Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at Last

The children have been anticipating this for a couple of months now.

Bigger Girl has her mask and very nice dress -- she is a sophisticated young lady of 17 and plans to distribute organic suckers to the children who come by for the Great Neighborhood Candy Exchange, after she gets home from work.

#2 Son is ready, also. Black cape, black hockey mask, fake chainsaw that makes realistic noises, at 14 his plan is to run around the neighborhood seeing whom he can scare. He also has a homemade piece of body armor to wear under it, literally a metal codpiece, so if anyone tries to come after him where it counts, he is protected. He has been wearing it under his jeans for days, and no one has noticed, he says.

Little Girl has built her own costume, using faux fur and hot glue, making a big black cat costume of the kind you see school mascots wearing. Yes, she builds and makes those herself, and they really look good. She says she only has a couple of years to trick or treat left, and she is going to make the most of it.

As for me, well, Brother-In-Law, The Mouth, has to be fed. so my usual work is cut out for me.

Today is:

Admission Day, Nevada

Allantide -- Cornwall, England

All Hallows Eve -- Christian

All Saint's Day -- Sweden

Apple and Candle Night -- Wales

Dookie Apple Night -- Newcastle, England

Duck Apple Night -- Liverpool, England

Feast to Pomona -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Festival of Inner Worlds

Ghost Walk

Ghostwriter's Day

Hallowe'en or Beggar's Night

Homemakers' Day

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day

Independence Day, Antigua

National Knock-Knock Joke Day

National Magic Day -- in honor of Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926

National Caramel Apple Day

National UNICEF Day

Nut-Crack Night -- Scotland; England

Old Celtic New Year's Eve

Reformation Day -- Protestant Christian

Samhain Eve -- Druids

Senior Absurdity Day at Horace Mann School

St. Quentin's Day

St. Wolfgang's Day (patron of carpenters and woodcarvers)

Swamp Buggy Race Day -- Naples, Florida

Thump-the-Door Night -- Isle of Mann

Trick or Treat Night

Youth Honor Day

Anniversaries Today:

Nevada becomes the 36th US State, 1964

Birthdays Today:

Adam Horovitz, 1966
Peter Jackson, 1961
Larry Mullen, Jr., 1961
John Candy, 1950
Jane Pauley, 1950
Deidre Hall, 1947
David Ogden Stiers, 1942
Michael Landon, 1936
Dan Rather, 1931
Michael Collins, 1930
Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922
Dale Evans, 1912
Ethel Waters, 1896
Chaing Kai-shek, 1887
Juliette Low, 1860
John Keats, 1795
Jan Vermeer, 1632

Today in History:

Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites after their return to Jerusalem from exile, BC445
First All Hallows Eve observed to honor all the saints, 834
Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door, marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, 1517
Georg Ludwig van Hannover is crowned as the English King George I, 1714
Execution of Girondins at Paris during the Reign of Terror, 1793
Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents the miner's safety lamp, 1815
A standard uniform is approved for US Postal workers, 1868
A tropical cyclone hits Bengal, about 200,000 die, 1876
John Boyd Dunlop patents the pneumatic bicycle tire, 1888
Arthur Conan Doyle publishes "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", 1892
Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States, 1913
World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress, 1924
Mt. Rushmore sculptures are completed, 1941
The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal, 1956
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards, 1984
EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board, 1999
Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted, 1999

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shelter News

We pulled up to the shelter for our weekly shift of cleaning and loving on everyone to see someone using our driveway to turn around, so I had to wait a moment to park. That was a good thing, because it gave me time to see Clint in the front window. Now I wouldn't have to go looking for him in the big room, as I don't leave the shelter without putting my eyes on every cat, and he hides.

The first thing I noticed was a note over our sign in sheet that said, as near as I could read the scribble, that there were someone's kittens in the bathroom. We could also tell someone else was in the building, and in fact Penny was in the bathroom with her kittens.

The second thing I noticed was a very annoying hum. I got Bigger Girl, who can hear a fly land on a wall in the next room, to track it down to one of the ceiling fans, turned on but not rotating. I climbed up the handy step stool we keep so we can reach the top shelves of the rooms and shut it off, end of annoying hum.

Penny and I talked a moment. She works only a 3 minute drive up the road, and so leaves her just weaned kittens in the bathroom at the shelter during the day, stopping by to feed them wet food and give them fresh water, then going back to work. She was taking them home for the evening.

Apparently she weans on to canned food. She wanted tips on getting them on dry. They are good kittens, falling asleep in the car and only waking when they get home, and volubly telling her they are big kitties and don't need a bottle any more, thank you. I told her to mix the wet and dry, mostly wet at first, and change the proportions over a couple of weeks. I also pointed her to buying Baby Cat, a kibble for just weaned babies that is very, very small.

Penny also apparently has a German shepherd that thinks it is a mama cat! It cleans the kittens for her. Good thing, because the adult cats in the house either hiss at them, or give her very clear "Don't expect me to take care of them" looks.

When I went in the bathroom after Penny left, I saw the signs of kitten occupancy, including a small litter box, a heating pad, and the extension cord/surge protector for the heating pad still plugged in and the business end of it in the sink. Well, heaven knows that's not dangerous!

There was so much to deal with on this particular night, it took us almost twice as long to do everything.

Miss W called to talk to me about a few things, including asking me to shut down the computer and turn it back on. Zen computer repair. If you can't figure out what is wrong, turn it off, let it get over itself for a few minutes, turn it back on. After all, every IT problem is an on/off problem. Something, hardware or software, won't come on, or won't go off.

So I went in with Frieda, and found her very happily being petted by Little Girl. She was doing well, and so I turned off the computer and left to do the other work.

I headed in to look for the 5 in the big room. I had already seen Clint through the window, as noted, so I only had to find Prissy, Grady, Candy, and Ginnie. I found them all, and also found cat hack, not on the concrete floor, of course, but on the only piece of fabric in the entire huge room. Natch. Also, it was the typical "I ate this really really fast and then tossed it right away so I could go scarf more" variety of undigested food. Nutty animals, if they wouldn't pig out like that, they could hold the stuff down.

I also had to go back in that room to put the lid on the food that someone left off, and turn out the lights. I sneaked out from there back into the office, remembered to turn the computer back on, and shut the office lights. We leave the bathroom light on for Frieda, but shut the overhead so she can sleep.

Then there was the room with Squirt, Heathcliff, and Dora. There was blood on the floor, which is our main concern. All 3 hide on the shelves or in the kitty cube in their room, and no one has been able to figure out who bled and why. Also, there is concern about whether or not they are eating right now, so some kind person had given them canned food. On a shelf. Which they had spilled all over the litter box below the shelf, as well as on the floor. Thanks, friends.

Little Girl swept the floor in there after I got the wet food up, and then I cleaned the dried blood. I also fed them. Miss W had also asked me to get some Purina Indoor Delights someone had donated, and give them that with the wet food, to see if we could determine whether they are, in fact, even eating. The bag had a hole already chewed in it. Thank you, Baby.

Ah, Miss Baby. She is still hissing and spitting and trying to tear the arm off of anyone who comes too close. She cannot be put in a cage or room, you can't clean the cage and we can't spare her a room to herself for as long as it is going to take to calm her down. Heaven only knows what those adopters did to her to make her this way. She has her bowls and box in the kitchen, and is allowed to just stay out. She spends most of her time hiding under things, growling.

She had indeed chewed a hole in the bag, so I put that bag, and another I didn't want her to chew, into an unused carrier, with a note. This was after I poured some from the bag into a large bowl for the room. I put a note on it, and a note on the door of that room as well, noting how to feed and where the food was and why.

By this time the children were clipping through the rooms, so I started medicating. Piper and Lulu are both on Tresaderm in their ears. I insisted on looking at Nacho, who politely posed so I could see his neck. No improvement, but he isn't any worse, and no one has figured out how to take care of that sore spot anyway. If it gets a bit better, he scratches it back. Maybe he just likes it that way, who knows.

Then there was Sebastian. He and Cali are still there, and he is being treated. Diuretics and an antibiotic, and he seems happy and ate and purred. I hope he gets better, and I'm glad they decided to at least try.

Dusty and Angel are both well, neither is having eye problems right now. Mamie, Maggie, and Maisie, the M room, are no longer sneezing at all, so no quarantine. JuJu still doesn't like much at all, but is not hissing as much. Everyone else, Muffin, Sofia, Roxanne, Felix, Devon, Bowie, Corrie, Sandy, and Gidget are all happy and healthy.

Candy is there, also, but has been adopted, and will be picked up in a few days.

By the time I had medicated and cleaned and done the head count, I was even too tired to fuss at the people who didn't recycle the cat food tins. I got to a few, but didn't sweat the ones I missed. I did note that someone has finally marked the recycle bin outside to distinguish it more easily from the garbage can. I'm glad, I used to take the time to check and make sure I had them right, but apparently others didn't, and now they can tell.

