Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo-Finish Friday: Another Taxing Situation

Several years ago, i found this:

The caption reads:  "I always wait until the last minute.  I do my best work under pressure." 

Unlike the guy on the front, i do not like waiting until the last minute when it comes to taxes.  Last year, Grandpa's good friend and CPA, who also does our taxes, got our tax packets to us so early that i had it back to him with all the pertinent information by Valentine's Day.

This year, the packets weren't sent out until late last week.  With my handy organizer/planner, though, i was ready.  As anything that might be tax related comes in all through the year, i tuck it into the appropriate pockets of the above organizer, and once i get the packet, i sit and put it all together.

Today, the packet is back on its way to the CPA, and except for answering any questions he may call me about, i am done with my taxes.  It always feels good to be done.

Photo-Finish Friday is the brainchild of Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail.

Today is:

Car Keys and Small Change Day -- ???

Dia de Andalucia -- Andalucia, Spain

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

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

Floral Design Day -- a day to acknowledge this art form, sponsored by Rittners Floral School
Kalevala Day -- Finland (Finnish Culture Day)

Maha Shivaratri -- Hindu (festival of Shiva; local observances and government official days off will vary)

National Chocolate Souffle' Day

National Science Day -- India

National Tooth Fairy Day - and/or August 22, depending on whom you ask

Nylon Day -- the first aliphatic polyamides were produced on this day in 1935

Peace Memorial Day -- Taiwan

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

Rare Disease Day -- International (information can be found here and here)

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

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

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

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

Anniversaries Today:

University of Pittsburgh is chartered, 1787

Birthdays Today (Also includes Feb. 29 Birthdays)

Ali Larter, 1976
Robert Sean Leonard, 1969
John Tuturro, 1957
Gilbert Gottfried, 1955
Bernadette, Peters, 1948
Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith, 1945
Brian Jones, 1942
Mario Andretti, 1940
Tommy Tune, 1939
Gavin MacLeod, 1930
Frank Gehry, 1929
Svetiana Allilueva, 1926
Charles Durning, 1923
Zero Mostel, 1915
Earl Scheib, 1907
Milton Caniff, 1907
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, 1906
Vincente Minnelli, 1903
Linus Pauling, 1901
Ben Heckt, 1894
Charles Blondin, 1824
John Tenniel, 1820
Mary Lyon, 1797
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533

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

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"On Golden Pond"(Play), 1979
"La Reine de Saba"(Opera), 1862
"The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling"(Publication date), 1749

Today in History:

Coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty's rule over China, BC202
The first edition of Henry Fieldings' "Tom Jones" is published, 1749
John Wesley charters the Methodist Church, 1784
The first commercial railroad in US, Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) is chartered, 1827
Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec), 1838
Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor, 1849
The Bulgarian Exarchate is established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire, 1870
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone, 1885
The USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, is launched, 1893
Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, is deposed by a French military force, 1897
Egypt regains independence from Britain, but British troops remain, 1922
DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents Nylon, 1935
Basketball is televised for the first time, 1940
In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives, 1947
James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April Nature (pub. April 2), 1953
The first-ever color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public, 1954
The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué, 1972
Andalusia approves its statute of autonomy through a referendum, 1980
GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way, 1997
First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace, 1998
Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947, 2004
Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft, 2007
Egypt annunces the discovery of a granite head from a statue of King Tut's grandfather, Amenhotep III, 2010

Thursday, February 27, 2014

And i thought i was busy.

So, i thought i was busy.  Cooking, cleaning, part time work, volunteer work, feeding kittens, laundry, kids, paperwork, automobile maintenance, and more -- all the usual stuff.

Then i read this story, and i realize, i have it easy.

In a nutshell, a couple decide they can't afford fertility treatment that has a low chance of success and prefers to adopt.  They meet the mother who is willing to make an adoption plan for her child*, and when she finds out she is carrying triplets, their response is to say that makes it easier, they get the multi-child family they want without having to go through the adoption process again.

The triplets come along, spend months in NICU, and during that time, wife finds out she is pregnant.  With twins.

They now have one-year-old triplets, and two-month-old twins.  They are averaging 300 diapers a week.  Friends are pitching in, taking shifts.  The ladies in their church are making sure they have home cooked meals.

No matter how much help they have, though, they have a busy, busy life.  It reminds me that i have it easy.  And it reminds me, when baby nostalgia hits, to be grateful mine are all older and potty trained.

*One thing i never, ever say is that a woman "gave a baby up for adoption" or "gave a baby away for adoption."  We give up or give away things we don't want, and the biological mother is making a great sacrifice, not just getting something out of her life the way someone else would donate clothes to the local charity thrift store.  She is making an adoption plan for her precious child, and she should be commended for  it.

Today is:

Aspirin Day -- Bayer received its US patent for the medicine on this day in 1900

Charro Days Fiesta -- Brownsville, TX, US and Matamoros, Mexico (Two Nations - Twin Cultures, a celebration of the charro horsemen of Mexico, with dances, parades, and a carnival; through Mar. 9)

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

Equirria -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Cavalry Horse Festival)

Feast of the Incappucciati -- Gradoli, Italy (members of the Confraternity of Purgatory makes the rounds of the town gathering food for the souls in Purgatory, which is served at a banquet next week on Ash Wednesday)

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

Fettiger Donnerstag  -- Swabia, Germany ("greasy Thursday", so called because of the greasy Kuchli cakes and pastries made today to use during carnival before the Lent fast)

Florida Strawberry Festival -- Plant City, FL, US (celebrating the winter strawberry harvest; through Mar. 9)

Independence Day -- Dominican Republic(1844)

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

National Chili Day

National Kahlua Day

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

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

Polar Bear Day -- as declared by Polar Bears International

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

Runic Half Month Tyr commences (cosmic pillar)

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

The Hop -- Fairy Calendar

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

Weiberfastnach -- Cologne, Germany (Women's Carnival, the day the women run the pre-Lent celebration)

Anniversary Today:

African Burial Ground National Monument is established, 2006

Birthdays Today:

Josh Groban, 1981
Chelsea Clinton, 1980
Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas, 1971
Grant Show, 1963
Adam Baldwin, 1962
Michael Bolton, 1953
Alan Guth, 1947
Mary Fran, 1943
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, 1942
Howard Hesseman, 1940
Ralph Nadar, 1934
Elizabeth Taylor, 1932
Joanne Woodward, 1930
Ariel Sharon, 1928
John Connally, 1917
James Thomas Farrell, 1904
John Steinbeck, 1902
Gene Sarazen, 1902
Marian Anderson, 1897
David Sarnoff, 1891
Hugo La Fayette Black, 1886
Alice Hamilton, 1869
Ellen Terry, 1847
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807
Constantine I, 272

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"What Makes Sammy Run?"(Musical), 1964
"Road to Utopia"(Film), 1946

Today in History:

The first Russian Embassy arrives in London, 1557
The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland, 1560
Yuan Chonghuan is appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians under Nurhaci, 1626
Jews are expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I, 1670
The Pacific island of New Britain is discovered, 1700
Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire, 1812
The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti, 1844
Composer Robert Schumann is saved from a suicide attempt in Rhine, 1854
Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland, 1861
The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships, 1870
Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first African American woman to earn a law degree, from Howard University, 1872
Lord Kitchener opens Khartoum-El Obeid (Nyala) railway, 1912
Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14, 1940
The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over, 1964
The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973
People magazine is published for the first time, 1974
U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated", 1991
A Muslim mob kills 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, 2002
The Shanghai Stock Exchange falls 9%, the largest drop in 10 years, 2007
Central Chile is hit with an 8.8 magnitude earthquake, 2010
Wikileaks begins releasing 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private intelligence company, 2012
At Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his farewell address, 2013

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Flowers in Their Hair

"Mom, I've been thinking about society, and socially acceptable attitudes about having children."  When Bigger Girl has been thinking, i can usually guarantee it ain't about tiddlywinks.

What's up? i asked.

"Well, what is it about thinking women have to have children?  I mean, if a person decides that she doesn't want to have kids, why the attitude?"

Some people seem to believe you will regret it if you don't, perhaps, i said.

"Yes, well, but what about this?  There are people out there who say that if you adopt, it doesn't count because you didn't suffer through a pregnancy.  They say that people who decide not to have their own and adopt aren't real parents!"

That's not a good attitude, i said.  And what do they say about people who adopt because they cannot have children?

"Well, I've read that some people say they should keep doing fertility treatments until they are successful!"

Some people are never successful at that, and parents are parents if they are raising kids, and why do you read about these things and get yourself all worked up?

"Mom, I'm worried about our society!  I'm especially worried for my sister's sake!  These kinds of societal ideas that put pressure on people affect us all!"

"Hey!"  Little Girl came in from the back yard.  "Have you ever heard of a piggy bank being called an oiny-boink?"

Bigger Girl and i both snorted with laughter.

"One of my friends told me that at school today, and I laughed right out in class!  Oh, and here are your flowers for your hair.  You are officially a hippie!"  Little Girl put a flower wreath on her sister's head.

"I'm a hippie?  Yippee!  Do I get to go run through the field naked?" Bigger Girl asked.

"Sure!" Little Girl answered.

"Better not," Bigger Girl noted.  "I don't want to scare the school children."

"Yeah, just enjoy that there are flowers again," Little Girl said.

Keep enjoying the flowers, Little Girl.

Today is:

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

Carnival de Ponce -- Ponce, Puerto Rico (through Mardi Gras)

Dance of the Known Places -- Fairy Calendar

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

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

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

Levi Strauss Day -- his birth anniversary

Liberation Day -- Kuwait

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

National Pistachio Day

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

St. Alexander's Day (Patriarch of Alexandria)

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

Teal Ribbon Day -- Australia (wear a teal ribbon, raise awareness of ovarian cancer)

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

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

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

Anniversaries Today:

Grand Teton National Park is established, 1929
Grand Canyon National Park is established, 1919

Birthdays Today:

Marshall Faulk, 1973
Erykah Badu, 1972
Mark Dacascos, 1964
Michael Bolton, 1953
Johnny Cash, 1932
Fats Domino, 1928
Betty Hutton, 1921
Tony Randall, 1920
Jackie Gleason, 1916
Margaret Leighton, 1922
Tex Avery, 1908
Madeleine Carroll, 1906
Jean Vercors, 1902
William Frawley, 1887
Herbert Henry Dow, 1866
John Harvey Kellog, 1852
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, 1846
Levi Strauss, 1829
Honore Daumier, 1808
Victor Hugo, 1802

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Jerome Robbins' Broadway"(Musical), 1989
"Deathtrap"(Play), 1978

Today in History:

Origin of the Epoch of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era, BC747
An earthquake in Lisbon leaves 20,000-30,000 dead, 1531
Christiansborg Castle, Copenhagen burns down, 1794
The Bank of England issues its first banknotes, 1797
Vice-admiral William Bligh ends the siege of Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad, 1804
Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba, 1815
In New York City a demonstration of the first pneumatic subway opens to the public, 1870
HMS Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic, is launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, 1914
The Original Dixieland Jass Band records the first jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York, 1917
Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of RADAR in the United Kingdom, 1935
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that his nation has an atomic bomb, 1952
Vincent Massey is sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, 1952
National Public Radio incorporates as a non-profit corporation, 1970
Egypt and Israel establish full diplomatic relations, 1980
The Sandinistas are defeated in Nicaraguan elections, 1990
On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, 1991
In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand, 1993
The United Kingdom's oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapses, 1995
Mount Hekla in Iceland erupts, 2000
Republic of Macedonia President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004
After winning a Liberal Party of British Columbia ballot, Canadian politician Christy Clark becomes the second woman to be Premier of British Columbia, 2011
Scientists in Illinois, announce they've developed stretchable batteries that can power a new generation of flexible electronics, 2013

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Can you believe it?

"Can you believe it?"  #1 Son was in a talkative mood.

