutto returns to her homeland Pakistan, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Know

 You know you've been at the wife/mother/homemaker/domestic goddess schtick too long without polishing off your own dreams when:

All the baby kittens asleep at once is a breather so you can fold laundry.

You have so much to coordinate with the kids' schedules, you start to envy the job of air traffic controllers.

In public you hear yourself saying you have to "go potty."

The only thing you really want in the morning is to go back to bed for one more hour (those every two hour feedings are murder).

When you do happen to get out of the house with your husband and without the kids, he's thinking of how good you look on the date and you're thinking of how you're going to get that suit of his clean if he ends up ordering the spaghetti and meatballs.

You are also thinking about your grocery list and how you are going to deal with the ring in the toilet, all while reading the menu.

There's plenty of time to help the kids call the people whose dog ran away and showed up in the yard again get it back to their house, time to help with that last minute rewrite of an essay, time to drop everything and help your husband find the keys he lost for the 3rd time this week, but never time for a crossword puzzle unless you are at a stop light in traffic.  (Yes, that's when i do crossword puzzles.)

Your Christmas gift wish list consists of only one thing -- the three-in-one crock pot you saw on sale at the big box store.

 (The object of my affection now -- three crocks, with spoons and lid holders!)

Today is:

Black Poetry Day -- birth anniversary of the USA's first published black poet, Jupiter Hammon

Circleville Pumpkin Show -- Circleville, OH, US (celebrating with over 100,000lbs of pumpkins, squash, and gourds; through Saturday)

Day of National Concern About Young People and Gun Violence -- US (students around the nation are asked to sign the Pledge Against Gun Violence)

Dessalines Day -- Haiti

Doburoku Matsuri -- Oita Prefecture, Japan (one of the few sake festivals at a shrine; through tomorrow)

Festival of Hengest -- Asatru (approximate date of the Norse celebration of Hengest and Horsa, who fought to establish Norse settlements in Eastern Britain)

Four Prunes Day (only if you dare!)

Gaudy Day a/k/a Wear Something Gaudy Day

Hagfish Day -- a day to celebrate the uniqueness and necessity of even the ugliest of sea creatures, like the hagfish

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty -- UN

Large Fairies Come First Day -- Fairy Calendar (because the rest of the year they let the little ones go first)

Loyalty Day -- Argentina

Medical Assistants Recognition Day -- US

Mulligan Day -- C. Daniel Rhodes wants you to give yourself or someone else a free do-over today

National Pasta Day

National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day -- US

Paint a Mural on a Sidewalk Day -- let your inner child go a bit wild

St. Ignatius of Antioch's Day (Patron of the Church in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa; against throat diseases)

St. Richard Gwin's Day (Patron of large families, parents of large families, torture victims)

Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival -- Tacoma, WA, US (through Sunday)

The NILE / Northern International Livestock Exposition -- Billings, MT, US (rodeo and trade show; through Saturday)

Work on Your Charisma Day -- because what else are you going to do on a Wednesday?

Anniversaries Today:

Crown Prince Fernando of Aragon marries Princess Isabella of Castile, 1469
Composer Johann S. Bach marries his niece Maria Bach, 1707

Birthdays Today:

Norm MacDonald, 1963
Alan Jackson, 1958
Howard Rollins, 1950
Margot Kidder, 1948
George Wendt, 1948
Ronn Owens, 1945
Evel Knievel, 1938
Jimmy Breslin, 1930
Tom Poston, 1921
Montgomery Clift, 1920
Rita Hayworth, 1918
Arthur Miller, 1915
Jean Arthur, 1905
Spring Byington, 1893

Today in History:

King Cyrus the Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon and releases the Jews from their 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration, BC539
Battle of Neville's Cross, the defeat of King David II of Scotland by Edward III of England, 1346
German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, 1604
Boston blacks petition the legislature for equal school facilities, 1787
The political rights of Jews are suspended in the Duchy of Warsaw, 1808
Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie), 1888
Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Clifden, Ireland, 1907
Albert Einstein arrives in the US as a refugee from Nazi Germany, 1933
The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield,in Cumbria, England, 1956
Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies opens the artificial Lake Burley Griffin in the middle of the capital Canberra, 1964
Botswana and Lesotho join the United Nations, 1966
Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group, 1970
OPEC starts an oil embargo against a number of western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Syria, 1973
Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979
The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, making it the World's tallest highrise, 2003

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Little Early

Daylight Saving Time will end in early November in our part of the world.

