May 2005 Archives

Holiday is Over


The Memorial Day weekend is over. Hope you had a good one.

Last one from Ilyka for a while. She's moving. Iím not talking about her blog. Sheís physically moving.

Andrea added her never hit next list of songs today. Itís the Canít Hit Next - May 31 entry.

Congratulations to Tulane on being selected as the top overall seed in the NCAA College Baseball Tournament. It is richly deserved. They have a great team. LSU is also hosting a regional and it is no surprise that the NCAA set them on a collision course with Tulane in a Super Regional. The NCAA has an eye on the cash register, as always. The two met in a Super Regional a few years ago and set attendance records.

100 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
They performed all year, had preseason accolades and
it's not easy to go out every day when you know you're
going to get the 'A' game of every other team you play.
Rick Jones, Tulane Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "He alleges that an Indian brigadier sold away Indiaís military secrets in order to indulge his wifeís expensive hobby of Ďcanning fruits and vegetablesí."

Ponder that sentence for a moment. -Rob

Memorial Day


Took my shower and got dressed in the dark on this Memorial Day morning. Didn't bother to shave. Hope my socks match. We lost power this morning during a nice thunderstorm. There is enough water for a quick shower when that happens but only one. Patsy will have to wait on the power. She went back to bed. She got the better deal.

Figures to be a slow day at work with so many people off.

Have a safe Memorial Day.

101 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
It's a good thing I had an eight-shot cushion
because I was able to stay out just enough in
front of a great round by David.
Justin Leonard, St Jude Classic Champion

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I made some truffles last night and had the chance to take some pictures of the process, like I did with the raspberry cups."

Sunday Stuff at CrabAppleLane

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Watched two movies so far this weekend. One was pretty good and the other was pretty bad. Iíve been hearing good things about Spanglish but have hesitated to see it because I thought it was a typical Adam Sandler movie. Iím not an Adam Sandler fan. We decided to watch it last night because there wasnít much on and we didnít care to watch anything we had already recorded. This movie was mis-billed. This is not an Adam Sandler movie although he is in it somewhat playing against type. This is a Paz Vega movie. It was surprisingly warm and funny and not at all what I expected. Adam Sandler and Tťa Leoni got top billing and were both OK in this but Vega, Cloris Leachman, and the two girls who played the daughters, Shelbie Bruce and Sarah Steele, are the real gems. Itís worth seeing. I watched A Man Apart Friday and have no idea why I sat through that whole thing. It was ridiculous.

One of the 6378 reasons why I should stay away from sharp or pointy things: Sliced a substantial portion of my left thumb yesterday while slicing garlic for the crawfish boil. To my credit, I didnít get any blood on the garlic. Itís a pretty good gash but the bleeding has stopped and there hasnít been any pain beyond the original slice. Iíll spare my three readers the pictures. Could have gone and might still go to a doctor but I donít think theyíd do anything differently than I did. The real downside was that I couldnít peel crawfish. I ate the sausage, jambalaya, apple salad, and chess cake instead.

On to the CrabAppleLane Sunday pictures from this hot and muggy morning:

Wild gardenias

The wild gardenias are almost finished blooming. They have a much lighter and more pleasant fragrance than the knock-you-down fragrance of the nursery gardenias.

Butterfly on the Princess bush

One of the things that I love about this Princess bush is that it blooms twice a year and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It also fills a gaping hole in my garden that was hard for me to get to. I think this is a female Eastern Black Swallowtail. Emphasis on I think. I know Monarch butterflies but that's about it. Her left wing has seen better days.

Remains of the Day

Remains of the Day: One of the beauties of living in the country is that I can just spread these crawfish boil remains in the backyard. The insects, critters, and sun take care of it in short order. In the city, I had to double bag it and store it for a day or two before garbage pickup. Confined like that, it acquires an aroma one can only describe as unpleasant.


My blue hydrangea after last nightís rain.

102 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Honey, lately, your low self-esteem is just good common sense.
Cloris Leachman, Spanglish

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm tired of the rain, of the cold and of the cloudiness. All I want is a sunny day with warm temperatures. I mean, I love living in Maine, but I'm reaching the end of my patience with this weather."

A not so busy Saturday

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Water Pump

All is peaceful now but there was a little wildlife drama unfolding as I entered the computer room. A brown fox or coyote (F or C) ran behind our water pump housing. It happened very fast. Thatís the water pump housing in the picture and it has been a subject of scorn since it was put there by our builder. More on that in a minute. Anyway, the F or C ran behind it and disappeared. A squirrel shot out from behind it running for his life. I donít think the F or C was chasing the squirrel but the squirrel surely thought that. I waited for a good 10 minutes to see what he was going to come out with but he never emerged. I suppose he entered the woods where the housing is blocking my sight but he had to do it without disturbing anything. Heís good.

