Thursday, December 27, 2007

The most wonderful time of the year.

Post-Christmas sales have started. One of the biggest sale items I'm seeing are the games for the Nintendo Wii. If you managed to get a Wii, now is not a bad time to buy Zelda or U R Mr Gay. Some people are accusing Nintendo of intentionally creating a shortage but I wager incompetence and fear were bigger reasons for the shortage. Nintendo didn't believe enough in their own system to up production when it would've meant something. Now they just don't have enough of them.

I personally want a Wii but refuse to put effort into finding one. I'm not going out of my way to force Nintendo to take my money thank you very much. They had better hope I keep interest long enough to find one. Last year I was kicking around the idea but there were none available. When I finally saw one in the store, it was getting near spring time. Boat repairs and maintenance took center stage at that point and there was just no money for something best used indoors. I didn't even think about it again until playing one about two weeks ago. If it's spring time again before I can get my hands on one, you can bet money that it will be next winter before I even consider it again.

Brick-and-mortar stores in general struggled this year while on-line retailers did quite well. You can probably guess where the sales will be. I'll be heading to Target today to try and score one of those plug-into-your-TV Ms Pac Man games for $10 if they still have any. I'm looking at taking one apart and wiring it up to some proper arcade controls for some proper Ms Pac-Man/Galaga goodness. I even found some old leaf spring joysticks and buttons to give it the right feel (springy instead of clicky). There are plenty of other odds and ends on sale there.

I'll probably also head to the board game kiosk at the mall to see if they've clearenced Settlers of Catan enough for my liking. For those who don't know, Settlers is easily the best board game made in the past 20 years or so and probably one of the best board games ever made. I'd put it 3rd behind Stratego and Chess. (Yeah, I know I put Stratego above Chess but I'm a sucker for incomplete information games. I would put dark chess above Stratego if it didn't require 3 boards and a ref who knows the game well.)

In non-nerd news, clothes sold rather poorly (especially women's clothing). Expect some massive sales for clothing in general.

What are you guys looking at getting this late-December-early-January shopping season? What are you returning?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Now, That's What I'm Talking About

Yessir. Getting geared up to go home and chill with the Moms and the Pops on Island City. This means that Pops will undoubtedly attempt to bait me into some sort of religious/political argument, most likely over the "War On Christmas" but possibly on Presidential politics. If I take the bait, the argument will get out of hand, as per usual, and all sorts of bourbon will be needed to unspool. I'll try not to take the bait, or (more likely) just hit the bourbon early and avoid much coherent thought (it is difficult, after all, to start an argument with a stumbling family member in a Georgia Bulldawgs' dreadlock beanie who won't stop talking like Lil' Doogie).

Luckily, I don't need to write out the entire transcripts for my readership, because folks like Doug over at Hey, Jenny Slater! have saved me the time and trouble by doing such a great job. In the latest installment, HJS takes on the "Catholic League" and their spokeshole William Donohue. I felt so much glee at reading this, that it warmed the cockles of my cynical, bitter, guilt-ridden Catholic heart.

I simply had to share it with all of you, especially those of you who constantly point out Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton's flaws. Demogougery is a two way street, after all.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Am I Missing Something Here?

The City of San Francisco is considering a tax on caffeine. It's part of the mayor's "Shape up San Francisco" program. Excess caffeine is bad for your health so I do understand a tax on caffeine being proposed in that package. But the thing that strikes me as odd is that the defense given for the tax is that the tax on caffeine will curb obesity. WHAT?! Taxing one of the main ingredients in over-the-counter diet pills is going to help the fight against obesity? It would appear that they really want to target high sugar drinks. Why then do they propose to tax caffeine instead? Wouldn't a sugar threshold make a lot more sense? Something is odd here. What am I missing? (And note that the typical answer of "Dirty politicians are trying to get money anywhere they can." only gets to be used only as a last resort.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

War on Christmas Redux

I was flipping through the channels the other night and Bill O'Really was on FOX news talking about this year's "War on Christmas." I've got to go back to the archives to find some of the stuff we talked about over here.

This "War on Christmas" stuff has been going on for a while. I remember waay back when I was in CCD (Catholic meetings for young folks) lo, those many years ago back on Island City. One week during a holiday season, when I was growing my hair out and wearing steel toed combat boots around like I had something to prove, CCD brought in a guest speaker to tell us wayward kids about how we were "losing what Christmas was all about." His primary example? That some folks called Christmas "X-mas."

Being the smart ass that I was (so much has changed, after all) I raised the point that only a few weeks earlier, we had learned that Emperor Constantine of Rome had converted before a great battle, and had Chi - Rho labeled on some of his armies' banners. Chi - Rho were the first two Greek letters of "Christ," and the Greek symbol for Chi is an "X," so that saying "X-mas" is just a different way of saying "Christmas."

The Christmas Warriors (tm) also can't stand when I bring up that the word "holiday" is just a conjuntion of the words "Holy" and "Day." So all those folks who are mad at "Holiday Trees" and "Happy Holidays" are getting angry at people for saying, effectively, have a blessed Holy Day. But excuse me for being literate. (As a disclaimer, I do come from the only state in the Union to replace the Confederate flag on their state flag with a different Confederate flag but nobody's complaining anymore, such is the importance of symbolism...)

The guest speaker didn't like me very much. Can't imagine why. It sure is tough to let really real history get in the way of all that mythmaking. (HT: Clicked) But I've never been the expert on the Christmas thing anyway, as the holiday (there I go again) is generally a cold time of the year, and I prefer palm trees to misteltoe and red, red wine in a plastic cup on the beach to roasting chestnuts. But my parents have a fire pit in their back patio on Island City, so we make due. Least the ice in the cooler don't melt so fast, is what I'm sayin'.

The Moms, on the other hand, gets really into it, and there is a chance you will be able to see her house from orbit for all the shiny lights.

This year, the first blogger I see to bring up the tWOC is DADvocate, and though he and I see this issue very very differently, he brings up a hilarious point. The Surgeon General has chided Santa Claus for "being too fat" to role model to kids in our obese society. Now, that's comedy.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tour Guides: Open Thread

The folks over at Georgia Sports Blog are compiling a eating/drinking guide for that army of Bulldawg fans that will overrun the Crescent City 'round about New Years. I've got my suggestions, for sure, but I wanted to open the field (especially to our Saints regulars who know what it is like to have fun in and around the Superdome) to any suggestions. When you write this, remember, almost every red and black clad individual making the trip will, at some point of the weekend, stroll down Bourbon Street.

My suggestions:

French Quarter
Angeli on Decatur - good pizza all night long (Decatur & Gov. Nicholls?)
Napoleon House - nice place for lunch, try the bread pudding (Chartres & St Louis)
Molly's on the Market - drinks in a low key atmosphere (Decatur & Ursuline)
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop - drinks in an 18th Century atmosphere (Bourbon & St. Phillip)
And when you're done with the Quarter, walk East past Esplanade to find Frenchmen Street, and walk up and down like it is Clayton Street in Athens.

Downtown (CBD)/Warehouse District
coming soon

coming soon

Around the Superdome

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

25 Skills to Have

This article is titled "25 Skills Every Man Should Know" but really anyone should learn how to do most of these. How many do you know how to do? Some of them are more important than others. For example, you can learn to use a torque wrench by thumbing through the instructions so I wouldn't go out of my way to learn that before it's needed. However, learning to maneuver a car out of a skid should be something everyone learns to do well before it's needed.

Personally, I can confidently do 21 of the items. I've never cleaned a bolt-action rifle. I have no idea how to do CPR. And I don't trust a radiator hose I've patched to last for long enough to be useful. I've tried and failed that same technique on a pressure washer hose. I'm also not a pro at rescuing capsized boaters. I could probably do it if needed, but I wouldn't mark it as a "Yes."

One thing I will say is that if you wish to learn how to do any of these things, start by disregarding any instructions you see on MSN. The instructions for framing a wall are downright scary. They'll have you cutting up your floor instead of measuring and cutting your bottom plate right in the first place for a door.

Monday, December 03, 2007



Man, I really need to do something else for employment. Here it is after four or five days, and only now do I notice that two notorious Georgia bloggers were down in New Orleans, playing cards, of all things, downtown at Harrah's. Here's hoping that Sara and Drifting Through the Grift had a good time in the Crescent City, and take some good stories back to tell all they frens back in the Empire.

Here's also hoping that next time, I can be Johnny on the Spot and buy any visiting Georgia bloggers a drink. I know I'll get another chance sometime around New Years Day at least...

Truth Served Cold

I meant to post a link to this article by Jason Whitlock when it first came out, but it slipped away in the middle of a long weekend. Though the article got the nod from many major news and sports outlets, it did get buried rather quickly. Luckily, DADvocate posts this reminder and asks the same important questions that I think we all need to be asking.

It reminded me of where I live, and this telling post on the MD Filter back in September. And, unless anyone has forgotten, that was in September, then there was October and even more telling numbers.

Happily for the nation's national consciousness, no Presidential Debates will be hosted in New Orleans, so all those pressing and unpleasant issues (among other notables, please see also: infrastructure) will remain answered with only silence from those who are hoping to lead this nation.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


The City of Jacksonville, Florida has a guest column over at EDSBS, and it is well worth the read.

