Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Night time is the right time??


So it finally stopped raining, and after putting the kids to bed, and settling the Cajun Princess (along with Molly, the spoiled and obnoxious beagle) in on the sofa with her DVD of the "Sex & the City" movie, I finally found time to ride my new bike! I only went around 3 miles, but my lungs hurt and I feel as if i actually went farther. I would have gone further too, but the darkness and the knowledge that a massive army of idiots are driving around culled my plans to go any further. I had a head lamp, but the batteries are running low, and in my neighborhood there are just too many avenues without street lamps, and too many chances to get nailed by some kid not paying attention to the road, so i called it a night.

But what a rush! Granted, the hills killed me (but I knew they would), and I almost clothes lined myself on a power line anchor cord I forgot was there until the last second (In retrospect, the head lamp was a GREAT idea), but I really enjoyed it My lungs are burning from the pedaling, but it feels so good! Still, riding in the dark is scary as hell! Heres a video that pretty much sums up what it was like, even though I wasn't on a trail.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Vacation.....


Well, when I walked out of work today, I walked straight into an eleven day stretch of vacation! Nothing to do but hang out with my family and be a dad and a husband! I haven't had a Christmas Vacation since 1984!! This is exciting!

In case I dont get a chance tomorrow to say so, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas, and a happy new year. Please be safe, drive carefully and say an extra prayer for everyone else out on the road, and for all those people who cant be home for christmas.Whether theyre our sevice men and women, or people who have to be in the hospital for whatever reason, they need our prayers more than you know. Now go have fun! I'm going downstairs to watch "White Christmas" with my wife and kids.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Farewell......

No, I'm not going anywhere, not really, but I've kind of made a decision in my life. I'm -for the most part- giving up computer gaming and wasting so much time on the internet. I spend far too much time schlepping around my home office, not really doing anything worthwhile. It has caused me to miss quality time with my family, my health suffers because of it, i have become a slave to it, and I want it no more.

I still plan on keeping up my blog and everything, but my health-while certainly not bad- is not good. I need to exercise, loose weight, and in general, feel better about myself. I mean, Ispend the greater part of my Saturdays in front of this infernal machine, and what does it give me back? Not as much as I'd like.
I have neglected my husbandly duties around the house, and even worse, I've not spent as much time with my kids as I ought to.So since New years is around the corner, this is the perfect time to make the change.

Hopefully, the New year will find me filling this blog with lots of outdoor adventures, good, healthy life changing stuff, not life stunting stuff. Anyway, if I dont get back here before next weekend, y'all have a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. God Bless!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My newest addiction......

I dont do this all that much, really I dont, so please bear with me for a few moments.....I have oftentimes heard listeners of various podcasts expressing their admiration for the creators via skype messages or e-mails, declaring that they were so enamoured with said Podcasters words, that they just had to download all the available past podcasts. I've always thought this a tad bit extreme,; if I find one I like, I start listening from the most recent broadcast, and leave it at that.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself declaring with just as much fervor the same thing about "The Dirtbag Diaries" . For those not in the know, "The Dirtbag diaries" is one of -if not the best- outdoor podcasts available. It has a definite flow to it, the smoothness of a wave as it folds up on itself right before it crashes into the shore. All you have to do is get in the middle and ride with it. At the end of every podcast, I find myself wanting the next one immediately. It is pure addiction.

It's not a hiking podcast per se, it's not a mountain biking podcast or a rock climbing podcast, it's a podcast about one mans love for the outdoors, his need, desire to be in the wide open, his love affair with the mountains, and it is utterly addictive. The first one I listened to was entitled: "The_Shorts--Friendship is a Used Bicycle.", and if by the end of that podcast, you dont find yourself wanting to rush out and buy a bike? Then you better get somebody to check your pulse.

You feel as if you've always known Fitz Cahall, he's that friend that you have that always does so much, the one your so secretly envious of because he's always so active, and he seems to motivate you with every word that he so effortlesly speaks..

Whatever your interest is in the outdoors, hiking, surfing, camping, rock climbing, bike riding -of any sort- even simple walks in a local park, I'm telling you, you have to listen tothe Dirtbag diaries at least once. you wont be sorry.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My mid-life crisis.....

I'm told that I'm taking the whole nearing mid-40's thing rather well, better than a lot of men take it. While some guys go out, buy flashy cars and "Just for Men" hair dye, I'm content with my Ford Taurus and my rapidly greying hair...Hey, after all the stupid things I did to it in the 80's? (Spray painting it black after a tequila induced, self inflicted 9-inch tall mohawk for a Black Flag show) I am not one to tempt fates hand, or my hair's resentment to how I ill-treated it 24 years ago.

