June 2004 Archives

Guest Again - Me 3

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Iím not only a guest blogger but also a virgin blogger. I have to confess to not really ďgettingĒ what blogging is all about. But, Iím fascinated nonetheless. Thanks for the forum, Rob.

Wasnít sure what to say here so Iíll just comment on something I just read about that I DO ďgetĒ Ė Spiderman. Movie #2 opens tomorrow (midnight tonite if you canít wait that long). I hope it lives up to the hype and based on everything Iíve heard I think it will. I collected Marvel Comics as a kid back in the Ď70s. I have been trying to understand why it took so long for Hollywood to discover the Spiderman franchise. I realize a lot of it has to do with Marvelís legal problems. But it looks like the movies have finally figured out a way to adapt a comic to the big screen. In defense of all the other movie adaptations that fall short (Superman, Batman, you name Ďem), the filmmakers never had as much to work with as they do here. To steal a phrase from a review I read, there is an ďemotional coreĒ to Spiderman that the others lack. I think the reviewer is referring to the films, but he could just as easily be referring to the heroes themselves. If you are a Spiderman fan, then you know what I'm talking about. If you're not, I humbly suggest giving this movie a try. For me, when I read these reviews, I feel vindicated in ďwastingĒ my unearned allowance on Spiderman comic books.

Guest Blogging

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I, too, am a guest blogger. I'm new to all this (guest blogging, that is) so y'all will have to bear with me.....

I normally blog at Kittysays. This week I may just hang out here because I have enough trouble filling up one blog, let alone two.

There are some reality shows I like despite my better judgment (read: Big Brother -- yeah, I don't know why I like it, I just do) and some I can't bring myself to like, even after a few glasses of wine (Temptation Island comes to mind -- no more Mark Wahlberg, EVER). One of my all time favorites was Joe Schmo, the un-reality show on Spike TV. The premise of this show was to stage a completely fake reality show (in that case, Lap of Luxury), and populate the show with actors, all playing parts. The only exception to the actors is one poor guy (the schmo) who thinks he's really on a reality show and is really trying to win a bunch of money.

The Schmo creators are back with Joe Schmo 2, a show that pokes fun at the romantic reality show genre (which no one really needs to tease, since the genre is such a self-parody). In my favorite aspect of the show, one of its creators has a blog, and he updates it after each episode.

And no, I don't know the difference between Ru Paul and J. Lo. But the research will begin at once.

Oh, The Possibilities..

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Once there was a very brave man who lived in Louisiana.
One day he gave his blog away to several strangers who did
their best to turn it into a gossipy, right wing, football hating,
cross dressing, hip hop log in his absence.

He returned to find he had lots of new readers,
all of whom were demanding to know the difference
between Ru Paul and Jennifer Lopez.


ARTR88.jpg

Big Week Ahead

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Kind of a big weekend planned. Got a get-together at my cousinís house tonight and a big family gathering tomorrow. Extra-curricular activities will take up most of my time this week, as well. Haphazard and/or no blogging from me for a few days. The readers rejoice.

Note the time. This is my day off. Yes, I should be sleeping. Any normal person would be. Thatís where I am mostly misunderstood. Boring, yes. Normal, no.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďWhat is this beautiful creature?"

Super Stardom

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The NBA has the best prescription for creating problem children. Take 18yr old and 19yr old kids right out of high school and give them $50 million. Itís not just the money, either. The spotlight, the stardom, the attention, the adulation, and the microscope are too much for almost anyone. That said, donít look to me for sympathy if it all goes awry. My sympathy is reserved for the kids who have to wash cars to put themselves through college or have to take a second job to feed their family and pay the mortgage. Thatís a hard and fast rule with me. You have it all and lose it? Too bad.

Iíve got something going on and Iíll be in and out the next few days. My ability to post will be somewhat limited. Some guest bloggers have quite generously volunteered to do some posting here. Some are old pros (If there is such a thing in this relatively new hobby), some are new to Movable Type, and some are new to blogging, altogether. Theyíre all my friends and theyíre all very interesting people. This blog will be upgraded for a few days and Iím a bit excited about that. Give them a read and visit their blogs. Youíll see what I mean. Shameless plugging of their own blogs was and is encouraged by me.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďIn the first issue of Batman: City of Light, an innocent bystander is critically injured while Batman skirmishes with thugs. Batman becomes haunted and obsessed by the injured bystander."

