It's Time

It's time for me to say goodbye to Blogger. Too many things i couldn't do that I wanted with it and the trouble of trying to backup my blog led me to the decision.

Hope to see you there!

I have moved!


Shabbat Shalom! 4/14/06

Moving on Up

To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up
To the east side.

I'm moving! Not me personally but my blog! It's still a work in progress but check it out and let me know what you think!

Thoughts by Seawitch

Thanks to Patrick and Kati at It's A Matter of Opinion who set-up everything and patiently help me when I delete code that I need.

I'll probably still be posting at this site. Old habits die hard and this one may become a hurricane only blog. Not sure yet. I'll have to wait and see.


Pier at Biloxi Small Craft Harbor

It might have been easier to just say midnight!



President Bush will be speaking at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College commencement ceremony which will be held on May 11.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was the largest two-year college in the state before Katrina struck Aug. 29. It has eight locations in Stone, George, Harrison and Jackson counties.

The campuses suffered tens of millions of dollars in damage, and the college's enrollment of 10,400 students dropped by about 3,000 after the hurricane.WLOX

Weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit, the invitation was sent to President Bush. This is such an honor for the graduates and for us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. President Bush will be speaking at three other commencements: May 6 at Oklahoma State University, May 27 at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and June 19 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which was attended by Bush's outgoing White House chief of staff, Andrew Card.

The enrollment at MGCCC dropped after Hurricane Katrina. A lot of the students lost their homes. This is such a boost!

The commencement ceremonies are to be held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The tradition continues. The Coliseum has been holding area commencements since it first opened in 1979. There was some doubt that damage from Hurricane Katrina could be repaired in time for the ceremonies. One by one, our traditions are coming back.

All I can say again is WOW!!

Chag Pesach Sameach!

My first Seder was enjoyable. It was a community one. There were people from my congregation, the Methodist Church which provides us with a shelter to hold services until the shul can be repaired, and volunteers who are helping the Mississippi Coast recover.

Turns were taken to read the Haggadah and most shared stories from prior Passovers. The funniest was the young adult who shared how when he and his siblings used to fight over who was going to be the simple son, the wicked son, etc.

At my table were two officials from FEMA. One of the women has been on the Mississippi Coast since September and the other since December. They help cities wade through all the regulations. They seemed hesitant to say who they were with. FEMA has been receiving a lot of flack. I told them I was grateful that FEMA was down here and thought that given the scope of the disaster from Hurricane Katrina, FEMA did amazingly well. When you figure that 400,000 people from the Mississippi Coast were directly affected, the response of FEMA has been extraordinary. When you factor in the 1.5 million from the New Orleans area, it becomes mind-boggling at just what FEMA had to contend with.

Comparisons were drawn between the Passover and Hurricane Katrina. Both were life-changing events. After Katrina, it is very easy to imagine what it must have been like when everything had to be packed up and taken in a hurry. The questions must have been asked then as to what to take. What is essential? What must be left behind? What will the future hold? Will any be lost? These questions run through my head every time a hurricane threatens.

Like the first Passover, I learned that food, clothing, and cash are essential on your journey. The most precious items were my family, my pictures, and my genealogy research. They were taken. Everything else was left behind. Like in that first Passover, I still do not know what the future holds for us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But like Moses and the Hebrews that passed over into freedom, I go with faith in G-d keeps His promises. That the future holds a land of milk and honey. It might take us almost as long as the 40 years to recover, but there is faith and hope. That is the essential truth of Passover, hope for a new life away from whatever keeps us as slaves and that G-d will lead us to a new land.


More Passover

Laurence has a guide to Passover at IMAO

The IDF may have miscalculated a little.


Oy Vey!

A little Passover humor.

Moses was sitting in the Egyptian ghetto. Things were terrible. Pharaoh wouldn't even speak to him. The rest of the Israelites were mad at him and making the overseers even more irritable than usual, etc. He was about ready to give up.

Suddenly a booming, sonorous voice spoke from above:

"You, Moses, heed me ! I have good news, and bad news."

