August 2006 Archives

R.I.P., Glenn Ford. Surprised that Superman is mentioned in most of the articles Iíve seen about his death. I suppose the writers are trying to be relevant to younger internet readers or maybe thatís the only way they, themselves, relate to Glenn Ford. Thatís too bad. Ford was an original and one of my all-time favorites. Always laconic, always flawed, and always subtle. He was a great actor by any measure. If the only role you remember him for is that minor one in Superman, get thee to the Glenn Ford section of your video store. Start with Pocketful of Miracles, The Man from the Alamo, or Cowboy.

The Great White Shank of Goodboys Nation had a nice day in New Orleans. The city needs that kind of help as much or more than any other kind. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, when asked what people could do for New York after 911, said, ďI encourage people from all over the country who want to help, I have a great way of helping: Come here and spend money.Ē. Exactly right. Thanks, Great White.

The Saints play their last exhibition game tonight in Kansas City and the goal for both teams can only be to settle a few backup positions and get out of this game in one piece. The NFL season kicks off a week from tonight. They figure to be fun on offense when they get on the field. Unfortunately, the defense figures to be on the field a lot more than the offense and this looks like a long year. Still, they could surprise and gather momentum. The talent level in the NFL is dispersed almost equally and the vast majority of the game is played between the ears.

7 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Well, you're an idiot. You're a dreaming idiot, and that's the worst kind.
Tom Reese, Cowboy

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Yesterday we went to Verulamium, an ancient Roman city that was sacked by Queen Boudicca. Verulamium was a crown jewel of the Roman empire in Britain. You may know it today as St. Albans, a crown jewel in the Starbucks empire."

My brother-in-law couldn't get over how many Starbucks there were in London. -Rob

Just stuff for Wednesday - August 30, 2006

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Somber day yesterday in New Orleans. WWL-TV spent the entire day commemorating Hurricane Katrina on its one year anniversary. WWL-TV and WWL radio were the only media available to New Orleans and the surrounding areas for many days and weeks after the storm. They were already the top TV and radio stations in the area but ALL of their broadcasters are household names around here now. Good for them.

Iím not sure what to make of the N.Y. Times self-censorship. Whatís the difference between the censorship theyíre practicing voluntarily for the UK and the censorship Google is practicing voluntarily for China? For one thing, I donít think it works. If you block something, people tend to be that much more interested in finding out what youíre blocking from them. The story the Times is blocking is widely available elsewhere.

For you fantasy football players, a couple of tips from CrabAppleLane: WR Donte Stallworth was traded to the Eagles Monday and might be a worthy pickup in later rounds. He goes higher than he deserves here. He is in the last year of his contract. He has underperformed as a Saint but he has big game potential. The change of scenery AND the contract incentive might help. However, it might not. It says here that Marques Colston will take Stallworthís place opposite Joe Horn. He went undrafted in both of the leagues Iím in and I expect he will go undrafted in all others with 12 teams or less. It also says here that heíll be on someoneís roster in every league by the second or third game. The guy is big and he catches everything thrown at him. Heís one of the pleasant surprises of this training camp.

8 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I spotted a man hanging out of his attic window. I shouted questions at him (an impromptu interview). He talked about how quickly the water rose, trapping him and his girlfriend and child upstairs all night.
Jonathan Betz, WWL-TV.COM

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Tomorrow we're going to Las Vegas for a couple days. I'm in a bad mood just thinking about what a nightmare the Oakland airport is going to be but I've got my fingers crossed the flight doesn't get diverted because some passenger has a tube of Poligrip in their carry-on."

Anniversary

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At CrabAppleLane one year ago today. Thanks, everyone.

9 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I'm 1100 miles away from Crab Apple Lane and the media here is making things sound terrifying.
Kem White, Plugs and Dottles

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The truth is, though, I've been sorting for my own unique place in the story. I haven't been able to find it."

Blogging a year ago before Katrina

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A year ago today, it was lovely Sunday. We were bracing for Hurricane Katrina and I was blogging between last minute preparations. I had done most of our preparations the day before and there wasnít much to do. Preparations here consists mainly of bringing things inside the house or garage and picking up all of the potential projectiles in and around the yard. Katrina was due here at CrabAppleLane the next morning and she was ferocious by all accounts. She was a Category 5 storm at this time and was heading straight for New Orleans. She was supposed to turn to the east a little bit before she made landfall but she hadnít done so yet. A hurricane this size and strength was going to do a lot of damage wherever it landed. Everyone was well aware of that. Well wishes were coming here from all over. Thanks again for all of those. I still enjoy reading them.

10 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
And our time is flying
See the candle burning low
Is the new world rising
From the shambles of the old
Led Zeppelin, The Rover

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Birds have a Scottish accent but enough of politics and principles."

A year ago today at CrabAppleLane, we started bracing for Hurricane Katrina. When I woke up that Saturday morning, I was thinking ahead to the lawn work I had to do. I was not terribly concerned about the hurricane. It was heading east of here the last time I checked on Friday. It was not until I got a phone call from one of my fantasy football owners saying he couldnít come to the draft that I figured something was amiss. I turned on the TV and the rhetoric coming from hurricane-experienced, not-easily-shaken local leaders was alarming. Katrina had reached Category 4 and was heading this way. The fantasy football draft that was scheduled at CrabAppleLane for the 28th had to be canceled. Many of the owners were heading out of town in all directions. The City of New Orleans and some of the surrounding low lying areas were ordered to evacuate. Some with perfect 20-20 hindsight would later say those orders came too late.

