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name: shanna
age: 28
sign: scorpio
live: louisiana
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Unless you've been living under a rock or are cut off from all human civilization, you now know that Hurricane Katrina has come and gone from the coastal states - leaving behind massive destruction.

The aftermath has been strange to see. Baton Rouge got a small beating, but made it out well. Nearly 90,000+ people were without power after Katrina knocked us around a bit and some still don't have it today (myself included), but that is such a small inconvenience when compared to what those in the southeastern parishes are going through.

Jefferson Parish, which took the brunt of the storm, is now under Marshal Law. Residents will be allowed back in on September 5 - with ID as proof of residency only - to collect their things. They will then be escorted back out and will not be able to return for at least a month; most likely more. The damage is simply that bad and it will be a long time before it is safe to live there again (damaged buildings, bridges, roadways, and contaminated water being just a few of the factors).

They have finally decided to get everyone out of New Orleans - other than all of the other things they are having to concentrate on (search & rescue, securing the once-leaking levee, etc.) there is a HUGE problem currently with looters. Yes, there are a high number of people scum taking full advantage of the terrible situation and others' misfortune. And these aren't desperate people running out of food or who have lost everything. These are scum of the Earth filling up bags with guns and shoes and running away laughing (seen on CNN footage). I know a wonderful way to deal with that - shoot them. A person who would willfully try to gain from such an event; who would be worried about getting good sneaks and a new, shiny gun at a time like this is not a good person. The world will be just fine without them. If you see people looting, shoot them - and shoot to kill. I lived in New Orleans before and I know the types of people we're talking about. Honestly, I wouldn't even consider a loss of "life" - these same people wouldn't hesitate to shoot a citizen or an officer of the law if they tried to stop them from stealing.

New Orleans, all of Jefferson parish, Gulfpost and Biloxi, Mississippi - the images I'm seeing (for the first time) on TV today are heart-breaking.

As for us, we made out just fine - though we've not had electricity since 11am (as the storm was starting to come in) Monday morning. They say it may be back on tonight, but we'll see. We just couldn't take waiting in the hot house another day, though, so we drove out here to my family's for some a/c and Internet and TV coverage. When we left it was around 90 degrees inside our apartment.

Seeing the aftermath from here is interesting. The city is overflowing with evacuees and will consider to do so as more come in. Since it may be months before they can go home, all surrounding areas - even into Texas - are full up with now homeless people. Schools in even remote towns miles from New Orleans are full of people with nowhere to go. Most of these people have no idea what they've lost and a lot have family members that decided to ride the storm out - and now they don't know if they're alive or dead.

It's all just sinking in still for me. We haven't been back to work yet, though the state may resume operations tomorrow (may not - don't know). Baret is still on call (he goes in for a 12-hour shift tonight), and life is sort of on "hold". Schools can't resume because they are being used as shelters, and LSU has canceled classes until (at least) next Tuesday. The first LSU football game of the season (scheduled this coming Friday, Sept. 3) has also been canceled.

The good news today seems to be that the water has finally stopped rising in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. That's important. Now they are concentrating on getting everyone out, because it's too difficult to do what needs to be done with all the looters making the job worse and more dangerous.

I haven't heard any figures on death tolls yet, but I know it will be high - when they first got into the city after the hurricane passed through the mayor said there were bodies floating in the water filled streets. As this continues, more will die, because the standing water is contaminated and dangerous - and disease is a high risk. There are also snakes to watch out for, and one man reported a shark swimming a street that had become a river the day after the hurricane; with a storm surge such as the one that came in, it's possible.

I'll update as I know more, but at this point, we're all still kind of reeling. Nothing can really prepare you for something like this.

In the meantime, any help you can give, please do. Millions of people are likely homeless now - even $1 will help. Please use the links to contribute something:

Network for Good

American Red Cross

Info & Links from FEMA

And if you'd like to help our furry friends hurt by this disaster:

The Humane Society of the United States

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 10:28 AM

Monday, August 29, 2005

New Orleans Stay strong, girl. Don't let Katrina get the best of you.

All those trapped in and around the rising waters - I am praying for your safety.

