Shabbat Shalom!

Biloxi Sunset - behind Hard Rock Cafe


The rest of the media is showing pictures of the grieving family of the cowardly, murdering terrorist who claimed four lives yesterday in Israel. Do not call those terrorists freedom fighters. They are murderers and have no human decency. This terrorist was a member of Israel's so called peace partner, Abbas and his Fatah group.

Anyways, Israellycool has the photos that should be all over the news, the faces of the victims.

An act of loving-kindness, picking up a hitch hiker led to Raot Feldman (20) of Herzeliya, Shaked Lesker (16) and Ilana and Rafi Levy (both 60) from Kedumim being killed.

There is no morality in taking the kindness of strangers and then blowing them up. There is no glory or honor in strapping a bomb to yourself and then attempting to blow up innocents at the mall, night clubs, hospitals, hitchhikers, etc.

The acts of terrorist are inhuman and are not justified. Please don't suggest their evil acts are the only way they have to fight. The terrorists just want to kill as many Israelis as they can. There is no justification, there is no morality, and there is no human decency to their acts of murder.

The victims of these murderous attacks are not published by most of the media. You do not see their smiling faces before their lives are wiped out. You do not see their families anguish. Why?

Go look at the pictures on Israellycool's site. See the faces of humanity.

Bad News for Louisiana

... maybe good news for Mississippi. The Army Corps of Engineers states that it will cost a further $6 billion dollars to raise the protection of the levee system in the New Orleans area.

The east bank of Orleans Parish is already financed for levees that would meet certification by 2010, according to government estimates. But more than $3 billion in improvements are needed to bring Algiers, eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward, east and west Jefferson Parish, St. Charles Parish, Belle Chasse and Lower Algiers to the appropriate protection levels. Another $3 billion would be needed for Plaquemines Parish. Times-Picayune

The question is rather or not to fund the levees. The New Orleans region is sinking due to a combination of raising sea levels, subsidence, and lack of sediments to replenish the marshes and bayous that surround New Orleans. The map below shows the level of erosion expected in the future. I found it via this post by Confederate Yankee.

The red areas indicate the shoreline that is expected to be lost. New Orleans appears to be inudated.

There are oil refineries, pipelines, and other businesses related to the gas and oil industry on the Louisiana coast that shows up in red on the above map. Must of those areas too are expected to be lost in the future.

This is why it maybe good for Mississippi. Chevron announced that Pascagoula Mississippi has a 90% chance of a refinery being located there. Plans are also in the works for a liquefied gas and an oil pipeline.

Pascagoula is already the site of major shipbuilding companies. It is also better protected than Louisiana's coastline while still providing fast and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. It's close proximity to Mobile also is advantageous.

Perhaps oil and gas executives are studying that map provided by LSU and see the writing on the wall.


A View From Work

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918


I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Things That Make You Go Hmm

Does anyone have any suggestions for this: Psyclops?

The link goes to a translator site and a person can translate a site into skinhead, pimp, smurf, aussie, cockney and redneck. I wouldn't have a problem with this, but it copies everything from my site: photos, links, and comments.

There are things such as creative rights.

Translate this:







A Reminder

... not to become to big-headed over my photos. A commenter directed me to the galleries of a fellow photographer along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. His photos are extraordinary. I linked to of his galleries on my side-bar. The first is S. Martin Before & General Gallery. This gallery includes photos that capture the beauty of the Mississippi Gulf Coast before Hurricane Katrina hit. It also includes photos from across the country and photos that will be of interest to those in the military.

The second gallery is S. Martin's Post Katrina Gallery. It includes photos from along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

I'm still learning. But looking through the pictures I took last year to the ones I took yesterday, I see an improvement.

This is another shot of the osprey flying close to where I work. I hope y'all agree.

Red County, California


Not a Hippie!

I am 24% Hippie.
So Not a Hippie.
What? Am I a Republican? Why did I even bother taken this test?! I guess I’ll back to my George W. Bush fan club and tell them I just wasted 10 minutes of my life. At least I don’t stink, man.

This one says I'm Repbulican. The one I took to see if I was White Trash says I'm a Democrat! I'm so confused. Need to go meditate awhile. Does anyone have any patchouli they can spare? Hey man, are you a hippie?

Senryū for Spring

Pretty white flowers
Why do you make me sneeze
Every spring

by seawitch

7 Months

It's been seven months since Hurricane Katrina hit the place I call home. Things are slowly improving. Telephone crews and power crews are still all around. I saw a power crew from Canada just the other day. Sewage and water lines are still being repaired. The housing situation, at least in Mississippi, is better. There are FEMA trailer parks in just about any area that can hold more than ten. You find them in the oddest places at times. I walked through my brother's neighborhood again. FEMA trailers stand next to the slabs where homes once stood. You cannot miss the trailers. They are every where. One of my neighbors has three in his yard. Zoning laws be damned! You can't protest when your fellow neighbors have no other choice.

The rebuilding is outpacing the clean-up. But there is so much still to do. I don't have a lot of patience and I want it done now! But then you meet people like the fisherman I was talking to Monday afternoon. You share stories back and forth. He tells you his house was condemned and demolished because of the storm surge. You both talk about the piers that have been turned to rubble. And you talk about how beautiful it all once was and then the guy who lost everything says with confidence we'll be back, better and stronger. It's just going to take awhile.

One of the handful of boats moored at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor had a name that says it all.

Patience Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St Louis, Waveland, and the other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Sometimes, you can find great comfort from sharing your story and listening to what another has to say. My constant prayer has always been give me patience and make it quick. I'm already preparing for the next hurricane season as are many others. One thing, does anybody know of a good and viable solar generator that can be used for TV's, radios, etc? Or a reliable water purifying kit?

I'm An Expert

... according to this test I took. It had 19 pictures from around the world and had to identify the famous building/feature. It seemed too easy and I only hesitated on two. They were from South America. Try it and see what you think. Around the World in 80 Seconds.


You scored 89% Recognition!

It looks like we have quite the expert here...you must have a lot of world knowledge or perhaps have travelled a fair bit. Very impressive! Since you recognized nearly every place, I trust you enjoyed the sites.

How many experts are out there? Share your results.



I finally managed to snag some great shots of a jet from the air force base. I have no idea what it is. Take a look and let me know.

It's been identified as a C-21A thanks to an anonymous commenter. Thanks!

Silence is Not Always Golden

As a commenter stated in a previous post, all too many times humans act like pack animals. Afraid to stand out and speak up against injustices. One such injustice that filled most of the world with horror was Abdul Rahman. A man who because of his convictions who converted from Islam to Christianity. Not a remarkable thing in most cultures. It usually affects mostly family members. I have an uncle who is a Christian fundamentalist. When I told him over 20 years ago I was becoming a Catholic, he told me I was going to burn in hell. He didn't threaten to kill me. Instead he's been praying for me all these years. I've been praying for him too. He is the only family member that I have not told about my decision to follow my heart which has lead to Judaism. The main reason is when any family talks to him, it usually leads to an hour long discourse about religion and all are wrong except him. It's difficult to hold a conversation with someone who is so closed minded.

