Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Mom, could you come pick me up?" #2 Son asked. No other intro, of course, just the request.

Where are you?

"At the creek, and I think I broke my leg, so I can't walk h0me."

He was surprisingly calm. So i went across the neighborhood to the path he usually takes in. He was standing on one leg, looking almost serene, and wearing his Bob Marley hat.

"Thanks," he said as he climbed in.

So it's broken? We need to get you to the after hours clinic.

"Nah, I don't need to go to the clinic."

Son, if it's broken, it needs to be set in a cast.

"Well, I fell onto a boulder, and another big rock dropped down on me. So I sat there and couldn't move because it hurt so bad, probably for about ten minutes. Then I hopped out and called you. But I don't think I need to see a doctor."

Back at the house, he showed me the cut and the bruises. The main area of pain was over the femur, which is very, very difficult to break, and, when broken, can't be walked on.

So i explained to him that, though he was hurt, it couldn't be broken. He hopped off to take a shower.

Half an hour later, he was back. "Mom, can my friend drive us for pizza?"

So much for broken. Don't you want the chili i made for dinner?

"Well, it still hurts bad, and I'll also have some chili later. Pizza is the appetizer!"

Go ahead, i shook my head as the bean pole limped out to join his friend.

Apparently, nothing breaks his appetite.

Today is

Aizen Festival -- Shoman-in Temple, Osaka, Japan (celebration of Aizen Myo-oh, greatest of the 8 Buddhist guardian gods)

Armed Forces Day -- Guatemala

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

Day of Aestas -- Ancient Roman Calendar

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

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome Day

Independence Day -- Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire)

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival -- Edime, Turkey (648th annual, the oldest wrestling festival in the world, through July 6)

Lajkoniki (Lajkonik Festival) -- Kraków, Poland

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day -- if one is needed

Meteor Day -- because of the Tuskunga Event

National Bomb Pop Day

National Corvette Day

National Handshake Day -- nobody likes a fishy one, and no bone crushers needed! Practice a bit today, make sure your first impression is a good one.

Pridie Kalendas July (Day Before the Kalends of July) -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a day when dies comitiales -- citizen committees -- voted on political and criminal matters)

Revolution Day -- Sudan

Smithsonian Folklife Festival -- through July 4, then again July 7-11; a model of research-based presentations of contemporary living cultural traditions of people around the world

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Library Fun

A very nice branch of the parish library is located on the road we take when we bring Bigger Girl to work. Thus we have stopped a couple of times on the way home.

She wanted to get Logic for Dummies, but they don't have it. Instead she found Logic Made Simple.

In the process of looking, she kept having to refer to the Dewey Decimal number she had written, and try to locate it on the shelves. She commented, "Someone should write The Dewey Decimal System for Dummies, but no one would be able to find it!"

Today is

Camera Day -- internet generated, but a fun one to celebrate

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

Haro Wine Festival -- Haro, LaRioja, Spain

Henley Royal Regatta -- Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England (through July 3rd)

Hug Holiday -- while the National Hug Holiday Week has been moved to the beginning of May, this is the original day, and was for quite a while, so go give someone a big hug!

Independence Day -- Seychelles

Isra Al Mi'raj: Ascent of the Prophet Muhammad -- Islam

L-Imnarja -- Malta (folk festival, continuation of St. Peter and Paul Fests)

National Almond Butter Crunch Day

Prince Bernhard Day -- Netherlands

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

Waffle Iron Day -- don't know why today, but it's a great gadget, and if you have one, enjoy!

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
Two car bombs are found at Piccadilly Circus, in the heart of London, 2007

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sick Kitten Alert

Sick kitten alert.

Read no further if you want no bad news.

We lost Bombalurina, probably FIP, what took Courtney several weeks back.

No symptoms in Mercy or BlueBoy. Ryan Dunn and RumTumTugger seem to be eating okay, but not as much as they should. Alonzo has been unable to hold down his formula most of the day, the reglan made a difference, but he still needed fluids. Demeter, as runts so often do, is having the worst symptoms.

This is the part of the job you never quite get used to.

Today is

Festival of Terrible Poetry -- according to The Daily Bleed, and since there is some hilarious, if terrible, poetry out there, go find some, and bust a gut.

Go See Some Live Theater Tonight Night -- because some of us don't get the chance to do this often enough

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

Mnarja Festival begins -- Malta (folk festival for Sts. Peter and Paul, begins this evening and continues through the 29th)

National Columnists Day

National Tapioca Day

Paul Bunyan Day

Sata-Hame Accordion Festival -- Ikaalinen, Finland (through July 3)

Soviet Occupation Day -- Moldova

Stonewall Rebellion Day -- now seen as the start of the gay liberation movement in 1969

St. Irenaeus' Day

St. Paul's Feast -- Kato Paphos, Cyprus

St. Peter's Eve -- English Christian tradition, night of bonfires and continuation of midsummer celebrations

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
COMECON, as part of the last vestige of the Soviet Bloc, is formally disbanded, followed by the Warsaw pact 3 days later, 1991
The Republic of Montenegro is admitted as the 192nd Member of the United Nations, 2006

Monday, June 27, 2011

Because Someone Asked

And others might be interested.


