Monday, October 31

Steam punk'in

Happy Hallowe'en!
(or should I say dolloween?)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Eye of potato, ear of corn,

Head of lettuce, ripped and torn.
With apologies to William Shakespeare

Sunday, October 30

Funky-steamy thing?

Luann by Greg Evans on Oct. 30, 2011.

I think they look fabulous, don't you?

Maybe I'll have to stop by and have a little chat with Luann's father.

Oil cans indeed.

Queen of the candy corn fields

Out standing in my field.

Not to be too corny, but Happy National Candy Corn Day!

According to oral tradition it was a candymaker by the name of George Renninger at Wunderle Candy Co. of Philadelphia who invented candy corn in the 1880s.

Candy corn was called "Chicken Feed" when it was first introduced in the 1880s, Beth Kimmerle wrote in her book Candy: The Sweet History.

The Goelitz Confectionery Company (which later became the Jelly Belly Candy Company) began to make candy corn around 1898 in their Cincinnati, Ohio factory.

According to the National Confectioners Association, candy companies will produce nearly 35 million pounds of corny candy this year. That's about nine billion kernels of candy corn!

My relentless research did not find the creator, or the origin of "National Candy Corn Day." Aside from card companies and calendars there is little reference to it.

I also did not find any documentation confirming this to be a "National" day, including no congressional records or presidential proclamation.

Now, if Ronald Reagan could put Jelly Bellies in the White House, why not candy corn?

Hmm, where do I start....

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, Oct. 30

U.S. Army's general-in-chief retires

A hero of the Mexican War of 1846-48, Winfield Scott departs at the end of October 1861 as general-in-chief of the U.S. Army. He had served for more than half a century under 14 presidents, but now age and infirmity force him to retire as he makes way for a young and up-and-coming rival, George B. McClellan. In his 70s when the Civil War began, Scott weighed more than 300 pounds and could no longer ride a horse. Federal forces did not fare well at the war's outset and that took a political toll on Scott. But many still credit his so-called Anaconda Plan for blockading Southern seaports and inland rivers as a key peg in an eventual Union victory in 1865. News dispatches report on Oct. 28, 1861, that Scott is bowing out because of health reasons. "The scarred and worn out veteran Gen. Scott will voluntarily retire from his rank and duties ... solely on account of his physical infirmities," The New York Tribune reports. The same dispatch notes several voices in Congress are calling on his rising successor, McClellan, to immediately rout the Confederates in battle: "The popular demand of their constituents is that Gen. McClellan, or some one else, shall right off whip the Rebels on the south side of the Potomac, in a pitched battle, and as near Bull Run as is possible, and from thence roll the tide of war steadily Southward." Far from major battle, there is barely even skirmishing. The Associated Press reports on Oct. 25, 1861, that federal scouts crossed the Potomac River near Edwards Ferry but "not a sign of a man or horse was heard, except the splash of the oars of a boat some distance up the river." Nonetheless, rebel pickets are occasionally engaged and a rebel battery is shelled though "the enemy did not reply" with any large guns.

Saturday, October 29

Pass the smelling salts, please

Not to be conceited, I got mentioned again this week in two blogs/sites!

The Bean Stalk called me the "weirdest and coolest doll blog," but she also wants to party with me. After seeing this post I am so ready to party with them! Woo hoo! Thanks for the Major Award!

Doll Diaries said I'm the "the most adorable hostess ever"! And gave me my very own Spotlight Award!

Be still my beating heart - if I had one!

Friday, October 28

The old colossus

Wow! Talk about a birthday present!

The torch on display at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition
in Philadelphia. I thought it would be bigger.

The Statue of Liberty is getting high-tech gifts for her 125th birthday on Oct. 28, 2011: five webcams that will let visitors see the views from her torch. (Public access to the torch balcony has been prohibited for safety reasons since 1916.)

The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from the people of France, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886.

(Coincidentally, the first known ticker-tape parade took place on Oct. 28, 1886 in New York City when office workers spontaneously threw ticker tape into the streets as the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.)

