Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unpredictable? Unbelievable.

This is not only unbelievable, but indefensible as well.

Earthquakes cannot be predicted. Not yet, not with any accuracy. Every method ever tried, no matter how promising in the beginning, has proven to not work.

Tell that to the Italian government.

Back on April 6, 2009, an earthquake struck on the L'Aquila fault system, and about 300 people were killed. Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is a shame it had to happen. No, the six seismologists and the government official should not be held responsible, even if there were swarms of minor quakes beforehand. Those types of swarms occur before big ones sometimes, and sometimes no big one follows at all. Sometimes big ones occur without the swarms. Again, no method has proven effective at predicting when and where a large quake will strike.

Yet these people are being charged with manslaughter for not predicting the unpredictable.

My thinking is that the Italian government officials doing this have lost their marbles.

Maybe they should be held accountable for trying to convince the public that earthquakes are predictable. Then again, they managed to convince the public that they would make good government officials and got elected, so they might be able to convince people of this, too.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival of Dea Dia, date approximate, but always near the end of May)

Castile-La Mancha Day -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Western Christianity

National Macaroon Day

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day

What You Think Upon Grows Day

World No Tobacco Day -- International

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Gregory Harrison, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005

Monday, May 30, 2011

Few Words, Just Thoughts

While making myself crazy trying to think of something to write for today that i could manage during my few moments online between everyone else's turns, it occurred to me that it is Memorial Day.

Thus, not a lot of words. Just thoughts of those who have sacrificed so much for freedom.

Lest We Forget.

Today is

Anguilla Day -- Anguilla

Canary Island Day -- Canary Islands

Einherjar -- Asatru (Modern Norse Pagan) Calendar (a memorial for the war dead in Valhalla)

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc (patron of France)

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Race -- Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenham in the Cotswolds, England (dating back to pre-Roman times, the races are fun but dangerous, as the cheeses are heavy and people do get hurt; winner gets the cheese!)

Heirloom Seed Day -- While i can't find the history of this one, it's a good one to celebrate, we need to raise awareness of and preserve heirloom seeds

Hug Your Cat Day

Indian Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Kaamatan Harvest Festival begins -- Labuan, Sabah

Lod Massacre Remembrance Day -- Puerto Rico

Loomis Day

Memorial Day -- US (traditional and observed)

Mother's Day -- Nicaragua

My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day

National Mint Julep Day

Pacing the Bounds -- Liestal, Switzerland

Parliament Day -- Croatia

Prayer for Peace Memorial Day

Tetbury Woolsack Races -- Gumstool Hill, Tetbury, Cotswalds, England (originally an uphill race between patrons of two competing pubs, now just for fun)

Water a Flower Day

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymore, 1536

Birthdays Today:

Wynonna Judd, 1964
Tom Morello, 1964
Meredith MacRae, 1945
Michael J. Pollard, 1939
Keir Dullea, 1936
Benny Goodman, 1909
Mel Blanc, 1908
Peter Carl Fabergé, 1846

Today in History:

Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem; the Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall, 70
19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal, 1431
In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold, 1539
Publication of La Gazette, the first French newspaper, 1631
John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria, 1842
Westminster's Big Ben rang for the first time in London, 1859
Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") is observed in the United States for the first time, 1868
New York City's Gilmores Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public, 1879
The Treaty of London, 1913, ends the First Balkan War and Albania becomes an independent nation, 1913
In China protests erupt against the Great Powers infringing on Chinese sovereignty, 1925
A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes, 1948
The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened, 1959
launch of Surveyor 1 the first US spacecraft to achieve landing on an extraterrestrial body, 1966
At the Ascot Park in Gardena, California, daredevil Evel Knievel jumps his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row, 1967
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high "Goddess of Democracy" statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators, 1989
272 days after the September 11 attacks, closing ceremonies are held for the clean up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The last remaining steel beam is removed and transported to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, 2002

Sunday, May 29, 2011

R(est) I(n) P(ieces)

The laptop is in intensive care, and may not make it.

Bigger Girl's laptop is not reparable.

#2 Son's computer has stopped recognizing the mouse and keyboard, meaning we have to plug them into USB adaptors, once i go buy a couple. It also means that the motherboard is probably on its way out.

We are back to mainly sharing one computer, and it is making all of us crazy, which shows how dependent on technology we have become.

The non working door stops will soon be in pieces at the recycling center. If we don't do something about this soon, we might all be in pieces, too. The timer we use to make sure we all get our share of the "good" machine keeps disappearing, resulting in arguments about whether someone's time is up or not.

Anybody have a spare timer? That, or a zoo to sell the kids to.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (purification festival to Ceres, date approximate)

Arbor Day -- Aston-on-Clun, Shropshire, UK

Ascension of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

Coal Miner Days -- Novinger, Missouri, US (a turn of the century coal mining town celebrates its heritage)

Democracy Day -- Nigeria

End of the Middle Ages Day -- considered such by many historians because of the fall of Constantinople on this day

Indianapolis 500

Mayoring Day -- Rye, Sussex, England (also called Mayor's Sunday, and the favorite festivity is a "hot-penny scramble", in which the mayor throws hot pennies for children to catch, dating back to the days when there was a mint in Rye, and the pennies were hot from the mint)

Mount Everest Day

National Coq Au Vin Day

Oak Apple Day / Royal Oak Day -- England (celebration of the restoration of the monarchy)

Rogation Sunday/Chrouchmas Sunday

Runic Half Month of Odal commences

Rural Life Sunday/Soil Stewardship Sunday

St. Bona's Day

UN Peacekeepers Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Rhode Island becomes the 13th US State, 1790
Wisconsin becomes the 30th US State, 1848

Birthdays Today:

Noel Gallagher, 1967
Melissa Etheridge, 1961
Adrian Paul, 1959
Annette Bening, 1958
LaToya Jackson, 1956
Danny Elfman, 1953
Anthony Geary, 1947
Al Unser, 1939
Paul Erlich, 1932
John F. Kennedy, 1917
Tenzing Norgay, 1914
T.H. White, 1906
Bob Hope, 1903
G.K. Chesterton, 1874
Patrick Henry, 1736

Today in History:

Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire, 1453
Charles II (on his birthday) is restored to the throne of Great Britain, 1660
Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives, 1677
The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves is upheld at Quebec City, 1733
In Patrick Henry's historic speech against the Stamp Act, he answers a cry of "Treason!" with, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" 1765
Present constitution of Switzerland takes effect, 1874
Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal, 1886
Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot, 1913
Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives, 1914
Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history, for Decca Records in Los Angeles, 1942
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1953
First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, 1954
Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months, 1985
Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station, 1999

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yes, Today

It's that time of year again. Swim team has started.

It's only Little Girl this season, which makes it easier (read cheaper). Bigger Girl tried it a couple of years back, and hated every moment. She had been talked into it by her friends, and she only competed in one race, coming in dead last with the worst time ever logged by anyone on the team. To her credit, she stuck it out for the whole season, and did her best. We were proud of her for that.

Little Girl missed all of last season with her broken arm debacle. This year, she waffled on her decision until the night before. Finally, her desire to be with her two best friends won the day.

So there we were, all ready to walk across the street to practice at the swim club, and for the first time in almost a month, storm clouds loomed.

Today? Of all days? We are in a month long drought, that also brought some of the worst flooding this area has seen in almost a century, and it has to rain at the start of swim practice?

Yes, it rained. But not until practice was almost over, no thunder, and it was two very short, very light sprinklings. Didn't even phase the kids.

Still, it was the weather showing us, yet again, as if we need the lesson after all the tornadoes recently in this country, what being in charge means.

Welcome to swim season. Let's hope for some co-operation from some quarter or other.

