Thursday, August 17, 2017

Whose? A Six Sentence Story / Good Fences



Walking into the classroom, he noted most of the chairs in the circle were taken either by a person or the person's instrument, denoting a saving of the place for the owner.

"Hey, new guy, come sit by me!" he heard a stage whisper from the left side of the room; turning that way, he saw the biggest violin player he'd ever encountered waving him over.  The young man had hands so big he wondered how they could even handle the instrument without breaking it into matchsticks.

"Hi, I'm Jonathan," he said as he gingerly took a seat next to the behemoth, who said, "I'm Buddy, and this is my first day, too; we new guys need to stick together!"

Before Jonathan could ask what gave him away as a new guy, suddenly it seemed all the chairs were filled, everyone silently taking their place; only one seat was left with a very battered case perched on it.

"I wonder whose beat up wreck that is," Buddy said with a grin, and he and Jonathan froze as Professor Denarius stepped out from behind them, crossed over to the case with a bound and pulled out an Amati, and said, "This would be mine."


Linking up with Zoe's Uncharted Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue is Mine.


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Gosia, of Looking for Identity, has taken over Good Fences, and it's now Good Fences Around The World.  Post a picture of a fence or gate, link back to her blog, and go visit others to see what interesting fences there are out in this big world. 

Some materials for fences go well together, like brick and wrought iron.  Some just don't seem to go well together:

The corrugated tin gate looks odd to me with the wooden fence.


Today is:

#2 Pencil Day -- internet generated, but since a pencil can draw a line 35 miles long, write under water, in zero gravity, or upside down, what's not to celebrate!

Black Cat Appreciation Day -- they deserve a day! black cats even have a Facebook page  

Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival -- Bucyrus, OH, US (food and fun celebration of German heritage, with this year's theme, "Brats, Beers, and Cheers to Brattie's 50 Years!"; through Saturday)

Day of Rituals in the Temples of Ra, Horus, and Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Drink Coffee at the Office from A Sippy Cup Day -- begun by someone with a sense of humor, who wants you to see how long it takes people to notice

Festival of Diana -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Jari Kemerdekaan RI -- Indonesia (Independence Day)(1945)

Kentucky State Fair and World Championship Horse Show -- Louisville, KY, US (if you love horses, it's the place to be since 1904; through the 27th)

Little League Baseball® 2017 World Series -- South Williamsport, PA, US (through the 27th)

Meaning of "Is" Day -- thank you, Clinton!

Milwaukee Irish Fest -- Milwaukee, WI, US (the world's largest Irish music and cultural event outside of the Emerald Isle; through Sunday)

National Thrift Shop/Thrift Store Day -- no history on it, probably started by a thrift store having a summer sale; still a good idea

National Vanilla Custard Day

Odin's Ordeal begins -- based on the Ancient Norse legend, Modern Odinists and some Asatru practice silence for nine days, through the 25th

Portunalia -- Roman Empire (honoring the god of locks, keys, ports, and harbors)

Prekmurje Union Day -- Slovenia (celebrates the Slovenes in Prekmurje being Incorporated into the Mother Nation)

San Martin Day -- Argentina (death anniversary of General Jose de San Martin, liberator of Argentina, Chile, and Peru)

Soldiers' Reunion Celebration -- Newton, NC, US (the oldest patriotic event of its kind in the US, honoring all veterans; annually since 1889)

Sour Herring Premiere -- Sweden (by ordinance, the year's supply of sour herring may begin to be sold on the third Thursday in August)

St. Hyacinth's Day (Patron of Camalaniugan, Philippines; Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto, Philippines; Kradow, Poland; Lithuania; Poland; against drowning)

Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival -- Sun Prairie, WI, US (family fun with a carnival, midget auto races, parade, food, entertainment, and lots of hot, buttered sweet corn; through Sunday)


Birthdays Today:

Mark Salling, 1982
Donnie Wahlberg, 1969
Sean Penn, 1960
Jonathan Franzen, 1959
Belinda Carlisle, 1958
Guillermo Vilas, 1952
Robert Joy, 1951
Robert DeNiro, 1943
Francis Gary Powers, 1929
Maureen O'Hara, 1920
Harrison V. Chase, 1913
Mae West, 1892
Charles I, last emperor of Austria-Hungary, 1887
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882
Davy Crockett, 1786


Debuting/Premiering Today:

Life of Brian(Film), 1979
"Symphonie Liturgique"(Honegger's Third Symphony), 1946
Animal Farm(Publication date), 1945
"Gotterdammerung/Twilight of the Gods"(Opera WWV 86D), 1876


Today in History:

The Peace of Bergerac gives political rights to the Huguenots, 1577
John White returns to Roanoke, Virginia, to find no trace of the colonists he had left there 3 years earlier, 1590
Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins its first trip up the Hudson River, 1807
Solymon Merrick patents the wrench, 1835
The first bank in Hawaii opens, 1858
Patent granted for an electric self starter for automobiles, 1891
Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opens in Seattle, 1907
Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl, the first animated cartoon, is shown in Paris, 1908
First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California, 1953
Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana, 1958
East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall, 1962
Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage, 1969
Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus), 1970
Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine, 1978
The first Compact Discs are released to the public in Germany, 1982
The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts, 2005
Afghan archeologists discover the remains of a Buddhist site located south of Kabul, 2010
Trogloraptor marchingtoni, an unusual spider discovered in 2010 is determined to be a new family of spiders previously unknown in the world of science; the new spider family has been named Trogloraptor, meaning 'cave robber', 2012

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless and then Wordy Wednesday





Linking up with Wordless Wednesday.


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This month, River is hosting Words for Wednesday, in which two groups of 6 words are provided, and you are challenged to write a story for each set, or one story incorporating them all.  The list of prompt words and my story follows: 

This week's words are:

1. puffing
2. candles
3. confused
4. fishing
5. supreme
6. almost

and/or:

1. eight
2. despicable
3. banner
4. shave
5. flowers
6. frowning


He walked in from his FISHING trip tired, hungry, and needing a SHAVE.  The sudden noise of everyone yelling "Surprise!" CONFUSED him and made him ALMOST jump out of his skin.

There was a "Happy Birthday" BANNER over the dining table that was decorated with FLOWERS and a cake with CANDLES all ready to be lit.  EIGHT of his friends were gathered, smiling with the knowledge that they had pulled it off.

He had the DESPICABLE thought of turning around, getting in his truck, and heading back down to his fishing camp.  He knew, though, that these people cared about him and were trying to do something nice for him.  With SUPREME effort, he resisted FROWNING and asked leave of them to take a quick shower.  He didn't let them see as he was PUFFING out his cheeks and shaking his head on his way down the hall.  He would come back and enjoy the party, and sleep in tomorrow.



Today is:

American Quilter's Society Quilt Exposition -- Grand Rapids, MI, US (their largest show; through Saturday)

Baba Au Rhum Day -- of course, on rum day, bake some cake with the stuff!

Bratwurst Day

Children's Day -- Paraguay

Daimonji Bonfire -- Mt. Nyoigadake, Kyoto, Japan (spectacular bonfires in the shapes of word pictures on the mountains surrounding the city)

Elvis Presley Day -- can you believe he's been gone 40 years?

Festival of the Minstrels -- Tutbury Castle, UK (middle ages; celebrated with great pomp, as the Duke of Lancaster had decreed that they each year elect a new king of the minstrels)

Fete de l'Independance -- Gabon (National Day)

Harmonic Convergence Day -- modern followers of Maya and Aztec calendars

Joe Miller's Joke Day -- anniversary of the death of English comic actor Joseph Miller in 1738

Madonna del Voto Day -- Siena, Italy (a/k/a Palio dell'Assunta, 2nd of the traditional yearly horse races)

National Airborne Day -- US (honors all Airborne Military)

National Medical Dosimetrist's Day -- American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (medical radiation safety experts) 

National Tell a Joke Day -- seems internet generated, but probably related to Joe Miller Joke Day

National Rum Day

Remember What Your Spouse Wore the First Time You Met Day -- internet generated and dangerous!

