Something for Next Year for “Guy Fawkes Day”

Unfortunately, I did my grocery shopping too late, so I missed a chance to utilize these helpful suggestions on how to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night according to one of my local grocery stores.

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Hey, it turns out that Guy Fawkes lead the conspiracy and not Robert Catesby.   Who knew?  And Guy Fawkes also did some time travel too because the Kingdom of Britain did not exist until 1707.  I thought it was still the the Kingdom of England and Wales in 1605.  He must have used the TARDIS.  The Doctor never seems to go anywhere apart from London, as far as I have seen.

Regardless, so what are Americans supposed to do, since there are no fireworks, bonfires, nor parades around these parts (although there used to be in early colonial days in New England)?  Well, it looks like we are supposed to drink Irish tea with chocolate covered digestive “crackers”.  Perhaps we can snack on baked beans on top of Irish beer-flavored potato chips.  Sounds pretty lame.  Is that all?

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The grocery store also gave an idea for a meal to fix along with some more specials.

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Ah!  It’s Cinco de Noviembre!

Considering we have some of the best Mexican food in the Chicagoland area, this could work.  Instead of the bonfires, we can make Guy Fawkes into a piñata, fill him with a lot of that leftover Halloween candy, and have the kids hit him with sticks.  And we are always looking for reasons to set off fireworks and explosives.  This is America.

What do you think?

Remembrance Day vs. Veterans Day

Both Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are celebrated on November 11, but they mark very different occasions and have very different tones to them.

Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) marks the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 that World War I officially ended and is observed by most countries who fought in the war, including the Commonwealth nations.  I know in the U.K., the main commemoration involving the Royal Family and other dignitaries includes two minutes of silence at 11:00 at the Cenotaph at Whitehall, and the other ceremonies throughout the nation happen on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to the 11th.

Last year, to honor each life lost within the British Empire during the Great War, an installment of 888,246 ceramic red poppies was displayed around the moat of the Tower of London. "Tower of London Poppy" by JeyHan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tower_of_London_Poppy.jpg#/media/File:Tower_of_London_Poppy.jpg
Last year, to honor each life lost within the British Empire during the Great War, an installment of 888,246 ceramic red poppies was displayed around the moat of the Tower of London. It was the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.  Red poppies have come to symbolize Remembrance Day because of the poem, In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.  The Royal British Legion adopted it as a symbol in 1921.  “Tower of London Poppy” by JeyHan – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Over here, Veterans Day is a different thing entirely. It is a day that honors those who have served in the armed forces, living or dead. Wartime, peacetime…it doesn’t matter. So, if you signed on the dotted line, it’s your day. That is why you will see lots of memes on Facebook thanking veterans today from the Americans.  Because we have Memorial Day on Bank Holiday weekend in May to honor those we lost, it’s a lot less somber than Remembrance Day.

Case in point, this is what The Boffin told me this morning.

“Happy Veterans Day! Go find some free shit.”

Yes, businesses here give veterans stuff for free on Veterans Day.  Here is what I can get locally and some national deals.

I also found out I can get a free tall cup of coffee from Starbucks.  Like the vast majority of Americans, I don’t care what color the cup is.  I’ll just take a Sharpie and draw Stars of David on it.  Or not, because the coffee tastes like water brewed through compost.

So it’s the same date, but different days.  However, it is all down to honoring our troops, and I appreciate them in whatever way they served and are still serving.  Thank you, all of you.

3-Day Quote Challenge Down to One

Alison nominated me for the 3-Day Quote challenge, and I thank her.  But I am going to do some twists on it, because I am a contrary little shit.

First of all, I am only doing one day because I don’t have the attention span to do three.

Secondly, I am going to do make this into a little quiz as compensation. So, here’s the quote.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Now we can debate whether this is a bold statement regarding self-esteem or this is a perfect excuse for victim blaming.  (I think it is both depending on the context.)  But the question I have is, did she really say or write this?

Now, don’t cheat and Google it.  If I were omniscient and you did Google it, I would be all Judgy McJudgerpants on your ass.  Hey, if I am giving myself superpowers, I would have telekinetic ones too, and I would do more to you than bend your spoons.

Yeah, I am talking about you, Uri Geller. I know how to bend spoons. Just give me a tub of hard ice cream. Dweeb. Photo courtesy of Taylor Herring. https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylorherringpr/16098401967
Yeah, I am taking pot shots at you, Uri Geller. I know how to bend spoons. Just give me a tub of hard ice cream. Dweeb. Photo courtesy of Taylor Herring. https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylorherringpr/16098401967

It didn’t help that I had a dad who used to yell at the TV, “He’s rubbing the damn spoon!”

Anyway, back to Eleanor. Did she say it?  Write it?  Cast your vote down below.  I’ll give the answer later today in the comments.

