Daily Update: Monday, February 29th, 2016

02-29 - Leap Year Day

No Saints (yet again), but today is Leap Year Day, which only happens once every four years (with minor exceptions).

While a normal year has 365 days, it actually takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds to make an annual trip around the Sun. To properly compensate for the difference, every four years is a Leap Year, with the added wrinkle that an end-of-century year is not a leap year unless it is also exactly divisible by 400. 2000 was thus a Leap Year, and 2100 will not be a Leap Year. (Presidential Elections are held once every four years, in leap years, although that is mostly by accident; and while we will not have a Leap Year in 2100, we will have a Presidential Election. Pity.) An old tradition holds that women are allowed to propose marriage (instead of waiting to be proposed to) during Leap Year, with some locales restricting the practice to Leap Year Day. A person born on February 29th technically celebrates his or her birthday only once every four years, but usually celebrates it either on February 28th or March 1st in practice. (In Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance Frederic the pirate apprentice, whose birthday is February 29th, discovers that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday rather than until his 21st year, which puts a severe crimp into his plans to marry Mabel, the Major-General’s daughter.)

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and Richard wheeled the trash bin out to the curb. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in at the casino, Richard was on Mini Baccarat (and had no players all day), while I was first on Four Card Poker, which was in the process of being closed; once it was closed I was on the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table for the rest of the day. On my breaks I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Sunday, February 28th, 2016 via WordPress for Android.

On our way home we stopped by the bank so that Richard could get some spending money out of the ATM. Once home I read the morning paper, then came to the computer to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog. And mow, even though it’s quite early in the afternoon, I will finish this Daily Update, charge up my spare Galaxy Note 4 battery, take a bath, do some reading, and go to bed early.

Tomorrow is Wednesday March 1st, a day with no Saints to honor; we will instead note that in 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was abducted from his family home in New Jersey sometime during the night. Richard’s earliest call-in will drop off the calendar tomorrow, with his next call-in dropping off on April 7th. I will wake up half an hour early and drive myself to the casino to sign the Early Out list. Tomorrow afternoon we will leave the house at about 4:00 pm for Lafayette, to meet our friend Steve from Baton Rouge and his friend from work Tonya at Zeus on Pinhook. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 5:13 pm. At 7:30 pm the four of us will see the Randy Newman concert at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. And our LSU Men’s Basketball team will play their last home game of the season with Missouri.