Moses was staggered. The voice continued:

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel from bondage. If Pharaoh refuses to release your bonds, I will smite Egypt with a rain of frogs"

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel to the Promised Land. If Pharaoh blocks your way, I will smite Egypt with a plague of Locust."

"You, Moses, will lead the People of Israel to freedom and safety. If Pharaoh's army pursues you, I will part the waters of the Red Sea to open your path to the Promised Land."

Moses was stunned. He stammered, "That's.... that's fantastic. I can't believe it! --- But what's the bad news?"

"You, Moses, must write the Environmental Impact Statement."


I like to to check out the value of my blog at Blogshares. It's an on-line fantasy stock program featuring blogs. Mine usually provides an ego boost. Not this week!

Date Price
15:40 10 Apr 2006 B$11.31
09:26 09 Apr 2006 B$10.10
09:24 09 Apr 2006 B$9.18
23:41 08 Apr 2006 B$8.50
23:07 08 Apr 2006 B$27,951.94
23:07 08 Apr 2006 B$25,181.93
12:42 08 Apr 2006 B$23,102.69
23:52 06 Apr 2006 B$21,391.38
23:52 06 Apr 2006 B$19,446.71
16:58 06 Apr 2006 B$18,345.95

Talk about a blow to my ego. Does this make me narcissistic?

Mama Cats

Being an animal lover and more specifically a cat lover, I've always had a cat or two. At one point, when I was a kid, I had 12. Now I'm content with just 3. Being around so many cats all the time, you learn a few things about them. A mama cat will fiercely protect it's young. I would have to be extremely careful as to how I approached the cats after they had their litters. Some would start purring and others would start growling, hissing, and glaring at me.

All of the cats I have now are spayed or neutered. But I still remember the thrill of watching the mama cats give birth when I was a kid. And when sometimes things would go wrong and one of the kittens died or was stillborn, the mama cat would spend a lot of time with it. Then she would realize it was no more and her cries carried grief.

But after the kittens had grown, the mama cats would start the process of emptying the nest as it were. They would spend less time with them and stop nursing. Eventually, they would start swatting at the kittens. Almost as if saying to them you are grown now, leave me alone. Oh, every once in awhile, I would spy one of mama cats grooming her grown kitten.

Why a, I thinking about this? Because I think humans go through the same process when their kids are growing up. You spend 24/7 on your kids when they are infants and toddlers. Then they start branching out on their own and you keep a sharp eye on them in their childhood years to ensure they come to no harm.

Once they hit the teenage years, they start pulling away from you and you from them. Eventually, at least in my case, when they hit a certain age (19), you become more inclined to letting them fend for themselves. In other words, my son asks the question more and more frequently, "Are you cooking supper?". He eventually stopped asking the question and started fixing his own food. See, I'm content with a spinach salad with tomatoes and feta cheese. He wants a more substantial meal. He is becoming quite the cuisine artist. I used to feel pangs of guilt about not cooking the meals that he had become accustomed to while growing up. But then I realized, my willingness to allow him to fend on his own is akin to the mama cat letting her kittens know they are able to fend for themselves.

I still cook the pot roast, the steaks, the big meals at least once a week. Far from him suffering at the lack of meals prepared by me, he is thriving. That either means my cooking has been atrocious all these years or I've taught him well how to fend for himself.

In either case, I know my son is okay and will be okay. At the end of April, he'll be flying to Indiana to stay with his girlfriend for two months. He has said he'll be looking for a job while up there and if he finds one, he'll be staying.

I have sadness about this. For one thing, I'm fearful that one thing will lead to another and I'll be a grandma. I let him know that I consider myself too "young and pretty"(it's a standing joke, I've said this to him many times over the years to let him know when I don't approve of something, it's best to use humor) to be a grandma. He just laughs at me.

I'm also fearful that he will not go to college. But I've been teaching him about budgets and he knows that in order to get a job that pays well enough, he will have to go to college.

My actions about pursuing my own interests more and more over the last few years let's me know that he is ready to be pushed out of the nest. His actions say the same thing.

