Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo-Finish Friday -- Relax

 Oh, to be able to relax the way cats do, especially at this time of year.

Yes, she really did sleep this way.

No box is too small, no space too confined.

Photo-Finish Friday is the brainchild of Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail.

Today is:

Ashi Vanguhi -- Ancient Persian Calendar/Zoroastrian (celebration of Ashi Vanguhi, or Holy Blessing; date approximate, but always two days after a full moon around this time of year)

Bonifacio Day -- Philippines

Cities for Life Day -- commemorates the abolition of the death penalty in many countries

Clear Up The Clutter Day -- internet generated, and what!?! in one day!

Computer Security Day -- International (sponsored by The Association for Computer Security Day; often held by some organizations/companies on another day of the week if it falls on a weekend)

Feast of Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads -- Ancient Roman Calendar (also revered by the Greeks, Egyptians, and came from the Carians of the Bronze Age)

Ham and Roast Beef Night -- internet generated, but a good idea for a make your own sandwich dinner

Independence Day -- Barbados(1966); Yemen(1967)

National Day -- Benin

National Meth Awareness Day

National Mousse Day

Perpetual Youth Day -- Dick Clark's birth anniversary

Regina Mundi Day -- South Africa

Stay Home Because You're Well Day -- sponsored by the Wellness Permission League -- if you get in trouble with the boss, make sure they will take the fall!

Saint Andrew the Apostle's Day (Patron of anglers/fishermen, fish dealers/fish mongers, maidens, old maids/spinsters, single lay women, singers, women who wish to become mothers; Spanish armed forces; Achaia; Greece; Russia; Scotland; Amalfi, Italy; Antey-Saint-Andre, Italy; Berchtesgaden, Germany; Burgundy, France; Cartosio, Italy; Confienti, Italy; Constantinople, Turkey; Encinasola, Huelva, Spain; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Grongnardo, Italy; Lampertheim, Germany; Luqa, Malta; Patras, Greece; Plymouth, England; Samolaco, Italy; San Andreas, California; Victoria, British Columbia; against gout, sore throats) related observances:
     Argyle Day
     National Day -- Scotland

SKYWARN Recognition Day -- National Weather Service, NOAA, and Amateur Radio Operators, working together to report dangerous weather conditions

Whisp and Thread Fair -- Fairy Calendar

Winterfest -- Luverne, MN, US (winter fun for all, through Sunday)

Anniversaries Today:

Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz, 1940

Birthdays Today:

Clay Aiken, 1978
Ben Stiller, 1965
Bo Jackson, 1962
Billy Idol, 1955
Shuggie Otis, 1953
Mandy Patinkin, 1952
David Mamet, 1947
Abbie Hoffman, 1936
G. Gordon Liddy, 1930
Dick Clark, 1929
Robert Guillaume, 1927
Richard Crenna, 1926
Shirley Chisholm, 1924
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 1923
Gordon Parks, 1912
Winston Churchill, 1874
L(ucy) M(aude) Montgomery, 1874 (Anne of Green Gables)
Mark Twain, 1835
Jonathan Swift, 1667

Today in History:

Amsterdam bans assembly of heretics, 1523
Death count by plague in Venice is officially set at 16,000, 1630
Beijing earthquake causes 100,000+ deaths, 1731
Britain signs agreement recognizing US independence, 1782
Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day, 1786
Spain cedes her claims to Louisiana Territory to France, 1803
First ground is broken at Allenburg for the building of the original Welland Canal, 1824
First Welland Canal opens for a trial run, 5 years to the day from the ground breaking, 1829
Work begins on the first US underwater highway tunnel, in Chicago, 1866
The first international soccer football game is held, in Glasgow; Scotland-England 0-0, 1872
The first commercially successful AC electric power plant opens, Buffalo, NY, 1886
A German engineer patents front-wheel drive for automobiles, 1900
American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor, 1902
Pike Place Market is dedicated in Seattle, Washington, 1907
The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London destroyed by fire, 1936
Baseball's Negro National League disbands, two years after major league baseball integrated, 1948
In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap in the only documented case of a human being hit by a rock from space, 1954
Exxon and Mobil sign a $73.7 billion USD agreement to merge, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest company, 1998
Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with US$2,520,700, television's biggest game show winnings, 2004
John Sentamu becomes the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York, 2005

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still Too Soon

 It is still too soon for Zig Ziglar to be gone.

As most will have heard by now, the famous motivational speaker died very early Wednesday morning.

One reason i say it is too soon, even though he was 86, is that he once joked that at 60, he was only middle-aged, since he planned to live to 120.

Of course, even he admitted he wasn't assured 120 years, but it highlighted his attitude, one that pushed through problems until he could find solutions, that emphasized positivity and creativity and vibrancy and life.

A quick search online will produce a multitude of his more famous quotes and sayings, so i won't be posting a ton of those here.

Instead i'd like to quote my favorite of his books, called Courtship After Marriage.

Yes, he even wrote about marriage.  And be warned, if you want to read it, he was a devout Christian, so his advice does come with his religious conviction.

(He was once asked what he would be if he weren't a Baptist, and he laughingly responded, "Ashamed!")

At the beginning of his book on marriage, he tells the story of a man who called him and asked for help, as his wife of 21 years had asked him for a divorce.  Since Mr. Ziglar had been teaching the marriage seminar that eventually turned into this book for a while, he agreed to send the man a copy of the cassette tape so the man and his wife could listen.

Later, the husband and wife called and told Mr. Ziglar how the materials had helped their marriage.  The part that struck me was when the wife said this, and i quote from the book:

"Zig, let me tell you why it worked.  You would have no way of knowing, but about a year ago we were at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas to attend a convention.  On Sunday night, after church, you and your Redhead* came over to the hotel and were enjoying a bowl of their famous French onion soup.

"There were a number of other people, including us, in the restaurant, but as far as you two were concerned, there was no one else there.  You were seated at a table for four, but instead of sitting across from each other, you sat side by sidem, and your eyes were only for each other.  You were holding hands; you put your arms around her; you laughed and in short, conducted yourselves like two lovebirds who were oblivious to the rest of the world.

"Zig, then I knew you two were practicing what you had been teaching and were obviously in love and having a wonderful time courting each other...your credibility as you talked about courting your mate was very high with us."

*He lovingly called his wife, Jean, "The Redhead."  They were married 64 years.

Mr. Ziglar didn't just talk.  He did what he talked about, lived out what he said.

That's one reason i'm very sad he is gone.  We get lots of talk in this day, but what we need is more people who live out what they talk about.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Ziglar.

Today is:

Bizarre Bazaar -- Richmond, VA, US (Christmas shop until you drop; through Sunday)

Christmas Festival at St. Olaf -- St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, US (600 student musicians perform sacred and folk songs from around the world; through Sunday)

Dita e Clirimit -- Albania (Liberation Day)

Electronic Greetings Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Fairy Flute Fantasy -- Fairy Calendar

Festival of Saturnia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (for the Sons of Saturn; Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto)

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People -- UN

National Chocolates Day -- yes, another one

National Lemon Creme Pie Day

National Unity Day -- Vanuatu

St. Andrew's Eve -- in many traditions, a night to foretell the future, especially whom you will marry

St. Saturnius of Toulouse's Day (Patron of Toulouse, France)

Square Dance Day -- internet generated, and fun to do

Throw Out Your Leftovers Day -- if you've had it since Thanksgiving, and haven't frozen it or eaten it yet, get rid of it

William Tubman's Birthday -- Liberia (it's longest serving President)

Anniversaries Today:

Erwin Rommel marries Lucie "Lu" Mollin, 1916

Birthdays Today:

Jon Knight, 1968
Kim Delaney, 1961
Cathy Moriarty, 1960
Jeff Fahey, 1956
Howie Mandel, 1955
Garry Shandling, 1949
Petra Kelly, 1947
Chuck Mangione, 1940
Peter Bergman, 1939
John Mayall, 1933
Diane Ladd, 1932
Vin Scully, 1927
Madeline L'Engle, 1918
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., 1908
C.S. Lewis, 1898
Busby Berkeley, 1895
Louisa May Alcott, 1832
Christian Doppler, 1803

Today in History:

Jews of Augsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349 (Sometimes, it seems, the more things change...)
King Philip II devalues Spanish currency, 1596 (See above...)
Sir James Jay invents invisible ink, 1775
San Jose, California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, 1777
Dessalines & Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent, 1803
First Italian opera in US, "Barber of Seville" premieres (NYC), 1825
Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph, 1877
The first motorcycle race ever is held in Surrey, England; the distance was one mile and the winner was Charles Jarrot in a time of 2 minutes, 8 seconds, 1897
The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest Sirrine. 1910
Fire destroys most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California, 1915
Howard Carter opens the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public, 1922
Richard Byrd becomes the first person to fly over the South Pole, 1929
The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, 1944
The United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Palestine, 1947
Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space, orbits earth twice, and is successfully recovered after splashdown, 1961
Canadian Space Agency launches the satellite Alouette 2, 1965
Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California, 1972
The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution stating that Soviet Union forces should withdraw from Afghanistan, 1983
The United Nations Security Council passes two resolutions to restore international peace and security if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by the following January 15, 1990
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurs off the northern coast of Martinique, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Or Impish

 "Here, have a Bertie Bott's Bean."  Little Girl was holding one out for Bigger Girl.

