Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Well, well, well..

 ...would you look at that!"  Little Girl was in the back seat, #2 Son driving, and me sitting in the passenger seat, just watching out as he drives to school.

"What?" #2 Son asked.

"A whole line of minivans in a row with us here in the right lane, doing just a bit under the speed limit, and a whole line of trucks speeding past us in the left lane."

"You know what that means, right?" #2 Son asked, and i could tell by his suppressed grin he was about to tease his sister.

"That we need to move over?" Little Girl asked.

"Well, that, and that someday it's going to be you in one of those mommy-mobiles, tootling along."

"Noooo!" she howled.  "Don't tell me that!"

"Yep!" he continued.  "Meanwhile, I'm going to be speeding past in my Lamborghini."

They both laughed, and he moved over and sped up a bit..

Today is:

Backward Day -- no info on the origin, but if you want to do something backward, go ahead

Eat Brussels Sprouts Day --  saute in olive oil with some garlic, they are worth it!

Eve of Brigantia -- Ireland (St. Bridget's Eve, the night when she crosses the countryside and bestows blessings)

Feast of Great Typos -- another that no one will claim inventing, but since we've all made them, we may as well celebrate them

Feast of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

H3ll is Freezing Over Day -- internet generated day to review the list of things you said you would do when h*ll freezes over

Independence Day -- Nauru

Inspire Your Heart With the Arts Day -- begun by Rev Jayne Howard Feldman as a day to use art to feed your soul

National Brandy Alexander Day

National Gorilla Suit Day -- Mad Magazine's Maddest Artist, Don Martin, says this is the day to pull that gorilla suit out of the closet and step out in style.

Phlegm-Green, Moldy-Grey, and Gazzard Day -- Fairy Calendar (don't ask what color Gazzard is, it doesn't exist in the human world, and you don't want it to)

Play An Old Game You Haven’t Played in Years Night -- internet generated, and a great idea

Scotch Tape Day -- born this day in 1928

St. John Bosco's Day (Patron of apprentices, boys, editors, laborers, schoolchildren, students, young people-especially youth of Mexican descent)

Birthdays Today:

Justin Timberlake, 1981
Kerry Washington, 1977
Minnie Driver, 1971
Kelly Lynch, 1959
Nolan Ryan, 1947
Charlie Musselwhite, 1944
Richard Gephardt, 1941
Suzanne Pleshette, 1937
James Franciscus, 1934
Ernie Banks, 1931
Jean Simmons, 1929
Carol Channing, 1923
Norman Mailer, 1923
Mario Lanza, 1921
Jackie Robinson, 1919
Thomas Merton, 1915
Garry Moore, 1915
Tallulah Bankhead, 1903
Eddie Cantor, 1892
Zane Grey, 1872
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shogun of Japan, 1543

Today in History:

Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England, 1606
The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, 1747
The Corn Laws (tariffs on imported grains) are abolished in Britain, paving the way for more free trade, 1849
The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations, 1876
The Bulletin of Sydney is founded, publishes for 128 years, 1880
An automobile exceeds 100 mph (161 kph) for the first time, at Daytona Beach, driven by A. G. MacDonald, 1905
The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky, 1929
Scotch tape is first marketed by the 3M Company, 1930
President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb, 1950
A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands, 1953
Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit, 1958
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt, 1958
Mercury-Redstone 2 – Ham the Chimp travels into outer space, 1961
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program, 1966
Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon, 1971
The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow, 1990
Comet Hyakutake is discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake, 1996

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's to the point where i can hardly edit or get to pages.

Every computer i have available to me is taking forever to load pages and not responding.  Some of them are refusing internet access, and that's not just at my house.

Please stand by, i'm trying to get it all up and going again.

Today is:

Congressional Brawl Day -- marking the first ever all out brawl in the US Congress in 1798

Feast of King Charles the Martyr -- Anglican

Inane Answering Message Day -- the day to change those annoying messages, sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

King's Birthday -- Jordan

Martyrs' Day -- India (assassination anniversary of Gandhi)

National Croissant Day

Pax -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival of Peace)

Puce and Ochre Day -- Fairy Calendar

School Day of Nonviolence and Peace -- sponsored by DENIP

St. Aldegund's Day (Patron of cancer patients; against cancer, childhood diseases, sudden death, wounds)

St. Bathilde's Day (Patron of children, sick people, widows; against bodily ills and sickness)

St. Martina of Rome's Day (Patron of nursing mothers; Rome, Italy)

Three Archbishops' Day -- Eastern Orthodox (a/k/a Holy Hierarchs' Day)

Yodel For Your Neighbors Day -- Why?  Do you hate your neighbors?

Yogi Bear Day -- his show debuted today in 1958

Birthdays Today:

Brett Butler, 1958
Phil Collins, 1951
Steve Marriott, 1947
Marty Balin, 1942
Dick Cheney, 1941
Vanessa Redgrave, 1937
Boris spassky, 1937
Tammy Grimes, 1934
Louis Ruckeyser, 1933
Gene Hackman, 1930
Dorothy Malone, 1925
Dick Martin, 1922
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882
Thomas Rolfe, 1615 (Only child of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.)

Today in History:

The Jews of Freilsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349
King Charles I of England is beheaded, 1649
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed after having been dead for two years, 1661
The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Oishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, 1703
Henry Greathead tests the first boat intended to be specialized as a lifeboat for rescue purposes, which he invented, on the River Tyne in England, 1790
The burned Library of Congress is reestablished, with Thomas Jefferson contributing, 1815
Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica, 1820
The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales is opened, 1826
A fire destroys two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 1841
The city of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco, for the nearby mission of the same name, 1847
William Wells Brown publishes the first Black drama, "Leap to Freedom," 1858
The US Navy's first ironclad warship, the Monitor, is launched, 1862
The pneumatic hammer is patented by Charles King of Detroit, 1894
The Canadian Naval Service becomes the Royal Canadian Navy, 1911
The House of Lords rejects the Irish Home Rule Bill, 1913
"The Lone Ranger" begins a 21 year run on ABC radio, 1933
Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is assassinated by Pandit Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist, 1948
American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1956
The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police, 1969
Carole King's Tapestry album is released, it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide, 1971
Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary was established as the first United States National Marine Sanctuary, 1975
Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called "Elk Cloner", 1982
Peter Leko of Hungary becomes the world's youngest chess grand master at age 14, 1994
Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease, 1995