Love you, New Orleans. Please be okay.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:21 AM

The power is coming and going, though the news (the cable is coming & going too) says most of Baton Rouge is powerless.

They keep talking about New Orleans - terrifying reports coming in. High rise buildings have upper floor windows blowing out with wind and rain rushing in. The newly-planted palm trees down Canal Street are ripped out and being thrown around. Hundreds of people are calling in, stranded and stuck in their homes. Some rescue workers are having to tell them "we just can't get to you". Gods, why didn't everyone evacuate, or go to the Superdome?

Though I've heard the Superdome has substantial roof damage.

I have to leave the room when they're talking about New Orleans - and the surrounding areas. I keep starting to cry.

We're in a lull now - occasional gusts. As the storm continues to head North, it will get worse for us in Baton Rouge - but nothing like they're experiencing in the Southeast.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:10 AM

They're saying on the news that power lines and trees are down all over Baton Rouge, but so far, here, we're doing ok. We still have power, but the wind is ferocious at times.

News is slowly leaking in from New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, and it isn't good. They can't get definitive info b/c phone & cell phone lines are jammed. Apparently an apartment building in Jefferson Parish, with people inside, collapsed - and they know no more. 116 people in New Orleans, most in the lower 9th Ward, have called to report they are trapped on the roofs of their homes, and the water is rising around them.

The Superdome has taken a little damage to the roof, and water is leaking in.

We haven't got the most of what we're going to get yet, but at the moment, Southeastern Louisiana is getting hit very hard. Pray for them, please.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:21 AM

The wind is really, really picking up. It's getting rather frightening - slamming into the house and trees looking like they're bending over to kiss the ground.

Just heard two transformers blow - but the lights went out and came back. We probably won't have power much longer. I'll have battery life on this laptop for at least two hours after we lose power.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 6:39 AM

We still have power, but the wind is getting much stronger - some gusts are quite impressive, you can actually hear them hitting the side of the house.

The news says we'll start to see 60-75 mph winds in the next hour.

Rain is heavy, and continuing to fall and grow heavier. It's light out, but very overcast - though it's 8:30am, the street lights are still on.

More to come...

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 6:22 AM

Katrina Is Upon Us

Heavy rains at this almost-8am hour and pretty strong winds, with some really powerful gusts - but nothing like we were expecting. I think we're going to be ok.

And as I write this, a particularly strong and scary gust blew by - and blew out our power (I'm all batteries).

Lights are now going on and off...and the wind has picked up considerably.

Stay tuned.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:50 AM

So far so good - and I come back with a bit of good news.

Katrina started breaking up as she made landfall (which she's in the process of doing now), and she's speeding up - which means she'll move through more quickly and there won't be as much prolonged high winds in areas.

We still have electricity, but Port Allen, just West of here, is in a blackout, according to the news. Wind gusts are up to 35 and 40 mph; but right now, it's looking pretty good for us - much better than we thought it would.

Slidell, Louisiana is probably going to take the brunt of the storm, and right now the Southeastern part of the state - Buras, Port Sulphur, Plauqemines Parish-area - is getting hit hard as the eye makes landfall; they are sustaining up to (and over) 140 mph winds.

Lake Pontchartrain is still most likely going to flood, and they are still worried about it filling New Orleans. Whatever voodoo charms and protections have been over the city all these years past with hurricanes, I just hope they hold out.

For now, though, in Baton Rouge all is well. Baret just got home - he's tired and stressed and we're going to try to get a little more sleep (a cat nap).

'Til later...

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:15 AM

Been watching a little TV; playing a little catch-up.

Baton Rouge is expected to sustain 50-75 mph winds. The eye should be making landfall in the next hour and a half to two hours. She's coming.

Shelters are full, as well as hotels all the way over to West Baton Rouge Parish, and as far out west as Lafayette to Texas - and just about everything in-between.

The wind is picking up here. It's pretty steady, though nothing terrible, with some gusts, I'd say around 10-20 mph at times.

One more hour 'til Baret can come home (his 12-hour shift ends at 6am). We're both hoping they won't need him to stay, or the weather won't stop him from leaving.

