Monday, May 31, 2010

The Young President Gets a Little Damp

It appears that God got a little miffed at the Young President for his choice of Memorial Day address locales and started tossing around a little thunder and lightning. It's a shame all the good people in attendance didn't have umbrellas and limos.

I guess his tee time got rained out, too.


Memorial Day

Lest we forget.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Something Simple to Soothe My Soul

This is the "naughty children " fountain that came with Moogie's Mansion when it became our home way back in 1999. (Please disregard the attractive orange extension cord! I'll figure out something to do with that later.) It makes the most delightful flowing water background noise and actually cools the air a little when it gets beastly hot. Native ferns spring up at its base even after they've been pinched back by a bitter winter. I used to love to sit out on the patio in the shade and read or sketch while soaking up the relaxing sound.

Since 2006, when we began the post-Katrina tear-down of the wrecked shed and decided to build the open-air garage, it has sat there, non-functional, sad-looking -- little more than a rain gauge and a breeding ground for mosquitos.

Until today!!

We had gone to Lowe's quite awhile back and bought it a new pump and Pepper attempted to repair it while I was in Little Rock for one of the ninety-three wedding events. But, it seems that we neglected to buy the necessary tubing to get the water from Point A to Point B and back again, so the naughty children had lain prone on the patio since that attempt. I finally got the tubing several weeks back when Veronica was down for her visit, and said tubing remained in its Lowe's sack on the dining room table ever since.

Until today!

I cleaned out the bowl (including over an inch of sediment that had been building in there for years -- and about a gazillion skeeter eggs), then Pepper installed the tubes and replaced the naughty children on their perch, and . . . . Nothing.

So we cussed a bit (vocalizing a few choice words always helps a bit, you know) and flipped some switches and . . . . Nothing.

Then Pepper strode intently over to the fountain and I feared -- just for a moment, mind you-- that the fountain was about to be drop-kicked over the fence, naughty children and all. Instead, he messed around with the infamous tubing and . . . . Voila! She kicked off with gusto! There had been a little kink in the line and the tinkering loosened it!

So, now we can enjoy our naughty children again, and the fountain's soothing sound makes me feel so peaceful. I could use a little peace in my soul, what with all the calamity going on in the Gulf and the Young President making promises he probably isn't equipped to keep.

I love my feisty, clever husband. I think we'll fire up the grill tonight so we can listen to the naughty children singing their little water-song. We should have shrimp while we still can.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maybe Not Illegal and Likely Unethical, but Stinky Beyond Measure

The White House used former President Bill Clinton to offer an unpaid advisory position to Rep. Joe Sestak in hopes of persuading him to drop his Pennsylvania Senate primary challenge to President Barack Obama's favored candidate, according to an internal report issued Friday.

. . . .

White House Counsel Robert Bauer's two-page report said there was no improper conduct. No one in the administration discussed the offer with Sestak, he said.

. . . .

Bauer, in the report [issued today by the White House], argued that previous Democratic and Republican administration "motivated by the same goals — discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaigns for public office." The report said such actions aren't illegal nor unethical.

Bill Clinton and Rahm Emanuel.

So, we have Heckle and Jeckle trying to fill an unpaid advisory position in an attempt to take some heat off of a doomed, turncoat, Obama-bum-bussing, sitting senator's race for re-election.

Without the Young President's knowledge or complicity.

Those inclined to believe this little song-and-dance should inquire of Moogie about the excellent beachfront property she has for sale in New Mexico.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

With a Little Help . . . .

We didn't follow American Idol the entire season, but we like to watch the finales. Last night was one not to miss.

Joe Cocker still so freakin' rocks!

And seeing those young whipper-snappers giving him all due props did a heart good.

Dang -- our generation produced some fine music!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The White House Throws Arizona a Bone -- a Very Small Bone, Like a Quail Wing or Something

Some things speak for themselves.

I understand that the 1,200 National Guard troops called up by the White House to help patrol the border can't get into the most critical patrol areas due to environmental restrictions and will be limited to administrative duties. I may be making this up, but it would just about fit the situation.

Nero's fiddling.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change I Can't Believe In

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm pretty darn pissed off that the President of the United States has chosen to spend Memorial Day in Chicago instead of staying in Washington to honor our fallen in Arlington Cemetery, as every president in memory has done. That's just one of those traditions that doesn't need "hopey-change."