My grandmother's recipe:

~10c flour
~2c sugar
1c water
1c melted Crisco
5 eggs

Mix and knead for one hour. Let the dough rest an hour, then knead for another hour. Roll into balls and let rest another hour.
Melt enough Crisco in the cast iron skillet to float a battleship -- you want the dough to not touch the bottom.
Press each ball of dough out by hand until very flat, cut 3 vent slices in the middle (like you would in a top pie crust), and fry until crisp. Drain each one on a fresh paper towel.

My version
5c flour
1c sugar
1/2 c water
1/2 c no name brand vegetable shortening(don't have to melt it)
3 medium eggs

Put it all in the bread maker and select "dough only" setting.
When it's done, and you get good and ready, melt half shortening and half cheap vegetable oil in the skillet.
Pull off dough in small handfuls and roll out with the rolling pin. Cut vent slices and fry.
Drain on a paper towel, but not one for each, the doggone things are too expensive!

With either version, store in a paper bag. Not sure why, but that's what the family always did. My dad freezes them in the bag, and pulls out one each day.

Yes, my version is cheaper, easier, and my father, who grew up eating them the old way, can't tell the difference.

Today is

Armed Forces Day -- Great Britain

Canadian Multiculturalism Day -- Canada

Day Sacred to the Lares -- Ancient Roman Calendar

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

Festival of Jupiter Stator -- Ancient Roman Calendar

"Happy Birthday to You" Day -- composed this day in 1859

Independence Day -- Djibouti

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

Martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith -- Mormon

Mixed Races Day -- Brazil

National HIV Testing Day -- US

National Orange Blossom Day

Please Take My Children To Work Day -- a tongue in cheek salute to stay-at-home moms everywhere; give her a break, and take her children with you to work!

Seven Sleepers Day (Siebenschläfertag) -- Germany

St. Ladislaus' Day

St. Laszlo's Day (patron of Hungary)

Sunglasses Day -- a reminder to wear those shades, protect your eyes from UV damage!

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
The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, ILO 169 convention, is adopted, 1989
Slovenia, after declaring independence two days before, is invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft, starting the Ten-Day War, 1991

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Sunday!

A happy Sunday to everyone!

The hojaldras for Grandpa's Father's Day gift are ready, and we will be going out to lunch with him and Grandma after church.

Because we weren't able to see him last week, we are counting this week as the holiday, with him anyway. Much better than everyone arguing over whom to spend holidays with -- schedule them to fit you!

Today is

America's Kids Day -- founded to encourage parents to teach their children the value of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Army and Navy Day -- Azerbaijan

Beautician's Day -- on a couple of websites, while other list other days; if yours puts the "beauty" in beautician, remember her next time you go.

Descendent's Day -- a world-wide day to take account of all the previous years' activities and how they will impact our descendents

Festival of the Tarasque -- Tarascon, France (legendary dragon tamed by St. Martha)

Flag Day -- Romania

Holiday for the Shemsu of Heru -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Independence Day -- Madagascar; Somalia

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

National Canoe Day -- Canada

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
Indira Gandhi establishes emergency rule in India, 1975
The CN Tower, the world's tallest free-standing structure on land, is opened to general public, 1976*
Biologists J. Craig Venter and Francis S. Collins announced that their research groups had mapped the human genome, 2000

*It is still the tallest in the Western Hemisphere

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Klepto Kitty

If you like cats, and you are going to be in or near San Francisco today, consider stopping in at the Peninsula Humane Society's adoption event to meet Dusty, the Klepto Kitty.

About 5 years ago, Dusty was adopted from there, and about a year after that, he began his nocturnal naughtiness. He takes things from the neighbors, and almost anything you leave outside is fair game.

His heists have included toys, towels, Crocs, gloves, grocery bags, baseball caps, clothes, and especially swim suits. If you leave a two piece outside, he'll come back to make sure he gets both pieces.

He averages four items a night, with 11 being his record. His owners pick the items up each morning, wash them if they are made of cloth, and store them until they are claimed. Some never are claimed, and sit neatly sorted in boxes in the living room.

Neighbors love Dusty and know, if something goes missing, right where to look.

Theories about the why of his behavior abound, but my favorite was the animal behaviorist who said he might just be doing it because it is fun.

He has fans and followers of his exploits, which were filmed by Animal Planet with an infrared camera and can be found on YouTube.

Thus his celebrity status and use for publicity in getting more animals adopted.

So, as stated, if you are in the area, and want to meet Dusty the Klepto Kitty, head over and give him a pat, maybe get a picture with him. Watch your wallet, though. Never know when a Klepto Kitty might decide to branch out into pickpocketing.

Today is

Arbor Day -- Philippines

ARRL Radio Days -- ham radio operators practice and drill for communications during emergencies

Elf Thumping Day -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of the Optional Holiday -- pick one, and celebrate it or don't, your option!