I haven't seen Gia, though I keep calling reassurances out to her, and Jo is still very restless - sometimes meowing and giving me a questioning look. He can't seem to decided where he wants to park himself and is mostly roaming around the house. They're aware something is up; I've read animals can sense a hurricane coming.

Of course the big fear is tornadoes. I've had recurring nightmares my entire life of being chased by tornadoes - usually on a particular highway in my hometown. I'm terrified of tornadoes. I can handle the rest - just don't let me have to live through a twister. -shudder-

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:07 AM

Katrina Comes A'Knockin

It's nearly 4:30am when JoJo wakes me up with his nutty yowling. He's been restless since around 1:00pm - running around the house and making his "crazy meows". Gia's just scared, as always, of the rain and is in hiding. They know something is up; they know this isn't a regular, old storm.

It's raining heavily, and steady and the wind is strong. Nothing to write home about - yet. But some of the gusts are getting up there. A few moments ago, the lights flickered.

One of the things that is so scary about a hurricane is the darkness. You know how the sky darkens during a strong storm; it does the same for a hurricane, only much worse. I'd imagine, as the normal time for sunrise comes around, we won't be seeing much of the Sun.

I'm going to post this, because the lights just flickered again.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 2:24 AM

Sunday, August 28, 2005

CNN Sucks

You know, it's bad enough - this impending fucking storm - there is no reason for you journalistic getting-off-on-the-tragedy-of-others' sharks to blow this up and make it sound like the end of Earth in Southern Louisiana as we know it just to UP YOUR GODDAMN RATINGS.

Sore spot, forgive me.

But this article, posted at CNN, Katrina may be 'our Asian tsunami' made me want to spit nails. Like I, and all other southern Louisiana natives keeping up with the storm online, need to see SHIT LIKE THIS. Like we're not scared enough or worried enough about our home state and beloved city. It must be nice to write some seemingly brilliant piece of journalism, just frightening and shocking enough to catch the eye, from the comfort of your perfectly safe office THAT IS NOT ABOUT TO BE HIT BY A CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE!

Fuck all of you, most who have probably never seen or lived through an ACTUAL hurricane, journalistic types who have hard-ons and wet panties right now at the sheer thought of the damage Katrina is about to cause and all the hours upon hours of rehashing the same shit reporting you're going to do in the aftermath. I hate all of you.

Please note the URL of this particular piece - the tail end - /katrina.doomsday/ Doomsday. Fucking doomsday? It's a goddamn hurricane, not the end of the world or Noah's second coming. It's going to be horrible - absolutely fucking catastrophic. But to you it means ratings - to us it means loss of life, property, places and things we love. It means seeing a huge part of us and our culture destroyed.

There's no need to push this to the extreme. It IS extreme! The flashy headlines - the doomsday heralding - the catastrophic comparisons. Just stop. You are NOT helping.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 10:11 PM

Waiting on Katrina

Still dead calm here. A slight breeze, no rain.

I-10 is nearly dead, too. There are minute-long gaps where not a car passes either way. It's a strange, and frightening, sight. You start to realize that this really real - it's about to happen.

My friend, who left from Baton Rouge at 1:30pm today, going towards her home in Houston just rang me. She's still stuck in traffic (it's 11:30pm) and has moved a whopping 3 miles in the past hour. It seems all of the traffic we were seeing out here has moved elsewhere. It's good, though - more people out of harm's way.

But we're still just waiting. Tropical storm winds (39-73 mph) are as far out as 250 miles from the eye of the storm. We'll start feeling Katrina long before she actually, and officially, reaches landfall.

They are predicting this storm to leave over 1 million people homeless in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

I wonder about the 70,000-something people stuffing into the Superdome. Sure, it can sustain winds of up to 200 mph, but what about water? What will they do when the water rises to 20' or 30'? Be stuck inside? Will the water come with them, and rise to a certain level? The Superdome is huge, and sound - but I wouldn't want to be stuck inside it - trapped inside it, maybe - in these conditions.

Random thoughts - you think of so many things.

