Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Met Pedro


Today, I was in a toy store on Magazine Street with Clio II.


Into the store walked a very familiar looking gentleman. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that this was Efren Ramirez, also known as Pedro from "Napoleon Dynamite."


I was amused that after a few minutes, he was speaking to the store clerk about the fact that some of the hipster stuff in the store referred to him. "That's me," he explained.


He was a very kind and humble guy, and I shook his hand and spoke to him briefly. He even told us goodbye later when he left the store and headed into Sips.

Friday, April 27, 2007

In It for the Long Haul

Like many of us, the people at Music Rising, led by the Edge, Bob Ezrin, and Henry Juszkiewicz, know that New Orleans and the central Gulf Coast won't be fixed by a quick speech in Jackson Square and a bunch of lectures about fantom money.

Sustained attention is required by all of us, and these wonderful people from way beyond our region are staying on the job. Read here about a great event that happened in New York this past week to benefit musicians and music program all around us.

I was reminded about Music Rising by the Saints' great new intro to their website, which Sainseester pointed us all to. Wow.

At the upper right here, you can download your Music Rising screensaver. (I'm happy that Clio II and Clio III were proud to buy Music Rising t-shirts at Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.)

A wonderful day at Jazzfest today. Beautiful weather. Dr. John was magic, as were Astral Project and Bonerama.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today's Quote of the Day

Seemed to fit with Mr. Clio's post:

"The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." - Albert Einstein

Thought I'd share it.

Blakely

A friend of mine is a member of the Downtown Rotary. Ed Blakely spoke to their luncheon this week. My friend was very impressed with Blakely's preparation and optimistic spirit.

For what it's worth.

Hey, I'm a human being. I like others' observations that reinforce my pre-existing beliefs.

Blakely had me at "We've got to shed the mendicant's mentality."

That's what World Class New Orleans (or World Class West Florida) is all about.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Black Swans aloft.

I have recently picked up Nassim Nicholas Taleb's newest book, The Black Swan.
As he lays out in this precursor piece, http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/nyt.htm , a Black Swan is a highly improbable event that takes place with great consequence. Anyone had one of those in your life recently?
The book is not an easy read, and it will, if it is successful, become Umberto Eco like in its being referenced knowingly my many who have not taken the time to read every arid word of the tome.
Rest assured, between now and all the flights to get me to Jazz Fest, I will polish off the next dozen chapters and give you the WCNO synopsis.
See ya at the grassy knoll.

Why do I enjoy this idea so much?

I'm blaming it on the time of year. Several large roaches have shown up in our house over the past week or so, in various states of life--running around, or barely moving, or lifeless on their backs. In any state, they're gross.

I went to Sav-a-Center to get the usual array of Combats that do a fine job of ending the problem. Either the store was out of Combats, or they're not making them anymore.

They did have, however, a Combat gel that is dispensed through a large syringe-like instrument. You put it in various nooks and crannies in your house, and apparently the roaches eat the stuff.

But here's the best part (exact text from the directions on the box):
Roaches eat the gel and die in the nest.

Other roaches eat them and die.

That seems so efficient. Roach cannibalism.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Read The Economist and Understand How Weird America Is

The Economist is a venerable British publication that advocates a sometimes contrarian government-hands-off view of most issues. Its writers generally advocate the view that government should let individuals and their free associations work in order to achieve the greatest social good.

Thus, Americans (are we West Floridians still part of that crowd up there?) should take note when this basically libertarian publication dismisses us as weirdoes because of our lax policy on access to whacked-out firearms.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too Much Information

It appears almost certain that the building where I was conceived


and the building where I was born--


both of which were flooded because of the federal levee failures--are going to be torn down.


I kind of wish my Mom wouldn't have told me I was conceived there. I don't like thinking about that.

Speaking of procreation, it's Berto's birthday today. Go wish him well.

I sometimes wish they read the same news in Washington as we do

NY Times Editorial today spanks team Bush for it's leadership/or lack thereof.

Broken Promises to a Broken Gulf - New York Times

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Status in the Irish Channel Republican Army Is At Risk

I was in central Florida for four days, and the HQ of a certain steak chain remains unvisited.

I will take any abuse and/or punishment that I am owed. Sackcloth. Ashes. Being forced to eat Chinese crawfish. Whatever.