Festival of Ranting and Vaporing -- Sponsored by The Daily Bleed

Fiesta of Santa Orosia -- Jaca, Spain

Gotanshin Sai -- Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto, Japan (festival to commemorate the birth of Lord Sugawara, with ceremonies to ward off summer infections)

Great American Backyard Campout -- encouraged by the National Wildlife Federation

Heidi Festival -- New Glarus, Wisconsin (through tomorrow)

Independence Day -- Mozambique

Log Cabin Day -- sponsored by The Log Cabin Society, dedicated to preserving log cabins and the old fashioned ways of life

National Catfish Day

National Strawberry Parfait Day

Statehood Day -- Croatia; Slovenia

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

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 Queen 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
CBS broadcasts the first color television signal, 1951
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

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Big Happy Family


Mercy greeted her new siblings the other day with hisses, swats, growls, and what was probably very unholy language from a kitten her age. The 6 babies' reaction to her was to try to figure out why she didn't feed them, of course. At their age, every other cat is a potential mama.

After moving her food bowl to the top of a small box she can climb and they cannot -- it was one of her pet peeves that they would walk through "her" food bowl, and brought lots of biting -- she has decided they are friends not foes.

This is good and bad.

She was getting to where she was going to go stir crazy without more to play with that a feather toy and a few little stuffed mice. It's not good to let them play with your hands, it's not cute any more after they get big enough for their bites to hurt, and by then it is a habit. So i'd been spending time using one of my good winter leather gloves, dangling it and moving it over her and such. Yet i didn't want to continue that too long, as i really do need the glove for next winter.

Now she has playmates, and play she does. She's not growling or hissing, just playing, but she is very rough. That's because she is so much older than they are. Unless they gang up on her, she ends up getting the best of it. She's happy with that outcome, but they try to get away before she is quite done. It's going to be quite a surprise to her one day when one turns around and gives her back what she's dishing out. It's what kittens need, though, in order to learn that biting hurts, and to give them some boundaries.

The children have named the new crew BlueBoy, Alonzo, Ryan Dunn, Demeter, Bombularina, and RumTumTugger. They are eating well, growing fast, and scooting around the kitchen on their still shaky legs, getting into the corners and wondering how to get out. Soon they will be seasoned veterans and scurrying faster than the eye can follow, but for now they are mostly in their box, huddled and happy when their bellies are full.

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

Calcio Fiorentino -- Florence, Italy (reviving 16th century style football in period costumes, through the 28th)

Carabobo Day -- Venezuela

Celebration of the Senses

Countryman's Day -- Peru

Day of the Caboclo -- Amazonas State, Brazil

Feast of Rahmat -- Baha'i

Fisherman's Day / Constitution Day -- Zaire

Fors Fortuna -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Fairy Day

Jónsmessa -- Iceland (feast of St. John the Baptist, considered a magical night when cows can speak, seals take on human form, finding magical stones and herbs is propitious, and rolling naked in the dew is healing.)

Louisiana Peach Festival -- Ruston, Louisiana, US (the peach capital of Louisiana)

Lost Handkerchief Day -- Fairy Calendar

Macau Day -- China

Manila Day -- Philippines

Midsummer Day

Museum Comes to Life Day

National Bomb Pop Day

National Creamy Pralines Day

Purplehull Pea Festival -- Emerson, Arkansas, US (included the World Cup purplehull pea shelling competition, a World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, pea and cornbread cook-off, and a Purple Hull Pea Queen pageant for all ages!)

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Quebec

St. John the Baptist's Day and related Midsummer celebrations (patron of auto routes, candle makers, health spas, Quebec, road workers, wool workers)
Jaanipaev -- Estonia
Jani -- Latvia
Midsummer Day -- England
National Holiday -- Quebec
Saint Jonas Festival or Jonines -- Lithuania

Sunrise Rituals at Stonehenge, UK

Swim a Lap Day -- just for fun!

Take Your Dog To Work Day

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

Zuni Corn Dance -- Zuni Native Americans (for fertility of land and people, through the 27th)

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
Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud completes his first mission, becoming the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist, 1985
John Isner of the United States defeats Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history, 2010

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stop. Somehow, It Has To Stop.

#1 Son came into the kitchen the other day on his way back to work. He had already pulled an early shift, and was called in for the evening.

While he grabbed and ate his salad and green beans and home grilled burger, he told me what was going on.

"The other driver is having to leave," he explained between bites. "His brother felt sick a few days ago, and was getting dizzy today so he went to the emergency room. They told him he had a heart attack a few days ago, and was on the verge of having another one right now, so they have to rush him to surgery. And the guy is only 33! But his arteries are already so clogged they have to do emergency surgery!"

Shaking my head, i told him that was a big problem these days, with diseases that used to happen in later years getting people younger and younger, and mourned that fast food was often their only food.

"Yep!" He nodded, took another bite, and continued, "It's true. some of my friends almost live on the stuff. His brother told me that they've told him he has to change his diet or he will die before he's 50, and maybe now he will."

He grabbed a banana for dessert, and continued. "Yeah, I guess it's okay to eat fast food once or twice a week, maybe, but not all the time like some people."

Yes, i agreed with him, once a week to eat out, or eat fast food, or have a treat you don't usually have, and eat healthy the rest of the time.

"Sure, even though the fast food places don't like to hear it, " he grinned. Then, as he threw away his banana peel into the compost bucket, "I've heard some experts say a couple of times a week, and others say never."

So the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of that, i responded. Once a week sounds fair to me.

"Yep" he agreed. Then he was gone.

It really got me thinking.

