Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homecoming Weekend -- The Big Day

The plan for Saturday morning was to get to the shelter early to bathe Anna and Uriel and get them settled in a cage, and it started out just fine.  The hitch came when i couldn't find the special shampoo i was supposed to use for them.

Many minutes were wasted looking high and low, and i finally gave in and called Carol to ask where she hid the stuff.  It turned out to be right where it should have been, in the cabinet under the sink in which we wash them.  In fact, Carol and i had washed the other 7 kittens i had brought up in that sink a couple of days before.

It was in a gallon jug, not the regular size bottle such as i used to have at home, so i passed it over, thinking it was a bottle of bleach.

Two kitty baths, plus the requisite 15 minutes of marinating time (the kittens have to have the stuff on them for 15 minutes to make sure it kills everything they may have carried in) later, i ran back home to pick up Bigger Girl and go back to the hotel for breakfast.  We were about 5 minutes away when we were called, which i knew we would be.

After breakfast, we had time to simply enjoy the fun atmosphere of homecoming until the parade started.  Grandma and Grandpa were supposed to ride in the parade, but Grandma didn't want to, so Grandpa sweet talked them into letting Bigger Girl ride with him.  It was fun to see them, sitting atop a yellow Corvette and smiling as they threw out candy, beads, and other fun things.

The parade is typical for the area, and my main reason to go is the camaraderie, getting to hear the bagpipes, and watching the children catch stuff.  Someone once told me that in some states, when there's a parade, it is illegal to throw things into the crowd.  Here, it's expected.  Cheap plastic beads have replaced the glass ones we used to get as kids, and now they will throw cups, mini plastic toys,small logo items like keychains, and candy.  A local bank was this year's main parade sponsor, and they were even throwing rolled up t-shirts.

The parade itself only lasts about a half hour from where you are standing to watch, but it takes a good hour-and-a-half to two hours for the participants to actually go the whole route.  Sweetie had gotten off work by then and headed home, so when Bigger Girl got back, she and i went to the house to rest and freshen up, then the three of us returned for the football game.

It was not one of our team's better nights.  The other team came to win, ours simply came to not lose.  At least, that's how it was until halftime, when i think the coach gave them a good talking to.  The second half was much better, and i'm glad, because you really aren't supposed to lose the homecoming game.

Grandma actually attended, for the first time in years.  She had grown weary of it long ago, but she did enjoy herself.  Grandpa was out on the field during the halftime ceremony of crowning the new homecoming king and queen, representing the alumni association.  It was all very nice, as it's supposed to be, and i don't know why we still even have such things, but i guess it's tradition and some tradition simply must be.  Ours not to reason why, and etc.

Little Girl and #2 Son again stayed at the hotel with Grandma and Grandpa after the game, while Bigger Girl, Sweetie and i went home.  The next morning, we returned to again have breakfast with them and say our good-byes.  From there, it was time to go to church, and before we left we firmed up the coming plans for this next weekend, when the kids will go to Grandma and Granpa's house.  There is an insectarium visit in the works, and Grandma has threatened to boycott it and go to the shopping area next door instead.  No matter what, though, they will have fun.

Just like we did this latest homecoming weekend.

Speaking of fun, if you celebrate Trick-or-Treating where you are, i hope you have a wonderful time tonight!


Today is:

Admission Day -- Nevada, US

Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security

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)

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US (hosted at the "Yachting Capital of the World"; through Sunday)

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
     Knock, Knock
     Who's There?
     Police who?
     Police stop telling knock-knock jokes!

National Magic Day -- Society of American Magicians (in honor of Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926, and who was president of the SoAM)

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

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 asking for money or treats)

Reformation Day -- Protestant Christian (trad.)
     Dia de las Iglesias Evangelicas y Protestantes -- Chile
     Official Holiday -- BB, MV, SN, ST, & TH, Germany; Slovenia

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

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:

Mt. Rushmore is completed, 1941
Nevada becomes the 36th US State, 1864

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Car Talk Radio Show, 1987 (national debut, ten years after their start as a local show in Boston)

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homecoming Weekend -- Friday Evening

Little Girl and i went to the shelter without Uriel and Anna, because cats have that cloak of invisibility when they know something is up.  The shelter was the usual afternoon business, with potential adopters looking at cats, volunteers cleaning and doing paperwork, and Miss W overseeing it all with her usual aplomb.

