2007-12-29

Pennysaver Magazine

Let me reface this with the acknowledgement that I sold my first house in three weeks using only a Pennysaver free ad. So I am a fan of this little magazine. For those not familiar with the Pennysaver, its a free publication that has want ads, car lot ads (usually featuring weekly payments) and the like. I always pick one up when the new version comes out. I never fail to find something to amuse me in the ads.
The current edition (Dec 21 -- Jan 11) contains several interesting things. The first thing I noticed was an ad from a wheel-chair bound woman who was seeking a friend, male or female, non-drinker no drugs. I wondered at that one. It was sad. There were several ads from single moms who needed to have a washer dryer donated to them, or help with their christmas plans for their kids. I wondered if those are real situations or someone trolling for yard sale loot? One ad touted mobile home lots out in Madison County. With good credit, Big Wayne would make the down payment and closing costs for you. Big Wayne? I noticed the phone number for Big Wayne and noticed that same number would also line you up with a camper shell, an metal outbuilding, you know the ones that arrive on the back of a flat bed tow truck? Turning the page, right there on page 13, was a full page ad featuring Big Wayne. Big Wayne has on a white suit and white cowboy hat. There with him in the picture were his wife and daughter (I think, it didn't say). They were all grinning at the camera and the wife and daughter had on belly dancing outfits. You can't make this up. In addition to the other enterprises in mobile homes, camper tops, and outbuildings, Big Wayne has a car lot. A true Madison County tycoon in the making.
Previous editions of Pennysaver have had the following gems:

Free to good home, male poodle mix dog. Doesn't like cats and will bite if you mess with his food.

Stratalounger recliner. $85 OBO, Buy this chair or I'll burn it.

Sears stereo, 8 track tape unit and black plastic ball shaped speakers. $50 OBO.

Anyway, pick one up, they are located around Athens and seem to always be good for a laugh.

2007-12-28

Too many numbers in Oconee County

Have you ever noticed that most addresses in Oconee County have four digits starting with a "1"? Four digit addresses are only necessary on long roads, but even a short street like Winthrop Place uses them. That street has ten houses numbered 1010 through 1080; the "10" is unnecessary.

But a real problem is revealed with the way the county has allowed buildings to be identified. Ideally, every building should have a street number, but this was not done for the two new office complexes on Daniell's Bridge Road. Instead, one address for each parcel of land was retained, and both building numbers and suite numbers are used. An address out there looks something like "2500 Daniell's Bridge Road, Building 200, Suite 2B." Besides being hard to remember, even the post office has trouble with this. Depending on what order and formatting you use to enter this information into the postal database it returns different ZIP code extensions and delivery points. No wonder I've had mail lost out there!

I would guess that the convention of using three-digit building numbers developed to accommodate ranges of suite numbers precisely so that three sets of numbers don't have to be used in an address. The second suite on the second floor of the second building could be numbered 222, eliminating the need to insert a building number. I've seen a planning ordinance establishing such a scheme for numbering units in apartment complexes with only one street number, but the same ordinance actually required commercial properties to have a different street number for each building. The planning department in Oconee County should get their addressing system cleaned up a little bit.

2007-12-27

Oral Surgeons for Agnostics

Nope, it's not a new group seeking converts to a cause. It's me, seeking an oral surgeon who won't pray over me while I'm knocked out on anesthesia. Seriously, people. I really don't mind christianity. I have a seriously christian dentist. But my seriously christian dentist is a few shades more respectful of non-christians than the guy they've referred me to for oral surgery. And I just can't support it with my money.

So, please please please provide me with the name of a good localish oral surgeon, preferably the kind who won't ply me with a Chick tract while I'm wonked out on painkillers or pray over me instead of, say, paying attention to ensure I don't die while I'm under. Thanks.

Athens First (AFB&T)


Athens First (AFB&T)
Originally uploaded by Adrian P.
The new building under construction for Athens First has been looming over Hancock Avenue for some time now.

