Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tough Guy

Well, at least #1 Son thought he was a tough guy.

It seems he started to get sick over a week ago.  He toughed it out, believing it would go away, or get better.  Then he called late Wednesday, after the doctor's offices are closed, and asked me to make an appointment with my doctor for him the next day.

Thursday, i started to call the office about 5 minutes before they would open, to catch them first thing.  We got a 2:30pm appointment.

Then later that morning, when i was up at the church working on the new committee they haven't even named, and that is just me and one other person, and we are supposed to go over the whole church and point out everything that needs cleaning and repair (and it's a big, old, rambling place with multiple buildings and it has a lot in the "needs cleaning and repair" department), he sent me a text that he could hardly breathe.

Dropping everything, i went to pick him up and bring him straight to the doctor's office.  This doctor happens to have his office in the hospital, and so he could send #1 Son for x-rays from there if he wanted, as we feared pneumonia.

Seldom have i seen my boy look so ragged as he did that morning.  His cough was incessant, and he could hardly catch his breath between bouts.  He managed to tell me that he had strained a muscle two days before from coughing so hard and was having trouble lifting his arm because of it.  Yet he still waited over a day after that to ask to see a doctor, thinking it would get better on its own.

He had also been swigging down OTC cough syrup like water, and that #2 Son had brought him the large package of cough drops we used to have in our medicine cabinet.  He had gone through most of it in only three days.

In the past few days, he had only eaten a couple of pieced of toast, a few bites of some fruit, and had a few sips of milk, because he had no appetite at all.

When we got to the doctor's office almost two hours early, they heard him coughing and made me fill out paperwork while putting him in a room.   About 15 minutes later, he called me as i sat in the waiting area to ask where we get prescriptions filled.  About 45 minutes after that, he emerged with an inhaler in his hands to say that his steroid, antibiotic, and cough medicine with codeine prescriptions had been emailed to the pharmacy already.

The doctor noted, "It doesn't matter if he has pneumonia or not, I'd put him on the same stuff anyway, so why bother exposing him to an x-ray?"


We drove toward the house and stopped at the pharmacy to drop off his insurance card and to tell them to send a text when it was ready.  Then i brought him to the house and we waited the requisite hour-and-a-half for them to get the stuff ready.

Once he had the medicine, he wasted no time taking any of it, especially the cough syrup with codeine.  (He had already had a dose from the inhaler when we left the doctor's office.)  He asked to be taken back to his "bachelor pad," a very nice little house where he shares the rent with 3 other people.  While i had my misgivings, he was anxious to get in his own bed.

Friday he got #2 Son to pick him up and bring him over to visit, and he was noticeably better.  The cough had calmed a lot, and was no longer a constant, body wrenching hack that made me hurt to hear it.  His appetite is picking up, and so of course he grabbed a few odds and ends before he left.

He is feeling much better now, and i think he has learned not to put it off when he gets sick, because it might not "go away on its own."

Today is:

Be Kind to Humankind Week: Speak Kind Words Saturday

Day of Solidarity and Freedom -- Poland (Anniversary of the 1980 August Agreement)

Eat Outside Day -- as long as you won't pass out from the heat

Eleusinia Games -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate; 3 days of games with grain as prizes)

Festal Day -- Order of the Eastern Star

Invent A New Sandwich Day -- spread around the internet like good mayo; go ahead, have fun with this

Limba Noastra -- Moldova (Day of Our Language)

Independence Day -- Kyrgyzstan(1991); Malaysia (Hari Kebangsaan/Freedom Day, 1957); Trinidad & Tobago(1962)

International Bacon Day -- good day for a double decker BLT with grilled onions and Swiss cheese

International Day of Blogs and Bloggers -- originally sponsored by, but that website seems to no longer exist; that's no reason not to celebrate blogging!

Japanese Festival -- St. Louis, MO (celebrating the history, culture, and people of Japan at the Missouri Botanical Garden; through Monday)

Love Litigating Lawyers Day -- yes, G-d tells us to love everybody, even litigation attorneys but He never said doing it would be easy; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

National Trail Mix Day

St. Raymond Nonnatus' Day -- (Patron of babies, childbirth, children, expectant mothers, falsely accused people, infants, midwives, newborn babies, obstetricians, and pregnant women; Baltoa, Dominican Republic; against fever)

Birthdays Today:

Jeff Hardy, 1977
Richard Gere, 1949
Itzhak Perlman, 1945
Marva Collins, 1936
Frank Robinson, 1935
James Coburn, 1928
Buddy Hackett, 1924
Alan Jay Lerner, 1918
Arthur Godfrey, 1903
Maria Montessori, 1870

Today in History:

Traditional date upon which Ayonwentah (Haiwatha) and Deganawidah (The Great Peacemaker) assist the Iroquois tribes in establishing the Confederation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy, or League of Five Nations), 1142
Lewis and Clark begin their expedition, 1803
A nuts and bolts machine is patented by Micah Rugg, 1842
The first professional football game is played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1895
Edison patents the Kinetograph, 1897
Mrs. Adolph Landenburg, a horse rider, debuts the split skirt, 1902
Debut of Foghorn Leghorn, 1946
Solidarity Labor Union forms in Poland, 1980
Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris, 1997
Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police, 2006

Friday, August 30, 2013

Feline Friday: None so Relaxed

From what i understand, Feline Friday was begun by The Burnt Food Dude, to show that he has nothing against cats.  Though i don't know if that's true, i'm glad he did start it, it's fun to play along.

No one on earth relaxes quite like a cat.

Snuggled with Wuffie, the stuffed wolf toy the kittens all love, without a care in the world.

Today is:

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Forgive Your Foe Friday

Blackpool Illuminations -- The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, England (five miles of spectacular lighting; through Nov. 10)

Chatter Champion Announced -- Fairy Calendar

Constitution Day -- Kazakhstan

Day of Satisfying the Hearts of the Ennead (Nine Major Gods) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Festival of Charisteria -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a day to give thanks)

Frankenstein Day -- in honor of Mary Shelley (Interesting, when juxtaposed to the next entry.)

Huey P. Long Day -- Louisiana, US

International Day of the Disappeared -- Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared

National Folk Festival -- Nashville, TN, US (sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts, this is the oldest, longest-running and most diverse festival of traditional arts in the nation; if it is held this year, which i haven't been able to confirm, it's supposed to be in Nashville through Labor Day, and move on to another city next year)

National Holistic Pet Day -- celebrating the growing interest in natural/holistic medicine for animals

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Popular Consultation Day -- East Timor

Santa Rosa de Lima -- Peru

Sheep Market Fair -- Ho, Denmark (annual sheep market and family fair; through Sunday)

St. Fiacre's Day (Patron of box makers, cab drivers, costermongers, florists, gardeners, hosiers, pewterers, taxi drivers, tile makers; against barrenness, fistula, haemorrhoids, piles, sterility, syphilis, venereal disease)

Talk Intelligently Day -- holiday thought up by someone tired of non-intelligent conversations (maybe with co-workers?)

Turkey's Hellespont Swim -- over 300 participants swim the Hellespont from Europe to Asia

Victory Day -- North Cyprus; Turkey

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw And Festival -- Prairie du Sac, WI, US (come try to break the state record of 248 feet; through tomorrow)

World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off -- Brady, TX, US (through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Cameron Diaz, 1972
Peggy Lipton, 1947
Frank "Tug" McGraw, 1944
Jean-Claude Killy, 1943
Warren Buffett, 1930
Ted Williams, 1918
Fred MacMurray, 1908
Shirley Booth, 1898
Huey P. Long, 1893
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797

Today in History:

European leaders, in an attempt to end war "for all time", outlaw the crossbow, 1146
One of the largest naval battles in history, during the last decade of the ailing, Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty, begins between the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders, 1363
Capture of the entire Dutch fleet by British forces under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, 1799
Founding of Melbourne, Australian, 1835
Founding of Houston, Texas, 1836
Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, 1901
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in south Louisiana, the longest bridge over water (continuous, not aggregate) that is not also a viaduct, opens, 1956
The Hotline between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union goes into operation, 1963
Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1967
Guion Bluford becomes the first African American astronaut in space, 1983
NATO launches Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces, 1995
A commercial expedition to raise part of the sunken British luxury liner Titanic ended in failure, 1996
Harley-Davidson celebrates its 100th anniversary in Milwaukee with a parade of 10,000 motorcycles, 2003
India and Pakistan agree to release hundreds of fishermen and other civilians in each other's jails as part of their ongoing attempts to negotiate peace between their nations, 2005

Thursday, August 29, 2013


So, there's strife in the Middle East, not the usual undercurrent or bit of a boil-over, but people fleeing chemical weapons attacks and Israel calling up reserves and passing out gas masks to citizens.  And when i go to Yahoo! to sign in and check email the first thing up on the site that passes for "news" is about a Hollywood couple and whether they are on again or off again.

