Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Upon hearing an odd sound from outside, a rather loud clanking that sounded like metal on metal, i stuck my head out of the back door to see whether one of the gates was attempting to fly away again in the crazy wind we've been having lately.

Instead, i saw #2 Son and Festus.  #2 Son had the barbell from the weight set over one shoulder, as one would a baseball bat, and Festus was poised to throw a 6 pound sledgehammer.  As i bemusedly watched, Festus swung the hammer toward him and #2 Son took a swing at it, barely clipping the edge of the wooden handle.

"That's a strike!" Festus yelled.

What are you doing? i asked.

"Playing baseball!" #2 Son answered.  "If I hit the metal part of the sledgehammer, it's a hit, but if I hit the wood or miss, it's a strike.  You should hear the neat sound it makes when I get a hit!"  

Well, i did hear it, and are you sure you two aren't trying to kill each other? i asked.

"No, ma'am!" Festus answered.  "If we were, we could both think of much more efficient ways to do that!"

Nice to know, i muttered, then i added, please don't break any windows!

"We won't, mom," #2 Son answered as he took another swing and hit the metal part of the sledgehammer squarely, making the loud clinking noise that had sent me out there.

As i opened the door to come in through the back door, Bigger Girl was coming in through the front door.  She had just attended her first day of classes, and was ecstatic.

"Mom, the Music Appreciation teacher is amazing!  Her first name is Kimberly, and she's the first Kimberly I've ever met who isn't a perky and annoying cheerleader type!"

Good to hear, i said, making a mental note to try to figure out whom else we know named Kimberly.

"It was a great class.  The teacher says she knows nothing about rock 'n roll past Elvis, because her mother was an Elvis fan.  We discussed classical music, and I was the only student in the class who knew that Beethoven was deaf. and the only one who had ever heard of Vivaldi.  In fact, our first assignment is to listen to Vivaldi."

Easy enough, i noted.  We have the CD's, if it's one of the more common selections.

"It is," she said.  "Also, we discussed classifications of instruments.  The teacher was surprised that I knew so much.

"It's funny.  When I dress the way I love to dress, people always wonder what I'm about.  It especially surprises teachers that I sit at the front of the class and answer lots of questions.  I think they don't expect someone who dresses the way I do to know anything!"

Bigger Girl, in a typical outfit.

Yes, i can imagine, i muttered.

Fishnet gloves, ammo belt, and tattoo on her, and a son who likes to play baseball with a sledgehammer.  Yep, my kids are nothing if not unique.

Today is:

Answer Your Cat's Questions Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; meditate on what your cat's question might be, then answer it

Celebration of Life Day

Come in From the Cold Day -- somebody at an ecard company decided today would be a good day to do that

Day of Unity and Liberty of Ukraine -- Ukraine

Dia de la Fundacion del Estado Pluinacional de Bolivia -- Bolivia

National Blonde Brownie Day -- i thought these were just called "blondies."

Polka Dot Day -- looking up why they are called "polka dots" gives lots of stories, but no concrete evidence; they were probably named after the dance craze that became fashionable around the same time the pattern appeared

St. Vincent of Zaragoza's Day (Spanish martyr and Patron of vine dressers, vinegar makers, vintners; Lisbon, Portugal; Portugal; vicenza, Italy; Vilamalla, Catalonia, Spain)
     a sunny day today indicates a good wine crop next season

Vancouver International Boat Show -- Vancouver, BC, Canada (with two venues in the city, there is sure to be enough to delight even the pickiest sailors; through Sunday)

Zehnder's Snowfest, Ice Carving, and State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Competition -- Frankenmuth, MI, US (fun for the whole family; through the 27th)

Birthdays Today:

Christopher Masterson, 1980
Balthazar Getty, 1975
Olivia D'Abo, 1967
Steven Adler, 1965
Diane Lane, 1965
Michael Kelland Hutchence, 1960
Linda Blair, 1959
Steve Perry, 1949
John Hurt, 1940
Joseph Wambaugh, 1937
Seymour Cassel, 1937
Sam Cooke, 1935
Bill Bixby, 1934
Piper Laurie, 1932
Ann Sothern, 1909
Robert E. Howard, 1906
George Balanchine, 1904
Rosa Melba Ponselle, 1897
D.W. Griffith, 1875
Grigori Rasputin, 1869
August Strindberg, 1849
Richard Upjohn, 1802
Nat Turner, 1800
Lord Byron, 1788
Andre Ampère, 1775
Sir Francis Bacon, 1561

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Emergency!"(TV), 1972
"Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In"(TV), 1968
"The Crucible"(Miller play), 1953
"Our Town"(Wilder play), 1938
"Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"(Opera; Shostakovich Op.29), 1934

Today in History:

The first contingent of Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican, 1506
Postal service between NYC and Boston is inaugurated, 1673
The Native American Iroquois tribes renew their allegiance to the British against the French, 1690
Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain, 1771
A severe earthquake in southern Syria kills thousands, 1837
The Zulus attack the British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South Africa, 1879
The Ancient Egyptian obelisk "Cleopatra's Needle" is erected in Central Park, 1881
After 63 years, England stops the sale of Queen Victoria postage stamps series and begins King Edward VII series, 1901
First live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury, 1927
KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California, 1947
Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space, 1968
The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service, 1970
The Singapore Declaration, one of the two most important documents to the uncodified constitution of the Commonwealth of Nations, is issued, 1971
The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during Super Bowl XVIII with its famous "1984" television commercial, 1984
Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. is convicted of releasing the 1988 Internet Computer worm, 1990
Kmart becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, 2002
Evo Morales is inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country's first indigenous president, 2006


  1. I love her outfit and she is smart. All your kids are smart.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. Festus and #2 Son are quite a pair. I hope your insurance is paid up.

  3. I love the Festus stories. Your daughter is adorable. That was kind of my style in high school, too and I got straight A's. It reminds me of this YA novel, Define Normal. Cute. Usually the freaks are the smart ones.

    1. Oh yeah, and my cat's question is "when are you going to feed me again?"


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