30 September 2005

"For starters, I clearly miscalculated how popular it would be to show Calvin urinating on a Ford logo. . . . "

Bill Watterson is interviewed by fans. Thanks goes to Bookslut.

September turning to October...

This week's been pretty hectic. It's a by-product of a lot of things: Katrina; SACS; work at the college; etc., etc., ad nauseum.

After heading off to Starkvegas where I saw State lose to Georgia. OTOH, I did do well in EA Sports NCAA Football 2006 against my pla C that weekend-- now he'll probably do well against me this coming weekend since I'm planning on heading up for the LSU game.

Sunday, I left Starkville about a half hour before tornadoes hit MSU & University Hills trailer park. I headed down to Hattiesburg to visit and spend the night at my mother's house.

Made it to work Monday. I finally cleaned my office. It had been a wreck for several weeks, but I delayed cleaning it because it wasn't as high a priority as the magazine stacks and SACS.

Tuesday. I finished cleaning the office. I did some ILL stuff-- I'm one of the interlibrary loan librarians for the college. It's a pretty hectic job. One request I noticed cheered me up. We got a request from the Jackson George Regional Library System based in Pascagoula. Their main library got hit pretty bad & I've alluded to it in a previous post. But their ILL is up and running, which is good.

After work, I read the first couple chapters of Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry for my new book club. At the meeting, I lost $10 to T.D. because I thought that the movie version of the book was made earlier than it had been.

Wednesday. Hectic. People were sick. People had doctors appointments. People weren't coming in until later in the afternoon. I don't know how I made it through the day because that evening I wasn't feeling all that well. So I took a sick day.

I went to bed a little after midnight-- I'm well known for being a night owl-- and slept until a little before noon Thursday. I started laundry and then went back to bed until 3 p.m. I was awake for about four hours before taking a 90-minute nap. I woke up and finally took a shower. I went out to eat & returned. I finally went to bed at 1 a.m. and woke up at 6:30 Friday morning.

Today, I've had some duty at the reference desk. I've also done a little (only a little) ILL work. Mostly, I've been working on book ordering. I've been going through the email requests from other librarians here at the campus. I've requested the books that I can and haven't requested the books we already have or are now out of print. I've also got to complete a pretty substantial reference order. I have until the end of October to complete it, but I would rather try to get my part finished as soon as possible.

Thank goodness for iPod minis. I was listening to it practically all afternoon when I was in my office while doing book ordering. When there's something tedious to do, there's nothing like music to keep your mind occupied (and apropos of this topic, I'm currently listening to iTunes-- let's see-- current song is "Spider's Stratagem" by Dead Can Dance).

I don't know if I'll go out tonight. I'm planning on going to Starkvegas for the LSU game tomorrow. And the game is at 1:30 p.m.

27 September 2005

Ms. Smith Goes to Washington

This ain't no Jimmy Stewart movie.

20 September 2005

The Dead White Male of the Month

14 September 2005

More on Mississippi Library Damage

I received an email earlier today with some details with regard to damage of libraries in Mississippi because of Katrina. I've done some slight editing of this email and added some hyperlinks when applicable. The Jackson-George site is not in operation as of yet. I added the hyperlink to the website in case it proves to be accessible in the near future.

A list of the library devastation in Mississippi:

Hancock County Library System
Pearlington school/public library: Destroyed
Waveland library: Destroyed
Bay St. Louis library: Heavy interior damage and collection loss

Harrison County Library System
Pass Christian Library: Destroyed
Gulfport Library: First floor is gutted with all materials lost; 2nd floor lost windows likely to save MS collection. Probably lost 75,000 items. Building will probably have to be destroyed.
Biloxi Library: Had several feet of water, lost windows, lost most of materials. Was able to save much of photo and rare history materials. Building will probably have to be destroyed.
Division Street Branch Library: No information available, neighborhood badly damaged, inaccessible

Long Beach Public Library
Library: Heavily damaged/collection lost/building will be destroyed.

Jackson-George Regional Library System
Systemwide, likely to lose 40-60,000 volumes lost in circulation when people’s homes were destroyed. Pascagoula Library had 4’ of water on first floor. Approximately 40,000 volumes were lost and mold is taking over the building. Other seven branches generally okay with some roof leaks etc, but operational. All branches except Pascagoula will be reopening shortly.

The Library of Hattiesburg, Petal & Forrest County
Hattiesburg: Lost tiles off the eastside of the building causing some leaking inside.