"No, thank you!" Bigger Girl exclaimed.  "That's grass flavor, I recognize it!"

"Well, at least it's not ear wax," Little Girl smirked.

"This time," Bigger Girl responded.

"Yes, this time," Little Girl answered back, her grin still wide.

"Okay, then," Little Girl continued, "how about this?"

"Earthworm!  No!"

"This one?"

"Black pepper, ugh, no!"

"What about this?"

"I think that one is sausage, and I'm not going to eat it!" Bigger Girl answered.

"Darn!"  Little Girl was still smiling, though.  "This one?"

"Why are you still offering me those things?  I know you only have the yucky flavors left, and that one is soap."

"Because that's the point of Bertie Bott's Beans.  You eat all the good flavors, and you trick your friends into eating all the others."

"That's not very nice," Bigger Girl was smiling, too.

"I prefer to think of it as being practical," Little Girl responded.

And mama prefers to think of it as being clever and impish, which is quite a good thing to be sometimes.

Today is:

Amitabha Buddha Day -- Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhists

Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha -- Baha'i

Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib -- Sikh

Christmas on the River -- Demopolis, AL, US (celebrations Southern style, including a Barbecue Cook-off; through Saturday)

Decorate Your Dog Day -- supposedly to get him/her into the holiday spirit; but please, don't

Feast of the Holy Sovereigns -- Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii (in honor of King Kamehama IV and Queen Emma, the founders of the Anglican Church of Hawaii

Full Beaver Moon / Full Frosty Moon
     Il Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Tazaugmone Full Moon -- Myanmar (Festival of Lights begins)
     That Luang Festival -- Laos (Ventiane's most important Theravada Buddhist festival)

Holiday Ale Festival -- Portland, OR, US (beer, outdoors, in the cold, in December, but it is seriously good beer and worth it; through Sunday)

Independence Day -- Albania(1912); East Timor(1975); Mauritania(1960)

Loy Krathong -- Thailand (Floating of the Lamps festival; to appease the water spirits, dedicated to Mae Kongkha, Goddess of Rivers)

Make Your Own Head Day -- meaning an art project model or drawing, in any medium; have fun with this one!

National French Toast Day

Palden Lhamo Festival -- Tibet (protectress of Tibet, celebrated mostly by women)

Pha That Luang/That Inhang Festival -- Laos (one of the most sacred ritual ceremonial dates in Laos)

Red Planet Day -- on the anniversary of the 1964 liftoff of Mariner 4, the first successful mission to Mars

Republic Day -- Chad; Republic of the Congo

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting -- NY, NY, US

Royal Society Day -- one of the world's oldest scientific academies, established this day in 1660

Runic Half Month of Is begins (stasis)

Saint Catherine Laboure's Day -- promulgator of the Miraculous Medal

St. Stephen the Younger's Day` (Patron of coin collectors, numismatists, smelters)

Thanksgiving Day -- Norfolk Island

Birthdays Today:

Jon Stewart, 1962
Judd Nelson, 1959
Ed Harris, 1950
Alexander Godunov, 1949
Paul Shaffer, 1949
Joe Dante, 1946
Randy Newman, 1943
Berry Gordy, Jr., 1929
Brooks Atkinson, 1894
William Blake, 1757
John Bunyan, 1628

Today in History:

Skanderbeg and his forces liberate Kruja in Middle Albania and raise the Albanian flag, 1443
Ferdinand Magellan and his men become the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean, 1520
The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience, 1814
Ka Lahui: Hawaiian Independence Day - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation, 1843
Women vote in a national election for the first time in the New Zealand general election, 1893
US-born Lady Astor becomes the first female member of British Parliament, 1919
Capt Cyril Turner of the RAF gives 1st skywriting exhibition in NYC; Turner spelled out "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200." 47,000 called, 1922
"Hopalong Cassidy" premieres on TV, 1948
The first Polaroid Camera is sold, 1948
Chad, the Republic of the Congo, and Gabon become autonomous republics within the French Community, 1958
The first pulsar star is discovered by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish, 1968
Norway votes against joining the European Union, 1994

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still All Boy

The lesson for Sunday school was very simple -- G-d made everything, and everything He made was very good.

"That means He made me good, and He wants me to be good!" Timmy practically yelled from his usual standing-on-his-head position.

So, are you going to be? i asked him.

"Be what?"

Be good.

"Yes!  Just watch!"

So, we did.  We watched him sit quietly for snack time.  We watched him take turns on the swing.  We watched him line up when he was supposed to instead of dragging his feet.

Lest you think, though, that his good behavior was turning him into a "sweetie pie,"  he also made sure he was swinging the highest when he jumped off the swing, belched loudly after his snack (although he did ask to be excused while laughing), and we overheard the following conversation between him and Sean as we walked past the cars in the parking lot while heading to the outdoor play area.

Timmy:  Oh, look!  A Camaro!  I want a Camaro when I grow up!

Sean:  Camaro's are good, but I want one of those big trucks like my dad has.  And a sports car, but maybe a Corvette.

Timmy:  Well, I won't need a big truck.  I'll need a cool car like a Camaro.  Or a Mustang.  I'd really like a Mustang.

It's born in them, says the woman whose recognition of vehicles doesn't go beyond car, truck, van, minivan, SUV.

And it shows he's still all boy.


Today is:

Anniversary of Cerro de Pasco -- Peru (founding of the city and its silver mine)

Bargle Day -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy day with no human equivalent)

Bonn Om Touk -- Cambodia (a/k/a The Water Festival, it is Cambodia's largest party, always held for two days around the time of the full moon in November)

Electric Guitar Day -- birth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix

Feast of Ullr and Skadi -- Asatru (Norse and Germanic Pagans; celebrating craftsmen)

Freckle Pride Day -- show your spots, you are beautiful!

Get the Giggles and Give One Away Day -- internet generated, and great if your a preteen girl

Khoiak Ceremonies -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (ceremonies surrounding the stories of the death of Osiris, date approximate)

Lancashire Day -- Lancashire, England (celebrating their first elected representative in Parliament in 1295)

Maaverar Naal -- Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka (Tamil Heroes' Day)

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

Pie in the Face Day -- internet generated, and supposed to be a virtual one, so no mess to clean

Pins and Needles Day -- celebrating the 1937 opening of the pro-labor Pins and Needles Music Revue

St. Virgilius of Salzburg's Day (Patron of Salzburg, Austria; Slovenes)

St. James Intercisus' Day (Patron of lost vocations, torture victims)

Strange Names Day -- in honor of all the celebrity -- and other -- kids with "unique" names; sponsored the last Tuesday in November by Marlar in the Morning at 101QFL in Rockford, IL, US

Anniversaries Today:

William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway, 1582

Birthdays Today:

Jaleel White, 1976
Brooke Langton, 1970
Robin Givens, 1964
Caroline Kennedy, 1957
Rick Rockwell, 1956
Jimi Hendrix, 1942
Eddie Rabbit, 1941
Bruce Lee, 1940
"Buffalo" Bob Smith, 1917
Chick Hearn, 1916
James Agee, 1909
L. Sprague de Camp, 1907
Forrest Shaklee, 1894
Anders Celcius, 1701
Emperor Xiaozong of China, 1127

Today in History:

The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament", 1295
The first Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703
The Portuguese Royal Family leaves Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops, 1807
Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, 1815
NY Times dubs baseball "The National Game", 1870
Alfred Nobel establishes the Nobel Prize, 1895
In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held, 1924
The Soviet space program's Mars 2 orbiter releases a descent module; it crashes, but still becomes the first man-made object to be on Mars, 1971
The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history, 1999
A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet, 2001
The Canadian House of Commons endorses Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada, 2006

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Happy PS

 It's already on their Facebook page.  The group that works with our local animal control office to get adoptable animals into loving homes instead of euthanized has already noted that the two dogs Bigger Girl called about are pre-adopted.

