Friday, May 31, 2013

Feline Friday: Teaching

C'mere, mini-me, I'll teach you to drink from the bowl!

Dansig teaching Thomas about the water bowl.

Today is

Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Bicycle Race Day -- anniversary of what is supposed to have been the first bicycle race ever, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris, in 1868

Buffalo Days Celebration (with Buffalo Chip Throw) -- Luverne, MN, US (parade, arts in the park, and the throwing contest; through Sunday)

Centralia Anchor Festival -- City Square, Centralia, MO, US (anchor driving, archery shoot, tractor show, carnival, crafts, softball and more; through Sunday)

Dia de Castilla-La Mancha -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Derby Festival begins -- Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, England (today is Surrey Ladies Day, with Derby Day tomorrow)

Doha Document for Peace in Darfur Commemoration -- Sudan

English Riviera Dance Festival -- Torquay, Devon, England (learn ballroom dance, or take a master class, all levels are welcome, with Gala Evenings where you can dance the night away; through next Friday)

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Christianity (Mary's visit of her cousin Elizabeth, chronicled in Luke 1:39-56)

Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival -- Little Chute, WI, US (celebrate with other Cheeseheads; through Sunday)

Harvard Milk Days Festival -- Harvard, IL, US (parade, carnival, food, fireworks, petting zoo, and more, all as a salute to hard working dairy farmers; through Sunday)

International Horseradish Festival -- Collinsville, IL, US (lots of fun in the "Horseradish Capital of the World"; through Sunday)

"Make My Day" Day -- birth anniversary of Clint Eastwood

National Macaroon Day

Portland Rose Festival -- Portland, OR, US (over 50 events, including three parades, dragon boat races, and more celebrate a city full of roses; through June 16)

President's Day -- Palau

Route 66 Summerfest -- Rolla, MO, US (citywide celebration to kick off the summer; through Sunday)

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it; on the anniversary of the concert by The Who which set a Guinness World Record for loudest rock concert in 1976

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day (Patron of mountain travelers; against fever)

Take This Job and Shove It Day -- birth anniversary of Johnny Paycheck

Telluride Balloon Festival -- Telluride, CO, US (volunteer to help with the festival and you may get a free balloon ride! through Sunday)

This Day (again) -- Fairy Calendar

What You Think Upon Grows Day -- Stephanie West Allen wants you to remember the power of positive thinking

World No Tobacco Day -- WHO

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Gregory Harrison, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide  that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Odds and Ends

It was back to the mechanics with Cicero, Bigger Girl's car.  While driving it up there, i noticed her inspection sticker had expired last month.  Good thing i didn't put this off, i thought.

Once i got there, Lenny asked exactly what i wanted.  So i told him to give it a good eyeballing all over and make sure it was good for highway miles for a while, and inspect it, and figure out why her tires were always low.  Then i settled in again, for the second day in a row, to drinking coffee and taking advantage of their wi-fi with Ol' Bessy.

After about an hour, Lenny called me over to show me the results of all the times Bigger Girl had hit a curb.  Her tires were shot, one with a nail in it, her brakes needed adjusting, the transmission fluid was due for a change, and a belt was about to give way.  Eek!

The total was a bit more than double the total the day before, and it would take longer, too.  So i called Bigger Girl to get in my car and come get me.  We ran an errand together, and i got home just in time to hear from Little Girl, "Hi, mom!  I threw up at swim practice this morning, and I feel much better!"

Great, i said, with a tinge of sarcasm, wondering if this was going to necessitate a trip to the doctor.  Was it just that your stomach's upset? i continued.

"Yes, it's this cold, it filled my stomach with snot and I barfed it all over in the grass outside of the fence, then felt better and went on with practice!"

Somehow that doesn't surprise me, the kid is practically cast iron.  Anyway.

We picked up Cicero in the early afternoon, and Bigger Girl went to the bookstore to read while i headed to the shelter to get more formula for this week.

"Mom," Bigger Girl said when next she saw me, "I saw the most interesting person at the bookstore!  An African-American man with some gray at the temples, dressed like a hip hop artist, but with  a heart shaped charm on a necklace, flip-flops with purple flowers on them and purple polish on his toenails!  He was amazing, so confident in his masculinity that he could cross gender lines in what we wore and not even bat an eye!  Why can't more people be like that?  I hate the stereotypes of girls in pink and boys in blue!"

The only reason i didn't have to answer her was that i was interrupted at that moment by Sweetie, calling to tell me he had an extra errand after work and so would be home even later than he thought.

Sometimes i am very glad for the telephone.

Today is

Anguilla Day -- Anguilla

Corpus Christi -- Catholic Christian

Dia de Canarias -- CN, Spain (Canary Island Day)

Einherjar -- Asatru (Modern Norse Pagan) Calendar (a memorial for the war dead in Valhalla)

Farmington Country Days -- Farmington, MO, US (fun for the family, celebrated the old country way; through Sunday)

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc (Patron of captives, martyrs, opposition of Church authorities, people ridiculed for their piety, prisoners, rape victims, soldiers, WACs, WAVES; France)

Heirloom Seed Day -- While i can't find the history of this one, it's a good one to celebrate, we need to raise awareness of and preserve heirloom seeds

Indian Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago (anniversary of the 1845 arrival of the first Indian laborers to Trinidad)

Lod Massacre Remembrance Day -- Puerto Rico

Loomis Day -- because if we are going to honor Marconi, we should also honor the Washington, D.C., dentist Mahlon Loomis, who patented a wireless telegraphy system before Marconi was even born

Mother's Day -- Nicaragua

My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day -- this one may be listed on another day as well, since no two sites agree; mercy, just go get a new one already! or go get out your Hank Williams records

National Mint Julep Day

St. Walstan of Bawburgh's Day (Patron of agricultural workers, farmers and farm workers, field hands, husbandmen)

This Day -- Fairy Calendar

Water a Flower Day -- no sponsor or reason given for this day, except that the spring rains are slowing and you don't want your garden to wilt

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymore, 1536

Birthdays Today:

Wynonna Judd, 1964
Tom Morello, 1964
Meredith MacRae, 1945
Michael J. Pollard, 1939
Keir Dullea, 1936
Benny Goodman, 1909
Mel Blanc, 1908
Peter Carl Fabergé, 1846

Today in History:

Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem; the Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall, 70
19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal, 1431
In Florida, Hernando de Soto  lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold, 1539
Publication of La Gazette, the first French newspaper, 1631
The Pennsylvania Evening Post become the first daily paper in the US, 1783&
John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria, 1842
Westminster's Big Ben rang for the first time in London, 1859
Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") is observed in the United States for the first time, 1868
New York City's Gilmores Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public, 1879
The Treaty of London, 1913, ends the First Balkan War and Albania becomes an independent nation, 1913
In China protests erupt against the Great Powers infringing on Chinese sovereignty, 1925
A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes, 1948
The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened, 1959
launch of Surveyor 1 the first US spacecraft to achieve landing on an extraterrestrial body, 1966
At the Ascot Park in Gardena, California, daredevil Evel Knievel jumps his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row, 1967
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high "Goddess of Democracy" statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators, 1989
272 days after the September 11 attacks, closing ceremonies are held for the clean up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The last remaining steel beam is removed and transported to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, 2002

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's the Total?

It was time, once again, for a visit to some of my favorite car people, Kevin and Lenny.

Sweetie and i switched cars for a day so i could take his in and make sure it's in good shape.

As i walked in, i noticed that, even though they had only been open about 15 minutes, they were already very busy.  Since they were closed for the Memorial Day holiday, this was their make-up day for that.

Lenny greeted me and told me immediately that the coffee was fresh -- they know me so well.  Then he asked what was up.

