Monday, August 31, 2009

While I am too technologically challenged of a Luddite to post pictures, I will try my hand at the unglazed letter of the day challenge posted by Jen.

Today's letter is S.

S is for saltine crackers.

Sounds crazy, but saltines will always remind me of a sermon and a Bible lesson.

Jesus taught that people who love God are supposed to be the salt of the earth. Salt on the roads gives traction, and leaning on God gives traction to your life. Salt on food gives savor, and makes it taste good. We should flavor people's lives, leave a good taste in their mouths.

But like saltines, we should leave them thirsty, thirsty to draw closer to God.

In a way this should be easy enough for me. I'm a little bit (who am I trying to kid? a big bit!) crackers, so I might just as well be a saltine.

Today is:

Festal Day -- Order of the Eastern Star

Grape Blessing Day, Armenia

Hari Merdeka, Maylaysia (National Day)

Independence Day, Kyrgyzstan, Trinidad and Tobago

Love Litigating Lawyers Day (Yes, God tells us to love everybody, even litigation attorneys. He never said doing it would be easy.)

National Trail Mix Day

Solidarity Day, Poland

St. Aidan's Day

Summer Bank Holiday, UK

Wisconsin State Cow-Chip Throw

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
Moscow to Washington, D.C. "Hot Line" installed, 1963
Solidarity Labor Union forms in Poland, 1980

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Slippery Slope

As I grocery shop, I add up the purchases in my mind, keeping a running tab of the total that I hope is just a little bit higher than what I am actually spending. I round up, in other words, to cover the sales tax and make sure I am not caught unaware at the counter and with too little cash.

So yesterday, I knew something was wrong when the total came up. I told the nice cashier that something just was not right.

She printed out a small, temporary receipt, just to look and compare. Sure enough, a couple of items had not made it onto the total, somehow she had passed them over the scanner and they had not "scanned". We took them back out of the grocery cart, and she scanned them again, and the total was much closer to what I was expecting, so I paid and began to walk away.

Then I checked the receipt again. This time, I realized three things. One, she had rescanned an extra item. Two, we had still missed an item. Third, the second item, the one we had still missed, I had bought two of them, and and its price came up higher than the shelf tag price, by $0.16.

My very first thought on the item missed was, well, so what if they missed that one item, I got charged more for the other, so what. Then I realized what I was thinking and was shocked at myself. Walking toward customer service to have the extra item removed, yet thinking about not bothering to mention that the nice lady missed an item? I looked again at the item missed, that the other had come up as too much, and knew I couldn't do that. I got in line to have one item removed, and the other added.

Then let's top it off with this. I realized after looking yet again that I had grabbed, probably because they had placed it over the wrong shelf tag, the one that is actually sixteen cents higher. This happens routinely at this store, the item not actually correlating to the tag directly under it, but just a bit to the side. It is always the slightly more expensive item that has the cheaper price under it. I find this unprovable form of dishonesty aggravating, and usually look more closely to begin with.

It hit me what a slippery slope I had been on. I was about to get my money back for an item that had clearly been charged to me twice. That is fine. I had considered for a moment, at the same time, just not bothering to pay for a second item because I "thought" I had been slightly overcharged for the other one that had scanned. That is unacceptable.

If I ever step on that slippery slope down, justifying my actions, refusing to be less than scrupulously honest in all of my dealings, what will I consider doing in the future?

I had the nice lady in customer service take off the item I had been charged for twice. As I did not feel like walking all the way back there to switch out two small boxes of noodles, I also simply had her ring up that second box. The whole transaction took about 3 minutes, as there was no one in line at customer service at that moment (very unusual, but I'll take it). I got all of ninety-one cents back.

Even more, I got a lesson in self deception. I have tried to be truthfully and scrupulously honest in the small details like this, because I know once you start down the slippery slope, you can gather downhill speed very quickly, and begin justifying your actions in bigger and bigger things. Even if I had been overcharged for one item, that's not a reason not to pay for the second one. It's a reason, if that had been the case, to get them to correct the price on the first and charge the right price on the second.

Either way, you do it the right way. First time, every time.

Yes, it was only a thought that popped up, and I quashed it as quickly as it came. It doesn't matter. I am no hero for doing it -- it was simply the right thing to do. I am responsible for doing what is right, every time, in little things and in big things.

"He who is faithful in the the little things..."

I hope I always will be.

I don't want to set one foot on that slippery downhill slope.

Today is:

Alexandrian New Year

Charisteria -- Old Roman Calendar Thanksgiving

Family Day, Tennessee

Frankenstein Day (Interesting, when juxtaposed to the next entry.)

Huey P. Long Day, Louisiana

International Pow Wow Ceremony, Gallup, NM

Julienne Fries Day

Mind Day

National Holistic Pet Day

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Santa Rosa de Lima, Peru

St. Fiacre's Day

St. Pammachius' Day

Toasted Marshmallow Day

Victory Day, Turkey

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
Founding of Melbourne, Australian, 1835
Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner, 1901
J.B. Parsons becomes the first African American judge of a US District Court, 1961
Guinon Bluford becomes the first African American astronaut in space, 1983

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So, what does the world's most boring blogger blog about near the end of the month and at the end of the money, when her patience is thin, her time stretched, and her house in its usual "lived in by a tornado" look?

Well, if she is smart, she doesn't. She shuts up and goes and sits in a corner and behaves.

Then again, if I were smart, I wouldn't be writing the world's most boring blog, would I now?

So I am reduced to remembering a chance conversation with a former nurse (male) in a coffee shop the other day. He was talking about patients at the end of life on ventilators. He said he got out of nursing because he could not look these people, who had "living wills" stating they did not want this kind of intervention, in the face any more.

He noted that these so called living wills are violated all the time by doctors who want the patient kept alive, so the doctor keeps getting paid to "care for" the patient. He said these people's eyes haunted him, asking why they were being kept like this when they had left express orders saying "don't". The doctor would show up once a day, for 3 minutes, look at the chart, glance in the patient's direction, and never have to face them, then bill the insurance. Meanwhile, on him and the aids fell the actual care of people whose quality of life was deplorable, and who were ready to go.

I told him that really, these "health care directives", "living wills", even "health care powers of attorney" do nothing legally. The doctor gets to ultimately decide what happens, no matter the wishes of the patient. If the doctor wants the patient to suffer on, well, that's what will happen. If the family disagrees, they can go to court. That is a whole 'nother kettle of fish, of course.

Then there are the ones who are past looking you in the eye, who will never be themselves again, but "do everything you can to save grandma" says the family. Keep her on a ventilator for days because we don't want to have to grieve.

A third person, the one the nurse was speaking to when I joined the conversation, talked about losing his mom. He said, we knew she was ready, she had already said do nothing, so we kept her at home, and let her go. Her doctor knew, she was receiving care from her family and a home health nurse, and they just let go.

He said it wasn't easy, but they were at peace with it and so was she. Then, 4 months later, their dad, hale and hearty and riding his bike, hit a patch of water and slid and ended up getting thrown off, and seriously injured. They told the doctors not to provide extraordinary care when it became clear he would never recover. The loved him enough to let go, as they had discussed as a family. Much earlier than any of them wanted, but they knew what he wanted. In these cases, the doctor complied, too.

So, if we get this great mass of health care reform that is coming, ready or not, which will predominate? Will it be people's wishes, whether for or against extraordinary measures? Will it be whatever the family says? Will the doctors get to decide, and keep patients around, and in view of shrinking payments from insurance companies, will the amount they can make off these patients be part of the decision? (This is what the former nurse began with, that the doctors in the cases he had to care for were milking the system. I am not saying all, or even most, doctors would do this.)

Or will it be taken from our hands and be buried in a bunch of legislation? Or given over to a committee?

When the time comes, just let me go. Please. I hope it's a long time from now, after I get a chance to see lots of good things come to pass in this world. Because yes, boys and girls, even though bad things happen, lots of good things still happen.

When the time comes, let go.

Today is:

According to Hoyle Day

Day of Loose Talk -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Augustus -- Old Roman Calendar

Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

More Herbs, Less Salt Day

National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day (Sarcoidosis involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. Just so you can be aware. Now one more thing for us to worry about.)

National Whiskey Sour Day

Nativity of Hathor (Egyptian goddess of Joy)

Swiss Winegrowers' Fete

St. Sabina's day (Patron Saint of Housewives)

Urda -- Old Roman Calendar, the Oldest Fate

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

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
The first motorcycle is patented in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler, 1885
The chef of a visiting Chinese Ambassador invents "chop suey" in NYC, 1896
Speedy Gonzales makes his debut, 1953

Friday, August 28, 2009

In scanning health news this morning, I've come across yet another study that gives people a good reason to lose weight.

