Okay, to state for the record I am dealing with the loss of my MacBook's hard drive as best as can be expected. Is this the same as the barefoot boy whose father is a cobbler? Well, yes. I am ashamed to admit it. I have been snakebitten. But in any computer crisis, there is usually a ray of hope or a lesson to be learned. I am now in the process of updating my MacBook to allow me to install Time Machine (an application which will back up my data more regularly) and Boot Camp (an Apple feature that permits dual booting into Windows). The other good outcome from such a dastardly turn of events is that I will be upgrading my hard drive from 80 Gigabytes to a full 320GB with a split between the Mac and Windows OS (160GB each). So, although I have lost lots of notes, pictures and presentations, I guess I can take solace in the fact that I will have learned from the errors of my past and can say with some certainty that I won't be as hard hit next time as I was last weekend.
There is also another reason for my sunny disposition. Perhaps it is caused by those extra hours of streaming sun enjoyed by me and my fellow Louisianians. Or pehaps it is in the Creole or Cajun food or the Dixieland, rhythm and blues or Zydeco music we so love. Whatever it is, we in Louisiana are the happiest people in the U.S. Don't just take my word for it. There is a genuine scientific poll that says just that. In fact Louisiana showed up ahead of Hawaii and Florida in the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now some of you naysayers in the gray, frozen tundra may snicker, but there is now undisputed proof that what I've been saying all along is right. Life in Louisiana is pretty good, despite the occasional threat of hurricanes and pelting rain from the soggiest December on record. I believe it has a lot to do with the amount of sunshine we enjoy, but there's more to it than that. After all, the Equator gets more sunshine than any other place on earth and I don't necessarily feel that any of those countries are happier than we are in our neck of the woods. In case some of you are wondering about the study, it was conducted over the course of several years (some before Hurricane Katrina and some after), so the findings are even more startling to me. Over 1.3 million people were interviewed about their quality of life and the happiness quotient for living in Louisiana topped all others. Not surprisingly, New York came in last and California showed up in 46th place. So, with the New Orleans Saints at 13 and 0 and this study proving what I've been saying all along, this land of dreamy dreams seems somewhat more transformed into a more perfect resting place. In case some of you snowbirds want to have some of what we've got, make a reservation, hop a plane, car, bus or train and get down to enjoy what will be a great holiday season and a fantastic new year to come. With the Saints steamroller making locals a bit more loco, the upcoming Sugar Bowl and the Mardi Gras season fast approaching, New Orleans and Louisiana is looking pretty good about now. We'll keep a cup of cafe au lait and some beignets warm for you all.