He tinkered with Memorial Day tradition last year when he dispatched a federal van and folks in uniform to place a wreath at the African American Civil War Memorial for the very first time. As had other presidents, he also sent a wreath to the Confederate veterans' memorial at Arlington, despite objections from his entourage. I guess after that magnanimous gesture he felt entitled to give special recognition to one particular race of American soldiers. Or did he send a wreath to a Caucasian Civil War Memorial somewhere that I don't know about?

It doesn't comfort me that, this year, he'll place a wreath at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois. Elmwood, Illinois, isn't the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery, symbolic of all America's fallen.

No. The solemn ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown will be delegated to Vice President Biden. Good ol' Joe Biden who, a few weeks ago, offhandedly suggested that the United States is no longer the "capitol of the free world" -- bestowing that title on Brussels and elevating NATO's importance in the process:

"As you probably know, some American politicians and American
journalists refer to Washington, D.C. as the 'capital of the free world,'" Biden
said. "But it seems to me that in this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of
history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European
Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to
that title."

I'm a little tired of our leaders trashing us and elevating the concept of a world order.
So, good ol' Joe will do the honors at Arlington and host the White House luncheon for families of our fallen.
This isn't exactly the "change" anyone should believe in.
Hey, America's military! Are you feelin' pretty good about the attitude this administration has toward you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Bickering Koreans

We've been out of town at our annual continuing legal ed seminar since last Wednesday. I was so excited that Pepper packed his laptop so I could keep up with my posts and blog-stalking during lulls in activity (read: "when sessions were over, Pepper was on the golf course, and it got too hot on the beach").

Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy -- he of the famous Murphy's Law -- must've stowed away in our luggage, because we could never get the laptop to talk to the Wi-fi in the room, and I couldn't post or comment on the iPhone. I could've gone to the computer at the hotel's Biz Center so I could keep up, and I love my blog-buddies and all, but having to pay for computer access is kinda like paying for . . . , well, like paying for something I've never contemplated paying for, so I didn't.

But I'm home now! Even though I'm a little out of date, I'll try to catch up.

So, South Korea and all have finally come out and accused the NorKs of torpedoing the South Korean Navy vessel in March, killing 46 sailors in the process. (I'm pretty sure that those "officially" coming to the same conclusion include the United States. Sometimes it's kinda hard to tell when Hillary's actually committing to a position. Of course, Kim Jong Il's minister did refer to her as a "primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping" a while back, so she may have a little bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to Kim and his minions.)

And, North Korea still denies the accusations. In rather "irregular" terms.

When I first heard the report of this exchange, the first thing that hit me about the NorKs' response was: we're back on the playground!

South: You sank my ship!

North: Did not!

South: Did, too!

North: Did not, did not, did
not! And if you keep saying that, we'll do it again!!

We also have China trying to act like a teacher's aide on the playground: "Now, now children."

I'm not so sure there are any authoritative grown-ups left anywhere anymore.

*Sigh* I really miss Ronald Reagan lately.

Update: I just heard that the South has cut off trade with the North. Can anyone say, "Armageddon?"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Memories and Plans

I just put my baby daughter on a plane back to Little Rock. She came for a quick visit while her sister honeymoons in Jamaica because her Mama was suffering from a mild bout of "family withdrawal." We shopped til we dropped, ate a lot, and drank a little too much. We talked about and planned for her wedding next June. (I'm really glad she's giving us a year for the bank account to recover!)

Now the house is awfully quiet and Bouie's pouting.

So, here are a few more wedding memories from last month:

I guess I did get teary-eyed a bit at first. Doesn't my grandson's expression look like he's escorting me to an execution! He took his duties very seriously (for the most part -- there is that communion wafer story!) and did a very good job. And we did manage to keep his little brother out of the baptismal font. Barely.

The bride's cake was not only beautiful, it tasted out of this world! I wish I had a piece right now. That's a little piece of lace from my wedding dress tucked into Shay's bouquet -- I used the time we were waiting for the emergency plumber to arrive to repair the exploded ballcock in the toilet the morning we were to depart for Little Rock to remove a lot of the lace. Now I'm all ready for next year's bouquet and have a brand new ballcock and shut-off valves. Indoors and out. Egad.

There's my big girl standing at a window in our front parlor with her dress all bustled up. Her friend took that shot on Halloween day before we headed down to the Quarter for her formal portrait shoot. I really need take some photography classes. Her formal portrait wound up being a shot taken in a French Quarter townhouse where a seriously gay realtor was holding an open house and thought it was just too perfect to have a "real bride" do a photo shoot in there on Halloween. He flung wide the door and hustled us inside. And it was a gorgeous place!