Friday's ceremony also will be marked by a water flotilla, actress Sigourney Weaver reading Emma Lazarus' poem and a naturalization ceremony for 125  people.

The well-known sonnet by Lazarus is inscribed on a plaque (not the tablet!) in the museum in the base.
The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883

The statue, including the pedestal and base, is scheduled to close for up to a year beginning on Oct. 29, 2011, so that a secondary staircase and other safety features can be installed; Liberty Island will remain open.

Thursday, October 27

Religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin

There he is! There he is! It's the Great Pumpkin!
I don't expect you young whippersnappers to understand, but Momma says there was nothing like the yearly anticipation of watching annual holiday TV shows.


According to Momma (who is of A Certain Age) television schedules would be scoured, memorized and marked for the yearly events. Meals would be planned around it.

Woe be unto the child who missed the yearly event and had to wait a whole year for another chance to see it since there were no videotapes or DVDs to watch.

And. Then. It. Happened.

At Halloween it was It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, a  Halloween special that first aired on Oct. 27, 1966.

(Not to date herself, but Momma says she's watched it every year since it first started airing.)

We have it on DVD and have been known to watch it at other times of the year, but Momma still claims nothing beats watching it on TV, complete with commercials.

Sometimes I just don't understand nostalgia.

What's my favorite part? Snoopy, of course!
Lucy: What kind of costume is that?
Charlie Brown: He's a World War I flying ace.
Lucy: Oh, brother. Now I've seen everything.

When assuming this personality, Snoopy dons goggles, a flying helmet and a scarf and climbs on top of his doghouse, which he claims is a Sopwith Camel. (The Red Baron's presence is indicated through the bullet holes that riddle the doghouse.)

To make room for modern commercial breaks, ABC cut two scenes which were later restored:
  1. Lucy begging Charlie Brown to kick the football, and subsequently pulling it away as he tries to do so.
  2. Snoopy (as the World War I flying ace) prompting Schroeder to play World War I era songs.
So what WWI songs does Schroeder play on that amazing toy piano of his?
  • It's a Long Way to Tipperary
  • Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag
  • There's a Long, Long Trail
  • Roses of Picardy
Sniff. I think I'll go hoist a root beer in Snoopy's honor.

And watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with Momma for the 45th time. At least.

Wednesday, October 26

Gunfight near the O.K. Corral

The most (in)famous gunfight in Western history occurred today on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1881 at about 3 p.m.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a roughly 30-second gunfight that took place in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Three outlaw Cowboys (it was an insult to call a legitimate cattleman a Cowboy in Cochise County) were killed and Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday were wounded and survived. (Of all of his brothers, Wyatt was the only one who was never wounded nor killed.)

Despite its name, the gunfight actually occurred six doors west of the rear entrance to the O.K. Corral in a narrow lot on Fremont Street. The Earps and Doc Holliday were eventually exonerated.

The battle was over but not won. Two months later Virgil was shot and injured again on Dec. 28, 1881, and Morgan was murdered on March 19, 1882. 

All I can say is crime doesn't pay.

Tuesday, October 25

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

My chariot was invented before the Great Wall was built!
I wanted to show you something in honor of Grandmomma's 70th birthday today.

Something she found for me!

It's a working scale model of a Chinese south-pointing chariot: a directional compass vehicle which had no magnetic function,
yet its dragon finial would point in any direction to which it is initially oriented

Invented in 225 A.D. by mechanical engineer Ma Jun during the Three Kingdoms period, it is considered by antiquarians as one of Ancient China's most complex inventions. No known ancient chariots remain, but many Chinese texts mention them.

Is that cool or what?!

Happy 70th birthday Lao Lao! Xie xie!

Monday, October 24

From sea to shining sea

You know how excited you were when you went wireless?

Well, that's how excited folks were when we got wired 150 years ago today.

The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed on Oct. 24, 1861, ending the 18-month-old Pony Express which had boasted it could deliver a letter from Sacramento, Calif., to St. Joseph, Mo., in 10 days when it first began on April 3, 1860.

With the push of a button, California's chief justice, Stephen J. Field, wired a message from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., congratulating him on the transcontinental telegraph's completion that day.

To Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States:

In the temporary absense (sic) of the Governor of the State I am requested to send you the first message which will be transmitted over the wires of the telegraph line which connects the Pacific with the Atlantic States. The people of California desire to congratulate you upon the completion of the Great Work. They believe that it will be the means of strengthening the attachment which binds both the East and the West to the Union, and they desire in this--the first message across the Continent--to express their loyalty to the Union and their determination to stand by its government on this its day of trial. They regard that government with affection and will adhere to it under all fortunes.
Stephen J. Field
Chief Justice Of California

The First Transcontinental Telegraph was a milestone in electrical engineering and in the formation of the United States of America. It electronically connected a nation from sea to shining sea that was also tearing itself apart in the Civil War.

The overland telegraph line was operated until 1869, when it was replaced by a multi-line telegraph that was constructed beside the route of the Transcontinental Railroad.

(Incidentally, when the final piece of track connecting the transcontinental railroad was laid in Promontory, Utah in 1869 a young news organization called The Associated Press sent out a story about it on the wire.)

Finally, telegraph operators were one of the few socially acceptable jobs for young "bachelor" working girls at the time. Rose Wilder Lane learned telegraphy after high school graduation in 1904 at the Mansfield, Mo., railroad station where the station master was a school friend's father.

By the age of 18 Lane was working for Western Union in Kansas City as a telegrapher. She worked as a telegrapher in Missouri, Indiana and California for the next five years before becoming a newspaper reporter.

Her famous mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, later visited in her in San Francisco where she lived in an apartment on, where else? Telegraph Hill.

Sunday, October 23

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, Oct. 23

Wired: Telegraph from coast to coast

The nation is divided by war but now is linked at last from coast to coast by a transcontinental telegraph this week in 1861. For some time, the telegraph's eastern terminus only extended from the Atlantic to Nebraska and its western terminus stretched from the California coast to Nevada. But Western Union and allied companies succeed in the Herculean task of stringing the slender telegraph wire over deserts and mountains, putting East and West into a new dawn of instant communication. It has been hard, dirty work for laborers who cut down forests to make stout telegraph poles, carting them in oxen-pulled wagons across rugged passes to be planted and strung with mile after mile of wire. The fabled Pony Express continued to bridge the gap for a while. But now both sides of the continent can instantly trade messages of battles lost and won, news large and small. One of the first messages sent announces the death to Oregon of its popular senator, Edward Baker, killed days earlier in fighting in Virginia. The telegraph soon will revolutionize battlefield communications while allowing a new conduit for the news dispatches of The Associated Press. Also this week, a public referendum is held on Oct. 24, 1861, in which a majority in the future state of West Virginia votes for statehood. The intent is to break away from Virginia amid opposition to the Confederacy. In June 1863, West Virginia will become the 35th state, allied with the North as war drags on. This week also sees feverish recruiting of thousands of young men on both sides. The Cleveland Plain Dealer of Ohio - for one - runs a recruitment ad urging prospects to sign up: "If You Do Not Want To Be Drafted, Rally Under the Good Old Flag! Wanted ... Young men that have any regard for their Country."

Saturday, October 22

Give me Liberty Jane or give me Death!

Swoon! I am in love with yet another designer outfit!

Talk about an outfit to die for.

Shibuya 109 is the fashion hub for Japanese teens. The trends that start here instantly spread across the country. All eyes are on you. Make a statement and stand out in the crowd with this simple yet striking steampunk inspired look.
Liberty Jane makes some of the most amazing outfits, although this one shows a frightful amount of skin. I suspect some of my other outfits are based upon her patterns.

Do you think this thing called eBay will let me buy it with my half dime?

Friday, October 21

The perfect man

I got the perfect man in the mail today thanks to Pippaloo. He was sweet, never talked back, and I bit his head off when he gave me grief.


The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole

I was intrigued to read that while Florence Nightingale and 38 nurses left London on Oct. 21, 1854 for the Crimean War, one nurse did not.

Mary Seacole, a creole woman of mixed-race from Jamaica. And I had never heard of her.

