Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas day, 2005

Christmas settled over casa kahunah like a large, wet sack. I sat around most of the day, watching inane Christmas movies on ABC family, and then realized I was being an idiot. I needed to go out. Do something... Anything.

So, I called up Dizzy... Who I knew was in a similar situation, as her family was out of town for the holiday, leaving her and her cat alone in her house for the first time since Katrina. Now, far be it from me to intrude upon the first privacy that a friend has had since the hurricane that changed all our lives, but I figured that it was Christmas and maybe she would want some company too. So, I call and suggested we grab some dinner... So we did. Chinese Buffets are great, and open on Christmas :)

Afterward, Dizzy told me that Benny Grunch and the Bunch were giving a free concert at Mid-city lanes Rock and Bowl. For those of you not from New Orleans, Benny grunch is famous for their New Orleans themes songs, such as the Twelve Yats of Christmas, Santa and his Reindeer used to live right Here, and Aint Dere no more. His music is a combination of many different styles, from Rock to Zydeco, to Rap, and is always VERY funny. So I figured, what the heck, and we went.

Going into Rock and Bowl renewed my faith in my city. Here were at least a hundred of my neighbors, all gathered together, in the spirit of Christmas, listening to a band that is truly Uniquely New Orleans. When we arrived, and old friend of Dizzy's recognized her as we walked in, and have her a big hug. He then yelled at me "Don't know who you are!" and gave me a big hug too.

It wasn't long before Benny Grunch and the Bunch hit the stage, a unique blend of music and comedy. Aint Dere no more is about all the unique businesses in New Orleans that have gone out of business over the years, and has always been one of my favorites. But this year, Benny and the boys made a new version of the song, (which was enough for me to buy their post-Katrina CD)... Temporarily Aint Dere No More . A sample:

Ya see Grand Isle, it's way out miles in the Gulf of Mexico
Then I guess we'd go to Westwego for The Tarpon Rodeo
Here's a tale of two cities that were sittin' too pretty
'Tween the 17th St. Canal and Gulf of Mexico
When they both got dunked and sunk till they stunk
Now I don't wanna say "Ain't Dere No More"

'Cause they comin right back, you can quote me on that,
Twice as nice as they was before
Startin' with the Parish of St. Bernard -
Temporarily Ain't Dere No More

But if your boat needs gas while Hopedale's trashed
And you're lookin' for a hi-class crowd
You can join right up at the Southern Yacht Club
But it ain't gonna be right now.

Now who's got alleys so you don't have to carry
All your garbage cans out there on ya new mowed lawn
There was butterflies, parrots, squirrels, organic carrots
All of a sudden with the floodin' it was almost gone
But they're comin' back in hours, out plantin' little flowers
On the neutral ground all away out to Lake Shore
Never thought there'd be a curfew right here in Lakeview -
Temporarily Ain't Dere No More

After the traditional songs, Benny went into a few covers, mostly 50's dance tunes. Dizzy's friend, (the one with the hugging problem, now very drunk) then proceeded to grab his wife and dance, swinging her about and doing twirls and such. He then proceeded to grab his daughter and do the same, then he grabbed Dizzy and swung her around for a bit... And then, he grabbed me. I of course, rolled with it, and swung him around on the dance floor as hard as he had been swinging the girls. Had to grab his arm a few times to keep him from flying over the rail and into the lap of some unsuspecting bowlers, but it was very funny. Apparently, we were quite the sight, as the crowd around us was rolling in laughter as the song came to an end, and for a split second I was in the Old, pre-Katrina New Orleans... where things like that just happen and everyone finds it funny and rolls with the joke.

I love this town.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Reason #428 why I hate Frickin Christmas...

It's Christmas Eve... I'm bummed out cause I can't find "A Miracle on 34th street" on a single channel.

Bah Humbug.

A merry Festivus after all...

Well kids, last night I went out drinking and reminiscing (sp?) with an old friend. Lessee... need a good code name for this story, so, lets call her Dizzy. (Trust me, she'll love it.)

First, we met up for dinner at a Chinese buffet (mmmmmm chinese buffet) and got our eat on. I had just sat down when In walks two guys with guitars and a flautist (sp?). Not what one normally expects when eating chinese. So, as dizzy returns to the table, I point them out. "Fortunately, we are in a far corner of the resturant" I think to myself, "Not like they're gonna start carolling next to our table or something." Which they then proceed to do. I couldn't eat because I was too busy laughing, at both the situation (Christmas at a chinese resturant?) and at the fact that Dizzy was delighted by this turn of events. It only made matters worse then the lead guitarist introduced that the flautist and her friend were from iceland, and then they launched into an inspired version of "Feliz navidad".

That's at least three more cultures than I expected to be exposed to that night.

Well, they eventually moved on, and I chatted with Dizzy about what's going on with both of us. (had a lot to catch up on... when last I saw her, Charity and I weren't even dating, much less married and divorced) I was shocked when she told me that she had gotten me a festivus gift.

So I'm thinking, "Sure. She read my blog and just decided to call the christmas gift a festivus one to mess with my head." You see, true festivus gifts must be something you don't want, and something that the recipiant probably doesn't want either. So, I open it. Two copies of "the fellowship of the ring" on DVD. (yes, two copies of the same movie) She had gotten the boxed set, and so didn't want them any more, and I have never been one for the whole Tolkien thing.

It was indeed a Festivus gift. A Festivus miracle, as it were. I am SO getting a Festivus pole next year. I don't even need to shop for a Festivus gift for anyone, as at least two people are getting "the fellowship of the ring" on DVD, one of whom is certainly gonna be Dizzy.

Merry Festivus, Y'all

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ahhhh... the holidays. Part deux.

The amazing thing about one holiday is how it stretches into another. Basically, after halloween, it's all downhill to christmas. My friends and I have an anual christmas party, and this year it was at Drew and Stacey's house.

As you can see from the photo, we were all making with the merry. I'm the furry one in the back :)

Made out pretty well on the presents this year... I got all four Superman Movies from Ringo, The First season of the George Reeves Superman TV show from JavaFooFoo, A Superman alarm clock from Dave, and the old 1940's movie serial "the adventures of Captain Marvel" from Drew and Stacey.

Notice the pattern anyone?

Still, I found it hard to be in the christmas spirit most of the night. I dunno what is is about the holidays of late, but I have been finding it increasingly difficult over the years to keep that christmas spirit in my heart. I'm expecting Jacob Marley to come by any day now with his three pals.

Bah Frickin Humbug. I'm going with Festivus next year for sure.

But, still, it was great to have everyone in one place for a change. It's been a rough year all around, what with hurricanes and divorces (okay, one divorce... mine.) and other stuff that make up the fabric of our lives. It was nice just to kick back and enjoy a simple night in the company of friends.

Over the weekend, I hung out in Brandon and wound up buying a car. Drew now refers to me as the "CARhunah". It's a 93 buick, and runs really well. I'm thinking I could probably sell it for at least twice what I paid for it, as car prices here in New Orleans are fairly high right now. What do y'all think?

I made it a point to be back in New Orleans by thursday, to go to Pub Quiz at the crown and anchor. Ducky and I, amazingly enough, placed in every single round. For a team of two that always get their asses handed to them by the larger and smarter baby Boomer teams, it was quite the Christmas miracle. In the first round, we were named "Cat on a hot blue roof" and placed third. The second round we named ourselves "Chestnuts roasting in a FEMA trailer" and placed second. We were elated, and could have gone home right then and there, but in the third round, ("Grandma got run over by Katrina") we heard answer after answer and realized we were the only team celebrating each right one. We sat in disbelief when we were told that we got first place.

Merry Christmas to one and all. May your Chrismahanakwanzakus wishes all come true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Trivial Tuesday

Howdy, Y'all... been up in Brandon all week visiting Drew and Stacey, and attending my merry little group's Christmas shindig. It's been fun. I will make it a point to tell everyone more when I have some more time to write, but the big news is that I bought a car! been like 10 years since I had one of my own, but in post Katrina New Orleans, it has proven to be a must.

On with the trivia:

In the Category of Trivial Television-
1)Name Tim Taylor's sons from "Home Improvement".

In the category of Classic Cartoons-
2)When recounting his life, where does Bugs Bunny say he was born?

In the Category of Manic Movies-
3) In "History of the world part 1", name two of the things that Mel Brooks promises we'll see in "History of the world part 2".

In the Category of "famous Firsts"
4)Who was the first Monarch to have a televised coronation?

Answers by the weekend, and as always... NO Googling :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Feature- Trivial tuesdays!

In our ongoing quest to have Rob make more regular posts, we are pleased to announce our first Trival Tuesday. Each tuesday, Rob will post a few triva questions, and put the answers in the comments by the weekend. We hope you enjoy this new feature, as we know Rob absolutely loves it.
---Dogs Of Atlantis management

Howdy there kids... trivial tuesday time. No cheating by looking up the answers on the internet please.

In the category of "Famous Firsts":
1)Who was the first woman to win a nobel prize?

In the category of "Classic Cartoons":
2)What was the name of Speed Racer's Younger brother and his pet monkey?

In the category of "Super Science":
3)What is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature?

In the category of "Trivial Television"
4)In the original 'wardrobe malfunction', what actress accidentally exhaled her breast out of her dress during the telecast of the Academy Awards in 1957?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

For all the Pulp Fiction folks in the house...

