Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a nice new year's eve, and that 2006, is much gentler on us than 2005 was. Thankfully, everyone I know is healthy and there are signs of normality returning to New Orleans. I've been caught in visiting family for the better part of the last week and a half, hence no recent posts. That being said the whole domestic spying scandal has been developing.

During this time Cassandra had her 1st Birthday. While, I've not been able to post any pictures yet her celebrations were so important that we had people all the way from New Jersey come to join in the celebration. The cake was shipped in from New Orleans, and the party itself was in two parts; once in Miami, and then in Orlando. She got numerous toys; many of which I believe are actually meant to drive Elizabeth and I nuts. Cassie had a great time at each party and promised me, in a secret language, to be walking in the very near future.

While I and the rest of the world are trying to purchase Burger King meals at the rest stop near Ft. Pierce, Jack Abramoff continues to be the talk of Capitol Hill.

That being said; visiting family is always nice, catching up with people that you have known all of your life should be what vacations are about. Quite often,however, vacations often become a race of how to do as many things as possible in a very short period of time. In the last ten days , we have been lucky enough to visit both Elizabeth's cousins and my family quite extensively. I've known her cousins for many years, and got to catch up on the reconstruction from a local perspective.

The Congress did a wonderful thing in passing the Katrina relief without opening up the Arctic Wildlife Reserve. I am now going on record as suggesting that Senator Ted Stevens should not be reelected. You should never be able to stop legislation that is going to help people rebuild their communities, and homes., for someone's pet project. Never let me worry that Senator Stevens is going to let common decency overpower his political motivations.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year....

More next year....

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Christmas Abyss

Yesterday, we did something no one should ever do. We went to the mall 3 days prior to Christmas. Now as Jews we celebrate Hanukah, but the crush of humanity at the shopping center, I feel was most likely caused by Christmas shoppers not by Hanukah shoppers. The day started with traffic from the depths. People in this town drive crazily. Yeah, yeah everyone says drivers in their town are the worst; but I've lived enough places, people here are the worst drivers. Not only do we have islanders, but also we have the elderly from the Northeast and then just the drivers that are bad drivers from around here.
We parked and started off with our mission: To fill in the holiday gaps... Everyone has gaps; this couple appears to have more gaps than most. It seemed simple enough a few gifts and a nice lunch, no problem right. Well, would I be blogging about it if there were no problem. We got through most of our shopping and lunch; all going well. Then we hit the barbershop. This was a scene from a sitcom.
Two of the stylists were talking about how bad the airlines are. The blonde was talking about how she was drinking on the plane and didn't know why it was that she got drunk, but that they cut her off. She then came to the conclusion that the alcohol must have more punch in the air, because the air is thinner higher in the atmosphere. I promise, I'm not making this up. She then said it might be because of the sedatives she took before she got on the plane in the 1st place.

Let me get this straight she took sedatives, and then started drinking; is not certain of the number of drinks, but was cut off and does not know why. We also had a stylist intermittently adding that the flight attendants on just about every airline that was mentioned are rude and unprofessional. How did she know that we weren't flight attendants or family of flight attendants? Finally, one of the other stylists went to get lunch, he didn't care where as long as the line was not very long. Considering that half the population of Miami was at the mall, this was an unlikely possibility.

I appreciate the American folklore that is built around the Christmas mall shopping experience. But please, let me learn from this experience and buy stock in Amazon.

More later

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just another Sunday

The holiday season is difficult for many people , myself and my wife included. The expectations of this season are so unrealistic that it causes some of us distress. You will read my complaints about the state of the nation and world, most of the time on this blog. However, as I think about it I can't imagine being in a better situation, personally, in my entire life.