Little Rock hadn't seen many Second Line parades -- the band learned "When the Saints Come Marching In" and led the parade with brass blaring! We didn't actually throw the beads -- we just kinda handed a few out -- a personal injury lawsuit would put a damper on wedding memories, don't ya know. Tim was using the Second Line umbrella that his grandfather had given his grandmother shortly before his death. It was a nice family touch -- and, more importantly, it was in Saints colors (as was the groom's cake! That one was seriously chocolate -- made by one of Shay's friends -- whose apartment was flooded after the tornado hopped over it and dumped a gazillion inches of rain the night before the wedding).

Yep -- we had us some wedding adventures! Now if I can shed just 10 more pounds . . . .

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strange Politics in Arkansas

So, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln is cozying up to the Young President in her struggling campaign to win the upcoming Democratic primary, even though he got slammed there in the 2008 election. An article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette suggests she's using this tactic in an effort to woo black voters who, according to the article, apparently still believe he can walk on water because he's half-black.

But, the Prez has reportedly written Blanche off as dead in the election waters. Hmmm.

The Demo-zette article also notes that several Unions, including the infamous SEIU, have paid for ads attacking Lincoln -- especially her disagreements with the Young President -- on several issues. Of course, Arkansas is a "Right-to-work" state and unions hold a less than favorable place in the hearts of most Arkansas voters.

Politics and strange bedfellows indeed.

The Chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party is quoted as saying, “It’s odd that our embattled Senator Lincoln would seek the endorsement of a president whose popularity in Arkansas is lower than hers." He also noted that Obama’s endorsement “proves that President Obama desperately needs her party vote to push forth his radical, liberal agenda."

Sounds like a couple of "duh!" moments to me.

That's shaping up to be one interesting election.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fun for All!

Got this in an email today -- it looks like fun for the whole family (except for that "adult language thing!)!

Easy Rules for Baracko Bingo:
1. Before Barrack Obama's next televised speech, print your "Baracko Bingo" card.
2. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.
3. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

Testimonials from past satisfied "Bullshit Bingo" players:

"I had been listening to the speech for only five minutes when I won." - Jack W., Boston

"My attention span during speeches has improved dramatically." - David D., Florida

"What a gas! Speeches will never be the same for me after my first win." - Bill R., New York City

“The atmosphere was tense in the last speech as 14 of us waited for the fifth box." - Ben G., Denver

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Medal Will be a Boom for The Purple Heart Industry

I don't often listen to Rush Limbaugh, but it's on in the background today and he got off a good one. He thinks the new "Military Medal for Courageous Restraint" should be nick-named "The Yellow Heart."

I'm thinking that thinking like that in the field will lead to a lot more unnecessary Purple Hearts.

There are some well-thought-out comments from soldiers here. I used to think the Brits had some pretty clever senior leadership, but I guess this idea sends that notion pretty far south.

Pepper's thoughts? "We are governed by idiots, remember?"

WHAT are they thinking?!?!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Big Brother Moves to The Kennel

Look at this face! I mean, just look at this adorable, intelligent, sweet, eager-to-please face! Wouldn't you love to have a houseful of pups that look and behave just like him?

Well, apparently the New Orleans City Council wouldn't.

Big Brother is coming for our dogs.

Last week, our really-busy Council enacted an ordinance that requires dogs older than 6 months to be spayed or neutered unless the owner applies for and obtains an annually-renewable permit to keep the pup intact.

The sponsor of the ordinance stated her intent: "to stop random breeding of pit bulls and vicious dogs" and "to make sure children are safe walking the streets." So, she proposed a law that would stop the breeding of any dog without first asking, "Mother, may I?" Puh-leeze.

She also snuck the vote in under the radar of the American Kennel Club and other groups that oppose the ordinance, thus denying them, and my dog, adequate due process.

(I can think of any number of politicians for whom I'd be willing to pay the fee to have neutered. And I can think of a lot who act as if they already have been. Pit bulls, my foot.)

This is nothing short of unenforceable, overreaching overkill that takes yet another decision/freedom away from Joe Q. Citizen and places it in the "capable" hands of our benevolent government, which, of course, knows what's best for us all. First it's removing the soft drink machines from schools and giving a week's detention to a poor little kid in Texas who committed the unforgivable sin of eating a Jolly Rancher candy at lunch; now it's our pets' reproductive parts. Where does it stop?!?!

