Friday, October 30, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This will be my last blog entry until next week. I hope everyone has a safe Halloween and enjoys whatever they do if they celebrate. Please buy some good candy to give to the kids. Now&Laters or Sugar Daddies are nice. You probably don't need that much since kids don't really walk the streets like they used to. All of this controlled trick or treating is stupid.

The only acceptable costumes for adult females are cat suits or anything that requires heels.

Men are not allowed to dress up. Masks are okay if you have kids or going to a party and that is the only way to get in.

R. Kelly is coming to New Orleans tomorrow and I hope the power goes out so no one can enjoy his concert because we should be boycotting.

BET Needs To Make This A Show

I would start watching again for stuff like this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It makes no sense to be this tired in the morning. You can only slam so much coffee before your body goes into shock. I thought the way to conquer insomnia was to lay in bed early and close my eyes. That worked for awhile but now I am waking up 65 times a night so I am only sleeping about 2 hours total. Since I can't work with my eyes closed I guess I have to do my best to wake up. This is the busiest time of year for me and I am getting cranky. A morning like this calls for the Double Dutch Bus. It reminds of doing the Soul Train line with my cousins. If that doesn't change my mood I may just go home.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Told Ya'll They Didn't Have The Money

It's not often I highlight when I was right but last month I wrote a post called "Wishing The Money Was Already Here". It was about the new Nickelodeon theme park in New Orleans East. I was basically saying how stories like that always got our hopes up and either never happened or took years to happen. Here is a paragraph.

I am sure every New Orleans resident can name at least three exciting things they were looking forward to that never came to be because someone announced it before they had all the funding to pay for it. I won't give you a list but I will say that a drive to the coast to hang out at the beach isn't far but Lincoln Beach would have been five minutes away from my house if that would have ever opened. I think it's still supposed to one day as soon as we get the cash. The theme park is relying on GO-Zone Bonds to pay for everything but I can't believe that will pay for everything. Someone is going to have to kick in some real money. That's my worry for these other projects that are not on the FEMA list of things to pay for. I'm not saying that people who want to do big projects shouldn't make plans and try to get them completed just keep it to yourself if you can’t pay for it.
Tonight I read this story about the theme park hitting a snag and I thought to myself that they were going to end this fantasy quickly for a change. According to the story even though Nickelodeon has their name on the project they didn't have to kick in any money. That seems crazy because I am sure they get a cut of the profits. The park may still be coming because it does say at the end of the story that Southern Star does have the money to pay the fee it needs just to request the bonds to pay for the park. Maybe he'll get approved and complete the project before I collect social security. The reason for this post is not to show off about being right. I made this post to show why we don't get excited for new things and question stuff so much. We've been getting excited for nothing our whole life.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We Get to Play Against Ricky

The man on the picture above holding the jersey is Errick Lynne Williams Jr. but people call him Ricky. A long time ago the Saints had a coach named Iron Mike. He's the man looking crazy in the rasta wig. Iron Mike gave up an entire draft and another number one pick to take Ricky. I remember being in Galveston, Texas for the Galveston Beach Party that weekend of the draft. All the guys I was with were just sitting in the hotel room, watching ESPN and shaking their heads wondering why we traded our entire draft for one dude. My boy Black Chris started screaming at the television “Is this moth#r fu%^#r gonna play defense too because all of them are garbage!” You had to love the Ditka years. It was a good thing there were girls in bikinis walking up and down the strip to take our minds off of that trade for a few days. Ricky hired Master P’s company as his agent and signed one of the most ridiculous contracts ever. He also made the decision to pose for a magazine cover with Iron Mike while wearing a wedding dress. Things went downhill from there. Ricky kept getting hurt and Iron Mike’s teams sucked. He got fired and we hired this stupid coach named Jim Haslett. Jim Haslett didn’t care for Ricky so he drafted this guy name Deuce. Deuce became a local hero and Ricky got traded for two first round picks. After ten years Ricky is playing in Miami, Iron Mike is on ESPN, Haslett is coaching in a minor league, and the great Deuce McAllister has three bad knees.

Ricky Williams gets to play against the Saints and I have a feeling he wants to show us all what we missed out on. We played Miami in 2005 with Ricky as their running back during the Katrina season but everyone had their minds on other things during that time. He and Ronnie Brown run the wildcat offense so well that it looks like they invented it. It's really hard to tell which way the play is going and it keeps defenses off balance. Many people are picking Miami to win because they beat up on the last two teams they played with the wildcat and they should have beaten Indianapolis but Peyton Manning scored every time he touched the ball and got the win. The Saints didn’t do well against the wildcat when they played Philly earlier so it worries me a little but I don’t think Miami can do anything to stop our offense. I think we score every possession and win the game 24-14. They will probably have a few good plays on offense but so far our defense has shown we can come up with big plays when we need them. I just wrote a scenario that would have us undefeated playing New England on November 30 but I erased it. I was getting carried away. We won’t look any farther than today’s game and take it one week at a time.

