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No Hunting, Fishing, Trapping March 28, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, CBD, Dancing Bear, Flood, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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How odd to find a Posted sign in the middle of downtown, on a building on the corner of South Rampart and Perdido Streets. No hunting, fishing or trapping? Once not too long ago fishing might have been an issue, when this building sat at the southernmost advance of the lake waters if someone had perhaps broken in and set themselves up for a nap with a cane pole on the balcony, but not now, not today.

I am not even sure how many people who live in town know what to make of a Posted sign. It put me in mind of the 10 years I spent in the upper Midwest, part of if in the small town of Detroit Lakes (the Waveland of the North, as I used to call it: a sleepy town of 3,000 that exploded to as many as 30,000 people at the peak of the summer lake season). Perhaps the owner is an avid sportsman, who knows what it means to find such a sign on a fence line on a country road: No Trespassing. Here in New Orleans, we tend to favor the simpler and more direct message: Keep Out, Bad Dog.

On this day it was served as a reminder that at about this place in August of 2005, the water stopped and went no further, that this was the edge of the watery wild.

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St. Joseph the Worker March 7, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, CBD, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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It looks like I’m going to be hunkered in the bunker down here at the sketchy end of the CBD all weekend, making the large financial institution that employs me that much larger. If you’ve never integrated two company’s complex business and IT systems all in a weekend, lucky you. I’ve been down this road before and it is more fun than running a gauntlet of drunken, club-wielding Cossacks while singing hava nagila, but not by much.

Part of the fun of this exercise is that large organizations which have embraced Modern Project Management are full of people for whom what should be (and is for me) a practical discipline has become a sort of obscure religion with more and no less onerous rules than Leviticus and a daily program of ritual meetings that rivals monastic life, governed by that dysfunctional Book of Hours, Microsoft Project.

One good thing about being at the end, aside from a year-long slog being nearly over, is that the early program of setting entirely unreasonable deadlines without even consulting the people who have to meet then, and then suggesting that we will never know if we can meet then until we try, is behind us. At one time I was near the point of hog-tying some of the main office’s PMs and dragging them up to the roof and informing them that we’re were going to determine if they could fly. You never know for sure, I wanted to tell them, until you try.

One benefit of this event is that I get to book a room for catnaps at a nearby hotel where there are, I am told, frequently a lot of other working people. Unfortunately, most of them do not work for large financial institutions; well, maybe their customers do, but I’d rather not know. I just hope they keep it down in the next room.

The short version is: I guess I’m going to miss out on all the St. Josephs’ Altars this weekend. If you get by one, snag me a fava bean. Oh, and St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us.

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N.B. St. Joseph the Worker’s feast is actually not until May 1, and is probably intended to give good Catholics something to do on May 1 other than march in parades secretly orchestrated by some neo-Trotskyists with a clever front name. I think Trotskyists would be a lot more fun if they dressed like the Knights of Columbus or lawyers going to the Red Mass. Maybe then we could get in an extra parade weekend, if Mayday weren’t smack in the middle of Jazz Fest.