Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's Time!

It's the 21st Annual Cram Everyone in a Two-Bedroom Condo at the Beach for a Week, Family Should Be Close But Not This Close Vacation!

Time again for sand in our shorts, sunscreen in our eyes, salt breezes tickling our noses, pool chlorine bleaching our hair, and sandals on our happy to finally be out and free toes.

For the next week i'll be checking in as i can, as we swim, shop, go to the zoo and the naval air museum, and attend church at the Flora-Bama Bar Sunday morning. (Yes, really, service is at 10am, beach wear is acceptable, and if you are looking to be baptized, the Gulf of Mexico is just a few steps away.)

Our cast of characters isn't as big as it used to be, since #1 Son is staying home to work and Bigger Girl is staying home to work and go to school. Appearing as usual this year are:

Grandpa -- a/k/a Doc, whom i refer to as Dr. Born Organized Clean. Patriarch of the clan. Retired physician who is on so many boards of so many different non-profits and other organizations that he's almost as busy retired as he was when he was working. More than just a Mr. Clean, he's so Born Organized that, when Hurricane Katrina threatened NOLA, he pulled out his portable file boxes and packed six of them, put together a small valise of clothes, and one bag of other items he didn't want to lose. It fit in a bit less than half the trunk of the car, and he could have restarted his entire life just with what he had there.

Grandma -- Miss Prissy, the matriarch. A woman born to shop, who would be a hoarder if Grandpa didn't clean up behind her and make her get rid of stuff. The bigger half of the trunk that he didn't fill when they fled the hurricane was filled with her stuff, as was the back seat up to the ceiling and she had a few things in the front seat by her feet. She and Grandpa will attend Catholic mass every morning (unlike us half-heathen Protestants who only go on Sunday), as well as plan the meals to be cooked.

Uncle J -- Youngest son of Grandma and Grandpa. A born salesman who could just as easily have been a con artist. Divorced father of two who has primary custody. Loves whipping the snot out of teenagers at computer games.

Bryn -- Young teen daughter of Uncle J. Used to be described by my kids, her cousins, as a brat. She's grown up and they now love having her around. She hit 13 last year and got "cool," apparently.

Dre -- Uncle J's son. A typical kid, too old for diapers and the kiddie pool, too young to be considered a tween yet. Still into the typical little boy stuff, including thinking bodily noises are hysterical and girls are yucky.

Sweetie -- my husband. Rock n' Roller wanna-be, with more energy than you can shake a stick at, even at almost 61 and almost retired. Just make sure he has his guitar and amp with him, and all is right with his world.

#2 Son -- 18 and on top of the world. Works hard and plays hard. Looks and acts a lot like Uncle J, and could easily grow up to be either a chef, which is what he wants to study, or a felon. He's got that con man inside, and i hope he never really lets it out.

Little Girl -- Sweet Sixteen and a straight A student. Loves to swim, especially on swim team, and hates to shop. Her fashion is whatever she has because she won't go buy anything unless hog-tied and dragged somewhere. An artist, too, and, though she won't do it, she can sing and play piano, and has perfect pitch.

And then there is me, eldest child and only daughter of Grandma and Grandpa. Chief bottle washer, kitchen cleaner and the one who makes sure your shorts get washed.

On the docket for the week are the usual things: swimming, sand castles, ghost crab hunting, fishing, visiting the Naval Aviation Museum, visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, shopping, going to the antique store, and lots of lounging around.

Also on the docket this time is getting to a branch of our mortgage company for some business i have to attend, because there are no actual branches where we live. There's one just up the street from one of my favorite stores, and they already know i'll be stopping by, because this business is best handled in person.

If you happen to be in the Pensacola area, give us a shout! We'll meet up for some fun.

And remember, if it wasn't fun, this wouldn't be the 21st Annual.

Today is

Bicycle Race Day -- anniversary of what is supposed to have been the first bicycle race ever, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris, in 1868

California Artichoke Festival -- Castroville, CA, US (lots of fun in the Artichoke Capital of the World; through tomorrow)

Dia de Castilla-La Mancha -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Doha Document for Peace in Darfur Commemoration -- Sudan

English Riviera Dance Festival -- Torquay, Devon, England (learn ballroom dance, or take a master class, all levels are welcome, with Gala Evenings where you can dance the night away; through next Friday)

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Christianity (Mary's visit of her cousin Elizabeth, chronicled in Luke 1:39-56)

Kaiko Kinenbi -- Yokohama, Japan (Yokahama Port Opening Festival; through tomorrow)

"Make My Day" Day -- birth anniversary of Clint Eastwood

Missouri State Championship Racking Horse Show -- Stoddard County Fairgrounds, Dexter, MO, US (an afternoon and evening of excellent and elegant showmanship)

National Macaroon Day

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it; on the anniversary of the concert by The Who which set a Guiness World Record for loudest rock concert in 1976

Sjómannadagurinn -- Iceland (traditional Seamen's Day is June 6, but now a two day Festival of the Sea)

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day (Patron of mountain travellers; against fever)

Take This Job and Shove It Day -- birth anniversary of Johnny Paycheck

This Day (again) -- Fairy Calendar

What You Think Upon Grows Day -- Stephanie West Allen wants you to remember the power of positive thinking

Wicket World of Croquet® Day 2014 -- The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis, IN, US (croquet tournament fundraiser, includes an Alice and Friends game for the little ones)

World No Tobacco Day -- WHO

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Phil Keoghan, 1967
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Chris Elliot, 1960
Roma Maffia, 1958
Kyle Secor, 1958
Gregory Harrison, 1950
Tom Berenger, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Terry Waite, 1939
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Patricia Roberts Harris, 1924
Prince Rainier of Monaco, 1923
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Survivor"(TV), 2000
"Seinfeld"(TV), 1990
"Beatlemania"(Musical), 1977

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide  that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005
Asteroid 1998 QE2, an asteroid measuring nearly 1.7 miles across, and its moon, pass within 3.6 million miles of the earth, 2013

Friday, May 30, 2014

Feline Friday: Truce

Feline Friday was started by Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.  It's easy to do Feline Friday, just post a cat picture and link up and you are in!

It's no secret that we have lots of cats.

There's a problem with lots of cats.  They are territorial, and they will fight.

SissyCat, the one with three legs who is also sometimes called Tripod, is not ours.  My #2 Son told me his friend wanted to leave her here for a very short time.  That was several months ago, with no end in sight.  She hates all other cats, and most people, and is a very moody, cranky cat.  Bigger Girl says it's because she's the reincarnation of a British librarian from the Victorian era, and she hates how we run things now.  #1 Son swears it's because she's resentful that she's a cat and not a human.  Whatever the reason, she is a pill and she especially does not like Mikey.

To give you a further idea of her personality, she only has three legs because she was convinced she could take that German shepherd.  She's still convinced she could take the German shepherd.

Mikey is #1 Son's cat who moved out with him for a year, and is now back.  He's part Maine Coon and big and strong and used to ruling the roost.  He's not particularly mean or prone to fighting, but he is used to being the Big Cat On Campus and to not having to put up with anything from the others.

To say that he and SissyCat get into it is an understatement.  They both love lying on the bar that separates the kitchen from the dining area, and they fight about who gets to be up there.

Then, yesterday, i realized they seem to have declared a truce.

SissyCat and Mikey.
Maybe they've decided they can just turn their backs on each other and take half and it will work.  At least, it did this time.