I respect my uncle. He is following what he believes and I'm following what I believe. In both of my decisions, I did not have to worry about a law which states that I could be beheaded if I chose to leave a religion. I did not have to worry about being declared insane because of my decision.

All too often in Muslim countries, people who convert from Islam to another religion face the same threats as Abdul Rahman, death or declared insane. Why is this? Is Islam so fragile that it cannot abide anyone who leaves it?

Richard Cohen has a very opinion column in today's Washington Post called Unfathomable Zealotry. He questions the silence of the Muslim majority while acknowledging those brave souls who have spoken out. The following is one paragraph that stood out. The rest of the column is good and well worth the read.
Then comes the Rahman case and it is not a solitary crazy prosecutor who brings the charge of apostasy but an entire society. It is not a single judge who would condemn the man but a culture. The Taliban are gone at gunpoint, their atrocities supposedly a thing of the past. In our boundless optimism, we consign them to the "too hard" file of horrors we cannot figure out: the Khmer Rouge, the Nazis, the communists of the Stalin period. Now, though, this awful thing returns and it is not just a single country that would kill a man for his beliefs but a huge swath of the world that would not protest. There can be only one conclusion: They were in agreement.

Around a month ago, the Muslim world was seething over the publication of some cartoons. People were killed and embassies burned. Muslims were demonstrating in massive numbers and boycotting Danish products.

To me, a cartoon that is satirical of a religious leader is far less offensive than the fate of a soul who has been led by his convictions to another religion. Where are the massive demonstrations in the Muslim world over the fate of this man and the others like him?

G-d leads each one of us to him and there are many paths. Why should a human being face death or being labeled insane over this?

Islam says that is respects other religions but the silence in the Muslim world over Abdul Rahman appears to give lie to that. Islam cannot be a respecter of other religions if so many of adherents cannot or will not protest peacefully for the right of someone who has decided to leave the religion of Islam for another. Silence is not always golden.


The Trouble With Kids Today

What is the biggest problem with kids today? Their enthusiasm and the speed at which they work makes you feel old. Take the group of 40 students from St Olaf's College in Northfield Minnesota. They worked around 5 hours cleaning up the area close to where I work. About 130 came down on their spring break to help us out here in Mississippi and over in Louisiana. It makes you feel good about the future of our country when young hands are so willing to help out. I spoke with Thomas and he asked me to talk a little about the history of the company I work for and to describe the losses of many of our employees. I'm not a very good speaker but the kids were polite and clapped.

After their lunch break, I took this group shot.

Climbing the trees was one way to get the debris out of them.

They stayed busy.

It was hard work but they worked as a team.

The pile of debris that could not be put in bags.

I was glad to meet these kids. I was able to thank most of them personally for coming down here to help us. It felt good to see the area clean again and the trees without their drapes of plastic and wood. They did a great job.

Linked to Basil's Picnic 2006-03-28

Different Part 2

Last night I watched two movies. The first was Charly.This is a story of a man named Charly who is retarded. An operation is done to raise his IQ. It succeeds for awhile. I believe the most poignant scene in the movie is when Charly is at a bar after his operation. There is a bus boy that is retarded. He has a tray full of glasses and drops them. Everyone in the bar starts laughing at him except for Charly. He knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of the laughter that can cut through you like a knife. He goes and helps the bus boy pick up the glasses. The other people stop their laughter.

What prompts people to laugh at another's expense? There is a certain amount of cruelty involved in it. The thing about Charly even before the operation was done, he was always striving to learn. It's a good movie about the human spirit. It also stars one of my favorite actors, Cliff Robertson.

The other movie was Awakenings. It's about a group of patients in a mental hospital who are catatonic because of and earlier encephalitis infection. Dr. Sayers, played by Robin Williams, tries a new drug, L-Dopa and the result is miraculous for awhile. But what struck me this time about the movie was the man who had Tourette's Syndrome. I had never really noticed him in the other times I had watched this movie. Perhaps it was because I had written about my son's Tourettes just a couple of days before.

It made me start to think that if he had been born in the 1960's, would he have ended up in such a place? It just shows how perceptions about diseases such as Tourettes were and are still misunderstood. Thankfully new and more research is coming to light about the different diseases that affect the brain. It also makes me believe more and more that many of the diseases such as Tourettes are the result of viral and other infections.

The important thing is that because somebody is very different does not mean they need to be feared or ridiculed. The struggles that they face are a testament to the human spirit and soul.

Missing Link Found?

For years scientists have been searching for the missing link. The one that ties Homo erectus and modern humans. One such link may have been found in Ethiopia.
The hominid cranium found in two pieces and believed to be between 500,000 and 250,000 years old "comes from a very significant period and is very close to the appearance of the anatomically modern human," said Sileshi Semaw, director of the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project in Ethiopia.

Archaeologists found the early human cranium five weeks ago at Gawis in Ethiopia's northeastern Afar region, Sileshi said.

Several stone tools and fossilized animals including two types of pigs, zebras, elephants, antelopes, cats, and rodents were also found at the site.AP

Exciting news. The story of Lucy, discovered in 1974 enkindled in me a fascination on the origins of man and evolution. It's fascinating to read about the discoveries made in our human ancestry and how we are so alike to the other animals that populate our earth. It's also fascinating to read about what makes us humans so different from other animals. Say what you will, the discoveries of human evolution jusreinforcece my belief in G-d. Questions arise to what made man use fire. How did they learn to make clothing? Who was the first to bake bread? Why use fire in cooking at all? Did human sexuality lead the making of civilizations? Or was it the ability to farm grains at will and to raise cattle, goats, sheep, etc?

These questions all started in me when I read further about the discoveries being made and the pursuit of the missing link. The questions are endless and some may never be answered. But one thing is for certain, something prompted Homo erectus to walk erect and that led to modern man.


Float on Spring Winds

Biloxi Back Bay

Spring Greeting
by Sidney Lanier

All faintly through my soul to-day,
As from a bell that far away
Is tinkled by some frolic fay,
Floateth a lovely chiming.
Thou magic bell, to many a fell
And many a winter-saddened dell
Thy tongue a tale of Spring doth tell,
Too passionate-sweet for rhyming.

Chime out, thou little song of Spring,
Float in the blue skies ravishing.
Thy song-of-life a joy doth bring
That's sweet, albeit fleeting.
Float on the Spring-winds e'en to my home:
And when thou to a rose shalt come
That hath begun to show her bloom,
Say, I send her greeting!


