Drivin n Cryin at Georgia Theatre

I saw tonight one of the best straight up rock n' roll shows I've ever seen. Opening for Kinney and the boys was Civil Twilight, coming to us from South Africa via L.A. They were somewhere between Dave Matthews, Radiohead, and, I dunno, just good pop rock. Great instrumentation and a haunting voice from the lead singer.

And then of course there was Drivin n Cryin. I had never seen them live; I saw Kevn solo once here in town, and that was a great show in its own right, but a whole different thing since it was mostly acoustic. Tonight they just shredded and were freakin' awesome. Featured were covers of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and Neil Young's Keep on Rockin' In the Free World, and lots of their own awesomeness in between (including, of course, all of the favorites like Honeysuckle Blue, Fly Me Courageous, and Straight to Hell; oh, and did I mention Kevn did a rendition of Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land?). Also making guest appearances were Thad Cochran, a singer/songwriter from Nashville (not the Senator from Mississippi) who apparently recently toured with them in Europe, and JB of Polish Sausage and Comeback Sauce fame. I swear to God! He got up and sang a soulful A Change is Gonna Come, and damn if he wasn't awesome too!

My ears are still ringing, and I'm still reeling from the awesomeness.


County Attorney Debacle

Check out this post from "The Other Athens" on a recent episode involving the county attorney and a property assessement dispute. I have to live and work in this town as an attorney, so I won't add anything, but the post and the comments speak for themselves.

Pegasuses XL Athfest 2007 40 Watt

Garbage delays

Garbage will not be picked up on Wednesday, July 4 by the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department. If your normal pickup day is Wednesday, you are supposed to put out your garbage and recycling on Thursday by 8 a.m. However, this does not apply to commercial customers in the downtown district.

It is always worth checking your sanitation service's schedule. Robertson Sanitation, for example, is somewhat less American than other outfits, and again this year they will be doing their regular rounds on July 4.

The Jon Bird Show Athfest 2007 Day 3


The Jon Bird Show Athfest 2007 Day 2

House party against global warming

An initiative called Action Climate is holding a house party concert Friday with the aim of raising money for initiatives fighting global warming. Ham1, Claire Campbell & Friends, Brock Butler of Perpetual Groove, and Zachary Gresham of Summer Hymns will be playing at 466 Whitehead Road beginning at 7:45 p.m. Yes, townies will have to wake up early to catch it all. You can visit Action Climate on MySpace or e-mail them at action_climate@hotmail.com.


No more weekday watering

Watering restrictions have tightened up. You can only water during strange morning hours one day on the weekend. From the e-mail:
Due to the ongoing drought conditions, Athens-Clarke County has increased the outdoor water use restrictions to a Level 3 Drought Response. The new restrictions ban outdoor water use during weekdays, allowing outdoor water use on weekends only between 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. in compliance with the odd/even address plan.

The restrictions are effective immediately and are as follows:
  • All outdoor water use is prohibited 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
  • Outdoor water use for odd numbered addresses is allowed on Sundays between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m.
  • Outdoor water use for even numbered addresses is allowed on Saturdays between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m.
The restrictions are for all residential, commercial, governmental, and institutional outdoor water use.

These restrictions do not include commercial and industrial use of water critical to the conduct of business such as commercial car washes, tree farms, and garden supply nurseries.

Variance Permit applications for new lawns and/or landscaping are still being accepted and reviewed during the Level 3 Drought Response.

The rainfall deficit in the Athens area for the period January 1 through June 25, 2007, is approximately 9.5 inches, with little precipitation relief predicted in the near future. In addition to the current drought conditions, the Athens area had a precipitation deficit of 8.65 inches for 2006. The Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department urges citizens to follow the outdoor water restrictions and conserve water whenever possible to prevent additional restrictions to water use.

Jon Bird Show Athfest 2007 Day 1

Mellow Mushroom

So the old Mellow Mushrooms became The Tavern or whatever, but appear to basically have the same menu, and now a new Mellow Mushroom will be opening on Clayton. Weird. Does anybody know why the old ones switched?

Robbery in broad daylight

From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department:

As LOUISE MCBEE of Pinevalley Pl, walked across the parking lot at 3190 Atlanta Hwy, a white Pontiac Grand Am driven by a white male bumped her, knocking her to the ground. Another white male exited the vehicle, snatched her purse, and returned to the vehicle. It was last seen traveling toward the Atlanta Hwy. EMS responded to treat her injuries. The suspects were described only as white males, 20 to 25 years of age, wearing sunglasses. The vehicle had a grey and white drive out tag. The purse and contents were valued at $105. This occurred around 1350 June 25.


Flick Skinny (Sprockets)

So, you read their comic strip in the Flagpole, but have you seen the animated stuff? If you didn't make it to Sprockets this year, here are some "Haircuts That Changed History"...


