Monday, September 22, 2008
At the end of the day, I decided to go on a walk. I took Deloris, and off to the bridge we went. We made it to the Ocean Springs side and went to sit on the beach and watch all of the fish splashing around. Deloris could almost not contain herself. So, we headed back. Once we got onto the bridge, I noticed folks standing still, and a siren behind me.
I kept walking, not wanting to be in the way, I passed the scene.
It was a man, about 30 years old is my guess, and he was lying face down, on the bridge his ipod had fallen out of his hand. I looked back, they had flipped him over and were attending to him while his feet were shaking, showing his seizures.
I hope he is alright now, and he had a rough day, not me.
Friday, May 30, 2008
In fact I just had this thought. and honestly... it was about someone I only know about online, marc , but that I was thinking, it would be great if he and my friend great friend Dan could meet. Oh the trouble these two would get into I think. The result, I am sure would be something that would blow every one's minds.
So... I was thinking about it a little more, and came up with the idea of inviting all of these folks to a specific location, at a certain time, and having a big party and supply tools, and raw materials, and music, and food, and see what happens. Hmmm..... what a party it would be to get all of these folks together. I will think about this a little more. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
How does Labor Day Weekend Sound?
For the last several months I have been working with Hands On on shade structures. Hands On Gulf Coast and the George Ohr museum got a grant from Jimmy Buffet's philanthropic organization, Singing for Change to engage kids along the coast in art and rebuilding. The idea was to have kids paint tiles and then place them in shade structures in different cities along the coast. This is the first one. The budget for this project was around $1000. There is still a little finish work to be done, but it is about there.
The shade structure has a metal roof with a twist in it. The table is covered with the tiles painted by kids. The Concrete blocks below are the seats for the shade structure. They are a little movable, but are so heavy that they wont be able to walk away too easily.
All of the shade structures will be different, but the little seating blocks will be in all of them.
The next one will be in Long Beach, and I think that I will be working with another architecture group to do the the ones in Biloxi and Ocean Springs.
Bill Daniels, a filmmaker, currently from Braddock PA, visited the coast, the wisteria estates and Sweets Lounge to show his film Bozo Texino. It was ultimatly a pretty amazing evening. He set up his screen and projector and PA system out back behind Sweets, and we set up chairs and built a bon fire, and people parked their trucks around and sat in the tailgates and watched a movie. It was a really good evening. After the movie,there was an amazing question answer session, and every one came in to the bar, ready to party. That was one of the most fun evenings i have had at sweets in a long time.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This past weekend was pretty eventful and adventuresome.
Friday night began with a celebration of my friend Caitlin's Birthday! I was working at sweets that evening so i missed most of the celebrations (that included dinner at cici's pizza and a trip to the rodeo) but was there for the cake. The group of marauders ended the caravan of fun at the bar, and I was able to participate in the fun! But it was a strange night at sweets. Three different groups of my friends were partying at sweets that evening. My friends from Biloxi, the volunteers, celebrating Caitlin's Birthday. My friends from the local band Ko-lija and their friends were hanging out... and if it were not enough to be surrounded by many american friends, my mexican friends were there too!Oh what a fun and glorious night it was, full of dancing, laughing, yelling and of course drinking.
On Saturday, me and 5 of my friends went on a journey west. We woke up entirely too early following a night of so much fun, and loaded up in the cars and headed towards Louisiana. Our friend Chris is leaving the coast soon, and he wanted to visit the Atchefalaya Swamp basin before he left. So that is where we went. It was so amazing. Not only were the water and trees beautiful but we got to see baby ivices, and bald eagles , and beavers, and baby spoonbills, and all kinds of birds, and baby gators, and big gators and more birds, and nutria. OH it was awesome!
When I got back, I joined up with some friends at the beach. The boys were a bit grumpy, so me and my friend emily went to my house to feed my dog, and to cut my hair. My hair cut went well, as did feeding my dog. When we returned to Biloxi, the boys were a little less grumpy and a lot more fun. We hung out there for a little while, and then headed home!
We started Sunday off with an amazingly large breakfast at my house. It was so much fun! We had pancakes, bacon, potatoes, eggs, fruit, bagels, juice, coffee, grits... oh goodness. What a good time. I love Sunday Brunches. While we were all sitting around the table in a food coma, a few of us thought that it might be a good idea to go spear fishing, especially since we had caught a flounder last week with extremely primitive tools, and at that very moment we were surrounded by bamboo, perfect for making spears out of.
