Wednesday, October 4, 2017

When life give you lemons - after the lemonade, add vodka.

Once again, it's National Vodka day.  While it's not my first choice of drink - I'm not one to pass up the chilled neutral spirit.

Whatever brand you drink, it always taste better fresh out of the freezer.

(Yes, they may quote me on that, I'd be willing to endorse the stuff.)

St Francis of Assisi, (nee Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone,) was born the son of a rich silk merchant in Italy during the late 12th and 13th centuries. He is remembered for his generosity to the poor, love of animals and his willingness to minister to the lepers. He was fond of kissing leper's sores which comes across today as somewhat of a fetish.

St. Francis, who at the time, was not a saint or a priest, for that matter, went on to found the Catholic Church’s Franciscan order as well as the women’s Order of St. Clare (remember the patron saint of Television.)  St. Francis was reportedly the first person to receive a stigmata (please seek out the old ladies in the back pew of church to explain that one,) as well as developing the Christmas creche. Exhausted, St Francis decided to rest on his laurels and died in Portiuncula, Italy on October 3 or 4, 1226, (neither electric lights, clocks nor calendars were around his monks' cell, so the exact time could not be established.)

In many churches around the United States, The Feast of St Francis is celebrated by offering animal blessing services. One of the largest services in the United States is held at St. John the Divine in NYC.

October 4, 1951 -
Vincente Minnelli's
gorgeous technicolor valentine to the movie musical, An American in Paris, premiered in NYC on this date.

Even though Vincente Minnelli is credited as the sole director, he was sometimes tied up with his divorce from Judy Garland and other directing projects, leaving Gene Kelly to take over the directing duties.

October 4, 1957 -
Leave It To Beaver premiered on CBS-TV on this date. Once again, another show from the 50s where the lead actor (Hugh Beaumont not Jerry Mathers) was a raging alcoholic.

The show's situations were based on the experiences of the writers' children. Joe Connelly based Beaver and Wally on his own sons while Eddie and Larry were based on their friends. Connelly would take the boys out and record their conversations in his notebook.

October 4, 1964 -
Gerry Anderson's
third Supermarionation could freak out unsuspecting children again when Stingray, premiered in the UK on this date.  (It was the first British series to be filmed entirely in Colour: the extra U was particularly expensive.)

Stingray takes place a few years prior to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, with some WASP (the World Aquanaut Security Patrol) personnel becoming members of the later SPECTRUM.

Impress your friends with that bit of knowledge. (or not.)

From your friends at ACME

Today in History:
October 4, 1822 -
Rutherford Hayes
was born on this date, in Delaware, Ohio.

That's not especially interesting in itself. Presidents, after all, must be born somewhere - and President Hayes was not the only one to have chosen Ohio. But consider: Jimmy Carter was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia, and Chester Arthur was born on October 5, 1830, in Fairfield, Vermont (or Canada.) That's three presidential birthdays in a four-day period, a glut of presidential timber not to be found anywhere else on the calendar. Hayes came into office by one electoral vote, accomplished nothing, and did not run for a second term.

Arthur came into office as James Garfield's vice-president and was promoted eight months later, upon Garfield's assassination. He accomplished nothing, and wasn't even nominated for a second term (although he does look a lot like Captain Kangaroo.)

Through no fault of his own, Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976 (and must therefore bear his share of responsibility for my own difficult misspent youth). He sought but was denied a second term.

Significance? Zero.

October 4, 1883
After a number of false starts, financial troubles and difficulties negotiating with various national railway companies, Georges Nagelmackers' Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (French for "sleeper cars") established a route from Paris to Istanbul, making it first run to Giurgiu in Romania via Munich and Vienna, on this date.

The original Orient Express stopped serving Istanbul in 1977, and its new route ran from Paris to Vienna until 2007, when the train departed from Strasbourg instead of Paris. In 2009, after 126 years, the Orient Express ceased operation; aviation and high-speed trains had put an end to the classic Orient Express.

October 4, 1957 -
Sputnik One
(meaning "companion" or "fellow traveller"), the first man-made satellite, was launched on this date, beginning the "space race."

The satellite, built by Valentin Glushko, weighed 184 pounds and was launched by a converted Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Sputnik orbited the earth every 96 minutes at a maximum height of 584 miles.

In 1958, it reentered the earth's atmosphere and burned up.

Significance? A Little More Than Zero.

October 4, 1969 -
A despondent Diane Linkletter jumps out the kitchen window of her tenth-story apartment in West Hollywood, California on this date.

Even before an autopsy can be performed, television personality Art Linkletter blames his daughter's death on a bad LSD trip. Even though the toxicology report disputes Art's assertion, the LSD story persists.

October 4, 1970 -
When I sing, I feel like when you're first in love. It's more than sex. It's that point two people can get to they call love, when you really touch someone for the first time, but it's gigantic, multiplied by the whole audience. I feel chills.

Janis Joplin accidentally overdoses on an unusually-pure dose of heroin, on this date, at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Los Angeles .

October 4, 1976 -
Earl Butz
, President Ford's Secretary of Agriculture, was forced to resign after newspapers print a comment he made regarding race relations

(and I will paraphrase for those with weak constitutions) : "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight female reproductive organ; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to go to the bathroom."

October 4, 1986 -
Network news anchorman Dan Rather was mugged in New York City on this date. The attacker, one William Tager, shouted the question "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" during the beating.

While the "frequency" refers to the wavelength of the transmissions that CBS was beaming into Tager's head, history is still unclear on exactly who "Kenneth" is or why R.E.M. would record a song about it. It is rumored that the attack occurred because of Rather's uncanny resemblance to underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger.

October 4, 1989 -
, 1973 triple crown winner and one of the greatest athletes of all time, was euthanized in Paris, Kentucky. He was 19.

Not surprisingly, viande de cheval appeared on the menu of several Parisian Bistros that night.

October 4, 1989 -
Death can really absorb a person. Like most people, I would find it pleasant not to have to go, but you just accept that it's more or less inevitable.

Dr. Graham Chapman (though he never actually practiced medicine professionally) died from complications related to spinal and throat cancer on this date.

And so it goes.

Before you go - I just got a chance to catch up with Puddles today and his cover of Conway Twittty's It's Only Make Believe -

In case you have no idea who the hell's Conway Twitty; here he is, singing his 1958 No. 1 hit:

Twitty's version is good but he doesn't have butterflies coming out of his mouth.


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