Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just in Time

This morning I had to run to the cat shelter to pick up more formula for the kittens or risk running out and face mass rebellion from them in the form of crying and climbing up me as if I were a jungle gym.

I wanted to leave early, but every time I tried to step out of the door, I had to stop to do something, and the kittens delayed me twice wanting to eat again.

Because of the delay, I just happened to walk in as the Wednesday morning caretaker was about to give up in frustration on getting a medicine bottle open. It was a type of special closure I hadn't seen before, but I figured out how to line it up so the cap would pop off, and showed her how it worked.

Then, back at home, rather than wait for Bigger Girl to finish her breakfast, I went out to hang the laundry myself. I got out there just in time to see the 3 year old boy of the backyard neighbor hanging by his pajama top from the fence he had tried to climb. He was digging his toes in, trying to hold himself up and yelling for help, so I ducked through the gap in the back fence, lifted him and unhooked him from the fence, and brought him down. His mom stepped out a moment later, she has just run in to grab one quick thing. Kids can get into trouble in an eyeblink -- kind of like kittens.

Forrest is still not eating as much as she should, although she is eating small amounts more frequently. The others don't seem to have as bad symptoms as she does. They are sneezing, and you can tell their noses are stuffy, but they are still eating. I will keep her on the fluids, but I'm hoping they won't need that.

Today is:

Bunsen Burner Day

Freedom Day, Malta

Luna -- Ancient Roman Calendar (moon festival)

National Arts Advocacy Day

National Clams on the Half Shell Day

National "She's Funny That Way" Day

Oranges and Lemons Day

Sacred Drama Day -- Ancient Babylonian Calendar

St. Balbinus' Day

Tater Day

Birthdays Today:

Pavel Bure, 1971
Ewan McGregor, 1971
Angus Young, 1955
Al Gore, 1948
Rhea Perlman, 1948
Gabe Kaplan, 1945
Christopher Walken, 1943
Herb Alpert, 1935
Richard Chamberlain, 1935
Shirley Jones, 1934
Gordie Howe, 1928
Cesar Chavez, 1927
William Daniels, 1927
Leo Buscaglia, 1925
Henry Morgan, 1915
Andrew Lang, 1844
Joseph Haydn, 1732
Rene Descartes, 1596

Today in History:

Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade; Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade, 1146
Jews are expelled from Prague, 1745
Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade, 1854
Thomas P Mundy of Perth Amboy, NJ, becomes the first African American to cast a vote, 1870
The Eiffel Tower, commemorating the French Revolution, opens, 1889
Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft, 1903
Serbia accepts Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1909
Construction begins on the RMS Titanic, 1909
Construction of the RMS Titanic is completed, 1912
The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands, 1917
Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States for the first time, 1918
The Royal Australian Air Force is formed, 1921
Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau, 1951

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We have an ear sucker.

That is a kitten that will nurse on your earlobes.

Bud is the culprit, again, along with being the independent loner and the one who likes to piddle under the computer desk instead of in the more socially acceptable places.

Forrest is eating a bit more, and I am very glad. We are still tormenting her with fluids and trying to aspirate the crud out of her nose and I'm not giving up, not on any of them. The others have joined her in a chorus of sneezing, sniffling, and snoring, so it is probably only a matter of time before I face decline in appetite from them.

What surprises me is that none of my adult cats have gotten this. Then again, they are big enough (some of them way more than big enough, that Hope is a sausage on legs) to survive a few days of no appetite.

If you happen to be out and about tonight, admire the Full Crow Moon (my favorite of this month's names for the moon).

Today is:

Benediction de Los Animales

Birthday of Lao-Tzu, China

Doctors Day

Festival of Janus and Concordia -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of Reality Fabrication

Full Worm Moon/Crow Moon/Crust Moon/Lenten Moon

Grass Is Always Browner On The Other Side Of The Fence Day

Hanuman Jayanti -- Hindu

I am in Control Day (Famous last words!)

Limited Liability Day

Magha Puja Day -- Buddhist

National Badminton Day

National Hot Dog Day

Passover begins, through April 6 -- Jewish

Pencil Day

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Birthdays Today:

Scott Moffatt, 1983
Norah Jones, 1979
Matt Doran, 1976
Mark Consuelos, 1971
Celine Dion, 1968
Ian Ziering, 1964
M.C. Hammer, 1962
Paul Reiser, 1957
Robbie Cotrane, 1950
Eric Clapton, 1945
Astrud Gilberto, 1940
Warren Beatty, 1937
John Astin, 1930
Rolf Harris, 1930
Peter Marshall, 1930
Frankie Laine, 1913
Anna Sewell, 1820
Vincent Van Gogh, 1853

Today in History:

The first recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Ketsugan, Zen teacher, performs exorcisms to free aizoji temple, 1422
King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella sign decree expelling Jews from Spain, 1492
Henry VIII divorces Catherine of Aragon, 1533
British and coalition forces march into Paris after the defeat of Napoleon, 1814
Dr. Crawford Long of Georgia, US, performs the first operation with anesthesia (ether), 1842
A pencil with attached eraser is patented by Hyman L Lipman of Philadelphia, 1858
Alaska is purchased from Russia by US Secretary of State William Seward, for $7,200,000 (about 2 cents per acre), 1867
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1932
Einstein announces his revised unified field theory, 1953
The Yonge Street Line, the first subway in Canada, opens in Toronto, 1954

Monday, March 29, 2010

The children enjoyed coloring eggs yesterday, as they tend to enjoy anything messy. Next week should be even better -- they get to play egg relay and egg toss with raw eggs. I will try to keep the damage to a minimum, but I make no guarantees.

Even though Forrest is occasionally eating voluntarily, it is nowhere near enough, so I went ahead and opened the canned food. She wasn't interested, and I had to smear it into her mouth to get her to eat it. She will continue on fluids, and the others will start if they end up in the same condition, which from the sneezing going on in that corner is sounding very likely.

Today is:

Alchemy Day

Boganda Day, Central African Republic

Borrowed Days begin

Commemoration Day, Madagascar

Knights of Columbus Founders Day

Mahavir Jayanti -- Jainism

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

Smoke and Mirrors Day

St. Woolos' Day

Texas Loves the Children Day

Youth Day, Taiwan

Birthdays Today:

Hideaki Takizawa, 1982
Jennifer Capriati, 1976
Lucy Lawless, 1968
Elle Macpherson, 1964
Bud Cort, 1950
George Blaha, 1945
John Major, 1943
Pearl Bailey, 1918
Sam Walton, 1918
Philip Ahn, 1905
Cy Young, 1867
John Tyler, 1790
Carlo Buonaparte, father of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1746

Today in History:

The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded, 1549
Treaty of Saint-Germain is signed, returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629, 1632
Swedish colonists establish the first settlement in Delaware, 1638
Ludwig von Beethoven, age 24, debuts as a pianist in Vienna, 1795
Construction is authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, becoming the first United States federal highway, 1806
Niagara Falls stops flowing for 30 hours due to an ice jam, 1848
The United Kingdom annexes the Punjab, 1849
Ohio makes it illegal for children under 18 & women to work more than 10 hours a day, 1852
Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867
Queen Victoria presides over the opening of Albert Hall in London, 1871
The Knights of Columbus are established, 1882
Dr. John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in his back yard, 1886
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, 1951

Sunday, March 28, 2010


What in the world do colored eggs have to do with Palm Sunday? I have no idea, but that is what is on the agenda for the morning at Sunday school.

Meanwhile, Forrest has actually eaten without being forced. It was only a couple of times, and only just a tiny bit, but maybe she is getting better. She also has the runs like the others, and a couple of them have started sneezing, so giving fluids is still essential. I hate having to hold them still for that, but there it is. Holding a squirming, fussy, sick kitten still so you can put a needle in so maybe it will get over whatever virus is running rampant now is not a day at the beach. Especially when they have the runs, too, and, well, lets just leave the rest up to the imagination, shall we?

Right now they are all piled up on one of the socks stuffed with rice and warmed in the microwave oven, except Bud, of course. He is a bit off to the side, wanting to be close, but independent. Their cuddle place is right in front of the refrigerator where the warm air blows out from under it. Every time we open the fridge or freezer we have to say, "Duck!" and push them down gently to close the door. Eventually, they will associate the word with lowering their heads, but that can take a while.

I am debating going ahead and weaning Forrest, but I am hesitant. She really isn't quite big enough for the baby cat kibble even if she does have teeth now, and I know from experience that if I give her "kitten crack" (Science Diet A/D), I will have a terrible time getting her off of it. Once they get used to the taste of that stuff, they want only it, and it isn't suitable for long term feeding. It's an appetite stimulant because of the smell and very high in fat, to get a lot of calories in to a sickly critter very quickly.