But the one thing, the one tell-tale sign that maybe I'm redirecting my way of thinking is this house. It's situated on the North Mills River section of Pisgah, and every time I see it, I want to chuck everything and move in. I dont know what it is that makes me love it so, maybe it's just the stark beauty surrounding it (Front yard to your right, back yard is below). Sure it's a little bit rickety and could use a lot of work, but, as they say in the real estate game, "location,location,location".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Van Johnson dies at 92


NEW YORK (AP) — Van Johnson, whose boy-next-door wholesomeness made him a popular Hollywood star in the '40s and '50s with such films as "30 Seconds over Tokyo," "A Guy Named Joe" "Battleground" and "The Caine Mutiny," died Friday of natural causes. He was 92. Johnson died at Tappan Zee Manor, an assisted living center in Nyack, N.Y., said Wendy Bleisweiss, a close friend.
Always sad to see one of the good ones go, isn't it? I've always liked him, he reminded me of a guy you might know from down the street, very amiable type of guy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Somewhere outside Albemarle in a deer stand


Been on stand since 5:30 AM, and haven't seen anything but three squirrel's-a-scrounging, two cardinals-a-pecking, and a titmouse in an oak tree....No seriously, I DID see 3 squirrel's, 2 cardinals and a titmouse!

I've heard a lot of shooting around me, but so far I haven't seen any deer. But, that's not surprising, since we're between the first rut and the second. Most of them are hunkering down in the early morning these days. They have gotten used to the routine of the loud booms heralding bad things for them, and they simply wait us out...

I don't really mind not getting a deer; I'm just grateful for a chance to be out in the woods again. Albeit, the entire purpose IS to bag a deer, I'm just happy to be alone in a stretch of woods, watching this little titmouse hop from tree limb to tree limb, landing gracefully every now and then to grab corn beneath the automatic feeder.

It's been this way with me for a few years now, I just want to be out in the woods. I want to be away from the city and all the petty dramas and concerns that seem gravitate towards populated living, it just doesn't seem to be what I need....No, not need, what I want anymore.....

I know, I know, common sense (and the cost of living) dictates different; it tells me I must live and work within the confines of my cities limits and adhere to the normal construct of society, but I oh-so want to be out in the woods, watching that Titmouse flutter from tree to corn pile and back again.....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

COOL!

Had to share this.Make sure you enlarge the screen to full size, as this is too cool not to watch full size.

To qoute the site I found this on:
"This is one of the most amazing pieces of eye candy I've found in a long time: A demolition derby—full of monster trucks, scrap cars, and even a giant Godzilla—filmed with tilt-shift photography, then put together in a time-lapse video. The final effect is extraordinary."

So this movie is actually real, but done in such a way that it looks animated.


Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Have you ever....

Barb posted this and it looked like fun I havent done one of these in quite a while.

How to play: BOLD anything you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band (albeit a very BAD punk rock band that only played once)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (VERY cool, reccomend it highly)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (I taught myself to write and read runic, that count?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke - if that's what you want to call it!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (I worked on an ambulance, does that count?)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Anyone???

So on our last camping trip, we came upon this really small plant with bright red flowers on it, and I have no idea what it is. Boudreaux and Thibadeaux are pointing at it in the picture above for scale, it was attached to a very large tree which had fallen over, taking the earth surrounding it with it, so it was (I am assuming) a ground flower of some sort. In the picture below, I tried the Macro setting on my Sony Cyber shot 7.2 megapixel camera, and this is the best i could get. Anyone have a clue as to what kind of flower it might be? It almost looks like a little berry, doesn't it?


It was in the North Mills River area of Pisgah National Park, first weekend in November, and seemes to do rather well in cool to cold weather. Maybe I need a plant guide, ya think? Wish my Macro pic had come out better, but I suppose sometimes, even digital photography can go awry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Unable to see, unwilling to quit


Feeling Sorry for yourself are ya?? Well dear friends, read the following story and maybe you wont feel like you've been wronged. It's all in your mind! Really, I'm not lying to you! Just read on, and maybe then you'll realize it's all in your mind.

Charlotte man completes 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail without his eyesight or the guide he'd expected.

By Clay Barbour
cbarbour@charlotteobserver.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Look down, you gods, And on this couple drop a blessed crown


8 years today! If the only problem we ever have is money, then I think were doing all right!
Seriously though, in retrospect I look back at all the girls I ever dated, all the....train wrecks I was involved in, and I cant believe I found The One! People always say "never say never", but I can tell you that I will NEVER find another gift like my Cajun Princess, and I'd NEVER want a replacement for her. she is The One, and that's just it! She is THE one!

At any rate, Happy anniversary sweetness!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Outdoors Radio


For all you outdoor junkies out there in the ether; There is this great show on 1110 WBT every Saturday morning at 5:00 AM called...Well, it's called the Carolina Outdoors Show, and it's hosted by Bill Bartee and Don Yeager, who: "bring their passion and years of outdoor experience to the airwaves of WBT each Saturday morning at 5am. If it's an outdoor adventure, they've done it, or they know someone who has, and they spend an hour each weekend sharing those adventures with you.". I love their show, it's always entertaining, informative and quite frankly, it gives me the impetus to get up, get dressed and go outside to do something with my Saturday, instead of frittering it away on game after game of Call of Duty 4. the only problem I have with it, is the timing; Saturday morning is my only morning that I can be afforded the luxury of sleeping past 6:30. I already wake up to keep the Cajun Princess company while she gets ready to go to work, but once she's gone, I dearly want to fall back into a deep slumber. So, Im already awake for most of the show, but due to my delerium, I oftentimes miss a sizable chunk of it. Well no more friends and neighbors, because I just found out they have a podcast!!



