Monday, November 30, 2009

Ad Nauseam

There are repeat ads on the radio that have come to the point of making me sick. They really turn my stomach.

They are for "we can help you get out of credit card debt" ads, and they are lies, from companies that prey upon the desperate.

These companies are, at best, a rip off in the bit of help they do give you. At worst, they just steal your money and leave you even worse off than before.

Each one begins by talking about being "government approved" or "part of the bail-out" or some such nonsense. Each talks about how the credit card companies are supposedly "settling" for less than what you owe.

It is true, if you are very far behind, and you can scrape together some cash, you can sometimes get a credit card company to take less than what you owe as settlement in full. You have to get it in writing, and give them no electronic access to your checking account, ever, for any reason. All transactions with them, when you are that far behind, must be by cashier's check overnighted to the credit holding or debt collection company.

These so-called bail out companies just take your money, keeping most of it as a fee, and wait until you are so far behind the credit card company is ready to settle, and they send whatever is left after your fees to settle it for you. It is all stuff you can do for yourself without paying them.

The ads are nauseating. I never thought anything could be worse than all the holiday advertising. I was wrong.

Today is:

Bonifacio Day, Philippines

Computer Security Day

Cyber Monday

Ham and Roast Beef Night

Independence Day, Barbados

National Meth Awareness Day

National Mousse Day

Squirrel Hunt Day

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

Saint Andrew the Apostle's Day (patron of Scotland, Greece, Russia,

golfers, fishermen, sailors, spinsters; against gout, neck problems)

St. Frumentius' Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Amsterdam bans assembly of heretics, 1523
Death count by plague in Venice is officially set at 16,000, 1630
Beijing earthquake causes 100,000+ deaths, 1731
Britain signs agreement recognizing US independence, 1782

Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day, 1786

Spain cedes her claims to Louisiana Territory to France, 1803
First ground is broken at Allenburg for the building of the original Welland Canal, 1824
First Welland Canal opens for a trial run, 5 years to the day from the ground breaking, 1829
Work begins on the first US underwater highway tunnel, in Chicago, 1866
The first international soccer football game is held, in Glasgow; Scotland-England 0-0, 1872
The first commercially successful AC electric power plant opens, Buffalo, NY, 1886
A German engineer patents front-wheel drive for automobiles, 1900
American Old West: Second-in-command of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, Kid Curry Logan, is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor, 1902
Pike Place Market is dedicated in Seattle, Washington, 1907
The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park London destroyed by fire, 1936
Baseball's Negro National League disbands, two years after major league baseball integrated, 1948

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zhu-Zhu Pets?

What will they think of next?

Those electronic pets from the past keep coming back to haunt me. Apparently they reinvent the things every few years, whether in digital or robot form, and the kids go crazy for them.

The kids are enamored for about a hour before they get bored and wander off, wanting to do something else.

The best toys are still the ones that lead to hours of creative fun, not the ones that do limited tricks that the kids get bored with.

Save your time in line, go get the kid some toys to build stuff with, or to make artwork with.

Those last.

Today is:

Advent Begins -- Catholic Christian, often observed by other Christian denominations as well

Feast of Great Expectations

Festival of the Sons of Saturn

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

National Chocolates Day

Newspaper Day

Parliament Night

St. Cuthbert Mayne's Day

St. Saturnius' Day

Square Dance Day

Anniversaries Today:

Erwin Rommel marries Lucie "Lu" Mollin, 1916

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Jews of Augsburg, Germany, are massacred, 1349
(Sometimes, it seems, the more things change...)
King Philip II devalues Spanish currency, 1596
(See above...)
Sir James Jay invents invisible ink, 1775
Dessalines & Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent, 1803
First Italian opera in US, "Barber of Seville" premieres (NYC), 1825
Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph, 1877
The first motorcycle race ever is held in Surrey, England; the distance was one mile and the winner was Charles Jarrot in a time of 2 minutes, 8 seconds, 1897
The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest Sirrine. 1910
Fire destroys most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California, 1915
The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, 1944

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who is Supervising the Supervisor?

We have a Youth Pastor at our church.

He is a really great guy.

He taught my son to play the game where you put the fizzy antacids in your mouth, add soda, and see how long you can hold it. My son tried the game at homeschool co-op and got kicked out.

Last night was Fear Factor night for the youth. They spent the night at the church doing such things as capture the flag, hunting for cups in a dark room baited with mouse traps (the kind that pinch but won't actually break finger bones), paintball wars, and eating junk food.

My two kids came home with a bloody nose each, plug a goose egg on one's forehead and facial bruises on the other from a collision with both a tree and another kid.

I think the Youth Pastor needs more supervising!

Today is:

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

Independence Day, Albania, Panama, Mauritania

Make Your Own Head Day

National French Toast Day

Red Planet Day

Republic Day, Chad

St. Simeon Metaphrastes' Day

Swine Time Festival, Climax, Georgia, US -- Come on out and join the fun, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Contests & Events include best dressed pig, corn shucking, hog calling, eating chitterlings, pig racing, syrup making, baby crawling and the greased pig chase!

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Skanderbeg and his forces liberate Kruja in Middle Albania and raise the Albanian flag, 1443
Ferdinand Magellan begins crossing Pacific Ocean, 1520
Washington & his troops cross Delaware River, 1776
The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience, 1814
Ka Lahui: Hawaiian Independence Day - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation, 1843
Women vote in a national election for the first time in the New Zealand general election, 1893
US-born Lady Astor elected first female member of British Parliament, 1919
Capt Cyril Turner of the RAF gives the first skywriting exhibition in NYC; Turner spelled out "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200." 47,000 called, 1922
"Hopalong Cassidy" premieres on TV, 1948
The first Polaroid Camera is sold, 1948

Friday, November 27, 2009

Who Are They Trying to Fool?

Today is the day of extremes.

You shop, or you don't.

I don't.

Those people scare me, the ones who line up so early.

I tried it once, with my mom, and never again.

The one time we did, the toy store opened, and the first person through the door walked over to the manager and asked for a particular sale item, a real big item that was heavily advertised and hugely discounted.

She was told they were sold out.

Did I mention she was the first person through the door?

She was told there would be no rain checks issued, sorry, only what is in stock is available, and we are already sold out.

Only by threatening to call the sheriff's department fraud division did she get the manager to agree to give rain checks to the first 10 people in line who wanted that item.

If you read the fine print on the ads for one department store this year, their big door buster appliance says they only guarantee to have 3 available per store.

Last year, at the local Monster Mart, there were only 10 of a certain electronic item available at the special price. This happens to be a 24hr. Monster Mart and they closed a half hour before the sale began and made all shoppers leave, just to make sure everyone had the same chance.

Two employees, at 5AM as the doors opened, walked over to electronics and got in line first.

It is just not worth the aggravation of fighting all of that.

Today is:

Black Friday OR Buy Nothing Day, depending upon your preference

Eid al Adha -- Islam

Family Day, Nevada, US

Festival of Solitude (Not if you go shopping!)

Flossing Day

Maize Day

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

National Day of Listening

Old Tyme Farm Day

Pins and Needles Day

St. Maximus' Day (patron of babies, the dying)

You're Welcome Day (Always the day after Thanksgiving -- somebody really has a sense of humor here, to create this holiday!)

Zibelemarit, Switzerland (Onion Market Festival)

Anniversaries Today:

William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway, 1582

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament", 1295
The Portuguese Royal Family leaves Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops, 1807
Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, 1815
NY Times dubs baseball "The National Game", 1870
Alfred Nobel establishes the Nobel Prize, 1895
In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held, 1924

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It just so happens that my brother's birthday coincides with Thanksgiving Day this year.

So, a turkey for all the turkeys born on Turkey Day!!!

And a Happy Day to all.

