Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As Chuck in L.A. would say, "Looka!"

Posting this because it amuses me. For my job, I need to be able to drive one of my employer's large vans tomorrow to take some out-of-towners on a devastation and recovery tour. I filled out the paperwork and faxed it to the appropriate office. Within minutes, an email appeared in my box saying that I had to take an online course in van safety. The questions in the two tests I had to take were amusing, to say the least. Anyway, I got a certificate!!! I can drive!!! I can drive!!! (I replace my name with my blog name.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Dis One's Fah Doctah Morris

That was a nice catch at the end of the first half.

Also, kudos to Dick Stockton of Fox Sports, who said during the Saints-Falcons game today that New Orleans was well on its way to its rightful place as a "world-class city." Mr. Stockton has been reading his Mr. Clio / Mr. Melpomene.

UPDATE: The Atlanta newspaper reports that the Georgia Dome was half-full at kickoff. A huge metropolitan area, with a team sporting Michael Vick, allegedly one of the great athletes of our era--and they can't get more than 40,000 people to watch their team with a winning record take on the division-leading Saints (with superstars like Drew Brees, Deuce, and Reggie Bush)?

And don't tell me all the Atlanteans were at art galleries, bookstores, and libraries. No, they were at Applebee's; or sitting at home frozen in front of video games and um-teenth reruns of Adam Sandler movies; or at the mall buying power washers so they can maintain the PVC on their houses.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

What's the Spanish word for "Throne"?

New Orleans is a food mecca, but two areas of dining where we need help are in barbecue and Mexican food. The barbecue scene here is improving somewhat. In Mexican cuisine, we still cannot match south Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, or California. However, Taqueria Corona is one place of which we can be proud.

The original location on Magazine Street is the one the Clios frequent. It has many charms, not least of which is the fact that the phone number remains unlisted. Since the storm, the place is cleaner than ever. The bathrooms (well, I should say "bathroom," since I'm only familiar with the one for hombres) are recently renovated as well.

One thing that the renovation didn't change was the, um, elevated nature of the toilet in the men's bathroom. The urinal is at ground level. However, if you are a man and you need to have a seat, you must climb in order to do so. That puts your knees at about eye-level for anyone who might walk in, so I highly recommend locking the door.

Anyway, this is an odd post, but the picture seems appropriate to post on the day after we all spent a lot of time eating and drinking.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Spera at T-P: Sanchez Left Cowboy Mouth

Here's the link.

I confess: I enjoy the Mouth.

But I also like Mr. Sanchez's other work.

Friend Needs Some Childcare Help in NOLA/Metry

Childcare is difficult in any region, but since Katrina and the levee failures, it's even harder in New Orleans.

A friend from work is losing his childcare provider, who is retiring. He prefers to stay away from the traditional daycare center for now. If you know of anybody who can help him with this, please comment below and let me know.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekend Roundup

1. Mrs. Dr. Clio and I kicked off our weekend by stopping by a Daiquiris on the Deck party thrown by Humid Haney and Proto-Mrs. Humid Haney. Their hospitality and other friends were great. I drank something called an Ass Kicker or a Kickass or something. Kind of a bubble-gum snowball-flavored daiquiri.

Then Mrs. Dr. and I ran off to see Borat, which is so funny I believe it can cause injury and death. Anyway, before the film, we got in line directly behind a member of the New Orleans Saints football club. We didn't bother him, but I note that he was extremely kind to everyone who approached him to speak. I believe our sighting of him is a good omen for today's game against the Bengals; he's going to have a big game. I'll not reveal his name for now, but here's a pic of the back of his head:

2. I really enjoyed Jeffrey's deconstruction of the who dey / who dat distinction. His work on that, plus the Saints' quick run to 6 wins, has led me to forgive him for his surly attitude about the Saints.

