Archive for August, 2009

The T-P article reads…

Berry said he’s never hidden his identity out of fear, but as a way to encourage dialogue about corruption in a city where few problems are addressed head-on.

And that doesn’t make sense. So the “why” question is still out there for me.

‘American Zombie’ blogger outs himself while facing libel suit from City Hall employee

I guess it remains to be seen how the reveal will unfold. But as a living breathing person, Jason Berry has boldly disarmed his accusers who could point out that he was perhaps working for their political rivals or were holding grudges against them for any type of reason. His motives can now be truly shown for what they are, a more transparent city government. He has also become a more solid and accountable citizen journalist in the process. The focus can no longer be, “Who is Ashe Dambala?” and is now, “Is what he wrote correct?” I think there are probably many people working on that right now. And the attention it will bring might be his ultimate triumph. If this lawsuit does come to pass, he will only have to prove his words were true and if they were, how is that going to make his accusers look? Like the trickster from the folk tales, Jason Berry might have just been tossed into the briar patch.

The reveal was bold, tactical and courageous. I support and salute you Jason Berry.

Something not right. Something no belong.


Just a few thoughts about this year’s conference…

- It is always a succinct pleasure getting together in large or small numbers with this group of bright, chaste and sincere folk. The group, as always, was truly magnificent. Much love to all the organizers. In an era where all everyone wants to talk about is how America is going down the tubes you are all exemplary and inspirational in your love and devotion to your neighbors.

- There was a batshit lady harassing Leigh at the door and whining about the fee. She kept saying something like, “you wouldn’t charge rats to run through a maze would you?” I was tempted to ask her what the hell that meant but just calmly continued to alphabetize name tags. If I wasn’t so uncomfortable with the awkwardness of confrontation I would have. This lady stayed until the very end but my defense mechanisms knew where she was in the room at all times. If it was later in the day I may have called 211 but I didn’t know what it was at the time. If anyone is wondering who I may be talking about it was the lady who needed more support.

- Another lady opened the door and asked when John Barry was going to speak.

- It was hard to decide what pastry to eat and decided on a big ass bagel. It was so delicious.

- I had my doubts about the brewing on site of the coffee but it ended up quite awesome. Mad props there. So much better than cambros.

- Here are a bunch or words that can describe MC Loki: animated, anxious, ardent, avid, crazy, devoted, dying to, eager, earnest, ebullient, exhilarated, exuberant, fanatical, fascinated, fervent, fervid, forceful, gaga, gone on, gung ho, hearty, intent, intense, keen, keyed up, lively, nutty, obsessed, passionate, pleased, rabid, red-hot, rhapsodic, spastic, spirited, tantalized, thrilled, titillated, vehement, vigorous, wacky, wholehearted, willing, zealous. Everybody pick one. I am going with enthusiastic. I admire the fact that he seems to be keenly aware of his own energy level and just accepts it.

- Culture panel was a great idea. Great panelists. Perfect. Perhaps the main focus next year could be what can everyone do to help preserve them. I think we all know some are in trouble. So what can we do about it? This year’s group was awesome. Stellar choice putting Susan Tucker in there. Sustenance is such a part of who we are. Even the most mundane folks can come together over food.

- Net2NO presentation made it sound like a perfect organization for local techies. The speaker seemed uncomfortable speaking before a crowd and said so many times. This made me uncomfortable. Public speaking is a huge fear of many people and I salute her for it. But when a speaker says how uncomfortable they are, it really bleeds into the whole crowd and everyone wants it to be over. But the group sounds damn cool.

- Dear Harry Shearer, you do indeed rule! Thanks for coming. Our conference was greatly helped by your name recognition. Thank you also for all your hard work defending New Orleans. You are a true warrior of Care Forgot and I hope you stay one for many years. I say that last part because there were a few things you said that made me think you may be growing weary and I’m worried. At the onset of your speech you asked yourself if your affinity for New Orleans was some romantic fascination and then quickly talked yourself out of that. Then you said the battle for the truth about the flood was “lost” rather than losing. That indicates there is no hope left. And your exasperation at playing the inside game when we all know it is a slow process made me wonder in the back of my mind how much you had left in the tank for us. Even if you gave up tomorrow, you have done so much. I hope my vague intuition was off base.

- Lunch was great soul food and it made my tummy all warm. It wasn’t super greasy. It tasted robust with flavor and there were even healthy options.

- Muffin’s politics panel was quite entertaining. So much to talk about. It was also however, very agreeable. The panelists agreed on many of the points and the folks in the room agreed with them as well. So great panel but more discourse could be a goal for next year.

- Lipper’s health care panel was insightful because I didn’t expect it to be as focused on local health care as it was and that really jived with me. I especially liked learning about the 211 number because I see any number of folks every weekend who could qualify. I didn’t have a chance to ask Cecile Tebo if the person in crisis has to use the number for them self or can others call for them.

- The Ashley award was given to Keyser Soze. I’ve not been bashful about how uncomfortable I am with bloggers using fake names. We all have responsibilities in this world. Not taking responsibility for your actions means there is less accountability because the character remains unscathed. If we are going to allege serious grievance against other people we should step up and take responsibility for them. Truth is absolute. Our words and actions are stronger when we stand behind them. We face those who we accuse and allow them to face us, not in some digital realm but in the community we are a part of. Mad props to Keyser for his devotion to New Orleans. Somewhere in there perhaps there is a hero. But until we know who we are talking about, should we call him one? What do we know about him? And if there are certain people in the know about him, where does that leave the rest of New Orleans? Out of the club I guess. One may say Keyser would lose his accessibility by revealing himself and if that’s the case he can operate just like Deep Throat and act as a source for journalists who can reveal their identities. I hope one day to meet Keyser and we can discuss this further. I don’t mean this as an attack on his character (because I am in no position to judge it).

