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    It’s Reggie! April 29th, 2006

    Reggie Bush chosen as Saints' first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft

    It’s official! Reggie Bush was chosen as the Saints’ first pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. There were talks that several teams were talking seriously to the Saints to trade up but New Orleans kept the number two overall pick.

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    NFL Draft 2006 April 29th, 2006

    2006 NFL Draft

    In only a few hours from typing this, the NFL Draft for 2006 will begin and my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, has the second pick of the draft. The Houston Texans, who have the first pick overall, signed Mario Williams of NC State causing a shock among draft experts who have been predicting Reggie Bush of USC being the number one pick. This development gives the Saints a wide open field of choices and on the surface it seems that they can’t go wrong, but with Mickey Loomis still as GM and Tom Benson still as owner, I have a bad feeling they’ll find a way of screwing it up.

    I’ll be watching the draft on an off today specifically to see how the Saints do but also to see where Florida State University players rated highly will go. Specifically Brodrick Bunkley, Ernie Sims, Antonio Cromarty and Kamerion Wimbley.

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    New Orleans Jazzfest 2006 April 28th, 2006

    2006 New Orleans Jazzfest

    Jazzfest 2006 in New Orleans has started. I wish I could be there. However the next best thing is the live streaming of the concerts via WWOZ. Also Blogging New Orleans is providing a lot of blog entries on the festival. And if you want to watch as well from afar, go to NOLA.com and utilize their live Jazzfest cams.

    As I am typing this, I am listening to WWOZ live and Charmaine Neville of the famous musical Neville Family just wrapped up a spectacular performance. Great music!

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    The Toughness Of Chuck (Norris, That Is) April 27th, 2006

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    Top 10 Things You Won’t See As The Featured Ingredient on Iron Chef April 27th, 2006

    Iron Chef America

    Top 10 Things You Won’t See As The Featured Ingredient On The Food Network Television Show Iron Chef America

    10) Spam
    Spam
    Stuff not good enough to be used in ham.

    9) Treet
    Treet
    Stuff not good enough to be used in Spam.

    8) Vienna Sausages
    Vienna Sausages
    Soft and heavily processed.

    7) Liverwurst
    Liverwurst
    Vienna sausage-like without the casing.

    6) Potted Meat
    Potted Meat
    Notice it’s a “food product“.

    5) Pickled Pigs Feet
    Pickled Pigs Feet
    Kinda gooey and chewy. Probably would taste worse if it weren’t for all the vinegar.

    4) Vegemite
    Vegemite
    Popular in Australia and New Zealand but not around here.

    3) Pork Brains
    Pork brains in milk gravy
    Does the milk gravy help at all?

    2) Head Cheese
    Head cheese
    It sure as heck ain’t cheese.

    1) Chitlins
    Chitterlings also known as chitlins - nasty stuff
    Some seriously nasty stuff. Definitely an acquired taste.

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    Biloxi: Newspeople, Pronounce It Correctly! April 27th, 2006

    Map of Mississippi with Biloxi highlighted

    I am going to address one of my pet peeves in the news business; the inability of some reporters and anchors to take the time to learn how to properly pronounce place names. For this lesson, I am using Biloxi, Mississippi as an example. Ever since Hurricane Katrina focused a lot of media attention on the region, I have heard reporters and anchors obviously not from the region mispronounce the city’s name (also mispronouncing a lot of other places nearby Biloxi as well like Pass Christian, but that may be blog fodder for another day). As a former Mississippian, it makes me cringe to hear it mispronounced. And as one working at a TV station with a news department, it makes me cringe even more to hear it mispronounced because it shows laziness on the reporter’s (or anchor’s) part (especially if mispronounced in more than one report). Let me enlighten them:

    It is not pronounced with a “lox” like the food.
    Lox on a platter

    Instead it’s pronounced with a “lux” like the soap.
    Lox on a platter

    Got it? It’s “buh-lux-see” not “buh-lox-see”. Please pass this tutorial on to your favorite newsperson in the hopes they correct themselves in the future.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

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    FEMA=FUBAR? April 27th, 2006

