Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Yes, it used to be a night for lots of pagan celebrations.

Yes, some people still do that.

We just give out candy to kids. And listen to our kids say things like what Bigger Girl yelled yesterday when Hope cat was having one of those moments with the Hazelnut.

"Will you two cut it out! You're fighting like...oh, never mind!"

Ah, kids. Even when they are too big to take out to get candy, they can still make you smile. Just in different ways.

Today is:

Admission Day -- Nevada, US

Allantide -- Cornwall, England

All Hallows Eve -- Christian

Apple and Candle Night -- Wales

Books for Treats Day -- San Jose, CA, US (give gently used books to kids, not candy -- feed their brains, not their cavities!)

Chaing Kai-Shek Day -- Taiwan

Dias de los Muertos -- Mexico, esp. Michoacan and Oaxaca (through Nov. 2; ceremonies, sand sculptures, decorated altars, and parties through the nights in the cemeteries)

Dookie Apple Night -- Newcastle, England

Duck Apple Night -- Liverpool, England

Feast of Sekhmet Bast Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Festival of Inner Worlds -- Pagan (fight between the old and new year)

Ghostwriter's Day

Hallowe'en or Beggar's Night

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day -- originated in England in the 19th century, some celebrated on the 30th

King Father Nordom Sihanouk's Birthday -- Cambodia

National Candy Apple Day

National Knock-Knock Joke Day

National Magic Day -- in honor of Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926

National UNICEF Day

Nut-Crack Night -- Scotland; England

October Bank Holiday -- Ireland

Old Celtic New Year's Eve

Out of the Broom Closet Day -- Pagan, Heathen, and all earth-based and ethnic religions

Reformation Day -- Protestant Christian

Samhain (northern hemisphere) / Beltane (southern hemisphere) -- Druids, Gaels, Welsh peoples, Neopagans, Wiccans (begins at sunset)

Scare a Friend Day -- just not so much that he/she isn't a friend any more

Senior Absurdity Day -- Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY, US (a day the kids look forward to each year)

Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day

St. Quentin's Day

St. Wolfgang's Day (Patron of carpenters and woodcarvers)

Thump-the-Door Night -- Isle of Mann

Trick or Treat Night

Vetmaetr -- Norse Calendar (Winter Nights; beginning of winter, the New Year, and the start of Odin leading the Wild Hunt)

Youth Honor Day -- Iowa, US

Anniversaries Today:

Nevada becomes the 36th US State, 1964

Birthdays Today:

Adam Horovitz, 1966
Peter Jackson, 1961
Larry Mullen, Jr., 1961
John Candy, 1950
Jane Pauley, 1950
Deidre Hall, 1947
David Ogden Stiers, 1942
Michael Landon, 1936
Dan Rather, 1931
Michael Collins, 1930
Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922
Dale Evans, 1912
Ethel Waters, 1896
Chaing Kai-shek, 1887
Juliette Low, 1860
John Keats, 1795
Jan Vermeer, 1632

Today in History:

Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites after their return to Jerusalem from exile, BC445
First All Hallows Eve observed to honor all the saints, 834
Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door, marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, 1517
Georg Ludwig van Hannover is crowned as the English King George I, 1714
Execution of Girondins at Paris during the Reign of Terror, 1793
Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents the miner's safety lamp, 1815
A standard uniform is approved for US Postal workers, 1868
A tropical cyclone hits Bengal, about 200,000 die, 1876
John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tire, 1888
Arthur Conan Doyle publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", 1892
Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States, 1913
The Battle of Beersheba of WWI marks the last successful cavalry charge in history, 1917
The first of 160 consecutive days of 100°F + temps at Marble Bar, Australia, 1923
World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress, 1924
Mt. Rushmore sculptures are completed, 1941
The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal, 1956
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards, 1984
EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board, 1999
Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted, 1999
Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station, which has been continually crewed since, 2000
Surfer Bethany Hamilton loses her left arm and 3 liters of blood in a tiger shark attack; within a month she would be back on her board, and competing again within the year, 2003

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preparations are well underway for tomorrow's Great Neighborhood Candy Exchange, a/k/a Hallowe'en.

After all, that's what it is now, as far as young children are concerned. The kids dress up in fun costumes and the moms exchange candy through their children.

Older ones spend the evening making fires in the BBQ pit and eating the parents out of house and home, all while dressed up to scare.

We have a big pumpkin carved, some smaller ones painted, and the candy well hidden so the boys don't eat it all before the big night.

Meanwhile, for tonight, it's Look in the Back of Your Refrigerator Night, which is perfect for when The Mouth comes over. He cleans out the leftovers weekly, and it coincides beautifully this year.

Today is:

Angelitos Visit -- Chan Kom, Mexico (visit from the spirits of children who have died, and ceremonies to bless those spirits)

Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation -- Slovakia

Buy-A-Doughnut Day (wonder who started that -- insert eye roll here)

Checklists Day -- prevent tragedy, create great checklists; in honor of the development of the first well known checklist following a B-17 prototype's crash due to pilot error

Create a Great Funeral Day -- don't make your family choose the plans in the midst of grief, plan your sending away party now, it's more fun when it's done -- in advance!

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions -- most former Soviet Republics

Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade -- Long Beach, CA, US (dress up your dog and have a howling good time)

Look in the Back of Your Refrigerator Day / Haunted Refrigerator Night (And hope the old hamburger isn't grazing on the moldy salad.)

Mischief Night, a/k/a Goosey Night, Devil's Night, Cabbage Night -- US

National Candy Corn Day

Practice Winter Snuggling Night -- when it gets really cold, you'll be glad you did!

Reformation Sunday -- many Protestant Christian Churches

St. Dorothy of Montau's Day (Patron of brides, difficult marriages, dying children, parents of large families, Prussia, and widows)

St. Marcellus' Day (as a former Roman centurion who threw down his armor and refused to take part in pagan worship, he is Patron of conscientious objectors)

The Rhyne Toll -- Chetwode Manor, UK (through Nov 7) -- the Lord of the Manor may tax any cattle he finds on his Liberty (free pasture) on these days

Try on Your Hallowe'en Costume Early Day -- to see how goofy you look, and make sure you have everything you need

Birthdays Today:

Gavin Rossdale, 1967
Diego Armando Maradona, 1960
Harry Hamlin, 1951
Henry Winkler, 1945
Grace Slick, 1939
Claude Lelouch, 1937
Robert Caro, 1935
Louis Malle, 1932
Ruth Gordon, 1896
Charles Atlas, 1893
Ezra Pound, 1885
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821
John Adams, 1735

Today in History:

Antioch surrenders to Rashidun Caliphate and his Muslim forces after the Battle of the Iron Bridge, 637
End of the 8th Crusade, 1270
King Henry VII, Tudor, crowned, 1485
Queen Isabella bans violence against Indians, 1503
The first Methodist church in the US is initiated (Wesley Chapel, NYC), 1768
Dr. Richard Gatling patents the machine gun, 1862
Founding of Helena, Montana (capital city), 1864
John Willis Menard, of Louisiana, becomes the first black elected to the US Congress (by special election, he was challenged by the loser, but was allowed to address Congress from the lectern), 1868
Daniel Cooper patents the time clock, 1894
Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah becomes the first woman US Senator, 1896
The first US Automobile Show opens in Madison Square Garden, NYC, 1900
Czar Nicholas II of Russia grants Russia's first constitution, creating a legislative assembly, 1905
Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy, 1922
John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter, 1925
Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States, 1938
Anne Frank and sister Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1944
Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier, 1945
Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1960
The Soviet Union detonates the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 58 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise, 1961
The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time, 1973
The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire, 1974
Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain's acting head of state, taking over for the country's ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, 1975
In Japan, NEC releases the first 16-bit home entertainment system, the TurboGrafx-16, known as PC Engine, 1987
Quebec sovereignists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada (vote is 50.6% to 49.4%), 1995
The last Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) early time-sharing operating system is shut down at the Canadian Department of National Defense in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Round of Life

She had made the rounds.

When the feral cats that the lady next door feeds dropped two tiny kittens in her A/C unit, she made all the rounds.

She called the organizations, and was told they were either full, or that someone would get back to her in a couple of days if she put in an application. She was never able to get through to someone who understood these were bottle-feed kittens, or someone would have handled it better.

She went to the pound. They refused to take them, saying they would be euthanized immediately, and gave her one more number to try.

