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.....n.o. l e v i t y - universally apposite

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Dire Straits


206: Election Widgetry


205: Poll Placement


View Larger Map

My block is marked with the blue question mark. I cast my first ballot back in New Orleans at the Xavier University megapoll for C. Ray's reelection. I did not vote for the chromedome this time around, although I will admit he tricked me into supporting him the first time.

For the next election the SOS changed my polling place to the green pushpin, Drew Elementary. There is a polling place at St. Paul Lutheran Church, right around the block from my house and marked with the red pushpin.

I'm just sayin...

204: So Long


203: BBQ Shrimps Recipe


BBQ Shrimps

First you start with a casserole dish full of shrimps. Leave the heads on if you like, but make sure you rinse them off well. Fill the casserole about 1/3 to halfway full of EVOO, then add a generous dash of Lea & P, Sriracha, and red pepper flakes.

Butter added

Slice up a stick or two of butter and arrange on top.

Bake at 435 for about half an hour, and keep spooning the butter/oil mixture on top of whatever might be sticking above the surface.

Enjoy with crusty bread.

Finished product

Lagniappe: Chargrilled Oyster Kebabs

2 sticks butter
2 T chopped garlic
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c EVOO
dash Lea & P
1/4 c coarse sea salt
1 jar fresh shucked oysters, 32 oz or so.
bag of lemons, cut into 1/8ths

Melt everything but sea salt together to make a beurre blanc.

Marinate oysters in their own liquor, sea salt and 1/3 of beurre blanc.

Have at least one drink, or you could have several, watch a movie, go to sleep, wake up the next day and then continue with the recipe.

Skewer oysters and lemon wedges and baste with half of the remaining beurre blanc.

Grill on high heat for 5-6 mins, basting and turning every other minute.

Deskewer onto a plate, and serve with remaining beurre blanc as dipping sauce, with crackers.

As you can see from the fingers in the photo, these go very quickly. You could also serve it as a party horse d'oeuvers by placing them in a chafing dish, covering with beurre blanc, and allowing guests to spoon it onto crackers.

Oyster Kebabs

202: Bite Bush


--removed thanks to the video falling off the youtubes--

201: New Upload, Old Stuff


Galactic with Latrice Barnett

Galactic with Latrice Barnett

200: Vote Simulator


Love the old-school look. I remember going in with Mama to vote on machines even older than this. The even seemed a little dangerous, like escalators, which is a good thing.

199: No Cissy Cowbell Here


 Make your own at 

That's 58% more cowbell, and 94% more Walken...

198: Tracking More Westerer


Shifting West

197: Boostav


Gustav Models

That GFDL is BS.

196: Shake A Leg


195: Bush's Blather


Same shit, different visit. I guess I'm going to have to go back through all the numbers stories to find out why that $126 Billion is a lie. He's been lying about it for so long I forget what he's lying about.


Office of the Press Secretary

(Crawford, Texas)


For Immediate Release August 19, 2008



As Prepared for Delivery

on Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good afternoon. I am pleased to be back in New Orleans. And I appreciate the warm welcome to Jackson Barracks. This facility was built by President Jackson in 1835 to protect the city of New Orleans. Today, it houses brave men and women who share the same goal: the members of the Louisiana National Guard. I thank all of you for your fine service to your State, and to our Nation.

Three years ago, this facility was completely flooded and every building was damaged or destroyed. Today, Jackson Barracks is a growing center of community and economic activity in the heart of the Lower 9th Ward. The story of your recovery is impressive. And it is the same story we see playing out across the Gulf Coast. Homes, businesses, and schools are being rebuilt. Levees are being repaired. Families and communities are being reconnected. And from Biloxi to Beaumont, hope is being restored. The people here today have been an important part of this effort and I thank you for your work.

Three years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina left one of America’s most beloved cities almost completely underwater. The storm forced 800,000 people across the Gulf Coast to leave their homes. Never before had our Nation seen nature’s destruction on such a vast scale. And many wondered whether New Orleans could ever come back.

