Saturday, April 26, 2008

The rain is really coming down over by us and I'm hearing some thunder. I hope for those at JazzFest today it's clear skies for them but I doubt it. G and I went yesterday and had a grand time. The clouds kept the temps down and there was usually a breeze. We got lightly sprinkled on later in the day but during the last set, the sun was shining. We floated most of the day, catching a little bit of this and little bit of that. And of course eating. The lines for Cochon de Lait were outrageous, so we're saving that for another day. The crawfish sausage po-boy was yummy as was the alligator meat pie. The crawfish meat pie was disappointing -not enuff filling. Crawfish beignets and sacks were delish as always. Beer snobs may have already figured this out but the beer stand over by the Contemporary Arts has Pilsner Urquell on tap. Don't be throw off by the cries of "Miller heraw!"

We are going again Sunday. This time I have serious, pure plastic ponchos for us if it rains. The second Friday last year was miserable because of the deluge - though now the port-o-let story is funny - I have never been so wet in all my life; wetter than soaking in a tub for 2 hours. Hmmm... reviewing last year's JazzFest entry I neglected to tell the whole port-o-let story, so here it is: G needed to use the 'let so we found some with out a line (because everyone was crammed into the tents). I waited for him when it started raining again and raining hard. I jumped into an empty 'let next to the one G was in. It was loud in there with the rain pounding down on the roof. I tired yelling to Greg that I wanted to go home but he couldn't hear me. Thank goodness for cell phones. I rang him up and he agreed that enuff was enuff. Reviewing last year's post I just want to point out that parking at Cabrini has gone up to $30 this year. Thank goodness for our parking spot at our friends' house. When we got back to our car our friends had just returned as well and invited in for a beer. We sat on their porch overlooking Bayou St. John, sipping beer, chatting, watching the traffic and the sun set. Days like this is why us crazy folk continue to live in NOLA. I had a voice message from a friend who called me as she was on her way to Cancun. I texted her back "sorry I missed your call... when you called, I was at Jazzfest, drinking a beer, watching Sheryl Crow." She texted back "I want to be you!"
This police report showed up in my in-box; I don't recall seeing it in the T-P. Interesting connection to the recent McEwen murder.
April 23, 2008

Suspects Arrested
For Drugs and Weapons Violations

New Orleans, LA - Today, members of the New Orleans Police Department’s Major Narcotics Unit arrested four males, and booked them with possession of firearms and narcotics. The offense occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m., in the 3800 block of Constance Street.

Major Narcotic officers executed a search warrant at a home after surveillance was conducted for a period of time. The officers entered the residence and confiscated approximately 126 grams of powder cocaine, 2 loaded AK-47 assault riffles and arrested four suspects. One suspect arrested, Alton Ruth is a relative of the victim murdered [McEwen] on April 17, 2008 in the 700 block of Peniston Street. A second suspect arrested, Raphael Stevenson had a house arrest ankle bracelet device attached to his ankle.

17-year-old Johnathon Nions
4057 Chipwood Street (Marrero)

28-year-old Alton Ruth
1017 Antoine Street

Arrested: 18-year-old Raphael Stevenson
2301 Loyola Street

57-year-old Calvin Dominique
3815 Constance Street

All four suspects were booked with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute and possession of firearms with narcotics.

Officer Garry Flot

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

If you are buying JazzFest tickets, DO NOT go to the Arena box office, it's closed. You gotta go to the SuperDome ticket office on Poydras. $42 cash, $43.50 credit cards. This concludes this Public Service Announcement.
I almost spit out my coffee as I read the article in the T-P about the assassination of Guy McEwen who recently testified, without identifying the suspect, in the Dinerral Shavers murder trial.
A spray of bullets from at least two guns Thursday evening killed a 20-year-old New Orleans man who narrowly escaped the shooting two years ago that left musician Dinerral Shavers dead.
It was the proximity of the shooting of McEwen that really got me, only a few blocks from where we live.
Guy McEwen, who turned 20 on Wednesday, was killed in the 700 block of Peniston Street, near the corner of Constance Street, shortly before 5 p.m., authorities said. His body lay in the gutter, next to the sidewalk.
The next day the T-P had a follow-up article "Death not linked to testimony" which it didn't seem to me it was.
NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley said his detectives have a suspect and believe the shooting emanates, at least in part, from the neighborhood feuds that also surrounded the teenagers in Shavers' shooting.
Great. A neighborhood feud. In my neighborhood.