I was reading this post at ArmyWifeToddlerMom and it has given me the courage to speak about raising my son who has Tourette's Syndrome. My fear is that our struggles will be ridiculed.

Tourette's Syndrome has many symptoms, the most famous being those who shout out profanities. My son's Tourettes is not like that. His is a combination of head and shoulder movements with vocalizations, usually in the form of humming, throat clearing, and others.

His is very subtle and does not interfere too much. But when he was going to school, there were trips to the principals office and conferences with teachers while he was in elementary school. Sometimes his movements would involve touching others on places like shoulders and so I would have to teach him to direct it another way. I did not try to suppress it, just taught him to touch the wall.

The neurologist who diagnosed him recommended Haldol. I choose not to go this route. He was only 6 years old when diagnosed and I did not feel it was appropriate for him to be taking such a strong drug.

The one thing that used to bring me to his school often was the periods when he would mimic his teachers ceaselessly. Yes, that is a symptom of Tourettes. I'm not talking about a few minutes here and there. I'm talking minute after minute, day after day. He would do the same to me. He was very good at it too! He had the voices and mannerisms of his teachers and me down pat!

The hardest thing was the realization that the parents of his classmates did not want their children to associate with him. How do you prepare your child for something like that? I taught him that he was a child of G-d. That there was no one else on earth like him and he was unique. He reveled in it. He was in the advanced learning classes and should have been in the gifted students program. In his 6th grade English class, he had to write an essay about himself.

His teacher pointed it out to me during the school's open house. In it, he wrote how it was good to be different. For him, standing out was a gift. I marvel at his courage. He still faces many hurdles and yet he faces each one with a grace and dignity that is awesome to see.

Sometimes, the Tourettes will disappear in a child's teenage years. His still remains with him. But he works through it. He has a good job, friends, a girlfriend, and hopefully soon will be going to college. He still likes being different.

The hardest thing I had to deal with was guiding him and teaching him how to handle rejection. That was the most painful thing of all. When kids are different and stand out, people generally try to avoid them. There was a lot of frustration and pain through the years because of this.

I am humbled by the way he has matured and overcome the obstacles in his way because of the Tourettes. Sometimes I forget to tell him. I just know he has the courage of a lion and I'm humbled that G-d gave me such a child to raise. It has it's drawbacks but the rewards far outweigh all. His brightness, his unique views, his sense of humor, and his mischievousness are all gifts that I'm honored to see on a daily basis.

When something goes awry in a persons brain, it is often classified as a mental illness. There is such bad connotations with a label like that. There is some speculation that Tourette's and other mental disorders such as depression are the result of viruses that affect RNA. One likely candidate isBorna viruses. There is so much that needs to be learned about what are classified as mental illnesses. If these illnesses are the result of viral infections, should they even be classified as mental illness? I don't think so. More and more studies are coming to light that mental illnesses are biological in character and not necessarily the result of some supposed deficiency in one's character.

The more people that know about these studies, the better the understanding of those like my son who suffer from Tourettes and people like me who suffer from clinical depression.

I originally posted this on Friday. I have made a few clarifications about the nature of my son's dis-ease and added some studies on some of the causes. I had researched Tourettes thoroughly when my son was diagnosed and 15 years ago, there was only one study linking Borna virus and viral infections to Tourettes, depression and others. It's good to know that more and more studies are being done that shows the links between viral infections and brain disorders. Perhaps, in time because of research such as this, the stigma of such afflictions will fall by the wayside.

Don Surber linked with Short Arm, Big Heart

Pyjamas Media linked.

An Observation

This morning, I was saying the Morning Service and practicing my Hebrew(very badly, though it is getting better). I noticed something odd. My birds and my cat Frisky were following along and paying very close attention. My other cat Smokey was ignoring the whole thing. Do you suppose the two birds and Frisky might be Jewish?

Posted as humor!



A year ago today, I wrote my first post. Over this past year I've written many posts about our armed forces, what I perceived to be the evils of Islam, politics here and there, and Israel. But since August 29 or more correctly September 9(the day my power came back on), this blog has been primarily an outlet for me in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is also turning into a photoblog and my reflections on coming home to my Jewishness.

Hurricane Katrina was and remains one of the most life-changing events I've ever experienced. It has caused me to rethink what my priorities are. I've had to face challenges in my comfortable world and face up to the reality of who I am, a woman who was scared by the storm. My world is a lot less comfortable than it used to be. I'm not talking about material comforts, I'm talking about the reality of having to face issues that I wasn't ready for.

I'm still not sure if I'm going to remain on the Coast. So much has changed and many are making the decision to leave. The whole flavor and feel of the place I call home is going to be going through big changes in the years ahead. I don't know if I have to courage to live in a place that is so changed or if I have the courage to move on to a totally different city, state, or country.

Whatever the future holds, I hope I'll be ready.

This past year of blogging has been a wonderful experience. I've met people from across the country and the world.

Basil linked with Picnic 2006-03-26


Shabbat Shalom!

Back Bay Biloxi

Who to Better Understand?

Not many people can truly understand what happened to my beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast when Hurricane Katrina smashed into it on August 29. You have to see it to understand the magnitude. But you also have to live down here and live through the aftermath in order to better understand. Perhaps those in Indonesia who lived through the devastation done by the tsunami are the ones who can best understand. I can understand the damage that was done during the tsunami but cannot comprehend the 230,000 lives that were lost.

It is fitting that nine Indonesian survivors and recovery experts will be visiting two areas that suffered a great deal: D'Iberville and Pearlington. Both of these Mississippi small towns had 65% or more destruction.

The Indonesians are coming to help with Hurricane Katrina recovery, to share their knowledge and to learn more for when they return to a region still piecing together tsunami-struck communities.

Dr. Sari Mutia Timu, a general practitioner who was one of the first doctors in Banda Aceh after the tsunami, will be among them. So will survivor Muhammad Nazif, an Acehnese man who now oversees the credit union and small farming in his village.

"These nine from Indonesia will have a better level of what's happened here than volunteers who come from New England or elsewhere in the U.S. who haven't experienced the same level of magnitude, even though they may not speak the same language or have the same cultural background," said Kathryn Renton, manager of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Volunteer Village in D'Iberville.Sunherald

We had the benefit of evacuating before Hurricane Katrina hit. The Indonesians did not have that luxery. Hopefully, that has now been remedied. You cannot stop the walls of water but the technology exists so that all can evacuate, whether it's a hurricane or a tsunami.


I'm A Brat!

You Are Bobby Brainy

Ultra competitive, you will do almost anything to win. From pull ups to pool sharking, you're very talented.
And while everyone is aware of your victories, they still (affectionately) consider you to be a little brat!