Today is

Anguilla Day -- Anguilla

Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Centralia Anchor Festival -- City Square, Centralia, MO, US (anchor driving, archery shoot, tractor show, carnival, crafts, softball and more; through Sunday)

Dia de Canarias -- CN, Spain (Canary Island Day)

Dia de las Madres -- Nicaragua(Mother's Day)

Einherjar -- Asatru (Modern Norse Pagan) Calendar (a memorial for the war dead in Valhalla)

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc (Patron of captives, martyrs, opposition of Church authorities, people ridiculed for their piety, prisoners, rape victims, soldiers, WACs, WAVES; France)

Heirloom Seed Day -- While i can't find the history of this one, it's a good one to celebrate, we need to raise awareness of and preserve heirloom seeds

Indian Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago (anniversary of the 1845 arrival of the first Indian laborers to Trinidad)

Lod Massacre Remembrance Day -- Puerto Rico

Loomis Day -- because if we are going to honor Marconi, we should also honor the Washington, D.C., dentist Mahlon Loomis, who patented a wireless telegraphy system before Marconi was even born

My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day -- this one may be listed on another day as well, since no two sites agree; mercy, just go get a new one already! or go get out your Hank Williams records

National Mint Julep Day

Pilgrimages to St Patrick's Purgatory begin -- Station Island, Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland (three day pilgrimages to the island where St. Patrick supposedly showed the Irish heathens Purgatory so they would be converted continue through Aug. 15; such pilgrimages date back at least to the 10th century)

Portland Rose Festival -- Portland, OR, US (over 50 events, including three parades, dragon boat races, and more celebrate a city full of roses; through June 15)

Route 66 Summerfest -- Rolla, MO, US (citywide celebration to kick off the summer; through tomorrow)

St. Walstan of Bawburgh's Day (Patron of agricultural workers, farmers and farm workers, field hands, husbandmen)

This Day -- Fairy Calendar

Water a Flower Day -- no sponsor or reason given for this day, except that the spring rains are slowing and you don't want your garden to wilt

Anniversary Today:

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymore, 1536

Birthdays Today:

Blake Bashoff, 1981
Trey Parker, 1972
Wynonna Judd, 1964
Tom Morello, 1964
Ted McGinley, 1958
Colm Meaney, 1953
Stephen Tobolowsky, 1951
Meredith MacRae, 1945
Gale Eugene Sayers, 1943
Michael J. Pollard, 1939
Keir Dullea, 1936
Clint Walker, 1927
Benny Goodman, 1909
Mel Blanc, 1908
Countee Cullen, 1903
Peter Carl Fabergé, 1846
Czar Peter the Great, 1672

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Paperback Writer"(Single release), 1966
"War Requiem"(Britten Op. 66), 1962
"Odisséia de uma raça / Odyssey of a Race"(Villa-Lobos Symphonic poem), 1954
"Prodana nevesta / The Bartered Bride"(Opera), 1866

Today in History:

Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem; the Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall, 70
19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal, 1431
In Florida, Hernando de Soto  lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold, 1539
Publication of La Gazette, the first French newspaper, 1631
The Pennsylvania Evening Post become the first daily paper in the US, 1783&
John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria, 1842
Westminster's Big Ben rang for the first time in London, 1859
Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") is observed in the United States for the first time, 1868
New York City's Gilmores Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public, 1879
The Treaty of London, 1913, ends the First Balkan War and Albania becomes an independent nation, 1913
In China protests erupt against the Great Powers infringing on Chinese sovereignty, 1925
A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes, 1948
The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened, 1959
launch of Surveyor 1 the first US spacecraft to achieve landing on an extraterrestrial body, 1966
At the Ascot Park in Gardena, California, daredevil Evel Knievel jumps his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row, 1967
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high "Goddess of Democracy" statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators, 1989
272 days after the September 11 attacks, closing ceremonies are held for the clean up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The last remaining steel beam is removed and transported to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, 2002
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledges to end all nuclear power within 12 years, 2011

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Out Of My Ordinary

It's not ordinary for me to do a plug for something that someone is selling.  For one thing, i'm not really a good salesman at heart (or in practice), and for another, i don't use this platform for that purpose.

This, though, is a good cause.  Jenny Woolf, who blogs at An English Travel Writer, has been working on more than just her travel writing.

For quite some time, she's been working with a classroom full of children, helping them put together a very special book.

You can read about the project, the children involved, and the idea behind the story at Nurse Mabel and Her Amazing Fleas.

The story is about what it sounds like, a flea circus owner turned nurse in The Great War.  It's about more than that, though.  It's about supporting the dreams of children who have worked hard all year to put together a book of their own, bringing to life something they can proudly say they created.

The book is for sale at the Nurse Mabel site, and i've already ordered my copy, even if i don't have young children around to read to any more.  Probably i will read it to Gracie some time.

There are a lot of books in my library, including most of the books i had as a child.  Lately, i'm careful about adding any to my library, unless it's in ebook form, as i'm mostly out of shelf space.

This book is one i'm going to be glad to have in my library, taking up room on a shelf, because it's so nice to be able to support the dreams of young people.

Check out the site, and read about the book, and maybe you will want to support their dream, too.  Plus, without even reading the whole thing yet, i'm certain they've written a really fun and enjoyable story.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (purification festival to Ceres, date approximate)

Ascension Day -- Christian; related observances
     Procession of the Holy Blood -- Belgium (religious historical procession recalling the adventurous crusaders, especially Count Thierry of Alsace, who was supposed to have carried back relics of the Holy Blood)

Ascension of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

BookExpo America -- Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY, US (publishers display fall titles; through Saturday)

Castleton Garland Celebration -- Derbyshire, England (a Garland King and Lady ride the bounds of the parish on white horses, after which the garland the King wore is placed on the church tower; possibly dating back to Oak Apple Celebrations)

Democracy Day -- Nigeria

End of the Middle Ages Day -- considered such by many historians because of the fall of Constantinople on this day in 1453

Feast of Mars -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers -- UN

Learn About Composting Day -- can't find a sponsor for this day, but there is a week sponsored each year here

Mount Everest Day -- Nepal (declared on the anniversary of first ascent in 1953)

National Coq Au Vin Day

Oak Apple Day / Royal Oak Day -- England (celebration of the restoration of the monarchy; no longer officially recognized, but many localities have traditions that have grown up around this date which are still celebrated)

Pink Flamingo Day -- Don Feathersone created the first one on this day in 1957

Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day -- supposedly dating back, in Europe and the Americas, to the days when you put a piece of cloth in your larder for good luck; why it became a pillow no one knows

Runic Half-Month of Odal (home, possessions) commences

Squoosh an Ice Cream Sandwich Day -- rules say you must squoosh, not squish or squash!

St. Bona of Pisa's Day (Patron of couriers, flight attendants, guides, pilgrims, travellers; Pisa, Italy)

Anniversaries Today:

Rhode Island becomes the 13th US State, 1790
Wisconsin becomes the 30th US State, 1848

Birthdays Today:

Noel Gallagher, 1967
Lisa Whelchel, 1963
Melissa Etheridge, 1961
Adrian Paul, 1959
Rupert Everett,1959
Annette Bening, 1958
LaToya Jackson, 1956
Danny Elfman, 1953
Anthony Geary, 1947
Kevin Conway, 1942
Al Unser, Sr., 1939
Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent, Jr, 1938
Paul Erlich, 1932
John F. Kennedy, 1917
Tenzing Norgay, 1914
T.H. White, 1906
Bob Hope, 1903
Oswald Spengler, 1880
G.K. Chesterton, 1874
Patrick Henry, 1736

Today in History:

Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire, 1453
Charles II (on his birthday) is restored to the throne of Great Britain, 1660
Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives, 1677
The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves is upheld at Quebec City, 1733
In Patrick Henry's historic speech against the Stamp Act, he answers a cry of "Treason!" with, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" 1765
Present constitution of Switzerland takes effect, 1874
Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal, 1886
Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot, 1913
Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives, 1914
Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history, for Decca Records in Los Angeles, 1942
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1953
First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, 1954
Amputee  Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months, 1985
Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station, 1999
Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule, 1999
A WWII Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., US, 2004
Scientists describe the 160-million year-old fossile of Aurornis xui as the most basal species of Avialae, possibly shifting the evolutionary position of the Archaeopteryx as the oldest known bird, 2013

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


He was a rather average looking Asian gentleman.  He was old enough to have gray hair, but didn't appear to be elderly.  He ran a laundromat.

