Saturday, May 03, 2008


DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence D. Ezell, 30, of Portland, Texas, died April 30 in Baghdad of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat operations. He was assigned to the 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

DoD Identifies Army Casualty (from July 7, 2007)
Sgt. Jerry L. DeLoach, 45, of Jackson, Ga., died July 7, 2007, at Fort Knox, Ky. He had been medically evacuated from theater, and died of a non-combat related injury. He was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Knox.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Staff Sgt. Chad A. Caldwell, 24, of Spokane, Wash., died April 30 in Mosul, Iraq, of injuries suffered while conducting dismounted combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.

GeogiaMod: Two Georgian Military Servicemen Died in Iraq
Two Georgian soldiers who were supporting peacekeeping operations in Iraq died. Lieutenant Giorgi Margiev and Corporal Zurab Gvenetadze were assigned to the 13 Battalion of 1st Infantry Brigade. Junior Sergeant Tengiz Mirtskulava...was wounded.

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

A word from the Global Center

The conclusion of the response of the Bishops of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil to the St Andrew's Draft and the whole covenant flap:

Communion is never created and developed by the letter. The true communion is nurtured by the Spirit. The true communion is life. The paschal mystery that we live in this liturgical season is an unmistakable demonstration of what we need to re-affirm. Faith in the Risen Christ does not presuppose text, but rather an open heart and a humble faith. It was the event of the Resurrection and the affective perception of it that generated a Community, a Communion. Thus, inspired by this liturgical season and aware of the richness of our Communion, we manifest the conviction that the Covenant is not an essential element to maintain or strengthen our Communion; on the contrary, it risks defacing it. Our history and the instruments we have are already sufficient to build unity from the richness of our diversity, in a continuous process of listening and mutual respect.

Curitiba, 04 April 2008.

Read the rest at OCICBW
--the BB

I'm back! - Important update

Fran introduced me to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, a very special patroness of New Orleans, so I will begin by giving thanks to all who have prayed for me and for the restoration of my internet link and thanks to Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

Thanks also to St Isidore of Seville, patron of the internet. I don't know how I forgot that this was his realm since he is one of my medieval faves - inventor of the encyclopedia, if you will. This photo comes through the Diocese of Southeast Florida, which is why their web site is one Izzy's screen.

And though she is not patroness of the internet, since I invoked St Catherine of Siena, a shout out to her, because I am sure her prayers were involved too.

The problem? The ISP was given the wrong serial number for my modem so when the account was "provisioned" it wasn't coming through here. Mike from Cox Communications paid me a visit this morning and we got it straightened out. Nothing techie whatsoever, just a setup glitch (which was more my impression all along).

We have not been working overtime this week and this means I had lots of free evenings to be online and could do nothing about it. I doubt that I will have much free time after this weekend. Murphy's law and its children and second cousins all seem to be at work.

I have not melted in the rain we are having this weekend (lovely thunder this morning) because I am not that sweet. I don't find myself slathering lotion on my hands and forearms the way I have to do in New Mexico.

Susankay is in ABQ right now and the state is very dry and they are still battling wildfires near Torreon and Tejique, so prayers for getting those under control and all who are threatened by them.

I will write more shortly. Right now I have to catch up on my blog reading and see what's going on with y'all!

[Imagine wide, gleeful grin.]

I should mention, however, that though the internet is working just fine and I can receive mail, I am having major trouble with outgoing mail. I cannot seem to send anything. So I am relying on posting here or commenting in your threads to communicate at the moment.
--the BB

Friday, May 02, 2008

Alive but in isolation

Hello, friends!

I still do not have the connection to the internet working in my apartment.  I have been visiting a co-worker around the corner (we also share a pool car) and using his computer to stay in touch.  Which is where I am right now.

So pray for blessings on Gregory!  He's fighting a cough too, and I know I can count on y'all for prayers.  I have not abused the relationship by reading y'all's blogs so I have no idea what is going on in your lives or in the world either, for that matter.  Fasting from politics - which you all know has certain advantages.