Fahrenheit 9/11

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My random thoughts on Fahrenheit 9/11: If Michael Mooreís film is about toppling a President, why theaters? Why charge people to see it? Whoís going to go see it anyway? People too lazy to go vote for free are going to pay $8 to see a movie? Why not Sunday night on HBO? If this film influences the election, maybe the side that is always whining about their portrayal in the movies will have to start making movies of their own. That would be a good thing, I think. Whatís stopping them anyway? Who would pay to see those movies? Is that whatís stopping them? Both serious Presidential candidates are in a quandary over how to react to this film. I find that a bit humorous. How can they avoid reacting to it? For a few weeks, itís almost all theyíre going to hear about. The extremely amateur pundit in me finds all of this to be great fun. On with the show, please.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďAnd how many idiots are now gonna try to do the same thing and die in the process?"

Wednesday Rant

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My rage this morning is reserved for internet websites of two different services I use. One is BellSouth and the other is DirecTV. Their sites work perfectly if you want to order something from them or upgrade your service. However, if you would like to cancel a subscription or service, an error comes up (BellSouth) or you must talk to a representative (DirecTV). You must do it during business hours and you must get through their silly maze phone systems that offer no options that resemble what you want to do. Press one for this, press two for that, and Iíll bet you canít get the person you need to talk to on the first try. DirecTVís phone system does not offer the ďPress zero for a representative". I just happened to remember it from a previous call.

Does it occur to businesses that most people are at work during business hours and have trouble making a 30-minute non-business phone call to get this sort of thing done? My guess is that it does occur to them and this is by design. Make it as easy as possible to get to the things they want to provide and hard as possible to get at the things they donít want to provide. I really shouldnít get too annoyed because this is the world we live in now. DirecTV and BellSouth are not the only ones doing it, just the last two in close succession that I needed to deal with.

Some other, much cooler stuff:

Ilyka Damen and KittySays are both talking about the demise of Plain Layne, a blog unfamiliar to me. One of its fans is going to attempt to rebuild the archives of that blog from browser caches. OK, thatís devotion and Iím more than a bit curious about it.

Greg writes about being "downwardly mobile". For you sports fans, there's a Notre Dame reference.

Finally, not a bad list from AFI, for once. I have small quibbles (I think 42nd Street should be higher than 97th) about a few of the lower selections but the top five are rock solid.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďWhen I opened it, I saw the location suddenly and it said "ROCHESTER, New York". It happened as the teacher got suspended for washing student's mouth out with soap! I can't believe what happened."

The Incredibly High Bar

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The LSU Tigers are out of the College World Series after losing both its games. They simply didnít play well. That said, LSU fans need to get a grip. There are some calling for the coachís head. In his three years, he has been to a super regional, where they lost to a very good Rice team, and two College World Series. Give the man time to find his way. His legendary predecessor didnít win in his first few tries, either. Many of the same twits were calling for head football coach Nick Sabanís head a few years ago, too. What a phenomenal mistake that would have been. Calm down everyone. I'd like to have seen them go a bit deeper into the tournament, too, but it's not like they had the best team this year.

80 days until football season.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ď"Old man gets out of bed, memories of old days in his head... and some days he'd rather be dead... hard when there's nobody there. Another day of stamping cards... 50,000 yesterday. Another day wasting away, it's just another day. Why'd they have to all go? House is so empty and cold. Memories and cobwebs inside, nobody left to confide in."."

Another terrific photoblog. -Rob

Weekend Woes

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Watched Calender Girls yesterday. It was kinda sappy but it was still fun. I like Helen Mirren. Always have. I love Prime Suspect.

My College World Series prognostications are not going very well. Nothing new about that. I figured Arkansas to win it all. They were the first team to be eliminated. I also thought an SEC school would win it. There were four of them. Theyíre all in the losers brackets now and one more will be eliminated today when South Carolina and LSU play. Yeah, I know baseball.

I knew I was over exerting Saturday in the yard. I could feel the soreness in my back but I thought sure it would go away once I stopped working. I desperately wanted to get the yardwork done Saturday because I wanted to do something else Sunday. When I woke up and could barely stand Sunday, I knew those plans were doomed. I spent most of yesterday working it out and itís still a little sore but I think Iíll be OK. I have a lot to do this week. I donít have time for an aching back.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďNow she's pretty much full grown, and thirteen pounds big. You notice this cat when she sits on the AC vent and blocks all air flow to the study, or decides she must get between you and the keyboard. She's smart enough to never be seen on table tops, or even in mid-leap off the table tops."

Father's Day

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Happy Fatherís Day

Below is a picture, taken by my brother-in-law, Scott, that was posted to the Family Blog some time back in April. Thatís me sitting on the right. It was a miserable day. It was hot and humid with intermittent thunderstorms. Several of us took pictures that day but I didnít care for the way I looked in any of them. Many in the family like this one because everyone was smiling so I suppose it is the best of those taken that day. It is the last picture of Mom and Dad and all eight children together. It was taken on Fatherís Day 2003.

Ferrara Family

Below is a picture of Mom & Dad posted once before on the Family Blog.