Best news of the week: Rory has a home! Our golden boy, rescued from the jaws of a Greyhound, is now called Stretch(!) and has a mom with no other pets to distract her from giving him the quiet attention he needs. She says he is adapting well, and even let himself be brought out to greet some of her friends. He may always be a bit shy, but he will know he is loved.

Today is:

Angelitos Visit -- Chan Kom, Mexico (visit from the spirits of children who have died)

Bodybuilder's Day

Buy-A-Doughnut Day

Create a Great Funeral Day

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions -- most former Soviet Republics

Great Pumpkin Carve

Look in the Back of Your Refrigerator Day (And hope the old hamburger isn't grazing on the moldy salad.)

Mischief Night, a/k/a Goosey Night, Devil's Night, Cabbage Night -- US

National Basketball Coaches Day

National Candy Corn Day

St. Dorothy of Montau's Day

The Rhyne Toll -- Chetwode Manor, UK (through Nov 7) -- the Lord of the Manor may tax any cattle he finds on his Liberty (free pasture) on these days

Birthdays Today:

Gavin Rossdale, 1967
Diego Armando Maradona, 1960
Harry Hamlin, 1951
Henry Winkler, 1945
Grace Slick, 1939
Claude Lelouch, 1937
Robert Caro, 1935
Louis Malle, 1932
Ruth Gordon, 1896
Charles Atlas, 1893
Ezra Pound, 1885
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821
John Adams, 1735

Today in History:

Antioch surrenders to Rashidun Caliphate and his Muslim forces after the Battle of the Iron Bridge, 637
End of the 8th Crusade, 1270
King Henry VII, Tudor, crowned, 1485
Queen Isabella bans violence against Indians, 1503
The first Methodist church in the US is initiated (Wesley Chapel, NYC), 1768
Dr. Richard Gatling patents the machine gun, 1862
Founding of Helena, Montana (capital city), 1864
John Willis Menard, of Louisiana, becomes the first black elected to the US Congress (by special election, he was challenged by the loser, but was allowed to address Congress from the lectern), 1868
Daniel Cooper patents the time clock, 1894
Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah becomes the first woman US Senator, 1896
The first US Automobile Show opens in Madison Square Garden, NYC, 1900
Czar Nicholas II of Russia grants Russia's first constitution, creating a legislative assembly, 1905
Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy, 1922
John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter, 1925
Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States, 1938
Anne Frank and sister Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1944
Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier, 1945
Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1960
The Soviet Union detonates the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 58 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise, 1961
The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time, 1973
The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire, 1974
Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain's acting head of state, taking over for the country's ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, 1975
In Japan, NEC releases the first 16-bit home entertainment system, the TurboGrafx-16, known as PC Engine, 1987
Quebec sovereignists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada (vote is 50.6% to 49.4%), 1995
The last Multics Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) early time-sharing operating system is shut down at the Canadian Department of National Defense in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000

Friday, October 29, 2010

Heaven Protect Him, Because I Can't

"Mom, I sure know my way around a medical kit!" #2 Son was bragging.

He tends to do this, brag about his injuries and how much pain he can take.

"I should, after all," he continued, "I use them enough!"

Please, don't tell me more, I silently pleaded. No use, he was in a garrulous mood.

"Like, the other night when I tripped with a glass in my hand, and it broke, and I had to pull glass out of my arm with the tweezers. And then there was the time someone dropped a toothpick, and I was barefoot, and I had to pull it out. I've had so many puncture wounds, and so many times I needed stitched and just didn't tell you."

Why not, I asked, wishing I didn't have to listen to the answer.

"Well, I just don't like having to go to the hospital, that's all. Besides, I can take care of it. After all, one time a metal wire ran so far into my arm, it was almost out the other side, so I pushed it through and pulled it out!"

Son, I protested, you could have gotten an infection!

"Nah, I put antibacterial stuff on both ends!"

What about all the germs it left inside as it went through! I wailed, to no avail, he wasn't really listening.

"Yeah, I can do almost anything with a medical kit!"

Well, now I understand why we go through so many bandages and tubes of antibacterial gel. He covers them with his Bob Marley jacket if he has to, so I didn't quite know how much was him.

Heaven protect him. Keep him alive long enough to grow a brain.

Today is:

Candies Day (They have to be kidding -- this close to Hallowe'en?!)

Coronation Day -- Cambodia

Cumhuriyet Bayrami -- Turkey (Republic Day)

Hermit Day

Hide From Everyone Day (I know the feeling.)

Laugh Suddenly For No Reason A Lot Today Day (And end up either getting yourself and everyone around you in a good mood, or yourself being observed at the hospital in a padded room.)

Mokosh Day -- Ukraine (Slavic goddess of "women's work")

National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day

National Frankenstein Day

Oatmeal Day

St, Baldus' Day (patron of cattle and against family problems)

World Psoriasis Day

Birthdays Today:

Winona Ryder, 1971
Kate Jackson, 1948
Richard Dreyfuss, 1947
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 1938
Bill Mauldin, 1921
Fanny Brice, 1891
James Boswell, 1740 (wrote the biography of Samuel Johnson)
Edmund Halley, 1656 (yes, that Halley, found the comet)--this is the date based on the OS calendar, often you will find his birthday listed as Nov. 8, because of the switch in calendar use.

Today in History:

Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon, BC539
First trial for witchcraft in Paris, 1390
Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, writer, and courtier, is beheaded, 1618
A severe earthquake shakes New England, 1727
Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague, 1787
The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans, 1811
Queen Victoria grants Cecil Rhodes rights to Zambezia, 1889
The first intercity trucking service, from Colorado City to Snyder, Texas, begins running, 1904
Turkey declares its independence as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, 1923
Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal, 1956
Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, 1960
Syria exits from the United Arab Republic, 1961
Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors, 1967
The first-ever computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, 1969
The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid, 1991
In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report, which condemns both sides for committing atrocities, 1998
Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space, 1998
In Rome, European heads of state sign the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution, 2004

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A couple of interesting quotes for today.

Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady.
Edith Head -- born this day in 1907

In honor of today being the anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty:
There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order.
Ed Howdershelt

Today is:

Feast of Haddad -- Ancient Phoenician Calendar (sun god)

French Food Festival -- LaRose, Louisiana (through the 31st)

Fyribod (or Forebode) -- Ancient Norse Calendar (Either way, whatever it is, it sounds forbidding)

Independence Day -- Czechoslovakia (from Austria-Hungary)

Isia -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (first day of the Isis festival, through Nov. 3)

Milvian Bridge Day -- Christian

National Chocolate Day

National Holiday, Hungary

Ngetal begins -- Celtic Tree Calendar Month (month of the reed tree, through Nov. 24)

Okunchi Matsuri -- Karatsu Shrine, Karatsu, Japan (Local Shinto festival, through the 30th)

Oxi Day, Greece (Sometimes "Ochi" Literally "No Day", celebrating resistance to Mussolini.)

Plush Animal Lover's Day

Punky Night -- Hinton St George, Somerset, England: a celebration for children and adults who carry candle-lit punkies (the best one wins a prize) made out of mangel-wurzels, a type of beet, and sing old punky songs

St. Jude's Day, (patron of desperate or hopeless cases -- the reason Danny Thomas chose this saint to invoke as patron of the hospital he helped found.)

St. Simon's Day

Tenrikyo Matsuri -- Tenri City, Japan (Local Shinto festival)

Wild Foods Day

Anniversaries Today:

Universidad Santo Tomas Aquino is established, 1538 (first university in the New World)
Founding of Harvard University, 1636
Maimonides College is founded, 1867 (first Jewish college in the US)
Statue of Liberty dedicated, 1886

Birthdays Today:

Joaquin Phoenix, 1974
Julia Roberts, 1967
Daphne Zuniga, 1962
Bill Gates, 1955
Bruce Jenner, 1949
Dennis Franz, 1944
Charlie Daniels, 1936
Cleo Laine, 1927
Jonas Salk, 1914
Edith Head, 1907

Today in History:

Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius, 312
Battle of Yaunis Khan in which Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mameluks near Gaza, 1516
Battle of Amba Sel, in which Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia; the southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad's control, 1531
Peruvian cities of Lima & Callao are demolished by an earthquake, 18,000 die, 1746
Eli Whitney applies for a patent on the cotton gin, 1793
The first railroad in Spain, between Barcelona and Mataro, is opened, 1848
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland, and celebrated by the first ticker tape/confetti parade in NYC, 1886
An earthquake strikes Mino-Owari, Japan, kills 7,300, 1891
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, receives its première performance in St. Petersburg, only nine days before the composer's death, 1893
The St. Louis police try a new investigation method -- fingerprints, 1904
Czechoslovakia gains its independence in the break up of Austria-Hungary, 1918
The Volstead Act, passed by Congress over Wilson's veto, starts Prohibition, 1919
The first coast to coast radio broadcast of a football game, 1922
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary, 1936
The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska, 1942
Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT, 1948
The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands is re-founded as a federal monarchy, 1954
Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, 1962
Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions" of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, 1965
Britain launches its first satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket, 1971
The centenary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty is celebrated in New York Harbor, 1986

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cat Litter Lady

Different classes have very, very different personalities. Even in a homeschool co-op, where you are mostly dealing with kids from two parent families that are in church every Sunday, making for a rather homogenized bunch, in many ways.