If she will only eat more voluntarily, I won't have to resort to it.

Today is:

Confucius Memorial Days

Defy Death Today Day

Khordad Sal (Birth of the Prophet Zaranhushtra) -- Zoroastrian

National Black Forest Cake Day

Palm Sunday -- Christian/Orthodox Christian

Sacrifice At the Tombs -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Something on a Stick Day

Sun and Moon Creation Day

Teacher's Day, Czech Republic

Weed Appreciation Day

Birthdays Today:

Julia Stiles, 1981
Annie Wersching, 1977
Scott Mills, 1974
Juliandra Gillen, 1971
Vince Vaughn, 1970
Reba McEntire, 1955
Dianne Wiest, 1948
Ken Howard, 1944
Dirk Bogarde, 1921
August Anheuser Busch, Jr., 1899
Maxim Gorky, 1868
Frederich Pabst, 1836
St. Teresa of Avila, 1515

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Pertinax is assassinated by Praetorian Guards, who then sell the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus, 193
Viking raiders sack Paris, who leave in exchange for a huge ransom, 845
The origin of the Fasli Era in India, 1556
Nathaniel Briggs of NH patents a washing machine, 1797
Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovers 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man, 1802
The US Salvation Army is officially organized, 1885
Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, 1910
Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv & Jaffa by Turkish authorities, 1917

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why Didn't I Just Become a Vet Tech?

I believe I am the vet's worst nightmare.

I showed up at their office at 8am to wait so I could get reglan for the kittens with the runs, and another bag of lactated Ringer's. In another life, I should have been a vet tech.

The plan for now is to keep hydrating Forrest and squeezing milk into her mouth so that she swallows some of it, I hope enough to keep her going. The other 3 will continue on the probiotic and reglan, and I'll give them fluids if they show signs of needing it.

Meanwhile, I also picked up Angel Food boxes, sent the kids with Sweetie to Zippity Zoo Day, and have to go get in the shell nuts for the crazy squirrel so her teeth don't overgrow.

Are we having fun yet?

In honor of Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day:

I Gave Her the Ring and She Gave Me the Finger
I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well
I Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife's Heart
I'm Just a Bug On The Windshield Of Life
Rednecks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer
Thanks to the Cathouse, I'm In The Doghouse With You
She Got The Gold Mine, I Got The Shaft
I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling

I Sold A Car To A Guy Who Stole My Girl, But It Don't Run So We're Even
Mama Get A Hammer (There's A Fly On Daddy's Head)
If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away
I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You

I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better

I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dog Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win
I'm So Miserable Without You; It's Like Having You Here
I've Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back Cryin' Over You

If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out By Now

My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love You

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him

Please Bypass My Heart
You Done Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat

You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

She's Looking Better After Every Beer

I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With An Ugly Woman, But I Sure Woke Up With a Few

Today is:

Celebrate Exchange Day

Downtown Day

Earth Hour (Turn off those lights!)

Education and Sharing Day

Lazarus Saturday -- Orthodox Christian

Lazy Moocher's Day

Liberalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of the vegetation god)

National "Joe" Day

National Spanish Paella Day

Osweiler, Luxembourg (blessing of horses, tractors, and cars)

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

Smell the Breezes Day

St. Alkelda's Day (patron against eye disease)

World Theatre Day

Anniversaries Today:

Mary Pickford marries Douglas Fairbanks, 1920

Birthdays Today:

Brenda Song, 1988
Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, 1975
Mariah Carey, 1970
Quentin Tarantino, 1963
Xuxa, 1963
Michael York, 1942
David Janssen, 1931
Sarah Vaughan, 1924
Harold Nicholas, 1921
Gloria Swanson, 1899
Edward Steichen, 1879
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, 1845
Nathaniel Currier, 1813

Today in History:

Ptolemy V ascends to the throne of Egypt, BC196
Pope Clement V excommunicates the entire population of Venice, 1309
Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida, 1513
The first English child born in Canada at Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy, 1613
The dike at Hardinxveld breaks, causing the Alblasserwaard flood, 1709
Spain losses Menorca & Gibraltar, 1713
John Parker Paynard originates medicated adhesive plaster, precursor to the band-aid, 1848
M L Byrn patents "covered gimlet screw with a 'T' handle" (corkscrew), 1860
The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, is played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place, 1871
Famous Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars, 1886
The first Japanese cherry blossom trees planted in Washington, D.C., 1912
The first successful blood transfusion takes place in Brussels, 1914
Charlie Chaplin receives France's distinguished Legion of Honor, 1931
Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union, 1958
The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage, 1964
The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight, 1970

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good and Bad

Today is Bigger Girl's 17th birthday.

It is also picture day at her school, and she is angry that she has to have her picture taken. She asked Mrs. L if she could get out of it for religious reasons. I asked her what kind of religious reasons she could possibly have and she claims that, like many natives of long ago, she is afraid to have pictures taken because the camera might steal her soul.

Of course, Mrs. L didn't buy that, either.

#2 Son is being his usual self. He began the morning with the announcement that he would do us all a favor and change his pants.

The sad of today is that Kiseki died last night. Forrest is now sneezing and refusing to eat, so I am force feeding her. The other 3 have a bad case of the runs, but at least they are still eating.

Every day an adventure, as long as you have kids and cats.

Today is:

Independence Day, Bangladesh

Legal Assistants Day

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

National Nougat Day

Prince Kuhio Day, Hawai'i

Spinach Festival Day

St. Braulio's Day (patron of Aragon, Spain)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Utrecht, 1636

Birthdays Today:

Keira Knightley, 1985
Amy Smart, 1976
Kenny Chesney, 1968
Marcus Allen, 1960
Curtis Sliwa, 1954
Teddy Pendergrass, 1950
Martin Short, 1950
Vicki Lawrence, 1949
Steven Tyler, 1948
Diana Ross, 1944
Bob Woodward, 1943
Erica Jong, 1942
James Caan, 1939
Alan Arkin, 1934
Leonard Nimoy, 1931
Sandra Day O'Connor, 1930
Tennessee Williams, 1911
Viktor Frankl, 1905
Robert Frost, 1874

Today in History:
William Caxton prints his translation of Aesop's Fables, 1484
The first British Sunday newspaper is published (British Gazette & Sunday Monitor), 1780
The US Congress orders removal of Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana, 1804
An earthquake destroys 90% of Caracas, Venezuela, leaves 20,000 dead, 1812
The Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, NY, 1830
Eastman Film Co manufactures the first commercial motion picture film, 1885
New Delhi replaces Calcutta as capital of British-Indies, 1931
Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C., 1979

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Too Much Time or Procrastination?

Deadlines come, and deadlines go, but I keep finding ways to procrastinate that fascinate me.

You would think I have time on my hands by the way I get distracted with historic research. I found out that on this date in 1857, Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville
patented the phonautograph, which is just what its name implies. It is a device to transcribe a sound into a visible wave on smoked glass, giving its autograph, so to speak. It was used to determine the frequency of musical pitch, and the inventor didn't even know that there could possibly be a way to play back the sounds. That was finally done with computers in 2008, making these the first recordings of a human voice. He recorded himself singing Au Clair de la Lune, among other recordings.

In fact, so many of the things I note of historic significance on this date I chose because they fascinated me to the point where I read up on them a great deal, using up time that should have been spent doing something else.

The closer the deadline, the more deeply I distract myself with research, or sweeping the kitchen, or cleaning out the cabinet over the stove, or getting my kitchen calendar updated, or almost anything but what I need to do.

There is a name for this, creative procrastination. You put something off until an even more urgent deadline comes up, at which point you finally get to what you should have gotten to sooner, thereby using the old, undone jobs to procrastinate the newer jobs. They will get done, but only when something more urgent comes up.

Or maybe I just do have too much time on my hands.

Either way, I will now go procrastinate sorting paperwork by snuggling kittens.

Kiseki is still with us, receiving fluids, eating a little bit, and we are bending over every which way to keep her body temp up. Forrest has started sneezing, and the other 3 have the runs. If I have to, I will put all of them on IV fluids, but they are all big enough that they should recover with just a bit of saline nose drops for stuffiness and Imodium for "digestive trouble."

Today is:

Annunciation of the Virgin Mary -- Roman Catholic Christian

Birthday of Kuan Yin, China (goddess of healing)

Celebrate Rivers, Lakes, and Ponds Day

Day of Tourists

Independence Day, Greece

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Letting Go of Stuff Day

Medal of Honor Day

National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy

National Lobster Newburg Day

Numbskulls and Clodhoppers' Dance -- Fairy Calendar (I know a couple of people who qualify on both counts; I need to find out how to buy tickets!)

