January 2006 Archives

Flood Vehicles


From CNN:

Over four months after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, scam artists are already trying to pawn off flooded vehicles as your standard secondhand car, according to industry experts.

Something I know a little about. It took four months for this to surface and for someone to notice? Amateurs ALL. I donít think anyone could get a water-damaged or salvage vehicle or a vehicle thatís had substantial repairs past me. That said, I would still avoid a used vehicle of any kind for the foreseeable future. Iíve got news for everyone. These vehicles are already on the road. Their systems are almost certainly going to fail and weíll all be lucky if theyíre not going 75mph when it happens.

Quote of the Day
Suite Madame Blue
Gaze in your looking glass
You're not a child anymore
Styx, Suite Madame Blue

Blog of the day via Pitcherlady is here.

Quote from said blog: "I don't ususally take photos like this one. The range of focus could be a little tighter for my tastes, but I like the simple lines running through the photo. It is what it is..."

Long week ahead

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Two things about this morning: 1) I need to look at my referrer logs more often. You find the strangest things there. I had no idea because Iíve pretty much been ignoring them for most of CrabAppleLaneís existence. 2) Google is a wonderful and mysterious thing. It is one of the joys of the internet. I suppose CrabAppleLane should be humbled that people are finding their way here by Googling Harry Potter. I Googled it this morning and it turned up 221 million pages. All of the bloggers at CrabAppleLane are fans of his and there are a few entries on the CrabAppleLane Blogs that mention him. If youíre one of those wayward searchers, can you tell me how you did that? Did you turn every page or did you jump to some random number like Page 156,789,473? I just canít imagine how anyone got here by doing that.

Speaking of 221 million pages, this is Super Bowl Week and I am studiously avoiding all of them.

Quote of the Day
Been a long education
But my homework is done
Iím gonna Rock the Nation
Just wanna have fun
Montrose, Rock the Nation

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "From two sides even (thank you Glenda and Gareth). Be rude not to really, and as we all know, memes are better than whinging."

Interesting-looking blog. I'm linking to an entry of that same meme I got tagged with yesterday. I altered mine somewhat because I didn't have four answers to every category. -Rob

Sign of Four - Last meme for a while

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Twas Kim who done it.

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Father Goose
Local Hero
Pulp Fiction

Four Places I have Lived (Worldly, I know):
New Orleans, LA
Kenner, LA
Metairie, LA
Covington, LA

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
Gilmore Girls

Four Places I have been on Vacation:

New England
Hot Springs

Four Websites You Visit Daily:
Plugs and Dottles
Yay! Blog!
Ilyka Damen

Four Place I'd Like to Visit:
New Zealand

Four Albums I Cannot Live Without:
The Who - Quadrophenia
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Wishbone Ash - Live Dates 1973
Deep Purple - Made in Japan

Four Restaurants I want to go to again. Soon.
Ritaís Eaterie & Cantina - Nacogdoches, TX
Remingtonís - Boston, MA

Murielís - New Orleans, LA
La Riviera - Metairie, LA

Four people who have done this better than I:

Four People to tag:
Volunteers only

While perusing my referrer logs yesterday looking for those dastardly image stealers, I ran across an unusual entry. I entered the url into Firefox and came up with this site proving yet again what a spectacular place the internet can be. The site shows 5000 of 27000+ favicon.ico files collected from websites beginning with the letter C. This use of my images is quite alright with me. I have a rather cheesy favicon.ico here at CrabAppleLane. Itís just kind of a mushed version of the CrabAppleLane logo above. If you have a favicon.ico on your site, enter your websiteís letter, look for yours, and vote for it. I defy you to find it without narrowing down the search. I spent the better part of an hour looking around for mine. I had to narrow it down. What a cool idea.

Can you name it? I canít but Iíd probably disagree with two of the three assertions. I like the shot.

Some Sunday morning pictures from CrabAppleLane below.

Rose Petal and Oak Leaf on the CrabAppleLane Driveway

The rose petal, oak leaf, and concrete driveway have their own version of rock paper scissors.


One of CrabAppleLaneís lovely camellias basking in the sunlight this morning after an all-night rain.

Quote of the Day
Maybe I could be like Robin Hood
Like an outlaw dressed all in green
Someone said what's he gonna turn out like
And someone else said never mind
Deep Purple, No One Came

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I've had some pretty long debates with myself about the value and potential distractions if advertising were added to prolurker."

The Island

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We watched The Island last night on Pay-Per-View. This is not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. Ebert & Roeper described the first half of the film as a sci-fi parable and the second half as standard action adventure. Thatís fairly accurate. They both raved about the first half. I liked both halves. The film has a lot of issues and unanswered questions but I recommend you just ignore them and go for the ride. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are pretty good together. Steve Buscemi stole every scene he was in. Whatís new? Albert Laurent, the mercenary, played by Djimon Hounsou, was a surprisingly excellent element. Hounsou was a great choice for that role. He is new to me and he brought a fresh quality to that fairly standard part. I liked this film. As a movie, it works for me. As a platform to raise issues on topics in the news today, it doesnít. Iíd like to hear your take if youíve seen it.

Spoilers not allowed.

Something disturbed me about Ebertís review. The statement below:

The real world raises many of its citizens as spare parts; they are used as migratory workers, minimum-wage retail slaves, even suicide bombers.

I just donít even know where to start. Iíve worked for minimum wage. Who hasnít? I never considered myself a slave. Are you only a slave if you work for minimum wage in retail? What if you did grounds keeping at a golf course for minimum wage like I did one summer? The real world doesnít raise suicide bombers. A very narrow-minded, very specific portion of the population does that. The migratory worker issue is quite a bit more complicated than I care to go into here but I donít think classifying migratory workers as spare parts is even remotely accurate. Lumping the three together is absurd. Can anyone explain to me why I or anyone still reads his reviews? Heís obviously gone around the bend.

