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January, 2004

January 31, 2004

1865 - 13th Amendment passed

On this day in 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment to the constitution, abolishing slavery.  It read "Neither slavery or involuntary servitude....shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."  The amendment was ratified in December, 1865.  Info, as usual, courtesy of history channel.com

I had to break down and get a new cell phone.  Actually, it wasn't desperate but there was a good rebate and this was the time to buy it.  My battery wasn't holding a charge well anymore and you can't buy anything for a five year old phone!  So, if the charger broke or it didn't hold a charge at all, I'd be sunk.  The new phone is really nifty.  Now, if I can just figure out all the features...

Stay warm, everybody


January 30, 2004

Ok, it's still cold!  I'm running out of winter Pooh graphics.  Geez!  Unfortunately, it's only January.  Sigh.

Anyway, I'm here today to rant about the Oscar nominations.  Now, I don't usually pay much attention.  I don't even see all the Oscar-nominated movies.  I don't go to the movies often and I usually see them on DVD or on TV long after they've left the big screen.  BUT, I'm rather annoyed that Sean Astin was not nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  Now, I enjoy looking at Legolas, the lovely, blonde-haired elf as much as anyone else but Sam is definitely my favorite character.  Without Sam, the task never would have been accomplished.  Even when Frodo is losing his mind from the weight of the responsibility and gives Sam grief, Sam never wavers.  He's ever faithful.  He's just the best and I think Sean Astin's portrayal was the best as well.  Actually, I think all the performances were first rate.  Ah, well.  Just my humble opinion, mind you.  Yeah, I've been stuck inside hibernating from the cold for too long!

 I can't believe it's Friday already.  Where did this week go?  Oh, yeah, we were shoveling snow again.  I remember now. 


January 23, 2004

Happy Birthday, John Hancock

John Hancock was born on this day in 1737.  It is also National Handwriting Day, a day set aside in 1985 by the National Writing Instrument Manufacturer's Association in honor of Hancock to promote legible handwriting.  Wow, who knew there was a National Writing Instrument Manufacturer's Association?  This seems appropriate, of course, because Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.  It is reported that Hancock said, "I'll sign it in letters bold enough so the King of England can see it without his spectacles on!"  Mr. Hancock was President of the Continental Congress from 1775 until 1777 and he died in 1793.  Hancock is remembered when we sign documents saying, "I'll put my John Hancock on it". 

Now, as we whine and complain about our icy cold spell here in the northeast, I'm humbled by this little tidbit.  On this day in 1971, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States was reported in Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska.  I'm shivering just thinking about -80 degrees F.!!  I can't even begin to imagine.  Maybe I'll just grin and bear it this weekend, when we're supposed to have single digit temps again. 

And finally, on this day in 1967, I'm a Believer by the Monkees was number one.

(thanks to Those Were the Days for the above information)

Once again, stay warm, everybody...


January 22, 2004

Hey, I think I've got this 2004 thing covered.  It only took almost a month.  Well, the update from here is......it's still cold!  Yeah, I know it's winter.  I don't care!  I'm done with winter!  More snow on the horizon this weekend.  The ice hasn't disappeared from the most recent storm.  Yadda, yadda.  Whatever.

This past Monday night, Kel and I attended the 50th birthday celebration for our friend, T. Doyle Leverett (affectionately known as "The Big T").  We had a lovely time.  Stephen was there as well, which was nice because we didn't know anyone else there and we had someone else to chat with!  Here's a birthday cake picture:

That's what 50 candles look like! 

Hope everyone is keeping warm where you are. 


January 15, 2004

Snowy day

More snow here in the northeast.  School is closed today, which surprised me because it's not that bad yet.  The forecast, however, is for up to six inches so I guess they don't want to take any chances.  I'm relieved because I was supposed to go on a field trip today to NYC museums.  Once you're in the city, it's not so bad but when we return to the Northport train station, we have to walk back to the high school for the students to be picked up.  It's about a ten minute walk, which would probably take longer in this weather.  It's also very cold, 9 degrees this morning, according to the link to weather underground on the top of this page.  So, it would have been bad! 

Jan and I saw Douglas perform in the Nightlife Awards Monday night.  He sang She Was There, which was so nice.  We didn't think we'd hear him sing that again.  The show was good but loooonnng. 

Stay warm!


January 10, 2004


Ok, people, it's cold.  Not just your normal, average, winter cold, this is beyond cold!  I just checked my favorite weather website (weather underground) and the temperature here on Long Island is 5, yes FIVE!!  Apparently, we're looking at a high of 16.  Pooh needs a hat and that little red shirt won't do him much good, either.

Next show to open at Smithtown (tonight, in fact) is Wait Until Dark.  It sounds like it's another terrific production.  I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Maybe this weather will inspire me to finally finish that quilt this week. 

I hope you're warm where you are!


P.S.  Did anyone pick up on the fact that I typed January 6, 2003 earlier today??  I just caught it myself and fixed it.  Let's see how many times I do that this month. 

January 6, 2004

Dismantling Christmas

We spent most of the weekend taking down the tree and putting away the decorations and such.  It's amazing how much bigger this living room looks when we remove the tree! 

We took down the outdoor decorations as well.  It didn't take long.  I think it's finally time to retire those big, old-fashioned outdoor lights.  We didn't have enough bulbs to go very far and the bulbs are too expensive now.  I think we'll have to find different light sets.  I'm not going for those icicle lights, though.  EVERYBODY has them!  Last year, we got those new "blanket" type light sets that are on the bushes in this picture.  Those are great but we still need strings of lights to go up the railing (which we didn't have enough to do this year!). 

Looks like I'm done with wrestling now as the student decided not to continue.  So, until track starts in March, I'm working a couple of hours a day.  Good and bad, as usual.  Nice to have the time but I'll be missing the money.

Off to get ready for my short day!


January 1, 2004

January is upon us!  We had a quiet start to the new year.  I'm still fighting off this cold, which is now more of a sinus thing and is becoming very annoying, so I watched the Times Square festivities last night and then went to sleep.  Such excitement.

Today in history, new year's day was celebrated on January 1 for the first time in 45 B.C. when the Julian calendar (named for Julius Caesar) took effect.  However, by 1582, the Gregorian calendar came into use because of the incorrect mathematical calculations which had added days to the year.  So, an extra day was added every four years to correct this problem.  Also, in 1863, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.  Largely symbolic, the proclamation freed no one, since it only affected the states in rebellion but meant that slaves in those regions would be freed when the states were reclaimed by the union.  Finally, and quite amazing to me, the first pay-per-view television service was actually demonstrated on this day in 1951!  The Zenith Radio Corporation sent movies over the airwaves in scrambled signals which were decoded by 300 families participating in the test for $1 each.  They did this by sending telephone signals, which, unless I'm mistaken, is still the way it's accomplished today.  Hmm, interesting.

We watched the dvd of Pirates of the Caribbean this evening:


Now, there's a picture to start the year with!  

Happy new year!


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