My Sweetie wants the freon checked in his car, i told him, and it still needs that front end alignment in the worst way.  Give the whole thing a good once over and tell me what else it needs, i added.  Yes, i trust these guys, they do not ever do unneeded work and honor their word and their warrantees.

"Sure, that's easy enough," he answered.  Then he asked if i still had the same phone number and address as he looked me up on the computer.  Yes, i told him, and you know just where it is!

"That's right, I've dropped you off at home more than once," he smiled.  Makes it easy for you to come after me if i don't pay the bill, i grinned back.

Another lady in the waiting area, overhearing the name of my street, asked if she had heard correctly, and it turns out she lives only a few blocks from me.  We spoke for a few minutes, and who should i see walking up than Miss Rose, another neighbor, with her husband, as usual, trying to keep up with her.  She is 82, and has always run circles around him.  Until this year, she always did a walk to raise money for cancer, but she's passed the baton to her daughter now.

Look!  The whole neighborhood is showing up! i joked as i opened the door for Miss Rose and Mr. Steve.  Then i added, i've got the money for that cancer fundraiser, and now i don't have to make an extra trip.  She smiled and thanked me as i handed it to her, and that's one more item off the never ending to do list.

As i settled in with Ol' Bessy, Lenny called out to tell me the good news and the bad news.

"The good news is the A/C is fine, freon level is perfect.  Yes, you do need the alignment.  The bad news is your brakes are shot."

Somehow i knew it.  Sweetie had mentioned something about brakes being a bit "off."

Go for it all, i told him, there's no sense in getting in there for an alignment and not taking care of everything/  And brakes are non-negotiable.

After a couple of hours, Kevin totalled everything up and it was exact, as usual.  As i left i told him i would see him tomorrow with Bigger Girl's car.  It's got an extended warranty, and they do warranty work, and i just want hers looked at this week.

Gearing up for June is not always easy, but it's worth it.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (purification festival to Ceres, date approximate)

Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival -- Windsor to Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada (lots of fun in apple blossom time; through June 3)

Ascension of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

BookExpo America -- Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY, US (publishers display fall titles; through Saturday)

Castleton Garland Celebration -- Derbyshire, England (a Garland King and Lady ride the bounds of the parish on white horses, after which the garland the King wore is placed on the church tower; possibly dating back to Oak Apple Celebrations)

Democracy Day -- Nigeria

End of the Middle Ages Day -- considered such by many historians because of the fall of Constantinople on this day in 1453

Feast of Mars -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers -- UN

Learn About Composting Day -- can't find a sponsor for this day, but there is a week sponsored each year, with information available

Mount Everest Day -- Nepal (declared on the anniversary of first ascent in 1953)

National Coq Au Vin Day

National Senior Health and Fitness Day -- US (don't let age get in the way of staying healthy!)

Oak Apple Day / Royal Oak Day -- England (celebration of the restoration of the monarchy; no longer officially recognized, but many localities have traditions that have grown up around this date which are still celebrated)

Pink Flamingo Day -- Don Feathersone created the first one on this day in 1957

Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day -- supposedly dating back, in Europe and the Americas, to the days when you put a piece of cloth in your larder for good luck; why it became a pillow no one knows

Republic Day -- Nepal

Runic Half-Month of Odal (home, possessions) commences

Squoosh an Ice Cream Sandwich Day -- rules say you must squoosh, not squish or squash!

St. Bona of Pisa's Day (Patron of couriers, flight attendants, guides, pilgrims, travellers; Pisa, Italy)

World MS Day -- information and resources

Anniversaries Today:

Rhode Island becomes the 13th US State, 1790
Wisconsin becomes the 30th US State, 1848

Birthdays Today:

Noel Gallagher, 1967
Melissa Etheridge, 1961
Adrian Paul, 1959
Annette Bening, 1958
LaToya Jackson, 1956
Danny Elfman, 1953
Anthony Geary, 1947
Al Unser, 1939
Paul Erlich, 1932
John F. Kennedy, 1917
Tenzing Norgay, 1914
T.H. White, 1906
Bob Hope, 1903
G.K. Chesterton, 1874
Patrick Henry, 1736

Today in History:

Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire, 1453
Charles II (on his birthday) is restored to the throne of Great Britain, 1660
Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives, 1677
The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves is upheld at Quebec City, 1733
In Patrick Henry's historic speech against the Stamp Act, he answers a cry of "Treason!" with, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" 1765
Present constitution of Switzerland takes effect, 1874
Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal, 1886
Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot, 1913
Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives, 1914
Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history, for Decca Records in Los Angeles, 1942
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1953
First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, 1954
Amputee  Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months, 1985
Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station, 1999
Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule, 1999
A WWII Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., US, 2004

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And in other news

Well, really, there isn't much news around here.  That's the sad truth of it all.

We are popping along day by day, feeding the kittens, trying to find a bigger litter box for Hope cat (who is picky about litter boxes, and no matter what she eats or how little, grows ever larger), feeding kittens, cooking meals, feeding kittens, doing laundry, and did i mention the kittens?

"So many books to read, so little time," Little Girl just said.  That, too.  We are all lost in worlds of books between school sessions.  It's a good thing we have the pool across the street and other things lined up to do, or we might all grow roots from sitting and reading!  (Or, in my case, standing and reading, as i have a stand up desk and refuse to sit down most of the time.)

We are preparing for June and vacation, so there should be so much more going on, but somehow, there just doesn't seem to be much.  Let's just hope it's not a calm before a storm.

Just as i was about to hit publish, Bigger Girl walked in.

"Mom, wouldn't it be neat to be a Wiccan?  You could dance naked through the woods, singing and claiming to be the Queen of the Woods and that the squirrels and chipmunks obey you!"

Some things in my life just defy explanation, and i'm glad.

Today is

Araw ng Watawat -- Philippines (Flag Day)

Armed Forces Day -- Croatia

Contemplate Your Vicissitudes Day -- no, i still don't know who thinks up this stuff, i can think of much better things to contemplate, thank you

Day of Pin-Hiding and Button-Losing -- Fairy Calendar

Downfall of the Dergue Day/National Day -- Ethiopia

National Brisket Day

National Hamburger Day

Pithi Chrat Neanng Korl -- Cambodia (Royal Ploughing Ceremony)

Republic Day -- Armenia; Azerbaijan

Slugs Return From Capistrano Day -- where they spent the winter, so don't go out on the patio barefoot until the first frost; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

St. Bernard of Montjoux's Day (Founder of Alpine hospices; Patron of Alpinists, the Alps, mountain climbers, mountaineers, skiers, and travellers in the mountains)

Whooping Crane Day -- US (birth anniversary of the first crane born in captivity; because those born in captivity refused to breed after they grew up, the attempt to restore numbers this way was discontinued, but these are beautiful birds worth saving)

Women in Trousers Day -- US (on this day in 1923, the US Attorney General announced his determination that it was indeed legal for women to wear trousers anywhere)

Anniversary Today:

Amnesty International is founded, 1961
Sierra Club is founded, 1892

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Cross, 1986
Jesse Bradford, 1979
Sicily Yoder, 1969
Kylie Minogue, 1968
Glen Rice, 1967
John Fogerty, 1945
Rudolph Guiliani, 1944
Gladys Knight, 1944
Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne Dionne , 1934
Carroll Baker, 1931
Ian Fleming, 1908
Jim Thorpe, 1888

Today in History:

A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse;this leads to a truce and becomes one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated, BC585
James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI and a Treaty of Everlasting Peace (which lasted 10 years) between Scotland and England is signed, 1503
The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel (it will takes until May 30 for all of the ships to leave port), 1588
In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party, 1754
Big Ben is drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster, 1859
In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club, 1892
In the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1905
John B Gruelle patents Raggedy Ann doll, 1915
The US Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers, 1923
The first all color talking picture, "On With the Show", is shown in NYC, 1929
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened, 1937
Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister, 1937
The women of Greece are given the right to vote, 1952
The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed, 1964
Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States, 1975
Eritrea and Monaco join the United Nations, 1993
NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance, 2002
The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars, 2002
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty, 2008

Monday, May 27, 2013


Who always puts back
Empty cartons in the fridge?
Teenagers strike again.

