Friday, October 30, 2009

Pig for Days

Starting my 30th high school reunion tonight!

I've got a bunch of pulled pork to bring and as you can tell, my wife helped cook it!

AC/DC was the B O M B!

The AC/DC concert was pretty darned good. For old guys that started playing in that band when I was in the 7th grade - they rocked HARD!

We ate at Couchon down on Tchoupotoulis Skreet for dinner. And that was quite amazing as well!

Let's see, concert menu consisted of: Boucharie Plate (salami, tasso, cured pork loin, hogs head cheese, pork pate, pickled stuff), fried rabbit livers with pepper jelly, smoked oysters on the half shell, boudin balls, fried pig ears with molasses creole mustard, smoked brisket with horseradish potatoes, ham hocks with marinated greens on sweet potatoes in a black-eyed pea broth, redfish on the half shell and some charred banana ice cream for desert.

Yep, along with a nice bottle of Rioja, it was quite the meal!

At least it beats the hot dogs and big ass beers that I used to injest before concerts in New Orleans back in the "day"!

This getting old isn't so bad after all!

Tickets in the Entergy suite for the concert is not too bad either! Nothing like a seat right at the stage, just up a little - with all the free booze/food you need...... But the biggest benefit for us was that there was a bathroom right there! It may not sound like much but I promise it takes care of the worst part of concert going - when to plan your pee!!

Anyway, I loved it and we made it safe and sound - and in the end, that's all that matters!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Survival of the Fittest!

Well, homecoming was not much of a big bang - but it was good to see lots of folks.

We didn't get there early enough to get into too much trouble - plus my beautiful wife had a migraine all weekend.........which is not much fun for her.

Would that I could take a magic wand and take her pain away......I surely would!

And since we've got my 30th high school reunion coming up this weekend, I'll have yet another chance to do a little dance, make a little love and get down like it was 1979!

Ya'll come join us.


Highway to Hell

Yes boys and girls, I am truly on the Highway to Hell.

But in a good way!

My braintrust, including my lawyer, my stock broker and myself, of course, are going to New Orleans Wednesday evening to see AC/DC from the comfort of a suite courtesy of Entergy.

This getting old is a pain in the ass, especially when getting up on a cold morning, but it does have it's advantages because I'm old enough to know enough connected people to get to do cool things at no cost to daddy!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuck Fulane

Homecoming is Saturday!!! And we'll be playing our former nemisis Tulane who since the realignment of our shitty little conference isn't our nemisis anymore even though they're only 100 miles down the road.

I still have memories of the first game in 1979 where we were literally cheated out of a win at our own stadium and the referees almost got killed in the riot that ensued.

And even though I have "matured", or should I say "slowed down" or "evolved" beyond the sort of stuff that happened during the celebrated homecoming shenanigans of my first 20 years post-graduation, I must admit that I still look forward to seeing everyone and dipping my wick back in the bucket.

I am very sad that we don't play the old alumni/active fraternity football anymore on Sunday morning - and even though it's been 10 years since we did, I can still remember the week at work afterwards when I was too sore and hungover to even move..........

Ah, the memories of a frat boy!

So I hope to see you there, I'll be the loud, obnoxious one with the party hat on!


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Fat Man

My boy Rush Limburger is cracking me up these days.

He's astounded that there was a backlash against his proposed participation in a group buying an NFL franchise.

"Astounded I tell you"!

He's blaming Obamerica for it.

He says that everyone is a tool for the horrible way our country is run these days.

I say that the chickens always come home to roost and that Karma is a Bitch!

I'm sure that it's difficult when you spew hatred and dissention for a living and then you just don't understand when polite society looks down their noses at you and doesn't invite you to the party.

I'm sure that he doesn't understand when he's admired by so many "ditto-heads" that he can't play with the majority of people who find him and his views revolting.

I say good for the NFL. Even if they are elitest snobs at best. I say that we should all get what we deserve every once in a while and the fact that you make a bazillion dollars a year should in no way indicate your position in society.

Fuck the Fat Man. Fuck him up his stupid ass.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Old Age

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making My bed, or for buying those silly yard gnomes that I didn't need and my wife hates, but looks so avante garde in my front yard.

I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant...especially to my beautiful and wonderful wife.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. I'll even go with the speedo if my wife isn't looking!

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, Or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and
Compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their Hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So yea, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become.. I am not going to live forever, But while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).

And did last night!!