I'm sure Dante will be commenting shortly. Matter of fact, Owed Many Beers may even chime in on this one. Here's a little backstory.

When you go almost anywhere else, if you're from Georgia, you are From Atlanta. Telling people that you grew up "near Jacksonville" elicits a confused look, as if they want to say "stupid redneck, Jacksonville is like, in Florida or something" (because many of them don't actually know). But Jax doesn't fit that Miami-Tampa-Panama City Floridian mythology, so they hold their tongues, nodding and smiling at their new stupid redneck friend.

But when you grow up in Coastal Georgia, you're growing up either In Savannah or Somewhere Near Jacksonville. Not that growing up Near Jacksonville means much of anything, because, unlike most cities that dominate their surrounding areas (see also: In Savannah; From Atlanta), Jacksonville will just leave you alone, let you listen to their radio stations, sell you beer on Sunday, and sell your local ne'erdowells all the imported cannabis they can fit into a trunk and bring back through the Camden County roadblocks. More on the Camden County angle from Dante and OMB in a moment.

I always loved Jacksonville, though, because of the way they go about things. Any city that has the balls to put up with the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party for so many years deserves a significant amount of street cred in the first place. When they found out they were hosting the Super Bowl some years back, they responded by tearing up their entire intracity infrastructure, including interstates, and rebuilding them for the game. They had a radio station in the 90's that played alt-rock and hip-hop in the same format, and would play real heavy metal at night. They introduced the first releases of a band called "Limp Bizkit," back when that sound was fresh, never realizing what they were unleashing on the world. The mayor of Jax was discussing development at one point and said that, while they welcomed investment, they would not tolerate becoming the next Atlanta, which touched off a huge rivalry. One of the best music venues I've ever been to was Jackrabbit's, though for the life of me I can't remember where it was - I just remember that I inexplicably had to cross two or three major bridges to get there.

But I never went there a lot. I lived 45 minutes away from this rather large city for most of my life, had a major ex-girlfriend who is from there, and have maybe been there only 20 times. I've been to Waycross, Georgia about as many times, and Savannah always won on the day trip debate if a choice had to be made.

So I have to take the city's word for it when it comes to sense of self. But my trips there always had to do with watching rock and roll or going to a beach or buying beer on a Sunday, so my impression of the place is a little warmer and fuzzier than the self evaluation.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Collateral Cheer List

Oklahoma over Missouri
Dave Wannstedt and the Stache they call Pitt over West Virginia

Wait a minute. That's Shchnider from One Day at a Time. I know I've got a Wannstedt picture here somewhere. Here we go...

It comes down to this. Oklahoma looks pretty reasonable but Pitt over West Virginia? I don't think that's happening. But if it does, UGA would probably get a shot at Ohio State for the national title as long as Oklahoma doesn't completely tar and feather Mizzou and Va Tech doesn't do something spectacular against BC. There's also the chance that a 2-loss SEC Champ LSU goes to the big dance over 2-loss UGA, but that doesn't look like it's going to be the case.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Week 13 Pickoff

Creeping along towards mediocrity here. paT is a spoilsport.

Last Week

SAWB 9-13
Dante 8-8


SAWB 149-158-1
paT 78-99
Dante 73-78

Pillowfight Pickems:

Old-School throwback of the week: Vandy v Wake
New-School mockery of the week: Stanford v Notre Dame
It's funny because nobody will be watching: Alabama v Auburn
Because I couldn't pass it up: Florida Atlantic v Florida International

Best Of Shows

The other night, I was sitting on the porch of two musicians I know in New Orleans and we were discussing the very, very different music cultures that exist in New Orleans and Athens. One discussed difference is that NOLA has between 3 and 5 weekly/monthly magazines which go over local music. Athens has the Flagpole.

Try as I might, I've never been able to get into anything other than the Flagpole format. I still read it, online, every single week. I have since I left Athens in 2003. This week, they are going over the Top Live (Athens) Bands over the last 20 years. I won't say how many of the bands on that list I was actually in town to see personally, but I was disappointed that it wasn't more of them. Of the ones I agree with, Ishues and Drive By Truckers put on absolutely insane shows. And I went to a lot of shows where Ish was on the mic at some point of the evening.

At any rate, this being Thanksgiving an all, and one of the things I am most thankful for is Music being as important to my life as it is, I'll mirror the FP and give you a list of the best live shows I've seen in the last 20 years of my life.

III Rail (1993-1995) Island City. You've never heard of these guys, but they were a South Georgia heavy, heavy metal band that, had their been true justice in the world, would have been given the opportunity to open Ozzfest or a Family Values tour. Yeah, I was only in high school. Yeah, I didn't know too much about music back then and was convinced that I would never, ever cut my hair willingly. But back then, before their bass player later became my drummer and one of my best friends, they were light years ahead of where kids should be at their age. Looking back with all the experience I now have, they still and always will rate as one of the best live performances ever.

The Black Rose Band (2006-present) New Orleans. So shockingly good, I wrote a live review of the show as soon as I was physically able.

Skillet* (1996-199?) Athens, Georgia. Another band you may not have heard of, unless you are in my Athenian readership. This was taking bar-room rock formulas and making all the other barrock bands sound like teetotaling choirboys. Songs like "Woman Who Won't Say Please" and "Piss Drunk." Crowds would embrace the elusive term of "ruthless abandon." If you brought a thermometer in the room, it may have ended up with mercury on the floor on several occasions. At more than one Skillet show which I attended, the crowd took a notorious Normaltown establishment famous for hamburgers and an endless supply of the coldest beer in town, and drained every last can, bottle and keg of beer to the last humble swills.

The Del Rays (1996-1997) Athens, Georiga. During the ska rebirth in the late 90's, these guys had a show so tight and energetic that buildings would sway in time with the dancing of the crowds. I'd never been to a show before or after where everyone danced, but these guys did it every time I saw them, and the music they played required the movement of even the most arythmic clubgoers. I went to both of their 'final' shows, one at the 40 Watt Club where we refused to let them leave the stage until the rumour of impending authorities drove us away, and the one at their house out by the 10 loop to the South of town, where it seemed there were double digit kegs and half the University of Georgia swing dancing in a giant field backlit by cars on the elevated highway.

The St Augustine Marching 100 (2007) New Orleans They didn't even have a hundred, or so I was told, but it was a Saturday parade just before Mardi Gras, and for some reason, these high schoolers stopped right in front of my group of people and rattled the windows on St Charles Avenue for at least a square block. I'm sure they rattled many more before the weekend was over.

The Bearfoot Hookers (2005) Waycross, Georgia I've seen 'em in Athens, on Island City and in Brunswick, but nothing compares to a swampland throw down like the BFH playing on a 'stage' at Cypress Creek in Waycross. What appears to be half the population of Ware and Brantley Counties show up and dance like nobody's watching, and everyone knows the words to every single song.

The Chris McCarty Band (2004-2006) Island City, Georgia Yeah, they're from Gainesville. Yes, they played at Rafters. Yes, they're Florida fans. Huge Florida fans. But that's OK, because they put on one of the most intimate and high-energy performances you can ever see at the same time. I have never seen a frontman connect, on a personal level, with his audience the way Chris does, and you can tell by the way the audience reacts to him. Phenomenal.

That's the short list, anyway, there are many tops not mentioned here (eLeMeNOP, Herb and Skills, Groovestain, Feable Weiner, Morning Bell), but these are the ones who rolled off the top of my head the quickest. Add some of yourn if you are interested in continuing the list.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Cat's Path (Part 2)

To pick up right where I left off, there I am at Carrolton Station, watching the Dawgs play Kentucky. The paragon of bartenders convinced me that the Wild Turkey and Coca-Colas had worked so well for the mojo during the Auburn game the previous week that such should be my beverage of choice on this day as well.

I couldn't have agreed more.

The assembled crowd of mainly Georgia alumni and LSU fans continued to gather throughout the game, prognosticating the way only semi-rivals may as to the impending UGA v LSU game in Baton Rouge next year (LSU and Georgia are natural allies in most zero-sum SEC regular seasons, as both teams play Florida and Auburn every single year). Once Georgia had picked up steam and began to outplay Kentucky in the second half, the LSU - Ole Miss game came on, as well as the final quarter of the Vanderbilt - Tennessee game. You see, if Vandy beat Tennessee, Georgia would end up playing LSU in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. This encouraged what can only be described as 'inspired' debate. Most LSU fans, while confident, do not like the idea of yet another top 10 team showing up on their schedule while Les Miles considers the Michigan job.

In further evidence that New Orleans is indeed the World's Largest Village, and that being a University of Georgia alumnus is one of the most far reaching social networks on the planet, I found out that one of my fellow Dawg fans is also a teacher in the RSD. And that he had been at Mimi's the previous night hanging out with the same teachers I was hanging out with. So a sub-plot emerged in between the football banter: the never ending discussion of the state of New Orleans' schools.

Before too long, the Dawgs had won, and the world I was a part of was glued to the Vandy - Tennessee game, and I realized that I had been at the bar for six hours. You have to go waay back in my history to find a time I spent six hours at a bar without thinking about it or even entertaining the idea of moving the party somewhere else.

But there would be no party to move, Tennessee beat Vandy and they still control their own destiny to Atlanta. Only Kentucky stands in the Volunteers' way of a season finishing dance with LSU in Atlanta on December 1.