Enter Kate, who does not foster, but who does TNR. Kate offered to come out, trap the ferals, get them fixed.

Meanwhile, her husband and father-in-law were insistent the kittens leave immediately.

Her two rat terriers were going wild to get at the kittens, too.

She tried to give them wet food. One licked at it, the other wouldn't touch it. Then the one that tried to lick at it couldn't hold it down.

She was desperate, not wanting to leave them to die. She kept begging Kate to help somehow.

So Kate called me.

It's the usual rounds, the round of life as a foster mom to orphan kittens.

We now have seven.

Today is:

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival -- Banff, AB, Canada (through Nov. 6; 37th annual)

Candies Day -- they have to be kidding -- this close to Hallowe'en?!

Coronation Day -- Cambodia

Cumhuriyet Bayrami -- Turkey (Republic Day)

Emma Crawford Festival and Memorial Coffin Race -- Manitou Springs, CO, US

Forgiveness Day -- a day to reconcile or forgive, for your own peace of mind

Hermit Day / Hide From Everyone Day -- internet generated, for those who would rather have a peaceful day today than celebrate the other holidays listed

Internet Day -- it's predecessor went live today, see Today in History for detail

Laugh Suddenly For No Reason A Lot Today Day (And end up either getting yourself and everyone around you in a good mood, or yourself being observed at the hospital in a padded room.)

Monster Mash -- Bogue Falaya Park, Covington, LA, US (annual fun and fundraiser for the children's hospital of St. Tammany Parish)

Naming Day -- Tanzania

National Cat Day -- US (with the goal of getting 10,000 cats adopted from shelters today)

National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day

National Oatmeal Day

Second Fiddle of the Month -- Fairy Calendar (a very poorly attended event -- who wants to play second fiddle?)

St. Ida of Leeuw's Day (Patron of proofreaders)

Swamp Buggy Race Days -- Naples, Florida (through tomorrow)

World Psoriasis Day

Birthdays Today:

Winona Ryder, 1971
Kate Jackson, 1948
Richard Dreyfuss, 1947
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 1938
Bill Mauldin, 1921
Fanny Brice, 1891
James Boswell, 1740 (wrote the biography of Samuel Johnson)
Edmund Halley, 1656 (yes, that Halley, found the comet)--this is the date based on the OS calendar, often you will find his birthday listed as Nov. 8, because of the switch in calendar use.

Today in History:

Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, BC539
First trial for witchcraft in Paris, 1390
Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, writer, and courtier, is beheaded, 1618
A severe earthquake shakes New England, 1727
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague, 1787
The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans, 1811
Queen Victoria grants Cecil Rhodes rights to Zambezia, 1889
The first intercity trucking service, from Colorado City to Snyder, Texas, begins running, 1904
Turkey declares its independence as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, 1923
Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal, 1956
Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, 1960
Syria exits from the United Arab Republic, 1961
Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors, 1967
The first-ever computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, 1969
The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid, 1991
In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities, 1998
Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space, 1998
In Rome, European heads of state sign the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution, 2004

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Only Fair...

...that since i got my turn, Sweetie should get his.

He was very kind about my trip to Smalltown, so now he gets to go to Texas to see his best friend from college.

They are very good buddies to this day. Jim stood in our wedding, Sweetie stood in Jim's. Since both have brothers, neither was the others best man, but still.

Jim comes through our way at least twice a year on business, and always comes over. He has been inviting Sweetie to visit him for years, but we've never been able to swing it, for many reasons.

Just as my trip was done on the cheap, this one will be, too. Jim and his wife found themselves in possession, as do so many people, of more frequent flyer miles than they could ever use in a lifetime, so the ticket cost a whopping $5. His biggest expense will be treating them to a nice meal as a thanks for their hospitality.

He is flying there today, and will be home Sunday morning; direct flights that only last an hour or so. He will stay at Jim and Rita's house, just as i stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Eagle.

He's had a blast preparing, talking of little else for days.

We are all hoping he has a great trip, he hasn't been away by himself like this for years.

Today is:

Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day -- just check the fire code before you light that candle

Celtic Tree Month Negetal (Reed) begins

Dia do Servidor Publico -- Brazil (Civil Servants' Day)

Flying Baby Day -- celebrating the first baby born on an airplane on this day in 1929

Frankenstein Friday -- a day to celebrate the "mother" and "father" of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff

French Food Festival -- LaRose, LA, US (through the 30th)

Fyribod (or Forebode) -- Ancient Norse Calendar (announces the beginning of winter; date approximate)

Hari Sumpah Pemuda -- Indonesia (Youth Pledge Day)

Independence Day -- Czechoslovakia (from Austria-Hungary; still celebrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

International Animation Day -- ASIFA

Isia -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (dates approximate; first day of the 6 day Isis festival)

Jounen Kweyol -- Dominica (Creole Day, one of the nation's biggest and most colorful celebrations)

Mokosh Day -- Ukraine (Slavic goddess of "women's work")

Makoshe's Holiday -- Pagan Slavic Calendar (honoring Mother Earth)

Milvian Bridge Day -- Christian

National Bandana Day -- Australia (to raise funds for kids with cancer)

National Breadstix Day -- sponsored by Hot Stix Pizza

National Chocolate Day

National Tell A Story Day -- Scotland

Oxi Day, Greece (Sometimes "Ochi" or "Ohi", literally "No Day", celebrating resistance to Mussolini.)

Part Your Hair Crooked Just To See If Anyone Will Say Anything About It Day -- internet generated, celebrate at your own risk

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue (celebration of the conversion of the islanders to Christianity)

Plush Animal Lovers' Day -- internet generated; celebrate your love of stuffed animals today

Punky Night -- Hinton St George, Somerset, England: a celebration for children and adults who carry candle-lit punkies (the best one wins a prize) made out of mangel-wurzels, a type of beet, and sing old punky songs

Runic Half-month Hagal (hailstone) begin

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler's Festival -- Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach, DE, US (through the 30th)

St. Jude's Day (Patron of desperate or hopeless cases -- the reason Danny Thomas chose this saint to invoke as patron of the hospital he helped found.)

St. Simon the Zealot's Day

Wild Foods Day -- as in, grown or caught in the wild (please be careful if you like mushrooms and want to gather your own!)

Anniversaries Today:

Universidad Santo Tomas Aquino is established, 1538 (first university in the New World)
Founding of Harvard University, 1636
Maimonides College is founded, 1867 (first Jewish college in the US)
Statue of Liberty dedicated, 1886

Birthdays Today:

Joaquin Phoenix, 1974
Julia Roberts, 1967
Daphne Zuniga, 1962
Bill Gates, 1955
Bruce Jenner, 1949
Dennis Franz, 1944
Charlie Daniels, 1936
Cleo Laine, 1927
Jonas Salk, 1914
Edith Head, 1907

Today in History:

Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius, 312
Battle of Yaunis Khan in which Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza, 1516
Battle of Amba Sel, in which Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia; the southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad's control, 1531
Peruvian cities of Lima & Callao are demolished by an earthquake, 18,000 die, 1746
Eli Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin, 1793
The first railroad in Spain, between Barcelona and Mataro, is opened, 1848
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland, and celebrated by the first ticker tape/confetti parade in NYC, 1886
An earthquake strikes Mino-Owari, Japan, kills 7,300, 1891
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, receives its première performance in St. Petersburg, only nine days before the composer's death, 1893
The St. Louis police try a new investigation method -- fingerprints, 1904
Czechoslovakia gains its independence in the break up of Austria-Hungary, 1918
The Volstead Act, passed by Congress over Wilson's veto, starts Prohibition, 1919
The first coast to coast radio broadcast of a football game, 1922
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary, 1936
The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska, 1942
Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT, 1948
The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands is re-founded as a federal monarchy, 1954
Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, 1962
Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, 1965*
Britain launches its first satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket, 1971
The centenary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty is celebrated in New York Harbor, 1986
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner becomes the first woman elected President of Argentina, 2007

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

While driving, you see some pretty stupid behavior.

Two cases in point, one dumb, and one even dumber.

In the first case, someone is attempting to merge onto the interstate. There are two vehicles already in the right lane, and a huge space between those two and the car further behind. At least 100 yards of space. Plenty of room to get in, and to spare. The person merging absolutely had to speed up to try to get between those two cars, and the second one had to quickly pull into the left lane to keep from being hit.

