Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chronicles of A Left Turn at Albuquerque

I woke up Thursday morning ready to finish packing and get going. All the stars in their courses were set against me, as usual.

Overnight the kitchen had exploded and #1 Son's room had barfed all of his dirty laundry into the laundry room.

I knew I could have simply packed and left, but the mommy in me could not get away with that.

I started a load of laundry, got the dishwasher going and kitchen tidied and got packed, even cleared out the email.

By that time, Sweetie was up, so I fixed his breakfast and unloaded the dishwasher and he helped me put some stuff in the van before he left.

Bigger Girl and I got the clothes on the line, and I told her to take it all off before she left for school so that it wouldn't get rained on in the afternoon. I also told her that anything still damp at that time would need to be hung over chairs or on the rigged hanging areas of the laundry room, and tossed in the dryer to totally finish after she got home from school.

Then I went in and kissed my sleepyheads -- I knew better than to wake #1 Son and told him goodbye the night before -- and got out of town.

Was it 6AM? Of course not, it was almost 7:30AM. I guess I was lucky.

The traffic was actually not too bad getting out of town, I have seen it much, much worse. Crossing the bridge I was going the opposite way of everyone else, so that worked out easily. I didn't get far before I realized two things.

First, the folly of my usual ways hit me and the regular coffee I had saved in the fridge to have as my morning portion had run through me already, along with the water I had consumed. The fact that while consuming that coffee I had failed to fully secure the lid of my travel cup and was wearing a portion did not help my mood -- I want to make a nice impression on the people I will be meeting at the other end of this trip, and I am not even out of West Baton Rouge Parish without being a mess. (They will easily understand why I am "messy" mimi, I guess.)

Second, Sweetie had run a couple of places in the van I didn't expect, and I was starting this trip with less than a quarter tank of gas.

So, I stopped, paid for some gas (tightwad that I am, I plan to buy only as needed, in spurts), and used the rest room, used the paper towels and some water to get the coffee out of my shirt, and went on my way.

The gray skies lowered and there were wisps of fog on the Atchafalaya bridge, but it ran quick with little traffic.

I got as far as East Crowley before the urge hit me again.At this rate, I knew I wouldn't make it to San Antonio before dark, but I stopped. And since by this time I realized I had forgotten to bring my apples, and since my bananas that I had bought from Sam's had already gone bad and I had to toss them before beginning the trip -- remind me to write a complaining post about the bananas at Sam's Club some time -- I stopped at the Wal-Mart in East Crowley to buy both and use the can.

In the Wal-Mart, my phone started ringing. Yes, already. It was Sweetie wanting to reassure me that he had gotten some items signed for the cat rescue fundraiser, and was getting them back to the lady who needed them. I praised him to the skies, made him hold on while I spoke to the cashier (the person in your presence is the more important!), and reassured him that I would be careful, etc.

Then I washed the whole bag of apples I had just purchased, used the restroom myself again, and got back on the road.

Driving alone for long distances without things like Ipods gives you lots of time for both thinking and searching for radio stations. I did bring my favorite CDs that I own -- the 12 Yats stuff -- but I did a lot of radio station surfing. One gem I found was KBON out of Lafayette, LA. I have never been able to get enough Cajun music. I usually have to make do with the one hour a week I get on the Clarence's Cajun Saturday Night program, which I only catch if I am in town and not at a football game, of course. I enjoyed that station for as long as I possibly could.

My next stop was at the Texas Welcome Center. These are usually great places to use the facilities and get information. so I used the facilities and went inside to ask about construction along I-10 in Texas, if there would be any particular places to look out for, etc. The lady was nice, and helpful, and printed out a small list and told me these few short streches were all I would have to look out for. I resisted the urge to pick up a free map, knowing full well that when I went home it would be added to the piles of things that languish in the library, to be torn up by the children. They never pass up the opportunity to aquire such things, and promptly spend so much time playing with them that I find tattered maps in and among everything else, so I passed.

Thinking there would be little trouble on the road, I made my way back onto the interstate.

The first thing I noticed about road construction in Texas, which began just a few miles from the welcome center and continued for what seemed like forever, is that they have many, many signs telling you of the consequences of speeding in those areas. These are written in small print that you can barely read, especially when you are supposed to be watching the road.

The second thing I noticed is that, while they are specific about the consequences, they seldom actually post what the new speed limit is. Those signs are also very small and easy to miss, so I had to guess how slowly they wanted me to travel through the several long miles of construction I faced just this stone's throw from the border. I finally saw a small orange sign with a number sticking out from a pole that held huge warning signs, and used that as a guide.

Third is that it does not mix well with gray skies and gray highway and it makes one small town blur into another. There are no sights to see when you are too busy making sure you don't hit or get hit in narrow lanes between the orange cones and the gray concrete barriers that block all but the billboards and very tall "McSigns" of the usual chains that tower above every town across the land.

So my first memories of this drive through Texas is not what you typically think of when you imagine Texas. I resigned myself to a Gospel music station that was rather soothing as I concentrated on getting to and through Houston, the Big Worry.

Today is:

British Footfair Fair

Feast of Soma, India (god of ambrosia and immortality)

Festival of Maheo (Cheyenne god of the void)

Festival of Tereteth, Micronesia (goddess of the coconut toddy and Yap Island)

Independence Day, Botswana

Medetrinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of medicine)

National Mud Pack Day

National Mulled Cider Day

National Women's Health and Fitness Day

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

St. Jerome's Day

St. Otto's Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Rambam (Maimonides) authorizes Samuel Ibn Tibbon to translate the Guide of the Perplexed from Arabic into Hebrew, 1199
Guttenberg's Bible is published, 1452
Anesthetic ether used for the first time by Dr. William Morton, who extracted a tooth, 1846
The first Portuguese immigrants arrive in Hawai'i, 1878
The first manned rocket plane flight, made by auto maker Fritz von Opel, 1929

Monday, September 28, 2009


The final and longest leg of my journey back to chaos should be happening today, if this publishes itself correctly.

I figure to get home by midnight tonight, and be at homeschool co-op by 8 tomorrow morning as usual.

I don't plan to teach tomorrow, my co-teacher will be doing the lesson, lasagna.

I will be there physically, but not much more.

By tomorrow, I can also begin blogging about how the trip really went.

No matter what happened, I'm sure it was an adventure.

Today is:

Ask A Stupid Question Day

Bird Day

Cabrilla Day, California

Dasera -- Hindu

Family Day -- A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Kids

Feast of Khepera -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (beetle god)

Fiesta de San Miguel, Mexico

Festival of Wawatsari, Huichol, Mexico (god of deer peyote)

Fish Tank Floor Show Night

Francis Willard Day, Minnesota

Independence Day, Thailand

National Good Neighbor Day

National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

Referendum Day, Guinea

St. Vaclav's Day (patron of Czechoslovakia)

St. Wenceslaus' Day

Teacher's Day, China

World Maritime Day

Yom Kippur -- Jewish

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Pompey the Great, member of the Triumvirate, is assassinated by order of King Ptolemy of Egypt upon landing in that country, BC48
King/Saint Wenceslas murdered by his brother, 935
William the Conqueror invades England, 1066
Sinking of the Spanish fleet during a hurricane off the coast of Florida, 1528
Publication of "Pilgrim's Progress", 1678
Divorce is legalized in Maryland, 1701
American and French forces begin the siege of Yorktown, 1781
Napoleon Bonaparte, age 16, graduates from the Military Academy of Paris -- 42nd in a class of 51, 1785
Donati's comet becomes the first to be photographed, 1858

Sunday, September 27, 2009


If all is going well, yesterday we had a blast visiting these friends, and today we will enjoy most of the day with them, and start to head home this afternoon.

It really does seem rather odd to be writing in advance. Sort of like borrowing time from the future.

I hope, wherever I am today, I am not being beleaguered by calls from the family, desperate for instructions on basic, everyday stuff.

I also hope no disasters come up while I am away. I really need this mini vacation/retreat/what ever it is.

It's either this, and they let me enjoy it for a few days, or I crack and run away from home.

Let's hope they get that.

Today is:

Ancestor Appreciation Day

Cosme e Damiao

Crush a Can Day

Dragonfight Day

Festival of Namakungwe, Zambia (the originator)

Festival of Varuni, India (goddess of wine)

Gold Star Mother's Day

Independence Day, El Salvador

International Rabbit Day

London Bridge Days begin, AZ

Meskel -- Ethiopian/Eritrian Orthodox Christian

National Good Neighbor Day

National Milk Chocolate Day

St. Frumentius' Day

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

World Heart Day

World Tourism Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Severe earthquake in the Gulf of Chili, China; reports of 100,000 killed, 1290
Jesuits founded by Ignatius Loyola, 1540
John Adams negotiates peace terms with Britain, 1779
Constitution submitted to the states for ratification, 1787
Jean-Francois Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone, 1822
The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc²,1905
The first production of a Ford Model T automobile rolls off the line at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan, 1908
First test of a twin engine airplane, in France, 1810
Native American Day is first celebrated, 1916
Democratic National Committee votes to allow female members, 1919
The first Santa Clause Training School opens in Albion, NY, 1937
The Balinese tiger is declared to be an extinct species, 1937

Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Day

I woke up Thursday morning ready to finish packing and get going.