The worse thing about these hurricanes, these warm water Gulf ones, is that it doesn't just affect those of us in the South living through it. Over 1/4 of the crude oil produced in the U.S. is produced off the Gulf of Mexico. When they are damaged, and production is halted, we all suffer; higher gas prices being the most obvious inconvenience. As if they aren't high enough.

Hopefully it won't be as bad as all that - but nothing looks too good right now. I'm going to get some shut-eye, as I know the storm will be waking me up in a few hours. There won't be much sleep after that. Even after the storm, no electricity means no a/c in the dead of August; which you can't even comprehend unless you've lived some time in a place with 110 heat index and 100% humidity. It's going to completely suck, that's for sure. But, then again, hopefully no electricity is the only thing we'll have to worry about.

I'll report back as soon as we start seeing some action.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:29 PM

Nothing new to report, but no news - at this point - is good news.

The house is so quiet, what with most of the electrical appliances unplugged.

Again, an eerie stillness has descended outside. Not a drop of rain; not a leaf stirring.

I read an article that said New Orleans, if filled up with 20'-30' of water, would become a huge toxic lake; a cesspool of toxic chemicals from nearby plants, household products and busted sewer lines - with a large number of floating coffins thrown in for nice measure.

Coffins. I didn't think of that. A few hours after Andrew I saw a coffin - floating in its own grave; a coffin that had, previously, been 6' feet under for the preceding ten years. I hadn't thought about coffins in New Orleans, but it is a thought to make you shudder.

In a city below sea level, you don't bury your dead underground, and our wild and wicked city is known for its "City of the Dead" - miles and miles of above-ground cemeteries. Some of those graves are hundreds of years old, and would likely bust open quite easily with enough water pushed up against them.

City of the Floating Dead. Nice.

(I thought you'd like to know I originally wrote that "City of the Undead" and "City of the Floating Undead" - and it was quite some time before I caught the mistake. An old horror buff never

Again, all is quiet and still; it's unnerving. Every now and again I hear the big rigs downshifting on the Interstate. The crickets, which had tapered off and even changed their song, are silent now. Even the lone bird I'd heard crying at sunset has flown off to safer places, apparently.

Another article I read said Baton Rouge and East of it would "take the brunt of the storm". Whoopee.

I'm terribly bothered that New Orleans is going to be so destroyed; I love that city!! Maybe even more troublesome, for me, is the fact that she would take a beating from a bitch named Katrina. Katrina; sounds like some 90 lb., hairsprayed, bleached-blonde crackwhore with no teeth (all apologies to my readers named Katrina - I merely mean a storm named Katrina brings this image to mind. Right.)

-sigh- The waiting is the worst. You know this massive force of destruction is headed towards you. You know it's going to hit - and all you can do is sit and wait for it to come. Right now, that's where we're at. The waiting - the not knowing - the hoping you don't have to expect the worst, and the praying that the city that has your heart is not drowned by a crackwhore named Katrina in the next 24 hours!!!!

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:05 PM

I know this is soon, but things are picking up here.

Just a few minutes after I finished the last post, it got considerably darker and the rain started coming down hard. The clouds have completely covered the sky - you can no longer see it peeking through. Right now we're seeing the very, very outer bands of a very large and far-reaching storm. This is only the beginning.

So far there isn't too much wind, just a lot of rain.

I see two cars parked on the side the street - right under a tree. To me, this does not seem like an ideal place to park your cars. Maybe they aren't from here?

The interstate (I-10 Westbound is what I can see from here) had started inching ever so slowly forward, but its stopped again. I bet those people are tired, aggravated and scared.

Once the storming gets too bad (I'm guessing early, early morning (2-3am) or early morning (5-6am), I'll be shutting off my computer - unplugging it to protect from lightening. If we even have electricity by then, that is. I'll have two hours of battery life on my laptop and I'll continue to post until I no longer can - stay tuned, and thanks for well wishes our way!

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:46 PM

It's getting darker and it's very, very overcast right now. It rains, pretty hard, for a few seconds or a few minutes, then stops.

