Archive for October, 2010

New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas fires 3 officers

O’Hern was arrested in January for illegally discharging his weapon last December in a downtown rooftop parking lot. Investigators determined he fired his weapon without cause in the middle of the day inside the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel at 2 Poydras St. Police said O’Hern fired his weapon several times into his personal vehicle.

Sounds a lot like Prez.

Remnants of the previous night bleed through on Jackson Square Sunday morning…

Images by Stuart South.

From the comments on this Yella post…

Seriously, it’s not like are the Niners or something. We are one damn game out. We have won one diviosn game and lost one. Next week we have another one. And I am going to say right here and right now that I think we will win this one and cover the spread if we are favored and beat it if we aint

An almost identical situation happened after the end of the regular season last year. The Saints were playing shittily. They were riding high, then they slumped then they emerged again. Many haters had them gone in the first round of the play-offs.

Actually, a lot has been covered in this Chic post from before the play-offs last year…

Announcers are not like Spaghetti charts.
When they are all in agreement, they are probably wrong. Right now they all have chubbies over Dallas and San Diego. San Diego is on a long winning streak but Dallas? They were openly mocking those guys a month ago. They were all talking about a “December collapse” that was inevitable for them because the team has played poorly in December in the past. So what happened? That talk got them fired up and they proved something against the Saints. Same for the Eagles, who were the toughest team in football until they got dey ass whipped by Dallas last week. Now they are a “team in trouble.” Expect the Saints to defy the expectations and bounce back.

The announcers, sports story commenters, radio show in-callers and the general sports media are to be listened to only when there is chaos. When they agree about what will happen, that shit generally does NOT happen. Just witness the fates of Dallas, Green Bay and San Diego in last year’s play-offs. Witness the Colts’ loss in the Super Bowl. Witness the 1-4 Dallas record this year. Everyone had them pegged for the first ever “home” Super Bowl game. Now look at them.

Then there are the fans. The ones that freak out at any sign of trouble. These are described in better detail as “Uptown ladies” by Pants in this Yellow post. These aren’t to be confused with Uptown girls. There are many Uptown ladies in the comments of Jeffrey’s posts.

No decent team slumps for long. Look at San Diego, they lead in almost all the stats categories right now but have a 2-4 record. They will emerge soon. Having lived there, I can tell you there are Uptown ladies there too.

Most Uptown ladies like to depend on stats, intangibles, strength of schedule and other straw men to back-up their previous position once it has been disproven by score. I actually know a guy who still maintains the 2009 team wasn’t worthy of their Ring. “He asks, “How many playoff teams did they beat last year?” I started to name the teams we actually beat and he wouldn’t let me include them. He only wanted to count how many we beat in the regular season. There was some sort of method to his madness (for the record, Philadelphia, New England, NY Jets).

So I got to thinking, what if games didn’t have touchdowns? What if instead of points at the end zone, they just reversed the field position and put the ball at the one yard line and plays would just continue until there was a turnover either by downs or fumble /pick? Then at the end of regulation, it would all be added up and the winner would be declared.

Or what if football were judged? Like boxing, figure skating or gymnastics?

Both of those would suck. Be weary of stats loyalists. Stats provide a wonderful insight into the game but it is always goofy to use them to show a team “doesn’t deserve” it’s record. The argument will always come back to the final judgment, the record itself. Though, I do support using stats to explore why a team doesn’t have more wins than it should.

I fully recommend using the announcers “spaghetti charts” method to make bets on football too. It’s tricky though. The Vegas line is the Vegas line and it seems impervious to hype. But when you see Howie and Terry and those guys start to gush and stroke themselves about a team, it’s a good indication that the opposite of what they think will happen is going to happen. It’s like som collective conciousness type thing I can’t put my finger on.

It might be happening to Garret Hartley right now. Before the Minnesota game they had him up there with Tom Dempsey, telling him how awesome he is. Then what happened?