Both were so loving and friendly that someone who was there when they came in for assessment couldn't resist.  As soon as they are fully vetted they will be off to a good home.

No more too-tight collars around their necks, other dogs chewing on them, and being underfed.

Some days, people just need some good news, and that's mine for the day.

Today is:

Constitution Day of the Republic of Abkhazia -- Abkhazia

Cyber Monday

Day of the Covenant -- Baha'i

Day of the Tan-Wallopers -- Fairy Calendar

Dia de la Soberania Nacional -- Argentina (Sovereignty Day)

Good Grief Day -- birth anniversary of Charles Schultz

Icelandic Calendar Month Ylir (Whiner) begins -- named after the whining winter winds

Independence Day -- Mongolia

Independencia de Panama de Espana -- Panama

National Cake Day

Sojourner Truth Day -- died this day in 1883

St. John Berchmans' Day (Patron of alter servers, Oblate novices, young people)

Weinachtsmarkt auf dem Romerberg -- Frankfurt, Germany (Frankfurt Christmas Market, including glockenspiels, trumpets, and bells rung from 9 churches at regular intervals; through Dec. 23)

Zibelemarit -- Bern, Switzerland (Onion Market Festival, one of the country's best known and most popular autumn market)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of Kappa Alpha Society, the oldest surviving US college fraternity, 1825
Founding of the University of Notre Dame, 1842
Founding of Sigma Alpha Mu in the City College of New York, by 8 Jewish young men, 1909

Birthdays Today:

Natasha Bedingfield, 1981
Tina Turner, 1939
Rich Little, 1938
Robert Goulet, 1933
Charles Schultz, 1922
Eugene Ionesco, 1912
Eric Sevareid, 1912
John Harvard, 1607
Emperor Go-Daigo of Japan, 1288

Today in History:

The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed, BC43
Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time, 1476
The first lion exhibited in the US makes his debut in Boston, 1716
Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui, 1778
The Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the United States established, 1784
The first national US Thanksgiving is celebrated, 1789
The first streetcar railway in the US begins operation in NYC, fare 12 cents, 1832
The refrigerated railway car is patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, 1867
The first photograph of a meteor is taken, 1885
The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams, 1917
King Tut's tomb is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter, 1922
Four young lads from Liverpool have their first recording session under the interesting name "The Beatles", 1962
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's parliament, 1998
Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England, 2003
A male Po'ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) dies of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct, 2004

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sometimes You Just Know

 Sometimes, when the phone rings, you just know.

Yesterday, when the phone rang, was one of those times.

It was my mother, with the word we were not surprised to get.  Her brother, my Uncle Harvey, had died.

Uncle Harvey was 84, a veteran of the Korean War, father of 3, grandfather of two.

He had been in chronic kidney failure for a while, with other complications.

It's one of those "expected but still very sad" occurrences.

Because he lived in another state, and the services will be during the school week, there's no way we can go, which also makes me sad.

May he rest in peace.  Now go hug your family.

Today is:

Anniversary of Moquegua City -- Peru (founded this date in 1541)

Banquet for Monkeys / Monkey Buffet Festival -- Khmer Ruins of Lop Buri, Thailand (600 monkeys are served lunch while humans get to watch; some describe it as a riot but without the police)

Cat-Napping Convention -- Fairy Calendar

Celebration of Christ The King -- Christian

Day Sacred to Proserpina -- Ancient Roman Calendar (also Persephone, of the Greeks, the Wheel goddess of the Underworld, often associated with St. Catherine; see below)

Evacuation Day -- 19th Century New York City (withdrawal of British troops in 1783)

Feast of Christ the King -- Roman Catholic Church

Handel's Messiah Sing-Along -- East Room of the Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, CA, US (two seatings available for this beautiful and enjoyable event, singing along with a master choir and orchestra)

Hari Guru -- Indonesia (Teacher's Day)

John F. Kennedy Day -- MA, US

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women -- UN

Mangé Yam -- Haiti (fete de la moisson; a yam harvest festival)

National Day -- Bosnia and Herzegovina (commemorates the 1943 declaration of statehood within Yugoslavia)

National Don't Utter A Word Day -- internet generated, and variously listed as the 25th of November, February, or May; pick one if you want

National Parfait Day

Persephone Day (a/k/a Kore) -- Ancient Greek Calendar (celebration of her as wheel goddess of the underworld; date approximate, but she is often associated with St. Catherine; see below)

Saint Catherine of Alexandria's Day -- of the Catherine Wheel, sometimes associated with the Wheel of Karma and the Hindu Kali; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Patron of apologists, archivists, attorneys, barristers, craftsmen who work with wheels of any sort, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife grinders and sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, old maids, philosophers, potters, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinners, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, turners, University of Paris, unmarried girls, and wheelwrights; Aalsum, Netherlands; Bertinoro, Italy; Camerata Picena, Italy; Dumaguete, Philippines; Heidesheim am Rhein, Germany; Kuldiga, Latvia; Mähring, Germany; Saint Catharines, Ontario; Zejtun, Malta; Zurrieq, Malta) related observance
     Women's Merrymaking Day -- Women go 'Cath'rining' and have a good time (in some places, especially France, women may propose marriage on this day)

Shopping Reminder Day -- exactly a month until Christmas

Srefidensi -- Suriname (Republic Day/Independence Day)

Statehood Day -- FBiH, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Totensonntag/Ewigkeitssonntag -- Germany (Sunday of the Dead/Eternity Sunday; a general celebration and memorial of all who have died, decreed to be celebrated in Lutheran Churches by King Frederick William III of Prussia in 1816)

Vajiravudh Day -- Thailand

Birthdays Today:

Barbara and Jenna Bush, 1981
Donovan McNabb, 1976
Christina Applegate, 1971
Jill Hennessy, 1968
Amy Grant, 1960
John F. Kennedy, Jr., 1960
John Larroquette, 1947
Paul Desmond, 1924
Ricardo Montalban, 1920
Joe DiMaggio, 1914
Solanus Casey, 1870
Carry Nation, 1846
Karl F. Benz, 1844
Andrew Carnegie, 1835

Today in History:

A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastates Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places, 1343
The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins, 1491
A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha, in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people, 1667
The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reaches its peak intensity which it maintains through November 27. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died, 1703
First English patent granted to an American, for processing corn, 1715
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is founded, 1758
Farmer's Almanac first published, 1792
The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy, 1826
A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (never to be entirely rebuilt again); the storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster, 1839
Alfred Nobel patents dynamite, 1867
John B Meyenberg of St Louis patents evaporated milk, 1884
American College of Surgeons incorporates in Springield, Illinois, 1912
First Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in Philadelphia, 1920
690 earthquake shocks recorded in 1 day in Ito, Japan, 1930
The first Soviet liquid fuel rocket attains altitude of 261' (80m), 1933
Woody Woodpecker debuts with release of Walter Lantz's "Knock Knock", 1940
New Zealand ratifies the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom, 1947
Agatha Christie's murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history, 1952
The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroys an entire city block, 1982
The United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic, 1999
Powerful storm brings 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sparking terrible floods, 2009

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Only You, Son

 "Mom, may I borrow dad's anvil?" #2 Son asked as he came into the kitchen.