Should i clean the fridge?
Bacon grazes on lettuce
Take that as a yes.

Where is cheese i bought?
Children have opened the new
Before old is gone. 

Kittens, how can you
Be hungry again so soon?
All bottomless pits.

Peaceful kittens snooze,
And if i ever need more
Much cat hair to knit 

Dust bunnies seem quiet
When i put them in trash
But looks do deceive

Hear them giggle late
In the night as they scatter
O'er the house again!

Today is

Abolition Day -- Guadeloupe; Saint Martin

Bolder Boulder 10k -- Boulder, CO, UK (a fun way to spend Memorial Day)

Buttercup Day -- an internet holiday that just sounds fun

Cape May Music Festival -- Cape May, NJ, US (through June 13; world class music performances of many genres)

Cellophane Tape Day -- patented this date in 1930

Children's Day -- Nigeria (a school holiday)

FindleFritter's Stoat-Wheedling Event -- Fairy Calendar

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling -- Cooper’s Hill, England (ancient tradition -- pre-Roman -- of rolling a large wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the hill; winner of the races to catch it wins the cheese, and the rolling is now always held on the Monday Spring Bank Holiday)

Memorial Day -- US and Territories (obs.)
     Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day -- US (on observed Memorial Day, an interfaith encouragement to pray and work for permanent peace in the world)

Mother's Day -- Bolivia

National Grape Popsicle Day

National Heroes' Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

Pop-up Toaster Day -- Charles Strite applied for his patent on the first pop-up toaster on this day in 1919

Sovereign's Day Holiday / Commonwealth Day-- Belizeusually24th

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (Roman Catholic Church observance; Patron of England)

St. Melangell's Day (Patron of hares)

Sun Screen Protection Day -- an annual, and unsponsored, reminder to use that SPF protection, every day!

Tetbury Woolsack Races -- Gumstool Hill, Tetbury, England (this formerly important wool producing town still holds races up and down the hill, from the Royal Oak Pub up to the Crown Pub and back; part of traditional Whitsuntide folklore customs, which is now always held on the Monday Spring Bank Holiday)

Throw the B*st@rds Out Day -- originally directed at politicians, (and if you want to do that, too, great!), and celebrated on various days on various sites, but whomever is making your life miserable, toss them out!  or at least, toss them out of your thoughts for today.

Tour of Somerville -- Somerville, NJ, US (the oldest continuously run major bicycle race in America, always on observed Memorial Day)

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Fiennes, 1970
Jeremy Mayfield, 1969
Todd Bridges, 1965
Adam Carolla, 1964
Louis Gossett, Jr., 1936
Ramsey Lewis, 1935
Henry Kissinger, 1923
Christopher Lee, 1922
Sam Snead, 1912
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1911
Vincent Price, 1911
Dolores Hope, 1909
Dashiell Hammett, 1894
Isadora Duncan, 1878
Wild Bill Hickock, 1837
Julia Ward Howe, 1819
Amelia Bloomer, 1818
Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1794

Today in History:

Habeas Corpus Act, codifying how the writ of habeas corpus is to be used, passes in UK, 1679
Peter the Great founds St. Petersburg, 1703
In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba  fight against the Spanish army, 1812
In Canada, American forces capture Fort George, 1813
Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco, California, 1907
The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight, 1919
The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public, 1930
Richard Gurley Drew receives a patent for his adhesive tape, later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape, 1930
The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon  The Three Little Pigs, with its hit song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", 1933
In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, , 1937
Toronto's CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) becomes Canada's first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n' Roll music format, 1957
Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census, 1967
In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition, 1995
Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire, 1996
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity, 1999
The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600, 2006

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Short and Sweet

That's how today's Congregational Meeting after church will be.

After a several month search, a replacement associate pastor has been found and offered the position.  The business meeting will sound something like this:

On the recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee and the Session, the full Congregational Meeting today is for the purpose of approving their selection of Mr. Dave McComb to be our new Associate Pastor.  All in favor, say aye.  All opposed must volunteer for the next Pastoral Search Committee!  Now lets all go have refreshments.

And that, friends, is how i like them.

Today is

Arbor Day -- Aston-on-Clun, Shropshire, England (a Poplar tree in town is decorated and left that way year round; probably associated with Oak Apple Day)

Bob Day -- an internet holiday i couldn't confirm, but if your name is Bob, you deserve a special day just for having that name!

Crown Prince's Birthday -- Denmark

Dracula Day -- Bram Stoker's Dracula went on sale this day in 1897

Dzien Matkl -- Poland (Mother's Day)

Festival of the Valley -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (celebration of the movement of Amun from the East Bank of Thebes to the West Bank; it involved giving flowers and sharing food with the dead)

Goblin Races -- Fairy Calendar

Grand Prix de Monaco -- Monaco (premier Formula 1 race through the streets of Monte Carlo, run since 1929; through the 27th)

Holiday of the Receiving of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Independence Day -- Georgia(1918); Guyana

Indianapolis 500 -- Indianapolis, IN, US (the world's single largest one day sporting event)

Mother's Day -- Algeria; Dominican Republic; France; French Antilles; Haiti; Mauritius; Morocco; Sweden; Tunisia

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

National Cherry Dessert Day

National Day of Healing -- Australia (formerly called National Sorry Day; to express regret for the ill treatment of Aboriginal Peoples of Australia)

National Paper Airplane Day -- not an official holiday, but go make one, and have a blast; some people even organize contests

Palio Dei Balestrieri -- Gubbio, Italy (the last Sunday of May always sees a medieval crossbow contest between the town of Gubbio and the town of Sansepolcro, with medieval costumes and arms)

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day -- Hawai'i

Sally Ride Day -- US (birth anniversary of America's first woman in space)

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (First Archbishop of Canterbury and Patron of England; feast day in the Anglican Communion and most Eastern Churches)

St. Philip Neri's Day (Patron of Gravina, Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome, Italy; the United States Army Special Forces)

Thargelia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (birthday festival of Apollo and Artemis; through tomorrow, date approximate)

Tivoli Fest -- Elk Horn, IA, US (annual celebration of the area's Danish roots; through tomorrow)

Trinity Sunday -- Christian

Anniversaries Today:

Boston University is founded by the Massachusetts legislature, 1869

Birthdays Today:

Helena Bonham Carter, 1966
Lenny Kravitz, 1964
Sally Ride, 1951
Pam Grier, 1949
Philip Michael Thomas, 1949
Hank Williams, Jr., 1949
Stevie Nicks, 1948
Brent Musburger, 1939
Miles Davis, 1926
James Arness, 1923
Peggy Lee, 1920
Jay Silverheels, 1919
Frankie Manning, 1914
Peter Cushing, 1913
Robert Morley, 1908
John Wayne, 1907
Dorothea Lange, 1895
Al Jolson, 1886

Today in History:

Armenian rebels battle the Sassanid empire and win the right to openly practice Christianity, 451
An earthquake  strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000, 1293
Geneva  expels John Calvin and his followers from the city, 1538
Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, 1647
Lewis and Clark first see the Rocky Mountains, 1805
The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress, 1830
Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners, 1857
The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote, 1868
Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia, 1894
Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1896
The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made, 1908
The world's longest-lasting tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, strikes Mattoon, Illinois, 1917
British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana, 1966
Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing, 1969
The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2, 1970
Willandra National Park is established in Australia, 1972
George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center, 1977
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills at least 104 people, injures thousands. Many people go missing and thousands of buildings are destroyed, 1983
The European Community adopts the European flag, 1986
Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era, 1991
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York, 1998
Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes, 2003
The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the build-up to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, 2004
The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 6,600 people, leaves 200,000 homeless, 2006*

*Occurred 22:54 GMT May 26, 05:54 Local Time May 27, so some sources date it today, some tomorrow

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well, it was supposed to be

...just a normal, average day of feeding the cats at the shelter.  That was before i got there.

