Wednesday, July 31, 2013


My mornings start early, and yesterday was no exception.  It's no fun to start a morning by stepping into the laundry room, where the A/C unit is in the utility closet, and feel water.

It's happened for years, for many reasons, but i knew rain was not the cause, as it hasn't rained that much and i could hear the water dripping in the utility closet.

Ouch.  We live in a swamp, and summer can be awful without cool air.  Yes, people lived through summers here for years and years without it.  Yes, i'm pretty heat tolerant (until even i get so hot that my heart trouble bothers me).  Yes, we have limped through a couple of summers with only the one small room with the room unit A/C working and no central.  It's still not pleasant, and we are just not used to it.

So i put in the call early to the home warranty company to get on their list.  They then contact a local contractor, who is supposed to call me.

Only, the local contractor never called.  Not even a call to ask for information, much less to set up a service call.

We are blessed that Sweetie's work has an in house guy who used to work with an A/C company.  He comes each summer and cleans the outdoor unit, and tests it, and makes sure we are good for the summer, and for a lot less than a regular company charges.  When Sweetie told Kurt what was going on, he told us it had a simple solution, and offered to come by after work to fix it.

Now, i rather knew what the problem could be, or might be, because our old unit used to do this.  It meant a drain was clogged, and that it needed to be blown out and have some bleach poured down it to keep it clear.  When the old unit used to clog, i would dig out the garden hose, hook it up to the drain hose, and turn the water on.  That would clear it out every time.

With this unit, though, i'd never been shown how to access or clear the drain, which is a PVC pipe and not a hose, anyway.  So i decided to wait for someone to show me.

By the time Kurt got off work at 3:30pm, i still hadn't heard from the service contractor, but i hadn't canceled the call.  He came over, showed me how to clear the drain, put in the bleach, we changed the filter, and in under 20 minutes i had cool air again.

While bailing out the drip pan into the sump pump, we also managed to test the pump, and it worked great, also.  At least i now know it's still in good shape, if we ever do need it.

Instead of a deductible for a service call, i gave Kurt the $20 he asked for and told him that Sweetie will also treat him to lunch one day this week at work.  It's worth it, the deductible is much more than that.

Then i called the warranty company and told them, politely, that their contractor never even bothered to call me, and that i was not best pleased with their service.  Also that i no longer needed the service that day, and that it was a good thing, too, as i was not enjoying the symptoms i was beginning to have.

Today, i am very grateful that, although i spent a most unpleasant afternoon being so hot that i couldn't even cook, our A/C is working again, and i now know how to clear the drain myself, and keep it clear.

Today is

Always Live Better Than Yesterday Day

Cotton Candy Day

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola -- (Founder of the Jesuits, especially revered in Spain; Patron of retreats, soldiers, and the Society of Jesus which he founded; Basque country; Bilbao, Spain; Bizkaia, Spain; Gipuzkoa, Spain; Guipuscoa, Spain; Guipúzcoa, Spain; Spiritual Exercises (by Pope Pius XI); Vizcaya, Spain)

Friendship Festival -- Lathrop, Missouri, US (this year's theme is "Mule Dynasty"; through Saturday)

Hachinohe Sansha Taisai -- Hachinohe City, Japan (one of the most elaborate neputa festivals, through Aug. 4)

Halifax International Busker Festival -- Halifax, NS, Canada (with  action packed, mind blowing shows from around the globe; through August 5)

Jump for Jellybeans Day

Ka Hae Hawai'i Day -- Hawai'i (State Flag Day)

Lammas Eve / Lughnassad Eve

Lithasblot -- Norse harvest festival with a "blot", or offering, to the gods, celebrated through tomorrow

Loki and Sigyn's Day - Asatru / Norse Pagan (aka Devoted Couples Day)

Maine Lobster Festival -- Rockland, ME, US (more fun than a lobster can shake a tail at; through Sunday)

Make Homemade Ice Cream and Invite the Neighbors Over Day -- summer's almost over, make the most of the days we have left!

Moby Dick Marathon -- aboard the last US wooden whaler, the Charles W. Morgan, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT, US (through tomorrow, from noon to noon, a marathon reading of Moby Dick in honor of Melville's birthday)

Mutts' Day -- because mutts deserve a day as much as purebreeds do!

National Raspberry Cake Day

St. Germanus' Day (Patron of Auxerre, France)

St. Joseph of Arimathea's Day -- Eastern Orthodox Church (Patron of funeral directors)

Birthdays Today

Eric Lively, 1981
Dean Cain, 1966
J.K. Rowling, 1965
Jim Corr, 1964
Wesley Snipes, 1962
Bill Berry, 1958
Michael Biehn, 1956
Evonne Goolagong, 1951
Barry Van Dyke, 1951
Geraldine Chaplin, 1944
Ted Cassidy, 1932
Curt Gowdy, 1919
Milton Friedman, 1912

Today in History

Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide, BC30
The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji, 781
Thessalonica falls to the Arabs, who destroy the city, 904
The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect, 1492
On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus
becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad, 1498
Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India, 1658
The Treaty of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War, 1667
Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers, 1703
The U.S. Second Continental Congress passes a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette  "be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions[sic], he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States," 1777
First U.S. patent is issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process, 1790
Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city, 1856
The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia, 1865
The radio mystery program The Shadow is aired for the first time, 1930
Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis, 1938
First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio, 1954
At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning because of rain, 1961
The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy, 1970
Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover, 1971
NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo, 1976
A rare, class F4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage, 1987
Georgia joins the United Nations, 1992
Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro, 2006
Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end, 2007

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Villainous Idea

"Cows!  Too many cows!"  Bigger Girl was home, and she had obviously been working with cows that day.

So, what did you do with cows today? i asked.

"We had to ultrasound and flush.  And there are so many!  And it gets boring, the same thing over and over. so I started thinking.  You know how the government sometimes sells old, empty missile silos?  Well, what if somebody bought one and turned it into a fake 'supervillain lair" for people to take tours?

"Think about it," she continued.  "The owner could dress up like the villain and give tours, and it could be interactive, and he could give out pamphlets about why he wants to rule the world!"

It does sound like something some people would want to do, i noted drily.

"Plus, it would be something different in the 'comic superhero' world, which has gone crazy lately.  I mean, the latest Young Avengers stuff is awful!  I came up with a better plot line and I was half asleep!" 

Yes, i'm sure you did, i said.

"Anyway, I like plot twists and really interesting character development.  The latest stuff has them killing off so many of their own characters it's awful!  And when they reworked some of the characters, they made them look like children instead of adults.  Maybe Stan Lee was drunk when he approved all of this."

"He's been appearing in a bit part in every one of the latest movies," Little Girl said, walking in.


"Yes, doing cameos, so it's a challenge, try to find him in the movie is the idea," she added.

Oh, i noted, like Hitchcock used to do!

"Yes, but old Alfred was nuts!" Bigger Girl said.  "I mean, think about it, he tied birds to a woman and tried to hit on her!  He was insane!  Who ties birds to a woman, and then sexually harasses her?"

Well, he did, and it's a shame, i said.  She deserved better than to be blacklisted because she wouldn't give him what he wanted.

"That's for sure," Bigger Girl said.  "But anyway, I thought about how I would design a supervillain lair if I had an old, empty missile silo while I was working with all those cows.  I think that's what saved my sanity today."

Glad to know it's intact, i grinned, and turned back to chopping onions.

Today is

Dia del Amigo -- Paraguay

Father-in-Law Day -- unsponsored and unclaimed, but fathers-in-law deserve respect, too

Feast of the Throne -- Morocco; Western Sahara

Festival of Fortuna Huiusque Diei -- Ancient Roman Calendar ("Fortune of the Present Day")

Friendship Day -- UN

Herbal Ballooning -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Vanuatu(1980)

Kronia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of Kronos as god of the harvest; date approximate)

Martyr's Day -- South Sudan

National Cheesecake Day

Paperback Day -- anniversary of the 1935 publication of Penguin #1, Arial, A Life of Shelley, by Andre Maurois in London, the first successful series of paperback books

Sumiyoshi Matsuri -- Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Osaka, Japan (Osaka's last major summer festival, through Aug. 1)

Sts. Abdon and Sennen's Day (Patrons of barrel makers and coopers; the ashes of ferns cut and burned on this day will keep away insects and unwanted guests)

Anniversaries Today

Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, marries Michael Tindall, 2011

Birthdays Today

Hilary Swank, 1974
Tom Green, 1971
Vivica A. Fox, 1964
Lisa Kudrow, 1963
Laurence Fishburne, 1961
Kate Bush, 1958
Delta Burke, 1956
Jean Reno, 1948
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1947
Paul Anka, 1941
Peter Bogdanovich, 1939
Buddy Guy, 1936
Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, 1933
Thomas Sowell, 1930
Sid Krofft, 1929
Christine McGuire, 1926
Henry W. Bloch, 1922
Casey Stengel, 1891
Henry Ford, 1863
Georg Wilhelm von Siemens, 1855
Emily Bronte, 1818

Today in History

City of Baghdad is founded, 762
The First Defenestration of Prague, 1419
Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage, 1502
At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs, which set the tone for French-Iroquois relations for the next one hundred years, 1608
In Jamestown, Virginia, the first European style representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time, 1619
An earthquake in Naples, Italy kills 10,000 people, 1629
Baltimore, Maryland is founded, 1729
Bartolomeo Rastrelli presents the newly-built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers, 1756
First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps,1859
Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signs the Treaty of Box Elder, agreeing to stop the harassment of emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah, 1863
In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first Football World Cup, 1930
Premiere of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short, 1932
A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto, 1956
US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid, 1965
David Scott and James Irwin on Apollo Lunar Module module, Falcon, land with first Lunar Rover on the moon, 1971
Six Royal Canadian Army Cadets are killed and fifty-four injured in an accidental grenade blast at CFB Valcartier Cadet Camp, 1974
Jimmy Hoffa disappears, 1975
In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line, 2003

Monday, July 29, 2013

Twelfth of Never

Bigger Girl had convinced me to go see Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the local university, performed by students.

