Archive for November, 2004

Odd…

Isn’t it funny how long you can spend in a place and not even know what is here? I’ve always known about the Park Bench by Emory (they have this wonderful Bass Ale/Cheese dip that is to die for). But for some reason, I just discovered that there is one in Buckhead as well. Weird… Maybe I’m just not all that observant…

A Monday at Hartfield-Jackson

Nobody should spend a four-hour layover alone, so when we heard that some friends would be parked at Hartsfield-Jackson for most of Monday afternoon, it was only natural that we join them. When you go to the airport for purposes other than actually getting on a plane, you notice more than you might.

First observation: The hub is not designed for shopping. The selection of shops and distractions are few and repetitive. The vendors worth visiting are somewhere beyond the security gates, leaving behind a mish-mash of snack-shops that are magazine-stands that are book-stores of the most limited variety. And the book selection is odd. Every shop out here has the same stock. Want the occupants of a bestseller’s list? You might get lucky. But under the top three or so, you’ll start seeing the sub-literary quick-sells, the epitomes of the much-derided airport novel. Here are your Kellermans, your Ludlums (and proto-Ludlums) and a very substantial number of works by Zane. Somewhere there is a list of just what sells best to people on-the-go and that list drives this inventory of books not to be read, but rather consumed.

Second observation: The hub is not designed for lingering. For all of the waiting and queueing going on, you never get the impression that you’re actually welcome. If you’re not buying a ticket or picking-up luggage or selecting a rental car, you’re just another body in a sea of same. Even folks in the x-ray line can cling to the promise of movement. The rest of us are like patients in a giant Sartrean waiting room. The atrium is where this is most evident. The roundish hall echoes under the domed center and is surrounded by chairs and built-in couches of shiny stain-resistant naugahyde. I seem to remember far more places to sit, but that memory must be pre-9/11. The new thinking must be something along the lines of: “If you’re comfortable, the terrorists have won.”

Third observation: The hub is a last glimpse of home. Or a welcome first. Not a minute went by that I didn’t catch sight of yet another young man in desert camoflage. There were young women so attired as well, though their number was far fewer. Just above the Atrium floor is the airport USO. And so they come and go, these men-of-arms, their sandy attire making them incredibly obvious among the rest of us. The holiday is over for them. Some could be seen in the restaurants, being treated to a friendly meal by grateful strangers. But far more were just walking or waiting, most of them solitary, getting ready to go somewhere far away. And they’re so much younger than me. They have looks on their faces that I’ve not seen since college, the look of a freshman in unfamiliar territory. And they put my other two observations in sharp perspective. For all of the discomfort and inconvenience, the hub is still better than where many have been or where many are going.

wishful thinking

A laundromat with wireless access — now that would be something.

Anyone know of one locally?

Under the bridge – first post

Here’s a little picture of a homeless camp I found under a bridge in the Emory area. The person who lived there wasn’t home at the time that I showed up, so I left a flyer for my group, the Mad Housers, and I’ll probably be swinging back by in a week or so.

It’s a small camp, I’d say an individual or perhaps a couple, no more. By bridge-living standards, it’s a neat and well-run, indicating that the resident is fairly settled in.
(more…)

Blog?

Blog? IT’S TIME TO SHOP, BABY!!

To be honest, I just can’t bring myself to go into a store any more during the holidays. I just do everything online. If it ain’t online and UPS can’t deliver it, it ain’t being bought by me.

I used to actually enjoy shopping on Christmas Eve Day. I would have about 90% of my Christmas stuff purchased but, I enjoyed just being out with the shoppers on Christmas Eve.

Now…. you would not get me in a store on Christmas Eve for just about anything. The last few years I did it, everybody was in a bad mood and the pleasure was all gone.

I don’t know why that is now but, LONG LIVE E-COMMERCE!!

Can’t you see a day in the future where no one shops anywhere and the only vehicles on the road are USPS, UPS and FedEx trucks?

Is this thing on??? 1-2 1-,2 Mic Check Testing, Testing

Oksowheredideverybodygo?