Mom & Dad

A massive thunderstorm knocked the power out last night on CrabAppleLane. It was overkill. Our power goes out when the clouds turn dark gray. The three pictures below were taken from my front porch last night at about 9:45PM because the power was out and I had nothing else to do. My porch faces south and the brunt of the thunderstorm had passed and was headed towards New Orleans.

Thundersorm

Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm

The three pictures below were taken this morning. There was a hawk somewhere nearby and all of the wildlife, save the hummingbirds, were skittish. The hummingbirds have no fear of the hawk and probably would go on the attack.

Above is low-light early morning picture of Papa Bluebird feeding his very hungry and very noisy babies. It sounds like there are 7 or 8 of them but it is probably more like 3. He and Mama Bluebird take turns. Hard not to like them.





To the right is the dominant male hummingbird around here. Hummingbirds are fun to watch. They spend all day squabbling over more nectar than any of them can slurp. Say, Hawk, you want a piece of me?








Below is a female hummer skittish about the male hummingbird, not the hawk.

Female hummingbird

Afternoon update:

Below is one of the aforementioned hungry bluebird babies. Whenever they hear a sound, they pop into the doorway. There are at least two.

Hungry bluebird

Below is todayís southern exposure. What a difference a few hours makes.

Southern exposure

And, finally, the ripening of the cherry tomatoes has hit a fever pitch. I can pick 30 or 40 a day but 80-100 is a bit ridiculous.

Cherry tomatoes

Note to self: Put the camera down.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďDo I really sound like such a bumbling redneck, though? I've looked up from the bottom of Big Ben, and down from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Is it so bad that I try to keep myself simple?"

College World Series

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Weíve all seen it. Someone makes the last out in the big baseball game and everyone on the winning team runs to the pitcherís mound and jumps on each other forming a pile. There are almost always injuries in those things. Most of them are usually minor. OK, if itís the last game of the season, so what? What if it isnít, though? Last week, LSUís best pitcher was hurt in one of them. Normally, he would be the starter tonight in their first game of the College World Series but he canít play. Dumb.

It was my feeling last week that Arkansas was the team to beat but it appears their early season form is gone. This is a team that swept LSU in Baton Rouge. They totally manhandled the Tigers two of the three games. They were manhandled, themselves, last night, by Texas. To win a College World Series, I think you have to stay in the winners brackets. You use up too many pitchers if you get in the losers brackets. Anyway, GEAUX TIGERS!!!

At some point down the road, my blogging capacity will be limited and haphazard for a few days. Iíd like to have some guest bloggers fill in during that time but Iím not quite brave enough to throw the blog open to all comers. Everyone on my blogrolls (Four suckers brave souls have responded but Iíd like to get a few more) is welcome and Iíd be delighted if any of you were to grace my blog with your prose. My trust and respect is already present in your case. Any/all topics are welcome. Shameless plugging of your own blog is also encouraged. If youíre interested, drop me a line and Iíll fill you in on the details.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďIt might be hot as hell in Seoul, but at the Lake of Heaven (Korean: Cheon-ji) atop Mt. Baekdu (2744m), spring has just arrived. Mt. Baekdu is the tallest point on the Korean Peninsula, and sits astride the Sino-North Korean border."

Breathtaking photo of a place I never heard of. -Rob

Technology Amazes

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If I took 20 or 30 of its highest resolution images with Patsyís old digital camera not using the display at all, it would almost surely last an hour or so on 4-AA batteries. When she got it a few Christmases ago, it devoured its first set of batteries in about 15 minutes probably because we used the display almost exclusively. We abandoned using the display and conserving battery life became almost an obsession. Last night with the new digital, I took 36 much higher resolution images over 2 hours using the display exclusively and the battery meter didnít budge off of fully-charged and this battery pack is rechargeable. Technology moves in the direction of faster, smaller, cheaper, and better and it does so in remarkably little time. Quite amazing when you think about it. Technological advances of the 20th century will undoubtedly pale in comparison with those of the 21st and I feel confident of that prediction just four years into this century. And, oh yes, I am very pleased with the new camera.

The long week continues. A six-day incredibly and gloriously busy work week combined with meetings after work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday contribute to my weariness this morning.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďOne of the many odd jobs I've had over the years was to work at an environmental chemistry lab, in the Toxic Metals division, where I did acid digestion of soil and water samples to extract trace metals for analysis in various instruments that were operated by people with more letters behind their names than me."

Parking in the City

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I received a notice of outstanding parking violations from The City of New Orleans yesterday. For those who donít know, my truck was stolen in April and recovered in May. During that time, the thieves parked/abandoned it in front of a fire hydrant and the meter maids (I hope it was meter maids and not NOPD) seized the opportunity to write some citations. The notice provides a mechanism to contest the violations by mail, which is quite convenient if it works. I shall try that avenue first. Patsy wrote a nice letter and provided enough necessary information with documents and I will drop it in the mail today. My guess is this will require follow-up.