Call for art donations - Donald Keyes Mental Health Benefit (Art Auction)

Many of us knew Donald in some way or another and the Mental Health Benefit has been renamed in his honor. This is a great event, especially for those of you shopping on a budget. I've seen even established artists' work go for way less than the market value.

I'm sort of paraphrasing here; the whole thing was too long to post.

The Donald Keyes Mental Health Benefit for 2008 will be held from Sunday, Jan. 27 to Feb.2. The 18th Annual Art Auction will be held on Feb. 2 at the Georgian Hotel, Athens Georgia. Artwork is being solicited for this event. Beginning Jan.2 donated artwork may be dropped off at

Prince Ave Gallery Works, 553 Prince Ave Athens
Frameworks, 351 E. Clayton St Athens
House of 10,000 Frames, 1285 Cedar Shoals Dr, Athens
Frameworks Oconee, 2061 Experiment Station Rd, Watkinsville

Artwork will be displayed at Cups Cofee (1911 Barnet Shoals Rd, Athens, GA) January 28-Feb.1. An optional 20% rebate of the sale price is available to the artist, if requested. Additionally, work will be displayed on the fightthestigma.com website.

More info here:
http://www.fightthestigma.com/Donald-Keyes-Mental-Health-Benefit-v-20.html

2007-12-20

Response to Professor David Hazinski

Bloggers have bristled at the opinion piece "Unfettered 'citizen journalism' too risky" by University of Georgia professor David Hazinski, but it doesn't amount to much in my opinion, and the resulting controversy is really kind of boring. However, I feel I should respond here since the piece is from a UGA professor and since this blog occasionally ventures into "citizen journalism," but before I explain further here is my bottom line:

The integrity of the news media is always going to be called into question when it depends on corporate advertising. The interests of advertisers affect the decisions by reporters, editors, publishers, and producers, and those interests will always interfere with the objectivity of journalists. Even our own dear Flagpole suffers from this problem.

Before you read my drivel there are some good responses on Drifting Through the Grift and PeachPundit. I became aware of this inconsequential editorial from a blog post by Blake Aued. Now here are my remarks.

Type of regulation: I don't think that Hazinski is calling for something as onerous as it sounds when he talks about "regulation." He does suggest that citizen journalists should get training and certification, but he does not say that the government should get involved and hamper the current work of citizen journalists. The whole point of his piece seems to be that organizations should promulgate more cohesive ethical standards for journalists and get smalltime, independent journalists involved. Although the piece does reek of censorship because it compares the state of journalism to professions that are regulated by government, he does not explicitly call for such regulation. Instead he writes, "The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend," referring to the industry's use of amateur contributions through the Internet and persuading the industry (not the contributors themselves) to be more cautious.

Why regulation: Hazinski presents minimal anecdotal evidence for the idea that unregulated journalists are causing harm, and he asserts they pose the danger of "fraud and abuse." Yes, it is a great thing for professional journalists to organize and raise their ethical standards for themselves, but I am unconvinced that amateurs and hobbyists are posing a serious problem. Again, he is addressing the mainstream media's use of contributions and not saying that bloggers should get certificates before writing in their own blogs. He does not address the fact that even unsophisticated readers recognize the difference between reading one thing on cnn.com and something else on blogspot.com signed by a person using a CB radio handle, but this is because he is addressing the problem of outlets like CNN adopting reports they have not verified themselves.

Profession: Hazinski is hoping to professionalize journalism, but journalism is not a profession. He makes comparisons to medicine and law, but those are learned professions which journalism cannot aspire to be. There is not a specialized body of knowledge that journalists apply to render their services in the way that, for example, a physician uses knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Hazinski's analogies about a "citizen surgeon" carrying a scalpel and a "citizen lawyer" reading a law book do not work. Journalism is about conveying information, and anyone can do that, especially in a country with free speech rights. It is useful for professional journalists to organize in order to define their goals and standards, but there is no reason for them to regulate amateur communications. Furthermore, as long as journalists depend on corporate advertisers, they will not be able to exercise independent professional judgment as practitioners of medicine and law are supposed to be able to do.

