A few observations

I saw three different squirrels on north campus today that were busy getting clumps of leaves in their mouths and running up oak trees. They were lining knot holes with these leaf clumps. This means that we are in for some cold nights. Or it could mean that they are doing a squirrel version of a flash mob in support of the coeds who are against coal. Either way, the squirrels were so into their jobs that they ignored the peanut butter crackers I put out for them.

And speaking of peanut butter crackers, why do all of these little salty cholesterol bomb snacks like cookies, chips, and the like, why do they all have to be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture? What gives some official in Pennsylvania the authority to determine how I choose to load up my coronary arteries with plaque? This sounds like modern day carpet baggers to me.

I am irritated by two emerging window stickers that I have been seeing more and more of recently. The first type appear in the back glass of SUVs. These are the same SUVs that sport wreaths and ribbons during Xmas. The stickers are a male figure representing the father, a female sticker representing the mother, and one or more child type stickers, the kids. To provide further irritation, some variants of this silliness include little kitty stickers, doggie stickers and sometimes even the names of all of these people along with the pets. Who gives a damn? I know I don’t. Another variant of this smarm substitutes little Jesus fish symbols for the people symbols, indicating that the entire family mindlessly votes Republican I suppose.
The other type of sticker is the generally round and ornate sticker that says “In Loving Memory......” and goes on to list birth and death dates. When its my time to go, I hope my family and friends memorialize me with a keg party and not with some cheap little sticker on the back of a dirty pickup.

As long as we are thinking about memorials, the ultimate silliness in roadside memorials can be observed out on 316 as you head into Athens. This cross, plastic flowers, and American flag display was put there to memorialize an Oconee County deputy who was hit by a car and killed in the line of duty. That was truly a tragedy in all seriousness. What makes the memorial on 316 so bizarre, is that it is not where the accident took place. It was where said deputy preferred to run radar to catch speeders on 316. It has nothing to do with the accident scene. I have observed Oconee deputies, in uniform and in a squad car, pulled over at the memorial, cutting the grass around the memorial with a push mower. Go figure.

Lastly, when is this damn winter ever going to go away?


Pet "soup" kitchen (free pet food)

This is a great idea...
The Athens Area Humane Society Food Bowl is a program designed to provide free pet food to individuals who could not otherwise afford to feed their pets.

Due to the current economic situation, many households are struggling to feed themselves, let alone their pets. Shelters are seeing an increase in owner surrenders due to financial hardship, and the Athens Area Humane Society feels
it is our duty to help. As a result, we have established a pet soup kitchen called The Food Bowl where pets in need can receive free food so their owners do not have to make the hard choice of surrendering them. If you would like to help
keep animals with their families, please consider donating a bag of dog or cat food today.

New 2010 guidelines:

AAHS is currently requiring 2 hours of volunteer time (at our facility) before you are allowed free food.

To volunteer, you must call the shelter or clinic during open hours. If volunteer opportunities are available, we will tell you to come in and start your hours. You will be able to receive your food on the day you finish your volunteer work. Volunteer opportunities are available all month long.

Call 706-353-2287 ext. 2 for spay/neuter volunteering or ext. 3 for shelter volunteer opportunities.

1. We will only provide food for up to TWO pets.

2. All animals must be current on their rabies vaccinations. There will be a one-month grace period where you will be able to receive food while working towards getting your animals current.
2a. AAHS offers $5.00 rabies vaccinations at our pet care clinics. Visit www.athenshumanesociety.org and click on Services, then Pet Care Clinics for dates, time, and location.

3. All animals must be spayed or neutered. There will be a three-month grace period where you will be able to receive food while working towards getting your animal spayed or neutered. However, you may not breed your animal during this
3a. Our spay/neuter clinic offers low cost high quality spay/neuter services. However, if you are still unable to afford this surgery, please ask one of our volunteers for assistance when you pick up food for the first time.

4. You must bring your Driver’s License or another photo ID at the time you receive food.
5. You may only pick up food once per month and you will be given one-month worth of food.
6. You will be able to complete our application at the time you pick up your food.
7. Remember: First come first serve, and food is only available while supplies last.

Due to the high demand for food, we are in need of donations. This program is only possible with the support of our generous donors. Please see the following drop-off locations below:

Athens Area Humane Society—1781 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville GA—706-353-2287
Pet Supplies Plus (AAHS adoption center)—191 Alps Road, Suite 15, Athens,
Mama Sids Pizza—2240 Barnett Shoals Rd, Athens, GA—706-549-6100
Storage Mart—251 Collins Industrial Blvd, Athens, GA—706-548-2611

Are you interested in being a pet food drop-off point?
We cannot help the needs of our community by ourselves. We need more pet food drop-off sites. If you have a business or know of one, they can be a drop-off point. We need your help!

For more information, or to join our program, please call 706-353-2287 or email us at thefoodbowl@gmail.com. If you would like a flyer for the program, please
contact Holly at hmugrove@athenshumanesociety.org.


Recycle your old computer!

This comes from the UGA Linux Group:
Over at Free IT Athens, we're facing a problem that hasn't occured since mid 2009: we're running low on computers! This means that volunteers who want to gain experience with computer hardware and linux have nothing to work on, and families that would like to purchase a low-cost computer have to stay on a waiting list.

If you have any computers with a 500 mhz or faster processor that you can donate, this would be a great help! Donations are tax-deductible and may be dropped off at 594 Oconee St on Wednesdays from 6-8PM or Sundays from 1-5PM. THis is the ACTION Inc building next to the old Boys and Girls Club. When you arrive, ring the doorbell labeled Free IT Athens and someone will let you in. Our volunteers will be able to carry your equipment upstairs and print a receipt.

More details are at http://www.freeitathens.org/donate


Snow in Athens

Well, that was about as pretty a snow as I have seen in some years. The heavy snow on the tree limbs this morning was offset by a deep blue sky. Striking. Now, melt and come on spring....


Visiting scholar lecture

Willson Center Visiting Scholar Lecture: The Lieder of Robert Schumann
Monday , February 08 2010 04:00pm

Willson Center Visiting Scholar Silvia Plyler, professor of opera at the University of Cincinatti, in residency at the Hodgson School of Music during the week of February 7-12, 2010, will lecture on the lieder of Robert Schumann.

Location: Edge Recital Hall