Wednesday, February 28, 2007

For all of my teachers...

This is a random find and a random post dedicated to all of the good teachers I had growing up. This man's name is Taylor Mali and you are about to see him perform his poem "What Teachers Make" on HBO's Def Poetry. Interesting story about this poem. It got randomly circulated on the internet, attributed to no one, became anonymous, was used by Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist in his Yale graduation speech in 2003, National Public Radio did a story about the adventures of the poem in it's been around. Below, you get to watch the author read it like it should be read. Enjoy.

God Knows (You gotta give to get)

I found this on 3hive and wanted to share - you should go check out that post for the details and all that good stuff. You should keep going back there because there are consistent good finds on that wire. For this post, I'm just ripping the subject matter off because I know that most of you don't read that blog...yet.

So I like a wide range of music. But my initial gut reaction to this was that I would not listen to it again even though it was simple and non-offensive. That was 30 minutes ago. I think I am wrong. It's odd how some songs just stick like glue, especially when your first reaction may be to pass. This is a neat video and the song has a good vibe that I like. It's catchy. Kind of innocent. Old time good. Enjoy it - even if it is outside your comfort zone.

...he looked like he was dead

This is not for the faint of heart. I didn't see it happen live but I read about it and heard about it in some news reports. This is a video of John Terry (captain of Chelsea and the English National Team) from last week's round of EPL games. When I sign a form for my adult co-ed league, there is a statement that reads, "Soccer is a contact sport involving risk of serious injury, disability, or death." People laugh at that phrasing. I don't those people would laugh anymore after seeing this.

Thankfully, Terry is ok. I wouldn't post this if it had resulted in anything serious. He is an awesome player.

Play the Whistle

"It was a great second half and respect for my players. We have proud
players who didn't want to be humiliated." - Steve Coppell, Reading

Last night I settled in after practice to watch a little Manchester United vs Reading in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Like most lovers of underdogs, I was pretty sure Reading had a chance. That was, until 6 minutes into the game. Three goals in six minutes. Unbelievable. Reading was down 3-0 and Man U was averaging a goal every 2 minutes! The game starts when the whistle blows guys.

Thankfully, they stuck their finger in the dam and started to chip their way back. By the end of regulation it was 3-2. In stoppage time, Reading rocked the crossbar and missed staging one of the greatest comebacks in FA Cup history by about 2 inches. Man U was non-existent. The game lasts 90+ minutes guys.

So all in all, it was an awesome game. Today is Blackburn vs. Arsenal. I'm picking the gunners.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


It has snowed a lot in parts of the country lately. Coincidentally, it is almost snowball (or snow cone) season here. This snow cone stand, menu is pictured below, opens in March. It happens to be at the end of our street and right next to the drive thru crawfish hut. I don't think I have ever seen a place that actually had drive thru snowcone stands. There are a lot in this part of Louisiana. The Tiger Blood flavor is quite good.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Drive Thru Crawfish

Here is a photo of the drive thru crawfish hut at the end of our street. The season is off to a slow start thus far and has been disappointing for local business. Here's a local article that gives some insight into the industry as well as the current harvest. I thought it was an interesting read - current news plus some basic information regarding how crawfish farming works.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Monthly Mix: The Whiskey's Waiting

The Whiskey's Waiting (January 2007 mix) spent a long time in "production." Not quite sure why...just kind of busy. Looking at the number of new songs I had in the original January playlist I see another factor. 201 songs to pick from. Of those 201, here are the 20 that made my final cut. Grab the available tracks while you can. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until my Roxio stops crashing every time I try to burn a copy. Then you'll have to wait for me to get to the Post Office.

Race For The Prize (Remix) ‡ The Flaming Lips
Grass ‡ Page France
Phantom Limb ‡ The Shins
Children of December ‡ The Slip
Queen Of The Surface Streets ‡ Devotchka
Diablo Rojo ‡ Rodrigo y Gabriela
Marianao ‡ Ska Cubano
Dashboard ‡ Modest Mouse
A Real Realizer ‡ Missing Numbers
Plasticities ‡ Andrew Bird
Flowers in the Window ‡ Travis
Lay And Love ‡ Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Valley Winter Song ‡ Fountains Of Wayne
However Many Takes It Takes ‡ Vandaveer
Headache ‡ Frank Black
Sorry ‡ Youth Group
Take A Chance ‡ The Magic Numbers
Ruby ‡ Kaiser Chiefs
Amsterdam ‡ Peter Bjorn and John
Baby's Romance ‡ Chris Garneau

Uploaded Track Commentary: If you enjoy guitar, be sure to check out the Rodrigo y Gabriela track. In the lingo of my job shadows, it is "tight." The finger picking in this tune is on fire. Combine it with the percussion (made not with drums but with their hands hitting the guitar body) and I dare you sit perfectly still with this tune turned up loud. The Kaiser Chiefs are a band introduced to me via my friend Brent and the track Ruby is just a blast to sing to when the chorus hits. Devotchka fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, and Mariachi music with American punk and folk roots. Yea. Worth checking out. This song has some great strings in it. I go turned onto this band via an article in the January edition of Paste.



