Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Red Street Cars on Canal

This morning, for the first time since Katrina, I saw two red street cars on Canal Street. They weren't taking passengers, presumably they were just testing the streetcars. It was certainly nice to see them though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where's Bin Laden's New Album?

Isn't it about time for the most famous 6'4" Saudi Arabian on dialysis living in a cave in Pakistan to release his newest latest tracks? I think it was on Halloween back in 04 when I last heard from him. I've heard that he watches U.S. newscasts and he is obviously pretty savvy in terms of playing the media. Come on Osama, where y'at?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Didn't Have A College Romp on Bourbon Street

Amazingly, New Orleans' newspaper The Times-Picayune has endorsed Barack Obama for president. I say "amazingly" because it didn't endorse anyone in 2004, and it endorsed Bush in 2000. My favorite quotation from the endorsement is as follows: "For our own great and complex city, we could use a national leader who appreciates that we are more than a sentimental memory of a college romp on Bourbon Street; that we are a culturally rich American treasure, filled with resilient citizens and worth protecting from the encroaching forces of nature."

Amen.

Divine Comedy: Women Leaders and Southern Baptists

So Southern Baptists have been freaking out. On the one hand, Sarah Palin is running for VP and might very well be President of the U.S. if elected. On the other hand, she's a woman. You know, one of them female types, like Eve, Delilah, Jezebel, and Hillary.

Several New Testament verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12 “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man,” or Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” seem to indicate an anti-female-leader sentiment.

Well, recently the Southern Baptist Convention ruled that while a woman can't lead a home or a church, she can lead the nation, by God. I wonder if Obama's race has anything to do with this decision? Moreover, I've been getting a bunch of chain emails lately about how the Bible forbids the "mixing of races," you know, like Obama's white mom and African daddy. As an educated person, I know that the idea of race wasn't even invented until the 15th century, so it would be impossible for the Bible to discuss races, let alone be against biracial romance.

Have to say that even with the mixing races emails, and the decision by the Southern Baptist Convention, I'm still enthusiastically going to vote for Obama. You know, hope and all that stuff.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Quest for the Thanksgiving PoBoy

Several weeks ago I learned from twitter that someone named BigEasy had discovered that the Parkway Bakery had invented the Thanksgiving PoBoy. I dreamed about this for a week. Did it have turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans with french onions, and cranberry sauce? Maybe pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes? Those were happy dreams. It made me proud to live in New Orleans, a city that caters to gluttons such as myself. I went there on a Tuesday, and the Parkway was closed. I learned from Howie that they only offered the illusive sandwich on Thursdays, the official Thanksgiving day, and the sandwich became more mystical. So today Howie and I did lunch. There was a giant line of fat people, which is always a good sign.
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I proudly ordered the Thanksgiving PoBoy, it cost just over $9. And world, here it is:
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It's turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberries. Howie ordered some sweet potato fries to balance it out. Honestly, it wasn't as good as the shrimp and oyster poboys at Parkway, but I sure did feel proud and thankful sitting there at the Parkway eating this monster. In your face Pilgrims!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rollercoaster Ride for Fans of LA Beauties

Sad times in Louisiana, as Miss Louisiana Teen USA had her crown revoked after she and her friends left some small town cafe without paying. Police later found marijuana on her person. All this too on the day when LA's favorite daughter Brittany Spears had the driving sans license case against her dismissed. She would have had to have gone to jail if she was convicted. No word yet on jail time for Miss Teen Louisiana. My students said they didn't care about either of these issues. They said that if the cops found weed on them, they'd be in jail. They also didn't share my panic in that Louisiana won't have a Miss Teen Louisiana until November 1, when the new one will be chosen. How are they chosen, by the way? I'll bet the pageant involves trampolines, nutria, and Adrastos in a crawfish themed speedo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

XNOW & Jarvis DeBerry

I've been working with a committee at Xavier that has been focussing on creating a seminar for all incoming Freshmen. We're calling the course XNOW, which stands for Xavier in New Orleans in the World. We want the course to be interdisciplinary, and to be linked to our mission to create a more just and humane society. We also want the students to learn about New Orleans, and how their lives and work relate to a global society. We invited several speakers to address the Freshmen.

Today Jarvis DeBerry, who is speaking to the 800 Freshmen tomorrow night, wrote about our new class in his opinion piece. Like my wife and me, DeBerry moved to New Orleans as an adult for a job, but has fallen in love with the place. I'm looking forward to hearing him tomorrow. If anyone else is interested in attending DeBerry's lecture, he is speaking at 7PM on the 3rd floor of the University Center.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

MCain's Campaign Based on Old Batman Episode

Holy Mudslinging Batman, John McCain is the freaking penguin.


H/T Ezra Klein via Hullabaloo

Monday, October 13, 2008

AC/DC and Walmart and the Devil

I have admired for many years the music of AC/DC. "Whole Lotta Rosie", "Jailbreak," and the entire Back in Black album are classics. But I just read that the band is releasing their new album, Black Ice, only at Walmart. Thankfully I didn't buy tickets to their concert in New Orleans, because I have boycotted Walmart for many many years. Ironically, I boycott Walmart because, I tell my students, they are the devil. AC/DC reportedly worships the devil. There you go.

Mr. Bluebird's On My Shoulder

Blogs by nature tend to be forums for complaining. But as I take stock of my life at this moment, there are many positive things going on with moi:

First and foremost, we are living in our renovated house. My children are healthy and doing well in their lives. I grow more proud of them every day.

My professional career has shifted from my area of expertise to much more university committee work, but it's all going well and especially since Katrina, I find working towards social justice to be both important and cathartic.

It's football season, and I have always loved the Fall. In Nebraska it meant very cold weather. Here in New Orleans it means the break in the very long hot and humid season. But right now I'm listening to Monday Night Football in the background, and I had the privilege of watching the Saints win last Sunday with my son Gilgamesh. Friday night we all went to see Lusher High School's first home football game. It makes me fondly remember my father, and all of the football games we shared.

Last but not least in my ode to joy, Obama/Biden are substantially leading in polls.

I promise readers here, if Obama wins, and the Saints win the Superbowl, I will never complain online again. I know this bifecta will never take place.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Belated Fifth Birthday for Blog

Five years ago last Sunday this blog turned five. Five years since this post. That's like 102 human years.

Friday, October 10, 2008

One Way Webco Window

I mentioned earlier that our contractor Douglas Marshall Blow of Webco Gulf Coast Construction breached our contract when it got down to the punch list. He split because he owed his subcontractors more than we were holding in retainage. I think we've finally paid the subcontractors. Now we're trying to find a way to come up with some funds to hire someone else to finish the job. It makes me wonder what contracts are for? If I had breached it, and not lived up to the terms, I would have been held liable and the courts would have made me pay. At least I think that's the way it works.

Douglas Marshall responded with a comment to my earlier post about his substandard work by saying it was all untrue, and he alleged that he did great work. Well, I'm not a contractor, but wouldn't great work involve avoiding the following:

Here is the outside of our house looking in. Sure the trim is missing, but focus on the three top windows, two long on the side and a smaller window in the middle.
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Then look at this same wall inside:
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What the heck happened to the middle window? Is it magic? Is it some sort of new fangled technology? No, actually Webco put up drywall over the window. While I guess it cost more in yellow paint, it saved time in the long run I imagine. Anyway, there is now less of a chance that we'll get skin cancer.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Depressed that I'm Depressed about Saints Football

I've been in a funk all day because of the Saints game last night, where they gave the game away to Minnesota. But even more than that, I'm smart enough to know I shouldn't be depressed about stupid things like sports, so the fact that I'm depressed about sports makes me more depressed. New Orleans has lost three games, all by a total of 10 points. Our very accurate field goal kicker missed two key kicks that would have brought victories against Denver and the Vikings. I'll bet he's happier than I am right now. Maybe Obama will screw up bad tonight and then I'll be depressed about that. I'm not smart enough to know I shouldn't be depressed about that. I still think this election is important and meaningful. Some of my colleagues believe that it doesn't matter who wins. Perhaps naively I still think it matters.

New Orleans Tile Peddler Disses Nebraska

There's a hairless tile peddler in the quarter who likes to post myopic rants about politics using cutesy names, and if not that, then he complains about drummers. The blogger goes by many aliases, like Huggy the Child Friendly Nutria, but lately his most common one is Ass Duress Toast. He says the moniker has something to do with Malakathology or something. Anyway, after Sarah Palin's visit to my home town of Omaha Nebraska, Mr. Toast has some nasty things to say about the Cornhusker State. I'd encourage you to leave him comments, but unfortunately I agree with about everything he says. In the picture below we see said Mr. Toast peddling his tiles. Most of the tiles have pictures of cats on them. The rest have a large creepy nutria hugging children for what appears to be uncomfortably long periods of time. It's all very sad really.
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin Tapped

Sarah Palin used the word "tapped" quite a bit tonight. She kept talking about tapping oil, but my favorite part was when she mentioned that McCain tapped her, tapped her to be VP. Anyway, I'm not interested in tapping Palin. She of course I would imagine is not interested in having me tap her. So there we are.

Curious About Intellectual Curiosity

I, like many people, am by nature intellectually curious. Today in class we were talking about the caduceus and how it relates to the Nehushtan in Numbers 21. One student mentioned it was similar to the staff of Asclepius. I didn't know much about said staff, so I looked it up after class. I love that stuff, being informed and the pursuit of knowledge.

Sarah Palin and George Bush strike me as people who lack this intellectual curiosity. I guess I'd include just about everyone who thinks that the world is 6000 years young and that dinosaurs co-existed with humans until the flood. I know that must sound smug to some people. And creationists are often nice people. I've had many friends and relatives over the years who believe this, some of them even people who would be described in many measures as intelligent. But they don't seem to me to be intellectually curious. One hour until the VP debate. I'm sure the expectations for Palin have been made to be so low that whatever she does will be a huge victory.