Monday, November 30, 2009

Full Moon and Empty Heads #4

School bus driver refuses to move out of the left lane to let a state trooper pass although the trooper is flashing and cranking the siren. Why? The bus needed to make a left turn at the next light - half mile away.

Woman walks into the jewelry store laughing hysterically; I assume she's on a cell call, but there's no phone in her hand and no ear piece. She talks to herself and laughs again, then glares at me for a second and hurries out the door.

As the rain (yes, again!) began falling heavily I watched a guy walk across the parking lot shaking and tossing his head wildly as though being attacked by a swarm of bees. As he reached to dry overhang of the mall, all the jerking and bobbing stopped - as if nothing ever happened. At first I thought - the hair, it must be the hair - but he was wearing a sort of Crocodile Dundee kind of hat. OK, then.

I'm showing a ring to a very cheerful and interesting woman when the door flies open and this water-soaked, crazed woman launches herself toward the customer, screeches to a halt on the wet floor next to the customer and bellows "I found the Pocahontas pajamas!" Ah yes, a true Eureka moment, to be sure. Scared the crap out of me, but she found her longed-for treasure. Everyone was happy.

Driving back to the apartment - it was dark and the heavy downpour continued - an old, well cared for Plymouth (1970's, don't know the model) appeared out of nowhere and couldn't decide which lane it needed to be in. OK, this confusion happens often and the darkness and rain made a bad situation worse. You see, at this junction, a right turn will take you to the Ferry to New Jersey while a left turn will take you to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Maryland and Washington DC. The poor soul kept weaving from left lane to right while all vehicles behind slowed to a crawl until the car spotted the sign it was looking for and veered wildly into the left lane and all was right with the world.

The headache was so bad when I finally arrived, I needed Ibuprofen, or morphine.

I've enjoyed a cocktail and am relaxed enough that I can feel my appetite returning. Supper is up next.

I am so over all this rain, as well as these crazy full moons, which unfortunately seem to occur about every month. Who knew? Sometimes I wonder if others think I am acting bizarre. Nah...Hmmmmmmmmmm!

And so it goes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday, and Guns

The previous post regarding Thanksgiving and Black Friday sparked a number of emails wondering about my turkey day supper. Some feared I didn't get enough to eat or time to shop for "bargains". Rest assured I enjoyed plenty of food, thank you very much. The days of stuffing myself until I had to remove my belt are long over.

As for shopping on Black Friday, I'd rather have a root canal.

To my mind, there are two kinds of people (both kinds are nuts) who shop at midnight on thanksgiving; the giddy groups who enjoy the fun of shopping together and have a good time - it's only a game for them; then there are the foaming at the mouth knuckledraggers (you know, the ones who trampled a Wal*Mart employee to death last year, remember?) who will stop at nothing to snag those 'door buster items' before anyone else.

True Story: a few years ago Wal*Mart offered a predawn door buster - a DVD player for $24.99 -and neglected to limit quantities. Well, a super fast dumbass filled his giant cart with all the units remaining on the pallet, paid for them and returned to his pickup truck. Unfortunately, an angry mob followed him, beat the crap out of him and tried to relieve him of his booty. They were stopped by Wallyworld security who held the crazies at bay until the police arrived. Dumbass was allowed to keep 10 of the cheap, no-brand DVD players made in China. Of course, a Merry Christmas was not had by all.

This year sets a dangerous precedent. Why wait for midnight? A number of stores decided to open at 11 pm to get a jump on the competition. This is dangerous because there are always people in parking lots 2 or 3 hours beforehand. My theory is that if this catches on, people will get up from the dining table and head directly to the Mall. If you think they can be angry at midnight, imagine their attitude skipping dessert and that after-dinner power nap. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Then there is this:
The great state of South Carolina is putting its own sick twist on Black Friday with a tax holiday on firearm purchases.

Not cars. Not clothes. Certainly not books. Just guns.

For the 48 hours following Thanksgiving, gun buyers will enjoy a break of up to 9% in state and local taxes.

Firearms traffickers are not expected to pass the savings on to New York criminals, but what is called "the extrava-gun-za" and "Second Amendment Weekend" is sure to help South Carolina stay among the top five states that provide 85% of the illegal handguns recovered in New York City.

One of the other top states is Florida, believed to be the source of at least 40 guns city undercover cops bought in the last three months, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes said.

The tax holiday for firearms in South Carolina was first tacked onto a 2008 bill that provided similar breaks for energy efficient appliances.

Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed the legislation, though not because he disapproves of guns. He recently repealed the state's one-gun-a-month restriction.

Sanford disapproves of tax holidays, though he subsequently slipped away on a holiday of another kind, this with his mistress in Argentina.
Read more:

Imagine those SC shoppers packing heat as they wrestle for a X-box, or Barbie. Hey, why wrestle? Just blow the other guy away. Yeah, that's the ticket. Dear G*d, the stoopid burns. Mouth breathers of the world unite! Or, something like that.