We made our spears, oh how i wish i had a picture of these now, and we went to the beach. We tried several spots, but with no luck. The tide was high, and the water was too deep where we were. But it was fun to go swimming in the water, especially with spears!
So, that was my weekend! it was amazing! YEAH... I love the coast!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
At work, I have been wrapping up a lot of stuff lately, which feels amazing. For the first time in a long time, I was actually in need of some extra work. Instead of taking on projects that push me over the limit of capacity, which i actually like the feeling of, i was having to take projects to get me to capacaty. So now, i have 6 projects i am working on.
1) Reynoir Street Improvment Program. The Imperial Palace has given the center some money to fix up Reynoir Street. I have been spear heading the organization of this project, but it is kind of at a stand still at the moment.
2) Hands On Shade Structures Hands On received a grant from Singing For Change (Jimmy Buffet's Charity Organization) to make several shade structures along the coast, each of them showcasing hundreds of ceramic tiles painted by school children on the coast. I am helping them out on the project, and hopefully we are breaking ground on the first one this week. Below is the design for the first one. Each one will be different. I cannot wait to see these come up. So far, they have been really fun to work on.
3) Robert's House. I was assigned to this project yesterday, and I am meeting with Robert today, but I am pretty excited about this house. It will be my first one that is elevated high enough to park under. This project is also special because it will be the third elevated house to come out of our office on that street.
4) Jewel's House. This is also a new project. I met with the family last week. We are working to develop a program at the moment, so, no pictures for this one.
5) Habitat Development Project. This is another project that I was assigned yesterday. Habitat is working on a large scale subdivision, and my first task on this project is to help them look at different housing strategies on the site. So, no pictures for this one either.
6) Bobby and Maria's House. I have had this project for a little while, and i have been steadily working on it, but until recently, I have not had too much time to devote to it. I have a floor plan that is approved by the home owners, but we are still working out the elevations. Below are pictures of their existing house, which is set to be demolished soon, and the front elevation that I have currently for this house.
In another post I will go into all of the projects and things I have been working on lately that have kind of finished up.
That was the fun at work yesterday, oh, that and that I rode around East Biloxi on my bike and took updated pictures of all of my house projects.
After work was super nice yesterday. I joined up with a few of my friends, Sarah, Ian, and Emily, and we went black berry pickin at the golf course behind Hands On. Oh my goodness I got so many black berries. I am so excited about what i am going to do with all of them. I had a handful of the sweet things with yogurt for breakfast this morning. I plan to make a cobbler out of them soon. Maybe Sunday morning before my kayaking adventure. I will post pictures of this as soon as i get them.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
The event that brought me back to blogging happened last night. I met my friends at the beach to have a beer and watch them skim board, and when i got there, they were running around in the little puddles hootin and hollerin. I found them chasing crabs in the water, and minnows... just enjoying the water. It was a bit refreshing. I haven't had that kind of a jovial time at the beach in a long time.
So i joined in the search for life in the sand, although really not being very attentive to it, more just enjoying having my feet in the water, and the nice breeze, and my friends. All of the sudden, Sharise yells that she sees eyes in the sand. Oh, she was so good at spotting things in the water. We all ran over to look at it and sure enough, there were eyes in the sand. It was a flounder! I am still not sure how she spotted it. Everyone's spirits elevated from the relaxing wading and searching to the hunt. Armed with a skim board a bottle of vodka and a can of beer, we all discussed the best way to catch our prey. For some reason (probably the vodka) it was decided that flicking it with the skim board would be the best idea. Jeff or Baby Nick did the honors and the thing took off in the puddle. But, all hope was not lost. Where ever it went in the puddle, a ridge of water marked its path. We chased it for a few seconds until it found a stopping place. All huddling around it, we had to come up with another plan, because flicking it with the skim board was obviously not really the answer. I suggested that we gigged the thing.... but we really had no gigging tool, but it was primally fun to yell out orders to gig something. eventually(in about 5 seconds), we found this long flat piece of metal in the shallow water(surely left there by hurricane katrina). This, we decided was a good addition to our collection of useful tools. Baby Nick pinned the flounder in the sand with the skim board and Jeff [gigged?!?!] it with the blunt piece of metal. I was sure he would have gashed it but i think it just hurt it kind of bad.