The building itself was a simple, low brick structure, nothing out of the ordinary to look at.  Since it was a beautiful day, he had the doors wide open, although i've since found out he almost always has the doors wide open, unless it's sweltering or freezing.

As i came in, i told him that i had a lot of laundry, more than 20 loads.  He smiled, and i said, "My boss' washing machine broke, and they haven't done laundry for 3 weeks!"  At that he grinned a bit wider, and said, "I like!"  We both laughed, and he showed me where the larger machines were, in the back.

Bringing in load after load, he eyed me for a bit, then sat back down to his paper.  One of the nice ladies who was already there helped me when i ran into trouble from the start with a recalcitrant coin slot.  She got it unstuck for me.

As the day wore on, i washed, and dried, and washed, and dried, and, as the loads started to get done, i folded and folded.

When i said more than 20 loads, i wasn't exaggerating.  Sheets, towels, mattress pads, undergarments, day clothes, night clothes, sports uniforms, and even blankets, i had hauled all of it in.  Eventually i ran out of detergent, and had to make a run to a store to get that and clean garbage bags in which to haul back the cleaned and folded items.

He sat most of the time, getting up once in a while to tend a machine for the people who paid him to do their laundry for them, or to give change.  Then he noticed that i was struggling with a particularly troublesome sheet, he got up and helped me.  Then, silently, he began grabbing baskets of the clean stuff and folding alongside me.

Thanking him over and over, he said, "I can see you are tired!"  Indeed i was, and by the time i left, 8 hours after i had arrived, i was even more tired.  In fact, i know i wouldn't have finished before closing time if he hadn't assisted.

After the last load had been put back into the van, i thanked him again for his help.  He said, "You were tired, and I am lazy now!  I don't sew clothes now, I just sit.  So I help."

You are not lazy! i told him.  Lazy people don't help!

He just smiled.

"You come back tomorrow?" he asked.

No, i said.  This was all the laundry the boss had, but i will tell everyone i know that yours is the best laundromat, and if i ever need one, i will come here!

He was an average looking, older Asian gentleman, but after the much needed help he gave me, he was beautiful in my eyes.

Today is

Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival -- Windsor to Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada (lots of fun in apple blossom time; through June 2)

Araw ng Watawat -- Philippines (Flag Day)

Armed Forces Day -- Croatia

Contemplate Your Vicissitudes Day -- no, i still don't know who thinks up this stuff, i can think of much better things to contemplate, thank you

Day of Pin-Hiding and Button-Losing -- Fairy Calendar

Downfall of the Dergue Day/National Day -- Ethiopia

National Brisket Day

National Hamburger Day

National Senior Health and Fitness Day -- US (don't let age get in the way of staying healthy!)

Republic Day -- Armenia; Azerbaijan

Republic Day -- Nepal

Slugs Return From Capistrano Day -- where they spent the winter, so don't go out on the patio barefoot until the first frost; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

St. Bernard of Montjoux's Day (Founder of Alpine hospices; Patron of Alpinists, the Alps, mountain climbers, mountaineers, skiers, and travelers in the mountains)

Whooping Crane Day -- US (birth anniversary of the first crane born in captivity; because those born in captivity refused to breed after they grew up, the attempt to restore numbers this way was discontinued, but these are beautiful birds worth saving)

Women in Trousers Day -- US (on this day in 1923, the US Attorney General announced his determination that it was indeed legal for women to wear trousers anywhere)

World Hunger Day -- The Hunger Project

World MS Day -- information here

Yom Yerushalayim -- Israel (Jerusalem Day; began sunset yesterday, ends sunset today)

Anniversaries Today:

Amnesty International is founded, 1961
Sierra Club is founded, 1892

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Cross, 1986
Carey Mulligan, 1985
Jesse Bradford, 1979
Sicily Yoder, 1969
Kylie Minogue, 1968
Glen Rice, 1967
Christa Miller, 1964
Sondra Locke, 1947
John Fogerty, 1945
Rudolph Guiliani, 1944
Gladys Knight, 1944
Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne Dionne , 1934
Carroll Baker, 1931
Barry Commoner, 1917
Ian Fleming, 1908
Jim Thorpe, 1888
Louis Agassiz, 1807
William Pitt, 1759

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Magic Show"(Musical), 1974
"Lock Up Your Daughters"(Musical), 1959
Melody(Disney cartoon film, first ever in 3-D), 1953
"Zoo Parade"(TV), 1950
"Louisiana Purchase"(Musical), 1940
"Mathis der Maler / Matthias the Painter"(Opera), 1938
"L'Arianna / Ariadne"(Opera), 1608

Today in History:

A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse;this leads to a truce and becomes one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated, BC585
James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI and a Treaty of Everlasting Peace (which lasted 10 years) between Scotland and England is signed, 1503
The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel (it will takes until May 30 for all of the ships to leave port), 1588
In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party, 1754
Big Ben is drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster, 1859
In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club, 1892
In the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1905
John B Gruelle patents Raggedy Ann doll, 1915
The US Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers, 1923
The first all color talking picture, "On With the Show", is shown in NYC, 1929
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened, 1937
Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister, 1937
The women of Greece are given the right to vote, 1952
The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed, 1964
Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States, 1975
Eritrea and Monaco join the United Nations, 1993
NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance, 2002
The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars, 2002
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty, 2008
'Le Monde' reports the Assad regime in Syria continues to use chemical weapons, 2013

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The latest from Kittyville.

The Lorax is back home.  Both of his front legs were shaved where they had IVs in them, and he's still on the antibiotic.  His cleft now has to be flushed after each feeding, and they are seriously considering doing his surgery sooner than they thought.  They don't want him to keep getting ill.

On a more practical aspect, the cat rescue can't afford to keep treating him if he gets ill, too.  Yes, the vet gives us a discount, but the surgery is probably going to be a good $500 even so.  Add the day he went to the vet last week, and then this weekend spent at the emergency vets (same place, but they charge more for after hours), and you are talking about $1,000 for the little guy, plus his formula and canned food and inoculations, not to mention neuter and microchip.

His adoption fee, even if it was doubled for the family that's taking him because he's a purebred, doesn't even begin to cover it all.

For right now, though, we are just happy he's home and feeling better.

In other kitty news, Appleblossom, bless her tiny little heart, is already trying to eat dry food!  She can barely get the pieces of kibble in her mouth, but she chomps away at them like a trooper.  Plucky girl.

The three boys got "fixed" yesterday.  Their combo test was negative, they are microchipped and freshly bathed, and came home feeling so sleepy.  How sleepy is a cat after surgery, you ask?  This sleepy:

He's asleep.

Yes, he's asleep, the weight of his sleepy head tilting the bowl!

They come home hungry and exhausted, both, and don't know whether to eat or sleep first.  So they end up trying to do both.   That's how sleepy they are when they come home.