This killing ourselves with what we choose to eat, and at younger and younger ages, has got to stop. Somehow, some way, the message has to come through. Before we lose most of a generation to preventable disease at younger ages and end up with our longevity average declining.. Before we end up with scads of children having to attend parent's funerals while they are still very young. Yes, that has happened throughout the millennia, but i'm talking about a much higher percentage of times than in previous generations. Before it gets to be too late.

When my own son was diagnosed with gout at age 19, it was a shock. Yes, i've always made sure i have a home cooked meal, with salad and veggies, almost every single night since he was young. Yes, i've raised him to like and eat just about anything he is served. It hasn't made him immune, now that he makes his own money and can eat out more if he wants to.

Since that episode, i've noticed he eats the meals i prepare most nights, instead of only a few times a week. He's painfully gotten the message.

Is it going to take heart attacks, early deaths, or even a collapse of the medical system that can't handle the influx of so many chronically ill young people to wake us up? Certainly i hope not, but i'm afraid it will.

After all, i understand that most smokers aren't planning to quit, even with pictures of the new, graphic cigarette warning labels out. It seems they engage in the mistaken thinking that it can't happen to them, or they will quit eventually and it will be in plenty of time, or that it is too hard to quit, so why bother.

The same thing may happen with the chronic diseases that go along with overeating and eating poorly. Only time will tell.

It makes me afraid.

Somehow, it has to become cool to take care of your health. To feed yourself good, nutritious food. To exercise. To stay away from excess, be it food, or overwork, or stress. To drink in moderation if at all, and stay way from drugs and nicotine. To be concerned about such things.

Burying our heads in the sand has got to stop. Before it is too late, and we end up with a diseased generation of children.

Today is

Anubis Ceremony -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Corpus Christi -- Catholic Christian

Father's Day -- Nicaragua; Poland; Uganda

Festival of the Purple Void -- only one internet reference, and not explained there, either, but since purple is my favorite color, and a Purple Void sound like something fun to celebrate, i'm including it!

Grand Duke's Birthday -- Luxembourg

Let It Go Day

Midsummer Baal -- Ancient Celtic Calendar

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism -- Canada

National Pecan Sandy Day

National Pink Day

Night of the Fairy Goddesses Aine and Finnen -- Ireland (watch out for the antics of the little people on Midsummer's Eve)

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 Eve -- start or culmination of many midsummer festivals, including:
Dragaica Fair -- Buzau, Romania
Golowan Festival -- Cornwall
Jaaniohtu -- Estonia
Kupala Days begin -- Belarus; Poland; Russia; Ukraine
Ligo / Lani -- Latvia (pagan midsummer celebration originally dedicated to the god Janis
Midsummer Festival -- Portugal

St. Nicetas Day (patron of Romania)

Typewriter Day

United Nations Public Service Day

Victory Day -- Estonia

Watermelon Thump and World Champion Seed-Spitting contest -- Luling, Texas, US (through the 26th)

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Do You Know When You Are Famous?

When the whole world knows you broke your toe, that's how. And they know it not because you yelled loudly enough to be heard into the next county, either.

That's what i decided when i heard about Aretha Franklin and her stumbling over her favorite Jimmy Choo shoe while she was packing for a tour.

Seriously, nobody heard about my broken toe years ago but the family members who heard the thump and the "Ouch!" Oh, and the people who watched me limp for a couple of weeks while it healed.

This got me thinking of what it must be like for famous people, that anyone with an interest is going to know more than a fair share of what happens to you.

Would i want that kind of attention that being famous brings?

Nope. At least, i don't think so.

My toes are my business, and i think it's better that way.

Today is

Anti-Fascist Struggle Day -- Croatia

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Great Patriotic War -- Belarus

Elfin Music Festival -- Fairy Calendar

Festival of 1 Lithe -- Hobbit Calendar

Glastonbury Festival -- Vale of Avalon, Glastonbury, England (the world's largest greenfield music and performing arts festival, through the 26th)

La Festa Del Gigli -- Nola, Campagna, Italy (Festival of the Lilies, in honor of St. Paulinus)

Mnarja -- Buskett Gardens, Malta (folk festival, through tomorrow)

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 -- included under protest; "guy things" aren't necessarily stupid, it should just be Guy Thing Day

Teacher's Day -- El Salvador

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 circumference), 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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back in Business

"Hi, mimi? This is Karen, we met at the vet's office, I'm with the local spay group, remember?"

Yes, i remembered, and prepared for the inevitable.

"I have a friend whose neighbor had a mother cat that was run over. There are 6 kittens, and I know everyone is bursting at the seams, but could you take them?" She sounded desperate, as they all do.

So i said i would put in a call and get right back to her.

Thankfully, for once, Miss W answered my first call. After explaining the situation, she said, "Well, see what you can do about making sure they aren't black kittens, okay?" with a laugh in her voice.

Laughing back, i told her i would do what i could about that, and called Karen back to tell her it was a go. She called Anne to give her my number, and the next call was from a lady who sounded like she was about to break into tears at any moment.

"Oh, I'm so glad if you can help me!" she told me. "My neighbor found a pregnant cat, and took it in, and she's made an appointment to get it fixed in a few weeks when the babies grow up. But it got run over a few days ago, and she asked me if the mama i found would take the kittens. So we tried, but my mama's babies are over 2 months old, and she won't touch these babies, and the neighbor won't take them back. On top of that, I'm renting and only supposed to have 2 cats and I have seven, and my landlord is sending someone out to do work on the place tomorrow and i have to hide five of mine, he'll have a fit if he finds me with 13 of them!"