Now I still listen to S.Eastern Backpackers, and ATHiking and all, but check these guys out, their show is really top-notch, and well worth your time to find.



Now, the question this has all posed for me is this; when you are camping, hiking, whatever you do in the great outdoors, do you listen to an Ipod or other MP3 player? What do you listen to? What types of music or podcasts do you find to be entertaining?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is one of my favorite pictures of the boys and me.


It's a little over 2 months old, but already I can tell that it will always mean a great deal to me. We'd spent the weekend with the CubScouts, & after everyone had left camp, we decided to just meander around the N.C. mountains for a while. We drove all over, getting out of the car when the mood struck us to look at whatever caught our interest; peering over cliffs, investigating hulking old barns, collecting leaves that were so bright, they looked as if theyd burn you to touch them. We climbed on rocks, made grass angels, gladly offered to take pictures for strangers
-thats how we got this picture,we took a photo of their family, and they returned the favor-
and just in general enjoyed being together. my only regret to the entire day was that my wife wasn't able to be with us. Nevertheless, it was a special day, and as long as I live, I'll remember it.


This picture makes me wish I could spend all my time with my family, doing great things. the reality however, is that I have to work, I have to fulfill my obligations to society in order to spend these precious moments with my blood. It also makes me realize I have a responsibility to my family to keep myself healthy and fit,so I can have many more moments like this with them.
It's amazing, how things that at one time were so fleeting to me have all of a sudden become so essential.



Winter Haiku 2008/2009


Good morning! Albeit a chilly one, it is still a wonderful day to be alive! My only regret is, that I am not in the mountains right now. But then I suppose if I spent all my time in the mountains, they wouldnt be so special to me, eh?



At any rate, I have set up Winter Haiku 2008/2009 . To be invited to this blog or to continue being a contributor, send your:your email addressyour nom de plumea link to your blog or websiteto Steve at songofnovember@gmail.comIf you participated in the previous seasonal blog, and all the information is the same, just let Steve know that fact.If you don't receive an invitation, check your TRASH or BULK or SPAM mailbox, in case the invitation ended up in those folders.You will need to register with Blogger in order to contribute to the blog. You can register with your email address; you don't need to get a gmail address.





RULESThis blog is open to all haiku poets! Please submit your FAMILY-FRIENDLY haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, or haibun.You can also submit photos or drawings to enhance our experience of reading your one-breath thoughts!Artwork or photographs should be the original work of the contributor. If not, it is the contributor's responsibility to ensure that they have permission to use the work.ALL POSTS WILL BE BOLD AND IN (you decide the color). If you decide to use another color, please make sure that your text doesn't disappear into the background.The only requirement for posting is that there should be an WINTER theme.Postings/day: 3 maximum.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I haven't had a whole lot of time to write anything new, but the first reading from this past Sundays Mass has me thinking about my wife and all the great things she does for me:

"When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates."

Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31


Now maybe the passage has a different meaning than my interpretation, but essentially, they are one in the same. My wife does a ton of stuff for our family, for the community, for our parish, a whole bunch of people aside from myself and the boys rely on her for different things. My point? Sometimes we take the women in our lives for granted guys, and we need to step back, reflect on their impact on our lives, how they help us to grow, how they support us, and we need to return the gift in kind. Not just on birthdays or Mothers day, but every day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pisgah....


So last weekend was our camping trip to Pisgah with Boudreaux and Thibadeaux's Uncle; all in all, a very nice camping trip I thought. The boys seemed to have more fun on this trip, and even seemed to like hiking a whole lot more. This hike was more one-on-one, and the boys even learned how to make a lean-to (as illustrated above), and absolutely embraced the outdoors this time. I dont know what the difference was, but the change in their demeanor was evident, and a good time was had by all.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

alles ist defekt......

I am at a loss for words...Well, ok, so I'm not really at a loss for words (Im never really at a loss for words as my wife will readily tell you), but the words I have are heavy handed, and somehwat irrational. In short, I fear for our country right now, I cant help it. It seems to me that Obama has won based on WHAT he is, rather than on WHO he is, and I fear that some of the ideas and plans he has for us are going to hurt the country rather than heal it. I guess I ought to be praying for him, instead of worrying, huh?

Monday, October 27, 2008


So Fioretta has linked an interesting article on advice from the Dying to the living, and one snippet in particular has caught my attention;

"There are some things about my cancer that are a gift and that may seem really odd to some people," says Mr Ransom, who was 32 when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects the whole lymphatic system. He's now 46.

"It's aroused something in me that's made me more aware. You can do the same things for 20 years, running back and forth to work, or have five years where you process more about your life. I don't know which one is the best, but maybe the latter is a much richer way to live. "

I like this, the philosophy is sound (IMNSHO). I mean, why do we run ourselves ragged all the time? What do we get out of it that is so rewarding? A couple of extra dollars? Maybe some shares of a company whose future cant even be assured? I mean, I understand taking care of family, taking care of bills, etc, and I'm not saying that we should shirk those responsibilities, but maybe, just maybe, "someone" is trying to tell us something.