Three years ago, I stood in Jackson Square and promised that New Orleans would return. Since then, the American taxpayers have committed more than 126 billion dollars for disaster response and recovery on the Gulf Coast. Most of this money is already in the hands of State and local governments and citizens working to rebuild. Together, we are working to make sure that New Orleans comes back – even stronger, safer, and more vibrant than it was before the storm.

There is still a lot of work to do before this city is fully recovered. And for people who are still hurting and not yet back in their homes, a brighter day might seem impossible. Yet a brighter day is coming and it is heralded by hopeful signs of progress.

We see hopeful signs of progress in our work to protect New Orleans from future storms. The Army Corps of Engineers has repaired 220 miles of the levees and the Corps is upgrading the floodwalls so that they are stronger than before Katrina. Because of these efforts, we are on track to meet our goal of 100-year flood protection by the year 2011. To lift a heavy burden on the State’s finances, Governor Jindal requested that Louisiana be allowed to pay the State’s share of the levee improvement costs over 30 years, instead of only three and earlier this month, I granted his request. With this action, we are ensuring that Louisiana will not have to choose between rebuilding its floodwalls, and completing the other projects that are vital to its recovery.

We see hopeful signs of progress as housing is restored. Louisiana’s Road Home program has put nearly 7 billion dollars into the hands of more than 115,000 homeowners. Federal dollars are increasing affordable housing throughout New Orleans. As we rebuild, we are moving away from a failed system of low-income housing projects, and moving toward vibrant mixed-income communities. And each week, hundreds of families are moving out of temporary housing and into long-term homes.

We see hopeful signs of progress in the growth of this area’s economy. New Orleans sales tax revenues are at nearly 90 percent of their pre-storm levels. The city saw 8,000 jobs created in just the last year. The Port of New Orleans is a bustling center of commerce and trade, and Louisiana’s exports now exceed pre-Katrina levels. The Crescent City’s tourism industry is on the rebound, and New Orleans is once again a premier destination for conferences and conventions. I was proud to host the North American Leaders Summit here this spring and it showed that New Orleans is getting back to business.

We see hopeful signs of progress in the city’s improving health-care system. The Department of Health and Human Services has provided more than 2.6 billion dollars to care for the poor and uninsured, offer mental-health services, and support primary-care clinics and hospitals. The Federal government is helping to recruit doctors, nurses, and other health professionals – making sure New Orleans will have the people it needs to care for the city’s growing population. And we are working with Governor Jindal to build a system of community-based clinics that encourages good preventive care and eases the strain on the city’s emergency rooms.

We see hopeful signs of progress in efforts to reduce crime. Federal funds are giving local police and sheriffs essential equipment like cars, computers, and radios. Federal agents are working the streets alongside the New Orleans Police Department. Federal resources are helping the NOPD rebuild its crime lab, and resolve its forensics backlog. Violent crime remains a serious problem but together, we are working to restore safety and justice to New Orleans.

We see hopeful signs of progress in the rebirth of New Orleans education. Today, more than 80 public schools in the city have reopened. About half are now charter schools that offer greater choice and accountability. High schools that once struggled are being transformed into promising career-oriented academies. Public, private, and parochial schools are rebuilding their damaged libraries – thanks to the amazing work Laura has done through her foundation. With help from programs like Teach for America, New Orleans is now a magnet for teachers – talented young people who are excited about helping the city’s children find a brighter future. These changes are already producing results: Test scores across the city have improved significantly.

We see hopeful signs of progress in the return of the normal rhythms of life. More restaurants are now open in New Orleans than before the storm. The Saints are about to start a new season in a refurbished Superdome – with Deuce McAllister carrying the ball. From Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Lacombe to Memorial Baptist Church in Metairie, houses of worship are reopening their doors. Musicians are returning this season to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre. And earlier this year, New Orleans celebrated the return of another sweet sound: the rumble of cable cars on St. Charles Street.

