31 JUL 03: TAG, YOU'RE IT
It was time Wednesday to get our car tag renewed -- and one nice thing about where I live is being able to walk to the Government Center's tag office. It did feel strange, though, getting a necessary car tag without driving to do it.
People who pay for tags in person get a taste of the Government Center's security system. You empty all your pockets - but the man on duty said I did NOT have to take out my change. Is this really a good idea? What if I'm hiding a small blasting cap?
We noticed one big change as we waited in line at the Tag Office, which showed Columbus now has a Republican Mayor. CNBC isn't on the lobby TV anymore -- Fox News Channel is.
(Fox News had a top-of-the-hour news update as I waited -- and big words appeared on the screen: "CALL CONGRESS." As if they're going to make the line for my local license tag shorter?!)
I did NOT spring for any of the extra-charge "vanity plates" Georgia offers. There are other ways to show your support for wildlife - like swerving in the middle of the street, to dodge squirrels.
You may not know Georgia will hand out new metal license plates next year, for the first time in a decade. What state prison inmates have been doing during that ten-year gap, we're not really sure.
It's amazing how the same word can have different meanings to different people. For me, "tagging" means putting a license on my car. But only a few blocks away, it can mean putting spray paint on an enemy's car.
I've noticed the other sort of "tagging" recently in an unlikely spot - the Historic District. The latest came last week, when "B-T-W" and at least one profanity was spray-painted ON the Riverwalk at Sixth Street. How many miles am I going to have to jog, to rub that out?
The graffiti actually spread downhill to the Riverwalk, from the south end of the Chattahoochee Promenade. Someone spray-painted swear words and symbols on the sidewalk, as well as a Front Avenue traffic sign. This is NO way to handle the debate over expanding the Wyndham Hotel.
Is this odd spray-painting a sign that gang trouble is spreading to the Historic District, from nearby housing complexes like Booker T. Washington? Or does it prove another theory I have - that home computers are ruining everyone's handwriting
PAIN-O-RAMA: We finished our one-week survey of logging pain cases early Wednesday. The final score: 44 reports of pain in seven days - and they didn't even count the pains on my wallet from buying gas and groceries.
All of the pain cases were mild, and most of them came and went in less than a minute. I think most of them could be summed up with the old gag about the guy who goes to the doctor and says, "It hurts when I do this" - and the doctor replies, "Don't do that."
I think the point of the survey was to count the ways I handled pain, and see how effective they were. Only one problem: almost all of the pain was so mild, I did nothing! The survey had a "meditation/yoga" option -- but I was even more passive than that.
One of the "exit questions" in the weeklong survey asked if I thought most pain cases are mainly in people's minds. In some cases, that may be true - but how many folks race to the bathroom every time that "gotta go, gotta go right now" jingle is on?
SONG OF THE DAY: We're starting a four-day Georgia sales tax break, so that calls for reworking an old December tune made famous by Andy Williams:
Happy holiday! Sales tax holiday!
Sales taxes you're not paying, as this holiday's for you.
Happy holiday! Sales tax holiday!
School projects we're delaying,
If September's vote comes through.
COMING FRIDAY: Cigarettes and booze... consider yourself warned....