Sunday, April 29, 2007

"See ya later, alligator."


About 20-25 miles from the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans, a roaring, bone-jarring air boat sped us through marshes and bayous out to where the birds, snakes and alligators live.

Our guide carried a bag of marshmallows and apparently had taught a few of the critters to come over to the boat when we stopped. .

He told stories and Cajun jokes as he splashed his hand in the murky water and tossed out the little white sugar treats.

I mumbled "Crikey!"

We seemed worlds away from a city and area trying to recover from natural and bureaucratic disasters. Here was Mother Nature and a few of her more colorful creatures.

If you've ever complained about the annoying high pitch whine of a Jet Ski, stay away from an Air boat with its rear-mounted airplane engine and wire-enclosed whirling propeller! The provided ear protectors did help me keep my hat on my head.

The 3 hour tour was great but I looked forward to being back in the city, sipping a cold Abita Amber on Bourbon Street.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mustang Sally 4, "Saints" 1

New Orleans is alive and well and wants you to come see for yourself.

Happy, smiling people thank you for coming and ask how they can be helpful.

Looking down on the French Quarter from atop the Omni Hotel, you saw only one blue tarp. This is the high ground in NOLA, the damage was elsewhere.

The larger crowds will be in town THIS weekend for the annual Jazz Festival but last week, when I was there, a convention of Pirates was in town and my timbers were shivered.

We crossed Canal Street into the Quarter and could hear Bourbon Street blocks away.

The music appreciation score appears up above in the title..we heard "Mustang Sally" by at least 4 cover bands but the closing song for the night at one club was "When The Saints Go Marching In" and it was heartfelt.

The city - as always - is old, preserved and beautiful and a lot of the whimsy is seen in shop windows, although many of the extremely rude and obscene t-shirts could hardly be worn in mixed company.

Saw them for sale in the stores in the Quarter but did NOT see anyone wearing them. Thank goodness.

There's more to tell: the steam-powered paddleboat steamer Natchez, the van ride out of town to bounce around the swamp and bayous in a VERY loud air boat and the walking tour through an above-ground cemetary to meet a Voodoo Priestess.

Yes, there's more to come.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maybe A Student Discount?

Hmm. Every so often I read an ad or flyer that states something is free or discounted with "student ID," so I found mine and carry it in my wallet. Again.

I also noticed it was issued for school year 1967-1968. That's my age right now..67 and about to turn 68...a happy birthday coming up.

Obviously I have way too much free time!

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hey...Happy Easter!

Every year, about this time, I dig out a favorite cartoon I saw and kept that makes me chuckle.

I saved it on my computer and apologize I forgot about it until today.

Should have posted this about a week ago.

I can hear you smiling!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Lectures are nice but...

Peter Applebome. an editor and reporter for the New York Times, was in town to address a Communications class at the College of Charleston and a few local bloggers showed up.

Hey, the title of his talk was "All The News That's Fit To Blog"so how could we not?

The real lesson in communications happened AFTERWARDS upstairs at the Mellow Mushroom when Jared Smith introduced his sister whom he had not seen in 14 years. They appear happy spending a week visiting each other.

Tom, one of Jared's pals from college, and "Walk This Way" Joan and I enjoyed pizza and Boddingtons then squeezed together for another photo as Joan talked about growing up in NE India - "The Rainest Spot In The World."

Jared's sister lives in Portland, Oregon, which is not exactly the driest spot in America.

The thrust of the Times man's talk was, despite the transition in journalism tools such as typewriters and glue pots to computers and the internet, over the years, the goal is still getting it fast and getting it right. Present all the facts, both sides of the story and let the reader make an informed decision.

We now have more places to find out what's happening but each has its own bias.

He stated that the huge growth in blogging tends to splinter readers into seeking what they want to hear but - Peter hoped - in a time of national emergency or concern, the public will look for the most consistant and reliable source and he feels the NY Times will be there.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Could Be The Trip Of A Lifetime...

Well, I showed a picture from my little collection of captured digital moments so here's another:

I was in San Diego a few years ago, heading to the airport, and realized cruise ships were starting to become a larger part of this West Coast city's vacation offerings. Some growth pains were evident.

Charleston also has a beautiful natural harbor and a lot of interest has been demonstrated by the cruise lines. Now they're stopping here almost weekly. It's quite a sight to look up and see this modern version of a tall, tall ship parked at the foot of Market Street.

A skyscraper berthed next to our 1879 Custom House!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hmmm... Hate when this happens.

Since I keep a small digital camera handy, I have quite a collection of unusual and odd signs and scenes.

This one gives me pause.

It was taken on James Island a few years ago near a large church that usually offered a very moving presentation each Spring.

Oh well, Happy Easter anyway, Lowcountry.

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