Really.  So i checked a few other sites, and only a couple of them have the Syria crisis as the first thing you see.

What's important?  Jiminy Crickets, i know i'm not the sharpest tack in the package, but even i can say that the fact that this could degenerate into attacks that provoke more attacks and end up as a major war is a bit higher in importance than who is boinking whom in Hollywood, or even than the "news" that passes for headlines in the local area.

Are we so calloused, or are we just so focused on being entertained?  Either way, i don't like the implications of the answers.

Please don't misunderstand and think i am saying we need to be serious all of the time.  There is a time and place for local highlights, for interesting or odd happenings that aren't so deadly serious, and even for entertainment.  But what passes for news now is so often not the important things.

While i cannot read the news all of the time, it would make me sick and upset and a nervous wreck, i do check the headlines and read a few things at least once a day.  Because i don't watch TV at all, i get most of my news by reading, either a newspaper or online, or hearing it on the radio.  Maybe i'm getting the whole thing wrong, but most of what seems to make up the news is fluff or simply not that important.

Somebody correct me if i'm wrong, please.  News doesn't look like news any more, a lot of the time, but like entertainment.  When i don't need to be entertained, but informed, it bothers me.

Today is

According to Hoyle Day -- death anniversary of Edmond Hoyle

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Thoughtful Thursday

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

Blue Hill Fair -- Blue Hill, ME, US (beautiful "down to earth" country fair; through Labor Day)

Chop Suey Day

Day of Loose Talk -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Patron of baptism, bird dealers, converts, convulsive children, cutters, epileptics, farmers, French Canadians, lambs, monastic life, motorways, printers, tailors; over 70 cities and countries around the world; against convulsions, epilepsy, hail and hailstorms, spasms)
     Head Day -- Iceland (a weather omen day; whatever today's weather, it will stay the same for at least 3 weeks)

International Day Against Nuclear Testing -- UN


Judgment Day -- according to "The Terminator"

Lemon Juice Day

Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and Fair -- Morgan City, LA, US (celebrating the importance of the shrimping and petroleum industries in Louisiana, it includes one of the most unique children's villages among such events and a Blessing of the Fleet; through Labor Day)

More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Runic Half-Month Rad begins (Motion)

Slovak National Uprising Anniversary -- Slovakia

Special Notation:

Labor Day, shmabor day!
What a dumb day!
You hire some jerk,
Then send him away,
To celebrate work,
By playing all day!

Garfield the Cat

While i may not agree with his assessment of the importance of Labor Day, Garfield is right in that this weekend has become a time for play, as evidenced by the following celebrations that always occur on this weekend around the US*:

Benton Neighbor Day -- Benton, MO
Britt Draft Horse Show -- Britt, IA
Bumbershoot: Seattle's Music & Arts Festival -- Seattle, WA
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch Rodeo -- Boys Ranch, TX
Central City Rock 'n' Roll Cruise-in & Concert -- Central City, KY
Cleveland National Air Show -- Cleveland, OH
Clothesline Fair -- Prairie Grove, AR
Colombia River Cross Channel Swim -- Hood River, OR
Colorado Balloon Classic -- Colorado Springs, CO
Commonwheel Labor Day Weekend ARts and Crafts Festival -- Manitou Springs, CO
Daniel Boone Pioneer Days -- Winchester, KY
Eastern Idaho State Fair -- Blackfoot, ID
Fort Bridger Rendezvous -- Fort Bridger, WY
Great Bathtub Race -- Nome, AK
Great Grove Bed Race -- Coconut Grove, FL
Harvest Wine Celebration -- Livermore, CA
Hog Capital of the World Festival -- Kewanee, IL
Hoisington Celebration -- Hoisington, KS
Hopkinton State Fair -- Contoocook, NH,
Iroquois Arts Festival -- Howes Cave, NY
Johnson City Field Days -- Johnson City, NY
Jubilee Days Festival -- Zion, IL
Lifelight Outdoor Music Festival -- Worthing, SD
Mackinac Bridge Walk -- St. Ignace, MI
National Championship Chuckwagon Races -- Clinton, AR
National Hard Crab Derby and Fair -- Crisfield, MD
National Sweetcorn Festival -- Hoopeston, IL
Oatmeal Festival -- Bertram/Oatmeal, TX
Odyssey - A Greek Festival -- Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, Orange, CT
Old Threshers Reunion -- Mount Pleasant, IA
On the Waterfront -- Rockford, IL
Oregon Trail Rodeo -- Hastings, NE
Payson Golden Onion Days -- Payson, UT
Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Colonial Festival -- Greensburg, PA
Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival -- Independence, MO
Scandinavian Fest -- Budd Lake, NJ
Sta-Bil Nationals Championship Lawn Mower Race -- Delaware, OH
Snake River Duck Race -- Nome, AK
Taste of Colorado -- Denver, CO
Taste of Madison -- Madison, WI
Totah Festival -- Farmington, NM
Waikiki Roughwater Swim -- Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI
West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival -- Clarksburg, WV
Westfest Czech Heritage Festival -- West, TX
Wisconsin State Cow-Chip Throw -- Prairie du Sac, WI
Woodstock Fair -- Woodstock, CT
World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-Off and Arts & Crafts Fair -- Brady, TX

*Some of these celebrations begin today, some tomorrow, some on Saturday, and all run through the Monday Labor Day Holiday.

Birthdays Today

Michael Jackson, 1958
Elliot Gould, 1938
John McCain, 1936
Richard Attenborough, 1923
Charlie "Bird" Parker, 1920
Isabel Sanford, 1917
Ingrid Bergman, 1915
Preston Sturges, 1898
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1809
John Locke, 1632

Today in History

Era of Diocletian (Martyrs), the last major time of persecution for the early Christian churches, begins with Gen. Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius becoming emperor of Rome, 284
Japan mints its first copper coins, 708
The last Incan King of Peru, Atahualpa, is executed by order of Francisco Pizarro, 1533
The first Indian "reservation" is formed by the New Jersey Legislature, 1758
Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction, 1831
The United Kingdom legislates the abolition of slavery in its empire, 1833
Treaty of Nanking signing ends the First Opium War, 1842
The first motorcycle is patented in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler, 1885
The chef of a visiting Chinese Ambassador invents "chop suey" in NYC, 1896
The Goodyear tire company is founded, 1898
The Quebec Bridge collapses during construction, killing 75 workers, 1907
Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California, 1911
The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, 1949
Speedy Gonzales makes his debut, 1953
The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, 1966
Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union suspends all activities of the Soviet Communist Party, 1991
Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, 2005

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Time Plumbing Inspection

According to the doctor, my internal plumbing is intact, and won't need another inspection for 10 years unless i develop any symptoms.

It was quite a day, with almost no sleep the night before -- i stayed up to do my colonoscopy prep and feed kittens, and only napped a couple of times.

My two complaints would be that the place was cold -- of course, it has to be, to keep the spread of germs down -- and it took three blankets to get me warm.  Even then, i wasn't really warm again until i was sitting in the car, outdoors in the sunshine (which would have been great for drying clothes, of course, but i needed it yesterday when i did laundry).