The flounder took off again, but it had been weakened by our mighty tools. They were finally able to flick it onto the sand where it spent its last few minutes alone as we searched, unfruitfully, for another one.
when it got dark, we gave up our search and headed for Jeff's trailer, where we were gonna stuff it with crab and eat it (i think also the vodka talking) when we got to Jeff's house there was no crab or anyway to cook it, but the thing needed to be cleaned. So, Jeff got out his manly reciprocating fish cutter, and began to try to clean it. I became super excited because back in august, a friend of mine taught me how to clean a flounder. I was trying to instruct Jeff (in the controlly way i can get some times) on how to do it, but i don't think he believed that i knew what i was talking about. eventually though, jeff lost interest (probably the vodka) and i got to test my skills. I filleted the Flounder! and played with its head and threw body parts at Baby nick. Oh, it was glorious (the beer probably helped) and so fun!
Alright, i have to go to work now, but i should have pictures to post from the filleting adventure and i promise to be more up to date with this thing!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
It was a meeting of the minds for some people who live in East Biloxi.
Wednesday night people came together to give their feedback on plans to revitalize the Oak Street community.
"We lost so much of the face of our community, and that's something we cannot reclaim," said Thao Vu with the Boat People SOS.
Vu says after Hurricane Katrina, very few homes and businesses returned to the area. Instead, many relocated to D'Iberville and Ocean Springs. That's why her organization, as well as several others from the Vietnamese Community are working together to make plans to rebuild Oak Street.
Wednesday night was the first of many workshops aimed at getting a uniform design for the historic community.
"Change can be good, but there's also many things that you want to keep - tradition, cultural heritage. And that's something we keep in mind on Oak Street," Vu said.
Architect David Perkes agrees.
"It's all kinds of various pieces in motion," Perkes said.
He is the director of the Gulf Coast Design Studio, the company that worked with property owners and residents to create five design plans for Oak Street. They include a Vietnamese District, similar to what you would see in larger cities, a residential area, an international street made up of restaurants, bars and shops, a mixed use community and a tourist condo living area.
"Our role here is to help the community visualize their own community," Perkes said.
Right now, Oak Street is lined with several residences and businesses.
It is also the home of a Vietnamese church where hundreds of people attend mass every day.
"We would like the leaders of these churches and temples to really help because they are the leaders of this community," said Vu.
Some residents are still torn on which plans will work best, but they do want more grocery stores that serve both Vietnamese and American food. They also want restaurants that stay open later. All are ideas organizers call key to revitalizing a community where everyone will want to live, work and play.
If you were not able to attend the meeting and you have some ideas, can call Boat People SOS at 228-436-9999.
by Elise Roberts
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
City updates online collection of quality-of-life indicators
Biloxi's population is down an estimated 12 percent since Hurricane Katrina, but the number of residents is expected to surge by 20 percent over pre-Katrina levels during the next couple of years.
The population estimates, the first formal post-Katrina ackowledgement by the city, are among the dozens of facts and figures found in the newly updated online version of the city's "General Market Analysis."
The latest U.S. Census population estimate for Biloxi – 44,342 – does not include those areas of Biloxi that were annexed in 1999, months before Census 2000 was unveiled. That census said Biloxi's pre-annexation population was 50,644.
The "General Market Analysis" is a 28-page compendium -- text, and full-color photographs and charts -- that touts trends in such quality-of-life dynamics as affordable housing, home sales, unemployment, education, and the many other factors that impact the local economy.
To see the online version of the report, including a user-friendly alphabetized index, click here.
"This is an excellent tool for someone – whether a local or interested out-of-towner – who wants to learn about Biloxi and what makes our community such a vibrant place," said Community Development Director Jerry Creel, whose department is responsible for producing the report. "This is 'the book on Biloxi.'"
The city had updated the information annually before Hurricane Katrina, but the 2008 version is the first since the Aug. 29, 2005 storm. As a result, many comparisons of pre- and post-Katrina Biloxi are included in the various sections of the report.
Among the matter-of-fact statements in the new GMA:
--- The median age in Biloxi is 34.6, the city has 20,094 households, and an average household size of 2.38.
--- The city's unemployment rate today is 6.3 percent, and was 24.9 percent a month after Katrina.
--- In FY 2005, the city issued 1,196 commercial-construction permits valued at $116.4 million. In FY 2007, the city issued 972 commercial permits valued at $411.7 million.
