Friday, September 16, 2005

Ministry Of Silly Chemistry.

Getting ready to go to California for my brother's wedding, so not a lot of time today. Here's a silly link to keep you amused:

NP: Heather Dale, "The Road To Santiago"

Friday, September 09, 2005

Taking care of our own and everyone else, too.

This needs no further comment. I'm very proud of my own people.

Officers of Avalon
PO Box 9932
Daytona Beach, FL, 32120
7 September 2005

Dear Friends:
The response to the Avalon Cares appeal has been tremendous. I’m
writing this to give you an update on how much has been collected so far and
where it is going. As of tonight Avalon Cares has collected over $11,000 and
donations are still coming in. That’s in just one week. Thank you very
much to all of you that donated. This is a wonderful start, but just a
start. This disaster relief effort will take many months to complete.
For those of you who are new, Officers of Avalon is an organization made
up of Pagan emergency services personnel that is incorporated in Nevada and
has 501 (c) status. Avalon Cares is a relief fund created and run by our
Chancellor General as part of our commitment to serve the community.

We are very proud of our Chancellor General, Joie Balindjo, a police
detective in Florida who is a Vodou Mambo. Officer of Avalon’s operating costs are modest and entirely covered by the dues of our members. None of the Grand Preceptory (our board of
directors) receive remuneration of any sort for the work that we do for Officers of
Avalon. We’re all volunteers. We are endeavoring to have 100% of the
money collected by our Avalon Cares project go to the relief effort.

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, we've had a lot of people on the
ground in the affected areas from the start as our members are in the
emergency services. These members, in turn, are in contact with other
emergency services professionals in the affected areas. We're using
this network to gather information on where support is most needed. We don't
want to duplicate efforts made by other agencies.

Tara Riversong, our Inspector General and webmaster, has done some
excellent work in getting the on line system set up to receive money. She and our
treasurer have ironed out the glitches in the Pay Pal system to get the
money out to where it is needed faster.

Under the direction of Joie, Avalon Cares has set up a registry for
people volunteering space in their homes for displaced people. You can contact
us through the Avalon Cares or Officers of Avalon web sites to put your
name in. We’d like to thank Windwalker, one of our newer members from
Wisconsin, for her efforts in setting this up. We’d like to thank the Aquarian
Tabernacle Church and the Correllians for working with us to set this

Many people from the Pagan, Afro-Diasporan and Gay communities have been
displaced by this disaster. If you know any one who needs housing,
please write to us and we’ll connect them up to these resources.

Our Treasurer General, a Florida cop we know as Guardian, has done a
fantastic job setting up the first convoy of supplies to the disaster
area. With the help of the chaplain of his police department (Daytona Beach
PD) we’ve got 8 truck loads of supplies getting ready to go down this Friday
to the affected area. Officers of Avalon is paying the gas, supplying
drivers and Pagan cops are providing the escort. We’ve been communicating with
the people in the disaster area to work out the last minute details of

There are countless other places that our support is needed in the
coming months. Other needs will be addressed as we become aware of them. I
encourage you all to give us your suggestions on this subject.
All of this is beginning to attract the notice of the media. The Los
Angeles Times interviewed Tara earlier today regarding our relief
efforts. We’re showing the people who recently claimed that Pagans do nothing for
their community that this is not the case. We’re showing the world what
Pagans can do. Yet we must stick with it. As I said earlier, this is a
massive relief operation and will be going on for some time. We need
you all to continue to donate what you can. If you can’t donate money,
donate your time to volunteer efforts. Do your own fund raising events to help
us in this disaster relief effort. Open your doors to the displaced. Give
blood. If you’re a Pagan in the emergency services or related fields,
join us at Officers of Avalon and help us help Pagans.

Kerr Cuhulain
Preceptor General
Officers of Avalon

Sunday, September 04, 2005


News doesn't often make me cry; in fact, very little does. This did.

It's not just the wedding. It's the fact a Jackson, MS homeless woman coordinated it, got businesses to donate to it, and set it up for these NOLA refugees. I don't know why the gods sometimes choose the best people to be in the worst straits, but here's to Rochelle Smith. That's what I call a hero.

In other news, two dozen gay men and women maintained the Labor Day tradition of the Decadance Parade. Quoting from Yahoo! News:

Amid the tragedy, about two dozen people gathered in the French Quarter for the Decadence Parade, an annual Labor Day gay celebration. Matt Menold, 23, a street musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung over his back, said: "It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate."

That may be the first news that makes me think the Big Easy might make it.

NP: David Pack, The Secret Of Movin' On

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blog from NOLA's CBD.

From filker Tom Smith's LJ, a link to a guy who rode out Katrina in New Orleans' Central Business District and is now blogging live and managing to stay on the ether.

Honesty in a politician? I LIKE it.

In the immortal words of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, quoted on CNN:

"I've been out there man. I flew in these helicopters, been in the crowds talking to people crying, don't know where their relatives are. I've done it all man, and I'll tell you man, I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming, that is coming. And my answer to that today is BS, where is the beef? Because there is no beef in this city. Get every Greyhound bus in the country and get them moving."
Nagin called for a moratorium on press conferences "until the resources are in this city."
"They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying," he said.
"I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get ... on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now," Nagin said.
"They thinking small, man, and this is a major, major deal," he said.
"Get off your asses and let's do something."

The tragedy in NOLA continues to dominate my thoughts, but frankly to hear a politician be so blunt was damned refreshing. Is it too early to draft a Nagin/Guiliani ticket in 2008? Our motto could be 'Bring it on, we've seen the worst'.

NP: Nickel Creek, Why Should The Fire Die?