Monday, June 29, 2009

29 JUN 09: Power Lost, Power Gained

Instant Message to the man who encouraged me to "see a fireworks show" for Independence Day: Done. I accomplished that Sunday evening, when lightning flashed all around my home....

Parts of the Historic District were without power for nearly three hours, due to an intense thunderstorm. I'm not sure if a severe thunderstorm warning ever was issued for Muscogee County, as it was in Russell County. But if your electricity goes out and you're a blogger without a working laptop, it's really severe to you.

The power outage affected parts of Fourth Street from Broadway to Veterans Parkway. It shut down the Circle K near the Civic Center, which is one of the leading stops in Georgia for selling lottery tickets. If a lack of electricity stops a lottery, you wonder how the colonies were able to keep them going about 200 years ago.

The boundary line for the power outage was Fourth Street, as the Columbus Civic Center's bright marquee kept running as usual. It's promoting a "Ladies Night Out" in August, with three groups I've never heard of before. At least the men are fully clothed in the photos....

(Columbus Police had to direct traffic at the corner of "Fourth and Fourth," because the stop light in front of the Civic Center was out. Even the officers have to practice for next week's playoff game.)

The power outage occurred at about 6:25 p.m. ET, as I was eating dinner. My dinner was heated in a natural gas oven -- making me wonder why the "gas light" idea never has been brought inside. It's not like kerosene lantern makers have the power to complain anymore....

The outage was accompanied (and probably caused) by fierce lightning in the Historic District and downtown area. It came one day after I heard some men at church wonder why humans can't harness the power of lightning as an energy source. My own theory on this is that scientists saw Ben Franklin try it, and decided it wasn't worth sacrificing their lives.

As lightning flashed and thunder roared with the power out, there wasn't much I could do. I didn't pick up the phone to report the outage, because I might be electrocuted. I didn't take a shower, because I might be electrocuted. So I read the Bible for a while - presuming God wouldn't zap me for that.

Eventually the thunder dissipated, and I called Georgia Power customer service. If you didn't know, everything is automated - even the computer voice providing information about your problem. It only figures that the electric company would find a way to use plug-in robots.

The Georgia Power voice told me crews were already working on the problem, and hoped to have it resolved by 8:45 p.m. I told that information to nearby neighbors - including the ones with no phone service, who might not even notice an electric outage unless there was a big game on TV.

Darkness approached, and I decided to lie in bed and wait for the power to come back on. I can do this without a working alarm clock - because my answering machine always repeats my recorded message when it comes on. It's only slightly less jarring than a clock's buzzer.

The repair crew missed its target time, but the power came back on at 9:15 p.m. One of my neighbors was concerned about her food spoiling in the refrigerator - but since I kept my door shut 99 percent of the time, everything seems to be fine. And it's Georgia Power's loss that I only ran my air conditioner for 90 minutes on a 95-degree day.

BLOG UPDATE: Speaking of lost power, Sunday brought stunning news from the Miss Georgia pageant. Kristina Higgins gave up the crown she won less than 24 hours before. I thought the show "Queen for a Day" went off TV 40 years ago....

Kristina Higgins explained she could not meet all the obligations of Miss Georgia, because she works as a middle school special education teacher. Talk about a lack of respect for teachers! If Higgins was a principal in Auburn, she could have taken a six-week leave of absence to appear on "Survivor."

Sad to say, in 2009 we had to be a bit skeptical of Kristina Higgins's explanation. So we checked the usual online hideaways for scandalous pictures. But a Myspace Music page says Higgins sings Christian music, and has released her own album. Hmmmm - did she say the wrong thing last week about traditional marriage?

Kristina Higgins also has a Twitter account, which doesn't even mention the Miss Georgia pageant. But it has this curious April message: "On my way to enlighten young children's minds. Haha...." That "haha" is a bit like a car horn on the highway. Are you happy to see me, or mocking my slow driving?

Here's the more curious thing: this was Kristina Higgins's third attempt at the Miss Georgia title. She was second runner-up two years ago. If that led to her middle school teaching job, becoming Miss Georgia might lead to an even better and more flexible job. You know, like the Atlanta Falcons dance team....

Kristina Higgins's decision means first runner-up Emily Cook becomes Miss Georgia. It also means Cobb County's candidates swept the awards this year -- Miss Georgia and "Outstanding Teen." So all the people who make fun of Marietta's "Big Chicken" should shut up until next June.

Emily Cook told the Sunday evening news she'll delay a year of law school at the University of Georgia to serve as Miss Georgia. She can afford to do this, where Kristina Higgins cannot - because Cook's crown and law degree should combine to make her an expert legal analyst on Fox News Channel.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Visit "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: Now to an unusual sign of the times....

What is with that peeping tom sign on Junaluska Dr.? I have not seen anything about it in the news.

That warning sign actually was on TV news a week or two ago, after being mentioned at Richard Hyatt's web site. People in the Mohina Woods subdivision are concerned about a convicted voyeur, who's back on the streets after serving his sentence. So what he have here is a neighborhood "watcher watch."

Meanwhile, the conversation continues between a couple of readers about a former police officer's list of "bad cops:"

We don't need to call Sherlock Holmes on this one- Boren is neither accused, nor guilty of a crime, but is the object of a vendetta- establishing the modus operandi of the complainant He attempts to embarrass the Chief of Police, ad nauseum. Ad litem.

Solution: A new Modus Vivendi for the Complainant.

Suggestions: 1. Get a sex change. Real men do not whine and complain to the media over hurt feelings.

2. Role Play as the Police Chief solving all internal and external cases of police corruption.

3. Move to a place where you like the Police Chief.

4. Reenact these troubling situations at a local drama club.

5. Learn to pout silently.

Oh dear - so much Latin here. No, this e-mail did NOT come from the Josh McKoon State Senate campaign.

As for the list of suggestions - what do you mean, real men don't "complain to the media" when their feelings are hurt? How quickly we forget such interviews, in an election off-year.

And as for suggestion #4 -- isn't there now a "Sherlock's Mystery Dinner Theatre" for cases like these? If it can do a show called "Spy Games," it can create a play about drunk police officers at a restaurant. The audience would love to join in playing "Spin the Taser."

We'll get to a couple of other e-mails another day - but now let's check other items from a busy Sunday:

+ Lee County Sheriff's officers accused four young Phenix City men of stealing items from more than 100 cars. I may never try to sell music out of my trunk at the Lee County Flea Market again....

+ The Christ Community Church broadcast on WBOJ-FM included a testimony from the owner of the Columbus Marco's Pizza restaurants. Scott Dickey admitted when he travels on business to Las Vegas, "I can't get out of there fast enough." That's strange - since all the Miss Georgia contestants want to go there, to compete for Miss America.

+ The Macon Coliseum hosted a Jehovah's Witnesses convention especially for Spanish-speaking members. I'm not sure why the Witnesses didn't return to the Columbus Civic Center this year -- unless they were concerned Mark Shelnutt might welcome them to town, too.

COMING SOON: Is something missing at the new museum? We took a tour to find out....

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