Monday, January 1, 2018

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.

Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste

I can't believe that it's the 11 year of my old man rantings and somewhat mildly amusing observations. If you're new to the blog - hopefully you'll find it a tad more interesting than a polo mallet to the noggin. If you're a long time reader - hopefully you'll still stick around; I'll keep trying to improve things around the blog this year.

Hopefully you didn't enjoy your New Year's Eve celebration too much (remember to drink plenty of fluids.)

I don't want to overtax your brain this morning so, here's some stuff, you may not know -

Today's gift count (120 gifts): you currently have Eight young woman engaged in the dairy industry, 14 Swans making a racket, 18 geese a' laying (fertilized goose eggs are going for about $82 per dozen), 20 golden rings, 20 calling birds, 18 French hens, 14 turtledoves and 8 partridges in their respective pear trees. The Eight maids a milking symbolize the eight beatitudes (from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount).

Remember to think kindly of women who work in the dairy industry - if it weren't for the unnatural interest Edward Jenner took in milk maids, we would never have the smallpox vaccine.

Today is The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ - a Christian celebration of the circumcision of Jesus, eight days (according to the Semitic and southern European calculation of intervals of days) after his birth,

the occasion too on which the child was formally given his name, Jesus, a name derived from Hebrew meaning salvation or savior.

Tonight is the Seventh and last night of Kwanzaa.

Tonight celebrates Imani (Faith) - To believe with all of one's heart in one's people, one's parents, one's teachers, one's leaders and the righteousness and victory of one's struggle.

January 1, 1941 -
The first Chinese animated feature film, Princess Iron Fan, directed by Wan Guchan and Wan Laiming was released in China on this date.

It was directed in Shanghai under difficult conditions in the thick of World War II.

January 1, 1985 -
VH-1 (Video Hits One) premiered as an adult contemporary music video channel on this date.

The first video that they played was Marvin Gaye's Star Spangled Banner video.

Before we kiss off this latest Annus Horribilis, check out the New York Times 2017 Year in Pictures.

We're open today at ACME

Today in History:
January 1, 1898 -
New York City annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York.

The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs.

January 1, 1901 -
(This is for all our friends in Australia) The Commonwealth of Australia came into being on this date.

Australia had existed as five separate British colonies before, but came into its modern form of government on this day.

January 1, 1995
The last syndicated Far Side by cartoonist Gary Larson appeared. (The strip was started in 1985.)

It was the perfect way for him to end his strip

If you didn't get your Farmer's Almanac this year or suffer from lycanthropy, here is your guide to the Full Moons of 2018:

January 2nd -
The Full Wolf Moon. Amid the zero cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. In London, impeccably dressed werewolves are often seen on the prowl in search of a dish of beef chow mein.

It was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule. In some tribes this was the Full Snow Moon; most applied that name to the next Moon. If all of this wasn't exciting enough, this is also the first of two supermoons this month.

January 31st -
The second full moon of 2018 is known as The Full Snow Moon. Usually the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence internet traffic increases threefold. It is the second full moon of January, so it is also know as a Blue Moon

Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

There is no full moon in February - This occurrence happens once every 19 years.

The last time February didn't have a full moon was in 1999, and the time before that was 1980; the next time there will be no full moon in February will be 2037.

But don't worry, with heavy drinking we can get through it

March 1st -
The Full Worm Moon. In this month the ground softens and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins. Just what you want to think about in the morning - worm crap.

The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.

March 31st -
We have yet another Blue Moon this year. It is known as The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, this is another variation of the Full Worm Moon. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

This year, the second full moon of the month is also designated as the Paschal Full Moon or the Paschal Term. Traditionally, Easter is observed on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. If the Paschal Moon occurs on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday. This was a long winded way of explaining that for Western Christianity, Easter occurs on April 1. (This year, for Eastern Christians, Easter occurs on April 8.) Be thankful that this is not on the test.

Hang tight folks, you'll be OK.

April 30th -
The Full Pink Moon. The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names were the Full Pink Floyd Moon because remember - there is no dark side of the moon - it's all dark.

Other names for this full moon are the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and, to some coastal tribes, the Full Fish Moon, to mark when the shad come upstream to spawn.

May 29th -
The Full Flower Moon. Flowers are abundant everywhere. Usually at your local Korean deli around the corner.

Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon (in a few months, the moon will be full of cheese.)

June 28th -
The Full Strawberry Moon. This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

Best seen in Central Park, across from the Dakota.

July 27th -
The Full Buck Moon, when the new antlers of buck deer push out from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. Again another disgusting image - bone pushing through flesh - for your early morning.

It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month's Moon was the Full Hay Moon. There will also be a total eclipse of the moon on July 27. However, it will not be visible in North America because it will be happening during the daytime, when the moon is below the horizon.

August 26th -
The Full Sturgeon Moon, when this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain is most readily caught. Sometimes, a sort of lunar madness occurs during this cycle, when people might chase the full moon with a little chopped egg and sour cream. Please direct these poor souls to Zabar's.

A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

September 25th -
The Full Harvest Moon. Always the full Moon occurring nearest to the Autumnal Equinox.

This is the time of year, aging Canadian Rock stars will sing full out with their once achingly beautiful harmonies.

October 24th -
The Full Hunter's Moon. With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt.

Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox, also other animals that have come out to glean and can be caught for a thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.

November 23th -
The Full Beaver Moon (OK stop snickering.) Time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter.

It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon. (Really stop laughing.)

December 22nd -
The Full Cold Moon (or the Full Long Nights Moon.) In this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and the nights are at their longest and darkest. Also sometimes called the Moon before Yule.

The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun. Rudolph sometimes gets the night off because of the bright light.

And so it goes my friends.


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