Since i had been there just a few hours earlier cleaning the kitten cages, i knew who needed medication, and which rooms needed extra attention, and by now Little Girl and i work the Friday afternoon shift like a well-oiled machine.  She feeds and waters kittens while i feed and water the roaming cats and office cats.  She feeds the ones in the colony rooms while i dispense medications.  She sweeps floors while i change out the water bowls in the colony rooms.  We almost always finish at the same time.

While there we got two phone calls.  The first was from #1 Son, informing us that the decision was made to let Meatball go.  Treatment with that level of heart worm infection would have been futile and cruel.  Because the boys all live in a rented home, Cody's ex-girlfriend and her mother, who loved Meatball dearly, took him to their home to bury him in the back yard.

The second call was from Grandma, that she and Grandpa were on their way.  We got everything done at the shelter and hurried home so Little Girl could pack.  She, Bigger Girl, and i went in Cicero (Bigger Girl's car) to the hotel while #2 Son took Jalopy (the van) to go help Cody.

That evening was supposed to be spent at a big whiz bang event at the hotel, but Grandma didn't want to go.  What Grandma wants, she usually gets, so we girls skipped the big whiz bang event and went out for a girl's night.

First stop, Hobby Lobby.  Grandma never met a craft she didn't like and couldn't do.  She's where my girls get their artistic talents from, as i can't craft my way out of a paper bag.  We spent a pleasant hour looking at tons of fun things, and Grandma found a crafting stamp she had been seeking, a cute and happy pig.  Then it was time to seek dinner.

Getting back into Cicero, Bigger Girl laughingly said, "Check the back seat for zombies first!" and Grandma shot back, "There's not much scarier than your mother in the back of a car!"  We all laughed and decided to head to a bakery that specializes in vegan, gluten free pizza.

Over dinner, we talked and Grandma told stories about Nana, her mother.  Listening to them, i was so glad that my children so look up to and love to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa.  In the words of Little Girl, "They are cool to hang with!"  Not many young people today take that attitude about the elders in their families, and i know i'm blessed.

When we got back to the hotel, Grandpa greeted us with, "Boy, did you guys miss a treat!  I only went to this event because I was trying to be polite, but it was great!  The speaker was hilarious and kept us wanting more.  You should have been there!"

While he talked about the event, Grandma got out and cut the papaya she had brought.  It was just over 7 pounds, and had grown on her own papaya tree in the back yard.  "I have some 3 and 4 pounders, too," she said.  "And more on the tree, about 30 or so, and more blossoms.  We're going to be having a lot of papaya."

"How did you grow the papaya tree?" Little Girl asked.

"It was an accident, really," Grandma said.  "I tried several times to plant the seeds from a papaya that I would buy from the market, but they never 'took.'  Then, about two years ago, I noticed something growing in a place in the yard where I had never planted any trees, and I almost pulled it up, but I decided to leave it and see what it was.  And it was a papaya tree!  It's at least 15 feet tall now, too, maybe more."

"If it gets any bigger, I'm going to need to climb on the roof to pick them," Grandpa said.

"Don't do that!" #2 Son said, walking in for the evening.  "If you need someone to climb on the roof to do that, call me and let me do it!"

This, from the kid who has to be bribed to do chores.  See, i know he loves Grandma and Grandpa if he's willing to go do that for them! i laughed, and so did everyone else.

Bigger Girl and i then headed home, while #2 Son and Little Girl stayed the night at the hotel with Grandma and Grandpa.  We would be back the next morning for breakfast, at least, that was the plan.  We all know about plans, though.


Today is:

Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation -- Slovakia

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

Edgar Allan Poe Evermore -- Mount Hope Estate, Manheim, PA, US (nights of suspense with the stories from the master, acted by professionals; through Nov. 10)

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Homecoming Weekend

"Meatball is very sick and I have to go to work and Cody's car is broken -- help?"

