Thursday, February 28, 2013

Philosopy, College Age Style

"Mom, I've decided I'm not going to go skydiving someday like I had planned."  Bigger Girl had just come in from her classes at the local community college.

Really, i mumbled as i searched for more Parmesan cheese in the pantry.  Someone had, with the usual efficiency of our contains young people household, put the empty container back in the fridge.

"Yes," she continued.  "I've decided to go base jumping instead.  It's where you find a cliff and jump, and soar until it's time to open your parachute.  It's more environmentally friendly because you don't have to waste the fuel on an airplane."

Well, i noted drily, as long as your insurance is paid up so i can bury you if the need arises, have fun!

"Mom, do you ever worry about me when I say I'm planning to do dangerous things like climb mountains and base jump?"

Why should i worry? i responded.  First of all, you haven't done any of these things, and you aren't going to be doing them for a while  To worry now would be useless.  Also, none of us know when our time will come, any of us could end up in a bad accident on any given day, so why worry?  Besides, i know you, if you do end up doing any of these things, you will make sure you get professional guidance and do them correctly, and if you die trying, you went out feet first, and happy.

"Yep, no regrets that way!" she said, then went on.  "Our Public Speaking textbook says that most people either live their lives always looking at their past and regretting it, or living for the here and now and only to enjoy the present moment, or putting everything off and living for the future.  I think that's wrong.  I want to live in such a way that I am enjoying every moment in the here and now and making good use of these moments, so I will have a past worth remembering and so I can create a future worth living!"

And that, my dear, is why i don't have to worry.


Today is:

Car Keys and Small Change Day -- ???

Charro Days Fiesta -- Brownsville, TX, US (international cooperation, Brownsville and its sister city Matamoros, Mexico, put on a beautiful celebration of the charro horsemen of Mexico, as well as dances, parades, and a carnival; through Mar.7)

Dia de Andalucia -- Andalucia, Spain

DNA Day -- day in 1953 when Watson and Crick determined the double helix structure of DNA

Februalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (purification of Rome performed by citizens making sacrifices to the dead)

Floral Design Day -- a day to acknowledge this art form

Florida Strawberry Festival -- Plant City, FL, US (celebrating the winter strawberry harvest; through Mar. 10)

Kalevala Day -- Finland (Finnish Culture Day)

National Chili Day

National Chocolate Souffle' Day

National Science Day -- India

National Tooth Fairy Day - and/or August 22

Peace Memorial Day -- Taiwan

Public Sleeping Day -- this one even has a wikiHow page 

St. Hedwig of Poland's Day (Patron of queens)

St. Romanus' Day (Patron of the mentally ill; against drowning, insanity)

Teacher's Day -- Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Jordan; Libya; Morocco; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Yemen

Birthdays Today (Also includes Feb. 29 Birthdays following)

Robert Sean Leonard, 1969
Gilbert Gottfried, 1955
Bernadette, Peters, 1948
Brian Jones, 1942Mario Andretti, 1940
Tommy Tune, 1939
Gavin MacLeod, 1930
Charles Durning, 1923
Zero Mostel, 1915
Earl Scheib, 1907
Vincente Minnelli, 1903
Linus Pauling, 1901
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533

Antonio Sabato, Jr., 1972
Tony Robbins, 1960
Gretchen Christopher, 1940
Jack Lousma, 1936
Dinah Shore, 1916
Jimmy Dorsey, 1904
William Wellman, 1896
Herman Hollerith, 1860

Anniversaries Today:

University of Pittsburgh is chartered, 1787

Today in History:

Coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty's rule over China, BC202
The first edition of Henry Fieldings' "Tom Jones" is published, 1749
John Wesley charters the Methodist Church, 1784
The first commercial railroad in US, Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) is chartered, 1827
Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec), 1838
Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor, 1849
The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire, 1870
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone, 1885
The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched, 1893
Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force, 1897
Egypt regains independence from Britain, but British troops remain, 1922
DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents Nylon, 1935
Basketball is televised for the first time, 1940
In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives, 1947
James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April Nature (pub. April 2), 1953
The first-ever color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public, 1954
The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué, 1972
Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum, 1980
GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way, 1997
First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace, 1998
Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947, 2004
Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft, 2007, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec), 1838
Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor, 1849
The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire, 1870
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone, 1885
The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched, 1893
Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force, 1897
Egypt regains independence from Britain, but British troops remain, 1922
DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents Nylon, 1935
Basketball is televised for the first time, 1940
In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives, 1947
James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April Nature (pub. April 2), 1953
The first-ever color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public, 1954
The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué, 1972
Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum, 1980
GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way, 1997
First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace, 1998
Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947, 2004
Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft, 2007

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yesterday Was

A prime headache day.

Those don't come along often, but when they do, there is only one cure.

More coffee.

#2 Son and i spent a futile hour trying to get him a work permit.  Someone here in our part of south Louisiana decided that before teens can get a job, they have to get a work permit from their school.

If the child is in a small private school or home school, you have to go to the public school s/he would attend to get this precious slip of paper.

It cannot be denied to the teen who wants it, no matter the student's grades or participation in other activities.  It is not filed with any state or local agency.  It is simply a paperwork boondoggle meant to make us run around uselessly so we can say we did it, if anyone ever asks, which they don't.

It is especially useless when, as with Bigger Girl a couple of years ago, it is needed for a summer job.  Yes, when school is out, and you are 17, or even if you graduated at 17 as some do, you still have to go get a work permit from school.

A permit, as i noted, that they cannot deny you, and which no one will ever see or bother with.

Thus, after going to two different schools and being given information, but no piece of paper, i needed more coffee.

"Everybody should believe something.  I believe I'll have more coffee."  Anonymous

Today is:

Day of Selene -- Ancient Greek Calendar (goddess of the moon, date approximate)

Equirria -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Cavalry Horse Festival)

Feast of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows/Gabriel Possenti (Patron of clerics, students, young people; Abruzzi, Italy; Catholic Action)

Inconvenience Yourself Day -- enrich your life by looking for ways to make a positive impact on the world, even if it inconveniences you 

Independence Day -- Dominican Republic(1844)

Majuba Day -- South Africa (celebration of the Boers victory at Majuba Hill)

National Kahlua Day

National Strawberry Day -- no, i don't know why this isn't in June, when the berries are best; maybe the person who put it here had too much Kahlua

No Brainer Day - this day is for me! created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, "America's Premier Eventologist"

Polar Bear Day -- as declared by Polar Bears International

Read Five Pages in the Dictionary Day -- internet generated, and am i the only one who likes the idea?

Runic Half Month Tyr commences (cosmic pillar)

St. Galmier of Lyon's Day (Patron of locksmiths)

The Hop -- Fairy Calendar

Threepenny Day -- Eton College, England (By the last will of two Provosts in the 16th century, each boy receives a threepenny piece on this day -- enough to buy half a sheep back then.)

Birthdays Today:

Josh Groban, 1981
Chelsea Clinton, 1980
Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas, 1971
Mary Fran, 1943
Howard Hesseman, 1940
Ralph Nadar, 1934
Elizabeth Taylor, 1932
Joanne Woodward, 1930
Ariel Sharon, 1928
John Connally, 1917
John Steinbeck, 1902
Marian Anderson, 1897
David Sarnoff, 1891
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807
Constantine I, 272

Today in History:

The first Russian Embassy arrives in London, 1557
The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland, 1560
Yuan Chonghuan is appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians under Nurhaci, 1626
Jews are expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I, 1670
The Pacific island of New Britain is discovered, 1700
Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire, 1812
The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti, 1844
Composer Robert Schumann is saved from a suicide attempt in Rhine, 1854
Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland, 1861
The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships, 1870
Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first African American woman to earn a law degree, from Howard University, 1872
Lord Kitchener opens Khartoum-El Obeid (Nyala) railway, 1912
Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14, 1940
The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over, 1964
The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973
People magazine is published for the first time, 1974
U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated", 1991
A Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, 2002
The Shanghai Stock Exchange falls 9%, the largest drop in 10 years, 2007
Central Chile is hit with an 8.8 magnitude earthquake, 2010

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thank You, Dr. Koop

Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States, has died at age 96.

