Thursday, November 05, 2009

5 NOV 09: Who're You Calling Yellow

It happened again Wednesday - another call from a confused electric customer. Someone dialed my number because the defunct sports league Power Frisbee of Georgia is listed under "Georgia Power" in an online directory. I don't think "glow in the dark" frisbees are even battery powered....

People using the old-fashioned Columbus phone books should NOT be confused. Power Frisbee never has been listed in the white pages - but yes, I checked the new 2009-10 books to be sure. Does PowerHouse Power Sports on Linwood Boulevard get these calls as well?

The latest Yellowbook reached me a couple of weeks before the AT&T phone books did -- so to be honest, I didn't even open the orange plastic bag with the AT&T books until after I started writing this Wednesday night. AT&T may promise "your world delivered," but the other guys deliver faster.

So which phone directory is better? As we've done here from time to time, let's do a comparative "book review" in several key areas....

1. Price. Thankfully, both are still absolutely free -- unless they prepare special hardbound coffee-table versions to sell at Barnes and Noble.

2. Size. Yellowbook has reduced its book this year from the standard 8.5-by-11 inches to about seven-by nine inches, calling it "eco-friendly." And the yellow section with business listings has 80 fewer pages -- which could mean it's not as advertiser-friendly.

Again this year, AT&T delivered two phone books to my door: the standard large-sized directory, and a smaller "companion." Trouble is, the smaller book has no residential listings - so your "companion" had better have at least a part-time job.

3. The front cover. Both books have refrigerator magnets attached - and the magnets promote competing law offices. Salespeople might come to your door, and fearfully conclude they have to be truthful.

The large AT&T book has a nice picture of the new National Infantry Museum on its cover. The attorney ad which was on part of last year's cover is gone - because the Third Brigade doesn't seem to be using lawsuits to keep order in Iraq.

The Yellowbook cover includes three small ads and a smaller U.S. flag - as if visitors might think there's also a Columbus, Saskatchewan in Canada.

4. The white pages. This is why I usually turn to a phone book, and the Columbus listings in both books essentially are the same. But AT&T includes outlying areas such as Hurtsboro - despite the fact that most movers and shakers in Hurtsboro still have unlisted numbers.

AT&T's large book fits the white pages for Columbus-Phenix City into 304 pages. Yellowbook requires 406 pages, even though the city government numbers are moved to a separate section of the book. Is Yellowbook being told first about all the base realignment transfers?

5. City maps. AT&T wins by default, as Yellowbook has removed a multi-page map which covered a wider part of the Columbus area. But then again, maybe Yellowbook is trying to get male customers - you know, the ones who never look at maps.

6. Access to government phone numbers. Yellowbook wins easily with its "blue pages" section, similar to what Atlanta has done for years. AT&T scatters government numbers throughout the white pages. Hmmmm - does centralization mean Yellowbook is run by Democrats?

7. Money-saving coupons. Yellowbook has several pages of them. AT&T's coupon section has a grand total of one - and someday I need to find out how many deliveries Steak-Out really makes.

8. The yellow pages. In this key moneymaking area, Yellowbook wins with 469 pages to AT&T's 461. Trouble is, one full-page ad has the menu for Hotlanta Wings - where business is so cold that both locations seem to be shut down.

-> Wednesday night turned into a late night of poker - and that was good. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: This seems to be a follow-up to our latest Big Blog Question....

This morning, just after reading your always entertaining Columbus Blog I went through my cacophony of E-newspapers, until finding this little gem---what a hoot ;)

Regarding the Taj Mahal:....

Genuine representation generally recognizes a pay-as you-go system, or at least a repayable debt system, in which each expenditure is justifiably necessitated. When we point to the Taj Mahal, with ridicule for the fiduciary radicals who created it, we cannot wait for the election results to roll in from Mrs. Boren's office. The Columbus citizenry is anxiously awaiting the apocalyptic political fall out of the Taj Mahal.

The Okey-Dokey Conservatives in Green Island, the hard core leftists, the children of the Bibb Mill workers, the teen kids who work at McDonald's, the minority populations, most black and most white Columbusites, and the military retirees, might all agree on only one thing - the School Board election will impact the way the School Board approaches spending on themselves. The average person opposed the Taj Mahal, and the School Board did not care what the voters wanted, they over spent, over did, and now those who are in contested races will be voted out of office. I leave you with this very quotable quote.

Regarding the Taj Mahal:

"It is equipped with the same high tech vote tabulation system used by the United Nations ..."

This was hysterical even before I had my mocha, and I just keep coming back to it and experiencing that hysterical laughter again and again. Yes, it is one of the funniest lines Hyatt has ever E-printed. Hyatt is right, let them defend it, and let us laugh all the way to the voting booths! I wish I could send you the laugh track from my house right now!

This actually was an article by former Muscogee County School Board member Fife Whiteside - and we should look on the bright side about this. Columbus State University won't need to host the annual "model United Nations" for teenagers anymore.

But before you lose sleep over "apocalyptic political fallout" in the 2010 election, let's have a lesson in current history. Two Muscogee County School Board members were reelected last November, after voting for building the new Public Education Center. Maybe the folks in Green Island Hills decided those members still were - well, okey-dokey.

And don't take Fife Whiteside out of context with that short quote. He went on to write it's "dead wrong" to conclude the Muscogee County School Board is "narcissistic, self-centered and out of touch with the public." This apparently means the plaque at the door of the Public Education Center does NOT include board members' photos.

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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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