And what, may i ask, do you want with his anvil?

"Festus and I are going to straighten up a sword.  We've got my sledgehammer, and we're going to build a fire with the oak wood I saved when that tree lost those big limbs during the hurricane.  Oak makes a good, hot fire."

Okay, son, but don't break the anvil, okay?

"Mom, how could we break an anvil?"

Well, i'm not sure, but if anyone could, it would be you and Festus.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," he grinned as he hefted the 30lb piece of metal over his shoulder.

A little while later, i heard the distinct sounds of blacksmithing going on at the side of the house.  Within a few minutes of hearing metal strike metal for the first time, i turned to see him back in the kitchen.

"I need a pot holder.  It's giving off sparks as we hit it, and I don't want to get burned."

Eventually he came in with a straightened up "sword", something he had salvaged from a garbage pile apparently, but no pot holder.

"What do you think?" he asked.

Very good, now where's the pot holder and the anvil?

"The anvil is cooling.  As for the pot holder, well, um..."

Let me guess, burned beyond all use?

"Well, I told you it was a hot fire and it was all giving off sparks!"

My son, future chef, blacksmith, pot holder ruiner.  He also broke both spatulas, and i still haven't gotten that story straight, something about chasing people and pretending to spank them, and well, only my son.

Maybe someday, when it's his kitchen, he'll be more careful.  We can only hope.

Today is:

Ashura -- Islam

Brotherhood of Goat Meat Eaters Festival -- Bellegarde-en-Marche, France (a festival that dates back, supposedly, to a battle with the English where the people of this town used sharpened goat horns to fight; goat meat is served to any and all and the whole town celebrates this outdoor occasion)

Brumalia -- Byzantine Empire celebration of Dyonisus and New Wine Festival; until the solstice

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day --

Celtic Tree Month Ruish (Elder) begins

D.B. Cooper Day -- anniversary of the 1971 hijacking

Discovery Day -- Tasmania (by Abel Tasman in 1642)

Evolution Day -- On the Origin of Species published this day in 1859

Feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam -- Roman Catholic Church

Guadalajara International Book Fair -- Guadalajara, Mexico (through Dec. 2)

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom - Sikh

Holodomor Remembrance Day -- international commemoration of the Death By Hunger Genocide in Ukraine during the Stalin era

International Aura Awareness Day -- to increase the awareness of the human energy body, or aura 

Lachit Divas -- Assam, India

Light of the World Christmas Pageant -- Minden, DE, US (pageant and lighting up the downtown square; also tomorrow and next Sunday)

Mungabareena Ngan-Girra Festival -- Albury area, NSW, Australia (Bogong Moth Festival, now an indigenous cultural showcase)

National Sardines Day -- wonder how this would go over next to the turkey today?

Persephone Day (a/k/a Kore -- Ancient Greek Calendar (celebration of her as wheel goddess of the underworld; date approximate, but she is often associated with St. Catherine)

Pushkar Camel Fair -- Pushkar, India (through the 28th; lots of fun for camels and their two legged friends)

Ragtime Day -- birth anniversary of Scott Joplin

St. Colman of Cloyne's Day (Patron of Cloyne, Ireland)

St. Joachim Ho's Day -- a Martyr of China

St. Mary of Cordoba's Day (Patron of martyrs)

Swine Time Festival --  Climax, Georgia, US (Come on out and join the fun, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Contests & Events include best dressed pig, corn shucking, hog calling, eating chitterlings, pig racing, syrup making, baby crawling and the greased pig chase!)

Teacher's Day -- Turkey

Third Bash of the Tree-Toppers -- Fairy Calendar (fairy creatures who don't believe in "one" or "two", so start counting at three)

Use Even If Seal is Broken Day -- internet generated; observe at your own risk, always!

Birthdays Today:

Katherine Heigl, 1978
William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925
Charles "Lucky" Luciano, 1897
Dale Carnegie, 1888
Scott Joplin, 1868
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864
Bat Masterson, 1853
Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1849
Bram Stoker, 1847
Zachary Taylor, 1784
Charles Theodore Pachelbel, 1690

Today in History:

Theodosius I makes his formal entry into Constantinople, 380
Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes his Talmudic dictionary, 1105
The Thames River freezes, 1434
First observation of transit of Venus occurred (only 2, record event), 1639
Abel Janzoon Tasman becomes the first European to see Van Damien's Land, later renamed Tasmania, 1642
First Lutheran pastor ordained in America, Justus Falckner at Philadelphia, 1703
Mt. Vesuvius erupts, 1759
Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species", 1859
Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens, 1861
Joseph F Glidden patents his improved barbed wire, 1874
The first US absentee voting law enacted by Vermont, 1896
Clyde Coleman of NYC patents automobile electric starter, 1903
Radio Belgium makes its first transmission, 1923
The first woman pilot on a transcontinental air flight, Miss Ruth Nichols (Mineola, NY to Calif), in a Lockheed-Vega, took 7 days, 1930
In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens, 1932
Lee Harvey Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby, 1963
During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again, 1971
A national speed limit is imposed on the Autobahn in Germany due to the 1973 oil crisis; it lasts only four months, 1973
The communist party resigns in Czechoslovakia, 1989
By a margin of only 50.28% to 49.72%, Ireland votes to end the 70 year old ban on divorce, 1995

Friday, November 23, 2012

Apples Don't Fall Far

 "Mom, I need help."  Bigger Girl was calling me, and as a mom, whenever the phone rings and it's one of the kids, and said kid is out in his/her own vehicle, i'm already nervous enough.  Those words make me more nervous.

What's up? i asked, hoping it wasn't too bad.

"Well, I came over here to return two of the textbooks I rented that I don't need any more, and the place is closed, but while I was here these two dogs came up to me.  They are pit bulls, and very friendly, and skinny and look abused.  One has had its ear chewed, so I know it's been used to train fighting dogs, and one looks like she just dried up from nursing pups.  They have collars on that are so tight they are in pain.  What do I do?  I can't just leave them, they are hungry."

No, that's not too bad, i thought.  Stay there, and keep them there, i told her, and i will make a couple of phone calls.

So i did.  A quick call to a companion animal outreach that works with the local animal control office got results.  They asked for Bigger Girl's phone number, called and got her location, and sent someone out.

Meanwhile, she had found a couple of MRE's in her car (she believes in being prepared for anything), and fed them to the dogs.  Another young lady who had pulled into the parking lot, who also didn't know the rental place was closed, had a Swiss Army type implement in her car, and they used the pliers to get the very tight collars off the dogs' necks.

When she got home, she was beaming.

"The guy who picked them up was wonderful!" she gushed.  "He saw how sweet and friendly these two were, and he was as mad as we were about their condition.  He's going to get them in the program that rehabs them and gets them good homes!"

She can't turn her back on a suffering animal.  Some things you are glad your kids inherit.

Today is:

Ashura -- Islam (begins at sunset)

Belsnickel Craft Show -- Boyertown, PA, US (through tomorrow)

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day -- i will observe the latter

Can You Find Your Old Rubik's Cube and Still Work It Day -- internet generated, and why would you bother?

Christmas Candlelight Tour -- My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown, KY, US (Christmas as it was in the 1800s; Fridays and Saturdays the first three weekends after Thanksgiving)

Christmas Traditions Celebration -- St. Charles, MO, US (the fun includes authentically costumed Santas from around the world; through Christmas Eve)

Color Photos Day -- anniversary of the Kodak introduction of modern color film in 1935

Dr. Who Day -- the show premiered today in 1963

Eat A Cranberry Day -- just to see why you add sugar, i guess

Family Day -- Nevada, US

Feast of Qawl(Speech) -- Baha'i

Fibonacci Day -- celebrating the mathematical Fibonacci Series, which begins as 1,1,2,3

Gettysburg Holiday Festival -- Gettysburg, PA, US (fun holiday events weekends through the New Year's Eve Bash)

Hadakambo Festival -- Hofu, Japan (men dressed only in loincloths brave the cold carrying floats to the shrine)

Jukebox Day -- many days compete for this title, but the first known nickel-in-the-slot record machine went into service on this day in 1889 in San Francisco, CA, US

Jule Fest -- Elk Horn, IA, US (a true Danish Christmas festival; through Sunday)

Kinro Kansha no Hi -- Japan (Labour Day Thanksgiving, when people express gratitude to each other for their work through the year)

National Cashew Day -- some sites list it on the 22nd, i'm celebrating both as i love cashews

National Day of Listening -- sponsored by StoryCorps, encouraging sharing family stories during the holidays

National Espresso Day

National Family Caregivers' Day -- US

National Flossing Day -- help spread peace of mouth!