August (not the month, the restaurant!)

For all you jealous people……….last night I had dinner at the John Besh Restaurant August!

Not only was the food amazing, but I had the honor of eating with my most beautiful and charming wife.

And for a boy like me, it just don’t get any better than that!

So just in case your jealousy is rampant right now – I figured that I would include my menu that I “degustated”……….

Organic greens with pumpkin seed brittle, Point Reyes blue cheese and pumpkin seed oil vinaigrette

Sugar and spice duckling with stone ground grits, roasted duck foie gras and candied quince

Père Roux’s banana rum cake with Creole cream-cheese icing

This meal was the bomb – and we had an excellent bottle of Pinot to go with it. But the best part for me was the fact that my beautiful wife decided (quite wisely) to stay awake and talk to me on the ride home so I wouldn’t fall asleep and kill the both of us!

I have lived a most amazing life, in my humble opinion! But the last few years have been truly epic and that is all due to the fact that for the first time, my reality has met my dreams head-on and I get to share all the wonderful things with the woman that I was put on this earth to love.

And truly, truly I say unto you………that is the diggity-bomb!!!


Friday, October 09, 2009


I read this story today from a priest that lives in Lousiana's blog. I found the story to be amazing in depth and I just wanted to share it with any of you that still come over here to read the drivel I post...........

He was a great, strapping bear of a man, about six-foot-six tall and almost as wide, and all of it muscle and bone. Stripped for action, he might have starred in a Hollywood action spectacular alongside a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and not been disgraced. His nickname, Inyati, means 'buffalo' in Zulu, referring to the Cape Buffalo of those parts, strong, tough and highly intelligent, and a fearsome opponent. He was well named.

I first met Inyati in 1984. He was working on a gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa, and had risen to the status of induna (roughly translated as 'head-man' on the mines, or, in tribal context, 'war leader' of an impi or regimental-size battle unit). I was trying to provide some assistance to members of a nearby community, disrupted by violence. (For an example of what that could entail, see my post from Christmas last year.) He used his influence to help me get to local leaders, mediate a truce between opposing factions, and help those 'caught in the middle', who didn't care two hoots about politics, but cared greatly about staying alive and healthy.

Inyati found me puzzling. He was used to White men being either card-carrying racists, supporters of the apartheid policies of South Africa's government at the time, or flaming liberals who would talk a great deal about injustice and oppression, but not do much about it. Here was I (and a few others like me) who didn't talk much, but simply did whatever was in our power to help those in need, irrespective of politics and sectarian or tribal rivalries. Over time, as we got to know each other, he grasped that all of us, from widely differing religious and social backgrounds, were doing this because we felt called to do so by our faith. Whether we worshipped the Christian God, or Allah, or the Hindu pantheon, or whatever, we took our beliefs seriously enough to feel called to help those trapped in the never-ending cycle of violence that gripped our nation at that time: and because of that, we were united in working as one, despite religious differences. We understood one another 'soul-deep', as it were.

Inyati didn't have much religious faith himself (apart from the animist traditions of ancestor-worship and the 'spirits' in which he'd been raised), but he could appreciate faith in action. He observed once to me that all of us made far better missionaries for our respective faiths than all the preachers he'd ever heard, because we weren't afraid to get our hands dirty, and expose ourselves to risk, in practicing what we preached. I pointed out that all too often we were scared s***less, but that hadn't yet stopped us. With a great, booming laugh, he slapped me on the back (it felt like he'd dislocated a couple of vertebrae in the process) and assured me that it wasn't the fear that mattered - it was whether or not we let it control us. "A warrior rules and uses his fear. A coward is ruled and used by it. None of you are cowards."

Somewhat to my surprise, Inyati developed a liking for classical guitar music. In my car one day, he heard a recording of one of Giuliani's guitar concertos. When it was finished, he asked for more information. Over the years I sent him recordings of many pieces, and he and I shared a great love for Rodrigo's 'Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre'.

In 1987 Inyati's father, the leader of his tribal clan, died. He went home to his tribal village in Zululand for the mourning period, and after it was over, he was anointed as the new Chief of his clan. He sent word to me that he wouldn't be coming back to Johannesburg, and invited me to visit if I ever found myself nearby. I needed no second invitation, and over the next few years made several trips to visit him.