It was merriment indeed.  You can perform Shakespeare with all the elaborate costuming, the big budget, the big name actors, the fabulous locations, and it can be awful.

Or, you can have a bunch of college students who are so obviously in love with what they are doing, that they take one simple set on a small, intimate stage, some very simple costumes and props, and their sheer joy at performing and turn out a masterpiece.

This was such a masterpiece.  They had cut some of it, so it wasn't a full 3 hours.  Their Malvolio was the only non-student and a member of the local acting guild, and he set the tone they followed.  He came across as pompous as my Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, can be, and that's saying a lot.  Even when they supposedly woke him and he came out in a cape and boxers to fuss at the drunk Sir Toby, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Feste, his expression was one of daring anyone to laugh, although of course we all did.

Orsino looked like a very young version of Chris Sarandon, who played Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride.  You could believe this man was deeply passionate.  Viola and Sebastian were cast so well that they not only did resemble each other, they had similar mannerisms and you could really believe they were brother and sister.

Olivia was one not to take guff off of Sir Toby, and Feste, the jester, rolled across the stage and had such fun you wanted to get up and have fun with him.

Maria capered about so prettily that it was easy to forgive her for her part in the tricks.  Antonio and the Officer who arrested him had a sword fight that had people in the front row of the tiny theater leaning back a bit in their seats, you could tell they meant business.

The singing was joyful, exactly in keeping with the setting and one of the supporting cast had the prettiest soprano voice i have heard in a long time.

We were both glad we went, although it did mean that i skipped out on attending Bedside Baptist yesterday afternoon.  If you've got a local secondary school or university with a drama department full of people who love what they do and do it well, go see a performance some time.  You just might be surprised.

Today is

Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day (Buy your cheese that will be sacrificed on Cheese Sacrifice Day, and no, I never have found out why there is a Cheese Sacrifice Day anyway or to whom you are supposed to sacrifice it.)*

Chicken Wings Day -- Buffalo, NY, US (they want it to be a national day, and maybe someday it will be)

Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure -- Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, WI, US (world's largest sport aviation event, through Sunday)

Feast of St. Martha, Virgin, Dragon Charmer, Sister of Lazarus (Patron of butlers, cooks, dieticians, domestic servants, homemakers, hotel keepers, housemaids, housewives, inkeepers, laundry workers, maids, manservants, servants, servers, single laywomen, travellers; Villajoyosa, Spain, which village she saved on her feast day by sending a flash flood to wash away the Moorish invaders in 1538)

Fiesta de Santa Maria Ribarteme (a/k/a Festival of Near Death Experiences) -- As Neves, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain (festival of Mary in which those who have come back from near death are carried to the shrine in open coffins, or walk there clad in shrouds)

International Tiger Day

NASA Day -- marking the day President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, creating NASA

National Anthem Day -- Romania

National Lasagna Day

National Thai Language Day -- Thailand (Wan Phasa Thai Haeng Chat)

Photograph Your Children When They're Not Looking Day -- get a good, candid shot to enjoy

Rain Day Festival -- Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (yes, it has rained at 113 out of the 138 observances of this festival on this date)

Runic Half-Month Thorn begins (defense)

St. Lazarus' Day -- date given in the Martyrologium Romanum; celebrated on Lazarus Saturday by most Eastern Churches and on Dec. 17 in most Western Churches

St. Olaf's (Olav) Day (Norway's Viking king; pPtron of carvers, difficult marriages, kings; Norway)related observances
     Olavsoka -- Faroe Islands (opening of Logting, or Parliament; a National Day, on the Feast Day of St. Olav)
     Oslok Eve -- Norway (celebrating the valiant death of their hero on this evening at the battle at Stiklestadt in 1030)
     sometimes associated with Thor's Day among the Norse and Thunor of the Anglo-Saxons

Territory Day -- Wallis and Futuna

*"A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality." Clifton Fadiman

Anniversaries Today

Mary, Queen of Scots, marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, 1565
Charles, Prince of Wales, marries Lady Diana Spencer, 1981

Birthdays Today

Wanya Morris, 1973
Julian McMahon, 1968
Martina McBride, 1966
Marilyn Quayle, 1949
Peter Jennings, 1938
Elizabeth Dole, 1936
Paul Taylor, 1930
Melvin Belli, 1907
Clara Bow, 1905
Dag Hammarskjold, 1905
Stanley Kunitz, 1905
Benito Mussolini, 1883
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805

Today in History

King Olaf II fights and dies trying to regain his Norwegian throne from the Danes, 1030
James VI is crowned King of Scotland at Stirling, 1567
English naval forces under command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France, 1588
John Graves Simcoe decides to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there, 1793
Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, 1836
In Tipperary, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule is put down by police, 1848
The First Hague Convention is signed, 1899
Sir Robert Baden Powell sets up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England; this is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement, 1907
The International Atomic Energy Agency is established, 1957
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand sign the agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel, 1987
The film Cry Freedom is seized by South African authorities, 1988
Astronomers announce the discovery of Eris, the largest dwarf planet in the solar system, 2005

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yesterday was busy, so today, a couple of jokes (while i'm off teaching Sunday school).  (And yes, i'm always a little bit off, but that's beside the point.)

All the high school football coaches in Louisiana have a conference once a year, and no one wants to have to share a room at the hotel with Coach Boudreaux from Breaux Bridge, because he snores so bad.  Since none of them can afford to pay for a separate room, they have to take turns.

The first night, it was Coach Arceneaux from Mamou's turn.  The next day, he come down to breakfast with bags under his eyes and looking awful, and he say, "Oh, man, that Coach Boudreaux!  He snore so bad, ya!  I din't get no wink o' sleep, I was up all night watching him!"

That night, it was Coach Thibodeaux from Iota's turn.  Man, the next morning, he looked even worse than Coach Arceneaux had, and he say, "Oh, I hope I don' ever have to sleep wit' dat Coach Boudreaux again!  I din't sleep at all, I was up all night watching him!"

Then it was Coach Gautreaux from Ville Platte's turn.  The next morning, he comes down looking fresh as a daisy.   Everyone axed him, "What happen?  Din't you have to sleep in the room wit' Coach Boudreaux?"

And Coach Gautreaux he say, "Yes, and so I tucked him in bed real nice, and kiss him goodnight on the cheek, and he spent all night watching me!"

Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, and Gauthier used to get together every month and go to the pool hall and play for the prizes.  None of them ever won until one night when all three won a prize -- Gauthier won a big ol' pot of gumbo donated by that new restaurant down the street, Thibodeaux won two nights at the Red Roof Inn in Lafayette and tickets for two to the local bar to see the Mamou Playboys perform, and Boudreaux, he won a toilet brush.

The next month, on the way to the pool hall, they compared how they had liked the prizes they had finally won after so long playing pool there.

Gauthier say, "Oh, man, me an' my wife, we done love that gumbo!  It was so good, and dere was so much, it las' us t'ree days, we don' have to cook!"

An' Thibodeaux, he say, "Well, let me done tol' you, dat Red Roof Inn is top!  Oh, it is plush!  An' dem Mamou Playboys, dey is so good, you would t'ink dey is from Ville Platte!"

Den Boudreaux, he say, "Well, I like me de toilet brush okay, but I t'ink I'm gone go back to using paper."