Why? What in the world would have been wrong with merging behind both? After all, he was behind both when he got into the merge lane anyway. Are you really going to get there that much faster because you are ahead of that one car?

Dumber still was the escalating road rage between two semi trucks pulling oversize loads through a construction zone.

Yes, really.

Call them blue truck and yellow truck.

When i got on the interstate, yellow truck was in front, blue truck was right on his tail, staying as close as possible so as not to have to let anyone in.

It was the highest traffic time of the day on that stretch of the interstate, which is undergoing widening there. There is no shoulder at all, and it is a dangerous stretch. The traffic was at an almost stop, and the on ramp merge lane was stopped. Most vehicles were letting one car from the merge lane on in front, but blue truck was absolutely refusing.

Yes, i thought it odd, that he should hug the rear of the truck in front so closely, especially since most truckers do let a vehicle or two in at that stretch. At first glance, though, i dismissed it as the driver of blue truck just being nasty.

By the time he refused to allow the second merge at the next on ramp, i was wondering what was going on.

When the construction zone ended just over two miles later, at the first opportunity blue truck, which had ridden the whole way tailgating yellow truck, pulled out, whipping that load all over the place, and sped up to pass.

They then passed and re-passed each other, each trying to get ahead, each barely staying within his own lane, until i was afraid of what would happen next.

Thankfully blue truck finally exited.

It left me wondering if those two nitwits realized what they could have done, or even cared.

If you can't control your temper when behind the wheel, you don't belong behind the wheel. Especially if you are driving something that big at interstate speed.

Today is:

American Beer Day

Big Bang Day -- London

Cernova Tragedy Day -- Slovakia

Cranky Co-Worker's Day

Feast of Osiris in Abydos -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Good Bear Day -- on Theodore Roosevelt's birthday, celebrating the stuffed toy created in his honor

Great Pumpkin Carve -- Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford, PA, US (through the 29th)

Independence Day -- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Turkmenistan

National Potato Day

Navy Day -- US

St. Frumentius' Day (Patron of Ethiopia)

Sylvia Plath Day

Three-Z Day -- Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tunch Puddling -- Fairy Calendar (a contest of throwing twigs in a pond -- awards are for artistically thrown twigs and throwing style, among other things)

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage -- International

Birthdays Today:

Jayne Kennedy, 1951
Carrie Snodgrass, 1946
John Cleese, 1939
Ruby Dee, 1924
Roy Lichtenstein, 1923
Bette Babray, 1920
Dylan Thomas, 1914
Emily Post, 1872
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858
Niccolo Paganini, 1782
Captain James Cook, 1728
Erasmus, 1466

Today in History:

Constantine the Great is said to have received his Vision of the Cross, 312
Founding of the city of Amsterdam, 1275
Founding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1682
US Navy forms, 1775
Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated, 1838
R.H. Macy & Co. opens its first store, on 6th Ave. in NYC, 1858
Boss Tweed is arrested, 1871
The first underground New York City Subway line opens, 1904
The first published reference to "jazz" appears, in Variety, 1916
Chuhei Numbu of Japan sets the long jump record at 26' 2 1/2", 1931
"You Bet Your Life," with Groucho Marx, premiers on ABC radio, 1947*
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force, 1954
Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations, 1961
The British government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang, 1986
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history, 1994
Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified, 1994
Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown, 1997
The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years, 2004
The SSETI Express micro-satellite is successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 2005

*(Ultimate result of this a few years later is, of course, the funniest line ever on tv, when a man with 8 kids admitted to Mr. Marx that he did indeed love his wife, and Groucho countered with, "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth sometimes!")

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good and Bad

The kittens are doing a bit better.

Datsig's fur has grown back, and he's big enough to get "fixed" and be up for adoption.

Mikey has finally gotten tired enough of being the last one given a bottle, and gave up and started eating baby kibble and drinking from a bowl. He was plenty old enough, just stubborn about it.

Lucy, Akira, and Alise, the 3 surviving females, are no longer runny at the back end, if you'll allow me to say it that way. They are also still getting subcue fluids because they aren't eating enough for my liking. Akira is especially lightweight for her age, and eating very little.

So, some good, some bad, but if the 3 girls will get over whatever this is and eat a bit more, they should be fine.

Today is:

Angam Day -- Nauru (celebration of overcoming hardships)

Armed Forces Day -- Benin

Day of the Ancients -- Pagan Slavic Calendar

Day of Mourning -- Libya

Diwali -- Jain; Hindu; Sikh (a/k/a Deepavaali or Festival of Lights in India)

Exaltation of the Shellfish -- Pontevedra, Spain (can confirm they celebrate this each year, cannot find confirmation on this specific date)

Laxma Puja -- Nepal

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae -- Roman Empire (celebration of the victories of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, through Nov. 1)

Mule Day -- anniversary of the first importation of donkeys to the US, which George Washington used to breed the first mules in the Americas

National Day -- Austria

National Gospel Day -- Cook Islands

National Mincemeat Pie Day

Perigean Spring Tides -- from the German "springen", to leap up, the highest tides of the year

Pretzel Day

Pumpkin Day -- time to get one for the 31st, if you haven't already

St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki's Day (Patron of Thessaloniki, Greece; day to broach the wine barrels and taste the new season's wine)

Sts. Lucian and Marcian's Day (Patrons of converts, possessed people)

Toping Wagglegammon -- Fairy Calendar (no human knows what this means, but it sounds intriguing)

Workaholic Stop and Smell Something Day -- internet generated day to encourage workaholics to stop and consider what they might be missing

Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night -- some organizers even have howling parties

Birthdays Today:

Cary Elwes, 1962
Lauren Tewes, 1954
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1947
Pat Sajak, 1947
Jaclyn Smith, 1947
Bob Hoskins, 1942
Jackie Coogan, 1914
Mahalia Jackson, 1911

Today in History:

Comet 55P/1366 U1 (Tempel-Tuttle) approaches 0.0229 AUs of Earth (2.1 million miles and 3.4 million kilometers)--marking the third closest approach of any comet to our planet in recorded history, 1366
First use of lead pencils, 1492
William Penn accepts the area around the the Delaware River from the Duke of York, 1682
The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, and the Minute Men begin to organize in the colonies, 1774
King George III goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution, 1775
Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution, 1776
The first of the "Federalist Papers" are published, calling for ratification of the US Constitution, 1787
The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, is created, 1795
Hamilton Smith patents a rotary washing machine, 1858
Soccer football rules are standardized and rugby starts as a separate game, 1863
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona, 1881
First use of a "getaway car" after a robbery in Paris, 1901
The first Soviet (worker's council) formed, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1905
Margaret Sanger arrested for the obscenity of advocating birth control, 1916
The Maharaja of Kashmir agrees to allow his kingdom to join India, 1947
Mother Teresa founds her Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, 1950
Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France, 1958
The world sees the far side of the Moon for the first time, in pictures taken earlier in the month by the Soviet Luna 3, 1959
The last natural case of smallpox is discovered in Merca district, Somalia, 1977
"Baby Fae," born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, receives a controversial heart transplant from a baboon, dies of kidney infection 21 days later, 1984
The Charlottetown Accord fails to win majority support in a Canada wide referendum, 1992
Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty, 1994
Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament, 1999

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Their Monday Was Like Mine

So Monday morning i bring the key to the car to the repair shop where we had left it. Then i went to the Mom and Pop store around the corner for milk and bananas.

When i got there, i saw they were having quite a morning; the meat coolers weren't draining. The butcher was out there with a shop vac and a plunger, trying to unclog the drain lines and vacuum out the water that had built up. A good bit of the meat had been moved into the back, and they were bringing it up as requested, so it wouldn't go bad.

As i left, i wished them luck, the next step is to call someone out for service, and i hope they don't have to do that.

Then i got the news for my morning. #1 Son's car has a great battery and alternator. It also have old spark plugs, a clogged fuel filter, and a worn serpentine belt. It was the clog in the fuel filter that kept it from starting.

$500, including tax.

