December 2005 Archives

Time on 2005 running out

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As time winds down on another year, I've once again been pondering the expression, "don't have the time" and its brother, "can't find the time". Did so quite similarly last year and the year before. Everyone says it. Have you thought about what the person you're saying it to thinks about it? Spoiler alert: Do not expect any grandiose conclusions or Earth-shattering insight in this post. The more I thought about it over the last two years or so, the more I realized I still have no position on it.

About the time: A 91-year old person shouldn't take on a 35-year project with hopes of finishing it. He/she probably doesn't have the time. There are also instances where an arbitrary deadline is imposed. Someone called and is coming over in an hour. "I don't have time" to cut the grass before they get here.

Where age or deadline is not a factor, is it really true when someone says that? If so, wouldn't the person youíre telling it to know it? There are 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, etc, etc... (If you get less than that, you're exempt from these foolish thoughts). So, what you're really saying is, "I don't wish to use my time that way". To say it that way, of course, is kind of rude so we say, "I don't have the time" instead.

A task could/should be done and both of us are capable of doing it. I tell you, "I don't have the time". How should you react to that? Is my time more valuable than yours? Am I implying that you DO have the time? Am I simply saying I don't want to do it? Am I over-analyzing? Yes, absolutely, to at least two of those questions!

I planned to add considerably more thought to this essentially self-plagiarized ( Auto-plagiarized? ) entry after having another whole year to think about what I am trying to say but I have somewhere to be in a few minutes and..................

I don't have time to do it now!

A picture from CrabAppleLane for this last Saturday in 2005.

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If you feed the birds/wildlife in your yard and if black oil sunflower is part of that feed mixture and if one of those black oil sunflower seeds gets away from the birds/wildlife or perhaps goes through a turkey..........ahem.........undigested and if you are not as diligent about cutting the grass in your backyard because your backyard has other priorities at the moment, you may end up with one of these. OK, I like sunflowers although this variety is not as pretty as the 6-footers with the 8-inch diameter flowers but they're nice. I canít grow these damn things on purpose but Iím not too bad at growing them by accident.

Rat Race - Special Collectorís Edition was part of our Christmas loot. We watched it last night. Despite the presence of John Cleese, this is not high brow comedy. Thatís OK by me. It was thoroughly ridiculous from start to finish but it had a lot of good belly laugh moments in it. It attempted to be something akin to Itís a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. It doesnít quite get to that level but it got closer than I would have thought possible and I give the cast and film makers credit for trying. I feel a little funny about giving a Spoiler Alert for Itís a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World from 1963: The funniest moment in that very funny film was Ethel Merman slipping on the banana peel at the end. You laugh at that moment no matter how many times you've seen it. I laugh at that moment just thinking about it. Rat Race gives us a feel good concert at the end, instead. I would rather have had the banana peel.

Iím memed out but these by Kem and Marie are good reads.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues. Fading fast now. One of the games I felt strongest about was the Miami-LSU Peach Bowl last night. I thought sure Miamiís defense was going to be too much for LSUís backup QB. The Tigers beat them up both on the field and off. I would be a bookie's best friend if I gambled.

Quote of the Day
It's true you could break your neck but it's a risk I'm willing to take.
Duane Cody, Rat Race

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A family that gets massage together stays together."

Boomers

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The baby boomers start turning 60 on Sunday. Weíll set aside our wailing on you if you settle in our communities with your nest eggs. I like this portion of that wailing whiner's message:

Here's a little essay on how living in the shadow of the boomers...........blah, blah, blah

The boomers donít cast that long a shadow. They are larger and wealthier than previous generations but thatís how the previous generations, who did cast very long shadows, wanted it. A little perspective, please. And lose the whining. You aint got it so bad.

My cousin went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra earlier this week and this video has been making the internet rounds the last few weeks. If they ever come to a place near me, Iím in.

Got a sweet tooth that hasnít been sated in a while? Donít go here. Yet another reason New Orleans needs to be saved.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Quote of the Day
I forgot all about it (King Cake) until yesterday, then there it was in my kitchen turning my lips purple.
A friend

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "One more detail shot of the evil factory from yesterday."

Not much for a Thursday

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Todayís BOTD took pictures of the passenger compartment while his plane was going down. WOW. Not your typical photoblog.

Went to bed last night with fever and chills. After a fitful night of sleep and two ibuprofen, the fever and chills are gone. I donít know what impact that would have had on pending blood work today but I suppose itís moot now.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues. My decent entry, as predicted, is fading,

Quote of the Day
She started insulting me over text message . . . and it was not a good scene. It annoyed the hell out of me. Text messaging will catch you no matter where you are.
Erik Lung

Blog of the day via Instapundit is here.

Quote from said blog: "Boy, what a day. In what started as a typical flight home from a typical holiday weekend, changed drastically twenty minutes after take off. My fiancťe and I were returning from a few days in Seattle when the unthinkable happened to us - our Alaska MD-80 Airplane tore a hole in itís fuselage at 30K feet.Ē

Wednesday Whatnot

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Here it is the day before I go for the required blood work for my pending elbow surgery and the swelling has gone down just enough to give me pause. Itís not a major surgery but if the damn thing is going to heal itself, Iíd just as soon not have it. Embrace the unknown. Yeah, right.

This Slate article by Emily Yoffe made me smile yesterday. Itís worth a look.