He was a pioneer pediatric surgeon, an advocate of a tobacco free society, and a role model.

Before he became Surgeon General, i had never paid much attention to that position.  He was so passionate about educating people, empowering them to make good decisions for their health, that he changed how the role was perceived.

He was the calm voice during the first storms of AIDS.  As conservative as he was, he saw that abstinence was not going to be practiced by some people, and believed they therefore needed to be told how to stay healthy within their choices.

Because of his passion for educating people, he touched the lives of millions.

Thank you, Dr. Koop.  Rest in Peace, you will be miseed.

Today is:

Ayyám-i-Há -- Baha'i (intercalary days, devoted to service and gift giving; through Mar. 1)

Dance of the Known Places -- Fairy Calendar

For Pete's Sake Day -- Wellcat Holidays asks us, who is Pete, and why do things for his sake?  think about that as you celebrate this today

Intercalary Days -- Baha'i (through Mar. 1)

Levi Strauss Day -- his birth anniversary

Liberation Day -- Kuwait

National Personal Chef Day -- heaven knows we all have one of those; some websites list it today, some on July 16

National Pistachio Day

Rooks Nesting Day -- Olde England (12 days after Candlemas on the Julian Calendar)

Spay Day USA -- sponsored by the HSUS; Sit! Stay! Spay!  Good Owner!

St. Alexander's Day (Patriarch of Alexandria)

St. Isabella of France's Day (Patron of the sick)

Tell a Fairy Tale Day -- shouldn't this have been two days ago, on Wilhelm Grimm's birth anniversary?

The Man In Black Day -- Johnny Cash's birth anniversary

Thriller Day -- Michael Jackson's album "Thriller" hit #1 today, and stayed there for 37 weeks

World Spay Day -- don't let your pets litter!

Birthdays Today:

Erykah Badu, 1972
Mark Dacascos, 1964
Michael Bolton, 1953
Johnny Cash, 1932
Fats Domino, 1928
Betty Hutton, 1921
Tony Randall, 1920
Jackie Gleason, 1916
Margaret Leighton, 1922
Tex Avery, 1908
Madeleine Carroll, 1906
William Frawley, 1887
Herbert Henry Dow, 1866
John Harvey Kellog, 1852
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, 1846
Levi Strauss, 1829
Victor Hugo, 1802

Today in History:

Origin of the Epoch of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era, BC747
An earthquake in Lisbon leaves 20,000-30,000 dead, 1531
Christiansborg Castle, Copenhagen burns down, 1794
The Bank of England issues its first banknotes, 1797
Vice-admiral William Bligh ends the siege of Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad, 1804
Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba, 1815
In New York City a demonstration of the first pneumatic subway opens to the public, 1870
HMS Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic, is launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, 1914
The Original Dixieland Jass Band records the first jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York, 1917
Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of RADAR in the United Kingdom, 1935
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that his nation has an atomic bomb, 1952
Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, 1952
National Public Radio incorporates as a non-profit corporation, 1970
Egypt and Israel establish full diplomatic relations, 1980
The Sandinistas are defeated in Nicaraguan elections, 1990
On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, 1991
In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand, 1993
The United Kingdom's oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapses, 1995
Mount Hekla in Iceland erupts, 2000
Republic of Macedonia President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004

Monday, February 25, 2013

How to have...

...a great congregational meeting.

First, have the session call a congregational meeting.

Second, remind your husband.  Twice.  Have him tell you he forgot, all the way up to the last minute.

Drag him anyway, even if his father did tell him when he was a teen that he didn't have to go to such things.  Remind him that, as a grown-up now, it's time to step up.

Third, be grateful that everyone there wants it over fast, also, and that they put on their "track shoes" and got it done in record time.  Also, be grateful all the news is good this year.

Fourth, feed everyone well after, and provide entertainment.  Nothing makes people happier to show up at a regular meeting than having an "eatin' meetin'" afterward!

Today is:

Amitabha Buddha Day -- Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhists

Dairokuten-no-Hadaka Matsuri -- Chiba, Japan (around this date; one of Japan's "naked" festivals, as participants wear only a loincloth as they wrestle in the cold, wet mud, bringing luck to the community as they run through the crowds smearing the lucky mud on the onlookers)

Dance of the Secret Places -- Fairy Calendar

Dag van de Revolutie -- Suriname (Day of Liberation and Innovation)

Februaristaking -- Netherlands (commemoration of a strike against the Nazis)

Festival of Ptah -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Full Snow Moon -- sometimes also called the Full Hunger Moon, as the most snow falls this month and finding food is hardest
     Meaka Bochea -- Buddhist (celebration of the final sermon of Buddha)
     Navam Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka
     Spring Lantern Festival -- China (final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations)
     Tabodwe Full Moon -- Myanmar (month of Hta-Ma-Ne Feast, the harvest festival of Thanksgiving)

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- Houston, TX, US (since 1932, great rodeo action and top-name entertainment; through Mar. 17)

Jenadriyah National Festival -- Saudi Arabia (two week heritage and cultural festival around this time of year, but i can't find exact dates)

Kitano Baika-sai (Plum Blossom Festival) -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Let's All Eat Right Day -- in honor of the birth of Adelle Davis in 1904, an early pioneer in good nutrition

National Chocolate Covered Peanuts Day -- some sites say any nuts will do, some specify peanuts; take your pick

National Clam Chowder Day -- not to be confused with New England Clam Chowder Day, back in January

National Day -- Kuwait

People's Revolution Day/People Power Day -- Philippines

Pistol Patent Day -- Samuel Colt received US Patent #138 for the first pistol on this day in 1836

Read Me Week -- local and national celebrities, with community volunteers, are encouraged to visit classrooms this week and read to children

St. Walburga's Day (Patron of boatmen/mariners/sailors/watermen, harvests; Antwerp, Belgium; Eichstätt, Germany; Gronigen, Netherlands; Oudenarde, Belgium; Plymouth, England; Zutphen, Netherlands; against coughs, dog bites, famine, hydrophobia/rabies, mad dogs, plague, storms)

Soviet Occupation Day -- Georgia

Quiet Day -- can't find the history behind this one, but mommy wants one!

Birthdays Today:

Sean Astin, 1971
Carrot Top, 1965
Lee Evans, 1964
Ric Flair, 1949
George Harrison, 1943
Tom Courtenay, 1937
Bob Schieffer, 1937
Sally Jessy Raphael, 1935
Bobby Riggs, 1918
Anthony burgess, 1917
Jim Backus, 1913
Adelle Davis, 1904
Zeppo Marx, 1901
Meher Baba, 1894
Enrico Caruso, 1873
Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1841
Xuande, Emperor of China, 1398

Today in History:

The First Bank of the United States is chartered, 1791
The German Midiatisation is enacted, taking over 1,000 German sovereign states into about 40 larger entities, 1803
Samuel Colt patents the first revolving barrel multishot firearm, 1836
The first US electric printing press is patented by Thomas Davenport, 1837
Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress, 1870
The US Steel Corp. is organized under J P Morgan, 1901
The Stanley Cup: Ottawa Silver 7 sweep Toronto Marlboroughs in 2 games, 1904
Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, 1912
Oregon places a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax, 1919
Diplomatic relations between Japan and the Soviet Union are established, 1925
Glacier Bay National Monument (now Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve) is established in Alaska, 1925
Francisco Franco becomes General of Spain, 1926
Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission, 1928
The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier, 1933
In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike is declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis, 1941
The first Pan American Games are held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1951
Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston, 1964
The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, the first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, goes online, 1971
President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the first Filipino woman president, 1986
In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshipers and injuring 125 more, 1994
In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil-led government suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state, 2011

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Saved, from the scrap heap, one DVD that was believed to be scratched beyond use.

The treatment began with a very fine microfiber cloth that does not scratch.  It was a deep purple one that i got from FlyLady's FlyShop.

Then i grabbed the baking soda.  After rinsing the disc to make sure there wasn't any dust or grit that would make things worse, i sprinkled on the baking soda and rubbed with the purple cloth.  Rinse and repeat, 3 times.