Nice to have a real day off. I've been watching programs on Travel Channel suggesting cruise tips and travel do's and don't's. Now I have to find someone to travel with me and share expenses - I can't afford the cost of a cabin alone - who would like to see Alaska, too. Sigh.

Almost time for a cocktail; Sazerac tonight followed by a light supper and a movie. Back to work selling baubles tomorrow morning.

And so it goes.

Dog Shelter Named for Gingrich

Newt's “Entrepreneur of the Year” award mistakenly given to Strip club owner. Funny.

Newt strips winner, 'er retracts said award and refunds the $5,000. donation. Hilarious.

Club owner uses the money to help build a home for Pit Bulls and names it "Newt's Nook." Priceless!

From Think Progress
Last September, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich retracted an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award he accidentally presented to Dallas strip club owner Dawn Rizos and refunded the $5,000 donation Rizos made to Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future. At the time, Rizos said she would take the money to build a shelter for unwanted pit bulls. The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that “Newt’s Nook: A Home For Pit Bulls” is now open:

A North Texas shelter for pit bulls has opened this week, thanks to a Dallas topless club owner’s contribution after Newt Gingrich’s conservative group snubbed her donation. [...]

Rizos says she decided to “make something positive out of his bad manners.”

She redirected the money to Animal Guardians of America’s sanctuary for rescued dogs in Celina, about 35 miles north of Dallas.

Gingrich didn’t attend the opening of “Newt’s Nook — A Home for Pit Bulls.”

Is anyone surprised that so-called 'family values' Conservatives own strip clubs and topless bars? Hahahahahahahahaha.

Jokes like this can't write themselves, you know.

More later.

Caturday? Hello? Hello?

I will say this very softly...There is a giant red fireball on the horizon which may be the long, lost sun. Shhhhhhhhhhh.

More later.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Aftermath

No, I was not reduced to chowing down on the contents of the package represented at right. Thank G*d! Though I have in the past. Don't judge me, please, it was all I had at the time. Actually, I enjoyed turkey breast, stuffing, gravy, potato boat (potato skin stuffed with garlic mashed potatoes) creamed spinach, and sauted green beans.

I pulled a double at the restaurant on Thanksgiving - opening and closing - and the time flew by. We were steadily busy for the entire day with customers coming in to dine right up the 8 pm when we closed the kitchen. I'd say about half ordered the prefixed Thanksgiving Turkey menu, the other half from the regular menu, so it was all good. We had the best staff and great return customers and most everything went smoothly until...I broke a wine glass while helping bus a table. It was my first breakage and the staff, boss and customers heckled me for the following half hour with "cajun, slow down and don't break anything else" all in fun.

I giggled myself to sleep last night. Obviously, I slept like a baby. Very glad of that because huge crowds were expected today and tonight. You see, the Outlet Malls opened at midnight with those crazy enough to brave the onslaught getting their bargains super-early, then taking a long nap before joining us for lunch and margaritas. And join us they did - in droves; large parties of 8 and 12 and even with 6 servers working the dining room it was easy to fall behind. So I helped bus again. This time nobody heckled me; they were grateful for the assistance.

It fact, as I tried to enjoy the after-shift cocktail two servers - one male, one female - attacked and planted big kisses on both cheeks as a bewildered happy hour clientele stared in stunned silence. To go one step further, one of the bartenders noticed the strained silence, came around the bar, grabbed me by both shoulders and planted a kiss on my mouth, then gave me a big bear hug. We all laughed and the bar exploded with laughter and hoots. Straight people not used to the town or this particular restaurant were shocked, but everyone just went with the flow enjoying the moment.

Today is a grand slam (pardon the sports metaphor) because we hosted not only the shoppers, but those who arrived this afternoon/evening for the annual lighting of the Beach Christmas Tree and sing-along. Some visited the restaurant prior to the lighting and many more will arrive after the lighting for dinner or light fare at the bar. When I left this evening there were many reservations and all were following the tree lighting.

My after-shift cocktail was a golden margarita and since the bar was enjoying a rather large (and loud) 'happy hour' crowd I sipped it far from the chaos at the service bar, which is where the above kissing scene played out, but even that became hectic; I knocked back the last bit, headed out the door into the quiet, brisk evening and headed back to the apartment.

Supper with a glass of wine, and some well deserved down time will round out the day.

I've been wondering if anyone remembers Advent, or the reason for the season. I guess not.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shopping, Shaving, and Sharing.

Having skipped the after-shift cocktail yesterday I was glad I decided to shop AFTER work. Yes, the store was busy, not chaotic and no one was in a tizzy. Of course, once there I found more than a few fave veggies on sale so I snapped them up. I love Fall vegetables and they were inexpensive by today's standards. I can cook up some, puree and make soup of others, blanch and freeze the rest. Other than this luxury I stuck to the list - mostly everyday items that are on sale in this week's flyer.