Palmeiro still claims ignorance on steroids. Give it up, Rafael. This cannot be fixed.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues. Our leader finally missed one.

Quote of the Day
Synchronize your minds and see
The beast within him rise
Queen, Flick of the Wrist

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "When I can remember, I regret some things I've done. When I am feeling nostalgic, I think about how I would do it all again and right the wrongs and be more charming at parties and be less fearful of love and be slower to judge or to react. That's when I'm back on the train, between places, certain I do not belong anywhere."

Tuesday Morning and a meme from Ilyka

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Iíve been tagged by Ilyka. I thought I was inoculated from these things. Anyway, I thought Iíd go ahead and do this one because its pretty select company I got chosen with and because its not so personal. Besides, I can change the rules if I like. Theyíre in the extended entry.

For those who just got a digital camera, this is something Iíve found fairly easy to do and I get pretty good results most of the time. Point it in the general vicinity of the sun and shoot. Here we have New Orleans. The bridge to the left is the Crescent City Connection, formerly known as the cleverly-titled Mississippi River Bridge. I took this as I was driving down the I-10 high rise bridge in New Orleans East. The view is always nice and traffic was fairly light last night.

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The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Quote of the Day
Well if the sun shines so bright
Or on the way it's dark as night
The road we choose is always right, so fine
Led Zeppelin, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The biggest lesson of the information age is that all media is to be taken with a critical eye, and that no information is valuable until you also understand its source. (One reason for the success of blogs: the information and the source are intimately related, so you always know where you are.)"

Some Christmas Loot

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Rat Race - Special Collectorís Edition was part of our Christmas loot yesterday. Iíve never seen it. Weíll watch it this weekend. Also got a cool Wireless Weather Thermometer. According to said Wireless Weather Thermometer, it is 34.9ļ with 91% relative humidity outside at CrabAppleLane as I type. 70.5ļ with 47% inside. Itís also an alarm clock but itís a little too nice for me to be fumbling around for in my sleepy haze in the morning. I need something a little sturdier for that, preferably case-hardened steel.

Like father, like son. Kinda. They enjoy some success but then wear out their welcome pretty much wherever they go and their tempers get them in trouble. The father is not quite as big a jerk as the son, though.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Marwadi, the fisherman, has an optimism that I envy.

Quote of the Day
Though it be raining gold in another village and raining rocks on your own, there's no place like home.
Marwadi, the fisherman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My dad has been trying for years now to make the bird feeder squirrel-safe but with little success - this year's invention is a slippery floppy roof, but once it had some snow on it the (bigger) squirrels are quite happy to hang on either to the rope or the ceiling with their back feet and then munch on the nuts and seeds upside-down."


Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas


I started reading The Da Vinci Code last night. I started it because the uproar over the movie has me curious. I meant to start it earlier (The gist of this entry is a retread from August 22) but Katrina kind of set my reading back a few months. Iíve read books that were unflattering to the Catholic Church, particularly the Vatican. I should say that they had unflattering things to say about the church. The church wasnít necessarily a central portion of the plot. The book was/is extremely successful and itís being made into a major movie with a big Hollywood director (Ron Howard) and a big Hollywood star (Tom Hanks). I'll soon find out what the uproar is all about but Fi hinted at it here in the comments back on August 22. Still, itís just a book and just a movie. I was a little too tired to make much headway last night but the beginning looks promising.

My fantasy football team put up a decent fight but still went down to defeat to a superior team. Santana Moss was too much for us. I tip my cap to my opponent. He had the best team all year and it carried through in the playoffs and Fantasy Bowl. He deserved the championship. Itís his second.

Happy Birthday, Kem. Kem has interesting plans for his 51st birthday dinner party.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues and one of my entries is still perfect. This proves conclusively that there is no adequate substitute for blind, dumb luck.

Speaking of real estate (Smooth, huh?), the following listing went up this Christmas morning at CrabAppleLane:

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Available for immediate occupancy: Single family home. Will rent for a song.

Iíve had a pair of nesting bluebirds in this house putting out two and three clutches of bluebirds per year for 8 years now. Weíre responsible for most of the bluebird population in Bush, LA. Iím hoping the new door wonít put them off. The old door broke in August when I took it down for Hurricane Katrina.

Quote of the Day
The agent look grim. ďYou donít understand, Mr. Langdon. What you see in this photograph...Ē He paused. ďMonsieur SauniŤre did that to himself.Ē
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

About the BOTD. The Blog Herald has chosen it as the Best Overall Christmas Blog.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Santa arrived back at the North Pole safe and sound. The big man is now sleeping and probably wonít wake until later today. As soon as he is awake I will get him to say a quick hello to all the boys and girls."

Busy Holiday Weekend

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While waiting for Harry Potter to start a few weeks ago, we were subjected to about 25 minutes of previews and commercials. Get there 25 minutes early so you can sit in Row 2 from the bottom. I love that. Anyway, one of the previews was for King Kong. It has a fabulous cast that includes Adrian Brody and Naomi Watts and an experienced big budget movie director in Peter Jackson. Iím in. Patsy doesnít care to see it but my nephew does. I hope we can squeeze it in this weekend but it will be a very tight fit for me.

The Fantasy Bowl starts today at noon, local time. I'll know almost immediately how my team is going to fare because the Redskins and Giants kickoff at noon, too, and my two best players, Tiki Barber and Clinton Portis, are playing in that game. The theme for today: No excuses. No quarter.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues. One of my entries is doing very well. It is due to take its pelican dive soon.