Native American Heritage Day -- US; related observance
     Maize Day -- US; celebrating the First Nations of the Americas and the role maize/corn played in their cultures

Plan Your Dagwood Sandwich Day -- admit you've always wanted to, so build one with your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Pencil Sharpener Day -- John Love of Massachusetts patented the first one this day in 1897

Rally of the Tall Pines -- Bancroft, ON, Canada (an event on the Canadian Rally Car Race Circuit; through the tomorrow)

Repudiation Day -- Maryland, US (anniversary of the Franklin County Court refusal to cooperate with Britain's Stamp Tax Act)

Rudolf Maister Day -- Slovenia

Sinkie Day -- sponsored by SINKIE, The International Association Of People Who Dine Over The Kitchen Sink, which urges you to combine your Christmas shopping with enjoying a quick meal of Thanksgiving leftovers and become a SINKIE convert!

St. Clement's Day (Patron of boatmen/mariners/sailors/watermen, marble workers/stonecutters, sick children; Dundee, Scotland; Velletri, Italy)

St. Columbanus's Day (Patron of motorcyclists; Bobbio, Italy; against floods)

St. Felicity's Day (Patron of martyrs, widows; against the death of children, sterility)

Tree Lighting at Anchorage -- Anchorage, AK, US (Santa and 9 real reindeer help celebrate the annual lighting of the holiday tree, with free cocoa and cookies for all)

World Famous Fish House Parade -- Aitkin, MN, US (sounds better than shopping to me!)

World's Champion Duck-Calling Contest -- Stuttgart, AR, US (also sounds better than shopping; through tomorrow)

You're Welcomegiving Day -- US, the day after Thanksgiving, started by Richard Ankli to give everyone a reason for a 4-day weekend

Birthdays Today:

Miley Cyrus, 1992
Salli Richardson, 1967
Bruce Hornsby, 1954
Johnny Mandel, 1925
Harpo Marx, 1888
Boris Karloff, 1887
Billy the Kidd (William H. Bonney), 1859
Franklin Pierce, 1804

Today in History:

Thespis of Icaria becomes the first actor to portray a character onstage, BC534
Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III, 800
Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1248
Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published, 1644
People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England's Stamp tax, 1765
Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine, 1835
Patent granted for a process of making color photographs, 1863
The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, 1889
King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir, 1890
Andrew J Beard invents "jerry coupler," to connect railroad cars, 1897
Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love, 1897
Enrico Caruso makes his US debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, NY in "Rigoletto", 1903
Wright Brothers forms million dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes, 1909
Life Magazine publishes its first issue, 1936
The Cocos Islands are transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia, 1955
The BBC broadcasts the first ever episode of Doctor Who (starring William Hartnell) which is the world's longest running science fiction drama, 1963
Representatives of the People's Republic of China attend the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, for the first time, 1971
A series of earthquakes in southern Italy kills approximately 4,800 people, 1980
The first all woman expedition to the south pole (3 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 Russians), sets off from Antarctica on the 1st leg of a 70 day, 1287 kilometre ski trek, 1990
Convention on Cybercrime is signed in Budapest, Hungary, 2001
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is elected president of Liberia and becomes the first woman to lead an African country, 2005

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Extra Reason to Celebrate

 Yes, today is Thanksgiving Day for the US and its territories, and i am grateful for so many things.  Running water and indoor plumbing, food and refrigeration to keep it fresh, garbage pick up and modern medicine, and tons of other things it would take me all day to list.

Our family has an extra reason to be thankful today, though.

It is my father's birthday.  He is celebrating his 76th year, and he is an amazing person.

He was a young child through WWII, and served in the Army during the Vietnam era.  He was on the short list of doctors to be sent over there, because as an OB/Gyn, he was considered good at abdominal surgery.  He also ended up taking care of the General's daughter during her pregnancy, and she told her dad if he sent her doctor over there she would never speak to him again.  My dad never was sent over.

Growing up, his father left the family, as he had serious problems of his own.  So my father was raised by his mother and his aunt.  He knew he wanted to be a doctor someday, and they poured all their energy into making sure it happened.

Because his mother ran a tiny grocery story that barely kept them above water, he went to work at age 11, delivering newspapers.  He worked after school, holidays, summers, and any time he wasn't in school.  He paid for his sister's piano lessons and his own trumpet and electric guitar lessons.

Every Catholic school in New Orleans back then was allotted a full scholarship to Loyola for one deserving student.  His mother told him he would be a doctor, not to worry, and bragged that her son would get that scholarship.  It embarrassed him that she bragged, but she was right.

During college, he took 21 hours a semester, was his head professor's lab assistant, worked to continue helping the family with money, and managed to have a very active social life.

A man of extreme tact and diplomacy, who could sell eggs to a chicken farmer, he wanted the group he had formed to be able to have a dance every Friday night.  There was a gymnasium that would be perfect, he knew, but everyone told him the parish priest of that diocese that ran the school would never agree, he was too mean a man and hated having fun, especially other people having fun.  My father agreed to split the gate with the parish, as they would charge for these dances and hire bands, and got permission.  He knew that more than hating fun the priest loved money.  Smart.

Right before medical school, he sold that electric guitar and trumpet, and his stamp collection, so he could buy a microscope.  He was top of his class in medical school, and yes, he still worked.

He also, during his schooling, managed to date every nurse in the class ahead of my mother's, every nurse in her class, and every nurse in the class behind hers, too.  This was a man who once dated twins, at the same time, one on each arm, and had each convinced he liked her best.  Told you he had tact and diplomacy.

So, why did he marry my mom?  She was the only one his dog liked.  Really.  They've been together 50 years.

His practice, once he got out of the Army and established it, was eventually one of the biggest in the city.  He also pitched fits to reform the practice of medicine on women.

While in the Army, he heard about a new technique called an epidural.  He got the anesthesiologists on base to teach him (Charity Hospital method -- see one, do one, teach one, okay, you are an expert).  Thus he performed the first epidural in Louisiana, on my mom, when she had my youngest brother.

He demanded women be taken seriously, be treated well, and their ailments considered more than just "in their heads."  He demanded fathers be allowed in the delivery room, that C-sections be a last resort and be the low transverse cut, and that VBAC be allowed.

Since his retirement from full time practice, he has been a consultant for several medical agencies, and is on at least half a dozen boards of non-profit and educational institutions.  He also goes on medical missions to Nicaragua.

He is as busy now as he ever was when he had a full time practice.

So today he will get his favorite gift, a special type of sweet flatbread called an hojaldra, that his aunt used to make, and that i now fix for him 3 times a year (birthday, Father's Day, and Christmas).

He deserves more than that, and i am very grateful to have known him for 49 years.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  Happy Birthday, Dad.