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today is:

Blue and Pink Day -- Fairy Calendar

Bocuse D'Or -- Lyon, France (dating back to 1985, this biennial celebration is France's answer to chef competitions on TV, with the best in the world pitted against each other in front of a jury of their peers; through tomorrow)

Bubblegum Sculpture Day -- commonly listed on ecard sites, and not to be confused with National Bubble Gum Day, coming in February

Carnation Day -- in honor of William McKinley; also on the date of his assassination each year, Sept. 14

Curmudgeons' Day -- W.C. Field's birth anniversary

National Corn Chip Day

National Puzzle Day -- because they are just fun

Sahid Diwash -- Nepal (Martyrs' Day)

St. Constantius of Perugia (Patron of Perugia, Italy)

St. Gildas the Wise's Day (one of the earliest British historians)

Thomas Paine Day/Freethinkers' Day -- birth anniversary of Thomas Paine

Up-Helly-AA Day -- Lerwick, Shetland (the largest fire festival in Europe, with tomorrow as a day off so everyone can recover)

Anniversaries Today:

Kansas becomes the 34th US state, 1861

Birthdays Today:

Adam Lambert, 1982
Jonny Lang, 1981
Andrew Keegan, 1979
Sara Gilbert, 1975
Heather Graham, 1970
Greg Louganis, 1960
Oprah Winfrey, 1954
Teresa Teng, 1953
Ann Jillian, 1950
Tom Selleck, 1945
Katharine Ross, 1942
John Forsythe, 1918
Victor Mature, 1913
Huddie William "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, 1885
W.C. Fields, 1880
Anton Chekhov, 1860
William McKinley, 1843
Henry Morton Stanley, 1841
Thomas Paine, 1737
Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688

Today in History:

The first performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1595
John Beckley of Virginia is appointed the first Librarian of Congress, 1802
Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" is first published, 1845
The Victoria Cross is established to acknowledge bravery, 1856
Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile, 1886
Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch, 1891
Walt Disney starts his first job as an artist, earning $40/week with the KC Slide Co, 1920
North America's first guide dog school, The Seeing Eye, is incorporated in Nashville, Tennessee, 1929
The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced, 1936
The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced, 1963
Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so, 1989
President Jacques Chirac announces a "definitive end" to French nuclear weapons testing, 1996
La Fenice, Venice's opera house, is destroyed by fire, 1996
The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing, 2005

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gratitude Monday: Vagabond

Yes, i am still a vagabond.  No phone, TV, or internet.

Yet each day, i stop and say what i am grateful for on a thread on forum i belong to.

So i'm going to take a hint from Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail and post a gratitude here, as well.

Today, i am grateful there are places that have wi-fi.

Today, i am grateful that i can get to them.

Today, i am grateful that, in spite of being a vagabond in this one area, life is very, very good.

Also, ETA, i'm glad i checked, my computer is so wonky from being moved so much that it didn't publish when scheduled!

Today is:

Arizona Musicfest -- North Scottsdale, AZ, US (a winter classical music festival; through Mar. 4)

Army Day -- Armenia

Auckland Province Anniversary -- Auckland, New Zealand

Bubble Wrap® Appreciation Day

Data Privacy Day -- International

Festival of the Lenaia to Dionysus -- Ancient Greek Calendar, end January through early February

National Blueberry Pancake Day

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering -- Elko, NV, US (the nation's greatest celebration of the American West, with working cowboys, this year including butteri from Italy, attending workshops, jam sessions, performances, and enjoy art and exhibits; through Saturday)

National Heroes' Day -- Cayman Islands

National Kazoo Day -- because anyone can play one!

National Spieling Day -- internet generated, and whatever your area of expertise, spiel about it today

Rinkydinks Annual Snowball Fight -- Fairy Calendar

Runic Half-month Elhaz (elk) commences

St. Charlemagne's Day (Patron of the University of Paris)

St. Thomas Aquinas's Day (Patron of academics, apologists, book sellers, chastity, colleges, learning, pencil makers, philosophers, publishers, scholars, schools, students, theologians, universities; Aquino, Italy; Belcastro, Italy; Falerna, Italy; University of Vigo; all Catholic academies, schools, and universities; against lightning, storms)

Birthdays Today:

Elijah Wood, 1981
Nick Carter, 1980
Joey Fatone, Jr. 1977
Sarah McLachlan, 1968
Nicolas Sarkozy, 1955
Rick Warren, 1954
Alan Alda, 1936
Susan Sontag, 1933
Jackson Pollack, 1912
Robert Stroud, 1890 (The Birdman of Alcatraz)
Arthur Rubenstein, 1887
Colette, 1873
Jose' Marti, 1853
Peter the Great of Russia, 1775
St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225

Today in History:

The Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted by Pope Gregory VIII, 1077
The first Crusaders begins siege of Hosn-el-Akrad Syria, 1099
Pope Alexander VI gives his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France, 1495
Edward VI, age nine, succeeds his father Henry VIII as king of England, 1547
By the Edict of Orleans, the persecution of French Huguenots is suspended, 1561
Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland, 1573
Sir Thomas Warner found the first British colony in the Caribbean, on St. Kitts, 1624
The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree (it was called St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917), 1724
Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coins the word serendipity, 1754
London's Pall Mall is the first street lit by gaslight, 1807
Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom, 1813
The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway, 1855
In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick, 1887
Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be convicted of speeding in an automobile. He is fined 1 shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thus exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h), 1896
The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie, 1902
An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard, 1915
The first Jewish  US Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis, appointed by Wilson, 1916
A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the unknown dead of World War I, 1921
The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence, 1933
The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today, 1958
The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament, 1965
Tropical Storm Domoina makes landfall in southern Mozambique, eventually causing 214 deaths and some of the most severe flooding so far recorded in the region, 1984
Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief, 1985
Space Shuttle Challenger breaks apart after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board, 1986
Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled up the Egyptian's streets in demonstrations referred to as "Friday of Anger" against the Mubarak regime, 2011

Sunday, January 27, 2013

According to Hoyle

 Definition of the phrase "According to Hoyle":  in accord with the highest authority; in accord with a strict set of rules. 

