Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Stock Market

Everyone should keep in mind that our delightful members of Congress have lots more money in the stock market than most of us. While they're taking their good sweet time coming to a decision on this mess, they're losing tons of money, too.

Something will be decided, things will get back to normal, they'll all blame and/or take credit for the outcome and somehow get richer in the process. I don't understand any of it. When people start talking to me about financial matters, all I hear is the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher.

"Wah, wah, wah-wah, wah, wah, wah..."

Monday, September 29, 2008


Think you could spot a snake in a pile of leaves? Snakes and alligators have become a big problem in parts of southeast Texas since Hurricane Ike.

There's a snake in the first picture. Study it closely before you look at the second picture where the snake is circled.

Here's another word of caution (besides watch out for snakes and gators). Watch out for all those huge broken branches that haven't fallen, yet. Go into your yard and look up. Scary, right?

Now, here's the snake...

Did you see it in the first picture?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Called a Hurricane Fence for a Reason

When I was growing up in Port Arthur, everyone had chain link fences. Nobody had wooden privacy fences. Those came later, in he '80s I think. We had another name for the chain link fences: hurricane fence.

I never gave the name hurricane fence much thought until after Hurricane Ike. My sister Bonnie recently bought a house and her backyard doesn't have a wooden privacy fence. It has a hurricane fence.

After Hurricane Ike lots of wooden fences went down. After Hurricane Rita, practically all of the wooden fences in the area went down. As Bonnie and I were driving around Beaumont after Hurricane Ike looking at all the downed fences, I told her, "I bet you're glad you have a hurricane fence...."

Suddenly, a lightbulb went off in my brain. All my life, I had referred to chain link fences as hurricane fences not really appreciating the significance of the "hurricane" part of the name.

Of course, people will fix their wooden fences and subdivisions all along the gulf coast will continue to erect new wooden fences. People think chain link fences are ugly. People want privacy. People are stupid.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Something I stumbled upon...Chain Surfing

Friday, September 26, 2008

Breaking News: Antone's Beaumont to Become Scout Bar

According to this article in The Examiner, it's official that Antone's Beaumont will become part of the Scout Bar chain. Since they already have an AC/DC tribute band booked and intentions to book live music every night of the week, it sounds promising.


Scout Bar website

Scout Bar Beaumont Myspace

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it the legs?

I lost a big patch of shingles on my roof in the storm. I don't have any leaks...yet. Luckily, we haven't had anymore rain since the hurricane and subsequent cool front a week ago and no rain is predicted for at least the next five days.

I have no idea when my homeowners' association will be able to come together to get the roof fixed, since our current president has no interest in being president. She took the position under duress with the assurance of our past president that "The odds of having another hurricane so soon after Rita are zero to none. You really won't have to do anything at all."

So, since I might be without shingles for a while, I signed up for the Corps of Engineers to put a blue tarp on top of my house in case the roof decides to spring a leak. When you ask the Corps of Engineers to put a tarp on your house, they give you a big pink letter which must be attached to the front of your house facing the street.

Since my front door is hidden behind my wooden fence, I had to figure out a way to attach the piece of paper to wood, keep it visible and keep it dry. I put the pink page in a Ziploc bag and taped the hell out of it to the fence with three different types of tape. The tape lasted a day before it started peeling away from the fence.

Today, I went out to the fence with a hammer and nails and began hammering the glob of Ziploc and tape to my fence. While I was hammering, I felt something on my leg and swatted at it without looking down. I assumed it was one of the canary sized mosquitoes Hurricane Ike blew in. When I felt it again, I looked down and saw a three inch long gecko crawling up my leg toward my nether regions.

Ordinarily, I would have freaked out and done the dance of the horrified. Instead, I reached down, swatted the slimy bastard and kept hammering. Hurricane Ike seems to have stifled my panic reflex.

Now, if the thing crawling up my leg had been a snake or even a worm, I would still be running with a fully functional panic reflex. As long as lizards, newts and geckos stay outside, they don't bother me. Snakes and worms, on the other hand, must be terminated with extreme prejudice.

The only difference I see between geckos and snakes are the legs or the lack thereof. So, why are snakes universally despised while geckos get television commercials? Must be the legs.

John McCain dissed David Letterman...big mistake

Found this on Best Week Ever.tv...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hayes Carll and Crystal Beach

From Hayes Carll's website:

Hayes Carll, who spent four years honing his songwriting in the bars of Crystal Beach, is currently in England where, manager Mike Crowley says, “he’s devastated about the complete destruction of Crystal Beach.” Crowley says Carll is writing something that he’ll post soon on his web site. We’ll publish it here when it’s available.

“It’s all gone,” Crowley says of the working class town on Galveston Bay’s Bolivar Peninsula. “I’ve seen the footage and it looks like a tornado hit. It’s just concrete slabs.”

Carll hosts the Stingaree Music Festival on Crystal Beach each April. His Highway 87 label is named after the road that takes you to the seaside town, “where the cops all know your number and the bars all know your name.” Carll’s three albums are inhabited by the roughhewn characters, the shrimpers and oil workers and beach bums he met while playing at places like Bob’s, which are no longer there.

Now, virtually all that’s left of Crystal Beach are those songs.

Hurricane Rita Anniversary

Three years ago today, most of my family and I were in Arkansas at my brother's house evacuated for Hurricane Rita. Today, southeast Texas is in the very beginning of its recovery after Hurricane Ike. My brain is still fuzzy from Ike and also still has a few cobwebs left over from Rita.

