Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to Tomcat!

Well, today's the day. Candace's Tomcat is somewhere in London turning 50. Happy Birthday, Tomcat! Guess they're probably celebrating with the Queen, or maybe the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, otherwise known as the lovely Charles and Camilla, or maybe Tony Blair. Or, maybe they're having a quiet dinner at the Texas Embassy Mexican restaurant, which Candace claims serves the best Mexican food east of Dallas. They’re probably missing it about now, that and barbeque.

July 28, 1956 Elvis' second No. 1
Elvis Presley scores his second No. 1 hit on this day in 1956, with "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." In April, he had topped the charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel," which he had performed on his network TV debut in January, on "Stage Show." He also sang the song in April on "The Milton Berle Show" to an audience that included an estimated 25 percent of the viewing public. Tomcat wasn’t there because he was busy being born.

I'm Ronnie, your guest blogger for this auspicious day. Last time I was in London I learned to avoid the English food--brains, kidney pie, black pudding. So I asked a waiter where to go to get some better food and he said, "Are you joking? Why do you think we went after all those colonies?" He suggested Indian, or Chinese, or maybe Italian. OK, Now I understand why the Brits explored the globe. They were looking for food.

July flowers - Larkspur, Water Lily

July birthstone - Ruby ~ Contentment

So, I was in London with a friend and we were standing outside the hotel on the sidewalk wondering which way to go for good food. A woman sashayed by wearing a black leather miniskirt, black silk top, black seamed hose, and three inch heels (black of course). We both stared and had the same thought at the same time: "I'll bet she knows where there's a good restaurant." So yeah, we followed her, and after going down a few dark narrow roads and wet alleys (everything's dark and wet in London just like in that Jack the Ripper movie) she ducks into an Irish Pub with a green cloverleaf over the door. So naturally, we ducked in there too. Never saw her again, but we had the best Irish stew ever! (Bet you thought it was going to end differently, but heck, it's a true story, and in the real world you never get the girl, except for Tomcat who got Candace. Bet it wasn't at an Irish Pub though.)

The Cards of Life is an ancient system of knowledge, known at one time exclusively to only a few privileged and enlightened mystics.

July 28 - King of Hearts

Kings are regal, strong and natural leaders.

I was 50 once, about a hundred years ago it seems. They say that 60 is the new 40, so I guess that means that 50 is the new 30. You don't feel 50, you feel 30. Bet Tomcat does too. But everyone sure gloats in reminding you of it, don't they Tomcat? At least they did with me. Every birthday gift I got had a big Five-O on it. As if I needed reminding. "You're 50!" everyone said. "Don't forget, you’re 50! That's a Big Five-Oh." Yeah, tell me about it. There are some things you just don’t want to know.

Did You Know?

A recent survey suggests that more people are born on October 5 in the United States than any other day. October 5 holds a not-so-surprising significance, as conception would have fallen on New Year's Eve. ;-)

The least common birth date in the U.S. is May 22nd.

Am sitting here thinking about conception. (Which leads me to think about Pamela Anderson, but that's another thought). Nobody ever asks about conception. They don't ask "Where were you conceived?" No, it's always, "Where were you born?" Or, better yet, "Where are you from?" Not the same, where you were born, where you're from, where you were conceived. Maybe it doesn't matter since nowadays we're learning that in some communities in Britian as many as 30% of the newborns had biological fathers other than their father of record. (You weren't born in Britian were you, Tomcat?) We are a promiscuous species and some of us don't even know for sure who our fathers are let alone where we were conceived. (My great grandmother was an orphan who stowed away on a boat from Germany so she took the name, "Stowe" at Ellis Island). But just in case anybody asks about my conception I've got the answer ready. It was on a pool table at the Army USO in Los Angeles after closing time. Sounds a lot more interesting, doesn't it? My dad played pool, was in the Army, and chauffeured (could win a spelling bee with that one) celebs to the USO shows. It could have happened. Anyway, something to think about. Where and when were you conceived? Good to have an answer ready I think, just in case.

Your Birthday Facts:

Your star sign is leo and your star symbol is the lion

You were born on Saturday 28th July 1956 and Saturday's child works hard for a living

Your birthstone is ruby which symbolizes contentment

Personality Characteristics: Warm hearted, acting ability, likes to be the centre of attention, bubbly, strong willed, lives life to the full, fiery.

Element Influences: Fire people can be inspirational and have a creative vision. They are often assertive, with a zest for life.

Quality Influences: People with fixed qualities tend to be resistant to change, wanting a stable life. They can be the most loyal of the Zodiac qualities.

Polarity Influences: Your positive Yin/Yang exerts an outward-looking and extroverted side to your nature.

Female best matched with: Sagittarius, Leo, Aquarius.

Male best matched with: Virgo, Aries, Libra, Leo.

You have a Type A personality so big it makes other Type A's shrink away in shame.
You never shy away from adversity - and you love to tackle impossible problems.
Failure is not an option for you, and more than a few people are put off by your ego.
You tend to be controlling, and you hate leaving anything up to chance.

Your strength: Your bold approach to life

Your weakness: You don't accept help

Your power color: Bronze

Your power symbol: Pyramid
Your power month: October

Hey, we can’t all be perfect. But, speaking of Tony Blair, did you see that clip when he and the Prez were talking on the side with an open microphone? Bush was saying something like "Your country is a big country. Russia is a big country. China is a big country too." Or, intelligent words to that effect. That's our Prez, the man we (not me) elected, the leader of the western world. Blair was on point, wanting to talk issues. But Bush...where the heck was he...another planet maybe (hopefully)? Blair was also smart enough to notice the open mic and turn it off. No offense to Bush supporters. Just thinking about British things and how smart Blair looked and how dumb Bush...never mind.