Another amazing fact: Itís only a $20 violation to park in front of a fire hydrant in New Orleans according to my notice. It seems to me that this is a fairly dangerous violation and should be more. ďSorry about your family. We couldnít get to the fire hydrant in time because that guy parked his truck in front of it. Heíll pay $20 for that violation and weíll make sure we get it from him.Ē

It was a scorcher at 94 degrees with 100% humidity yesterday in New Orleans. I donít know what the heat index was but itís only mid-June and this is just not encouraging. I think I want to move to New Zealand for August. I hear theyíre having a fine winter there.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďChris and I are back from spending exactly 21 1/2 hours in Vermont, and you didn't even know we were gone!"

With pictures, too. Love pictures. -Rob

Thunderstorms

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Pretty spectacular thunderstorm outside my window. Itís wreaking havoc with my sucky dial-up connection. It still amazes me that thunderstorms can knock power out and phone lines down. Thunderstorms are a fairly common occurrence. Is there a reason, any reason that someone didnít account for that?

The Saints opened mini-camp yesterday. Mini-camp is an invented term. It can only be of a certain duration to qualify as such and the Saints can only do so many per year. The rules are silly. How on Earth can they regulate whoís practicing and whoís not?

My nephew, Jackson, is quite the artist. He did a wonderful family portrait of Patsy and I on CrabApple Lane. It adorns our refrigerator. All of the fine art in the family goes there.

Their patience is running out? Whatever. I canít imagine ever having patience for it but I suppose these things canít be rushed.

Iím reminded once again of Lawrence of Arabia:

"So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are."

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI do this every single time. I sit in my chair for hours and then suddenly I hear squeaking."

Inventory

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Rain, rain, go away.

Started taking pictures last night of the interior of our house. Itís something Iíve been meaning to do for a long time. It gave me an opportunity to try some of the various settings on the new digital camera. The pictures from Sundayís entry were taken with it on fully automatic and I am pleased with what it does without any interference from me. Iíve also been meaning to take a loose inventory of the household goods and possessions. A thorough inventory would be better but I am entirely too lazy for that. For now, theft or fire would not be a total financial disaster. Of course, either would surely be a total emotional disaster so every precaution is taken.

86 days until football season.....

Oh, and dial-up internet access sucks.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďIt's banned in China, you know"

HBO & College Baseball

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Deadwood ended their season last night and Six Feet Under began theirs. I enjoyed Deadwood although I like Six Feet Under and Carnivale better. I prefer my quirkiness over the top. The one gripe I have about HBO is that the hiatuses of their original productions are too long. I had totally forgotten most of the last episode of Six Feet Under. The only thing I remembered was that Nateís wife died. I know, I know, they run the previous seasonís episodes in the weeks leading up to the season opener but I just simply do not want to devote the time to it.

On the local college baseball scene, LSU did OK in their super-regional and are headed back to Omaha for the College World Series. Tulane did not do well in theirs and are headed home. The College World Series has a very strong field. LSU pitching has been a bit inconsistent all year but Lane Mestepey is in great form and will be tough in his games. I like LSUís chances to make the title game a lot better if they donít end up in the same bracket with Arkansas. The Razorbacks are the team to beat. Forget Texas, Miami, Long Beach State, and Fullerton State, an SEC team is going to win the title.

At some point down the road, my blogging capacity will be limited and haphazard for a few days. Iíd like to have some guest bloggers fill in during that time but Iím not quite brave enough to throw the blog open to all comers. Everyone on my blogrolls (Three suckers brave souls have responded but Iíd like to get a few more) is welcome and Iíd be delighted if any of you were to grace my blog with your prose. My trust and respect is already present in your case. Any/all topics are welcome. Shameless plugging of your own blog is also encouraged. If youíre interested, drop me a line and Iíll fill you in on the details.

Oh, and dial-up internet access sucks.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI think my favorite part of this story is when they refer to Jolie as a "busty actress:""

We saw the new Harry Potter movie yesterday. It was very good and the movies get better each time out. The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book of the series so far and seeing this one with a new director and a new Dumbledore concerned me. I was concerned needlessly. It was very well done and the new Dumbledore is fine. Readers are at a distinct advantage, however. I donít intend to spoil anyoneís fun so if you havenít read the book, donít read the extended entry. It wonít spoil anything for those who have read it.

Some pictures from CrabAppleLane for this Sunday.

Below is a Dwarf Crepe Myrtle in bloom and some Coleus that hasnít been ravaged by the armadillos. Yet.