Yes, i am grateful it isn't worse.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Constitution Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Basque Country -- Basque Country

Feast of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Munzipan Feast -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy delicacy, and you don't want to know how it's made)

National Greasy Foods Day

Punk-for-a-Day Day -- internet generated; if you've always wanted to be a punk, try it out for a day

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

Sourest Day -- as a balance, because we have so many days that emphasize sweet

St. Crispin's Day (Patron of shoemakers, glovemakers, weavers)

St. Crispinianus's Day (Crispin's twin)

Thanksgiving Day -- Grenada

World Pasta Day

Birthdays Today:

Tracy Nelson, 1963
Jon Anderson, 1944
Helen Reddy, 1941
Bobby Knight, 1940
Billy Barty, 1924
Minnie Pearl, 1912
Leo G. Carroll, 1892
Pablo Picasso, 1881
Georges Bizet, 1838

Today in History:

Seljuk Turks defeat the German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1147
Battle of Agincourt, in which the Welsh longbow defeats armored knights, 1415
Christopher Columbus, aboard the Santa Maria, lands at the Dominican Republic, 1492
Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast, 1616
Governor Bradford of the US colony Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day, 1621
Wedding of future US President John Adams and Abigail Smith (the marriage lasted 54 years), 1764
Canadians and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay, 1813
Opening of the Erie Canal, 1825
Battle of Balaclava, memorialized as the "Charge of the Light Brigade", results in the deaths of 409 troops, 1854
The Toronto Stock Exchange is created, 1861
Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution in Russia, which corresponds to November 7 on the Gregorian Calendar, 1917
The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell", 1938
Adlai Stevenson shows photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba, 1962
Uganda joins the United Nations, 1962
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to five years in prison, 1962
The United Nations seated the People's Republic of China and expelled the Republic of China, 1971
Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction conclude at The Hague, 1980
Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army leaves the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, 1991
Fidel Castro announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned in Cuba, 2004

Monday, October 24, 2011

The 2am Run of Mrs. Revere

With apologies to the author, because i know i mangled the meter. After all, look at my feet, they show i'm no poet, they aren't Longfellows.

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the 2am ride of Mrs. Revere.
She knew that something was up,
You see, when the pebbles were thrown at the window, times three.
"Your Son's horse," they said, "Has thrown off a shoe,
He's stuck at the Tavern, though off work at 2.
He just can't walk home, it's too far, and so
He wants you to bring the horse-cart for a tow."
So up from her bed, she put on her clothes,
Including her gloves and warm socks for her toes.
As she went to the barn to hitch up the team
She kept thinking this is just what i mean,
There's always something just this way
To really set me up for my day!
Off to the Tavern she went and she knew
They'd get the horse off to the shop for a shoe;
They made the horse comfy to wait for the morn,
Then back to the house feeling tattered and torn.
She walked in to orphaned sweet kittens just mewing,
As if asking, "Mom, what the heck were you doing!
It's time to come feed us, sleep and hour, and then,
Get up and feed us all over again!
Take care of the laundry and teach Sunday School,
And, make sure you get banana pudding to cool."
So Son will again use Pa's horse for two days,
That means Ma is back to her commuting ways.
It's soon men in white will become her good friend,
If this fun and adventure just doesn't soon end!

This time, it's #1 Son's battery. Has to be, since we, the insurance, and the warranty have put over $8,000 into repairing a car that cost us only $5,000 when we bought it 9 months ago. The battery is about the only thing left that can go out on it.

Yes, he was at work, they were still taking pizza orders when he got off at 2am, two hours later than scheduled. Meanwhile, they managed to jump it, so we at least don't have to pay to get it to the service place, we just left it there.

And i'll bring Sweetie to work today while the car is fixed. Let's hope it's only for today.

Today is:

Deepavali begins -- Hindu

Feast of Good & Plenty (the candies)

Human Rights Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

Independence Day -- Zambia

Labor Day -- New Zealand

Lilith's Day -- Ancient Mesopotamian Calendar (Lilith, legendary first wife of Adam, mother of the giants; date approximate)

Maladay -- Discordianism

National Bologna Day

Share a Pop Tart With Someone You Love Day -- internet generated, and how much do you want to bet the Kellog company may have had a hand in it?

St. Anthony Claret's Day (Patron of savings, savings banks, and weavers)

St. Crispin's Eve Celebration -- Tenby, Wales

St. Raphael the Archangel's Day (traditional date; Patron of health inspectors, druggists, happy meetings, leaving home, travelers; against blindness)

Suez Victory Day -- Egypt

Take Back Your Time Day -- Canada; U.S.

United Nations Day

World Development Information Day

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Kline, 1947
F. Murray Abraham, 1939
David Nelson, 1936
J. P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, 1930
Y. A. Tittle, 1926
Moss Hart, 1904
Alexandra David-Neel, 1868 (first female foreigner to explore Tibet)
Sarah Joseph Hale, 1788 (author of "Mary had a little lamb")
Antony van Leeuwenhoek, 1632
Domitian, Roman Emperor, 51

Today in History:

Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated, 1260
The Treaty of Westphalia ends the 30 Years War, recognized the independence of Switzerland, and marks the end of the Holy Roman Empire, 1648
Felix Mendelssohn, age 9, performs his first public concert in Berlin, 1818
The match is patented, by A. Phillips, 1836
The first US transcontinental telegram is sent, from San Francisco to Washington, DC, ending the need for the Pony Express after only 2 years, 1861
Levi P. Morton, US ambassador to France, drives the first rivet for the Statue of Liberty, 1881
Dr. Robert Koch discovers the germ that causes tuberculosis, 1882
Anna Taylor becomes the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901
The first NYC subway opens, 1904
Harry Houdini's last performance, 1926
"Black Thursday", the start of the stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8%, 1929
Al Capone is sentenced for tax evasion, 1931
The George Washington Bridge, connecting NY to NJ, opens, 1931
US forbids child labor in factories, 1938
The United Nations Charter is signed by the first member nations, 1945
Eisenhower pledges US support to South Vietnam, 1954
Government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union, 1980
Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission, 1998
The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, 2003
Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the "motive clause", an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, 2006
"Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices, 2008

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday

To Sweetie. And, of course, twin brother, The Mouth.

Time to make the banana pudding.

Today is:

Canning Day -- get that harvest preserved!

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand

Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle -- Republic of Macedonia

Festival of Forgotten Gods -- so we don't offend anybody, i guess?

Festival of Selket and Ceremony of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Finding of King Look Under Your Mattress Jubilee -- Fairy Calendar

Mother-in-Law Day -- a day to honor good Mothers-in-Law for their contributions to their families and for enduring all the bad jokes; if you have a lousy one, go listen to Ernie K-Doe's song

National Aviation Day -- Mexico

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day / Revolution Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day, from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number

Peace Treaty Day -- Cambodia

Swallows Depart Capistrano Day (After today, in spite of what you think, the natives will tell you that bird is not a swallow.)

St. John of Capistrano's Day

TV Talk Show Host Day (The way some of them behave, do they deserve a day? Well, I guess everyone is good for something, even if only for being a bad example!)

Ueno Tenjin Matsuri -- Mie, Japan (festival and parade; through the 25th)

Birthdays Today:

Al Leiter, 1965
Randy Pausch, 1960
Nancy Grace, 1959
"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1959
Martin Luther King III, 1957
Dwight Yoakam, 1956
Michael Crichton, 1942
Pele' 1940
Johnny Carson, 1925
Frank Rizzo, 1920
Gummo Marx, 1893

Today in History:

According to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher and based on the Bible, Creation begins, BC4004
Second Battle of Philippi, Brutus defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony, Brutus commits suicide, BC42
The Jews of Barbados are forbidden from engaging in retail trade, 1668
A revolt is held in Haarlem after a public ban on smoking, 1690
First Jewish prayer books printed in the US, 1760
The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring blacks from the army, 1775
Failed coup against the Emperor Napoleon, 1812
The first plastic surgery is performed, in England, 1814
72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate, 1867
The New Orleans Mint reopens as an assay office, 1876
The First National Horseshoe Throwing Championship is held in Kellerton, Iowa, 1915
The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California, 1929
Husband and wife Dr. Carl Cori & Dr. Gerty Cori are awarded joint Nobel Prizes, 1947
An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time; only 100 were rescued, 1958
A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria, 1973
Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil, 1992
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a "land for peace" agreement, 1998
Apple unveils the iPod, 2001

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Election Day

We get to vote today.

In most of the races, i am underwhelmed by the choices.

Once again, the legislature of the State of Louisiana has seen fit to not take a stand, pass the buck on legislation they want passed but don't want to be blamed for, and put a whole bunch of constitutional amendments on the ballot. Seriously, when they want something controversial passed, they put it on the ballot, so they can make us decide.

