Where did this dream come from?

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Rainy Main Street Lafayette

This is another photo that I took the morning of May 4th. It was dark, it was rainy, it was downtown Lafayette. There’s not anything else to say,

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I had another strange dream last night. I’m glad I don’t have them very often. Let me tell you about it.

It began when Cindy had to go to LARA, the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy, to meet someone. Cindy used to be a volunteer there, and I was a part-time employee. Evidently she was still volunteering in the dream, but I had the good sense to be retired as I am in real life. Anyway, Cindy asked me to go with her and I so I did.

In my dream LARA had moved their operation into a three-story Victorian house, and had joined forces with a Buddhist community center. I know. Strange. Cindy went off to her meeting, leaving me to look around. I came to a room where three people were sitting and talking. One of them looked at me and said that I looked tired and that they could help me.

I’m not sure why I thought that I needed help, but I turned myself over into their hands. They sat me in a chair and gave me a cup of tea. Then one of them approached me and stuck a small pin into my forehead. It stung a bit, but I immediately relaxed and dozed off.

When I awoke I found myself in a bed, dressed only in a grey Henley shirt and boxer shorts. There was no one in the room and my clothes were gone. So I set out wandering around in the house, searching for my clothes. Everyone I met was sympathetic to my plight but had no idea where my clothes might be. They said nothing about my lack of proper attire, but I didn’t find that odd.

Finally I came across a person who worked for LARA. She took me by the hand and led me to the Community Center thrift shop. She pointed to a woman behind the counter and said that I should ask her for my clothes. I did. She reached under the counter and handed me a bundle of clothes. I started putting them on but realized they were not my clothes when I saw that she had given me cowboy boots rather than my shoes.

That is when I woke up. Does anyone have a theory of what the dream means? Please.

Ed Asner on stage

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A Man and his Prostate

I planned on writing a post about this show right after attending, but things happened and I got slowed down. I’ve posted about most of those things. Today I’ve taken the time to get this post completed.

When Cindy and I saw that Ed Asner was coming to Lafayette with his one-man show, A Man and his Prostate, we immediately decided to attend. We are both fans of Mr. Asner, and the topic is certainly important…especially to men of advanced years. I was pretty sure that Cindy would attend because I had gone with her to see Menopause The Musical during one of our trips to Las Vegas. Turnabout is fair play.

Another couple of our acquaintance wanted to attend, so I went online and purchased tickets for four adjoining seats. The Sunday afternoon of the performance we met at the theater doors and proceeded in to pick up our tickets and find our seats. We settled in and awaited the start of the show.

As we waited I looked around at the rest of the people who were coming into the theater. Two things surprised me. First, there were a number of younger people attending. Most of us who were there had grey hair, though a number of people were hiding it under dye. Still there were many younger (under the age of fifty) in the crowd. Let’s face it. a man’s prostate is more likely to interest older men than younger.

The second surprise was the number of women who were attending without men. Then Cindy surmised that perhaps the women were Ed Asner groupies; after all they were coming into the theater in groups of three and four at a time. To me that seemed like a reasonable guess. I just hoped that they wouldn’t disrupt the show by throwing their bloomers onto the stage. Luckily, they didn’t.

I have to tell you that for such a serious subject, the show was probably the funniest I have ever attended. I highly recommend it. I will say that as a movie it would not get a G or PG rating due to language. People who are easily offended by religious humor might also want to avoid the show, though I thought that humor was minimal.

If you get a chance to see this show, I hope that you’ll take the time to see it. No matter what your age or sex is.

2-2-1 revisited

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While patiently waiting for vaayadipennu to finish publishing the most recent N-N-1, Anju and I decided to revisit our original concept, 2-2-1. We went so far as to try to take our pictures at exactly the same moment. Trying to determine the date and time for this momentous project turned into an “After you Alphonse” routine until I remembered that a gentleman should never argue with a woman. So I decided that we would take our pictures on Thursday, May 4th at 7 p.m. in Penang, Malaysia. Let’s start with Anju. I hope that you enjoy the result.