And Nelson:

Hooray! No need to leave the house!



My schedule limited me to one night of AthFest, and that night was tonight. We saw the Whigs outdoors (great of course), the Pegasuses-XL at 40 Watt(good but not my thing really; sorry, I'm into lyrics), and Save Grand Canyon (good, kinda sounds like Live) and Countdown to Ecstasy (awesome as always) at the Ritz. Then we were going to see Dark Meat at Tasty World, but the throng of idiots waiting to get in was unbearable, so we went back down to 40 Watt instead and caught a bit of Cinemechanica. Then we made the obligatory post-downtown IHOP visit and went home.

I'm declaring this AthFest a success. They did a much better job at getting the good Athens people in this year. Over recent years it had seemed to drift into more of a family event. Not that there's anything wrong with having family friendly stuff during the day, and they certainly did that this time as well, but it needs to remain at its core about the local music. And it did this time, I think.

Oh, I almost forgot. After Pegasuses and before we left 40 Watt, we saw Mouser (wow, really? you went to the trouble to create a Myspace page?), who I must say might give Recycled Shotguns a run for their money for the title of Worst Band Ever. I mean, really, wtf? Are all of those people with horns just your good friends that wanted to get on stage with you or something? Because they don't play horns very well. Just saying.

If you haven't seen anything yet, make it out tomorrow. I think it's pretty much just the outdoor stages tomorrow, but still some pretty good options, including the Georgia Guitar Quartet and Drive-by Truckers.


Athens Door Guy

This is good stuff. Athens Door Guy tells it like it is from his station in downtown night life. On getting kicked out of a bar:
If you find yourself being forcefully removed from a bar by a half dozen bar employees, then don't fight us. This makes things worse for only yourself. More than likely you're in a headlock because you, in your drunken state, did something very stupid. So don't act like we're treating you badly without cause. You started this, remember?
You can also read about the right way and the wrong way to ask to get inside after 2 a.m. Right way: "Excuse me, I left my tab open inside. Is there any possible way I might be able to go get it?" Wrong way: "I left my tab open and I'm going in there to close it right now. You can't stop me. I'm a marine and you're just a f***ing civilian."


Trash talking

The Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department's Recycling Division has done something rather wrong. They have recorded two podcasts about recycling. I started listening to the first one and heard an imitation of a call-in show along with rapping about recycling. I'll put this on the same list with the mosquito control announcement on television that showed a King Kong-sized mosquito chasing the mayor at City Hall. (That would be the wacky government media production list.)


The Trip to Bountiful

The Town and Gown Players begin putting on "The Trip to Bountiful" tomorrow evening. It sounds like a story about an old woman who wonders if she can return home -- but can anyone truly ever return home? Will her small hometown still be there? Why don't trains go there anymore? Will a trip to see her family's home restore a sense of meaning in her life dominated by her son and daughter-in-law in their Houston apartment?

You can catch performances on June 22 through 24 and June 28 through July 1. You know the drill: Sundays are 2:00 matinees for $5, and other shows are at 8:00 in the evening. Evening shows are $15 regular price (except Thursday the 28th is $5). Call (706) 208-8696 for reservations.


Cashing in on Cofer's

As with many nurseries, Cofer's is trying to wipe out their inventory at the time when it's worst to care for it. So they have something called Cofer Cash, which is a 50% off coupon for a certain amount of material, based on how much one spent at an earlier point in the season when the temperatures were low and the cash was rolling in. Ok, so I'll bite. But I am a bit tortured with regard to what I'll select. Here's what I have in mind for the Cofer Cash...

For a very hot, moderate humidity, super-acidic under-pine and -privet spot (one plant, or alternatively I could put a posse of fothergilla there):
Burkwood Viburnum
Carlecephalum Viburnum
Pink Dawn or Dawn Viburnum
Ack-Scent Camellia
Fragrant Joy Camellia

For the driveway-side, very narrow garden:
Fothergilla (smells so fantastic.)
George L. Taber Azalea (gorgeous white flower with a pink throat)
Fragrant Star Azalea
Piedmont Azalea
Nacoochee Azalea
Balzac Exbury Azalea
Irene Koster Azalea
Autumn Chiffon Azalea (blooms twice, looks like the Taber)
Various gardenias
Tons o' hostas

I should probably pick some sort of ground cover for the pond area, too. Oh, and I have to rescue a few plants from the woods.* I think I'll have a variety of ferns and some chinese ginger. Not sure where I'll put them yet, though.

Any sugestions, Classic City gardeners? What have you had success with, and what plants do you love?

*Note: This is an actual rescue, not wildcrafting. As in I take the plants or they die.


Anybody Else Fed Up with the WiFi at the Five Points Jittery Joe's?

