Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A year!

As of tomorrow, I will have been blogging a full calendar year.

It's been fun, and irritating, and just a bit strange.

I'm not sure where it will go after this, maybe I'll just keep on as I've begun until I get sick of it. Maybe I'll do some things different.

Then again, as long as it's not broke, I don't want to bother fixing it.

Unlike the van, which will probably have to be fixed, to the tune of several hundred in spite of the warranty.

Today is

Army Day, Guatemala

Crab Races -- Fairy Calendar (pixies, Elves, and some fairies)

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome Day

Flag Day, Portugal, Tanzania

Independence Day, Congo, Zaire

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day

Meteor Day

National Corvette Day

National Ice Cream Soda Day

St. Theobald of Provin's day (patron of charcoal burners)

Birthdays Today:

Michael Phelps, 1985
Fantasia Barrino, 1984
Ralf Schumacher, 1975
Leonard Whiting, 1950
Harry Blackstone, Jr., 1934
Susan Hayward, 1919
Lena Horne, 1917

Today in History:

Jews are expelled from Berne Switzerland, 1294
The Spaniards are expelled from Tenochtitlan, 1520
Native American forces under Blue Jacket attack Fort Recovery, Ohio, 1794
French acrobat Charles Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope, 1859
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History takes place, 1860
The first transcontinental train trip across Canada departs from Montreal; it arrives in Port Moody, British Columbia on July 4, 1886
Albert Einstein publishes the article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", in which he introduces special relativity, 1905
The Tunguska event, probably caused by a meteor or comet fragment, occurs in remote Siberia, 1908
The Regina Cyclone hits Regina, Saskatchewan, killing 28; it remains Canada's deadliest tornado event, 1912
Congo gains independence from Belgium, 1960
The first leap second is added to the UTC time system, 1972
The Royal Canadian Mint introduces the $1 coin, known as the Loonie, 1987
East Germany and West Germany merge their economies, 1990
The United Kingdom transfers sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China, 1997

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


On Sunday, there was only a 10% chance of rain. Looked to be a beautiful day. It poured for a couple of hours.

On Monday, there was a 60% chance of rain. We got a quick 10 minute drenching, and enough clouds all day to keep the temperatures down a bit from what they have been.

The rest of the week, the forecast is just like Monday's. I can only hope so! That will be just enough rain for me, that is for sure.

Today is

Camera Day

Dixon Petunia Festival: The Pink. The Proud. The Petunias. through July 4

Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul -- Christian
St. Paul, patron of Greece, Malta, rope makers, tentmakers, upholsterers
St. Peter, patron of clockmakers, fishermen, Russia; against fever, foot trouble, wolves

Hug Holiday

Independence Day, Seychelles

Library Advocacy Day

L-Imnarja, Malta (folk festival)

National Almond Butter Crunch Day

Pennsylvania Dutch Day

Prince Bernhard Day, Netherlands

Sata-Hame Accordion Festival, Ikaalinen, Finland -- through July 4

Waffle Iron Day

Wicked Fairies Summer Debate -- Fairy Calendar (I'd love to hear this!)

Veterans Day, Netherlands

Birthdays Today:

Fred Grandy, 1948
Richard Lewis, 1947
Gary Busey, 1944
Robert Evans, 1930
Ray Harryhausen, 1920
Slim Pickens, 1919
Nelson Eddy, 1901
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1900
William James Mayo, 1863

Today in History:

An Irish monastic chronicler records a solar eclipse, 512
Jacques Cartier makes the European discovery of Prince Edward Island, 1534
The Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground, 1613
Alexander Macdonell and over five hundred Roman Catholic highlanders leave Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario, 1786
Coal is discovered on Vancouver Island, 1850
Ninety-nine people are killed in Canada's worst railway disaster near St-Hilaire, Quebec, 1864
France annexes Tahiti, 1880
The first known recording of classical music, Handel's "Israel in Egypt", is made on a wax cylinder, 1888
Street railway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, commences operation, 1891
Doukhobors burn their weapons as a protest against conscription by the Tsarist Russian government, 1895
France grants 1 km² at Vimy Ridge "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes," 1922
Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Canada receives a patent for sprocket and track traction system used in snow vehicles, 1937
Isabel Perón is sworn in as the first female President of Argentina, 1974
The Seychelles become independent from the United Kingdom, 1976
The space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Mir Space Station for the first time, 1995

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Conversation with #2 Son

Conversations with #2 Son continue to be frequent and weird.

"Mom, get the first aid kit, I'm bleeding again."

He was holding his left hand in his right, and had what looked like blood in the palm, but he has used fake blood before, and at night, with dim light, you can't always tell.

"Is this real, or are you pulling one again?"

"No, this is real. I accidentally stabbed my hand with a steak knife."

"How do you accidentally stab your hand with a steak knife?" I asked as I reached for the first aid supplies and the betadine.

"I was using it to try to get the duct tape off my hand."

"Why did you have...oh, never mind. Come over here and lets wash it off."

I turned on the water at the tap and he backed up. "Nooooo," he whined. "I don't want to wash it off, it is going to hurt!"

"It already hurts, I'm sure, so get over here and let me clean it."

"Noooo," he continued his wail of woe, as if I were torturing him and it was more than he could bear. "And don't use that stuff, either!" He pointed to the betadine. "The Neosporin will be enough."

I grabbed a paper towel and wet it thoroughly. He took it from me and wiped off the blood, then got a dry one and dried the hand while I opened a band-aid and put the antimicrobial salve on it.

"Here." I put the bandage on, and smoothed it. "It won't stay on this part of your hand too well, but that is okay. As long as it is on there for a half hour or so, that way the antibacterial stuff will have a chance to get in there."

"I'll keep it on longer than that!" he said.


"Duct tape!"

Today is

Festival of Terrible Poetry

Go See Some Live Theater Tonight Night

Insurance Awareness Day - Now who do you think invented that!?!

National Tapioca Day

Paul Bunyan Day

Please Take My Children To Work Day

Stonewall Rebellion Day

St. Irenaeus' Day

Thanksgiving for Useful Fairies -- Fairy Calendar

Vidovdan (Festival for St. Vitus) -- Eastern Orthodox Christian

Anniversaries Today:

Harry S. Truman marries Bess Wallace, 1919

Birthdays Today:

Kellie Pickler, 1986
Steve Burton, 1970
John Cusack, 1966
John Elway, 1960
Kathy Bates, 1948
Gilda Radner, 1946
Turkan Soray, 1945
Pat Morita, 1932
Mel Brooks, 1926
Richard Rodgers, 1902
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712
John Wesley, 1703
Peter Paul Rubens, 1577
Henry VIII, King of England, 1491

Today in History:

Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul, 1098
Ottomans defeat Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe, 1389
Guadeloupe becomes a French colony, 1635
The coronation of Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1838
The Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premieres the ballet Giselle, 1841
The first conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, 1859
Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I, 1914
The Treaty of Versailles is signed in Paris, formally ending World War I, 1919
The Irish Civil War begins with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces, 1922
Israel annexes East Jerusalem, 1967
The Republic of Montenegro is admitted as the 192nd Member of the United Nations, 2006

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How do you think about dishes?

"Hand me the tea bags, would you, dear?" Sweetie was making his iced tea.

He is very meticulous about it, timing the brewing just right, covering the kitchen counter with the perfect amount of saccharine as he empties the packets into his glass. Pours a small amount of tea in to dissolve the powder.

Then, yanking open the drawer with the cutlery, he grabs whatever his hand first reaches, be it spoon, fork, knife, plastic or metal, doesn't matter, stirs away, tosses the utensil in the sink. He sips, adds ice, more tea, a bit of water, and yanks open the drawer again. The second utensil follows the first into the otherwise empty sink.

Watching him do this got me to thinking about how we both think differently about dishes. I'm the one who goes behind him, usually while he is still standing at the sink taking his first gulp, and fishes the utensils out of the sink to put in the dishwasher. Why does he have to use two different implements, where I would only use one? Obviously, because I am the one who has to clean them.