I came face to face with one of my many scary zombie dreams in real life, as part of my job. As someone who has a ‘cliché’ fear of crowds, I’ve never actually had to face this fear head-on. Living in highly populated cities just means you learn to manoeuvre out of stressful, overly crowded situations. Not this time. I had to attend an event in Penang (Malaysia) with over 20, 000 highly passionate people in one small arena for the duration of a week. For most of that time, I spent in a circle similar to the one in the photo. I now feel equipped to write a short story about zombies!

Meanwhile, 11 time zones away.

Lafayette Courthouse Square

It was a dark rainy morning in Lafayette. It was so dark that I had to lighten the picture in order to make out the courthouse with the scaffolding around the dome. You can tell that it is still raining from the glistening streets and the rain drops that were on the lens.

There weren’t many people on the street even though it was a non-holiday weekday morning.I suppose they were avoiding the wet. The scaffolding is there so that the dome can be repaired and painted. It is evidently a long process because it was started in the autumn last year. I’m pretty sure no work was done to the exterior that day.

Another day in paradise

The water is going down

Yes, I am being facetious. This morning has been very bad. The last few days leading up to today haven’t been all that great either, but this morning was the topper. Let me fill you in from the beginning.

About a week ago I went to the basement and found a small pool of water on the floor. Cindy came down and determined that we had a small leak in a pipe above our washer. It didn’t look too bad, so I called a plumber whom I trusted, rather than use one of Cindy’s wounded birds (click here if you want to know more about wounded birds).

The plumber came, repaired the pipe, and he also fixed another small leak while he was at it. He did the job quickly and efficiently. He also charged less than I had expected. It was a good result.

A day later Cindy told me that the electricity had gone out in our guest bedroom. Upon closer inspection I determined that the problem only affected the wall sockets. The overhead light and ceiling fan worked fine. But the problem extended to the wall sockets in another spare bedroom, and to the lights in the garage. Strange wiring, no? I found the proper circuit in the box and reset the circuit breaker. All was well…for a few hours; then the circuit breaker shut down. I reset the breaker again, and again the electricity was back on. Until the next morning. This went on for a few more times until we gave up. I asked Cindy to call an electrician in the phone book rather than one of her oxpeckers (if you didn’t click on the ink above last time, you might want to do so now). She complied with my wish. The electrician was scheduled to come yesterday, Monday morning.

When the electrician arrived I explained the situation to him; I showed him the affected rooms; and I showed him the circuit box. He asked me questions about the things we had tried. I told him that I had reset the breaker a number of times. I told him that Cindy had replaced a power strip that she thought might be faulty. I told him that nothing had worked. He reset the circuit breaker and we waited to see if anything would happen. After a few minutes the breaker shut down.

He reset the breaker and then went around checking the connected wiring. Nothing seemed to be to have problems, and then the breaker shut down again. He asked me to unplug everything that was connected to the circuit, and then he reset the breaker. A few minutes later the breaker shut down again.

At that point he decided to replace the circuit breaker. He did so, We were talking about the problem when the breaker popped again. He told me to call him if we had any further problems. He left. An hour later I was calling the electrician to say that the circuit breaker had popped again. He came back to the house. He said the next thing he would do is check the wiring in the attic, but that he couldn’t do it until the next morning. I said that was fine because I would need time to clear things away from the access points.

I spent time that evening and again this morning moving things around. As the sun came up I looked out the window and saw that there had been a heavy rain during the night. Part of the back yard that I had mowed the previous afternoon was now under water. I decided to check if everything was OK in the basement and found that part of the floor was covered with water.

We have just been getting the basement back in order since the flooding that occurred last year when we were on vacation. Now this. Cindy went down to start cleaning it up as the electrician returned. I showed him the access points to the attic and told him that he was on his own while I worked in the basement.

Cindy and I were able to get up most of the water. She went to get cleaned up for a lunch meeting and I sat down at the laptop to start this post. I watched the electrician come downstairs and go to the circuit box in the garage a couple of times. After the second time he asked me about a wire he had found leading outside from the garage. Gosh! I hadn’t thought about that wire. I told him that I wasn’t sure, but it might have been connected to a yard light that we no longer had. The light hadn’t worked for years. Over time the lamp-post had been hit by children in battery operated cars, vandals, and an automobile or two. Finally Cindy’s favorite oxpecker (I told you that you should have checked the link) disconnected the remains of the post from the electrical wires and had buried the wires.

