Friday, December 21, 2007

Article tomorrow

That is all.

Oh, and this:

Thursday, December 20, 2007


A woman is tended to by other protesters after she was tasered during demostrations outside City Hall.

Okay, maybe it's just me, but....why is this woman not in custody? She apparently did something worthy of being tased (bro), but is being tended to by random protesters? It's unfathomable to think the NOPD would allow civilians to aid an arrestee. What is the SOP for use of a taser? I find it hard to imagine a circumstance where the police can use (potentially) deadly force, and just walk away without making an arrest. Huh?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Generously, the TP has provided a poster "welfare queen" for the pro-project-demolition people. I mean, you just can't make stuff like this up.

Sharon Jasper sits in the living room of her voucher-backed private residence. "I might be poor but I don't like to live poor. I thank God for a place to live but it's pitiful what people give you.

She goes on to say that she'd probably fare better in a tent in Duncan Plaza. After all, she complained of "missing window screens, a slow leak in a sink, a warped back door and a few other details of a residence that otherwise appeared to have been recently renovated."

Friday, December 14, 2007


On a lark, I decided to finally compare New Orleans' murder rate with those of other places. I'm assuming New Orleans (proper) has 450,000 people. This is a slight overestimation by most accounts that are credible. There have been 209 murders this year (so far). That equates to a murder rate of 46.4 per 100,000. Murder rates are used to approximate overall crime because they can't be easily downgraded or classified as something else, as the NOPD has a storied history of doing.

Anyway, here's are some cities with which to compare New Orleans. I used 2006 FBI data and I imagine the crime rates of most major cities haven't had significant reason to drop or increase least in a year's time.

New York City - 13.6
Chicago - 16.4
Camden, NJ - 40
Newark, NJ - 37.5
Gary, IN - 48
Detroit, MI - 47.5
Los Angles, CA - 12.4
Houston, TX - 18.2
Washington, DC - 29.1
Baltimore, MD - 43.8 (Take THAT The Wire!)
Philadelphia, PA - 27.8

Of cities similar in size to New Orleans:

Atlanta, GA - 22.9
Fresno, CA - 11.8
Cleveland, OH - 16.6
Kansas City, MO - 25
Omaha, NE - 8
Oakland, CA - 36.4
Baton Rouge - 27.1 (assuming 210,000 2006 population)

Watch out Detroit! We've got your number!

Think about this: According to the NOPD, you don't have to worry about getting murdered if your'e not a young, black, drug-dealing male. What do you think the overall population of those are in Orleans Parish? Certainly not all 450,000 of us, as I know that Kayla and I don't match that description (I'm not black..ha ha). So, half? That brings the rate up to over 90. A quarter? 180? What's the murder rate per capita in Baghdad? No, really. What is it? I can't find anything that's not from newsmax or Fox News.

You'd think instead of the bitching about public housing (where, incidentally there are over 500 properties (PDF) currently available for section 8 tenants), we'd be focused on this.

Anyway, back to work.


It's interesting that the campus remains open. I wonder if two sorority girls had been murdered in their east campus apartment, it would still be.

It is reassuring to know, however, that the LSU spokesperson is capable of NOPD-level inanity.

"Police actually think it was a straight home invasion and not a concern to the rest of the campus," said Kristine Calongne, a university spokeswoman.

Phew, I was about to get worried there.

In other news, our hot water heater quit working this morning and Kayla had to take her second cold water shower. The first was when we realized we were completely out of propane at 10:30 at night. I fortunately have the gym, usually. This no-tub thing is getting old fast. The trailer maintenance guy is supposed to come today to fix it. We'll see.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


BB lounging in her private dog park.

Also, from, your federal tax dollars at work, The End:

Online Videos by

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Excuses, excuses...

No posts lately as Kayla and I are in the process of moving back into the not-yet-finished house. We'll be camping out in a couple of rooms and hoping to get the tub working soon. We even have a toilet now, so bully for us!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's after thanksgiving, so BB can get festive!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Forgetful Jones had Alzheimers.

I'm typically one who gets a little peeved at people who pine nostalgic and dismissively say that back in the day kids were freer. As in, free to eat lead paint and to stick their tiny hands in gears of the loom. Well, perhaps that's overstated, but I hope you get the point. Maybe lawn darts weren't such a good idea.

Well, perhaps it's all come too far now. Apparently, old skool sesame street is a little too risque for today's preschool set. I mean, Oscar isn't the same if he isn't the asshole curmudgeon who lives in a fucking trash can.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I went to the "Thank You" party put on by Hizzoner yesterday evening on my way to the gym. It appeared to be a event that was supposed to get locals to come downtown after work to get some free food. What it turned out to be was a photo opportunity for said pol and free food for confused tourists and homeless people who had wandered over from Duncan Plaza.

What struck me was that as I walked down the sidewalk, I saw hizzoner himself. And instead of feeling any amount of thrill that, hey, there's the mayor, or hey, there's a famous person. All I felt was utter contempt. I actually wanted to go smack that race-bating, opportunist, corrupt, walking embarassment in the back of his shiny head. I guess what's surprising is that I've always been one to revere political institutions. Feeling this level of distrust for the government is something new. Perhaps I should move to Idaho.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Interesting Road Home Article

From an attorney-blogger, his experiences with the Road Homeless. Oddly familiar.

Quote of the week:

Depending on the government in Louisiana to help you is like Charlie Brown thinking that Lucy is going to let him kick the football.

Monday, November 12, 2007


In honor of the Tigers' BCS's a family picture.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fight, Fight, Fight

The floors continue toward their renovation. I think the stain goes on today.

Here's a link to the alumni web page of my dear old high school. It's sad to see that what was in pretty bad shape 10 years ago, has gotten progressively worse. Mind you, this is the "flagship" school of East Baton Rouge Parish, and has historically been one of the highest performing schools in the state.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I am so sick of seeing this guy EVERYWHERE.

Broadmoor neighbor's blog entry from today.

Cuttin' and pastin'

A quick update. The floors have been started, and we picked a stain last night. I'm really excited because I think the floors are going to look fantastic. The floor guy, who is REALLY into wood floors, is pretty impressed with the state of our floor after the flood. I'll post pictures of it as soon as it's ready.

I haven't had much time at home to upload pictures from the trip, but I promise I will still do so. In the meantime....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More pictures

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Picture update

Better than "The Play"

Only in Division III....

Note the scoreboard at the beginning of the video, and the technical perfection of the ensuing play.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Check out the modern luxuries!

Sent on the go from my Sprint Q

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dobry Den!