There is no mention of Reggie Bush this week. He already knows.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gone Before They Can Figure It Out

New Orleans is a strange place when it comes to keeping up with people. It’s not a really big city but somehow you can go years without seeing people that you know. All it takes is moving to another neighborhood or changing jobs for people to seemingly disappear. There are people I went through school with that I haven’t seen since I graduated high school and I know they haven’t moved anywhere. It’s been like that for a long time and Katrina made it worse. Nevertheless there are those times when you see someone unexpectedly and it surprises you. Sometimes you are just happy to see them because they remind you of the good old days. Then there are those other times where you run into somebody and wonder how they made it this far and appear to be doing so well. One of the byproducts of coming up in the kind of environment we did in the city is that some people have a bad ending written all over them. You are more surprised to see them living a regular life than you would if you saw them on the news for murder.

Thursday I was picking up my baby from school and I ran into one of those cats with the bad ending label. He was there to pick up one of his kids. The sight of him standing there talking with the security guard and wearing work clothes surprised me for a minute but I was glad to see him doing well. This was one of those cats that 20 years ago you just couldn’t imagine holding a job and behaving normal. I don’t know a better way to put this so I will just put it plainly. He was ignorant. He never went to class. If he graduated it wasn’t when he was supposed to. I remember him going to jail. I guess he got it together and decided that kind of life wasn’t the way to go and he changed. There is never anything wrong with that because we hope that people grow over time and calm down. We exchanged greetings and I kept going along with my business. All the way home I thought about seeing him and it bothered me.

I remember that entire group of guys he used to run with. They were all pretty wild for their age. The one person in the group that got in trouble more than the rest of them was a really good friend of mine. I never thought he was a thug or anything but he thrived on the attention that he got from these guys by acting stupid. He would get in a fight or do something crazy and they would all laugh or treat him like their hero. Although they were all supposed to be pretty tough guys I only remember him being in the middle of every conflict. Sometimes they would come and get him to settle things they started and he wouldn’t know what the beef was about. I guess it didn’t matter since he had to be a soldier. I used to think to myself how crazy it was that he was going to war with all these guys that only started coming around once they thought he could give them some extra street credibility. I couldn’t tell him anything. The environment was too intoxicating for a square like me to have any effect on his decisions. All I could do is hope he made it through okay and figured it out on his own. Well, he didn’t have time to figure it out because he was killed at the age of 18 behind one of those street conflicts. All those people he fought for and hustled with so hard to be accepted by moved on and when ahead with their lives without him. All he had to show for his decisions was a grieving family and a t-shirt with his picture on it.

The thing that makes me shake my head is that in the past few years I have run across every one of those guys in the group he hung out with and every one of them is living a pretty normal life. They all have jobs and families and are still fighting through. When we meet I always shake their hands or give them a hug. Then, I whisper really low as if my boy can hear me and say “I knew that foolishness wasn’t going to lead to anything good.” Then I just shake my head in disgust at the whole fantasy that the street life has a future. I haven’t run into many older successful street soldiers that didn’t get out of the game. Even if they don’t die we still end up with a bunch of grown men with no contribution to anything constructive and we have to take care of them. There may be a few cats that managed to live their whole life holding down the block but not enough for all these youngsters to think it’s going to work out for them in the long term. Sadly, even with all the evidence we have about what the future looks like; we still can’t stop it from happening over and over. We have to keep trying though because we have enough stories like the three people I could have written this same story about.

Sitting On My Porch Party Thirty Five

What do you want people to know you for? When people see you on the street and recognize you what do you want them to associate you with? It doesn’t have to be anything that spectacular. You could be the guy in the neighborhood that goes to the park and works with the little boys playing football. You could be the lady that walks around and checks up on the elderly. Someone could see you and just say that they had an experience with you at work or something and you did really well. Regardless of what your answer is I know one thing you don’t want to be. You don’t want to be the guy that’s known just for hanging around other people while they are trying to do something.

Mayor Nagin and some other local leaders went to Cuba to learn about their hurricane preparedness and other things they do when a storm approaches. I am sure they have lots of experience because they deal with storms almost every season but I don’t think this is a trip we needed to take. Our image is bad enough already without being associated with Fidel Castro. I would have felt better about it if I could trust that the mayor wouldn’t say anything that would make the news. I really think it’s time to just maintain day to day business and not do anything major until the next leadership is elected soon.

