September 9th, 2009


Schott's Miscellany 3 September 2009

Britain officially recognized the independence of America by signing the Treaty of Paris (1783)


Describing the wife of the president as the "first lady" dates back to Zachary Taylor's 1849 description of Dolley Madison as "our First Lady for half a century." Even now, the title is colloquial, and the position of presidential wife (or husband) has no constitutional basis and carries no formal power. Apropos of nothing, Theodore Roosevelt's second wife's middle name was Kermit; in her honor, one assumes, his son, grandson, and great-grandson were also named Kermit. (The name is, apparently, Gaelic for "without envy.")

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.
Samuel Johnson (1709-84)
  • Current Music
    "All the Time in the World" by the Subdudes

Schott's Miscellany 4 September 2009

American swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven gold medals at one Olympic Games (1972)


On Filling an Ink-well

This is a sacrament, I think!
Holding the bottle toward the light,
As blue as lupin gleams the ink:
May Truth be with me as I write!

That small dark cistern may afford
Reunion with some vanished friend,--
And with this ink I have just poured
May none but honest words be penned!

---Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1957)

There is scarcely a single man sufficiently aware to know all the evil he does.
Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613-80)
  • Current Music
    "He Must Have Been a Genius" by Uncle Bonsai

Schott's Miscellany 5 September 2009

America's first Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia (1774)


"Sister city" programs are long-term partnerships between cities, states, and towns around the world, formed with the aim of promoting cultural understanding and aiding economic development. In 1931, Toledo, Ohio, became the first U.S. city to establish a "sister city"--with Toledo, Spain. Several other cities established such ties under President Dwight D. Eisenhower's People to People program, which encouraged citizen diplomacy as a path to peace. The programs often feature educational and business exchanges and other collaborative projects. A selection of U.S. sister cities follows:

Atlanta, GA: Ancient Olympia, Greece; Tbilisi, Georgia; Toulouse, France
Berkeley, CA: Blackfeet Nation, California, Yurok Tribe, California
Beverly Hills, CA: Cannes, France
Boston, MA: Barcelona, Spain; Kyoto, Japan; Melbourne, Australia
Dallas, TX: Kirkuk, Iraq
Denver, CO: Chennai, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

All gardening is landscape painting.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
  • Current Music
    "Fine Time" by HARP

Schott's Miscellany 6 September 2009

Ferdinand Magellan's crew reached the Spanish coast, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe (1522)


Fort Worth, TX: Budapest, Hungary
Honolulu City and County, HI: Hiroshima, Japan; Inchon, South Korea
Las Vegas, NV: Phuket, Thailand
Los Angeles, CA: Athens, Greece; Berlin, Germany; Bordeaux, France; Eilat, Israel; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mumbai, India; Tehran, Iran
Miami, FL: Amman, Jordan; Nice, France; Santiago, Chile
Mobile, AL: Kosice, Slovakia; Havana, Cuba
New Orleans, LA: Innsbruck, Austria; Pointe Noire, Congo; Caracas, Venezuela
New York, NY: Cairo, Egypt; Tokyo, Japan; London, England; Jerusalem, Israel; Beijing, China
Salt Lake City, UT: Matsumoto, Japan; Tipperary, Ireland
San Francisco, CA: Zürich, Switzerland; Cork, Ireland; Osaka, Japan; Seoul, South Korea
Seattle, WA: Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Reykjavik, Iceland; Kobe, Japan

[Some places have additional sister cities.]

Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.
Georges Simenon (1903-89)
  • Current Music
    "Freya, Shakti" by Emerald Rose

Schott's Miscellany 7 September 2009

Labor Day


The colonies that signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia

By 1770, the population of these 13 colonies had reached almost 2 million.

WHEEPLE--to whistle without power of conviction
"John, the builder, would rather wheeple than work."
  • Current Music
    "Go Ahead and Die" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

Schott's Miscellany 8 September 2009

President Ford granted Richard Nixon a full pardon for "any offenses he might have committed while in office" (1974)


The Federal Register is the "daily newspaper of the federal government" and it is published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration and the Government Printing Office. It contains federal agency regulations, proposed rules, and executive orders, proclamations, and other presidential documents. The necessity for an official record of federal regulation became urgent during the 1930s, as FDR's New Deal dramatically expanded the role, scope, and complexity of executive agencies. Established by law in 1935, the Federal Register was first published on March 163, 1936, when it ran to 16 pages. Today, the thousands of pages published annually are most commonly accessed online at

In America there are two classes of travel--first class and with children.
Robert Benchley (1889-1945)
  • Current Music
    "Romance in Durango" by Bob Dylan

the fool

Someone tonight said that in many ways I'm like The Fool in the tarot deck. The Fool, she said, is somebody who's always moving forward, always seeking out new experiences, always being exuberant -- but The Fool also tends to keep barreling forward without paying attention and often falls on his ass.

Today, I fell rather hard on my ass and pissed off someone dear to me. It's not the first time this has happened -- which is why the friend is so pissed, the repetition rather than the actual mistake -- and it's something I really really really need to stop doing.

And the mood refers to how I feel about myself, just to be clear.....
  • Current Music
    "Champagne and Reefer" by the Rolling Stones & Buddy Guy