31 DEC 04: GIMME '05
Are you ready for 2004 to end tonight? I suspect many people are. I heard someone say the other day they were happy when December 26 showed up - because Sunny 100-FM finally was listenable again, with no more holiday music.
(By the way, if you still have a tree up in your house - I saw four real trees on the ground outside the door of St. Luke United Methodist Church on Tuesday. It's time....)
Remember the last time New Year's Eve fell on a Friday night? It was five years ago, at the brink of Y-2-K -- and many people worried about whether their utilities would keep working after midnight. This year in Columbus, the issue may be how long factory employees will keep working.
The concern about jobs goes far beyond Char-Broil. International textile trade quotas expire with the new year, and some unions are worried China will overwhelm our country with cheap clothing. Why can't this country stick to its name -- and only export china?
All sorts of events are planned around the area to mark the start of 2005. Many churches will hold what's known as "Watchnight" services. A few of them also will be watching for Sheriff's Officers, walking in with subpoenas....
I've never been to a Watchnight service, but I suppose the point of the event is to begin the new year in a godly way. Yet I can't help asking - has SafetyCab ever been called to a church, after a holiday communion service?
Lest we forget: SafetyCab is available to provide you a free cab ride home, should you have too much to drink. Either that, or you can try to make friends with one of the highrollers who show up at parties in limousines.
A friend at work told me this week she has an unusual resolution for 2005. She resolves to START smoking - instead of stopping it. She explains most people don't keep their resolutions, so you might as well pick a really easy one to break.
So where will your blog be on New Year's Eve? Part of the day will be spent hunting down a 2005 calendar. I picked up a free one at a drugstore weeks ago, but somehow it disappeared from my kitchen. As my pastor likes to say: "Where has this year gone?"
Oh, you mean at MIDNIGHT where will I be? Unless something unusual happens, I'll be in bed resting after a very busy week. But don't worry, I'll probably be awakened at midnight -- by neighbors setting off fireworks illegally.
2004 IN REVIEW, CONCLUSION: The November election brought a few big changes across our area. Marshal Ken Suddeth was voted out of office. Republicans won control of the Georgia House. And imagine if Rick Boren had faced an African-American challenger for Columbus Police Chief.
A new Russell County Commission took office in November - only to be told this week almost all the members must give up their seats. Remember when Probate Judge Al Howard warned the old commission about recall petitions? Can we do that for judges, too?
Current Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters wrote our blog in November, to deny various sightings of love interests. So much for my plan to make fast money, sending a "scoop" to a tabloid about Lindsay Lohan....
The woman Bobby Peters beat for Superior Court Judge found herself sued in November. Columbus public relations maven Marquette McKnight claimed Roxann Daniel still owed her $10,000 from the summer campaign. Ms. Daniel can't finish writing that tell-all book fast enough.
Fort Benning opened a new security checkpoint in November, on Interstate 185. We assume all sorts of Coach's Corner customers caused traffic backups there, and won its liberation from the "Benning banned" list.
The SOA Watch protesters outside Fort Benning finally had some big-time competition in November, as thousands attended the "God Bless Fort Benning" rally. If both these groups keep holding mass rallies on the same weekend, Port Columbus might organize them to hold a Civil War reenactment.
Auburn football wrapped up an unbeaten season in November, and now is preparing for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Did you hear some of the players talk Thursday night about the Louisiana Superdome, and how huge it is? Apparently they don't practice enough at Jordan-Hare Stadium to know their home field has more seats.
Troy University's football team played well enough to gain its first bowl berth. It was Thursday night's Silicon Valley Classic - a game so ignored, local Troy Network station WDAK forgot to broadcast it.
A supermodel visited Columbus at the end of November - only it was"former supermodel" Kim Alexis at a big Cascade Hills Church event. Well, at least this church's runway fashion shows would show something besides choir robes....
November was a month for moving in our area. Char-Broil announced it's moving production to China. Carmen Cavezza announced he's moving out of the Columbus City Manager's office. And after convening a grand jury, Kenneth Davis moved his body out of town as fast as he could.
The "no-bill" decision in the Kenneth Walker case was followed in December by the release of the law enforcement videotape of Walker's shooting. This tape has received plenty of play in the last month - but for some reason, no one's given it to Ed Harbison's "Public Agenda" show.
December brought the introduction of a new corporate logo for AFLAC. The company claimed the old sign atop the tower had "come to the end of its life." So did it get a decent burial at the landfill? Or does the Amos family plan to sell it on eBay?
December also marked the end of the Bradley Library in Columbus. A new library on Macon Road opens Monday - and from what I'm hearing, it will have enough security guards to beat up every owner of brass knuckles in Lumpkin.
Auburn University went off accreditation probation in December. The administrators must have felt like they were at "SACS Fifth Avenue...."
December ended with confusion over a "financial boycott" of Columbus mentioned at a Jesse Jackson news conference. Some civil rights leaders were quick to clarify his remarks - but have you noticed Jackson hasn't been to town since he made that statement?
COMING SOON: It's blog year-end awards time....
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