Bracing somewhat for Hurricane Ernesto now although itís premature to go into full hurricane preparedness mode but the plan is undergoing some tweaking. August 27th and Ernesto is the 5th named storm of 2006. August 27th and Katrina was the 11th named storm of 2005. Considerably busier season last year. Go away Ernesto. You are not welcome here.

The Saints got behind early to the Colts last night and tried to play catch up the rest of the night against Colts backups. This is becoming an all too familiar pattern. The defense cannot stop an opening drive. The offense played better although Drew Brees is still missing open guys. I have confidence that heíll get better if he doesnít get killed. The brightest spot was easily the running of Deuce McAllister. He looks a little slower than previous years but I think that has more to do with camp legs than his knee injury. I think heís ready to be the workhorse now. He can sit this Thursday in Kansas City. He need not play another down until September 10. As my fourth round pick, Iím thinking right now I may have gotten the steal of the draft.

One from the CrabAppleLane backyard this overcast, dreary morning:

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Waited and waited for a better light, better version of this shot but it was not to be this morning. What this image is about: Patsy has started to place seed on the water pump house for the birds. The critter-proof feeders work fine but the birds, particularly the cardinals, prefer open spaces. Critters havenít quite figured out how to get at the seed but this raccoon kit is on the problem. He/she looks to be about 8 weeks old. At 10 weeks, they can solve complex math and science problems. An older one was standing on the cinder block a few minutes earlier. Itís only a matter of time.

11 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
We're not a ready product right now.
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Iceland was at #1. SoÖ Bjork, you have an extra room I can crash in?"

Pink Panthers and the NOFD

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We started watching the latest Pink Panther movie starring Steve Martin late last night, stopped it about halfway through, and finished it a couple of hours ago. It was universally panned by most critics and movie goers alike. Itís not a great movie but it wasnít all that bad. If you watch the originals again, youíll discover theyíre not all that great, either. This new film invites comparison to the original Blake Edwards series by stating in the opening credits that it is based on them. OK, weíll do that. Steve Martin did OK in the Clouseau role although his intentionally stupid accent wore out its welcome. He was sufficiently clueless and bombastic as was Peter Sellers in the originals. Kevin Kline is no match for Herbert Lom in the Dreyfus role. I would rate Beyoncť Knowles and Claudia Cardinale even. Thereís no David Niven, Capucine, or Robert Wagner in this one but Clive Owen has a fun cameo. They kept the original Henry Mancini score and I think that was wise. Overall, the fun stuff outweighs the grating stuff and I think the critics were a little too harsh. Of course, I might have felt differently had I plopped down the $30 or so for the theater experience.

The New Orleans Fire Department faces enormous challenges. TravelingMermaid mentions some. Since Katrina, not only are they facing severe manpower shortages but low water pressure is a serious problem for them in some areas of the city. Fires are always a challenge but more so since Katrina than before. They've had a tough year.

Can you tell how worried I was about Hurricane Katrina a year ago today? No idea what that Katrina link looked like last year but it has obviously changed.

< Pretty good cable internet rant deleted just after service restored >

12 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
So, you are Yuri the trainer who trains.
Inspector Clouseau, The Pink Panther (2006)

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The secret to great souvlaki is in the marinade. It doesnít hurt to start with a good cut of beef as well."

Hurricane Katrina Lunacy

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New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is at it again. He has been cited as a symbol of New Orleans political corruption by some outside of New Orleans. They donít know what theyíre talking about. Although several of his predecessors were, heís not corrupt. Heís inept and should be kept away from a microphone for the good of his city. His latest (Free registration may be required) is telling 60 Minutes that New York ďcan't get a hole in the ground fixed in five yearsĒ. I donít know where it says in the politician handbook that you shouldnít make flip remarks about 911 but I would think itís probably on the top half of PAGE ONE. Mr Mayor, youíre really not helping.

Itís been Halloween in New Orleans for almost a year for the media, the critics, and the supporters, too. Itís like trick or treat when I was a kid. They can find plenty of the candy they like and throw away the candy they donít like. If they come to New Orleans with any notion at all, they can find someone or something here to reinforce it.

In other great news, all 30 of the brand new 17th street canal pumps have to be replaced. The new ones vibrated wildly and had to be shut down. Lest anyone think this is more incompetence from Louisiana, this project was designed, financed, and built by the Army Corp of Engineers as are all of the levees around here.

Lost in all of the confrontational politics and media/blog coverage of New Orleans is that Mississippi and Alabama were hit hard by Katrina, too, and their recovery is not moving along any faster. Western Louisiana and eastern Texas were hit very hard by Hurricane Rita and you hardly hear a word about them.

13 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
The industry has a term for this: turf and surf. They try to drive you to the turf with red tape and delays or no response at all, hoping the homeowner will give up. Then they surf you out of the system.
Richard Scruggs, Mississippi Attorney

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I note that the 9/11 and Holocaust revisionists also point to missing evidence as proof of a conspiracy. Unfortunately, as time goes by, primary source material is lost. Historians know this and realize that important events often have misplaced, lost, or accidentally destroyed documentation. The lack of this evidence does not constitute proof that an event never happened or happened differently that has already been proven beyond reasonable debate."

Sorry, wrong number

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We got a phone call last night at a little after 10PM. I donít generally screen but a 10PM phone call is probably an emergency or a wrong number. I checked the caller ID. It was a wrong number ... unless it was a paramedic calling next of kin. Feeling fairly certain that we could not save the day from our location, I let the answer machine pick up (I feel a little guilty about this even now). I listened for the sirens. No sirens. It was a spectacular wrong number, though. This person left a five minute raging, scolding diatribe on our answer machine. She was on such a roll that I didnít dare interrupt. She called again this morning about 10 minutes ago. I picked up this time and she said meekly that she has the wrong number as soon as she heard my voice. Iím wondering what sheís thinking now.

