Fall semester traffic

I can understand why traffic is so bad when fall semester begins at UGA. Students are finding their way around, buying textbooks, doing other shopping, and making whatever other preparations they need for a new academic year.

But why does it take over a month to lighten up to a normal amount of traffic? Why does it not lighten up once students get their textbooks and settle into a routine? One idea I've had is that perhaps a lot of freshmen and transfer students eventually learn that driving so much is not worthwhile due to the time it takes with so much traffic and so they eventually learn to reduce their trips and become more efficient. Another has posited that perhaps students drive less and walk more when the weather cools off.

What do you think?

Charles Ivie steps down as Watkinsville mayor; cites health

Charles Ivie steps down as Watkinsville mayor; cites health: Watkinsville Mayor Charles Ivie announced Monday that he was resigning immediately as the city’s top elected official due to health issues.

Oconee crackdown on distracted driving spurs ‘staggering’ number of stops

Oconee crackdown on distracted driving spurs ‘staggering’ number of stops: Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers went looking for distracted drivers Friday morning and the number of cars they stopped surprised even them.


North Campus image

The sign is different. This is the corner of Broad and Jackson. I just noticed.

Die, Mommie, Die!

The Town and Gown Players are performing the comic melodrama Die, Mommie, Die! tonight through Sunday night. If I can get this straight, the story is about a pop-singer mother who murders her film-producer husband and the daughter who wants to avenge his death by killing the mother. The son of the family slips the mother some LSD to get her to admit the murder, and this works, but the "mother" also admits she is actually their aunt who had previously killed their real mother. And then the story just gets more twisted.

The performances are August 10, 11, and 12 at 8:00 p.m. and August 13 at 2:00 p.m. with a ticket price of $5.00. More information on Die, Mommie, Die! can be found on the Town and Gown Players website, though I don't know where to find an explanation for the unusual spelling of "mommy" in the play's title.


Milledge Avenue alert

Sorority and fraternity recruitment begins today, so stay off Milledge Avenue unless you (1) work there, (2) live there, or (3) have ample leisure time to watch college students crossing the road and admire UGA's fleet of transit busses.


Kindred spirits

A slice of life from downtown Athens today, as reported by Lynn:
Who would have thought that the simple reading of a new book and a lavender cup of latte from Jittery Joe’s would have landed me the experience I had this morning? This encounter has consumed my mind all day and I want to share my story. 
In order to enjoy my coffee and to be able to focus on my reading, I walked around downtown until I found a park bench with the smallest amount of sun shining on it so I wouldn’t sweat and melt down into my shoes. 
Edward, whom I would meet in a few moments, was charging his cell phone while sending text messages to his family and friends. 
His friend, George, whom I would also meet very soon, was outside laughing and talking about how he had a jelly bean in his pocket (that he carried around) because he didn’t like jelly beans. Edward, his friend, was trying to guess the flavor George might like (or what candy in general his friend would enjoy if not a jelly bean). The guys were having so much fun, I couldn’t help but listen to them laugh and cut up. They were so positive and full of life! 
I stopped reading my book and walked over to introduce myself and George went inside Subway to do whatever it is that he does in there. Edward began looking around in his backpack for sandwiches to give his friend to eat. Both, I would learn, are homeless! 
Edward and I chatted a bit and I learned that he was invited to Harvard University years ago to work on his MBA. He decided to become a firefighter and is recently retired from that job. His eyes sparkle with enthusiasm when sharing his story! 
George, when invited out of Subway to come join us, was encouraged by his friend Edward to sing for me so that I could learn of his musical talents. He began singing Josh Grobin’s song, “You raise me up,” and sang it loud enough for many of those walking by to hear and enjoy. 
The nice thing about this encounter with Edward and with George is that I have recently been homeless and I understand what it is like to have absolutely nothing. No food, no clothes, no way of bathing, etc. What the three of us shared in common was our ability to choose happiness and to roll with the punches. 
We all agreed that life will pull you down at times. Life will also be good to you at other times. One of our “good times” today was sharing our moments together and living in the moment created just for the three of us to connect and become friends.


Commissioner silent as car insurance rates soar

Ralph Hudgens had been, will be and is always awful as Insurance Commissioner

Commissioner silent as car insurance rates soar

A few observations

 Driving back home the other day after work I happened to pull up behind a pickup truck. I noticed, dangling from the hitch receiver on that truck, a plastic replica of testicles. What the hell? When I got home I hit the internet and discovered these are called Truck Nuts. Outside of demonstrating very poor taste in decor, what is this trying to say? What meaning is intended?

