Daily Update: Monday, July 4th, 2016

07-04 - Fourth of July

We have no Saints to honor today. Today is Earth Aphelion, and today is Independence Day in these Fifty United States. (We normally would have the Optional Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen (died 1336) today, but in the dioceses of the United States her feast day has been moved to July 5th.)

The Earth will reach Aphelion today, the point in the orbit where the Earth is farthest from its point of orbit, which is the Sun. Earth’s distance from the Sun does not significantly affect what season occurs. Instead, Earth’s seasons come and go because Earth does not rotate with its axis exactly upright with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. Earth’s axial tilt is 23.4 degrees which puts the Sun further south in December and January, so the north has winter and the south has summer. Thus winter falls on that part of the globe where sunlight strikes least directly, and summer falls where sunlight strikes most directly, regardless of the Earth’s distance from the Sun. With the Sun about 94.5 million miles away, only 93.55% of the solar radiation from the Sun falls on a given square area of land than at perihelion in early January. (But you can still get sunburned if you go to the beach today.) Turning to the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2nd, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4th. In a now-famous letter written to his wife Abigail on July 3rd, 1776, John Adams predicted that July 2nd would become a great American holiday. Adams thought that the vote for independence would be commemorated; he did not foresee that Americans, including himself, would instead celebrate Independence Day on the date that the announcement of that act was finalized, which was also the date on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, July 4th. The day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. And remember, O my best beloved Three or Four Loyal Readers and Army of Followers: He who goes Forth with a Fifth on the Fourth may never come Forth on the Fifth!

Last night, after I went to bed, Richard came home with a new Hunter ceiling fan for the guest room.

I posted to Facebook that today was Independence Day, and put out the flag before we left to work. Once at the casino, in ADR they were giving away a free meal of burgers or sausages and fries and baked beans; I would have eaten my usual salad, but the salad bar had basically been turned into a Hamburger Condiment bar. So I ate some indifferent burgers and fries and baked beans. Today was the second of two Heavy Business Volume Days for the Independence Day Weekend, and a Paid Holiday, meaning that we got paid time and a half for our eight hours worked. Richard was on Macau Mini Baccarat. I was the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow; when they close the regular Mini Baccarat table I picked up a Blackjack table, and for my last rotation I also added Flop Poker to my relief string. On my breaks I continued reading The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story by Dean King. On my last break I sent a text to Julie telling her that we would schedule our trip to New Orleans in late July or early August, after Callie and the baby have come and gone, and when we clocked out at 11:00 am Earth Aphelion occurred.

When we were on our way home, Richard’s sister Susan in Iowa called; she and her husband Tom were over at their cousin Lele’s house here in town. We told them we would be over after we got home, and stopped at Super 1 Foods, where Richard got some groceries. When we got home we changed our clothes and went over to Lele’s; Richard’s brother Slug and his wife Rosemary were also there. We stayed and visited until about 1:45 pm, and returned home. Once home I read the morning paper, and Richard took down the ceiling fan in the guest room and put it out on the curb. I then worked on my genealogy stuff until 4:30 pm, when I went out to watch Jeopardy!; during the show we ate hamburgers (grilled outside by Richard, and they were very good) and chips. And now I am doing today’s Daily Update, and when I finish I will get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen (died 1336), in the Dioceses of the United States, and the Optional Memorial of Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Priest (died 1539). We will work our eight hours tomorrow at the casino, and in the afternoon we may go over to Lele’s again.

Our Parting Quote on this Monday afternoon, as we prepare to watch the Fourth of July fireworks light up the sky (unless we have to be at work at 3:00 am tomorrow, as Richard and I do), comes to us from Brenda Joyce, American actress. Born as Betty Graftina Leabo in 1917 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, she was raised in Los Angeles and nicknamed “Graftina” by her father when she was a girl. She became a photographer’s model to earn money to attend UCLA for four years; a 20th Century-Fox talent scout noticed a fashion layout of her and immediately signed her on. The studio changed her name to “Brenda Joyce” after silent star Alice Joyce and immediately gave her an impressive movie debut with The Rains Came (1939), starring Tyrone Power and Myrna Loy, for which she received fine reviews. Building her up to the public as a sexy single girl, she was subsequently showcased in Here I Am a Stranger (1939) opposite Richard Greene and in Maryland (1940) with John Payne. The studio did not approve of her impulsive 1941 marriage to army husband Owen Ward and supposedly punished her by relegating her to “B” films. Joyce eventually lost interest in her career, but was coaxed back to the film set when brunette Maureen O’Sullivan left the Tarzan series and Johnny Weissmuller approved the athletic beauty as his new blonde swinging mate. Beginning a four-year excursion with the film Tarzan and the Amazons (1945), she continued on as Jane after Weissmuller left the series (actor Lex Barker took over), but finally decided enough was enough after her fifth Tarzan movie, Tarzan’s Magic Fountain (1949), and left acting for good. Following her movie career, Joyce moved to the Washington, D.C. area and worked with the Refugee Services for nearly 10 years, helping displaced persons find employment and places to live. This line of work eventually had her relocate to the Carmel, California area, and she worked with Catholic Resettlement in Seaside, California (near Monterey). Besieged by personal and health problems in later years, she endured a painful divorce from her husband in 1960 after 19 years of marriage. She was then married and divorced twice more. Suffering from dementia in her twilight years, Joyce stayed with her children until she had to be institutionalized in a nursing home in Santa Monica, California (died 2007): “I didn’t live near the studios in the hopes of “crashing” the gates. My ambition was to always be active in “little theater” and also to be a professor of Speech and Drama at U.C.L.A.”

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