A little postseason music for you on this Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day
I have to go. He's taking a dump in a can!
Lincoln Six-Echo, The Island

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Maybe this will end the practical lessons we've been having on how dustbowls form. Unfortunately, our lawn has been the perfect laboratory."

A Friday few (January 27, 2006)

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Been a while since I linked one of my favorite newspapers: The New Zealand Herald. This one was too good not to. An up-market bordello named Whalers? Iím no businessman but Iím not sure thatís the image you want to conjure.

I have mixed feelings about this. Thereís a ton of work to be done in the Greater New Orleans area. We donít have nearly enough people back to do all of it. Theyíre here and theyíre working. Theyíre living in their cars and in tents under overpasses. The work needs to get done and they are willing AND able to do it. The Latinos working where I am are extraordinarily industrious. On the other hand, theyíre living in their cars and in tents under overpasses.

Chicago or New York? I guess itís a lively debate if you live in one of those cities. To me, theyíre nice places to visit. I prefer living in the country, though.

Quote of the Day
And the seasons
They go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Except he couldnít spell. He kept referring to the Feta and Hummus parties.
Now all I can think about is lunch.

Was surfing around here and elsewhere yesterday morning and ended up on one of my favorite blogs older entries from September. That person is using Movable Type 2.65 and the entry was loaded to the brim with comment and trackback spam. I later went to another site using the same version. Out of curiosity, I looked at a random entry from a few months ago. Ton of spam there, too. I remember those days and the constant maintenance, especially in the morning when the spammers had free reign overnight. Two words to those people still using that version of Movable Type. Upgrade now. That goes doubly for those who have high profile, well read blogs. One of the great things about Movable Type 3.2 is its relentless built-in spam filtering. Iím dealing with one or two spam comments or trackbacks per month instead of several hundred per day/week.

Andrea has some nice photos up. I love photos of cemeteries.

Quote of the Day
Then came the mines - then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Dire Straits, Telegraph Road

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Also, why is livejournal the source of all things evil and corrupting?"

Idjits in Seattle

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I donít know where this ranks in the pantheon of stupid things that some people ask others to do but itís got to be way up there. The good pastor is asking his flock to buy one or two shares each and then

All of us get together on the same day and sell our stock, just run it in the ground. The only way you can deal with these companies is affect their stock.

Heís talking about Microsoft. If his flock included the entire state of Washington, that move would be swallowed whole in the dayís trading. Absolutely no one would notice. Besides, asking them to buy one or two shares each is guaranteeing they will all lose money even if they bought them through the lowest-priced brokers. Idjit.

Quote of the Day
The big guys, they won't touch that with somebody's else 10-foot pole, let alone their own
Hans Olsen, Bingham Legg Advisers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Whoís in the film? Who wrote it? Directed it? Does it have a distribution deal? These are the kinds of questions its blog entries answer in a concise and witty fashion."

Tuesday Tidbits

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Scrubs is airing their 100th episode tonight. I like Scrubs. I havenít made the effort to watch it regularly but I know Iíve seen a good many of their episodes while I was eating supper. I had no idea they had been on this long. Itís always good for laughs and maybe a thought. Tonightís episode is an homage to The Wizard of Oz. Iím there.

I saw about 5 minutes of the CSI: Miami episode last night. Just long enough to catch one of the characters utter this gem: Bloggers like to hide messages in the text of their entries. Weíre out now. Just remember that the next time one of my incoherent entries baffles you. I was hiding a message.

Hereís a take I hadnít seen on the worldís oldest profession. I guess I should get this link up before it goes away. I read the article a few days ago. This quote intrigued me:

Iím a hobbyist, and I was getting ripped off

If you consider yourself a hobbyist instead of a john, I think youíre inviting the ripoff.

Further down, I caught this little unintentional juxtaposition:

If nothing else, Few and many escorts say, the success of The Erotic Review and Big Doggie demonstrate that prostitution can be a respectable business.

Few and many? Iím sometimes easily amused.

And, finally, if youíve read this far, thereís this:

When reviewing world events during the 20th century, it is worth reflecting on the almost unnoticed death of a very important person. In 1996, Larry LaPrise, the man that wrote "The Hokey Pokey" died peacefully at the age of 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.

Shut up. You know it's funny.

Quote of the Day
Why so unforgiving
And why so cold
Been a long time crossing
Bridge of Sighs
Robin Trower, Bridge of Sighs

Blog of the day here.

Quote (Dogku Entry) from said blog: "Sleeping here, my cheek on your chestóno greater blissówell, except pooping"

Super Bowl XL

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Add the Seattle Seahawks to the long list of cities and teams who will get to a Super Bowl before the New Orleans Saints. This one is particularly painful because they came into the league after the Saints. This leaves the Saints, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts as the teams who havenít made it to the big dance. The Colts have been twice but they were in Baltimore then so their Indianapolis fans are still waiting. The Browns and Lions both enjoyed championships before there were Super Bowls but the Steelers waited 40 years before tasting their first championship. The Saints are approaching 40. Weíll beat the Steelers record for futility. I just hope we can enjoy even some of their post-futility success.

The hype has begun. The MSNBC.COM headline exclaimed

Super Bowl XL could be best ever

Could be? Could be? Couldnít you say that every year? I donít know how I can avoid the onslaught of Super Bowl XL silliness. I can stay away from the TV but the computer is surely no refuge. I like the matchup, too, but I hope I donít say anything quite as silly as ďcould beĒ in the next two weeks. The Seahawks surprised me yesterday with their very solid performance. I was not sold on them two weeks ago but I am now. Hard to go against them in XL. The Seahawks will take home the trophy. Sorry, Andrea.

Quote of the Day
I have a dinner reservation tonight, and I've got to round up all my women in my life. They're waiting for me, and then I'll think about Pittsburgh tomorrow.
Mike Holmgren, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Gary Kremen might want to make a donation to the Farm to thank his alma-mater for giving him the know-how to buy and sell desirable porno names."