When that was done, believe it or not, a coating of Turtle Wax car polish.  Gently apply, leave until it is dry, and then equally gently wipe off starting at the center of the disc and wiping outward toward the edge.

All of us are happier now, Kung Fu Panda is back! ;)

Today is:

Amun in the Festival of Raising Heaven -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Daytona 500 Race -- Daytona International Speed-way, Daytona Beach, FL, US

Dragobete -- Romania (lover's day, and the day birds choose a mate, also considered by locals as the first day of spring)

Edo Nagashibina -- Sumidagawa River, Japan (ritual to wish for children's good health by washing the sins of the body away)

FESTIMA -- Mouhoun, Burkina Faso (Festival International des Masques et des ARts de Dedougou/International Mask Festival, a multi-day African heritage and cultural display; dates to be confirmed)

Flag Day -- Mexico

Giving of Shoes -- Fairy Calendar

Goa Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (month of the goddess Goa, personified as the daughter of Old Man Winter; as last month greeted her father well, greet her kindly, too, for an easy weather month)
     Konudagur -- Housewife's Day (just as the first day last month honored husbands, this month the wife is greeted with either coffee or flowers)

Gregorian Calendar Day -- Gregory XIII issued the Papal Bull requiring Roman Catholics to adopt his calendar reform on this day; the effective date of adoption was to be Oct. 4, 1582

Iseseisvuspaev/Independence Day -- Estonia(1918)

National Artist Day -- Thailand

National Tortilla Chip Day

N'cwala -- Zambia (Thanksgiving festival, celebrated with traditional dance, music, and specially brewed beer)

Nylon Toothbrush Day -- the first ones went on sale this date in 1938

Purim -- Judaism (began sundown yesterday, through sundown today)

Regifugium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (flight of the king)

St. Æthelberht of Kent's Day (first Christian King of the Anglo-Saxons; some have his day listed tomorrow instead)

Tokyo Marathon 2013 -- Tokyo, Japan

Triodion begins -- Orthdox Christian

Anniversaries Today:

The American University is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America, 1893
Western Washington University is established, 1899

Birthdays Today:

Billy Zane, 1966
Kristin Davis, 1965
Eddie Murray, 1956
Steven Jobs, 1955
Alain Prost, 1955
George Thorogood, 1950
Edward James Olmos, 1947
Joe Lieberman, 1942
James Farentino, 1938
Michel Legrand, 1932
Abe Vigoda, 1921
Chester W. Nimitz, 1885
Honus Wagner, 1874
Wilhelm Karl Grimm, 1786
Ibn Battutah, 1304
Emperor Toba of Japan, 1103

Today in History:

St. Francis of Assisi, age 26, receives his vocation in Portiuncula, Italy, 1208
In the first imperial coronation by a pope,Charles V is crowned by Clement V, 1530
Pope Gregory XIII, by decree, institutes what is now known as the Gregorian Calendar, correcting the older Julian Calendar, 1582
L'Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first works recognized as an opera, receives its première performance, 1607
The London première of Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage, 1711
The US Supreme Court first declares a law unconstitutional (Marbury v Madison), 1803
London's Drury Lane Theatre burns to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute, 1804
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West, 1831
William Otis of Pennsylvania patents the steam shovel, 1839
The first parade to have floats is staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1868
Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached, 1868
The SS Gothenburg hits the Great Barrier Reef and sinks off the Australian east coast, killing approximately 100, including a number of high profile civil servants and dignitaries, 1875
China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty, 1881
Chicago is selected to host the Colombian Exposition, 1890
Rudolf Diesel receives a patent for the diesel engine, 1893
Hudson Motor Car Company is founded, 1909
National Public Radio is founded in the United States, 1970
The United States Olympic Hockey team completes their Miracle on Ice by defeating Finland 4-2 to win the gold medal, 1980
Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, 1981
A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II, 1983
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offers a USD $3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie, 1989
The last occurrence of February 24 as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church, 1996*
Japan launches its fourth spy satellite, stepping up its ability to monitor potential threats such as North Korea, 2007
Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years, 2008
Final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, 2011

*The Romans counted Feb. 24 twice in leap years, instead of adding Feb. 29; that continued in many places until 1996

Saturday, February 23, 2013

At the Core, They Mean Business

Apparently.  Apple Computers does, that is.

They have applied for a patent that shows they are working on a "smart watch."  Wearable technology.

At this point, i'm not sure whether to just say "oh" or "ugh."

No, i do not have a smart phone; i do not need something else around that is smarter than i am, that's why i have kids.

Now they will be wanting us to wear the stuff.

Yes, i know there are a few such thing out there already, that track heart rate, blood pressure, food intake, whether you are sleeping, etc.  Those things being health related, i can rather understand using them to keep you on track to restoring or maintaining health.

But this will probably be for entertainment purposes only, and don't we have enough of that?

What's a first-cousin-to-a-Luddite to do?

Well, for now, make lame jokes about Apple and its core, but beyond this?  Heave a huge sigh and watch with bemusement as yet another gadget becomes something we "cannot live without."

And watch my 70-something mother play with her smartphone.  She deserves one, though, she doesn't have kids at home any more.

Today is:

American Birkebeiner Race -- Cable to Hayward, WI, US (largest and most prestigious cross-country ski marathon)

Chinese New Year Parade -- San Francisco, CA, US (North America's largest Chinese community celebrates the Lunar New Year in style)

Clam Chowder Cook-Off -- Santa Cruz, CA, US (if you love clam chowder of any variety, this is the place for you)

Curling Is Cool Day -- embrace the Olympic sport the whole family can play; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Defenders of the Motherland Day (formerly Red Army Day) -- Russia and some former Soviet Republics
     Homeland Defenders' Day -- Kyrguzstan
     Motherland Defenders' Day -- Transdniestria

Desert Festival -- Jaisalmer, India (local culture, contests, and fun; through the 25th)

Easy Divorce Day -- marking the passage, in 1915, of the Nevada law granting easy divorces after only a 6 month residency, the first such in the US

FESPACO Film Festival -- Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Panafrica's Film and TV Festival)

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day -- internet generated

International Sword Swallowers Day

Iwo Jima Day -- commemoration of the US flag raising

Katsuyama Sagicho -- Katsuyama, Japan (Chinese influenced fire festival held the last weekend of every February; large stages are built and decorated, then burned the next day)

National Banana Bread Day

National Day -- Brunei

Open That Bottle Night -- time to finally drink that bottle of wine you've been saving for a special occasion; after all, the final Saturday in February only comes once a year (sponsored by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher of The Wall Street Journal)

Parke County Maple Fair -- Rockville, IN, US (pancake meals, a Covered Bridge Art Assn. show, and more; this weekend and next)

Pebbles Day -- Pebbles Flintstone was born this day around 10,000BC

Purim -- Judaism (begins at sundown)

Republic Day (Mashramani) -- Guyana

Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen Tournament -- Japan; snowball fighting (yukigassen) at its best, through tomorrow

St. Milburga of Shropshire's Day (Patron of birds)

St. Polycarp of Smyrna's Day (Patron against dysentery and earache)

St. Serenus the Gardener's Day (Patron of bachelors, falsely accused people)

Swamp Cabbage Festival -- LaBelle, FL, US (also called Hearts of Palm, gear up for two days of food, entertainment, and family fun)

Terminalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival for Terminus, god of land boundary markers)

Birthdays Today:

Michael Dell, 1965
Howard Jones, 1955
Patricia Richardson, 1951
John Sanford, 1944
Johnny Winter, 1944
Peter Fonda, 1939
Donna J. Stone, 1933
Paul Tibbets, 1915
Victor Fleming, 1889
W.E.B. DuBois, 1868
George Frederic Handel, 1685
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, 1646
Samuel Pepys, 1633

Today in History:

Emperor Diocletian orders the general persecution of Christians, 303
Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type, 1455
France begins its fifth "holy war" against the Huguenots, 1574
Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army, 1778
The first US raw-cotton-to-cloth mill is founded, in Waltham, Massachusetts, 1813
The first US pharmaceutical college is organized, the College of Apothecaries in Philidelphia, 1821
Santa Anna begins his siege of the Alamo, 1836
John Newman leaves the Anglican Church and is welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church, 1846
In Mexico, American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 1847
Great Britain formally recognises the independence of the Boers in the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers, signing the Bloemfontein Convention with the Orange Free State, 1854
The London Times publishes the world's first classified ad, 1886
Charles Martin Hall, assisted by his sister Julia Brainerd Hall, produced the first samples of man-made aluminum, 1886
The French/Italian Riviera is struck by an earthquake that leaves 2,000 dead, 1887
The Tootsie Roll is introduced by Leo Hirshfield, 1896
In France, Emile Zola is imprisoned for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus, 1898
The Cuban state of Guantanamo is leased to the US, 1903
The US acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million, 1904
The Rotary Club International is founded in Chicago, 1905
Russian Tsar Nicholas II dissolves the Diet of Finland, 1909
The US state of Nevada enacts a convenient divorce law, 1915
The February Revolution begins in Russia, 1917
Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, 1941
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded, 1847
The first mass inoculation with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh, 1954
First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), 1955
The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri, 1983
Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 1987
A small fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir, 1997
An avalanche destroys the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31, 1999
Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster, 2010

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Feline Friday

Two of the kittens we are currently bottle raising, with a third in the background.

Feline Friday was brought to my attention by Kathe W. at It's A Snap.  If i can figure out how to link back to the originator of Feline Friday, i will.

Today is:

Abu Simbel Festival -- Egypt (one of the two days a year when the light illuminates the statutes of Rameses, Ra and Amun in the temple complex)
     Festival of the Perpendicular Sun/Illumination of the Inner Sanctum of Ramses II's Abu Simbel Temple -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Be Humble Day -- can't find the origin of this one, s/he wants to humbly remain anonymous

Call Somebody "Boo Boo" Day -- apparently just to see what s/he will call you back; be careful, this one started before anyone heard of Honey Boo Boo and doesn't take that into account

Concordia/Caristia  -- Ancient Roman Calendar, Festival of Goodwill

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch -- Roman Catholic Church

Festival au Desert -- Oursi, Burkina Faso (the final installment of most remote music festival in the world, with lots of African music and traditions; through the 22nd)

Handing Back of Goblin Orphans Day -- Fairy Calendar (You know, the goblin orphans they adopted 2 days ago!  No fairy can tolerate a goblin longer than that.)

Heritage Day -- Yukon Territory, Canada

Independence Day -- Santa Lucia(1979)

International World Thinking Day -- a/k/a "B.-P. day" or "Founder's Day" -- World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
     Girl Guides Day -- UK

Lost Dutchman Days -- Apache Junction, AZ, US (through Sunday; celebration of the legend of the Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman Mine)

National Margarita Day (How is that going to help with the thinking?)

Newport Seafood and Wine Festival -- Newport, OR, US (featuring seafood and wine from Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho; through Sunday)

St. Margaret of Cortona's Day (Patron of falsely accued people, hoboes, homeless people, mentally ill people, midwives, penitent women, people ridiculed for their piety, reformed prostitutes, single laywomen, teriaries, and tramps; against insanity, loss of parents, mental illness, sexual temptation, and temptation)

Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering -- Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX, US (annual gathering of cowboys for poetry readings and music; through Sunday)

Walking the Dog Day -- Can't find the originator of this one, but walk your dog, or do your yoyo tricks, whichever works for you

Washington's Birthday -- US

Anniversaries Today:

Washington University in St. Louis is founded, 1853
Pennsylvania State University is founded in State College, Pennsylvania, 1955

Birthdays Today:

Drew Barrymore, 1975
Michael Chang, 1972
Lea Salonga, 1971
Clinton Kelly, 1969
Jeri Ryan, 1968
Vijay Singh, 1963
Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, 1962
Julius "Dr. J" Erving, 1950
Dan Millman, 1946
Sparky Anderson, 1934
Edward M. Kennedy, 1932
Robert Wadlow, 1918
John Mills, 1908
Sheldon Leonard, 1907
Robert Young, 1907
Luis Bunuel, 1900
Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892
"Chico" Marx, 1891
Lady Baden-Powell, 1889
Lord Baden-Powell, 1857
Frederic Chopin, 1810
George Washington, 1732

Today in History:

Jews are expelled from Zurich, Switzerland, 1349
Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published, 1632
The English House of Lords rules that authors do not have perpetual copyright of their material, 1774
Jews are expelled from the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland, 1775
The first US ship to trade with China, the "Empress of China," sails from New York, 1784
The Last Invasion of Britain by the French begins near Fishguard, Wales, 1797
Spain signs the Adams-Onis Treaty, renouncing its claim to the Oregon territory and west Florida, 1819
Spain sells east Florida to the US, 1821
Edward Payson Weston, "The Father of Modern Pedestrianism," who gave lectures on the health benefits of walking, first comes into the public eye by leaving on this date to walk to Lincoln's inauguration, a distance of 478 miles, 1861*
Frank W. Woolworth opens the first US chain store, his  "Woolworth's" 5 and 10 cent store, in Utica, NY, 1879
John Reid of Scotland establishes a 3 hole golf course near Yonkers, New York, thus introducing the game to the US, 1888
Hawaii becomes a US territory, 1900
Due to drought, the US side of Niagara Falls runs short of water, 1903
The Great White Fleet, the first US fleet to circumnavigate the globe, returns to Virginia, 1909
Calvin Coolidge gives the first US presidential radio address, 1924
Bert Hinkler successfully completes the first solo flight from England to Australia, 1928
Australian swimmer John Konrads sets 6 world records in two days, 1958
Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500, 1959
Following United States President Richard Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China, the two countries agree to establish liaison offices, 1973
In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3, in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history, 1980
In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned, 1997
An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 181 people, 2011

*Yes, he got there in 10 days, in time for the inaugural ball!

Blast From the Past

 Any time you long for the "good old days," you might want to check out these pictures someone posted from the Sears Catalog that is dated 1900.

Peruse at your leisure the "Greatest Values Ever Known In Washing Machines," the fashions, and the patent medicines "guaranteed" to cure everything from morphine addiction to obesity.  Especially fascinating is "Brown's Vegetable Cure for Female Weakness."

Harken back to the latest in travel -- in wagons, horse not included.  Remember the days when no one went anywhere without a hat.

The "good old days" were fine, if you can live without the modern conveniences, which i admit i would much rather not do.

Today is:

Anniversary of His Majesty the King -- Bhutan

Anthesteria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (three day Festival of Flowers, feast of the dead, and drinking festival; date approximate)

Card Reading Day -- because greeting cards can be fun to just stop and read, can't they?

Day in Honor of Dr. W. H. Lini, Father of Independence -- Vanuatu

Feast of the Feralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (final day of the Parentalia, with picnics in the graveyard that included libations to the departed)

International Mother Language Day -- UNESCO

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day -- some student programs at universities are set for this weekend

Montreal Hunting, Fishing, & Camping Show -- Montreal, Canada (weekend long celebration of the outdoors)

National Conference on Education -- Los Angeles, CA, US (three day conference sponsored by the American Assn. of School Administrators)

National Sticky Bun Day

Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen Show -- Ottawa, ON, Canada (weekend long celebration of all things outdoors)

Remember the Funniest Thing Your Kid Ever Did Day -- in honor of Erma Bombeck's birth anniversary

Sandino Day -- Nicaragua (assassination anniversary of Augusto César Sandino)

Shaheed Dibosh -- Bangladesh (International Mother Language Day/Language Martyr's Day, for those who died in the Bengali Language Movement in 1952)

St. Peter Damian's Day (Doctor of the Church)

Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous -- Whitehorse, YT, Canada (mad trapper competition, flour packing, beard growing contest, old-time fiddle show, and more, with this year's theme being "The Magic and the Mystery"; through Sunday)

Anniversaries Today:

The Washington Monument is dedicated, 1885

Birthdays Today:

Charlotte Church, 1986
Jennifer Love Hewitt, 1979
Alan Trammell, 1958
Kelsey Grammer, 1955
Tyne Daly, 1946
Alan Rickman, 1946
David Geffen, 1943
John Lewis, 1940
Barbara Jordan, 1936
Rue McClanahan, 1935
Nina Simone, 1933
Roberto Gomez Bolanos, 1929
Erma Bombeck, 1927
Sam Peckinpah, 1925
Ann Sheridan, 1915
Anais Nin, 1903
Andres Segovia, 1893
Charles Scribner, 1821
John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1801
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, 1794

Today in History:

England begins the trial against Joan of Arc, 1431
John Wilkes is thrown out of the English House of Commons for his pornographic poem "An Essay on Woman," a satire of Pope's "An Essay on Man," 1764
Freedom of worship is established in France under its Constitution, 1795
The first locomotive, Richard Trevithick's, runs for the first time, in Wales, 1804
The first Native American Indian newspaper, the "Cherokee Phoenix", begins publication, 1828
The first known sewing machine in the US is patented by John Greenough of Washington, D.C., 1842
Sarah G Bagley of Lowell, Massachusetts becomes the first US woman telegrapher, 1846
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto, 1848
The US Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in the US, 1857
Edwin T. Holmes installs the first electric burglar alarm, in Boston, Massachusetts, 1858
The first Roman Catholic parish church for blacks in the US is dedicated, in Baltimore, Maryland, 1864
Lucy B. Hobbs becomes the first US woman to earn a DDS degree, 1866
Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier, 1874
The first telephone book is issued, to 50 subscribers in New Harbor, Connecticut, 1878
Oregon becomes the first US state to declare Labor Day a holiday, 1887
The North Carolina legislature adjourns for the day to mark the death of Frederick Douglass, 1895
Dr. Harvey Cushing, the first US neurosurgeon, performs his first operation, 1902
Gustav Mahler conducts his last concerto, 1911
The Battle of Verdun (WWI) begins, will last until Dec. 18; over a quarter of a million casualties, half a million injuries, 1916
The last Carolina parakeet, Incas, dies in the Cincinnati Zoo, in the same cage that had held Martha, the last passenger pigeon, 4 years earlier, 1918
The Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution, 1921
Great Britain grants Egypt independence, 1922
The first issue of "New Yorker" magazine is published, 1925
The first instant developing camera is demonstrated in NYC, by E H Land, 1947
The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to "set the people free", 1952
Watson and Crick discover the structure of the DNA molecule; according to legend, they walk into the Eagle Pub in Cambridge and Crick announces "We have found the secret of Life," 1953
The Peace symbol is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1958
Malcolm X is assassinated, 1965
The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna, 1971
The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon, 1972
Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison, 1975
Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, 1995

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Mom, you know what?"

With Bigger Girl, i never quite know, but i can often imagine.  It's going to be something interesting.

"It's probably a good thing Romney didn't win the election.  After all, this country isn't ready for a Second, Third, and Fourth Lady!"  She was grinning ear to ear as she said this.

No, i'm certain we aren't ready for that, i noted.  Then i asked her if she had learned anything interesting in school today.

"Yes," she answered.  "I learned that one of my professors didn't like leftovers until she was in college.  Then she says she had to eat them because she couldn't afford to throw away food."

That's not exactly what i meant, but it will do.  And that lady wouldn't have done well at all in this family.

"Oh, and I exchanged phone numbers with Chris.  He's part of Will's study group.  Most of the girls are only interested in going to the mall.  Or hunting.  The guys are the ones I like to talk to.  They have more diverse interests."

So, all in all, a good day.

"Yes, and now it's time to go study, I have another test tomorrow."

Ah, i remember the days when study was all i really had to worry about, and i miss them sometimes.

Today is:

Adopt a Goblin Orphan Day -- Fairy Calendar

Bicentenario de la Batalla de Salta -- Argentina (Bicentennial of the Battle of Salta)

Blessed Wulfric's Day

Cherry Pie Day

Festival au Desert -- Oursi, Burkina Faso (the most remote music festival in the world, with lots of African music and traditions; through the 22nd)

Flying Car Day -- the Arrowmobile, the first flying car, patented this day in 1937 (and can you imagine, as bad as driving is, how many accidents we would have if these people were flying around instead?)

Georgia National Rodeo -- Perry, GA (winners here qualify for the National Finals in December; through the 24th)

Hoodie Hoo Day (Northern Hemisphere) -- at noon local time, citizens are requested to go outside and yell "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase away winter and call in spring; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Khajuraho Dance Festival -- Khajuraho, India (annual gathering of Indian classical dancers from across the country and abroad; through the 26th)

Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival -- University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, US (students from elementary to college from all over the US participate in student performances and attend concerts and clinics in vocal and instrumental jazz performance; through Saturday)

Love Your Pet Day -- a day to pamper pets, like they don't get pampered enough

St Leo of Catania's Day (a/k/a Leo the Wonderworker, Patron of Rometta, Longi, and Sinagra, Sicily)

Toothpick Day -- first machine used to make them patented this day in 1872

World Day for Social Justice -- UN

Anniversary Today:

US Post Office, 1792 (George Washington signed the act which created it)

Birthdays Today:

Andrew Shue, 1967
Cindy Crawford, 1966
French Stewart, 1964
Charles Barkley, 1963
Patty Hearst, 1954
Gordon Brown, 1951
Ivana Trump, 1949
Jennifer O'Neill, 1948
Sandy Duncan, 1946
Buffy Sainte-Marie, 1941
Nancy wilson, 1937
Bobby Unser, 1934
Sidney Poitier, 1927
Robert Altman, 1925
Gloria Vanderbilt, 1924
Gale Gordon, 1906
Ansel Adams, 1902

Today in History:

Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland so King Christian I can pay his daughter's dowry, 1472
The first recorded wine auction is held, in London, 1673
The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington, 1792
Austria declares bankruptcy, 1811
Concepcion, Chile, is destroyed by an earthquake, 1835
The US Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia, 1839
Luther Crowell patents a machine to manufacture paper bags, 1872
In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens, 1872
The first minor league baseball association is organized, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1887
King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra, 1913
A new volcano, Paricutin, erupts in a farmer's cornfield in Mexico, 1943
The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate, 1959
While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes, 1962
Ranger 8 crashes into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts, 1965
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands, 1976
Texas industrialist Ross Perot's U.S. presidential campaign begins, 1992
Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout, 2005

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Printers' Woes

 Once again, Reader's Digest is filing for bankruptcy.

Every time i read about another magazine or newspaper going out of business, cutting back on how often it publishes, or switching completely to online, it hurts my heart a little.

The Digest will not go out of business now, but the whole future of print media is up in the air.

Some of my favorite memories are of reading the newspaper as a child, especially the advice columns and the funnies.

That's something the kids and i still do.  We have a newspaper on the kitchen table each day, courtesy of my parents, who pass theirs along to us, and all of us stop at some point in the day to peruse it.

When everyone is done reading, i take them and do the puzzles; i can't imagine not having them around.

Yet it seems that, someday, it might really happen.

