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New Orleans 2010

I'm just about to depart from New Orleans--here I am 48 yrs old but never took a trip here. Well it's pretty good, though hot of course (not surprising given time of yr esp. but at least AC in many places).

I flew from Manchester NH to Tampa to here on Sunday. Got rental car, checked into Motel 6 nearby, and a quick meal at Popeye's (fried chicken chain, started in NOLA I think). On Monday I started with the excellent World War II museum--interesting and sobering (outstanding film Beyond All Boundaries in 4-D incl. sensurround type effects; narrated by Tom Hanks). From there I went to the French Quarter and had a nice roast beef po boy sandwich at Johnny's Po Boys...and then a nice hurricane drink at Pat O'Brien's. I soaked in the Bourbon St revelry ("I got Bourbon-faced on Shit Street") and then got back into car where I drove 23 miles across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. A brief look at the "north shore"; would have taken tour of Abita brewery but they were closed Mondays.

Dinner was at Yo Mama's across street from Pat O'Brien's and Preservation Hall (never did get in THERE)--a cheeseburger topped with peanut butter
(hello Bert Raccoon!) and bacon, and salad. Yes. Conversed with a drunk next to me during all that. Then I drove to Chickie Wah Wah in the Treme section to see solo folk-blues artist Spencer Bohren (I've played him on my blues radio show before)

Tue: breakfast at Johnny's Po Boys (great omellette), a couple museums
(free Mardi Gras one, and the 1850 House) and CD shopping at Peaches and Lou. Music Factory. All NO-related artists: Clifton Chenier (zydeco),
Marva Wright, Big Al Carson, and a best of Dr John. Lunch was at Crescent St Brewery--good BBQ brisket but 2 microbrewed beers came to $15! (Just the beers). Then a nice air conditioned guided tour (Gray Line); funny tour guide; stopped at a cemetery. Got back to my motel, cooled off, and then went to minor league ballgame (N.O. Zephyrs) in Metairie. Nice time, home team won 1-0...and the raised picnic area in center field (a "berm") was called the Levee, though I sat in a box seat on 3rd base side right behind dugout,

The mascot was a "nutria" (swamp rat?) named Boudreaux, someone in fursuit. Ballpark food--bbq pulled pork, baked beans, cole slaw etc

Then yesterday: after good waffles at Waffle House I saw a civil war museum, jazz museum (national park); lunch was sausage and alligator sausage--yes--at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen (with Abita beer).A quick look at
Frenchman street then a nice stroll down Royal St. with the kind of
multi-colored houses and railings you associate N.O. with.

A couple brief streetcar rides and a free ride across the harbor to Algiers where there was a jazz walk of fame. Well, by then I was getting hot and tired so I started to head back, stopping at a Corky's (bbq ) in Metairie.
Last night I just took it easy at the motel. Flying back now and I just may try a "lucky dog" hot dog here at the airport (was recommended to me).

N.O. of course is a great place to see historical places, party, eat,
see good music, etc. Drives around the area were also interesting.
I'll have to come here again, but dare I try to partake of the madness
and high prices of Mardi Gras...or the (April) Jazz & Heritage fest?

Sleepy Bear

Question: what international motel chain uses a furry character as part of its identity...a certain bruin clad in nightclothes and a cap, drowsy...
That of course would be Travelodge and its long running character Sleepy Bear

Wikipedia: Sleepy is "a half awake teddy bear wearing a sleeping cap with his name, a robe with the Travelodge logo, and slippers. Some time ago, Travelodge would give a free toy plush bear to any child staying in the Sleepy Bear Den room"

The inspirations are obvious--besides being a cuddly furry animal, and the teddy bears kids have in their rooms, you have the concept of hibernation and also the "who's been sleeping in MY bed?" bit from the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Hibernation pops up in some TV cartoons; in Depatie Freleng's The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas (1973;
on YouTube), a bruin named Ted E Bear journeys to a human city to find Christmas even though he really should be hibernating. The Buttons and Rusty holiday specials show the bear (and fox) family going into or getting out of that long winter's nap. And one comic strip from KEVIN AND KELL
shows a bear couple, the Ursals, waking up after hibernation and contacting Tech Support to help download their emails, etc.

Another old cartoon, Santa and the Three Bears (1970) has two young and frisky cubs encountering Santa even though their (single mother) Mama Bear wants them to just hibernate, already.

Anyway, Travelodge (have stayed at the Burlington VT location, though it may be another chain now?) associates cute cuddly teddy bears with families looking for restful sleep after a long journey...

That's fantastic, Mr. Fox!

Great movie...just saw. A lot of work went into the design and stop motion animation and a lot comes out. Mr Fox promised the wife he'd give up his wild animal ways and stick to newspaper columns, but you can't take the chicken-stealing ways out of a fox. Ultimately it leads to war with humans, and it's vulpes vulpes' ingenuity and pluck that might just give them a chance.

With a son and nephew (Ash and Kristofferson) learning to appreciate each other; a piano playing mole; Willem Dafoe-voiced security rat; Bill Murray's lawyer/badger; a fast talking rabbit chef and rabid beagles (don't forget the blueberries! Beagles love blueberries.) Visually looks great (would have to watch again to catch various in jokes, etc) and it was funny.