14 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
A former bookkeeper for a doctor's office pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $2.3 million from her employer to buy lottery tickets.
RIVERHEAD, New York (AP)

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "In the piles of paperwork, awards, and pictures, I found two letters he wrote to her while in Viet Nam. The letter below is the oldest of the two. Now, I don't know what he's talking about in some places ... I wish I could've had a chance to ask him. But in any case, I'm sharing it here exactly as it was written."

Just lovely. Written on my birthday. -Rob

Pain Relief

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Iíve seen the light. Patsy is allergic to codeine and has occasionally asked for Demerol by name. I always thought the dirty looks she got were for something else. Ilyka sheds new light on that. I had no idea.

A sobering look at the New Orleans recovery. There is more than one vision for New Orleans and thatís to be expected. What makes me scratch my head is calls for a ďmaster planĒ, particularly one that wonít raise someoneís cockles. It is not possible and the squabbling will always be interpreted from the outside as ďnot having it togetherĒ. Itís going to be a rough road.

15 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Don't think you're having all the fun
You know me
I hate everyone
Wish, Nine Inch Nails

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I might have the wit of a doornail and the total disregard for the safety of others that you would find in a convict, but I can ride a jet-ski - a quicker, deadlier boat.Ē

Patsy and I went to a wedding many years ago for some friends. We hadnít been married long, ourselves. I donít remember what church it was or what denomination but the preacher said to the couple something like ďscripture says woman should submit herself to her manĒ. That sentiment and/or interpretation of scripture was not shared by everyone in that church that evening and a few eyes rolled. The preacher sensed it and then said, ďI know some of you disagree but youíre wrongĒ. Some eyes rolled again but some were replaced by something else. Patsy will give me a look when I do or say something she finds stupid. Yeah, it happens sometimes. I have yet to see the icy stare she had for that preacher that day, though. I found it uncomfortable and it wasnít even aimed at me. She probably still has that one in reserve and I draw comfort in the knowledge that Iíd probably have to reach deep in the bag of stupid husband tricks before I will have that dubious pleasure. Not completely out of the realm but less likely now than when we were younger. Anyway, the QOTD reminded me of it.

16 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became sinner.
Kendra LaBouf - Watertown, NY

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Where are all those illegally begotten timbers going then? I would not place a great deal of merit in governmental statements from a totalitarian prison state."

Saints-Cowboys

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So much football this weekend at CrabAppleLane that itís spilling out into Monday. Back to the usual drivel tomorrow. I also need to and intend to catch up on my blog rounds. Tomorrow, tomorrow...

NFL football fans and, especially, fantasy football fans might want to tune in to tonightís Saints-Cowboys game from Shreveport, LA. The Saints will have Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush on the field together for the first time according to the AP. Deuce sat out last weekís first exhibition game. I expect and hope these appearances will be brief. I have Reggie on one fantasy football team and Deuce on the other and I want neither of them getting hurt or showing too much of what they can do in meaningless games like this but I suppose theyíd better put on a decent show for the money theyíre charging for this game. Although Shreveport is in Louisiana, it is closer to Dallas than New Orleans so there will be a lot of Cowboys fans at the game. However, thatís not necessarily because more Dallas fans will make the drive than New Orleans fans. Itís because Shreveport fans are mostly Cowboys fans. Shreveport is Louisianaís second largest city (Possibly its largest post-Katrina) and has always had a little envy and animosity towards New Orleans. Besides, everyone loves a winner and the Cowboys have been a winner far more often than the Saints. Should be fun. For a few minutes, at least.

17 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
We've got a lot of talented athletes here. There should be no reason why we shouldn't be putting points up on the board and scoring touchdowns.
Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints Running Back

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Regarding the Cowboys blog, we'll be blogging live from Monday night's game in Shreveport, La."

Tractoring and Football

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Just one from CrabAppleLane on this brief Sunday morning between events.

82006a.jpg

Youíll note my tractor has no driver compartment. In Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota, tractors have driver compartments that are enclosed with AM/FM/CD stereos, air conditioning, lumbar support, cupholders, etc... I did not have the foresight or the money for such items. Because I didnít and still donít, every now and then I run headlong into something in my path at eye level. Such was the case yesterday. I was looking at something to my left for just a second. When I turned to face forward, I saw the black and white spider, that was about the size of my truck, in my face. I felt the web and something crawling on my neck as I was frantically brushing myself on the still moving tractor. Never found it. This wouldnít have happened in Kansas, Nebraska, or Minnesota.

Part One of Fantasy Football weekend concluded, itís on today to Part Two. Part one was a fantasy football auction and it ran a little late last night. It lasted about 4 hours but it was a blast. These things turn on a dime and your plan, if you have one, is out the window about 5 minutes in. For better or worse, the 2006 Erasers. Iím not a homer usually and I didnít expect for the bidding to stop on Saints RB Reggie Bush where it did but I canít say Iím displeased to be ďstuckĒ with him. Youíll see why if you watch tomorrow nightís Saints game although you wouldnít if it were up to Coach Rob of CrabAppleLane. Coach Rob would have him collecting splinters in his arse until September 10.

18 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
You're as stiff as my smoking barrel
You're as dead as a desert night
You're a notch
And I'm a legend
You're at peace
And I must hide
Desperado, Alice Cooper

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "At quarterback, Iím not overly excited about having Michael Vick. His inconsistencies are too "reoccuring," so I may venture for someone less sporadic."

