Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Various tidbits

Tonight I installed a webcam that I picked up a few weeks ago at Radio Shack for about $8. One more reminder that you get what you pay for. It's lousy.


Yesterday I finally received my signed copy of Joe Jackson's new CD Rain in the mail. I listened to it continuously all day today at work. It's a great album. A DVD was included with the album, with interviews and behind-the-scenes type content. I haven't watched it yet, but am looking for time to do so.

Coinciding with last week's release of the new Joe Jackson album, there has been an increase in volume of messages on the Joe Jackson Yahoo Group. Following the various discussions, I've found something interesting - it seems to me that people's preferences of the songs on the new album, as well as preferences about which albums are better than others, are all over the map. What I think is the best song on the new album (or the worst) seems to vary a lot from person to person, and what I might consider a weak album is another fan's favorite.


Sometime in the early 90's I drove from New Orleans up to New Jersey for the first time. One of the standard highway signs that lists Gas Stations, Hotels, and Restaurants displayed a sign for the "New Orleans Steakhouse", about 20-30 miles away from any large city in New Jersey. Now, having grown up in the New Orleans area and loving good food, I laughed at the thought of a 'New Orleans' restaurant in NJ, especially in some backwoods nowheres-ville.

For the last 9 months or so I've been working in Sparta, NJ, and drive past the New Orleans Steakhouse nearly every day. I started thinking that if this restaurant has been in business for as long as it has been, how bad can it be?

Today was Mardi Gras, and the restaurant hosted a Mardi Gras party today. So I took Jessica out for dinner tonight and we decided to give the joint a try. The service seemed inconsistent. Everybody was friendly. The waiter didn't seem like the brightest bulb in the box, and we had to wait a little too long between my appetizer and our entrees, but everything came out right, and nobody had any attitude.

There were slices of King Cake at the hostess counter, and we each had a small slice. A live band, "The Noisy Neighbors", played fun Mardi Gras music, and the food, though not up to Al Copeland or Commanders Palace standards, was still pretty good. I had a cup of gumbo that was defintely good, and a plate of Bourbon Chicken over dirty rice that was far superior to the typical bourbon chicken available at every mall food court.

During the meal some of the waitstaff and customers from the bar paraded through the restaurant second-line style. The entire waitstaff were dressed up for Mardi Gras, some wearing masks, all wearing beads, one in a Jazz Fest shirt. Somebody gave us beads to wear, and a couple of Purple, Gold, and Green festooned noise-makers.

Dinner was good, and fun.


Over the weekend Jessica, Nate, Maren and I were walking past the YMCA in downtown Montclair. Nate asked what the building was, and in response I pointed to the flags hanging in front of the building emblazoned with "YMCA", and asked him what was on the flags. He answered, questioningly, "yumica ?". It sounded so similar to Yarmulke, Jessica and I couldn't help but laugh. I'd never noticed that the pronunciation of this well-known Christian organization sounded so similar to the skullcap worn by Jews.


Looks like Clinton and Obama are running neck and neck on the Dem side of things, and McCain is going to win the other side. Nothing to comment here, just recording this point in time.


Not at all related to the above tidbit, but our country Really, Really Needs something like Instant Runoff Voting or Approval Voting. I don't know what the best voting system may be, but our current system, wherein we avoid voting for a candidate unlikely to win because we don't want to waste our vote, is a truly bad system.


Did you already forget about the new Joe Jackon CD ? Go get it, now! At least listen to it!


That's all for now. Good night.

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