We're back! Hooray! Well, maybe not so much, but at least we have The Beeb to welcome us. We had a great time touring and visiting "The Europeans" (and Kris, Rhoda, Takesh, and Brenda...I wouldn't make the mistake of calling you Euros :) Welcome y'all! I'll be posting pictures soon, perhaps one a day? Check back later today and I may have even posted one.

I tried to post whilst away, but the instructions for blogger came up in Hungarian only. That was something of a problem for me.

We have walls up in the downstairs now, and they are awaiting paint. We're still waiting to find out when the floors will start their rehabbing, but things (for now) appear to be falling into place. I can start putting in recepticles in the walls upstairs in the painted rooms (thanks mom n' dad), and temporary lights. I also just found out there's no reason we can't run our HVAC, so we're one step closer to habitability. Before you know it, we'll even have a terlit and a zink!

It was reassuring to see that Louisiana continued its downward spiral while we were gone. But hey, the Saints won twice!

Monday, October 8, 2007


We leave on our vacation tomorrow, so likely no posts for awhile (as if that's somehow different than normal). Our first vacation in about a year, I think it's well-deserved. We may even come back.

In any event, I will leave you with why USC is evil.

"Leading 9-0, the Trojans were booed off the field at halftime."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Obligatory Topical Post

Here's my take on the "Jena 6." At first I was thinking, hey, what's the big deal? While charging them with attempted second degree murder is excessive (although not without precedent), it's not like any of them should be let loose. C'mon, it was a 6-on-1 beatdown, and the one defendant to go to trial had prior violent offenses on his record...certainly no angel. Moreover, while putting nooses in the "White Tree" is reprehensible, it's not *really* a crime, other than leading one to the conclusion that the tortfeasors morally deserved an ass-kicking.

However, upon learning that his 6 member all-white (but then, with a rural parish with 15% minority population, that's not shocking, or trial court error) petit jury had as members "the mother of one of the prosecution witnesses, and a good friend of [the victim's] mother," I had to throw the penalty flag.

Bad, bad district court judge. No! Try again. The court of appeal was correct to overturn the conviction because he shouldn't have been tried as an adult (due to procedural trickery on the part of the DA), and because of the aforesaid jury composition. It's a no brainer that the jury was unfairly composed. No amount of argument could justify either of those two members.

If you really want to examine inequity in sentencing, look at the difference in the federal guidelines for crack vs. powder cocaine.


And there's my expert opinion.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Short post, again.

The wiring project on the house is nearing completion. I think I've got one or two full days left and I'm done with what I'm doing. Hooray! There's still a good bit of work left before walls can go up, but we're getting there slowly but surely.

Here's a fascinating blog post about political corruption. Kinda makes you want to run for Congress.

I'm sick again, so the Middle Tennessee game is going to be a bit rough. Hopefully it will be a blowout early and we can get back on the road to NO early.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The plain truth.

Why dogs are better than cats.

Thanks to the old man for passing that along.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I know, I know.

Bad blogger. Anyway, football season has already begun taking a toll on my productivity on this thing. I do promise to address more stupid questions or assumptions. I tend to get rather aggitated when thinking about them, so I need plenty of time between to cool down and not punch something/someone.

Going to the LSU game tomorrow, and I am quite excited. It's not great that the game doesn't start until 8:15, but what can you do? We're in the same seats we've been in for the last couple years, so I guess we'll get to see some familiar faces. Tailgating at the usual spot for the band's passing!

Also, we're a small part of an article in the usual spot this week.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Snappy answers to stupid questions, Part the First

I frequently make the mistake of reading the comments on newspaper articles featuring New Orleans. They never fail to get me unbelievably pissed off. So, I endeavor to compile a list of the stupid statements and the concomitant rational responses. I know, I know, spitting in the wind.

1) New Orleans is a bowl below sea level, thus it is "stupid" to rebuild in such a location.

First, New Orleans is not a bowl, but as I've seen described recently, is instead a cafeteria tray with different compartments.

The neighborhood in which we leave, Broadmoor, was created in the late 1910's by the draining of "Redfish Pond." People building houses in this new development knew this, and thus they built their homes fairly well elevated, or as raised basements with the living space on the second story. Our house, built in 1925, had never flooded, even during the previous benchmark 1995 flood.
Further, there is often a conflation of "flood plain" and "sea level" by the dipshits who are fond of conclusory statements. The White House is built on a flood plain. Much of the midwest lies in flood plains. The only difference is the amount of time the water stays in the house once it floods, not if it will flood. The residents of Coffeyville, KS, found this out the hard way.

Moreover, Manhattan is an island, much of which is not far above sea level and thus not out of danger of severe storm surge should that COASTAL city be hit by a hurricane. Just search here for "11 Wall Street." Why would anyone build the NYSE there?!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Still not OK

It seems to be the fashion amongst New Orleans bloggers to put this image on their updates for today. I am nothing if not trendy, so here it is.

Not much else to contribute today, really. While it is somewhat interesting to see all the "coverage" on the national networks, I know it's all fleeting, and will increasingly become more so. Hell, the Today show didn't get to us until 17 minutes in, after the daily Republican-senator-anonymous-gay-sex story.

Kayla wanted me to thank everyone who has helped us out in some way over the last two years. Really, if not for the kindness of friends, family, and strangers (and The Beeb), I'm not sure how we would have made it this "far." We certainly have it better than many in that we didn't lose anyone close to us and don't HAVE to live in the FEMA trailer (yet).

I fully intend to start writing some episodes of the last two years, perhaps even soon. I still haven't seen any books or articles about the daily experiences of "regular" people. All I've seen are books by experts and insiders about their take on big official things. I haven't seen anything about having to rush from work to grab some Popeyes with all the contractors, FEMA employees, and national guard before 6pm because that's all there is, and how when the cable goes out in your unintentionally extended stay hotel you're stuck watching the hotel/tourist channel that blathers on about fancy hats because that's the only thing you can pick up with the rabbit ears you bought for your hotel TV and the guy Kayla met at the ice machine who has a totally vacant look in his eyes as he, sua sponte, tells you about his 14 year old son that drowned in the flood because his mother didn't want him evacuating with his father, and then the shame when you realize you automaticaly assumed he was telling you this because he wanted something, but then realize that no, it really happened, and he was just telling you just to tell you because otherwise he's drinking alone in his hotel room. I can tell you I feel a closer bond to the poorer, (as Wolf Blitzer would say) Blacker, flooded, residents of this city than those whiny white bitches uptown.