I watched Romper Stomper last night. I had bought this DVD a few weeks ago but couldn't find the time to watch it. It put me to sleep once. This is not Patsy's kind of movie so I watched it by myself. The first films I saw with Russell Crowe in them were Virtuosity and then L.A. Confidential. Crowe was excellent in both of these films (Side note: Of the two leads in L.A. Confidential, I think Guy Pearce was even better) but this is his breakout role, Iím told. Romper Stomper follows the pathetic lives of some Australian skinheads and when I say pathetic, I may be understating. I didnít find that Crowe stood out here. He had top billing although all things Iíve read about this film describe him as ďthen unknownĒ. I found that all of the performances were pretty good although I found the story more sad than powerful. These were mostly worthless people. The only character I thought might have had redeeming qualities was Davey, played by Daniel Pollock. In real life, though, he was screwed up big time and I'm a bit sad about that. From his bio:

After being romantically involved with Romper Stomper (1992) co-star 'Jaquline McKenzie', Pollock (a heroin addict) threw himself under a train after filming was finished. Co-star Russell Crowe and his band (Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts) wrote a song about Pollock's suicide called "The Night That Davey Hit the Train,".

Another overcast and dreary day here at CrabAppleLane.


OK, show of hands. How many people have turkeys roosting under their trucks?


The azaleas are coming! The azaleas are coming! With everything dormant and bleak around here, theyíre a welcome sight.

Quote of the Day
We came to wreck everything, and ruin your life. God sent us.
Sonny Jim, Romper Stomper

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I know what youíre thinking - this must be another of Australiaís surfie spy corp blowing his cover - but the truth is sometimes better even than the best paranoid conspiracy theoryÖ"

A Saturday Evening Post

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Some overcast, late evening, very amateur photography from the subdivision across the street from CrabAppleLane known as Whippoorwill Grove.


The bottom of this lake is almost dry. There are four or five of these pools in the lake and a sandpiper in every one enjoying the easy meals.

A little irony

A backyard fire going on just beyond the firehouse (Smoke barely visible between the utility pole and the firehouse just above the shrubs). In fairness, they probably can't see the sign from their vantage. I don't think the authorities would buy that, though.

We walked into a restaurant in Mandeville that I wanted to try. It's been advertising on the radio quite a bit. We were greeted at the door and seated promptly with menus. We were then thoroughly ignored for 20 minutes. No one came to our table at all. Rather than complain, we walked out and went somewhere else. That was ignored, too. Most restaurants are understaffed and busy right now and I was willing to make concessions for that. I'm afraid that didn't seem to be the case here. I don't know whether to send them a note of outrage or thanks because the place we went to gave us an outstanding meal and very good service.

The Terminal


We watched The Terminal last night. This is Tom Hanks at his best. Heís believable throughout the film even though the situations are not particularly believable. The movie is a bit too long but it has quite a few fun moments. Hanks is in just about every scene and that may be the only reason to watch it. This is a film where I was rooting for the happy ending but I suppose the bittersweet one it delivered was fair, too. I have something to say about one moment that Iíll put in the extended entry for those who havenít see the film but want to. I surely recommend seeing it.

Congratulations to the Lowrys from CrabAppleLane. Margi is a regular contributor here and she just had a baby boy.

Quote of the Day
You better be careful. You know those flight attendents ain't like regular women, Viktor. They're flying back and forth between all those time-zones kinda messes with their biological clock or something. always ready for sex. Why do you think they can't stop smiling?
Joe Mulroy, The Terminal

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "We have a cat here that fails to understand the purpose of catnip."

I like the road warriors to advance in this weekís NFL playoffs, Steelers and Panthers. Itís because of the two Jakes. Jake Delhomme is a big game player. Jake Plummer isnít. The Seahawks have no answer for Steve Smith. In this day and age of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, I am happy to see a guy like Steve Smith do well.

The big, thick, Frankenstein-like stitches in my elbow were removed yesterday and some additional blood was drained. The 7.2cm diameter bursa that was removed tested negative for cancer and whatever else they test for. My left elbow should be as bony as my right in no time.

I noticed something in my logs the other day in my zeal to prevent hotlinking. They were only linking to three images here. I changed the file names and replaced the images with something I donít mind the other sites seeing: The CrabAppleLane logo.

Click Here for CrabAppleLane

This uses up almost zero bandwidth. I suspect some of their users are here scratching their heads this very minute.

Supposed to have fog in the area this morning so Iím leaving a bit earlier than usual. Currently, itís 55ļ outside at CrabAppleLane with 88% humidity.

Besides fog, the warm and damp winter weather here is producing another one of the joys of living in the south: Mosquitoes. They're floating around in the house and in my truck now.

CrabAppleLaneís host server was down from 5PM yesterday until sometime after 10:15 or so when I turned off the computer. No idea what happened but I donít think anything was lost.

And, now, I leave to pick up a king cake for work. One just like this without the beads, doubloons, and cups. It will be the first one of these Iíve had this year. Another reason Iím leaving a bit earlier this morning.

Quote of the Day
It was melt-in-your mouth good! The filling was raspberry and cream cheese. Yum!!
Kim Novak

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A horde of pigeons (rats with wings) suddenly descended from the trees and started pacing back and forth in front of me, assuming that I had reached into my pocket for something to feed them."

Chocolate City

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This from Chris Rose of the New Orleans Times-Picayune about Mayor Naginís Chocolate City speech gave me a laugh as did this one from Lolis Eric Elie. I don't think subscription is required to access either one. That speech is bound to get him into the Hall of Fame. The mayor apologized the next day but I think the speech will live forever. Itís sorta like a 72pt headline on Page 1 of the newspaper retracted in 10pt on page 16 below the fold a few days later. He plays better at home than he does nationally. Well, he did until he made that speech. Stick a fork in him. He's done.

Speaking of attempts at public rehabilitation, we have ex-FEMA director, Michael Brown. Not sure what the goal is with those statements, though. Can't imagine anyone hiring him because he has a clue about crisis management.

In better New Orleans news, the Saints hired Sean Payton as head coach. Time will tell if it was a good choice but I like the selection. I prefer young guys with ideas to former head coaching retreads.