For all of these reasons, we can look with optimism toward the bright future awaiting New Orleans. And the greatest reason for hope is the people who are making this recovery possible. They include the armies of compassion who came from across the country to volunteer more than 14 million hours of service. They include the generous citizens who donated more than 3.5 billion dollars to help their fellow Americans in need.

They include people right here at Jackson Barracks – the citizen-soldiers of the Louisiana National Guard. Even as your headquarters was flooding, guardsmen collected boats, boarded helicopters, fanned out across the city to help with search and rescue and saved lives. Although some of your own homes were in ruins, you worked first to help your neighbors in need. Today, guard members are a vital part of the ongoing reconstruction. You are performing a great service to your city, your State, and your Nation. And you have the thanks of your fellow citizens – including your President.

The people responsible for this city’s recovery include the men and women in this audience, and those seated behind me. These are some of the people Laura and I have met with and been inspired by on our visits to the Gulf Coast. And these are people who show that there is a power far stronger than wind and waves – the determination of the citizens of New Orleans.

I am inspired by people like Daryn Dodson, who I met at a dinner here last year. Daryn was studying at Stanford Business School when Katrina struck and felt called to come to New Orleans to help. He joined Idea Village – a program to support the city’s entrepreneurs and stimulate economic growth. Through Idea Village, Daryn has brought other MBA students from the Nation’s top schools to help solve some of the greatest business challenges facing the city and to help spread the entrepreneurial spirit.

I am inspired by people like Leah Chase. Leah’s restaurant, Dooky Chase, has been a New Orleans institution for several decades. But when Katrina struck, the floodwaters left Leah’s entire restaurant in ruins. She saw her whole life washed away in a few moments, and didn’t know where she’d find the strength to go on. She found it in her faith, family, neighbors, friends, and even total strangers. Here in New Orleans, the community held fundraisers to help Leah rebuild. High-school students from all over the country spent their spring breaks helping to gut and rebuild the restaurant. A group of friends in Indiana donated new chairs for her dining room. Today, Dooky Chase is open for business.

I am inspired by people like Doris Hicks. Doris is the principal of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology here in the Lower 9th Ward. Laura and I had a chance to visit the school last year. After Katrina, the flooding at MLK was so bad that when the waters finally receded, fish were found on the school’s second floor. Doris was told that she couldn’t reopen until 2010 but she knew the kids couldn’t wait that long. Doris mobilized parents, teachers, and the entire community. She agreed to turn the school into a charter. MLK is open today, and families are moving to the community just so they can return to the school. Doris puts it this way: “There’s no other place like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and there’s no other place like New Orleans.”

There is no other place like New Orleans. Every time I have come to this city, I have been inspired by its extraordinary character. Only here does a stay-at-home mom mobilize her neighbors to clear thousands of tons of debris. Only here does a barber set up shop at the gas station to cut hair for National Guardsmen. Only here do restaurant workers rush to clean up their flooded café so they can serve hot red beans and rice to first responders, construction crews, and returning evacuees. In countless quiet acts, New Orleans has shown that the cruelty of a storm is no match for the kindness of a strong community. This is why New Orleans is coming back and this is why it will continue to come back better than ever before. May God bless you, may God bless your great city, and may God bless America.

194: Bruce Likes GFS


Latest Models

Katz isn't crazy about the whole headed back into the Gulf thing, but I'm packing my bags just in case.

193: Stormpulse


Slick, and deep... Everything you want in a next-gen hurricane tracking map.


This is the first because I'm excited they got back to me with the code. I'll show you exactly how you can trick this sucka out, in just a bit.

Visit for the unannoyingly-cropped version, and stay tooned for the coolness.

192: One Heckuva Jam


191: Better Than Clone Wars


190: Say Hey to Fay


"The Joker" has now been named T.S. Fay. Holy old lady name Batman! Get to the Wundermap!!!

I recently discovered My favorite feature so far is the ability to mouseover a city and see the distance from there to the storm. It also has a TON of historical data you can access via search... going back as far as records have been kept in some instances. Here's the Stormplus Fay link. I hope they send me the embed API key soon so I can add the maps to this blog.