All the stars in their courses were set against me, as usual.

Overnight the kitchen had exploded and #1 Son's room had barfed all of his dirty laundry into the laundry room.

I knew I could have simply packed and left, but the mommy in me could not get away with that.

I started a load of laundry, got the dishwasher going and kitchen tidied and got packed, even cleared out the email.

By that time, Sweetie was up, so I fixed his breakfast and unloaded the dishwasher and he helped me put some stuff in the van before he left.

Bigger Girl and I got the clothes on the line, and I told her to take it all off before she left for school so that it wouldn't get rained on in the afternoon. I also told her that anything still damp at that time would need to be hung over chairs or on the rigged hanging areas of the laundry room, and tossed in the dryer to totally finish after she got home.

Then I went in and kissed my sleepyheads -- I knew better than to wake #1 Son and told him goodbye the night before -- and got out of town.

Was it 6AM? Of course not, it was almost 7:30AM. I guess I was lucky.

The traffic was actually not too bad getting out of town, I have seen it much, much worse. Crossing the bridge I was going the opposite way of everyone else, so that worked out easily. I didn't get far before I realized two things.

First, the folly of my usual ways hit me and the regular coffee I had saved in the fridge to have as my morning portion had run through me already, along with the water I had consumed. The fact that while consuming that coffee I had failed to fully secure the lid of my travel cup and was wearing a portion did not help my mood -- I want to make a nice impression on the people I will be meeting at the other end of this trip, and I am not even out of West Baton Rouge Parish without being a mess. (They will easily understand why I am "messy" mimi, I guess.)

Second, Sweetie had run a couple of places in the van I didn't expect, and I was starting this trip with less than a quarter tank of gas.
So, I stopped, paid for some gas (tightwad that I am, I plan to buy only as needed, in spurts), and used the rest room, used the paper towels and some water to get the coffee out of my shirt, and went on my way.

The gray skies lowered and there were wisps of fog on the Atchafalaya bridge, but it ran quick with little traffic.

I got as far as East Crowley before the urge hit me again.

At this rate, I knew I wouldn't make it to San Antonio before dark, but I stopped. And since by this time I realized I had forgotten to bring my apples, and since my bananas that I had bought from Sam's had already gone bad and I had to toss them before beginning the trip -- remind me to write a complaining post about the bananas at Sam's Club some time -- I stopped at the Wal-Mart in East Crowley to buy both and use the can.

In the Wal-Mart, my phone started ringing. Yes, already. It was Sweetie wanting to reassure me that he had gotten some items signed for the cat rescue fundraiser, and was getting them back to the lady who needed them. I praised him to the skies, made him hold on while I spoke to the cashier (the person in your presence is the more important!), and reassured him that I would be careful, etc.

Then I washed the whole bag of apples I had just purchased, used the restroom myself again, and got back on the road.

Today is:

All Angels Day

Confucius Day (Old China)

Constitution Day, Brunei

Festival of Tezcatzonctl, Mexico (chief god of intoxication)

Goose Day, Germany

Gwynn ap Nudd -- Celtic Calendar (god of the underworld)

International Whistle Off

Leif Ericson Day

National Mocha Day

Payment of Quit Rent by London Royal Courts of Justice

Sts. Gabriel and Raphael's Day

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

Xenophobe Understanding Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Darius I of Persia kills the Magian usurper Gaumata, securing his hold as king of the Persian Empire, BC522
Battle of Salamis, at which the Greek fleet under Themistocles defeats the Persian fleet under Xerxes I, BC480
Pompey the Great Celebrates ending the Mithridatic Wars on his 45th birthday, BC61
Saladin's army marches into Jerusalem, 1187
The First Congress of the US adjourns, 1789
"Scotland Yard", London's Metropolitan Police Force, goes on duty, 1829
The first practical public electric tramway ever opens in Blackpool, England, 1885

Vacation musings

This prewriting posts is a strange thing.

If it works, then great, I have a fun new toy to play with in the future, and a way to save my dull thoughts when they occur, instead of hoping for the muse to strike at the right time.

If it isn't working right, then I am in New Mexico today, with no way to know about it, and no way to fix it, and no way to tell anyone about Balaclava Day.

Or even more important, Johnny Appleseed Day! The life of John Chapman has held a great fascination for me for years. If the Almighty had not seen fit to make me a dull, dumpy, middle-aged housewife, I would have chosen to be a pioneer in some way.

Why not celebrate the spirit of the man who planted orchards across the land and go out and do something totally different today. After all, I guess that's what I am doing, being out of town without the family for the first time ever.

Today is:

Balaclava Day

Bureflux -- Discordian Calendar

Ceremony of the Dead, Cambodia

Cobweb Pie Making day -- Fairy Calendar

Family Health and Fitness Day

Feast of Lamps, India

Feast of Zame ye Mebege, Gabon (god of narcotics)

Good Neighbor Day

Independence Day, Yemen

Johnny Appleseed Day

Kiwanis Kids' Day

Mifflin County Goose Festival, Pennsylvania

National Pancake Day

National Public Lands Day

Neptune Festival

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

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

Birthdays Today:

Lawrence Leritz, 1962
Linda Hamilton, 1956
Olivia Newton-John, 1948
Anne Robinson, 1944
Kent McCord, 1942
Julie London, 1926
Jack LaLanne, 1914
George Gershwin, 1898
T.S. Eliot, 1888
Edmund Gwenn, 1877
Ivan Pavlov, 1849
John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman, 1774
St. Francis of Assisi, 1181

Today in History:

In keeping a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus, Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix, BC 46
Sir Francis Drake returns to England with Spanish treasure, 1580
In a battle between Venetians and Turks in Athens, the Parthenon and Acropolis are seriously damaged, 1687
New Jersey passes a bill requiring a license to practice medicine, 1772
Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first Secretary of State of the US, 1789
The Diamond Match Company patents book matches, 1892
New Zealand declares independence from UK, 1907

Friday, September 25, 2009


Thanks to instructions by Leah (thank you!), if I did it right, whatever I wrote for yesterday posted while I was en route to San Antonio yesterday.

If I do it right again, this will post while I am en route from S.A. to New Mexico, and meeting up with the rest of our friends.

Also, if my Sweetie is on top of his game, he is home today with the kids to make sure #1 Son is awakened on time for his morning class, #2 Son is packed and ready to go when Grandpa gets there to pick him up to go to the out of town football game, Bigger Girl and neighbor boy get picked up from school, and Little Girl gets her work done. He will also order the pizza for dinner (I tried to make everything as easy for him as possible), and just generally try to keep the kids from burning the place down or letting anything get too out of hand.

I'm trying not to think about how the laundry is piling up...

Today is:

Ashura -- Muslim nations

Feast of Nammu -- Sumerian Calendar (goddess of primeval sea)

Feast of Nariwiinyapah (god of immortal water)

First Responders' Day

Gold Star Mother's Day

Hug A Vegetarian Day

Join a Cabal of International Bankers Today Day

Kamarampaka Day, Rwanda

Love Note Day

Mozambique Popular Liberation Forces day

National Comic Book Day

National Crabmeat Newberg Day

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

National Food Service Worker's day

National One-Hit Wonder Day

Native American Day

Salute the Sun Day, China

St. Finnbar's Day

St. Joseph Calasanctius' Day (patron of Christian schools)

Toad Tempting Day -- Fairy Calendar

World Ataxia Awareness Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

St. Ferment is beheaded in Amiens, France, after voyaging there to preach the gospel, 303
The Battle of Stamford Bridge marks the end of the Anglo-Saxon era, 1066
Columbus begins his second voyage, with 17 ships, 1493
Vasco Nunez de Balboa becomes the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of the Americas, 1513
The first printing press in the Americas begins operations, 1639
Ethan Allan, American Revolutionary War hero, is captured, 1775
Benedict Arnold joins the British, 1780
The first all-black university in the US, Howard University, is created by Congress, 1867
Yosemite National Park is established by Congress, 1890
Charles Follis becomes the first black to play professional American football, 1904
Birth of the remote control -- Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the "Telekino" and guides a boat from the shore in the port of Bilbao, 1906

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If all has gone as planned, today is the day I am traveling to San Antonio to meet up with a friend.

We will carpool with a third friend to New Mexico.

I am calling it a retreat. It is not particularly religious, but to me it is a pilgrimage of a sort. I get to spend some time with people whose presence will give me hope.

Maybe, someday, I will be able to host one of these get togethers. That is my goal, but for now, I travel.

