Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let's Put On A Show

Hello...my friend Stephanie Broussard sent me this announcement regarding a special event...an Eavesdrop Theater reunion taking place this
Sunday, December 26 · 6:30pm - 10:30pm @ Cite' Des Arts.
You should go to this. As Elaine's boyfriend/psychiatrist once told her "You can and you will. You can and you will."
Take it away Steph:


While many of you would rather sit at home and watch the fights this Boxer's Day, why not do something different? Come join in a reunion of Eavesdrop producers, writers, directors, actors, stage hands, best boys, gaffs, and audience members and parking attendants as they collectively celebrate those magic years at Citi des Arts in downtown Lafayette. More than just this reunion, many people are talking about getting Eavesdrop up and running again on a regular basis. Finally .... something worthwhile to do on Wednesday nights. Won't you help? Come join the party. Although I'm not at liberty to drop names around, I hear that many ex Eavesdroppers will be coming in from out of town and out of state. Someone told me that Nathan Lane and Tony Randall will be making an appearance, although that someone is not the most reliable source. In any event ... please make an appearance. I'll be there, so you can at least see me.


Follow the link and state your intentions.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=154044981308315

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bluerunners Open 11th Season of Louisiana Crossroads

So since Mark has been crazy busy with the Louisiana Crossroads series this week (in case you missed this week's Times of Acadiana - check it out....cover story on the Bluerunners reunion Crossroads events) I thought I'd do the music post this week. And because it has been a rather nostalgic couple of days, I thought it only appropriate that I sneak in and post this....the video that accompanied "I Can't Help You" from the Bluerunners Island Records debut. Saturday show at the AcA is sold out, but good tickets are still available for the Lake Charles show tonight.
Happy weekend!
jill :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guns for Gas

I don't really think this is the reason they created the "it's ok to bring your gun to church" law, but in Baton Rouge, 4 churches are not only encouraging it...they're paying you for them. In light of several recent shootings in the capital city, Circle K convenience stores and the churches are partnering to promote a gun trade in event. For every gun they collect, no questions asked, they will give back a free gas card. They have $40,000 worth of gas cards to pass out and the denomination is determined by the class of gun turned in. Assault rifles will earn the highest - a $200 card. HoumaToday has the whole ironic story here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shop Locally

This is pretty nifty...on the heels of the increasingly popular 'Eat Lafayette' campaign, some local business owners have now formed their own group. "Shop Local Acadiana" has just kicked off their advertising campaign to encourage people to spend their money with locally owned businesses instead of national retail chains. They say that when we do, 3 times more of our money stays right here in our local economy for local businesses to hire, invest and contribute more.

Shop Local Acadiana also has a really nice website. On it, shoppers can sign up for 'Local Finds' email specials and text messages and see a directory of participating businesses. Each business also has it's own page on the site so you can learn more, see photos and get links to their websites or facebook pages. Merchants can easily learn the benefits of participating and find out how to join. The concept is pretty simple - business owners pool their money and together they can afford an impactful advertising and promotional campaign.

I say Bravo Gina Girouard Babineaux and Shannon Broussard Lynd. Check out their Facebook page here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Touch My Duck

This is from 1981. I'm pretty sure I attended that year's Festival Acadiens, though, much like the average festival goer who can't tell one Cajun song from another, it's hard for me to remember one year's fest from any other year's. I mean, was it the one when it rained? Or the one where it was super hot and dusty? Or the year when it was super hot and dusty, then it rained and it was super muddy? See what I mean?

However, that would be missing the point. This festival is a party that starts somewhere around Friday, and ends, mostly on Sunday night (maybe a little Monday morning breakfast and farewells). In between, is lots and lots of music, dancing, eating and drinking. It's what is great about living in South Louisiana. Much like the people and culture it celebrates, Festival Acadiens just keeps rolling on, bigger and better every year.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two Lafayette Community Leaders Pass

We don't generally run obituaries but when two prominent, life-long Lafayette pillars of the community pass away, we can't not share our sadness. Our condolences go out to the Naomi and Alesi families who are each dealing with the sad passing of the heads of their families. On Sunday, Theresa Begnaud Naomi died at the age of 84. She and her husband of 56 years, Paul, founded Paul's Jewelry store back in 1954 and today that business has grown to two locations and is run by her surviving children, PJ, Patty and Nancy. Her full obituary can be found here.

On Monday, Mike Alesi, patriarch of the famous Alesi Pizza family and forever immortalized in that iconic sign on Johnston Street, passed away at the age of 90. He opened the doors of Alesi Pizza in 1957 on the corner of Cameron and Bertrand streets and just 5 years later moved to it's official home on Johnston Street, where it still thrives today. KATC has a nice remembrance story here.

We wish both of these families peace in their time of sorrow and thank them for all the wonderful contributions their loved ones made to our great community.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fox....Meet Hen House

I hate stories like this. When you do a search of Louisiana stories everyday, you see this a lot. Our state sells out to big business at every turn. Who in their right mind would allow BP executives into our elementary schools, for anything other than to write one of those giant checks? It's bad enough they're on TV 24/7, rolling out their saccharine (sweet enough to make me puke) public relations campaign about how responsible they are. Does anybody really fall for this?

Well, officials at Oaklawn Junior High School apparently do. This article by Brian Merchant, for Treehugger.com reveals that the school allowed BP and the National Atmospheric Administration to conduct "science demonstrations" to dispel "myths" about dispersants used in the clean up of the oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Relevant fact: It was BP's spill! In case anyone has forgotten. From the article:


"The primary purpose [of the demonstration] is to inform and educate students on the methods used to clean up the oil in the Gulf and the wetlands and marshes," Janella Newsome, BP media liaison said in a press release. "It's also to dispel myths about dispersants, subsurface oil and seafood safety."

