Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Bob Harris gets it right.

Good News

Dasiy just reminded me:

Skookses float

I'm sure he must be okay.

Will someone please shoot these assholes?

I'm really not in the mood to hear this crap right now.

Gays 'Responsible' For New Orleans Devastation Group Claims

T-P blog update

good news: Still got it Johnny White’s Sport Bar on Bourbon Street at Orleans Avenue didn’t close Tuesday night, and had six patrons at 8 a.m. drinking at the bar. “Monday night, they came by after curfew and wanted us to close,” bartender Perry Bailey, 60, said of officers then patrolling the French Quarter. But all we did was shut the doors and stayed open.”

bad news: Getting more water. Meanwhile, water was still spreading through Uptown Wednesday morning, and was making its way over St. Charles Avenue towards the river. On Marengo Street, water was 3 to 10 feet high in stretches between Claiborne and St. Charles avenues and between Napoleon Avenue and Louisiana. Water lapped into the bottom floors of houses, and residents were being evacuated by boat on Marengo and surrounding streets. Along Prytania Street, the water was a foot high and still rising at 10:30 a.m. And while water was still running in Uptown faucets Tuesday night, the flow stopped Wednesday.



Underwater.. just like everything else. T-P photo.

water rising

wwl says St. Charles & Jefferson is taking on water now.

fucking hotels

Kicking survivors out because their reservations are up. Get a clue!!

evacuee blog

Good stuff here.

Murph on cable news: Don't listen to the big cable networks because they don't know shit and their condescending, careless ignorance is an insult to not only the state and journalism but to human compassion.

You know it's bad when

This is a big new item.

Disinfecting water when you can't boil it

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Worse worse worse it just gets worse

They couldn't (or wouldn't) repair the levee breach before the last pumping station failed and now my neighborhood is guaranteed to flood. I just can't get my mind around the immensity of the loss of an entire city. It's only gradually beginning to feel like a real thing. I want to ask trivial questions like where will the Saints play their home opener? Or can Tom Benson apply to FEMA for a new stadium? But it's hard to keep a sense of humor when you've been watching aerial photos of places you drive by and stores you shop in and your actual library of employment flooded to the rooftops. I am overwhelmed, angry, depressed. Don't know what else to say tonight. Will continue to reevaluate life tomorrow.


You know, if folks are scavenging for supplies, I really can't blame them. If they're breaking into houses for TVs and jewelry well that's different. Still I can't see why dealing with looters should be much of a priority.

Latest video from wwl looks like most of FQ is still dry. Not a lot of pictures from uptown for some reason. Everything else seems to be underwater.

My god, the gas fires look just plain hellish!

The Metblog has updates today.

So does Michael

Still watching. Still in shock.

Best news is all local

Keep checking wwl wdsu and nola for news.
Don't know what we're going back to.
Does anyone still have a house? a Job?
Will there be enough beer?

Water Still Rising

This morning, WWL TV just evacuated their studios due to rising water in the French Quarter. University hospital is talking about evacuating. I still keep hearing that Uptown is okay.


It's every bit as bad as we feared. Most of town is underwater. There are people and animals trapped on rooftops and in attics. Bridges are out. Debris everywhere. My place is uptown. I hear that it was likely dry during the storm... but now that the levees are broken.. I don't know... wish I could have gotten more of my stuff out. I left at about 11 AM in a Tercel full of random crap. It took 15 hours to drive to Tuscaloosa. Stayed one night there in a Red Cross shelter. Got to Nashville the next day. Not sure what to do next. Hope everyone is safe.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Today's Wacky Reference Question

Member of Public: Y'all got any books on... children's diversity?

An already on guard me: Do you mean.. perhaps... something covering the various kinds of children in existence?

Public: No I mean, like, you know women doing men's jobs and men doing women's jobs.

Said it before. Don't listen too closely to the public or your head may explode.

Inflationary Irony

This week's Onion. Top "In the News Photo" What would Clovis and Ben Martin say?

Sick Bastards

Plaquemines Parish wants to put a chip in your dog.

And it just keeps on going

K&B, McKenzie's, Holmes, Maison Blanche, Schweggman's, Pontchatrain Beach, Jax, Dixie, Regal, Nash, Hap, Buddy "D", neighborhood parades and now the Catholic League too?


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Extra! Extra!

Sleep has become very precious to me lately as various events over the course of the past week have conspired to deprive me of the normal healthy dosage of sweet oblivion. Some will say I spend a more than adequate quantity of my waking hours in an oblivious enough state to compensate for this, but we'll leave that for another discussion.

For the past few days, the greatest obstacle to my beauty rest has been the fact that I have finally caved under the pressure (largely from Daisy) and actually taken up reading Harry Potter. It's taken me a while to get to these because 1)I'm not particularly big on fantasy/sci-fi and 2)I have a natural aversion to popular trends. It turns out that, as in most things, my instincts have steered me very very wrong. Just in case anyone needs to be told, the Harry Potter series (at least the bits I've read) turn out to be every bit the excellent children's/YA coming-of-age books they're advertised as. The characters here are growing up and coming to terms with a bewildering, imperfect, yet beautiful world. They seem to grow the most by learning not to blindly trust arbitrary convention or authority. There are few better things for a child to take away from a book than the value of thinking for one's self. Plus, I can't put the damn book down.... hence the lack of sleep.