Today is:

Day of Covenant -- Baha'i

Independence Day, Colombia

National Cake Day

Sojourner Truth Day

St. John Berchmans' Day

St. Siricius' Day

Thanksgiving Day, US

Waqf al Arafa - Hajj Day -- Islam

What Do You Know About America Day

Anniversaries Today:

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

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed, BC43
Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time, 1476
Heavy storms/hurricane hit England, thousands killed, the Royal Navy loses 15 warships, 1703
The first lion exhibited in the US makes his debut in Boston, 1716
The first national US Thanksgiving is celebrated, 1789
The first streetcar railway in the US begins operation in NYC, fare 12 cents, 1832
The refrigerated railway car is patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, 1867
The first photograph of a meteor is taken, 1885
King Tut's tomb is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter, 1922
Four young lads from Liverpool have their first recording session under the interesting name "The Beatles", 1962

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Again, trouble

This morning's fun is that the kids have broken the only remaining computer.

I woke up to the computer not responding to the mouse.

I cannot get online from home, and am borrowing a friend's computer.

I cannot access my documents upon which I have all of the holiday, birthday, and history facts I have chosen for today stored.

In short, I am messed up big time.

I don't know how long, because tomorrow starts a long holiday weekend, I will be without a computer and begging the use of other computers just to try to keep up with email.

It's going to be a long few days.

I have to get home and make my dad's birthday present, a traditional flat fried cake his family calls and ojaldra (pronounced oh-hal-dra). They tend to take hours to make.

If I cannot get on to post in the next few days, Happy Thanksgiving from the world's most boring blog!


I came home, and the computer had restarted after I shut it down, and it is working again. Spooky, but here goes nothing.

Today is:

Cat-Nipping Convention -- Fairy Calendar

Education Day

Evacuation Day

Independence Day, Suriname

National Day, Burma

National Don't Utter A Word Day (while trying to cook for Thanksgiving tomorrow? Right!)

National Parfait Day

Shopping Reminder Day (One month until Christmas!)

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

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins, 1491
A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha, in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people, 1667
The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reaches its peak intensity which it maintains through November 27. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died, 1703
1st English patent granted to an American, for processing corn, 1715
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is founded, 1758
Farmer's Almanac first published, 1792
The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy, 1826
A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (never to be entirely rebuilt again); the storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster, 1839
Alfred Nobel patents dynamite, 1867
John B Meyenberg of St Louis patents evaporated milk, 1884
American College of Surgeons incorporates in Springield, Illinois, 1912
First Thanksgiving Day Parade is held in Philadelphia, 1920
Archaeologist Howard Carter enters King Tut's tomb, 1922
690 earthquake shocks recorded in 1 day in Ito, Japan, 1930
The first Soviet liquid fuel rocket attains altitude of 261' (80m), 1933
Woody Woodpecker debuts with release of Walter Lantz's "Knock Knock", 1940

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Woke up this morning to the lovely melody of another cat sniffling with an upper respiratory infection.

This time, the vet gave me enough meds to treat everyone as they come down with it.

Here we go again, another round of which cat is sick.

Today is:

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day

Children's Field Day

D.B. Cooper Day

Discovery Day, Tasmania

Festival of Silence

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom - Sikh

Independence Day, Kuwait

National Espresso Day

Persephone Day (a/k/a Kore -- celebration for the goddess of the underworld)

Sinkie Day (celebrated by eating over the sink!) -- Some people only celebrate this one on the day after Thanksgiving, and eat the leftovers; some celebrate it always on Nov. 24, some ask what's to celebrate, where else would you eat?

St. Catherine of Alexandria's Day (patron of philosophers, maidens, jurists, mechanics, lawyers, librarians, nurses, secretaries, schoolgirls, spinsters, teachers, universities; against tongue disease)

Use Even If Seal is Broken Day (Observe at your own risk, always!)

Venus Day

Women's Merrymaking Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Theodosius I makes his formal entry into Constantinople, 380
Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes his Talmudic dictionary, 1105
The Thames River freezes, 1434
First observation of transit of Venus occured (only 2, record event), 1639
Abel Janzoon Tasman becomes the first European to see Van Damien's Land, later renamed Tasmania, 1642
First Lutheran pastor ordained in America, Justus Falckner at Philadelphia, 1703
Mt. Vesuvius erupts, 1759
Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species", 1859
Luik-Visé-Maastricht railway opens, 1861
Joseph F Glidden patents barbed wire, 1874
The first US absentee voting law enacted by Vermont, 1896
Clyde Coleman of NYC patents automobile electric starter, 1903
Radio Belgium makes its first transmission, 1923
The first woman pilot on a transcontinental air flight, Miss Ruth Nichols (Mineola, NY to Calif), in a Lockheed-Vega, took 7 days, 1930
In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens, 1932

Monday, November 23, 2009


Recently, I ran across a blog post that was only up for a short time. It was a fun story of living with the same last name as a car dealership in their mid sized town. It reminded me of my favorite story of coincidental last names, and I have to tell that one here.

For those who remember the Burma-Shave signs, this will make sense; for those who don't, go ask your grandparents to explain.

A crew of Burma-Shave PhD 's (post hole diggers, seriously that is what they called the crews) were working their way across New England, replacing some signs, putting up new ones in other places, when they finished up the last job of the day.

It was getting toward dark and the crew leader made the last drive past to be sure the signs were spaced correctly, at the right height, etc. Everything looked fine as he drove past

Old McDonald
On the Farm
Shaved so hard
He broke his arm
Then he bought

Then he rounded the last curve and saw the mailbox: McDonald.

It was too close to dark to take the signs down, so they nervously found the farmer in question. He was a big man, who looked kind of solemn. Upon hearing the story, Mr. McDonald looked at them for a long moment, and then burst out laughing. It seems he got a big kick out of the gag, and so did the whole neighborhood.

So, there is your coincidence story for the day.

By the way, I never saw any Burma-Shave signs myself, as they were taken down permanently the year I was born, but if you want to learn more about the signs, read The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles, by Frank Rowsome, Jr.

Today is:

Big Help Day

Eat A Cranberry Day

Great Tinker Toy Extravaganza

National Cashew Day

Niiname-Sai, Japan (Grain Festival)

Opera Day

Repudiation Day, Maryland, US

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

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

St. Felicity's Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III, 800
Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1248
Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published, 1644
People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England's Stamp tax, 1765
Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine, 1835
Patent granted for a process of making color photographs, 1863
King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir, 1890
Andrew J Beard invents "jerry coupler," to connect railroad cars, 1897
Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love, 1897
Enrico Caruso makes his US debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, NY in "Rigoletto", 1903
Wright Brothers forms million dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes, 1909
Life Magazine publishes its first issue, 1936

Sunday, November 22, 2009

That's Absurd

Every region has its legendary beast, and in Alaska, it's the Alascattalo. This mythical beast is part moose, part walrus, with a flipper for a tail. It is the champion of the absurd, because "absurding" epitomizes the unique Alaskan sense of humor.

It seems that in Alaska, they very much value the ability to answer a tourist's obviously stupid question with an even more absurd answer.

That is why they celebrate it on the first Sunday after the 3rd Saturday in November -- because if you ask when it is, that is the absurd answer.

So today, if you get asked a really silly or absurd question, try to give a straight faced absurd answer. Who knows, you might get to go to Alaska some day, and be able to do some "absurding" yourself.