Quote of the Day
So what, he couldn't have just said chocolate marshmallow?
Stephanie Grace, Times-Picayune

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "San Francisco offers a wealth of differing architectures that span the incredible history of the city - I could not set foot there with a camera and NOT satisfy my fascination with bits of buildings."

Luck of the Irish

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What little I know of my ancestry follows. My mother is of Irish descent as were both of her parents. My dad was descended from Italians and many others. His dad was of Italian descent. His mother was the wildcard descended from many nationalities. That pretty much sums up what I know. Although I kind of like history and genealogy, my own has never been of much concern to me. The reason I got curious yesterday comes courtesy of this MSNBC article that says 3 million men are descended from one Irish king (Damn those people who can blog during the day). I donít think my ancestry on my motherís side has ever been traced back as far as the fifth century and I doubt it even could be. Still, one wonders if heís not descended from royalty. Not enough to pay for DNA testing, mind you. Iíve sliced and diced myself enough in my 48 years to know thereís no blue blood here. The best I could do was maroon when I stepped on that rusty nail about 40 years ago.

Quote of the Day
Weíre the first generation on the planet where if youíre successful you donít (always) have more children.
Dan Bradley, Trinity College Dublin

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "After I resolved the chemical mixture and fuel composition problems and started drafting the aerodynamics of our spacecraft I asked him what he was working on."


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I have two sites consistently hotlinking to me: xanga.com and myspace.com. If you post pictures or graphics, you are undoubtedly having this problem with these two sites, too. I noticed one of them a while back when I had a bit of a spike in bandwidth use and discovered that xanga actually promotes the practice. Iím not really close to my bandwidth limit but I just donít care for this. The users at both sites appear to be mostly teenagers and internet novices. They do this because theyíve been told its ok or they think everything on the internet is theirs for the taking. Iíve tried a few things to prevent it and my host is still trying a few things but our efforts have so far been futile. We're still working on it so things may get wonky around here with permission errors from time to time.

Quote of the Day
I was going to order a drink, but now Iíd feel cheap.
Margherita Fox

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Of course, my teenage component is fascinated with anything that screams into the atmosphere at 29,000mph (8mps) and can survive the sort of decelerations involved."

The Big Sleep

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Patsy and I watched The Big Sleep yesterday afternoon. I have TiVo set up to search for movies/shows based on various keywords. One of the keywords is Bogart. Kemís take on this movie. He mentions all of the ladies in this film who throw themselves at Bogart. That is surely part of the fun to be had. My fave is Dorothy Malone in the Acme bookstore. Come on. The Acme Bookstore? How can you not smile at that? I think Kem and I are in some agreement on this. The film is classic noir. Itís almost all style with a little bit of bewildering substance thrown in but itís a hoot of a movie because Bogart is in just about every scene. OK, there's a lot of bewildering substance. Spoiler alert: Why did Marlowe do nothing while Harry was forced to drink the poison? Why did Harry drink it? He obviously didnít trust the guy who gave it to him. Just about everyone in the film should go to jail, including Bogieís Marlowe, who tampered with evidence at a murder scene. Still, I highly recommend it. I had seen the Robert Mitchum version of this film a long time ago. I remember liking it but I donít remember much about it. I won't have that trouble with this version. It's a blast. I think I might watch it again this upcoming weekend.

Quote of the Day
If a guy's playing a hand, I let him play it. I'm no kibitzer.
Harry Jones, The Big Sleep

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I guess it takes me about 30 minutes to move the computers around and sort out the heap of crap that the previous occupants had left, but finally I now have the ability to put stuff where I want and make phone calls without leaping across the room everytime the darn thing rings."

I relate to this as our office is being rebuilt. -Rob

Some things Iíve been pondering this CrabAppleLane Sunday morning:

1) Cliques donít work for me. I invariably zig when I should zag and the whole world comes to an end. I canít handle the responsibility.

2) I prefer my eggs grated in my egg salad as opposed to chopped.

3) I love so many different kinds of music and movies that I donít think anyone can say with any confidence or accuracy that I would like or dislike something.

4) The many, many cardinals at CrabAppleLane are all spectacular and Iíll someday capture that on pixel dust. There wasnít enough light to do it this morning although I kinda like the one I got. Cardinals will always be my favorite birds.

5) Wondering what I might do if I drove the 25 miles or so to Pearl River for a Hubigís Pineapple Pie and the person in front of me grabbed the last one.

6) Although their season is over, we have surely not heard the last of the New England Patriots.

7) I always considered it a mild insult whenever someone called me a turkey. Having watched CrabAppleLaneís two idiotic turkeys for the last four months, I donít consider it a mild insult now. Itís way up there in the four letter category.

8) I am a turkey when it comes to .htaccess files at CrabAppleLane.

9) I love when the only message someone leaves on my machine is to call them and when I call them they ask me what it was about. Turkeys.

10) I may have to take a day off and try a Messier Marathon sometime in March. It's been a while since the last time.

Todayís picture from CrabAppleLane below.

Cardinal in a pear tree

This guy posed for me all morning. He showed great patience with my ineptitude.

Quote of the Day
It was like having someone take your Jim Brown throwback jersey and giving you a Jeff Garcia giveaway T-shirt in return.
Jim Caple, ESPN

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Holy cow, look at that! You want an explanation of what youíre looking at? You know the drill: sit back, relax, and have a listen."

Second Entry (January 14, 2006)

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This second entry today inspired by Marie and The Allman Brothers.

The road and the big sky

The road goes on forever. Taken a little while ago near CrabAppleLane.

Crocodile wood

This piece of wood resembled a crocodile head in my mind. When I asked for help with a caption, Patsy gave me her patented "What?" look. I took that to mean the resemblance isn't there.

It is a gorgeous day here at CrabAppleLane and this house cannot contain me. Iíll be on the bike in a minute or so and maybe on the chainsaw later but I am surely not going to waste sunshine, blue skies, and temps & humidity each in the 40s. Maybe dinner, coffee, and live music later. I leave you with pictures that doesn't do the day justice. Have a day on me!