She's headed toward The Sunshine State right now, and crossing over every last bit of land she can on the way there. I haven't seen anything that shows her reaching Hurricane strength, yet...

189: Viva Polaroid Instant Cameras!


Great news! And they're going to ask us to help design it.

uke and lantern

188: Happiness...


is thinking about what to grill while playing along with Tom Wait's show at the Fox Theater in July courtesy of NPR's All Things Considered podcast with one eyeball on women's soccer and the other on women's cheeks, no beach volleyball.

They did the best job
of keeping up with Johnny
I've seen in a while

It really was an excellent night at dba last night. Light, eager crowd, and Dr. V performed like a precision-crafted crazy-man at the helm of an intricate animatronic exhibit, with all the pieces interlocking with all the other pieces. Don't misunderstand... Rick and Kirk performed exceptionally and mind-bendingly, but you could always tell they were kowtowing to Johnny. It's a wonderful thing.

186: Attack!


185: Puppets!


New Defend New Orleans video, with a site redesign on the horizon.

DNOv - Miss Pussycat Meets Nancy Staub from DNO VIDEO on Vimeo.

184: Nuts!


Who new the cablers were such great dancers?

183: More Than a Tutorial


Deke goes deep.

182: On Clouds


I'm a sucker for blinking shit, so I want to hang out with The Cloud very badly.

The Cloud - from mitmobileexperiencelab on Vimeo.

I'm also a sucker for semiotics, and enjoy pondering the various ways in which technology is allowing us to reexamine texts, a la tag clouds. Wordle is my new favorite flash gadget. Here's PJB's inauguration speech, Wordled:

Here's my, Wordled:

181: June 22nd Top 20


June 22nd Top 20

view large

Kismet brought us to Seguenon Kone at the Hi-Ho last weekend... and I couldn't leave without a CD, which was as excellent as the show.

I was in a David Byrne kinda mood after the whole building as an instrument thing that was going around the intertubes.

I'm not sure why I was on such an Eagles kick, but the Theresa Andersson was involved in the making of a new "mixtape" for Miz Bubbles, as are many of the artist that follow this point in this week's charts.

180: #1!


My neighborhood bar, Mimi's is #1 on Gambit's list of Crescent City watering holes. I meant to mention I got there through varg's rebuttal of sorts... so now I am.

179: The Future


Moog revolutionizes the guitar biz... the reactions of Lou Reed, Vernon Reid, Fareed Haque and others are just as jawdropping as the guitar itself. Unbelievable.

Only Seven Grand

178: Walkin' the Log


Walkin' the Log

177: I Can't Wait!


How long until Sidney Torres III debuts a WALL-E to Disneyfy the French Quarter? But if it has dance moves like that 'ol Sidney might be afraid of being upstaged by a robot.

176: Book Rental?


The Fail Blog is sometimes more lolful than lolcats. This one is a great example:

Just click it.

And as bad as it is... the Tour de FAIL made me lol. Maybe its because of my line of work and all the death and destruction streaming by me each day.

OKAY! I'll post a kitteh too:

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

Alright... so I went with a theme...

175: June 1st Top 20


174: Caterpillar Massacre


I first spotted the castings, swelling and becoming spongy green with tomato leaves... I scraped, singed, and finally skewered the little suckers on bamboo. When attacked, they vomited the brightly colored and freshly masticated green leaf juice. Nasty.

But I won. And protected the 'maters from what were sure to be the most disgusting and pathetic moths to ever emerge from a cocoon.

Kill Your Enemy

173: Oamos vs WoJ



It really is much better.

172: BERGer Time


I'm just finishing off a most delectable cheeseburger. I'm also waiting for my BERG vs OCRG video to download. First, the burger...

I was hungry after the bout, and Miz Bubbles was ready to hit the sack. I ran to Mardi Gras Zone for frozen falafels and hummus initially, but spotted a pouch of nice looking ground beef in the cooler and decided to change direction.

