Friday, January 31, 2014

Photo-Finish Friday: Rare Sight

Up until recently, these were rare sights in the swamps.

Ice on a roof.
Icicle hanging from the bottom of the Jalopy.

So far, these have been rare sights in these parts.  With the way things are going, i'm afraid they may become much more common.  That's not good news, the flora and fauna down here aren't used to this.

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

Today is:

Backward Day -- no info on the origin, but if you want to do something backward, go ahead

Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo -- Rapid City, SD, US (everything you could want in such an event, including the stockman banquet and ball; through Feb. 9)

Carnaval de Quebec -- Quebec City, Canada (a vigorous winter celebration, where they have the cold around long enough to need it; through Feb. 16)

Eat Brussels Sprouts Day --  saute in olive oil with some garlic, they are worth it!

Eve of Brigantia -- Ireland (St. Bridget's Eve, the night when she crosses the countryside and bestows blessings)

Feast of Great Typos -- another that no one will claim inventing, but since we've all made them, we may as well celebrate them

Feast of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

H&ll is Freezing Over Day -- internet generated day to review the list of things you said you would do when h*ll freezes over

Independence Day -- Nauru(1968)

Inspire Your Heart With the Arts Day -- begun by Rev Jayne Howard Feldman as a day to use art to feed your soul

Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year/Lhosar/Seol-Nal/Tet -- celebrations throughout Asia before and after, some for up to a month; Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist celebrations
     Sonam Lhosar -- Nepal (Tamang New Year)

Mother's Day -- Israel (Shevat 30)

National Brandy Alexander Day

National Bug Busting Day -- UK (this is one idea that needs export to the whole world! the aim is to have every child checked for head lice on the same day, and thus get rid of them in one feel swoop, so they don't circulate endlessly)

National Gorilla Suit Day -- Mad Magazine's Maddest Artist, Don Martin, says this is the day to pull that gorilla suit out of the closet and step out in style.

National Preschool Fitness Day -- get them loving moving early in life

Phlegm-Green, Moldy-Grey, and Gazzard Day -- Fairy Calendar (don't ask what color Gazzard is, it doesn't exist in the human world, and you don't want it to)

Play An Old Game You Haven’t Played in Years Night -- internet generated, and a great idea

Providence Boat Show -- Providence, RI, US (start of the boating season; through Sunday)

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival -- Saranac Lake, NY, US (oldest winter festival in the eastern US, a ten day celebration with this year's theme as "Celtic Carnival")

Scotch Tape Day -- it hit the market this day in 1928

St. John Bosco's Day (Patron of apprentices, boys, editors, laborers, schoolchildren, students, young people-especially youth of Mexican descent)

Traditional Day of Offering -- Bhutan (first day of 12th month of Tibetan calendar)

Winterlude Festival -- Ottawa, ON, Canada (enjoy parades, dances, snow races, and more; through the 17th, with most of the festivities on weekends)

Birthdays Today:

Justin Timberlake, 1981
Kerry Washington, 1977
Portia de Rossi, 1973
Minnie Driver, 1971
Kelly Lynch, 1959
Jhn Lydon, 1956
Nolan Ryan, 1947
Charlie Musselwhite, 1944
Richard Gephardt, 1941
Jessica Walter, 1941
Stuart Margolin, 1940
Queen Beatrix, 1938
suzanne Pleshette, 1937
Philip Glass, 1937
James Franciscus, 1934
Ernie Banks, 1931
Jean Simmons, 1929
Carol Channing, 1923
Norman Mailer, 1923
Mario Lanza, 1921
Jackie Robinson, 1919
Thomas Merton, 1915
Garry Moore, 1915
Tallulah Bankhead, 1903
Eddie Cantor, 1892
Zane Grey, 1872
Franz Schubert, 1797
Robert Morris, 1734
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shogun of Japan, 1543

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"These Are My Children"(TV), 1949 (first daytime TV Soap Opera)
"The Green Hornet"(Radio), 1936
"The Lone Ranger"(Radio), 1933
"Three Sisters"(Chekhov Play), 1901
"Hedda Gabler"(Ibsen Play), 1891

Today in History:

Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England, 1606
The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, 1747
The Corn Laws (tariffs on imported grains) are abolished in Britain, paving the way for more free trade, 1849
The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations, 1876
The Bulletin of Sydney is founded, publishes for 128 years, 1880
An automobile exceeds 100 mph (161 kph) for the first time, at Daytona Beach, driven by A. G. MacDonald, 1905
The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky, 1929
Scotch tape is first marketed by the 3M Company, 1930
Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, US receives the first US Social Security monthly payment check, for $22.54, 1940
President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb, 1950
A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands, 1953
Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit, 1958
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt, 1958
Mercury-Redstone 2 – Ham the Chimp travels into outer space, 1961
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program, 1966
Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon, 1971
The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow, 1990
Comet Hyakutake is discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake, 1996
NASA reveals the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR), a lunar mining robot which could be used to produce fuel and water directly on the Moon, 2013

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's been interesting.

Over the past few days, if you had been at our house, you would have heard things like the following:

Me, to Little Girl:  why are you breaking the icicles off the house and putting them in the dishwater in the sink?

Little Girl's answer:  first, they are not off the house, they are off the palm tree, and second, it is fun!

Sweetie, to me and anyone else who would listen:  I've hurt my back again!

Yes, he did.  He went outside, just to go outside, and slipped, hitting the deck.  It's now iffy that he'll even be able to get to work at all this week.

All the kids, continually:  do we have school tomorrow?

Me, most of the day:  there's not been an announcement yet, calm down!

Me, by the end of the day:  no school for #2 Son and Little Girl, but all of the colleges and universities are opening at 10am, so Bigger Girl has class, #1 Son has work, and Sweetie has work -- if his back is better.

Bigger Girl, every couple of hours:  I'll pay someone to go to the can for me!  It's too cold to go!

All of the kids, off and on all day:  what's to eat?

Bigger Girl:  Link didn't lay on my socks and warm them up like he was supposed to!  Doesn't he know that cats are just heating pads that eat, poop, and purr?

Those are the things i've been hearing, along with more stories about exploring the frozen creek -- "I almost fell down the embankment, and Young Jacob had to grab me!" bragged #2 Son -- more screams from outdoors that mean ice is being applied liberally to someone, more eating, eating, eating.

The reason we go to the story to buy milk and bread before a storm is simple -- you can't get out in the storm to get more, and you can't have enough of the stuff around to feed the horde.  We are out of mustard, so many sandwiches of all sorts have been made, and there's looking to be a shortage of peanut butter if i don't get out today.

Today, though, i will get out.  Yesterday, i decided to send Sweetie, when he was still not hurt, because he was hovering over me begging for something to do.

Today, i'm getting mustard.  And who knows?  Maybe i'll run away for an hour.  

Today is:

Arizona Musicfest -- North Scottsdale, AZ, US (a winter classical music festival; through Mar. 1)

Cash Register Day -- James Ritty and John Birch were granted a patent on this day in 1883 for an early mechanical cash register

Congressional Brawl Day -- marking the first ever all out brawl in the US Congress in 1798

Draw A Dinosaur Day -- and post it to the web site

Feast of King Charles the Martyr -- Anglican

Inane Answering Message Day -- the day to change those annoying messages, sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

King's Birthday -- Jordan

Lunar New Year's Eve
     Seol-nal -- South Korea (Lunar New Year Holiday begins)
     Spring Festival -- China; Taiwan (Chinese New Year's Eve, start of the festival)
     Tet Eve -- Vietnam

Martyrs' Day -- India (assassination anniversary of Gandhi)

National Croissant Day

Pax -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival of Peace)

Puce and Ochre Day -- Fairy Calendar

School Day of Nonviolence and Peace -- sponsored by DENIP

St. Aldegund's Day (Patron of cancer patients; against cancer, childhood diseases, sudden death, wounds)

St. Bathilde's Day (Patron of children, sick people, widows; against bodily ills and sickness)

St. Martina of Rome's Day (Patron of nursing mothers; Rome, Italy)

St. Moritz Polo world Cup on Snow -- St. Moritz, Switzerland (winter polo on the frozen lake of St. Moritz; through Sunday)

Three Archbishops' Day -- Eastern Orthodox (a/k/a Holy Hierarchs' Day)

Yodel For Your Neighbors Day -- Why?  Do you hate your neighbors?