This is brilliant. How they got Sam Jackson for it, I will never know. Nice to see that Jules found that direction, after all.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What to post when you have exactly zip, zilch, and nada to talk about...

"You need to post something!" Java Foo Foo admonished me the other day about my blog. She, like many of you check my blog all the time, and have been wondering what happened to me. Well, the fact of the matter is very little. As many of you know, I try to keep the tone of my posts light. In the spirit of DOA, I also try to give each and every post some kind of relevance to whatever is going on in my life, but I think y'all can tell when I'm faking it. Basically, I worry about boring y'all when the most interesting thing that has happened to me today was the dramatic decision to have cream cheese rather than peanut butter on my bagel this morning. So, I figure once a week I'll start reaching into the old DOA mailbag if I have nothing else to write.

First off, On 11/13, Dreamwalker from New Zealand wrote:
I am your 1700 visitor...Do I get a prize? And, hey...Where's the new blog. I travel a long way to read this. :)

Yes, dreamwalker, you do get a prize. Your comment is the first I decided to use for this feature. Visitor 2000 will get an artifact from the DOA office, either an original cartoon about the visitor, an empty can of sam's cola, or a dirty sock. I'll let y'all know when I decide which.

On 10/29, anonymous wrote:

Oh Great Webkahunah, Don't run away to New England just yet. Come back to New Orleans. Re-enroll at U.N.O. or Delgado. Learn the intricacies of running a hotel.

You're still young and Cute too. Meet a nice woman and date her. You never know, you might get lucky. (Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge)

Then the 2 of you can run your little cottage inn by the ocean together. And does it have to be New England? Virginia and Georgia are nice and a lot less Snowy. And you'd have a longer "Season" you'd be open for. And just think of the different styles of Cooking you could offer. New York and New Orleans.

I know it's your life and your decision, but I wanted you to know that one of your New Orleans friends would rather have you here than there.

To anonymous, I say: Who the heck are you, and are you female and cute? These questions have been plagueing me since I read that.I admittedly, need a date as much as I need a job.

I have also been putting some of my time and energy into The grand return of Atomic Thump. Mostly, I like doing neat photoshop manipulations, and then writing the background stories... My character in the band is "Big Daddy Scruptious", seen at the right. He was the accordion player in the greatest 80's heavy metal band you've never heard of... check it out if you like silly humor.

Hey, I gotta spend my free time doing more than playing City of heroes, people.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ahhh... the holidays....

For those of you out there concerned about such things, I created an wish list this year. I don't use the silly things myself, but I confess they do give me ideas. While I don't suspect anyone will actualy buy me anything off the list, I figure they will be able to glean my clothing sizes from it, as well as the fact that my world revolves around super heroes. Gotta love the holidays, or so my therapist keeps telling me. Feh. I say we go with Festivus this year, whose only gift giving rule is that if you give a gift, it has to be something you're sure the recipient will hate, and you would never buy for yourself.

Some fun holiday picks:
Stacey took this great pick of Me, Drew and Papa Steve drooling over the fruit of our labors, trying valiantly, and in vain to keep ourselves from picking at the bird.
Drew doing the carving with no rhyme or reason at all. Me trying my hardest not to jump in and take over for the sake of the turkey.
Photographic evidence of our delicious experiment to deep fry snickers bars. Don't mock me till you've tried my ways, people.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fryday and Festivus.

Well, the first Fryday went great. We threw two gallons of corn oil into the turkey fryer yesterday and went to town. My buddy Dave, who was without much to do the day after thanksgiving, (as his lovely wife Danielle had decided to brave the Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year) was coaxed into joining us. Interesting conversation:

"Dave! We're Fying! You have to come!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha!"
"Dude. Deep fried snickers"
"Ha ha ha ha ha"
"Come on dude! Bring a movie and something to fry!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha! Rob, I..."
"Come on!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Put Stacey on for directions"

As you can see, it wasn't the hardest sell. I think I had him at "deep fried snickers". So, after he arrived, we got to frying... The Menu:

we made the batter and dipped everything in the oil ourselves, mind you...

Deep fried and battered Snickers Bars
Battered and fried Oreos
Fried apples
Fried pickles
Homemade potato chips
Homemade French fries
Deep fried biscuits

Ah, doesn't it just make your arteries harden thinking about it? Everything came out fry-tacular. The biggest surprise to me was the fried snickers bars, which I had doubts about. Little did I know that they would turn out to be a little piece of fried heaven. The biggest disappointment was the Oreos. After the snickers, they just couldn't measure up, I suppose. The thing I was most proud of were the potato chips.. I sliced them as thin as I could, dropped them in the oil, Stacey hit them with the Tony's, and they were easily as good as anything from Frito-lay. The Fryday celebration I think, may become an annual one.

Speaking of made up holidays, we've entered the Festivus season, and this is brilliant, for all of you scratching your heads wondering what the hell I'm talking about. I think I may just ditch the whole Christmas thing this year, and get me an aluminum pole.

Now if only I had a few supermodels to wrestle me to the ground.

Friday, November 25, 2005

On the day we give thanks.... for fried turkey! 2005

Well, kids... thanksgiving, and with it the holidays, are upon us. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and one of the few I think should be adopted worldwide. I really think that it's important for us all, no matter our background, to step back every so often and just be thankful for what we have, and the bounty of riches, both material and esoteric that have been bestowed upon us in the course of a year.

That's a pretty heavy thought... must be all the turkey I ate. You think fish is brain food? I scoff in your general direction, and pity those who deny the cerebral cortex boosting power of a huge plate of Turkey.

But I digress. I decided to spend the Holiday with Stacey and Drew up in Brandon. Yeah, I was effectively marooned there for a month this year, but holidays are always best spent in the company of your closest friends. This year, Drew deep fried the turkey. I had to promise my Mom, (who reads my blog, and is fully aware of Drew's talent for accidentally shooting at innocent roofs, and attempting to catch chainsaws) that I wouldn't allow him to hurt himself, or more importantly, me in the process. I assured her that despite news reports to the contrary, frying a turkey is a fairly safe thing.

"Have you ever done this before?" Mom asked.
"Well, no." I said.
"Has Drew?"
"No, but there's a first time for everything."
"Is anyone there who has done this before?"
"Mom, plenty of people fry turkeys every year without incident."
"Is that a no? You stay away from that fryer, Robbie."
"Stacey's Stepdad is here. He's fried one before."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Ma. I'll be careful, Ma."
"Promise me you'll be careful. Drew too."
"I promise Ma."

I felt like a ten year old asking permission to go sledding with the neighborhood troublemaker. Sheesh. Anyway, for those of you keeping track of Drew's antics, the frying operation went off without a hitch, only took about a half hour, and produced the finest turkey I have ever eaten. (Note to the Cerio family readers- better than the famous Barbeque Kosher bird of 87!) The operation went so well in fact, that it left me and Stacey wondering what else we could fry. We pondered all kinds of things... from the mudane (potatoes, corndogs) to the downright silly (Oreos, pickles, hard boiled eggs). We finally decided that today, the Friday after thanksgiving, we were gonna experiment. We bought pickles, potatoes, oreos, hot dogs and batter, and of course, snickers bars. It will be glorious. I'll make it a point to post the results tomorrow. I keep thinking we should rename today "Fry-day". Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

So, on a final note... the things I'm thankful for this year:

1)That my Friends and home survived Hurricane Katrina.
2)That the tragedy gave me an opportunity to visit my family.
3)That despite mankinds' best efforts to the contrary, the world continues to spin safely on it's axis for yet another day.
4)That despite another rough year, My blog is still funny enough to keep Y'all coming back.

Happy thanksgiving to you and yours, and may the coming months give you much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

the silly games we play...

Well, I've been tagged twice on this one... so I guess I'll do it...

The gist of this Meme:

1. Go into your archives
2. Find your 23rd post
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing

Well, mine was:

"It turned out to be less than that... (Props to Mrs. Spanky’s Dad for the 411 on the alternate route.) but in any case, there was no way I was gonna miss the opportunity to visit the hometown of my hero, Superman."

From the now infamous Indiana road trip.

Well, lets see... five other people who I would like to see their results of doing the same (and my prediction for the fifth sentence):

1. Anthony Scilia- "Damn, them italians are a surly bunch"
2. George Bush Sr.- "I still can't believe I threw up on the Japanese ambassador."
3. Bill Clinton- "Bought some cigars today while Hill wasn't looking."
4. Jesus- "It irritates me sometimes when here I am ready to spread my fathers word, and all they want is loaves and fishes."
5. Stephen Hawking- "I'll tell you, if I never hear another Helen Keller joke again, I'll be delighted."

"See you, Me and Julio down by the schoolyard."- On the road with Rob day 21 till journeys end.

Well, it's been a while since I got back to New Orleans, and I'm sure there are those of you that have been wondering why I never really finished my Road Trip tale. The reason is that in real life, there are no neat and tidy endings... The story tends to go on.

Pretty heavy thought for a Sunday morning.

But still, there is more that needs be said. I left Massachusetts fairly sure of my desires. I wanted to own an inn, and figure I need to start working toward that goal. Of course, I know exactly zip about the mechanics of owning an inn, which is a problem. As I made my way into upstate New York I realized that while I love the hospitality industry, and the tour company I work for, I am on the wrong end of the business to bring me nearer to my goals.

What I really need, I realized, is a hotel job.