Today is:

Alascattalo Day (Alaskan Humor Festival)

Christ the King - Christian

Go for a Ride Day

Independence Day, Lebanon

National Roast Turkey Day

National Stop the Violence Day

Start Your Own Country Day

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

Ydalir (Celebration of the wintertime god of skiing and archery, Ullr)

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The first Duke of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon, 845
Spain delegates "New Laws" against slavery in America, 1542
Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, 1718
Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen, 1809
Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia, 1886
1st snowmobile patent granted to Carl Eliason of Sayner Wisconsin, 1927
Gasoline pump patented that computes quantity & price delivered, 1932
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" first heard on Eddie Cantor's show, 1934

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mighty Hunter

The big, mighty, 4-legged hunter creeps forward.

His prey is unsuspecting, he is sure he will get it.

He pounces, and it is his! It weighs almost as much as he does, but this does not deter him from seeking the stranglehold that will allow him to drag it off.

Then, as he finally gets it balanced and begins to make off with his kill, his brother unexpectedly catches him, dealing him a blindside blow.

The prey, the sock-full of rice, tied off to be put in the microwave as a source of warmth for cold kittens, is forgotten as the kittens themselves tumble off to chase each other.

If they only behaved like this all of the time, instead of trying to find new ways to spill their water bowls and claw the furniture without being caught, I would have a houseful!

Oh, wait a minute, I do have a house full. Eleven foster kittens.

People ask how I can bottle raise them then let them be adopted to good homes, especially when they are "so cute." How could I keep them all? It would be doing them a disservice. I would have to stop doing what I love and tend full time to the ones I had, with no room to help more.

I just hope the ones that lead lonely, feral lives get their prey.

"Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies in the market? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God." Luke 12:6

Today is:

Community Day

National Adoption Day

National Stuffing Day

National Survivors of Suicide Day (There are lots of people out there who had a loved one die by suicide, so go give one a hug and some support.)

St. Gelasius' Day

World Hello Day

World Television Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reach what is now called Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, and sign the Mayflower Compact, 1620
Richard Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Virginia, 1654
Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic, 1791
First Jewish Reform congregation in US forms, Charleston, SC, 1824
Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter, 1871
Tom Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), 1877
First commercial crossing of Pacific by plane (China Clipper), 1935

Friday, November 20, 2009


Please note that I try to scan my holiday listings for accuracy, and check history facts before I list them here.

Sometimes I find conflicting information, and I search to resolve it as best I can.

I do err, I'm sure, and if someone points out errors, I will gladly correct them.

With that being said, I only have two things to say about the history fact I found that says the Arabs once blamed water shortages on Jews for making wine.

First, what haven't the Jews been blamed for, and in every generation? It's a shame, that's what that is. No people group or society is perfect, but there is no way they are to blame for everything, nor even most of the things of which they have been accused.

Second, I once heard someone say, in an ole country boy manner, "Them people in that part of the world 've bin fighting since Cain and Abel, what makes them think that ennything's gonna change now?" I am sad to have to agree.

From my Bible reading last night, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee." Psalm 122:6.

As for name your PC day, is that part of the absurdity? I'd have to call mine "Spare Parts"! LOL

Today is:

Absurdity Day

African Industrialization Day (UN)

Beautiful Day -- Fairy Calendar

Fast for an Abundant World Harvest

Independence Day, Zaire

Name Your PC Day

National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Praetextatus and Paulina's Day (Guardians of the Eleusinian Mysteries)

Revolution Day, Mexico

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

Writing On the Wall Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Bögü, Khan of the Uyghurs, conquers Lo-Yang, capital of the Chinese Empire, 762
Arabs attribute shortage of water in Jerusalem to Jews making wine, 1521
Peter Miniut and the first Swedish immigrants to Delaware sail from Sweden, 1637
Zumbi, the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares of Brazil, is executed, 1695
New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the US Bill of Rights, 1789
Curacao's government forbids slave work on Sunday, 1795
Howard University is founded in Washington, D.C., 1866
US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports, 1914
1st municipally owned airport in US opens, in Tucson Az, 1919

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Say it Again, Sam

My mind has been all over the map today.

When I am at full form, I can concentrate in noisy environments pretty easily, or ignore the constant chatter around me. I used to -- wait, don't put that away over there, it goes here, child, and thanks for emptying the dishwasher -- and, where was I?

Right now, I cannot focus.

My Bigger Girl's continual talk (walking stream-of-consciousness, this kid, her mouth is never shut! just like her father) made me so confused I skipped a whole store when we were out running errands.

What a great time for Please Maintain Your Focus Today Day.

As usual, impeccable timing, so I just won't peck at it.

Instead I will try not to let my mind wander too much, it's too small to be let out on its own.

Today is:

Alligator Wrestling Day

Equal Opportunity Day

Flag Day, Brazil

Garifuna Day, Belize

Great American SmokeOUt

Have a Bad Day Day (If you are observing the Smokeout, this one

coincides beautifully, doesn't it?)

National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

National Day, Monaco

Please Maintain Your Focus Today Day

St. Mechchild's Day

St. Nerses' Day

Thrift Day a/k/a Use Less Stuff Day

World Toilet Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Mayflower reaches Cape Cod and explores the coast, 1620
Rabbi Isaiah b Abraham aha-Levi Horowitz arrives in Isreal, 1621
The Jakobinen club forms in Paris, 1794
The Jay Treaty, the first US extradition treaty, is signed with Great Britain, 1794
Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the continent, 1805
Warsaw University is established, 1816
The St. Petersburg flood, caused by storms, kills 10,000, 1824
Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address, 1863
Boss Tweed is convicted, sentenced to 12 years, 1874
Carrie Nation attempts to address the US Senate, 1903
NY receives the first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy, 1911
Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures (anybody want to guess what this eventually became?), 1916
The first issue of Time Magazine is published, with Emperor Hirohito on the cover, 1928
Women first allowed to vote in Spain, 1933
Ford cancels the Edsel, 1959

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Day I Have Been Waiting to Celebrate

Luddites and their first cousins, Unite!

Today is officially our Day! (At least according to the exhaustive research I have done. Of course I have time for exhaustive research, ignore the snickering.)

For the uninitiated, Ned Ludd was what late 17th/early 18th century people would have called a feebleminded young man who worked in a factory. The story is that he broke a very expensive machine in the factory, but the owner refused to have him blamed or try to make him pay because it was obvious that he was mentally slow.

Then, early in the Industrial Revolution, his name began to be used by those who opposed machines taking over, as well as by factory workers who wanted better working conditions. They would often wear disguises and destroy machinery, or threaten to do so, by order of "General Ludd."

Since I have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of cyberspace and cell phones, I jokingly refer to myself as the first cousin to a Luddite. I use a cell phone for emergencies and only 1 1/2 years into a two year contract, figured out how to take a picture with it. I use the computer, but only for email, this journal/blog, and one website/forum. I wouldn't know how to do anything else on the computer, really. I rely on the nice guys down at RentANerd to keep it running right for me. I am the last to buy into new tech, the last lone holdout (or sometimes it seems that way) on the old.

So while I can't promise to smash a machine, I will promise to lift a glass of grog (or more likely a banana smoothie) in memory of Ned Ludd and all the old ways of doing things.

Today is:

Country Days

Independence Day, Latvia

Mother Goose Parade Day

National Community Education Day

National Day, Oman

National Educational Support Personnel Day

National French Vichyssoise Day

National Farm Joke Day

Ned Ludd Memorial Machine-Smashing Day

St. Odo of Cluny's Day

St. Romanus' Day

Vertieres Day, Haiti

Volkstrauertag, Germany (National Day of Mourning for all who died in war or violence.)