I'll tell you where it'll stop -- right at my dog's family jewels.

I've been wanting to breed him and then have him "fixed;" both of our girl dogs were spayed at an early age mainly for convenience's sake. But, by golly, now I think ol' Bouie will just keep what the good Lord gave him to lick.

Come and get me; I'll show you a vicious bitch.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fundraising for the Fishers

I missed Jazzfest this year with all the wedding festivities and recovery, but I may have been given a musical mulligan courtesy of the BP Thing.

Typical of New Orleans, when something really good or really bad happens, funds must be raised to help out neighbors in need. And the standing rule in this city mandates that there be good music and good food on hand at all fundraising activities.

The local seafood industry has taken a serious kick in the chops since a giant bit of submarine flatulence caused the the Deepwater rig to do its thing, shutting down oysterbeds and fishing waters.

Hence, just announced for this Sunday's schedule: The Gulf Coast Benefit on the riverbank outside Mardi Gras World featuring Lenny Kravitz, Dr. John, and lots of local talent. I haven't heard anything about the food yet, but the music promises to be sweet.

We'll just see how tired out the old man is after three days of golf tournament.

Love me some Lenny.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To All You Mothers -- in Context, of Course!

The enchanting Shirley Temple impersonator is my sweet Mama (she always argued that it should be spelled, "Momma," but I won!). This was a poster for a floor show in a fund-raiser for cancer research sometime in the late 60s. Mama was a character! (And she had spectacular legs!) I miss her every day -- not just on Mothers Day -- since October 14, 1977.

Other thoughts on the Mothers Day phenomenon --

A guy-type friend from long ago posted:

Some guy called me a "mother" this morning (or something like that)--but I
don't think it was in the context of Mothers Day!!---Happy Mothers Day to all of
you that have earned it!!!!!!

I must say, I agree that mothers have earned a few "Happiness" wishes, and they should be the only ones who receive said wishes.

Even though there are plenty of folk out there who have earned the moniker in the alternate context that Don suggested.

And, you know who you are!

I miss my kids today more than usual.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Quite a becoming rendering of Madame Nappy, don't you think?

Of course, her dogma's the same as the real thing.

Unfortunately for us.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Beware of Hitchhikers!

Just another day in southeast Louisiana -- petroleum fumes occasionally wafting through the spring breeze to compete with the fragrance of gardenia and jasmine on our block, and an unexplained sick headache nagging at me for days.

Then, I meet this guy.

As I parked at the neighborhood mom-'n-pop grocery yesterday and glanced in the side mirror to check for thugs sneaking up on me (not really -- I just have a habit of checking all my mirrors before shifting into park. I'm not sure why -- maybe it is a subliminal thug-confounding thing!), this little guy popped his head up and said, "Hi there!" He rode home with me, catching the breeze on the side mirror.

I'm told by a Baton Rouge school-teacher Facebook friend that he's a Tussock Moth Caterpillar. He's colorful and has funny nodules on his back. He appears to have two large feathery antennae and something long and feathery springing from his rear end. Oddly, he didn't appear to have stinging spines like Mr. Buckmoth Caterpillar. I was apparently wrong.

He was just comical, the way he appeared to be listening to me, waving those feathery antennae around -- he made me smile, but something told me not to invite him to crawl around on my hand like I would invite an Arkansas woolly-booger.

Pepper tried to ootch him onto a dollar bill so he could put him safely into the jasmine on the phone pole. But, the little guy slipped, fell onto the pavement, and scurried under the car.

Now, after looking him up, I kinda hope he fried on the pavement under the car! It appears that up-close-and-personal contact with Mr. Tussock Moth Caterpillar's feathery plumage can cause quite a number of unpleasant symptoms in human beings, including poisoning. And he and his kin can pretty much defoliate a tree without breaking a sweat!

Moral of the story -- #1: for all the fun and culture it has to offer, southeast Louisiana is a very dangerous place!

And, #2: always listen to that little voice in your head that warns you about picking up strangers, no matter the species.

Military Spouse Day 2010

I guess sometimes the Young President does get something right --

President Issues Military Spouse Day Proclamation
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2010 – President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation declaring today as Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Here is the text of the president’s proclamation:

When Americans answer the call to serve in our Armed Forces, a sacred trust is forged. Our men and women in uniform take on the duty of protecting us all, and their spouses and families also help shoulder this important responsibility.