Well, according to the company, everyone who experienced a service interruption is back on, with full internet, phone, and TV service.

This is not true, because ours is still out.

After yet another visit by a technician, no less.

Schlepping off to other places to have internet access is getting old, wearying, and costing money.  Yes, i've found places where i don't have to buy a cup of coffee or anything else to get access, but i still have to drive there, and gas costs.

If we still have nothing by the end of today, that will be a full week with no service, and maybe it means we need to cancel some of these things.

After all,  we haven't had a home phone, and it didn't kill us.

Anyone who really, desperately needed to get us did, at least i hope so.

If not, we have no way of knowing, but there it is.

As for the TV, i haven't watched since August 2000, so i don't miss it.  Only #2 Son does, and probably he could get what he watches online.

Maybe a subscription to Hulu would be cheaper, if it has the few things he watches.

Bigger Girl is concerned about internet, she has to do some of her school work on the computer, no exceptions.

Little Girl has been perfectly happy reading even more than usual.

#2 Son, when he needs a "fix" of internet or TV has friends houses to go to.

Maybe this is the Good Lord's way of saying we should just do without some things.

We will make a decision in the next day or two about TV and phone.  Internet is not negotiable, if it is at all possible to have it in the house by any means.

Meanwhile, i'm trying to laugh a lot about the vagaries of life, and smile at the technicians and laugh with the "help desk" people who really can't help.  None of it is their fault.

In brighter news, we cleaned the shelter on Friday night as usual, and while i don't update about it like i used to, i have to mention that Cricket found the perfect home.  She hates all other cats, loves every person who ever comes near her, will not stay indoors only so needed an indoor-outdoor house, and hunts like a crazy thing, bringing trophies back to her people with pride.

A family looking for an indoor-outdoor cat, who have kids that want to play with her and a barn for her to hunt in, came to the shelter and fell in love with her.

It's a great happy ending story for a sweetheart of an animal.

Today is:

Big Snow Day -- remembering the 15 inch snowflakes that fell on in Fort Keough, Montana, in 1887

Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon -- Carlsbad, CA, US

Chocolate Cake Day

Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism -- Germany (anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz)

Day the Netjers of Heaven Receive Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Family Literacy Day -- Canada

Full Wolf Moon -- the wolves howl hungrily during this cold month, sometimes called the Old Moon or the Yule Moon (if it falls toward the beginning of the month)
     Pyatho Full Moon -- Myanmar (traditionally the time of equestrian festivals)
     Thorrablot/Thurseblot -- Ancient Norse Calendar (feast honoring Thor, guardian of Midgard, at the first full moon of the new year)

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony -- Iroquois Native Americans (for the continuation of all life-sustaining things; a multi-day ceremony and feast that begins around this time of year)

Listen to Classical Music During Lunch Day -- in honor of Mozart

Lowcountry Oyster Festival -- Mt. Pleasant, SC, US (80,000lbs. of oysters, come have some fun!)

Mahayana New Year -- Buddhist

Mozart Day

Punch the Clock Day -- internet generated, and no reason for it given; this has to be one of the more baffling ones

St. Angela Merici's Day (Founder of the Sisters of the Order of St. Ursula; Patron of the disabled and ill; against bodily ills and the death of parents)

St. Devota's Day (Patron of Corsica; Monaco)

Thaipusam -- Tamil People; Malaysia; Mauritius (Tamil Hindu celebration of the birth of the god Murugan)

Thomas Crapper Day -- death date, in 1910, of the perfector of the flush toilet mechanism

World Leprosy Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

The University of Georgia is chartered, the first state university in the US, 1785
The first sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, is founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, 1870

Birthdays Today:

Jennifer LB Leese, 1970
Patton Oswalt, 1969
Bridget Fonda,1964
Cris Collinsworth, 1959
Mikhail Baryshnikov, 1948
Nick Mason, 1944
Troy Donahue, 1936
Donna Reed, 1921
David Seville, 1919
Skitch Henderson, 1918
Jerome Kern, 1885
Samuel Gompers, 1850
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), 1832
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756

Today in History:

Trajan becomes Roman Emperor, 98
The Rashidun Caliphate ends with the death of Ali, 661
Song Dynasty General Yue Fei is wrongfully executed, 1142
Dante Alighieri becomes a Florentine political exile, 1302
The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31, 1606
The first American lime kiln begins operation in Providence, Rhode Island, 1662
Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Instanbul, 1695
Czar Peter the Great sets the first Russian state budget, 1710
Abdication of Stanislas, the last king of Poland, 1736
The US Congress approves the opening of Indian Territory for settlement, which led to the forced relocation of Native Americans on the "Trail of Tears," 1825
Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are incorporated, 1870
Thomas Edison is granted a patent for the electric incandescent lamp, 1880
The National Geographic Society is organized, in Washington, D.C., 1888
"Tarzan of the Apes," the first Tarzan movie, premiers, 1918
Apollo 1 – Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, 1967
More than sixty nations sign the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space, 1967
Through cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian caper, 1980
The pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, breaks through, 1983
American-born sumo wrestler Akebono Taro becomes the first foreigner to be promoted to the sport's highest rank of yokozuna, 1993
Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 1996
Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services, 2006

Saturday, January 26, 2013

If you are reading this, we still have no internet at home (despite the company's claim that they have restored service to everyone). 

Will keep checking in when i can, and laughing about the absurdity of it all.

Today is:

Afrma Fancy Rat and Mouse Annual Show -- Riverside, CA (don't laugh, rats and mice make great pets!)