At this point, all I can do is hope and pray that he remembers all the things he has been taught and that his Dad and I have given him the resources necessary to fly off on his own. He'll make his own mistakes but he knows I'll be there for him.


I Don't Think This is True!

A survey conducted in the United Kingdom stated that women think about their body image more than men think about sex.

The survey of 5,000 women, conducted on behalf of Grazia, the magazine, found the average woman worries about her body every 15 minutes - more frequently than men think about sex -— while 29 per cent worry about their size and shape every waking minute.TimesOnline

Woman think about their bodies 4 times every hour? I don't think so! Yes, we may obsess about the weight gain after child birth and wish some things about our bodies were different. But 96 times a day is a bit much.

I do believe the data is skewed in this survey. What do you think?

General Thoughts for a Monday

Yesterday, in the spring cleaning, getting ready for Passover frenzy, I had some thoughts about it. I started reflecting on what my life would have been like if my Dad had practiced his faith and taught us what it means to be a Jew. I feel that I've been somewhat cheated because I'm in my mid-forties now and this will be my first Passover.

What would it have been like growing up in Chicago surrounded by my Jewish aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents?

I have always felt like my life was missing something. This missing part has led me to some bad decisions to which I accept full responsibility.

With each passing week, I become more part of Beth Israel's congregation and the more I feel the missing part being replaced by what my soul and heart have been seeking.

Maybe the newness of experiencing services, participating in new holidays, and meeting many people who seemingly have the same type of humor as me is responsible for this.

Perhaps the feelings I am experiencing now will wear off with time. But I don't think so. Some 20 odd years ago, when I became a Catholic there was not the same joy and feeling of belonging as there is now.

I have doubts and qualms about my decision to follow the faith of my forefathers. But those are mostly due to wanting it so bad that I'm afraid that I'll fail in some way.

My heart has always leaped when I saw pictures of Israel. I have always been more comfortable with my Dad's side of the family. And even though I just have the gist of the Hebrew I sing and pray during services, it feels natural.

So even though my body is weary from the spring cleaning that I combined with getting ready for Passover, there is a quiet joy and hope. I look forward to my first sedar.


More Katrina Heroes In Mississippi

There used to be several nursing homes close to the beach along the Mississippi Coast. Many were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. But no residents lost their lives due to the storm. That is because of the heroic efforts of the staffs of the nursing homes.

The American Health Care Association, representing nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationwide, has recognized South Mississippi's health-care staff for their efforts during Hurricane Katrina, including safely evacuating hundreds of nursing-home residents.

Staff from regional facilities nominated health-care providers for honors. The awards were presented recently at the site of the destroyed Miramar Lodge in Pass Christian, which also was recognized.

Others recognized:

Glen Oaks Nursing Center, Lucedale: Linda Cochran.

Covenant Health & Rehab, Picayune: Crystal Roberts.

Dixie White House, Pass Christian: Perkela Burchett, Melody Felty, Joyce Hooks, Susan Dahl, Evelyn Murray, Shawanda Petty, Bonnie Venable, Margie Henderson, Lisa Lee, Thelma Williams, Katrina Campbell, Michelle Knight, Tom Lange.

Dunbar Village, Bay St. Louis: Teresita Lane, Sharon Powell, Gloria Moran, Roy Lain, Linda Warren, Chiquita Dorsey, Shelly Tillman, Linda Johnson.

River Chase Village, Gautier: Shirley Phillips, Elizabeth Rene Kennedy, Fred Ousley.

The Boyington, Gulfport: Sandra Harris, Paul Pulsifer, Sue Helms, Essie Hunter, Bobbie Terry, Barbara Stewart, Matt Johns, Christopher Malloy, Connie Newell, Jacqueline Burnett, Darla Bradley, Janet Ryan.

Greene Rural Health Center, Leakesville: Sunday McLeod.

Sunplex Subacute Center, Ocean Springs: Katrice Smith, Lorene Ahammer, RoShonda Colvin.Sunherald

Ordinary citizens doing extraordinary deeds and saving the lives of hundreds who were in the nursing homes. I am so proud of my fellow Mississippians who had the courage to respond so well to the crisis. If it weren't for their actions, we would have lost many more lives in Mississippi.

