Too Much Sincerity

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 18, 2010

“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal” This tidbit is attributed to Oscar Wilde.There is no record who he stole it from.
He could be talking about modern times in Georgia. Yesterday, the honest to a fault person was Matthew Cardinale. Today, it is Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. The person known at “Ox” is currently running for Governor of Georgia.

For some reason, the state Insurance Commissioner is elected in Georgia. There is a proposal to make the Insurance Commissioner an appointed position. Some of the Ox antics seem to “insure” that he is the last person elected to this position.

In 1993, Ox spoke at a meeting of auto insurance people. He said, regarding bribes campaign contributions,
“I’m the incumbent. You all are going to give me money because you’re afraid not to,” .
There is a sincere report from Kenya. It seems like the lions are starving, and zebras are being rounded up to feed to them. There might be a shortage of Christians to feed to the lions.

Pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.HT to the AJC.

Not Our Editorial Policy

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 17, 2010

There is an amusing little media incident in Atlanta. A website, the Atlanta Progressive News, fired a writer, and actually admitted it was because he was not biased.

The writer is named Jonathan Springston. The editor/hatchet man is Matthew Cardinale. It seems that APN is in the middle of a (much needed) redesign, and had to make some tough decisions. A money quote:
“At a very fundamental, core level, Springston did not share our vision for a news publication with a progressive perspective. He held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News. It just wasn’t the right fit.”
APN sees itself as providing “Progressive News”. This is defined as
“Progressive news is news that brings us closer to universal health care, living wages, affordable housing, peace, a healthy environment, and voting systems we can trust.” To APN all media is biased, and they are merely honest about their choices.
PG had only looked at APN once before. There was a link to it after the raid on the Eagle. PG was amazed at what he saw…a few ads, and a list of articles. The site has zero visual appeal, whatever the quality of it’s writing. ( Somehow the word Journalism does not seem appropriate.) Regarding internet news outlets in Atlanta, the supply towers over the demand. Maybe the re invention of the site will make it readable.

The comments thread at the CL piece is almost as entertaining as the email statement. Someone called APNE chimes in, saying that he has masters degrees in sociology and public administration. And there is a ring of objective truth to this…
“the only reason Creative Loafing is in existence today after the bankruptcy is to sell enough advertising so that Atalaya can make their money back. Informing people and enhancing democracy is for CL’s owners a coincidental or secondary function, at least in comparison to the revenue from the weekly plastic surgery advertising on page 2.”
There are two more comments to quote here, before the “get a life” alarm goes off. Another William writes
“As an actual San Francisco liberal, people like Cardinale make me crazy: unwilling to do the hard work of understanding reality, they base their actions purely on their vaporous ideals, dooming themselves to being perpetually ineffective. And dooming the people they could actually help to suffer further. One might almost think they’re in it for feelings of righteousness, rather than any actual result.”
And, it wouldn’t be Atlanta without the next comment. Reality Check opines “Cardinale should go back to Louisiana. He’s been nothing but a pompous and arrogant prick since he settled in Atlanta. He’s nothing more than a know-it-all transplant. As the old saying goes in Atlanta, “Delta is ready when you are.” Perhaps in your case Cardinale, Greyhound might better suit your style or lack thereof.”
HT to ATLmalcontent. This matter has been featured at Fark.

Peachtree Street

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 17, 2010

PG finished a book, Peachtree Street-Atlanta. The author is William Bailey Williford, and it was published by the University of Georgia Press in 1962. PG found this at the Chamblee library, and this is probably the best way to find this book today.

How this road got the name Peachtree is a good question. Most peaches grow south of the fall line. The story goes that there was a Creek Indian village called Standing Peachtree, located where Peachtree Creek runs into the Chattahoochee. During the war of 1812 Fort Peachtree was built on this site.

There was a trail that ran from Buckhead to an intersection with the Sandtown Trail, at what is now Five Points. A short distance south of this intersection was a settlement known as White Hall. For many years, Peachtree Street south of Five Points was known as Whitehall Road. At some point in the last thirty years, a decision was made to change Whitehall to Peachtree. It did not help the rundown condition of Whitehall Street.

In 1835 Governor Wilson Lumpkin decided that Georgia should build a Railroad that would be centered near the junction of Peachtree Trail and Sandtown Trail. The new town was named “Marthasville”, after the youngest daughter of the Governor. Martha Lumpkin is a resident of Oakland Cemetery today.