As I'm leaving, a fellow alumni lets me borrow his copy of Party Out of Bounds, an intimate look at the beginnings of the alt-pop scene in Athens back in the late 70's and early 80's. The detail struck absolute fear into my heart, as I know that there will one day be a book named "Olypmic Four Square and Other Notorious Legends from Creswell Hall: 1996 - 1999." That is a book that will end any future political or professional career I may have, I am sure of it. Least I know how to wash dishes.

Back to Saturday, there I am, home at last and resting, when friends begin to call me to come out, pile my ass in the truck and roll back down to the Quarter for some fun. Sorry, folks, I am funned out today, as six hours of screaming at a television is wont to do that to a man. I call it an early night.

Sunday, I arise with the knowledge that there is something to do today, but I can't remember what. Calling around for a lunch crowd, I am told of the Po' Boy Restoration Affair or some such business going on over at Oak Street. I was especially unaware of the endangered nature of the Po' Boy sandwich, even here in New Orleans (you know, where I can get so many different variations of sandwich other than po boys...).

It is the Dangerous One who alerts me to this fact, while she is also telling me that, no, she will not be hanging out with me today, she has a date. Outstanding, I tell her, and we proceed to talk politics until her date actually calls her.

So I roll to the bank, and here's where the title of the story comes into play. I get out of the 4Runner to go up to the ATM, and I hear some crazy noise. I had heard it before further Uptown, but had given it little thought. Crazy noises go off in this town with surprising regularity, and my naturally curious and neurotic mind had let it go. But here it was again.

Coming. From. My. Engine.

But this was no engine noise. This was a living thing. A mewling living thing, and my shock turned to horror as I thought about the possibility of driving around these bumpy roads with a cat in my engine.

One cigarette later, with some rather quizzical looks from the Felicity Street passersby, (as I unwisely had my head up underneath my vehicle's nether regions, meowing loudly AT my engine...), I decided that the only way to find the creature would be to pop the hood and look inside.

Even though I knew what I would find there, it didn't contain the shock of having a small black kitten leap at you from the insides of a motor vehicle. I was fully unprepared for this small black ball of hissing puff and fang to then retire deeper into the bowels of my engine, deftly weaving in and out of what are surely vital and expensive pieces of imported machinery. Angry eyes glowed up into the sun as my face towered over the engine. At this point, said black cat must have decided that the ride down St Charles was over, for he evacuated the undercarriage of my vehicle in what can only be described as loud complaint.

Now, I was going to try and catch the thing, because he looked healthy and fed, and was really only a young tomcat in the making. I have caught more difficult kittens with my hands, but this one was fast. He made his way to a parking lot at the corner of Prytania and Felicity and jumped up inside the engine of a Honda Civic.

All I could do was stand there and look very, very dumb.

A half hour later, I had my cash from the ATM, had composed a barely believeable note for the hood of the unsuspecting Civic owner (much smaller car, much smaller engine, greater probablility of involuntary felicide), and dropped off some IAMS cat food onto the parking lot in hopes of feeding the smallest new resident of the Lower Garden District. Hopefully this one would come outside and become someone's pet. I had done all I could.

I said my goodbyes to the puffy one before taking my leave to the Po' Boy festival to gorge myself on tasty sandwiches. He didn't want to come along = his problem.

If at first you don't succeed...

Now Amazon has decided that they want to jump into the non-market that is e-book and introduce their own e-book reader. Back in the 90's, everyone was sure that people would dump their paper books in droves and adopt the new e-book model. Hey, it takes up less space, has a horrible screen, requires batteries, and costs every bit as much to buy an e-book as it costs to buy a hardback. What was not to like?

Fast forward to today. Out of all the online versions of our beloved media, books are the ones that have gained the least traction. Periodicals are increasingly found online these days. Music is dead in stores not named Wal-Mart or Target. Movies are heading down the same path. Yet there are still free standing bookstores all over the country. Many of them rely as much on their coffee sales as they do on their books, but it's not like people are abandoning the format like they are with CDs.

On the e-book front, Sony has about the only serviceable e-book reader. It has solved most of the battery and poor screen issues but it still isn't gaining traction thanks to a pretty hefty price tag. Now Amazon thinks it can make some inroads by promoting their own $400 e-book reader. It doesn't have the polish of Sony's reader but it does have free wireless access to buy and download books through Amazon. How nice of them. They're saying best sellers and new releases would run about $9.99. They neglect to mention how much older and/or more obscure books would go for.

The Amazon and Sony models still fall very short of being as ubiquitous as the average book. You still have to turn it off on the plane (where I do quite a bit of reading). You still have to change batteries every now and then. You still can't fit it in your pocket nearly as easily as a paperback. Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos claims "Amazon designed Kindle with the e-book's strengths in mind," but that hardly looks to be the case. I'm about 5 minutes away from a bookstore that will sell me any best seller I want for $10-$15. Where can I find out of print stuff? Can I get textbooks in e-book format? Given their weight and availability, that would be a good use of the e-book. Can I get some logic puzzles and crosswords? Oh yeah, and can I get it for $50? As long as e-book readers cost in the hundreds of dollars, I'm just going to spend the money on more books. I think e-books are on the verge of being worthwhile, but they're not going to beat paper at its own game and despite claims to the contrary, e-books are not finding very inventive ways to combat paper on its own terms.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Cat's Path: Part 1

What a weekend.

I don't usually have a lot of time these days, because I work hard for the money and all, but this week is a week at school without the kids around, so I've been able to do something I really haven't been able to do recently: enjoy living in the City of New Orleans.

That's right, I spent most of this weekend falling in love with New Orleans again, remembering how much fun it is to live in a city like this, eating spectacular food and partaking of tasty beverages.

As of 3:23pm CST on Friday afternoon, the last busload of beautiful children was leaving the school where I work, and 15 teachers were standing around, screaming and high-fiving like we had just won the Super Bowl.

(This does not bode well for whatever is going to happen on the last day of school in June, but I digress...)

Out of Gentilly and into downtown we wandered, many of us making our way to Mimi's in the Mariny at the corner of Royal and Franklin. This has become our usual Friday night haunt, and this Friday was no exception. Frosty beverages all around, some talk of the week gone by and of plans for the week ahead. Or plans for the weekend, and every song included a variation of the same refrain: drinking. Down the street (and really, only like 150 feet down Royal Street) we went for what has got to be some of the tastiest restaurant served fried catfish in the world (thrice have I partaken of this meal, as I eat only fish on Fridays, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of this place). But it had been a long week, and while it was not late, it was far, far past my bedtime. And I had an early game to watch tomorrow Uptown, so I was away.

Back to Octavia Street, where I sleep, and where the SWAT team had my block cordoned off in a hunt for an armed suspect. They were gone by the time I got back, however, which was good. And I mean that in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of good kind of way. I got to get the tale from the neighbors in the street. The suspect was apprehended with superbly appropriate force, so the story goes. Because no night is complete in this town without a manhunt.

The next day, rising at the late hour of 6am (I slept in), I laid in bed for a while and hit the snooze button. This is one of life's great luxuries, and while obnoxious, can be catharsis for someone who usually cannot. I ran some errands, and ended up down at Carrolton Station. This is where the Georgia Alumni gather to watch the Bulldawgs play on the plasma screen televisions. Shockingly enough, not every bar in New Orleans is open 24 hours, and the door proclaimed that the Station would not be open until noon. Since the kickoff was at 11:30 CST, this was somewhat bothersome, but not too much, for the day was bright, the weather was a fine 75 degrees, and there is a coffee shop down the block.

Did I mention it was fine weather? What ends up being even better about this place is how nice the young ladies look in this kind of weather. Seriously. Beautiful day, about to watch football, coffee and chicory (caffeine on the black wings of death) in my cup cut proudly by deep spoonfuls of brown sugar, and wonderfully appointed specimens of New Orleans' fairer sex out for a morning stroll. It is a good thing I grew up on Island City and came of age in Athens, for less prepared men may have died just looking at the heavenly setting.

Oh, yeah, there's football back down the street. I guess, if the bar doesn't open till noon, I'll just go read the paper and wait.

The excellent owner of the fine establishment that is Carrolton Station saw me walking by in Georgia Red and bade me enter. He hadn't really opened the place yet, but the television was on, the kickoff was poised, and the roar of the Sanford Stadium crowd could be heard rumbling the long held "Goooooooooooooooo......"

"...Dawgs." I watched the kickoff and the migthy return.

Do days get any better than this?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Woot Off!

For those of you who don't know, we are in the 2nd day of a Woot Off. No Bags of Crap yet. but you did miss the animatronic Elvis.

Bart, don't pester your sister. Lisa, Drink the Water.

So apparently someone was recently caught scattering their loved one's ashes on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. And this is something that's rumored to be a somewhat regular occurrence with both the Pirates ride and the Haunted Mansion. I don't particularly want to be cremated myself but if someone who outlives me could Weekend at Bernie's me onto Space Mountain, that would be sweet. Just get me onto the ride and then leave me behind when the ride is done like you don't know me. If whoever does dispose of my remains insists on dumping me at the Pirates ride, I hope they at least have the good sense to dress me up like a ninja first.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Week 12 Pickoff

I'll get the totals and whatnot from last week up in a while, but i wanted to get this out before the Oregon/Arizona tilt.