Today is

Anniversary of the Fall of Fascism -- San Marino

Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval a/k/a Expulsion of the Acadians Day -- Canada

Festival of Domhnach Chrom Dubh -- Ireland (Black Crom's Sunday, associated with the god Lugh and connected to the festival of Lammas; also connected to John Barleycorn, the personification of the grain, who is killed by being harvested at this time; many honor St. Patrick's Fast by making a pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, where he fasted until he overcame the pagan deity Crom Cruach [Crom of the Reek])
Festival of Hedjihotep -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (goddess of weaving; date approximate)

Geneva Arts Fair -- Geneva, IL, US (a juried event that is becoming one of the top such events in the US; through tomorrow)

Heyannir month commences -- Icelandic Calendar (Harvest Month, literally translates "Hay Working")

Imp-Handling Conference -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Peru(1821)

International Bog Day

Liberation Day / Anniversary of the Fall of Fascism -- San Marino

Mi'kmaq Pilgrimage to St. Ann Mission -- Mi'kmaq First Nations of Canada and Maine

Nagasaki Peiron Senshuken -- Nagasaki, Japan (two day dragon boat racing festival begun in the 17th century)

National Milk Chocolate Day

National Tree Day -- Australia

Olavsokuaftan (Olavsoka Eve) and the Olai Festival -- Faroe Islands (St. Olav's Eve, the night before the opening of Parliament and the festival of St. Olav; through tomorrow)

Parent's Day -- US

Procession of the Penitents -- Veurne, Belgium (passion play dating back to the 15th century)

Ranggeln -- Mt. Hundstein, Germany (traditional form of wresting, called ranggeln, in honor of St. Jacob's Day [which most celebrate on July 25]; this particular festival harks back to the pre-Christian Lughnasadh celebrations, which went through Aug. 1 and contained athletic events)

Soma-Nomaoi -- Haramachi City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (three day wild horse chase which recreates a battle from over 1,000 years ago)

St. Arduinus of Trepino's Day (Patron of Trepino, Italy)

Terry Fox Day -- born in Winnipeg on this date in 1958, he raised $24 million for cancer research by running over 3,000 miles on an artificial leg before his death in 1981 at age 23

Valencia Fair Battle of the Flowers -- Valencia, spain (conclusion and highlight of the Valencia Fair, with a parade and thousands of carnations thrown from floats, making a magical carpet of petals for all to enjoy)

World Hepatitis Day -- International

Anniversaries Today

Henry VIII marries Catherine Howard, 1540
The first Singing Telegram is delivered, 1933

Birthdays Today

Hugo Chavez, 1954
Sally Struthers, 1948
Jim Davis, 1945
Rick Wright, 1945
Bill Bradley, 1943
Phil Proctor, 1040
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, 1929
Earl Tupper, 1907
Rudy Vallee, 1901
Joe E. Brown, 1892
Beatrix Potter, 1866

Today in History

Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason, 1540
Bermuda is first settled by Europeans, survivors of the English ship Sea Venture en route to Virginia, 1609
Maximilien Robespierre is executed by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution, 1794
Welsh settlers arrive at Chubut in Argentina, 1865
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, guaranteeing due process and establishing citizenship for African Americans is certified, 1868
First flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, 1935
The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad foils a bullion robbery in the "Battle of London Airport", 1948
The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 moment magnitude flattens Tangshan, the People's Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851, 1976
Andorra joins the United Nations, 1993
Australian Ian Thorpe becomes the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships, 2001
The Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its thirty year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland, 2005

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Twenty-eight years ago today, and it was a Saturday, too i woke up early (as i usually do), cooked breakfast for any who wanted it, with the help of my Grandma Rosie, and by the end of the day, i was married.

It's been an interesting 28 years.  It has included two moves, five pregnancies, a few minor car accidents, surgeries, nights in the ER with sick/injured kids, health crises, and more good times than you could shake a stick at.

All the years represent a lot of "time real estate" that includes so much more than can be listed in a simple post.

Twenty-eight years of meals shared and vacations survived.  Twenty-eight years of me putting up with Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, and his resentfulness that his brother married and he didn't.*  Twenty-eight years of Sweetie putting up with my mother, whom we all love dearly but she has her quirks.  All the car breakdowns, kid meltdowns, church meetings, diapers changed, dishes washed, horrible home repairs, fabulous days celebrated -- everything, in short, that makes up life.

Do i have the strength for more?  Only if i'm given them in the usual way you live them, one day at a time.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.  Hold on, because, knowing our family, the ride will only get wilder and crazier from here.

*Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, and Sweetie are identical twins, but The Mouth is high functioning autistic, with all that it entails.  As i always say, if i had married him instead, i would be a widow and a felon, because i would have killed him!

Today is

Afrma Fancy Rat & Mouse Display -- Riverside, CA, US

Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous -- Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT, US (pre-1963 power and sailing yachts, river parade, and Rum Runners Rendezvous celebration; through tomorrow)

Barbie-in-a-blender Day -- while i get why we do it to Barbie, what did your blender do to deserve this?  originally thought of by, to defend our rights to comment on cultural icons, whether they are trademarked/copyrighted or not

Bugs Bunny Day -- the "wascally wabbit" made his debut in A Wild Hare, released on this day in 1940

Day of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus -- date on the Julian Calendar, these are the legendary saints who, upon persecution by the Emperor Decius and being walled up in a cave to die as martyrs, instead slept for over 200 (in the Koran, yes, they are mentioned there, it is 300) years; based on an even more ancient legend and the prototypes of Rip Van Winkle; related observances
     National Sleepy Head Day -- Finland (the last person in the house to wake on this day is awakened with water, either thrown on him/her or the person is thrown into water; in honor of the story of the Saints of Ephesus)
     Seven Sleepers Day -- Ancient Latvian Calendar
     Siebenschlafer -- Germany (a weather prognostication day, if it rains today, there will be rain for seven weeks more)

Hanover Dutch Festival -- Hanover, PA, US (celebrating the area and it's heritage)

Iglesia Ni Cristo Day -- Philippines

Ipip Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (festival for working on the king's tomb; date approximate)

Jose Celso Barbosa Day -- Puerto Rico

National Blunt Object Day -- this one is just weird, and no one wants to take the blame for starting it, either

National Creme Brulee Day

National Dance Day -- go out and bust a move on a Saturday night (but don't bust you, please)

National Day of the Cowboy -- US  (celebrating the heritage, and those who still work as cowboys/cowgirls today)

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

National Scotch Day

Over-The-Moon Night (Cows and Spoons) -- Fairy Calendar

"Paddle for Perthes" Disease Awareness Day -- to promote awareness of the children's condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

St. Pantaleon's Day (Patron of bachelors, physicians, torture victims; against tuberculosis)

Sumidagawa River Fireworks Festival -- Tokyo, Japan (one of Japan's largest fireworks festivals)

Take Your Houseplants For a Walk Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, which claims doing this will orient them to their position on the earth and make them healthier (some websites mistakenly call it take your pants for a walk day!)

Taylor Horsefest -- Taylor, ND, US (big enough to be fun, small enough to get you lots of time with the stars of the show, the horses! through tomorrow)

Victory Day -- North Korea

Walk on Stilts Day -- at your own risk always; sponsored by Bill "Stretch" Coleman, the Nine Foot Clown, who encourages everyone to walk on stilts to foster a chance to develop self-confidence, master balance and coordination, enjoy the challenge, and celebrate daring accomplishments at all ages

War Martyrs' and Invalids' Day -- Vietnam

Whitstable Oyster Festival -- Whitstable, Kent, England (celebrating the areas famed and protected oysers, Ostrea edulis; through next Saturday)

Birthdays Today

Ashlyn Sanchez, 1996
Cheyenne Kimball, 1990
Alex Rodriguez, 1975
Triple H, 1969
Maureen McGovern, 1949
Peggy Fleming, 1948
Betty Thomas, 1947
Bobbie Gentry, 1944
Gary Gygax, 1938
Jerry Van Dyke, 1931
Norman Lear, 1922
Alexandre Dumas, fils, 1824
Queen Hatshepsut, BC1508

Today in History

Siward, Earl of Northumbria invades Scotland to support Malcolm Canmore against Macbeth of Scotland, who usurped the Scottish throne from Malcolm's father, King Duncan; Macbeth is defeated at Dunsinane, 1054
Jesuit priest Francis Xavier's ship reaches Japan, 1549
The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies have to be sent in English ships from English ports, 1663
A Royal Charter is granted to the Bank of England, 1694
The Russian Navy defeats the Swedes atthe Battle of Grengam, 1720
The first U.S. federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, is established (later renamed Department of State), 1789
Robespierre is finally arrested, 1794
The Atlantic Cable is successfully completed, allowing transatlantic telegraph communication for the first time, 1866
Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting announce the discovery of the hormone insulin, 1921
The animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny, 1940
RMS Titanic, Inc. begins the first expedited salvaging of wreckage of the RMS Titanic, 1987
A pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA, US, during the Summer Olympics, 1996
Photograph negatives purchased at a garage sale prove to be early works by photographer Ansel Adams, 2010

Friday, July 26, 2013

Feline Friday: Share!

If only we could all share like this.


The buff is Misha, the black is Collins.  They are from different litters, but are now brothers.  They eat and drink from the same bowl and are always together.

Today is

Aberdeen International Youth Festival -- Aberdeen, Scotland (talented young people in all areas of performing arts and from around the world participate; through Aug. 3)

All or Nothing Day -- no history on this one, but it's supposed to be the day you decide to live as if it's going to be your last!