What then caught my attention was the last few paragraphs:

McEwen's murder was the 54th killing so far in 2008, which marks an improvement over the 59 murders committed during the same time period last year. Riley said the drop in murders coincides with an increased number of clearances by the NOPD's homicide squad.

The squad's clearance rate is currently at 64 percent, compared to a national average of around 55 percent, he said.

I was outraged - first a drop of 5 murders seems insignificant. Second I thought "just wait, the way things have been going we'll be tied with last year in no time." Unfortunately I was right.

Sunday's paper:
N.O. slayings total six in three days.

Three men were shot to death in separate incidents Saturday in New Orleans, becoming the city's fourth, fifth and sixth slaying victims in three days.

The shootings brought the city's homicide total for the year to at least 58.

One of these murders was 3 blocks from my office:

A motorist was shot to death Friday night and rammed his car into the entrance ramp of an Uptown bar popular with college students, New Orleans police officers and a witness said.

No one in Friar Tuck's, at Freret and Dufossat streets, was injured in the 8:45 p.m. incident. (link)

Oh but wait, that's only 58 murders, we are still one less than last year. Hurrah.

What's my point? None really. Though I know I'm not the only who reads the paper, looking to see where the killing was, hoping it's not near where I live. It's scary and frustrating. And confusing... these kids, and many are just kids, have so little hope for their future, they feel they need to kill for "respect."

In today's paper, the T-P ran was this article: (link) (Hat Tip Cait)
36 shootings in one weekend rock Chicago. Nine Killed; gang violence suspected
Did they run this story to try and make us feel better? "Hey NO it's not just us. Look over here!" Or maybe that's for the benefit of the tourist in town for JazzFest.

Jazz Fest. My happy place. Thinking happy thoughts of JazzFest. OK, I think I can leave the house and go to work now...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Next month will be our 5 year wedding anniversary. I'm going to Boston for a conference, and G is going to fly up and meet me for about 5 days. Neither of us have ever been and surprisingly, we don't know any one who lives there now. Anybody out there have any suggestions of places to go, thing to see, places to eat and drink?

Friday, April 18, 2008

So I've decided to see if my camera can be fixed. I filled out a repair request on Canon's web site so I can mail it to them. I'm hope whoever reads my description of the symptoms - "I dropped my camera into a glass of beer" - will have a sense of humor. It turns on, the lens retracts, I can view images on my memory card, the video function can still record sound, but the view finder is black and it won't take photos. So it's not completely dead. What the heck.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Pictures You Take When the Other Guy Doesn't Come Up with a Theme

Glenn took the initiative to get the ball rolling this week, when "Cowboy" Dave didn't pony up with an entry last week or a theme for this week.

That said I dug through my archive to find something interesting I hadn't posted before. In solidarity of Glenn's lovely, moody photos, I present these:

I'm very sad to report I killed my camera last weekend at FQ Fest. I dropped it in my beer. I wasn't even drunk, it was my first beer. I was sitting in the grass, chowing down on a duck po-boy from Jaques Imo (drooool). My camera was sitting on my thigh, slid off my leg into my beer. Damn. If that's not bad enough, the camera wasn't even a year old! I bought it last July to replace the camera I killed at JazzFest last year. Next camera's going to be water proof.

When I told my sister this story she asked, "Did you drink the rest of the beer?" Duh! Of course I did!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I just got an email from a cousin in Milwaukee:
For the past week I've been thinking about you two...each day thinking "gotta write." Then this morning on the news I heard "Baton Rouge flooding" - among other things, further meaning I couldn't put off my thoughts another day. I sure hope things are okay with your family who lives there.
Baton Rouge Flooding? That's news to me. I looked at and - nothing about flooding. Flood warnings and high water yes… I’ll have to find out what her news source is. A general Google of “Baton Rouge Flooding” didn’t turn up anything.
I'm signed up for the "NOLAReady" alert system. They've been sending out this alert about the high river:
The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for New Orleans.

What is a "Project Height"???

Chicory has some great photos of the river. I wandered over to Tim's Nameless blog and he says "Cause for panic--no." and I guess he should know (but that was last week). But I'm still keeping an eye out for water in the streets and glad we have our 2 new "escape hatches" in the attic.

We are on week 3 of roofers banging around on top of our house. The kitties seem to be less freaked out. I just want the dumpster in front to be gone so I can park in front of my house again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's not yet 5:00 so I should still be working. But my brain is fried having just written 3 proposals. Oy.

I Googled "Annunciation Street New Orleans" and low and behold I came across a vid clip of the Hot 8 on Annunciation Street 2005.