This particular morning, i had dropped Little Girl at school, then gone to the shelter to clean kitten cages.  It was homecoming weekend, Grandma and Grandpa were going to be in town, everything was shaping up to be busy as could be, and i got the above text from #1 Son just as i was leaving the shelter.

The shelter is two blocks from where he, Cody, and Justin live, so i called and told him i was on my way.  He said they would get Meatball out, to just pull in the driveway.

When i got out of the van, they were carrying Meatball on a makeshift stretcher using an old piece of wood covered with his blanket.  He had obviously lost weight, couldn't walk without falling over, had a bloated abdomen, and looked absolutely miserable.

To be blunt, he had that introspective look that means the animal has lost hope because of something that is going on inside that we cannot see, but he can sense.

"Make sure they know he's dehydrated and to give him fluids right away!" #1 Son said as i drove off, and i had to smile.  He does know some things, after spending all those years helping bottle raise kittens.  He can spot dehydration in a heartbeat.

Between the two of them, #1 Son and Cody hefted Meatball onto the back seat of the van, and Cody climbed in next to him, thanking me continually.

Meatball, a 7-year-old terrier mix, was certainly not himself, as he didn't growl once.  His love for Cody was legendary, as he had once fought off someone who was trying to rob Cody's workplace.  He tolerated strangers when told to, but his protectiveness was amazing.

When we got to the vet, Cody and i had to lift Meatball out of the van and carry him in.  We set him on the floor at the threshold and he collapsed, legs splayed, with the look that said, I really don't care what happens to me right now.

The vet's regular office hours hadn't even begun, but the vet was there, and the assistant helped haul Meatball off the floor and onto the scale.  63 lbs -- down at least 15 from his regular fighting weight.

The vet asked about symptoms, and Cody described four days of decreasing appetite, increasing lethargy, and some vomiting beginning the day before.  Treated for fleas a few days back with Hartz flea treatment.  That worried me and the vet, and i explained to Cody how Hartz flea treatment could kill pets (one of #1 Son's friends lost her cat Bastet to the stuff, i'm the one who took them to the vet, too).  He had no idea.

Dr. Rob, the vet, gave us some options.  For the time being, we decided we could afford to give him fluids and medication to prevent the throwing up, and come back the next day when we had scratched up more funds.

Meatball was obviously feeling a bit better very soon after, but was still weak as we went to Cody's workplace to try to get him a replacement pay card.  (Many places now pay you with a prepaid Visa card, apparently.  The rant about that is fodder for another post, which will happen later, i'm sure.)  We couldn't get the replacement, and Cody still needed help getting his car battery replaced.

It had been hours since i left the house, no breakfast, nothing but coffee, and i was feeling a bit ill myself.  So we went back to my house, and #2 Son took Cody and Meatball home, then was supposed to help him get his car going.

On days like this, not much goes as planned, though.

Cody called his ex-girlfriend, who adored Meatball.  Her mother was also a big fan of the dog, and agreed to pay for more medical care.  She even agreed to run them to other vets for opinions, since #2 Son eventually had to get the car back to me. 

After them running around all afternoon, and three opinions, including that his stomach was twisted and it was going to take a $4,000 surgery to correct it, the final diagnosis was that he had heart-worms, and wouldn't recover.

During that time, i was supposed to find Anna and Uriel so i could take them to the shelter, bathe them, and leave them so they could have their spay and neuter surgeries at Spay Day.  Of course, they decided to put on invisibility cloaks, so i left to pick up Little Girl from school and go do the afternoon shelter shift.

On the way, we got the call about Meatball.  All of us are sad, and i'm even more sad that it happened on a day when i was so busy i couldn't even take time out to process much.  We had to get the shelter chores done and get back home to be ready to meet Grandma and Grandpa at the hotel.  The day wasn't over.


Today is:

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

Coronation Day -- Cambodia (anniversary of King Norodom Sihamony, in 2004)

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

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

Republic Day -- North Cyprus; Turkey

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 (O.S. Date) (yes, that Halley, found the comet)

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Internet, 1969 (the first connection between computers that would become the Internet someday was made on this date when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute; this grew into ARPANET, and is now the Internet we know and yell at.)

