Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday afternoon attendance at Bedside Baptist was interrupted by the buzzing of my silenced phone.  Yes, i keep it on at all times, i never know when one of the kids will call with an emergency, as it does happen.

It was Blair, so i answered.

"Hi, mimi, it's Blair," she said, and i simply said yes, and waited for the inevitable.

"Someone brought in one kitten, and i have 11 and just can't take any more."  Really, she can't, she gets no help and has health problems.  She also has at least a dozen adult fosters, too.

"You have 3 from us, could you take this one more?" she practically pleaded.  "I am really overwhelmed."

It's true, she is.  No, i didn't bother to tell her that i already had 21, since about half are weaned.

"I'll be by after the adoption event, so around 6:30."

After telling her that would be great, i hung up and went and fed my brood, and started some roux for gravy to go with the roast and fixings in the crock pot.

Right at 6:30, the Hazelnut barked her "somebody's at the door, come quick" bark, and in came Blair with a kitten just the size of our tiniest group of 5.  It is gray and white, but darker than the gray and white that's already in that group, so no trouble telling them apart.  It's the tabbies we keep mixing up, but that's another story.

She asked to see the 3 from her group that we already have, and i pulled out Penguin, Enigma, and Curlicue Q. Crooktail, who literally was born with half a tail, and it has a crook at the end.  All 3 are tabbies.

After admiring them, she looked at me and asked, "How many kittens do you have altogether?"

When i admitted that this one made 22, she looked sideways at me, and i quickly showed her that the bigger ones are weaned or close to it.  She was still shaking her head as she left, though thanking me for taking in yet one more.

Blair had also told me right before she left that yesterday, she had to turn down a lady who had a mother and kittens she needed to find a home for.   She said she had to tell the woman no, then she went in the bathroom and cried.  It's a hard business, rescue work.  Sometimes we just don't have the space, and the homes are just not always there.

This tiny one, though, we have room for.

                                                  Hello, Corey, and welcome to Kittyville.

Today is

Armed Forces Day -- Georgia

Birthday of the King / Konungens födelsedag -- Sweden (HM King Carl XVI Gustav; an official flag day)

Camarón Day -- French Foreign Legion

Consumer Protection Day -- Thailand

Dia de Rincon -- Rincon, Bonaire

El Dia del Nino -- Mexico (Children's Day)

Fairy Queen's Birthday -- Fairy Calendar

Lazarus Saturday -- Orthodox Christian

May Eve -- eve of the first day of summer in many traditions, including
Beltane/Samhain Eve -- Pagan traditions
Carodejnice -- Czech Republic; Slovakia
Maitag Vorabend -- Switzerland
Mange les Morts -- Haiti (festival of the dead)
Salus -- Portugal; Spain (festival of the dead)
Valborgsmässoafton -- Sweden
Walpurgis Night -- Ancient Celtic/Nordic Calendars

National Honesty Day (including Honest Abe Awards -- Abies -- and dishonorable mentions for those who have been particularly publicly egregious; to nominate someone for an Abie or a dishonorable mention, contact M. Hirsh Goldberg,

National Oatmeal Cookie Day

Queen's Day / Koninginnedag -- Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Curacao, Netherlands, and Sint Maartin); Bonaire; Saba; St. Eustatius

Raisin Day -- what would oatmeal be without them?

St. Adjutor's Day (Patron of swimmers, yatchsmen; against drowning)

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

Teacher's Day -- Paraguay

Workers' Memorial Day -- Gibraltar (obs.)

Anniversaries Today:

Louisiana becomes the 18th US state, 1812

Birthdays Today:

Kirsten Dunst, 1982
Jeff Timmons, 1973
Carolyn Dawn Johnson, 1971
Michael Waltrip, 1963
Isiah Thomas, 1961
Stuart Mathis, 1960
Stephen Harper, 1959
Carl XVI Gustav, King of Sweden, 1946
Jill Clayburgh, 1944
Burt Young, 1940
Willie Nelson, 1933
Cloris Leachman, 1926
Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1909
Eve Arden, 1908

Today in History:

Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appears in the constellation Lupus, 1006
Orbital calculations suggest that on this day, Pluto moved inside Neptune's orbit until July 23, 1503, 1483
Columbus is given a royal commission to equip his fleet, 1492
On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States, 1789
The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France, 1803
Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation, 1838
Casey Jones dies in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to
make up time on the Cannonball Express, 1900
Honolulu, Hawaii becomes an independent city, 1907
Peru becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty, 1920
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, 1927
The animated cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt debuts in movie theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit (a prototype of Bugs Bunny, 1938
In Bogotá, Colombia, the Organization of American States is established, 1948
The Bristol Bus Boycott is held in Bristol to protest the Bristol Omnibus Company's refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom, 1963
Communist forces gain control of Saigon and the Vietnam War formally ends, 1975
Accession of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, 1980
CERN announces World Wide Web protocols will be free, 1993
Cambodia joins the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 1999
Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters, 2008
Chrysler automobile company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, 2009
Hailed as the largest World's Fair in history, Expo 2010 opens in Shanghai, China, 2010

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Okay, now i'm upset with blogger again.

The new interface is a bigger pain than i thought.

For one thing, i can't get the font color right. 

It appears that they don't offer that color any more

These are all the shades of purple they offer, and none match what they had before, at least when i am editing it.

 So i will comfort myself by putting in this pic of the Hazelnut napping in her new bed with Briseis.  She got a new bed for her birthday, the "puppy" is a year old now.

It took me 10 minutes to work out how to actually get the picture in the right place in the blog, which was very annoying.

It's also not wanting to schedule correctly still.

Every time i see the "Send feedback" button, i tell myself they don't want to hear from me yet, i wouldn't yet be able to phrase it all politely.

Trust me, they could have improved a couple of things on the old one without totally changing everything and annoying the tar out of us.

Yes, i know, try telling a tech geek that.

Today is

Arita Ceramic Fair -- Arita, Japan (finest porcelain in Japan; during Golden Week until May 5)

Cheng Cheng Kung Landing Day -- Taiwan (351st anniversary)

Feast of the Secret Masters -- can't find any real info on this one, and why should i if it's such a secret, but it is fun to think about

Fish Cleaning Night -- sponsored by David Letterman (it's okay if you don't have an audience, or Mariel Hemingway)

International Dance Day

Jouvert Jump-Up -- Sint Martin (Break of Dawn Parade and Festival)

Landsgemeinde -- Appenzell, Inner Rhoden Canton, Switzerland (one of the last examples of direct democracy left; the final Sunday of each April all voters in the canton age 18 and older, wearing traditional swords, gather for a church service and then vote directly on all affairs of the canton for the year; no secret ballots, all raise their hands to vote yea or nay; festival follows. This tradition dates back to the 14th century.)

Milk-Curdling Sunday -- Fairy Calendar (Gremlins)

Mother, Father Deaf Day -- sponsored by Children of Deaf Adults International

National Adult Public Skipping Day -- because somebody out there either wants you to feel like a kid again, or make a fool of you

National Shrimp Scampi Day

Ninth Day of Ridvan -- Baha'i

Pet Parents' Day -- for those who consider pets their family

Remembrance of Victims of Chemical Weapons -- Native Americans (on the day chemical weapons were outlawed in 1997)

Runic Half Month of Lagu (water) begins

Showa Day -- Japan (begins the Golden Week holiday period, through May 5)

Solar Alignment at Teotihuacan, City of the Gods -- Teotihuacan, Mexico (the ritual cave opening aligns to the sunset on Aug. 12 and Apr. 29, the same horizon position of the setting of the Pleiades)

St. Catherine of Siena's Day (Patron of Italy; against fire)

Turkmen Racing Horse Festival -- Turkmenistan

Zipper Day -- patented today in 1913

Anniversaries Today:

Princess Irene marries Prince Carel Hugo de Bourbon Parma, 1964
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, marries Catherine "Kate" Middleton, 2011

Birthdays Today:

Andre Agassi, 1970
Uma Thurman, 1970
Michelle Pfeiffer, 1958
Daniel Day-Lewis, 1957
Kate Mulgrew, 1955
Jerry Seinfeld, 1954
Dale Earnhardt, 1951
Johnny Miller, 1947
Zubin Mehta, 1936
Lane Smith, 1936
Celeste Holm, 1919
Tom Ewell, 1909
Hirohito, 1901
Duke Ellington, 1899
William Randolph Hearst, 1863

Today in History:

The Moors arrive at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, 711
Joan of Arc arrives at Orleans to relieve the siege, 1492
Francis Drake leads a raid in the Bay of Cádiz, sinking at least 23 ships of the Spanish fleet, 1587
Eleven Dutch ships depart for the conquest of Peru, 1623
The Ming Dynasty occupies Taiwan, 1661
James Cook arrives at and names Botany Bay, Australia, 1770
The French Fleet prevents Britain from seizing the Cape of Good Hope, 1781
Peter Roget publishes the first edition of his Thesaurus, 1852
The "Elektromote" – forerunner of the trolleybus – is tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin, 1882
Gideon Sundbach of Hoboken, NJ, receives a patent for the zipper, 1913
The North Sea floodgate at Ijmuiden, the biggest in world, officially opens, 1930
The telephone connection of England-Australia goes into service, 1930
The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast airs, and episode of "Space Patrol" shown over ABC affiliate KECA in Los Angeles, 1953
The first military nuclear power plant opens, in Ft. Belvoir 1957
A cyclone strikes the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless, 1991
Oldsmobile builds its final car ending 107 years of production, 2004
Syria completes withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation, 2005

Saturday, April 28, 2012

So as noted yesterday...