"They've come out with the lists of Oscar nominees, and neither Joaquin Phoenix nor Tom Hanks are nominated this year!"

"Oscars, isn't that the other name for the Academy Awards?" #2 Son came in and asked.

Yes, same thing, i said.

"Yeah, but think about it!  Especially Tom Hanks.  He turned in his best performance ever in his career as Captain Phillips.  I couldn't believe how well he acted that, especially at the end, where they've just been rescued, and not even a nomination!  Then again, Harrison Ford has never won one, either, in over 40 years of great performances.  So I guess that tells you something."

"Well, I've given up on the Oscars totally.  They've nominated The Croods, for heaven's sake!  Can you believe that!  The Croods!  Yes, it's in the animated category, but still.  I give up on them!" Bigger Girl said.

"I can make a better movie than that!" #2 Son said with a grin.  "It would be called Chasing Young Jacob, and it would be me chasing him, and it would be great!"

"Well, Frozen should win everything for animated.  That's the best Disney film they've had out in a long time.  I'm still singing the songs from that one in my head!" #1 Son said.  Then he added, "I still can't believe some of the people they overlook, like Ford and DiCaprio, and then this year.  They're nuts!"

"Oh, by the way," #2 Son said.  "Can you believe this t-shirt Young Jacob gave me?  It's awesome!"

Coming from Young Jacob, yes, i can believe that.

(For those of you who may not have kids who grew up on Pokemon, the above is the most famous of the Pocket Monsters, called Pikachu, pronounced peek-achoo.)

Today is:

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

Dance of the Secret Places -- Fairy Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Day -- Kuwait

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

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

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

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

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

Soviet Occupation Day -- Georgia

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

Birthdays Today:

Josh Wolff, 1977
Chelsea Handler,1975
Sean Astin, 1971
Tea Leoni, 1966
Carrot Top, 1965
Lee Evans, 1964
Neil Jordan, 1950
Ric Flair, 1949
Karen Grassle, 1944
George Harrison, 1943
Diane Baker, 1938
Tom Courtenay, 1937
Bob Schieffer, 1937
Sally Jessy Raphael, 1935
"Texas Rose" Bascom, 1922
Bobby Riggs, 1918
Anthony Burgess, 1917
Jim Backus, 1913
Millicent Hammond Fenwick, 1910
Adelle Davis, 1904
Zeppo Marx, 1901
Meher Baba, 1894
Enrico Caruso, 1873
Charles Lang Freer, 1856
Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1841
Xuande, Emperor of China, 1398

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"A Little Night Music"(Musical), 1973
"Toys in the Attic"(Play), 1960
"Wonderful Town"(Musical), 1953
"Your Show of Shows"(TV), 1950
"Natoma"(Herbert Opera), 1911
"Riders to the Sea"(Play), 1904
"Hernani"(Victor Hugo Play), 1830

Today in History:

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Aww Monday: Mama, I'm still hungry.

As with all kittens at 4 weeks of age, you cannot keep them full.

Feed me again, mama!
Lorax is really getting big.  Ladybug, the adult foster cat, likes to play with him, although she has to be supervised, she is rough and doesn't realize it.

Today, he is big enough to get his first 4in1 shot, and he's starting to use the litter box.  They do grow fast!

Today is:

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

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

Fairtrade Fortnight begins -- UK (a chance to get involved in making sure farmers in developing countries have fair wages and good working conditions

FESTIMA -- Mouhoun, Burkina Faso (Festival International des Masques et des Arts de Dedougou/International Mask Festival, a multi-day African heritage and cultural display; through Mar. 2)

Flag Day -- Mexico

Giving of Shoes -- Fairy Calendar

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

Iseseisvuspaev/Independence Day -- Estonia(1918)

Maslenitsa -- Russia (between Meatfare Sunday and Cheesefare Sunday is Butter Week or Pancake Week, when you stuff yourself before the Orthodox Church Great Lent)

National Artist Day -- Thailand

National Tortilla Chip Day

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

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

Obnoxious Day -- probably started as a joke, the only ones who benefit from this day are the ecard companies

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

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

Anniversaries Today:

Hadassah is founded, 1912
Western Washington University is established, 1899
The American University is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America, 1893

Birthdays Today:

Billy Zane, 1966
Kristin Davis, 1965
Eddie Murray, 1956
Paula Zahn, 1956
Steven Jobs, 1955
Alain Prost, 1955
Helen Shaver, 1951
George Thorogood, 1950
Edward James Olmos, 1947
Rupert Holmes, 1947
Barry Bostwick, 1945
Joe Lieberman, 1942
James Farentino, 1938
Renata Scotto, 1937
Michel Legrand, 1932
Mark Lane, 1927
Stephen Hill, 1922
Abe Vigoda, 1921
Chester W. Nimitz, 1885
Honus Wagner, 1874
Winslow Homer, 1836
Wilhelm Karl Grimm, 1786
Ibn Battutah, 1304
Emperor Toba of Japan, 1103

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Peer Gynt"(Play), 1876
"Rinaldo"(HWV 7), 1711
"L'Orfeo"(SV318), 1607

Today in History:

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

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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silly Sunday: Pool

"Question.  Do you have something large and heavy that I can throw at someone?" Little Girl asked.

Um, besides books, no, not really, i answered.  Besides, why are you wanting to throw something heavy at someone?  Think of the ER bill i'll have to pay if you do!

"But what about the trauma I've suffered from what te did to me?  I need revenge to soothe my soul!" she laughed.

Revenge won't make you feel better, i said.

"Well, I want to try," she said, as her brother walked in.

"Want to try what?" #1 Son asked.

"To get revenge for a trauma caused to me.  Do you have anything heavy I can throw at someone?"

"Well, Young Jacob left his pool table here, and we have the balls.  You could probably throw those," he answered.

"That would work," she said, as they headed for the pool table.  "It was Young Jacob who caused me trauma by farting next to me on purpose!"

This reminds me of a joke.

Boudreaux was heading into the pool hall when a homeless man asked him for a couple of dollars so he could buy something to eat.