Let's hope not.  Now please excuse me while i go read the latest Digest.  It has some great stories about terrible bosses that i want to laugh over.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mexico

Birthday of Minerva -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Birthday of Shivaji -- Maharashtra, India

Chaoflux -- Discordianism

Chief Leschi Day -- US, especially Washington State (Native American chief wrongly executed for murder on this date in 1958; fully exhonerated 2004)

Crackerjacks Prize Day -- the first prizes were added to the boxes of carmel popcorn this date in 1913

Flag Day -- Turkmenistan

Fly-By for Goblins and others -- Fairy Calendar

Musikahan Festival -- Tagum City, Phillipines (using music to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo; through Sunday)

National Chocolate Mint Day (because every day needs chocolate in some form)

Single-Tasking Day -- encouraging you to do one thing at a time, and not feel guilty; begun by Theresa Gabriel, who suggests it be on the 4th Tuesday of the month, although other sites list other dates

Solar System Day -- birth anniversary of Copernicus

St. Conrad of Piacenza's Day -- (Patron against hernias)

Straw Wrapper Appreciation Day -- an internet spread holiday to remind you of how much fun it was as a kid to blow the wrappers off the straws

Temporary Insanity Day -- anniversary of the first time someone successfully pleaded temporary insanity in a court of law; Daniel Stickles, in 1859

Vassil Levski Day -- Bulgaria (Bulgaria's "Apostle of Freedome")

Birthdays Today:

Justine Bateman, 1966
Seal, 1963
Jeff Daniels, 1955
Margaux Hemingway, 1955
Smokey Robinson, 1940
Lee Marvin, 1924
Willam III, 1817 (last king of the Netherlands -- there have only been queens since)
Nicolas Copernicus, 1473

Today in History:

Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus' defeats beats Clodius Albinus at Lyon, 197
Emperor Constantius II shuts down all pagan temples, 356
The second Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstates veneration of icons in the churches, 842
Jews of Tyrnau, Hungary (then Trnava, Czech) are expelled, 1539
The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America, 1600
Britain and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, and New Amsterdam formally becomes New York, 1674
British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III, 1819
The first practical coal burning locomotive in the US makes a trial run, in Pennsylvania, 1831
Tin-type camera is patented by Hamilton Smith of Gambier, Ohio, 1856
Daniel E. Sickles is acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover, Phillip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), on the grounds of temporary insanity, the first time this defense is successfully used, 1859
Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom in Russia, 1861
Thomas Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph), 1878
Kansas becomes the first US state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages, 1881
WK Kellog and Charles Bolin found the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co., 1906
The first prize is inserted into a Cracker Jack box, 1913
Ed Wynn becomes the first talent to sign as a regular radio entertainer, 1922
Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize for poetry, 1949
Bill Keane's "Family Circus" comic strip makes its debut, 1960
Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital, 1985
The Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft, 1986
NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system, 2002

Monday, February 18, 2013

Delays, Delays

That's what Marvin the Martian used to say every time Bugs Bunny took his Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.  (Marvin, by the way, is one of my very favorite cartoon characters of all time.)

This time, the delays involve Ol' Bessy, my aging, ailing laptop.  She is getting slower and slower sometimes.  Scans are taking a bit longer.  My virus protection turned itself off, and i've had to re-download it because it wouldn't just update.

Malwarebytes took over an hour to do a "quick" scan, and she is overheating again at times.

Because i can't use the laptop much right now, i'm not sure when i'll be able to post more pictures of the kittens.  It's taken this first-cousin-to-a-Luddite this long just to figure out how to use the laptop to do it, and so there will be a delay while i see if i can figure it out on the other computer.

What she really needs, i've been told, is to be wiped clean and have Windows XP reloaded.  The problem, of course, is that i don't have an XP disk to use to do that.

And in other news, Young Jacob has been in a minor car accident.  Someone in our neighborhood ran a stop sign and hit him.  The man admitted his fault, and it was obvious to the Deputy that the other party was in the wrong.  No injuries, thank Heaven, but Young Jacob will be needing a rental, or rides to work.  Even without popping the hood he knew he needed a new bumper and radiator at least.

Today is:

Celtic Tree Month Nuin (Ash) begins

Clean Out Your Cubby Holes Day -- internet generated, but if you have any cubby holes, give them a look today, make sure nothing is in there you don't want to see

Cold Day in H*ll -- snow fell in the Sahara today in 1979

Day of Spenta Armaiti -- Zoroastrian (goddess of earth and fertility, especially celebrated by women; originally on Esfand 5th, which corresponds to 24 February, but is now celebrated on the 18th for reasons i can't figure out)

Family Day -- AB, ON, SK, Canada

Festival of Women -- Persian (traditional, it has been kept even among those who are no longer Zoroastrian)

Fly-By for Fairies and Elves -- Fairy Calendar

Hadaka Matsuri -- Inazawacho, Japan (thousands of loincloth-wearing men try to touch the closely guarded Shin-otoko [a man chosen, stripped naked, and shaved totally] as he is on his way to the shrine)

Independence Day -- Gambia(1965)

Islander Holiday -- PEI, Canada

Louis Riel Day -- MB, Canada

National Battery Day -- probably created by the battery manufacturers, but they won't claim it

National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

Pluto Day/Solar System Day -- the planet/planetoid was discovered on this day in 1930, and then considered to "complete" the solar system

Presidents' Day -- US and Territories

Rastraya Prajatantra Dibas -- Nepal (Democracy Day)

Rites of Tacita -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of silence, rites to keep people from speaking out in anger)

Saidai-ji Eyo -- Saidai-ji, Okayama Prefecture, Japan (Spectacular and atmospheric naked festival dating back to the 14th century, in which up to 10,000 loincloth-wearing [and sometimes drunk] men battle for sacred wooden sticks [shingi] tossed into the air by priests.)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes' Day (in France; the remainder of the church celebrates her on 16 April)

St. Fra Angelico's Day (Patron of artists)

Tanigumi Odori -- Tanigumi-mura, Gifu Prefecture, Japan (dance festival)

Tara Puja -- Tibetan Buddhist

Thumb Appreciation Day

Anniversaries Today:

Ohio State University is chartered as the first US land-grant college, 1804

Birthdays Today:

Jillian Michaels, 1974
Molly Ringwald, 1968
Dr. Dre, 1965
Matt Dillon, 1964
Vanna White, 1957
John Travolta, 1954
John Hughes, 1950
Cybill Shedherd, 1950
Andrea Dromm, 1941
Yoko Ono, 1933
Milos Forman, 1932
Toni Morrison, 1931
Gahan Wilson, 1930
George Kennedy, 1925
Helen Gurley Brown, 1922
Bill Cullen, 1920
Jack Palance, 1920
Hans Asperger, 1906
Enzo Ferrari, 1898
George "The Gipper" Gipp, 1895
Boris Pasternak, 1890
Nikos Kazantzakis, 1883
Sholem Aleichem, 1859
Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848
Ernst Mach, 1838
Count Alessandro Volta, 1745
Uesugi Kenshin, 1530 (Japanese samurai and warlord)
Mary I Tudor, 1516
Saint Jadwiga of Poland, 1374

Today in History:

Origin of the Kali Yuga Epoch ("age of vice" or Dark Age) of the Hindu/Buddhist calendars, BC3102
Jerusalem is taken by Emperor Frederik II, 1229
Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia, begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim regions, 1332
Henry Tudor (Henry VIII) created Prince of Wales, 1503
Zeeland falls to Dutch rebels, 1574
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is published, 1678
Fort Saint Lewis, Texas, is founded by Frenchmen under LaSalle at Matagorda Bay, the basis for France's claim to Texas, 1685
Quakers conduct their first formal protest of slavery in Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1688
The premiere of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson" takes place in London, 1743
Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, 1797
The Detroit Boat Club (still in existence) forms, 1839
The first continuous filibuster in the US Senate begins, lasts until March 11, 1841
The first regular steamboat service to California begins, 1849
A direct telegraph link between Britain and New Zealand is established, 1876
Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is published, 1885
The Cave of Winds at Niagara Falls goes almost dry for the first time in 50 years, 1896
Winston Churchill makes his first speech in the British House of Commons, 1901
H. Cecil Booth patents a dust removing suction cleaner, 1901
The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet delivers 6,500 letters to Naini (a distance of about 10K), 1911
The US and Canada begin formal diplomatic relations, with the appointment of Vincent Massey as the first Canadian ambassador to the US, 1927
The first Academy Awards are announced, 1929
While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto, 1930
The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California, 1954
The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747, 1977
Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history, 1979
Dan Jansen skates world record 1000m (1:12.43), 1994

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Huddled Up

Our weather has gotten cold again, and as the kittens get bigger, they don't want to stay in the carrier.  They do want to stay warm, however.  Thus:

Two calicoes, a tortoiseshell, a tabby, and a tuxedo, all huddled in front of a space heater on a Winnie-the-Pooh blanket.  The tabby and tux are boys.  Over the course of this week, i'll try to get individual pictures.

Speaking of huddled, Bigger Girl has informed me that in football, the huddle was invented by a school for the deaf.  The players had to huddle up like that to use sign language to communicate the next play to one another without the other team being able to see the signs and read them.  Amazing what trivia she can come up with.