The village was soon renamed Atlanta, which was a feminine form of Atlantic. Houses, churches, and businesses were soon built on Peachtree Road. In 1856, Richard Peters built a flour mill. To insure a steady supply of firewood, he bought four hundred acres of land, for five dollars an acre. The land was between Eighth Street, North Avenue, Argonne Avenue, and Atlantic Drive.

Another pioneer citizen with a large landholding was George Washington (Wash) Collier. Mr. Collier bought 202 acres for $150 in 1847. The land was between West Peachtree, Fourteenth Street, Piedmont Road, Montgomery Ferry Road, and the Rhodes Center. Much of the land was used for the development of Ansley Park.

In 1854, Atlanta entertained, for the first time, a man who had been President. On May 2, Millard Fillmore arrived from Augusta on a private rail car.

There was some unpleasantness in 1864, which we will not concern ourselves with.

In 1866, there was a shocking murder. John Plaster was found dead, in an area known as “tight squeeze”. This was an area of shanties, at the present location of Crescent Avenue and Tenth Street. A hundred years later, this was near “the strip”, Atlanta’s hippie district, which was also called “Tight Squeeze”.

As the nineteenth century rolled along, many mansions were built on Peachtree Street. The road was paved, and streetcars ran up and down. Automobiles came, and came, and came. An expressway was built in the 1950’s, and quickly became obsolete. One by one, the mansions were torn down and replaced with businesses and churches.

The book was written in 1962, when the party was just getting started. The High Museum was known then as the Atlanta Art Association. In June of 1962, a plane full of prominent Atlanta residents crashed in Paris, killing all on board. As a memorial to those people, the Memorial Arts Center on Peachtree, at Fifteenth Street, was built.

Another phenomenon which is not explained by the book is the custom of naming everything here Peachtree. There are countless streets and institutions named for a fruit tree that likes warmer climates. Atlanta has a one street skyline, that stretches from Five Points to Peachtree Dunwoody Road, almost at the city limits. PG lives a quarter mile off Peachtree, in Dekalb County, and has no idea why Peachtree is a magic word.

Pictures are from the ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

UPS Delivers

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 16, 2010

A woman and man went to the hospital for the delivery of their first child. The doctor mentioned that they were doing some experimental work with pain and wondered if they may be interested.
The man who was always into something new answered, “Sure.”

“I have invented a machine that transfers the pain from the mother of the baby to the father”. The wife was a little skeptical but the guy was all in. He actually didn’t think childbirth was as painful as most women claimed. The doctor hooked the woman up

“I will set the pain level at 5%. Most men can’t stand more then 10%. Any thing past that and they tend to pass out.”

The young man trying to impress his wife said, “Go ahead and start me at 10% Doc. I can handle it.” The doctor dialed it to 10%. The man didn’t flinch. He was so amazed that he dialed it to 20%, “How about that young man?” The man answered, “Nothing to it dial it on up.”

The woman thought this was a great idea also. She was only feeling pressure and none of the pain everyone had warned her about.

The doctor kept dialing the pain level to he had reached 80%. The man smiled and said “Real men can take a little pain. Give me all of it”.

“ Honey I told you it wasn’t any thing to having a baby.” The woman was very relaxed and delivered the baby without a grunt.

Two hours later the doctor was so flabbergasted that he told the happy couple to go home and pick their baby up first thing the next day.

Now I remind you of line 4. “I have invented a machine that transfers the pain from the mother of the baby to the father.”

When the couple got home, the man was helping his wife out of the car when he spotted the UPS man on their front porch. The poor guy was foaming at the mouth. The man ran to the porch in time to see the poor guy go through the final convulsion that would end his life.

Happy Mardi Gras. Thank you Gartalker for the story. Pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Carbon Pollution

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 15, 2010

With the repeated snowstorms of this winter, some say the debate over “global warming” is over. Others beg to differ.

There is a matter of semantics. The problem is too much CO2 in the atmosphere, upsetting the balance that has evolved over billions of years. The greenhouse effect of the excess carbon, and the climate change that results, is one of the symptoms of this disease. The changing ph balance in the oceans is another one, and there may be others. PG suggests that “carbon pollution” may be a better phrase for this condition.

There are people whose fortunes are threatened by measures to reduce carbon pollution. These people…largely the oil industry…have lots of money to spend. When you consider that many of the “deniers’ are inclined to agree that carbon pollution is not a problem, you see what an easy sell this can be.

It is perhaps unfortunate that Al Gore is a leader in warning about carbon pollution. He is a politician, perceived as liberal, who has enemies. Many of the “conservatives” who hate him are “deniers”. Some of these people are persuaded by rhetorical cheap tricks.

