for 31 DEC 07: REVELATIONS!
If that headline is good enough for the Sunday Ledger-Enquirer, it's good enough for me. It's time for our second annual list of 25 things I didn't know a year ago, adapted from a BBC tradition. We do this to prove your blogger is NOT a know-it-all. For instance, two years ago I declared Dell McGee the new head coach of Kendrick High School.
So what have I learned -- things you also may want to know? Let's see....
1. DSL Internet service can be cheaper than dial-up. It's even cheaper than diesel fuel.
I've discovered this over the last six weeks, as I finally switched away from sloooooooow dial-up. AT&T offered a $19.95 "limited time" offer - and offered it so many limited times that I finally was able to order it.
AT&T sent me most of the ingredients I needed for DSL service. But there was one big problem - my telephone jack is on the opposite side of the room from my computer. My furniture in the computer room hasn't moved since I arrived in Columbus. And moving the computer closer really wouldn't work - because a computer on a sofa cushion simply looks weird.
AT&T provided connection cords for the DSL modem which were much too short, so I hurried to Radio Shack to get a longer one. In fact, I took no chances and bought the longest cord they had. It's working well, but I've nearly tripped over it at least three times.
The AT&T offer saved me two dollars a month from the Internet service I had before. And because I'm not dialing a phone number to go online, my local monthly call count is way down - saving me more than ten extra dollars. So I have 12 extra dollars a month, to spend on the rising price of gasoline.
I chose the "slowest" form of DSL service, which is fast enough for me. No longer do I have five-second waits for web pages to show up. And I can watch YouTube videos, without them stopping and starting every second or two. Football coaches probably prefer that other version.
There's one small negative to AT&T DSL service - something you might consider an advantage. Phone line splitters you attach can allow your phone to ring while you're online. How many telemarketers made this a requirement?
2. Cockroaches tend to like dark red colors more than dark blue or dark green - even though dark blue would seem to hide them better.
I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but this discovery slowly developed in my kitchen drawer this past year. Roaches love to hide there, and they'll eat whatever they can find - even cotton dish cloths. I suppose that's because they're high in fiber.
I rotate three dish cloths into kitchen duty, and a review of them shows big holes in the dark red one. Dark green has one small hole, while dark blue has hardly any bites at all. Is this a sign for "big blue" Kansas beating Virginia Tech's maroon in the Orange Bowl this week?
3. Related to this: cockroaches are more likely to drown in black containers of water. So I've found Banquet frozen dinner trays can have multiple uses....
Cockroaches can be tough creatures to kill -- but they're terrible swimmers. Get them in a pool of water, and the antennae extending from their heads often get in the way of using their legs to extricate themselves. They struggle desperately until they tire and die. Yes, I get some cheap thrills in my kitchen at times.
The roaches seem more drawn to black containers than clear or light-colored ones. So put a little water in one, and you'll have the best nature study this side of Oxbow Meadows.
4. Reporting on church picnics [19 Aug] can get you a personal lecture from the church pastor. I know, because it happened to me last summer. When I chose to take a break from that congregation in October, the pastor didn't seem very surprised.
The pastor told me I should present the church congregation to the public in the "most positive light possible." In other words, be a public relations guy and make things appear perfect -- even though the Bible seems to be filled with "holy people" making all sorts of blunders.
5. Just because we've had a drought does NOT mean you should buy a used car without windshield wipers.
Ask a driver in front of me on Brown Avenue Sunday afternoon. He limped an older car along in the rain at about 15 miles per hour. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was a farm tractor.
6. Adult nightclubs in Columbus do NOT last forever. At least, not if they don't keep hiring new employees....
There's proof of this point on Victory Drive, where the Lucky 7 Lounge was bulldozed this past week. It never reopened after a 2006 fire - and suddenly the fire-damaged Victory Pawn Shop next door looks a lot more respectable.
7. The "too fast when flashing" lights over Interstate 185 near St. Mary's Road never stop flashing. I learned this on the Sunday of the Toys for Tots motorcycle run, driving behind the bikers. Even 30 miles per hour wasn't slow enough for them.
On the other hand, the similar flashing lights on Victory Drive near Port Columbus DO shut off from time to time. They were off this weekend, in fact - although for drivers who faced a giant construction-fed rain puddle near McClung Memorial Stadium, they came about a quarter-mile too late.
Feeling smarter already? Now we'll simply run down the remaining things I learned this past year....
8. Columbus television newscasts can be presented from Iowa. You simply pretend the anchors live in Columbus, and moved to town only a few weeks ago.
9. Any rumors about Summit Hospital being turned into a shopping mall are NOT true - at least for now.
10. Starting a "Bible as Literature" class in public schools does NOT mean a mass revival immediately will break out.
11. If you're heading to a sentencing hearing in court, dress for the occasion - as in going to prison immediately, as Don Siegelman did.
12. If any pro football player denies breaking the law, remember one thing - those players also tend to deny committing fouls on the field during games.
13. Be very careful where you place your bags of kitty litter. One of them put a former mayor of Columbus in the hospital.
14. If you hold enough grand openings for the same historic Columbus buildings, people eventually might start showing up.
15. If Phenix City Manager Bubba Roberts ever starts a Myspace page, he may have trouble recruiting friends from the Russell County Sheriff's Office.
16. Some people are scared to fly to the Columbus Airport - even though there's only been one hit-and-run driver in that area all year.
17. Bakeries need to make runs to the city landfill - perhaps to provide fat and grease to make all the other garbage stick together.
18. The Georgia Dome gets cold in December. Did you notice the referee in Sunday's Seattle-Atlanta game wore a long-sleeve shirt, while Seattle coach Mike Holmgren had a jacket on?
19. In a small town such as Hurtsboro, everybody seems to know everybody else - and sometimes that's not a good thing.
20. Landscaping can include "softscape" and "hardscape." If it's approved by a government official, it's also likely to have a scapegoat.
21. Columbus has something called "The Big Eddy Club." If it existed in Phenix City, the police chief probably would shut it down.
22. Fountains which promise a "perennial flow" can be stopped by a state's occasional no.
23. A six-month subscription to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer costs 96 dollars - and some people prefer spending 15 dollars online, to simply subscribe to the comic strips.
24. The most popular sports in Columbus are, in order: 1) Little League baseball; 2) Small-college football; 3) Cottonmouths hockey; 4) high school football - and the Catfish rank just below professional wrestling matches.
25. Everyone on Earth cares about Britney Spears. I mean, look at all the photographers who surround her.
SCHEDULED TUESDAY: Another turn-of-the-year tradition around here.... is this the year YOU win?....
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