The roses from Valentine's day are on their last legs unless you change your perspective a little.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Busy Shadows

It's been a real busy week ever since Mardi Gras closed (thus the silence). Today is Job Shadow day this should be interesting. My shadows arrive in an hour.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mardi Gras Portraits; Lafayette, LA

With Mardi Gras over, its time for every one to go back to work . Unfortunately I can't upload any more photos to Flickr this I have put one last set on this site. These are some miscellaneous Mardi Gras portraits that I took over the last few days. Hope you enjoyed the Mardi Gras scenery that's been on the site.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing this letter to you...

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to you
I couldn't tell if it'd bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you
- jeff tweedy, wilco

Happy Birthday to my online personality. One year ago today wilablog was born. Thanks for reading.

Throw Me Something Mister!

So many parades, so little time.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Non-Edible Babies

Mardi Gras season is King Cake season. King Cakes get their names from the 3 kings in the bible and in New Orleans these cakes date back to the 18th century. I'm not sure how to describe this little treat from's like a braided pastry topped with purple, green and gold icing and filled with various other stuff depending on your preference. There is also usually a trinket inside and for Mardi Gras, this takes the shape of a little non-edible plastic baby.

These days I am digging the Bavarian Cream King Cake from Southside Bakery. Here's a picture from the bakery this morning. I've had it for breakfast and lunch so far today...

Bakeries mass produce king cakes for the local population but there are still some left over. So what do we do with them? We ship them. Here's the UPS container. This can be one expensive treat by the way. A large king cake can cost up to $30 or more and it can cost $50 or more to ship. You can easily drop a smooth $100 sending non-edible babies all over America.

Obviously, with all those cakes headed to parts unknown, the bakeries need to warn people to not eat the baby by accident. To make sure people don't make this mistake the "Non-Edible Baby" label is stamped on each box.

...and as you eat the cake with your friends, if you get the baby, you have to throw the next King Cake Party. I'm off to get another piece.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Krewe of Xanadu: And the Winner Is...

We had the honor of going to the Krewe of Xanadu ball this past Friday night. I don't know even where to start to describe a Madri Gras ball to anyone who has not been to one themselves. In fact, trying to explain how big Mardi Gras is here is probably beyond my ability. A Mardi Gras ball and all of the build up to it is a great way to get an introduction. It is like being thrown into the ocean to learn how to swim.

This year's Xanadu ball was an Oscar themed evening so there were some amazing costumes out and about during the event. The ball is organized like a broadway show and opening all rolled into one. The royal court gets introduced and parades down a stage running the length of the Cajundome Convention Center. It's a massive fashion show with costumes, masks, beads and big screen TV's. There is a new king and queen each year, who are introduced with incredibale fan fare, confetti and of course, pyrotechnics. Here is a picture of the queen. Check out how ornate her costume is.
The royal court is introduced one at a time after the king and queen are introduced. This year each member of the court had a themed entrance based on a famous movie. Each member of the court is greeted by a screaming crowd of (mostly intoxicated) ball-goers throwing tubes of confetti on each court member and their hero. At the top of this post is our friend Raquel who invited us to the ball (Thanks for the invite!). Her costume was themed after the movie The Great Ziegfeld and it pretty much rocked the house. Here are two other members of the court.

After the parade of the court members, the Krewe busted out into a rendition of All That Jazz and numerous other numbers accompanied with bead throwing parades of women clad in ornate dresses handmade for the evening. At the bottom of this post is our friend Allyson (with Carlee) who made sure to throw us some good beads as she made her pass on the catwalk. Granted, one hit Carlee in the eye but it's all worth it. When you're dressed in a top hat you can get some good beads tossed your way.

After the staged part of the show everything get ripped down and the live music comes out. This year's performer was Louisiana Red who played a great mix of cajun and standard favorites. Here's the lead singer playing the washboard and our friends Lou and Carol doing the two-step as the band kicked it into gear.
The night ended late and we had an awesome time. You can check out my Flickr set and see a bunch of other photos I took during the ball. The photos on this page have been compressed but the Flickr set are all high resolution.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Déjà vu Xanadu

The town is coming to a stand still (in the offices) and balls, parties and parades are ramping up. It is Mardi Gras weekend in Louisiana. Most people won't return to work until Wednesday. Grab your mask and beads and stay tuned.