Birthday Paradox, which states that in a random gathering of just 23 people, there are 50:50 odds that at least two of those present have the same birthday.

July births - Bill Bradley, Jacqueline Onassis

So, as it happens, my mother's birthday is on July 31st (Monday), just three days after Tomcat. She'll be 81. She'll still be here long after I'm gone. She's up at six a.m. to walk five miles around the track, then she goes to yoga, where she teaches the class. Then if it's hot, which it is in Los Angeles, she gets in the pool. She's as healthy as the day she was born and she was born an optimist. Everything, no matter what, is "wonderful." I'm starting to think that's the secret to long life: exercise and optimism. But then there are those terrorists.

The 10th Thermidor was the revolutionary name for the day (the 28th July 1794) which brought the termination of the celebrated Reign of Terror. While pressing dangers from foreign invaders and internal enemies surrounded the Revolution, the extreme party, headed by Robespierre, Barrere, St. Just, &c., had full sway, and were able to dictate numberless atrocities, under pretence of consulting the public safety. But when the Revolution became comparatively safe, a reaction set in, and a majority in the Convention arrayed themselves against the Terrorists. A struggle of two days between the two parties produced the arrest of Robespierre, Couthon, St. Just, Lebas, and a younger brother of Robespierre; and finally, in the afternoon of the 28th, these men, with some others, their accomplices, mounted the scaffold to which they had, during eighteen months, consigned so many better men. Robespierre died at the age of thirty-five.

It is undoubted that many of the most frightful outrages on humanity have been perpetrated, not in wanton malignity, or from pleasure in inflicting pain, but in the blind fervour of religious and patriotic feeling. We do not charge St. Paul with cruelty when, as Saul, he went about 'breathing threatenings and slaughter,' and 'making havoc of the church.' St. Dominic, who led on the massacre of the Albigenses, is said to have been a kindly man, but for a heretic he had no more heart than a stone. Indeed, the catalogue of persecutors contains, some of the noblest names in history.

"Noble" terrorists, "consulting the public safety"? Is that like protecting the National Security? "...blind fervour of religious and patriotic feeling"? Is that what it's really about? No, it's about the women, the virgins. Why do terrorists have to ruin everything, just because they want those 72 virgins up in Paradise? Why can't they settle for the virgins here on earth? Gotta be some around somewhere. Why not just invite them to your birthday party? I can see the ad in the paper: "Virgins wanted to attend birthday party of non-terrorist who prefers his virgins here on earth." Heck, makes sense to me. Otherwise, you end up with a gift like this:

Sweethearts Birthday Gift~~~~~~~~~~~~~A young man wished to buy a pair of gloves for his sweetheart's birthday, so he went to an expensive boutique, bought the finest gloves available and asked the saleswoman to have them delivered with a note. While wrapping the gloves, a clerk accidentally mixed up the order and sent a pair of panties instead.Here is the note the young man sent to his sweetheart:Darling,I chose these, because I noticed that you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. I would have chosen long ones with buttons, but because your sister wears the short ones that are so easy to remove, I decided to get the same style for you.Although these are a delicate shade, the lady I bought them from showed me a pair she had been wearing for three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had the sales girl try them on for me and they looked really smart.I wish I could be there to put them on for you for the first time. No doubt many other hands will touch them before I see you again. When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing. Be sure to keep them on while cleaning them so they dont shrink. Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you like them and will wear them for me on Friday night.All my Love.P.S The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.

Just another example of how birthday gifts can be misconstrued. So, if I have but one birthday gift, one word of advice for Tomcat in this new world of high technology, it is this simple way of improving a man's health:

Carpal tunnel syndrome has become a scourge among today's active and computer literate population. Men, especially, are becoming afflicted with this serious health problem.

To help stamp out carpal tunnel syndrome, new mouse pads have been devised to assist men in their computer operations.
Ergonomically-correct mouse pads such as these will enable men to avoid the pain and suffering associated with this serious health concern.

While this is Candace's blog, maybe she won't mind if you get something special, something you wouldn't normally get for yourself. (And if she does mind she can delete it and it'll be gone forever). So here's Tomcat's birthday gift to help avoid this and stay healthy (think I'll get one of these myself!):

Oops, almost forgot. The answer to the quiz. In case you missed it, here it is again:

What do these words have in common.......


Stop reading right hear if you want to work this out. (Stare at those mouse pads).

So I looked at this and thought, "they are all letters of the alphabet." And while that's right, it can't be THE answer since it would be the answer to all quizzes about "what do these words have in common."

So how about "they all contain at least two letter pairs, like Potato has two o's and two t's." But that doesn't sound right either since some have three letter pairs. So, while it's right, it's not...consistent. Not a satisfying answer, so it must not be THE answer. (Don't you just hate it when there is only one answer).

So what about, "remove the first letter of each word and you have a palindrome remaining (reads the same forwards and backwards). Hmmm...sounds good. I like it. Anything with "palindrome" in it has to be good. The problem with this is they aren't all real words, just letters with the same forwards and backwards pattern. Too easy to create? Well, you still have to start with real words. So it's a close call, but, unfortunately, that can't be THE right answer.

But then, Hale McKay came up with this:

"Take the first letter of every word and put it at the end and read backwards - you have same word you begin with."

He saw it in "Games Magazine" so it must be THE answer. They are words. They read the same forwards and backwards. And it's clever, the sure sign of a right answer. So Hale, you win the prize--two week all expenses paid trip to explore the historic (and modern) ruins of Beirut. But did you cheat? Did you look at Games Magazine for the answer? Or worse, were you doped up at the time to enhance your performance like those Tour de France guys? I don't know. Maybe an International commission needs to look into this. So, I'm withholding the prize to wait for further proof of innocence.