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show -- West Springfield, MA, US (8 1/2 acres of hobby train fun; through tomorrow)

Australia Day -- Australia (National Day); Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Norfolk Island; (Commemorates Captain Arthur Phillip's arrival at Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, on January 26, 1778.)
     Australia Day Cockroach Races -- Brisbane, Queensland (the greatest gathering of thoroughbred cockroaches anywhere, with competition proceeds going to charity)

Bikaner Camel Festival -- Bikaner, India (colorful camel activities, including a beauty competition, and fun for people also in this gorgeous fortified desert town; through tomorrow)

Brookfield Ice Harvest -- Brookfield, VT, US (demonstrating traditional ice harvesting using original equipment near the Brookfield Floating Bridge, one of only two such bridges still extant; through tomorrow)

Duarte Day -- Dominican Republic

Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka

End of the Fifth Quarter of the Ninth Dozen of the Thirteenth Set -- Fairy Calendar

Gasparilla Pirate Fest -- Tampa, FL (reenactment of the invasion of Tampa by pirates)

Greater Springfield Garage Sale -- Springfield, MO, US (if you want to find it used, you can probably find it here; through tomorrow)

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire -- Gainesville, FL, US (jousting, birds of prey, medieval arts, food, entertainment; through tomorrow, and again next weekend)

Ka Moloka'I Makahiki -- Molokai, Hawaii (traditional ceremonial end of the harvest festival, a time of peace; still celebrated with ceremonies and sporting events)

Kidfilm Festival -- Dallas, TX (international children's film festival; through tomorrow)

Kumquat Festival -- Dade City, FL, US (because kumquats are not just funny, they are delicious!)

Liberation Day -- Uganda

Lotus 1-2-3 Day -- released this day in 1983

Madurai Float Festival -- Madurai, India (spectacular celebration under the full moon in Madurai, the oldest city in Tamil Nadu)

National Peanut Brittle Day

National Pistachio Day

National Seed Swap Day -- find or set one up in your area, so you can expand your garden, and help others expand theirs

Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival -- Orange City, FL, US (learn about the manatee and have fun doing it; through tomorrow)

Republic Day -- Delhi, India (pompous and splendid celebrations through the 29th)

Sailing of Anubis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (celebration of the god of the dead; date approximate)

Spouse's Day -- an internet generated reason to tell your SO how much he/she means to you

St. Paula's Day (Patron of widows)

St. Timothy's Day (Patron against stomach and intestinal disorders)

St. Titus' Day (Patron of Crete)

Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement -- begun at Toad Hollow School in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1800s, a day to encourage your friends

Tu B'Shvat -- Judaism ("New Year of the Trees", began yesterday at sunset)

Wakakusa Yamayaki -- Nara, Japan (Grass Burning on Mt. Wakakusayama, and fireworks; an annual New Year tradition)

Anniversaries Today:

Michigan becomes the 26th US state, 1837

Birthdays Today:

Kherington Payne, 1990
Kirk Franklin, 1970
Wayne Gretzky, 1961
Anita Baker, 1958
Ellen DeGeneres, 1958
Eddie Van Halen, 1955
Lucinda Williams, 1953
Gene Siskel, 1946
Angela Davis, 1944
Scott Glenn, 1942
Bob Uecker, 1935
Jules Feiffer, 1929
Paul Newman, 1925
Anne Jeffreys, 1923
Maria Augusta von Trapp, 1905
Douglas MacArthur, 1880
Mary Mapes Dodge, 1831
Emperor Go-Nara of Japan, 1497

Today in History:

The fifth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 66
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on Brazil, 1500
The Council of Trent issues its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, 1564
Isaac Newton receives Jean Bernoulli's 6 month time-limit problem, and solves the problem before going to bed that same night, 1697
The magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America, as evidenced by Japanese records, 1700
The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sails into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent of Australia, 1788
The Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia, 1808
Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States, 1838
Hong Kong is proclaimed a sovereign territory of Britain, 1841
The first US income tax, passed to raise funds for the Civil War, is repealed, 1871
Muhammad Ahmed ("Mahdi") rebels conquer Khartoum, Sudan, 1885
The World's largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, is found, 1905
The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III is officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use, 1907
Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful American seaplane, 1911
Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera, 1911
Former Ford Motor Co. executive Henry Leland launches the Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer, 1920
Rioters burn Cairo's central business district, targeting British and upper-class Egyptian businesses, 1952
Danny Heater sets a worldwide high school basketball scoring record when he records 135 points for Burnsville High School (West Virginia), 1960
Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon, but misses its target by 22,000 miles (35,400 km), 1962
Hindi becomes the official language of India, 1965
The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US, strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h), 1978
Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations, 1980
An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, causing more than 20,000 deaths, 2001

Friday, January 25, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday: Lone Wolf

 The freehand painting of a Wolf that Little Girl put on Bigger Girl's bedroom wall:

Photo-Finish Friday is the brainchild of Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail.

Today is:

Americana Indian and Western Art Show -- Yuma, AZ, US (Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Western art, rugs, and jewelry; through Sunday)

A Room of One's Own Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, for all of those who just want a space to call their own; on the birth anniversary of Virginia Woolf

Around the World in 72 Days -- this date in 1890, Nellie Bly broke the fictional Phileas Fogg's record and went around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds

Big Rock Day -- discovery of the Cullinan diamond (3,106 carets) this day in 1905

Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo -- Rapid City, SD, US (everything you could want in such an event, including the stockman banquet and ball; through Feb. 3)

Conversion of St. Paul -- Christian
     Observe the Weather Day -- a beautiful St. Paul's Conversion day means a prosperous year, precipitation means an expensive year, clouds mean much loss of livestock, and wind means war looms in the year ahead

Dinagyang -- Iloilo, Philippines (huge religious and cultural festival; through the weekend)

Dydd Santes Dwynwen -- Wales (For St. Dwynwen, Patron of lovers, especially Welsh lovers, and sick animals; the Welsh Valentines Day)

Eagles Etcetera Festival -- Bismark, AR, US (bald eagles in the wild, birds of prey demonstrations, and lots of outdoor fun; through Sunday)

Feriae Sementivae -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a Feast of Spring, asking protection for seeds sown in the fall, and those to be sown in spring)

Festival of Constructive Energy -- another internet generated day with no explanations

Fun At Work Day -- inject laughter and fun into your workplace (if you dare)

G. F. Betico Croes Day -- Aruba

January 25 Revolution Day -- Egypt

Luanda City Day -- Angola

Macintosh Computer Day -- debuted this day in 1984

National Irish Coffee Day

National Preschool Fitness Day -- get them loving moving early (last Fri)

National Voters' Day -- India

Old Disting -- Norse Calendar (date approximate; a market day held at the same time as a sacrifice to the female powers.)