First of all, name your network something besides linksys (like, I dunno, "Jittery Joe's"?). Second, damn Airimba. My computer keeps trying to connect to it, even though I deselected automatic connect (ok, in all fairness, this is not JJ's fault, except that it wouldn't keep trying to connect if the JJ connection didn't keep falling off). So I have to keep manually connecting to the JJ linksys. Then, after I do, half the time I'm connected when my laptop says I'm not, and vice versa. WTF?

Is this me or them? I don't seem to have these problems at other coffee places.


Something to do on Monday

Monday, 6/18--James Marlow will hold a final press conference and rally at City Hall in Downtown Athens at 4:45 PM before Election Day. We would love to have a good crowd their to show our strength.


Dr. Buttfunjoy's 3 Suggestions

RE: The CNN/YouTube Debates

I'd like to announce my candidacy...

Dear Friend, I have the great honor to inform you that I was recently featured on Youtube's Online Political program, "Citizen Tube" - This featuring is of great help to my campaign for the presidency and hopefully we will be able to gain more support from this initiative. I thank all our viewers once again and I encourage all of you to leave comments with your ideas on how to improve our nation and environment.

Jon Alan Bird

Voting Reminder


The Flagpole Music Awards 2007 critique

Local art at Cups Coffee

Cups Coffee, the coffee shop owed by Athens Art Group, has begun to show local art work. As of now, we are showing work by three of the AAG members: Molly Marsden, Yancey Cook, and Stephanie McKay. The pieces are for purchase and are quite lovely.

So if you feel like a cup of coffee and browsing through some local art and quality prints of more famous and not-so-local art, stop by Cups Coffee.

We are located on the East Side in the shopping center with Loco's and Peking.


Election reminder and rides from Mac Rawson

The special election for the Tenth District Congressperson is underway. You can vote early now through 5 PM on Friday, June 15, at the local Board of Elections office at 155 E. Washington Street. Remember to a photo ID with you regardless of when you vote. Election Day is Tuesday, June 19. Ten candidates are vying for this Congressional seat. Three of the candidates are Democrats – James Marlow, Evita Paschall, and Denise Freeman.

The June 19 election is NOT a primary. The top two vote getters will be in the runoff on July 17 unless one candidate receives a majority of the votes. For a Democrat to be in the runoff, a Democratic candidate must be one of the top two vote getters, so it’s extremely important that ALL Democrats VOTE.

If you need a ride to the polls, let me know (706-543-7390 or macrawson@charter.net) or contact Linda Lloyd, Director of the Economic Justice Coalition (706-202-0324 or 706-549-9368).


Recycle Scooter Shop Commercial

Here's the video, starring local resident, owner, and man-about-town Leon Ward, his wife Sophie, and some other Athenians. Re-cycle just opened relatively recently and is located on Prince Avenue in Normaltown across from Agua Linda.

My husband is also complicit in this. Though he refuses to buy me a scooter, since they're not big, manly, and easy to kill yourself on.


Congressional District 10 election

A message from Athens-Clarke County:

A Special Election to fill the vacancy in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District takes place on June 19, 2007. All of Athens-Clarke County is within this district and all registered voters may vote in the election. All polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on June 19.

Advance voting, which allows in-person voting the week before an election, runs through Friday only at the Board of Elections office at 155 East Washington Street from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Advance voting will not be available on the Monday preceding the election.

Absentee voters may also vote by mail. In order to receive an absentee ballot by mail, a voter must request a ballot by mail or fax from the Board of Elections office by Friday, June 15. Absentee ballots must be received by the Board of Elections Office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

A Runoff Election, if necessary, will be held on Tuesday, July 17.

For more information, visit www.athensclarkecounty.com/elections or call the Board of Elections at 706-613-3150.


Emergency alerts can cause danger themselves

Today I got a UGA e-mail that heralds a new emergency announcement system. It is called UGA Alert, and the specific implementation is a horribly bad idea. In fact, it could actually exacerbate dangers that it is intended to warn about.

It is intended to provide new methods of alerting the university community of emergencies. UGA already sends out announcements by e-mail, but now they are adding an automated system of outgoing telephone announcements. The UGA Alert website allows employees and students to register up to three phone numbers to receive recorded announcements.

This is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. If this comes into widespread use, this means that thousands of phone numbers will be dialed and connected within a short amount of time. Since mobile phone use is widespread, most of these calls will probably go to them. Then mobile cell sites and mobile switches that are already operating near capacity on normal days will be flooded during an emergency. Cells downtown, around campus, and all over town will run out of capacity. It would be much more appropriate to launch a system that only sends SMS text messages; this new system sends those, but only in addition to a phone call.