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 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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Awww Monday: Hold still, dagnabbit!

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

 As i said, i have tried to get better pictures of the three babies that are still being bottle fed.

These are the best they would hold still for, which is why dagnabbit was used frequently when trying to get these shots.




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)

Election Day -- Philippines

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)

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)

International School Library Day --

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

Labour Day -- New Zealand

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

National Chocolate Day

October Bank Holiday -- Ireland

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

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue

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

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:

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

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
Georges Auguste Escoffier, 1846
Desiderius Erasmus, 1467

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Jack Benny Program, 1950

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What do you want to be?

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

"Mom, I've decided what I'm going to do at school on Hallowe'en."  Bigger Girl came in with a smile.

What? i asked.  Didn't you tell me that you were going as Janis Joplin this year?

"That's what I'm going as for the party at Will's place, and when I go with Muriel to take her daughter to the zoo.  But when I go to school that day, I'm going to go as a film reference.  I'm going to wear my lacey shirt and my lace gloves, and have this glass bottle on a chain around my neck.  The label will say 'Arsenic.'  Get it?  I'm referencing the film Arsenic and Old Lace!"

Very good, i told her.

"It will be a real party at Will's, too, not just the get togethers he calls parties each weekend.  I'm sorry, but I don't consider those real parties.  A bunch of people sitting around playing video games isn't a party, and I don't care how many snacks you serve!"

"You are going trick or treating at the zoo with Muriel and her daughter?  Take me!  Take me!  I haven't been in so long!"  Little Girl had walked in from school, and she's right, i haven't taken them to trick or treat at the zoo since they got past the age limit.

"Okay, you can come," Bigger Girl said.  "Have you decided what you are going to be?"

"Yes.  I'm going to wear my suit and tie, with a sign around my neck that says, 'Closed.'  I'm going as the US Government!"

This is how i pay for my warped sense of humor, i guess, by having kids as crazy as i am.

Today is:

A Family Hallowe'en -- Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock, VT, US (a great time for all)

American Beer Day

Big Bang Day -- London, England

Boxer Shorts Day -- ???????

Cernova Tragedy Day -- Slovakia

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

Daylight Saving Time ends -- Albania; Andorra; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovena; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland (some areas); Holy See; Hungary; Ireland; Isle of Man; Israel; Italy; Kosovo; Latvia; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Mali; Mexico (most areas); Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; Western Sahara

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

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

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

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

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

National Potato Day

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

Presidential Election Day -- Georgia

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

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

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

Sylvia Plath Day

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

World Occupational Therapy Day -- thank those hard working OT's

Anniversary Today:

The NYC Subway begins operation, 1904

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Walt Disney/Wonderful World of Color/Wonderful World of Disney, 1954 (the show had several different names over the years, but even when it switched stations, it was still the same show)

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!")

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Okay, now i'm angry.

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

Yes, mama is really angry now.

On Saturday, October 19, the people of our parish were granted the opportunity, longed for in many societies by generations of women and slaves and others who were considered non-citizens, and still coveted by many people in some societies on this earth, to cast a secret ballot in a free election.

Some parts of the parish were electing a justice of the peace.  A few were voting on propositions to renew property taxes to fund our sheriff's department and EMS.

The early voting turnout was so low that the registrar of voters predicted turnout as low as 20%.

Then i went and actually checked the results (instead of just listening to the report on the radio).

Actual voter turnout was less than 10% across the parish.   In fact, the highest was 7.2% of voters even bothered.

And i am very, very angry.

This isn't people refusing to vote because they are making a statement.  This is sheer apathy, and i find it appalling.

It makes me want to grab people by the throat and yell at them, "Don't you flipping care!"

Obviously, they don't.  So i'm left angry, and sad.

While in the Finger Lakes region of New York last month, we went to Seneca Falls, where the Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848.  The women and men who met there knew that, without the right to vote, women were not full citizens.  They set out to change society, and they did.

Only one of the women, Charlotte Woodward, who was 19 when she attended the convention, lived long enough to cast a legal vote, in 1920.