And... reposting what I had posted yesterday:

Friends of Mississippi Libraries, working with the Library Commission and MLA, has established a fund for donations to rebuild those MS libraries severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Tax-deductible donations can be made by sending your contributions to:

Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund
c/o AmSouth Bank
210 E. Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201

13 September 2005


When I read newspapers and newspaper web sites, I sometimes scan the obituary notices. Nearly a couple months ago, I scanned a Clarion-Ledger obit and noticed one that got my attention. I emailed one of the columnists to confirm what I had thought.

He thanked me for giving him the idea to write this column. I didn't think anything would come of it. I was just curious.

A couple weeks ago, Katrina struck Laurel hard. The Laurel Leader-Call had not updated its website for several days because of the hurricane. The first day I noticed that the newspaper website had been updated, I checked the news stories and then the obituaries.

Among the obituaries was this man's (free registration is required). If the name looks somewhat familiar, you can always do a google search.

Checking today's Hattiesburg American, it saddened me to see this obituary. Dr. Gonzales taught at USM for over fifty years. I didn't take any of his classes though. I don't believe any of his classes were available for graduate students when I was a student.

Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund

Friends of Mississippi Libraries, working with the Library Commission and MLA, has established a fund for donations to rebuild those MS libraries severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Tax-deductible donations can be made by sending your contributions to:

Rebuild Mississippi Libraries Fund
c/o AmSouth Bank
210 E. Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201

12 September 2005

More Meanderings

It's a little after 6 p.m. & I'm tired after working yet another day on what T.D. has described as the most boring topic I've ever discussed. I've previously mentioned it by name, but won't now. Let's just go so far to say that another narrative has been completed-- two down, two to go.

Surfing the Internet, I noticed this story about what colleges have students that almost never study. Ranking first on the list: Ole Miss.

Watching college football over the weekend... How about those Ohio Bobcats? 16-10 over Pitt?

Pro football. The Dolphins? The Saints? It's also good to see that the Saints will be playing four games in Baton Rouge this season. It looks like that the Sugar Bowl may be played in Baton Rouge as well.

Mississippi State and Tulane will be playing at Shreveport Saturday. There's going to be a telethon during the game to aid Katrina victims. I'm sort of considering going to the game with my pla CCK. I don't know for certain whether I'll go or not. I might know for sure Wednesday.

11 September 2005

Songs Meme

Here's a Music Meme from the Rev.

Here’s how you play: Go to Music Outfitters, search on the year you graduated high school, get the list of the top 100 songs, and highlight the ones that wouldn’t make you change the radio station instantly. The Rev didn't like his graduation year (1990).

Mine (1985) was a pretty decent year, but Starship's "I Built This City" is on the list at #14.

1. Careless Whisper, Wham!
2. Like A Virgin, Madonna
3. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham!
4. I Want To Know What Love Is, Foreigner
5. I Feel For You, Chaka Khan
6. Out Of Touch, Daryl Hall and John Oates
7. Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears
8. Money For Nothing, Dire Straits

9. Crazy For You, Madonna
10. Take On Me, A-Ha
11. Everytime You Go Away, Paul Young

12. Easy Lover, Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
13. Can't Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon
14. We Built This City, Starship
15. The Power Of Love, Huey Lewis and The News
16. Don't You (Forget About Me), Simple Minds
17. Cherish, Kool and The Gang
18. St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion), John Parr
19. The Heat Is On, Glenn Frey
20. We Are The World, U.S.A. For Africa
21. Shout, Tears For Fears
22. Part-Time Lover, Stevie Wonder
23. Saving All My Love For You, Whitney Houston
24. Heaven, Bryan Adams
25. Everything She Wants, Wham!
26. Cool It Now, New Edition
27. Miami Vice Theme, Jan Hammer
28. Lover Boy, Billy Ocean
29. Lover Girl, Teena Marie
30. You Belong To The City, Glenn Frey
31. Oh Sheila, Ready For The World
32. Rhythm Of The Night, Debarge
33. One More Night, Phil Collins
34. Sea Of Love, Honeydrippers
35. A View To A Kill, Duran Duran
36. The Wild Boys, Duran Duran
37. You're The Inspiration, Chicago
38. Neutron Dance, Pointer Sisters
39. We Belong, Pat Benatar
40. Nightshift, Commodores
41. Things Can Only Get Better, Howard Jones
42. All I Need, Jack Wagner
43. Freeway Of Love, Aretha Franklin
44. Never Surrender, Corey Hart
45. Sussudio, Phil Collins
46. Strut, Sheena Easton
47. You Give Good Love, Whitney Houston
48. The Search Is Over, Survivor
49. Missing You, Diana Ross
50. Separate Lives, Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
51. Raspberry Beret, Prince and The Revolution
52. Suddenly, Billy Ocean
53. The Boys Of Summer, Don Henley
54. One Night In Bangkok, Murray Head
55. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, Sting