Antique Power and Steam Exhibition -- Burton, OH, US (over 100 antique engines show they can still cut the mustard -- or saw the logs, thresh the grain, etc.; through Sunday)

Arcadia Daze -- Arcadia, NY, US (lots of family friendly fun in this scenic village; through Sunday)

Aunt and Uncle Day -- originally proposed on this day in 2005 by Florida State Senator Tony Hill; if you have aunts and uncles you love, why not give them a call today

Bele Chere -- Asheville, NC, US (the largest outdoor free festival in the Southeast US; through Sunday)

Dia de la Rebeldia -- Cuba (Revolution Anniversary)

Dodge City Days -- Dodge City, KS, US (a celebration of Western heritage; through Aug. 4)

Farm Heritage Days -- American Farm Heritage Museum, near St. Louis, MO, US (celebrating America's farm heritage; through Sunday)

Festival of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of Sleipnir -- Norse Pagan (date approximate, honored Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir)

Gilroy Garlic Festival -- Gilroy, California (the part of the world that grows more of our garlic than anywhere else, where you can almost marinate a steak just by hanging it on the clothesline in the breeze, celebrates the stinky rose; through Sunday)

Gold Discovery Days -- Custer, SD, US (bed races and pancake breakfast, children's fair and more; through Sunday)

Green Corn Ceremony -- Native Americans (thanksgiving for the maize harvest; these are celebrated by many tribes in many different ways and are not generally scheduled as they depend on how the corn grows; some have with rites including a Thanksgiving Prayer, Confession Chant, and Feather Dance; the Santa Ana Pueblo holds an annual Corn Festival on this date each year that is open to the public)

Groovy Chicken Day -- don't ask, just enjoy

Independence Day -- Liberia(1847); Maldives(1965)

Iowa Storytelling Festival -- Clear Lake, IA, US (come listen to professional and amateur storytellers in the scenic lakeside setting, and including a story exchange for novice storytellers; through tomorrow)

Kargil Vijay Diwas -- India (Kargil Victory Day)

Langholm Common Riding -- Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland (a traditional riding of the bounds, with lots of celebrating, begins 5am and ends 9:30pm)

Lieksa Brass Week -- Lieksa, Finland (the world's finest brass music in various styles by international class musicians; through August 3rd)

Lumberjack World Championships -- Hayward, WI, US (the world's greatest lumberjacks face off in the "Olympics of the Forest"; through Saturday)

Mutomboko Ceremony -- Luapula Province, Zambia (among the Lunda of the Kazembe kingdom, a rich celebration of African cultural heritage, traditional dances and music, and sponsored by the Royal Family; through tomorrow)

National Coffee Milkshake Day

Nuzul Al-Quraan -- Brunei; Malaysia (Quran Revelation Day)

One Voice Day -- readings around the world of the Universal Peace Covenant, sponsored by the School of Metaphysics

Otaru Tide Festival -- Otaru Wharf, Otaru City, Japan (one of Japan's biggest sea festivals, through the 28th)

Racial Desegregation Day -- date in 1944 the US Army ordered training camp facilities desegregated, and the date in 1948 President Truman signed the order integrating the US armed forces

Schools Tree Day -- Australia (because National Tree Day is always a Sunday, the schools participate in planting trees the Friday before)

St. Anne's Day (traditional name given to the mother of Mary; Patron of broommakers, cabinetmakers, carpenters, childless people, equestrians, expectant mothers, grandmothers, grandparents, homemakers, horse men, horse women, housewives, lace makers, lace workers, lost articles, miners, mothers, old-clothes dealers, poor people, pregnancy, pregnant women, riders, seamstresses, stablemen, turners, women in labour; Canada; France; Micmaqs; over 20 cities around the world; against poverty and sterility)

St. Joachim's Day (traditional name given to the father of Mary; Patron of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents; Adjuntas, Puerto Rico)

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Talk in an Elevator Day

UFO Days -- Elmwood, Wisconsin, US (Wisconsin's UFO capital, visit the petting zoo, shop at the community wide thrift sale, take part in the fun run, softball games, medallion hunts, bed races, and dances; watch the crowning of Miss Elmwood, the tractorcade, the car and truck show, the nightly fireworks, and stage bands; let the kids have a ball in the greased pig race and kiddie water fight; enjoy the Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast and the bake sale; and no need to miss church Sunday morning, bring a lawn chair for the ecumenical service so you don't miss a moment of the fun and excitement! through Sunday)

Wonderful Drinks Day -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today

New York becomes the 11th US State, 1788
Signing of the American's With Disabilities Act, 1990

Birthdays Today

Kate Beckinsale, 1973
Sandra Bullock, 1964
Kevin Spacey, 1959
Angela Hewitt, 1958
Dorothy Hamill, 1956
Roger Taylor, 1949
Helen Mirren, 1945
Mick Jagger, 1943
Dobie Gray, 1940
Stanley Kubrick, 1928
Blake Edwards, 1922
Jason Robards, Jr., 1922
Vivian Vance, 1912
Gracie Allen, 1902
Aldous Huxley, 1894
Carl Jung, 1875
George Bernard Shaw, 1856
The United States Postal Service, 1775

Today in History

The first recorded women's cricket match took place near Guildford, England, 1745
The birth of what would later become the United States Post Office Department is established by the Second Continental Congress, 1775
The Surrey Iron Railway, often considered the world's first public railway, opens in south London, 1803
In California, the poet and American West outlaw calling himself "Black Bart" makes his last clean getaway, 1878
Premiere of Richard Wagner's Parsifal at Bayreuth, 1882
Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement, 1887
United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation), 1908*
King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memoria, 1936
The Labour Party wins the United Kingdom general election of July 5 by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power, 1945
U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council, 1947
U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States, 1948
Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus beginning the Cuban Revolution, 1953
Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous satellite, is launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster, 1963
The National Assembly of Quebec imposes the use of French as the official language of the provincial government, 1977
A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, thus becoming the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 1989
Mumbai, India receives 99.5cm of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days, 2005

*Yes, the grand-nephew of Napoleon I started the FBI -- I'm not sure why that seems so odd to me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Millions more to go.

"Would you be able to take me to get my ID tomorrow?"  Young Jacob had been dropped at our house for a visit, as he cannot drive for a while.  Epilepsy that's not fully controlled and driving do not mix.

Sure, i told him, what time do you want me to pick you up?

"Well, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, too, but I lost my wallet again, so I want to go get a replacement ID before I see the doc."

That, i told him, can by handled by the "mini DMV" as i call it, the one that only does certain things, like replacing a lost ID.  They open at 8am -- do you want to wait in line before or after they open?

"Before.  Could you pick me up a bit after 7am?  It's out on Hoover Road."

Sure.  After i turn from the highway onto Hoover, what next?

"Take a left onto the gravel road that's right after the long, green fence, and I'll be waiting at the end of the driveway."

And that is why, the next morning, bright tailed if not bushy eyed after feeding kittens at 5am, i was pulling onto a gravel driveway all the way out on Hoover Road at 7:20 in the blessed morning, as my father sometimes says.

"Thank you so much!" Young Jacob said, as he climbed in.

How long did you have to wait? i asked.

"Not long, but I don't have an alarm clock and the Game Boy that I sometimes use died because I played for four hours straight and I can't find the charge cord, so I was afraid I overslept."

What about your phone? i asked.

"Oh, I haven't been able to find it, either, since I ran off the road the other day.  But I did find this one in my truck, and I don't know where it came from.  So I'm going to put some minutes on it and use it until I can buy one."

Is there anything you haven't lost lately? i asked.

"My mind," he said with a smirk.

Good for you, i told him, as i lose mine regularly.

"Yeah, with your kids, I can imagine.  Each of yours is a special apple, that's for sure.  Even #1 Son.  Did you know he is scared of the new place I'm moving to?"

Oh, you are moving?

"Yeah, to be closer to work.  Walking distance.  I'll be rooming with a guy I've known for several years.  It's over behind the dog park, you know the area?  It's really not a great neighborhood, but I've been hanging around there for years with my friend, so the people out there know me and won't be telling me I'm the white boy on the wrong end of town.  But your son, he's scared of the place, and when I take him there, he won't roll the windows down!"

It's sad, i thought to myself, that there are still parts of any town in this country where people might feel unsafe for being the wrong race.  Something is still fundamentally wrong with that.

So, i asked, after you get your ID, what will you do?

"Oh, my mom will be picking me up in a couple of hours to take me to the doctor."

You mean, you plan to just hang around here until then? i asked as i pulled into the parking lot.

"Yeah, I guess I'll find out how good I am at entertaining myself."

Well, how about instead i wait with you, as it's only 20 minutes until they open and we will be first in line, and then you can come back you my house.  Your mom has dropped you there before, and it's just around the corner from your doctor, so i could take you if she runs into a problem.

"You wouldn't mind that?" he asked.

Of course not, i said, and i meant it.  It really did only take us about 8 minutes after the doors opened.

A bit of a side story here.  Little Girl lost her phone a while back.  She has been convinced that she had it in the usual spot when she went to sleep one night, but it wasn't there in the morning.  She has torn the room apart and cleaned it thoroughly multiple times, and looked all through the rest of the house, too.