It makes me wonder what she would think.  The women who fought and worked and went through a lot of crap to get the right to vote, what would they think?  Especially those who died before they ever saw the work completed.  They understood how important it is to take a role in governing ourselves through the electoral process.

Now, we have so much apathy that the polls are almost deserted.

If you don't vote because you are making a social statement, because you are protesting, i may disagree with you, but i will gladly support your right to do that.

If you don't (or didn't) vote because you just didn't bother, shame on you.

Today is:

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

Armed Forces Day -- Benin

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

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival -- Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, Ferrum, VA, US (a large celebration of authentic folkways)

Children's Day -- Australia; Malaysia

Day of the Ancients -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar

Day of Mourning -- Libya

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

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

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

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!)

Lhabab Duechen -- Bhutan (Descending Day of Lord Buddha)22nd day 9th month lunar calendar

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu City, AZ, US (come celebrate London Bridge, which was disassembled and moved here and put back together, with a parade and festivities; through tomorrow)

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

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)

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 Day -- Austria

National Gospel Day -- Cook Islands

National Mincemeat Pie Day

Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Festival -- Washington County Fairgrounds, Washington, PA, US (over two hundred exhibits, plus food and entertainment; through tomorrow)

Pretzel Day

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

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

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)

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

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

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

Anniversary Today:

Grand opening of the Erie Canal, 1825

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

St. Elsewhere, 1982

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feline Friday: I'm Hungry Now!

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, started Feline Fridays, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.

The kittens are hungry.  All of the time.  Don't even ask, the answer is yes, they are hungry.  And sometimes, don't even bother getting the kitten food out of the storage bin, they will help themselves, thankyouverymuch!

Hey, when's it my turn!


Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Constitution Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Basque Country -- Basque Country
    Dia del Pais Vasco -- PV, Spain

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

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)

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

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

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

National Greasy Foods Day

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

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue (celebration of the conversion of the islanders to Christianity)

Presidential Election Day -- Madagascar

Provincial Anniversary Day -- Hawke's Bay, NZ

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

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

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)

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; a related website is here

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Newhart, 1982

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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not Yet

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

"Hi, mom!"  Bigger Girl came in with a smile.

Hi, yourself, i said.  What's up today?

"Well, I took my friend Muriel out to the abandoned pier," she said.  "I love it out there, and she likes it, too!  She thought it was great, an old pier, part of it ripped away so you have to make sure your feet are on the thickest parts that are still standing so you don't slip.  It's covered in really great graffiti, and my friend Will actually did some of it before i even met him!"

Isn't that thing out over the Mississippi River?  It's probably abandoned because it's unsafe.  Be careful when you go out there, you don't want to tumble into Old Man River, there's no coming back out! i noted.

"Yes, I know, and you are right, it is in bad shape.  Muriel and I joked that it's only held together by the bird poop!  That's why even the homeless people don't go there any more."

But your friend Will has been out there?

"Yes, and we took his friend Anthony, too.  But I'd rather go just with Will, or now with Muriel, because Will is just a friend, but Anthony has a crush on me, or so Will says, and I think he's right.  How come people can't just be friends without someone trying to get you into a relationship?"

"Yeah, what's up with that!" Little Girl joined the conversation.  "At my school, everyone is asking me, 'Do you have a boyfriend?' and 'Why aren't you in a relationship?' and they just don't understand.  Why can't they get that I'm not interested in that right now?"

It's sad, i noted.  They think life should revolve around that stuff, just like in the movies and on TV.  Try telling them that right now, you just want to concentrate on school, you've got time for that later.

"That's what I've said, and they think I'm weird," Little Girl said.  "But that's okay, I don't mind being weird."

Says the girl who claims to be part vampire, i noted drily.  She grinned at me.

"Yeah, I've said the same kind of stuff, but all the guys think about is that they want to 'get out of the friend zone,'" Bigger Girl said.  "They seem to see it as a challenge."

 "I mean, I get that it's nice to have someone who cares about you like that, that a relationship can be a great thing, and can feel wonderful, but I'm only 15, so I'm not looking for that in my life yet.  Let me grow up and get my education for goodness sake!"  Little Girl is very decided about that matter.

