Those of you who pay close attention to this blog (and if you do, please look in the yellow pages under Mental Health Professionals for some help) know that Donna and I lived in New Orleans for a while in the middle 80s. Once I left the Navy we choose New Orleans for a couple of reasons, one of which was because she grew up there we would both be eligible for in state tuition while we attended college on the GI Bill. The other reason was that Donna’s dad had recently passed away and her youngest brother was still a teenager, so we felt if we moved back in with mom and brother it might be a stabling influence on young Scott.

When Donna’s family moved to New Orleans in the 60’s they bought a 4 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath split level home in the Lakeview section of town. It was near Lake Ponchatrain, you couldn’t actually see the lake unless you could climb to the very top of the two massive live oaks that shaded the house, but it was also only a short bus ride to downtown.

We stuck around long enough to see Scott graduate high school, but the economy had turned sour and jobs grew scarce, so Donna and I moved up to NJ. Not long after that, Donna’s younger sister convinced mom and Scott to sell the house and move out to Seattle with her.

Below are a couple of small images showing the northern section of New Orleans before and after Katrina. The before came from Google Maps and the little pointer shows where we lived. The second is from part of a larger high resolution satellite image from Digital Globe. You can download both before and after images from their page by clicking on the Hurricane Katrina Imagery link in the upper left. They are approximately 4000 x 4500 pixels and are 3 or 4 megabytes in size.

lakeview before

lakeview after

The dark greenish blue shows the areas that are underwater. One of the levees that broke, the 17th Street Canal one, is on the left of the image where the light turns to dark. The actual breach point is about parallel with the marker and is less than a mile from the house. Most assuredly Donna’s childhood home is a total loss.

Started down, still down.
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Pessure Washin’ Fool

Today’s highlight was washing the house. Brush on the Simple Green and wash off. All I did was the front, sides and back will have to wait for another day.

While I was getting around the front door I decided to do the small brick porch and the three steps. That wasn’t so bad, but my problem came while cleaning the bottom step, I accidentally sprayed the end of the sidewalk. Well, now I was stuck doing the whole sidewalk. Took about an hour. You can bet that I was extra careful at the other end of the sidewalk that I didn’t hit any of the driveway. We have a two car wide driveway and it is about 50 foot long, that sucker would have taken about 12 hours to do.

Started down, still down.
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I’m Done For Now

I have unsubscribed from the mailing lists of the three photography memes I have participated in regularly for about the last two years. At first they were exciting, they gave me something to do with the digital camera. But recently they have become tiring for me, how many times can you shoot “Yellow”? Yeah, I know, there are about a thousand ways to picture yellow, but only if you are really into photography.

For me it was always something I toyed with, never real serious. I took a bunch of photography courses in college and I’ve read a bunch of books on the subject too, so I know how to take a good photograph, but I don’t spend the time doing it to actually get them. I usually end up with a bunch of snapshots and from what I’ve seen on the web, there are too many snapshots out there already.

When I first got into blogging I stumbled onto CD Swaps and I did that for awhile, but I stopped. Then I did the photography thing, but that is over now. What is the next thing I’ll get “into”? Suggestions welcome.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 291

Free Time

Donna and I took a nice short 8.5 mile bike ride this morning. The sun was just clearing the trees when we started and it was actually cool. Made a stop at the bagel place for breakfast and then pedaled home on the busiest road in town (because it was so early there was no traffic to speak of, but hours later it was clogged with shoppers.)

So what am I doing with all my free time now that I’m not doing those photo memes? Not coming up with quality blog posts that’s for sure. I had a great one earlier, but didn’t write down a hint, so I would remember it now that I’m actually sitting in front of the PC. It was kick-ass too! Better than yesterday’s post!

Started down, still down.
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Free Music

The designated IT guy at work had to buy and install a DVD drive in his PC yesterday. When our main IT folks speced out the PCs they just went with CDRWs and the other day they sent him a ghost image for repairing a PC and it was on a DVD…

Inside the box with the drive was a card for 10 free music downloads from Connect.com. He is not a music guy, so he gave it to me today.

First you needed to go to sony.com/card and activate the card. After choosing a username (your email) and a password, the second page requesting information was huge, I looked to see if I actually had to do this, seeing as step two was go to www.connect.com and register there too. From what I could read, activating was an optional step, but reccomended for security reasons. Forget that, I wasn’t ever putting money on there or using it again after my 10 free.

Off to connect.com where you have to download some software (good thing my buddy didn’t try this with his dial-up account, there was about 20Megs worth.) After installation, you then have to create an account. Another username and password. Page two starts right off with wanting credit card info. Hold it. Once again this is a one time thing, a search of the FAQ nets the way to enter the free music card without a CC.

Once I was in I went searching for my 10 songs. Hmmm. The card is worth $9.90 (10 times 99 cents) and each album seems to cost $9.99. Finally found something that I liked that had 10 songs on it. If I bought the whole album it was $9.99, but if I bought the ten songs one at a time, $9.90.

Cecilio & Kapono – Elua

Started down, still down.
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You Can Never Be Too Rich, Too Thin Or Have Enough RAM

Part of my birthday largess arrived today, memory and hard drive fresh from Amazon.com. First thing I did was add the second 512M stick, bringing my RAM total to 1024 Megabytes. This made a small performance increase in some tasks. I’m sure once I get the larger HD in there it will improve even more as I only have a little over 3% empty on the C: Drive. Hard drive swapping is going to be major surgery because I want to start from scratch with a clean install of Windows instead of just mirroring the current drive over.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 291

Just Like Old Times, Sorta

NBC has moved The West Wing to Sunday nights at 9:00PM. It is going to be nice once again to have a definitive ending to the weekend. Everything that needs to be done, will be done a few minutes before 9:00PM, so when the show starts it can have my undivided attention for an hour, then at 10:00PM when it is over, preparations for bed can commence.

The last TV show that came on Sunday’s at 9 that I used to watch was The X-Files and I miss it as much for it’s role as a closer as I did for the stories. I know it is a little early, but I gotta go get a good seat on the couch…

Flat Hat

You’ll notice below that the top went up and then down today even though it didn’t rain nor did I wash the car.

Because I’m ever the southern gentleman, I always remove my hat when dining. Last night when we went out to eat at Outback instead of taking my very rare Red Sox World Champions ball cap inside and chancing losing it, I tossed it back in the car. Because it looked like it might rain while we were inside the restaurant, I put the convertible top up. The hat landed on the parcel shelf behind the seats. When we finished eating, the sky was clear enough so that we could drop the top for the trip home.

Tonight when I had to run out to drop of some dry cleaning, I went to grab my hat, it wasn’t there. Then I remembered. Before I backed out of the garage, I removed the boot and raised the top, so I could now remove my nicely pressed flat hat. Top went back down, boot went back on and with a quick bend of the brim, stuck the hat on my head and drove on my errand. Good thing that it was an unstructured cap…

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
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