The electrician removed the remaining wiring from the circuit in a last ditch attempt to fix our problem. It has been about seven hours now, and the circuit breaker hasn’t shut down. I still have my fingers crossed.

A short trip…part 5

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Today’s post combines our last three days on the road for a couple of reasons. The first shallow reason is that I took no pictures on Friday. The second and third reason is that very little of interest happened on Saturday and Sunday.  

Day 5, 4/14/2017

Our original plan was to leave for home on this day but (no surprise to me) Cindy decided to put off our departure for a day. We would spend one more day with Barbara, Michael and his family. Rather, we would spend about half a day because Cindy and Barbara both sleep later than I do.

I went out that morning searching unsuccessfully for something scenic to photograph. I must have driven in the wrong direction or I was being too picky in my choices. So I stopped and filled the car with gas so that we could make a quicker getaway on Sunday. Then I went back to the apartment to read some more of my reading challenge book.

We drove to Michael’s home in the afternoon. He was preparing a farewell dinner. We were having fresh from the boat fried shrimp, French fries, and home-made coleslaw. It was great!

After dining we played one game of Oh Hell. Since it was only one game I only had to give away a portion of my cash. Then it was back to Barbara’s apartment to get some sleep before leaving the following morning.

trip album page…the road home

Day 6, 4/15/17

We left early-ish on Saturday morning. We planned on driving to Memphis, Tennessee; which was around 460 miles. With breaks for lunch, gas, and bathroom breaks we expected to be on the road about eight or nine hours.

I drove until we were about two hours from Memphis, and Cindy took over. I settled into the passenger seat, and despite the lovely scenery, I dozed off. About 80 miles down the road Cindy told me that she couldn’t keep her eyes open and wanted to stop fr the night. So we did.

Day 7, 4/16/17

We were on the road early Sunday morning because we still had at least nine hours of driving ahead of us. I had been driving for around an hour when Cindy realized that she had left her earrings in the motel room. So while she called the motel and asked them to secure the earrings, I turned around started back to where we had stayed.

We arrived at the motel, where they had taken Cindy’s earrings to the office. She quickly collected them and then it was back on the road.

We got home between 8 and 9 p.m. We decided to leave unpacking the car until the next morning. It was time to collapse, so we did.

Things to remember before we go back to Louisiana. 1. Plan ahead for what we want to do. For instance, if we had gone a week earlier we could have gone to the Dave Robicheaux’s Hometown Literary Festival in New Iberia, or if we go back in November we can attend the Abbeville Giant Omlette Celebration. 2. Manage time better so that we can do all that we want to do. 3. Take more pictures. That’s my list. I don’t know what Cindy has on her list.

A short trip…part 4

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Day 4, 4/13/2017

trip album page

Cindy had told Michael and Jenna that I liked visiting graveyards and taking pictures. She is correct; I do like visiting and taking pictures of graveyards. So on the fourth day of our trip Michael took us north to Lafayette, Louisiana to view the graveyard at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Before we left Abbeville however, we stopped at a gas station for breakfast. That’s right, a gas station. The eatery was actually in the same building as the station. The food was very good.

The pictures above are just a few that I took while we were at the cathedral. Michael told us that among the among the graves was one of a Confederate War veteran who was famous. Actually there were a number of Confederate veteran graves. Evidently they weren’t all famous.

I noticed that there were a lot of Landry and Broussard family members in the graveyard. At first I assumed that they were large contributors to the church, and perhaps they are, but a little research showed me that those names are very common in Louisiana. So much for my powers of deduction.

It was an enjoyable trip to a beautiful cathedral. I wouldn’t mind going back sometime to see more of the buildings.

That evening we took our hosts out to eat at a local restaurant.We chose a Mexican restaurant, and the food was wonderful, though Jenna’s meal failed to arrive with the others. Beyond the food, Cindy found the margaritas to be to her taste.

We returned to Michael and Jenna’s house where I was coerced into playing a couple of games of Oh Hell. It is a game of luck and a little skill. Cindy and the others love it. I see it as a way to give some of my money to other people. I guess it depends on your perspective.

Along with the cards, Cindy chose to consume some wine. It was good that I was driving.We repaired to Barbara’s apartment where she and Cindy quickly fell asleep and I got in some reading. It had been a pretty good day.