Now, i just hope they both continue to feel this way for a few more years.

Today is:

Eid-e-Ghadir -- Iran

Feast of Good & Plenty (the candies)

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)

Independence Day -- Zambia(1964)

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 Kellogg 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. (anniversary of the day in the US that the Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect, specifying a 40-hour work week as the standard, in 1938)

United Nations Day
     Disarmament Week begins
     World Development Information Day

World Origami Days -- held each year from today, the birth anniversary of Lillian Oppenheimer, founder of the first origami societies in Britain and the US, until Nov. 11, which is Origami Day in Japan; a couple of good sites are and

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The first Transcontinental Telegram is sent, 1861

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
The Hershey Company is incorporated, 1927
"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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Official

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

It's official -- Sweetie is 60 years old today.

(Yes, that means his identical twin, Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, is also 60 today.  You know it's going to be a bad day if your twin forgets your birthday, but that won't happen.)

In long running tradition, i will try to fool him into believing that i will not make banana pudding for him for his birthday.  In long running tradition, he will not believe me, and he will be right.  We still have to go through the ritual, though, and i got chocolate covered pecans so i can tell him that's all he gets.  He will eat a few then ask for the banana pudding, and i will bring it out.

The children, as usual, will pretend to forget, then give him hugs and gifts.  How we got into this habit i do not know, but once something becomes a tradition, you don't question it much any more, especially when everyone enjoys playing along.

The Mouth will be here later, consuming his fair share of the pudding, and probably of the pecans, too.

Dinner will also be a favorite, tomato gravy over rice, and breaded fried okra.  When it's a birthday, you want the down home country cooking with which you were raised, even if you were a chef at a fancy restaurant at one time in your career.

(For those who will lament the lack of cake at this celebration, there will be mini bundt cakes and cupcakes, but those are eschewed by the main celebrants, as they don't bother with cake when banana pudding is offered.)

We will not make a big deal about Sweetie's age, or jokes about being over-the-hill.  He hasn't even gotten to the top of the hill yet, much less over it, at least to us.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie and Brother-in-Law.

If anyone wants to know, my banana pudding recipe is here.


Today is:

Canning Day -- get that harvest preserved!

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand (Rama V Day)

Commemoration of the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 -- Cambodia

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

Lung Health Day -- US (on the Wednesday of Respiratory Health Week; some sites to explore about lung health and

Medical Assistants Recognition Day -- US (American Association of Medical Assistants)

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day / Republic Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day -- US Chemists; from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number, 2012 theme, "Molar Eclipse"

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!  This one is for the birth anniversary of Johnny Carson, who certainly deserves recognition

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)

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

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Can't Help Myself

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

"Hey, mom, could you take me to the library?" Little Girl asked.  Usually, she asks her sister to take her on such errands, but Bigger Girl was busy.

When the children were younger, we were regulars at the public libraries.  There are amazing children's programs at our libraries, and i took full advantage of them, especially during the summers.

Lately, though, i've been mostly reading off of my computer, and reading books i've bought or have at home.  Only on occasion do i get to a library, and i miss it.

So when we walked in, i was overtaken by the nostalgia.

Some things have changed, and some have not.

The copy machines at this branch are still in the same place.  They are modern and up-to-date, but still run on coins.  So i showed her how to make the copies she wanted, and then she wandered off to find a particular book.  Not having anything specific in mind, i couldn't help myself, and i stepped into the children's area.

Three libarians were on duty, one was shelving some books, and the others were at their desks.  A family i recognized from rEcess came in, and we talked a bit.

Then i turned to the books.  Smiling, i ran my eyes over the shelves of books that have the unique binding that tells you it's a library book.  Familiar titles and new, i wandered and remembered, smelling the beautiful smell that i can only describe as cleanness and books mixed.

Walking toward the really young children's books, i grinned at the stack of Little Golden Books.  We still have some, but they are not often even looked at now.  Again, unable to help myself, i picked one up and laughed as i glanced at the familiar pages.