Recently, a computer in England was hacked, and documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) were stolen. Some of these documents show shady dealings in the treatment of data. Many are calling this “climategate”, and saying that it is the death of concern over carbon pollution.

There are investigations ongoing into the hacking of the computer. It seems that the hacking took place in the Eastern USA or Canada, and was a sophisticated affair. The money quote :
“All of this indicates that the hacker was no 14 year old in their parents basement but a professional with an agenda. Sir David King, the UK’s former chief scientist, concluded the complex theft was the work of US-based climate deniers backed by carbon money or a foreign government.”

Lady Gaga Poses

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 14, 2010

PG tries to like Lady Gaga. He really does. She is the queen of the world at the moment, the hottest videos, the hottest songs, the hottest outfits. Being an old fogey is not as much fun.

Once, music was a background to life. You heard it on radio, on your stereo, in a bar…and you created your own visuals. Videos had a heyday in the early eighties, faded away, and are making a comeback. Lady Gaga is in the vanguard.

Never mind the music is just not that good. Music is just part of the package, just an item on the shelf at the virtual store.

Last night, PG was watching a video on the internet, and finally stopped the thing. The picture at the top is what he saw. The rest are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

We See Such Weapons As Inhumane

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 13, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a way with words. Never mind the clumsy translations, the man speaks his mind. Sometimes he seems to contradict himself. Maybe the key factor is what the listener wants to hear.

In a recent interview on Russian TV, the fashionable one said that the era of nuclear weapons was over. The inability of the nuke happy United States to win in Iraq or Afghanistan was noted.
“We believe that not only the Middle East but also the whole world should be free of nuclear weapons because we see such weapons as inhumane,””Those who claim that they are against nuclear weapons should dismantle their nuclear weapons first to prove that they are honest,”
The concept of a nuclear free middle east has been proposed. However, this would mean Israel would need to get rid of her nukes. This is not likely to happen…indeed, Israel is doing the most saber rattling about the Iranian nuke program. The suspicion remains that Israel is whining about Persian nukes to deflect attention away from the Palestinian problem.

Pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

Lucky To Be Able To Walk

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 12, 2010

After a couple of hours of watching snow fall, PG put a few layers on and went outside. A few houses down, he talked to a man getting his mail. ” You are lucky to be able to go walking in this”. PG, whose age is an interstate speed limit, has had knee surgery, a slipped disc, and gout. Being able to walk in snow is something he does not take for granted.

After talking to the neighbor, PG swung by the house to get a heavier pair of gloves. Then it was off into the world. The first destination was the 57th fighter group. The funny shaped magnolia in the parking lot was white, as was the old airplane in front.

Once, PG was swimming in the ocean at St. Simons. A lady floated by, and said “we’re so lucky”.

Going north on Clairmont (spell check suggestions-Clairvoyant, Clairol, claimant), there was little to think about, and a lot to enjoy. Soon PG realized that this was great fun, and began thinking of ways to extend the journey. Too soon it would be over. As if to delay the inevitable, going down the path, about fifty feet from his front yard, PG made too long a step, and fell down.


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 12, 2010

There has been talk about torture recently. It is usually just that, talk. Somehow, talk does not have the same impact as pictures.

Andrew Sullivan has had a few things to say about torture, in the “war on terror”. Today, he offered the picture at the top of this post. It is
” a Khmer Rouge waterboarding technique from Cambodia’s Museum of Torture, showing exactly the CIA technique of pouring water over a cloth onto someone’s face to induce near-suffocation repeatedly”. This is antiseptically called waterboarding. Some say it is not torture.

28th Amendment

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 10, 2010

PG got a message yesterday about a proposed 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The proposed amendment deals with Congress, and their responsibility to obey the laws that they pass. Here is the message.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that Congressmembers:
1-could retire with the same pay and benefits after only one term.
2-that they didn’t pay into Social Security.
3-that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed, such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment (now why would that be?), while ordinary citizens must live under those laws.
4-The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered…in all of its’ forms.
Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. Below is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
The People’s Amendment
“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the
United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives;
and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives
that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States “.

PG has a few bones to pick. To begin with, most citizens do not raise millions of dollars to run election campaigns. Campaign finance reform would (in theory) solve some of the corruption issues in Washington. Should these laws should apply to citizens who do not run large scale campaigns?

There are 535 senators and representatives. While it is obnoxious for these people to be immune from certain types of prosecution, PG wonders how much difference this really makes.

Constitutional Amendments are notoriously tough to get ratified. It takes approval by three fourths of the states. The last one to be ratified, the 27th, was ratified in 1992. It was first proposed September 25, 1789. The 27th states that a congressional pay raise will not take effect until after an election.

