Monday, January 31, 2005

I'll repeat here, for some of our youngers sakes', that I thought the thirties were and will be the best of years. There was a reason for Jack Benny to insist on 39.

I woke yesterday morning expecting to find the worst offenses against persons. I did not find them. Not many. God bless.

Sumbitches got the finger, didn't they?

UPDATE: From Kevin Drum.

Just a note from listening to the Friends of Democracy broadcast yesterday: Christopher Hitchins questioned the media about the "Arab Street," implying that we heard from the "Arab Street" yesterday.

Here's Mary Madigan, a woman I don't know, covering Michael Totten's site.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Ms. Newmark has suggestions for taking advantage of the bathroom as a learning environment.

My mother would have thrown a fit had I taken any kind of marker to her bathroom walls.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

C-SPAN will televise a post-election event on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. EST, featuring Christopher Hitchens, Michael Totten, and others involved in the Friends of Democracy project. Mr. Totten has details here.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I bet you'll like the lady at The Big Yellow House, too.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

J-Birds announces today that this is the first anniversary of their blog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The river is high and rising. This article is about workers with the levee district controlling sand boils along the river.

This article has a little more information about sand boils in our general area.
Michael Totten has requested that his readers put up a link to Friends of Democracy: Ground-level election news from the people of Iraq.

He has been asked to edit the blog. His description of his responsibilities is here.

An alternative viewpoint is always available at Baghdad Burning.

Whatever your stance on the war, it won't serve to ignore this. Newsday story here.

The elections are on January 30. God bless.

Monday, January 24, 2005

No doubt these communities are proud of their new fire equipment, but the article states that it was purchased with funds earmarked for homeland security.

Are people up this way threatened as terrorist targets? The equipment might be useful as backup up and down river. Or it could be pork.

UPDATE: Natchez did have a good number of evacuees from New Orleans and the coast during Ivan. Fire equipment could be useful if incidents happened at the ports of New Orleans or Baton Rouge requiring evacuation. Or it could be pork.
I dozed off this afternoon after reading a few chapters of Bill Crider's mystery, A Bond with Death. The plot revolves around a junior college.

I began to dream that I was starting a new career in junior college. I had registered for three classes, and was on a waiting list to enter the bookstore where I could pick up the required books before class. As I was standing around outside the door of the store, the guard kept allowing people to go in before me.

If there's something that I can't learn here in the house, in the kitchen, in the greenhouse, in the yard, or in the course of living, it will remain unknown to me.

Only a couple of years ago did I finally graduate from college and all other schools in my dreams, and leave that bother behind.
I was paying bills and handling other paperwork this morning, and got so frustrated with my pens that I decided to throw them away.

On my brother's advice, I had bought Pentel Hybrid Gel Pens. When I looked closely at the barrels, I could see that a clear liquid had settled atop the black ink.

What's that about?
Since I missed his introduction, I wondered, too, about the boy who sang the national anthem at the Philadelphia-Atlanta game yesterday. James Joyner found the answer here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Smiley Anders in the Baton Rouge Advocate has a quick story today of how reporters can get into trouble:

Joe F. Cannon says our recent discussion of newspaper bloopers reminds him of his reporting days in Tulsa, Okla.:

"One of my regular assignments was to cover the state fair.

"The state fair manager and I did not get along, but I dutifully went to cover the opening.

"The photographer took a picture of the fair manager in his big cowboy hat, standing beside the large rear end of a horse.

"In my caption, knowing that the city desk would edit it out, I wrote, 'Mr. Smith, on the left...'

"Well, it got into the paper that way -- and became humorous several years later."

(So tell us, Joe, what was your next job...?)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

No windows open today. It is 30 degrees outside at nearly 9 a.m.
This invitation is driving me batty. Lyman hates long flights. I sleep.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The lawyer for our condo association and 5 dozen others at the beach is a soft, pudgy looking man named Craven.

One can change one's name.
I have been looking around a bit. Since this is a diary-type blog, I am posting this item for my own reference in the future.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Now, about that trip.

The Marriott in Mobile is a pretty hotel. House vodka and grapefruit at the bar is $8.50 a pop.

The natives at the meeting were restless. The president of the board, a Birmingham woman, is passive-aggressive.

Our unit itself is in good shape. The contractor did remove the carpet in the front bedroom to prevent the growth of mold, but otherwise it looks just fine. Nothing is missing. The drapes are fine. A small area rug and some mats will need replacing.

There was evidently a lamp broken in the front bedroom sometime the past summer before the hurricane. Someone replaced it with something that in no way matches the other, and I was never told. How long has that been the case? When we left just before Memorial Day everything was in good order. Good grief. We changed rental companies after the hurricane hit, and I understand that they are much better.