I listen to a lot of radio. I have always been a radio junkie. Here lately, and this is particularly true of NPR, I have noticed that when the interviewer asks the interviewee a question, the response more often than not, starts with SOOO. Interviewer--What lead you to attempt to unicycle across the country? Interviewee -- So I was sitting in my recliner wondering what I could do to combat global warming...
I find it tedious.

I go to a lot of UGA baseball games, have been for years. I noticed years ago that the Dipping Dots cart pronounces that Dipping Dots are the 'Ice Cream of the Future'. When does that future arrive? I have yet to see Dipping Dots in a grocery store along with the old fashioned and terribly obsolete Blue Bell ice cream.


Seen at Cook Out

Football tickets for $3.50 and parking for 50¢ -- can you imagine?


Retail stuff

Big Moe's Outlet: I just noticed this store open at 3190 Atlanta Highway, the shopping center with Ingle's and Big Lots. It appears to be a furniture store. Does anyone know much about it?

Ingle's: The Ingle's grocery store is a mystery to me -- why is it such a ghost town? The parking lot is mostly empty most of the time, they have about two registers open, and the customers are sparse. Is there simply too much competition in the area? Is the produce department inadequate? Are the prices too high?

Does anyone follow this blog anymore?


Priest: How about an amnesty for Trump voters?

The tire amnesty held in Oconee County recently gave me an idea.

Citizens were allowed to drop off old tires at recycling centers without paying a fee. The county lost a little revenue, but the amnesty reduced the number of illegal tire dumps and the mosquitoes breeding there. It’s a trade-off.

We need something like that for Trump voters: a face-saving way for them to say – finally – “I made a mistake” without being roundly pelted with harsh volleys of “We told you so!” and “What were you thinking?”

Half of us sure would love to put Trump voters through a gauntlet of recrimination. But it would be better to all come to terms with the frightening nature of a pinball president careening through the White House stopping to tweet – ding! ding! – then watching Fox News – ding! ding! – and onward, heedlessly.

Let’s declare an amnesty period so that we can – together – address the many problems we face in the world.

--Pat Priest

Priest: How about an amnesty for Trump voters?

Why is North Avenue divided?

I've never really stopped to think about how unique North Avenue is at its southern end where it's divided under the railroad trestle. I have thought about the awkwardness of its intersection with Dougherty Street and Thomas Street, though.


North Campus mishap

Eclipse viewing events

Athens will experience a 99.1% solar eclipse on August 21. Here are some places to gather for viewing:


Gospel choir at ACC Library

Voices of Truth, the gospel choir directed by James R. Smith, will perform at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Sunday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m. This choir is known for contemporary gospel, traditional hymns, spirituals, and beautiful anthems, and Smith has kept this group going for about 38 years. This is free admission, folks.


Oconee County Observations: Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Speci...

Oconee County Observations: Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Speci...: Lacks Business License Twelve-year-old Jack Senyitko gave a flawless presentation to the Oconee County Planning Commission on Monday night...

Happenings in Winterville

Did you know that the Marigold Festival is this Saturday? The parade is at 10:00 a.m., and there is music all day. Check it out because anybody who's anybody is going to be there.


Four Athens teams up with Athens Technical College

Technology incubator Four Athens has now teamed up with Athens Technical College in its provision of coding and web software classes. The college's Economic Development Services division has found that it overlaps with the mission of Four Athens in providing software and web development skills for entrepreneurs and IT professionals. The first class to be offered by the partnership is Web Fundamentals this Saturday at 9:00 a.m.; see "Beginner Classes" for more information.



Seen on campus, analog auto-correct

A colleague sent me this pretty funny shot..


Broken duck feeder

Last summer one side of this duck feeder at Memorial Park stopped working. Now the other side is broken. Both sides will accept a quarter but not rotate. So apparently someone who works for ACC Leisure Services is happy to collect the quarters without having to replace the food, unless the capacity for quarters is large enough that no one has tended to it in a long time. The duck feeders are a great idea since the ducks used to have angel wing syndrome out here, but it isn't going to work if the feeders aren't going to be maintained.


Witnesses sought

From the ACCPD: This morning the ACCPD worked a vehicle crash with injuires at Five Points involving a dump truck and a scooter. We are asking that anyone who may have seen this occur please contact us at 706-208-1718 at ext. 233