Today is

Abolition Day -- Guadeloupe; Saint Martin

Buttercup Day -- an internet holiday that just sounds fun

Cellophane Tape Day -- patented this date in 1930

Children's Day -- Nigeria (a school holiday)

FindleFritter's Stoat-Wheedling Event -- Fairy Calendar

Frigga Blot -- Slavic Pagan/Asatru (honoring Frigga)

Lailat al Miraj -- Islam (observance of Mohammed's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem; began at sundown yesterday, local customs and dates may vary)

Mother's Day -- Bolivia

National Grape Popsicle Day

Pop-up Toaster Day -- Charles Strite applied for his patent on the first pop-up toaster on this day in 1919

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (Roman Catholic Church observance; Patron of England)

St. Melangell's Day (Patron of hares)

Sun Screen Protection Day -- an annual, and unsponsored, reminder to use that SPF protection, every day!

Throw the B*st@rds Out Day -- originally directed at politicians, (and if you want to do that, too, great!), and celebrated on various days on various sites, but whomever is making your life miserable, toss them out!  or at least, toss them out of your thoughts for today.

Yom Yerushalayim -- Israel (Jerusalem Day; begins at sunset)

Birthdays Today:

Chris Colfer, 1990
André Benjamin, 1975
Jamie Oliver, 1975
Jack McBrayer, 1973
Joseph Fiennes, 1970
Jeremy Mayfield, 1969
Todd Bridges, 1965
Pat Cash, 1965
Adam Carolla, 1964
Peri Gilpin, 1961
Richard Schiff, 1955
Bruce Weitz, 1943
Louis Gossett, Jr., 1936
Ramsey Lewis, 1935
Lee Meriwether, 1935
John Barth, 1930
Henry Kissinger, 1923
Christopher Lee, 1922
Herman Wouk, 1915
Sam Snead, 1912
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1911
Vincent Price, 1911
Dolores Hope, 1909
Rachel Louise Carson, 1907
Dashiell Hammett, 1894
Isadora Duncan, 1878
Arnold Bennett, 1867
Wild Bill Hickock, 1837
Julia Ward Howe, 1819
Amelia Bloomer, 1818
Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1794

Debuting/Premiering Today

From Russia With Love(Film). 1964
The Three Little Pigs(Disney animated short), 1933

Today in History:

Habeaus Corpus Act, codifying how the writ of habeaus corpus is to be used, passes in UK, 1679
Peter the Great founds St. Petersburg, 1703
In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba  fight against the Spanish army, 1812
In Canada, American forces capture Fort George, 1813
Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco, California, 1907
The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight, 1919
The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public, 1930
Richard Gurley Drew receives a patent for his adhesive tape, later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape, 1930
The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon  The Three Little Pigs, with its hit song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", 1933
In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, , 1937
Toronto's CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) becomes Canada's first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n' Roll music format, 1957
Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census, 1967
In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition, 1995
Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire, 1996
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity, 1999
The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600, 2006
Scientists in Canada bring 400 year-old bryophyte specimens left behind by retreating glaciers during the Ice Age back to life, 2013

Monday, May 26, 2014

Awww Monday: She loves her buddy!

Awww Monday is brought to us by Sandee of Comedy Plus.  After all, it's Monday, we could use a little Awww! in our morning.

Appleblossom loves her big brother.

All snuggly.

The three big boys, including this one, are getting "fixed" today, even though they didn't know they were broken.  Their sister will be taken care of on Friday.

An update on Lorax.  If you are a praying person, please do pray.  He became very ill again on Saturday.  That morning began with a toilet that was supposed to have been repaired proving it wasn't.  Next, the washing machine conveniently filled with water to wash the clothes and then died.  The evening ended with Lorax being taken to the emergency vet, and he's been hospitalized to receive fluids and IV antibiotics.  He's doing better, but until he has his surgery, he can continue to get infections in his sinuses.

Today is

Bob Day -- an internet holiday i couldn't confirm, but if your name is Bob, you deserve a special day just for having that name!

Bolder Boulder 10k -- Boulder, CO, UK (a fun way to spend Memorial Day)

Crown Prince's Birthday -- Denmark

Dracula Day -- Bram Stoker's Dracula went on sale this day in 1897

Dzien Matkl -- Poland (Mother's Day)

Festival of the Valley -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (celebration of the movement of Amun from the East Bank of Thebes to the West Bank; it involved giving flowers and sharing food with the dead)

Goblin Races -- Fairy Calendar

Holiday of the Receiving of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Independence Day -- Georgia(1918); Guyana(1966)

Lailat al Miraj -- Islam (observance of Mohammed's night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem; begins at sundown, local customs and dates may vary)

Memorial Day -- US and Territories (obs.)
     Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day -- US (on observed Memorial Day, an interfaith encouragement to pray and work for permanent peace in the world)

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

National Cherry Dessert Day

National Day of Healing -- Australia (formerly called National Sorry Day; to express regret for the ill treatment of Aboriginal Peoples of Australia)

National Heroes' Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

National Paper Airplane Day -- not an official holiday, but go make one, and have a blast; some people even organize contests

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day -- Hawai'i

Sally Ride Day -- US (birth anniversary of America's first woman in space)

Spring Bank Holiday -- UK
     Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling and Wake -- Cooper’s Hill, England (ancient tradition -- pre-Roman -- of rolling a large wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the hill; winner of the races to catch it wins the cheese, and the rolling is now always held on the Monday Spring Bank Holiday)
     Tetbury Woolsack Races -- Gumstool Hill, Tetbury, England (this formerly important wool producing town still holds races up and down the hill, from the Royal Oak Pub up to the Crown Pub and back; part of traditional Whitsuntide folklore customs, which is now always held on the Monday Spring Bank Holiday)

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (First Archbishop of Canterbury and Patron of England; feast day in the Anglican Communion and most Eastern Churches)

St. Philip Neri's Day (Patron of Gravina, Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome, Italy; the United States Army Special Forces)

Thargelia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (birthday festival of Apollo and Artemis; through tomorrow, date approximate)

World Lindy Hop Day -- Frankie Manning's birth anniversary

Anniversary Today:

Boston University is founded by the Massachusetts legislature, 1869

Birthdays Today:

Helena Bonham Carter, 1966
Lenny Kravitz, 1964
Genie Francis, 1962
Sally Ride, 1951
Pam Grier, 1949
Philip Michael Thomas, 1949
Hank Williams, Jr., 1949
Stevie Nicks, 1948
Brent Musburger, 1939
Miles Davis, 1926
James Arness, 1923
Peggy Lee, 1920
Jay Silverheels, 1919
Frankie Manning, 1914
Peter Cushing, 1913
Robert Morley, 1908
John Wayne, 1907
Dorothea Lange, 1895
Al Jolson, 1886

Today in History:

Armenian rebels battle the Sassanid empire and win the right to openly practice Christianity, 451
An earthquake  strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000, 1293
Geneva  expels John Calvin and his followers from the city, 1538
Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, 1647
Lewis and Clark first see the Rocky Mountains, 1805
The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress, 1830
Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners, 1857
The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote, 1868
Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia, 1894
Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1896
The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made, 1908
The world's longest-lasting tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, strikes Mattoon, Illinois, 1917
British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana, 1966
Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing, 1969
The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2, 1970
Willandra National Park is established in Australia, 1972
George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center, 1977
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills at least 104 people, injures thousands. Many people go missing and thousands of buildings are destroyed, 1983
The European Community adopts the European flag, 1986
Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era, 1991
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York, 1998
Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes, 2003
The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the build-up to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, 2004
The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 6,600 people, leaves 200,000 homeless, 2006*

*Occurred 22:54 GMT May 26, 05:54 Local Time May 27, so some sources date it today, some tomorrow

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Silly Sunday: Pastor's Sense of Humor

Silly Sunday is the place to link up for laughs.  Thanks to Sandee at Comedy Plus for bringing us Silly Sundays!

