Monday, October 27, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate

I got a little peeved during the debate last night, and grow increasingly peeved the more I think about. I was told by countless "just-world" conservative dickheads that they shouldn't have to bail out my stupid decision to buy a house "below sea level." Inanity of that aside, how is it any better to bail out dipshits who signed papers on huge mortgages they couldn't afford then, with the hope that it would all work out somehow? Someone in southern California, making less money than [we did] buys a house that's twice as big, they can't afford it, but McCain suggests the Federal government should step in and absorb the difference between FMV and the mortgage? By freezing all other spending beyond military outlays? How is this Straight Talk? How is this even remotely Republican? This sounds incredibly socialist to me, but maybe I'm just biased.
 
When I do it, I'm just a stupid southerner, when the rest of the fucking country does it, it's a crisis.  Got it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Someone agrees with me.

While I think their population estimate is a bit low (thus increasing the murder rate), the ultimate result is the same as my analysis earlier.

Foreign Policy Magazine sez New Orleans deadliest in North America, and second deadliest in the f'in world.

How's that for keeping the brand out there?

Update: Seems the FBI has removed, without explanation, New Orleans from their 2007 crime stats.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I LOL'd


LOL, originally uploaded by craig v.

This appeared during live coverage from the Galveston sea wall.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Status

We're back and suffered minor damage from the storm.  We apparently had power 12 hours after it went off, the day of the storm.  I guess we've got some of that coming to us after having to wait about 5 months the last time.  Our orchid tree lost two of its five trunks, in the process taking out a section of fence.  As of now, the fallen bits have been removed, and the fence is back up thanks to my handyman services.  Time for a beer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Evacucated

We left NO this morning at 7am, went to the LSU game at 10am, and are at my parents' house in Baton Rouge. We're planning on staying here for the duration. We've got a generator, two five gallon cans, and five cars worth of gas tanks (sadly the truck is still at home). I went nuts and bought way more than enough bottled water, even thought BR rarely gets boil orders. The largest windows in our house are boarded up. The Beeb is standing guard with us to bite Gustav's feet and eat his Cat 4 socks. I even went as far as to bring my DirecTV box so we can watch WDSU.

So now we wait and hope we make out ok. The problem is that when you're from Louisiana, chances are you know someone who is about to lose everything..perhaps again. Wish us luck.

Friday, August 29, 2008

We Are Not Okay - Year Three

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First day of school.

Today is K's first day of Medical School. It's all just orientation stuff, but still. She's back at it for another eight years. I'm proud of her, mostly because you couldn't pay me enough to go back. It's going to be a lot of hard work and Discovery Health Channel. We've finally decided we've had enough HGTV, so we're moving on!

Also, this is probably the most disgusting thing I've seen come from city government in a very long time. It makes me very angry. I mean, you've got to be fucking kidding me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hey there.

Long time no chat. Instead of a long and boring post updating you as to what we're up to, here's a map of places that I've been in my adult life. The favorites are listed below the map. In order to get on the map, I had to actually spend time with my feet on the ground of the city, not just passing through, around, or above.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I know, I know...

This was too fucking awesome to not post here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

updaet

Sorry, I know I'm being deliquent.

Kayla got into medical school at LSUNO. We're here for another four years.

Our last article is this Saturday. Lots of pictures, many with The Beeb!

That is all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Irony

Superdelegate Nagin endorses Obama,

"Senator Obama represents a new generation of leadership, one that can help heal the divisions of the past and unify this country so that together we can build a stronger future,"

Because C Ray would know what that looks like.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two thoughts.

Wow, multiple posts in one day, after very sporatic posting.

Anywho, two thoughts.

1) I'm rather disappointed in the New Orleans blogging community because there seems to be little, if anything, about the Burma cyclone. Apart from snarkiness about Laura's condemnation of the Burmese government's lack of response, there's not much. No calls to help, no identification with what they're going through, nothing.

2) We are still rather lucky to be living in the United States. While we got little help from the Federal government, at least they weren't acting to prevent aid from getting to us to the extent the Burmese junta is. The Feds did decline international help, but at least we had infrastructure remaining that made recovery possible. Sure, you had to go to the Home Depot in Baton Rouge or Lowes in T-daux, but you could still drive there.