That water pump housing is always making noise. It expands and contracts with the temperature. It also does not hold its shape when you have to lift it to get at the water pump and all of the edges of this thing are razor sharp. You lift and it shifts, slices, and dices. On the upside, I donít have water bills.

About Yes: I bought Fragile when it came out in 1972. It is one of the records I have with masking tape on it. I have it on CD now but I donít listen to it much. I wore out the album. I liked it so much that I bought Relayer and Close to the Edge. I listened to them once or twice each and they have been sitting around ever since. I donít get Yes.

Last crawfish boil of the season in a few hours. Crawfish shells are starting to get hard this late in the season. Theyíre just as tasty but a bit harder to peel.

103 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky
and they stand there
Yes, Roundabout

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "This is what a week's worth of knitting only on the bus will get you"

Friday at last

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Weíre in the midst of a pretty severe drought here in Bush. Weíve only had a few 10-minute sprinkles of rain in the last few weeks. I watered my tomatoes last night just after sunset for about 3 hours and there is not a drop of water on the ground this morning. They just soaked it up. I counted 52 tomatoes on one of those bushes. I have 23 bushes. Iíll lose 30-40 tomatoes to rot and maybe another 40-50 to birds/worms/critters this season. Those numbers are acceptable so I donít use any super chemicals to stave off the rot or pesticides to keep away the worms. Iíll end up with 700-800 or so to eat, make sauces, and give away. Iím craving a bacon and tomato sandwich as I type.

Football: Fantasy football on my mind this morning. Its way too early to be thinking about it and Iíd be woefully unprepared (As if being prepared has ever made a difference for me.....) if our draft/auction was today but I cannot help it. It wasnít like this when I had a life.

Baseball: If a College World Series Championship is coming to Louisiana this season (LSU has five of them), itís looking like it will more likely be on Willow Street (Tulane). Theyíve been at the top or in the top two all season and it looks real from here. Theyíre very strong on pitching, hitting, defense, and experience. LSU is still struggling and were bounced from the SEC tournament yesterday. Theyíll be in the tournament but theyíll have to turn it up a few notches to go anywhere.

104 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
So far we've done a good job handling that bull's-eye.
Rick Jones, Tulane Head Baseball Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's time to share the love, people. Make an effort to visit a blog -- new or familiar -- and leave a word of kindness there. I myself have been become lax about leaving any type of comment (or reading blogs for that matter). Yet leaving comments -- especially friendly ones -- is how I met some truly good friends through blogging."

Couldn't agree more. -Rob

Just stuff

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The problem with tractors and trailblazing is that you have to watch in front of you and behind you at the same time. Sometime Sunday, while watching carefully where I was going, I hooked the finish mower behind me on a fairly large tree and bent an important part of it out of shape. Itís at the repair shop now and I will probably receive the bad news today that its going to cost a bazillion dollars to fix it. The joy of country living.

I pressed a comment link on someoneís blog a few minutes ago and got a 503 ďservice not availableĒ error. I think these are shared server issues more than software issues. That and a million spammers occupying our script files and the subsequent server resources. I get more than I care to but less than I was getting a few weeks ago. Very frustrating because its intermittent and you cannot pin down a cause. Glad to see Iím not the only one in that boat.

The Music Whore likes The Beatles. She was born after The Beatles broke up and missed the hype and hysteria. I think her love for them is a little purer than most. I grew up with The Beatles and I was never overly fanatic about them but I liked them fine. I do not own a single Beatles CD. It is a gaping hole in my fairly vast CD collection. I plan to remedy that one day.

Make your own jokes, please. Link via kitty.

105 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
I look at the world
and I notice itís turning
while my guitar gently weeps
The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Interesting Tsunami advice found in the Hotel's bedside directory."

What to do in the event of a tsunami. In Oregon. -Rob

Music and the Saints

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Sheila has weighed in with her list of ď never press nextĒ songs. As expected, her list is different from the rest and much different from mine. More on that here and here. Many more in the comments of those terrific blogs. A bit of understatement to say music is personal. I wonder if one on my list will some day be thought of in the same terms as Beethovenís Ode to Joy or one of the other classics of the 15th through 19th centuries. Is Deep Purple as important as Bach? Certainly. Why not?

New Orleans Saints owner, Tom Benson, gave an impromptu press conference last night. Heís been getting beat up in the local press. He renegotiated his contract with the state a few years ago. Now that the state wants to do the same thing, he claims, ďI canít do business like thatĒ. He claims he needs state money to compete with the bigger market teams in the NFL. I think he only needs competent ownership, competent front office, competent coaching, and some players. On the Saints best days, they only have half of that.

106 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
You gotta stem the evil tide,
And keep it all on the inside.
Pink Floyd, Pigs (Three Different Ones)

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "can you imagine if our bandwith goes over the limit just because some stranger decided that one of the image on our site looks good enough to be their forum signature?"

Tuesday Tidbits

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I watched the season finale of Deadwood last night. Episode 24 according to their website. I think I must have missed Episode 23. I didn't know where I was when it started. They tried to tie up all of the storylines pretty neatly. It was sort of like the ending of The Godfather. While Al was closing a deal, his henchmen were settling scores. I wonder who killed Wolcott, though. I suppose Hearst had him killed although that was never made clear. Wolcott was most definitely a liability to him. And the one everyone wanted killed. About throat-slitting in a movie: If I was an actor, I am not sure I could lay still while someone grabbed my throat even to run a fake razor or knife over it.

I had the full moon in my window briefly this morning as I started this entry. It was still dark and I could see it through the trees. Pretty cool in an old werewolf movie kind of way. It disappeared below my western horizon before I could finish these couple of sentences.

107 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
I saw a werewolf drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's
His hair was perfect
Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London

Blog of the day from New Orleans is here.

Quote from said blog: "Not only was it a perfect game, but she struck out every single batter she faced! No one even had a full count! I can't begin to explain how filthy that is."

Monday stuff

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Kimís ď never press next Ē list of songs is here.

Web-surfing interfering with a job in a unique way.

Iím suspicious of a list of Top 100 movies that has movies like Drunken Master II on it. All lists such as that are subjective but that selection destroys whatever credibility it might have had. That said, it wasnít a bad movie. Just not remotely top 100. Of course, thatís not the only dubious selection. The Fly, the remade version, is also on the list. That one was pretty bad.

108 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Under your feet grass is growiní
Time we said goodbye
UFO, Lights Out

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I haven't attended a Pampered Chef party, but Kim has. She came back with a pair of bitchin' fire-retardant oven mitts that were forged in the bowels of Hell, and an eight-cup Pyrex measuring bucket with pouring lid."

Sunday at CrabAppleLane

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Going to add two songs to the list I made a couple of days ago. These are songs that always are allowed to play through.

The Eagleís Already Gone and Take It Easy - I prefer the Glen Frey side of the Eagles and these are his two best. I like Already Gone better but ď Its a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me Ē from Take It Easy is some of the coolest lyrics ever written. Glen and Jackson Browne collaborated on that one. I wonder who wrote the flatbed lyrics. I bet you will never hear " flatbed Ford " in any other song.

Ilykaís list is here, Micheleís is here, and the BOTD is here. No surprise that theirs are different. I think lists such as these are like fingerprints. No two alike.

CrabAppleLane Trail Blazing 101: First, make sure the blades on your finish mower are so old and worn that you have to run over the grass three or four times to cut it. Then, wait until the height of spring when everything is alive and much more resistant to cutting. And, finally, wait until the hottest part of the day when the insects of the forest are at their most active and aggressive. That last part also ensures that youíll be good and sweaty as you go through the poison ivy. As your tractor catches that 75ft vine with stickers and pulls it down on your shoulder and forearm, ignore the pain and keep driving. Let your shoulder and forearm be the vine's pulley. Only 60ft of the stickers got you, anyway, wimp. Ignore the giant spiders but try not to run over the paper mache thingy. Again. The hornets are still mad from last time. As you approach the crabapple trees, use your arms to block the thorny branches from your face rather than your gloved hands. Gotta protect those gloves. For the record, anyone who thinks rose bushes or blackberry vines are thorny has never been near a crabapple tree.

Some Sunday morning images from CrabAppleLane.

Old Marker

An old friend. One of the markers I pounded into the brick hard ground almost 17 years ago. Came across it yesterday as I was trailblazing. Didn't think any were still around. Wonder what else I'll find as I continue with the trails. To the right of this marker is ours, to the left is " For Sale ".


Some of the partially finished trail. Partially because the tractor broke down. This image looks a little too ď digitized Ē to me but it will do for this entry. I fixed the tractor enough to get it out of the woods last night but I have more to do to it as soon as I leave my desk. No hurry. Itís only 82ļ outside right now. It was 89ļ when I started yesterday.

109 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Sleepin' don't come very easy
in a straight white vest
Alice Cooper, Ballad of Dwight Fry

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Today is a big day in the marsh. Today Duff's leadership will be tested."

100 cuts and bruises later

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Late and short one today. I've been in the yard most of the afternoon and didnít want to lose any momentum once I got out in the heat. My meager productivity on a weekend at CrabAppleLane can be measured in at least three ways. Soreness, injuries, and showers. Iím sore all over, Iím pretty cut up from working in the woods, and Iíve taken three showers today. Bonus: Did routine maintenance on three pieces of lawn equipment and only broke one of them ( Actually, I broke two of them but I fixed one ). I have about 400 feet of new walking trails in my yard. Pleased with that. Itís now ibuprofen time.

110 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Everybody's been standing around like they're ready
Everybody's been going around carrying signs
Bachman Turner Overdrive, Donít Get Yourself in Trouble

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In addition to the crawfish we have alligator sausage, crawfish pie, and a cajun shrimp stuffed chicken!"

I was hitting the ď Next Ē button on my truckís CD player yesterday morning until I came to a song that I wanted to hear. We all do that on occasion. Even on my own mix CDs that only contain songs I like, I come across songs that I donít care to hear at that moment. This particular occasion made me think about the handful of songs I come across that I almost always repeat and that I never skip over, change channels if its on the radio, or turn off. It became a blog entry in my head as I drove but I had second thoughts about doing it this morning because Iím not big on lists but mostly because I'm certain I'm leaving some out. Here's a start.

Deep Purpleís Highway Star - Any version but especially the Live ď Made in Japan Ē version. That song should open every concert.

Fleetwood Macís Tusk - I have no idea what the lyrics of this song are about but the music is infectious. As Fi says, ď Played very loudly Ē. Yes.

Creamís Crossroads - I have always loved this song. I have yet to hear a bad version of it. Clapton and Cream do it best and I play it until the end whenever I hear it. Ry Cooderís version is also very good as is Lynard Skynardís. Some day, Iíd like to hear the original Robert Johnson version.

Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter - The best song they do. Grand Funk does a nice version of it, too, but not as good as the original.

Mark Knopflerís What It Is - I love his songs for the music and the lyrics and this one is his best.

Mark Knopflerís Going Home ( Theme from Local Hero ) - This song should close every concert but I like the soundtrack version best of the three versions of it I have. If itís on the CD I have in my truck, Iíll listen to it four or five times.

The Whoís The Real Me - Always been a favorite. I think I knew a person like that once. Me.

Wishbone Ashís Blowiní Free - Another one I may listen to four or five times. I prefer the live version from Live Dates but the original studio version is very good, too.

Got any of your own? Trackback if you like. Iím interested.

111 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
In my dreams everything was all right
In your schemes you can only try.
Wishbone Ash, Blowiní Free

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Wow! Looks like a photoshop trick, but isn't. I don't think there's enough NYC art-rock on MT."

Beer and Dates

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There must be more to this story. A Budweiser employee gets fired for drinking a Coors on his off time? The trial is going to be in Colorado, home of Coors Brewing Company, and the Budweiser distributor where the man used to work ď prefers not to try this case in the media Ē. Afraid that ship has sailed, Bub. The last thing Budweiser wants is a big, splashy trial in Colorado on this. Theyíd settle with this guy or reinstate him to avoid it. So, why arenít they?

Graduated from high school 30 years ago today. Donít know why this date sticks in my mind like it does. Probably because a co-worker many years ago always thought Louisiana shrimp season opened on this date. People would always asked him when shrimp season opened and he always said, ď May 19 Ē, and I always heard it. Iím generally not good with dates. Those that stuck in my mind before March 29, 1979 are locked forever in my mind. That was the anniversary date on my former job. Only three dates stick in my mind since: November 14, 1997 is when my last job ended, November 17, 1997 is when my current job began, and September 11, 2001, which needs no explanation.

112 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Ooh, see the fire is sweepiní
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost itís way
Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I don't know why you disdain me, but I'm especially puzzled by your confusion: there was a successful revolution -- it changed everything for millions of people."

Country Music

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There was a Country Music Awards ceremony on TV last night. The wife and I thought the exact same thing at the exact same moment about that: Again? There seems to be one of them on every couple of weeks. Kind of like the NBA. It's year round.

113 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Donít try to reach me,
ícause Iíd tear up your mind
Iíve seen the future
and Iíve left it behind
Black Sabbath, Supernaut

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In the temple of perpetual nervousness, trembling acolytes labour on potent incantations."

I'm not sure I know what that sentence means but I like it. -Rob

May 17

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If they were alive today, Duncan would be 23 and Nikki would be 21. This was their birthday. They loved that trip to Hot Springs in 1988. We didnít have much money for that vacation but McDonaldís had a Two Big Macs for Two Bucks promotion going on. We essentially subsisted on them. Nikki was too excited/unsettled to eat the dog food we brought with us. This was a major departure from the routine that he relied on. He was with us all day and going for lots of walks/runs at all hours of the day and night in all new places. Besides being overexcited, he was enjoying sensory overload. The only thing we could get him to eat was the bread and meat from a Big Mac. We figured it was better than nothing.