I wore the name tag Cat Litter Lady to see who would notice, as our recipe was just that, Cat Litter. I wanted to see who would notice, and the first class saw it right away, and laughed and groaned and yelled, "What do you mean!?!" My second class just stared, nonplussed. Very little reaction. They are a tough crowd, and got even tougher.

Yes, we made Cat Litter in cooking class. Cat Litter Cake, actually. When I said that, the first class continued their laughing and joking, the second had only a smile or two, except from Robin, who laughed and snickered and really had fun with the idea. She is the pickiest eater in both classes, and so anything I can get her to try is a success to me.

I pulled out a pound cake, half of a cinnamon struesel coffee cake, and 8 glazed cake donuts, and told them to crumble them. The first class asked if they should use forks to break them up, and I told them they could if they wanted to be fuddy duddies about it. I recommended they get their hands in there and start crumbling, and boy, howdy! Laughter and glee and mess, mostly contained within the bowls. We measured out two cups of milk, added a package of vanilla pudding, and crushed up some vanilla sandwich cookies. I let them use the marble rolling pin to smash them in a zip top bag. Hilarity.

The second class looked at me as if I were asking them to reach inside each other's bodies and pull out the parts with bare hands. Except Robin, who said, "I'm going to pretend this is my brother's head!" as she went after the donuts, squishing with abandon. She is 11 and has 5 younger brothers at home, as well as a 1 year old sister.

We mixed cake and pudding and cookies, and then came the real fun. Pop Tootsie Rolls in the microwave for about 7 seconds and get them a bit soft. Form them into poop. The first class couldn't wait, except for Benny, who kept asking me not to use the "P" word.

Scrape the cake into a brand new cat litter box, sprinkle more crushed cookies on top, bury the "treasures", leaving some to show. Sprinkle more cookies to make it look like the cat tried to bury everything. Drape a couple of rolls over the side of the box for the effect, too.

The second class, well, only 3 of them would even play with the Tootsie Rolls. We also buried a few fun sized Baby Ruth bars, just to add character.

Serve with a brand new cat litter scooper, and you have a Halloween treat to gross out and make everyone laugh. They all loved eating it.

The first class had a great time, also, carrying the leftovers into the teacher's lounge area and offering everyone some "litter." The moms were duly disgusted, although many of them did try it.

That's what this time of year needs, something gross and fun in cooking class. The first class also came up with the idea of making brownies to shape the poop, using white cake mix and making your own cake, coloring it gray, or using chocolate pudding in a pastry bag to really make a nasty effect. The second class had to be dragged into doing it at all, ate in silence, and only Robin wanted to know what we were going to do with the leftovers. Since she has 5 younger brothers, I told her mom to take any leftovers home.

Today is:

American Beer Day

Angam Day -- Nauru

Big Bang Day -- London

Cranky Co-Worker's Day

Dias de los Muertos begin -- Mexico

Good Bear Day

Independence Day -- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Turkmenistan

Naming Day -- Zaire

National Potato Day

National Tell A Story Day -- Scotland; UK

Navy Day

St. Frumentius' Day (patron of Ethiopia)

Sylvia Plath Day

Tunch Pudding Festival -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Jayne Kennedy, 1951
Carrie Snodgrass, 1946
John Cleese, 1939
Ruby Dee, 1924
Roy Lichtenstein, 1923
Bette Babray, 1920
Dylan Thomas, 1914
Emily Post, 1872
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858
Niccolo Paganini, 1782
Captain James Cook, 1728
Erasmus, 1466

Today in History:

Constantine the Great is said to have received his Vision of the Cross, 312
Founding of the city of Amsterdam, 1275
Founding of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1682
US Navy forms, 1775
Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated, 1838
R.H. Macy & Co. opens its first store, on 6th Ave. in NYC, 1858
Boss Tweed is arrested, 1871
The first underground New York City Subway line opens, 1904
The first published reference to "jazz" appears, in Variety, 1916
Chuhei Numbu of Japan sets the long jump record at 26' 2 1/2", 1931
"You Bet Your Life," with Groucho Marx, premiers on ABC radio, 1947*
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force, 1954
Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations, 1961
The British government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang, 1986
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history, 1994
Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified, 1994
Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown, 1997
The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years, 2004
The SSETI Express micro-satellite is successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 2005

*(Ultimate result of this a few years later is, of course, the funniest
line ever on tv, when a man with 8 kids admitted to Mr. Marx that he did
indeed love his wife, and Groucho countered with, "I love my cigar, too,
but I take it out of my mouth sometimes!")

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Next? I Don't Want to Know

I saw something while shopping today that truly gave me pause.

It was a sealed foil bag with a built in screw top cap to sip from, full of "fruit."

Supposedly it is real fruit. Apples, bananas, mangoes, different flavors, mixed with apple juice or cranberry juice, a full serving of fruit on the go! Mashed up and thinned so you can suck it from a tube! Only 88 cents!

For the same amount, you could buy your kid a couple of pieces of real fruit. A banana, at 49 cents a pound, and a peach, at about 99 cents a pound, won't quite be that much, in fact, because neither would weigh a whole pound. Then you would have the whole pieces of fruit, with the fiber, with the nutrients not partially cooked out from being processed into a package.

Why? Why do we process everything? What makes people think that it is better because it has been packaged and processed into an unrecognizable goo?

What are they going to do to food next? I don't want to know. I know what I am going to do. Continue to buy my kids and myself and Sweetie real fruits, real veggies, real food. Not packages of goo, no matter how cheap they seem to be.

Update on kittens: the three newest ones, Buster Davis, Kaitlyn, and Dawnflower, are growing well and want a bigger box. Mike is still taking the bottle, as he is the smallest of the bigger kittens, but the other 8, Dan, Sasha, Stormfur, Crowfeather, Hummingbird, Tiger, John, and Fuzz are all either totally able to drink from the bowl, or will do so if I lead their noses down to it. Everybody is growing like crazy, and several still have the runs. As long as they eat and grow, I can handle that.

Today is:

Angam Day -- Nauru (celebration of overcoming hardships)

Exaltation of the Shellfish -- Pontevedra, Spain

Horseless Carriage Day

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae -- Roman Empire (celebration of the victories of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, through Nov. 1)

National Day -- Austria

National Mincemeat Pie Day

Pumpkin Day

Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night

Birthdays Today:

Cary Elwes, 1962
Lauren Tewes, 1954
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1947
Pat Sajak, 1947
Jaclyn Smith, 1947
Bob Hoskins, 1942
Jackie Coogan, 1914
Mahalia Jackson, 1911

Today in History:

Comet 55P/1366 U1 (Tempel-Tuttle) approaches 0.0229 AUs of Earth (2.1 million miles and 3.4 million kilometers)--marking the third closest approach of any comet to our planet in recorded history, 1366
First use of lead pencils, 1492
William Penn accepts the area around the the Delaware River from the Duke of York, 1682
The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, and the Minute Men begin to organize in the colonies, 1774
King George III goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution, 1775
Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution, 1776
The first of the "Federalist Papers" are published, calling for ratification of the US Constitution, 1787
The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, is created, 1795
Hamilton Smith patents a rotary washing machine, 1858
Soccer football rules are standardized and rugby starts as a separate game, 1863
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona, 1881
First use of a "getaway car" after a robbery in Paris, 1901
The first Soviet (worker's council) formed, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1905
Margaret Sanger arrested for the obscenity of advocating birth control, 1916
The Maharaja of Kashmir agrees to allow his kingdom to join India, 1947
Mother Teresa founds her Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, 1950
Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France, 1958
The world sees the far side of the Moon for the first time, in pictures taken earlier in the month by the Soviet Luna 3, 1959
The last natural case of smallpox is discovered in Merca district, Somalia, 1977
"Baby Fae," born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, receives a controversial heart transplant from a baboon, dies of kidney infection 21 days later, 1984
The Charlottetown Accord fails to win majority support in a Canada wide referendum, 1992
Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty, 1994
Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament, 1999

Monday, October 25, 2010

Once again, it is Mother-in-Law day.

Most mothers-in-law, I believe, get a bum rap. They are just moms who want the best for their child.

So, what is/was your mother-in-law like?

I've never had one, as Sweetie's mom died about 6 years before I met him. I have a brother-in-law instead, The Mouth, who eats me out of house and home.