Photo by xtinaaskew

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tracking Tweets

I find it difficult to see the usefulness in Twitter...I don't understand all it's special secret codes (RT, #, @) and don't particularly care what everyone in the entire universe is doing at that exact moment, however, a computer science expert over at Southeastern University in Hammond has announced the findings of a study that prove it really can be a useful tool. He and his students studied Twitter and found that it is a pretty good indicator and predictor of flu outbreaks. They found that they are just about as accurate as the Centers for Disease Control and it's a whole lot less expensive with no paperwork or forms to fill out and process. Neat....and kind of scary I guess. Next time you tweet "I'm getting sick" someone is watching and recording. Complete story and technical details here at Science Daily.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

J-I-M-I



I love this version of Born Under A Bad Sign. Booker T and William Bell wrote it. Albert King made it famous. But this version by Jimi Hendrix utterly transforms the original into something sublime and beautiful. I'm telling ya, I love this track. Someone gave me a cassette with this on it, and I drove around listening to it, over and over for a year or more, before I realized it was an instrumental. His playing is so expressive and personal, it feels like lyrics are being sung....through the guitar. I mean, even the way he comes in...off of a pre-bent note AND a volume swell! That's some audacious (you know what) to come in like that....and it just gets better and better as he adds layer after layer after layer...all stream of conscious, live in the moment. I can't think of a better song to have stuck in my head all day. Have a nice weekend folks. It's good to be back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When You Ain't Got Nothing....You Got Nothing To Lose

If ever there was a case of "one of these things is not like the others" it's this list of events to consider entitled "Do Something Different In October" compiled by Miss Cellania in her blog on Mental Floss.

Let's see, we've got the North American Wife Carrying Championship; something called the Bean Fest And Great Championship Outhouse Race; World Conker Championships....who knows what that is; and then we have the Angola State Prison Rodeo, where "inmates compete in many events from barrel racing to bull riding to 'convict poker', in which four participants sit at a table while a bull is released. The last one to stand up wins!"

So, serving time in a notoriously rough prison, then risking your life against a raging bull (not the movie...a real raging bull!) merits equal placement on the list as a bean fest? Has anyone been seriously injured in an outhouse race? Given the choice, I'd prefer to sign up for Outhouse Pilot. "The outhouse races are run by three-person teams, with the pilot sitting on a toilet seat and steering, and two others pushing the outhouse."

The rodeo happens every Sunday in October. Check out their website here for details, and directions

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh Lindsay

Ah the saga that is Lindsay Lohan. Normally we are able to stay away from Hollywood gossip like this (except...Britney....you've been so quiet lately.....) but not this time....not when Lohan's antics are now affecting us (well, not 'us' directly, but our state).

According to MTV, Lindsay Lohan was about to begin filming her new movie, Inferno, a biopic about porn star Linda Lovelace, in our fair state....that was until now. The producers of the film are moving production from LA to L.A. to accommodate Lohan's 'travel restrictions' placed on her because of her most recent failed drug test and arrest last week. A move that will cost the producers a "sizable amount of money." They say they understand the public exasperation about Lohan's behavior but are committed to her starring in this movie so they are finding additional financing to make the move. And to ensure everything goes smoothly, they are writing special sobriety clauses into her contract. That should go well...

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's The Pants!

Yes, there was a missed kick. Yes, there were a couple of interceptions (underhanded Drew, really?). In fact, the hated rivals (I won't speak their name...ever) played an OK game. Indeed, by their lowly standard, they played the game of their life yesterday. But, friends, it was an unfair fight. We were not wearing proper uniforms. In fact, whenever we wear those *&%#ing-black leotard things, we take the field at a distinct disadvantage. It's as if we're playing the entire game waiting for our real uniform pants to finish drying.

This has gone on way too long. Do you realize the black pants debuted in the Ricky Williams era? He has since gone to Miami, smoked pot, moved to Canada, came back, quit football all together, only to come back again...and we're still wearing those same pants! Who can forget the sight of Aaron Brooks throwing his vaunted backwards pass (it would actually go backwards, and Deuce would have to run it down and fall on it) donning the no-stripe, black, stocking-pants?

And that brings up another point. All they have to do put a stinking stripe down the sides! I'm no fashion expert (though I am digging Project Runway again. Go Mondo! with your wacky wool tweeds and your gigantic head) but maybe gold would work. Yeah, maybe a gold stripe might be just what is needed. It would work great with the official team colors which happen to be BLACK and GOLD! Not to mention, our gold pants rock! We wore those gold pants through our entire playoff run and Super Bowl victory last season. We win with the gold ones. The black ones suck!.

It's time OK? Get rid of 'em, or put a stripe on 'em!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nostalgic Fun

I love old stuff and am really fascinated by what places used to be and what they are now. I also love ebay so I was doubly excited when I typed in 'Lafayette, LA' and up popped over 200 neat old postcards, matchbook covers, mardi gras ball programs and more!

There's a menu from an old restaurant called "The Skunk" (apparently on Hwy. 90 somewhere?), an old Hadacol bottle, a Sambo's wooden nickel (where was that located?), a postcard for the Lafayette Charity Hospital (some big old white building...must be something now?), several old hotel postcards, Evangeline Hotel matchbooks, and lots of images of downtown...the Gordon Hotel from the 20's, City Hall, and General Office Supply. Fun! Oh - AND - a baseball card from one of mark's old Driller's buddies, Gary Alexander.

So, if you're a geek like me about this kind of stuff click here to see all the old nostalgic wonderfulness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow....where to start. Things sure have been crazy in the Meaux household lately. Mark and I have been so busy. To update: dad is feeling much better. He got out of the hospital and has been having physical/occupational/speech therapy four times a week so he is improving. Minor set back a couple of weeks ago, but he's recovering and doing much better. Thank you all for your prayers and concern.

