Archive for September, 2010

This post was preceded by a rather lengthy thread of Facebook postings on Louis Maistros page that was titled, “Louis Maistros has noticed the rules that apply in a fight to the death in Thunderdome are the same rules that apply while shopping at the Super Walmart on Tchoupitoulas St.”

The colloquial thread has been going on for a while now. There is a fervent intensity in the misery at this location. But don’t let me direct the narrative, read these online reviews and as you do, pay attention to the Biblical theme running throughout…

My experiences at this Wal-Mart store, are by far the worst of any Wal-Mart on God’s green earth. I usually hate Wal-Mart but I would rather starve to death than buy food here. … I despise this store and will never shop there again. I would leave zero stars if possible.?

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here??
Parking lot after dark? Bring a handgun! Uncaring, obese, rude and grunting workers populate the borderline intelligent “work”force here. To say that the “service” is horrible presumes that there is service at all. There isn’t. This particular Wal Mart was once the site of one of New Orleans’ worst housing projects (St. Thomas Homes) and even though the projects are gone the residents remain, to roam the parking lot and the dirty aisles littered with food eaten off of the shevles and abandoned drinks from the McDonalds located inside the store. On one visit we enjoyed a fist fight among cursing women customers at the check out line. On another we saw unattended kids entertaining themselves by emptying shelves of Xmas items onto the floors. Has to be one of the worst WalMart stores in North America. I only shop there during daylight hours and rarely when I absolutely have to. Otherwise: avoid at all costs!?

… Oh, I forgot to mention the freaks and geeks that frequent this crap hole. It is as if every carny on planet earth tramps through this god forsaken place !!!! …? Oh, I forgot to mention the freaks and geeks that frequent this crap hole. It is as if every carny on planet earth tramps through this god forsaken place !!!! Can you say White Trash ??

It’s like hell on earth!??
I’d rather remove my eyes with a spoon than shop again at that Wal-mart. It’s absolutely terrible. Good luck finding anything you’re looking for. I bit of advice, if you can’t find it on the shelves, maybe look on the floor in a different department. Nothing is organized and their is no one to help you find it!?

Are you ready for pain???
I have been to many a Wal-Mart in my time…in big cities, in small cities, in towns, in the middle of nowhere… This is, bar none, the WORST Wal-Mart ever. Good luck finding a cart that works (there are none). Bring an iPod, because the lines, even in offpeak times, average between 20-40 minutes. You will be harassed for potential stealing at the door. If you are a woman, you will be propositioned in the aisles by crazy men. All I can say is: Are you ready for pain??

Retail Therapy?…??
… This isn’t just about long lines you see, this is about mania ensuing while you try to shop for products that all seem a little iffy to begin with… … Having to get your own cart from the parking lot, because their will be NONE, and I mean NONE inside. There is a Graveyard of bootleg carts at the entryway, BEWARE, they are all bootleg, and they will only move about three feet before getting stuck. If you own your own shopping cart, you are in a good place ( this might be a very special time in life where the homeless have got one up on us tax paying folk.) – Do not even dare to have a sweet conversation with the cashiers. If they want to talk, they will initiate, otherwise, don’t bother. You will feel like and idiot for trying to have a conversation about potting soil with someone who is nearly as determined as an exotic dancer when it comes to tuning out the present. -They selection is rubbish. One day they will have Parsley, the next Cilantro. It’s almost like these two standard herbs are taking turns, playing tag team. If you are ever so bold to ask if an item not on the self is in the back, do not hold your breath. The said process will kill you. … you should try not to look at the children in the store. … If you work for any kind of child protective services, I would advise you send a squad to patrol the store as often as your budget allows. …The credit card machines crash often, leaving both cashless, card-brandishing uptowners, and food stamp users furious enough to start a riot. … If you are an attractive woman, the cart guy(s)*** in the parking lot will try to pick you up. To avoid an awkward conversation, (regardless of any possible attraction to this rugged pack of men) explain that the Walmart parking lot is the last place on earth you want to be picked up. … There are usually 3 to 5 men bringing in the carts in a sophisticated buggy. Though, I don’t know where they take the carts, because they never seem to make it into the store. … Consumer’s beware: You might find a deal or two, and save yourself a good ten bucks, but the Lord of The Flies atmosphere will make you crazy enough to need expensive therapy. Don’t go often, and don’t go it alone.

I can’t find the actual review but I swear there was one n there where the person said when they left the store there was an ice cream truck on fire in the parking lot. That’s fucking fantastic!

You know all those horror novels and films that claim a place is haunted because it is built upon an Indian burial ground? The modern, socio-economic equivalent of that is a Wal-Mart built on a former notorious housing project. The spirits of inequity are still in the soil man!

How fitting is it that so many of the post titles refer to the store as a Hell or conjur images of Dante’s Inferno? People have lost all concept of that other Hell. They don’t grasp it any more than they understand Jupiter’s moon Io or the surface of Venus. This is the hell on Earth, something they can really wrap their brains around. This Hell we have willingly created and endure. It’s a consumer Hell of shabby, soulless products that not only are created with poorly-paid labor but also in developing countries that will one day rule us. We get shitty mirrors and can openers smothered in guilt because we know they were made by suffering workers in factories governed by countries who are secretly preying on us. That’s if the products themselves don’t kill us with their poisons or bankrupt us because they aren’t built to last, but to be replaced.

But wait, it’s worse. That’s the experience in any run-of-the-mill Wal-Mart, this is the Wild Tchoupitoulas Wal Mart, where there is a remolaude of New Orleans-style social aversion thickly layered over the whole experience. It’s the eye of the storm.

The entire scene is set behind flood walls and yards away from the Great Mississippi River, where every drop of blood, sweat, tears and piss from West New York to East Idaho flows past eventually. It all flows through us, literally, we drink that stuff. The entire city of New Orleans, the conscious of our great nation, the filthy child of Omelas, surrounds this center.

Stacy Head couldn’t help but make her commentary, she was compelled to by the spirits of the demolished Projects. Inside, the Uptowners who aren’t quite able to afford Whole Foods punish themselves by going to Wal-Mart. They hate themselves for not making more money, for not grasping that carrot dangling in front of their wagon. But the contempt can not be hidden. Everyone feels it. The poor, uneducated folks think Wal-Mart’s a party, time to cut the F up. Having dispensed with any sort of shame long ago, they treat it like some sort of Wednesdays at the Square. Time to see and, more importantly, be seen!

Of course let’s not forget that before it was built, there was a group of folks who didn’t want it to be there in the first place. Now we see what they were on about.

In a mostly unrelated footnote, I heard a rumor that this Wal-Mart was going to close because it was losing so much money due to theft. But it wasn’t consumer theft, it was from the employees. That’s monumental right there. Can you imagine a heralded location of America’s largest corporation being felled by employee pilferage? But, it was just a rumor I am sure.

- In the interest of fairness, I too go to this Wal-Mart several times a year for Krylon spray paints. The reason is because they are so much cheaper there. But I do try to go to the Behrman Highway location. I also recommend this location to anyone who want to avoid the Tchoup shop. It’s the next closest. Don’t fear the West Bank, it’s got lots of trees. You can see them from the bridge.

I was waiting on some photos at Walgreens in Gretna yesterday and figured I’d kill some time by heading on over to Casey Jones (the best family-owned supermarket on the West Bank) and getting a 12-pack. When I returned to Walgreens the photos still weren’t ready so I figured I would kinda hang around the pharmacy and try to figure out who was getting what ‘scripts. Birth control pills? Lipitor? Purple Drank? Then I saw some beer and wine and was like WTF?

Sure as shit. The free market has decided and the vices have won!

Drugstore chain Walgreen will start selling beer and wine as profit falls on non-pharmacy sales

Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG), the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain, confirmed Tuesday that it will start selling beer and wine in a majority of its 7,000 stores.

Unfortunately, there is a cost…

The new Walgreens also will have fewer impulse items, such as Chia Pets

Okay, yes, many people are calling for the head of Hartley. Many people are saying he has been seen partying in the Quarter lately.

I need not remind everyone how awful our kicking was in 2007 and 2008 with the Olindos and the Grammaticas and I think there was another one in there for a second as well. We all knew it was goofy to release Carney and even Sean Payton has admitted that. Ashmo knew it the whole time.

The specter of Hartley’s missed Minnesota kicks was still in my head Sunday, particularly the short one. So why didn’t Payton run it a few times? Or try that Shockey pass that has worked almost every time they tried it? They moved the ball at will down the field in OT. You can say it’s as simple as blaming the kicker but, as Pants often points out, it’s all really the coach’s fault.

Why not run it a few more times? Is it more likely that Pierre Thomas or Ivory are going to fumble it when they know ball security is so important? They had three plays.

Three things can go wrong kicking a field goal. The holder or the center can bungle the snap or the hold, the kick can be blocked or the kicker can miss. I just don’t see why Payton didn’t finish out the downs by running it or a quick pass to the tight end.

So it doesn’t all fall on Hartley. I heard they are working out John Carney and may bring him back into the mentor role he had last year. I like the Adderall Kid. He’s got a strong leg and he has made some clutch kicks in the past. Let’s just give him some more time. Not sure who would be better besides Carney and he isn’t someone that will last many more seasons.

It’s all Payton’s fault anyway. Maybe someone brought him Spearmint instead of Juicy Fruit.

I know waste mangement companies get a hard time in GNO but I have to hand it to Richards Disposal curbside collection. They take whatever I put out. And I have challenged them in the past with bins full of busted up concrete, huge branches of oak, all manner of scrap wood protruding from the top of bins… on an on. They always take it.

