Atlanta Rising

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, History by chamblee54 on April 24, 2013








Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City 1946-1996 is on the shelf at the Chamblee library. It is a history of Atlanta in the modern era, written by former fishwrapper scribe Frederick Allen.

The story begins in 1948. AR is weighted more to the older part of the story. The main text is 248 pages. On page 124, Ivan Allen has just built a controversial roadblock on Peyton Road, which would be in 1962. The further along in the story, the fewer details are included. The first big story is when Georgia had two governors. This is one of the best descriptions of the two Governors controversy around, and does not mention Ben Fortson’s wheelchair cushion.

The mayor at the start of the story is William B. Hartsfield. “Willie B” was a leader in creating the Atlanta Airport, and in building it into the powerhouse it is today. He was mayor until 1961, when Ivan Allen Jr. moved into the office.

AR has many moments of unintentional irony. When you read a book 18 years after it was written, and fifty years after the events in the book, you see things that could not have been imagined before. In 1960, many of the political-business elite thought it was time for Mr. Hartsfield to retire. Among his shortcomings was an indifference to sports. Mr. Hartsfield thought that a new stadium would be too great a drain on the city’s taxpayers. Fifty four years, and three stadiums later, the new power elite is apparently going to build another stadium. Atlanta Stadium cost eighteen million dollars. The Blank bowl will cost over a billion.

One of the big stories here is civil rights. Atlanta came out of that struggle looking pretty good. It was a combination of image conscious businessmen, enlightened black leadership, and a huge helping of dumb luck. In 1961, the city was under federal pressure to integrate the schools. The state was firm in opposition, and the city wasn’t crazy about the idea anyway. Then, another federal court ordered the integration of the University of Georgia. Since the people would not stand for messing with their beloved University, the state laws forbidding integration were quietly repealed. The city schools were integrated with a minimum of fuss. (The book tells this story much better than a slack blogger.)

The controversy about the 1956 model state flag was going full steam when AR was written. The book has some legislative records, which for some reason never made it into the fishwrapper. There is no clear cut answer as to why the legislature changed the state flag. It was mentioned that at the national political conventions, you could not have a written sign, but you could wave a state flag. This controversy provided a diversion from gold dome crookedness, and hopefully has been laid to rest.

A man named Lester Maddox sold fried chicken, and ran for public office. AR describes Lester as looking a bit like an angry chicken. Through a series of constitutional convulsions, Lester was elected Governor in 1966. The state survived his tenure. In the seventies, when Jimmy Carter was running for President, Lester said a lot of rude things about Jimmy, helping the smiling peanut farmer get elected. In another turn of fate, Lester Maddox died June 25, 2003. This was two days after the eternal departure of Maynard Jackson, the first black Mayor of Atlanta.

The book ends with the 1996 Olympics looming over the city. Billy Payne led a smart campaign to secure the games for Atlanta. One of his moves was to keep Jimmy Carter and Ted Turner out of the action. After the 1980 boycott, and the Goodwill Games, neither person was popular with the I.O.C. The book was published before the games were played. It was a blast.

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









January Second

Posted in forty four words by chamblee54 on April 23, 2013









I And

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on April 23, 2013




There was a tasteful graphic on facebook. In a surprising twist, it was credited to “author unknown”. Apparently, this poem stands on it’s own merits, without having a famous name at the end.

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club and discussed my hunger.
Iwas imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God.
I’m still hungry and lonely and cold.

PG copied the first few words, and asked Mr. Google to find a text copy. The first result listed was from the much coveted domain The commentary begins with an amazing quote. “Many Christians have allowed their knowledge of the truth to outdistance their practice.”

The Jesus worship church does not lack self confidence. It is built on belief. Part of the belief process is convincing yourself that what you believe is, in fact, what is really going on. This is called truth. In the case of beedotoh, truth is what the magic book says. The concept of doing something is not as important as what you believe. To an outsider, it is a strange custom.