I think I would have preferred the mother-in-law.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Cartoonists Against Crime Day

Feast of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

International School Library Day

Labour Day -- New Zealand

Mother-in-Law Day

National Greasy Foods Day

Punk-for-a-Day Day

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

Sourest Day

St. Crispin's Day (patron of shoemakers, glovemakers, weavers)

St. Crispinianus's Day (Crispin's twin)

Thanksgiving -- Granada

World Pasta Day

Birthdays Today:

Tracy Nelson, 1963
Jon Anderson, 1944
Helen Reddy, 1941
Bobby Knight, 1940
Billy Barty, 1924
Minnie Pearl, 1912
Leo G. Carroll, 1892
Pablo Picasso, 1881
Georges Bizet, 1838

Today in History:

Seljuk Turks defeat the German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1147
Battle of Agincourt, in which the Welsh longbow defeats armored knights, 1415
Christopher Columbus, aboard the Santa Maria, lands at the Dominican Republic, 1492
Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast, 1616
Governor Bradford of the US colony Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day, 1621
Wedding of future US President John Adams and Abigail Smith (the marriage lasted 54 years), 1764
Canadians and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay, 1813
Opening of the Erie Canal, 1825
Battle of Balaclava, memorialized as the "Charge of the Light Brigade", results in the deaths of 409 troops, 1854
The Toronto Stock Exchange is created, 1861
Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution in Russia, which corresponds to November 7 on the Gregorian Calendar, 1917
The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell", 1938
Adlai Stevenson shows photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba, 1962
Uganda joins the United Nations, 1962
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to five years in prison, 1962
The United Nations seated the People's Republic of China and expelled the Republic of China, 1971

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Well, taken altogether, I think Sweetie had a good 28th anniversary of his 29th birthday.

The Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast, a haircut (as per boss's orders, he would grow it out if he could, long haired rocker at heart that he is), meeting with a friend.

Dinner was pulled pork, fried green tomatoes, fried apples'n'onions, potato salad, and a banana pudding for dessert.

He put some of the tomatoes on bread with ketchup and mayo and says it tastes just like a fried oyster poboy. Only in south Louisiana.

The kittens have the runs. Everywhere. I have cleaned the floor so often it should be spotless, but it isn't. There are too many of them, and they go in corners, so it sometimes takes a bit of finding. Not a treasure I like looking for, either.

#2 Son is now into zombie games. This one has something I never thought I would see. Stephen Hawking in a wheelchair decked out with machine guns, going after zombies.

We actually got our mail before 7pm today, for the first time in over a week. Not that it makes a difference, it is still all junk and bills. Yuck.

Today is:

Feast of Good & Plenty

Independence Day -- Zambia

Lilith's Day -- Ancient Mesopotamian Calendar (Lilith, legendary first wife of Adam, mother of the giants)

National Bologna Day

St. Anthony Claret's Day

St. Raphael the Archangel's Day (patron of health inspectors, druggists, happy meetings, leaving home, travelers; against blindness) -- Traditional date

Suez Victory Day -- Egypt

Take Back Your Time Day -- Canada; U.S.

United Nations Day

World Development Information Day

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Kline, 1947
F. Murray Abraham, 1939
David Nelson, 1936
J. P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, 1930
Y. A. Tittle, 1926
Moss Hart, 1904
Alexandra David-Neel, 1868 (first female foreigner to explore Tibet)
Sarah Joseph Hale, 1788 (author of "Mary had a little lamb")
Antony van Leeuwenhoek, 1632
Domitian, Roman Emperor, 51

Today in History:

Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated, 1260
The Treaty of Westphalia ends the 30 Years War, recognized the independence of Switzerland, and marks the end of the Holy Roman Empire, 1648
Felix Mendelssohn, age 9, performs his first public concert in Berlin, 1818
The match is patented, by A. Phillips, 1836
The first US transcontinental telegram is sent, from San Francisco to Washington, DC, ending the need for the Pony Express after only 2 years, 1861
Levi P. Morton, US ambassador to France, drives the first rivet for the Statue of Liberty, 1881
Dr. Robert Koch discovers the germ that causes tuberculosis, 1882
Anna Taylor becomes the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901
The first NYC subway opens, 1904
Harry Houdini's last performance, 1926
"Black Thursday", the start of the stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8%, 1929
Al Capone is sentenced for tax evasion, 1931
The George Washington Bridge, connecting NY to NJ, opens, 1931
US forbids child labor in factories, 1938
The United Nations Charter is signed by the first member nations, 1945
Eisenhower pledges US support to South Vietnam, 1954
Government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union, 1980
Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission, 1998
The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, 2003
Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the "motive clause", an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, 2006
"Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices, 2008

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sorry About Binks

Bigger Girl and #2 Son attend a really great school that has one big drawback.

It is run as a one room schoolhouse by a really fabulous lady. She teaches the grade school in the morning hours, and high school in the afternoon. Then she tutors in the evenings, too!

She keeps the kids on task, and worked miracles with #1 Son.

The one big drawback is that she is only one person.

Today her almost 20 year old small poodle, Binks, finally collapsed. He hasn't been well for a while, but he had to be rushed to the vet during the morning classes. She went with him, and left her sister to get the kids to finish their work and dismiss them, and to call the afternoon people to cancel classes.

When there is an emergency, she is only one person. Class has to be canceled, and I understand that. It has only happened twice in the 5 years I have had kids with her.

That is the drawback of being a one person wonder.

Then, there is the fact that her sister called all of the afternoon people except us. Everyone else lives close by, comparatively. We live a 20 mile round trip away. So it would have been nice if she had remembered to call us. That is a side issue, though, in light of how much losing Binks is going to sadden her and her husband.

I am very sorry about Binks. She gave him a wonderful life.

Kitten news -- 12 kittens, with the runs. Fun, fun!

Sweetie news -- his birthday. Thus, no matter what the other holidays or special days listed, it is banana pudding day here.

Today is:

Canning Day

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand

Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle -- Republic of Macedonia

Festival of Forgotten Gods -- I guess so we don't offend anybody?

Make a Difference Day

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day, from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number

Swallows leave Capistrano Day (After today, in spite of what you think, the natives will tell you that bird is not a swallow.)

St. James' Day

St. John of Capistrano's Day

TV Talk Show Host Day (The way some of them behave, do they deserve a day? Well, I guess everyone is good for something, even if only for being a bad example!)

Birthdays Today:

Al Leiter, 1965
Randy Pausch, 1960
Nancy Grace, 1959
"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1959
Martin Luther King III, 1957
Dwight Yoakam, 1956
Michael Crichton, 1942
Pele' 1940
Johnny Carson, 1925
Frank Rizzo, 1920
Gummo Marx, 1893

Today in History:

According to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher and based on the Bible, Creation begins, BC4004
Second Battle of Philippi, Brutus defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony, Brutus commits suicide, BC42
A tornado, possibly a T8/EF4, strikes in the heart of London, destroys London Bridge (then a wooden structure), 1091
The Jews of Barbados are forbidden from engaging in retail trade, 1668
A revolt is held in Haarlem after a public ban on smoking, 1690
First Jewish prayer books printed in the US, 1760
The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring blacks from the army, 1775
Failed coup against the Emperor Napoleon, 1812
The first plastic surgery is performed, in England, 1814
72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate, 1867
The New Orleans Mint reopens as an assay office, 1876
The First National Horseshoe Throwing Championship is held in Kellerton, Iowa, 1915
The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California, 1929
Husband and wife Dr. Carl Cori & Dr. Gerty Cori are first spouses to be awarded joint Nobel Prizes, 1947
An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time; only 100 were rescued, 1958
A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria, 1973
Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil, 1992
Apple releases the iPod, 2001

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sebastian and Company

By "and Company" I mean the rest of the crew at the shelter.

Frieda was grumpy after Little Girl tried to pet her close to her tail. She doesn't like playing "elevator butt" as we call it. Some cats love it, and raise their rumps for more scratching. Frieda doesn't like it a bit, you can only pet her around her head and neck.

Piper, who was returned last week, has settled back in. Poor guy, his adoptions just don't seem to stick. He is on medicine for an ear infection, the reason he was returned. The lady didn't want the vet bills for an ear infection. Put her on my "you are a twit" list.

The six in the big room are doing well. Grady almost got out, but was caught at the door.

Lulu has recovered from her surgery and is in with Queso and Sandy.

Mamie is still being quarantined for possible upper respiratory, but I don't know why. We haven't heard a sneeze out of her in two weeks.

Baby, who tries to take the skin off of anyone who comes near her, is loose in the back. We leave her cage open, so she can get to her food and litter, but she spends most of her time under the shelves in the storage area or under the sink, growling at everyone. Poor thing has been traumatized, and has traumatized everyone who tries to take care of her.

Then, there is Sebastian.

He is a purebred Persian, classic flat face, show animal, over eleven years old. The family that owned him and Cali, who is 9, is moving to Memphis to be with their two-year-old, who is in St, Jude's Hospital. The dad is in med school, and he and wife have been taking turns being up there. He showed Kate a picture of his boy, very proud. Child in bed, with tubes everywhere, she was shocked, but tried not to show it. Very sad situation.

It gets worse. They really didn't want to give up the cats, but had not choice under the circumstances. Moving to a place that won't take cats, and it is being provided to them while the child is ill and he is in residency. The wife has been visiting the cats when she was in town.

Sebastian breathes funny. Typical of the Persian with that face. They just don't breathe right, but it has people spooked in the rescue group. What really is a concern is that he has fluid in his abdomen, and it is full of bacterial infection.