Anywho, to all eight people who read this, go contribute. There certainly won't be any benefit concerts. We're too busy obsessing over Obama/Hillary '08.

At least it's not just The Beeb...

who eats and destroys everything. This is why we don't let her sit unattended in the car.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's a small world...

Loss of coastal barriers ups the death total in Burma.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Location, Location, Location.

Apparently, US disaster-relief resources are situated closer to Burma than Louisiana.

President Bush called on Myanmar's military junta to allow the United States to help with disaster assistance, saying the U.S. already has provided some assistance but wants to do more.

Wow. The cyclone was Sunday. What do we have to do to rate the same treatement as a fucking military dictatorship that just finished with a brutal repression of its own people?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sending the Burmese whatever help they need. Just wondering why the double standard?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sack Cloth and Ashes

Wow. At least we don't have the only batshit crazy Mayor in the South.

Sorry no posts for awhile, but we've been busy as always. Article this weekend.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Progress.

We're getting close to being done on the house. Countertops get finished today, and a little cabinet work is left to be done. I turned on the last circuit breaker last night!

Now, how big of a nerd are you? Can you identify all the robots?



Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fair Harvard

Looks like a movie.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Larnin'

In bawstun learnin' bout leedaship. Everyone here sounds like this old house. Will have lawbstah thursday, but no clam chowdah.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Repectfully...

With FEMA working toward a goal of relocating all those residents by summer, the city deadline would target people who simply don't want to leave or are living in trailers illegally, Head said. She estimated that as much as 30 percent of the city's trailer stock currently is being rented, a violation of federal law, or occupied by squatters.

"At what point are we going to say New Orleans is not a place where you can live in a trailer as a lifestyle choice?" she said.


Ms. Head, please understand my good intentions when I respectfully and contemplatively say, "Fuck you and your 'lifestyle' with a broomstick, sideways."

Yet another politician that I somewhat liked who has fully lived up to their bastard potential.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Probable penultimate article this Saturday.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A place like New Orleans.

This article confirms what I've already thought; Hawaii has a lot in common with Louisiana. A place started by a foreign people who were later occupied by the Americans, who incidentally don't understand their idiosyncrasies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Supremely Wrong




Testing out their new box of crayons, the US Supremes have propounded another steaming pile. For the record, the opinion is insane. There are but a precious few citations to case law. The rest is rank speculation of the prosecutor's "intent" and the trial court's rationale. This opinion would make an F in a writing class in law school. The majority even goes as far as saying that the juror in question "could have made up the class time with one or two hours a week" because it was "early in the fall semester." Apparently Alito, J. did a brief stint at the SUNO education school. I shudder to think what this means...do we have to second guess every voir dire challenge for cause? Hey, who cares if it isn't in the record? We all just *know* how it goes.

Unmitigated bullshit. The "biased practice" that went on in Snyder happens every day in every state.

But the nola.com commenters should keep talking about white jurors and black defendants and backwards-as-hell JP. You know, it would have made far more sense for the opinion to have been, "Dude, it's fucking JP. C'mon!"

What's more troubling that the only two Js that agreed with me are Scalia and Mini-Scalia. I guess a broken clock is right twice a day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"That's so...Kansas City."

From an unusually good slice-of-New-Orleans-life post on The Gambit's blog. Honestly, this piece is "Confederacy of Dunces" good. Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

There is a certain flavor of bizarre situation that I like to think is only served up in New Orleans: A box of crawfish sits outside a bar with numbers written on their backs in white-out so that the patrons of the bar could while away the previous night betting on crawfish races. The staff at a gas station on Esplanade gets a fancy LED light sign to announce deals on cigarettes and whatnot only to realize that they don’t know how to program the thing and resign themselves to the test message that the guy who installed it (apparently named Mike) programmed in: “MIKE”, it flashed, “MIKE, MIKE, MIKE”. Nagin laughs as he points an M4 rifle at police superintendent Warren Riley.

This is the stuff that we tell each other over beers, the hilarious antics of the city that keeps us going despite all the sadness we endure, the bureaucratic bs we’ve come to be familiar with, the violence we feel threatened by and all the other crappy things about living here that I know I don’t need to remind people of. I mean sure, there’s the music, there’s the food, there’s the parades, there’s the stuff you see in guide books, but the real character is so much deeper than that, and it wells up at unexpected moments on random street corners. It reaches out of unexpected places, like the wild excitement in an old man’s eyes, like the absurd mirror you turn on yourself when driving around mid-city looking for Guinea Pig food.