Old New Year's Day

Palace Theatre Day

Pecan Day

Quarter Day (a/k/a Lady Day), Ireland

St. Dismas' Day (patron of prisoners, funeral directors, criminals, thieves)

The Tichborne Dole - in Alresford, Hampshire, UK; since 1150, a gallon of flour is given to every resident by the Tichborne family head on this day, to avoid a curse

Waffle Day

Birthdays Today:

Danica Patrick, 1982
Sheryl Swoopes, 1971
Sarah Jessica Parker, 1965
Paul Miles, 1952
Elton John, 1947
Bonnie Bedelia, 1946
Paul Michael Glaser, 1943
Aretha Franklin, 1942
Anita Bryant, 1940
Gloria Steinem, 1934
Simone Signoret, 1921
Howard Cosell, 1920
David Lean, 1908
Bela Bartok, 1881
Arturo Toscanini, 1867

Today in History:

The first Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus, 31
Richard I is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leading to his death on April 6, 1199
Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland, 1306
Sir Walter Raleigh renews Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America, 1584
Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Co., 1609
Lord Baltimore founds Catholic colony of Maryland, 1634
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christian Huygens, 1655
Mount Etna in Sicily erupts, destroying Nicolosi, killing 20,000, 1669
The Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire, 1807
The Swansea and Mumbles Railway in England, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world, 1807
Greeks revolt against the Ottoman Empire, beginning the Greek War of Independence, 1821
In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers, leading to factory reform laws, 1911
The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch, 1979
The world's first wiki, a part of the Portland Pattern Repository, is made public by Ward Cunningham, 1995

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There's Always One

In any litter of kittens, even if the "litter" is made up of kittens that came from different mamas that I have together from convenience, there is always one that wanders.

It's the one that finds a way under the computer table, no matter how I try to block it.

It's the one that figures out how to get behind the refrigerator.

It's the one that, when all the others are sleeping together in a pile, is off by itself, snoozing away.

It's the one we are always having to search for when we do a kitten count. We tend to find that one in the pantry, trying to claw its way into a bag of potatoes or something.

In this litter, it is Bud.

Right now Kiseki is in her box, under a warming lamp, and I'm giving her IV fluids 3 times a day to try to keep her alive long enough to get over her stuffy nose. Yes, a stuffy nose can kill a kitten -- when they can't smell, they won't eat, and they dehydrate in the blink of an eye.

Forrest is such a big girl, in her own mind at least, that she won't stay in the box. She rolls the warming bottle up against the side of the box for a boost, jumps to get her claws onto the top edge, then claws her way up and over. She is at the kitten waddle stage so her backside sways side to side as she tries to get her bearings.

Nefertiri, Johnny Depp, and Bud have met Forrest and, though they are a good week or more smaller than she, they are enjoying each others company. We are now back to doing the kitten shuffle.

And Bud is the one. He crawls away to sleep alone when the other 3 collapse in a pile, and though he can barely focus, he wants to see everything. His little back legs slide out from under him as he tries to get to wherever it is he thinks he is going.

Forrest may be older and, for now, bigger, but Bud is going to be the one we have to look out for.

Today is:

Constitution Day, Poland

Independence Day, Philippines

Kick Butts Day

National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

Ramanavami -- Hindu

St. Gabriel the Archangel's day (patron of childbirth, diplomats, messengers, postal workers, stamp collectors, telephone workers)

World Tuberculosis Day

Birthdays Today:

Peyton Manning, 1976
Alyson Hannigan, 1974
Sharon Corr, 1970
Mase, 1970
Annabella Sciorra, 1964
Mark "The Undertaker" Callaway, 1962
Louie Anderson, 1953
Alan Sugar, 1947
Steve McQueen, 1930
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919
Joseph Barbera, 1911
Clyde Barrow, 1909
Ub Iwerks, 1901
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, 1887
Harry Houdini, 1874
Fanny Crosby, 1820

Today in History:

Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus, 1401
The first game law passed in American colonies, by Virginia, 1629
Roger Williams is granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island, 1664
Britain enacts Quartering Act, required colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers, 1765
Benjamin West of the US becomes president of Royal Academy of London, 1792
In Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tar and feather Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr., 1832
Canada gives blacks the right to vote, 1837
Robert Koch of Germany announces the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis), 1882
Oscar Straus is appointed the first Jewish ambassador from US (to Turkey), 1887
"Census of the British Empire" shows England rules 1/5 of the world, 1906
Greece becomes a republic, 1923
U.S. Congress passes the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth, 1934
The longest game in NHL history is played between Detroit and Montreal; Detroit scored at 16:30 of the sixth overtime and won the game 1-0, 1936
In an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 prisoners begin breaking out of Stalag Luft III, 1944
Elvis Presley joins the army (serial number 53310761), 1958

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Extended Warranty

Apparently, Lenovo doesn't have #1 Son's computer on their records as having the extended warranty.

Always keep the paperwork. I have the reference number that proves they accepted it and registered it.

Now my favorite nerds at RentANerd, from whom we bought the computer, have the number and are going to push them to cover it.

With a laptop, always get the extended-covers-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink-falling-on-it warranty. Especially for a computer for the college student.

Meanwhile, we have delayed the talk about the dreaded budget in finance class until next time. This time we got distracted talking about the best places to go to get money. I believe I hammered home that the best place to go when you need money is to work. Work, I explained, is a sure-fire money making scheme.

Today is:

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Dandelion Dance -- Fairy Calendar

Fun & Sun Day

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Day

National Chip and Dip Day

National Organize Your Home Office Day

National Puppy Day

Near Miss Day

Rally for Decency Day

Republic Day, Pakistan

St. Toribio's Day (patron of Latin American bishops)

St. Turibius de Mongrovejo's Day

Toast Day

World Meteorological Day

Anniversaries Today:

The University of California is founded in Oakland, California, 1868

Birthdays Today:

Michelle Monaghan, 1976
Keri Russell, 1976
Chaka Khan, 1953
Roger Bannister, 1929
Wernher Von Braun, 1912
Akira Kurosawa, 1910
Joan Crawford, 1904

Today in History:

Eighteenth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet. 1066
The first dated edition of Maimonides "Mishna Torah" published, 1490
George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" premieres in London, 1743
Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech – "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" – at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, 1775
After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their "Corps of Discovery" begin their arduous journey home, 1806
Elisha Otis's first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City, 1857
The Boers and Britain sign a peace accord that ends the First Boer War, 1881
President Benjamin Harrison opens Oklahoma to white settlement starting on April 22, starting a Land Run, 1889
The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes, 1903
NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States' first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young), 1965

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hiney the Mule

Grandpa and the boy set out to take Hiney the mule to town.

Along the way they were criticized constantly.

First, someone complained that the man was making the boy walk all that way, so the boy climbed on Hiney's back.

Then, someone complained because the boy was being lazy and making the old man walk, so the man climbed up, too.

Finally, someone commented about how hard the mule's lot was, having to carry two people, and that they should carry the mule and see how they liked it.

So they hefted the mule to their shoulders, and when they got to the old footbridge over the river, worn slick by years and years of people crossing, their attempt to please everyone ended when they slipped and lost their Hiney.

The foster committee meeting yesterday felt that way.

We cannot please everyone, because we cannot say yes to everyone.

The fact is, the public shelter here had to euthanize almost 5,000 cats last year. Even if only half of those were healthy and adoptable, our best adoption year ever was 800 cats placed.

People get upset when we are full. Some people complain we don't save enough from the public shelter. Our shelter building can only hold so many, and we only have so many foster homes.

So our current exercise in futility is trying to come up with a written policy on intake that offends as few people as possible.

The only reason to put it in writing is so people answering the phones and saying no will have something "official" to back them up.

Exceptions can be made, but will be few and far between.

We can only take from the public shelter if the animals are healthy, non aggressive, people friendly, and we have room. For kittens, they must be tame and we can't have too many in the same age range already in the program.

Bottle-feeds, of course, we will bend over backward to accommodate no matter what. If mama is ill, missing, known to be dead, or just refusing the kittens, we will not let them starve.

It's the best we can do, and it will never please everybody.

Our best hope is to spay/neuter up and down and every way to doomsday, so as to cut down the problem at its root.