Mark has a bunch of things going on musically too - his new Sam Rey CD is out and available for sale or download on his website: samrey.net and, he has a couple of big gigs coming up in October. Once they are announced, we'll fill you in.

I'm busy at work planning our big fundraiser so that's fun. Fall is here and the broken oil well is dead....things are good all the way around.
- jill :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where's Mark & Jill....?

Unfortunately we're not sitting on a tar-ball free beach with our toes in the sand sipping iced tea.....

Actually my dad has been pretty ill. He has Parkinson's Disease, and now possibly Parkinson's Plus Syndrome (all the goodies that come with Parkinson's, plus a whole lot more....) and has been in the hospital for the past two and a half weeks. They have requested a family member be there with him at all times so we are taking shifts and have a sitter help us at night. We're hoping he'll come home soon, but as a result the blog has been suffering. Our phones have been great to keep us occupied but are not very easy to blog on, so, please bear with us, we'll be back soon....I do see a light at the end of this tunnel.
- jill

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

School Supply Drive

The Acadiana Outreach Center, along with Pippin McGee, KLFY TV10, and Big 102.1 are hosting a school supply drive now through next Tuesday.

Collection locations are:
* Pippin McGee on Ambassador (next to Posado's and across the street from Charley G's)
* KLFY TV 10 on Eraste Landry
* Acadiana Outreach Center (125 S. Buchanan Street)

All supplies collected will be distributed to needy families in the community. Please help support a worthwhile cause and pick up an extra pack of paper while you're out. Click here to see a complete list of supplies needed.

Thanks!
jill :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Makes My Dang Head Spin

Wouldn't it be awesome if you were BP, to find cheap labor to do the most toxic work of cleaning the crude oil of the beaches of Louisiana? And even better, what if you could easily buy those worker's silence as to what they are seeing and experiencing out there cleaning. Let's go for the trifecta, add the good ol'racial component, and say we could get a workforce of predominantly African-American workers, who BP can get for dirt cheap, and won't speak to the press. Where could they find such a pool of workers? Well, look no further than Louisiana's awesome privatized prison system. In fact, BP gets a nice tax write off for hiring prison labor!

Abe Louise Young, writes this article for the Nation, that details the situation described above. Holy cow, some of this article reads like it was taken from the script for Cool Hand Luke...can this really be 2010?

Photo by quinn.anya

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Downs At The Moon Tonight

This should be a really good show! Rotary Downs from New Orleans and The Picardy Birds from here in Lafayette both rocking out at the Blue Moon Saloon. Go get your indie-rock on. Weekend is here right about........now!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SWEETS

I have been remiss is giving kudos to one of Lafayette's rising stars Kody Chamberlain. He's an artist, writer and one prolific dude. His latest work SWEETS was featured in this article by Patrick Strange and Leo Mcgovern in Good, the New Orleans issue. From the article:

The recently published NYPD Blue-meets-Seven crime drama Sweets—created by Louisiana native Kody Chamberlain—attempts to use New Orleans’s staggering murder rate for its fictive advantage. Set in late August, 2005, as the hurricane looms, Sweets follows Detective Curt Delatte as he chases down a serial killer who leaves pralines as his calling cards. Adding somber insult to fatal injury, Delatte’s wife has just left him after their daughter was killed in a brazen hit-and-run. Murder and civic chaos abound, and the surrounding violence only heightens the sense of impending doom as the storm swirls towards the city. “Like it or not, the murder rate gives the city a sharp edge,” Chamberlain says, “which adds weight to any story set in New Orleans." Of course, complicating the case is the encroaching hurricane and the uncertainty of the evacuation—a facet of Sweets that may hit New Orleanians a bit too close to home. But hurricanes, like crime, are a fact of life for those who live in the city. “Every time a major storm enters the Gulf, everyone feels the stress, and that can have a major impact on a character, which, in turn, makes for good stories,” says Chamberlain. As for Delatte, his stress is channeled into hunting a killer. “What if the killer evacuates?” Chamberlain asks, assuming the voice of his protagonist. “What if evidence is destroyed? What if Delatte can’t handle the real-world pressure? Surely New Orleanians would root for Delatte...”

Also, check out Chamberlain's blog In No Particular Order for updates and reviews of SWEETS. He seems to always be working, moving....try and catch up will ya?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

World Gone Wrong

I'll admit it...I'm a bit naive to the ways of the business world. I mean, I get the concept of free enterprise, and profit, and I'm all for that. But in my limited view, those concepts work for the greater good of society when they are practiced within the limitations of shared ethical standards. That's cool right? Just common decency...and I'm not even talking about laws or regulations, I'm talking about the basic assumption of honesty that allows us to conduct the transactions of daily life with a modicum of assurance that the parties involved aren't trying to screw each other. Well....that shit ain't really working so good at the moment.

Case in point: Science and Business. Scientists are the smart guys and gals, the eggheads, the ones who collect and interpret the data. If they lie about their findings, society is put at risk. Fairly simple. However, sometimes their findings don't land within the profit margins of the business folks...and the squeezing begins. That's cool. Squeezing the facts can result in getting the absolute most of a situation, allowing folks to make money and other folks to receive goods and services....and the world goes round. But what if a company, lets say BP, calculates that it's in its best interest to ignore science, or control science or just flat out lie, obstruct, and obscure the collection of data. And further, what if the company then attempts to silence scientists with contracts that prevent them from reporting their findings for years. Oh man, then you got the makings for some ethical violations there...on both sides. And yet, this is exactly what is being alleged in this article by Ben Raines in the Press-Register of Mobile, AL.
BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research.The Press-Register obtained a copy of a contract offered to scientists by BP. It prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.

Now, the scientists at the University of South Alabama declined the offers on ...get this...ethical grounds. Not so much for LSU, University of Southern Mississippi, and Texas A&M. And there's more about Bobby Jindal's sand berm folly, but I've done that to death on here. It blows my mind how cynical these folks are, and how stupid they assume we are.