As we mark Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to supporting and honoring the husbands, wives, and loved ones of our Nation's servicemembers.

At the heart of our Armed Forces, servicemembers' spouses keep our military families on track. They balance family life, military life, and their careers -- all while supporting other military families and giving back to their communities. Many have served in uniform themselves and, understanding the obligations involved, can provide unparalleled support. They are pillars of strength in their families, often celebrating their children's life milestones while the other parent is away.

Military spouses also care for our wounded warriors and honor the memory of our Nation's fallen heroes, including their own loved ones. They impact countless lives on military bases and in schools, places of worship, and neighborhoods across our Nation. Their contributions help protect our freedom by strengthening our communities and our servicemembers.

My Administration is committed to improving opportunities and quality of life for these brave spouses and families who know the separation and stress of war. We are increasing servicemembers' compensation as well as funding for better housing, job training, counseling, outreach, and support for spouses and their families. We are also expanding our ground forces to reduce the strain of repeated deployments, and to give servicemembers more time with their loved ones.

There are many ways for each of us to show our appreciation for military spouses. Working through community-based organizations, workplaces, schools, and places of worship, we can help them support their families, establish or build a career, and address the unique challenges they face.

I am inspired every day by our men and women in uniform and their families. They are America's greatest military asset, and my Administration is committed to fulfilling our obligations to them. Today, let us honor the spouses and families who support our servicemembers and, in doing so, help defend our Nation and preserve our liberty.

United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2010, as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

Barack Obama

Now, what do you suppose happened to Michelle's campaign promise to make military families her primary concern? Maybe she buried it in the White House garden.

(Oh, come on! You know I couldn't be totally nice to them for an entire post!!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

S.O.S. -- Politicians Converge on Southeast Louisiana

Tomorrow begins a new thread in the City of New Orleans' mayoral tapestry when Mitch Landrieu is sworn in as Ray "Chocolate City - Vagina Friendly" Nagin's successor.

Let's see -- Landrieu sports a modicum of noggin hair; Nagin is shiny-shaved.

Landrieu has a sister currently serving in the U.S. Senate; Nagin has a son who was busted in NYC for credit card fraud a few years back. (I'm not sure which would be the worse relative to have -- at least Nagin's son owned up to his thievery).

Landrieu is a career politician who hails from a family of career politicians; Nagin came up through the ranks of the corporate world with, some suggest, a little help from friends in affirmative action. (I'm not sure which is the worse background).

I'm betting the hair thing will tell. It's the only real difference with distinction between the two that I can ascertain.

Now this:

is taking place this afternoon near the Gulf Coast as the powers that be confer on the BP Oil Rig disaster. I'm thinking they'll get along like oil and water.

Sorry -- I can only take one disaster at a time.

Go, Bobby Jindal, go!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We Need the Rest of the Story on The BP Thing

This BP oil rig disaster smells to high heaven on so many levels. I'm not inclined to conspiracy theories, but . . . .

I've already read several, "But, Buuuussshhh and Katrina" excuses. Yeah -- right. One of the loopiest conspiracy theories concerning Katrina was the "George Bush hates black people so he had the levees blown up after Katrina passed because it was a good opportunity to get rid of a lot of them." Watch Spike Lee's documentary to get a taste of it. Pretty nutso.

But, the thing about this BP event that really puzzles me is -- NEVER has there been this kind of explosion on a gulf oil rig. Even when a Taylor Energy rig collapsed during one or other of the recent hurricanes, there was no fire and no spill.

And the BP Thing (as the government is already spinning it -- just like we never really got around to calling the "Federal Levee Failure After Katrina" just that; it has evermore been simply, "Katrina.") -- the BP Thing happened just after the current administration had committed to additional off-shore drilling and exploration.

I'm not suggesting that orders came from the White House to sabotage the rig or anything; that smacks too much of the Nixon White House. I'm just sayin' . . . there are some flaky fringe groups out there with pretty impressive resources. And looky, looky -- all new exploration and drilling is suspended pending whatever the hell is pending! Surprise, surprise!

Thank God for the Coast Guard -- I pray for wisdom and strength for our friend RADM Mary Landry.

And I pray for those fragile coastal ecosystems and barrier islands that now appear doomed.

And for the souls of the lost -- and peace for their loved ones.