Archive for September, 2004

Dekalb County … grrrrr ….

SO 4 years ago, I drove to the Georgia Power office in South Dekalb mall to pay my bill. Decided since it was closing time … I’d park behind that Cadillac right there in the fire lane, run in put the check in the drop box, hop back in the car zoom zoom zoom – GRAND IDEA – right? WRONG. After I dropped the check off – hopped back in my car, proceeding to turn the key “chigga chigga chigga”…it wouldn’t turn over… “chigga chigga chigga” still wouldn’t turn over… Oh no, the mall rent a cop came up behind me and gave me a warning to move it or get a ticket. Told him it wouldn’t start… I would keep trying. Called for a tow truck “it’s Friday – it’ll be awhile”… Long story short I got a ticket … Paid the ticket … 4 years later … I get this:

Um Kendall … you owe us money …pay up or ELSE!!!

Now, as I prepare to move … I’ve got to find proof of payment or pad Vernon’s pockets a little more … what to do …what to do???

Give it a rest, Bravos! Please!

Is anyone else hoping the Cubs sweep the Braves in their three-game series beginning on Friday?

Sure, I live in Atlanta now, but I grew up a Cubs fan. I have to root for them when it counts. Besides, the Braves have already clinched and don’t need these three games. My hope is that Bobby Cox rests his stars and gives some playing time to the kids, allowing the Cubs to stay in the wildcard race.

Does rooting against the Braves make me a traitor, since I live in Atlanta and work for the company that owns the team? Even if the games don’t matter in the long run?

H-Bomb and the Coast of Georgia

In my web surfing adventures today I stumbled across an article on MSNBC. I have noticed this making headlines as of late, and remember hearing about it a few years ago on the history channel or something. There is a nuclear missile off the coast of GEORGIA! That just doesn’t bring pleasant thoughts…The Air Force says that there is no danger of a nuclear blast for the lack of plutonium needed to trigger the bomb. This sounds like one of those situations where it is appropriate to say “Of course they would say that!”.

The article goes on to state that this bomb became one of 11 “broken arrows” lost during a military mishap. Makes me think of that movie with John Travolta and Christian Slater…Broken Arrow. The movie goes on to show Travolta recovering one of these or numerous I don’t remember. He then tries to blow stuff up…Fortunately he gets pinned to the back of a train…I think…Man it has been to long since I last watched that film. I suppose I will have to let NetFlix know!

The article is located here

Midtown Arson

If you live in Midtown Atlanta you may already know about the arsonist.

Here’s an article at WXIA’s website. A relevant quote:

…The string of fires started more than a six weeks ago in an area of northeast Atlanta and runs from Lenox Rd. to Virginia-Highland…

Sounds to me like some psycho is finding his sealegs there in the VA Highlands-Midtown area. Why psycho? Read on. Now, if you don’t want to click, I’ll just try to quote something relevant from the site found in that link.

…(the developing serial killer) becomes almost incapable of interacting properly with the outside world, because his thinking patterns are all turned inward, designed only to stimulate himself in an attempt to reduce tensions, which only reinforces his isolation: a loop has developed. The effects of his antisocial acts (i.e. cruelty to animals and other children, arson) become incorporated into his fantasies, which are pushed to a more intensively violent level…

The emphasis was mine, by the way.

So let’s hope he gets caught but fast. So far the fires are set in areas that make it seem as if they are not completely directed at total destruction. That just means the freak is working up to it.

Firebugs freak me out. So you will know I’m not thumbing my nose and saying “nyah, see why I don’t want to live in town!” I’ll give you an example – I worked in dinky little New Albany, Indiana, a bucolic little town just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, with a dude who had his freak on for fires. He worked the three night shifts at the TV station I didn’t work. That fourth night we both worked a kind of swing shift that had us overlap for several hours. So I got to hear about every freaking fire between New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Bloomington to the north. My man – I’ll call him Leapin’ Lenny – (a very funny image considering he was a good 290-300 lbs.) – stayed up all night on his nights off too, with all sorts of scanners running in his bedroom and car, and the moment a fire call went out he was out of bed with video camera and heading in right behind the fire trucks and cops. Later he would try and sell the video to Louisville area TV stations.

Frankly, he always gave me cold chills when he started in on his love of these events. His drooling fascination with them. I soon concluded Leapin’ Lenny had a hand in some of these conflagrations, and still wonder if to this day he’s roaming northern Kentucky and southern Indiana with video camera and accelerants at the ready.

So, to my buddies in Midtown Atlanta, be on the lookout for innocuous looking freaks hanging in your breezeways for no good reason and the civilian with the camera roaming around after the fire call goes out. Just a general bit of advice. Be safe.

Be vigilant.


Sorry I’ve been gone for a while; was doing guest relations work for AnimÈ Weekend Atlanta. Which was great fun and the masses of teenagers did not irritate me, except when they wore “Know Your Roots” shirts with pictures of Nintendo controllers. I came perilously close to giving a few imperious lectures about how anyone born after 1988 has no right whatsoever to wear such a shirt.

But right now I’m more interested in drawing y’all’s attention to the September edition of The Ticket, a monthly online newsletter for people who fly in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson a lot. The bad news: Delta. The good news: Concourse C, long known as The Concourse For The Trash That Fly AirTran, is getting its first renovation in 24 years.

