Friday, May 31

You're safe now

Just in case you think comicons are all fun and games, Sir Patrick Stewart (better known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation) passionately addressed the need to end domestic abuse last weekend at Texas' Comicpalooza.

I have been, and always shall be, your fan.


Wednesday, May 29

Monday, May 27

To boldly geek

Nichelle Nichols
Pardon me while I squee!

Nichelle Nichols actually Tweeted about Momma, Phoebe, and I!

Just in case you didn't believe me. 




News for nerds

Thankfully the internet cooperated today (I think it ran out of steam yesterday) so here (finally!) are the photos of our adventures at Phoenix Comicon 13.

Phoebe, Clementine, and I had a blast. We hope you can join us next year!

I'll post more this week about various experiences, but for now enjoy the photos and feel free to ask questions.

Sunday, May 26

I'm a dork-able

What a whirlwind four days.

Talk about blissfully exhausted.

Phoenix Comicon 13 was a blast. In its 13 years it has grown from 400 attendees in one day to more than 30,000 in four days.

Phoebe and I met Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, who signed us and loved us so much she asked for her very own version of Me. (I, of course, graciously agreed.)

We met Wil Wheaton (again) who signed my Li'l Wil and rolled his eyes at my peacebonded knife and leg. (Apparently Wheaton still does not realize what a threat I am!)

Clementine met Jewel Staite, the ship's mechanic Kaylee Frye on Firefly and Serenity, who signed her tummy.

We also go to say hi to Kristin Bauer who plays the vampire Pam on True Blood.

We attended workshops and panels, met authors and illustrators, and watched people in all kinds of costumes.

(Not to mention hundreds of booths filled with geeky goodness.)

I have hundreds of photos to edit and share, but the internet is being g-l-a-c-i-a-l so I'll share them tomorrow.

Of course there will be more to report this week, but for now it is time for us to rest.


This week in the Civil War: May 26, 1863

Fighting for control of the lower Mississippi River

Union forces acted this week in 1863 in a coordinated onslaught against Confederates holding Port Hudson, La., bidding to dislodge them while Ulysses S. Grant ratcheted up his offensive against the heavily fortified city of Vicksburg, further up the Mississippi River. The Union on May 27, 1863, unleashed assaults on Confederate fortifications but were immediately pushed back. Federal fighters then lapsed into a siege that would last for several weeks before Union fighters would again try – and fail – with another assault in mid-June. It wouldn't be until early July 1863 when Grant's Union fighters had forced the surrender of the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg, Miss., before Port Hudson would capitulate. The fighting in Louisiana and Mississippi marked a new chapter in the war as Grant sought would assert Union control over the entire Mississippi River through the Deep South to federally held New Orleans.

Saturday, May 25

Let's make a deal

It is now official.

Within a month or two beloved Star Trek: The Original Series actress Nichelle Nichols will have a cloned copy of Yours Truly.

We stopped by today while Nichols was signing autographs at Phoenix Comicon to see if she really, truly wanted an Uhura fangirl doll - and she did!

(We also asked which doll she wanted. While she loved Phoebe it was My Awesomeness that won her over.)

What a brilliant woman!

While we all know that I am An Original, Momma agreed to make a doppelgänger just for her.

Now Momma is off to scour the world for a doll that looks something like me - as well as try to recreate my Awesome Star Trek fangirl costume.

Stay Tuned!

Friday, May 24

Down to Earth

I am so excited I don't even need my beloved Airship Enterprise to be in the clouds.

Nichelle Nichols likes Me us! She really, really likes Me us!

Nichols, well known as Lt. Uhura of Star Trek: The Original Series television series and six feature films, is also a singer, dancer, and a lifelong supporter of the arts and sciences.

Today at Comicon we made a beeline for Nichols to get her autograph. She loved us! In fact, she wanted to keep us but Momma said that wasn't possible.

(Phoebe got her tummy signed!)

Later, we went for a photo opportunity where Nichols again admired us. Momma said it still wasn't possible to give either of us to her, but if Nichols really wanted a doll she would make her one - and Nichols said, "Yes!"