I must have been particularly determined to make up for lost time this morning as I managed to remain largely undisturbed by the 5 AM rantings of a drunken Consuela who barged into my room to rant about whatever the hell had happened to her last night.. who knows... the point is I was wholly unable to pay attention. Unfortunately, things were a bit different at 7:30 when I was violently whipped into consciousness by a ringing telephone.

Quick background: Having spent nearly ten years of my young life working in various capacities as a customer service type person, I have grown hyper sensitve to the emotional needs of service employees whenever I come into contact with them. I try not to make eye contact, much less annoying small talk with drugstore clerks. I don't order anything that looks like it might be a pain in the ass for the bartender/barrista to make. I always tip well. (In fact I tend to overtip when I have received what on the surface appears to be bad service because I figure I am at least in part to blame for causing the provider of said service the stress of having to deal with me.) Above all, I have never ever EVER IN MY LIFE asked to speak with a manager.

In light of the above, it was with a great deal of trepidation that I allowed Daisy to complain on my behalf to the Times-Picayune about a weeklong.. um.. interruption in my paper delivery. I was willing to be patient with this because 1)It was possible that someone in the neighborhood was stealing it and 2) I have one of those weird corner apartments to which delivery of mail/pizza/newspapers is naturally something of an adventure. So I can totally understand if not everything gets through on time. The real problem here is that my T-P subscription was a birthday gift to me from Daisy which means that I am not the only one invested in the delivery issue which means that if she wants to call and complain.. well.. she has every right to. And so she did... a few times over a period of days where the T-P phone lackey promised to straighten the situation out but failed to do so... until a week later when the paper began showing up again which it has done without further interruption for about two weeks. I considered the matter closed, although Daisy still asks nearly every day to see if she needs to be put back on the case.

Soooo.. as I mentioned above, my all too brief slumber was further truncated by an early phone call which turned out to be..... my paper delivery man calling to berate me for getting him into such a spot of trouble with his superiors over the lax delivery service. The gist of his lecture: He is a "veteran paper man" and he knows what he is doing. During the delivery interruption, he claims to have been on vacation. Whether or not someone else covered his route inadequately or all of his customers went without service for a week was not made clear. What was made clear was that 1) the man's bosses were "coming down on me" and 2) despite the fact that none of this was my business, I could rest assured that my paper would be at my door on time every day from then on, dammit.

I just hope that's all he leaves there for me.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Awful Book of the Morning

Slim pickings this morning. The winner by default:
Getting Rich In America 8 Simple Rules for Building a Fortune and a Satisfying Life.

Going here on the theory that anything from the enumerated rules/steps to self-betterment genre is worthy of at least some suspicion. The back cover features a series of provocative questions designed to give the reader a hint as to the nature of some of the life changing secrets to be gained from purchasing this tome. The first one reads, "How does smoking reduce your chances of becoming a millionaire?"

Editor's Note: I feel obliged here to include yet another promise to return soon to a more regular posting schedule as well as to finally resolve some long neglected cliffhangers. Fear not. This and more is in the works in conjunction with festivities to commemorate the two year anniversary of this site. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Yep, it's pretty much football season again

For what it's worth, the T-P Saints beat writers are covering training camp in blog format. For my money, the moment of the pre-season thus far came last week when renowned literacy advocate, Aaron Brooks commented to reporters that he was pleased with the Saints' new simplified play calling system for 2005, or as he called it, the "reducement of the offense."

The Problem

From Utne Magazine, today's must read.
Imagine a social space that's designed for individual enlightenment, a "people's university" where all can read and learn. A haven from commerce where everyone can conduct research or enjoy the arts. A place for children to escape their family bonds just long enough to glimpse a broader world. A home away from home for those curious about ideas and passionate about knowledge.

Such is the American public library at its best. And who doesn't love a library, at least in concept? In a land where private ownership is the rule, libraries lend items and offer help for free. Historically, they've provided things to be shared, not consumed and thrown away. Good libraries are deeply conservative in that they guard and archive the culture's diverse wisdom and beauty, its vast oddities and amusements. But they're also radical bastions of mutual aid. In a "knowledge economy" where information carries an ever-steeper price, where the rich get wealthier and the poor have less, libraries are one of the few ways still available for many to educate themselves -- ideally, an American right.

By some measures, these wellsprings of the democratic spirit have never been more popular. According to the American Library Association (ALA), public library visits have risen from 500 million in 1990 to about 1.2 billion a year. Reference librarians now answer more than 7 million questions a week. And as the ALA likes to note, there are more public libraries in the United States -- 16,421, counting all branches -- than there are McDonald's restaurants.

