Saturday, December 31, 2016

They get you both ways.

A few days ago, Joeh, The Cranky Old Man, was complaining about the trouble he was having with all the regulations and red tape to get a mortgage.

It goes both ways.

This past year, we retired our HELOC (second) mortgage.  They wanted us to reapply in order to keep it, and it wasn't worth all of that, it was easier to pay it off and be done.  (We still have the regular mortgage, and will for a while, unless we suddenly come into some money.  Even then, the order is tithe, save, unsecured debt, then secured debt like a house.  We'd have to come into some kind of a pile of money to get through the first three and still be able to pay off the first mortgage.)

It's not as easy to pay it off as you think, though.  You have to transfer the money into the account from which you will pay it.  That's time and paperwork, because it's in a special retirement account.  (Yes, we decided to use some of the retirement money to get rid of this monkey from our backs.)

Then you pay it off and you think you are done, and they hit you with, "There is an $80 fee to close the mortgage."


Yes, after making all of those payments, paying all of that interest, our "customer owned, customer friendly" credit union wants a fee to close the mortgage.  And a bit more paperwork.  After all, they have to know, for sure, that you really want to pay it off.

Why am i sending you all of this money if i don't want to pay it off?  And you want more money from me?

That's right, regulations and more red tape and paperwork.  And more money.  Ugh.

It's over now, and as much as i want to pay off the first mortgage, i'm kind of glad i'm not facing that yet, i'm not so sure i want to know what kind of hoops they will have me jump through.

Happy New Year, everyone!  May 2017 bring you joy and hope and light and life, and no red tape paperwork.

Today is:

Check Your Smoke Alarms Day

Fairy Eve's Year News -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Sharaf (Honor) -- Baha'i

International Solidarity Day -- Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis worldwide

Kwanzaa, Day 6, Kuumba (Creativity)

Leap Second Adjustment Day -- if a second needs to be added or subtracted to coordinate the atomic and astronimical time, it will be done today, by the International Earth Rotation Service of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures at Paris, France

Make Up Your Mind Day/Procrastinator's Day -- you have to make up your mind

National Champagne Day

New Year's Eve -- a selection of related observances
     Allendale Tar Barrel Burning/Baal Fire Festival -- Allendale, England (locals burn out the old year by carrying burning tar barrels on their heads, then use them to light one huge bonfire)
     Feast of Father Time -- because he ultimately overcomes us all
     Festival of Yemaya -- Yoruba/Santeria (celebration of the mother of the sun and moon)
     Fire and Ice New Year's Eve Celebration -- Anchorage, AK (fire jugglers, ice carvers, fireworks, and more)
     First Night -- a non-alcoholic alternative to New Year's Eve
     Fravartigan -- Parsi Zoroastrian (celebration to honor the dead through the night)
     Gamlarskvold -- Icelandic traditions; cows gain human speech, seals take on human form, the dead rise, and Elves move house
                obtain gold from the Elves by sitting at a crossroads and waiting for them to pass
                Housewives greet the Elves by reciting the rhyme of protection
                        Let those who want to, arrive
                        Let those who want to, leave
                        Let those who want to, Stay
                        Without harm to me or mine
                Light a bonfire, and "blow out the year" with fireworks 
     Harvest Day Celebrations -- Benin (celebration of the end of harvest season at the turn of the year)
     Hogmanay Day -- Scotland (Auld Year's Night)
     Japanese Observances (a few, at least)
          Joya no Kane -- Japan (ringing out the old year with temple bells; Buddhists believe humans are born with 108 worldly desires which are removed when the bells are rung 108 times)
          Namahge -- Oga Peninsula, Japan (devil appearing holiday; young men dress as demons and run through the town warning children to behave during the coming year)
          Okera Matsuri -- Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan (Sacred Fire Rite)
          Omisoka Day -- Japan (the second most important day on the Japanese Calendar; tomorrow is the most important)
     Noche de Pedimento -- Oaxaca, Mexico (Night of the Petition)
     Ritual for Iemanja -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (seaside rituals for the goddess of the sea and carnal pleasure, followed by a swinging party in the city and on the beaches overnight)
     Samoan Fire Dance -- Samoa
     Swinging the Fireballs -- Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, Scotland
     Universal Hour of Peace -- begins at 11:30pm your local time, welcome the New Year with peace
     Watch Night -- Christian
     World Peace Meditation Day (International observance of one hour beginning 12:00 PM GMT, focusing thought and energy on peace.)

No Resolution Day / Ditch the Resolutions Day -- if you don't want to, you don't have to!