We need to slow down and look at the sunset, smell the smoke from a fireplace on a cold autumn night, reflect on your wifes laughter as she talks to an old friend on the phone.
We are presented with great opportunities every day to just.....stop, and do we take them, or move to the next task we think is so important?

I have found a release in camping and hiking, it gives me an outlet that runs tandem with my faith, and with the passing of every day, with every step I take thru the woods, with every turn of the next rosary bead, I feel myself becoming less and less angry, and more human/humane.

Mountains may rise, and mountains may fall, but we will probably not live long enough to see the completion of such work on this mortal coil, so we may as well slow down and watch the small part of the show that we can.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The great outdoors.....


OK, my anti-social mood has waned somewhat from my last post, so I can talk about our camping experiences at greater length now....I still want to move to the mountains, but at least I am not loathing my present locale nearly as much today.


Anyway, I suppose I ought to start with last years Christmas gift from my parents, which is which was the impetus for the whole "lets go camping!" epiphany we collectively had as a family.

This my friends, is the family tent.... It has become known to one and all in our Cubscout pack as "the Taj Mahal" because it is so horking huge. Seriously folks, this is a BIG tent. This is what is called the LL Bean King Pine Dome Tent, Six-Person model. I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a little bit too big for my family, but it actually seems as if it's going to be just the right size.
The Cajun princess has not been camping with us yet, but myself, Boudreaux and Thibadeaux slept very comfortably together on a queen size air matress, with the most minimal of discomfort being a slight chill on the face in the morning...Discomfort for Thibadeaux, but for me it was wonderful. Instead of sleeping in sleeping bags, we made a bed with an alternating base of 2 blankets and 2 sleeping bags (unzipped and spread out), and covers done in the same fashion. We put Thibadeaux in the middle (little nuclear generator that he is), and it was really quite warm and cozy.
So all in all, our first run with the tent was a success, and I think my family has taken a liking to the camping experience. I'm not sure about camping in the summer time though; too many bugs for my taste, but the other three seasons seem to be just fine.
Hopefully, I'll be posting more pictures later tonight or tomorrow, plus a much more thorough report on the weekend. It's just that it's been so long since I wrote anything, I wanted to go ahead and post something, try to stir the creative juices as it were.
Your camping recipe of the week from BackPacking Recipes.com:
3 eggs1 1/2 cups sugar2 tsp. vanilla1/4 cup butter, melted2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 tsp. salt1/4 cup instant coffee crystals1/4 cup milk or heavy cream1 cup pecans, chopped1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

At home: preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch pan. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and butter, beating to combine. Stir in the flour and salt. Set aside 1 � cups of batter. Stir the coffee crystals and cream and add to the remaining batter. Spread the coffee batter into the prepared pan. Add chocolate chips to the reserved batter and spoon over the coffee batter. Run a knife through the two batters to marble them. Sprinkle the pecans over the top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the center is firm and set. Cool before cutting into bars. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

In camp: unwrap and enjoy! Makes about 2 dozen.

Note: These firm up as they cool. They are not like a granola bar. More like a dense coffee cake or brownie.
This recipe courtesy of One Pan Wonders




Sunday, October 19, 2008

*SIGH*

So, here I am, in front of my keyboard again.

6 hours ago I was above 6,000 feet, on top of Mt. Mitchell, walking
the trail thru the dense scrub and pine trees,showing my two sons
signs of bears in the area, taking pictures of the color below us,
spread out across the blue ridge, with mountains as far as you could
see.....No McCain,or Palin No Obama or Biden,no stock market woes,
just me, and my boys, walking a trail, being pals.........Words fail
me right now, I cant stand living in the city, I cant stand all the
petty crap; politics,celebrities, chintzy newscasters standing in
parking lots covering the most banal of stories....Honestly? I don't
want it anymore. Every time I head up into the mountains, I don't want
to come back, and when I do, it depresses me so.....

Anyway, I'll post pictures later, right now I just want to
sleep....Maybe if I wish hard enough, I'll wake up in our tent.....


Saturday, September 27, 2008


"He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker. "

Monday, September 22, 2008

So this really excited me! I was invited this past weekend to a reunion; a reunion of the 325th GIR (Glider Infantry regiment) of the 82nd Airborne. I have over the past year become friends with their president, and knowing how much I appreciate the efforts made by our countrymen to defeat the Germans, he thought it would a good thing to invite me to their reunion, which was this past weekend. So I went, met alot of fine soldiers, and got them to honor a small request I had, which I thought I'd share with you. I brought the following book with me.To which they most cheerfully added the following:How cool is that?! So in the years to come, when people start to forget (and you know they will)My kids can show this book to their children and say: "These men sacrificed all for you".

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Ending to Gustav?