For those that came here because you love Public Enemy…

I touched briefly in my post yesterday about the sanctimonious, arrogant and hypocritical behavior of many bicyclists around town. It was a bit of an abstract concept and really hard to prove in any sort of way but I wanted to suggest that the bicyclists themselves often put themselves in as much danger as careless drivers do.

Fortunately, I did a short search on the Internet and found a number of videos that depict this notion much more accurately than I ever could.

The person responsible for the videos routinely bikes through the Quarter, often down Decatur St, running red lights, crossing the double yellow line and narrowly avoiding pedestrians in crosswalks, including, yes, our little snowflakes, the children.


Points of interest in this first video are:

At:45 Cyclist does not yield to pedestrians in crosswalk

At 1:06 cyclist runs red light and misses pedestrians in a crosswalk at an intersection he states in another video is the busiest in town for pedestrian traffic (St. Ann at Decatur in front of Cafe du Monde)

At 1:20 Cyclist runs red light

At 2:21 Cyclist runs red light

At 2:30 Cyclist runs red light

At 3:18 Cyclist runs red light

Pay close attention to the boondoggle at Canal and Claiborne…

New Orleans Bicycle Commute 07-16-2008 from Joey Brooks on Vimeo.

After counting the moving violations in this video I came upon another video where its creator went ahead and did it for me, seemingly boasting of his violating of the road rules or, in his own words “easily count how many stop signs and red lights I blew.”

You can watch the whole thing or I can save you the trouble and say that at the end of it he does some simple math and estimates to have blown 4500 stop signs and red lights in a year’s time.

NOLA MVC (Moving Violation Count) from Joey Brooks on Vimeo.

Here he visits French Quarter Fest and can’t figure out why anyone would be in a car in the Quarter during the event. I am guessing he doesn’t see that a festival like that requires some degree of traffic to facilitate the people who work there and the transportation of sausage, equipment, performers, ice, police, art, clothes and everything else.

French Quarter Fest Mayhem from Joey Brooks on Vimeo.

So what I’m asking is, would bike lanes really matter to this gentleman or anyone like him? Would they use them at all? I’m not against bike lanes at all. But I am for bicyclists realizing they share the road with cars and especially pedestrians.

I know there are many safety-minded cyclists out there who may not want to be lumped into a category. To them I say, make sure your fellow bikers follow the simple laws of the road and you wont be.

Biking in New Orleans might be less of an uphill battle these days

I am very much in favor of bike lanes and bike safety here in New Orleans. And the bicyclists should lead the way.

I used to bike to work. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. I worked in the Quarter and lived in Bayou St. John and it was a great ride down Esplenade. I lost 20 or so pounds. My rest heart rate was in the mid 50s. I felt great. I saw the city from yet another unique perspective.

I also stopped at lights, rode on the correct side of the street, anticipated opening car doors, and stayed on the inside lane. I didn’t want to get hit by cars and I respected them for being massive, fast chunks of metal driven by careless people and in one incident, a woman putting on eyeliner.

As a driver, I treat bikes like cars and have the same expectations of them as cars. If I get to a four-way stop before you, that means I have right of way. I know it is harder to get back up to speed but bicyclists should really try to stop or at least slow down at these intersections.

In the French Quarter, Chartres, Bourbon, and Burgundy run toward Esplenade and Royal and Dauphine run toward Canal. So those are the directions bicyclists need to take when going in those directions.

Uptown bicyclists should use common sense by taking Tchoup, St. Charles or Prytania when going upriver and downriver. Magazine Street is dangerous for cars, saying nothing of little alloy bicycles with delicate femurs, cervical spines, vertebrae and humeruses. Sure, bikes are legally allowed on Magazine but, the Law of Darwin states it isn’t a safe street for cycling.

Has this situation ever happened to you on Magazine? There is a bicyclist on the inside of the lane, a few feet into traffic. You are in a car behind him or her. You manage to pass them using the 3 foot rule and begin to leave them behind as you accelerate, glad that nervous, time-destroying incident is in your rearview. But wait, there is a stoplight. As you wait at the red light the bicyclist you just passed goes straight through it. Repeat previous scenario for 4000, 3000, 2000 blocks.