Today is:

American Indian Day

Bolton Fair, UK

Buy Nothing Day

18th Century Military Encampment Day

Feast of Ingathering/Harvest, UK

Feast of Maiso, Brazil (pre-existent mother goddess)

Feast Day of Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, Dominican Republic

Feast of Our Lady of Mercy -- Catholic Christian

Festival of the Latest Novelties

Festival of Nafulectu Dilxiln, Arizona (Black Big Spider, San Carlos Apache)

Fidelity Day

Independence Day, Guinea-Bissau

Metropolitan Opera in NYC Opening Night

Milligan Mini-Polka Day, Nebraska

National Bluebird of Happiness Day

National Cherries Jubilee Day

Nuestra Senora De Las Mercedes (Our Lady of Hope), Peru

Punctuation Day

Republic Day, Trinidad

Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving (Pennsylvania Dutch)

St. Gerard's Day (patron of Hungary)

Third Republic Day, Ghana

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration of the Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Komnenos, dies; the empire slips into terminal decline, 1180
The first autopsy and coroner's jury verdict is recorded in the state of Maryland, 1657
John Jay is appointed by George Washington as the first Chief Justice of the then six-person Supreme Court, which was instituted by the Federal Judiciary Act passed that same day, 1789
US Attorney General Office is created, 1789
The Northern Daily Times becomes the first provincial daily newspaper in London, 1853
Alexander Dey patents a dial time recorder, 1889

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The best thing about traveling without the family for the first time ever will be getting away from it all.

The worst will be coming back to it all, after I haven't been here to at least try to keep a lid on things for a few days.

I keep reminding them that if they don't do something, whether feed the cats or refill the water pitcher or whatever it is, that it will not get done.

I'm trying not to let my imagination go with what I'm going to find when I get back.

Meanwhile, the flooding in our neighboring states is tearing my heart up. We have had hurricanes and flooding around here, and we know the devastation. One friend of mine on the board lives where a creek that averages 2-3 feet deep is right now at 30 feet and rising. The creek in our neighborhood has flooded, but never that badly. That would even reach our house.

May this end soon for them.

Today is

Alban Elfed (a/k/a Mabon) -- Celtic Winter Finding

Checkers Day

Dogs in Politics Day (Okay, I'm tempted but this one is too easy.)

Feast of Carman (Celtic goddess of poetry)

Feast of Carpo (Celtic goddess of autumn)

Feast of Chukem, Columbia (deity of footraces)

Festival of Papa, wife of Rangi -- Maori

Frontier Day, Wyoming

Proposal Day

St. Adaman's Day

St. Cadoc's Day

Unification Day, Saudi Arabia

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Concord of Worms, 1122
The first major battle of the Wars of the Roses, at Blore Heath if Staffordshire, 1459
First commencement exercises of Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., 1642
Liechtenstein declares its independence from the German Empire, 1719
John Paul Jones' "Bon Homme Richard" defeats the HMS Serepis, 1779
Lewis and Clark arrive back in St. Louis from their explorations, 1806
Nintendo Koppai, later known as Nintendo Company, Limited, is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi; it produces and markets the playing card game Hanafuda, 1889

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ever have the phone ring 5 times while you are cooking dinner? Each time about something important, like an ill kitten that you may end up having to nurse for several days?

And you are cooking something that has to be tended on the stove the whole time?

Plus have a screaming, hungry kitten climbing on you wanting its bottle?

Plus have your Sweetie (or what's-his-name, if you are not feeling very loving at the moment!) yelling from the other room that the computer in there won't get online again because the wireless remote adapter is acting up again?

Then get stuck with the tech on the phone for 45 minutes who can only tell you that since you got the adapter working by trying 3 different times to reconnect with the password, there isn't anything else to do, just hope it keeps working?

All the while trying to work up the schedule for the family to use while you are gone so everybody gets their work done and nobody gets left behind?

And having someone asking you questions in the chat room, where you are trying to follow two different conversations?

Then you have some idea of my evening yesterday.

And why I need a vacation.

American Business Women's Day

Dear Diary Day

Elephant Appreciation Day


Festival of Disappearances

Festival of the Sea Goddess -- Eskimo

Hobbit Day

Ice Cream Cone Day

Independence Day, Mali

Kiwanis Kids Day

National Centenarians Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day

National Laundry Worker's Day

National White Chocolate Day

St. Maurice's Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Legion I Italica is created by Emperor Nero, 66
Switzerland becomes an independent state, 1499
An all female jury hears the case of a woman who was charged with killing her child, vote to acquit, 1656
A final 8 people are hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Mass., 1692
City of Des Moines, Iowa, is incorporated as Fort Des Moines, 1851
Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather, King George III, as the longest reigning monarch in British history, 1895
Italo Marchiony granted a patent for the ice cream cone, 1903
England's first airplane flight, 1910
Ralph J. Bunche becomes the first black winner of the Nobel Peace Price, 1950

Monday, September 21, 2009

After all the work of the last few days, it is happening again.

The main computer goes online, the router seems to be working, the laptop is doing well, the computer that stays on because of a USB wireless adapter is having to be reconnected, reconfigured, re-whatevered, several times a day.

What I really love is redownloading all the software from the disk and it tells me it can't work, and yet I get online after, while it is saying it doesn't work.

So, another day, another call to tech support (later, after I get some work done this morning).

Part of the work for today is showing the kids, yet again, how to use the dishwasher and washing machines while I am out of town.

They know how to use the stuff, they put items in the dishwasher and know how to sort clothes and measure the powder, it's just that when it is full, I usually start the machines.

I said to #2 Son yesterday that I was going to be talking to them about this stuff today, and he said, "Oh, mom, you know I can't run the washing machine! I don't know what all of those buttons are for!" I said, "Son, you can run the Wii, you can run the washer!"

Like the Navy pilot whose wife, on family day, got to see the inside of the cockpit of his plane. She asks, "So, you know how to use every one of those switches, dials, knobs, buttons, and everything else?" He answered with, "Yes, I have to know what every single one of them does and how to work them all." She gave him The Look and said, "So, how come you tell me you can't figure out the buttons on our washing machine?"

Today is:

Apple Festival

Biosphere Day

Feast of the Divine Light, Egypt

Feast of Kuodor-gup, Siberia (god of riches)

Festival of Nyamuzinda, Zaire (god of famine and epidemics)

Get Out of Town Today Day (Sorry, has to be delayed until Thursday for me.)

Independence Day, Armenia, Belize

International Banana Festival

International Peace Day

Miniature Golf Day

National Pecan Cookie Day

National Women Road Warrior Day

Press Day

St. Matthew's Day

World Gratitude Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Richard the Lionheart captured, 1192
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa orders Jews of Holland to wear a badge, 1451
John and Nicolaas van der Heyden patent a fire extinguisher, 1677
Nathan Hale arrested for spying, 1776
The Pennsylvania Packet & Daily Advertiser becomes the first successful US daily newspaper, 1784
Joseph Smith, Jr. claims that the Angel Moroni gives him the gold plates from which he translates the Book of Mormon, 1827
The Duryea Motor Wagon Company becomes the first auto manufacturer, 1895
"Kit Carson", the first cowboy film, premiers in the US, 1903
Publication of Tolkien's "The Hobbit", 1937

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This past week has been frustrating, as my access to the internet has been an on again, off again thing.

Since my ISP has fixed what it could, and I had even been given a new modem and went out and bought a new router, and we still couldn't keep the system up properly, I gave in yesterday and once again called tech support, this time of Linksys, the wireless system that I've been having so much trouble with.

I explained that all the wires leading to the house have been checked, and several times in the last months repaired, by AT&T. That since I also have indoor wire maintenance with AT&T, they had also sent someone out to check all of my indoor wiring (the house is over 50 years old, so heaven knows what he found, but apparently it is adequate and working right). As I said, I have a new modem, just in case that was the problem.

Now, it was down to the fact that if I ran the modem straight into my main computer, that computer would come online, first time, every time. When I added the step of sending the signal through the wireless router, it was hit or miss, and had finally just become miss. This was true in spite of the new router.

The nice tech support guy got it when I explained it that way. Something in my computer was not acting right with the router, and needed to be fixed. There were two ways to do that. He could talk me through it (free, because since I bought the router new the day before yesterday I was obviously still within the warranty and free help by phone period). Or I could pay ten bucks and let him remotely access my computer and fix it. I opted to save both of us tearing out our hair in frustration and let him have the con, so to speak.

I will never know what he did, but whatever it is, he told my computer to behave itself, and it is!

Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law states that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Well, to me it was technological magic, and so now maybe I can write a post without connection outages.

It has inspired me to write a poem, and a bad one at that, but since this is a boring blog, my boring poetry is one of the prices you have to pay to read it!