But lurking in that comparison is a hint that all is not well with libraries. In fact, the same forces that have turned the United States into a fast-food nation could soon drive the traditional American library out of existence. In a society where everyone's basic needs for health care, housing, education, clean air and water, meaningful work, creative expression, and open space are not met, the historical model of the public library, open to all, is under siege. Critics say it's a crisis that mirrors a larger one rooted in the failures of capitalism and perhaps democracy itself.
Much more. Go read.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Who Knew

That anyone ever used Who's Who anymore? All it does around here is eat up shelf space.

Just a Thought

So.. what are the odds that Bill Jefferson decides not to come back from Brazil this week?

Bad News Bears

One soldier's account of the kind of "training" Iraqi security is receiving from the US military.
My time as a Team Leader in Iraq was temporarily interrupted when I was sent to the "Green Zone" in Baghdad to train the Iraqi army. I was more than happy to do it because we were being told that in order for us to get out of Iraq completely the Iraqi military would have to be able to take over all security operations. The training of the Iraqi Army became a huge concern of mine. During the time I trained! them, their basic training was only one week long. We showed them some basic drill and ceremony such as marching and saluting. When it came time for weapons training, we gave each Iraqi recruit an AK-47 and just let them shoot it. They did not even have to qualify by hitting a target. All they had to do was pull the trigger. I was instructed by my superiors to stand directly behind them with caution while they were shooting just in case they tried to turn the weapon on us so we could stop them.

Once they graduated from basic training, the Iraqi soldiers in a way became part of our battalion and we would take them on missions with us. But we never let them know where we were going, because we were afraid some of them might tip off the insurgency that we were coming and we would walk directly into an ambush. When they would get into formation prior to the missions we made them a part of, they would cover their faces so the people of their communities did not identify them as being affiliated with the American troops.

Not that long ago President Bush made a statement at Fort Bragg when he addressed the nation about the war in Iraq. He said we would "stand down" when the Iraqi military is ready to "stand up." My experience with the new Iraqi military tells me we won't be coming home for a long time if that's the case.
There's more.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quickie Book/Movie Review

How to Be Idle Tom Hodgkinson

This series of essays thorough which Hogkinson argues that the rigid institutions of modern hyper-capitalism (consumerism, bureaucracy, the corporate workplace) conspire to obstruct our access to the simple pleasures of the truly examined life manages to entertain and annoy in equal measure. On the one hand, Hodgkinson's observations on the nature of work are well stated (if less than earth shattering). The following excerpt captures more or less the gist of the book.
And there are new enemies of leisure today. Hunger and God have been replaced in the consumer age by possessions and status. The advertising industry leads us to believe that life will be improved by the purchase of a product. The purchase of a product requires money. Money requires hard work. Or debt. We go into debt to chase our desires, and then keep working to pay off the debt. It's the modern form of indentured labour.
Throughout Hodgkinson flaunts his erudition by peppering his work with pertinent quotes from, among others, G.K. Chesterton, Samuel Johnson, Lin Yutang, Oscar Wilde, and even Barbara Ehrenreich. All of this gives the book the feel of an extended literary review (and a very entertaining one at that). It also allows it to descend too far into effete snobbery. This is tolerable to a point, but becomes unacceptable when Hodgkinson's self-absorption leads him into outright hypocrisy. Only a few chapters after his screed against the proliferation of caffeine addiction wrought by franchise coffee sellers, Hodgkinson luxuriates in his own nicotine dependency even going so far as to elaborate on his unapologetic engagement in the affectation of rolling one's own cigarettes. Hodgkinson rails against blind participation in societal trends and conspicuous consumption and then merrily goes raving with the trendy set and later buys his own home beer brewing kit. And here we hit upon the intellectual trap one encounters when engaging in this kind of criticism. It is one thing to point out that society is beset with an oppressive combination of banal trivial obsession and vulgar profit grasping. If one attempts, however, to make this point while claiming that one's own banal trivial obsessions and means of profit grasping (Hodgikinson is a successful editor, writer, and accomplished yuppie in his own right) are evidence of one's besting the corrupt system, well that's another thing altogether. By all means, read How To Be Idle, though. It manages to entertain as well as make a few points even if it ultimately defeats its own purpose.

The Devil's Rejects
Rob Zombie follows up on his cult horror hit "House of 1000 Corpses" by sending sending the villains from the first film out on the lam after their lair is raided by a disturbingly zealous sheriff. What follows is more of a demented chase than an actual slasher/horror flick. The gruesome action sequences are shot in a stop/slow motion fashion against a well selected classic rock soundtrack. (Okay, I could have done without "Free Bird." I mean I realize that it provides just the right degree of camp irony, but I just hate having to hear it.) The stylized violence and snappy diologue make this a kind of hillbilly Pulp Fiction. Its greatest weakness comes from the director's inability to choose from what appear to be three different endings written for the film and consequential decision to sloppily combine them resulting in some unnecessary lengthening. You know you have a problem when stuff is exploding and folks are being shot to pieces and nails are being driven into hands and the audience still feels like the thing is dragging on a bit. Still this movie is way funnier than the first one and I don't much regret the loss of my $7.50. Check it out if you need an excuse to continue your idling.