Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

February 26, 2008


"Hello", from Huntsville, Alabama!! Yesterday the temps were in the 70s. Today it was 40 degrees when we got out of class at 4:30PM, and it's supposed to be 28 degrees in the morning! Brrrrrrrr!

The drive to here on Sunday was peaceful. I wasn't in any rush, so I rarely went over 70mph, and never over 75. As a result I averaged about 27 1/2 to 28 mpg, and made it the entire 440+ miles on ONE tank of gas! It's a good thing, too, because regular here is $3.20!

I'm attending a class in Information Resource Management at the Defense Acquisition University facility here in Huntsville. So far it's been a really interesting and fun class. There is very little instruction time. Basically each morning and afternoon begins with a SHORT lecture, usually 1/2 hour or less, followed by a graded exercise done by groups. There are five groups, each with 6 people. Each exercise ends with a brief being presented by one of the group members, so there are 6 graded exercises. Our group is going sequentially around our table, so I will be presenting the final brief on Thursday morning. After that it's mainly coasting through two more sessions, this time mainly lecture and Q&A. I hope to hit the road back to NOLA by 1PM on Friday.

Thankfully, I guess, we get reading assigments every evening, so I'm missing out on most of the election campaigning coverage. I have to confess, I am pretty cynical when it comes to politics and politicians. This year is no different. I think none of the candidates inspire much confidence and they all inspire indifference for me. It's going to be difficult trying to exercise my right to vote come November.

I hope everyone is getting over the bug that's been circulating in the NOLA area. Apparently it's pretty rampant here in Northern Alabama, as well. Let's hope I don't recatch it here and bring it back home!

Wondering how H1/DIL1 are doing with their house hunting? I'm sure looking forward to a housewarming party.

I'd better get back to studying. Take care. God bless!

Links to this post

February 17, 2008


Congratulations to H1/DIL1 who are well on their way to becoming first-time home owners! We wish you good luck in your house hunting. A house warming will be a great opportunity for a family get-together in Houston! Remember the old saying, "It takes a little living to make a house a home, but it takes a family gathering to make a house a heap." Well, maybe that wasn't exactly how it goes, but it's still germaine.

H2's friend Carl, and Carl's GF Valerie, both have birthdays within a week of each other, so we all gathered at the Old Point Bar to celebrate, have a few brews and listen to some music from the bands that were playing. The weather was cool, but nice, and everyone had a good time. Besides Carl and his GF, there were KenEllie, H2 and H2GF, me, Big Boy and BBLWB, Dave the Cook, Nick (a friend of H2 and Carl from Holy Cross High School days) and his GF, as well as, briefly, two of Carl's cousins and his older sister. It was a good gathering, but of course H1/DIL1 were missed!

The evening was a special experience for me. As we sat outside the bar, facing the levee we could see the masthead lights of ships as they sailed down river. The lights from the city cast an eerie glow on the clouds, leaving the leafless trees on the other side of the levee in stark silhouette. It was surreal, and hauntingly beautiful.

I can't remember whether or not I mentioned that Kenny joined the Knights of Columbus, and I'm too lazy to go back and check. Anyway, he did. He's made his 1st and 2nd degrees, and if we can ever get around his work schedule he'll soon make his 3rd degree also. Welcome to Santa Maria Council. Now he's my son AND my brother knight!!

News flash!! Linda can "hold her likker"!!!! OK. That deserves a little explanation. While I'm in the "green room" writing this, Linda is here sitting on the futon next to me. Maynard (our boxer, for those not in the know) climbed onto her lap and began licking her chin. So she's holding her likker (licker, get it????).

The keyboard has run dry... God bless!!

Links to this post

February 16, 2008


I started having cold symptoms on Wednesday and ended up staying home Friday nursing a headache, congestion and overall "blah-ness". Linda has me taking Cipro to see if it's viral or not. Actually I'm starting to feel a little better, but after sleeping most of the day I'm now up in the middle of the night.

Our trip to Dallas for Tim and Kristen's wedding is coming up quickly. We're all really looking forward to it with great anticipation. H1/DIL1 will get to meet my extended family once again, and it'll be the first time for H2/H2GF and KenEllie to meet everyone! Not to mention Texas de Brazil!!!

Did I mention that Big J is in the process of buying his and Janet's retirement home? It's a beautiful split level in the mountains of North Carolina. I saw the pictures he took, and the view from either of his TWO deck/porches is breathtaking! I'm green with envy! I surely do miss the mountains, it being so flat here in New Orleans!