Web of Pine Needles

This web was spun by pine trees.

Bradford leaves

Last of the Bradford Pear leaves. Next thing you know, winter will be here.

Quote of the Day
I wonder how long before film cameras are no longer readily available? Aside from disposable cameras, there seems to be little need for anyone to use film.
Kem White, Plugs and Dottles

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But 'Rob'? There should be thousands of dudes named 'Rob' posting all the time."

Hubig's Pies

So I stopped at the Pearl River Shell station to fill up last night. There was a welcome sight on one of their shelves that has been empty for several months: Hubigís Pies. They've been talked about from as far away as Pensacola. These are a New Orleans institution and Iíve been missing them since Hurricane Katrina damaged their bakery. Theyíre back in production now although the first place I tried earlier this week was sold out. I grew up on these. Theyíre sold everywhere in the Greater New Orleans area. Iíve even seen them at hardware stores. Theyíre delicious and they really knock the edge off if youíre hungry. I started on their apple pies as a kid but in my search for one at some store, I came across the last pie on their shelf. It was a pineapple pie just like the ones you see pictured above. The buying public really did save the best for last. That pie converted me to pineapple and that is all I buy now. I was so astounded to find five of them on that shelf at the Shell station last night that I bought all of them. Iíve never seen five pineapple pies on the shelves. Theyíre usually loaded down with apples and lemons. Some might note there are only three pies in that picture. Iím not sure what happened to the other two. They disappeared somewhere between Pearl River and CrabAppleLane.

For all my wailing yesterday on those who donít get it about post Katrina New Orleans, I stumble across this article in the Wall Street Journal via it comes in pints by someone who does. Thatís about as adequate a summary as you might see in one page. To understand our situation, you have to know more than just how New Orleans looked before the hurricane and how it looks now. You have to know how it was before the hurricane and how it is now. Seeing Hubigís Pies back on the shelf was a small victory in my mind.

Quote of the Day
When I was 24, I came to New Orleans to start a business and a family. I stayed for eight happy years. If I were 24 again, I would be packing my bags for New Orleans to be on the ground floor of a modern renaissance. Katrina was a tragedy, but its aftermath presents the most exciting urban opportunity since San Francisco in 1906. Pioneers, please apply.
James K. Glassman, American Enterprise Institute

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Or to put another way, the story of how I met Richelle. And it's not romantic. It's crazy and makes me sound like a punk. But it *is* our story."

Other related links between CrabAppleLane Blog and paradoxix. -Rob

New Orleans meetings


The headline on the main MSNBC page says/said ďAnger greets New Orleans planĒ but clicking on the link says ďSome residents angry over New Orleans planĒ. The old bait and switch. No matter. These meetings about the future of our beloved city figured to be lively and even contentious. There are a lot of competing visions and the process is going to take some time and there will be quite a bit of disagreement. The various pundits in the blogosphere (I still hate this word) have fearlessly stepped up to make fun of it, to say New Orleans hasnít got their act together, yada, yada, yada. They must live in a small world. I doubt Iíve ever been at a dinner table of four or more people where everyone agreed on much. What a ridiculously difficult thing it is to expect a fairly large population to present a ďunified voiceĒ on a project of this magnitude. To add to that degree of difficulty, itís going to get done with participation from and in full view of the public. One other thing about those who only know about post-Katrina New Orleans from newspapers, television, and the internet: They only have about a 5% grasp of the situation. Donít listen to them.

Quote of the Day
The destruction down there looks like it just happened yesterday. It's easy for people outside the region to forget the challenges they still face.
Trent Duffy, White House spokesman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Want to blog? Take a class!"

About Anonymity

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About anonymous blog commenting: I came across this entry at Disarranging Mine. I made a bit of a crack about spammers there but I wonder if some of the interpretations Iíve seen since are correct. From Disarranging Mine, I went to Concurring Opinions, where you will see a lot of opinions on this matter that do anything but concur. Iím going to use the same quote Iíve seen at both of those blogs:

Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Could this apply to blogs? What about newsgroups, email, online forums and BBSís? Is this enforceable? What if my anonymous annoying commenter lives in The Netherlands, Australia or Canada? For what its worth, some of the comments here that I cherish come from people who do not use their real name. With very few exceptions, none of my commenters use their whole name. Would that qualify as not disclosing your identity?

Iím not a lawyer and can not say what the intent or the repercussions of this law are except to say this: All comments here are safe from prosecution under that law if that law is dependant on me filing charges. If youíre an annoying spammer, I will delete your comments and use other means to try to keep your messages off of this and all of the other CrabAppleLane blogs. If you attack any of the bloggers at CrabAppleLane or anyone who comments at any of the CrabAppleLane blogs, you will be banned and your comments will be deleted. If youíre really annoying, I may tip off a prosecutor. Anonymously, of course.

Quote of the Day
They all said 2005 was the year they were going to take on the iPod and bury us.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Thereís a beauty to these last two searches, so stripped down to the essentials. Thereís just nothing but the nude Aniston Ė no surplussage, no wasted verbosity. It represents the mastery of the search, done with a magnificent efficiency, the product of minds capable of thought so direct and unencumbered that it is graceful and elegant."

The New England Patriots looked very strong Saturday and it looks like they are very capable of defending their Super Bowl title. I donít think the Broncos can beat them even in Denver. It will be up to the Colts if they can get past the tough Steelers. I like the Patriots chances of winning the Super Bowl yet again. A little gushing follows. If Iím in charge of the Saints or any of the other NFL teams that are looking for a head coach and a change of direction, Iím raiding the Patriots coaching staff and front office. No need to raid the players. There really aren't that many players of note on that team and there arenít any superstars except for Tom Brady. Theyíre not going to let you near Brady. My plan is not guaranteed success but the Patriots have learned how to win consistently without creating chaos in the locker room or in the news and without a plethora of future Hall-Of-Famers. Their office and coaching personnel have gained invaluable experience just being around it. Iíd be a shameless copycat.