    FEMA seal

    On today’s news there are reports concerning FEMA in regards to calls by various congresscritters to restructure the agency and also in regards to President Bush stating the agency is ready for the upcoming hurricane season. Neither of which I give confidence. First of all, I doubt any effective restructuring will occur during Bush’s remaining years as President. Brown was a terrible FEMA head and even though I am trying to give Chertoff the benefit of the doubt, he’s not showing me much to cause confidence. So Bush’s claim that FEMA will be ready for the upcoming hurricane season holds little in terms of being accurate. In fact, judging from FEMA’s past and current actions, the agency, as a whole, is still woefully underprepared for a major hurricane strike. The last time FEMA actually was well run was back when James Lee Witt was in charge. And I don’t see the same sort of leadership and restructuring skills in Chertoff. Nor do I see anyone even being mentioned who might be able to step in and make FEMA viable again.

    FEMA t-shirt being sold in New Orleans

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    What’s The Deal With Keith Olbermann? April 27th, 2006

    Keith Olbermann

    I don’t watch MSNBC very often and to be up front with all of you, until recently I never watched Keith Olbermann’s show. However after reading so much about his show of late in regards to allegations of his Bush-bashing and apparent obsession with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly I just had to tune in for a period to see for myself. The overall conclusion I have is that Olbermann has really allowed himself to slip…badly. Back in the day when he was on ESPN, his edginess was temptered with good humor. Well now his edginess has deterioration to just plain snarkiness stooping often to searing classlessness. He seems to try to keep several segments humorous (like his segment on odd news items) but a lot of his humorous comments fall flat. Plus he has a major liberal bias that kills any objectivity he claims to exhibit which basically makes him completely disingenuous as well. Plus he does have a fixation on Bill O’Reilly which is disturbing in of itself.

    Keith Olbermann

    It’s a shame he’s let himself go like this and the low ratings his show currently has is evidence he can’t attract much of an audience. So I’m not alone in determining that Olbermann’s show is a turn-off. He’s turned into an uber-liberal, routinely tossing softball questions to fellow liberals and allowing untruths in every show. Once he’s replaced by MSNBC, I wonder who it will be. I know now that his show is pretty much unwatchable with little respect for truth and the intelligence of the audience. Even among liberal-minded show hosts, Olbermann ranks low.

    Keith Olbermann

    For what’s it’s worth, I’ve added a link to the Olbermann Watch blog to my links list on the left column of my blog. It’s a good blog to check out.

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    MORE ECW! ECW! ECW! ECW! April 27th, 2006

    Taz at an Extreme Championship Wrestling event

    I am stoked! More news about the revival of ECW is coming out almost daily. And the date of the first “show” that will be on TV has been announced. The ECW show has been titled (as of now) “WWE and See No Evil present WWE vs. ECW Head to Head” and will be taped on June 7th at the Dayton, Ohio Nutter Center (according to the Nutter Center’s website). The main event has been announced on the site as a 20 man battle royal. Bell time is 7:30pm and apparently the show will air via tape later that evening on the USA Network. I wonder if this will be a “reintroduction” to WWE fans of the ECW brand and I also am curious how Vince McMahon plans to follow up on this in the long run. This show coincides with the second ECW PPV which occurs a week later. After that will McMahon wait until September to relaunch ECW or will it become an ongoing angle on the WWE shows (a la the halfway done ECW “invasion” of several years ago)? It would seem logical to me to keep the ECW active on the WWE shows until it’s ready to go fulltime. It’s been pointed out that the Saturday 2am replay of AM RAW on the USA network is currently being listed as “To Be Announced” for the entire month of June. That may mean that the WWE might put an ECW show in that timeslot. I certainly would love that. I wouldn’t be able to watch it at 2am but that’s what recording devices are for.

    Another encouraging sign is that the WWE is attempting to negotiate bookings for pretty much all the old ECW venues including their main base of operations in Philadelphia, PA. This would pretty much guarantee supportive crowds at shows. If these are for taping purposes as well, it will help to familiarize those unfamiliar with the ECW brand and style. I anticipate once the WWE gets ECW re-established, they will branch out to other parts of the country for road shows thereby spreading its appeal. Whereas WWE shows tend to be held in large arenas and coliseums, ECW shows used to be more intimate in smaller venues. That may be a tradition that continues but not for lack of finances. If so, I can only hope they eventually bring an ECW show around here.