Quote of the Day
Take your mind off your election
And try to get it straight
And don't pretend perfection
You'll be crucified too late
Jethro Tull, Lick Your Fingers Clean

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It chronicles an unedited 8 minute drive through Paris in the early hours of a Sunday morning - in a Ferrari. At 140mph."

It sounds horribly unsafe. I think I want to see it. -Rob

Wikipedia

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About Wikipedia: I have explored it on occasion. Marie and Kem have, too. The Main page has this statement on it:

Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

I have even set up an account to do just that if Iím ever inclined. Iíve been involved professionally in a voluntary collaborative effort like this to create a searchable knowledge base in our profession for others, who are not in our profession. Many, actually most, of the contributions are submitted by internet savvy younger people in my field. Like Wikipedia, there is no verification in place. The contributions are almost always inaccurate or incomplete. For the effort to succeed, it is dependant on knowledgeable people for correction. Thatís the problem. Not only did correction become a full time task but a lot of people donít like being corrected. The effort is withering and the current knowledge base is unsatisfactory. Wikipedia has a good head of steam on it and maybe it can overcome that problem but Iím skeptical. I explore it mainly for amusement.

Quote of the Day
Who claims that no man is an island
While I land up in jeopardy
More distant from you by degrees
I walk this shore in isolation
And at my feet eternity
Draws ever sweeter plans for me
Robert Plant, Ship of Fools

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Yet another chapter in the embarrassing war for "I Invented Wikipedia!" credit between Wales and Sanger. I tend to side with Sanger, mostly because managers often take credit where it's not due, but it's impossible to know what really happened (nor does it particularly matter)."

Tony Dungy

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Iím saddened to hear Tony Dungyís news. Tony Dungy is an exception in the NFL and in professional sports. He isn't one of the good guys in sports. He's one of the good guys. Period. He proves you donít have to be a jackass to be in the NFL. He proves that nice guys donít always finish last. The NFL is a league full of selfish buffoons like Tom Benson and Terrell Owens. If there was any reason in the sports world, people would be talking more about Dungy than those guys. While heís out, the NFL will miss him more than he will miss the NFL. The league needs him more than he needs them. Sorry for your loss, Coach.

Sunrise yesterday morning

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Sunrise

This is the sight that greeted me yesterday morning as I turned east onto Hwy 41 in Bush and headed toward New Orleans. Naturally, it was just below my sun visor and made driving a little tricky but I still enjoyed the sight. About power lines, telephone lines, fences, and other items you might see in some of my photographs: One of my work colleagues suggested I remove them in my favorite picture here. I like the power lines, telephone lines, and other noise in some of my images. I think it lends authenticity, if thatís the right term, to these photos. On a similar note, Crusader put up some dramatic pictures over at Coalition of the Swilling. I want to say his were sunsets but itís hard to tell.

Iíve been agonizing over my fantasy football lineup this week. I have four running backs. Youíll not be able to pry Tiki Barber out of my lineup. The guy shows up every week. Clinton Portis, Thomas Jones, and Cadillac Williams are the other three and Iíve had mixed success with each of them. My instincts tell me to play Portis because heís the best of the three but heís also facing the best defense this week in Barberís Giants. My only real hope is for my opponent to have an off game. His team is better than mine.

Quote of the Day
Sunrise, and the new day's breaking through
The morning of another day without you
And as the hours roll by
Noone's there to see me cry
Except the sunrise
The sunrise and you
Uriah Heap, Sunrise

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "On a side note, the 7D is broken yet again (don't ask) so the remainder of my shooting in Manila is going to be with the coolpix and hexar. Sigh."

Photoblog. -Rob

Lunch at the beach

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Brown Pelicans

These are two of Louisianaís state birds. Theyíre Brown Pelicans and they were once nearly extinct in Louisiana. That was blamed on DDT use. Some disagree that DDT was to blame. Pelicans have made a great comeback since DDT was banned (Not saying that's proof enough but I think Iím convinced.) and we have quite a few in Lake Pontchartrain now. As that famous scientist, the recently deceased Richard Pryor, once said, ďWho are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?Ē. I digress. The pelicans and I had the beach to ourselves yesterday for lunch. I had a BMT from Subway. They had the fish. For what its worth: If the planet has more aphids but a few more pelicans since the ban, Iím OK with that. Pelicans are a joy to watch and are absolutely worth saving.

Brown Pelicans

Another one that crossed my lens. He had about an 8ft wingspan.

Dive, dive

Pelicans glide along above the water like you see in the first two photos. When they see a meal below, they make a high bank, tuck those gigantic wings in, and dive straight down like a pile driver. Thatís commitment. This one was doing that. The distant shore is New Orleans East.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool is underway. Good Luck to all.

Quote of the Day
I don't want no tutti-frutti, no lollipop
Come on, baby, just rock, rock, rock.
Led Zeppelin, Boogie with Stu

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Scotsman.com is reporting that LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page has been awarded an OBE by the Queen - for his charitable work rather than his musical career."