Today is:

Burgbrenne -- Luxembourg (traditional burning of special bonfires on the first Sunday of Lent)

Day of Cancelled Expectations -- according to William Least Heat-Moon in his autobiography, Blue Highways

Daytona 500 Pole Day -- Daytona International Speed-way, Daytona Beach, FL, US (qualifying, and eanring the right to lead the pack)

Dita e Pavaresise -- Kosovo (Independence Day)(2008)

Feast of Shezmu -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (god of the winepress; date approximate)

February 17 Revolution Day -- Libya

Hachinohe Enburi Matsuri -- Hachinohe, Japan (festival with prayers for a good harvest; through Wednesday)

Last day of Celtic Tree Month Luis (Rowan)

My Way Day -- today, determine your identity all by yourself, apart from what other people say you should be; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

National Cafe Au Lait Day

National Indian Pudding Day

National PTA Founders Day -- US

Practice Your Free Throws Day -- spread around the internet by someone who really loves basketball

Quirinalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a/k/a Feast of Fools)

Snow Ice Cream Day -- internet generated; if you want to try it, and are sure your snow is reasonably clean, add sugar, milk, a touch of vanilla, and enjoy

St. Fortchern of Trim's Day (Patron of bell-founders)

Tanis Diena -- Ancient Latvain Calendar (To honor pigs)

Anniversaries Today:

Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio, 1809

Birthdays Today:

Jerry O'Connell, 1974
Bryan White, 1974
Billie Joe Armstrong, 1972
Denise Richards, 1972
Michael Jordan, 1963
Rene Russo, 1954
Jim Brown, 1936
Alan Bates, 1934
Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everage), 1934
Hal Holbrook, 1925
Arthur Kennedy, 1914
Red Barber, 1908
Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1879
William Cadbury, 1867
Friedrich A Krupp, 1854
A. Montgomery Ward, 1844

Today in History:

Miles Standish is appointed the first commander of the Plymouth colony, 1621
The first volume of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is
published, 1776
The first ship passes through the Suez Canal, 1867
Women's suffragist Esther Morris is appointed the first female justice of the peace in the US, in South Pass City, Wyoming, 1870
Sardines are first canned, by Julius Wolff of Eastport, Maine, 1876
Madame Butterfly receives its première at La Scala in Milan, 1904
The first minimum wage law in the US takes effect, in Oregon, 1913
Johnny Weissmuller sets the 100-yard freestyle record (52.4 seconds), 1924
The first telecast of a sporting event in Japan, a baseball game, 1931
The first issue of "Newsweek" magazine is published, 1933
Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution, 1959
Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T, 1972
Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match, 1996
Kosovo declares independence, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In Threes

 My thoughts, post V-Day.

Three days, 12 delivery routes, and 100 successful deliveries.  Two returns, one popped balloon that got replaced and the delivery made anyway.  My best holiday yet.

Some people just can't catch a break; some of the people on the disabled cruise ship ended up on a bus back to Texas that also broke down.  Ouch.

Third and finally, between all of those deliveries i went for my annual physical.  All is well, and i need to call back in 6 months to check my thyroid levels again, as well as schedule my mammogram, first ever DEXA scan, and first colonoscopy.  Oh, joy.

Oh, and i should have said, fourth, that i'm going to get a lot of rest this weekend (when i'm not bottle feeding the 5 kittens and cooking meals and doing laundry).

Sometimes i have to quote the cartoon my mother keeps on her refrigerator.  It's a picture of Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes,and you can tell he is angry and frowning.  It says, "G-d put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  Right now, i am so far behind, i will never die!"

While i jokingly tell people i want to live to be 127 and still be the life of the party to the end, i'm now wondering if it's not going to take me that many years to get through my to do list.

Well, better to wear out than rust out.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Today is:

Akiyoshidai Yamayaki -- Akiyoshidai, Japan (dry grass on the mountain side is burned in this coming of spring ceremony)

Bonten Matsuri -- Miyoshi-jinja Shrine, Akita, Japan (two day festival to ask for good crops this year)

Camellia Festival 2013 -- Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, London, England (through Mar. 17)

Do a Grouch a Favor Day -- internet generated attempt to get us to either get the grouches on our side, or make us cynical

Festival au Desert -- Bamako, Mali (continuation of the most remote music festival in the world)

Galesburg Historical Society Chocolate Festival -- Galesburg, IL, US (home made and commercially made chocolates, all you can eat for the price of the low admission fee; through tomorrow)

Ice Fishing Derby -- Fort Peck, MT, US (subject to cancellation if there is no ice)

Independence Day -- Lithuania (National Day/Restoration of Statehood)(1918)

Kyoto Protocol Day -- International (treaty on climate change; today is proposed as "Wear purple for Kyoto Day")

La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros and Tucson Rodeo -- Tucson, AZ, US (celebrating the Old West heritage; through the 24th)

Lemon Festival -- Menton, French Riviera (through Mar. 6)

National Almond Day

Respectable Tales of Kelp-Koli -- Fairy Calendar (5 minutes only)

Saidai-ji Hadaka Matsuri -- Okayama Prefecture, Japan (Naked Festival, in which a Shinto man strips, is completely shaved, then runs through town while thousands of townsmen in loincloths try to touch him while guard's throw cold water on them)

St. Juliana of Cumae's Day (Patron of the ill)

St. Onesimus' Day (runaway slave of Philemon, converted by Paul, of whom the Letter to Philemon was written)

Birthdays Today:

John McEnroe, 1959
LeVar Burton, 1957
Sonny Bono, 1935
Vera-Ellen, 1921
Patty Andrews, 1920
Jimmy Wakely, 1914
Hugh Beaumont, 1909
Richard McDonald, 1909
Edgar Bergan, 1903
Johann Strauss, 1866
Nichiren, 1222
Emperor Yingzong of China, 1032

Today in History:

9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, 374
Pope Gregory the Great issues a decree saying that "God bless you" is the correct response to a sneeze, 600
English king Charles I accepts Triennial Act, requiring the king to assemble Parliament at least once every 3 years, 1641
The first known check (cheque) is written, for 400 English Pounds Sterling (currently on display at Westminster Abbey), 1659
Kentucky passes a law permitting women to attend school under certain conditions, 1838*
Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulus, 1838
American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 1840
The Battle of Sobraon ends the First Sikh War in India, 1846
Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established, 1852
The French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch, 1859
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks forms, 1868
The "Ladies Home Journal" begins publishing, 1883
The first Chinese daily newspaper in the US, Chung Sai Yat Po, begins publication in San Francisco, 1900
The first US Esperanto Club organizes in Boston, 1905
The first synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid, Spain, 1917
Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, 1923
The first patent is issued for a tree, to James Markham for a peach tree, 1932
Wallace H. Carothers receives a United States patent for nylon, 1937
Canadians are granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen, 1947
Britain abolishes the death penalty, 1956
Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1, 1959
In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service, 1968
The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois), 1978
The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem, 1987
The Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia, 2005
The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army, 2006

*This is the same US state that still has a law on its books requiring every resident to take a bath at least once a year, whether the person needs it or not!

Friday, February 15, 2013

On our big day, i headed out to begin deliveries before 7am.  By the time i was done, it was 7pm.

Two items returned from my routes, one because there was no such address and we were given no contact number (remember my hints!), one because it was misrouted and ended up getting there after the person had left work.  It had to be redelivered.

Oh, and i am ashamed of myself; i popped a balloon by accident.  At least i was able to run back, get another, and still get it to the lady, but for heaven's sake, i know better.

Today is my last day, i will "bat cleanup," taking care of the ones that couldn't be delivered yesterday, for whatever reason.

Then, i get a break until Mother's Day.

