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The Emergency Is Broken September 9, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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So Monday night I took my son out to far Metairie around Transcontinental for his saxophone lesson, and tried to run some errands. At that time of day, I usually find I can get down Veterans Boulevard faster than I can down Interstate-10 running in parallel a half-mile over, so my drive takes me through the shopping strip the long way. As I crossed over into Metairie I thought it was odd that the grocery store Dorignac’s had an empty parking lot. At first I thought perhaps everyone had loaded up on groceries to heavily this weekend that business was just slow. I didn’t think about it again until after I dropped off my son.

I pull into the parking lot of Clearview Shopping Center and notice that Target’s parking lot is mostly empty. That’s Odd, I think, then wonder again if there was such a frenzy of restocking after the Hurricane Gustav evacuation (not to mention the post-evac malaise that seems to be troubling everyone) was keeping the shoppers at home. Score for me, I thought. I should finish in plenty of time. So I trundle up to the door. Locked. It’s closed, a woman sitting on the bench by the door tells me. When I ask why, she shrugs and looks away. OK, then.

So I start off towards K-Mart thinking, this is weird. Why would they be closed on a Monday night at 7 pm? One thing I needed were filters for the central air, so I suddenly realize I can drop into Lowe’s and get those. So I execute a perfect New Orleans center lane turn into the parking lot to notice it is eerily empty as well. Then I see that two Lowe’s semis are pulled across the front door, right in the fire lane. As I pull up toward the door, someone inside is waving off another shopper. Closed.

So, I’m about ready to give up until I remember seeing the Right-Aid by Transcontinental all lit up, so I head there. Closed. Zuppardos has people in the parking lot, so I make the quick reverse course u-turn on Vets to get there (a 1/4 mile of suburban driving to cover maybe 75 feet as the crow flies), then decide to check the Rouses just up the street instead. It is open, and even appears to have some frozen food (which was completely absent on Saturday at my Mid-City Rouse’s). Odd. I never asked the clerks why they were open. I figure they had no more clue than I did.

Years ago one of my treasured 1984 Worlds Fair souvenirs was little glass tube containing a sketchy looking cigarette with an Asian imprint on it and a strike anywhere match. A friend picked a handful of these up at the close-out/discount store after the Fair was over. The tube was labeled “The Emergency Is Broken”. I think I know what they meant. When my son was a wee thing, I bought him a cheap Space Shuttle toy of the sort that rolls around and bounces off walls, then takes off taxiing in another direction. Among it’s other Realistic Space Sounds it would announce “Three, Two, One, Blastdown!”.

I think this is called Japenglish, but I don’t want to slight anyone’s native tongue or town. I seriously doubt either of these things were “Made in Japan” like the cheap swords and Confederate skirmish caps we would buy in City Park when I was a little kid. And I kind of enjoy these errors in transliteration. At my last job we used to amuse ourselves by taking Business Requirements Documents written by our customers, running them through the Babel Fish translation from English-to-Dutch, then back again, to see if we could improve the clarity of those sad documents. Sadly, there were times when we could. Internet and instant messaging access are dangerous in a two-hour tele-meeting.

I asked the guys outside Lowe’s, the one who walked up to the door and talked to the clerk if there was still some sort of curfew in Jefferson Parish that I missed hearing about, but he said, “No, but we might as well be.” It seems that out in the land of the big box stores, the emergency is truly broken. Someone needs to tell me when it’s safe to go shopping again.

The Real Storm Season Begins June 3, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Forget the National Hurricane Center and Dr. Grey and that transgendered tropical storm in the Bay of Campeche.

The real summer storm may already be upon us.

Violence erupts in Jefferson Parish

by Allen Powell, The Times-Picayune Monday June 02, 2008, 12:15 PM
Three people were murdered and six others shot in Jefferson Parish in an unusually violent weekend in Jefferson Parish, leaving investigators scrambling to pick up the pieces this morning.

In addition to the murders and shootings, two cuttings and several armed robberies were reported throughout the parish. The incidents were almost evenly divided between the West Bank and East Bank and began Friday night shortly before 11 p.m. and continued until Monday morning, according to alerts.

You know, for all our bad rep, sometime we are flat out pikers when it comes to killing each other.

Tell all my mourners
To mourn in red —
Cause there ain’t no sense
In my bein’ dead.
— Langston Hughes

Torchlight parade down St. Chares Avenue to honor Harry Lee January 18, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Did this really happen? Could anyone be this stupid? The notoriously racist Harry Lee, deceased sheriff of suburban Jefferson Parish, to be honored by the Bacchus Parade?

This item appeared then quickly disappeared from the New Orleans Times-Picayune NOLA.Com newsfeed. I like to think it was a prank, but perhaps someone thought better of it: for example, the N.O.P.D who would have to contain the crowds closer to downtown that would as like as not wrest away a flambeaux torch and and toss it onto the float.

This is a brilliant idea. Parade an effigy of a man noted for his racist views through uptown New Orleans. Were they hoping to provoke a race riot? Or were they just terminally stupid? Was this to be a torchlight parade? Would it feature a burning cross?

Bacchus to announce Harry Lee tribute today

by The Times-Picayune

Thursday January 17, 2008, 9:07 AM

The Krewe of Bacchus will announce today plans to pay tribute to the late Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee.

The announcement will be made at a 4 p.m. news conference attended by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand; Lee’s widow, Lai Lee; daughter, Cynthia Lee Sheng; executive members of the Krewe of Bacchus along with Mardi Gras artist Michael Hunt.

Update: No, I guess it wasn’t a prank or a terrible mistake. What a grand way to start off the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial weekend.