Well, really it started a few hours before.  We had 13 foster kittens in the house; five most certainly ready to go to the shelter for pre-adoption, one that was a maybe, one weaned that is nowhere near ready, four that are on the verge of weaning, and a two-week-old that we just have for a few days so we can get her to eat from a bottle before the new-in-training feeder gets her.  No use giving her a kitten that won't cooperate for her first time, it might scare her away, and we need all the help we can get.

Anyway, as i was trying figure out when we would go and get the carrier ready and fix dinner early because Sweetie got home extra early (he had gotten to work just before 5am to help with a special project and got to come home early), and keep an eye out for the bigger kittens so that none of them would pull on a cloak of invisibility right before it was time to go, #2 Son asked if he and Festus could take the van, Jalopy (yes, i name my cars, they are clunkers that deserve names), to a friend's house.  (And if you kept that previous sentence straight, you are saner than i am after all of this happened.)

It turns out the friend lives just a couple of blocks from the shelter, so i offered to drive them when i left, and picked a leaving time.  They decided to walk, which i wasn't too thrilled about.  It's hot as blazes already, but they didn't want to wait another half hour.  They headed out, and fifteen minutes later, as i was gathering kittens, #2 Son called.  He and Festus were hot and dehydrated and could we pick them up off the side of the road on our way past, please?  Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.\

Soon we were on our way, five oldest kittens in tow.  The questionable one, i decided, is just too dinky in size and needs to get a little bigger and stronger.  Besides, she found her invisibility cloak just in time.

Little Girl and i got about a mile up toward the shelter when we saw #2 Son and Festus.  "Ah, the damsels in distress!" she grinned.  She isn't going to let her brother live this one down for a long time.  After dropping them at the friend's house, she and i proceeded to the shelter.

This is where everything got even more complicated.

Carol and 3 volunteers were there.  Carol and one volunteer were doing a combo test on a kitten for a lady who will foster these herself until there is room for them in the shelter, Ms. Vivian was going from cage to cage and room to room clipping everyone's claws as she does on Friday, and Anne was trying to get one of the stepladders to collapse so she could put it away.  The lady who was to foster the kittens was filling out her paperwork and as i walked in, i noticed the computer wasn't working.  Turned out the server was down, so i couldn't clock in, which is really no big deal, as i sign off on the book after we do all the work anyway, checking off all the medications and food given, so they would know i had been there anyway.  When i asked Carol if i should sign in the old fashioned way, she said not to bother, she wasn't going to do anything with it anyway, it would just turn into another piece of paper on her desk.  She was already very stressed, and it was about to get worse.

Right after i came in, a family walked in to look at adopting a cat.  The mom and daughter had seen a couple they were interested in, and brought back dad and other sister to pick one to be the companion to one near the same age they had at home.  Apparently the one at home, which they had adopted off the street a couple of months before, was making their 6-year-old Siamese very cranky with his 4-month-old antics, so they wanted another one of about 4 months to keep it entertained.  Their first request was to go sit in a room with the kitten so they could get to know her better, but as there is no such room where we could put them, we simply shut the door to the rest of the shelter and let them put her down in the big room.  She promptly tried to explore the whole place and climb inside the only piece of furniture in the hallway, prompting a frenzied game of chase and rescue..
Meanwhile, Little Girl and i had put our 5 in the tri-level cage that was ready for them, keeping only Ame out so she could be combo tested.  Because she was only found with one sibling, which didn't survive, she had to be tested separately (in a litter, we only test one, and if it's negative, then they all pass, as if one of them has these illnesses, then all the kittens in the litter have it).  Little Girl tried to hold Ame, but when Carol couldn't hit the vein because of too much squirming, i ended up doing it.  The thumps from the other room told us that Ms. Vivian was not having much success with trimming Oscars nails.

About this time, the lady who would foster the other 3 kittens she had found having left, we checked their combo test.  It was positive for FIV, which means that she can't bring them to the shelter for 4 weeks, when they will be tested again.  Often by that time the kittens test negative and are fine, they are just positive because they have the mama cat's antibodies in them, but they have not actually been exposed to the disease.  Carol set the test on her desk to remind her to call the lady with the news.  (The good news from this very nice lady is that, after a year of trying, she finally caught the mama that has been presenting her with kittens every so often, and got her spayed, so this is her last litter.)

The family up front had made their decision and were filling out paperwork, which Carol was handling, another couple of people were milling around looking at cats, the other volunteers were doing whatever needed doing at that moment, and the phone was ringing when Little Girl came out from filling the water pitcher and said the washing machine was leaking.

Indeed it was.  Being the closest, i went to see and found a steady drip from both sides.  Thinking fast, to keep the water from seeping into a colony room, i grabbed three huge dirty towels from the hamper and just threw them down there.  This is about the fourth time we've had the washer repaired, so this time, if it's more than a small leak in a hose, it's going to get itself replaced and go to that great appliance heaven.

Walking back up to see the kittens and grab one from the litter of four to run a combo test on, i noted that my 5 weren't too bright.  They had huddled on the top level, not realizing they could climb to the bottom where the litter box was, and one of them had left a very stinky mess in the middle of the clean cloth that covers the top level.  So it was back to the linen closet to find a fresh cloth to fit.  At that point i moved them all to the bottom so they would see they had a litter box available, and grabbed Gambit so he could be the one tested.

Carol and i got his sample, noted that Ame's was negative (whew!), and when i put Gambit back in the cage, i noted that all of them were now huddled on the bottom level, not realizing they could climb up to the top where the food and water are.  When did it happen that i raised such a set?

At this moment, i took the time to help Carol by grabbing her information sheet that has the list of all the kittens in each foster home, and finished up filling out all of the information on each of mine, so she could get it all into the computer, when once the computer is back up and running.

After that, i was trying to read the medications chart, Little Girl was feeding and watering, the phone was ringing again, the washer had finally finished its cycle, leaving behind a bigger mess on the floor with the now dripping towels, one of the cats in an intake cage that hasn't been feeling too great had barfed all over his cage, the adoption had been finalized and the family had left, Carol had tried to call the repair people for the washer and been told they would have to call her back, and the computer tech people had managed to remotely dig around the innards of the server and decide it probably needed to be replaced.  Poor Carol commented that she was the one who was going to be replaced if things kept going this way.

By the time i finished medicating everyone, including the ones with ringworm (again we have ringworm! will it never end!), cleaning the really nasty cages where sick cats were, helping haul traps for this weekend's trap/neuter/release day, listened to poor Carol take at least a dozen phone calls (including one from the pet store telling her that a cat needed to be taken out of the adoption area of the store that very moment because the fax of the cat's rabies vaccine paper had a slightly smeared line so it wasn't acceptable and a second from the same pet store telling her that one of our cages had been taken over by another rescue group), noted that Gambit's combo test was negative (whew! again), and we had fed and watered every animal in the place, #2 Son and Festus had walked over from the friend's house to catch a ride back.

As i was trying to fill out the paperwork so i could go, a nice man came to request that we take the cat his last tenants had abandoned when they moved out of the house two days before, as he already had one cat they had adopted from us and another stray they had taken in.  Poor Carol was about to have a nervous conniption by now, because we have to put people on waiting lists, and it's so hard when they show up with a cat and we just can't take it, we have no room.