"Mais, I don' know if I should give you no money!" Boudreaux said.  "You prob'ly gonna go get booze, or drugs, or gamble on a pool game wit' dat money!"

"Oh, no," the homeless man said.  "I gave up booze and drugs many years ago, and I don't bet on pool or play now.  I have to use everything i get just for food and to survive!"

"Oh, den in dat, case, you gonna come home wit' me, and my Clothile gonna feed you a great big home cooked meal!" Boudreaux said.

"Sir, you don't want to take me to your house!" the homeless man responded.  "After all, I haven't showered or shaved in a while, and I know I look awful and don't smell very nice."

"Oui, you goin' come back wit' me. Clothile been arguin' wit' me about all de time I spen' out wit' de guys, an' I want her to see what a man look like when he give up drinkin', gamblin', an' playin' pool!"

Note:  Little Girl got her revenge on Young Jacob -- she tickled him into an apology before she would let him make his next shot at the table!

Today is:

Charro Days Fiesta -- Brownsville, TX, US (international cooperation, Brownsville and its sister city Matamoros, Mexico, put on a beautiful celebration of the charro horsemen of Mexico, as well as dances, parades, and a carnival; through Mar. 2)

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

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

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

Diesel Engine Day -- Rudolph Diesel received his patent in Germany on this day in 1893

Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day -- while i can't figure out who started this one, even Mr. Google says it's celebrated today

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

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

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day -- internet generated

Iwo Jima Day -- commemoration of the US flag raising

Meatfare Sunday -- Orthodox Christian (final day on which meat may be consumed before the Lenten fast)

Mystic Krewe of Barkus Parade -- NOLA, US (The French Quarter goes to the dogs, and some cats as well, all to benefit animal nonprofits)

National Banana Bread Day

National Day -- Brunei

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

Republic Day (Mashramani) -- Guyana

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

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

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

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

Tokyo Marathon 2014 -- Tokyo, Japan

Birthdays Today:

Emily Blunt, 1983
Niecy Nash, 1970
Michael Dell, 1965
"Bobby" Bonilla, 1963
Howard Jones, 1955
Patricia Richardson, 1951
"Too Tall" Jones, 1951
John Sanford, 1944
Johnny Winter, 1944
Peter Fonda, 1939
Sylvia Chase, 1938
Donna J. Stone, 1933
Paul Tibbets, 1915
William L. Shirer, 1904
Victor Fleming, 1889
W.E.B. DuBois, 1868
Emma Hart Willard, 1787
George Frederic Handel, 1685
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, 1646
Samuel Pepys, 1633

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Fortune and Men's Eyes"(Play), 1967
"Pinocchio"(Disney Cartoon), 1940

Today in History:

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Inside and Out

One line of dialog that stuck in my brain from the hit TV series M*A*S*H was from the episode where Col. Potter was away and his horse, Sophie, got colic.  When the Colonel called to ask how the horse was doing, Radar, not wanting to worry the man and tell him they'd had to treat her, simply said she was "Clean as a whistle, inside and out!"

Right now, that's how i feel.

February is the month in which i always have my annual physical.  Mine is a head to toe exam, blood work, EKG, eye check, hearing check, ankle-brachial index, pulmonary function, pelvic exam, questions to make sure i'm not suffering from depression or anxiety or at risk of being abused, you name it, just about, they check for it.

The whole thing takes two appointments, and it's worth it.  It shows how i'm doing from year to year.

My numbers are still excellent -- i have almost no likelihood of having any kind of heart trouble, diabetes, or anything else.  My thyroid, as usual, needs adjusting.  That happens every few months, i have to adjust up and down but it's not totally out of line and in 3 months it will probably adjust again.  It's close enough that there's no danger of my thyroid enlarging or needing more treatment.

My only concern is to get more consistent with my exercise, and get my body fat percent down just a bit.  My height and weight haven't changed, but the fact that i can't afford the gym any more is showing, so i need to step up what i do at home even more than i already have.

There's nothing in my exam that raises any red flags, so i really do feel clean as a whistle, inside and out.  It's a pretty good feeling, and i need to keep it this way, as i still have kids around.

Today is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independence Day -- Santa Lucia(1979)

International Sword Swallowers Day -- an amazing, and a bit weird, group

International Tongue Twister Contest -- Logic Puzzle Museum, Burlington, WI, US (an afternoon of fun, come to watch or try your hand at the tongue twisters, with a gift for everyone, and the prize of a portion of a peck of pickled peppers for the winner!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington's Birthday -- US

Anniversaries Today:

Ed McMahon marries Pamela Hurn, 1992
Kurt Corbin marries Courtney Love, 1992
Bill Bixby marries Laura Michael, 1991
Pennsylvania State University is founded in State College, Pennsylvania, 1855
Washington University in St. Louis is founded, 1853

Birthdays Today:

James Blunt, 1977
Drew Barrymore, 1975
Michael Chang, 1972
Lea Salonga, 1971
Clinton Kelly, 1969
Jeri Ryan, 1968
Vijay Singh, 1963
Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, 1962
Kyle MacLachlan, 1959
Julie Walters, 1950
Julius "Dr. J" Erving, 1950
Miou-Miou, 1950
Dan Millman, 1946
Jonathan Demme, 1944
Sparky Anderson, 1934
Edward M. Kennedy, 1932
Paul Dooley, 1928
Robert Wadlow, 1918
John Mills, 1908
Sheldon Leonard, 1907
Robert Young, 1907
Luis Bunuel, 1900
Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892
"Chico" Marx, 1891
Lady Olave Baden-Powell, 1889
Lord Robert Baden-Powell, 1857
James Russel Lowell, 1819
Frederic Chopin, 1810
Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788
George Washington, 1732

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"It Happened One Night"(Film), 1934
"Lady Windermere's Fan"(Play), 1892
"Symphony No. 4 in F minor"(Tchaikovsky Op. 36), 1878

Today in History:

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

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Feline Friday: What of it?

Feline Friday was begun by Steve, The Burnt Food Dude, and i'm going to believe it's because he likes cats.