Gene Robinson, a professional Jesus worshiper, said recently. “If you base your sense of success as an activist on results, you’ll burn out quickly. But if speaking your truth is enough, you can go forever.” If you shake your head too much, it might fall off your shoulders.

Most people are not activists. It may sound like a cool thing to do, but many are content to live lives of kindness. Which leads to speaking the truth. If your idea of the truth is outside the community orthodoxy, you might find yourself an outsider. Is your wonderful integrity going to keep you company on saturday night? Sometimes it is best to be careful how you express your “truth”. The pictures are borrowed from Gwinnett County.





Richie Havens

Posted in Music by chamblee54 on April 22, 2013

Richie Havens died this morning. He was 72 years old. In 1969, he was the first performer at Woodstock. Mr. Havens was featured in the movie, and became very popular. The promoters asked him to play longer, while the backstage chaos played out. “Freedom” was mostly improvised to fill this need.

In 1974, PG had the privilege of seeing Richie Havens. He was playing at Richards, a club on Monroe Drive. It was the 2am show, on a weeknight. There was not a large crowd. What crowd there was kept yelling for “Freedom”, as if Mr. Havens had an obligation to play it.

Mr. Havens played a Guild guitar. He strummed it hard, with his pick dragging down over the body past the air hole. It looked like a guitar would only last a show, or two, before he would wear scratch marks in the body. Indeed, he did change guitars in mid show that night.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.


Posted in Religion, Trifecta by chamblee54 on April 22, 2013









The last two weeks have seen the trifecta monday post describing an after dinner ecstasy, involving a deck of cards. Trifecta works in units of three. One more post is required. The trilogy troll will not triumph. Curley and Larry will find Moe.

The cards marked jokeroker were removed from the deck before the event. This deck had two jokers. One joker had a note. Guarantee If there is any defect in this pack we shall be glad to replace it. Return it unused to The United States Playing Card Company Cincinnati, Ohio 45212

The jokers had a drawing of an unsmiling king. He was riding a bicycle, with six spades on his shoulders. The king was riding by a stone, with the number 808 engraved. 808 is the telephone area code for Hawaii, and is a police code for disturbing the peace. One of the first synthetic drum machines is the Roland TR-808. These three digits are formed by sandwiching a zero between two manifestations of two cubed. The eight is also the infinity sign, stood on one side.

Poker rhymes with joker, but the game doesn’t use it. The fool of the tarot deck is said to be the inspiration for the joker. If so, then this is the only representative of the major arcana in standard playing cards. The character in the Batman shows is probably not inspired by the playing card. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. They have nothing to do with the subject of discussion.









420 Festival

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays, Race, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 21, 2013





The third sunday in april is the start of the warm weather festival season. When PG called Uzi, at twelve noon on the dot, the only question was which festival to go to. Both Candler park and Piedmont park are notorious parking disasters. Uzi speculated that they should go earlier, rather than later, and PG agreed.

Since PG had not bathed since friday, a shower was in order. The idea of showering before going to hang with hippies is a bit esoteric, but this is PG we are talking about. While waiting for the hot water to reach his back, a cosmic thought plowed through his head.

There are two questions that many people face these days. Are you a racist? Do you believe in G-d? These questions are very similar. Both are nobody else’s business. Both concepts are dependent on the definition of key terms. Whereas the concept of G-d seems to be shrinking, the boundaries of racism grow larger every day. PG has long questioned whether belief is the proper venue for knowing G-d. Maybe having a yes/no opinion on racism is similar. Being honest is a dangerous business.

So Uzi arrives at PG’s place at one pm, exactly one hour later. It was no surprise when the side street by the park had no parking, and you had to go three streets west to find a place. There is a entrance gate to the festival, with wristbands enabling beer consumption on sale. PG asked for a non drinker discount, which is tough to facilitate with free admission.

The 420 festival is set up different in 2013. The main stage has moved a hundred yards south. There is a VIP area in front of the stage, with an admission charge. The concept of a VIP area in Candler Park is …. WRONG. It should be noted that few people paid the VIP surcharge.