It doesn't matter how many dishes you dirty, if you are leaving them to someone else to deal with. I've watched for a while now, and he does the same with every kitchen endeavor. He is very careful how many of his tools he pulls out when working on his things, because he has to put them away. When someone else is doing the cleaning, it doesn't occur to him to be careful.

Yes, I wipe up the spilled saccharine, too. And toss the packets from where he threw them on the otherwise clean counter.

How do you think about dishes? Or anything else you don't have to clean, for that matter?

Today is

Armed Forces Day, Great Britain

Descendants Day

Festival of the Tarasque, Tarascon, France

"Happy Birthday to You" Day

Independence Day, Djibouti

Initium Aestatis -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of summer festival)

Martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith -- Mormon

Mixed Races Day, Brazil

National Orange Blosssom Day

Seven Sleepers Day (Siebenschläfertag), Germany

St. Ladislaus' Day

St. Laszlo's Day (patron of Hungary)

Sun Glasses Day

Birthdays Today:

Gabi Wilson, 1997
Madylin Sweeten, 1991
Ed Westwick, 1987
Drake Bell, 1986
Tobey Maguire, 1975
Julia Duffy, 1951
James Daughton, 1950
H. Ross Perot, 1930
Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, 1927
Helen Keller, 1880

Today in History:

General James Wolfe begins the siege of Quebec, 1759
Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail, 1844
George Dixon becomes the first black world boxing champion in any weight class, while also being the first ever Canadian-born boxing champion, 1890
The first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia, 1898
Sailors start a mutiny aboard the Russian Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war, 1905
Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane, 1923
The United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War, 1950
The world's first nuclear power station opens in Obninsk, near Moscow, 1954
The world's first ATM is installed in Enfield, London, 1967
The President of Uruguay dissolves Parliament and heads a coup d'état, 1973
U.S president Richard Nixon visits the U.S.S.R., 1974
France grants independence to Djibouti, 1977
Slovenia, after declaring independence two days before, is invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft, starting the Ten-Day War, 1991

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The cat rescue shelter is full, and its latest new resident is Rory.

Rory is a beauty. He is a golden orange tiger stripe, big and lean. Intact male, probably a father many times over.

He was rescued from the mouth of a greyhound that was shaking him around like a rag doll. It had him by his manhood. Ouch.

You can see his beauty through his scratches. Boy howdy, is he scratched up. Road tar or something else black in the fur of his tail. Fleas. Ear mites. That stuff will have to wait.

Nothing broken, no internal injuries, but I'm sure his dignity is almost as bruised as the rest of him. He doesn't move much, and purrs when we do anything for or to him.

Miss W called to tell me about him, and that she was concerned he was dehydrated. She and Robin had been force feeding him as the vet told them to, but he wasn't drinking voluntarily and she didn't want him going without fluids while on pain meds.

I agreed and said I could give him fluids with my setup, but that I was almost out of actual fluid. The kids and I left the house at breakneck speed (it was our night to clean the shelter anyway), but just missed being able to get more fluids from our own vet by about 30 seconds. Doggone red lights.

Miss W managed to get the emergency vet to agree to supply the fluids, so while we cleaned the shelter, she went for the IV bag they were willing to give her. When she got back, I got to work.

Orange tabbies have the thickest skin ever. They are notoriously hard to stick for some reason. He was no different, and I didn't want to move him much, so I went in through the loose skin at the shoulder instead of up closer to the neck between the shoulder blades like I usually do.

He purred as the first 100cc went in with me holding the bag up with one hand and petting him with the other, then didn't like how it was stretching his skin, so he got up and slowly climbed into his litter box. Cats will do that when they want a safe place. The good thing about his thick skin was that when I had to pull the needle out as he moved and I couldn't put continuous pressure on that point, the fluid didn't leak back out from under the skin anyway like it does with most cats.

At that point, Robin, Miss W and I regrouped. Using a bent wire coat hanger, we managed a makeshift IV hanger using the intake vent for the a/c in the ceiling. Robin picked up the whole litter box and sat on the floor with the box and cat in her lap, and I showed Miss W, who knows how to give shots and needs to learn to give fluids, how to pick a place with loose skin and no scratches, and we got another 100cc in him.

He actually licked the food off the spoon instead of having it syringed in after that. Fluids make them feel so much better so fast it is amazing. Miss W and Robin will continue to give fluids for the next couple of days, until they see him drinking.

When he heals up, gets cleaned up and "unpested," and is neutered, he is going to make someone a great pet.

Today is

Alexandra Rose Day, UK

ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Field Day (through tomorrow)

Beautician's Day

Boardwalk Day

Flag Day, Romania

Forgiveness Day

Full Strawberry Moon/Full Rose Moon

Independence Day, Madagascar, Somalia

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

National Chocolate Pudding Day

St. Pelayo's Day

Sunthorn Phu Day, Thailand

Birthdays Today:

Jennette McCurdy, 1992
Derek Jeter, 1974
Chris O'Donnell, 1970
Harriet Wheeler, 1963
Greg LeMond, 1961
Chris Isaak, 1956
Eleanor Parker, 1922
Babe Didrikson Zaharias, 1914
Colonel Tom Parker, 1909
Peter Lorre, 1904
Pearl S. Buck, 1892
Lord Kelvin, 1824
Abner Doubleday, 1819

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Julian is killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire; General Jovian is proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield, 363
The legendary Pied Piper leads 130 children out of Hamelin, German, 1284
Richard III is crowned king of England, 1483
Francisco Pizarro is assassinated in Lima, 1541
The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the United States, 1870
The Science Museum in London comes into existence as an independent entity, 1909
The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco, 1945
William Shockley files the original patent for the grown junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor, 1948
The Saint Lawrence Seaway opens, opening North America's Great Lakes to ocean-going ships, 1959
The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, 1974
The CN Tower, the world's tallest free-standing structure on land, is opened to general public, 1976*

*It is still the tallest in the Western Hemisphere

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Bit of Excitement

A bit of excitement in our neighborhood last night.

Little Girl could not be on swim team this year because of her arm. It just didn't quite work out with the timing of her therapy. We haven't been keeping up as much with what is going on across the street at the aquatic club because of that. I do know that the swim team has supper together on Wednesday nights after practice, and that the meets have gone well.

So I wasn't surprised to see them over there last night. I was surprised to step out to check for the mail (at 7pm, and no, it still hadn't arrived) and see an ambulance over there.

It turns out one of the teen swimmers dislocated her knee at practice. She will recover.

It is always a bit unnerving to see flashing lights in the neighborhood, because it happens so seldom. Yes, I know we are blessed to live in a place where so little happens that we are almost sheltered, and I'm glad it wasn't something major and tragic.

Today is

Audie Murphy Days, through tomorrow

Elf Thumping Day -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of the Optional Holiday

Festival of Ranting and Vaporing, Sponsored by The Daily Bleed

Fiesta of Santa Orosia, Spain

Heidi Festival, New Glarus, Wisconsin (last weekend in June)

Independence Day, Mozambique, Slovenia

Log Cabin Day

National Catfish Day

National Columnists Day

National Strawberry Parfait Day

St. Molaug's Day (patron against headaches, insanity)

Take Your Dog to Work Day (Why!? Depending on where you work, what did the dog do to deserve that?)

Tartar Festival of the Plow, Russia

Anniversaries Today:

Virginia becomes the 10th US State, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Scott Terra, 1987
George Michael, 1963
Sonia Sotomayor, 1954
Jimmie Walker, 1949
Phyllis George, 1949
Carly Simon, 1945
June Lockhart, 1925
Sidney Lumet, 1924
George Orwell, 1903

Today in History:

The Book of Concord or Concordia, the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, is published, 1580
Elena Cornaro Piscopia is the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy, from the University of Padua, 1678
Maria Theresa of Austria is crowned King of Hungary, 1741
Lucien B. Smith of Ohio patents the first version of barbed wire, 1867
Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, 1876
Dr. Douglas Hyde is inaugurated the first President of Ireland, 1938
The Diary of Anne Frank is published, 1947
The Berlin airlift begins, 1948
The Korean War begins with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea, 1950
First live global satellite television programme – Our World, 1967
Mozambique achieves independence, 1975
Microsoft is restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington, 1981
Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia, 1991
Kim Campbell is chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and becomes the first female Prime Minister of Canada, 1993

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Front Seat Madness

As I got into the car, Little Girl climbed into the back seat, which I thought was unusual. There is usually a mad dash by several people for the passenger front door handle, and arguments over it get loud and fervent, with lots of "you had it last time!" accusations.