You can talk about the great runs in sports history. The Yankees in baseball, the Celtics and Lakers in basketball, the Packers, Steelers, 49ers, and Cowboys in football, and the Canadiens in hockey all had one thing in common. They all had great players out the wazoo and overwhelmed their rivals with talent. The Patriots are doing it with mostly journeymen players. Add the Patriots current run to that list of great runs........................but put them at the very top.

Sorry to hear about Jack Snow. Snow was one of the players I grew up watching in the 60s and early 70s. I liked the Rams back before New Orleans had a team. Snow played in the greatest wide receiver era. His contemporaries were Lance Alworth, Don Maynard, Ray Berry, Fred Biletnikoff*, and Oits Taylor. Wide receivers in todayís NFL game are usually fast but they donít catch very well. The primary responsibility of a wide receiver is to receive. I miss those guys. RIP, Jack.

* I hesitated mentioning Biletnikoff because he was a ďstickumĒ user. Stickum has since been banned by the NFL, mainly because of another Raider player, Lester Hayes, who just about covered himself in it. I'm surprised Hayes could even get up off the bench.

Quote of the Day
the [Levitra] ads shifted from men's health to a performance, lifestyle issue. The change in advertising strategy made the NFL uncomfortable.
Brian McCarthy, NFL Spokesman

Blog of the day via Sheila is here.

Quote from said blog: "Out of curiosity, I googled "knitted brain," not really expecting to find anything.Ē

To cap off the movie-watching weekend here at CrabAppleLane, we watched Starman last night. We had both seen this movie a few times each but not recently. It's amazing to me how much of it I had forgotten. I picked this one up out of what used to be Walmartís ď2 for $11Ē bin. Theyíre $5.50 each now and you donít have to buy two any more. I did anyway. The other one, Romper Stomper, is on tap for this weekend. About Starman: Itís a bit of a sci-fi flick filmed in 1984 and it is still technically flawless. Maybe itís because the film maker, John Carpenter, didnít dwell on the special effects. The one truly spectacular special effect filmed is the one depicted in the graphic and I thought it got the job done. John Carpenter is hit or miss with me. His movies arenít as cheesy and low budget as Roger Cormanís but they always seem to remind me of Cormanís movies. Starman is easily the best one of his that Iíve seen. Highly recommended.

It was sickening to see Carson Palmer go down yesterday. He had a breakout season this year and he is a rising star in the NFL. I like him. Although I donít think for a moment that he was intentionally injured, his career is definitely in jeopardy. That kind of knee injury takes a physical toll, for sure, but it also takes an even bigger mental one. Heís got a tough road ahead. Good Luck on a speedy and full recovery, Carson.

OK, Vince Young declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft yesterday. Iím now crazy nervous. Although I donít think Matt Leinert of USC or Vince Young are worthy of that second pick, the Saints will surely take one of them if Houston takes Reggie Bush. I prefer Leinert to Young but Iíd rather see the Saints make a deal and trade down for players and/or extra draft picks for their second pick.

Quote of the Day
I know it's going to be a long road back, but it's a long way until the next training camp.
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals QB

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Damn, I wish I had a Big Kahuna burger."

Itís been a movie-watching couple of days at CrabAppleLane. With a 4in gash in my elbow held together with thick, black, ugly stitches, I thought it prudent to be lazy this weekend. Iíll get on the bike this afternoon so I wonít feel like a total couch potato. I'd be a world class couch potato if I didn't force myself outside on the weekends.

We watched Steven Spielbergís War of the Worlds last night on Pay Per View. I am a big fan of Steven Spielberg and am becoming a big fan of Dakota Fanning. The last thing I expected was a disappointing movie and an awful waste of time. It was technically brilliant as all of Spielbergís movies are but there was no soul to this film whatsoever. You saw the aliens about 15 minutes in. You saw their capabilities and their intent for the rest of the movie through the eyes of an average and pretty unlikeable Joe (Tom Cruise). The solution came in the last few minutes with a thoroughly inadequate explanation. If you hadnít known the story, this movie didnít tell you how humans won the war. Truth be told, this story is so much better on radio. Find the original Orson Welles broadcast or even one of its many remakes and listen to it in the dark. CBS Radio used to have a midnight storytelling show many years ago. Thatís when I first heard it and thatís the best way to experience War of the Worlds.

Speaking of listening to radio in the dark, does anyone still do that? I donít but some of my fondest memories are of listening to Astros or Cardinals baseball games, LSU or Tulane football games, listening to the King Biscuit Flower Hour, or listening to the aforementioned CBS Midnight mystery whatever-it-was on a transistor radio with an earphone in my bedroom in the dark. Later, I used my headphones on my first stereo.

Earlier, we gave the original Mr and Mrs Smith a try. I fell asleep during this dreary and ridiculous movie at least twice. Iím really not a big "old movie" fan. I like some but I find most a little too contrived. When I canít get past that, I start noticing technical shortcomings that most old movies are inundated with. Iím not talking about the black and white part. That doesnít bother me in the least. Iím talking about any driving sequence when you can easily tell that a movie is going on behind the subject or any big outdoor scene when its fairly obvious the subjects arenít outdoors or the bloodless gunshot killings. Only if the movie is good can I get past all of that. What intrigued me about this one and what made me want to record it was that it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. There was a chance that it was going to be good. He is infinitely better at stylish murder mysteries than he is at madcap romantic comedies although this may not be a good example. Iím not sure he had much to work with here. Way too contrived and not nearly funny enough to keep me from getting distracted.

Some pictures from CrabAppleLane taken on this gorgeous (Sunshine, breezy, and 65ļ) Sunday morning:


This feeder is designed for smaller birds like Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Chipping Sparrows, Goldfinches, and Indigo Buntings. Patsy fills the three cylinders with millet, black oil sunflower, and thistle. The smaller birds have learned to grab a sunflower seed, fly off to a nearby branch, and pound it against that branch until its open. The ones that havenít learned or donít care to just push the sunflowers aside until they fall into the tray. The Cardinals pick them out there. The dome on top is tilted and held on by a rope because the squirrels and raccoons dropped down out of the tree onto it until it finally broke. As a moving and unsteady landing surface, it is now more effective but some squirrels still manage to get to the seed.