Thursday, May 23

Legged and dangerous

I am so psyched. 

As you might recall, Lieutenant Uhura carries a knife in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "Mirror, Mirror."

My knife, since it is metal, was deemed to be a threat at Phoenix Comicon and was peace-bonded.

So was my leg. 

A peace-bonding is a conspicuous lock, tie, or mark which makes or identifies something as unusable as a weapon, that is, that the owner's intentions are purely peaceful.

At some conventions, attendees carry real weapons or costume props that appear to be weapons. To forestall concerns about mis-use of real weapons at such events, the security team "peace-bonds" anything that might look like a weapon.

The event's "weapons policy" may offer objective criteria to determine what looks like a weapon. For example, a weapons policy may require a peace-bond for anything that a reasonable person might recognize as a weapon from a short distance in dim light.

Real weapons, if allowed, are disabled, secured, and marked. For example, bright orange zip ties may be used to hold a sword in a scabbard or to hold a pistol in a holster.

As for my leg, maybe I should pursue kick-boxing?


Make it so, Number 26

Stardate 47988

On this date in 1994, Star Trek: The Next Generation ended with the episode, "All Good Things...."

ST:TNG was an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise.  The show was created 21 years after the original Star Trek show and ran for seven seasons, unlike The Original Series which ran for only three seasons.

Phoebe is an Uhura fangirl, but I persuaded her to visit the future with me.

She liked how Captain Picard called Commander Riker Number One, so I promised I'd call her Number 26.

She was not amused.

Wednesday, May 22

A hero will rise

I return from my latest adventure to find a stasis chamber.

Could it be?!

Now that's a knife.

I carefully slit the hermetic seals.

Oh no! The stasis chamber appears to be full of smoke!

I quickly assist Phoebe out of her stasis chamber.

After reviving, Phoebe shows me her Star Trek uniform and gives me a gorgeous steampunk necklace.

Phoebe, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe

Phoebe is scheduled to arrive today.

I simply cannot wait!

Only one more day until Phoenix Comicon!

Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe
Make her the cutest that I've ever seen
Give her two lips like roses and clover
Then tell her that her lonesome nights are over

Mailman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please bring her oh so speedy
Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe

Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe
Make her the cutest that I've ever seen
Give her the word that I am a rover
Then tell her that her lonesome nights are over

Mailman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please bring her oh so speedy
Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe

Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe
Give her a pair of eyes with a come-hither gleam
Give her a lonely heart like Leonard Nimoy
And lots of wavy hair like Nichelle Nichols

Mr. Mailman, someone to hold
Would be so peachy before I'm too old
So please bring her oh so speedy
Mr. Mailman, bring me, please, please, please
Mr. Mailman, bring me Phoebe.


Tuesday, May 21

Cupcake cutie pie

Ooh, my aching sweet tooth.

My Big Sister wanted a cupcake cake for Sunday's birthday party, and cupcakes for her class today.

The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of "a cake to be baked in small cups" was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. 

The earliest documentation of the term cupcake was in "Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats" in 1828 in Eliza Leslie's Receipts cookbook.

Nowadays, some bakers arrange cupcakes in a pattern and frost them to create a large design, such as a rainbow. These can be called either cupcake cakes or cupcake pull-aparts. (My Big Sister likes these since she only likes the icing and she gets more this way.)

I am stuffed.

Monday, May 20

Getting to Be Ten

Happy 10th birthday to my Big Sister!

Even though I had my birthday April 9, it wasn't official until my Big Sister's birthday, too.

This, of course, reminds me of my dear friends, Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.

As explained in Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, Tib turned 10 in January, followed by Tacy in March ... but they were too polite to say anything until Betsy's April birthday.

Oh, Betsy’s ten tomorrow
and then all of us are ten!
We will all be ten tomorrow,
We will all be ladies then.

Happy, happy birthday!

Sunday, May 19

The devil's food cake made me do it

Did you know today, May 19, is National Devil's Food Cake Day?

It is!

Do you also remember last month how Pippaloo asked if angel food cake was my favorite and I said that devil's food cake was?

