Daily Update: Saturday, January 16th, 2016

01-16 - Coushatta Casino Resort

No Saints today, but on this date in 1995, the facility now known as Coushatta Casino Resort (and also known as My Employer) just north of Kinder, Louisiana, had their Grand Opening. And today is the birthday of Amy, my son and daughter-in-laws roommate (1985).

The website for Coushatta Casino Resort states “Louisiana’s premier casino resort features a 100,000 square foot gaming floor, luxurious hotel rooms, a luxury RV resort, fabulous restaurants, live entertainment and more. Opened in 1995, Coushatta Casino Resort today is a magnificent complex that employs 2,600 people and remains an integral part of the area’s economy. Throughout its history, the resort has continued to expand both in size and services, reflecting the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana’s sincere commitment to comfort and convenience for its guests. Efforts implemented by the Coushatta Tribe, including major utilities improvements and educational opportunities, have helped to greatly enhance the lives of resort employees and their families. Coushatta Casino Resort’s dedication to superior service may best be proven by, among many other things, transportation and accommodations for executives and preferred guests to and from the resort.” And I salute the casino, as my employer for the last 17 years, and as Richard’s employer for the last 16 years; without Coushatta Casino Resort, we would probably be saying, “And would you like fries with your order, sir?”, or else saying “Welcome to Wal-Mart!” And today is the birthday of Amy, my son and daughter-in-laws roommate (1985).

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their game with the Charlotte Hornets by the score of 107 to 109; our Pelicans will next play an away game with the Memphis Grizzlies on January 18th, in the afternoon.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. At the Pre-Shift Meeting I won a Golden Ticket (first on the Early Out list, on whichever day I choose to use it), which I need to use within the next 30 days. When we went out onto the casino floor, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow, and then became the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow. I was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table, another Blackjack table, and Three Card Blackjack until they closed Three Card Blackjack; then I was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table and another Blackjack table. On my breaks I continued reading Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

I continued reading on our way home from work; once home I set up my medications for next week (three prescriptions to renew on Monday, plus an Over the Counter vitamin to get), then I read the morning paper. I then went to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. During my Hour I finished reading the January 4th – January 11th, 2016 issue of my Jesuit America magazine, and started reading the January / February 2016 issue of The Bible Today. I then ate lunch at McDonald’s, and continued reading Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I arrived home at 2:45 pm, and got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update; when I am done with the computer I will go to bed for the duration. The First Quarter Moon will arrive at 5:27 pm, and our LSU Men’s Basketball team will be playing a home game against Arkansas.

Tomorrow is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot (died 356). It will be a Heavy Business Volume Day at the casino for the 21st Anniversary Giveaway promotion, and on my breaks I will continue reading Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. In the afternoon our LSU Women’s Basketball team will be playing an away game with #20 ranked Florida, and I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday.

Our Parting Quote on this Saturday afternoon comes from Russell Johnson, American actor. Born in 1924 in Ashley, Pennsylvania, he attended Girard College, a private boarding school for orphaned children in Philadelphia. After high school, in the midst of World War II, Johnson joined the United States Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He flew 44 combat missions as a bombardier in B-25 bombers. While flying as a navigator in a B-25 with the 100th Bombardment Squadron, 42nd Bombardment Group, 13th Air Force, his plane and two other B-25s were shot down in the Philippines in March 1945 during a low level bombing and strafing run against Japanese targets. The planes were hit by intense flak and had to ditch in the waters off the port of Zamboanga. During the ditching, he broke both his ankles and the radioman next to him was killed. Johnson earned a Purple Heart for this mission. He was also awarded the Air Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three service stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one service star, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant on November 22, 1945. He then joined the Army Reserve and used the GI Bill to fund his acting studies at the Actors Lab in Hollywood. At acting school he met actress Kay Levey, and they married on July 23, 1949. Johnson’s Hollywood career began in 1952, with the college fraternity hazing exposé For Men Only, and with Loan Shark, also released in 1952 and starring George Raft. He became a close friend of Audie Murphy and later appeared with him in three of his films, Column Southand Tumbleweed in 1953 and Ride Clear of Diablo in 1954. His early roles were primarily in westerns and science fiction such as It Came from Outer Space (1953), This Island Earth (1955), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1956), and The Space Children (1958). He also appeared in a Ma and Pa Kettle vehicle, Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki (1955). During the 1950s he guest starred on Rod Cameron’s syndicated crime drama City Detective. He played the head of a gang of crooks in Episode 17 of season 1 of The Adventures of Superman(January, 1953), and was cast on the religion anthology series Crossroads. He played “The Sundown Kid” in an episode of the 1958 NBC western series Jefferson Drum, and guest starred in another NBC western series,The Californians. Late in 1958 Johnson and Joe Flynn were cast in the episode “The Bells of Fear” of the syndicated adventure series Rescue 8, starring Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries. Johnson was cast in the role of Darius in the 1959 episode, “The Unwilling”, of the NBC western series Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds. Johnson appeared three times on the syndicated military drama The Silent Service, based on actual stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy. Johnson was cast as Hugh Grafton and as Tom Richards in two 1960 episodes, “Intermission” and “The Desperate Challenge”, both with June Allyson, on her CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Johnson was cast as John T. Metcalf in the 1962 episode “Mile-Long Shot to Kill” of CBS’s anthology series GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In 1963 he was cast in an episode of the short-lived ABC / Warner Brothers western series The Dakota. Later in that same year he was cast in the series premiere of the ABC medical drama Breaking Point starring Paul Richards and Eduard Franz. From 1959 to 1960,Johnson had a recurring role as Marshal Gib Scott on the ABC half-hour western series Black Saddle. Johnson appeared in two episodes in The Twilight Zone; he attempted to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in “Back There”, and appeared as a college professor in the episode, “Execution”. The plot of both episodes involved time travel from the 20th to the 19th centuries. However, despite all of his film and television credits, he was best known for playing Professor Roy Hinkley (usually referred to as “The Professor”), the very knowledgeable polymath who could build all sorts of inventions out of the most rudimentary materials available on Gilligan’s Island. The show aired from 1964 to 1967, but has been shown in reruns continuously ever since. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s he appeared in several dramatic series, including The Invaders, Death Valley Days, Lassie, Ironside, The F.B.I., and Gunsmoke. He appeared perhaps most notably in the miniseries Vanished, based on a novel by Fletcher Knebel (1971), uncredited in the Robert Redford spy thriller Three Days of the Condor (1975), and on the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara. He guest starred on an episode of CBS’s Newhart; the Beavers (a men’s organization) were watching a Gilligan’s Island episode on television. When they were suddenly evicted from the room, one of them, portrayed by Johnson, protested, “I want to see how it ends!” Johnson played the sheriff in several episodes of season 9 of Dallas; his character did not return in season 10, however, as season 9 turned out to be the infamous “dream season”. Johnson entertained fans at the 1996 MST3K ContevtioConExpoFest-a-Rama 2: Electric Boogaloo on the “Celebrity Panel”. Johnson was invited for his role in the movie-within-a-movie of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, This Island Earth, but spent most of the time answering questions about his Gilligan’s Island days. He once participated in the Ig Nobel award presentation ceremony, credited as “The Professor Emeritus of Gilligan’s Island”. Johnson’s autobiography was titled Here on Gilligan’s Isle, and he was the last male surviving cast member of Gilligan’s Island (died 2014): “I was at a speaking engagement for MIT … and I said … the Professor has all sorts of degrees, including one from this very institution [MIT]! And that’s why I can make a radio out of a coconut, and not fix a hole in a boat!”

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