World Fellowship Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Japanese Emperor Kammy relocates the residence of Nara to Kioto, 794
William Tell shoots the apple off his son's head, 1307
The Holland/Zealand dikes break during a storm, resulting in thousands of deaths, 1421
The first English printed book, "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers", is published, 1477
Vasco da Gama reaches the Cape of Good Hope, 1497
The worst earthquake in Massachussetts Bay/Boston area, 1755
The first Unitarian Minister in the US is ordained in Boston, 1787
30 women meet at Mrs Silas Lee's home in Wiscasset Maine, to organize the Female Charitable Society, first woman's club in America, 1805
National Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizes in Cleveland, 1874
Standard time zones are formed by railroads in the US and Canada, 1883
The first newspaper Sunday color comic strip is printed, in the NY World, 1894
Britain flies its first sea plane, 1911
Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop, over San Diego, 1913
Sigma Alpha Rho, a Jewish high school fraternity, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1917

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baked Alaska Day at co-op.

Sponge cake, which you make ahead and freeze (or buy one!).

Block of ice cream. Put it on top of the cake, make sure they both get good and hard.

Meringue. Which the kids had fun making.

They thought it was neat, spreading the meringue.

Five minutes or so in a good hot oven, and let the messy fun begin.

Next co-op, they want cheesecake. I hope to be healed up by then, because it will be after the holiday, so I have 2 weeks.

Today is:

Anniversary of Broadway

Creative Alienation Day

Electronic Greeting Card Day

Here To Go Day

Homemade Bread Day

Independence Day, Morocco

Knight Festival

National Baklava Day

National Community Education Day

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

St. Gregory of Tours' Day (aka Gregory Wonderworker; patron of desperate situations; against floods, earthquakes)

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

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

Take A Hike Day

World Peace Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, 284
England and Spain sign an anti-French covenant/treaty, 1511
Elizabeth I ascends the English throne, 1558
France and Spain sign the Peace of the Pyrenees treaty, 1659
The Church of England organizes in New England, 1785
Congress holds its first session in the still incomplete Capitol Building of Washington, D.C., 1800
The Delta Phi fraternity, America's oldest continuous social fraternity, is founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York, 1827
Ecuador and Venezuela separate from Greater Colombia, 1831
Street signs are first authorized at San Francisco intersections, 1853
David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls, 1855
Japan and Korea sign The Eulsa Treaty, 1905
The first US dental hygienist course is formed, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1913
US declares the Panama Canal Zone to be neutral, 1914
Lenin defends the "temporary" removal of freedom of the press, 1917

Monday, November 16, 2009

What do I do next?

Still waiting for the word from the doctor about when "no better, but no worse" becomes a cause for concern.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, laundry, kittens to bottle feed (sent one away to be watched for the weekend while we were at the hotel, came back to 3 of them), meals to cook, lessons to teach.

When did tired go from being an occasional thing to a chronic state of being?

Today is:

Cote-d'Or begins (Wine Festival)

Eighteenth Century Threshing Day

Have a Party with Your Bear Day

Hecate Night -- Wicca

International Day for Tolerance - UN

National Moms and Dads Day

National Button Day

National Fast Food Day

Resident Aliens' Day

St. Echerius' Day

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

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

St. Matthew's Day (Eastern)

Anniversaries Today:

Oklahoma becomes the 46th US State, 1907

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Tiberius' triumphant procession through Rome after siege of Germany, 13
The second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published, 534
Jadwiga, a woman, is crowned king of Poland, 1384
Francisco Pizarro captures the Incan emperor Atahualpa after the victory at Cajamarca, 1532
The first colonial prison is organized, in Nantucket, Massachussetts, 1676
Kentucky becomes the first state to nullify an act of Congress, 1798
The New York Evening Post publishes its first edition, 1801
An earthquake in Missouri causes the Mississippi River to flow backwards, 1811
Napoleon Guerin of NYC patents a cork life preserver, 1841
Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death for anti-government activities; sentence is commuted to hard labor, 1849
Amsterdam post office at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal opens, 1856
William Bonwill patents dental mallet to impact gold into cavities, 1875
6,000 Armenians massacred by Turks in Kurdistan, 1894
Arturo Tuscanini begins conducting NY's Metropolitan Opera, 1908
US Federal Reserve System formally opens, 1914
LSD is first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, 1938
Touch-tone telephone introduced, 1963

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The swelling in my face is no better yet. We are finally back from "celebrating" homecoming, and I feel awful.

It's time to sleep.

Today is:

American Enterprise Day

America Recycles Day

Dynasty Day, Belgium

George Spelvin Day

I Love to Write Day

National Bundt Pan Day

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

National Philanthropy Day

National Spicy Hermit Day

Nativity Fast begins (through Dec 24) -- Orthodox Christian

Republic Day, Brazil

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

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

St. Gertrude's Day

St. Leopold's Day (patron of Austria)

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Christopher Columbus notes the first recorded reference to tobacco, 1492
The NY General Assembly permits Jews to omit the phrase "Upon the faith of a Christian" from adjuration oaths, 1727
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, 1763
The Articles of Confederation are adopted by the Continental Congress, 1777
Georgetown University, the first Catholic college in the US, opens, 1791
Zebulon Pike gets his first sight of Pike's Peak, Colorado, 1806
Isaac Pitman introduces his steno/shorthand system of writing, 1832
Union Major General Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia, 1864
King C. Gillette patents the Gillette razor blade, 1904
The first telecast of an unscheduled event, a fire, takes place on W2XBT, in NY, 1938

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Strange Homecoming Celebration

Today is very strange.

It is homecoming day at the university, and the kids and I are up here at the on campus hotel for the alumni. We are going to the parade and game, etc. We do this every year.

I woke with a portion of my face swollen, and I don't know why.

It has me very nervous.

My doctor is one of the people who will be up there today, and I'm hoping to snag a moment with him.

I also hope this does not interfere with the kids getting to enjoy homecoming.

ETA -- My doctor was just here at the on campus hotel, looked, asked a couple of questions, said I have a staph infection (read zit, of all things) that needs an antibiotic. I will leave the kids here on campus with their dad while he works, and go pick up the Rx. I'm 46, not 16! Zits! Only me.

Today is:

Children's Day, India

Independence Day, Jordan

Inuit Asking Festival

Kalamazoo Russian Festival begins, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day

Moccas -- Celtic (pig goddess festival)

National Guacamole Day (yummm!!!)

Operating Room Nurse Day

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

World Diabetes Day

Birthdays Today

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

Today in History:

Samuel Pepys reports on the first blood transfusion (between dogs), 1666
Louis Timothee is hired in Philidelphia to be the first professional librarian in the US, 1732
Captain George Vancouver is the first Englishman to enter San Francisco Bay, 1792
John Mason debuts the first horse-drawn street car in NYC, with a route between Prince and 14th on 4th Ave., 1832
Herman Melville publishes "Moby Dick", 1851
The St. Andrews Golf Club, in Yonkers, NY, opens with 6 holes, 1888
New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) began her attempt to surpass the fictitious journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg by traveling around the world in fewer than 80 days, 1889
(Note: she succeeded, finishing the trip in January 1890 in 72 days and 6 hours.)
Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light, 1908
The first airplane flight from the deck of a ship takes place in Norfolk, Virginia, 1910

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sadie Hawkins' Day

Sometimes I wonder if I am just turning into a sentimental old softy.

Today is Sadie Hawkins' Day. Sadie Hawkins was the Li'l Abner comic strip character who was always chasing men. She desperately wanted to marry, but never did catch one.

On Sadie Hawkins' Day, a proper young lady, who would otherwise do no such thing, is permitted to ask a young man out on a date or, if they have already been dating, to go ahead and propose.

Of course, now, the customs seem quaint or awful, but when I was a child I attended one school that made Sadie Hawkins' Day into a game day.

We would prepare for weeks. We wore clothes that would befit the Li'l Abner folk. We had a Marryin' Sam, who would perform weddings for a quarter. We had a Divorcin' Doris who would annul the same, if a boy got caught and forced to marry a girl he didn't like. We had a cardboard tubing jail, with people assigned to watch over it in shifts. (Cost a quarter to get out, or you just sat there for an hour.) We had food and chased each other over the playground, and some of the kids who had boyfriends/girlfriends, would marry and divorce over and over, seeing who could outsmart the other the most often. I believe the record was 7 marriages between one young couple, and he never caught up to her to get divorced the last time, because school was over for the day by then!