Oregon Truffle Festival -- Eugene, OR, US (celebrating the high-end culinary delight that is the lowly truffle, with seminars, cooking demos, and more; through Sunday)

Porri Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (the name means Middle of Winter, and personifies him as Old Man Winter; often the harshest month, so greet him kindly, to soften his heart and hasten spring)
     Bondadagur (Husband's Day) -- first day of Porri (various traditions honoring the man of the house; these days, women often give the men flowers)

Robert Burns' Night -- Scotland; Newfoundland (celebrated with a Burns' Supper and reciting poetry)
     Dinner Party Day -- for Bobby Burns, of course

St. Ananias of Damascus' Day (Saint who baptized St. Paul)

Tu B'Shvat -- Judaism ("New Year of the Trees", begins at sunset)

Winter-een-mas -- a holiday for gamers, begun by Tim Buckley; through the 31st

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, 1533 (secret wedding)
Moscow University is established, to coincide with St. Tatiana's Day, 1755

Birthdays Today:

Alicia Keys, 1981
China Kantner, 1971
Etta James, 1938
Corazon Aquino, 1933
Dean Jones, 1931
Edwin Newman, 1919
Virginia Woolf, 1882
William Somerset Maugham, 1874
Robert Burns, 1759

Today in History:

Founding of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1554
Battle of Mikatagahara, in Japan; Takeda Shingen defeats Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1573
The Treaty of Utrecht marks the beginning of the Dutch Republic, 1579
Eliakam Spooner of Vermont patents the first seeding machine in the US, 1799
The first US engineering college opens, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy, NY, 1825
Sojourner Truth addresses the First Black Women's Rights Convention, in Akron, Ohio, 1851
Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" is first played, at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia, 1858
The soda fountain is patented by Gustavus Dows, 1870
Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company, 1881
Bilu, a Russian Zionist organization, forms, 1882
Nellie Bly beats Phileas Fogg's time around world by 8 days (72 days), 1890
The first US transcontinental telephone call is made when Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF, 1915
The League of Nations is founded, 1919
The 1924 Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, France (in the French Alps), inaugurating the Winter Olympic Games, 1924
The Guiding Light debuts on NBC radio from Chicago (in 1952 it moves to CBS television, where it remains until Sept. 18, 2009), 1937
At the Hollywood Athletic Club the first Emmy Awards are presented, 1949
The Clementine space probe launches, 1994
Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile, 1995
During a historic visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II demands the release of political prisoners and political reforms while condemning US attempts to isolate the country, 1998
Three independent observing campaigns announce the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star, 2006

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well, we still have no service.

The company has no answers about when we might expect to have service.

The good thing is, when i called to ask, i laughed, and joked with the nice person on the phone, and told him i knew it wasn't his fault, that i was just looking for information.

He doubled our internet speed at no extra cost (when it comes back up) for 6 months and gave me a $20 credit toward this month's bill, because of the inconvenience.

Meanwhile, i'm having to plan my days around going to places that have wi-fi a couple of times a day just so i don't get deluged with email and behind on other stuff.

It's funny, but i'm also having lots of trouble logging in to some of my email accounts, even on "good" computers.  There have been a few that i can't open or respond to, but the email program marks them as if it had opened them properly.  They have to be fished out of old mail, and i'm not sure what's up with that.

On top of this, the two closest public libraries to us are both closed for renovations, so there's no going to the library to get online right now.

All minor things that are frustrating when added together.

All things that we will survive, i'm sure, no worse for the wear.

In good news, Uncle J had offered to take #2 Son hunting.  Because #2 Son is now 16, this would entail getting his own hunting licence.  To get said hunting licence, he would have to have his learner's permit or a state ID.

Thus, finally, almost a year after he took the driving course and was supposed to go get his permit, i was finally able to drag him down there to take the test.  Once again, i am the passenger in my car, white knuckled, as a young person learns the ins and outs of the road behind the wheel.

He's actually not bad.  But don't tell him i said that.

Today is:

Alasitis Fair -- Aymara Indians, Bolivia (offerings to the god of prosperity, now celebrated in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Feast of Our Lady of Peace, for whom La Paz is named)

Beer Can Appreciation Day -- the first canned beer went on sale today in 1935

Belly Laugh Day -- at 1:24pm local time, join the Belly Laugh Bounce Around the World!

Economic Liberation Day -- Togo

Eskimo Pie Day -- patented this day in 1921

Fairy-Four Paganalia -- Fairy Calendar

Mawlid an Nabi -- Islam (Prophet's Birthday, began sunset yesterday)

Montana Winter Fair -- Lewiston, MT, US (from farm exhibits to a fiddler's contest, there's fun to be had here; through Sunday)

National Compliment Day -- begun by Debby Hoffman and Kathy Chamberlin, a day in which to compliment at least 5 people

National Peanut Butter Day

Opposite Day -- internet generated, and fun if you play it right

Paul Pitcher Day (So called because it is the eve of the Celebration of St. Paul's Conversion on the road to Damascus.  Cornish tin miners would traditionally set up a water pitcher in a public place and throw stones at it to destroy it.  A replacement pitcher was then bought and filled with beer, which was drunk and replenished through the day.  These miners were great inventors for reasons to celebrate, and they did this to rebel against the rule that only water was to be consumed during the work day.)

Sailing of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (people sailed the Nile to converge on Bubastis and celebrate the cat goddess; date approximate)

Sementivae, in honor of Ceres and Terra, begins -- Roman Empire (one of the few dating approximate items on the Roman Calendar, as each area of the Empire celebrated according to the timing of a local magistrate, but now through Feb. 2 was a typical time)

Social Sipping and Nibbling Rehearsal Day -- a day to practice cutting a piece of cake on a paper plate, using a plastic fork, and also balancing a napkin and punch in a paper cup; or practicing what clever thing you will say if you drop it all

St. Francis de Sales' Day (Patron of authors/journalists/writers, confessors, deaf people, educators/teachers; Champdepraz, Aosta, Italy; against deafness)

St. Moritz Polo world Cup on Snow -- St. Moritz, Switzerland (winter polo on the frozen lake of St. Moritz; through Sunday)

Winter Carnival -- St. Paul, MN, US (a tradition over 100 years in the making; through February 3)

Ziua Unirii -- Romania (Unification Day)

Anniversaries Today:

Popeye meets Olive Oyl, 1929 (in Elzie Segar's Thimble Theater comic strip)

Birthdays Today:

Tatyana Ali, 1979
Mary Lou Retton, 1968
Nastassia Kinski, 1960
Jools Holland, 1958
Yakov Smirnoff, 1951
John Belushi, 1949
Warren Zevon, 1947
Sharon Tate, 1943
Neil Diamond, 1941
Aaron Neville, 1941
Ray Stevens, 1939
Maria Tallchief, 1925
Jerry Maren, 1920
Oral Roberts, 1918
Ernest Borgnine, 1917
Granny D (formerly Granny Haddock, or Ethel Doris Haddock, political activist)
Edith Wharton, 1862

Today in History:

Caligula, known for his cruel despotism, is assassinated and succeeded by his uncle Claudius, 41
Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders, 1639
The first Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland, 1656
Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga, 1776
The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia,1857
The Romania principality arises under King Alexander Cuza, with Bucharest as the capital, 1862
General Baden-Powell's publication of Scouting for Boys starts the Boy Scouts movement, 1908
The Gregorian calendar introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective from February 14(NS), 1918
Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, 1952
A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost, 1961
Jackie Robinson is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1962
Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II, 1972
Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered, 1978
The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale, 1984
Voyager 2 passes within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus, 1986
Japan launches Hiten, the country's first lunar probe,and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States, 1990

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Well, that was...

...only a little bit helpful.

The AT&T repair guy came.  He was very nice, as they all are.

He checked everything out, as they all do.

At the end, all he could say was that all of our equipment in our home is working just fine.

It seems there has been some regional trouble.  Customers in the whole Southeast region of the US are having trouble.

Some have service, but their neighbors do not.  Some entire neighborhoods, cities, or regions are out.

There is no trouble with our stuff, but they can't get the signal to us.

They are "working on it."  There is no timeline on when it will be repaired.

When i asked the nice man when i would know that we had service again, he said, "Just keep trying to reboot the modem.  When it works, you are back on again."

So, there we are.

Meanwhile, i will be decamping to wi-fi spots when i am able.

Today is:

Bounty Day -- Pitcairn Island (celebrates the burning of the HMS Bounty in 1790

Cold, Cold, Cold Day -- coldest temp ever recorded in the US, -79.8°F (-62.11°C), this day in 1971 at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska

Day of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Lenaia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (three day Dionysian festival to arouse the sleeping vegetation and bring spring; date approximate)

Mawlid an Nabi -- Muslim (Prophet's Birthday, celebration begins at sunset)

National Pie Day

National Handwriting Day -- on the birth anniversary of John Hancock, to encourage the dying art of legible handwriting

National Rhubarb Pie Day

Measure Your Feet Day -- one can only ask...."Why!?!"

Ragwort Dance -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies only)

Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; plow drivers, see how far you can make those rural mailboxes go!

St. John the Almoner's Day (Patron of Knights Hospitaller; known for his generosity to the poor, "If we are able to enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbor in need.")

Zehnder's Snowfest, Ice Carving, and State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Competition -- Frankenmuth, MI, US (fun for the whole family; through the 28th)

Anniversaries Today:

The founding of Georgetown University, the first US Catholic college, 1789

Birthdays Today:

Princess Caroline of Monaco, 1957
Antonio Villaraigosa, 1953
Rutger Hauer, 1944
Chita Rivera, 1933
Jeanne Moreau, 1928
Ernie Kovacs, 1919
John M. Browning, 1855
Edouard Manet, 1832
John Hancock, 1737

Today in History:

Epoch (origin) of the Kali Yuga (Hindu Iron Age of the Gods), BC3102
In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops, 971
The first printing of Ramban's Sha'ar ha-Gemul, 1490
The first printing of the Pentateuch, 1492
The second version of Book of Common Prayer becomes mandatory in England, 1552
What is probably the most deadly earthquake in history kills 830,000 in Shensi Province, China, 1556
Queen Elizabeth I opens the Royal Exchange in London, 1571
Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales, 1656
Joseph Pease, a Quaker, is admitted to Parliament on his affirmation, 1833
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female physician in the US, 1849
The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1855
Alesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Alesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless an one person dead, 1904
Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American US senator, 1907
Pianist Ignaz Paderewski becomes premier of the Polish government in exile, 1940
Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time, 1943
The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean, 1960
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, 1986
Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10, 2003

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bump in the Road

We woke up Monday morning to an unexpected bump in the road.

When i cranked up Ol' Bessy, she wouldn't connect to the internet.  Not unusual, at least once a day i have to disconnect and reconnect.

Yet i have learned to go look at the wi-fi modem first, make sure it's not a bigger problem.

It was a bigger problem.

Back when we got our current system of phone/internet/tv, it worked well for a couple of months.

Then, about once a month, i would have to call the company because we had no internet.  After doing this each month for 6 months, a rep told me over the phone how to reboot for myself.

Ever since then, if we have a problem, i turn the modem off, then on.  If that doesn't fix it, i reboot the gateway.  That has always worked.

Until now.  So a call to customer service, which always includes telling the automated whatever-it-is over and over that i want to speak to a representative, and they cannot figure out what the problem is, either.

A repair person is supposed to come to our home today, and i hope we can actually get it fixed.

Meanwhile, i have packed Ol' Bessy and all of her accoutrements (cooling pad, power cord, wireless card) into a bag and decamped to a local coffee house with free wi-fi.

Until we are back on at home, i will have to decamp to such locations to check in.

It's just a bump in the road, though.  A first world problem.  Having to worry about whether you can feed your children is a real problem.  Having to worry about the fact that they have to do without electronic entertainment is trifling.

Today is:

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

Celebration of Life Day

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

Day of Unity and Liberty of Ukraine -- Ukraine

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

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

National Speak Up and Succeed Day -- become one of those people who aren't afraid of public speaking, practice! sponsored by Polished Presentations International

Rid The World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day -- always the Tuesday of Healthy Weight Week and announcement of the Slim Chance Awards, highlighting the worst fad diets of the prior year;

Sioux Empire Farm Show -- Sioux Falls, SD, US (great winter farm show, since you can't be planting, come out and have fun; through Saturday)

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

Birthdays Today:

Steven Adler, 1965
Diane Lane, 1965
Michael Kelland Hutchence, 1960
Linda Blair, 1959
Steve Perry, 1949
John Hurt, 1940
Joseph Wambaugh, 1937
Sam Cooke, 1935
Bill Bixby, 1934
Piper Laurie, 1932
Ann Sothern, 1909
George Balanchine, 1904
D.W. Griffith, 1875
Grigori Rasputin, 1869
Nat Turner, 1800
Lord Byron, 1788
Sir Francis Bacon, 1561

Today in History:

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beauty of It

Little Girl came in from Youth Group at church, and i asked how it was.

