30 APR 08: 11-ALIVE
Don't worry, Atlanta-area readers - I am NOT talking about a TV station with that nickname today. I'm not even talking about the new Columbus low-power station at channel 11. After all, most of the actors it shows in movies are dead.
BLOG SPECIAL EVENT: No, we're talking about your blogger today - as Tuesday marked 11 years since I moved to Columbus. In keeping with an annual custom, I marked the anniversary with a run downtown Tuesday evening. The good news is that I improved substantially over last year. But then again, last April I had pneumonia and couldn't even run around the block.
My estimated running distance for this year's anniversary run was 2.15 miles non-stop. I still have the records from 29 Apr 97, and on that Tuesday night I ran about 1.7 miles. So I'm better off today than I was 11 years ago - but I'm not sure if makes a difference in which way I vote.
The anniversary run came three days after the end of the "Walk Georgia" project, where people across the state were encouraged to exercise for eight weeks.
My effort ended with a whimper, more than a bang - and a Saturday night run by car to Golden Donuts can be a bit fun.
(But I had a couple of three-mile early-morning jogs last week, in the final days of record-keeping. Get up with the chickens, and you might wind up feeling like a roadrunner.)
If you didn't follow our "Trudge Reports" at the bottom of each entry, my final total over the last eight weeks was 185.6 miles of running. That includes regular jogs, as well as racquetball workouts computed by the Walk Georgia web site. The racquetball numbers were so generous that I think one whack equaled six steps.
Take out the racquetball days, and my computer log shows 54.6 miles of actual running over eight weeks. But the Walk Georgia computer figured it a bit higher, based on the number of minutes I ran. They must not realize I run at a slow pace - the better to avoid tripping over uneven sidewalks on Broadway.
My walking total during Walk Georgia actually was small, at 20.1 miles. By comparison, the "Walking Divas" who led all Muscogee County teams went 2560.8 miles. They're probably the four women who have NOT noted gas prices going higher.
Our Blog of Columbus team is placed in the middle of the Muscogee County pack -- 12th out of 25 teams, with 874.4 miles of exercise. One of our members started strongly, but Samantha suddenly stopped making entries in week four. I hope she wasn't seriously hurt -- especially since I didn't ask anyone to sign liability waivers.
The Walk Georgia scoreboard shows me 37th out of 182 Muscogee County entries, at almost 350 miles. The local leader is Teresa S., at an astounding 2948.6 miles. Last Tuesday alone, she recorded about seven hours of exercise -- and I hope the other Columbus Lions cheerleaders appreciate how slim and trim she is.
The grand finale celebration for Walk Georgia will be next Monday at Lakebottom Park. But an e-mail I received from the program this week indicated it may come back in September and October. I recommend it not only for getting in shape, but seeing how much you're really working out. Who knows - come fall, you might find you're ahead of Third Brigade soldiers.
E-MAIL UPDATE: Monday's report on "Mr. Big Volume" in Texas brought one big idea from a reader....
Your story about a local car dealership was great. Many of us who have lived in Columbus for many years are of the opinion that you just do not do business with the big volume dealer. It is the general opinion of many of us old folks in Columbus that mr big thrives off the Military and the foolish. Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that the Military are foolish, they just have not been in Columbus long enough to know the tactics used to sell a car at some of those large dealerships with the fancy signs.
I find it ironic that many of the same practices are used in the religious community in this town also. Maybe this is why many refer to the congregation at one of these large churches as "Bill Heard Baptist" (Bill Heard is a large car dealership in Columbus). Many believe that both organizations use deception to sell their products. Maybe there should be a Better Baptist Association in Columbus...Oh wait, there is. Its called the Columbus Baptist Association. However, just like the BBB, who wont touch the big volume dealership in town, the Columbus Baptist Association is just as frightened of the big volume church.
Lets look at some similarities between two big volume organizations in Columbus.
They both have really nice showrooms with flat screen tv's etc.
They both have smooth, fast talking salesmen in expensive clothes.