My conclusions: Hazinski could rewrite his piece in a way less damning of amateur journalists but making the same point, that mainstream media outlets should promote journalism training and prefer the contributions from trained people. This point is not very interesting because mainstream outlets can do whatever they please as long as the advertisers and stockholders are happy. What might be more interesting is the claim by a blog commenter that Hazinski is in the business of training journalists as he makes his appeal.

What does the professor's opinion piece mean for the Athens World blog and the whole blogosphere? Nothing. On this blog we are interested in our community and maintaining our appearance of integrity here. Throughout the blogosphere there is the potential for dialogue to be refined and things to be learned. Citizen journalism is nothing new; it's just evolving. Home movie cameras have been around for decades, and printing has been around even longer. Did anyone ever see the episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" in which Opie started his own newsletter and printed all the gossip he heard? He learned about what to report, how to say it, and the readers he was trying to serve -- but he didn't have to worry about what an advertiser wanted him to do.

2007-12-18

Athens as a business destination

What does it take to entice business and industry to locate in the Athens area? Does Atlanta have to reach capacity first? There is a story today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called "Corporate execs wary of traffic in Atlanta" suggesting that businesses are now being discouraged from considering that area. What businesses need to consider is that a significant portion of the labor and talent working in the Atlanta area are actually commuting from Athens-Clarke and its surrounding counties. People want the quality of life provided by this area, but they need the wages and opportunities of Atlanta.

I would be glad for corporate executives to realize that Atlanta's labor pool is not concentrated in Atlanta. They should certainly consider other metro areas. When I lived in Jackson County and worked in Gwinnett County, I had co-workers from Henry, Spalding, and Gordon Counties, and one even commuted from Alabama. Perhaps businesses have contributed to the traffic problem by locating alongside other businesses rather than where the people actually live.

Atlanta's growth presents us with opportunities here. Fortunately, we are smart enough to anticipate transportation and planning challenges. Now the question is how to do we actually bring more businesses to Athens?

(Read the first comment. It gives a lot to think about.)

2007-12-16

Athens Creative Theatre Starts "Peter Pan" Rehearsals


Athens Creative Theatre started rehearsals today for their March 2008 production of "Peter Pan." Of the more than 100 people who auditioned, the 50 selected young actors and actresses hit the ground running with a 2.5 hour script walk through/reading today. ACT has contracted with a theatrical company out of Las Vegas to rig the Morton Theater so that the cast will actually fly in the production. Will post more information as it becomes available.

2007-12-15

Holiday traffic

Avoid Atlanta Highway now.

Seeking "Dawg" artists

I have a few photos from the process of doing the jittery joe's dawg (flower power) for the "We Let the Dawgs Out" thing (you know, those large painted dogs around Athens).

I am wondering if any of the other artists have video or photos of the process, which they would be willing to share. I would love to put together a little video with lots of inprocess stuff. If you are one of the "dawg" artists or know one of the dawg artists, please pass along my plea.

This certainly won't be a for profit kind of thing, but for educational/documentation purposes.
thanks
robin
robinart.com@gmail.com

2007-12-14

Calling all bicycling enthusiasts in Oconee and Clarke counties, Pedal for Police Sunday morning

Friends,

*Please join us at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 16th for a bike ride to raise funds for Athens Police Officer Sergeant Courtney Gale.* Sergeant Gale was attacked Tuesday evening in a local grocery store and is in critical condition at St. Mary's Hospital. As is true of every police officer, Sergeant Gale puts her life on the line daily to protect each one of us...now, we rally to support her.

In an effort to help further surround her, and her loved ones, with positive energy and support from the community, we will be conducting a Police Escorted Bike Ride from the downtown Police Station (133 Washington Ave.) to St. Mary's Hospital and back.

We ask a $10 donation to participate, but no one will be turned away. All proceeds will go directly to Sergeant Gale and her family.

This is a completely grassroots effort, so your help in printing and posting the attached flier will be greatly appreciated.