Cemetery in Dulac, La., after Gustav
John McCusker / The Times-Picayune
A statue of Jesus is just above the waterline in a cemetery in Dulac. Residents say the water came up here after the storm had passed. Shot Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008

Well, New Orleans missed the proverbial bullet, and Anderson Cooper and Geraldo have packed it up and gone back to New York, but the story isn't over. Just because New Orleans didn't flood out, doesn't mean the rest of the state fared so well.What about the ordinary folks who pump your oil, or come up with the shrimp and crabs we eat? They got hit hard, and without any mercy. Places like Grand Isle, New Iberia, Larose, and Thibadoux. For the rest of the story -The real story-check Houma Today or maybe The Advocate. Perhaps give KLRZ~The Rajun Cajun a listen. It's bad down there folks, worse than you may think.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My latest contribution to the Summer Haiku blog...

Missing training wheels
sweat and anxiety
Daddy!!! Look at me!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New family member!!


This is Molly!! She is a 6 week old Blue Tick Beagle! We got her from a woman who raises beagles to hunt rabbits (waaaaay out in Wilkesboro), but all she's going to hunt here is fun!
Well, maybe we'll let her chase rabbits when were down at the farm in Louisiana, but she is a really sweet little girl! Now if I can get her to sleep at night we'll be good as gold!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Slight relapse......


In case you've been wondering where I've been...... In the middle of all my rehab, I seem to have contracted a nasty case of staph in the same arm I had surgery on. this had led me to have a central line placed in my arm for the last week, having to have IV's every morning before I go to work, and led to me being very uncomfortable and in a decent ammount of pain.

But, I am getting better; the IV is gone, the infection is receding, and today, for the first time since the end of April, I felt really really good. So look for more from me soon, and until then, know I keep you guys in my prayers, and I'd ask that you keep me in your prayers as well....Thanks

Monday, July 28, 2008

Im in love.....


I have very odd tastes when it comes to music......VERY odd. I am a big Tom Waits fan, love Leonard Cohen, Lisa Gerard, Nick Cave, Suzanne Vega, Frank Sinatra, Bjork, all sorts of stuff. I'm probably the only guy you will ever meet who likes Greek and Arab dance music, Punk Rock (old 80's stuff, not this new jive) the 5th Dimension, Earth Wind and Fire, Slipknot, System of a Down, and has a huge addiction to Polka music and anything from Louisiana.


But mark my words, not matter how psychotic my tastes in music might be, if I like something alot, I'm going to tell you about it. I cant help it, I used to write music reviews for a local newspaper, I have been a DJ, as well as a roadie and a bouncer for a very large rock club. I adhere to the Nietzsche opinion that: "Without Music, life would be a mistake" So it is with this in mind that i want to tell you to check out Ingrid Michaelson. All I can say is Wow!! I feel the same way about her as I did the first time I heard Suzanne Vega's "Small Blue Thing". She has a sweet, utterly addictive voice, but don't take my word for it, just go to her site and check out her music, you wont be sorry.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Southern porch.....


As if I dont have enough blogs already, I started a new one today called "A Southern Porch".
It will mostly be my poems, photos, anything involving the south....Just thought I'd let ya know!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Journey into God....Questions....

The Journey Into God~A Forty-Day Retreat with Bonaventure, Francis and Clare
by Josef Raischl, S.F.O., and André Cirino, O.F.M.

I have questions about this book; has anyone read it before? If so, what were you're impressions of it? I got into week 5, and just felt it was too complicated, especially since it was supposed to be mostly based on the examples of St. Francis and St.Clare. I was reading it as part of a SFO group on Yahoo groups, and didn't really communicate very well with the other members, so perhaps I just had a bad attitude about the whole thing. I think I'm going to pick it back up and start over again, see if I can "get it" this time. Still, if anyone has read it, please let me know, I'd like to get some input on this book and your experiences with it -or any like minded books- and any pointers you might give me to get more out of it.

In retrospect, I think I need to read more books like this anyway. I've pretty much been on a steady diet of history books for the past year, and I think I need to balance my system out with more spiritual fare. In as much as I enjoy history -especially WWII history- I think it tends to harden one after a while, I've gotten more cynical in the past year or so, and I really don't like that very much. So, if anyone has any suggestions for me, by all means, post em in my comments page, I'm open to suggestions!!


No static at all......


Okeedokee artichokees, I know ya didn't ask for it, but here it tis anyway; my most listened to radio stations on the internet for this 4th of July weekend,2008. Usually, topping the list would be The Catholic Channel on Sirius, and rest assured, it is still up there, but I'm concentrating on four music stations today, so with out further delay.....


Topping my list right now, is KRVS 88.7, Radio Acadie ,despite their morning programming being mostly in French, this is a true slice of Americana. Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, this Public Radio Station plays Cajun music, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, Swamp Pop, Swamp Rock, Louisiana singer/ songwriter music, and many other types of music created and played in Louisiana. This is the toe tapping music of the Louisiana heartland, not the standard schtick played in every tourist trap in the French quarter. If you like accordions in any way shape or form, you'll like this station.


Speaking of accordions, you really don't have to look any further than WALN~ The Polka Station
for great accordion music. Located in Allentown Pennsylvania, it is a welcome addition to internet radio station phenomena, and yes, it is also broadcast in a mixture of English and other languages, predominantly German this time . I have to say, that not one weekend in the past 5 or 6 years has gone by where I did not tune in WALN for at least a couple of hours.