...i went ahead and switched to the new Blogger interface after all.  If the old one is going to be permanently removed soon, i thought i might as well get used to it.

Then it failed to post, which bothers me greatly.  It messed up the time scheduling.  No matter how i've tried in the past, i can't get Blogger to recognize that i'm not on the West Coast and change my time, so i've adjusted to telling it to post two hours earlier than i want.

That didn't seem to have worked, so i had to post manually yesterday.

Let's hope today it works, i guess i will find out.

But yes, there's no use resisting the change they are foisting on us in the callous way.  After all, you really can't fight city hall, ultimately. You can fight until they wear you down, or you can move, but the powers that be will have their way in the end, with few exceptions.

Meanwhile, all continues pretty well here in Kittyville.  Some are weaned, some are still having a bit of the runs, but a recent trip to the vet with my small vial of Reglan to be refilled netted a full size bottle still 1/3 full that will last the whole season.  My vet, Dr. Bea, is the best.

Now if i could just get little bitty /Aurora to quit sneaking out of the kitchen.  Not even quite ready for weaning, she thinks she owns the world.  Who knows, since she's a cat, maybe she does.

Today is

Astronomy Day -- sponsored by The Astronomical League; find out what your local astronomy society is doing today, and go enjoy

Bob Wills Day -- Turkey, TX, US

Bodega Bay Fish Festival -- Bodega Bay, California, US (through tomorrow)

Buddha's Birthday -- Hong Kong; Macau

Chicken-Tickling Day -- Fairy Calendar (Leprechauns)

Eeyore's Birthday -- Austin, TX, US (Eeyore never need feel forgotten again; Austin celebrates his birthday as a fundraiser for local charities, with fun for all)

Feast of Jamal(Beauty) -- Baha'i

Festival of Floralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (through May 3; festival to Flora, goddess of flowers and vegetation)

Foxfield Races -- Charlottesville, VA, US

Great Poetry Reading Day

Herb Festival -- Mattoon, IL, US

Hidaka Hibuse Matsuri -- Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture, Japan (through the 29th; floats, child musicians, traditional costumes, and fun)

Kiss Your Mate Day -- guys, do not forget this one, in case she reads it somewhere on the internet; kiss her, then read her a great poem

Mississippi River Valley Scenic Drive -- Mississippi River valley of southeast Missouri, US (several small towns participate with homemade goodies, quilt shows, history tours, entertainment and demonstrations; through tomorrow)

National Blueberry Pie Day

National Day of Mourning -- Canada (In conjunction with Workers' Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work)

National Day of Puppetry -- US

National Go Birding Day -- US

National Heroes Day -- Barbados

National Rebuilding Day -- US (270,000 volunteers help rebuild and repair homes for the elderly and disabled)

Rip Cord Day -- the first successful jump with a parachute that used a rip cord was this day in 1919 by Leslie Erwin of the U.S. Army Air Corps

Sa die de sa Sardinia -- Sardinia, Italy (Sardinia Day, celebrating the uprising of 1794)

Sense of Smell Day -- While celebrating, remember those with anosmia (diminished ability or total inability to smell)

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival -- St. Leonard, MD, US

St. Peter Chanel's Day (Patron of Oceania, World Youth Day)

Sts. Vitalis and Valeria's Day (Patrons of Thibodeaux, Louisiana)

Workers Memorial Day / World Day for Safety and Health at Work -- International (remembering all who have lost their lives or been injured on the job)

World Healing Day

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

Anniversaries Today:

Maryland becomes the 7th US State, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Jessica Alba, 1981
Penelope Cruz, 1974
Nancy Lee Grahn, 1958
Jay Leno, 1950
Ann-Margaret, 1941
Harper Lee, 1926
Oscar Schindler, 1908
Lionel Barrymore, 1878
James Monroe, 1758

Today in History:

Nichiren Buddhism is founded, 1253
Captain William Bligh and 18 crewmen from the HMS Bounty are set adrift, 1789
Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay 10 miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched, 1869
Azerbaijan is added to the Soviet Union., 1920
The first night game in organized baseball history takes place in Independence, Kansas, 1930
A vaccine for yellow fever is announced for use on humans, 1932
Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki, 1947
The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) is signed in Taipei, Taiwan between Japan and the Republic of China to officially end the Second Sino-Japanese War, 1952
Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France, 1969
The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure is signed, 1977
Millionaire Dennis Tito becomes the world's first space tourist, 2001

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Diet Idea

No, you may not get in the fridge, and yes, we do mind.

Actually, it would never work, because some of the brands of formula have to be refrigerated. They would stage a rebellion and take over if i didn't feed them regularly.

Speaking of formula, it's running low again. They go through a 4.5lb. bag in under a`week, or the large can from the pet store every two days.

Yes, some of them are nibbling dry food now. Thank heavens many drink from the bowl, too.

Although some are being stubborn about it, as usual. We get a few in each batch that have to be led back to the bowl and retrained to drink from it every time they eat. This consists of making them lick the milk as it drips from the bottle, then lowering the bottle into the bowl, and drawing the bottle away as they start lapping from the bowl. Some of them take to it right away, others have to be led this way many times a day, and sometimes many times a feeding. The latter i call "Nickelwits" as a nickname, figuring it fits.

And in other news, there was a traffic slow down the other day, but it wasn't your usual accident on the interstate type of traffic.

A state trooper, deciding he needed to chase after a miscreant on the other side of the road, tried to cut through the median so as not to waste time taking an exit and getting back on the interstate.

Unfortunately for him, he median -- or neutral ground, as some still call it here -- was still wet from recent rain and he was up to his hubcaps in mud.

The traffic slow down was from the passing drivers laughing so hard they couldn't safely go faster.

Edited to add: Thank you, John, for pointing out that this didn't post! Right now i am so angry about the changes Blogger has made, it is ruining and not posting on schedule (yes, i changed back, but went to the new way when i was told the ability to return to the old interface was temporary; i decided to go ahead and rip the band-aid off and get it over with). Sorry this didn't come up at the right time, the Blogger geeks and nerds are on my "i don't like you much today" list!

Today is

Abolition Day -- Mayotte

Arbor Day -- US

Babe Ruth Day -- anniversary of the day dedicated to him in 1947 by every ball field in the US and Japan

Dandelion Day -- University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, US

Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces -- Slovenia

Freedom Day -- South Africa

Furze-Hopping Event -- Fairy Calendar

Hairball Awareness Day -- sponsored by Furminator (which product actually does work, by the way)

Independence Day -- Sierra Leone; Togo

International Guide Dog Day

Interstate Mullet Toss / The Gulf Coast's Greatest Beach Party -- FloraBama Bar, Gulf Shores, Alabama, US (through the 29th; fish flingers stand on the Alabama side of the property and toss them onto the Florida side)

Matanzas Mule Day -- remembering the only casualty of one of the first naval actions of the Spanish-American War, a mule in the village of Matanzas, Cuba

Minato Matsuri -- Nagasaki, Japan (Port Festival, commemorating the 16th century opening of Nagasaki as Japan's sole foreign trade port; through the 29th)

Morse Code Day -- birth anniversary of Samuel Morse

National Pie Championships and Great American Pie Festival -- Orlando, FL, US

National Prime Rib Day

National War Veterans Day -- Finland

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival -- NOLA (through the 6th)

Panoply® Arts Festival -- Huntsville, AL, US (through the 29th; showcasing the performing arts)

Resistance Day -- Slovenia

St. Zita's Day (Patron of housemaids, finding lost keys)

Tell a Story Day -- US (no history of origin, although celebrated in many libraries)

The Ennead Sail Through the Land -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Victory Day -- Afghanistan

World Graphic Design Day

Write An Old Friend Today Day -- a real letter, in the mail, remember how exciting it is to get those?

Yom Ha'Atzmaul -- Judaism

Anniversaries Today:

Cornell University is established as New York's land grant institution, 1865

Birthdays Today:

Patrick Stump, 1984
Sheena Easton, 1959
Ace Frehley, 1951
Cuba Gooding, Sr., 1944
Earl Anthony, 1938
Sandy Dennis, 1937
Anouk Aimee, 1932
Casey Kasem, 1932
Coretta Scott King, 1927
Jack Klugman, 1922
Walter Lantz, 1900
Sergei Prokofiev, 1891
Ulysses S. Grant, 1822
Samuel Morse, 1791
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759
Suleiman the Magnificent, 1495

Today in History:

Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu, 1521
Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar, 1539
Cebu is established as the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, 1565
The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10, 1667
The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, 1773
Beethoven composes Für Elise, 1810
US troops capture the capital of Upper Canada, York (present day Toronto, Canada), 1813
The Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, is laid, 1840
The establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria is prohibited, 1857
The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,400 passengers, explodes and sinks in the Mississippi River, killing 1,700, most of whom are Union survivors of the Andersonville and Cahaba Prisons, 1865
In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races, 1950
Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship, 1960
Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, 1961
Expo 67 officially opens in Montreal, Canada, 1967
Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse, 1981
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, is proclaimed, 1992
Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history, 1992
Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics become members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, 1992
The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote is held, 1994
The last successful telemetry from the NASA space probe Pioneer 10 is received, 2002
The superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 makes its first flight from Toulouse, France, 2005
Construction begins on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Center in New York City, 2006
Estonian authorities remove the Bronze Soldier, a Soviet Red Army war memorial in Tallinn, amid political controversy with Russia, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Their Fertile Brains

From Bigger Girl:

"Mom, I want to take over the world. I need a coffee pot and a zebra, and don't ask any questions."