Seacole was taught herbal remedies and folk medicine by her mother, who kept a boarding house in Kingston, Jamaica for disabled European soldiers and sailors.
Drawing on her experience with tropical diseases such as Yellow Fever, Seacole traveled to London to volunteer as a nurse.

She applied to the War Office and asked to be sent to the Crimea but was refused, mainly because of prejudice against women's involvement in medicine at the time. (Nursing was still usually done by prostitutes and other women of desperate means.)

The British Government changed its mind but she was not included in the party of 38 nurses chosen by Nightingale, probably due to her darker skin color.

So Seacole borrowed the money to make the 4,000-mile journey by herself. 

Seacole was impoverished after the war ended and she returned to London. A benefit concert was held in her honor:
She gave her aid to all in need
To hungry, sick and cold
Open hand and heart, ready to give
Kind words, and acts, and gold
And now the good soul is "in a hole"
What soldier in all the land
To set her on her feet again
Won't give a helping hand?

Dec. 6, 1856
Sadly, Nightingale didn't have kind things to say about Seacole. Did she have just reasons, or was "The Lady with the Lamp" guilty of the petty prejudices of the times?

Thursday, October 20

Dumas vs. Verne

What would have happened if Jules Verne wrote The Three Musketeers instead of Alexandre Dumas?

Something like this, I'd wager.

I admit I'm not a purist. I like it when someone can give a fresh look to something that has been done a thousand times before.

I love Guy Ritchie's version of Sherlock Holmes so I admit my curiosity is piqued by this alternate take (one scathing review said "steampunk'd"!) of The Three Musketeers.

But imagine my excitment when I learned they have a flying war machine!!!  From the same review:
Leonardo da Vinci, we learn, has drawn up plans for a deadly flying “war machine,” a combination of dirigible and seafaring galleon. In the prologue Athos, Aramis and Porthos sneak into Venice on a special-ops mission.

Woo hoo! Count me in!

My only difficulty is choosing which boots to wear since nothing can compare to those worn in the movie....

Wednesday, October 19

Still crazy after all these years

I adore Paul Simon. 

I've been watching him influencing music for more than 40 years and I never pass up an opportunity for a concert.

Monday night I could not restrain myself any longer and hopped on the stage.

I think he was surprised.

Momma loves Kodachrome®, but I think my favorite is Still Crazy After All These Years.

Or maybe Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.

What's your favorite?

Tuesday, October 18

Momma, don't take my Kodachrome® away

Momma didn't do it, but Eastman Kodak sure did.

Kodachrome® was the trademarked brand name of a type of color slide film that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak from 1935 to 2009. The last roll of Kodachrome
® was developed on Dec. 30, 2010.

Momma's Sharbat Gula
National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry used Kodachrome® for his well-known 1984 portrait of , the "Afghan Girl" in National Geographic magazine. She was identified 17 years later as Sharbat Gula.

As Paul Simon sang in his famous 1973 song:

I can read the writing on the wall

You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Momma, don't take my Kodachrome® away
I'm feeling sentimental since Momma and I got to attend the Paul Simon concert Monday night in Phoenix. Paul, of course, sang Kodachrome and it was all we could do not join in.

But then the urge overpowered me....

Every day should be Anti-Slavery Day

I almost missed this, but today is Anti-Slavery Day in the United Kingdom. Please pray for those who continue to be affected by human trafficking.

Anti-Slavery Day was "established in 2010 to provide a focal point for raising awareness about the many people in the UK and around the world who continue to be trapped in modern slavery, and to promote the need for many individuals and organizations across society to play a part in ending it."

Ode to Phillis

On this date in history, my Dear Friend Phillis Wheatley was finally freed from slavery.
Momma's Phillis Wheatley

Phillis was the first published African American poet and first African-American woman whose writing was published. Probably born in Gambia, Senegal, she was made a slave when she was about 7-years-old. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry.

Phillis' intelligence and writing was an astonishment to many white people and she had to
prove in court (including John Hancock) in 1772 that she was smart enough to write! Their signed attestation was later published in the preface of her book

Phillis visited England for five weeks in 1773 (accompanying her master's son) where admirers of her poetry raised the funds for the publication of her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. (The book was published in London because Boston publishers refused to.) 