114 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Everyone wants to be Cary Grant.
Even I want to be Cary Grant.
Cary Grant

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Apparently as we speak, Armageddon is fast approaching, and I haven't packed a thing."

Monday, Monday.......


A short one today. Readers rejoice. Started late this morning and I still have squabbling hummingbirds to feed.

Found a terrific blog yesterday while perusing someone elseís. Thatís basically how I almost always find a BOTD but I donít always note how I got there. Anyway, it's Trevor's Blog. It's on the blogroll and it's today's BOTD.

I could have used a little more down time this weekend but Iím glad I got the tractor started yesterday and got the yard work done. I always feel better starting a week if I was somewhat productive on the weekend.

115 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Easy liviní
And Iíve been forgiven
Since youíve taken your place in my heart
Uriah Heap, Easy Liviní

Blog of the day via Sheila is here.

Quote from said blog: "Vicki was absolutely beautiful."

She really was. Great blog. -Rob

Pictures and Films

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We watched two critically acclaimed movies this weekend on pay-per-view, Sideways Friday night and Closer last night.

Sideways is sad, warm, funny, and honest. Itís a bit of a squirmer, though. There are scenes that are just uncomfortable to watch because we all identify with the situation. Seeing it makes you squirm almost as much as living it. Paul Giamatti, normally the sidekick comic relief, stole the movie. That role could not have been done better. Glad I saw it but I couldnít sit through it again.

Iíve heard about and read about Closer since it came out. One thing I heard from Roger Ebert and my sister is that all of the main characters are worthless. They all use deception and honesty to harm. Julia Roberts and Jude Law turned in typically good performances but Clive Owen and Natalie Portman were outstanding. This is another one I couldnít sit through again.

Some Sunday morning pictures from the unkempt ( Tractor wouldn't start yesterday ) CrabAppleLane.

Crowded Garden

Getting a little crowded in the tomato garden. The big leaves and yellow blooms belong to Patsyís spaghetti squash plant.

Spaghetti Squash Bloom

Pretty blooms.

Busy Body Raccoon

Hereís one of the busy body raccoons we have in the yard every day. Theyíre interested in everything we do in the mornings and late afternoons. If you move toward them, they get in a nearby tree. In this case, itís the Bradford pear tree next to our back deck. I guess they want to be first in line if we start handing out treats. Weíve been known to do that but not from this close any more. Safer for them and us to keep a healthy distance.

116 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Did you drink and dial?
Jack, Sideways

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "When we bought the house, we engaged the services of a lawyer who helped us to navigate the ten page Hebrew legal document and look out for our best interests."

Work Saturday & Star Trek


Itís been a while since I thought about Star Trek. The last feature movie, Nemesis, was awful. The last Star Trek Series is finally going off the air. I think I probably saw all of the original series in reruns. I donít think I watched them first run. I think I saw all of The Next Generation first run although I have no interest in seeing them again to verify. That was easily the best of them. I finally started to lose interest around the second or third season of Deep Space Nine. Never got into Voyager or Enterprise. I agree with the writer of the article ( As much as I read of it ) that the series started to drift. Regardless of the series I was watching, it was always a bit too preachy for me. I was in it for the adventure. Canít imagine watching any of it ever again.

Have I mentioned how much I love my centipede grass? I havenít done lawn work in three weeks and it just started to get tall a couple of days ago. Hope to get to it today. The St Augustine grass I had in Metairie would have been up to my waist by now with the amount of rain and sunshine weíve been getting in Bush over that time period.

117 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
Yeah listen to me dog before you start to whine
That side yours and this side mine
George Thorogood, Move It On Over

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "You know you're a blogaholic when you jump up from your favourite show during the commercials to get back to your blogging."

Apparently, I'm not a blogaholic. I think I'm relieved. -Rob

Friday the 13th and Crackpots

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Though today is Friday the 13th and Iím not at all superstitious, Iíll still try to drive the posted speed limit on my commute.

Hard not to run into this Pat Buchanan article on the web yesterday. His views are largely unpopular for all of the right reasons.

Posted some of my best memories of Pontchartrain Beach here. One I didnít post there: When I was a kid, Pontchartrain Beach had a Penny Arcade that had a few amusement machines that still took pennies. Yes, Iím that old.

Maximum suck from Ilyka? No way, Josť.

118 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
At the Beach, At the Beach, At the Pontchartrain Beach
Youíll have fun, Youíll have fun, Every day of the week
Pontchartrain Beach Jingle

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water."