It seems being overweight or obese damages your brain, causing what researchers called "severe brain degeneration."

Overweight people have about 4% less brain tissue than average weight peers, and their brains appear to have prematurely aged about 8 years. The figures are doubled if you are obese, with 8% less brain tissue and premature aging of the brain of about 16 years.

The areas of the brain most affected were those associated with planning, long and short term memory, attention, movement, and executive function. All of this, of course, increases likelihood of Alzheimer's and probably of other things they didn't mention as well. One I could think of is the risk of falling, getting hurt, and getting into that vicious circle of weighing more, so you don't move as much, so you gain weight, and on it goes.

Granted, they only did brain scans on 94 people in their 70's. Still, if you are 73 years old and obese, and your brain is behaving as though it is already somewhere in its 80's, do you really think you are going to make it to the average life span in this country of 80 years? It does seem less likely. If you do, how much of "you" will be left?

This was published in the online edition of the
journal Human Brain Mapping.

On a lighter note (terrible pun intended), they say inside every 90 year old is an 18 year old wondering "what in the world happened?" when he/she looks in the mirror.

Today is:

Crackers Over the Keyboard Day (Are we supposed to go crackers over our keyboard, or tempt fate by eating crackers over our keyboard?)

Dream Day

Festival of Neon Revolution

Liberation Day, Hong Kong

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

Nativity of Nephthys (Egyptian goddess of Love)

Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day

St. Augustine of Hippo's Day (Patron Saint of Brewers and Printers)

St. Hermes' Day

World Sauntering Day (So saunter somewhere.)

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 Western Roman Empire is formally disbanded and its emperor, Romulus Augustus, is ousted, 476
The Third Crusade begins with the seige of Acre, 1189
St. Augustine, FL, founded, making it the oldest city in the US, 1565
The first locomotive in the US, the "Tom Thumb", runs from Baltimore to Ellicotts Mill, 1830
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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"He's a good man, but...."

Fill in the blank. He won't accept me the way I am. He says if I would just do what he says everything would be fine. He says if I would just change, life would be perfect. He demands that I have sex with him no matter what, even when he has been yelling at me and making me feel like crap. He is emotionally abusive.

Real life in the chat room yesterday. Makes my blood boil to watch a friend die from the inside from this crap. I finally got her to admit she feels like a whore, because she stays, and gives in to his sexual demands, because she only has unemployment now, so he holds all the cards.

If you have to follow a statement with the word "but", whatever preceded the "but" is usually a lie.

He is not a good man.

He had an affair, I am convinced. She told me about how he used to have a "friend" at work, and the friend got fired a while back, but before the firing he worked late with her and went on business trips with her. I cannot convince her that it was an affair, and she is too scared right now, because she is unemployed, to confront him.

So she continues the charade, the mockery of what God intended true marriage, true oneness of spirit, to be, just because she is afraid.

The kids are grown. It's just her and the dog.

They have had severe financial problems and are on the verge of bankruptcy.

He is not a good man.

He is abusive.

Another friend in chat, in trying to convince her, had to finally leave the room, because it reminded her too much of her mother, who used to make excuses for the father who would beat the toddler clinging to his leg with, "He's a good man, but..." excuses. She did the same with her own husband, and now her kids won't speak to her and blame her for what their dad did.

These men make me sick.

They are not good men.

Real life in the chat room yesterday.

Today is:

Feast of Incandescent Rebellion

Global Forgiveness Day

Just Because Day

Moldova National Day

National Pots de Creme Day

Nativity of Isis (Egyptian goddess of fertility)

Notting Hill Carnival, London, England

Ould Lammas Fair, Ireland

Petroleum Day

St. Caesarius' Day

St. Monica's Day

Birthdays Today:

Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens, 1952
Barbara Bach, 1947
Tuesday Weld, 1943
Martha Raye, 1916
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
Edgar Rice Burroughs' publishes "Tarzan of the Apes", 1912

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've had this blank screen in front of me, mocking me, as I got dinner in the crock pot and fed kittens and did 2 loads of laundry and got them on the line and fixed breakfast and took care of email and online banking, and still I cannot think of a word.

So, maybe I will pick a random letter. The random number generator said 13, which is the letter M, so here goes.

M for manila, which rhymes with vanilla, which is sometimes very bland, like my life seems to be.

M for many, many hats that I wear.

M for mountains. I haven't been to mountains in years. When #2 Son came home from his vacation with the neighbors, he was very impressed by the mountainous areas they drove through between our swampy flat Louisiana and New York. We need a vacation to some mountains.

M for miles. The number of miles it puts on the van getting Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy home from school is huge. I count my blessings, though, for if I had no Neighbor Boy's mother to carpool with, it would be twice as many.

M for meow -- the kittens are screaming again, they are dying of hunger, does no one care? After all, it's been almost 1 1/2 hours since they've been fed! How can we be so cruel? Cats are the ultimate drama queens, aren't they?

M for muscles, sore from exercise, and M for mind, tired from too much thinking.

M for my big mouth, which I will now close.

Bored enough already?

Today is:

Alice Doesn't Day

Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God's Day

First Thnork of the Year -- Fairy Calendar

Ilmatar (Finnish goddess of the Water Mother)

Make Your Own Luck Day

National Dog Day

National Cherry Popsicle Day

Namibia Day

Sky Day (Well, we do sort of take it for granted, this is a nice one, celebrate that we have a beautiful sky.)

Sultan's Birthday (on Zanzibar), Tanzania

Susan B. Anthony Day, Massachusetts

St. Zeohyrinnus' Day

Welling Pioneer Day, Canada

Women's Equality Day

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:

Chinese invent toilet paper, 580
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
Major eruption of Krakatoa, 36,000 dead, 1883
19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the vote, passes, 1920

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What kind of person will you become?

My conspiracy theory friend is at it again.

He sends things for me to watch on different videos around the internet, even though I can't watch video on my computer as I have no sound. (I need to someday put a crowbar to the old wallet and buy some new speakers, but not while I'm still in a state of, "Do I have enough money for both bread and milk this week?")

All of these videos, clips, downloads and attachments (which my computer won't open anyway, long story short, my computer is allergic to attachments and shuts down when I try, even the Nerds can't solve this one), as well as the articles I can actually access, point to how the world is coming to an end, and those of us who resist will be forced at gunpoint to 1) receive untested and unsafe vaccines we don't want and which also secretly contain microchips that will allow the government to track our every move, 2) move to internment camps being built to house us, and 3) dance the funky chicken no matter how silly it makes us look.

Do I believe the government can solve all of our problems? No, nor should it, and it shouldn't even be trying. Personal responsibility is being given short shrift in this day and time.

Still, no matter what happens, no matter what government upheavals are in our future, no matter the economic woes, no matter what, one thing remains true.

Remember that you get to decide not what happens to you, but how you react to it, and the kind of person you become because of it.

Today is:

Begonia Festival, Belgium

Constitution Day, Paraguay

Discovery of the Runes

Fest of the Green Corn, Lake Champlain, New York

Great American Duck Day

Hershey Pennsylvania Dutch Days begin

Independence Day, Uruguay

International Zucchini Festival

Kiss and Make Up Day

National Banana Split Day

National Don't Utter A Word Day (I can't try this and teach a class, but I might suggest it for the daughter who talks me ear off! Then again, I'm glad she talks to me, so maybe I won't utter a word about it.)

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day

Odin's Ordeal ends -- Norse

Opiconsivia -- Roman, Vestal Virgin Festival

St. Genesius' Day (Patron Saint of Comedians, Secretaries, Actors, Lawyers, and Patron against Epilepsy)

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
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
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
Matthew Webb becomes the first to swim the English Channel, 1875

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to distrust all politicians.

It seems a New Jersey man wanted to open a convenience store, and tried to bribe Hanover Mayor Ronald Francioli with $20,000. Mr. Francioli not only wouldn't have it, he turned Michael Sesera in, and Sesera is facing a year in jail for 3rd degree bribery.

Today is:

Bartholomew Fair, UK

Coast to Coast Young Reunion, Lincolnville, Maine

Hot and Spicy Food Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Independence Day, Ukraine

Knife Day

Mania Begins (Really? I thought it had been around forever, especially from watching the behavior of politicians all my life.)