Our visits were wonderfully refreshing. My friends and I would live in a guest hut, crawling through its low entrance on our hands and knees, our only concessions to Western comfort being the air mattresses, sleeping-bags and pillows we'd bring with us. Inyati would always chuckle at our 'softness', insisting that a bed of soft branches and leaves was good for a young man's stamina. However, we couldn't help but notice that he was careful to retain his own inner-spring bed and mattress, and provide each of his wives with their own. We twitted him about that, and he laughed again, pointing out that he was no longer young, and that a Chief - and his wives - had to have some comforts now and then. His grinning wives agreed wholeheartedly.

Inyati would rouse us in the chill mornings, mist curling around the trees and huts, and treat us to coffee made his way (black, so strong you could almost watch the teaspoon dissolve in it, well sugared). When the toxic brew had blasted the sleep from our eyes and brains, he'd lead us out into the fields and brush surrounding the village, to watch the mist dissolve beneath the rising sun, breathing deeply of the fresh, clean air, watching with delight as the world came to life around us. He'd take us hunting for small game, instructing the clan's children in how to go about it, using snares, slings and spears to feed their families. We'd walk among the women, tending maize (corn) in the fields, calling cheery greetings as they spotted us. (Most of their menfolk were far away, working on the mines, earning money to send home to keep their families alive. This 'migrant labor' system was one of the most pernicious aspects of apartheid society in South Africa, dislocating and disrupting family life for generations. Families were forbidden to accompany breadwinners to the mines and cities.)

Inyati proved a superb leader for his people. He settled three generations-old blood feuds between his clan and others nearby. No-one could even remember how they'd started, but their young men would still try to kill each other whenever they could. (It's been said that a Zulu will fight at the drop of a hat, and drop it himself if no-one else will - a true saying for many of the tribe's rural clans.) In each case, he used intermediaries (usually sangomas, witch-doctors) to approach the other clan, proposing a peace conference. After much negotiation, the elders of each clan would gather at a neutral spot, with their escorts of young warriors, armed with assegais (short stabbing-spears) and shields, grouped at a safe distance behind them. Inyati would rise and address the elders, always respectfully, but firmly, pointing out the constant drain on both groups of the lives lost through senseless killing, and proposing a formal and permanent peace between them.

There were always objections. Some would argue that (for example) their great-grandmother had been raped by a member of Inyati's clan, and there had not yet been sufficient 'satisfaction' for this crime. In such cases, Inyati would inquire whether compensation could be worked out in money, or cattle, or some other commodity. This usually produced a figure, which after negotiation was mutually agreed to be sufficient to wipe out the 'insult' or 'crime'. Of course, such figures had to be offset against similar depredations perpetrated by the members of the other clan . . .

Days would be spent solemnly discussing each case, agreeing on a settlement figure, and noting it in a sort of ledger. When all such incidents had been dealt with, the two sides of the ledger were compared, sums adjusted, added and subtracted, and a balance agreed. For the sake of fairness, it usually ended up with each side giving the other a gift of cattle and part of that year's harvest - gifts which almost invariably canceled each other out nicely. Honor was satisfied, which was the whole point of the exercise, after all. The honor of the tribe and clan was paramount. There could be no peace unless it was respected and satisfied.

In one case, the other clan's leaders bargained, negotiated, haggled, and eventually came to an agreement - all except one elder and his sub-clan. That worthy rose majestically to his feet and intoned that he could not agree to a settlement of his people's ancient blood feud. The matter was too important for mere cattle or maize to 'satisfy the ancestors', who would surely curse him and his people if they abandoned so deep-rooted a grievance in exchange for mere commodities. No, the fighting would have to continue until blood had paid for blood.

Inyati wasn't fazed. He stood and stripped off his leopard-skin cloak, revealing his massive, oiled, muscular chest, and his immense height and strength. He politely acknowledged his opponent's right to insist on blood satisfaction for their feud, and proposed a solution. He would represent the past chiefs of his people: one of his sangomas (and he gestured to a young witch-doctor, built almost as strongly, who stood and stripped for action as his chief spoke) would represent the spiritual leaders of his clan; and one of his warriors (gesturing to the leader of his young men, who stepped forward, tall and proud, assegai and spear ready, feathered head-dress waving in the wind) would represent his fighting men. Let the opposing chief represent his forebears, and select one of his sangomas and one of his warriors to do the same for their groups. The six of them would fight it out here and now with assegai and shield, chief against chief, sangoma against sangoma, warrior against warrior, before the assembled elders. The clan with the most survivors from the combat would pay to the other whatever compensation they requested, and the matter would then be resolved, both in blood and by payment.