I have an intense admiration for people who unlike me
Are techies who can turn a computer into a tv
Or who can beam a signal anywhere, without care
While mouth agape, this Luddite does stare.
I call tech support, pay my fee, and then see
Someone remotely programs my Linksys for me.
I watch on the screen, buttons pressed, mouse moving
Which goes, once again, into really proving
That those of us who are barely computer literate
Had best be polite and extremely considerate.
Those techies control parts of my world, you know
If they decide that it is to be so
The next thing I know, they might be able
To see what I'm thinking while I cruise the net on their cable! :)

Today is:

Airborne Operations Day, Netherlands

Birthday of the Sun -- Inca

Eid al Fitr -- Islam, marks the end of Ramadan

Feast of Orlog, Finland, Norway, & Sweden (deity of destiny)

Feast of Zywie, Poland (goddess of longevity)

Gibberish Day

Italian National Feast

National Rum Punch Day

National Women's Friendship Day

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

Birthdays Today:

Taro Aso, 1940
Sophia Loren, 1934
Anne Meara, 1929
Dr. Joyce Brothers, 1928
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, 1890
Upton Sinclair, 1878
Emperor Takakura of Japan, 1161

Today in History:

Atilla the Hun defeated at Chalons-sur-Marne by General Aetius, 451
Saladin begins the siege of Jerusalem, 1187
Maryland passes the first "anti-amalgamation" law to stop English women from marrying black men, 1664
The Negro Convention of Free Men agrees to boycott slave-produced goods, 1830
George Simpson patents an electric range, 1859

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trying to pack to go out of town is difficult. I end up having to coordinate lots of things, of course, including making sure the kids actually are bringing me their dirty clothes that they need cleaned to pack, and not just telling me that they are.

Get someone to agree to collect the mail, mow the lawn if it will need it, come in and feed the cats/scoop the boxes.

All the details.

Funny, but since I am the only one leaving town this time, you would think it would be easier. Instead, it is harder.

I have to remind the family of all the stuff they need to do, and it has to be spelled out, step by step, up to and including the menu for each day, when to clean boxes and take out trash, reminders to do everything.

Erma Bombeck once said, about the skills of the house only mom seems to know, like how to change a toilet paper roll or turn off a light switch or lower a toilet seat, something to the effect that if I have to take these things with me when I go, I'm not going! :)

Today is:

Cosmetic Bridge Day

Feast of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (god of wisdom and magic)

Feast of Mato -- Lakota and Ogalala Sioux (Bear Spirit)

Independence Day, St. Kitts and Nevis

International Coastal Cleanup Day

International Eat An Apple Day

Jubilee of the Moth Moons -- Fairy Calendar

National Butterscotch Pudding Day

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

Navaratri -- Hindu, continues through Sept. 27

Oktoberfest Begins, Germany

Pig's Face Feast, Gloucestershire, UK

Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Rosh Hashanah -- Jewish

Scouring the White Horse, Berkshire, UK

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

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Visit a Sick Friend Today, Day

Wife Appreciation Day

World Peace Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Continental Congress passes the first budget of the US, 1778
Ephraim Morris patents the railroad brake, 1838
Bond and Lassell discover Hyperion, moon of Saturn, 1848
New Zealand becomes the first country to grant all of its women the right to vote, 1893
Funeral of assassinated President William McKinley, 1901
Mickey Mouse makes his screen debut as Steamboat Willie, at the Colony Theater in NYC, 1928

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just when it seems we were getting our heads above the water...

The wireless router goes out.

The lawn needs to be mowed again.

We are out of bread. Crackers. More cat litter wouldn't hurt, either. A few other items, too, but those three are the most important.

The bills come due so fast, the food runs out so fast, stuff breaks.

Today, #2 Son came running in to beg for permission to go do something with a friend. It was going to be fun and exciting and he had been invited. The other child's parents would be in attendance the whole time. I said sure, and he ran off, excited.

He came back a few minutes later, plan canceled. I asked what had happened, and was told the fine print. Turns out, he also needed $35 plus spending money to do whatever it was. He was smiling, saying, "I just told them 'No, thank you' and came home to tell you I am going to M's house instead." He knows it just isn't in the budget. No begging, just acceptance and different plans in a heartbeat.

They say so much about parenting. You can't give them everything. It's okay if they have to play on the playground, not in a structured play class. They don't need every lesson under the sun.

I agree. I also just wish that, on occasion, I could hand them the money. Just a few times in their lives.

I'm concerned that, by the time we get there, if we ever do, it will be too late. They will be grown and gone by then, the opportunity to just give them something, some spontaneous fun thing like that, will be gone.

Taking an adult child out to lunch instead will be nice, but it just won't be the same as seeing the joy on a smaller face when you can unexpectedly say yes.

I'm afraid it just won't happen.

It saddens me.

Today is:

Festival of Pungarancha (Michocan Indians god of runners)

Festival of Inner Worlds

Independence Day, Chile

Kasteilet (Dividing of the Cheese), Switzerland

National Button Show

National Cheeseburger Day

National Chocolate Day

National Play-Doh Day

National Respect Day

National POW/MIA Day

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

Victory of Uprona Day, Burundi

World Water Monitoring Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Christopher Colombus lands at Costa Rica on his 4th and final voyage, 1502
Ft. Ticonderoga, NY opens, 1755
John Harris builds the first spinet piano in the US, 1769
President Washington lays the cornerstone of the Capitol Building, 1793
Royal Opera House in London opens, 1809
A horse beats the first US made locomotive, near Baltimore, 1830
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is first published, 1842
The banking firm of Jay Cooke & Co. in Philadelphia declares bankruptcy, which starts the Panic of 1873 and a severe economic depression, 1873
Daniel David Palmer gives the first chiropractic adjustment, 1895

Thursday, September 17, 2009

For years now, there has been talk of moving to a cashless society.

In some ways it makes sense. After all, as my grandmother used to say, money is very dirty, you don't know whose hands have been all over it. My dad, a doctor, thought his mom was crazy for believing that, then saw a study done that showed all the bacteria and drug crystals on paper money, and realized that this was one of those "old wives tales" his mom got right.

In other ways, I don't want to see it happen. Money is called currency because it flows from hand to hand. I earn it, I save it, I spend it, it moves.

When it is just electronic, and we don't see it, it is not real to us. Seriously, studies have shown that people spend more when they use plastic than when they use cash, up to twice as much. It doesn't register to us as a real transaction the way pulling bills out of a wallet and paying does.

I find this to be true in my own life. I decided several months ago to simply cash my paycheck each week and get whatever else I need for the week out of the checking account at the same time, and when the cash is gone, nothing else gets bought. This is what gasses the vehicles, buys the groceries, gets Sweetie's one meal a week he buys at work, or anything else we need.

When the cash is gone, it is gone. It makes me stop and consider every trip every place. It makes me look twice at each purchase. It makes me realize that the money being spent is finite and real.

Using a card at the gas pump and the store and every place else never did that. Only having a limited supply of it on hand did that.

Yes, it is easier to pay some bills online. Yes, I have lots of stuff set to automatically debit from our account each month.

For the gas, groceries, clothes, lunches, kids buying sno-cones, etc., when I see the cash dwindling, and know there is an end, I am more careful how I spend each penny.

I don't want to lose that element of how cash makes me think before spending to the ease of a cashless society.

Today is:

Citizenship Day

Constitution Day

Feast of the Pilgrims, Villers-Perwin, Belgium

Festival of Min Kyawzwa, Burma (god of drinking and fireworks -- should they really be mixing those two?)

National Apple Dumpling Day

National Student Day

Stigmata of St. Francis' Day

St. Hildegard's Day

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

VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day

Birthdays Today:

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, 1951
John Ritter, 1948
Ken Kesey, 1935
Anne Bancroft, 1931
Roddy McDowall, 1928
Hank Williams Sr., 1923
Jerry Colonna, 1904
Samuel Johnson, 1709

Today in History:

Arabs conquer Alexandria, and destroy its library for the last time, 642
Netherland sailors discover Mauritus, 1598
Massachusetts Bay Colony gets a new charter, 1691
Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain, 1776
US Constitution is adopted by the Philadelphia convention, 1787
Sprinkler system for extinguishing fires is patented by Phillip W. Pratt, 1872
The first transcontinental airplane flight, from New York to Pasadena, is completed after 82 hours 4 minutes, 1911

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It seems that I have done something, and I'm not sure what.

I was clicking around on the buttons of the dashboard of this blog, and ended up with every control I was used to looking different.

I can't seem to get it back to the way it was.

I can't find the font color I liked so much, I think this is close, but not the same.

I went looking for ways to prewrite posts and have them publish later, when I am on my retreat.  Looks like I'm going to have to keep searching to figure out if there is a way to do this.

If there isn't, or if this Luddite can't find or use it, there may be a few days where I won't be able to blog.

Oh, well, when the most boring blog on the planet doesn't have anything new, is that really anything new? Hehehe.

Today is:

Big Whopper Liar's Contest

Cherokee Strip Day, Oklahoma

Collect Rocks Day (I guess it means besides all the ones in my head.)

Feast of St. Ludmilla, Patron of The Czeck Republic and Slovakia

Independence Day, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Singapore

Lailat al Kadr -- Islam

Mayflower Day (The ship left England on this day.)