National Peach Pie Day

National Waffle Day

Schaferlauf, Germany (Festival to honor St. Bartholomew, Patron of Herdsmen)

St. Bartholomew's Day

St. Owen of Rouen's Day (Patron Saint of Innkeepers, and against Deafness)

Vesuvius Day

Birthday's Today:

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

Today in History:

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buries Pompeii and Herculaneum, 15,000 die, 79
King John of England, a/k/a Humpty Dumpty for having to issue the first Magna Carta, marries Isabella of Angoileme, 1200
The first English convoy lands at Surat, India, 1608
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
Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera, 1891
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly non-stop across the continent, 1932

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I feel like my days are getting longer, yet less productive.

Co-op starts this week, and the only thing I have come up with for a quick first lesson is how to "marble" a home baked cake and make a very delicious frosting that is simple and that everyone likes.

I want the first lesson to be that simple, so we can spend some of the class talking about what they want to learn to cook this semester.

I cook so much that everything seems stale to me.

If they come up with things they want to learn, maybe having to teach it will make it seem fresher in my eyes.

That, or I'm just an old crank, which is likely.

Either way, marble cake on Tuesday, with a simple hot icing that is quick to make, spreads easily and sets right up, and I know they will want to eat cake.

In fact, let them eat cake. Even if I don't feel much like a queen.

Today is:

Day of Nemesea -- Old Roman Goddess Nemesis defender of the relics and

memory of the dead from insults

Festival of Fire

Ganesha Chaturthi -- Hindu (Festival of the Elephant God)

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its


Kirvis, Lithuania (Harvest Festival)

National Plumber's Day

National Spongecake Day

Permanent Press Day

Ride the Wind Day

Romania Liberation Day

Schuetzenfest (German Hunter's Festival)

St. Apolinaris' Day

St. Rose of Lima's Day (Patron Saint of Peru, Central and South America,

the Philippines, florists, and gardeners)

Valentino Day

Vertumnalia -- Old Roman God of the Change of Seasons

Birthdays Today:

Kobe Bryant, 1978
River Phoenix, 1970
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
Rabbi Joseph Caro completes his commentary of Tur Code, 1542
The first one-way streets open in London, 1617
Steamship service begins on the Great Lakes, 1818
Mexico declares its independence, 1821
Great Britian abolishes slavery in the colonies, 700,000 slaves are freed, 1833
Automobile tire chain is patented, 1904
Bryan Allan, in a Gossamer Condor, completes the first man-powered flight of one mile, 1977

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The problem with a kitten is not that
someday it will grow into a cat,
for indeed it should do just that.

But the problem then with said cat,
is at just the wrong time, kersplat,
it will hack a hair ball on the mat!

(Or the bed, the chair, etc. Can you tell that right now I am so happy to be kept on staff by a herd of cats that I could just barf? Oh, wait, never mind, one of them just thoughtfully did it for me, right on the new carpet, too.)

Today is:

America's Cup Day

Be an Angel Day

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Hoodie Hoo Day, Southern Hemisphere

Hug Your Boss Day (Be careful with this one!)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Festival

Kermesse, Antwerp, Belgium

National Pecan Torte Day

National Tooth Fairy Day

Old Thresherman's Reunion

Ramadan Begins -- Islam

Rumpleskunkskin's Wedding (Goblin celebration)

St. Symphorian's Day

Tunamint, Natural Chimneys, VA

Birthdays Today:

Cindy Williams, 1947
Valerie Harper, 1940
Carl Yastrzemski, 1939
Norman Schwarzkopf, 1934
Ray Bradbury, 1920
John Lee Hooker, 1917
Dorothy Parker, 1893
Claude Debussy, 1862
Samuel Pierpont Langley, 1834

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 laundches pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice, thus staging the first air raid in history, 1849
Gold discovered in Australia, 1851
William Shepphard patents the first liquid soap, 1885
Founding of the Cadillac Motor Company, 1901
President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first US chief executive to ride in and automobile, 1902
The first Victor Victrola is manufactured, 1906
Mona Lisa stolen, 1911 (recovered 2 years later)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kittens and jalapeno peppers do not mix.

When you are bottle raising kittens, which I am, although I have not mentioned it because the previous litter came to such a disastrous end, you end up with small nicks, cuts, and scratches all over your hands.

Chop jalapeno peppers for dinner with all those tiny scratches all over and..., well. Let's just call that the recipe for hand pain, shall we?

Speaking of peppers, supposedly if you add lots of peppers or a peppery taste to your birdseed the squirrels will leave it alone. They don't like hot, goes the theory. And birds cannot taste the capsaicin, the substance that makes it hot, so they don't care. Doesn't seem to work in this house. I tried squirrel proofing stuff I didn't want that crazy squirrel of ours chewing up using Tabasco sauce. She licked off the Tabasco sauce. I would end up with a Cajun squirrel.

Do yourself a favor, never have a squirrel for a pet, anyway. For the record, this one was not my idea. I knew we were in for a wild animal that would chew up everything. Sweetie wanted her. She hates men. Did I mention that it is never a good idea to have a squirrel as a pet?

Today is:

Daffodil Day

Festival of Goliath, Ath, Belgium

Good Roads Day

Men's Grooming Day (Don't tell my Sweetie! He already prinks in front

of the mirror forever every morning!)

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.)

Poet's Day

Senior Citizen's Day

St. Bernard Tolomei's Day (Patron Saint of Olive Growers)

St. Francis de Sales' Day

St. Jane Frances de Chantal's Day

Birthdays Today:

Ozma, Queen of Oz, year unconfirmed
Jackie DeShannon, 1944
Clarence Williams III, 1939
Kenny Rogers, 1938
Wilt Chamberlain, 1936
Friz Freleng, 1906
Count Basie, 1904
William Murdoch, 1754

Today in History:

Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shogun and therefore de facto ruler of Japan, 1192
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
Hawai'i becomes the 50th US State, 1959
Mary Langdon becomes the first female fire fighter in England, 1976

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is another issue that brings up mixed feelings in many people.

Innocent people being found, upon retesting DNA evidence several years later, to have been wrongfully convicted.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad their innocence is being proved. I'm glad they are being released. I'm glad to see justice served in these cases.

At the same time, cases like that of Kenneth Ireland, who spent 20 years locked up for a rape and murder the DNA evidence proves he could not have committed, is another example of why juries are asking increasingly for the kind of "proof" they see on tv crime solving shows.

Can the system afford to do that much extensive testing on every case? Should they be required to do so?

Medicine is practiced this way now. If someone comes into the ER with obvious impairment due to drugs or alcohol, he or she will still be routinely screened, by CT scan, to see if there is any bleeding on the brain that might also be causing symptoms. The chances of head injury or aneurysm being a factor is less than I care to think about, but no doctor wants to be sued because this was that one in a million case. So, everyone gets the nice, not exactly cheap, test. CYA (Cover Your Arse) medicine.

Law is also becoming a CYA run system. The highly covered cases of people wrongfully convicted receiving millions of dollars in compensation, coupled with how so much overwhelming evidence is presented every night on tv with such ease, is making it so.

How much evidence is enough? How much testing does each individual case "deserve"? How much evidence will juries start to require before they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt one way or the other?

All of this came up in my head because Bigger Girl's teacher was called in for jury duty this week. (Of course they had to wait till summer was over and school started again to call teachers in for jury duty. What else would have made sense?) I know she is an extremely well educated and intelligent woman who would weigh the facts and who is not easily cowed or convinced. There would have to be sufficient, though not necessarily overwhelming, evidence for her to vote for conviction.

There are others who will demand that it be as clear cut and easy as they see on tv.

That can only help those who are innocent, like Mr. Ireland, not be wrongfully convicted. Will it also help those who are guilty escape justice because the system can't afford to make expensive testing of every kind and sort available on every case?

No wonder my brother-in-law walks into jury duty telling them things like, "The best legal brief ever written is the Book of Romans in the Bible, and it distinguishes between the imputation of innocence and the wrong wording of assuming innocent until proven guilty." He has never been seated on a jury -- I think attorneys are afraid of him.

Today is:

Chinese Valentine's Day

Constitution Day, Hungary

Moon's Birthday -- Aztec Calendar

National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

National Homeless Animals Day

National Radio Day

Pony Express Day

St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Day (Patron of bees, beekeepers, candle

makers, Gibralter)

St. Stephen's Festival, Budapest, Hungary

Victory Day, Turkey

Virtual World's Day

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 established as a kingdom by Stephen I, 1000
The Dutch bring the first African slaves to the colony of Jamestown, VA, 1619
Photography invented, 1839
Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" opens in Moscow, 1882
Rotary Dial telephone is patented, 1896
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 weight determined, 1942
Launch of Voyager 2, 1977
George and Joy Adamson, the Born Free conservationists, are gunned down by poachers, 1989

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A few random boring things today for you on the most boring blog in the world.