My wife and I are very much in love and we have a wonderful 1-year-old daughter. As I sit here, I'm getting ready to sign her up for Florida's Prepaid College Plan. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about this program, and the sooner I get in the program the better. Cassandra is getting bigger and more wonderful every day, and the sooner I can plan for her future the better. O.K., that is a bit of a goal, but don't we all want our kids to be the best at whatever they do. We live in a very comfortable home, and do not need for anything. Add the fact that we will be lucky enough to enjoy the company of my family and her extended family (they are very close to me as well); I would say that we are very lucky.

I work with young people, every day, who are not nearly this lucky. For me not to be appreciative of all these gifts would be downright selfish. For a few moments this year, I am thankful for my amazing wife, and child and all the blessings that I have. Hopefully, next year, I can continue to appreciate these things, and help to make the world better than it was when I got here.

All the best to all of you, and have a wonderful holiday season.....

More later.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Looking for an owner... a soon to be lost colony

This was in the Times Picayune

Dear France, please buy us!

Joan Fox of New Orleans writes:

Dear France,

Greetings from Louisiana! We are shopping for new owners, and we immediately thought of you! Our present rulers haven't been taking very good care of us and we are looking for a better deal. They are spending all our money in a place called Iraq (somewhere in the Middle East). We thought that perhaps you might want to revisit an old land deal you made long ago.
If you've been reading the papers lately, you may have noticed that we have had a few problems with "water". No, we're not offering you a deal on a damaged water park. (Althouugh that's what it looks like from the air) Seriously, we need help, and fast.

Some things you might like here:

1. We named the state after your King Louis
2. We named the city after your city, Orleans
3. We have lots of French names on the streets
4. We still have Napoleonic law (maybe you can explain it to us!)
5. A lot of our citizens speak French (the accent will grow on you)
6. We like French food and wine
What we can offer you:
1. a toehold (rather wet!) on the continent
2. an incredible port
3. Lots of oil and gas
4. Lots of restaurants
5. Jazz
6. Mardi Gras (you won't believe what we do with this!)
7. Some of the most beautifu houses in the world (very, very wet)

What we need from you is simple:

1. Wetland redevelopment
2. New levees
3. Lots of new houses (but we want them to look old like the ones we lost)
4. We need schools and hospitals rebuilt
5. If you insist, we wouldn't mind some more outdoor cafes like you folks are famous for.

Please think this over carefully. Our current owners are so busy in other countries, they might not even notice if you come down here and take a look around. We'll put you up in grand style in a place we call "The French Quarter" (yeah, really!) and you can have lunch at a place we built for your very own Napoleon, which we call (you guessed it!)Napoleons". You'll be right at home.
Oh, just remember, we would like the levees and the wetlands taken care of ASAP, sometime just after lunch if not sooner.

Yours sincerely,
A homeowner in New Olreans
Joan Fox

Friday, December 09, 2005


It seems to me that children are probably growing up differently these days. That is not to say that the music teenagers listen to is too loud; or any of the usual things the older generation might talk about. There are news reports being broadcast on television regularly, about how children, are as a group, becoming more and more obese.

In the previous generations, children were more outdoor oriented with their activities. Options included the politically incorrect "Cowboys and Indians", or "cops and robbers". There were also numerous sports oriented options ranging from kickball , to freeze tag . Finally, I remember just joining pick up games of whatever, seasonal sport was going on. This coming from a person who was not terribly athletic, and generally more book oriented.

With all of that in mind not only are the food options for children atrocious, but the leisure options seem to be unhealthy as well. Certainly, the content of some of these video games is offensive, but please don't lose sight of the fact that fresh air might be a better option for the younger set than the computer screen or Xbox, regardless of the quality of the video game being played.

More later...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Forethought would be such a pleasant surprise for this administration

We are now 90 days removed from Katrina... My folks and others are still doing their best in working to rebuild New Orleans.... The situation in Iraq continues to get worse, assassinations every day, IED's are so common that many people in this country know what they are... The people of Bolivia are considering electing a man President who will legalize the growing of Coca; making cocaine more available... All of these things are going on and what are our elected officials doing right now? What are they focused on? The people we pay over 100,000 dollars a year each to represent us and steer the country?