Restoration of the Republic -- Dominican Republic

Roller Coaster Day -- the first one was patented this day in 1898

St. Roch's Day (Patron of bachelors, dogs, falsely accused people, invalids, surgeons, tile makers; of over 20 cities in Italy as well as Istanbul, Turkey; for relief from pestilence; against cholera, diseased cattle, epidemics, knee problems, plague [Black Death], skin diseases and rashes) 

St. Stephen of Hungary's Day (Patron of bricklayers, kings, masons, stonecutters; Hungary; against the death of children)

Xicolatada -- Palau-de-Cerdagne, France (hot chocolate festival)*


Anniversary Today:

Sean Penn marries Madonna, 1985
Paul Simon marries Carrie Fisher, 1983
Gioachino Antonio Rossini marries Olympe Pélissier, 1846


Birthdays Today:

Seth Peterson, 1970
Steve Carell, 1963
Laura Innes, 1960
Timothy Hutton, 1960
Angela Bassett, 1958
Madonna, 1958
Jeff Perry, 1955
James Cameron, 1954
Kathie Lee Gifford, 1953
Reginald VelJohnson, 1952
Leslie Ann Warren, 1946
Julie Newmar, 1935
Eydie Gorme, 1932
Frank Gifford, 1930
Ann Blyth, 1928
Fess Parker, 1925
Menachem Begin, 1913
George Meany, 1894
T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), 1888
Bernarr Macfadden, 1868
Amos Alonzo Stagg, 1862
Hongxi Emperor of China, 1378


Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Siegfried"(Opera, WWV 86C), 1876


Today in History:

Henry VIII defeats the French at the Battle of Guinegate/Battle of the Spurs, forcing the French to retreat, 1513
Jack Broughton formulates the earliest code of rules for boxing, 1743
Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese" twins, arrive in Boston to be exhibited, 1829
U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1858
Arica, Peru (now Chile) is devastated by a tsunami which followed a magnitude 8.5 earthquake, 1868
Gold is discovered in the Klondike, at Bonanza Creek, 1896
Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster, 1898
In Valparaiso, Chile, an 8.6 earthquake followed by fire destroys the city and kills 20,000, 1906
The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks, 1930
Democrats nominate Adlai E. Stevenson as presidential candidate, 1956
Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that still stand today: High-altitude jump, free-fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft, 1960
A solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market, 1989
For only 2nd time Stanley Cup leaves North America (heads to Russia), 1997
In England, two men who created a Facebook site to incite violence during the riots are sentenced to four years imprisonment, 2011



*Yes, they celebrate a hot chocolate festival in the summer.  It all started when the 15th of August was a feast day on which the locals always drank a bit much, and the chocolatier of the town claimed his brew was a good remedy the day after.  The original festival on the 15th has ceased, but the hot chocolate is brewed to this day, served at 11am promptly.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cats and Post Office Random Tuesday

Stacy Uncorked

And now, a bit of random discussion of topics or bits of news from around here, linking up with Stacy's Random Thoughts at Stacy Uncorked.  


Last Wednesday, on a Wordless Wednesday post about a neighbor's cat, Stephen Hayes asked a question about cats and how long they can live.  

The average feral cat, meaning a cat living on its own on the streets, lives about 2 years.  If it is part of a managed feral colony, it will be trapped, spayed/neutered and given a rabies shot, and some food provided to it, and it might live closer to five years.  Feral cats have it tough.

A well cared for house cat can live, on average, 12-16 years, and over 20 is not unheard of, especially if it is given high quality food and taken to the vet at least yearly.

Butch, the neighbor's cat, has been an indoor-outdoor cat his whole life.  He wears a collar, looks both ways before crossing streets, never gets in fights with other cats, and is a pure Siamese, a breed known for longevity.  He has lost some weight in the last year or so, but he still loves to make his daily rounds.  It's the exercise and the fact that he is fed good food and taken to the vet regularly that has kept him healthy and happy for so long.

Our cats, on the other hand, are mostly overweight.  We've had cats live to be in their late teens, but they were not nearly so healthy looking as Butch.