Today is:

As Young As You Feel Day

Banned in Boston Day

Festival of Immortality

Independence Day, Jordan

International Day of the Seal

Mekiyis a/k/a Melis (Great Purification ceremony) - in Bali, Indonesia; very early in the morning thousands of temple adherents go to the beaches, especially Kuta and Sanur, carrying temple effigies and welcome in Nyepi Holiday, the Icaka new year

National Bavarian Crepes Day

National Goof Off Day

National Sing-Out Day

St. Catherine of Sweden's Day

St. Nicholas von Flue's Day (patron of Switzerland)

World Day for Water

Birthdays Today:

Reese Witherspoon, 1976
Elvis Stojko, 1972
Matthew Modine, 1959
Stephanie Mills, 1957
Lena Olin, 1955
Bob Costas, 1952
Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1948
James Patterson, 1947
George Benson, 1943
Marvin Yagoda, 1938
J.P. McCarthy, 1933
William Shatner, 1931
Stephen Sondheim, 1930
Marcel Marceau, 1923
Karl Malden, 1912
Louis L'Amour, 1908
Chico Marx, 1887

Today in History:

Hugo de Groot escapes imprisonment in Loevenstein Castle in a book case, 1621
The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony sign a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags, 1621
Algonquian Indians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony's population, 1622
Massachusetts Bay Colony outlaws the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables, 1630
Joseph Priestly invents carbonated water (seltzer), 1733
The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies, 1765
The Emerald Buddha is moved with great ceremony to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand, 1784
The three protecting powers (Britain, France and Russia) establish the borders of Greece, 1829
Cornstarch is patented by Orlando Jones, 1841
Slavery is abolished in Puerto Rico, 1873
The Edmunds Act adopted by US to suppress polygamy in the territories (especially aimed at the Mormons), 1882
World's first airline, St Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line, begins service, 1914
The Arab League is founded when a charter is adopted in Cairo, Egypt, 1945
The Comet Hale-Bopp has its closest approach to earth, 1997
Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska, began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest, 2009

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The cold weather is back, but you would think some people don't care.

Two little girls showed up at church today wearing summer dresses and sandals. Their brother was in shorts. The high temperature isn't going to get higher than 45F.

I was cold just looking at the poor little things.

The kittens are all eating and the medication is clearing their crusty eyes.

Today is:

Buzzard Day, Ohio (celebrates the return of the turkey Vultures)

Children's Poetry Day

Fragrance Day

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Memory Day

National Common Courtesy Day

National French Bread Day

Naw Ruz (New Year) -- Baha'i

New Year's Day -- Ancient Babylonian Calendar

Norouz (New Year) -- Persian/Zoroastrian

Passion Sunday -- Christian

Single Parent Day

Spring Fairy Fun Day

St. Edna's Day

World Down Syndrome Day

World Puppetry Day

Birthdays Today:

Ronaldinho, 1980
Kevin Federline, 1978
Matthew Broderick, 1962
Rosie O'Donnell, 1962
Ayrton Senna da Silva, 1960
Gary Oldman, 1958
Eddie Money, 1949
Timothy Dalton, 1944
John D Rockefeller III, 1906
Florenz Ziegfeld, 1867
Modest Mussorgsky, 1839
Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685

Today in History:

The Byzantine emperor Heraclius restores the "True Cross" to Jerusalem, 630
Accession to the throne of Japan by emperor Antoku, 1188
3,000 Jews are killed in the Black Death riots in Efurt, Germany, 1349
Czar Peter the Great begins his tour through West, 1697
Fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1788
Code Napoléon is adopted as French civil law, 1804
The Bahá'í calendar begins, 1844
An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000, 1857
The Zoological Society of Philadelphia, the first in the US, isincorporated, 1859
Albert Einstein publishes his theory on special relativity, 1905
Loretta Walsh becomes the first female US Navy Petty Officer, 1917
Charles Lindbergh is presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight, 1928
Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, which means 'Land of the Aryans,' 1935
Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio, 1952
The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, 1970
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones become the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon, 1999

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Doings

We are going 100 different directions today, or at least it seems so.

Bigger Girl is volunteering at adoption day.

#2 Son has decided to have his birthday celebration today. Being a man type creature, this will involve fire in the form of bbq, a trip to the creek to do secret guy stuff, and lots of cake.

Little Girl is playing mascot today for the school across the street. The PE teacher saw her in the wolf costume she built herself, and asked her to build a wildcat costume and wear it for their fundraiser today. How does an 11 year old know how to build costumes from old foam padding and faux fur and hot glue? I haven't the foggiest notion, but the kid has talent, the costumes she designs and makes herself look good.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I get to bake cake and make icing, make the potato salad, and feed kittens.

Sad news, though not unexpected, is that even with subcutaneous fluids on the hour and antibiotic/steroid nose drops, Jules just couldn't make it. Sometimes they crash, and there is nothing I can do.

Today is:

Corn Dog Day

Equinox/First Day of Spring

Extraterrestrial Abductions Day

Festival for Driving Out All Evils -- Inca Calendar

Great American Meat Out Day

Iduna -- Norse Calendar (festival for the bearer of magic apples)

Independence Day, Namibia and Tunisia

International Earth Day

Kiss Your Fiance Day

Lajos Kossuth Day, Hungary

Maple Syrup Day

National Agriculture Day

National Jump Out! Day

National Ravioli Day

National Quilting Day - Third Saturday of the month.

Ostara/Mabon -- Wicca

Pennsylvania Maple Festival begins

Pigeons return to City-County Building, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Proposal Day

Sakura Matsuri, Japan

Smash Out Suicide Day

Smile Rejuvenation Day

Snowman Burning Day (Lake Superior State College; How and why?)

Vernal Equinox

Vienna International Spring Festival, Austria, through May 16

Won't You Be My Neighbor Day

St. Cuthbert's Day (patron of shepherds, seafarers, sailors)

Birthdays Today:

Kathy Ireland, 1963
David Thewlis, 1963
Holly Hunter, 1958
Spike Lee, 1957
Jimmie Vaughan, 1951
William Hurt, 1950
Bobby Orr, 1948
Pat Riley, 1945
Lois Lowry, 1937
Hal Linden, 1931
Fred "Mr." Rogers, 1928
Carl Reiner, 1922
Ozzie Nelson, 1906
B.F. Skinner, 1904
Henrik Ibsen, 1828
Ovid, BC43

Today in History:

Sixth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 141
A Saturn/Jupiter/Mars-conjunction is thought to be the "cause of plague epidemic," 1345
Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment, 1616
France and Spain sign an accord for fighting protestantism, 1627
Nadir Shah occupies Delhi in India and sacks the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne, 1739
The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings, 1760
After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule, 1815
US and Siam sign commercial treaty, 1833
Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is published in Boston, 1852
An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina, 1861
The first AC power plant in the US begins commercial operation, in Massachusetts, 1886
In the first known intercollegiate basketball game, Yale beats Penn 32-10, 1897
Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity, 1916
A test of a practical radar apparatus made by Rudolf Kuhnold in Germany, 1934
Libby Riddles becomes the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, 1985

Friday, March 19, 2010

Filling the House

The lady had called the vet in desperation. One of the feral cats that lived in her back yard had come into her house a few days earlier to have her babies. Then, the night before, another of the cats had gotten in through the dog door, fought the mama, and run off with a kitten.

They brought the mama in and she was terrified, but showed no actual signs of being wounded. Because she still wanted to care for her kittens, we left them with her, and she was put on an antibiotic.

This morning, Taya called and said the mama was back, with an abscess, and the kittens needed to be taken from her.

They are about 2 weeks old, and Bigger Girl has named one Neferteri, Little Girl named one Johnny Depp, and #2 Son named the 3rd Bud.

For those who pray, if you don't think it silly, pray for Jules. He is not doing well at all.

Today is:

Chariot Races on the Field of Mars -- Ancient Roman Calendar

National Chocolate Caramel Day

Poultry Day

Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day

St. Joseph's Day (patron of Austria, Belgium, Canada, carpenters, fathers, house hunting, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, workers; for a happy death; against communism, doubt)

Birthdays Today:

Bruce Willis, 1955
Glenn Close, 1947
Clarence "Frogman" Henry, 1937
Ursula Andress, 1936
Phyllis Newman, 1935
Patrick McGoohan, 1928
William Jennings Bryan, 1860
Wyatt Earp, 1848
David Livingstone, 1813
William Bradford, 1590

Today in History:

A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China, 1279
Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men, 1687
The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000, 1863
Pluto is photographed for the first time but is not recognized as a planet, 1915
Eight American planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history, 1916
The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction, 1965

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

This year, I look forward to parent-teacher conferences. After all, Bigger Girl works hard, is quiet and kind to everyone, loves her teacher, and looks forward to learning in school.

Next year, it will be a different story. #2 Son will be starting school there next year, and Mrs. L is already warned.

It's not that the boy isn't smart. He's just a natural born con artist and work avoider, unless it is work he wants to do to earn money to buy Twinkies and Funyuns. He's one of the kids that the teachers always say, "If he put half the effort into doing the work that he puts into getting out of the work, he would be a straight A student."

Really I guess all of us are like that to a degree. We all have something we hate to do, and we procrastinate on it creatively to the point where we would expend less effort just doing it.

Meanwhile, Bigger Girl is doing very well in 10th grade. Next thing to tackle is teaching her to drive. Some boys are born knowing how, my #1 Son among them. She will be a totally different story.