We headed home down by 5 kittens, and i hated having to leave, because it was mayhem, and i know they could have used more help, but i had to get the kids back and cook dinner.  Of course, when i walk in this house it is always mayhem, with kittens screaming for bottles and lots of activity, even if i bring the activity in with me from the car in the form of my passengers as i did this time.

What's really fun about the situation is that vacation season has started, so the volunteers are taking turns being out, and sometimes they are very shorthanded.  In fact, we are going to go do it all again tonight, as it's the Saturday evening caretaker's turn to be out.  Taking an extra day is the least i can do, as we will be out the first week of June.

If i find Carol wandering around with a vacant stare on her face, muttering incoherently, i won't blame her one bit.

Today is

Africa Day / African Liberation Day  -- African Union; related observance
     President Yajya Jammeh's Birthday -- Gambia

Alma Highland Festival and Games -- Alma College, Alma, Michigan (annual celebration of Scottish heritage, with world class entertainment and fun; through tomorrow)

ARMAD: AMATEUR RADIO MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY -- US ("Ham it up for the troops!" is the motto of amateur ham radio operators on the Saturday before Memorial Day)

First Patriotic Government / National Day -- Argentina (Dia de la Revolucion de Mayo)

Flitting Day -- parts of England; Scotland (traditional day on which leases were up for the year and people moved)

Geek Pride Day / Nerd Pride Day -- celebrate the geek /nerd in you!  Geek culture is the obvious choice to laud when it's Glorious 25 May, Star Wars Day, and Towel Day at the same time; began in Spain as "Día del Orgullo Friki"

Glorious 25 May -- in Terry Pratchett's Discworld

Grubstake Days -- Yucca Valley, CA, US (parade, carnival, rodeo, fun!)

Independence Day -- Jordan(1946)

International Jazz Day -- originated with the New Jersey Jazz Society and sanctioned by the United Nations Jazz Society, the American Federation of Jazz Societies, and the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society, which encourage local festivals of Jazz on the Saturday before the observance of US Memorial Day

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy -- Isle of Man (through June 7; two weeks of the finest road racing on earth)

Julia Pierpont Day -- she came up with Decoration Day, the precursor to US Memorial Day; prepare veterans' graves for Memorial Day today

Liberation Day -- Lebanon

Lobster Days -- Mystic Seaport, CT, US (a New England lobster bake on the banks of the Mystic River; through Monday)

National Brown-Bag-It Day

National Missing Children's Day -- US (promoting awareness of the problem of missing children)

National Tap Dance Day -- US, birth anniversary of Mr. Bojangles

National Wine Day

Offering to Demeter -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Poetry Day -- Florida, US (since 1947, the state legislature declared this for all public schools in the state; if you don't live in Florida, enjoy a poem today, anyway)

Procession of the Statue of Artemis -- Ancient Greek and Roman Calendars, at Ephesus (date approximate, but always near the Thargelia)

Self-Reliance Day -- an internet originated holiday, based on the idea that we should all become more self reliant in this day when it is a dying art.

Skerpla Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (Sharpness)

Star Wars Day -- Part IV, A New Hope was released this date in 1977

St. Bede the Venerable's Day (Patron of lectors; Father of English History)

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi's Day (Patron of the ill; against illness and sexual temptation)

Taste of Cincinnati -- Cincinnati, OH, US (6 blocks of Downtown Cincinnati is turned into a big food extravaganza; through Monday)

Towel Day -- Douglas Adams fans, unite!  Always know where your towel is.

Utica Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Festival -- Utica, OH, US (local artisans, pony rides, antique gas engines, car show, motorcycle show, magic show, and more, plus tons of ice cream! through Monday)

Waisak/Vesak Festival -- Borobudur Temple, Java, Indonesia (on the day of the full moon, a stunning and spiritual celebration of Buddha's birthday)

War of Jenkin's Ear Living History Demonstrations -- Wormsloe State Historic Site, Savannah, GA, US (a colonial living-history event with musket demonstrations, military drills, tomahawk throwing and more)

Week of Solidarity with the People Of Non-Self-Governing Territories begins -- United Nations

Birthdays Today:

Lauryn Hill, 1975
Anne Heche, 1969
Stacy London, 1969
Mike Myers, 1963
Connie Sellecca, 1955
Frank Oz, 1944
Leslie Uggams, 1943
Ian McKellen, 1939
Tom T. Hall, 1936
Beverly Sills, 1929
Robert Ludlum, 1927
Jeanne Crain, 1925
Claude Akins, 1918
Igor Sikorsky, 1889
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, 1878
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803

Today in History:

First recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Alfonso VI of Castile  takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors, 1085
Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ, 1420
The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw, 1521
Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England, 1659
Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek, 1784
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States, 1787
In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the Semana de Mayo, 1810
The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom, 1837
The first telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot, 1844
Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London, 1878
The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president, 1895
John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee, 1925
Henry Ford stops production of the Model T to begin the Model A, 1927
Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field  Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1935
The first ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition, 1955
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established, 1963
Star Wars (retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion and Geek Pride Day holiday, 1977
Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people, 1985
Israel withdraws its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion, 2000
32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 2001
Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, 2011

Friday, May 24, 2013

Feline Friday: Let Me In!

Let me in!  Guys, don't just lie there, help me!  This is where the food is!
 Yes, they do try to climb in the refrigerator.

Today is

Aldersgate Day -- Methodism

Azalea Festival -- Brookings, OR, US (with a parade and street fair and bonsai, as well as azaleas and more; through Memorial Day)

Battle of Pichincha Day -- Ecuador

Bermuda Day -- Bermuda

Brooklyn Bridge Day -- the most often sold bridge in the US (or so i've been told) opened on this day in 1883

Brother's Day -- celebrate all forms of brotherhood, biological, adopted, fraternity brothers, or members of your labor union

Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day -- Waterloo, NY, US (the 147th observance at the National Birthplace of Memorial Day includes a car show, crafts, food, races, a biker rally and more; through the 27th, and again on the 30th)

Coal Miner Days -- Novinger, Missouri, US (a turn of the century coal mining town celebrates its heritage; through the weekend)

Day for the Naming of Rocks and Planets -- Fairy Calendar

Don't Fry Day -- another day to raise awareness of the need for sun protection through the summer

Down East Spring Birding Festival -- Cobscook Bay, ME, US (through Monday)

European Day of Parks -- Europe

Feast of Hermes Trismegistus -- Hellenistic Egyptian Calendar (thrice-blessed Hermes, patron of alchemy, date approximate)

Florida Folk Festival -- White Springs, FL, US (a true celebration of Florida's folk heritage; through Sunday)

Full Flower Moon / Corn Planting Moon / Milk Moon
     Buddha Day/Vesak/Waisak  -- Bhuddist (Buddha Day; date varies with many celebrating tomorrow)
     Kasone Full Moon -- Myanmar
     Vesak Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka

Heat Awareness Day -- US (your guv'mint at work, telling you to be careful, it's hot out there)

Hug Your Cat Day -- created by Apricat, star of books written by Marisa D'Vari, who says no matter how aloof, your cat really does want a hug

Independence Day -- Eritrea(1993)

International Tiara Day -- ladies, celebrate your powers of leadership in your life; tiara wearing is optional, it's the fact that you rule that matters

Iris Festival -- Sumter, SC, US (fun, food, music, and beautiful flowers; through Sunday)

La Fete des Saintes Maries -- Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France (Roma [gypsy] festival, to honor St. Sara, St. Marie Jacobe, and St. Marie Salome, their patrons; through the 25th)

Last Bell -- Russia (tradition of closing schools for the year by having a formal ceremony with the children, and a first grader rings the school bell for dismissal)

Little Lamb Day -- publication anniversary, in 1830, of the original poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Lubiri Memorial Day -- Buganda Region, Uganda

Morse Code Day -- anniversary of Morse's first message in 1844 (Morse Code Day is also celebrated on his birth anniversary, April 27)

National Death Busters Day -- because the upcoming Memorial Day weekend in the US is the most dangerous for driving; be careful out there!