Birthdays Today:

Johnathan Lee Iverson, 1976
Christian Bale, 1974
Brett Butler, 1958
Phil Collins, 1951
Charles Dutton, 1951
Steve Marriott, 1947
Marty Balin, 1942
Dick Cheney, 1941
Vanessa Redgrave, 1937
Boris spassky, 1937
Tammy Grimes, 1934
Louis Ruckeyser, 1933
Gene Hackman, 1930
Dorothy Malone, 1925
Dick Martin, 1922
Barbara W. Tuchman, 1912
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882
Isaiah Thomas, 1749
Thomas Rolfe, 1615 (Only child of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.)

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Yogi Bear Show"(TV), 1958
"Robert Montgomery Presents"(TV), 1950
"City Lights"(Chaplin Movie), 1931

Today in History:

The Jews of Freilsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349
King Charles I of England is beheaded, 1649
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed after having been dead for two years, 1661
The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Oishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, 1703
Henry Greathead tests the first boat intended to be specialized as a lifeboat for rescue purposes, which he invented, on the River Tyne in England, 1790
The burned Library of Congress is reestablished, with Thomas Jefferson contributing, 1815
Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica, 1820
The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales is opened, 1826
A fire destroys two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 1841
The city of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco, for the nearby mission of the same name, 1847
William Wells Brown publishes the first Black drama, "Leap to Freedom," 1858
The US Navy's first ironclad warship, the Monitor, is launched, 1862
The pneumatic hammer is patented by Charles King of Detroit, 1894
The Canadian Naval Service becomes the Royal Canadian Navy, 1911
The House of Lords rejects the Irish Home Rule Bill, 1913
"The Lone Ranger" begins a 21 year run on ABC radio, 1933
Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is assassinated by Pandit Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist, 1948
American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1956
The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police, 1969
Carole King's Tapestry album is released, it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide, 1971
Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary was established as the first United States National Marine Sanctuary, 1975
Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called "Elk Cloner", 1982
Peter Leko of Hungary becomes the world's youngest chess grand master at age 14, 1994
Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease, 1995
Over half a million people participate in the world's largest wildlife survey after extreme cold drives exotic birds into Britain's back gardens, 2011

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Wednesday Whine

Sort of, a whine, but not really.

By G-d's grace, this area was not nearly as hard hit as originally predicted.  It's been cold, but the ice/sleet/snow/freezing rain wasn't as abundant as it could have been.

Even so, our streets are ice, and you can't drive to most places, from what i gather.  No, i wasn't silly enough to try to venture out yesterday.

Schools and government are shut down, and although he had to go to work yesterday, Sweetie is actually not having to go in today.  Even the Big Boss can't get there because of the frozen roads.

In the midst of all of that, though, the uni basketball team still played their game, and a few thousand die-hard fans showed up.  #1 Son was shocked that they had the game, but as i said, the other team was in town, probably couldn't reschedule, and as long as they physically could get to the arena, why not?  They had nothing else to do.

The kids are all home and underfoot in ways they haven't been since they were little and they were cuter and i was more used to it.  They, along with Festus and Young Jacob, are running in and out, playing in the ice, sliding down our sloped driveway, exploring the frozen creek, using up every towel we have in the house when they come in wet and melting, wearing every single spare coat in the coat closet, eating constantly, and just generally goofing off and having fun.

There are screams from outdoors when someone gets ice shoved under their clothing, Bigger Girl keeps yelling, "Bad pet redneck!" to Young Jacob, and they all look like shapeless lumps because of all of the layers of clothing and coats.  Little Girl is hoarding ice balls in the freezer, hoping to be able to use them in the summer.

My heavy coat that i left at Grandma and Grandpa's house at Christmas arrived.  While i told him not to, Grandpa decided to mail it to me!  He got it here just in time for Little Girl to wear it outdoors and get it frozen solid with ice.

If we thaw out enough today, i think i will venture out this afternoon.  Only, though, if the doors of the van thaw enough to open.  They froze shut yesterday, as i found when i tried to go out and get something.

Today is:

Blue and Pink Day -- Fairy Calendar

Bubblegum Sculpture Day -- commonly listed on ecard sites, and not to be confused with National Bubble Gum Day, coming in February

Carnation Day -- in honor of William McKinley; also on the date of his assassination each year, Sept. 14

Curmudgeons' Day -- W.C. Field's birth anniversary

National Corn Chip Day

National Puzzle Day -- because they are just fun

Sahid Diwash -- Nepal (Martyrs' Day)

St. Constantius of Perugia (Patron of Perugia, Italy)

St. Gildas the Wise's Day (one of the earliest British historians)

Thomas Paine Day/Freethinkers' Day -- birth anniversary of Thomas Paine

US Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition and Championships -- Lake Geneve, WI, US (through Feb. 8)

Anniversaries Today:

Establishment of The Seeing Eye, 1929 (first US guide dog school)
Kansas becomes the 34th US state, 1861

Birthdays Today:

Adam Lambert, 1982
Jonny Lang, 1981
Andrew Keegan, 1979
Sara Gilbert, 1975
Heather Graham, 1970
Bobby Phillips, 1968
Nick Turturro, 1962
Greg Louganis, 1960
Oprah Winfrey, 1954
Teresa Teng, 1953
Ann Jillian, 1950
Tom Selleck, 1945
Katharine Ross, 1942
Germaine Greer, 1939
John Forsythe, 1918
Victor Mature, 1913
Huddie William "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, 1885
W.C. Fields, 1880
Anton Chekhov, 1860
William McKinley, 1843
Henry Morton Stanley, 1841
Thomas Paine, 1737
Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Sweet Charity"(Musical), 1966
"Dr. Strangelove"(Film), 1964
"Sleeping Beauty"(Cartoon movie), 1959
"The Potting Shed"(Play), 1957
"All My Sons"(Play), 1947
"The Raven"(publication date), 1845
"Idomeneo"(Mozart Opera), 1781
"The Beggar's Opera"(Gay Ballad Opera), 1728

Today in History:

The first performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1595
John Beckley of Virginia is appointed the first Librarian of Congress, 1802
Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" is first published, 1845
The Victoria Cross is established to acknowledge bravery, 1856
Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile, 1886
Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch, 1891
Walt Disney starts his first job as an artist, earning $40/week with the KC Slide Co, 1920
North America's first guide dog school, The Seeing Eye, is incorporated in Nashville, Tennessee, 1929
The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced, 1936
The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced, 1963
Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so, 1989
President Jacques Chirac announces a "definitive end" to French nuclear weapons testing, 1996
La Fenice, Venice's opera house, is destroyed by fire, 1996
The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing, 2005

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We Officially Announce

That school is canceled.  Like we couldn't have guessed.

It was plastered all over the news, and they robo-called us and sent home a letter to boot, just to make sure we knew.

Yes, it's another of those ice on the roads, interstate shut down, most streets impassible because they have a bridge over a creek that has ice on it, no school, no government workers to report except essential personnel, uni is closed, junior college is closed, everyone go home, stay home, and don't come out until it warms up enough that you Southerners won't kill yourselves trying to drive in the mess that you aren't used to kind of days.