In the birthday listing, you will see the name Philo T. Farnsworth. Every time I mention the poor guy, I get a blank stare. He deserves better than that. Just because his invention has been abused by becoming nothing more than a form of entertainment, and lowest common denominator entertainment at that, does not negate that he was a genius.

So, what did he do? He invented television, that's what. Furthermore, he invented the old vacuum tubes and other systems that were early tvs during Prohibition, and had his lab raided by G-men convinced he was running a distillery. He gave them a full tour that put their minds at ease, he was just a "nutty professor" in their eyes after that.

The final item has a "naughty" word in it, so I will insert a second random discussion, my take on "naughty" words. I feel about them as my grandmother did. My grandmother K was a lovely woman, and taught me how and when to use such language.

It was one Thanksgiving, and we had traveled back to the farm to visit for the holiday. My grandfather got it into his head that he did not just want a traditional turkey for the meal, he also wanted a duck. He nagged at my grandmother, and she got more upset, yet quieter, and finally someone drove her to the store to get a few needed items (she never learned to drive).

Upon coming back from the store, she began unpacking her purchases, and this quiet, lovely grandmother, who had never been heart to utter anything remotely "naughty" -- no one in the family even knew that she understood the meaning of the word -- told him, "And I got your F***ing duck, too!"

My grandfather was stunned into silence, realizing that for once in his life he had pushed her beyond the limit. This taught me that using what is generally considered to be foul language should be saved for the utmost in extreme situations, as it loses effectiveness when used too often.

In fact, I have noticed that people who sprinkle such words through their sentences like too much salt because they don't know how to use other seasonings have no way of letting people know when they really and truly mean something has gotten to them.

In my final randomness, what follows is an assessment of health care. Just to be totally clear, I did not write this, nor I do not know who did. It seems to be circulating on the net, so if you have seen it, I apologize. I do think it sums up the situation quite well, so I quote it here in its entirety:
The American Medical Association has weighed in on the new Healthcare Reform Proposals:

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. The Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said, "Oh, grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see some advantages in it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the *ssholes in Washington.

Today is:

Buhe, Ethiopia (Christian remembrance of the Transfiguration.)

Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Animals Day

Edingurgh International Festival, Scotland

Festival of Random Access Memory

Independence Day, Afghanistan

National Aviation Day

National Medical Dosimetrist Day

National Soft Ice Cream Day

Potato Day

St. John Eudes' Day

St. Sebald's Day (a/k/a Sebaldus) (Patron Saint against Freezing)

The Rustic Vnalia -- Old Roman goddess Venus, Festival of Ripening


Birthdays Today:

(Hold on to your hats, this was a very popular day for famous people to

be born, apparently.)

Snuffleupagus (year unconfirmed)
LeAnn Womack, 1966
John Stamos, 1963
Adam Arkin, 1956
Mary Matlin, 1953
Jonathan Frakes, 1952
John Deacon, 1951
Tipper Gore, 1948
Bill Clinton, 1946
Jill St. John, 1940
Diana Muldaur, 1938
Willie Shoemaker, 1931
Gene Roddenberry, 1921
Malcolm Forbes, 1919
Jimmy Rowles, 1918
Ring Lardner, Jr., 1915
Philo T. Farnsworth, 1906
Ogden Nash, 1902
Coco Chanel, 1883
George Bellows, 1882
Orville Wright, 1881
John Dryden, 1631

Today in History:

Roman Senate compelled to elect Octavian, later Augustus Caesar, Consul, BC43
Augustus Caesar dies, 14
Crusaders defeat the Saracens in the Battle of Ascalon, 1099
Mary Queen of Scots arrives in Leith to assume the throne, 1561
Five women are executed for witchcraft in Salem, Mass., 1692
The New York Herald reports the discovery of gold in California, 1849
Hurricane Dianne kills 200 and does about $1 Billion in damage, 1955

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We have a salad with dinner almost every night of the week, and no, I do not think macaroni salad or potato salad is a salad. I'm talking about a real salad, with real vegetables (okay, so botanically speaking, many of them are fruits) or a fruit salad, in addition to the veggies I cook and serve.

So we get tired of the same old salad, and I saw an article about 31 "easy" salads to make. I decided to see if I could snag a few ideas to jazz up what I serve.

"Easy" is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the recipes were very simple and doable. I question the ease, however, for a busy mom, especially if she works outside the home (which I only do part time). They called for grilling lots of the vegetables, using ingredients my family would probably not like much, or using exotic ingredients I'm not sure where I would get (pomegranate molasses, anyone?).

This just goes to show that it is easy to be a chef when you can get any ingredient, someone else does the expediting (chopping and such before hand), and someone else cleans the kitchen. The real magician is the mom who looks at yet another pound of ground round and comes up with something different, after doing other stuff all day long and cleaning up behind herself.

I was thinking of these things and ruminating on them and read two things that seem totally unrelated, but my abnormal brain connected them anyway.

One had to do with a very wealthy person, male, who wrote a newsletter about how we all have the same number of hours in the day, and how to make the most productive use out of them. His ideas are wonderful, especially when you don't have to clean your own toilets. Just as poorer people use more of their income just providing themselves with necessities than those with higher earnings, those of us with little or no paid household help have to spend more of our hours doing the scutwork of daily living -- the cooking, cleaning, laundry, lawn and auto care, hauling kids around, etc. So yes, we all have 24 hours in a day, but spending them all doing "productive" things will mean different things depending on whether you have to clean the gutters yourself 3 times a year.

Then my Sweetie and I got an email from a friend of his, a former Marine who dates a different woman every weekend and when married believed fidelity was nothing more than the bank down on the street corner. It showed two senior citizens, male, sitting together in front of the barn, and the caption read, "The reason a woman's work is never done is she doesn't get up early enough."

I'm up at 4am every day, and by the time my Sweetie comes downstairs, over 2 hours later, he has done his personal grooming -- 30 minutes minimum of prinking in front of a mirror -- and gotten dressed for work. (Weekends, he sleeps in -- Saturday, we don't see him before noon, Sunday, he comes down, dressed, in time to leave for church.) Meanwhile, I have prayed, exercised, done my personal grooming -- 10 minutes, tops, no mirror needed -- washed at least one load of laundry, sometimes two, so the clothes are ready to be hung out on the line when it gets light enough, bottle fed any kittens we have at the time, fed the older cats, scooped the litter boxes, gotten his breakfast ready and lunch packed, rounded up dishes the family left out after I went to bed the night before, recleaned the kitchen from midnight snack runs, blown through my email and recently, written a blog post.

So, how many hours does it take to make a day, how much work is there to do, how to prioritize, what makes something easy or not, all of these come together somehow in my warped little mind. No answers, but there is a moral to this somewhere, I'm just too tired to find it.

Edited to Add: after I hit publish, I got an email that quoted Coach Don Shula, "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent, and we all get the same 24 hours in a day."

Somebody, somewhere, is trying to tell me something.

Today is:

Bad Poetry Day

Carrot Fest, Ontario, Canada

Cupcake Day

Mail Order Catalog Day (Do yourself a favor and opt out of the doggone things, save a few trees: )

National Ice Cream Pie Day

St. Agapitus' Day

St. Helena's Day (Patron Saint of Archaeologists)

Toe-Pogling Season begins -- Fairy

World Peace Festival

Birthdays Today:

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 1970
Patrick Swayze, 1952
Martin Mull, 1943
Robert Redford, 1936
Roman Polanski, 1933
Rosalynn Carter, 1927
Shelley Winters, 1920
Greta Garbo, 1905
Meriwether Lewis, 1774
Virginia Dare, 1587

Today in History:

Founding of the oldest known Roman temple to Venus, BC293
Rome is occupied and plundered by Visigoths under King Alarik I, 410
Death of Genghis Khan (fell from his horse), 1227
A Portuguese ship drifts ashore in the Japanese province of Higo, 1541
Boston, Mass. Evening Post begins publishing, 1735
Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 1834
Pierre Janssan discovers helium, 1868
19th US Amendment ratified (gives women the vote), 1920
Premier of The Wizard of Oz, 1939

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meandering all over the map in my usual boring fashion, yesterday I was reminded in a chat room of something we tend to forget sometimes, and that is the relativity of privacy.

People tend to do things while driving their cars they would not necessarily do face to face sometimes because they tend to feel anonymous.

The same can hold true on the internet.