Today is

Alma Highland Festival and Games -- Alma College, Alma, Michigan; through the 29th, the 44th annual celebration of Scottish heritage.

Amnesty International Founding Day

Armed Forces Day -- Croatia

Day of Pin-Hiding and Button-Losing -- Fairy Calendar

Downfall of the Derg Day/National Day -- Ethiopia

Flag Day -- Philippines

Grubstakes Day -- Yucca Valley, California, US

International Jazz Day

Julia Pierpont Day -- West Virginia, US (the day to ready the graves of veterans for the upcoming Memorial Day, which she founded as "Decoration Day")

National Hamburger Day

Republic Day -- Armenia; Azerbaijan; Nepal

Sierra Club Day

Slugs Return From Capistrano Day

St. Bernard of Montjoux's Day (patron of mountain climbers, skiers)

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Cross, 1986
Jesse Bradford, 1979
Sicily Yoder, 1969
Kylie Minogue, 1968
Glen Rice, 1967
John Fogerty, 1945
Rudolph Guiliani, 1944
Gladys Knight, 1944
Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne Dionne , 1934
Carroll Baker, 1931
Ian Fleming, 1908
Jim Thorpe, 1888

Today in History:

A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse;this leads to a truce and becomes one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated, BC585
James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI and a Treaty of Everlasting Peace (which lasted 10 years) between Scotland and England is signed, 1503
The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel (it will takes until May 30 for all of the ships to leave port), 1588
In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party, 1754
Big Ben is drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster, 1859
In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club, 1892
In the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1905
John B Gruelle patents Raggedy Ann doll, 1915
The US Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers, 1923
The first all color talking picture, "On With the Show", is shown in NYC, 1929
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened, 1937
Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister, 1937
The women of Greece are given the right to vote, 1952
The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed, 1964
Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States, 1975
Eritrea and Monaco join the United Nations, 1993
NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance, 2002
The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars, 2002
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty, 2008

Friday, May 27, 2011

Duck and Cover

The loud "Pop" sound caught me totally off guard. Maybe it shouldn't have, but it did.

A few minutes before, as i went to put stuff in the recycle bin, i had noticed that our garbage can wasn't in its accustomed spot next to the house. That usually means someone -- #2 Son -- is up to something. When i heard the noise, though, at the exact second #1 Son put his car into park after pulling into the driveway from work, all i could think was that somehow the car had made that noise, and that deep feeling of "Oh, no!" set in.

Before i could ask him about it, another sound sent me to the back of the house, where i found the garbage can next to the back of the house, and #2 Son grinning down at me from the roof again, with his pellet rifle.

"Hi, mom!" Cheered dripped out of him. "I was sighting it in, but don't worry, i ran out of pellets, so it wasn't loaded and I'm not shooting at anything."

The mighty hunter strikes again. That also explained the "Pop" noise that he managed to make with such precision timing. No need to track down #1 Son and ask if his car was making odd noises.

After telling him to come down, what did he think he was doing, someone would see him and call the sheriff, he laughed. "Oh, don't worry, mom! I promise, i was hidden, no one was going to see me."

Famous last words, i told him as he climbed down and dragged the garbage can back to the side of the house.

Am i worried? Of course i am. It's why i'm gray headed now. Each and every strand earned by being mom to a kid who is either going to be a famous chef or a jail bird someday.

If you ever visit our neighborhood, and it is a nice one except for the nuts i'm raising, i promise to hide his pop guns so no one has to duck and cover.

Today is

Buttercup Day -- an internet holiday that just sounds fun.

Cellophane Tape Day

Children's Day -- Nigeria

Dia de la Madre -- Bolivia

Down East Spring Birding Festival -- Cobscook Bay, Maine (through the 30th)

Full Flower Moon/Full Corn Planting Moon/Milk Moon

National Death Busters Day -- because Memorial Day weekend in the US has the notoriety of being the most dangerous for driving, with the most traffic fatalities, this day is the reminder to slow down, be safe, and make it to where you are going in one piece.

National Grape Popsicle Day

Slavery Abolition Day -- Guadeloupe; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Martin

St. Bruno's Day

St. Hildebert's Day

Sun Screen Day -- an annual reminder to use that SPF protection, every day!

Throw the B*st@rds Out Day -- whomever is making your life miserable, toss them out! or at least, toss them out of your thoughts for today.

Wig Out Day -- an annual celebration of the wonder of wigs

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Fiennes, 1970
Jeremy Mayfield, 1969
Todd Bridges, 1965
Adam Carolla, 1964
Louis Gossett, Jr., 1936
Ramsey Lewis, 1935
Henry Kissinger, 1923
Christopher Lee, 1922
Sam Snead, 1912
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1911
Vincent Price, 1911
Dolores Hope, 1909
Dashiell Hammett, 1894
Isadora Duncan, 1878
Wild Bill Hickock, 1837
Julia Ward Howe, 1819
Amelia Bloomer, 1818
Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1794

Today in History:

Habeaus Corpus Act, codifying how the writ of habeaus corpus is to be used, passes in UK, 1679
Peter the Great founds St. Petersburg, 1703
In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba fight against the Spanish army, 1812
In Canada, American forces capture Fort George, 1813
Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco, California, 1907
The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight, 1919
The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public, 1930
Richard Gurley Drew receives a patent for his adhesive tape, later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape, 1930
The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon The Three Little Pigs, with its hit song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", 1933
In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, , 1937
Toronto's CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) becomes Canada's first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n' Roll music format, 1957
Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census, 1967
In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition, 1995
Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire, 1996
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity, 1999
The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600, 2006

Thursday, May 26, 2011

McCartney and Balthazar are now at their new foster home, and will be going to every adoption event possible until they get new homes.

All of the kittens except Jayden will now at least drink from the bowl on occasion. Several of them will drink from the bowl and still want a bottle after, i'm guessing for the comfort of sucking.

There is now a cooling pad and a fan under my laptop. It now only takes two ice packs to keep it running, which is better than four.

Bigger Girl's friend came through his surgery okay, so we will be visiting. He has warned her that he will be on morphine, and not to expect much clear conversation. Thus i expect the first visits to be rather short.

Today is

Bob Day -- an internet holiday i couldn't confirm, but if your name is Bob, you deserve a special day just for having that name!

Crown Prince's Birthday -- Denmark

Grand Prix de Monaco -- Monaco (premier Formula 1 race through the streets of Monte Carlo, run since 1929; through the 29th)

Hay Festival of Literature -- Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales (through June 5)

Holiday of the Receiving of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Independence Day -- Georgia; Guyana

Kodiak Crab Festival -- Kodiak, Alaska; a spring celebration with parades, music, food, races, and a blessing of the fleet, through the 30th

Mother's Day -- Poland

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

National Paper Airplane Day -- go make one, and have a blast

National Sorry Day -- Australia

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day -- Hawai'i

Sally Ride Day

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (patron of England)

St. Leonard's Day

St. Philip Neri's Day (patron of Rome)

St. Quadratus' Day

Anniversaries Today:

Boston University is founded by the Massachusetts legislature, 1869

Birthdays Today:

Helena Bonham Carter, 1966
Lenny Kravitz, 1964
Sally Ride, 1951
Pam Grier, 1949
Philip Michael Thomas, 1949
Hank Williams, Jr., 1949
Stevie Nicks, 1948
Brent Musburger, 1939
Miles Davis, 1926
James Arness, 1923
Peggy Lee, 1920
Jay Silverheels, 1919
Frankie Manning, 1914
Peter Cushing, 1913
Robert Morley, 1908
John Wayne, 1907
Dorothea Lange, 1895
Al Jolson, 1886

Today in History:

Armenian rebels battle the Sassanid empire and win the right to openly practice Christianity, 451
An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000, 1293
Geneva expels John Calvin and his followers from the city, 1538
Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, 1647
Lewis and Clark first see the Rocky Mountains, 1805
The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress, 1830
Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners, 1857
The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote, 1868
Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia, 1894
Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1896
The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made, 1908
The world's longest-lasting tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, strikes Mattoon, Illinois, 1917
British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana, 1966
Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing, 1969
The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2, 1970
Willandra National Park is established in Australia, 1972
George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center, 1977
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills at least 104 people, injures thousands. Many people go missing and thousands of buildings are destroyed, 1983
The European Community adopts the European flag, 1986
Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era, 1991
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York, 1998
Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes, 2003
The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the build-up to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, 2004
The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 5,700 people, leaves 200,000 homeless, 2006

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finally Typical?

