Archive for March, 2009

are you runnING?

i have been training for months. i have raised $1800 for for leukemia research and on sunday morning i will lace up my shoes and head to centennial olympic park to run my fourth marathon, the 2009 ing georgia marathon.

i love this race. i ran it it’s inaugural year in 2007 and i couldn’t last year because of an injury but am so excited to be running it again. the course, which you can see herewinds through some of atlanta’s best neighborhoods (noticeably absent unfortunately are grant park and east atlanta) and is gathering a reputation as one of the toughest and most scenic big city marathons in the country.

if you are running it kudos to you, i’ll see you out there. if not, i have one request – pick a spot, come out on the course and cheer. tons of people will be coming from out of town to run this race and nothing says big city marathon like crowds of people on the course. pull up a chair, crack a beer and yell for us.

and if you see me give me a high five. i’ll be in a purple shirt with my twitter handle, @jeherv painted on it.

happy running.

(full race report to follow sometime next week)

Taking Atlanta for granted

I had the opportunity to take a friend to the Fox last night for the first time.  That building is just fantastic, and I’ll take any excuse to go.  BTW, Ryan Adams put on a killer show there.  I saw him a few years ago at the Tabernacle, and he was pretty flat.  Part of it, I’m sure, was the venue.  I’m just not that impressed with seeing shows there.  I mean, the building is super cool, the sound system is fine, they get good acts…. but it just feels odd to me.  I’m not really sure what it is, but I just can’t warm to the place.

But back to the Fox – my friend was absolutely blown away, and it reminded me how I can take some things in this town for granted.  While not on the level of the Fox, there are actually a few other things I find natives rarely go to:

  • Stone Mountain – I hiked this once for Cub Scouts when I was 10.  Never mind that my grandparent’s house in Stone Mountain had a view of the thing from the front yard.
  • Zoo Atlanta – I’ve been maybe twice in the last fifteen years.  I last went maybe two years ago, and thought to myself, “This place is awesome!  I need to come here all the time.”  Um, yeah.  That worked out… Also, I said this while I lived a single block from the Zoo.
  • Aquarium – This is still new enough that it hasn’t really earned a place on this list.  We all went when it opened up, and now it has been relegated to the “We take family when they are visiting” list.  Give it a few more years, and you’ll forget about it until your out of town co-workers tell you they went last time they were in Atlanta for a conference.
  • Sweet Auburn and the King Center– I’m not sure if I’ve ever done an official tour or anything, actually.  It is actually pretty shameful. I love driving through, but how did I get through 10 years of Atlanta Public Schools and never go on a field trip??
  • Georgia Capitol – I absolutely love this building, but that is because I’m an architecture dork/real estate junkie with a serious politics problem.  I spent a decent amount of time in this building some years back, and just fell in love with it.  I just love the sound of hard soled shoes on marble…. oh, and the building is absolutely gorgeous.  They spent tens of millions of dollars restoring it over the last few decades, and it shows.  Anyway, most folks went here for a field trip in 8th grade and then only see it on the way to Braves games.

What have you taken for granted about this fair city?

ZOMG!!!! panda cam is back…rejoice, all ye people.

it’s been a sad three and a half months for us panda-cam addicts. ever since zoo atlanta took down our beloved panda cam at the start of the year we have been jonesing hard for a work-day break to peek at young pandizzle (xi lan, to those of you not inclined to my alternate stylings.)

well now it’s time to rejoice. as the ajc reports and the zoo atlanta web site confirms, the panda cam is coming back :-). according to the reports the panda cam is coming back thanks to a sponsorship from earthcam and a generous private donation from mara strock of burke, va (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!).

i cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me :-)

the panda cam resumes operation tomorrow at 10:00 am. tune in.

Urban Sprawl Made Last Year’s Tornado

Did you see this? An article at Wired Science explores the idea that urban sprawl, plus climate change, combined to manufacture last year’s devastating downtown tornado.

“The conditions that brought in the storm were the hammer,” analogized Purdue University climatologist Dev Niyogi, “but local features were the chisel. They pinpointed the severe weather.”

That tornado cut through town a year ago today, and as I type this it’s a mild rainy day inside the Perimeter, but just a few blocks from here houses still show their scars. If you know someone who was hurt personally when the sky came down to Atlanta that day, give them a call. Buy them a drink. Remember that strange and powerful day.

Oh siren of the airwaves

I have 90.1 FM programmed on my car stereo, but I think this is mostly so I can pretend I’m intellectual.  I don’t actually listen to it that much, although I definitely listen to it more than WREK or Album 88.  They are both quality stations, and as a former college DJ I feel like these stations deserve a place on my car preset list.  Still, I almost NEVER listen to them.  I like them in theory, but I actually listen to the crappy pop stations more, even though I have them “hidden” on the second set of presets for my stereo.  I don’t hide them from people who get in my car, I hide them from myself, from what I have become.  I have almost accepted that I have become old and lame, but not quite.  But I digress.

WABE is my fail-safe for when all I can find on mainstream radio is Jason Mraz.  If this happens in the morning, invariable it means I end up listening to Second Cup Concert and pretending I like classical music.

The real reason I get stuck on WABE in the morning is Lois Reitzes.  She’s been on WABE since 1979, so you don’t have any excuse not to know what I’m talking about.  She’s an Atlanta icon – have you been featured in American Jewish Life Magazine?  Didn’t think so.

There is something about her voice that I can’t put my finger on.  Her voice wavers ever so slightly, and she talks just slow enough that I think she is going to forget what she is saying.  She pauses, teasing me, and then continues on, smooth as can be.  It is like watching an old man totter down the road, slowly careening this way and that, but never actually falling.

I find it both infuriating and oddly enticing.  I can’t break away until she starts playing something.

First to the Sirens you shall come and they
Enchant all mortal men who come their way
For whosoever in his witlessness
Draws nigh and listens to the Sirens lay

About him as he wins his native shore
His wife and infant children come no more
Rejoicing over him but there he lies
Lulled by the sweet song that the Sirens pour

As in a mead they sit where all around
Great heaps of bones lie mouldering on the ground
And the flesh wastes from off them hasten by
And lest these others ears might hear the sound

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