KidaMosquito is a Siamese.  She is called KidaMosquito because her name was originally just Kida but she is always buzzing around.  If you've ever had or known a Siamese, you know that they are cats with attitude.  The attitude is, "I Am Cat.  There is no other."

Her favorite place is on top of the microwave, in the window.  And her attitude says, "Of course I'm on top of the microwave when you want to use it.  What of it?"

What do you mean, you need to use this!

Today is:

Anniversary of His Majesty the King -- Bhutan

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

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

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

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

FESPACO Film Festival -- Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Panafrica's Film and TV Festival; through the 28th)

Heritage Day -- Yukon Territory, Canada

International Mother Language Day -- UNESCO

National Sticky Bun Day

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

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

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

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

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

Anniversaries Today:

Dudley Moore marries Brogan Lane, 1988
Liz Taylor marries Michael Wilding, 1952
The Washington Monument is dedicated, 1885

Birthdays Today:

Corbin Bleu, 1989
Ashley Greene, 1987
Ellen Page, 1987
Charlotte Church, 1986
Jennifer Love Hewitt, 1979
William Baldwin, 1963
Christopher Atkins, 1961
Alan Trammell, 1958
Jack Coleman, 1958
Mary Chapin Carpenter, 1958
Kelsey Grammer, 1955
Christine Ebersole, 1953
William Petersen, 1953
Olympia J. Snowe, 1947
Tyne Daly, 1946
Alan Rickman, 1946
David Geffen, 1943
John Lewis, 1940
Gary Lockwood, 1937
Barbara Jordan, 1936
Rue McClanahan, 1935
Nina Simone, 1933
Roberto Gomez Bolanos, 1929
Erma Bombeck, 1927
Hubert de Givenchy, 1927
Sam Peckinpah, 1925
Ann Sheridan, 1915
W.H. Auden, 1907
Anais Nin, 1903
Andres Segovia, 1893
Alice Freeman Palmer, 1855
Charles Scribner, 1821
John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1801
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, 1794

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Die Physiker"(Play), 1962
"A Woman to Remember"(TV; first soap opera), 1949
"War as it Happens"(TV), 1944
"Green Pastures"(Play), 1930
"The New Yorker"(Magazine), 1925
"The Communist Manifesto"(Publication date), 1848
"Cherokee Phoenix"(Newspaper, first US Native American paper), 1828

Today in History:

England begins the trial against Joan of Arc, 1431
John Wilkes is thrown out of the English House of Commons for his pornographic poem "An Essay on Woman," a satire of Pope's "An Essay on Man," 1764
Freedom of worship is established in France under its Constitution, 1795
The first locomotive, Richard Trevithick's, runs for the first time, in Wales, 1804
The first Native American Indian newspaper, the "Cherokee Phoenix", begins publication, 1828
The first known sewing machine in the US is patented by John Greenough of Washington, D.C., 1842
Sarah G Bagley of Lowell, Massachusetts becomes the first US woman telegrapher, 1846
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto, 1848
The US Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in the US, 1857
Edwin T. Holmes installs the first electric burglar alarm, in Boston, Massachusetts, 1858
The first Roman Catholic parish church for blacks in the US is dedicated, in Baltimore, Maryland, 1864
Lucy B. Hobbs becomes the first US woman to earn a DDS degree, 1866
Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier, 1874
The first telephone book is issued, to 50 subscribers in New Harbor, Connecticut, 1878
Oregon becomes the first US state to declare Labor Day a holiday, 1887
The North Carolina legislature adjourns for the day to mark the death of Frederick Douglass, 1895
Dr. Harvey Cushing, the first US neurosurgeon, performs his first operation, 1902
Gustav Mahler conducts his last concerto, 1911
The Battle of Verdun (WWI) begins, will last until Dec. 18; over a quarter of a million casualties, half a million injuries, 1916
The last Carolina parakeet, Incas, dies in the Cincinati Zoo, in the same cage that had held Martha, the last passenger pigeon, 4 years earlier, 1918
The Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution, 1921
Great Britain grants Egypt independence, 1922
The first issue of "New Yorker" magazine is published, 1925
The first instant developing camera is demonstrated in NYC, by E H Land, 1947
The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to "set the people free", 1952
Watson and Crick discover the structure of the DNA molecule; according to legend, they walk into the Eagle Pub in Cambridge and Crick announces "We have found the secret of Life," 1953
The Peace symbol is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1958
Malcolm X is assassinated, 1965
The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna, 1971
The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon, 1972
Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison, 1975
Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, 1995
Euro zone finance ministers agree on a second bailout for Greece, 2012
Scientists discover that bumblebees have the ability to sense electric fields around flowers, enabling them to identify specific flowers for pollination , 2013

Thursday, February 20, 2014


It was as i was cleaning the kitten's bottle that i noticed it.  Tiny, perched on the edge of the kitchen cabinet, it was crawling along in obvious oblivion to the bustle around it.

Putting the bottle down, i crossed the room to grab my camera.  As i did, Little Girl came in, opened the fridge, grabbed something, and headed for the counter.

Stop! Careful! i said, and she jumped.  Then she saw it, too.  Lucky thing, or it would have been flattened by an errant plastic container.

"Oh, look!" Little Girl said.  "Let me get it outside."

Hold up, i said, and snapped a couple of pictures.

"Okay, little thing.  Wow, you are a stubborn one.  Look!  It doesn't want to get onto my hand!" she said, but she finally scooped it up and took it to the door.

Little thing just doesn't know how close it was to more trouble that i think it would have cared for.  Instead, it got rescued, that cute little Ladybug.

You just don't belong on the kitchen counter, darlin'.