Restoration Day -- Geneva, Switzerland

Seventh Day of Christmas

St. Sylvester's Day (Patron of Feroleto Antico, Italy; Poggio Catino, Italy) related observances
     Saint Sylvester's Day Celebrations-- Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland
     Silvesterklause -- Urn‰sch, Switzerland

St. Zoticus of Constantinople's Day (Patron of the poor; often titled Feeder of Orphans)

You're All Done Day -- sponsored by something i haven't been able to pin down online called The Long Haul Committee (and it's more like "all done in" if you are like me!)

Anniversaries Today:

Gregory Peck marries Veronique Passani, 1955
Rocky Marciano marries Barbara Cousins, 1950
Bette Davis marries Arthur Farnsworth, 1940

Birthdays Today:

Joe McIntyre, 1972
Nicholas Sparks, 1965
Val Kilmer, 1959
Bebe Neuwirth, 1958
James Remar, 1953
Donna Summer, 1948
Tim Matheson, 1947
Barbara Carrera, 1945
Diane Halfin von Furstenberg, 1945
John Denver, 1943
Ben Kingsley, 1943
Andy Summers, 1942
Sarah Miles, 1941
Anthony Hopkins, 1937
Odetta, 1930
Simon Wiesenthal, 1908
George C. Marshall, 1880
Henri Matisse, 1869

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The London Eye(World's Largest Ferris Wheel), 1999
"Lost in Yonkers"(Play), 1990
"Pirates of Penzance"(Comic Opera), 1879

Today in History:

80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians attack the Rhine at Mainz, crossing into and beginning the invasion of Gallia, 406
Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year, 535
Ch'an monk Ho-tse Shen-hui interred in a stupa built in China, 765
James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma, Spain) thus consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Majorca, 1229
100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily, 1492
The British East India Company chartered, 1600
The first Huguenots depart France to Cape of Good Hope, 1687
A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax, 1695
Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors, 1776
Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada, 1857
The cornerstone is laid for Honolulu, Hawai'i's Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the US, 1879
Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp, 1879
Ellis Island (NYC) opens as a US immigration depot, 1890
Brooklyn's last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898), 1897
Boers & British army sign peace treaty, 1902
The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York, 1904
For the first time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the new year, 1907
The last San Francisco firehorses are retired, 1921
The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC, 1923
Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer," the first breath test, is introduced in Indiana, 1938
The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom, 1960
The Central African Federation officially collapses and splits into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia, 1963
The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government, 1983
All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union is officially dissolved, 1991
Czechoslovakia is peacefully dissolved in what is dubbed by media as the Velvet Divorce, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, 1992
This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones, 1994
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism freezes the values of the legacy currencies in the Eurozone, and establishes the value of the euro currency, 1998
The United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama, 1999
The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, 2004
Italy's ban of plastic bags goes into effect, 2010
A ship abandoned by human traffickers who deliberately set it on a collision course with the Italian coast is brought to shore safely by the Italian Coast Guard with 900 Syrian refugees on board, 2014

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Tripod Feline / New Year Fill-Ins

Feline Friday is hosted by Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.
Feline Friday is simple to join. All you have to do is..

1) post a picture, drawing, cartoon or video of a cat (They may be silly or cute)

2) go to Steve's page, linked above, then on the menu bar click on the Feline Friday tab to get the code

3) paste the code under your cat picture
4) add your name and link

That’s all there is to it! Be sure to check back every so often and visit all the Feline Friday bloggers. Also, please leave a nice comment on their blogs. Nasty comments will be deleted!

Tripod SissyCat says:

No, I don't want to move so you can make the bed!


Friendly Fill-Ins are easy to do. There are four statements: the first two statements are provided by Ellen of 15AndMeowing, and the final two are offered by McGuffy Ann Morris of McGuffy's Reader. They try to make sure the statements will be fun to both answer and share. The linky will be posted at or about 12:00 AM on Friday. Please head over to one of their sites, link up, and share your thoughts! 

My fill-ins for the statements are underlined:

Week 34: December 30, 2016

1. The highlight of my Christmas was ___________________________.
2. My New Year's resolution is __________________________.

3. This year, 2016, ______________.

4. Next year, 2017, ______________.

1. The highlight of my Christmas was all the laughter as we joked and gently teased at Christmas dinner.  Any time i can laugh with family is a great time.

2. My New Year's resolution is to exercise more consistently.  Being busy isn't an excuse!

3. This year, 2016, will be remembered for The Great Flood of 2016.  Many people are still displaced, and many houses will never be rebuilt.  Those that have been rebuilt, many will never be the same as people didn't have the money to replace everything.  As one of my clients said, "You should have seen how beautiful our house was before!  Chair molding, and the wall color below that matched what's in the countertops, and above was a shade lighter than what we have now, and..."  With no flood insurance and having to pay for their own repairs, they are just getting the most basic parts done.  They will only have the furniture they were able to salvage, and a new bed.  Life will go on, never the same.