When Bigger Girl was at an adoption event, two teens walked in to the pet store with parrots. The teens were wearing black, and looked rather Goth, but Bigger Girl walked up to them and said, "Beautiful birds, how smart are they? Have you tested or trained them?"

The two looked at each other, and answered that they were in the process of training, and had been since they were hatched. It surprised them, as most of the time adults and other teens don't talk to them much, they noted, and kids just look at the parrots, look at them, and then ask if they are vampires.

So Bigger Girl made two new friends. They exchanged email addresses, and began writing. Finally, they asked her why she didn't text them, because they prefer it.

Well, Bigger Girl does have a phone, but was never interested in using it except for emergencies or to call for a ride home. She hadn't ever sent a text, and hadn't a clue how.

Now she has a clue. She and her new friends are texting buddies, and she has seen all of their videos of them training the birds. They are going to meet up at the hospital after the young man, Jay, has his scoliosis surgery. The girl, Marty, is going to be with him there already.

So, two 18-year-old friends who share ownership of and train parrots have been having intellectual conversations with Bigger Girl about prop logic and other subjects most teens wouldn't bother with, via text message. She is finally a typical teen, sort of.

Today is

Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival -- Windsor to Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada (through the 30th)

Africa Day / African Liberation Day -- African Union

Bath International Music Festival -- Bath, UK (through June 5)

Cookie Monster's Birthday -- go have a cookie to celebrate!

First Patriotic Government / National Day -- Argentina

Flitting Day -- parts of England; Scotland (traditional day on which leases were up for the year and people moved)

Geek Pride Day / Star Wars Day

Independence Day -- Jordan

Liberation Day -- Lebanon

National Missing Children's Day

National Senior Health and Fitness Day

National Tap Dance Day

National Wine Day

Poetry Day -- Florida, US

Procession of the Statue of Artemis -- Ancient Greek and Roman Calendars, at Ephesus

Self-Reliance Day -- an internet originated holiday, based on the idea that we should all become more self reliant in this day when it is a dying art.

St. Aldhelm's Day

St. Bede the Venerable's Day

St. Gregory VII's Day

St. Urban's Day

Towel Day -- Douglas Adams fans, unite! Always know where your towel is.

Week of Solidarity with the People Of Non-Self-Governing Territories begins -- United Nations

Birthdays Today:

Lauryn Hill, 1975
Anne Heche, 1969
Stacy London, 1969
Mike Myers, 1963
Connie Sellecca, 1955
Frank Oz, 1944
Leslie Uggams, 1943
Ian McKellen, 1939
Tom T. Hall, 1936
Beverly Sills, 1929
Robert Ludlum, 1927
Jeanne Crain, 1925
Claude Akins, 1918
Igor Sikorsky, 1889
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, 1878
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803

Today in History:

First recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors, 1085
Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ, 1420
The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw, 1521
Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England, 1659
Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek, 1784
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States, 1787
In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the Semana de Mayo, 1810
The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom, 1837
The first telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot, 1844
Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London, 1878
The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president, 1895
John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee, 1925
Henry Ford stops production of the Model T to begin the Model A, 1927
Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1935
The first ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition, 1955
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established, 1963
Star Wars (retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion and Geek Pride Day holiday, 1977
Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people, 1985
Israel withdraws its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion, 2000
32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 2001

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The kittens have gone through another 5 pounds of powdered formula. We are mixing the stuff once or twice an hour during the day!

This is with taking the older ones out of the room when we feed the little ones that eat from a bowl. Of course, there is no way i'm going to give those big guys the bottle, although i'm sure they would take it.

Everyone is doing well for right now, so i'm hoping no more illness.

They are certainly eating enough to convince me they are healthy.

Today is

Aldersgate Day -- Methodism

Battle of Pichincha Day -- Ecuador

Bermuda Day -- Bermuda

Brother's Day

Commonwealth Day -- Belize

Culture Day -- Bulgaria

Day for the Naming of Rocks and Planets -- Fairy Calendar

Elf Fest -- Lothlorien (near Needmore, Indiana, through the 30th)

Feast of Hermes Trismegistus (thrice-blessed Hermes, patron of alchemy, date approximate)

Hug Your Cat Day

Independence Day -- Eritrea

La Fete des Saintes Maries -- Les-Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mer, France (gypsy festival, to honor St. Sara, their patron; through the 25th)

Lubiri Memorial Day -- Buganda

Morse Code Day

Mothers Festival -- Celtic Calendar (celebrates the three mother goddesses

National Escargot Day

National Geographic Bee -- National Geographic Headquarters, Washington, DC; shown live today and tomorrow on the National Geographic Channel, hosted by Alex Trebek

St. Cyril's Day

St. Sara's Day

Thargelia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (two day Athenian festival to honor Apollo and Artemis)

Birthdays Today:

Billy Gilman, 1988
Joe Dumars, 1963
Rosanne Cash, 1955
Priscilla Presley, 1945
Patti LaBelle, 1944
Gary Burghoff, 1943
Bob Dylan, 1941
Tommy Chong, 1938
"Engineer Bill" Stulla, 1911
Lillian Moller Gilbreth, 1878
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819
Abraham Geiger, 1810
Gabriel Fahrenheit, 1686

Today in History:

The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt, 1218
Peter Minuit buys Manhattan, 1626
The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants; Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded, 1689
John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day, 1738
Antonio José de Sucre secures the independence of the Presidency of Quito, 1822
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale is published, 1830
The first passenger rail service in US, from Baltimore to Elliots Mill, Maryland, begins, 1830
Samuel FB Morse taps out the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought", 1844
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction, 1883
The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State, 1900
Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight), 1930
Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight, 1940
Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbana, 1956
Cyprus enters the Council of Europe, 1961
FLQ separatists bomb the U.S. consulate in Quebec City, 1968
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the Soviet Union, 1970
The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran, Iran, 1980
Eritrea gains its independence from Ethiopia, 1991
Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel, 1991
15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest, 2001
North Korea bans mobile phones, 2004

Monday, May 23, 2011

All the Mews That is Mews

Kitty Cat Edition Meandering.

JuJu, Buttercup, and Clint, three of the most people phobic cats we have ever had at the shelter, are now settled in their barn home and catching mice! Everyone is happy, except the mice, of course. Their opinion wasn't asked by the barn owners, either.

The mama cats and babies at the shelter are moving on up, and out. As they get older, more and more babies are being fixed and put up for adoption. The mamas are spayed as their babies get big enough. There is only one mama with babies that are just beginning to try to mouth at the dry food, and the poor thing is very stir crazy. She wants to be anywhere except with those babies for a while! Though i can't say i blame her, there is really no way to separate her from them, as she is the only one with enough milk still to care for all 4 of them.

The shelter now has adoption hours five days a week, and it is helping tremendously. There have been adoptions almost every day. All of the "ringworm cats", a couple of the "UFO kitties" and several others are adopted and gone or adopted and waiting to be picked up.

