Showing posts from August, 2015

Kiawah Island is America's paradise

Are you looking for the perfect getaway to celebrate the end of another busy school year? How about a visit to a place where immaculate ocean beaches are the backdrop for well-preserved sand dunes, calming sunsets and gentle breezes? Kiawah Island, off the coast of Charleston, S.C., has all that and more. Paige Pinson, a Peachtree Corners resident who visits the golf resort on a regular basis with her family, heads there to get away from crowded places like Panama City and Daytona Beach. “It’s quiet and simple,” she said. “There are no tall buildings. I have been all over the world, and Kiawah is one of my favorite places to visit.” Recreation, nature live in harmony In recent years, criticism has been aimed at resorts and hotels that have been built on beautiful natural habitats, exploiting the natural resources. That can’t be said about the lodging choices on Kiawah Island, though. Both the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island are luxurious places t

Atlanta gets it rank on an Urban Mobility Scorecard - it's not so great

There’s been some brouhaha over how Atlanta ranks in the latest Texas A&M Transportation Institute findings. We’re number 12! Believe it or not, it’s far worse in 11 other metropolises in the United States. Certainly the number 12 Atlanta traffic ranking is far from being a cause for celebration. The study’s conclusion states that Atlanta area commuters spend 52 hours a year in traffic. While there are some who don’t mind puttering around listening to their favorite music, talk radio program or Lord forbid – texting or watching videos, the fact is that we’re stuck behind the wheel. I’m not sure about most folks, but commuting is a major time-waster, pollution-contributor and tough on our autos – especially those brakes! I’m as kind as can be to my brakes, but I’m sure my brakes would like me to give them a break. The point here is that losing 52 hours to traffic is unacceptable, but what should the ATL metro do about this dilemma? Indeed communities try to tackle th

We connected with Alison and Adam

As of this writing, millions know the story about a young local television reporter and her photographer who were gunned down while they were live on the air during a morning broadcast on Wednesday, August 26. They were Alison Parker and Adam Ward. As details emerged about these young professionals, it seems that we got to know them. Certainly TV news professionals throughout the world's newsrooms felt a connection to these young victims because they have performed similar work. Doing live local television remote shoots is tough work under so many circumstances far too numerous to explain here, but the bottom line is, the work is tedious. That empathy extended beyond newsrooms because with technology, we quickly got to know Alison and Adam. Just hours after they were gunned down, we started calling them by their first names even though we didn't know them. We learned where Alison and Adam grew up, went to school and all the places where they had previously worked. As the hours

How about a new Colonel Sanders every three months?

If you have been watching those Kentucky Fried Chicken/Colonel Sanders ads this year, you probably noticed a few things. For starters, Colonel Harland Sanders departed this planet 35 years ago – a little more than a week after music legend John Lennon was assassinated. So, how is Colonel Sanders reappearing in KFC ads? Isn’t that morbid? Not really. KFC hired an actor to play a version of the fast food icon. KFC ad execs hired former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond to play the role of Sanders. Hammond injected his own characterizations of the Colonel with strange laugh and even some singing. The series of ads were funny to some and annoying to others. Those who knew Colonel Sanders say that he was nothing like the Hammond version. I’m sure that the KFC ads’ creators were not aiming for accuracy when it came to ‘resurrecting’ Colonel Sanders. Furthermore, I’m not even sure that it was the reason that Hammond was booted from the campaign. He was replaced by

The Gr8 Exchange is under way

Just like many cities across America, transportation is typically on the minds of folks living in the greater Atlanta metro area. From roads to rails, buses to trolleys and bike lanes to trails, folks have a smattering of opinions on the subject.Some love driving in their sedans, SUVs, mini-vans and/or pick-up trucks while others love hopping on their bikes to go from Point A to Point B. This week, one of the more northernmost counties - Gwinnett County - is taking that thinking one step further. The Gr8 Exchange on Transportation is an initiative to get dialogue going about the subject. The easy-to-use website allows users to take a short survey , engage in discussions and a there’s even a page dedicated to spreading the word about The Gr8 Exchange. Whether through Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter, those tools are vital to getting a conversation out there about how transportation options can expand and improve within the county. Do you have a transportation wish-list? If so,

Short Takes: Introducing 'Pooductive'