As Bigger Girl says, "The South shut down."

These are the kind of days we don't get very often, and thank heavens.  Last Friday's big shutdown resulted in over 200 accidents that can be blamed on weather.

Yet, Sweetie has to go to work.  The women in his building do not have to report.  Maintenance, since they can't mow or weed or do set ups for meetings (there aren't any), do not have to report.  The whole university, except those who work the power plant so nothing freezes or is destroyed, is staying home.

He works for the alumni association, and he has to report for duty for a couple of hours so the Big Boss can brag that his people came to work when no one else at the university did.  It makes him feel superior.  We just hope Sweetie can get back home, there are so many road closures that "you can't get there from here" becomes a real possibility.

#1 Son keeps updating me on how cold it is in Chicago, Bigger Girl is lamenting her broken computer screen (yes, she broke it again) and begging Little Girl to allow her on the tablet, #2 Son is camping out with Festus and Young Jacob around a fire on the side porch, and Little Girl has turned the "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn" song into "No School 'til Brooklyn" and is singing it with glee.

As for me, i'm tempted to hibernate with the heating pad.  Sweetie is accusing me of having a love affair with it.  Since he won't snuggle because he can't sleep with anything or anyone touching him except his blanket, it certainly is my second-best friend at the moment.

If you are in the cold weather places right now, i hope you thaw out soon, and i hope we do, too!


Today is:

Army Day -- Armenia

Data Privacy Day -- International

Feast of the Holy Family -- Catholic Christian

Festival of the Lenaia to Dionysus -- Ancient Greek Calendar, end January through early February

Jackhammer Day -- US (the pneumatic jackhammer was patented this day in 1894 by Charles Brady King of Detroit, MI)

National Blueberry Pancake Day

National Kazoo Day -- because anyone can play one!

National Speak Up and Succeed Day -- encouraging joining Toastmasters International, as fear of speaking can block your road to success!

National Spieling Day -- internet generated, and whatever your area of expertise, spiel about it today

Rinkydinks Annual Snowball Fight -- Fairy Calendar

Runic Half-month Elhaz (elk) commences

St. Charlemagne's Day (Patron of the University of Paris)

St. Thomas Aquinas's Day (Patron of academics, apologists, book sellers, chastity, colleges, learning, pencil makers, philosophers, publishers, scholars, schools, students, theologians, universities; Aquino, Italy; Belcastro, Italy; Falerna, Italy; University of Vigo; all Catholic academies, schools, and universities; against lightning, storms)

Telephone Exchange Day -- US (the first telephone exchange was set up in New Haven, CT with 22 subscribers on this day in 1878)

Up-Helly-AA Day -- Lerwick, Shetland (the largest fire festival in Europe, with tomorrow as a day off so everyone can recover)

Anniversary Today:

Adoption of the Great Seal of the United States, 1782

Birthdays Today:

Elijah Wood, 1981
Nick Carter, 1980
Joey Fatone, Jr. 1977
Kathryn Morris, 1969
Sarah McLachlan, 1968
Harley Jane Kozak, 1957
Nicolas Sarkozy, 1955
Rick Warren, 1954
John Beck, 1943
Susan Howard, 1943
Alan Alda, 1936
Susan Sontag, 1933
Claes Oldenburg, 1929
Jackson Pollack, 1912
Robert Stroud, 1890 (The Birdman of Alcatraz)
Arthur Rubenstein, 1887
Auguste Piccard, 1884
Jean Felix Piccard, 1884
Colette, 1873
Jose' Marti, 1853
Henry Morton Stanley, 1841
Alexander Mackenzie, 1822
Peter the Great of Russia, 1775
St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Fantasy Island"(TV), 1978
"Barnaby Jones"(TV), 1973
"Symphony No. 1/Jeremiah"(Bernstein), 1944

Today in History:

The Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted by Pope Gregory VIII, 1077
The first Crusaders begins siege of Hosn-el-Akrad Syria, 1099
Pope Alexander VI gives his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France, 1495
Edward VI, age nine, succeeds his father Henry VIII as king of England, 1547
By the Edict of Orleans, the persecution of French Huguenots is suspended, 1561
Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland, 1573
Sir Thomas Warner found the first British colony in the Caribbean, on St. Kitts, 1624
The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree (it was called St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917), 1724
Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coins the word serendipity, 1754
London's Pall Mall is the first street lit by gaslight, 1807
Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom, 1813
The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway, 1855
In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick, 1887
Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be convicted of speeding in an automobile. He is fined 1 shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thus exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h), 1896
The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie, 1902
An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard, 1915
The first Jewish  US Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis, appointed by Wilson, 1916
A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the unknown dead of World War I, 1921
The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence, 1933
The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today, 1958
The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament, 1965
Tropical Storm Domoina makes landfall in southern Mozambique, eventually causing 214 deaths and some of the most severe flooding so far recorded in the region, 1984
Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief, 1985
Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board, 1986
Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled up the Egyptian's streets in demonstrations referred to as "Friday of Anger" against the Mubarak regime, 2011

Monday, January 27, 2014

Aww Monday

The latest foster kitten is doing well so far, for one born so out of season.  In other good news, the mother and father cats have both been fixed, at the special spay/neuter day held once a month, so there won't be any more to follow!

He's eating well, every couple of hours.

For some reason, the children want to name him (we are pretty sure it's a him) Lorax.  This despite the fact, as Bigger Girl keeps pointing out, he doesn't look like a fuzzy Cheeto with a mustache.

Today is:

Auckland Province Anniversary -- Auckland, New Zealand

Australia Day -- obs.

Big Snow Day -- remembering the 15 inch snowflakes that fell on in Fort Keough, Montana, in 1887

Bubble Wrap® Appreciation Day

Chocolate Cake Day

Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism -- Germany (anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz)

Day the Netjers of Heaven Receive Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Elementary School Teacher Day

Family Literacy Day -- Canada

Festival au Desert -- various locations in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger (the final installment of most remote music festival in the world, with lots of African music and traditions, and ending in the Great Night For Peace; through Feb. 6)

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony -- Iroquois Native Americans (for the continuation of all life-sustaining things; a multi-day ceremony and feast that begins around this time of year)

Listen to Classical Music During Lunch Day -- in honor of Mozart

Luanda City Day -- Luanda City, Angola

Mozart Day

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering -- Elko, NV, US (the nation's greatest celebration of the American West, with working cowboys, this year including butteri from Italy, attend workshops, jam sessions, performances, and enjoy art and exhibits; through Saturday)

National Heroes' Day -- Cayman Islands

Punch the Clock Day -- internet generated, and no reason for it given; this has to be one of the more baffling ones

St. Angela Merici's Day (Founder of the Sisters of the Order of St. Ursula; Patron of the disabled and ill; against bodily ills and the death of parents)

St. Devota's Day (Patron of Corsica; Monaco)

Thomas Crapper Day -- death date, in 1910, of the perfector of the flush toilet mechanism

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the National Geographic Society, 1888
The first sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, is founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, 1870
The University of Georgia is chartered, the first state university in the US, 1785

Birthdays Today:

Julie Foudy, 1971
Jennifer LB Leese, 1970
Patton Oswalt, 1969
Alan Cumming, 1965
Bridget Fonda,1964
Cris Collinsworth, 1959
Mimi Rogers, 1956
Mikhail Baryshnikov, 1948
Nick Mason, 1944
Mairead Corrigan, 1944
James Cromwell, 1942
Troy Donahue, 1936
Donna Reed, 1921
David Seville, 1919
Skitch Henderson, 1918
Hyman George Rickover, 1900
Jerome Kern, 1885
Samuel Gompers, 1850
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), 1832
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Laverne and Shirley"(TV), 1976
"Tarzan of the Apes"(Film), 1918