Kiseki has finally decided, now that she is two weeks old, to start to open her eyes. I guess she couldn't have little brother Jules show her up.

Today is:

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

Awkward Moments Day

Casey Jones Day

Companies That Care Day

Flag Day, Aruba

Forgive Mom and Dad Day

Goddess of Fertility Day

National Biodiesel Day

National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

Sheelah's Day, Ireland (drowning the shamrock)

St. Anselm of Lucca's Day

St. Edward's Day

Supreme Sacrifice Day, Congo

Birthdays Today:

Dane Cook, 1972
Queen Latifah, 1970
Bonnie Blair, 1964
Vanessa Williams, 1963
Irene Cara, 1959
Brad Dourif, 1950
Wilson Pickett, 1941
Charlie Pride, 1938
F.W. de Klerk, 1936
John Updike, 1932
George Plimpton, 1927
Peter Graves, 1926
Edward Everett Horton, 1886
Rudolph Diesel, 1858
Grover Cleveland, 1837

Today in History:

Crusaders kill 57 Jews in Bury St Edmonds England, 1190
German emperor Frederick II crowns himself king of Jerusalem, 1229
Kraków is ravaged by Mongols, 1241
According to legend, Tenochtitlan is founded on this date, 1325
John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton sells his part of New Jersey to the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, 1673
Henry Wells and William Fargo form American Express in Buffalo, NY, 1850
Former Governor General Lord Stanley pledges to donate a silver challenge cup, later named after him, as an award for the best hockey team in Canada, 1893
Mohandas Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience (he served only 2 years), 1922
The first public celebration of Bat mitzvah, for the daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, is held in New York City, 1922
The Tri-State Tornado hits the Midwestern US states of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, killing 695 people, 1925
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 and causes thousands to flee their homes, 1944
Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space, 1965
The U.S. Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency, 1968

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two Sleepless Nights

The kittens are thriving.

I, however, am more sleep deprived than usual. This is a particularly rowdy bunch at night.

It is amazing to see how different they are. Jules is a week younger than Kiseki and yet his eyes are opening already. Hers are still tight shut. I guess it could be the difference in nutrition. Jules had his mama for 5 days, Kiseki probably didn't even nurse one time. As good as the formula is now, it is still not the same as what God made.

Forrest no longer needs the Immodium, but the other two are just a bit looser than I like, to put it delicately. It is a balancing act, since they can dehydrate in the blink of an eye. Getting stopped up is easier to deal with -- if you want info about dealing with that in kittens, email me for details. Otherwise, I will let you use your imagination.

Today is:

Campfire Girls Day

Evacuation Day, Massachusetts

Green Ribbon Day

Make Your Own Web Page Day

Submarine Day - the hero sandwich or the boat??

St. Joseph of Arimathea's Day (patron of funeral directors, pallbearers, tin miners)

Saint Patrick's Day

Trefuilnid Treochair (Feast of Triple Bearer of the Triple Key), Ireland (Ireland's National Day)

Violet Day

World Maritime Day

Anniversaries Today:

Wellesley Female Seminary is established, 1870
Franklin D. Roosevelt marries Eleanor Roosevelt, 1905

Birthdays Today:

Caroline Corr, 1973
Mia Hamm, 1972
Rob Lowe, 1964
Arye Gross, 1960
Gary Sinise, 1955
Kurt Russell, 1951
Patrick Duffy, 1949
John Sebastian, 1944
Paul Kantner, 1941
Rudolf Nureyev, 1938
Nat "King" Cole, 1919
Bobby Jones, 1902
Shemp Howard, 1895

Today in History:

In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda, BC45
Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire, 180
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern), 1756
George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence," 1780
Henry Jones of Bristol patents "self-raising" flour, 1845
Stephen Perry of London patents the rubber band, 1845
John Joseph Montgomery makes the first glider flight, in Otay, California, 1884
The first practical submarine leaves the dock at NYC and submerges for one hour forty minutes, 1898
A showing of seventy-one Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, creates a sensation, 1901
Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte found Camp Fire Girls (now Camp Fire USA), 1910
Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel, 1969

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Trying to explain the concepts of millions to middle school children is interesting.

It's hard to get them to understand that it is not limitless, like they think. We talked about what would happen if you inherited a million dollars -- how much would be taken away for taxes, how far would the rest go.

They seemed impressed when they finally understood that most big lottery winners are bankrupt in 10 years because they spend it all, without care.

Next week, we will talk about budgeting in the real world.

Today is:

Curlew Day

Everything You Do is Right Day

Freedom of Information Day

Lips Appreciation Day

National Artichoke Hearts Day

St. Urho's Day

Vaisaki (New Year) -- Hindu

Well-Elderly Day

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Tod Smith, 1963
Erik Estrada, 1949
Bernardo Bertolucci, 1940
Jerry Lewis, 1926
Mercedes McCambridge, 1916
Patricia Nixon, 1912
Henny Youngman, 1906
Georg Simon Ohm, 1787
James Madison, 1751

Today in History:

The Babylonians capture Jerusalem and replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king, BC597
Caligula becomes Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius, 37
The Jews of York England commit mass sucide rather than submit to baptism, 1190
Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches Philippines, 1521
Samoset, a Mohegan, visits the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset," 1621
The US Army Corps of Engineers is established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1802
Prince Willem of the House of Orange-Nassau proclaims himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in The Netherlands, 1815
New York Stock Exchange slowest day ever (31 shares traded), 1830
Susan Hayhurst becomes the first woman to graduate from a pharmacology college, 1830
Edward Clark became Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who was evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, 1861
Joseph Lister's article outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery is published in The Lancet, 1867
Hiram R Revels makes the first official speech by a black in the US Senate, 1869
The Barnum and Bailey Circus debuts, 1881
Sir Arthur Evans discovers the ancient city of Knossus, 1900
Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts, 1926
The Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company's founding, 1958

Monday, March 15, 2010


Beware the Ides of March. Mostly because it means you only have one more month, in this country at least, to work on your income tax return.

Beware unlicensed fliers falling from the sky. If you get enough back on your taxes, or have more money than sense, you can now buy a jet pack that will let you fly to the store, just like Judy Jetson. Just fill the tank with gas at the local station, and you are ready to soar up to 8,000 feet above the ground. Got $100,000 lying around? Heaven forbid, with the way some people drive, that this ever become common.

Also beware Lady Gaga hair, coming to a bride near you, if you are "lucky." While at Whole Foods (a/k/a Whole Paycheck) this morning to pick up my 5 weekly grocery items I can find nowhere else, I stopped as usual to talk to the Coffee Bar Goddess Judy and Tracy, who stocks the coffee and tea aisle and works the coffee bar sometimes, too. Tracy is finally planning her wedding, and she and Judy were looking at bridal magazines between customers. Some of the pictures were beyond description. Do real people wear some of that stuff?

Beware orphaned kittens. They steal your heart, despite being what #2 Son calls "pooping car alarms," for their constant cries for food and lack of responsibility at the other end of the process.

All 3 of ours are doing well at the moment. Cute little nuisances.

Today is:

Brutus Day

Buzzards Day

Dumbstruck Day -- Fairy Calendar

Everything You Think is Wrong Day

Hilaria -- Ancient Roman Calendar (spring festival)

Ides of March

Incredible Kid Day

Marduk's Festival -- Ancient Mesopotamian Calendar

Napping Day

National Pears Helene Day

Rude Awakenings Day

St. Louis de Marillac's Day (patron of orphans, social workers, widows)

True Confessions Day

World Consumer Rights Day

Youth Day, Palau

Anniversaries Today:

Maine becomes the 23rd US state, 1820
The University of Toronto is chartered, 1827

Birthdays Today:

Sean Biggerstaff, 1983
Eva Longoria, 1975
Fabio, 1961
Sly Stone, 1944
Phil Lesh, 1940
Judd Hirsch, 1935
Harry James, 1916
Joe E. Ross, 1914
Macdonald Carey, 1913
Samuel "Lightnin" Hopkins, 1912
Andrew Jackson, 1767

Today in History:

Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March, BC44
Liu Bei, a Chinese warlord and member of the Han royal house, declares himself emperor of Shu-Han and claims his legitimate succession to the Han Dynasty, 221
A Jew hating Monk in Seville, Spain stirs up people in that city to attack Jews, 1391
The first meeting of the Council of Trent, 1545
South Carolina becomes the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government, 1776
In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy; the plea is successful and the threatened coup d'état never takes place, 1783
A revolution breaks out in Hungary, and the Habsburg rulers are compelled to meet the demands of the Reform party, 1848
Jesse W. Reno patents an "inclined elevator" (escalator), 1892*
Rolls-Royce Limited is incorporated, 1906
Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne and his brother the Grand Duke becomes Tsar, 1917 registers the very first Internet domain name, 1985

*The first actual working model, at Coney Island, was built four years later.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kitten Season

Once again, kitten season is in full swing.

