Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Good Site for New Orleans Updates

I added a new link under other blogs for a New Orleans Metroblog. Metroblogging seems like a good concept, if you look on the site they have links to blogs for other cities. After reading some of the post a few are kinda negative and harsh, but the information and updates are better than anything on FoxNews, CNN, and most of the local stations.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In Death Valley

Don't tell anyone about this photo, it was taken about 12:45 am Monday morning.

New Orleans, Where Are You

This is becoming sickening. I’m almost getting the feeling the New Orleans I’ve grown to love is disappearing before my eyes. We’re also hearing reports Grand Isle has vanished. I guess all we can do is pray. I was going to write about my exploits from Sunday night, but just not in the mood at the moment. Work has been hell also today. I’m gonna work about 11 ½ hours today, need to stop by the gym after work, blow off some steam. And prepare for another night without AC. But at least I do have a roof over my head and dry ground to walk on. Thats enough to help me work out a little smile.

We Survived Katrina

My family and I are ok. I lost power about 10 am yesterday, but that’s just a minor inconvenience right now compared to a lot of people along the gulf coast from Mobile to New Orleans. My heart aches for the people of South Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. I’ve lived there, I still visit the city often, and many of my friends and their families reside there. It will take a while for the city to dry out, but in the long run the city will recover. The resiliency of the people here will amaze you. What they show on TV is complete devastation, but people will pull thru.

When I have time I will try to relate some of my experiences over the past few days.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Update

It's windy, rained some earlier but no rain at the moment. Of course I really don't care. I would guess one hurricane drink, a six pack of beer, a shot of Patron, a shot called a New York M..... F....., and a shot called a Scobie something will do that to you (not saying I did all that, but if by chance I did). I'm about to go to Tiger Stadium. No reason why, just meeting some people there. Have a great day.

Louisiana Hurricane Season Notes

And now a little humor, if anyone knows who wrote this let know and I will give them credit.

To ex-Louisianaians, present Louisianaians, and future Louisianaians:

We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.
Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Louisiana. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one.''
Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:
STEP 1. Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.
STEP 2. Put these supplies into your car.
STEP 3. Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.
Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Louisiana. We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:

HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE: If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:
(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska.
Unfortunately, if your home is located in South Louisiana, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane George, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.

SHUTTERS: Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors, and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:
Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.
Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.
Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them. "Hurricane-proof'' windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.
Hurricane Proofing Your Property: As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc.. You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.

EVACUATION ROUTE: If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver's license; if it says ``Louisiana,'' you live in a low-lying area.) The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.

HURRICANE SUPPLIES: If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Louisiana tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who get the last can of SPAM. In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:
23 flashlights
At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)
A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)
A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who went through Camille; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)
$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean. Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise!

Hurricane Katrina

Right now it’s about 4 pm on Sunday in Baton Rouge. The weather is sunny, hot, and extremely humid; pretty much your normal August afternoon in the South. Except today there is a monster storm out in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina, she looks like a bad mamma jamma. In fact on TV and radio I heard words like catastrophic and devastating. While I will admit the storm is awe-inspiring, this one is one of the few I would ever use the word “scary” to describe it.

I’ve been thru a number of storms living in South Louisiana, Hurricane Andrew about 13 or 14 years ago was probably the worst storm I’ve experienced. Thankfully we didn’t suffer much property damage other than our backyard fence getting blown away but we were out of power for 5 days. I’m hoping if/when we lose power it won’t take as long to fix it. I also hope New Orleans comes out ok; it could be pretty nasty there next week. And work (I work for a telecommunications company) will be pretty much hell on earth too. I don’t know if I will be back Tuesday or later, but I’m not looking forward to it. But all you can do is pray the damage is minimal. Of course, I can’t lose of track of the one really important thing, hoping that Tiger Stadium is ok for next Saturday, people here can tolerate a big storm, but if LSU can’t start their season on Saturday, you know it will get hot here quick :).

