Monthly Archives: April 2010

Now That’s a Name

There was somebody in Delaware County, Ohio, who died in the early 1900’s, and who rejoiced in this name:

Diademy Adams.

Man. If nothing else, what a great search term. What a great name to inflict on a heroine. Not steampunk, maybe, unless it was very early steampunk… or a Western….

But believe it or not, she wasn’t the only person in the US to bear that name.

There was a woman named Diademy Ellsworth from Pennsylvania, who was born in 1803 and died in 1869; a Diademy Baremore who married in 1763 (and who gave her daughter the name Appolonia); a Diademy Kief who was born in 1811, and who came from New York; a Diademy Creason who was born in 1839 in Missouri (whose family included ladies named Thurza and Serepta); a Diademy Corkins who was born in 1786; a Diademy Bilyeau who was born in 1827 in Tennessee….

So it wasn’t a common name, but it was out there. I wonder why. Hymn tune? The product of reading the New Testament in Greek?

In literature, Kate Douglas Wiggin has the nickname Diademy in her book The Village Watch Tower, but the lady’s name is really Diadema. It is a collection of several short stories set in the same village.

It seems that there are some people out there right now, who are named Diadema. One is a black lady. But pretty much all the world’s Diademas seem to have lived in the 1800’s.


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Another Holmes Manga

Christie High Tension stars Mycroft Holmes’ adorable blond and blue-eyed daughter, Christie (as in Agatha, yes), and her faithful Great Dane (who barks in katakana). Together, they fight crime! And help out Uncle Sherlock!

This is a real oddity. It’s a manga starring a just-short-of-moe heroine, appearing in a comic magazine aimed at older guys. The drawing style is mostly matter-of-fact and realistic, except when it comes to Christie. (Oh noes… all the ruffles and flowers…..) It seems like it should be all comedy, but it’s a bit elaborate for that. It adapts actual Holmes stories, even. It doesn’t do anything creepy, so it’s not that. So all I can figure is that it’s just aimed at Holmesians, because they’ll read anything vaguely Holmes. Maybe it counts as slice of life mystery, nostalgically reminding the older guys of the fun of being mystery fans as kids.

The major reason I’m posting about this is that in this manga, Mycroft Holmes gets to have a daughter. A daughter. I mean, there’s always been the whole joke about Nero Wolfe being his son. But usually, people are obsessed with giving his brother Sherlock the kids.

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Waiting for the Ice Kings

This has been a great year for those gardeners in my area who go old school, and refuse to plant spring stuff until after the First of May. There’s also certain things that people won’t plant until after Memorial Day.

But this year, my mother has been moved to clarify that, when she has refused in the past to plant things before my older brother’s birthday, she was actually not doing that, not exactly. Instead, she was following her grandmother’s good ol’ German saying that you can have frost any time until “the Ice Kings”. So you don’t plant before the Ice Kings.

No, we’re not talking about hockey. Or daffodils. But I can’t find it on the Internet because of them.

I swear I’ve read about this on the Internet before, which was why it was weird to hear it from my mother. It’s a German saint thing. There are three saints’ days in the middle of May that are called “the Ice Kings”.


Okay, apparently the majority of German speakers on the Intarwebz have either three or _five_ saints’ days in May that they call the “Eisheiligen”, or Ice Saints. There’s a lot of different sayings about them, collectively and individually.

Here’s a page about them, which also calls them the Ice Men. It’s the old days for the feasts of Ss. Mamertus, Pancras (or Pancratius), Servatius, Boniface (or Bonifatius), and Sophie. They’re all martyrs, not “kings” per se; so “Ice Kings” just means that they end the ice time, or is a parallel to the feast of the Three Kings that begin the really hard winter. So this sounds familiar to what I’ve read before.

This is also a saying in France, where they call them “les saints de Glace”.

This isn’t right in my family, though. The Ice Kings are from the 15th to the 17th, my mom said. Maybe my Ohio immigrant family is just more paranoid than the ones who stuck around in Germany. Or maybe this version comes from the Swiss side of my family. I mean, you’d have to be paranoid up in the Alps. It’s even been pointed out that, with the change from Julian to Gregorian dates, the Eisheiligen period really should be from May 19th-May 22nd. Heh.

I suspect that the definition of Ice Kings changes, depending on how stubborn the frost in your locale is. I mean, there’s even a German saying for June 22nd, the “end of snow”, that it’s okay to shear your sheep because there’ll be no snow after that. That has to be some kind of mountain or Arctic saying, ’cause snow in June isn’t a worry for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere!

Here’s a whole bunch more of Eisheiligen sayings and saints’ days sayings.

Anyway… once again, you see the pattern of the immigrants keeping the name that the folks back in the Old Country ditch. (Although it probably didn’t help that Hitler’s pet occultists made up some stupid Aryan definition of some old tribe as being “ice kings”. So there may be legal reasons connected with the anti-Nazi laws for us not to see the old name come up in searches.)

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Bayou Renaissance Man on the Scandal

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the blogger we know as Bayou Renaissance Man was a priest. He’s not anymore, except in the Melchizedek sense; but he does have a sad story, which takes exactly four articles to tell.

If you haven’t been following the Scandal, I think you’ll find it very useful.

If you’ve been following the Scandal, you won’t see anything new here, per se. This is what a lot of people were thinking and feeling, back when the last wave broke. What’s really interesting in that case are the comments.