This number somehow still does not include many of our cats-that-have-been-in-the-shelter-what-seems=like-forever. Grady is back to his old tricks; as we wrapped up another shelter cleaning session the other day, i stopped to use the facilities and had to ask what was the big idea, letting Grady take a nap in the sink. He is in a colony room with his buddies Candy and Prissy. They all seem happier, even in a smaller room, because it is just the 3 of them.

Angel has a sore on her nose, and runs every time the door is open. She just doesn't like meds, and only comes down if she is sure you don't have any. Poor baby, she and Dustie are so loving, they need more than a room at a shelter for years and years.

My favorite Lucky cat is still taking his meds like a champ and eating anything that holds still. The old man makes a great shelter mascot, as he is so friendly.

Baby and Frieda continue to more than make up for Lucky, they are not good shelter mascots, and need a barn home of their own. Frieda has refused all petting from me for two weeks now, which is unusual. Baby hisses at everyone who comes near as usual, and is not losing weight. How can she? Despite the low fat food in her bowl, she tears open every bag of regular cat food donated and helps herself. Why Miss W isn't putting that stuff in a Baby-proof container, i just don't get.

Room 7 needs to be redone. It has been a couple of years since the place opened, and while it is still in good condition in most areas, that room is worse for the wear. It's where Curley Sue and her nutty crew started peeling the paint off the walls, and Tabasco is continuing the trend. Literally, the paint is peeling, and to keep occupied, cats in there pull at it.

Our crew at home is moving along as well. McCartney and Balthazar are being fixed now, and will go to adoption day on Wednesday. If they aren't adopted, they will be moved to a new foster home. Hannah is on the schedule for Tuesday the 31st, and the rest will be scheduled when they go to new foster homes while we are on vacation.

That's about all that is happening along the cat front around here. Ups and downs as usual.

Today is

Birthday of Guru Amar Das -- Sikhism

Declaration of the Bab -- Baha'i

Labour Day -- Jamaica

Linnaeus Day -- Sweden

Lucky Penny Day

National Day -- Morocco

National Taffy Day

Rosalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (rose festival)

Victoria Day -- Canada

Vulcan's Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar

World Crohn's and Colitis Day

World Turtle Day

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 8th US state, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Kelly Monaco, 1976
Ken Jennings, 1974
Jewel, 1974
Mitch Albom, 1958
Drew Carey, 1958
Marvin Hagler, 1952
Joan Collins, 1933
Rosemary Clooney, 1928
Helen O'Connell, 1920
Scatman Crothers, 1910
Artie Shaw, 1910
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 1883
Carolus Linnaeus, 1707
Emperor Qinzong of China, 1100

Today in History:

Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne, 1430
The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void, 1533
The Netherlands declare their independence from Spain, 1568
The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years' War, 1618
After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London, 1701
Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals, 1785
Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy, 1805
South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, 1813
The Báb announces his revelation, founding Bábism (the Baha'i Faith), 1844
Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1863
The Canadian Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1873
The fist transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver, BC, 1887
The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, "The Karnival Kid", is released, 1929
American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana, 1934
Tibetans sign the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China, 1951
Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured, 1960
The first version of the Java programming language is released, 1995
The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes, 1998
The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure, 2005
Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts, 2006

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sad and Sadder

Courtney, sibling of Gabriel, got an upset tummy a while back. She seemed to get over it, and was playing and eating as usual.

Then, she quit eating. Became very lethargic. Fluids and sugar water were not helping. A visit to the vet was in order.

The vet found her with fluid in the abdomen and having trouble breathing. The diagnosis was liver failure, or possibly FIP. Either way, it is a death sentence, and she was euthanized.

Thursday evening, when we got to the shelter to clean, there was a box waiting for me with one very tiny, very precious looking little guy. A grey and white, he was the only survivor of 4 that were found covered with ants. The vet thought he might have a chance, put him on antibiotics, and sent him on his way.

Why do they do that? By the time the ants get to them, it really is too late. He was very, very precious. Snuggled a lot. Purred all of the time. Snuggled in my shirt for hours. Ate less and less, and then his paws started to swell. That means a generalized infection that they are not going to survive.

When i called to ask for an appointment, they wanted me to wait until 11:30 am to go in. That wasn't an option as he started to struggle to breath, so i called and talked to a friend at the vet's office, and she told me to get there when the vet does, 9 am. First i apologized for starting the vet's day with a downer. She and i both agreed, nothing more to do.

As the vet gave him the shot, i stood and almost cried. Usually i'm not a sissy about it, these things happen. We lose them, nothing we can do, though we try. This one got me. He was so pretty, and lovable. He was only here from Thursday night to Saturday morning.

Today is

Abolition Day -- Martinique

Buy a Musical Instrument Day -- even just a kazoo, and have some fun making music

Immigrants Day -- Canada

International Day for Biological Diversity

Lag B'Omer -- Jewish

National Maritime Day

National Vanilla Pudding Day

National Wig Out Day -- because sometimes you just need to!

Republic Day -- Sri Lanka

St. Julia's Day (patron of Corsica, Portugal)

St. Rita of Cascia's Day/La Abodada de Impossibles (patron of desperate cases; against bleeding, infertility, loneliness, tumors, unhappy marriages)

Sovereignty and Thanksgiving Day -- Haiti

Toad-Pinching Day (Pixie) -- Fairy Calendar

Unity Day -- Republic of Yemen

Birthdays Today:

Apollo Anton Ohno, 1982
Ginnifer Goodwin, 1978
Morrissey, 1959
Paul Winfield, 1941
Richard Benjamin, 1938
Susan Strasberg, 1938
Peter Nero, 1934
Sir Laurence Olivier, 1907
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859
Mary Cassatt, 1844
Richard Wagner, 1813

Today in History:

The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus, BC334
The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo, 1176
Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe, 1377
Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England, 1455
A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason, 1807
On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon is repelled by an enemy army for the first time, 1809
The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean; the ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20, 1819
HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage, 1826
The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished, 1840
Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns, 1842
The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened, 1897
The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine", 1906
Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century, 1915
The most powerful earthquake ever documented, the Great Chilean Quake, measures 9.5 and strikes southern Chile, 1960
The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores, 1968
Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man, 1980
Microsoft releases the Windows 3.0 operating system, 1990
Johnny Carson retires from The Tonight Show after 30 years, 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations, 1992

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Kids Are Out Of School

Sung to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell

The kids are out of school!
The kids are out of school!
Heigh-ho, the derry-O!
The kids are out of school!

Can you tell i am excited? Yes, the kids are, too. Final report cards will be handed out at parent conferences next week, but mine were already on track to pass for the year, or we would have been on top of it.

Next year, a senior, a sophomore, and an eight grader, all at one place. We are moving on up.

Meanwhile, a summer for work and fun. And BBQ. Don't forget the BBQ.

Today is

Afro-Colombia Day -- Colombia

American Red Cross Founder's Day

Anastenarides Feast -- Greece (feast to St. Constantine and St. Helen)

Armed Forces Day -- US

Circassian Day of Mourning -- Circassians

Dia De Las Glorias Navales -- Chile

Do Dah Day -- Rhodes and Caldwell Parks, Birmingham, Alabama

Fishing Has No Boundaries -- Freeman Lake, Monticello, Indiana, US (two days of fishing for people with disabilities of any or all types)

I Need A Patch For That Day

Iris Festival -- Greeneville, Tennessee, US (through the 22nd)

Lilies and Roses Day -- London, England (memorial of the death of Henry VI on this day in 1471; held at the Tower of London with representatives of Eton College and King's College, which he founded.)

National Memo Day -- an internet holiday with no known origin, just take a memo

National Pike Festival -- Fayette County, Pennsylvania, US (through the 23rd)

National Strawberries and Cream Day

National Waitstaff Day

O. Henry World Championship Pun Off

Preakness Stakes

St. Andrew Bobola's Day

St. Constantine's Day (patron of Greece)

St. Helen's Day (patroness of Greece)

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ramos, 1991
Ashlie Brillault, 1987
Lisa Edelstein, 1966
Mr. T, 1952
Peggy Cass, 1924
Raymond Burr, 1917
Dennis Day, 1917
Harold Robbins, 1916
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, 1909
Fats Waller, 1904
Armand Hammer, 1898
Alexander Pope, 1688

Today in History:

Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily, 878
The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova, 1502
The nobility elect John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, 1674
The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I; it would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky, 1725
Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War, 1758
Slavery is abolished in Colombia, South America, 1851
Russia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile, 1864
French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting, 1871
The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton, 1881
The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria, 1894
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris, 1904
Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, 1932
Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens, 1934
A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean, 1937
The National War Memorial in Canada is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, 1939
Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1946
The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School, 1951
Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, 1972
Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agree to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen, 1990
The Ethiopian Civil War ends, 1991
Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns, 1998
The clipper Cutty Sark is badly damaged by fire in London, England, 2007

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rapt at the Rapture

As pointed out by Suldog, some so called Christians are predicting the end of the world, or the Rapture, this Saturday.

Now, why would i say "so called Christians"? Because, of course, it is pointed out in the Bible that no one knows the day and the hour. Even Jesus laid aside that knowledge when He came to Earth. There is no way to figure it. What i want to know is, how are these people going to feel the next day?

The whole point of all Bible prophecy about the end is for two things that i can see. First, the end is coming, whether for you as an individual with your own death, or for all of us as a group venture, it is coming. Second, you don't know when, so be prepared.

Anything else seems to be commentary to me.

That off my chest, the story of my Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, who is the kind of narrow minded Christian that gives the rest of us a bad name. He has always been "unsure if he is truly saved, or just thinks he is saved."

Back when he was in college, his room mate and a couple of friends got a brilliant idea one day when he stepped out to use the facilities. Two of them undressed completely, setting their clothes down in piles that looked as if the bodies within the clothes had just disappeared. They then hid in the closet.

The third person just went on with his work at his desk as if nothing was wrong. The Mouth came in and, seeing the clothes, asked where the other two were. His room mate said, "I don't know, bro, they were here one minute, and then they just disappeared."

The Mouth about had a conniption before the two burst out of the closet, naked and laughing. His room mate could hardly contain himself.

Yes, looking back, it was a mean trick. Yes, he laughs about it now, too. It's still funny.

Today is

Be a Millionaire Day - now we all can go for that

Common Prayer Day -- Denmark

Eliza Doolittle Day

Emancipation Day -- Florida, US

European Maritime Day -- European Council

Festival of Mjollnir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (feast of Thor's Hammer, date approximate)

Grudie Rosnoe -- Slavic Pagan Calendar (ten days of sacrifices to Rod for rain and good harvests)

Independence Day -- Cuba; East Timor

International Virtual Assistants' Day

Lafayette Day -- Massachusetts, US

NASCAR Day -- NASCAR charities raises money to improve the lives of children

National Bike to Work Day

National Day -- Cameroon

National Quiche Lorraine Day

Pick Strawberries Day

Rhododendron Festival -- Florence, Oregon, US (through the 22nd)

Rhubarb Festival -- Intercourse, Pennsylvania; come on out and enjoy the music, games, rhubarb-inspired foods, and lots of family fun, including the Rhubarb Race Car Derby and best pie contest!

St Bernadine of Siena's Day (patron of publicity agents, advertising, communications, he city of Carpi (Italy), and the diocese of San Bernardino, California; against compulsive gambling, respiratory problems and hoarseness of the throat)

World Metrology Day / Weights and Measures Day

Birthdays Today:

Tony Stewart, 1971
Bronson Pinchot, 1959
David Paterson, 1954
Cher, 1946
Joe Cocker, 1944
Stan Mikita, 1940
Anthony Zerbe, 1936
George Gobel, 1919
Jimmy Stewart, 1908
William Fargo, 1818
John Stuart Mill, 1806
Honore de Balzac, 1799
Dolly Madison, 1768

Today in History:

The first Ecumenical Council in the Christian Church, the Council of Nicea, opens, 325
An earthquake kills about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia, 526
John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west, 1497
Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issues the first modern atlas, 1570
Shakespeare's Sonnets are first published in London, 1609
Napoleon Bonaparte reinstates slavery in the French colonies, revoking its abolition in the French Revolution, 1802
Otto is named the first modern king of Greece, 1835
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sail from the River Thames in England, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage in which all hands are lost, 1845
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law, 1862
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets, 1873
The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy is formed, 1882
Krakatoa begins to erupt (the volcano's final and most notable explosion will occur on August 26), 1883
The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope, 1891
Cuba gains independence from the United States, 1902
The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting ("Boy with Baby Carriage"), 1916
Montreal, Quebec radio station XWA broadcasts the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America, 1920
By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merge to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1927
At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world's first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, 1932
In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1980
First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually, 1983
The Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre, 1989
In a second referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a slight majority the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1995
The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself is the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976), 2002

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Hit and Run

For the second time this year, a member of this family has witnessed a hit and run accident.

This time it was Sweetie, out to get gas for his vehicle. It happened at dusk, on a tiny lane between two highways, a street that was never meant to be a thoroughfare, but is now a cut through from one major artery to another. It has a 90
º bend that people tend to take way too fast, from either direction, and it is so narrow that often a vehicle taking the bend ends up in the middle of the road, instead of in one lane.

The victim was on a motorcycle. Sweetie came up on the scene in time to see the man on the ground, the bike hit the culvert about 50 yards away, and the tail lights of anther vehicle rounding the curve. He slammed on his brakes and got out of his car just in time to start directing traffic around the man, who was almost hit again while lying in the street.

Standing over him, Sweetie called EMS and tried to keep the man calm. Sweetie didn't want to move him, which is a good precaution, although as it turned out the man had two broken arms, and no other obvious injuries. The paramedics were there in less than five minutes, the deputy sheriff in about 3 minutes more.

Then the fire truck arrived, which is where it got a bid weird, Sweetie said. Once the fire fighters got there, and realized they weren't needed, they stood off to the side, shooting the breeze and smoking while the guy was lying there being tended. Yes, they have a stressful job and need to blow off steam and decompress sometimes, but that seemed to be a poor time to choose to do it.

The deputy sheriff didn't have a witness accident report with him, so he had Sweetie run up to the station to fill one out. As for Sweetie, he's just sorry he couldn't get the tag on the car, but it was more important to call for help and make sure the man wasn't injured further as the day darkened.

So, a bit more drama for someone in the house, in a house that seems to somehow draw this sort of thing.

We hope no more of this stuff for a while.

Today is

Boy's Club Day

Circus Day -- Ringling Brothers opened their first circus on this day in 1884

Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day -- Northern Cyprus; Turkey

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day

Frog Jumping Jubilee -- Calaveras County, Texas (through the 22nd)

Greek Genocide Remembrance Day -- Greece

Kirkland's Warbler Day

May Ray Day -- to celebrate being able to go out into the sun's rays as summer nears

National Devil's Food Cake Day

New England's Dark Day

Plant Something Day -- because it's fun, and summer is coming so you can!