They both have fancy digital signs along major roadways
They both have annoying advertisements on the radio
They both have annoying advertisements on Television (mind you one of the organizations are broken up into 30 second spots while the other is in thirty minute doses)
They both allegedly don't mind lying to accomplish their goal or put money in their pocket
They both allegedly have state and city officials in their pocket
The leaders of both organizations live in very fine houses
The leaders of both organization drive very fine cars
Both organizations are a family business
Both organizations have leaders who are members of the country club
Both are large profit centers, although one is tax exempt
They Both have great attorneys and love to use them
They Both have leaders who travel in wealthy circles and have little contact with their customer base
Neither of the leaders are likely to be seen visiting their customers in a hospital
One might suspect Jesus wouldn't do business with either organization
Very few people bring their bibles to either showroom
They both have had cars in their showroom at some point, although I doubt you would ever find a Porchse at one of the organizations
I would not be out of the question for either of the leaders or their spouses to have had "enhancement" surgery
They both have parking lots filled with expensive cars, although one is only two days a week
They both thrive on the military, because the military isn't around long enough to know the truth about the organizations
Neither get much repeat business
Neither have very good service "after the sale"
Both leaders spend VERY LITTLE TIME in their Columbus showroom
Both have great "closes", when it comes time to buy
There is music in both showrooms (although the music at one organization is not nearly as loud and is generally better quality)
Both have many marginal employees who are allegedly willing to do whatever necessary to keep their jobs
Both have coffee in the lobby, but only one has starbucks, and only one charges money for it
Both organizations have leaders who still manage to sleep at night regardless of what they have done during the day
Neither organization has a clue what the letters WWJD, nor would they care if they did
Now hold on a minute! Some of these comparisons simply don't fit - because the Cascade Hills Church worship team actually warned people that last weekend's guest speaker was a fast talker, compared to Bill Purvis.
And since when has Cascade Hills Church run radio ads? I haven't heard any - but maybe I'm listening to the wrong stations. Pastor Bill Purvis would sound quite normal around John Boy and Billy.
When Pastor Bill Purvis marked 25 years at Cascade Hills a few weeks ago, he mentioned how he used to visit hospitals. He explained there's now a "pastoral team" which takes care of that. The only time Bill Heard Chevrolet's staff might visit a hospital is when "Repo Joe" spots a long-time patient who missed a payment.
As for Bibles "in the showroom," I actually saw a church ministry business card on a Bill Heard salesman's desk a few years ago. But I think the best "bible" for customers to take to Bill Heard Parkway is a copy of Consumer Reports.
And what would the Bill Heard staff give those initials WWJD - maybe "whitewalls just delivered?"
We'll stop the Bill-paying there, and move on to a comment on our Tuesday blog exclusive:
For more information - the Truth's website is up, somewhat....
Plans are for local announcers to go on the air once the station can support itself (IE: generate ad revenue).
H. Lynn Page suggested to me that could happen. But beginning Thursday morning, the focus apparently will be on music - so you'll hear The Truth, and nothing but The Truth.
Now for some facts and fun from the Tuesday news....
+ Mayor Jim Wetherington submitted his city budget proposal for the next fiscal year. At $210 million, it's up 2.5 percent from the current budget - but did I hear it right that the 2.5 percent reflects higher fuel costs? If the city's gas price is increasing that little, I want to know where that pump is.
(The proposal budget includes money for seven new city positions. Will the potential sewer workers please get in line, behind all the dozens of police officers?)
+ A program at Columbus Technical College honored Manchester's John White, who was cleared of a rape conviction last year through DNA testing. If White isn't careful, he might wind up in custody again - being hauled all over the state by the Georgia Innocence Project.
+ Six Flags Over Georgia announced it's cutting ticket prices by ten dollars for the rest of the year, to $39.95. Now THIS is a sign of a tight economy. And if things get any worse, the park's name might change to Five Flags.
+ Columbus bashed Benedictine 5-1 in the boys' high school soccer playoffs. The Benedictine goalie tried to punch one high ball off his goal line - but it wound up in his own net. And then people ask why Georgia high schools need boys' volleyball programs in the winter....
+ Instant Message to the woman I passed in the 600 block of Broadway, begging to a homeowner on a porch: If you only need a dollar for "gas money," you obviously have no clue what the current price of gas is.
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.
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