U.S. Basketball

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In 1992, the U.S. Menís Basketball Team aka The Dream Team stormed through the Olympics and made it look easy. It looked like men versus boys and it was no surprise that they brought home the gold medal. Most people expected that kind of dominance from U.S. teams every time out and for the foreseeable future. I suspect there is a new appreciation for the greatness of that team now. Back then, I thought it would take the world 50 years to catch up, too. My reasoning was that the world hadnít seen the Larry Birds, Magic Johnsons, and Michael Jordans perform with the game on the line because those games were never on the line. Those games were always over by halftime. In my eyes, itís when the game is in doubt and someone has to step up and make a play that greatness is measured. Those guys were especially great not only because of their overwhelming physical talent, but because of their uncanny ability to make plays in close games. The rest of the world never got to see it. Everyone knew the world would eventually catch up physically. In just 14 years, the world has caught up physically and mentally. Theyíre now smarter and tougher along with bigger, stronger, faster, and more athletic. I think Mike Krzyzewski is the right coach for the team now and I also think the selection process was excellent but this team is still going to have close games. The U.S. Team may not always bring their A game but their opponent will. Every single time. Kick it up, guys.

19 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.
Park Ranger, Yosemite National Park

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The following products will help your locks look "wind-BLOWN", not "wiped OUT", after a long ride in a convertible."

Who sent this?

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Postcard from New York - August 18, 2006
Postcard from New York - August 18, 2006 - Mystery postcard from a friend

Postcard from New York - August 18, 2006
Postcard from New York - August 18, 2006 - The "B" side.

The postal sticker is obnoxious to say the least. It covers the signature. However, at this time, I draw your attention to how it is addressed. Folks, the blog and I are not even remotely famous in Bush, LA and there is another guy by the same name who lives near here. We are not related and have never met. The miracle is not only how it got here but how fast it got here. Our mail service is haphazard since Hurricane Katrina.

The question for you my dear readers: Who sent it? Sherlock Holmes would figure it out in an instant. Some of you can't play.

To the mystery writer and to the postal employee responsible for figuring this out: Thanks ... made my night.

Hyde found the Real Men of Genius spot I was looking for yesterday. I was looking at that site just the day before and it wasnít there. It was the one everyone wanted to hear, though. Anyway, here it is (Right click and save, please) and itís a hoot. The one delmer mentioned in the comments yesterday is available here from the same site. In fact, I think they have them all here. That's a great site.

Iím not convinced about this creepís claims. I think the whole truth of the JonBenet Ramsey case will never be known to the public. I think weíll always have to settle for theory and Made For TV - Movie of the Week fluff and I couldnít be less interested in either. The victim deserved better from EVERYONE.

Finished my cheat sheet for fantasy football 2006. If youíre interested in that sort of thing, Iíve made it available here. Itís a Microsoft Excel spread sheet with current-as-I-know-it depth charts. My main task every year is to identify the players most likely to actually play. Our auction is tomorrow night and our draft is Sunday afternoon. Fun weekend ahead.

20 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Everything we've seen so far is as consistent with the spotlight-seeking, misguided individual as it is with a confession from the actually guilty individual. ... Or maybe he wanted to get out of Thailand.
Scott Robinson, Defense Attorney

Blog of the day from New Orleans via TravelingMermaid is here.

Quote from said blog: "After battling snakes, Joe decides to freshen up. But when he confronts his own grim visage in the mirror, he experiences an existential crisis."

Football and Beer

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Gary Myers of the New York Daily News says the Jets made a wimpy offer to the Saints to get the Saints first round pick so that they could draft Reggie Bush. He says the Saints demanded both Jets first round picks in 2006 and their first rounder in 2007. Iím not sure where that information came from but Iíd be surprised if even that would have been enough to pry that pick loose. Once the Texans passed on him, it was a lock that the Saints were going to take him. Reggie is an exciting football player and was a good pick football-wise, business-wise, and community-wise. I donít think the Jets ever really had a chance.

Thereís a radio commercial out right now in the Bud Light Real Men of Genius Series thatís about Mr Fantasy Football Manager that I am dying to hear. A friend told me he heard it on one of our local FM stations. This station is called DIVA 92.3 and is 100% soft rock. Without a fast forward button, I canít listen to that station for more than a few minutes. If anyone reading this knows where this commercial can be found, please let me know.

21 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
It was not for sale, but if somebody made an offer you can't refuse...we never got a serious offer.
Mickey Loomis, Saints GM

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Like hitting mid air speed humps at 892km's an hour."

Safety & Security

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Safety and security are in the news a lot since British authorities thwarted a terrorist attack last week. This is not the usual subject matter at CrabAppleLane and I don't profess to have any answers. Naturally, I do have some concerns, though. About myself: First, I donít travel a lot so I am not likely to be severely inconvenienced by extra security precautions at airports. Second, I donít look much like the flavor of the day so I am also not likely to garner that extra scrutiny that some passengers are getting.

I'm not quite ready to throw up my hands and say profiling is OK. In my mind, it is tantamount to "Your papers, please". People who look like me are not the flavor of the day at the moment but they may be some day and then I'm the one yanked out of line for no particular reason, delayed and detained without charges, asked a lot of embarrassing questions, and I may be the one who says the wrong thing to a tired, frustrated security official having a bad day, and then Iím the one who has to spend months/years in jail and my life's savings on attorneys. I canít think of anything more un-American. As I said, I don't profess to have answers for this dilemma and I will concede that profiling may inconvenience fewer people but I'm just not there yet. This is not an easy issue...unless you are firmly ensconced in the ďthis-could/would/should-never-happen-to-me-so-itís-OK-to-do-this-to-othersĒ camp.