They are sending a high tech geek to my apartment tomorrow (Saturday) morning to see if we cannot resolve the issues between my computer (a mac) and Cox Communications.  Since I am typing this on Gregory's mac, I fail to see why I should have a problem.  I am trying to remember; who is the patron saint of the internet?  Catherine of Siena?  All intercessions welcome!

Rain today.  Humidity in NOLA was 86 when I got home and turned on the TV.  In ABQ about a week ago it was 6.  Now there is a climate shift for me.

I am grateful to all the suggestions on groceries and look forward to checking these places out.

I miss you all terribly.  Once online it may be hard to pry me off as I catch up.  Hope this finds you well and thriving!  Indiscriminate cyberhugs to everyone!

--the BB

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Let’s think of this all as an adventure!

See, my attitude has improved already.

How many wrong turns can one person make in the New Orleans Central Business District and environs? Well, given all the one-way streets, learning the lay of the land the hard way, and traffic patterns – not to mention a raft of data accumulated since Sunday evening, the number rapidly approaches infinity.

There is a silver lining. There is hardly a downtown street I have not driven multiple times in the past three days. This means that though I may struggle to get from A to B, I know how to do it… eventually. I know where I am.

This is good if, like me, you get navigational anxiety easily. I like to see NOT mapquest directions but a MAP before I go anywhere new.

I want to know where I turn, how far the distances are in between (visually, not numerically), what the major cross-streets are, the names of the two or three streets prior to the one where I turn, etc. One reason, I suppose, is that I am sufficiently nearsighted that I cannot read a street sign until I am at the intersection. That is not a good time to have to suddenly turn, especially if that requires a lane change. A list telling me to go 3.1 miles N, then 0.4 miles E, then 2.7 miles NE is of little use unless I have memorized all that. One wouldn’t want to be near me if I am reading this list while driving, now, would one? I want to visualize my route, and the relationships among the streets. I want to know which ones run N/S and which E/W and which ones curve.

And for heaven’s sake, put the map on the table with north aligned toward the north. Do not mess with my sense of orientation to the earth. OK?

Traveling with me at the wheel can be pleasant if I know where am going. Of late, it has not been unpleasant but it HAS been an adventure. Remember, I arrived in NOLA to spend the first night at a hotel and with only a vague idea of where my destined apartment was. Now I can get from the apartment to work and back, and am thus much more relaxed.

That’s the navigational adventure.

Then there’s the internet adventure. You may recall that I arrived here without the power cord and mouse that I am certain I packed (and so is Kathy, who watched me packing). Either they fell on the floor and under the bed while packing – a possibility – or something happened in transit – my suspicion. In any case, as Kirstin e-mailed me there is no Apple Store in NOLA. I did come across a Best Buy this afternoon after work and now have a new power cord and mouse (I hate touchpads). So I no longer fear using up my battery before I can connect with y’all.

Even as I type this, the DSL line at the apartment has not been activated, as they promised me it would be. This is related to my ability to file a timesheet by tomorrow evening and that, in turn, is related to my being paid. Grrrr. I am about to head over to a co-worker’s apartment so I can plug in there and communicate.

Finally, for now, there is the basic-items adventure. We are in furnished apartments. I can eat out, which will more than usurp my per diem, or I can fix breakfast and supper myself (which, as an experienced cook I can do) and eat lunch downtown, thus breaking even or, more probably, coming out ahead. So you know that if you are setting up from scratch you need really basic things like salt and pepper and oil and vinegar and various staples – in addition to such ingredients as one wishes to cook. I bought salt and pepper and canola oil (forget EVOO, we need all-purpose here) and balsamic vinegar tonight, plus other stuff.