The Interstate (I-10) has slowed to a snail's pace; sometimes stopping completely. I fear there will be many people trapped on it when the storm hits.

More on the reason this storm is so bad for New Orleans, from a Yahoo! News report:

For years, forecasters have warned of the nightmare scenario a big storm could bring to New Orleans, a bowl of a city that's up to 10 feet below sea level in spots and dependent on a network of levees, canals and pumps to keep dry. It's built between the half-mile-wide Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, half the size of the state of Rhode Island.

Estimates have been made of tens of thousands of deaths from flooding that could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a 30-foot-deep toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, and waste from ruined septic systems.

As I said, many many people are "stuck" in the city and cannot leave. They need your thoughts, and prayers.

As for me, Baret's gone and I've just taken a nice, long bath (may not be able to do that again for awhile). All of my supplies are around me, and my two kitties and we're just...waiting.

At this moment there is no wind whatsoever, which is creepy. It blows up periodically, but, like the rain, doesn't last.

Street lights are on, to give you an idea of the darkness - that usually wouldn't be happening until closer to 8pm (it's 6:30pm right now). One thing I remember about Andrew was the complete darkness; that was scary. Morning came, and with it the storm - but the Sun, the Sun never did come. It remained dark until late that afternoon, when Andrew had run its destructive course. I'm guessing we'll see the same thing tomorrow morning. It's an eerie thing to wake up at 7am and not see the Sun rise.

As I close this, there are nothing but brake lights on I-10 Westbound; it has stopped completely for awhile.

More to come...

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:32 PM

It's getting darker. Wind picks up, then dies down to nothing. It started to rain, and then stopped.

The eye, I see on the news, is 32 miles wide - and the storm has veered a bit more to the West (closer to us).

Thousands of people are loading up into the Superdome (which, thankfully, can withstand winds up to 200 mph). Everyone else is trying to get out. I-10 is now down to a crawl, but it is moving.

Baret got called in to work, so I'll be facing the first part of the storm alone. He'll be back at 6am, two hours before actual landfall.

It's an amazing storm; perfect actually. The eye is *perfectly* formed, the storm is amazingly well put-together and cohesive. It's going to cause some major damage.

Stay tuned...

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 2:48 PM

Updates, as promised.

Traffic is moving, albeit slowly, on I-10. The grocery stores are like madhouses. Baret got called in to work from 6pm-6am (he's on call during any natural disaster). It's getting cloudy and overcast and the wind is barely stirring, but that's about it; still very, eerily, calm.

Work and school has been cancelled in most all the southern portions of the state for Monday and Tuesday; maybe longer if electricity and/or water is slow in coming back to us.

We have our food and water - the house is ready, the patio plants & furniture are stored safely in the shed. Clothes washed, house cleaned (who knows when we'll be able to do all that again?), flashlights, oil lamps and candles nearby. All we can do now is wait, and hope.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 1:10 PM

Looks like Bill Shanks got his wish:

According to Shanks, God views gay marriage as an abomination and, unless Louisiana bans it stronger, God might visit a calamity on the state worthy of Noah.

"One Category 5 hurricane coming up the river would take care of all Sodomite marriages -- along with ours and our churches'," he said.

While I figure Hurricane Katrina has less to do with gay marriages and more to do with warm Gulf waters and low pressure areas, the fact remains that New Orleans - beloved city of my heart - is finally about to face "the big one".

"The Big One" is the infamous storm all New Orleans natives and Orleanaphiles fear; the one that "someday" would come to pass. A Category 5 hurricane that would come straight up the Mississippi and put the smack down on The Big Easy. Her below-sea-level bowl-shaped self would fill up like a holiday drunk at the punch bowl and New Orleans as we know it would never be the same.

It was one of those things that everyone said would happen someday, but that never actually happened; so you started to believe it never would. With Katrina still hours away from making landfall, it's still anyone's guess exactly what she'll do - but, at this point, it's not looking good for the world's most unique city.

They're calling it the "Second Coming of Camille" (Southerners will know who and what Camille is), and even saying it's stronger than she was.