So, do we drain fluid, give him massive antibiotics, use diuretics, and hope he gets better? Or do we take into account the fact that an older cat with health problems will almost never get adopted and go ahead and euthanize? Especially since he might not get better even with treatment?

Miss W has asked Kate to call the family, tell them we will probably euthanize, and offer to let them visit one more time. I watched him purr and eat, and think he deserves a chance. If I didn't have 5 of my own, I might take him, as he is a sweetheart, even though I have never been fond of the flat faced cats.

Kate doesn't want to do it. She wants to give him a chance.

So, what to do? I'm glad I'm not in charge of this one. I would not give up, just like I don't with kittens.

Today is:

Caps Lock Day

Full Harvest Moon

International Stuttering Awareness Day

Jidai Matsuri -- Kyoto, Japan (Festival of the Eras)

National Barber's Day

National Holiday, Vatican City

National Nut Day

St. Abercius' Day

St. Mary Salome's Day

Birthdays Today:

Brian Boitano, 1963
Jeff Goldblum, 1952
Deepak Chopra, 1946
Catherine Deveuve, 1943
Annette Funicello, 1942
Tony Roberts, 1939
Christopher Lloyd, 1938
Timothy Leary, 1920
Joan Fontaine, 1917
Curly Howard, 1903
N. C. Wyeth, 1882
Sarah Bernhardt, 1844
Franz Liszt, 1811

Anniversaries Today:
Toastmasters International founded, 1924

Today in History:

The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire, 362
Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto), 794
Battle of the Southern Fujian Sea, Ming Dynasty wins a victory against the Dutch East India Company, 1633
Princeton University is chartered, 1746
Andre-Jacques Trim becomes the first sky diver, parachuting over Paris from a balloon, 1797
Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas, 1836
First telegraph line linking US east and west coasts is completed, 1861
First concert performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1881
World's first automobile dealer opens in London, 1897
President Hoover gives the "American system of rugged individualism" speech, 1928
The FBI ambushes Pretty Boy Floyd, 1934
First commercial flight from the mainland to Hawai'i, 1936
Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor, 1964
A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada, 1964
The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus, 1975
Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs, although the dye is still used in Canada, 1976
Tropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005
Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms, 2005
A Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum held in Panama, 2006
India launches its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, 2008

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Just when we thought it was safe to answer the phone. Kitten season should be winding down.

I was trying to get out the door to go pick up Bigger Girl and Best Friend when Ms. D called. More kittens. Three this time, quite a distance away. The lady was so clueless she was trying to feed them human formula with a baby bottle. She said she switched to a syringe when that didn't seem to work too well. (Insert eye roll here.)

Meg actually went to pick them up, and brought them over to trade me out a few of my bigger ones. Athena and Silverstream are now back with Ping, the 3rd sister from that group who was supposed to be adopted by the lady who found them. Unfortunately the nice lady has been diagnosed with cancer, and cannot take on another pet right now. Tawnykit is with them also. I will call to get the 4 of them on the schedule for surgery, and this weekend they will go up for preadoption.

The new ones are about 3 weeks old, healthy and beautiful. Two calico girls, one with a black spot above her mouth that looks like half of a Groucho mustache. The boy is orange tabby and white, and loud. Eating well.

One problem now is that I only have two that are weaned to help the others learn to eat and drink. Yes, I have to wean them, technically, but it helps to have older kittens that are drinking from a bowl and eating dry food to pique the curiosity of the younger ones and give demonstrations. They help a great deal.

Still, this way I only have 12 kittens. Only. Ah, well, that's the business.

Today is:

Apple Day -- U.K.

Armed Forces Day -- Honduras

Babbling Day

Compact Day -- Marshall Islands

International Credit Union Day

International Day of the Nacho -- Mexico; U.S.

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

National Youth Health Awareness Day

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

St. John of Bridlington's Day (patron against complications in childbirth)

St. Ursula's Day (patron of teachers, schoolgirls, orphans, tailors, universities; against the plague)

Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day

Trafalgar Day -- British Empire

Anniversaries Today:

Juan Peron marries actress Evita (María Eva Duarte), 1945

Birthdays Today:

Jeremy Miller, 1976
Carrie Fisher, 1956
Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949
Judge Judy Sheindlin, 1942
Celia Cruz, 1925
Joyce Randolph, 1925
Dizzy Gillespie, 1917
Alfred Nobel, 1833
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772

Today in History:

Constantinople emperor Constantine the Great rules laws against Jews, 335
Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders, 1096
Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg., 1512
Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean), 1520
Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish armada under De Oquendo, 1639
First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America, 1774
US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston, 1797
Battle of Trafalgar, Adm Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet & dies, 1805
The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia, 1816
Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England), 1824
Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb, 1879
First transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris, 1915
Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time, 1945
Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun, 1965
The European Patent Institute is founded, 1977
The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, 1983
Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz, 2003

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grandpa brought us some steaks, as a treat.

"Don't overcook the steaks!" Sweetie cautions, and cautions, and hovers, which makes me crazy.

So I hand him a steak, and he yelps, "It's undercooked!"

Well, what does he expect? He hovered! Better get it off a bit too soon, you can't uncook it.

Back on the grill for another 2 minutes. Just right, and peace reigns.

Today is:

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Change Your Oil Day

Feast of No Excuse For A Feast Day

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth -- Sikh

International Juan Valdez Appreciation Day (As we sip our morning wake up brew, let's remember the hardy souls who pick the beans for us!)

Kenyatta Day -- Kenya

Miss American Rose Day

National Brandied Fruit Day

Revolution Day -- Guatemala

St. Conrad Ferrini's Day (patron of universities)

World Osteoporosis Day

Anniversaries Today:

Aristotle Onassis marries Jacqueline Kennedy, 1968

Birthdays Today:

Dann Gillen, 1967
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
Danny Boyle, 1956
Tom Petty, 1950
Jery Orback, 1935
Mickey Mantle, 1931
Art Buchwald, 1925
Fayard Nicholas, 1914
Bela Lugosi, 1882
Charles Ives, 1874
Arthur Rimbaud, 1854
Christopher Wren, 1632

Today in History:

The first Crusaders arrive at Antioch, 1097
The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), Bolivia, is founded, 1548
Battle of sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's Shoguns, 1600
Maria Theresa of Habsburg becomes ruler of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1740
Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy, 1781
US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
The U.S. and U.K. sign the Convention of 1818, which, among other things settles the U.S. - Canada border at the 49th parallel for most of its length, 1818
First Edition of London Sunday Times, 1822
Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the US, on the 4th Thursday of November each year, 1864
P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome featuring "The Greatest Show on Earth" opens in NYC, 1873
The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched, 1910
The first Negro League World Series is held, the KC Monarchs shut out the Hilldales, 5-0, 1924
United States of America and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time, 1947
The Nepal Stock Exchange collapses, 1971
The Sydney Opera House opens, 1973

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some of the kids in cooking class want beignets.

That requires a yeast dough, usually, so is too much to do in the allotted time.

The following recipe doesn't make puffy beignets, like you usually see, but they do taste right and are easier.

Mix 1 cup milk, 4 eggs, 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it), and two tablespoons of vegetable oil.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the flour to the egg/milk mixture, and then start adding more flour, about a cup at a time at first, less as you go on, until you have a nice, soft, easy to work dough.

Turn your dough out onto a floured board and knead just a bit, then roll out. Cut into squares and fry in hot oil, turning once.

Cover with powdered sugar and serve.

Oct. 19

Today is:

Armilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Mars)

Bettara-Ichi -- Japan (Pickle Market Fair, through tomorrow)

Constitution Day -- Niue

Evaluate Your Life Day

Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

Jesuit Martyrs' Day -- Canada

Mother Teresa Day -- Albania

National Seafood Bisque Day

St. Rene Goupil's Day (patron of anesthesiologists)

Birthdays Today:

Ty Pennington, 1965
Evander Holyfield, 1962
John Lithgow, 1945
Jeannie C. Riley, 1945
Peter Max, 1937
Robert Reed, 1932
John Le Carre, 1931
Jack Anderson, 1922

Today in History:

Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus and his Roman legions defeat Hannibal Barca and the invading Carthagian army, BC202
King Gauseric and his Vandals take the city of Carthage, 439
The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Treaty of Thorn, 1466
Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology, 1512
The first general court is held in Boston, 1630
Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2PM, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1781
Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree, 1849
The first 4 blacks are elected to the US House of Representatives, 1870
The USPS first used an automobile to collect and deliver mail, 1914
Streptomycin, the first antibiotic which could treat tuberculosis, is isolated at Rutgers University, 1943
Black Monday - the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points, 1987
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity, 2005

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sweetie and The Mouth met up with an old friend from college one night.

She was in town from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and wanted to get together to talk about old times.

They went out for dinner and coffee with another friend of hers she had brought along. Apparently a good time was had by all, going over the news of everyone they knew about, where everyone is now.

It's amazing what can happen over 20 years or so. Everyone moves, and changes. We don't think we change, but we do. Then we meet up with old friends, and realize time doesn't stand still.