I did not particularly care for any of the young men in my age group who attended that school, but I did, for the fun of it, pretend for the day to be in hot pursuit of one young man. I kept him hopping, just to grin at watching him run off from me. For some perverse reason, I took particular delight in interfering with his attempts to sit and eat in peace, and kept him trapped in the restroom for a while.

A fond school memory.

Today is:

Actor's Day

Chuang Tzu's Day

Feronia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival for Juno, Minerva & Jupiter)

Guinness World Record Day

National Indian Pudding Day

Sadie Hawkins Day

Sheik Day

St. Abbo's Day

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

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

St. Nicholas I's Day

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

World Kindness Day

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Lady Jane Grey and Bishop Cranmer are accused of high treason, 1553
Benjamin Franklin says, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” 1789
The first US anti-slavery party, the Liberty Party, convenes in New York, 1839
James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads him to study the subject and come up with what he later calls hypnosis, 1841
The Denny Party arrives at Alki Point, becoming the first settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington, 1851
The first shipment of canned pineapple leaves Hawai'i, 1895
French cyclist Paul Corny flies the first helicopter, 1907

Thursday, November 12, 2009

...And My Love He Has Stolen Away!

When I was a little girl, I had a record player that played at all 3 speeds.

One of my favorite albums, one which I simply wore out, had some of the silliest songs on it. They included the "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" song, along with things like, "I Ain't No Beatle, But I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died", "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose", and "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze".

This last one ended with the daring young trapeze artist stealing away the lady love of the person singing the song.

What brought back this song to my mind on a busy Thursday morning when I have 2 loads of laundry to do, errands to run, and lessons to teach? Well, today in history, in 1859, Jules Leotard performed the first flying trapeze act ever.

We think of the circus, these days, as centering around such acts. But if you study the origins of the circus, which can be fascinating and time consuming, you find out that the modern circus, like so many things, changed and grew into what we know today over the course of time.

Naturally, I will now be doing everything I have to do today with snippets of that song running around in my head, and I don't remember all the words. Oh, well, could be worse. I could be running around with that other annoying song in my head instead. You know the one, the Disney song that is the cure to any other song that gets stuck in your head, but you hesitate to use it because in this case the cure is worse than the disease!

May your day be productive, and with no annoying songs stuck in your head.

Today is:

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

Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Exotic Dancer's Day

Hollantide Day a/k/a Hallow-tide, Isle of Mann (season of All Saints, first day of Winter

Independence Day, Israel

Indian Summer Festival

National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

National Young Reader’s Day

Old Teutonic Yule Festival

Order of Fools

Remembrance Day, UK

Republic Day, Austria

St. Emillion's Day (patron of Spain, finding lost objects)

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (patron of hospital administrators)

St. Josaphat's Day (patron of Ukraine)

Anniversaries Today:

The Arches National Park established, 1971

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days starting today, 764
Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament, 1439
Jules Leotard performs 1st Flying Trapeze circus act (Paris); he also designed garment that bears his name, 1859
World's Fair in Paris opens, 1900
The first movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon, 1910
Robert Scott's diary & body are found in Antarctica, 1912
The first underwater tunnel, the Holland Tunnel connecting NY to NJ opens, 1927
The first photo of whatever is in Loch Ness is taken, 1933

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heart to Heart, Mom to Mom

There are two moms I want to have a heart to heart talk with, and one I want to compliment.

First, "Mother Nature." She apparently has forgotten that mid-November is way too late in the season to send hurricanes! She sent the cold earlier than usual, and very little tropical weather. What is she trying to do, make up for lost time? Or did she just get a mix up, with sending cold and a tropical system to cancel each other out? Either way, we need to work on her scheduling. The cold she sent kept the hurricane from coming here, and moderated it down to tropical storm strength before it hit. Still, I don't wish those things on anybody, and I believe the areas of Georgia that flooded a month or so ago could have skipped out on this particular event and been the happier for it.

Second, mama cat. Specifically, the mama cat that abandoned an eyes just opened kitten at one of our shelter volunteer's place of employment. Didn't she get the memo that it is too late in the season to be having babies? I mean really, in November? This poor little thing won't even be ready to adopt at Christmas time, she will still be just a week too soon for surgery. As a black kitten, she will come up for adoption in January, when everyone is facing the bills from the holidays and cutting back on everything.

Meanwhile, I am back to bottle feeding around the clock, and the kitten is constipated, and the bigger kittens have the runs again and can't be taken to adoption day until I figure out what is causing that, and the laundry has backed up because Sweetie wants me to rewash everything he owns with a different detergent (he is convinced he is allergic to the new one that I switched to 4 months ago, I say he went out the day the yard got winter fertilizer put on it, and is allergic to that).

A salute, finally, to moms of active duty military, moms who stay home while their husbands are stationed far away, moms who are themselves active duty military, moms of veterans, moms who have lost children during military service. May you have special blessings from Heaven for all you have sacrificed. Happy Veterans' Day.

Today is:

Air Day

Beggar's Day, Netherlands

Bonza Bottler Day

Concordia Day, St. Marten

Einherjar - "Feast of the Fallen"

Feast of Dionysus

Lunantishees, Ireland

National Day, Monaco

National Sundae Day

Old November Day

Original Poppy Day

Remembrance Day, Canada

Republic Day, Maldives

St. Martin's Day a/k/a St. Martin of Tours's Day (Western), Martinmas (Old England), Martinigian - in Switzerland- patron of beggars, drunkards, equestrians, harvests, horses, innkeepers, new wine, tailors; highly celebrated through Sweden and Switzerland

St. Menas of Egypt's Day

Variante Festival, Angola (music festival)

Veterans' Day a/k/a Armistice Day

Vox Populi (People’s Voice) Day

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

Anniversaries Today:

Washington becomes the 42nd US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

The Congress of Carnuntum: Attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, the leaders of the Tetrarchy declare Maxentius and Licinius to be Augusti, while rival contender Constantine I is declared Caesar of Britain and Gaul, 308
41 pilgrims land in Massachusetts, sign Mayflower Compact, 1620
Massachusetts passes 1st US compulsory school attendance law, 1647
Chrysanthemums are introduced into England from China, 1790
Mary Edward Walker, the 1st Army female surgeon, is awarded the Medal of Honor, 1865
The 11/11/11 cold wave: Many cities in the U.S. Midwest broke their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolled through, 1911

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Co-op Recipe

Only 3 teaching days of homeschool co-op left for the semester -- amazing how it went by so fast.

Today they will learn that you don't need much flour to make cookies.

Melt 2 squares baking chocolate (unsweetened) with 2 T butter and half a bag (1 c) of semi-sweet morsels on low heat or in a double boiler.

Take off the heat and stir in 2/3 c sugar, 2 large or 3 medium eggs, and 1 t vanilla.

Add 1/4 c self-rising flour, or mix 1/4 c flour with 1/4 t baking powder and a dash of salt.

Add the rest of the bag of semi-sweet morsels and 1 c chopped pecans. If you don't like nuts, don't add them. If you like walnuts better, use those. You can also do this with raisins, if you want a chocolate raisin cookie, just substitute the raisins for the semi-sweet morsels at this point. Or use both. Amazing what you can do when you play with a recipe.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on a buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350*F for about 8-10 minutes.

They will look like brownies, dry around the edges and cracked along the top.