Let's bop back below -WAY below- the Mason/Dixon line to Louisiana again, this time to WWOZ . Now, WWOZ is called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, broadcasting live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. Their governance board is appointed by the
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation., and they are a listener-supported, volunteer-operated radio station, currently operating out of the French Market Corporation Offices.
In the aftermath of Katrina, they moved all their vinyl, all their equipment, and broadcasted out of the second story of a coffee shop until new digs could be acquired. Again, a vital, essential chunk of Americana that also should never be placed in the position of ceasing to be. WWOZ plays music that you positively will not hear anywhere else in the world, oftentimes music that was recorded the night before, live at The Maple Leaf. One word of warning for those leaning towards the political right; there is no love loss or lack of heated comments in New Orleans for "W", his administration, FEMA, and anyone else connected to the blunders after that witch katrina came ashore, and it is oftentimes voiced by the DJ's on this station. But it is really a great station that should not be overlooked.


And finally, we get a little closer to home (for me at least). WNCW, is a gem of a station, situated in lovely Spindale, North Carolina. This station is situated snugly in the foothills of the Appalachain's, and it's format oftentimes reflects that down home, rural lifestyle. Now, I will say that they have a tendency on weekday nights -especially Wednesday's- to play a whole lot of Grateful dead (which I loathe), but on the weekends, they have the best bluegrass and Celtic programming you will ever find anywhere. Fiona Ritchie's "Thistle and Shamrock" program hasn't got a thing on WNCW's "Celtic winds" and their show their bluegrass show "Goin Across the Mountain" (Every saturday from 11am-7pm) is 2nd to none.


I hope that you find at least one station in the motley bunch that piques your interest, I certainly find a little time for all of them here and there as my weekend progresses. I have, over the years, found that I rather enjoy denying the TV it's assumed sway over me, and these stations are another defense against just that. Enjoy
.



Friday, July 4, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What price freedom?? ( aka,Book Review #2)

Have any of you read this? Let me first say that I did not read this because Oprah told me to. In fact, I didn't even notice her taint on the cover until now. If I'd seen it earlier, I probably would have mulled over not reading it, based on her recommendations alone ( My disdain for the "cult of Oprah" is a story for another day)...

This is -mercifully- a very short book, and I say mercifully, because I don't know if my heart could have taken much more of this sad, sad story. I dont know what is sadder, the content of the book, or the fact that it is a true story. I knew from my WWII "history fetish" about the holocaust, but I never knew what great lengths the Nazis went to when it came to their cruelty and inhumanity, and quite frankly, I kind of liked it that way. sort of my own little "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing" rule.
But I digress...... Remember the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan", where you just kept wanting the killing to stop, kept praying that it would be over soon? I got the same feeling with this book, and it affected me so, that I even intended on putting it down and not picking it back up-EVER- but, I pulled myself back together again, and decided I really needed to finish reading it.

I highly reccomend this book for those of us with small children who, inevitably, will have to learn of the Holocaust some day in school. This book is now essential reading in alot of schools and IMSHO, I feel that it behooves me to be ready for the questions that will someday come along as a result of having to explain to them those blackest of days in humanities history. A very important read, well worth your while, and cheap to boot! I picked up a copy in Target for $7.00 and some change.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"everything worth doing hurts like hell"

As promised, I thought I'd start my review of books worth your time.Anyone who knows me even a little bit can tell you that I love my Wife and Kids, I love to read, and I love Louisiana. So is it any wonder then, that I have picked "Welding With Children" by Tim Gautreaux for this, my first review?

"Welding" is Gautreauxs second compilation of short stories, and is beyond all shadow of a doubt, worth your time to peruse. These stories are gritty and stark, as they are enlightening, uplifting, funny and horribly sad. These are the stories of ordinary people in ordinary situations that we all pass by day after day,never really giving them a second thought.

My personal favorites? I'd have to say "Good For The Soul", with poor Father Ledet, just trying to do right by parishioners who unwittingly get him into trouble, "Dancing with the One Armed Gal" , with Iry Boudreaux who teaches a very lonely and confused woman that life indeed, can be a "happy cowboy movie" if you let it. "Sunset In Heaven" is simply beautiful, with sweet old (albeit confused) Mr. Santangelo. The point is, all these people you meet could be from just about anywhere, but they're the heart and soul Louisiana, and that's exactly what this book is, the Heart and soul not only of Louisiana, but of Tim Gautreauxs book, and they have an important message for you. Buy it, read it, I guarantee you will not be sorry.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recovery......

So I got my staples out today! Finally, I will be able to sleep in my own bed tonight!! I haven't done that in almost 6 weeks (Because of the level of discomfort this shoulder problem has brought on, I've been sleeping in a La-z boy)! Now it just looks really, really ugly. The deep bruising has come to the surface, and so this yellow/black pallor has lent itself to my skin. I have also started my therapy, which is probably 50% of why I am so sore tonight. The therapist says I'm actually farther along in my recovery than what they thought I'd be, so that, too, is a good thing! Now I start a new diet, and a new exercise program. I'm really sick of being overweight and out-of-shape, so now is the perfect time to do something about it.

