Daily Update: Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

05-05 - Cinco de Mayo

¡Ole! Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated mainly in northern Mexico and in American Tex-Mex areas. And today is the Midpoint of Spring.

The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 was important because although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army; since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the French Army had never lost a battle. However, the victory only delayed the French advance on Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico, and the French placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico in 1864. The French, under pressure from the United States, eventually withdrew in 1866-1867; Maximilian was deposed by President Benito Juarez and executed in 1867, five years after the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is not “an obligatory federal holiday” in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, mostly in the Northern state of Puebla, since while they won the Battle of Puebla they lost the war, the date is observed in the southwestern United States (also voluntarily) and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which actually is September 16, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. (But it is a nice excuse to party and drink cheap tequila.) Today is also the Midpoint of the Season of Spring, being halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

I woke up half an hour early and did my Bathroom Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and posted to Facebook that today is Cinco de Mayo. We got to the Hallway to Nowhere, sat to wait until time to sign the Early Out list, and I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Monday, May 4th, 2015 via WordPress for Android. After we signed the Early Out list, we ate breakfast in the ADR. When we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Three Card Poker and for Mississippi Stud, and I was on a Blackjack table until it closed. We both got out at 5:15 am, headed home, and I went back to bed at about 7:00 am.

I woke up (again) at 11:00 am, started my laundry, and read the morning paper. Richard and I left the house at 12:30 pm and ate lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse. We then went to our auto garage; the part that they need to install in Richard’s truck will be in tomorrow (more anon). We got home at 1:30 pm, and I got a call from the Nurse at the Clinic following up on my visit to the Renal Specialist last Thursday. I told her I had begun taking the medications as of yesterday; she asked if I was using a blood glucose meter, and I told her that no one had mentioned it to me as of yet.  I then worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this Weblog, finished my laundry, ironed my laundry, and called the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch to have them hold onto Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress until I can pick it up (more anon). At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!, then worked on the computer and ate our dinner of baked pork steaks (with Shake n’ Bake for chicken), steamed fresh asparagus, and box mashed potatoes. And once I finish this Daily Update I will head for bed.

We have no Saints to honor tomorrow, so instead we will recall that it is the anniversary of the date in 1527 when a combined force of German and Spanish troops sacked the City of Rome. I will wake up and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance tomorrow, and at 9:30 am or 10:00 am we will head down to Lafayette (to pick up my book at the library), then head to Lake Charles to have lunch with Deborah and Virginia (and so that I can set up an Excel worksheet for Deborah). And I have no idea what else we might do tomorrow, but at least my laundry is done early.

Our Parting Quote on this Tuesday evening comes to us from Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist. Born in 1912 in Engcobo in the homeland of Transkei (now part of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa), his mother was a domestic worker and his father was a white civil servant. Educated in a local missionary school, he left in 1926 to work; he moved to Johannesburg in 1928 and experienced a wide range of manual jobs. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1940. In 1943, together with Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, he joined the ANC Youth League, founded by Anton Lembede, of which he was initially the treasurer. He later distanced himself from Lembede after Lembede had ridiculed his half-white parentage. Sisulu was a brilliant political networker and had a prominent planning role in the militant organization Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”). He was made secretary general of the ANC in 1949, displacing the more passive older leadership. As a planner of the Defiance Campaign from 1952, he was arrested that year and given a suspended sentence. In 1953 he travelled to Europe, the USSR, Israel, and China as an ANC representative, and was replaced as secretary general of the ANC in 1954. He was jailed seven times in the next ten years, including five months in 1960, and was held under house arrest in 1962. At the Treason Trial (1956 – 1961), he was eventually sentenced to six years, but was released on bail pending his appeal. He went underground in 1963 but was caught at Rivonia on July 11. At the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial (1963 – 1964), he was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12, 1964. With other senior ANC figures, he served the majority of his sentence on Robben Island. In October 1989 he was released after 26 years in prison, and in July 1991 was elected ANC deputy president at the ANC’s first national conference after its unbanning the year before. He remained in the position until after South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994. In 1992 Sisulu was awarded Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe, the highest honour granted by the ANC, for his contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa. The government of India awarded him Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, in 1998. In 2004 he was voted 33rd in SABC3′s Great South Africans television series (died 2003): “It is a law of life that problems arise when conditions are there for their solution.”

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