Photo by Crowolf

Thanks for the tip in Wayne!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bahr On Olberman Tonight

Len Bahr, Ph.D., founding editor of LaCoastPost is scheduled to appear on MSNBC this evening at 7:00 PM CDT on Countdown with Keith Olberman to discuss the use of sand berms to save marshes from oil.
Here is an article by Dr. Bahr that appears in LaCoastPost.
And here is a segment of the article:
In terms of specific criticisms, I have predicted that the berms will: (1) squander limited sand resources; (2) increase the depth and reduce the friction of the bottom profile; (3) increase the erosive power of tidal exchange; (4) steal dollars from and interest in less dramatic but more effective measures; (5) exacerbate the ongoing tension and lack of cooperation between federal and state agencies; (6) inject political overtones in what should be objective technical discussions; (7) jeopardize the credibility of the overall mission to protect and restore the Mississippi River delta; and (8) – most telling – fail to actually reduce the risk of oiling local marshes.


Thanks for the heads up Paul.

Time Machine

Here's what happened to Brazil's fisheries after only 350,000 gallons of oil spilled 10 years ago. That's only a quarter of what has been glug, glug, glugging in the gulf for the past three months. And this report was filed by Al Jeezera, not any of the major media here. Kinda ironic. Thanks Tim!

His Name Is Drew...Not Dan

What the hell? Of all the names this reporter could have been given from Cajun country, he screws up Drew? In spite of that, the main point is Drew Landry has more courage than just about anyone I know, and talent too! Check out this story from the Huffington Post.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ahh..These Are The Good Kind Of Clowns

Not today folks. I'm not gonna waste time getting angry about the cynical political pandering our elected officials shovel out to us today. There's stuff out there from the usual suspects. And if the new cap on the broke oil well works...that would be great. But until then, I'm gonna look towards New Orleans for something nice to listen to. It's Tuesday, and it's boiling hot in Louisiana.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

The State We're In

OK, so, I start each day casting my proverbial net out into the interwebs looking for Louisiana stories. I don't always like what comes in, and they aren't all keepers, but rarely are the stories boring. Makes me wonder if all states in the union are like this...do Iowa searches bring up stories of jail houses locking up suicidal prisoners in something called a "squirrel cage" and force them to wear shorty-shorts with the words "hot stuff" on the back? We apparently do.

Would a search of ....I dunno...let's say New Hampshire include stories of an elementary school that uses handcuffs and shackles on it's students, and I'm talking students under the age of 7? Well, maybe...but we got that.

And I'm guessing this story of Governor Jindal signing into law a bill that allows guns in church and another law that mandates ultra sound tests on all women getting abortions, with no exception for cases of rape (so much for getting government out of our lives) will be the envy of our fellow southern conservative states. Suck it Alabama, we got there first.

But I feel confident that not too many other places would be ranked in the top 10 music cities in the country (OK, by definition at least 9 others would) like Lafayette did. Nice little mention of the Blue Moon Saloon in there too.

Should I stop wondering here and end on a positive note? Huh? And ignore the man arrested in a Louisiana Wal-Mart for masturbating while looking at a small boy? I mean, he was in the electronics department....does that count as higher learning?

P.S. oil glug.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweet Relief

Ah man...when it sucks...like it does now....here's one guy who got it right.
Weekend starts right after a brief cultural history lesson. Shut up and let Clifton play!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tar Balls For $200 Alex

If I ever hear the words "tar ball" again, I'm just gonna spit. That's all any media can cover in Louisiana this summer, and with obvious good reason. Much like the stare down I give my oatmeal in the morning, it's been battle of wills between me and the balls this summer. Who's gonna blink? The thing is, there seems to be way more of them than there are of me. Just yesterday they were found in Lake Pontchartrain, and Galveston.

Add to that the slow-motion quality of the glug..well 21st century folks aren't equipped to be able to pay attention this long, and now we're losing interest. Here's a bunch of graphs that tell you that.

Oh yeah, and Baton Rouge...it's the second ranked metropolis in the country..for AIDS. Really? I mean, with all due respect, it's not even that fun a place to hang out. But there are four prisons in the area, and we've allowed our prison system to degrade in to giant incubators of the HIV virus. Don't be jealous New Orleans, you're in third place.
So, let's recap: tar balls, oatmeal, ADHD, and AIDS....hell let's throw in whore monger since he's been slinking around town lately. Good morning Acadiana!

Photo by BPAmerica

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And Yet Again

I know some folks like to watch the live cop chases on TV. But my favorite is the fake cop. Maybe it's because I've worked so many part-time jobs with guys who wanted to be cops, but failed to make it for some reason. They still really want that uniform though, and I guess some of them, like the guy in this story, won't let the dream die. Now, this could have been a very bad scene, particularly for the woman he illegally pulled over, so it's nothing to laugh about. Except maybe the fact that he recorded it all with his dashboard cam....that's kinda funny. And the part where his girlfriend hands him the phone to speak with the real police, and the speed with which he surrenders...all kinda funny. Cautionary tale: Kids...or adults...don't try this at home.

Here are some other fake cop guys we've posted on, here, here, and here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Music

Sometimes, when, there's nothing that can be done....that's when music can help. It can't plug the hole, can't stop the glug, glug, glug, but it can help us get through this crap. It doesn't matter what kind of music. Go find something that does it for you, and put it on. This is for the spirit, and spirit is what we're need to be strong. They talk about this oil killing our culture, but that's not true. It may kill the fish, but our community and our culture is still here. Weekend starts now.



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't Believe The Hype

For those of you who may be fans of our Governor, Bobby Jindal, here's a piece from National Public Radio that reports on Jindal's reemergence on the national scene due to the BP oil disaster. In seems, that running around looking angry, and bashing the President, and the federal response to the disaster counts as "doing something". What a load.