"Why aren't you getting in the front?" I asked. "I thought you loved to ride shotgun."

An eye roll as only a twelve-year-old who has been PMSing since she was 2 could pull off.

"Mom, don't you know the front seat is no fun unless you have someone to fight for it?"

I should have known.

Today is

Bannockburn Day, Scotland (decisive battle of the first Scottish War of Independence, led by Robert Bruce)

Burning of the Lamps in Egypt at Sais -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar, a celebration of Isis and Neith

Carabobo Day, Venezuela

Celebration of the Senses

Dia del Indio, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru (day of the Indian)

Feast of Rahmat - Baha'i

Fisherman's Day, Zaire

Gioco Del Calcio, Italy

International Fairy Day

Inti Raymi Pageant, Peru (Inca sun god festival, celebrating the new year and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere)

Lost Handkerchief Day -- Fairy Calendar

Manila Day, Philippines

Midsummer Day

Museum Comes to Life Day

National Bomb Pop Day

National Creamy Pralines Day

National Forgiveness Day

National Puppeteers Festival

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Quebec

St. John the Baptist's Day (patron of auto routes, candlemakers, health spas, Quebec, road workers, wool workers)

Sunrise Rituals at Stonehenge, UK

Swim a Lap Day


Anniversaries Today:

Eton College is founded by Henry VI, 1441

Birthdays Today:

Sherry Stringfield, 1967
Joe Penny, 1956
Mick Fleetwood, 1947
Jeff Beck, 1944
Michele Lee, 1942
Phil Harris, 1904
Jack Dempsey, 1895
Roy O. Disney, 1893
Ambrose Bierce, 1842
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813

Today in History:

Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces, takes place, 972
A sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion, 1374
John Cabot lands in North America at Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings, 1497
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founds Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines, 1571
Samuel de Champlain discovers the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1604
The colony of New Jersey is founded, 1664
Kingston, Jamaica is founded, 1692
The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), is founded in London, England, 1717
The first republican constitution in France is adopted, 1793
The decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain, the Battle of Carabobo takes place, 1821
First performance of O Canada, the song that would become the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français, 1880
The first exhibition of Pablo Picasso's work opens, 1901
Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to get a million dollar contract, 1916
The first airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto begins, 1918
Siam is renamed Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the third prime minister, 1939
The Soviet Union makes overland travel between the West with West Berlin impossible, 1948
The United Kingdom grants Zanzibar internal self-government, 1963

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back to the Old Grind

We made one last stop before we got home, right outside of Slidell. It's just over an hour's drive from there to home, and by that point we were all ready for this part to be over.

Driving around the curve of our street, I first noted that the house was still standing. So far, so good. Then we piled out and unlocked the door, and were hit by the heat in the house.

Ouch. Coming home to a non-functioning a/c is a poor homecoming indeed. It turned out to be a minor problem, however. #1 Son heard us come in and graced us with is presence, and told us that the a/c had been functioning fine up until a couple of hours ago, when our retired a/c repair guy had finally showed up to clean the outdoor unit like he promised.

It seems he called me Monday and told me he would do it while we were gone. Before he knew it, it was our homecoming day, and it still wasn't done, so he rushed to get to it. In his rush, he forgot to turn the outdoor breaker back on. A flip of a switch, and the heat was relieved.

If only everything else were so easy.

Unpacking took what seemed like forever. The house was as clean as you could expect an 18 year old boy to keep it, and the cat boxes looked like they had been scooped regularly, so there were no nasty surprises. He had cleared out all of the food I had bought him for the week, and was in a good mood. Hadn't taken the trash barrel to the front of the house for pick up, but had managed to empty the indoor garbage can regularly.

As for the cats, well, Kida is a Siamese. Nothing phases her. Hope is mildly mentally retarded and might not have even realized that we were gone, except that she didn't have Sweetie feeding her from the table and making her barf for a week. Badlands Blackie and Little Girly were their usual selves, running whenever I came near (they know I distribute pills or shots on occasion, and only come close to me when they are sure I don't have devious plans up my sleeve). Horizon, as per his usual practice, had turned wild again (feral kittenhood), and took 3 days to calm down. He finally did, he always does.

Today is

Festival of the Purple Void

Grand Duke's Birthday, Luxembourg

Let It Go Day

Midsummer Baal -- Ancient Celtic Calendar

Midsummer's Eve -- Dragaica Fair, Buzau, Romania; Golowan Festival, Cornwall; Jaaniohtu, Estonia; Ligo, Latvia; St. John's Eve, various traditions

National Columnists Day

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, Canada

National Pecan Sandy Day

National Pink Day

Public Service Day

St. Agrippina (patron against evil spirits, leprosy, thunder)

St. Audrey's Day (patron against neck pain. throat disease)

St. Ethelreda's Day

St. John's Festival, Portugal

St. Nicetas Day (patron of Romania)

United Nations Public Service Day

Victory Day, Estonia

Birthdays Today:

Jason Mraz, 1977
Selma Blair, 1972
Frances McDormand, 1957
Clarence Thomas, 1948
June Carter Cash, 1929
Bob Fosse, 1927
Alan Turing, 1912
Edward VIII, King of England, 1894
Alfred Kinsey, 1894
Johannes Gutenberg, 1400 (estimated)
Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, BC47 (Son of Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar)

Today in History:

The world's oldest parliament, the Icelandic Althing, is established, 930
First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan, 1180
First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, begins, 1314
The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson's fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again, 1611
The French residents of Acadia are given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada, 1713
Empress Catherine II of Russia grants Jews permission to settle in Kiev, 1794
Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for Type-Writer, 1868
The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada, creating the nation's first national park, Banff National Park, 1887
The International Olympic Committee is founded at the Sorbonne, Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, 1894
The College Board administers the first SAT exam, 1926
Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane, 1931
The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, 1946
The Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent, comes into force, 1961

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Driving home at once seems to take a longer and shorter time than driving out. It feels like we are covering more ground faster, but then you look at the clock, and it's not moved much.

As we approached our favorite Cracker Barrel restaurant, just before Mobile, I noticed that the traffic was stopped ahead of us, on the other side of the on ramp. It looked like it went on for quite a distance, so I was glad to stop for lunch.

While we ate, Sweetie asked about an alternative route to get around the traffic on the interstate. The nice manager did us a good deed, which probably will not go unpunished.

He told us about the alternate route, all right. We ate, shopped, used the facilities, and then continued up the same road to the T intersection, where we took a left. That road, he told us, would take us several miles up, on a nice little highway, 4 lanes and 55mph. We could hook back up to the interstate at several points along the route.

We drove past a couple of small towns, and, amazingly, seafood restaurant after seafood restaurant, all packed to the gills. Wow. Just a couple of miles off the highway, among the inlets of Mobile Bay, there are a plethora of places to eat.

Yes, we love us some Cracker Barrel, but we also love us some seafood restaurants, especially busy ones. That poor manager may have cost his company a meal or two from us on future trips. We will probably still stop there for souvenirs, though.

I followed this road, which turns into Battleship Parkway (that might be the name of it the whole way, I'm not sure), as far as I could, and got back on the still packed, stop and go Interstate 10 at the last possible place to do so before the tunnel. Apparently, the traffic was backed up from the tunnel all the way to Daphne, a good 14 miles or so.