3. I harbor worries about the Saints' defense now, in the same way I harbor worries about aspects of our resurrection in New Orleans. All it takes, though, is a big day to revive my spirits; perhaps the defense will step up today. Also, perhaps the LRA will manage to get out more than 28 checks to people by Thanksgiving.

4. This story about new Congressperson Carol Shea-Porter is truly extraordinary. She is from New Hampshire, but she volunteered here after Katrina and the levee failures. Now she considers herself to be a "voluntary eighth member" of the Louisiana delegation. This person GETS IT. She understands that the failures here are national failures, and that what happened here is an indication that the federal government and the MBA administration of President Bush are woefully unprepared to perform the bare minimum functions that we expect of government. I am grateful for Representative Carol Shea-Porter.

5. I found this YouTube video. A guy apparently spent Katrina in the parking garage of Beau Rivage. Whoa. Also, I want our Mississippi brothers and sisters to know that they are earning and truly deserve a World Class recovery. The national media haven't given them enough attention, and I can assure them that it's not because we don't want them to have attention. They deserve all the spotlight that they can get.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Carson Palmer : Football :: Alan Richman : Restaurants

Carson Palmer, Bengals' QB, on the Saints in today's T-P:
"They don't have a ton of superstars, other than Reggie Bush, really."


I'm a Bush fan, but based on performance so far, he's not even in the top 3 players on the Saints (Brees, Deuce, and Colston are clearly ahead of him). The point here isn't to down Bush. The point is that we've got a lot of good players (add Fujita, J. Brown, Horn), coached well. And Mr. Palmer will find that out the hard way on Sunday.

Transferred to the realm of eating, Palmer's ignorant statement is like saying (Richman-style) about New Orleans: "They don't have a ton of good cuisine, other than blackened redfish, really."

Reggie Bush and blackened redfish are both good, but there's a lot more going on here in their respective realms.

I will enjoy the view from the Terrace of Will Smith and Charles Grant taking care of Mr. Palmer this Sunday. (Too bad Mr. Smith and Mr. Grant won't be able to treat Mr. Richman the same way.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Levees Are a Nonnegotiable Improvement Item, Ladies and Gentlemen

A friend/coworker was just noting to me on Friday that there hadn't been much coverage in the T-P lately on the status of our levees. That was a concern.

Well, they stepped up today, and the news makes me angry. Really angry.

Like, Al-Qaeda angry.

(UPDATE: I'm close to going Chinese on this issue.)

The Army Exquisite Corpse is doing it on the cheap again. They aren't armoring the levees.

Here's what Robert Bea says:
"But if it was my world and I didn't have much money, I'd get out there with Visqueen and start nailing the damn stuff down [in order to armor the levees]. That pile of dirt won't do what you want unless you protect it. We need to secure what we've got, and it's irresponsible not to."

The article indicates a situation that reeks not of a lack of leadership, but of stinking, self-serving leadership. Bush and his minions are leading, alright. They're leading people to pay attention to gay marriage and xenophobic immigration-related fears and other irrelevancies.

Once again, we are reminded of Morris's Law:
We ignore at our own peril the fact that the terrorists blew up the levees.

The terrorists bombed the levees, and we need to mobilize all of our courage and know-how in order to secure our levees. Placing levee protection, wetlands restoration, and anti global warming measures anywhere but the at the top of the agenda only gives aid and support to the terrorists. If you don't support levee protection, then the terrorists have won.

Here's what one of the ACOE guys has to say:
"We want to make the best use of our money." Everybody wants to do that. I think implied in that statement are the words "limited and inadequate" inserted in front of "money."

The people at continue to be on top of this. We need to stay educated and support them. Please join their group here.

UPDATE TWO: In honor of Oystah's excellent post, I offer this:

The gay illegal immigrants and gay terrorists blew up the levees!!! The gay illegal immigrants and gay terrorists blew up the levees!!! The gay illegal immigrants and gay terrorists blew up the levees!!!

Remember, here's what the Dutch have:

We have this:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Withdraw, Mr. Jefferson. Withdraw.