Today is:

Area Code Day

Forget-Me-Not Day

Goddess of Reason's Day (Revolutionary France)

Independence Day, Guinea

Nincnevin (Old Scots festival honoring Diana)

National Vanilla Cupcake Day

National Young Reader's Day

Old November Eve

Polish Solidarity Day

Premiere Day

St. Andrew Avellino's Day

St. Martin's Eve, Portugal

Tulip Lantern Festival, Switzerland


Wish-Granting Championship (Sprite) -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

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

Today in History:

Rene Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy, 1619
The Dutch formally cede New Netherlands to the English; it is renamed New York, 1674
France ends forced worship of God, 1793
The US state of Kentucky outlaws dueling, 1801
Stanley presumes that he has met Livingston in ujiji, Central Africa, 1871
The first Woman's Christian Temperance Union meeting is held in Boston, 1891
The first Gideon Bible is put in a hotel room, 1908
Hirohito ascends the throne as Emperor of Japan, 1928

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sluggish and sleepy, today is a gray and wet day, with a small hurricane on the distant horizon!

Amazing, to get a hurricane in the Gulf in November. Doesn't happen often, and the weather is wet and cold enough here to steer it away from a direct hit on us, and to keep it from getting too strong wherever it hits.

Tomorrow should be back to sunnier skies. I hope so, clouds depress me.

Today is:

Chaos Never Dies Day

Couch Beachcombing Day

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Go To An Art Museum Today Day

Lord Mayor's Day, London, England

Miniature Golf National Championship

National Scrapple Day

Parade Day

Remembrance Day, Bahamas

Sprat Day, UK

St. Leo's Day

Wish-Granting Championship (Leprechaun) -- Fairy Calendar

World Orphans Day

Birthdays Today:

Chris Hericho, 1970
Lou Ferrigno, 1951
Tom Fogerty, 1941
Mary Travers, 1936
Carl Sagan, 1934
Spiro Agnew, 1918
Hedy Lamarr, 1913
James William Fullbright, 1905
Ed Wynn, 1886

Today in History:

Family de'Medici become rulers of Florence, 1492
Hungarian parliament promises Protestants freedom of religion, 1681
The Rabbi Yehuda Hasid synagogue in Jerusalem is set afire by Arabs, 1720
Napoleon becomes dictator of France, 1799
The first US pharmacy college begins classes in Philadelphia, 1821
The NY Symphony Orchestra holds its first public performance, 1858
The first documented Canadian football game is held, at the University of Toronto, 1861
Ulyses Grant issues orders to bar Jews from serving under him, 1862
The Great Boston Fire destroys nearly 1,000 buildings, 1872
Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first US president to visit other countries during his tenure, visiting Puerto Rico and Panama, 1906

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shoulda stood in bed

Ah, sweet Sunday. Day of rest. Day of spiritual renewal. Day of --

Ah, who am I trying to fool?

Day of Yikes I have to get the laundry started because I hate to do laundry on Sunday but it's supposed to rain tomorrow so I have to get this done today so I can get it on the line and then we have to be at church early this morning because I'm teaching Sunday school and Sweetie needs gas in the big van so he can get to work each day this week and I still can't get the kittens to eat their food and the big cats to leave the kitten food alone so I have to keep watching what the cats are eating while helping Little Girl get her hair brushed and what in the world am I going to feed brother-in-law, The Mouth, when he comes for dinner tonight and...

Sometimes I wonder if I should have stuck to goldfish. Then I read how much trouble the tanks are, and cleaning, and different kinds of goldfish need different size tanks and filters because some of them have laid back personalities and don't swim around as much and some zoom around and are a different breed and need different stuff and...

Who knew that much about goldfish? I sure didn't.

Never mind.

As Bugs Bunny said when he woke up in some sort of predicament once, "Some days I get the feeling I shoulda stood in bed."

Today is:

Circle K International Service Day

Cooking Something Bold & Pungent Day

Dunce Day

Feast of Pamphleteers

Feast of the Four Crowned Martyrs (patrons of stonemasons, Freemasons)

Gwynn ap Nudd (Celtic lord of faerie kingdom)

Merchant Sailing Ship Preservation Day

National Parents as Teachers Day

National Harvey Wallbanger Day

St. Claude's Day (patron of sculptors)

Saints, Doctors, Missionaries, and Martyr's Day (Church of England)

Tragedy Day

Tree Festival, Tunisia

Wish-Granting Championship -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today:

Opening of the Louvre, 1793
Mount Holyoke Seminary for Women is founded, 1837 (considered by many to be the first true college for women in the US)
Montana becomes 44th US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

Masashi Kishimoto, 1974
Parker Posey, 1968
Leif Garrett, 1961
Mary Hart, 1951
Bonnie Raitt, 1949
Morley Safer, 1931
Patti Page, 1927
Esther Rolle, 1920
Margaret Mitchell, 1900
Milton Bradley, 1836

Today in History:

Emperor Theodosius declares Christianity to be the state religion, 392
Uprising against Piero de' Medici in Florence, Italy, 1494
First meeting of Montezuma and Hernando Cortez in Mexico, 1519
The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened to the public, 1602
Benjamin Franklin opens the first US library, in Philadelphia, PA, 1731
Elijah Craig, of Bourbon, Kentucky, US, first distills Bourbon whiskey from corn, 1789
Sarah Bernhardt makes her US debut at NY's Booth Theater, 1880
Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany discovers X-rays, 1895
The New Testament Gospels are translated into Demotic Greek (as opposed to the Koine Greek of ancient texts), resulting in bloody clashes in Athens, 1901
The first Washington state elections in which women could vote take place, 1910

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What did you say?

In honor of International Tongue Twister Day:

A quick witted cricket critic.

How many boards
Could the Mongols hoard
If the Mongol hordes got bored?
from the comic Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Waterson
Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.
Seventy seven benevolent elephant.

Today is:

Book Lovers Day

Feast of Stolen Fire

Independence Day, Ecuador

International Tongue Twister Day

Magazine Day

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

National Notary Public Day

Revolution Day, Bangladesh

St. Florentius' Day

St. Willibrord's Day (patron of Holland; against epilepsy, convulsions)

World Community Day

Birthdays Today:

Keith Lockhart, 1959
Joni Mitchell, 1943
Joan Sutherland, 1926
Al Hirt, 1922
Billy Graham, 1918
Dean Jagger, 1903
Leon Trotsky, 1879
Madame Curie, 1867

Today in History:

The oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, the Ensisheim Meteorite, strikes around noon in a wheat field near the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France, 1492
Pierre Gassendi observes the transit of Mercury as predicted by Kepler, 1631
Anne Htchinson is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a heretic, 1637
Lewis and Clark first sight the Pacific Ocean, 1805
The first edition of the "London Gazette", the oldest surviving journal, is published, 1865
The first Thomas Nast cartoon depicting the Republican Party Elephant is published, 1874
Edward Bouchet becomes the first black to receive a PhD from a US college (Yale), 1876
The first air freight shipment is undertaken by the Wright brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse (from Dayton, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio), 1910
Mao Tse Tung proclaims the "Chinese People's Republic", 1931
Fiorello H. La Guardia is elected the 99th mayor of New York City, 1933
Arthur L Mitchell becomes the first black Democratic congressman (from Illinois), 1934

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mind Games

What is it about human nature that makes us think we will have more, later?

More time, more money, more anything?

When we put off reading that email until later when there will be "more time to deal with it," when will that be?

Same with saving money for something, or buying something. Will there really be more money in the next paycheck, or will it just magically stretch further?

There will always be more to buy, more to do, more to read, more to see, than any human can get to in one lifetime.

I don't like that fact, so I just don't face it. I put off until "later," and that magical later will not come.