Dwarf Crepe Myrtle & Coleus

Below is Crispin. He is one of our two indoor cats. He is rarely seen by anyone other than Patsy and I. He disappears into one of his hiding places when company comes over. I donít know about the eyes. He has golden eyes. Donít know where this green effect came from. Despite the look in those eyes, there is not an evil cell in his body.

Crispin

Below is the first Texas Star Hibiscus bloom of the year.

Texas Star Hibiscus

Below is our other indoor cat, Casey, doing what she does best. She is our first cat. I was leaving work on Friday night for the weekend back in September of 1993. As I was going to my truck, a little, tiny kitten approached me. She meowed at me and followed me a ways. Where we were was a pretty heavy traffic area and she would not have lasted the night. We had two dogs at the time. They both loved to bark at and chase cats so keeping her was out of the question but I couldnít bear to leave her out alone, either, so I sent her home with Patsy, who was there that evening for some long-forgotten reason. The plan was to see if someone in the family could take her or bring her to the Humane Society, if not. After a day, I couldnít let her go. She owns me.

Casey at sleep

Below is Casey after the flash noise woke her up. She was a wild kitten. When she was smaller, she used to gallop down the hallway at night, jump on us and bounce around on us while we tried to sleep. My most vivid memory of her was when she caught a cockroach. The thing was in her mouth upside down. She was careful not to kill it, of course, and the thingís feet were just waving in the air. Thankfully, she doesnít do that any more. She loved to torment our Sheltie, Duncan. She would bound in from two rooms away, stop when she got eyeball to eyeball with him, and swat him. She did this just for his reaction because she would then lie down and just look up at him as he growled and barked at her. And, yes, there is plenty of evil in those green eyes.

Casey rudely awoken

Below is a cardinal that happened to land on one of my feeders with a thud as I was composing. I accidentally pushed the shutter.

Cardinal


Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI have rediscovered mountain climbing and it is quite fun."

Maybe not the kind of mountains you might be thinking of. -Rob

The Problem with tomatoes

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Second entry today. Just couldn't resist.

The picture below demonstrates the problem with growing tomatoes. They tend to ripen all at once. Patsy and I are serious tomato eaters but even this is more than we can handle. In a day or so, we will be totally overrun. Some of these are destined for my sister, Janine, a little later today after we see the new Harry Potter movie.

Tomatoes

The picture below demonstrates my need for a new digital camera. The Hewlett-Packard C200 is a fine starter camera but it has limitations. It has auto-focus but it, not you, determines what it focuses on. The Celebrity tomato below gave its life for the ham and turkey po-boy I just ate with Baby Swiss cheese and Dijonnaise. Patsy will finish it off with some liver cheese shortly.

Sliced tomato

Unfair trades

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When living in the country, there are certain tradeoffs one makes.

The one Iím talking about today is bugs. We live with bugs. Even when the house was new and tight as a drum, they got in. I think they all have keys. The houses in the country are generally further apart so all houses tend to be the center of the universe for a bazillion bugs each. Some, such as spiders and ants, we live with year-round. You must learn to cope with spiders. They mostly stay outside and there are simply too many of them in mostly hard-to-get-at places to try to kill them all. Besides, they kill and eat other bugs. Ants are easier to deal with. Combat works very well on them.

We also have the seasonal bugs. June bugs (Very annoying), mosquitoes (Very annoying), gnats (Very annoying), love bugs (Very annoying), honey bees (Not too annoying), termites (Not too annoying), caterpillars (Not too annoying), lightning bugs (We like these), horse flies (Some almost as big as horses and extremely annoying), deer flies (Very annoying), wasps (Very annoying), hornets (Not too annoying), yellow jackets (Not too annoying) , and quite a few others I have no names for. Right now, it is millipede season in Bush. Theyíre everywhere. They are harmless but theyíre under your feet, crunch, crunch, theyíre on things you grab without caution like garden hoses and door knobs, crunch, crunch, and they get inside, curl up, and die, crunch, crunch.

Surprisingly, cockroaches are only a minor problem here. In the city, it was mainly those big, flying cockroaches.

Thatís the tradeoff and I wouldnít trade back in all of my bugs for those.

A little history is in order to describe the BOTD, the YatPundit. Yat is an expression that probably originates in Chalmette, Louisiana. Chalmette is a tad southeast of New Orleans. For you history buffs, Chalmette is where Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte crushed the British in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Yat is short for ďwhere you atĒ.

Blog of the day is based in New Orleans and is using MT 3.0D. It's here.

Quote from said blog: ďI'm glad to see that, overall, the Europeans rose above simple dislike for the current resident of the White House. All attacking Bush today would have done would be to feed red meat to BushCo supporters."