The other was that i was scheduled for a 9:30 exam, and they didn't get to me until after 10:30am.  Even though i know better and usually try to get the first appointment of the day, whatever i'm doing, i didn't do that this time, and sat there freezing and nauseated from lack of food for much longer than i really wanted to.  Remind me in 10 years to not do that again.

The good part was that the nurses were all chipper and happy and they didn't mind that i sat there and did crossword puzzles while waiting.  The doctor, whom i met very briefly, was nice enough, as were the anesthetist and his CNA.  They seem to do so many of these that i'm sure the patients become a blur.

For now, though, it's all over, and i am reminded of Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King, when Pumbaa misquotes Timon and tries to tell Simba, "You've got to put your past in your behind."  Timon, of course, calls him an amateur and tells him to get out of the way before he hurts himself., but it's a funny scene.

So i will put this behind me, literally.

On to things like more kitten feedings, an open house at Little Girl's school, working with #2 Son on his getting into school, and listening to Bigger Girl say things like, "Mom, I might get my ears pierced.  But I promise not to get my nose pierced, that's too much.  Instead, i will color my hair purple!  Or I'll go climb Mt. Everest in a bikini.  I would go naked, but i don't want to upset the natives."

That's something to live to see.

Today is

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday

Birthday of Nephthys -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Columbia County Fair -- Chatham, NY, US (be a kid again at the 173rd annual fair; through US Labor Day)

Crackers Over the Keyboard Day -- internet generated: are we supposed to go crackers over our keyboard, or tempt fate by eating crackers over our keyboard?

Festival for Luna -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival for Sol -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Janmashtami -- Bangladesh; India; Nepal

Krishna Janmashtami /Sri Krishna Jayanti -- Hindu (grand fire ritual celebration of the birth of Krishna; local dating of observance may vary)

La Tomatina -- Buñol, Valencia, Spain (annual citywide food fight festival in which around 30,000 people take to the streets to pelt each other with tomatoes)

Mariamoba -- Georgia (Assumption of the Virgin, celebrated based on the Julian Calendar followed by many Orthodox Churches)

National Cheese Sacrifice Day (Now you know why you purchased the cheese for the sacrifice! To let it age properly before the actual sacrifice. Still doesn't answer why we sacrifice it, anyway, or to whom.)

National Cherry Turnover Day

National Bow Tie Day -- can't find any history  or reason for this, unless you like bow ties (may i suggest bow tie pasta for dinner?)

Nugget Best in the West Rib Cook-Off -- Sparks, NV, US (with rib cookers from across the country competing, this is a rib eater's delight, and even includes a rib-eating contest and free nightly concerts; through Labor Day)

Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day -- Wellcat Holidays suggests this to pep yourself up as you wait for things to come up on the screen

St. Augustine of Hippo's Day (Patron of brewers, printers, theologians; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; Carpineto Romano, Italy; Ida, Philippines; Isleta Indian Pueblo; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Ponte Nizza, Italy; Saint Augustine, Florida; Superior, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Valletta, Malta; against sore eyes)

St. Hermes of Rome's Day (Patron of Acquapendente, Italy; Forte dei Marmi, Lucca, Italy)

Subway Day -- this date in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca opened what became the first Subway Sandwich Shop

Birthdays Today

LeAnn Rimes, 1982
Jack Black, 1969
Jason Priestley, 1969
Shania Twain, 1965
Scott Hamilton, 1958
Ben Gazzara, 1930
Charles Boyer, 1899
Leo Tolstoy, 1828
Elizabeth Ann Seton, 1774
Johann von Goethe, 1749

Today in History

The Third Crusade begins with the siege of Acre, 1189
6,000 Jews are killed in Mainz, accused of being the cause of the plague, 1349
St. Augustine, FL, founded, making it the oldest continuously occupied European city and port in the US, 1565
Henry Hudson discovers Delaware Bay, 1609
William Herschel discovers a new moon of Saturn, 1789
The first steam locomotive in the US, the "Tom Thumb", runs from Baltimore to Ellicotts Mill, 1830
The first issue of Scientific American magazine is published, 1845
The United States takes possession of the, at this point unoccupied, Midway Atoll, 1867
Caleb Bradham renames his carbonated soft drink "Pepsi-Cola", 1898
James E. Casey begins the United Parcel Service in Seattle, WA, 1907
WEAF in NYC airs the very first radio commercial, for Queensboro Realty, at a cost of $100 for ten minutes, 1922
Toyota Motors becomes an independent company, 1937
Nippon Television broadcasts Japan's first tv show and ad, 1953
Motown releases what would be its first #1 hit, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes, 1961
Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his I Have a Dream speech; Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie are murdered in their Manhattan flat, prompting the events that would lead to the passing of the Miranda Rights, 1963
The National Centers for Disease Control announce a high incidence of pneumocystis and Kaposi's sarcoma in gay men; these will soon be recognized as symptoms of an immune disorder, which will be called AIDS, 1981
Iraq declares Kuwait to be its newest province, 1990
Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales divorce, 1996
An electric blackout leaves 500,000 + without power and shuts down 60% of London's Underground, 2003
Hurricane Katrina begins to make landfall on the Gulf of Mexico, 2005

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Well, you gotta know...

...that not much goes as planned.

The pharmacy was initially out of the prescription prep stuff, and had to order it delivered from another pharmacy.

Being on an all liquid diet gave me a headache and a bit of dizziness.

There was just enough rain to interrupt the laundry, reducing it to two loads, and the second didn't quite get fully dry (at least, the jeans didn't, they are hanging indoors).  Then, naturally, the rain was over, as it was one of those sudden pop-up showers we have that only interrupt your plans, but don't last.  They threaten enough, though, that you can't put the stuff back out to finish drying.

On top of it all, poor Sweetie's back went out at work.  He's supposed to have a desk job.  He's supposed to wear a suit, or at least nice pants and a polo style shirt with the association's logo.  He does have a desk job.  He also has the job of curator, procurer of supplies, scrounger especially of random and hard to find items (he managed to find, for one particularly persnickety client once, a gun barrel for a gun that is no longer made and that is a hard to find antique, and a pen and pencil set from a famous company that makes very high end stuff, of a model they no longer made and that the company itself had no more of, and he found both in remote corners of Canada where the items had been sitting on shelves for as long as 20 years), as well as hauler of soft drinks and tables for set ups, auto maintenance person, and, yesterday, bricklayer.  The latter is what finally did him in.

Thus he was not a happy camper when he got in, early, to try to rest his back.

How it's going to go today, i have no clue, but since it's my colonoscopy, i can guarantee you something at least interesting will happen.  Sweetie's probably not going to be able to be much help, so it's a good thing i stocked up on a few frozen pizzas and pot pies so the hungry horde could make do if i'm not up to cooking tonight.

As for the kittens, i think i've worked out a schedule that will go well with when the girls are home.  That, or i'll come home to some very starving babies.

Oh, and about the stuff you have to drink for the prep, it's not that horrible tasting.  What it does to you is not very pleasant, especially when you are trying to feed kittens in the middle of it all, but at least, by tonight, this should all be over.

Today is

Banana Lover's Day

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Touch a Heart Tuesday

Birthday of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Day Sacred to Consus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of graineries, horses, and mules)

Feast Day of Pan -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Feast of Incandescent Rebellion -- on lots of websites, and supposedly something celebrated in China, but no detail as to what it is really celebrating

Just Because Day -- internet generated, enjoy something ordinary you like to do, just because!

National Pots de Creme Day

Petroleum Day -- on the anniversary of the opening of the first commercial oil well in Titusvilla, PA, US, in 1859, a day set aside to work on figuring out how to do without petroleum

St. Caesarius' Day (Patron against fire)

St. Monica's Day (Mother of St. Augustine; Patron of abuse victims, alcoholics, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, married women, mothers, victims of adultery and unfaithfulness, victims of verbal abuse, widows, wives; Bevilacqua, Italy; Mabini, Bohol, Philippines)

Tvimanuor -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (the name means "Double Month", and the origin is uncertain; perhaps because winter is coming and it's time to double up on the preparations)

"The Duchess" Who Wasn't Day -- birthday of Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who wrote under the pseudonym "The Duchess" and first said, "Beaty is in the eye of the beholder" in her novel, Molly Bawn

Threethousandth Thnork of the Year -- Fairy Calendar

Umhlanga -- Swaziland (Reed Dance for the Zulu King; a fascinating week long ritual with beautiful costumes, dancing and singing, culminating as well as in a speech in which the King addresses the people, on Sept. 2)

Volturnalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of water)

Ziua Republicii -- Moldova (Independence Day, 1991)

Birthdays Today

Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens, 1952
Barbara Bach, 1947
Tuesday Weld, 1943
Martha Raye, 1916
Mother Teresa, 1910
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1908
C.S. Forester, 1899
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882

Today in History

The Persian invasion of Greece is halted with Greek victories in two separate battles, BC479
Koreans battle and prevent Japanese invasion, 663
The first unmanned hydrogen balloom flight reaching 900 m altitude, 1783
Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well, 1859
The shortest war in world history occurs from 09:00 to 09:45 between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar, 1896
Edgar Rice Burroughs' publishes "Tarzan of the Apes", 1912
First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world's first jet aircraft, 1939
The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA, 1962
Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altikat is shot and killed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1982
The Rainbow Bridge, connecting Tokyo's Shibaura and the island of Odaiba, is completed, 1993
Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, 2003

Monday, August 26, 2013

Here's an interesting one...

...with which to start the week.

There's an old joke that has three people discussing what they hope others will be saying about them at their funeral.  The third, always the wise cracker of the joke, says he hopes people will say, "Look, he's moving!"

Well, in an interesting real life twist on the joke, a woman in Philadelphia named Sharolyn Jackson has turned up alive two weeks after her funeral.  It seems the body was identified by pictures being shown to family members, and at the funeral even her mother said it looked exactly like Ms. Jackson, except for the nose.  The family apparently thought something must have happened to her nose when she died or was embalmed.

Meanwhile, officials will have to exhume the body and try to figure out who she is.  Let's hope they find out quickly, as it must be awful for that woman's family just not to know.

Around here, it's going to be a typical Monday, i hope.  Since i can't eat today in preparation for tomorrow's check on the plumbing, i've stocked up on juices, will pull out my juicer so as to add a bit of fresh veggie juice to what i have.  Also, i want to cook enough to last a couple of days for everyone else, and make my life easier after the test.

It's also a big laundry and ironing day, if the weather cooperates.  Three loads at least.  Plus feed the kittens, two of which are isolated for ringworm and two of which still don't have their eyes open.

How do i get myself into these things?  Oh, yeah, by living.  If it's not one thing, it's your mother; or the other, or something like that.

Also, Little Girl is wanting to paint my three-bladed stand fan in the three primary colors to see if it will make a rainbow when it spins.  That ought to be an interesting experiment, to say the least.  Maybe, if i'm woozy after the procedure, it will make everything seem even more surreal.

Today is:

Araw ng mga Bayahi -- Philippines (National Heroes' Day)

August / Summer Bank Holiday -- UK

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Motorist Consideration Monday

Birthday of Set -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Burning Man 2013 -- Black Rock Desert, NV, US (through Sept. 2; a radical way to celebrate the arts through desert survival and building a 50-foot statue to be burned)

First Thnork of the Year -- Fairy Calendar

Heroes Day -- Namibia

Ilmatar Day -- Finland (Water Mother, goddess of the heavens)

Liberation Day -- Hong Kong

Make Your Own Luck Day -- for those who refuse to sit around and wait for it

National Cherry Popsicle Day

National Day of Repentance -- Papua New Guinea

National Dog Day -- sponsored by the Animal Miracle Foundation

National Old-Time Country, Folk, and Bluegrass Music Festival -- LeMars, IA, US (largest and oldest festival devoted to rural music, arts, and crafts; through Sept. 1)

Ould Lammas Fair -- Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland (claims to be Ireland's oldest festival; through tomorrow)

St. Adrian of Nicodemia's Day (Patron of butchers, prison guards, soldiers; against plague)

Women's Equality Day -- US (commemorates Women's Suffrage)

Yoshida no Hi Matsuri -- Yoshida, Japan (fest to mark the end of Mt. Fuji climbing season; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Macaulay Culkin, 1980
Branford Marsalis, 1960
Ben Bradlee, 1921
Mother Teresa, 1910
Christopher Isherwood, 1904
Peggy Guggenheim, 1898
Albert "Bertie" von Saksen-Coburg-Gotha, husband of queen Victoria, 1819
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, 1743

Today in History:

Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pieta, 1498
The Pennsylvania Ministerium, the first Lutheran denomination in North America, is founded in Philidelphia, 1748
John Fitch is granted a US patent for his working steamboat, 1791
Charles Thurber patents a typewriter, 1843
The first news dispatch by telegraph is made, 1858
Major eruption of Krakatoa, 36,000 dead, 1883
19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the vote, takes effect, 1920
The first Major League Baseball game is telecast, 1939
The USSR announces the first successful test of an ICBM, 1957
The Charter of the French Language is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec, 1977
John Paul I is elected Pope, 1978
The agreement on how to divide the Czech Republic and Slovakia is signed, 1992
Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of the former Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, 2008

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What a Drip

"Uh, mom!  I hate to tell you this, but I just went down to the laundry room, and there's a dripping sound coming from the A/C closet again."

Yeah, i thought, i hate for you to tell me that, too, Little Girl.

Out loud, i just heaved a sigh and said, okay, and headed down there.

Sure enough, the A/C was dripping again.  The drain had reclogged.  So i bailed out the drip pan to make sure it wouldn't turn off, and called Kurt, the guy who works with Sweetie whose former job was in A/C repair.

It was a Saturday, so i didn't expect much.  Most single guys in their 20's, i figured, had weekend plans, so i was surprised when he answered and said he had nothing going and would be by in about an hour.  Monday after work would have been my best guess for the next time he would be available.

He ran by BigBoxHardware to buy a few things, and came prepared to clean the coils, the outdoor unit, and replace some of the drain to make any future clean-out easier.

While he worked, i dealt with the 13 kittens we have in the house.  They are a mess, with at least a few needing to be fed about every hour or so during the day.  Once you finish with some, it's only a few minutes until others start to beg.  It's a help that a few of them are starting to nibble the dry food and try to drink from the bowl.

Bigger Girl was running errands when it all began, and came home to give me my laugh of the day. 

"Mom, after seeing Miss Lizzie in the hospital this week, I've decided if I ever end up in a mental ward, I want to go to this one.  Their food looked really good, and it looked like it would be really easy to break out of!"

When i gave her an odd look, she said, "Oh, come on, mom, don't tell me you've never dreamed of breaking out of a mental hospital!"

As i laughed, Kurt came in.  He only asked for $80, but he had come on a Saturday when he could have been doing anything else, and he went to the store and bought supplies, and he saved me from having to try to deal with the warranty company again, so i gave him $100 that i scraped out of the food budget and scrounged from under the couch cushions.

All in all, it's been a week, and a new one starts today, and it's going to have a lot packed in, including an internal plumbing inspection.  That's right, i get to go for my first colonoscopy on Tuesday.

Depending on how this all works out, i might be the one hoping the food is as good at the hospital as Bigger Girl thinks.

Today is

Be Kind to Humankind Week:  Sacrifice Our Wants for Other's Needs Sunday

Birthday of Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Discovery of the Runes/Odin's Ordeal ends -- Ancient Norse Calendar (date approximate)

Independence Day -- Uruguay(1825)

Kiss and Make Up Day -- a day begun by Jacqaueline V. Milgate to encourage people to make amends and repair relationships if they need to

National Banana Split Day -- some sites have it as Aug. 10

National Park Service Day -- US (legislation creating the National Park Service was signed this day in 1916 by President Wilson)

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day -- pull out the hand-me-downs or thrift store purchases and wear them with pride!

