Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And While We Are At It: Merry Xmas

For those who wish to get cranky about it, the abbreviation XMAS is, in fact, based on the Greek letters called the Chi-Ro. They are the first letters in the Greek word Christ.

So no, i'm not being sacrilegious or putting the commercial ahead of the sacred by using it.

Okay, after yesterday and today, i think i'm through ranting for a while.

Today is:

*Bonifacio Day -- Philippines

*Cities for Life Day -- commemorates the abolition of the death penalty in many countries

*Clear Up The Clutter Day -- internet generated, and what!?! in one day!

*Computer Security Day -- International

*Feast of Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads -- Ancient Roman Calendar (also revered by the Greeks, Egyptians, and came from the Carians of the Bronze Age)

*Ham and Roast Beef Night -- internet generated, but a good idea for a make your own sandwich dinner

*Independence Day -- Barbados; South Yemen

*National Day -- Benin; Scotland

*National Meth Awareness Day

*National Mousse Day

*Perpetual Youth Day -- Dick Clark's birthday

*Regina Mundi Day -- South Africa

*Stay Home Because You're Well Day -- sponsored by the Wellness Permission League -- if you get in trouble with the boss, make sure they will take the fall!

*Saint Andrew the Apostle's Day (Patron of Scotland, Greece, Russia, golfers, fishermen, sailors, spinsters; against gout, neck problems)

*Thanksgiving Day -- Norfolk Island

*Whisp and Thread Fair -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today:

Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz, 1940

Birthdays Today:

Clay Aiken, 1978
Ben Stiller, 1965
Bo Jackson, 1962
Billy Idol, 1955
Shuggie Otis, 1953
Mandy Patinkin, 1952
David Mamet, 1947
Abbie Hoffman, 1936
G. Gordon Liddy, 1930
Dick Clark, 1929
Robert Guillaume, 1927
Richard Crenna, 1926
Shirley Chisholm, 1924
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 1923
Gordon Parks, 1912
Winston Churchill, 1874
L(ucy) M(aude) Montgomery, 1874 (Anne of Green Gables)
Mark Twain, 1835
Jonathan Swift, 1667

Today in History:

Amsterdam bans assembly of heretics, 1523
Death count by plague in Venice is officially set at 16,000, 1630
Beijing earthquake causes 100,000+ deaths, 1731
Britain signs agreement recognizing US independence, 1782
Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day, 1786
Spain cedes her claims to Louisiana Territory to France, 1803
First ground is broken at Allenburg for the building of the original Welland Canal, 1824
First Welland Canal opens for a trial run, 5 years to the day from the ground breaking, 1829
Work begins on the first US underwater highway tunnel, in Chicago, 1866
The first international soccer football game is held, in Glasgow; Scotland-England 0-0, 1872
The first commercially successful AC electric power plant opens, Buffalo, NY, 1886
A German engineer patents front-wheel drive for automobiles, 1900
American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor, 1902
Pike Place Market is dedicated in Seattle, Washington, 1907
The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London destroyed by fire, 1936
Baseball's Negro National League disbands, two years after major league baseball integrated, 1948
In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof and hits a woman taking an afternoon nap in the only documented case of a human being hit by a rock from space, 1954
Exxon and Mobil sign a $73.7 billion USD agreement to merge, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest company, 1998
Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah finally loses, leaving him with US$2,520,700, television's biggest game show winnings, 2004
John Sentamu becomes the first black archbishop in the Church of England with his enthronement as the 97th Archbishop of York, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



There, i said it.

Come on, "Merry Christmas Patrol," come and get me.

At this point, i dare you.

Holiday, for those of you who seem so put out about it, means "Holy Day." Yes, as in holy, set apart, separate.

Despite your nastiness about it, it means i'm wishing that you have a beautiful, happy, holy day. And i mean whatever day you consider holy.

For me, and supposedly for you, though i would never know you claim the Lord of Love as your God by the rude way you are talking to me, that means Christmas.

For others, whom i respect, care about, and even love, as my Lord taught me to, that might mean another day. So be it.

Guess what -- i'm going to say Happy Holidays, and you can just get over it.

It's not a pagan substitute for Merry Christmas that i'm using to try to drive religion out of everyday life.

It's what i choose to say, because i like the way it sounds, i like the fact that it means holy day, and i want all people, no matter their choice of religion or lack of it, to have a blessed and set apart day of their choice to celebrate with friends.

Whether you like it or not, i'm going to respect their right to pick their holiday, and my right to pick mine, and us be friends, maybe even exchange traditions.

Happy Holidays. Let's all learn to play nice, shall we? Especially at this time of year.

Today is:

*Fairy Flute Fantasy -- Fairy Calendar

*Festival of Saturnia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (for the Sons of Saturn; Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto)

*International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People -- UN

*Liberation Day -- Albania

*National Chocolates Day

*National Lemon Creme Pie Day

*National Unity Day -- Vanuatu

*St. Cuthbert Mayne's Day

*St. Saturnius' Day

*Square Dance Day -- internet generated, and fun to do

*Throw Out Your Leftovers Day -- if you've had it since Thanksgiving, and haven't frozen it or eaten it yet, get rid of it

*William Tubman's Birthday -- Liberia (it's longest serving President)

Anniversaries Today:

Erwin Rommel marries Lucie "Lu" Mollin, 1916

Birthdays Today:

Jon Knight, 1968
Kim Delaney, 1961
Cathy Moriarty, 1960
Jeff Fahey, 1956
Howie Mandel, 1955
Garry Shandling, 1949
Petra Kelly, 1947
Chuck Mangione, 1940
Peter Bergman, 1939
John Mayall, 1933
Diane Ladd, 1932
Vin Scully, 1927
Madeline L'Engle, 1918
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., 1908
C.S. Lewis, 1898
Busby Berkeley, 1895
Louisa May Alcott, 1832
Christian Doppler, 1803

Today in History:

Jews of Augsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349 (Sometimes, it seems, the more things change...)
King Philip II devalues Spanish currency, 1596 (See above...)
Sir James Jay invents invisible ink, 1775
San Jose, California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, 1777
Dessalines & Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent, 1803
First Italian opera in US, "Barber of Seville" premieres (NYC), 1825
Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph, 1877
The first motorcycle race ever is held in Surrey, England; the distance was one mile and the winner was Charles Jarrot in a time of 2 minutes, 8 seconds, 1897
The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest Sirrine. 1910
Fire destroys most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California, 1915
Howard Carter opens the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public, 1922
Richard Byrd becomes the first person to fly over the South Pole, 1929
The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, 1944
The United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Palestine, 1947
Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space, orbits earth twice, and is successfully recovered after splashdown, 1961
Canadian Space Agency launches the satellite Alouette 2, 1965
Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California, 1972
The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution stating that Soviet Union forces should withdraw from Afghanistan, 1983
The United Nations Security Council passes two resolutions to restore international peace and security if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by the following January 15, 1990
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurs off the northern coast of Martinique, 2007

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hard to Sell

They really should be more careful if they want me to buy.

Internet advertisers, that is.

Anyone who has been on the internet for more than five minutes has seen the ads about how a person who lives withing shouting distance of you has discovered the-secret-to-weight-loss-docs-don't-want-you-to-know/the-secret-to-curing-wrinkles-your-doc-doesn't-want-you-to-know/the-car-insurance-trick-your-agent-doesn't-want-you-to-know.

Well, if they want me to bite, they need to watch better how the ad appears on my end.

When it says "A Lady in {Region} Has the Secret", they missed the target. By a mile.

Sorry, guys, i'm going to be hard to sell if you can't even figure out what {Region} i'm in.

Today is:

*Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha -- Baha'i

*Cyber Monday

*Feast of Hathor and Sekhmet -- Ancient Egyptial Calendar

*Feast of the Holy Sovereigns -- Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii (in honor of King Kamehama IV and Queen Emma, the founders of the Anglican Church of Hawaii

*Independence Day -- Albania; Mauritania; Panama

*Make Your Own Head Day -- meaning an art project model or drawing, in any medium; have fun with this one!

*National French Toast Day

*Red Planet Day -- on the anniversary of the 1964 liftoff of Mariner 4, the first successful mission to Mars

*Republic Day -- Burundi; Chad

*Royal Society Day -- one of the world's oldest scientific academies, established this day in 1660

*Runic Half Month of Is begins (stasis)

*Saint Catherine Laboure's Day -- promulgator of the Miraculous Medal

*St. Stephen the Younger's Day` (Patron of coin collectors, numismatists, smelters)

*Zibelemarit -- Bern, Switzerland (Onion Market Festival)

Birthdays Today:

Jon Stewart, 1962
Judd Nelson, 1959
Ed Harris, 1950
Alexander Godunov, 1949
Paul Shaffer, 1949
Joe Dante, 1946
Randy Newman, 1943
Berry Gordy, Jr., 1929
Brooks Atkinson, 1894
William Blake, 1757
John Bunyan, 1628

Today in History:

Skanderbeg and his forces liberate Kruja in Middle Albania and raise the Albanian flag, 1443
Ferdinand Magellan and his men become the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic into the Pacific Ocean, 1520
The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience, 1814
Ka Lahui: Hawaiian Independence Day - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation, 1843
Women vote in a national election for the first time in the New Zealand general election, 1893
US-born Lady Astor becomes the first female member of British Parliament, 1919
Capt Cyril Turner of the RAF gives 1st skywriting exhibition in NYC; Turner spelled out "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200." 47,000 called, 1922
"Hopalong Cassidy" premieres on TV, 1948
The first Polaroid Camera is sold, 1948
Chad, the Republic of the Congo, and Gabon become autonomous republics within the French Community, 1958
The first pulsar star is discovered by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish, 1968
Norway votes against joining the European Union, 1994

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yep. Me, Too

The other day, the talk turned to coffee, as it often does around here.

