Daily Update: Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Sadie Hawkins Day

We have no Saints to honor today, but today is Sadie Hawkins Day. And today is the last day for Early Voting for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

Since today is the Saturday on or after November 9th, today is Sadie Hawkins Day. In the classic hillbilly comic strip Li’l Abner by Al Capp, Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of Dogpatch’s earliest settlers, Hekzebiah Hawkins. The “homeliest gal in all them hills”, she grew frantic waiting for suitors to come a-courtin’. When she reached the age of 35, still a spinster, her father was even more frantic about Sadie living at home for the rest of his life. In desperation, he called together all the unmarried men of Dogpatch and declared it “Sadie Hawkins Day”. Specifically, a foot race was decreed, with Sadie in hot pursuit of the town’s eligible bachelors, with matrimony as the consequence for the bachelor caught by Sadie. The town spinsters decided that this was a good idea and made Sadie Hawkins Day a mandatory yearly event, much to the chagrin of Dogpatch bachelors. In the satirical spirit that drove the strip, many sequences revolved around the dreaded Sadie Hawkins Day race. If a woman caught a bachelor and dragged him, kicking and screaming, across the finish line before sundown, by law he had to marry her! Sadie Hawkins Day was first mentioned in the November 13, 1937 Li’l Abner daily strip, with the race actually taking place between November 19th and November 30th in the continuity of the strip, and proved to be a popular annual feature in Li’l Abner and a cultural phenomenon outside the strip. By 1952 Sadie Hawkins Day was reportedly celebrated at 40,000 known venues, usually by a dance where the girls asked the boys out. It was a female-empowering rite long before the modern feminist movement gained prominence. And today is the last day for Early Voting for the November 21st, 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial General Election.

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their away game with the Toronto Raptors by the score of 81 to 100. And our #21 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team, in their opener attended by Richard at the PMAC, beat McNeese State by the score of 81 to 70. LSU (1-0, 7th SEC) will next play a home game with Kennesaw State (0-1, 3rd Atlantic Sun) on Monday, November 16th, 2015.

I woke up, sans alarms, at 8:00 am in our motel room at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Port Allen, Louisiana. We ate the Continental breakfast at the motel and read the Baton Rouge Advocate; in the breakfast room we saw Jalen Mills, who is a senior safety for LSU, having breakfast with some of his people. Back in our motel room I set up my medications for next week, got our schedules at the casino for Thanksgiving week (we do not have to work on Thanksgiving Day), and put in for PTO for Mardi Gras (February 9th,2016). I then did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and said the Second Day of my Christ the King Novena.

Richard and I left the motel at 11:15 am, and drove to the LSU campus. We parked in a free lot at 11:45 am, then went to the LSU Ticket Office and picked up our Will Call tickets for the game. Richard and I then saw Mike the Tiger sleeping in the shade at his habitat, and ate burgers for lunch at Louie’s Café north of the campus (I got a side of the hash browns) and read the Daily Revile Reveille. Next, we walked to the LSU Union: we sat and relaxed, and I got caught up on my notes for my Daily Update. After some discussion, we decided to hang out in Baton Rouge tomorrow, stay at our motel room in Port Allen tomorrow night, and head home on Monday. Richard then called the motel and got our room extended through Sunday night. I then went in search of Barnes and Noble; I finally found it (it is not in the LSU Union now, but in its own building) and did some browsing. I then returned to Richard, and we wandered down to the hill in front of the football stadium. We saw the band come down the hill, then went to our seats in Tiger Stadium (one row down from the top of the stadium on the west side, just on the north goal line). Alas, our #9 LSU Tigers lost the game to the Arkansas Razorback by the score of 14 to 31. Our Tigers will play Ole Miss next Saturday in an away game, at 2:30 pm. When we got back across the river to Port Allen, we stopped at the drive through at KFC for dinner for Richard (I was not hungry). We got back to the Hampton Inn and Suites at 10:00 pm. And once I past this Daily Update, I will go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Optional Memorial of Saint Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor (died 1280). We will hang out in Baton Rouge tomorrow, put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble, see a movie, and eat dinner at Texas de Brazil before going back to our motel room in Port Allen, Louisiana. Our Pelicans (1-8, 14th Western) will play an away game with the New York Knicks (4-6, 13th Eastern) at 11:00 am. Our New Orleans Saints (4-5-0, 3rd NFC South) will play an away game at 12:00 pm with the Washington Redskins (3-5-0, 3rd NFC East). And our LSU Women’s Basketball team (0-1, 10th SEC) will play a home game with Louisiana Monroe (1-0, 2nd Sun Belt) at 3:00 pm.

Our Parting Quote on this Saturday evening comes to us from Glen A. Larson, American television producer and writer. Born as Glen Albert Larson in 1937 in Long Beach, California, he began his career in the entertainment industry in 1956 as a member of the vocal group The Four Preps, with whom he appeared Gidget (1959). The Four Preps ultimately produced three gold records for Capitol, all of which Larson himself wrote and / or composed: “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)”, “Big Man”, and “Down by the Station.” After working for Quinn Martin on productions including The Fugitive (where he had his first writing credit in 1966), Larson signed a production deal with Universal Studios. His first hit series was Alias Smith and Jones (1971 – 1972), a Western which described the activities of Hannibal Heyes and Jedediah “Kid” Curry, concentrating on their efforts to go straight. (George Roy Hill’s 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, scripted by William Goldman, is commonly believed to have been the inspiration for the series.) Larson was involved in the development for television of The Six Million Dollar Man in 1973, based on Martin Caidin’s novel Cyborg, into the successful series, and was one of the program’s early executive producers. Larson later secured a then-unprecedented $1 million per episode budget for Battlestar Galactica in 1978. Originally, the series was intended to be called Adam’s Ark, and the show incorporated many themes from Mormon theology, such as marriage for “time and eternity” and a “council of twelve.” Larson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had been working on the concept since 1968, and former Star Trek producer Gene L. Coon had mentored him in its early development. Larson initially renamed the series Galactica but was then convinced to include the word “star” in the title in some way, in order to capitalize on the popularity of the recently released Star Wars, eventually deciding on Battlestar Galactica. Even with its generous budget, the series often recycled effects shots; it was canceled after one season. The pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica, titled “Saga of a Star World” in the program continuity, was edited into a two-hour theatrical film released in North America and Europe (a second theatrical release, titled Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack, was compiled by re-editing other episodes of the series). After the series was canceled, Larson went on to create a relatively low-budget sequel to the series, titled Galactica 1980, which was set many years later, when the Galactica had reached Earth. This series was less successful than the original and was canceled after 10 episodes. Larson re-used some of the sets, props, costumes, and effects work from Battlestar Galactica for the light-hearted sci-fi series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century in 1979. Based on the comic-book character created in 1928 by Philip Francis Nowlan, Larson co-developed the series with Leslie Stevens. The feature-length pilot episode was released as a theatrical film in March 1979 and grossed $21 million at the North American box office. The weekly television series began in September 1979, running for two seasons until April 1981. In the 1980s Larson had further success as one of the creators of Magnum, P.I., which ran from 1980-88. Additionally, Larson created The Fall Guy, which ran from 1981-86. A later member of the Four Preps, David Somerville, and a session singer he knew, Gail Jensen,  collaborated with Larson to write and compose “The Unknown Stuntman,” as the theme from The Fall Guy; series lead Lee Majors performed this song over the opening titles. Larson’s next prominent series was Knight Rider, which featured science-fiction elements with a light-hearted action-adventure scenario and limited violence. These basic elements characterized many of Larson’s series’ throughout the 1980s with Automan, Manimal and The Highwayman, though all of these shows were unsuccessful and none lasted more than a single season. Larson’s profile declined, though he made a brief comeback in the 1990s with an adaptation of the Ultraverse comic Night Man, which lasted two seasons. In 2003 Battlestar Galactica was remade for the Sci-Fi Channel as a miniseries; it was followed by a 2004 series, that, unlike the original, lasted multiple seasons and followed the Galacticans all the way to Earth. Larson was not involved in any capacity with the new series, which Ronald D. Moore had developed, though he did receive a screen credit as “Consulting Producer.” Much was different in the new series, which was now aimed at mature audiences rather than being family fare like the original. The Cylons were now created by humans, and some of them now even looked human; there was more moral duality, complexity, and nuance in both humans and Cylons; the social commentary was more explicit; and the resolution of the “Earth” problem was different. After the series ended in 2009, a short-lived prequel series, Caprica, followed in 2010. Larson was not involved with this series either, though he was given a screen credit for the creation of certain characters. In February 2009 media sources reported that Larson was in talks with Universal Pictures to bring Battlestar Galactica to the big screen, though any potential feature film would not be based on the recent Sci-Fi Channel series remake, but would possibly be based on the original series. Although Bryan Singer was listed to direct and co-produce, the project stalled for some time before being reannounced in 2011 by Singer himself. The film version was to be no longer a continuation of the original series but rather a complete remake. Despite his success, much criticism has been aimed at Larson for his perceived general lack of originality arising from the fact that many of his television series are seen as small screen “knock-offs” of feature films. The noted sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison once referred to him as “Glen Larceny” for the notorious similarities between Larson’s shows and cinema blockbusters. In his 2011 autobiography The Garner Files, James Garner stated that Larson stole a number of plots of The Rockford Files (which Garner’s production company co-produced), then used them for his own shows, putting different characters in them. Garner’s group complained to the Writer’s Guild and Larson was fined, but Garner felt that the fine had taught Larson nothing when he persisted in plagiarism and later copied the theme music from The Rockford Files for one of his shows. Garner stated that when Larson subsequently showed up on the “Rockford” set, he put his arm around Garner and said “I hope there are no hard feelings, Jim.” After Larson ignored a warning by Garner to take his arm off him, Garner claims that he punched Larson so hard that Larson “flew across the curb, into a motor home, and out the other side.” In July 2011 Larson launched a lawsuit against Universal Studios, alleging a decades-long fraud and claimed the studio had not paid him a share of the profits owed from the television shows he produced while working with them. Larson’s involvement with Universal had begun in the 1970s, and his contractual agreement had secured him net profits from the revenues generated by the shows he worked on as a producer, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Quincy, M.E., Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Magnum, P.I., and Knight Rider (died 2014): “There’s nothing that could dampen my enthusiasm for how much fun it has been to do programs that the audience seems to have enjoyed, and enjoyed a lot.”

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