Familiar Sight

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Overturned trailer

This is becoming an all too familiar sight in New Orleans and I suppose it happens elsewhere as well. There are several off/on ramps in New Orleans that have rather sharp turns. This one is near where I work now. There used to be one near my former workplace, too. No matter how many signs, speed bumps, or blinking lights you put up, people will try to negotiate this turn while speeding. Smaller vehicles have difficulty with these turns but they are somewhat easier to control and the incidence of accident is smaller. However, these high trailers that are prone to tipping anyway and have shifting loads find the rails quite a bit. This happened early in the morning and they were still clearing it at 6PM. The cargo had to be offloaded and some way underpaid guy had to crawl up on this thing and attach a cable. The ramp had to be closed while they did that.

In other news, Vanessa Williams is at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS tomorrow night.

Got an extra quarter million dollars laying around? Get a seat now while they last. Subsequent flights will be discounted to $150,000 per seat. Seems to me that first flight is a tad riskier and should be the discounted one but I have no head for business. And no desire to go into space at a discount.

Rebirth of the Twin Towers. I think I prefer that to the Freedom Tower but I like both of them.

Pitcherlady has a nice article in the Nashville Scene about one of the many Kentucky Derby traditions.

119 days until football season begins...............

Quote of the Day
And frankly, in today's environment,
any company that doesn't strive to meet
the needs of women is crazy!
Cynthia Price, GM Center of Expertise

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "One of the common duty assignments when I was doing Child Protection was what we called "Dirty Duty.""

Wednesday Tidbits

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I just do not know how this is supposed to work. That the $29 million Devil Rays took 3 of 4 last week from the $208 million Yankees gives me a little joy, though.

I endured muscle spasms in my lower back for most of the day yesterday. After a pretty lousy nightís sleep, they seem to be gone. Hallelujah.

Hot and steamy yesterday. Looks like it will be that way today, too. Perfect tomato growing weather. You really can watch the plants grow before your very eyes this time of year.

120 days until football season begins.

Quote of the Day
I'm twenty-eight years old, and far too many of my memories
involve me sitting in my office after midnight,
tasting every quarter-filled coffee cup on my desk
until I find the one that is still a little warm.
Rodney Rothman, Writer

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My cell phone plays Coldplay's "Clocks" when it rings."

Patsy's did, too. She couldn't hear it. -Rob


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We hear about traffic congestion all of the time. We hear about the by-products ( Lost productivity, delays, road rage, etc..... ) all of the time, too. MSNBC and I talked about it briefly in October 2003. I said at the time that I thought I brought the average up then. Not sure I still do. Why spend any money or, more importantly, time studying the problem instead of just addressing it? The I-10 in New Orleans has been over-traveled since it was built. There, no charge. It is true now. It will be true ten years from now, too. Improvements to other arteries into the city have hardly made a dent in the I-10 traffic. The mother of all boondoggles, the Earhart Expressway, hasnít relieved the I-10 at all. That project was studied, started, abandoned, studied, started, abandoned, and finally built to some stage of completion about 10 years ago. It was first proposed in the 60s. I have traveled that 3-lane highway from New Orleans, where it ends, to Harahan, where it begins, at mid-afternoon without seeing a single other vehicle. Yeah, that was time and money well spent. Improvements to I-10 are underway and are causing congestion. They will prove to be inadequate when they are finished. That much is a certainty.

From the learn something every day department: I learned today that there is such a thing as a " corporate blogging consultant ". I don't know what that is but I'd like to know what it pays.

Quote of the Day
I would be really disappointed to think that CEOs couldn't blog
Debbie Weil, Corporate blogging consultant

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Also, I have the Fox Soccer Channel. Now when I'm wide awake at 3am, I will have something to watch."

That would put me back to sleep. -Rob

Knopfler - So Far Away

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According to his site, Mark Knopfler is not coming anywhere within reasonable driving distance to me this year. Doesnít surprise me. The show I saw him at in New Orleans didnít sell out and had too many empty seats. Still, I was hoping for a Baton Rouge, Lafayette, or Gulf Coast concert. Not to be. This guy saw him in Brisbane, Australia. The BOTD saw him in Mumbai (The former Bombay ). The closest dates to me are Atlanta ( 7/12 ) and Nashville (7/13 ), both impossible weeknights. Bummer.

Happy Anniversary, Patsy
Quote of the Day
These boys have got this down
ought to be one of these in every town
These boys have got the touch
It's clean as a whistle and it don't cost much
Mark Knopfler, Boom Like That

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "And to experience one of the greatest guitarists ever, to experience him performing just a hundred meters right there in front of you is something to live for."

Name that bird

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This bird showed up for some Sunday morning fishing/tadpoling in my pond just as I was heading upstairs to shower and put the camera away. Don't have time to look him up now. Will do so when I get back. Can you name him? Update (5:18PM): It's a green heron.


Full frontal. Slightly out of focus.


A bit sideways. Pretty decent.


Stretched out profile. Quite a bit bigger than he looked in those first two, huh?