The other sub-chief looked Inyati up and down, noting his heft and build (considerably more imposing than his own), and the size and strength of the two assistants he'd summoned; then he looked around at his own sangomas and warriors, none of whom seemed particularly eager to volunteer their services against such impressive opponents. Stroking his chin, he acknowledged that such an arrangement would, indeed, satisfy the ancestors . . . but perhaps there might be a better way? After all, would it not be a great pity to deprive either tribe of the wise leadership of men such as themselves?

Inyati solemnly agreed that this would, indeed, be a great pity, and there might, indeed, be a better way. After further discussion, he offered to present three of his own cattle to the other sub-chief, as a personal token of respect, so he could 'sacrifice them to the ancestors' and thus gain their approval. (The chances of their being so sacrificed were slim to none, of course - they'd end up in the elder's own herd.) Honor being satisfied, peace was duly achieved.

Inyati kept his people away from the frenetic internecine violence that infested South Africa during the late 1980's and early 1990's. He insisted that the welfare of the clan as a whole was what was important. Political discussion, even different points of view, were acceptable: but under no circumstances could they be allowed to break down the unity of the clan. Some hotheads disputed that, but one after another, they mysteriously disappeared after one too many inflammatory incidents. I've no doubt some ended up feeding the crocodiles. Others, wiser men, would have taken the hint and left for greener pastures, one or two (very rapid) steps ahead of the posse.

As South Africa's first democratic elections grew near in 1994, Inyati was approached by emissaries from various political parties, all promising him wealth, patronage and influence if he'd order his people to vote for their candidate. (Such approaches were common in tribal areas.) Inyati was no fool. He'd be polite to each of them, but ask for a visible token of their generosity 'up front', so he could show his people in concrete terms just why they should support this or that party. He took all such 'gifts' and distributed them evenly, without favoritism, among his people, who were very grateful to their Chief for such blessings. Being grateful to him, they listened to his injunctions not to let politics divide them, and each was able to vote for the party of his or her choice without interference.

The outraged party representatives all accused him of cheating - only to have him blandly inquire how this could be so? All of the parties, from one side to the other of the political spectrum, were accusing him of the same thing. How could he have cheated those on the right if those on the left also said he was a cheat, and vice versa? Baffled, the political operators retired in disgust - all except a couple who were so unwise as to threaten retaliation. No-one ever threatened Inyati with impunity. They weren't seen again . . . and the others took note when the next elections came around. Peace was maintained.

I maintained occasional contact with Inyati through mutual friends after I left South Africa in 1997. He continued his wise, level-headed leadership of his clan. Other clans and sub-tribes were known to ask for his assistance and mediation in sorting out conflicts between them, and his reputation grew steadily with every success.

Sadly, time moves on, and the effects of age take their toll. Last year, in his mid-60's, Inyati was diagnosed with cancer. Treatment was offered, but made him very sick: and he decided that this was no way for a man to live. He declined further treatment, went back to his people, and made arrangements for a smooth transition of leadership and power when the time came. Those who learned of his illness were grief-stricken at the prospect of losing him, so he took care to swear them to secrecy, and never complained, even as the pain grew worse. In his last message to me, delivered through a friend, he asked me to pray for him to 'my Christian God', and also to make the traditional offering for him when the time came. (He knew I'd been initiated into some of the mysteries of the sangomas, years before.)

When I checked my P O box this morning, a letter from a friend brought the news. When the pain grew very bad, Inyati rose with the dawn one day, dressed in his warrior finery, and walked into the woods. He did not return. His people found him there later that day, assegai and shield in hand, lying beneath a massive tree venerated as the home of many ancestral spirits. They bore him home, and laid him to rest with all honor. His son now rules in his father's place.

I said my prayers for his soul this morning. This evening, as the sun set, I went outside, taking with me a couple of letters I'd received from him over the years, and the one I received this morning. As the light faded, I lit the fire, and blessed a leafy branch (not from a tree with which he'd be familiar, but I'm sure the ancestors won't have minded), and laid the pages of the letters over the flames, one by one. Waving the sacred branch through the rising smoke, I spoke the words of the ancient ritual for a safe passage from this life, then laid the branch on the burning pages. I hope he heard me, wherever he is now.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Obamacare Part 69

Obama: Health Care Plan Would Give Seniors Right To Choose How They Are Killed

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama held a nationally televised address Tuesday to "clarify any misunderstandings" about his health care proposal, assuring Americans that under the new bill senior citizens—and not the federal government—will have the right to choose how they are executed.