Pillowfight Pickems -

Notre Dame v Duke (Seriously, take that in for a moment and giggle.)
Bowling Green v Buffalo
Tulane v Rice

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rudy Transferred to Duke

Duke is headed to South Bend this week to take on the worst Notre Dame team to ever play college football. If I were the Irish, I'd me mighty scared. Apparently a lot of people at Duke are taking this game seriously. Here's a quote from the Duke Super Bowl website:
"This game is a big deal for Duke football fans - since we're not allowed to go to Bowl games (due to our inability to qualify with enough wins), this is our best chance for a big victory and to experience a bowl game."
If Duke wants this game as much as this site indicates, Weiss and company are in for some big trouble. Especially given their bowl record.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You thought Lincoln Financial was bad...

Lincoln Financial is the current broadcaster of the good-enough-for-TV-but-not-for-ESPN-or-CBS SEC football games. There are a lot of people who complain (with good reason) about the production quality and broadcasting ability of Financial. Well, it's about to get a lot worse. Turns out Raycom Sports is the beneficiary of Lincoln Financial's decision to rid themselves of their sports broadcasts. Raycom used to be the broadcasters of the now-defunct SWC games. Given that TV coverage is a primary reason the SWC stopped being so competitive, I'm more than a little leery that the same people covering those games are now going to be covering SEC games. A LOT worse, I tell you...


In case you missed the news, the Writers Guild of America is on strike. They're the ones in charge of writing scripts for the mediocrity that passed for this year's fall TV lineup among other things. As a "show of solidarity" for the WGA, many entertainment blogs have decided to stop writing new blog content. Yeah, no kidding. With the strike and the whole lack of new shows to write about, it's pretty easy to go dark now. What else were you going to do?

As a "show of solidarity" with the TV executives, I pledge to bring you at least 3 new posts each week. When your contract year sucks, it's not a good idea to rock the boat. The writers should take what they can get and get back to work. If anything, they should negotiate a short term contract and work their hardest to pick things up until that expires. And for the record, I really don't care if this strike ends or not. I don't watch too much TV anyways. I can find other thing to do. There's no novelist strike I'm aware of and if there is, there's still plenty of material I haven't read yet.

Here's a list recommended activities if you're looking for something to do besides watch TV:
Recommended Reading:
1. Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut) - It's pretty formulaic Vonnegut but it's still enjoyable.
2. Beginnings in the Enderverse (Orson Scott Card) - This is a collection of novellas related to the Ender's Game series. Ender's Game was a fantastic novel but I really didn't enjoy the followups novels I've read. The biggest problem with Ender's Game is that the novel really leaves you with nowhere else to go. These novellas are mostly prequels and manage to be interesting yet remain relevant to the original novel. If you haven't read the novel, I'd advise skipping the novella the novel is based on (which is included in this set).
3. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Shirer) - Yes, I'm still reading it. Still a good book though.
4. Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Victor Davis Hanson) - There are two versions of this book: an oversized hardback with tons of illustrations and a nicely sized trade paper back. The paper back still has a few illustrations but doesn't seem the worse for missing many of the pictures. Unfortunately, that's not the one that was on sale for $5 so it's not the one I have. I have the giant coffee table book. It's a good read either way on Greek warfare and how it evolved.
Games (Video and Other):
1. Paper Mario and the 1,000 Year Door - A Gamecube is CHEAP these days and the games are cheaper. You could probably get set up with the game and system for about $50-$60. I bought this game because I was going to be home alone for a few days and wanted something to do. I don't really play video games much anymore. After about 10 minutes of playing I thought this was one of the stupidest games I've ever played but when I realized I was still playing it 5 hours later, I reversed my decision. It's enjoyable and it's long. It's sort of like an RPG but I never felt like I was having to grind (walk around and kill enemies just to level up and get more powerful) and the fight scenes are more button mashing than menu selection which is nice.
2. Red Alert 2 - This fourth Command and Conquer game is the pinnacle of real time strategy gaming. The Yuri's Revenge add-on is also pretty nice but diminishes the Russians somewhat. Always remember that Prism Tanks have a slightly longer range than Prism Towers and you're set.
3. Settlers of Catan - This is the end-all, be-all of boardgames. It's insanely competitive but you're competing by building you own team up instead of tearing down the other team. The basic idea is to build roads and settlements based on the resources available. It's incredibly simple and addictive in a fun sort of way. MSN online has a download version for the PC. This version has AI designed by the creators of the game and it's just awesome. They also have online play available but I don't do that much. There's also the actual board game if you have multiple people at one spot wanting to play.
4. Stratego - I love incomplete information games. They're just fun in a way complete information games like checkers and chess can't be. Unfortunately, I've never found a video game version of Stratego with a decent AI. It's too easy to lure the Marshall, find their flag, etc. But if you can find a second player, this game is one of the best.
5. Poker - The poker fad is dying. Now is a great time to score some poker chips cheap, get a decent sized table, and get a game together.

If you have any other suggestions, post them here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Week 11 Pickoff

Bad week last week for everybody not named Dante

last week -

Dante - 7-6
paT - 12-15
SAWB - 2-5

Overall -

SAWB - 116-125-1
paT - 78-99
Dante - 65-70

Pillowfight pickem's

Rice v SMU
San Diego State v UNLV

Whitey's Bathroom

I just can't pass up the opportunity to post this story. It seems that First Coast News has taken time out of their busy apartment fire covering schedule to look into allegations that there's a white-only bathroom at the Georgia Pacific plant in Brunswick, GA. The story looked a little ho-hum at first but when talking about supposedly broken toilets, the story had me at "where truckers come to weigh their logs." Apparently, white folks may use the "out of order" toilet but colored folks may not. Security guard Lisa Wagner claims "whites were invited to use the toilet." I have trouble believing that statement since it would involve someone inviting a trucker to use their bathroom but I'll leave that alone for now.

Lisa Woods, a former GP worker who first informed First Coast News of this dastardly discrimination, claims that "her co-worker, Anthony Lee, believed the races shouldn't mix." She has since been fired by the company.

"First Coast News Jeannie Blaylock went to the scale house with a photographer to find out. She flushed the toilet and it seemed to be working just fine." This brings us to the epic climax of the piece. It reminds me of a comment made once by a good friend of mine's father concerning American Idol: "The people who watch would watch anything. You could show a toilet flush and they'd watch it." Indeed.

Looking at both sides of the issue, even if there is a toilet that is supposedly out of order but in fact does work, I'm still not convinced racial discrimination is what allows some truckers to use the toilet but not others. The one thing that stood out to me is that the trucker who was denied use of the toilet was an independent. If I were betting money, I'd wager that if the toilet was only used by a select few, the GP workers regardless of race would be those few.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Love Letters & Smack Talk

I can't stand to say this, but there are times I absolutely despise living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before you get too angry at that, let me tell you what times those are, because they are very specific ones. It isn't the potholes or the screaming students or the lack of good fast food - though such times can be farily despicable when they are going on. No, the times I am thinking about generally occur for about four hours on Saturdays in the fall. Every Saturday.

Because that's when my Bulldogs play football.

Now, to a lot of you, that may sound like a fairly paltry reason. But that's only to those of you who don't know what it is to be a fan of football, a fan of the South, a fan of everything that is right and good in this world. I cannot, and by that I mean I am simply unable to smith the words in the correct form to describe what it is to be in Athens, Georgia when the Auburn University Tigers come to town to play football.

I can tell you stories, endless stories about those weekends. I can still remember every dish on the menu at the tailgate to end all tailgates in 2005. I can still tell you the scores. I can tell you, without a doubt of faith in my voice, that it is the honest truth that the prettiest girls on the planet Earth can be seen only on the Auburn - Georgia weekend. We don't know where they came from Thursday, we're not sure where they leave for on Monday, but that weekend the ladies turn the volume up to 11.

But I still can't set the scene justly unless you were there.

The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, and we know it. The Auburn - Georgia game was always the biggest game in Athens. No matter what Tennessee was ranked. No matter how much Carolina would talk. Even the Florida wins, though they were always sweet, were never in Athens.

And that's part of what makes it special.

Just like the fact that Mardi Gras can't be truly celebrated anywhere other than New Orleans, that Jazzfest and second lines are unique to a place; so too is the Auburn - Georgia game.

The Auburn - Georgia Game is in Athens every two years. That weekend was always the best weekend of the whole two years. Every event a legend. This game is played every other year in Auburn, Alabama; but we know that deep down, even Tiger fans can't wait to get to Washington Street on Friday night, or walk down Sanford Drive on Saturday.

On Saturday, I will be down at Carrolton Station in New Orleans, Louisiana, screaming at a television set, underneath the table and dreaming of a far away land.

Gotta let that sink in for a few more hours.

Now for the best of the smack talk:

Auburn always comes into Athens in a foul mood. Every other year, they bring 20-30 players and thousands of alumni that The University of Georgia rejected. We have nicer facilities, better academics, prettier women and more money. In fact, we have all the things they literacy, indoor plumbing, jobs, asphalt, and prosperity. -Georgia Sports Blog

And one more love letter:
But I also love Auburn because of this game. It is the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. It is a game that was played when my grandfather was an undergraduate, when people who didn't wear ascots and drive Peugeots cared about the score of the Yale/Harvard game and couldn't find Athens on a map. It is a vestige of a time when the SEC was not the preeminent cash cow of college football. A time when people took backroads from Opelika and Prattville and Villa Rica and Claxton to see a game that most people in the rest of the country didn't know or care was happening. It is a showdown between two fanbases who were stark raving mad about college football long, long before it was fashionable.-DawgSports


Friday, November 02, 2007

Week 10 Pickoff

The Dawgs won, so, back into action we go. Week 8 was rough for everybody not named Dante. Let's see if one of us can at least manage to finish even money...

