Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hurricane Season Starts Tommorrow

What can I say to that? Time flies when you're having fun. New Orleans is still a long way from recovering from Katrina and we're about to head into a new season of thrills and spills. The National Weather Service has this to say about the 2006 season:

"NOAA��s 2006 Atlantic hurricane season outlook indicates an 80% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, a 15% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below-normal season. This outlook is produced by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and Hurricane Research Division (HRD). See NOAA��s definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons.

The outlook calls for a very active 2006 season, with 13-16 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes, and 4-6 major hurricanes. The likely range of the ACE index is 135%-205% of the median. This prediction indicates a continuation of above-normal activity that began in 1995. However, we do not currently expect a repeat of last year��s record season.

The predicted 2006 activity strongly reflects an expected continuation of conditions associated with the multi-decadal signal, which has favored above-normal Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995. These conditions include considerably warmer than normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs), lower wind shear, reduced sea level pressure, and a more conducive structure of the African easterly jet. An updated Atlantic hurricane outlook will be issued in early August, which begins the peak months (August-October) of the hurricane season."

Not a cheery outlook for sure. I don't think it will even take a hurricane near as powerful as Katrina to do serious damage to New Orleans this year. There's so many FEMA trailers out there that a big wind will blow them over.

I just saw an interview with the head of Homeland Security telling everyone how much better prepared for this season FEMA and the Federal Government is. Pardon me if I'm skepitcal. Forgive me if I don't believe a word he says.

I just finished Douglas Brinkley's THE GREAT DELUGE about Katrina last night. This should be required reading for anyone that wants to know anything about Katrina and the inept Government response to the tragedy.

I wonder why Florida can have such good response from FEMA, but the very next year New Orleans is a diaster. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that W's brother is the governor of Florida. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that New Orleans is mainly poor black who didn't vote for W. Nah, none of those things would matter, would they?

I've never been worried about hurricane seasons before. I always take them as they come. Katrina was actually the first hurricane I evacuated for. But this year feels different. I hope it's just lingering unease from Katrina.

Question About Firefox

Everyone keeps going on about how much better Firefox is than Internet Explorer. I have both, everytime I try to use Firefox though it screws this blog up. It leaves out a lot of the pictures, like the header one for example. It also screws up the sidebar big time, overlapping stuff, leaving stuff out, etc. Does anyone know why it would do this? I would use Firefox if it's better, but from my point of view it's definitely not better than Explorer.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I do it again and again
I listen for visions and missions in the wind
I won the vote but shunned the soft parade
and now I'm picking garbage a true sage's trade
I won every battle and lost the war

You dared me to reach for it dared me to know
so i drove that car just as slow as it would go
listening for the sound
of my last hope hit the ground
won every battle but lost the war

you managed to take more than I had
with your greedy treaties and your rubber badge
you may have won every battle
but you lost the war

Well I only did what I knew
simple math nothing more nothing less
if you hadn't of told me
i never would have guessed
how hungry was your hate
how sealed was my fate

I won every battle but lost the war

you managed to take more than I had
with your greedy treaties and your rubber badge
you may have won every battle but you lost the war
you may have won every battle but you lost the war

copyright by Shannon McNally

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Vistor at The Jazz Fest

While Snooks was playing I happened to see the Edge at the side of the stage. With him is Quint Davis who is responsible for organizing JazzFest. He didn't play with Snooks, he was acting more like a fan. But he did play later with Dave Mathews.


Friday, May 26, 2006



This book by Douglas Brinkley tells the story of Katrina.  It starts with landfall and ends when the 82nd Airborne arrived in the city and restored some semblance of order.  I thought I knew most of what happened, boy was I wrong.  This book is full of a lot of interesting facts.  Brinkley does not let any of the politicans off the hook.  He is tough on all of them and deservedly so.  Nagin had a chance to show the world what he was capable of and inspire the city, instead he hid in the upper floors of the Hyatt while people where dying.  The sheer incompentence of our leaders, from W on down to Nagin was criminal.  These people that we elected to lead us let people die.  People that could have been saved if quicker action had been taken, if better plans had been many ifs.  

I'm still in the midst of reading this book but I highly recommend it.  