What a convoluted story, but i told her to bring them over.

Oh, and there is only one black kitten. One black and white, one gray and white, one tabby and white, one brown tabby (the runt, a female), and one huge gray tabby who looks like he's almost as big as Mercy, though his ears show he is younger.

Mercy isn't sure what to think, but now she won't have to grow up not knowing how to play and be a kitten. She's getting more settled, and loves to play with the feather toy and passing feet. It's not been easy keeping her from playing too rough with our hands, but this will make it easier.

Back in business.

Today is

Aimless Wandering Day -- use the extra daylight to wander someplace with nothing particular to do

Anne and Samantha Day

Baby Boomer Recognition Day

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

Father's Day -- Egypt; Jordan; Lebanon; Syria; Uganda

Finally Summer Day -- Summer Solstice

First Nations Day -- Canadian Native People

Go Skateboarding Day

Hump Day -- Tasmania (because it is the shortest in the year, Taswegians today feel they are over the "hump" of winter.)

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

Kupala -- Ancient Slavic Calendar (celebration of the solstice)

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; often this time is also associated with betrayal, as the sunlight begins to decrease, this is when Baldur was betrayed, as well as Sigurd.

National Aboriginal Day -- Canada

National Day -- Greenland

National Daylight Appreciation Day

National Peaches & Cream Day

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

Wadjet Summer Solstice Ceremony -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

We Tripantu -- Chile (Mapuche natives winter solstice festival)

Winter Solstice -- Southern Hemisphere

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
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, 1731
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 first Victoria Cross is awarded during the bombardment of Bomarsund in the Åland Islands, 1854
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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

Get up and start laundry, clean kitchen that the gnomes messed up in the night, hang laundry on the line, get Sweetie off to work.

Take Bigger Girl to work.

Come home and get Little Girl and #2 Son.

Go clean the cat shelter.

Bring them home.

Go to the free Pilates class at church (if the teacher is back from taking care of her mother in Texas).

Come home and get laundry, since it dries in a heartbeat on these hot days.

Fold, put away, and do any cleaning chore possible to put off the dreaded ironing.

Pull out the iron and board (ack! my allergies!), and go at it until it's time to go pick up Bigger Girl.

Go get Bigger Girl from work.

Get the kids together and go out for Father's Day dinner with Sweetie.

Come home and pack a lunch for him for tomorrow, tidy, make sure the kids put their clothes away, and wind down for the evening.

All through the day, mixed in, dishes, cleaning, supervising, breaking up fights, making sure #2 Son isn't doing anything too dangerous, feed cats, check email, and, if i have the time, start going through the backlog of paper work.

Thus goes another Monday.

Today is

American Eagle Day

Day of the National Flag -- Argentina

Feast of the Great Spirit / Great Mystery -- Cherokee Native Americans (deity, Asgaya Galun Lati); Iroquois Native Americans (deity Orenda); Zuni Native Americans (deity Awonawilona); through tomorrow

Festival for Summanus -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of the New Knee -- Fairy Calendar

Flag Day -- Argentina

Helen Keller Festival -- Tuscumbia, Alabama, US (through the 26th)

Ice Cream Soda Day

International Surfing Day

Inti Rayni -- Inca (festival of the sun god Inti)

Iron Skegge's Day -- Vikings (martyrdom of Iron Skegge, who died defending the temples of Maeri against Christians)

Lakota Sun Dance -- Lakota Native Americans (festival of the sun god Wi, with offerings to Maka (mother earth) and Haokah (father sky), both aspects of Creator Tukaskanskan; through the 23rd)

Martyr's Day -- Eritrea

National Vanilla Milkshake Day

New Identity Day -- an internet generated holiday, just have fun thinking about who you might want to be for a day

Ride to Work Day (Motorcycles)

St. Osana of Mantua (patron of schoolgirls)

Takekiri Eshiki Matsuri -- Kuramadera, Kyoto, Japan (bamboo cutting festival)

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, the 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
Caroline Willard Baldwin becomes the first woman to earn a doctor of science degree, at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1895
A rare June hurricane struck Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35, 1959
The so-called "red telephone" is established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1963
The German parliament decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin, 1991

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How We Celebrate Father's Day

So, how do we celebrate Father's Day? Well, in our house, we make sure Sweetie gets a good, undisturbed attendance at Bedside Baptist during the afternoon, and then i feed him a really big dinner with the family at home. That's plenty for him, since Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, still insists he has to come over, since it is Sunday.

Later in the week, the children will take him out for a special meal.

So to all of you, however you celebrate it, a Happy Father's Day to you, or your father, or the significant father figures in your life.