National Escargot Day

National Wig Out Day -- US (on the Friday before Memorial Day, don your wig and your alter ego and have fun!  there are events around the country)

Northwest Folklife Festival -- Seattle, WA, US (ethnic and traditional arts event celebrating world cultures; through Monday)

Pitlochry Festival Theatre -- Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland (plays, concerts, exhibitions, tours and talks; through early November)

Sacramento Music Festival (formerly the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee) -- Sacramento, CA, US (some of the best music from around North America; through Monday)

Sara-la-Kali -- St. Sara, or St. Sara the Black's Day -- patron of the Roma (Gypsy) Peoples (pilgrimage)

Spoleto Festival USA -- Charleston, SC, US (a premier performing arts festival; through June 9)

Sts. Cyril and Methodius's Day (Orthodox Church celebration; Patrons of Macedonia) related observances
     Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavonic Literature Day -- Bulgaria
     Slavonic Enlighteners' Day -- Republic of Macedonia

St. Susanna's Day (Patron of martyrs)

Birthdays Today:

Billy Gilman, 1988
Joe Dumars, 1963
Rosanne Cash, 1955
Priscilla Presley, 1945
Patti LaBelle, 1944
Gary Burghoff, 1943
Bob Dylan, 1941
Tommy Chong, 1938
"Engineer Bill" Stulla, 1911
Lillian Moller Gilbreth, 1878
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819
Abraham Geiger, 1810
Gabriel Fahrenheit, 1686

Today in History:

The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt, 1218
Peter Minuit buys Manhattan, 1626
The English  Parliament  passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants; Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded, 1689
John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day, 1738
Antonio José de Sucre secures the independence of the Presidency of Quito, 1822
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale is published, 1830
The first passenger rail service in US, from Baltimore to Elliots Mill, Maryland, begins, 1830
Samuel FB Morse taps out the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought", 1844
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction, 1883
The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State, 1900
Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight), 1930
Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight, 1940
Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbana, 1956
Cyprus enters the Council of Europe, 1961
FLQ separatists bomb the U.S. consulate in Quebec City, 1968
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the Soviet Union, 1970
The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran, Iran, 1980
Eritrea  gains its independence from Ethiopia, 1991
Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel, 1991
15-year-old Sherpa  Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest, 2001
North Korea bans mobile phones, 2004

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Of Human Conditions

"So, mom, I've been studying history, and you know what I've decided?"

When Bigger Girl starts a conversation that way, you know she's also been studying philosophy again.

What's that? i asked.

"With all the rivers of blood that have been shed so that one person can claim he owns a tiny speck more of dirt on a tiny speck of dust in the universe, it's time for people to stop asking if we matter in the universe and start working to make sure we matter to each other right here, especially since our space travel technology is still so primitive!"

That, i noted, was quite a mouthful.

At that moment, Little Girl came in, to lighten the mood.

"Hey, what do you call a book club that's been stuck on the same book for a couple of thousand years?  Church!"

Yes, i'm still laughing.

Today is

Ancient Roman Festivities today:
     Festival for Vulcan -- god of fire, volcanos, and smiths
     Rosalia -- rose festival
     Tubilustrium -- ceremony to purify the trumpet used in sacred rituals

Bluebell Day -- Fairy Calendar

Declaration of the Bab -- Baha'i

Go For A Walk in Your Swim Fins Day -- no, i don't know who comes up with this stuff, and i don't want to

Hay Festival of Literature -- Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales (largest annual festival of literature in a beautiful market town in the Black Mountains of the Welsh marches; through June 2)

Kodiak Crab Festival -- Kodiak, AK, US (through the 28th; there's more than bears up here, you know!)

Linnaeus Day -- Stenbrohult, Sweden (birth anniversary of Carolus Linnaeus on the OS calendar)

Lucky Penny Day -- just a fun one, see if you find a penny today

Memory Days -- Grayson, KY, US ("Tradition and Pride" is this year's theme, with a parade, art show, music, Firefighter's Dinner and more; through Sunday)

Mudbug Madness -- Shreveport, LA (festival of crawfish and Cajun heritage, arts, entertainment, and more; through Sunday)

National Labour Day -- Jamaica

National Taffy Day

Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollon, Zeus, Hermes and the Dioscuri in the deme of Erchia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk's Day (Patron of Belarus)

Students' Day -- Mexico

St. William of Rochester's Day (Patron of adopted children)

World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest -- Peoria, IL, US (competition and festival of ragtime, honky-tonk and old-time music; through Sunday)

World Crohn's and Colitis Day

World Turtle Day -- sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 8th US state, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Kelly Monaco, 1976
Ken Jennings, 1974
Jewel, 1974
Mitch Albom, 1958
Drew Carey, 1958
Marvin Hagler, 1952
Robert Moog, 1934
Joan Collins, 1933
Rosemary Clooney, 1928
Helen O'Connell, 1920
Scatman Crothers, 1910
Artie Shaw, 1910
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 1883
Franz Mesmer, 1734
Carolus Linnaeus, 1707
Emperor Qinzong of China, 1100

Today in History:

Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne, 1430
The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void, 1533
The Netherlands declare their independence  from Spain, 1568
The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years' War, 1618
After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London, 1701
Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals, 1785
Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy, 1805
South American independence  leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, 1813
The Báb announces his revelation, founding Bábism (the Baha'i Faith), 1844
Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1863
The Canadian  Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1873
The fist transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver, BC, 1887
The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, "The Karnival Kid", is released, 1929
American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana, 1934
Tibetans sign the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China, 1951
Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured, 1960
The first version of the Java programming language is released, 1995
The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes, 1998
The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure, 2005
Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts, 2006
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute, 2008

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Having a Jubilee

 Yesterday, we got the call to please take in one more kitten.  It was supposed to be about the age of my current younger litter, and how could i say no?

The call to the nice lady ended with me agreeing to meet her at a local coffee shop about a mile from me, and a mile from her, too.  She showed up right on time and gave us a beautiful little tortoiseshell kitten that was dehydrated, but appeared healthy.

Then she pointed out the small cut and burn up by the kitten's ear.  Apparently, she had found the kitten earlier that day trapped in the engine of her car!  A call to 911 ended up with a fire truck and a rescue squad taking two hours to free the poor thing.

Bigger Girl says we are having a jubilee because the kitten is safe now, and we have named her that, Jubilee.  She's skittish and needed hydration from the vet's office, and of course she doesn't want a bottle yet, it doesn't taste like mama and she's not quite hungry enough yet.  She will be soon.