When we are using an alias in a chatroom, or to make comments somewhere, or on a website with posting boards where we feel safe, we still have to remember to watch what personally identifying details we give out. I know people forget, and it is hard to be on your toes about this all of the time. Still, it is vital to remember that everything we publish on the internet or in an email can be accessed somehow. We may delete it later, but we can't know what server might still bring it up, who may have cut and pasted it and posted it elsewhere, or saved it onto their own computer, or how it might later be retrieved.

Publishing something on the internet, or sending an email, is like taking out an ad in the paper forever.

I'm not suggesting we not post. I'm not suggesting we not share deeply with friends on the internet. I'm not saying we have to censor every word, just be careful of what we say and where.

Personally identifying information is very easy to let slip when you get comfortable, and if you have a skeleton you would rather keep in that closet, if both are on the net, even on sites you know and under an alias, they can be linked and possibly traced back to you.

Be careful out there. Paper journals are still available, if you need to write it but you would rather be certain it doesn't get out.

For the internet, if it would identify you easily, or you would be horribly embarrassed having your mother hear about it at your funeral, it's best to skip it.

Today is:

Archaeology Day

Feast of the Hungry Ghosts, China

Independence Day, Gabon, Indonesia

Meaning of "Is" Day

National Thrift Shop Day

National Vanilla Custard Day

Odin's Ordeal begins, Norse

Paryushana -- Jainism (The staying of the monks in one place.)

San Martin Day, Argentina

St. Hyacinth's Day (Patron Saint of Lithuania)

Birthdays Today:

Robert DeNiro, 1943
Maureen O'Hara, 1920
Mae West, 1892
charles I, last emperor of Austria-Hungary, 1887
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882
Davy Crockett, 1786

Today in History:

The Peace of Bergerac gives political rights to the Huguenots, 1577
John white returns to Roanoke, Virginia, to find no trace of the colonists he had left there 3 years earlier, 1590
Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins its first trip up the Hudson River, 1807
Solymon Merrick patents the wrench, 1835
The first bank in Hawai'i opens, 1858
Patent granted for an electric self starter for automobiles, 1891

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In other news, Donald Trump's Trump Corporation is behind on its rent for two townhouses in Trump Plaza to the Trump Plaza Owners Co-op. Eviction proceedings have begun.

The La Familia drug cartel in Mexico, which is accused of several murders, some very grizzly indeed, requires members to attend prayer meetings, prohibits their using drugs and alcohol, and has required classes in "ethics" and "personal improvement."

In "adopt a highway" programs, where an organization adopts the roadway for the sake of cleaning it up a few times a year, state and local authorities may not show discrimination by disallowing any organization that asks from participating. Authorities can, however, name the stretch of highway anything they choose. That is why, in Springfield, Mo., a neo-Nazi organization has adopted what has now been named the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway.

Finally, to show that strange but true (and sometimes downright karmic) things happen even close to home (as in, in my neighborhood): Two men were going around our neighborhood, knocking on front doors. If they received no reply, they went to the back door, knocked, and, if there was still no reply, kicked in the back door. The burglarized 3 houses, including our neighbor and good friend just a few houses away on our street, taking valuables and even scoring birth certificates and passports.

Then they decided not to push their luck in one area for too long and went to the neighborhood across the highway. The first house they tried, they used their usual tactic but ran into a little problem; the owner of the house, an off duty sheriff's deputy, was in the shower when they first knocked and by the time they broke in through the back, he was out of the bathroom and armed and waiting for them.

All items stolen were recovered within 2 hours of being taken.

Today is:

Baba Au Rhum Day

Bratwurst Festival

Elvis Presley Day

Festival of the Minstrels, Tutbury Castle, UK

Harmonic Convergence Day

Independence Day, Cyprus

Joe Miller's Joke Day

Madonna del Voto Day, Italy (a/k/a Palio of the Contrade)

Monty Python Day

National Airborne Day

National Tell a Joke Day

National Rum Day

Restoration of the Republic, Dominican Republic

St. Joachim's Day

St. Stephen of Hungary Day (Patron Saint of Hungary)

Watermelon Festival

Birthdays Today:

Angela Bassett, 1958
Madonna, 1958
James Cameron, 1953
Kathie Lee Gifford, 1953
Leslie Ann Warren, 1946
Eydie Gorme, 1932
Frank Gifford, 1930
Ann Blyth, 1928
Fess Parker, 1925
Menachem Begin, 1913
Hongxi Emperor of China, 1378

Today in History:

Jack Broughton formulates the earliest code of rules for boxing, 1743
Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese" twins, arrive in Boston to be exhibited, 1829
Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
Gold is discovered in the Klondike, at Bonanza Creek, 1896
Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster, 1898
In Valparaiso, Chile, an 8.6 earthquake followed by fire destroys the city and kills 20,000, 1906
Democrats nominate Adlai E. Stevenson as presidential candidate, 1956

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It is 2pm. I have been up since 4am. It is Saturday.

This is the first chance, in all of that time, that I have had to get to write.

I have bottle fed kittens multiple times.

I am waiting for another kitten to arrive, they just called.

I have done 2 loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, run multiple errands, taken #1 Son to new student orientation at college, and still have several errands to run, and now no way to rest because, as I noted, another kitten is on the way, and it is about 3 weeks younger than the 4 I was brought a couple of days ago.

Three of my 4 kids are not even home, and I still have no time to stop and rest.

How much longer can I go like this?

Since there is no end in sight, I guess I will find out.

There's the door. Another day, another kitten.

Today is:

Best Friends Day

Chauvin Day

Dog Days end

Dormition of the Theotokos -- Orthodox Christian

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Catholic Christian

Ferragosto, Italy (Oven of August)

Fool's Dance begins, Japan

Great American Tomato Canning Tournament

Great Mother Goddess Day

Independence Day, South Korea, Congo, India

Indian Independence Day (A National Day of Celebration of Indian and American Democracy)

Korea Republic Day

Loaded Dice Day

National Day, Lichtenstein

National Failures Day (May I suggest a book called "Fail Better", a small quotations book about how failure is just the beginning.)

National Homeless Animals Day (I got plenty of those, will be up for adoption in 6-10 weeks if you are interested.)

National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

National Relaxation Day (Wow.)

Our Lady of Flowers Festival, New York, Florida

Our Lady of Monte Festival, Portugal

Sandcastle and Sculpture Day

St. Mary's Day

Birthdays Today:

Joe Jonas, 1989
Ben Affleck, 1972
Melinda Gates, 1964
Jimmy Webb, 1946
Linda Ellerbee, 1944
Mike Connors, 1925
Rose Marie, 1925
Huntz Hall, 1919
Julia Child, 1912
Ethel Barrymore, 1879
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769

Today in History:

Battle of Roncevaux Pass, the Basques defeat Charles the Great (Charlemagne) and Roland is killed, 778
Macbeth defeats his cousin and rival King Duncan I, who is killed in the battle, and becomes king of Scotland, 1040
Battle of Lumphanan, in which King Macbeth is killed by the forces of Mael Coluim MacDonnchada, 1057
The "Mainz Psalter" is completed, the earliest dated book, 1457
Founding of Panama City, 1519
Jesuit priest St. Francis Xaverius land in Kagoshima, Japan, 1549
The Mayflower sets sail from Southhampton, carrying 102 Pilgrims, 1620
Joseph Haydn departs England, never to return, 1795
Country of Liberia is founded by freed American former slaves, 1824

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, a local jail in the U.K., has started something new -- a customer satisfaction survey.

Apparently, 1,000 inmates will be given these questionnaires so the Chief Inspector can determine if their perception of how they are treating detainees matches up with how the prisoners feel they are treated. (For the full article and all questions asked, )

One guard, who asked not to be named, said this is, "a bit rich." He says the inmates are starting to use the emergency buzzer in the cells like room service.

The questions include some about comfort, and about whether or not the prisoners feel safe while in custody.

Apparently some of the people in this local jail are not charged with crimes necessarily, but are here for assessment under the Mental Health Act. Or they have been charged, but not tried yet. So maybe this makes sense.

Still, it gives you reason to think about the purpose of jails, prisons, hoosegows, whatever you wish to call them. It seems to me that I was taught prison was supposed to do three things: Punish you for a crime, give you time to reflect upon what you have done and where you have gone wrong in your life to land you there, and rehabilitate you so you won't do it again. I don't remember that it was supposed to be pleasant.

I have one friend who believes that humans lived centuries without air conditioning and cable tv, and that prison inmates still should, but that may be taking things too far the other direction. A happy medium would be the a/c set on 80 degrees and a cable package that includes only History Channel, the Discovery Channels, maybe Animal Planet, and a kiddie channel or two. The "Pink Underwear" Sheriff, in Maricopa, Arizona, has a few good ideas, also.