Devil's Food cake is a moist, airy, rich chocolate layer cake considered to be a counterpart to Angel Food cake. 

Devil's food cake has a unique light and moist texture, which sets it apart from other chocolate cakes. The recipe calls for quite a bit of baking soda, and boiling water instead of milk. Both of these ingredients contribute to the fluffiness of this confection. 

Just in time for my Big Sister's birthday tomorrow!

This week in the Civil War: May 19, 1863

Union assaults on Vicksburg, Miss.

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Ulysses Grant hurled his Union forces at heavily fortified Vicksburg, Miss., in hopes of a swift conquest of the Mississippi River city. Union artillery began the assault early on May 19, 1863 before troopers stormed through a series of Confederate obstacles of downed trees and other obstructions toward the Confederate lines. But Southern fighters responded with withering fire, driving back the federal forces with heavy loss of life. Grant realized after his forces were repulsed that his reconnaissance had been too hasty, and he ordered more careful study of the terrain around Vicksburg before unleashing another assault on May 22, 1863. This time Union artillery pummeled the city's defenses for several hours before federal infantrymen advanced toward the city. But again, Union forces were pushed back with an estimated 3,000 lives lost. This would mark the escalation of Grant's campaign to besiege Vicksburg and gain control of the wide river below, a key prize as a major trading corridor through the country's heartland.

Friday, May 17

I ♥ Mosi

Boy oh boy, I simply cannot wait for Mosi to arrive this summer after touring her homeland in the Navajo Nation!

What if you could change the world just by buying a doll? You can with the Hearts For Hearts Girls Mosi Doll.

This beautiful, realistic-looking doll is a girl that wants to make a difference in her life and Navajo community.

This poseable, 14-inch doll is super detailed with special touches like culturally-specific jewelry and a fashionable and current outfit specific to her community. Mosi wears a red wrap dress with white patterns, a blue belt with heart-shaped buckle, striped leggings, cowboy boots with embroidery, silvery dangle earrings and a blue hair feather. Her fully-rooted, ultra-silky hair is fun to comb, style and play with.

Mosi is an excellent, unique and diverse doll to add to your child's collection and is a great way to teach her a little about Navajo history and social studies too. This deluxe doll comes with a hair comb, a girl-sized heart charm bracelet and a mini storybook about her life.

She also comes with an online registration code that gives your daughter special access to the fun, child-safe hearts4heartsgirls website where she'll find stories, games, diaries, ideas and tons of activities that her and her doll can play.

The best part about bringing Mosi home with you? When you buy a Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, a portion of the purchase price is donated to children's causes in those countries through World Vision, a global humanitarian organization.

Change the world one heart at a time, with Hearts For Hearts Girls.

This is a gorgeous doll your child will truly treasure. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Thursday, May 16

That's the spirit!

Momma has collected ethnic dolls all her life and has many examples of Navajo dolls ... most of whom are in storage!

Tsk, tsk.

Specifically, the soft bodies dolls representing male and female Navajos in their native dress, NOT kachinas.

(Kachinas are traditionally Hopi spirits, not Navajo, and are represented in carved figures similar to Christian icons and statues. Kachinas are for education, not play. Some Navajo make kachinas for sale but it is not part of their culture. Momma does have some kachinas, but does not count them as part of her doll collection.)

According to Wikipedia, Navajo dolls wear a style of clothing that Navajo women copied from east coast American society in the 1860s. Women of that era wore full dresses made out of satin. President Lincoln's wife and friends wore full dresses made of satin. Navajo women copied the patterns but substituted velvet for the satin and made buttons out of nickels and dimes. These stylish skirts are still fashionable today, for Navajos and non-Navajos alike.

Momma found this awesome Smithsonian Institute PDF resource about five different Native American dolls which has photos and descriptions.

I hope you enjoy looking at it!

Steampunk Addie learns a lesson

When the Montoyas lose hundreds of sheep to a flood, they decide to use what wool they have to weave blankets, and then trade those for more sheep. A servant, Teresita, teaches Josefina how to weave on this small loom.

According to the Josefina learns a Lesson, Teresita was taken from her people, the Navajo, when she was nine. She taught Josefina and her family how to weave rugs in the Navajo style. 