Let’s also not forget the sanctimonious attitudes of many bicyclists. Perhaps it is through a sense of entitlement that they believe they can defy road laws? They who are staying in shape and not contributing to the demise of the free world through consumption of gasoline.

I love biking around. It’s very fun. I have respect for those who do it. But many of them are way too careless with their own lives and the future anxieties of the drivers who hit them.

I’ll never forget the guy who was in the center lane of traffic with his iPod in his ears and he went right through the red light at Poydras and Perdido, one of the busiest intersections in the CBD.

These paragraphs from the article confuse me…

When Schnoebelen saw a billboard promoting a state law passed last year requiring motorists to allow at least 3 feet of space when passing a bicyclist, he found the concept somewhat impractical, especially on the city’s narrow streets.

Conducting his own experiment, Schnoebelen taped a 3-foot yardstick to his handlebars and biked his normal route. As a line of cars stacked up behind him, one driver finally pulled up beside him. Schnoebelen explained the new law, and the driver sped off, but not before shaking his fist and cursing. Needless to say, the yardstick didn’t last, at least at its original length, for more than a few days.

The law is impractical because 3 feet is too much or too little? The yardstick didn’t last because cars were hitting it or because it was getting hit on trees, buildings, so forth? The driver was cursing and shaking his fist because he was upset at the law?

Following a link from a link in the article I found what I hoped were laws governing bikes but the PDF seems like it is actually made up of guidelines.

Many of these seem difficult to enforce if they were laws.

Be aware that bicyclists not traveling in the extreme right of the lane may be trying to avoid
gravel, debris, bad pavement, sewer grates and other obstacles.

Is that a law? A law requiring awareness? How can a ticket be written for this?

I like this one…

Use hand signals and eye contact to communicate your actions with other drivers on the road.

So is that an actual law? Because very seldom do I see hand signals. It is always appreciated when I do, I just hardly ever see it. If bicyclists are required to use these it would seems there are a ton of rule-breaking rogues out there with holier-than-thou attitudes. I will begin to call the police when I see them not using hand signals.

Obey the instructions of official traffic control signals and signs. Stop at stop signs and for
stoplights just like a motor vehicle.

I can say with certainty that I have never seen a bicyclist stop at a stop sign in the French Quarter. This law is probably disregarded most often.

Will these guidelines help determine fault in an accident? Having to pay damages or higher insurance is where many people are going to pay attention.

I’m on your side cyclists, just don’t want to see anyone get hurt because they don’t realize the same rules apply to combustion engines as well your little feets.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Neil PostmanAmusing Ourselves to Death

The area south of Highway 98, North of the Gulf, East of Highway 59 and West of Pensacola Naval Air Station is Varg’s fatherland. Where a young Varg Lived out his formative years getting screwed, brewed and tattooed. This was before the cement monoliths overcame Perdido Key and before Ivan pretty much took out all the wooden, well built homes. The local kids spent their time at far-out oyster shell parking lots on the beach listening to the radio and cassettes tapes while getting to know each other.

The roads were straight, dark and isolated. We didn’t have a lot to do and service industry jobs put money in our pockets. I recall one summer, I smelled like french fries the whole time because I had a job at a seafood restaurant and worked the fryer. It was a simple job. I learned you batter the shrimp, scallops and fish and throw them in the fryer. When they float they are done. Serve it with a lemon and cale garnish.

I worked with rednecks, black folks, gays and lesbians and Vietnamese mostly. These people made up the middle class. The working folk. We worked together, played together, gave each other rides to work when our cars broke down or our licenses were suspended. We helped each other out. We weren’t stereotypes. There was a tinge of Reneck Riviera but it wasn’t who we were and it didn’t define us any more than the kids on Jersey Shore define the East Coast of that state.