That about sums it up. -Rob

Sadness

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Is there a more colorful, more expressive, more universally-recognized turn of phrase than ďHit the road, JackĒ? I liked Ray Charles. I never bought any of his records but that one hit song is one of my all-time favorites. No translation necessary. Everyone knows what ďHit the road, JackĒ means. I love it. RIP, Ray.

Two minor details left and the truck will be completely restored. All said and done, inconvenience and modest out-of-pocket expenses will turn out to be the worst of it. That initial sense of loss and the depression and anger that came with it are gone from my consciousness. Good riddance. I still have to deal with City Hall about some parking tickets but thatís a whole other kind of depression and anger. I will not let them wear me down with their ineptitude and pass-the-buck silliness. If that turns out to be a fight, itís a fight I will win. I have yet to hear anyone from cops to bureaucrats definitively tell me what needs to be done to correct this problem. Thatís OK. Iím calm.

90 days until football season.....

Oh, and dial-up internet access sucks.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďYep, you heard me correctly. Boston Police, who have been working without a contract for the past three years, has decided this is a good time to put the screws to the city. Since they contractually aren't allowed to strike, they are conducting an "informational picket" around the Fleet Center, where the DNC is to be held."

Walter Payton

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Portions of todayís entry came from an email I sent to our fantasy football league the day Walter Payton died. Why I was thinking about this yesterday escapes me.

I think it was 1983. It was the second year of my Saints season-ticket holding days. I had season tickets from 1968-1974 with my dad but he paid for those. In 1975, the Saints moved into the Superdome and Dad gave up the tickets. In 1975, I was a senior in high school interested in other things and he didnít like the seat choices he was given (I think he was kinda tired of the losing, too). Anyway, back to 1983. Patsy and I went to the Saints-Bears game with Chuck and Karen, who were very dear friends of ours (Chuck and I were best man at each otherís weddings). Karen was from Chicago. They were married on April Foolís Day in 1984 and now live in Chicago. Walter Payton had a big day that day. He only ran for one touchdown but he ran all over the Saints. He threw two touchdown passes, too. Walter Payton was a great running back by any standard. He was also a great receiver, a great blocker, he threw the ball from his running back position better than anyone before or since, he could punt, and he always hustled downfield after interceptions and fumbles to make tackles. He is easily my favorite football player of all time. I also think he was the best football player of all time. The Saints won that game in overtime because the other 40 guys the Bears had were bums but that guy could play.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI had a nice anti-Reagan rant all ready to go, but it made me feel cheap and mean-spirited every time I sat down to actually write it. What the hell... yeah, so the guy brought us the savings and loan crisis, the war on drugs, massive debts and the Iran/Contra scandal (which was a real scandal, despite what some revisionists now claim) but he was also a decent man who did a lot of good, too. I don't hate him like I used to. Let it go."

I have mixed feelings about him, too. Still, Iím saddened at his passing. -Rob

Montrose & Van Halen

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Van Halen reunited? David Lee Roth was the original singer, not Sammy Hagar. One of my observances is that, for many bands, the first album is usually the best album they ever do. Maybe itís because theyíve been doing that music for a while before they decide to record it. Maybe itís because they get a little too polished afterwards. I generally like bands with rough edges. Van Halenís first album is, by far, their best. Speaking of first albums, the first time I heard Sammy Hagar was on Montroseís first album. That one is, by far, their best, too, and better than Van Halen's first. Before CDís, I wore that record out. I have the CD now and Iíll probably wear it out some day, too.

92 days until football season..........

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďGoing back to the Florida days, Key Lime pie is one of the thing I greatly miss about living in South Florida. Because, as most fans will report, the KLP is usually A) very good in Florida, B) very bad any place else."

I tend to believe Key Lime Pie is pretty bad wherever you get it. Sorry I couldnít leave this comment on his blog. His comment software isnít working. I hate Blogspot/Haloscan. -Rob

Views from Elsewhere

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Not much in the way of inspiration this morning. Here are some links, with great pictures, that made me smile over the last few days. Have I mentioned that I love photo blogs?

Messygurl with a typical lawn pest.

Pitcherlady with a subterranean pest.

Fragments from Floyd has a subject I never grow tired of.

David Gallagher of lightningfield.com gives us the Paris Hilton. No, not that one.

Something historical, but maybe a bit morbid, from The Daily Irrelevant.

Another one, this one quite profound and appropriate from The Daily Irrelevant, as well.

Kiwifruit gives us the view from her childhood home and the BOTD. I envy her. What a view.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďPolice searches are a spectator sport in Hackney."

Lazy Sundays

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Watched the season opener of Coupling last night and the season finale of The Sopranos. Both disappointed a bit. I was expecting a lot out of The Sopranos because of the great episode two weeks ago. Now, theyíre taking 18 months off to come back with the final 10 episodes and Iíll be very disappointed if thereís no payoff to this series after watching the drudgery the last three years. Coupling was better than I expected without Richard Coyle. Coyle had the funniest role as Jeffrey and he was great in it. His was the least replaceable character.