Wednesday, May 15

Steampunk Addie Into Darkness

I flew my Faithful Dirigible (the Enterprise, of course) back from the Navajo Nation in time to join Momma for tonight's premier of the moving picture Star Trek Into Darkness.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. 

Only eight days until Phoenix Comicon - and the arrival of My Dear Friend, Phoebe!

A "New Hope" tor the Navajo language

The Star Wars films have been translated into at least 50 languages, but this will be the first time a major movie, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope will be dubbed into a North American indigenous language. 
 The translation comes from a partnership between the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Parks and Recreation and Lucasfilm.

Manuelito Wheeler is the director of the Navajo Nation Museum and has been working to get the film translated for over three years. He hopes the movie will serve as a tool to preserve the language. "There are definitely star wars nerds out there that can repeat that movie verbatim and they speak no Navajo," says Wheeler. "So when they're watching this and it's in Navajo, it's them learning Navajo."

Wheeler says with the release, younger generations will be inspired to learn the language, while older generations will be able to see and understand the film for the first time.

So, you want to say "may the force be with you" in Navajo? Well, the script is under lock and key until the films theatrical release this July.

Tuesday, May 14


My Big Sister is heading off today for her school's Senior Elementary Big Trip to the Navajo Nation - and I decided to tag along!

The Navajo were forced to walk at gunpoint from their lands, in what is now Arizona, to eastern New Mexico between 1864 and 1866. More than 300 Navajos died making the journey. 

After the Navajos' return from their imprisonment in New Mexico, the "Navajo Indian Reservation" was established according to the Treaty of 1868.

The Navajo Nation (Navajo: Naabeehó Bináhásdzo) is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory covering 27,425 square miles, occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction within the United States.

While we are there we plan to see:

Doesn't this sound like fun?!

*Yá'át'ééh means "Hello" in Navajo.


Monday, May 13

A great nation is a reading nation

Children's Book Week originated in the belief that children's books and literacy are life-changers. In 1913, Franklin K. Mathiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly, and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children's Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association sponsored a Good Book Week with the Boy Scouts of America.

Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- wherever young readers and books connect!

The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s fundamental declaration: "A great nation is a reading nation."

Sunday, May 12

Food of the gods

Happy Mother's Day! 

As you know,  Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, W.V. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she succeeded in 1914, she was disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. 

To celebrate, Momma asked if I wanted frozen yogurt.

My reply?

"Frozen what?!"

Yogurt, yoghurt or yoghourt is a fermented milk product produced by the bacterial fermentation of milks of almost any type.

Made for centuries in other countries, yogurt was first introduced to the United States in the early 20th century, and was popularized by John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg's cereal fame) at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan.

Frozen yogurt was introduced in the north-east United States in the 1970s as a soft serve dessert. Frozen yogurt took off in the 1980s and by the early 1990s frozen yogurt was 10 percent of the frozen dessert market.

An early form of an ice cream parlor existed in Philadelphia in the 1800s which sold "all kinds of refreshments, as Ice Cream, Syrups, French Cordials, Cakes, Clarets of the best kind, Jellies, etc."

Being an 1864 kinda gal, my family had a hard time getting ice cream until Poppa fixed an old ice cream churn since we weren't allowed in most stores.

Boy, I LOVE being a time traveler!


This week in the Civil War: May 12, 1863

Fighting in Mississippi

On May 16, 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed at the Battle of Champion Hill in Mississippi, dueling with artillery and rifle fire. Amid fierce combat, Union fighters swept across the top of Champion Hill, forcing Rebel forces into chaotic retreat before a Confederate counterattack was mustered. But stubborn Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered his forces to push back again and a Union assault was launched with fresh troops arriving on the scene. That counterattack forced the Confederates into all-out retreat toward Vicksburg, Miss. The fighting in Mississippi 150 years ago during the Civil War marked the prelude to Grant's siege of Vicksburg, which would open days later in May 1863. Grant would ultimately force the surrender of Confederates garrisoned in heavily fortified Vicksburg later in 1863. It would mark one of the turning points of the war as Union forces wrested away full control of the Mississippi River, splitting the Confederacy and propelling Grant toward overall command of Union forces.