Are you trying to figure out why you booked your return flight for Sunday night?

Feeling a bit like Tom Hanks in his latest movie, The Terminal?

Perhaps you are plotting the demise of the couple from Boise – seated WAY too close to you – who decided to nibble on their aromatic foil encased leftovers?

Or maybe you just decided like I did – to spare the Metblogging community about the long weekend on your futon …

Whatever the case …shake off the tryptophan, login and BLOG!

The WORLD awaits!

Happy T-Day

Happy T-Day from all us Gawgia folks.

I hope Ya’ll ‘R hav’n the darndest good ‘ole T-day ya ever had!

support the Orange Revolution

There is a Ukrainian community here in Atlanta; I just don’t know where it is. Given the location of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I’d guess OTP. There have been rallies around the world in support of the Ukrainian demonstrators, but I don’t know of any here. (If you do, please leave something in the comments!)

Side note: apparently there’s a bar in Kiev (or Kyiv) named “Atlanta”.

But you can show support for unfraudulent democracy in Ukraine by wearing orange. Special bonus: Tennessee fans will come up to you wanting to talk shop, and you can look at them with great scorn and say, “You think I give a flying $%#@ about Philip Fulmer? This is about DEMOCRACY. And FREEDOM. Now go crawl back to Knoxville and enjoy your malfunctioning state health care system.”

(For background on events in Ukraine, see here, here, and here.)

the arsonist shall not escape!

Atlanta police have arrested a 43-year-old cabdriver in connection with the Midtown/Decatur arson cases of earlier this year.

All I can say is, thank the Lord, and I hope they’ve got the right guy. Friends of mine lost everything, including their beloved dog, last year in the fire near R. Thomas, and I had the occasional fear of going out and coming home to find my dog trapped.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Virginia-Highland laundry room vandal rolls on. That one, at least, I can live with.

Atlanta one of the top 5 most dangerous in nation

And now for something less funny from me.

Atlanta, Georgia, St. Louis, Missouri, and Gary, Indiana, rounded out the top five in the most dangerous city rankings, which was to be released Monday by Morgan Quitno Corp. The company publishes “City Crime Rankings,” an annual reference book that will be published next month. Detroit fell to second in this year’s list. Story here from CNN.com

The AJC reports: “…The rankings look at the rate for six crime categories: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft…”

Also, here is a report from 2-2004 in the L.A. Times talking about the crime level in Atlanta.

Atlanta Chief Calls His City The Most Dangerous in Nation

“…The Atlanta study, funded by the Atlanta Police Foundation, was released at a fundraiser Friday. Prominent among its findings was a substantial underreporting of crime in the city. Over the course of 2003, police failed to report 1,500 major crimes, the auditors found. Of police reports that were taken, more than 22,000 went missing in the department’s records system…”

That was a surprise to me. But, here is something that is not a surprise.

[Scott] Kreher [president of Local 623 of the International Brotherhood of Police] said that police find themselves scrambling to respond to emergencies in the face of chronic shortages of officers and equipment. “We have to continually play catch-up with 911 calls,” Kreher said. “We’re not able to do any proactive police work. It’s all reactive. If we don’t have the cars, we can’t put officers on the street.”

My years in public safety here in Atlanta proved to me we didn’t have the resources to handle emergency medical calls, mainly due to the major abuse of 911 for non-emergencies. This is one of the problems that is on going here in the ATL.

I don’t have a perfect solution but, as long as tax payers believe that money for public safety is handled well, I would suggest they be willing to invest more into the system to make it better.

Programs for crime prevention, especially in the area of domestic violence, would be a great help I believe.

I don’t like paying taxes any more than you do but, to think that my city would be a much safer place to live, I would be willing to come off a little extra cash each year to fund targeted input into the public safety system in Atlanta. Don’t ask me for the figures and don’t think I am defending any misuse of funds – as I am sure there are some – but, the city needs to target this issue with great force. I trust they will do so.

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