I'm not sure what has me all minor musicky right now. Thinking about all the water under the bridge, people I haven't heard from in years, kittens I've raised now all grown up and then some.

So little is permanent. Most things that are supposed to be are a disappointment, like permanent press that just isn't.

I guess I just want the world to slow down a bit so I can catch up.

Today is:

Alaska Day

Boost Your Brain Day

International Credit Union Day

King Look Under Your Mattress's Unique Hiding Display -- Fairy Calendar
(Finally! Proof, on the internet, that you do, indeed, need to look under the matress!)

Long Distance Day

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Nike Awareness Day (I hope they are talking the Greek Winged Victory Nike here!)

No Beard Day

Pandrosus -- Ancient Greek Calendar (all-refreshing goddess)

Persons Day, Canada (Marking the ruling that women are persons in 1929.)

St. Luke's Day (patron of doctors, painters, glassmakers, artists, butchers, notaries, sculptors)

Watch a Squirrel Day

World Menopause Day

Anniversaries Today:

University of Heidelberg opens, 1386

Birthdays Today:

Wynton Marsalis, 1961
Erin Moran, 1960
Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1960
Martina Navratilova, 1956
Pam Dawber, 1951
Laura Nyro, 1947
Mike Ditka, 1939
Dawn Wells, 1938
Peter Boyle, 1935
George C. Scott, 1927
Chuck Berry, 1926
Melina Mercouri, 1923
Jesse Helms, 1921
Anita O'Day, 1919
Lotte Lenya, 1900

Today in History:

Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, 1009
Battle of Assadun (Ashingdon), Danes defeat Saxons, 1016
Basel, Switzerland is destroyed by the Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, 1356
Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima -- Takeda Shingen defeats Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts in feudal Japan, 1561
The shoemakers of Boston form the first labor organization in the Colonies/US, 1648
The Mason/Dixon line is agreed upon, 1767
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London, 1851
The US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia, for $7.2 million, 1867
Edison makes electricity available for household use, 1878
John Owen becomes the first foramlly timed person to run 100 yd dash in under 10 seconds, 1890
United States takes possession of Puerto Rico, 1898
The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) is founded, 1922
The Grand Ole Opry opens in Nashville, Tennessee, 1925
Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio, 1954
The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet, 1967
Azerbaijan becomes independent from the USSR, 1991

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Game Day Thoughts

It's not a big game, I admit. We aren't playing a league game, so it really doesn't count much. Still, real fans should be supporting the team, even when it is a smaller game. Where is the team spirit? They don't see it that way, I guess, and the stadium is not overcrowded.

In fact, the area where we are sitting is practically empty. So why do the only other people in that section who do show up happen to have seats right in front of us, and be the kind of people who stand for everything, forcing you to stand also in order to see?

The band had finished the pre-game show. There was still a minute thirty seconds or so before kick off. #2 Son decides to go to the restroom. Even though there is almost no one in there, he is back with 40 seconds to spare. How? I mean, in this area, boys are sure lucky. Even if I had gone at the same time, and there was no wait, I wouldn't have been able to get undressed and redressed that fast. I don't even want to know if he washed up afterward. Must be good to be male when restroom time comes.

Some parents are very brave. None of my kids went to a game before the age of almost 4. Now I see tiny babies and little toddlers, in addition to the 4 years and up crowd, all appropriately dressed in team colors. I would be concerned about having very young children in such close quarters with large crowds. My dad the doc didn't recommend it, and I agreed, for my kids at least. Other parents can be braver if they want, I won't object.

It was band reunion weekend. Former band members come back to relive old glory days. Two things the alumni association will tell you. Band members aren't usually big donors. I guess there isn't much money in majoring in music unless you become a big rock star or something. Also, they have a tendency to be big drinkers at the party the night before the game. I think I will leave that alone.

Why is it that, when we are gone from the house for more than a couple of hours (usually about 5 hours for a game night), the kittens that swarm us for food first are the ones actually most able to fend for themselves? The older ones, even those that still want a bottle because they are only partly weaned, can eat some dry food, and have it available all of the time. Yet they swarm first when we walk in the door, and the baby babies wait more quietly. Those that get more want more, it seems.

Today is:

Dasera -- Hindu

Dessalines Day -- Haiti

Festival of Hengest -- St. Ives, UK

Four Prunes Day (Only if you dare!)

Gaudy Day a/k/a Wear Something Gaudy Day

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Loyalty Day -- Argentina

National Mammography Day

National Pasta Day

Shukaku Matsuri a/k/a Kannamesai Harvest Festival, Japan -- Shinto

St. Audrey's Day Fair, Isle of Ely

St. Ignatius of Antioch's Day

St. John the Dwarf's Day

World Toy Camera Day

Anniversaries Today:

Crown Prince Fernando of Aragon marries Princess Isabella of Castile,
Composer Johann S. Bach marries his niece Maria Bach, 1707

Birthdays Today:

Norm MacDonald, 1963
Alan Jackson, 1958
Howard Rollins, 1950
Margot Kidder, 1948
George Wendt, 1948
Ronn Owens, 1945
Evel Knievel, 1938
Jimmy Breslin, 1930
Tom Poston, 1921
Montgomery Clift, 1920
Rita Hayworth, 1918
Arthur Miller, 1915
Jean Arthur, 1905
Spring Byington, 1893

Today in History:

King Cyrus the Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon and releases the Jews from their 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration, BC539
Battle of Neville's Cross, the defeat of King David II of Scotland by Edward III of England, 1346
German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, 1604
Boston blacks petition the legislature for equal school facilities, 1787
The political rights of Jews are suspended in the Duchy of Warsaw, 1808
Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie), 1888
Guglielmo Marconi's comapany begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Clifden, Ireland, 1907
Albert Einstein arrives in the US as a refugee from Nazi Germany, 1933
The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield,in Cumbria, England, 1956
Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies opens the artificial Lake Burley Griffin in the middle of the capital Canberra, 1964
Botswana and Lesotho join the United Nations, 1966
Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group, 1970
OPEC starts an oil embargo against a number of western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Syria, 1973
Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979
The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, making it the World's tallest highrise, 2003

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not Today, You Don't

It was a reminder of why the Almighty is in charge, and not me.

The day was not going smoothly. I wanted to get all of my errands done early, and the world conspired against me. Kittens that wouldn't stop crying kept me in the house longer than I would have liked.

I got Silverstream to the vet, and they demanded more paperwork. I went to the shelter, got the paperwork, went back, and signed the vet authorization myself. At that point, I was ready to dare them to challenge me on it. The vet I usually go to doesn't even bother with the forms, she just takes down my kittens numbers.

Later than ever, I finally got to Whole Foods, a/k/a Whole Paycheck, for my 5 items a week I get there. Bigger Girl was with me, as she had money and wanted to get a few things for herself. I also stopped at the car rental place to inquire about prices for next year's vacation.

On the way out, I saw why I had been "providentially hindered" all morning. The Lord wanted me in that place at that time.

A red truck pulled out, hit a black car, and slowed a bit. I began to pull up behind it to stop, call police, say I was a witness, etc., when the driver of the truck decided to just keep going.

"Not today, you don't!" I yelled as adrenaline kicked in. I took off after the truck, telling Bigger Girl to grab a pen. As she started looking, I picked up my pencil that I keep for crossword puzzles when I wait for them to get out of school and handed it to her. She picked up a piece of scrap paper as I wove through traffic, almost losing the truck when another car pulled between us.

Around that car, and I pulled up close. The driver decided to lose me by pulling into a business, and that was a mistake. There was someone trying to pull out, and when the truck stopped I stopped behind it and yelled out the tag number, 3 times to make sure Bigger Girl got it.

I may have been hyped a bit, but I did not want a confrontation with the driver of a big truck like that. I envisioned a very big guy, or a lady much stronger than I, and as I had the tag number, I decided to head back and make sure the other driver was okay. I dialed 911 as I drove the few blocks back, telling them I had witnessed a hit and run.

When I got back there, an officer who had been simply passing by had stopped. I walked up to him and handed him the paper, telling him it was the tag number. He looked a bit stunned at first, then relieved. A man who had seen the accident from the other direction had also stopped, and we both gave our name and phone numbers, telling what we had seen.

Because the other person had seen the truck from the front, he knew the driver was female, young, with a pony tail.

Then I went to the driver of the car. New, first time mother, 2 weeks since her C-section, first time getting out of the house, mother-in-law was home with the baby, she was only going to the store around the corner for a few minutes. I stayed to make sure she had help coming, and then got myself out of the way.

The other driver, the one who ran, I know she was scared. I know she panicked. I know she thought she would be in trouble. Well, she is unfortunately in more trouble now.

I'm not a hero. I'm just a mom, and a janitor, and a Sunday school teacher. My gift isn't tracking down criminals, or even young girls who hit and run. I'm better at changing diapers and mopping floors. On this day, though, the Lord put me at the right place with little traffic and set a scene that made my blood boil for just a moment.

Some days you can hit and run and get away with it. Not that day, she didn't.