Perhaps this is why I get homicidal when people start talking shit about those of us who still live here. It's an odd feeling. On the one hand, we're greatful to people like the PT department at Creighton in Nebraska (Go Huskers!) who gave K $500 and a Creighton sweatshirt. On the other, FUCK YOU AMERICA. Perhaps that why I was screaming (to the point of making a scene) at the typical religious nuts who came down for Mardi Gras 2006 holding the sign that intimated the flood was our fault. I guess Katrina just exposed the extremes of humanity...the altruistic good of the Houston-based lawyer who donated our demand water heater to us, and the abject inhuman evil of contractors and insurance companies. I can honestly say that I have positively no respect for anyone who works in insurance, and little for a contractor (Charlie and David excluded... to a degree. :) ).

Wow, this went on a bit longer than I thought it would. Back to work!

I am SO glad the Tigers play tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


You can see the K-ville pilot here.

My dad's in there somewhere as an extra.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good reads.

Check this's a good read for those who don't fully understand why we (among tens of thousands of others) are still out of our homes.

Also, I've a newfound respect for Chris Rose.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean

Track it here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bitch, bitch, bitch....

I am so sick of these Katrina people whining. It's never enough for them. GET OVER IT!!! IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS!!!!111oneeleventy!!

"Before it was, 'I'm just happy to be alive.' … Now they not only want to be alive, they want a house to live in."

Oh, and drywall is pretty much done on the second floor. Hooray.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Today is foam day. Months ago at the old apartment, the maintenance guy from the hotel across the street told us he is a licensed electrician and that he'd love to help us out when we could use it. Last week we asked him to come check out my work on the second floor to make sure it was ok to put in foam and walls.

Well, he came out yesterday afternoon, and was well impressed. He even said that he has a lot of work and could use some help. I'm not sure if that was hyperbole, but I'll pretend it wasn't. I may have him help me (or I help him) with the 1st floor work that remains. He also has a friend who has an HVAC license who can help get our 2nd floor AC going again. One that happens, it's almost like we'll have a livable house.

Minor setback with the upstairs bathroom floor. For some reason, Charlie's guy decided to put a mortar bed of over 1" down. As a result, the finished product was super wavy and uneven. Charlie had to rip it all up and do it over (at his suggestion, admittedly). Fortunately (?) he told me to get 160 sq ft of tile, when we only needed 80. As a result, we had twice as much as we needed, and thus had material on hand for him to redo the floor. It should be done today, and we can then put the newly refinished tub in, and hook it up to our mostly-fuctioning water heater. Walls, toilets, hot water, oh my!

Walls up tuesday. I can't believe it. We'll see if it actually happens.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Weekend Update

Article coming out this weekend. Keep an eye out.

Also, I love me some Suspect Device.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A big F you, Louisiana.

From today's T-P:

Still, documents and interviews with state and federal officials show the state knew or should have known from the start that even that increased allocation would never cover the program they promised back home.

I'm shocked, shocked, shocked, I tell you. The problem lies (lays?) in the fact that the RHP and the Feds severely misunderestimated how badly the insurance companies fucked homeowners. So, the insurance company bailout program (which of course didn't prevent them from jacking up rates anyway) didn't quite comprehend the depth of the pure evil of the aforementioned benefactees. To be clear, the intended recipients of aid have never been homeowners.

Also from the article:
Knecht, after months of frustration interactions with Road Home advisers, finally managed to get the ear of a top supervisor and told him he had shared his tale of woe with the newspaper. He suddenly got an e-mail Friday saying his appraisal would be accepted and that he could close on a grant within weeks. Though ecstatic, Knecht kept it in perspective. "For the average person who doesn't get to talk to the top people, I don't know if they could ever get their money," he said.

Gee. Sound familiar?

In other news, I think we may actually get to insulating the second floor this week. Hooray!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cold comfort.

I know, I know...haven't posted in awhile.

Only in New Orleans would the POLICE be saying this...

"I think people can take some comfort in knowing that it was a random act of violence. . ."

Monday, July 16, 2007

To see, to say.

I figured I'd take a short break from mind-numbingly dull voir dire transcript analysis to update this here blog o' mine.

As it appears, the 2nd floor wiring is pretty much run. The only thing left to do up there is to terminate a few connections so there will be a wall-outlet in each room, and install the ceiling fixtures. At least that part is less hard-labor intensive than actually running the stuff.
The plumbing and tile work should start soon. After an F-up on the tile store's part, we won't get started on tile until tomorrow, but at least we'll get started. I put a sample tile down on the floor and it looks like it's going to be pretty sharp once it's down. I'm anxious to see the 1" hex bathroom was hard to find, but I think what I got is exactly what we're looking for.

This weekend we also got the subfloor in the nook down with a little help. It's not the best looking subfloor ever, but it will hold up the bamboo planks well enough.
After reading numerous accounts of crime in our current temporary neighborhood, I'm looking forward to getting back into the house. We still don't know when that will be, but our lease runs out in a month. We may end up having to crash with someone for a few weeks while we get the house habitable enough. This will mean being away from The Beeb for a time, but it's for the greater good, right?

I've been told I should write a book about K and I's adventure since June 2005. I don't foresee myself having the time to do this anytime soon, but perhaps I can start writing episodes for the blog now to see if there's any interest (beyond the family... I'm not sure, but I think to publish a book you need to guarantee more than 15 copies will be sold). In any event, it certainly fun to guess who will play us in the movie version of the book.

That's all I've time for now, really. Is anyone interested in my take on the Orleans Parish criminal justice system? Feel free to's nice to know people actually read this.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's like Deja Vu all over again

Sorry I've been MIA. The wiring project and the Big Case have occupied 110% of my time. I did, however, have time to find this.

Eerie how familiar it is.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The $1000 Truck

Consider this the Beeb's car.

Sent on the go from my Sprint Q

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's not you, it's me.

It's not that I've lost interest in posting to the blog, but I've been at the house every night after work until about 10. After I get home, blogging is the last thing on my mind. As I'm pretty busy at work, I can't even abuse the internets like I want. This sucks! I'll try to post some pictures from the worksite soon.

Also, there'll be an article in the T-P this Saturday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Beeb's cousin?

Sent on the go from my Sprint Q


The foiling of the house is almost done, and wiring will soon commence. The foil is to serve as a radiant barrier that is supposed to cut down on cooling costs. This is good because we also now have our AC units installed. All they need now is power and we'll be living in climate controlled splendour again. Hooray!

Check out this interesting article.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quotable Quotes

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been working on the house and have no energy left by the time I get back to the apartment. Anywho, here's something I saw that is helping me keep going...

I’ll sleep next to my hammer drill if I have to. There’s a story in this house, and whether it happened over a hundred years ago, or it’s happening now, it has to keep being told. It’s New Orleans culture and I’m just a page in the book.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

They must be stupid.