May we discuss the Wal-Mart-ization of America? When you ask the locals where the nearest grocery store is, they all point to Wal-Mart. I have driven quite a few miles in this city now and been to two Wal-Marts already. But I have not seen a single grocery store, whether mom-and-pop or supermarket chain. There is a Wal-Mart supercenter two miles from my house in ABQ. I do not go there on economic and political principles. I am eager to find an alternative here and, let me tell you, this is depressing.

That notwithstanding I am in excellent spirits right now. After the rain when I arrived it has cleared up and the weather has been beautiful. Walks after lunch are nice.

As for “seeing the city,” as soon as we are trained enough to get to work for real we will be leaving for work at 6:00 a.m. and leaving work at 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. I don’t anticipate having energy or inclination to get out and about on any evening whatsoever (I am not attracted to night life, noise, crowds, or public attractions on the best of days). I do hope for some pleasant sightseeing on free (non-traveling) Sundays.

The folks I work with, bank employees and consultants, all seem very pleasant and good-natured. The job is one block off Canal Street (and three blocks from Bourbon Street), right next to the Tulane Medical Center. Each day we commute past heaps of bulldozed project housing and I was wondering this evening how many perished there. I also got caught in traffic headed for an event at the Superdome tonight. The building we work in had 4 feet of water and they spent 17 months repairing the first floor. The Vietnamese Restaurant that was across the street is still boarded up. There are reminders everywhere.

I hope that I can post this at my buddy’s apartment. I miss you all and look forward to catching up when I have access in my own apartment.

Update (now that I can post this):
For whatever reason, tonight I can read mail but my mail is not sending. I am connected at Gregory's apartment. He is a very nice Trinidadian, currently living in No. Virginia and one of the consultants on this job.

So I give up on mail for the moment. This is the update and individual cyber-hugs-and-kisses will have to wait.

Please keep Kirstin in your prayers!

A co-worker's friend's brother, Stanley, some years following bypass surgery, now has a blockage and goes in for surgery tomorrow (Wednesday).
--the BB

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Je suis arrivé en Louisianne

Eh bien, mes amis, me voici.

The trip was uneventful, which is rather how I like my air travel. I got through about 71 pages of an ancient beginning Russian paperback that I bought back when such things cost $1.95. I even rubber stamped my address on it and it is my long-deceased parent's address in Fresno.

I also did a fair amount of napping on the two flights.

Kathy arrived early this morning and helped me with the very tail end of the packing before giving me a ride to the airport. Bless her!

There was some turbulence as we came into New Orleans. It is raining here and every pore of my body knows I am not in the high desert any more.

Someone helpfully postulated that just as one is enervated when becoming acclimatized to high altitude, so I should now be full of energy at sea level. Well, that would be nice.

The only glitch, beyond one wrong turn and driving past the hotel and taking forever to get back to it (one-way streets being what they are), is that upon unpacking I have my computer, my wireless keyboard (a boon for large hands that trip over laptop keyboard) and my ethernet cable if required - but I cannot find anywhere in my luggage my wireless mouse or, more importantly, my power cord. So, to conserve battery, I am going to log out now, wishing y'all sweet dreams, bourbon-laced as appropriate. [If the power cord is truly missing or left at home - and I know it was right there among things to pack unless it fell under the bed at some point - I am sure there is an Apple store somewhere in this great city.

I'm also in the mood to fast from the internet for one night and get some rest.

Hugs and giggles to all (except those who are embarrassed by either).
--the BB

Travel day

Next post from New Orleans.

Have a blessed Sunday.
--the BB

Heart thread - 4/26/2008

Last night I simply asked folks to hold Kirstin closely, not feeling free to say more until she did. Today she announced on her blog that they found a melanoma on her ear and she is terrified. Mimi and MP picked up the prayer request and the virtual community has joined to hold her in love and prayer while she waits. If you have not already hopped on the prayer train, now would be a good time. You can also drop over and share some love. Thanks.

I was out tonight and have had no time to do my tour of blogs, so there may be many requests out there that I am missing, but I want Ms. K. named here too.


--the BB