By the Sea

Gulfport Beach - Small Craft Harbor

The Sea and Me

Charlotte Mair

I stand face into the wind
harvesting full essence of sea breeze
captured by her beauty

Sea gull circles calmly above
...and there
a war torn log creates a chair
in conversation with icy
hands of her water
encircling unclothed feet

I feel as one
as an old seafarer
returning to port
for last call - - complete

Seizing the view
Mother Sea commands
liberty is then taken
to catch winds at bay
saturating my mind
with visions
crystalline mists
frothy soft tides
etchings that lay
engraved in shores by day
sun-jewels aglow
giving sweet repose
enriching my life
in the peace
of great beauty

Sea gull circles calmly above
...and there
a war torn log creates a chair
in conversation with icy
hands of her water
encircling unclothed feet

I feel as one
as an old seafarer
returning to port
for last call - - complete

Seizing the view
Mother Sea commands
liberty is then taken
to catch winds at bay
saturating my mind
with visions
crystalline mists
frothy soft tides

That's All We Need

FEMA has been largely criticized for not providing temporary trailers for those whose homes were destroyed in Louisiana. Perhaps the problem is not with FEMA but with local officials in Louisiana who have not been approving the sites for those trailers. It has come to light that FEMA wants to move some of those Louisiana families into Hancock County Mississippi. That is a very bad idea. Hancock County is still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. There is still only one grocery store open and only a three gas stations are open in the whole county. So far, 404 families from Louisiana have been moved into Hancock County.

People in Louisiana have been long complaining about the slowness of receiving FEMA trailers but it's not the fault of FEMA officials. It's the officials such as New Orleans Mayor Nagin. It's telling that Mayor Nagins office had this to say:

In Orleans Parish, mobile homes can be placed in parks. Before FEMA can establish a new mobile home park the agency would need approval from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. A spokeswoman in Nagin's office could not say whether any new sites have been approved.Sunherald

Contrast this with the response of officials in St Tammany parish:

That same goal seems to be shared by officials in St. Tammany Parish, La., where Suzan Parsons, a parish spokeswoman, said leaders want trailers placed on private property so residents can be close to their neighbors, instead of living in large group sites.
"We have changed our zoning to allow up to two trailers on a single piece of personal," she said. "We thought it was better to have communities and neighborhoods stay together."

So whose at fault for the lack of FEMA trailers for Louisiana residents? FEMA or the local officials? In the Mississippi, Harrison and Hancock officials have rezoned areas so the FEMA trailers can come in and provide some shelter for the people of these counties. There are stories that FEMA trailers are just waiting in places across the South to be moved into Louisiana. The hold up is not with FEMA. It's with those officials in Louisiana who have not done the job of rezoning. And it's Mississippi that appears to be having to suffer the burden of caring for more people then it can handle. It is still bad down here. There are still shortages of just about everything and we cannot handle the influx of people being sheltered from Louisiana.

The officials of Louisiana, especially Mayor Nagin need to start doing more than just complaining about the federal government. Concrete decisions need to be made. Mississippi is a poor state and still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. It cannot effectively provide for sheltering those from Louisiana. We are swamped with helping those 68,000 families whose homes were destroyed. Louisiana officials get off your butts and help your people!!

Linked to Basil's Picnic 2006-03-22


Flying Proud

One of the great things about living in a community that has an Air Force base and a Seabee base is that you get to see sights such as this:

It was almost directly overhead and banking when I took this shot. I believe it's a DC-10.I can identify birds better than planes. Thanks to an e-mail from Mike, he identified it as a C-130.

Something About Racks

Mark at Knockin' on the Golden Door needs a little help. He just needs a few more comments at his post and he'll be e-mailed a picture a rack. I'm trying to help him out but I don't think the picture below is what he had in mind:

Taking the Time

I've have already taken 600 photos with my new camera. It hasn't quite been two weeks yet. Give me time, I'll take more! The photos have a clarity to them that is unmatched by my old camera. The 55m-200m lens allows me to take the shots I could only dream about before. The problem with playing the camera so much is I really haven't sit down and really gone through all the photos. I did that this morning. I'm going to spare you the publication of all of them but wanted to share a couple.

I've been trying for weeks to take a shot of the prey the male osprey brings to the nest. I'm not sure what the prey is but I'm sure his missus and the little hatchling will enjoy.

If you click on the image, you can see the spiral staircase of the Gulfport Main Library. The library has set up trailers in order to restore the historical documents relating to history of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They were on the second floor of the library and were damaged by Katrina.

A quick vote, do y'all think my hobby is becoming an addiction?


Something Strange

Yesterday I couldn't figure out what was so strange about my son. It took me awhile to finally realize what it was. He was actually walking around, talking to me, reading, watching movies, and did not have the cell phone attached to his ear. I asked him if he had run out of glue. He has to be employing something to keep it attached to his ear. The cell phone bill came in. I didn't think he and girlfriend could top the 5,000 minutes last month. But they did. The phone bill had 7,000 minutes this time!

Celebration of Spring

Part I - A Prayer in Spring
by Robert Frost

OH, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.


At Shabbat services Friday, we did not have a minyan. A brief discussion was held as to why. Most thought it was because of the supper and services held at a Presbyterian church in Gulfport with Hillel students. Others thought it was because of the slack usually seen after holidays such as Purim. Whatever the case may be, it gave me a chance to really hear the Hebrew and I was heartened to know that I can follow much better. It's been getting better week by week. I told someone last week that I feel a little lost sometimes but he said we are all a little lost.

But what struck me was the discussion on the Torah portion. The Torah scrolls are safe even though Beth Israel suffered suffered damage. They are not present in the Methodist church hall that we use for our services. Usually the leader talks about the portion. This week it was about the golden calf at Sinai.

It's wonderful which directions discussions can take. One person brought up how one of the readings during services say that we are to be witnesses to the Torah and the Torah was given to us. This led to how each generation of Jews makes this discovery for themselves and takes up the challenge of being witnesses to the Torah. It echoes throughout history. One brought up this echo is much like the Big Bang. Sounds of the Big Bang can still be heard today. The challenges and the gift of Sinai echo much the same and resonate among Jews.

I am still thinking about the discussion and how it relates to my own discovery. Four years ago I was a catechist teacher for 1st graders. I was at a class that all catechists must take to be certified. They were showing slides of a synagogue. Something reached out to me when I saw the bimah. The subsequent slides of pictures from Israel hammered the message home. I did not belong in a Catholic church, I belonged with the faith of my father, grandfather, grandmother, and cousin's.

I resigned as a cathechist and stopped going to Catholic services. I started reading about the faith of my father and felt I was coming home. Sometimes I'm still confused rather or nor I can call myself a Jew. I feel as though I'm one of the generation who reaching out to be a witness to the Torah but I have so much to learn!