- Pants’ sports panel was unfortunately poorly attended and that was a downer because a devotion to the Saints is a huge part New Orleans folk. Not sure the Hornets apply so much. But the Saints, and their arrival in town just before the population began to decline, make for many meaningful moments and a rich custom of success and failure. Like the food in the first panel, it is these seemingly less analytical things where New Orleanians culture reveals itself so richly. With some critical thought into why, these are vast topics.

NOTE: This post would have been awesome with links and stuff.

I have been meaning to write a Rising Tide post but after last night I have to defer the post to another day while I indulge you in one of the primary reasons for blogging in this modern era…giant effin bugs!

We saw this fella last night in the laundry room and it is plainly stated the biggest thing I have seen in my house that wasn’t a mammal (and to be honest it’s bigger than that mouse we spotted a year or so ago).

See photos….

Now, when this thing moved, it looked like some CGI special effect or something. It was very fast. Like a mouse. Extremely creepy to observe. Cringe-inducing really. My usual method for disposing of large palmetto bugs is to pump my air rifle up a few times and shooting them with the puff of air that comes out. No pellets in it, just compressed air. It’s usually enough to kill them Jon-Erik Hexum style. I made the decision since we were about to go to bed that we couldn’t just have this thing running around the house. He could have easily made his way into the bedroom. He could run as fast as a man could walk. So I fired the air rifle at him and it seemed to scare him a bit and he ran behind a peice of art but otherwise, no damage.

Luckily for him the art was right by the back door and I started moving it back and forth until he stepped out to see who the hell was messing with him and I was able to knock him out the back door with a broom.

Romy and I looked him up after and he fit the description of this spider…

Huntsman spider

While frequently very large – in Laos, Heteropoda maxima males can attain a legspan of 250–300 mm (9.8–11.8 in) – they are (like the vast majority of spiders) not deadly to humans. They do bite if provoked, but the victim will suffer only minor swelling and localized pain, and will recover in a day or two. Some larger types resemble tarantulas, and that term is sometimes loosely applied to them by Australians as well as the similar-sounding slang name ‘triantelope’.[1] Huntsman spiders can generally be identified by their legs, which, rather than being jointed vertically relative to the body, are twisted such that the legs extend forward in a crab-like fashion.

That “crab like” shit? Right own. This bastard moved like a crab!

Also, note the large red, glowing orb on his back. Okay, it’s probably an effect on the flash. Or is it?

Even though he never threatened us, I have entered full-on storm-geek status this season and have been checking on brother Bill daily. It might be some sort of weird adrenalin jockey affiliation I have developed in association with storm chasing, but I go back to him several times a day.

Bill is a truly amazing storm. In a purely anecdotal sense, he threatened Bermuda and spoiled the other brother Bill’s vacation. But that’s not really amazing, just a cute thing to write on a blog. What is odd about him is he has already hit Canada as a Category 1 hurricane (killing people in the process) and if the spaghetti paths are to be believed, could make exotic landfalls in spots like the United Kingdom, France, Germany Sweden and even Algiers, no, not my Algiers but ALGIERS.

In the trailor for the upcoming film “The Road” there is a familiar image…

“The Road”

Empire, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina


There are supposedly some scenes filmed in the Lower Ninth Ward as well.

I read the book two years ago and even though I have always loved Cormac Mcarthy, I hated the novel. His books have always been filled with sorrow and despair but often they are painted against vast backdrops of the American West or South. In this one, he has covered the landscape in gray ash. The condition of humanity is at it’s base. It made for a lonesome, uninspired read.

Having seen videos, heard stories and viewed photos of lower Plaquemines after Katrina, I think the situation down there closely resembled Mcarthy’s post-apocalypse in “The Road.”

Back when I was in the newspaper business we had a word we used in headlines when shit was just all tossed up. The word was “woes.” And If there was any word to describe the Saints kicker situation in the last 12 months it would be, “woeful.”

In 2006, we cut John Carney and that was stupid. Saint Ashmo, in particular, hated the decision. Then we had a bad season with a bad kicker, Olindo Mare. He missed a lot of field goals and then did us a favor and got injured and we brought in Martin Grammatica who was good, at first. Then he started missing field goals and costing us games. So he was cut and Taylor Mehlhaff was brought in and was OK but then missed an extra point and was cut and tryouts were held and we signed Garrett Hartley and he was pretty good but he took an Adderoll while driving back to New Orleans from Dallas one night an now he’s suspended for four games.

So the Saints have up and resigned Carney. Nice move actually.

I’ve been with the mayor for the last, actually, seven years as a chief — including being the deputy chief. I have seen what he has gone through. There’s absolutely nothing about being mayor that’s attractive today.

That’s probably why no one else wants the job either Chief. But I am curious about that last word, “today.” What soiled him on the job recently? And is it the same thing that’s making everyone else hesitant to run? Hmmmmm…

If you are in the CBD or Warehouse District between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. avoid Magazine Street at all cost. You will be sucked into a traffic vortex so nasty and consuming you will unavoidably lose some of those precious few moments we all have left. It is a maelstrom a suck so bad it would be better to take Convention Center or Claiborne to avoid. Do not go near it. MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. A combination or construction project make traffic in and around the area so awful, drivers are exiting their vehicles and jumping into the vast holes dug by machinery.

How long until the Museum is built because I know traffic has been dicked up over there for two years.