The afternoon after i had run Young Jacob on his errand, my phone rang.  Imagine my surprise when the call ID said it was Little Girl's phone!

As i answered, i just had a weird feeling, and i was right.

"Hi, do you know whose phone this is?" Young Jacob asked.

Yes, i answered, it is my daughter's phone that she has been looking for since forever!

At that moment i smiled over at Little Girl, and her eyes opened widely in surprise.

:"Where is it?  Who has it?" she yelled.

It's Young Jacob, and you must have left it in his truck, i told her.

"How!  What!  I thought it was in the house!  And I've torn stuff apart looking!" she sputtered.

Well, i said into the phone to Young Jacob, she's been without it this long, you go ahead and use it for a few days until you can replace your own, i'll send the charge cord to work with Sweetie tomorrow.

"Thank you, again!" he said.

Just don't lose it! i said, and he laughed.

"Don't worry, I won't," he said, and hung up.

Well, i said to both girls, at least we now know what happened to that phone.  You dropped it in Young Jacob's truck when he gave you a ride to the store.

At that moment, Bigger Girl piped up, "That's one mystery in life down, ten million more to go."


Today is

Act Like A Caveman Day -- internet generated, just to be fun, especially if your neighbors think you are crazy anyway

Annie Oakley Days Festival -- Greenville, OH, US (keeping alive the legacy of "Little Miss Sure Shot" with a shooting contest today as well as a pilgrimage to her grave, then tomorrow starts the Melodrama performances, ugly boot contest, Family Fun Games, and more; through Sunday)

Bayreuther Festspiele -- Bayreuth, Germany (Wagner festival, through Aug. 28)

Be Adamant About Something Day -- it's good practice

Berne Swiss Festival -- Berne, NE, US (Swiss food, dancing, yodeling, a stein-toss, and lots more family fun; through Saturday)

Calgary Folk Music Festival -- Calgary, AB, Canada (one of Calgary's biggest and most fun festivals ;through Sunday)

Commonwealth Constitution Day -- Puerto Rico

Culinarian's Day -- another one here because of the internet, but a good excuse to let your inner chef go wild, and enjoy the results

Ebernoe Horn Fair -- Sussex, England (ancient horn fairs were pagan fertility rites, now just a fun time for all)

Eve of the Hathor Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of the Knee-Knockers -- Fairy Calendar

Furrinalia -- Ancient Etruscan Calendar (Furrina, goddess of the sacred grove and spring on Janniculum hill)
      also Ancient Roman Calendar (to honor those who searched for underground water sources)

Great Texas Mosquito Festival -- Clute, Texas, US (Annual salute to the fact that if you can't beat 'em, and when it's mosquitoes, you can't, you might as well celebrate 'em.  There's something for all ages, including the Skeeter Beaters Baby Crawl, a Mosquito calling contest, and a Mr. & Mrs. Mosquito Legs Contest, plus games, rides, carnival food, and more; through Saturday)

Guanacaste Day -- Costa Rica

Guayaquil Day -- Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ilyap'a -- Ancient Inca Calendar (festival of the lightning god; date approximate)

National Chili Dog Day

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Nova Scotia Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Festival -- Bible Hill, NS, Canada (Canada's longest running bluegrass festival and a great event for the whole family; through Sunday)

Quilt Odyssey 2013 -- Hershey, PA, US (national quilt competition, through Sunday)

Republic Day -- Tunisia

St. Christopher's Day (Patron of archers, automobile drivers/motorists, bachelors, boatmen, bookbinders, busdrivers, cab drivers,epileptics, fruit dealers, fullers, gardeners, lorry drivers, mariners, market carriers, porters, sailors, taxi drivers, transportation/transporation workers, travellers, truck drivers/truckers, watermen; Baden, Germany; Barga, Italy; Brunswick, Germany; Fubine, Italy; Havana, Cuba; Mecklenburg, Germany; Rab, Croatia, St. Christopher's Island; Saint Kitts; Toses, Girona, Calalonia, Spain ;for a holy death; against bad dreams, epilepsy, floods, hailstorms, lightning, pestilence, storms, sudden death, toothache)

St. James' Day (The Apostle, brother of St. John and son of Zebedee, the first Apostle martyred; Patron of apothecaries/druggists/pharmacists, arthritis sufferers, blacksmiths, equestrians and horsemen, furriers, knights, laborers, pilgrims, soldiers, tanners, veterinarians; Altopascio, Lucca, Italy; Antigua, Guatemala; Bangued, Philippines; Brentino Belluno, Italy; Caltagirone, Italy; Cassine, Italy; Chile; Cicala, Catanzaro, Italy; Comitini, Italy; Compostela, Spain; Galicia, Spain; Gavi, Italy; Guatemala; Hettstedt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany; Jemez Indian Pueblo; Loiza, Puerto Rico; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Montreal, Canada; Nicaragua; Pistoia, Italy; Rivarolo Canavese, Italy; Sahuayo, Mexico; Seattle, Washington; Spain; Tesuque Indian Pueblo; against arthritis and rheumatism; sometimes called Jacob, the Latinized version of his name, also Iago and Jaques in Romance languages) related observances
     Dia Nacional de Galicia -- Galicia, Spain (National Day of Galicia, a/k/a Apostole Santiago, St. James the Apostle's Day)
     The Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela -- Galicia, Spain (one of the world's largest pilgrimages still, to the church that has the supposed relics of St. James, culminates on the Saint's feast day)
     Loiza Aldea Fiesta -- Puerto Rico

Birthdays Today

Brad Renfro, 1982
Louise Brown, 1978
Matt LeBlanc, 1967
Walter Payton, 1954
Barbara Harris, 1935
Estelle Getty, 1923
Walter Brennan, 1894
Maxfield Parrish, 1870

Today in History

Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler, 285
Constantine I is proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops, 306
The Edict of Pistres of Charles the Bald orders defensive measures against the Vikings, 864
Sebastián de Belalcázar, on his search for El Dorado, founds the city of Santiago de Cali, Colombia, 1536
Don Diego de Losada founds the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, modern-day Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, 1567
Henry IV of France publicly converts from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism, 1593
James VI of Scotland is crowned James I of England, bringing the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into personal union; political union would occur later, 1603
Ignacio de Maya founds the Real Santiago de las Sabinas, now known as Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, México, 1693
British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council order the deportation of the Acadians; thousands of Acadians are sent to the British Colonies in America, France and England, and some later move to Louisiana, while others resettle in New Brunswick, 1755
Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain), 1797
Costa Rica annexes Guanacaste from Nicaragua, 1824
The first commercial use of an electric telegraph is successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town in London, 1837
The Japanese daimyo begin returning their land holdings to the emperor as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms, 1869
Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers that a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), and patents a process for manufacturing it, 1908
Sir Thomas Whyte introduces the first income tax in Canada as a "temporary" measure, 1917
The first transatlantic two-way radio broadcast takes place, 1920
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) is established, 1925
At Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis stage their first show as a comedy team, 1946
Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collides with the MS Stockholm in heavy fog and sinks the next day, killing 51, 1956
The Republic of Tunisia is proclaimed, 1957
Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby" is born, 1978
Israel and Jordan sign the Washington Declaration, which formally ends the state of war that had existed between the nations since 1948, 1994
K.R. Narayanan is sworn-in as India's 10th president and the first Dalit— formerly called "untouchable"— to hold this office, 1997
Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde supersonic passenger jet, F-BTSC, crashes just after takeoff from Paris killing all 109 aboard and 4 on the ground, 2000
Pratibha Patil is sworn in as India's first woman president, 2007
Wikileaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history, 2010

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Needed the Laugh

It was, indeed, one of the days where i needed a laugh.

The two youngest are in summer school not because of failing, but to see about getting them further in some academic goals more easily.  It means i am still spending at least an hour a day, and sometimes two hours, driving them out there and picking them up four days a week.

So it is a big deal to me, in time and gas wasted, when we get out there and the school is closed and i didn't know, which is what happened yesterday.

The teacher/principal and her sister secretary/bookkeeper were not to blame though.  It was a family emergency.  After several years of their elderly father battling cancer and getting progressively weaker and more and more stubborn about the fact that he and his wife can take care of themselves anyway, she fell and broke her hip.

In their family, i think this will bring the crisis to a head and her father will have to give in and realize that they cannot continue to live in their home and do everything for themselves.

It's a shame it had to come down to this, though.

So i'm glad today is "Tell an Old Joke" Day, because it gives me an excuse to trot out a few things.

Little Johnny was obviously not paying attention to his math lesson, so the teacher suddenly called out, "Johnny, what are 4, 2, 28, and 44?"

Thinking quickly,  he answered, "NBC, ABC, HBO, and Cartoon Network!"

The woman was out shopping for furniture for her daughter's room, and they had selected the pieces they wanted.  As the salesman wrote up the order, he needed information for the delivery, so he asked, "First name?"

"Elizabeth," the woman replied.

"What!" yelled the daughter.  "I thought your name was Mommy!"