Ran into a few folks I know and after a brief chat we shared holiday wishes and disappeared down different aisles. Everything was checked off the list and I was back at the apartment within 45 minutes. That must be some kind of record for two days before Thanksgiving.

As I stored the goodies I heard the weather report that Wednesday would be a repeat of Tuesday - rain and gusty winds - which seems to be the norm this Fall. Standing water remains in lower areas and farm fields from Nor-Ida of two weeks ago, so we really didn't need anymore. The ground is the consistency of a saturated sponge. Unfortunately, the forecast was correct.

In other news - Having closely buzz-cut my head for years with electric clippers (like I should pay someone to do this?) I decided to go all the way. Picking the brains of like-minded co-workers at the restaurant, I was given the latest information on the bestest, newest razors, shaving gels/soaps, creams, etc., and since the suggested razor was on sale yesterday I picked one up; this morning before going to work I tried out the new super razor and was amazed. The head and beard were shaved and shiny in less time it usually takes to shave - two minutes, tops. It feels and looks terrific (well, at least I think it does) but it will take a while to get used to a 5 o'clock shadow appearing on my head. The guys at work today were thrilled and supportive, making a few more suggestions for the care and feeding of my scalp. It was quite funny listening to all this "insider" information on products I'd never heard of and didn't know exist. (click the image to embiggen.) We learn something new everyday.

Lunch business was brisk today, with folks driving into the area for the holiday and stopping by to dine with us. It's always a treat to see folks that we usually see only in summer. The feeling was mutual. I am constantly amazed by the tone the place sets for visitors; everyone is relaxed and jovial with an air of silliness permeating the scene. I love to laugh and today I was close to heaven.

The jokes, cooking stories, family situations, new rules in place that ought to have been years ago, were reminiscent of every family I've ever known. There was laughter til the tears began to flow. Great fun.

Back at the apartment the rain falls and the chill isn't doing my back any good, so it's time for a festive cocktail followed by supper - then maybe a movie. I open the restaurant tomorrow and look forward to seeing the repeat customers who have been dining there for the last 9 years - which is when the tradition began.

If you celebrate - Happy Thanksgiving.

If not, I hope you enjoy the day to the max.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Light shopping after work today. Store was too crowded yesterday, too many frantic shoppers. Ugh!

More later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Fresh Look at the Holidays and New Cell Phone

In the waning hours of last week's storms I slipped on wet leaves, fell and broke my cell phone. No injuries, only my ego and a pair of slacks were damaged. I didn't know it was dead until I tried to make a call days later. Not that I use the cell very much, but I like having it in case of emergencies. Few people have the number since the thing seldom turned on. I don't like the idea of people knowing my whereabouts any time of day.

I wanted to stay with Tracfone so I searched their site for new phone options, then elsewhere for the best prices and found the best deal for me. So following work at job #1 I hit the store and picked up the new phone at 50% off! I didn't understand much of the tech stuff about the model, but as I set about charging the battery and reading about the features (a VGA monitor and camera!) a commercial popped up on TV hawking the very model I chose. Motorola 376g, to be exact. (Pssst! Photo is above.)

When the battery was charged I called Tracfone to have my phone number and units transferred to the new phone. It took a while to get to a technician, but once connected the transfer was accomplished in a few minutes. The other plus is that the new phone came with an additional 60 units - and - when purchasing additional unit cards in the future they will all be doubled for the life of the phone. All this for only $15.00!

The new phone is capable of sending text messages (there is no wysiwyg keypad, so entering text is slow and cumbersome), surfing the web, checking weather, you know, all the crap you can do at home on your PC. I'll probably never use any of these features, though.

Another week with no day off. (sigh.) I almost forgot what day it was - again - today. I hate when that happens. Today at job #1 could have been phoned in. I backed up files to CD, wrote a couple of appraisels, trying all the while to stay awake. The town is busy with weekenders, but they're not shopping

The workday at job #2 yesterday was fun and enlightening, always a good thing. The sky was blue, the air crisp, with a cold winds both chilling and exhilarating. Everyone seemed happy, including all the customers joining us for lunch. There were no big crowds, but a steady flow kept us busy and made the shift fly by.

I will be working on Thanksgiving day. A special menu is planned for the day containing all the usual comfort foods of the Holiday. We'll also be offering our regular menu as well. I've taken quite a few reservations for the day, so I assume this is another one of those traditions set by the bosses years ago filling the need for those with nowhere to go. Hours will be shortened to 12 noon to 8 pm. So far, most have reserved between 1 pm and 4 pm, about the time most folks sit down to dinner and before the football games call for everyone's attention. Not sure yet, if I'll have to work the entire day. I'll check with the boss when I get in to work on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile the decorating of the restaurant continues with two trees going up as well as huge ornaments suspended from the ceiling of the dining room. I am anxious to see what it looks like when I arrive next week.

In any event, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas for the first time in too many years.