I hope to take some pictures, should be an interesting few days. Gonna try and get in some tennis this afternoon if the rain holds out. Oh if anyone emails or calls me give me a few days to get back at ya.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

Gas is really expensive…Makes me love my Civic…Makes me hate my 50 mile round trip commute to work….Makes me appreciate that I don’t have a 150 mile round trip commute like some people I know living elsewhere….Makes me want to live somewhere I don’t have to drive to get to work

Partying with law school students can be fun, especially hot female law students.

It’s almost football season, which is a great thing.

Generally college bars are not my thing anymore. Drunk frat guys, snobby sorority chicks, way too crowded, not any good dance music, not my scene. I’m starting to become more of a piano bar type of person (don’t laugh). Of course I spend all my time in church nowadays.

Why do shot girls have to pin stickers and flashy lights on you? All that can do is get you in trouble with the girlfriend/wife when get home and forget to take it off (especially if you told her you were just going out to eat and grab a beer). And speaking of shots, who invented the Jell-O shot and why? And why did we never see Bill Cosby throw down a few of those in the old Jell-O commercials?

I need to take vacations like the President. I’m not saying he shouldn’t go to his ranch (thats another issue), but I just want to live like that, take weeks off at a time, head to the country, invite all my friends, and just chill out, drinking pink lemonade (yes I do).

"Midnight Train to Georgia" is a great song, and its really fun to sing harmony with Gladys while sitting in the car. However it's not a great karaoke song unless you can really sing and have great range (or being really drunk is a good substitute).

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pictures From the Shaw Center Roof

Here are a few pictures I took last night from the roof of the Shaw Center. I put a link for the Center over in my links section. It is fast becoming my favorite place in BR to hang out. If you look really close behind the pictures of the old state capital you can see Tiger Stadium and my old dorm, good ole Kirby-Smith.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Air Jordans and Starter Jackets

I was looking thru the most recent Eastbay catalog last night. Back when I actually needed to buy specialty athletic equipment, especially track spikes, Eastbay was the bomb. There were 3 items that caught my eye. First, they still sell strength shoes. I used those torture devices in high school for a while. They actually worked pretty well back then although in my present condition my vertical jump is more of a vertical hop. Second, they now have a decent selection of soccer jerseys. Of course you have the mandatory Adu D.C. United jersey and also Beckham & Ronaldo’s Real Madrid jerseys, but I really liked Thierry Henry Arsenal jersey. If I find some spare change in the car or under my bed I may pick that up. Last, they now have about 25 different Air Jordan shoes. The even have Air Jordan sandals. I remember back in the day when they came out with one new pair about every 7 or 8 months if that. What happened to those days? My parents wouldn’t let me get them because they were afraid someone would shoot me and take my shoes. Remember back in the day if you had new Jordans and a Starter jacket old folks thought you were dealing. In fact I didn’t get my first and only pair of Jordan’s until after he retired the first time. And I still have my first starter jacket somewhere. It does not even get that cold here, but I remember back in middle school, if it dropped below 60 degree, we were pulling out the starters. Who started that fad?

Typical New Orleans Saints

Yes these are my 2005 New Orleans Saints. I know its only preseaon but still, in case you can't tell #5 is the QB, not # 41, which means McPherson got his hands in the wrong big guy's butt. But again, its only preseason, no need to worry? Right?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Random Ramblings and Barry White

