Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 DEC 09: Spin the Weather Wheel

Why didn't I think of it before? It suddenly made sense Wednesday - why Glenn Burns emceed the Georgia Lottery drawings for years. He's a weather anchor in Atlanta, and the weather sometimes can be as unpredictable as a Mega Millions drawing.

Columbus has seen a little bit of everything this week in terms of weather. Wednesday began with an overnight tornado watch, and a strong rainstorm which splashed hard enough on the bedroom window to wake me up. At least, I think that's how it happened. I don't recall any dreams about car washes....

Yet when I climbed out of bed, the sun was out -- and since the temperature had risen all night to the mid-sixties F., I could take a "sunrise run" on the Riverwalk. Mornings like this happen from time to time in December. They're pleasant reminders that we live only two-and-a-half hours from Florida.

To borrow from legendary soccer broadcaster Toby Charles, there were "puddles all over the pitch" during my run. And rain from overnight and Tuesday reinvigorated mud still on the Riverwalk from recent flooding. If I wanted to run on an obstacle course, I would have tried out for a football team.

Yet the morning run went well, at almost two miles non-stop. And the high temperature in Columbus reached 72 degrees - quite a change from the chilly forties of last weekend. Going from a turtleneck sweater to a T-shirt and running shorts in one day is creating big gaps in my clothes closet.

The changing temperatures are doing strange things to several small trees in my neighborhood. They're showing spring buds in December, while autumn foliage remains on some limbs. These trees obviously are confused - so where are the "tree whisperers" to offer psychological help, like the ones for horses?

One of the evening TV newscasts considered the 72-degree day a big enough deal for a full report. But then the weather "record book" showed Columbus hit a record high for the date of 77 only two years before. It's almost enough to start a "hide the decline" climate change protest march.

But that same weather report also showed one year before that, Columbus had a record morning low of 22 degrees. The on-call photographer shooting beauty pictures for the Chamber of Commerce probably didn't get a check for that day....

This simply shows how volatile the weather can be in Columbus during December. Today's high is expected to be much cooler, in the mid-fifties -- and the Saturday forecast is for 45 degrees with rain. In other words, it's a perfect week for trying on all your clothes to see which ones are ready to donate to charity.

By the way, Columbus Metro Airport had 0.74 inches of rain from the overnight storm. We're now about two inches away from the wettest year in recorded history - so much rain that WRBL's Bob Jeswald finally has stopped using the phrase "long-term drought."

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

E-MAIL UPDATE: I was overdue to get slapped on the wrist - and the title of Tuesday's entry led to one....

Richard, I'm surprised at you. You obviously knew of the Doll family tragedy yet still thought "Doll Brawl" was an appropriate headliner. The stunning lack of compassion by some folks in this town leaves me d**n near speechless. Do you think the death of a child warrants a bit more sympathy? I want Rob Doll and his family to know that people are praying for them, people they had no idea even cared.


My apologies for causing any offense. I didn't realize why Rob Doll missed the bankruptcy court hearing until WRBL's 11:00 p.m. news explained it. After hearing that, I considered changing topics -- but instead made an effort to focus on the court fight over the car dealership. And I suppose it would have been more alliterative to call it a "Demolition Derby."

Since that case has been continued, we'll continue on to some other Wednesday news:

+ A Muscogee County judge rejected a motion to stop the execution of Carlton Gary. Attorney Jack Martin said he found untested items in a police property room last week - but judge Robert Johnston ruled Martin examined all the items in that room in 2001, and never asked for DNA testing. Gary's next "last-ditch" appeal could be based on incompetent legal counsel.

+ The Columbus Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce held its annual leadership breakfast. But the big surprise came hours later, when WTVM aired part of an interview with Dee Armstrong. The former news anchor's soundbite included the phrase: "He who has the money has the power...." Somehow, I think Armstrong knew that before she sued WTVM claiming discrimination.

+ WRBL reported more public tours of the Kia plant will be offered in January, because Kia is overbooked through the end of the month. We thought West Point simply was getting a big industrial boost - but now it has Columbus's closest thing to a theme park.

+ Columbus resident Lawrence Brooks received a $500,000 check from the Georgia Lottery. Brooks won an Atlanta Falcons scratch-off game -- and probably won more money than Troy Bergeron is making by jumping on and off the Falcons' practice squad.

(Brooks told WTVM the half-million dollar windfall won't change him. He plans to retire in a few years -- but he does want to buy a new truck. With all that money, he could have the nicest 18-wheeler this side of The Wagoners.)

+ The "Budweiser Clydesdale" horses appeared at Callaway Gardens. Isn't it a little early to start promoting next year's Steeplechase?

+ Troy Public Radio's "Community Focus" had guests from the Montgomery Zoo -- including a guest hedgehog. Is it really a good idea to take animals to a radio station to show off? If the audience can't see them, we can't appreciate the damage and mess they can make.

+ The University of Alabama Faculty Senate passed a resolution opposing the postponed start of spring semester, due to the Bowl Championship Series title game. C'mon, you math professors - when was the last time all your students had perfect scores throughout a semester?

+ Roundball Night in Dixieland (tm) saw the Georgia men lose to St. John's 66-56. The Bulldogs played at New York's Madison Square Garden - so at least the players can say they probably stood a few miles from the Heisman Trophy.

+ Instant Message to the Columbus Salvation Army: The Toys for Tots campaign may be on to something. At Goo Goo car washes Wednesday, the donations were guarded by U.S. Marines.

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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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