22 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
There was new concern about security after a 12-year-old boy managed to board a plane at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday without a passport, ticket or boarding pass. He was detected by cabin crew and removed before the flight took off.
USA Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Suddenly, it seemed almost overnight, I found myself a grown woman. A woman who does things only adults do like going to the social security office or calling the IRS with questions or removing her name from junk mail lists or telling her parents things like ďI want to have a child before Iím 36. If Iím not married by 34, Iím probably just going to do it.Ē"

How to pickup women

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Lured you in with that title, didn't I? Read on. I just love this story. I love the plot and the characters. The plot involves men paying up to $1800 for a 3-day seminar held by pickup gurus. That they could probably get the same advice from their bartender for a fraction of that is not important. That's because you think possibly they're plopping down 1800 to learn how to pickup women? Nay, youíd be wrong.

Mystery insists, as do almost all pickup gurus, that the mission isn't to get a woman in bed. "It's about being a better person," he says.

OK, yeah, I kinda lost it there for a moment but plodded on. And then, this, from one of the characters:

"My game is no game. I'm not a closer, and women say I'm a dork who talks too much," says local Mike Connor, 36, a professional dog walker and recently divorced.

Without making light or even mention of the situation for which he seeks help and without commenting on that lovely quote that Iím sure will send women into orbit (His guru is encouraging him to use that on ďthe ladiesĒ), I kinda think itís cool that there is such a thing as a 36 year old professional dog walker, donít you? Seriously.

No, I didnít sleep much last night.

23 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
These are icebreakers that get you into a woman's zone
Lance Mason, Pickup Guru

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's cheap and promises money - how could it be bad?"

A picture and a thought

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Near CrabAppleLane

Near CrabAppleLane (Tinkering with greyscale).

Some themes you might hear throughout the NFL from fans and players alike:

For whoever's watching: Let's get rid of some of these games. Four games is ridiculous. Then you play a 16-game season and the playoffs behind that.

Clinton Portis, Redskins star running back injured in the first preseason game

Bush To Sit Until Regular Season
This isn't a real headline... but it should be. Six carries and a few catches were all Reggie Bush needs this preseason.

Scott Cody, Eye on the Saints Blog

I agree. It is stupid for players, particularly star players, to be getting hurt in meaningless games. Lose at least two of them. These games are nothing but a money-making scheme for the owners. They charge full price for them. Nobody buys tickets to them except season ticket holders and they only do it because they are forced to.

24 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Those quotes about me not being able to stay up, you don't think anybody reads those quotes, do you? Half the stuff I say I don't even remember.
Tony Kornheiser, ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "First of all, I have to tip my hat to the researchers who got funding to study how cat shit influenced the development of cultures. That deserves a round of applause."

Saints fans got our first look at Reggie Bush last night and I canít imagine that any Saints fan didnít like what they saw. This guy can play in the NFL. Heís elusive, heís fast, and he isnít afraid to stick his helmet in a guyís chest and drive. NFL defenses are going to be asking, ďWhereís 25 and whoís got him?Ē. On another note, Saints Number 4 QB, Adrian McPherson, got hit by the golf cart driven by Titans mascot, T-Rac. I didn't see the 3rd quarter play so I will reserve comment but it makes for a good QOTD by Saints head coach, Sean Payton.

Weíre back from the New Orleans Museum of Art and The City Park Sculpture Garden. I've been inside NOMA quite a few times and I've been taking pictures through the bars and from other various vantage points outside of the fairly new sculpture garden but had never ventured inside. Today, we finally went inside. NOMA is a place that requires quite a bit more time than we had today. Their permanent collection is fabulous and we spent some time on that but it was the traveling and temporary ones we wanted to see today.

The Ansel Adams exhibit is amazing. The guy could do detail. My favorite was one called ďTreesĒ. What we saw today is part of a private collection so there is no place to see it on the web. I could not get over how I could see and examine every crack in a pine tree and pine cone in the immediate foreground and also still make out great detail on the landscape at least a mile in the background. Amazing. There were way too many to see in the exhibit. Time was too short today so a return trip is in order. I didnít expect such a large collection. That was a very pleasant surprise.

The Katrina Exposed exhibit is the other one on display and garnered the most interest from the people there this morning. It just about knocked us down with its power. There was nothing really different about it for someone like me, who has seen just about every kind of Hurricane Katrina destruction both in photographs and first hand. There was something about seeing these photos on random display that brought it all home and to the surface.

Todayís images taken this morning from INSIDE the City Park Sculpture Garden in New Orleans:

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Iíve been wanting to go inside the Sculpture Garden ever since I spotted this exhibit through the bars a few months ago. From outside, the view to this one is partially blocked by bamboo and a very beautiful wisteria.

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A description of the exhibit above. Better view of his "formal dress" here. Should have done that, myself.

More images in the extended entry if youíre interested.

25 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
He got run over by the mascot
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The prince and president, surrounded by various dignitaries, may be the focus of this group portrait, but it's the image of George Washington that makes this painting especially interesting."

Saturday Morning Post

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Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Courtesy of my friend, Dave. Just lovely.

I think I prefer teen drivel to 20-something drivel. Worth a laugh. Thanks, Fi.

Americana in old photographs. One of my daily stops. If you like pictures, how can you not love this site?