We are looking at a certificate of occupancy in our building sometime this summer.

Overall, Orange Beach looks good. Clean-up is impressive and building efforts are progressing nicely. Newer condos are full, but the beach road is still eerily dark at night. Many more will be available in the spring.

Something that I had never thought about that came up at the meeting is that the insurers of these buildings along the Gulf and the Atlantic are the same companies that insured buildings in the areas hit by the recent tsunami. What a vast mess.

AHA! Vidalia as a best small city was a phone scam.

As I said, I like it fine, but only extended sensory deprivation in Crawford, Texas, would make it among the best for most people.

Never mind.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Today is our eleventh anniversary.

We are preparing for a trip to Mobile, Alabama, to attend a condo association meeting where people will be asking interesting questions like, "Why is my roof not secure against rain four months after the hurricane?"

"Why is security so lax that someone could park a truck in front of a first floor unit and steal everything but the water heater?"

After the meeting, we'll drive on to a room in Foley, then to the beach to take a good look at our place. This will be our first visit since the storm.

Such pictures as we have seen of our unit show no damage at all. Count us among the fortunate.

We are leaving Lucy behind this trip. Her big brother Michael is coming up to look after her. This will be the first time we have left her with anyone other than Debra and Craig. In the past year or so, Lucy has taken to both boys, so she'll be okay.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I like life fine in Vidalia, but this comes as a surprise. What are the criteria?

I hope that they didn't confuse us with Vidalia, Georgia. No, we don't grow onions.

(That's our city flag up there.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Betsy Newmark has a post here pointing to an article from the New York Times about Laura Bush's style for the upcoming inauguration.

The article says that Ms. Bush has slimmed down to a size 6.

This leads me to believe that it is time for me to go dress shopping at more expensive stores. Geez, I might be down to a 4 or a 2.

Some time back, Gentleman Fritz suggested that ladies who sought to lose a dress size or two should take a second job, save all those paychecks, and buy a new wardrobe. He guaranteed they'd be down at least one size.

UPDATE: To read this post properly, you might need to know that I started sewing in the '60s. According to the patterns in that era, when I was sixteen in 1973, weighing less than I do now, I wore a 10. When I last bought a decent dress in 1991, a little heavier than I am now, I wore an eight.

None of this is a big deal, except that I have no idea of what size to order from a catalog, or what size pattern to buy if I'd like to sew again.

It has been warm lately.

Our kitchen sink is below a window that opens to the front yard. Yesterday, I was at the sink concentrating on scrubbing parts to our rangetop.

A nearby voice said, "Hey! How are you doing today?"

Surprised, I looked up to see the postman crossing the yard, heading for our mailbox on the front porch.

"Hey, I'm fine. How are you?"


Then he was gone. How '50s.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Craig Johnson tells us that a little girl like Lucy has gone to live in the north.

Here's a funny quote from the new owner's note:
The other birds really looked long and hard at her - then Mango (our Senegal) said "Pretty Bird" for the first time ever!

Something that would be unlikely to come up in Dallas is research on how to interpret the whistle signals of the tug that Lyman heard this early morning.

As he heard it, the boat was moving slowly and blowing a succession of one prolonged then two short blasts.

The international rule of navigation reads this way:
Rule 35 Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility

In or near an area of restricted visibility, whether by day or night, the signals prescribed in this Rule shall be used as follows.

(a) A power-driven vessel making way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes one prolonged blast.
(b) A power-driven vessel underway, but stopped and making no way through the water, shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes two prolonged blasts in succession with an interval of about 2 seconds between them.
(c) A vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver, a vessel constrained by her draft, a sailing vessel, a vessel engaged in fishing and a vessel engaged in towing or pushing another vessel shall, instead of the signals prescribed in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this Rule, sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes three blasts in succession, namely one prolonged followed by two short blasts.
When I woke at seven this morning, the weather channel reported that the whole area was foggy.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

We watched part of the "Purina Incredible Dog Challenge" National Championships today. This was a broadcast of events held in October.

The great upset was the border collie who jumped a record 28 feet in the diving trials, beating rival Labrador and other retrievers. Cappucino caught the frisbee thrown to lead him.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Betsy Newmark points to a weird and touching story here about a baby hippopotamus bonding with a male tortoise after being traumatized by the tsunami.

Here is the story with a picture.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I went to Nancy for a haircut this morning. Lyman went yesterday.

When I called yesterday, I thought, "What will Lyman do if something has happened to her over the holidays? No one else has touched a hair on his head for twenty years."

He became her customer just after she graduated from beauty school.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Thanks a lot, Mr. Bennett. Here we are two weeks in and you tell us. I gave what I could to American Red Cross.

(How's that for complaining about service?)
Well, don't that beat all.