This epiphany washed over me as I made my way to the Lake George area. The company I work for in New Orleans has a sister company there, and I figured it couldn't hurt to check out their operation. So I did, and then wound up following the lake up through the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga. It was a beautiful drive. The fall foliage was in full color around me, and as I passed through all these quaint little lakeside vacation towns, I kept saying to myself that this is something I want to work toward. I want the inn on the water, yet in the mountains. I want an off season where I have a chance to pursue other things. I feel like I could finally be at peace with myself.

Realizing that it should be easy to find a hotel job in New Orleans right now, I turned my rental car south for the first time in a month. I spent the night at my Aunt's house again, and said my goodbyes the next morning.

The drive home was uneventful. I stopped briefly in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to tour the chocolate plant, and headed home from there. Feeling for the first time in months that everything was gonna be all right.


Miles traveled: 4734

Average price for gas: 2.57 a gallon

Lowest price I paid: 2.29 a gallon

Number of hotels I stayed in: 10

Nicest of the bunch: The Comfort suites in Connecticuit.

Having a renewal of spirit: Priceless. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Goodbye to Rosie, Queen of Carona..."-On the road with Rob day 18-20.

So, I found myself on Cape Cod with no real sense of purpose... Unsure of myself, unsure of my future, and unsure of my life. The dark grays of the North Atlantic on winter's edge seemed to echo something within me. I cruised along the scenic route along the beaches of the cape, through the dunes and along the blacktop in a kind of personal fog.

Still, the realities of my existence kicked in, and I found a room for the night at a quaint little inn in Orleans. "The Ship's Knees inn" is one of those picturesque New England inns you see on the travel channel. Very weathered, on a hill, and just oozing with charm.

Plus that, it's only five minutes from the beach.

I caught the inn during it's off season, which meant that it was really just me and the innkeepers. I was actually surprised that I was able to find such a place during the off-season, as most of their competitors simply close up after the summer. It was owned by this really nice couple, the Butchers, who live on the property with their family. They were great at pointing me toward local eateries and attractions, and for the first night since Katrina hit, I got a really great night's sleep there.

Truth is, I envy their lifestyle. Long before I came to New Orleans, I had always sworn to myself that the way I would someday retire was to have a little New England inn of my very own, and I always envisioned it much like the Ship's Knees. Part home, part hotel, and just generally a fun place to live and work. Slow enough in the off season months to keep you sane, busy enough in the on season to keep you comfortable.

The next day, I went to the beach and saw a seal. At first, I thought it was a plesiosaur... I have never seen seals in their natural environment, after all... And the black head popping up in the north Atlantic took me aback a bit. I realized how stupid I had been and got back into the car, headed across Massachusetts toward upstate New York, feeling renewed, with one thought in my mind: How great it would be to own my own inn.

But where? How? Was this the answer I had been looking for?

Friday, October 28, 2005

"Takin my time but I don't know where"- On the road with Rob- days 9-17. "Really! Where am I going?"

Well, folks... Although I know many of you were waiting with baited breath for more stories from the road, the realities of finding internet access around the country proved far more challenging than I initially hoped they would be. So, here I sit in Brandon again, intent upon returning home tomorrow. So, what happened to my lost week or two? "let me splain... No, is too much... Let me sum up."

I had a great time.

Okay, maybe brevity isn't the best way to go here :)

I spent about a week in NYC catching up with my Dad and Mom, and assorted other friends. With Dad, this involved massive amounts of sitting around on the couch and watching TV. With Mom, a dinner or two. It was the first trip to NY I've taken since I moved to New Orleans that I didn't once go into Manhattan, and spent all my time on good old Staten Island.

Having said that, S.I. is no longer the place I grew up in. The differences are subtle but alarming... A new house or two here, an increase in traffic there, a shopping center in some woods I was too chicken to go into as a kid. Ahhh... The price of progress, I guess.

I had left Brandon feeling... Well, for lack of a better term, "Rudderless". I realized as I headed up I-95 bound for New England, that even before Katrina, my life lacked any serious direction. This feeling really galvanized itself to me on the trip up there. I talked about this a little with Dad before I left NY, and his answer was remarkably un-Dad like: "All of us lack direction, Robbie..." He said to me, "No one ever really knows where life will take them... But sometimes, that's just how life works. Sure, you can plan, and dream, and prepare yourself to take advantage of things, but bottom line is you don't know where you'll end up." He backed up this statement with a few choice examples from his life I won't go into here.

Normally, Pop would have been a wise ass and handed me a compass and a map. The apple falls not far from the tree I guess.

Anyway, I left NYC headed toward Cape Cod in something of a fog, both literally and spiritually. I began to think about all the advice people have given me over the years and what Dad had said as I made my way up the Connecticuit coast, and to Mystic, CN. Mystic is a beautiful old New England town, rich with history, culture, and charm. I looked around for a bit, and even did a little job hunting. Unfortunately, everywhere I went I received the same reply: "Sorry, we're not hiring now, come back when our season starts up again." I spent the night at a really nice hotel with a nearby Indian casino. The casinos don't have an off season, but even lacking direction I knew that I don't want to work in a casino.

So where did this leave me? Bored, alone, and with a full tank of gas in the car. Cape Cod was not far... But part of me wondered exactly what the point would be in continuing my journey. Had I already found the answers I had been seeking? Were they just not what I hoped? Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of the trip to find out, readers.

By the numbers:

Lowest price for gas: $2.21 per gallon

Stupid place name: Pickle's Knob

Realization: The native Americans have quite the racket going with them casinos.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

"I'm on my waaay"-On the road with Rob days 3-8 "A New York state of Mind"

Well, I'm sure many of you have been wondering what happened to me after I left the blue ridge mountains.. I'm sure many of you have speculated that the earth itself opened up and swallowed me whole... well, that's in a way true.. but I'll get to that in a moment.

The trip has been very wet thus far. I mean almost non-stop rain and drizzle since I left the parkway on saturday. It's to the point up here in the Tri-state area (NY, NJ, CN) that there is a lot of flooding. Just what I needed... more freakin flooding. I swear, I am so living on a houseboat.

Well, on saturday morning, I had actually considered going white water rafting... but the weather sucked, so I instead, went to a cave.

Don't laugh... only been in a cave once before. thought it would be neat. Again, I figure the whole "extremes" thing applied here... I went from 6000 ft or so one day to 560 ft below ground the next. How cool is that? I was surprised to find that the cave was still higher (above sea level) than new orleans. go figure.

From there, I drove up through virginia, but I passed on DC and went streight on to NYC. I don't know why... I guess I was homesick. Soon, the beautiful blues of the Blue Ridge mountains gave way to the angry greys of the north atlantic in fall. Quite the change.

Seeing Mom and Dad again was great. My parents are some very cool, if quirky, people. I also had the opportunity to visit my Aunt upstate in New Paltz, NY and bond with my cousin Jesse over video games.

Ahhhh...nothing brings the generations together like "Need for Speed 2".

So, My aunt is one of those italian-american ladies you read about... the kind that feeds you at least once every half hour when you walk in the door. I must've put on at least ten pounds, and was only there for a day or so...

I've also had the chance to catch up with a few folks from the old days... seems everyone I knew "back then" is now married with at least two kids. I feel so out of place... like my life has lacked direction or something these past few years.

On that note, I also have decided to extend my trip a few days for some more "reflection time" on my part. My life does lack direction, and with the knowledge that it will be at least mid-november before my job really kicks in again... Maybe I can find some. New York is a very lonely place, and I don't feel it will ever again be my home...

By the numbers-

Miles traveled so far- 1509.6

Price of gas in NYC- 2.89 per gallon

Price of gas when I left Brandon- 2.79 per gallon

Friends caught up with- 3

friends left to go- 5

Moment of clarity- When I beat Cousin Jesse in the second game we played, and he looked at me and said: "Whoa! Robbie's got game!" (I owe it all to the Ronald J. Nunez school of driving...convieniently located in Fun Arcade)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"I don't know where I'm going.."- On the road with Rob- days 2&3- "Top o the world, Ma!"

Well, as you all know, New Orleans is 6 or so feet below sea level, and I decided while planing this little voyage that I wanted to get as far above sea level as possible. Try 3752 feet! or the altitude of the Bluffs lodge where I spent last night. I drove up the blue ridge parkway, and loved every second of it. beautiful winding road through the mountains, tunnels through solid rock, viaducts over deep chasms, with wonderful overlooks every few miles. It was great!

"there aren't many places like this around anymore" the check in clerk told me as she handed me my key, and apologized for the lack of phones, televisions, or internet service in the rooms. When I pulled out my cell phone, she just laughed at me. Apparently, I would need to climb the rest of the frickin mountain if I expected to get a signal, and even then it was iffy. I ignored the "stupid city folk" look in her eye and spent the night enjoying the mountain air by the outdoor fireplace. The folks I met were friendly and brimming with curiosity about my all-but-destroyed city.

Somewhere, around when a deer scampered across the field behind the hotel, I realized the clerk was right... there aren't many places like that anymore... It was also exactly what I needed. I headed north, the next morning (after trying some of the best black cherry preserves on the planet) and got as far as maryland. there is much more to day 3, but I'm tired and need sleep.

Miled traveled day 2- 150 day 3- 500

Cokes drunk on trip thus far- 8

Best quirky church sign- "Wal-mart isn't the only place for saving"

Revalation of the day- every road goes somewhere.

Stupid town name du jour- "Cooch Gap, NC" (snicker...)

Price of Jar of Black cherry preserves- $10.00

Price I would have still paid- $50.00

Most disturbing natural wonder- Natural Bridge, VA... somone roped it off and they charge you 18 bucks to even glimpse it! I passed in horror.

Oddest fact learned- The blue ridge parkway constructin began September 11, 1935.

New York or burst tommorow!

Friday, October 07, 2005

"Well i'm on my way"-Rob from the road day 1-"Chasing Katrina"

Well, dear readers, I am indeed on my way on a month or so road trip to "find my placein the world" I drove up through alabama into the Great Smokey Mountains of tennesee and the carolinas... So named because in certain types of weather, the fog formations make them appear to actually smoke! I never would have known this had I not seen it with my own eyes. One thing that suprised me though, was how far the devestation left by the hurricane that has uprooted my life extended... I realized at some point that I was actually following almost exactly the path the storm had taken after it passed over louisiana and mississippi... I was still seeing downed trees and signs as far north as tuscolusa, alabama. Powerful storm. Powerful images.

Observations from the Road today:

Distance traveled: ~600 miles- from Brandon MS, to Asheville, NC

Average price of gas: $2.89

Stupid town name du jour: Chunky, MS.

Unusual sight of the day... two people running after a runnaway trailer labeled "$4000 takes it"

Great revalation: I think too much about a particular woman.

Great revalation #2: Paul Simon writes one hell of a road song. the first three tracks of his greatest hits album are the greatest!

Great revalation #3: I have no idea what the "coast" button on the cruise control does... and 70mph (110 kph- thinkin of all you european types) is no time for me to find out. anyone know?

Till tomorrow, y'all... the Blue Ridge Parkway beckons.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Seven things you didn't know about Rob

7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. Pee in all the oceans of the world
2. Drive up the California coast from L.A. all the way to Portland. Maybe next week.
3. Be a Dad
4. Perform a Miricle
5. Write a book
6. Run for public office
7. Become Notorious

7 things I can do:

1. Fly a plane (fly, yes… land, very iffy.)
2. Sail a boat
3. Make others smile
4. Anger sleeping bats with my laugh
5. Work out a mystery in the first three chapters
6. Sing
7. the “cowboy shuffle”, “the electric slide”, and the “Texas two step”

7 things I cannot do:

1. Ride a horse
2. Juggle
3. Make a really good Alfredo sauce from scratch
4. Build a functioning auto engine from a block of steel
5. Get blood from a stone
6. Change the course of a mighty river
7. Bend steel in my bare hands

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

1. A pretty smile
2. A great sense of humor
3. Deep, Dark Brown eyes
4. Dark, silky hair
5. A high tolerence for “geek speak”
6. The ability to converse well on a variety of subjects
7. A willingness to listen

7 things I say most often:

1. “Not for nothing…”
2. “Sweet”
3. “mmmmm...(whatever is aplicable)”
4. “the point is…”
5. “anyway…”
6. “so…”
7. “antiquing”

7 celebrity crushes:

1. Jeri Ryan
2. Lauren Graham
3. Rachel Ray
4. Catherine Zeta-Jones
5. Christie Brinkley
6. Terry Farrel
7. Teri Hatcher

7 people I want to do this:

1. Sleepy
2. Sneezy
3. Grumpy
4. Bashful
5. Doc
6. Dopey
7. Steven Hawking

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Down the Mississippi, down to New Orleans.

"I wake up in the morning
And I raise my weary head
I got an old coat for a pillow
And the earth was last night's bed
I don't know where I'm going
Only God knows where I've been
I'm a devil on the run
A six gun lover
A candle in the wind
"-- Blaze of Glory, Jon Bon Jovi

That phrase echoed in the speakers of the jeep as I left Brandon this morning... Somehow, the soundtrack of my life never disappoints me. I was bound, as you probably know, for New Orleans, or at least my little corner of it. It's hard to describe how I felt as I put the cruise control on 75mph (120 kph for all my metric-using fans) and told myself to just keep the damn machine pointed south, and three hours later you should be there.

The trip from Jackson to Brandon isn't quite like a drive to the corner store, after all... And even if it was, I would probably have just walked and saved the gas.

The trip was uneventful until I hit Manchac... about 50 miles or so from New Orleans... Manchac is basically a fishing village on the bayou. It's home to Middendorfs, which serves the best fried catfish in the south. The simple functionality of the homes there always impressed me... no-nonsense numbers on stilts, only accessible by boat, built with only fishing and sleeping while fishing in mind. Most of them, sadly are gone now. Middendorfs is still there, but didn't look like it would be open for business for a while. I also saw standing water where there used to be a patch of land that comprised the town... Reclaimed by the swamps around it.

As I passed over the bonne carre spillway, I could see the train tracks that carried me safely out of the city a month ago... Or, rather what was left of them... The railway was washed out in many places, and Amtrak crews were trying to rebuild.

I went south there, across the river and along route 90. Destruction and trash was still everywhere... Couldn't go more than two blocks without seeing a building down. I started to worry at this point. I pulled into my Job's satellite office to see if there was any word... But the best I could get was "maybe in a month or two" not the most optimistic answer, but better than I hoped... I have a job when the company resumes operations... Probably in a month if all goes well. Good thing.

From there, I went straight to my apartment. The checkpoint to enter the parish was surreal, but one of New Orleans finest smiled and welcomed me back. Still there... no broken windows or doors. no flooding. Just as I left it. Relief washed over me as I was startled by a c7 cargo plane passing twenty feet over my house. The military is everywhere in the point, as it has become the launch point for the relief efforts on the eastbank. Very surreal. I also saw my neighbor, Keylee, outside washing her car. Her husband, Jack was one of the brave ones who stayed through the storm. One day, I'll have to sit down and buy that man a beer.

After catching up with Keylee fro a few minutes, I opened the door to my house, still half expecting a horror to await me inside. Everything was just as I had left it, except for the mouse bait, which had apparently been eaten by that pest, Pepino.

Yes, it was vermin, but I had named the mouse which had been keeping me up at night with all that rustling. It's dead now (it did eat all the poison) so get off my case. Of course I never did find the body, so.... Maybe Pepino just moved to Florida or something.

I gave the house the once over, and everything was fine. The power was on, the hot water was still hot, and even the cable TV worked! I even opened the fridge, thanking the good lord for the bachelor lifestyle that only had it filled with Mustard, Teriyaki sauce, and some fritos... no smell to speak of. Then, like an idiot pushing his luck after not getting electrocuted the first three times he touched the third rail, I opened the freezer. Completely oblivious to the two pounds of shrimp and pound of venison I had in there.

For weeks when the house had no power.

Sometimes, words fail you in trying to describe something... But if you take the worst smell you've ever smelled, add a few tons of rotting trash, and microwave some limburger cheese on top of it, you get the idea. Keep in mind, folks... I grew up downwind of the world's largest landfill. I know from stink. Nothing ever prepared me for this, though. Still, remember that I was a boy scout, and came prepared for this... Face mask, vapo rub, disposable gloves, trash bags, 409, vinegar, baking soda... I was set, and it took me a few hours to clean it all out.

I was sitting on my stoop for a while after, having a sandwich and a coke while the house aired out a bit, when my cell phone rang. It was Donald, who lived in Chalmette. For those of you unaware of what that means... chalmette was part of the city that was under twelve feet of water, and still under three feet of muck. He was calling to ask me how my place was, and to tell me that while he still has a job, he and his Dad had nowhere to stay.

I realized several things in that moment as I figured out how to answer...
1) Despite my whining to the contrary, I had lost virtually nothing compared to some others.
2) My friends are something else.
3) I still have a job, a home, and friends in New Orleans. How could I have ever been thinking about leaving?
4) I wouldn't be needing to use my apartment for at least a month... And have always wanted to travel a bit, anyway.

I offered my place to Donald on the spot. He mulled it over with his Dad for a bit, but accepted. I felt totally like I was "paying forward" the generosity that Drew and Stacey have this past month.

They picked up the key, I grabbed a few of my things, and was about to leave when my EX-MOTHER-IN-LAW calls my cell phone. Similar situation to Donalds.. But ten minutes too late. I felt bad, and I tried to find them a place to stay, but had no luck. It didn't help that she started the conversation with an insult, and refused to tell me anything about how they were, or where... Even though I have been trying to contact them since the storm to make sure they were okay. I spent a solid hour and a half driving around to every B&B I knew, every landlord I thought might have a place open, and asking everyone I knew in my neighborhood if they could take Char and her family in. I called and apologized to Her for not being able to help. She huffed, and hung up on me.

I hate that woman. SO glad the divorce is final.

Anyway, I left for Brandon confident in my future for the first time in months, stopping briefly to check on Kristen and her family (her neighborhood flooded, but is now habitable... Story for another blog.).

I have some money... The bills will be paid... My apartment is being used for a good cause... The open road beckons... And my life will be waiting for me when I return.

A good day. :)

"Well I'’m on my way
I don't know where IÂ’m going
I'’m on my way
I'’m taking my time
But I don'’t know where
Goodbye to Rosie the queen of Corona
See you, me and julio
Down by the schoolyard"
-- Down by the Schoolyard, Simon and Garfunkel

Monday, September 26, 2005

Homeward Bound...

"And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And ev’ry stranger’s face I see reminds me that I long to be,
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home... where my thought’s escaping,
Home... where my music’s playing,
Home... where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.
" --Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel

I know... starting the entry with a Simon and freakin Garfunkel quote? am I loosing it? where the heck is the typical Billy Joel reference? I'll get to it, I promise. the S&G quote is a little appropriate right now.

Well, kids... The time has come. Tomorrow, for the first time in a month, I am going to make the trek further south to Algiers Point in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am homeward bound for the first time in a long time.

Home. I'm going home.

Except, I suppose... I'm really not. It's a funny word.... it's more than where you hang your hat, or where your mail comes to, isn't it? the past few weeks have taught me a few things about what "home" really is. My home is where my friends and job are. My house is really secondary to that, I suppose. Being that I still have no job, and my friends are scattered to the proverbial winds, I suppose that apartment back in New Orleans, regardless of it's condition, is no longer really my "home". Knowing that, my plan is to grab what few things I have that matter to me, pack up whatever else I have time for, and head back to Brandon for now.

It's funny making the list of "essentials" in my head... deciding stuff that is really important to me... things that no matter where I hang my hat, make it my "home". I think a lot of you would probably be suprised at what I think is important to me at this point... other than the obvious stuff, like my clothes and computer. I find myself wanting most of all to grab the pictures of my family, (Right now, somewhere, my brother is feeling his blood pressure rise in satisfaction upon reading that.)I find myself wanting my wedding pictures, and the painting Char gave me on my 32nd birthday, (even though my divorce was finalized on the 20th- ladies, take notice... parents, hide your daughters!) I find myself wanting the framed copy of "footprints" my aunt gave me when I first moved into my own place, (even though she sent me a new one as part of a care package two weeks ago) and most of all, I want my freaking teddy bear.

Well, gotta run now... wish me luck. I will of course check in with a blog entry tomorrow, and let y'all know how everything went. Now, more words of wisdom from the piano man...

"Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you

If I traveled all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There's a roof above and good walls all around
You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house 'cause you're my home
" --You're My Home, Billy Joel

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Settling into life in Brandon...

So, life goes on, apparently... right or wrongness of it being irrelevant. As many of you can imagine, it's been a long month or so. I still haven't gotten back to my apartment to survey any damage and/or take inventory on my stuff. I have come to the conclusion that I will not be returning to New Orleans anytime soon, but still don't intend on doing much else but enjoying Mr. and Mrs. Spanky's hospitality until such time as I can.

Oh, why haven't I gotten back yet? Well, while some of you may have heard that the Mayor lifted the mandatory evacuation of Orleans for Algiers Point, (where DOA headquarters sits) that lifting lasted all of a day. they opened it Monday, I was planning to go down there Tuesday, but by Monday night, FEMA talked the mayor into closing the parish again because of hurricane Rita, which was still days away.

My frustration level peaked at this point, and I have no doubt that if I was prone to high blood pressure, it would have blown my freakin head off.

So, here I sit, in Brandon, waiting for Drew to do something foolish. He hasn't done anything really blog-worthy since the chainsaw catching incident, but as we were repainting the frame for the back door last weekend, I kept looking at him with a scene from the Simpsons in mind: Lenny, Carl and others are gathered at the doorway to sector 7G, all intently watching Homer at work. Then Lenny says, "Okay... everyone be quiet... he's about to do something stupid."

Ah, life in semi-rural Mississippi. Gotta love it. At least until THEY LET ME BACK TO MY FREAKIN HOUSE!!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Into the breach...

Well, we have returned. Actually, we returned the day we left, but y'all know how lazy I can be sometimes; Why, just the other day I instant messaged Stacey, (who was in the kitchen) to tell her to bring me some cookies in the next room. Yup... pure unadulterated laziness.

I know it seems like I'm being a little glib in the face of disaster, but like Pops Kahunah always said, "sometimes you just have to step back and laugh."

Slidell was quite the mess. The eye of Katrina passed right over the town, destroying a lot of stuff. Fortunately, we encountered no looters or anything. Getting to Drew's childhood home was not as challenging as we had feared... until we tried to pull into his driveway. A huge pine tree (like a hundred year old pine tree) had been snapped in half, and stretched across the front of the yard, limiting our access. We hiked around through a neighbors yard and approached the house.

Many of the trees surrounding the house were like the one out front... snapped in half by the storm. there seemed to be no water damage though. We entered the house and walked cautiously around, checking each room for any sign of intruders or damage.

Drew's 70 year old Mom kept trying to get ahead of us, not seeming to understand that there could still be danger here. She's quite the fiesty old bird. As I entered the "great room" (so named because its...uh... great) I completely missed that there was a huge six-foot tree limb poking through the ceiling. In my defense, I was looking down for water on the carpet and such, and missed it until Drew said "Uh.. Rob?" and pointed it out. Fortunately, that seemed to be the only damage to the house, and it caused some minor water damage in that one part of the house. Drew breathed a sigh of relief, feeling very lucky indeed. Little did we know how lucky.

The next thing I did, was leave Drew and his mom to bicker, and walk with Jose (Drew's mom's neighbor, who was with us) to check his house. We climbed over, under, and around downed trees to get over to his property, and the sight that greeted us there was one I will not soon forget...

There were two massive trees that had fallen across the roof of his house, smashing his front porch, one of which was a huge old tree that has simply snapped. When Jose opened the front door, the smell was awful... the entire house had been standing in at least two feet of water for an unknown length of time. The water had destroyed everything below waist level in his beautiful home. (think of your home now... what would be left?) The stench from two refrigerators worth of spoiled food permiated the house. I have never before smelled anything that actually made me puke, but when I foolishly opened one of the fridges, that did it. We went out to the garage, and could tell by the water line that there had been at least four feet of water in there, completely flooding the car that jose had lest behind. I came back inside to find Jose cleaning the dishes... "a little like re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic..." I thought to myself.

We spent the rest of the afternoon patching holes, salvaging valuables, and thanking God that none of us had chosen to ride out the hurricane. We headed back to Jackson emotionally and physically exhausted. I could tell how stressed Drew was, because to follow his blowing a hole in the roof incident, he at one point tried to catch a falling chainsaw. (it wasn't turned on, but still!) I swear that boy should have just joined the circus as a daredevil.

Ladies and Gents... I have said it before, and I'll say it again... A category five hurricane is nothing you ever want to f**k with.

Monday, September 05, 2005

And now for something completely stupid...

Well, friends... when the going gets tough, the tough get stupid. Today, Drew and I are going into the hurricane-ravaged town of slidell with his mom and a neighbor to check on his childhood home.

There are a lot of things we're worried about with this little expedition... Fuel being the most worrisome. It's a 400 mile round trip, and the range on Drew's jeep is only about 300 miles. Normally, this wouldn't present much of a problem, but gasoline is scarce in the gulf south right now. We also worry about mob violence... the last thing any of us wants is to be stranded because someone stole the first car they saw. So, to use an old hunting term, we're going loaded for bear.

Packing the car for this was surreal... Water and food for two days (just in case)... roofing supplies, a chainsaw to clear downed trees, and a couple of guns for our personal protection. I feel like we're in one of those post apocolyptic "Mad Max" movies.

I'm very uneasy with the guns.... I was always taught not to even bring a gun unless you are prepared to use it. Don't know that I am, but I suppose I'll cross that particular bridge when I come to it. Yesterday, Drew scared the crap out of us by accidentally firing one in the house as he was checking to see if it was loaded. Fortunately, he only blew a hole through his roof, which he later sealed with some caulk. I keep kidding him that if something bad happens, all we need to do is make sure the bad guys are in an attic.

Well, we're about to leave... I'll check in tommorrow as to the condition of things along the Northshore.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Fall Of New Orleans

Warning: This post may lack the humor and candor you have come to expect from us here at Dogs of Atlantis. The management apologizes for our remarkable lack of a sense of humor in the wake of hurricane Katrina, and promises that as soon as said sense of humor returns, we will attempt a return to what passes as normal around here.-DOA Management

"Do you do that every time you leave?" my next door neighbor said to me as I uttered a quiet prayer for the safety of my home as I left that morning, feeling slightly foolish as I flippantly told her, "Only when there is a Cat 5 hurricane headed this way."

"I'll see you in a few days..." I said as I left the lighthouse that serves as the office for the New Orleans Steamboat Company; Never thinking that it might be in fact, the last time I would see many of my co-workers.

"Looting? It would never come to that after a hurricane!" I snickered at the ignorance of a delightful South African couple I had met on what I would later find out would be the last train out of New Orleans for a very long time.

My hometown has all but been destroyed. Mobs wander the streets, taking what they need to survive and then some. The only rule is the rule of the gun. Personally, I have been rendered functionally homeless and jobless, unable to access what little funds I have in my bank accounts, which were all in local banks. As my good friend Javafoofoo put it, "Our beautiful city, our culturally enriched city is quickly becoming a no man's land"

There are a lot of things that are going through my mind right now. My emotions are all over the freakin place.

First, gratitude that I find myself in the company of my good friends, who you all know as Drew and Stacey from the comic strip. It is soley by their good graces that I currently have a roof over my head and food in my tummy. I have thanked them about a billion times for this over the past few days... but it still doesn't seem like enough.

Secondly, I feel a good bit of old-fashioned fear for my future. I have no frickin idea what I'm gonna do right now. Everyone I talk to to let know I'm okay asks me this, and I'm running out of glib responses.

Third, I feel a tremendous amount of sorrow for my friends and neighbors that I know chose to ride out the storm in their homes. So much is being made of the refugees in the superdome and the convention center, that I think we've forgotten completely about the people that are still huddled in their homes with no water, power, and dwindling supplies. My friend and co-worker Mack is among that number. When I spoke with him on tuesday, his phone was still working, and he had banded together with some neighbors in his apartment complex to share food, water, and mutual protection. This was before the mall across the street from him burned to the ground.

Fourth, I feel a lot of anger toward the Federal, State, and City officials for not being better prepared for this. FEMA has been saying for years that exactly this scenario would play itself out if a Cat 4 or better struck our city. Admittedly, they were all overwhelmed, but why weren't better provisions made to equip the superdome to function better as the shelter of last resort? Surely they could have spared a storage room or two to pack in a hundred thousand MRE's, and enough water for a few days. they know the superdome's capacity... they could have worked it out.

Lastly, I feel a great deal of despair... at knowing my life will never be the same after this... my friends have been scattered to the four corners of the earth, and it may be a very long time before I see any of them again... If I ever do. I long very much to be handed a very cold beer by a beautiful woman in my neighborhood bar, laughing together at the latest supermarket tabloid news, or something equally meaningless.

Okay... starting to cry now, and I can't afford to replace Drew's keyboard if I short it out. I will keep y'all posted. Thank you for letting me rant about this a little.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

safe from the rising tides

As many of you know, our Dogs of atlantis team is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. First let me say that all are safe and sound on our end, and we are currently unsure as to when normal operations will resume.

Uncertainty is a difficult thing to deal with, as you might imagine. the only certainty in my life right now is that it will never be the same again. while it seems Casa Kahunah was spared any serious damage, the results of Katrina have left your humble correspondant with no livelyhood, and his friends scattered to the far corners of the country.

I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

He's Back.

So, the above is partially true... I evacuated fleeing hurricane Dennis, but got stuck up in Jackson for about a week, enjoying the hospitality of Mr and Mrs Spanky. Turned out that the Hurricane never hit New Orleans, but instead hit... Jackson. Anyway, it was a bitch finding a way back, but fortunately for me, FooFoo took pity on me and gave me a lift home. Unfortunately, not having access to my computer caused me to fall right out of my cartooning habit, and it's taken me a month to work some cartoon time into my schedule. Don't know that it will be a daily thing again for a while, but I'm workin on it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Still M.I.A....

So, where have I been? In a little town called busy. Let's just say there are months where everything goes right, and there are months when you didn't follow your uncle's advice and go to truck driving school.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What happened?

So, you're probably wondering where I've been for the past month, and where the cartoons went... well, life happens folks, and it has not been the best month to be Rob. I'll go into more detail over the next few days, but for now, enjoy the cartoon.

Friday, July 01, 2005

tick, tick, tick...

More silliness tomorrow... Right now, a big birthday shout out to JavaFooFoo! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Geocaching for beginners...

A few weeks ago, Drew got a GPS (global positioning system) unit, and despite my revisionist history in the above cartoon, his wife knows all about Geocaching. So far, we've found three or four of these things, and never failed to have a good time doing it.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

it's miller time.

Well, the stage is set, the curtains pulled back... it's time to make with the funny.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

To my female friends...

Just so everyone knows, I have a lot of good-looking yet platonic female friends... I hope that the "weathergirl" character, Linda, is a composite character that does them all justice. And please, for heavens sake, Don't fight with each other about which one of you it's supposed to be... and certainly not in a mud pit wearing Bikinis. :)

The Dogs of Atlantis management frowns upon the above use of reverse psychology. If however, it works... send us photographic proof of said incident in the form of 8 by 10 glossies, and we will damn well make sure it never happens again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm a nice guy, I swear!

I thank you all for the overwhelming support of the new Dogs of Atlantis format. I'm glad so many of you have been tuning in daily to let me tickle your funny bone. Of course any cute women that would like me to tickle their funny bone in person, drop me a line. I am also available for bachelorette parties.

One thing that I have found is that many people, (weither they know it or not) give me fodder for the strip. Now, if you see yourselves reflected here, and don't approve... please remember, I'm just trying to be funny, and wouldn't post something lest I thought it would make everyone laugh. I also wouldn't post something that I think is hurtful or in bad taste, or for that matter that I didn't find genuinely funny.

In short, I promise, I'm not trying to be mean... it just sometimes comes out that way.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

We all have a friend like this...

Many of you will recognize the persona in the above cartoon as my good friend, RedWolf*. Now, it is true that he talks an awful lot, but it is also true that if I was ever stuck with a flat tire at 2am, he would be the first guy I would call to change it, knowing that he would drag his butt out of bed to help me simply because I asked him to.

Redwolf loves the english language, and uses it... a lot. He's a great guy that simply finds all the other background details of a story so compelling that he feels the need to share them with those around him every time he has your attention.

At length, without commercial interruption.

It is also interesting that he is the only one of my friends to pursue a carrer in law... but I swear I would be saying such nice things even if I wasn't afraid he might sue me for libel. :)

*internet handle used to protect the innocent... namely me. it's all about plausable deniability, folks.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Friday, June 17, 2005

On friends and others...

What forces bring someone into your life? and what forces determine the role of that person in your life? Does God sit up there on a giant word processor and type out who is to be Friend, lover, protagonist, antagonist?

Or is it just dumb luck?

Pretty heavy thought for a friday, but as you all know, anything that winds up on my mind tends to wind up here, as well...

No comments so far on the new format... what does everyone think?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sometimes, it's all about yourself...

Good comedy is always drawn from your own life and experiences. Trouble is, the more those around you see themselves reflected in your comedy, the less they tend to like it. With my webpage and subsequent blog, I have run into this problem more than once. It's all well and good that through this medium I have opened my life up for the world to see in all its gory detail... (well, not too detailed; I have seen blogs that insist on telling you what they had for breakfast every morning... sheesh! who the hell cares on your internal struggle as to weither to have corn flakes or a freakin hard boiled egg!?!)

Sorry... got a little sidetracked. The point is that I have opened my life up to all you fine people... my friends and family haven't. (The blog links to the right aside) Regardless, things happen to me that I find funny or need to make light of while they are around, so that leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I plan on countering this by creating a series of charecters to only loosely represent those in my life that I care about. So if you are one of these folks, I promise you that no insult is intended, and I will swear up and down that it's not even you if someone asks, okay? Hopefully, these charecters I come up with will take on a life of their own, and you will no longer see people reflected, but the inner soul of the charecter.

Ultimately, I suppose that means some facet of myself. Bet you didn't know that comics were that deep, huh? Puts the whole Charlie Brown/Lucy thing in a whole new perspective, don't it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

and now for something completely different....

Well, boys and girls, welcome to the new and improved Dogs of Atlantis. Having been inspired by my recent trip to NYC, and the MOCCA art festival, I have decided that I'm going to start presenting cartoons with each and every blog entry... this will not only serve to hone my skills for cartooning, but allow me to build a body of work without thinking too hard about things like quality.

The Dogs of Atlantis management would like to refute that last statement... we here at DOA are committed to bringing you the best in quality blogs.

Today's topic is baggage. We all carry some, weither we know it or not... some more than others.
Me, I admit freely that I carry a lot of it. I have always felt that my baggage makes me the man I am. Like Captain kirk in Star Trek 5, I feel that I need my pain to make me whole. Unfortunately, sometimes this gets in the way of me being what you would call a fully functioning participant in life's adventure. I have issues, my friends might say... but when those issues begin to get in the way of how I relate to others, it becomes a problem.

Anyone know of a good airport nearby? I hear that losing your baggage is a problem with flying.

So, as I said, visited NYC this week... it was a trip filled with many great moments. Moments of happiness, moments of peace, moments of laughter, and of course at least one really good moment of stupidity. I had a great time, but more than anything else, the trip served to re-enforce something that has been bothering me scince my divorce went down... I don't feel like I fit in anywhere anymore. Time was, when I Didn't feel like I fit in in New Orleans, I could just console myself that I fit in in New York. That is no longer true.

So where does this leave me, dear reader? a man without a country? What is it that makes a place the one that one belongs?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A word from the management... Posts a-comin.

We apologize for the delay in posting lately, and assure you that begining with the next post, we will introduce a new, vibrant format for our DOA Visitors to enjoy. The recent famine of posts is primarily due to our lead contributor, Rob the Webkahunah, being frightfully busy with two jobs. To assure that he gets a few entries down, we here at DOA Locked him in a sensory deprivation box for a few days, while taking turns shocking him with a Tazer. Fun, yes... but equally counter-productive. Rob did however report to us that he was one with the universe in the box, but we really think he was simply one with Boise, Idaho; That helps no one at all... least of all us.

In short, stand by dear reader, good times are a-comin.

Dogs of Atlantis Management

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Is it just me, or is the Dogs of Atlantis weathergirl lookin hot tonight? and I don't just mean because it's 93 degrees!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The generation gap gets wider..

A curious thing happened to me today. An Older friend and co-worker, Red, and I were talking about movies. During the conversation, I mentioned that my plans for this evening included going to see “Revenge of the Sith”, and this wonderful woman whose taste in movies I have found to be exemplary, looked at me with a blank stare.

“What’s that?” Red said.
“Star Wars.” I said.
“Oh…” She says, looking still as blank as before, “I’ve never seen it.”

Now this shocked me the same way it would to find out, after all these years, that there really was a Santa that was killed by the FBI shortly after Christmas, 1963.

“NEVER SEEN STAR WARS?” I said, “did you spend the past thirty years in a coma or something?”
“Well…” She says, “I think I’ve seen parts of them.”
“Parts of them.”
“Yeah… I remember one with a big snail.”
“Not Doctor Doolitle?”
“No… this one had a deeper voice.”
“Oh,” I say, “Jabba the hut. Return of the Jedi.”
“Right. I also remember one with these animal looking things stomping through the snow.”
“The Empire strikes back?”
“That may have been it. I also remember this big hairy thing going ‘ooo-ooo’ a lot”
“Yeah. It hung out with that guy played by Indiana Jones.”
“Sounds right.”

Well, you get the drift. A surreal conversation to say the least. One of the first movies I can actually remember seeing in the theatre was Star Wars with my Dad. I was seven, and I can still remember thrilling to the triumph of good over evil. It was a message that my young mind never forgot. To hear someone else I respect just not be interested in it really shocked me. But then again, it shocks her that I've never seen "fiddler on the roof"

Ahhh... if I were a rich man. Still, I do subscribe to Netflix now, so if anyone has any good movie suggestions, please let me know.

Friday, May 13, 2005

"Lord of the sith" sure beats "lord of the dance"

Just hope I don't make that leap to Darth Kahunah, people.
You scored as Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin Skywalker






Obi Wan Kenobi


Darth Vader




General Grievous


Clone Trooper


Mace Windu




Padme Amidala


Emperor Palpatine


Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The quest for fun...

Not the quest for peace... (god, that movie was awful)

Howdy again gentle reader... I would like to spout off on a topic that has come to my attention of late. America isn't having enough fun. Why do I say this? Because I've been looking around lately for entertaining things to do with my oh-so precious free time, and have been coming up absolutely empty.

I know... "He lives in a great city like New Orleans, and can't seem to have any fun?" You ask yourself. It's not so much that I'm not having fun; After all, where the webkahunuah is, good times tend to follow. It's just that no one else is.

To wit: How many times do you make plans to hang with friends only to sit around looking at each other saying blankly "I dunno, what do you want to do?" As a result, you wind up doing nothing.

I've been sitting around wondering why this is lately. Basically, I figure we as a people have been served up so much prepackaged entertainment that we have all but lost the fine art of keeping ourselves amused.

Think about it... sure, we go bowling, hang out on the beach, dine out, shoot pool, go to bars and drink booze, go to bookstores and drink coffee, Catch the occasional band at the local pub, watch the occasional movie and LOTS of T.V., (That was one crazy night!) But when wast the last time anyone really did anything that was fresh and different? I'm sure that we all occasionally break this rut with the odd special occasion (like a birthday scavenger hunt) But why does it only have to be on special occasions?

We're living in an amazing time, people! We have made it past the projected date for armageddon unscathed! we should be out there living our lives to their fullest, not just sitting around waiting for others to entertain us! Sure, americans are docile, fat and happy... but we need to keep our minds working!

So hop to it, people... do something different today, and tell em Rob sent ya. Let me know how it goes... I'll be in the Dogs of Atlantis den watching the Space:1999 marathon.

Just kidding... I'll be out there too. :)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The importance of a good cookie...

Howdy, everyone.. it's been a while since my last post, but work has been hectic, leaving me little time to drop the blog thing...

Sorry... just watched MTV's "Cribs".

Anyway, I wanted to share with the blogsphere something really amusing that has recently happened to me. To begin with, I.. (AHEM) Have a date tonight. Yes, a date. With a woman and everything. But how the date came about is the funny part.

I have a close friend of the opposite sex that I enjoy spending time with. (The identity of said friend will remain undisclosed for the time being... no speculating, please.) Of course, when a guy and a gal spend a certain amount of time together, it leads to speculation on the part of just about everyone around them about what exactly is going on between the two.

Of course, the answer is "Nothing".

Anyway, I was having lunch (Chinese food...mmmmmm) with some friends, and one of them commented that their MOM asked what was going on between me and this particular friend.

So, I sit there, slightly embarassed about the fact that my social life is such great conversation material to my friends family, and suddenly think to myself "Hey... maybe I should ask her out." As I'm pondering this, the check comes with the traditional fortune cookie. I open it and the fortune reads... and I am not making this up... "It's time you asked that special someone out on a date."

Who am I to argue at that point, right? So I call her, and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hey, a cookie told me to ask you out.

Her: Huh?

Me: Yeah, but it occured to me that the cookie is right, and I should ask you out on a real "date".

What followed was a philisopical discussion of what constitutes a "date", but I won't bore you with that. Suffice it to say, I have a date tonight... probably dinner and a movie.

So, the moral of this story is to pay attention to whatever a tasty dessert has to say, okay?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

a moment of levity...

Reason number 47 why I love the paranormal job: It's the only place i've ever worked where it's perfectly ordinary for my clairvoyant co-worker to say "Goodnight Rob, have a safe trip home... but remember... the sun's in taurus, with a full moon in scorpio and a total lunar eclipse tonight, so be extra careful."

I couldn't help but smile. I love this job.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Letter to Rob, age 20, From Rob, age 35.

Dear Rob,

Congratulations, Kid... you will indeed make it to age 35, where you will meet a time traveling version of yourself from further in the future who refused to tell me at what age I will (that is... you will... or maybe it’s he did) travel through time. Anyway, he will make contact with your future self (i.e. me) and offer to take a letter further into the past (i.e. to you). Of course, I kind of feel like I’m just talking to myself, and I’m sure you’ll understand that the older version of us gave me, (the middle aged version of us) a huge protacted speech about the temporal prime directive, knowing full well I’ll only loosely pay attention to it anyway.

God, time travel gives me a headache... do us both a favor and pick up a book on temporal mechanics so you’ll be less confused when you’re me, and I’ll be less confusing when I’m him, okay?

Ouch. Head hurt.

So, young Rob... what should I be giving you the heads up on? I know that when I was you, I was at a very strange time in our life. I guess if you hear nothing else from this letter after our older self gets ahold of it and censors any information that could alter the timeline, it’s this: You will live to see some amazing stuff. As interesting as you find the early ninties, the next ten years or so will bring about much of the things that you consider to be science fiction.

Like all humans, you will experience your own triumphs and tragedies along the way to becoming me. You will wind up moving out of Your hometown to live in a city that is just as remarkable and charming as the big apple ever was. I would tell you where, but figuring it out was one of the things that made me the man I am, so you’re on your own. You will get married and divorced once by the time you’re me, but (CENSORED BY AUTHORITY OF THE TEMPORAL AFFAIRS BUREAU) . I know you’re probably surprised by that little fact, but remember that your life will seldom turn out the way you expect.

As you got older, your priorities changed, and your life changed a lot as well. You lose a few friends, and gain a few more. Your talent for drawing people to you is an asset that will never leave you, so learn to relax a little, chum. You will have a lot more fun than you think in the dating department, or the way one of your future friends puts it a few years from now, “you have an uncanny ability to make women comfortable around you.”

Your future wife will be an amazing person. Her name is (CENSORED BY AUTHORITY OF THE TEMPORAL AFFAIRS BUREAU) Unfortunately, she will also bring to light one of your personal greatest fears. Think “the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and I think you’ll get what I mean without the temporal police beating down my door. Still, don’t be too disturbed by this. By the time you’re me, you’ll realize that the experiences that you have make you the man you are... and everyone has their own cross to bear. You will come out of it all a stronger person, and when a friend of yours says “you are closer to the end of this mess than the begining” try to listen!


Oh, and in the presidential election of 1992, bet all your money on (CENSORED BY AUTHORITY OF THE TEMPORAL AFFAIRS BUREAU). Vegas gave some great odds on that one.

Well, Good luck Rob... see you in the mirror in fifteen years.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

been a long week...

Well, I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. The Ex went missing again saturday morning, and after a few days of worry, was sighted in the shereveport area. Now, by all legalities and moral reasoning, this was no longer my problem. Unfortunately, my hero complex invoulentarily kicked in, and I drove the six hours up to Shereveport to look for her.

The cops caught up with her before I did, and put her in the hospital about the same time I got there. I guess it was a good thing I was there, because she wasn't real co-operative with the medical history and such.

Of course, now I wonder to myself how many times am I gonna come charging to the rescue for her before I manage to supress this weird instinct of mine to do so. All the talk I do about moving on will be useless if I keep making her my responsibility.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

“Thousands of letters! All to Santa Claus!”... YEAH, RIGHT!

In recently divorced news, I have stopped getting my mail. Charity filled out a change of address form so that her mail would reach her out at her mom’s, but because she filled it out incorrectly, all of my mail has been routed there as well. (Sigh) So, any female admirers that want to send me mash notes please wait a week or two until I can get them all straightened out, or just e-mail em to me at I admit, I’m a sucker for a well-written letter from an attractive woman, with or without the perfumed scent.

Anyway, trying to fix the problem was not what you call fun. On the list of Unites States Government offices that I want to avoid the rest of my life, the United States Post Office is right up there with the IRS. So I go into my local post office and explain the problem. The guy behind the counter just looked at me and said “Yep. That’s a problem.”. At this point I started to get that feeling you get just before your car starts to sputter on the highway due to a clogged fuel filter. So I repeat the problem to the guy, this time asking him what the heck I have to do to get my mail. He hollers into the back for someone named “Miss Charlotte”.

Now, I believe that names tend to influence a person’s development. For instance, “William Jefferson Clinton” wouldn’t have been everything you expect from an American president if he had a name like “Mortimer Dipthong”. A woman with a name of “Charlotte” is one you just know would find a turkey leg under her pillow, and then eat it while promising her boyfriend, “Billy-jack”, that she won’t eat poultry in bed anymore.

Fortunately, this Miss Charlotte was nothing like that. She was a sweet older lady understandably jaded from working in the Post Office for thirty years. So on my behalf, she calls the Post Office actually responsible for delivering my mail to my house. Their response: “Yep, That’s a problem”.

“Great. Just Great.” I think to myself, “Now that the Post Office in all its wisdom agrees that we have a problem, just how do I make sure I get my monthly issue of FHM? All that great stuff in Miracle on 34th Street about how serious the Post Office takes itself, and it being a crime to willfully misdirect mail still hasn’t stopped my ex wife from getting my gas bill! What happens when my issue of Playboy comes and my former mother in law passes out at the sight of it?”

Finally, Miss Charlotte gives up with the Postmaster on the phone. (When I said jaded, I meant it.) So, still sympathetic to my cause, she had me fill out a form changing my address from my current address to... my current address.

I know it sounds silly, but Miss Charlotte assured me she would send a personal note with it to the Postmaster general of Louisiana (in Baton Rouge) explaining my situation, and recommending that they fix it. She also hoped aloud that no one’s head explodes with the incongruity of the form changing my address to my address before inputting “Please send Rob his mail” into the Post Office mainframe.

One can only hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The wisdom of the Piano Man...

"You can get just so much from a good thing,
you can linger too long in your dreams...
so say goodbye to the oldies but goodies,
Cause the good old days weren't always good...
But tommorow ain't as bad as it seems." --Billy Joel, Keeping the Faith

Billy Joel, (for those of you that don't know) is one of my favorite artists. Just something about his music... maybe the subject matter, maybe the earnestness that he coveys in his songs, just speaks to me somehow. Case in point, the Quote above.

Today I went to court and offically filed my divorce papers. I don't really know why I've waited so long to do it... maybe something inside me was holding me back, lingering too long on that particular dream, as it were. I also couldn't quite explain to myself why that particular song kept running through my head, but it occured to me that Billy is right. One can get so obsessed with a dream of happiness, or living happily ever after, that you don't always see the promise that tommorow brings.

I am officially free, and for the first time in months, my life stretches out in front of me like a new highway to parts unknown, full of potential, promise, and adventure. While I will probably always regret that Char and I couldn't make it work, A brand new phase of my life has officially begun, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

"Call me a joker, Call me a fool,
Right at this moment, I'm totally cool.
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife...
I feel like i'm in the prime of my life."-Billy Joel, I go to extremes

Billy, if you're ever in New Orleans, I need to buy you a beer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

a sideline sidebar...

Interesting note: the Cute blonde from last night's expedition came back again tonight, and was determined to get my attentions all evening. I was shocked as this is the first time someone has paid to go with us two nights in a row... I got the feeling that if I had been a little bolder, I could have had a very interesting night.

Being the gentleman I am, though... I passed. I don't know exactly why I did this, seeing as how it's been a while since I last did any serious snuggling, but I just couldn't somehow.

I'll be kicking myself for weeks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

An Update on my sideline...

In the Scooby-doo episode of my life, I have discovered that I am far more Shaggy than Fred, or even Thelma.

I have promised my new employers that I will not post things that happen to me or the teams in the house for the paranormal job, but I have to tell you all that last night was particularly intense.

Got me re-thinking the whole paranormal thing, I suppose. It is still arguably the coolest job I've ever had, and as I get more used to it, the less scared I am by some of the things that tend to happen on a typical night... But last night... wow.

I really wish I could go into more detail about it for y'all, but I'm sure you understand that I really can't. Suffice it to say that it got so intense that we had one team just out and run from the property in panic. (with me behind them like a schoolmarm yelling "No Running"... which was actually pretty damn funny now that I think about it.) It also got intense enough that one rather attractive blonde also wound up in my arms at one point. (Hey, she got scared, okay?)

Ahh... gotta love dem occupational hazards.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Crackpot Theory 1-Why astrology works...

I have a number of what I call "crackpot theories". These are ideas that have occured to me over the years, and I would love to research some day. Many of these I share with my friends and family on occasion... but I would love to get more opinions on some of them though, so I figure why not post a few here.

Why Astrology works.

Astrology is the famous pseudo-science that speculates that everything about you, past, present and future can be accurately predicted and is influenced daily by the stars in the sky. Apparently, so the theory goes, when each of us were born, due to the particular alignment of the sun, earth, planets, stars, galaxies, nebulae, and what have you, your brain chemistry and such was altered and influenced to the point that where knowing where and when you were born, a competent Astrologer can tell you loads about your personality, how you interact with others, and what the future holds for you.

Hogwash. The universe influences you about as much as the typical person influences it, which is to say, not at all. If I was to jump up right now, The second law of thermodynamics says that my action must have an equal and opposite reaction, which means that the earth must have moved by some imperceptible amount in the opposite direction, but do you really think the Earth cares? Much less the Sun, Moon, assorted Planets and such? No, they don’t. The butterfly effect is so highly improbable that it makes the concept of improbability look pretty probable to begin with.

Still with me? Good.

And yet, profiles of people bases on Astrology are sometimes eerily accurate. I have a theory as to why. I think it has a lot more to do with when your birthday falls in relation to all the other holidays and events in your life, and the effect these relationships have upon you as a person.

Case in point: My birthday is in early February, a little over a month after Christmas. This makes me an Aquarius. Now, any decent Astrology book will tell you that we Aquarians are good natured, fun loving, free spirited folks because our sun is in Aquarius, our moon is in the seventh house, Jupiter aligns with mars, and that accounts for it. My theory is that it has a lot more to do with the fact that we Aquarians simply had something to look forward to after Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever your winter solstice festival is.) Think about it... while many are reeling in post holiday depression, we Aquarians are just gearing up for our birthday, avoiding that depression entirely. No wonder we’re considered good-natured.

Or, let’s say that your birthday falls in the middle of the summer... (Cancer, I think) the fact that school was always out and few of your classmates ever made it to your birthday party would have it’s effect over the years making you a little more self-reliant. Or say, early November (Scorpio)... your birthday is followed almost immediately by the holidays, making you a little bit more outspoken than most.

Any good astrologer will ask you not only when but where you were born. This is to adjust for the predominant Holidays of the culture around you. For instance, here in New Orleans, the natives start gearing up for Mardi Gras right after New Years, as a result, Aquarians here are even more laid back than usual, as are the rest of the signs. All because of the effect of the predominant culture on the individual’s psyche, not the stars. So, even if you don’t celebrate Christmahanukwanzakah yourself, the spirit of such events is infectious, and has an effect on you.

So, how can they predict the future so well? Cold reading. Gypsies have been doing it for centuries. The past? It’s not a large gap in logic to figure out that someone who is laid back, outgoing, and charismatic will have lots of friends and support in his life.

Anyway, tis just a theory. I would love to hear what everyone thinks.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

F&%@ing cat!

Some of you may have noticed that Alpo is sometimes here with our weathergirl, and sometimes not. When I asked our weathergirl, and the site she comes from about that, their reply was: "He's a cat. He's like that sometimes."


A word from our management...

Well, after much consideration, we here at Dogs of Atlantis have decided to make a few exciting new changes to enhance your web surfing experience.

To begin with, we have added a spiffy looking clock to let you know the time here at Dogs of Atlantis headquarters. After much demographic profiling of our core reader, we decided boldly to go with a red clock. Any surplus aggression that you may feel as a result of this bold, impetuous color is not the fault of Dogs of Atlantis or Big productions, but your own unstable mental state.

In addition, we welcome our new Dogs of Atlantis Weathergirl, and her cat, Alpo. You may recognize her from such video game flops as Mario's Dark Adventure, Dr. Brain's lab, and Puzzlina, the Magic Puzzle Princess. Bottom line is she works cheap, and quite frankly drinks a lot, so here she is for a steady paycheck and a weekly six pack. Of course, the Dogs of Atlantis management discourages video icon drinking, so she may be in for a ruse suprise. Alpo, as far as we know, has never appeared on computer before, but there have been rumors surfacing lately of a brief stint he may have done on the computer kitty porn circuit. We at Dogs of Atlantis believe that cats always land on their feet, so we are of course willing to ovelook Alpo's past indescressions as long as that paternity test comes back negative.

Stupid Cat.

Our last advancement is probably the one of which we are most proud. From now on, we will be employing the latest holographic interfaces brought back by our time travel team from the twenty-sixth century, allowing you all to enjoy your Dogs of atlantis experience in six dimensions, seven if you have HDTV. Of course, if it does't work on your computer, you will need extensive upgrades, and the newest version of Windows 2587.

We look forward to the public's feedback, and anything we can do to further enhance your Dogs of Atlantis experience that is legal in the lower 48 states, let us know.

---Dogs of Atlantis management.