An awful lot of people basically come right out and say that until they read this gentleman’s article, they didn’t understand Thing One about the structure or culture of the Catholic Church. Which… is weird… but in a lot of ways, encouraging. (Though it’s odd to be called insular, or compared to being as exotic as a Zulu….)

Which goes to show that the Melchizedek sense of the priesthood is not to be sneezed at.

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Ohio: Catholic Road Trip Destinations

So you need a cheap vacation this year, or you’re a college student who needs a road trip. Well, wherever you live in the world, there’s probably plenty of interesting places to go which aren’t far from you.

Here in the US, there’s not a state that isn’t full of bizarre little places of interest, weird and wonderful museums, off the beaten path scenery, parks, camping areas, caves, historical sites, and so forth. A lot of these places are free, and others are cheap. They definitely beat staying home in the AC, staring at the walls.

Ohio is not only full of all the aforesaid places, but also of wild and wonderful shrines and places of pilgrimage. They are usually either in the heart of cities, or way the heck out in God’s Country. Either way, it’ll be different for you. You’ll also learn a lot about Ohio settlement patterns (or be able to teach them to the kiddies).

Here’s a nice article on Ohio shrines from the Columbus diocesan paper. It’s based mostly on the Ohio shrines website of a gentleman named Paul Cavanaugh. (Whose ISP has an interesting name.)

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Department of Pollen

The pollen count on Friday was over 4000. Usually, no one day in spring around here is more than about 2000-2500. Since we started out the week still a little under 1000, you can guess how delightful this Friday was. Saturday was also pretty pollen-y, and so was this morning.

So when I walked to church today, I wore a hat to cover my hair, a jacket to cover my clothes, and wrapped a (light) muffler over my nose and mouth. When I got to church, I took all these off and hung them far away from the choir room. Believe it or not, this paranoia helped a LOT. My nose actually stayed relatively clear, only dripping the least tiniest bit, and my eyes didn’t water. My sinuses also were pretty good, though drinking a lot of coffee at breakfast also helped. I was much better prepared for singing than I’d been afraid it’d be. (I’ve been a bit hoarse from drippage the last few days.)

One of our choir members didn’t show up at all, thanks to allergy drippage. Another has been taking steroids all week so as to be able to breathe. So I’m counting my blessings.

Man, I can’t wait until the tree pollen season is done. The good news is that, as bad as it gets when all the trees bloom big and all at once like this, it will also get done all at once. We just have to get through the next week or so, instead of the next month.

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Department of Cowering Under the Jackboot

The Post Office sent my tax return back to me. For insufficient (ie, no) postage.


I have no idea how long it’s been in the mailbox. I don’t _think_ it came back right after I mailed it on the 14th, because I did check my mailbox that day. In fact, I’m fairly sure it came back to me after the 15th… but there’s no way of knowing for sure, because my memory for things like mailbox checking is very bad.

The sad thing is, I swear I put a stamp on that puppy. I put a Forever stamp on my federal return and a Christmas stamp on my Ohio one. (You may guess which one I felt more cheerful about.) So… assuming I didn’t actually forget to affix the Forever stamp (and I don’t think I forgot, though it’s possible), this means I’m always going to have to be paranoid, and fully check my Forever stamps’ stickeriness from now on.

It probably also means that I’m going to have pay tax penalties for being late or something, since the Post Office didn’t actually do me the courtesy of postmarking it before sending it back. Unless the IRS is really feeling mean, and audits me or something. Arghhhhhhhh.

It also occurred to me, after remailing the return, that I probably needed to get a new envelope and could not actually just restamp the old one. But it’s in the mail now, so I’m probably out of luck and will just get the envelope back. Again. Possibly with more red ink stamps on it.


The one consolation I have is that I can’t blame this on my lateness. I mailed that return a whole day early. And if I had mailed it January 1st, I still could have gotten it back on April 16th for insufficient postage or whatever. I’ve gotten plenty of weird mail returns, at home and at work, anywhere from a month to six months after mailing. (Usually this happens when the stamp/postage strip/mailing address gets mangled by some postal machine somewhere until the other postal machines can’t read it anymore, and then they send it back to the original sender as a sort of peace offering.) Postal mail these days is a sort of lottery; you wager a stamp that it will get through. You’ve probably got a 95% chance that it will, which isn’t bad as a bet; but it isn’t good for a service.

Luckily, any work mail that’s heavier than a few ounces, or larger than a little letter envelope, is usually cheaper to send 2 day FedEx than by first class mail. It’s more reliable, and our mailroom guy can track it. I’ve had some problems with getting Amazon packages delivered to me at my apartment in the past; but I’ve never had problems at work with FedEx packages not getting where they’re supposed to go. When I send something express at work, I have confidence and peace of mind.

(The Post Office rate list, btw, is so complicated that I literally cannot figure out how much it costs to send packages, unless I make some kind of chart. It’s not just by weight, but also by envelope/package size. No mailroom guy wants to fuss with it, which is why the Post Office is pushing their pre-paid boxes so hard. Though they don’t mind charging you a buck more than what your package’s mailing rate actually should be.)

And of course, postage really should be free for tax stuff, since it’s government business. However much your stuff weighs, it’s all official government paperwork that pays for the government’s existence. But nooooo.

I knew I should have put two stamps on the envelope, just to be safe. But if you do that nowadays, they think you’re the Unibomber. Bah.

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