Saturday, May 11

Liquid wisdom

I humbly ask your pardon. It has been so long since I last wrote, but it has been quite the week.

Momma got a new part-time job, and Grandmomma and my Big Sister both got sick!

However, today Grandmomma, Momma, and I went to a Mother-Daughter Tea at our church.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. Tea is an aromatic beverage created by pouring hot or boiling water over dried leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

Drinking tea was first recorded in China in the 10th century B.C. Tea was introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. 

The British introduced tea to India, in order to compete with the Chinese monopoly on tea. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century, and eventually named their evening meals after it.

The term "high tea" was first used around 1825 and was served in the early evening at the dining, or kitchen, table.

The term "high tea" was used as a way to distinguish it from afternoon, or low, tea. Afternoon tea, or low tea,  was served in the garden when possible; otherwise it was usually taken inside on low tables placed near sofas or chairs.

Tea eventually made its way to England's North American colonies. After the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, 1773, coffee became the drink of choice in the newly formed United States.

It has been theorized that tea lead to the popularity of Chinese workers on U.S. railroads in the 19th century. Most American railroad workers would drink water from any source - and would frequently get waterborne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid fever.

The Chinese workers rarely got ill and quickly became popular as a source of cheap labor. Why? They almost always boiled their water for tea, instead of drinking water.

Let that be your lesson: Boiled water = healthy water.

Sunday, May 5

This Week in the Civil War: May 5, 1863

More fighting in Virginia, Death of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

The Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., was fought 150 years ago in May 1863 in and around Fredericksburg, Va. Thousands of Confederate forces clashed with Union foes anxious to press onward to the gates of Richmond, capital of the Confederacy. Union troops overran and captured Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg in fierce combat that included hand-to-hand fighting with Southern rivals, many of whom were killed or fled on foot. But Lee countered May 4 with a fierce assault of his own, retaking that strategic high ground and forcing a Union withdrawal. The chaotic series of days would close out with the death May 10, 1863, of the mortally wounded Confederate Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. He had contracted pneumonia after having his left arm amputated after being mistakenly shot by his own men May 2, 1863. Confederate Robert E. Lee was famously quoted as saying of Jackson's wounding: "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm." Jackson, gradually growing weaker at a house where he was taken, was with his wife and their infant daughter at his bedside when he died. Jackson would be buried in Lexington, Va., mourned throughout the Confederacy.

Friday, May 3

Greetings and Felicitations!

Happy anniversary, to me!

Yes, two whole years have flown by since I first blogged on May 3, 2011.

Since then I've learned a lot, and I hope you have, too.

I shall now await for your felicitations to arrive.

By the way, the second anniversary is traditionally cotton, but feel free to give me anything else you want.

Saige's Hot Air Balloon would be nice....

Thursday, May 2

The Proton Resurgence

Geek alert!
Grandpoppa's lifelong comic hero is guest starring tonight on The Big Bang Theory.

Yes folks, that is correct. Deadpan genius Bob Newhart is scheduled to appear when Sheldon and Leonard hire Professor Proton (Newhart), the host of their favorite childhood TV show, to perform. 
Newhart is an American stand-up comedian and actor noted for his deadpan and slightly stammering delivery. Newhart came to prominence in the 1960s with his album of comedic monologues The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.
Newhart later starred in situation comedies: first as psychologist Dr. Robert "Bob" Hartley on the 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show and then as innkeeper Dick Loudon on the 1980s sitcom Newhart

Incidentally, Newhart told a 2005 interviewer for PBS's American Masters that his favorite stand-up routine is "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue," in which a slick promoter has to deal with the reluctance of the eccentric President to agree to efforts to boost his image.

The mind boggles....

Wednesday, May 1

Revenge of the Nerds: The Next Generation

Even an arch nemesis can get it correct occasionally.

Shall I have to rethink my opinion of Evil Wil Wheaton?

Friend or Foe?

I have 22 days until Phoenix Comicon 13 to decide.