I remember when I lived in San Diego, they wouldn’t take the garbage for if the can wasn’t facing the right way or if there was too much sticking out the top.

Yesterday I did a little autumn pick-up in the back yard and created a lot of trash. The biggest monster was a ’50s era Formica table that had pop-out wings. This thing was so heavy. I busted it up a bit but basically just put the entire top in the bin in two halves. It stuck way out of the top. I also chopped down a yucca tree and justlaid that out on the curb in a disrespectful manner that said blatantly challenged them. I also just put out an old Ace garbage can that had yard waste in it knowing it was not in an official container. They took it all.

All the metal parts of the ’50s table I separated out and placed on the side of the road a little further up in hopes that Bubbles may come by and grab them for scrap. But I am pretty sure Richards grabbed them too.

And they didn’t even wake me up this morning when they did it.

Folks who have seen our House Hunters episode know that there are quite a few chickens in our neighborhood. Most people use them as a a signal of when to get up but when they staart crowing we know it’s time to go to bed. There is only one left from the House Hunters group and we call him “spy boy.” Another group has started up a block away.

Yesterday I was coming home and saw a rooster crossing the road in front of me. Someone had put a pile of meal out on the sidewalk and he strutted over there and started munching on it.

So if anyone was still wondering, that’s why they cross the road…to eat stuff.

All life’s mysteries can solved here in New Orleans.

I saw this bumper sticker the other day at Whitney and General DeGaulle. I was then inspired to embrace the many pleasures and joys this abundant world has to offer. Yes! I will live it up! Because that Lake of Fire is really going to suck.

Going to live it up right now by having a Beam and ginger. Ya gotta love Kentucky Bourbon. They only use their barrels once you know.

… this press conference happened after last night’s game.

It seemed like Hurricane Igor has been in the news forever. What a bizarre storm. I just looked at his track and he is forecasted to move west over Newfoundland? Crazy. “Hurricane lashes East Canada” is not a headline you often hear.

He is also predicted to finally sputter out on Sept. 25. He formed on Sept. 8. 18 days. Not a record but still very long. Julia and Karl came and went in that time.

Look at his historical track. A huge S-curve through the Atlantic.

He got me to thinking about some of the more bizarre Hurricane tracks from recent years.

Elena- 1985
My favorite of all time is Elena. Click the link and you will see her scaring the bejeesus out of the entire Gulf Coast and then abruptly turning toward the east coast of Florida. Then, an astonishing 180 degree turn back toward the Fla – AL – MS coast. Think of all the fleeing! A triple evacuation.

Wilma – 2005
Wilma’s notoriety has not been given the credit she deserves because of Katrina and Rita that same year but Wilma has the distinction of having the lowest pressure of any recorded storm (882 millibars) and it intensified from a tropical storm to a Cat-5 in one day. I always thought the turn at the bottom of the Gulf was strange as I never saw a storm move east across the whole Gulf like that. Also, she ate another storm. By that I mean she absorbed another system named Tropical Storm Alpha.

Charley – 2004
Charley’s a good example of why depending too much on forecasters might not always be such a good idea. This path shows that he jogged to the northeast in a few hours then intensified. Residents of Punta Gorda, Fl thought they were going to get brushed by a Cat 2 ended up being hit directly by a Cat-4 with no time for evacuations. What a nightmare.

Katrina – 2005
I only include her in the context of this early forecast. If she would have only been over the Gulf for the short amount of time predicted in that forecast, she would have been a much weaker storm with much less damage. Unfortunately, as you can see in this track, she has what amounts to be a “running start” over the warm Gulf waters, spending time getting big and strong after emerging from South Florida to really gear up for the destruction she would later wreak. I remember thinking if she just kept going a little more west before the jog to the north we would be better off.

Zombie Ivan – 2004
We all know Ivan as the one that head-faked New Orleans and hit the FL – AL border. I know it as the one that destroyed the house I grew up in and sort of primed me for the destruction I’d see a year later in my friends’ homes. But he is on this list because he is one of the only ones who came back from the dead. I’ll let the experts explain it, “Ivan’s remnants turned to the southeast then southwest, and gradually re-organized over the warm Gulf Stream waters. After crossing southern Florida on September 21 the system regained tropical characteristics over the Gulf of Mexico, and became a tropical storm on September 23 while 140 miles (220 km) south of Louisiana.” Anyways, he came back. Didn’t do much after that.

I noticed when I walked by the t-shirt shop selling those FUBP shirts I posted about a month or so back now has a sign saying they donate $1 to some charity or another from the sale of each shirt. So, credit where it’s due in the interest of fairness.

Okay, it was in 1991 …

I’m surprised Madded didn’t get his little pen out. “So what he’s got to do here is takes the jacket and smother the fire like this! Ya can’t just beat on it and spread the flames everywhere…”