We didn’t consider ourselves “Good Ol’ Boys or Gals”? We didn’t think that Southerners are underrepresented on TV? We didn’t talk endlessly about Nascar. We didn’t sport a rebel flags jacked-up pickup trucks. We listen to loud country and/or Southern rock (not exclusively anyway). We didn’t enjoy walking around shirtless or in daisy dukes? We didn’t consider “liberal” a dirty word? And the idea of the perfect vacation wasn’t going to Panama City or Daytona, buying Miller beer by the case, partying and dancing the night away among neon-lighted strips of bars while spending the day on the beach with a cold one in our hands and watching bikini bull-riding contests?

But I am sure there were people out there who did or will at least pretend to be one of those people so they can get on TV…

From the Web site

This is your opportunity to represent our unique Southern beach culture on a reality show all about you! It’s time to show the other coasts (and the rest of the nation) the place where the South parties and plays…where the sand is warm and the drinks are always cold.

So turn on your video camera and get ready to help us show ‘em how we do it down on the Redneck Riviera!

Friendly, sociable, gregarious, and unreserved guys and gals between the ages of 21 and 30 who would be psyched about spending 2 summer months living in an all-expense paid beach house. We’re looking to represent the entire Southeast, so if you’re from the South, or grew up in the South, you should apply. You MUST want to be on a reality TV show and be willing to be taped.

I have always pitied the folks in New Jersey. The vast majority of them who aren’t “guidos” and aren’t in the mafia. The real people who live there and have to endure this micro-fraction of misfits who have managed to hijack the social identity of an entire area.

Now it might happen to the Gulf Coast and once again there will be another group of people added to the list of folks who have yet to realize the joke is on them – that they are the victims. Of course they aren’t the castmembers aren’t the only victims. The entire region becomes one too. I don’t blame the government of Gulf Shores for trying to stop the whole thing. They know it will be decades before the stigma wears off. And they are already reeling from an oil leak.

As if people from the South didn’t have enough problems with stereotypes. I faced them a lot out West. It can be heard whenever someone wants something to sound stupid, they always say it with an exaggerated Southern accent.

I’m so disappointed with television. I really need to get off that grid. Netflix and those new digital rabbit ears may be able to carry me through. If this show gets picked up I swear I will let it go. No Cox. No DirecTV, no provider. Just the public stuff and the Internet. It can be done. It MUST be done.

Former HANO chief financial officer who stole nearly $1 million gets 46-month sentence

This article has some awesome quotes…

Baum continued: “The court should know that, after paying the restitution, this defendant is left poor. His home in Florida has been foreclosed; the property in South Carolina is going back to the bank since he cannot make the payments; the 2007 Porsche was sold for what was owed on it; the 2009 BMW has been repossessed and he owes a deficiency of $25,000; his 2006 Kawasaki is a 50cc child’s bike; the furniture in his home is 6 to 9 years old; paintings mentioned in the (sentencing) report are prints, not originals; his wife has sold her jewelry to pay living expenses; he owes Bank of America $198,000 on an old business loan; he owes about $90,000 on various credit cards.”

Forget the 44 months. This MFer has PRINTS in his house! That’s punishment enough right there. He also has 6 – 9 year old furniture and that aint new, and it aint vintage either.

Baum noted that Castellanos had “forfeited a great deal because of his greed” and that he had worked under a turmoiled HANO administration that may have “facilitated” the crime. His client also had access to other HANO accounts with millions in them. “So he could’ve looted them if he’d chosen to, although I don’t know if you acknowledge someone for not stealing more than he did,” Baum said.

You do not acknowledge someone for that.

Using simple division, he is serving 1 month for every 20K he stole.

This site is pretty cool. It has real time locations of ship traffic around the world but of course the best part for us is the action in the Port of New Orleans. I see that Ferry traffic just ended. The Creole Queen, Natchez and all the ferries are on there. I am also watching the 188m Star Gamma, a cargo ship from the Marshall Islands. It just went under the GNO.

There is also a tug named “Moose” moored in Gretna.

I am in a daiquiri shop by Jackson Square watching the blood-pressure increasing performance of the Saints vs. the Panthers when all of the sudden this commercial runs…

And I was all like whaaaaat? When the November mudslinging commences, how much is going to get on Obama?