Today is

All Saints -- Orthodox Christian

Birthday of José Gervasio Artigas / "Never Again" Day -- Uruguay

Father's Day

Festival for Minerva -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of the Coming Ice Age -- can't find out anything about this one, but it sounds hilarious

Garfield the Cat Day (his birthday)

Hogueras de San Juan -- Alicante, Spain (through the 24th; Bonfires of St. John)

Husband Caregiver Day

Independence Day -- Kuwait

Juneteenth -- US, celebrates the news of freedom on the day it came to slaves on Galveston Island, Texas

Labour Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

National Martini Day

New Church Day -- Swedenborgian Christian

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

Rusalka's Week begins -- Ancient Slavic Calendar (week long festival to honor the divinity of rivers)

St. Boniface of Querfurt's Day

St. Jude's Day

St. Romuald's Day

Trinity Sunday -- Christian

World Sauntering Day

World Sickle Cell Day

Birthdays Today:

Zoe Saldana, 1978
Mia Sara, 1967
Paula Abdul, 1962
Kathleen Turner, 1954
Phylicia Rashad, 1948
Salman Rushdie, 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
King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1566

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
Norway ratifies the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989, 1990
Prime ministers of several northern European nations participate in a ceremonial "laying of the first stone" at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway, 2006

Saturday, June 18, 2011

And you thought you had trouble getting in and out of the Post Office.

What with the lines always to the door and only two people on duty at any one time.

Well, imagine not even being able to get to the door because of attacking birds.


Apparently, for the second year in a row, a pair of bald eagles that nest on the bluff near the U.S. Post Office in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, are dive bombing patrons.

It seems that eagles are very protective of their young, and feel the people coming to the Post Office pose a threat to their new hatchlings.

Just one more reason to send an email, i guess.

Today is

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

Autistic Pride Day

Constitution Day / National Day -- Seychelles

Evacuation Day -- Egypt

Foundation Day -- Benguet, Philippines

Go Fishing Day

International Picnic Day

International Sushi Day

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

National Cherry Tart Day

National Hollerin' Contest -- Spivey's Corner, North Carolina, US

National Splurge Day - Oh yeah!!

Queen Mother's Birthday -- Cambodia

Sandcastle Day -- Cannon Beach, Oregon, US

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

Waterloo Day -- UK

World Juggling Day

Yosakoi Soran Matsuri -- Sapporo, Japan (folk dance festival that turns the whole city into a stage, through the 23rd)

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
Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory, 1858
Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 (US) for attempting to vote in the prior year's US presidential election, 1873
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
Kazakhstan launches its first satellite, KazSat, 2006

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bigger Girl's Summer

Bigger Girl is back at the reproductive research station this summer.

She is working with the cows. Part of her work is to have her hand up a cow's backside half the morning, helping do an ultrasound to check the cervix and ovaries as they harvest eggs. She enjoys it, and it has solidified her desire to be a zoo vet working with large hoof stock.

Some days they work with the horses instead. She has helped with hoof cleaning for the riding horses and mating of the ones kept just for breeding, two totally different aspects of their care.

Next week she gets to work with both the natural goats and the cloned goats. She likes the clones, they are very friendly from being handled all the time since birth. The others are not as nice.

Since last year, they have set up an automatic watering system for all of the animals, so no more having to risk the ire of an angry bull, or the crazy cow that hates everyone and tries to kill them, to get water to the troughs.

She also washes lab equipment, having a love/hate relationship with the cantankerous autoclave. Right now it is in the shop, hopefully having some of the tempermentalness kicked out of it.

She has gotten good at propping a book, inside a large clear plastic storage bag, over the sink while she is washing and rinsing.

This summer, she is also studying logic, working hard on her algebra, volunteering with the cat rescue, reading her next semester's chemistry textbook, and watching a series of Berkley lectures on biology on YouTube.

Yes, she still makes time to text her friends and visit them, and go have some fun, too. This is a kid who isn't afraid of work and likes to have something to do almost all of the time. Very unlike #2 Son, who only does as much work as he has to do in order to get by. You know the kind, the one who will spend more time avoiding the work than it would have taken to get it done in the first place. Ah, well, that's what makes kids different and interesting, i guess.

It's shaping up to be a great summer for her, and she is enjoying it.

Today is

Bunker Hill Day -- Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Dulcimer Days -- Coshocton, Ohio, US (through the 19th)

Eat All of Your Vegetables Day / Fresh Veggies Day

Father's Day -- El Salvador; Guatemala

Huck Finn's Jubilee -- Mojave Narrows Regional Park, Victorville, CA (come out for the old fashioned fun, through the 19th)

Independence Day/National Day -- Iceland

International Violin Day

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

National Apple Struedel Day

Pirate Radio Day

Soviet Occupation Day -- Latvia

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

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

Viking Festival -- Frederiksund, Denmark

Work @ Home Father's Day

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Zemla Intifada Day -- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Anniversaries Today

Orpheus marries the nymph Eurydice, Ancient Greek traditional date

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Have Mercy

They wanted to call her Midnight. For a black kitten, that's not special enough. She is too lovely for such a name.

Instead, we call her Mercy. It is only by the Lord's mercy that she is here. The lady who found her and gave her the unimaginative name was turning on the street where she worked and saw something under a truck that was turning off that street. It was a tiny, shivering, black kitten, and she couldn't just leave it in the middle of the street.

Flea infested, eye infected, and beautiful. Very shy and skittish and no wonder, her feral mama taught her fear of people and she had a truck drive right over her and manage somehow not get squashed.

