Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Life has been busy, y’all. So busy I slap forgot to put up my post last week. It’s a wonder Pete let’s me hang around. One thing about being retired is that I lose all track of time and I never know what day it is. On top of that, I started a part-time job at my church working Tuesday through Thursday so Tuesdays feel like Mondays and Thursdays feel like Fridays and I don’t know which end is up lately.

One thing I have been doing on my off time is reading a lot. I’ve always been an avid reader and I read whenever I get a chance; I prefer actual books, but I do have a Kindle and I read some things on that. I’m on NetGalley and preview books there prior to their publication for purposes of review and so by necessity those are on Kindle. Books that I don’t plan to keep on my shelves forever are also often read on Kindle. I can get my library books there too. Books I plan to keep, usually nonfiction or collector copies of fiction, are obviously real, paper books.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my most recent reading list with you. It is heavy on Louisiana thematically, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

For Christmas, I bought for myself a copy of Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin. When this beautiful cookbook came out last year, I am embarrassed to say that I dismissed it as yet another chef hawking yet another Cajun cookbook with overblown and impossibly stuffy recipes fluffed out with pretty pictures. I could not have been more wrong. Martin’s photographs of swamps, bayous, fish, crabs, shrimp, and landscapes are stunning, but her recipes are from her family and from her childhood on the bayou in the southernmost parishes of Louisiana. She writes extensively about the vanishing marsh, sustainability, and the history of her Cajun people. The book is a gastronomical feast for the eyes and belly. I have thoroughly enjoyed this cookbook that is really so much more than a cookbook.

Speaking of the vanishing marshland, the nonfiction Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell is part history, part travelogue, and totally entertaining. Tidwell is interested in the vanishing Louisiana coast; as he travels down the bayou on one shrimp boat or another and talks to the locals, he is stunned to see how much land loss Louisiana has suffered in just one man’s lifetime. The rapid rate of this land loss is devastation. The book was originally published in 2003 and holds up still. Beautifully written, Tidwell takes you along the bayous and into the homes and around the dinner tables of the Cajuns that he meets. I read this book slower than I needed to because I did not want it to end.

Moving north from Cajun country, the next book I want to share with you is Shreveport Martyrs of 1873 by the Very Reverend Peter B. Mangum, JCL. This book tells the story of the 1873 yellow fever epidemic right here in Shreveport that wiped out at least a quarter of the population. The epidemic is the stuff of legends here, and tours of the historic Oakland Cemetery on the edge of downtown include a pass by the Yellow Fever Mound – the mass graves of the victims. Sometimes new dirt has to be brought in and put on the mound as sometimes pieces of fabric or bone might work their way to the surface. During this epidemic, there was obvious panic and concern as the affluent tried to protect their families by sending them away to stay elsewhere. Five missionary priests stayed behind, stayed with the sick, to minister to them, sacrificing their own lives to the fever. It’s quite a story and well researched.

And so, that’s one little bit that has been keeping me busy! My links are Amazon affiliate links, which I’m duty bound to disclose, but it doesn’t matter where you buy your books! These are good ones.

What are YOU reading?

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

When dealing with Russia you have to keep one thing in mind. Unlike Americans who think what happened yesterday is old news Russia and Russians don’t think this way. They are defined by the two invasions in the last two centuries by Napoleon and by Hitler. Any move they make is going to reflect the idea that this could happen again and no amount of assurances on our part is going to get that out of their head.

A second thought to keep in mind is the fact that Ukraine was a part of Russia, long before they was a Soviet Union (note this map of Russia circa 1815) When Putin plays loud and hard with Ukraine, he’s playing to Russian nationalism which helps him at home.

Of course if the goal of Putin is to keep the West in check while advancing his interests the best tool in his bookcase is Joe Biden’s administration. It seems every move this administration makes is designed to empower Putin and make the west more dependent on him. Furthermore the left’s culture war on normalcy makes him even stronger. All he has to do is declare that men are men and women women and he sounds sane compared to us to countries all around the world. All of this would seem to be a bad idea on our part.

Frankly I’m more worried about who follows Putin than Putin himself. Putin has the perspective of both the Cold War, the Soviet Union and of course the Russian Federation et/al While he likely will exploit any mistake the west will make I suspect he will be a lot less dangerous than someone without that experience who is more willing to take risks that could lead to a wider war

In the end the bottom line is that neither you, nor I know if Putin is going into Ukraine or part of Ukraine or if it’s all a big bluff. That’s actually not so bad as we’re just folks at a blog and a keayboard, the real problem is that I suspect NATO the CIA and this administration has no idea what Putin’s going to do either and it will be their responsible to act and/or react to whatever happens.

That’s not so good.

When I see the Democrats so frantic about not killing the filibuster to nationalize elections all I can think of is the tale from the book Commodore Hornblower when a British renegade on a captured French vessel realizes his bluff is up and is in a the fellow is in a dead panic.

I swear they seem to think that power is a divine right and never got over losing the house in 1994.

Speaking of leftists and divine rights I found a YouTube video on Doctor Who talking about the announcement that they will not be making any more animated versions of the lost episodes from the 60’s which all have the original soundtracks available but the video is lost. Apparently they have not proved as profitable as they thought it would and the youtuber in question blamed capitalism insisting that this was all about preserving cultural heritage.

Forgetting for a second the irony of this coming form the “topple the statues” left the real story is that if you spend three years chasing away half of your customer base there might have been enough of a demand for those old Hartnell and Troughton stories for it to be worth their while to make them.

Hey you

I see that the state department is suggesting that US personal get out of Ukraine before the Russians invade.

While this has all the making of another Afghanistan disaster and least this administration has figured out it’s better to get the Americans out before a country falls into chaos.

Baby steps forward I guess.

I have two reminders to all of those Patriots and Bills fans who are over reacting to their Pats defeat at the hands of Josh Allen.

  1. If you were asked at the start of the season if a 10-7 record and making the playoffs would be a success they would have been jumping up and down for joy so stop whining.
  2. Hey Bills fans I have a dirty little secret for you. It wasn’t the evil Patriots that were keeping you away from a chance at the Superbowl and/or the division for the last twenty years. It was Tom Brady and if you get to the Superbowl this year you may still need to get by him to win. I’d not bet the farm on it.

Finally I noticed at Legal Insurrection a story about how a lot of non-Catholic families are sending their kids to Catholic schools because of the various insanity going on.

It’s amazing how popular a school can be when you actually bother to teach people how to read, write, do math and some kind of moral code.

Of course it just might be Cardinal George’s prophecy about rebuilding civilization in action.

No Dough for You!

Posted: January 21, 2022 by datechguy in Uncategorized

I spent the day with my family so I didn’t blog but one thing did happen worth mentioning.

On the way to taking my brother back to the mechanic I asked if he minded a small stop. There is a comic store near the house where I wanted to pick up the latest Usagi Yojimbo and Groo that I’ve been buying for 40 years.

On the door was a very big and prominent sign:


I immediately walked back into my car and drove away. I’ve been buying from this shop since mine closed in 1991. I’ve known the owner since I was a teen. If he wants to require masks that’s his prerogative and I would not dream of usurping it.

It is however my prerogative to decide if I’m spending money there so as long as that sign is on the door I’ll take my business elsewhere. It’s not as if I can’t buy these things online and have them delivered to my door at my leisure.

His business, his choice, my dollars my choice.