Austin Badon dropped out of the mayor’s race proving that even without a lot of big name competition it has been hard for anyone to build excitement. James Perry needs to do something to build some excitement. My last suggestion about to him was crazy so I have a better one. He should go to Miami this week for the Saints game against the Dolphins and when Miami has the ball run out on the field and tackle Ricky Williams so they can’t run that wildcat offense. After he gets out of jail and the Saints are 6-0 he will be leading in the polls. The brother needs to shake it up a little.

Lil Wayne is about to spend a year in jail after pleading guilty to gun possession charges. I know he performs in a genre that makes it possible he might benefit from going to jail. It will give him that authentic street credibility. He has to pay for the consequences of his choices but I want to go on the record with something right now. If this blog blows up beyond the five people that read it now and somehow I gain fame and riches that I couldn’t imagine, I will not be going to jail for anything. There won’t be any DWI’s. There will be no weed smoking and I won’t need a pistol because I won’t be going anywhere people that people who like to shoot go. The most you could expect from me is drinking a lot of Crown Royal, the best cigars I can buy, and possibly a photo shoot with Buffie the Body just so I can live the dream. Other than that I will be walking the straight and narrow. If I get that money I plan on living as long and free as possible to equal all the years I was broke.

If the Balloon Boy’s family gets a reality show or makes any money from pretending their baby was floating away in a homemade balloon the terrorists win.

When I was growing up I was a huge fan of Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. The story that came out this week about them having animosity about things that were said back when Magic was diagnosed with HIV is an example of why we have so much violence between black men. Not talking things out leads to unnecessary conflict. I know Magic had a book to sell but it’s been almost 20 years since all of this happened. As close as he and Isaiah were he could have called him up or invited him over and just laid everything out and got it resolved. We have to stop holding on to grudges and being afraid to talk to one another.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Incompetence Costs a Pretty Penny

I was looking at this story about how the Housing Authority of New Orleans has paid millions of dollars to this company out of Houston called MFR to run the Section 8 program. If I read the story correctly we are still paying them 600,000 dollars a month right now. It’s the usual New Orleans mess and it is an example of so many things that bother me about how things run in the city.

First of all I am so happy that the HUD decided to come in and take over HANO. I hate the fact that we need outsiders to come in and clean up our business but some things are too out of hand to expect it to correct itself. There is so much federal money coming into the city because of new housing that I think the feds felt like it would set the entire administration back if they depended on HANO’s leadership to do things efficiently. Whatever the reason was I am glad that they did it.

Second of all, why does it seem like New Orleans gives millions of dollars to outside companies so they can operate government programs? I say that if you have that much money to spend why not create jobs in your city and run all these things yourself. Did we really need to pay people to install crime cameras? Couldn’t we have just hired some IT guys and let them build a staff within the framework of the city’s payroll instead of forking over all this money to private companies? If you did things that way at least you could fire people that were incompetent without still having to give away a few million before finding someone else and giving them a few million too. Maybe I don’t understand how the contract process works but it seems no one else does either because we continue to waste money on issues that seem avoidable. I can’t say that Mir Fox & Rodriguez have done a bad job running the Section 8 program and doing other things for HANO but do you know how many local people we could put to work running that program ourselves? I did a little math. If you take the 600,000 dollars a month we are paying them now, multiplied that by 12, and divided it by 40,000 dollars (which is a good job in New Orleans if you can find it), we could have put 180 to work. Half of those people could be residents of HANO. It wouldn't take that many people to run the program so the other half of that money could go to something else. The next leadership of this city needs to figure out how to spend as much city money as possible on city people.

That brings me to my third point. I don’t care what you neighborhood you live in or what race you are, you should want the Inspector General’s office to be successful. Now, we can debate about how the current process is set up and if changes needed to be made but the one thing we should all agree on is that if we don’t get an honest assessment of what’s wrong with the way we do business and how we can make it better we are just going to keep giving away money by the truckloads to outside companies for things we should be able to handle. It’s my personal opinion that companies get over on us because they know we are so unorganized and inefficient that we will pay top dollar just to let them take away the pressure of having to clean things up. That’s why we need an apolitical Inspector General who releases his reports timely and stays off of talk radio and television unless he’s explaining a report. I don’t need that person’s opinion about anything. All I need to know is why we keep sending millions of dollars all around America to do things we can do for ourselves.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This Team Might Be The Real Deal

The Eagles just lost to Oakland this afternoon. That’s proof that even if your team is better on paper you can always lose if you are not playing at a high level. I made that statement first to calm down the overload of confidence I have about this year’s Saints team. After five games we have scored over 40 points three times and beaten two teams that experts said were Superbowl contenders in the NFC. This one is even sweeter because New York was healthy so we don’t have to hear about any asterisks like people tried to give us when we beat up on Philadelphia. I don’t think we are going 16-0 but I don’t think there is a game on our schedule that we can’t win. This might be the best Saints team from top to bottom we have ever seen. I know for sure our secondary is the best we have ever had because both cornerbacks are playing out of their minds. Cornerback has always been our weakness on defense even in The Dome Patrol years. I feel real good about this team. They even surprised me today. All we have to do is keep #9 healthy and good things are ahead.