Sweetie noted that it is almost a religion in this region -- it's not called Baptist Whiskey for nothing -- and i said of course it's a religion, just like politics is a spectator sport around here.

A visiting friend asked how i drink mine, and i told her i drink it as the Good Lord intended, black as the swamp mud, and hot as the bayou in July.

Then Bigger Girl piped up with the best contribution to the conversation.

"If coffee were an illegal drug," she noted, "I'd never piss clean and I wouldn't care!"

Yep. Me, too.

Today is:

*Anniversary of Cerro de Pasco -- Peru (founding of the city and its silver mine)

*Banquet for Monkeys / Monkey Buffet Festival -- Khmer Ruins of Lop Buri, Thailand (600 monkeys are served lunch!)

*Bargle Day -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy day with no human equivalent)

*Electric Guitar Day -- internet generated, probably started by gearheads

*Feast of Ullr and Skadi -- Asatru (Norse and Germanic Pagans; celebrating craftsmen)

*First Sunday of Advent -- Christian

*Freckle Pride Day -- show your spots, you are beautiful!

*Get the Giggles and Give One Away Day -- internet generated, and great if your a preteen girl

*Lancashire Day -- Lancashire, England (celebrating their first elected representative in Parliament in 1295)

*Maaveerar Day -- Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka

*Midwinter Horn Blowing -- rural Netherlands (folkloric custom announcing the birth of Jesus, celebrated through Epiphany)

*National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

*Pie in the Face Day -- internet generated, and supposed to be a virtual one, so no mess to clean

*Pins and Needles Day -- celebrating the 1937 opening of the Pins and Needles Music Revue

*St. Finnian of Moville's Day (Patron of Ulster, Ireland)

Anniversaries Today:

William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway, 1582

Birthdays Today:

Jaleel White, 1976
Brooke Langton, 1970
Robin Givens, 1964
Caroline Kennedy, 1957
Rick Rockwell, 1956
Jimi Hendrix, 1942
Eddie Rabbit, 1941
Bruce Lee, 1940
"Buffalo" Bob Smith, 1917
Chick Hearn, 1916
James Agee, 1909
L. Sprague de Camp, 1907
Forrest Shaklee, 1894
Anders Celcius, 1701
Emperor Xiaozong of China, 1127

Today in History:

The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament", 1295
The first Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703
The Portuguese Royal Family leaves Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops, 1807
Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, 1815
NY Times dubs baseball "The National Game", 1870
Alfred Nobel establishes the Nobel Prize, 1895
In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held, 1924
The Soviet space program's Mars 2 orbiter releases a descent module; it crashes, but still becomes the first man-made object to be on Mars, 1971
The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history, 1999
A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet, 2001
The Canadian House of Commons endorses Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada, 2006

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sugar Love

Our next door neighbors have a new dog.

She is a Basenji mix names Sugar.

She and Hazelnut are now BFFs, or whatever the current acronym is that describes the friend you spend lots of time with. So when the neighbors had to go out of town overnight, and we had to dog sit, Hazelnut was beside herself with joy.

The Cats were not. Kida the Mosquito, the cranky, asthmatic Siamese, said it all, with her tail. "Another One!" her tail language screamed, as she growled to make sure the enemy, who might not speak cat tail, would understand. "How could you!"

Hope, HiHi, and Girlie just avoided Sugar, but Badlands Blackie really put his 'tude on. He knew that Sugar was a bit intimidated by all the cats, and she really didn't want to walk past them much. Well, you can't blame her, with all the growling and hissing that was going on. So he kept chasing her downstairs, then laying across the top step to make sure she stayed down there!

It was actually kind of funny, but after we rescued her from down there a couple of times we brought her into the kitchen to stay nearer Hazelnut and the kittens. She liked the kittens.

So we have a neighbor dog that is friendly, and just right for a Hazelnut companion. That's the kind of Sugar that is good for you.

Today is:

Canadian Aboriginal Festival -- Toronto, Canada

Day of the Covenant -- Baha'i

Day of the Tan-Wallopers -- Fairy Calendar

Good Grief Day (in honor of Charles Schultz)

Guadelajara International Book Fair -- Guadelajara, Mexico (through Dec. 4; Latin America's largest book fair)

Hijra -- Islam

Holodomor Remembrance Day -- Ukraine

Independence Day -- Mongolia

National Cake Day

Ngan Girra Festival -- Albury area, NSW, Australia (Bogong Moth Festival, now an indigenous cultural showcase; date approximate)

Sojourner Truth Day -- died this day in 1883

St. John Berchmans' Day (Patron of alter servers)

St. Siricius' Day

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Notre Dame, 1842
Founding of Sigma Alpha Mu in the City College of New York, by 8 Jewish young men, 1909

Birthdays Today:

Natasha Bedingfield, 1981
Tina Turner, 1939
Rich Little, 1938
Robert Goulet, 1933
Charles Schultz, 1922
Eugene Ionesco, 1912
Eric Sevareid, 1912
John Harvard, 1607
Emperor Go-Daigo of Japan, 1288

Today in History:

The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed, BC43
Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time, 1476
The first lion exhibited in the US makes his debut in Boston, 1716
Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui, 1778
The Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the United States established, 1784
The first national US Thanksgiving is celebrated, 1789
The first streetcar railway in the US begins operation in NYC, fare 12 cents, 1832
The refrigerated railway car is patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, 1867
The first photograph of a meteor is taken, 1885
The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams, 1917
King Tut's tomb is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter, 1922
Four young lads from Liverpool have their first recording session under the interesting name "The Beatles", 1962
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's parliament, 1998
Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England, 2003
A male Po'ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) dies of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct, 2004

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gratitude Week -- Friday

It is Frenzy of Acquisition Day, a/k/a Black Friday, in the books of so many people.

On this day, i'm grateful for what i already have. It is enough.

Enjoy Buy Nothing Day with me, if you wish. It's freeing, i promise.

Today is:

Anniversary of Moquegua -- Peru

Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day (I will observe the latter)

Cat-Nipping Convention -- Fairy Calendar

ClauWau-Santa Claus World Championship -- Samnaun, Switzerland (through the 27th; compete in such things as the chimney climb with toys and the sledge race with timed gift giving to be crowned the world champion Santa)

Day Sacred to Proserpina -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Evacuation Day -- 19th Century New York City

Family Day -- Nevada, US

Hari Guru -- Indonesia (Teacher's Day)

Independence Day -- Suriname

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Maize Day -- US; celebrating the First Nations of the Americas and the role maize/corn played in their cultures

Mangé Yam -- Haiti (fete de la moisson; a yam harvest festival)

National Day -- Bosnia and Herzegovina

National Day of Listening -- encouraging you to record your family stories for future generations

National Don't Utter A Word Day -- internet generated, and variously listed as the 25th of November, February, or May; pick one if you want

National Flossing Day -- only floss the teeth you want to keep!

National Parfait Day

Native American Heritage Day -- US

Saint Catherine of Alexandria's Day -- of the Catherine Wheel, sometimes associated with the Wheel of Karma and the Hindu Kali; one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Patron of apologists, archivists, attorneys, barristers, craftsmen who work with wheels of any sort, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife grinders and sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, old maids, philosophers, potters, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinners, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, turners, University of Paris, unmarried girls, and wheelwrights)

Shopping Reminder Day -- exactly a month until Christmas

Sinkie Day -- the day to eat over the sink (celebrated by some on Nov. 24 annually, by others, it varies and is the day after Thanksgiving, with leftovers as the stars of the show; a third group asks what's to celebrate, where else would you eat?)