More Mother's Day

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Once again, Happy Motherís Day to all. This picture is from Motherís Day, 2002. Oh, what fun. Happy I didnít place a bet on Noble Causeway in yesterdayís Kentucky Derby as I thought about the other day. He finished 14th. With 5 of the 20 horses in the race, Nick Zitoís best finisher placed 7th. Tough day to say the least. And, finally, some pictures from this magnificent morning at CrabAppleLane.

Wren Nest

No, this is not Attack of the Giant Spiders. This is the overflow of a Carolina Wren nest that is just above my back door. Several years ago, we had severe water damage to our back door opening. It wasnít sealed very well and it had too much exposure to the elements. After we had the damage repaired, we had a patio cover installed over the door opening. It was money well spent according to us and the wrens. It needs to be washed but Iíll wait until theyíre done.

Carolina Wren

Grasshopper is on the breakfast menu this morning. The only thing small about these birds is their size. They have a gigantic song and can fuss with the best of them. They land on the patio cover with a thud. They canít weigh more than a few ounces. This is the best picture I took this morning and I didnít think it would come out at all. We were both in the shade and there was no flash. Some of my best pictures are still unexpected but that's OK by me.


Fresh catnip. All of my cats love it.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Still working on the focus with this camera. Youíll note the ginger planter in the background is in pretty good focus while the Red-Bellied Woodpecker in the foreground is blurry. Not what I wanted but I decided to post it anyway. Iíll get it right next time.

Quote of the Day
Great expectations bring great disappointment.
I am guilty of that today.
Nick Zito, Horse Trainer

Blog of the day via Kim is here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm as big a fan of going to the DMV as anyone in Indiana. It's a pleasure that ranks up there with a root canal sans anaesthesia or being covered in paper cuts and falling into a vat of lemon juice."

Mother's Day

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Happy Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day, Mom, and to all of the Mothers reading this.

Saturday Stuff


We watched After the Sunset last night. Iím glad we waited for Pay-Per-View rather than going to see it in a theater. It was totally formula and thoroughly absurd but still not a bad way to pass the time. Oh, and about the island/reggae clubbing lifestyle and watching spectacular beachfront sunsets from your deck: Sorry to say that I probably couldnít handle much more than a few weeks of that. Nice place to visit and all that.

Iím looking forward to Second Sight with Clive Owen. Owen is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I have yet to see him in a bad performance. It starts this Monday night on BBC America and UltimateTV is set to record all programs in that series. I love Mystery Mondays on BBC America.

The classic song, Polk Salad Annie, has been rolling around in my head since the new pope was selected. Itís a bit ridiculous but I canít help it. It is written and performed by Tony Joe White. Heís from Louisiana and its about a girl in Louisiana. Being from Louisiana, I am embarrassed to say that I have no clue what Polk Salad is ( It could be a variation of Polk Salad, Pork Salad, or Poke Salad. All three words are pronounced the same in Louisiana by some residents. ). This song was also done by Elvis Presley but not nearly as well.

I thought the Scopes trial settled this issue 80 years ago. Apparently not. Come on, Kansas.

Patsy and I are celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary tonight. Weíre going Italian. The day is actually May 9th but Mondays are harder for us to get out on. Next year, weíll probably take some days off for the 25th.

Quote of the Day
Down in Louisiana,
Where the alligators grow so mean,
Lived a girl that I swear to the world,
Made the alligators look tame
Tony Joe White, Polk Salad Annie

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So, I was staring at this guy's crotch the other day. Well, damn if I wasn't entitled to it."

Fridays & Memes

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Sorry, not enough. Charge her. That her fiancť still wants to marry her is fine and good. It removes two dolts from the still fairly thin dating pool and that may be the only good thing to come out of this. As usual, Olbermann gets right to the bottom line. It was ď the Power of Cheese .

I was greeted with this email this morning:

A visitor to your weblog CrabAppleLane Blog has automatically been banned by posting more than the allowed number of comments in the last 600 seconds. This has been done to prevent a malicious script from overwhelming your weblog with comments. The banned IP address is

Not even a nice try, spammer. None of your comments got posted and you did absolutely no damage.

I got ď memed ď yesterday by Harmony St Charles. I didnít know it until I turned on my computer this morning so I guess better to respond later than never. The five I chose are in the extended entry.

Quote of the Day
I was simply running from myself
and from certain fears controlling my life.
Jennifer Wilbanks, Runaway Bride

Blog of the day is from New Orleans via Harmony St Charles and is here.

Quote from said blog: "Went to the fest last Sunday and had a great time! The weather was beautiful and the food was insane!"

Cinco de Mayo & other stuff

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January 1, 2001 ( 01/01/01 )
February 2, 2002 ( 02/02/02 )
March 3, 2003 ( 03/03/03 )
April 4, 2004 ( 04/04/04 )

Today - May 5, 2005 ( 05/05/05 )

Just some cool stuff those of us living at the turn of the century get/got to see or obsess about. More of the latter in the next paragraph.