The staff of the Dixie White House Nursing Home has always held a special place in my heart. Several years ago, they lovingly took care of my brother's wife while she was dying from a rare brain disease.

It's so good to see all of these local heroes being recoginized.

Things I have Learned

In the effort to rid my home of hamatz, I have learned a few things:

1) Cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen takes as much time as cleaning out the three cabinets that contain food items

2) Cleaning the oven and stove takes as much time as cleaning out all the cabinets

3) Just when you think you have it under control, your 19 year old son will insist he is hungry and will use the oven you have just cleaned

4) Using lemon juice and water to steam out the microwave can cause it to have a nervous breakdown if it's over 8 years old

5) Your son will think you're extremely weird if when you are taking breaks from the cleaning fest, you choose black olives to eat for a snack

6) Once the kitchen is finished, the rest of the house is a breeze

7) Your son will eat half of the Passover Matzos you have brought home

8) Even though a kind Bar Mitzvah and his father came down from New York bearing Passover foods for our congregation in Biloxi, I still passed up on the gefilte fish

Mission Translate: 04/09/06

This is the second mission. As before, if you choose this mission and succeed there are no rewards other than a job well done.

Mutil hori tentelapikoa da

Update: That was fast! I would have thought that Basque was not a well known language. Emanuel ben Zion of Jewish Nation guessed correctly!. It means "That boy is stupid".


Are bagels considered hamatz? While continuing to clean the house for Passover, I noticed I had plenty of bagels in the freezer. Since this is the only potentially hamatz item that now remains in my house, I have two choices. More really but these are the most realistic.

1) Eat them for the next day

2) Find some way to burn them

If I go with the second choice, how do you burn them? Or should I just feed them to the seagulls?


Global Warming?

With all those scientific reports saying that we are either heading into global warming or an ice age, I wonder where the following story falls?

In a tale reminiscent of the last Wallace and Gromit movie, furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit.

Leeks, Japanese onions, parsnips and spring carrots have all been ripped up and devoured by the mystery were-rabbit -- prompting the 12 allotment holders in Felton, north of Newcastle, to hire two marksmen with air rifles and orders to shoot to kill.

"It is a massive thing. It is a monster. The first time I saw it, I said: 'What the hell is that?'" the Northumberland Gazette newspaper quoted local resident Jeff Smith, 63, as saying on its website (www.northumberlandtoday.co.uk).

He claims to have seen the black and brown rabbit -- with one ear bigger than the other -- about two months ago, and at least three fellow allotment holders say they have seen it as well.

"I have seen it and it is bigger than a normal rabbit. It's eating all our crops and we grow the best stuff here," said retired miner George Brown, 76, quoted by the domestic Press Association news agency.Yahoo

Since a giant mutant bunny rabbit is involved, I'm leaning toward the coming ice age theory. My reasoning is that if small animals are becoming larger, it can mean only one thing: their bodies are evolving in anticipation of the next ice age. This theory would also explain why my cats shedding has been increasing over the years, their winter coats are anticipating colder weather. What do you think?


Shabbat Shalom!

Caption This

I was playing around with the slow-exposure on my camera. I took this a couple of nights ago. It's street lights taken with my zoom lens. I thought the shapes were interesting.

Coming to America

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Those words are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

The United States has long been a beacon to those who seek freedom. From the first colonists who sought refuge from religious prosecution to the American Revolution which was primarily fought for economic reasons(taxation without representation) to today's millions of Hispanics who seek to enjoy the economic strength of our country.

Throughout the history of the United States, waves of immigrants have sought the safety and liberty on our shores. From the Irish, to the , to the Italians to and to Jews, all fled their home countries either because of famine, economic hardships, or the very real threats of death because of their religion.

Many of those immigrants came legally but I'm sure that was quite a few who didn't. Most family histories in the US involve that aunt, uncle or cousin who snuck in.

The proposed legislation to grant illegal immigrants amnesty so they may to enjoy the benefits of living in our great country is not new. President Reagan did the same in the 1980's.