I can't tell what stretch of the street they are on, and I'm pretty sure this is Pre-K. But you can always tell Annunciation by the huge power poles. They are so big you don't really notice them after a while. Except when it's about the rain, they buzz like crazy.

In 1897 they must have renumbered the buildings on the street. link
There must have once been an Annunciation Street Car line. link

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Notice anything different? It was time for a blog makeover. I wanted something more New Orleans-esque and found this great map of the crescent city from 1880 - it's a map of the city's cemeteries and I love me a good cemetery. "Annunciation" (lowercase a) is the act of announcing which is what a blog is all about. Plus we live on Annunciation St. so it works on that level too. Hmmm... now I wonder how the street got it's name. There aren't many churches on it. That will have to wait. It's time to slather on sunscreen and head down to da Quarters for FQ fest.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I woke up this morning hung over and sunburned. Usually it would be the morning after a good day at JazzFest but this time I got sunburned at a funeral. But not just any funeral. G and I attended the send off for Dr. Ashley Morris. It was spectacular. I wasn’t a close personal friend of the Dr. but I got to know him well this week though all the heart felt remembrances on everyone’s blogs. His friends tucked things into his casket for the journey to the other side: a bottle of Jameson, a muffalata, Mardi Gras beads among other things. Ashley looked peaceful in his Saints jersey. The visitation was more a cocktail party, without the cocktails. In the chapel, it was quiet and somber as the casket was brought it. The laugher started soon enough as the minister discovered his notes missing. The tributes were full of love and laughter. Ray was the only one who went by his notes, but he is forgiven for writing such a marvelous tribute and has posted it on his blog.

Everyone proceeded to St. Louis #3. The Hot 8 Brass Band headed up the second line, playing dirges, leading us from the front of the cemetery back to the mausoleum. The BERG strapped on their skates for the procession - it couldn’t have been easy for them to roll that slowly. Thunderstorms had been predicted for the afternoon, but it was clear, sunny and breezy. I brought my umbrella for the potential rain, but ended up using it anyway for shade and to twirl during the upbeat second line from the mausoleum, back to the front gates. The Hot 8 played about 5-6 songs and everyone danced and visited. Someone broke out Abitas and people started donning the commemorative 00 t-shirts. I looked over at one point, and Hana was holding someone’s T-P comics umbrella, sipping on an Abita. My heart goes out to her and her kids, losing their husband and father so young and suddenly. A group of stunned tourist looked on, mouths open. I was hanging back and a tour guide walked up me to tentatively and asked if he could ask me a question. He of course was curious about the funeral. I told him what I knew about Ashley and how he was a big Saints fan, which was why a lot of us were wearing Saints shirts. He commented “I see roller derby girls and guys in Chalmette Reeboks?!” He said he brings tours to the cemetery all the time but that his group today was being treated to something extra special. Indeed.

Afterwards, many people headed over to the Bulldog, which is where the hangover started. God I love New Orleans. And I love all the crazy people who live here. I’m so grateful that I could be a part of such a wonderful celebration.

Oyster has a list of remembrances and there are some wonderful photos here and even video of the Hot 8. If you haven’t already, please donate to help Ashley’s family with expenses.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge "Ostentation"

This house really has to be seen in person in order to be able to appreciate the nuances. It's on the 2100-2200 block of Peniston St., Uptown. (click on a photo to see a larger image)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

News flash! Headline on

"Hurricane season expected to be above average"

Sorry if I don't go running out of here screaming to go stock up on water, canned goods, booze and a generator. Isn't that what they tell us every year? No need to panic. Not until August at the least.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Week 2 of roof replacement has begun.

The back is framed in for the new window

Here's the back almost ready for the window to be installed.

We also have a new sky light (aka escape hatch)

Nails and stuff are everywhere. No walking around barefoot in the yard anytime soon.

We have a dumpster out front for the construction debris, which is almost overflowing. G said he put the trash out last night and some one took the trash out of our can and put it in the dumpster. They didn't steal our can. How weird is that? They even had to throw in the bags of stinky cat poo! WTF??

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's here, it's here!

The new phone book?

Nooo! The brand spankin' new City of New Orleans web site. Glory be!

Now let's see if everything works and if I can find what I'm looking for.

My initial comment: Ick! Who picked the color palette? (Well I am a design snob)

UPDATE: Oooh there's something called "My CNO" you have to register to use (doesn't say what exactly what it allows you to do) and you get to share with the City a "Shared Secret."