For this week's "Short Takes," we delve into the unbelievable. Here's something that falls into the "I cannot make this up" category. Apparently there's a new app out there called 'Pooductive.' Dubbed as the social network for 'pooping people,' folks can share a bevy of experiences while tending to this bathroom activity.  Where do you park your mobile phone while on the app? I'm not sure where the mobile device can be placed while partaking on Pooductive, but perhaps some geniuses out there can create a tripod-like device to help with 'matters.' Yikes, maybe I don't want to swipe your phone for those baby pics after all? Seriously, is nothing sacred or private any longer? Indeed I know that question was answered "no" many moons ago, but really, we cannot take time out from technology while taking a bio break?  Bring on the stupid pun s All right folks, release the puns because I'm sure t

Summer's last "hoorah?" Not so fast

As of this writing we have about one month left of the calendar version of summer. I say "calendar version" because in the Atlanta metro area, school is back in session so here, summer if unofficially over in early August. In the Southeastern United States, we're far from being done with 90-plus-degree Fahrenheit temperatures for at least one more month. Yet, some folks are talking about taking advantage of 'Summer's Last Hoorah.' Really? It seems like we have a long time from this moment to call quits on summer.   Maybe some folks are wishing for those cool fall nights, football and pumpkin carvings a tad too soon. If one looks around there are many autumn events in September that still qualify as summer events. Certainly it would be nice if those folks who hold those fall events could hold them deeper into October, but it's understandable that our weather in the Atlanta metro area could get dicey with forecasts filled with precipitation - and

The War on Cargo Shorts: They do not get respect

From Surfdome There's been quite a dilemma hitting the men's fashion magazines and online outlets these days: cargo shorts. Yes, cargo shorts: to wear or not to wear, that has been the question here in summer 2015. Forget about the more pressing things occurring in our society, is it okay for men to sport those cargo shorts these days? Once eschewed by the men's fashion world, "cargos" became acceptable with slimmer, less baggy designs. To me, that acceptance did not last long. Lately there has been a renewed attack on what I think is still a fine garment for most of us guys.   Website Buzzfeed released a feature post titled "Dear Men, Please Stop Wearing Cargo Shorts." Ouch! The Buzzfeed post displays a number of shorts clearly showing how practical the cargo shorts with those solid cargo pockets. So, Dear Buzzfeed, we cannot carry purses so the cargo shorts provide us with those very pockets to place wallets, keys, mobile phones, import

President Carter's health news and remembering Julian Bond

I confess that this has been an emotional roller coaster month on a “quasi personal/professional” level. With news of President Carter’s health through the death of Civil Rights icon, Julian Bond . Scores of folks who have been in my profession in the Atlanta metro area/state of Georgia for the past 40-plus years, have at some point, been involved with covering something about President Carter. From Carter’s time in Plains, Georgia, the state’s General Assembly, Governor’s Mansion, Oval Office, the Carter Center and beyond, it’s almost impossible not to cross paths with Jimmy Carter in the world of “Georgia Journalism.” In my years here in the Peach State, I crossed paths with President Carter at the Carter Center. On every occasion, President Carter seemed approachable, honest, dedicated to solid principles and most all, displayed that he has always been “one of us.” I found it amazing that here was a man who was the leader of the free world simply blending into the room. Preside

Back to school and back to those fees and property tax notices

It’s that time of year again when all of the school fees pile up just on the heels of the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend. Trust me when I say that there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this or any other town these days. Whether it’s school, using certain public parks or driving on toll roads, it’s far easier to stomach the term, “fees” to generate revenue rather that the term, “raise taxes.” Thusly,  I certainly  don’t blame anyone for instituting fees - it’s just that so much happens at this time of year with property tax notices in addition to insurance premiums for some of us out there. Indeed mid-August has become one step forward, two steps back. Does it ever get any easier? Kind of doubt it, right? If you’re in for some wholesome entertainment mixed with a bit of an edge, look no further than the 2012 Matthew McConaughey ‘vehicle’ titled  Mud.  Like all films that I bring up, I cannot give away too many of the plot points, but it’s a great story set in beautif

'The Gift' and the end of the second season of 'True Detective'

Over the weekend, Cami and I went to see The Gift starring Jason Bateman. It's a neat thriller that doesn't follow the Hollywood movie formula' in many ways. There are a number of nice jolting surprises as well as a great performance out of Bateman who skillfully plays a conniving jerk. Bateman possesses a wide acting range from the level-headed Michael Bluth on Netflix's Arrested Development to one of the biggest jerks onscreen, the character of Guy Trilby in 2013's Bad Words . As expected, HBO's  True Detective  ended in a convoluted manner. I enjoyed the second season installment of the premium cable TV channel's show starring Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell. I'm still not sure if I could go back and "re-watch" this entire season. This version contains a multitude of characters with a bevy of subplots Ballers and The Brink  both delivered this past Sunday (August 9, 2015). Richard Schiff beautifully plays uber-financier Mr. Anderson,