Today in History:

Trajan becomes Roman Emperor, 98
The Rashidun Caliphate ends with the death of Ali, 661
Song Dynasty General Yue Fei is wrongfully executed, 1142
Dante Alighieri becomes a Florentine political exile, 1302
The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31, 1606
The first American lime kiln begins operation in Providence, Rhode Island, 1662
Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Instanbul, 1695
Czar Peter the Great sets the first Russian state budget, 1710
Abdication of Stanislas, the last king of Poland, 1736
The US Congress approves the opening of Indian Territory for settlement, which led to the forced relocation of Native Americans on the "Trail of Tears," 1825
Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are incorporated, 1870
Thomas Edison is granted a patent for the electric incandescent lamp, 1880
The National Geographic Society is organized, in Washington, D.C., 1888
"Tarzan of the Apes," the first Tarzan movie, premiers, 1918
Apollo 1 – Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, 1967
More than sixty nations sign the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space, 1967
Through cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian caper, 1980
The pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, breaks through, 1983
American-born sumo wrestler Akebono Taro becomes the first foreigner to be promoted to the sport's highest rank of yokozuna, 1993
Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 1996
Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services, 2006

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Silly Sunday: All About Sons

About two years ago, #1 Son moved away.  He headed out of state (to Kansas), and it just didn't work out.  So he came back, and has landed back at home.

He's in the converted garage, paying rent, working, and planning to go back to school to finish his education.

It seems that a lot of young people these days try to get out of the house, and realize they tried too much, too soon, and come back.

Some parents don't like it, but i don't mind a bit.  After all, he's working and making plans, and wants his own place, but he wants to be in a more stable place when he tries again.  That's actually a good idea, we think.

This trend of kids to stay home, or come back home, reminds me of a joke.

"Tee" Boudreaux had gotten to be 24 years old and was still living at home.

Marie and Boudreaux were discussing what to do, when Boudreaux hatched a plan.

"Here what we gonna do," he said.  "We put a $10 bill, a Bible, and a bottle o' whiskey on de table.  Den we hide, and when he come in, we see what he decide to pick up.  If he pick up de money, he gonna go in bidness, if he pick up de Bible, he gonna be a preacher, and if he pick up de bottle, he gonna be a no count bum."

Marie agrees, so they put the items on the table and hide in the closet, peeking out so they can see the table.

"Tee" walks in as they expected, and he first picks up the $10 and puts it in his pocket.  Then he tucks the Bible under his arm, and finally takes a swig from the bottle.

After "Tee" leaves the room, Boudreaux and Marie come out, and Boudreaux puts his head in his hands.

"Marie!" he say.  "What we gonna do?  Dat boy, he gonna be a politician!"

Today is:

Australia Day -- Australia (National Day); Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Norfolk Island; (Commemorates Captain Arthur Phillip's arrival at Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, on January 26, 1778.)
     Australia Day Cockroach Races -- Brisbane, Queensland (the greatest gathering of thoroughbred cockroaches anywhere, with competition proceeds going to charity)

Dental Drill Day -- George F. Green, of Kalamazoo, MI, US, patents the electric dental drill, 1875

Duarte Day -- Dominican Republic

End of the Fifth Quarter of the Ninth Dozen of the Thirteenth Set -- Fairy Calendar

Farmhouse Breakfast Week begins -- UK (encouraging you to refresh your wake up routine, this year's challenge is "Shake Up Your Wake Up")

Liberation Day -- Uganda

Lotus 1-2-3 Day -- released this day in 1983

Lowcountry Oyster Festival -- Mt. Pleasant, SC, US (80,000lbs. of oysters, come have some fun!)

National Peanut Brittle Day

National Pistachio Day

Republic Day -- Delhi, India (pompous and splendid celebrations through the 29th)

Sailing of Anubis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (celebration of the god of the dead; date approximate)

Spouse's Day -- an internet generated reason to tell your SO how much he/she means to you

St. Paula's Day (Patron of widows)

St. Timothy's Day (Patron against stomach and intestinal disorders)

St. Titus' Day (Patron of Crete)

Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement -- begun at Toad Hollow School in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1800s, a day to encourage your friends

World Leprosy Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park, 1915
Michigan becomes the 26th US state, 1837

Birthdays Today:

Kherington Payne, 1990
Kirk Franklin, 1970
Andrew Ridgeley, 1963
Wayne Gretzky, 1961
Anita Baker, 1958
Ellen DeGeneres, 1958
Eddie Van Halen, 1955
Lucinda Williams, 1953
David Strathairn, 1950
Gene Siskel, 1946
Angela Davis, 1944
Scott Glenn, 1942
Bob Uecker, 1935
Father George Harold Clements
Jules Feiffer, 1929
Paul Newman, 1925
Anne Jeffreys, 1923
Jimmy Van Heusen, 1913
Maria Augusta von Trapp, 1905
Bessie Coleman, 1893
Douglas MacArthur, 1880
Mary Mapes Dodge, 1831
Julia Dent Grant, 1826
Emperor Go-Nara of Japan, 1497

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Phantom of the Opera"(Musical), 1988
"The Dukes of Hazzard"(TV), 1979
"Duchess of Padua"(Oscar Wilde play), 1891
"Cosi Fan Tutte"(Mozart Opera), 1790
"Esther"(Racine play), 1689

Today in History:

The fifth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 66
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on Brazil, 1500
The Council of Trent issues its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, 1564
Isaac Newton receives Jean Bernoulli's 6 month time-limit problem, and solves the problem before going to bed that same night, 1697
The magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America, as evidenced by Japanese records, 1700
The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sails into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent of Australia, 1788
The Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia, 1808
Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States, 1838
Hong Kong is proclaimed a sovereign territory of Britain, 1841
The first US income tax, passed to raise funds for the Civil War, is repealed, 1871
Muhammad Ahmed ("Mahdi") rebels conquer Khartoum, Sudan, 1885
The World's largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, is found, 1905
The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III is officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use, 1907
Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful American seaplane, 1911
Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera, 1911
Former Ford Motor Co. executive Henry Leland launches the Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer, 1920
Rioters burn Cairo's central business district, targeting British and upper-class Egyptian businesses, 1952
Danny Heater sets a worldwide high school basketball scoring record when he records 135 points for Burnsville High School (West Virginia), 1960
Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon, but misses its target by 22,000 miles (35,400 km), 1962
Hindi becomes the official language of India, 1965
The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US, strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h), 1978
Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations, 1980
An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, causing more than 20,000 deaths, 2001
President Hamid Karzai signs the new constitution of Afghanistan. 2004
The 41st World Economic Forum convenes in Davos, Switzerland, 2011

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Making the Most of It

We live in south Louisiana, which is mostly a swamp.

There are some who think that someday it will all be underwater anyway, but meanwhile, it's a swamp.  Like most swamps, it's mostly hot.  Our two seasons are wet and hurricane, with the major difference being that hurricane is hotter.

In the deeps of winter, though, we do get a few days of freezing cold.  No, it's not what the rest of the country thinks of as freezing.  It's what the flora and fauna and people here think of as freezing though. 

On those days when "winter weather" is expected, meaning there might be the remotest possibility of a bit of frozen rain or even snow, everything shuts down and the area goes nuts.

Some nuts, outdoors in the cold -- #2 Son, Little Girl, Young Jacob, and Festus.

The schools closed yesterday, and my nuts went outdoors to play in the "snow."  It was actually frozen rain, but it gathered in some spots, and they had a blast throwing it at each other.

Not snow, just frozen rain, but it looked the part.

We don't have a ton of winter gear -- we seldom need it.  So they put together what they could -- old, unmated sox make great ersatz mittens -- and made the most of what they had, playing outdoors for a while, then coming in to get on the computer and drink cocoa and warm up, then going back out.