Vajiravudh Day -- Thailand

Windmill Blessing Day -- Holland (millers bless their windmills by throwing a handful of flour into the wind as an offering to the mischievous windmill spirits)

Women's Merrymaking Day -- Women go 'Cath'rining' and have a good time (in some places, especially France, women may propose marriage on this day)

You're Welcome Day -- the day after Thanksgiving, started by someone who obviously had a sense of humor

Birthdays Today:

Barbara and Jenna Bush, 1981
Donovan McNabb, 1976
Christina Applegate, 1971
Jill Hennessy, 1968
Amy Grant, 1960
John F. Kennedy, Jr., 1960
John Larroquette, 1947
Paul Desmond, 1924
Ricardo Montalban, 1920
Joe DiMaggio, 1914
Solanus Casey, 1870
Carry Nation, 1846
Karl F. Benz, 1844
Andrew Carnegie, 1835

Today in History:

A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastates Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places, 1343
The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins, 1491
A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha, in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people, 1667
The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reaches its peak intensity which it maintains through November 27. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died, 1703
First English patent granted to an American, for processing corn, 1715
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is founded, 1758
Farmer's Almanac first published, 1792
The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy, 1826
A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (never to be entirely rebuilt again); the storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster, 1839
Alfred Nobel patents dynamite, 1867
John B Meyenberg of St Louis patents evaporated milk, 1884
American College of Surgeons incorporates in Springield, Illinois, 1912
First Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in Philadelphia, 1920
690 earthquake shocks recorded in 1 day in Ito, Japan, 1930
The first Soviet liquid fuel rocket attains altitude of 261' (80m), 1933
Woody Woodpecker debuts with release of Walter Lantz's "Knock Knock", 1940
New Zealand ratifies the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom, 1947
Agatha Christie's murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history, 1952
The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroys an entire city block, 1982
The United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic, 1999
Powerful storm brings 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sparking terrible floods, 2009

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude Week -- Thursday

It's Thanksgiving Day in the US, and i'm grateful that, as a country, we still see the importance in being thankful for all we have.

So often, we forget. We need the reminder.

Even if the Grinches (retail establishments) have been trying to skim us past it and into a "gimme" season.

No matter what i get or don't get in the future, i'm thankful for my many blessings, especially the whole family being together for the first time in a few years.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today.

For those who aren't, follows the usual slew of other fun and funny things to celebrate from around the world.

Today is:

Brumalia -- Byzantine Empire celebration of Dyonisus and New Wine Festival; until the solstice

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

Celtic Tree Month Ruish (Elder) begins

D.B. Cooper Day

Discovery Day -- Tasmania

Evolution Day -- On the Origin of Species published this day in 1859

Feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam -- Roman Catholic Church

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom - Sikh

Hopi and Zuni Shalako Festival -- Hopi and Zuni Native Americans (through Dec. 7; welcoming back the Kachinas and Kokos -- Spirits of Nature and ancestors)

Lachit Divas -- Assam, India

National Sardines Day -- wonder how this would go over next to the turkey today?

Persephone Day (a/k/a Kore -- Ancient Greek Calendar (celebration of her as goddess of the underworld; date approximate)

St. Joachim Ho's Day -- a Martyr of China

St. Mary of Cordoba's Day (Patron of martyrs)

Teacher's Day -- Turkey

Thanksgiving Day -- US, Interfaith

Third Bash of the Tree-Toppers -- Fairy Calendar (fairy creatures who don't believe in "one" or "two", so start counting at three)

Turkey-Free Thanksgiving -- sponsored by the Vegetarian Awareness Network

Use Even If Seal is Broken Day -- internet generated; observe at your own risk, always!

Birthdays Today:

Katherine Heigl, 1978
William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925
Charles "Lucky" Luciano, 1897
Dale Carnegie, 1888
Scott Joplin, 1868
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864
Bat Masterson, 1853
Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1849
Bram Stoker, 1847
Zachary Taylor, 1784
Charles Theodore Pachelbel, 1690

Today in History:

Theodosius I makes his formal entry into Constantinople, 380
Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes his Talmudic dictionary, 1105
The Thames River freezes, 1434
First observation of transit of Venus occurred (only 2, record event), 1639
Abel Janzoon Tasman becomes the first European to see Van Damien's Land, later renamed Tasmania, 1642
First Lutheran pastor ordained in America, Justus Falckner at Philadelphia, 1703
Mt. Vesuvius erupts, 1759
Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species", 1859
Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens, 1861
Joseph F Glidden patents his improved barbed wire, 1874
The first US absentee voting law enacted by Vermont, 1896
Clyde Coleman of NYC patents automobile electric starter, 1903
Radio Belgium makes its first transmission, 1923
The first woman pilot on a transcontinental air flight, Miss Ruth Nichols (Mineola, NY to Calif), in a Lockheed-Vega, took 7 days, 1930
In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens, 1932
Lee Harvey Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby, 1963
During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again, 1971
A national speed limit is imposed on the Autobahn in Germany due to the 1973 oil crisis; it lasts only four months, 1973
The communist party resigns in Czechoslovakia, 1989
By a margin of only 50.28% t 49.72%, Ireland votes to end the 70 year old ban on divorce, 1995

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude Week -- Wednesday

Today, i am more grateful that i can say for my Sweetie.

Yes, we've had our moments. No, we, and our relationship are far from perfect.

This past Monday, a friend i hadn't seen in a while, was murdered by her husband, who then killed himself.

They had 4 sons, early teens to early 20's.

He had always been abusive, although he usually managed to keep it hidden from church people. It came out in streaks or small things, though, and i always thought he was a jerk with a temper problem and wondered how such a sweet, lovely woman as she was had ended up with him.

My husband may not be the absolute best person on the planet, but neither am i, for certain. He would never raise a hand against me or the children. He is a good man, and i am thankful for all he has done for us, faithfully working even when it's hard, and loving us even when we don't always behave in a very lovable way.

Thank you, Sweetie, for being you.

Today is:

Can You Find Your Old Rubik's Cube and Still Work It Day -- internet generated, and why would you bother?

Dr. Who Day -- the show premiered today in 1963

Eat A Cranberry Day -- just to see why you add sugar, i guess

Feast of Qawl -- Baha'i

Fibonacci Day -- celebrating the mathematical Fibonacci Series

Hadakambo Festival -- Hofu, Japan (men dressed only in loincloths brave the cold carrying floats to the shrine)

Kinro Kansha no Hi -- Japan (Labour Day Thanksgiving, when people express gratitude to each other for their work through the year)

National Cashew Day -- some sites list it on the 22nd, i'm celebrating both as i love cashews

National Espresso Day

National Family Caregivers' Day -- US

Repudiation Day -- Maryland, US

Rudolf Maister Day -- Slovenia

Scottish International Badnimton Championship -- Glasgow, Scotland (through the 27th)

St. Clement's Day (Patron of blacksmiths, hatters, stonecutters, tanners; inventor of felt)

St. Columban's Day (Patron against depression, floods)

St. Felicity's Day

St. George's Day (Patron of Georgia, where this is the national holiday of Giorgoba)

Tie One On Day -- an apron! on US Thanksgiving eve, write a note of encouragement or prayer, tuck it in the pocket of an apron, and wrap the apron around a good home or bakery made loaf of bread, then deliver it to someone who needs a kind gesture

Birthdays Today:

Miley Cyrus, 1992
Salli Richardson, 1967
Bruce Hornsby, 1954
Johnny Mandel, 1925
Harpo Marx, 1888
Boris Karloff, 1887
Billy the Kidd (William H. Bonney), 1859
Franklin Pierce, 1804

Today in History:

Thespis of Icaria becomes the first actor to portray a character onstage, BC534
Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III, 800
Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1248
Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published, 1644
People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England's Stamp tax, 1765
Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine, 1835
Patent granted for a process of making color photographs, 1863
The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, 1889
King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir, 1890
Andrew J Beard invents "jerry coupler," to connect railroad cars, 1897
Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love, 1897
Enrico Caruso makes his US debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, NY in "Rigoletto", 1903
Wright Brothers forms million dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes, 1909
Life Magazine publishes its first issue, 1936
The Cocos Islands are transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia, 1955
The BBC broadcasts the first ever episode of Doctor Who (starring William Hartnell) which is the world's longest running science fiction drama, 1963
Representatives of the People's Republic of China attend the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, for the first time, 1971
A series of earthquakes in southern Italy kills approximately 4,800 people, 1980
The first all woman expedition to the south pole (3 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 Russians), sets off from Antarctica on the 1st leg of a 70 day, 1287 kilometre ski trek, 1990
Convention on Cybercrime is signed in Budapest, Hungary, 2001
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is elected president of Liberia and becomes the first woman to lead an African country, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude Week -- Tuesday

It's Tuesday, that means i'm grateful for the Sunday paper.

Yes, really.

By the time everyone else in the house gets through with it, it's Tuesday before i get it. Which is fine by me, by that time, i don't have to worry who needs it next.

Which is a roundabout way of saying i'm also thankful for freedom of the press.

After all, in some parts of the world, the only news you get is what someone in "authority" wants you to get.

Here, i can take my pick.

And comic strips. Frivolous, but i still like them, and i'm glad for them.

