Thursday, December 29, 2016

There would have been a time for such a word.

I do twenty minutes every time the refrigerator door opens and the light comes on.

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds, one of the last stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals, shines no more.

It's the Sixth night of Hanukkah

You should begin thinking about where you are going to store your Menorah? (I don't mean to insinuate that you aren't normally observant. Perhaps you proudly display your heirloom menorah in your living room. I can't be everywhere.)

Today's gift tally (37 gifts): you currently have five golden rings, eight calling birds, nine French hens, ten turtledoves and five partridges in their respective pear trees (begin thinking preserves.)

Word to the wise - contact your local upscale poultry purveyor. Game birds fetch a high price during the holiday season.

Speaking of poultry - we've all been misinterpreting the song all these years. The song's seemingly bizarre switch from four birds, to five pieces of jewelry, and back to six birds actually makes perfect sense: The "five golden rings" is more likely a reference to ring-necked pheasants. So the five golden rings in this stanza refer to five ring-necked pheasants, a dish that was sure to be served at some of the king or queen's Twelfth Night feasts during the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations.

Let's hope your true love does not know this, you do not need any more damn birds.

Tonight is the Fourth night of Kwanzaa.

Today's holiday special  You're never pressured to buy Hanukkah Seals.

Another year end film review - This time, it's Sleepy Skunk's 2016 Review.

There are 282 films in the mashup.  If you can't name them all, they are listed here.

December 29, 1939 -
The classic Western comedy, Destry Rides Again, premiered on this date.

The role of Tom Destry was originally intended for Gary Cooper, but he wanted more money than the producers were willing to pay him. It was then offered to James Stewart, who took it.

December 29, 1959 -
Paula Poundstone
, comedian, was born on this date.

There should be more Paula on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

December 29, 1965 -
Thunderball - the best James Bond title - premiered in US on this date.

The only Bond film where we get a glimpse of all 00 agents in one shot. They are summoned to M's briefing and 007 is the last to join in. He sits down in the only available chair - the seventh from the left.

December 29, 1967 -
Star Trek first aired The Trouble with Tribbles episode - arguably one of their most famous episodes - on this date.

The scene in which Kirk is buried in an avalanche of tribbles took eight takes to get right. The tribbles were thrown into the hatch by members of the production crew. The crew members were not sure when to stop because they were unable to see the scene. This is why additional tribbles keep falling on Kirk one by one. William Shatner can be seen looking perplexed as to why more tribbles keep falling on him.

Today in History:
December 29, 1170
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was slashed to death by four of King Henry II's knights at the altar of the Virgin Mary. "Is there no one who will rid me from this turbulent priest", cried Henry in frustration earlier that month.

It was apparently not a serious demand for Becket's death, but that did not stop his brains from being splattered in Canterbury Cathedral.

Henry II was forced to walk to Becket's grave while being flogged by eighty monks as penance for his death.   

So kids remember, don't ask for things that you don't really want (the whole tears in heaven/ answered prayers thing.)

December 29, 1848 -
James Polk became the first president to install gas lighting in the White House on this date, though it had been used sporadically around the country since 1816.

Incidentally, Polk was also the first president to have his inauguration speech broadcast by telegraph, and the first president to have his photograph taken.

December 29, 1851 -
It's fun to stay at the YMCA.

The formation of the first YMCA in the United States in Boston, happened on this date.

No, I'm not going to play that song.

December 29, 1852 -
Emma Snodgrass, referred to by East Coast newspapers as "the girl who has recently been visiting parts of New England in pants" was "again" arrested in Boston on a charge of vagrancy. Since Emma was regularly employed as a clerk, and paid her bills, the vagrancy charge didn't hold.

She was released after the judge had given her some "wholesome advice about her eccentricities," to which she "responded with becoming grace and promised reformation." The next day, however, Emma was back on the street in her "male attire."

I tremble to think what would have happened if the judge had seen what was going on at the Boston YMCA.

December 29, 1876 -
Today's lesson: taking your job too seriously, can get you seriously killed.

On a cold and wintry night, the Pacific Express, carrying some 159 passengers and crew, was traveling over a bridge near Ashtabula, Ohio. Only the first engine of the train made it to the other side at 7:28 p.m. as the bridge began to collapse. The rest of the train broke away and plummeted to the bottom of the ravine below. Approximately 92 men, women and children were killed, not from the fall itself, but from the ensuing fire while they were trapped inside the crushed cars.

The bridge was owned by the Lake Shore and Michigan railroad, and was the joint creation of Charles Collins, Engineer, and Amasa Stone, Chief Architect and Designer. After testifying before an investigative jury, Charles Collins quietly went home and shot himself in the head. Amasa Stone committed suicide approximately 7 years later. Stone was held partly responsible for the disaster by the same investigative jury before which Collins had testified, and was publicly scorned for many years.

Please remember that YOU are not your job (unless you feel personally responsible from the horrible death of about 100 men, women and children.)

December 29, 1890 -
The Wounded Knee Massacre took place at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on this date, as over 200 Sioux were killed by US troops, led by Colonel James Forsyth, who was sent to disarm them.

Forsyth was later charged with killing the unarmed men women and children, but later exonerated.

Another proud moment in American history.

December 29, 1946 -
Baroness Sacher-Masoch (Marianne Evelyn Faithfull), English singer, songwriter, actress

and inventor of the Mars bar tampon, was born on this date.

December 29, 1972 -
Life ended the weekly publication of their magazine with the issue titled Year in Pictures, on this date. From 1936 it had produced over 1,860 issues.

The magazine was resurrected as a monthly in 1978 and ended again in 2000. From 2004 to 2007 Life appeared as a weekly newspaper supplement. In 2009, the archives were made available electronically.

December 29, 1993 -
Former child star Todd Bridges (who played Willis on Different Strokes) arrested for transportation of  methamphetamine.

What the hell were they smoking on that set? Oh, wait a minute ...

And so it goes

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