"At physical therapy today the therapist told another that she had all of us 'kids' busy so she was going to go use the restroom. So I offered the others to help stage a mutiny!"

"I'm going to go look up dirty Bible verse references so I can decide which one I want on my license plate of my car someday."

From Little Girl:

"Hold your horses! After all, horses need hugs, too.

From both of them and Miss Lizzie, a combined effort, to be sung to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas:

12 bottle-feed kittens
11 shirts to iron
10 loads of laundry
9 spoons gone missing
8 errands waiting
7 phones a ringing
6 teenage appetites
5 dirty pots
4 teenage tantrums
3 litter boxes
2 refrigerators
and a mommy van full of junk.

They are nothing if not creative.

Today is

Buccaneer Days Festival -- Corpus Christi, TX, US (through May 5;

Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl tragedy -- Belarus

Delphinia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of Apollo; date approximate)

Fairy Laughter Convention -- Fairy Calendar

Festival of Individual Sovereignty -- an internet holiday that i think is a good idea!

Fiddlers' Frolics -- Hallettsville, TX, US (home of the Texas State Fiddler Championships; through the 29th)

Harrogate Spring Flower Show -- Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England (Britain's premier spring flower show; through the 29th)

Hug an Australian Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Independence Day -- Israel (obs.)

Mayan Rain Festival -- Maya Native Americans (through May 3)

National Pretzel Day

Poem in Your Pocket Day -- carry your favorite with you to share with friends and family to celebrate National Poetry Month

Remember Your First Kiss Day

Richter Scale Day -- birth anniversary of Charles Francis Richter

Shuffleboard Day -- on the adopted birthday of the game (no exact date of origination can be pinned down, and fans want a day to celebrate, so here it is)

St. Rafael Arnaiz' Day (Patron of diabetics and against diabetes)

St. Stephen of Perm's Day / Old Permic Alphabet Day -- Russian Orthodox Church (inventor of the alphabet used for Russian before the Cyrillic was developed)

Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day -- US

Union Day -- Tanzania

Vallenato Legend Festival -- Valledupar, Colombia (through the 30th)

World Intellectual Property Day -- UN

Anniversaries Today:

Prince Albert (future George VI) marries Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Birthdays Today:

Jon Lee, 1982
Jason Earles, 1977
Tom Welling, 1977
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, 1970
Kane, 1967
Jet Li, 1963
Michael Damian, 1962
Bobby Rydell, 1942
Duane Eddy, 1938
Carol Burnett, 1933
I.M. Pei, 1917
John James Audobon, 1785
Marcus Aurelius, 121

Today in History:

Copernicus makes his first observations of Saturn, 1514
William Shakespeare is baptized, 1564
English colonists of the Jamestown settlement make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia, 1607
Napoleon Bonaparte signs a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, 1802
Paul von Hindenburg defeats Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic, 1925
In Libya, amendments to the constitution transform Libya (United Kingdom of Libya) into one national unity (Kingdom of Libya) and allows for female participation in elections, 1963
Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania, 1964
A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario is shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting, 1965
The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force, 1970
A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster, 1986
Physicists announce first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle, 1994
Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country, 2005

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is We Crazy?

Well, is we?

Little Girl has suggested we start a reality show called 21 Kittens and Counting.

Kittens 17 through 21

Someone who didn't realize how good our security cameras are sneaked up to the shelter and dropped a box with them in it. Abandoning animals is a crime around here, and they got the tag number. So in this case, justice may be served.

If, in fact, the person just found the kittens, and doesn't own the mother, the whole "try to secretly drop them off" stuff was actually unneeded. We don't turn down bottle feeds. All they had to do was knock on the door and ask.

Miss Lizzie take me along?

A favorite entertainment of the kittens is "hitching a ride." Someone asked why they like our feet so much, and i pointed out that it's the only part of us they can reach unless we sit on the floor.

Connoisseurs of Comfort

A preferred napping spot is right in front of the refrigerator, where the heat comes out from the bottom. Some of these bigger ones are drinking from a bowl instead of a bottle now, and are learning to chow down on kibble. So maybe we aren't that crazy. Guess the jury is still out.

Today is

Administrative Professionals' Day -- US

Adonia -- Greece (women's festival mourning the death of Adonis; date approximate)

ANZAC Day -- Australia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Cook Islands; New Zealand; Niue; Norfolk Island; Tonga

DNA Day -- structure of DNA first published this day in 1953; human genome project ended today in 2003

Duck Appreciation Society -- The Duck Appreciation Society (some sites say May 10; either way, go feed the ducks if you like them, but not stale white bread, it's no better for them than it is for us)

East Meets West Day -- Allies from the East and West finally met up this day in 1945 about 75 miles from Berlin

Festival of Mazu -- Southern China and Taiwan (goddess of the sea; often worshiped in sea-faring areas surrounding China as well)

Festival of Robigalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (to protect against corn blight; festival of Robiga and Rogibus, the brother and sister fertility gods)

Flag Day -- Faroe Islands; Swaziland

Freedom Day -- Portugal

Hair Stylist Appreciation Day -- if you have a good one, let him/her know

La Frontera Tucson International Mariachi Conference -- Tuscon, AZ, US (through the 29th)

Liberation Day -- Italy

National Zucchini Bread Day -- they hold this at a time when you are not yet sick of all that zucchini you grew in the garden

Peppercorn Ceremony -- St. George, Bermuda (commemorates the renting what is now the Old State House by the Masonic Lodge to the governor of Bermuda for the cost of one peppercorn per annum)

Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival -- Polk County, Tennessee (through the 28th; come out and celebrate with the 4-H club the ramp, a local wild leek, and enjoy the Bluegrass music and games)

Red Hat Society Day -- first Red Hat Tea Party held this day in 1998

Roger Ebert's Film Festival (Ebertfest) -- Virginia Theatre, Champaign, Illinois (through the 29th; come see the 12 films he selected as a representative cross section of important cinematic works, and hear him discuss them with audience members)

Sinai Liberation Day -- Egypt

St. Mark the Evangelist's Day (Patron of captives, glaziers, imprisoned people, insect bites, lawyers, notaries, scrofulous diseases; Egypt; Venice, Italy; against impenitence)

Tag des Baumes -- Germany (Tree Day/Arbor Day)

World Malaria Day / Malaria Awareness Day -- WHO and the International Community

World Penguin Day

20-Something Service Day -- can't find who started this one, but it's a good idea, whomever it was

Birthdays Today:

Jacob Underwood, 1980
Jason, Lee, 1970
Renee, Zellweger, 1969
Hank Azaria, 1964
Talia Shire, 1946
Stu Cook, 1945
Bjorn Ulvaeus, 1945
Al Pacino, 1940
Meadowlark Lemon, 1932
Paul Mazursky, 1930
Albert King, 1923
Ella Fitzgerald, 1918
Edward R. Murrow, 1908
Guglielmo Marconi, 1874

Today in History:

Lysander's Spartan Armies defeated the Athenians and the Peloponnesian War ends, BC404
Highwayman Nicholas Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine, 1792
Charles Fremantle arrives in the HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom, 1829
The last survivors of the Donner Party arrive back in civilization, 1847
The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal's English population and triggering the Montreal Riots, 1849
British and French engineers break ground for the Suez Canal, 1859
New York State becomes the first US state to require automobiles to be licensed, 1901
First DC Comic with Batman is published, 1939
Fifty nations gather in San Francisco, California to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organizations, 1945
Francis Crick and James D. Watson publish Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA, 1953
The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opens to shipping, 1959
Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit, 1961
Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula per the Camp David Accords, 1982
American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war, 1983
Pioneer 10 travels beyond Pluto's orbit, 1983
The Hubble Telescope is deployed, 1990
The Human Genome Project comes to an end 2.5 years before first anticipated, 2003
The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937, 2005
Bulgaria and Romania sign accession treaties to join the European Union, 2005

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday was...

unusual, in that it found me out at Bigger Girl's school, between the graduation meeting and the oceanographer's presentation, with time on my hands.

So, what to do when you have such time? Go look for blackberry bushes, of course. What else can you do out there?

Which means you find yourself treading on poison ivy before you know it.

Well, let's hope none of us suffer for that. No, the blackberries weren't ripe yet, either, although the ones in our yard and down by the creek are.

The oceanographer was interesting, though. His team has helped develop an underwater camera that is different from the others for studying phytoplankton, and he showed pictures.

The evening would have been better with blackberries for dessert.