MIA Recognition Day

National Working Parents Day

National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

St. Cornelius' Day

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

St. Euphemia's Day

Stay Away From Seattle Day

Stepfamily Day

Trail of Tears Commemoration Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston, 1630
Handel's "The Messiah" premiers in Dublin, 1741
The Great Seal of the United States is used for the first time, 1782
Slavery is abolished in all French Territories, 1848
The Cherokee Strip, in Oklahoma, is opened, making land available to white settlers, 1893
Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic south pole, 1906
William Durant, carriage-maker, founds General Motors Corp., 1908

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Supposedly, the generator guy is going to come this morning.

Meanwhile, of course, I won't be here to meet up with him, because I will be teaching teens to make a souffle and supervising 2 year old's on the playground.

Our souffle recipe:

Melt 2T butter with 3 oz. chocolate (I'll be using one square of baker's chocolate and 2 squares of almond bark). Add 1/2 t vanilla and set aside.

Beat until stiff peak stage 2 egg whites, 2 T sugar, a pinch each of salt and cream of tartar.

Fold whites into yolk mix, spoon onto a baking sheet (yes, you can do a souffle this way) making 3 mounds.

Bake at 375* until puffed and set.

If you want a custard sauce to go with it, warm up a cup of milk until bubbly on the sides, but not boiling. Warm up 2 egg yolks with 2 T sugar and and 1/4 t corn starch, very gently, then add warm milk, and whisk constantly until it coats a spoon. Be careful not to overcook at this stage, or you end up with sweet scrambled eggs. Remove from heat and add a bit of vanilla or some instant coffee. Serve over the souffle.

Today is:

Battle of Britain Day, UK

Birthday of the Moon, China

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

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

Independence Day, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

International Day of Democracy

King Turkey Day

Landscape-Nursery Day

Lebanon Bologna Festival, Lebanon, PA

Make a Hat Day

National Creme de Menthe Day

National Sand Sculpture Tournament

Respect for the Aged Day, Japan

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

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy, 1616
The first Negro National Convention begins in Philadelphia, 1830
Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell becomes the first woman in the US to be ordained a minister (Congregationalist), 1853
Timothy Alder patents the typesetting machine, 1857

Monday, September 14, 2009

An interesting story, at least to me, on Yahoo today talks about the "surprisingly low pay" of many critical jobs.

Since it lists things like nanny and preschool teacher and line cook, those don't surprise me at all. The people who do the most work very often end up being the lowest paid.

It also listed auto mechanics.

Since when does any auto mechanic's shop around here charge less than $75 /hour in labor?

I know the mechanic isn't making minimum wage off of that.

The mechanics I know who will come to your house and work on your car in your driveway for you, because you are a friend, still charge $25-35 /hour in labor.

I should make such a minimum wage.

I'm sure there are some out there, who do nothing more than change oil all day long, or do the other routine stuff, who don't make much.

The mechanics, the ones doing the major repairs, are probably making just a bit more than that. Since there is no way I could do what they do, I believe they earn it. Just don't try to tell me the guy who just charged me over $1,000 yet again to repair a vehicle, and that included lots of labor at $75 /hour or more, is only earning minimum wage. He earned it, he sweated in that hot garage, got greasy and filthy, and did a great job. I know he didn't get paid peanuts to do it. If he did, what is the rest of that "labor" money going to cover?

Maybe it's the area of the country I live in. What is the typical labor charge where you live, when you take your car in for repairs?

Today is:

Byzantine New Year

Eat a Hoagie Day

Feast of Lights -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Feast of the Triumph of the Cross -- Chrisitan

Feast of Uru-Wadu, Kisar Island, Indonesia (the primal couple)

Greek New Year

Holy Cross Day (a/k/a Holy Rood Day or Elevation of the Life Giving Cross) -- Christian

International Cross-Culture Day

National Anthem Day

National Boss/Employee Exchange Day

National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day

Nutting Day

Monterrey World Music Festival

Pig's Face Feast

Pilgrimage of the Black Madonna to Einsiedeln, Switzerland

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

Unclear Ideas Display (Imps) -- Fairy Calendar

Wo-Zha-Wa Festival, Wisconsin

Birthdays Today:

Sam Neill, 1947
Joey Heatherton, 1944
Nicol Williams, 1938
Harve Presnell, 1933
Clayton Moore, 1914
Ivan Pallov, 1849

Today in History:

Domitian becomes emperor of Rome upon the death of his brother Titus, 81
Harun al-Rashid beomes Abbasid Caliph upon the death of his brother, al-Hadi, 786
St. Paul's Cathedral in London is destroyed by fire, 1662
The first lighthouse in the US, in Boston, is lit, 1716
George Frederick Handel finishes "Messiah" oratorio, after working on it non-stop for 23 days, 1741
Napoleon occupies Moscow; fires begin that will not be fully extinguished for 5 days, 1812
Francis Scott Key witnesses the battle which inspires him to write "The Defense of Fort McHenry", later retitled "The Star Spangled Banner", 1814
George K Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee patents typewriter ribbon, 1886
Henry Bliss becomes the first automobile fatality, 1899

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You know it's going to be one of those Sundays when it rained the two days before, so you haven't been able to do the laundry (line drying), it's going to rain again today (so you will do the laundry and try to hang it indoors as best you can, which means smaller loads and other problems), someone left the kitten food out the night before and the adult cats gorged themselves on it and got sick, #2 Son is sleeping on the couch with a barf bucket next to him, you have Sunday School to teach and have to get one kid to the church an hour ahead of everyone else because she has to be there to run the pro-presenter for the service, the dishwasher is running already after you got up to find the family raided the kitchen half the night, and it is only5am.

Could somebody tell me why I didn't stick to goldfish? Oh, yeah, they have bucketloads of water to leak all over the place and tons of equipment needed to maintain their quality of life.

I would ask for a vacation, but I still have to find laundromats when we go anywhere and those turn into as much work as any other days, since our vacations find us at condos with me still doing the cooking and cleaning.

A judge recently dismissed someone's lawsuit again the Almighty, because there is no address at which to serve Him with legal papers. So I guess that also means I have no place to send in my resignation letter.

I would say, another day, another dollar, but I don't even get paid for this stuff.

Today is:

Celiac Awareness Day

Defender's Day, US except Maryland

Defy Superstition Day

Faulty Day

Fortune Cookie Day

Grandparent's Day

Johnny Appleseed Festival

Knabenschiessen, Zurich, Switserland

Lictisternia -- Roman Calendar, festival for Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva

National Peanut Day

National Pet Memorial Day

National Urban Eden Day

Positive Thinking Day

Snack-A-Pickle Time

St, Venerius' Day (patron of lighthouse keepers)

Vintage Feast, Andalusia, Spain

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The temple of Jupiter on Rome's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September, BC509
Building begins on Hadrian's Wall, 122
St. Francis of Assisi receives stigmata, 1224
NYC becomes the first capital of the US, 1788
US Government takes out its first loan from NYC banks, 1789
Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film, 1898
Lusitania completes her maiden voyage, arriving in NYC, 1907

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So many great blogs out there, so little time.

Seriously, like books, and websites, and magazines, there is so much more I could be reading and learning about, if only there was more time in each day.

I know I write the world's most boring of blogs. That's fine, I never expected anyone else to read it, and I really only write for me.

Reading is another matter.

I will continue to try to read as many blogs, books, websites, etc, as I can. Partly because there is so much out there I want to learn, and partly because reading tons of material comes as naturally to me as breathing.

There will never, ever, be enough hours in the day to read all I want, and that includes lots of wonderful blogs.

Today is:

Defender's Day, Maryland

Feast of Atabel, Tainos, West Indes (mother goddess)

Independence Day, Cape Verde, Ethiopia

National Chocolate Milkshake Day

National Day, Saudi Arabia

National Day of Encouragement

National Video Games Day (another one!)

Popcorn Day

St. Alibe's Day

St. Guy's Day

Virgin's Fair, Greece

World Suicide Prevention Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The first submarine is tested in London, 1624
Turkish troops besieging Vienna are overthrown after 2 months by Poland's King Sobieski, 1683
First Black Masons Lodge is formed, 1787
Switzerland becomes a Federal State, 1848
The "Cleopatra Needle" is installed in London, 1878
The world's first female police officer, Alice Stebbins Wells, is appointed by the LAPD, 1910

Friday, September 11, 2009

For those who have been following the study that says exercise doesn't help you lose weight, etc.

Epidemiologist and researcher Steven Blair has come out and said what should have been said all along. The biggest threat to our health is not heart disease, cancer, or even diabetes. It is inactivity.

In case you are wondering who this person is, Blair was the senior scientific editor of the 1996 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. He works at the University of South Carolina and is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on exercise and health.

Our lives are designed around inactivity. This is very sad to me.

I very much enjoyed the book Cheaper by the Dozen, and think Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, who helped found much of the science behind saving motions and time, and designing equipment to be less fatiguing to workers, among other things, were geniuses. If there was a faster, easier, and, let's face it, lazier, way to do it, they wanted to find that way, to save time and movement. This is brilliant, if you then use that time for other, productive things. Exercise and activity that keep you healthy can be one of those productive things. If you save the time only to waste it lying on the couch constantly, it is just folly.