Time for supper and a cocktail - not necessarily in that order. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Outing Roman Catholic Clergy

Yes, it's a boring day at work, so I began surfing to pass the time. Clicking through a number of sites discussing the most recent threats by the RC Bishops in DC and other clergy in LGBT battleground states, I found this. - Why Church Outing?
For generations, in Catholic churches across the country, LGBT youth are told they should be ashamed of who they are and that they should lead loveless lives as social and religious abominations. The emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse inflicted on them by Catholic priests and our church hierarchy is in reality as damaging as the physical or sexual child abuse anyone would quickly condemn. Yet to this abuse, few raise their voices and say "ENOUGH!"

It is shameful that in many Catholic churches, this abuse is being supported by men, who are gay themselves, leading closeted lives of self-persecution and quiet desperation.

Even more shameful, is that many of these priests, while remaining silent, actually lead duplicitous lives rich with romantic and sexual relationships -- both homosexual and heterosexual.

This hypocrisy must end.
I say it's about time to address this and go public with those closeted clergy who demonize others for who G*d made them to be.

Pay them a visit HERE.

I gotta get out of here soon. More later.

It Must Bee Caturday!

More later. After work and errands.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

ACoE Negligence Caused Katrina Flood

It's been called a conspiracy to blame the Corps rather than the storm for the flooding, but after 4 years of painstaking research into Corps documents NOLA residents have been vindicated. This got a lot of air-play today. Rightly so.

From the AP:
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers' failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding in Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval sided with five residents and one business who argued the Army Corps' shoddy oversight of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet led to the flooding of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish. He said, however, the corps couldn't be held liable for the flooding of eastern New Orleans, where one of the plaintiffs lived.

Duval awarded the plaintiffs $720,000, or about $170,000 each, but the decision could eventually make the government vulnerable to a much larger payout. The ruling should give more than 100,000 other individuals, businesses and government entities a better shot at claiming billions of dollars in damages.

Joe Bruno, one of the lead plaintiffs lawyer, said the ruling underscored the Army Corps' long history of failure to properly protect the New Orleans region.

"It's high time we look at the way these guys do business and do a full re-evaluation of the way it does business," Bruno said.

I am sure the ACoE (Army Corps of Engineers) will appeal the ruling. They owned up (a little) in a NY Times story two years ago, but wouldn't take full responsibility on their own. The Corps could have done the job right and none of this - especially the flooding - would have happened. People would have homes and communities today.

This could be very expensive for the Feds. Next move is theirs. At least the truth is out now and cannot be buried anymore.

Update: I forgot to post this video from over two years ago detailing what the Corps did and didn't do and how they fudged the facts. Here is Ivor van Heerden, formerly of LSU, yes he was canned, pointing out a few discrepancies. Mind you, this is 2007!

Now, to honour of the city of my birth I am about to indulge in a Sazerac cocktail to celebrate this long-over-due court ruling. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's All Over...Except It's Not!

So, Nor-Ida blew through and headed west and north respectively. The Severe Weather Alert issued Saturday afternoon was right on the money. As the winds died down to a breeze the ocean was anything but calm. The waves remained between 4 and 5 ft high well into Sunday, as predicted, making high tides dangerous and unpleasant.

The inconvenience finally ended when the coastal highway was reopened Monday afternoon. Some folks are having to cope with the debris and clean up as the waters recede, while others were unable to return to their homes until today.

The backyard here is covered in marsh grasses and other stuff pushed up from the high winds and tides. It stinks and will probably take another day or two to dry out so it can be removed.

I took a drive through some of the reopened communities and back roads this morning before work and was amazed at the depth of the water still present. I never thought some of these towns would have been at such risk, but now I know why they were evacuated so quickly. Not a pretty picture.

The weather has been beautiful since Sunday, but rain is in the forecast for Thursday so the area is enjoying a brief sigh of relief. Everybody has stories to tell and pictures to share showing what they coped with and are taking it all in stride with good humor. Well, what else can one do? You put on your big girl panties and DEAL!

Interestingly enough, friends in Louisiana and Mississippi wrote to tell me that they received virtually NO rain or winds from Ida before she moved northeast. They were shocked by the pictures I posted and told me it reminded them more of a hurricane than a nor'easter. I must say, at times it felt like a mild hurricane, bringing back many memories from childhood.

The really sad news is that a few beachfront homes were lost (no life lost) and three fishermen have been missing since just before the storms hit.

I talked with some "old timers" today and they said this one was the worst in over a decade, and that the combination of the two storms was the worst they could remember. Always listen to a waterman. That's enough for me.

It's cocktail time. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Prejean, Obama, Dobbs, and Palin

From CNN (Cajun Nutworld News)

To lighten things up a bit as the tides rise once again. What a week of mostly stoopid self-promotion and sad news.