Today is:

Day of the Albanian Alphabet -- Albania and ethnic Albanians

Dispute-Settling Assizes -- Fairy Calendar (no, they won't tell us what kind of disputes)

Go for a Ride Day -- internet generated; during the crazy holiday season, go out for a relaxing sleigh ride or something

Independence Day -- Lebanon

National Cashew Day -- some sites have this on the 23rd, i celebrate both as i love cashews

National Day -- Oman (observed)

National Stop the Violence Day -- a call by US radio and TV stations for a cease fire on American streets

Start Your Own Country Day -- internet generated, and why not, it sounds like fun

St. Cecilia's Day (Patron of music, composers, musicians)

St. George's Day (Patron of Georgia, where this is a national holiday)

Sts. Philemon and Appia's Day

Ydalir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (Celebration of the wintertime god of skiing and archery, Ullr; date approximate)

Birthdays Today:

Scarlett Johansson, 1984
Scott Robinson, 1979
Mariel Hemingway, 1961
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1958
Billie Jean King, 1943
Robert Vaughn, 1932
Rodney Dangerfield, 1921
Benjamin Britten, 1913
Hoagy Carmichael, 1899
Wiley Post, 1898
Charles de Gaulle, 1890
George Eliot (Mary A. Evans), 1819
Abigail Adams, 1744

Today in History:

The first Duke of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon, 845
Spain delegates "New Laws" against slavery in America, 1542
Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island, 1635
Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, 1718
Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen, 1809
Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain, 1837
In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day, 1869
Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia, 1886
The Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet, 1908
1st snowmobile patent granted to Carl Eliason of Sayner Wisconsin, 1927
The premier performance of Ravel's Boléro takes place in Paris, 1928
Gasoline pump patented that computes quantity & price delivered, 1932
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" first heard on Eddie Cantor's show, 1934
The Humane Society of the United States is founded, 1954
US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963
The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status, 1974
Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco, 1975
In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed, 1988
Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery, 1995
Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude Week -- Monday

Seeing that it is Thanksgiving Week here, and seeing that i'm one of the people talking about how thankfulness and gratitude need to come before the upcoming holiday season, i'm going to spend a couple of days talking about things i'm grateful for.

Today, i'm grateful to live in a country where there is freedom of religion.

Yesterday we got to attend a wonderful church service. We didn't have to sneak over to someone's home or secret meeting place to do it. Instead we got to drive over, and Sweetie was even able to help a friend there jump off his car (another thing to be grateful for, good jumper cables -- investing in a great pair several years ago has come in handy more than once).

While there, we sat in a clean, comfortable sanctuary in nice seats, not on a dirt floor in a hut, or huddled up in a semi-dark room hoping no one knew what we were doing.

After the service, we drank good coffee and chatted with friends, instead of having to sneak away carefully, and we got to talk over what we had learned openly, not having to hide the fact that we had been there.

Also, i'm grateful i got to attend the service of my choice, as did anyone else in this country, and that those who choose not to attend any at all don't have to, and we can still all be friends.

Today, i'm praying for people who don't have these freedoms.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Bangladesh

Canadian Western Agribition -- IPSCO Place, Regina, SK, Canada (Canada's premier agriculture showcase; through the 26th)

False Confessions Day -- internet generated, and not for the faint of heart

Feast day of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin -- Catholic Christian

Festival of Madonna della Salute -- Venice, Italy

Furniture Memory Day -- an internet generated test of your memory; see if you remember where you got each piece of furniture you own, and how much it cost

Gerard d'Aboville Day -- marking the day, in 1991, he arrived in Ilwaco, WA, US, after departing Japan 4 months earlier in a rowboat!

Gingerbread Day

National Military Families Recognition Day -- US (by Presidential Proclamation in 1993)

National Stuffing Day -- various dates given on many sites, so if you enjoy stuffing, celebrate them all

No Music Day -- for the explanation

Our Lady Halfsower/ Our Lady Manysower -- Greece (a good Greek farmer has half of his field sown by the Feast of Presentation.)

Revolution Day -- Mexico (observed)

St. Gelasius' Day

Ugly Day -- Fairy Calendar

World Hello Day -- unofficial but fun

World Television Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 12 US State, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Ken Griffey, Jr., 1969
Troy Aikman, 1966
Bjork, 1965
Cherry Jones, 1956
Goldie Hawn, 1945
Harold Ramis, 1944
Tweety Bird, 1942
Juliet Mills, 1941
Marlo Thomas, 1938
Joseph Campanella, 1927
Stan Musial, 1920
Coleman Hawkins, 1904
Rene Magritte, 1898
Hetty Green, 1834
William Beaumont, 1785
Voltaire, 1694

Today in History:

Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem; this is the event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah, BC164
The Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reach what is now called Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, and sign the Mayflower Compact, 1620
Richard Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Virginia, 1654
In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight, 1783
Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic, 1791
First Jewish Reform congregation in US forms, Charleston, SC, 1824
Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter, 1871
Tom Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), 1877
Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator, 1922
First commercial crossing of Pacific by plane (China Clipper), 1935
The Alcan Highway is completed, 1942*
The British Natural History Museum announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull is a hoax, 1953
The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI, 1969
The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995
NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members, 2002

*Not opened to general vehicular traffic until the next year

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The kids are off of school for the coming week, and so everyone's schedule will be all catawumpus.

That's okay, no commuting. Just the long drive to see Grandma and Grandpa on Thanksgiving.

Maybe i can get most of the backlog of paperwork sorted out through the week. Then again, maybe i'll just slam my hand in the door repeatedly, that would be more fun.

This first-cousin-to-a-Luddite was resigned to the idea of at least some of these gizmos and gadgets because they were supposed to give us a paperless society.

Humph. One of the best things about heaven will be no paperwork. Wonder what the Pastor would say to that.

Today is:

Absurdity Day -- an internet generated absurd holiday

Africa Industrialization Day -- UN

Air Your Dirty Laundry Day -- internet generated, and be careful with this one!

Alascattalo Day -- Anchorage, AK, US (a salute to Alaskan humor; the longest running, shortest parade in the world, in honor of the "alascattalo", a cross between a moose and a walrus. Held in the alley behind Club Paris from 12:03 to 12:07 pm, a prize is given to the smallest and ugliest float -- yes, it must be both small and ugly. An anonymous queen will be crowned, if she has the bad sense to show up.)

Beautiful Day -- Fairy Calendar

Child Day -- Canada

Children's Day -- Egypt; Pakistan

Clean the Cat Hair Out of the Vacuum Cleaner Day -- internet generated, and always tops on my chore list

Day of Sekhmet and the Purifying Flame -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Day of National Sovereignty -- Argentina

Dia da Consciencia Negra -- Brazil (Black Consciousness Day)

Feast of Christ the King -- Roman Catholic Church

Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day aka G.O.H.A.R.D

Learn When to Start Thawing the Turkey Day -- US

Mother Goose Parade Day -- San Diego, CA, US

Name Your PC Day -- mine is Ol' Bessy, a/k/a Old Unreliable

National Day -- Myanmar

National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Praetextatus and Paulina's Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Guardians of the Eleusinian Mysteries; date approximate)

Revolution Day -- Mexico (traditional)

St. Edmund the Martyr's Day (Patron against plagues)

Teacher's Day -- Vietnam

Totensonntag -- Germany (Protestant Church remembrance of the dead)

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Universal Children's Day -- International

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Zumbi Day -- Brazil

Anniversaries Today:

The Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London, 1947

Birthdays Today:

Bo Derek, 1956
Duane Allman, 1946
Veronica Hamal, 1943
Joe Biden, 1942
Dick Smothers, 1939
Richard Dawson, 1932
Estelle Parsons, 1927
Kaye Ballard, 1926
Robert F. Kennedy, 1925
Alistair Cooke, 1908
Edwin Hubble, 1889
Susanna Wesley, 1669 (mother of John, Charles, and 17 other children)
Peregrine White, 1620 (born on the Mayflower)
Maximinus, Roman Emperor, 270

Today in History:

Bögü, Khan of the Uyghurs, conquers Lo-Yang, capital of the Chinese Empire, 762
Zumbi, the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares of Brazil, is executed, 1695
New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the US Bill of Rights, 1789
Curacao's government forbids slave work on Sunday, 1795
Howard University is founded in Washington, D.C., 1866
US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports, 1914
1st municipally owned airport in US opens, in Tucson Az, 1919
In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation, 1962
The SETI Institute is founded, 1984
Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released, 1985
The number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million, 1989
In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage, 1992
The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched, 1998

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hmm, That Could Be the Problem

Sweetie has been trying to drop a few pounds.

Now, considering that we've been married over 26 years, that's probably typical. After all, even though i'm thin now, after the kids i don't look the same as i did when i got married.

He is built exactly like his father, who put on 40 pounds in the 20 years after age 40, and then never really lost it, nor did he gain more. In fact, the last 17 years of his life, his weight stayed just the same, no matter how much or little he ate.

Sweetie, his father's spitting image, is on track to do the same, and he doesn't like it.

He grew up skinny. As in, 149lbs. at 6'2" skinny. And he grew up in a farming community, where in the summers he would spend from 7am to 9pm in the hay fields, throwing 100lb. bales of hay all day long.

So he grew up eating. Not only could his mother never keep him full, he and his twin brother were known throughout the community for being skinny dudes who had voracious appetites. Some days, after the aforementioned work in the hay fields, they would come home and split a whole loaf of bread and gallon of milk between the two of them, as well as eating all of whatever their mother had fixed for dinner.

Thus while his current work does require that he do some lifting and moving and carrying, he does not burn the number of calories he did when a teen. Nor does he have a teen's metabolism any more.