Do You Ever Wonder

if government officials read your blog? I'm sure that not many read mine but from site-meter reports, I have seen that a few Congress critters have read it. Back in February I did a post called Considerations. It outlined a few ideas I had for evacuating the Mississippi Gulf Coast if we were to be threatened by another hurricane.

Some of the ideas I came up with were:

In the event of another hurricane heading our way, I offer the following suggestions for our emergency officials:

1) Use school buses to transport people out of the area

2) Open places such as Camp Shelby, the Jackson Convention Center, and other places inland that can hold large amounts of people

3) Make sure the people boarding the buses are aware they need to bring enough non-perishable food and water to last 5-7 days

In today's Sunherald, Governor Barbour addresses the the same concerns I had about the time it would now take to evacuate the Coast.

The governor said he expects many survivors who stayed on the Coast for Katrina will now be less willing to remain for another hurricane.

With the possibility of more vehicles clogging the highways, it will take longer for people to leave the southernmost counties. That, too, will drive the need for officials to issue earlier evacuation orders.

"It'll cost us money, but that's just what you have to do," Barbour said. "Better safe than sorry."

State agency leaders are working on a new disaster plan that will lay out the state's response for a host of events, from hurricanes to earthquakes to terrorist attacks.

The new plan must be filed by early May, and hurricane season starts June 1. The plan will cover everything from law-enforcement communication systems to hurricane evacuation routes.

Public transportation is not widely available in Mississippi but will become more important in the coming hurricane season because many Coast residents still have not replaced cars they lost in Katrina.

Barbour said the state does not plan to buy new buses for hurricane evacuations. He said school buses will be used, and they could come from school districts in any part of the state.

I don't seriously believe that the Governor reads my blog but it's reassuring that the officials of Mississippi are addressing the new needs in the event that those of us along the Coast will have to evacuate in case of a hurricane. It's also good that are planning for other disasters such as earthquakes. Northern Mississippi has fault lines that are connected to the New Madrid fault line and has suffered minor quakes.

Fake Concern

Remember this post that Cindy Sheehan did at Daily Kos back in September?

Image by SacredCowburgers Hat tip to Doyle at A Cool Change

She has no "moral authority". She did not stay very long at the Veterans for Peace March to New Orleans.
Activist Cindy Sheehan, who energized the anti-war movement last summer with her month-long protest outside President Bush's Texas ranch, joined the Gulf Coast marchers in Mississippi on Friday, but left early Sunday for events in Washington.NOLA

She must not have received enough news coverage and needed to move onto greener pastures.

Forget the Levees

Forget the levees in New Orleans. That is no longer the big issue of Hurricane Katrina. The big issue is the insurance companies and their attempts to rob homeowners of covered damages. This is becoming a very issue and it's one that is not receiving much coverage. The homeowners in Mississippi are being ripped off. There are allegations of claims being altered and homeowners signatures being forged. Those will be investigated. However, a homeowner is fighting back after the engineers report was altered to make it harder for them to receive damages due to wind.

Rimkus Consulting Group Inc is being sued. The engineer firm is accused of altering an engineers report that was favorable to homeowner and showed wind damage was a major factor in the destruction of their home. The engineer was hired by the claims adjustor. It is alleged that the original report was altered and then the engineers signature forged.

The insurance companies have been making record profits, even after Hurricane Katrina. Why do they have to attempt to bilk homeowners of covered claims? This is the real story. The levee issue is over and done with. Why aren't there reports about the abuses of insurance companies? Reports are being altered and signatures forged. This is the issue that needs to be addressed.


Beauty and the Beast

The Mississippi was blessed with so much beauty before Hurricane Katrina. The homes and buildings that were built in the 19th century gave the Coast a unique look. Katrina took most of those homes and businesses but the natural beauty is something that she couldn't take.

Friday was a beautiful day at the beach in Gulfport. I left work an hour early and spent most of it enjoying sights such as these least terns flying.

A little further down, the water is still littered with debris. It's not advisable to be walking or running in the water along this stretch.

Images like this Lutheran church are still common along Hwy 90.

There is still beauty down here. But there are too many images that show the destruction of the beast that was Katrina.


Shabbat Shalom

I have grown to love the peace and quiet of Shabbat. Stepping outside of time is a good way to relax and at times, it feels like a rebirth. I'll be back around 7:00pm tomorrow. There several posts below that I hope y'all will read and enjoy. Shabbat Shalom!!


In this post, I wrote about the anti-war group Veterans for Peace and their march through Long Beach. My local television station, WLOX, had a report about the march in Gulfport. To be fair to WLOX, they are very supportive of the troops. The story that aired last night was balanced. But there were some important things left out.

I had a conversation with the news director, Dave Vincent, about some of my concerns. I asked why only the back of the Veterans for Peace bus was shown. If they had done a side view, the viewers would have seen the upside down US flags hanging in the bus and the Impeachment Tour in big, bold letters.

I also asked why the Wheels of Justice bus were not shown. That one had keeping on eye on Iraq and Palestine. I asked what did Palestine have to do with Hurricane Katrina.

The reason I called was to let him know that by not showing those buses, it didn't let those who watched it know what an extreme group Veterans for Peace really is. Though a couple of those that who were interviewed appeared to be nutty. The BBC journalist who is making a documentary about the march appeared to be the most reasonable. He stated that a lot of people might not agree with Veterans for Peace but they have a right to their opinion.

I also asked the news director if they were aware that Veterans for Peace uses crosses with the names of those killed in Iraq in most of their anti-war protests. That many of the families of those killed have asked them repeatedly not to use their loved ones names in their protests. He didn't respond to that question and the conversation ended politely. I thanked him for calling me back and he thanked me for calling.

I would have liked for our Protest Warrior operation to have been done in Gulfport. However, we all work and could not make it to that one and let Veterans for Peace know we did not appreciate them. If they were really interested in helping, they could have done like so many other volunteer groups and grabbed a hammer to help us rebuild. I do not like Veterans for Peace using the destruction wrought in my state to promote their agenda. I do not like Veterans for Peace nor their twisted agenda. They are predators and seek to use anyone and anything they can to promote their agenda.

Update: Thanks to Doyle at A Cool Change, at least we didn't have to deal with the Mutha Sheehan veil of tears like New Orleans is going to face.

Do Not Close the Doors

In the 1930's, America's doors were slammed shut to Jews desperately seeking escape from Europe and Hitler. Today in France, anti-Semitism is on the raise once agan. Many are making Aliyah to Israel.

Some may want to come to America. Please sign the petition so our doors will remain open to those seeking refuge from the anti-Semitism in France.

Cajun Cruise

Someone sent me this via e-mail. It's a Cajun cruise shot. It could also be considered a redneck cruise shot. Pretty innovative, eh?