"We are studying John's Gospel," she said, which i knew.  The youth leaders keep us up on what's being studied so parents can discuss these topics with the kids during the week.

"Also, we played 'manhunt,'" she said.

That must be fun, i noted.

"Oh, it is.  We divide into two teams, with one hiding and one searching.  And both times that I was on the team that was hiding, no one could find me.  One person came within one foot of me, but still didn't see me!" she was smiling with glee.

"Ah," she added, "the beauty of wearing dark jeans, a black t-shirt, and a black jacket when playing 'manhunt' outside in the dark!"

Today is:

Anniversary of the Elf Wars -- Fairy Calendar

Celtic Tree Month Luis (Rowan) begins

Clean Out Your Email Inbox Week -- cure your email e-ddiction, get rid of the old stuff clogging up your inbox; see InboxDetox for details

Errol Barrow Day -- Barbados

International Bon Jovi Day -- they released their first album this date in 1983

Lady of Altagracia Day -- Dominican Republic

Martin Luther King Day -- US and Territories (obs.)

National Hugging Day™ -- includes the announcements of the Most Huggable People of the Year

New England Clam Chowder Day

Quebec Flag Day -- Quebec, Canada

Squirrel Appreciation Day -- sponsored by Christy Hargrove of the Western North Carolina Nature Center

St. Agnes' Day (Patron of betrothed couples, bodily purity/chastity, crops, gardeners, Girl Scouts, girls, rape victims, virgins; the Colegio Capranica of Rome; Manresa, Spain; Rockville Centre, NY)

St. Meinrad of Einsiedeln's Day (Patron of hospitality; Einsiedeln, Switzerland; Swabia, Germany)

"Stonewall" Jackson's Birthday Celebration -- Lexington, VA (at the Jackson home)

Wellington Province Anniversary Day -- Wellington, New Zealand (oobs.; trad. date 22nd)

Birthdays Today:

Robby Bendson, 1956
Geena Davis, 1956
Jill Eikenberry, 1947
Mac Davis, 1942
Placido Domingo, 1941
Jack Nicklaus, 1940
Wolfman Jack, 1939
Benny Hill, 1925
Telly Savalas, 1924
Benny Hill, 1924
Paul Scofield, 1922
Barney Clark, 1921
Karl Wallenda, 1905
John M. Browning, 1855
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, 1824

Today in History:

Philip II, Henry II, and Richard the Lionheart initiate the 3rd Crusade, 1189
The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is founded, 1525
The first American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy," is published, 1789
After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine, 1793
Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccination is introduced, 1799
The envelope-folding machine is patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1853
The first US sewage disposal system that is separate from storm drains opens in Memphis, Tennessee, 1880
Kiwanis International is founded in Detroit, 1915
The first slalom ski race is run in Murren, Switzerland, 1922
The Flag of Quebec is adopted and flown for the first time over the National Assembly of Quebec, 1948
A B-52 bomber crashes near Thule Air Base, contaminating the area after its nuclear payload ruptures. One of the four bombs remains unaccounted for after the cleanup operation is complete, 1968
The current Emley Moor transmitting station, the tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, begins transmitting UHF broadcasts, 1971
Commercial service of Concorde begins with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes, 1976
Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car begins in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, 1981
NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies in the management of its flash memory and is fixed remotely from Eart, 2004
Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks drop as much as 14%, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2013


 This marks post number 1,300 for me.

Every day for 1,300 days, i have posted something on this blog.

It's not always easy, but i've enjoyed it enough to keep going.

Finding all the fun things people do and celebrate around the world, keeping up with the birthdays of famous people (especially those i happen to like or find interesting), posting about what has happened in the past, it's been fun.

While i might tinker with some things, eventually, it's not something i'm of a mind to stop any time soon.

Today is:

2013 Healthy Weight Week -- sponsored by Healthy Weight Network, including the Slim Chance Awards (highlighting the unhealthiest fad diets of the previous year), the Women's Healthy Body Image Awards, and, on Tuesday, Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day

Armed Forces Day -- Mali

Ati-Atihan Festival -- Aklan, Kalibo, Panay Island, Philippines (main feast and final day of the vivid religious carnival/feast dating back to the 13th century to honor Santo Nino [Baby Jesus])

Augusta Futurity -- Augusta, GA, US (the top cutting horses and riders in the world to compete for purse and awards; through Saturday)

Camcorder Day -- five companies agreed, this day in 1982, to cooperate and construct a camera with a built in VCR, thus making it even easier for your dull neighbors to bore you with home movies

Celtic Tree Month Beth (Birch) ends

Coffee Break Day

Day of National Mourning -- Azerbaijan (a/k/a Martyrs' Day)

Festival of Jubilation for Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate, in Busiris)

Heroes Day -- Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau (death anniversary of Amilcar Cabral)

Hunt For Happiness Week begins -- sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People, who want you to join this week; through Saturday

La Tamborrada de San Sebastian -- San Sebastian, Spain (24 hours of drumming, begun last evening)

National Buttercrunch Day

National Cheese Lover's Day

National Granola Bar Day

National Disc Jockey Day -- listed lots of places, but no particular reason given for the choice of date

Penguin Awareness Day -- lots of celebrating, but no history of who started it

Sacrifices to Athena -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Santos Tour Down Under -- Adelaide, Australia (a world class cycling event; through next Sunday)

Sight-Saving Sabbath -- to alert church members to the importance of regular eye exams

Sinulog -- Cebu City, Philippines (a very colorful festival about the pagan origin of the people, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism)

Stay Young Forever Day -- celebrate the child in all of us, do something fun

St. Sebastian's Day (Patron of archers, armorers, arrowsmiths/fletchers, athletes, bookbinders, diseased cattle, dying people, gardeners, gunsmiths, hardware stores, ironmongers, lace makers/lace workers, lead workers, masons, plague victims, police officers, Pontifical Swiss Guards, raquet makers, soldiers, stone masons/stone cutters; several cities, but especially of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, where today is marked with celebrations; against cattle disease, enemies of religion, plague)