Although relatively well treated by her owners, Phillis was finally freed on Oct. 18, 1773 and she married about three months later. However, her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784 and she became ill and died on Dec. 5, 1784.

Phillis had to be careful what she said or wrote but stated in her July 1778 poem, On the Death of General Wooster:

But how, presumptuous shall we hope to find
Divine acceptance with th' Almighty mind—
While yet (O deed Ungenerous!) they disgrace
And hold in bondage Afric's blameless race?

I like to think I look a little like her.

Sunday, October 16

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, Oct. 16

War by telegram

The fall of 1861 is bereft of major fighting until Union Major Gen. George B. McClellan gets a disastrous battle going — by telegram. Oct. 21, 1861, witnesses a badly coordinated attempt by Union forces to cross in boats from Maryland to the Confederate-held Virginia side of the Potomac River, northwest of Washington. Their aim: to seize a key railroad juncture at Leesburg, Va. But Union forces will get no further than the steep Virginia slope of the Potomac riverbank at the Battle of Ball's Bluff. It all began with a line in a seemingly innocuous McClellan telegram to a subordinate, Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone. McClellan advises Stone, commander of troops along the Potomac, to "keep a good lookout upon Leesburg," adding "perhaps a slight demonstration on your part would have the effect to move them." Stone obliges by sending two Union companies across the river the night of Oct. 20, 1861. They scale the bluff and report back on its dangerous, steep slope. The next day, thousands of Union troops begin crossing, launching their incursion. But Confederates above them on the heights at Ball's Bluff fiercely counterattack. Heavy Confederate cannon and rifle fire drives the green federal forces back down the bluff, many splashing mortally wounded and bleeding into the river. Others drown trying to swim away in uniform. When it's over, hundreds of Union troops are dead and hundreds more are missing or taken prisoner — out of roughly 1,780 ill-trained Union troops seeing their first action. A leader of the Union attack, Col. Edward D. Baker, who served in the U.S. Senate from Oregon, is killed. Baker is a good friend of President Abraham Lincoln and the Union rout causes such an uproar in Washington that a congressional oversight committee is formed for the conduct of the war.

Saturday, October 15

Full of hot air

Two important dates should be noted today in the history of aviation:

  • Oct. 15, 1783 – The Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon made its first human ascent with Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier in a tethered balloon. It made its first non-tethered flight with a human on Nov. 21, 1783.

  • Oct. 15, 1910 – The airship America launched from Atlantic City, N.J., in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft. The airship had gone east of New Hampshire and south of Nova Scotia when the engines failed and it drifted south. Thirty-three hours and 1,370 miles later, the crew were rescued west of Bermuda. The first successful aerial crossing of the Atlantic came nine years later.

Friday, October 14

Happy birthday Mr. Sanders!

“Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would, I'd never leave.” 
  ― A.A. Milne

The children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, was first published on Oct. 14, 1926.

This was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about Winnie-the-Pooh in  When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four books were illustrated by Milne's neighbor E. H. Shepard.

Thursday, October 13

The Dead Meemaw card

To Evil Wil Wheaton,

Well played sir.

You said on your blog, "I am literally playing The Dead Meemaw Card so that you'll watch me on The Big Bang Theory tonight."

I did, but even I did not anticipate such a dastardly move.

How much did you pay Brent Spiner to do that, huh? I've read the comments and know how some think you really are a nice guy now. Ha!

You and I know the truth, and I have the proof.

Who else would dare lay a silver Sharpie upon Me!

Did you hope the silver Sharpie would silence Me?


I'm watching you Wheaton.

Your Mortal Enemy,
Steampunk Addie

A message from Her Majesty (not me)

This has been making the rounds lately. I don't know who wrote it originally but I think it's Bloody Brilliant. (Did I say that correctly?) I might have to add QE2 to my list of approved queens.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years, your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA (not President Obama - SA) and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
  2. Using the same 27 words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.
  3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  7. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  8. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.
  9. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  10. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
  11. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1 percent of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  12. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  13. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  14. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!