I really donít understand my web logs and I basically never have. Thatís why I hardly ever look at them. I understand every piece of data they compile/record. I know what search strings and referrers are. I simply donít understand the results. ďBack spasmsĒ is a term used on this blog two times before this and that was back in September. It is a fairly common term and this is a fairly obscure blog. How are people finding this blog using that term? A Google search of that term finds my entry on the 2nd page but I donít understand that, either. There are some referrer sites I donít recognize, too. Some are defined by the domain name (english.spampoison.com). Some are very curious but I am now very cautious of them. I clicked on one of the most curious ones a while back and it was booby-trapped. It was a porn site (Never could have guessed it by the name of the site). I run a commercial popup blocker that normally works great but that site had 8 windows open before I could close my browser.

Stayed in most of the day yesterday. The weather alternated between thunderstorm and steam bath. Thatís enough rain for a while, thankyouverymuch.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďAre you a Gary Larsen Fan (and yes, Fan should be capitalized. If you're a Fan you'll agree)? Do you own calendars, checks, checkbook covers, annual editions, special editions, newspaper clippings, etc., all dedicated to The Far Side? If you're one of those people for whom everything might just not be enough, then you must check out this next item."

Go see. -Rob

RIP, Mr President.

Happy D-Day. The celebration in Normandy has taken on surreal and curious proportions. With all of the heads of state there, security is outrageously and appropriately tight. In a better world, the veterans would be getting the lionís share of the attention today and not those politicians. Theyíre also having D-Day Commemorations at the D-Day Museum in New Orleans today.

Watched the Belmont Stakes before we left for dinner last night. I was pulling for Smarty Jones as was most of the planet. The effort was there but it wasnít to be. Birdstone was a better horse yesterday.

Some pictures from CrabAppleLane for your dining and dancing pleasure:

Below is the first of my, I hope, many tomato harvests. I picked these yesterday afternoon between thunderstorms. Some of the cherry tomatoes are less ripe than others but they had fallen to the ground either by thunderstorm or by my big, clumsy hands. The lone Creole tomato is less ripe than Iíd like but this one was crowding some better looking tomatoes. It will be ready to eat in a day or so, though. The cherry tomatoes are destined to be diced and eaten with an avocado and some salad dressing. Maybe tonight.

First tomatoes

Below is my prodigal truck. It aint much but itís been very good to me for 14 years. It doesnít look half bad after a hard rain.

Returned truck

The droopy hydrangeas below are lying about the effects of the rain on them. They loved the thunderstorm. They like water.

Droopy hydrangeas

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďNow for the final, what did I find and why should you care?"

Cool research contained in that entry. -Rob

Nothing special Saturday

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Watched Chasing Liberty last night. Perfectly predictable, perfectly harmless movie. I like Jeremy Piven. Always the sidekick or the comic relief, he excels in those roles like only a handful of others. His role in almost everything Iíve seen him in is to do his part and move the film along without upstaging the stars. When the rest of the movie is predictable, that is the only thing worth watching. Piven, Hector Elizondo, Oliver Platt, and James Cromwell can do that. John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Bruce Willis cannot.

Drove my truck home for the first time in over a month. The place that cleaned it up put Armor-All or something like it all over everything. I donít mind it too much on the dash board but I donít like it on the steering wheel and other things I actually have to touch. Theyíre not completely done with it yet but it was drive-able and I wanted to have it for the weekend so Patsy and I could go our separate ways should the need arise. That bit of convenience was missed while it was gone. It took $44 worth of gas. Iím surprised I made it the 100 yards to the gas station. A new windshield will be installed Monday morning and a new headliner sometime later in the week and itíll be better than it was before it was stolen.

Once the truck is completely restored, I will go fight the City of New Orleans to get the parking citations expunged from my record. Hopefully, the city will have had enough time to post everything to their computer system before I do that. Iím expecting that task to be unpleasant but I intend to see it through calmly. Iíve dealt with city employees before and I have a few friends that work for the city although not in this department. Sometimes, theyíre helpful. Often times, theyíre not and you have to fight for every inch even when youíre absolutely right (Especially when youíre absolutely right). Maybe this time will be different. I hope so.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďFor as long as I've know him, he has been trying to get the whole family to move onto a large piece of land with multiple houses in, of all places, Arkansas. And not just anywhere in Arkansas, oh no. We're talking Ozark Mountains here."

If youíre going to move to Arkansas, the Ozarks is the way to go. Been there. Itís gorgeous. -Rob

End of week nonsense

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If all goes well, I should be able to drive my truck home tonight for the first time in over a month. I have to emphasize ďif all goes wellĒ because, so far, nothing related to this incident has gone well. Someone is coming to fix my garage door today. I hope that goes well, too, because I want to take the tractor out this weekend.