And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this stuff happens other places. Maybe right now someone’s finding a terrarium full of ferrets on the street and going, “Golly, isn’t that just so, so…Kansas City?” Hmm, it could be, but I don’t think so.


Reminds me of the time I was coming to work and this harried looking young black guy approaches me. I, my experience being what it is, got a little apprehensive at the focus and speed with which he was coming. As he gets about 10 feet away, he pulls out a tie and asks me if I know how to tie one. Turns out he's got an interview in five minutes, probably at a nearby restaurant, but doesn't know how to tie a necktie. Seeing me, dressed in business casual wear appropriate to this office, he figured I did. So, I put it on myself and tie it and give it back. He says thanks, and walks off to his interview. I go into the office. Again, maybe this stuff does happen other places, but I doubt it too.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why C Ray is a piece of shit.

Speaking about the plodding nature of the recovery, Mayor Ray Nagin vented his own frustration Wednesday during an interview with The Washington Times.

"This is the toughest thing I've ever done in my life. I'm ready for another chapter. I need a break," Nagin said, according to the newspaper.

Uh huh. So do I. Too bad I don't have time off of work to go to Jamaica.

Remember all that race-bating and divisiveness you used to get re-elected? Ray, you don't get the luxury of "a break." You asked for this. You chose a job in a leadership position. That means you have to put the needs of your constituents, who don't have mayoral resources, as a priority. You don't get to complain about how "hard" it is. We fucking know because we fucking live it every day. You are supposed to provide answers, not commiseration because you can't do any better either.

FFS, grow a pair and fucking *lead* already.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mini Love

This makes me happy and sad. Happy that we own a Mini S, as featured in the video, but sad that we don't own it in Germany.



I could literally sit here and listen to just the audio all day. It can't help but make you smile. Nothing like that little supercharged engine opened up all the way.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The 'burbs.

It's so safe on the Northshore, not like in New Orleans with all those crimes (and darkies).

Uh huh. Right. Whatever.

From my experience at the Court, it seems that while you're more likely to get shot in "The City," you're more likely to get molested by your meth-using stepfather in St. Tammany.

Not sure where that came from...just another peeve. Better-than-thou Northshorers talking about how "safe" their zero-lot-line subdivisions are.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brief update.

Answers to an email from the author of our newspaper articles requesting a status report:

We have a fully functional bathroom absent a door, the floors were re-polyurethaned wonderfully well, and the fourth contractor is doing the last bit of touch ups and shoe molding. As expected, the trim work is costing more than we expected. While they have messed some things up, I do have to say they've been very willing to fix it. We will, however, be glad to have everybody out of the house. The Beeb may miss the guys as she likes them, and they like her.

Charlie is still "in the wind" and we are finding new screw-ups daily.

We found out from our lawyer (eventually) that CMC's insurance company will only cover the damage, not the shoddy work. For that, we'd have to go after CMC. Their number is now disconnected. This would also likely be the case against Charlie, and good luck collecting from him.

We went to New Iberia to pick up a couch, table, and some boxes of stuff. It was kind of nice having an empty house, uncluttered by stuff. :) Still waiting on the cabinets we ordered a couple weeks ago. May have a line on countertops, but haven't decided if we want to go "green" (ironic, because it takes a lot of it to be it) or stick with granite. Still not sure who is going to install the appliances (at least the non-electrical aspects of it).

Last night we sat on the couch, and watched TV while Beeb slept at our feet. It was almost normal, but for the lack of curtains and blinds. :)

Of course it would turn out the stuff we want to move back in first is at the back of the storage unit. :)

Folks coming up this week hopefully to help with little bits of paint touch up, and more furnture as the weather and my truck permit.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wow, I'm smrt.

blog readability test

Spring showers

Well, we've got a shower and a tub now. Shower door got measured today and should be in in a couple of weeks.

The floors are done, so the final stages of trim work are set to restart on Monday. Once that's done, the only thing we'll have left to do in the house will be the kitchen. That is going to be a nightmare, I imagine, because of the way dumbfuck Charlie laid out the pipes behind the stove. However, we'll at least have furniture to sit on while we look at a half-finished kitchen. Countertops are still being researched. Preliminary findings are that they are going to cost a lot of "money."