On March 4 I got the first call. A mama cat had left a black and white newborn kitten on the second floor roof of a house, of all places. The family tried to climb up and retrieve the baby, but it fell to the concrete below before they could get to it. Upon rushing it to the vet school, they were told it was fine and to call the cat rescue.

It spent the first 24 hours breathing like it was going to die at any moment, but eating like crazy anyway. Kiseki (Japanese for "miracle") is getting stronger every day. We did try to put her with a mother cat that came to us when she was 4 days old, but she was so used to the bottle by then that she couldn't figure out how to latch on, and so will continue to be here.

The second call came on the 10th. A beautiful brown tabby kitten in the back yard, eyes well opened but still very young, found mama's body in the woods behind the house. We can only figure she went scrounging for food, and a dog or raccoon got her. Enter Forrest, a week older than Kiseki, but happy to have a small sibling. Doing very well so far.

Then today. Born last Tuesday, only survivor of a litter of 3. Mama has a severe upper respiratory infection and will not eat or drink. Baby is at risk of contracting the illness, so has to be taken away. He is solid black and does not like the bottle. We can't put him with the other two until we are sure he doesn't have the upper respiratory issue, so he is living in my shirt. The other two are girls we think. This one is so obviously a boy that Bigger Girl wants to name him Jules. I will have to think about that one.

And so it begins again. From now until December, I shall live with kitten formula stains on my clothes, scratch marks from kitten claws all over my chest and stomach, kitten mess on towels and washcloths and in the corners of the rooms when they won't take the time to go all the way to the box, and put in hours with bottles and medicine and chasing adult cats away from the kitten chow.

Yes, I love it. It's great, awful, fabulous work, if you can get it. The pay is lousy, too -- round the clock feedings and my adult cats getting mad if there are too many kittens and messing on the beds and the stove to show their displeasure.

It's worth every minute.

This kitten season is dedicated, by me anyway, to the memory of my friend and mentor in the business, Miss Jan, who died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. She is sorely missed.

Today is:

Check Your Batteries Day

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Fallas de San Jose, Valencia, Spain

Feast of Hyperborea

International Ask A Question Day

Learn about Butterflies Day

National Day of Prayer for Farmers (second Sunday)

National Potato Chip Day

National Pi Day- Why today? Because today is 3.14, the value of Pi.

Pilgrimage to the Dragon Pagoda, Rangoon, Burma

Vaturius Mamurius (Festival to Armor)

Birthdays Today:

Justin Bieber, 1994
Colby O'Donis, 1989
Taylor Hanson, 1983
Kirby Puckett, 1961
Pam Ayres, 1947
Billy Crystal, 1947
Michael Caine, 1933
Quincy Jones, 1933
Frank Borman, 1928
S. Truet Cathy, 1921
Hank Ketcham, 1920
Les Brown, 1912
Albert Einstein, 1879
Johann Strauss, Sr., 1804

Today in History:

England grants a patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island), 1644
Scotland dismisses Willem III & Mary Stuart as king & queen, 1689
Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin, 1794
During the Great Blizzard of 1888, New York receives its second largest snowfall on record, 21", 1888
The United States goes on the gold standard, 1900
Hugo de Vries rediscovers Mendel's laws of genetics, 1900
The first theater for rear movie projection is built, in NYC, 1931

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday Afternoon Adventure

The call came as I was starting to prepare dinner, about an hour before I have to leave to get Bigger Girl from school.

It was my friend Jocelyn. "We are dogsitting for Mandy, Dan's ex-girlfriend, and Matt let Stitch out and he got hit by a car. I'm trying to get home from work as fast as I can, and the traffic is terrible. Can you go see if there's anything you can do?"

I told my friend, since their family lives only a few blocks up the road in our subdivision, that I would go get the dog and take it to the vet on the other side of the highway. This is the vet I take all of my animals and fosters to, and the one Miss Jan worked for.

Little Girl asked if she could ride along, as she has spent a good bit of time with Stitch when playing with the younger of Jocelyn's 8 children. I told her to hop in the van, and we drove around the block and up the street.

I was prepared to see the animal in the road with the 3 teens who were home at the time gathered around, but the street was empty. I didn't even pull into the driveway, just parked alongside it, and told Little Girl to get them to bring the dog.

She came out and said the dog wouldn't let them hold it, so I ran in to see what I could do to help. Stitch was standing in Jocelyn's bedroom, on his pad, barking at everyone. Findy, the other dog, was barking if anyone went near Stitch, too. Matt said he had run right back to the house after it happened, but barked at them and didn't seem to recognize them.

Looking closer, I could see that all the blood was coming from a cut on his head, and he was standing and moving as if he had no injuries to his limbs. Nor did he have any signs of the car having hit his midsection, and since he is half Chihuahua and half rat terrier, any direct hit like that probably would have already been the end of him.

I turned to Gale, the 17-year-old boy, the oldest home at the time. "Get a towel," I said," and cover him with it so we can pick him up and get him into the car." My original idea had been to put him on or in something that would keep him from moving, preventing further injury. That was unneeded, as he wasn't going to lie down.

Once the towel was over him, Stitch calmed some, and allowed himself to be picked up and carried out. I got Gale into the car, helped him buckle the seat belt, and headed to the highway at the nearest subdivision entrance.

At that moment, it hit me what time it was. Since our Friday afternoon rush hour starts on Thursday morning around here, the highway was backed up to infinity. I turned and went to the other street, the one with the annoyingly-long-but-comes-in-very-handy-when-the-traffic-is-backed-up light, and managed to get across the highway. Once across the highway, we were in the local grocery store parking lot that leads to the strip mall where the vet's office is located.

The whole time, I was trying to be reassuring. Years of dealing with kid and pet emergencies, and being the designated first aid lady at numerous church functions, has taught me that bleeding head injuries always look worse than they are because of the huge number of veins in the head and face area. If I don't see blood spurting, I don't panic.

Once parked, I hopped out, opened the door for Gale and ran to the office ahead of him, praying that the vet would still be there this late on a Friday. I had no idea what I would do if she wasn't.

Opening the door, there was no one behind the desk, and no sound from the back when the bells attached to the door rang. I called out, "Is anyone home?" and heard Dr. Bea yell "No!" from her office. I laughed inwardly; she was probably thinking she was going to get out of the office soon, and was trying to wrap up paperwork. At least she was there, and I was relieved enough to let myself smile a bit.

"The dog was hit by a car," I told her, and she looked startled. For one thing, she knows I don't have a dog, and for another, the last time I saw her was 4 days before when a husband and wife rushed in with their own cat, that had run in front of their car as they were pulling into the driveway. I hope I'm not becoming a bad omen!

I told her it was one my friend Jocelyn was dogsitting, and that she knew Jocelyn because she prescribed allergy medicine for their cat every spring. She and I have been telling Dr. Bea that we know each other for a few years now, but until this accident, she had never seen us together, so it never really clicked.

Little Girl was holding the door for Gale, and he came in and set Stitch on the examining table (yes, only one, this is a small operation). The vet tech helped hold him, and Dr. Bea began her examination. He snapped and growled when she got too close to the wound itself, and otherwise stood still. He seemed to be in shock, and had blood down the side of his face from the cut, but again I could see that it looked like the bumper or tire of the car had clipped his head, and left the rest of him untouched. His gums were a healthy pink when Dr. Bea looked, which was also a good sign.

Dr. Bea got the tech to change her hold, securing him better, and kept probing. A moment later, Jocelyn walked in.

"He has a hard head, I think he's going to be fine," Dr. Bea said. He would have to be sedated so that Stitch could get stitches, but there were no internal injuries. A goose egg on his noggin would be a painful reminder for a few days, and a small scar his badge of honor. He had tangled with a hit and run car and come out alive. Not many small dogs like him are that blessed.

I left a few minutes after Jocelyn got there, as I needed to do something about dinner, and picking up Bigger Girl from school. My time was now limited, so my poor family had to make do with a frozen lasagna that I doctored up with extra canned sauce and lots of cheese, and green peas on the side.

Traffic on the way to get Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy was terrible at first, it took me 20 minutes to travel the two miles to the interstate, but I was shocked at how fast I got out there, considering how late I left. The interstate itself was curiously fast for the time of day. Coming home, there was no traffic, which was another miracle. Everything seemed to have jammed up early on this particular Friday, and so cleared out early.

All in all, quite an afternoon.