A "how was your stay" survey longer than what most hotel chains give out, however? That does seem "a bit rich" to me, too.

Again, this boring blogger doesn't have the full answer, and I'm not sure anyone does. What's the fine line between punishment for a crime and torture/inhumane treatment? At what point can prisoners complain about their treatment?


Today is:

Assumption Eve, France

Festival of Sassari, Sardinia

Husbands in Love Day

Independence Day, Bahrain, Pakistan

Kool-Aid Day

Krishna Janmashtami -- Hindu (Birthday of Krishna)

La Torta dei Fieschi, Italy

Liberty Tree Day, Massachusetts

National Creamsicle Day

National Navajo Code Talkers Day

St. Maximillian Kolbe's Day (Patron against Drug Addictions)

St. Werenfrid's Day

Anniversary Today:

V-J Day

Birthdays Today:

Halle Berry, 1966
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, 1959
Gary Larson, 1950
Danielle, Steel, 1947
Susan Saint James, 1946
Steve Martin, 1945
Lynne Cheney, 1941
David Crosby, 1941
Alice Ghostley, 1926
Russell Baker, 1925
John Ringling North, 1903
H.C. Oersted, 1777
Emperor Hanazono of Japan, 1297

Today in History:

The young Emperor Antoku and three sacred treasures are taken by Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan, fleeing to western Japan to escape pursuit by the Minamoto clan, 1183
Kublai Khan's invading fleet disappears in a a typhoon near Japan, 1281
Three years after Gutenberg, the oldest known exactly dated printed book is published, 1457
Queen Elizabeth I refuses sovereignty of the Netherlands, 1585
Great Britain annexes Tristan da Cunha (remotest occupied island), 1816
Oregon Territory created, 1848
Magazine "Field and Stream" begins publication, 1873
Japan issues its first patent, for rust-proof paint, 1885
Mt. Rushmore project first proposed, 1925

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The pressure to perform, to be perfect, to do it all, is getting to women, and they are responding.

More of them are responding by getting drunk or high, or both, and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence.

I understand the pressure. When the campaign begins to have a 36 hour day, which still would probably not be enough to get everything done, I will be one of it's devout supporters.

There is always so much to do. Exercise. Eat right. Feed the family, and teach the homeschool lessons. Get the older ones to school. Part time job. Prepare Sunday school lessons. Laundry, bills, lawn care, auto maintenance, house cleaning, get the garbage and recycling out on the right day, shopping, running errands, none of it ever finished.

Plus you are supposed to spend time meditating, slowing down, praying, Bible study, all put on a to do list that grows ever longer as the days seem ever shorter.

Some women doing much of this stuff alone, even if married.

No wonder some cave to the pressure and just do something, anything, to try to relieve some of the strain, the worry, the sheer exhaustion.

I don't pretend to know the answers, but I do know that numbing it out with drugs or alcohol, and then getting in the car with the kids, is not one of them.

The only one I've found is to think of it all as job security. That way I laugh so I don't cry.

Then there is the bit of wisdom my mother gave me. It is a badly photocopied picture of Calvin, pirated from "Calvin and Hobbes", frowning in anger. Next to him it says, "God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind, I will never die!"

Job security. Laugh, or the next sound you hear may be one you don't want to hear.

Today is:

Blame Somebody Else Day (I wouldn't suggest it, it will only start a fight you are too tired to finish.)

Congo National Festival begins

Daughter's Day

Festival of Huitzilopochtis, Aztec Calendar

Festival of the Volcano, Antigua and Guatemala

Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads, Ancient Rome

Independence Day, Central African Republic

International Left-Hander's Day

National Filet Mignon Day

Occupation Day

Rathkamp Matchbook Society Convention

Skinny Dipping Day (I no longer skinny dip. I chunky dunk!)

St. Cassian's Day (Patron Saint of teachers -- yes, they are back in school already, heaven help them.)

St. Concordia's day (Patron Saint of nannies.)

St. Hippolytus' Day (Patron Saint of horses.)

St. Pontian's Day

Women's Day, Tunisia

Birthdays Today:

Dan Fogelberg, 1951
Don Ho, 1930
Pat Harrington, Jr., 1929
Fidel Castro, 1926
George Shearing, 1919
Alfred Hitchcock, 1899
Bert Lahr, 1895
Annie Oakley, 1860

Today in History:

The English army under King Henry V lands at the mouth of the Seine River, 1415
Tenochtitlan of the Aztecs conquered by the Spanish, 1521
Tenbun Hokke Disturbance, in which Buddhist monks from Kyoto's Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto, 1536
John Smith submits the story of Jamestown's first days for publication, 1608
Christiaan Huygens discovers the Martian south polar cap, 1642
Founding of Litchfield, CT, 1651
Marie Antoinette and other French royals imprisoned by Revolutionaries, 1792
Earthquake in Peru and Ecuador kills 25,000, 1868

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It has come to the attention of this most boring blogger that a few people are actually reading and commenting on my foolish ramblings.

I wish to thank any and all who stop to read the messiness that comes out of my warped little brain, and bear in mind a few things.

First, I haven't been blogging for very long. I really only started this so I could have a place to dump out a bunch of spouting in my brain that I want to later turn into letter format and forward to a particular friend. Yes, I know, if she has a friend like me, she does not need any enemies, especially if I am going to send her my drivel. Still, this is not something I figured anybody else would care much about, so I didn't exactly trumpet that I was going to attempt the most boring blog possible.

Second, I am the first cousin to a Luddite, and cannot even figure out how to do the most basic of things. Scratching out words with a line through them like Crabby and Bag Lady do, yet still having them appear, writing posts ahead and putting them in line to publish later, adding pictures, or making the overall appearance of the blog more interesting are all well beyond my capabilities. The fact that I can type is a big accomplishment, and I wouldn't know an HTML format if it came up and introduced itself on the street.

So, thank you to those who do read this on occasion. I cannot promise to be interesting, as that would interfering with being boring, but I will promise to try to be here. Although, if I were "all there" to begin with, I would have long ago learned to do things mentioned in the above paragraph. (Now, how would I insert a great big grin at my own expense after that line? See what i mean?)

Today is:

American Theatre Association Convention

Battle of Flowers Parade, Florida

Grouse Day/Glorious Twelfth, Scotland

Indian Day, Massachusetts

International Youth Day

Lights of Isis, Ancient Egypt

Mitcham Fair, Surrey, England

National Toasted Almond Bar Day

Old Time Farm Day

Sewing Machine Day

St. Porcarius' Day

Vinyl Record Day

Zaraday a/k/a Zarathud's Day

Birthdays Today:

Jane Wyatt, 1912
Cantinflas, 1911
Joe Besser, 1907
Cecil B. DeMille, 1881
Edith Hamilton, 1867
Katharine, Lee Bates, 1859
"Diamond Jim" Brady, 1856
Robert Mills, 1781

Today in History:

The last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty, Cleopatra VII Philopater, commits suicide by asp bite, BC30
A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurs which may have been what the Bible calls the Star of Bethlehem, 3
Crusaders win the Battle of Ascalon, 1099
Juan Ponce de Leon arrives in Puerto Rico, 1508
Chicago is founded, 1833
Hawai'i annexed by the US, 1898
William Somerset Maugham published "Of Human Bondage", 1915

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well here is something to shock and startle us mightily.

The government officials meant to watch other government officials who are supposed to watch where all the bailout money goes, don't know where all the money went.

Do we learn nothing?

Shrink the government and make personal responsibility and accountability the order of the day.

And yet.

Then what?

How to replace what the government has started doing, that the people should have been doing all along? That the people no longer feel responsible to do, or feel equipped to do, or, in some cases, even want to do.

The Catch-22.

I do not want to be a kept citizen. I want to be my brother's keeper so that the government doesn't have to do it for me.

Most people don't even seem to understand what that means any more.

Edited to add: I wrote this out on the 10th, but saved it to publish on the 11th, thinking the date at the top would say the 11th, since that's the date I told it to publish. Then I looked, and it said the 10th, making it look like two sets of holidays/birthdays/historical events on the same day. Sorry about that, I have no idea how to fix or change such a thing. The following are the special events and facts for Aug. 11, no matter what the date at the top of the post says.

Today is:

Circle K International Convention

Daughter's Day

Festival of Happy Feet

Heroes' Day, Zimbabwe

Independence Day, Chad

Ingersoll Day

Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival

National Marina Day

National Raspberry Bombe Day

Night of the Shooting Stars


Play in the Sand Day (Yeah, like at the beach, nothing like sand in your shorts, I get enough of that on vacation, thank you.)