One of our associate pastors' has a great sense of humor.

Last Wednesday at prayer meeting, right before we began, he was reminded of a joke he'd heard, and told us.

Jimbo and Bubba were talking, and Jimbo said he was tired of not having much education.

"It's time I did better for myself," he said.  "You'n me should go down to that there Junior College and sign up for some classes."

Bubba wasn't so sure about that, but the next day, Jimbo went down to the College and talked to the Dean, who congratulated him on wanting to improve his mind and continue his studies.

"I will sign you up for some basic courses," the Dean told Jimbo.  "You can take basic English, basic Math, the first course of World History, and Logic."

"Well, I know what the rest of them are, but what is Logic?" Jimbo asked.

"I'll tell you what logic is," the Dean said.  "Tell me, do you have a weed eater?"

"Yes, I do have a weed eater," Jimbo answered.

"Then, logically speaking, you must have a yard," the Dean said,

"Yes, I sure do!" Jimbo said.

"Since you have a yard," the Dean continued, "then logically speaking, you must have a lawn mower, too."

"Why, I sure do!" Jimbo said, becoming amazed.

"I'm not done," the Dean said,  "Because you have a lawn mower and a weed eater and a yard, then logically speaking you want to keep the lawn looking nice with the lawn mower and weed eater."

"Yes, yes, I do keep my lawn nice!" Jimbo said, mouth agape.

"I'm not quite finished," the Dean said,  "Since you keep the lawn nice, then logically speaking you must also have a house."

"Wow, yes, I do have a house," Jimbo said.

"And logically speaking, since you have a house, you must have a family," the Dean continued.

"Oh, yeah, I got a big family!" Jimbo said.

"So logically speaking, you must have a wife," the Dean said.

"Yes, I have a wife," Jimbo answered.

"Then logically speaking, you must be a heterosexual," the Dean finally concluded.

"You are so right, I am a heterosexual!  Wow, you managed to figure all of that out just because I have a weed eater!" Jimbo almost shouted.  "I can't wait to take Logic!"

Jimbo was so excited, he went to find Bubba.

"Bubba, I did it!" Jimbo yelled.  "I went to the College and the Dean signed me up for some classes!  I'll be taking English, and math, and history, and Logic!"

"What's logic?" Bubba asked.

"Well, I'll tell you," Jimbo answered.  "Bubba, do you own a weed eater?"

"No," Bubbba replied.

"Well then logically, you must be a homosexual!" Jimbo told him.

As we all laughed, the pastor got up and handed each of us a copy of a book called Intercessory Prayer, by author Dutch Sheets.

When we asked him how much we owed him for the books, which all of us had expressed an interest in reading the week before, he answered that we didn't owe him anything.

"I'm just going to tell Barry that I bought them.  And he will say, 'Oh, but the church budget!' and I will say, 'Well, Barry, since these people gather every single week to pray for our church, the city, the nation, and the world, if we can't give each of them a book that will help them do the important work of prayer, then how about I tell them to take the next few weeks off, because logically speaking it means you will come and have prayer for them!' "

Don't you love a pastor with a sense of humor?

Today is

Africa Day / African Liberation Day  -- African Union; related observance
     Heroes' Day -- Lesotho
     President Yajya Jammeh's Birthday -- Gambia

Arbor Day -- Aston-on-Clun, Shropshire, England (a Poplar tree in town is decorated and left that way year round; probably associated with Oak Apple Day)

First Patriotic Government / National Day -- Argentina (Dia de la Revolucion de Mayo)

Flitting Day -- parts of England; Scotland (traditional day on which leases were up for the year and people moved)

French Open Tennis Tournament -- Roland-Garros Stadium, Paris, France (part of the Grand Slam of Tennis, annually since 1925; through June 8)

Geek Pride Day / Nerd Pride Day -- celebrate the geek / nerd in you!  Geek culture is the obvious choice to laud when it's Glorious 25 May, Star Wars Day, and Towel Day at the same time; began in Spain as "Día del Orgullo Friki"

Glorious 25 May -- in Terry Pratchett's Discworld

Grand Prix de Monaco -- Monaco (premier Formula 1 race through the streets of Monte Carlo, run since 1929; through the 27th)

Hanswijk Procession -- Mechelen, Belgium (since the year 1272, the Sunday before Ascension Thursday, the town celebrates Our Lady of Hanswijk, in thanks for the ending of plague and war)

Independence Day -- Jordan(1946)

Indianapolis 500 -- Indianapolis, IN, US (the world's single largest one day sporting event)

Liberation Day -- Lebanon

Mother's Day -- Algeria; Dominican Republic; France; French Antilles; Haiti; Mauritius; Morocco; Sweden; Tunisia

National Brown-Bag-It Day

National Missing Children's Day -- US (promoting awareness of the problem of missing children)

National Tap Dance Day -- US, birth anniversary of Mr. Bojangles

National Wine Day

Offering to Demeter -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Palio Dei Balestrieri -- Gubbio, Italy (the last Sunday of May always sees a medieval crossbow contest between the town of Gubbio and the town of Sansepolcro, with medieval costumes and arms)

Poetry Day -- Florida, US (since 1947, the state legislature declared this for all public schools in the state; if you don't live in Florida, enjoy a poem today, anyway)

Procession of the Statue of Artemis -- Ancient Greek and Roman Calendars, at Ephesus (date approximate, but always near the Thargelia)

Self-Reliance Day -- an internet originated holiday, based on the idea that we should all become more self reliant in this day when it is a dying art.

Star Wars Day -- Part IV, A New Hope was released this date in 1977

St. Bede the Venerable's Day (Patron of lectors; Father of English History)

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi's Day (Patron of the ill; against illness and sexual temptation)

Towel Day -- Douglas Adams fans, unite!  Always know where your towel is.

Week of Solidarity with the People Of Non-Self-Governing Territories begins -- United Nations

Anniversary Today:

Lord Guildford Dudley marries Lady Jane Grey, 1553

Birthdays Today:

Brian Urlacher, 1978
Ethan Suplee, 1976
Lauryn Hill, 1975
Justin Henry, 1971
Jamie Kennedy, 1970
Anne Heche, 1969
Stacy London, 1969
Mike Myers, 1963
Connie Sellecca, 1955
Jessi Colter, 1947
Karen Valentine, 1947
Frank Oz, 1944
Leslie Uggams, 1943
Ian McKellen, 1939
Raymond Carver, 1938
Tom T. Hall, 1936
K.C. Jones, 1932
Beverly Sills, 1929
Robert Ludlum, 1927
Miles Davis, 1926
Jeanne Crain, 1925
Claude Akins, 1918
James Joseph "Gene" Tunney, 1898
Igor Sikorsky, 1889
Philip Murray, 1886
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, 1878
John Alexander Dowie, 1847
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi(Film), 1983
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope(Film), 1977
"The Subject Was Roses"(Play), 1964
"H.M.S. Pinafore"(Comic Opera), 1878

Today in History:

First recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Alfonso VI of Castile  takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors, 1085
Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ, 1420
The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw, 1521
Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England, 1659
Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek, 1784
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States, 1787
In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the Semana de Mayo, 1810
The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom, 1837
The first telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot, 1844
Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London, 1878
The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president, 1895
John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee, 1925
Henry Ford stops production of the Model T to begin the Model A, 1927
Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field  Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1935
The first ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition, 1955
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established, 1963
Star Wars (retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion and Geek Pride Day holiday, 1977
Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people, 1985
Israel withdraws its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion, 2000
32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 2001
Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, 2011
The first commercial spacecraft, SpaceX Dragon, docks with the International Space Station when it completes docking at 12:02pm EDT, 2012

Saturday, May 24, 2014


"Oh, hey, mom, Mrs. L said I've completed my work, and when she and her husband get back from visiting Dallas next week, I can go get my diploma."