The Red Bellied Woodpeckers have a different technique. They land with a thud and pick out the sunflower directly from the feeder. They have a very diverse diet. They eat all manner of insects along with seeds and fruit. Having them and several other varieties of woodpeckers around is a treat.


Our 12yr old first cat, Casey, is lazing out at the front living room window today. Life is hard.

Quote of the Day
When I leave there's no return
The people laughed till she said, "Burn!"
Deep Purple, Burn

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It is misty and chilly up here and I can't stop thinking about how fabulous it would be to get my paws on a steamy cup of coffee or hot chocolate."

Football and more

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I have some trepidation about the Texas Longhornsí Vince Young possibly declaring himself eligible for the NFL Draft. I like the notion if Houston is serious about drafting him with their first pick. I hate the notion if theyíre not. The reason being the Saints have the next pick and they need a quarterback. They may decide heís worthy of that pick. Set aside all his heroics in the Rose Bowl on National TV in the BCS Championship Game. You will never get me to dispute any of that. He was way too much for USC but heís not an NFL quarterback. Some team will give him the chance to prove me wrong but I hope it isnít the Saints. I have zero confidence that it wonít be, though. Someone on the local sports radio talk show the other night said ďhis mechanics are terribleĒ. I never saw him play before the Rose Bowl but that jumped off the TV at me, too. He throws from his shoulder. In the NFL, most of those passes will be batted down at the line of scrimmage. An NFL team canít take on a project of that magnitude with a second overall pick. Iím not sure you can ever ďunteachĒ bad mechanics once theyíve gotten this far but it will take a long time if its at all possible. All heíll do is occupy a roster spot and a lot of salary cap for a few years. That said, I surely like the way he plays and I wish him well. He makes good decisions very quickly. If we could take his head and put it on Aaron Brooks...................................

is having a little fun with this.

Blogging delivered?

The bridge I used to take to work every morning re-opened yesterday. How they got it done in four months is both a miracle and troubling. Boh Brothers got a big bonus for finishing ahead of schedule. A cynic might say that big incentive almost always equals big effort but I'm not a cynic. I'll give it a go on Monday. If there are any missing bolts, I'm hoping they'll be discovered over the weekend.

As anyone who comes here now and again knows, I love sunrises and sunsets. Some day, I hope to capture one like this.

A glance at the thermometers this morning on Our Family Blog had CrabAppleLane in Bush at 25ļ, Minneapolis at 27ļ, Stockholm, WI at 27ļ, and Lawrenceville, GA at 30ļ. Maybe we should consider doing our ďwinteringĒ at one of those milder northern climes.

Quote of the Day
Dave E, Fish Fear Me

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My current plan of waiting for something better to happen or come along isn't working."

Friday Stuff (1-6-06)


Was reading a camera review for my cousinís new Christmas digital camera. OK, who, besides me, didnít get a new digital camera this Christmas? Anyway, I decided to see what they had to say about my camera. Most of this fairly technical review sailed right over my head but one point stuck with me.

Disappointing battery life - camera bug?

Wrong. If that indeed was a bug, it has been fixed. The life of my cameraís battery has been the most pleasant surprise of all. It comes with a charger that you plug into any outlet. If I charge it overnight, I can shoot pictures all day, with or without the LED screen and at high resolution. I always use the highest resolution. Never know when I might accidentally take a cool picture. If you're in the market for a digital camera, particularly if you're upgrading your current one, battery consumption is a big, big issue. Our first digital ate 4-AA batteries in 15 minutes that Christmas a few years ago. I was certainly looking for improvement in that area. Good thing I didn't read this review. This was similar to a Consumer Reports review and it again reminded me why I don't care for Consumer Reports. Reviews are OK up to a point but you're likely to get confusing, conflicting, and inaccurate information if you consult more than one source. Who do you trust? Making an informed decision is more difficult than ever in this information age. I don't think that was the goal.

Pitcherlady's search for the baby. I wouldn't be too concerned about that, Pitcherlady. King Cake babies always disappear. That tradition is almost as old as the King Cakes, themselves.

Someone told her there were plenty of fish left in the sea. I'm sure some of you have better jokes off the top of your head. Please share.

The possibilities are endless. Dummy houses? I wonder how many people knocked on those doors. How many pizzas and magazines delivered? Via The Daily Irrelevant.

Quote of the Day
But I do wonder where this ramped-up, amped-up, endless telethon of suffering and strife is taking us. Iím not suggesting we forsake technology and return to the primordial ooze, mind you - but what effect does all this team smotherage have on the collective psyche?

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My feet hurt again, today. I must have stepped on them too hard."

The day after

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I had surgery yesterday to remove a bit of a bulge I had on my left elbow. Iíve talked about it here on occasion. It didnít hurt but it was a tad unsightly. To me, anyway. Most people never saw it until I pointed it out. In fact, the nurse who prepped me yesterday didnít see it and she knew which elbow was going to be operated on. The bulge was caused by blood which was the result of an injury to my elbow. I donít remember injuring my elbow but thatís not uncommon for me. Unless it stops me from what Iím doing, I donít remember minor injuries. The orthopaedic surgeon drained it and gave me a shot of cortisone once but it came back in a few weeks. When he saw it the second time, he said I could live with it or he could perform a minor surgery. Just a small incision with ďa little novocaineĒ is what he said. I took that to mean Iíd be sitting in a chair looking away as he sliced open my elbow. It was a little more involved than that. He used general anaesthesia on me and ďa little novocaineĒ on my elbow. Anyway, Iím told it went well. I have a pressure bandage on my arm thatís making that arm feel very heavy and I have some restriction of motion but I feel fine. I hope it worked. Among the many waivers you sign before surgery is one that says the surgery may not achieve the desired results.