4. Next year, 2017, who knows?  It would be nice if we got to skip out on the big storms for a few years, that's for sure.

Today is:

Araw ni Rizal -- Philippines (commemoration of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal in 1896, as well as all victims of the Spanish government during their rule of the Philippines)

Bacon Day -- for those tired of the same old winter holidays, see this site 

Day of the Declaration of Slovakia as an Independent Eccliesiatic Province -- Slovakia

Fairy Frequent Fliers' Awards

Falling Needles Family Fest Day -- gather the family, watch the needles fall from the tree, and have a party; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Feast of the Holy Family -- Catholic Christian

Festival of Enormous Changes At the Last Minute -- internet generated, and i'm not sure i'm up to it

Kwanzaa, Day 5, Nia(Purpose)

Lhosar -- Gurung People of Nepal (sometimes called the Tamu People; Losar is celebrated by the rest of Nepal in February or March)

National Bicarbonate of Soda Day -- shouldn't this be on Jan. 1, to help us get over the indigestion from the night before?

No Interruptions Day -- let people finish up what needs to get done before the New Year at work, and silence the devices at home that keep us from spending uninterrupted time with family 

Sixth Day of Christmas

St. Ruggero of Canne's Day (Barletta, Italy)

Anniversary Today:

The Arroyo Seco Parkway, California's first freeway, opens, 1940
Rutherford B. Hayes (19th US President) marries Lucy Ware Webb, 1852

Birthdays Today:

LeBron James, 1984
Kristin Kreuk, 1982
Eliza Dushku, 1980
Laila Ali, 1977
Tiger Woods, 1975
Sean Hannity, 1961
Tracey Ullman, 1959
Matt Lauer, 1957
Meredith Vieira, 1953
Patti Smith, 1946
Davy Jones, 1945
Concetta Tomei, 1945
Michael Nesmith, 1942
James Burrows, 1940
Del Shannon, 1939
Joseph Bologna, 1938
Noel Paul Stookey, 1937
Sandy Koufax, 1935
Russ Tamblyn, 1935
Bo Diddley, 1928
Jack Lord, 1920
Bert Parks, 1914
Stephen Leacock, 1869
Simon Guggenheim, 1867
Rudyard Kipling, 1865

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Let's Make a Deal"(TV), 1963
"The Roy Rogers Show"(TV), 1951
"Kiss Me, Kate"(Musical), 1948

Today in History:

Hugh Capet, King of the Franks, crowns his son Robert the Pious king and co-ruler, 987
A Muslim mob storms the royal palace in Granada, crucifies Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacres most of the Jewish population of the city, 1066
Tokyo is hit by an earthquake, about 37,000 die, 1703
The first coffee is planted in Hawaii (Kona), 1817
Gyula, Count Andr·ssy, of Hungary, issues the Andrassy Note, calling for Christian-Muslim religious freedoms, 1875
Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premieres, 1879
The American Political Science Association founded at New Orleans, 1903
Iran becomes a constitutional monarchy, 1906
The All India Muslim League is founded in Dacca, East Bengal, British India Empire, which later laid down the foundations of Pakistan, 1906
Lincoln's Inn in London admits its first female bar student, 1919
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is formed, 1922
Japan dedicates the first subway in the Orient (route under 2 miles long), 1927
The Cole Porter Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1,077 performances), opens at the New Century Theatre and becomes the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award, 1948
In the 39th game of his 3rd NHL season Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals giving him 50 on the year setting a new NHL record , 1981
Israel and the Vatican establish diplomatic relations, 1993
Tropical Storm Zeta forms in the open Atlantic Ocean, tying the record for the latest tropical cyclone ever to form in the North Atlantic basin, 2005
The last roll of Kodachrome film is developed by Dwayne's Photo, the only remaining Kodachrome processor at the time, concluding the film's 74-year run as a photography icon, 2009

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"You have to be more patient, we will make more mistakes if we go too fast," he told her.  She looked down very soberly, and he gently lifted her chin and smiled, adding, "I know we want to do what is right by him, but we can't make too many wishes too fast, we've agreed that way lies madness."

The Djinn looked on blankly, having become used to the way these two worked, especially when they were discussing how best to use wishes to enhance the life of their beloved grandson.

"I know," she said with a sigh, "I thought having the bigger house would be a good thing, I didn't realize it would come at the expense of a dear friendship."

"Thus we have to be more cautious," he emphasized.  "There's nothing wrong with us working to make his life better, there's a lot wrong with us using magic to make it so he never has to work or earn anything for himself."