Carrie Prejean (fake tits and phony christianist) actually made 8 "biggest mistake" solo sex tapes. After her non-storm-off, OK removing the mic and earpiece then remaining seated in front of the camera like a vase of tainted flowers, of the Larry King show, apparently coached by her trainers, I mean handlers, the "inappropriate" behavior seems to have been all hers. Well, the folks at Vivid-Celeb Entertainment (porn) are drooling to sign her up and make her a star.

President Obama had the nerve to show his face at the ceremonies for the dead and wounded at Fort Hood. He even gave a speech. Dubya wouldn't go to such extremes. No sir, he would have done a fly-over to express his concern. That Obama ain't no real American! As a Republican friend has said, bless his demented heart, "That man is too smart to be a President, so he'll become a dictator." Like I said, bless his demented conspiracy theory heart.

Lou Dobbs (appropriately dressed in sack cloth and ashes) finally suffered enough harassment from illegal (and legal) immigrants, and left that other CNN. Now stop those cheers. He'll probably start his new show at FOX in 3.. 2.. 1.. What else is an elderly bigot to do? Move to Mexico? Well, life is cheaper there - in every sense of the word.

Sarah (moose tracks) Palin's new book comes out soon. She's taking it on the road to towns with 4 or 5 traffic lights; keeping it low key, dontcha know, so as not to be badgered about the many discrepancies already uncovered by world news organizations and other media. YouTube and the blogs - especially The Mudflats - will have a field day. Pass the popcorn.

That's all I got here. I'm tired of bad news, bad weather, and being wet. Besides...It's Happy Hour!

And so it goes.

New: Severe Weather Alert

More? Again? Yes! It ain't over yet.


Unfortunately, I am unable to receive local channels with the DISH network.

Image from 11/12 on Rehoboth beach facing north with the Henlopen Hotel is the background.

h/t redwaterlily

More later.

Nicknamed "NOR-IDA" - Almost Over...

But the clean-up will have to wait until the flood waters recede. I am fine, but the entire area is not. Won't be for a while, either. (Click the image to embiggen.) We're still under a State of Emergency.

Many towns were evacuated and remained so at 9 am. There are downed trees and limbs scattered about. A few houses were lost to the ocean, more than a few lost to the bay, and abandoned cars on flooded roadways. The roadways were ordered closed, but you know the stoopid takes the low road (no pun intended) and a few numbnuts choose to go where they clearly shouldn't - they did - almost.

The restaurant was full of evacuees Thursday night for dinner and yesterday for lunch. The 60+ mph wind gusts couldn't keep them away. They shared stories, consoling one another, sipping coffee or margaritas and grateful to be around other folks. Some people weren't ordered to leave until the water was already knee-high; that's when panic set in. Only those with high-riding SUVs could get out. And they took others with them. I am sure there will be more stories like these as time passes.

BTW, this was not merely the remnants of Ida, but a one-two punch. Ida dropped lots of water and moderate winds - and moved north overnight Wednesday. What we were dealing with the last 2 days was a dangerous Nor'easter coming in off the ocean. No breathing space...That is what created such pandemonium. The winds howled and grew increasingly stronger. Friday was a struggle against sustained winds of 37 mph, gusting to 60+ mph. Today I learned that the combined storms have been given a nickname = NORIDA! It certainly fits.

No after shift cocktail yesterday, just anxious to get to the apartment, if possible. I almost didn't make it to due to the overflow from the marshes through a low spot in the road making its way to a pond on the other side. And it wasn't high tide yet. It was 4:15 pm, high tide was at 5:50 pm. I drove very slowly and prayed a lot that I wouldn't get stuck. I didn't. Exhausted and tired of being wet and tired. Hung the work drag in the tub to dry, threw on sweats, made a desperately needed cocktail, didn't bother to consider cooking supper until after a second cocktail.

The final dangerous high tide - 4 ft. above normal, according to NOAA - is receding (water was high onto the back yard lawn) and the debris is thick. It will have to dry before being removed.

Winds have calmed down, as a light rain continues to fall. I am staying put today. It will take at least 24 hours for my bones, and clothes, to dry.

More photos here. The most recent are displayed first. Click through to view older shots. Above is the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel on Thursday before the full impact of the nor'easter hit a day later. Our recently replenished beach is all but gone.

It's going to be a long winter. Is it 5 o'clock yet?

More later.
Update: More than 50 roads in Kent and Sussex counties are closed or have high water from coastal flooding this morning, the Delaware Department of Transportation reports. Story and list of roads HERE.

h/t Redwaterlily

Caturday - High Water Edition

And there is more than enough of it!

More later.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Katrina Recovery: Obama Administration Actually Helping

You may remember that Rep. Cao, a Republican from Louisiana, was the only Republican to vote for the Health Care Reform Bill. As if that didn't get him into enough trouble with party leaders, now there's this from Think Progress:

Last month, President Obama visited New Orleans for the first time since taking office and touted his administration’s focus on assisting the area’s still on-going recovery effort four years after Hurricane Katrina. “I’m pleased to report that we’ve made good progress,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve made progress.”