Today is:

Donald Duck Day

Ear Muff Day

Feast of Tropicalismo

Geneology Day

Good Samaritan Involvement Day

International Fanny Pack Day

Jewel Day

K-9 Veterans Day

National Coconut Tort Day

National Holiday, Grenada

National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day

Religious Freedom Day

St. Nikephoros' Day, Greece

Youth Day, Zambia

Birthdays Today:

Emile Hirsch, 1985
Rachael Bella, 1984
Will Clark, 1964
Adam Clayton, 1960
Dana Delany, 1956
William H. Macy, 1950
Neil Sedaka, 1939
William Casey, 1913
L. Ron Hubbard. 1911
Sammy Kaye, 1910
Percival Lowell, 1855
Joseph Priestly, 1733

Today in History:

Twelfth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 607
Spanish explorer Cortez lands in Mexico, 1519
The Spanish fleet occupies Djerba, at Tripoli, 1560
Cambridge College is renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard, 1639
Jews are denied the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam, 1656
Massachusetts gains title to Maine for $6,000, 1677
The twenty-seventh recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 1759
William Herschel discovers Uranus, 1781
The Uncle Sam cartoon figure makes its debut in the NY Lantern weekly, 1852
The US Senate begins Pres Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial, 1868
Oxford defeats Cambridge in their first golf match, 1878
The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins, Madhist Sudanese against the Egyptian, British, and loyalist Sudanese forces, 1884
Chester Greenwood of Maine patents earmuffs, 1887
In France the length of the workday for women and children is limited to 11 hours by law, 1900
Mongolia (formerly Outer Mongolia) declares independence from China, 1921
Clyde Tombaugh announces the discovery of Pluto at Lowell Observatory, 1930

Friday, March 12, 2010


The smile on his face says it all.

#2 Son, the 14 year boy, has reached the first part of his goal. He has worked hard, saved up, scrimped every penny, passed up the temptations to spend on fast food and candy, and today he has his reward.

We stopped and bought him his new game system today. Because we bought it on a Friday, he got a carrying case free -- and we didn't even know about that special until we got there.

A couple of friends have given him games they are tired of playing, and he had enough money left to purchase a couple that were discounted on Ebay. We should get those in a few days.

He is walking around with a huge grin on his face.

There is nothing like earning it. That goes for just about everything in life.

I'm glad he is learning it now.

Today is:

Alfred Hitchcock Day

Flag Day, Venezuela

Girl Scouts Day

Independence Day, Mauritius

Middle Name Pride Day

Moshoeshoe Day, Lesotho

National Baked Scallops Day

Plant a Flower Day

St. Fina's Day

St. Gregory the Great's Day

Birthdays Today:

Frank Catalano, 1978
Darryl Strawberry, 1962
James Taylor, 1948
Liza Minnelli, 1946
Al Jarreau, 1940
Barbara Feldon, 1932
Andrew Young, 1932
Edward Albee, 1928
Jack Kerouac, 1922
Gordon MacRae, 1921
Clement Studebaker, 1821

Today in History:

Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths, ends his siege of Rome and retreats to Ravenna, leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius, 538
Orvieto, Italy, rules it will behead and burn Jewish-Christian couples, 1350
Jews are expelled from Syria, 1496
The first steam engine in America installed, to pump water from a mine, 1755
Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world's first black international football player and captain, 1881
In Vicksburg, Mississippi, Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time, 1894
The first main line electric train in UK, from Liverpool to Southport, begins running, 1904
The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA) are founded in the United States, by Juliette Gordon Low, 1912
The foundation stone of the new Australian capital in Canberra is laid, 1913
Mohandas Gandhi begins 200mile (300km) march protesting the British salt tax, 1930

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yes, Doctor

I've been putting it off because there is always so much else to do.

Of course, the day I finally chose turned out to be the wrong one, from a paperwork standpoint at least. Still, I knew if I didn't go today, I would have my doctor's appointment next week and have the doctor fussing at me about it.

So, I went in for my mammogram.

It's a walk in clinic at the hospital, and I was the only one there, so that is not the time consuming part. Nor is the test itself; from the time they called me back to the time I walked out the door, clothed and in my right mind, was about a half hour.

It was the fact that one person was on vacation, and another called in sick, and so it took them over an hour, several phone calls, and everything short of an act of Congress to get my insurance company's stamp of approval.

Really it made for a relaxing morning in a way. I got to do a crossword without interruption at least.

Now I will go in there next week ready, like *Majel Barrett, to say, "Yes, Doctor," when he inevitably asks if I got it done.*

*Majel Barrett was originally supposed to be second in command on the Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. The execs at NBC didn't like the idea of a strong, commanding woman in the series (after all, it was 1966), so she began dating executive producer Gene Roddenberry and was promoted to head nurse in sick bay, where, as she later said, she got such wonderful dialog as "Yes, Doctor."

Today is:

Birthday of the God of Literature, China

Debunking Day

Dream 2010 Day

Feast of Guari -- Hindu (Married Women's Feast)

Flower Show Day

Human Services Day

Johnny Appleseed Day

National Anti-Drug Day

National Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day

St. Constantine's Day

St. Eulogius of Cordova's Day (patron of carpenters, coppersmiths)

World Kidney Day

Worship of Tools Day - guys, you can relate

Anniversaries Today:

Romeo & Juliet's wedding day, according to Shakespeare, 1302
Emperor Napoleon married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise, 1810

Birthdays Today:

Douglas Adams, 1952
Bobby McFerrin, 1950
Charles W. Swan, 1942
Sam Donaldson, 1934
Rupert Murdoch, 1931
Ralph Abernathy, 1926
Mercer Ellington, 1919
Ezra Jack Keats, 1916
Lawrence Welk, 1903

Today in History:

Thutmose III, Pharaoh of Egypt, dies (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty),BC1425
Volcano Etna in Italy erupts killing 15,000, 1669
The first English daily newspaper "Daily Courant," begins publishing, 1702
Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation, 1708
Unhappy with translational differences regarding the Treaty of Waitangi, chiefs Hone Heke, Kawiti and Maori tribe members chop down the British flagpole for a fourth time and drive settlers out of Kororareka, New Zealand, 1845
Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin become the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government, 1848
The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England kills over 250 people in Sheffield, 1864
The Meiji Japanese government officially annexes the Ryukyu Kingdom into what would become the Okinawa prefecture,1872
The Great Blizzard of 1888 begins, lasting 4 days, 1888
The first confirmed cases of the Spanish Flu are observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, 1918

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just a Maybe Wet Wednesday

What is it about Wednesday?

There is the possibility of rain, but no guarantee. Meanwhile, the sun teases us with a heavenly game of peekaboo.

There is the possibility of getting a good bit done today, but a general malaise about the idea.

Bigger Girl keeps pointing out that people are more likely to commit suicide on Wednesday than on any other day of the week.

The squirrel has chewed up yet another wire -- this time, a pair of headphones. (Have I mentioned before that under no circumstances should anyone ever have a pet squirrel in the house? If not, consider yourself warned.)

#2 Son, the 14 year boy, is interested in nothing but having more cake, so his attention keeps wandering from his work.

We have once again run out of pens, pencils, scissors, and can't find the thread. They all grew legs and walked off by themselves, of course, because no one took them.

I will wander off and tend to something, and hope that tomorrow's promised sunshine inspires me to get back into gear.

Today is:

Decoration Day, Liberia

Festival of Life in the Cracks Day

Harriet Tubman Day

International Day of Awesomeness

Learn What Your Name Means Day

Marathon For, By, and About Women in Engineering and Technology

Mario Day

National Blueberry Popover Day

Registered Dietitian Day

Salvation Army Day

St. Kessog's Day (patron of Scotland)

Whoopsical Day -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Emily Osment, 1992
Carrie Underwood, 1983
Shannon Miller, 1977
Prince Edward, 1964
Jasmine Guy, 1964
Rick Rubin, 1963
Sharon Stone, 1958
Kim Campbell, 1947
Bob Greene, 1947
Tom Scholz, 1947
Chuck Norris, 1940
James Earl Ray, 1928
Pamela Mason, 1918
Bix Beiderbecke, 1903

Today in History:

The Romans sink the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end, BC241
Jews are excluded from public office in the Roman Empire, 418
King Charles I dissolves Parliament; he calls it back 11 years later, 1629
English Quaker William Penn receives charter from Charles II, making him sole proprietor of colonial American territory Pennsylvania, 1681
French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, dies after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform, 1762
John Stone, of Concord, Massachusetts, patents a pile driver, 1791
England begins its first modern census, 1801
In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States, 1804
The French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria, 1831
Abraham Lincoln patents a device to help free ships in rivers from shallow water; he built a small scale model, but no full-size device was ever built, and makes him the only US president to hold a patent, 1849
Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call by saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you," 1876
Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patents the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching, 1891
The Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst ever, kills 1099 miners in Northern France, 1906
After Bob Fitzsimmons KOs much larger Jim Corbett to win world HW championship he says, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall," 1896
China ends slavery, 1910

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Doings

The morning started with feeding kitten and the usual routine.