A short trip…part 3

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Day 3, 4/12/207

from our trip album

Clockwise from the left there is a shot in the French Quarter of New Orleans, a picture of Cindy, and the front of Preservation Hall.

***

On the third day of our trip, Wednesday, we went to New Orleans. It wasn’t completely a smooth trip there. We had to turn around and go back to Abbeville. No, we didn’t forget Barbara. It was for a different reason.

When we got to the city we parked in a lot in the French Quarter and set out on foot. Jenna and Cindy traded off pushing Barbara in a wheelchair. That wasn’t an easy task in the crowded streets. Shame on me for not offering to push her.

There were two objectives we wanted to meet during this visit, one for me and one for Cindy. I wanted to see Preservation Hall, where the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs. We saw it from the outside, but couldn’t go in because there was a private event going on inside. Maybe on our next trip we will get inside.

Cindy wanted to go on a Voodoo/graveyard tour, Unfortunately, if we had stayed in the city for the tour we wouldn’t  have able been to leave New Orleans until around 11 p.m. or midnight. Then we would have had about a two-hour drive ahead of us. We didn’t want that. Oh, and pushing Barbara through graveyards didn’t really appeal to us. Perhaps on our next trip we will spend a day or two and nights in New Orleans.

What we did do was some window shopping. In one case I went beyond the window and bought a nifty T-shirt to memorialize the trip. We also had a delicious lunch at the Napoleon House. And finally we were ably to watch a scene for N.C.I.S. New Orleans being prepared for shooting. We saw Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, and Vanessa Ferlito. Ms. Ferlito scowled as much out of character she does when in character. Cindy only drooled a bit when she saw Mr. Bakula.

Thus ended our visit to New Orleans.

 

A short trip…part 2

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Day 2 4/11/17

Ah. Memories. I took this short sequence of photos during our first stop while on our second day on the road. I hoped that it wasn’t a foreshadowing of the rest of the trip.

from Our trip album

I had originally planned on titling this series of posts A short trip to New Orleans and return but that seemed in retrospect to be misleading…like the first sign in the above album page. You see, based on things Cindy had told me about her previous trips to Louisiana when she visited friends, she had left the impression that they lived in a suburb of New Orleans. They didn’t. In fact they live in Abbeville which according to Google Maps is about a 150 mile drive from New Orleans.

My first clue about the location came when I woke from a nap while Cindy was driving. I had driven all morning and traded off with Cindy after lunch. I woke up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when we were approaching the bridge that crossed over the Mississippi River heading west. I know enough rudimentary geography to realize that we were heading in the wrong direction if we were going to New Orleans. I pulled out my smart phone and Googled Baton Rouge to Abbeville and found that we were driving in the right direction but still had about 80 miles to travel. That is when I realized that we wouldn’t be spending a lot of time in New Orleans.

We arrived in Abbeville and drove to Barbara’s apartment where we would be staying. After we unpacked the car we drove over to Michael, Jenna and Hudson’s house. Michael had been cooking all day, preparing for our arrival. He was barbecuing ribs, chicken wings, and sausage. In addition there was home-made potato salad and a tossed salad. If there was more, I forgot about it in a cloud of subsequent satiation. It was quite the welcoming dinner.

We ate a lot, and talked a lot. And when we were done, we climbed back into the car and drove back to Barbara’s where we collapsed in exhaustion. Thus ended day 2.

A short to trip to Louisiana and return

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Cindy decided that we had to take a week out of our lives so that we could drive to Louisiana to visit some of her friends. They are special friends. One, Barb, is the sister of Cindy’s best friend, Marilyn, who recently died. The others are Barb’s son Michael and his family. On any other occasion I would love to go to Louisiana, but let’s face it, this trip was going to involve a lot of crying.

I didn’t want this to be a totally lachrymose occasion, so I planned on taking at least one photo each day that had no wet tissues or hankies in sight. I also wanted to document anything that caught my fancy or curiosity.

Day 1 4/10/2017

from Our trip album ~ an almost empty restaurant despite the good food

There were few opportunities to take pictures on the drive down. We were booking it. Do people still say booking it? I took this when we stopped to eat dinner in Southaven, Mississippi. We covered a little over 500 miles on the road that day.