Today is

Ambivalence Day -- a holiday to tell your friends about, or not

Commemoration Day -- Transdniestria

Concord Day -- Niger

Feast of Eros -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Genocide Remembrance Day -- Armenia

Happenstance and Coincidence Evening -- Fairy Calendar

Kapyong Day -- Australia

National Teach Children to Save Day -- sponsored by the American Banking Association

Pigs in a Blanket Day

Radunitsa -- Belarus (Ancestors Veneration Day)

Spring Cat Cleaning Day -- because someone, somewhere, thinks you need to bathe your cat; ask the cat, he will refuse, and if you become insistent, be careful, so will s/he

St. Egbert's Day

St. Ives' Day (Patron of St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, England)

St. Mark's Eve*

World Day for Animals in Laboratories -- UN

*A young lady may eat a boiled dove's egg sprinkled with salt and place a tulip, sacred to St. Mark, in a vase next to her bed, and so she will dream of the man she will marry.

Birthdays Today:

Courtnee Draper, 1985
Kelly Clarkson, 1982
Chipper Jones, 1972
Cedric the Entertainer, 1964
Jean-Paul Gaultier, 1952
Doug Clifford, 1945
Barbra Streisand, 1942
Jill Ireland, 1936
Shirley MacLaine, 1934
Robert Penn Warren, 1905
Michael J. Dady, 1850
Anthony Trollope, 1815

Anniversaries Today:

Mary, Queen of Scots marries Dauphin of France, François, at Notre Dame de Paris, 1558

Today in History:

Thutmose III ascends to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifts to Hatshepsut, BC1479
Traditional date for the Greeks entering Troy using the Trojan Horse, BC1184
The appearance of Halley's Comet causes monks in England to predict evil happenings, 1066
"La Marseillaise" is composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, 1792
The Boston "News-Letter" becomes the first successful newspaper in the colonies, 1704
The Library of Congress is established, 1800
A patent is granted for the first soda fountain, 1833
William Price of the Washington Star becomes the first reporter to be specifically assigned to the White House, 1897
The fathometer, which measures underwater depth, is patented, 1928
Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, 1953
Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1, the first person to die during a space mission, 1967
Mauritius becomes a member state of the United Nations, 1968
The first Chinese satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, is launched, 1970
Gruinard Island, Scotland, is officially declared free of the anthrax disease after 48 years of quarantine, 1990
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI, 2005
Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog is born in South Korea, 2005
Iceland announces that Norway will shoulder the defense of Iceland during peacetime, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2012

There, that's better.

So, i got the old Blogger interface back. Yippee!

Us first-cousins-to-Luddites do not like the new stuff when we still haven't figured out all of the old stuff yet.

Now, if i can get Miss Lizzie to send it to me, i will try to post picture and/or video of #2 Son with a garter snake. He has let it loose in our Sega palm so it will eat the roaches that breed there. Wish me luck with getting the picture, i'm still trying to learn.

Today is

Banyan Tree Birthday Party -- Lahaina, Maui, HI, US (come celebrate the birthday of Lahaina's most famous landmark, a Banyan Tree planted in 1873 that now spreads out over 2/3 of an acre; lots of fun and activities, through tomorrow)

Book Day and Lover's Day -- Spain, especially Catalan (women give books to men, while men give flowers to the women. Celebrated in the Spanish city of Barcelona since 1714 to honor Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes [author of "Don Quixote"] and in observance of St. George's Day)

Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day -- date as celebrated in prior years; cannot confirm this date in 2012 as the associated website is down

Canada Book Day

Chance Day -- Fairy Calendar

Children's Day -- North Cyprus; Turkey

Independence Day -- Conch Republic, Key West, FL. US (a tongue-in-cheek micronation which seceded from the Union in 1982; celebrated yearly with a week long festival)

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day -- on St. George's Day, encouraging members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to continue to be what Howard V. Hendrix derogatorily termed "webscabs", posting their stories free on the internet

Jurgi Festival -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (day sacred to Usins; first day outdoor work began for the summer)

Landing of the 33 Patriots Day -- Uruguay

Loktantra Diwas -- Nepal (Democracy Day)

National Cherry Cheesecake Day

National Picnic Day -- US

National Sovereignty Day -- Turkey

Pastele Blajinilor -- Moldova (Parents/Memory Day)

Sigurd the Dragon Slayer's Day -- because he was probably the inspiration for some of the legends about St. George

St. Adalbert's Day (Patron of Prussia)

St. George's Day (Patron of England, Portugal, Germany, the Boy Scouts, cavalry, equestrians, farmers, horses; against leprosy, syphilis; by the middle ages, St. George was revered in much of Europe as the personification of chivalry)*

Take a Chance Day -- internet generated encouragement to try something different

Talk Like Shakespeare Day -- on The Bard's birth anniversary

Vinalia Priora -- Ancient Roman Calendar (tasting the first wines of the year)

World Book & Copyright Day -- UN (this date chosen because of how parts of Spain celebrate St. George's Day, with books)

*To save a Maid, St. George the Dragon slew
A pretty tale, if all is told to be true
Most say, there are no Dragons, and tis said
There was no George: pray God there was a Maid.
-- John Aubrey, Remains of Gentilism (1688)

Birthdays Today:

Dev Patel, 1990
John Cena, 1977
Scott Bairstow, 1970
George Lopez, 1961
Valerie Bertinelli, 1960
Craig Sheffer, 1960
Jan Hooks, 1957
Michael Moore, 1954
Joyce DeWitt, 1949
Sandra Dee, 1942
Lee Majors, 1940
Roy Orbison, 1936
Shirley Temple Black, 1928
Vladimire Nabokov, 1899
Sergei Prokofiev, 1891
James Buchanan, 1791
William Penn, 1621
William Shakespeare, 1564

Today in History:

The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St George's Day, 1348
William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor is first performed, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance, 1597
The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston, Massachusetts, 1635
Connecticut is chartered as an English colony, 1662
Canada issues its first postage stamps, 1851
The Vitascope system of movie projection debuts the first motion picture at Koster & Bial's Music Hall in NYC, 1896
Namibia becomes the 160th member of the UN and the 50th member of the Commonwealth of Nations, 1990
Eritrians vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia, 1993
Beijing closes all schools for two weeks because of the SARS virus, 2003
The gamma ray burst GRB 090423 is observed for 10 seconds. The event signals the most distant object of any kind and also the oldest known object in the universe, 2009

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Still trying to figure out how to post on this new system.

Today is

Chemists Celebrate The Earth Day -- promoting public awareness of the important contribution of chemists

Earth Day

Festival of Jupiter and Juno -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day

International Mother Earth Day -- UN

Lela's Holiday -- Slavic Pagan Calendar

National Jelly Bean Day

St. Epipodius of Lyon's Day (Patron of bachelors, betrayal victims, torture victims)

Walpurgis celebrations begin -- through May 1, Norse Calendar

World Week for Animals in Laboratories begins

Birthdays Today:

Daniel Johns, 1979
Kim Elizabeth, 1978
Peter Frampton, 1950
John Waters, 1946
Jack Nicholson, 1937
Glen Campbell, 1936
Aaron Spelling, 1928
Yehudi Menuhin, 1916
Eddie Albert, 1906
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, 1891
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1870
Immanuel Kant, 1724
Queen Isabella, 1451

Today in History:

Portuguese navigator Pedro Cabral becomes the first European to sight Brazil, 1500
President George Washington attends a performance of Rickett's, the first circus in the US, 1793
Thomas Stevens sets out from San Francisco on the first round the world journey by bicycle, 1884
The Oklahoma land rush begins at noon; thousands rush to claim land, and the towns of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed within hours with populations of over 10,000 each, 1889
Pravda begins publication in St. Petersburg, 1912
The Germans begin using poison chlorine gas as a chemical weapon, 1915
British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completes the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world, 1969
The first Earth Day is celebrated, 1970
The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated, 1993
Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologizes for Japan's war record, 2005
Four Canadian soldiers are killed 75 kilometers north of Kandahar, Afghanistan by a roadside bomb planted by Taliban militants, the worst single day combat loss for the Canadian army since the Korean War, 2006

Saturday, April 21, 2012

So i'm all ready to post about something i find inspirational and that i really am glad someone pointed out to me, and then i get the phone call that makes me angry through and through.

It's not the kittens that the guy found under his house, and that his Jack Russel
Terror Terrier kept trying to get. He was nice, and his family would have kept the kittens if they hadn't been able to find a place for them, even though they were totally new to kittens on the verge of weaning. Those i was glad the rescue and i could help with.

It's the ones the lady on the other side of his small town ended up with when some guy in a truck drove into her neighborhood and threw out of the window before driving out. Not even close to weaned, i can hear the (deleting very unholy language here) person thinking to himself that they would fend for themselves, they weren't his responsibility even though he refuses to spay his cat.

He got his wish, whatever it was, they aren't on him now, but i hope when he dies the Almighty appears to him as a mama cat.

Well, i'm not going to let it totally derail me from what i wanted to post, because it would give him too much power.

Many of us decry the terrible state of penmanship among young people these days, and with good reason. Some of it is deplorable, with youngsters not even able to leave a simple note for another person.

People are fighting this trend, though, and some young people are rising to the challenge of learning good handwriting skills, including Annie Clark.