I feel very lucky and very blessed (one of the reasons I deleted those whiny posts I had up earlier); I had the anointing of the sick the day before my surgery, and I thought it would just be Father Remo and I, but my wife and children were also present, and it really made a difference. To have them all pray over me was........massive, just absolutely massive. It humbled me completely, and I really felt closer to my family than ever. I feel close to them anyway, but this was a different kind of feeling, know what I mean?


So anyway, I'm "on the mend" now, and I have a question for my handful of readers; What should I format this blog around? I'm thinking I need to go in a different direction with this thing, and I certainly dont want to copy you guys, because your blogs stand out and are great, and copying from y'all, well that's just cheap, don't you think? Any suggestions you may have for me would be great, because I don't want this to be a labor, and I want it to be something people want to read.
so, leave me suggestions, ideas, criticisms, whatever. it will all be used!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Remember........



Tomorrow marks the 64th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Europe. To say it is an important day for.....well, the whole world, is an understatement. This day is one of the most pivotal moments in humanities entire history, it marks the begining of the end for a regime whose attrocities have been unparalelled in history.



I'd like to say thanks and farewell to my Uncle Norman Farrer, 28th division,My Uncle Oliver, 8th army air corps, and thanks to two men I'm proud to call friends, Jesse Oxendine, Company B of the 325th Glider Infantry,82nd Airborne, and Col Jim Moncrief, 9th armored infantry battalion, 6th armored division.



To celebrate the monumental gift we were all given, I will be participating in a WWII exhibit on Saturday at the Charlotte Museum of History. the Model club I belong to is putting on an exhibit of WWII armor, and a bunch of reenactors will be there, portraying American and British troops. The event will be brought to a close with a memorial service for the fallen. The Guest of honor is a wonderful man by the name of Jesse Oxendine (as fate would have it, I went to high school with his daughter), who was with the 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division. On May 2, 1945, while advancing toward Berlin, his unit discovered what appeared to be a detention camp at Wobbelin, Germany. if you would like to read his story and see pictures of him, go to this link.
For those of you who have a direct link to the war, via Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews,Grandfathers, etc, I urge you; ask them about their unit, where they were, and do it NOW. It is vital! We lose over 1,000 -ONE THOUSAND- WWII veterans a day!! we are down to 3 WWI veterans here in the states, and soon enough, that willbe the case with our WWII vets as well.
If thats not enough to compell you, try this sad fact on for size...Did you know that 40% of all High school graduates believe that the United States and Germany fought together against the Soviet Union!?!? In a 1993 Roper survey of American high school students 53 percent of high school students did not even know the meaning of the term Holocaust!! How can it be, that our children are this ignorant?



If your relative does not want to talk about the war, dont push it. You can understand why they dont want to recall specifics, but see if you can at least find out what unit he was with, so you can record it for posterities sake. One day your children will want to know, it really is important information, despite the fact that it might seem to the contrary right now.


The wonderful photo above of the 2nd Ranger Battalion taken on the morning of D-day came from a great site called:WWII in Color

Monday, June 2, 2008

Update on Health...


And the winner is (drum roll please)........Multiple bone spurs and arthritis!! Yes indeedy folks, if I was ever in denial about the onslaught of middle age, I am no longer in doubt of it's arrival. So, in two weeks time, I will have orthoscopic surgery to removes the bone spurs, and trim out the arthritis. they say that if I dont so it soon, I'll definately be looking at a torn rotator cuff. So in the interim, I am trying not to over exert myself, I was told not to lift anything heavier than 8 pounds, so I dont cause more damage than whats already there.
If I said I wasn't scared? I'd be a total liar. I've skimmed over the papers they gave me Friday, and while I have been assured this is a routine, run-of-the-mill procedure, I still see the nefarious words:
"Please write NO on the arm we WILL NOT be operating on"
and that, boys and girls, really freaks me out. I know, theyre only doing the "C.Y.A. Dance", but you take stock of your life -if even for a fleeting moment- in instances like this, and the future seems very shakey. It's odd, isnt it? You can drive back and forth to work every day, placing your life in the trust that the other drivers will look out for you as you look out for them,and you do this without a second thought, yet when it comes to Doctors we get all anxious and hesitant. Why am I apprehensive about letting someone with years and years of experience operate on my shoulder, yet I trust complete strangers -some of who I've actually seen texting people while driving- to make rational decisions?
I suppose it's just that the only other time I've had an operation, I was given morphine for the pain, and really had no idea what was going on until after it was over. But now, I have time to mull over it, and thats a bad thing. I really think I need to go have a talk with Father Remo.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reading....

So I am what you might call a "happy camper"; In an effort to save money, we have chucked out our digital cable box, as well as the other two regular cable boxes, and have committed to receiving the minimal amount of cable stations possible. In this day and age, that is certainly a step towards a spartan existence (can you feel the sarcasm there?), but the gesture is a good one. It's only been 5 days, but already I personally feel that we are -as a family- spending a great deal more time together (in the same room talking) than we did previously. In the past, the television has dominated our landscape; at any given time, I could walk in our house from work, and all three TV's would be on, and in some instances, NOONE was watching ANY of them!