Please. Save yourself and your backers a lot of money, money that could be put toward human need or real economic activity. Save Ms. Carter and her backers a lot of money, more money that could be put toward human need and real economic activity.

Save us the time we'll spend watching your avoid-the-real-issue advertisements. Save us the time we'l spend going to the polls to run you out of your ego-stroking, pocket-filling job in Washington, D.C.

Representative William Jefferson, remember Edwin Edwards in 1987! Retire. Withdraw. Cease. Desist.

Join my campaign. Go here to ask Mr. Jefferson to withdraw. (They've set it up in a pretty tricky way. You may actually have to put in an address in his district in order to contact him.)

Here's what I wrote:

Mr. Jefferson, this is a critical time for our city, state, and region.
I am asking you to do the honorable thing and withdraw from the runoff election.

I am not asking you to do this because of the current investigation regarding your dealings with a high-tech company. I am asking you to do this because you have had enough time in your position.

Is our city better off as the result of your service? I do not believe that it is.

You are an intelligent, talented person, and I believe your talents would serve you and the community well in private industry. I encourage you to pursue that route.

Please save yourself and your backers a lot of money. Please save me and others the time we will spend watching your commercials and going to the polls to ensure that you do not return to Washington, D.C.

Quitting is not often an attractive option, but in this case you would be doing the right thing for yourself and the community. Please allow others to put their money to better use in a struggling region.

Sincerely, Mr. Clio (I put my real name in the message)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Signs of the Times in Beloved New Orleans

A couple of pictures I snapped recently.

Exhibit A: This is from LaGuardia Airport in New York. It's surreal that Delta is showing off "new nonstop service to New Orleans" from LaGuardia.

These are two cities that have been around awhile, no? We all know that the sluggish response of the airlines is choking off the recovery of our convention and tourist business. I hope to see many more signs like this from other airlines soon. I do know that my flights in and out of NOLA to New York were absolutely packed to the gills. P.S. Sure wish Mr. Melpomene would ruminate more about the establishment of a new, big-time airport here. That was one of his best posts. I'm going to re-read it today. I think Mr. Mel needs to be the marketing director or tech guy or something for that new airport when it opens.

Exhibit B: The perils of rubber-stamp national marketing campaigns. I took this next one at Home Depot at Elmwood.

This sign (placed above the entrance) gave me a snide grin followed immediately by near-tears in my eyes. "Home Improvement Week" in metro New Orleans in 2006? Don't these idiots understand that every week is Home Improvement Week here? Actually, not Home Improvement Week. More like Home Construction Week.

Oh, well not for everybody, as today's Times-Picayune points out. So far, 18 (yes, EIGHTEEN) homeowners have received Road Home money to fix their homes. President Bush likes to tout all the rebuilding money that's been sent here (allegedly $7.5 billion). However, he and his minions have dithered and postured about ethics (ha!) to the extent that it takes FOREVER for anyone actually to access the money. This is nothing short of a national scandal. I'm going to send emails to my friends about this today. Disgusting. I hope everyone remembers this cynical incompetence when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

I don't want to hear people blame this on locals, either. This is FEDERAL incompetence, covered up by presidential posturing about "We need a plan" and "The money had better not be spend in a corrupt way." How much did this boob send to Iraqi reconstruction with neither a plan nor any concern for corruption? Here's what Paul Krugman (paid access) had to say a couple of days ago:

The $21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has been spent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there’s no more money in the pipeline. . .

major contractors believed, correctly, that their political connections insulated them from accountability. Halliburton and other companies with huge Iraq contracts were basically in the same position as Donald Rumsfeld: they were so closely identified with President Bush and, especially, Vice President Cheney that firing or even disciplining them would have been seen as an admission of personal failure on the part of top elected officials.

We've got to beg and prove moral perfection for $7.5 billion from our own government. Meanwhile, $21 billion for reconstruction has already gone to Iraq. What do they have to show? What do we?