I had a very enjoyable weekend, three things stood out, 1) the excruciating 35 minutes pool game with Kat, Rachel, and Tamara and Mike (yes we had 5 people playing at one point), 2) Saturday night at Slinky’s and my new hat (speaking of, Brandon, I know your gonna read this, do you still have your red Wild Turkey hat from Mike’s birthday down in N.O. that night, I think everyone else has lost theirs), and also the following. I was listening to KBRH Saturday afternoon, one of the two radio stations that is run by my old high school. The format is generally jazz, but on Saturday they have different theme shows, the show which I was listening to at the time featured music from the 60’s and 70’s, mainly soul, R&B, and pop. The DJ’s were playing some songs from 1975, that’s a little before my time but I was digging it. I digress for a sec, I went out with this girl, I guess it’s been awhile ago now, at some point we started talking about music. We talked for awhile, and then later went out dancing and other stuff. We had someone similar musical taste, at one point she told me she thought I had the soul of someone from the 70’s. She meant it as a compliment although I would consider myself more of a 80’s and 90’s hip-hop head, but I love to hear music from my parents generations which would included the 1960’s and 1970’s. Ok, back on point now. Just as I’m driving into the parking lot at the gym they played a song by the late Barry White, “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.” It must have been mood I was in, I just let go for few minutes. I parked, rolled down the window, and started singing harmony with Barry. Two girls and this older man walked by and happened to see me singing. I didn’t care, I mean I know I can’t blow like Barry, and I didn’t know a few of the words, but it was refreshing, relaxing, rehabilitating. That song put me in good mood all day. I believe that is the power of good music, and singing along to good music. I had an email discussion with a friend talking about karaoke last week, I’m gonna list my favorite karaoke songs at some later date.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hustle and Flow

I had Thursday afternoon off, I went to lunch with an old college buddy, then went to CC’s to drink some coffee, and then I decided to head to the movies to catch a matinee by myself. First, whatever happened to the days when you could take $5 to the movies, get a ticket and a candy bar (or stop by Wendy’s before and get Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger to sneak in, not saying I ever did that.) The movie was nearly $6, and they wonder why Hollywood folks complain about people not going to the movies as much. Now I don’t actually think price is the main issue, the product generally hasn’t been that good lately. Stop doing crappy remakes of old movies, tired and clich├ęd sequels, and remakes of old TV shows and people may go out to the movie more. Said my peace on that.

Back to topic, I watched Hustle and Flow yesterday. It was actually pretty good. I gotta give Terrance Howard (DJay) a shout out, he did a good job. His character was smart, articulate, and thoughtful, though if given a professional title he would be called a drug-dealing pimp. Needless to say he was not a saint, but I did manage to feel for his character at times. And although the movie was driven by DJay the women in the movie played very integral parts, in fact his rap dreams coming true depended as much on his ho’s as it did his ability to spit lyrics. The way the movie unfolded really kept me interested in all of the characters and their interactions with each other.

Two things I really dug, One, I loved the scenery in the movie. It just felt authentic to me, especially the scenes driving through the hood and the shotgun houses. Two, I also really dug the music, not really the rap but the more the blues and r&b mixed in during many scenes. Overall it was a very good flick, I enjoyed it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's Football Season - Let's Go Crazy

Note: this is why I like blogs, people like me can write stuff like this:

Yes it is finally August. During the past 2 months occasionally I will hear comments like "it’s getting close to football season" or on a cooler day something like "it’s starting to feel like football weather." I honestly try to not talk too much about football until August but now its football time. And I am a football fanatic, I feel like I lose my mind slightly each year when this time rolls around. I have 3 main teams I root for -- the LSU Tigers, Southern Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, and I also am partial to few others -- Michigan Wolverines, the defending Super Bowl Champs - LSU at Cape Cod (in honor of Kev, Ro, Jarvis, Randall, Marquise, Eric) and maybe also the Cleveland Browns, aka the Kellen Winslow Soldiers (that’s for you Tamara). My whole routine changes once August begins. At work I read LSU message boards all the time looking for a bit of gossip or inside info. While in the car instead of listening to NPR or some music I’ll listen to some fat white guys talk about LSU, the Saints, or even occasionally Southern (but only if the bands get in a fight at halftime, one of the whites guy on the team messes up, a player from LSU transfers there, the coach gets fired, or its Bayou Classic week). I start to plan my weekends around tailgating and watching football. I’ll stay outside all day in a thunderstorm to watch a game with 92,000+ other crazy people. I tailgate with some more crazy people who call ourselves the “Pirates of Death Valley”. I occasionally tailgate with some guys whose tailgating group is named after a bench in the stadium. But I love it. And that is just Saturday. On Sunday morning (if I’m not going to the Dome) at church even if the preacher is preaching good and everybody is shouting and getting happy sometimes I’ll check my watch about 11:45 and start to think, “Preacher, your doing good but let’s wrap this up, kickoff is at 12:05 and I want to catch at least half of the first quarter, your supposed to be preaching on the 10 commandments but you ain’t even crossed the Red Sea yet” (like none of you have done this in church). And I won’t even get into fantasy football and gambling other than to say I don’t gamble, I learned my lesson in elementary school when I bet my friend $5 Denver would beat Washington in the Super Bowl, that was 1987 I think, but some people out there can’t wait to bet on their teams or any team (including one of my friends which I won’t name, we went to the New Orleans Bowl last year to watch North Texas and Southern Miss, he kept cheering for each team on defense, apparently he bet (and won) on the over-under for total yards… go figure).