Linking up with Uncharted Blog and Six Sentence Stories, where the cue is Patient.


Gosia, of Looking for Identity, has taken over Good Fences.  Post a picture of a fence or gate, link back to her blog, and go visit others to see what interesting fences there are out in this big world.

A festive holiday fence.

Today is:

Constitution Day -- Ireland

Enjoying ESP Day -- internet generated, and it means eating, sleeping, and partying!

Fifth Day of Christmas

Illegal Pants Day -- commemorates Emma Snodgrass' arrest in Boston in 1852 for wearing pants

Kayin New Year -- Myanmar (The Kayin, or Karen, are the second largest ethnic minority in the country, and their New Year is an extra holiday with traditional costume and lots of celebrating)

Kwanzaa, Day 4, Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

National Chocolate Again Day -- because someone, somewhere, believes it can't be chocolate something-or-other day often enough

National Independence Day -- Mongolia(1911, from the Qing Dynasty)

Paternoster Row Day -- in memoriam of the famous area destroyed by the Blitz this date and tomorrow in 1940

Pepper Pot Day -- Pepper Pot Soup was invented today in 1777 at Valley Forge for the army to have something warm to eat

Sacrifice to Zeus Horios -- Ancient Greek Calendar (sacrifice in the deme of Erichia; date approximate)

Sarsodaw Pwe -- Myanmar (Writers' Day/Literati Day, especially celebrated by the press, and includes The National Literary Award Presentation Ceremony as well as public lectures, essay contests, and story-telling events)

St. Gabriel's Day -- Ethiopia

St. Thomas of Canterbury's Day (Thomas a Becket, Patron of clergy, secular clergy; Exeter College, Oxford, England; Portsmouth, England)

St. Trophimus of Arles' Day (Patron of children; Arles, France; against drought)

Tick Tock Day -- end of the year is getting closer, stop putting off your dreams! sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Yodel in the Shower Day -- internet generated, and i promise not to tell if you do

Anniversaries Today:

J. Paul Getty, Jr., weds Victoria Holdsworth, 1994
Texas becomes the 28th US State, 1845

Birthdays Today:

Jude Law, 1972
Andy Wachowski, 1967
Bryan "Dexter" Holland, 1966
Patricia Clarkson, 1959
Paula Poundstone, 1959
Ed Autry, 1954
John Polito, 1950
Ted Danson, 1947
Marianne Faithfull, 1946
Jon Voight, 1938
Mary Tyler Moore, 1936
Thomas Edwin Jarriel, 1934
Klaus Fuchs, 1911
Billy Mitchell, 1879
Pablo Cassals, 1876
William Gladstone, 1809
Andrew Johnson, 1808
Charles Goodyear, 1800

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Thunderball(Film, UK release), 1965
"The Andersonville Trial"(Play), 1959
The Adventures of Kathlyn(Film, first movie serial), 1913

Today in History:

Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, 1170
The first nautical almanac in US published by Samuel Stearns, Boston, 1782
Gas lights are installed at White House, during the Polk administration, 1848
The first Young Men's Christian Association chapter in the US opens, in Boston, 1851
Emma Snodgrass is arrested in Boston for wearing pants, 1852
HMS Warrior, the first British ironclad warship, is launched, 1860
The first telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Co, NY, 1867
The Wounded Knee Massacre takes place, 1890
Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio), 1891
Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty, 1911
The first movie serial, "Adventures of Kathlyn," premieres in Chicago, 1913
Fred P Newton completes longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans, 1930
Physicist Richard Feynman gives a speech entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom", which is regarded as the birth of nanotechnology, 1959
Filming began on Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in England, 1965
Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees, 1989
Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war, 1996
Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million lives, 1998
The last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct, 2003
Chaparrastique volcano in El Salvador erupts, 2013
After two years and 2,500 deaths, the WHO declares the Ebola epidemic in Guinea is over, 2015

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: This is what turkey leftovers become.

A big pot of turkey gumbo!

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday.

Today is:

Bairns Day -- Scotland (Begins the runic half-month of Eoh, the yew tree, which signifies the dead, and is now associated with the Slaughter of the Innocents of Christian tradition, so today is considered by some the unluckiest day of the year, and no work should be undertaken today.)

Call a Friend Day -- just to catch up a bit

Card Playing Day -- internet generated, enjoy a fun game with friends and family; "Go fish!"