The president vows to systematically eliminate all American seniors in a manner of their choosing by 2011.

"Let me dispel these ridiculous rumors once and for all and set the record straight:

Under my plan, seniors are going to be killed the way they want to be killed, end of story," said the president, who acknowledged that "wiping out" the nation's elderly population has always been his No. 1 priority.

"If your grandmother would rather be euthanized in the privacy of her own home than be gutted and hanged on a high school soccer field, she is entitled to that right."

"Once again, let me be perfectly clear," Obama continued.

"Seniors, rest easy knowing that I will never, under any circumstance, sign a bill that doesn't give you the option of being murdered by my administration in a manner of your choosing. I promise you that."

During his 45-minute address, the president repeatedly stressed his deep and abiding respect for the nation's 65-and-over citizens, saying that murdering them in ways they wouldn't want to be murdered would be both un-American and "flat-out wrong."

Obama also accused his opponents of using scare tactics to score political points, manipulating seniors' fears with misinformation about their upcoming state-mandated deaths.

The president said he sympathized with and related to the fears of older Americans, adding that if a politician told him he could only be killed by being forcibly removed from his home and shot in the street like a dog, but left out the fact that he could also be put down by painless lethal injection, he would be scared, too.

"Folks' concerns over my plan are all based on bogus claims that we intend to set up death panels to kill off senior citizens," Obama said. "Well, that is preposterous. A death panel is only one of many ways we can exterminate the elderly.

Under my plan, they can be beaten or poisoned to death.

They can be murdered by the Marines or the Air National Guard.

They can die fast or they can die slow.

They can even be drowned in their own bathtubs."

Proponents argue a government-based system could liquidate the elderly for much less than insurers currently do.

"The point is," Obama continued, "there is a way to die in this plan for everyone."
According to the 970-page bill, seniors would have access to more than 600 methods of execution, all of which would be covered by Medicare. The legislation would also allow aging Americans to keep their own primary care physicians if they prefer to be euthanized by their family doctor.

The bill also calls for the creation of government-run carbon monoxide poisoning clinics, termination chambers in all YMCA basements, and a new giant pit in the Nevada desert where seniors can be dumped and buried en masse.

"Let the record show, I am opposed to the government getting more involved in people's lives," Obama said. "But in times of great change government has typically stepped in to lend a helping hand. That is why free shuttle buses to school gymnasiums pumped full of sarin gas will be provided for all of our seniors."

Following the speech, White House sources said they expected full party support for the proposal. However, some far-left-leaning Democrats have openly criticized the president for backing down from his initial policy of death panels, arguing that a system offering multiple execution options completely undermines their ideal of a single, universal senior-killing policy.

"The president has watered down a perfectly reasonable plan in hopes of placating the opposition," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said. "Look, we started this health care crusade because we believe that death panels are the very best way to eliminate the senior population, and I, for one, stand firm in that belief."
The Republican reaction was even more sternly worded.

"Seniors!" House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) said. "Run for your lives! Obama is coming to kill you! He will kill all of you!"

However, many older Americans lauded the president for finally speaking to them like adults on the matter, and said that for the first time in months they felt they weren't being taken advantage of.

"It was refreshing to feel like I wasn't being used as a pawn to settle one political party's score against another," 74-year-old Florida resident Rose Benzio told reporters. "I didn't agree with everything President Obama had to say, but I think there is probably an option in his plan that will suit me. Decapitation sounds interesting."

Almost Famous

Friday, October 02, 2009

How 'bout 'dem eagles.........

Nothing quite like getting crushed on national TV while playing a team that you scored 70 freaking points on last year after losing 5 games in a row.......

I had somehow convinced myself that we had grown beyond these things. That our new coach had instituted some magical formula that would keep this from happening.

But alas, he didn't - either that or they left it back in Hattiesburg instead.

Either way, he has consigned himself to at least another year or two here in the boonies before he gets "promoted".


Bumber Snickers

My wife told me about one she saw....

"If you're riding my ass - you'd better be pulling my hair"

Oh God, I love Friday nights!!

Wally World

Here is my new favorite web site. Go there and be reminded of why it's no fun to trudge through the aisles at the worlds most dangerous place.