*If you cannot attend the bike ride, please try to focus your encouraging thoughts, alongside ours, in her direction Sunday morning. *Donations may be made directly to any SunTrust bank branch or mail donations to:
SunTrust Bank
Attention: Heidi Spratlin
1022 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30606

Yours,
"Pushing Pedals for Police"
Athens, GA

2007-12-13

The legal gun battle

The Athens-Clarke County government is out of ammo in its battle to defend its ordinance on firearms in parks. It still insists on just bringing a knife to a proverbial gunfight, though. Your local tax dollars will go to work on Jan. 4 when the Athens-Clarke County Superior Court is expected to hear arguments from the attorney for Donald A. Walker and Georgiacarry.org on why the county should be enjoined from enforcing the ordinance and from the county on why the case against it should be dismissed. Based on a decision this month from the Court of Appeals, expect the county to ultimately lose.

Walker and Georgiacarry.org, Inc., have sued to the county to prevent enforcement of the county ordinance which prohibits the possession of firearms in county parks. They are relying on a state statute which preempts most local regulation regarding firearms. In fact, the Court of Appeals just issued an opinion interpreting the statute and preventing Coweta County from using a similar ordinance. GeorgiaCarry.org v. Coweta County, 2007 Ga. App. LEXIS 1289, 2007 WL 4235857 (uncorrected and subject to revision). The statute states: "No county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows; the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms or components of firearms; firearms dealers; or dealers in firearms components." Ga. Code Ann. sec. 16-11-173(b)(1) (West 2007).

I still see an option under which the county might be able to prohibit firearms in parks, but it would not be through a criminal ordinance, so it is not really relevant here.

Apparently some people are still fearful of the notion of firearms in parks, and I would like to dispel that notion here. First of all, as a general matter, it is against Georgia law to carry a handgun without a license, so there is already regulation addressing the matter of citizens carrying around such a dangerous instrumentality. Second, there is a process of obtaining such a license: an applicant goes to the probate court seeking a license and supplying fingerprints, and the probate court does a background check. The probate judge must issue a license a license to applicants who meet all the requirements. The possible disqualifiers include being convicted of a felony, a drug crime, or a weapon crime, and having been a recent patient in a mental or substance abuse facility. Third, there are restrictions on licensed persons from carrying a gun to a "public gathering," a term that is not well defined.

What does all this mean for guns in parks here in Athens? Well, as is true with all gun regulation, criminals don't obey laws. The laws are followed by the law-abiding, and if we lose this county ordinance, anyone who legally carries a gun in a park is a person who has passed a background check. They also have their license with them and are carrying the gun in some kind of holster. (Yes, the law also addresses how the gun is carried, so all these stories about guys shooting their leg when they stuff their gun in their underpants are basically from the criminal element to begin with.) They also won't be carrying a gun to an organized event at the park because of the "public gathering" restriction.

Jim Thompson of the Athens Banner-Herald has made good and bad points. First, it looks like he bought into irrational gun fears with his column "Looking at the world through a gun sight." He argued against finding a justification for being allowed to carry guns in parks and dismissed the right to self-defense there by writing: "What I can't even begin to fathom is how it must be to believe everything, including a trip to the park, carries the potential for gun violence to erupt. But I guess that when you insist on looking at the world through a gun sight, you get a pretty skewed view." We could easily turn this around on Thompson and say that he is the one with a skewed view if he believes that law-abiding citizens present a danger if they carry guns in parks.

Thompson did make a point with which I am willing to accept in his blog post "He's back, but he's ducking." He wrote: "I believe that when I’m out in public, I have a right to expect that anyone carrying a weapon is demonstrably proficient with that weapon, and has that proficiency tested on a regular basis by a competent authority." Florida actually takes this approach by requiring proof of training for firearms license applicants, though Georgia does not. Of course, a common requirement for law enforcement officers anywhere is that their firearm proficiency is regularly retested. I would accept such a requirement in exchange for the privilege of carrying what the law deems to be a dangerous instrumentality because that does seem to be a sensible regulation.