Don't forget that the Fed gave Jindal 6,000 National Guard troops, he still has only used 1,053. We just cited a CBS News report on this in our post Saturday, here's the link . And those sand berms he's so pissed about? Turns out they would do more harm than good. Here's the post we did citing a story in the LA Times.

Meanwhile, a new report shows that Louisiana is second only to Mississippi in percentage of population living under the poverty line. Almost %20 of our fellow Louisiana citizens live in poverty. Check the study here. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Photo by Arete 13

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Mini-Golf Coming to Lafayette

I drive by the old Global Golf location on Johnston Street almost every day and each time I do, I look at the empty lot with nothing left but some big pampas grass and think to myself how much I enjoyed miniature golf as a kid. The bigger and fancier the better. I remember going to giant miniature golf parks on vacation....not the wimpy little putt-putt courses, but big, pirate ship fancy miniature golf courses. Well, the mini-golf gods must have been listening to my opine because there's a new $20,000 miniature golf and batting cage recreation center going up on Duhon Road...not far from the old Global Golf. But in the meantime, if you need a mini-golf fix, visit Kart Ranch...they have one of the best courses around and lots of other fun stuff. Ok, there's no giant pirate ship, but they do have a lighthouse and it is still very nice. Plus, if you get hot, you can cool off in the bumper boats or start a Super Soaker war. Happy summer! jill :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Monday

Well, it's a good news-bad news situation with our new friend Tropical Storm Alex. The good news is, it's probably going west of Louisiana and the BP glug. The bad news is the conditions are suitable for the storm to gain strength and become a hurricane. Don't take my word for it, read KATC's Dave Baker's blog here.

In other news, the "Cajun Navy" has reassembled. I think their last mission was helping rescue folks stranded in NOLA, during the Katrina aftermath. Now, they're using barges to block oil from entering into sensitive shrimp and oyster beds. National Public Radio ran this story about the efforts of Louisiana locals to save their coastline, and their livelihoods.

Elsewhere, there's more shenanigans from Gov. Bobby Jindal. He vetoed a bill that would allow public access to records detailing the state's response to the BP glug. So much for transparency. Read this account by The Washington Monthly.

And finally, for those who desire a wallop of human suffering to start their week, the Associated Press ran this article by reporters, Janet McConnaughey and Mitch Stacy, about the mounting psychological toll on Gulf Coast residents. Read it here. It's about what you'd think it would be. And it's very depressing.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ponies And Balloons

Righteous anger. Here are two reader submitted clips that will make your blood boil. Try and keep track of who is a true friend of Louisiana. CBS won't let me post their video, but you can watch it here. Thanks to Wayne and Paul for the submissions.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Water (((water)))

Wow, I'm starting the weekend a day late this week, and it's not like I did it on purpose. I suppose the Mimosa Girls distracted me. So, today is Friday, and I have a maritime theme going with our musical clip. First off, today's clip is dedicated Jill's Dad "Sailor Jim Johnson" who has come to live with us this week; secondly, this is a way to enjoy the water without getting all depressed about the Gulf; and finally, what place besides Louisiana could lay claim to an artist named Frogman? With that, let's sit back and recall one of my favorite scenes in the movie Diner which featured this same tune. Weekend starts (albeit a day late) now! Take it away Clarence!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

20 Billion Would Make It Rain....For A Long Time

With a couple Youtube videos making the rounds of what purports to be oily rain in areas along the Louisiana coast, one gets the sense that the wheels are just about to come off of this oil glug thing. True enough, the environmental damage began months ago, but now the real circus begins as folks line up for a piece of that $20 billion dollar pie.

Enter the "Mimosa Dancing Girls". They are here to remind BP, that fishermen, after they fish, often enjoy a beverage whilst engaging in cultural studies of the female form....at da strip club. But if they ain't no fish, they ain't no fishermen...thus the employees of the Mimosa strip club ain't getting paid. They have filed a claim for lost wages with BP.

Newly appointed BP claim czar, Kenneth Feinberg, says, he was born in the night time, but not last night, a mantra he is sure to repeat ad nausem, for the next couple of decades.
"I’m dubious about that claim. I’m very dubious about that claim,” Feinberg said. “But I don’t want to prejudge any individual claim and I think we will study this and decide how attenuated claims can be that will be eligible or ineligible for compensation under this independent facility.”

Read the article here at George Stephanopoulos' blog, dimly titled, George's Bottom Line.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where Ya At Vermilion Parish?

We have been contacted by a Daily Meaux reader in Vermilion parish with a complaint about being unable to receive non-emergency medical transportation, a service which would be paid for by Medicaid. Apparently there are no businesses willing to provide this service in the parish, and providers from other parishes are unwilling to cross parish lines to provide the service.

I'm curious if any folks from Vermilion parish have had similar problems. If so, please email us or leave a comment on this post.

Why Am I Not Surprised?