Today is:

Afrma Fancy Rat and Mouse Annual Show -- Riverside, CA (don't laugh, rats and mice make great pets!)

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show -- West Springfield, MA, US (8 1/2 acres of hobby train fun; through tomorrow)

A Room of One's Own Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, for all of those who just want a space to call their own; on the birth anniversary of Virginia Woolf

Around the World in 72 Days -- this date in 1890, Nellie Bly broke the fictional Phileas Fogg's record and went around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds

Big Garden Birdwatch -- UK (sponsored by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; through tomorrow)

Big Rock Day -- discovery of the Cullinan diamond (3,106 carets) this day in 1905

#Brookfield Ice Harvest -- Brookfield, VT, US (demonstrating traditional ice harvesting using original equipment near the Brookfield Floating Bridge, one of only two such bridges still extant; through tomorrow)

Conversion of St. Paul -- Christian
     Observe the Weather Day -- a beautiful St. Paul's Conversion day means a prosperous year, precipitation means an expensive year, clouds mean much loss of livestock, and wind means war looms in the year ahead

Dydd Santes Dwynwen -- Wales (For St. Dwynwen, Patron of lovers, especially Welsh lovers, and sick animals; the Welsh Valentines Day)

Eagle Day at the Lake -- Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, KS, US (learning about bald eagles in the environmental learning center, as well as eagle viewing over the lake and children's activities)

Feriae Sementivae -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a Feast of Spring, asking protection for seeds sown in the fall, and those to be sown in spring)

Festival of Constructive Energy -- another internet generated day with no explanations

Gasparilla Pirate Fest -- Tampa, FL (reenactment of the invasion of Tampa by pirates)

G. F. Betico Croes Day -- Aruba

Greater Springfield Garage Sale -- Springfield, MO, US (if you want to find it used, you can probably find it here; through tomorrow)

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire -- Gainesville, FL, US (jousting, birds of prey, medieval arts, food, entertainment; through tomorrow, and again next weekend)

IceFest -- Ligonier, PA, US (ice sculpture contest and lots of family fun; through tomorrow)

IV Nurse Day -- US (sponsored by the Infusion Nurses Society)

January 25 Revolution Day -- Egypt

Ka Moloka'I Makahiki -- Molokai, Hawaii (traditional ceremonial end of the harvest festival, a time of peace; still celebrated with ceremonies and sporting events)

Kidfilm Festival -- Dallas, TX (international children's film festival; through tomorrow)

Kumquat Festival -- Dade City, FL, US (because kumquats are not just funny, they are delicious!)

Macintosh Computer Day -- debuted this day in 1984

National Irish Coffee Day

National Seed Swap Day -- find or set one up in your area, so you can expand your garden, and help others expand theirs

National Voters' Day -- India

Old Disting -- Norse Calendar (date approximate; a market day held at the same time as a sacrifice to the female powers.)

Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival -- Orange City, FL, US (learn about the manatee and have fun doing it; through tomorrow)

Poverty and Homelessness Action Week begins -- UK (information on how you can help is here)

Robert Burns' Night -- Scotland; Newfoundland (celebrated with a Burns' Supper and reciting poetry)
     Dinner Party Day -- for Bobby Burns, of course

SOS Radio Week -- UK (The Royal National Lifeboat Institution keeps the seas safer, and Radio Amateurs help them raise

St. Ananias of Damascus' Day (Saint who baptized St. Paul)

Swamp Buggy Races -- Naples, Florida (the world famous swamp buggy races; through tomorrow)

Wakakusa Yamayaki -- Nara, Japan (Grass Burning on Mt. Wakakusayama, and fireworks; an annual New Year tradition)

Winter-een-mas -- a holiday for gamers, begun by Tim Buckley; through the 31st

Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities -- Eatonville, FL, US (celebrating Hurston's work, hometown, and cultural contributions, and the contributions of all Africa-descended people; through Feb. 2)

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, 1533 (secret wedding)
Moscow University is established, to coincide with St. Tatiana's Day, 1755

Birthdays Today:

Alicia Keys, 1981
Ana Ortiz, 1971
China Kantner, 1971
Dinah Manoff, 1958
Leigh Taylr-Young, 1945
Etta James, 1938
Corazon Aquino, 1933
Dean Jones, 1931
Edwin Newman, 1919
Florence Mills, 1896
Virginia Woolf, 1882
William Somerset Maugham, 1874
Robert Burns, 1759
Robert Boyle, 1627 (O.S. date)

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Rent"(Musical), 1996
"M*A*S*H*"(Film), 1970
"One Hundred and One Dalmatians"(Cartoon film), 1961
"Metamorphosen, Study for 23 Solo Strings"(Strauss composition), 1946
"The Guiding Light"(Radio), 1937
"R.U.R./Rossum's Universal Robots"(Play), 1921 (the word "robot" enters the world lexicon)
"Wedding March"(Mendelssohn, Op. 61), 1858
"La Cenerentola"(Rossini Opera), 1817

Today in History:

Founding of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1554
Battle of Mikatagahara, in Japan; Takeda Shingen defeats Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1573
The Treaty of Utrecht marks the beginning of the Dutch Republic, 1579
Eliakam Spooner of Vermont patents the first seeding machine in the US, 1799
The first US engineering college opens, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy, NY, 1825
Sojourner Truth addresses the First Black Women's Rights Convention, in Akron, Ohio, 1851
Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" is first played, at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia, 1858
The soda fountain is patented by Gustavus Dows, 1870
Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company, 1881
Bilu, a Russian Zionist organization, forms, 1882
Nellie Bly beats Phileas Fogg's time around world by 8 days (72 days), 1890
The first US transcontinental telephone call is made when Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF, 1915
The League of Nations is founded, 1919
The 1924 Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, France (in the French Alps), inaugurating the Winter Olympic Games, 1924
At the Hollywood Athletic Club the first Emmy Awards are presented, 1949
The first scheduled transcontinental flight in the US takes place, an American Airlines flight from California to New York, 1959
The Clementine space probe launches, 1994
Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile, 1995
During a historic visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II demands the release of political prisoners and political reforms while condemning US attempts to isolate the country, 1998
Three independent observing campaigns announce the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star, 2006

Friday, January 24, 2014

Feline Friday: Watch Where You Sit

Feline Friday was begun bySteve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.

In this house, you have to be careful where you sit.

Why'd you wake me up?

Watch out, or you might remember too late, as Calvin did with Hobbes, that five of the six ends are sharp and pointy!

Today is:

Alasitis Fair -- Aymara Indians, Bolivia (offerings to the god of prosperity, now celebrated in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Feast of Our Lady of Peace, for whom La Paz is named)

Americana Indian and Western Art Show -- Yuma, AZ, US (Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Western art, rugs, and jewelry; through Sunday)

Beer Can Appreciation Day -- the first canned beer went on sale today in 1935

Belly Laugh Day -- at 1:24pm local time, join the Belly Laugh Bounce Around the World!

Dinagyang -- Iloilo, Philippines (huge religious and cultural festival, this year's theme is "Bringing More Fun to the World"; through the weekend)

Eagles Etcetera Festival -- Bismark, AR, US (bald eagles in the wild, birds of prey demonstrations, and lots of outdoor fun; through Sunday)

Economic Liberation Day -- Togo

Eskimo Pie Day -- patented this day in 1921

Fairy-Four Paganalia -- Fairy Calendar

Fun At Work Day -- inject laughter and fun into your workplace (if you dare)

Gold Rush Day -- US (gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill, sparking the California Gold Rush, in 1848)

National Compliment Day -- begun by Debby Hoffman and Kathy Chamberlin, a day in which to compliment at least 5 people

National Peanut Butter Day

Opposite Day -- internet generated, and fun if you play it right

Oregon Truffle Festival -- Eugene, OR, US (celebrating the high-end culinary delight that is the lowly truffle, with seminars, cooking demos, and more; through Sunday)

Paul Pitcher Day (So called because it is the eve of the Celebration of St. Paul's Conversion on the road to Damascus.  Cornish tin miners would traditionally set up a water pitcher in a public place and throw stones at it to destroy it.  A replacement pitcher was then bought and filled with beer, which was drunk and replenished through the day.  These miners were great inventors for reasons to celebrate, and they did this to rebel against the rule that only water was to be consumed during the work day.)