Well, technically, that's democracy: everyone votes on legislation.

We, however, in theory, are supposed to be a representative republic, where the democracy, because of the unwieldiness of getting a huge population over such a large piece of real estate as the US has grown to be in one place to vote directly, is separated from the people by a layer of those who represent us and are supposed to do what we ask.

If you followed that, and i made sense, explain it back to me please.

Anyway, in all seriousness, we shouldn't average 6-8 constitutional amendments on the ballot every single election.

Since voting is a precious thing, i will vote, and Sweetie will vote, and #1 Son will vote. Bigger Girl's voter registration card hasn't come in yet, so she will have to wait until next time.

Hint, if you ever find yourself living in Louisiana and having to face all that legalese on the ballot -- read it ahead of time, legalese is harder to understand when you are in the booth with a timer going.

Today is:

Abu Simbel Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (along with Feb. 22, the day when the sunlight fell perfectly on the statues of Ramses, Ra, and Amun at the temple complex)

Blue Ridge Folk Festival -- Ferrum, VA, US (largest celebration of traditional folkways in Virginia)

Caps Lock Day -- celebrating life in screaming CAPITALS (i'd include a link to the promo site, but it's rather annoying)

Eat a Pretzel Day

Gormanudr -- Old Icelandic Calendar (beginning of "Innards Month," after all the animals have been butchered and fresh innards figure predominantly in the menu, as the rest of the meat has been preserved for winter)

International Stuttering Awareness Day

Jidai Matsuri -- Kyoto, Japan (Festival of the Eras)

Make A Difference Day -- US (Whoopie Goldberg once said that if every American would donate 5 volunteer hours a week, it would be the equivalent of several million full time jobs; whether or not it's strictly accurate, volunteering is a great thing to do no matter where you live.)

National Nut Day -- grab a handful of nutritious almonds or walnuts or your own favorite mix!

New Year -- Jain

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Abercius' Day

St. Mary Salome's Day

Birthdays Today:

Brian Boitano, 1963
Jeff Goldblum, 1952
Deepak Chopra, 1946
Catherine Deveuve, 1943
Annette Funicello, 1942
Tony Roberts, 1939
Christopher Lloyd, 1938
Timothy Leary, 1920
Joan Fontaine, 1917
Curly Howard, 1903
N. C. Wyeth, 1882
Sarah Bernhardt, 1844
Franz Liszt, 1811

Anniversaries Today:

Toastmasters International founded, 1924

Today in History:

The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire, 362
Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto), 794
Battle of the Southern Fujian Sea, Ming Dynasty wins a victory against the Dutch East India Company, 1633
Princeton University is chartered, 1746
Andre-Jacques Trim becomes the first sky diver, parachuting over Paris from a balloon, 1797
Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas, 1836
First telegraph line linking US east and west coasts of the US is completed, 1861
First concert performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1881
World's first automobile dealer opens in London, 1897
President Hoover gives the "American system of rugged individualism" speech, 1928
The FBI ambushes Pretty Boy Floyd, 1934
First commercial flight from the mainland to Hawai'i, 1936
Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor, 1964
A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada, 1964
The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus, 1975Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it
is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs, although the dye is still used in Canada, 1976
Tropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms, 2005
A Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum held in Panama, 2006
India launches its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, 2008

Friday, October 21, 2011

Prepared for Armageddon?

My kids have read the Zombie Survival Guide, and seen the movies.

In spare time, they sometimes discuss strategies to survive a zombie infestation, including how to gather supplies, destroy zombies, and survive until all of them have rotted away and it's safe to come out again.

Well, i thought it was just a movie and book kid thing.

Apparently i was wrong.

Starting tomorrow, there is a conference/convention/whathaveyou in Seattle, Washington, called ZomBCon, which runs through Sunday.

There is also, for those who can't make it to the actual festival of all
Link things undead, a place online where you can vote on this year's best design for a zombie safe house.

There are 200 entries, from 12 countries.

Playing zombie isn't just for kids any more, apparently.

Gee, i hope i don't end up having to live in one of those places, most of them look really weird.

Today is:

Apple Day -- U.K. (to inspire local orchard revival and celebrate local varieties)

Antillean Day -- Bonaire; Curacao; Saba; St. Eustatius

Armed Forces Day -- Honduras

Babbling Day -- an internet generated day for Blatherskites

Caramel Apple Day -- US (leave it to the US to add sugar!)

Count Your Buttons Day -- whoever came up with this one needs to count his marbles maybe?

Egyptian Naval Day -- Egypt

Fantasy Fest -- Key West, FL, US (a ten day costume party for grown ups)

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day

Humble Yourself By Having Your Picture Made Wearing A Bicycle Helmet Day -- no comment

Independence Day -- Marshall Islands

International Day of the Nacho -- Mexico; U.S.

Jailhouse Rock Day -- Elvis' song hit #1 today in 1957

National Mammography Day

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

Reptile Awareness Day -- hooray for snakes and turtles! and lizards, don't forget lizards, and gators, and...

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

Simchat Torah -- Jewish

St. John of Bridlington's Day (Patron against complications in childbirth)

St. Ursula's Day (Patron of teachers, schoolgirls, orphans, tailors, universities; against the plague)

Trafalgar Day -- British Empire (no longer officially celebrated)

Anniversaries Today:

Juan Peron marries actress Evita (María Eva Duarte), 1945

Birthdays Today:

Jeremy Miller, 1976
Carrie Fisher, 1956
Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949
Judge Judy Sheindlin, 1942
Celia Cruz, 1925
Joyce Randolph, 1925
Dizzy Gillespie, 1917
Alfred Nobel, 1833
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772

Today in History:

Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders, 1096
Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg., 1512
Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean), 1520
Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish Armada under De Oquendo, 1639
First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America, 1774
US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston, 1797
Battle of Trafalgar, Adm Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet & dies, 1805
The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia, 1816
Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England), 1824
Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb, 1879
First transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris, 1915
Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time, 1945
Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun, 1965
The European Patent Institute is founded, 1977
The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, 1983
Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz, 2003

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes First

The inimitable Suldog has started a movement, and i am glad.

For many years, i've been appalled by the fact that there is Christmas paraphernalia in the stores sometimes as early as August. When i was a young mimi, and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown first aired, i was amused by the portrayal of stores with Christmas items up at Easter time, and signs saying only 275 more shopping days left.

As a grown-up mimi, i'm no longer amused by the near reality.

Yes, you should be able to sell Christmas items. Yes, your business has to order them early. Yes, when magazines are doing layouts, they are sometimes 18 months in advance, because in business you can't afford to be late.

Christmas is not, or should not be, strictly a business. It should be a joyful celebration, if you are going to acknowledge it at all.

Thus while i know the stores have to order early and be ready, it would be lovely to me, and maybe to many others, if all the stores in the US would celebrate Thanksgiving, and then put up Christmas decor and pull out that particular season's merchandise.

Being a realist, i know they won't. Because even if stores in the US, as a group, agreed to do so, all of them, one or more would decide to jump the gun to get the extra profits. Then the others would feel the need to follow suit, so as not to lose out.

We will continue, however, to say our peace, ignore the hype, walk past the red and green, and not deck our own halls until we have given thanks for our blessings.

It's the least we can do, give thanks.

Suldog has asked if any other bloggers would be willing to give a free ad on their blog to any store that will save the season, and i most certainly would. This most boring blog could probably use the dusting up.

To those who celebrate Thanksgiving at other times of the year, thank you for putting up with us as we rail on this issue a bit.

To US stores, Thanksgiving Comes First.

Today is:

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Feast of No Excuse For A Feast Day -- internet generated, if you have no other excuse to celebrate something today, use this one

Festival of Ebisu -- Japan (the laughing god; date approximate, traditionally 20th day of 10th month of the traditional lunisolar calendar)

Get Smart About Credit Day

Get to Know Your Customers Day

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth -- Sikh

International Credit Union Day

International Juan Valdez Appreciation Day -- internet generated, yet as we sip our morning wake up brew, let's remember the hardy souls who pick the beans for us!