Overall -

SAWB - 114-120-1 0.487
paT - 66-84 0.440
dante - 58-64 0.475

Pillowfight Pickem's -

Iowa v Northwestern
Louisiana Tech v Idaho
And lastly, with a 47 year winning streak on the line, Navy v Notre Dame.

Monday, October 29, 2007

In FEMA We Trust

I don't even know what to say. FEMA faked a press conference. There was a conference all right, but no press there. Incompetence seems to run rife within the agency but did they really think they'd get away with it? Did they think that the really real press wouldn't figure out that none of their colleagues were present or asking questions?

EDIT: Transcript from MSNBC. Note that even in a fake press conference with FEMA employees posing as reporters, Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson dodges his own damn last question.

Friday, October 26, 2007

no pickoff this week

i was too busy this week to post, much less total last week's insanity. Just pray for the Dawgs.f

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not Even Close

Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana in a walk. Or what passes for one down in this part of the world. There are a lot of 'firsts' and 'sinces' because of this one. I never thought I'd see it, but every deep Southern state is currently chaired by members of the GOP. That definitely hasn't happened since Reconstruction.

What does it all mean? Nothing. If Jindal is all talk, nothing is gained. But now is his big chance to prove how smart he is in front of the whole wide world. And I think he's been itching for that chance since he was a wee lad. Now, I'm not a big fan of his, and I'm not saying he's going to do a great job in Baton Rouge. But I AM a big fan of the "anything greater than zero = more" philosophy of government, no matter how cynical that makes me. The bar is set pretty low round these parts, so far as leadership is concerned.

I hope he does though, because, from my limited time here, it appears that anything resembling political leadership in this part of the world was more concerned with passing the buck than proving how smart they were. Maybe that's the paradigm shift this place needs. I hope he delivers, and I don't care if he's a Republican, from the crazy wing of the Christian faith or the son of an immigrant. Hell, after this last year in Louisiana, I wouldn't care if he was from another planet entirely.

'Cause now it ain't about the talk you talk, or how you acted before you won the election, or how many demons you fought in college. It is how you behave after the results are in that matters. And, more than any other governor (again) since Reconstruction, Jindal has a pile of work on his desk that's been building for decades, and has grown by orders of magnitude over the last two years.

And, before you ask, no, I didn't vote for him.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Red Tape

The minute you do not respect this, it kills you.

Some folks out there on the right may be downplaying the importance of the public knowing that nuclear armed weapons were flown over American soil, but I think this is one of the most important and telling signs of our times for completely different reasons.

First of all, this is what happens when there is too much worthless red tape in a society's institutions: the important red tape begins to be treated with the same disrespect that the unimportant red tape is. These proceedures were created for a reason, they are not just mindless boxes to check off on a sheet of paper. Unfortunately, I suspect that there are so many other proceedures created for no reason, so many other mindless boxes on other sheets of paper, so many t's to be crossed and so many i's to be dotted - just so some office bean counter somewhere can cover his ass - that people can become numb to the important stuff.

Which brings me to my second point: the second drawback to having such an ineffectual bureaucracy in so many institutions in our society is that few people apparently have the ability to prioritize anymore. We're sweating the small stuff because it has the same amount of paperwork as the big stuff. I don't care if you cut some corners on the log in sheet for toilet paper, I care if you cut some corners on the log in sheet for the NUCLEAR WEAPONS. I don't care if you gloss over your inspection for how many office chairs you have, I care if you gloss over your inspection of the LEVEES AROUND NEW ORLEANS. I don't care if the students have Cheetos in their bookbag at school, I want the guards making sure they don't have GUNS in their bookbag at school.

That sort of thing. And I think it is pervasive. All sectors, all levels, and I really think that's were so many of our problems come from. I think it is a shame that no Presidential candidate or gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana is using a "lets contract the bureaucracy a bit and get the small stuff back in the small stuff pile." It isn't political or ideological, because the paperwork is all still there, it just has a different name on it.

Lastly, I just think about how far we have fallen that we could misplace nuclear warheads and not know about it for several hours. I also would like to have seen the reaction of the young man or woman who discovered the nuclear warheads where they weren't supposed to be.

"Post-flight, check. Wheels inspection, check. Weapons inspection...ummm. Well... Is that... It can't be... Hey, Chief, could you come here and take a look at this?"

"What's the problem?"

"Is that what I think it is?"

"Uh oh."

"That's not good, is it?"

From other side of plane "..hey Chief, you're not going to believe what I found under the wing of this plane..."

The conversation that followed could have been either the single most professional and technical conversation in world history, or the most profanity laced diatribe ever heard by human ears. I can't even imagine the conversations all the way up to Washington on this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Standardized Tests

Sometimes, death metal is the only way to get through a week where I'm at. Country no longer cuts it, and reggae isn't making a dent. I will need to find the Deathklok album sometime this weekend, if I can make it a weekend without being sick, that is.

I would have enjoyed a delicious dinner Saturday night with Dangerblond and Sophmom had the illness not caught up to me. We had watched the Georgia-Vanderbilt game (and the LSU-Kentucky game) together at Carrolton Station. But when I made it to the restaurant, well, we'll just say that bailing out early was a very good idea. I made it back to Octavia Street just in time, and then passed out for 12 hours. Not only did I miss dinner with the ladies, but I missed a party with some friends, a concert by the Black Rose Band at Circle Bar, and the Drive By Truckers at Tip's.

This is my life now, and why I am absolutely counting down the days (currently 159) before my current misadventure is over. NEVER let it be said I don't go into things without an exit strategy.

It was awesome to hang with the ladies (even if Liprap decided not to come watch feetball, too). They had called me earlier in the day to watch the movie "Left Behind" about the New Orleans public schools, but seeing as I watched that movie last year and my current employment gives me something like a front row seat, I passed on that for the football. But they caught up to me at the bar before I had to beat my hasty retreat, and I had lunch with the Dangerous one on Sunday at Parkway Bakery (Sophmom was already on her way back to the home country).

'Tis good to hear about lives in the real world...if only for a minute.

But since I don't live in the real world, I will entertain a revenge fantasy: when I rule the world, the purveyors of standardized testing will be destroyed ruthlessly with extreme prejudice. Because standardized testing is destroying our society from within. It is the evil mothers warn their children about at night. Be warned. That is where I start when the revolution comes.

Week 8 Pickoff

I know all of our regular reader(s) are waiting with baited breath for this week's post...

Final totals for week 7 -

SAWB 18-18
paT 13-12
Dante 1-6

Overall updated -

SAWB - 104-99-1 - 0.517
paT - 55-71 - 0.437
Dante - 51-61 - 0.455

What'd we learn this week? We learned that there's a reason why the numbers 1 and 2 hold the connotation they do in the common vernacular, because when your team plays like that, they tend to lose.

Pillowfight Pickem's -

Arkansas v Mississippi in what may well be the latest version of Survivor: SEC
Texas A&M v Nebraska - Survivor: Big 12 anyone?
and, because it amuses me so - Miami v Florida State

Notre Dame to cover the 20 against USC, yea or nay?

get em in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Greatest Website Jukebox Evar

One of the greatest things about going to school in Athens back in the day, and I don't know if they still do this, but one of the local rock radio stations would dub Larry Munson's most famous football calls into classic rock songs. This stuff would play during the weeks of football season, and I still feel the chills that run up my spine when I hear them.

Like I said, I don't know if any of the radio stations do that anymore in Athens...but I know the chills still come because one website that put up a whole jukebox of songs with Munson calls dubbed in. Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the reasons I read sports blogs, and I salute the team over at the Georgia Sports Blog for this little bit of joy that has come into my life over the interwebs today.

Especially the rendition of "Whiskey River." For those of us who remember the night of October 7th, 2000 and every other Saturday night under Sanford's lights, belly up to the bar at Gnat's Landing on Island City, or far and away with the alums at Carrolton Station in New Orleans, we raise our glasses to running over people and destroying some property tonight.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Battle...

Just a reminder to all the Americans out there who read this, if we lose this Battle for New Orleans, the next place it will be fought is in Birmingham, Houston and Atlanta. We've got plans within plans but the powers that be continue to stonewall for no apparent reason.

All the work that has currently been done will be all for naught without the reinforcements we so desperately need. But with an administration that somehow thought an additional 30K troops would pacify a Middle Eastern nation of teeming millions, and a state government that refuses to get out of its own way to save itself, we're out here with the creeping feeling that no cavalry is coming.

Does it say something that some of the most inspiring words about our nation are coming from someone who wasn't born here? In our short history as a nation, we have been the world's greatest monster-killer, our greatest acheivements have been cheered on by the world (despite what the right wing punditocracy would have you think) and our failures have been mourned by all.

