Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Less than 2 weeks apart are two monumental days - 8/29 Katrina and 9/11. I was reading an article from the LA Times “Anxiety Lingers in New York.” Replace “Twin Towers” with levees and “9/11” with Katrina and there you have it. That’s New Orleanians now and in 5 years I’m sure. This paragraph especially:

Well-intentioned outsiders have frequently urged New Yorkers to "move beyond" the trauma and "get on with their lives." But moving on is difficult when reminders of the event that caused such chaos are still a key part of city life. Indeed, the attack did not simply happen and then end; it has become a fixture in the city's physical and mental landscape. The debate over how to rebuild ground zero and construct a memorial is a daily story; New Yorkers are bombarded with images of the immense hole in the ground that once housed the towers.

It’s been 5 years and people in NYC still feel they can’t move on. The site - one NY city block - has not been rebuilt. And some people wonder why things here are still a mess, a mere one-year later? A whole city. A small city but a whole city nontheless. I do hope in 4 years there is a newspaper article that reads “New Orleans has made a stirring recovery” as this article says of NYC. Heck, I just hope there’s any articles about NOLA’s recovery in 4 years period.

G and I picked up the DVD collection of “The Lone Gunmen,” a TV series that was a spin off of “The X-Files.” My mind was blown while watching the series primier. In it, two of the characters board a flight out of Boston airport because the think there is a bomb on it. (Not very smart but it’s TV) As it turns out there is no bomb but the “bad guys” had some how managed to gain remote control of the plane’s autopilot and set the plane on a course to crash into the WTC. (Thanks to expert computer hacking the "gunmen" were able to disengage the autopilot, but it was a close call.)
“No body could have imagined using planes as missles” sounds just like
“No body could image the levees failing and flooding New Orleans” doesn’t it?
It took me a few days to shake that TV episode off.

Keith Olberman of MSNBC said it on on his 9/11 Special Comment. He's mad and he has every right to be.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Where's Waldo?

The T-P and NOLA bloggers have all been riding Mayor Nagin for his constant travel around the country and now there's a website devoted to tracking his movement wheresnagin.com. The big hoopla is his 100-day initiative he announced when re-elected - the hoopla over the questions: when is day 100, what where the goals and what has he done. This morning there was a open house meeting with the Mayor, members of his administration with the people of my district, District B. The turn out was good even on a Saturday morning. City Council Rep. Stacy Head started the meeting off and then turned things over to Nagin. I'd like to note Stacy was received with hardy clapping and whistling - not so for da mayor; he got more of a polite "golf clap" but people did refrain from booing. The mayor worked the room, he does best in these intimate settings, relaxed and confident, inviting straight-forwardness; he said subtlety is lost on him, be direct. People took him up on it.

It was a well organized meeting - there were handouts with information at the door, people collected handwritten questions from the audience, sorted them and directed them to correct person to answer it. And there was quite the spread of food. The mayor let his people answer the questions, stepping in from time to time. We stayed for 2 hours; topics covered included Entergy, NORD parks and pools, crime, the judicial system, the break down of the juvenile justice system, rental property, debris, schools, levees and Corps, FEMA and Road home money (or lack of)... I have no idea how long it lasted because it was still going when we left. I was wondering why this now, to a small portion of the city. It was excellent information, info all citizens would benefit from not just Dist. B. Why hadn't the mayor's office distributed this info before? When we got home I finished reading the paper and say that on Tuesday the Mayor is finally going to be talk, addressing the 100 day initiative. Maybe this was just to test the waters, see how people react? Today's paper had an abridged recap of the meeting.

Today's paper also had an article by Chris Rose criticizing the mayor. He's been generally supportive of the mayor up to now - I think this is telling how fed up people are. We are tired of waiting. Nagin said the money isn't flowing to the city or to the people. Several people in his administration talked about the FEMA worksheets they have filled out and the bottlenecks. Then Stephanie Grace wrote about that same thing today in regards to city park. OK now I'm depressed. I guess I'll go update the cat blog. That always cheers me up.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps.

I'm sure some body has said this of living in New Orleans, even before Katrina. It helps to be a little nutty to live here and have a good sense of humor. New Orleans is filled with characters. And excellent example of this is a web site my friend Kristen sent me Arabi Wrecking Krewe. It's a group of people who help musicians gut their houses. It's full of photos of people in ventelators and haz-mat suits hamming it up for the camera. Just go look at the web site, it will make you smile and will help explain the unusal mind-set of people who live down here in southern Louisiana.

The other day I was listening to WWOZ - the world's greated radio station - and a haunting song came on, about the black water line left on the city. I get goosebumps just typing this. I wondered who is this? Well, today on the cover of the Living section of our newspaper is an article "Songs in the key of K" and at the top of the page is a photo with the caption: Spencer Bohren waxes rhapsodic about "The Long Black Line" that failed-levee floodwaters left wrapped around New Orleans. My question has been answered. Here's the list of songs, click the link to hear the song. Enjoy.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Annoying Telemarketer calls from Sprint/Nextel

My cell phone (yes, I now have a cell phone) is with Sprint. A week ago I started to get a phone call, every day around the same time from 866-463-3020. I would hit ignore, but after it went on for a week I was getting annoyed. So I typed the number into Google and discovered this great web site WhoCalledUs.

People post comments about the calls. I learned that it was a sales call from Sprint/Nextel. I also learned how to block calls! The site said:
  1. to block incoming cell calls do this: send text message.
  2. in the TO: (type the number or email address you want blocked)
  3. in the Message: type the letter b then a space then the number or text address you want blocked (example) b 8885551212
  4. then send. your phone should you verification that you want to block. click yes. Number is now blocked.
I didn't get a verification option but the next day no phone call! It worked! However, only to start getting calls from a different number: 866-463-3020. Once again I typed it into Google and yep, it's Sprint/Nextel again. Other people have reported that the same thing happened to them. The answer they get from Sprint is they apologize and "are looking into it." We'll see what happens once I block this number. Someone had posted this:

I've written a complaint to Sprint/Nextel public affairs and encourage anyone who reads this to do the same. Her reply was.

"Thank you for your message. The 800 number you referenced is a number that Sprint had been using for some outreach to customers and we are eliminating the number in the course of improving our processes. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your input.

Jennifer Walsh
Jennifer Walsh Kiefer

Sprint Nextel Public Affairs

6200 Sprint Parkway
KSOPHF0102 - 1B400

Overland Park, KS 66251
Tel: 913-794-2950

PCS: 816-305-7795


So I sent Ms. Walsh an email expressing my displeasure. I got an auto response she is out of the office but to call her PCS... it's tempting, to bug her on her Labor Day holiday. If I block the second number and still get phone calls then I'll do.