Saturday, September 20, 2008

OP ED: '1 CALL' SAYS IT ALL

On my way home from picking up Laurel at school yesterday, I sat a traffic light listening to the kids chattering behind me and staring blankly ahead at the traffic. Then a sight broke me from my trance. Imagine a white sporty Lexus with all blacked out windows and gold trim aftermarket accessories. I checked out the rims, too. No biggie, right? Alright, now add this...the vanity tag read "1 CALL". My mind, like most of yours, I bet, channeled immediately to the memory of the commercial I have seen hundreds of times. My teeth clenched and nostrils flared as I recalled the voice, "One call, that's all...." For those of you not following, I will explain. Brad informed me that some people may not have the same cynicism, so I will finish my thought. I think I can assume this driver was in a wreck and got a check (remember that commercial, too? "My wreck, my check!") and bought a shiny new Lexus. Maybe some of our readers live somewhere that doesn't promote this kind of theft. In Louisiana, it's rampant. I make that judgement because the commercials for the attorneys (I could use another word my father would prefer) seem to be on every channel and every show. They are usually followed or preceded by the chiropractors' commercials ("no payment is due until your case is settled!")

Make no mistake, were I or "a loved one" in a wreck, I would expect the insurance company to pay a fair settlement. If they didn't, I too, would hire an attorney (hopefully one with some class) to ethically represent my rights. We also have a family member badly injured in an accident. Visiting him in the hospital helped me understand the necessity for "pain and suffering" compensation. I have battled with insurance companies before and make no attempt to portray them as angels. That said, our family has also been treated first class by an auto insurance agency after an accident at our fault. In another wreck, we were informed that the driver of the other vehicle was seeing a chiropractor and had hired an attorney in attempt to recover lost wages, medical bills, etc. I didn't see the other vehicle in the wreck, but based on the account retold by my ever-honest husband, my gut says scam.

I have one fun dream. Wouldn't it be intriguing to hear how much the attorney got from each case that he plasters on his ads? "MB got me 1.4 million and I paid him over $400,000!" Oh oh oh, there is so much more I could say, but negativity feeds on negativity. It's time for me to let it go and focus on something more fun...College football. Go Gators!

FRIEND FINDS WORTHY ARTICLE

For our readers interested in Sarah Palin and the media frenzy surrounding her, I present this article found by affiliate Meredith:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122143727571134335.html

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MILKSHAKE NOT MEDICINE

"Surely, a nice chocolate milkshake and a little rest will cure this owie." Moms usually know best. Sometimes they don't get it right the first time. About an hour after the milkshake, Laurel was still complaining convincingly that her arm hurt. Impressed by Laurel's theatrics in the past, Maren couldn't be sure that this was serious. Yet, she decided to let a professional take a look. The pediatrician said that Laurel probably had a very common elbow fracture and would need to be seen by a bone doctor. The crew headed across town, braved the post hurricane traffic, and endured the rest of the process. A few x-rays and a doctor-visit later, Laurel was suited up with her very first hard splint and sling. She's handling it okay, despite not being able to do much on her new violin. She's looking forward to showing her teacher at school when she finally gets to go back.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MUSIC MAKER GETS STARTED

A brief postponement due to inclement weather just heightened her anticipation. Little Laurel was thrilled to begin her violin lessons at LSU yesterday. She did quite well learning how to hold the bow, how to hold the violin (even with no hands), and finally how to make sounds! She couldn't wait to show daddy after the lesson was over. Maren and Laurel walked over to Mike the Tiger's cage where Brad was occupying Brant during the lesson. Laurel put on her first concert for her most adoring fans! If only Aunt Cissy were here!

Monday, September 8, 2008

GUSTAV PHOTOS

After clarifying an in-house miscommunication about which department would post the local Gustav injuries, the Chronicle presents a few of our best photos.
The worst of the damage to the Cupit house. The siding could be heard snapping off during the storm. Notice that the pink insulation beneath the siding tore off as well. Unfortunately, the Chronicle does not have a photo of the family outside in the middle of the hurricane grabbing pieces of siding and insulation. Maren only joined the others after prodding because she was terrified. The family rescued the fallen siding so that the pieces wouldn't be projectiles flying into windows, etc. She seems to recall the phrase, "It's not that bad."


This house is a few houses down from the Cupits'. Click on the photo to read the yard sign.


More damage on the Cupits' street.


Damage in a neighbor's backyard.


This was a recurring scene throughout the neighborhood. Roofers and fencers will be in business for quite a while after this storm.


Giving new meaning to reduce, reuse, recycle. The pink makeshift door is the siding insulation that used to be on the house. The door was used to divide the air conditioned side of the house from the hot side. The window unit worked fantastic, at least from the prospective of the lucky lady who got to sleep right next to it.


This was the worst tree discovered by our photography team. This is located in the heavily wooded neighborhood close to LSU. The power lines were very dangerous here.


It may be some time before Maren and Brad can use their gift certificate to their favorite restaurant up the street from their house.


In a rush to take Brant to an emergency visit to the only open dentist in the area, Brad discovered that his car wouldn't start. Papa K and Brad pushed the car out of the driveway to allow the family to get to the appointment. Later in the week, Brad, Papa K and Uncle Craig had it up and running again. Whew!

And finally, this photo is near Jackson Square in New Orleans. The fully armed National Guard was there to protect the peace. Quite an odd site for the typical tourist haven.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

TRADITION DEVELOPS WITH DUCKS

The Cupits have not wasted a single piece of bread in the past few weeks. The ducks are grateful, if not aggressive! Everyone in the family has been "bitten" by a duck; still, the Cupits are ready to do it again!
At Brant's first duck experience, he had tons of fun chasing the ducks. The ducks didn't seem to mind the torment as long as there was more bread.

Laurel and Maren had a preparation talk today before feeding the ducks. Laurel learned that if the ducks are too aggressive and she starts to get scared, then she needs to drop the bread in her hand and run away! She was proud of herself for remembering to drop the bread.

CHILD LABOR LAWS SUSPENDED IN WAKE OF GUSTAV


Monday, September 1, 2008

GUSTAV STRIKES, CUPIT FAMILY SAFE

Gustav did not strengthen during the night as expected. He also took a turn further west, which is good for New Orleans. All is well on the homefront, as the worst part of it is now over, and everyone made it through safely.

Electricity in the Cupit home went out around 12:30 EDT, and the generator was fired up just after 5:00pm (powering the laptop and cable modem used to write this article). The primary target of the generator is the refrigerator, in an attempt to salvage all food.

Though about half of the siding on one side of the house was blown off, most, if not all of it, was recovered by members of the Cupit family. Pictures will be posted once electricity is restored.

Brant and Laurel slept through the worst of it; Maren, Brad, and Brad's parents and grandma are all doing fine!

Cell phones are going in an and out of roaming, so even if we don't answer, we're still ok!