Now, we face the prospect of having failed both abroad and at home, and not having the leaders in halls of power to correct either situation. When we look back at the first decade of the 21st Century, it will be another Tale of Two Cities; but will also be about how we entered a dark time or rose out of one?

Friday, October 12, 2007

What the world needs now...

... is a little bit thicker skin. Some Denver mom is upset because her kid read an email sent home by the school system pointing out that her kid is obese.

From the article:
""The part that upset her the most as she started reading it, there it stated that she was overweight and she started to cry saying, 'Mom, that school tells me I'm fat.' So, it was very heart wrenching," said Flaurette Martinez."

Well, is she? Nothing to be ashamed of. I'm a good 25lbs over my ideal body weight. I'm fat. If you're fat, go ahead and post here and be proud of it. It's part of who you are. We live in a great society that has advanced to the point where a restaurant spends more on labor, retail space, etc than they spend on their grocery bill. You can buy 40,000 or so hamburgers at full retail price with what the average household makes in a day. We've outsourced food! That's how cheap it is. So some of us eat a lot of it?

""If she would have dropped this letter, a student may have found it and may have exposed it to other students," said Martinez. "Anything specific to the child should be mailed. It should not be given to the child.""

If your friends have to find a letter you've dropped to know that you're fat, you're doing pretty good. I wouldn't take kids making fun of you after the letter very seriously. If you've been made fun of pre-letter, it's not like the letter is adding too much ammunition. If it bothers you that much, there are ways to lose weight. (There are also ways to silence bullies but taking that route is generally frowned upon in modern school systems.) At least the schools aren't doing graphical analysis on facial features* and sending home notices that your kid is ugly.

* Using only proportion and symmetry, computer programs are able to identify with a good level of success those who are attractive and those who are not.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Was Foldgers ever cool?

Here's a coffee article from MSNBC's Money Central. Money Central manages to remain the only consistently interesting portion of MSNBC.

The basic background of the article is a bit dated. About 15 years ago or so, youngsters and even not-so-youngsters started going to coffee houses to get coffee. Remember the show Friends being quite contemporary at the time for having a coffee house as one of the main sets? The article skips this and jumps right into its result: people are demanding high-falootin' coffee these days. The coffee houses? Not so much. People drink their coffee on the go more often than not and as a result of the on-the-go and "high-quality" coffee trends, the popular supermarket coffees (specifically Folgers and Maxwell House) are struggling. The supermarket powerhouses want in on the action. Now. 15 years too late. And somehow they can't seem to get a foothold.

The article skips a pretty big demographic when talking about the percentage of coffee drinkers:
18-24: 37%, 40-59: 60%, 60 and over: 74%

What are the numbers on the 25-39 year olds? 18-24 year olds don't generally need coffee. What do they need to wake up early for? Somehow that noontime cup on hangover Sunday just doesn't have the same satisfaction as the 6AM cup on your way to work. It's only after you've been working full time a few years that coffee becomes so attractive. Their argument would be much more persuasive if they included that important 25-39 demographic but I imagine they left it out for a reason.

Then again, with an argument like "How Folgers lost its cool," I'm not entirely sure their argument can be saved. Folgers was never cool. Folgers was the coffe your grandma drank. And you know what? It's the coffee I drink when I can help it. In fact, other than my Maxwell-House-drinking mother, my mother's side of the family all drink Folgers. It's decent coffee. I buy a large can from Sams Club about twice a year and keep it in the pantry. I'm sure snooty would-be coffee aficionados would scorn me for it but who cares? Much like most of my fellow brethren in the 25-39 age group, we stopped trying to be cool back when we were 24.

Of course, if Folgers and Maxwell House had been trying to make inroads into my age group back when we were the 18-24 year olds, maybe there wouldn't be so many in my age group who are already in the habit of buying Starbucks. Folgers and Maxwell House need to hire some mid-90's tobacco executives and build their base young because these days, you need to get people drinking coffee in their youth. I just hope Folgers has the good sense not to tamper with their flagship coffee too much.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Week 7 Pickoff

Last week was beyond brutal to all involved.

SAWB - 15-22
paT - 5-19
Dante - 9-11

Overall -

SAWB - 86-81-1 0.515
Dante - 50-55 0.476
paT - 42-59 0.416

What did we learn? Well, I think we've reinforced why we're not doing this for a living.

On to Week 7!!! Excelsior!!!

Pillow Fight Pickem's for this week are...

GTU v Miami, FL
Western Michigan v Northern Illinois
and, while I hate to pick on the Mean Green, their record forces me into this -
Louisiana-Monroe v North Texas

rest of the drill conforms to normality...pick away, me hearties...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cause and Effect?

Logic never has been MSNBC's strong suit but I've never seen them be so casual with cause and effect. "How did killer become a sheriff's deputy?" is the title of the linked article's page. Now what does this title make you think? The statement is clearly worded to give you the idea that someone who was a killer is now a sheriff's deputy but that is hardly the case. A sheriff's deputy became a killer. Not the other way around. Just because A -> B, that doesn't mean that B -> A.*

Here's the meat of this obvious abuse of causality:
“The first statement we said to each other was, how did he get through the system?” Franz said. “How do they know somebody’s background, especially that young? It is disturbing, to say the least.”

Background implies things that happened in the past. Unless you have a Police Box that's bigger on the inside or a phone booth given to you by none other than George Carlin, it's going to be kind of tough to get background info on something that hasn't happened yet. If anything, the background of someone so young should be a lot easier to figure out than someone who is older. This guy's background came up clean but he still murdered 6 people. It's a tragedy but it looks on the surface like one that couldn't have been stopped.

I do sincerely hope we don't become a nation obsessed with precrime, because we don't the technology to do anything about it.

* That's a little discrete math for you. -> is the symbol for implies. Given the time constraints of the word "become" it is clearly an implication rather than an equality.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Week 6 Pickoff

Good showing by all this past week. SAWB is inexplicably a) over .500 and b) winning. paT is close to .500 finally, as is Dante.

Last week -

paT - 13-14
Dante - 8-9
SAWB - 17-12(?!?)

Overall -

paT - 37-40 - 0.481
Dante - 41-44 - 0.480
SAWB - 71-61-1 - 0.538(?!?!?)

This week's bonus Pillowfight Pickems -

GTU v Maryland
UCF v East Carolina
North Texas v UL-Lafayette

You know the rest of the drill. There are some delightful lines and O/Us this week. Pick early and often...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Methinks this one will get struck down shortly...

Especially once one of Tennessee's neighbor states files suit in federal court in a restriction of trade case. Congratulations, Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr, you've managed to make your state look dumber faster than Fat Phil Fulmer could if he started recruiting at Leavenworth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Most Important Day In The History Of All Recorded Sound

The Dethalbum is upon us.

Go. Buy. It. Now.

Pickoff Week 5

Final totals for last week, along with the updated overall standings:

Dante 7-11
paT 10-6
SAWB 19-12


Dante 33-34 - 0.493
paT 24-26 - 0.480
SAWB 54-49-1 - 0.524

What did we learn this week? That Syracuse may well have the most hideous uniforms since that BYU atrocity of a few years back.

This week's Pillow Fight Bonus Pick'ems are:
Memphis v Arkansas State
Temple v Army
And, just for Dante

As always, feel free to pick ATS and O/U for these games as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off the List

I used to get emails from, and was part of their mailing list, and would submit a few things every now and again. Today, I removed myself from the list. When doing so, they asked a reason, so I gave it to them:

Reason: Other. The Patraeus Ad. I thought one of the things Move On was doing was raising the level of political discourse, not lowering the bar to that of the Swift Boat Veterans/Rove folks. Now, you've given the right more ammo. We can't afford to let them change the debate over this kind of nonsense. We have to be smarter and better at this game then they are, then you go and do something like this. It is just a continuation of the divisive politics that got us into this mess in the first place. Thanks for doing what you do and working for positive change, but I don't feel like subscribing to the list any longer and giving tacit support to this sort of thing.
Yup. Never really got that involved with 'em. But this Southern Liberal will be off that list from now on.

Now, this goes against everything I think about, that we need more reasonable folks to belong to organizations in order to make a more credible change (conservative or liberal) in this country, and that is the only way to really combat the ideolouges on either side and bring back a sense of unity and normaly and consensus this nation so badly needs after the last 15 years of teeth-gnashing, but that ad pissed me off so much, I just can't stick around. I hope they come to their senses.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Two Jackass of the Year contenders in one week?!?

Be still my fluttering heart. Today's contestant is one Star Simpson, 19, lately a MIT student. Ms. Simpson, in a brazen act of calculated intelligence, entered Boston's Logan Airport with a computer motherboard, with wires and putty attached, on her chest, over the top of her black sweatshirt. I'm sure the details will come down that this was some grand prank, or performance art, but fortunately for Ms. Simpson, the Darwinian Law did not prevail this morning.

Ms. Simpson, we here at Hurricane Radio salute you, for being the biggest moron to walk the earth this morning.

UPDATE: We called it, dear reader(s). Ms. Simpson now claims that the fake bomb was 'art' and that she was trying to 'stand out' on Career Day...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Could you make him any cooler?

You'd think being in politics, Hillary Clinton would know how to make a proper snide comment but then she says this:
"Vice President Cheney came up to see the Republicans yesterday. You can always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President’s motorcade pulls into the Capitol, and Darth Vader emerges."