There are some others like January 2, 2003 ( 01/02/03 ) and February 3, 2004 ( 02/03/04 ) and so on. After 05/10/15, weíll have to wait a while. On 10/20/30, I think theyíre pretty much over unless you count 12/24/36. I do but some don't.

Evidence of how easily bothered I can get sometimes or maybe something else more disturbing that I donít care to think about: I was wearing a fairly new Dockers Golf Polo shirt the other day that Iíve worn several times. It was one of the two I bought on sale a few months ago. I was tucking it in when I felt something through the shirt at my belt line. It was a spare button sewn into the left seam inside the shirt near the tail. I never noticed it the several other times I wore that shirt or its twin, which Iíve discovered since to also have one. That button annoyed me the rest of the day. It will probably annoy me every time I wear those shirts now. I may have to remove them.

Might have to place a hunch bet on Noble Causeway in the Kentucky Derby this Saturday. I take the noble Causeway home every night.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Quote of the Day
If somebody has to stand in line a few minutes more (for a license), that's a small price to pay than having thousands or tens of thousands of people die in a terrorist attack.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "This, my 'official' blog, doesn't have much of a footprint... to call it well-known would be silly, yet the temptation of anonymity still arises."

America's Best

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Americaís best restaurant, according to Beardís, is Galatoireís on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Iíve been there once with friends about 25 years ago. To me, it was extraordinarily expensive and nothing special. If I made a top 25 list of restaurants in the Metro New Orleans area, Galatoireís wouldnít be on it. I donít get it. Commanderís Palace, also very famous, is much better for about the same money. La Riviera, much less famous and quite a bit cheaper, is also better. I may have to give Galatoireís another try next time I have $100 or so to blow for lunch at a place that didnít knock my socks off the first time. That wonít be any time soon. Americaís Best? I donít think so. Itís not even New Orleans best.

Who is stealing the clubs? Other golfers? Who, but another golfer ,would know what theyíre worth or where they could sell them? And selling them on Ebay? Doesnít sound like a great idea.

Quote of the Day
One thing I've learned is don't advertise what kind of clubs you have
If I had it to do over again, I'd put an old sock on it.
Marianus von Korff, Los Angeles Policeman

Blog of the day via Pitcherlady is here.

Quote from said blog: "The notion of village is difficult to sustain in a city like London. How many villages sport nice yellow roadside messages from the cops describing Saturday night's stabbing or Sunday morning's shooting in blunt detail?"

The Bunker

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Wow. Didnít know any witnesses were still alive from Hitlerís bunker. She talks as if the monsters she served were noble. She describes the depression, Hitler's gray hair, and the goodbyes.

From USA Today:

Flegel evaded the question of whether she regretted her role in the Third Reich. "Everyone has their own opinion," she said.

Not the best answer, Nurse Flegel. If you are not a monster, yourself, you are a monster sympathizer. Thatís my opinion.

Quote of the Day
You have to understand that we
were living outside normal reality
Erna Flegel, Nurse to Adolph Hitler

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Weighty courtroom dramas that would have been made immeasurably more interesting if French fashion house Comme Des Garcons had got involved"

Monday Blahs

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Theyíre still talking about a Super Bowl ad several months after it aired. Only a handful of us knew who or what was before. That commercial worked better than they could have hoped.

Two Thumbs Down from Ebert & Roeper last night for The Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy. Iíve been hearing about this book since my BBS days. The more I heard about it, the less I wanted to read it. Iím not saying Ebert & Roeper are right about the movie but Iíll wait until its on HBO or Starz to watch it.

Quote of the Day
That last putt seemed to take about 12 minutes to fall in
Tim Petrovic, 2005 Zurich Classic Champion

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I didn't know which was more surprising: that I was in the zoo stealing animal narcotics with Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, or that Pat O'Brien was being released from rehab."


I used to pick blackberries as a kid. They were all around us when I grew up. The lot we presently live on had lots of blackberry bushes at one time. We cleared most of it to build the house. This one on the side of the road in front of our house survived. Untested, unscientific, unsubstantiated Rob theory: Blackberry bushes like sun and warmth. Critters, such as mice, rats, and insects like blackberries. Snakes like sun, warmth, mice, rats, and insects. I think we probably see less snakes than we otherwise would here if we hadnít removed most of the blackberry patch.


This chickadee was basking in the glow of victory after he chased off the slightly larger titmouse.

Quote of the Day
If you really want to end tyranny in the world,
you're going to have to stay up later.
Laura Bush, First Lady

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "You'll find as you enter your third decade on this Earth, my dear, how much of life is like that."

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