This weekend we're going to go pick up some furniture from storage (in New Orleans and New Iberia) and put it in the house. We've ordered a bed online, and it should be in next tuesday. I'll believe furniture when I see it in the house. Now, if the current contractor can avoid more damage to the floors (than they've done already, mostly by sloppy painting) we'll be in bidness.

Also, just got off the phone with the lawyer in our suit against the first contractor. Turns out the general liability policy doesn't covery shoddy workmanship of the insured. This has been upheld by Louisiana appellate courts. As a result, we have to recover from the contractor directly. As it happens, their phone number is "disconnected or is no longer in service."

Fuck you, contracting industry.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Hooray!!!

Almost there!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thrilling.

By far, the most bizzare thing I've seen on YouTube in quite some time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Article time again.

Article tomorrow. I'm sure Charlie will about pitch a fit when he sees it. Good.

Bathroom is proceeding along..despite them having to rip out a section and redo it because of a stupid fuck up. I have to rewire a section of wall that they put back wrong. Just what I need this weekend, more fucking work. Work that was done right the first time, but was undone.

Not even so much as an apology from contractor 4. But then, you can't really expect one. It's not like they fucked up or anything.

By the way, did I mention I love dogs?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

C.Ray's done lost his shit.

The streaming is slow, so be patient or try later.

Blast from the past.

Thanks to my dad for forwarding this Flickr pool. Most of the photographs appear to be from 30s and 40s-era Louisiana, but it's uncanny how the architecture and traditions shown remain pretty much unchanged. It's also rather embarassing that I can't figure out many of the very distinctive landmarks, notwithstanding my 30 years living and travelling in this state.

The artist, while not from Louisiana, does a tremendous job of documenting the nuances of life here. Every once in awhile, it's nice to get a reminder of why I sometimes love living here.

The funny thing is, you know when you're from Louisiana when you can probably determine the exact date this photo was taken with little trouble (notwithstanding the date in the corner).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beyond awesome.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Post 100!

I guess that's some kind of landmark, right?

What better way to celebrate than to privde a link to a guy whose rebuilding story is probably more convoluted and difficult than hours.

My barber did say, however, that ours is the 2nd worst rebuilding story she's heard. I guess that's some small comfort.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Update

Well, the dryer appears to be fixed now. Hooray! No more kicking it old school putting clothes out on a line to air dry. I guess Al Gore will shed a tear once he senses a disturbance in the ecoforce.

Also, I found out that our property tax situation has been (somewhat) resolved. As it happens, we now have a credit with the city to the tune of $1200. Once it "hits our account," us or the mortgage company can request a check for the balance. I doubt that check will ever get mailed. As a result, I just figure I've got a $1200 parking ticket credit. I think from now on I'll be parking on the front steps of the Court.

Oh yeah, since I guess we're fucking relevant now, Senator O. made a visit to New Orleans touting his recovery plan. Funny, he didn't make much of an issue about it before. Wonder why the change of tune? Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Kayla and I survived another Mardi Gras season. Her ride in Orpheus went great, and we had a nice time in the French Quarter yesterday in our costumes. I hope to have a picture of them up soonish.

In other news, turns out Charlie is "pissed" at us because we're too demanding about the timeframe of the cabinets. He claims to have "only gotten the measurements" five weeks ago. Uh huh. So, as I've been told, he has the cabinets finished, but we aren't going to get them. He said he had a lawyer send us a letter advising us he was pulling out of the contract. He's also claiming we've "cost him" contracts because of the "trashing" he's been getting in the paper. Uh huh.

The leaks we discovered are actually only one. One was a spilled bottle of NyQuil. So we only have to tear out one section of wall instead of two.

We have a mysterious horrible smell in our kitchen that seems to be coming from behind the bar wall. It hasn't subsided at all in over a week and we're starting to get nervious as to what it is.

Two years of trailer showers are getting old, but we still have no leads on the shower in the house.

We hope to have the dryer fixed this week, to the tune of about $200. At least it didn't burn the house (with Beeb in it) down.

Still no word from our lawyer re: our lawsuit. He, too, has disappeared.

Still no word from the credit union regarding them paying our city taxes twice. I doubt they've disappeared, but they aren't returning my calls or emails. Hooray!