I was trying to think of something to compare the way I think of football season so being the music lover I am I figured I would find a song to use. This song immediately popped into my head, Let’s Go Crazy by Prince. If you listen to the words its pretty weird, but it’s a great dance song with a cool beat and rock and roll sound, but still carries a lot of funk.

August is like the opening of Let’s Go Crazy, you know the creepy first part of the song with the organ and Prince talking about weird stuff. You can’t really dance to that part so you and the girl you asked to dance just have to stand there and wait. See in August all you have is fall camp and crappy preseason games, you know it’s gonna get fun once the season starts, just need some real games to get you started.

Then the guitar part comes in your ready to get down. Now you can finally dance. Even if you’re not a good dancer you and this girl get out there and let it go. See now you finally have games, tailgating, football parties, life is good and even if your team sucks at this point in the season they still have a chance.

Now it’s getting to the middle of the song where the groove is really kicking in. You still have no clue what Prince is talking about but you’re dancing, singing, hopefully having a good time with this girl. Or you’re ready to run. It’s the middle of the season now, your still enjoying football season, and hopefully your team is playing well. If not at least you still have hope for a mid-season turnaround. Or it could be bad news like your star QB or RB just got hurt, or even worse Josh Booty has 2 guys wide, I mean wide open in the end zone but instead he tries to jump into the end zone from the 10 yard line with 10 seconds left and gets stopped against Alabama (no, I’m not still mad). Then it sucks.

Finally you reach the end of the song; you know the part where the rhythm slows and the songs turns all bluesy. By this point it is near the end of season, November/December for college, December/January for NFL. There are 3 possible scenarios at this point.

1) You’re tired, you can’t help but think the song is too long, you don’t really like the girl you’re dancing with, you just want the song to be over so you can move on to something else. By now your team is playing out the string after a bad season so you start watching more basketball or waiting for baseball season (i.e. pretty much all my years as a Saints fan...edit until 2006, Sean Payton is King).

2) The girl you’re dancing with is kinda cute, you’re having a relatively good time, you think there maybe potential, you don’t want to get your hopes up but your thinking maybe its something you can work on. See your team still has chance to make it a good year, they may need a few big wins or some other teams to lose a game or two but they’re still in it for now.
You don’t have a lot of hope but you’re a die hard fan and you have to still believe -- the ultimate tease team -- (i.e. the rest of my years as a Saints fan, for example 2002 – start the season 6-1, start December at 9-4 needing to win one game to get in the playoffs, win 2 or 3 and you have a home playoff game, your last 3 opponents combined records for that year, 15 wins, 33 loses, guess what happened (btw I didn’t Google this info, I vividly remember, and I can tell you the 3 teams and generally how they lost each game), or

3) you’re dancing with a really hot chick who you actually have a shot with, and you get to hold her close now that the songs slows down, you wish the song would never end, but when it does your sure the next song will be even better and the whole night can’t help but get better. See now your team is bowling (hopefully BCS) on New Year’s Day or you rolling through the playoff with an eye on the big game (i.e. LSU in 2003, I think a National Championship will do it).

My expectations this year, LSU a #3, Southern a good #2, the Saints – oh man I know it won’t happen, but I’m a die hard, #3 baby. Still don’t know what Prince is talking but – “are we gonna let de elevator bring us down, Oh no let’s go, go crazy”