Notting Hill Carnival -- Notting Hill, London, UK (through tomorrow, the 2nd largest street festival in the world)

Opiconsivia -- Ancient Roman Calendar, Vestal Virgin Festival in honor of Ops

Pony Express Festival -- Hollenberg Pony Express Station, Hanver, KS, US (reenacting life in the 1860's, including a real Pony Express ride)

Rumpleskunkskin's Bride Escapes to Heewigoland Anniversary -- Fairy Calendar (Fairy celebration, Goblins get grumpy)

Soldier's Day -- Brazil

St. Genesius of Arles' Day (Patron of notaries, secretaries; against chilblains, scurf)

St. Genesius of Rome's Day (Patron of actors, attorneys, barristers, clowns, comedians, comediennes, comics, converts, dancers, epileptics, lawyers, musicians, printers, stenographers and torture victims)

St. Louis, King of France's Day (King Louis IX; Patron of barbers, bridegrooms, builders, button makers, construction workers, Crusaders, difficult marriages, distillers, embroiderers, French monarchs, grooms, haberdashers, hairdressers, hair stylists, kings, masons, needle workers, parenthood, parents of large families, passementiers, prisoners, sculptors, sick people, soldiers, stone masons, stonecutters, tertiaries, trimming makers; Québec, Québec; Saint Louis, Missouri; Blois, France; Carthage, Tunisia; La Rochelle, France; New Orleans, Louisiana; Oran, Algeria; Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France; Saint Louis, Missouri;`Versailles, France; Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Louis; against the death of children)

Whiskey Sour Day

Birthdays Today

Claudia Schiffer, 1970
Rachael Ray, 1968
Billy Ray Cyrus, 1961
Ann Archer, 1947
Regis Philbin, 1933
Sean Connery, 1930
Leonard Bernstein, 1918
Walt Kelly, 1913
Ruby Keeler, 1909
Clara Bow, 1905
Hans Adolf Krebs, 1900
Ludwig II, "Mad King" of Bavaria, 1845
Allan Pinkerton, 1819
Ivan the Terrible, 1530

Today in History

The Council of Nicaea ends with the adoption of the Nicene Creed, 325
The Children's Crusaders under Nicholas reach Genoa, 1212
The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, and the second most senior, is formed, 1537
Galileo demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers, 1609
Hundreds of French settlers arrive in New Orleans, which had been founded only a few months before, marking its true beginnings as a city, not just an outpost, 1718
James Cook begins his first voyage, 1768
Alice Meynell becomes the first female jockey, in England, 1804
British forces destroy the Library of Congress, which then contained about 3,000 books, 1814
The New York Times perpetrates the Great Moon Hoax, 1835
Captain Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim the English Channel unassisted, 1875
Kitasato Shibasaburo discovers the infectious agent of the bubonic plague and publishes his findings in The Lancet, 1894
The United States National Park Service is created, 1916
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly nonstop across the US, 1932
US Army officer and missionary John Birch is killed by the armed supporters of the Communist Party of China, considered by some as the first victim of the Cold War, 1945
Zimbabwe joins the United Nations, 1980
Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn, 1981
Tadeusz Mazowiecki is chosen as the first non-communist Prime Minister in Central and Eastern Europe, 1989
Mayumi Moriyama becomes Japan's first female cabinet secretary, 1989
The Tli Cho land claims agreement is signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko), 2003

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who's That!

That, it just so happens, is PepperJack.

PepperJack has been our guest for a couple of days.  He is Miss Lizzie's dog.

So, how did we end up, again, taking care of Miss Lizzie's dog?

Funny you should ask.  It's long, and it's complicated.

Miss Lizzie, the young lady who lived with us for a while, has a section 8 apartment now, and is trying to arrange surgery for her arms and neck so she might be able to go to work.

Meanwhile, she is still having post traumatic stress flashbacks to the abuse from her childhood.  She had a flashback the other day, and in it, dropped something on the floor that broke, and she cut her foot on it very badly.  She sent me a 2am text asking me to send Bigger Girl to help, and called 911.

Until help got there, she poured bleach everywhere, because she is very highly germ phobic when she is having a flashback.  She also got scared that she had gotten something rotten in her mouth, and rinsed her mouth with a bit of the bleach.

The EMTs and Police got there before Bigger Girl, who might have been able to explain the way Miss Lizzie's mind works in these situations.  Instead, they saw blood, bleach, and heard her incoherently talking about rinsing her mouth with bleach, decided she had attempted suicide, and carted her off to the hospital, from which she was admitted to the psychiatric ward.

It took us almost 3 days to get it sorted out and spring her, because she is not suicidal, just undergoing her usual trials and tribulations that go along with having been molested many times as a young child by your grandfather.

So, Bigger Girl cleaned the blood and locked up the apartment and brought PepperJack here.

The cats were insulted, but they got over it.

Meanwhile, we got two more litters of kittens, had my parents up at the hotel, where we went to visit them, and i had to spend hours and hours fielding phone calls from two other emergency situations that only mommy can fix.  Of course.

PepperJack is back home with Miss Lizzie, though, and the week is finally done.  And i am done in.

Oh, and Bigger Girl visited Miss Lizzie in the hospital, and talked the doctor in to letting her out.  Meanwhile, she says there is a person in there right now who thinks he is Michael Jackson.  He spends as much time as they will let him spend in one room playing Michael Jackson Albums and singing/dancing along, very badly.

Let's hope i can find my sanity again, i'm not a huge fan of lousy Michael Jackson interpretations.

Today is:

Bartletide -- West Witton, Yorkshire Dales, UK (a/k/a Burning Bartle, a ceremony in which a straw effigy of Owd Bartle, a sheep theif of yore, is paraded, then burned after sunset, as a warning to the light fingered)

Birthday of Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Corvette Crossroads Auto Show -- Mackinaw City, MI, US (show that includes a Corvette parade across the Mackinaw Bridge; through tomorrow)

Country Fair and Auction -- McHenry, MD, US (sponsored by the local Mennonite churches, a good old-fashioned time of family fun)

De Ducasse -- Ath, Belgium (Giants of Ath Festival or Wedding of the Giants, a celebration since medieval times in which "Goliath" marries, then goes to do battle with David; through tomorrow)

Ferret Buckeye Bash -- Colombus, OH, US (ferret show)

Festival for Luna -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of Mania -- Ancient Roman Calendar (to placate the Manes, a day when the Mundus, the portal to the afterlife, is open and the dead are free to roam)

Flag Day -- Liberia

Flitting Appreciation Day -- another "holiday" with no particular reason except that someone who enjoys flitting around wanted to celebrate it

Gangara Fire Festival -- Atago Shrine, Ikeda City, Japan

Green Corn Pow Wow -- Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (through tomorrow, Pow Wow and presentations of Native heritage to all)

Hotter 'n H*ll Hundred Bike Race -- Wichita Falls, TX, US (cyclists of all ages in the largest sanctioned century ride in the US, in the Texas summer heat)

Independence Day -- Ukraine(1991)

International Bat Night -- through tomorrow, go enjoy these wonderful creatures; or

International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination and Violence Based on Musical Preference, Lifestyle, and Dress Code -- sponsored by the Romanian Humanist Association and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation

International Strange Music Day -- as declared by strange musician and composer Patrick Grant

Knife Day -- internet generated, but how would we cook without them?  today remember how much you do each day with a good kitchen knife.