St. Dunstan's Day

St. Peter Celestine's Day

St. Pudentiana's Day (patron of Philippines)

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day

World Hepatitis Day

Birthdays Today:

Rachel Appleton, 1992
Jordon Pruitt, 1991
Kevin Garnett, 1976
Kyle Eastwood, 1968
Grace Jones, 1952
Joey Ramone, 1951
Andre the Giant, 1946
Pete Townshend, 1945
Nora Ephron, 1941
James Fox, 1939
Malcolm X, 1925
Ho Chi Minh, 1890
Nancy Astor, 1879
Johns Hopkins, 1762

Today in History:

Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America, 1535
Anne Boleyn is beheaded, 1536
Queen Elizabeth I orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots, 1568
French forces under the duc d'Enghien decisively defeat Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power, 1643
The Long Parliament declares England a Commonwealth, and England remains a republic for the next 11 years, 1649
King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River, 1749
A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M, 1780
Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Légion d'Honneur, 1802
Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the Mexican-American War and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD, 1848
Jan Matzeliger begins the first mechanized shoe production, 1885
Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol, 1897
White women win the right to vote in South Africa, 1930
Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind is published, 1936
Churchill and Roosevelt set May 1, 1944 as their goal date for D-Day (it had to be delayed over a month because of weather), 1943
The Soviet Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus, 1961
Croatians vote for independence, 1991

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another Car Saga

Well, maybe saga is a bit too strong.

Here we are with my #1 Son having gout, and his car making a funny noise. When you drive deliveries for a living, the car making a noise is not a good thing.

So he took my car to work Monday morning, and i ran Sweetie to work so i could use the Honda after i dropped #1 Son's Chevy off.

Sometimes i go to the dealership, but it is always expensive and takes several days to go that route. Sometimes i go to a mechanic i trust who also takes at least a day to get back to you with what is wrong. This time i went to another local place where they have never done work i didn't need, and have always been willing to work with us. They have enough people on staff that they can tell you in an hour or less what is wrong, and whether they will work on it, as they specialize in tires, brakes, and minor repairs.

In this i was not disappointed. They came to me in less than half an hour with a diagnosis of a wheel bearing going out. Ten minutes and a call to the warranty company later, they knew i would be out of pocket $200 and the warranty would cover the remainder. This is something you don't put off, as your whole wheel can fall off if the bearing breaks apart while you are driving, which #1 Son is, all of the time.

This repair takes about 2 hours, so Ken, the nice front desk guy, drove me home, which is across the highway and about a half mile as the crow flies. As the traffic has it, it is a two minute drive interrupted by a 3 minute red light at the very busy highway intersection.

Once home, Bigger Girl and i took Sweetie's car and went to drop of #1 Son's prescriptions, and then to the store. She likes to buy a lot of her own organic produce and such, so we make a trek up there once a week. On the way back, they called with the news that the car was done, so she dropped me at the corner and i walked the quarter mile to the shop, and she went on home.

At the shop, everything was great, except that the fax machine was out of ink. Thus Ken couldn't fax the repair sheet i signed to the warranty company to get that part of the reimbursement. Because i've been in there so often, and Ken knew it was time for me to get home and take the kids to school, his boss did what they don't do for other people. They let me pay for my share, and drive off without having the transaction from the warranty company done. As i left, i made Ken promise to call if they couldn't get the warranty transaction completed, and as i never heard from him, i can only guess when the runner came back from the office supply place with the fax machine ink, everything worked out.

As for us, we were barely in time for school, but barely counts.

All day i played musical cars, moving my glasses, sweater (which i have with me at all times, even in summer, as they keep places way too cold around here), puzzle book for waiting time, water bottle, and booster seat (yes, i'm that short, i use a booster seat to drive, what of it!) from car to car.

Makes me glad to have the van back, even if it was returned from #1 Son's day at work on empty. Such is life with a college student.

Today is

Apollon Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of music, poetry, sunlight)

Battle of Las Piedras Day -- Uruguay

Flag and Universities Day -- Haiti

International Museum Day

Moonbeam Hopping Gala -- Fairy Calendar

National Cheese Souffle Day

National Employee Health and Fitness Day

No Dirty Dishes Day

Revival, Unity, and Poetry of Magtymguly Day --Turkmenistan

St. Eric's Day (patron of Sweden)

St. Theodotus' Day

Visit Your Relatives Day

World AIDS Vaccine Day

World Goodwill Day -- commemorates the opening meeting of 26 nations in the First Hague Peace Conference, 1899

Anniversaries Today:

Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1152

Birthdays Today:

Tina Fey, 1970
Chow Yun-Fat, 1955
Rick Wakeman, 1954
George Strait, 1952
Reggie Jackson, 1946
Brooks Robinson, 1937
Dwayne Hickman, 1934
Robert Morse, 1931
Pernell Robers, 1930
Pope John Paul II, 1920
Margot Fonteyn, 1919
Perry Como, 1912
Frank Capra, 1897
Omar Khayyam, 1048

Today in History:

The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch, 1268
Vasco da Gama reaches the port of Calicut, India, 1498
Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy (under torture) lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe, 1593
John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts, 1631
Rhode Island passes North America's first anti-slavery law, 1652
Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec, 1763
The first United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States, 1783
Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate, 1804
The destruction of Saturdays forever after: Edwin Budding of England
signs an agreement for manufacture of his invention, lawn mower, 1830
The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland, 1843
The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional, 1896
A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II results in the deaths of 1,389 people, 1896
Bram Stoker's Dracula is published, 1897
The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley, 1910
Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier, 1953
Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1974
Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage, 1980
In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record of 515.3km/h (357.2 mph), 1990

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

He Has What?!

#1 Son came to me the other day saying, "Mom, remember how i thought i stubbed my toe the other day and it hurt? Well, i think it might be broken."

This was, of course, on a Sunday evening, with me desperately trying to get dinner cooked for Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, after having to spend the afternoon ferrying Bigger Girl and friend Tammy to an event at the rescue shelter.

He agreed to wait until i had dinner finished, then we headed off to the local doc-in-a-box, but the one that is really just a mini emergency room, a branch of the big hospital where they take the not so serious emergencies.

On the way, he also mentioned that his car was making a funny noise. Great, i thought, as we pulled into the parking lot.

Because he is over 18, he filled out his own paperwork and went into the back without me. Funny, it seems just yesterday he was 12 and i was bringing him to this same place for stitches when he jumped down a whole flight of steps and cut his head on a crossbeam of the ceiling.

He came out without a cast, saying he was done. Although it was hard to wait, i was outside before i asked what was going on. He gave me the discharge paper with the diagnosis.

Arthritic Gout.


No sign of a hairline fracture, sudden onset of pain so bad it has him hopping on one foot at work, all the symptoms fit.

We went home to confirm online what i remembered about what to avoid when you have gout, and to arrange for Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, to bring Sweetie home from work on Monday, while i would take him in. That way we could have the car looked at, another saga in and of itself.

So, my skinny as a bean pole, eats everything including beets and any other veggies, has a salad every day with dinner, and scarfs down a minimum of 3 pieces of fruit a day son has gout.

Go figure, because i sure can't.

Today is

Birthday of the Raja -- Perlis, Malaysia

Constitution Day -- Nauru; Norway

Dea Dia Festival -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of growth)

Feast of Azamat -- Baha'i

Full Flower Moon/Corn Planting Moon/Milk Moon

Galician Literature Day -- Galicia (an autonomous region of Spain)

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Liberation Day -- Democratic Republic of the Congo

National Cherry Cobbler Day

National Famine Memorial Day -- Ireland

Navy Day -- Argentina

Pack Rat Day -- come on out and admit it, you are a pack rat, too!

Rubber Band Day -- patented this day in 1845, and aren't we pack rats glad.