Today is:

Daytona Turkey Run -- Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL, US (collector car show, swap meet, and craft sale; through Sunday)

Dispute-Settling Assizes -- Fairy Calendar (no, they won't tell us what kind of disputes)

Dita e Alfabetit -- Albania and Ethnic Albanians (Day of the Albanian Alphabet)

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia -- Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, VA, US (exploring the 17th- and 18th-century culinary practices of Virginia; through Saturda)

Go for a Ride Day -- internet generated; during the crazy holiday season, go out for a relaxing sleigh ride or something

Holiday Lights on the Lake -- Altoona, PA, US (51 acres of lights, animations, gift shops, food, model train displays, and more; through the Sunday after New Year's Day)

Independence Day -- Lebanon(1943)

National Cashew Day -- some sites have this on the 23rd, i celebrate both as i love cashews

National Family History Day -- US (a call from the Department of Health and Human Services to get info about your family, especially health history, while everyone is together for the holidays)

National Stop the Violence Day -- a call by US radio and TV stations for a cease fire on American streets, on the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination

Phonograph Day -- Edison publicly  demonstrated his new music playing device on this day in 1877

Start Your Own Country Day -- begun at the 1939 World's Fair in New York

St. Cecilia's Day (Patron of composers, luthiers, martyrs, music, musicians, musical instrument makers, poets, singers; Academy of Music, Rome, Italy; Albi, France; Omaha, Nebraska; Valleyfield, Quebec)

Thanksgiving Day -- Interfaith, US and Territories

Turkey-Free Thanksgiving -- sponsored by the Vegetarian Awareness Network

Ydalir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (Celebration of the wintertime god of skiing and archery, Ullr; date approximate)

Birthdays Today:

Scarlett Johansson, 1984
Scott Robinson, 1979
Mariel Hemingway, 1961
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1958
Billie Jean King, 1943
Robert Vaughn, 1932
Rodney Dangerfield, 1921
Benjamin Britten, 1913
Hoagy Carmichael, 1899
Wiley Post, 1898
Charles de Gaulle, 1890
George Eliot (Mary A. Evans), 1819
Abigail Adams, 1744

Today in History:

The first Duke of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon, 845
Spain delegates "New Laws" against slavery in America, 1542
Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island, 1635
Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, 1718
Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen, 1809
Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain, 1837
In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day, 1869
Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia, 1886
The Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet, 1908
1st snowmobile patent granted to Carl Eliason of Sayner Wisconsin, 1927
The premier performance of Ravel's Boléro takes place in Paris, 1928
Gasoline pump patented that computes quantity & price delivered, 1932
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" first heard on Eddie Cantor's show, 1934
The Humane Society of the United States is founded, 1954
US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963
The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status, 1974
Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco, 1975
In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed, 1988
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery, 1995
Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany, 2005

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To Answer a Couple of Questions

 Good questions have been asked, and deserve good answers.

How many cats do we have?

Sweetie has 4 cats:  Kida the Mosquito, the asthmatic Siamese who is always buzzing around, Badlands' Blackie, the bully/coward recently diagnosed with diabetes. Horizon, the world's biggest scardey-cat, and Hope, the mentally challenged one that won't leave our bedroom for any reason.

Bigger Girl has one:  Little Girlie, with the Grand Victorian Lady manners and the heart of a communist.

#2 Son has one:  Dansig, the ginger tom (altered, yes) that loves to be outdoors under supervision so he can roll in stinky messes.

Little Girl has one:  Link, the gray and white kitten that plays with everything and has a wonderful personality.

How many foster cats do we have?

Right now, we have Penguin and Curlicue Q. Crooktail, both of whom are waiting placement with the shelter, the 4 kittens that came from Acme Company that are just weaned a couple of weeks ago and will be put up for adoption at the shelter in December, the two that were thrown in the garbage that are just weaned this week, and will go to the shelter later in December, and the single baby that a teen girl came to the shelter with that is only about 3 weeks old.  That makes 9 fosters total.

How many can we keep?

Now that the rescue groups understand that i will not take in kittens that don't have placement once they are weaned and altered, that's not an issue any more.  We used to say no more than a dozen fosters, and if they wanted us to take more, they had to move the older ones out.  Now they understand the kittens must go once they weight 2 pounds and can have surgery.  Otherwise, i can't keep my sanity.

What's the most we've had?

We once had 26 fosters from 9 litters.  They ranged from newborn to just weaned, and the bigger ones got moved out quickly.  There's no way i could last long with that big of a crowd.

Do i ever take in puppies?

While i've never fostered puppies, i know the formula exists and i'm not against doing it.  It would have to be with a rescue group, and they would have to guarantee placement in a shelter or another foster home after weaning/surgery as the cat rescue groups do.

Why do i have no cats?

Because i help take care of everyone else's, that's why.  After all, that's what the mom does.

Today is:

^*Armed Forces Day -- Bangladesh

#Buss und Bettag -- German speaking Lutheran, Reformed, and United Protestants (Day of Repentance and Prayer, a legal public holiday in most German states)

^*False Confessions Day -- internet generated, and not for the faint of heart

^*Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin -- Eastern and Roman Catholic Christian (those following the Gregorian Calendar)

^*Festival of Madonna della Salute -- Venice, Italy

^*Furniture Memory Day -- an internet generated test of your memory; see if you remember where you got each piece of furniture you own, how much it cost, and how its most precious scratch came to be; you are also encouraged to dust if you want to

^*Gerard d'Aboville Day -- marking the day, in 1991, he arrived in Ilwaco, WA, US, after departing Japan 4 months earlier in a rowboat!

^*Gingerbread Day

^*National Stuffing Day -- various dates given on many sites, so if you enjoy stuffing, celebrate them all

^*No Music Day -- for the explanation

#Scottish International Badminton Championship -- Glasgow, Scotland (through Sunday)

^*St. Gelasius' Day

#Tie One On Day -- an apron!  on US Thanksgiving eve, write a note of encouragement or prayer, tuck it in the pocket of an apron, and wrap the apron around a good home or bakery made loaf of bread, then deliver it to someone who needs a kind gesture

^*Ugly Day -- Fairy Calendar

&#Wonderland of Lights -- Marshall, TX, US (through Dec. 31, includes parades, candlelight home tours, and more)

^*World Hello Day --

^*World Television Day -- UN

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 12 US State, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Ken Griffey, Jr., 1969
Troy Aikman, 1966
Bjork, 1965
Cherry Jones, 1956
Goldie Hawn, 1945
Harold Ramis, 1944
Tweety Bird, 1942
Juliet Mills, 1941
Marlo Thomas, 1938
Joseph Campanella, 1927
Stan Musial, 1920
Coleman Hawkins, 1904
Rene Magritte, 1898
Hetty Green, 1834
William Beaumont, 1785
Voltaire, 1694

Today in History:

Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem; this is the event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah, BC164
The Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reach what is now called Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, and sign the Mayflower Compact, 1620
Richard Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Virginia, 1654
In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight, 1783
Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic, 1791
First Jewish Reform congregation in US forms, Charleston, SC, 1824
Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter, 1871
Tom Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), 1877
Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator, 1922
First commercial crossing of Pacific by plane (China Clipper), 1935
The Alcan Highway is completed, 1942*
The British Natural History Museum announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull is a hoax, 1953
The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI, 1969
The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995
NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members, 2002

*Not opened to general vehicular traffic until the next year

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Well, This Sounds Familiar

 The call saying a kitten has been found.  Those are calls i get, and the two just weaned but not quite ready to be altered playing with my shoestrings right now, as well as the other 5, attest to the fact.

It happens all over the country, and i've heard many a strange story.  For us, the ones that traveled in a box from Texas to a warehouse here is one of the stranger ones.  We've also had a few where the mama cat has the babies in the attic of a building, and one falls down into the walls.

This one, though, had me looking twice.  Inside a statue of Abraham Lincoln!?!  Nope, that's never happened around here that we had to call firefighters to climb inside a statue to rescue a kitten.

It's a cute little one, and if it survives, it looks like it has a home.

Today is:

Absurdity Day -- an internet generated absurd holiday

Africa Industrialization Day -- UN

Air Your Dirty Laundry Day -- internet generated, and be careful with this one!