I will never be able to wrap my head around why the people of Mobile, after all these years, still feel the need to bring traffic to a screeching halt because of the tunnel. Maybe if I lived there I would get it, but I doubt it. I've lived in Louisiana a long time but I still don't get why some people here drive the way they do. I get why the little old ladies driving large late model cars have the right of way at all times, but I'm still stumped by why Friday afternoon's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

Today is

America's Kids Day

Elfin Music Festival -- Fairy Calendar

Festival of 1 Lithe -- Hobbit Calendar

Festival of Manifest Destiny

Hard Core Pub Crawl Day

Morat Commemoration Day, Switzerland

National Chocolate Eclair Day

St. Acacius' Day (patron against headaches)

St. Nicetas' Day (patron of Romania)

St. Thomas More's Day

Stupid Guy Thing Day

Zeppelin Day

Birthdays Today:

Eric Stretch, 1980
Donald Faison, 1974
Carson Daly, 1973
Mary Lynn Rajskub, 1971
Kurt Warner, 1971
Amy Brennenman, 1964
Dan Brown, 1964
Freddie Prinze, 1954
Cyndi Lauper, 1953
Meryl Streep, 1949
Lindsay Wagner, 1949
Todd Rundgren, 1948
Pete Maravich, 1947
Ed Bradley, 1941
Kris Kristofferson, 1936
Joseph Papp, 1921
Billy Wilder, 1906
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906
John Dillinger, 1903

Today in History:

Ptolemy IV of Egypt defeats Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom, BC217
Bilbo Baggins returns to his home at Bag End, (Shire Reconning), 1342
The Jewish quarter of Prague is burned and looted, 1559
Galileo Galilei is forced by Inquisition to "abjure, curse, & detest" his Copernican heliocentric views, 1633
A poisonous cloud from Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland reaches Le Havre in France, 1783
The British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America, 1825
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee procession in London, 1897
The Flag of Sweden is adopted, 1906
The Flag of the Faroe Islands is raised for the first time, 1919
Erwin Rommel is promoted to Field Marshal after the capture of Tobruk, 1942
The Cuyahoga River catches fire, which triggers a crack-down on pollution in the river, 1969
The Canadian House of Commons abolishes capital punishment, 1976
Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, is discovered, 1978
The largest hailstone ever recorded falls in Aurora, Nebraska (7inch diameter, 18.75 inch circumfrence), 2003
Eastman Kodak Company announces that it will discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon, 2009

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Going home day always comes all too soon.

Sweetie is always gung-ho about getting packed and started and back on the road. It is so annoying.

I prefer to just work at it slowly, over the course of the morning. After all, check out time is not until 10AM, and I'm up very early. I get lots done, just at my own pace. He sleeps later, then wants us to rush.

Since I'm not in any hurry to get home, because vacations just can't last long enough, I spend the morning telling him to slow down, that home isn't going anywhere.

Meanwhile, my parents and brothers are more like Sweetie. They high tail it early, while my kids are still half asleep and barely moving.

Sooner or later, though, everything is somehow packed, all the rooms of the unit double checked to make sure we haven't left anything behind.

Down to the parking garage with two bellhop carts and 2 grocery shopping carts; wow, packing is going to be interesting, I think to myself. I ended up being quite right in that -- poor #2 Son ended up in the very back of the van, sandwiched in so tight I'm surprised the child could breathe. He said it was okay, and it's a good thing he is thin, or we might have had to leave behind his X-box (it was wedged between his knees). He promptly fell back asleep anyway.

Today is

Aimless Wandering Day

Baby Boomer Recognition Day

Cuckoo Warning Day -- if you hear the cuckoo today, it will be a wet summer

Discovery Day, Labrador and Newfoundland (observed - actual date June 24)

Finally Summer Day- Summer Solstice

First Nations Day -- Canadian Native People

Flag Day, Denmark, Greenland

Go Skateboarding Day

Inti Raymi, Sacsayhuamán Andes Mountain natives winter solstice and New Year festival

Martyr's Day, Togo

Midsummer Festivals begin -- Juhannus Day in Finland and Midsommar in Denmark and Norway, celebrated over the next several days in many Scandinavian traditions

National Aboriginal Day, Canada

National Daylight Appreciation Day

National Peaches & Cream Day

Ride to Work Day (Motorcycles)

St. Alban's Day (patron of refugees)

St. Aloysius Gonzanga's Day (protector of young students, young men)

St. Meen's Day

St. Leudredus' Day

Summer Solstice, Northern Hemisphere

We Tripantu, Chile (Mapuche natives winter solstice festival)

World Handshake Day

World Music Day

Anniversaries Today:

New Hampshire becomes the 9th US State, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Kris Allen, 1985
Prince William, 1982
Juliette Lewis, 1973
Berkeley Breathed, 1957
Meredith Baxter, 1947
Michael Gross, 1947
Ray Davies, 1944
Mariette Hartley, 1940
Maureen Stapleton, 1925
Jane Russell, 1921
Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905
Al Hirschfeld, 1903
Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892
Daniel Carter Beard, 1850
Increase Mather, 1639

Today in History:

Jews are expelled from Nurenberg Bavaria by Emperor Maximillian, 1498
The Incident at Honno-ji takes place in Kyoto, Japan, 1582
In Montreal in New France, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique is put to death, having been convicted of the arson that destroyed much of the city, 1734
Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded, 1749
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike, 1919
The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia, 1940
Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, 1948
Ellen Louks Fairclough is sworn in as Canada's first woman Cabinet Minister, 1957
SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight, 2004.
Pluto's newly discovered moons are officially named Nix & Hydra, 2006

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vacation Adventures

One of the prettiest things to watch along the shore is the birds.

I watched one morning as Turd Bird and his competitor soared the thermals and dove for fish. I could almost hear the cry of "Curses, foiled again!" when one missed, and the triumph radiated from every feather when they succeeded.

They would also, if it was early enough, walk the shore in search of ghost crabs still out of the water. The crabs blend with the sand, and range in size from a body as small around as a penny to almost big enough to use for a crab boil. The birds walk along carefully stalking the fast scuttling crabs, and its hilarious to see how quickly the birds strike out, and how even faster the crab, if it is lucky, runs sideways, scooting for the water and safety.

There are other, smaller birds, too, that hunt the crabs through the night, and in the morning you can see tracks of them in the sand, crisscrossing each other in intricate patterns.

Today is

American Eagle Day

Father's Day

Festival of the New Knee -- Fairy Calendar

Flag Day, Argentina

Husband Caregiver Day

Ice Cream Soda Day

Independence Day, Senegal

Lailat Al-Garr -- Muslim "night of power"

Loch Ness Day

Martyr's Day, Eritrea

National Vanilla Milkshake Day

New Identity Day

Procession of the Golden Chariot a/k/a Battle of the Lumeçon, Mons, Belgium (a reenactment of St. George slaying the dragon)

St. Osana of Mantua (patron of schoolgirls)

World Refugee Day

Anniversaries Today:

The University of Oxford receives its charter, 1214
West Virginia becomes the 35th US state, 1863

Birthdays Today:

Nicole Kidman, 1967
John Goodman, 1952
Lionel Richie, 1949
Bob Vila, 1946
Anne Murray, 1945
Brian Wilson, 1942
Danny Aiello, 1933
Martin Landau, 1931
Chet Atkins, 1924
Audie Murphy, 1924
Jean-Jacques Bertrand, 1916
Errol Flynn, 1909
Lillian Hellman, 1905
Scipio Africanus, BC236

Today in History:

Flavius Aetius' battles Attila the Hun; the battle was inconclusive, and Attila retreats, causing the Romans to interpret it as a victory, 451
Jews are expelled from Brazil by order of regent Don Henrique, 1567
The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates, 1631
A British garrison is imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta, 1756
King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution, 1791
The U.S. vessel SS Savannah, he first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, arrives at Liverpool, 1819
Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne, 1837
Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph, 1840
Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1877
A rare June hurricane struck Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35, 1959
The German parliament decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin, 1991

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Sweetie and the children were extremely impressed by the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It has been featured on the Discovery Channel as "The Little Zoo That Could."

Their stories of survival after hurricanes, especially Ivan and Katrina, are amazing. Zookeepers even went so far as taking animals home with them to make sure everyone was properly cared for.