She isn't quite sure what to do with herself in a house, although she understood the litter box right away, as they all seem to when they are big enough. She climbs under things and then cries, and wants to play but not be cornered or held down. Toys seems to startle or scare her right now. Working with her, from weaning (she's already almost there) to dosing the nasty infected eyes to taming down her feral tendencies and turning her into a house cat is a joy, because she is one more not on the street.

Even the fact that i had to drive through awful traffic to the next town to pick her up was worth it, since she is finally purring when we pet her.

This is what mercy sometimes looks like, a black kitten whose tabby markings only show up in strong sunlight, found under a moving vehicle.

Today is

Bloomsday (Joyce's Ulysses)

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

Festival of Het-Hurt as Sirius -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Festival of Ludi Piscatari -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Day of the African Child -- Organisation of African Unity

Kiamichi Owa Chito Festival of the Forest -- Beaver's Bend State Park, Broken Bow, OK, US (Native American heritage festival, through the 18th)

Kuopio Dance Festival -- Kuopio, Finland (through the 22nd)

Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan -- Sikh

National Fudge Day

National Morticians Day

National Nursing Assistants Day

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

Recess at Work Day -- because the need for a break doesn't end just because you aren't a school kid any more

Sam Steele Days -- Cranbrook, BC, Canada (through the 19th)

St. Benno's Day

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

Sussex Day -- Sussex Day, England

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How Consistent Can You Get?

So, how consistent is my luck? Three restroom breaks on the way home, three times i pick the stall with no toilet paper.

Anyway, we didn't kill ourselves packing, we didn't kill ourselves to rush home, and i didn't kill myself to clean up the mess i found when i got home. It was mostly a few dishes and all the stuff we had brought back needing to be put away.

Teresa had a great time, and i was very sorry to have to take her back home.

Bigger Girl and Sweetie made themselves crazy trying to get her to the test that morning, but that is usual, he panics at such things. She thinks she did well on the parts she had time to complete, and we'll know soon enough.

Today is

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed Day

Arbor Day -- Costa Rica

Aoba Matsuri -- various shrines, Japan (festival to honor Kukai, founder of Shingon Buddhism)

Farmer's Day -- Korea

Fly A Kite Day (on the anniversary of Ben Franklin's kite experiment)

Full Strawberry Moon a/k/a Full Rose Moon

Magna Carta Day -- UK

Mangaia Gospel Day -- Mangaia, Cook Islands

Midnight Sun Film Festival -- Sodankyla, Lapland, Finland (through the 19th)

Mother Shipton's Day -- fortune teller of Yorkshire, said to be patroness of women who work in laundries

Native American Citizenship Day -- US

Nature Photography Day

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

Salvation Day -- Azerbaijan

Separation Day -- Delaware

Smile Power Day

Sneak a Kiss 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 and Reunion Day -- Denmark (Flag Day)

Anniversaries Today:

Arkansas becomes the 25th US State, 1836
Gustaf, Crown Prince of Sweden marries Princess Margaret of Connaught, 1905
King Hussein of Jordan marries Lisa Halaby (Queen Noor), 1978

Birthdays Today:

William Dean Martin, 1981
Neil Patrick Harris, 1973
Ice Cube, 1969
Lisa McCall, 1969
Dina Meyer, 1969
Courtenay Cox, 1964
Helen Hunt, 1963
Jim Belushi, 1954
Waylon Jennings, 1937
Mario Cuomo, 1932
Erroll Garner, 1921
Muzaffer Tema, 1919
Bob Wian, 1914
Edvard Grieg, 1843
Henry FitzRoy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII, 1519
Edward the Black Prince, 1330

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winding Down

Because Sweetie had to take Bigger Girl home Friday evening for the ACT Saturday morning, it was even more of a winding down day than usual.

#2 Son had come in from a late night with friends and slept in as usual. Little Girl had taken advantage of having a tv with full satellite options to herself and stayed up half the night watching, so also slept late. Personally, i think they waste the best part of the day, as i got to see beautiful sunrises on the beach each morning. The fact is, at least on the beach, the morning sun does shine "like a red rubber ball."

Uncle J planned to leave Friday evening as well, so he tried to take Bryn parasailing. It was a disappointment, as the boat broke down. The concern that a planned activity might have to be rescheduled is the reason i try to do the "must do" things early in the week instead of leaving them to the last day. It also means no running around at the last minute, so a couple of days to do nothing but enjoy being, not doing. There is method to my madness.

In a funny incident that proved the kind of luck i usually have, finally, on the last day, maintenance arrived and looked at why my computer wouldn't connect to the internet. After having to share the business office for several days, it took only 5 minutes for the nice guy to get it online. Figures, only on the last day.

So around mid afternoon we packed Sweetie's car as full as we could, sending things the rest of us knew we wouldn't need back to give us less to tote the next day. They made it home without incident and quicker than we ever have when we have 5-6 people, and bladders, to deal with.

That evening was supposed to be for a fish fry. We got stymied at the last minute by the fact that Doc had forgotten to buy cooking oil! So the fish stayed frozen, to be brought home and give us a taste of vacation a few days later. Meanwhile, there was enough left over to have dinner and still fill ice chests, multiple, for the trip home. If anyone goes hungry on this trip, it is his own fault.