I finished The Da Vinci Code yesterday morning. I decided to read it because the uproar over the movie had me curious. I knew it was a hot title because just about everyone I knew had read it or was reading it. 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 now know what the uproar is about but, itís still just a book and itís still just a movie. I will absolutely go see the movie. The thing I learned and everyone else should have learned about novels way back in grammar school is that they are not at all obligated to stick to the truth. Besides, Iíve read books that were much more unflattering to the Catholic Church, particularly the Vatican, than this one. Opus Dei decided to sell a few more copies of The Da Vinci Code by putting out a web page about it. Don't click on the link if you haven't read the book but intend to. Reverend Canon Doctor Michael West of the Lincoln Cathedral (Where some of the movie filming will be done) said, "It's a good yarn, but historically, it's nonsense.". That one line was more effective than that entire Opus Dei web page. The Da Vinci Code was a fun read. I recommended it to the only other person in America who hadnít read it; my wife, Patsy. I think a movie matinee is in store down the road, too.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool is over. One of the winners is one of my favorite bloggers.

Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns - College Football National Champions

For those who don't know, the Longhorns are also the College Baseball National Champions. Pretty good year they're having in Austin.

Quote of the Day
The quarterback ran all over the place
Pete Carroll, USC Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Steak salad is one of my favorite things to make with leftover steak. At a minimum it is simply slices of steak over salad greens with your preferred salad dressing."

I've never heard of steak salad. It sounds great except that it calls for leftover steak. What's that? -Rob

Short Wednesday

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A short one today as Iím headed out the door for surgery. When Iím back later, maybe Iíll add on.

It says here USC will win a close one tonight over the Longhorns. It will be a high-scoring affair.

Some great comments on yesterdayís entry. Thanks.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool ends tonight.

Quote of the Day
You're in hiding
And you hold your meetings
I can hear you coming
Know what you're after
We're wise to you this time
We won't let you kill the laughter
Red Ryder, Lunatic Fringe

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The only reason I really went there yesterday was to get my laundry, horrible, I know."

Curious Commercials

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Hereís where Rob plunges into an area he knows nothing about and is undoubtedly late to the party: Iím curious about commercials all over the air now from drug companies that are advertising prescription drugs and their potential benefits and side effects directly to consumers. Whatís that about? They tell me Iím supposed to ďask my doctorĒ if their drug is right for me. Doesnít this undermine the doctor? It probably undermines HMOs and other health plans, too, but I care less about that. Am I to presume my doctor never thinks of your drug when heís attending to me? Am I supposed to say to the doctor, ďHey, maybe this one I saw on TV will workĒ? I donít get it. If you donít trust your doctor or donít think heís informed on these matters, get another doctor. Maybe thatís the idea. Maybe they think youíll get another doctor who is more apt to prescribe their drug. Iím also curious about the relationship between doctors and drug companies. Even though there are many, many equivalents, ALL of the doctors Iíve been to in recent years recommend Advil by name for aches and pains that donít require prescription pain relief.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Quote of the Day
Shooting for the Moon
Crash landing in the Crescent City
Sonny Landreth, Shooting for the Moon

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "An interesting category of drug criminal is appearing now and then -- the very old."

Back to Work


The NFL has a good looking playoff pool this year. Colts, Broncos, Bengals, Patriots, Jaguars, and Steelers in the AFC and Seahawks, Bears, Giants, Bucs, Panthers, and Redskins in the NFC. No trash teams, no teams backing their way in, and what I like the most is that none of these teams, except maybe the Bengals, are fading. I like all four matchups this weekend. For what its worth, I like the Giants and Patriots at home and the Redskins and Steelers on the road.

Meanwhile, here in the gutter, the Saints lost their game yesterday but will not get the very coveted first pick in next yearís draft. Everyone wants Reggie Bush and you need that position to do it. That draft pick will go to the Houston Texans who also lost yesterday. I like this paragraph from their home newspaper, the Houston Chronicle:

Indeed, it looked fishy with quarterback David Carr (elbow) joining receiver Andre Johnson (ankle) and leading pass rusher Shantee Orr (back) on the sideline. But they insisted the injuries were legitimate.

What are the choices here? Insist that the injuries are serious or admit they were trying to throw the game? For what itís worth, the 49ers and Texans both made it look good. Thatís not to say the Saints were trying very hard the last few weeks. They benched Aaron Brooks three weeks ago diminishing both their chances to win and his trade value. Ah well, the Saints will get a good player. They just wonít get THE player.

Our beloved Saints owner, Tom Benson, has a decision to make. Does he lose money next year just so he can tell the NFL, ďSee, I told you I canít make money in LouisianaĒ? To do that, all he need do is make no changes. I donít think heíll get away with it. Head Coach Jim Haslett is reportedly going to ask for a contract extension. That will force Benson to make a commitment to Haslett that no one in New Orleans or San Antonio wants or to make a change that everyone wants.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Quote of the Day
This is not a 3-13 football team
Jim Haslett, New Orleans Saints

Andrea's new blog is blog of the day and it's here.

Quote from said blog: "Back to work day. Ugh."

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year
From CrabAppleLane

Hope you all had a happy and safe New Year. I would describe mine as uneventful. The New Orleans Saints finish their lousy season today and we can put this whole dismal 2005 behind us. The only thing I can say about that is GOOD RIDDANCE.

Gum leaves

For Kem

Color changes in Louisiana: Iíd be raking or vacuum/shredding these leaves today if it wasnít a holiday and if I hadnít done yard work yesterday and if it wasnít raining now and if I wasnít blogging and if there wasnít some channel surfing to be done and if I had finished my book last night.

The CrabAppleLane College Bowl Pool continues.

Quote of the Day
Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I've been tied to the whipping post
Allman Brothers, Whipping Post

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Nobody expected good news from the latest tranche of newspaper circulation numbers that came out today - and there wasn't any."

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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February 2006 is the next archive.

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