Why would you place one of the world's largest and most important financial centers in a flood zone? That's just dumb. I just hope they don't expect a handout from the government, oh wait, they've already gotten one already.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Aww hawn hawn!

sent on the go because I am a very important person

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The deck and Charlie's dog

sent on the go because I am a very important person

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


The construction continues. Our deck is probably going to be finished shortly, and I will post pictures of it pretty soon. It ended up bigger in reality than we had envisioned it. It doesn't really dominate the yard, however, so I think it will work well. The electrical is up next, and we should be laying out the plan this week.

Also, here's some reading for you if you'd like to see Dollar Bill squirm. Again, I thank you JP west bank.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sunday morning at the park.

sent on the go because I am a very important person

Friday, June 1, 2007

Most is well.

Turns out it actually *was* an Entergy problem. I guess I'll send them the bill. We were able to spend last night in the apartment with AC and hot water. Hooray! The Beeb was a little more rambunctious that usual, but settled down and napped on the floor. I think she's starting to really get into a routine now, which is great because she was really starting to tax our patience. Well, as much as a dog that cute can.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

No, wait, it gets better.

Every other day isn't too bad, right?

Well, turns out the cheap-ass landlord's cheap-ass electrical wiring has given up the ghost. With the rolling brownouts starting last night, we spent the night with no AC in 88% humidity. Moreover, Kayla gets home at lunch and informs me EVERYTHING in the fridge is warm. Seems there isn't enough juice going through the lines to kick on the compressors of the AC or the fridge. The other appliances have been acting wonky as well, and the crazy landlord had better hope that my TV was not permanently affected by the low voltage.

So, they SWEAR it's Entergy's problem. Uh huh. So, they're waiting on Entergy to come out, who will tell them it's their problem. This will likely be 4 or 5 this afternoon (assuming for the best that it's still sometime today). As a result, they won't pay the extra to get an electrician out there today. I think we'd be lucky to have one tomorrow.

And this guy has the never to scream at me within the first 30 seconds of meeting me asking if I'm going to "complain about everything?"

This is why we pay a mortgage.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yay, short week!

Well, I suppose I've been a rather negligent blogger as of late, substituting pictures for actual content. Sadly, there isn't too much more to report. Charlie is getting finished with the work originally contracted for, and has submitted a bid for the next stage. He appears to be moving quite rapidly and effectively, so that's been a good thing.

Still no movement whatsoever on our battle with James Kim and CMC Construction, Inc. of Virginia.

Kayla and I are pretty much settled into the new apartment now. The holiday weekend was nice as we were able to take The Beeb to the dog park twice a day all three days. That resulted in a sleeping Beeb each night by around 8pm or so. She's a perfect dog when she's sleeping. I do have to admit, however, that she's settled down a lot in the last month or so. She's acting crazy less and less. Now, having said that, she'll have destroyed everything in her kennel when I get home.

We also are almost caught up on Lost. Just the season finale to go. We can't wait!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The balcony from whence The Beeb contemplates.

sent on the go because I am a very important person

The Beeb inspects Esplanade

sent on the go because I am a very important person

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


sent on the go because I am a very important person

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

sent on the go because I am a very important person

Mayoral vacancy?

New Orleans needs take-charge leadership like this!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Testing the blogger picture attachment tool!

sent on the go because I am a very important person

sent on the go because I am a very important person


We're pretty much done with the move now. The old apartment is vacant and clean, and we just have a bit more cleaning and organizing to do in the new place. While the new place is fairly musty and strangely decorated, it has a great balcony for evenings like we've been having. I know that they are short lived, but it's almost like vacation when we sit out there at night. Now, I have to get a bike so I can get to work without having to's a bit too far to walk, especially during the summer.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A hopeful metaphor for the city, in tree form.


sent on the go because I am a very important person


Still in the midst of moving. We officialy got the keys to the new apartment last night. It looks like it will work out pretty well, although we did get spoiled living in a brand-new place. Oh well, I guess it will make us appreciate our new house when (and if) we get there. I can't wait for all of this to be finished so I can just relax in the pool or on the balcony with The Beeb.

We also took pictures today for the Saturday paper. There's going to be an update on everything for our loyal reader. Charlie seems to be working out pretty well so far and is moving along rather rapidly. Still, we're months away from living there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Serial short posts

Wow, I'm sure I'm dissapointing all of my loyal readers by my dearth of posts lately. Between being busy on the weekend, and moving, I suppose it's starting to cut into my blogging time.

The good news, however, is that the State of Louisiana is no longer involved in our rebuilding process. We were surprised by our road home deposit yesterday and are now planning on how best to use it in addition to the remaining insurance to fix the house.

Charlie, the current contractor, is chugging along and anticipates finishing early. While the final product remains to be seen, it's looking fairly good so far. We're still very cautious, however, and are getting the work inspected as it happens.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I don't know how reliable this is, but it's an interesting thought nonetheless.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh, and another thing.

Where the angry comes from.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


pwned. Next thing you know these people will be asking for some kind of government handout. That's what you get when you build on a flood plain.

Still waiting...

for our direct deposit. I'm checking out the Esplanade apartment this afternoon. I figure if it doesn't smell like cat pee, we're in business.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

No shit.

I'm positively shocked.

Also, notice how much coverage of this we've seen? I guess they were just "finders."

Pay close attention to how this is treated by the press and the Feds. Is anyone blaming the victims for living in tornado alley? I just feel sorry for these people as they find out their insurance company doesn't have them in the good hands they believed in, they don't get the FEMA trailers promised, and the state runs out of money before they can be helped.

"This is one of the most devastating tornadoes we have had in Kansas," said U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran. At a shelter in neighboring Haviland, Cheryll Behm said her home in Greensburg is probably repairable, unlike the rest of the town. "I am concerned Greensburg never will be built," said Behm, a nurse's aide at the Greensburg hospital.

Now where would anyone get an idea like that?

Monday, May 7, 2007

All's quiet.

Another fun weekend in New Orleans. Saturday I went apartment hunting and think I may have found a winner. Between Craigslist and the article, we actually had two pretty good choices, both in Broadmoor. While we're sad to be leaving the French Quarter, we just couldn't find something that would work with the limited lease term and The Beeb. Oh well, we can always visit.

Other than that, not much to report. Jeez, I hope something exciting happens so I can blog about it!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Closing day

Big day yesterday. First I had to go to the bank to get our account information on Chase letterhead so we could get a direct deposit of our RHP money. They wanted to argue with me about it, saying that a regular page was just fine, and that's what the manager preferred and "it would be ok." This went back and forth until I had to bring out the, "I don't care what she prefers. This is what the RHP told me to bring to closing, and they're the ones with the money. I have fought them for seven months, and I'm not about to have closing fall through because YOU won't give me letterhead." I think I restrained myself rather well under the circumstances.