Incorporate movement and activity into your day. You won't regret it.

Today is:

Auditor's Day

Chelsea Antique Fair

Discontinued Thoughts Exhibition -- Fairy Calendar

Ethiopian New Year

Harvest Festival, Hungary

Honey, I Want to Start My Own Business Day

Jinnah Day, Pakistan

Make your Bed Day

National Hot Cross Buns Day

National Neighborhood Day

National Tricky Handshake Day

No News is Good News Day

Patriot Day

St. Deiniol's Day

St. Ethelberga's Day

St. Paphnutius' Day

St. Protus and Hyacinth's Day

Wrench In the Works Day

Anniversaries Today:

Diocletian New Year

Remembrance of 9/11/2001

Birthdays Today:

Harry Connick, Jr. 1967
Kristy McNichol, 1962
Lola Falana, 1943
Tom Dreesen, 1942
Brian DePalma, 1940
Paul "Bear" Bryant, 1913
D.H. Lawrence, 1885
O. Henry, 1862

Today in History:

Battle of Teutoburg Forest ends, 9
Michimalonko leads indigenous warriors to attack and destroy Santiago, Chile, 1541
Alexander Hamilton is appointed first Secretary of the Treasury, 1789
Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", gives her first US concert, 1850
The Olympia Columbian becomes the first newspaper published north of the Columbia River, 1852
The postal mail chute is patenteted by James Cutler, 1883

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today is not a good day to blog.

Let's just leave it at that.

Today in History:

Air Force Day, Canada

Festival of the Poets, Japan

Godsall Day (Day of Rest), Southern outer Tibet

Harvest Home Nibbling Contest (Gremlins) -- Fairy Calendar

Hot Dog Day

International Dart Tournament, Alberta, Canada

Moon Festival

Old-Timers Day

National Employee/Boss Exchange Day

National Weiner Schnitzel, Day

Scapegoat Day

Sewing Machine Day

Swap Ideas Day

St. Finian's Day

St. George's Caye Day, Belize

St. Nicholas of Tolentino's Day (patron of sick animals, mariners, holy souls, babies, mothers, and the dying -- talk about a busy Saint!)

Birthdays Today:

Amy Irving, 1953
Joe Perry, 1950
Jose Feliciano, 1945
Charles Kuralt, 1934
Roger Maris, 1934
Arnold Palmer, 1929
Rin Tin Tin, 1918
Fay Wray, 1907
Adele Astaire, 1896
Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890
Ian Fleming, 1888
Isaac Kauffman Funk, 1839
Marie Laveau, 1801

Today in History:

John Smith is elected president of Jamestown, Va., Colony Council, 1608
Nathan Hale answers the call of George Washington for a volunteer spy, 1776
Elias Howe patents the sewing machine, 1846
Lincoln Highway, the first paved coast-to-coast road in the US, opens, 1913

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ever have one of those mornings where everything is slow?

Right now, my internet connection is slower than molasses in January. Makes everything take longer.

For example, I am trying to write this, and check to make sure the phone that #1 Son lost last month was not used to charge stuff to the bill (yes, I did look into that at the time, now that the bill for the month is here, I am checking again just in case). I am also checking email, and surfing around to find stuff to blog about, as if blogging about kittens being sick is not boring enough.

Yes, more sick kittens. I am a glutton for punishment, aren't I?

They became ill over the long weekend, on Saturday just as all the vets offices were closing, of course.

I spent my holiday weekend making sure none of the not quite fully weaned kittens died of dehydration by syringe forcing liquids until I could get them to the vet yesterday morning, who, it turned out, was not going to be in, but there was a substitute, but she had a family emergency, so they called another lady who essentially is a traveling vet filling in for those on vacation wherever they happen to need her.

All this, and Little Girl got sick at co-op and I had to take her home, and -- wait a minute this started out as a rant about slow internet connection.

Ah, the messy mind.

Thus, my blog title.

Today is:

Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day (Because it is 9/9/09)

Buy No Gasoline Day

Chusak, Korea

Expectant Mother's Day

Freedom Day, Bulgaria

Horned Dance at Abbots Bromley -- Celtic Calendar

Independence Day, Tajikistan

Jeune Genevois (Flower and Garden Festival), Geneva, Switzerland

Milk-Bathing Festival -- Fairy Calendar

National Steak Au Poivre Day

Potato Bowl, Grand Forks, ND

St. Peter Claver's Day

Teddy Bear Day

Wonderful Weirdoes Day

Birthdays Today:

Adam Sandler, 1966
Hugh Grant, 1960
Angela Cartwright, 1952
Michael Keaton, 1951
Billy Preston, 1946
Otis Redding, 1941
Cliff Robertson, 1925
James Hilton, 1900
Colonel Harland Sanders, 1890
Alf Landon, 1887
Leo Tolstoy, 1828
William Bligh, 1754

Today in History:

William I, The Conqueror, dies in a horseriding accident, 1087
The New England colonies declare war on the Wampanoag Tribe, 1675
The first steam engine arrives in the US colonies, 1753
The first recorded black to graduate from a US college, Alexander Lucius Twilight, receives a BA from Middlebury College, 1817
Charles Durant, the first US aeronaut, flies a balloon from Castle Garden, NYC to Perth Amboy, NJ, 1830
The first plate glass photograph is taken by John Herschel, 1839
California becomes the 31st state and the territories of New Mexico and Utah are created, 1850
Orville Wright makes the first one hour plane flight, 1908
J. Verdrines becomes the first person to fly at over 100mph, 1912

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

R is for recipe.

Today's recipe for cooking class is peas in roux. If you are what you eat, that makes me, and this recipe, cheap, quick, and easy.

Make a roux. That means mix about equal amounts of flour and fat (using a bit more fat than flour helps it not stick at all) -- bacon grease is a favorite, butter is good, canola oil is virtuous, and burn the flour in the fat slowly, very slowly.

Saute some chopped onion in the roux.

Sprinkle some sugar over it, stir and cook for a moment, and add a couple of cans of peas, some creole seasoning or tabasco or whatever you like, and salt and pepper.

Cook down a bit, and serve over rice. A complete protein meal.

#2 Son will be cooking dinner tonight, or so he says.

He wants to try a new recipe, something about Chinese dumplings, and he wants to do it totally by himself.

If nothing else, this should prove interesting. And heaven help my kitchen. If he is like his father, I will come home to an explosion to which he will casually say, "I cooked, I shouldn't have to clean also." If I took that attitude...

Ah, never mind. Pass the soy sauce. (And thank heaven for the fish sticks in the freezer that I keep for backup!)

Today is:

Andorra National Day

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin -- Catholic Christian

Feast of Papa-Lea (god of Kava Drinking)

Independence Day, Guinea-Bissau

International Literacy Day

National Date Nut Bread Day

National Pardon Day

One World Festival, NY

Sheriff's Ride Ceremony, Lichfield, UK

St. Adrian's Day (patron of arms dealers, butchers, prison guards)

World Physical Therapy Day

Birthdays Today:

Frankie Avalon, 1940
Guitar Sorty, 1939
Patsy Cline, 1932
Peter Sellers, 1925
Sid Caesar, 1922
Claude Pepper, 1900
Antonin Leopold Dvorak, 1841
Richard I (Lionheart), 1157

Today in History:

Michaelangelo's David is unveiled in Florence, 1504
Juan de Elcano, Spanish navigator, returns to Spain, thus completing the first circumnavigation of the globe which began under Magellan, 1522
St. Augustine, FL, becomes the first permanent European settlement of the New World, 1565
The US "Pledge of Allegiance" makes its first appearance in print, in the Youth's Companion, 1892
Galveston, TX, is struck by a hurricane and tidal surge that kill 6,000, 1900
First appearance of the comic strip "Blondie", 1930

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Sum of Their Equation

Even as a teenager, I knew something was just not right with the equation.

As I grew ever heavier over the years, and would work to get it off, then watch it come back, over and over for over 30 years, I knew something in the equation was off.

They told me, everyone knows it, that it is nothing more than calories in vs calories out when it comes to weight gain and loss.

If that was so true, why, oh why, did I sometimes subsist on so little, and lose almost nothing, even with exercise, and others I knew never bothered to be very active, ate all they wanted, and they never gained an ounce?

Also, they told us over and over that the time of day you ate had nothing to do with it.

Now, comes a new study out of Northwestern University in Illinois.

Researchers put groups of mice that had the exact same genetic background, in other words, bred specially for this kind of test, so you are comparing apples to apples, on the same number of calories a day, and the same exercise regimen. The only difference between the two groups is that one was fed most of their calories during the day. The others were fed the majority of their calories during the hours when they would usually be in a sleep cycle.

Result? The group of mice, fed the same number of calories and getting the same exercise, fed at night, gained twice the weight of the other group.