Whistle, click-click. That's my trademark.

Back from the Deep South!

Did a lot of driving, spent a lot of money, had a lot of fun.

Sat.--drove up to Manchester, where I would be flying from the next day. Saw telephone museum, ate out at a couple fave restaurants, and saw minor league baseball--the hometown
Fisher Cats won

Sun--flew to Nashville then drove to Memphis. Ate at a Corky's BBQ, headed down to Horn Lake MS to check into motel,
then into Memphis to enjoy a little Beale Street blues (great band at Rum Boogie)

Mon--went to a Mississippi River museum at Tunica next to the casinos, then drove to Clarksdale, home to blues greats like John Lee Hooker. Ate lunch at Ground Zero Blues Club
(BBQ) then saw the Delta Blues Museum and shopped at Cat Head records. Drove briefly into Helena, AR, and saw another blues museum; Helena has seen better days...dinner back
in Clarksdale at Abe's BBQ

Tue--drove to Indianola and saw the BB King museum.
Nice lunch next door at the Gin Mill (Kielbasa sandwich,
cole slaw, moon pie dessert) then drove toward Jackson.
After checking into my motel I headed to Vicksburg--
saw Coca Cola memorabilia museum, had a nice dinner,
then went briefly across the line into Louisiana so I could say I've been there!

Wed--To Tupelo by way of Canton (saw museum devoted
to memorabilia from the movie My Dog Skip--many movies have been filmed in that town). Mid afternoon, saw
Elvis' birthplace and a nice car museum. Dinner at an
O'Charley's--nice chain down there. (They have happy
hour, 2 for 1 beers)

Today--an early start; drove very scenic Natchez Trace
Parkway up to Nashville then flew from there to New
Hampshire by way of Baltimore, then drove home. Whew!

Along the way I experienced blues culture, the Deep South,
BBQ food, nice scenery, etc! It was a little hot but the car
had good AC and not as humid as you'd think.

So...I'm back.

One of these days I'll have to do a series of FURRY BLUES
LEGENDS drawings. A natural one would be Howlin Wolf
(Chester Burnett), who was 300 pounds of heavenly joy...
and had so many blues standards as hits. The Wolf!

The rest of Anthrocon

I know I've left people hanging, unless you happened to read my journals on FurAffinity so let me repro them here

Anthrocon trip day 6
Last full day; tomorrow I fly back

Morning: breakfast buffet at the hotel rest. then 2 panels by Joe Harris about Underdog, Trix Rabbit, etc. Asked a bunch of questions and bought a book about Total Television Prod. from his daughter. Fascinating stuff!

A quick lasagna wrap at Furnando's, back to hotel to cool off, and the end of the Toonseum panel on Top Anthro Characters of All Time. This is a part of the Pitt. Children's Museum on the North Shore; will have to check out next year. Right now they have an exhibit on Harvey Comics on loan from Cartoon Art Museum in San Fran--but I saw that already at the CAM last year.

A quick look in a Fluff N Such's Invasion of the Body Stockings production then the hilarious benefit performance by Kage and 2...and finally closing ceremonies. 3776 attendees this yr,
640 in the fursuit parade!

Then a leisurely burger repast at the Steel City Diner with my roomies plus Slothpuck etc. Now getting ready for trip back,

Post con depression,

Till next Year...

Anthrocon trip day 7
I didn't cover yesterday, did I? Monday? Well, we checked out of the hotel after settling a billing snafu, then I headed to the airport. As there was little traffic I actually had time to do the breakfast buffet at the Eat N Park again. Then when going thru the security line, the guy doing the X-raying called some co-workers over and started to snicker and chuckle. There it was...right on the X ray of my black bag...a raccoon doll. A 47 yr old man with a raccoon plushie! Yes, they could tell I was a furry! I just smiled and thought of the $3 million in revenue
we brought the city.

Pitt. to Baltimore, Balt. to Manchester (picked up car), then from
there to home. It will take me awhile to catch up.

Rain outside today here back home. Ugh. Oh as for the pictures: be aware I'm a horrible photographer and I buy $7 disposable cameras. The pic in the Buca di Beppo (Pope Room)
was too dark to post. I could upload more but do you really want a pic of the outside of the Carnegie Museum? Shots of
the football and baseball stadia?

Another trip coming next week: Memphis and the Mississippi Delta

It's me!

It's me! Char by me, art by millislim

Anthrocon trip days 3, 4, 5

This morning we had a nice breakfast at the Steel City Diner and then I drove my roomies to the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art.
Not too bad. Not more rain! But it seems to be over now. We got back to the hotel, rested a while,
and got our Con books, etc. by mid-afternoon.
The Buca di Beppo dinner is at 5:30; we will walk 20 min to go there.

My roomies may go to a room party tonight. I may just rest up and read the Con material.