Presidential Joke Day

Son and Daughter Day

St. Susanna's Day

Birthdays Today:

Hulk Hogan, 1953
Arlene Dahl, 1928
Mike Douglas, 1925 (Note: he also died on this date in 2006)
Alex Haley, 1921
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, 1667 (Last of the Medicis)

Today in History:

First day of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, used my the Maya and other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, BC3114
Battle of Artemisuim, Greco-Persian War, BC480
Papandayan Java volcanic eruption kills 3,000, 1772
The world's first foller rink opens in Newport, RI, 1866
Animation is patented by John Wray, 1914

Monday, August 10, 2009

In today's news of the wacky, weird, and just plain dumb, we have the story of Steve Misiura.

It seems Steve, of Brixton, South London, wanted to break a world record. So he chose to break the record for non-stop number of hours of tv watched. He sat in front of the tube for 84 hours (I hope with a few potty breaks, but don't want to ask for details), and watched every episode of the show "Friends". By around hour 80, he was having hallucinations and showing other signs of illness and breakdown.

Three and a half straight days of television. I cannot imagine much beyond professional torture that would be more painful. I long ago developed my "Theory of TV"* and quit watching. That's right, I have never seen an episode of "Friends", "Seinfeld", "The Simpsons", or any other "must see" show. I prefer to worship God as I understand Him and not have an "Idol". I do not care who survived or what big brother saw, and while I know they lose weight and get in shape over the course of the show and I admire them for it, I think the "Biggest Loser" is the person who gets more out of a screen than out of life, knows more about a make believe character than about the real character of the people around them.

So, if I break a world record, maybe it will be for being the person most ignorant of current television events. I know we are supposed to be familiar with our culture and knowledgeable about different aspects of our world, so we can be intelligent and educated citizens. I equate that with a more in depth knowledge of our history and great literature, not our pop culture.

When some history books have more about Marilyn Monroe than George Washington, I worry.

Thus my most boring blog will remain boringly uninterested in such minutea.

*My warped and weird "Theory of TV", which can also be applied to any type of art, pop culture, music, books, or magazines:
TV is something you put in your mind the way you put things in your mouth to eat. In either case you can put in good, healthy, nutritious items, or junk, or garbage, or even poisons or medicines (I consider reading the news to keep up to be like taking vitamins or medicines, if that makes sense, some things I would rather not know but I really should). I don't eat out of the trash can, I don't eat junk food, I take only the vitamins and medicines I truly need, I stay totally away from poison. Why, if I won't put that stuff in my body, which will only last for this world, would I put in in my brain, my soul, my spirit, which will last into the next?

Today is:

Battle Flag Day, Iowa

Chemistry Set Volcano Day

Edinburg Militarty Tattoo begins

Feast of San Lorenzo, Spain

Independence Day, Ecuador

Lazy Day

Middle Children's Day

National S'mores Day

Smithsonian Day

South Carolina Peanut Party

St. Lawrence of Rome's Day

St. Oswald of Northumbria's Day

Tan Hill Fair, Wiltshire, England

Birthdays Today:

Jimmy Dean, 1928
Eddie Fisher, 1928
Rhonda Fleming, 1923
George Crockett, 1909
Henri Nestle', 1890
Herbert Hoover, 1874

Today in History:

Nineveh is destroyed and Sinsharishkun, King of the Assyrian Empire is killed, BC 612
Temple at Jerusalem is burned, 70
Ferdinand Magellan sets out with 5 ships to circumnavigate the globe, 1519
Word of the US Declaration of Independence reaches London, 1776
Mozart completes "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", 1787
Missouri becomes the 24th US State, 1821

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This morning's blog started out to be one big whine fest (want some cheese with that?), so I canned it. I am frustrated by so much right now.

I have come to the point of considering a clothes dryer a luxury item, because of the electricity used to run it. I keep trying to switch to a cheaper phone plan, and they keep raising the prices. I want to get rid of the tv, but the family would stage a rebellion.

I feel like we could make do with so much less, if only the family would cooperate more. I have cut what I could where I can and the rest they fight me on, tooth and claw. I have cut my own needs down to bare minimum, to the point of rationing my food intake to make sure I don't waste a penny.

I get complaints, especially from brother-in-law, if there is not enough of the choice items to go around. I see so much waste, although less and less of that is food, as we have less food in the house. Twice as much shampoo used as they need. Handfuls of paper towels used where one would do.

In all of this, I am the horrible ogre.

It's a tough role, and I am tired.

I guess, no matter how much I rewrite and edit, this whole thing is a whine.

Sorry, the cheese is being saved for a recipe tomorrow night.

Today is:

Assistance Dog Day

Book Lover's Day

Chih Nu, China (Feast of the Milky Way)

Cranham Feast, Gloucestershire, England

Goblin Ugly Contest -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day, Singapore

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

Jesse Owens Day

National Polka Festival

National Rice Pudding Day

Popcorn Festival

Sanus, Libya

St. Matthias' Day

Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, California

Veep Day

Birthdays Today:

Gillian Anderson, 1968
Delon Sanders, 1967
Sam Elliot, 1944
P.L. Travers, 1899
Joseph Locke, 1805
Amedeo Avogadro, 1776

Today in History:

Battle of Pharsalus, in which Julius Caesar defeated Pompey, who fled to Egypt, BC 40
Start of construction of the Tower of Pisa, 1173
Sistine Chapel opens, 1483
First horses arrive in Hawai'i, 1803
Elevator patented, 1859

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Social Conscience

My heart is torn these days by a couple of burning questions.

Which is more socially responsible: To buy from BigBox Store, and thus save the family budget, keep your own spending in check, and thus support the policies that some say are so bad for their employees and the environment? Or to buy at more expensive places, items that are supposed to be better for the environment and from more socially responsible retailers, but spending more than you can truly afford?

Which is better: To buy products made cheaply in countries where dictators rule the people, or to eschew those products and only buy from places where there is more freedom for the people who produce the goods?

I ask because I do not know. I spoke to a man who is an American living in China, and asked his opinion about the "don't buy 'Made in China' movement." He told me the people of China have a saying, "The government is the government and the people are the people," and I have said the same thing when our government has pulled lame brained stunts. He further told me that the recession has hit China, and rural people are losing their jobs because the companies they work for are not selling quite as many goods as they used to.

Which is better: The so-called "hypermiler" driver, one who drives in such a way as to squeeze every mile possible out of every gallon of gas, but who gets in the way of countless others who then use more gas to get around the guy, or to drive as conservatively as one can while not hindering traffic?

In our house, as Dave Ramsey says, the money comes in, the money goes out, and only the names are changed to protect the guilty. Every month another major need or crisis or oil change or back to school or something that drains the money so fast we wonder how we will eat that month.

Then I see Made in China on the label, and remember the pictures of the church pastor bleeding in the street with the police standing over him, still beating him as he lies there. I hear my friends who work at BigBox Store talk about how their hours have been cut. I watch some hypermiler going so slowly on the interstate that everyone else is wasting gas trying to get around him.

I see and hear and observe and wonder what I am supposed to do in all of this.

I know my role is first and foremost to love. To love God, and to show that love by actively being the eyes and ears and hands and feet of Him and show true love to others, by serving others.

How is this best expressed?

I ask because I really do not know.

Then I get up on Saturday morning and go to BigBox Store and try to buy only just enough to put food on the table and still meet all of our other obligations.

I just really do not know, how is a social conscience best expressed these days?

Today is:

Bonza Bottler Day

Burryman Festival, Scotland

Dollar Day

Independence Day, Bhutan

International Character Day

Finest Fairy Finals -- Fairy Calendar (Do only the finest fairies take finals? How do the others get a final grade? :D )

Fourteen Holy Helpers' Day

Happiness Happens Day

Nudist Convention (Nobody sees these spider veins, sorry.)

National Frozen Custard Day

National Garage Sale Day

Odie Day (Garfield's pal Odie.)

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (Please, I love the stuff but can't grow plants to save my life, I'll leave the porch light on for you!)