In full disclosure, I've had a Georgia Firearms License for over five years, and I just joined Georgiacarry.org. I occasionally carry a concealed pistol in public places, and I religiously follow gun safety rules.

2007-12-10

Murder-robbery suspect at large

Police are seeking public assistance in identifying the person responsible for the shooting death of Djamal Atroune at Lay's Shell Station on the morning of Dec. 5. The subject is described as a black male between 5'7" and 5'10" in height of a medium to heavyset build. This is the forensic artistic sketch based on this event.
This suspect is also thought to be the same person responsible for the robbery occurring shortly thereafter at the Kangaroo station on Prince Avenue. These are two still images from a security camera.



See these stories from OnlineAthens.com for more information:
Anyone with information should call Det. Chuck Ivey with the Athens-Clarke County Police at (706) 613-3888 ext. 337 or Special Agent Rebecca Shaw with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (800) 597-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this subject.

2007-12-08

UGA Joins With ESPNU for Student-Run Initiative

ESPNU, in collaboration with the University of Georgia, and 19 other colleges and universities from across the country, has launched a new student-run initiative called “ESPNU Campus Connection.”

Working with students, professors and athletic departments, the new ESPNU initiative incorporates student-generated content across multiple ESPN platforms. Some examples include students announcing games (play-by-play announcer and analyst), sideline reporting and producing televised events on ESPNU involving their schools, as well as contributing special segments and feature stories for other ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN360.com, etc.) and writing articles for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.

The full story is available over on "Eye on Sports Media".

Athens Banner-Herald Is looking for a Prep Sports Editor

The Athens Banner-Herald (ABH) is looking for a Prep Sports Editor. Here is what is being advertised:

The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald seeks an energetic full-time prep sports editor to join its award-winning staff.

In this position, you'll be in charge of coordinating high school coverage for 25 schools. The position also has desk responsibilities, so Quark proficiency is a plus.

Experienced candidates are preferred, but recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

The Athens Banner-Herald is a Morris Communications-owned 32,000 daily newspaper in Athens, Ga., home of the University of Georgia and one of the greatest live music scenes in the country.

Send your resume, six writing clips and two design clips to John Kaltefleiter, Sports Editor, Athens Banner-Herald, One Press Place, Athens, Ga., 30601. E-mail: john.kaltefleiter@onlineathens.com. No phone calls.

No resumes will be accepted after December 20, 2007.

2007-12-07

Go Spartans!

I've always thought that it was funny that the Athens Academy sports team nickname is the Spartans (Athens was often at war with Sparta, no? though I guess they did band together to fend off the Persians). At any rate, the football Spartans are playing in a A semifinal this morning against Wilcox County at the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, they are currently down 6-0 in the first quarter, but they did just recover a fumble in the red zone. Go Spartans!

Update: 2nd Quarter, Athens Academy takes a 7-6 lead with a touchdown pass after the fumble recovery. By the way, for anyone at home right now, the game is being broadcast on GPB.

Halftime Update: Bad news Tim; the Spartans have fallen behind 20-7 at halftime. There's hope, though; they were behind before coming back and winning last week as well.

Final: Wilcox County 32, Athens Academy 14.

Oh well. Valiant effort and great season nonetheless, Spartans.

2007-12-06

Christmas Song!

Merry Christmas to all my fans on Athensworld.com ans HOT100.7 FM

2007-12-05

Curious about military flights

This is a question I've been wondering about myself. Mike-El writes:
Hi, Adrian. Would you mind putting the word out to see if anyone knows why we've been getting buzzed by fighter jets the past few days? Being next to the airport out here in Winterville, we're used to all the regular military planes but lately we've been getting F-14s roaring overhead almost every afternoon. Sometimes two or three in formation. My kids love it. All we're missing is Maverick, Goose, and some Kenny Loggins.

Murder and armed robbery; hit and run

The Athens-Clarke County police are seeking the public's help in finding a suspect in a murder and armed robbery committed early this morning at Lay's Shell Station on Gaines School Road at Lexington Road. Here is the information with a surveillance video image.