Is anyone else having as much trouble as I am getting interested in the presidential campaigns? I can't get excited over any of the candidates, although I have some strong feelings against at least one of them. I don't see any clearly good choice among the front runners, nor those that have dropped out, for that matter.

And speaking of nuns, does anyone besides me wonder what in HOLY HELL our Congress is doing holding hearings on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports? Hello???? What does that have to do with running the country? Improving the economy? Wiping out homelessness and unemployment, crime, winning or at least ending the war? Give me a freakin' break, people!!! Why are yours and my tax dollars being WASTED on whether or not people who play games for a living are trying to kill themselves by using illegal substances? It makes me wonder just how much other trivial BS they are wasting $$ on.

I wonder if I should be working a little harder at Lenten sacrifice? Foregoing meat on Friday is not that big a deal, especially in New Orleans. Although I'm not overly fond of fish, I do like tuna fish sandwiches, fried catfish, and shrimp and crawfish. And, there's always cheese pizza or baked macaroni (that's macaroni and cheese for you yankees!!). I do try to at least mentally acknowledge the fact that I choose to not eat meat in observance of Lent. I guess that counts.

How's everyone else's Lenten resolutions? Anyone care to share?

Links to this post

February 14, 2008


This whole 7's thing is really kind of fun. Especially when it triggers a response in kind from others. How about:

My 7 Favorite Lunch Spots

  • New Orleans Food and Spirits
  • Chateau Coffee Café (the "Teau")
  • Café Roma
  • Reginelli's
  • Port O'Call (Only the BEST burger and baked EVER!!)
  • The Italian Pie (Gone, but NOT forgotten)
  • Mona's
  • Carretta's (I know it's 8, but who's counting?)

    Happy St. Valentine's Day!!

  • Links to this post

    FOR DIL1

    In response to DIL1's recent post, we are doing our best to make it ALL red!!

    You are, indeed, much loved!!!

    Links to this post

    February 13, 2008


    A few days ago DLG posted her Heavenly 7s, so I thought I'd give it some thought and see what I could come up with. So, here goes...

    Seven Things I'd Like to Do Before I Die (in no particular order)

  • Visit Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugore (in one trip, so it only counts as one!)
  • See my grandchildren graduate from high school/college
  • Visit the Grand Canyon
  • Buy a V-twin and take a several week-long tour of the U.S. of A.
  • Get my Master of Theology degree
  • Take a road trip with Linda, B1 and S2
  • Be "Slain in the Spirit"
  • Drop 100+ pounds and keep it off
  • Have an assigned parking space at St. Stephen's for Mardi Gras (doable? Who knows?)
  • Go back to Uganda at least one more time

    That's a start, anyway. Some long-term and some not-so-long-term. I guess we'll see what happens.

  • Links to this post

    February 10, 2008


    It was 40 years ago, TODAY, that I met Linda. I guess it's fitting that we met so close to St. Valentine's Day. Living with, and for, and loving her has been a life-long, God-given valentine for me. I LOVE YOU, sweetheart!! I'm glad you stepped in for that dance!


    Links to this post

    February 5, 2008


    I would have to say that this, too, is very cool. Got it from The Anchoress via The Deacon's Bench. Hope you like it.

    Links to this post


    This is pretty interesting. Saw it on The Deacon's Bench. Do you think Steve Jobs is Barack Obama's campaign manager?

    Links to this post

    February 3, 2008


    Having been faced with the vilification of President Bush over the past several years, THIS POST from The Anchoress is a nice breath of fresh air! Enjoy.

    Some of us (Me, Linda, DLG, Ian, BB, MMP, H2 and H2GF) gathered for burgers and hot dogs yesterday evening. It was fun, short, and interesting. We were sitting around the table after dinner, just "shooting the breeze" and Molly was having some sips of diet coke from a plastic cup when she took it and tried to put her whole face in it. (She hasn't gotten the concept of tip, and sip, yet. Anyway, here's what followed.

    BB is doing a project for school. She has a paper figure, "Flat Stanley" who she takes with her everywhere she goes. She has her picture taken with FS, and is supposed to keep a journal about what she and FS are doing. So naturally FS joined BB for dinner yesterday.

    Links to this post

    February 2, 2008

    OH... MY... GAWD!!!!!

    What in the WORLD were they (the pastor AND lay ministers) thinking?

    Links to this post

    February 1, 2008


    I've decided to take DLG up on her idea. So here goes.