Annie was born in China seven years ago, and is one of the 6 children her parents have adopted from that country (they also have 3 biological children). She has been in the US since age 2, and just received a national award for penmanship for children at her grade level.

So? Annie was born without hands, and holds her writing implement between the stumps of her forearms.

Her family are heroes, and she is going to grow up to be a very special person indeed. You can read the full story here. It may cheer you as much as it cheered me.

Today is

Administrative Professionals Day (original date)

Aggie Muster -- Texas A&M University

Alfred G. "Alferd" Packer Day -- Colorado

Auctioneers' Day (mistakenly noted here last Saturday; lashes with a wet noodle for me!)

Birthday of Rome -- Rome, Italy

Feast of Wadjet (a/k/a Udjet or Buto) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Feria Nacional de San Marcos -- Mexico (through the May 13; feast of San Marcos, with rodeos, bull fights, folk dancing, parades, mariachi and muchos mas)

First Day of Rivdan -- Baha'i

Grounation Day -- Rastafari (one of the Rastafarian's most important festivals, in honor of Haile Selassie's 1966 visit to Jamaica)

Heroica Defensa de Veracruz -- Mexico (Heroic Defense of Veracruz)

Homecoming of the Elves -- Fairy Calendar (Singing Festival)

Husband Appreciation Day (mistakenly noted here last Saturday; lashes with a wet noodle for me!)

Inauguration of Brasilia, Distrito Federal -- Brazil

International Creativity and Innovation Day

International Marconi Day -- a 24-hour amateur radio event annually near the birth anniversary of Marconi

Iroquois Corn Planting Ceremony -- Iroquois Native Americans (through the 24th)

John Muir Day -- US

Kartini Day -- Indonesia (honoring a leader who helped emancipate women)

Kindergarten Day -- Germany; US (birth anniversary of Friedrich Froebel, in 1782, who began the first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837)

Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival -- Warner Robins, GA, US (come celebrate arts and crafts made "The Way Things Used To Be"; through tomorrow)

National Chocolate-Covered Cashew Truffle Day

National Tree Planting Day -- Kenya

Parilia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (shepherd's festival of Pares, goddess of herders)

Record Store Day -- celebrated by independent record stores everywhere (mistakenly noted here last Saturday; lashes with a wet noodle for me!)

Queen's Birthday -- Falkland Islands

San Jacinto Day -- Texas, US

Spinach Festival -- Alma, AK, US

St. Anselm of Canterbury's Day

St. Bueno Gasulsych's Day (Patron of diseased cattle, sick animals, and sick children)

Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day (mistakenly noted here last Saturday; pull out the wet noodle one more time!)

Tiradentes Day/Brasilia Day -- Brazil (honors Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, called "tooth puller", who fought for Brazilian independence)

World Creativity and Innovation Day

World's Biggest Fish Fry -- Paris, TX, US (parades, arts and crafts, auto show, and 10,000+ pounds of catfish; through the 29th)

Birthdays Today:

Robert Smith, 1959
Andie Macdowell, 1958
James Morrison, 1954
Tony Danza, 1951
Iggy Pop, 1947
Charles Grodin, 1935
Elaine May, 1932
Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, 1926
Anthony Quinn, 1915
John Muir, 1838
Charlotte Bronte, 1816
Catherine the Great, 1729
Jan van Riebeeck, 1619

Today in History:

Traditional date for the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, BC753
Marc Antony continues to battle the senators who assassinated Julius Caesar in the Battle of Mutina, which he loses, BC43
Henry VIII ascends the throne of England, 1509
Hernan Cortez lands in Veracruz, 1519
The Maryland Toleration Act is passed, granting religious freedom to all in that colony, 1649
Catherine the Great ends noble privileges in Russia, 1785
Tiradentes, leader of the independence movement in Brazil, is executed, 1792
Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat Mexican troops under Santa Ana, winning the Battle of San Jacinto and the independence of Texas, 1836
The first train crosses the first bridge over the Mississippi River, crossing from Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, 1855
Alexander Douglas patents the bustle, 1857
Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i' faith, declares his mission, 1863
The first firehouse pole is installed in a firehouse in NYC, 1878
The Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen)is shot down, 1918
The first Aggie Muster is held, a remembrance of fellow Texas A&M graduates who had died in the previous year, 1922
Brasilia is officially inaugurated as the capital of Brazil, 1960
In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang, 1989
Alexander Wolszczan announces his the discovery of extrasolar planets, 1994
The ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry are launched into orbit, 1997
By order of an Egyptian court, the name of Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak, is stripped from public spaces, schools and streets, 2011

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lap It Up

Psst! Guys, c'mon! This is where she keeps the milk! Let's raid the fridge!

There are several theories about kitten weaning, and i've probably heard most of them.

Many involve things like beginning with mixing in rice cereal -- yes, just like you give human infants -- to thicken the milk, then soaking dry food in formula and getting them to suck it off of a spoon, etc. One person used to wean them onto the soft moist food. Others say give them canned, then dry.

Malarky, all of it. These are foster kittens, and need to end up on dry kibble by the time they are up for adoption. The rescue groups mandate this because they know most adopters want the ease and convenience of giving their cats dry kibble.

Trust me, i have had a difficult time getting kittens off of wet food, whether soft moist, canned, canned mixed with dry, or dry soaked in formula, or every other variation to not want to bother.

That means i take my fosters straight from formula to dry. They learn to drink instead of suck, then i put out dry food and let them learn to have at it.

Teaching them to drink involves getting one or two of them licking the formula off the end of the nipple, getting them to bring their heads down to the floor, and squeezing the formula from the bottle onto the floor as they lick, then removing the bottle. Eventually i do that with a bowl.

Much better than waiting for a turn at the bottle!

Quite often, once one gets the hang of it, another follows. Eventually they all decide waiting is not worth it.

The same happens with the kibble. One decides to nibble at it, and seems to the others to be enjoying something, so they try.

Eventually, all of them figure it out, and i'm not spending huge amounts of time and effort trying to get them to switch from one thing to another.

Of course, fresh water is offered all the time, and eventually, after sniffing and getting it in their noses and snorting and sneezing a few times, they get the hang of that too.

After that, all that i have to do is keep the adult cats, that don't need the extra weight, out of the kitten food. But that's another full time job.

Today is

Anniversary of Something That Happened So Long Ago Everyone Has Forgotten Day -- Fairy Calendar

Dogwood Festival -- Atlanta, GA, US (through the 22nd)

DNA Day -- a day for teachers, students, and everyone to learn more about genetics and genomics

Global Youth Service Days -- through the 22nd

Go Around Humming "You Light Up My Life" Until Everybody Screams Day -- the person who thought this one up should be tied down and forced to listen to Barry Manilow songs for 12 hours straight!

Kentucky Derby Festival begins

Lima Bean Respect Day

Mesir Paste Festival -- Manisa, Turkey (through the 26th; mesir paste is a blend of 41 different spices and is intended as a general cure-all and tonic; lots of craft exhibitions, concerts and sporting tournaments, as well as traditional throwing of paste off minaret of the Sultan Mosque)

National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day

National Take a Break to Reset Your Mind Day -- because everyone needs a day like this

Oiran Dochu -- Bunsui, Niigata Prefecture, Japan (famous Courtesan Parade)

Radium Day

Ridvan -- Baha'i (begins at sunset)

St. Caedwalla of Wales' Day (Patron of converts, repentant murderers)

Taro Festival -- East Maui, Hawaii, US (20th annual, through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Joey Lawrence, 1976
Carmen Electra, 1972
Don Mattingly, 1961
Clint Howard, 1959
Luther Vandross, 1951
Jessica Lange, 1949
Ryan O'Neal, 1941
George Takei, 1937
Nina Foch, 1924
Lionel Hampton, 1908
Harold Lloyd, 1839
Joan Miro, 1893

Today in History:

The last naval battle in Byzantine history, 1453
Jews are expelled from Orange Burgundy, 1505
Jacques Cartier begins the voyage in which he will claim Canada and Labrador for France, 1534
Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam, 1657
Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1657
Captain Cook arrives in New South Wales, 1770
René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou, 1828
Edgar Allan Poe's Murder in the Rue Morgue becomes the first detective story ever published, 1841
Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete their first pasteurization tests, 1862
Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride, 1902
Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the next day, 1918
Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film, 1926
Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, lands on the moon, 1972
Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years, 1986
Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race, 2008
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion kills 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Difficult day. Enough said.

Then again, when is that enough for the meandering brain?

Badlands Blackie decided to "mess" on my bed. His "mess" found the one tiny pinhole in the plastic cover that i put over the bed to keep from having to worry about such "messes."

The rest of the day was spend mattress cleaning and pad cleaning (it's not dry yet) and trying to convince Sweetie that we do not need a huge, ugly tarp on the bed instead of a clear plastic cover that i can ignore.

The latter was not successful. The room looks awful with huge, ugly tarp on the bed.

Maybe i should have stopped at the opening line.

Today is

Anniversary of the Election of Benedict XVI -- Holy See (Vatican City)

Beginning of the Independence Movement -- Venezuela

Dogwood Festival -- Camdenton, MO, US (through the 22nd)

Dutch-American Friendship Day

Fiesta San Antonio -- San Antonio, Texas, US (through the 29th; annual celebration that honors the memory of Texas heroes who fought in the Texas war for Independence. More that 150 events, with sporting events, fireworks, dances...all culminating with the traditional "Battle of Flowers" parade!)

