Archive for October, 2007

Social/Traffic/Public Works Experiment

Three months ago I caught myself monitoring the daily progress of a right turn only sign next to the Atlanta Humane Society on 10th St near Howell Mill. The sign had seen better days and was now hanging upside down by the bottom bolt like a kid on a set of monkey bars. One wee scrap of cylindrical metal was trying with all it’s might to keep the slab of reflective metal attached to a post.

A week and a half after my amuse-yourself-in-traffic play started, the sign was gone and the game was brought to another level.

As you cross that intersection heading away from town, that lane disappears and on the other side of the intersection cars are parked against a curb in an orderly fashion that should not put them at risk. Without the sign, this wasn’t the case.

Every day I watched the folks who had become used to the sign/who were familiar with the area sit in that lane and then turn right. Those who were new or oblivious waited patiently for the light to turn and scuttled straight forward, only to jut at the last moment into the left lane risking impact to either the front or to the left of their vehicles – and in some cases their bodies and minds because ATL is a road rage-y kinda town at times.

Caring and curious citizen that I am, I Googled for the responsible office and called it in. The woman who took my message seemed confused and put out by my call, but my side of the street was clean (har) and I’d tried.

Fast forward to last week when I got a call back from a pleasant enough woman who left a voicemail repeating the information, but the intersection she cited was incorrect. I called her voicemail back, corrected the information and figured that was the end of it. Again.

Well kids, last night she called again to say she’d been out to see the intersection and confirmed the missing sign. Paperwork has been filed to replace the sign and she asked if there was something else she could do. I suggested they paint the turn only arrow on the road since the sign is nearly invisible anyway and I was shocked with her response of “yes, that’s a good idea. I’ll put in a request for that as well.”

Smack me on the azz and call me Kate, there’s a government office here with folks that not only do their jobs, do it politely, and do it quickly; but who are open to the suggestions of their citizens.

I can take this one of two ways: a) it can inspire hope that these qualities contaminate other offices in the city or b) it can serve as the first sign of the apocalypse.

Drought Fantasy

I’m starting to imagine what the Dirty Dirty would be like if we step the water rationing up a notch and it starts to look a little like the scene in Mars Attacks? Batman 45? where the townspeople and news anchors stop using hygiene products and/or water for fear of being contaminated with some freaky toxic concoction…

Anyone know what the hell I’m talking about? Because I don’t…

open thread: what’s going down this weekend

well since we got more than a few comments on this last week i figured we’d throw it open again.

so tell us, what’s going down this weekend?

i’m going to a halloween party saturday night, but other than that, no plans, so i, at least, could use some suggestions.

p.s. – if i wasn’t going to a halloween party i would most certainly be going to see these guys at vinyl.

Atlanta Water Shortage Blog

Atlanta Water Shortage is an interesting new local blog. (Hmmm. . . Google Ads? Water shortage? Timely.) Anyway, it does have some interesting information on the drought and the water situation, so you might want to check it out.

breaking news?

there was a time when the phrase ‘breaking news’ used to imply that something major that would effect my life or the life of the nation had happened.

there was a time when i used to get emails with the headline ‘breaking news’ and it would make me breathe faster as i wondered if some major catastrophe had just unfolded.

no longer.

at least for someone that gets email updates from the atlanta journal-constitution i have now become deadened to the phrase ‘breaking news.’

case in point i bring you the below image from my inbox. apparently when a pretty decent baseball player, who once had a role in bringing a championship to the home team has his house burned by a wildfire that has been raging for days, which by the way is on the other side of the country, that qualifies as ‘breaking news.’

breakingnews2.jpg

Vanpool to Downtown Atlanta

The Downtown TMA is forming new carpools (they call them “vanpools”) from the Peachtree City, Stone Mountain, and Suwanee areas to downtown Atlanta. Interested drivers and riders can learn more by sending an email here or calling 404-658-1877. You can also join the commuter database by registering with Ridefind.

Come On, Shirley . . .

So, there was a blurb on one of the local news channels last night, featuring Mayor Shirley Franklin talking about the water problem in Atlanta. She admitted that it was a problem due to lack of planning, and due to not being prepared for “climate change.”

Okay, I know that she inherited a clusterfuck of monumental proportion here in Atlanta, but “climate change?” Come on, Shirley. This is complete and total lack of planning. Period. I am no climatologist or scientist of any sort, but I know that if there is a climate change, it is probably being experienced all over the country, not just in the Southeast. I don’t see other major American cities running out of drinking water in the next year. Atlanta did not prepare for a drought situation. We did not plan ahead to accommodate the water needs of all of the new construction that has taken place here in the last thirty years.

Chalking this up to the bogeyman of global warming is a crock, Shirley. I’m not saying that climate change isn’t a real and serious threat; What I am saying is that our dire water situation may not have been due to your personal lack of planning, but the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia could have been more prepared.

Kid Rock’s Waffle House Scuffle

It’s hardly news. Kid Rock, who I’m told is a popular musician, gets in a light, late-night/early-morning brawl after a rock show. At a Waffle House. On Buford Highway. We’ve all done it.

Look at his mug shot — he’s still in a good mood. I’ll bet this fight was hardly newsworthy. Kid Rock was charged with simple battery, his opponent with felonious “criminal damage to property.” What concerns me is that when I think of a Buford Highway Waffle House at 5am, I think of my former co-workers. I know one of them who’d happily pick a fight with Kid Rock. Please keep your fingers crossed that it wasn’t him.

Rain, rain, come and stay

Traffic is horrible, but we desperately need the rain.

Stay safe today.

Washington, GA is Not Atlanta…

…and yet here I am, writing about it instead of the ATL, on my return to the metroblog. (I can tell you missed me by the way you say, “Who are you again?”) Anyway, I’m happy to report that I’ve got a nice fat list of things to tackle for the site, here, now that I’m unemployed in Atlanta. (More on that, in a way that is of interest, I promise, a little later.)

The first subject, though, is about another town: Washington, GA.

Washington, Georgia, was the first town to be incorporated in the name of George Washington (1780), and it’s in local Wilkes County that Eli Whitney perfected the cotton gin, in 1795. Washington is also where the Confederacy was finally dissolved by Jefferson Davis. Somewhere nearby, the fabled Lost Confederate Gold is said to be buried. (So if you’ll be out looking for it next weekend, come by the Washington Market Days Street Festival and pick up one of my wife’s handmade journal so you can take notes, draw maps, and keep a record of your search. Plug, plug.)

Washington, GA is the first Southern town I hadn’t heard of before that I’ll be spending a day in, just exploring and taking notes. (I’d already heard of Savannah, Ashville, Birmingham, etc.) Do you know Washington? Then, please, recommend me a place to eat, a site to see, or what have you. I’ll do up a little carpetbagger’s take on the town for y’all when I get back.

If you’re not too busy to make the drive out to an historic Georgia town next weekend, though, it sounds like a lovely fall excursion. Here’s the details:

October 27: Washington Market Days Street Festival
10am – 7pm Saturday, with a Street Dance following 7-9pm
Celebrate fall in beautiful Washington, GA! Festivities include: 80+ vendors, live music, street dance, children’s activities, contests, autumn crafts and so much more! Get out of town and enjoy a drive through the fall country side, Washington is approx. 2 hours east of Atlanta.

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