One reason our cats stay overweight is the cat food wars, which are raging right now.  When we have foster kittens, they need kitten food.  Our adult cats do not need the high fat/high calorie food kittens get, but you cannot convince them, and you cannot spend all day every day monitoring who is eating what.  The kittens will go to the shelter to be put up for adoption tomorrow, so there will be no more kitten food in the house, and peace will prevail as our adult cats have no choice but to return to their boring diet food.

No, i don't feel sorry for them, not one bit.

Our cats also only go outside under strict supervision, if at all.  Most of them were raised indoors and are not street smart enough to do what Butch does.  This limits their exercise, of course.

On a totally different topic, a friend of mine recently pointed out that the United States Postal Service will, if you sign up for it and prove you are who you say you are, send you a daily email showing you pictures of what mail you can expect to be in your box that day.  Because we sometimes don't get our mail until after 7pm, and we've had mail stolen from our box before, i decided to do this.  It eliminates the, "are we going to get anything today" game, as well as the "did we just not get mail today, or did someone take it" game.

First i had to register for an online account with the USPS.  Yes, i already had one, no i could not remember which email account it went to.  So i started a new one and signed up for Informed Delivery, as it is called.

At that point, you can try to prove your identity and right to have this information online, but i wish you much better luck than i had.  Instead, i had to choose to let them send me an email with a bar code, which i then had to take to a post office to have scanned, and show my ID.  The nice lady at the post office had no clue what i was talking about, she had to go in the back and get another worker, who showed her how to do it.

Since then, if we are getting any letters (they don't do it with circulars and large junk mail), i get a picture of them in an email by about 10am.  It's good to know what is supposed to show up, so that if it does not, we know it.  Much better than the old system whereby the USPS expected you to know and report if you didn't get mail, how they expected you to know what you didn't get i have yet to understand.

That's okay, i have yet to understand how it can take until after 7pm to get the mail to our house, too.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Poland

Asuncion Foundation Day -- Paraguay

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary -- Catholic Christian Holy Day of Obligation
     Related Observances
          Coeur d'Alene Indian Pilgrimage -- Coeur d'Alene's Old Mission State Park, Cataldo, ID, US
          Dormition of the Theotokos -- Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Christian
          Ferragosto -- Italy (During the Roman Empire, a festival to Diana and a fertility and ripening celebration)
          Mother's Day -- Antwerp; Costa Rica
          National Acadians Day -- Acadians
          Virgin of Candelaria, patron of the Canary Islands -- Tenrife, Spain
          Irmandade da Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte Fiesta -- Bahia, Brazil (Festival of the Order of Our Lady of the Good Death)
          Festival of the Outremeuse -- Liege, Belgium
          Public Holiday or Publicly Observed -- Andorra; Austria; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chile; Colombia; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; East Timor; France; French Guiana; French Polynesia; Gabon; Gambia; Germany; Greece; Guadelupe; Guatemala; Guinea; Holy See; Hungary; Italy; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Madagascar; Malta; Martinique; Mauritius; Mayotte; Monaco; New Caledonia; Paraguay; Poland; Portugal; Reunion; Romania; Rwanda; Saint Barthelemy; Saint Martin; Saint Pierre et Miquelon; San Marino; Senegal; Seychelles; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Togo; Vanuatu; Wallis and Fortuna     

Best Friend's Day -- sponsored by Thema Martin

Bon/Obon Festival -- Japan (biggest day of the festival in most parts of Japan)

Carnival Tuesday -- Granada

Chauvin Day -- observed on Napoleon's birthday because his is unknown, the day is named for Nicholas Chauvin, whose blind devotion to Napoleon was immortalized in his name's use for absurdly intense attachments to any cause

Check the Chip Day -- the American Veterinary Medical Association reminds you to check your pet's microchip and make sure it is still working correctly and that the registration information is up to date 

Defence Forces Day -- Zimbabwe

Dia de la Ley Fundamental -- Equatorial Guinea (Constitution Day)