The closing itself was fast and easy. We showed up about 20 minutes early, and they took us about five minutes early. The signing of the documents took about 20 minutes, but most of that was our English-not-a-first-language person was scanning our drivers licenses and thumb prints. As we walked out, an attorney asked us if our signatures were ours, presumably so he could notarize it later. Uh, right. Very professional operation they have going. They tell us that we'll get our money in about five days. I don't believe it, but then, I won't until I see it in the account. Can you blame me?

I looked at one more apartment yesterday afternoon. It was in a pretty nice location, being on Esplanade right off Royal. It even had a pool. It was also $300 a month more than we're already paying and getting dangerously close to our mortgage payment. I refuse to pay in rent what we're already having to pay in a mortgage. The apartment I had intended to see vanished at the last minutes as the owner changed his mind about renting it. It seems like the good prospects are disappearing as get closer to them, almost as if they were mirages and we'll be living in our cars. I guess that's an overstatement. The Beeb would eat our cars if it ever came to that.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

C'mon, what else?

Today is allegedly the big day. Last night, however, when examining our closing documents I noticed an error in the legal description for the house. Seems as if someone moron at either the RHP or First American (each blames the other, natch) copy and pasted the wrong information. Instead of the tax bill number and legal description (LOT F, SQUARE Q, etc.) for our house, there are the details for some random house in Lakeview.

Now, while this mightn't be a problem for most, it could be for me. You see, the practice of law depends heavily on the public trust. As a result, the bar committee tends to frown on fraud. If I sign a witnessed document attesting to the veracity of something that I KNOW if false, I'm committing fraud. Ergo, this is a big deal to me, my unused license, and my student loans.

So, like a good citizen I called both the RHP and First American. Both blamed the other for the error, but swore that it "shouldn't be a problem." When asked what happens if we show up and it's still not fixed, nobody could tell me. Great. So, we go to closing (unless they call to cancel between now and then) hoping for the best. If you've been paying attention for the last seven months, you know how much sense that makes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I've always depended on the kindness of strangahs.

One of the interesting side-effects of the InsideOut articles are the unsolicited emails and letters we get from people: 1) wishing us luck; 2) offering an apartment; and 3) seeking the email addresses of the RHP people. In the apartment search the emails have almost restored my faith in humanity with the number of total strangers coming out of the woodwork to offer Kayla, The Beeb, and I somewhere to stay for three months. It seems that we now have an embarrassment of options. Even one of the photographers for the article (who we also share dog obedience classes with) has offered a place to stay. As bitter and negative as one could become from the aforementioned trees of woe, it helps to have these random acts of kindness to prop ourselves up on.

Charlie is demolishing away, and I look forward to going to the house tonight to see what's left. Hopefully we can get to the structure soon!

Also, check out this article. This is unsurprising both in the fact that it happened, and in the fact that no one really seems to care. Not only are they so shameless as to deliever defective goods that people are trusting their lives to, but they figure they can cut-and-paste, typos and all, and nobody will notice. Sad thing is, even when U.S. Senators notice, nothing happens to these people. But I guess even when you kill more Americans than any time since the Civil War and there are no consequences, you can't expect a pump contract to generate much interest.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, sorry for the lack of updates. I guess I tend to take the weekends off as I'm not usually near a computer long enough to type much. Strange, the changes in lifestyle one goes through when one gets a high maintenance dog.

Kayla and I went to JazzFest on Saturday and had a great time. I say "great" because: a) our tickets were free; and b) we had access to the Shell VIP area via our Broadmoor particiapation. Let me tell you, free food, the draft on cable, air conditioning, and an open bar go a long way towards making JazzFest Awe. Some. As evil as Shell is, and as much of the coastal wetlands as they've destroyed through saltwater intrusion, they know how to throw a party.

Still no luck on the apartment front, but we may have a couple leads. Hopefully one of them will turn out well. 20 days and counting!

In a major RHP development, we got called on Friday to schedule our closing appointment. Supposedly at 2:15 Thursday, we're going to close on our RHP grant and two weeks hence it will be sitting in our bank account. I'll believe it when I see it, but it would take some creativity on their part to screw it up now. Of course, I don't put it past them in the least.

Finally, if you're in the area, or lived here pre-K, please take this survey. You never know when you'll need data!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Of nice emails and bad smells.

We got an email passed on to us from Stephanie Bruno, the writer of our InsideOut series. Apparently, the mother of a former owner caught the article and has been following our progress. It was kind of neat to see that even a former owner of the house still feels some connection to it. We invited her for a tour, hope she likes what we've done (or rather, will do) with the place!

Charlie is supposed to start today, but we'll see if that actually happens. At this point, finding another place to live is the priority. I toured the French Quarter candidate yesterday, and was optimistic. Unfortunately, the place smelled a bit too "cat pee" for my tastes. You may know how Kayla and I feel about cat pee. My dog park mafia associate said he had some other places that might work out, so I'll keep on it.

The horrible dumpster in front of Walter's house got moved, we're wondering who did it. Ah, the little mysteries that make life interesting, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another day.

Well, Charlie & Co. are supposed to start tomorrow. We have the second floor cleaned out completely now, so we don't have to fool with the house for awhile. In perhaps a month we'll have a better idea of what steps are next, and maybe we'll even have our Road Home money by then...har har.

Short post today, but there really isn't much to update with. We may have a lead on an apartment in the French Quarter and a house in Broadmoor...I'll know more later today. I'm not sure, if we have the choice of either, which we'd pick. I mean, life in the FQ is pretty nice, and the apartment is right next door to the dog park. Pretty nice for The Beeb! On the other hand, a three bedroom house would be pretty nice too! We'll see.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays

Another busy weekend, and another T-P article. Whilst Kayla studied, I took The Beeb to doggie class on Saturday (she just loves doing agility stuff...she can't do it fast enough), and started cleaning out the second floor in anticipation of work beginning Wednesday. With some help from Jonathan O, and Neilsey (or Jorge, his laborer name), the second floor is pretty much taken care of. We were able to pretty much fill up a 5x10' storage unit with just our leftover crap. I shudder to think what we'd have to do if we can't find another place to rent in less than a month. I suppose get a bigger storage unit.

I ended up having to throw out a perfectly good MDF Wal-Mart desk that I had put together for Kayla a couple years ago. At first I was bothered about doing so, when I realized we had thrown out much nicer stuff after the storm. What's a $75 Wal-Mart desk? So, out the second floor window it went.