    7 Things I Like About New Orleans :

    1. Mardi Gras
    2. Go Cups
    3. Drive-thru Daquiris
    4. Everone is "Dahlin'"
    5. Ferry Rides
    6. Da Audubon Zoo (where "dey all axe for you")
    7. cajun music and food
    8. lagniappe (the concept)

    Or, how about:

    7 Favorite New Orleans Restaurants

    1. New Orleans Food and Spirits
    2. Byblos
    3. Carreta's
    4. Moe's
    5. Pascal's Manale
    6. The Gumbo Shop
    7. Shogun
    8. China Doll (lagniappe)
    9. D'Itali's (more lagniappe)
    10. Eastern (even MORE lagniappe)

    7 Things I Like About Our Family

    1. We have a great, albeit somewhat skewed, sense of humor.
    2. We are loving and caring to each other (including spouses!!)
    3. We have such wonderful and cerebral dinner conversations!
    4. We are generally considerate and well-mannered to others (well, most of us, most of the time)
    5. We hide our dysfunction well?!?
    6. We are loyal to each other
    7. We ROCK!!!
    8. Our kids have GREAT TASTE in parents!!

    So there. Be careful what you ask for (or suggest, I guess in this case)

    A note to H1/DIL1: You guys need to make plans to get on back over here so we can have a homemade pizza and crawfish boil weekend!! It's almost that time!

    Let's do it!!!

    Labels: , , ,

    Links to this post

    "Having resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die"*

    * -- Malachy McCourt... I think this quote is right ON!! (borrowed from The Anchoress)

    I have moved, once again! Twice within a three week period. I love being moved around like a pawn on a chess board.

    As the project I was working on for the past 4-5 years ended, I was approached by the manager of another project and asked if I would like to work there. Having been weighing my options for some time, I did indicate that I was not averse to working for this person. About a week later I was notified that I was being assigned to this new project. A "move request" was submitted, and I was physically relocated to the new team and began to settle in. That lasted a good 10 days!

    I had moved on a Friday. Two weeks later, on Thursday I and my coworkers from the old project were summoned to the Commanding Officer's office where we were told that a new "Navy team" was being formed that would rejoin the DOD personnel/pay system project that the Navy had opted out of over a year ago. He also said that I, along with two other team members would be going to this new Navy team.

    So, today I finished moving to my new location. The plus is that I'm in the same building as Linda. The minus is that the MOST EXCELLENT coffee mess to which I belong is located in my old building. I'll manage to deal with that somehow. Also, as yet I have no supervisor, nor do I have a job description. I'm the only one who has completed the move, so I'm here alone with basically all the time in the world on my hands, and nothing to do but try to think of ways to entertain you, my loyal readers and friends!

    Tonight begins the big parade countdown to Fat Tuesday. Tonight is filled with parades, to which are added those that were cancelled yesterday due to the weather. Tomorrow the "super krewes" begin their assault on the city. Endymion on Saturday, then Bacchus on Sunday and Orpheus on Lundi Gras. What a line up!

    I think I've finally whipped the cold or virus that had me in its grip for so many weeks. Thank, GOD!!! It was miserable! I hope this season of illness passes quickly and with as little impact as possible on you and your families.

    Here's a note for H1 and all those who love his tech-ie posts. I had to log out of my workstation this morning to have it moved from building 4, my old building, to building 2, my new building. We use "CAC" cards to access our system, via a "CAC" reader in the keyboard. When we fired up my workstation at the new location, everything came up, but the CAC reader didn't work. I have a fairly new workstation, so the keyboard was nice and fairly new, and I was the only one who had used it previously. Anyway... the NMCI person (tech-ie) got an old CAC enabled keyboard and plugged that one in. It worked! But it was a pretty old, kind of grimy, the way keyboards tend to get if you don't keep them clean. Pretty "yukky", you know?

    I went back to my old building, found a PC that I knew hadn't been used, and took the keyboard. I plugged it in and guess what? It didn't work, either!! But this was just TOO much of a coinkydink for me. I logged in using the old keyboard, and googled drivers for the new one. I reinstalled the drivers for an RT7D60 keyboard, and voilá!! It works! Now I have a nice, fairly new, and CLEAN keyboard again. I'm as happy as a pig in poop!

    So, there you have it. I'm hoping to go to a couple of movies this weekend while others brave the cold and crowds. If you're from NOLA, then "laissez bon temps roulez!!". If you aren't from NOLA, then "it sux to be you!" (Just kidding... or am I?)(Yes, I am.)

    Take care, happy Mardi Gras, and see ya on the flip side!

    Links to this post