OK, you think it's easy being an unpaid blogger? True, the dress code is flexible...very flexible, as are the hours, and really there's no boss or office politics to speak of. But, try watching the USA vs Algeria while composing a little story, and by story, I mean a paragraph, maybe two. Still, we got robbed again on another off-sides goal, which is made all the more infuriating by the fact that I don't understand the rules of soccer. Grr!
And yet, here comes the Whore Monger to bail me out with a story only he could provide. Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross report for ABC News that Sen. David Vitter has a longtime staffer who pleaded guilty in 2008 to attacking his then girlfriend with a knife. Bad, but not Vitter bad yet. The aide, Brent Furer, has been assigned by the senator to oversee women's issues. There, Vitter bad...and all wrapped up with a bow. There's more, like the fact that Furer still has an open DUI warrant in Baton Rouge, and has had repeated brushes with the law since the 1990's.
The attack on Furer's girlfriend was particularly brutal and the victim required medical attention. Here are some details of the attack taken from the police report and included in the ABC Story:
After drinking at a restaurant, the two returned to Furer's Capitol Hill apartment, the report says. Furer "would not let her leave." He "pulled on her coat, which caused it to rip," then "pulled out a knife and stabbed [her] in the hand," the police report says. Furer became angry when he found phone numbers for other men in her blackberry. He smashed her phone when she tried to call 911, the records say, and he shoved her to the floor when she tried to leave, then held his hand over her mouth and threw her on a bed. Furer "uttered the words to her, 'Do you want to get serious.'" Then, the arrest warrant states, Furer "grabbed an unknown object and held it under her neck. The suspect asked the complainant, 'Do you want to die?' The complainant replies and she stated, 'No, I don't want to die.'" After a 90 minute standoff, Furer made her promise not to call police, and then allowed her to leave. She fled to a friend's house, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. A slash on her chin took eight stitches to close, the police report says.


The story goes on to report that Furer is a former Marine and veteran of the first Gulf War and takes medication for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. If this is true, perhaps Vitter could help the man get the help he needs rather than giving him a tax payer subsided staff position.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

I hate being told what to do. I'm sure it comes from some combination of limited intelligence, massive ego, and a natural inclination towards the path of least resistance (hey man, water does the same thing, and nobody nobody questions its ability to be a "self-starter"). So, when I saw an article titled "An Open Letter To Louisiana", I bowed up a little. On a certain level, I knew we had it coming. Our legislature, just finished trying to get guns in church, and solve the oil flood in the Gulf with a day of prayer (not that praying isn't needed, I'd just prefer it was done silently, and without state endorsement).
Well, turns out this outsider, this guy from Washington D.C. makes a lot of sense. In fact, he says the same things that I've been saying (cue the ego). We as a state need to diversify, and see the oil industry for what it is...the past. Big Oil just takes, they don't give back. Here's a quote from the article written by Edward Flattau as it appeared in the Huffington Post:

So while you obviously cannot walk away from your oil industry employer, wouldn't it be wise to begin developing a fallback strategy to save your environment for future generations and preserve your economy when the existing offshore wells run dry? Shouldn't you press your politicians to diversify your local energy economy by obtaining federal seed money for new wind and solar energy manufacturing facilities? Louisiana is a state rich in natural resources. What about expanding commercial activity in biomass, hydro power and geothermal energy? Even if the end of the age of oil were no where in sight, you badly need energy diversification. Petroleum has not been the economic bonanza to your area that it has been made out to be. If it were, how come Louisiana is 40th out of 50 states in per capita income? Either the oil wealth is too concentrated, or it's just not as much of an economic game changer as you think.

Read the rest here.

Photo by toshihiko2001

Monday, June 21, 2010

Right To The Gut

OK, it's Monday, back to the depressing. This clip is from a documentary being shot by Olmos Productions. Click here to see their Youtube channel. Stick with the clip till the end for the full emotional donkey kick. Thanks for sending it Tim.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dat's Beautiful!

Well, this awkward. I just came back from a consultation with my private jeweler (it could happen) with designs for my new Saints ring. I just sketched out a few ideas for him, "nothing flashy" I said, "just a few dozen diamonds, maybe a Fleur-de-lis.....be a doll and squeeze in the words 'World Champions'."
Imagine my surprise when I see this article, by Susan Langenhennig in the Times Picayune about the ring ceremony held Wednesday in New Orleans. Boy, do I have egg on my face. It's the exact same design!
My concern is for the "little people" who upon seeing my giant head and athletic physique will undoubtedly assume I am a Saints player, and then insist on buying me dinner and drinks. Of course, it would be rude of me to decline.
True story: that birthmark on Drew Brees' cheek...not a birthmark at all. He voluntarily marks himself with a Sharpie each day to help Sean Payton tell us apart. That, my friends, is what is known as a commitment to excellence!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sportsman's Paradise R.I.P.

Aww, mes amis, it's breaking me down. It's been heavy on me, but this week I've felt a shift from anger to sorrow, with complete numb-out just around the corner. We're losing.

And I can't help feeling that this happened on our generation's watch. We've let ourselves become so divided and at the same time grown so comfortable, dumb, and entitled. It's not Repub vs. Dem, or liberal vs. conservative....it's giant corporations vs. the People and the Earth. Has this ever been more obvious than what we're seeing unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico?

I got the blues friends. Buddy Guy might be singing about his baby leaving, or maybe he's watching our Gulf fill up with oil. Either way, it's hard to imagine either one of them coming back.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Respirators Would Be Nice

Is there anything more fun than the "cautionary tale"? Of course there is. Hell, the very notion of the "After School Special" was based on the "cautionary tale", and those were never any fun. However, sometimes they are necessary, and unfortunately, this is one of those times.

For those of you volunteering to help clean up oil coming ashore, do not assume BP will protect you from the harmful affects of exposure to crude oil, and the chemical dispersant that is mixed in with it. Merle Savage volunteered to help clean up the Exxon Valdez spill, and this is what she got for her trouble:
Merle Savage has a wheezy, guttural smoker's cough. But the 71-year-old former Alaska resident and author of Silence in the Sound never smoked a day in her life. She did, however, spend four months as a general foreman during the Exxon Valdez oil spill recovery project in 1989. And she has a message for anyone working at the BP oil disaster sites: "You've got to use your common sense. Breathing crude oil is toxic." Savage moved to Alaska in 1988--just one year before the Exxon Valdez oil spill ravaged Prince William Sound. After the spill, Savage decided to take action. She was assigned to clean oil-coated rocks on the beach, but says that Exxon never provided legitimate safety training. And since Exxon never told her that breathing crude oil was toxic, she didn't think twice about spraying hot water onto the oily rocks.

Read the rest here.