Even under normal circumstances, the Crescent City relies on pumps to get rid of excess water. With the pumps out along with the rest of the South's electricity, and a storm surge over 17 feet (and a leaking-over-the-levee-Lake-Pontchatrain), New Orleans is expected to be sitting under 20' of water by Tuesday. If this is "The Big Storm" they've prophesied all these years. I'm still hoping it isn't.

As for us a little further North, and a bit safer to the West of the eye - we're in preparation mode. Hurricane Andrew, a Category 4 storm that passed much closer to our area, left us without power for a week. Katrina could do the same, or worse. All you can do is be ready and hope for the least amount of damage.

I'll keep you updated with posts as the storm nears. Right now, skies are clear and beautiful - the calm before the storm. Conditions should start worsening tonight - landfall (at this point) is scheduled for 8am Monday morning. I'll post back here frequently until we no longer have power - after that, just keep your fingers crossed for us. Moreover, keep your fingers crossed for New Orleans and 130,000+ people that can't leave.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:53 AM

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Come on, Katrina, you big bitch. We're ready.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:25 PM

Monday, August 22, 2005

So World of Warcraft is having a bit of unexpected downtime this evening (it happens). I stroll on over to the official site forums to see if they've said anything. They haven't but it's pretty obvious - it isn't working at the moment.

Then I made the mistake of clicking on an entry (already 6 pages long) where people were griping about the downtime. By time I got through three pages of "We should slap a class-action lawsuit on them" and "this is my hard-earned money that's being wasted", I was livid.

Stupid, immature, whiny fucks - all of them. And I decided to let them know it. This pretty much sums up how I feel about people like that:

All of you whining children with your "hard earned money" and your "class action lawsuits" need to get a grip on reality.

"Oh, it's a *service* - we PAY for it to WORK." Perhaps in whatever world you live in every service you pay for and everything you buy works perfectly all of the time; lucky you. But here in the *real* world, things break, go wrong and don't always go quite like you'd like them to - whether you're paying for it or not.

Let me tell you something, from a professional i.t. tech, I *promise* you that the good folks at Blizzard are busting arse right now to get things back working smoothly; as they always do. I guarantee you they feel bad that all of you who have nothing better to do while your favorite game is down for a bit can't play; they know you pay dearly for this service and they are, I've no doubts, doing everything they can to get it working again for YOU, their loyal paying customer. So hush up and wait.

Or, no, go ahead and sue them, or cancel your account - it's so very mature and what you've displayed so far here speaks volumes of your maturity levels. Go play some other game (which, I promise, will have downtime as well!). Rant and rave some more on the forums b/c that does SO MUCH GOOD. Do whatever you have to do so that you feel better about the wrongs that have been wrought upon you poor, innocent, hard-working people. My heart is bleeding for each and every one of you.

And to those of you that whine you only have "certain times" you can play, and that happens to be NOW - during the "down time" - GET OVER IT. This is Life; in case someone hasn't told you yet, let me share the bad news with you - Life Is NOT Fair. I'm sorry; I know this must come as quite a shock to you. I'm sure this won't change the fact that every one of you now believes Blizzard owes you some type of compensation; an "I'm sorry" that, somehow, magically, works for everyone with an odd schedule and limited playing time. And if they don't, you'll threaten to quit or sue...I know how it goes. But, really, just...get over it - you're going to give yourself some serious high blood pressure freaking out over something so petty.

Yes, $15/month IS a petty thing to gripe about; especially considering the fact that THIS GAME WORKS **MORE OFTEN** THAN NOT! But of course, all you ever seem to notice, or speak up about are the times it *doesn't* and you, poor little you, are slightly inconvenienced (and if the game being down inconveniences you more than *slightly*, you should really get a life.)

It's a thankless job these guys do; not so much as a thank you or a pat on the back when things are working smoothly. Yet the minute something goes wrong you attack them like a pack of wild animals.

Regardless of what's happening or how long it will take, the bottom line is it WILL be fixed, you WILL be able to play again and all of you can go and find something else to whine about. Until such time as that happens, please, for the love of all things holy and sacred, *grow up*.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:42 PM

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm Going Back to NOLA...