The fact that this team is constructed the way it is brings me back to Reggie Bush and why I call him the X factor. We don’t need Reggie Bush to run the ball 20 times a game to win. We don’t need him to catch 10 passes either. I do think as the season goes along and we teams match up on some of the regular things we do, one or two big plays from him could change the tide of the game and tip things in our favor. The lack of pressure on him should free him up to be loose and make big plays. If that starts happening it is over my friends. I am not keeping the Bush bandwagon going for nothing. I am thinking long term.

Let’s not start saving up for our replica championship rings just yet. There are 11 games left but I think it is okay to accept the fact that we are not a fluke. The NFL has to deal with us.

All Lance Moore does is catch the ball every time it’s thrown to him no matter what. If the pass is anywhere near him he’s not dropping it. He's my favorite Saints player at the moment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Giants Are A Real Test

Tomorrow the Saints and the 5-0 New York Giants play in the Dome to see who can make the claim as the NFC’s best team. If the Saints win tomorrow there will be no doubt that we are serious Superbowl contenders. It’s also a huge game because we may have to see the Giants again if we go far and I would rather play them here in the playoffs. The Giants are a really good team. They can run, pass, and play defense well. Eli Manning is their quarterback and he’s playing pretty good right now. It also doesn’t help that Oakland didn’t try to win last week and allowed them to get a good scrimmage in before the big game in New Orleans. They didn’t have to wash their jerseys after the game so basically we are both coming off a bye week. I am not making a prediction for this one because it can go either way. I will be hoping the Saints win but that Giants team is no slouch. I think we have to run the ball early and stay out of those long third downs because their front four can rush the passer by themselves as well as other teams do with blitzing. Everyone should hope for a win but I would be more interested in how we play and stand up to that team as a gauge for the next 11 weeks of the season.

I’m looking to the left and right of me and the Reggie Bush bandwagon is getting kind of empty. There are a lot of empty seats. I will admit that he hasn’t done anything yet to make people want to stay on. If anything he has been the one dim spot in a great season so far. I can no longer deny that something may be wrong with Reggie but I am hanging on to the philosophy that he is the X Factor and I am not getting off the bandwagon until the check engine light comes on and it blows a head gasket. I have a good feeling that Reggie is running a punt back tomorrow as one of this two touchdowns on the day.

This is a cool song. I am not sure we should make it an official new song but I like it.

This is one is cool too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Thoughts On The President's Visit

I had to think about this issue for awhile before I blogged about it. The president was here yesterday. He visited Martin Luther King Charter School and had a town hall meeting at UNO. Personally I wanted the president to stay for awhile because I feel you have to take time and travel the entire city and see the progress as well as what hasn’t been done. When it comes to New Orleans nothing beats the eyeball test when judging what is or isn’t going on. My preference would have been for him to come when he had time to check things out more thoroughly. Since that didn’t happen I won’t waste any time pouting about it. When I thought about it yesterday I realized that President Obama could have stayed here for a week and if his policies and the money don’t hit the right priorities it wouldn’t matter. We would still be in the same situation.

He’s got a few people from New Orleans in his administration. I don’t think they are going to just let him forget. I can personally attest to the fact that stimulus dollars are starting to hit the streets as we speak. I also like what happened with the housing authority and the changes there. If can make sure that the Corps of Engineers completes all of their levee projects and somehow we can get new school buildings and a medical facility or three opened from Washington D.C then he doesn’t have to worry about coming back anytime soon. Let’s see what happens in the next few months and maybe after we get our new mayor and new city council we can invite him back to stay a day or two. We had three years to make progress before he became president so I guess it’s fair to cut him some slack after all the things he has had to deal with in only nine months time. I may be going soft on President Obama. That’s probably true but if things are jacked up this time next year I won’t have a problem saying so. Right now I think we should thank him for coming, focus on our own local affairs, and see what happens.