Koenji Awa Odori Festival -- Suginami City, Tokyo, Japan (thousands dance in the streets, through tomorrow)

National Peach Pie Day

National Waffle Day -- Cornelius Swarthout patented the first waffle iron in the US on this day in 1869

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival -- Pittsburgh, PA, US (relive the days of yore, watch artisans practice the olde crafts, and have a high good time; weekends through September)

Saddleworth Rushcart -- Saddleworth, West Yorkshire, England (similar to rushbearing, a cart goes through the area with Morris men, the bounds of the area are checked for enemy breaches, rushes are gathered to line the church floor, and there is celebrating, gurning, wrestling, singing, and a final procession tomorrow to St. Chad's Church at Uppermill for the 11am service)

Sidewalk Art Festival -- Portland, ME, US

St. Bartholomew's Day (Patron of bookbinders, butchers, cobblers, Florentine cheese merchants, Florentine salt merchants, leather workers,plasterers, shoemakers, tanners, trappers, whiteners; Armenia; Borgo Tossignano, Italy; Boves, Italy; Carpineto dell Nora, Italy; Civitella in Val di Chiana, Italy; Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Gambatesa, Italy; Gharghur, Malta; Lipari, Sicily, Italy; Maastricht, Netherlands; Magalang, Philippines; Plzen, Czech Republic; Potosí, Bolivia; Salzano, Italy; Trino, Italy; against nervous diseases, neurological diseases, and twitching) related observance
     Schaferlauf -- Markgroeningen, Germany (Festival to honor St. Bartholomew, Patron of Herdsmen, on this day or the weekend after; includes traditional barefoot race by children of active shepherds and water carrying contests; also now has a music festival)

St. Owen of Rouen's Day (Patron of the deaf; against deafness)

Usuki Stone Buddhas Fire Festival -- Usuki, Japan (torchlight at twilight lights the regions mysterious Buddha statues)

Vesuvius Day -- anniversary of 79CE eruption which destroyed Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum

Vuelta a Espana -- Spain (the third of cyclings' prestigious Grand Tours; through Sept. 15)

Waratambar -- New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea (a native thanksgiving)

William Wilberforce Day -- Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, OH, US (birth anniversary of founder, in 1759)

Birthday's Today:

Rupert Grint, 1988
Marlee Matlin, 1965
Cal Ripken, Jr., 1962
Steve Guttenberg, 1958
Yasser Arafat, 1929
Hal Smith, 1916
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, 1890
Daniel Gooch, 1816
William Wilberforce, 1759

Today in History:

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buries Pompeii and Herculaneum, 15,000 die, 79
The Visigoths under Aleric begin to pillage Rome, 410
King John of England, a/k/a Humpty Dumpty for having to issue the first Magna Carta, marries Isabella of Angoileme, 1200
Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague, 1349
The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed, 1456
The first English convoy lands at Surat, India, 1608
Calcutta, India is founded, 1690
British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn down the White House and several other buildings, 1814
Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle, 1831
The Panic of 1857 begins, touching off one of the most severe economic crises in US history (Which just goes to show you, the more things change, the more they stay the same), 1857
Cornelius Swarthout patents the waffle iron, 1869
The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River
Rebellion, 1870
Captain Matthew Webb became first person to swim English Channel, 1875
Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera, 1891
Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal, 1909
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly non-stop across the North American continent, 1932
The treaty creating NATO goes into effect, 1949
France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world's fifth nuclear power, 1968
Voyager 2 (launched 1977) reaches Neptune, 1989
Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1991
The first RFID human implantation is tested in the UK, 1998
Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, is discovered at the University of Helsinki, 2000
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet, 2006

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday: Brave

Bigger Girl has always wanted to do things that some might consider weird or offbeat.  She is her own person.  She wants to fly, in many ways -- spiritually, emotionally, and even literally.

She and Little Girl recently went to an event where there was a man doing human suspensions.  It's a bit painful, but many people do it, for many reasons.  Bigger Girl wanted to, and she did.

She was suspended for a while, and danced in the air.  She said it is like flying, and she loved it.

She is braver than i, by a mile.

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

Today is

Black Ribbon Day -- Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania

Cobblestone Festival -- Falls City, NE, US (something for everyone; through Sunday)

European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism -- European Union

Fiesta La Ballona -- Culver City, CA, US (a tradition since 1951; through Sunday)

Flag Day -- Ukraine

Great Feast of the Netjeru (all gods and goddesses) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Health Unit Coordinator Day -- US (National Association of Health Unit Coordinators, Inc.)

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

Mexican Fiesta International -- Milwaukee, WI, US (fun, food, mariachi, and a jalapeno eating contest for the strong of stomach; through Sunday)

Morden Corn and Apple Festival -- Morden, MB, Canada (fun for all, lots of corn and apple cider; through Sunday)

National Hug Your Boss Day -- no matter what nation you live in, be careful with this made-up holiday!

National Spongecake Day

Nemeseia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (local festival to the goddess Nemesis, date approximate)

Prairie Village Jamboree -- Prairie Village, Madison, SD, US (keeping the old prairie life heritage alive for new generations; through Sunday)

Presidential Election Day -- Madagascar (official holiday)

Ride the Wind Day -- internet generated, a day to get out and ride with the wind in your hair, in whatever transport you choose, or fly a kite

Schuebermess Shepherd's Fair -- Luxembourg (a two week fair that dates from 1340)

Sento Kuyo -- Nenbutsu-Ji Temple, Adashino, Kyoto, Japan (memorial service for graves that no longer have families to tend them; through tomorrow)

St. Eoghan's Day (Patron of Derry, Ireland)

St. Rose of Lima's Day (Patron of embroiderers, florists, gardeners, needle workers, people ridiculed for piety; The Americas/The New World, especially Central and South America, Latin America, Peru, and the West Indies; Lima, Peru; Philippines, Santa Rosa, CA, US; Villareal Samar, Philippines; against vanity)

Valentino Memorial Service -- Hollywood Cathedral Museum, Hollywood Forever Cemetary, Los Angeles, CA, US (annually since 1927, a memorial service celebrating Rudolph Valentino on the anniversary of his death)

Vertumnalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (in honor of Vertumnus and Pomona)

Vulcanalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival to the god of fire)

Birthdays Today:

Kobe Bryant, 1978
River Phoenix, 1970
Queen Noor of Jordan, 1951
Shelley Long, 1949
Barbara Eden, 1934
Mark Russel, 1932
Vera Miles, 1930
Gene Kelly, 1912
Louis XVI, 1754

Today in History:

On the feast of Vulcan, Roman god of fire, Mt. Vesuvius begins to rumble, 79
Visigoths storm Rome, 410
Edward I executes William Wallace, Scottish patriot, for high treason, 1305
French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada, 1541
Rabbi Joseph Caro completes his commentary of Tur Code, 1542
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots in Paris begins, 1572
The first one-way streets open in London, 1617
Steamship service begins on the Great Lakes, 1818
Great Britain abolishes slavery in the colonies, 700,000 slaves are freed, 1833
Automobile tire chain is patented, 1904
The World Council of Churches is formed, 1948
Lunar Orbiter I takes the first picture of Earth from the Moon's orbit, 1966
Bryan Allan, in a Gossamer Condor, completes the first man-powered flight of one mile, 1977
Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defects to the US, 1979
Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defects to East Germany, 1985
Hungary opens the Iron Curtain and allows thousands of East Germans through to West Germany, 1989
West Germany and East Germany announce that they will unite on Oct. 3, 1990
The remains of Anastasia and Alexei, rumored to have survived the 1917 assassination of the Russian Czar and his family, are found, 2007
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown, 2011

Thursday, August 22, 2013


We are adjusting to the new school stuff.

For my part, i am adjusting from a school where the staff was two people who cared passionately about education and students, to a public school staff that, for many of them, just have a job.  It shows in things like being stymied even in my attempts to pay school fees and buy uniforms,  If they don't feel like dealing with you and your money right now, they don't.

For Little Girl's part, she was a bit, shall we say, shell-shocked the first day.  Since then, she has figured out that the teachers like her.  She's polite, she sits and does her work, she speaks only when spoken to or called upon, and she's eager to learn.

She has made a couple of friends, but won't talk about that much.  She did say, "Great, my best friends are going to be my teachers!" in a laughing way.

When i asked, she said her Fine Arts teacher is "awesome," the Spanish teacher explains everything, and she's getting more comfortable with the layout and moving from class to class with so many other people.

So, how did i know for certain that things are getting better?  Well, she'd been a bit subdued for a day or so, and even felt nauseous after her first day.  It was getting better, i knew, the afternoon i walked from the kitchen to the pantry hall and stopped to mutter to myself, What did i come in here to do?