With this casual nonchalance, #2 Son announced that he has graduated from high school!

Last year, he hoped to simply take his GED and be done.  He had aced the practice tests, and was ready to go take the real thing.  The State has a different idea, though, and makes you take other tests.  They won't just give you the practice or real GED, they make you jump through a bunch of other hoops.  It proved to be easier to send him back to the private school to be tutored in geometry and algebra, and earn a diploma that way.

Thus he came home from school with this announcement.  When i congratulated him and asked him if he would now try to enroll in culinary school again, he said, "Well, I'm not sure if I want to do that right away.  After all, they are talking about moving me into an assistant manager position at work.  Oh, and this morning, I did set ups.  It usually takes two people about forty-five minutes to an hour to set up both sides, and I did both sets ups in half an hour!  So I think I just want to work for a while, have some managing experience when I get to culinary school."

That's fine if he wants to take a breather and wait a bit.  He's got his high school diploma, he can bask in that for a while.

Today is

Aldersgate Day -- Methodism

Alma Highland Festival and Games -- Alma College, Alma, Michigan (annual celebration of Scottish heritage, with world class entertainment and fun; through tomorrow)

ARMAD: Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day -- US ("Ham it up for the troops!" is the motto of amateur ham radio operators on the Saturday before Memorial Day)

Battle of Pichincha Day -- Ecuador

Bermuda Day -- Bermuda

Brooklyn Bridge Day -- the most often sold bridge in the US (or so i've been told) opened on this day in 1883

Brother's Day -- celebrate all forms of brotherhood, biological, adopted, fraternity brothers, or members of your labor union

Cape May Music Festival -- Cape May, NJ, US (world class music performances of many genres; through June 12)

Day for the Naming of Rocks and Planets -- Fairy Calendar

European Day of Parks -- Europe

Feast of Hermes Trismegistus -- Hellenistic Egyptian Calendar (thrice-blessed Hermes, patron of alchemy, date approximate)

Grubstake Days -- Yucca Valley, CA, US (parade, carnival, rodeo, fun! this year's theme is "Honoring All Who Serve")

Hug Your Cat Day -- created by Apricat, star of books written by Marisa D'Vari, who says no matter how aloof, your cat really does want a hug

Independence Day -- Eritrea(1993)

International Jazz Day -- as originally set by the New Jersey Jazz Society, on the Saturday before US Memorial Day

International Tiara Day -- ladies, celebrate your powers of leadership in your life; tiara wearing is optional, it's the fact that you rule that matters

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy -- Isle of Man (through June 6; two weeks of the finest road racing on earth)

Julia Pierpont Day -- she came up with Decoration Day, the precursor to US Memorial Day; prepare veterans' graves for Memorial Day today

La Fete des Saintes Maries -- Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France (Roma [gypsy] festival, to honor St. Sara, St. Marie Jacobe, and St. Marie Salome, their patrons; through the 25th)

Last Bell -- Russia (tradition of closing schools for the year by having a formal ceremony with the children, and a first grader rings the school bell for dismissal)

Little Lamb Day -- publication anniversary, in 1830, of the original poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Lobster Days -- Mystic Seaport, CT, US (a New England lobster bake on the banks of the Mystic River; through Monday)

Lubiri Memorial Day -- Buganda Region, Uganda

Morse Code Day -- anniversary of Morse's first message in 1844 (Morse Code Day is also celebrated on his birth anniversary, April 27)

National Escargot Day

Sovereign's Day Holiday / Commonwealth Day-- Belizeusually24th

Sara-la-Kali -- St. Sara, or St. Sara the Black's Day -- patron of the Roma (Gypsy) Peoples (pilgrimage)

Skerpla Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (Sharpness)

Sts. Cyril and Methodius's Day (Orthodox Church celebration; Patrons of Macedonia) related observances
     Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavonic Literature Day -- Bulgaria
     Slavonic Enlighteners' Day -- Republic of Macedonia

St. Susanna's Day (Patron of martyrs)

Taste of Cincinnati -- Cincinnati, OH, US (6 blocks of Downtown Cincinnati is turned into a big food extravaganza; through Monday)

Tivoli Fest -- Elk Horn, IA, US (annual celebration of the area's Danish roots; through tomorrow)

Tohoku Rokkon Matsuri -- Yamagata City, Japan (a special matsuri, bringing together six major festivals from the district that was hard hit by the 2011 earthquake; through tomorrow)

Tour of Somerville -- Somerville, NJ, US (the oldest continuously run major bicycle race in America, always on observed Memorial Day)

Utica Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Festival -- Utica, OH, US (local artisans, pony rides, antique gas engines, car show, motorcycle show, magic show, and more, plus tons of ice cream! through Monday)

War of Jenkin's Ear Living History Demonstrations -- Wormsloe State Historic Site, Savannah, GA, US (a colonial living-history event with musket demonstrations, military drills, tomahawk throwing and more; through Monday)

Birthdays Today:

Billy Gilman, 1988
Alyson Hannigan, 1974
Joe Dumars, 1963
Kristin Scott Thomas, 1960
Rosanne Cash, 1955
Alfred Molina, 1953
Jim Broadbent, 1949
Priscilla Beaulieu  Presley, 1945
Patti LaBelle, 1944
Gary Burghoff, 1943
Bob Dylan, 1941
Tommy Chong, 1938
Lilli Palmer, 1914
"Engineer Bill" Stulla, 1911
Samuel I. Newhouse, 1895
Lillian Moller Gilbreth, 1878
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819
Emanuel Leutze, 1816
Abraham Geiger, 1810
Gabriel Fahrenheit, 1686

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Spy Hard(Film), 1996
Indiana Jones and Last Crusade(Film), 1989
View to a Kill(film), 1985
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"(Single release), 1968
"Mame"(Musical), 1966
"Le roi l'a Dit / The King Has Spoken"(Opera), 1873

Today in History:

The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt, 1218
Peter Minuit buys Manhattan, 1626
The English  Parliament  passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants; Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded, 1689
John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day, 1738
Antonio José de Sucre secures the independence of the Presidency of Quito, 1822
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale is published, 1830
The first passenger rail service in US, from Baltimore to Elliots Mill, Maryland, begins, 1830
Samuel FB Morse taps out the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought", 1844
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction, 1883
The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State, 1900
Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight), 1930
Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight, 1940
Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbana, 1956
Cyprus enters the Council of Europe, 1961
FLQ separatists bomb the U.S. consulate in Quebec City, 1968
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the Soviet Union, 1970
The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran, Iran, 1980
Eritrea  gains its independence from Ethiopia, 1991
Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel, 1991
15-year-old Sherpa  Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest, 2001
North Korea bans mobile phones, 2004
London's Metropolitan police remove belongings and sleeping bags of homeless people as part of 'a policy of reducing the impact of rough sleepers on the community', 2013

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feline Friday: Don't Scare Me Like That!

Feline Friday was started by Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.

On Wednesday morning, i had an awful scare.  Coming downstairs to start the morning and feed kittens, i found Lorax lying on his side, eyes glazed, breathing hard, and i could see where he had thrown up just a little bit away from there.

Scooping him into a carrier, i rushed him to the vet.  They ran tests, gave him fluids, and figured out his white count was up and he probably has some kind of sinus thing going.  No wonder, of course, with that big cleft in his palate.  He was put on an antibiotic and sent home, feeling his old, chipper self.