Where I live, we have a large population of Vietnamese. Like all new immigrants they initially faced discrimination and resentment. But they have now interwoven their unique culture with the one that had existed previously. So now we have a unique society that blends in Slovak, French, Vietnamese, African, and Southern culture.

The tide of Hispanics coming from Mexico, Honduras, and other Central and South American countries seems overwhelming. But part of their culture has already crept into ours. We celebrate Cinque De Mayo. We love Mexican food, salsa music and dancing.

The one thing I did not like seeing in those rallies held throughout the country was the disrespect shown to the American flag. The US is always changing and each new wave of immigrants lends it's history to our great country. And that is what makes me so upset at seeing images of the Mexican flag flying on the same pole as the US flag. It is wrong. We are not Mexico. We are the United States. One lesson that was learned by all the other waves of immigrants coming to the US: we are American first and our ethnicity is second.


Finding Beauty

Pelican diving - Biloxi Back Bay

An excerpt from:
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
BOOK XI - A Song of Joys

O to have been brought up on bays, lagoons, creeks, or along the coast,
To continue and be employ'd there all my life,
The briny and damp smell, the shore, the salt weeds exposed at low water,
The work of fishermen, the work of the eel-fisher and clam-fisher;

I Made My Son's Day

As most parents of teenagers know, it's very hard to elicit a smile or laughter out of your teenager. This morning, at 6:00am my son was rolling with laughter as he knocked on my bedroom door. He was chortling so bad, at first I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me. Eventually between the belly laughs, he managed to convey the message.

Last night when I got home, I locked my car doors. It's not something I do very often but I was a nervous wreck when I got home. I had to give the right away to FOUR police cars who had their lights and sirens flashing. That wouldn't have been so bad but further up the road, they had pulled over the car they were chasing and with guns drawn, had two suspects laying on the ground.

Then when I pull into my street, there are a couple of more police cars. It looked like the police were searching from someone in my neighborhood. I locked my car doors and went inside.

The reason my son was laughing so hard was that when I locked my car last night, I locked my keys in it with the car still running.

I had just filled it up and I now know that leaving my car running in park for 13 hours uses a quarter tank of gas. Some things I just don't want to know!

Anyhow, my neighbor tried to help but was unable to. I called the police department and when an officer arrived, it took all of 5 seconds to unlock my car.

But still, it was nice to see my son getting so much enjoyment and having a good laugh before he went into work. (Sarcasm off)


To Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

From the myths of Daedalus and Icarus to the flying machines of Leonardo Da Vinci, there has long been a fascination with flying. One of my dreams is to take flying lessons. In the meantime, I'll have to be satisfied with taking pictures of planes.

I shot this bi-plane today while at Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.Thanks to joe for identifying it as Pitt's S2A

"High Flight"

by John Gillespie Magee

[Magee was a fighter pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force when he wrote the following poem. He was killed at age 19 when shot down in the World War II Battle of Britain. The poem has been a favorite of pilots, and was carried to the Moon by several of the Apollo astronauts.]

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up, the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

I took this shot of a C21 today.

The dream to lift the bonds of surly earth has come true for many.

The Ivy League

The Ivy League refers to the universities in the US that are supposedly the most prestigious and where you can go or send your children to receive the best education possible. That prestige is in a decline. Is it because of academic standards faltering? No, its because their political focus is so out of skewer.

Over at Beth's My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, I read Nail Yale.

It had a link to a Wall Street Journal article. Below is an excerpt that explains why so many are upset over Yale's decision to enroll a former Taliban spokesperson:

The second was when they learned that Yale had admitted Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, a 27-year-old former official of the Taliban, the murderous regime that harbored Osama bin Laden. Mr. Hashemi remains largely unrepentant about his involvement with the regime, whose remnants are still killing Americans. Last Wednesday brought word of the 139th U.S. soldier to be killed in combat at the hands of Taliban guerrillas, and yesterday, five U.S. soldiers were wounded when their armored vehicle struck a Taliban roadside bomb in Kunar province.

If you would like to voice your outrage about this matter, please sign this petition asking for the resignation of Mr. Levin, Yale's president.