Tuesday Stuff

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A New York City transit strike during the holiday season is a horrible, horrible idea. The New Orleans Police Department struck during Mardi Gras back in 1979 and it was a disaster. For the police department. This will also be a disaster for the strikers. The difference here, of course, is scale. The disaster will be much larger and much more intense in New York. Whatever union sympathies there are in New York will evaporate quickly. Without mass transit there will be mass inconvenience. Iím told itís not all that convenient to get around New York City anyway. What are they thinking? ďMaybe the public will support us if we make it even harder to get around. Maybe merchants will be OK with most of their customers having to walk or take a cab to get to their stores at the most important time of the year for them.Ē From the article:

New Yorkers were urged to make arrangements to car pool, bicycle and walk to work, or change their schedules and work from home.

Yeah, thatíll work. Idjits.

The good news is that my fantasy football team has advanced to the championship game. The bad news is that theyíre playing a team that trounced them a few week ago. Weíll show up and offer no excuses. And no quarter.

Quote of the Day
Okay, I'm a little dumb sometimes. Of course I am. I'm not perfect. But am I as dumb as this person, this person to whom I'm ostensibly related by blood? In fact, has anyone ever verified this? How do I know we're really related? Someone should run a DNA test--right after I run her dumb bitch ass over with a truck.
Ilyka Damen - December 17, 2005

Blog of the day via Pitcherlady is here.

Quote from said blog: "caldron lid"

This blog features great photos and his very own music. -Rob

Monday Morning QB (December 19, 2005)

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Conventional fantasy football wisdom: Some fantasy football magazines will tell you to pick up a playerís backup if the player is injury-prone or likely to be benched at some point. Rob's fantasy football wisdom: Thatís big time bunk. I knew it and did it anyway. I should have known better than to have two players from the same team at the same position. I never play the right one when I do. The thing about fantasy football is that you canít change your lineup during the game so its not like you can put in your backup when your starter gets hurt on the 2nd play. When I had Fred Taylor and James Stewart, I could never figure out which one was going to play. Taylor was the starter and the better of the two but fragile Fred was always one hamstring pull from going to the bench. Unfortunately for me, he also could put up a huge game so I kept hoping. When I played him, he was Mr Hamstring. When I benched him, he was Mr 250yds and 4TDs. So I picked up Lee Evans last week but already had Eric Moulds from the same team at the same position. Even at wide receiver, that never works for me. If I hadnít done that, I would have had to play Moulds yesterday and gotten his 11 points instead of Evans, who put up a big fat zero. I have a very unsafe lead tonight and those 11 points would have helped. I donít think Iíll be able to watch the game.

Got a favorite place to go for coffee? I'm sure you do. Submit it to the Coffee Tourist. Itís easy and you would be providing an invaluable service to coffee addicts like me. The how to and stuff is here.

Added 22 log pieces to the bodacious bonfire Iím starting to get ready for January or February. Thatíll probably add an hour to the flame. It really could be lit now so I might even do it for New Yearís Eve.

Quote of the Day
You asked do we play heavy music
Well a thunderheads just another cloud
And we do
Not Fragile
Straight at you
Bachman Turner Overdrive, Not Fragile

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Over the years, I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to represent several professional and major college football coaches in their contract negotiations and related legal matters."

Sunday stuff (December 18, 2005)

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I bought a clear filter for my camera. Itís something Iíve been meaning to do for a while now. I have a fear of scratching or breaking my camera lens. It would cost a fortune to repair or replace. There are two reasons I fear this. One, Iím a bit of a klutz. I bang into things. Two, the camera cap doesnít fit very well and falls off very easily. If it fell off while in the camera bag, it could move back and forth across the lens and scrape it. Thereís a downside to the filter, though. It cuts off the corners of the image. You can see it in the corners in yesterdayís St Johnís Coffeehouse image. If I zoom in on the subject, those black edges in the corners disappear. I think Iím just going to remove the filter while shooting but replace it when I stop and just take my chances on those times when I want to get the camera out quickly and donít have time to remove the filter. By the way, the camera cap fits the filter perfectly.

If I win my playoff game, it is because I was smart/lucky enough to leave Tiki Barber in my lineup this week. Two of my other players put up big fat zeroes yesterday. That wonít help at all. Tiki Barber and Clinton Portis were my RB combo when my team won the championship a few years ago. I have them again this year but Iíve been mixing in Carnell ďCadillacĒ Williams in place of one of those guys now and again. Cadillac will stay on the bench next week unless Tiki or Clinton breaks both legs.

Just one picture from CrabAppleLane on this crisp fall Sunday morning.

Cardinal in a pear tree
And a cardinal in a pear tree

OK, I canít sing but there really is a cardinal in this Bradford pear tree. Go to the extended entry if you canít find her. What was going to be somewhat of a Sunday puzzle turned into a software tinkering exercise. This is the best I could do this morning without breaking something or throwing something.

Quote of the Day
I want a kiss from your lips
I want an eye for an eye
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Bruce Springsteen, Empty Sky

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Before peeling out of the parking lot, I saw these festive wreaths in the rearview mirror."

St John's Coffeehouse

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Taken this afternoon at St Johnís Coffeehouse. Yes, I asked permission. The employee said most people donít ask. He told of one professional photographer who set up a tripod and started shooting without asking permission or telling anyone he was going to do it. He blocked the entrance in the process. I donít know the ethical or legal responsibilities of professional photographers but it seems to me that goes beyond rude into criminal and that one should have been forcibly removed, if necessary.