Childermas a/k/a Holy Innocents Day -- (Patrons of babies, children's choirs, foundlings)
     various Christian traditions celebrate under many names and in various ways
     Els Enfarinats -- Ibn, Valencia, Spain (flour fight, and if it's anything like the tomato throwing in other towns of Spain, it's probably lots of fun)
     French Childermas tradition interpreted what the Norse saw as evidence of the Wild Hunt of Odin as the spirits of the Holy Innocents running from King Herod
     Inocentes -- Mexico, and sometimes celebrated as Mexican December Fool's Day (Herod fooled himself into thinking he had gotten rid of his rival king born in Bethlehem.)

Dyzemas Day -- Northhamptonshire, UK (an unlucky day to begin any new undertaking, "what is begun on Dysemas Day will never be finished")
     origin unknown, but often translated as Tithe Day, being very close to the Portugese word for tithe

Eat A Vegetarian Day -- an internet generated joke; yes, the vegetarian in question can be a cow

Endangered Species Act Day -- US (act passed 1973; a day to mourn species already extinct)

Fairy Academy of Window-Frosting Winter Exhibition -- Fairy Calendar

Fourth Day of Christmas

Incwala Day -- Swaziland (the biggest day of the 8 week Ncwala Festival, which loosely translates as "first fruits", although today's tasting of the first of the harvest by the King is only a portion of the many days of ceremonies)
      always on 28th?

Kayin New Year -- Myanmar (The Kayin, or Karen, are the second largest ethnic minority in the country, and their New Year is an extra holiday with traditional costume and lots of celebrating)

King Taksin Memorial Day -- Thailand

Kwanzaa, Day 3, Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

National Chocolate Candy Day

Proclamation Day -- South Australia (trad.)

Return a Gift for the Cold Hard Cash Day -- and good luck, these days

Runic Half-month Eoh (yew) commences

Take a Drive and Enjoy the Christmas Lights Day -- before they are gone for another year

Unluckiest Day of the Year -- various traditions state no work should be started today, for whatever is started today will never be finished!  In Olde England, nothing of importance was ever undertaken on Childermas, because it would prove unlucky

Anniversaries Today:

Billy Ray Cyrus weds Leticia Finley, 1994
The US Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted, 1945
Iowa becomes the 29th US State, 1846

Birthdays Today:

David Archuleta, 1990
Sienna Miller, 1981
John Legend, 1978
Joe Mangianello, 1976
Todd Richards, 1969
Malcolm Gets, 1964
Denzel Washington, 1954
Edgar Winter, 1946
Don Francisco, 1940
Maggie Smith, 1934
Nichelle Nichols, 1933
Martin Milner, 1931
Johnny Otis, 1921
Sam Levenson, 1911
Lew Ayres, 1908
Cliff Arquette, 1905
Earl "Fatha" Hines, 1905
Hendrik Meijer, 1883
Woodrow Wilson, 1856
John Molson, 1763

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Gulag Archipelago"(Publication date), 1973
"Last of the Red Hot Lovers"(Play), 1969
"Night of the Iguana"(Play), 1961
"On the Town"(Musical), 1944
"Tip-Toes"(Musical), 1925
"St. Joan"(Play), 1923
"Cyrano de Bergerac"(Play), 1897

Today in History:

The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, a/k/a Westminster Abbey, is consecrated, 1065
The reign of Emperor Hanazono of Japan begins, 1308
Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star, 1612
King Taksin is crowned as king of Thailand and establishes Thonburi as a capital, 1768
Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto, Ontario), 1795
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes Echigo, Japan, killing 30,000+, 1828
John Calhoun becomes the first US Vice President to resign (over differences with President Andrew Jackson), 1832
Spain recognizes independence of Mexico, 1836
South Australia and Adelaide are founded, 1836
Rangoon Burma, destroyed by fire, 1841
The United States claims Midway Island, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits, 1867
The LumiËre brothers perform for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines, marking the debut of the cinema, 1895
The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco, California, 1912
The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park, 1950
Alexander Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelago", 1973
Winnie Mandela is banished from South Africa, 1976
The first American "test-tube baby", Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia, 1981
U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years, 2000
At 115 years old and 266 days, Jiroemon Kimura of Japan becomes the world's oldest living person, 2012

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What today?

Unless you want to get lost for hours in ideas and never get anywhere, don't ask Google what you should post about when you are drawing a blank.

You might find yourself on a website that lets you paint a nebula, or the one that has a cat bouncing all over the screen.  Then there are the ones where writers complain about how their brains hold them hostage.

Don't ask your Sweetie either, or you might get told something weird, or asked when you are going to get to the laundry.  Then you might have to consider braining your Sweetie, but realize it's not worth the jail time.

Speaking of my Sweetie (who of course would never do the above), all of the children were out of the house for a while today.  He's been talking about how wonderful it will be when they all finally move out.  Today, he sat at the table and asked where they all went, and complained about how it was too quiet around here.