    The Impact Players (Justin Credible & Lance Storm) in ECW

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    Be On The Lookout… April 26th, 2006

    For whatever it’s worth, I got weighed today at my Doctor’s office and I seem to be missing sixty pounds. I apparently misplaced these sixty pounds sometime between when I had my gastric bypass surgery on March 2nd and now. If anyone happens to run across these misplaced sixty pounds, do whatever you want with ’em…I don’t want them back.

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    ECW! ECW! ECW! ECW! April 23rd, 2006

    [UPDATE #2] Rumors are floating around about the possibility that Sabu will be in Columbus, OH for RAW this upcoming Monday. If he is there, it could be merely for a meeting with WWE officials, however the WWE might surprise its audience by having him appear in some capacity and kick off the ECW angle early. It would be a pleasant surprise if the WWE didn’t wait until September to restart ECW.

    [UPDATE #1] Sabu has signed a 1-year deal (possible two year extension?) to join the resurrected ECW. Apparently bringing back ECW it is a done deal all around. I’ll post any future updates about this within this entry unless it warrants a new entry.

    Extreme Championship Wrestling

    The rumors are once again starting up that the WWE is exploring the possibility of bringing back ECW with Paul Heyman at the helm as a full time entity. According to what I have read from Dave Scherer of PWInsider.com, it may be slated for a September start which would make some sense in regards to television since the new fall season starts somewhat at that time. Scherer promises more information in the coming days. I plan on keeping up with that. It’s being reported that the WWE is contacting former ECW stars not currently on their roster and sending them contracts. Some are considering this merely a rumor, but a lot can happen between now and the reported September startup. It will be interesting, if it happens, as to what the product will be like. During the glory days of ECW in the 90’s when Heyman was in charge, the product was extemely (if you’ll pardon the pun) exciting and innovative. With McMahon being the real controller of the product and Heyman booking, it will definitely be more unique than the current WWE Raw & Smackdown shows but will probably fall far short of what used to be. Some time back, McMahon forced his wrestlers to perform in a more slower, precise manner in order to cut back on injuries and this will most likely be applied to whatever ECW that may be resurrected. Even then, I feel that the uniqueness of what Paul Heyman can produce will make it stand out and attract an audience. If Vince McMahon will allow it. It’s already been proven that ECW can and does make money for him judging by DVD sales and last years’ WWE-produced ECW PPV. Personally, I hope ECW is resurrected full time and I also hope that Vince McMahon will allow the genius that is Paul Heyman to run wild. It’s no secret that Heyman is outstanding as the brains behind ECW, just not good as a businessman. With McMahon’s financial backing and Heyman’s creative and motivating genius, it should work.

    Extreme Championship Wrestling

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    Mayoral Election Results From New Orleans (Plus A Final [we hope] Kimberly Williamson Butler Update) April 23rd, 2006

    Ray Nagin and Mitch Landrieu
    Ray Nagin and Mitch Landrieu will face off in a runoff election for Mayor of New Orleans

    Wow! Who knew? I would have never predicted that Ray Nagin would have come out on top after the April 22nd election for New Orleans Mayor. But sure enough, he did. Not enough to avoid a runoff but that was not unexpected. The Times-Picayune Newspaper has the complete results which shows Nagin with 38% of the vote and Mitch Landrieu with 29%. So a runoff election will be held in May to decide which candidate will be mayor.

    Kimberly Williamson Butler Campaign Website picture
    KWB’s online campaign pic from Disneyland, NOT New Orleans.

    Kimberly Williamson Butler Campaign Website picture
    KWB’s altered online campaign pic from Disneyland after Disney officials were notified.

    But how did my favorite candidate Kimberly Williamson Butler do? According to the Times-Picayune newspaper, Kim got a mere 793 votes for mayor. Poor, poor Kimberly. Maybe next time. I suggest she take the time to develop some integrity and honesty in the meantime. If she can.