The zoo is small, but getting bigger. More land, safer and higher and a bit further from the shore, has been donated, and they are building and moving.

It seems like it wouldn't take long to cover the place, but by the time you experience the "outback encounter" area with the down under critters, pet the tons of animals available to touch and interact with, and pay to pet the wolf cubs and tiger cubs (yes, really), you have spent all of the morning or a good portion of the afternoon.

A part of a day at the zoo has now been added to our list of "must-do" things on vacation each year.

Today is

64th Annual Rhododendron Festival, Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee -- through tomorrow

Artigas Day, Uruguay (national hero)

Festival of the Coming Ice Age

Garfield the Cat Day (his birthday)

Independence Day, Kuwait, Laos


Labor Day, Trinidad and Tobago

National Hollerin' Contest Day -

National Martini Day

New Church Day -- Swedenborgian Christian

Shrimp Festival, Belgium

St. Boniface of Querfurt's Day

St. Jude's Day

St. Romuald's Day

Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo, Saratoga, Wyoming (through tomorrow, always held Father's Day Weekend)

World Juggler's Day

World Sauntering Day

Birthdays Today:

Zoe Saldana, 1978
Mia Sara, 1967
Paula Abdul, 1962
Kathleen Turner, 1954
Phylicia Rashad, 1948
Salman Rushkie, 1947
Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane, 1942
Gena Rowlands, 1930
Louis Jourdan, 1919
Pauline Kael, 1919
Pat Buttram, 1915
Lou Gehrig, 1903
Guy Lombardo, 1902
Moe Howard, 1897
Wallis Simpson, 1896
Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834
Blaise Paschal, 1623

Today in History:

King Louis IX of France orders all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver, 1269
The Earl of Pembroke's army defeats Bruce's Scottish army at the Battle of Methven, 1306
English colonists leave Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in America, 1586
Emanuel Swedenborg reports the completion of the Second Coming of Christ in his work True Christian Religion, 1770
Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1816
The first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Joy Cartwright's rules on Hoboken's Elysian Fields (Hoboken, New Jersey)with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1; Cartwright umpired, 1846
Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, are finally informed of their freedom; the anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 35 other states as Juneteenth, 1865
Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire is executed by a firing squad in Querétaro, Querétaro, 1867
After all of the Southern States are formally readmitted to the United States, the Confederate States of America ceases to exist, 1870
The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire begins, 1875
The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington, 1910
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed at Sing Sing, in New York, 1953
Kuwait declares independence from the United Kingdom, 1961
In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University in Beirut, is kidnapped, 1982

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Turd Bird is a very special guy.

I'm not sure what kind of bird he is, but he is the only one by the shore we have ever seen that has one feather on the top of his head that sticks up, no matter what he does.

He has a very handsome pattern in his feathers, brown spots underneath him shade to a blue-gray back. His long legs sport talons that it is obvious could do damage, and his beak would be a formidable weapon, but he has never offered to harm any of us.

One of the times we were out on the dock fishing, I was sitting on a narrow area he wanted to walk past to get to where the children were. I really didn't want to move from my shady spot, so I sat cross-legged and didn't look directly at him. I concentrated on my book, and when he was sure I wasn't going to jump up or do anything startling, he walked past me quickly. His beady eye was focused on me the whole time, and he was probably less than half a meter from me at the furthest. I felt honored that we have fed him enough over the years that he would dare to walk so close, even though he was wary.

He always bows to the person who throws him a fish, and wipes his beak on the dock when he is finished swallowing, which can be quite a performance when the fish is large. His neck expands so wide that I am always fascinated watching it.

He is not polite to his competitors, however. This year, another bird dared to come out to the dock while he was there. He chased the interloper off in no uncertain terms.

I just hope they are able to keep the oil away enough that we get to enjoy his company for years to come.

Today is

Autistic Pride Day

Constitution Day, Seychelles

Dulcimer Days, Coshocton, Ohio -- through the 20th

Go Fishing Day

Independence Day, Egypt

International Picnic Day

International Sushi Day

Midsummer Celebration, Finland and Sweden

National Cherry Tart Day

National Splurge Day - Oh yeah!!

St. Alena's Day (patron against eye disease, toothaches)


Viking Festival, Denmark

Waterloo Day, UK

Birthdays Today:

Nathan Morris, 1971
Carol Kane, 1952
Isabella Rossellini, 1952
Roger Ebert, 1942
Paul McCartney, 1942
Red Adair, 1915
E.G. Marshall, 1910
Bud Collyer, 1908
Jeanette MacDonald, 1903
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaievna Romanova of Russia, 1901
E.W. Scripps, 1854

Today in History:

Li Yuan becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China, 618
Five monks from Canterbury report seeing "two horns of light" on the shaded side of the moon, probably witnessing the meteor impact formation of the Giordano Bruno crater, 1178
The Parliament of Ireland meets at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature, 1264
French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay, 1429
Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island, 1767
The U.S. Congress declares war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1812
The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time, 1815
Empress Dowager Longyu of China orders all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families, 1900
Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly as a passenger in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, 1928
The "Finest Hour" speech is delivered by Winston Churchill, 1940
The Republic of Egypt is declared and the monarchy is abolished, 1953
Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long is committed to a state mental hospital; he responds by having the hospital's director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeds to proclaim him perfectly sane, 1959
The AIDS epidemic is formally recognized by medical professionals in San Francisco, California, 1981
Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space, 1983

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vacation Adventures

One of my favorite times of day at the beach is dawn. Walking on the sand, watching the birds, seeing the sun rise.

When you walk in sand with shoes, you leave the tracks of them, and every shoe has a distinctive pattern. Work boots worn by the park rangers who patrol the whole island leave a very simple line of straight ridges. Up in the sky, I saw clouds in that pattern, in the shape of boot prints, tracking across the blue. It looked like a giant had walked in the sand, gotten it in the ridges of his boot soles, and then tracked it across the skies on his way home.

Another thing I love is watching the highest clouds turn pink, then golden, while the lower ones are still just gray shadows. As the sun comes up, they change color from top to bottom, east edge to west, until they whole blue is crossed by white fluff. It is a beautiful thing to see.

I've always been a morning person, but I believed sunsets were prettier than sunrises because they are more colorful. Then I started watching the subtle changes that sunrise brings at the shore.

Today is

Accident Day

Bunker Hill Day, Massachusetts

Eat All of Your Vegetables Day

Father's Day, Ecuador and Guatemala

Independence Day, Iceland

Lily Festival, Japan

Ludi Piscatari -- Ancient Roman Calendar, fishermen's festival

National Apple Struedel Day

Pirate Radio Day

Recess at Work Day

St. Herve's Day (patron of the blind)

Toadstool-Squatting begins -- Fairy Calendar, of the Leprechauns

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Birthdays Today:

Mark Walker, 1999
Lee Ryan, 1983
Venus Williams, 1980
Dan Jansen, 1965
Joe Piscopo, 1951
Barry Manilow, 1946
Art Bell, 1945
Newt Gingrich, 1943
Gene De Paul, 1919
Ralph Bellamy, 1904
M.C. Escher, 1898
Igor Stravinsky, 1882

Today in History:

Vlad III the Impaler (a/k/a Vlad Dracul or Count Dracula) attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia, 1462
Matsunaga Hisahide assassinates the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, 1565
Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England, 1579
Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth; her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal, 1631
The Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775
In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issues the Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands, 1839
1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook's forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory, 1876
The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor, 1885
The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT, 1901
"Barney Google" cartoon strip, by Billy De Beck, premieres, 1919
Iceland declares independence from Denmark and becomes a republic, 1944
The Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland, which is in the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, Canada opens; it is still open today, 1958
The New Democratic Party of Canada is founded with the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress, 1961
Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel, 1972
With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct, 1987
The South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act, which had required racial classification of all South Africans at birth, 1991

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation Adventures

The youngest member of our family is my nephew A.J. He is five, and typical of children his age, wants to be out and doing things. While my brothers took the older kids to water parks and to ride go karts, and Sweetie took them to the zoo, Grandpa and I played with A.J.