At the end of this month, Baret and I will hit the four year mark. It's a marker for both of us in that neither of us has ever been in a relationship this long. Baret's never made it past two years, and my first live-in love and I made it three years and a handful of months. To mark the occasion of putting up with each other for four whole years, we decided we'd do something we've never done before - celebrate our anniversary.

No, really, we've never celebrated it. There were always things going on; when we hit the one year mark I was recovering from my first knee surgery and it passed nearly unnoticed. After that, it was never a big deal.

But this year we decided to commemorate our first date - the one that sealed the deal. It was a Counting Crows concert at The House of Blues in New Orleans.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love New Orleans? Well, I haven't been much since my leg got fucked up; and even then I was in a wheelchair. Since I'm more mobile these days (though not fixed by any means) we decided we'd get a room and party in the French Quarter like we used to do.

I'm very excited. Our hotel is only a few blocks off of the French Quarter - we check in this evening and check out tomorrow, but that's really all the time we need to get drunk on Bourbon Street.

I promise pictures when we return! And next week I also promise to come back full-force with some unusual things that have occurred that I just haven't had time to blog about before.

With that, I'm headed to the Big Easy to gulp down my first Hurricane of the day...

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:59 AM

Friday, August 12, 2005

There's a reason I'm glad it's Friday.

Yesterday a user was having trouble going to a certain website. We use an ancient version of Netscape since it's all our web-based program will run on, and it tends to freeze up.

In our back and forth emails, I asked him if he had gotten out of Netscape (closed the browser window) and gone back in.

His response?

program X gets a ding

window no and x get a boink

Well, alrighty then. That explains everything.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:07 AM

Monday, August 08, 2005

Saturday night my brother's young girlfriend was in a car accident. Thankfully, she's okay - shaken up and bruised, but okay.

On her way home from work a young boy ran a red light causing her to hit him. He admitted to her that this was his second wreck this year.

I rant and rave a lot on here about the majority of our populations bad driving habits, but it is something I take very seriously. When I'm in my car, I am always conscious of the fact that I'm driving a potential deadly weapon - and that it only takes a fraction of a second for something to go wrong and someone (maybe even me) to end up dead.

Because we drive so much it becomes second nature. We don't think about it. People talk on the phone, eat lunch, apply their make-up while they're driving...some people even read. Often we're not paying full attention to the road even if we aren't doing some other activity; our mind is on work, family, what's on TV tonight.

Every year over 40,000 people die in fatal car accidents in the United States. Forty-thousand people. Young people make up a huge chunk of this death toll; motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people from 15-20 years old.

I think, perhaps, its time we changed the way we issue driver's licenses, and what you have to do to keep them. What about a point system? You get points on your license for every accident you cause...enough points and you lose the ability to drive - why not? Wouldn't something like that make people a little more aware on the road? Maybe for a while.

Let's tackle the problem even earlier. I think we need more aggressive training for potential drivers and harder tests to get a license. The training also needs to focus more on the dangers of driving and the terrible results of inattention.

Think about this: Police officers are given extensive driver training. Police officers spend most of their job on the road, involved in more dangerous situations more frequently than the rest of us - yet they have fewer accidents. Why? Because they are trained to drive safely, even in perilous situations. Why couldn't a similar driving trainer course be created for the general population? With the appallingly high death toll, one has to wonder, why hasn't it?

The young boy that ran the red light had already been in another accident that year. My sister was involved in a crash a few years ago; the teenage girl whom she was riding with had been in three previous crashes. Our youth need experience, true, but even before experience they need some good, hardcore training!

The responsibility of getting behind the wheel should never be taken lightly. 40,000 deaths says it all.

These statistics taken from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Web-Based Encyclopedia. Visit for more information.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:28 AM

Sunday, August 07, 2005

As I sit here, downstairs, sipping wine, listening to my stereo, surfing online with my laptop sans any wires I'm reminded that technology is a beautiful fucking thing.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 3:41 PM

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Possibly one of the greatest search engine queries yet!

help me, i don't know how to google b/c i'm a fucking idiot.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:16 PM

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