Today is:

Adopt a Goblin Orphan Day -- Fairy Calendar

Blessed Wulfric's Day

Cherry Pie Day

Clean Out Your Bookcase Day -- supposedly begun in 1985, but i can't find information on who started it; donate books you don't need any more to a local friends of the library group

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

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

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

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day -- some student programs at universities are set for this weekend, as encouraged during National Engineers Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Day for Social Justice -- UN

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

Anniversary Today:

John Cleese marries Connie Booth, 1968
US Post Office, 1792 (George Washington signed the act which created it)

Birthdays Today:

Rihanna, 1988
Andrew Shue, 1967
Lili Taylor, 1967
Cindy Crawford, 1966
French Stewart, 1964
Charles Barkley, 1963
Ron Eldard, 1963
James Wilby, 1958
Patty Hearst, 1954
Gordon Brown, 1951
Ivana Trump, 1949
Jennifer O'Neill, 1948
Peter Strauss, 1947
Brenda Blethyn, 1946
Sandy Duncan, 1946
Phil Esposito, 1942
Buffy Sainte-Marie, 1941
Nancy wilson, 1937
Bobby Unser, 1934
Sidney Poitier, 1927
Robert Altman, 1925
Gloria Vanderbilt, 1924
Carl E. Stotz, 1920
Gale Gordon, 1906
Ansel Adams, 1902
Joseph Jefferson, 1829
William Prescott, 1726

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel"(Play), 1963
"Barber of Seville"(Rossini Opera), 1816
"Giulio Cesare in Egitto"(Opera, HWV 17), 1724

Today in History:

Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland so King Christian I can pay his daughter's dowry, 1472
An unnamed comet approaches withing 860,000 miles of Earth, the closest a comet has ever come to our planet, 1491
The first recorded wine auction is held, in London, 1673
The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington, 1792
Austria declares bankruptcy, 1811
Concepcion, Chile, is destroyed by an earthquake, 1835
The US Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia, 1839
Luther Crowell patents a machine to manufacture paper bags, 1872
In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens, 1872
The first minor league baseball association is organised, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1887
King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra, 1913
A new volcano, Paricutin, erupts in a farmer's cornfield in Mexico, 1943
The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate, 1959
While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes, 1962
Ranger 8 crashes into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts, 1965
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands, 1976
Texas industrialist Ross Perot's U.S. presidential campaign begins, 1992
Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout, 2005
Estonia becomes the first country in the world to establish a national electric car charging network , with cars charging in less than 30 minutes, 2013

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Not that i'm superstitious...

...or anything.  Yet, most of the time, these things do seem to come in threes.

Last week, we heard about the loss of both Shirley Temple Black and Sid Caesar.  Fleetingly, i thought, i wonder if i will hear of a third famous person i admire dying soon.  Then i dismissed the thought as silly.

Yet.  On the way to take Little Girl to school, i briefly heard the name Henson, the word "puppeteer" and the word "died."  Oh, no way! was my first thought.

Then i came home and googled news for John Henson, Jim's son.  Sure enough.  That family seems to be plagued with losing their geniuses early.  John, who often played "Sweetums" and who was on the board of the Henson empire, died of a heart attack.

He was only 48, and it occurred after he had spent time with his 10-year-old daughter, building a snowman.

My heart broke when Jim Henson died.  We had a high school teacher we loved that we nicknamed "Miss Piggy" at her request  The Muppets are my long time sentimental favorite actors.  My Sweetie loves The Muppet Christmas Carol so much he watches it every year.  It's the only version of that story that he will watch.

It hurts again to know that this talented puppeteer is gone.  My condolences go out to his widow and two daughters.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mexico

Birthday of Minerva -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Birth Anniversary of Shivaji -- Maharashtra, India

Chaoflux -- Discordianism

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

Cracker Jacks Prize Day -- the first prizes were added to the boxes of caramel popcorn this date in 1913

Flag Day -- Turkmenistan

Fly-By for Goblins and others -- Fairy Calendar

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

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

Solar System Day -- birth anniversary of Copernicus

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

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

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

University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day -- UK (to focus on ensuring the positive wellbeing of people with mental health difficulties

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

Anniversary Today:

Knights of Pythias founded, 1864

Birthdays Today:

Haylie Duff, 1985
Andrew Shue, 1967
Benicio Del Toro, 1967
Justine Bateman, 1966
Jonathan Lethem, 1964
Seal, 1963
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, 1960
Ray Winstone, 1957
Jeff Daniels, 1955
Margaux Hemingway, 1955
Amy Tan, 1952
Stephen Nichols, 1951
Lou Christie, 1943
Smokey Robinson, 1940
Lee Marvin, 1924
Merle Oberon, 1911 (some sources say Feb. 18)
Willam III, 1817 (last king of the Netherlands -- there have only been queens since)
David Garrick, 1717
Nicolas Copernicus, 1473

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"A Woman of Independent Means"(TV Miniseries), 1995
"Crazy For You"(Musical), 1992
"Eastenders"(TV), 1985
"Rumours"(Album release), 1977
"The Feminine Mystique"(Publication date), 1963
"Picnic"(Inge Play), 1953
"Alexander's Feast"(HWV 75), 1736

Today in History:

Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus' defeats beats Clodius Albinus at Lyon, 197
Emperor Constantius II shuts down all pagan temples, 356
The second Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstates veneration of icons in the churches, 842
Jews of Tyrnau, Hungary (then Trnava, Czech) are expelled, 1539
The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America, 1600
Britain and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, and New Amsterdam formally becomes New York, 1674
British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III, 1819
The first practical coal burning locomotive in the US makes a trial run, in Pennsylvania, 1831
Tin-type camera is patented by Hamilton Smith of Gambier, Ohio, 1856
Daniel E. Sickles is acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover, Phillip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), on the grounds of temporary insanity, the first time this defense is successfully used, 1859
Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom in Russia, 1861
Thomas Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph), 1878
Kansas becomes the first US state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages, 1881
WK Kellog and Charles Bolin found the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co., 1906
The first prize is inserted into a Cracker Jack box, 1913
Ed Wynn becomes the first talent to sign as a regular radio entertainer, 1922
Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize for poetry, 1949
Bill Keane's "Family Circus" comic strip makes its debut, 1960
Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital, 1985
The Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft, 1986
NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system, 2002
NASA loses communication with the International Space Station's for three hours as a result of updating the station's command and control software, 2013

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Um, yes, it works that way, too.