International Menopause Day

Kenyatta Day -- Kenya

National Brandied Fruit Day

Revolution Day -- Guatemala

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

Shemini Atzeret -- Jewish

St. Acca's Day (Patron of Learning)

Anniversaries Today:

Aristotle Onassis marries Jacqueline Kennedy, 1968

Birthdays Today:

Dann Gillen, 1967
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
Danny Boyle, 1956
Tom Petty, 1950
Jery Orback, 1935
Mickey Mantle, 1931
Joyce Brothers
Art Buchwald, 1925
Fayard Nicholas, 1914
Bela Lugosi, 1882
Charles Ives, 1874
Arthur Rimbaud, 1854
Christopher Wren, 1632

Today in History:

The first Crusaders arrive at Antioch, 1097
The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), Bolivia, is founded, 1548
Battle of sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's Shoguns, 1600
Maria Theresa of Habsburg becomes ruler of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1740
Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy, 1781
US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
The U.S. and U.K. sign the Convention of 1818, which, among other things settles the U.S. - Canada border at the 49th parallel for most of its length, 1818
First Edition of London Sunday Times, 1822
Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the US, on the 4th Thursday of November each year, 1864
P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome featuring "The Greatest Show on Earth" opens in NYC, 1873
The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched, 1910
The first Negro League World Series is held, the KC Monarchs shut out the Hilldales, 5-0, 1924
United States of America and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time, 1947
The Nepal Stock Exchange collapses, 1971
The Sydney Opera House opens, 1973
BM-PC DOS Version 2.1 released, 1983
US accuses Microsoft of violating law by forcing IE browser on computers, 1997

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


In the heat.

Up north, where the seasons are winter and road repair, they eagerly await the spring, with the promise of warmth.

Down here, where the seasons are wet and hurricane, and the only real difference is that hurricane is hotter, we like spring, but we really look forward to the arrival of cooler weather.

Sometimes we wear shorts well into December.

Yesterday, thanks to a quick moving very cloudy cool front, we will actually have a bit of autumn, with highs that won't get above
70ºF. Of course, the temps in the 80's will be back by the weekend, but the nights will stay cooler.

So, a break in the weather. Just when we wondered if we really were going to melt this year.

Of course, i'm not thrilled about what it may do to my hands, but this will be a test, see if i can keep the pernio at bay, at least until later in the season.

Today is:

Armilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Mars)

Bettara-Ichi -- Japan (Pickle Market Fair, enjoy the pickled radishes, a specialty; through tomorrow)

Constitution Day -- Niue

Day of National Concern About Young People and Gun Violence -- US (go to to take the pledge that you won't resort to gun violence to solve your problems)

Evaluate Your Life Day -- a day to make sure your life is heading where you want, and course correct if it isn't

Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

Greasy Spoon Day -- internet generated, a day to go revel in the love of your favorite greasy spoon diner

Hagfish Day -- a day to celebrate the uniqueness and necessity of even the ugliest of sea creatures, like the hagfish

Jesuit Martyrs' Day

Medical Assistants Recognition Day -- US

Mother Teresa Day -- Albania

National Seafood Bisque Day

National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day -- US

Samora Machel Day -- Mozambique

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Frideswide's Day (Patron of Oxford and the University of Oxford)

St. Rene Goupil's Day (Patron of anesthesiologists)

Yabusame Festival -- Koyama, Japan (horseback archery, samurai costumes and dragons, oh, my!)

Birthdays Today:

Ty Pennington, 1965
Evander Holyfield, 1962
John Lithgow, 1945
Jeannie C. Riley, 1945
Peter Max, 1937
Robert Reed, 1932
John Le Carre, 1931
Jack Anderson, 1922

Today in History:

Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus and his Roman legions defeat Hannibal Barca and the invading Carthagian army, BC202
King Gauseric and his Vandals take the city of Carthage, 439
The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Treaty of Thorn, 1466
Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology, 1512
The first general court is held in Boston, 1630
Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2PM, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1781
Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree, 1849
The first 4 blacks are elected to the US House of Representatives, 1870
The USPS first used an automobile to collect and deliver mail, 1914
Streptomycin, the first antibiotic which could treat tuberculosis, is isolated at Rutgers University, 1943
Black Monday - the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points, 1987
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity, 2005
Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dream On

Yahoo Shine has come up with a list of 7 dream inventions that every mother would love to have, including Insta-Dinner and the Aqua Alarm Clock (squirts water on the kids who won't get up).

What would i like? How about the automatic car? Program it, and it takes the kids to school for you! Know for sure they didn't use the opportunity of being out running an errand for you at the store to also cruise by the mall!

The automatic change scrounger. Gets everything from between those couch cushions, and makes sure the change goes right into the change jar. No more digging for milk money. If they really want to make it great, it would also dig around in the kids' rooms for all the pens, scissors, and other tools they didn't take, and return them to where they belong.

A self cleaning floor would be nice, while we are dreaming.

A dishwasher that empties itself, anyone?

What you would love to see invented?

Today is:

Alaska Day -- Alaska, US

Clean Water Act Day -- Native Americans in US (day to give thanks for water; may be observed by any who are grateful for clean water)

Independence Day -- Azerbaijan

Information Overload Awareness Day -- we all get bombarded, take stock of how it affects you!

King Look Under Your Mattress's Unique Hiding Display -- Fairy Calendar (Finally! Proof, on the internet, that you do, indeed, need to look under the mattress!)

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

National Statistics Day -- Japan

No Beard Day -- internet generated, a day to shave, which is illogical in the northern hemisphere, with winter coming

Pandrosus Festival -- Ancient Greek Calendar (all-refreshing goddess, or all-dewy one; date approximate)

Persons Day -- Canada (Marking the ruling that women are persons in 1929.)

Procession of the Lord of Miracles (Senor de los Milagros) -- Lima, Peru (Christian celebration of the Lord's miracles, with song, dance, prayers, and parades; through tomorrow)

St. Luke's Day (Patron of doctors, painters, glassmakers, artists, butchers, notaries, sculptors)

Watch a Squirrel Day -- internet generated, and different from squirrel appreciation day in January

World Menopause Day

Anniversaries Today:

University of Heidelberg opens, 1386

Birthdays Today:

Wynton Marsalis, 1961
Erin Moran, 1960
Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1960
Martina Navratilova, 1956
Pam Dawber, 1951
Laura Nyro, 1947
Mike Ditka, 1939
Dawn Wells, 1938
Peter Boyle, 1935
George C. Scott, 1927
Chuck Berry, 1926
Melina Mercouri, 1923
Jesse Helms, 1921
Anita O'Day, 1919
Lotte Lenya, 1900

Today in History:

Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the sun and writes a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest), 320
Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, 1009
Battle of Assadun (Ashingdon), Danes defeat Saxons, 1016
Basel, Switzerland is destroyed by the Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, 1356
Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima -- Takeda Shingen defeats Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts in feudal Japan, 1561
The shoemakers of Boston form the first labor organization in the Colonies/US, 1648
The Mason/Dixon line is agreed upon, 1767
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London, 1851
The US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia, for $7.2 million, 1867
Edison makes electricity available for household use, 1878
John Owen becomes the first formally timed person to run 100 yd dash in under 10 seconds, 1890
United States takes possession of Puerto Rico, 1898
The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) is founded, 1922
The Grand Ole Opry opens in Nashville, Tennessee, 1925
Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio, 1954
The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet, 1967
Azerbaijan becomes independent from the USSR, 1991

Monday, October 17, 2011


The kids are home. It's parent teacher conference time again.

The teacher wants the kids to come along and take notes.

This should be fun, but not until Wednesday. Meanwhile, they get to lounge around and bug their mother.

Yes, i'm looking forward to it.

Today is:

Boss' Day -- work date, since the actual day was on a Sunday; either celebrate, or roll your eyes, both are acceptable responses

Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day -- actually a good idea

Dessalines Day -- Haiti

Doburoku Festival -- Oita Prefecture, Japan (one of the few sake festivals at a shrine; through tomorrow)

Four Prunes Day (Only if you dare!)