Soon, the constant worrying that is on the edge of my thoughts will gradually recede and I will go back to being the non-worrying, always in denial Laurie that I was before Rita and that I was in those brief three years between Rita and Ike and before Humberto...and Eduoard...and Gustav...and let's not forget Katrina.

Luckily my brain has a low tolerance for seeing the possibility of doom and gloom in every possible situation and the backhoe of optimism will scoop away the dark thoughts of negative possibilities lurking around every corner and replace them with the bright happy thoughts of the perpetually blooming dimwit, nincompoop that is the real me.

Come on backhoe of happiness. Sock it to me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crystal Beach Texas and Bolivar Peninsula 2007

I can't bear to post "after" pictures of Crystal Beach Texas and Bolivar Peninsula showing Hurricane Ike's heavy hand. Here's a slideshow of pics I took while driving around Crystal Beach in April 2007. Crystal Beach will be back. Definitely.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm home

If I remember correctly, "I'm Home" was the title of my first blog post after Hurricane Rita. We're all fine. All of our houses are fine (including family in Port Arthur). Things didn't go so well for my beautiful Crystal Beach or the lovely Galveston or the delightful Orange, Texas and Bridge City, Texas. My mom had more back surgery four days after the storm and she's doing great, too. We're truly blessed. I'm on my way to meet a friend for my first after hurricane cocktail. More later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike...I No Like

It occurs to me that some might be curious about our hurricane plans. We were just alerted that the storm surge could possibly overtop the levee system in Port Arthur. We should be fine here in Beaumont (we're riding out the storm at my mom's house), but I have lots of friends and family in Port Arthur and the mid-county area who will probably get water in their homes.

Cory and Jamie are headed back to Alexandria, since we're possibly going to be without power for a week or so. The Grand-Fabulous Ava needs her air conditioned comfort.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Invasion of the Sanity Snatchers

Every time I go to sleep, bad things happen...in the Gulf of Mexico. I go to sleep and wake up several hours later and everything has changed. I hate hurricanes. I don't want to go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

While I'm Obsessing Over Hurricane Ike...

...here's a little something to keep you busy.

Click here.

Monday, September 08, 2008


It finally happened. The inevitable. I was pulling into my birthday luncheon Saturday and as I was looking for a parking spot to my right, I noticed a car slowly pulling out to my left. I was close enough that she should have seen me and too close for me to backup out of her way, so I blew my horn.

I blew my horn, then blew it again, then laid on the horn for a full four or five seconds. I want you to count five seconds so you can realize how long and loud I blew my horn. Thinking she'd hear me and stop, I didn't shift into reverse to try to move out of her way. BUMP!


Luckily, she also had a Toyota, so it just did a bumper car thing. I pulled into a parking spot. As I walked toward her, she rolled down her passenger side window and SMILED and said, "Did I hurt anything? I was on the phone. "

Then, she smiled again as though by smiling I would then say, "Oh, well, stuff happens. You have a great day, now."

I just glared at her, speechless.

She smiled again and said, "I was on the phone. I really shouldn't do that."

By now, Bonnie had come out of the restaurant because everyone inside had heard my horn blast. Everyone INSIDE the restaurant had heard my horn. Psycho Telephone Driver, however, never heard a thing.

I looked at her and said, "No, you shouldn't do that."

I turned and walked toward Bonnie and said, in a not nice tone, "She was on the PHONE!"

I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Psycho Telephone Driver slowed down when she heard me say that to Bonnie. For a moment I thought, "Great, I'm going to get my @$$ kicked at my own birthday party."

Too bad she pulled away. It's fun to think about my whole family driving up and having a nice little Cajun type "conversation" with her about telephones and driving.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My birthday...continued...again

My loot from my co-workers.

Friday night...

Veronica and Gates

Jamie, Laurie, Cory

The party...fabulous friends, great patio, delicious Mexican food, yummy margaritas!

Bonnie, Kelly, Clay

Saturday lunch

Ava loves her pasta.

The gang.

The gang.

More gang.

Still more gang.

Ava really, really, really loves her pasta.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My birthday...continued

The celebration continues next Saturday, September 13th at the Logon Cafe! Come out and join us.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is the 4th anniversay of my 49th birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Badfaith at Grillin' in Groves

My friends Badfaith will be playing Friday night, September 5, at Grillin' in Groves. If you're in the area, don't miss it. Great music and the grillin' looks like fun.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What Would Hank Hill Listen To?

Sometimes when I'm feeling especially Texas-y, I listen to KSHN 99.9 out of Liberty County. Though you would expect country music on a rural Texas radio station, they play a wide variety of music including a lot of soft classic rock (Boston, Kansas, Steely Dan, etc.).

The part Hank Hill would like are the very local news reports (including local obituaries, farm equipment thievery, church news...), the fact that all of the announcers have a pleasant East Texas accent, extensive coverage of the local high school football games and the farm reports.

I think Hank and Peggy would love it.

(Right now, they constantly promote the Trinity Valley Exposition Fair. I'm pretty sure Hank and Peggy would be attending.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Orleans Television Stations

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, I did a post with a link to one of the local New Orleans television stations. I didn't remember the post, but I've noticed a lot of people arriving at this blog after doing a search for live feeds of New Orleans television stations.

The problem is, the link in the post doesn't work anymore. However, while reading some New Orleans blogs today one blog led to another and I found this link which allows you to see all four local New Orleans television stations on one page.

Click here.