Spot Light on a Master


Spot Light on a Master

We know of Rembrandt by his first name – like Cher or Madonna. His name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn and he is generally considered, by many, as one of the greatest artists in the history of art. Born in 1606, this Dutch artist entranced the viewer with subject, theme, and lighting.


His painting “The Philosopher in Meditation” provides a classic example of the power of mood and setting with a single main light source.  Doesn’t it seem cold inside the house?


“The Stone Bridge” gives us another example of his very distinctive style. Note how the sunlight strikes the group of trees in the center of this work. This simple style affect pulls the viewers eyes to the center of the painting and as you scan around the work your eyes seem to be involuntarily drawn back to the center light source.


Finally, “Jeremiah Lamenting”…

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The Eternal Argument


At the risk of alienating over half the world’s population, I shall go on record and state thusly: I do not like okra in my gumbo. Yes, I know it’s true that okra is a contributing source to ensure the thickness of the dish but there is File’ or a hearty chocolate colored roux.

The history of gumbo is interesting (see a source below), which makes for an enligthing read if you have a free five minutes.

I’m sure, I have horrified millions with my no okra stance, so let me make another assertion.  There is (chicken and sausage gumbo) and (seafood gumbo).  You don’t mix the two – so NO to a shrimp and sausage gumbo. An open dialog and expression of different thoughts and ideas is the cornerstone to a peaceful conglomeration of mankind.  And I totally respect that… but wrong is wrong no matter how you cook it.

To go for the trifecta and completely isolate myself from the majority  … hehe… your potato salad goes in the gumbo – not on the side.

The Riverboat


There are mainstay attractions everyone must see when going to various cities. If you go to San Antonio you must see the Alamo, San Fran – ride the cable car and take in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has its Arch, Chicago its Sears Tower, and well there are probably to many to mention for cities like New York or Washington D.C. But for New Orleans, one such mainstay is a ride on the Steamboat Natchez.

I’ve taken the two hour trip on several occasions with Geneva.  You can have dinner on board if you like or you can just enjoy the slow journey down the river. It’s not as thrilling as a roller coaster at Six Flags but then a short ride on “El Toro” won’t give you the time to contemplate life like the Natchez can.

On our first trip I went to the bar to get us a drink and as I returned I saw Geneva leaning against the rail staring down at the muddy waters of the Mississippi glide past. I noted just how incredibly beautiful she was and imagined her in a hoop dress and umbrella, ala 1800’s. This was not an uncommon form of travel in that era. We sat with our drinks holding hands and spoke very little. Each of us, I suspect, lost in imagination or deep thought.


On another trip we decided to try the dinner option. I found the food good but it paled in comparison to the offerings of the land based restaurants here in the city. And yet, there was something very romantic about dinning in the large room in the center of a steam boat heading down river. If you take the evening cruise in the fall or early spring bring a jacket. It can get chilly on the river between November and March. But nothing can warm you up faster than dancing the cruise away on the upper deck with the ship’s Jazz band.

I have some of my fondest memories on that boat. If you’ve never taken the trip, you should at least once.  And I do realize one person’s unforgettable is another’s unbearable, but the Natchez is certainly more of the former than the latter.

How do ya say it?

New Orleans… let’s start with how you say her name.

  • New Orleans….. New Or leans  (Most everyone in the State and U.S.)
  • New Orleans….. New Or lee anns  (Heard mostly on the North Shore)
  • New Orleans….. New Or lans
  • New Orleans….. Nawlins

It only matters how it’s pronounced if it matters to you.  As for me I say:  “New Or lans”