"Hold a potato for ransom!" she answered with a grin.  "Or maybe you wanted to take over the Empire State Building?  How about, start a line of designer handbags that bite their owners?  Or maybe you wanted to figure out how to commit a felony using only a light bulb!"

Yes, she's adjusting.

Today is:

Acton Fair -- Acton, ME, US (an old fashioned country fair plus midway, stage shows, and a great good time; through Sunday)

America's Cup Day -- the first America's Cup was won this date in 1851 by the yacht America

Be an Angel Day -- Sponsored by Angel Heights Healing Center, encouraging people to be a blessing and perform an act of service for someone

Eat a Peach Day

Feast of the Queenship of Mary & Immaculate Heart of Mary -- Catholic Christians

Flag Day -- Russia

Gai Jatra -- Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (cow festival, one of Nepal's most popular festivals with tourists)

Hoodie Hoo Day, Southern Hemisphere -- Wellcat Holidays says to go outside at noon and call "Hoodie Hoo" to chase away winter and call spring

National Spumoni Day (i don't think i've had really great spumoni since i went to Italy all those years ago -- nothing like getting things at the source.)

Rumpleskunkskin's Wedding Anniversary -- Fairy Calendar (Goblin celebration)

St. Symphorian's Day (Patron of children, students; Autun, France; against eye problems, syphilis)

Watermelon Festival -- Winterville, NC, US (sticky fun; through Saturday)

Zucchini Festival -- Obetz, OH, US (family fun and zucchini; through Sunday)

Anniversary Today:
Henry Leland founds the Cadillac Motor Company, 1902

Birthdays Today:

Tori Amos, 1963
Cindy Williams, 1947
Valerie Harper, 1940
Carl Yastrzemski, 1939
Norman Schwarzkopf, 1934
Ray Bradbury, 1920
John Lee Hooker, 1917
George Herriman, 1880
Dorothy Parker, 1893
Claude Debussy, 1862
Samuel Pierpont Langley, 1834
Virginia Clemm Poe, 1822
St. Anthony of Padua, 1195

Today in History:

St. Columba reports seeing a monster in Loch Ness, 565
The Battle of Bosworth Field, in which King Richard III is killed and his forces defeated by Henry VII, 1485
Madras, India (now called Chennai) is founded by the British East India company on land purchased from the local Nayak rulers, 1639
Jacob Barsimon, the first Jewish immigrant to what would become US territory, arrives in New Amsterdam/Manhattan, 1654
The Newport, RI newspaper, Mercury, becomes the first in the US to hire a female editor, Ann Franklin, 1762
Austria launches pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice, thus staging the first air raid in history, 1849
Gold discovered in Australia, 1851
12 nations sign the First Geneva Convention and the Red Cross is formed, 1864
William Shepphard patents the first liquid soap, 1885
Founding of the Cadillac Motor Company, 1902
President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first US chief executive to ride in an automobile, 1902
The first Victor Victrola is manufactured, 1906
The Mona Lisa is stolen, 1911 (recovered 2 years later)
Althea Gibson becomes the first black competitor in international tennis, 1950
Pope Paul VI arrives in Bogota, Colombia, becoming the first pope to visit Latin America, 1968
Rhodesia is expelled by the IOC for its racist policies, 1972
The first ring of Neptune is discovered, 1989
A version of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway, 2004
The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sends out a record 57 million e-mails in one day, 2007

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Generating Interest, Part Two

So, did you think a two hour stint at the new school was my only adventure of the week?

Oh, silly, of course not!  That was the beginning.

Because my phone didn't get reception in the counselor's office, i came out of the building to a voice mail.  It was Blair.  Knowing she only calls for one reason, i dialed her.

"I'm on my way right now to pick up a newborn kitten, just one.  Can you take it?"

Can i say no?

Hurrying home so i could meet up with her, i was barely ahead of the generator guy, who was scheduled to come but hadn't told me what time.  Looking out of the window, i suddenly realized he was there, hard at it.

Eventually he and i ended up on the front porch with Blair coming up the drive, and he was asking me to open the indoor room where the box is (actually, Sweetie's man cave) while she handed me a baby so new the umbilical stump wasn't even dry yet.  It couldn't have been more than an hour or so old.

Blair handed me the baby and left, and i went in, opened the room, turned off the central A/C because i knew the electricity would be going on and off as he worked, and fed the baby.

On and off was right.  He worked, and replaced, and tested, and replaced, and my internet went in and out as the electricity came off and on and as i struggled to answer my dad's emails that were fast and furious, never quite knowing which ones were going out and which were getting lost in the shuffle.

Mick finally came in and said he needed another part, and he would be back.  He left the electricity on, thank heaven, as it took him quite a long time.  In fact, i was starting to wonder what had happened when he showed up again, saying, "A big accident on the Interstate,  Every major artery is locked up."


He worked more, and i fed kittens and finally got my dad the information he wanted and Mick finally said, "I've put in a call to my Supervisor.  We're going to get this!"

Great, i thought, what now!  No, don't tell me, i'm not sure i want to know.

Eventually, though, i did know.  The Supervisor showed up, and they went through the turn it on/turn it off again a few times, and the Supervisor figured out the problem.  He had to look very closely, but there was one wire loose.  In replacing the relay, it had been knocked ever so slightly askew.

"Do you know how much I want to flip you off for finding that so fast when I thought I had checked everything!" Mick said to his Supervisor with a grin.  "You are lucky she is in the room, so I can't!"

We all laughed.

New control board, new relay, naughty wire back in place, and finally, the last test.  Success.  The generator will once again come on automatically when the power goes out, and cut off properly when it comes back on.

"I'll have them send you an invoice," the Supervisor said.  "Cost of the two parts, plus the truck fee and only one hour of labor.  That's all it should usually take to change out those two parts, so that's all I'll charge you for."

Since it's $95 an hour, and the parts will be around $300, and the truck fee is $100, only having to pay for one hour when it took so many trips and several hours more than that is a blessing. 

Meanwhile, i'll be up nights again for a while.

Today is:

Air Guitar World Championships -- Oulu, Finland (through Saturday; "The purpose of the Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace.")

Aquino Day -- Philippines

Buhe -- Ethiopian Orthodox Church (Christian remembrance of the Transfiguration.)

Cadillac Day -- the first Caddy was built this day in 1902

Chung Yuan Festival -- China (Festival of Hungry Ghosts; according to legend, during this 7th lunar month the souls of the dead are released from Purgatory to wander the Earth, and so today is the day to appease those spirits with joss stick burning, prayers and food, "ghost money", and other offerings; dates of this vary in other countries)

Consualia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Consus, god of grain and silos)

Corn Palace Festival -- Mitchell, SD, US (harvest celebration and redecoration of the world's only Corn Palace; through Sunday)

Crazy Day -- go crazy, in honor of Patsy Cline recording Willie Nelson's song Crazy on this date in 1961

Fete de la Jeunesse -- Morocco; Western Sahara (Youth Day, on the Birthday of HM Mohammed VI)

Gospel Day -- Kosrae, Micronesia

National Pecan Torte Day

National Senior Citizens Day -- US

National Spumoni
Native Wild Rice Harvest -- Northern Cree, Ojibwa, and Algonkian Native Americans (celebrated during the August full moon; if there are two full moons, it is during the second)

Poet's Day -- a day to celebrate the poet in you, and share special thoughts about poets and poetry

Raksha Bandhan -- Hindu (festival honoring the loving ties between brothers and sister in a family; local observances date may vary)

St. Pius X's Day (Patron of first communicants, pilgrims; Des Moines, Iowa, US; Great Falls-Billings, Montana, US; Kottoyam, India; Santa Lucija, Malta; Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO, US; Zamboanga, Philippines)

Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration -- Shelbyville, TN, US (an 11-day festival celebrating the world famous Tennessee Walking Horse and crowning this year's World Grand Champion)

Anniversaries Today

Seminole Tribe of Native Americans is legally established and recognized, 1957
Hawai'i becomes the 50th US state, 1959