Well, let's see we have the speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, focused on passing a bill to rename the national "Holiday" tree, a Christmas Tree.... "College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," said committee Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas Republican".... To see this story go to...
Why is the Energy and Commerce subcommittee taking up whether FSU should play Penn St, rather University of Miami.... And I'm a big time sports fan... just ask my wife... this is time that could be spent on why our gasoline prices are still above $2.25 a gallon, giving the oil companies record profits and remarkable tax breaks at the same time.

These are just a few of the stories currently going on that I was going to talk about... and then I get hold of the cyber edition of today's Washington Post . It appears that the federal government is getting ready to bail out The Big Three automakers. The administrations is going to give billions to a private industry, that does not know how to properly manage itself, while the Gulf Coast is still trying to rebuild after one of the nation's worst natural disasters. Rather than bailing out a group that did itself in , why not work for those individuals that need help from a situation they did not create... As further proof the federal government bailed out the airlines a few years back and they continue to wallow in either bankruptcy or near bankruptcy, what is to say that the automakers will not end up in the same cycle?

Bye the way, this is not meant to just bash the party in power.... All the democrats are doing right now is screaming at the top of their lungs... It is not our fault because we are not in power....

If that is all you can do it will be that much more difficult to gain power....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A little bit of everything

My folks and brother are coming into the general area at the end of the month. We are going up to meet with them in the world of disney. We will be in Orlando to visit with them. Those plans are being finalized, we do not see any of them often enough so it will be nice to catch up a bit. Next year, hopefully we will get down to see the whole crew in New Orleans.

Thankfully, we will be able to see some other family members who will be down here in Miami that same week. Cassandra will get to see numerous people who love her that whole week. Her birthday is roughly 3 weeks away and the year seems to have flown by. People have told me that time speeds up especially when you have children, well I can now agree without reservation. It does not seem a whole year ago that she was born, but that is the case. Everything, every bit of it is worth it, especially when she smiles at me and wrinkles her little nose. I can't wait to see her in an all white dress smearing chocolate everywhere. We will get a couple pictures and then she will nap, I will try to hold onto that moment for quite a while.

I started a new job on Friday, I work at an alternative learning center with 8th graders. It is a very challenging environment; where I will most likely be learning on the fly. If I can master working there, then I will have accomplished something. I'm responsible for Science, English and Reading. I feel good about this opportunity.

24 days until my baby's 1st Bday....

More later

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What is a rejectionist?

As the holiday season approaches, I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy Festivus, Hannukah, Christmas, or Kwanza.... As I've just realized, because of the heavy news coverage about it.... The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, because it is supposed to put retailers in the black.

Now if black is such a good thing there; why is it that black has such a bad rap. Black Monday was the day that the Stock Market crashed, and when things are going badly people frequently refer to these being dark times.... I envision black when people mention dark times.... I guess I could think of mahogany or some other dark color but for some reason black is the easiest color to think of.

Now that I've said my piece regarding the season..... The President yesterday for the umpteenth time, decided to give a press conference regarding our status in Iraq. We are pouring billions of dollars into Iraq to fight "Rejectionists, Saddamists, and Islamists". Someone needs to get this guy better speechwriters. What is a rejectionist? And as you read this, I will tell you that umpteenth is a word. As far as the Webster's dictionary website is concerned; it is defined as last in an indefinitely numerous series.

For many of us who do not support the President, it is even more distressing that he does not present an image of intelligence, wisdom and forethought that should be what the world is presented with when viewing the leader of our nation. I did not support his father either, but he did not exude the image of incompetence that this George W. seems to represent for many people. He also doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. When asked during the last campaign to name any mistakes he made in his first term, he could not name even one. The arrogance this showed was upsetting to me. I believe that the people who are truly bright know that they can learn from most people they meet, and not only recognize their own errors, but are willing to fix them.

More later