Homeschool co-op is going very well. I managed to get there early, set up, and bake off all of those sweet potato pies I ended up with. After all, my family won't eat them, so I brought them to the parent lounge to serve to anyone who wanted them. One was eaten and the other 4 got sent home with willing takers.

The Girl Scouts were selling off the last of their cookies, so I scored one last box of Samoas for #2 Son. Those are his favorites, and he only got one cookie from the previous two boxes, so I put a crowbar in my wallet and pried out the $3.50.

Finance class is still fun. We answered questions about our "money personality" and it turns out we have 5 savers and one spender in the class. I tried to explain why we need both types of people, how savers keep spenders from waking up broke at retirement, and savers have to have a spender in their life so they will have a life. That led to a discussion of luxuries versus necessities. They all took a paper home to use in making a list of luxuries, and which ones they would want most if they had extra money to spend. Then, they are to ask family members to tell what they want most. We will compare the answers next week.

Coming home was an adventure in coordination. One of our pregnant mothers, who was having a dizzy spell, had to be driven home, with her 5 kids. Then another neighbor took me back for my van. It all worked out, and we will all be checking up on her, as will her mom who lives in the neighborhood.

The fly in the Tuesday ointment has been the weather. This is the 5th time in a row we have had to put off taking family yearbook pictures in the outdoor garden because of cold, rain, or both. Cleanup each time has been awful because of having to have recess indoors as well. Then there is the need to spend extra time sweeping because of all the dirt tracked in on wet shoes.

The rest of today I will probably spend unburying myself from the laundry pile up. It seems I run out of steam when folding and putting away time comes, and I need to get back in the habit of getting it done faster.

Today is:

Baron Bliss Day, Belize

Get Over It Day

Joe Franklin Day

Jonquil Festival

National Crabmeat Day

Organize Your Home Office Day

Panic Day

Rockhound Days begin

St. Catherine of Bologna's Day

Unique Names Day

Anniversaries Today:

Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, 1796
Gustav Mahler marries Alma Schindler in Vienna, 1902

Birthdays Today:

Emmanuel Lewis, 1971
Juliette Binoche, 1964
Bobby Fischer, 1943
Raul Julia, 1940
Mickey Gilley, 1936
Yuri Gagarin, 1934
Keely Smith, 1932
Ornette Coleman, 1930
Wally Bronner, 1927
Irene Papas, 1926
Mickey Spillane, 1918
Samuel Barber, 1910
Will Greer, 1902
Amerigo Vespucci, 1454

Today in History:

Liu Che, posthumously known as Emperor Wu of Han, assumes the throne over the Han Dynasty of China, BC141
Jews are expelled from Carintha Austria, 1496
Nicolaus Copernicus makes his first recorded astronomical observation, 1497
Marten Luther preaches his first Invocavit sermon, 1522
Kissing in public is banned in Naples, punishable by death, 1562
Publication of the economics book The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, 1776
Prussian government limits work week for children to 51 hours, 1839
The Amistad Ruling: The US Supreme Court rules that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally, and were to be set free, 1841
Albert Potts of Philadelphia patents the street mailbox, 1858
The Westmoreland County Coal Strike, involving 15,000 coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers, begins, 1910
Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico, 1916
Pink's War: The first Royal Air Force operation conducted independently of the British Army or Royal Navy begins, 1925
President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to the Congress, the first of his New Deal policies, 1932
CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy", produced by Fred Friendly, in which Edward R. Murrow criticizes the senator, 1954

Monday, March 8, 2010

Strange Creature

No, not something from the fields or forests, nor yet from outer space, but from under the mess in his own room.

The strange creature is #2 Son, as of today a 14 year boy, still with a bed that I won't stick my hand under for fear of not getting it back.

He can cook and barbecue, will go catch his own fish, clean them, and cook them. He gives huge bear hugs, and warns everyone right before he is going to pass gas, then laughs like a hyena at the reaction.

The other day he tried to "catch a fart" in a bottle. He did end up with a stinky bottle, just like he wanted. He also got the windows rolled down in the car, something akin to earning a medal in his estimation.

This is the kid who will try to climb anything, is proud of his "man stink" when he doesn't bathe, and never says no to starting a controlled bonfire or destroying something that needs to be thrown away, preferably by explosion or hacksaw.

He drags home trash, items other people have left out. to have the fun of seeing what he can make out of it before giving up and putting it back out for trash pick up.

When he speaks of the future, he talks about owning a restaurant, and the entertainment there will be fireworks shows. Food and explosions, the two ways to a man's heart.

Along with his friends, he cheers his favorite wrestlers on tv, bikes to the store to spend all of their money on junk food, then comes home and holds and bottle feeds tiny kittens with the finesse of the gentlest nurse.

He will get covered with mud and heaven knows what else when out playing, but insists on gloves before he will potty those same kittens.

(Speaking of kittens, yes, the little one is getting stronger. A special friend emailed me to say the Japanese word for miracle is "kiseki," which sounds like a beautiful name, and very cat-like.)

Happy 14th Birthday, #2 Son. Soon enough you will be hogging the shower and enamored with girls. Meanwhile, stay a strange creature, all boy.

Today is:

Be Nasty Day

Commonwealth Day, UK

Day for Women's Rights and International Peace

Day of No Interest to Fairies -- Fairy Calendar

Farmer's Day

Festival of the Earth Goddess, China

Fun Facts About Names Day

Girls Write Now Day

International (Working) Women's Day

National Peanut Cluster Day

Revolution Day, Syria

St. John of God's Day (patron of booksellers, hospitals, nurses, printers; against alcoholism, heart disease)

Tar & Feather Day

Tij Day, Nepal (Women's Day)

Birthdays Today:

Bob, Clint, and Dave Moffatt, 1984
Kat Von D, 1982
James Van der Beek, 1977
Freddie Prinze, Jr., 1976
Aidan Quinn, 1959
Micky Dolenz, 1945
Lynn Redgrave, 1943
Cyd Charisse, 1923
Alan Hale, Jr., 1921
Claire Trevor, 1909
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1841
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, 1714

Today in History:

John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in what will be the United States, 1655
Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1702
Thomas Paine's "African Slavery in America," the first article in the U.S. calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery is published, 1775
Gnadenhütten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians, 1782
The New York Stock Exchange is founded, 1817
The first train crosses the first US railway suspension bridge at Niagara Falls, 1855
Everett Horton of Connecticut patents a fishing rod of telescoping steel tubes, 1887
International Women's Day is launched in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women's Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, 1911
Mahatma Gandhi starts civil disobedience in India, 1930
Phyllis M Daley is the first black nurse sworn-in as US Navy ensign, 1945

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It must be a miracle, the kitten is still with us.

She is getting stronger, no longer going into the type of choked respiration that usually precedes death.

She is eating more at each feeding (although she still gets some up her nose when she eats too fast and then sneezes for several minutes), her "system" is working (euphemism for the plumbing), and she is being carried around in my shirt to keep warm most of the time (can we say "spoiled rotten"?).

She was the hit of Sunday school today, almost upstaging the baptisms!

Should she make it, we will have to come up with a unique name. Anybody know how to say "miracle" in Hawai'an or Japanese or something?

Today is:

Daughters' and Sons' Day

Junoalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Juno)

Masaryk Day, Czech Republic and Slovakia

National Be Heard Day

National Crown Roast of Pork Day

St. Drausius' Day

St. Felicity's Day (patron of mothers; against infertility)

St. Perpetua's Day

Birthdays Today:

Ivan Lendl, 1960
Rik Mayall, 1958
Tammy Faye Bakker, 1942
Daniel J. Travanti, 1940
Willard Scott, 1934
Lord Snowdon, 1930
Maurice Ravel, 1875
Piet Mondriaan, 1875
Luther Burbank, 1849
Rob Roy MacGregor, 1671
Henry Purcell, 1659
Kano Tanju, 1602

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti (sun-day) is the day of rest in the Empire, 321
King Henry VIII's divorce request is denied by the Pope; Henry then declares that he, not the Pope, is supreme head of England's church, 1530
Massachusetts enacts the first bicameral legislature in the colonies, 1664
The French army enters Rome, marking the birth of the Roman Republic, 1798
Shrigley Abduction: Ellen Turner is abducted by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a future politician in colonial New Zealand, 1827
Charles Miller patents the first US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes, 1854
Roald Amundsen announces that, on Dec. 14, 1911, his expedition had reached the South Pole, 1912
An 8.0 earthquake strikes Tango, Japan, 1927
Bloody Sunday: Alabama state troopers and 600 black protestors clash in Selma, 1965