So, why am i mentioning this now?

Well, there is an article in the BBC news about a couple in Essex, England, who almost were driven batty and even tore walls out of their home looking for the source of a beeping noise that simply would not stop,

When the husband finally found it, it was a long-forgotten smoke alarm in a desk drawer.  The battery was finally giving out.

This year, when you change your clocks, spare yourself the nuisance beeping (and possibly save your family from a fire) by changing all of your smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector batteries.  If you go ahead and change them yearly on a schedule, you won't have to go through such a thing.

Okay, all very well and good, i can hear someone say, but why mention it halfway into October?

If you are anything like me, you don't have enough batteries on hand, so you have to remember to put them on your list, then remember to take your list with you to the store, and that will probably require at least two week notice before remembering all of that.

(You see, it's not for no reason that i am called "messy" -- my brain is a very messy place indeed, especially when i am trying to recall what's on my grocery list when i left it at home, again.)

Go put batteries on your list, and write a reminder on your calendar now.

Otherwise, don't blame me if your smoke alarm or other warning device starts to noisily demand immediate attention.

Today is:

Boss' Day -- either celebrate, or roll your eyes, both are acceptable responses (begun by Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958 in honor of her boss, who was also her father; this date was his birthday)

Chrysanthemum Festival -- Japan ("The Festival of Happiness", various shrines; through Nov. 15)

Clean Your Bug Zapper Day -- internet generated, and we're getting a bit overboard here, aren't we?

Day of Pope John Paul II -- Poland

Dictionary Day -- Noah Webster's birth anniversary

Elephantine Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (several such celebrations of elephants were held around this time of year in Egypt)

Ether Day (first demonstrated use, see History)

Feast of 'Ilm (Knowledge) -- Baha'i

National Feral Cat Day -- US (sponsored by Alley Cat Allies)

National Liqueur Day

Navaratri Dusserha -- Hindu (Festival of Dirva, wife of Shiva; through the 23rd)
     Ghatasthapana -- Nepal

Niihama Drum Festival -- Niihama, Japan (three day festival with two ton drum floats)

Sennin Musha Gyoretsu -- Tochigi, Japan (procession of 1,000 warriors; through tomorrow)

St. Hedwig's Day (Patron of brides, duchesses, difficult marriages, widows; Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; Gorlitz, Germany; Silesia; against the death of children, jealousy)

Teachers' Day -- Chile

World Food Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women, 1869
Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah, 1875

Birthdays Today:

John Mayer, 1977
Kellie Martin, 1975
Flea, 1962
Tim Robbins, 1958
Suzanne Somers, 1946
Angela Lansbury, 1925
Eugene O'Neill, 1888
Oscar Wilde, 1854
Noah Webster, 1758

Today in History:

Jadwiga (yes, a she) is crowned King of Poland, 1384
Olivier van Noorts' ships reach the Philippines, 1600
George Washington takes Yorktown, 1781
Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, is guillotined, 1793
Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers, 1843
Dentist William T. Morton demonstrates the effectiveness of ether, 1846
Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is published, 1847
John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, 1859
The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered", 1869
John Harwood takes out a patent on a self-winding watch, 1923
The Disney Company is founded, 1923
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army, 1940
Fidel Castro is sentenced in Havana to 15 years in prison, 1953
The People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1964
In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act, 1970
Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1973
Pope John Paul II is elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave, 1978
Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1978
Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1984
Reinhold Messner becomes the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders, 1986
Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated, 2002