St Johnís is one of my favorite places to go in Covington. It has a quirky, small town, old building charm that you just canít put a price on. That said, it should be noted that you can spend an afternoon or evening there for almost nothing. The coffee is fabulous. I absolutely love the place and have spoken of it many times here. I try to stop in whenever Iím near it. You know, within a hundred miles or so. They also feature live music on most Friday and Saturday nights. If a Starbucks or some other chain opens near this place with their sterilized tables, drive-thru, and ridiculous menus, I think Iíll picket them with my sign in one hand and my cup of St Johnís Cafť Au Lait in the other. Leave this place alone.

Quote of the Day
Will trade coffee for gossip
Sign at St Johnís Coffeehouse

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "as a side note, iím aware of how weird it is for me to not write a word for weeks and then pop up with a ruminanation on mortality."

Not much for Fridays

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Iíve been wanting to visit Washington D.C. most of my life and have never done it. My parents met there. I wouldnít go just to see Tai Shan, the baby panda, but if I were going now, I would absolutely make time for a zoo visit. No point in waiting for the crowds to die down. They wonít until heís a full grown adult. He will keep the cash registers humming. Aside from that, the little guy is as charming as all get out.

About yesterdayís visit to the orthopaedic surgeon: My choices are to live with the bulge on my elbow or have minor surgery to repair it. Living with it is like having a mushy golf ball permanently attached to my elbow. This is a no brainer, Iím having the surgery. It will be done in an outpatient clinic with Novocain and I think our insurance will cover 100% of the cost. By doing that, I think insurance companies are trying to encourage their policy holders to stay away from hospitals for minor surgeries. This is fine by me, too. I donít mind staying out of the hospital. My arthroscopic knee operation many years ago was performed at an outpatient clinic and that went very well.

Quote of the Day
Iím wondering why
Youíre always on my mind
Iím stll wondering
Give me a little more time
Jail Bait, Wishbone Ash

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Since I find Matt Damon and his new bride about as exciting as a box of paper clips, I figured their quickie wedding wasn't enough to warrant its own blog entry."

Of elbows and hurricanes

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Iím going to see the orthopaedic surgeon this morning about my elbow again. Itís giving me a little time to get in the rant below. About my elbow: The condition I had attended to just six weeks ago has returned. I suspect heís going to drain it and give me a shot of cortisone again but I have new information since the last time. After he did that, the bulge on my elbow went away but something would happen every now and then when I bent my elbow after it had been extended for a time. The best way to describe it is it was like pulling a piece of Saran wrap across a bowl. Something would stick for a second and then slide across my elbow. Dr Rob of CrabAppleLane thinks it could be a bursa or maybe some scarring but donít let Dr Rob near your medical condition. Heís a quack.

Speaking of New Orleans Levees, the Federal official in charge of Gulf Coast reconstruction, Donald Powell, said this according to USA Today:

They will be rebuilt stronger and better than they were before Katrina.

Thatís what a lot of people here are waiting to hear. It's welcome news but statements like that have got to come from the guys much higher up the food chain and with much louder voices: Congress and the President. Cleanup is underway but significant rebuilding canít and wonít start until there is a meaningful commitment to levee protection from the only body who can make that commitment: The Federal Government.

Todayís Online Washington Post has the following headline:

Blanco Hails Evacuation Efforts

Iím sure its about yesterdayís Congressional hearings and the Governorís testimony. I caught bits and pieces of it on the radio as I was picking up lunch. For what its worth, I think she held her own but thatís really not important to me any more. You have to subscribe to read the article but its under the heading of Politics, which is all anyone needs to know about it. Can we do that later, please? Elected officials are playing politics while a lot of people are living in trailers, campers, tents, and hotels and a new hurricane season is looming just 6-1/2 months away. There are more urgent matters.

One last thing about Hurricane Katrina this morning: Weíre starting to hear the term ďKatrina fatigueĒ. It is used to describe the fatigue people around the country are getting from hearing about the hurricane and its aftermath. I guess thatís understandable. To those who are tired of just hearing about it, you should try living it. Iíll match my Katrina fatigue against yours any day. Finding and maintaining positive energy is a daily struggle and Iíll admit I lose that struggle sometimes. You can probably imagine that. Everyone has had challenges in their life of varying durations and magnitudes but imagine almost everyone you come in contact with having the same, gigantic, uphill struggles.

Quote of the Day
Q: Know what you call someone who finished last in their medical class?
A: Doctor.
Rob's Orthopaedic Surgeon

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Failure to present a copy on demand will result in a visit from a FEMA representative, who will wander around, knock things over, fart up the bathroom, and spend hours curled up under an end table, mournfully lowing until sleep finally overtakes him."

Shrimp

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I got shrimp on my salad last night instead of chicken. I ordered chicken but it was too much trouble to go back and exchange it so I decided to go ahead and eat it. One of my favorite restaurants, WOW, has recently been not able to get an order right. They make the wrong thing or they leave things out. One of the items I ordered comes with a side. When I got home, no side. I check the orders for certain things before I leave but I suppose I have to open every container, every time now. If I didnít like the food so much..............

The above paragraph leads me to this: As someone who has grown up in Louisiana and been around seafood my whole life, I must confess that I do not understand the fascination people have with jumbo shrimp. They tend to be undercooked when you get them these days. Nothing turns me off faster than undercooked shrimp. They also cost more and donít taste as good as medium and smaller shrimp that are much easier to prepare. It has gotten to the point where I generally donít order shrimp at a restaurant any more. Thatís not to say that large shrimp canít be done well but its more work and too many are opting not to do it. The best way to cook large shrimp is to boil them in your favorite crab boil and then serve them chilled in a shrimp remoulade or shrimp cocktail. Fried is OK, too, but only if theyíre butterflied (Sliced down the back). Without butterflying, theyíll be overcooked on the outside or undercooked on the inside. The gist here is: Give me 15 smaller shrimp instead of 10 larger ones.