Item 4 on the list above…exemption from health care reform ( which has not passed the Congress, and may not)… is a bit ironic. Sometimes too much privilege can be a problem.

US Representative John Murtha died recently, from complications after gall bladder surgery. Mr. Murtha, a Vietnam Veteran, had been a fierce critic of the war in Babylon. Many feel that this war opposition focused attention on him, and brought some of his ethical shortcomings to light.

The surgery was performed at the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda MD. A commenter to the cited article makes this point:

Having practiced military medicine, I know that when a celebrity patient enters a military facility, it is likely that his or her care will be assumed by a ranking physician. In the case of surgery, this is not always a good situation for the patient. Being occupied by administrative details, the higher ranked surgeon may not in the operating room daily honing his skills. If you have a choice, always pick a surgeon who does a lot of surgery and does it every day, regardless of his rank.. Endoscopic removal of the gall bladder is an operation that requires constant practice to be perfected.

Pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Not Paying Royalties

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 9, 2010

It is a question for the ages…why do telephones have 123 on the top row of the keypad, while computers have 789? The best answer is , we don’t know.

Calculator/computer keypads were an improvement on cash registers. These devices had a matrix of buttons, with the 9 row on top. The row at the far right had single digits, and the row next to them had digits ending in one zero. To ring up a sale for $1.95, you had to push 100, 90, and 5. This evolved into the adding machine configuration of three rows of three buttons, with 0 on the bottom row and 789 on the top row.

When we got started, the telephone used a dial. 1 was at the top, and 0 was at the bottom. The early phone systems used letters as part of the phone number. The first three letters of the seven digit code were two letters and five numbers. (This is what PG remembers from childhood. It may have been different before then).

The two letters referred to an exchange, or part of town where the number was located. The two letters referred to a word. An example would be PG’s grandmother. Her number was TR2 2345. The TR stood for Trinity. Many numbers in midtown Atlanta still start with 87.

In the sixties, ma bell started to develop a keypad to use for what were then called push button phones. In a break with the adding machine tradition, the numbers 123 went on the top row. There are a few ideas why this is, but nothing is certain.

In the early days, the phone switching equipment was not as fast as today. Some thought that by switching the numbers to the top of the keypad, people would have to slow down a bit to “dial” the number. This answer does not make sense to those of us who have grown up with these keypads, and who learned to punch in numbers fast, no matter what system is used. (Anyone using a rotary phone, after getting used to touch tone, is shocked at how slow it is.)

Another concept is the phone company wanting to model the new keypad after the dial phones. This would mean putting the 1 at the top, and 0 at the bottom. Also, with the letters assigned to each number, it would make a lot more sense to have 123/abc def ghi on the top row. It just looks a lot better.

It was suggested that the calculator keypad was patented in the 789-on-top format. Western Electric did not want to pay royalties on this important piece of equipment, so it designed another one. There is also the thought that the calculator was on a desk shelf, where the lower numbers should be at the bottom of the keypad. At the same time, the telephone was on the lower part of the desk, and having 123 on top would be easier to use.

Pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Did You Forget Something?

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 8, 2010

This story comes courtesy of Gartalker. He was the source of “Words some people remember“, which was posted here a few days ago. Mr. Gartalker is acquainted with life after a certain age. The pictures are from ” Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”
Recently on a road trip, Pam, my wife and I stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing our meal, we left and resumed the trip. I guess we had drove about thirty minutes when Pam realized she had left her glasses at the restaurant. After thinking about it a few second it came to her she had left them on the sink in the restroom.

She has three pairs so I sweetly suggested that she call and ask the manager to mail that pair. Oh, no you would have thought we had left one of the grand kids behind. Nothing would do except that we turn around and go get them. We were on the interstate by then so we had to drive close to another thirty minutes to find an exit.

I must admit by now I was getting a little aggravated about this completely silly mess. On the way back, I might have even mentioned ten or twelve times how forgetful, she was becoming. Then I may have mentioned the fact she had several other pairs that would do just as well. I must add that all this criticism and complaining fell on deaf ears. We were going back come hell or high water.

Finally, I lost it.
“You are just getting old and senile. I swear you would leave your butt if it wasn’t attached.” This wonderful thought out statement was met with a cold wall of silent stares.
We finally made it to the restaurant and as she was getting out, I asked as politely as possible
.“Honey, you mind grabbing my cap and credit card while you are in there.” Pulling in the parking lot reminded me that I had left them.