There was a medical convention in N'Awlins, an' Dr. Boudreaux had come in from Carencro to attend.  He and a group of surgeons got to talking about which patients were the easiest to operate on.

"It's the accountants," noted one.  "Everything inside them is numbered!"

"Well, I have to disagree," said a second.  "I like electricians because it's all color coded."

"You should try librarians," noted a third.  "Everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

"Give me construction workers every time," a fourth noted.  "After all, they are very understanding when you have a few parts left over."

"Well, you all be wrong!" Dr. Boudreaux noted.  "The easiest patients are the politicians!  There's no heart, no brains, no guts, no spine, and the head and the hind end are interchangeable!"

To finish off, a joke from Bigger Girl  During all of the hoopla over the Royal Birth, her response to everyone clamoring to see the new heir as soon as possible had her say, "I feel sorry for his parents.  You'd think everyone could wait at least until the new baby smell wears off!"

Today is

Amelia Earhart Day

Children's Day -- Vanuatu

Chincoteague Pony Round Up -- Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, VA, US (through tomorrow)

Cousins Day -- because cousins are wonderful people to have around! sponsored by Claudia Evart of New York City, who must have had great cousins

Festival of St. Eloi -- French Basque

Jakaba Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (beginning of St. James' [Jacob] Festival, whose day is tomorrow; the beginning of hay harvest)

Jilwalla Jinks' Jamboree -- Fairy Calendar

National Drive Through Day -- but only if you won't pass out from the heat when you roll down the window! on the founding date of Jack-in-the-Box, the first drive through burger chain

National Tequila Day -- celebrate North America's first native-born distilled spirit

Oregon Brewers Festival -- Portland, OR, US (81 microbreweries from across the nation showcase their best, including rare, hard-to-find, and exotic beers; through Sunday)

Pioneer Day -- Mormon Christian

Pop a Wheelie Day -- before, not after, the tequila, please; a hospital visit is no fun

Public Opinion Day -- the first public opinion poll was published this date in 1824!

Simon Bolivar Day -- Ecuador; Venezuela

Sts. Boris and Gleb's Day (Patrons of princes; Moscow, Russia)

St. Christina the Astonishing's Day (Patron of all with mental handicaps, disorders, or illnesses, and mental health care workers, psychiatrists and therapists; against insanity and mental disorders)

St. Christina of Bolsena's Day (Patron of archers, mariners, millers)

Sumarauki -- Iceland (their calendar's extra days added to take into account the "drift" of the calendar from the moon phases)

Tell an Old Joke Day

Tenjin Matsuri -- Tenmangu Jinja, Osaka, Japan (one of Japan's 3 major festivals, through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today

Bindi Irwin, 1998
Dhani Lennevald, 1984
Anna Paquin, 1982
Summer Glau, 1981
Eric Szmanda, 1975
Jennifer Lopez, 1969
Barry Bonds, 1964
Linda Carter, 1951
Michael Richards, 1949
Ruth Buzzi, 1936
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, 1900
Chief Dan George, 1899
Amelia Earhart, 1897
Oswald Chambers, 1874
Alexandre Dumas, pere, 1802
Simon Bolivar, 1783
John Newton, 1725 (wrote Amazing Grace)

Today in History

Death in Kyoto, Japan, of Kamo no Chomei (b. 1155), Japanese author, poet (waka) and essayist, critic of Japanese vernacular poetry and major figure of Japanese poetics, 1216
Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against a ban on foreign beer, 1487
Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France, 1534
Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and replaced by her 1-year-old son James VI, 1567
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701
A Spanish treasure fleet of 10 ships under Admiral Ubilla leaves Havana, Cuba for Spain; on the 31st, all ships will be lost and come to be known as the !715 Treasure Fleet, 1715
Slavery is abolished in Chile, 1823
The first opinion poll was carried out in Delaware, USA, 1824
Benjamin Bonneville leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming's South Pass, 1832
After 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City, 1847
The first tramway opened in England, 1861
Tennessee becomes the first U.S. State to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War, 1866
Captain Matthew Webb, who was the first person to swim the English Channel, drowned while trying to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls, 1883
O. Henry is released from prison in Austin, Texas after serving three years for embezzlement from a bank, 1901
Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas", 1911
The passenger ship S.S. Eastland capsizes while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew are killed in the largest loss of life disaster from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes, 1915
The first insulin treatment is carried out, on a six-year-old girl, at St Guy's Hospital, London, 1925
The Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy, goes into effect, 1929*
The dust bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures to 109°F (44°C) in Chicago and 104°F (40°C) in Milwaukee, 1935
During an official state visit to Canada, French President Charles de Gaulle declares to a crowd of over 100,000 in Montreal: Vive le Québec libre! ("Long live free Quebec!"), 1967
The Quietly Confident Quartet of Australia wins the Men's 4 x 100 metre medley relay at the Moscow Olympics, the only time the United States has not won the event at Olympic level, 1980
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria when he was a child, is sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria, becoming the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office, 2001
Lance Armstrong wins his 7th consecutive Tour de France, 2005

*Nice try, fellas.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Of Horses and Humor

"Well, mom, i've found out just how used to their living conditions our horses are."  Bigger Girl had just gotten in from work.

What happened this time? i asked.

"We had borrowed a stallion from another research area, because the researchers wanted to be using some fresh stock for trying to predict genetic traits, and the plan was to allow them to mate naturally, but the mare wouldn't cooperate.  So we opened the gate, and Badger didn't even need to be led in.  He ran across the field, came in, she moved her tail, they mated, and he turned around and ran right back into his pasture.  It all took less than a couple of minutes.  Those horses are just too much into a routine!"

Sounds like it, although it's obviously one they like, i noted drily.

"Oh, and someone brought a cake!" she continued.


"We don't know.  It was in the break room, and it sat there all day, totally untouched.  No one I talked to knew who brought it, so we didn't want to touch it, although I really wanted to take one of the Oreos off the top.  Anyway, as the day went by, and everyone walked around it and ignored it, I started thinking 'The cake is a lie!'  You know, like in the movie Portal, where the computer promises cake but it's a lie."

So now you don't know if the Oreos were even there, do you?

"Nope.  But mom, I've decided I want to find the ultimate joke that will end crime and injustice and bring about world peace.  Think about it, World Peace Through Humor!"

Let me know when you find it, i told her.

Meanwhile, a funny sign that might not bring about world peace, but may make you smile.  This past Good Friday, a local Catholic Church had a sign outside that said, "He is Risen!  No Bingo Tonight."

Today is

Birthday of Emperor Haili Selassi I -- Rastafari

Flag Day -- Abkhazia

Gorgeous Grandma Day -- a day to celebrate those who age, date, and mate in style!

Hot Enough For Ya Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays as the only day on which you may utter these words; any other day, and you will get high fived on the back of the head! ;)

Hurricane Supplication Day -- US Virgin Islands

Mayan Sun Festival -- honoring Ahau Kin, the sun god, date approximate

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Neptunalia and Salcia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god and goddess of the ocean and wide seas, celebrates Neptune in his role as god of irrigation)

Private Eye Day -- internet generated

Remembrance Day -- Papua New Guinea

Renaissance Day -- Oman (celebrates the accession of Qaboos bin Said Al Said, 14th Sultan of Oman)

Revolution Day -- Egypt

St. Apollinaris' Day (Patron against epilepsy, gout; of Aachen, Germany; Burtscheid, Germany; Düsseldorf, Germany; Ravenna, Italy; Remagen, Germany)

St. Bridget of Sweden's Day (Patron of widows; Europe; Sweden)

St. Phocas the Gardener's Day (Patron of agricultural workers, boatmen, farm workers, farmers, field hands, gardeners, husbandmen, mariners, market-gardeners,sailors, watermen)

Warei Shrine Summer Festival -- Warei Shrine, Uwajima City, Japan (through tomorrow, includes "bull-sumo", a non fatal type of bull fighting, where the bulls try to push each other out of the ring)

Anniversaries Today

Prince Andrew, Duke of York marries Sarah Ferguson, 1986
Coronation of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, 1999

Birthdays Today

Daniel Radcliffe, 1989
Michelle Williams, 1980
Nomar Garciapara, 1973
Marlon Wayans, 1972
Charisma Carpenter, 1970
Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967
Woody Harrelson, 1961
Lamont "ShowBoat" Robinson, 1961
Don Imus, 1940
Don Drysdale, 1936
Bert Convy, 1933
Amalia Rodrigues, 1920
Harold "Pee Wee" Reese, 1918
Arthur Treacher, 1894
Haile Selassie I, 1892
Raymond Chandler, 1888

Today in History

William Austin Burt patents the Typographer, a precursor to the typewriter, 1829
The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union, 1840
The Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, the world's oldest international sport federation, is founded, 1881
The Ford Motor Company sells its first car, 1903
Fox Film buys the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film, 1926
Telstar  relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite, 1962
The International Whaling Commission decides to end commercial whaling within 4 years, 1982 *
Air Canada Flight 143 runs out of fuel and makes a deadstick landing at Gimli, Manitoba, 1983
Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered, 1995
Cape Verde becomes the 153rd member of the World Trade Organization, 2008

*Don't I wish that had worked!