Now, before the Cajun Princess and I got married, I had a TV at my apartment that got one NBC affiliate, and a PBS station. So I watched "The Simpsons", "Nova" and maybe the evening news, if I wasn't already depressed enough. The majority of my time was spent reading, and listening to the radio, and I was happy with that! But for the past 8 years, our lives have been dominated by this malignant, 32 inch wide ,brain vacuum! Perhaps I'm being overdramatic with the word "dominated", but it certainly felt like that at times. I'm not claiming to be superior or anything, I am just as guilty as everyone else in my house when it comes to watching junk (What else can you call it when you make time in your day for recordings of "Robot Chicken"?), but I am so glad those boxes are gone! Time to start reading -heavily- again, time to do all those things I should have been doing all along, but I let fall by the wayside.......So I think for the meanwhile, I might start doing "book reports" on this blog about the books I'm reading, in case anyone else might be interested in them.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

When it rains...........


So I haven't been much on writing these past few weeks....Well, I'm in a lot of very uncomfortable pain, and have not felt like doing much of anything. Since February, I've had this aching spot in my left shoulder, that has gotten worse and worse over time. To the point where my sleep cycle is suffering badly because of it. I went to the Ortho Doctor the other day, and it ends up I either have a torn rotator cuff, or I have arthritis. I have an MRI this Tuesday, and we'll find out by next Friday morning what the proverbial deal is. From what he told me, the picture above is pretty much what they're going to have to do to me. They put the scope in the top of my shoulder to see, and the other one comes up from below and shaves bone off of my shoulder.......Shaving bone off of my shoulder.....Yeah, I'm so happy, I could just explode......

I think the only reason I'm not totally freaking out is because of faith. I pray every morning, and make a conscious effort to do the right thing, so I feel that the good Lord will see me thru this. But part of me, a little tiny sliver, still has doubt, still is scared. Not doubt about God, but doubt about doctors and their abilities. have any of you come across this before? Have you, put in this scenario, been afraid? How did you overcome it? Do you have a special prayer to share with me? I mean, I had my Gall bladder removed about 15 years ago, but I wasn't religious, and they had me so doped up on morphine, I barely was aware of anything happening the entire time I was in the hospital. But then, I didn't have children, or a wife, I didn't have that much to worry about, and now it concerns me greatly.

So if you have some kind of a trick, or a prayer that would help me out, by all means, post them, I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Atheist and the Bear



An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the evolution had created. "What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!", he said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing.

He ran even faster, so scared that tears were coming to his eyes. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out "Oh my God!...."
Time stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
Even the river stopped moving.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, "You deny my existence for all of these years; teach others I don't exist; and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"

The atheist looked directly into the light "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as Christian now, but perhaps could you make the bear a Christian?"

"Very well," said the voice.
The light went out.
The river ran again.
And the sounds of the forest resumed.
And then the bear dropped his right paw ..... brought both paws together...bowed his head and spoke:

"Bless us, Oh Lord,
and these thy gifts which
we are about to receive from thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord....AMEN!"

I love that joke!! Moreover, it fits in to this entry!! Yet again, Father Roderick has managed to grab my attention by the throat. In Daily Breakfast 479 - There’s an Alien in My Church!, the Good Father speaks of a press release from the Vatican pertaining to SETI and the church which says that Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God.

I am reminded of the time before I was even seriously dating the wonderful woman who would eventually become my wife, when I would spend hours outside at night, staring up at the stars, trying to catch glimpses of meteorites, bollides and solar flares. Much like the atheist in the joke, I would sit there in the sand plains of South Carolina marveling at
the great expanse of space with nary a thought as to how it got to be. One night though, it occurred to me though, that all..... this had to have started somewhere, right? But what was there before? Where do black holes lead to? It all of a sudden became very clear to me that the design of the Universe had the fingerprint of the divine upon it. I didn't exactly believe in God per se at that time; I had been an Odinist previously, and had just advanced to the Universalist theory (God is God, it doesn't matter what you call him/her) but I knew, I just knew it was all Gods doing. I may get in trouble for doing this, but I'm going to post the Friday, November 14th2003 Devotion from Living Faith by Aileen O'Donoghue, because it goes so well with the Story Father Roderick was relating.

God Is Greater Than The Cosmos
.......They seek God and wish to find him. Wisdom 13:6

Do those seeking God in nature not find God, or is the God they find not the one they learned about in church? In packaging God for classrooms, picture books, and dashboard medallions, have we believers inadvertently made God smaller and less mysterious than the universe? I live in a particularly large universe, since my work involves studying galaxies a billion light years away. This means the light I analyze has been traveling across the emptiness of space since before life on earth evolved past algae blooms. the God I find in this universe is much vaster and weirder than the one presented in the typical homily. I suspect that the God of the homilists and the listeners know in their hearts is also vaster and weirder than words usually express. Perhaps we need to learn to speak from the depths of our hearts so seekers will see that the God we worship in church is not only larger than picture books and dashboard medallions, but larger than the universe.

Aileen O'Donoghue is associate professor of physics at Saint Lawrence University in Canton, New York

In closing, I'll simply quote the Jodie Foster movie "Contact"

Ellie Arroway: Dad, do you think there's people on other planets?
Ted Arroway: I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space.