It was all i could do to not say, guess what!  Once they all move out, this is how it's going to be all of the time!

How has he not figured that out yet?  Especially now that he is retired and spends most of every day hunting for things to do.

Yesterday was #2 Son and DIL Becky's first anniversary.  They are saving up and hope to rent a house soon.  They want Little Girl and another friend to rent it with them to split costs.  Their hope is to find a rent-to-own deal.

That would leave #1 Son, Bigger Girl, and Red-headed Alec here.  None of them are in a huge, tearing hurry to leave, so i guess the days of too quiet aren't going to get here very fast.

Red-headed Alec has been helping me clean houses.  Yesterday we were doing the final cleaning so a couple could move back into their now rebuilt from the flood house, and one of their friends came by.  The friend got my number and wants to call me about cleaning his daughter's house.  Mr. D, the husband of the couple i cleaned for, came in and said, "I sold you to him for $20/hour per person!"

At this rate, i'm going to have more houses than i can handle alone, and i will really have to incorporate and hire Red-headed Alec full time.

No carts before the horses, though.  It's too soon to tell if any of my current jobs are going to turn into regular work either weekly or bi-weekly.

It doesn't hurt to dream a bit.

Just don't ask Google what to post about unless you have a lot of time to waste.

Today is:

Anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's Death -- Sindh, Pakistan

Calli (House) Day -- Aztec Calendar (a good day for all things hearth and home and family. a bad day to participate in public life; date approximate, but soon after the solstice)

Constitution Day -- Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)

Festival of Nehebkau -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (Beginning of Eternity, celebrating the snake god and his role of binding the sun to the earth at the beginning of time; date approximate)

Kwanzaa, Day 2, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)

Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day -- internet generated, with Christmas over, you need to do winter decoration

Modern Medicine Day -- birth anniversary of Louis Pasteur

National Fruitcake Day -- unless, of course, you are like me and have spent your last several days with fruitcake relatives, at which point you get a day off from fruitcakes! ;D 

St. Fabiola's Day (Patron of difficult marriages, divorced people, victims of abuse, victims of adultery, widows)

St. John the Divine's Day (Patron of art dealers, authors, bookbinders, booksellers, burn victims, compositors, editors, engravers, friendships, lithographers, painters, papermakers, printers, publishers, tanners, theologians, typesetters, writers; Asia Minor; Boise, Idaho, Borgo Santo Sepolcro, Italy; Cleveland, OH; Eger, Hungary; Milwaukee, WI; Morra, Netherlands; Saint-Jean ñ Longueuil, QuÈbec; Sansepoicro, Italy; Sundern, Germany; Taos, NM; Umbria, Italy; Wroclaw, Poland; against burns, poisoning)

St. Stephen's Day -- Eastern Orthodox, a public holiday in Romania

Third Day of Christmas

Unfairies' Gathering -- Fairy Calendar

Visit the Zoo Day -- don't know who put this one in the middle of winter, but there it is

Watch the Children Day -- internet generated, a day to take a page from the book of the young and remember how to play like a child

Birthdays Today:

Heather O'Rourke, 1975
Masi Oka, 1974
Bill Goldberg, 1966
Tovah Feldshuh, 1952
Gerard Depardieu, 1948
Cokie Roberts, 1943
John Amos, 1939
Oscar Levant, 1906
Marlene Dietrich, 1901
Sydney Greenstreet, 1879
Louis Pasteur, 1822
George Cayley, 1773
Johannes Kepler, 1571

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Knots Landing"(TV), 1979
"Howdy Doody"(TV), 1947 (first successful children's television show)
"Radio Roxyettes"(Now the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes), 1932

Today in History:

The Hagia Sofia of Constantinople is completed, 537
The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World, 1512
The first public railroad using steam locomotive completed in England, 1825
Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, 1831
Worst English avalanche kills 8 of 15 buried in Lewes Sussex, 1836
Ether is first used in childbirth in US, in Jefferson, Ga., 1845
The world's first cat show is held at the Crystal Palace, London, 1871
Carrie Nation's first public smashing of a bar, at the Carey Hotel, Wichita, Kansas, 1900
Unsuccessful attempt on prince-regent Hirohito of Japan, 1923
Stalin's faction wins All-Union Congress in USSR, Trotsky is expelled, 1927
Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City, 1932
The Shah of Persia declares Persia is now Iran, 1934
The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations, 1945
Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon, 1968
The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States, 2001
Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet, 2004
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, 2007
Toyota Motor Corporation agrees to pay $1 billion to settle over a dozen lawsuits related to sudden acceleration, 2012

Monday, December 26, 2016

Awww Monday: Happy Doggies

Awww Monday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus.