Today is

Abolition Day -- Martinique

Bath International Music Festival -- Bath, UK (with musicians from more than 30 countries, this is truly a premier festival; through June 2)

Bear Waking Day -- Norway (traditionally said to be the day the bears awaken from their hibernation, at least according to many sites)

Buy a Musical Instrument Day -- even just a kazoo, and have some fun making music; maybe if this one spreads around the world and enough of us do it, it will foster some harmony in our lives

Election Day -- Cayman Islands

Elf Fest -- Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary (near Needmore, Indiana; through next Tuesday)

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day -- because children need different care, they aren't just tiny adults

Independence Day -- Montenegro

International Day for Biological Diversity -- UN

National Maritime Day -- US (commemorating the first transoceanic voyage under steam power)

National Sovereignty Day -- Haiti

National Vanilla Pudding Day

St. Julia's Day (Patron of torture victims; Corsica, Portugal; Livorno, Italy)

St. Rita of Cascia's Day/La Abodada de Impossibles (Patron of desperate causes, difficult marriages, forgotten causes, illness, lost causes, parenthood, sick people, sterile people, victims of physical spousal abuse, widows, wounded people; against abuse, infertility, loneliness, sickness, sterility, wounds, unhappy marriages; Cascia, Italy; Dalayap, Philippines; Igbaras, Philippines)

Toad-Pinching Day -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies)

Toothpaste Tube Day -- the tube was invented on this day in 1892 by dentist Washington Wentworth Sheffield, who wanted to replace the unhygenic practice of dipping the brush into a jar of dental cream

Unity Day / National Day -- Republic of Yemen

Birthdays Today:

Apollo Anton Ohno, 1982
Ginnifer Goodwin, 1978
Morrissey, 1959
Paul Winfield, 1941
Richard Benjamin, 1938
Susan Strasberg, 1938
Peter Nero, 1934
Sir Laurence Olivier, 1907
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859
Mary Cassatt, 1844
Richard Wagner, 1813

Today in History:

The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus, BC334
The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo, 1176
Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe, 1377
Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England, 1455
A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason, 1807
On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon is repelled by an enemy army for the first time, 1809
The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean; the ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20, 1819
HMS Beagle  departs on its first voyage, 1826
The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished, 1840
Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns, 1842
The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened, 1897
The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine", 1906
Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century, 1915
The most powerful earthquake ever documented, the Great Chilean Quake, measures 9.5 and strikes southern Chile, 1960
The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores, 1968
Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man, 1980
Microsoft  releases the Windows 3.0 operating system, 1990
Johnny Carson retires from The Tonight Show after 30 years, 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations, 1992
A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, 2002

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Just What Kind of Bank Are You Hiring For?

So, i asked, how was the last day of school?

"Well, Mark managed to talk through some of the movie, and it was irritating," Little Girl answered.

"Yeah," #2 Son agreed.  "He's one of those people who repeat the lines, and try to explain what's going on when you just want to watch it for yourself.  The kind of person who can make you hate a movie you loved because they mess it up."

"We all finally had to threaten to lock him out of the room if he wasn't quiet, so he was, and it was okay after that.  Also, we had enough food for an army as usual, but no one would try my cookies except one person!" 
Little Girl had worked hard on those, i was not happy to hear no one wanted to try them.  It's their loss, though, it leaves more for Sweetie, who loves them.

"We got to give each other job interviews, too!" #2 Son picked back up with the narrative.  "We took turns being the interviewer and interviewed person..."

Interviewee? i asked, always ready to supply a new word they might want to use.  Can't help it, i'm a mom.

"Yeah, the interviewee.  We were interviewing each other for a bank teller job, and we had a set of questions to ask, and we were supposed to come up with some of our own."

"That was the fun part," Little Girl said.  "When I was interviewing each of them, my last question was, 'If I make you my most trusted assistant and hire you to be my right hand and minion, will you swear to hate all of my enemies and make sure they die brutal and violent deaths?'  Only one kid actually thought it through and took time to answer that question.  Him I would hire!"

Hm, makes me wonder what kind of bank you are running, i muttered.

Today is

American Red Cross Founder's Day -- established by Clara Barton on this day in 1881

Anastenarides Feast -- Greece (feast to St. Constantine and St. Helen)

Battle of Las Piedras Day -- Uruguay

Circassian Day of Mourning -- Circassians

Día de la Afrocolombianidad -- Columbia (Afro-Colombian Day; commemorates Columbia's abolition of slavery on this date in 1851)

Dia De Las Glorias Navales -- Chile (Navy Day)

European Maritime Day -- European Council (this year's host for the conferences is Malta; through tomorrow)

Festival for Vevodus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of the dead, swamps, and volcanic movements, and sometimes regarded as the king of the Di Manes)

French Open Tennis Tournament -- Roland-Garros Stadium, Paris, France (part of the Grand Slam of Tennis, annually since 1925; through June 9)

Honvédelem Napja -- Hungary (Day of Patriots and Military)

Independence Day -- Montenegro

"I Need A Patch For That" Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, which notes that since everything else has a patch, why shouldn't you?

Lilies and Roses Day -- London, England (memorial of the death of Henry VI on this day in 1471; held at the Tower of London with representatives of Eton College and King's College, which he founded.)

National Memo Day -- an internet holiday with no known origin, just take a memo

National Strawberries and Cream Day

National Waitstaff Day

Passion Play Day -- the first Oberammergau, Germany, Passion Play was staged this date in 1634

RHS Chelsea Flower Show -- Chelsea, London, England (the world's greatest flower show celebrates its 100th anniversary;through Saturday)

Sister Maria Hummel Day -- birth anniversary of the Franciscan nun and artist

St. Constantine's Day (Greek Orthodox Church; Patron of Greece)

St. Eugene de Mazenod's Day (Patron of dysfunctional families)

St. Helen's Day (Greek Orthodox Church; Patron of Greece)
     St. Helena Day -- St. Helena

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development -- UN

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ramos, 1991
Ashlie Brillault, 1987
Lisa Edelstein, 1966
Mr. T, 1952
Peggy Cass, 1924
Raymond Burr, 1917
Dennis Day, 1917
Harold Robbins, 1916
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, 1909
Fats Waller, 1904
Armand Hammer, 1898
Alexander Pope, 1688

Today in History:

Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily, 878
The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova, 1502
The nobility elect John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, 1674
The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I; it would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky, 1725
Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War, 1758
Slavery  is abolished in Colombia, South America, 1851
Russia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile, 1864
French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting, 1871
The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton, 1881
The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria, 1894
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris, 1904
Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, 1932
Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens, 1934
A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean, 1937
The National War Memorial in Canada is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, 1939
Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1946
The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School, 1951
Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, 1972
Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agree to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen, 1990
The Ethiopian Civil War ends, 1991
Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns, 1998
The clipper Cutty Sark is badly damaged by fire in London, England, 2007
JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket, 2010

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Snoopy Dance!

We are doing the Happy Snoopy Dance here; nose up, feet moving!

Today is the last day of school for the semester!

Little Girl baked a treat yesterday for the end of the year party.

This morning, i'm buying a snack to send to go with it.

Don't remind me that they have summer school coming up to make sure they can reach some accelerated academic goals, i already know.  Right now i'm choosing to ignore that and bask in the fact that, for a few weeks anyway, i don't have to do the commute to a school that is in the next parish over.

It's almost as much fun as kissing school good-bye was when i was a kid.

Have a great week, everyone!  After today, i will.

Today is

Accounting Day -- promoting the profession of accounting and finance

Be a Millionaire Day - now we all can go for that

Blue Jeans Day -- Levi Strauss and David Jacobs received the patent for their denim pants with riveted pockets on this day in 1873

Dainty-Four Remembrance Day  -- Fairy Calendar

Discovery Day -- Cayman Islands

Eliza Doolittle Day* -- in honor of Shaw and his famous fictional character, to encourage proper use of one's native language

Emancipation Day -- Florida, US

Festival of Mjollnir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (feast of Thor's Hammer, date approximate)

Flying Solo Day -- Lindberg began his historic flight on this day in 1927

Frigga Blot -- Slavic Pagan/Asatru (honoring Frigga)

Grudie Rosnoe -- Slavic Pagan/Asatru (ten days of sacrifices to Rod for rain and good harvests)

Herrinfesta Italiana -- Herrin, IL, US (a whole week of celebrating all things Italian, with a Midwest Pasta Sauce Contest, races, music, grape stomp, and more; through Sunday)

Independence Day -- East Timor

Hari Kebangkitan Nasional Indonesia -- Indonesia (Indonesian National Awakening Day)

Mecklenburg Day -- North Carolina, US (commemoration of the signing of a declaration of independence from England by the citizens of Mecklenburg County on this day in 1775)