Today is:

Apple Butter Stirrin' Festival, Coshocton, Ohio (through the weekend)

Belfast Festival at Queens -- Belfast (through the 30th)

Chrysanthemum Festival -- Japan (through Nov. 15)

Chung Yeung Festival -- Hong Kong

Dictionary Day (Noah Webster's birthday)

Ether Day

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu, Arizona (through the weekend)

Maintenance Personnel Day

National Gaelic Mod -- Scotland (Gaelic Language Festival)

National Liqueur Day

St. Hegwig's Day

Sweetest Day

World Food Day

Anniversaries Today:

Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women, 1869
Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah, 1875

Birthdays Today:

John Mayer, 1977
Kellie Martin, 1975
Flea, 1962
Tim Robbins, 1958
suzanne Somers, 1946
Angela Lansbury, 1925
Eugene O'Neill, 1888
Oscar Wilde, 1854
Noah Webster, 1758

Today in History:

Jadwiga (yes, a she) is crowned King of Poland, 1384
Olivier van Noorts' ships reach the Philippines, 1600
George Washington takes Yorktown, 1781
Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, is guillotined, 1793
Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers, 1843
Dentist William T. Morton demonstrates the effectiveness of ether, 1846
Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is published, 1847
John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, 1859
The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered", 1869
John Harwood takes out a patent on a self-winding watch, 1923
The Disney Company is founded, 1923
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army, 1940
Fidel Castro is senteneced in Havana to 15 years in prison, 1953
The People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1964
In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act, 1970
Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1973
Pope John Paul II is elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave, 1978
Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1978
Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1984
Reinhold Messner becomes the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders, 1986
Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated, 2002

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shelter Time

Communication is tenuous, and we offered to clean the shelter twice this week. We only found out an hour ahead that we weren't needed for the morning, but we did our usual evening rounds.

We got there just as Miss W. had gotten there with Piper. Poor guy has been returned for the 3rd time. Most adoptions take, but this poor guy has had terrible luck. His latest says she is tired of taking him to the vet for recurrent ear infections. Well, he never had those before, and don't you promise that you understand you might have lots of vet expenses when you adopt, and you agree to take that on? Well, anyway, better that they be returned to us than some of the bad alternatives. That's why we take any cat back, any time.

Frieda, the office cat, is becoming friendlier and more talkative than ever. As long as you don't accidentally cause a bit of static electricity when petting her. Then she just becomes annoyed with you. She hadn't eaten much, so I didn't put more food in her bowl. We will have to watch that.

Lulu is recovering from cleft palate surgery. She didn't want her meds, but really didn't fight much. She did try to hide in her litter box after, but let me pet her. She is friendly, as long as she doesn't think you have meds.

Baby, or Ms. Babie as it says on her collar, is another recent return. She is so mad about being in a cage that she is using the most unladylike language I have ever heard on a cat. With Miss W.'s permission, we just gave her fresh water (her food bowl was full), snatched the box out and scooped it -- she managed to claw me as I did -- and called it good enough. I don't like not washing down the whole cage, but there was no way. I would have been torn to ribbons.

Sandy and T-Boy are in cages, waiting for space in the colony rooms, and happy and sweet. We also have two new occupants back there, Sebastian and Cali. Cali is a beautiful long haired calico who is 9 years old, and Sebastian is a handsome old gentleman pure bred Himalayan, show quality, and 11 years old. Their family had to move to St. Jude Children's Hospital to be with their 2-year-old, who has cancer. They didn't want to give up their babies, but had no choice. Both cats are friendly and healthy.

I went in to check on Ginny, Prissy, Curley Sue, Grady, and Clint. Grady was let out twice -- not by me -- and I searched for and found Clint without too much trouble.

Angel and Dustie are both glad that no meds are forthcoming at this time, and are so clean in their room! Anyone who thinks it is all nurture and no nature need to go in the girl's colony room with them, and look at the mess level, then go in with Tiger and Buddy. Yes, JuJu is in with the boys, too, but she hides all day. The boys are the reason that room takes longer to clean. Yes, I remember how nutty Curley Sue can be, but she is the exception. Even among cats, you get the occasional tomboy.

Nacho still has that spot under his neck that no one can diagnose or get rid of. It is in just the perfect place that an E-collar would irritate it and make it worse, and he scratches it back into being big and nasty every time it shows any sign of healing. Rory is still playing shy in there, and sweet little Cherry, who is half the size of the boys, gently keeps them in line.

Mamie is still isolated, but no one has heard any sneezing from her and I think she should be cleared of quarantine by next week.

Muffin, Grayson, Tiffany, Sophie, Roxanne. Francie, Allie, and Rosie are in various rooms and doing great. They cycle in and out of the adoption center, and are put on display on adoption evenings, and are on Petfinder on the web, so someday their dream home will come.

Today is:

Evacuation Day -- Tunisia

Global Handwashing Day

Mertz of All Possible Mertzes

My Mom is a Student Day

National Grouch Day

National Inhalant Abuse Awareness Day

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day -- U.S. and Canada

National Roast Pheasant Day

Rainbow Pickling Day -- Fairy Calendar

St. Andeol's Day (patron of Switzerland)

St. Teresa of Avila's Day (patron of Spain, lace makers; against headaches, heart attacks)

Teacher's Day -- Brazil

White Cane Safety Day

World Poetry Day

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ferguson, 1959
Emeril Lagasse,1959
Tanya Roberts, 1955
Richard Carpenter, 1946
Jim Palmer, 1945
Penny Marshall, 1942
Linda Lavin, 1937
Lee Iacocca, 1924
Mario Puzo, 1920
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 1917
John Kenneth Galbraith, 1908
Friedrich, Nietzsche, 1844

Today in History:

Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals, 533
Commissioned by Catherine De Medici, the 1st ballet "Ballet Comique de la Reine," is staged in Paris, 1581
Asser Levy is granted a butcher's license for kosher meat in New Amsterdam, 1660
The Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon marks the first human ascent, by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, (tethered balloon), 1783
George Washington takes the first formal presidential tour, of New England, 1789
Napoleon Bonaparte is exiled to the Island of St. Helena, 1815
Child labor law takes 12 year olds out of the work force, 1874
Edison Electric Light Company is incorporated, 1878
Koln cathedral is completed, 633 years after it was begun, 1880
The German dirigible "Graf Zeppelin' lands in Lakehurst, NJ, 1928
LaGuardia Airport opens, 1939
Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time, 1946
The start of the 2500-year celebration of Iran, celebrating the birth of Persia, 1971
The Great Storm of 1987 hits France and England, 1987
Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL, 1989
Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1990
The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom), exactly 50 years and 1 day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth's atmosphere, 1997
The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn, 1997
NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io, 2001
China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission, 2003

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Now That I Am Done

Now that I have finished blogging the trip, I'm not sure what to write!

Siverstream is hilarious. She tries to run, and when her paw that was bandaged hits the floor, she jumps straight up in the air, and lands on the other 3, looking startled.

All of the tiny babies have the runs. What is it with this? I am beginning to think that it is a curse. I know they don't have all the good bacteria from mama, but I try to give them good bacteria and keep them clean. That is a feat in itself when you have them running around trying to mess in every corner.

Four of our previous miscreant kittens have been preadopted. They will have their spay/neuter surgeries tomorrow, and can go home with new owners by Friday.

Lulu cat at the shelter had turned out to have a cleft palate. That is why she always sounded like she had an upper respiratory infection. She had surgery to correct it a few days ago, and should be just fine.

Today is:

Be Bald and Be Free Day

Big Kids Day -- Channel Islands

Blessing the Fish Harvest -- Yorkshire, England

Day of the Cathedral of Living Pillar -- Georgian Orthodox Church

Dessert Day

Founder's Day -- Zaire

Mega Kenka Matsuri -- Japan (Roughhouse Festival, through tomorrow)

National Chocolate Covered Insect Day (I'll pass. Sorry.)

National Education Day -- Poland

National Frump Day (Sounds more like my speed!)

National Train Your Brain Day

Nyerere Day -- Tanzania

Vinternatsblot, a/k/a Haustblót, is to bid Winter welcome (start of winter in the Old European Calendar, especially among the Norse)

World Standards Day

Birthdays Today:

Harry Anderson, 1952
Sir Cliff Richard, 1940
Ralph Lauren, 1939
Roger Moore, 1927
John Wooden, 1910
e.e. cummings, 1894
Lillian Gish, 1893
Dwight Eisenhower, 1890
William Penn, 1644

Today in History:

William the Conqueror wins England in the Battle of Hastings, 1066
Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence, 1322
Mary, Queen of Scots, goes on trial for conspiracy against Elizabeth I of England, 1586
Massachusetts enacts the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), 1656
Rabbi Judah Hasid & Chayim Molocho arrive in Jerusalem, 1700
Henry Blair receives a patent for a corn planter, becoming the first black to obtain a US patent, 1834
The 15th and the last military Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate resigns in Japan, returning his power to the Emperor of Japan and thence to the re-established civil government of Japan, 1867
George Eastman patents paper-strip photographic film, 1884
Theodore Roosevelt is shot while campaigning in Milwaukee on the "Bull Moose" ticket, 1912
The children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, is first published, 1926
Ethel Merman makes her Broadway debut in "Girl Crazy", 1930
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable caste leader, converts to Buddhism along with 385,000 of his followers, 1956
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first Canadian Monarch to open up an annual session of the Canadian Parliament, presenting her Speech from the Throne in Ottawa, Canada, 1957
The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when a U.S. Air Force U2 Reconnaissance pilot takes pictures of Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba, 1962
The city of Montreal, Quebec, begins the operation of its underground Montreal Metro rapid-transit system, 1966
The first live telecast from any manned spacecraft, the Apollo 7, 1968
The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and the Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords , 1994

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

San Antonio Trip -- Time to Go Home

Monday morning came all too soon, and when I first went outside to get the insulated bag out of the car, it hit me. Cool air! It was gumbo weather!

