Thursday, April 17, 2008

My meal at Scrooge's was delicious; the new place has recaptured some of the old place's rustic charm, but with more light. There were only 11 of us, but I always manage to sit by someone I don't know very well and I always learn interesting things. Yesterday I talked mostly to an MSU graduate who had worked her way through college as a research assistant in the university's creamery lab. She said they did a lot of "taste testing" of the milk, cheese, and ice cream in addition to lab testing. At 68 years old, she says it's still her favorite job of her entire lifetime.

We drove on Adkins Boulevard to get to the restaurant. It's the first time I'd seen the storm damage in that area. Really bad, blue tarps on most of the roofs, not many houses escaped damage, a couple of houses almost completely demolished. And there have been so many huge oaks lost. I hate to see it all cut up into firewood; surely the large trunks and limbs could be used for lumber; I wonder if they are. According to the news, some of the downed trees were 100+ years old. I never realized that oaks can have such shallow root systems. How on earth did Louisiana ever get the huge oaks they have with all the hurricanes? I understand that the 1200 year old Seven Sisters Oak located in Mandeville survived an almost direct hit from Katrina. Amazing.

I missed the debate on ABC last night, but from the reviews I've seen, I'm glad I did. It was not Obama's best performance, the commentators all say, even though the polls taken after the debate say he won. According to Tom Shales of the Washington Post, "For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with."

I'm glad I had choir rehearsal.

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