He has several small stuffed lemurs of various colors. They like to go on walks. So we walked the complex, around the pools, through the gardens, around the tennis courts, up and down countless flights of stairs. Wherever the lemurs led, he and I followed. We found the barbecue pits and every possible way to cut through the parking garages. The game room, where he tries to play pool, was a favorite.

Little ones are so labor intensive, really. I enjoyed mine, but the years were so busy it is sometimes a blur. It's nice to be able to step back into those days for a little while on occasion.

Today is

Bloomsday (Joyce's Ulysses)

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (on the 5th day of the 5th moon)

Day of the Rat, among Buddhists of Vietnam

Day of Third-Hand Reports and Shaky Evidence -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of the Madonna, Italy

Fresh Veggies Day

Fudge Day

Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan -- Sikh

National Fudge Day

National Hollerin' Contest Day

Night of the Teardrop, Feast of the Waters of the Nile -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar, celebrating Isis and her sorrows

Scrubwomen Tea Party Day

St. Benno's Day

St. John-Francis Regis' Day (patron of illegitimate children, lace makers, marriage, social workers)

Wish Fullfillment Day

Youth Day, South Africa

Birthdays Today:

Diana DeGarmo, 1987
Phil Mickelson, 1970
Joan Van Ark, 1943
Joyce Carol Oates, 1938
Erich Segal, 1937
Stan Laurel, 1890
Geronimo, 1829

Today in History:

The Zoroastrian Religious Calendar begins with the ascension of Yasdegerd III of Persia, the start of the Persian Era, 632
Battle of Stoke Field, the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses, 1487
British troops take Cape Breton Island, which is now part of Nova Scotia, Canada, 1745
The French surrender Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians, 1755
Abraham Lincoln delivers his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois, 1858
The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England kills 183 children, 1883
John Abbott becomes Canada's third prime minister, 1891
The Ford Motor Company is incorporated, 1903
The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marks the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane, 1948
Rudolf Nureyev defects at Le Bourget airport in Paris, 1961
Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space, 1963
The largest single-site hydro-electric power project in Canada starts at Churchill Falls, Labrador, 1972
Soweto uprising: a non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turns into days of rioting when police open fire on the crowd and kill 566 children, 1976
Israel complies with UN Security Council Resolution 425 after 22 years of its issuance, which calls on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon, 2000

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vacation Adventures

On non-rainy summer mornings, at the Pensacola Naval Air Base, the Blue Angels take to the air to practice their upcoming season's air show moves. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they allow the general public to come watch them practice for free.

We try to always go on the Tuesday. My thinking is, if we plan something else on Tuesday, and Wednesday is rainy, we will miss out. If Tuesday gets rained out, we can always try again.

The day was hot and sunny and perfect for watching these amazing aerial stunts. They had the full compliment of 6 planes in the air, four in formation, the others weaving around them doing other moves.

My brother took his 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son for the first time. She was very thrilled, but A.J. was more interested in the plane that you could walk through. It is an old transport plane of some sort that is parked out there, and any time the Angels were out of sight, he would wander over and climb in. I followed him and missed some of the stunts, but I wanted my brother to enjoy it with my niece. A.J. and I saw every inch of the inside of that plane that they let you get to, more than once. There is one piece of equipment in there, to show how they used it to move such stuff, and we climbed all over that, too. He had a ball.

After the show, we spent a pleasant couple of hours in the welcome cool of the Naval Aviation Museum. Plane cockpits to climb in for the younger set, amazing displays for the grownups to ooh and aah over, and fun simulators for the ones in the middle. Lunch in the Cobi Cafe, and my brother even managed to snap a picture of the kids with a couple of the pilots.

The group separated after lunch. My brother took his kids, along with Little Girl and #2 Son, to take a tour of the haunted lighthouse. They came back with some crazy stories, and some rather strange footage. My brother had his video camera on the whole time they were climbing the 177 steps to the top. The camera worked great, except when he stuck the camera out of the windows. He could see trees, grass, sky, etc., and the sun was on the other side of the building, but the only thing the camera showed was an eerie fog. When he pulled it back in, it showed the inside of the lighthouse, then went to the next window, up several steps. Same result. He could see out, but the camera screen that you use to monitor what you are filming showed fog.

Meanwhile, Sweetie, Bigger Girl and I went to a flea market. We came back well flea-ed.

Today is

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed Day

Farmer's Day, Korea

Flag Day, Denmark

Fly A Kite Day

Magna Carta Day, UK

Native American Citizenship Day

Nature Photography Day

Own Your Share of America Day

Rumor Sunday -- Fairy Calendar, usually held on a weekday

Separation Day, Delaware

Smile Power Day

St. Alice's Day

St. Orsisius' Day

St. Vitus' Day(patron of dancers, actors, comedians, epilepsy sufferers, oversleepers, lightning, wild animals, Sicily)

Valdemar's Day, Denmark

Anniversaries Today:

Arkansas becomes the 25th US State, 1836

Birthdays Today:

William Dean Martin, 1981
Neil Patrick Harris, 1973
Ice Cube, 1969
Lisa McCall, 1969
Dina Meyer, 1969
Courteney Cox, 1964
Helen Hunt, 1963
Jim Belushi, 1954
Waylon Jennings, 1937
Mario Cuomo, 1932
Erroll Garner, 1921
Muzaffer Tema, 1919
Bob Wian, 1914
Henry FitzRoy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII, 1519
Edward the Black Prince, 1330

Anniversaries Today:

Gustaf, Crown Prince of Sweden marries Princess Margaret of Connaught, 1905
King Hussein of Jordan marries Lisa Halaby (Queen Noor), 1978

Today in History:

The Assyrians record a solar eclipse that is later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history, BC763
King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta, 1215
The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys, 1667
Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity, 1752
Delaware votes to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania, 1776
Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, become the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon explodes during their attempt to cross the English Channel, 1785
Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber, 1844
The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 1846
Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II and is the last emperor of the German Empire, 1888
The most destructive tsunami in Japan's history kills more than 22,000 people, 1896
A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in New York City's East River kills 1000, 1904
Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) is incorporated, 1911
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter, 1916
A German expedition led by Karl Wien lost sixteen members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat (9th highest mountain), the largest single day loss of life on an 8,000m peak, 1937
In the Saskatchewan general election, the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, is elected and forms the first socialist government of North America, 1944
Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations, 1994
Near earth asteroid 2002 MN misses the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon, 2002

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Tar balls: lumps of oil, weathered to a roughly spherical shape, varying in size from pinhead to up to 30cm. They are sticky and irritating, but not a serious hazard. When you come into contact with them, you must wash with a good oil removing dishwashing liquid, and rinse with an isopropyl alcohol and water mix.

Because of the frantic searches for glasses and cell phone, which included calling numerous stores where we had been all through the day and turning the whole condo upside down, I did not get down to the shore that evening.

The next morning, when I had done with my workout and chores, I went down to walk the shore at sunrise. At the high tide line, where there is usually a line of shells and seaweed, it was a line of tar balls. It was gut wrenching to think of the wildlife refuges that surround the area getting ruined with all of that.

The state of Florida was certainly doing everything in their power to make sure that did not happen. By the next morning, the line of tar balls was gone, and people were swimming again. We just made sure everyone washed well on coming out of the water.

Every night, we could count 20-30 ships out on the water, crews working frantically to keep the oil away as much as possible. They are valiantly doing everything they can, and will keep it up as long as they need to.

