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Showing posts from 2019

We are number 28 and I feel fine

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Morguefile According to the tech website SmartAsset , Atlanta failed to make even the top 25 list of American city boomtowns. Although it currently ranks at number 28, Atlanta is not nearly as booming as 27 other cities on the list. What are the criteria used for such a list? Those who are involved in this ranking say that many factors are used to determine the who is booming the most. Factors including unemployment rate, population change, household income change, business and housing growth. Who made the top 10 in this list? The three towns in Texas piqued my interest when viewing the list. Round Rock is near Austin, which must mean that it's "cool" due to the Texas music scene. New Braunfels is a place in which I am some

40 years of "Star Lords"

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Dan and I were winding down our first semester in the first year of junior high. Even though we started making Super 8mm home movies towards the end of elementary school, we were both in sports camp through the following summer and then geared up for what was a huge change for us: entering the second level of our public-school education. That was a big deal for us at the time. By the time December 1979 rolled around, we dusted off Dan’s sister’s silent Bell & Howell camera. We did a quite goofy film inspired by British comic actor Benny Hill, which we sweetly called, BeHi , which was code for a short film in which we didn’t want anyone to view. Let’s just say that the film is quite raunchy for 12-year-olds to produce, but it was one of many experimental shorts that we "produced." Shortly after BeHi , we tapped into our love of StarWars Episode IV: A New Hope , released about two years prior to this production. With Dan’s father’s “raw materials” from his HVAC/roofin

It's official: E-scooters are a menace

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Back in mid-June I was taking my usual downtown stroll. On that humid evening, things were a tad different. The Hot 107.9 bash was taking place in and pretty much around downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. For those unaware, Hot 107.9, is a local hip-hop terrestrial radio station. There I was fitting in quite nicely with the throngs of concert/party-goers who were set to spend an evening with the likes of Migos, Yella Beezy, City Girls, Lil Yachty, Megan Thee Stallion and many other young talented artists of the day. I still have no idea who these performers are, but I rattled the list off to my twenty-something daughter who was sorry she missed the Hot 107.9 bash. Many folks around my age would say that they would have felt awkward strolling in the Hot 107.9 throng, but I was perfectly happy to join these nice, young festive people who only wished to have a great time in the ATL. Indeed, I have quite an open mind. On that evening, I took in the sights of young me

What is the point of “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda?”

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Today would have been Dad’s 85 th birthday. I ponder whether that’s a useless exercise or if it’s something important in my mind. Many times, I think about a phrase that he repeated for years, “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” meaning: what’s the point about what could have taken place. Whether one calls this thought about what could have been or Monday Morning Quarterbacking, there’s always another memory that pops up in my mind with each milestone after Dad’s passing. “What would Dad think about the president? “What would Dad think about this new piece of technology?” Those thoughts never stop as the days, weeks, months and years pass. On what would have been his 85 th birthday, I think of the cars that Dad drove and, I think about a car that my oldest sister affectionately called Big Mike. Like many of us, Aimee gave the family cars their own personality. The 1975 Camaro was Sylvia and her early 1980s Toyota Corolla was known as Dennis – or was it Denis, because I c

The Crooked Creek Clean-up 2019

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The friends of Crooked Creek On May 18, I once again participated in Peachtree Corners’ annual Crooked Creek Clean-up. This local volunteer effort was started about five years ago by our neighbor, Robert Howard. Robert worked for the state Environmental Protection Agency for well over 40 years. He decided to give back by organizing this volunteer effort to clean up the stream that runs through our area called Crooked Creek. Crooked Creek is near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Holcomb Bridge Road in the southeast portion of Gwinnett County. The creek flows down from the county’s Yellow River and eventually winds up in the Chattahoochee River. Every May, a group of 25 gather behind a Bojangles restaurant where we head into the woods for the clean-up. This year, some of the featured items that we pulled out from Crooked Creek included discarded tires, lawn equipment and even a large plastic drum. In previous years, we discovered bicycles lodged into the creek and evidence of

Electronic scooters continue to invade America's cities

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There are a few things in life that are guaranteed. Death, taxes and now… parked electronic scooters. With the proliferation of these scooters, cities like Atlanta have been blanketed by scooters for at least the past year. Walking around the downtown portion of the city is like participating in a game of Dodgeball. One must dodge the moving and parked scooters on the sidewalks. It’s one thing that there are several scooters flooding downtown Atlanta. It’s quite another when it’s a windy day. On those days, it’s goodbye to parked scooters standing up on their wheels and hello tripping over these devices. That scenario is bad for all of us, but even worse for the disabled. Let’s face it, the electronic scooters need to be corralled so that we don’t trip over them. The city of Atlanta put a ban on e-scooters on sidewalks at the beginning of the year. The ban says that users must leave the scooters upright and at least five feet from sidewalks. Police and the city’s Public W

The KISS Army invades the ATL

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Tonight's KISS concert at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta attracted a number of faithful fans. Included in this post are some snapshots before the show on Sunday, April 7, 2019. A fan getting some energy at the Starbuck's kiosk in nearby CNN Center WAGA-TV was on hand to record the pre-show festivities

