Daily Update: Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

John and 12-27 - Third Day of Christmas and Hanukkah - 4th Night

Alleluia! on the Third Day of the Octave of Christmas. Today is the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist (died c.101). Today is also the Third Day of Christmas, with Gallic birds. My earliest call-in at the casino dropped off the calendar today. And tonight at sunset begins the Fourth Night of Hanukkah.

Saint John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of  Saint James the Greater. John was a fisherman, and he and his brother were known as the Sons of Thunder. He was a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, and was called to be an Apostle by Jesus during the first year of  His ministry, and traveled everywhere with Him, becoming so close as to be known as the beloved disciple. The only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Saviour in the hour of His Passion, standing at the foot of the cross, he was made the guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Jesus, taking her into his home. Upon hearing of the Resurrection, he was the first to reach the tomb; when he met the risen Lord at the lake of Tiberius, he was the first to recognize Him. During the era of the new Church, he worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. During Jesus’ ministry he tried to block a Samaritan from their group, but Jesus explained the open nature of the new Way, and he worked on that principle to found churches in Asia Minor and baptizing converts in Samaria. He was imprisoned with Peter for preaching after Pentecost. He was the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly of the Book of Revelation, and survived all his fellow apostles. Tradition holds that the Emperor Domitian had him brought to Rome, beaten, poisoned, and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but John stepped out unharmed and was banished to Patmos instead. Dying a natural death in Ephesus, the only Apostle to not be martyred, he is the Patron Saint of love, loyalty, friendships, authors, booksellers, art dealers, editors, papermakers, publishers, scribes, scholars, and theologians, and his aid is invoked by those suffering from burns and poison. Today is also the Third Day of Christmas (with more birds, in this case French hens, also known as Faverolles). My earliest call-in at the casino dropped off the calendar today; my next call-in will drop off on March 27th, 2017. And tonight begins the Fourth Night of Hanukkah.

I missed a call yesterday afternoon from my Ob/Gyn’s office, and the text from Liz Ellen that she and Widget had made it safely home, driving straight through from SouthWestCentral Louisiana to Eastern Kentucky. And our New Orleans Pelicans won their NBA game with the Dallas Mavericks by the score of 111 to 104.

On getting up to get ready for work, I did my Book Devotional Reading, brought in the United States flag, and put the Christmas Flag back outside. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Seventh Day of my Holy Family Novena. When we clocked in, Richard was on Mini Baccarat; I was on Let It Ride, closed that table, and dealt on a Blackjack table for the rest of the day.

When we got home from work I read the morning paper; I then got on the computer and did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts. And I will now do my Daily Update for today; I am still tired (in the ADR before work, one of the swing dealers, who is either off her meds or taking too many of her meds, looked at me and said, “Wow! You look really tired!”), and I plan to finish this Update and then go to bed for the duration.

Tomorrow is the Fourth Day in the Octave of Christmas (Alleluia!). Tomorrow is the Feast of The Holy innocents, Martyrs (died early first century). And tomorrow is the Fourth Day of Christmas, with our true love gift being four calling birds. I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance tomorrow and my laundry, then I plan to head for Barnes and Noble to put on some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble (plus, I need two 2017 calendars) And at sunset we have the Fifth Night of Hanukkah. Our LSU Lady Tigers (10-2, 0-0) will play a home College Basketball game with the Alabama State Lady Hornets (1-8, 0-0), and our New Orleans Pelicans (12-21, 1-6) will play a home NBA game with the Los Angeles Clippers (22-11, 2-2).

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., also known as H. Norman Schwarzkopf, United States Army general. Born in 1934 in Trenton, New Jersey, Schwarzkopf grew up in the United States and later in Iran. He was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1956. After a number of initial training programs, Schwarzkopf interrupted a stint as an academy teacher and served in the Vietnam War first as an adviser to the South Vietnamese Army and later as a battalion commander. Schwarzkopf was highly decorated in Vietnam, being awarded three Silver Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit. Rising through the ranks after the conflict, he later commanded the U.S. 24th Infantry Division and was one of the commanders of the Invasion of Grenada in 1983. Assuming command of United States Central Command in 1988, Schwarzkopf was called on to respond to the Invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by the forces of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Initially tasked with defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, Schwarzkopf’s command eventually grew to an international force of over 750,000 troops. After diplomatic relations broke down, he planned and led Operation Desert Storm, an extended air campaign followed by a highly successful 100-hour ground offensive, which destroyed the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait in early 1991. Highly regarded for these exploits, Schwarzkopf became a national hero and was presented with many military honors for what historians termed one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. military history. Schwarzkopf retired shortly after the end of the war and undertook a number of philanthropic ventures, only occasionally stepping into the political spotlight before his death from complications of pneumonia. Leaving a legacy as a hard-driving military commander with a strong temper, Schwarzkopf was nonetheless considered an exceptional leader by biographers and was noted for his abilities as a military diplomat and in dealing with the press (died 2012): “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”

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