Gaudy Day a/k/a Wear Something Gaudy Day

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day -- US Virgin Islands (only celebrated if no major hurricanes have struck that year)

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Large Fairies Come First Day -- Fairy Calendar

Loyalty Day -- Argentina

Mulligan Day -- internet generated, give yourself or someone else a free do-over today

National Cake Decorating Day

National Heroes Day -- Jamaica

National Pasta Day

St. Ignatius of Antioch's Day

St. John the Dwarf's Day

Anniversaries Today:

Crown Prince Fernando of Aragon marries Princess Isabella of Castile, 1469
Composer Johann S. Bach marries his niece Maria Bach, 1707

Birthdays Today:

Norm MacDonald, 1963
Alan Jackson, 1958
Howard Rollins, 1950
Margot Kidder, 1948
George Wendt, 1948
Ronn Owens, 1945
Evel Knievel, 1938
Jimmy Breslin, 1930
Tom Poston, 1921
Montgomery Clift, 1920
Rita Hayworth, 1918
Arthur Miller, 1915
Jean Arthur, 1905
Spring Byington, 1893

Today in History:

King Cyrus the Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon and releases the Jews from their 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration, BC539
Battle of Neville's Cross, the defeat of King David II of Scotland by Edward III of England, 1346
German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, 1604
Boston blacks petition the legislature for equal school facilities, 1787
The political rights of Jews are suspended in the Duchy of Warsaw, 1808
Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie), 1888
Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Clifden, Ireland, 1907
Albert Einstein arrives in the US as a refugee from Nazi Germany, 1933
The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield,in Cumbria, England, 1956
Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies opens the artificial Lake Burley Griffin in the middle of the capital Canberra, 1964
Botswana and Lesotho join the United Nations, 1966
Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group, 1970
OPEC starts an oil embargo against a number of western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Syria, 1973
Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979
The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, making it the World's tallest highrise, 2003

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quadruple the Fun

After trying for several days, i finally got in touch with the lady for whom we are bottle raising Datsig. The little guy is nibbling dry food soaked in milk, and will be ready for a new home soon.

So i was not very happy to find out that she suddenly has cat allergies and doesn't want him back. If she had said that at the beginning, i could have already had him in a foster program.

Thus when Miss Betty called, it was at a very fortunate time. She is the one who asked me to take Mikey, who is about a week younger than Datsig and has become inseparable from his foster brother.

It was, of course, a call for the usual reason. Some flower of humanity had dropped a box of very tiny kittens in the pet store parking lot, and could i take them?

Naturally i could, and could she also accept Datsig as a foster? Yes, i told her yes before i asked. If she had said they really couldn't swing it right now, i still would take these new ones. Unless i am dying myself i'm not going to let babies starve.

Now we have them. Four of the stinkiest, filthiest female kittens, all black and white tuxedos, just like Mikey and our own HiCat.

Eye infection in one, fleas on all. Plus, joy of joys, they all have the runs already.

We are hanging on, these are going to give us a run for the money, but they should be beautiful, loving girls in spite of their rough start.

Today is:

Boss' Day -- traditional date; either celebrate, or roll your eyes, both are acceptable responses

Chrysanthemum Festival -- Japan (various shrines; through Nov. 15)

Clean Your Bug Zapper Day -- internet generated, and we're getting a bit overboard here, aren't we?

Day of Pope John Paul II -- Poland

Dictionary Day (Noah Webster's birthday)

Ether Day (first demonstrated use, see History)

National Feral Cat Day -- US

National Liqueur Day

Sennin Musha Gyoretsu -- Tochigi, Japan (procession of 1,000 warriors; through tomorrow)

St. Hedwig's Day (Patron of orphaned children)

Teachers' Day -- Chile

World Food Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women, 1869
Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah, 1875

Birthdays Today:

John Mayer, 1977
Kellie Martin, 1975
Flea, 1962
Tim Robbins, 1958
Suzanne Somers, 1946
Angela Lansbury, 1925
Eugene O'Neill, 1888
Oscar Wilde, 1854
Noah Webster, 1758

Today in History:

Jadwiga (yes, a she) is crowned King of Poland, 1384
Olivier van Noorts' ships reach the Philippines, 1600
George Washington takes Yorktown, 1781
Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, is guillotined, 1793
Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers, 1843
Dentist William T. Morton demonstrates the effectiveness of ether, 1846
Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is published, 1847
John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, 1859
The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered", 1869
John Harwood takes out a patent on a self-winding watch, 1923
The Disney Company is founded, 1923
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army, 1940
Fidel Castro is sentenced in Havana to 15 years in prison, 1953
The People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1964
In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act, 1970
Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1973
Pope John Paul II is elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave, 1978
Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1978
Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1984
Reinhold Messner becomes the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders, 1986
Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated, 2002

Saturday, October 15, 2011

RIP Lucky the Cat

Our shelter mascot, Lucky, has crossed that rainbow bridge.

Lucky was one of the oldest cats we had ever taken in, and also the ugliest. He came to us when an elderly person was entering hospice care herself, and that was all we could really offer him, as he was never up for adoption due to age and medical condition. We just kept him comfortable until the end came.

He never weighed more than 6 pounds his whole life, though he was as tall and long as a normal sized cat. His extremely hyperactive thyroid was to blame for that.

We gave him thyroid medication twice a day. He was the easiest cat in the world to pill, as he would eat anything at all if you put it in a Greenie's Pill Pocket.

Spoiling him with eats and treats was a habit everyone there got into. In return, he gifted us with his morning "offering" on the floor in front of the sink, not far from the litter box he used at other times.

Loving, affectionate, and allowed to roam at will, he was everyone's friend.

When we went to clean the shelter yesterday, i was distressed to see him in a cage. As it turned out, he had put himself in the cage, and when they would pull him out, he would stay for a while, then wander back in.

It took him three tries to get his Pill Pocket down, and he turned up his nose to Fancy Feast. That's when i knew it was time.

Later i called Miss W. so i could tell her what i thought. She said they had watched him closely for a week, hoping for improvement, and she agreed with my assessment. His body had quit, although his brain didn't quite realize it yet, and he was still up for affection.

That, as my vet says, is just the right time. Don't let them get to where they don't react to you at all, that's too long.

The decision was made, and Miss W. took him to the vet and held him.

Good-bye, Old Man, i'm going to miss you.

Today is:

Adai Caddo Indian Nation Pow Wow -- Robeline, LA, US

Cayenne Festival -- French Guiana

Equirria -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Egremont Crab-Apple Fair -- Egremont, Cumbria, England (dating back to the 13th century, the most fun part is the gurning [face making] contest)

Evacuation Day -- Tunisia (celebrates the day all foreign military finally and fully left)

Feast of the Hunters' Moon -- West Lafayette, IN, US (through tomorrow; come help recreate French and Native American life at a mid-1700's fur-trading outpost)

Feast of the Three Noble Ladies -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (female pharaohs)

Global Handwashing Day -- International (scrub up! prevent the spread of germs)

Guangzhou Autumn Trade Fair -- Guangzhou, China (through Nov. 15)

International Day of Rural Women -- UN

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu City, AZ, US (through tomorrow)

Ludi Capitolini -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Makahki -- Hawai'ian New Year

Mertz of All Possible Mertzes -- internet generated and on the day "I Love Lucy" premiered; i guess Fred and Ethel were the definition of what a Mertz should be!

Nagoya Festival -- Nagoya, Japan (biggest festival in the city)

National Chicken Cacciatore Day

National Grouch Day -- in honor of Oscar the Grouch

National Roast Pheasant Day

National Tree Planting Day -- Sri Lanka

Newspaper Week -- Japan

Old Farmers Day -- Loranger, LA, US (through tomorrow; learn how farmers used to live)

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day -- Canada; US

Rectification Day -- Burkina Faso

Rainbow Pickling Day -- Fairy Calendar

Sewing Lovers' Day -- internet generated, as those who love to sew deserve a day to celebrate

St. Teresa of Avila's Day (Patron of Spain, lace makers; against headaches, heart attacks)

Sweetest Day -- autumn version of Valentine's Day, but i suggest not bothering, they try to guilt us into too many "buy something holidays" each year already!