A cool front had moved in from Canada, and it was just right for soups and stews and gumbos. Ah well, that figures.

As much as I never wanted it to end, I had to get going so I would have time to stop at the Buc-ees and get through Houston at a time when the traffic was moving. I needed the insulated bag for the little bit of my cold stuff that I was taking back with me, I knew going back I wouldn't have enough to fill the ice chest.

Speaking of ice, Grace's very kind husband noticed that I have to put my laptop on an ice pack to keep it cool enough to not shut down, and he gave me a fan that plugs into a USB port and cools it! He didn't need it any more, and had it taking up space in his desk. It has helped immensely.

I stripped the bed, packed my things, and reluctantly hugged Grace good-bye. Blossoming was still sleeping, and I knew she needed to rest up as her flight would be getting her home late, so I didn't wake her.

Getting back on the Interstate was easy -- I have learned where I am coming and going to this home at least. Grace says they want to move some day, but since I would have to reprogram my brain on the directions when I go visit if she did, I will have to veto that. LOL

Buc-ees was a fun stop. I managed to get something for all of the crew back home, and it took me only just over a half hour. It was about an hour out of Houston that I got the first call.

It was Carol, with the cat rescue. Could I take two kittens, eyes still closed, and one wasn't doing well? Jiminy Crickets, people! Can't I get home first? I explained that I was still about a 6-7 hour drive from home, and told her she could drop the babies at the house and let Bigger Girl try to work with the sicker one. She chose to wait instead, and the littlest didn't make it. She did end up bringing me the other, about 45 minutes after I got home!

The drive itself had only one problem -- when trying to miss the rush hour in Houston on the way out, it is easy. If I miss it on the way back in, I land right in the middle of rush hour back home. Well, our own is nothing, relatively speaking, and even with getting into it, it wasn't too bad.

The house had exploded, just as I figured it would have. I walked in, put the cold stuff away, and started tackling the kitchen. Just about the time I finished, and got a quick pot of chili on the table (yes, it is that fast, something I do to fall back on when I have no time), Carol arrived with the new baby.

It took me until the next morning to even look at Mt. Washmore. Two days and it was done, but my clothesline will never be the same.

Since then we have gotten more kittens still. We are at 12 now.

Silverstream is out of the cast, but part of her paw got a bit of an infection because of it. They didn't have an E-collar small enough, so they used one of those fast food plates like they would put fried rice in at the food court. A Siamese cat in a fast food dish collar -- she looks like Chinese take out!

I am already looking forward to some kind of trip next year. At this pace, I will continue to need them regularly.

Today is:

Floating of the Lamps -- Thailand

Fontinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (garlanding of fountains)

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
(Better take this matter up with Mother Nature directly, folks.)

International Skeptics Day

Modern Mythology Day

National Face Your Fears Day

National Police Day -- Thailand

National Yorkshire Pudding Day

St. Colman's Day

St. Edward the Confessor's Day

Tavistock Goosey Fair -- Tavistock, Devon, UK

Train Your Brain Day

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga. Tech), 1885

Birthdays Today:

Nancy Kerrigan, 1969
Kelly Preston, 1962
Jerry Rice, 1962
Marie Osmond, 1959
Chris Carter, 1957
Sammy Hagar, 1947
Paul Simon, 1941
Nan Mouskouri, 1934
Lenny Bruce, 1925
Margaret Thatcher, 1925
Nipsey Russell, 1924
Yves Montand, 1921
Cornel Wilde, 1915
L. L. Bean, 1872

Today in History:

Nero becomes emperor, 54
The Vandals and Alans cross the Pyrenees and appear in Hispania, 409
Rabbi Issac Abarbanel begins his exegesis on the Torah, 1483
Jonathan Swift publishes the last of Drapier's letters, 1724
Charles Messier discovers the Whirlpool Galaxy, 1773
First publication of the "Old Farmer's Almanac", 1792
George Washington lays the cornerstone of the "Executive Mansion" (White House), 1792
Founding of B'nai B'rith, 1843
The first arial photo taken in the US, from a balloon over Boston, 1860
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda & friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations, which begins the revival of it as an active and growing language, 1881
Greenwich, in London, England, is established as Universal Time meridian of longitude, 1884
Edward Emerson Barnard discovers D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14, 1892
Ankara replaces Istanbul as the capital of Turkey, 1923
Premier of "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie", 1947
Fiji joins the United Nations, 1970
The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, who was then working at the C.D.C, 1976
Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois, 1983

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

San Antonio Trip -- Gruene, Texas

BonBons had ended up needing to go home, so it was just me, Grace, CanDo, Ninja, Eagle, and Eagle's granddaughter Susan who ended up heading to Gruene (pronounced green).

We got on the interstate and took the exit, and promptly passed the turn off. We had gone a ways with Grace talking to me to keep me awake -- I was fearfully sleepy by this time -- when she realized we had probably gone to far. A call to her husband confirmed this, and, as she said, we had gotten lost or turned around so many times that the others were probably wondering when we were going to stop and head back the other way. We didn't disappoint them, and like ducks in a row pulled into and back out of a small subdivision, finally arriving at our destination with laughter at our direction "challengedness."

Gruene is a former small cotton town, that became something of a ghost town, and that is now famous as a tourist destination and for Gruene Hall, the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas. You are nobody in country music if you haven't played Gruene Hall, and it has been used in movies.

Many of the buildings are original from the late 1800's, repurposed as shops and eateries. The General Store is original, and the stuff in it was hilarious. I thought of buying the Poo-Poo paper, really made from the undigested grass of horse or elephant poop, for #2 Son, but realized he would want jerky more, and restrained myself.

The whole "town" -- it is actually not an independent town any more, but a part of New Braunfels -- is only about two blocks long, and we walked up one side and down the other, stopping where our fancy took us. Susan's fancy took us to the candy store, of course, and my favorite was the antique store.

We went to Gruene Hall, of course, and sat for a bit listening to the live music. Because I was so sleepy by that time, I sat at a table to the side and closed my eyes for a few minutes. Eventually Grace and I wandered outside to listen from the lawn, as I think she was trying to keep me awake again, and she tends to get tinnitus from too loud music after a while.

The pleasant afternoon ended too soon, and CanDo got on the road to head back home. The rest of us went back to Grace's, where there was leftover gumbo for dinner. Eagle and Susan went home early, as they had to consider school the next morning, Grace, Blossoming, Ninja and I sat and talked until way too late, not wanting the weekend to be over.

Today is:

Children's Day -- Brazil

Columbus Day -- Traditional Date

Cookbook Launch Day

Dia de la Raza -- Latin America (Day of the Race, or Day of the Natives)

Discoverer's Day -- Hawai'i

Farmer's Day -- Florida (Sometimes called Old Farmer's Day)

Fortuna Redux -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of successful journeys & safe returns)

Freethought Day -- celebration of the effective ending date of the Salem witch trials

Global Scream Day (30 second scream at 1200 hours GMT) a/k/a Moment of Frustration Day a/k/a International Moment of Frustration Scream Day (No matter what you call it, we all get a free yell at the universe for life's little frustrations.)

Hispanity Day -- Spain

Independence Day -- Equatorial Guinea

Mother's Day -- Malawi

National Bookkeeper's Day

Native American's Day -- often celebrated on both the observed and the traditional Columbus Day

Widecombe Fair -- Widecombe-in-the-Moor, UK

Birthdays Today:

Kirk Cameron, 1970
Hugh Jackman, 1968
Carlos Bernard, 1962
susan Anton, 1950
Chris Wallace, 1947
Luciano Pavarotti, 1935
Dick Gregory, 1932

Today in History:

The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon, BC539
King John of England loses his crown jewels in The Wash, 1216
Nichiren, Japanes Buddhist monk who founded Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon, 1279
Christopher Columbus' expdition makes landfall in the Bahamas, 1492
Massachusetts discontinues all witch trials, 1692
America's first asylum for "Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds" opens in Virginia, 1773
Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen; this celebration becomes the founding of the first Oktoberfest, 1810
Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat, 1821
President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House, 1901
An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children's Hospital, Boston, 1928
The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits, 1964
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published, 1979
The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip, 1979
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the People's Republic of China, 1986
NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus , 1994
The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born, 1999
The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 is launched, 2005