The Beeb has a date with the vet this afternoon to check up on her formerly broken toe. This works out kind of well because she gets all doped up and is chill for the rest of the day. She's so much nicer when she's sleepy and not biting us.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good news, bad news

We got an email from the landlady yesterday informing us she had good news and bad news. The good news was that she had talked to the Sewer and Water Board and they had fixed the water bill she had disputed. Phew! Oh, and the bad news (for us, anyway), is that the apartment is under contract and we have to be out by May 19th. Oh, and there will still be random, with little to no forewarning, showings, so keep it tidy! So, now we're back to finding a place to live while the house is worked on. Good luck finding a short-term lease that will allow The Beeb (although, how could you not want a dog as cute as her hanging around?). Hey, what's one more thing, right? I'm starting to feel like Giles Corey ("more weight!"). Bet you didn't expect an Arthur Miller reference this morning, did you?

In other news, on the way to our cars this morning, some drunk asshole hits me as I'm giving his friend directions to a FQ bar that's open at 8:00a.m. Turns out he thought I was "pointing" at him when I was directing them back toward Bourbon. K and I were unharmed, 911 was called, and said asshole will at least spend a few hours at OPP, and perhaps even get one of the world famous baloney sandwiches. One of the arresting officers called me to tell me that the defendant is going to Iraq tomorrow and his girlfriend had left him (gee, I wonder why?). While if true that sucks, perhaps I'm crazy in thinking that doesn't give him license to cold-cock me out of nowhere? Oh, right, try to make *me* feel bad because I called the cops on a drunk tourist who, unprovoked, assaulted a local. Why else would this guy (or the cop) relate all this information but for trying to make everyone feel bad for poor him. It's discouraging to see the NOPD spouting the same well-I-have-an-excuse-for-being-a-shitbag reasoning I read from pro se inmates every day. Except it's supposed to somehow be different when it's a black purse-snatching crack addict. Not as much tolerance there, right? According to his friend, this gentleman had been an asshole and starting shit all night.

Yesterday I also had a strange conversation with a guy a Broadmoor neighbor had called me about. Apparently, two guys were walking around the house, taking pictures, and banging on the trailer door. Allegedly they are appraisers for the Road Home, and they are re-appraising our house. When I told him the RHP has done this TWICE already, he told me those were just unqualified adjusters. Since January 2007, ICF is now hiring appraisers to reevaluate houses because the previous ones had been low. Now, we're both happy with our award as is. I don't see this turning out well, but I hope I'm wrong.

To end on a positive note, The Beeb is feeling much better and went to the dog park for the first time in a month. I think she's grown in that time because she seems bigger than some of the other "regulars." She played and had a gay old time, but got tired quickly because she's a little out-of-shape now. We better cut back on the treats!

You know, if you're new to the blog and/or us, you may think I'm nothing but doom and gloom. Lately, you'd be right. Good stuff does happen to us, really it does. We recognize it when it happens and appreciate it (The Beeb being a prime example). It's just hard to stay upbeat when life has been a harder-than-average slog for what's approaching two years. I've always been something of an Eeyore, but Kayla is becomming less Tigger-ish. Hopefuly we can get this turned around.

Who says I'm ALL doom and gloom.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My soapbox.

In a non-rebuilding related rant, our hero self-absorbedly blogs about current events.

I tend to agree showing the VT shooter video this soon is pointless at best, and ghoulish at worst (assuming anyone cares what I agree with). While NBC's justification was to show it to "help prevent future horrors" by letting people "see the warning signs," I can't see how that, or any other, positive purpose is served here. I mean, the guy was bat-shit crazy. There's no real insight into the pathology of the "dark loner" in an unfiltered, psychotic rant against "the rich people" and women. If you saw this guy on the street doing this, you'd pretty much figure to stay the hell away from him. The trick is that these folks don't do this stuff in public, and it's only after the shooting rampage does anyone discover these videos. Moreover, for 33 families, this is probably the most disrespectful thing any network could do. They fake a good game about being somber and solemn with their sad music introing the Today show..but c'mon. Stop assuming all of us are that stupid.

What showing the video does do, however, is serve as another scathing indictment against the VT campus police, and building/campus security in general. This guy had time to stop at the campus post office and send this stuff *between* bloodbaths? Moreover, an email blast? Really, was that the best they could do? Sadly, probably so. Lemme get on my preparedness soapbox for second. If a crazed shooter walked into your building or place of employment right now, is there any way for you to find out what's going on without having to see or hear it yourself? Probably not. As much as I detest the IT department here, one nice feature of our super fancy digital phones is the ability to broadcast over the speakerphone part. Now, do they have protocols in place to use it as a warning device? I'd doubt it. Still, it's nice to think the capability is there. That's why I guess we need to get the Broadmoor SMS system up and running...the emergency preparedness committee better get on that. Oh, wait, that's right....

UPDATE: Wow, this is pretty spectacular.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another day.

Not much to report today, really. Look for another article in the T-P this weekend, with a photo even. The reporter saw the blog and that we got our letter and thought an update was in order. This is also the case because we signed with contractor #2 yesterday. He's supposed to start next week, so we have to finish clearing out the second floor of everything remaining. He's going to have to take out a good bit of drywall in order to inspect the structural damage caused by the gross negligence of James Kim and CMC Construction, Inc.

Kayla and I also spoke with a playright last night who is doing background for a play she's writing about New Orleanians and their Katrina experiences. I'll keep everyone posted as to how that's coming along and when you can start lining up at the TKTS in New York.
We were planning on going to the Wednesday at the Square this afternoon, but I won't be able to because of a Broadmoor meeting I forgot about. As Super Secretary of the BDC, I kind of have to go to these, especially since I found out about it in January. Oh well, there will be other Wednesdays and other batches of fried pickles.

You know, I haven't included a non-sequitur picture of The Beeb in, why not?

This is her, "I'm about to be very, very bad" face.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm SOOOOO relieved

Thank goodness Warren Riley is finally going to stop the rampant crime in this city by putting the stretched police force where it's needed. I can rest easy now.

In other news, the decider is showing his support. It's great to see he will make the command decision to quickly interact with Americans who, in a time of great distress, need him.

Oh, wait. Never mind.

As a side note, I stumbled across this picture whilst perusing Google images. Nice.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The novelty has not yet worn off...

Greetings all. A pretty good and productive weekend was had by Kayla and I. We took The Beeb to her first intermediate obedience class, and she did pretty well. We found out it also has some elements of agility training, which she took to super quick. It also served to get her pretty tired out for the rest of the weekend. We did FQF for most of Sunday, and got a little sun in the process. The Beeb enjoyed it as well, and got scads of attention, just like she likes. If only the weather stayed that nice all the time.