Lucy is particular about who she perches on. She cares not a whit for women other than me (besides Debra), and her preference runs to young men. She did take up immediately with the retired school principal-housepainter when he visited.

Our neighbor next door is a retired dentist a year or two older than I. He dropped by a few minutes ago. He extended a finger to pet her and she stepped onto it and walked right up his arm to his shoulder and perched there. She seemed content to stay there all day.

Most people in this town consider him a sweet man. Apparently Lucy does, too.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Lyman asks, "Did Oklahoma bet on this game?"
Smiley Anders' column in the Baton Rouge Advocate has an interesting bit in light of recent Christmas purchases:
John Sykes of our newspaper library ("Don't call it a morgue!") found a 1964 photo that raises some questions.

It shows Rep. William Bernhard on what appears to be a tiny surf board on wheels.

He was "scurfing" on a new 8-foot-wide, 400-foot-long concrete strip installed by BREC "to provide local youngsters with a safe place in participate in the new fad."

The legislator "gave the 'scurf board' a try at the dedication of the scurfing ramp."

John wonders if there are still folks around who engaged in this early version of skateboarding and/or in-line skating.
The Winter Wonderland light display on the river was a success, the Natchez Democrat reports.

We drove through with Lucy on New Year's evening. It was pretty and festive, and would have been great fun with a carload of children.

That trip was the last straw for Lucy. When we came home, she went into one of her "arrested" states. She didn't twitch a feather or bat an eyelid for about 5 minutes.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A little note for Terry here.

Gone South is a tiny blog. I do have a Technorati profile, which generally runs about 50 references. I don't want more. This is an online writing and community endeavor. I like being able to talk about things and make friends, make a point when I can, and keep a finger on the pulse of a new journalistic trend. Yes, chilluns, I am a journalism graduate from SMU in 1988, after a 2-1/2 year career as a biology major at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, exhausted in 1977.

Blogs are a'comin', as shown by Jeff Jarvis here.

When Michael came into town on Dec 22, he went to a local watering hole in Natchez -- Andrew's. It's a good little bar, and if you ever visit, stop in, if for nothing more than a tonic and lime. Lyman and I haven't been there in something like four years.

A woman he met there, an '81 high school grad, reads this blog.

"She has a bird named Lucy, right?"

Your lack of attention, if it exists, will be short-lived.

And come on out of the woodwork, lurker. Say "hey."
Lemme try this: war eagle. War eagle. War Eagle. WAR EAGLE!

That don't roll right.

Go Tigers!
Nothing like something new for the new year.

Today I was able to clip the tips of Lucy's four front toenails with a nailclipper. Yay for Lucy!

I have no idea about how to get at the back ones. Debra?
But that was last year, wasn't it?

This is good news, via Mickey Kaus.

I suppose it can't be pleasant having people hanging about the front of your building bird-watching all the time, but even exclusive addresses have their inconveniences. Would Mr. Cohen have considered evicting Jackie Onassis had she lived there?

Lucy needs work to become a gracious hostess.

"Rawwwkkk" is an unacceptable response to a little tension during intense food preparation, appropriate as it might be. Non-ending "rawwwkkks" when one is weary of company are also unacceptable.

Unfortunately, I think these responses are the result of being emotionally bonded to her primary caregiver: me.

When Michael loaded my car to return to Baton Rouge Tuesday, Jason wasn't feeling well, so he stayed behind. He spent most of the rest of the week on the sofa with the television tuned in to something or other, even when he was asleep.

Since Jason was here, there were endless phone calls from friends and visits from the grandparents.

Michael returned with my car on Thursday night, and they finally left at 5 on Friday afternoon.

By then, Lucy was throwing fits, with grandma saying to her, "Lucy just wants everybody to go home, doesn't she? She's tired of all these people, isn't she?"

"Rawwwkkkk! Rawwwwkkkk! Rawwwwwkkkkkk!"

Grandma would then sit down at the bar and begin telling the story of the talking parrot that she knew as a child for the tenth time this week.

Lucy was counting on bye-byes Tuesday.

So was I.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Are others having problems accessing blogspot blogs today?

Saturday, January 01, 2005

One resolution I vow to keep this year is to find and remember all the rules for punctuating quotes, uses of double quotes and uses of single quotes.

Help is welcome.

UPDATE: This site looks good, in addition to the Strunk site Fritz Schranck mentions below.
Happy new year, y'all.

UPDATE: Lyman roused me from a doze to see the new year in. I have been reading William Hepworth Dixon's Her Majesty's Tower. Lyman and I visited the tower several years ago. I spent the last few moments of 2004 thinking about how small Henry VIII's armor looked.

Lyman said, "Yep. Me and Shaq could have taken Europe back then."