National Day -- Cameroon

National Geographic Geography Bee -- National Geographic Society Headquarters, Washington, D.C., US (through Tuesday, with the finals aired then)

National Quiche Lorraine Day

Norman Rockwell Day -- his first Saturday Evening Post cover appeared this day in 1916

Pick Strawberries Day

St. Bernadine of Siena's Day (Patron of advertising and advertisers, communications personnel, compulsive gamblers/gambling addicts, public relations work and personnel; Italy; Aquila, Italy; Capri, Italy; Castelspina, Italy; Trevignano, Italy; the diocese of San Bernardino, California; against compulsive gambling, chest, lung, and respiratory problems and hoarseness of the throat)

St. Ives' Day (an honest lawyer; in the Anglican tradition, Patron of abandoned children and orphans, advocates, canon lawyers, judges, lawyers, and notaries; in the Roman Catholic tradition, Patron of Saint Ives, Cambridgeshire, England)

Victoria Day -- Canada

Whit Monday -- Belgium; England; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Sweden; The Netherlands; Wales

Weights and Measures Day / World Metrology Day -- anniversary of the treaty in 1875 which established the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, France

*"One evening the King will say, "Oh, Liza, old thing,
I want all of England your praises to sing,
Next week on the twentieth of May,
I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day."

Birthdays Today:

Tony Stewart, 1971
Bronson Pinchot, 1959
David Paterson, 1954
Cher, 1946
Joe Cocker, 1944
Stan Mikita, 1940
Anthony Zerbe, 1936
George Gobel, 1919
Jimmy Stewart, 1908
William Fargo, 1818
John Stuart Mill, 1806
Honore de Balzac, 1799
Dolly Madison, 1768

Today in History:

The first Ecumenical Council in the Christian Church, the Council of Nicea, opens, 325
An earthquake kills about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia, 526
John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship  Matthew looking for a route to the west, 1497
Cartographer  Abraham Ortelius issues the first modern atlas, 1570
Shakespeare's Sonnets  are first published in London, 1609
Napoleon Bonaparte reinstates slavery in the French colonies, revoking its abolition in the French Revolution, 1802
Otto is named the first modern king of Greece, 1835
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sail from the River Thames in England, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage in which all hands are lost, 1845
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law, 1862
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets, 1873
The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy is formed, 1882
Krakatoa begins to erupt (the volcano's final and most notable explosion will occur on August 26), 1883
The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope, 1891
Cuba gains independence from the United States, 1902
The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting ("Boy with Baby Carriage"), 1916
Montreal, Quebec radio station XWA broadcasts the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America, 1920
By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merge to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1927
At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world's first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, 1932
In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1980
First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually, 1983
The Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre, 1989
In a second referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a slight majority the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1995
The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself is the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976), 2002

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Taking Notice

Little Girl, sitting next to me in the car, was busily writing in her notebook.

"Mom, I've been keeping track," she said.  "For the past couple of days I've been watching the drivers as we pass them on the road to school and back, and you know what?  Earlier in the day, maybe about a third of them are on the phone or texting, and in the late afternoon, it's more than half of them!"

And the ones on the phone or texting are the worst drivers, aren't they? i asked.

"Yes, they are," she noted.  "They are very slow or very fast, or weaving around."

It's good that she has taken notice.  Especially since i read this story.

Savannah Nash was on her way to the grocery store, just out running an errand, so close to her own neighborhood that one neighbor heard the crash.  It was her very first time driving alone.  She was texting, perhaps about her first time going solo in the car.  She never made it to the store.  Savannah turned 16 last week, and didn't see the truck she was supposed to yield to.  She won't see 17.

Take notice, all of us.  No, i don't text behind the wheel.  If i get a call, i make one of the kids answer, or, if i'm alone, i ignore it and call back when i pull off the road.  Not that i am perfect, i just try.

Pass that link to people you know, it's time for all of us to take notice.

Today is

Aunt's Day -- you honored your mother last week, if you have an aunt who has been good to you and a good influence, call today and let her know

Boy's Club Day -- founding in 1906

Circus Day -- the four Ringling Brothers opened their first circus on this day in 1884

Dance to Mark the Third of January -- Fairy Calendar (Third of January is when the Founding Fairy Fathers and Mothers arrived in what is now called Fairyland [no one knows where they lived before, or what lived in Fairyland before], so it is one of their most important days; no one knows why it is celebrated in May, either)

Greek Genocide Remembrance Day -- Greece

ING Bay to Breakers 12k Race -- San Francisco, CA, US (the largest footrace in the world with 70,000+ runners, followed by a festival)

May Ray Day -- to celebrate being able to go out into the sun's rays as summer nears

Mifune Matsuri -- Kurumazaki Shrine, Kyoto, Japan (Boat Festival, with over 20 different kinds of traditional Japanese performing arts and costumes of the Heian Period)

National Devil's Food Cake Day

National Stationery Show -- NYC, NY, US (if you love beautiful paper, or quirky cards, or all forms of stationery, this is a show for you; through the 22nd)

Neighbor Day -- Rhode Island, US (a "Day of Special Observance" here, and they encourage everyone, before summer starts, get to know your neighbors so you will have more people to enjoy the season with

New England's Dark Day*

Plant Something Day -- because it's fun, and summer is coming so you can!

Praia Municipal Day -- Praia, Cape Verde

Stepmothers' Day -- the too often overlooked and unsung heroines of families; if you have one, and she has been there for you, thank her today

St. Dunstan of Canterbury's Day (Patron of armourers, blacksmiths, blind people, gold workers and smiths, jewelers, lighthouse keepers, locksmiths, musicians, silver workers and smiths, swordsmiths; Charlottetown, PEI, Canada)

St. Peter Celestine's Day (Patron of bookbinders; Aquila, Italy)

Upper Canada Village -- Morrisburg, ON, Canada (through early October, various programs that let visitors and students enter the world of the 1860s)

Whit Sunday / Pentecost -- Christian
     Hvitasunnudagur -- Iceland (sleeping in on Whitsunday is detrimental to your health, but monsters are asleep through the day and can be taken by surprise)
     Romeria del Rocia -- Huelva, Spain (pilgrims transport an image of the Virgen del Rocio [Our Lady of the Dew] through Andalucia, with no motorized transport allowed, accompanied by Gypsy Caravans; when the image gets to the shrine, there is mass and a few days of fireworks and celebrating)

Youth and Sports Day / Commemoration of Atatürk -- North Cyprus; Turkey

Birthdays Today:

Rachel Appleton, 1992
Jordon Pruitt, 1991
Kevin Garnett, 1976
Kyle Eastwood, 1968
Grace Jones, 1952
Joey Ramone, 1951
Andre the Giant, 1946
Pete Townshend, 1945
Nora Ephron, 1941
James Fox, 1939
Malcolm X, 1925
Ho Chi Minh, 1890
Nancy Astor, 1879
Johns Hopkins, 1762

Today in History:

Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America, 1535
Anne Boleyn is beheaded, 1536
Queen Elizabeth I orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots, 1568
French forces under the duc d'Enghien decisively defeat Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power, 1643
The Long Parliament declares England a Commonwealth, and England remains a republic for the next 11 years, 1649
King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River, 1749
*A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M, 1780
Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Légion d'Honneur, 1802
Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the Mexican-American War and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD, 1848
Jan Matzeliger begins the first mechanized shoe production, 1885
Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol, 1897
White women win the right to vote in South Africa, 1930
Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind is published, 1936
Churchill and Roosevelt set May 1, 1944 as their goal date for D-Day (it had to be delayed over a month because of weather), 1943
The Soviet Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus, 1961
Croatians vote for independence, 1991
The Sierra Gorda Biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts, 1997