Now, he wants to reverse the trend of the last few years, and drop some of what he has gained. He's not obese by any means, but if he lost 25-30, he would feel better about himself. As for me, i don't care, i married him for him, not how much he weighs. He is welcome to drop a few if that would make him happy.

And he's been trying, for several months now, but without much success, which has disappointed him.

He started out by taking smaller servings of things like rice and potatoes, or skipping them altogether. He also claims he is eating less, although i haven't noticed it, but with all the appetites around here, he very well could be, and everyone else is just picking up the slack.

He says he's not losing, or not losing very fast.
He's always been one to doctor up his food a little, add a bit more butter, get another bit of mayo for the sandwich, melt a little extra bacon grease into his portion of something, and i began watching to see if i could spot the problem.

Then, last night, #2 Son wanted to cook some steaks Grandpa had brought us for dinner. When he started the steaks, i started fixing a few things for sides. Sweetie decided he wanted green peas, which no one else did. When i went to get peas from the pantry, he said he would fix them himself, since he was going to be the one to eat them.

Surreptitiously watching him, i saw him open the can, drain out the water, pour the peas in a pan, mash a few of them with a fork, and then add, not a pat or two, but an entire half a stick of butter.


That could be the problem.

Today is:

Alligator Wrestling Day -- internet generated, and i wonder if a cat that doesn't want its meds counts?

Discovery Day -- Puerto Rico

Equal Opportunity Day / Dedication Day -- anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

Family Volunteer Day -- to get families working together to better their communities and the world

Flag Day -- Brazil

Garifuna Day/ Carib Settlement Day -- Belize

"Have a Bad Day" Day -- for the hidden, or not so hidden, grouch in all of us

Herring Festival -- Etaples, France

International Men's Day -- Australia; Canada; Ghana; Hungary; India; Ireland; Jamaica; Malta; Singapore; South Africa; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States

Kalamazoo Russian Festival -- Kalamazoo, MI, US

Liberation Day -- Mali

Natchitoches Festival of Lights -- Natchitoches, LA, US (over 350,000 lights go on every night from now until Jan, 6, with carolers on Friday and Saturday evenings downtown, festivals and events every weekend; come celebrate the season in the Oldest Settlement in the Louisiana Purchase)

National Adoption Day -- US (encouraging us to find a home for every child)

National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

National Holiday -- Monaco

National Survivors of Suicide Day -- US

Please Maintain Your Focus Today Day -- internet generated, but a good idea

Rally of the Tall Pines -- Bancroft, ON, Canada (an event on the Canadian Rally Car Race Circuit; through the 21st)

Ranch Hand Breakfast -- King Ranch, Kingsville, TX, US (a real ranch hand meal, cooked and served outdoors, on a working cattle ranch where you can watch cowboys round up longhorns)

Remembrance Day -- Gettysburg, PA, US (in conjunction with the Gettysburg Address Anniversary)

St. Mechtilde's Day

St. Nerses' Day

St. Obadiah's Day

Surin Elephant Round-Up -- Surin, Thailand (through tomorrow; includes elephant football!)

"What Ever Happened to Gary Pucket?" Day -- internet generated, and a fun question to research

World Toilet Day -- sponsored by the World Toilet Organization (yes, really)

Birthdays Today:

McCaughey Septuplets, 1997
Kerri Strug, 1977
Jodie Foster, 1962
Meg Ryan, 1961
Calvin Klein, 1942
Ted Turner, 1938
Dick Cavett, 1936
Larry King, 1933
Indira Gandhi, 1917
Tommy Dorsey, 1905
James Garfield, 1831

Today in History:

The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, begins, 1095
Rabbi Isaiah b Abraham aha-Levi Horowitz arrives in Isreal, 1621
The Jakobinen club forms in Paris, 1794
The Jay Treaty, the first US extradition treaty, is signed with Great Britain, 1794
Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the continent, 1805
Warsaw University is established, 1816
The St. Petersburg flood, caused by storms, kills 10,000, 1824
The second Canadian railway line, the Montreal and Lachine Railway, is opened, 1847
Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, 1863
Boss Tweed is convicted, sentenced to 12 years, 1874
Carrie Nation attempts to address the US Senate, 1903
NY receives the first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy, 1911
Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures (anybody want to guess what this eventually became?), 1916
The first issue of Time Magazine is published, with Emperor Hirohito on the cover, 1928
Télé Monte Carlo, Europe's oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III, 1954
The first automatic toll collection machine is introduced on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway, 1954
Ford cancels the Edsel, 1959
Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon, 1960
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement, 1977
Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrives in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire, 1996
Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $71.5 million USD, 1998
The People's Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft, 1999

Friday, November 18, 2011

Passing Conversation

Sweetie noticed someone at his work today with a shirt that had the logo of the pizza chain #1 Son works for. He walked up and asked the man if he worked with the chain.

Turns out it was Ryan, the franchise owner. So Sweetie asked him if he knew #1 Son, just to see what he would say.

Ryan proceeded to praise #1 Son greatly, talking about how he has no trouble turning a store over to him, how he is one of the best and hardest working young men he'd ever seen, as well as the best he's hired.

Sweetie then told Ryan who he was, and thanked him for all he's done for #1 Son.

We knew he was a good kid, and it's nice to have it confirmed.

Today is:

Calvin and Hobbes Day -- comic strip launched in 1985, with Calvin catching Hobbes in a home made tiger trap baited with a tuna fish sandwich

Children in Need Day -- UK and Ireland (telethon begins)

Day of Ardvi Sura (Aredvi Sura Anahita), Mother of the Stars -- Ancient Persian Calendar (date approximate)

Ebisu-san Matsuri, Ebisu Shrine -- Hiroshima City, Japan (festival of the god of commerce; through the 20th)

Elephant Round-Up -- Surin, Thailand (through the 20th; more entertainment than rounding up these days)

Feast of the Virgen de Chiquinquirá -- Maracaibo, Venezuela

Independence Day -- Moracco; Western Saraha

Makahiki Festival -- Big Island, Hawai'i (through tomorrow; Celebration of Life, based on the native precontact 4 month celebration)

Married to a Scorpio Support Day -- remembering those married to Scorpios and suffering because of it, and encouraging them too hide the flow charts and assert themselves today

National Day -- Oman

National French Vichyssoise Day

Ned Ludd Memorial Machine-Smashing Day -- internet generated, but enjoy! i know i will

Pushkar Camel Fair -- Pushkar, India (through the 27th; lots of fun for camels and their two legged friends)

Proclamation of the Republic -- Latvia

Push-Button Phone Day -- launched this day in 1963

St. Odo of Cluny's Day (Patron of needed rain)

Tap-Dancing and Tiger-Tuning -- Fairy Calendar

Total Disregard for Taste Day -- marking the debut of Howard Stern's radio show on this day in 1985

Vertieres Day -- Haiti (Army Day)

William Tell Day -- the famed apple-off-his-son's-head-shot was today in 1307

Birthdays Today:

Elizabeth Perkins, 1960
Sinbad, 1956
Wilma Mankiller, 1945
Linda Evans, 1942
Brenda Vaccaro, 1939
Mickey Mouse, 1928
Alan Shepard, Jr., 1923
Imogene Coca, 1908
George Gallup, 1901
Eugene Ormandy, 1899
Clarence Shepard Day, 1874
Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer), 1861
Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1860
William Gilbert, 1836
Louis-Jacques Daguerre, 1787
Sojourner Truth, 1787

Today in History:

Old St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated, 326
The Japanese Emperor Kammy relocates the residence of Nara to Kioto, 794
William Tell shoots the apple off his son's head, 1307
The Holland/Zealand dikes break during a storm, resulting in thousands of deaths, 1421
The first English printed book, "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers", is published, 1477
Christopher Columbus first sights the island now known as Puerto Rico, 1493
Vasco da Gama reaches the Cape of Good Hope, 1497
The worst earthquake in Massachusetts Bay/Boston area, 1755
The first Unitarian Minister in the US is ordained in Boston, 1787
30 women meet at Mrs Silas Lee's home in Wiscasset Maine, to organize the Female Charitable Society, first woman's club in America, 1805
Mark Twain's story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is published in the New York Saturday Press, 1865
National Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizes in Cleveland, 1874
Standard time zones are formed by railroads in the US and Canada, 1883
The first newspaper Sunday color comic strip is printed, in the NY World, 1894
Britain flies its first sea plane, 1911
Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop, over San Diego, 1913
Sigma Alpha Rho, a Jewish high school fraternity, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1917
Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, 1928
Off the south coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean, a Richter magnitude 7.2 submarine earthquake, centered on Grand Banks, breaks 12 submarine transatlantic telegraph cables and triggers a tsunami that destroys many south coast communities in the Burin Peninsula, 1929
New York City's Mad Bomber places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison, 1940
In the United States, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is ratified, 1993

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Down On The Farm

National Farm Joke Day makes it easy:


What do you call a crate of ducks?
A box of quackers!


An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse named Buddy.

He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, "Pull, Nellie, pull." Buddy didn't move.

Then the farmer hollered, "Pull, Buster, pull." Buddy didn't respond.

Once more the farmer commanded, "Pull, Jennie, pull." Nothing.