Take a Walk Outdoors Day -- unless it's storming, a good way to get some exercise

Tenmangu Kowakamai -- Setaka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (festival of old style Japanese dances)

World Religion Day -- Baha'i

Birthdays Today:

Rainn Wilson, 1966
Bill Maher, 1956
David Lynch, 1946
Dorothy Provine, 1937
Arte Johnson, 1934
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 1930
Patricia Neal, 1926
Federico Fellini, 1920
DeForest Kelley, 1920
George Burns, 1896
Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, 1889
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778
André-Marie Ampère, 1775

Today in History:

The first elected English Parliament called into session by the 6th Earl of Leicester, and meets in the Palace of Westminster (a/k/a Houses of Parliament), 1265
The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored, 1502
The Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) is founded in Spain to deal with American affairs, 1503
The cornerstone of Amsterdam town hall laid, 1648
The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson, 1788
China cedes Hong Kong to British, 1841
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster, 1885
The first full length talking motion picture filmed outdoors is released, "In Old Arizona", 1929
Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews, 1942
The first atomic submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut, 1955
Witnesses report sightings of a Bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the River Thames since records began in 1913, 2006
A three-man team, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1958 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance, 2007

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Who didn't grow up...

 ...reading Dear Abby?

And Ann Landers, her sister.

They were staples of the newspaper when i was growing up.  In fact, in the early years, we got one in the morning paper, the other in the evening paper.

Later, when there was only one paper a day, it had both.

While i didn't always agree with the advice, i did most of the time, and i always found them entertaining.

Plus, i was always assured i didn't have the weirdest family ever, nor did i have the worst problems in the history of the world.

When Ann Landers died, her column died with her.  Two of her longtime editors/assistants do a similar column, called Annie's Mailbox, that is usually good.

Abigail Van Buren, or Dear Abby, had her daughter take over the name and the column when she found out she had Alzheimer's disease several years ago.  Jeanne Phillips does a good job carrying on her mother's legacy.  She ought to, as her mother hired her to answer letters written in by teens when she was a teen herself and wanted a way to earn money.  Jeanne would write, her mother would critique and approve, and make Jeanne rewrite if needed.  So Jeanne Phillips is no slouch.

And yet.  The death of the original Dear Abby makes me pause, and remember.

Nothing is exactly the same.  It never stays exactly the same.

We can either grouse against it, or get used to it, or become sad and bitter, or live in the past, or embrace the change, while admitting we miss what has passed.

So, i miss what has passed, but i am embracing and enjoying what is new.

It's a way to keep the rheumatism out of the soul.

Today is:

Annual Visit of the Poe Toaster -- the mysterious person who, for almost 75 years, dressed in black with a wide brimmed hat and scarf, annually visited Poe's grave on his birthday, leaving roses and cognac; has not been seen since 2009

Bald Eagle Appreciation Days -- Keokuk, IA, US (through tomorrow)

Brew A Potion Day -- internet generated, no reasons given

Confederate Heroes Day -- Texas, US (some things never change)

Feast of Sultan (Sovereignty) -- Baha'i

Gasparilla Extravaganza -- Tampa, FL, US (the rum free version of the Pirate Festival celebration, with a kid's parade and lots of fun; the adult version is next Saturday)

Horror Novels Are Horrendous Day -- for Poe's birth anniversary

IceFest -- Ligonier, PA, US (ice sculpture contest and lots of family fun; through Sunday)

La Tamborrada -- San Sebastian, Spain (begins in the evening, a 24 hour drum jam session and the city's biggest fiesta)

Learn to Ski Day -- always the 3rd Saturday of January, and you go right ahead

Little Ricky Day -- marking the date of his arrival on "I Love Lucy"

National Popcorn Day

Neon Sign Day -- patented this day in 1915

Polar Bear Festival/Polar Bear Jump -- Seward, AK, US (lots of fun, if you want to freeze!)

Sacrifices to Apollon -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Sounkyo Ice Festival -- Hokkaido, Japan (snow and ice sculptures, through March 31)

St. Canute's Day a/k/a St. Knud (Patron of Denmark)

St. Henry of Uppsala's Day (Patron of the Catholic Cathedral of Helsinki; Finland; against storms)

Theophany/Epiphany -- Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians who still follow the Julian Calendar
     Timket -- Ethiopian Orthodox Christian (with huge, colorful festivals through the whole country)
     Blessing of the Waters -- Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia, Bayswater, London, UK

Tin Can Day -- patented this day in 1825

Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities -- Eatonville, FL, US (celebrating Hurston's work, hometown, and cultural contributions, and the contributions of all Africa-descended people; through the 27th)

Birthdays Today:

Jodie Sweetin, 1982
Shawn Wayans, 1971
Wendy Moniz, 1969
Junior Seau, 1969
Paul McCrane, 1961
Thomas Kinkade, 1958
Desi Arnaz, Jr., 1953
Dewey Bunnell, 1952
Robert Palmer, 1949
Paula Deen, 1947
Dolly Parton, 1946
Shelley Fabares, 1944
Janis Joplin, 1943
Michael Crawford, 1942
Phil Everly, 1939
Tippi Hedren, 1931
Jean Stapleton, 1923
Guy Madison, 1922
John H. Johnson, 1918
Lester Flatt, 1914
Paul Cezanne, 1839
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809
Robert E. Lee, 1807

Today in History:

Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy, 1419
San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is currently the oldest church in the Philippines, 1607
The second group of ships of the First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay, 1788
The United Kingdom occupies the Cape of Good Hope, 1806
Goethe's Faust Part I premiers, 1829
Verdi's Il Trivatore premiers in Rome, 1853
The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey, 1883
Ibsen's play The Master Builder premiers in Berlin, 1893
Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising, 1915
The US Senate votes against membership in League of Nations, 1920
Coopers Inc. sells the world's first briefs, 1930
For the only time in recorded history, snow falls in Miami, Florida, 1977
The last VW Beetle made in Germany leaves the plant, 1978
United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity, 1981
The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced, 1983
Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations, 1993
The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto, 2006