Shunki Reitaisai -- Toshogu Shrine, Nikko, Japan (Grand Festival of Spring, through the 18th)

St. Robert Bellarmine's Day

World Hypertension Day

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Birthdays Today:

Tahj Mowry, 1987
Drew Roy, 1986
Andrea Corr, 1974
Jordan Knight, 1970
Enya, 1961
Sugar Ray Leonard, 1956
Bob Saget, 1956
Bill Paxton, 1955
Dennis Hopper, 1936
Maureen O'Sullivan, 1911
Edward Jenner, 1749

Today in History:

Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi becomes the first to see 2 belts on Jupiter's surface, 1630
Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve founds the Ville Marie de Montréal, 1642
Frontenac becomes governor of New France (Canada), 1672
Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi River, 1673
England passes the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum & molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions, 1733
The US Continental Congress bans trade with Canada, 1775
The New York Stock Exchange is founded, 1792
John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine, 1803
Napoleon I of France orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire, 1809
Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian, 1814
Antoine Joseph Sax patents the saxophone, 1846
Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, the first book in the Galician language, 1863
Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby, 1875
Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer, 1902
The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the first-ever televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City, 1939
The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 1954
Soviet Venera 6 begins its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure, 1969
Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean, 1970
Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacks a polling location in the town of Chuschi, Ayacucho, starting the Internal conflict in Peru, 1980
Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, 1983
After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac takes office as President of France, 1995
Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon begin in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown, 1992
Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1997
The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef, 2008
Dalia Grybauskaite is elected the first female President of Lithuania, 2009

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to...

...survive when Blogger is "not available".

Take a deep breath.

Try to reload the sign in page.

Take another deep breath.

Click where it says it will give you more info.

Read the info, which just says that Blogger is unavailable.

Take a deep breath.

Be tempted to cuss, but refrain, the children might be within earshot.

Try again to load the page.

Get angry because it still says unavailable, thus necessitating another deep breath, and the swallowing of some more words you don't want the kids to hear.

Refill your water bottle.

Open a notepad and start writing the blog you would be writing for day after tomorrow if Blogger were available.

Check again, only to find out they've updated that they are erasing everything you uploaded an hour before they became unavailable.

Dive into your favorite comfort food to keep from cussing.

Do a Sudoku to pass the time.

Check again, and find out Blogger won't be available until tomorrow.

Write more on that notepad.

Write out all the words you want to say.

Erase them, so the kids don't see.

Do a KenKen puzzle.

Eat more comfort food.

Get mad instead of comforted.

Write more on the notepad.

Decide to give up and go to bed.

Next morning, wake up and check Blogger.

Find out Blogger is still unavailable.

Angrily make coffee and drink the whole pot.

Check email to pass the time.

Check Blogger again, and swear you are going to switch to another blog site.

Suppress more words, the kids might be up.

Look at the angry gibberish you wrote on the notepad the night before and erase it.

Wonder what other people would have written had Blogger been available.

Do another Sudoku puzzle.

Get back on to find, lo and behold! Blogger is back!

Decide immediately to abandon your plans to leave, and go look at your scheduled posts.

Reconsider again, as you find out the one you had worked on for today was published without all the editing you did right before Blogger went down.

Eat something bad for you, to give your mouth something to do besides yell.

Rewrite it as best you can in your current foul-and-hyped-on-caffeine mood.

Read what everyone else is saying, including how they also lost posts.

Commiserate with them.

Wonder if maybe you have been blogging too long.

Decide there is no way to do that, and get back to your normal routine, with the undercurrents of a caffeine buzz and bad food to accompany you.

Today is

Biographer's Day

Discovery Day -- Cayman Islands

Love a Tree Day -- and read about the love of a tree, in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree

Middlesex Day -- Middlesex, England

National Sea Monkey Day -- go out and get yourself a kit, and enjoy these lively little critters!

St. Brendan's Voyage Day (St. Brendan the Voyager, patron of sailors and Ireland)

St. Honoratus' Day

St. John of Nepomuk's Day (patron of bridges, Bohemia, Czech Republic; Slovakia)

Teachers' Day -- Malaysia

Wear Purple for Peace Day

Anniversaries Today:

Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France, marries Marie Antoinette, 1770
Edgar Allen Poe marries his cousin Virginia Clemm, 1836

Birthdays Today:

Megan Fox, 1986
Jim Sturgess, 1981
Tori Spelling, 1973
David Boreanaz, 1971
Gabriela Sabatini, 1970
Tracey Gold, 1969
Janet Jackson, 1966
Olga Korbut, 1955
Debra Winger, 1955
Pierce Brosnan, 1953
Bob Edwards, 1947
Liberace, 1919
Woody Herman, 1913
Henry Fonda, 1905
William Seward, 1801

Today in History:

The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence is re-established as a republic, 1527
Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England, 1532
Samuel Johnson meets his future biographer, James Boswell, in London, 1763
Denmark abolishes slave trade, 1792
The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail, 1843
Charles Elmer Hires invents root beer, 1866
A naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight, 1919
Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc, 1920
Chaim Weizmann is elected the first President of Israel, 1948
The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between John F Kennedy International Airport (then Idlewild Airport) in New York City and Heathrow Airport in London, operated by El Al Israel Airlines, 1951
Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, 1960
China's Cultural Revolution begins, 1966
The Soviet Venera 5 spacecraft lands on Venus, 1969
India annexes Sikkim after the mountain state holds a referendum in which the popular vote is in favour of merging with India, 1975
Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1975
The Seville Statement on Violence is adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain, 1986
A report by United States' Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine, 1988
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the US Houses of Congress, 1991
Kuwait permits women's suffrage in a 35-23 National Assembly vote, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mini Mystery

For the past 5 or 6 weeks, i have had a small mystery on my hands. Several soakingly wet towels on the floor of the laundry room every week, necessitating an extra load of towels to be washed and hung out to dry.
At first, i thought it was just that someone was taking extra showers and shampooing and getting very wet.

Then i asked #1 Son if there was a leak in his bathroom again that i didn't know about, as most of the towels were from his stash in the laundry room next to his bathroom. He said no, and that he had no idea where the towels were being used.

Finally i did what i should have done to begin with, and asked the source of most insanity, #2 Son.

His first response was to grin from ear to ear, then he thoughtfully said, "Oh, yeah, I remember those," as if he were talking about something that happened many years ago, not just earlier this week.

Giving him the mother's i-want-more-info stare, he continued. "Freddy and i have figured out that if you get towels really soaking wet, and fold them, you can hit each other with them, and it hurts, and it's fun!"

This also explains why the hose has been unrolled and left dripping so often.

Makes me glad the pool is open again on weekends, they can get their fill of water there.

Also, i've requested they use some of the old towels we use for kitten care, and leave them to dry outside and reuse. He agreed, with one of his I'm-going-to-go-get-into-more-mischief grins. As long as it doesn't involve me getting wet, or an extra load of laundry, i'll just wait.

