I apparently slept through the STORM OF THE CENTURY last night -- I woke to find that our power had gone out in the night -- no problem, our alarm clocks now have battery backup. I reset the stuff in the kitchen and headed out for the day to find... a) 28th Street was closed by a gigantic fire truck (going past this afternoon I discovered that one of the big palm trees broke off and went right through the roof of one of the condos there); b) everything from 40th Street & Thomas, as far as I could see East, was DARK. No lights at all; c) there was debris scattered throughout every street, trees down, branches and palm fronds EVERYWHERE; and, when I got home, I found d) our clothesline snapped off clean at the base, leaving our rain-cleaned clothes all over the ground. Fortunately the dog didn't further play with them.
*bangs head some more*
Recent Calendar entries:
November 26 (this one explains the scene in the movie Holiday Inn where the little animated turkey is so confused): In 1863 Abraham Lincoln decreed that Thanksgiving was to be observed nationally on the last Thursday of November, and it was so until 1939. Franklin Roosevelt modified that date slightly for certain years by proclaiming instead the fourth Thursday of November as the national holiday of Thanksgiving, but not all states followed suit. FDR’s idea prompted a few outcries, such as this one by a Charles Jones, published in Bedea opera de temporibus (1943): “As I write these words in New England Thanksgiving approaches. Friends from home may undertake a pilgrimage to Connecticut to share a turkey with me on their Thanksgiving, November 23rd. But in these waste places [outside New England] in this barbarous land, children must attend school all day and miss the great midday feast which our tradition prescribes. No question that principles and traditions are at stake.” In 1941 a formal act of Congress made the fourth Thursday date official.
Traditions can be changed. As Tevye says, “Our old ways were once new.”
December 1: 250th Birthday of Guinness – Cheers! On December 1, 1759, Irish history was forever changed. At age thirty-four, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for a small brewery at St. James gate, in Leixlip, County Dublin, at 45 pounds per year. Guinness’s marketing literature described its modest factory: “The Brewery then consisted of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stables for twelve horses, and a loft which could hold 200 tons of hay.” From humble beginnings, it rose to become Ireland’s largest brewery, and it’s now the world’s largest stout brewery, producing 300 million pints annually. In 1862 Ireland’s traditional harp was adopted as the Guinness logo, symbolizing the unique bond between Guinness and the Irish. At least nineteen different variants of Guinness are sold worldwide. The alcohol percentage ranges from 4.1 percent in “draught stout” and “canned drought” to 8 percent for “Special Export Stout,” which is sold in Belguim.
December 2: On this date in 1837, English naval captain Frederick Marryat noted these liquor-related observations along with his explanations, which were assembled and published two years later in A Diary in America: “I always did consider that the English and the Swiss were the two nations who most indulged in potations; but on my arrival in the United states, I found that our descendants, in this point most assuredly. . . surpassed us altogether. Impartiality compels me to acknowledge the truth: we must, in this instance, submit to a national defeat. There are many causes for this: first, the heat of the climate, next the coldness of the climate. . .add to these, the cheapness of liquor in general, the early disfranchisement of the youth from all parental control. . .and, lastly, the pleasantness, amenity, and variety of the potations.”
On December 5, 1933, the failed American ban on alcoholic beverages—the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution—was repealed by passage of the Twenty-first Amendment. During the preceding thirteen years, Americans regularly flouted the law by buying “bootleg” liquor from overseas, and they also became proficient at making their own. “Bathtub gin” is perhaps the best-remembered form of homemade booze, but several other forms appealed to the do-it-yourselfer. With the help of a former assistant attorney general, California vintners came up with a legal winemaking kit that allowed consumers to create drinkable wine containing up to 15 percent alcohol. Marketing was so successful that California grape-growing acreage increased sevenfold between 1919 and 1926. Defunct breweries followed suit, legally offering a partially brewed beer wort that was easily completed at home. Likewise, moonshine stills crept out of the mountains and became common basement fixtures around the United States.
Amendments to the Constitution CAN be repealed (especially stupid ones).
My idiot cat is screaming for food but he won't eat what I've given him.
My arm hurts (I haven't been for a massage since October because of vacation and then sickness).
Does anyone out there need (or know someone who needs) a bluetooth for an AT&T phone? It's model E220, still in its package; my Mom apparently got it from somewhere and didn't want it, and I'm on Verizon, so... if anyone would like it, I'll ship it off gratis.