    However with the saga of Kimberly Williamson Butler in mind (two earlier posts here and here), I went to her online campaign site to see how she addressed her loss and discovered her online campaign banner picture had been altered AGAIN

    Kimberly Williamson Butler Campaign Website picture (post election)
    KWB’s altered online campaign pic one day after the election.

    Well, Kim, you gave us some entertainment for this election. And you managed to convince 793 gullible individuals that you were a serious candidate. Fortunately the vast majority knew better. Now it’s time for you to ride off quietly into the sunset. Your 15 minutes of fame are over. Goodbye, Kimberly, goodbye. Adieu! Get outta here! Buh-bye!

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    Here We Go Again: Another Musical Interlude (Travelin’ WAY Back In Time Edition) April 22nd, 2006

    Jazz The World Forgot (Jazz Classics Of The 1920's) Volume 1

    Recently I stumbled across a documentary called “Desperate Man Blues” on one of the cable channels I receive via my wonderful yet not-so-cheap digital cable box courtesy of Comcast. If you haven’t seen this, it’s about “the King of the Record Collectors” Joe Bussard and, of course, his famous collection of vintage 78 rpm records mainly from the 1920’s and 1930’s. I’ve always have had a fascination of blues and jazz music from this period so I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed the Australian produced documentary. I highly recommend it.

    But I digress…

    After seeing the documentary, I dug out some of the Yazoo Records label CD’s I have, one of which is “Jazz The World Forgot: Jazz Classics Of The 1920’s (Volume 1)”. Listening to it again was quite fun and enjoyable for me. Some of the songs that really stand out for me include “Mojo Strut” by Pickett-Parham Apollo Syncopators, “Kansas City Stomps” by Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Mabel’s Dream” by King Oliver’s Jazz Band and “Somebody Stole My Gal” by Frankie Franko and His Louisianians. You’ll hear elements of swing, ragtime, marching band and others which all were used in various ways in these early jazz recordings.

    I have very eclectic tastes in music (see the music portion of my website for examples) and this sort of early jazz can get me in a groove just as well as any current artist (that I happen to like) can. I understand that it isn’t for everybody, but I just have a passion for it. Obviously not as big of a passion as Joe Bussard for example, but big enough to have obtained a fairly nice collection of 78’s myself back when I was a kid that unfortunately were destroyed in a hurricane in the late 70’s. Fortunately there are CD’s like this one that have preserved early recordings for those of us who happen to truly like this sort of music. Thanks to this CD and others like it, it’s no longer “Jazz the world forgot.”

    Down In The Basement (Joe Bussard's Treasure Trove of Vintage 78's)

    Speaking of Joe Bussard, I discovered that Old Hat Records manufactured a CD entitled “Down In The Basement (Joe Bussard’s Treasure Trove of Vintage 78’s)” so I purchased one sight unseen from an online vendor. It contains remastered recordings of some great examples of the 78’s from Mr. Bussard’s collection. With the exceptions of Big Bill Broonzy (blues legend), Uncle Dave Macon (Country Music Hall of Fame member) and Gene Autry (cowboy crooner extraordinaire), I had never heard of any of the artists on this CD. Artists like Gitfiddle Jim, James Cole’s Washboard Four, Grinnell Giggers and Fess Williams and His Royal Flush Orchestra (no, I am NOT making that last one up) as well as many more. Each one incredibly unique and fascinating. It makes me wish I had a combination time machine and traveling recording studio so I could go back then and record more of those artists.

    Now about the music on this CD…where do I start? There’s so much good stuff on it that it would be foolish to try to include them all in this blog entry so I’ll just point out some of my favorites. “Hot Town” by Fess Williams and His Royal Flush Orchestra is a rolicking jazzy trainride through all sorts of places (“Miami!” “Whose Ami?” “My-ami!” “Hey, you mean your ami.”) on the way to Hot Town, the last stop. It’s got some serious pop to it with a tight arrangement. Cool stuff. “Greenback Dollar” by Weems String Band is a well-done version of the traditional hillybilly holler (or hollar) song that probably dates back many years before it was first recorded. Definitely a toe-tapper and the Weems String Band most likely played it often for friends and family in their native Tennessee but unfortunately this song was the only time they were recorded. “The Old Ark’s A’Moving” by A.A. Gray & Seven-Foot Dilly is a great old-timey church song done as a duet with a guitar accompaniment. “Keep It Clean” by Charley Jordan sounded somewhat familiar to me and upon re-listening to it I finally realized that some of the lyrics are also in the song “Casey Jones” which was covered by many artists over the years.