Feeling better after finally getting home and having his dinner.

Today is

Ancient Roman Festivities today:
     Festival for Vulcan -- god of fire, volcanoes, and smiths
     Rosalia -- rose festival
     Tubilustrium -- ceremony to purify the trumpet used in sacred rituals

Azalea Festival -- Brookings, OR, US (with a parade and street fair and bonsai, as well as azaleas and more; through Memorial Day)

Bluebell Day -- Fairy Calendar

Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day -- Waterloo, NY, US (the 148th observance at the National Birthplace of Memorial Day includes a car show, crafts, food, races, a biker rally and more; through the 26th, and again on the 30th)

Coal Miner Days -- Novinger, Missouri, US (a turn of the century coal mining town celebrates its heritage; through the weekend)

Declaration of the Bab -- Baha'i

Don't Fry Day -- another day to raise awareness of the need for sun protection through the summer

Down East Spring Birding Festival -- Cobscook Bay, ME, US (through Monday)

Florida Folk Festival -- White Springs, FL, US (a true celebration of Florida's folk heritage; through Sunday)

Go For A Walk in Your Swim Fins Day -- no, i don't know who comes up with this stuff, and i don't want to

Heat Awareness Safety Day -- US (your guv'mint at work)

Iris Festival -- Sumter, SC, US (fun, food, music, and beautiful flowers; through Sunday)

Linnaeus Day -- Stenbrohult, Sweden (birth anniversary of Carolus Linnaeus on the OS calendar)

Lucky Penny Day -- just a fun one, see if you find a penny today

National Death Busters Day -- because the upcoming Memorial Day weekend in the US is the most dangerous for driving; be careful out there!

National Labour Day -- Jamaica

National Polka Festival -- Ennis, TX, US (everyone is invited to enjoy this festival, through Sunday)

National Taffy Day

National Wig Out Day -- US (on the Friday before Memorial Day, don your wig and your alter ego and have fun!  there are events around the country)

Northwest Folklife Festival -- Seattle, WA, US (ethnic and traditional arts event celebrating world cultures; through Monday)

Pitlochry Festival Theatre -- Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland (plays, concerts, exhibitions, tours and talks; through early November)

Sacramento Music Festival (formerly the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee) -- Sacramento, CA, US (some of the best music from around North America; through Monday)

Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollon, Zeus, Hermes and the Dioscuri in the deme of Erchia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Suigo Itako Ayame Matsuri -- Maekawa Ayame-en, Itako, Japan (Iris Flower Festival, with over a million blooms of 500 species, special dance and demonstrations on weekends; through June 30)

Spoleto Festival USA -- Charleston, SC, US (a premier performing arts festival; through June 8)

St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk's Day (Patron of Belarus)

Students' Day -- Mexico

St. William of Rochester's Day (Patron of adopted children)

World Crohn's and Colitis Day

World Turtle Day -- sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 8th US state, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Kelly Monaco, 1976
Ken Jennings, 1974
Jewel, 1974
Mitch Albom, 1958
Drew Carey, 1958
“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, 1954
Marvin Hagler, 1952
Charles Kimbrough, 1936
Robert Moog, 1934
Joan Collins, 1933
Barbara Barrie, 1931
Rosemary Clooney, 1928
Helen O'Connell, 1920
Scatman Crothers, 1910
Artie Shaw, 1910
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 1883
Belle Aurelia Babb Mansfield, 1846
Margaret Fuller, 1810
Franz Mesmer, 1734
Carolus Linnaeus, 1707
Emperor Qinzong of China, 1100

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Tommy"(Album), 1969
"Shuffle Along"(Musical comedy revue), 1921
"Il bugiardo / The Liar"(Comedy), 1750

Today in History:

Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne, 1430
The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void, 1533
The Netherlands declare their independence  from Spain, 1568
The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years' War, 1618
After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London, 1701
Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals, 1785
Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy, 1805
South American independence  leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, 1813
The Báb announces his revelation, founding Bábism (the Baha'i Faith), 1844
Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1863
The Canadian  Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1873
The fist transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver, BC, 1887
The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, "The Karnival Kid", is released, 1929
American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana, 1934
Tibetans sign the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China, 1951
Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured, 1960
The first version of the Java programming language is released, 1995
The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes, 1998
The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure, 2005
Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts, 2006
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute, 2008
Fifteen months after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in Egypt by a revolution, voters go to the polls for a presidential election, 2012

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MomAndPop Store

"Good morning!"

The nice stock clerk that i say hello to each week when i go to the MomAndPop Store for milk and tortillas and the best tomatoes and other produce in the area greeted me with his usual smile, and i greeted him back.

Then he stopped me and said, "By the way, since you shop here every week, I thought you should know, we're moving!"

Moving? i asked.

"Yeah, the whole store is moving."

So, they aren't closing, and you won't lose your jobs, you will just be working in a new building? i continued.

"Yeah, everything's cool, we just gotta be outta here by July 31.  That's our last day here.  Then another store will be moving in"

Thanks for letting me know, and you know i'll follow you guys to your new location, i grinned.

"Heh, heh, I thought you would!" he responded with a huge grin.

This shouldn't have come as a surprise to me.  Just over 50 years ago, when Mom and Pop started the MomAndPop Store, it was on property they owned.  When they opened their second location, same thing.  Then they opened the third store, but couldn't buy the building.

For over 40 years, they have rented from Mr. Slum Lord.  The man would tell them that his people had come out and looked at the roof, and there was no leak, and the next day it would rain and part of the roof would fall in.  That kind of Mr. Slum Lord.  Someone who didn't care to keep up the property, just get more rent out of it.

About 6 months or so ago, there was talk of Mr. Slum Lord selling the property.  This had been discussed over and over for years, and every sale had fallen through based on the fact that one of the stores in the strip mall style buildings is a dry cleaner, and when they opened years ago there was less environmental regulation, and so the ground near that part of the building always tested as requiring remediation work that potential buyers wouldn't do.

This potential buyer would do it, apparently, and the sale went through.  The new owners have promised renovations, but have told Mom and Pop's kids, who still run the stores, that the rent will go up much more than they are willing to pay.

The end result was on the front page of the paper yesterday, thus the employee meeting the day before that to make the announcement of the move.  They will reopen on August 1 in their new place, just a few miles up the road.  Not as convenient for me, but i will get by there weekly anyway, as it's near the shelter.

The building will be renovated, and a different grocery, much more upscale, will be opening around Thanksgiving.   No, i'm not impressed.  Upscale usually equally pricier than i am willing to pay.

As for the other tenants of the other stores, including Dr. Bea, my veterinarian, i haven't heard.

All i know is, it will be worth stopping at MomAndPop Store's new location once a week while i'm at the shelter anyway, and if the new landlord repairs the parking lot here it will be a blessing, even if i'm only there for the vet or dollar store.  Mr. Slum Lord let it get so bad that i've even been bruised when the shopping cart went into a pot hole and bucked back and hit my let.