Teacher's Day -- Brazil

White Cane Safety Day -- US (celebrating the achievements of the blind/visually impared, and recognizing the white cane as the symbol of their independence)

Wishbones for Pets begins -- US program asking professional pet sitters to gather pet supplies and donations for homeless pets through Thanksgiving

Woolly Worm Festival -- Banner Elk, NC, US (woolly bear caterpillars race up 3-ft pieces of string, winner gets to predict the severity of the upcoming winter; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ferguson, 1959
Emeril Lagasse,1959
Tanya Roberts, 1955
Richard Carpenter, 1946
Jim Palmer, 1945
Penny Marshall, 1942
Linda Lavin, 1937
Lee Iacocca, 1924
Mario Puzo, 1920
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 1917
John Kenneth Galbraith, 1908
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844

Today in History:

Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals, 533
Commissioned by Catherine De Medici, the 1st ballet "Ballet Comique de la Reine," is staged in Paris, 1581
Asser Levy is granted a butcher's license for kosher meat in New Amsterdam, 1660
The Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon marks the first human ascent, by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, (tethered balloon), 1783
George Washington takes the first formal presidential tour, of New England, 1789
Napoleon Bonaparte is exiled to the Island of St. Helena, 1815
Child labor law takes 12-year-olds out of the work force, 1874
Edison Electric Light Company is incorporated, 1878
Koln cathedral is completed, 633 years after it was begun, 1880
The German dirigible "Graf Zeppelin' lands in Lakehurst, NJ, 1928
LaGuardia Airport opens, 1939
Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time, 1946
The start of the 2500-year celebration of Iran, celebrating the birth of Persia, 1971
The Great Storm of 1987 hits France and England, 1987
Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL, 1989
Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1990
The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom), exactly 50 years and 1 day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth's atmosphere, 1997
The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn, 1997
NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io, 2001
China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission, 2003

Friday, October 14, 2011

Low, Low, Low

Low, down in the back.

Sweetie's back is out again.

He's home resting.

Heaven help me, men should be outlawed when they are ill or hurting.

They should at least have their mobile phones confiscated.

If the old ring a bell for help method was annoying, the phone call from upstairs is worse.

Especially when it's that he wants me to look up the history of a town i've never heard of, because he has all that time to just sit and think.

But i will stay patient and help him, because eventually he has to go back to that crazy workplace. At least, for now.

Heaven help me even more when he retires.

Today is:

Be Bald and Be Free Day

Belfast Festival At Queens -- Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland (arts festival; through the 29th)

Big Kids Day -- Channel Islands, UK

Blessing the Fish Harvest -- St. Oswald's Church, Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, England (the blessing is this month, and it was on this date in 2009, cannot confirm that it is the same date each year)

Day of the Cathedral of Living Pillar -- Georgian Orthodox Church

Day of Formation of the Tajik Republic -- Tajikistan

Dessert Day -- another one?

First Fiddle of the Month -- Fairy Calendar

Festival for the Penates -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Flag Day -- Madagascar (flag adopted this day in 1958)

Founder's Day / Youth Day -- Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Mega Kenka Matsuri -- Hyogo, Japan (Roughhouse Festival, wrestling for a blessing; through tomorrow)

Mother's Day -- Belarus

National Chocolate Covered Insect Day (I'll pass. Sorry.)

National Education Day -- Poland

National Fallen Firefighters Weekend -- US (through the 16th)

National Frump Day -- National FRUMPS of America (to honor the frugal, responsible, unpretentious, and mature people everywhere)

National Gaelic Mod -- Scotland (Gaelic Language Festival; through the 22nd)

Nyerere Day -- Tanzania

Peace Corps Birthday -- US

Petkouden -- Bulgaria (Feast of St. Petka)

Republic Day / October Revolution Day -- Yemen

Santa Fortunata -- Pilgrimage to the remains of the saint at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in Peru

Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word -- Nashville, TN, US (through the 16th)

St. Donatian's Day (Bishop of Rheims, Patron of Brussels)

St. Petca Paraskeva's Day (Patron of people who spin thread and those who do any needlework)

Vinternatsblot, a/k/a Haustblót, is to bid Winter welcome (start of winter in the Old European Calendar of the Norse, date approximate)

World Egg Day

World Standards Day -- International

Birthdays Today:

Harry Anderson, 1952
Sir Cliff Richard, 1940
Ralph Lauren, 1939
Roger Moore, 1927
John Wooden, 1910
e.e. cummings, 1894
Lillian Gish, 1893
Dwight Eisenhower, 1890
William Penn, 1644

Today in History:

William the Conqueror wins England in the Battle of Hastings, 1066
Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence, 1322
Mary, Queen of Scots, goes on trial for conspiracy against Elizabeth I of England, 1586
Massachusetts enacts the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), 1656
Rabbi Judah Hasid & Chayim Molocho arrive in Jerusalem, 1700
Henry Blair receives a patent for a corn planter, becoming the first black to obtain a US patent, 1834
The 15th and the last military Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate resigns in Japan, returning his power to the Emperor of Japan and thence to the re-established civil government of Japan, 1867
George Eastman patents paper-strip photographic film, 1884
Theodore Roosevelt is shot while campaigning in Milwaukee on the "Bull Moose" ticket, 1912
The children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, is first published, 1926
Ethel Merman makes her Broadway debut in "Girl Crazy", 1930
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable caste leader, converts to Buddhism along with 385,000 of his followers, 1956
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first Canadian Monarch to open up an annual session of the Canadian Parliament, presenting her Speech from the Throne in Ottawa, Canada, 1957
The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when a U.S. Air Force U2 Reconnaissance pilot takes pictures of Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba, 1962
The city of Montreal, Quebec, begins the operation of its underground Montreal Metro rapid-transit system, 1966
The first live telecast from any manned spacecraft, the Apollo 7, 1968
The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and the Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords , 1994

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You know it's a tough tree to pull up...

...when the strap tied to the truck breaks.

It wasn't a small truck, either. It was #1 Son's friend, who does handyman work and mows lawns, who was using his truck and tow strap to try to pull up the tree that was growing up through our Sega palm.

Squirrelly squirrels bury acorns, forget where, and we get trees growing in the craziest places. Including up through other plants.

We've cut this one down every year, and it keeps growing back, so this year when #1 Son's friend offered to pull it out by the roots, we agreed.

It broke his strap. Granted, and older strap, not his best, but still.

He had to resort to the chain saw.

So, i guess we haven't seen the last of this tree, it will probably try to regrow next year.

By then, he'll be using the better strap, or a new one.

Bring it on, tree. We will be ready.

Today is:

Assassination of the Hero of the Nation Day -- Burundi

Biketoberfest -- Daytona Beach, FL, US (through the 16th; last chance to ride before winter, and enjoy concerts and shows, too)

Fontinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (garlanding of fountains)

International Skeptics Day

John Peel Day -- UK (in honor of his last broadcast)

Midosuji Parade -- Osaka, Japan

Modern Mythology Day -- internet generated, go look up a few modern myths on or snopes and have a good laugh

National Face Your Fears Day -- a good idea in any nation

National Police Day -- Thailand

National Yorkshire Pudding Day

Navy Establishment Day -- US

Runic Half-month Wyn (joy) begins

St. Colman's Day (Patron of Austria, horned cattle, horses, and those who are to be hanged; a blessing of horses and cattle is still held at Melk on this day)

St. Edward the Confessor's Day

Sukkot -- Jewish (began yesterday at sundown)

Toronto Ski, Snowboard, and Travel Show -- Toronto, ON, Canada (through the 16th)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga. Tech), 1885

Birthdays Today:

Nancy Kerrigan, 1969
Kelly Preston, 1962
Jerry Rice, 1962
Marie Osmond, 1959
Chris Carter, 1957
Sammy Hagar, 1947
Paul Simon, 1941
Nan Mouskouri, 1934
Lenny Bruce, 1925
Margaret Thatcher, 1925
Nipsey Russell, 1924
Yves Montand, 1921
Cornel Wilde, 1915
L. L. Bean, 1872

Today in History:

Nero becomes emperor, 54
The Vandals and Alans cross the Pyrenees and appear in Hispania, 409
Rabbi Issac Abarbanel begins his exegesis on the Torah, 1483
Jonathan Swift publishes the last of Drapier's letters, 1724
Charles Messier discovers the Whirlpool Galaxy, 1773
First publication of the "Old Farmer's Almanac", 1792
George Washington lays the cornerstone of the "Executive Mansion" (White House), 1792
Founding of B'nai B'rith, 1843
The first arial photo taken in the US, from a balloon over Boston, 1860
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda & friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations, which begins the revival of it as an active and growing language, 1881
Greenwich, in London, England, is established as Universal Time meridian of longitude, 1884
Edward Emerson Barnard discovers D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14, 1892
Ankara replaces Istanbul as the capital of Turkey, 1923
Premier of "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie", 1947
Fiji joins the United Nations, 1970
The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, who was then working at the C.D.C, 1976
Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois, 1983
End of the Lebanese Civil War, 1990
The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile comes to an end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue, 2010