Daily Update: Saturday, March 21st, 2015

03-21 - Napoleonic Code

With no Saints to honor on this Saturday, we will note instead that it is the anniversary of when the Code Napoléon was established in France in 1804.

The French Emperor Napoléon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the ideas of the French Revolution because the old feudal and royal laws seemed confusing and contradictory to the people. Before the Code France did not have a single set of laws; laws depended on local customs, and often on exemptions, privileges and special charters granted by the kings or other feudal lords. During the Revolution the last vestiges of feudalism were abolished. Specifically, the many different legal systems used in different parts of France were to be replaced by a single legal code. The code, as drafted by four eminent jurists,  forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs were to go to the most qualified applicant. Even though the Napoléonic code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system, it is considered the first successful codification and strongly influenced the law of many other countries. The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in establishing the rule of law. (Despite being surrounded by Anglo-Saxon Common Law territories, Louisiana’s civil code has kept its Roman roots; while some of its aspects feature influences by the Napoléonic Code, it is based more on Roman and Spanish civil traditions (despite whatever Stanley Kowalski might say). As a result, the bar exam and legal standards of practice in Louisiana are significantly different from other states, and reciprocity for lawyers from other states is not available.)

On Friday evening our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Arkansas by the score of 16 to 3 in the second game of their away three-game series. And our New Orleans Pelicans lost their away game with the Golden State Warriors by the score of 96 to 112.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Sixth Day of my Annunciation Novena. After the Pre-Shift Meeting, Richard was on Three Card Blackjack all day. I started out on Macau Mini Baccarat, closed that table, then I was on the sit-down Blackjack table in our Overflow pit, closed that table, then I was the Relief Dealer for a Blackjack table and the $5.00 Blackjack table, then finished my day on Three Card Poker. On my breaks I continued reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell.

On our way home from work we stopped at Valero for gas, then Richard stopped at a convenience store to get stocked up on Diet Dr. Pepper. Once home I set up my medications for next week (no prescriptions to renew), then read the morning paper (I did not have time to eat anything). I then went to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. During my Hour I started reading the March 16, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America magazine. When I got home I finished reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell, then I took a nap for the rest of the day. Our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Arkansas by the score of 7 to 4 in the final game of their three-game away series (our Tigers next play a single away game with Tulane on March 24th). And our LSU Women’s Basketball team lost to #25 South Florida by the score of 64 to 73 at the NCAA Tournament. Our Lady Tigers thus were 17 – 14 for the season, and 10 – 6 in SEC play. I did not do my Book Review for The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell, and I did not do my Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Fifth Sunday in Lent, a day with no Saints (again), but on this date in 1784 the Emerald Buddha was moved with great ceremony to its current location in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand. Tomorrow is the last day of our two week pay period at the casino. On my breaks at work I will do my Book Review for this Weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell via WordPress for Android, and do my Daily Update for yesterday via WordPress for Android. After work we will go to the store to stock up on groceries. And tomorrow afternoon our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away game with the L. A. Clippers.

Our Parting Quote this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Pinetop Perkins, American blues pianist. Born as Joseph Perkins in 1913 in Belzoni, Mississippi, he began his career as a guitarist, but then allegedly injured the tendons in his left arm in a fight with a choir girl in Helena, Arkansas. Perkins switched to the piano, and also switched from playing for Robert Nighthawk’s KFFA radio program to Sonny Boy Williamson’s King Biscuit Time. He continued working with Nighthawk, however, accompanying him on 1950′s “Jackson Town Gal”. He joined Earl Hooker and began touring, stopping to record “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” (written by Pinetop Smith) at Sam Phillips’ studio in Memphis, Tennessee; he recalled “They used to call me Pinetop, because I played that song.” Perkins then relocated to Illinois and left the music business until Hooker convinced him to record again in 1968. When Otis Spann left the Muddy Waters band in 1969, Perkins was chosen to replace him. He stayed for more than a decade, then left with several other musicians to form The Legendary Blues Band with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, recording through the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. Perkins played a brief musical cameo on the street outside Aretha’s Soul Food Cafe in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, having an argument with John Lee Hooker over who wrote “Boom Boom.” He also appeared in the 1987 movie Angel Heart as a member of guitarist Toots Sweet’s band. Although he appeared as a sideman on countless recordings, Perkins never had an album devoted solely to his artistry until the release of After Hours on Blind Pig Records in 1988. His robust piano is fairly presented in On Top (1992), an easy-going recital of blues standards with his old Muddy Waters’ associate, Jerry Portnoy, on harmonica. In 1998 Perkins released the album Legends featuring guitarist Hubert Sumlin. He was driving his automobile in 2004 in La Porte, Indiana when he was hit by a train. The car was wrecked but the 91-year-old driver was not seriously hurt. Until his death, Perkins lived in Austin, Texas. He usually performed a couple of nights a week at Nuno’s on Sixth Street. In 2005 Perkins received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008 Perkins received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas together with Henry James Townsend, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and David Honeyboy Edwards; he tied with George Burns as the oldest-ever Grammy winner. He was also nominated in the same category for his solo album Pinetop Perkins on the 88′s: Live in Chicago. At the age of 97 in 2010 he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined at the Hip, an album he recorded with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Perkins thus became the oldest-ever Grammy winner. He died a little over a month later; at the time of his death he had 20 performances booked. Along with David “Honeyboy” Edwards, he was one of the last two original Mississippi Delta blues musicians, and also one of the last to have a personal knowledge of, and friendship with, Blues legend Robert Johnson (died 2011): “I can’t play piano like I used to either. I used to have bass rolling like thunder. I can’t do that no more. But I ask the Lord, please forgive me for the stuff I done trying to make a nickel.”

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