Added two blogs to the roll this morning. Yesterdayís and todayís BOTD. Todayís is rather famous.

Quote of the Day
What separates the rich from everybody else is their ability to hire people to deal with the day-to-day stuff of life, The rest of us can buy things, but they can buy services.
Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Dentists are generally pretty smart and they have the highest suicide rate of any profession. In stark contrast, dogs are goofy and they always look happy. You almost never hear about a dog trying to shoot himself."

Coffee morning

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The goal this morning is to leave the house early enough to get to Royal Blend and get some coffee and coffee beans. This morningís coffee was the last of what I have and getting to the coffee shops before they close has proven difficult. I havenít had Royal Blendís coffee since before Hurricane Katrina. I stopped in one day for lunch a few weeks ago at about 11:25AM and was told as I walked in that they were closed at 11AM. I suppose they only had enough staff to do the morning breakfast crowd but that may have changed since then. I hope so. All hope is important right now.

Trying not to be all New Orleans all the time but I keep stumbling on blogs like todayís BOTD.

Quote of the Day
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "New Orleans is still a ghost town, and we who so impudently try to reclaim her, are ghosts. We think we are still among the living, but in reality, we are mere spirits traveling through a land of the once-living."

As sad as that sounds, it is pretty accurate. -Rob

Monday Morning QB

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The Saints on Monday Night Football: This must have looked like a Michael Vick showcase game back in August. He has worn the Saints out every time heís played them. He does it with his legs and fabulous athletic ability, though, not his arm and quick decision-making. This isnít quite as bad as two winless teams playing on Monday night like they had some years ago with the Redskins and Cowboys but its pretty bad. Iíll probably only watch a few minutes of it. My playoff fantasy football opponent next week had a great game this week in the first round of the playoffs. If his team plays like that next week, my team will be very likely gone. When we played earlier this season, my team had the great game.

For what its worth, Iíd like to see the Indianapolis Colts win their next six games. They look plenty real to me and Peyton Manning is a local boy. The Mannings are New Orleans royalty.

Quote of the Day
We can play any sort of game
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts Quarterback

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Due to Hurricane Katrina, we have lost a major portion of our income since I was laid off from my full time job as a graphic designer for one of New Orleans bigger printers."

CrabAppleLane Sunday (December 11, 2005)

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From the ďOther than that, how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?Ē department: The weather at and around CrabAppleLane has been gorgeous lately. In fact, if not for Hurricane Katrina, this has been a lovely year weather-wise.

A lazy Sunday afternoon picture from CrabAppleLane taken a few minutes ago.

Blue sky

Worked on templates and style sheets for the better part of the weekend bringing the blogs here up to date. Iím done for a while. I think everything works in Firefox and IE so Iíll leave well enough alone.

Quote of the Day
Maybe America does not want to rebuild New Orleans. Maybe we have decided that the deficits are too large and the money too scarce, and that it is better just to look the other way until the city withers and disappears. If that is truly the case, then it is incumbent on President Bush and Congress to admit it, and organize a real plan to help the dislocated residents resettle into new homes. The communities that opened their hearts to the Katrina refugees need to know that their short-term act of charity has turned into a permanent commitment.
New York Times Editorial - December 11, 2005

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I think they should sell happiness at Wal-Mart. In little jars labeled in some far away country then shipped here so we can buy them at wholesale prices."

Stuck too long on one problem

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After spending the better part of a Saturday fighting templates and stylesheets, itís fourth down and time to punt. Iíll try again tomorrow with fresher eyes and greymatter. The links work properly now but the comment window is still a problem. It works but it doesnít look as nice as it should. Iíve found that same problem at some other blogs so I donít feel totally inept. Well, I do, but Iím not alone in my ineptitude. Firefox Version 1.5 doesnít like MTís popup comment window. Iím only one semi-colon or one minor tweak away but it eludes me. On the bright side, IE6 and the earlier versions o Firefox work fine.

R.I.P, Richard Pryor. He hasnít done anything worthwhile in a long time but his early, raw material was very funny.

One of Pitcherlady's best stories. Still my fave.

Ilyka put one up today, too. Miss that girl.

Quote of the Day
Is it something I said?
Richard Pryor

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The Pack is an expression that gets used by stagehands in referring to how scenery/equipment/road-boxes/whatever gets put in a truck... The Pack is something that at times is a very serious matter..."

Friday fun and other stuff

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Fun post at The Coalition of the Swilling. I joined a bit late but I think thereís still room for more.

A double dose of caffeine. I wonít be trying it. Remember Jolt? It claimed ďAll the sugar and twice the caffeine.Ē. It really doesnít matter what it may taste like. I canít bring myself to try it. At least theyíre up front about whatís in it. That leads me to another annoying bit of a practice. There are people who donít eat various things for reasons that have nothing to do with dietary concerns or allergies. They donít eat pork or veal or wild game or maybe theyíre vegetarians. Whatever, thatís their business and I respect that. There are other people who donít respect it. Theyíll say things like ďIf we donít tell them whatís in it, theyíll never knowĒ. That may very well be true in some cases but donít ever say it around me. I find that practice exceedingly rude and will tell all concerned. Youíre warned.