Join us every Monday for Awww...Mondays.  Post a picture that makes you say Awww... and that it.

Make sure you get the code from Sandee's site, linked above, and leave a link to your post so we can visit you.  What better way to start the week than with a smile!

Yesterday was wild and crazy and barely controlled chaos and the children got their goodies and the stars of the show were the dogs, who were into and on top of everything.

This one rules the roost!

This harmeless looking guy is a nutcase!  He's taking a break right now, but don't let that fool you.

Today is:

Awful Tie Day -- internet generated, go to the office and compare who got the worst tie as a gift

Blessing of the Wine -- Greiveldange, Luxembourg (winemakers parade to the church to have a barrel of wine blessed)

Boxing Day -- day on which boxes of goodies are given to the less fortunate or public servants, and sometimes servants and masters traded places for the day

Coffee Percolator Day -- patented by James Mason on this day in 1865

Day of Goodwill -- Namibia; South Africa

Day of Our Theotokos /  Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God -- Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox Christian

Family Day -- Namibia; Vanuatu

Holiday Magic Days -- Mystic Seaport, CT, US (reduced admission to fun, entertainment, crafts, and the lore of the sea; through Jan. 1)

Independence and Unity Day -- Slovenia(1990)

J'Ouvert -- Saint Kitts and Nevis (carneval-style street party for Boxing Day)

Junkanoo (Junkanoo Jonkanoo, Jankunu, John Canoe or Johnkankus) -- Carribean Islands, also on New Years Day (A special music and dance, mime and symbol that is an early traditional dance form of African descent.)

Kwanzaa, Day 1, Umoja (Unity)

Mauro Hamza Day -- Houston, TX, US (United States Fencing Association Foil Director)

Mummer's Day -- Padstow, Cornwall

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank-you Note Day

National Whiner's Day™ -- a day to encourage people to be happy with what they have; the previous year's worst whiners are announced (you don't want to be one!) 

Proclamation Day -- South Australia (day South Australia was established as a Province in 1836 by royal Proclamation

Recyclable Packaging Day -- started by someone who wants to remind us to gather up the reusable bags, boxes, etc., left from the holiday, and recycle the rest

Second Day of Christmas

Sports Days -- Falkland Islands (through the 28th, with the Boxing Day race at Stanley being the most famous part of the celebration)

St. James the Just's Day -- Orthodox Christian

St. Stephen's Day (Patron of casket makers, deacons, horses, masons, stone masons; Patron of over 80 cities throughout Italy; Kessel, Germany; Metz, France; Owensboro, KY; Toulouse, France; against headaches)
     Public Holiday in Alsace, France; Andorra; Austria; Catalonia; Croatia; Czech Republic; Germany; Holy See; Hong Kong; Ireland; Italy; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Poland; San Marino; Slovakia; Spain (regional); Switzerland (regional)
     Celebrated as Father's Day -- Bulgaria
     Day of the Wren -- Ireland; Isle of Mann (costumed mayhem)

Tehuantepec Festivities -- Oaxaca, Mexico

Thanksgiving Day -- Solomon Islands

Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) - Zoroastrian

Anniversary Today:

Rodney Dangerfield weds Joan Child, 1993
Establishment of Shenandoah National Park, VA, US, 1935

Birthdays Today:

Chris Daughtry, 1979
Jared Leto, 1971
Lars Ulrich, 1963
David Sedaris, 1956
Ozzie Smith, 1954
Carlton Fisk, 1947
John Walsh, 1945
Phil Spector, 1940
Alan King, 1927
Steve Allen, 1921
Richard Widmark, 1914
Mao Tse-tung, 1893
Henry Miller, 1891
Charles Babbage, 1791
Laurent Clerc, 1785
Juan Lovera, 1778
Thomas Nelson, 1738
Thomas Gray, 1716

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Do re mi"(Musical), 1960
"The Glass Menagerie"(Play), 1944
"Of Thee I Sing"(Musical), 1931
Judy Garland, as Baby Frances, makes her stage debut at age 2 1/2, singing Jingle Bells on the vaudeville stage, 1924
"Tragic Overture"(Brahms' Op. 81), 1880

Today in History:

Columbus founds the first Spanish settlement in the New World by leaving behind 36 men in what is now Haiti, 1492
The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins, 1792
A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable, 1811
The Erie Canal opens, 1825
Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years, 1871
King Mwanga of Uganda signs a contract with the East Africa Company, 1890
Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium, 1898
FM radio is patented, 1933
Time Magazine's Man of the Year is for the first time a non-human, the personal computer, 1982
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the USSR, 1991
A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing over 250,000 people, 2004
Brazil overtakes the United Kingdom as the world's sixth largest economy, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On Being There

It was a good thing i showed up at Grandma's house.  Her cleaning lady was out of town this past week.  She has a clean house now.  We also have corn bread dressing.