Also, on Saturday we saw on our porch a letter-sized FedEx package. Wouldn’t you know, we got our magical "golden ticket." Now, all we have to do is fill it out, mail it back, and wait another few months to hear about closing. Hooray! At least with this stage, I have the phone number and email address of someone in "constituent services" to keep an eye on. Hopefully that may help. It's getting mailed off today, so wish us luck!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hooray for Friday

Short post today as it's really nice outside and FQF is going on. The RHP has promised they're FedExing me our options letter (but didn't say when we'd get it), and they've faxed an "unoffiicial" copy yesterday. The number are the same as they were in December, so what the resolutions team person told me about them being "adjusted" and that same was the cause of the delay was yet another lie. I'm shocked. Looking up prices for Rangiroa now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What really matters.

As far as the LRA goes, when it comes right down to it, as long as I don't become this guy, I'm doing ok.

Faxed off the stupid forms to the road home people yesterday I expect the money to be deposited by 3pm today. Everyone needs to let us know how much vanilla and how many black pearls they want us to send them back from the Tuamotus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I sent this email to the Road Home higher-ups, as well as my state senator and representative. I tried to find Aunt Kathy's email, but couldn't get ahold of it.

To whom it might concern:

My name is Adolph Voigt, and my applicant ID is listed above in the subject line. I have had an ongoing nightmare trying to get my Road Home options letter than has led me to this point. This is my last communication to the Road Home Program (RHP) until (or, more to the point, if) I get some form of response. While my story has been detailed to some degree in the Times Picayune, (e.g., I figure it would be worthwhile to give you a relatively brief run down.

I applied for the program in August 2006. My intake interview was around Oct. 12, and my first inspection was 10 business days later. My options letter went to "generated" in the last few days of November, presumably to coincide with the Governor's decree that ICF put out 10,000 letters by the end of the month. A week or so later, I was informed by someone in the Benefits department that the letter was going out "that day." I was also told what my award would be. I am happy with my award, and I only wish to go to closing. Shortly after the call to benefits, I was contacted by a "quality control" inspector who met me at my house two days later to reinspect my house. This all happened by mid-December.

In early January 2007, I emailed the Road Home inquiry email address seeking information. The response I got was solely concerned with finding out who told me my award, not with actually helping me.

After many unsuccessful phone attempts to find out what happened to my letter, I was unwittingly transferred to the resolutions team who theretofore I had been told could only be reached by mail. I was informed by "George" at the end of January that he would send a request to a case manager to resolve the issue. Later in February, that same process was repeated by another resolutions team member. At the end of February I spoke with a floor supervisor named Patricia. She told me that the letter would be mailed out in the next mass mailing, and that if I hadn't received it by 3/15 to call back. I was calling resolutions with such regularity, many
operators now remember me when I call.

The TP ran the Road Home article at the beginning of March. Shortly thereafter two people representing themselves as employees of ICF and First American Mortgage sought to contact me. One left a note on our door with a email address
and another called my grandfather, who shares my name. One would imagine that people with the RHP would be able to retrieve my phone number, so I suspect these people were impostors. However, in the event they weren't, I'll happily concede that perhaps the RHP made a half-hearted attempt to reach me.

In any event, call back I did on 3/17 where I was informed by a resolutions team member that Patricia could have told me no such thing as resolutions did not know when mailings were going out. After several unreturned messages to Patricia, I eventually spoke with her again. At that time she told me that my award had just been recalculated on 3/16, that a letter had been printed on 3/17, and that it would be going out in the next mass mailing. If I did not receive it by 4/2, give her a call back.
Call back I did on 4/9/07 where I was again informed by another floor supervisor that Patricia "couldn't have told me that" because she didn't have access to that information. Again I was made to feel like I was making all of this up. I was told to "stop opening case manager requests" (to my knowledge I have tried, at the suggestion of the operators, to open three), and was told that Patricia would be calling me back. My phone has not yet rung with her call.

Despite the worst the insurance company, thieving contractors, and the city of New Orleans could throw at me, I kept my chin up. I did not want to become a "bitter old crank" at 29. Sadly, it is the Road Home that has sent me off the deep end.

Most galling is not the "Remember, Louisiana wants you to come home," not the unveiled condescension from the resolutions team when I merely repeat what "Patricia" had told me because it is *I* who must be lying, not the fact that I am paying rent and a mortgage because I cannot live in my house, not that I have been repeatedly lied to, not that I know people who started long after I and are now scheduled for closing, and not even the repeated promises of closings and award letters I see nightly on the news. What is worst is that through this entire process I have not been given the respect owed a human being. I am merely another case file to be passed on to someone else. A co-worker found some amount of progress by emailing you. I am not so optimistic. So disgusted by this process am I, I am
doing this to ensure completeness and perhaps help others caught in a RHP no-man's-land. I just want my options letter so I can wait a few more months before I can go to closing.


Adolph "06HHxxxxxx" Voigt
4521 S. Johnson St.
New Orleans, LA 70125

The email was sent at about 4:04 pm. I received a call from "Nia" from "Constituent Services" at 4:42p.m. Turns out we've been held up since OCTOBER because of a missing form. Turns out, if you interviewed before October 25 (we did so on Oct. 12), you also had to fill out a form to determine if you were eligible for the "Affordable Loan Program." Of course, we are overqualified several times over (despite being poorly paid state employees). Apparently nobody could take the less than 30 minutes it clearly did to figure that out and let us know this at any point since then. They knew when we interviewed. They knew we had a problem. Our award was held up for five months because we had to fill out a form we didn't know about. I had to call repeatedly for months, only to then try to email everyone and their grandmother before any amount of attention was paid to correct a minor technical detail.


And remember, Louisiana wants you to come home!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I would like to buy some cheese.

Another pretty dreary day here in Floodville. I think the weather is supposed to improve before this weekend, which is great as it will also be French Quarter Fest. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it as it’s a much cheaper alternative to JazzFest (cheaper in that it’s free), and you won’t get ripped off quite as much for food and drink. Sure, the acts might not be as "big," but you certainly don’t have to watch them from a quarter mile away. If you go, be sure to try out the prime rib sandwich from the Rib Room.

A rather disappointing day with the LRA yesterday. Long story short, the woman ("Patricia") who has allegedly been helping me, has been lying to me this entire time. What’s worse is that when I tell other people with the "resolutions team," what she’s told me, they treat me as if *I* am the one making it all up...because she couldn't tell me that. Uh huh. There is apparently nothing I can do to make someone look at our file and generate our options letter so we can then begin the months-long task of waiting for closing. My solution: I’ll just stop calling. To quote John Cleese, "it was an act of pure optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me, do you have any cheese here at all?"

Oh, but those who are lucky enough to have no problems with their LRA application, the state is now going to give the awards out in a lump sum. Smashing idea!