You Can't Depend on Hippies

The South Mississippi Chapter of Protest Warriors had our signs and flags ready. But you just can't depend on hippies. The Veterans for Peace who organized the Veterans March to New Orleans were very lost and late. They arrived 30 minutes after the scheduled time in their buses. Notice I said buses. Didn't see too much marching and they failed to make their promised speeches at the ruins of Long Beach City Hall. I don't believe they applied for the required permits. None of the police officers nor people at the relocated City Hall knew of their plans. But I do have pictures.

Notice the quaint Impeachment Tour on the bus. What hypocrites. The stated goal of the march from their web-site is to bring attention to the damage done by Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I don't think they even noticed the demolished buildings around where they parked their bus.

Look carefully on these buses. What exactly do Palestinians have to do with this? It's an anti-war march disguised as a humanitarian march. But if they really wanted to help, they should have picked up some hammers to help rebuild instead of tying up police resources in the devastated cities of Mississippi.

Some of the veterans preparing for their "march" to the remains of the Long Beach Mississippi City Hall. Everyone has a right to free speech in this country. But I believe these guys are wrong. None of the signs on their buses has anything to do with recovering and rebuilding, just calls for impeachment.

My fellow Protest Warriors look harmless enough. Just a flag and a few signs. One tells them they to help is to grab a hammer and has a picture of someone repairing a roof. The other states that US Armed Forces are the true freedom fighters. We waited patiently for them to "march" by on the corner of the road where the city hall was. I spied them going down another road.

I was able to take the pictures of the buses because we pulled up as they disembarked. Most of us had on our Protest Warrior shirts. They didn't seem to like that I was taking pictures. Maybe it was because of all the upside down US flags in the bus you can see in the first picture. Oh well. It felt good to let them know that their trying to link the pain and misery of us in Mississippi to their anti-war agenda was not appreciated. It's the men and women in our Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea, Djibouti, and other places around the world that guarantees their right and my right to free speech.

Another thing, the men and women in the Coast Guard, the Marines, the US Army, the US Navy, and the National Guard has done more to help us then Veterans for Peace could ever hope to. The men and women of the US Armed Forces have been picking up hammers, shovels, bulldozers, backhoes, saws, and other construction equipment and are helping us to rebuild. I wish I could thank each and every one of them in person. Thank you guys!!!

Crying Out For Justice

There still has been no one charged in the murder of Jesse Lee Williams Jr. The investigators are still pouring through documents and even surveillance tapes of what happened the night Williams was brought to the Harrison County Adult detention Center. Yesterday, it was announced that the family of Williams is suing for wrongful death.

The civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, identifies 14 defendants, including Ryan Teel as the jailer targeted in a criminal investigation into Williams' death after a beating Feb. 4 at the Harrison County jail. Allegations in the lawsuit echo witnesses' statements to the Sun Herald describing acts of torture in which Williams was punched, choked, hog-tied, toted and dropped "like a human suitcase," Tasered and held in a restraint chair.Sunhearld

The article goes on to state that only one side of the argument is reported in the lawsuit. But I find it very interesting that the deputy, Ryan Teel, is being targeted in the criminal investigation. See his dad, Wes Teel, was a former Chancery Court judge. Judge Teel was indicted in December by the Federal government on judicial bribery and conspiracy charges.

It makes me wonder if justice is being slowed due to preferential treatment, the fears of county leaders of being sued, or just extra care being given.

Also named in the lawsuit are the Harrison County Board of Supervisors; Sheriff George H. Payne Jr.; Maj. Dianne Gatson-Riley, jail warden; Capt. Rick Gaston, jail security director and booking supervisor; Capt. Phil Taylor, training director; Officer Leah Richardson, central control officer; booking room deputies Leo DeGeorge, Evan Hubbard, Regina Rhodes and Morgan Thompson; medical administrator David Decelle; Health Assurance LLC and "other unknown John and Jane Does."Sunherald

Since the wrongful death lawsuit has been filed, this should not be a reason to hold back justice any longer. Justice still isn't been served in Williams' death. No one has been charged and it's been 1 1/2 months since his death. Many people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are upset by this. They are crying out for justice.


Some Days...

Some days, I wish I could spend fishing. I took this on Sunday. It's at Bayou Bernard in Gulfport.


Many may not know but today is the international EATAPETA Day. This is something I can fully support as a proud member of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals), I urge all of you to Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Below is an inspiring picture which I'm sure will have your glands salivating.

What could be better than to celebrate EATAPETA Day than by enjoying a nice juicy rib-eye steak? I'll probably have a nice dinner of stir-fried stew meat with some vegetables, though a rib-eye would be my first choice. How do you plan to celebrate this glorious day to our carnivorous inclinations?


It Never Fails

Because I decided to post the rant below, I was running late this morning. It never fails that when you are running late, you get stuck behind someone doing 20mph in a 40mph zone. It also never fails that the person you are stuck behind has to stop at every street. In other words, when I'm running late, I always manage to get stuck behind someone who is lost. Of course every single light is red and the person in front of you is either busy putting on make-up or talking on the cell phone and is too busy to notice the light has changed to green.

Then when I finally get on the I-10, traffic is bad and everyone seems to be driving very slowly and they are also in the passing lanes instead of the right lane.

It also never seems to fail that the post that made you late also messes up how your site looks under Internet Explorer. The sidebar is appears at the bottom instead of on the side. Never mind that it looks fine under Firefox and Netscape. You go and check all your html code. All the html code looks good. When you delete said post, your site looks okay under Internet Explorer. So you repost the saved copy and BAM, it messes up again. It just never fails.

UPDATE: Solved the problem with the sidebar not appearing correctly in Internet Explorer by putting the problematic post in blockquotes.

A Rant

I haven't posted a good rant in awhile. This one has been building up since Sunday. I watched the movie The Day After. It was made in 1983 and it's about the aftermath of a nuclear war with Russia. I'm just curious why it aired at this time and who it is aimed at. With the looming threat of nutjobs in Iran close to developing nuclear weapons and their ability to use long range missiles, why this movie now? Is it aimed at us in the US or at those in Iran?

The one reason that the US and the USSR avoided a nuclear exchange is because each side valued life and their children's future. I do not see this as the case in Iran. I am reasonably sure that the majority of Iranians loves their children and want to insure a good future for them. President Ahmadinejad is a different story and is filled with visions of glory and hatred. He has made the threat to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

If he had the capability to do it now, I am sure he would not hesitate. To me, this is one of the most pressing threats to world peace. Iran must not be allowed to continue to develop its nuclear program. It must be stopped and very soon.

Time is running out and Iran is playing its games with the ineffectual EU and the UN. A while back, I posted where the US was planning on an operation sometime this month to take out Iran's nuclear program. I hope those reports are true and that action is forthcoming.

Another movie comes to mind Dr. Strangelove, the American General Jack Ripper who gleefully and willfully sets off the US's nuclear defense against the USSR is akin to Iran President Ahmadinejad.

