Daily Update: Thursday, March 17th, 2016


Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Patrick, Bishop (died 493).

Born in 387 in Scotland as Maewyn Succat, at the age of 16 today’s Saint was kidnapped from the British mainland and shipped to Ireland as a slave; he was sent to the mountains as a shepherd, and spent his time in the field in prayer. After six years of this life, he had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain; seeing it as a sign, he escaped. A few years later, he had a vision that the pagans in Ireland were calling for his help, and he resolved to return to them to Christianize them. Towards this end, he studied in several monasteries in Europe and became a priest. Pope Celestine sent him to evangelize England and Ireland, and to assist the Bishop in Ireland; upon the death of that bishop, Patrick was ordained in his place. In 33 years he effectively converted all of Ireland; he famously illustrated the concept of the Trinity with the three leaves of the shamrock. Two Latin letters survive which are generally accepted to have been written by Patrick; these are the Declaration (Latin: Confessio) and the Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (Latin: Epistola). The Declaration is the more important of the two documents; in it Patrick gives a short account of his life and his mission. In the Middle Ages Ireland became known as the Land of Saints, and during the Dark Ages its monasteries were the great repositories of learning in Europe, all consequences of Patrick’s ministry. He is the Patron Saint of Ireland, of Boston, Massachusetts, of Puerto Rico, of the Archdiocese of New York, and of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and his aid is invoked against snakes, due to the tradition that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. (The modern celebration of the day with parades and green beer was initially an American phenomenon; the first parade in Boston was in 1737, and the first parade in Dublin was in 1931.)

After I went to bed last night Michelle came by, having come home from her trip to Connecticut to see Matthew and Callie and the baby. She reported to Richard that the Navy will definitely move Matthew at the end of the year (to Charleston, South Carolina, or to Schenectady, New York), and gave the surprising news that when they move, Amy (their roommate and very good friend) will move with them. Our #7 ranked LSU Baseball team beat New Orleans by the score of 9 to 4, and our New Orleans Pelicans won their pro basketball away game with the Sacramento Kings by the score of 123 to 108.

Before I woke up at 8:00 am Richard had gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, then read the Thursday papers while eating my breakfast toast. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading. did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog, finished my laundry, and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts. I then did another couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog, and Richard went to bed for a nap. I got a call from the Clinic asking me if, instead of going to see the Nurse Practitioner on Monday, if I could instead go to the Renal Specialist Clinic on Thursday, March 31st; I told them that I had a conflict (that’s the day when I am going to meet Julie in New Orleans), and they told me to go ahead and see my Nurse Practitioner on Monday.

I left the house on my own at 1:00 pm, and at the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing (and won $4.00 from my previous batch of lottery tickets). I ate Chinese for lunch at Peking, and continued reading Julian’s Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich by Veronica Mary Rolf. I then went to Wal-Mart and got my salad supplies and some other groceries.

Arriving home at 2:30 pm (Richard was still sleeping), I did an Advance Daily Update Draft or two for this weblog. I then called the Cathedral in Lafayette; they confirmed for me what I had feared from my Internet non-results, which is that there will be no Choral Tenebrae service after the last Palm Sunday Mass on Sunday evening. Richard woke up from his nap, and I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday. He then left to get some personal size pizzas from Dollar General and to get the oil changed in the truck, and I watched Jeopardy!. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and when I am finished I will get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is a Friday in Lent, so it will be a day of Abstinence from Meat. And it is the Optional Memorial of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor (died 386). Richard and I will return to the casino for the beginning of our work week, and I will try to do some magazine reading for a change (my unread magazines are piling up like sand dunes). After work I will go to the Pharmacy, and I hope they will have my prescriptions in (the switch-over from Krogers to Walgreens is apparently more difficult than they thought it would be). In the afternoon I will probably take a nap, but I plan to wake up for Jeopardy!. Our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home pro basketball game with the Portland Trail Blazers, and our #7 ranked LSU Baseball team will be playing the first game of a three-game home series with Alabama to start their SEC season; I will record the scores of both games in my Saturday Daily Update.

Our Thursday Afternoon Parting Quote on this St. Patrick’s Day comes to us from Raymond D. Fowler, American psychologist. Born in 1930 in Jasper, Alabama, a small coal mining town in the mountainous north central region of the state, his mother was a public school teacher, and his father was an accountant and later director of the Alabama State Retirement System. Fowler received a BA degree in 1952 and an MA degree in 1953 in psychology from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He received his PhD in psychology with specialization in clinical psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1957. In 1956 Fowler joined the faculty of the University of Alabama, where he remained until 1986, when he was appointed professor emeritus. In the early 1960s he developed a method of computer interpretation for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. From 1965 to 1968 he was vice-president of the Council on Human Relations, the first biracial human rights group in Alabama. From 1965 to 1983, he served as department head at the University of Alabama. He was appointed in 1976 by Federal District Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. to direct a court – ordered prison reform program that included assessing every prisoner in the Alabama prison system and recommending educational and rehabilitation programs for them. That same year, Fowler was retained by the estate of Howard R. Hughes, who had died without a will, to determine his mental status at various periods of his life. Fowler served as the American Psychological Association (APA) treasurer from 1982 through 1987, became its 97th president in 1988, and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer from 1989 to 2003. In 1987, he was appointed professor and head of the psychology department at the University of Tennessee, where he served until June 1989, when he assumed his position as APA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. At the state and national level, Fowler had been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Alcoholism of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was a task force member of the President’s Commission on Mental Health and was an invited participant to the White House Conference on Health and the National Conference on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. He had been a consultant to the Director of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, the Veterans Administration, and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In 1998 the Psychological Bulletin of the APA published Rind et al., a meta-analytic article indicating that suffering childhood sexual abuse does not automatically cause great and lasting harm, as was sometimes believed. The article caught the attention of the media, including Laura Schlessinger on the Dr. Laura Program, and was misrepresented as condoning sexual contact with children. Historian Alice Dreger faulted Fowler for caving into political pressure and calling for an external review of the article instead of defending the scientific and peer review process. The external review was submitted to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which responded by defending those processes. From 1998 to 2006, Fowler was treasurer of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and a member of its executive committee. In 2000 the American Board of Professional Psychology gave Fowler its award for Distinguished Service and Contributions to the Profession of Psychology. In 2003 the APA established two Raymond D. Fowler Awards in his honor. These awards are given annually to a member and to a staff member who has made “a significant and enduring impact on APA as an organization and who has shown a clear dedication to advancing APA’s mission”. In 2006 Fowler published Computers, Criminals, an Eccentric Billionaire and APA: A brief Autobiography. (died 2015): “Psychology, perhaps more than any other discipline, belongs to the people.”

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