--- Gross sales from the food and beverage group dropped from $328 million in FY '04 to $167.6 million in FY '06. Sales of lumber and building materials, meanwhile, went from $30.5 million to $80 million for the same time period.
--- The average market time for homes, condos and townhomes in Biloxi was 119 days in 2002, with an average sales price of $126,921. In 2007 (through the end of July) the average time on the market was 105 days and the average sales price was $183,498.
--- The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is the city's largest taxpayer, with a taxable assessed value of $69.2 million. The mega-resort represents 12.79 percent of the city's total assessed valuation, and the city's Top 10 taxpayers account for 35 percent of the city's total valuation.
--- Biloxi has 219 sunny days a year, with an average January temperature of 52 degrees, and 92 in July.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So far, this month has been exhausting, good over all, but exhausting.
Work is going really well. I feel like i am getting so much done, and i have a lot on my plate, and i am enjoying it.
First, i have two new houses under construction, both are being built by BFS and managed by Dan, their construction manager. Dan and i have become quick buddies, and i am learning a whole lot from him. He is really demanding of me, which is good, and is always sure to ask me my opinion. I am super lucky to be working with him. I am getting invaluable experience that i dont think most of my peers (outside of my office) are getting.
Second, the shrimp house is really getting built. It is one of the houses that i mentioned above, but it is amazing that it is actually in existence. I am not sure how it actually passed through all of the hoops to get funding and all, but it did, and it is getting built.
Third, my client victor had a victory this week. The city of Gulfport (where victor lives) gave me a bit of a scare over the last month. I was under the belief that we were going to have to fight tooth and nail to get permission to build his house, but it worked out. We have permission from the city to submit it for permit.
Fourth, the Reynoir Street Improvement program is really moving. I am glad to see this amount of momentum behind the program, and i will try to write more about this later.
That is all i am going to say about work for now, because i feel like i can go on forever.
Life outside of work is going really well too, and i have been constantly busy. I could go into deep heartfelt writings right now, but i am not going to. Things are just good, not perfect, not the way i would wish, but they are good none the less, and i am oh so thankful for that.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Now for some social opinions: what i am writing this about is the $19 Million that Obama raised in January. So Congrats! I think it would be awesome if you became president... but, $19 million in one month! that is crazy! that is a lot of money! I understand you have like...8 more months of campaigning, if you get the nomination, and that is expensive... real expensive. But how much money do you need to win? ok, say you get $10 Million a month from here on out, and maybe a little more that last month before elections. Do you really need all of that money to tell the world how great you are? I am pretty sure everyone is getting the picture. I am not asking in any way, shape or form that you stop campaigning. I am just thinking that it would be a freaking awesome move in your campaign to donate some of that money, to something that really really needs it, not that this country doesn't really really need you... but that is a lot of money. do you know what $19 million could do here in Biloxi?
alright, well, i hope you win, and i hope you funnel some money down to the coast if you have any left over! That is all i am asking.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
There is a political battle brewing here on the gulf coast, between the famous New Urbanist Andres Duany, and Biloxi's mayor A. J. Holloway
From: New Urbanist praises Gulfport's patience
Biloxi a 'suicide,' he says
By RYAN LaFONTAINE
'New Urbanism guru Andres Duany said Gulfport's patience since Hurricane Katrina will pay off, unlike neighboring Biloxi, which has committed "urban suicide."'
read the full article here
Here is what our Mayor Halloway says:
Holloway: Planner should be more respectful to
Mayor A.J. Holloway says he takes exception to insensitive comments made by New Urbanist Andres Duany in a one-source story that appears in today’s Sun Herald.
Duany, who spent two weeks in
“These are insensitive comments,” Holloway said, “and they are a slap in the face to the more than 200
Holloway said that Reviving the Renaissance committees considered Duany’s ideas and that the city welcomes private developers who embrace the New Urbanism concepts, but he agreed with residents who preferred a doable and realistic plan that was affordable.
“The economies and circumstances are different in
Holloway plans to address many of the community’s post-Katrina recovery accomplishments in his State of the City address on Feb. 11.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I went to lunch with my office mates at Kim Longs, and worked my booty off. i got a lot done yesterday at work and it was a great birthday present to my self.
I ran home to feed miss deloris, then i headed to the project lounge to meet up with Caitlyn. I ate one their famous "best burger on the coast" burgers and the bartender made me a carrot cake shot. One of the folks from sweets came in and he also bought me a beer. Off to a good start i say.