#2 Son came into the kitchen, carrying the toaster oven.

Son, i asked, what are you doing?

"Nothing," he said.  Of course, we all know better, right?

What did you do with the toaster oven? i asked.  Did you take it with you over to Young Jacob's?

"Maybe," he tried to hedge.

Son, you know it's okay to take the stuff over there and use it, but please let me know, okay?

"Okay," he said.

"Let you know what?" Little Girl asked.

When you decide to take appliances to Young Jacob's place, i told her.

"Will do!" she said.

Oh, and while you are here, you kids need to be a bit more careful about leaving wet towels on the floor in the bathroom.  You are going to have water seeping down and rot the subfloor if you aren't careful.

"Don't look at me," #2 Son said.  "I shower downstairs."

"Well, the floor does get so wet when I take a shower," Little Girl said.

In spite of the shower curtain? i asked.

"Yes.  I mean, the shower curtain helps some, but..."

You are keeping the shower curtain inside the tub, right? i asked.

"Oh, you mean you can do it that way?" she said with surprise.

Um, yes.  Yes, it can work that way, too.  Better, in fact.

"Right!  Will do!"

Well, i'm so glad we got that cleared up!

Today is:

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

Celtic Tree Month Nuin (Ash) begins

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

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

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

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

Fly-By for Fairies and Elves -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Gambia(1965)

Musikahan sa Tagum Festival -- Tagum City, Phillipines (the area's signature festival which celebrates the Filipino excellence in musical composition, performance, and production, and giving young people more opportunities to excel in learning the music industry and Filipino musical culture; through Sunday)

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

National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

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

Rastraya Prajatantra Dibas -- Nepal (Democracy Day)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thumb Appreciation Day -- your first digit does more than just get mashed when you use a hammer and hit the space bar on your keyboard; take time to appreciate the complexity that is your thumb.

Anniversaries Today:

Tommy Lee marries Pamela Anderson, 1995
Ohio State University is chartered as the first US land-grant college, 1804

Birthdays Today:

Jillian Michaels, 1974
Molly Ringwald, 1968
Dr. Dre, 1965
Matt Dillon, 1964
Vanna White, 1957
John Travolta, 1954
Juice Newton, 1952
John Hughes, 1950
Cybill Shedherd, 1950
Andrea Dromm, 1941
Aldo Ceccato, 1934
Yoko Ono, 1933
Milos Forman, 1932
Toni Morrison, 1931
Gahan Wilson, 1930
George Kennedy, 1925
Helen Gurley Brown, 1922
Bill Cullen, 1920
Jack Palance, 1920
Hans Asperger, 1906
Enzo Ferrari, 1898
George "The Gipper" Gipp, 1895
Wendell Lewis Willkie, 1892
Boris Pasternak, 1890
Nikos Kazantzakis, 1883
Sholem Aleichem, 1859
Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848
Ernst Mach, 1838
George Peabody, 1795
Count Alessandro Volta, 1745
Uesugi Kenshin, 1530 (Japanese samurai and warlord)
Mary I Tudor, 1516
Saint Jadwiga of Poland, 1374

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Roots: Next Generations"(TV Miniseries), 1979
"Any Wednesday"(Play), 1964
"The Telephone, or L'Amour à trois"(Comic Opera), 1947
"Trouw"(Publication, Dutch Resistance newspaper), 1943
"Simple Simon"(Musical), 1930
"Cities Service Concerts"(Radio), 1925
"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"(Publication date), 1885
"The Pilgrim's Progress"(Publication date), 1678

Today in History:

Origin of the Kali Yuga Epoch ("age of vice" or Dark Age) of the Hindu/Buddhist calendars, BC3102
Jerusalem is taken by Emperor Frederik II, 1229
Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia, begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim regions, 1332
Henry Tudor (Henry VIII) created Prince of Wales, 1503
Zeeland falls to Dutch rebels, 1574
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is published, 1678
Fort Saint Lewis, Texas, is founded by Frenchmen under LaSalle at Matagorda Bay, the basis for France's claim to Texas, 1685
Quakers conduct their first formal protest of slavery in Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1688
The premiere of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson" takes place in London, 1743
Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, 1797
The Detroit Boat Club (still in existence) forms, 1839
The first continuous filibuster in the US Senate begins, lasts until March 11, 1841
The first regular steamboat service to California begins, 1849
A direct telegraph link between Britain and New Zealand is established, 1876
Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is published, 1885
The Cave of Winds at Niagara Falls goes almost dry for the first time in 50 years, 1896
Winston Churchill makes his first speech in the British House of Commons, 1901
H. Cecil Booth patents a dust removing suction cleaner, 1901
The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet delivers 6,500 letters to Naini (a distance of about 10K), 1911
The US and Canada begin formal diplomatic relations, with the appointment of Vincent Massey as the first Canadian ambassador to the US, 1927
The first Academy Awards are announced, 1929
While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto, 1930
The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California, 1954
The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747, 1977
Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history, 1979
Dan Jansen skates world record 1000m (1:12.43), 1994
Pope Benedict XVI announces seven new saints - including American saint Kateri Tekakwitha - and appoints 22 new cardinals, 2012

Monday, February 17, 2014

Aww Monday: Escape

Lorax is getting bigger.  He's 4 weeks old.  He wants to escape.

Oh!  The door is open!

That's it!  I'm outta here!