St. Cyriacus' Day

St. Dominic's Day

The Date To Create

Victory Day, Rhode Island

Birthdays Today:

Keith Carradine, 1949
Connie Stevens, 1938
Dustin Hoffman, 1937
Mel Tillis, 1932
Esther Williams, 1923
Rory Calhoun, 1922
Dino De Laurentis, 1919
Matthew Henson, 1866
Emperor Horikawa of Japan, 1079

Today in History:

The Romans destroy the Tower of Antonia, 70
Otto I (The Great) crowned German king, 936
Vijayanagara Empire is rebegun with the crowning of emperor Krishnadeva Raya, 1509
The first known ascent (indoors) of a hot-air ballon by Bartolomeu de Gusamao, 1709
US Congress adopts the Silver Dollar and a decimal monetary system, 1786
Metal bullet cartridges are patented by Smith and Wesson, 1854
Mimeograph is patented by Thomas Edison, 1876

Friday, August 7, 2009

Coffee, nectar of the gods. How does anyone start a day without it?

With the exception of coffee and an occasional nibble of raw milk cheese, I eat a raw vegan diet.

I don't want to lose the coffee.

The potent smell, the lovely bitter taste of black as midnight, thick enough and strong enough to make a spoon stand straight up on end in the cup, it is morning magic.

A few of my favorite coffee quotes:

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I don't want anything better, I want coffee. Captain Janeway of Star Trek:Voyager

I like my coffee strong, not lethal! Col. Potter of M*A*S*H

If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee. Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill
If I were your husband I would drink it. Winston Churchill to Nancy Astor

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness. Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

Set a new course. There's coffee in that nebula. Captain Janeway of Voyager

The powers of a man's mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks. Sir James Mackintosh

Instant Human: Just Add Coffee

Picard always drank tea.
Kirk always drank coffee.
Any questions?

Just bring me my coffee, and s-l-o-w-l-y back away.

Hand over the coffee and no one gets hurt.

Amazing what caffeine and no sense of self preservation can do.

DISCLAIMER: This mail was answered before my first coffee.

And finally, my personal idea of the perfect invention -- a laptop computer that can also make coffee on command.

Today is:

Braham Pie Day

Emancipation Day, Turks and Caicos Islands

Feast of 'Aut-Yeb, Egypt (Personification of Female Joy)

Feast of the Holy Name

Independence Day, Ivory Coast

Lighthouse Day

National Raspberries and Cream Day

Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day

Pea Festival

Professional Speaker's Day

Purple Heart Day

Sea Serpent Festival

Say "Cheese" Day (In my family, we do not say "Cheese". We say "Chicken Lips!" Try it some time when walking past tourists who are trying to get a good photo, and watch them smile genuine smiles and come up with a good picture.)

Smartest Leprechaun Eisteddford, Fairy Calendar

St. Albert of Trapani's Day

St. Cajetan's Day

Birthdays Today:

Charlize Theron, 1975
David Duchovny, 1960
Garrison Keillor, 1942
"The Amazing" James Randi, 1928
Carl "Alfalfa" Switser, 1927
Billie Burke, 1884
Mata Hari, 1876

Today in History:

Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon, following the death of Alexander the Great, BC322
Coup again the Tianshun Emperor by the Ming Dynasty Chinese military general Cao Qin, 1461
Francis Drake's fleet returns to Plymouth, 1573
Cherokee Indians take Ft. Loudon, Tennessee, 1760
George Washington creates the Order of the Purple Heart, 1782
Explorer 6 transmits the first TV photo of Earth from space, 1959

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why do we keep stuff we really don't need any more?

Does a 50 year old still really need that old football jersey? Does he think that as long as he keeps it, he is still the guy who ran for the touchdown? Does he really think he will do it again, or could do it now, just because the jersey is hanging there dry rotting in the closet, taking up space?

Often I think we keep stuff from what we wanted to be. She wanted to be the person who cross stitched lots of stuff. The flosses were organized in a box, the needles kept neat, the pattern booklets in order, all the stuff right where it could be used, but it sat. Ignored and gathering dust, it is a ghost of what someone wanted to be, but wasn't.

Sometimes it is things we once were, but aren't any more. He used to be in a band. She used to bake and decorate tons of cookies. They don't do those things any more.

It's not that they couldn't, it's that they don't, now. He plays at church on Sunday, and for fun, but not professionally. She gave up baking and decorating huge numbers of cookies, and does smaller batches now. But they hang on to what they once were. Sometimes even when they have no interest in being those things again.

These things from the past tie us down from our future if we let them. Give the stuff away to people who are those things today. Or if it is totally useless, recycle or trash it.

Keep the memories, but don't hold on to the stuff that keeps you from moving forward, from being what you are now, rather than what you were or what you thought you wanted to be.

Keep only what will propel you into exploring your interests today. The things that will help you become what you really want to be now, the you that you are growing up to be.

You will spend the rest of your life growing into that person. I have a sneaking suspicion we keep doing that in the next life, too. Only there, it gets easier, there isn't so much stuff to get in the way.

Today is:

Best Elf Awards -- Fairy Calendar

Canadian Goose Festival

Deadwood Day

Feast of Everything Green Except Money (Hooray for veggies! You'll need them before you have that root beer float.)

Feast of Transfiguration, Orthodox Christian

Full Sturgeon Moon, or Full Red Moon

Hiroshima Day

Independence Day, Bolivia

National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day (Shouldn't that read, anti-halitosis?)

National Root Beer Float Day

Peace Festival, Japan

St.Hormisdas' Day

Tan Hill Festival (Teinne -- Celtic Holy Fire)

Wiggle Your Toes Day

Birthdays Today:

Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob, 1934
Andy Warhol, 1928
Robert Mitchum, 1817
Lucille Ball, 1911
Clara Bow, 1905
Hoot Gibson, 1892

Today in History:

Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada founds the city of Bogota, Colombia, 1538
Holland (The Dutch Republic) sells Brazil to Portugal and the two countries sign the Treaty of The Hague, 1661
The first private military school in the US, Norwich University, is founded in Vermont, 1819
Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel, 1926
The Federal Voting Rights Act is signed, 1965

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, an adaptation of "Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!"
By a mom tired of tripping on this stuff.

The time has come.

The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go. Go. GO!
Doesn't matter how.

You can go by bin,
Tossed in there any how.
Nasty Clutter Monster,
will you please go now!

Take the old skates.
Bring along the skis.
Wear the old hat.
But please go. Please!

I don't care.
You can take the bike.
On the way out grab the trike
wheels if you like.

If you like you can go
with every old shoe.
Just go, go, GO!
Please do, do DO!

Nasty Clutter Monster,
I don't care how,
Nasty Clutter Monster,
will you please Go NOW!

Take the old papers.
Take the singing stuffed fish.
You can take them out in boxes
if you wish.

If you wish you may take
junk I bought on sale.
Old cards I never
found time to mail.

Nasty Clutter Monster!
Don't you know
the time has come
to go, Go, GO!

Get on your way!
Just do not stay!
Take all this stuff
with you today!

Leave not old balloons,
broken broom sticks, or
the nasty bureau with the
stuck shut drawer.

Pack old toys and
better yet,
take the matching tchotchke set,
I don't care what you take.
Just GET!

Get yourself out of this room.
Blow yourself up in a kaboom.
Clutter, Clutter, Clutter!
Don't make my house a tomb!

Nasty Clutter Monster!
I don't care HOW.
Recycled, trashed, compost,
donated, please GO NOW!

I said GO and GO I meant.
The time had come.
Clutter WENT.

Today is:

Atomic Bomb Day

Benediction of the Sea, Brittany Coast, France

Clipping the Church Day, Yorkshire, England

Crop Day

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead Day

Grotto Day

Joust of the Quintana, Italy

International Beer Day

Lailat al Bara'ah * - Islam (Night of worship and salvation.)

National Failures Day

National Mustard Day

National Blackmail Day

National Underwear Day

National Waffle Day

Oyster Day
(Does this mean that failures should lie around in their underwear, drink beer, and eat waffles, mustard, and oysters, thinking of whom to blackmail?)

Pixie of the Year Competition, Fairy Calendar

Raksha Bandhan ** - Hindu (Celebration of the bonds between brothers and sisters -- I don't know about you, but in my house brothers and sisters celebrate their "bonds" by trying to put each other in them!)

St. Afra's Day

St. James' Day

St. Oswald's Day

Work Like a Dog Day

Birthdays Today:

Maureen McCormick, 1956
Loni Anderson, 1946
Neil Armstrong, 1930
John Huston, 1906
Guy de Maupassant, 1850
Joseph Merrick, 1862

Today in History

The last outpost of Bar Kockba, Betar, falls to Rome, 135
King Edward and Earl Aetherlred, leading the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, defeat the last major Viking army to raid England at the Battle of Tettenhall, 642
Anti-Jewish riots in Arnstadt, Germany, 1264
US Army abolishes flogging, 1861
Debut of the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie", by Harold Gray, 1924
Debut of the comic strip "Andy Capp", by Smythe, 1957