Monday, April 9, 2007


Another gross day outside. I guess we're getting winter a bit late this year.

Easter was a fun time for all, and we ate ourselves silly on all sorts of delicious treats. And today, of course, is the biggest day of the candy-shopping year. I really need to step up the gym visits if I'm going to eat as much candy as I am planning to.

Typical Monday in store. Call the LRA, have a stroke, call a contractor, eat lunch. Maybe I'll even get some work done today.

Ach, would ye' believe the LRA bastards have made the news in Scotland?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good (weather) Friday

It's one of those really nice days in New Orleans that almost makes you forget how horrendously hot it's about to get. If only French Quarter Fest would have weather this nice.

The Crescent City Classic is tomorrow, and passes a 1/2 block from our apartment. It should be kinda fun to watch all those thousands of people (still relatively fresh) jogging by. We would have done it this year, but well, time got away from us and figured it would be a better us of our time to do productive stuff. Maybe next year, right?

Kayla is furiously studying away at her physics. Does anyone have a suggestion for a textbook that would help answer those basic questions in detail? Study guides are a little too physics brief and assume too much knowledge.

The Beeb seems to be doing much better. We went on a very long walk yesterday and she was most pleased. She was even something less than crazy last night. There's hope yet!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


In a flurry of posts indicative of a new and enthusiastic blogger (as opposed to the bimonthly updates of one who has gotten bored with it), here are some thoughts on a couple things (as anyone cares).

First, Ol' Cynthia Hedge-Morrell apologized for her life-threatening driving in February. Yeah, easy to do when: 1) Unlike anyone else caught in similar circumstances, she didn't get cited; and 2) the news "breaks" a month-and-a-half late. Where were the apologies before now? Why is it that she's only now sorry? At least respect us enough to try to pretend we're not that stupid.

Second, the state is asking HUD to let it dole out road home grants in a lump sum to homeowners. As someone who has been screwed around with by the LRA, I think I've got some perspective I can contribute to this. This is a horrible idea. Oddly, I'm actually with the lenders on this one. If the lender is "playing ball" and disbursing funds as they're requested (like Louisiana Capitol FCU has sort of been doing), there's no reason not to require invoices and installments. So, not only did insurance companies get a 7.5 BILLION dollar bailout (for claims shortfalls they didn't have to pay), the less-than-civic-minded developers are going to get a windfall from banks foreclosing and taking what they can get on ruined houses owned by people who liked the idea of getting $150,000 cash, no strings. Sorry, run on sentence. In any event, while the banks say:

The lenders also have the option of putting properties into foreclosure or suing in court to declare the borrower bankrupt.

Do you really think the defaulted homeowners now living in Houston will care? No. Of course not. While this really won't impact Broadmoor too much, it will certainly not do much to either rebuild the city or show the rest of the country we're serious about it. There is already the perception that we're all welfare-cheating criminals here, so to enable just that behavior is irresponsible. We shall see how this turns out.

On an unrelated note: We're going to Tahiti the week after we get our road home money.

Maundy Thursday

Isn't always great to start the weekend on Thursday? Thursday is typically my favorite day of the week anyway because it's the day before Friday which is awesome in and of itself. That and The Office and 30 Rock come on (If you haven't watched 30 Rock yet, do yourself a favor and do so. Even if you don't have a DVR or you're not in the US...that's what BitTorrent is for).

Kayla and I are going to T-daux this Sunday to celebrate Easter with her family and mine. It should be a good time and I'm looking forward to seeing Shauntelle, Brent, and ZoZo's new house. It will also be a great opportunity to see the results of free family labor..perhaps we need to hire those guys?

The Beeb is finally allowed to go on walks now. She's gotten over her broken toe enough to be an unholy terror in the house, so hopefully we can wear out some of that energy today. I can't wait to be able to jog with her and take her to the dog park. Speaking of dog parks, there are plans afoot to create one in Broadmoor. I can't wait!

If you've ever wanted to see the state police reprimanding a Orleans Parish public official for being an ass, check out the police reports here. It seems one of our esteemed city councilpersons decided to drive at 100mph with a flashing blue light between Prarieville and New Orleans. The funny thing is that she doesn't really seem sorry for any of it, and can't understand why an untrained civilian driving a large SUV at a high rate of speed in order to not be late to a meeting is a problem. Good stuff. Serban, are you listening?

Important programming note. The Ten Commandments will be on Saturday this year. Be sure to tune in to get your annual fix of "Oh mooooses, moooooses. I. ance-er. to. a hi-yer call-ing,"

And finally, here's a little something via The Consumerist's Great Commercials Series. This is real, y'all. Wow!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Here we go.

Why did I decide to jump on the narcissistic blogging bandwagon? I suppose the articles in the Times-Pic showed me that people actually are interested in keeping up with our misfortunes as it seems to be fairly compelling stuff. There's another article in this Saturday's InsideOut section. (Ever notice how it seems like it would also be a name for a gay weekly?) I mean, really, just when you think it can't get worse....

That's something of an overstatement as Kayla and I still have our (relative) health. This experience has, however, given us a pretty grounded perspective. Take for example the recent brouhaha (is that how you spell that? Well, Google thinks so) concerning trash cans in the French Quarter. I mean, c'mon guys, if your biggest problem is unsightly trashcans for your TWICE A DAY garbage service... But, this is the kind of stuff I myself may have gotten worked up about Pre-K. Well, we're also pretty sure The Beeb has something to do with it. She keeps us so distracted we don't notice the minutiae anymore. Expect frequent postings of pictures our our little furry baby with super sharp teeth.

So, a quick update as to "how we're doing with the house." We've officially fired James Kim and his contractor firm called "CMC Construction, Inc." of Virginia. (How's that for seeding Google?). The unbelievable shoddy work has set us back an extra few tens-of-thousands of dollars. Hopefully they'll settle without litigation, but I'm not optimistic. The Road Home money would help as well, but again...not optimistic. Right now we're soliciting bids from contractors and are debating if we should piece out the work between general contractors and ourselves to save us from money. Kayla says I can get a diesel dually with a camper shell if I do most of the contracting myself. Hellz yeah.

Something else I've learned is how f'in easy alot of this stuff really is. It appears that 90% of construction is knowing how to hide poor work and defects (right James Kim and CMC Construction, Inc. of Virginia?). There seems to be an industry-wide conspiracy to make it seem hard. This is evidenced by the unbelievably condescending attitude you get at home shows and dealing with contractors one-on-one. It's like they're terrified that you'll find out that this stuff is so easy, a high school dropout caveman could do it.

Great Expectations

Back by popular demand, here is our blog. I hope not to abandon this too quickly. Check here for updates on our continuing saga to get into the house we're paying to live in.