Monday, July 22, 2013

And in other news

Well, to others, it might not be news, but i'm searching for another title and coming up empty.

Young Jacob, friend of both #1 and #2 Son and a maintenance worker at the same place where Sweetie works is back on restriction from driving from his epilepsy.  This time, it will be for a year, but only if they get it under control.

He will, therefore, need rides to and from work, which highlights how sad it is that we have such a terrible public transportation system here.

Our cat Hope, the mildly mentally retarded one, is not doing too well.  Most cats with her condition don't live very long lives, and she has been having "digestive difficulties" lately.  While i will spare the gory details, i can tell you that it is no fun having to unplug a plugged up cat.  There is no "purr" in purgative.

Misha is eating dry food, and occasionally licking some formula from a bowl.  Collins is right behind him, attempting to nibble the dry stuff, too.  They aren't too far from being big enough to go up for pre-adoption.  There are four more behind, them -- it was three, and a fourth was found and fit right in.

The dog, Vandy, has gone home.  His visit was enjoyable, but our house is not set up for a dog.  Like most Basenjis, he is mostly mute, very seldom making any noises.  The funniest line heard at our house while he was here was when he did actually bark at a knock at the door and Bigger Girl yelled, "If it's any of those annoying religious people, let's sic the dog on them!"

And that is all i can think of for today, as yesterday was church and i am still chewing on the sermon.  It was the kind i like, it takes days and days to digest, which makes for an interesting week. 

Today is

Aphrodisia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (bathing festival of Aphrodite and Peitho [Persuasion]; through tomorrow)

Asalhka Puja Day -- Buddhism (Buddhist "Lent" begins)

Festival of Boredom and Reverie -- Fairy Calendar

Full Buck Moon a/k/a Full Thunder Moon or Full Hay Moon; related observances
     Esala Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Waso Full Moon / Dhamma Cakka Day -- Myanmar

Hammock Day -- don't know who came up with this one, but at the height of the dog days, it seems appropriate; on some sites listed as Summer Leisure Day

International Childbirth Education Awareness Day -- can't find confirmation on this, but if you're going to have a kid, it's not a bad idea to get educated about what to expect!

King Father's Birthday -- Swaziland

La Guelaguetza a/k/a Los Lunes del Cerro -- Oaxaca, Mexico (folk dance, music and costumes, an extension of the celebrations of the Lady of Carmel, which used to be the feast of Xilonen, goddess of tender corn; now celebrated on two consecutive Mondays)

National Penuche Fudge Day

Pi Approximation Day (22nd day of month 7; 22/7 is the approximation of Pi)

Ratcatcher's Day -- celebrated by the British dating of the Pied Piper story; celebrated June 26 in Hamelin, Germany

Revolution Day -- The Gambia

Soma-Nomaoi Festival -- Haramachi City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (Wild-Horse Chasing, a four day festival in which a thousand horsemen, clad in ancient armor, compete for possession of three shrine flags, and along the Hibarigahara Plain, men clad in white costumes attempt to catch wild horses)

Spooners Day (Spoonerism -- Named for William Archibald Spooner, English cleric and scholar who once fussed at a student because "You hissed my mystery lesson," told a groom it was "kisstomery to cuss the bride," and once accidentally referred to Queen Victoria as "the queer old Dean.")

St. Mary Magdalene's Day (Patron of apothecaries, contemplative life and contemplatives, converts, druggists, glove makers, hairdressers and hair stylists, penitent sinners, penitent women, people ridiculed for their piety, perfumeries and perfumers, pharmacists, reformed prostitutes, tanners, women; Anguiano, Spain; Atrani, Salerno, Italy; Casamicciola, Italy; Elantxobe, Spain; Foglizzo, Italy; La Magdaleine, Italy; against sexual temptation)
   Stilt Dance Day -- Anguiano, Spain (a special stilt dance performed on the Feast of the city's patron, St. Mary Magdalen)

Birthdays Today

Madison Pettis, 1998
Selena Gomez, 1992
Daniel Jones, 1973
Rufus Wainwright, 1973
Shawn Michaels, 1965
David Spade, 1964
Willem Dafoe, 1955
Alan Menken, 1949
Albert Brooks, 1947
Don Henley, 1947
Danny Glover, 1946
Estelle Bennett, 1944
Bobby Sherman, 1943
Alex Trebek, 1940
Terrence Stamp, 1939
Louise Fletcher, 1934
Oscar De la Renta, 1932
Orson Bean, 1928
Bob Dole, 1923
Amy Vanderbilt, 1908
Alexander Calder, 1898
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1890
William Archibald Spooner, 1844

Today in History

King Edward I of England and his longbowmen defeat William Wallace and his Scottish schiltrons outside the town of Falkirk, 1298
The Swiss decisively defeat the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I in the Battle of Dornach, 1499
A second group of English settlers arrive on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony, 1587
Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean becoming the first Euro-American to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada, 1793
In the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Rear Admiral Nelson is wounded in the arm, and part of it is amputated, 1797
Death of Josef Strauss, Austrian composer, 1870
First ever motorized racing event is held in France between the cities of Paris and Rouen. The race is won by Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, 1894
Wiley Post becomes the first person to fly solo around the world traveling 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes, 1933
Dezik and Tzygan become the first of Russia's Space Dogs, making a sub-orbital flight, which they both survived, 1951
Japan completes its last reparation to the Philippines for war crimes committed during WWII, 1976
Martial law in Poland is officially revoked, 1983
The second Blue Water Bridge opens between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, 1997
Norway is the victim of twin terror attacks, on government buildings in Oslo and a youth camp at Utoya, 2011

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 A few weeks ago, while we were on vacation, Little Girl's close friend Annie came by each day and took care of our cats.  (She was earning money for her mission trip to Guatemala, and it was her first year doing it for us.  Though i was afraid she would be overwhelmed by our numbers -- no kittens, just all the adult cats -- she did a great job.  She can have the job every year from now on, as far as i am concerned.)

Now it's Little Girl's turn, as Annie's family is on a weekend family reunion getaway to the shore.  We are watching Vandy.


Vandy is a pure bred Basenji, and he's very strong for his size and fast as he can be.  He is so strong that a few weeks ago he pulled Annie's mother right off her feet and she ended up with a huge black eye where she hit the pavement.  He even made Festus, who is over 6 feet tall and weighs over 200 lbs., stagger when he pulled on the leash unexpectedly.

Little Girl is keeping him part time at his house, and part time at ours.  He began his adventures here by, when Little Girl tied his leash to our front porch column like we used to do with the Hazelnut so she could grab his water bowl that was just inside the door, chewing through his leash and high-tailing it back home, with Little Girl in hot pursuit.

You can tell that the cats have mixed feelings about this.

Link's language has been downright forcible.
 Dansig doesn't seem to mind too much, but Link is using the worst language i've ever heard out of him, everyone else is staying clear, and even the kittens are preparing to sell their lives dearly.

Misha wants no part in this adventure.

At night, he sleeps in Little Girl's room, looking very down in the dumps, she tells me.  He misses his family.

During the day, she keeps him mostly over at his house, where she is enjoying spending a lot of time reading in the peacefully quiet and empty house.

He's mostly a good dog, and as i've said before, if i didn't have to walk one every day and if i could trust myself not to let the training slip up, i'd have a dog.  The cats might not agree, so maybe it's for the best that i just enjoy everyone else's dogs and stick to what i know i can handle.

Today is

Anne Hutchinson Memorial Day -- Portsmouth, RI, US (honoring Anne Marbury Hutchinson, co-founder of Portsmouth, in 1638)

Codman Estate Antique Auto Show -- Codman Estate, Lincoln, MA, US (a day to appreciate antique and classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, and fire engines)

Coldest Day Ever -- the lowest natural temperature ever recorded on Earth was -89.2 *C (-128.6 *F; 184.0 *K) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica on this day in 1983

Concours D'elegance -- Forest Grove, OR, US (one of the premier vintage auto shows in the US)

Dornach Commemoration Day -- Dornach Battlefield and nearby city of Solothurn, Switzerland (victory in 1499 which ended the Swabian War)

Feast of Damo -- Ancient Greek Calendar (keeper of secrets of philosophy; daughter of Greek sages, Pythagoras and Theano, date approximate)

Feast of the Redeemer -- Venice, Italy (a procession of gondolas commemorating the end of the epidemic of 1575)

Galla Bayramy -- Turkmenistan (celebration of the wheat harvest)

Hemingway Birthday Celebration -- Hemingway Museum, Oak Park, IL, US

Independence Day / National Day -- Belgium(1830)

Kazanskaya -- Russia (Feast of Our Lady of Kazan)

Lakota Sun Dance -- Lakota Native Americans (festival of the sun god Wi, with offerings to Maka (mother earth) and Haokah (father sky), both aspects of Creator Tukaskanskan; dating approximate, as outsiders are usually no longer allowed at these multi-day ceremonies)

Liberation Day -- Guam (1944; from Japan)

Lucaria -- Ancient Roman Calendar ("Feast of Clearings", with prayers said as land was cleared for planting)

Luxembourg Beer Festival -- Diekirch, Luxembourg

National Ice Cream Day -- by US Presidential proclamation on the 3rd Sunday of July each year; at this time of year, the trick is to eat it fast enough that it doesn't melt, but not so fast that you get a brain freeze!