Today is

Baltic Freedom Day

Family History Day

Feast Day of Elisha the Prophet

Flag Day, United States

Freedom Day, Malawi

Liberation Day, Falkland Islands

National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Nursing Assistants Day - First day of National Nursing Assistants Week

Pause for the Pledge Day

Pop Goes the Weasel Day

Rice Planting Festival, Osaka, Japan

St. Dogmael's Day

World Blood Donor Day

Birthdays Today:

Daryl Sabara, 1992
Lucy Hale, 1989
Steffi Graf, 1969
Yasmine Bleeth, 1968
Boy George, 1961
Donald Trump, 1946
John F. MacArthur, 1939
Jerzy Kosinski, 1933
Joe Arpaio, 1932
Marla Gibbs, 1931
Che Guevara, 1928
Pierre Salinger, 1925
Gene Barry, 1919
Burl Ives, 1909
Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811

Today in History:

Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria, 1287
Richard II in England meets leaders of Peasants' Revolt on Blackheath and the Tower of London is stormed by rebels who enter without resistance, 1381
Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony, 1648
The Stars and Stripes is adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States, 1777
Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat, 1789
Whiskey distilled from maize is first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig, who named it Bourbon because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, 1789
Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrenders his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom, 1821
The village of Henley, on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, stages its first Royal Regatta, 1839
Trade unions are legalised in Canada, 1872
Norway adopts female suffrage, 1907
John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown depart St. John's, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight, 1919
Action Comics issue one is released, introducing Superman, 1938
The Canadian Library Association is established, 1946
The European Space Research Organisation is established in Paris – later becoming the European Space Agency, 1962
The Vatican announces the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, 1966

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Monday morning brought a workout, the usual chores (laundry, run the dishwasher), and two rather unpleasant surprises.

The first was that a previous renter of this unit had broken the carafe for the coffee maker and replaced it with one that was the wrong type. This resulted in the coffee maker overflowing and not dripping correctly, and sent me looking for the kitchen towels to clean off the counters.

That led to the discovery of the second unpleasant surprise. There were only two kitchen dishtowels, because the others were in the bottom of the cloth lined laundry hamper, and had mold on them and the cloth liner. They had apparently been thrown in there wet. It's a good thing we were using the pop up hamper I had brought.

When I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, I told one of the ladies at the front desk about our two surprises and dropped something in the mail.

The day's agenda was shopping. Clothes, shoes, kitchen gadget type shopping. Grandma loves to shop, and loves to take us every year. I'm certainly not going to argue with that. So Grandpa watch the 3 youngest children, who didn't want to come, and the rest of us spent several hours stimulating the economy.

After shopping, the children went fishing on the dock. They love doing that, and feed most of the fish to a long legged bird who lives out there. I'm not sure what kind he is, some type of stork or crane, and they have nicknamed him Turd Bird. He is very polite, waits quietly to be thrown a fish, looks at the person who threw it and bows his head to that person before eating it, and then genteelly wipes his beak on the dock after swallowing. We always look forward to seeing Turd Bird.

The evening brought two more unpleasantries, as if the end of the day had to match the beginning, two ugly bookends framing a lovely set of leather bound classics. Sweetie lost his phone and glasses, and became Mr. Grumpy for the rest of the night, and the oil finally moved in.

Today is

Abused Women and Children Awareness Day

Canadian Rivers Day

Feast of Epona -- Ancient Celtic Calendar (Rhiannon in Wales, Macha in Ireland, guardian goddess of horses, stables, horse owners, agriculture, and transportation)

First-in-Line and Queue-Jumping Tournament -- Fairy Calendar

Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

National Lobster Day

Quinquatrus Minusculae -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Minerva)

Sewing Machine Day

St. Anthony of Padua's Day, the "Hammer of Heretics" (patron of young lovers, the poor, Portugal, spinsters; against infertility, lost objects)

Trooping the Colour, UK (military celebration of the monarch's birthday)

Anniversaries Today:

Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, 1525

Birthdays Today:

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 1986
Raz-B, 1985
Rivers Cuomo, 1970
Jamie Walters, 1969
Ally Sheedy, 1962
Tim Allen, 1953
Richard Thomas, 1951
Malcolm McDowell, 1943
Siegfried Fischbacher, 1939
Christo, 1935
Paul Lynde, 1926
Ralph Edwards, 1913
Red Grange, 1903
Dorothy L. Sayers, 1893
Basil Rathbone, 1892
William Butler Yeats, 1865

Today in History:

Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots, 1249
Ibn Battuta, who was to become the foremost world traveler of his day, seeing most of the known world in his time, begins his first hadj, 1325
Rhode Island becomes the first of Britain's North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves, 1774
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is founded, 1798
Meriwether Lewis and four companions sight the Great Falls of the Missouri River, 1803
A fire devastates much of Vancouver, British Columbia, 1886
King Ludwig II of Bavaria is found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich at 11:30 PM, 1886
Yukon Territory is formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital, 1898
The University of the Philippines College of Engineering is established, the largest degree granting unit in the Philippines, 1910
Mir Mine, the first diamond mine in the USSR, is discovered, 1955
The United States Supreme Court rules in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them, 1966
Thurgood Marshall is nominated to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1967
Fahd becomes King of Saudi Arabia upon the death of his brother, Khalid, 1982
Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the solar system, 1983

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vacation Adventures

The one thing I can say I do not like about vacation each year is the amount of driving we have to do to get to anywhere from where we stay.

Almost all of the roads are two lanes and low speeds, and it is miles and miles to anything. I like to drive, and I don't mind long stretches for road trips. What I mind is 6 miles just to the nearest store. What should be a short dash to pick something up turns into an hour or more sometimes.

After church, it was 3pm when we got back, and the weather had gone from beautiful and sunny to downpour. Little Girl and #2 Son changed into swimsuits and waited for the rain to end, which didn't take long. Meanwhile, Bigger Girl and I headed to the health food store.

The store we use here for our good produce and Ezekiel bread and such is a member owned cooperative place that we only pay $5 a year to belong to. It is worth it, as I would otherwise not have the organic greens like chard and kale, or any of the other fun things I like. They also have a smoothie worth the drive once per visit.

Grandpa cooked a brisket for everyone for dinner, and #2 Son baked up cinnamon rolls for dessert. Then it was time to hunt ghost crabs.

I use the term "hunt" quite loosely, of course, as they catch a bunch, carry them around in a bucket, then turn the bucket over to watch the little buggers scatter. It is a fun way to spend an hour each evening, especially when the kids yell and dance around after a crab has run over someone's foot.

Today is

Crowded Nest Awareness Day

Dia dos Namorados, Brazil (Valentine's Day)

Ghost in the Machine Day -- That explains everything!

Helsinki Day, Finland

Independence Day, Philippines

Loving Day

Machine Day

Madame Lou Bunch Day, Central City, Colorado (Old Flop House Celebration, complete with a bed race!)

National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

Peace of Chaco Day, Paraguay and Bolivia (commemorates the end of a war between the two)

Red Rose Day

Ride the Wind Day

Russia Day, Russia

St. Anthony's Eve, Portugal

St. Leo's Day

St. Onuphrius' Day

The Wicket World of Croquet Day

World Day Against Child Labour

Birthdays Today:

Marv Albert, 1941
Chick Corea, 1941
Jim Nabors, 1932
Anne Frank, 1929
Vic Damone, 1928
George Bush, 1924
Alexandre Tansman, 1897

Today in History:

Joan of Arc leads the French army in their capture of the city and the English commander, William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk in the second day of the Battle of Jargeau, 1429
The French begin their colonization of Algeria with the landing of 34,000 troops, 1830
The world's first Fingerprint Bureau opens in Calcutta, India, after the Council of the Governor General approves a committee report that fingerprints should be used for classification of criminal records, 1897
Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor, 1939
Anne Frank gets her diary as a birthday present, 1942
The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declares all U.S. state laws which prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, 1967
At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, 1987
Russia Day – the parliament of the Russian Federation formally declares its sovereignty, 1990
Queen Elizabeth II reopens the Globe Theatre in London, 1997

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Back in the dark ages, there was a young hippie looking guy who made music and was becoming more than just locally famous. He and his lovely wife took a different direction in life, and now he is the pastor of a church, and we get to visit them once a year.

We all put on our Sunday best, grabbed the cupcakes and cookies I had picked up at the store as a dessert for the monthly meal after the service (first Sunday of every month), and we drove the 30 minutes to the service.

It is a blessing every year to see these brethren, and this year we got to not only celebrate the Lord's Supper and share a meal with them, but to be there for two baptisms as well. What a joyous time in the life of a church, it was a husband and wife who gave beautiful testimony to the work of God in their lives.

The sermon was from Titus 2:11-14, and delivered in Jeff's finest style. I sat under his teaching at a college Bible study all of those years ago, and I can say he was good then and has only gotten better.

Today is

Corn on the Cob Day

Hug Holiday

King Kamehameha Day

National Asparagus Festival, Michigan, through the 13th

National German Chocolate Cake Day

Sacred Heart of Jesus -- Roman Catholic Christian

St. Barnabas' Day (patron of harvests, Cyprus) a/k/a Barnaby Bright Day or Long Barnaby*

St. Bartholomew's Day

*Under the Julian calendar, June 11, St. Barnabas' Day, was the longest day of the year --
Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright,
The longest day
And the shortest night

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon, 1509

Birthdays Today:

Shia LeBeouf, 1986
Caroline Quentin, 1961
Dr. Mehmet Oz, 1960
Hugh Laurie, 1959
Joe Montana, 1956
Adrienne Barbeau, 1945
Chad Everett, 1936
Gene Wilder, 1933
Vince Lombardi, 1913
Jacques Cousteau, 1910

Today in History:

Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes, BC1184
Philip II recognizes the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paves way to the creation of the Principalía, 1594
The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence, 1776
Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska, 1788
The first American stove patent is granted to Robert Haeterick, 1793
The Limelight Department, one of the world's first film studios, is officially established in Melbourne, Australia, 1892
New Zealand annexes the Cook Islands, 1901
Sir Barton wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown, 1919
Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island, 1962

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Old habits die hard. I was up by 4am. Most days I would exercise first, but on Sunday I usually rest or take a slow walk.

So, I read a bit, puttered on the 'puter a bit, and walked outside to watch the sunrise. While wandering around, I stuck my head into the workout room -- they still have my favorite elliptical. The indoor pool area still has that familiar overly chlorinated smell that I somehow find refreshing. I think I associate it with the smell of clean. Outdoors was a different story.

We may not have had oil on the beach, but you can smell that it is there, lurking, like a cat ready to pounce or a horror movie monster roving about seeking whom it may devour. The rip currents around this key, the ones I point out to the kids each year, and show them how to avoid or get out of, had been a protection. For how long was anyone's guess.

The coffee in the lobby was warm and mild. For someone used to take the paint off the walls strong coffee, it takes two cups to keep the eyes open. I grabbed my first one and stopped to talk to Mr. Charlie.

Mr. Charlie lives here year round. He is a retired dentist, and owns the unit next to the one we have. A very friendly man, we caught up a bit on life, and how the kids are growing, and why he quit going to the bigger church to the west because the people there are snooty. Apparently that one caters to the tourists, and he says the priest there is from Michigan. Mr. Charlie goes to the smaller church to the east where locals go.

It's amazing what you can learn about a place when you just sit and chat with the people who live there.

Then it was back upstairs so I could get ready for church myself.

Today is

Ball Point Pen Day

Herb Day

Iced Tea Day

International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking

National Black Cow Day

National Yo-Yo Day

Nursing Assistants Day

Portugal Day a/k/a Camoes Memorial Fete

Birthdays Today:

Joey Zimmerman, 1986
Tara Lipinski, 1982
Leelee Sobieski, 1982
Hoku Ho, 1981
Shane West, 1978
Elizabeth Hurley, 1965
Michael Burger, 1957
John Edwards, 1953
F. Lee Bailey, 1933
Maurice Sendak, 1928
Judy Garland, 1922
Saul Bellow, 1915
Frederick Loewe, 1904

Today in History:

Frederick Barbarossa drowns leading his troops across the Saleph River to attack Jerusalem in the Crusades, 1190
The first American log cabin is built, at Fort Christina in Wilmington, Delaware, 1639
Bridget Bishop becomes the first person hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef, 1770
A landslide dam on the Dadu River created by an earthquake ten days earlier collapses, killing 100,000 in the Sichuan province of China, 1786
The Jardin des Plantes museum opens in Paris; a year later, it becomes the first public zoo, 1793
The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place, 1829
Myall Creek Massacre in Australia: 28 Aboriginal Australians are murdered, 1838
The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduate, 1854
Mount Tarawera in New Zealand erupts, killing 153 people and destroying the famous Pink and White Terraces, 1886
The inaugural service for the United Church of Canada, a union of Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches, is held in Toronto Arena, 1925
Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio, United States, by him and Bill Wilson, 1925
Six-Day War ends: Israel and Syria agree to a cease-fire, 1967
Apple ships its first Apple II personal computer, 1977
The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, 2003

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Almost 8 hours after we began what is actually only a 4-5 hour drive, we pulled in to the condo complex, and I went to the desk to check in.

The rest of the family had chosen to come to the place first, and shop later, so they were waiting. We checked in, got room key cards, a parking pass, and I committed the parking garage code to memory. Since I don't trust myself after a long day, I also wrote it on a cheat sheet and put that in the glove box.

We grabbed a bellhop cart and two grocery carts kept at the place for the purpose and began unloading. As Sweetie and the kids headed upstairs, and the rest of the family went on to shop for what they needed, I parked and grabbed another cart to get the last few things from the van.

Upstairs, the unit we are staying in is just as I remember. Sweetie is delighted to find a dehumidifier in the room. All shoes on the shoe rack. Suitcases line the walk in closet, and the pop up dirty laundry hamper is set up in there. Toiletries bags to the bathrooms. Groceries put away, and we find we have forgotten eggs and that #2 Son never did get the swimsuit he wanted.

A brief rest, a bite to eat, and #2 Son and I set back out for the much closer small grocery/mall area to take care of those two items. He finds a very cheap suit that will hold him out for a summer (which is fine, he will have outgrown it by next year anyway) and that he is not embarrassed to wear, and in honor of Bigger Girl, for whom we got organic milk and who won't eat any meat she doesn't believe was handled humanely, I actually find organic cage free eggs. She is finding out what I found years ago -- a social conscience can be a PITA, as well as expensive.

Upon leaving the store, those threatening clouds were unleashing their fury. The rain was coming down with such force the umbrella was not much use. I was very proud of #2 Son as he braved the drenching twice. He escorted one lady who had no umbrella to her car, then came back for me. By now he and I both had soaked, cold, wet feet. Makes me very glad for the covered parking garage where we stay.

Between storms, which popped up off and on over the next two hours, the kids went to the jacuzzi and looked around to see if anything has changed much. It hasn't.

Joey is still the head of security, and greeting our old friend was good. Miss Tracy had been greeted when we checked in, and I'm sure we will see other familiar faces over the next couple of days.

All of us called it a night rather early; the ghost crab hunts will have to wait, it's been a long day.

Today is

Aland Island Day, Aland Islands

Donald Duck Day

La Rioja Day

Murcia Day

National Heroes Day, Uganda

National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

St. Aidan of Lindisfarne

Saint Columbia of Iona -- Celtic Christian St. Columba's Day (patron of poets, Ireland)

St. Ephraem's Day (creator of hymns; patron of Syria)

Anniversaries Today:

Nero marries Claudia Octavia, 53

Birthdays Today:

Natalie Portman, 1981
Johnny Depp, 1963
Michael J. Fox, 1961
Dick Vitale, 1940
Jackie Mason, 1928
Les Paul, 1915
Robert Cummings, 1910
Cole Porter, 1891

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, 68
Odo of Aquitaine defeats the Moors in the Battle of Toulouse, 721
Jacques Cartier is the first European to discover the Saint Lawrence River, 1534
The Harvard Corporation is established as the first corporation in the Americas, 1650
James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia, 1732
The Congress of Vienna, forerunner of the League of Nations and the UN, ends with much of Europe's borders redrawn and settled, Switzerland's neutrality confirmed, and free navigation guaranteed on many rivers, 1815
Five hundred Mormons leave Iowa City, Iowa and head west for Salt Lake City carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts, 1856
Alexandra Palace in London burns down after being open for only 16 days, 1873
Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, becomes the first woman to drive across the United States, 1909
Queen Elizabeth II officially opens London Gatwick Airport, 1958
Israel captures the Golan Heights from Syria, 1967