I just sent a question to NORD about the Lyon's Center at Louisiana and Tchoup - when the heck is the FEMA infrastructure going to be gone and the park and center returned? I'll let you you know if and when I get a response.

Is this their attempt at humor? Go to Residents > Dept of Sanitation and down on the right hand side - just above Veronica White's photo - click on "How to make Debris Disappear"

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Weekly Photo Challenge topic is "Conversation Piece"

What is it?
A) Why art of course, it's on a pedestal
B) A prop from Terminator
C) The Cylinder head from a R-2800
D) ??? (Your answer here)

This is the first Saturday of the month and that means it's time for the Freret Market. This weekend, it's being held in conjunction with the Freret Street Festival. Last year, the Fest was in June and it was too darn hot. The market is going to have over 150 vendors and pet adoptions and the Fest will have two music stages plus a children's stage. Some good music this year too:

Jo “Cool” Davis; Jazz in the Afternoon with Troi Bechet, Pearlie Tyler, Sharon Martin, Leah Chase, Gregory Thompson, Philip Manual; Sunpie & The Louisiana Sunspots; Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes; Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers; Egg Yolk Jubilee Music Band; Fredy Omar con su Banda; Soul Rebels; Gringo Do Choro; Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters; Terrance Simien

See y'all out there!

Freret Fest web site

Freret Market Web site

Thursday, April 03, 2008

R.I.P. Ashley Morris

I only met him once and know him mostly through his blogs and comments. I am saddened to hear of his passing. The NOLA blogging community is in mourning and he will be greatly missed.
Uptown, you have us to thank for the recent rain... it's been almost bone dry for weeks - the storm that held up the Zurich Classic was barely a sprinkle over by us. Monday, roofers started replacing our roof. The old shingles are gone, new tar paper is up and there's a big gaping hole covered by a blue tarp in the back. The yard is a mess and so far, only one window has been broken. Getting a new roof is not for the faint of heart. The cats are totally freaked out; they go into hiding as soon as the roofers walk into our yard.

Other house renovation news... drum roll please... we have doorknobs! Those of you who have been over will be glad to know you can now close and lock the water closet door.

In car news, the phantom noise has not returned... yet. I've been shopping for a scooter, but our accountant informs us we owe taxes so no scooter for me. My friend bought a Vespa for $600 and I didn't realize what an amazing bargain that was until I started looking. Dang!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The City's recycling survey can now be completed on line! 'Bout time.

Go do it now!

* * * * * * *
The next recycling drop-off event in New Orleans is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 from 9:00 am to noon.
East Bank location: In the neutral ground of N. Claiborne Ave. at St. Peter Street (near Orleans Avenue)
West Bank location: Public library at General DeGaulle and Holiday
Bring your Mardi Gras beads and throws for recycling
Future Dates: May 10 and June 14

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Part 3 of my car saga. I think my car is possessed. Wednesday I called AAA. The guy tested my battery and it was fine. He thought maybe it was because of the built up corrosion on the terminals. He cleaned the terminals and the clamps off and the car started right up. Another trick to try next time it won't start. I had decided to take it to the Nissan dealer and I was glad I was getting it there on it's own power. We get to the dealership, I tell the guy my story ask him to check the whole engine out not just the squealing noise. When he called me the next day, they found 3 things that for the sum of $1,000 they could fix for me, but none of these would address the noise, the car hadn't made the noise for them yet. I told him my regular mechanic said he would be happy to tell him everything he had tried. I read the repairs Nissan was suggesting to my regular mechanic and he just scoffed at them. He said "tell them to find out what is making that noise!" When I talked to the guy at Nissan Monday the car still had not made the noise. I told him I was coming to get it. I paid $45 for a belt the tightened which was cheaper than th $95 diagnostic fee. He said if the car starts to make the noise again, bring it back to him so they can hear it. I go on my merry way and had to stop for gas. I decided to run my car through the car wash to get the pollen off it. When I pulled out of the car wash to pop my mirrors out there it was...THE noise...The high pitched squeal! *ARGH* At this point, it's 4:00 I'm on Lapalco just down the street from the dealership but I really don't want to go back now. So I continue down Lapalco. I make a left turn on Belle Chasse Hwy and the noise stopped and hasn't happened again. Maybe what ever it is has to be wet. I'm now keeping a diary to track when the noise starts and stops. The car drives fine. I'm happy to have wheels again. I'm still toying with do I put more money into the car and keep it for another few years? Or sell it and get something else? Let's just hope I don't have to post about my car again. Unless it's to sell it. Anyone want to buy a 1996 Nissan Maxima? Low mileage, mystery squeal.