56. Obsession, Animotion
57. We Don't Need Another Hero, Tina Turner
58. Material Girl, Madonna
59. Better Be Good To Me, Tina Turner
60. Head Over Heels, Tears For Fears
61. Axel F, Harold Faltermeyer
62. Smooth Operator, Sade
63. In My House, Mary Jane Girls

64. Don't Lose My Number, Phil Collins
65. All Through The Night, Cyndi Lauper
66. Run To You, Bryan Adams
67. Glory Days, Bruce Springsteen
68. Voices Carry, 'Til Tuesday

69. Misled, Kool and The Gang
70. Would I Lie To You?, Eurythmics
71. Be Near Me, ABC
72. No More Lonely Nights, Paul McCartney
73. I Can't Hold Back, Survivor
74. Summer Of '69, Bryan Adams
75. Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and The Waves
76. Freedom, Wham!
77. Too Late For Goodbyes, Julian Lennon
78. Valotte, Julian Lennon
79. Some Like It Hot, Power Station
80. Solid, Ashford and Simpson
81. Angel, Madonna
82. I'm On Fire, Bruce Springsteen
83. Method Of Modern Love, Daryl Hall and John Oates
84. Lay Your Hands On Me, Thompson Twins
85. Who's Holding Donna Now, Debarge
86. Lonely Ol' Night, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. What About Love, Heart
88. California Girls, David Lee Roth
89. Fresh, Kool and The Gang
90. Do What You Do, Jermaine Jackson
91. Jungle Love, The Time
92. Born In The USA, Bruce Springsteen

93. Private Dancer, Tina Turner
94. Who's Zoomin' Who, Aretha Franklin
95. Fortress Around Your Heart, Sting
96. Penny Lover, Lionel Richie
97. All She Wants To Do Is Dance, Don Henley
98. Dress You Up, Madonna
99. Sentimental Street, Night Ranger
100. Sugar Walls, Sheena Easton

That's twenty-five out of 100 for me.

08 September 2005

The New Normal

Welcome to the new normal.

Tuesday, I returned to work at the college.

Either myself or my mother's been able to contact all our relatives. I've got friends in Laurel who were without power Sunday and are probably still without power. One Laurel friend has described it as a "horror story."

Classes restarted yesterday. Things have been hectic, but that's good. Today, I conducted a couple of class tours of the library and worked on different things-- Interlibrary loan took a good portion of the afternoon.

The state library association was supposed to have our annual conference in Vicksburg next month. The convention center's now hosting evacuees. Our conference has been cancelled for the year and understandably. Several libraries in the Mississippi Gulf Coast were destroyed.

My old high school was supposed to play their county rival this weekend, but with Katrina passing through-- both schools are not ready to play this weekend. Who knows when they will play? But they will if only because it's a district contest.

Credit for the subject title of this post goes to Jen. She used the phrase and I thought that it was interesting enough to borrow.

02 September 2005

My Katrina Travelogue

I'm writing this message on AppleWorks on the night of September 1, 2005.

Five years ago, I drove from my parents' house outside Heidelberg to begin library work at my current position.

I had thought about writing something about being here for five years, but recent events have (as they often do) changed plans.

Today, five years after I started work at the college, I drove from Clinton to my mother's house in Canebrake just outside Hattiesburg.

Hattiesburg, as all six of my casual readers are well aware, got hammered by Katrina.

Yesterday afternoon while eating & charging my computer at McAlister's in Clinton, I got a phone call from one of the Doctor friends of my mother. They're about my age perhaps a little older-- maybe between me and my sister in age. They have three children-- two daughters and a son. The kids really like my mom. And my mom's really fond of them too.

My mother and uncle (my father's older brother-- he can't take care of himself & after my father died, my mother has served as his guardian-- his story is much too long to be part of this already extremely lengthy post) spent a couple days at the house of a couple Doctors and their family. I have forgotten the husband's specialty. The wife, like my sister, is a Urologist.