Mr. Hashemi is apparently unrepentant about his role in the Taliban. If he had shown any remorse for his part in the Taliban and for the Taliban's brutality, perhaps there would not be so much outrage. The Taliban is still murdering. It is still trying men and women alike in Afghanistan. It is unconscionable for a person like Mr. Hashemi to be allowed in the US, let alone study at Yale. Whoever approved his Visa should be punished and investigated.

A Look At France's CPE

Mmkay, France wants to adopt a law called the CPE. Read Wuzzadem's post, Hey Pierre to find out what all the rioting is about. Spew alert.


Signs of Progress

I haven't done an update lately on the progress of the seafood plant I work at. Pictures tell the story better than I could.

This is what it looked like on September 9. Hurricane Katrina did not leave very much when she slammed into Mississippi on August 29.

I took this yesterday from the I-110 bridge. Today, the work crew started applying the metal skin. What a difference 7 months makes.

Getting Ready

For the past couple of weekends I've been preparing my house for Passover. This will be my first celebration of Pesach and I'm looking forward to it. Our congregation is having a community sedar on April 12.

Preparing your home, especially the kitchen is very labor intensive. My cabinets have been given a good thorough cleaning. The one thing that took the most time was the junk drawers. You wouldn't think that cleaning out the drawers would take the most time. Or at least I didn't.

It's surprising how much junk can accumulate over the years. I'm a packrat and tend to keep everything that I think maybe useful. I did organize the cabinets and the drawers as well.

The thing is, all this cleaning is helping me to focus my attention on the meaning of Passover. Why do we eat matza and get rid of hamatz? Why do we eat the bread of slavery and get rid of the bread of freedom?

One of the books that my guiding rabbi recommended is The Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfield. In it, Passover is described as Feasting for Freedom. That is essentially what Passover is about.

Thousands of years after the first Passover, it still calls Jews to freedom. While preparing by cleaning our homes, we are asked to get rid of the non-essentials and wash up. This is the physical act of preparation but it also calls for a mental cleaning up. It begs us to ask the questions of ourselves, what things or actions in our lives are keeping us slaves? What things do we keep in the corners that are holding us back?

You would think that spending hours cleaning up would be a joyless task. But it's not for me, at least right now. Because while doing all this cleaning, I was reflecting on the question of matza and hamatz. Matza is the bread of slavery but when Moses lead our ancestors out of Egypt, it became the bread of freedom. It calls us to freedom to this day. Three pieces of matzah are eaten during the course of the feast, but the middle one is broken in two. The larger piece is wrapped in a napkin and set aside as afikomen(symbolizes the Passover lamb). Matzah is symbolic of the poverty of our lives while slaves in Egypt but also symbolizes the poverty in our lives to the things that make us slaves today.

Every effort is made to rid our homes of hamatz. No leavened bread should remain in our homes for Passover. Why rid our lives of the bread that usually denotes freedom? Why exchange the bread of freedom for the one of slavery? It's another reminder that Passover is the Feast of Freedom. We are to rid ourselves of the things that hold us back from G-d. Hamatz symbolizes the things that make us slaves today.

The two breads both become symbols of freedom and slavery. Giving up hamatz for 8 days calls us to enjoy the freedom that G-d has given us and to not let the things of freedom make us into slaves. Matza becomes the bread of freedom. It also reminds us of the pain and poverty that slavery causes.

I'm looking forward to my first Passover. The matza and the hamatz are the things that struck me the most in learning about this glorious feast. I'm still learning, please share your experiences.


Night Time Fun

I've been experimenting with my camera and trying to take some night shots. Some very interesting results. I need to get a tripod. I had the camera set to slow shutter speed but could not hold the camera steady. But these were interesting in how they turned out.

This one was of the moon the other night.

These street lights further down the road were turned into horses by my unsteady hand while shooting. Even the fog and the trees give it the appearance of dust being kicked up by horses galloping.

What do you think, happy accidents?


In a little less then 30 minutes, baseball season will have started for me. My beloved Atlanta Braves will be shown on Fox Sports South(replay). Each year, I hope that they will be able to break their habit of not making it past the division titles. Will this be the year?