At some point down the road, my blogging capacity will be limited and haphazard for a few days. Iíd like to have some guest bloggers fill in during that time but Iím not quite brave enough to throw the blog open to all comers. Everyone on my blogrolls (Two brave souls have responded but Iíd like to get a few more) is welcome and Iíd be delighted if any of you were to grace my blog with your prose. My trust and respect is already present in your case. Any/all topics are welcome. Shameless plugging of your own blog is also encouraged. If youíre interested, drop me a line and Iíll fill you in on the details.

I love this, too, via Ilyka.

Oh, and dialup internet access sucks.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďPlease, please give up in your scripting attempts to sell me something. It is only more worthless work for all of us. Go on and be all that you can be -- be something useful! If you feel that fame is the life for you, then take a more positive approach to it. Spamming blogs across the internet is not the life for you -- and you know it!"

hrie@yahoo.com has graced this site a few hundred times, too. It is undoubtedly a fake address and Yahoo has probably closed that mailbox if indeed it ever was one. -Rob

The Life of Brian

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As I read Karenís June 1 entry (Can' figure out the permalink) about The Life of Brian now playing in New Orleans, I was reminded of the first time I saw it. That was when it was released back in the 70's. I saw it at the Pitt Theater on Elysian Fields in New Orleans. Yes, the same Elysian Fields that Tennessee Williams wrote about in Streetcar Named Desire. Anyway, the reason I saw it at the Pitt Theater in New Orleans rather than at one of the many much closer theaters near my house in Kenner is because the movie was banned in Jefferson Parish when it was released. In Louisiana, a parish is the same as a county and I lived in Kenner then, which is in Jefferson Parish. Orleans Parish next door, which contains the City of New Orleans, is unabashedly and gloriously decadent and did not ban it, of course, and those theaters enjoyed quite a windfall. In fact, the ban turned a movie that was destined for a modest run at the theaters into a blockbuster. I remember John Cleese in an interview at the time thanking all of the banned areas.

About the movie: I loved it. I donít think it was quite as funny as the ďíTis but a flesh woundĒ and ďAnd after the spanking, the oral sexĒ Holy Grail but what is? What Iím reminded of, however, is how tame it was even by 70's standards. It was certainly irreverent. So what? Iíll never understand what the big deal was back then.

John Cleese is the funniest man on the planet. I donít think anyone else is even close, except maybe Michael Palin.

4:12AM: Rather impressive thunderstorm going on outside my window. Have lost power twice and ISP connection several times.

4:45AM: May be subsiding now.

98 days until football season.....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI need new shirts. Maybe a Penguin shirt like Jake Gyllenhaal."

Though Iím somewhat anxious to see the third Harry Potter movie (The third book is the best of them), I will be nowhere near those crowds this weekend. I expect it to break the Spiderman record but that record will be short-lived because the Spiderman sequel will top it. Spiderman has a better movie villain this time. I grew up with Spiderman in the States-Item in New Orleans and Doc Ock was his nemesis then. I wasnít into comic books but I read the Spiderman comic strip in the paper every day.

I picked my first tomato yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a cherry tomato and that is not quite what Iím ready for. Those bushes are getting bushier and taller and the tomatoes on them are getting bigger but none of them look like theyíre ready to blush. What I am ready for is a red, red, red tomato to put on my bacon sandwich. Yes, Iím getting impatient.

Looks like the truck wonít be ready until tomorrow or Friday. Parts had to be ordered.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďSomeone at work reminded me of the expression, "you'd better mind your P's and Q's, and I wondered what it really meant. Actually, it means lots of things."

Fun read. -Rob

Memorials

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As I was wandering around the net yesterday (It was somewhat slow at work), I stumbled upon a New Orleans blogger who had a terrific series of black and white photos from Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans. We exchanged comments on each otherís blogs and are now on each otherís blogrolls as well. Also, see the BOTD. Greenwood is where dad and most of his family is buried. We have some pictures of our own here and here. Greenwood and most other cemeteries in New Orleans are well taken care of. Like everywhere else, there are a few that have fallen on hard times and have been neglected and thatís a shame. Most tombs are above ground in New Orleans because the city is below sea level and the water table is so high that it would just push the caskets right out of the ground.

Our color images of Greenwood show the cemeteryís beauty. Karenís black and white images show its power. I particularly liked this one. Go see the rest. I donít think anything photographs like a cemetery. Why is that?

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďPlease say I'm not the only person who talks to graves. I sat there the entire time wondering if people that came by were going to think I was crazy."

Definitely not a crazy thing to do. -Rob

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