Smokey Haze

I’d heard there was a marsh fire out east, but we didn’t smell anything until Monday morning. By the time I left for work, I was surprised to see the streets of Mid-City were shrouded in gray smokey haze. It was bad enough that I wore a bandana over my face as I rode to campus.


When I got up to my office on the fifth floor I could see the smoke extended as far as the eye could see.


I guess the wind changed direction or something because it cleared up later in the day. Tuesday morning was also clear, but by mid-day it was smokier than ever.


The smokey haze reminds me of my encounter with Joe Horn last Monday at WWL-TV.

Joe Horn at WWL-TV

He was cooking up something and the studio was filled with a smokey haze. The difference was, his haze smelled good. The smoke from the marsh fire smells nasty. In fact it’s sending people to the hospital.

In this morning’s paper I read that the area on fire is twice the size of City Park, which is mind-boggling to me. City Park is 1300 acres.

I see NOLA Defender beat me to the obligatory Neville Brothers reference but neglected to post a video, so… enjoy.

Smoke Signals

Yesterday a store in the Carrollton Shopping Center caught fire.


My office is across the street. My co-worker Janice noticed the smoke first, but thought her glasses were dirty. After she cleaned the lenses and the haze was still there, she asked me if they were sending up smoke signals over there. When I saw what was going on I grabbed the phone to sound the alarm, but just at that moment firetrucks appeared. They seemed to get it under control pretty quickly.

On the news they reported that the fire seemed to have been started by someone taking refuge from the cold. Another co-worker told me that the stores have not been gutted or secured since the flood.


It was stormy this morning. I took a picture out my office window:

Stormy Morning

Then I realized I’d taken an almost identical picture one year ago to the day:

Cold Front

Same story both days too: I knew it was going to rain, so I rode my bike to campus early and beat the deluge.

I hope this does not foretell further recurrent weather patterns in New Orleans.

Rainy Little Day

It’s raining in New Orleans. Nothing unusual about that; we get half again as much rain annually as famously rainy Seattle. But it’s been dry here for a couple weeks, and this morning’s steady drizzle (which actually began last night) is forecast to continue for the next three days.

Strangely enough, rain rarely seems to interfere with my morning ride to work. I often go home in rain, but I only have to contend with morning rain a few times a year.

I used to grab an umbrella and walk to work on such days, but I still got soaked. Now I’m inclined to put on a poncho and a baseball cap and ride my bike instead. The visor of the cap keeps the rain out of my eyes and let’s me see where I’m going, so it’s essential. But the poncho doesn’t do much good. By the time I get to my office, every garment on my body is at least partially wet, including my socks and my underwear.

I keep a spare set of clothes here. Not my most fashionable get-up — red knit polo shirt, thick white wool socks, burgundy dress slacks — but at least they’re dry. My wet clothes are hanging up above the fan. I’ll probably be able to wear them home, and they’ll get soaked all over again.

Note to self: Step away from the window when changing clothes. The commuters stuck in gridlock on the I-10 have enough problems without seeing your lily-white buttocks.


My office window lets me gaze upon such marvels as the Big Lots store across the street and the traffic jams on I-10. The view has never been particularly beautiful, and now it’s getting less so. Someone’s putting up a massive billboard next to the interstate.


I think I read about this in the paper last week. I recall a story about a zoning exception being granted for a billboard that didn’t conform to regulations regarding height or proximity or something. I think it was this monster, but I’m not for sure.

My boss said he thought billboards were a thing of the past.

What Will It Be?

I wonder what edifying message will be placed upon this framework? Perhaps it will be an advertisement for daquiris, or a casino, or a car dealership. The possibilities are limitless.