After i filled my belly, Caitlyn and I headed off to watch the lady Liberty basketball game, coached by my awesome roommates. They lost, but they did score a point. That kind of sounds sarcastic i know, but it is not meant to be. The other team was like a foot taller on average, and had a lot more experience playing i think.
I ran home to put on my birthday dress, then headed for the grocery. I walked in, and there were so many of my friends there. It was awesome... and even better, my bad ass roomies made me a pretty freakin awesome card.
I was also given a bunch of tatoos by my friends.. and a few more beers and maybe a few more shots. Basically, it was a wonderful day.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Well, it is Dr Martin Luther King Jr. day, and in Biloxi, that is a big deal. Everyone.... I mean Everyone in East Biloxi comes out to throw down and celebrate that amazing man, and what he has given our country.
It was a pretty amazing day. I rode my bike into work, checked on one thing, got another, and then headed off to the Parade. I was pretty excited that i was asked to be in the parade with Hands On (even if my roomie,Kendall, was the one to invite me) . They do so much to help the community, in both their building projects, but also their community outreach projects. They rock! And to add to it, Not only was i helping to represent a pretty awesome organization, but i also got my first Hands On Tshirt... but even better, i got one with a bad ass stencil of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was made by my roomie Anne! Oh.. and i cannot forget to mention that as we were parading down main street, The sweet lady from D'Vines (the best soul food restaurant in Biloxi) came out and gave us some fried chicken, and it was amazing.
During the parade i got a call from Dan, the guy managing construction at the shrimp house, and there was a bit of an emergency. They were getting ready to dig, and they realized that the soil was pretty soft. After the parade, i went over there to check it out, and man... it is super soft (we dont generally get soil tests here in Biloxi) so we decided to to use piles... which means i am about to have to redraw those drawings in a second, so they are ready in the morning to take to the permit office, first thing to get them approved.
So, after i took care of that little emergency, i rode my bike over to Judge-Sekul Street to help Anne, my other roomie paint a mural. It turned out super awesome. I will post pictures. It is not completely done, but, we got pretty far on it. It was fun to do that....Anne was pretty good about taking the inhabition out of what i was doing. It was nice.
After that, i tried to catch the Soul Patrol, a dance team here in Biloxi, but they had already finished so i rode my bike home.
So i need to wash the dishes, and cook some dinner, i just needed to give my legs a break from riding over that bridge, because it kinda hurt.
On the docket for tonight: finish 2 drawings for work, and maybe sit around a camp fire and drink beer. Yeah... i think that sounds about perfect.
Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day again!!!!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
anyway, they were talking about who made the best hogs head cheese in the mississippi gulf coast. This might not sound important to you, but i thought it was pretty awesome.... a bunch of folks arguing about some nasty ass food and they were comparing people way back to the 1940's. It was pretty incredible.
The other new worthy note is that today i broke the law. I rode my bike to work, which means i rode over the Biloxi Bay Bridge, and that is illegal, but i did it anyways. To quote Brandon, the construction manager here at my office, if we didnt break some of those rules
Picture from mojai1
First i would like to introduce you to them:
This is Anne:
She is from Chicago, and she currently works at the George Ohr Museum teaching art to kids, and she teaches art to Adolescence Offenders. She is probably one of the happiest people i have ever met, and super hard working(like non stop). She also does not like the Patriots, she likes the Cubs, or the underdogs. She played me the wagon wheel song this morning, which made me super happy!
This is Kendall:
Kendall is a case worker at Hands On, and is one of the many people i know from Boston. She does like the Patriots, and the Red Sox. She talks real fast, and is super funny. She is really thoughtful, and is always ready to cheer someone up. She likes to do the supa-man dance, and has brought back the word "Killer", meaning 'cool'.
So... Wisteria Estates = One Stop Shop for Fun...
Our first party: the Wisteria Estates Warming/ First Monthly Crawfish Boil
Our First Breakfast, we have had 4 of these now....
This might be our second breakfast...
Our first Dinner Party:
So yeah, we have had 6 overnight guests, 1 dinner party, 1 family dinner, 4 or so family breakfasts, and 1 crawfish boil. in 17 days... i think we are off to a good start.
Monday, January 07, 2008
My new roomies, Anne and Kendall, and I arrived at the Wisteria Estates (code name for our new house) on thursday. We moved all of our stuff in..(i have too much) and we are happily living in our new house now! more updates soon.