The only part of the day i didn't like, besides having to say good-bye early, was having to dismantle the beach tent myself. Taking it down alone wasn't too bad, but it weighs so much, and i couldn't find any of my family to help me out until i was halfway to the elevator. Several able bodied men stood by and watched this 93lb. woman lug a 60lb. tent through the sand and not one offered to help. At least it had wheels to use once i got it up to the boardwalk.

For a last full day, it was more good than bad, though.

Today is

Baltic Freedom Day

Buophonia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (sacrifice to the honored dead, date approximate)

Family History Day

Feast Day of Elisha the Prophet

Flag Day -- United States

Freedom Day -- Malawi

Leinapaev -- Estonia (Mourning and Commemoration Day)

Liberation Day -- Falkland Islands

National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Pause for the Pledge Day

Pop Goes the Weasel Day

Rice Planting Festivals -- Sumiyoshi Shrine, Osaka and Izawanomiya Shrine, Mie Prefecture, Japan (rice planting at sacred fields, some rites date back over 1,700 years)

St. Dogmael's Day

Waldchestag -- Germany (Forest Day)

Women's Day -- Iraq

World Blood Donor Day -- International

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 legalized 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
UNIVAC I is dedicated by the U.S. Census Bureau, 1951
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
The 1994 Stanley Cup Riots occur after the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup from Vancouver, 1994

Monday, June 13, 2011


"Hey, mom, have you met the security guard named Brick?" #2 Son sounded like he would be thrilled to make an introduction if i hadn't. In fact, yes, i had, but he had given me his real name.

"He's so cool!" #2 Son went on. "He is a rapper, and you should hear him! He comes up with some great stuff, and he's a tattoo artist! He wants to open his own shop."

Great. So the teens around there were being "security guarded" by a big kid who is just like them. No wonder they were all out playing poker under the umbrella lights until 3am.

Thursday was mostly quiet. Bigger Girl and Teresa went on a dolphin cruise and Sweetie took them to his favorite restaurant after. #2 Son grilled the steaks for dinner, one of the few times he was seen by us that day.

There was fishing, and ghost crab hunting, and lots more sand time and pool time. For most of the afternoon i walked around the huge outdoor pool, watching Bryn and Dre so their dad could sit and read.

A very satisfactory day.

Today is

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 Juggling Day

National Lobster Day

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

Sewing Machine Day -- many sites give this date, some Sept. 10 instead; if you love your sewing machine, celebrate twice!

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

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
England and Portugal sign an alliance treaty that is still in force, the oldest alliance in the world, 1373
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
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blames recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages. 1994
Italy pardons Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, 2000

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oh, Baby!

Baby animals, that is.

Wednesday at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, called "The Little Zoo That Could" by The Discovery Channel. Has a series on it by that name, about their recovery from hurricanes.

They are planning to move to a larger tract of land, a bit further inland and protected, the land having been donated to them.

What we love about it is that it is small enough to feel close to the animals and to see everything in a very short time. Also, they have animal encounters.

Little Girl, Teresa, Bryn, and #2 Son opted for the encounter with lemurs. The fuzzy critters climbed all over them, and one was fascinated with #2 Son's Bob Marley hat -- it kept grooming the dredlocks! Must have seen a challenge there. Another one messed while they were in there, right next to Little Girl. The others cringed, but she, like the trooper with animals that she is, just shrugged it off and asked for a paper towel.

Dre, Sweetie, Bigger Girl, and i went in for the kangaroo encounter. The joey, named Tillie just like Sweetie's 3rd grade teacher, snuggled in a canvas pouch and we held and petted her. There is nothing so soft as the fur around the pouch of a female baby kangaroo. Her expressions of ecstasy as she was scratched behind the ears was priceless. Other small roos were hopping around and eating and resting and allowed us to pet them, also.

There were also baby tigers, but that is by advanced reservation only. If you are in the area when it's time to take them back indoors, you are allowed to pet their backs. These were white tiger cubs, and next year i'm going to call ahead by a month or so and see what they have going. No more missing out because we didn't know in advance.

The remainder of Wednesday was spent fishing, falling in the pool, shaking sand from our shorts, lounging, and just drinking in the fact that there's nothing we have to do.

#2 Son spent most of that time with the friends he made. They play hide and seek, and he's the only one crazy enough to dive through the bushes to get away during a game. The fact that he has to dig splinters out of his hands after doesn't deter him! Ah, just like back home.

Today is

Abused Women and Children Awareness Day

Canadian Rivers Day

Crowded Nest Awareness Day -- if your grown kids have moved back home, you are already aware of it!

Dia dos Namorados -- Brazil (Boyfriends/Girlfriends Day)

Festival of Mut -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Ghost in the Machine Day -- That explains everything!

Helsinki Day -- Helsinki, Finland

Hvítasunnudagur -- Iceland (Whitsun celebration, don't sleep in on this day, it's bad for your health; go sneak up on the monsters that sleep in today instead!)

Independence Day -- Philippines

Loving Day -- the day interracial marriages were declared legal in the US by the Supreme Court

National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

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

Pentecost / Whitsunday -- Christian

Russia Day -- Russia

Scirophoria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

St. Anthony's Eve -- Portugal

St. Leo's Day

St. Onuphrius' Day

World Day Against Child Labour -- International

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