Then the farmer nonchalantly said, "Pull, Buddy, pull." And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times.

The farmer said, "Oh, Buddy is blind, and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn't even try!"


A farmboy was awakened by his mother early in the morning on the weekend. She told him he wouldn't get breakfast until he finished his chores.

One of his chores involved feeding all the animals. While he was feeding the animals he took out his anger at being up early on the weekend on some of them. He kicked a chicken, a cow, and a pig.

When he finished his chores his mother just gave him a bowl of dry cereal for breakfast. When he asked why, his mother told him that he didn't get any milk because he kicked the cow. He didn't get any eggs because he kicked the chicken and he didn't get bacon because he kicked the pig.

Right then his father came in angry about something and kicked the cat. The boy looked at his mother and said "Would you like to tell him or should I?"

Today is:

Army Day -- Democratic Republic of the Congo

Beaujolais Day -- International

Day of National Revival and Feast of Sacrifice -- Azerbaijan

Descending Day of Lord Buddha -- Bhutan

Electronic Greeting Card Day -- internet generated, and of course probably started by the electronic greeting card websites

Fast for an Abundant World Harvest -- sponsored by Oxfam America

Great American Smoke-Out Day -- US (but no matter where you live, if you want to try, go without today)

Homemade Bread Day -- use the bread machine, it's fun and easy, i promise!

International Students Day -- International (meant to celebrate all students around the world, not specifically students studying in countries other than their own)

Malabo Fiesta -- Equatorial Guinea

National Baklava Day

National Farm Joke Day

National Prematurity Awareness Day -- United States

Polytechneio -- Greece

Presidents Day -- Marshall Islands

Public Restroom Hand Dryer Appreciation Day -- internet generated, and why? they've been proven less sanitary, blowing germs everywhere; i will not appreciate this one

Shogi Day -- Japan (a chess-like game)

St. Elizabeth of Hungary's Day (Patron of nursing, bakers; against plague)

St. Gregory of Tours' Day a/k/a Gregory Wonderworker (Patron of desperate situations; against floods, earthquakes)

St. Hilda's Day (Patron of business women)

St. Hugh of Lincoln's Day (Patron of sick children)

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day -- Czech Republic; Slovakia

Student Youth Day -- Turkmenistan

Take A Hike Day -- internet generated, and some websites say it's actually "Tell Your Boss to Take a Hike Day", but i don't recommend that unless you've recently inherited a fortune or won the Lotto

Winter Welcome Quadrilles and Dainty-Sixes -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Laura Wilkinson, 1977
Daisy Fuentes, 1966
Danny DeVito, 1944
Lorne Michaels, 1944
Tom Seaver, 1944
Lauren Hutton, 1943
Martin Scorsese, 1942
Gordon Lightfoot, 1938
Rock Hudson, 1925
Lee Strassberg, 1901
Atahualpa, last Emperor of the Inca, 1502
Flavius Claudius Julianus, Roman Emperor, 331
Vespian, Roman Emperor, 9

Today in History:

Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, 284
England and Spain sign an anti-French covenant/treaty, 1511
Elizabeth I ascends the English throne, 1558
France and Spain sign the Peace of the Pyrenees treaty, 1659
The Church of England organizes in New England, 1785
Congress holds its first session in the still incomplete Capitol Building of Washington, D.C., 1800
The Delta Phi fraternity, America's oldest continuous social fraternity, is founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York, 1827
Ecuador and Venezuela separate from Greater Colombia, 1831
Street signs are first authorized at San Francisco intersections, 1853
David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls, 1855
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March is given its première performance in Moscow, 1876
Japan and Korea sign The Eulsa Treaty, 1905
The first US dental hygienist course is formed, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1913
US declares the Panama Canal Zone to be neutral, 1914
Lenin defends the "temporary" removal of freedom of the press, 1917
American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain observe the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th Century, 1947
Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse, 1970
In Czechoslovakia, the Velvet Revolution that would overthrow the communist government begins when student protests in Prague are quelled by riot police, 1989
Brian May of the rock band Queen was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, 2007

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Here We Go Again

Last year, i battled for months to find out what was wrong with my hands.

They were my main concern, and i attributed all of my other malaise and feeling "off" to that, and to the general sadness i often get in winter.

Day before yesterday i called the doc, as i have another infected cyst. He put me on the same antibiotic as last year.

The first dose was right before bed.

By midnight, my hands were swollen, my lips tingling, and i was feeling awful.


Pernio, the condition of my hands, was probably because i was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic.

All that, including the pain of biopsies, and all for what was probably a simple allergy.

Of course, i couldn't have a standard allergic reaction, like to stop breathing or get hives or itchy, watery eyes. Instead, i get fingers that swell and hurt.

That causes a circulation problem, which then results in pernio.

At least, that's my hypothesis, i haven't seen the doc yet. He told me to go get a different antibiotic and call next week if the cyst doesn't clear up.

Wonder what he will say when i see him. Let's hope i'm right, it's the simplest solution.

Today is:

Birth of the Blues Day -- birth anniversary of W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues"

Buss und Bettag -- German speaking Lutheran, Reformed, and United Protestants (Day of Repentance and Prayer)

Button Day -- internet generated; a day to collect, or reminisce about collecting, buttons

Dagur Islenskrar tungu -- Iceland (Icelandic Language Day)

Day of Declaration of Sovereignty / Day of National Rebirth -- Estonia

Famous San Diego Chicken Day -- a day to celebrate anyone who has ever slugged a purple dinosaur

Festival of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Geographic Information Systems Day

Have a Party with Your Bear Day -- internet generated, and if you have a favorite old Teddy, and want to indulge, go ahead

Hecate Night -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate; celebrated still by some Wiccans)

International Day for Tolerance - UN

National Educational Support Professionals Day -- US

National Fast Food Day -- why?

St. Gertrude the Great's Day (Patron of the West Indies)

St. Margaret of Scotland's Day (Patron of Scotland)

St. Matthew's Day (Eastern Churches)

St. Othmar's Day

Anniversaries Today:

Oklahoma becomes the 46th US State, 1907

Birthdays Today:

Oksana Baiul, 1977
Lisa Bonet, 1967
Dwight Gooden, 1964
Shigeru Miyamoto, 1952
Daws Butler, 1916
Burgess Meredith, 1908
W.C. Handy, 1873
Tiberius, Roman Emperor, BC42

Today in History:

The second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published, 534
Francisco Pizarro captures the Incan emperor Atahualpa after the victory at Cajamarca, 1532
The first colonial prison is organized, in Nantucket, Massachussetts, 1676
Kentucky becomes the first state to nullify an act of Congress, 1798
The New York Evening Post publishes its first edition, 1801
An earthquake in Missouri causes the Mississippi River to flow backwards, 1811
Missouri trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail, 1821
Napoleon Guerin of NYC patents a cork life preserver, 1841
Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death for anti-government activities; sentence is commuted to hard labor, 1849
Amsterdam post office at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal opens, 1856
William Bonwill patents dental mallet to impact gold into cavities, 1875
6,000 Armenians massacred by Turks in Kurdistan, 1894
Arturo Tuscanini begins conducting NY's Metropolitan Opera, 1908
US Federal Reserve System formally opens, 1914
LSD is first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, 1938
UNESCO is founded, 1945
NASA launches Skylab 4 with a crew of three astronauts from Cape Canaveral, Florida for an 84-day mission, 1973
The Hoxne Hoard is discovered by metal detectorist Eric Lawes in Hoxne, Suffolk, 1992
After nearly 18 years of incarceration, the People's Republic of China releases Wei Jingsheng, a pro-democracy dissident, from jail for medical reasons, 1997

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Others Are Noticing...

...that Thanksgiving in the US is being run over by Christmas shopping.

Many stores are now opening on Thanksgiving Day, starting the "shopping season" off early.

Imagine having to rush your meal so that you can get to work early because your store wants to get on with raking it in instead of giving employees a day to enjoy, along with the rest of the country.

Or the people rushing to get done with dinner so they can be first in line to shop.

This is making me angry, and i'm not the only one. The DJ's on the station i listen to are peeved about the loss of setting aside a day to be thankful, as a country, for all of our blessings.

Even if you don't have any formal beliefs, gratitude is good to practice. It keeps us humble, remembering that we are not the source, or center, of everything.

What i would love to see is for this to end up being a big flop. People staying away in droves, or even boycotting the stores that participate in the madness.

It won't happen, of course. Too many people will be afraid of missing a deal.

They are forgetting that they are missing something much more important.

An attitude of gratitude, and taking the time out to show it.

Today is:

American Enterprise Day -- US

America Recycles Day -- US

Changeling Restitution Day -- Fairy Calendar (Goblins)

Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium -- German-speaking Community of Belgium

Don't Try To Do Everything At Once Day -- internet generated, and a blow to us multitaskers

Ennead Feast in the House of Ra, Horus, and Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

George Spelvin Day

I Love to Write Day (perfect, in the middle of NaNoWriMo)

International Day of the Indian -- Declared by World Council of Indigenous Peoples in 1997

King's Feast / Dynasty Day -- Belgium

National Bundt Pan Day -- yes, really, celebrating the pan itself

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

National Peace Day -- Cote d'Ivoire

National Raisin Bran Cereal Day

National Spicy Hermit Christmas Cookie Day

Nativity Fast begins a/k/a Winter Lent (through Dec 24) -- Orthodox Christian

Republic Proclamation Day -- Brazil

Shichi-Go-San (Shrine Visiting Day) and the Seven-Five-Three Festival -- Japan

Sing in Your Car Day -- they need a day for this?