(Full disclosure: I fly AirTran — or as a friend of mine once called it, “the Greyhound of the skies” — every chance I get.)

Trivial Matters

I, too, was in Buckhead yesterday. But with a slightly less haunted outcome than Steve H. and a less frustrating one than Steve B.. I was there, at Fox & Hound, for Team Trivia. Those who read my personal blog regularly will know that I won a $20 gift certificate last week and had to return to defend the title. I was explaining all of this to an out of town friend – from Chicago – when he broke in and asked – “What the heck is Team Trivia? You mean, you go to a bar – to answer questions?”

See, I had thought that this Trivia craze was nation wide, but apparently it isn’t yet. We are pretty luck to have something great like this in our city. It gets people out to the bars of all ages and is just a great, fun time.

Some people will remember that Fox & Hound also has free wifi. Just saying…

The Black Dahlia of Buckhead

Her name was Mary Shotwell Little.

In October of 1965 Mary went shopping at the Lenox Mall – which wasn’t much like the one anyone who knows Buckhead now is familiar with – and after saying good night to the girlfriend she was shopping with she stepped into the parking lot and into nearly 40 years of tantalizing mystery.

The elements of classic mystery are all there, as the first article I’ve linked above states…there was apparently a secret admirer, a blood-spattered car, and receipts signed by Mary days after her disappearance, in another state all together.

Her case is still open. You can find a concise rendering of the facts as they are known here at The Doe Network, a site that lists, by state and country, missing people and dead people found with no identity. I strongly recommend you read through the Doe Networks’ listings of missing people. I paid special attention to Georgia and Tennessee, as I live in one and am from the other, but every state and several European countries as well as Australia are also represented there. It’s a roll call of the damned, a list of those who hover still in limbo.

There are still people around who remember Mary’s case. The FBI agent who was in charge of the case, Jim Ponder, took the file home with him when he retired. The AJC interviewed him about it for this article, published on March 20th of this year. From the article:

…”I have a personal interest in this case,” Ponder says. “I got to know Mary’s family. We never gave them an answer, and that bothered me. It still does.”

I wrote an entry in my own blog about the Doe Network site that mentioned Mary Shotwell Little in passing.Today I got a hit on it. Someone from Chicago googled the name.

It reminds me of the time I wrote an entry mentioning the BTK Strangler, a serial killer who did his evil business in Wichita, Kansas in the early 1970’s, and within a month or so I got hits from someone in Wichita googling that moniker.

Each time it creeps me out. People going missing, vanishing into the night, that creeps me out. The wraith of Mary Shotwell Little makes Buckhead at night feel just a tad more haunted than I like.

I went to the Borders bookstore there tonight. I bought only horror novels.

In the parking lot I went to my car swiftly, unlocked it quickly. Everyone felt a little too close. Why was that man just standing by the CVS, listening to a Walkman? Why was that strange woman staring at me?

Under the sodium vapor lamps that lined the edge of the lot I nodded at the ghost of Mary Shotwell Little, proper 60’s housewife, still posing her thousand unanswered questions to the September night.

And then I fled Buckhead, head heavy with the mystery.

My latest trip to Buckhead

I just love the rich people in Atlanta. Somewhere alone the way of evolution, rich people split off from the rest of us. As they evolved, they developed poor eyesight. Case in point: Three separate people today in Buckhead almost ran into me at three separate intersections. They were all in vehicles over $65,000.

Rich people developed a lower sense of social identification. Case in point: Just because I wear 501’s to an upscale office park, I am immediately assumed to be the cleaning crew. While washing my hands in the restroom, I decided to look at the mechanism that activates the water faucet automatically. You know me – very scientific. While looking under the facet and moving my hand under it, a man can up to me and asked if I knew anything about the hand dryer being out of order AND if I could fix it.

My answer was, of course,

Will y Grace

Last night I was vegging out in front of the tube just flipping channels around 10:30 pm and I happened to settle on an old Will & Grace episode on Atlanta’s WB. This is all fine and good, a little light comedy before hitting the hay, no big deal. Then, out of nowhere, Karen’s voice gets deeper and acquires that speaking-into-a-fan quality and the dialogue turns to SPANISH. Huh?

I watched for another 15 minutes or so and every so often the Spanish dialogue would start again and then quit just as abruptly as it began. I finally changed the channel because even though I need work on my Spanish comprehension, the dubbed voices were not exactly winners of a worldwide talent search and it was just distracting. Anyway, it got me wondering if anyone else experienced this phenomenon and/or knows if it was isolated to the W & G episode or if it affected all of the WB’s nightly programming.


On the way into the office this morning, I heard on the radio that I-85 at Sugarloaf Parkway was closed in both directions due to an overturned truck. The situation was potentially dangerous for anyone in the vicinity because the truck was carrying Ammonium Nitrate and blasting caps. Basically, it was a bomb waiting to go off.

Now, I’m no scientist (I’ll leave that kind of stuff to fellow blogger Daniel), but here’s a tip for the guys transporting that material: In the future, geniuses, why not ship the explosives and the detonators IN SEPARATE TRUCKS.

It’s like packing a truck full of hemophiliacs, and then tossing in a bag of super-sharp razor blades. Two great things that do NOT go great together.

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