I'm just a blog o' joy, aren't I?

I stumbled across this today. God, I wish I could believe it. Unfortunately, us folks in this part of the world are no longer Americans.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Video.

My disaffection from politics, notwithstanding my PoliSci BA, is best explained by this video.


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

But wait, there's more!

Why do I take time to bother blogging about all that's fucked up in our lives? I dunno.

Anyway, found out another couple tidbits.

1) Kayla's got a leaking tire. These things are a bitch-and-a-half to find. Fortunately, we got the tire replacement insurance, so we're ultimately not out of pocket for anything once we get reimbursed...someday.

2) There is water seeping from behind the finished, painted walls in two places downstairs. R0x0rZ!!!!!111

And now, your bizarre video for the day:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back to the future.

Short update and a video.

1) Charlie is still completely MIA. He won't return phone calls at all. I'm about to go leave a business card on his shop's door with a note that he just won himself a set of custom cabinets.

2) Our new contractor just "decided" that he doesn't want to do the shower like he had contracted for. I suspect that when the sub-plumber came out to look at it, he saw more work than contractor #4 had budgeted for, due to Charlie's fuck-ups. I find it hard to believe that his (#4) company is now suddenly out of the shower-building business due to a "problem with the plumber."

3) Our mortgage holder says we're $1500 short on our escrow account after they fucked up and paid our property taxes twice, rather than look up what happened, as I had instructed.

Fucking bullshit, every one.

Now, the video.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Going to the dogs.

Quick update: We have our bookshelves and hutch in the house now, and the 2nd floor trim is nearing completion. Despite some "hiccups" with attendance and the order of events, the current contractor is still impressing. The doors are nearing being finished, and we have our 1st floor heater back up and running.

However, a couple of days ago our dryer kept tripping the breaker. Last night I went behind it to find out what was wrong. Well, turns out the power cord was shorting and just about set the whole damn thing on fire. So, we go from a package unit that almost burned the house down to a dryer that almost burned the house down. Now I know why mom says don't leave the dryer running when you're not home.

Hopefully we'll be getting our cabinets, bathtub, shower, and upstairs toilet running soon.

And, as appropriate for the title, a picture of our "niece" trying to "think small."


Thursday, January 17, 2008

BeebTube

House coming along. I'm old. More celebrations this weekend.

Here's video of The Beeb at the DP:



Incidentally, the mostly black dog is a Pitahoula too.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Too early in the morning..

to do anything other than say, "read this." Please.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Of lawsuits and crazy persons.

First post of the new year..and it's only the 8th. Wow, I'm getting better at this. Har har.

Just wanted to put up my opinion of AP articles headlined "Katrina's victims ask for huge checks." Other headlines say the damages claims are over 3 Quadrillion (with a Q)dollars. While technically true, this is so horrendously misleading as to really do harm to the AP's overall credibility. In short, ONE person filed a suit for 3 quadrillion dollars. 247 people filed claims over $1 billion. So, because there are crazy pro-se litigants in Louisiana who are suing the government, we all get painted as having our hand out yet again. I think I speak for many ACoE "victims" when I say to all levels of government, keep your 'handouts' and just stay the fuck out of my way.

Moreover, AP: GFY. Thanks for giving the idiots around the nation more ammo.

Additionally, to those who cluck their tongues in dismay at people in "this part of the world" for our collossal stupidity, laziness, and dependency: GFY. You have no idea how hard life is here. I would argue this is the worst/most difficult place to live in the developed world. Certainly the most dangerous.^1 And hey, America, how are those freezes and floods in the west treatin' you? PS, you'll soon find out you're not in such "good hands."

Speaking of "good hands" and on a lighter note, I'll try to post the photos and videos from the BCS Championship. Kayla is good to me..she let me have the single ticket that became available to go with Teddy. Needless to say, Kayla's going to Greece. :)
______________________________________________________________
1. I footnoted a blog post. Hellz yeah. Anyway, from an article re: the murder rate:

The FBI's rankings for 2007 will not be out until much later in the year, but New Orleans' population is thought to be 295,450, which would mean a rate of about 71 homicides per 100,000 people.

To put that in perspective, the murder rate per capita for Colombia, the worst in the world, is 61. If you'll remember from a previous post, even if you assume a nearly pre-K population, we're among the top 3 in the US.