Thanks Mothy for the tip-in!

Photo by Deepwater Horizon Response

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hmm.. A Good Idea...How Can It Be Screwed Up?

G. Paul Kemp, Ph.D. comes with this resume': vice president, Louisiana Coastal Initiative, for the National Audubon Society. A former associate research professor at Louisiana State University, served in the early 1990s as the first executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a nonprofit organization dedicated to returning Louisiana's Mississippi River delta to environmental and economic sustainability.

In this essay Kemp lays out a logical plan to close some of the gates that redirect the Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya River thus pushing more water through the mouth of the Mississippi in New Orleans and keeping the oil out of the marshes. Sounds good to me, all he needs is the Army Corps of Engineers to close the gates....the Corp? The folks who did such a good job with the levees? Lawd help us. Here's a little from the article:
By closing some gates leading to the Atchafalaya, the Corps could send more water past New Orleans, out to those areas where the oil most threatens the marshes. These are the nursery grounds for most of the commercial fish and shrimp caught in the Gulf, and home to a wonderful variety of resident and migratory birds with declining populations.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How Come We So Broke?

Here's two articles: one from 2008, and one from this past weekend. Both make the case for Louisiana's importance to the national economy. With all that oil and seafood money being made, why do our roads, education and health systems rank so low? Oh yeah, and now there's a giant underwater oil spew threatening the whole thing.

Here's James Carville's essay from yesterday, (complete with an admission that he didn't get it done for Louisiana when his candidate was in office for 8 years). Thanks for the heads-up Saundra!
Then the oil companies dredged canals in the marshlands in an attempt to grow an industry which now provides the country with more than 30 percent of its domestic oil and natural gas. Saltwater intrusion is killing the marsh. These marshlands provide jobs for tens of thousands of fisherman in an industry that provides over 30 percent of this country's domestic seafood supply. Canals were also dredged for shipping. Five of the nation's top 15 ports are located in South Louisiana. So in essence, we are the gateway of commerce to much of the lower 48 states. Add that to the fact that we have not seen a single penny of royalties for oil produced more than six miles off our coast. We assume all of the risk, produce seafood and oil and gas, with none of the reward. Royalties totaling $165 billion have gone to the federal treasury when they could go to help repair this pressing issue.

And here is an article by Georgianne Nienaber, from two years ago, that shows the situation was bad even before the the BP disaster.

The human sketch is surprising, sad, and begs many questions that the candidates should answer, noting Louisiana's importance to the US economy and how the local population supports an infrastructure that impacts the rest of the country. Consider the fact that Louisiana is ranked number 42 in per capita income in the United States, and 19.2 percent of Louisiana's population lives below the poverty line, and the reasons why someone should care about Louisiana become more compelling.


Photo by Ray Devlin


Friday, June 11, 2010

Cleaning Machine

Kevin Costner testified before Congress yesterday to talk about an oil filtering machine that he believes can make a significant impact in the Gulf clean-up. Costner invested $20 million of his own money to develop and the premise is pretty simple....water goes into the machine and the oil and water are separated through centrifugal force. Costner was inspired to invest in this after the Exxon Valdeez tragedy and said that for all the boom and old technology designed to capture or corral the oil, there wasn't really anything to clean it out of the water. Costner's machine can clean up to 200 gallons per minute and BP just ordered 32 of them so we're keeping our fingers crossed. To learn more about Ocean Therapy Solutions machine, visit their website here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lightin' Strikes Twice

Oh mais amis, it's deja-vu all over again. Seems like just last month a group from Mississippi came through, and Sam Rey (now w/Michael Juan Nunez!) opened the show, and the Gulf was being destroyed by a greedy oil company. Tonight, at the Blue Moon Saloon Cedric Burnside and Lightin' Malcom headline, and Me and Juan open...and the Gulf is still being destroyed by a greedy (and unethical, perhaps criminal) oil company. Come drown your sorrows in North Mississippi blues!

Weekend starts.....wait for it.....wait....no peeking....now!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hutslar Exhibit at the ACA

Photographer Kent Hutslar died of pneumonia earlier this year, but his art lives on as The Acadiana Center for the Arts has announced that they will feature an exhibit of Hutslar's fine art photography from June 12 through July 2. Hutslar was known for his talent as a photographer and an advocate for the arts. Over 50 pieces of Hutslar's finest artwork will be on display and for sale with all proceeds benefiting the Hutslar family.

Curator of the exhibit is UL professor and artist, Herman Mhire. He says "Kent Hutslar was an exceptional photographer and a dedicated, community volunteer / activist. His enthusiasm for the arts, and belief in the value of the arts, was an inspiration to all who knew him. Sought after by collectors from around the country, Kent Hutslar's photographs exhibit the influence of some of the 20th centuries' modern masters. There is no doubt Kent Hutslar will be remembered as a significant contributor to the evolution and history of photography in Louisiana."

For more information, visit the ACA's website at: acadianacenterforthearts.org

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fools Rush In...

I don't know any scientists. They don't really hang out in the same social circles as I do. And I think that's a good thing. I want them to be doing something important like collecting data....facts, and then relaying their finds to the dullards of society like myself.
One guy who doesn't put much stock in science or scientists is our Governor, Bobby Jindal. When you're representing Big Business and pandering to one of the poorest and most undereducated states in the nation, facts and data...well, the less heard about those the better. Get outta the way egghead.
Which brings us to the spewing oil in the Gulf, and Jindal's plan to build sand berms to protect our coast. Sounds great on the face of it. And when he had James Carville and Mary Matlin with him screaming for Obama to do something, it gave me pause. But now, an article in the LA Times by Julie Cart points out some of the problems with the plan. For one thing, the berms will take at least 9 months to complete; they won't survive even a mild tropical storm; and the dredging may actually increase wave activity.
Best of all, none of the plan was done with the input of scientists here in Louisiana.
Coastal scientists and oceanographers were brought in this week to present their views on the berm proposal to state and federal responders. Many said they were frustrated, wondering why their expertise was not brought to bear sooner. "You cannot do this without some sort of reasonable quantification as to what will happen, Stone said. " I understand we are in a jam right now, but, good Lord, we have sophisticated computer models that can do this in a matter of weeks.… It's sort of unconscionable that we've gone well over a month without scientific input."

