Day 6 (July 17th):
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The Inn on Bourbon. 541 Bourbon Street, New Orleans. It's an interesting location to say the least. For one thing, to it has the feel of a dividing line between the "touristy/boozing" stretch of Bourbon to its southwest, and the "progressively seedier/alt lifestyle/boozing" stretch to its NE. Possibly because of this, some have decided to manufacture and deposit urine directly upon the street surface here, subsequently being tasked to explain said decision to the local gendarmes. Others -- for instance, The Chief (tm) -- have, in years past, been plenty satisfied to stand back at a nice, casual 4 or 5 in the AM and simply take in all the action, which in a particular case featured one of the better/most stupid lines ever. Consider: a young lady sashays her way down the street, lower torso clad in one of those fake skirt/wrap-type denim things that, had it been any shorter, would have only been a belt. Young dude bopping his way up the street, approaching her from the opposite direction -- thus not even having yet seen the more incredible view from, er, behind -- greets her (and anyone else within earshot) with the now-classic, "Way to go, shorts!"

All this, mind you, while upstairs at the very same hotel my man Sammy was peacefully sleeping off his “40th birthday hangover”.

Ah, memories.

I digress.

I woke up at 9 AM, aggressively just five hours after retiring. The combination of 13% beer, oyster shooters and White Things (tm) somehow seemed to have few, if any negative effects. The idea was to spend a few hours cranking out web pages, then finally figuring out how to upload them, then hitting the streets sometime in mid-afternoon. While my original plan was to purchase a used laptop for this gig, long-story short I ended up with a brand-new Toshiba something or other. For the low price (~$500) it’s a rather good machine hardware-wise, with a nice wide screen and quick (thirty second?) boot-to-work.

Software-wise it’s another story entirely. If ever there was someone who could be termed a “Microsoft fan”, it might have to be me. OK, maybe just a “Microsoft backer”. Sure, I know that many take offense at the “acquire or smother” approach to dealing with smaller, more nimble competitors, and I can dig that, but I also admire the company for its origins and its success and its providing important and widely-used software to the world (then again, I intentionally hadn’t even yet “upgraded” my home PC from Win98, because what functionality did any of the newer releases provide that I didn’t already have?) Now, with this laptop, I may need to re-evaluate my position. It’s got the bloated, unnecessarily complex Vista (Premium) and the utterly horrific Office 2007. What was so wrong with anything in Office 2003 (or 2000, for that matter) that Microsoft thinks this release addresses, is completely beyond me. Just a stupid, stupid, stupid re-design, and it seems that all that the Microsoft blog reps can say in reply to complaints is, “why did you buy it?” Listen, chump, I didn’t buy it -- it simply came with the machine -- and the very moment the sixty-day trial period ends I am downloading OpenOffice for free.

This system refuses to let me turn off ActiveX blockers, claiming that it is preventing risk to the computer. That much I understand, except that I’m trying to work with my own web pages that haven’t yet been published, but reside only on my hard drive. So every time I make an edit to a page and go to test it, I cannot click on anything initiating a Javascript command – it won’t do it. “Add it to your ‘trusted sites’ list, The Chief (tm)”, you say. Good thinking, and I’ve been there, but that window says that “only pages with the prefix ‘http://’” can be added. Bagelled again by an overly-intrusive OS. Point is, if you watched me with this thing you might think I’ve never touched a computer before.

This is all preface to the fact that, at approximately 1:30 PM, a truly impossible combination of events -- and trust me, just take my word for choice of the term “impossible”-- transpired to completely wipe out 5.5 hours of work I had done that morning.

Read that sentence again for me, if you will:
completely wipe out 5.5 hours of work I had done that morning.

Trying to play catch-up, I didn’t emerge from the hotel room until about 7 PM, not even having eaten anything yet. The day was simply a wash and a waste, probably the most under-utilized day spent in New Orleans by anyone, ever. No sightseeing, no legitimate pictures, no nothing.

In considering dinner I had eyeballed a couple of local-looking joints off the beaten path (and don’t think for a second I wasn’t giving thought to Acme again, this time for more oysters and the “medley” of jumbalaya, gumbo and what have you), but instead I managed to again find and settle upon NOLA, an Emeril Legasse restaurant located nearby within the Quarter. A memorable time with Sammy had been enjoyed there just three years before, and I knew the food would be very good, so I thought I’d just take down an appetizer and move on whenever I wished.

I sat at the bar and ended up staying there, dining long enough that the place had become fully mobbed around me. As expected the food was excellent (a smoked salmon salad and duck livers with southern greens), and the conversation lively with a few friendly parties, but afterwards I wondered if I should have done something more “authentic” as a final meal there. As it stands I have left New Orleans without having had any jumbalaya or gumbo. There’s probably some kind of fine for that, or there should be…

Bottom line, when left the restaurant I just didn’t have the spring in my step that I had had the evening before. Sure, I grabbed a White Thing (tm) here and there and, thusly armed, cruised Bourbon, but there was definitely cross-mojination, I had nothing to bring to the table, and it showed. I parked it on the corner at the front of my hotel, watched the energetic hawker at the bar across the street working his magic on the crowd (using a whistle, climbing on the street pole, taking young lovelies by the arm and gently steering them towards the door – awesome), and eventually called it a night. As my heart just wasn’t in it, I only have two stupid pictures for you this time. Nothing from Jackson Square, Café du Monde, or anything of any historic interest. As I said, the most under-utilized day spent there, ever.

Code Blue!

Hawker Extraordinaire

Run, Baby, Run

Wash The Girl