Quote of the Day
Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps, Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian President

Blog of the day via Kim is here.

Quote from said blog: "I was originally going to refute the their idiotic notions here, but thereís really so much crap that I thought Iíd just tell you when they got it (mostly) right."

Clouds and Compliance

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About yesterdayís images here: For lack of a better term, weíre going to call them cloud holes. Patsy caught a local meteorologist explaining them yesterday and he said they were not unusual. According to the BBC, theyíre a little unusual. If indeed it is caused by ice crystals from airplane exhaust as the article suggests, I was extremely fortunate to see it. Where I was is not a well-traveled plane route. Lakefront Airport is about a half mile from where I was standing when I took the photos but it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and Iím not sure there are any flights to or from there yet. Louis Armstrong Airport in Kenner is about 15 miles away but theyíre operating at about 25% capacity and we hardly ever see passenger planes in this area. Thereís a military airport in Belle Chasse also about 15 miles away and we do see their planes now and again (They put a little thunder in your chest so theyíre very noticeable) but not very often. The reason I have no better term also comes from that article:

Strictly speaking there is no scientific term for the apparition, and what exactly it is has been the subject of much meteorological speculation.

Cool. This is why the camera goes just about everywhere with me now. You never know what you might happen across.

I will try to bring the blogs here into compliance with Firefox 1.5 this weekend. Although you can get it to work here, the comment box isnít sized properly and the links act strange when you click on them. Firefox 1.0.7 and IE6 both work fine here. Itís probably a CSS problem. I am a CSS idiot. My understanding of it is very vague. I used a stylesheet from a now-obsolete program called Visual Page and adjusted some of the colors and fonts until they pleased me. The blogs here could probably all use a makeover.

Quote of the Day
The Japanese planes came over and the bullets starting hitting the hull, and it made such a noise I knew I had to get the hell out.
Gilbert Meyer, USS Utah

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "This one might put me out on a limb, but I'm going to say that in 2006 we will see a marked reduction in customer data theft cases. Why, because it's on everyone's radar."

It is on everyone's radar but it will be a long time before every single employee affected by it understands it. -Rob

Pooh and clouds

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From USA Today: The Hundred Acre Wood will be adding a girl to their stories. I think it's wonderful although I donít think girls were having any problems connecting with them. Two other things about this article jumped out at me. The first is that Pooh is 80 years old. What?????? I had no idea. I grew up with him. I always assumed he grew up with me, too. I'm not 80. And, then, to drain the magic right out of the moment, some corporate bozo says this:

Pooh appears to be a robust brand that can handle expansion.

Check, please.

Some pictures I took yesterday morning in New Orleans:

Clouds.jpg

Clouds

Took these yesterday morning. I observed this on my way into work and hoped that it would remain like this until I got there. I know nothing about clouds and cannot tell you what could account for this but I thought it was neat.

Quote of the Day
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's pointless to point fingers at the current mayor of New Orleans or governor of Louisiana about the levees. While the track record of the local officials is once again bad (and I personally think many of them should be defeated at their next elections), the federal government has been in charge of the levees since 1928."

Titanic Waste

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From USA Today:

"The breakup and sinking of the Titanic has never been accurately depicted," Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian, said at a conference at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

I think I see a movie, a talk show, or maybe even a reality show in the works to add to the Titanic Catalogue. Titanic: The Real Story. Or maybe Next on Geraldo: The Titanic Vault. Or Luxury Liner Wars: Titanic vs Poseidon. I could do this for a living. The only thing that bothers me is that someone does make a living coming up with lame crap like that. Mostly Iím pissed that its him and not me.

Quote of the Day
It hit an iceberg and it sank. Get over it.
Robert Ballard, Undersea Explorer

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I got a real case of the Mondays. My level of hope is very low and feelings of anxiety are very high. I know this is an ungrateful view but I really want my old life back."

Last of the regular season

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Warning: Itís about fantasy football today because the regular season comes to an end in our league tonight. Fantasy football is a game Iíve been playing for 11 years now. Luck has always played a role but I like to delude myself think that I had as much to do with my winning seasons as I know I did with my losing seasons but this season is making it harder and harder for me to think that. My team has scored the least amount of points in its division this season. If people are not talking about the spectacular play of the Eagleís LJ Smith (One of my opponentís team needs a huge game out of Smith tonight to beat my team) tomorrow, my team will finish the regular season at 10-3 and win its division by four games. My team has clinched the second seed in the playoffs, a first round bye, and a share of the prize money. My team had the weekís second lowest point total twice this season but they won because we played the team that had the lowest point total. We won a game last week on a tiebreaker. In short, weíve been lucky. The team that gets hot/lucky in the playoffs wins the championship. Iíll take either.

Quote of the Day
I just signed my life away
The record companyís got to pay
Got to chase that billboard bullet
Nothin left but to go out and do it
Nazareth, Somebody to Roll

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My darling wife is a pretty good enforcer when it comes to keeping me from buying 50-lb. bags of Oreos or buckets full of Hersheyís Miniatures, so Iíve had to get creative."

A little more on Katrina

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Not too much in the way of images for this CrabAppleLane Sunday morning.