Our Parting Quote on this Leap Year Day comes to us from Davy Jones, English musician and actor. Born as David Jones in Openshaw, Manchester, Lancashire, his television acting debut was in 1961, when he was on the British soap Coronation Street. He also appeared in the BBC police series Z-Cars. After the death of his mother from emphysema when he was 14 years old, Jones rejected acting in favour of a career as a jockey, apprenticing with Newmarket trainer Basil Foster, and dropped out of secondary school to begin his career in that field. This career was short-lived, however. Even though Foster believed Jones would be successful as a jockey, he encouraged his young protégé to take a role as the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver! in London’s West End, a move which changed Jones’ life forever. He played the role in London and then on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award. On February 9th, 1964, he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with Georgia Brown who was playing Nancy in the Broadway production of Oliver!. This was the same episode of the show in which the Beatles made their first appearance. Following his Ed Sullivan appearance, Jones signed a contract with Ward Sylvester of Screen Gems (then the television division of Columbia Pictures). A pair of American television appearances followed, as Jones received screen time in episodes of Ben Casey and The Farmer’s Daughter. Jones debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of August 14th, 1965, with the single “What Are We Going To Do?” The 19-year-old singer was signed to Colpix Records, a label owned by Columbia. His debut album David Jones, on the same label, followed soon after. From 1966 to 1971, Jones was a member of the Monkees, a pop-rock group formed expressly for a television show of the same name with Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. With Screen Gems producing the series, Jones was shortlisted for auditions, as he was the only Monkee who was signed to a deal with the studio, but still had to meet producers Bob Rafelson’s and Bert Schneider’s standards. Jones sang lead vocals on many of the Monkees’ recordings, including “I Wanna Be Free” and “Daydream Believer”. The NBC television series The Monkees was popular and remained in syndication. In 1967 Jones opened his first store, called Zilch, at 217 Thompson Street in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. The store sold “hip” clothing and accessories and also allowed customers to design their own clothes. After the group disbanded in 1971, Jones reunited with Dolenz as well as Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart in 1974 as a short-lived group called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. Jones kept himself busy by establishing a New York City-style street market in Los Angeles, called The Street which cost approximately $40,000. He also collaborated with musical director Doug Trevor on a one-hour ABC television special entitled Pop Goes Davy Jones, which featured new artists The Jackson 5 and the Osmonds. Bell Records, then having a string of hits with The Partridge Family, signed Jones to a somewhat inflexible solo record contract in 1971. Jones was not allowed to choose his songs or producer, resulting in several lackluster and aimless records. His second solo album, Davy Jones (1971) was notable for the song “Rainy Jane”, which reached No.52 in the Billboard charts. To promote the album, Jones performed “Girl” on an episode of The Brady Bunch entitled “Getting Davy Jones”. Although the single sold poorly, the popularity of Jones’s appearance on the show resulted in “Girl” becoming his best-remembered solo hit, even though it was not included in the album. The final single, “I’ll Believe In You”/”Road to Love,” was poorly received. Jones also continued acting after the Monkees, either as himself or another character. He appeared in two episodes each of Love, American Style and My Two Dads. Jones also appeared in animated form as himself in 1972 in an hour-long episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Other television appearances included Sledge Hammer!, Boy Meets World, Hey Arnold!, The Single Guy (where he was mistaken for Dudley Moore) and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in which he sang “Daydream Believer” to Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart). Jones  co-starred with Dolenz in Harry Nilsson’s play The Point at the Mermaid Theatre, London in 1978. A Monkees television show marathon (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”) broadcast on February 23rd, 1986 by MTV resulted in a wave of Monkeemania not seen since the group’s heyday. Jones reunited with Dolenz and Peter Tork from 1986 to 1989 to celebrate the band’s renewed success and promote the 20th anniversary of the group. A new top 20 hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now” was released (though Jones did not perform on the song) as well as an album, Pool It!. Jones appeared in several productions of Oliver! as the Artful Dodger, and in 1989 toured the United States portraying Fagin. In 1995 he appeared with Tork and Dolenz in The Brady Bunch Movie. Monkees activity ceased until 1996 when Jones reunited with Dolenz, Tork and Nesmith to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band. The group released a new album entitled Justus, the first album since 1967’s Headquarters that featured the band members performing all instrumental duties. It was the last time all four Monkees performed together. Jones held an amateur rider’s licence and rode in his first race at Newbury in Berkshire, England for trainer Toby Balding. On February 1st, 1996, he won his first race, on Digpast, in the one-mile Ontario Amateur Riders Handicap at Lingfield in Surrey. Jones also had horse ownership interests in both the U.S. and the U.K., and served as a commercial spokesman for Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia. On June 21, 1997, during a concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Jones joined U2’s The Edge onstage for a karaoke performance of “Daydream Believer,” which had become a fixture of the band’s set during that year’s PopMart Tour. In December 2008, Yahoo! Music named Jones the “Number 1 teen idol of all time”. In 2009, Jones was rated second in a list of 10 best teen idols compiled by Fox News Channel, and Jones made a cameo appearance as himself in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One” (his appearance was meant to be a pun on Davy Jones’ Locker). In February 2011, Jones confirmed rumors of another Monkees reunion. The tour (Jones’s last) came to fruition entitled An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour. He died in Florida, after having a heart attack after riding one of his favorite horses around the track (died 2012):  “I made one huge mistake. When the Monkees finished in 1969–70, I should have got away from Hollywood and got back into the racing game. Instead I waited another 10 years. Everyone makes mistakes in life and for me that was the biggest.”

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