No one should say anything negative about that little boy asking the president why people hate him. That baby doesn’t understand policies at his age. He’s only judging things by the energy he sees and feels. That kid asked the president a sincere question that he really wanted an answer to. Give that baby some credit.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I just came from outside and I was thinking that tonight would have been a good night to sit on the lake and smoke a cigar. Before Katrina I would relax by driving to the section right next to the Seabrook Bridge and sit on the top step to watch the water and think. Every now and then my cousin would meet me out there and we would split a six pack while enjoying that cigar and talk about things going on. I guess that tradition is dead since it’s been four years and the lights are still not being turned on at night. I just have to say that this really pisses me off.

Anyone that thought Rush Limbaugh would be an NFL owner does not pay attention to how that league and its owners conduct business. Since it was announced he was trying to buy in there has been a lot of media attention given to that story. That is exactly the reason why those owners wouldn’t let him in. One of the arguments in his favor was that controversial rappers have bought into NBA teams. The NBA is a different league. They sell their players and personalities over the actual game of basketball. One of their owners has a great blog and gives his opinion about everything. No one can tell you what an NFL owner thinks. I am a football fanatic and couldn’t pick more than five of them out of a lineup. They like it that way because the NFL is the only professional sports league in this country where people in cities like Jacksonville, New Orleans, Green Bay, and Cincinnati can actually think their team has a shot at winning. No one person comes before the game itself. That’s why they are the number one league and it doesn’t make any sense to have an owner with a divisive radio show possibly saying something on air to turn the attention to him and away from the field. Rush didn’t lose out on being an NFL owner because of how he thinks. He lost out because he likes telling everybody how he thinks. It’s good to see Reverend Al Sharpton back to picking the best ways to get media attention.

I know he is only six years old. I am glad he didn’t fall out of that balloon today and he was at home safe but when all the cameras went away someone should have whipped that little boy’s ass for hiding that long. I know he could hear his mama screaming “Lord, my baby floating away in his daddy stupid balloon!” Maybe that’s just what my mama would have said while cussing my daddy for leaving us outside with a balloon full of helium. That whole thing was a hoax. Those folks want a reality TV show and didn’t want to have 8 more babies to accomplish it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You Can't Hire Everybody

You learn new things as you progress more in life. For the last two weeks I have been learning that I am not cut out to hire and fire people. Well, maybe I can if I had more than only one part time position to offer. Having only one minimal position to give to someone means having to sift through dozens of resumes full of qualified people and try to figure out who needs it most. I can’t interview everybody. Interviews suck if all the people are really good and likable. I have been in that spot before. I was unemployed with a baby and sent my resume to every job I could. I got a few interviews and most of them sucked because I was too scared to say the wrong thing. Then you have to go home and figure out if these losers are going to call you. I think the job I actually got was the one interview where I just didn’t give a damn and acted like myself the entire time. It must have worked out for me because now I am interviewing people for that same position I was hired for five years ago.

The city gets a bad rap when it comes to work ethic. I have all these applicants from a part time want ad with a vague job description and feel overwhelmed. The job doesn’t have benefits and people still want to interview. The folks want to work they just don’t have enough places to work. It’s either that or someone is hiring their cousins or people from out of town come in to make all the money. Either way the only solution to that is the dreaded ‘economic development’ that creates a good quantity and quality of jobs for all the people who need one. If not I guess it’s the same old local story; graduate high school, go to college, move to another city, and make their community better. I guess New Orleans’ lost it somewhere in Texas’ gain. I might be able to temporarily stop one good person from moving. Hopefully there are about 100 people like me stopping other people. If not maybe everybody can hold out for the Nickelodeon theme park and operate one of the rides.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sitting On My Porch Part Thirty Four

Say what you want about America but this picture would not have been on the cover of a major magazine 40 years ago. This display of progress makes me want to sing My Country Tis of Thee. That’s all I have to say about that….

90 degree weather and 300% humidity in October is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us who is really in control. Monday through Thursday was the most miserable four days that I can remember in a long time. Miserable or not it was still better than any weather system with a name attached to it like Gustav or Camille.

Is it a good thing for the country that we have become so cynical and negative that the president can't appear to be happy about winning a prestigious award like the Nobel Peace Prize? I understand that it's still early in his term but it's not like he declared himself the winner. It could be that our leader is just that impressive to the rest of the world that they wanted to give it to him. That's got to be helpful somewhere along the way because we can't fight everybody. Is the lack of positivity going to create a few million jobs? When he comes to New Orleans will he be allowed to at least nod his head a little if we break out a second line band or does he have to stand there as if moving to the funky sounds of New Orleans will be a sign of weakness and bring down his approval rating?

Here's a tip for everyone on how to get through a bad day. Always keep a mental file of the five funniest things you ever saw or conversations you had. For instance, I was having a rough moment last week and thought about the conversation I had with Big G. about what would be the most embarrassing position for someone to find your body when you pass away. That might not sound funny at the beginning but just think about it for awhile.