Romancing the cornerstone


I would like to point out that construction of the President's Mansion (later known as the White House) began with the laying of the cornerstone on Oct. 13, 1792 in Washington, D.C.

But no one seems to know where that cornerstone is!

There was no ceremony and at least one rumor claims that President George Washington laid it on Oct. 12 - but he was supposedly in Philadelphia that day.

Another account is the Freemasons laid the stone on Oct. 13, but then got so drunk they couldn't recall exactly where they put it.

What do I think? I like to think a slave laid the cornerstone since the White House was built by enslaved and free African-American laborers.

Much of the other work on the White House was performed by immigrants, many without citizenship. (Dare I say it? Maybe even illegal?)

Think about it.

Wednesday, October 12

Truth is stranger than fiction

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."
Mark Twain

Please don't think negatively of me, but it's really hard not to laugh sometimes when you read things like this:

AP - Sixteen actors dressed as zombies were injured Tuesday when they fell from a platform during filming of a new movie in the "Resident Evil" series, officials said, and rescue workers at first were startled at the seemingly catastrophic scene.
"I could see the look on the first paramedic, saying 'Oh my God,"' Toronto emergency medical services Commander David Ralph said with a laugh.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, but the victims' gory zombie costumes made it difficult for crews to assess the actors' injuries.
"It did kind of catch us off guard when we walked in," Toronto Police Sgt. Andrew Gibson said.

Twelve victims (not ma chère amie Cécile
) were taken to a hospital. (I hope none of the hospital's residents was evil.) One actor had a cracked rib, another broke a leg and one had a possible back injury, the film's producers said, but seven of the zombies have already returned to the set.

So much for the disclaimer at the end of Resident Evil 5:
"No zombies were harmed in the making of this movie."

Tuesday, October 11

It's OK to be Takei

No one should have to live in the closet.

No one.

(It gets really stuffy in there, thank you very much.)

Today is National Coming Out Day, an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), etc.

It is observed by the LGBT communities and their families, friends, supporters or "allies."

Hmm, maybe supporters of dolls should be known as Addies? 

I'm willing to lend my name to the cause, much like George Takei did.

Monday, October 10

Street-level democracy

Here I am being interviewed by Kermit for Sesame Street News Flash.
"I said nothing when the recession hit Wall Street. But when it hit Sesame Street, I knew something had to be done."

Basically, the participants of Occupy Wall Street have been protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and government lobbyists since Sept. 17, 2011.
About two weeks later it hit Sesame Street and I knew I had to get involved.

Are you among the 99 percent?

Remember, in a democracy, it's your vote that counts. On Sesame Street, it's your Count that votes.


Full steam ahead

La Marquise
I was fascinated to read this weekend that the world's oldest known working automobile sold Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 for an astounding $4.2 million to an undisclosed bidder.

Sadly, that buyer was not me. 

La Marquise is an 1884 prototype built by De Dion-Bouton, a French automobile manufacturer founded in 1883 by de Dion, Georges Bouton and his brother-in-law Charles Trépardoux, and named for the mother of Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, the Count of Dion.

In 1887, De Dion drove La Marquise in the "world’s first car race," although she was the only entrant. She made the 20-odd-mile Paris-to-Versailles round trip at an average speed of almost 16 m.p.h. (The next year, De Dion beat Bouton on a three-wheeler with an average speed of 18 m.p.h.!)

Fueled by coal, wood and paper, La Marquise takes 30-40 minutes to build up enough steam to drive and her top speed is 38 miles per hour.

Here are some documented facts about La Marquise according to the auction house:
  • Named La Marquise after the Count de Dion’s mother
  • At 127 years of age, the oldest running motor car in the world
  • Single family ownership for 81 years and only four owners from new
  • Participant in the first automobile race in 1887
  • Veteran of four London-to-Brighton runs
  • Pebble Beach Concours double award winner in 1997
  • Capable of 38 mph, 20 miles on tank of water
  • Veteran Car Club dating certificate #1750
  • Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn
As the oldest car, La Marquise wore the number "0" in the 1996 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Make sure you watch the video. It might make you appreciate your modern automobile more!