Beautiful Day -- Fairy Calendar

Clean the Cat Hair Out of the Vacuum Cleaner Day -- internet generated, and always tops on my chore list

Day of Sekhmet and the Purifying Flame -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Day of National Sovereignty -- Argentina (commemorates the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado)

Dia da Consciencia Negra -- Brazil (Black Consciousness Day)

Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day aka G.O.H.A.R.D

Name Your PC Day -- mine is Ol' Bessy, a/k/a Old Crankypants; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Praetextatus and Paulina's Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Guardians of the Eleusinian Mysteries, pagan activists and devotees who tried to save Roman religions; date approximate)

Pushkar Camel Fair -- Pushkar, India (for the camels, racing, fancy dress, changing owners, taking tourists on rides, and the chance to liven up this usually quiet town, and for the people, singing, dancing, exotic food, and watching the camels; through the 28th)

Revolution Day -- Mexico (traditional)

St. Edmund the Martyr's Day (Patron of kings, torture victims, wolves; East Anglia, England; against plagues)

Teachers' Day -- Vietnam

Transgender Day of Remembrance -- memorial for those who have been killed because of transphobia

Universal Children's Day -- UN

Zumbi Day -- Brazil (death anniversary of Zumbi dos Palmares, a day of Afro-Brazilian consciousness, as he was a hero and freedom fighter)

Anniversaries Today:

The Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London, 1947

Birthdays Today:

Bo Derek, 1956
Duane Allman, 1946
Veronica Hamal, 1943
Joe Biden, 1942
Dick Smothers, 1939
Richard Dawson, 1932
Estelle Parsons, 1927
Kaye Ballard, 1926
Robert F. Kennedy, 1925
Alistair Cooke, 1908
Edwin Hubble, 1889
Susanna Wesley, 1669 (mother of John, Charles, and 17 other children)
Peregrine White, 1620 (born on the Mayflower)
Maximinus, Roman Emperor, 270

Today in History:

Bögü, Khan of the Uyghurs, conquers Lo-Yang, capital of the Chinese Empire, 762
Zumbi, the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares of Brazil, is executed, 1695
New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the US Bill of Rights, 1789
Curacao's government forbids slave work on Sunday, 1795
Howard University is founded in Washington, D.C., 1866
US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports, 1914
1st municipally owned airport in US opens, in Tucson Az, 1919
In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation, 1962
The SETI Institute is founded, 1984
Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released, 1985
The number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million, 1989
In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage, 1992
The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched, 1998

Monday, November 19, 2012

Very Sad News

Do not read one more word if you do not want to hear the sad news.


Okay, if you read any further, don't say i didn't warn you, and no, this is not a joke.

Miss Lizzy has been having us babysit the Hazelnut, but always with the understanding that it was her dog.  The Hazelnut adored her "mama" from the time Miss Lizzie rescued her from the filthy cage she was spending her whole puppyhood locked in.

Sometimes she has been taking the Hazelnut for overnights, and sometimes having her here.  We were fine with it, the dog needed to be consistently with people who cared about her.

For the past few days, the Hazelnut had been with Miss Lizzie, and yesterday morning Miss Lizzie had a seizure while driving, wrecking her car.

The Hazelnut was killed instantly in the accident.

Miss Lizzie is still crying, and blaming herself, although there was nothing she could have done.  The seizure was out of the blue, and all tests on her have confirmed she was sober and taking her prescription medications exactly as directed.

It was just one of those freak things.  Miss Lizzie wasn't hurt, and her car hit a signpost, not another car.  There were no other injuries in the accident.

All of us are very sad and hurting over this, and we will miss the Hazelnut.

                                                    Rest in Peace, SuperPuppy Hazelnut

Today is:

Alligator Wrestling Day -- internet generated, and i wonder if a cat that doesn't want its meds counts?

Canadian Western Agribition -- IPSCO Place, Regina, SK, Canada (Canada's premier agriculture showcase; through Saturday)

Chhat Festival -- Nepal

Discovery Day -- Puerto Rico

Equal Opportunity Day / Dedication Day / Remembrance Day -- anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

Flag Day -- Brazil

Garifuna Day/Carib Settlement Day -- Belize

"Have a Bad Day" Day -- for the hidden, or not so hidden, grouch in all of us; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

International Men's Day -- Australia; Canada; Ghana; Hungary; India; Ireland; Jamaica; Malta; Singapore; South Africa; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States

Learn When To Start Thawing the Turkey Day -- US (USDA "Let's Talk Turkey" hotline 800-535-4555; Butterball "Turkey Talk-Line" 800-323-4848)

Liberation Day -- Mali

National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

National Day -- Monaco

National Military Families Recognition Day -- US (by Presidential Proclamation in 1993, the Monday before Thanksgiving Day)

Please Maintain Your Focus Today Day -- internet generated, but a good idea

Revolution Day -- Mexico

St. Obadiah's Day (Obadiah the Prophet)

"What Ever Happened to Gary Pucket?" Day -- internet generated, and a fun question to research

World Toilet Day -- sponsored by the World Toilet Organization (yes, really, to raise awareness of the 2.5 billion people who don't have access to proper sanitation)

Birthdays Today:

McCaughey Septuplets, 1997
Kerri Strug, 1977
Jodie Foster, 1962
Meg Ryan, 1961
Calvin Klein, 1942
Ted Turner, 1938
Dick Cavett, 1936
Larry King, 1933
Indira Gandhi, 1917
Tommy Dorsey, 1905
James Garfield, 1831

Today in History:

The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, begins, 1095
Rabbi Isaiah b Abraham aha-Levi Horowitz arrives in Isreal, 1621
The Jakobinen club forms in Paris, 1794
The Jay Treaty, the first US extradition treaty, is signed with Great Britain, 1794
Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the continent, 1805
Warsaw University is established, 1816
The St. Petersburg flood, caused by storms, kills 10,000, 1824
The second Canadian railway line, the Montreal and Lachine Railway, is opened, 1847
Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, 1863
Boss Tweed is convicted, sentenced to 12 years, 1874
Carrie Nation attempts to address the US Senate, 1903
NY receives the first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy, 1911
Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures (anybody want to guess what this eventually became?), 1916
The first issue of Time Magazine is published, with Emperor Hirohito on the cover, 1928
Télé Monte Carlo, Europe's oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III, 1954
The first automatic toll collection machine is introduced on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway, 1954
Ford cancels the Edsel, 1959
Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon, 1960
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement, 1977
Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrives in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire, 1996
Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $71.5 million USD, 1998
The People's Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft, 1999

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Can Only Hope It's True

 There is some evidence that chocolate, especially if it's dark chocolate, is somewhat good for you.

Now someone has shown a correlation between the amount of chocolate eaten per capita in certain countries and the number of Nobel laureates those countries produce.

So, is chocolate the secret to mental success, high test scores, low probability of dementia, lots of Nobel level thinkers, and just plain all around smarts?

Well, like all such claims, the darling of science news this week may be the dragon we have to slay next week.  New research every few weeks seems to discredit what previous research proved, and we are expected to change what we do to match the latest and greatest news.

Or, like me, we can pick and choose what we want to believe.

In this case, i'm going to err on the side of chocolate, which i like best as raw cacao nibs.

This is one i hope proves true over time.

Today is:

Alascattalo Day -- Anchorage, Alaska (A salute to Alaskan humor, a parade in honor of the "alascattalo", a cross between a moose and a walrus; the longest running, shortest parade in the world, held in the alley behind Club Paris from 12:03 to 12:07 pm.  A prize is given to the smallest and ugliest float -- yes, it must be both small and ugly.  An anonymous queen will be crowned, if she has the bad sense to show up.)

Calvin and Hobbes Day -- comic strip launched in 1985, with Calvin catching Hobbes in a home made tiger trap baited with a tuna fish sandwich

Day of Ardvi Sura (Aredvi Sura Anahita), Mother of the Stars -- Ancient Persian Calendar (date approximate)

Feast of the Virgen de Chiquinquirá -- Maracaibo, Venezuela

Hap-Dancing and Tiger-Tuning -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Morocco; Western Sahara

Jnan Panchami -- Jain (celebration of knowledge and education)

Married to a Scorpio Support Day -- remembering those married to Scorpios (like me!) and suffering because of it, and encouraging them too hide the flow charts and assert themselves today; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Mother Goose Parade Day -- El Cajon, CA, US

National Day -- Oman (trad.; will be observed Nov. 27)

National French Vichyssoise Day

Ned Ludd Memorial Machine-Smashing Day -- internet generated, but enjoy!  i know i will

Proclamation of the Republic -- Latvia

Push-Button Phone Day -- launched this day in 1963

St. Odo of Cluny's Day (Patron of needed rain)

Total Disregard for Taste Day -- marking the debut of Howard Stern's radio show on this day in 1985

Vertieres Day -- Haiti (Army Day)

Volkstrauertag -- Germany (National Day of Mourning for all victims of National Socialism and the dead of both world wars)

William Tell Day -- the famed apple-off-his-son's-head-shot was today in 1307

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims -- UN

Birthdays Today:

Elizabeth Perkins, 1960
Sinbad, 1956
Wilma Mankiller, 1945
Linda Evans, 1942
Brenda Vaccaro, 1939
Mickey Mouse, 1928
Alan Shepard, Jr., 1923
Imogene Coca, 1908
George Gallup, 1901
Eugene Ormandy, 1899
Clarence Shepard Day, 1874
Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer), 1861
Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1860
William Gilbert, 1836
Louis-Jacques Daguerre, 1787
Sojourner Truth, 1787

Today in History:

Old St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated, 326
The Japanese Emperor Kammy relocates the residence of Nara to Kioto, 794
William Tell shoots the apple off his son's head, 1307
The Holland/Zealand dikes break during a storm, resulting in thousands of deaths, 1421
The first English printed book, "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers", is published, 1477
Christopher Columbus first sights the island now known as Puerto Rico, 1493
Vasco da Gama reaches the Cape of Good Hope, 1497
The worst earthquake in Massachusetts Bay/Boston area, 1755
The first Unitarian Minister in the US is ordained in Boston, 1787
30 women meet at Mrs Silas Lee's home in Wiscasset Maine, to organize the Female Charitable Society, first woman's club in America, 1805
Mark Twain's story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is published in the New York Saturday Press, 1865
National Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizes in Cleveland, 1874
Standard time zones are formed by railroads in the US and Canada, 1883
The first newspaper Sunday color comic strip is printed, in the NY World, 1894
Britain flies its first sea plane, 1911
Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop, over San Diego, 1913
Sigma Alpha Rho, a Jewish high school fraternity, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1917
Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, 1928
Off the south coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean, a Richter magnitude 7.2 submarine earthquake, centered on Grand Banks, breaks 12 submarine transatlantic telegraph cables and triggers a tsunami that destroys many south coast communities in the Burin Peninsula, 1929
New York City's Mad Bomber places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison, 1940
In the United States, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is ratified, 1993

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In Honor Of...

 ...National Farm Joke Day:

The farmer and his wife were regular church goers, but Wilbur could not stay awake during the whole sermon to save his life (or his soul, for that matter, but i digress).

His long suffering wife, Leah, complained that her elbows were calloused from poking him to keep him awake, but it did no good.

The pastor found out that the other church members were taking bets on how long the sermon could keep Wilbur awake, but telling Wilbur this still had no effect.

Finally one day, at the store, Leah got an idea.  She bought some Limburger cheese and brought it home.  Putting it in an airtight container, she slipped it into her purse on Sunday morning just as they were leaving for church.

As the pastor began the sermon, Wilbur began to look sleepy as usual.  By about 1/3 of the way through the message, his head began to nod.  Sure enough, by the time the pastor was making his most salient points, Wilbur was snoring.

Leah was ready.  She took the container of Limburger from her purse, lifted the air tight lid, and waved it under Wilbur's nose.

Wilbur suddenly sat bolt upright and, in a voice that could be heard all over the sanctuary, said, "Leah, will you please keep your feet on your side of the bed!"

Happy Saturday, all.

Today is:

Army Day -- Democratic Republic of the Congo

Electronic Greeting Card Day -- internet generated, and of course probably started by the electronic greeting card websites

Family Volunteer Day -- to get families working together to better their communities and the world; info here

Holidays in the City Grand Illumination Parade -- Norfolk, VA, US (to kick off Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays)

Homemade Bread Day -- use the bread machine, it's fun and easy, i promise!

International Students Day -- International (meant to celebrate all students around the world, not specifically students studying in countries other than their own; anniversary of the Nazi storming and closing of the University of Prague)

John Peter Zenger Day -- marking his arrest in 1734 for libel; he continued to edit his newspaper from jail and was acquitted, an early victory for freedom of the press

Kalamazoo Russian Festival -- Kalamazoo, MI, US

National Adoption Day -- US (encouraging us to find a home for every child; many courts finalize thousands of adoptions of children from foster care on this day each year)

Natchitoches Festival of Lights -- Natchitoches, LA, US (over 350,000 lights go on every night from now until Jan, 6, with carolers on Friday and Saturday evenings downtown, festivals and events every weekend; come celebrate the season in the Oldest Settlement in the Louisiana Purchase)

National Baklava Day

National Farm Joke Day

National Unfriend Day -- all those people on Facebook you regret accepting as friends?  Jimmy Kimmel suggests you unfriend them today!

National Survivors of Suicide Day -- US (remembering those who have lost loved ones to suicide, especially as Thanksgiving and the holidays are coming)

Nordic Yulefest -- Nordic Museum, Seattle, WA, US (a Scandinavian holiday extravaganza; through tomorrow)

'Ohana Makahiki Festival -- Big Island, Hawai'i (through tomorrow; Celebration of Life, based on the native precontact 4 month new year celebration)

PCS and Homeplace Festival -- Waretown, NJ, US (a family affair with country, bluegrass, and traditional music)

Polytechneio -- Greece (anniversary of the 1973 student protests against the junta)

Presidents' Day -- Marshall Islands

Public Restroom Hand Dryer Appreciation Day -- internet generated, and why?  they've been proven less sanitary, blowing germs everywhere; i will not appreciate this one

Ranch Hand Breakfast -- King Ranch, Kingsville, TX, US (a real ranch hand meal, cooked and served outdoors, on a working cattle ranch where you can watch cowboys round up longhorns)
     part of La Posada de Kingsville, with special holiday celebrations through December

Shogi Day -- Japan (celebrating shogi, a chess-like game)

St. Elizabeth of Hungary's Day (Patron of bakers, beggars, brides, charitable societies, charitable workers, countesses, exiles, falsely accused people, hobos, homeless people, hospitals, lace makers/lace workers, nursing homes, nursing services, people in exile, people ridiculed for their piety, tertiaries, tramps, widows; Sisters of Mercy; Teutonic Knights; Erfurt, Germany; Jaro, Philippines; against in-law problems, the death of children, toothache)

St. Hilda's Day (Patron of learning and culture)

St. Hugh of Lincoln's Day (Patron of sick children, sick people, swans)

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day -- Czech Republic; Slovakia

Surin Elephant Round Up -- Surin, Thailand (includes elephant football, elephant tugs-of-war, and parades; through tomorrow)

Take A Hike Day -- internet generated, and some websites say it's actually "Tell Your Boss to Take a Hike Day", but i don't recommend that unless you've recently inherited a fortune or won the Lotto

Winter Welcome Quadrilles and Dainty-Sixes -- Fairy Calendar

World Prematurity Day -- because one in 10 babies is born prematurely, facing a very hard start in life

Birthdays Today:

Laura Wilkinson, 1977
Daisy Fuentes, 1966
Danny DeVito, 1944
Lorne Michaels, 1944
Tom Seaver, 1944
Lauren Hutton, 1943
Martin Scorsese, 1942
Gordon Lightfoot, 1938
Rock Hudson, 1925
Lee Strassberg, 1901
Atahualpa, last Emperor of the Inca, 1502
Flavius Claudius Julianus, Roman Emperor, 331
Vespian, Roman Emperor, 9

Today in History:

Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, 284
England and Spain sign an anti-French covenant/treaty, 1511
Elizabeth I ascends the English throne, 1558
France and Spain sign the Peace of the Pyrenees treaty, 1659
The Church of England organizes in New England, 1785
Congress holds its first session in the still incomplete Capitol Building of Washington, D.C., 1800
The Delta Phi fraternity, America's oldest continuous social fraternity, is founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York, 1827
Ecuador and Venezuela separate from Greater Colombia, 1831
Street signs are first authorized at San Francisco intersections, 1853
David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls, 1855
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March is given its première performance in Moscow, 1876
Japan and Korea sign The Eulsa Treaty, 1905
The first US dental hygienist course is formed, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1913
US declares the Panama Canal Zone to be neutral, 1914
Lenin defends the "temporary" removal of freedom of the press, 1917
American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain observe the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th Century, 1947
Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse, 1970
In Czechoslovakia, the Velvet Revolution that would overthrow the communist government begins when student protests in Prague are quelled by riot police, 1989
Brian May of the rock band Queen was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, 2007