Rush Limbaugh buying the St. Louis Rams would be perfect for me. I grew up a Saints fan and I hate the Rams anyway. I wonder if his first order of business will be cutting all the players that voted for Obama and replace them with real Americans. If he really wants to make a splash he will hire Glenn Beck as his general manager. He’s proven he can become a force without actually knowing anything. He can probably build a Super Bowl team by convincing other teams that their best player is secretly funding ACORN, wants to take over the NFL and the only way to save the league is trading all the socialists to St. Louis.

Mayor Eddie Price of Mandeville, Louisiana resigned yesterday becoming the latest local official to fall from corruption. The folks in Mandeville should feel sad but at least Eddie did some things for you guys before everything fell apart. That is a pretty nice city to live in. You guys are doing okay. However, I would appreciate a reduction in the hypocritical comments from some of you on the internet and talk radio. The fact is that your mayor has been indicted and mine hasn't......yet.

Meanwhile, in the city where no one wants to be the next mayor, we are approaching a 68 million dollar budget deficit next year. That was Mayor Nagin’s estimate last week. I am sure they will come up with a way to make the impact less but we have a bigger problem. I know no one wants to hear this but we might have to kick in some new tax money. I know when people hear the word taxes in America they have the same reaction as they would if someone was coming to take their first born. I understand that and wouldn’t be excited about spending an extra few cents on the dollar when I went to the store but lets face the following five facts.

1. We suck at economic development and that’s not changing soon. (I would like to see a rule that made this term off limits during the next election cycle.)
2. The national economy is going to affect tourism and our hospitality crutch.
3. Even if the tourist numbers picked up a good portion of that money is going to the state and not the city.
4. You can only raise traffic fines and parking violations so much before the entire city looks stupid. No one wants to pay a 500.00 fine for a blown tail light.
5. With everyone doing so much complaining already, can you imagine what cuts that deep into the budget will do to morale? No wonder no one wants to be mayor.

We have to find a way to generate some new money or we will be going through the same thing every year and I don't hear anyone discussing how we fix that in the long term.

This is my new favorite addition to the MP3 player.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Let's Give President Obama More Than A Good Time

Dear New Orleans,

I have an important request for everybody. The president will be visiting this city on October 15. Now, I know that this city is loaded with Democrats. It’s also equally loaded with African Americans. This is the first time since the president’s historic election that he is visiting the city and it wouldn’t be New Orleans if we didn’t lay out the full local experience. I am sure everyone wants the St. Augustine High School band to meet him at the end of the runway and march with him from Air Force One. Once he gets to his first stop I am sure you want the Rebirth Brass Band and The Lady Buck Jumpers to play and dance in his honor. Ms. Leah Chase is probably laying out the menu right now.

All of that sounds good but we better make sure that we get to present every need and concern we have while we have his attention for a short time. Take the president on a helicopter ride over MR-GO and the wetlands. Drive him around and show him all the blight. Make sure he sees all of the closed hospitals. Show him our crime statistics and our budget for NORD. After that, someone needs to have a presentation or something on paper showing him what we plan on doing about all of that and how much it might cost. Make sure he understands that all the complaining about him not visiting the region wasn’t so he could come here and eat at Dooky Chase because it might be awhile before he comes back.

I don’t know if you watch the news but he is a very busy man. There are wars going on, people can’t find jobs, he’s trying to get health care passed and Iran is trying to test him. That's not the whole list of issues he is dealing with but you get the picture. What that says to me is that while the recovery of our city might be a priority, it would be easy to understand if we got lost in the shuffle. We have to make this visit count for something. I don’t think we are going to get a commitment for any extra money because of one visit but President Obama is the kind of man that would welcome extra conversation if your argument is compelling. I don’t want to watch news stories the next day full of nothing but a good time. Let’s focus on the real agenda first and then someone can bring him and Mrs. Obama to The Perfect Fit that evening.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Lower Nine Has A Home That Floats On Purpose

Did you know Brad Pitt and his Make it Right Foundation built a floating house in the Lower Ninth Ward? The home is not designed for people to stay for hurricanes but to minimize the damage caused by flooding. I am not going to suck up to Brad Pitt anymore than I already have on this blog. My respect him for him is well documented. I want to talk about the floating house.