    And there are many more excellent and unique songs on this CD. It also includes a fairly thick booklet with interesting information about each song as well as Joe Bussard and his outstanding collection. Overall, this is not only a fine collection of good music, it’s also a wonderful glimpse back into time when music was played by whole families and life as well as music was freely shared.

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    Election Time In New Orleans April 22nd, 2006

    A polling place in New Orleans' 9th Ward
    A polling place in New Orleans’ 9th Ward

    Tonight at 8pm (Central U.S. Time Zone) polls will close in New Orleans. Whereas thousands of New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina voted either by coming back to the city albeit temporarily or by absentee ballots. Controversy has surrounded these elections since they were initially postponed from their original February 4th date. Experts speculate the odds are high that legal challenges will arise afterwards. However extraordinary steps have been taken to document this election: videotaping some preparations, recording all telephone calls to the elections office, taking photos of signs directing voters at both open and closed polling places, and providing armed escorts to personnel responsible for picking up ballots. Even with all the special preparations, I predict there will be many loud accusations of fraud. Results should be announced by midnight and although elections are for many offices in the city and surrounding region, the one I and it seems most of the country are interested in is for mayor, a position currently held by Ray Nagin. I also am curious to see how well my favorite candidate (amusement-wise), Kimberly Williamson Butler, did. I know she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, but I am curious as too how many idiots…er…New Orleanians voted for her.

    You can probably get up-to-date results as well as final announced results on various New Orleans sources:

    WWL Channel 4
    WDSU Channel 6
    WVUE Channel 8
    WGNO Channel 26
    WNOL Channel 38
    The Times-Picayune newspaper online

    I’m definitely keeping an eye on this. And I’ll check in Sunday morning to see who, if anyone, won. Apparently if no mayoral candidate received 50 percent-plus-one of the vote, there will be a runoff election between the top two vote-getters on May 20. Personally, if I was closer to New Orleans (so I could watch the campaign ads on TV and listen to the ones on radio), I’d love to see a runoff just for the entertainment value alone.

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    New Orleans’ Politics: Interesting And Entertaining As Usual [UPDATE!] April 18th, 2006

    Kimberly Williamson Butler Campaign Website picture
    THEN

    Kimberly Williamson Butler Campaign Website picture
    NOW

    Notice a difference between the two photos?

    In a recent post, I wrote about New Orleans Mayoral candidate Kimberly Williamson Butler’s attempt at deception with her faked picture on her campaign website. It was brought to my attention that someone associated with the website has altered Butler’s website’s banner picture by taking out the telltale trashcan. So in essence, Butler’s campaign turned to deception to try to cover an earlier deception. Pretty pathetic campaign practices if you ask me. But that seems to be the nature of historic New Orleans politics.

    As it turns out, the original fraudulent photo was brought to the attention of Disney officials. “We’ve referred this to our legal department,” a Disney official, who wished to remain anonymous, told The New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper. Some now question whether Butler actually was present when the photo was originally taken or superimposed afterward via computerized methods.

    What I find most ironic as well as humorous is prominently displayed on Butler’s campaign website is the slogan “The Right Experience.” “The Right Experience”? Deception experience? Fraudulent experience? Misleading the voters experience? Delusional experience? Judging by Butler’s actions as Clerk of Criminal Court of Orleans Parish as Mayoral candidate, it seems the majority of the experience she presents is not condusive to any successful campaign nor is it experience that New Orleans needs right now. Bottom line? Kimberly Williamson Butler offers only the WRONG experience.

    Butler clearly lacks integrity, honor and class. Even for historical southern Louisiana politics, Butler presents a new low and the sooner the election is over, the sooner everyone can forget about her. What a loser.

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