Birthdays Today

Ozma, Queen of Oz, year unconfirmed
Jackie DeShannon, 1944
Clarence Williams III, 1939
Kenny Rogers, 1938
Wilt Chamberlain, 1936
Shimon Peres, 1923
Christopher Robin Milne, 1920
Friz Freleng, 1906
Count Basie, 1904
William Murdoch, 1754
Francis de Sales, 1567

Today in History

Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shogun and therefore de facto ruler of Japan, 1192
Pueblo Indians capture Santa Fe from Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt, 1680
James Cook formally claims eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales, 1770
The Nat Turner slave revolt in Virginia leaves 55 dead, 1831
Mighty Casey (Dan Casey) is struck out! In a game against the N.Y. Giants, 1887
William S Burroghs patents the adding machine, 1888
Oldsmobile is incorporated as a division of General Motors Corp., 1897
Arthur Rose Eldred becomes the first Boy Scout to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, 1912
Physicist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1945
James Anderson, Jr., posthumously receives the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine, 1968
Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at the Manila International Airport, 1983
Carbon dioxide gas erupts from volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon, killing up to 1,800 people within a 20-kilometer range, 1986
Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapses, 1991
The Red Cross announces the famine in Tajikistan and calls for international aid there and in Uzbekistan, 2001
Hurricane Dean becomes the first storm to make landfall as a Catagory 5 since Hurricane Andrew, 2007

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Old Golden Rule Days

We have been trying to get Little Girl in a specific public school program, and it's been like pulling teeth.

Gone are the days when you could, as in Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Understood Betsy, send your child down the road to the school for the first day and the one teacher who sees her from the window goes out and brings her in to introduce her to the other dozen or so students, with no paperwork required.

This system is so complicated even the people who work in the system don't know all of the rules.

Last school year, i began to make inquiries.  These included calling friends who know the system better than i do.  They gave me names to call, but not one of those names panned out.

Every person i spoke to essentially said, "Not my job." when i actually called.  No one could test her for going into the 10th grade.  No one could get her registered in the system to the required IEP could be done.  Everyone i spoke to gave me the name and phone number of the previous person i had spoken to, who in turn said that was wrong.

Finally i realized there was only one way, and that's the hard way.  So on the first day for registration, we went in to the district school, which is not the one she wants to end up in, but we had no other choice.

We were greeted with a laundry list of requirements, and i ran around all morning meeting them.  Then we were told that on her first day or two of school, she would have to undergo a battery of tests for placement.  No, all of the previous exit exams taken at a private school and the Iowa test don't count.

The first day of school, we showed up early and were told to go home, they couldn't do the tests, they would call us.  We went home to wait, and Little Girl decided to "improve each shining hour" by reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, just because she had always wanted to.

Finally, after the whole week had passed, i called back and begged to please talk to someone who could tell me something, as she was worrying about how much work she would be required to make up if she missed more school.

That's when i learned that the Accountability Office had moved over the summer and the computer that held all the tests that needed to be given wasn't accessible.  How in the world does an entire school system lose access to a computer that has all their placement tests on it?

During that conversation i also found out that we don't need to worry about her missing a week, the teachers know the first two weeks of school are hectic and kids register all through that time and they don't do much work those first couple of weeks and cut incoming students a lot of slack.

Huh?  The first couple of weeks don't matter so much?  No wonder education is in the state it's in.

Anyway, i was told to bring her in for the second week, she would be put in 10th Grade classes and tested later to make sure she could stay in them.  Not my favorite solution, but better than nothing.

We walked into a madhouse, of course.  The guidance office was locked, but someone opened the door for us and within moments the room was packed, and it continued to repack for as soon as they could move one person through, another one or two came in to take that spot.  Students who had lost their schedules and needed a reprint.  Students who had never received a schedule.  Parents who, like me, had business to attend.

The particular counselor who is supposed to handle this for us is not assigned to that school on Mondays, but another counselor knew the deal and handed the paperwork to the nice lady at the central desk in that office so she could enter it in the computer.

That's right.  They'd had all of our information for almost 10 days, and hadn't bothered to enter it into the computer yet.  As the lady sat there and did so, i learned two things.  First, the Good Lord's name is not totally absent of mention in public schools, it is taken in vain regularly.  Second, they don't do anything ahead of time that they aren't required to do, but leave it until the last minute.

We stood there for over an hour as she entered everything in while also printing out schedules for other students and answering phones.  Then we waited a good while longer as students and parents skipped the wait and filed right past us to go in and demand what they needed right away.

At that point, i wasn't sure whether to feel sorry for the ladies in the office or not.

The upshot was that Little Girl got to attend 3 1/2 of her classes that day.  When i came to get her, she seemed very emotionless, or maybe overwhelmed.  She was eager to get home, and on the way home she said, "And I have to do this every single day now!"

Well, it's not like she wasn't in school before, but it was not quite the same setting.

She also said, "And at least now I know where not to sit outside for lunch, the ants got most of mine! Oh, and here are some of the things I will need for the classes I got to attend."

Some things don't change much.

Today is:

Bad Hair Day -- birth anniversary of Don King

Birth of the White Buffalo -- Lakota Native American rituals honoring the birth of the White Buffalo in 1994, signaling the return of the White Buffalo Woman (manifestation of the Star Goddess Wohpe), who gave them the sacred peace pipe

Boil Over Thursday -- Fairy Calendar (sometimes on Thursday, most often not)

Dial the Phone Day -- the first rotary dial phone patent was applied for by A. E. Keith, John Erickson, and Charles Erickson on this day in 1896

Feast of Asma -- Baha'i

Full Sturgeon Moon a/k/a Full Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, or Grain Moon*
     Nikini Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Wahgaung Full Moon -- Myanmar 

Independence From USSR Day -- Estonia

Lemonade Day

Moon's Birthday -- Aztec Calendar (according to some websites, but i haven't confirmed it; if you want something to celebrate, this is as good as anything else)

National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

National Radio Day -- internet generated toast to the power of radio

Nikini Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka (begins at sundown)

Revolution Day -- Western Sahara

Revolution of the King and People -- Morocco

South Mountain Fair -- Arendtsville, PA, US (celebrating agriculture, arts, crafts, and industry; through Saturday)

St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Day (Patron of bees and beekeepers, candle makers, wax refiners; Burgundy, France; Cistercians; Gibralter; Queens College, Cambridge, England; Speyer Cathedral)

Stop and Smell Your Dog Day -- and, depending on the results, maybe even Give Your Dog a Bath Day

St. Stephen's Festival --  Budapest, Hungary (National Day for all of Hungary)

Thoth orders the healing of the Eye of Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Virtual Worlds Day -- internet generated, as well it should be

World Mosquito Day -- commemorates the day Dr. Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria in 1897

Birthdays Today:

Al Roker, 1954
Connie Chung, 1946
Jacqueline Susann, 1921
Edgar Guest, 1881
H.P. Lovecraft, 1880
Benjamin Harrison, 1833
Bernardo O'Higgins, 1776

Today in History:

Hungary is established as a kingdom by Stephen I, 1000
The Dutch bring the first African slaves to the colony of Jamestown, VA, 1619
The Spanish establish the presidio that will be the town of Tuscon, Arizona, 1775
The Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery", exploring the Louisiana Purchase, suffers its only death when sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis 1804
Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuts in Moscow, 1882
Rotary Dial telephone is patented, 1896
The Big Blowup, a huge fire in the Northwestern US, burns 3 million acres, 1910
Adolphe Pegoud makes the first parachute jump from an airplane, 1913
Stainless steel is first cast, 1913
WJM,8Mk, Detroit, becomes the first commercial radio station to start daily broadcasting, 1920
UK becomes the first to use radar, 1940
Plutonium's weight determined, 1942
Launch of Voyager 2, 1977
George and Joy Adamson, the Born Free conservationists, are gunned down by poachers, 1989
The Oslo Peace Accords are signed in Norway, 1993
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Quebec may not secede from Canada without federal government approval, 1998

• Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.