Playground

This would have been a cool playground for me when I was a kid. Balance beams and ramps galore. Kinda cool now since its my future neighborís property and I donít have to deal with it.

If you are reading this blog for the first time, this is a minuscule portion of Hurricane Katrinaís handiwork. The main damage north of Lake Pontchartrain is from the wind and the falling/snapping trees. Here at CrabAppleLane about 100 miles inland, she was still Category Four when she blew through. These areas are far ahead of New Orleans and St Bernard in their recovery. All of New Orleansí problems and St Bernardís problems stem from the levee failures. No one was prepared for that. The water didnít come over the levees in any significant way. It broke the levees and the water poured in and stayed in until it could be pumped out. If the levees donít break, the death count is much lower, no one gets stranded, the city is back on its feet in a week or two, half a million residents arenít scattered across the country, and this is not a political hot potato getting hotter by the day.

Life/Death

Pretty vine attached to a dead pine tree.

Calling all CSS/Firefox/Eudora experts: Upgraded Firefox to Version 1.5 and Eudora to Version 7 last night. Eudora has been giving me grief for a few weeks and that upgrade seems to have fixed the problems. The Firefox upgrade is causing me problems but only on the CrabAppleLane blogs. The left-click mouse function doesnít work properly on any link on the CrabAppleLane blogs. The stylesheets are similar on all of them so I suppose itís a problem here. If I click and hold the button down, I can move the curser up and click again and it works. If I right-click, I can open the link in a new window. I have no idea whatís causing this. It doesnít happen at other sites and it doesnít happen here in IE or the older version of Firefox I was using. Iíll keep tinkering and will go back to the old Firefox if I have to. I hate CSS problems. I am clueless about fixing them.

Quote of the Day
Seagulls sing your hearts away
Cause while the sinners sin, the children play
Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In other words, it confirms what many bloggers were saying from the outset - that the state and local response was seriously flawed, and that the state and local officials sought to spin their way out of the mess by blaming the federal government."

And vice versa. -Rob

December?

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Chipping Sparrows?

It is 72ļ outside today at CrabAppleLane and there is sunshine. What more can you ask for except for maybe a little less humidity? CrabAppleLaneís birds are into their southern migration. Lots of birds are passing through or spending the winter here. Robins from Minnesota should be here soon. I believe the images above to be of Chipping Sparrows on my feeder but I am horrible, horrible, horrible at identifying small, streaked brown birds. Not only are there several varieties of sparrows that are very similar to these but there are many other varieties of other birds, like Goldfinches and Indigo Buntings, whose females are brown and very similar to these. That dome-like thing below the feeder is a squirrel guard. It works for squirrels taking that route but raccoons just climb right over it. Squirrels climb on the tree that is about 6 feet away. With their backs to the feeder, they spring off of the tree and twirl around in the air before landing. I have squirrel-proof feeders and squirrel-resistant feeders but the birds prefer this open one to all of the others.

Quote of the Day
My brain is cloudy and my eyes are sore
I told myself I wouldn't drink no more
A bad hangover's something I can't stand
But here I am with a jug in my hand.
Foghat - Trouble, Trouble

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Itís really cold here in Minnesota. It should be cold this time of year. Itís the change of the season. I always marvel at the very real and very visceral experience of winter in Minnesota."

Bring Back New Orleans

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The anger is really starting to bubble up in New Orleans. The city will be rebuilt. The notion that it shouldnít be is ridiculous. Itís a 300yr old city. It belongs. A determination has to be made about the levees. That has to come from Washington and it has to come soon. For businesses and residents to come back, they need more than a ďWeíll study the problemĒ. Until a determination is made and announced, a substantial portion of the community is on hold. Most people don't like being put on hold for any length of time. Imagine your life completely on hold for three months.

I heard a colleague on the phone yesterday with someone and he used the term ďwind-driven rainĒ. People donít normally talk like that but the deal is this: If its wind-driven rain damage, its covered under his homeowners insurance and if its flood damage, its covered under his flood insurance. Water damage is water damage. Heíd have to pay another deductible if he let them classify it as flood damage so he has to be clear about what kind of water damage he has.

We watched part of the Oprah-Dave thing last night. Recorded the rest because it was late and I wanted to see Bonnie Raitt, too. I have no idea what the fuss was about but it sounded like fun.

Quote of the Day
Iíve been hearing for the past week you talking about it, and I didnít know if you were really serious or you were just doing your ĎDave thing.
Oprah Winfrey, Dave Letterman Show

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "And I wish I had a dollar for every time someone says mainstream on the web."

I'd take a nickel. -Rob

December is here

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I think this kind of science is a better use of limited NASA money than manned space missions but the ďNo bucks, no Buck RogersĒ sentiment is alive and well in America. These missions are cheaper and less dangerous but that means theyíre also less thrilling. The only way to keep the money flowing in is to have astronauts.

Normally, all eyes around here would be on the LSU-Georgia game this Saturday night. Katrina has scrambled the priorities.

I know quite a few people who have Blackberrys. This is going to make things interesting.

Quote of the Day
You want him brought to Jesus? Or brought to you?
Street Preacher, Johnny Mnemonic

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The DRM-1, successor to the DSM-IV, allows you to diagnose your mental diseases on your fridge, or any other magnetic surface at home. Not limited to actual diseases! Save on your trip to the psychiatrist! Nearly as accurate!"

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2005 is the previous archive.

January 2006 is the next archive.

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