Today is:

Chip Week begins -- UK (a general celebration of chips

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

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

Family Day -- AB, ON, SK, Canada

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

February 17 Revolution Day -- Libya

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

Islander Holiday -- PEI, Canada

Last day of Celtic Tree Month Luis (Rowan)

Louis Riel Day -- MB, Canada

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

National Cafe Au Lait Day

National Indian Pudding Day

National PTA Founders Day -- US

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

Presidents' Day -- US and Territories

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

Random Acts of Kindness Day -- US (unofficial, but a great idea)

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

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

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

Anniversaries Today:

League of United Latin American Citizens (Lulac) Founded, 1929
Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio, 1809

Birthdays Today:

Vanessa Atler, 1982
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 1981
Paris Hilton, 1981
Jerry O'Connell, 1974
Bryan White, 1974
Billie Joe Armstrong, 1972
Denise Richards, 1972
Michael Forbes, 1967
Ronald "Bell Biv" DeVoe, 1967
Michael Jordan, 1963
Lou Diamond Phillips, 1962
Richard Karn, 1959
Rene Russo, 1954
Brenda Fricker, 1945
Jim Brown, 1936
Alan Bates, 1934
Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everage), 1934
Lee Holby, 1926
Hal Holbrook, 1925
Arthur Kennedy, 1914
Clarence Lindon “Buster” Crabbe, 1908
Red Barber, 1908
Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1879
William Cadbury, 1867
Samuel Sidney Mcclure, 1857
Friedrich A Krupp, 1854
A. Montgomery Ward, 1844
Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec, 1781
Thomas Malthus, 1766
Arcangelo Corelli, 1653

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"A Prairie Home Companion"(Radio), 1979
"BC"(Comic Strip), 1958
"Madame Butterfly"(Puccini Opera), 1904
"Un Ballo in maschera"(Verdi Opera), 1859
"Siroe, re di Persia"(Handel HWV 24), 1728

Today in History:

Miles Standish is appointed the first commander of the Plymouth colony, 1621
The first volume of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is
published, 1776
The first ship passes through the Suez Canal, 1867
Women's suffragist Esther Morris is appointed the first female justice of the peace in the US, in South Pass City, Wyoming, 1870
Sardines are first canned, by Julius Wolff of Eastport, Maine, 1876
Madame Butterfly receives its première at La Scala in Milan, 1904
The first minimum wage law in the US takes effect, in Oregon, 1913
Johnny Weissmuller sets the 100-yard freestyle record (52.4 seconds), 1924
The first telecast of a sporting event in Japan, a baseball game, 1931
The first issue of "Newsweek" magazine is published, 1933
Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution, 1959
Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T, 1972
Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match, 1996
Kosovo declares independence, 2008
In racing, Danica Patrick becomes the first woman at the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to win pole position, 2013

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Silly Sunday: Ballerina

Yesterday, i stopped back at the flower shop to drop off my final manifest (the paper that says what deliveries i'd made on my last run).  While there, i offered to help out.  They took me up on it, big time.

They needed items taken for funerals, and Valentine's Day items that hadn't gotten through, and then regular deliveries, too.  So i did four more runs, and Ryan told me to go home.

When i was almost home, he called back, very sheepish.  Could i come back and do one more run?  Sure i can.

It was an out of town run, on an order that had been messed up twice, and with a time limit on it to boot, two to the hospital, one to a restaurant so the flowers would be on the table when the lady got to the table, and one to the casino. 

It was the second time i'd been to the casino that day, and it was my last delivery, and i was tired.  Lots of running and stairs on this day.  So as i approached the doors, and no one was near to open it for me, i didn't stop.  Little five foot zero under a hundred pounds me, with this big vase of two dozen roses ran past a bunch of people and, without hesitation, i lifted my knee, hit the button to open the automatic door with said knee, and kept running.  There was a burst of laughter behind me, and i smiled along, enjoying the joke.  They can laugh at me doing that, i made the delivery, and got home at 5pm, just in time to cook dinner.

This reminds me of a joke (as you knew it would, right?)

Boudreaux was in the bar as usual on a Friday night, and also as usual, he was sitting at the corner and was very drunk.

At that moment, a very tall and rather burly woman walks into the bar, lifts her arm to show her hairy armpit, points at all the guys at the bar and says, "Which of you gentlemen is going to buy a lady a drink!"

The men looked at one another and Boudreaux yelled, "Give dat Ballerina a drink!"  The bartender did, and Boudreaux paid.

After she finished, she again lifted her arm, showing that she eschewed shaving, and pointed to the men there.  "Which of you gentlemen is going to buy a lady a drink?"

Again, Boudreaux called out, "Give dat Ballerina a drink!"  The bartender fixed her up, and Boudreaux paid, and she drank.

When she was done, she decided she wanted one for the road.  "Which of you gentlemen is going to buy a lady a drink?" she said, with her arm pointing at them again.

"Give dat Ballerina a drink!" Boudreaux called out.

As the bartender came over the Boudreaux to get the money for the drink he had poured her, he leaned over and said, "Boudreaux, I know it's your money, and you can do what you want and buy the lady her drinks, but why do you keep calling her a ballerina?"

Boudreaux answered, "Mais!  Any woman dat can kick her leg up dat high, she gots to be a Ballerina!"

Today is:

9-1-1 Day -- the first 911 call in North America was placed, demonstrating the new system, on this day in 1968

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

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

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

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

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

National Almond Day

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

Scout - Guide Week -- Canada (Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada plan and hold special activities; through the 23rd)

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

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

Triodion begins -- Orthdox Christian

Birthdays Today:

Christopher Eccleston, 1964
John McEnroe, 1959
Ice T, 1959
LeVar Burton, 1957
James Ingram, 1956
William Katt, 1951
Richard Ford, 1944
Barry Primus, 1938
Sonny Bono, 1935
Vera-Ellen, 1921
Patty Andrews, 1920
Jimmy Wakely, 1914
Hugh Beaumont, 1909
Richard McDonald, 1909
George Kennan, 1904
Edgar Bergan, 1903
Robert Joseph Flaherty, 1884
Johann Strauss, 1866
Nichiren, 1222
Emperor Yingzong of China, 1032

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"What's My Line"(TV Game Show), 1950
"Le Voyageur Sans Baggage"(Anouilh Play), 1937
"The Marquise"(Coward Play), 1927
"Chung Sai Yat Po"(Publication; first Chinese daily newspaper in US), 1900
"Werther"(Massenet Opera), 1892
"Ladies' Home Journal"(Publication), 1883
"Orpheus"(Liszt Opera), 1854
"Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard"(First Publication), 1751

Today in History:

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

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