St. Albertus Magnus' Day (Patron of science students, scientists, and technologists)

St. Leopold's Day (Patron of Austria)

Use Less Stuff Day -- on some websites, listed as Nov. 18; either day, it's a good idea

Birthdays Today:

Kevin Eubanks, 1957
Sam Waterston, 1940
Petula Clark, 1932
Ed Asner, 1929
Bill "C.W. McCall" Fries, 1928
Joseph Wapner, 1919
Georgia O'Keeffe, 1887
F. William Herschel, 1738
William Pitt the Elder, 1708

Today in History:

Christopher Columbus notes the first recorded reference to tobacco, 1492
The NY General Assembly permits Jews to omit the phrase "Upon the faith of a Christian" from adjuration oaths, 1727
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, 1763
The Articles of Confederation are adopted by the Continental Congress, 1777
Georgetown University, the first Catholic college in the US, opens, 1791
Zebulon Pike gets his first sight of Pike's Peak, Colorado, 1806
Isaac Pitman introduces his steno/shorthand system of writing, 1832
Union Major General Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia, 1864
King C. Gillette patents the Gillette razor blade, 1904
The first telecast of an unscheduled event, a fire, takes place on W2XBT, in NY, 1938
In Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opens the first Wendy's restaurant, 1969
Intel releases world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, 1971
René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois take power to become the first Quebec government of the 20th century clearly in favour of independence, 1976
The Anglo-Irish Agreement is signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, 1985
An independent State of Palestine is proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council, 1988
The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, is launched in the Netherlands, 1988
Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, killing an estimated 5000 people and destroyed the world's largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, 2007

Monday, November 14, 2011

The kittens are finally, fully weaned!!!

Yes, that takes 3 exclamation points.

#1 Son is planning to adopt the two boy kittens and keep them with him when he moves out.

The 3 females are getting fat and sassy and are finally over all their earlier "bowel issues", so can get spayed in a few weeks.

Next week they go up for pre-adoption (no kitten goes home with anyone until fixed, we've had too many people say they would do it, then not, then expect help finding homes for the kittens), so they can be Christmas kittens in a few weeks.

Thus the fall kitten season is about done, and we can have a bit of a rest before picking back up in the spring, when the round of life will begin again.

By then, i'll be willing to say, bring it on. For now, i'm just sighing in relief, they are going to make it, and so are we.

Today is:

Children's Day -- India

Day of the Colombian Woman -- Colombia

Equorum Probatio -- Ancient Roman Empire (official cavalry parade of the equites)

Feast of Moccas -- Ancient Celtic Calendar (Celtic Fig-Tree Goddess/Pig Goddess)

Leftover Trading Day -- internet generated; trade your leftovers for the much more interesting ones in your neighbor's fridge

Loosen up, Lighten Up Day -- to remind us of the benefits of joy and laughter

National Girls Day -- this year's theme is "She Can Do Anything"

National Guacamole Day

National Pickle Day

Operating Room Nurse Day

Readjustment Movement's Day -- Guinea-Bissau

St. Dubricus' Day (the saint who crowned King Arthur)

Works Getting Into Championships -- Fairy Calendar (Gremlins)

World Diabetes Day

World Orphans Day -- an initiative of The Stars Foundation

Anniversaries Today:

Princess Anne of the UK marries Captain Mark Phillips, 1973

Birthdays Today:

Condoleezza Rice, 1954
Yanni, 1954
Prince Charles, 1948
King Hussein of Jordan, 1935
McLean Stevenson, 1929
Brian Keith, 1921
Veronica Lake, 1919
Barbara Hutton, 1912
Rosemary DeCamp, 1910
Joseph McCarthy, 1909
Dick Powell, 1904
Aaron Copland, 1900
Jawaharlal Nehru, 1889
Claude Monet, 1840
Robert Fulton, 1765

Today in History:

Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrive in Cajamarca, Inca empire, 1533
Samuel Pepys reports on the first blood transfusion (between dogs), 1666
Loius Timothee is hired in Philadelphia to be the first professional librarian in the US, 1732
Captain George Vancouver is the first Englishman to enter San Francisco Bay, 1792
John Mason debuts the first horse-drawn streetcar in NYC, with a route between Prince and 14th on 4th Ave., 1832
Herman Melville publishes "Moby Dick", 1851
The St. Andrews Golf Club, in Yonkers, NY, opens with 6 holes, 1888
New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) began her attempt to surpass fictitious journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg by traveling around world in less than 80 days; She succeeded, finishing the trip in January in 72 days and 6 hours, 1889
Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light, 1908
The first airplane flight from the deck of a ship takes place in Norfolk, Virginia, 1910
The BBC begins radio service in the United Kingdom, 1922
The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express, 1952
NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon, 1969
After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland, 1990
The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States is shut down in New York City by Con Edison, 2007

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why to Never Wait Until the Last Minute

Because at the last minute, you will find out that the place you are staying has lost its internet connection and you can't write your blog in time to publish by midnight the way you like to.

That's why this is late.

On homecoming weekend here at the uni, we stay at the hotel on campus and enjoy the fun of the whole weekend, which this year had the parade as usual, plus a salute to veterans, and the game, of course.

Came back after the game to update and write the blog for today and get some stuff done, and internet was down for the whole complex. Ouch.

Since there's no use fussing when you can't help it, i just hoped i could get it done in the morning, and sure enough, we are back up and running.

And i'm running. We will have breakfast here, then head to church so i can teach Sunday school.

Have a great day, everyone, and from now on i need to write a bit more in advance than at "stop the presses!" time.

Ah. another post idea, newspaper deadlines.

Today is:

Father's Day -- Estonia

Festival of Feronia, Juno, Minerva, and Jupiter (Epulum Iovis) -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Fortuna Primigenia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Fortune of the Firstborn)

Ides of November

International Tongue Twister Contest -- Burlington, WI, US (lots of laughs and a gift or prize for all who try, including one winner of a portion of a peck of pickled peppers)

Kindness Day UK

Lamentation of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (mourning for Osiris)

National Indian Pudding Day

National Reread Old Letters and Magazines Day -- internet generated sentimentality

Runic Half Month Nyd begins (necessity)

Remembrance Sunday -- UK

Snakes and Ladders Tournament -- Mirano, Italy (a real life size snakes and ladders game)

St. Abbo's Day

St. Brice of Tours' Day

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini's Day (patron of hospital administrators, emigrants, immigrants)

St. Homobonus' Day (Patron of garment workers, tailors)

St. John Chrysostom's Day

St. Stanislaus Kostka's Day (Patron of Poland, young people; against broken limbs, doubt, palpitations)

Tooth Collection Days begin -- Fairy Calendar

Volkstrauertag -- Germany (National Day of Mourning, commemorates victims of war and violence)

World Kindness Day

Birthdays Today:

Monique Coleman, 1980
Jimmy Kimmel, 1967
Whoopi Goldberg, 1955
Chris Noth, 1954
Jean Seberg, 1938
Oskar Werner, 1922
Nathaniel Benchley, 1915
Louis Brandeis, 1856
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850

Today in History:

English king Æthelred II orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice's Day massacre, 1002
Lady Jane Grey and Bishop Cranmer are accused of high treason, 1553
Patriot revolutionary forces under Col. Ethan Allen attack Montreal, Quebec, defended by British General Guy Carleton, 1775
Benjamin Franklin says, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” 1789
The first US anti-slavery party, the Liberty Party, convenes in New York, 1839
James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads him to study the subject and come up with what he later calls hypnosis, 1841
The Denny Party arrives at Alki Point, becoming the first settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington, 1851
The first shipment of canned pineapple leaves Hawai'i, 1895
French cyclist Paul Corny flies the first helicopter, 1907
Russia completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles, 1947
A 150-mph tropical cyclone hits the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. This is regarded as the 20th century's worst natural disaster, 1970
Xavier Suarez is sworn in as Miami, Florida's first Cuban-born mayor, 1985
The High Court of Australia rules in Dietrich v The Queen that although there is no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused is unrepresented, 1992
In a referendum voters in Sweden decide to join the European Union, 1994

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stop the Madness!

In connection to the Thanksgiving Comes First rant, i want to also say that it is way, way too early for the holiday traffic to start jamming up, especially around the malls.

Really, people, you can't wait a couple of weeks to begin this madness?

Every trip around here now takes about twice as long as the rest of the year. The rule in this city, usually, is that morning rush hours are 6am to 9am, evening rush hours are 3pm to 7pm, and Friday night's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

Now, it's rush hour around the clock.

Let's slow down and celebrate Thanksgiving first, please?