Porri Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (the name means Middle of Winter, and personifies him as Old Man Winter; often the harshest month, so greet him kindly, to soften his heart and hasten spring)
     Bondadagur (Husband's Day) -- first day of Porri (various traditions honoring the man of the house; these days, women often give the men flowers)

Sailing of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (people sailed the Nile to converge on Bubastis and celebrate the cat goddess; date approximate)

Sementivae, in honor of Ceres and Terra, begins -- Roman Empire (one of the few dating approximate items on the Roman Calendar, as each area of the Empire celebrated according to the timing of a local magistrate, but now through Feb. 2 was a typical time)

Social Sipping and Nibbling Rehearsal Day -- a day to practice cutting a piece of cake on a paper plate, using a plastic fork, and also balancing a napkin and punch in a paper cup; or practicing what clever thing you will say if you drop it all

St. Francis de Sales' Day (Patron of authors/journalists/writers, confessors, deaf people, educators/teachers; Champdepraz, Aosta, Italy; against deafness)

TV Game Show Day -- birth anniversary of Mark Goodson

Ziua Unirii -- Romania (Unification Day)

Anniversaries Today:

Popeye meets Olive Oyl, 1929 (in Elzie Segar's Thimble Theater comic strip)

Birthdays Today:

Mischa Barton, 1986
Tatyana Ali, 1979
Ed Helms, 1974
Matthew Lillard, 1970
Mary Lou Retton, 1968
Nastassia Kinski, 1960
Jools Holland, 1958
Yakov Smirnoff, 1951
John Belushi, 1949
Warren Zevon, 1947
Michael Ontkean, 1946
Sharon Tate, 1943
Neil Diamond, 1941
Aaron Neville, 1941
Ray Stevens, 1939
Maria Tallchief, 1925
Jerry Maren, 1920
Oral Roberts, 1918
Ernest Borgnine, 1917
Jack Brickhouse, 1916
Mark Goodson, 1915
Granny D, 1910 (formerly Granny Haddock, or Ethel Doris Haddock, political activist)
Edith Wharton, 1862

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"I, Puritani"(Bellini Opera), 1835

Today in History:

Caligula, known for his cruel despotism, is assassinated and succeeded by his uncle Claudius, 41
Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders, 1639
The first Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland, 1656
Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga, 1776
The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia,1857
The Romania principality arises under King Alexander Cuza, with Bucharest as the capital, 1862
General Baden-Powell's publication of Scouting for Boys starts the Boy Scouts movement, 1908
The Gregorian calendar introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective from February 14(NS), 1918
Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, 1952
A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost, 1961
Jackie Robinson is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1962
Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II, 1972
Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered, 1978
The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale, 1984
Voyager 2 passes within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus, 1986
Japan launches Hiten, the country's first lunar probe,and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States, 1990
Lara Giddings becomes the first female Premier of the Australian state of Tasmania , 2011

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Do You Believe in Magic?

"Honey, I can't find my phone!  Will you call it for me?" Sweetie asked as he came in the kitchen, trying to get ready for work.

Okay, i said, and i did, but of course he had it turned off, so that didn't help.

What did you do last night? i asked him, as he ran around flustered, looking in impossible places.

"What do you mean?  I came home from work, and then my brother called, and what does that have to do with it!  It's in the house, I know it"

And then you took Bigger Girl's car to go get him and run an errand, because #2 Son was using your car to get to school, i thought, but did not say.  When you came home again, you went in your Man Cave to play your guitar and turned it off so your brother couldn't call and bother you again.

So i went to the Cave, and there it was, on his table, with a magazine carelessly tossed on top.  As i stepped out, he had come back down, and i handed it to him.

"But I know I brought it upstairs!  How did you find it out there!"

Mommies are magic, don't you know.


"Mom!  I can't find my wallet anywhere!" Bigger Girl was calling from upstairs.

Where have you looked? i asked.

"Everywhere!" she responded.

Including in your car? i further inquired.

"Yes!  It's not there!"

Remembering that she had been stopped the day before by an officer who was concerned that her inspection sticker expires very soon, and while he was at it he asked her for her proof in insurance, i went out to her car and opened her glove box, on the chance that she had been flustered enough to put the wallet in there with the registration and proof of insurance.  Bingo!

As i came back in the house and handed it to her, she yelped, "What!  Where!  How did you do that?"

Mommies are magic, i responded.


"Mom, I can't leave for school!  I can't find my notebook with all of my algebra and geometry work in it!" #2 Son was calling from the front door.

Did you check your room? i asked.

"Yes, but I know I put it in the car, and now it's not there!"

Remembering that he had actually left it on the small piece of furniture on the front porch where we keep the umbrellas and the squeegee for cleaning car windows and the spare car jack, i went out there, right past him, and pulled it out from under the jumble that the kids tend to leave there that they aren't supposed to.

"How did you know it was there!"

Mommies are magic, i replied.


"Mom, I can't find my work shirt!  I just did laundry, and I can't find it anywhere!  I'm gonna be late for work!" #1 Son was calling out in a panic.

It was all hung up on the line, i said.  Remember, i hung yours when i needed to get it out of the washer so i could do the next load.

"Yeah, I know, and I got all of my stuff, and now I can't find it anywhere!"

Knowing that, half of the time, the kids don't get all of their things before i take my and Sweetie's things to my room, i went and grabbed it out of the pile at the end of my bed that was awaiting folding.

"How did you find it!"

Mommies are magic, i smiled.


"Boy, am I glad to be home!" Little Girl said as she walked in.  "It's so cold."

Coming into the kitchen, she spotted the deviled eggs and yelped, "You made them!  You are a domestic goddess!  How do you make these so good!"

Not a goddess, mommies are magic, i grinned at her.

And so we often are!

Today is:

Bounty Day -- Pitcairn Island (celebrates the burning of the HMS Bounty in 1790

Clashing Clothes Day -- "officially" (although i'm not sure who declared it) on the 4th Thursday of January, but some people seem to celebrate it every day

Cold, Cold, Cold Day -- coldest temp ever recorded in the US, -79.8°F (-62.11°C), this day in 1971 at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska

Day of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Get to Know Your Customers Day

enaia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (three day Dionysian festival to arouse the sleeping vegetation and bring spring; date approximate)

Montana Winter Fair -- Lewistown, MT, US (from farm exhibits to a fiddler's contest, there's fun to be had here; through Sunday)

National Pie Day -- US, sponsored by the American Pie Council

National Handwriting Day -- US, on the birth anniversary of John Hancock, to encourage the dying art of legible handwriting by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association

National Rhubarb Pie Day

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti -- TR and WB, India (birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose)

Measure Your Feet Day -- one can only ask...."Why!?!"

Ragwort Dance -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies only)

Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; plow drivers, see how far you can make those rural mailboxes go!

St. John the Almoner's Day (Patron of Knights Hospitaller; known for his generosity to the poor, "If we are able to enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbor in need.")