Tonight is the Xanadu ball and we are headed back again this year thanks to another invitation from our friend Raquel. I have a feeling we will be out really late tonight. Here's a preview (last year's post about the evening).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

US MNT vs Mexico, First Hand Account

In case you don't read comments, WUdescendant finally posted his field report on the US vs Mexico game. Here it is verbatim:

My quick perspectives about the USA v Mexico match from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona:

-Mexico was the better team that evening, but like many soccer games I have seen or participated in the better team did not prevail. The soccer gods are funny that way.

-Although Landon had an electrifying goal and a game-winning assist, Landon played horrible. Forwards need to do more than just score goals, like keep possession. He lost possession several times, appeared too-light on his feet when he made physical contact with the opponent, and seemed lethargic when he lost the ball.

-Gooch (Oguchi Onyewu) will not be a solution to our woes in the back.

-Thank goodness for Tim Howard. He was the man of the match, along with Bornstein (we need more defenders like this, not Gooch).

-The atmosphere was amazing, even though 90% of the fans were for the better team that evening. There were pockets (10-20) of USA fans around the stadium, and I was in one of them. During the entire game, my pocket of fans (the men’s team I play for) and another pocket of USA fans “battled” the Mexican fans all around us. Although we yelled some harsh things at each other during the match, at the end of the game everyone cordially said, “Good game.”

Ok. So I gotta ask. I get the sense that WUD is not only, not a Gooch fan, but actually dislikes him. Why is that? I'm glad you like Bornstein and Howard.

Thanks for the report WUD. I really wish we could have been there - sounds like it was worth the price of admission. It also sounds like you are hooked. See you in South Africa!

...where sanity and hope are still left unmolested

"If this can be termed the century of the common man, then soccer, of all sports,
is surely his game.... In a world haunted by the hydrogen and napalm bomb,
the football field is a place where sanity and hope are still
left unmolested. " - Stanley Rous, 1952

Stanley Rous was a referee. Yes, a referee. These days, there are players who might not even subscribe to his statement above. These players are playing in front of empty stadiums. Soccer is getting its old black eye back and the fans are the ones molesting the game. Fans have been banned from Italian stadiums and they are now talking about the same thing in Germany. I can't say that I have experienced the atmosphere of an Italian match and what this is like, but I can say that I have experienced the atmosphere of World Cup games on both American and European soil. It can be amazing (especially in the latter). It does the game a disservice and it is crazy that law enforcement has to treat soccer fans like children in order to drive home a message.

The Brotherhood

There have been a few occasions over the last several years when I have felt an instant bond with a group of strangers who come from all different walks of life. These are complete strangers with huge variances in their demographics. Until yesterday, these occasions have been very serious. The two best examples that I can think of are:
  • September 11th: I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico and since I couldn't get home, I spent some time in the town square during that week. The entire week, and for much longer, I felt a sense of community with so many people that I normally would not feel.
  • Hurricanes: There is a really strong sense of community and bonding when you are preparing for a hurricane. Walking through a grocery store, pushing a cart past aisles of empty shelves of canned goods and bottled water, I can't help but feel close to the strangers who I make eye contact with or who I see passing in the street in their cars.
While these events cause disaster and catastrophe and their results can be truly horrific, I also look back on these times and choose to remember this sense of community. It is one piece of inspiring hope to pull from the wreckage.

Yesterday, I felt a similar feeling, but it was humorous and definitely not a sense of community related to any event with a context as deep as the two examples above. However, it brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh to remember it. I was in the line at the florist, with about 10 other men, all complete strangers who appeared to be from very different walks of life. Behind the counter were two women who must have wanted a nice stiff drink by the end of the day. As the 10 men stood in line, we chatted with each other about buying flowers, being in the dog house, and how we were going to get out of it. We ribbed the two women clerks that we needed the one special arrangement that they had...more special then the one they just sold to that guy..."I need it more than him!"...we groaned in unison when they sold the last of the mysterious muttered expletives to himself when they announced that no more deliveries could be ordered. In the end, we all walked away with flowers of some sort, and those women walked away with our money.

I am obviously not equating the serious events listed above to Valentine's day. I am obviously not saying that the sense of community was identical. But I do think that the instant bonding that occurred in that florist line, as we all tried to get that special flower arrangement that would pull us out of the dog house, made me feel a part of a brotherhood. I think that those moments in life where you feel that instant connection with a stranger across miles of differences are moments to remember. Sometimes you may remember them with a sadness. This time, I remember it with a laugh.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Job Shadow

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is
what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” - Abraham Lincoln

So next week I am expecting to have an interesting Friday. Let me tell you about the pieces that are coming together to combine into this particular story.
  • For those of you who don't know, I am a telecommuter and have the pleasure of working from home (when I am not traveling to client sites about 50% of the year). I love working from home and at this point I have worked more years from a home office than the number of years I ever worked in an office. I think that is an interesting statistic.
  • I coach a U-16 boys soccer team.
  • Members of my U-16 team were recently given an assignment to identify a mentor and "job shadow" this mentor for one day at work.
Well, one thing led to another and a couple of the guys are going to be spending the day in my home office with me next Friday. This of course means that they could be bored out of their minds watching me talk on the phone and send emails (or sitting on my couch watching TV). However, I currently coming up with some ways to approach the day to see if I can make it an interesting and good learning experience. Suggestions welcome.


This is a long overdue post. I get a lot of traffic to this site related to Wallbangers and Fatheads. For some reason, the Wallbanger commercial on FSC is really fun for me to watch. I have to assume it has to do with the British man saying: Stick the action where you want.

I would contrast this commercial with what I think are some really weak Fathead commercials that were airing during the NFL season. In general I thought they were pretty lame.

Either way, I made a claim in this post that Fatheads were a rip-off of Wallbangers. It appears that someone from Fatheads picked up on this and has corrected me. The purpose of this post is to clear the air and spread the word. Fatheads came first. To see the correction, check out the comments in the referenced post. Sorry Mike - and thanks for the correction.

Belated: US MNT vs. Mexico

I have a couple thoughts that I need to put out there related to this game before I forget them.

  • Despite our height and and strong keeper in the back, we seem to be really shaky on crosses. In general, I feel us stuttering when a flighted ball is sent in the box. Call it intuition I guess, because I don't have much to back this up with...but if I were Bob Bradley, I would be looking to work on this aspect of our game.
  • Even though that score ended up 2-0, how lucky were we? My overwhelming feeling of hindsight is that we were extremely lucky to not walk out of there with a bloody mess.
  • That Mexican goalie needs to be fined and suspended for trying to spear Johnson while celebrating our goal. Has that happened? And if not, why not? Seriously, that was pathetic. Top it all off with the Mexican team refusing to trade jerseys and I have to say that that would have been one day that I would have been embarrassed of my team no matter well they played.
Ok. I cashed my 2 cents. Now, my brother was at that game and I am disappointed that he has yet to weigh in. So here is me casting the bait and hoping to hear an interesting story from him about what it was like to be there.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Flavors of Confidence

"Look at where your head is. I can't help it if you're so short you only come up to where my elbow is."
- Oguchi Onyewu

This was Gooch's retort to Bellamy's complaint that Gooch elbowed him in the head during Newcastle's upset victory over Liverpool this past weekend (via I like the kid's confidence.

"I don't regret it. You gotta go, you gotta go." - Landon Donovan

This was Landon's response after causing the entire country of Mexico to hate him for urinating on Jalisco Stadium, one of their national landmarks. I don't like this.

"Sorry coach." - Anonymous

The response of my U-15 player after causing the a youth tournament to come to a grinding halt due to him taking a leak on someone's front yard during a soccer tournament last year. More of this flashback here at I Take Pictures of Crazy People. He's a good kid.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


This is a photo I took of a dog on the sideline of our game today. In general, I thought this picture was just really awesome for two reasons.
  1. Look at the tongue on this dog. Pretty neat.
  2. The level of detail the camera picked up is awesome. If you click on this small image and check out the full size you will see whisker and fur detail that is really pretty amazing.

Kicking off the Season

The Lafayette spring co-ed soccer season kicked off today with the co-ed jamboree. This is the day where we play 2 games that are only 50 minutes each. The games don't count towards your team's record and are just a way to get everyone out for the first weekend and knock out the rust. Unfortunately, I had to sit out because I threw out my back in my U-16 team's practice the day before. I put my bench time to good use and took pictures of the team as they won both games of the day. Here is my friend Jen going up against the Green Lantern.

40 GB's of Paper

I was standing at the cell phone/MP3 player counter at Best Buy and that's pretty much what the guy at the counter said. "That's 40 Gigs of paper in your hands." About 2 and a half weeks ago my iPod bit it yet again. Because I had purchased the Best Buy PSP, I was able to hand it over to the Geek Squad (who is rumored to run a crime ring in town) and basically trade in my old two-colored 40 GB iPod for an 80 GB color iPod with video capabilities. In order to make the trade I had a file folder of repair incidents in my hand.

I'm not happy with the quality of my first iPod but I really feel there is a good chance that it was just a defective item. We will see if I am right. Right now I am falling in love with my MP3 player all over again. This is one really nice piece of equipment. Granted, I am not sure what I am going to do with 80 GB's...I was losing music at 40...

Quote from the clear plastic wrap circling the iPod, which was repeated in about 4 or more languages:

"Don't Steal Music"

Friday, February 09, 2007


I've been quiet for more than a day. Just taking a break. Here's something just to let you know I'm out there. Plus, it just doesn't get much better than this.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

US vs. Mexico: 2 - 0!

Thank God for the referee. That was one awesome through ball to Landon. Seriously, that was a fun game to watch and we have a long way to go. It is 1 AM and I need to get to bed. I am hoping to have more intelligent thoughts tomorrow night but I will be MIA all day.

My three men of the match:
  • Conrad: A+
  • Bornstein: A+
  • Ref: A++

Monday, February 05, 2007

You Have 60 Seconds

"The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds"
- Theo Jansen

You have 60 seconds of over 100 million people's attention. What do you do? What do you say? This past Super Bowl, multiple companies contracted with the average YouTube citizen to design their commercials. Not a bad idea...especially when you compare some of this work with the other commercials that were on display.

I think the following commercial is a better blend of product placement and artistic message than any I saw yesterday.

I think it would be interesting to give go full tilt and give advertising time to people but not require a product placement or message. If you had 60 seconds of 100 million people's time, what would you say?

A Normal "c" Pronounced "ts"

"I'm not one of the big names in England. I'm like a Mr X."
- Tomas Rosicky

Saturday I had the chance to watch Rosicky and the Gunners again. I love watching Arsenal play. Their style of soccer is a great blend between the direct English style of attack combined with intricate complete football. They thread the needle like no other EPL team. They hunt systematically for the perfect finish. It really is a joy to watch.

That said. I had to confront the ordeal of listening to the English announcer bastardize his name yet again. 15 minutes in, I couldn't take it any more so I did some research. It turns out that I am wrong on this one...assuming we can believe what we read on the internet. Here is what I found out from

" Czech there's a 'normal' c pronounced 'ts' and a 'c-with-a-little-squiggle-at-the-bottom' which is pronounced 'ch'. The c in Rosicky is of the former kind, so the correct pronunciation is Rositski...However the best way to pronounce Rosicky is actually 'Hobbit-faced little cheat.'"

The source for this correction is found here.

Countdown to Mexico

Two days until the boys take on Mexico in Arizona. Bradley has called up his European based players and the roster is taking shape...albeit a disappointing roster in the eyes of many (including myself). So how have we been preparing? One way is a scrimmage against Hammarby. Whose Hammarby? They are a Swedish First Division side and based on the highlights, it looks like we took them apart. These are worth watching just to see Clark's 35 yard bomb into the left upper 90. It's pretty nice. Click here to be taken to the video.

If you would rather read the play by play, here's Hammarby's version. If any of you know Swedish, I would be curious to know what their take on the game was...

This about sums up the day so far....

"You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help." -Calvin

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Tie Knot War

Michael Irvin and Shannon Sharpe are having a contest to see whose tie knot is bigger. Irvin is winning.

Super Bowl XLI season is over. At the conclusion of the first half, I thought it would end with a bang. However, the end of that game limped across the finish line.
  • I was behind the Colts all game but couldn't help feeling really bad for Rex Grossman. Seriously, the Colts could not put that game away on the offensive side of the ball despite multiple turnovers and muffed plays all game. I have to think that if Rex was on his game, the Colts would not have won.
  • One too many commercials with kissing or naked men this time around. Could have done without it... Will I ever eat a Snickers again?
  • Was KFed actually playing that fast food guy? If so, I gotta have a little respect for his ability to make fun of himself. I hear that this commercial caused an uproar in the fast food community. Seriously?
  • If that KFed commercial caused waves, that English speaking class for Bud Light is about to become the poster boy for PC.
  • There were empty seats before the game ended. Empty seats at the Super Bowl. They should take names and not let those people back ever again.
  • Ok. I am glad Peyton won. But I am dreading the influx of "let the legacy begin" reporting...
  • How bad was that Garmin GPS commercial? Wow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Maradonna Good, Pele Better, George Best

George Best on Beckham: "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's alright."