Two things of interest happened on the drive. The first was when we pulled in to the Trail of Tears Rest Stop in Illinois. I knew that the Trail of Tears refers to the forced move of American Indians from their land so that it could be taken by immigrants and children of immigrants. But I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that the Trail of Tears might also refer to parents taking very young children on their first long car trip.

There were the usual amenities at the rest stop, plus a couple of picnic tables. We had packed the fixings for sandwiches and took this opportunity to have some lunch. Cindy and I alternated using the facilities and insuring that nobody stole our sandwiches. When I was returning from the clean restrooms I noticed a pickup truck in the parking area, and beside it was a girl lying face down on the asphalt. I guessed that she was alright since there were two adults walking around her and the truck. After a bit she popped up onto her feet and walked around smiling. Very curious.

Later during the trip, while Cindy was driving through a part of Arkansas, she determined that we were getting very low on gasoline. It was so low that she decided that she needed to get off of the Interstate at the next exit to fill up the tank. Unfortunately when we got off the Interstate there were no gas stations at the intersection. So we turned east and headed for the nearest town a few miles away. We arrived at the hamlet and found that there were no gas stations there, so we turned around and headed back towards a town west of the intersection.

Before we got to that town Cindy spied a young man walking, so she pulled over to ask him where the nearest gas station was located. He thought for a moment and told us to turn onto a dirt road. He said that we should follow it until it came to a T intersection and to turn right. In a couple of miles we would find a gas station in a town that he named. So off we went down the dirt road. In the meantime I Googled the town he had named. Google told me that we should turn left rather than right when we got to the T intersection. Against her better judgement, Cindy followed Google Maps rather than the young man.

Around ten or twelve miles later we arrived at the location Google Maps had led us to only to find an empty field. In fact, at the arrival Google Maps provided a photograph of the empty field.

By this time Cindy was split between panic at having a gas tank that was almost empty, and anger at me for convincing her to believe in technology. The sensor in her gas tank indicated that she only had enough gas for a few more miles. We started searching frantically for another nearby town with hopes of finding gasoline. We came to another small village with no gas station. We saw a gentleman using a weed whip in his front yard and pulled up to ask him the location of the nearest gas station.

He asked us where we had come from. I told him and emphasized that we just wanted the nearest station. He gave us directions  for which we thanked him, and set out on our renewed quest. A couple of miles down the road, the electronic gas tank sensor decided that we were out of gas, but we kept purring along. We went on for another ten miles or so before we got to the gas station where we filled the tank and returned to the Interstate highway.

Cindy praised God for keeping the car running. At first I thought that maybe it was similar to the fishes and loaves, but upon reflection realized that it was more akin to the Hanukkah Miracle concerning the oil that fueled the Temple’s menorah. I, on the other hand, decided that the sensor was faulty and that we couldn’t trust it to be accurate. You can decide for yourself.

Thought streaming

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A graveyard

This another photo that I took last month when I was driving around Linden. I really need to go out and get some new shots. Perhaps I’ll do that this afternoon.

***

I started this post with one definite idea that I wanted to state. But my mind wandered and my thoughts started drifting. I think that there is something of a logical sequence, but I may be wrong. I leave it to you. Oh, and I hope I don’t offend anyone…too much.

***

I was reading a short story last night, and in it there was a reference to people out for an evening jog. This story was published in the 1990’s, and it occurred to me that running and jogging was more than a passing fad. I guess that until there is definite scientific proof that taking a nap is better for your health than strenuous activity, I shall forever be clucked at sympathetically by those who bow at the altar of physical fitness.

Save your sympathy. I don’t need it; neither do I want it. Another thing that I don’t want is spending money on special shoes and clothing. I’m old and often grumpy and cheap. I am not going to wear a spandex track suit or sweat pants. Sweat pants are probably the ugliest fashion statement perpetuated upon the public. Not even a supermodel or leading man actor can make them look good.

I don’t feel that I am overly vain, but I refuse to be seen in public or, even in the privacy of my home, wearing them. Plus, I think they are uncomfortable. “What?” you say. “You don’t think looking and being slovenly is comfortable?” Well, maybe slovenly is a bit of a stretch. I’ll narrow that to just looking slovenly. Does that satisfy you?

I suppose I have been a tad too nasty today.I am sorry. I’ll try to end on an upbeat thought. May the unicorn in your garden fertilize your tomato plants.