Anyway, Ms. Doctor called me from her cellphone. She was taking the kids to grandparents living in Alexandria. She told me that my mother and uncle made it through Katrina fine and were back at their house. She suggested very strongly that I go down to Hattiesburg to pick them up. At the time, I didn't have enough gas in the car to make it to Hattiesburg and back-- so I hold off going until today. The curfew in Clinton was also a consideration.

I wake up a quarter before seven. I take a shower. My house got power yesterday evening; however, my air conditioning is on the fritz, so my mother and uncle couldn't stay with me. (I personally don't mind the lack of air conditioning. The house has three ceiling fans. When power is on, I keep them running all the time during the spring and summer. It's a little bit warmer than most people like, but to me 85 degrees is comfy.)

I get some gallons of water to take down with me-- not enough really-- but more than I knew that they had at the time. Besides the game plan was to convince my mother to head north.

I leave the house a little after eight. I was in line at one gas station in Clintonm but it ran out. I drove to the local Wal-Mart, but the line wasn't moving so I left. I wandered around Clinton and west Jackson, talked to my uncle (my mother's brother lives here in the Metro Jackson area) on the cellphone, and then decided to make it back to the Clinton Wal-Mart about an hour later. Lo and behold, the line had moved and obviously not for long.

I arrived back there a little before 9:30 and was in line for an hour and a half. I filled up the car with gas and left. My uncle suggested that I get gas cans too. It wouldn't have worked in this case, Wal-Mart had separate lines for people with gas cans. I had an extra bottle of RC Cola with me & gave it to one of the policemen on duty. When I was younger and my family owned & operated a grocery store in Heidelberg, I liked drinking RCs. But I digress.

I took off for Hattiesburg at 11. Driving on Highway 80 eastbound was interesting. Driving in Jackson when power is out is a concept to behold. The idea of right-of-way is sometimes just that-- an idea. However, things have been going well in Jackson. Amazingly well when one considers the whole perception brouhaha regarding Jackson and crime. It wouldn't normally be something to be considered; however, when a brother kills his sister in Hattiesburg over a bag of ice this week, everything sadly is a consideration.

I made it to Richland at 11:20. I wanted to stop at a gas station and get something to nibble on on the way down to Hattiesburg, but apparently the gas station was only open for people wanting gas. I made it to the Richland McDonald's a few minutes later. Traffic was heavy.

The line at McDonald's was a little long, but not unnecessarily so. I got the food (three double cheeseburgers, three hamburgers) and left-- eating one of each by the time I made it to Florence and leaving the others for my mother and uncle.

By this time, I decided to play what some would think would be a slightly macabre game. I wanted to see how many mobile homes were smashed. Odd, I know, but if you know me, odd is not an unusual state for me.

Simpson County line. It's obvious there's not power. No mobile homes smashed & this is including the place with the big Confederate flag flying on the northbound side of Highway 49-- where the flag is, interestingly enough, not flying. I don't know if it's not flying because it was taken away by Katrina, taken down by the owner (which doesn't make much sense because the smaller state flag was flying), or just not flying to mourn the loss of Beauvoir.

This third option makes the most sense to me and reminds me of the time shortly after 9/11 when I was driving down Highway 18 in Smith County. There was a mobile home with flags flying-- among which was the Confederate Battle Flag at half staff. I remember taking a photo of it, but never got the film developed. I'm sure it's somewhere in my house. But again, I digress.

I notice there are more and more trees down. The number increases as I head south.

D'Lo. The gas station and convenience store there didn't escape Katrina's wrath. The building itself looks okay, but the facade & outside roofs above the gas pumps-- torn.

Signs. I see signs inspired by Katrina all along my trip to my mother's house. "The South Will Rise Again" is at one spot on 49. "Firewood for Sale" near some trees knocked down by the hurricane is at one spot south of Seminary on 589.

Mendenhall. I think the Conoco might have gotten a little damage, but not that much. There's no power there though.

Magee. Just north of Magee is a Chevron on the northbound lane of 49. They have gas and you can tell because there's a line on the road's shoulder. I stop off at a Kangaroo in Magee to use the restroom. I see a truck from a company based in Heidelberg. And there's a guy wearing a cap with the company logo. I ask him how things in Heidelberg and the area around there are doing. Trees are down. If there's a mantra for people living in inland Mississippi and affected by Katrina. It's Trees are down.