Today is:

Arbor Day, Australia

Gustavus Adolphus Day, Sweden

Independence Day, Chad, Dominican Republic

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

Marooned Without A Compass Day

National Nachos Day

National Notary Public Day

Potting Shed Investitures (garden fairies) -- Fairy Calendar

Return Day

Saxophone Day

St. Illtyd's Day

St. Leonard's Day (patron of prisoners, blacksmiths, porters, horses, locksmiths, coal miners, greengrocers; against robbery)

St. Paul of Constantinople's Day (Eastern)

United Americas Day

Birthdays Today:

Pat Tillman, 1976
Rebecca Romijn, 1972
Ethan Hawke, 1970
Maria Shriver, 1955
Glenn Frey, 1948
Sally Field, 1946
Mike Nichols, 1931
Walter Perry Johnson, 1887
James Naismith, 1861
John Philip Sousa, 1854
Adolphe Sax, 1814 (yes, the musician who invented the Saxophone)

Today in History:

Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in Texas, 1528
Spain grants independence to the Dominican Republic, 1844
Canada celebrates its first official, national Thanksgiving Day, 1879
Colonel Jacob Schick patents the first electric razor, 1928

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is the Sky Really Falling?

We read the news reports and hear the horror stories, but is the sky really falling?

After all, this is going to be the worst Christmas for consumer spending, everyone is going to go broke, all the stores will be losing so much they will shut down forever, doom and gloom to no end, might just as well pack it in, the economy is gone.

The studies show that consumers plan to spend $26 less per person on Christmas than last year.

Oh, dear. Since almost all people underestimate what Christmas will cost, and end up spending more than planned, forgive me if I don't see this as the end of life as we know it.

The doom and gloom and hype are the reason I don't watch the news any more. I read a few headlines, so I will be informed if the world does actually end. I just don't want to get caught up in the constant worry cycle the news industry seems to want to create. It is not a good climate to live in, no matter what the temperature outside may be.

As for us, my kids know that if they have food on the table, they better be grateful. All Christmas money goes for the obligatory gifts to nieces and nephews.

The world is changing. The economy changes. It is in the nature of the beast, that things change, that we live in time, and to live in time means to change. I won't let that convince me the sky is falling.

Today is:

Feast of No Return

Gunpowder Day

Guy Fawkes' Day, UK

National Doughnut Day

National Men Make Dinner Day

Pope Day

St. Elizabeth's Day

Birthdays Today:

Judy Reyes, 1967
Tatum O'Neal, 1963
Tilda Swinton, 1960
Bryan Adams, 1959
Peter Noone, 1947
Sam Shepard, 1943
Art Garfunkel, 1941
Elke Sommer, 1940
Ike Turner, 1931
Vivien Leigh, 1913
Roy Rogers, 1911
Joel McCrea, 1905
Strom Thurmond, 1902

Today in History:

Wu MeKuan, a collection of 48 Zen koans, compiled in China, 1228
Publication of the Catholicon in Treguier (Brittany); it is the first Breton dictionary as well as the first French dictionary, 1499
St. Felix's Flood ravages the Dutch coast and destroys the city of Reimerswaal in the Netherlands, 1530
The Gunpowder Plot, in which Catholics were trying to blow up the English Parliament, is foiled, 1605
Susan B. Anthony is arrested for trying to vote in Rochester, NY, 1871
The first US patent for a gasoline driven motor car is granted to George B. Selden, 1895
Calbraith Rodgers arrives in Pasadena from Sheepshead Bay, NY, completing the first transcontinental plane flight, in 49 days, 1911

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's in That Bowl?

The only thing, I think, that goes through a cat's mind when it is eating is, "What's in that Other bowl?"

This would be okay if I could feed all the cats the same stuff.

I have kittens that are supposed to be on kitten food, but all they want is the adult cat food. The adult cats, of course, knowing the kitten stuff is more fattening, wait until the right moment to steal as much kitten food as they can.

I could spend all day standing in the kitchen, if I had the time to spare, bringing out different bowls of food for different animals. The kittens come over and want to eat. I put down their food. The adult cats wander in, I put theirs down. By now, the kittens have had a few bites each and are bored, so the leave. I am busy, so the adult cats try for the kitten food. I pick up the kitten food, but the kittens hear the food rattling in the bowl and come back over.

Or all of them wander off, and one comes back in to eat. I put down food for that one, the rest hear it, they get in a food fight.

It goes this way all day, I pick up all of the food, one cat comes in, it wants to eat. I put food down. Everyone else has to eat, just a bite or two. Then, I try to pick it up, another one wants to eat.

Never do they want what they are given.

I had one friend who finally gave up and put the adult cat food, kitten food, and puppy food, all mixed, in every bowl. She figured that way, everybody got at least a bit of what they needed.

Meanwhile, I feel stuck in the kitchen, guarding cat food bowls. What a way to run a railroad.

Today is:

Arbor Day, Samoa

Chair Day

Flag Day, Panama

General Election Day in the US (first Tuesday in November)

Independence Day, Tonga

Mischief Night, Australia, UK, New Zealand

National Candy Day

National Children’s Goal-Setting Day

Skeptic's Day

Suez Day

St. Americus' Day (patron of America)

St. Charles Borromeo's Day

Use Your Common Sense Day

Will Roger's Day

Waiting for the Barbarians Day

Anniversaries Today:

Taking of the US Embassy in Teheran, Iran -- 1979
Discovery of King Tut's Tomb -- 1922
Abraham Lincoln weds Mary Todd, 1842

Birthdays Today:

Sean "Diddy" Combs, 1970
Matthew McConaughey, 1969
Ralph Macchio, 1962
Jeff Probst, 1962
Kathy Griffin, 1960
Markie Post, 1950
Laura W. Bush, 1946
Loretta Swit, 1937
Doris Roberts, 1930
Martin Balsam, 1919
Art Carney, 1918
Walter Cronkite, 1916
Will Rogers, 1879
Augustus Montague Toplady, 1740 (wrote the hymn "Rock of Ages")

Today in History:

The Flood of the Arno River causes massive damage in Florence, Italy, 1333
Thomas Wolsey, English cardinal, arrested, 1529
Benjamin Palmer patents an artificial leg, 1846
Dentist John Beers of San Francisco patents the gold crown, 1873
Tonga adopts a constitution, 1875
James Ritty patents the cash register, to combat the pilfering of the till by the bartenders in his Ohio saloon, 1879
Nellie Tayloe Ross is elected the first female US State governor, in Wyoming, 1924

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I've heard it all before...

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I git. This, of course, keeps me always a day late and a dollar short.

Supposedly it is never too late to learn, but could you really teach this old dog any new tricks? Could even I learn not to leave everything until the eleventh hour, the last minute?

And while I agree that it is better late than never, I do not necessarily agree that it is better late than pregnant, which my friend Jody just found out that she is, unexpectedly yet very excitedly!

Seriously, my friend is expecting, and I'm very happy for her. Also, it is Cliche Day, so I took advantage of it. Go out there and use a few cliches today, without guilt.

Today is:

Cliche Day

Give Someone A Dollar Today Day

Housewife's Day

Independence Day, Andorra, Dominica, Micronesia

Isis Cult Feast -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Look for Circles Day

Meiji Setsu (Culture Day), Japan

National Sandwich Day

St. Hubert's Day (patron of hunters, mathematicians, foresters, furriers, makers of precision Instruments, Belgium; against dog bites, rabies)

St. Martin de Porres' Day (patron of hairdressers, persons of mixed race, public-health workers, race relations, TV in Peru)

St. Pirminius' Day (patron against snakebites. poisoning)

St. Winifred's Day

Birthdays Today:

Gemma Ward, 1987
Dolph Lundgren, 1959
Adam Ant, 1954
Kate Capshaw, 1953
Dennis Miller, 1953
Roseanne, 1952
Ken Berry, 1933
Michael Dukakis, 1933
Charles Bronson, 1921

Today in History:

Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, is killed by a Persian slave in Medina, 644
Charles VI expells all Jews from France, 1394
The English parliament accepts the Act of Supremacy, declaring Henry VIII to be the leader of the Church of England, 1534
Great Patent is granted to Plymouth Colony, 1620
A great panic occurs in Europe over the close approach of a comet, 1679
Spain acquires Louisiana, 1762
The Times of India, the world's most widely circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper, is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce, 1838
"Black Bart the Poet", stagecoach robber, commits his last robbery, leaving behind a clue that leads to his capture, 1883
J.H. Hunter patents a portable weighing scale, 1896
Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market, 1911

Monday, November 2, 2009

Morning After Blues, Epitaphs, and the Moon

It's the morning after.