And if you're a victim of some kind of emergency, guess what? You just might need to make a call from your mobile phone, but you won't be able to. In the name of informing a large number of people about an emergency, the UGA Alert system might keep you from calling for emergency help. Exactly when you will be most likely to need to use your phone, you will be least likely to get a call through.

Please do not register for UGA Alert. This is obviously an overreaction to the April tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Ode to Joe Scarborough Stop attacking bloggers


Elevator phone; courthouses

When I got off an elevator today, I heard a ringing sound and then a fast, peppy voice saying something about "five days and four nights." I swear the elevator phone must have gotten a pre-recorded telemarketing call. I didn't know those things would actually answer incoming calls.

Whenever I go through security at the Clarke County courthouse, the metal detector goes off and so a deputy does the wand thing around me. At the Oconee County courthouse, the metal detector doesn't go off -- so I suppose one could sneak a really, really small knife into that one, or at least a belt buckle.

Ode 2 Paris Hilton Go to jail


Tate expansion

I noticed last week that construction trailers (mobile offices) were being set up in the parking lot across Tanyard Creek from the Legion Pool parking lot. Then chain link fencing went up around the area across Lumpkin where the construction will take place. Yesterday, they had put up black plastic on the fence so you can't see what is going on there. I wonder whats up with that? Construction secrets maybe?
I also wonder what the impact on the Dawg Walk will be. That occurs right through the parking lot that will no doubt be torn up with construction.
It should be a fun year or so of driving up and down Lumpkin!

Danger Mouse - Encore


Marlow campaign fundraiser

Please Join Us for a Reception to Support


Lucy & Buddy Allen
Carl Jordan
Hon. Heidi & Al Davison
Alice Kinman
Hon. Nancy Denson
Kathy Kirbo
Penn & Elton Dodson
Doug Lowry
Katherine & Bertis Downs
David Lynn
Kelly Girtz
Betty & George Maxwell
Marjorie & Ted Hammock
Kristy & Shannon Mayfield
Hon. Keith Heard
Hon. Louise McBee
Andy Herod
Hon. Gwen O'Looney

Please help us support Athens' next Democratic Congressman by joining us for an evening of conversation and refreshments!

Thursday June 7th at Trumps, 247 E. Washington St.
7:00-9:00 PM

Minimum Suggested Contribution - $100
Cocktails & Light Refreshments
Please RSVP to (706) 995-2115

Paid for by Marlow for Georgia, Inc.

Running the fire out

It was Athens Ga, 1960s. Vietnam was all the rage, literally. Growing up in a college town in those days, I got to see protests up close and personal. I'd ride my bike over to campus from the 5 Points area where I grew up. I saw the UGA branch of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) firebomb the ROTC building on campus. Well, OK, maybe firebomb is too harsh a word. What happened is that somebody had a bottle, or maybe it was a big light bulb, that had gas in it, and a burning rag plugging it up. This was thrown against the brick side of the building, the flames rapidly died out, so did the crowd. But for a young teenager like me, it was all heady stuff.

There were free concerts occasionally over at Legion Field. Crowds of students, lots of tie-dye shirts, love beads, incense, and protest. Protest against 'Nam, protest against the government, protest for protest's sake.

In the 60s bands that had a clear metaphor in their name were drug bands. There was a head shop over on in downtown Athens called Glass on Hill Wall. The clear metaphor meant drugs to more than bands, I suppose. One day, at Legion Field, there was a big free concert. A mobile bandstand was set up and something like 8 or 10 bands were to play. My friend Chuck and I rode our bikes over to Legion Field to check it out. We milled around and, behind the bandstand, we saw a group of guys, all standing in a circle, arms around one another's shoulders. Several of them had guitars strapped to their backs, upside down. They were all breathing fast and deep in unison. What the hell, I thought? They broke up and walked past Chuck and me. I asked them what they were doing. One long haired guy looked at me, said they were hyperventilating. ‘It makes the rush better’, he said. He then said ‘Here kid, go have fun’, and he handed me a big ole joint!

Now, I had never seen weed before. We had heard about it in school, they told us how it'd make us crazy and make us have to raise deformed kids later in life. So I had never seen it before, but I damn sure knew what I had. I palmed it, walked quickly over to Chuck. I showed it to him and we high tailed it over to the scrub pines on the hillside that defined one side of Legion Field. About that time, the band had taken the stage. By now, the guitars weren’t on their backs, upside down. They were hooked up to big amps. The band was called Glass Menagerie. Their first song was a cover of Lady Madonna, a Beatles standard. By the time they were half way through that song, Chuck and I had run the fire out to about 2 inches on that joint. I never felt a thing except the blister on my finger that I got from hanging on too long. I guess my liver didn’t know what to do with that stuff. It learned later on though, I suppose. By now, all these years later, I guess its forgotten again.