Time is running out. Something should have been done long ago. But the movie The Day After is a good reminder of what is in store for the world if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Islamic extremists are delusional and only see visions of a glory to come. Ahmadinejad is very delusional and his vision of nuclear weapons must not be allowed to continue. I do not want to see our world reduced to the Stone Age and that is what will happen if Iran is allowed to continue on it's course. I do not want relatives in Israel reduced to ash. Too many have already been lost to the Shoah. But it's not only Israel that is at risk; those missiles can reach also reach Europe. The whole world is at risk.


Happy Purim!

Purim is a celebration when the tables were turned on Haman who sought the destruction of the Jews in ancient Persia. Through the faith of Esther and Mordacai, the king of Persia allowed the Jews to arm themselves and defeat those who would kill them. Rattles, boos, hisses, and stomping are done every time Haman's name is mentioned.

There is great joy in this holiday. It's filled with costumes, good food, and plenty of fun.


I realize some who may read my blog on a regular basis may be starting to become a little wearied about all my posts on Hurricane Katrina. I too am becoming weary. Not from writing about it but from having to live here in Mississippi. It's been 6 1/2 months and still things are nowhere close to being normal.

There are still shortages at grocery stores. Blank shelves abound where your favorite items are supposed to be. No bookstores have as yet reopened. Mail delivery is still messed up. Though power has been restored, you still see numerous crews out rebuilding the power grid. Phone crews are also out in full force.

A massive amount of demolition and clean-up has been done. But there is still so much more to do. Most of my pictures lately have been of the beauty that can be gleaned here and there. But the reality is that it is few and far between.

What the pictures of the pelicans don't show you is the other side of Hwy 90. A tourist pulled up, from Wisconsin. She wanted to know all about the destruction she was seeing. To her, it was just a bunch of bricks and mortars piled all around. To me, it was the hotel where I would go to see the Comedy Zone shows, the marina that used to be so beautiful to take a midnight walk, the mausoleum where so many locals had their kin buried. In other words, it's home to me and though the pain is lessened, it is still there.

I've talked to people from Virginia and California. The one from Virginia has been down here since September with a two week break. He has talked to many people like me and had some understanding of the need to get away and also the feeling of dread in coming back. The one from California said it didn't look like much had been done. I just explained that it was a lot worse just a couple of months ago.

These are some more views of what it is still like down here. What I and the rest of the population in Biloxi, Gulfport and the other cities still see on a daily basis. It is wearying.

Broadwater Marina - Biloxi, The beauty is long gone. But it will return. This was where the President Casino was moored. Beautiful boats used to grace the marina.

Southern Memorial Park - Biloxi, yet another cemetery Katrina did not respect.

Sometimes I have the urge to pull up stakes and move elsewhere. But this is my home and I can't envision living anywhere else. Things are improving day by day but it is so slow. I'm not very patient. I want it done yesterday.

Oh Boy!

When I was growing, I swore to myself that I would not be like my Mom. There was no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I absolutely refused to have any characteristics of my Mom. Wouldn't you know it? The older I become, the more I become just like her.

Whenever she rides with me, she hangs on to anything for dear life. I usually go below the speed limit when she's with me. I am always hoping that will calm her down. It never does. When I glance over to check on her, many times I would she her stamping her foot down on the imaginary brake she has.

So imagine my dismay when I was riding with my son and I start doing the same thing as my Mom! Those imaginary brakes don't work too well! We arrive home safe and sound. My son looks at me and says, "Mom, I think I drive better without you in the car!".

I haven't had the torturepleasure of riding with him since. It's better for him and me. He is a very good driver. I'm just a lousy passenger!



I liked the following pictures I took today. It's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I really, really like my new camera.

There's so much more detail and the new camera allows me to track the brown pelicans much better.

It also allows me to capture other fast flying objects such as this HueyChinook helicopter. I'm good at identifying birds not helicopters! Thanks steveH!

I haven't taken very many pictures indoors but I loved the costume this couple wore at the Purim celebration. They came as a blue roof. Purim is a fun holiday. There was a great deal of laughter as rattles and boos sounded forth at the cursed Haman's name.

Spring Break

This time of the year, most colleges and universities in the US have spring break. The image that comes to mind is students partying at the beach or just having a good time. But this year, a lot of students are using their spring break to help us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Their help is much appreciated.

Thousands of college students from across the country are spending their spring vacations in cities along the Coast, helping hurricane victims clean up and repair their homes after the storm. The following are among the universities that have students traveling to this area: Coe College (Iowa), Columbia University (New York), Creighton University (Nebraska), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), Emory University (Georgia), Hamilton College (New York), University of North Carolina, Penn State (Pennsylvania), Purdue University (Indiana), St. Bonaventure University (New York), University of Michigan (Tau Beta Sigma), Virginia Tech.Sunherald

One group of students was not mentioned. They are the Hillel students from the University of Virginia. These kids are wonderful. I had the privilege of celebrating Shabbat services with them in my congregation. They are working so hard. And the work they are doing is dirty, pulling sheetrock filled with mold.

Their enthusiasm is contagious. Most will be down here for at least three weeks. I cannot say it enough how grateful I and the rest of us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are for their help. Thank you doesn't seem adequate for the help they are giving.


Not This Favorite Son

A straw poll was held in Tennessee to see who was the favorite Republican candidate for the presidential election in 2008. Unsurprisingly, Frist won.

Frist should not be in the running for president! He has shown no leadership potential in his current capacity as the Senate Majority leader. His bumbling over the Senate filibuster threats is just one example of his ineffectiveness.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney seems to be the best out of the possible contenders. It's still two years away and much can change. The more I've seen of Frist, the more I dislike him.

At one time, I fully supported the idea of Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice running. But I don't like some of the things she has done in regards to Israel. I wouldn't mind seeing Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the running. Who would you like to see?

Update on the Dolphins

The dolphins that used to reside at Gulfport Marine Life before it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina are doing fine in Atlantis. The heartwarming story of seven of the dolphins who had been feared lost and were subsequently rescued was a morale boost to us in Mississippi. It was heartbreaking when the management of Marine Life decided in November to send the dolphins to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

But they are thriving and seem to be enjoying their new home. Most of the scars that the seven dolphins suffered while swimming in the storm ravaged waters of the Mississippi Sound have now healed.

I wish they were back home. It's good to know they are doing well. But the Gulfport Small Craft harbor is not the same without the sound of the shows that used to go on at Marine Life.

Picture from theSunherald

That's not all that's missing at the Small Craft Harbor. The piers for the boats are all gone. A lot of things are gone. But like the dolphins, we'll survive and rebuild and flourish in new homes. We'll rebuild destroyed businesses. And most of the time we'll be smiling through the hard work.


Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom!


Last Sunday was the first time I had been to Pass Christian since Hurricane Katrina hit. Sometimes it's just too hard to look at mile after mile after mile of damage. My heart aches for all those who lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods. The beauty which once existed is no longer there. Though nature is making a comeback as are the people along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it so slow. But it is progress.

The following pictures are comparisons of the storm surge.

This building located at the Pass Christian Harbor was gutted all the way to the third floor. I estimate each floor to be about 10 feet high. The truck gives some idea of the height of each floor. Pass Christian is located about 20 miles east of where Katrina made landfall in Mississippi. Mississippi was hit with the worst winds and of course the worst storm surge.

This was taken in Biloxi which is about 26 miles east of Pass Christian. It's what's left of the Harbor Master's office. The man in front is the harbor master. The building is three stories high. The storm surge gutted the first two stories as you can see. The waves reached the windows on the third floor.

At times, it's hard to imagine the idea of a 20 to 30 foot storm surge. Just picture it this way, if you had been standing where the harbor master is, you would have had 15 feet or more of water above your head. A storm surge that is almost 40 feet is also hard to imagine. But just picture yourself in the truck in the top picture and try imagine all that water above you.

As I've posted before, the storm surge in a hurricane is highest at the point where it makes landfall. Biloxi is almost 46 miles from where Katrina made landfall. The storm surge is still unbelievable.

Another comparison, the Harbor Master building was built to take into account the highest storm surge Mississippi had up until Katrina. Hurricane Camille hit in 1969. Until then, it had the worst storm surge Mississippi had ever seen. The storm surge from that hurricane would have only gutted the first floor of the Harbor Master's building.


Sheriff Payne Answers

In this post, I wrote about the brutal death of Jesse Lee Williams at the hands of a sheriffs deputy. I had some questions for Sheriff Payne. He has answered some.

The deputy responsible for Williams death no longer works for the Harrison County Sheriffs Department. Williams' death has been ruled a homicide but no one has been charged as of yet. A surveillance camera captured the beating and is currently in the hands of US Attorney Dunn Lampton.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, the FBI, and the Harrison County District Attorney's office are all investigating the murder of Jesse Lee Williams.

Sheriff Payne offered these words:

"On a personal note, I want to express my sympathy for the family of Jesse Williams and my sincere regret for the remarks I made concerning their loved one's possibly being under the influence of drugs. That information was reported to me over the phone and was obviously incorrect. Like the events of that tragic evening, if I could take my words back, I would," Payne said.WLOX

I'm still at a loss why no charges have yet been filed. The coroner has ruled Williams' death a homicide. For the sake of justice and a semblance of peace for Williams' family, charges need to be filed soon.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

My new camera arrived at work today. I charged the battery up and set out to see what it could do. Y'all be the judge of these.

The skies were gray today. A big storm front is coming in. The female osprey keeps watch even though there's water and an island between us.

A least tern at Gulfport skimming for it's dinner.

The storm front has caused the seas to be very stormy. Moses Pier in Gulfport.

I do believe I'm going to have alot of enjoyment from my new camera. It's fun playing with the two lenses to see which works best and when.

Something Must Be Done

about Wednesdays! Wednesday has very bad karma or something. It's the one day of the week when things are sure to go downhill no matter how optimistic and cheerful your day may start.

As I'm sitting at my desk trying to round-up the last of the information the CPA needs to finish the SBA applications, I start hearing sirens. First it's the rescue SUVs. Then the sheriff's SUVs. Then it's a fire truck. Then some more fire rescue SUVs. Then one last fire truck. Sirens and horns blaring and all heading toward the construction site where the plant is being rebuilt.

I rush out with my handy camera to take pictures of what is going on but my boss calls and I have to go back in the office.

After I pull up the information he needs, the foreman from the construction site comes into the offices and lets me know what had happened. A forklift at the site had caught on fire. Thank G-d no one was hurt. I have to take my handy camera and take pictures of the burnt forklift.

I'm no expert but it looked like the fire started at the battery and then spread. No one knows what caused it. So, now in addition to pulling up records for the CPA and my boss, I now have to go to the fire department to pick up a report on the fire.

Which really wasn't a bad thing. I had never been in a fire station before. This one had several pictures of 9-11 and of the memorials that people in New York had made at the fire stations up there.

I still dislike Wednesdays intensely. When I got home, I told myself I was going to have a nice relaxing night of writing at least one rant. That didn't work out either. After watching Jeopardy, I fell asleep and didn't wake up for several hours.

Somebody, anybody, please do something about Wednesdays!


Height vs Length

Bubba and Boudro were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.
A blond lady walked by and asked what they were doing."We're supposed to find
the height of the flagpole," said Bubba, "but we don't have a ladder."

The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole
down. Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, took a measurement &
announced, "Eighteen feet, six inches," and walked away.

Boudro shook his head and laughed. "Ain't that just like a dumb blond?
We ask for the height, and she gives us the length".

Bubba and Boudro are currently working for the government. Bubba works for FEMA
and Boudro is supervising the reconstruction of those New Orleans Levees.

Quiz Time!

You scored as Diamond Eyes. You are full of confidence, just don't let it go to your head. Its great to know your worth it! Isn't it:D Just remember those of us down here. You are probably quite popular.Click here!!

Diamond Eyes






Eyes full of Pain


What do your eyes reveal about you?(PICS!)
created with QuizFarm.com

Whoops! A little late in warning me not to let self-confidence go to my head! And yes, I'll remember all the little people! :)

Posted as humor!


Sit Right Back

and I'll tell you a tale. As I've mentioned before, one of bosses requested that I take pictures on the progress as the seafood plant is being rebuilt and the cold storage repaired. I happily comply. For one thing I'm able to take walks to do so. But the best benefit is that I can take other pictures. Like today. I told them I was going to check on the osprey that are nesting close by and oh yeah, I'll take a couple of shots of the plant. I get to the pier and see the male osprey bringing in some prey for the female who is brooding. Following the osprey is a red-tailed hawk checking to see if he can snatch the prey from the osprey and grab a free meal. No luck there. The hawk quickly realizes that the osprey is twice as big and glides away. But it spies me on the pier holding my camera. It comes gliding in to check to see if it can get a free meal that way. It made for one good shot.

Red-tailed hawk. I've been trying for two or three weeks to take a decent shot of this bird. Happy, happy!

I didn't quite take the shot I wanted with this one. I was trying the get the prey he had but missed it by just a few seconds.

My new camera should be in by Thursday. I already have the 55-200mm lens! But the store only had a display model of the Nikkon D50 so it had to be shipped. I can't wait to try it out and be able to take clearer shots of the osprey, hawks, pelicans, etc. The camera will also allow me to take 2.5fps! Now those fast birds and planes will not be a problem.