There was something called the Silent Disco. People were wearing headphones, and dancing to the canned music. Some of the people seemed to be having fun, so it must be ok.

A proposal was made to go by Piedmont Park, and see what the parking looked like. Just driving down Piedmont Avenue in front of the park was a gridlock nightmare. At three pm, it was too early to go for dinner. Ordinarily, this would be the time for getting started. Some things you have to try once, just so you will know not to do it again.





Use Less Gasoline

Posted in Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 21, 2013







This information was originally posted five years ago. PG received a chain letter email about gasoline prices, with these suggestions. With demand increasing, and supply decreasing, the price of petroleum is going to go up.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline. When it gets warmer gasoline expands. When you pump in the afternoon or in the evening… your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline plays an important role.

When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less fuel for your money.

Fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The more gas you have in your tank the less air is occupying the empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you might imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

If there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop , DO NOT fill up–most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered. You might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.







War Stories

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 20, 2013








Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets. ‘We don’t have half dozen nuggets,’ said the teenager at the counter. ‘You don’t?’ I replied. ‘We only have six, nine, or twelve,’ was the reply. ‘So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?’ ‘That’s right.’ So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets. (Once, I asked for sweetener, and she said they only had Splenda and sugar.)

Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, ‘I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?’ ‘Just use paper from the photocopier’, the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five ‘blank’ copies.

A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room, the kid had eaten ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine. Mother:’I just gave him some ant killer……’ Dispatcher: ‘Rush him in to emergency right away’

I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those ‘dividers’ that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn’t get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the ‘divider’, looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code, she said to me, ‘Do you know how much this is?’ I said to her ‘I’ve changed my mind; I don’t think I’ll buy that today.’ She said ‘OK,’ and I paid her and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.

A woman at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM ‘thingy.’

I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. ‘Do you need some help?’ I asked. She replied, ‘I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?’ ‘Hmmm, I don’t know. Do you have an alarm, too?’ I asked. ‘No, just this remote thingy,’ she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, ‘Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries. It’s a long walk….’

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









Tim Curry

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on April 19, 2013

Tim Curry was born sixty five years ago today. It would be quite a while before April 19 was known as got a minute day. Mr. Curry is an actor, singer, and all around phenomenon. The role that made him a star was Frank-n-Furter in ” The Rocky Horror Show”.

Mr. Curry is best known for playing a flamboyant transvestite. His wikipedia page does not discuss his personal life. If you go to google, and type “is tim curry” the top five results are gay, married, dead, alive, died. A visit to some of the sites listed gave no definite answers. One of the sites tried to slip a *trojan horse* into this machine. Some things are better left a mystery.

After Dr. Furter went back to Transylvania, Mr. Curry made rock and roll albums. In 1978, a tour was put together to promote his vinyl debut. The first show in the United States was at the Agora Ballroom in Atlanta GA. PG was in the audience.

Riding into town on the 23 Ogelthorpe bus, PG got to talk to some ladies who were in town for a conference. They were worried about the crime. PG tried to reassure them by telling a recent news story. This lady was having breakfast in a downtown hotel, when she put her purse down on the floor. A handgun her husband had given her went off when the handbag hit the ground. The ladies breakfast companion was hit and killed.

Mr. Curry walked onstage eating a banana, grabbed a stool and turned it upside down. He appeared to be a bit tipsy. This did not affect his performance. Mr. Curry did most of the songs on his album, along with “Celluoid Heroes” by the Kinks. The latter song featured a Garbo impersonation.

Whoever put the band together for this tour had a lot of money. The guitar player played with Lou Reed on “Rock and Roll Animal”. The keyboard player, and musical director, was Micheal Kamen, formerly of the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. (A song on the Curry album, “Sloe Gin”, was a NYRRE song, “Fields of Joy”, with new lyrics.)

The only song from “Rocky Horror” that Mr. Curry did was “I’m Going Home”. A few people were upset that he did not do “Sweet Transvestite.” He played another Agora show a couple of years later, and reportedly did perform “Sweet Transvestite.”