Speaking of showing up, one year Boudreaux be de only one dat show up for de Christmas service at de church, de weather be dat bad.

Father Pierre, seein' dat Boudreaux be de only one dere, ax him, "Well, Boudreaux, what you t'ink?  Since it be jes' you an' me, be it worth havin' de whole church service?"

An' Boudreaux say, "Mais oui, Father Pierre!  Remember, when I go out to call de chickens to come eat, an' only one o' dem comes back into de yard, I feed it!"

Merry Christmas!

Today is:

A'phabet Day -- a/k/a No "L" Day!  yes, go ahead and groan

Carol Day -- internet generated, listed as different dates, but this is the last day this year you should have to listen to Christmas songs, so enjoy

Children's Day -- Cameroon; Chad; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo DR; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Uruguay

Christmas Day/Feast of the Nativity -- Christian/Orthodox Christian

Constitution Day -- Taiwan

Dia de la Familia -- Uruguay

Dies Natalis Invicti Solis -- Ancient Roman Calendar (birthday of the invincible sun god)

Ennead Feast in the Houses of Ra, Horus, and Osiris -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Family Day -- Angola; Mozambique; Uruguay

Hanukkah -- Judaism (began sundown yesterday; through sundown Jan. 1)

Malkh-Festival -- Nakh peoples of Chechenya and Ingushetia (a sun god festival)

National Pumpkin Pie Day

Quaid-e-Azam's Day -- Pakistan (birth anniversary of "Great Leader," the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Day -- introduced by Montgomery Ward Department Store this day in 1939

St. Anastasia of Sirmium's Day (Patron of martyrs, weavers, and widows)

Anniversaries Today:

Hirohito becomes Emperor of Japan, 1926
Washington crosses the Delaware, 1776

Birthdays Today

Dido, 1971
Rickey Henderson, 1958
Shane MacGowan, 1957
Annie Lennox, 1954
Karl Rove, 1950
Ron Foos, 1949
Sissy Spacek, 1949
Barbara Mandrell, 1948
Larry Csonka, 1946
Jimmy Buffett, 1946
Gary Sandy, 1945
Hanna Schygulla, 1943
Carlos Castaneda, 1925
Rod Serling, 1924
Anwar Sadat, 1918
Quentin Crisp, 1908
Cab Calloway, 1907
Humphrey Bogart, 1899
Cal Farley, 1895
Robert Ripley, 1893
Dame Rebecca West, 1892
Conrad Hilton, 1887
Evangeline Cory Booth, 1865
Clara Barton, 1821
Isaac Newton, 1642
Traditional Birthday of Mithras
Traditional Birthday of Sol

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Wolf of Wall Street(Film), 2017
The Sword in the Stone(Disney animated film), 1963
"The Steve Allen Show"(TV), 1950
"Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts", 1931
"Why Marry?"(Play, first to win a Pulitzer for Drama), 1917 
"Symphony Fantastique: …pisode de la vie d'un Artiste ... en cinq parties"(Berlioz Symphony), 1830

Today in History:

The first Christmas, according to calendar maker Dionysus Exiguus, 1
The earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on the 25th, 337
The first definite date that Christmas was celebrated on the 25th, 352
Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome, 800
William I, Conqueror, crowned king of England, 1066
Boudouin I of Boulogne crowned king of Jerusalem, 1100
Count Roger II of Sicily is crowned the first King of Sicily, 1130
St Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, 1223
The city of Natal, Brazil is founded., 1599
Gov William Bradford of Plymouth forbids game playing on Christmas, 1621
The Massachusetts General Court ordered a fine of five shillings for "observing any such day as Christmas", 1651
The first performance of "Silent Night" takes place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria, 1818
Louisiana & Arkansas are the first US states to observe Christmas as holiday, 1831
Despite bitter opposition, Pres Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (a/k/a the Civil War, or, tongue planted firmly in cheek, that recent unpleasantness between the States), 1868
The legendary/unofficial "Christmas Truce" takes place between the British & Germans, 1914
Emperor Taisho of Japan dies; his son, Prince Hirohito succeeds him as Emperor Showa, 1926
Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer, 1939
The first in Europe artificial, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated within Soviet nuclear reactor F-1, 1946
The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students, 1950
Richard Starkey gets his first drum set for Christmas, 1957
Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans Earth Injection (TEI) maneouver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit, 1968
Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Northern Territory Australia, 1974
Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, 1977
The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web, 1990
Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day), 1991
Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which would later successfully land on Saturn's moon Titan, 2004