If you are in a country that already celebrated Thanksgiving, or that does not observe, please excuse the ranting. This spreading Christmas to cover over all the other things that come before is getting awful around here.

Today is:

A&W Rootbeer Mug Day -- see if you can frost your mug like they did

Birth of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

Birth of Sun Yat-Sen, Doctors Day, and Cultural Renaissance Day -- Taiwan

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day -- "Changing the world, one story at a time."

Constitution Day -- Azerbaijan

Journee Nationale Maore -- Comoros (Admission to the UN Day)

Lord Mayor's Day -- London, England (observed; traditional date, Nov. 9)

National Donor Sabbath -- encouraging people to make the choice to be organ and tissue donors

National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

National Youth Day -- East Timor

Postman's Day -- Mexico

St. Emillian's Day (Patron of Spain, finding lost objects)

St. Josaphat's Day (Patron of Ukraine)

Tewa Buffalo Dance -- Native American Tewa rites to honor Mother Earth, Father Sky, the four directions, and the elements; through the 15th

Anniversaries Today:

The Arches National Park established, 1971

Birthdays Today:

Sammy Sosa, 1968
Michael Moorer, 1967
David Schwimmer, 1966
Nadia Comaneci, 1961
Neil Young, 1945
Al Michaels, 1944
Wallace Shawn, 1943
Grace Kelly, 1929
Jo Stafford, 1918
Sun Yat-sen, 1866
Auguste Rodin, 1840
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815

Today in History:

Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days starting today, 764
Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament, 1439
Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic, 1847
Jules Leotard performs 1st Flying Trapeze circus act (Paris); he also designed garment that bears his name, 1859
World's Fair in Paris opens, 1900
The first movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon, 1910
Norway holds a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic, 1905
Robert Scott's diary & body are found in Antarctica, 1912
Austria becomes a republic, 1918
The first underwater tunnel, the Holland Tunnel connecting NY to NJ opens, 1927
The first photo of whatever is in Loch Ness is taken, 1933
Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia join the United Nations, 1956
Equatorial Guinea joins the United Nations, 1968
The Comoros joins the United Nations, 1975
The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings, 1980
The Space Shuttle Columbia becomes the first time a manned spacecraft launched into space twice, 1981
Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch, 1990
Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web, 1990
Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems, 2003
The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database is launched on the web and revolutionizes chemical-gene-disease information for research scientists, 2004

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Veterans Day

May we never forget the sacrifices of those who served, and their families.

Today is:

Armistice Day -- Belgium; France; New Zealand

Beggar's Day -- Netherlands

Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day

Day of Remembrance of the Volhvs -- Slavic Pagan Calendar

Einherjar Feast -- Asatru (Norse "Feast of the Fallen"; date approximate)

Fasching/Karneval -- Germany; Netherlands (begins 11/11 at 11:11)

Fire God Festival -- Kagoshima, Japan

Hollantide Day a/k/a Hallow-tide -- Isle of Mann (season of All Saints, first day of Winter, celebrated in conjunction with Martintide, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours)

Independence Day -- Angola; Poland

Independence of Cartagena City -- Colombia

King's Birthday -- Bhutan

Lacplesis -- Latvia (Remembrance Day)

Lunantishees Day -- Ireland (Fairies who guard the blackthorn trees, cutting a branch today means bad luck.)

National Sundae Day

Old November Eve -- In the old calendar, this was actually All Hallow's Eve

Origami Day -- Japan

Pepero Day -- South Korea

Pocky and Pretz Day -- Japan

Remembrance Day -- UK and the Commonwealth of Nations (a/k/a Poppy Day)

Republic Day -- Maldives

Singles Day -- China

Soren Kierkegaard's Day -- Lutheran Church

St. Martin's Day a/k/a St. Martin of Tours's Day (Western), Martinmas (Old England) (Patron of beggars, drunkards, equestrians, harvests, horses, innkeepers, new wine, tailors; highly celebrated through Sweden, Switzerland, and the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten)
Martinigians -- Sursee, Switzerland (a celebration of the day in front of Town Hall)

St. Menas of Egypt's Day

Veterans Day a/k/a Armistice Day -- US

Women's Day -- Belgium

Anniversaries Today:

Washington becomes the 42nd US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

Leonardo DiCaprio, 1974
Peta Wilson, 1970
Calista Flockhart, 1964
Demi Moore, 1962
Marc Summers, 1951
Bibi Andersson, 1935
Jonathan Winters, 1925
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922
Alger Hiss, 1904
Pat O'Brien, 1899
George Patton, 1885
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, 1821
Abigail Smith Adams,1744

Today in History:

The Congress of Carnuntum: Attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, the leaders of the Tetrarchy declare Maxentius and Licinius to be Augusti, while rival contender Constantine I is declared Caesar of Britain and Gaul, 308
41 pilgrims land in Massachusetts, sign Mayflower Compact, 1620
Massachusetts passes 1st US compulsory school attendance law, 1647
Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x), 1675
The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia, as the first college society in the US, 1750
Chrysanthemums are introduced into England from China, 1790
British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign, 1813
Mary Edward Walker, the 1st Army female surgeon, is awarded the Medal of Honor, 1865
The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act is enacted in Australia, giving the government control of indigenous people's wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations, 1869
The 11/11/11 cold wave: Many cities in the U.S. Midwest broke their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolled through, 1911
The Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery, 1921
Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaims the first recognized Greek Republic, 1924
U.S. Route 66 is established, 1926
Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator, 1930
The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia is opened, 1934
Kuwait's National Assembly ratifies the Constitution of Kuwait, 1962
NASA launches Gemini 12, 1966
Antigua and Barbuda joins the United Nations, 1981
The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests, 1992
New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington, 2004
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London, United Kingdom, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army, 2006
The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) sets sail on her final voyage to Dubai, 2008

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another One to Miss

Bil Keane, the creator of The Family Circus comic strip, died the other day.

Along with Andy Rooney, another one to miss.

Bil's son Jeff took over the strip a few years ago, but it's sad to think the creator is no longer there.

The best thing about The Family Circus is that it really was and is about his own family. Jeff said it reflected the reality of his life growing up, and is now reflecting his own family, too. It's touching, funny, and enduring.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Keane.

Today is:

Area Code Day -- US (began 60 years ago today)

Cry of Independence Day -- Panama

Day of Remembrance of Ataturk -- Turkey

Day of Russian Militsiya -- Russia

Dia de la Tradicion -- Argentina (birth of Jose Hernandez)

Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Beacon Lighting -- Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors, MN, US (memorial for the Edmund Fitzgerald and all who have lost their lives in Great Lakes shipwrecks)

Forget-Me-Not Day -- internet generated, it's creator has been forgotten

Full Beaver Moon / Full Frosty Moon

Guinness World Records' Day -- celebrating ordinary people who do extraordinary things

Guru Nanak Dev Sahib's Birthday -- Sikh

Goddess of Reason's Day -- Revolutionary France

Hari Pahlawan -- Indonesia (Heroes' Day)

Loy Krathong -- Thailand (Floating of the Lamps festival; to appease the water spirits, dedicated to Mae Kongkha, Goddess of Rivers)

Martini -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (beginning of winter festival; date approximate, but usually around Martinmas)

National Toothpaste Appreciation Day -- not official, but i'm sure the dentifrice industry loves this one

National Vanilla Cupcake Day

Pha That Luang Festival -- Laos

Pirates Week Festival -- Cayman Islands (through the 20th)

Sleep Dangerously Night -- internet generated, a night to switch sides of the bed with your spouse and see who falls out of bed first

St. Andrew Avellino's Day (Patron of Badlato, Naples, and Sicily, Italy; stroke victims; for a holy death; against apoplexy, strokes, and sudden death)

St. Martin's Eve -- Germany; Portugal (Martimas Eve)

Tazaungmone -- Myanmar (Festival of Lights)

USMC Day -- US (includes the Marine Corps Birthday Ball)

Wish-Spoiling Sports Day -- Fairy Calendar (Imps, Gremlins, and grumpy Goblins)

Anniversaries Today:

Debut of Sesame Street, 1969
Debut of Microsoft Windows, 1983

Birthdays Today:

Ellen Pompeo, 1969
MacKenzie Phillips, 1959
Donna Fargo, 1949
Tim Rice, 1944
Russel Means, 1939
Roy Scheider, 1932
Richard Burton, 1925
Jane Froman, 1907
Claude Rains, 1889
Martin Luther, 1483

Today in History:

Rene Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy, 1619
The Dutch formally cede New Netherlands to the English; it is renamed New York, 1674
France ends forced worship of God, substitute the Goddess of Reason, 1793
The US state of Kentucky outlaws dueling, 1801
Stanley presumes that he has met Livingston in Ujiji, Central Africa, 1871
The first Woman's Christian Temperance Union meeting is held in Boston, 1891
The first Gideon Bible is put in a hotel room, 1908
Hirohito ascends the throne as Emperor of Japan, 1928
The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston, 1958
The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board, 1975
A 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, Canada derails in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada just west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, causing a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history, 1979
The communist regime of Bulgaria falls, 1989