Winter Carnival -- St. Paul, MN, US (a tradition over 100 years in the making; through February 2)

Women's Healthy Weight Day -- on the Thursday of Healthy Weight Week, encouraging women to strive for a healthy weight and lifestyle

Women in Medicine Day -- Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman awarded the degree of Medical Doctor in 1849

Anniversary Today:

The founding of Georgetown University, the first US Catholic college, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Tito Ortiz, 1975
Tiffani Thiessen, 1974
Mariska Hargitay, 1964
Gail O'Grady, 1963
Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1957
Antonio Villaraigosa, 1953
Pat Haden, 1953
Richard Dean Anderson, 1950
Rutger Hauer, 1944
Gil Gerard, 1943
Chita Rivera, 1933
Jeanne Moreau, 1928
Ernie Kovacs, 1919
John M. Browning, 1855
Edouard Manet, 1832
Stendhal(Marie-Henri Beyle), 1783
John Hancock, 1737
Joseph Hewes, 1730

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The A-Team"(TV), 1983
"Roots"(TV miniseries), 1977
"Barney Miller"(TV), 1975
"King Family Show"(TV), 1965
"After the Fall"(Miller's Play), 1964
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"(Film), 1948

Today in History:

Epoch (origin) of the Kali Yuga (Hindu Iron Age of the Gods), BC3102
In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops, 971
The first printing of Ramban's Sha'ar ha-Gemul, 1490
The first printing of the Pentateuch, 1492
The second version of Book of Common Prayer becomes mandatory in England, 1552
What is probably the most deadly earthquake in history kills 830,000 in Shensi Province, China, 1556
Queen Elizabeth I opens the Royal Exchange in London, 1571
Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales, 1656
Joseph Pease, a Quaker, is admitted to Parliament on his affirmation, 1833
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female physician in the US, 1849
The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1855
Alesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Alesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless an one person dead, 1904
Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American US senator, 1907
Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of the Polish government in exile, 1940
Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time, 1943
The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean, 1960
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, 1986
Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10, 2003
Six Venezuelan cable television channels are taken off the air by the Venezuelan government after refusing to transmit government messages, 2010

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Upon hearing an odd sound from outside, a rather loud clanking that sounded like metal on metal, i stuck my head out of the back door to see whether one of the gates was attempting to fly away again in the crazy wind we've been having lately.

Instead, i saw #2 Son and Festus.  #2 Son had the barbell from the weight set over one shoulder, as one would a baseball bat, and Festus was poised to throw a 6 pound sledgehammer.  As i bemusedly watched, Festus swung the hammer toward him and #2 Son took a swing at it, barely clipping the edge of the wooden handle.

"That's a strike!" Festus yelled.

What are you doing? i asked.

"Playing baseball!" #2 Son answered.  "If I hit the metal part of the sledgehammer, it's a hit, but if I hit the wood or miss, it's a strike.  You should hear the neat sound it makes when I get a hit!"  

Well, i did hear it, and are you sure you two aren't trying to kill each other? i asked.

"No, ma'am!" Festus answered.  "If we were, we could both think of much more efficient ways to do that!"

Nice to know, i muttered, then i added, please don't break any windows!

"We won't, mom," #2 Son answered as he took another swing and hit the metal part of the sledgehammer squarely, making the loud clinking noise that had sent me out there.

As i opened the door to come in through the back door, Bigger Girl was coming in through the front door.  She had just attended her first day of classes, and was ecstatic.

"Mom, the Music Appreciation teacher is amazing!  Her first name is Kimberly, and she's the first Kimberly I've ever met who isn't a perky and annoying cheerleader type!"

Good to hear, i said, making a mental note to try to figure out whom else we know named Kimberly.

"It was a great class.  The teacher says she knows nothing about rock 'n roll past Elvis, because her mother was an Elvis fan.  We discussed classical music, and I was the only student in the class who knew that Beethoven was deaf. and the only one who had ever heard of Vivaldi.  In fact, our first assignment is to listen to Vivaldi."

Easy enough, i noted.  We have the CD's, if it's one of the more common selections.

"It is," she said.  "Also, we discussed classifications of instruments.  The teacher was surprised that I knew so much.

"It's funny.  When I dress the way I love to dress, people always wonder what I'm about.  It especially surprises teachers that I sit at the front of the class and answer lots of questions.  I think they don't expect someone who dresses the way I do to know anything!"

Bigger Girl, in a typical outfit.

Yes, i can imagine, i muttered.

Fishnet gloves, ammo belt, and tattoo on her, and a son who likes to play baseball with a sledgehammer.  Yep, my kids are nothing if not unique.

Today is:

Answer Your Cat's Questions Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; meditate on what your cat's question might be, then answer it

Celebration of Life Day

Come in From the Cold Day -- somebody at an ecard company decided today would be a good day to do that

Day of Unity and Liberty of Ukraine -- Ukraine

Dia de la Fundacion del Estado Pluinacional de Bolivia -- Bolivia

National Blonde Brownie Day -- i thought these were just called "blondies."

Polka Dot Day -- looking up why they are called "polka dots" gives lots of stories, but no concrete evidence; they were probably named after the dance craze that became fashionable around the same time the pattern appeared

St. Vincent of Zaragoza's Day (Spanish martyr and Patron of vine dressers, vinegar makers, vintners; Lisbon, Portugal; Portugal; vicenza, Italy; Vilamalla, Catalonia, Spain)
     a sunny day today indicates a good wine crop next season

Vancouver International Boat Show -- Vancouver, BC, Canada (with two venues in the city, there is sure to be enough to delight even the pickiest sailors; through Sunday)

Zehnder's Snowfest, Ice Carving, and State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Competition -- Frankenmuth, MI, US (fun for the whole family; through the 27th)

Birthdays Today:

Christopher Masterson, 1980
Balthazar Getty, 1975
Olivia D'Abo, 1967
Steven Adler, 1965
Diane Lane, 1965
Michael Kelland Hutchence, 1960
Linda Blair, 1959
Steve Perry, 1949
John Hurt, 1940
Joseph Wambaugh, 1937
Seymour Cassel, 1937
Sam Cooke, 1935
Bill Bixby, 1934
Piper Laurie, 1932
Ann Sothern, 1909
Robert E. Howard, 1906
George Balanchine, 1904
Rosa Melba Ponselle, 1897
D.W. Griffith, 1875
Grigori Rasputin, 1869
August Strindberg, 1849
Richard Upjohn, 1802
Nat Turner, 1800
Lord Byron, 1788
Andre Ampère, 1775
Sir Francis Bacon, 1561

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Emergency!"(TV), 1972
"Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In"(TV), 1968
"The Crucible"(Miller play), 1953
"Our Town"(Wilder play), 1938
"Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"(Opera; Shostakovich Op.29), 1934

Today in History:

The first contingent of Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican, 1506
Postal service between NYC and Boston is inaugurated, 1673
The Native American Iroquois tribes renew their allegiance to the British against the French, 1690
Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain, 1771
A severe earthquake in southern Syria kills thousands, 1837
The Zulus attack the British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South Africa, 1879
The Ancient Egyptian obelisk "Cleopatra's Needle" is erected in Central Park, 1881
After 63 years, England stops the sale of Queen Victoria postage stamps series and begins King Edward VII series, 1901
First live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury, 1927
KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California, 1947
Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space, 1968
The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service, 1970
The Singapore Declaration, one of the two most important documents to the uncodified constitution of the Commonwealth of Nations, is issued, 1971
The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during Super Bowl XVIII with its famous "1984" television commercial, 1984
Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the 1988 Internet Computer worm, 1990
Kmart becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, 2002
Evo Morales is inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country's first indigenous president, 2006

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Really?!  Already?!

That was the first thought that went through my head when i knew that it was Miss W. from the shelter calling.  She only calls for one thing.

Sure enough, it was the one thing.

