Daily Update: Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Bridget of Sweden

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Religious (died 1373), and we note that today is the birthday of my Internet friend Mike in Arkansas, who is married to my Internet friend Rosa (1971).

Born in 1302 or 1303 in Finsta Castle, Uppsala, Sweden, the father of today’s Saint was one of the greatest landowners in the country, her mother was known widely for her piety, and the family were descendants of the Swedish royal house. Bridget began receiving visions, mostly of the Crucifixion, at age seven. Her mother died c. 1315 when the girl was about twelve years old, and she was raised and educated by an equally pious aunt. In 1316, at age thirteen, Bridget wed Prince Ulfo of Nercia in an arranged marriage. She was the mother of eight, including Saint Catherine of Sweden; some of the other children ignored the Church. She was a friend and counselor to many priests and theologians of her day. In 1335 she became chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur, from which position she counseled and guided the Queen and King Magnus II. After Ulfo’s death in 1344 following a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, she pursued a religious life, for which she was harassed by others at the court. She eventually renounced her title of princess. A mystic, visionary, and mystical writer, she recorded the revelations given her in her visions, and these became hugely popular in the Middle Ages. She founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines) at Vadstena, Sweden in 1346. It received confirmation by Pope Blessed Urban V in 1370, and survives today, though few houses remain. As a pilgrim to Rome, and to assorted Italian holy sites, and to the Holy Lands, she chastened and counseled kings and Popes Clement VI, Gregory XI, and Urban VI, urging each to return to Rome from Avignon, and encouraged all who would listen to meditate on the Passion of Jesus Crucified. With Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, she is a Patron Saint of Europe; in her own right, she is the Patron Saint of Sweden and of widows. And today is the birthday of my Internet friend Mike in Arkansas, who is married to my Internet friend Rosa (1971).

Last night I continued reading 1493: Uncovering The New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann.

I woke up at 9:00 am, and missed a call from Nedra, which went to voicemail (she was just saying hello). I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading and started my laundry, then ate my breakfast toast while doing my Internet Devotional Reading. I then started working on Advance Daily Update Drafts. I also got the Email that our schedules for the week beginning August 3rd, 2015 had been posted; so I got our schedules, and the scheduler has me working on Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th (more anon). Richard wheeled our trash bin out to the curb, and left at about 11:30 am to go into town. While he was out and about, he purchased the sewer tree root crystals from the hardware store, purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing, got groceries and my salad supplies at Wal-Mart, and got crawfish pies for me for my lunch. He also picked up an Acadiana Advocate at some point; ours was not delivered this morning. When he got home at about 12:30 pm, I took a break from the computer and ate crawfish pies while reading the Thursday papers. I then continued working on Advance Daily Update Drafts, getting them done through next Friday. (Between now and Friday of next week, I will do Advance Daily Update Drafts through August 6th, so that I will have my Advance Daily Update Drafts done covering the time I am in Tennessee the week after next.) I then finished my laundry, ironed my casino pants, apron, and shirts, and made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday. I then watched Jeopardy!; while doing so, I found that the annual Mass of Petition for Charlene Richard will be on Friday, August 7th, 2015 at 7:00 pm at St. Edward Church in Richard, with the Rosary at 5:30 pm. I am now finishing up my Daily Update for today while eating my dinner (cooked by Richard; thank you, Richard) of grilled pork steak and steamed whole brussels sprouts. When I finish with my dinner and with the computer, I will give Nedra a call, then I might do some reading before going to sleep. And at 11:05 pm the First Quarter Moon will arrive.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Charbel Makhlouf, Priest (died 1898), and the birthday of my Internet friend Jillian in Maryland (1981). Being a Friday, we will return to the casino to start our work week. (When you work on a casino floor, you work on weekends. We do have Table Games dealers and floors who have Friday and Saturday as their days off, or Sunday and Monday as their days off, but no one gets to have Saturday and Sunday off.) Before we leave for work we will put the tree root crystals down our sewer pipes. I will be talking to our Shift Manager about Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th, to make sure that he gets me off of work on those two days. In the afternoon I want to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog.

Our Thursday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut. Born in 1951 in Encino, California, in high school she was a nationally ranked tennis player but realized that her other love of science probably held more employment potential. Ride attended Swarthmore College and then transferred to Stanford University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and physics. Also at Stanford, she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics, while doing research in astrophysics and free electron laser physics. In the late 1970s she was one of eight thousand people to answer an advertisement in a newspaper seeking applicants for the space program. As a result she joined NASA in 1978. During her career Ride served as the ground-based Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights (STS-2 and STS-3) and helped develop the Space Shuttle’s robot arm. Ride married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7; at the time, she was the youngest American (aged 32) to go into space. (She was preceded as the first woman in space by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982.) On STS-7, during which the five-person crew deployed two communications satellites and conducted pharmaceutical experiments, Ride was the first woman to use the robot arm in space and the first to use the arm to retrieve a satellite. Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She spent a total of more than 343 hours in space. Ride, who had completed eight months of training for her third flight when the Space Shuttle Challenger accident occurred, was named to the presidential commission investigating the accident and headed its subcommittee on operations. According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings (after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him) by hugging him in public to show her support for his efforts. Following the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, DC, where she led NASA’s first strategic planning effort, authored a report entitled “Leadership and America’s Future in Space”, and founded NASA’s Office of Exploration. From 1985 her partner was Dr. Tam E. O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend, who met Ride when both youngsters were aspiring tennis players; the full extent of their relationship was kept quiet, as Ride wished to keep her personal life to herself and her partner. In 1987 Ride divorced her husband and left her position in Washington, DC, to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989 she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the California Space Institute. In 2003 she was asked to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she founded in 2001 (with O’Shaughnessy as the chief operating officer and executive vice president) that created entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls. Ride authored several books on science aimed at students, many co-written by O’Shaughnessy. She received numerous awards, including the National Space Society’s von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice. Ride was the only person to serve on both of the panels investigating Shuttle accidents (those for the Challenger accident and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster). Two elementary schools in the United States are named after her: Sally K. Ride Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, and Sally K. Ride Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland. On December 6, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Ride into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts. Ride was a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, an independent review requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on May 7, 2009. In April 2013 the U.S. Navy announced that a research ship would be named in honor of Ride; this was done in 2014 with the christening of the oceanographic research vessel RV Sally Ride (AGOR-28). In 2013 the Space Foundation bestowed upon Ride its highest honor, the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. And on May 20, 2013, a “National Tribute to Sally Ride” was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. On the same day, President Barack Obama announced that Ride would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The medal was presented to her life partner O’Shaughnessy in a ceremony at the White House on November 20, 2013 (died 2012): “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.”

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