We have DirecTV. Weíve been with them since 1995. We are one of their earliest subscribers from back in the days when you could only subscribe through RCA. I also have TiVO (aka DVR or digital video recorder). I have been wanting to upgrade to HD and get local stations on my satellite since we got our HDTV some years ago. What has kept us from doing so is the high price of HD-DVRs for DirecTV. At first, they were about $1200. Theyíre down to $400 but the post-Katrina economy and my full-blown financial insecurities have kept us from making major purchases, particularly the discretionary versions. I called my local cable company Wednesday to see about switching to cable on their buy-back-the-dish promotion (There were considerable programming lollies). Previously, I had been told that there was a shortage of HD-DVR receivers in my area and that weíd have to be put on a waiting list. That was a dealbreaker. No DVR, no deal. Wednesday, however, the representative I spoke to said they do have them but only on customer request. According to said rep, notes for ďour areaĒ stipulated that they could not actively sell the HD units but they could be provided on a ďone per householdĒ basis upon a customerís specific request. OK, now we have a deal. Scheduled an installation for the very next day. Their truck broke down Thursday and the installation was rescheduled for yesterday. The installer gets here yesterday at the early end of the 1PM to 5PM time frame, which was a bad sign, I suppose, and has no DVR with him nor is it on the work order. Not only that, he tells Patsy that the shortage is so severe that some people are on the waiting list for nearly a year and that the waiting list is not local, but national. Needless to say, he was turned away. I donít know why I expected anything better from a cable company.

The Saints are in Nashville to play the Titans tonight. The Sean Payton / Drew Brees / Reggie Bush era begins and this exhibition game will be watched a little more closely from CrabAppleLane than normal. For about 30 minutes, anyway, then Iíll be off to other things.

26 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Is it just me or do those sword fights always seem to get, er...out of hand?
Dave E, Fish Fear Me

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Welcome to Parkwood Springs, my favourite bit of 'urban countryside'."

A little dust

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A fun post by Ilyka Damen. FWIW, I read Helen quite a bit. Sheís been on the blogroll here for a long time. She is not a moonbat, whatever that is (I hate all political blog language. I think you should do 20 pushups before using words like moonbat, wingnut, asshat, and hat tip). Helen got a death threat for stating her opinion. Malkin didnít do it, herself, but she did everything short of saying ďsick ĎemĒ. She was wrong, wrong, WRONG to do that. This isnít the first time.

27 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
This is the real world. It's business. You have a job. You have a responsibility to do. If you're not capable of doing that responsibility for some reason, we'll certainly support you and help you. If you're not interested in doing that, we determine your fate. You don't.
Nick Saban, Miami Dolphins Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "They quit showing the iconic opening featuring the signature line "The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat" years ago, but it's still sad to think that we'll never see Vinko Bogataj crash again."

I think we will. Mu.Nu's blacklist didn't like something in my response over there. -Rob

Thought Iíd share some images from the New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden I took yesterday through the bars. I still havenít been inside but I hope to take it in soon along with the Ansel Adams Exhibition next door at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

City Park Sculpture Garden

Somewhere, there's a dirty diaper that goes with this...

City Park Sculpture Garden
You know what trouble I's talkin' 'bout. Iís talkiní Ďbout Mr. Ashley Wilkes. Heíll be comin' to Atlanta when he gets his leave, and you sittin' there waitin' for him, just like a spider.

Mammy (Hattie McDaniel) - Gone With The Wind

One of my sisterís and motherís favorite quotes.

28 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
My hope is, if she's behind the desk, she's going to wear sky-high stilettos. Because who's going to know?
Stacy London, What Not To Wear

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It seems that I see ads for EHarmony.Com. Quite frankly, I'm sick of them. I'm tired of their sappy founder promising the world true and lasting love..."

New Commissioner

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I remember when Paul Tagliabue was elected NFL commissioner. The man he beat out of the job, Jim Finks, was the GM of the Saints at the time. Finks was a football man his whole life. Played quarterback for the Steelers. Was the man the Steelers kept when they released Johnny Unitas. Built winning organizations at Minnesota, Chicago, and New Orleans. Tagliabue was a lawyer. Since then, the NFL has grown and prospered. Tagliabue is largely responsible. The NFL is a business and itís a big business. Itís about box suites, TV revenue, merchandising, licensing, and corporate partners. All of that is dependant on the gameís popularity with average fans. If they chase away too many fans with their outrageously high prices and threatening rhetoric about new stadiums (Canít stand saying stadia), the whole house of cards will fall. They have avoided that misstep on Tagliabueís watch but theyíve also pushed that envelope about as far as they can. Attending the Super Bowl has been taken away from the average fan for the most part. Attending a regular season game is a very expensive event. Playoff games are considerably more expensive. Itís a delicate balance. The NFL has elected Roger Goodell to replace Tagliabue. As that famous football fan, Pete Townsend, once said, ďMeet the new boss. Same as the old boss.Ē. Good Luck, Roger.

29 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I was doing some work, trying to be distracted, and Mr. Rooney came up and knocked on the door and told me. Thankfully, I had put my pants on.
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner-Elect

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I asked Maris if he was enjoying the motorcycle rally. ďI like it, yes,Ē he said, ďbut itís mostly people of your generation.Ē Ouch. But Maris had a point. Sturgis IS Lynyrd Skynyrd country."

Live from Sturgis, SD. -Rob

Department News

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From the Floyd-Landis-might-be-the-worldís-biggest-dope department: Dan has the possibilities covered but absolutely none of them seem plausible to me. If Floyd is innocent, heíll have to prove it. The whole thing is getting disgusting.

From the running-away-and-hiding department: The Detroit Tigers are 40 games over .500 this morning. I think they have a chance to win their division this year.

From the it-must-have-been-something-I-did department: Somehow, MTAutoBan banned my own IP address from CrabAppleLane yesterday. I didnít think that plugin was even working. Obviously, I was wrong. No idea what foul I committed but it did it again while I was composing this entry this morning. It has been disabled until I can figure out whatís causing it. Number 914 on the to do list.

From the not-all-that-great-but-may-put-a-smile-on-your-face division of the sometimes-it-pays-to-keep-your-camera-with-you department: I leave you with a couple of images I took as I was leaving work yesterday. It was sprinkling a little at the time.

Rainbow

Which end has the pot of gold?

Double rainbow

30 seconds earlier.

30 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Every time you make a mistake against that team, they make you pay for it.
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins Manager

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I swung her really high and suddenly I was overcome again by parentitis. As I swung her I suddenly became an amateur structural engineer as I spied the chains holding the swing up."

Email & Haunted Property

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The CrabAppleLane email strategy (That sounds like I know what Iím doing, doesnít it?) is working. My old address has only received a handful of worthwhile emails in the last three weeks. Iíll monitor it a couple of times a day for a few more weeks and then Iíll delete it and the spam world will be poorer by one. Decided on three online addresses instead of one. So far, only one site has spammed me but it was with their own advertising. That doesnít bother me. Itís when they share with others without my permission that makes me start to rethink how much I need them. Iíd like to get back to the days when receiving email was a joy.

Aside from the fact that I donít have $1.7 million, I couldnít buy the Ramsey house, either. For one thing, there would be no way to avoid the conversation every single time you had company. For another, it would never be your house. It will always be the Ramsey house. Itís been through four owners since the murder. Itís still the Ramsey house.

31 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
It's stigmatized. It's always been stigmatized.
Joel Ripmaster, President of Colorado Landmark Realtors

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned against a two-tiered Internet ďdark periodĒ at the WWW2006 conference in late May, and now it appears that we are moving toward that Internet dark age."

Loyalty

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Iím a sucker for upgrading. If itís a product I use, I like having the latest version of it. I also like being on the previous version when the latest one comes out because the upgrade is always so much easier. The latest offer in my inbox is for the new Quicken Deluxe. Theyíre offering me $20 off of the retail price for early renewal. Iím an even bigger sucker for that kind of offer. Many companies treat loyalty as weakness. Their rationale goes something like this: ďWeíve got them already. Why offer them anything? They wonít go anywhere because itís an ordeal to switch.Ē The most obvious examples of this are the various phone companies, long distance carriers, cell phone companies, and cable and satellite companies. They offer you the moon if you want to switch to them or away from them.

I experienced a spectacular version of this philosophy with my local cable company Friday. Iím thinking about switching away from DirecTV. The cable company will give me more programming and a $25/mo discount for a whole year as part of their ďBuy back the dishĒ campaign. The only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger on the deal is a shortage of HD-DVR receivers in our area. That was the dealbreaker. If they donít have the receiver, they put you on a waiting list. No thanks. They couldnít promise me the receiver I wanted, couldnít tell me how long it might be, and I wasnít willing to give up TiVo yet. My point? Their customers that have been with them since the beginning get zero, zilch, nada in the way of discounts or additional programming and they have to go on the waiting list, too. Quicken and others like them have it right.

I have a then and now opportunity at CrabAppleLane for your consideration. From June 24:

CrabAppleLane Garden

I donít mind too much that Coleus and Impatiens are hard to get rid of. Where they sprout and what color they are doesnít concern me in the least. Theyíre all welcome here.

This morning (August 6):

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Thatís a hummingbird at the top of the coleus in the center. Click here for a closer view. Wish Iíd have been a bit closer, too.

32 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I think we all kinda saw that gear that everybody talks about Reggie having. He looks good on a college field and I think he looks pretty good on an NFL field, too.
Drew Brees, Saints QB

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Stop the presses!!! You are Jimmy Olsen, the Daily Planet's star photographer. Try to get some good pictures of Superman for tomorrow's edition."

Sundial

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CrabAppleLane Sundial

I have never figured out how to make the CrabAppleLane sundial work. It is never on time. It was about 2:45PM and sunny when this image was taken. It's about two hours slow. Clocks that donít work at all are right at least twice a day. Maybe it needs batteries?

CrabAppleLane Back Deck

4:25PM: Lovely thunderstorm.

33 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
We will never recover all of it. We are just getting as much as we can, and we are going to the ends of the earth to get it.
William Noel, Curator of Manuscripts - Baltimore's Walters Art Museum

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The short film, directed by an actual student from CSU Los Angeles, won first place in its category. It summarizes and justifies just about every stereotype ever joked about re: CSU LA."

Margaret Hamilton

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On my way in to work yesterday, I started thinking about various things like I always do. The CD player/radio does not usually hold my attention for long. Thatís one of the reasons I donít get books on CD or tape. Anyway, for some reason, I got Margaret Hamilton* on the brain yesterday. She used to do those old Good-To-The-Last-Drop Maxwell House commercials but youíre more likely to remember her as The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. In films that have heroes and villains, the quality of the film is always directly proportionate to the quality of the villain. She was the best movie villain of them all and a real treat when I think of her now. Even when you watch that movie as an adult, when The Wicked Witch of the West says, ďIíll get you my prettyĒ, youíre 6 years old again. The QOTD is from a wonderful tribute site I ran across last night and it is one of the great lies of our time. A kindergarten teacher, who loved kids, convinced every kid that ever saw her performance that she was evil. Pretty good acting if you ask me.

*Wikipedia's "fair use rationale" makes sense to me but I am still a wimp about using images I know to be copyrighted or images that I do not have explicit permission to use. This is no judgement on images that are currently on the internet or the people that post them. My problem is that I just do not know the rules.

34 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I don't look on it as any great shakes of acting. It's not subtle or restrained. It isn't any of the things you like to think might apply to your acting.Ē
Margaret Hamilton, 1902-1985

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "We rode the Ferris Wheel four times, the Spider twice, the Sizzler (really a Scrambler) twice, the Twilt-Ta-Whirl twice, the Pirate Ship once (a fun house), the Straight Shot once (a ride where you were lifted straight up in the air about 75 feet very slowly then you came down in like two or three seconds at breakneck speed), the giant Slide twice, the Rocker twice (a ride which lifted you up and down while you went first forwards and then backwards), a ride which had all the seats facing one way and lifted you up HIGH in the air and then dropped you and lifted you again three times."

What to take...

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Eyes are on Tropical Storm Chris now but it doesnít look like itís going to amount to much. Asked this once before but I thought it timely again. Tis the season and all. A hurricane is bearing down on you and the call goes out to evacuate. You've decided to heed the call. What do you take with you? Bear this in mind: What you take with you may be all you have left after the hurricane passes. Hurricane Katrina made that painfully obvious. Many people thought they were packing for a short vacation like they had done so many times before. Do you own anything that canít be replaced even with insurance money?

Update: This question doesnít just apply to Gulf Coast residents. If any event causes you to evacuate or seek shelter, that applies. Even if you just go down to your basement or storm cellar (Does anyone actually have one of these?) when the tornado sirens sound, you are doing so because your residence may be damaged or destroyed. That may include the contents that you didnít bring with you.

Pete Fountain, famous New Orleans jazz clarinetist and classmate of my dadís (I went to high school with his sons), lost a photograph of himself playing his clarinet with Louis Armstrong. It was destroyed along with his Gulf Coast home. No amount of money can replace that. Many, many people lost wedding and photo albums in the flood waters. Hopefully, they were done by a professional thatís still around and still has the negatives.

In the Greater New Orleans Area, another common loss was cookbooks. Food is such an important part of New Orleans culture and many people scribble notes in the margins. The one pictured to the left is the first River Roads Recipes book. There are now four and Patsy has all of them. The first one was published in 1959 and is very quaint by todayís standards. It features recipes like ďCoon ŗ la Delta by Mrs Orville E ComerĒ in their Game Chapter and it also features a whole chapter on ďHow Men CookĒ. Donít let those put you off (As if). It is probably the premier Louisiana cookbook and has great recipes for other traditional New Orleans fare like jambalaya, crawfish pie, and filŤ gumbo. Our fabulous crawfish pie recipe is based on one in River Roads. I digress. When I inquired at the local bookstore about River Roads Four for Patsyís Christmas present back in December, the lady at the bookstore thought for a second and then said yes that she had the newest one but the first, second, and third in the series were sold out because everyone was replacing them after Katrina. This quote from that Washington Post article kills me:

She feels worse about losing her mother's recipes. "She's got Alzheimer's now. I know a lot of her recipes, but I'd give anything to have her handwriting."

35 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
Funny you should mention; we're planning to trade the kid in for a nice set of greyhounds as soon as he gets fat enough.
belledame222, Comment at Ilyka Damenís

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I visited the New Orleans Museum of Art over the weekend to see the "Katrina Exposed" exhibit. It is an excellent collection of amateur and professional photographs. Some of the most vivid are those taken by children as part of a children with cameras project."

Losing Battle

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If theyíre not fighting developers, who want to turn some historic Civil War battlefields into shopping malls, theyíre fighting deteriorating budgets. Gettysburg National Military Park is fighting the latter and losing. No money budgeted for vandalism. Very sad that vandalism has even entered the equation. I think Congress can find the money to save Gettysburg and, really, does anyone except maybe developers and the politicians they have to romance think we need more shopping malls? I still want to visit Gettysburg some day. And Antietam, Shiloh, Manassas, Cold Harbor... Probably ought to do that soon.

Came across this gorgeous picture from Blue Ridge Blog yesterday.

36 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
I think he's dead. It is normal for any head of state who becomes ill that a team of doctors come out and say the operation was very complicated, but he's resting comfortably. Where are the doctors?
Maria Elena Alonso


Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It struck me over the weekend (while flying a kite by the way) how blogging is similar to the pamphlets and newspapers of the American Revolution."

From the entertainment section: I am quite envious of this entry at Plugs and Dottles. Love the photo and the quote. Cool beans.

From the politics section: This is an orderly transfer of power. One tin pot dictator to another. No muss, no fuss. It saves time and money.

From the sports section: After agreeing to terms Saturday night, Saints first round pick Reggie Bush made it to Jackson yesterday afternoon. Two whole days to get from Los Angeles to Jackson. You would think that the $5 million or so he got from Nike and the $60 million or so heíll get from the Saints could afford him a better travel agent. No matter, heíll practice for the first time today. My guess is there will be cameras. Thereís a lot of hope riding on that guy.

From the weather section: It is 78ļ with 99% humidity on the CrabAppleLane back deck right now and the sun hasnít come out yet. Itís typically about 7-10 degrees warmer in New Orleans due to the southerly winds off of Lake Pontchartrain. Iíll be there in a couple of hours.

From the food section: Today's BOTD is a treat in more ways than one. Via a comment by Darleen at Ilyka Damen's.

37 days until football season...

Quote of the Day
The whole inning we're just thinking, let's just get David to the plate.
Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox Manager

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Chocolate Cupcakes with Chestnut-Fromage Blanc Frosting and Madeira Wine Glaze"

About this Archive

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

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