Could you make Dick Cheney any cooler with your comparison? Darth Vader. That's awesome. In fact, he's probably one of the few 2nd in command villains that's really really cool, especially in sci-fi. Usually you get crap like that whiny blonde guy in Wrath of Kahn, Starscream, or Sting's character from Dune. Instead, you go and liken Cheney to a complete and total badass. Staying in the realm of Star Wars references, Grand Moff Tarkin is a much less favorable comparison and if you remember your Star Wars movies, he's actually the 2nd in command as far as we know in the original movie (Episode IV).

Maybe at your next stop since Bush has the whole cowboy image going for him, you could liken him to a badass cowboy villain like Liberty Valance, Tim Strong, or maybe Johnny Ringo. That'll really sock it to him.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jackass of the Year contender

JoAn Karkos! Come On Down!!! You're the next contestant on 'Hysterical Busybodies Who Police the Universe!'.

Seriously, lady, bring the books back, and get a hobby. Much as you might want to not believe it, kids do need a little more briefing on the change to adulthood beyond referring to everything as a 'no-no place'.

Pickoff Week 4

Updated season totals -

Dante - 26-23
paT - 14-20
SAWB - 35-37-1

What did we learn this week?

Notre Dame IS that bad.
SAWB needs to stop picking NFL games altogether.
paT is a non-participating wuss.

Other participants welcomed at any time. Rules are in the week 1 post, which is in the August archives.

Bonus points picks this week - Pick'em the winner between our two pillow-fights of the week:
Buffalo v Baylor
North Texas v Florida Atlantic

Feel free to play the lines and/or O/Us on these games as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Most Dangerous Nation?

Still Pakistan, our 'ally' in the GWOT. Are you kidding me? The dude in charge of this nation-with-really-real nuclear weapons (as opposed to the theoretically real ones held by the nations of Iraq and Iran) is the legal dictator since the 1999 coup. He apparently spends time multitasking the future twin disasters of letting OBL and AQ regroup on his border and alienating all the pro-secular democracy folks in Pakistani society, all the time hiding behind the sheild and advertisement of American power.

Wow. I wonder why folks don't have the best opinion of us in other parts of the world. This guy gets off putting pro-Caliphate forces on the same side as pro-Democracy forces. Consequently, both end up as anti-United States forces. Which isn't good for us. One of these days over in Islamabad, they're going to party like its 1979, and The People will get together to get rid of their US backed despot. Then the Revolution will be hijacked (again) by religious radicals. Then, the thugs will have really real nuclear weapons (as opposed to the theoretical ones held by Iraq and Iran). If you thought the Iraq war wasn't going as well as "planned," and you hesitate whenever the neocons talk of the coming war with Iran, you are absolutely going to ADORE what happens when we have to go dig our enemies out of Karachi.

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is becoming the monster everyone on the right always said he would be. It is not liberal philosophy to become dictator. Sorry. That's just not the way our particular ideology is written. I mean, it may have been at one time, but Stalin killed that off pretty quick, in more ways than one. Do not confuse this guy's anti-Dubya rhetoric with anything resembling a belief that he is on our side.

And What in the hell is going on with Russia? If the Putin Youth weren't harbingers of some game afoot in the halls of the Old Adversary, and the abrupt elevation of a Putin loyalist to Prime Minister didn't get your juices flowing, consider this: all of the things we claim we want out of leaders, Putin gives the Russian people. While our current Administration will go down in history as one of the most bizarre, and our legislators will go down as some of the worst, Putin will be written about decades from now with more reverence than old school Republicans have for Ronald Reagan. Let me put it to you this way, if you were him, would you want to let go now?

Didn't think so. Russia will come in at Number 3 most dangerous nations in the world, and I think they're angling to jump to that number one spot. At least the Terrorists hate them, too.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This Country is in Deep, Deep Trouble...


In all seriousness, things like this scare the living bejeebus out of me, simply because I know that there are loads of people, likely with mullets, that would line up to get a loan from the man. Because, 'rasslin's not fake, and you can always trust a 'rassler...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Open Thread and a Word on Editorial Policy

This site has become quite a football-specific news/commentary site lately. A poster had brought this to our attention and I thought it deserved a proper explanation. We are primarily a 3-man staff here at Hurricane Radio. Here are our editorial duties:

SAWB: Sports Editor, Libertarian News Editor, Official Nap Taker
Dante: Assistant Sports Editor, Obscure News Editor, Official Contrarian
Pat: General News Editor, New Orleans-Specific News Items Editor, Official Complainer

I went by Pat's office to ask why we haven't seen any news stories crying about New Orleans coming from his desk lately. It appears Pat has bamboozled us. He put a sack of potatoes in his desk chair and a tape recorded loop of him singing "I work hard for the money!" We didn't notice this for some time now. I think he's been out since early September. I went to ask SAWB about Pat's absence but his office was locked. I tired asking him where Pat went off to but all SAWB would respond with was, "I work hard for the money! So hard for the money!"

Until we find out what Pat has been up to, I'll try to dig up some stories. It's kind of hard being the Obscure News Editor during a slow news time because even the most obscure items are being picked up by the mainstream media. I've already covered Russia and their government-sponsored procreating ways. Hsu ended up getting picked up by the New York Times. The Patriots spying habits put us back in the football category. I'll find something. Until then, feel free to post here about whatever you'd like.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pickoff Week 3

I'll get week 2 scored here shortly, and update the totals. Required bonus pick for this week is determining if Michigan or Notre Dame starts the season 0-3. This is a 'Pick'em' pick, so, feel free to wager the line or O/U as well.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The DL on NFL in HD

Dante has a rule about television: Dante doesn't pay for television. And by "doesn't pay," I mean doesn't pay a monthly fee. I'm just not paying for something that is beamed out for free. I did happen to buy an 32" HDTV a while back but that was only so I could actually read the text on the PC hooked up to my living room TV. About a week ago, my son was playing with the remote and brought up a channel search button. I ran it and found out that my lowly rabbit ear antennae picks up about 5 digital channels. 3 of them are crap. It's some channel set called ION and it let's me watch classics like Mama's Family in absolute digital glory. But I do get NBC so I do get to watch Sunday night football (and the special Thursday night game last night).

The quality is pretty fantastic. I didn't expect to be impressed and was. It's not worth breaking my TV rule to get more, but it is a lot better than the analog version. This is especially true with football since the widescreen lets you actually see linebackers play now. There are some annoyances. For example, instead of a snowy screen you get blocky picture and skipping audio. That's a LOT more annoying. You also apparently can't use your cell phone and pick up a signal at the same time. And here I thought the FCC was supposed to be keeping thing like this from happening.

There are some other downsides that had nothing to do with the TV. For starters, NBC's football crew is terrible. Granted, combined they're only as annoying as Deion Sanders was all by himself but they did manage to scavenge the worst commentators possible. It doesn't help that I never liked Olberman at ESPN. He's a lot better off doing Countdown in my opinion. I actually like Countdown from what I've seen of it. He's just a bit too full of himself these days to be a decent sportscaster.

Then there was the game. What was that about the Saints not falling apart this year, Pat? I want the Saints to do well. I even have Colston on my fantasy team, but I just don't think it's going to happen. Speaking of fantasy football, on behalf of Reggie Wayne owners everywhere, I'd like to thank the Saints coaching staff for covering Wayne all night with a single midget rookie. 3 of the TDs the Colts scored and two of the long passes that didn't quite reach the endzone were against that rookie who had absolutely ho help on his side of the field on those plays because the coaching staff decided that blitzing was a good strategy. Blitzing doesn't work against Indy. To beat Indy, you have to confuse Manning by having your defense run all over the field before the snap. He'll pick up the hot read on a blitz almost every single time. Good job of watching game film.

Then there was record-setting* Drew Brees. Nothing says classy like calling a timeout with 8 seconds left when you're down 41-10 on the nationally televised prime time game. But on top of that, Brees threw for an average 6.8 yards per completion. That's an NFL low for QBs who have thrown 25 passes or more. Just to be clear on this: Jeff George, Steve Pelleur, Akili Smith, Tony Grazziani, Doug Johnson, either Billy Joe, and all other NFL QBs who manage to hurl the rock more than 25 times per game have always finished with a higher average per completion.

* That Brees performance was record-setting came from the mouth of Madden so it might either be wrong or misleading but if that's true, way to go Drew.

So in summary, HDTV is great but it's football. A radio broadcast with a competent commentator would be good enough for it to be enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pickoff Week 2

Current standings are in last week's post. You know the drill.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

For Dangerblond and Sprout

This is post 901 for Hurricane Radio. Thanks for reading. Happy Labor Day, Y'all!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

College Football is Back (Week 1 Review)

(The sports page hasn't been updated since April. I'm going to go ahead and post this here.)

So week 1 of college football is back and I finally got to us the line I came up with months ago. The plan is that I walk in on the middle of a conversation where someone mentions the Virginia Tech tragedy, I say "It wasn't that bad," and after I get a few looks of utter disgust I say, "Oh, I thought you were talking about the Peach Bowl." Is that so wrong? Everyone else seemed to think it a bit too soon. Oh well.

Michigan sure is a cocky school. They think they're just the greatest team on earth. They go on and on about their most wins in college football and their supreme historical win record. Now they have a new record for their books. Not only was this the first time in their amazing history that they stooped to playing a Div IAA opponent, it was also the first time an AP ranked team has ever lost to a Div IAA school. Congratualations, Michigan. You deserved it. Oh, and you had no business being ranked 5.