Eleusinian Mysteries -- Ancient Greek Calendar (through the 18th, dates approximate)

Festival of Vesta -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of the hearth)

Fete Nationale -- Republic of the Congo (National Day/Independence Day)

Fool's Dance -- Japan (part of the Awa Dance Festival)

Independence Day -- India(1947)

Liberation Day -- both Koreas
     Gwangbokjeol -- South Korea
     Jogukhaebangui nal -- North Korea

Maras Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (celebration of the goddess Mara, cognate of Mary)

National Day -- Lichtenstein (a/k/a Liberation Day [1945])

National Failures Day -- some websites say the 16th, and may i suggest a book called "Fail Better", a small quotations book about how failure is just the beginning.

National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

National Mourning Day -- Bangladesh

National Relaxation Day -- sponsored by Sean Moeller of Clio, Michigan; if you call in sick to stay home and relax, blame him

Panama La Vieja Day -- Panama (Founding of Panama City)

Shoro Nagashi Nagasaki -- Nagasaki, Japan (floating lanterns are released into the harbor in honor of the ancestors)

Sproshinki -- Slavic Pagan Calendar (end of the hay harvest festival)

St. Tarcisius' Day (Patron of altar servers, first communicants)

Tuva Republic Day -- Tos-Bulak fields south of Kyzuk, Tuva, Russia (celebration of the Tuva Republic, a Naadam festival of Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery; held by the Tuva people, the closest genetic relatives to the North and South American Native Peoples)

Wafaa El-Nil -- Egypt and Coptic Church ("Fidelity of the Nile", celebration of the annual of Flooding of the Nile)


Anniversaries Today:

Woodstock, 1969
Buddy Holly marries Maria Elena Santiago, 1958
Panama Canal opens, 1914
Transcontinental US railway is completed at Promontory Point, UT, US, 1870


Birthdays Today:

Joe Jonas, 1989
Kerri Walsh, 1978
Ben Affleck, 1972
Debra Messing, 1968
Melinda Gates, 1964
Zeljko Ivanek, 1957
Princess Anne, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom, 1950
Jimmy Webb, 1946
Kathryn Whitmire, 1946
Linda Ellerbee, 1944
Stephen G. Breyer, 1938
Vernon Jordan, Jr, 1935
Phyllis Stewart Schlafly, 1924
Mike Connors, 1925
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, 1925
Rose Marie, 1925
Huntz Hall, 1919
Oscar Romero, 1917
Julia Child, 1912
Elizabeth Bolden, American Supercentenarian, 1890 (d. 2006)
Edna Ferber, 1885
Ethel Barrymore, 1879
Charles Albert "The Old Roman" Comiskey, 1859
E. Nesbit, 1858
Sir Walter Scott, 1771
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769


Debuting/Premiering Today:

Mainz Psalter(Publication date; first book with the publication date printed on the colophon), 1457


Today in History:

Battle of Roncevaux Pass, the Basques defeat Charles the Great (Charlemagne) and Roland is killed, 778
Macbeth defeats his cousin and rival King Duncan I, who is killed in the battle, and becomes king of Scotland, 1040
Battle of Lumphanan, in which King Macbeth is killed by the forces of Mael Coluim MacDonnchada, 1057
The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia, 1185
The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of 
the Three Wise Men, is laid, 1248*
The "Mainz Psalter" is completed, the earliest dated book, 1457
Founding of Panama City, 1519
Jesuit priest St. Francis Xaverius land in Kagoshima, Japan, 1549
Joseph Haydn departs England, never to return, 1795
Country of Liberia is founded by freed American former slaves, 1824
Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1842
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawai'i, is dedicated; it is the oldest continuously used Roman Catholic Cathedral in the US, 1843
San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed, 1891
A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, 1914
The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon, 1914
Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed in a plane crash, 1935
The birth of stadium rock:  The Beatles play Shae Stadium, 1965
President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard, 1971
The "Wow! signal":  The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space, 1977
An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090, 2007
The olinguito becomes the first mammal to be discovered in the past 35 years, 2013



*Yes, we just noted the other day the date of completion in 1880!