One day I was riding down in the old neighborhood with my boy Big G. We were passing over by the new houses that were built and thought to ourselves that when we were growing up whoever lived in those houses would have been the most popular kids on that side of the bridge. I could imagine walking through Edison school and having all the girls point and saying “Girl, do you know who that is? That’s Cliff. He lives in one of those spaceship houses on Tennessee Street.” "That's right baby, wanna come and see my solar panel?" When I was growing up my best friend had one of those big satellite dishes on his house that picked up channels in Zimbabwe. I don’t know if he could have competed with the floating crib. You could have scored all the quality girls of the Lower Nine with a floating house. You could have even gotten those pedigreed ones that never left the porch and couldn’t play with the regular children.

“Hey baby…why don’t you come to my house when your mama goes to work. I can run the hosepipe under the back steps and we can see if we get a little liftoff”

The poor Lower Ninth Ward had to get damn near wiped out to get some cool stuff. Brad Pitt is the man.

No Love For The Television Bandits

I called a friend and work colleague Monday because she is supposed to be helping me with some work stuff. While we were talking she told me that she wasn’t at work last Friday because she had an emergency. Someone broke into her family’s house when no one was home. Without missing a beat my reply was “Did they take your TV off the wall?” Her response was “Yeah, that’s all the bastards took.” They left a big hole in her wall after pulling it down. She’s not the first person it happened to. It happened to one of my neighbors and Sunday evening when I talked to head of the neighborhood organization she told me it happened five other times in our little section. Somehow these jokers have always seemed to break into a house when no one was home. They must case these houses for a long time. I guess they pick out the blocks where there is no activity during the day because everyone is at work or school.

Let me tell you about what those televisions mean to people in certain neighborhoods. All of these people have had to throw away all of their possessions once. Then they had to look at their house with nothing but the studs. Some people lived in trailers outside of their empty houses. Some of them paid to live in other places while their homes were rebuilt and hopefully their insurance company and the stupid Road Home program gave them enough money to fix it provided a crooked contractor didn’t steal it. After you go through all of that and finally get home, the first day you can come in from a long day and flip on that television is like the icing on the cake. It’s the period at the end of a long sentence spelling out everything you had to do to get back to your house. That’s got to cut deep when you go home and see that hole in your wall where the television used to be. I hope my address is not on the potential jacking list because I have people in my house during the day and the television is the least of my worries. If they just have to steal something I will leave the shade open and they can have my lawnmower.

I think I know how this is going to end. Some vigilante who knows a few people that have been victimized is going to stay home one day and meet these clowns at his back door with a big ass gun. Someone is going to get hurt really bad and people are going to wonder was someone’s life worth more than a flat screen television. It’s true that the life is worth more than the television but when you live in a city where people like to steal what you have worked hard to buy or replace you don’t always think rational. It’s bad enough we have a minimal feeling of security to begin with. That’s a damn shame when you deal with all this and can’t even watch the game Sunday on your big screen.


I hope whoever is buying these televisions installs one at their house and it catches fire destroying everything except the pets and anything belonging to the kids.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Only Four Games.......

But ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! Defense is so sexy.

Looking For Red House Politics

I'm posting this video because it's hilarious. I am also posting it because this is the kind of spirit we need in local politics. Let's not look at the things as a black issue or a white issue. Let's look at things like The Red House and make it an issue for everyone. If Johnny and Richard can come together I am sure the NAACP and the Ethics Review Board could as well.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Please Beat The Jets So I Can Watch Sportscenter

I can’t stand large market teams. When you grow up a fan of one of the smallest markets in professional sports and get no media attention it can turn you against some of those big guys. I am talking about everyone but the Lakers of course because that’s where Magic played. I was reminded of how much large market media bias gets under my skin when I was watching last Monday’s game in Dallas. I was so sick and tired of hearing about that billion dollar stadium and the 40 million dollar monitor. I wanted the screen to blow out on national television and embarrass Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. None of these struggling people around the country wanted to hear about your stadium all night. Your quarterback still sucks.

The New York Jets will be in the dome tomorrow against The Saints in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Jets have a rookie quarterback from USC named Mark Sanchez. He hasn’t really done anything to win any of those games but since he’s 3-0 in the media capital of the world he is the second coming of Joe Namath after three games. Our new stifling defense should be able to hold their offense down for most of the game. Everything will be decided by how well our offense can do against Rex Ryan’s defense. The last time we played a team coached by him we got destroyed. The Jets like to blitz from everywhere so we need to run the ball and short passes might be key. That leads me to say that the two key players in this game will be Jeremy ‘St. Bernard Parish’ Shockey and Heisman trophy running back Reginald Alfred Bush II also known as Reggie. I know my prophecy for the great Reggie Bush season hasn’t quite gotten off to the best start but I called him the X factor and tomorrow we are going to need the 'X' for those blitz packages. I need the Saints to win this game because 4-0 with a bye week to get healthy will be the perfect start to this season. I also need them to spare me all the airtime that will be given to the Jets if they win. Its bad enough Brett Favre is still playing and his team is winning. There’s only so much overkill I can take. There will be no song for Reggie this week but my prediction is Saints 24 Jets 10. Let’s send them back to the big city on a quiet plane.