Today is:

Candlemas -- on the Julian Calendar, and in the Orthodox Churches

Decimal Day -- UK (anniversary of the 1971 currency conversion to the decimal system)

Flag Day -- Canada (Maple Leaf adopted this date 1965)

Great Back Yard Bird Count begins --; a four day project for anyone from across North America; count birds for a few minutes a day today, or every day for the next four days, giving a real time idea of where the birds are now

John Frum Day -- Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Kamakura Matsuri -- Yokote, Akita Prefecture, Japan (Snow Cave Festival; through tomorrow)

Kuromori Kabuki -- Kuromori, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan (traditional Kabuki, through the 17th)

Lupercalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (remembrance of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus)

National Date Festival -- Indio, CA, US (a most exotic county fair, the date comes from the land of the Arabian Nights and this festival celebrates all aspects of the theme; through the 24th)

National Gum Drop Day

Nice Carnival -- Nice, France (dating back to the 14th century, this celebration is one of France's best; through Mar. 6)

Nirvana Day -- Jain

Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee -- Olustee, FL, US (largest Civil War battle in Florida; through Sunday)

Remember the Maine Day -- US (remembrance of the Spanish War)

Singles Awareness Day -- although some celebrate on the 14th as an anti-Valentine's Day

Sretenje -- Serbia (National Day)

Stop and Smell Your Compost Pile Day -- snort away the winter blues and think about spring (but i think this one is just plain weird)

St. Sigfrid's Day (Patron of Sweden)

Susan B. Anthony Day -- US (birth anniversary)

Tokamachi Yukimatsuri -- Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, Japan (snow fest and kimono festival; through Sunday)

Total Defense Day -- Singapore

Vasant Panchami / Saraswati Puja  -- Hindu (celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge)

Wings Over the Platte Spring Migration Celebration -- Grand Island, NE, US (the world's largest concentration of sandhill cranes is celebrated through next month)

Birthdays Today:

Renee O'Connor, 1971
Jane Child, 1967
Chris Farley, 1964
Matt Groening, 1954
Melissa Manchester, 1951
Jane Seymour, 1951
Claire Bloom, 1931
Harvey Korman, 1927
Miep Gees, 1909
Cesar Romero, 1907
John Barrymore, 1882
Elihu Root, 1824
Susan B. Anthony, 1820
Cyrus McCormick, 1809
Henry Engelhard Steinway, 1797
Galileo Galilei, 1564
Babur, 1483 (founder of Mughal dynasty in India)
Claudius Drusus Germanicus Caesar Nero, 37

Today in History:

Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death, BC399
Khosrau II is crowned as king of Persia, 590
Ho-tse Shen-hui, Zen teacher, disputes the founder of Northern Ch'an line, 732
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, is founded by Pierre Laclade Ligue as a French trading post, 1764
The first US printed ballots are authorized, in Philadelphia, 1799
Sarah Roberts is barred from attending a white school in Boston, 1848
Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admits its first patient, 1852
A fire in Rotterdam, Netherlands, damages the Museum Boymans, 1864
American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, 1879
Nine inches (23cm) of snow falls on New Orleans, Louisiana, 1898
The USS Maine sinks in Havana harbor, cause unknown-258 sailors die, 1898
The first Teddy Bear is introduced in America, made by Morris and Rose Michtom, 1903
Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux begin excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves, where they will eventually discover the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls, 1949
The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China sign a mutual defense treaty, 1950
Canada and the United States agree to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska, 1954
A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner, 1965
The decimalisation of British coinage is completed on Decimal Day, 1971
The 1976 Constitution of Cuba is adopted by the national referendum, 1976
The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sinks during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers, 1982
The Soviet Union officially announces that all of its troops have left Afghanistan, 1989
At the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China, a Long March 3 rocket, carrying an Intelsat 708, crashes into a rural village after liftoff, killing an unannounced number of people, 1996
First draft of the complete Human Genome is published in Nature, 2001
YouTube, the Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States, 2005

Thursday, February 14, 2013

 Day one deliveries went well, and i even got to bring flowers to a really good, old family friend.  It was amusing, i saw the name on the manifests, and told them i knew that person, and told stories about her from years ago, and they put me on that route.

At home, things didn't go quite so swimmingly, though.  Someone let a cat into our bedroom that is not normally allowed in, and it decided to mark its territory on our bed.  Thus i came home to dirty dishes (no one had washed up), and a bed to remake.

It could be worse, i could have not had chili planned and almost ready for dinner.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Today is:

American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting -- Washington, DC, US (a five day meeting of top scientist; who knows what these people will come up with next, because science is amazing!)

Bird Mating Season begins -- according to legend, in honor of St. Valentine

Blessing of the Salmon Nets -- Norham, Northumberland, England & North Shields, Northumbria, England (just before midnight, nets are blessed and right after midnight, the first nets of the season are thrown out; anything caught is presented to the officiating vicar)

Day Sacred to Juno Lupa -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Juno of the Wolf)

Feast of Vali -- Asatru/Slavic Pagan (archer god, an Asatru answer to the Valentine celebration, which is really a thinly disguised Lupercalia)

Ferris Wheel Day -- birth anniversary of G.W.G. Ferris, Jr.

Festival au Desert -- Segou, Mali (continuation of the most remote music festival in the world)

Fjortende Februar -- Denmark (Danish lovers send each other snowdrop flowers.)

International Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

International Quirkyalone Day -- a day to value your individuality, whether you are partnered or not

League of Women Voter's Day -- US

Liberation Day -- Afghanistan

Library Lovers Day -- for those whose favorite companion is a great book

Miami International Boat Show -- Miami, FL, US (biggest boat show in the US, and the main event for product introductions; through Monday)

National Call In Single Day -- what a lot of men who feel pressured to be romantic on this day wish they could do, i'm sure!

National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day

National Have-a-Heart Day -- to create awareness of the impact of our food choices on the environment, world hunger, animal welfare and human health—especially heart health

National Organ Donor Day -- US, but no matter where you live, consider leaving instructions about this to your loved ones

Nirvana Day -- Buddhist

Race Relations Day -- originally on Lincoln's birth anniversary, now on the day promoting love

Rafik Hairi Memorial Day -- Lebanon

Read to Your Child Day -- to start their love of learning early (and do it daily!)

Simplot Games -- Holt Arena, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, US (Indoor track and field for the top high school athletes from the US and Canada; through Saturday)

Sts. Cyril & Methodius' Day (Patrons ecumenism, unity of Eastern and Western Churches; Bohemia; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Europe; Moravia; the Slavic peoples)

Trifon Zarezan -- Bulgaria (Viticulturists' Day; since Thracian times, a day to celebrate Dionysus and wine)

Valentine's Day (St. Valentine of Rome, Patron of apiarists/beekeepers, betrothed couples, greeting card manufacturers, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, travellers, young people; Bussolengo, Italy; against epilepsy, fainting, plague)

Anniversaries Today:

Oregon becomes the 33rd US state, 1859
Arizona becomes the 48th US state, 1912

Birthdays Today:

Drew Bledsoe, 1972
Meg Tilly, 1960
Gregory Hines, 1946
Carl Bernstein, 1944
Michael Bloomberg, 1942
Florence Henderson, 1934
Vic Morrow, 1932
Hugh Downs, 1921
Mel Allen, 1913
Jimmy Hoffa, 1913
Jack Benny, 1894
George Washington Gale Ferris,Jr., 1859
Frederick Douglass, 1817

Today in History:

The annals of the monastery of Quedlinburg make the first known mention of Lithuania, 1009
Approximately 2,000 Jews are burned to death by mobs or forcibly removed from the city of Strasbourg, 1349
Roman Catholic emperor Leopold I chases the Jews out of Vienna, 1670
The United States Flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, 1778
James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii, 1779
John Jervis and Horatio Nelson lead the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in action near Gibraltar, 1797
The apple parer is patented by Moses Coats of Downington, Pennsylvania, 1803
US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall declares that any act of the US Congress that conflicts with the Constitution is void, 1803
The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is formed in Kirtland, Ohio, 1835
In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken, 1849
A.G. Bell and Elisha Gray both apply for a patent for a telephone; Bell first by only 2 hours, and is ruled the rightful inventor, 1876
The first trainload of California grown fruit, oranges, leaves L.A. for the east,1889
Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections, 1899
The Soviet Union adopts the Gregorian calendar, 1918
The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago, Illinois, 1920
The Bank of England is nationalized, 1946
ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled, 1946
The Knesset (Israeli parliament) convenes for the first time, 1949
Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California, 1961
The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit, 1989