Translation according to scientists? I can hear it now -- it's just mice, it doesn't matter, it won't translate to humans, calories in vs calories out is the only equation, you just eat too much.

But. The calories in vs calories out equation does not take into account that some people's metabolism is slower than others. It doesn't take into account the fact that your calorie needs vary from day to day, even from hour to hour, depending on how much sleep you got, what your hormone levels are, your current activity level, and a whole bunch of other etceteras.

Everything matters. What you eat. When you eat. Hormone levels. How you eat it (mindfully or mindlessly). How fast. How much. How much your body needs at that hour on that day.

It has always been more than just simple math, because the human body is more than just the sum of an easy equation. No two people react exactly the same to the exact same medications, procedures, or stimuli. Our bodies are more tremendously complex than we could ever imagine.

The study was reported in the journal Obesity, and a report about it can be seen here:

They are starting to see what those of us who gain weight so easily, and take so long to lose it, have known for years.

We are not just the sum of their equation.

Today is:

Carnegie Library Day, Scotland

Carrie Nation Festival

Death Day

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary -- Catholic Christian

Festival of Durga (goddess of Engergy and the World)

Fiesta de Santa Fe

Google Commemoration Day

Grandad's Day

Grandma Moses Day

His Holiness Sakya Trizin's Birthday -- Buddhist

Independence Day, Brazil

Kielbasa Festival

Labor Day

National Napoleon Day

Neither Snow Nor Rain Day

Onam Festival

Snow Ridge Scots-Irish Festival, Turin, NY

St. Cloud's Day

United Tribes International Pow-Wow

Welsh Fairies Nonnet-Hurling Competition -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Gloria Gaynor, 1949
Richard Roundtree, 1942
Cuneyt Arkin, 1937
John Phillip Law, 1937
Buddy Holly, 1936
Don Messick, 1927
Peter Lawford, 1923
Anthony Quayle, 1913
Elia Kazan, 1909
Michael E. DeBakey, 1908
Grandma Moses, 1860
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533

Today in History:

Traditionally, the solar eclipse date that marks the birth of Heracles of Thebes (Latin Hercules), BC1251
The Roman army under Titus occupies and plunders Jerusalem, 70
The "Troy Post" of NY first uses "Uncle Sam" to refer to the US, 1813
Last hold-up of Jesse James, 1881
Edith Eleanor McLean becomes the first baby in the US to be put in an incubator for premature infants, 1888
The first day of the first Miss America Pageant is held in Atlantic City, NJ, 1921
Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of television in San Francisco, 1927
Integration begins in Washington, D.c. and Baltimore, MD public schools, 1954

Sunday, September 6, 2009

J.P. Morgan said, "A man always has two reasons for doing anything -- a good reason and the real reason."

The real reason is probably the silly, or funny, or embarrassing, or catty, or sneaky one that the inner, primitive part of you has. Some people call this the id, or the inner child, or you can even think of it as the sin nature, but it is there, it is real, and it has its own reasons for doing things.

An example would be the desire to lose weight and get into better shape. You, the adult, thinking, rational, reasoning you, might want to do it for health, and to keep aging at bay as long as possible, and because you know it is good for you. Those are all very good reasons. They will do nothing, however, toward motivating your inner saboteur, that primitive part of us.

That part, which I tend to call the inner child because it is an easy term to use, has its own reasons. When you can get down to these "real" reasons, you will start to see progress. In the example of losing weight and getting into better shape, your "real" reason might be so you can go to that high school reunion and show that awful cheerleader, who is now fat, that you look better than she does. It is not pretty, but it is the "real" reason that will motivate your inner child to cooperate and not reach for a twinkie.

So, when you have a goal, try to find out your "real" reason for achieving it. Then, when you are standing around arguing with yourself (or with your inner child) about whether to hold on to what you want most or give in to what you want at the moment, you can haul out your real reason. At that point, you will have a real shot at winning the argument.

Making getting there fun, as well, and your inner child might not put up such a fuss, either.

Today is:

Ear and Trumpet Contests for Mice -- Fairy Calendar

Fight Procrastination Day

National Coffee Ice Cream Day

National Do It Day

Peach Days begin

Player Piano Day

Read A Book Day

Salami Day

St. Bega's Day (aka Bee; patron of laborers)

St. Giles' Fair, Oxford, UK

St. Magnus of Fussen's Day (patron of crops; against caterpillars, hail,

reptiles, vermin)

Sumhlulu Day, Swaziland (Independence Day)

Birthdays Today:

Jeff Foxworthy, 1958
Jane Curtin, 1947
Swoosie Kurtz, 1944
Jo Anne Worley, 1937
Joseph P. Kennedy, 1888
Jane Addams, 1860
Marquis de Lafayette, 1757

Today in History:

The Spanish "Silver Fleet" disappears off the Fla. Keys, 1622
Founding of Salem, Massachussetts, 1628
The first US lighthouse is built in Boston, 1716
Hurricane hits Martinique and Guadalupe, hundreds of ships sink and thousands die on land and at sea, 1776
Thomas Blanchard patents the lathe, 1819
Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio becomes co-ed, with 4 women and 30 men in attendance, 1837

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It never rains but it pours, right?

Yesterday, I expected a typical Friday. Work, school with younger kids, pick up Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy from school, rush to make a quick supper before leaving to get them and serve the moment I get home so I can rush over to cat rescue shelter and do my shift feeding and cleaning up after kitties. Laundry and cleaning and usual stuff in the middle. Not much going on. Cat shelter has not been overly full the last couple of weeks, and I expected typical amounts of mayhem there, nothing more.

Well, I got Sweetie home in bed with back trouble. Then work, school with younger kids, laundry was on the line, stuff was getting done, sent Sweetie to pick up Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy from school while I made dinner. So far, a bit off with Sweetie home, but not so bad. Then. Middle of cooking labor intensive dinner, just as Sweetie gets home with Bigger Girl, yelling from downstairs; foster kitten that is just weaning decides to try to crawl under a door and gets her head stuck.

Much commotion ensues. Figure out there is no way to gently slide her head out. Try to hold her still, send other kids to turn off stove, and Sweetie to get tools. Take door off hinges, get crazy cat out from under door. Get back to dinner, which is now cold, and get it going again. Serve dinner, rush out the door as I get call from cat shelter coordinator -- "Where are you this evening?" Explain situation and get going.

Find the shelter back to early summer conditions, meaning overfull and with lots of cats needing labor intensive care and medicines. Get home an hour later than usual to home mayhem.

Did I also mention that while in the middle of cooking dinner, I fielded a phone call from our Children's Pastor about solving a problem we are having in the Children's Ministry?

Oh, and yesterday there was no rain in the forecast. None. And there were only these light, fluffy white clouds all around, very few in a big blue sky and very pretty indeed. Except. One Huge Black As It Could Be Cloud Right Over My House. Light, almost not to be felt, but you could barely feel it, rain. On the clothes on my line. While I was cooking dinner.

I got to see the Beautiful Full Corn Moon a/k/a Harvest Moon last night like I wanted. From the alley behind the cat shelter as I took out the trash.

Some days, you just shoulda stood in bed.

Today is:

Be Late For Something Day (I was early celebrating this one, I got it out of the way yesterday!)

Circensian Games begin -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Great Canadian Beer Festival

National Cheese Pizza Day

National Day, Western Samoa

Regatta Day, Malta

St. Laurence Gustiani's Day

St. Zacharias' Day

Wag and Carrot Fancying Day -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Cathy Guisewite, 1950
Raquel Welch, 1940
Carol Lawrence, 1934
Bob Newhart, 1929
Arthur C. Nielsen, 1923
John Cage, 1912
Darryl F. Zanuck, 1902
Jesse James, 1847
Johann Christian Bach, 1735

Today in History:

Hernan Cortez and his men fight the Tlascala Aztecs in the Second Battle of Tehuacingo, Mexico, 1519
Peter the Great of Russia imposes a tax on beards, in an attempt to Westernize his people, 1698
The First Continental Congress is assembled in Philadelphia, 1774
The First Opium war begins in China, 1839
Sioux Chief Crazy Horse is killed, 1877
The First Labor Day Parade is held in NYC, 1882
The first gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 1885

Friday, September 4, 2009


"Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon, up in the sky..."

Okay, okay, I'll quit! Sorry to make such a racket. I don't usually sing, for this very reason.

I just happen to love this song. I remember my grandmother singing it to me. Tonight is the full moon, what some of the Native American Indians called the Full Corn Moon, because the corn is becoming ripe for the harvest. The rest of us just call it the Harvest Moon.

So tonight, just for fun, I will go outside, and, when I'm certain no one is around to have his/her ears pierced with the awful noise, I will softly sing to myself, and watch the moon for a few minutes, and enjoy the fact that it is less than 90degrees outside.

If you want to sing along, that's fine. You may sing as loudly as you wish, however.

