Thursday, July 20, 2006


"Blog competition" warned the title of an e-mail I received the other day. Uh-oh - who could be taking me on now? Doesn't The Loft still change its Thursday night stand-up comics every week?

The advisory came from WRBL's new full-time webmaster - and directed me to quite a surprise. Longtime Columbus TV news anchor Dick McMichael is blogging now. But don't worry - he hasn't gone all the way over the edge, and put his profile on .

The web site Dick McMichael set up to promote his memoirs now doubles as his blog. Its perspective reflects his decades as "The Newsman" -- only when he offers commentary, you're expected to understand that without a label being posted.

Since he started his blog earlier this month, Dick McMichael has focused often on journalistic issues. For instance, Wednesday's entry compared the news coverage on BBC International with U.S. network morning shows. He noted the BBC had no cake-baking segments. OK, but does it show live outdoor concerts by former "American Idol" contestants?

Dick McMichael's blog isn't really a competitor for this one right now, because he takes more of a national and world view. For instance, for the last three days he's examined how the news media have covered events in Lebanon. I'm more inclined to quote a classic gag where someone called Atlanta radio host Gary McKee: "What about Beirut, Gary? Best baseball player ever was, Bei Rut."

But Dick McMichael has addressed some local topics -- and the other day, he took "the media" to task for not keeping close watch on local members of Congress. Maybe those lawmakers should get part of the blame. They're too scared to have offices in Columbus, where reporters at least could talk to the aides on Secretary's Day.

While other people might consider him over the hill, Dick McMichael keeps impressing me with how sharp his thinking is -- as well as how current he is online. If you think he's behind the blogging curve, consider this: Al Fleming doesn't seem to even have his own web site yet.

Now for another former TV anchor who's turned blogger. I didn't realize until the other day that State Senator (and still champion) Ed Harbison had a "legislative blog." He kept it during this year's legislative session. But apparently Harbison has been too busy campaigning to add that "wrap-up" entry he promised way back in March.

I also didn't realize until reading Wednesday's Ledger-Enquirer that Ed Harbison was a TV news anchor at NBC-38 years ago. That explains his interview show of recent years, "Public Agenda." If WYBU TV-16 still shows it, I don't know when it's on - and I don't know if it has the same warning label that "Extra" and "Elimidate" have.


Free Frisbee Sundays begin this weekend, introducing Power Frisbee in Valdosta and Albany! A Columbus pre-season stop is planned August 13. Find out where and learn all about our new game at the official Power Frisbee web site; then offer your comments about it at the P.F.G. blog.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Now for some growing pains in Lee County:

Word around has many wondering on where the people are going to go when Phenix City starts the River Clean out of Citizens and some Businesses.

With Phenix City taking over area's in Lee county and some area's that would normally be called Smiths Station,,what service's have been provided to the Citizens,

What has Phenix City Done to help those that have been Annexed Voluntary or Forced into the City by means of Signing up for the Sewage lines other than take their money???

Does the Phenix city fire Department respond to calls that have been annexed into the City???

State Farm Insurance goes by zip codes for Rating your Homeowners Insurance - by far, Phenix City Fire Rating is one of the lowest in the area

-Smiths Fire Department which is called Friendship Fire Ass. has one of the Highest Ratings in the County

- Friendship fire ass. covers the entire southeast area corner of Lee County (other than what Phenix City does not cover)

- Will Phenix City Leaders find ways to Dump the Citizens from the River Front housing in Smiths Station - that's the word going around

-Is there a Housing Project in the works to Dump the Citizens from the Phenix City remodeling effort on to Smiths Station or just outside the current City limits ???

It's so hot that the rest of this post has melted away

Oh, so many questions! First of all, I thought I heard somewhere that some of the people leaving the Riverview Apartments might move to Ladonia. Trouble is, that area needs a Dollar General store to go with its Fred's.

What is Phenix City doing about all these topics concerning southern Lee County? Well, Mayor Jeff Hardin told WRBL Wednesday he's invited two South Korean auto parts suppliers to visit the area. Those companies could pay for improved sewage and fire service - or then again, the "Kia payoff" could be going in the other direction.

So why would the Friendship Fire, ahem, DEPARTMENT rate higher with insurance companies than the Phenix City crew? Could the hidden answer lie in the name - since Phenix City firefighters haven't been all that friendly with each other at times in recent years?

(And oh yes, I thought fire departments had mascot dogs. If Friendship Fire has changed to a different animal, I don't quite understand why - unless perhaps donkeys carry fire ladders more easily.)

Now for other things which flared up Wednesday:

+ Which "Sky Watcher" told WRBL during an afternoon thunderstorm that the wind was "blowing every which way?" Is this person hurting his or her chances of becoming an official meteorologist?

+ That afternoon storm knocked out power for a moment at my home, and apparently shorted out the electric cord for my computer. Thankfully it was the cord from my OLD computer, which died last month. Now not only is my new computer's cord in place, I've discovered another offer from America Online for rejecting.

+ Not one political ad appeared on local television - and wow, did that feel strange! I kept waiting for someone else to run an attack ad. How about the Columbus Convention and Visitors' Bureau declaring: "Montgomery - too boring to waste your gas on."

+ The manager of the Opelika Sonic Drive-In was kidnapped at closing time, and forced to drive to Auburn. The fact that he's safe and well may be nothing more than the "Luck of the Straw."

+ A spokesperson for Summit Hospital told the evening news the new Phenix City medical center will open during the first week of August. Hopefully it will open in time to handle all the shoppers passing out from the savings, during the sales tax holiday.

(The new Summit Hospital will have 70 beds, but also will have room to grow as the need arises. Has Fort Benning already warned those new incoming soldiers to avoid fishing from the Phenix City side of the river?)

+ The Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus finished its two-day run at the Columbus Civic Center. If you're hungry early today, there could be plenty of leftover peanuts sitting around near the back doors.

+ Instant Message to the person who sent e-mail about possible corruption in a Lee County board: I'm told it happened years ago. The accused person is now dead. But if you want to dig up the grave and point a finger at it, that's up to you....

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