Wha? Could this all have been just window dressing to make the Governor and his buddy the whore monger look good, and by implication the President look bad? Was Carville played? I dunno, but you can read the article for yourself here.

Look, I can't leave you with this cynical negativity on a Monday. Here's Jerry Lee Lewis in a sack race.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Note's For You

This one goes out to our "friends" over at BP, particularly in light of their recent claims that they remain unconvinced of underwater oil plumes in the Gulf; for their consistent underestimations of how much oil was spewing from their botched well; to their CEO who wants "his life back"; for claiming relief workers from Louisiana were merely "sea sick" or overcome by the heat, rather than suffering from exposure to noxious fumes emanating from the oil and chemical dispersant; and lastly, to whore monger David Vitter for attempting to introduce a bill limiting BP's liability. They all got one helluva nerve.

James Booker don't take no mess, and neither should we. Weekend is here, have a can a beer! Thanks Tim.

video
(Press Play)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trail Ride

Last May we did a story called 'Acadiana Bike Trail May Soon Become A Reality'.....and now, a year later, it really, really may soon become a reality. The $100k grant from the Community Foundation has been allocated and now, Lafayette Consolidated Government has 1 year to complete the project. So...yea! The $100k will cover construction costs and signage for the trail, which will start out running from Parc Sans Souci to Beaver Park. According to the story in the Advertiser, the eventual plan is for it to run all the way from Lafayette to St. Martinville.

Photo by: sasrigais

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Environmental Impact

Aaron Viles of the Gulf Restoration Network was on C-Span today and was really insightful and knowledgeable about the oil spill (or 'eruption' as some are calling it now). Here's his segment on Washington Journal and for some really horrific photos of this messy disaster, visit the Gulf Restoration website here at healthygulf.org.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You'd Never See Hoyt Saying Something Like This

Hey, it's not all doom and gloom down here in Louisiana, not with local news chuckle-heads serving up Youtube gems like this:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tell Me When It's Over

I'm bending the rules a little bit today, using a non-Louisiana artist. I don't really even like this song so much, but it was the one that came to mind while we WAIT to see if those donkeys at BP were able to plug their well. It's the hardest part you know...the waiting. See what I did there? Very clever. Weekend starts now, with one eye on the Gulf and the other on the Cajun Women's Super Regional. Cap it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cross Your Fingers Today

I never thought I'd be so familiar with the terms "top kill" or "junk shot" and not have them pertain to the NBA playoffs, or internet porn. And yet, today BP is preparing to perform the "top kill" maneuver on its hemorrhaging underwater disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. If you're the praying kind, this might be a good time to pull out the big one.

Here's a link to a New York Times article reporting on today's planned action. From the article:
On Tuesday, engineers guided submarine robots through diagnostic tests in preparation for the top kill, a maneuver in which tubes will inject thousands of pounds of heavy drilling fluids into a five-story-tall stack of pipes to clog the well. A 30,000-horsepower engine on a ship floating above the well will shoot the liquids, known in the oil business as drilling mud. The technique has been used successfully for other spills, notably for stopping the oil flooding out of Kuwaiti oil wells sabotaged by the Iraqi army at the end of the first Persian Gulf war.

And this quote from BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells revealed just how out of touch he is with real human beings:
“It has been done successfully in the past, but it hasn’t been done at this depth,” said Kent Wells, BP’s senior vice president for exploration and production. “We always have to be careful about setting expectations.”

Really? You think we have high hopes at this point? Do you have any idea what it is to be from Louisiana?

Photo by myeyesees

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grim Doesn't Quite Cover It

How bad is this oil spill? Well, before it's over with, my guess is it will affect everyone, not just here but nationwide, probably globally. After the fish and birds and turtles in the Gulf, next in line are our fishermen, and they're taking a hit few of us can even imagine.

This story, by WGNO ABC 26, ran on New Orleans.com details Congressman Joesph Cao's call for mental health services for fishermen in his district. Desperation is setting in in Southeast Louisiana. "
I spoke to a group of fishermen, mainly Vietnamese Americans and a group of them came up to me and said, they told me that they contemplated suicide because they're in such despair," says Congressman Joseph Cao. He says fishermen are feeling compounded stress on top of post-Katrina troubles. "For some people, this is almost a boiling point where they can no longer handle it and they're going to crack. These are grown men that broke down and cried this morning because they don't know what to do and we don't know how long it's going to be," says Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.


More here.

Photo by New Orleans Lady

The Emerging Immersion

I don't know if folks still say this, but not that long ago old people (like 40 year olds) used to complain about media never giving any good news. Now, all I hear is how slanted the news is, and it is, but in my view, it's slanted towards the freaks that complain about it. But I digress.

Here, is a genuine good news story in the Wall Street Journal, by Joel Millman, about Louisiana, and Lafayette in particular, regarding our French Immersion program in local schools. The program employs many instructors from West Africa, Canada, Belgium, and France to teach the French language to Louisiana children.

From the article:
For decades, it was forbidden to use French in Louisiana's public schools. Many a Cajun family remembers a grandparent who came home from school in tears after being punished for not speaking English, a language few spoke at home. But in the 1960s, Cajuns successfully adapted African-Americans' civil-rights efforts to gain minority status. Benefits included a mandate to teach French in all public schools. Foreign governments—particularly France and Belgium—pitched in, subsidizing their teachers' passage to Louisiana.

Photo by Gak