The last first day of public school

What more can I say - this is a historic occasion in my world. Enjoy your last year of high school Caitie - this has been going fast. The last first day-Monday, August 10, 2015 Caitlin's first day of high school - August 2012

Behind the music scene - 2015 style

With the debut of Denis Leary's Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n Roll and the Mick Jagger-Martin Scorsese-Terence Winter HBO vehicle titled Vinyl , folks like me are fascinated with the characters in modern-day popular/rock music.  I viewed the first three episodes of the Leary show. For the most part, it's hilarious, but has its corny moments in my opinion. I don't mind mixing Leary's fictional characters and band with real-life music figures, but to me, too much of that takes things to the campy side. However, I love seeing Joan Jett play herself and put Leary's character in his place - trust me, you gotta see that episode. I agree with many people in saying that Joan is one of history's biggest female bad-asses. I must add that it seems like Joan keeps things real and has a great demeanor. I'm excited about Vinyl . From this YouTube/HBO teaser, I can already tell that Scorsese's fingerprints are all over this show along with Jagger's 'St

GOP primary debate, students up early and Jon Stewart

Whatever one thinks about the presidential candidates who debated during the evening of Thursday, August 6, it's nice to see them gather in Cleveland this evening. In many ways, the city has come a long way and just like so many other American cities, this town has its challenges. It's good to see my old stomping grounds get the national and even international attention that it has been getting this year - and will most likely next year when it hosts the 2016 Republican National Convention. Indeed, not all the news coming from Ohio's North Coast is positive, but at the end of the day, it's good to be 'Cleveland Proud' tonight. CDC: Students up too early The Centers for Disease Control says that adolescents are up too early for school. This has been always been a push/pull things since high school students get the opportunity to go to work right after school. Since they can work for say, four hours, students have plenty of time to get home, grab dinner and

Explaining 'True Detective,' Jon Stewart winding down, curious about 'Halt's' future & Billy closes down arena

From Zap2It If you have been watching what’s going on with season two of premium cable television HBO’s True Detective , the good folks over at Slate attempt to explain the show’s convoluted plot. The acting, writing, direction and producing are obviously superior, but this season’s installment starring Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell is painfully slow at times. I love character studies (my term for slower-moving films and TV shows), but this season is quite challenging. Cami was saying that we ought to watch the whole season over again – that’s a good suggestion, but I say, “Load up the coffee pots.” While on cable television, just about everyone knows that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is undergoing a monumental change this week when Stewart steps down from the “anchor chair” on August 6. Like millions of others out there, I’m a bit melancholy with this change. Indeed no one can do a job like that forever. Let’s face the fact that being in an on-camera TV position over 15

Mish-Mosh Monday

Bottoms up Would you drink up a cricket shake? Plenty of folks out there have been enjoying this shake throughout this past summer. Did you know that crickets provide a nice dose of much-needed protein in our diets? Who knew? Does anyone out there know if our friend the roach or better known as the Palmetto Bug has as much protein? If that is the case, we can make some protein-rich shakes. Check this out at Buzzfeed.  Actually, I would go with the Slim Jim Jerky shake.  Hank goes incognito Here in the ATL metro, a pro-Confederate flag rally was held at Stone Mountain Park. Now, as I state here time and again, I hold no opinion on this subject whatsoever. I’m fascinated by this one tidbit: a U.S. representative showed up to the rally – incognito. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and his wife DeKalb County Commissioner-elect Mereda Davis Johnson blended into the crowd . It looks like Hank sported his argyle “Gone Fishin’ cap.” Speaking of fishing, I'm wondering if the catch i

Conversation on transportation

Gwinnett County Transit It took years, but finally my home county is having a grand conversation on area transportation. Located about 20 miles north of Atlanta, Gwinnett County, like other outlying counties, has resisted serious public transportation investment. I include local posts like this on my rather 'national blog' because these issues occur in many communities throughout the U.S. Gwinnett County has been running a good bus system, but many who have lived, visited or worked in Gwinnett know that much more can be accomplished when it comes to transportation. The campaign spearheaded by involved leaders dubbed it 'The Great Exchange,' By August 24 an 8-question survey will be available. On the website  , people will have the opportunity to express how the county could spend $1.25 million over 18 months.  It's a positive sign when area movers and shakers get together to ask for public input into its transportation wants and needs. O