Today is

Aoi Matsuri -- Kyoto, Japan

Cold Sophie's Day (5th Ice Saint)

Constituent Assembly Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Slovenian Army -- Slovenia

Feast of Maia and Mercury -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Mercuralia)

Feast of St. John Baptiste de la Salle

Flip Your Mattress Day -- because it's a good thing to do

Independence Day -- Paraguay

International Conscientious Objectors' Day

International Day of Families

Nakba Day -- Palestinian communities

National Chocolate Chip Day

National Pizza Party Day

National Safety Dose Day

Nylon Stockings Day

Police Officer/Peace Officer Memorial Day

Stepmother's Day

St. Dympna's Day (patron of the insane, asylums, mental health workers;
against epilepsy, insanity, sleepwalking)

St. Hallvard's Day (patron of Oslo; defending innocence)

St. Isidore's Day (patron of farmers, farm workers, ranchers, Madrid)

Straw Hat Day

Teacher's Day -- Mexico; South Korea

Anniversaries Today:

Mary, Queen of Scots, marries James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, 1567

Birthdays Today:

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, 1981
David Krumholtz, 1978
David Charvet, 1972
Emmit Smith, 1969
George Brett, 1953
Madeleine Albright, 1937
Trini Lopez, 1937
Anna Maria Alberghetti, 1936
Jasper Johns, 1930
Eddy Arnold, 1918
James Mason, 1909
Joseph Cotten, 1905
Abraham Zapruder, 1905
Katherine Anne Porter, 1890
Pierre Curie, 1859
L. Frank Baum, 1856

Today in History:

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, is sentenced to death, 1536
Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first European to see Cape Cod, 1602
Johannes Kepler confirms his discovery of the third law of planetary motion, 1618
James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world's first machine gun, 1718
The Seven Years' War begins when Great Britain declares war on France, 1756
Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for "about 360 meters", at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights, 1793
George III survives two assassination attempts in one day, 1800
Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1817
Francis Baily observes "Baily's beads" during an annular eclipse, 1836
Rama IV is crowned King of Thailand (The King and I), 1851
Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, 1858
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman's Suffrage Association, 1869
Las Vegas, Nevada, is founded, 1905
The United States Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an "unreasonable" monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be broken up, 1911
The Winnipeg General Strike begins; by 11:00 a.m., almost the whole working population of Winnipeg, Manitoba had walked off the job, 1919
Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy, 1928
In an attempted Coup d'état, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed, 1932
The Moscow Metro is opened to public, 1935
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3, 1958
Mercury-Atlas 9 astronaut L. Gordon Cooper becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space, 1963
President Richard Nixon appoints Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals, 1970
Portrait of Doctor Gachet by Vincent van Gogh is sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time, 1990
Edith Cresson becomes France's first female prime minister, 1991
California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage, 2008
Jessica Watson, age 17, becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo, 2010

Saturday, May 14, 2011


As is usual, we were told a time frame during which the A/C repair people would be coming.

As is also usual, we were then called and told that "The jobs ahead of yours are taking longer than we thought, so we will have to reschedule."

This has happened to us over and over, with every A/C company the home warranty company sends out. Why even tell people a time frame if you know there is absolutely no way you can keep it?

This time, i lost it. While i didn't get mean, i did tell them in no uncertain terms that in the past two days of no air, i had suffered three bouts of tachycardia, and that i could not continue to wait until the weekend was over.

They had someone out here two hours later, and it only took a few minutes to change the wire that had burned out in the unit. It took them longer to remove and replace the cover of the unit than it did to fix it!

No, we don't run the air at arctic blast, but at least we are more comfortable.

Today is

Carabao Festival -- Philippines (through tomorrow)

Dance Like a Chicken Day

Hastings Banda's Birthday -- Malawi

International Migratory Bird Day

Izumo-taisha Shrine Grand Festival -- Izumo-taisha, Japan

Learn About Butterflies Day

Mars Invictus -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Midnight Sun at North Cape -- Norway (the sun will not set until July 30)

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

National Miniature Golf Day

National Unification Day -- Liberia

National Windmill Days -- The Netherlands, through the weekend

"Stars and Stripes Forever" Day

Stay up All Night Night

St. Bonifatius' Day (4th Ice Saint)

St. Matthias' Day (patron against alcoholism)

Underground America Day (imagine what our landscapes would look like if more of our buildings were under ground)

Birthdays Today:

Miranda Cosgrove, 1993
Dan Auerbach, 1979
Martine McCutdcheon, 1976
Cate Blanchett, 1969
Danny Wood, 1969
Jose Da Silveira, 1965
Tim Roth, 1961
David Byrne, 1952
Robert Zemechis, 1951
George Lucas, 1944
Jack Bruce, 1943
Bobby Darin, 1936
Laszlo Kovacs, 1933
Otto Klemperer, 1885
Thomas Gainsborough, 1727
Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, 1686

Today in History:

Jamestown, Virginia is settled as an English colony, 1607
Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination, 1796
The Lewis and Clark expedition sets out, 1804
Paraguay gains independence from Spain, 1811
The first edition of the London Illustrated Times is published, 1842
Gail Borden patents her process for condensed milk, 1853
Vaseline, the first petroleum jelly, is marketed, 1878
Lina Medina becomes the world's youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five, 1939
Israel is declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established; immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, 1948
Kuwait joins the United Nations, 1963
Skylab, the United States' first space station, is launched, 1973

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blame Someone Else

Blame Blogger. For two days i tried to get on so i could post something besides just the daily information, and Blogger was down. It even erased my post from Wednesday, so i had to rewrite it.

So, here is the Friday rambling, late, and i'm sorry about that.

The other day, Sweetie came in gasping for breath, and had to wait a moment before he could tell me what had happened.

He had jumped out of the car to tell Bigger Girl something, and accidentally left it in gear. When he turned to get back in, he did a double take. There was the car, in the field across the street, in reverse, just loping along, changing direction with every bump or rut.

He took off running, and said it was like a scene out of a movie as he chased the car all over the field. How it managed to not hit a tree on the edge of the field we do not know. He finally caught up, opened the door, and stopped it just as it was about to hit the net between the soccer goal posts.

All of us have been laughing ourselves silly over it, even Sweetie.

Oh, to have seen it live!

Today is

Blame Someone Else Day -- the first Friday the Thirteenth of every year

Bun Bung Fai (Rocket Festival) -- Yasothon, Thailand (through the 14th, teams compete to build the highest flier, with no regard for safety!)

Fairy King and Queen Jumping Competition -- Fairy Calendar

Garland Day -- Abbotsbury, Dorset, England

Kan Phuetchamongkhon -- Thailand (Royal Plowing and Farmers Day)

Leprechaun Day

National Apple Pie Day

National Morel Mushroom Festival -- Boyne City, Michigan, through the 16th

Root Canal Appreciation Day (No! I draw the line here!)

Rotuma Day -- Fiji

Stagecoach Days -- Marshall, Texas (celebrate the days of the old west, when the stagecoach was the way to travel; through the 15th)

St. Servatus' Day (3rd Ice Saint, patron against rats, vermin, foot troubles)

Birthday Today:

Debby Ryan, 1993
Robert Pattinson, 1986
Samantha Morton, 1977
Darius Rucker, 1966
Stephen Colbert, 1964
Dennis Rodman, 1961
Stevie Wonder, 1950
Ritchie Valens, 1941
Harvey Keitel, 1939
Beatrice Arthur, 1923
Joe Louis, 1914
Arthur Sullivan, 1842
Maria Theresa, 1717

Today in History:

The forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother, 1568
A major earthquake in Santiago, Chile, kills 1/3 of the population, 1643
Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts (First Fleet) to establish a penal colony in Australia, 1787
Ecuador gains its independence from Gran Colombia, 1830
The first performance of Finland's national anthem, 1848
Queen Victoria declares Britain neutral in the US Civil War, 1861
The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia, 1861
Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway, 1880
The Royal Flying Corps (now the Royal Air Force) is established in the United Kingdom, 1912
Igor Sikorsky becomes the first man to pilot a four-engine aircraft, 1913
The first commercial FM radio station in the United States (WDRC-FM) is launched in Bloomfield, Connecticut, 1939
Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons, 1940
The trade mark Velcro is registered, 1958
The Free Speech Movement is born at UC Berkeley, 1960
Dr. Zakir Hussain becomes the third President of India and the first Muslim President of Indian Union, 1967
Large groups of students occupy Tienanmen Square and begin a hunger strike, 1989
Johnny Carson makes his last television appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, 1994