"Nobody does it better" with avocados... than Mexico

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Morguefile/szafirek For me, it’s “stop the presses” because avocados are in danger. That’s right. We could see a serious avocado shortage if our southern border with Mexico will experience a shutdown. The blockage would prevent avocados from coming into the U.S. from our neighbors to the south.  Certainly California produces a fair number of avocados, but not all year round like Mexico.   With Mexican avocados, no one does it better. For that reason, the U.S. imports 80 percent of its total avocado supply from Mexico. I’m avoiding the political angle. This is personal. Yes, it’s personal because I’m convinced that millions thrive on the avocado. I’m not talking just nuts and berries vegans who are only looking to get their fill of good fats. No, I’m talking about the millions who love a good guac dip at parties celebrating sports. That is a great swath of America, who might not realize who this southern border blockade will affect their get-togethers. Whether it

John McCutcheon profile

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Here is the latest feature in which I produced, wrote, edited and distributed. This is a video about folk musician John McCutcheon , who released his 40th album in 2019. John's latest work is on folk legend Pete Seeger, who would have turned 100 years old this year. It was certainly a thrill to come back to Eddie's Attic in Decatur , Georgia to interview John for this project.An extra special thanks goes to my wonderful narrator Holly Firfer - who also hooked me up with camera-person extraordinaire Ammar Albadran ...and always a big thanks to copy editor Christian Duchateau for his constant encouragement and also for joining with me at the start line of many local races that are held in the Atlanta area. You may play the video by clicking on the second box below: This is a still of me interviewing John McCutcheon Check out the feature here:

Four decades since 'Terror' was filmed

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still from 1979's The Terror of the Poison Mask As promised, I'm continuing to write about the milestones that are taking place for me throughout 2019. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the making of our first script Super 8mm film titled,  The Terror of the Poison Mask.   About two years prior to the making of this film short, Dan ordered this Halloween mask out of a catalog.  At night, sometimes Dan and I would knock on a neighbor's window, either wear or hold up the mask, only to be greeted by screams. In March 1979, we came up with the idea of having me sit on the front stoop to my then-childhood home, pretend to mix up a potion and turn into a living skeleton who then turns neighborhood kids (Lee Davis in sweatshirt and Michael Green in the Browns jacket) into an object. Here's another one of my non-sequitur moments: Years before we shot this, I made it a practice to scare Michael because he was easy to scare. One day while Michael was riding o

Kitty Wiggy turns 40

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Forget all that crap about Trump/Russia collusion or the woes of Michael Avenatti because... wait for it... Kitty Wiggy turns 40! "What in the world are you talking about?" the cynic who peruses the Internet will say. My reply: Kitty Wiggy is 40, so STFU! "What's a Kitty Wiggy?" Kitty Wiggy '79 is the first Super-8 film that my then-filmmaking buddy Dan Freed and I shot in, well, yes, 1979 - and to be precise, it was filmed in mid-March 1979. A few months before this film was shot, Dan and I were walking home from a day at school. We  found a cat and brought him or her back to his house. I'm not going into the diatribe about how hard we had it because we happened to walk home on that day and many others. Plenty of times parents drove the few miles to retrieve us from school in good and bad weather. But on that late autumn day in 1978, we just took a cat back to Dan's and promptly named him or her, Kitty Wiggy. I'm not sure

Steve Dorff, composer of pop, TV and film hits

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Steve Dorff When most of us hear songs on the radio, TV, in movies or online, we typically think that the performer who sings the songs also writes and composes them. While that's true of the traditional singer-songwriters of our times including Sir Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Sting or Billy Joel, few know that many performers have composers or lyricists doing that part of the song for them. Take for instance the huge pop hit "Every Which Way But Loose" sung by Eddie Rabbit. That chart-topping single that got the world to hum along to in their cars for the past four decades, is actually composed by a guy named Steve Dorff. "Every Which Way But Loose" is just one of the many hit singles he wrote throughout the years. Songs such as Kenny Rogers' "Through The Years," Barbra Streisand's "Higher Ground," and Anne Murray's "I Just Fall in Love Again," are just a few of the classic

Public transportation vote is happening in my neck of the woods

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File: MARTA/itsmarta.com ​When I first came to the Atlanta metro, I was impressed with the MARTA rail line. I came here for great opportunity from Ohio's North Coast. If one thought that the Atlanta metropolitan area didn’t have much in the way of public transportation, Cleveland at that time, had an old-style rapid rail system. I do hope Cleveland's RTA is far better these days, but at the time to me, Atlanta's MARTA was amazing. When I first rode from the Chamblee station to the downtown Omni/Georgia World Congress Center station, I was amazed at the quality and speed of the trains. I know, the cynics reading this will scoff of course, but to me, MARTA was and is a decent system. I have taken the system many times over the years. Like many who take it, there have been plenty of hiccups, but any regular rider has experienced public transit technical difficulties. That comes with the territory, just like one’s own automobile, house or any other mechanical gadget(s). S

Viral video of teens mocking Native American

Here is one of my latest projects for the news-channel. Check it out in full color sound and vision: