Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mardi Gras! (G Rated)

So apparently Mardi Gras is not just a one day or one week festival. It is a festival that lasted for almost a month. The parades started in New Orleans and through-out other Louisiana towns at the beginning of February and culminated on Fat Tuesday, February 21st. Having heard about the debauchery and vulgar behavior that tends to accompany these festivities I really had no desire to go until one of our sales reps. told me about the parades in Metarie, LA. just west of New Orleans. Metarie is the home of what is locally called "The Family Gras". Parades and festivities that our geared towards families and Children.

I have a couple of pictures from the Krewe of Zeus parade which Darryl, Cristobal Brionnes and I went to on Monday Night the 21st. It is the largest night time parade outside of New Orleans and it was wonderful. I have a few blurry phone pics from that parade.

Since most businesses in Louisiana are closed on Fat Tuesday it was an optional work day for our Dome Employees. Several of us decided to head back down to Metarie to enjoy the Krewe of Argus Daytime Parades that started at 10:30 A.M. and Finished around 4:00 P.M.
It was a BLAST!
The crowd, estimated to be between 400,000 - 500,000 thousand anxiously await the start of the parade. For the spectators to dress up in costumes is a fun tradition of Mardi Gras Parades everywhere.

Hutch finds a perch. (Greg Hutchens)

Cody and Dakota Garrett watching the first float come by. The hands in the air are hoping to catch some beads, toys, stuffed toys, cups, flowers, balls, etc. that are thrown from the floats. (And in Menan they worry about throwing candy! Ha!)

The ladders are an interesting invention. The roll them to the parade with Lawn chairs, ect. inside the box. Stand them up, seat a couple of kids in the box part (secured by a bar across their waists) and stand on the back hoping to see better and catch more stuff. It works great!

Hutch took some great pictures from his special spot.

Queen of the Argus Parade.

Many bands came by, some H.S. Marching bands and several in vehicles or on floats serenading us with great Jazz. This one was in a converted school bus.

Some of the "Maids Of Argus" Royalty. I hope you can enlarge it and see the costumes.
I believe one of these young ladies (there were 4 floats of maids) gave Cody his Flower.

The spectators came early to get a good spot. Many brought grills and coolers for the day. Some staked their claims as early as 7 a.m. By the time the parade was half over they were needing a little nap.

Some of the floats, like this one, were double deckers with participants chucking souvineres off of the top and bottom. The spectators were up to 50 feet back off the street and the guys on top would fling bead and other things to those of us in the back. I got a football, and several beads this way.

Some of the floats are really fantastic!

After the Krewe of Argus came the Krewe of Jeffersonians Elks Parade. This is what is called a "Truck Parade". Over one Hundred, Yes I said Hundred, 18 wheelers pulling decorated trailers with lots of loot on board to be thrown to the thronging crowds.

These first floats were animated the the characters on top would spin and turn. The magician/singer below is a mannequin.

Dakota Garrett, Cody and Codi Garrett. They would collect tons of stuff and when it got too heavy to wear, put it in a bag and collect some more. Awe look, Someone gave Cody a flower. I think he flirted with the pretty maid to get it. :-)

Codi and I at the beginning of the parade.

Me at the back of the crowd. Yes, I caught a football there.

Part of our haul.

About 40 minutes into the truck parade we were ready to call it a day. There was still another truck parade to come and things were starting to get a little raucous as the hours went on due, in large part I am sure, to the heat and amount of beer and alcohol that was being consumed. It was not a bad atmosphere, just one I wasn't enjoying as much. Cody felt the same.

Berkley Garrett puts Jaden on his shoulders in hopes of getting a toy.

These are just the beads Cody Captured! I didn't get nearly as many.

All in all it was a fun experience and I am glad we got to see what Mardi Gras was all about. I am especially grateful to the city of Metarie because I didn't see a vulgar or unseemly sight during the 3 parades I watched. Thank you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just My Opinion On The Whole Sordid Mess!

How in the world do the media and political machines and pundits of this country take a religious or ethical stance against a Presidential Mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception and turn it into “Republicans want to ban birth control!”? What kind of arrogance, audacity and “The world owes me a living” attitude does it take for a decent young woman, who is attending one of the elite law schools in this nation, to go on National TV and request that the government, (ie. taxpayers) see to it that her contraception and the contraception of friends and acquaintances be provided for them so they won’t have to worry about the consequences of their behavior?


In the 70’s many women were clamoring for “Equal Rights” in all things; not just equal pay, which was a good thing, but equality in military service and assignements, social treatment and all facets of life (I knew a girl who got mad if a guy opened a car door for her because it implied she was too weak to do it herself and not his equal, or if he complimented her on her dress because that meant he didn’t appreciate her intelligence, etc.) Well ladies, our wishes, desires and dreams of the early 70’s have now come to pass. We have reached a low point in our society where our own President, and obviously a large percentage of our population, think we are all so loose and “cat like” that we cannot control our own sex drives and we need, nay, demand that the government make someone besides ourselves pay for our contraception and consequently our behavior. What ever happened to abstinence, if you can't afford it don't do it? (if you laugh at that suggestion then I assume you are one of the aforementioned populace) In their eyes are women so ignorant and stupid that we don’t know how to get a prescription for the pill or even find a couple bucks at the bottom of our purses and go to the vending machine at the truck stop and buy a condom? It could be they think we are too lazy or lackadaisicial or fiscally irresponsible take care of our own health needs.

Through our own efforts in demanding equality we have demeaned our sex ,cheapened our very womanhood and have become accepted just like the guys in the locker-room, where describing your latest conquest in lurid terms or calling a certain “hot to trot” girl a slut or easy, was just accepted as giving your buddies inside information. Is it any wonder that so many radio talk show hosts have no qualms in saying what they think even if it is demeaning and in poor taste? We asked them to do it. “Don’t give us any special treatment! WE ARE YOUR EQUALS, TREAT US JUST LIKE YOU WOULD THE MEN!”

We wouldn’t throw such feminine hissy fits if they said such things or worse about a guy? I long for the day when women loved being gentle and were yet as tough as steel, and no man would dare have said a public word to besmirch her, no matter what her true character was because deep down there was respect for womanhood. That kind of language and treatment just wasn’t publicly acceptable. But then, that wasn’t equal treatment either.

I can only find one word to describe the political and social state that we Citizens of the United States of America find ourselves in. Sad.