Get to Know Your Customers Day (celebrated quarterly)

Independence Declaration Day -- Venezuela

John Parker Day -- many US States

King Mswati III's birthday -- Swaziland

Landing of the 33 -- Uruguay

Lozenge Competition -- Fairy Calendar (no, i don't know what they do with the lozenges that makes it a competition)

National Amaretto Day

National Garlic Day

National Hanging Out Day -- Project Laundry List and other organizations promote bringing back the clothesline to save energy and the planet!

National High Five Day -- raising money for cancer research, sponsored by the National High Five Project

Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

Primrose Day -- UK (anniversary of the death of Disraeli)

Sandburg Days -- Galesburg, IL, US (celebrating their two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning native son, Carl Sandburg; through the 21st)

St. AElfheah's Day (Patron of kidnap victims; Greenwich and Solihull, England)

St. Expeditus of Melintine's Day (Patron of merchants, navigators; for expeditious and prompt solutions; against procrastination)

St. Leo IX's Day

Sumardagurinn fyrsti -- Iceland (First Day of Summer; also the first day of the month Harpa on the Icelandic calendar)

Yom HaShoah -- Judaism (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

Anniversaries Today:

Marie Antoinette marries Louis XVI by Proxy Marriage, 1770
Cheyney University is founded as The Institute for Colored Youth, 1837
Grace Kelly marries Ranier III of Monaco, 1956

Birthdays Today:

Maria Sharapova, 1987
Hayden Christensen, 1981
Kate Hudson, 1979
Luis Miguel Basteri, 1970
Ashley Judd, 1968
Al Unser, Jr., 1962
Paloma Picasso, 1949
Tim Curry, 1946
Dudley Moore, 1935
Jayne Mansfield, 1933
Dick Sargent, 1930
Hugh O'Brian, 1925
Eliot Ness, 1903

Today in History:

Sir Francis Drake sails to Cadiz and sinks the Spanish Fleet, 1587
Because he has no male heirs, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issues the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, assuring Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would go to his daughter, Maria Theresa, 1713
Captain James Cook sights Australia, 1770
John Adams secures Dutch recognition of the United States, and his home in The Hague becomes the first American Embassy, 1782
Venezuela achieves home rule, 1810
The Treaty of London establishes Belgium as a kingdom and Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy, 1839
Charles Duryea claims to have taken the first automobile built in the US for a spin, 1892
The first Boston Marathon is won by John McDermott of NY in 2:55:10, 1897
Leslie Irvin of the United States makes the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump, 1919
The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary is published, 1928
Burma (now Myanmar) joins the United Nations, 1948
The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ends in success for the defenders, 1961
Sierra Leone becomes a republic, 1971
India's first satellite, Aryabhata, is launched, 1975
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, is bombed, killing 168, 1995
The German Bundestag returns to Berlin, the first German parliamentary body to meet there since the Reichstag was dissolved in 1945, 1999
His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Benedict XVI, 2005
Fidel Castro resigns from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee after 45 years, 2011

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


#2 Son was yelling from the other room again. Somehow i figured Festus had something to do with it, and i was right.

What's up now, i asked as i went in there.

"Unbelievable! This is impossible!"


"Well, you know how Festus drives that restored Volkswagen Golf from the early 90's?"

Yes, his father restores cars for fun, and just let him use one of his not quite so valuable ones, right?

"Yeah, and remember how he had only had it 3 days and someone crashed into him when he was stopped at a red light?"

How could i forget? His crazy mother grounded him for 3 weeks because someone hit him.

"Yeah, well he got the car back yesterday, it took them two months to restore it again, and guess what? Some lady who was on dope ran a red light and t-boned him! Totaled the car! He says his seat was pushed all the way over into the passenger seat! Can you believe it?"

Poor kid. At least this time, his mother isn't punishing him.

Maybe i should rethink letting the guy borrow my van to take #2 Son to the mall on occasion. Then again, since i wouldn't mind mine being totaled and replaced, as long as it was someone else's fault, i guess he's safer in my car than his own, cause i'm not that lucky.

Today is

Adult Autism Awarenes Day -- sponsored by; i know the poster child!

Army Day -- Iran

Goddess Month of Maia begins

Independence Day -- Zimbabwe

International Whistlers Convention -- Louisburg, North Carolina, US ("The World's Whistling Capital"; through the 22nd)

Invention Day -- Japan

Look-Alike Day -- internet generated, a day to try to look like someone you admire

National Animal Cracker Day

National CPA's Goof Off Day -- US, the day after tax day because they deserve it!

National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day -- US; after all, you paid your taxes yesterday

National Stress Awareness Day -- also US, and also always the day after you paid your taxes

Newspaper Columnists' Day -- The National Society of Newspaper Columnists in honor of the anniversary of the death of Ernie Pyle

Pet Owners Independence Day -- the day to let your pet do the work and chores while you lie around and enjoy having only the responsibilies of your pet

Smile Big and Say Hi for No Particular Reason Day -- if some site gave the reason for this, it would defeat the purpose

St. Agapitus Day (Patron against colic)

St. Agia's Day (Patron against lawsuits)

"Third World" Day -- the phrase was first used on this date in 1955

World Amateur Radio Day -- celebrating "ham radio" around the world

Anniversaries Today:

The University of Alabama is founded, 1831

Birthdays Today:

America Ferrara, 1984
Melissa Joan Hart, 1976
Maria Bello, 1967
Conan O'Brien, 1963
Eric Roberts, 1956
James Woods, 1947
Hayley Mills, 1946
Leopold Stokowski, 1882
Clarence Darrow, 1857
Lucrezia Borgia, 1480

Today in History:

Boleslaw Chrobry is crowned the first king of Poland, 1025
The cornerstone of the current St. Peter's Basilica is laid, 1506
The Real Academia de la Historia (Royal Academy of History) is founded in Madrid, 1738
The British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and William Dawes, upon seeing two lanterns in the church steeple, set out to warn that "The British are coming!" 1775
Fighting ceases in the American Revolutionary War, eight years to the day after it began, 1783
Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico, 1881
The St. Andrew's Ambulance Association is granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria, 1899
Denmark becomes the first country to formally adopt fingerprinting to identify criminals, 1902
Quetzaltenango, second largest city of Guatemala, is destroyed by an earthquake, 1902
The Great San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
The Los Angeles Times story on the Azusa Street Revival launches Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement, 1906
The RMS Carpathia brings the Titanic survivors to NYC, 1912
"The House that Ruth Built," Yankee Stadium, opens, 1923
Simon and Schuster publishes the first crossword puzzle book, 1924
The first "washateria" (laundromat) opens, in Ft. Worth, Texas, 1934
The League of Nations is formally dissolved, 1949
29 nations meet at Bandung, Indonesia, for the first Asian-African Conference., 1955
A United States federal court rules that poet Ezra Pound is to be released from an insane asylum, 1958
The Republic of Zimbabwe is officially established with the swearing in of Canaan Banana as its first President, 1980
The Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings, from the Triple-A International League, begin the longest game in professional baseball history, 33 innings, 1981
The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-4 decision, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For this i went to college? Part 2

Hey, mom! Mommy! Is that bottle ready yet, mom? Mom!

Mommy! Mommy! You aren't going anywhere until you feed me! Feed me now, mommy!

Multitasking at the stand up desk. They eat, i type with one leg propped on my brief case that prevents kittens from climbing behind the refrigerator.

On second thought from yesterday, maybe i should have just become a vet tech.

Today is

American Academy of Arts and Letters Charter Day

Bat Appreciation Day

Blah, Blah, Blah Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Day of the Dead -- Russian Christian (Nav Dien, a Slavic tradition after Thomas Sunday)

Eighty-Niner Days Celebration -- Guthrie, OK, US (commemoration of the Oklahoma Territory Land Run of April 22, 1889, celebrating their heritage with chuck wagon feeds, "gunfights", a parade and carnival, through the 21st)

Ellis Island Family History Day

Flag Day -- American Samoa

Ford Mustang Day -- International (on the "birthday" of the vehicle)

Healthy Kids Day

Hocktide Festival/Tutti Day -- Hungerford, Berkshire, England (commemorates a battle in 1002 A.D. when Saxon women defeated the invading Danes; celebrated in the Middle Ages by women imprisoning their men and, after paying the church, retrieving them)

Independence Day / Evacuation Day -- Syria

International Day of Peasants Struggle

National Cheeseball Day

National Equal Pay Day -- US (the date of how far into 2012 a US woman had to work to earn what a US man did in 2011)

Nimble Fairies' Scattering -- Fairy Calendar

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day -- to be celebrated, if you dare, by greeting and thanking your neighbor for being nosy

Nothing Like A Dame Day -- a day to pay homage to the unique wit, wisdom, style and strength of dames past and present, and to cultivate the dame in you or in your life

St. Kateri Tekakwitha's Day (Patron of ecologists, ecology, environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, exiles, people who have lost their parents, people ridiculed for their piety)

St. Stephen Harding's Day (Co-founder of Cistercian Order)

Toothbrush Appreciation Day -- think of what it would be like without one!