I can use my cellphone in Magee. I get in touch with my uncle again & tell him where I'm at.

Cellphone quality goes downhill from there, but still no torn up mobile homes. All the mobile homes I see thus far are safe. They laugh at Katrina.

Covington County line. More trees down. I roll down my windows. It's a pretty day.

Driving through Mount Olive. No power. Just driving.

Collins. The same. It's almost like it's a familiar drive again. When I go visit my mother, I take Highway 49 to Seminary. From Seminary, I take Highway 589.

When I get on 589, the smell of sawdust is in the air. Lots of trees down. More trees down along 589 than I had seen previously on this trip combined.

I drive south. Several minutes later, I arrive in Lamar County and Sumrall. Many, many trees down. Power lines down. A gas station has gas. There's a long line.

I drive through Sumrall. The mobile homes visible to my eyes have thus far made it unscathed through Katrina.

Trees are down all over. Trees are down. Pardon me whilst I slip into my mantra.

On houses. Knocked down fences. Down down everywhere.

Shortly before I get to the turnoff to Canebrake, I notice two mobile homes destroyed by Katrina. Dammit, I hope there weren't any people in the mobile homes when the hurricane struck.

I was hoping for a happy ending for the mobile homes on my trip, but Katrina's not given many people many happy endings.

At the turnoff to Canebrake, I see a power truck working alongside a neighboring subdivision. I think nothing of it. I've seen plenty of power trucks since Tuesday in Jackson, Clinton, and on the highways heading south.

I drive into Canebrake. Trees are down. I see a couple trees down on the golf course. I make the turn away from the clubhouse and to my mother's house. Trees are down.

I make the turn to my mother's house. It looks to be in very good shape. I wasn't too surprised at that-- to be frank. There is a limb on the roof of her house from a birch tree. The huge trees are across the street from her house. Amazingly, no shingles are blown off.

I enter the house. What the heck? It's cooler than I expect and I hear the hum of electricity in the air? I suppose it goes to show that people should never underestimate the power of the electric power associations. My mother and uncle have power, but still have no water. I get the little water I have with me and bring it in. I bring the remaining double cheeseburgers and hamburgers in as well. I don't think my mother has been so happy to see McDonald's food in her life.

Apparently, my cellular reception is pretty good here. I call my aunts in Jackson and Indiana. I tell them what's going on. My mother talks to them on my cellphone for quite a while. They're glad to hear from her & she's glad to hear from them. They're amazed like I am that she has power.

I ask her if she wants to head north. Yesterday, she said she would have, but today she has power. Now that she has power, she's rejuvenated. She's hopeful that the water situation will be resolved soon. She asks me to run some errands for her. I do so. The places she's asked me to go are not far away and I'll still have gas to make it back to Clinton.

I get medicine and paper towels at a local pharmacy-- making sure to avoid the fallen trees in the road as I head to 98. I walk to the Cingular place next door to the pharmacy to have them check her phone.

Initial errands done, I drive back. I see Mr. Doctor working in his front yard. Unlike my mother, the Doctors have a lot of trees in their yard (their voluminous trees was my only cause for concern for my mother and uncle staying over there during Katrina). He and a friend of his are cleaning the yard.

We talk for a bit & then I go back to my mother's house. My mother then asks me to run to a local supermarket and get some groceries. She gives me a substantial list. Eggs. Bacon. Hamburger Meat. Pork Chops. Ice Cream. Soft Drinks. Surprisingly, the supermarket had them all except for bread, milk, bananas, and canned chicken. She was glad I had gotten canned drinks. I had no other choice really. Most of the two liters were gone.

One of the customers next to me was surprised that I had bought that much. Another one commented that we must be rich to have power. That struck me as kind of odd.

I've never really thought of my parents as being wealthy. We've always worked. My father couldn't stand not working and worked until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer a little over three years ago. He served in World War II and upon returning from the Pacific worked in banks-- rising to being a vice-president, equivalent to being a branch manager in his case. His highest degree earned was an associate's degree from Jones County Junior College. Being a banker who dealt with money, he had gotten the nickname Nabob. I thought it was an ironic nickname considering that in the 1960s and 1970s, branch managers did not make enough money to send children through medical school. Like my sister.