GA Tech rolled the Irish and I couldn't help but be impressed by Tech's offensive line. I have no love of GT. In fact, I think someone on the radio summed up my feelings pretty well. Back before the US invaded Iraq, this radio caller said that if Georgia Tech were playing Iraq, he'd be cheering for the University of Iraq. I couldn't agree more. Go Saddam! Beat Tech! Flaaaaag Boy! But man, that line looked good.

And once again, UGA got to prove that some up-and-coming school just wasn't as good as they thought they were. Nice explosive offense, Okie State.

Selective Prosecution

So, today, I'm thinking about selective prosecution and judicial inconsistency. You know what that is don't you? It is where the criminal justice system is eviscerated because some prosecutors don't do their jobs with consistency; because some judges don't do their jobs with consistency. Some people are subjected to the fullest extent of the law while others are given a pat on the back and a get out of jail free card.

It is a systemic problem, because if such differentiation exists in a state or locality, the criminal justice system as a whole loses the very necessary credibility they employ to keep society from descending in to anarchy. Justice comes up for sale.

The most difficult thing in combatting selective prosecution and judicial inconsistency is explaining that it exists, and showing folks where and how it happens.

Best Practices is linking to a news story that is more indicative of the justice system than it seems. If Barbie gets away with bank robbery by saying she's sorry and invoking The God CardTM, that will be a bright, shinging example of what I'm talking about.

(HT: Georgia Blog Carnival 17)

Extra: The Cobb County judge has put off sentencing until the other defendants' trials are concluded. I hope the result makes the news. I hope that Cobb County judge isn't part of the problem...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Death and Taxes

One of the big differences I've noticed between "(the people who pretend to be)conservatives" and 'liberals:'

"(The people who pretend to be) conservatives" pay taxes, complain about not getting appropriate services for their investment, and come to the conclusion that the way to fix the problem is to pay less taxes. It's as if they just enjoy the crappy services.

'Liberals' pay taxes, complain about not getting appropriate services for their investment, and come to the conclusion that the people delivering the unacceptable services need to do their jobs better. Then we get called out for "whining" and "blaming" people who are doing crappy jobs.

Just an observation.

On the note of paying taxes and not recieving services, here's a modest proposal: New Orleanians and their 'liberal' allies will stop complaining about the federal government not maintaining the levees if and only if the Texans and their "(make believe) conservative" allies stop complaining about the federal government not maintaining the integrity of the United States' border with Mexico.

I mean, that's only fair, isn't it? Two locations, two federally maintained walls, neither of which hold back the thing the wall was created to keep out in the first place. We'll stop "whining" when you do, Houston. How about it?




(I didn't think so.)

We return you to your regularly scheduled programming at:
Ashley Damn Morris
Leigh C
Suspect Device

Weekly Wrap Up

Lot of fantastic writing from New Orleans this week. If you haven't already, you should click around and get a good sample. Do me a favor and don't just pay attention to this on August 29th. Don't just tune out. History is being written here every day. Again, reciprocal links and a vibrant online sense of community make tipping the hat impossible. Just read.

American Zombie says “This anniversary, I’m 180 degrees from last year,” but prior to that gives an estimation how government corruption and big business can work together to kill you.

Ashley compares New Orleans to Deadwood.

Cliff’s Crib is 100% Full Blooded New Orleans

Dangerblond talks about her evacuation, how 400,000 people did somehow make it out of the city, yet there is still a great deal of hate directed towards New Orleans for those who did not make it out.

The G-Bitch Top 15, as determined by the author herself. And if looking for some recovery money numbers, especially the Mississippi vs Louisiana situation, there are numbers here.

And the MD Filter has even more numbers for you to look at. Thunder ain’t rain.

Morwen gives some personal reflection on two years ago.

It can sometimes seem like one…really…long…day. - Jeffery

“America, we need you to stand with us, not against us. We need you to understand that our recovery is not a political issue. Men have turned it into that.” After that Varg writes about his own evacuation story.

Tim talks about his other lifetime. “We entered the Contraflow two years ago, and we’re still traveling that road, hoping to arrive at our destination before too long.”

“As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation.” –Schroder.

Ray lets us Gather by the River.

Leigh C: “In my tradition, one lights a candle on the anniversary of one’s death, that person’s yahrtzeit.”

Day 730. Two posts by Maitri.

Traveling Mermaid: “There are very few smiling faces the last two days.”

Sophmom has her roundup, and posits this thought: “I don't understand why so many folks think New Orleans is different and not deserving of the same respect the rest of America expects, why so many who live elsewhere express such vehement, venomous animosity towards New Orleanians and why it's sometimes particularly directed at those who are there doing the work of rebuilding.”

“I don’t want pity, but I do expect a reasonable amount of understanding” from Buras, Louisiana.

Mark Folse reposts “Ghosts of the Flood” from 10/05/2006.

YRHT reminds us about 5am.

Clay: Post Apocalyptic New Orleans.

If you can't see your own home, your own trial, your own family somewhere within the words on these pages, tell everybody at the Big Rock Candy Mountain I said hello.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rising Tide Wrap

Well, I promised a bigger wrap up after a few days, to guage reactions after the initial, but the sheer amount of bandwidth dedicated to the conference is brutal. I'll do what I can, but take note: this is by no means comprehensive, and all the reciprocal links to and from these posts make tipping the hat nearly impossible. That is, except to give a big tip of the hat to everyone who planned this highly successful event, and then again to those who went out and dedicated bandwidth to it. (If I have missed some spectacular post in my moves through the ether, please let me know in the comments section.)

We'll start by linking to Dave Zirin's reaction to Rising Tide II, published in the Houston Chronicle, of all places.
The bloggers represent the best of something beginning to bubble that you won't see on the nightly news, as the two-year anniversary of Katrina arrives today. Amid the horror, amid the neighborhoods that the federal government seems content to see die, there are actual people sticking it out. And they do it with gusto.
All weekend, Dangerblond was the media darling (as it ought to be in a rational world), interviewing on the air live on Friday night, providing the fireworks (described below) on Saturday and data banking for a different news crew Sunday while painting at the same time.

Varg covers Tim Ruppert’s ‘In Levees We Trust’ – “The presentation showed that arguments that New Orleans can’t be saved are garbage.” Tim continues answering inquiries and gives his recap of the conference. Tim's homerun presentation was so far out of the park, it could be considered iconoclastic in dismantling current American mainstream mythology about how this city can recover and about how this nation goes about protecting itself.

Maitri’s already thinking on how to do things better, and wonders how bloggers can accomplish more in the realm of civic activism. This ended up being 'tabled' at the actual conference, and getting more airtime later, after folks had a chance to roll it around in their heads and get back behind their keyboards.

When it comes down to it, one of the big reasons the recovery of New Orleans has been such a mess is the way the city and her people are percieved by the America that exists far from here. We have a huge image problem, some of which comes from the way the city sells itself, some of which comes from the way others slander us. Right wing punditry has directed the national conversation for years on a variety of topics, and proved how important just saying something on the air or on the internet can be.

With that in mind, I can tell you several things the NOLA blogging community has accomplished thus far just sitting behind their keyboards: First of all, major and minor mainstream media are now far, far more likely to describe what happened surrounding Katrina in a different, more realistic frame. Newsweek, Time and local newsprint outlets all over the country have begun to recongnize equally the man-made disaster as well as the overall natural-disaster-only framework that dominated the media after the storm. NOLA bloggers, as well as many of the academic reports, and the non-fiction accounts are responsible for this change in the national conversation. And make no mistake about it, that conversation change is hugely important.

The Second thing is rapid response. There is rarely a paper published anywhere on the internet that cannot be found and responded to, and the folks directing that mythbusting traffic are usually the New Orleans bloggers. This has proved bipartisan, as many left-wing myths have been challenged in the fight against the primarily right wing pundit driven machine. There are people against us out there that have millions of readers, and the only way to challenge them is to respond en masse, with facts, and point out their shortcomings to an even larger audience. Every public dent in their credibility is a win for us and the truth in the larger battles being fought.

I just spent a lot of airtime on that, but it was one of the most important topics of discussion at Rising Tide II. As far as accomplishing more, you have to identify what things must be accomplished and look at how the civilian internet community can drive a solution.

Clay, who came to the conference dressed to the nines, had this to say about the shindig.

Adrastos has a wrap.

And, of course, the fireworks. If you want to see a microcosm of how controversey can drive media, here you go, because more than anything - a singular event at the conference got more airtime and bandwidth than anything else - the assclownery of the communists. I mean, if you think you represent progressivisim in any way, and the seperatists start calling you out, AND one of the most liberal ladies in the state makes it her personal crusade to kick your rear end out of the building, loudly, you may have an image problem. From all reports, dude's image problem begins when his mouth is open.

(Thing is, if this conference had been any bigger of a deal, the biggest toolbag there would have been quoted all over Townhall, by Hannity and would have been invited to speak about New Orleans on the Bill O’Reilly show. Because that’s how the lunatic fringe on both sides keep each other employed.)

But that's my wrap of the whole shindig. Again, if there is anything out there I missed, tack it on in the comments section.