If they are showing a re-play of a game, should they show the NASCAR racing that was shown during the rain delays? I DON'T THINK SO. Who wants to watch a bunch of cars going around in circles?

Don't You Just Hate It

...when you're at work and your boss expects you to work as opposed to surfing on the Internet?


Those who read my blog often know of my struggles through the years with clinical depression. I'll say it again, my belief in G-d and the love of my son kept me from the ultimate sacrilege of taking my life. Before I sought the help I needed, those were my defenses against those dark thoughts. They still are today.

This is why I'm continually writing about the horrors of suicide bombers. The name is a misnomer. They aren't committing suicide. They are committing murder. These people may have been coerced or chosen willingly to do this evil act. Whatever the case may be, they choose to commit murder and at the same time take their own lives.

The people who order them are just as culpable of murder as the person who commits the deed.

Homicide bombers are a perversion. They are not glorious defenders, warriors, or freedom fighters. They are anathema to very goodness of life. They have chosen the path of darkness.

They leave destruction and heartache in their wake. Their victims are not armed. They are babies, teenagers, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters.

Life is a very precious gift. I know this from my struggles. It outrages me that these homicide bombers are sometimes defended as freedom fighters. They are not fighting for freedom. They are part of a culture that seemingly glorifies death instead of life.

Every time I read about them, rather it's in Israel, Iraq, India, Bali, or other places in the world, I feel such heartache. All those innocent lives extinguished in a blink of an eye because someone made the choice to worship death instead of life.

The homicide bombers are a perversion. Labeling them as anything other aides in spreading their perversion.



Mission: Translate 04/02/06

A few days I discovered that some were reading my site through a translator. Not your usual translator but one that changing the words into the dialect that rednecks, pimps, etc., use. I was furious at first but when I actually read some of the translated posts, it was amusing. I had made some attempts to deny this site from accessing mine. But on further reflection, I've decided to play along. On a somewhat weekly basis I'm going to post a phrase or a word in a different language.

The goal of whoever reads this blog, especially those who love to read it through the translator site, is to identify the language and the phrase or word.

There are no rewards for this mission if you choose to accept.

The phrase for this week:

Förbannade hönsjärna!

Good luck!
Update: April 3 No one guessed the phrase. Drum roll please! The language is Sewdish. The phrase means: Damn chickenbrain!

Mark at Knockin' on the Golden Door provided some very amusing translations in the comments section.

Patrick at It's A Matter of Opinion guessed correctly that the language was Swedish.

D'Iberville Contrast

I've recently started communicating via e-mail with another photographer from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He directed me to his cousin's beautiful pictures of the Mississippi Gulf Coast before Hurricane Katrina hit. He has also sent some of his pictures that he took. He has graciously allowed me to use some of his photos on my site. The subject is Seymour's. It used to be a little bar, grill, and bait shop.

Several years ago, a group of us at work would exercise by walking across the I-110 bridge. Sometimes after the mile hike, we would stop at Seymour's afterwards to have a beer, lite beer of course.

Seymour's on Bay Shore Dr in D'Iberville MS before Hurricane Katrina. This was taken from the I-110 bridge. A lot of buildings, culverts, etc. had murals painted on them.

I took this shot three weeks after Katrina struck. The man in the photo is standing in the parking lot amid the debris of Seymour's.

Seymour's was a relaxing place to stop for a nice cold one. It's just one of the far too many places that were destroyed along the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Katrina. Just another way that life has changed down here. Seymour's is rebuilding.


Beau Rivage - Extended Video

Today, I came across more of the Beau Rivage video that was taken while Hurricane Katrina was making landfall. This version starts the Sunday afternoon before the storm came ashore. You can how placid the waters were. It also show the storm surge going up the I-110 ramp. I had driven on that ramp just yesterday.

The sound of the wind in the video made me uneasy. It brought back all too much the memories of those 8 hours that Katrina pounded the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Though I was about 20-30 miles inland, the winds were fierce.

Beau Rivage Extended Video