Also, a hit and run driver who struck a pedestrian is being sought:
A serious accident occurred on Morton Road near Martin Farm Lane. This morning around 7 am, while walking his dog, a pedestrian was crossing the roadway from the right-hand side to the left hand side of the road heading Southbound. An unknown vehicle was approaching southbound. This unknown vehicle struck the pedestrian. The vehicle may have a cracked windshield. The vehicle continued southbound on Morton Road without stopping. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Anyone with information on this vehicle, please contact:
SPO Kenneth Brown
Hit and Run Investigator
706-208-1719 extension 238

Yo-Yo Kings -- Repost

This was on the original athensworld, I wrote it as a part of a series of posts on Athens in the 60s and 70s.
-----------------
The Palace Theater had Saturday afternoon at the movies. Kids got in free with a can of food for the poor folks sometimes. Sometimes it cost a quarter to get in. For that price, you got a newsreel, some previews, at least one cartoon, usually more, and a double feature. The double feature movies were always of a similar genre, like two westerns or two war movies. One Saturday we got two civil war movies. I remember watching the battle scene where the South got beat and the Union was saved. Most of the kids booed, there were several kids from Up North sitting down in front, they cheered and were promptly bombarded with popcorn.

About this time of year, when school had just let out and we had the whole summer in front of us, the Yo-Yo Kings would come through town. These were always Philipino guys who could do the most amazing tricks with their Yo-Yo's. Before the movie, the Yo-Yo Kings would be up on the stage in front of the screen, doing their tricks while music played over the sound system. We were mesmerized with the performance. The Palace Theater made sure we knew at least two weeks in advance of the Yo-Yo Kings arrival. This gave all us kids time to agitate our parents, cut grass, break into our piggy banks, whatever it took to get the money together because after the Yo-Yo Kings performed, they set up a table in the lobby and us kids would line up 50 deep. We'd stand there inside the plush velvet ropes and we'd buy our Duncan Yo-Yo, just knowing that if we got the latest model, we too could perform those same tricks. (Walk The Dog, Around The World, Jacob's Ladder etc etc). Of course, it never really worked out that way, but we bought into the dream every June anyway. We'd return to our seats with our new Yo-Yo in hand. The year the metal-flake model came out, I spent the next three hours admiring the little flashes of light as it picked up the projector light in the darkened theater. I don't think any of the kids there that year saw the movies at all, we were all trying to figure out how that Yo-Yo could sparkle like that. One year, the new model was the Butterfly model. It had edges that pointed out and within one hour of our getting the Butterfly model, all the kids had bruised fingers to show for it.

A few of the bolder kids would pair up with their sweethearts and sit together in the double seats that were on the isles of the theater. We called these the Love Seats and it was quite a scandal when one of our number didn't sit with us, but sat with a girl in a Love Seat. I admit to having sat with a girl in a Love Seat once myself. I was ostracized by my crowd for several days after that. The Love Seats were located on each isle, one every 10 rows or so. I found out years after the fact, that these weren't installed by the Palace Theater as Love Seats, but rather, were paid for by a prominent Athens businessman who was named Fats Baker. Fats tipped the scales at better than 400 pounds. I remember seeing him walking along College Square as he was going to lunch at the Mayflower. Anyway, Fats loved the movies, but he couldn't fit in the regular seats, so when the Palace was built, he had those custom seats put in for his use. Fats never went to Saturday Afternoon at the Movies, that was strictly kid terror-tory.

The Palace Theater was located up the hill from College Square, just up the hill from where Wuxtry is now. The whole building was torn down to build the parking deck some years ago. After the movies let out, all the kids would walk down the hill and go to the Varsity for a coke or a shake, it was located at the corner of College Square, where the Chinese place is today. The downtown Varsity is a topic for another post I suppose.

2007-12-04

ACC Library Store Sale - Dec 6 & 7th

There should be some neat things for holiday giving
Mark your calendars!!! The Library Store is having an Inventory Blowout Sale!!!