But conservatives such as Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) criticized Obama’s visit calling it a “drive-through daiquiri summit,” while others “criticized the president for not touring the battered wetlands.”

Yesterday during an interview with Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) — the lone Republican to vote for the House health care bill last week — Washington Times radio channeled the GOP criticism. “He didn’t even stick around very long during his trip,” the host said. But Cao defended what the administration has done for the area:

CAO: Well, I just want to set the record straight, that even though the President only visited New Orleans once since his election, it was a brief stay, but this administration has been tremendous for the people of the 2nd district. Secretary Napolitano has been down here three or four times, the secretary of HUD, the secretary of Education, they have been down here numerous times. [...]

So I guess for me, it’s not that important to have the visit of the President, its much more important for me that I have a good working relationship with the administration and have the commitment…from the administration to push all the recovery issues of the 2nd District forward and they have been doing that in the last 9 months.

Paul Rainwater, the executive director of the state-run Louisiana Recovery Authority, agrees with Cao’s approach. “I would say it’s more important to have your cabinet secretaries down here,” he said last month. Indeed, the White House said there were 22 visits by senior administration officials to the area from March to August, 13 of them by cabinet secretaries.

Nine months into the Obama Administration there have been many visits and meetings helping to move recovery forward. Four years of Bush paying lip service to NOLA didn't get much of anything positive accomplished. His promises were hollow; most of his rhetoric were lies.

Listen here:

And so it goes.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Atlantic Assault

That's what this update is all about.

National Weather Service offered the title which couldn't be more on the mark, and just broadcast a warning for the Atlantic coast from Virginia to New Jersey through tonight and into Friday evening.

High tide tomorrow morning will be the highest of this storm. We can expect winds reaching 60 mph as the storm slowly moves west - very slowly - too slowly.

NOAA Warnings are HERE.

The lights just flickered. I'm off this thing.


Another Dark and Stormy Night

I wish Snoopy was here to keep me warm and dance with me.

This is night #3 and there is no let up in either wind or rain. Many back roads (including the road to my apartment) are under water in places and the beaches are in serious trouble. The high tide this evening has brought the marshes up onto the back lawn. The winds have been gusting at higher speeds than the previous days and there are tree limbs everywhere.

I've lost power twice so far, which isn't fun when everything here needs juice to function. The power went out sometime overnight and I woke up cold and achy thanks to the arthritis, unable to enjoy a hot shower and shave. Left for work early so I could at least keep warm. Unless, of course, the power went out in the entire area.

I've just arrived from work at job #1 where I had to keep the door locked all day because the wind kept blowing it open causing the alarm to go off every few minutes. Besides, no one in their right mind was out shopping today. My work drag is drip drying in the bathtub and I am more than ready for a festive cocktail.

Tonight, I've got plenty of candles and am heating up some turkey chili from the freezer - just in case - ah, comfort food. I just heard the weather report and the winds are gusting up to 50 mph, that's near hurricane force. I knew they were stronger than yesterday, but had no idea they were that strong. With such rain and winds there is no satellite signal, so I can't watch the Weather Channel for updates.

The remains of Ida are suppose to linger until sometime on Saturday. The day at job #2 tomorrow should prove interesting. The restaurant is 2 blocks from the Atlantic.

I guess I'll just hunker down with a blanket, cocktail, and a movie and pray the power doesn't go off again.

And so it goes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cole Porter + Lisa Stansfield = A Classic

After almost 20 years this video still holds up well. It was part of a special TV concert with a focus on AIDS titled "Red, Hot, and Blue" and while it aired in the US, many performances were cut from that version. Happily, this stunningly orchestrated number wasn't one of them. One of my fave Porter tunes. Cole Porter's "Down in the Depths":

The concert videos featured Annie Lennox, k.d. lang, U2, Aaron Neville, and many others. Check it out.

And so it goes.

Don't Ask, Don't Give: A Boycott

John and Joe over at AMERICAblog launched this boycott earlier today. The cosponsors are some of the best around. It seems the effort is being picked up by (gasp!) traditional media outlets. Yeah, shocking, I know. Here's the deal.

Earlier today, we launched "Don't Ask, Don't Give," a donor boycott of the DNC:

Joe and I are launching today a donor boycott of the DNC. The boycott is cosponsored by Daily Kos, Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, David Mixner, Andy Towle and Michael Goff of Towle Road, Paul Sousa (Founder of Equal Rep in Boston), Pam Spaulding, Robin Tyler (ED of the Equality Campaign, Inc.), Bil Browning for the Bilerico Project, and soon others.
Since the post went up, we've received coverage across the spectrum of media. Kerry Eleveld wrote a great piece at The Advocate. Ben Smith picked up it up, as did Atlantic Online.

Salon reported on the issue:
The tensions between the LGBT community and the administration have been constantly bubbling under the surface, and at times there have been open battles. Though the White House made some moves to at least quiet the most public of those fights, they've still been unable to bring the gay activists who'd normally be a solid base of support back into the fold.