He and my mother then bought a grocery. The grocery put my sister through med school and me through college. My sister and I worked at the grocery. My sister worked there through high school-- occasionally working during college on some weekends, but not often. I worked there through high school as well as during college occasionally and including some summers as well as a little bit after college when my father was ready to wind down the business.

My family's been lucky. My father had the opportunities to buy some into an oil well royalty nearly 40 years ago from a family friend (Heidelberg was, and still is, a major oil producing town in Mississippi, which is something I mentioned in my master's thesis some 12 years ago) that doesn't produce as much oil as it did in the well's early years as well as bank stock when the bank was first starting out some 30 years ago at a significantly lower price than what he and my mother had sold it for five years ago. They had accumulated about 7 percent of the stock. Plus, there was timberland. Family land.

Even after the grocery store, my parents worked. My father was later elected county supervisor and served for a term. Unless something very weird happens considering Jasper County's demography, he's likely the last white man ever to be a supervisor for the district he represented.

My mother was a church librarian. Prior to working in the grocery, she was a school librarian.

Afterwards, as T.D. is wont to mention, my mother and father sold Beanie Babies-- beginning in 1997 at city festivals throughout the south, then establishing a shop in Laurel before deciding that mall kiosks would be better as far access to the people was concerned. So, they set up shop at Turtle Creek Mall in Hattiesburg, Northpark in Ridgeland, as well as helping out a friend of my mother's at a mall in Tuscaloosa.

When my father became too ill with prostate cancer, my mother deemphasized Beanie selling some. She closed the Northpark location and backed out of her involvement in Tuscaloosa. My mother, who had come up with the idea of selling Beanie Babies here in south Mississippi after seeing their popularity when visiting my sister and her family in California, continued selling them at Turtle Creek until Summer 2004-- a little over a year after my father died. Seven years selling Beanie Babies. And yes, I helped when I could. I took a one-week vacation from the college to run her shop while she went to Kenya on a church mission trip. Working from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays is not fun.

I was surprised two years ago when my mother brought me to Canebrake to show me the house she had bought. Ever since I was a graduate student at USM, Canebrake has had the reputation here in Hattiesburg of being a really well-to-do subdivision. I was thinking she was showing me a house in Lake Serene perhaps. It's a nice house-- certainly not as fancy or as big as many of the houses, but it's a nice comfortable garden home with a courtyard and a view of the lake. It's something subdued and sedate, which is perfectly in keeping with my mother's tastes (and mine too for that matter).

I run by a convenience store on the way back and get newspapers. My mother has been starved for news. She knows nothing of what's been going on. She'd been incommunicado and couldn't access the world outside Canebrake since Sunday. In fact when I arrived, I tried calling my aunts (her sister and brother's sister) and was successful. She had lengthy talks with both of them.

In a sense, Hattiesburg is still incommunicado. I ask for the latest American, USA Today, and because I see it there, my friends' high school sports newspaper. Belatedly, I see that the latest USA Today is last weekend's paper. While there, one of the workers says to be careful-- essentially saying not to let anyone know what you have.

Katrina's brought a lot of things out in the open not only in Hattiesburg, but in other cities and areas that it's affected.





However, Katrina's also served as a reaffirmation of the best of the world.





Mr. & Ms. Doctor have done so much for my mother. My mother has joked that she might even pull for LSU in their game against Mississippi State this season and this was before Ms. Doctor makes it back from Louisiana with literally a truckful of water. She gives my mother several more gallons.

You know, I might just pull for LSU against State. Okay, I might not, but I won't be saying bad things about LSU this season that's for sure.

My mother fixes some soup and cornbread. Both are good. I take a nap, relax, and then start this epistle.

It's nearly 11:30 p.m. now. I'm looking outside. I see lights along the lake. I suppose when I make it back up to Clinton I'll have to scavenge for some water as well as enough gas to get to Hattiesburg and back.

If my mother is of the mind to stick it out, she and my uncle will need water. Even though she thinks that there will be water soon. You just don't know that for certain so soon. But then again, who'd have thought I would be in an air-conditioned house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi the Thursday afternoon after Katrina struck?

Addendum, Friday, September 2.

I sleep in and eventually get up a little after 10 o'clock. Shortly before I get out of bed, I think I hear water running.

I get up and Mom tells me that the water is working. Canebrake has its own water association apparently and they got the water on during the night. My mother's hopes have been addressed.

When Mom runs out of drinking water, she will at least have the association's water to fall back on. She'll have to boil it. However by the end of the week, she has electricity and water. Since she has both, I know she'll be staying.