We had huge fun at the Buca! 18 people went and we had lots of laughs, delicious food and drink, and good times. Thanks very much to Joatman for all his help! I talked with him as we both walked back to the hotel...nice guy.
May go to "Absent Friends" panel tonight 9-11...
Just looked thru schedule...so much good stuff! Tomorrow's includes Kage's Story Hour, Anthropoly (game show), a Joe Harris (UNDERDOG) panel or two, "How to talk to the public about furry" and more

Day 4
Whoa another busy day.Breakfast at the hotel restaurant, the Bigelow Grille (pretty good). I drove the two roomies down to the Monongahela Incline and we got a quick ride up and a nice look down at the city--then came rains again but only for a minute...Saw opening ceremonies then walked down Ft Duquese Blvd. to Point State Park for free show by blues band Mahajibee (I play them on my radio show). Enjoyed! Then went to point area and looked across at Heinz Field. Walked down Liberty Ave to get back to the Con.

Saw panel about how to properly tell others about furry. Underdog/Trix Rabbit creator Joe Harris was late due to an airline snafu; no panel from him but he did get to the hotel by 3:30 and he was welcomed by many furs, plus someone in an Underdog costume! Looked around dealer's room then joined the roomies for a nice Chinese buffet at nearby Golden Palace. Nice pork, hot and sour soup, etc. $9.95 incl drinks.

7 pm was Anthroconopoly and Uncle Kage's Story Hour (funny) followed at 8:30...Kage was introduced by The Late Billy Mays, talking about a new product that would bring you back to life! (And Mays was from Pitt. area...)

Now back to hotel. 2 more days of the Con then leaving Monday!

Day 5
Another awesome day! Began with brkfst at Steel City Diner then a 10 am -11:30 am panel, Joe Harris,, etc. on Sat Morning Cartoon memories. Lots of background on Underdog and I mentioned the panic over the fact that he was taking power pills--thus leading youth astray on subject of pill popping! So it got edited out. He doesn't have control of U-Dog and had nothing to do with the Disney-dist. movie but told some funny stories surrounding it, etc.

Lunch was Golden Palace again tho no buffet, just dumplings, hot n sour soup, and lo mein--but good again. Afternoon brought a Poink and Ezra pawpet show and dinner was a quick bite at Cody's, followed by THE. BEST. MASQUERADE. EVER!
Some hilarious acts (Furry Translator; poking fun at FurAffinity and yes they were in on it) good music and dance and some patriotic moments as well.
Would have gone to 2 but line was stretching for miles.Preferred seeing fireworks from top of conv center--unbelievably awesome! Oh and there was the matter of the fursuit parade earlier...640 of them!

Maybe I should move here. I love Pittsburgh!
Anthrocon Trip Day 3

This morning a nice breakfast at the Steel City Diner then I drove my 2 roomies to Oakland where we saw the Carnegie Mus of Natural History. More rain tho it seems to be over now. Got our Con books etc...and headed out (walking) to Buca di Beppo. A great time--superb food and drink and low priced (one gentleman paid for drinks for the _18_ of us so it came to a very low price! FUN time. Now I'm relaxing here because next 3 days will be hectic. Some panels will include Underdog creator Joe Harris (he gave us the Trix Rabbit too), "how to talk to others about furry", the Fluff n Such videos, puppeteering, Sat. morning cartoon memories and much more. Fursuit parade with a July 4th theme on Saturday.

Anthrocon trip day 1 and day 2

Day 1

TUE 6/30--flew from Manchester NH to Philadelphia but my plane was stuck on tarmac in Phil.for an hour due to weather issues to the west. Finally got to Pit by 4 pm and checked into the hotel in 'Moon' (tonite only). Took a drive west on US 30 and then veered off into Raccoon Creek State Park. Beautiful--nice lake. Only there briefly--I have never been in West Virginia so I headed west again...nice scenery. A bit of a hillbilly feel...Then mere minutes later, I'm in Ohio! So I headed back, grabbing dinner at the Hoss' steakhouse nr my motel (been there before--burgers, steaks, and a huge salad/soup/dessert bar that comes with the meal.

Now relaxing, recording a Pirates game off 104.7 for a friend...tomorrow I meet up with Cachette & Scooter and see the downtown!

Weather mostly OK, a few sprinkles.

day 2
Headed out of the Motel 6 this morning and had breakfast buffet at the Eat n Park nr the airport. From there a brief time back at Raccoon Creek State Park, walking and looking at the beach, and then into Pittsburgh. I spent 3 hours at the John Heinz history museum--great! Pitt. 250, history of all the great innovations by those from the area; the Pitt. Sports Museum with a film about Negro Leagues, stuff on Lincoln etc.

Then I headed toward the Doubletree and found my roomies had already got there. It took me awhile to correctly find the place but got into my room, then I showed them the conv. center/hotel set up and we had the $5 special at FURnando's.
A bit later I went to Pirates game (they lost to Cubs 4-1 and one Cub is named Fox how cool is that?) Nice park, good game...and I had a sandwich from Primanti Bros. (has fries and cole slaw inside). After walking over bridge I noted that the Doubletree shuttle was there so I took advantage of it. much more tomorrow incl buca di beppo!