When I returned chez Kramar, I popped in The River and quickly patted together some patties. I chopped up a green onion from the farmer's market just down St. Claude from the casa, and added some of Jason's Soon To Be Famous BBQ Rub, some Lea & P and a touch of olive oil. I topped the patty with a thick slice of muenster, and a trio of fresh mustard greens, also from the market, and basil and parsley from my backyard secret garden. I sat down to enjoy it as I arrived at The River, the song. Utter delight.

Now for the bout.

Mardi Gras World is a great place to do anything. Gov't Majik warmed up... with Clint Maedgen and a pair of Beatles covers before moving into Led Zep. The OC girls were... imposing... they were big and scary is what they were, and our girls smashed hips like the biggest of them, but still came up short in the end. We ended up in a great spot right on top of the crash zone and the barmam liked us so a most excellent time was had by all.

171: Tax Holiday


I'm going on a tax holiday, and I'm buying an anchor system, batteries, candles, D-cells, extra self-powered light sources, flexible waterproof sheeting, generators, a head-mounted flashlight, Igloo coolers, Jimmy cans, a krypton-bulbed flashlight (you can never have too many flashlights), light source that is self-powered, materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms, 9-volt batteries, Orange Lanterns, Pelican flashlight, Quik Brites, radios, storm shutter devices, tarpaulins, universal cellphone charger, V2 Triplex Aluminum 4.5 Flashlight, weather-band radio... and that's about all the time I can spend on this... Who knows which game I'm playing with myself?

Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Preparedness
May 24 & 25, 2008

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana residents can purchase needed items free of sales tax as they prepare for the 2008 hurricane season.

The inaugural 2008 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday takes place on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25. The holiday is an annual, statewide event created by the Louisiana Legislature to assist families with the important job of protecting their lives and property in the event of a serious storm.

During the two‐day holiday, tax‐free purchases are allowed for the first $1,500 of the sales price on each of the following items:
• Self‐powered light sources, such as flashlights and candles;
• Portable self‐powered radios, two‐way radios, and weather‐band radios;
• Tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
• Ground anchor systems or tie‐down kits;
• Gas or diesel fuel tanks;
• Batteries – AAA, AA, C, D, 6‐volt, or 9‐volt (automobile batteries and boat batteries are not eligible);
• Cellular phone batteries and chargers;
• Non‐electric food storage coolers;
• Portable generators;
• Storm shutter devices – Materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms (La. R.S. 47:305.58).

The 2008 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 25.

The sales tax holiday does not extend to hurricane‐preparedness items or supplies purchased at any airport, public lodging establishment or hotel, convenience store, or entertainment complex.

For more information, visit


My amazing Mother done outdone me... as expected since she taught me this game, except we were usually going to California:

"Well, I’m gong on a tax holiday and I’m buying an ample supply of candles, batteries, cell phone battery, Duracell flashlight, extra flashlights, fuel tanks to fill with water, generous amounts of waterproof sheeting , humongous food storage coolers, Igloo coolers, jars for self powered light sources such as lightning bugs, Krylon, light sticks, man made products used for roof repair, neoprene containers for water, outrageous containers for water, plenty of water, quarts and quarts and quarts of water, radical amounts of batteries, self powered light sources, tons of water, ungodly amounts of water, very powerful two way radios, waterproof plywood, Xanax by the case (I’ll pay the taxes), yellow flashlights, zebra flashlights."

She's awesome!

Any others? I know the comments thing is busted (any trolls out there who can fix it?), but email me at iankramar (at)

170: Free Jazz, Brah!


Free Jazz, Brah!

Another plug for the "Rain or Shine" benefit! Who will the special, surprise guests be?

"When you're in the dark and you wanna see - electricity, eee - lek tricity.
Well then flip that switch and what do you get? electricity, eee - lek tricity!"

168: Pans of Steel


There are some real gems in WGNO's youtube channel from its "Real New Orleans" series. This on demonstrates the true purpose for oil:

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