"A lady inherited her daughter's cats when it turned out the boyfriend was allergic.  Apparently, neither cat was fixed, although she does have an appointment to get them done at the upcoming spay Sunday.  As of right now, though, the mama had four babies, and three are already gone.  Mama won't care for them at all.  Do you think you can take the fourth surviving kitten?"

Please note that it is only January.  It is, in the Northern Hemisphere at least, still the middle of WINTER!  Cats shouldn't be having kittens in the middle of winter!

We usually don't get our first kitten calls before March, and sometimes April.  This better not be a sign of things to come, but instead just a freak occurrence.

So, the newest arrival, too late for an Aww Monday post, but somehow i don't believe that the kitten cares.

Yes, he's tiny.

Today is:

Anniversary of the Elf Wars -- Fairy Calendar

Celtic Tree Month Luis (Rowan) begins

Errol Barrow Day -- Barbados

International Bon Jovi Day -- they released their first album this date in 1983

Lady of Altagracia Day -- Dominican Republic

National Hugging Day™ -- includes the announcements of the Most Huggable People of the Year

National Speak Up and Succeed Day -- become one of those people who aren't afraid of public speaking, practice! sponsored by Polished Presentations International

New England Clam Chowder Day

Quebec Flag Day -- Quebec, Canada

Rid The World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day -- always the Tuesday of Healthy Weight Week and includes the announcement of the Slim Chance Awards, highlighting the worst fad diets of the prior year

Sioux Empire Farm Show -- Sioux Falls, SD, US (great winter farm show, since you can't be planting, come out and have fun; through Saturday)

Squirrel Appreciation Day -- sponsored by Christy Hargrove of the Western North Carolina Nature Center

St. Agnes' Day (Patron of betrothed couples, bodily purity/chastity, crops, gardeners, Girl Scouts, girls, rape victims, virgins; the Colegio Capranica of Rome; Manresa, Spain; Rockville Centre, NY)

St. Meinrad of Einsiedeln's Day (Patron of hospitality; Einsiedeln, Switzerland; Swabia, Germany)

"Stonewall" Jackson's Birthday Celebration -- Lexington, VA (at the Jackson home)

Anniversary Today:

Kiwanis International is founded in Detroit, 1915

Birthdays Today:

Robby Benson, 1956
Geena Davis, 1956
Billy Ocean, 1960
Jill Eikenberry, 1947
Mac Davis, 1942
Placido Domingo, 1941
Jack Nicklaus, 1940
Wolfman Jack, 1939
Benny Hill, 1925
Telly Savalas, 1924
Benny Hill, 1924
Paul Scofield, 1922
Barney Clark, 1921
Karl Wallenda, 1905
Christian Dior, 1905
Roger Nash Baldwin, 1884
John M. Browning, 1855
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, 1824
Ethan Allen, 1738

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Kid"(Film), 1921
"The Daily News"(first issue, edited by Charles Dickens), 1848
"Power of Sympathy"(publication date of WH Brown's novel, considered the first American novel), 1789

Today in History:

Philip II, Henry II, and Richard the Lionheart initiate the 3rd Crusade, 1189
The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is founded, 1525
The first American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy," is published, 1789
After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine, 1793
Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccination is introduced, 1799
The envelope-folding machine is patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1853
The first US sewage disposal system that is separate from storm drains opens in Memphis, Tennessee, 1880
The first slalom ski race is run in Murren, Switzerland, 1922
The Flag of Quebec is adopted and flown for the first time over the National Assembly of Quebec, 1948
A B-52 bomber crashes near Thule Air Base, contaminating the area after its nuclear payload ruptures. One of the four bombs remains unaccounted for after the cleanup operation is complete, 1968
The current Emley Moor transmitting station, the tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, begins transmitting UHF broadcasts, 1971
Commercial service of Concorde begins with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes, 1976
Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car begins in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, 1981
NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies in the management of its flash memory and is fixed remotely from Eart, 2004
Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks drop as much as 14%, 2008

Monday, January 20, 2014

Aww Monday: Let Me Help!

In this house, i try to recycle everything that can be recycled.  We are blessed with curbside recycling, and things that aren't taken curbside can be dropped off at different places at times though the year. 

My children know, when in doubt, check to see if we can recycle it.  Most of the friends who hang around here also know that i'm a stickler for putting everything i possibly can in the bin.

What the children and their friends don't always do is clean things like soup cans thoroughly before tossing them in.  So, the kittens always stand ready to help notify me when something is in there that shouldn't be.

Sulu, who jumps in there himself.
But, mom!  I know there's something in here that shouldn't be!

He does climb in, and cries and digs until i pull out what he wanted -- the chicken soup can, not quite rinsed properly, that he was smelling.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mali

Blue Monday -- UK (it's gloomy winter, it's after the holidays, it's time to cheer someone up by doing something nice for him/her)

Camcorder Day -- five companies agreed, this day in 1982, to cooperate and construct a camera with a built in VCR

Celtic Tree Month Beth (Birch) ends

Clean Out Your Email Inbox Week -- cure your email e-ddiction, get rid of the old stuff clogging up your inbox; see InboxDetox for details

Coffee Break Day

Day of National Mourning -- Azerbaijan (a/k/a Martyrs' Day)

Festival of Jubilation for Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate, in Busiris)

Heroes Day -- Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau (death anniversary of Amilcar Cabral)

La Tamborrada de San Sebastian -- San Sebastian, Spain (24 hours of drumming, begun last evening)

Maouloud -- Mali (Baptism of the Prophet)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- US and Territories (obs.)

National Buttercrunch Day

National Cheese Lover's Day

National Granola Bar Day

National Disc Jockey Day -- listed lots of places, but no particular reason given for the choice of date

Penguin Awareness Day -- lots of celebrating, but no history of who started it

Sacrifices to Athena -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Stay Young Forever Day -- celebrate the child in all of us, do something fun

St. Sebastian's Day (Patron of archers, armorers, arrowsmiths/fletchers, athletes, bookbinders, diseased cattle, dying people, gardeners, gunsmiths, hardware stores, ironmongers, lace makers/lace workers, lead workers, masons, plague victims, police officers, Pontifical Swiss Guards, raquet makers, soldiers, stone masons/stone cutters; several cities, but especially of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, where today is marked with celebrations; against cattle disease, enemies of religion, plague)

Take a Walk Outdoors Day -- unless it's storming, a good way to get some exercise

Tenmangu Kowakamai -- Setaka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (festival of old style Japanese dances)

Wellington Province Anniversary Day -- Wellington, New Zealand (obs.; trad. date 22nd)

Birthdays Today:

Skeet Ulrich, 1969
Rainn Wilson, 1968
Rainn Wilson, 1966
James Denton, 1963
Lorenzo Lamas, 1958
Bill Maher, 1956
David Lynch, 1946
Dorothy Provine, 1937
Arte Johnson, 1934
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 1930
Patricia Neal, 1926
Otis Dewey "Slim" whitman, 1924
Federico Fellini, 1920
DeForest Kelley, 1920
Joy Adamson, 1910
George Burns, 1896
Harold Lincoln Gray, 1894
Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, 1889
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778
André-Marie Ampère, 1775
Richard Henry Lee, 1732

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Meet the Beatles"(Album, US release), 1964

Today in History:

The first elected English Parliament called into session by the 6th Earl of Leicester, and meets in the Palace of Westminster (a/k/a Houses of Parliament), 1265
The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored, 1502
The Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) is founded in Spain to deal with American affairs, 1503
The cornerstone of Amsterdam town hall laid, 1648
The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson, 1788
China cedes Hong Kong to British, 1841
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster, 1885
The first full length talking motion picture filmed outdoors is released, "In Old Arizona", 1929
Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews, 1942
The first atomic submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut, 1955
Witnesses report sightings of a Bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the River Thames since records began in 1913, 2006
A three-man team, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1958 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance, 2007