Verrazano Day -- New York, US (Celebrates discovery of New York harbor by Giovanni Verrazano, Florentine navigator)

Women's Day -- Gabon

World Hemophilia Day

Birthdays Today:

Victoria Backham, 1974
Jennifer Garner, 1972
Liz Phair, 1967
Olivia Hussey, 1951
Harry Reasoner, 1923
William Holden, 1918
Nikita Krushchev, 1894
J.P. Morgan, 1837

Today in History:

Geoffrey Chaucer tells his Canterbury Tales for the first time, at the court of Richard II, ten years to the day after the pilgrimage actually began, 1397
Christopher Columbus signs his contract with Spain to find the Indes, 1492
Martin Luther stands firm and refuses to recant before the Diet of Worms, 1521
Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico in what would be one of the largest invasions of the Spanish territories in America, 1797
The first Sino-Japanese War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, 1895
A one day record 11,747 immigrants are processed at Ellis Island, 1907
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios is formed by the merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company, 1924
Cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J Fudd & Petunia Pig, debut, 1937
At midnight, 26 Irish counties officially break with the British Commonwealth and form the Republic of Ireland, 1949
The Bay of Pigs Invasion fiasco begins, 1961
Ford Motor Company unveils the Mustang, 1964
Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air, 1964
The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely, 1970
Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa by Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, 1982
The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ends, 1986
NJ Devil Martin Brodeur becomes the 2nd NHL goalie to score in a playoff game, 1997
The 5th Summit of the Americas takes place in Port of Spain; Trinidad, thirty-four heads of government attend, 2005

Monday, April 16, 2012

For this i went to college?

"Mom! Emergency in the bathroom!" Bigger Girl's voice rang out over the clamor of kitten cries and kids listening to a movie on the computer, as well as my kitchen radio.

What happened now, and aren't you kids old enough that you shouldn't have bathroom emergencies any more?

"Not that kind!" Teen exasperation dripped with every word. "Miss Lizzie dropped a tube of eye lash glue down the sink drain. We can't use the sink until we get it out, otherwise it could stop everything up."

Yes, it could, like we don't have enough plumbing troubles around here.

First order of business, assess the situation. This calls for a flashlight. Good luck. Not in the kitchen drawer where one belongs, that one was lost at the creek. Emergency one in the pack hidden under the stairs? Nope, kids got to that one after they lost the kitchen one.

Ah, there's one! Hidden in my night stand. They say that piece of furniture is getting rarer in modern homes. Well, it's the only place i can hide stuff and reasonably expect to find it again, so mine isn't going anywhere.

Next, a wrench. That means a trek into Sweetie's music room/man cave. That calls for finding a key, which he hides various places that change, whereupon he forgets where he moved it to. The back up key, under the mattress. Gads, this is getting complicated.

Back with a flashlight and wrench. So, we need something to catch the water that will spill out when i take the trap off. Bucket? The only bucket i can think of is already catching leaks under some other piece of plumbing. If by this you get the idea my house is falling apart, you would be correct. Okay, a puppy piddle pad should work, left over from training the Hazelnut.

As i climbed under the sink armed with my equipment, i was thinking, i did 6 years at university for this? Turn off the water so no one will accidentally "help" by turning the faucet on. Listen politely as Bigger Girl tries to remind me "righty tighty; lefty loosey" while fitting the wrench.

By the Lord's grace the parts turned that were supposed to turn, and i managed to get the trap off without much trouble. The tube of eye lash glue came out with a splash of the water surrounding it onto the piddle pad, and i began to reassemble it all and see if i could extricate myself from my curled up position in the cabinet.

Yes, i managed to remember to turn the water back on and get Miss Lizzy to turn the water on and check to make sure i had tightened everything correctly before climbing out from under there.

Another blip of the radar on a busy Sunday afternoon. Dinner stayed on schedule, too, and no kittens got so desperately hungry that they launched an escape attempt.

Sometimes i wonder, though, if i should have gotten my post-secondary education from a trade school instead. After all, when was the last time i needed to know about Beaumont and Fletcher or be able to discuss gnosticism? Plumbing and car repair would have come in more handy.

Guess i'm just letting my inner cynic loose. Knowing my luck, that's the part that knows more about electrical than it is willing to let on.

Today is

Ancestors' Day -- Russian Christians (Radunitsa, a Slavic tradition after Thomas Sunday)

Boston Marathon -- 116th Running

Bunsui Oiran Dochu Festival begins -- Nishkanbara, Japan (through the 23rd, when there is a traditional costume Courtesan Parade)

Day of Mushroom Encouragement -- Fairy Calendar

Dronningens fodselsdag -- Denmark (Birthday of Queen Margrethe II)

Emancipation Day -- Washington, D.C., US

Easter Monday -- Orthodox Christians following the Julian Calendar

Holiday of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

HM Queen's Birthday -- Saint Helena

Jim Thorpe Day -- US

Jose de Diego's Birthday -- Puerto Rico (Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement)

National Arts Advocacy Day -- through tomorrow

National Eggs Benedict Day

National Stress Awareness Day -- sponsored by the Health Resource Network (appropriate for the day after paying taxes)

St. Bernadette of Lourdes' Day (Patron of Lourdes, France; of people ridiculed for piety, poor people, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people; against bodily ills, poverty, sickness)

St. Padarn's Day (Celtic peoples traditionally begin weeding crops on this saint's day)

World Entrepreneurship Day

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of the University of Queensland, 1910

Birthdays Today:

Lilliana Mumy, 1994
Selena Quintanilla, 1971
Martin Lawrence, 1965
Ellen Barkin, 1955
Kareem Adbud-Jabbar, 1947
Dusty Springfield, 1939
Bobby Vinton, 1935
Herbie Mann, 1930
Edie Adams, 1929
Pope Benedict XVI, 1927
Henry Mancini, 1924
Peter Ustinov, 1921
Barry Nelson, 1920
Merce Cunningham, 1919
Charlie Chaplin, 1889
Wilbur Wright, 1867
Anatole France, 1844

Today in History:

Calculated date of the return of Odysseus from the Trojan War, BC1178
The Jewish fortress of Masada falls to the Roman Army, ending the Jewish revolt, 73
Martin Luther is called before the Diet of Worms, 1521
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina, 1582
The United States Senate ratified the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada, 1880
The first passenger rail opens in India, 1853
Ebenezer Bassett, the first African-American diplomat, begins his service in Haiti, 1869
US Marshal Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle, in Dodge City, 1881
Harriet Quimby becomes the first female pilot to cross the English Channel, 1912
Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British, 1919
Annie Oakley shoots a record 100 clay targets in a row, 1922
Dr. Albert Hofmann first ingests LSD, thus discovering its effects, 1943
Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, 1947
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation, 1963
The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique and 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean, 1992
The Queen Mary II embarks on her first transatlantic voyage, 2004
President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo declares the First Ivorian Civil War to be over, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2012


That was the sound of the scream in the next room. It emanated from #2 Son, who as at the library computer.

"I can't believe it! Nooooooooo!" he continued to wail. "That nut! Why did he do it? Why?"

As i walked in to see what was up, i asked what happened.

"Festus shaved the 'fro!" he wailed. "He said he was going to finally trim it after 3 years, but just a couple of inches!"

Why was he even going to trim it? i asked.

"He said it was so he could get a summer job. You know no one would hire him looking like that."

Yes, i know it. My father, the kids' Grandpa, wouldn't take Festus with them to a ball game unless he pulled it back into a pony tail and wore a baseball cap over it.

Approaching the computer i saw what was obviously a picture of Festus, shorn as a sheep.

"He shaved his head!" #2 Son shook his own head full of black, curly locks in disgust. "I can't believe this. It's awful!"

Oh, to be only 16 and your worst problem is your best friend shaved his head.

Today is

Celtic Tree Month Saille (willow) begins

Domingo del Angel -- Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Angel Sunday, a fiesta dating back to the 15th century)

Easter/Pascha -- Orthodox Christians following the Julian Calendar

Fast Food Day -- the first franchised McDonald's opened this day in 1955 in Des Plaines, IL, US

Father Damien Day -- Hawaii, US

Festival of Heru; Festival of Bast -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Fluff Appreciation Day -- internet generated; i guess as a distraction for Tax Day

Fordicalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (cow sacrifice to the earth mother, Tellus Mater)

Hillsborough Disaster Memorial -- Anfield at Liverpool, England

Income Tax Pay Day -- Philippines; US (most years; this year, we have until Tuesday)
related observances:
National Griper's Day (after all, you have to pay your taxes, and the Titanic sank today*)
Tax Resistors' Day -- good luck!
That Sucks Day (appropriate, isn't it)

International Crow Day -- Global Green Community

Jackie Robinson Day -- Major League Baseball

Low Sunday / Thomas Sunday -- Orthodox Churches honoring the day Jesus appeared to Doubting Thomas

National Contest of Paso Horses -- Peru

National Glazed Ham Day

Rubber Eraser Day -- today in 1770, Joseph Priestly described a vegetable gum which had the ability to rub out pencil marks

Sechselauten -- Zurich, Switzerland (Six Ringing Festival, traditional driving out of winter through the symolic destruction of the Boog - Old Man Winter - in the form of a snowman; through tomorrow)