Tomorrow is the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day so don’t adjust your television when you see a player in pink cleats.

My Weekend Vibe : It's A Lovely Day Outside

I’m getting ready to watch LSU play Georgia and I wondering how many ways the announcers will work Tim Tebow’s name into this game even though he’s not playing. My football Saturday started with a crisis as a realized that my coffee pot had a crack in it and I needed to get another one. Luckily Family Dollar was open at 7:00 AM and had one for a cheap price. I know Family Dollar and Dollar General aren’t the most high end stores but they seem to be some of the few companies willing to invest their money in the neighborhoods and open up stores for people to shop. They have my respect. Plus, if you go to the one near my house you can get the best bootlegg dvd's money can buy.

After I managed to resolve my coffee issues and have a few cups it was time to bring the little children to the zoo. It was a morning where everyone had thought provoking questions on their minds like…

“Why do people need keys?”
“Why do we have hair on our bodies?”
“Daddy, why did you call that guy in the red car a bad name because he was switching lanes every ten feet damn near causing an accident like he was going to get somewhere any faster than he already was?”

After I answered all of that I noticed that people were all over the city doing all kinds of outdoor activities and enjoying this beautiful weather. Then I felt like a loser because even though it looked like everyone was having a good time, all I wanted to do was get back home in time to bring my beer temperature to the proper game watching level. I felt so bad that I sent my cousin a text message to see how wrong I was. He informed me that not only was I wrong but I needed to buy an extra six beers so I won’t run out while watching the late West Coast games. We are both sad.

While I was in the supermarket buying my six pack and Italian sausage( I didn’t need the extra six because I bought some rum instead), the sister who checked me out in the 12 items or less line made my day because she was really happy to be working today. I haven’t had a shopping experience in the city like that in a long time. Usually the cashiers are either frowned up so bad it looks like they are being forced to work against their will or talking to one of their co-workers about something you really shouldn’t be listening to. I learned a long time ago that being miserable at your job all day does absolutely nothing to change whatever it is that have you so upset. After my brief and pleasant conversation with Shantell I decided to skip my planned stop at Wal Mart because I knew something or someone in there was going to destroy the good customer service vibe she just gave me. That crazy place is the reason I had to get up and get a coffee pot this morning.

I’m not going outside while this game is on but as a trade off I will open the blinds and let some of that sunshine in here.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

It's raining outside this morning. I am just starting to dry off. Remind me that I can't share a Dora Explorer umbrella with my baby and not get drenched. We may have to get something a little bigger for days like this. Despite the rain everything else is looking pretty good to me right now. Usually on a morning like this I would be playing some Donny Hathaway or some other music that usually puts me in one of those sad reflective moods. Let's try something different this morning and brighten up the day despite the clouds outside.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No Excuses When You Make 83K

This afternoon the New Orleans City Council voted to double their salary. The next council's salary will be increased from 42,500 a year to 83,500 a year. That is an increase most people only dream about. We managed to sneak in an extra 9,000 for the mayor although I don't know why. I was for a pay increase for the time it takes for these folks to really do the job right. I don't know if I would have doubled the salary but some kind of increase was okay with me. The current council makes about what I make and at 4:30PM I leave my job and don't have to deal with anything until the next morning. New Orleans isn't the place where a public official can do that if they are doing the job right. They have to be available all day and everyday because you never know what is going to happen around here. If doubling the salary increases the number of qualified people willing to run for office then fine. It's not like candidates are lining up to run for anything so maybe extra money.

We have a huge deficit coming up next year. We have to figure out a way to make up for 43 million dollars. An amount that large tells me that when cuts that big has to come; the little man at the bottom of the city food chain gets the shaft first. After they get sacrificed the next step will be things like NORD and trash collection. Everybody's going to have to make some adjustments. That means that this next council and their 83K a year are going to have hell on their hands if they come through with a bunch of foolishness. Just be warned that anyone else in this city making that much money would be fired in a minute if they didn't perform. You will be an elected official so you may have a little protection for a few years but there will be no cutting of slack for anyone. 83K a year in New Orleans is a pretty good living. That means I don't want to hear any excuses if you can't be where the people need you. In other words, you can’t make that much money and be a slacker. Actually, no one should have been slacking at 42,500 a year either but with that doubled I expect at least a grocery store in the Lower Ninth Ward or some new swings in the park in the first six months of your term.