Showing posts from November, 2014

11 deaths too many

11 deaths. 11 deaths too many. 11 pedestrians have been killed on suburban Atlanta Gwinnett County’s roads so far this year. That number could have gone up since I starting writing this post. Also, at the moment, we have a few days left in 2014. Nevertheless, that 2014 number is up from previous years. It’s no secret that pedestrian safety is an oxymoron in the Atlanta metropolitan area. A number of aggressive, distracted drivers coupled with many non-compliant pedestrians leads to these disturbing numbers in most cases. The Gwinnett County Police Department clearly spells out pedestrian rules and tips. The department says that pedestrians need to stay within crosswalks, obey traffic signals and wear bright and/or reflective clothing. As a runner, cyclist, vehicle operator and passenger, I generally agree with the county police’s tips and rule reiterations. Pedestrians should always use and stay within crosswalks, but throughout much of Gwinnett County’s roads, crosswalks c

Stores' playlists can be torture

The speakers were blaring disc jockey/musician/rapper/producer Fat Boy Slim’s “Funk Soul Brother.” The pulsating sounds of this late 1990s track were so loud, they shook my eardrums and permeated what was left of my brain at that moment. Not only was this a loud presentation of “Funk Soul Brother,” this was the remixed version that seems to go on for eternity with changing speeds… or as long as possible until I find a way to pull the plug on the speakers or hire an Elvis impersonator to shoot the speakers into silence. For those who are not familiar with “Funk Soul Brother,” it’s not exactly “lyric-heavy.” Here’s a sample of “Funk Soul Brother’s” lyrics which pretty much repeat for as long as the film, Titanic (from around that era): “ Right about now, the funk soul brother, check it out now The funk soul brother, right about now The funk soul brother, check it out now The funk soul brother, right about now” Imagine those lyrics combined with the fact that the re-mixed version

The Holiday Exodus

As commercial-strength leaf blowers compete against autumn's cold, cruel winds, colorful leaves fly about and still dot the collective landscape. Despite the efforts of "leaf clean-ups," the ground becomes prettier while the trees transform into nakedness. Winter is on its way indeed. The air is filled with the smells of burnt wood and leaves. Beyond all of that, it becomes quiet in these parts. Scores of people leave town to enjoy Thanksgiving week with family. A certain amount of folks stay in town during these holiday weeks, but many "get out of Dodge" in these times. Welcome to the New South. An amazing amount of progress has taken place over the past 40 years in the Atlanta metro area. Folks mostly from the Northeast and Midwest settle here for great jobs, a place to build families and an excellent quality of life. Admittedly a handful settled in the Atlanta metro area from other parts of the South, Plains and West, but a great deal like myself hai

Autumn, We Hardly Knew Ye

Is it cold enough for you all at the moment? I confess that by mid-September, I was looking forward to a cool-down. I know: Be careful what you wish for… and boy, did I get it. Now, I’m bone chilling cold and incredibly sorry that I dared to “pray to the Weather Gods.” In my case and perhaps thousands of others, one of the Weather Gods is The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore. Mr. Cantore is a notorious cable television weather guru who has no problem traveling to report from a hurricane to getting buried in five feet of snow. Note to those “Hollywood South Producers” working down here, Jim Cantore would make an excellent Weather God in a future film feature. Since I’m into confessions in this post, here is another one: We have been robbed of autumn. Who knows, maybe autumn will return during the next few weeks or even during actual winter? The point here is that autumn was taken from us and is being held hostage without our knowledge. The real salt in the wounds is that autumn was b

The sky is not falling...

It was one of those weeks that kind of slogged along. We all logically know that time moves along at the same pace, but our minds perceive time differently from second to second. The week started off with a gorgeous Veterans Day which was filled with scores of parades and events including some memorable speeches by the U.S. vice president and defense secretary. Locally, there were a number of events honoring those who served this nation. Across the pond in London, there was a gorgeous poppy field event honoring World War I vets. Their Moment of Silence followed by bugles was simply beautiful. The laying of wreaths here in the U.S. and France was beyond moving and emotional. Veterans Day was capped off with the star-studded HBO television event, The Concert for Valor . Of course if one holds such an event with rapper Eminem, that event will be met with controversy. Eminem delivered that promise during his performance with a series of “F-bombs.” Then there’s a debate that will g

Attempting to keep up with the Joneses

I was viewing a very "telling" television car commercial the other day. In this particular TV ad, the husband and wife look out the window querying what luxury SUV their neighbors recently purchased. The couple had to know what awesome vehicle their neighbor just brought back home. The twosome needed the answer, like yesterday. They wonder how the neighbors were able to afford such a luxury. Perhaps the man of the house got a raise at work? The "jealous" husband watching the spectacle pulls out a pair of high -powered binoculars to find that answer. As the jealous husband is watching the successful couple, the luxury SUV owners notice that their neighbors are intrigued with their high-end purchase. So, one of the new luxury SUV owners waves back to the couple knowing full well that they are well ahead of their neighbors in the automobile department. The average Joe out there might say, "What's so 'telling' about this automobile television

Are we in 'holiday mode?'

The midterm elections are over. What a relief. The ads are off of our televisions and radios. Speaking of those elections, the political signs are cleaned up as the thick wet leaves continue to fall upon us while leaving their imprints upon the brightly colored cement. Our nights are starting earlier bringing upon those feelings of “meh.” Autumn’s cool has already descended on the Peach State thus causing our furnaces to work through the nights and very soon, into the days. I doubt that I can recall a cooler November 1 eve in all the years that I have been dwelling in North Georgia. Even with all of those developments as I write these words at this moment, the December holiday shopping season has been underway since the last piece of candy was handed out on Halloween Eve. Who knows, it could have started in the second week of October. Speaking of Halloween Eve, most folks say that this was the lightest Halloween that they have ever experienced. Are you ready to purchase those