Just please don't kick me out of the ICRA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Whatever--Just Get the Job Done

Okay, I read this in the New York Times, and I still haven't seen anything that makes me dislike Ed Blakely. How is it that we would be better off without him? I think we're better off with him on the job, and most of what he says is dead-on right.

I REALLY liked his line that we need to abandon "the mendicant's" mentality.

Off to Orlando.

UPDATE:

THE SAINTS SCHEDULE IS OUT! Our opener is once again on Monday Night Football. And we finish this regular season with our two playoff opponents from this year. (At Chicago on Dec. 30? It's payback time.)

NOTE TO BLAKELY: Talk to Coach Payton. He'll show you how resurrection is done.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Look Out, F-L-A

The Clios are invading central Florida this week.

An advance team of Dr. Mrs. Clio and the younger Clios will arrive via armored Sienna van tonight. The airborne division of Mr. Clio and Clio I will arrive Wednesday night.

Business will be transacted. Amusement parks will be plundered. Crawfish and beer will be consumed with Mr. Melpomene and Gingerschnapps.

My Disney World virginity will be lost. Argh.

NOTE: I believe the headquarters of a certain steak restaurant is now located in Orlando. Hmmmm.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Scott Fujita Always Did Remind Me of Wedge Antilles . . .

Oh, and speaking of snowy terrain, it sleeted today. In Uptown New Orleans. The day before Easter.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Here We Go Again

A Pennsylvanian comes to New Orleans and allegedly stages at least 17 holdups in a short period.

He is arrested by NOPD.

Here is one perspective on that story:
Seventeen holdups in a short period of time??? Boy, New Orleanians have a crime problem.

Here is another perspective:
1. It's horrible that outsiders are taking advantage of New Orleanians when they are in the struggle of their lives.
2. NOPD did a good job in nabbing the guy.

Gee, I wonder which perspective the national media will take?

Working on possibilities in New Orleans

What if?

Hint of Resurrection Already

Okay, this is WCNO after all, so I can't remain too dark for long.

Dan Baum of the New Yorker has a GREAT post on the superiority of bikes in New Orleans, as well as the idea of "American Domination."

UPDATE: The T-P has resurrected an old picture of Lee de Fleur to highlight the Crescent City Classic's run tomorrow. Check the events part of the Lagniappe section.

Some Death Imagery on Good Friday

Ray's got his own story about how a school has been faring after Katrina and the levee failures. It's not pretty either.

Over $200 million per day spent in Iraq.

"No child left behind" in America.

This is what decline and death look like.

There is always Easter and resurrection, though.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

THANKS GOOGLE. Now, to repeat: We are not okay.




The first picture is Archbishop Hannan High School, where I worked for six or seven years. It was a wonderful place.

The second picture is what's left of Archbishop Hannan High School. Those things where the football field used to be are trailers, where Murphy Oil Refinery workers had to live because their homes were all destroyed. The summer camp swimming pool is just a black hole now. If you use Google and really zoom in, you can see the baseball park lights laying on the ground.

That school changed lives for almost 20 years. Now it's broken, moved to the Northshore, and being systematically screwed up by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Longtime friendships have been wrecked as a result of Katrina- and ACOE-induced chaos. Some of my friends, people who worked together for years to make a beautiful place that made a difference, no longer speak to one another because of the fallout from all of the chaos. Just more collateral damage.

Bad leadership creates a lot of collateral damage.

PM - Sydney Professor lauded for New Orleans recovery work

This is quite interesting. What do you think?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Florida Mourns

Please offer your condolences to Mr. and Mrs. Melpomene. From central Florida, they had to learn of the news that the New Orleans Voodoo defeated the Orlando Predators last night, 48-45. The Voodoo broke a spell in that game: they had never beaten the Predators.

Perhaps the Mels will take some solace in the Florida Gators' chance to win their third major-sport national championship in a year, as the Gators defeated UCLA (again) last night to advance to the national championship game Monday night. I just don't know if this is enough to knock the Mels out of their Arena Football induced funk.

Your Republican Senators have a plan, too

This article shows how ineffective Sens. Landrieu and Vitter have been in stopping the Senate from holding up our recovery.