No, not the morning after a big celebration, in which your head pounds, your mouth feels like the troops have marched through, and every noise sounds like a cannon going off next to your head.

(Note: I describe these symptoms from the testimony of others. As one of my biggest fears is being out of control of what I say and do, I have never allowed myself to become intoxicated or ingest recreational pharmaceuticals. I have been given to understand that the above is an approximation of how you feel the morning after doing these things, and it does not sound like the "fun" you supposedly had is worth that price anyway.)

Nor is it the morning after letting the kids have a big sleepover. There are not 6-8 kids draped over the couches, chairs, and in sleeping bags on the floors of two or more rooms, with evidence of late night shenanigans strewn everywhere.

Not the morning after a holiday feast, with a refrigerator groaning under the weight of leftovers, and your mind groaning at the thought of having to figure out how to make new meals with all of these remnants.

No, it is simply the morning after the day we changed the clocks again.

We change the clocks twice a year, for reasons no one has ever been able to fully and logically explain in such a way as to convince me it is truly needed. This always occurs on a Saturday, and on Sunday morning, you don't notice much of a difference, really. Sundays are just a bit "different" anyway, a different speed to the day, different routines than M-F, so it doesn't hit until Monday.

It's usually the light. Either it is suddenly bright way too early, or way too late. Right now, with the fall change, it is bright very early, by comparison to the several days previous. This messes with my internal sense of when things should be done. I feel like I should already be doing things that are scheduled for later in the day.

The good news about it is that I can get the laundry on the line earlier. The bad news is, it is so cold out there, I am not motivated, even with the bright, beautiful sunshine, to go out there at all.

The morning after. Always a bit of a surprise, twice a year, fooling my brain.

In celebration of Plan your Epitaph Day, I quote one of my favorites:

Here lies Timothy Snow,
Who died fighting for
A lady's honor
(She wanted to keep it).

Also, don't forget, tonight is the full moon, called the Full Beaver Moon this time of year.

Today is:

All Soul's Day

Balfour Declaration Day, Israel

Dead Relative's Day, Sicily

Dia de Finados, Portugal

Full Beaver Moon

Independence Day, Bahrain, Panama

National Deviled Egg Day

Plan Your Epitaph Day

Recreation Day, Australia

Soulcaker's Play, Cheshire, UK

Thanksgiving, Liberia

Anniversaries Today:

North Dakota becomes the 39th US State, 1889
South Dakota becomes the 40th US State, 1889

Birthdays Today:

Stephanie Powers, 1942
Pat Buchanan, 1938
Ray Walston, 1914
Burt Lancaster, 1913
Paul Ford, 1901
Warren G. Harding, 1865
James K. Polk, 1795
Marie Antionette, 1755
Daniel Boone, 1734

Today in History:

The Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay, and Connecticut colonies combine forces and attach the Great Swamp Fort of the Narragansetts during King Philip's War, 1675
The popular vote for US president is first recorded and Andrew "By God" Jackson (a/k/a Old Hickory) defeats John Quincy Adams, 1824
New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally, 1868
Johnny Campbell officially leads the crowd in cheering at a University of Minnesota football game, the official birth of cheerleading, 1898
The British newspaper the "Daily Mirror" begins publication, 1904
Australia's Qantas Airways begins service, 1922

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The sugar rush is over and done for the moment.

Daylight Savings Time (which has never been sufficiently explained to anyone, but seems to have simply become a national habit we don't know how to break) is ended, so we are back on Standard Time.

Today, among other special day celebrations, is National Author Day. I salute those who write. If what you write is excellent, I am grateful that you choose to share it with us, so we can learn from or be entertained by you. Even if what you write is awful, at least you have the courage to do it.

Writing used to be on my someday list.

Remember, writing more can help you get better at writing, but editing what you write will help you get better faster. The desire to see fewer of those red marks from the editing pencil on your work will inspire you to improve much faster than just plain writing more. At least, that is what they used to tell me in school.

Today is:

All Hallow's Day a/k/a All Saint's Day

CrossQuarter Day

Gooseberry Humble's Tummy-Rumbling Contest -- Fairy Calendar

Graveyards Day

Independence Day, Antigua&Barbuda, Yemen

Liberty Day, US Virgin Islands

National Author's Day

National Day of Hope and Mourning, Lithuania

National Doubletalk Day

National Family Literacy Day

National French Fried Clam Day

Old Celtic New Year

Padre Cicero Day

Recreation Day, Tasmania

Samhain -- Celtic, 3rd Station, and Wicca, Northern Hemisphere (Beltane

in the Southern Hemisphere)

Zero Tasking Day

Birthdays Today:

Fernando Valenzuela, 1960
Lyle Lovett, 1957
Dan Peek, 1951
Larry Flynt, 1942
Gary Player, 1935
Stephen Crane, 1871

Today in History:

Pompei is buried by Mt. Vesuvius, 79
The name "Austria" is first used for Ostarrichin
King John of England begins imprisoning Jews, 1210
The Duke of Brabant orders the execution of all Jews in Brussels, claiming they were poisoning wells, 1349
First exhibit of the works of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 1512
The Netherlands is hit by a flood disaster, resulting in the deaths of thousands, 1570
Shakespeare's "Othello" first presented, 1604
Shakespeare's "The Tempest" first presented, 1611
An earthquake in Lisbon leaves over 50,000 dead, 1755
The Stamp Act goes into effect in the British colonies, 1765
Founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1776
George Washington gives his "Farewell Address" and the Continental Army is dissolved, 1783
The African Free Schook, the first free school in NYC, opens, 1787
John Adams becomes the first Us president to move into the (still not quite finished) White House, 1800*
*Note: It was still called the Executive Mansion at this time
The first published reference to poker, as a Mississippi riverboat game, 1834
The Cape Lookout, North Carolina, lighthouse, which is still in use, is lit for the first time; its first-order Fresnel lens can be seen for 19 miles in good conditions, 1859
Passage of the first US Civil Rights Bill, 1866
First publication of "Harpers Bazaar", 1867
The US Weather Bureau begins operations, with 24 locations, 1870
Edward Scripps and John Sweeney found Penny Press (now the Cleveland Press), 1878
The Gaelic Athletic Association is founded at the Hayes' Hotel in Thurles, County Tipperary, 1884
Dr. Roux of Paris introduces a vaccine for diphtheria, 1894
Nicholas II becomes czar of Russia, 1894
The National Geographic Magazine publishes its first picture of bare breasted women (from a Zulu tribe), 1896
Sigma Phi Epsilon, the largest national male college fraternity in the US, is established at Richmond College, 1901
Parris Island becomes the officially designated Marine Corps Recruit Depot, 1915
The Ottoman Empire is officially abolished, 1922
The first animal conceived by artificial insemination, a rabbit, is displayed, 1939
The first issue of Ebony Magazine is published, by John H. Johnson, 1945
Charles Cooper of the Celtics becomes the first black NBA player, 1950
The first hydrogen nuclear device is exploded, at Eniwetok Atoll, 1952