Little Golden Books are the best!
Little Girl came in and found me, and asked what i was doing.

Reliving good times, i told her, and she smirked and smiled at the same time, the way teens do when they are trying to be sophisticatedly too old for something, but like what you are saying or doing anyway.

In these days when libraries are endangered in many places, i'm glad to be able to say, not here.  We have a specially dedicated property tax that does nothing but fund our libraries, and it shows.  They are always clean, always well staffed with people who practically fall all over themselves to be helpful (as, indeed, the librarian who helped Little Girl find that book was this time), always busy, well stocked, have plenty of computers available for research, and, to me, always a joy to go into.

As we left, i remembered my favorite story about libraries.  It was told to me by my friend Grace, who lives in San Antonio.  Her husband was military, and she remembered a time during budget cuts when there was talk of closing base libraries.  They were considered by some as unnecessary expenditures.  Then the word came down from those above those bases.

Any base that closed its library, they were told, better not leave their golf course open, either.

No base libraries closed.

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)

Clean Up the Earth Day -- begun because having only one Earth Day a year doesn't give enough emphasis to the amount of work that needs to be done

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

Eat a Pretzel Day -- unclaimed sponsorship; does anyone else suspect that pretzel makers know how to spread stuff around the internet, too?

International Stuttering Awareness Day -- information here

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

National Knee Day -- take care of your knees, and they will take care of you!

National Nut Day -- UK(urging everyone to swap a burger for delicious and nutritious nuts, at least on this one day

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Awww Monday: Up to Our Ankles

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

We are up to our ankles in kittens, as usual.  Some will go up for adoption this week, and some by next week (i hope).

Meanwhile, we have three new fluffballs.

Little Girl has named them Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura.

And i'll keep trying to get better pictures -- fuzzy little things don't like to hold still.

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!)

Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day -- actually a good idea

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

Egyptian Naval Day -- Egypt

Garbanzo Bean Day

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day

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

Hurricane Bebe Day -- Funafuti, Tuvalu (commemoration of the destruction by this hurricane in 1972)

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day -- Virgin Islands (only celebrated if no major storms have come through that year)

Independence Day -- Marshall Islands(1986)

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

International Adjust Your Chair Day -- because you need to check at least once a year to make sure your chair has you in an ergonomically correct position

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

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

Mashujaa Day -- Kenya (Heroes Day)

National Heroes Day -- Jamaica

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

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)

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

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yes, i did

Note:  If Suldog sent you, you are probably looking for Thanksgiving Comes First.  You are also more than welcome to read today's meanderings while you are here.

If anyone asks, yes, i did.  Yes, i voted yesterday.

There were only two propositions on the ballot, and i voted. Yes, i sent Sweetie and Bigger Girl and told #1 Son, too.

You are right, there wasn't much to consider here.  It wasn't a big, hairy deal election.  But, dagnabbit, too many people in this world today would love to have a chance to cast a secret ballot in a free election and will never get the chance to do so for me to just waste the opportunity.

Voter turnout was abysmal, and that makes me sad.

To all the people who had an Election Day in the US yesterday and took the opportunity -- and i know that wasn't everywhere, not even every parish in Louisiana -- thank you.

If you had the opportunity, and abstained because you are protesting or conscientiously objecting, good for you.  That's another freedom you have to exercise, and i respect your right to do so.

If you had the opportunity, and simply didn't bother because of apathy, or you didn't think it was worth your time to elect a local justice of the peace (a nearby parish to ours was doing so) or vote for or against the propositions, remember next time how many people would love to have the opportunity you are wasting.

Don't let apathy keep you away.

Today is:

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Boun Suang Heua -- on the Mekong River near Vientiane, Laos (second day of the Ok Phansa festival, the Boat Racing Festival)

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)

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

National Brandied Fruit Day

National Day on Writing -- US (sponsored by National Council of Teachers of English )

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

Revolution Day -- Guatemala

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Acca's Day (Patron of learning)

Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day

Suspenders Day -- probably begun by the same people who wanted to see if you would observe Wear Something Gaudy Day and Dress Like A Dork Day

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
Atronomers 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