Now, the fighting's back out in the open, as two prominent gay bloggers -- John Aravosis, who's previously written for Salon, and Joe Sudbay of Americablog -- have announced that they're organizing what they're calling a temporary donor boycott of the Democratic National Committee. Joined by another high-profile figure in the movement, Michelangelo Signorile, they're asking people not to donate "until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) is repealed, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed."

It will be interesting to see how the White House responds, if at all. And it will also be interesting -- and instructive -- to see how members of the LGBT community, and voters of all kinds, respond. The gay organizations haven't been at the forefront of the opposition to Obama; instead, it's been people like Aravosis and Signorile leading the charge. Success now might help them further supplant the traditional power structure in the community.
The best response from the White House would be to work on passage of ENDA and the repeal of DADT and DOMA. It was, after all, what Obama promised.

We'll have more later...including the blog reaction.
I can get behind this one. I've not gotten any response from my senator, Tom Carper, regarding his recent voting record on many issues, so I am ready for some belt-tightening at the DNC. Are they? Follow the link and sign the petition.

Check out the blog for updates.

More later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


If you don't remember that title, it's OK, I am old. "That Was The Week That Was" (also known as TW3) was the title of a British TV show - long ago in a galaxy far away - with David Frost and some of the best (though virtually unknown in the US) writers in the UK.

Anyhoo, it seemed appropriate for this post because it has been one mad whirlwind week here. Averaging 11-hour workdays Sunday thru Thursday was exhausting. Finally got a break yesterday after only 7 hours so I had enough energy to cook myself a nice supper and listen to music a bit.

Job #1 was more boring than ever this week. For 2 consecutive days no one entered the store. I had plenty of time to type up appraisals, fix the printer, print appraisals, and watch the ancient fax machine heave it's last sigh. Then on the third day a few people came in and actually purchased a few baubles from me.

Tuesday was a long day. Doing laundry at 6 am, quick grocery shopping at 8:30, then off to work by 10. Lunch business at job #2 has diminished a bit, too. Tuesday was especially slow and boring. I thought I broke the waterfall in the entryway; a false alarm. I was asked to work a few extra hours into the evening because the boss had a bunch of loose ends that needed tying up before he could relieve me. The dinner crowd really picked me up. Between 5 and 7 pm (when I finally left) the place was hopping; every booth was occupied and the front tables by the glass doors were full of large, happy parties of 6 or 8. It was exciting, but tiring. I didn't even have enough energy to sit and enjoy an after-shift cocktail. It probably would have made me sleepy, anyway. Just wanted to come home and crash. Did I mention that Tuesday was a long day?

Sill, there was a memorable bright spot that I will have fun with for months to come. Believe it or not, since I began working at job #2 in April, last Wednesday was the first day I worked with an all hetero - all male - staff and it was truly bizarre, to put it mildly. More testosterone in the air (and crotches) than a locker room. Talk about young horney toads! No, don't. It ain't pretty.

Well, you can imagine their surprise when 2 very butch, very ugly cross-dressers arrived for lunch. They were not flamboyant but dressed tastefully for an afternoon lunch. The waiters were scared to death and no one wanted to serve the two well dressed, but oh-so-homely customers. I put an end to the debate by allowing two servers to handle the table. I suppose they thought there was safety in numbers. I mean, what did they think was going to happen? It was great fun.

When one of the servers smiled nervously and said, "Hi guys, would you like to start off with a cocktail?" the uglier of the two leaned into the servers' space and in a stage whisper said, "That's 'ladies' dear, and I believe we would like two margaritas." The servers turned bright red before stumbling over each other to get to the bar, or just as far away from that table as possible in the shortest amount of time. The diners were clearly thrilled that two handsome young men, instead of one, would be taking care of their dining experience. I. Love. My. Job.

It was priceless to watch these macho men bitch-slapped into little boys by two guys in drag. I laughed for the 2 hours the couple enjoyed many margaritas and fajitas; noting the looks of terror from the servers as the diners' voices grew deeper with each margarita. None of the other diners batted an eye or ran screaming from the room, but the servers were near combustion as the two helped one another with coat and shawl and left the building. The boys rushed to the front windows in time to see the two walking (staggering?) across the avenue arm-in-arm. I said, "This is Rehoboth, fercrissakes, you acted like you've never seen a guy in a dress before." One server said in low tones, "oh, I've seen them, just never had to wait on them or be close to them before." I shook my head and walked away. And they call me queer! Needless to say, they were quiet until the end of the shift.

Friday's lunch business was busier and great fun - with no drag queans. As mentioned above, it was also a short workday. So, before heading back to the apartment I enjoyed an after-shift cocktail entertained by the bartenders bickering and bitching like two old married queans. Well, they are queans, but not married, at least not to each other. They reminded me of The Bickersons of yesteryear. Their routine set me laughing and after a week of leftovers I was in the mood for a fresh, home made meal last night.