Bonfire, Guy Fawkes, or That Dude in the Creepy Mask from V for Vendetta Night

For the benefit for folks in my parts, November 5, 1605 is a national holiday in the U.K. celebrating the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot, the conspiracy to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Parliament building. Even though Guy Fawkes was the one discovered guarding the explosives, the mastermind behind the whole plot was one Robert Catesby. It’s a shame he never got the festival named after him, since it was his idea.

He was robbed. "Robert catesby npg" by probably by Adam, after Unknown engraver - National Portrait Gallery: NPG d21072While Commons policy accepts the use of this media, one or more third parties have made copyright claims against Wikimedia Commons in relation to the work from which this is sourced or a purely mechanical reproduction thereof. This may be due to recognition of the "sweat of the brow" doctrine, allowing works to be eligible for protection through skill and labour, and not purely by originality as is the case in the United States (where this website is hosted). These claims may or may not be valid in all jurisdictions.As such, use of this image in the jurisdiction of the claimant or other countries may be regarded as copyright infringement. Please see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag for more information.See User:Dcoetzee/NPG legal threat for more information.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.English | Español | Français | Magyar | Italiano | Македонски | Türkmençe | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
He was robbed. “Robert catesby npg” by probably by Adam, after Unknown engraver – National Portrait Gallery: NPG d21072While Commons policy accepts the use of this media, one or more third parties have made copyright claims against Wikimedia Commons in relation to the work from which this is sourced or a purely mechanical reproduction thereof. This may be due to recognition of the “sweat of the brow” doctrine, allowing works to be eligible for protection through skill and labour, and not purely by originality as is the case in the United States (where this website is hosted). These claims may or may not be valid in all jurisdictions.As such, use of this image in the jurisdiction of the claimant or other countries may be regarded as copyright infringement. Please see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag for more information.See User:Dcoetzee/NPG legal threat for more information.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.English | Español | Français | Magyar | Italiano | Македонски | Türkmençe | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

For the most part, when I was living there 20 years ago, it was always an innocuous holiday full of fireworks and fun, although there was a question about the effigies. It is traditional to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the town’s bonfire. Understood. Cool. Even before I came over, sometimes towns would throw in a likeness of someone who is persona non grata like the late Margaret Thatcher. However, what made me squicky, were the pope effigies in a few isolated areas. Now, you crossed the line into religion. I understood that the whole point of the celebration was the thwarting of a Catholic conspiracy against the Protestant king, but I grew up Catholic.  How was this OK?  Were these people saying people like me were not wanted?

Of course, now, I realize my fears were unfounded.  The U.K. is a much more religiously tolerant place than the actions of Bonfire Night would make out to be.  The pope effigies are gone, and there is some debate about whether the effigies are appropriate for the modern age.  That is not for me to say, since I am on this side of the Pond.

While the Britons are deciding on what they want, this year, in Lewes, the targets are David Cameron with his friend, the pig’s head, and Sepp Blatter, the currently suspended and disgraced FIFA president.  That should make for quite a blaze.

The smell of bacon should mix well with the consequences of gunpowder, treason, and plot.

Margaret Thatcher on the $10 Bill and the Bigger Picture

Source...all over the Internet
Source…all over the Internet

Since I make it a point not to watch the Republican debates for purposes of maintaining my blood pressure on an even level, when I saw a little blurb about Jeb! Bush suggest putting the late Baroness on the $10 bill, I thought it was a joke.    It wasn’t until The Boffin came home from work yesterday that he told it me that it really happened, but he did not want to discuss the point further because he felt an aneurysm coming on.

So I had to look it up and saw this write up from the Washington Post.  Here is what he actually said.

“I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher. Probably illegal, but what the heck?”

Sounds like his brother’s attitude throughout his entire presidency.

So Jeb!, when put on the spot to make a snap decision, couldn’t think of a notable, accomplished woman from this country to be on the $10 bill.  But his gaffe wasn’t the only one.

Regarding the other candidates’ choices, to quote from the article, “Mike Huckabee chose his wife, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz went with Rosa Parks, Rand Paul picked Susan B. Anthony, Donald Trump his daughter, and Scott Walker opted for Clara Barton. Chris Christie picked Abigail Adams, John Kasich said Mother Teresa, and Ben Carson chose his mother. Carly Fiorina said she wouldn’t change the bill.”

Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Walker, and Christie (half the candidates) actually picked notable American women.  Fiorina copped out, probably afraid of making a choice that would have cast her as being “liberal” or “feminist”.  Kasich picked a worthy woman, but she wasn’t American.  Huckabee, Trump, and Carson chose their relatives.

When you think about it, as far as questions go, this one is pretty much works at an elementary school level.  How hard is it, really, to come up with a name of a woman who made a significant contribution to American History?    And only half of the male candidates could do it.

So either the Republican candidates who botched the question are either rock stupid when it comes to history, or they do not see how women factor beyond what they do for them.

If you can’t handle the easy stuff, how are you going to deal with Iran deals and domestic crises?