National Junk Food Day

Racial Harmony Day -- Singapore

Ragbrai / Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa(TM) -- Iowa, US (the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world; through the 27th)

Sapporo Summer Festival -- Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan (through Aug. 20, the park becomes a beer garden)

Schoelcher Day -- French West Indies; Martinique (Schoelcher worked for abolition)

St. Lawrence of Brindisi's Day (Patron of Brindisi, Italy)

St. Praxedes' Day (Patron of single laywomen)

Touch Hammer's Birthday Bargain Day -- Fairy Calendar

Tug-Of-War Tournament Day -- if you have a problem with someone today, solve it with an old fashioned tug-of-war!

Birthdays Today

Hatty Jones, 1988
Josh Hartnett, 1978
Jon Lovitz, 1957
Michael Connelly, 1956
Robin Williams, 1951
Cat Stevens, 1948
Kenneth Starr, 1946
Norman Jewison, 1926
Don Knotts, 1924
Kay Starr, 1922
Isaac Stern, 1920
Marshall McLuhan, 1911
Ernest Hemingway, 1899

Today in History

Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, BCE 356
A tsunami devastates the city of Alexandria, Egypt, 365
The first landing of French troops on the coast during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight, 1545
Twenty-four-year-old Scottish physician and explorer Mungo Park became the first European to see the Niger River, the third longest river in Africa, 1796
In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown, 1865
At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang pull off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West, 1873
Louis Rigolly, a Frenchman, becomes the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land, driving a 15-liter Gobron-Brille in Ostend, Belgium, 1904
In Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher John T. Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100, 1925
Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission, 1969
After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed, 1970
The world's lowest temperature is recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at -82.9*C (-129*F), 1983
The fully restored USS Constitution (aka "Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years, 1997
NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135, 2011

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day in My Life

"Mom, we were transferring embryos into a couple of mares today, and it occurred to me.  That stallion at work is the father of so many horses, that if he were a human, he'd owe more child support than any guy could ever pay!  And to a lot of different women, too!"  Bigger Girl loves her work, and often comes home with interesting observations.

Bigger Girl can also usually be counted on to come up with something interesting, so i asked her, as a favor for a friend, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

"As many as would want to do something so silly, which is probably none of them!" was her reply.

At that moment, Little Girl and Festus walked in, and i asked them if they had any clue why i had found the crunchy peanut butter and the jelly in the freezer that morning.

They looked at each other, and then, together, said, "Young Jacob!"

"Yeah, that sounds like something he would do," Festus added.  "He was here for a while last night, and had that mischievous look on his face."

Figures, i muttered.  Tell him not to do it again, when you see him, okay?

"I'll tell him," Little Girl replied.

Thank you, i said, it's way no fun to try to spread frozen peanut butter.

"Mom, I'm reading this book, The Good Old Days:  They Were Terrible! and it makes me so glad I'm not a poor person back when there were workhouses!'  Bigger Girl has a way of jumping to different topics quickly.

Well, i'm glad not to live back then either, i told her, i've also read that book.

"It makes me wonder, though, about all the people who want laws against this and that, and want government to go away and get out of their lives, but then want government to solve all of their problems." 

It's an odd dilemma, i admitted.

"Some of them, they say, No More Government" and "Get the Government out of our lives," but then they want the government to regulate who gets to live where and even worse, who gets to marry whom.  I mean, what do they want?  Get the government out of our lives, but let it into our bedrooms?"

Yes, it stumps me, too, i told her, and she turned back to the newspaper.

In this house, you never know when a day will bring you frozen peanut butter and a discussion with Bigger Girl.

Today is

Bannack Days-- Bannack, MT, US (through tomorrow; explore the territorial capital now turned ghost town and celebrate the pioneer spirit)

Canada's Parks Day -- Canada (showcasing Canada's beautiful parks and historic sites, it's worth traveling to a park near you!)

Celebration of the Horse -- Charlotte's Saddlery, Houston, TX, US (in honor of the human/equine bond; through tomorrow)

Cleat Dancing Day -- don't ask me who started this, i don't want to know what kind of mind came up with trying to tap dance in cleats

Dia del Amigo -- Argentina; Uruguay

Fortune Cookie Day

Gentse Feesten -- Ghent, Belgium (a ten day music and theatre festival)

Independence Day -- Colombia(1810)

International Chess Day -- "Of Chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not Chess" ~ William Ewart Napier

Kidspree -- Aurora, CO, US (free outdoor festival for kids; through tomorrow)

La Festa del Redentore / Feast of the Redeemer -- Venice, Italy (procession of gondolas and other craft to commemorate the end of the epidemic of 1575; through tomorrow)

Liberation Day -- Guam

Long Beach Island Festival of the Arts -- Loveladies, NJ, US (juried arts and crafts show, entertainment, food and more; through tomorrow)

Moon Day -- one small step...

National Hot Dog Day

National Ice Cream Soda Day

National Lollipop Day

National Woodie Wagon Day -- pay homage today to this great American symbol of freedom and the casual lifestyle

Peace and Freedom Day -- North Cyprus

Perun's Day -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan Calendar (celebration of Perun, great god of thunder)

Prince Lot Hula Festival -- Moanalua Gardens, Hawai'i

Special Oympics Day -- anniversary of the first Special Olympics in 1968

Ss. Cyril and Methodius' Parish Festival -- Sheboygan, WI, US (dance, Slovenian foods and music, and a Polka Mass)

St. Elijah the Prophet's Day (Patron of Carmelites; Romanian Air Force; against drought, earthquakes) related observance;
     Festival at the Monastery of Profitis Ilias -- Santorini, Greece (Prophet Elijas' festival)

Saint Margaret of Antioch's Day (Patron of childbirth, dying peple, escape from devils, exiles, expectant mothers, falsely accused people, martyrs, nurses, peasants, people in exile, women, women in labor; for safe childbirth; against kidney disease, loss of mother's milk by nursing mothers, sterility; Lowestoft, Suffolk, England; Montefiascone, Italy; Queens College Cambridge; Rixtel, Netherlands; Sannat, Gozo, Malta)

St. Uncumber's Day (Patron of difficult marriages; against men's lust; Las Tablas, Panama)

Synoikia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate; a celebration of the unification of all Attica, held in Athens)

Thgir-yaw-Dnuor Day -- Fairy Calendar

Toss Away the "Could Haves" and "Should Haves" Day -- write down all the "could have" and "should have" things in your life, then toss them in the trash! Resolve from this day to live in the present, not the past.

Ugly Truck Day -- must be a guy thing, they know where every scratch and dent came from, after all!

Vigil for Peace, Justice, and Respect for the Human Rights of all in Columbia -- a movement begun among Native Americans of many tribes, now open to all who seek peace

World Congress of Esperanto -- Reykjavik, Iceland; through next Saturday

Wrong Days in Wright, Minnesota -- in honor of "Wrong Way" Corrigan (through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today

Gisele Bundchen, 1980
Chris Cornell, 1964
Billy Mays, 1958
Carlos Santana, 1947
Kim Carnes, 1946
Diana Rigg, 1938
Natalie Wood, 1938
Chuck Daly, 1933
Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919
Alberto Santos-Dumont, 1873
Gregor Mendel, 1822
Francesco Petrarch, 1304
Alexander the Great, BCE 356

Today in History

Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, storms the Fortress of Antonia north of the Temple Mount; the Roman army is drawn into street fights with the Zealots during the Siege of Jerusalem, 70
The Riot Act takes effect in Great Britain, 1712
French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan, 1738
Citizens of Bogotá, New Granada declare independence from Spain, 1810
British Columbia joins the confederation of Canada, 1871
Sioux Chief Sitting Bull leads the last of his fugitive people in surrender to United States troops at Fort Buford, North Dakota, 1881
Ford Motor Company ships its first car, 1903
Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson becomes the first woman to preside over the US House of Representatives, 1921
In London, 500,000 march against anti-Semitism, while in Nuremburg, Germany, 200 Jewish merchants are arrested and paraded through the streets, 1933
The Organization for European Economic Cooperation admits Spain, 1959
Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world's first elected female head of government, 1960
The Special Olympics is founded, 1968
Apollo 11 successfully lands on the Moon 3:39 a.m. GMT 21st July, 1969
India expels three reporters from The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and Newsweek because they refused to sign a pledge to abide by government censorship, 1975
The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars, 1976
Hank Aaron hits his 755th home run, the final home run of his career, 1976
In Zimbabwe, Parliament opens its new session and seats opposition members for the first time in a decade, 2000