Sale Dates are as follows:

December 6th from 11am- 7pm in the Athens Library Small Conference Room
December 7th from 11am - 5pm in the Athens Library Small Conference Room

Oh, Tannenbaum

So, guys, this is the post where I whine about my trials and tribulations in seeking that most basic of xmas essentials: the christmas tree. Yeah, they're everywhere, sorta. Leyland cypresses in 6-7' heights are everywhere.

But I want something special -- I want a tree, real or otherwise, from 9-12' in height. Preferably a blue spruce or some such, but I'm not picky. It's just gotta be reasonably priced and tall enough not to make my ceiling look freakishly tall.

Any suggestions? Tried any pick-your-own places that you particularly enjoyed?

Also, I'm really not picky about the fake vs. real question -- can anyone speak to the durability of fake trees? Just how bad is either option for the environment?

2007-12-03

Overheard in Athens

The "Overheard in Athens" blog often makes me laugh out loud ("LOL"), and the reaction by a waiter in this entry struck me as particularly funny. He was overhearing a conversation about someone's intimate affairs, started to make an observation, and then abandoned it. But then I was struck by what wasn't funny at all, the dangerous ignorance of risks in sexual behavior. I usually don't blog about stuff like this, but I guess the relevant point here is that even in this town that is supposedly rather overeducated, there is still a need for greater sex education. A woman in this overheard conversation expressed a possible belief that she is not at risk of sexually transmitted diseases if she is only having anal sex. Unfortunately, this belief is actually all to common, and this is a major way that women (and men) acquire HIV. Many other infections can be passed this way, too.

"Overheard in Athens" captures a lot of embarrassing lapses of intelligence, and that is why I'm addicted to reading it. You never know what kind of crazy things will be overheard next. But sometimes you worry whether a speaker is really as ignorant as he or she sounds.

Saturday Night's Dance Athens Show

For those of you who did not make it to the Dance Athens show Saturday night, you missed a real treat. The girls from the East Athens Educational Center stole the show. Modern dance does nothing for me (I guess I am just intellectually stunted or something), so a lot of the acts turned me off. But these girls were FANTASTIC.

The strangest point of the evening was the speech given by Athens Banner-Herald Marquee editor Julie Phillips. Receiving an award for excellence, she bemoaned the fact that the Marquee section of the ABH has been getting smaller and smaller because of cutbacks at the paper. She said that when there are cutbacks, the arts, of course, suffer first. Is this like writing your own obituary?

Julie seems like a truly nice, person and does love and support the arts. But the reality is that the people who read the Banner-Herald do so for the Sports section mainly. I never read Marquee because I do not pay for the paper (why waste money on a poor publication overall?) and can get better information for free in the Flagpole?

2007-12-01

Water conservation gone amuck

The water conservation tips from Athens-Clarke County have gotten more and more desperate. Now I'd say they're out of hand. Let's take a look at some of them:

To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower. This one contradicts other tips we've been given. First of all, if we're not supposed to run the water in the sink while brushing our teeth or anything else, how is doing that while running the shower going to save water? Second of all, the thought of brushing teeth in the shower is seriously wacky, and I don't think I'd like to have minty foam running down any sensitive body parts.

Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks. I don't see how that saves any water at all.

Shave your face or legs less frequently to save water. You don't have to tell Athenians twice. Take a stroll on the west side of College Square, and you'll be reminded of how much water our community has been saving for years!

Don’t waste a toilet flush. Drop tissues and other garbage in the trash instead of flushing and save gallons every time. This is the signal of the end of civilization as we know it. I know they're at least suggesting to throw away a snot tissue, and a writer in the Flagpole has dared to suggest putting urine tissues in the trash. But we're not talking about living like the Greeks or Caribbeans and binning our fecal tissues, are we? Are we? Because we're going to need a few more tips to figure out how to do that, like where to get sealed containers for these tissues.

Post your own water conservation tips here.