Saturday, November 12, 2005

Half way there

Half way there
Originally uploaded by stevepack.
Got a late start yesterday. This would be because the doors were left open on the van all night, draining the battery. This was one of those "

I thought YOU closed them" situations where we stared at each other expectantly.

Luckily the racoons did not steal our food or power tools. We made it to Bowling Green KY last night. There are caves nearby I'd love to visit. Another time. We need to get to Biloxi with some daylight to spare if possible.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I lied...

Dear Blog, by the time you read this (snif) I'll be gone...

We couldn't wait any longer. I was antsy as hell. I couldn't do any big projects here like paint the house or whatever. Most of our customers have their orders...we were mostly packed so we decided to just go.

I'm just finishing up some last minute paperwork. I'm applying to merchant at the SCA Estrella War. Most merchant applications are about 1 page long and require a check to be sent, maybe some photos. This thing weighs in at 12 pages. They want my merchant app, 2 pre-reg apps, proof of SCA membership, phots of us in costume(???), AZ tax licence, checks, DNA sample, fingerprints blah blah blah. Of course this is only a hassle because I have waited until the absolute LAST moment to do this shit. That is truly my worst character flaw, procrastination.

But all that's behind us now. We head out tomorrow morning and should arrive in Biloxi Sunday evening. Here's a pretty good 30 day report on how Hands on USA is doing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

2 days and counting...

Remember when I said that the two things I was worried about were injury and ill health? Yeah.

Rossana's cold seemed to persist longer than it should and I demended (pleaded) that she go to see the doctor who promptly determined that she has strep throat. Great. Luckily she's getting the same great 5 day antibiotic regimine that I got when I had strep and walking pneumonia this spring. She should be feeling much better by friday. If she isn't, I'll start pouring rum with gunpowder down her gullet. That'll fix her up AND make 'er mean.

I decided that before doing any strenuous manual labor I should maybe warm up a little. The college has a weight room and Rossana and I have somehow turned a 6 month guest member ship into a year and a half mooch fest. I haven't been in there in months and today I am feeling the results of this inactivity. After two days in there it actually hurts to type. Dear god I'm out of shape. I'm getting winded using the mouse. At least I'm getting this stiffness out of my system now and not when I get there.

Despite the overcast skies and threat of rain there seems to be some rays of hope out there. The Rethuglicans seem to have lost ground this election. I can only hope that this trend continues in 06 and then 08. I think the Dems campaign slogan should be "We couldn't possibly fuck things up worse than they did."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I need to stop looking at the internets

Let me be clear here. I generally like cops. I have known several fine cops. Theirs is a very tough job with more responsability that I would want to handle. I am of the opinion that most cops are honest and hardworking people. So when I read this womans first person account of a night in a New Orleans prison I duly freaked out.

Honestly, I was too scared to be angry.

What is my ONLY consolation is this? The only upside? At least we're white. I can't believe I said it. But whites aren't getting anywhere NEAR the shit blacks are, and never have. I listened to an interview with Malik Rahim who helped start the Common Ground collective. He told of armed white militia types driving around Algiers looking for the shit right after Katrina and the police doing nothing. White volunteers could get into the city, but a car with 5 black doctors was turned away. Some of the National Guard hang out near the Common Ground clinic. Why? To protect them from the NOPD.

I honestly didn't believe this shit really happened any more, or at least would dissapear for a while in the wake of the disaster. There are more important things for the police to do than arrest people on bullshit charges and subject them to gulag like conditions.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Anxiety and Anger

In preparing for the trip I have been trying to find up to date blogs from people who have volunteered in New Orleans. It's been tough.

..people who come down here to volunteer seem to sink into this 'black hole' once they arrive here -- calls are rare and the phone lines are difficult; updates sporadic and disjointed......those who are outside of this 'black hole' find themselves trying to sort through bits and pieces of informtion to get a full picture of what is going on..

I did find a livejournal called Jenka's Journal where the above quote comes from. The stories told there are pretty bad. Yes, it's a blog by an angry young socio-liberal-communist-hippie-fight-the-man type and yes he does espouse some of the conspiracy theories that are popular (i.e. the 9th ward was intentionally flooded by blowing the levees) which I don't believe in but his first hand accounts are pretty powerful stuff. Go take a read. It will make you angry again, but thats good because we should not soon forget how we as a country fucked up.

I have also grown upset with the Red Cross, an organization that I have generally supported all my life with both donations of money and blood. I'll still donate blood, but money? No. Go take a look here and then go hug some bunnies to get your blood pressure down. The Red Cross does good work, but they could have done much more.

I started packing the van today. Doing shows for many years has tought me how to pack efficiently. Even after loading in two cases or water, tools, cleaning supplies, food, tent etc there was still a good amount of space left over. Rossana asked if we were going to sleep in the van on the way down and I considered it. But I'm 37 now and don't sleep as well in cars as I used to. I also want to arrive in Biloxi somewhat rested and not stiff and tired. We'll find some cheap motel to stay in for a night. I'll use the spare space to take an extension ladder and a wheelbarrow. Hands on USA says they have most everything needed, but I want to arrive self contained and ready to go.

I'm actually anxious to get started now. But I have to get as much business stuff out of the way as possible. I need to start booking shows for the winter and spring. We got an email saying the SCA event Gulf Wars down in Missisippi is happening this winter, but what kind of en event will it be? I heard that a large portion of the camp was basically destroyed. Will any local people show up? Cost-Con is gone. I saw the hotel we were supposed to stay at washed up and wreaked on the beaches of Biloxi.

The best news so far is that the gas fund is doing really great. Thanks to the many donations we've reached the $400 mark. I forgot that paypal grabs a chunk of every transaction which sucks, but we're at least good for fuel. If you still want to donate, please do. As I said any money left over will go to Common Grounds in New Orleans.