My mother's cleaning the courtyard. There's a lot of limbs and leaves and debris (including shingles from neighbors' houses) in her courtyard. She's got the waterhose and is washing things away.

Things are almost normal in Canebrake. All my mother needs is for her cable and wireless to be working-- not to mention easily available gas. That's something I might have to scavenge for when I make it back up to Clinton. Anyone have a spare ten gallon jug of gas?

At 1 p.m., my mother asks me to run by a local convenience store to see if they have bread and milk. She tells me they normally accept her checks. She also tells me if there's available gas, get some.

I pull out of the Canebrake entrance to 589 heading towards 98, which is about a mile south. I see a gas line. I immediately get to the end of the line. I have about five-eighths of a tank left according to my gauge and figure that I might as well get some now.

The line moves fast. I'm somewhat familiar with this place. I've gotten gas here before. A truck pulls up. The driver says that there's a very short line for gas at a place on Oak Grove Road. I don't budge. I figure I have enough gas to make it back to Clinton anyway.

The line is moving fast-- fast enough to tell me that the convenience store is organized and slow enough to tell me that the store has not run out of gas.

Some forty minutes later, I get to the front of the line. I ask the woman directing traffic if they'd accept my mother's check-- considering she goes there often-- mentioning I'm here from out of town to help her out. They've not been taking checks because their machines for accepting checks and credit cards are not working.

But she decides to accept my mother's check with a $20 limit. She notifies another attendant. I mention my mother's desire for bread and milk and the second person says that they have to keep the gas and grocery receipts separate.

Okay. That works for me. So I fill up the car with gas. Unleaded at $3.29.9 per gallon comes out $18.99 spent.

The convenience store has no bread or milk so I head back to my mother's house with a full tank of gas.

I tell my mother what's up and telll her I got gas and can run get some more groceries at the supermarket again. My mother makes up another list. I drive to Ramey's. I wait in line for an available grocery cart-- my golden ticket inside the supermarket, which in this case is green.

Having been in the supermarket yesterday afternoon, I know where the bread and milk are. I go there first. Most of the bread is gone. I get two loaves of french bread and a bag of onion rolls that could go with the hamburger meat I purchased yesterday.

There's plenty of milk. I grab a gallon of reduced fat and a gallon of regular. I look for the bananas. I don't see any. I get the other items on my mother's list. She didn't have ice on the list, but figured she could use ice-- and it's available three bags per paying customer. After all, she can always boil water.

Groceries gotten, I head to the end of the line. One line over, I see a friend of mine from high school days. My family's known his for years. His uncle was my headmaster and taught science classes at the academy. His aunt was my fourth grade teacher. We talk for a few minutes.

The person ahead of me in line forgets to get his eggs. He asks my friend and I if there are any. We know there are and tell him where they're located. He asks me if I'd keep his place in line and I say sure.

My friend talk and then it's time for him to get his groceries checked out. The gentleman in front of me returns. He gets checked out and pays. I ask the cashier what's the limit on bags of ice. She says three. The man says to let me check out four-- he could have gotten ice, but didn't. She says ok and that's good. I don't recall saying thank you, but it's the simple kindnesses-- a favor for a favor in trying times like these in Hattiesburg-- that make me shake my head in bewilderment over that guy killing his sister in this same city earlier in the week.

I drive back to my mother's house. Bringing back everything but the bananas and telling my mother that I can still run to the convenience store and get water, but she says that the ice will certainly do.

While I'm gone, my mother warms up the soup and cornbread she had prepared yesterday evening. She also fixes some of the pork chops I had bought yesterday.

All my mother needs is a way to hear the news. The television's not working. She never bought an antenna since she has cable. Her access is now through my old clock radio that she's been using now.

It's 4 p.m., I need to take a shower.

Shower taken, it''s 4:30 p.m. I leave for Jackson. I call and leave messages for my uncle in Jackson and AA. I call DS. I talk to him for a little while. My uncle calls. We talk.

I arrive in Jackson at 6:15. I make it to Cups in Fondren. DS calls back. We chat briefly, but are cut off. In the meantime, I call my mother and finally get through. The communications setup in Hattiesburg is still apparently stressed.

I call DS back. We chat briefly again.

The wireless at Cups had been working, but isn't at the moment.

I'm playing chess and losing. Okay. The net's up. Time to post.