Today is

Abolition Day -- Martinique

Bear Waking Day -- Norway (traditionally said to be the day the bears awaken from their hibernation, at least according to many sites)

Buy a Musical Instrument Day -- even just a kazoo, and have some fun making music; maybe if this one spreads around the world and enough of us do it, it will foster some harmony in our lives

Harvey Milk Day -- The Harvey Milk Foundation

Hay Festival of Literature -- Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales (largest annual festival of literature in a beautiful market town in the Black Mountains of the Welsh marches; through June 1)

Independence Day -- Montenegro

International Day for Biological Diversity -- UN

Kodiak Crab Festival -- Kodiak, AK, US (there's more than bears up here, you know! through Monday)

Memory Days -- Grayson, KY, US ("East and West Carter Working Together" is this year's theme, with a parade, art show, music, Firefighter's Dinner and more; through Sunday)

Mudbug Madness -- Shreveport, LA (festival of crawfish and Cajun heritage, arts, entertainment, and more; through Sunday)

National Maritime Day -- US (commemorating the first transoceanic voyage under steam power)

National Sovereignty Day -- Haiti

National Vanilla Pudding Day

St. Julia's Day (Patron of torture victims; Corsica, Portugal; Livorno, Italy)

St. Rita of Cascia's Day/La Abodada de Impossibles (Patron of desperate causes, difficult marriages, forgotten causes, illness, lost causes, parenthood, sick people, sterile people, victims of physical spousal abuse, widows, wounded people; against abuse, infertility, loneliness, sickness, sterility, wounds, unhappy marriages; Cascia, Italy; Dalayap, Philippines; Igbaras, Philippines)

Toad-Pinching Day -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies)

Toothpaste Tube Day -- the tube was invented on this day in 1892 by dentist Washington Wentworth Sheffield, who wanted to replace the unhygenic practice of dipping the brush into a jar of dental cream

Unity Day / National Day -- Republic of Yemen

World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest -- Peoria, IL, US (competition and festival of ragtime, honky-tonk and old-time music; through Monday)

World Goth Day -- get in touch with your own inner Goth

Birthdays Today:

Apollo Anton Ohno, 1982
Ginnifer Goodwin, 1978
A.J. Langer,1974
Naomi Campbell, 1970
Morrissey, 1959
George Best, 1946
Paul Winfield, 1941
Michael Sarrazin, 1940
Frank Converse, 1938
Richard Benjamin, 1938
Susan Strasberg, 1938
Garry Wills, 1934
Peter Nero, 1934
Charles Aznavour, 1924
Judith Crist, 1922
Sun Ra, 1914
Sir Laurence Olivier, 1907
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859
Mary Cassatt, 1844
Richard Wagner, 1813

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"(TV), 1967
"Paulus / St. Paul"(Oratorio, Mendelsshon Op. 36), 1836

Today in History:

The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus, BC334
The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo, 1176
Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe, 1377
Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England, 1455
A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason, 1807
On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon is repelled by an enemy army for the first time, 1809
The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean; the ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20, 1819
HMS Beagle  departs on its first voyage, 1826
The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished, 1840
Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns, 1842
The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened, 1897
The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine", 1906
Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century, 1915
The most powerful earthquake ever documented, the Great Chilean Quake, measures 9.5 and strikes southern Chile, 1960
The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores, 1968
Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man, 1980
Microsoft  releases the Windows 3.0 operating system, 1990
Johnny Carson retires from The Tonight Show after 30 years, 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations, 1992
A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, 2002
Sarah West, a British naval officer Commander is appointed commander of HMS Portland, the Royal Navy frigate; she is the first female officer to take command of a major British warship, 2012

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Can't Confuse That

"Hey, Alec!" Bigger Girl said to the out of town friend who had come to visit the boys.

"Hey, yourself!" Alec responded.  "How have you been?  You look great!"

"Oh, I'm doing fine.  I'm done with the spring semester, and I don't start summer school or my summer job until June.  So I think I'm going to go to the library for a little while.  How are you?"

"I'm fine, too.  We're going to be getting the house finished soon so I can have the trailer back to myself.  Or, I should say, myself and Sparrow the Cat."  Alec then changed the subject completely and said, "I like your outfit.  How would you define the style of outfits you wear?"

"I like to think of myself as a combination of hippie and goth," Bigger Girl answered.  "I like the dark material, and the dog collar, and lace, but I like to do it with a hippie flair.  I've never really thought about it before.  I guess you could call me a 'goppie'!  I like that, a goth hippie would be a 'goppie'!  Not to be confused with 'agape' or 'a guppy!' "

By the time she finished saying that, all of us were laughing.

"No, there'd be no confusing them, or you!" Alec noted.

She does have her own style.

Today is

American Red Cross Founder's Day -- established by Clara Barton on this

Anastenarides Feast -- Greece (feast to St. Constantine and St. Helen)

Battle of Las Piedras Day -- Uruguay

Circassian Day of Mourning -- Circassians

Día de la Afrocolombianidad -- Columbia (Afro-Colombian Day; commemorates Columbia's abolition of slavery on this date in 1851)

Dia De Las Glorias Navales -- Chile (Navy Day)

Elf Fest -- Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary (near Needmore, Indiana; through next Monday)

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day -- because children need different care, they aren't just tiny adults

Festival for Vevodus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of the dead, swamps, and volcanic movements, and sometimes regarded as the king of the Di Manes)

Honvédelem Napja -- Hungary (Day of Patriots and Military)

Independence Day -- Montenegro

"I Need A Patch For That" Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, which notes that since everything else has a patch, why shouldn't you?

Lilies and Roses Day -- London, England (memorial of the death of Henry VI on this day in 1471; held at the Tower of London with representatives of Eton College and King's College, which he founded.)

National Employee Health & Fitness Day -- US (information here)

National Golf Day -- We Are Golf sponsors this day, and is holding an event on Capitol Hill today, too

National Memo Day -- an internet holiday with no known origin, just take a memo

National Strawberries and Cream Day

National Waitstaff Day

Passion Play Day -- the first Oberammergau, Germany, Passion Play was staged this date in 1634

Sister Maria Hummel Day -- birth anniversary of the Franciscan nun and artist

St. Constantine's Day (Greek Orthodox Church; Patron of Greece)

St. Eugene de Mazenod's Day (Patron of dysfunctional families)

St. Helen's Day (Greek Orthodox Church; Patron of Greece)
     St. Helena Day -- St. Helena

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day -- the day to remember what really counts is who you are, not just what you look like

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development -- UN

Anniversary Today:

Humphrey Bogart marries Lauren Bacall, 1945

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ramos, 1991
Ashlie Brillault, 1987
Lisa Edelstein, 1966
Judge Reinhold, 1957
Mr. T, 1952
Ian McEwan, 1948
Leo Sayer, 1948
Janet Dailey, 1944
Bobby Cox, 1941
Heinz Hollinger, 1939
Peggy Cass, 1924
Andrey Dmitriyevich Sakharov, 1921
Raymond Burr, 1917
Dennis Day, 1917
Harold Robbins, 1916
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, 1909
Fats Waller, 1904
Armand Hammer, 1898
Glenn Hammond Curtiss, 1878
Elizabeth Gurney Fry, 1780
Alexander Pope, 1688
Albrecht Dürer, 1471

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Empire Strikes Back(Film), 1980
"Gypsy"(Musical), 1959
"Le Fils prodigue / The Prodigal Son"(Prokofiev ballet, Op. 46), 1929
"Pagliacci"(Opera), 1892

Today in History:

Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily, 878
The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova, 1502
The nobility elect John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, 1674
The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I; it would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky, 1725
Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War, 1758
Slavery  is abolished in Colombia, South America, 1851
Russia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile, 1864
French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting, 1871
The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton, 1881
The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria, 1894
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris, 1904
Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, 1932
Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens, 1934
A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean, 1937
The National War Memorial in Canada is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, 1939
Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1946
The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School, 1951
Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, 1972
Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agree to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen, 1990
The Ethiopian Civil War ends, 1991
Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns, 1998
The clipper Cutty Sark is badly damaged by fire in London, England, 2007
JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket, 2010
The most active volcano in Iceland, Grimsvotn, erupts and triggers 50 small earthquakes, 2011