St. Hedda's Day (Patron of laundresses, laundry workers, washerwomen)

Swallow Day -- England (traditional date of the return of chimney swallows)

Take a Wild Guess Day -- sponsored by Jim Barber as a day to honor guesses, hunches, inspirations, speculations and other forms of “intuitive intelligence;” just not on your taxes, please

Tipsa Diena -- Ancient Latvian Calendar (celebration of the start of plowing)

Titanic Remembrance Day

*If you want to add others reasons why today should be considered "That Sucks Day", please go share your horror story of the day at

Birthdays Today:

Emma Watson, 1990
Seth Rogen, 1982
Patrick Carney, 1980
Emma Thompson, 1959
Claudia Cardinale, 1939
Roy Clark, 1933
Elizabeth Montgomery, 1933
Leon Schotter, 1922
Hans Conried, 1917
Bessie Smith, 1894
Sam Rodia, 1875
Henry James, 1843
Joseph E. Seagram, 1841
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452

Today in History:

Pope Innocent III refuses to grant permission to the Jews of Cordova, Spain, to build a synagogue, 1250
Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London, 1755
The first school for the deaf in the US opens in Hartford, Connecticut, 1817
The last day US silver coins are allowed to circulate in Canada, 1870
Harley Proctor begins producing Ivory Soap, 1878
General Electric Company is incorporated, 1892
The Titanic sinks, 1912
Insulin becomes available to diabetics, 1923
Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas, 1924
Jackie Robinson debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947
White Rock, British Columbia officially separates from Surrey, British Columbia and is incorporated as a new city, 1957
Tokyo Disney Resort (and the Tokyo Disneyland park) opens in Tokyo Bay (Japan), 1983
Upon Hu Yaobang's death, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 begin in the People's Republic of China, 1989
Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities sign the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and initiating the World Trade Organization, 1994
Astronomers at San Francisco State University announce the discovery of the first multiplanet solar system besides our own, three planets around Upsilon Andromedaie, 1999
Volcanic ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland leads to the closure of airspace over most of Europe, 2010

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Ender, the black kitten, is seldom quiet. Even when he is full and refusing the bottle, he walks around the kitchen mewing almost nonstop.

Bigger Girl, who named him Ender after the character in the book Ender's Game, came into the kitchen and said, "He must be an Italian cat, he talks so much."

When i told her he can't be Italian, he doesn't talk with his hands, and she responded, "Mom, he's an Italian cat, he talks with his tail!"

In fact, he does wave his tail a good bit when talking, too.

Sweetie came home a few minutes later, and i told him about an earlier visit from a guy who used to do pest control for us. He has retired, but is trying to get a friend started in the business, and is visiting old clients to see if they have someone else or need a new provider.

This brought up Sweetie's stories about when he used to work in pest control, as any mention of that topic does. He didn't do that for very long, as one day he was told to go under a house to treat an area. He would have had to be on his back, sliding under the house with the floor only about two inches above his face, and he would simply not do it. When he said it wasn't something he could do, he was told to do it or find another job, so he found another job.

(Similar to the time he was told, when in construction, to hang by a belt from a smokestack and paint said smokestack. He also refused to do that, and left the job that day. He is deathly afraid of heights, which is why cleaning the gutters and sweeping storm debris from the roof is my job.)

(If by these stories you get the idea that he has had a lot of varied jobs, you would be correct. In fact, it would take too long to tell all the stories as a parenthetical.)

This time, in retelling the pest control story, he added, "No, I'm too claustrophobic to do something like that. That's why I want to be buried at sea, I don't want to be put in a little box!"

He had never explained that part to me before, although it does make sense.

Later that evening, Bigger Girl was in the kitchen talking about the plant amaranth. "It's amazing, mom. The seeds make great bread when ground into a flour, and it's gluten free. Some people won't eat it because they think 'absinth' when they hear the name, but that's a liqueur made from wormwood. If you don't take in enough to kill you, it can cause hallucinations. I know I don't need that, my life is weird enough already without hallucinating!"

Thinking about how her father wants to be buried at sea, i would have to agree with her.

Today is

Ambedkar Jayanti -- India

Americas Day -- Honduras

Auctioneers' Day

Baby Massage Day

Baisakhi -- Sikh (New Year)

Black Day -- South Korea (for those who got neither Valentine's gifts nor White Day gifts; singles wear black and get together to eat black noodle soup)

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

Children with Alopecia Day

Cultural Unity Day -- Bangladesh; India; Maldives; Nepal; Sri Lanka

Day of Mologa -- Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia (commemorates the destruction of the town of Mologa during the construction of the Rybinsk Reservoir)

Day of the Georgian Language -- Georgia (marking the 1978 protests of Soviet attempts to suppress the Georgian language)

Elfin Choir Congress -- Fairy Calendar

Ex Spouse Day -- why?

Grand National Steeplechase -- Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, England

Holy Saturday -- Orthodox Christians following the Julian Calendar

Husband Appreciation Day

International Moment of Laughter Day -- started by Izzy Gesell

John Wilkes Boothe Escape Route Tours -- Surrat House Museum, Clinton, MD, US (for Civil War history buffs, a 12 hour bus tour over the route used by Lincoln's assassin; every Sunday through May 5)

Look Up At The Sky Day -- internet generated, no history on this one, but if it's a pretty day, take advantage of it (some sites say April 12, but since we don't know who started it, today is fine)

National Love Our Children Day -- sponsored by STOMP Out Bullying and Love Our Children USA

National Pecan Day

N'Ko Alphabet Day -- Mande Language Speakers

Pan American Day -- Order of the American States

Rato Machhindranath Jatra -- Nepal (chariot races for the god of rain)

Reach as High as You Can Day -- internet generated

Record Store Day -- celebrated by independent record stores everywhere

Runic Half Month of Man (humanity) begins

Sidereal Equinox New Year Celebrations -- throughout South and Southeast Asia, including
* Assamese New Year, or Rongali Bihu (India's Assam Valley)
* Bengali New Year, or Pohela Boishakh (Bangladesh and India's West Bengal state)
* Burmese New Year, or Thingyan (Burma)
* Hindu and Sikh New Year, or Vaisakhi (Punjab region)
* Khmer New Year, or Chol Chnam Thmey, most commonly celebrated on April 13 (Cambodia)
* Lao New Year, or Songkan / Pi Mai Lao, generally celebrated from 13 to 15 April (Laos)
* Malayali New Year, or Vishu (India's Kerala state)
* Nepali New Year, or Bikram Samwat / Vaishak Ek (Nepal)
* Oriya New Year, or Maha Visuba Sankranthi (India's Orissa state)
* Sinhalese New Year, or Aluth Avurudhu (Sri Lanka)
* Tamil New Year, or Puthandu (India's Tamil Nadu state)
* Thai New Year, or Songkran, celebrated from 13 to 15 April (Thailand)
* Tuluva New Year, or Bisu (India's Karnataka state)

Sommarsblot -- Ancient Norse Calendar (celebration of the coming summer, through Walpurgis/May 1)

Spring Hula Hooping Day -- try out the old hula hoop one more time, then toss it

St. Benezet's Day (Patron of bachelors, bridge builders; Avignon, France)

St. Peter Gonzalez's Day (Patron of boatmen, mariners, sailors, watermen)

St. Tiburtius' Day (Considered the day the cuckoos return to England)

Takayama Spring Festival -- Takayama City, Japan (through tomorrow)

Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day

World Catfish Festival -- Belzoni, MS, US (celebrate the bottom feeders!)

Youth Day -- Angola

Birthdays Today:

Abigail Breslin, 1996
Sarah Michelle Gellar, 1977
Robert Carlyle, 1961
Brad Garrett, 1960
Ritchie Blackmore, 1945
Julie Christie, 1941
Pete Rose, 1941
Loretta Lynn, 1935
Rod Steiger, 1925
John Gielgud, 1904
Anne Sullivan, 1866
Emperor Momozono, 1741
Christiaan Huygens, 1629

Today in History:

Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar's assassin Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, who is wounded, BC 43
Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, surrounds the Jewish capital with four Roman legions, beginning the Siege of Jerusalem, 70
Temur, grandson of Kublai Khan, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, 1294
The foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France is laid, 1434
Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush establish the first abolitionist society in the US, 1775
Napoleon calls for establishing Jerusalem for the Jews, 1799
Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary, 1828
The Donner Party departs Springfield, Illinois, 1846
Harriet Tubman begins her first Underground Railroad run, 1853
William Bullock patents the continuous-roll printing press, 1863
Abraham Lincoln is shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth, 1865
Canada sets denominations of currency as dollars, cents, & mills, 1871
Canada passes the Dominion Lands Act, 1872
The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11:40pm and sinks 2 hours later, 1912
The first Volvo car premieres in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1927
The Grapes of Wrath, by American author John Steinbeck is first published by the Viking Press, 1939
The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 falls from orbit, 1958
The heaviest hailstones ever recorded, at 1 kilogram, hailstones fall on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92, 1986
The most costly natural disaster in Australian history, a hailstorm, strikes Sydney, Australia, 1999
The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%, 2003
The Oregon Supreme Court nullifies marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County, 2005