Tom Waits was scheduled to perform at the Agora the next night. PG was wandering through the balcony between shows, and saw Mr. Waits sitting at a table. A bodyguard was standing by, who said that it was just someone who looked like Tom Waits.

After the show was over, PG went to a nearby bar, and was talking to a friend about the show. A lady who was with the friend stood in front of him and screamed “What color are your eyes? They are brown, because you are so full of shit”. Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress.

Do Or Die

Posted in forty four words, History, Trifecta, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 19, 2013














Life Insurance Is Too Morbid

Posted in Book Reports, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 18, 2013








Tom Clancy gave an interview to Don Swaim in 1986. Mr. Clancy sold insurance before his writing career took off. “I never do life insurance. It is too morbid. I do fire and casualty”

1986 was a curious time in history. America was in the middle of an arms buildup. Research was producing space age weapons. These weapons would not be used in combat for several years.

It is said that killing becomes more impersonal as weaponry advances. Certainly fighting with swords is more personal than with rifles. (This does not imply that this killing is less horrible.) With “smart bombs” and drones, killing people has become almost antiseptic to the American forces. “Young men of military age” in Pakistan might have a different opinion.

At the time, the perceived threat was from Communism, and the Soviet Union. The question was raised, why would the Soviets start a war with the west? Mr. Clancy talked about the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor, and the German invasion of the Soviet Union. “The decision to go to war … is probably never a completely rational decision.”

About two thirds through the interview, the speed of the tape slows down. It sounds like the talkers are intoxicated. It is during this segment that a vodka shortage in the Soviet Union is discussed.

After the interview, PG looked at facebook. A friend posted a graphic with a reputed quote from Albert Einstein. “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”

PG did a bit of research, and left a comment. “I suspect that Dr. Einstein did not say that. Wikiquotes does not have this quote. Whenever you see a quote without a source, you should suspect it. Also, what is the context? If a comment is true, it does not need a famous name at the end.” Two minutes later, Carrie Williams said “Thanks Debbie Downer”.

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









Repost Repast

Posted in Repost this sign, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 17, 2013










04 believesxxx

05 phelps



It should come as no surprise that people on the intercom are still being asked to repost graphics. The current crop is a mixed bag. There are things here which are definitely not recommended. As always, the offending suggestion to repost has been deleted, and these sanitized graphics are available for use. In the case of one, there was not much left after the repost request removal. There are better superstitions to display a belief in.

The top graphic is a traditional favorite of digital warriors. It is a call to test for drugs anyone who applies for welfare. In Florida, 98 percent pass the test. Contrary to what the sign says, many people feel that drug testing is not ok for job applicants. Drug testing condones the use of alcohol and tobacco, and is an additional expense for cash strapped states.

Motorcycle safety is the subject in graphic two. It is tough to argue with. All vehicles have a right to the road, and should be allowed to arrive alive. Arguments about loud pipes will be heard later.

The Holocaust is remembered in graphic three. This is included because of the general tackiness of repost requests, which might be disrespectful to the memory of six million people. The “final solution” is one of the darkest events in human history. There are better ways to remember it.

Number four and five are things which no sane person would do, or do do. One is a chain letter type request, asking you to repost the graphic “if you believe in G-d.” The visual quality of this image is a prayer request all by itself. The other is a request to send animal waste to a popular church in Topeka KS. The USPS is not the appropriate facility for this process. How would you feel if you magazine was shipped next to one of these fecal packages?

Blue eyes are highly valued in modern America. A graphic devoted to their praise is not going to hurt anyone. Some stories about Frank Sinatra may contradict this graphic.

The last graphic does not suggest a repost. It involves a reputed story about John Lennon. PG does not know if the story is true, but suspects it is not. The story involves John’s mother, Julia. It was a difficult childhood, with John raised primarily by his Aunt Mimi. If the story is not true, then it is  an insult to the memory of John Lennon. He deserves better.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. This is written like H. P. Lovecraft.