The most frightening thing is that Hurricane season is less than a week away.  Have our leaders learned anything from this diaster?  I'd like to think so, but truthfully I doubt it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Been a bad day today but wanted to at least mention the new cd by the Dixie Chicks.  Even if this wasn't a great cd of wonderful music I would say go out and buy it to support free speech.  Don't let others tell you that you shouldn't listen to it because of what they said about W.  The best part of all this is that it is some great music.  I've always liked the Dixie Chicks and this is their best yet.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Your Political Profile:
Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal


Your Inner Child Is Sad

You're a very sensitive soul.
You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I Hate Charter Communications

Ok, I had just got back from Disney World, had time to post a few pictures. Was planning on posting more pictures and maybe even a few words and what happens? My cable and internet go down. They're both connected, coming from that fine upstanding company Charter Communications. I call them, they tell me someone will call me within a hour to give me details on when they can come fix my said problems. An hour goes by, I stay calm, figuring things could be busy. I don't want to be one of those people that call right on the hour screaming about them forgetting me. So I give them another hour. The person I get this time all but laughs at me when I tell them I was told someone would call me back within an hour. No, no, no she says. It will be at least a day.

So without going into a lot of boring give and take over the next few days that was the essence of my conversations with the people at the other end of the phone that represent Charter. Everytime I called I was given a different story. Once they even canceled my appointment. The first thing they ask you everytime you call is for your phone number. Once I call the person complained that the tech didn't have my number to reach me, this after repeately being told I didn't have to be home. I maybe not so politely pointed out that they had my phone number about a dozen times. By this point what little patience I had was quickly leaving me. She commented that whoever had taken my problem down had forgot to put it on the sheet they fill out. And that's my fault how?!?

They promise no more than 48 hours to get a problem fixed. It took four days to get mine fixed. And I would have been allright with that, maybe a little cranky but understanding if they had told me that so at the start. But everyone I talked to promised me something different everytime. A call back that never came. A tech showing up within a day that never came.

And I knew what the problem was. I have new neighbors behind me. They were looking for their water values which are underground. No one could tell them where they were so they've been doing a lot of digging. They accidentally cut my cable. I even went out and pulled the cut cable up and left it standing up so the tech could find it easier. I told this to everyone I talked to.

When a tech finally showed up it took him all of five minutes to fix the problem. Now I have cable and internet. But I am way behind on posting here and checking out other blogs.

(The problem is that companies like Charter have a monopoly on their services. One cable company per town. Why do they care how bad their service is? They figure where else are you going to go to?)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My favorite Pic

Back From Disney

We got back last night around nine. It was a ten hour trip. Today was a day of trying to get caught up on things, like getting food back in the house and picking up the Wonder Dog. Don't worry, I'm not going to give you a blow by blow of the trip. I'll just hit some high points and show a lot of pics. I took a lot of pics. I took a lot of pics with the characters. It became something of a mission, for us to see how many characters we could find and get our pictures with. I know, such behavior from grown men...well, I've never claimed to be too grown. So be prepared to see me with a lot of Disney characters over the next few days as I get the pictures downloaded from my camera.

Friday, May 05, 2006

End of Day

Crowd Shots

KoKo Taylor

Tab Benoit

Marva Wright

Ed Bradley Introducing Marva Wright

Marcia Ball

Kim Carson

Pine Leaf Boys

Me at Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest 2006 Day Four

Wow, a whole week has gone by and it's time for the final weekend of Jazz Fest. If this post isn't that long or in depth as some of the previous ones I apologize, but it's late and I'm tired and I still have to get things ready for my trip to Disney that I leave for in two days. Am I crazy or what?

Hopefully I'll make up for any shortage in words with pictures.

First up was the Pine Leaf Boys. They are a local group from Lafayette. They sing traditional cajun music. These guys were a bunch of college kids just a year ago. Now they're a really good sounding musical group. Nothing like that ever happened to me when I was in college.

Next up was Kim Carson. She's another local singer that's been around forever. She reminds me a little of Lucinda Williams.

After Kim I tried to make my way back to the Southern Comfort stage where Larry already was. I got into the crowd, even close enough to see Larry and our chairs by the front of the stage but the crowd was so packed I gave up. Marcia Ball was coming on so I figured I'd just stand where I was and watch the show.

And what a show! After Springsteen I think this was my favorite show of the Fest so far. She did a new song called "Bucktown" about the area in Kenner called Bucktown and of course Katrina. She also did a version of Randy Newman's Louisiana 1927 that was killer. This was an awesome show.

Marva Wright was on after Marcia. Marva is a local blues singer. She was visibly moved by the crowd, she came out, grabbed her mike and started crying. She wiped away the tears and started to sing. Wow, can this woman sing! She is a real blues singer.

After Marve was Tab Benoit, another local blues singer. Another good show.

The final act was KoKo Taylor, a legendary blues singer. She got her start from Willie Dixon back in the 40s. She only did an hour show, even that got to her, she had to sit down after she would sing a few lyrics and get her breath back. But she was a trooper.

All in all another great day of Jazz Fest and a great start to the final weekend. The weather again was great, overcast so the sun did not come out and bake us and the rain held off.

Jazz Fest 2006 Day Three

Well, the end of this day was the Springsteen concert where I talk about in its own post. But the rest of this day was good too. I managed to sell my extra ticket so I started off happy.

The first act was John Mooney, a modern day blues singer. He was born in New Jersey but now lives in New Orleans.

After Mooney came Sonny Landreth. I saw Sonny last year at the Jazz Fest. Sonny is a master of the slide guitar.

And finally before the Springsteen show came Allen Toussiant and Elvis Costello. Allen performed a lot of his old hits and than brought Elvis out. They have a new cd coming out in June, The River In Reverse, and yes it is about Katrina and its aftermath. They did the title song and it was very good. Allen ended with a song, calling out to various aspects of New Orleans and its areas, saying we'll be back.

After this came Springsteen but I talk about him in another post.


It's been almost a week since the end of last week's Jazz Fest. I'm sure most of you have heard about Springsteen's appearance at the Fest. In Springsteen lore there are tales of his legendary concerts: the appearance at Bottom Line where Jan Landau came up with the future of rock and roll quote, his first London show, and others. These are the shows that his fans talk and write about, the ones that every Springsteen fan wishes he had been present at. Now you can add another one to that list.

I've seen Springsteen a few times over the years and he always gives a good concert. He puts on a good show, he knows how to play to the crowd. He doesn't stint on his time, he puts it all out there for his fans to see. But no show by Springsteen that I've seen comes close to this show. In fact I'm trying real hard to think of any show that I've seen that can compare to this one.

I talked in a previous post about the importance of this Jazz Fest to the city of New Orleans. In this one concert Springsteen shows he understands what is important and delivers on it. I'm not a religious person and I have never gotten what such a person gets from going to church, until this show. This might be the closest I have come to finding my religion. I've always thought music was the closest I've come to following a religion and today I was in church.

Springsteen opened with a rocking version of "Mary, Don't You Weep" and continued with his versions of the songs off his newest cd "The Seeger Sessions." He added "What's A Poor Man To Do", a song originally wrote in 1929 after the crash of the banks that eventually lead to the Depression. He kept the first verse, but wrote his own second and third verses to fit the destruction and aftermath of Katrina. And he dedicated it to President Bystander.

But the most moving moment came during his own song, "City in Ruins." This song started with him alone on his guitar. As he sang the lyrics it was obvious that this song could have been written for New Orleans after Katrina. And than when the band kicked in with the chorus of "Rise UP!" Hands went in the air, waving back and forth. But many of these hands kept returning to faces, to wipe away the tears. I don't know if I've ever been moved to tears at a concert, but I found myself wiping my own eyes.

Springsteen ended with his version of "When the Saints Come Marching Home." He sang it almost as a hymn. It was one of the most beautiful versions of the song I have ever heard.

This concert went from joy to despair, from laughter to tears. Springsteen made the truth of the importance of the Jazz Fest on this day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How Cool Is Jazz Fest?

This is the cubes for day three of Jazz Fest. Look at all the acts on there and that's just one day! Isn't Jazz Fest so cool?

Bruce Springsteen

Allen Touisant and Elvis Costello

John Mooney

How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live

Live Apr 2006 version
Well, the doctor comes 'round here with his face all bright
And he says "in a little while you'll be alright"
All he gives is a humbug pill, a dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

"Me and my old school pals had some mighty high times down here
And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain't fair"
He took a look around, gave a little pep talk, said "I'm with you" then he took a little walk
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to Hell
Martha, get me my sixteen gauge and some dry shells
Them who's got got out of town and them who ain't got left to drown
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Go ahead!

Got family scattered from Texas all the way to Baltimore
Yeah and I ain't got no home in this world no more
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact, a righteous train rollin' down this track
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?


Originally written by Blind Alfred Reed who recorded it on 04 Dec 1929 in New York City and released as RCA VICTOR Vi V-40236. It had Blind Alfred Reed on fiddle and vocals and his son, Arville Reed, on guitar. Check out Blind Alfred Reed's versio

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