Monday, November 24, 2014

French Humor....or Unfortunate Marketing?

Last week I saw some new ads in the Metro stations for water enhancers. My wife and I have been bringing Mios with us and everyone was asking about what we were putting in our water. Now there is a similar product, "OUIZ, the enchanter of water", being marketed in France. But I'm not sure if I want to "whiz" in my water!

Paris Shanty Town

We had our niece visiting us last week and my wife had a ball showing her around Paris. We escorted her to CDG on Sunday to make sure she didn't have any issues at check in and then my wife and I caught the train back into the city.

When we were passing through the area of Le Bourget (where the old airport was and now a large industrial area) I noticed a couple of areas where squatters had erected plywood shantys along the side of the railroad tracks. I didn't have time to get a picture but I was amused to see that several of these shantys had satellite dishes on them. I guess they can't do without their MTV.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Car Parts as Art

A gallery near my apartment had these items for sale. Done this way, your old junker is worth much more if you break it down for art.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beaufolais Nouveau est Arrivee

The third Thursday of November is the traditional day for the release of the New Beaujolais. I tried to do my part by sampling the products of several wineries while I snacked on sausage cooked in the leftover skins of gamay grapes and homemade pate of wild boar. This manufactured holiday is the result of an ingenious marketing campaign that started in 1967 to sell wine early and give a boost to the cash flow of the wine industry. It is now an international event.

I spent the evening at a favorite restaurant where the owner/chef has close ties with several organic wine makers. We sampled several versions, including a white and competing wines made by father and son. Some of them had quirky names. My favorite was the white wine called "The 6 Weeks Rabbit" or "Le Lapin de 6 Semaines".

As we say in New Orleans, Laissee le Bon temps Roulee.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Long Distance

I'm back across the big pond in the "City of Lights" and watching the news with interest. It seems our dear Senator Mary may have to look for a new job soon as polls have her 16 points behind. I wonder if she will live in DC (which most of us think is her real home) or return to Mom and Dad's place in New Orleans where she claims residence. And I guess she'll have to fly commercial since she won't be able to travel on the taxpayers dime anymore. I got my absentee ballot ready to go.

I also see that the country is gearing up for some major race riots. I was in Boston when MLK was shot but this looks to be much worse. I wonder what the "Blessed One" will do if the country's urban centers start to burn. I suspect he will play like Nero except he will golf instead of playing the fiddle.

Be safe out there and stay on high alert.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Handle Phone Solicitors

My wife received a phone call the other day from a phone solicitor with an obvious Indian accent.

"Is Mrs. R there?", the caller asked.

"I'm sorry, she passed away yesterday.", my wife responded.

"Well, is Mr. R available?"

"What? You want to disturb a man who is grieving for his wife??!!"

(sound of hanging up)

I got one the other day from someone who wasn't trying to sell me something but wanted to confirm my location and salary as an obvious pre-qualification ploy.

"Do you still live in Louisiana?"

"You called me. Didn't you look at the area code?"

"Do you have a present worth of x dollars or an annual salary of y dollars?"

"Isn't it great that in this wonderful country a person can rise to....." (hang up)

And then there was the call from a political pollster who "only wanted to ask me a couple of questions". He then started into a long list of background questions about voter status, age, race, etc. So I stopped him and said, "Why don't you just ask your questions and stop wasting my time?" I guess he had a thin skin because he hung up.

Friday, November 7, 2014


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results", Albert Einstein

The Democrats are faced with choosing new leadership and it looks as if they are going to stick with the same folks that lost them the election - Reid, Pelosi and Wasserman-Shultz. I sometimes think that the Republican party can be stupid, but the idea of keeping this set of losers as the party leadership is truly Stuck on Stupid.