Today is:

Animals' Day, Curacao

Anthracite Coal Miners Day

Full Corn Moon

Glass Day

Looking For the Boundaries, Cuchumatan Indians, Guatemala Highlands

National Macadamia Nut Day

Newspaper Carrier Day

St. Boniface I's Day

St. Rose of Viterbo's Day (patron of florists)

Birthdays Today:

Beyonce Knowles, 1981
Mitzi Gaynor, 1930
Dick York, 1928
Paul Harvey, 1918
Henry Ford II, 1917
Richard Wright, 1908
Nigel Bruce, 1895
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand, 1768

Today in History:

Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor in the West, is formally deposed, 476
Edmund Halley, English astronomer, first observes the comet that now bears his name, 1682
The city of Los Angeles is founded in Bahia de las Fumas (Valley of Smokes), 1781
Robert Fulton begins operating his steamboat, 1807
Barney Flahery, age 10, is hired to be the first newsboy, by the NY Sun, 1833
The last major US-Indian war ends with the surrender of Apache Chief Geronimo, 1886
George Eastman patents the first roll-film cameral and registers the trademark name "Kodak", 1888
Beatrix Potter first tells the story of Peter Rabbit, 1893
Comic strip "Beetle Bailey" first appears, 1950

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"The first step is always in your court."

The words seemed to leap off the page at me.

It may seem obvious to some, but when you are dealing with learned helplessness, with the feeling that no matter what you do, you can't make a difference, with rock and hard place choices, it is easy to forget.

You cannot go back and start over. You can decide to change the ending from here, by the next step you take. That step is always in your court.

Today is:

Cromwell's Day

Day of Universal Alarm -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Atqksak, Baffin Land

Independence Day, San Marino, Qatar

Lost Day

National Welsh Rarebit Day

Running of the Sheep, MT

Skyscraper Day

St. Gregory the Great's Day (invented Gregorian Chant; patron of music, popes, singers, teachers, school children; against plague)

St. Marinus' Day

South Carolina Applefest

Birthdays Today:

Charlie Sheen, 1965
Mort Walker, 1923
Kitty Carlisle Hart, 1914
Alan Ladd, 1913
Nicolo Amati, 1596

Today in History:

Sextus Pompeius, son of Pompey, is defeated in the Battle of Naulochus by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, admiral of Octavian, which ends the resistance to the Second Triumvirate, BC36
Saint Marinus founds San Marino, one of the smallest nations in the world and the world's oldest republic still in existence, 301
King Richard I (the Lionheart) crowned, and 30 Jews are massacred as part of the celebration, 1189
The first large group of Swiss and German colonists reach the shores of North and South Carolina areas, 1709
Gregorian calendar adopted, 1752
Signing of the Treaty of Paris, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1783
John Dalton, English scientist begins using symbols to represent different atomic elements, 1803
The first daily newspaper, a "penny paper", the NY Sun, begins publication, 1833
68th and final transport of Dutch Jews, including Anne Frank and her family/friends, leaves for Auschwitz, 1944
Wally Gator premiers, 1962

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My mother was at a wake when it happened.

A dear friend's mother had died. The woman was elderly, and it was not unexpected, though still very sad.

My mom's friend was standing there, looking into the casket at her mother's body, when she said the words you so often hear. "Doesn't she look wonderful?"

The friend burst out laughing when my mother replied with, "No, she looks dead!"

As the friend laughed and gasped and tried to catch her breath, my mother put her hands over her mouth, looking aghast that she had said it out loud. As my mom began to try to stammer out an apology, her friend was laughing so hard by this time she was wiping tears from her eyes. "Thank you!" she said. "Don't apologize. I needed a laugh, and you are absolutely right!"

That is why my mother has left instructions that we are to put a sign over her that says, "By order of the deceased, you are not to stand around saying, 'Doesn't she look wonderful!' She wants you to know that she does not look wonderful, she looks dead!"

Today is:

Beer & Can Day

Bison-Ten-Yell Day

Braemar Royal Highland Gathering, Scotland

Coughing and Spluttering Convention -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Bishamon-Ten, Japan

Feast of Ali, Nussairis, Asia Minor

Festival of P'ing An Fu Chu Wang, the Star King, China

Good Society Day

Historical Regatta, Italy

National Blueberry Popsicle Day

National Frisbee Disc Festival

Old Timer's Day

St. Agricola of Avignon's Day (patron of rain -- for or against,

whichever you need! -- against bad luck)

St. Sulien's Day

VJ Day -- Surrender Ceremony took place on this date aboard the USS


Birthdays Today:

Lennox Lewis, 1965
Keany Reeves, 1964
Jimmy Connors, 1952
Mark Harmon, 1951
Christa McAuliffe, 1948
Terry Bradshaw, 1948
Cleveland Amory, 1917
Lili'uokalani, 1838

Today in History:

Cicero's first Philippic (oratorical attack) on Marc Antony, BC44
Octavian's troops win the Battle of Actium which ends the Final war of the Roman Republic, BC31
Great Fire of London ends with 8 dead and 13,000 houses destroyed, 1666
US Treasury Dept. is established by Congress, 1789
Theodore Roosevelt adivses the US to "Speak softly, and carry a big stick." 1901

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is it just me, or does it seem that quite often in the past, as soon as it was shown that a woman could do a job, men quit doing it?

Here's what I mean. Today, among other things, is Nutt Day. Emma M. Nutt was the first female telephone operator, in 1878. Yes, when we see most classic pictures of telephone operators, it is a female sitting by one of those old fashioned switchboards. When telephones were first being installed however, mostly in businesses at the beginning, all of the operators were male, mostly in their teens. They also stood up, because at first no one thought to give them chairs.

Then, they hired a female, and next thing you know, the stereotypical operator is female.

The same happened with school teachers. No one dared even think of using women to teach. Then, once they did, men got out of the business almost completely. Secretarial work, same thing, and professional nursing, too.

By the time Gene Roddenberry was making the original Star Trek series, it was so ingrained that being the operator was a woman's job, that the only female on the bridge was the communications officer, Uhura. She was really just a glorified operator/receptionist. (Yes, later this changed. In the most recent movie, she is shown in a different light. In the 1960s, that is how she was portrayed, at least to me.)

This happens with names, too. As soon as parents start using what was once a name for either boys or girls more frequently for girls, parents of boys drop it.

Of course, it doesn't happen with all jobs. There are more males than females still in lots of positions. It just makes me wonder, in the past, what was the tipping point? Just what percent of holders of that job had to become female before males dropped doing it? And is there a tipping point today? Will we someday see this happen with certain jobs now?

Something for a Ph.D. dissertation, for someone with the time to research it. Meanwhile, something for my abnormal brain to just meander over.

Today is:

Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day

Chicken Boy's Day

Constitution Day/National Day, Slovakia

Creation Day

Draft Horse Day

Ecclesiastical Year begins -- Orthodox Christian

Feast of the Hermit, NM

Feast of Macuilxochitl, Mexico (5 Flower God)

Independence Day, Libya, Uzbekistan

International Balloon Tournament, Belgium

Iroquios Indian Festival

National Cherry Popover Day

National Day, Slovakia

Nutt Day (For Emma M. Nutt, the first female telephone operator)

Oyster Season begins

Partridge Day (Partridge Hunting Season begins)

Presidential Message Day, Mexico

Revolution Day, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Royal Highland Gathering, Scotland, UK

Sneeze-Wobbling Festival -- Fairy Calendar

St. Fiacre's Day (patron of gardeners, cabdrivers)

St. Giles' Day (patron of the disabled, beggars, nursing mothers)

St. Simon Stylites' Day -- Eastern Orthodox Christian

St. Verana's Day (Patron of millers)

Toy Tips Executive Toy Test Day

United Arab Republics Day

Wattle Day, Australia

Birthdays Today:

Gloria Estefan, 1957
Dr. Phil McGraw, 1950
Barry Gibb, 1946
Lily Tomlin, 1939
Seiji Ozawa, 1935
Conway Twitty, 1933
"Boxcar" Willie, 1931
Rocky Marciano, 1923
Yvonne DeCarlo, 1922
Vittorio Gassman, 1922
Edgar Rice Burroughts, 1875
Englebert Humperdinck. 1854 (composer, esp of opera Hansel and Gretel)
Johann Pachelbel, 1653

Today in History:

RAbbi Moses Ben Nachman establishes a Jewish community on Jerusalem, 1267
The first yacht race is held, between England's King Charles I and his brother James, 1661
Great Fire of London begins, 1666
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa forms in California, 1772
Narcissa Whitman, one of the first white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains, arrives at Walla Walla, Washington, 1836
The first Pullman sleeping car is put into service, 1859
Joseph Lister performs the first antiseptic surgery, 1865
Robert T. Freeman becomes the first African American to graduate from the Harvard Dental School, 1867
The first underground rapid transit system in North America, the Boston Subway, opens, 1897
Alberta and Saskatchewan become the 8th and 0th Canadian provinces, 1905
Martha, the last passenger pigeon, dies at the Cincinnati Zoo, 1914