After slipping out of work clothes, sipping a festive martini, I set to work. Supper consisted of roasted chicken breast stuffed with asparagus, cheese, and diced salami. On a bed of buttered rice with a salad on the side. Heaven!

Another bonus was going into work later than usual this morning. It's a three-day weekend which meant the town is full again and it was believed that 3 of us would be needed at the store. We weren't, so only working 4 hours has made my day. I am free to get inspired by a recipe for a pork shoulder roast; one that will freeze well, for multiple meals. Any ideas? Leave a comment and I'll give it a shot.

And so it goes.

Trailer: My Dog Tulip

I want to see this film. The animation is brilliant and the story, a classic. Here's a bit of background from Band of Thebes:
At prep school Joe Ackerley was so extremely good looking he was nicknamed Girlie, and decades later he named the love of his life, his Alsatian, Queenie. So why is his classic book called My Dog Tulip? Because the editors of the magazine that bought first-serial rights worried that Queenie would inspire jokes about Ackerley's homosexuality and they insisted he change her name. Other revisions went the right way. In 1952 (after his parents' deaths) he rewrote and expanded his 1932 memoir Hindoo Holiday to be more open about gay exploits in India. Earlier he had served in two tours of duty in WWI, including two serious injuries, nearly two years as a prisoner of war, and surviving the death of his older brother who had been their father's favorite. Later, he became editor of the BBC magazine The Listener, where he could promote the works of many nascent gay writers including Auden, Isherwood, Larkin, King, and Spender.
There's no telling when (if) this film will play in the area. Here's the trailer.

h/t Band of Thebes
More later.

Caturday at the Movies

More later.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Election 2009, and What?

So, there were good things and not so good things to come out of this election cycle. To me, the worst of the worst were the dumbass 'pundits' mouthing their usual drivel, gazing into their crystal balls, making dire pronouncements but seemingly unable to respond to a direct question with a straight forward answer.

Same idiots, different election (not to be confused with this blog's header). Why do the networks give these people a forum? They haven't visited the real world in many election cycles, so why bother.

And to drag Douglas Feith ("the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the Earth") out of his troll cave to air his insipid views was like urine in the snow. After all, the schmuck was canned by Georgetown University for his blabbery and make-it-up-as-you-go-along tactics leading us into Iraq.

I watched as much as I could stand until I began to feel like Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange viewing all those horrid films - eyes locked open. I had an insatible desire to pour bleach in my eyes. I shook it off, changed channels to something frivilous, had a dish of ice cream, brushed teeth and went to bed.

It's important to realize that the Maine "YES 0n 1" campaign was lavishly fundied by the Roman Catholic Church who were clearly successful in scaring the bejeesus out of voters, much like the rightwing Repubs are attempting to frighten everyone about the Health Care Plan and Public Option.

It is my opinion that we need more educated, enlightened voters to spur us into the 21st century mindset. Well, I can dream, can't I? However, with the garbage being spoon fed to the electorate by the media and pundits, I fear there is little hope. Maybe the next generation, if we can wait that long.

What did we expect from an election day that took place during a full moon? Class? Anyone?

Never mind.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Democrats.

From Markos to the Democrats: "Tonight's Big Lesson."

There will be much number-crunching tomorrow, but preliminary numbers (at least in Virginia) show that GOP turnout remained the same as last year, but Democratic turnout collapsed. This is a base problem, and this is what Democrats better take from tonight:

  1. If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary "bipartisanship", you will lose votes.
  1. If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.
  1. If you forget why you were elected -- health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform -- you will lose votes.

Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.

The choice is yours. Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home. And you aren't going to make up the margins with conservative voters. They already know exactly who they're voting for, and it ain't you.

Working 10 to 12 hours daily for the past 3 days. Not much breathing room for posting.

More later.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Time Flies Like an Arrow...

Fruit Flies Like a Banana. Or something like that.

It's November already! I remembered to turn the clocks back before hitting the sheets last night. The electronic ones for the TV and DVD player are always a challenge. Juggling three remotes isn't my idea of a good time.

My internal clock was still on DST when I woke up at 3:45 which is still 4:45 in my brain. Bother.

After a coffee, I put the extra time to good use by sorting out more boxes of stuff I haven't used - and probably won't again - to be taken to the thrift store. That has freed up space in the bedroom and closets. A stop at the storage unit will undoubtedly yield more boxes, as well. But that will wait until another day.

So, here it is. The good news is that I won't have to drive to work in the dark. The bad news is that I have to drive home in the dark.

I am off to baby-sit precious gems today. It's a riveting experience, sort of like watching ones finger nails grow. Oh, and...It's raining - AGAIN. Damn! Now where are those Mary Janes?

I must say that the rain brings out the vivid Autumn colours nicely. The orange, red and gold all slick with water is quite a beautiful sight.

More later.
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