Sunday, February 14, 2010

14 FEB 10: Shut This City Down?

Columbus lived up to one of its nicknames Saturday. Dripping snow from roofs certainly made it look like a "Fountain City"....

But you needed a freezer and quick action to collect some snow, and fulfill "What Progress Has Preserved."

SNOWJAM 2010 marked the closest I've come to bringing the extra-large snow shovel out of my closet in Columbus. The sidewalk outside my door had a light coating of ice late Friday afternoon. But if I didn't slip anywhere on my trip, the shovel doesn't need my winter gloves' grip.

How much snow fell during SnowJam 2010? I determined that late Friday afternoon by pulling out the Official Blog Snow Measuring Device. And I'd like to thank Columbus Fire/EMS for handing out free rulers at public events....

The Official Blog Snow Measuring Device measured two inches in my corner of the Historic District. WRBL found three inches outside McClung Memorial Stadium. And employees at the Buck Ice plant probably never noticed anything unusual.

The church I attend canceled the weekend worship service Friday afternoon - even though the service wasn't scheduled until Saturday afternoon. By that time, most of the snow had melted and the streets appeared dry. Maybe next weekend's sermon should be about unwavering faith....

I only had one necessary trip to take during SnowJam 2010. Peachtree Mall went ahead with a two-day promotion, offering ten-dollar gift cards to its Club members. Mall merchants couldn't afford to be closed by snow or ice - not when there was plenty of "diamond ice" to sell for today.

A few people were in line at mall opening time, picking up gift cards before the weather turned bad. A couple of them had a scheduled day off from Muscogee County Schools - and they didn't really need to receive phone calls before sunrise, telling them they could sleep in.

Two women told me the first notification from Muscogee County Schools of an off day came at 6:00 a.m. Friday. Then a follow-up call came at 7:40 a.m. Yet the "Winter Break" day was scheduled months ago - so this was one time when they really wanted to be Dis-Connect-ED.

The wait was about 25 minutes to claim my gift card -- but I didn't spend it right away. Instead I speed-walked two laps around Peachtree Mall, then headed home. My kitchen had enough bread and milk to get by. But I was a little disappointed to find Golden Donuts was NOT giving away two-for-one donuts, because it actually was staying open.

The snow was stronger as I drove home, but not sticking to anything. The buildup started during the afternoon - at least in terms of snow on the roof and the lawn. I didn't want to be part of any traffic buildups from crashing drivers.

METRA apparently was concerned about a SnowJam 2010 traffic jam as well. It suspended bus service Friday at 3:30 p.m. - even though most buses travel so slowly that a sideways skid would teach all the wild drivers to be careful.

WRBL reported Columbus Airport canceled all Friday flights due to SnowJam 2010. But then, "all" meant three departures and four arrivals. That's barely enough passengers to put on a snowball fight to clear the tarmac.

The Columbus Cottonmouths were hundreds of miles away from home, yet still had to endure SnowJam 2010. Coach Jerome Bechard told the WRCG pre-game show Saturday night the bus ride through snow from Knoxville to Fayetteville, North Carolina was safe, except things were "a bit hairy around Winston-Salem." Too many NASCAR wanna-bes, I assume....

Yet not everyone panicked and canceled activities for SnowJam 2010. A Liberty Theatre performer tells me Friday night's premiere of "Words" went on as scheduled, and had an audience. It helps when your theatre is in a neighborhood with no hills for skidding.

SnowJam 2010 created this interesting site at the west end of South Commons -- with snow falling around budding trees. The trees apparently listened to the global warming scientists, even if the clouds didn't....

WTVM's noon news warned viewers to have a three-day supply of provisions ready for snowy weather. Three days - in Columbus?! That might make sense for deer hunters in the woods, but not for ordinary residents.

Despite Saturday's big melt, Columbus now has had measurable snow two winters in a row - and the Saturday night forecast warned more flurries are possible Monday morning. Get that new South Commons ice rink built, and we might be ready to bid for the Winter Olympics.

E-MAIL UPDATE: I wonder if it ever snows in New Delhi, India. Here's why I ask....

TSYS tells its employees to shut down facebook group!!!

rgds/Veeresh Malik

Veeresh attached what appears to be an internal e-mail, saying the TSYS "Head Office" is banning the operation of any social networking sites using the corporate name. Yet a Facebook search Saturday night found at least five of them. The TSYS Europe group is described as "just for fun -- totally pointless." I assume the members compete to gain the most animals in Farmville.

But what is this I see on Facebook - a "TSYS Worldwide Social Group" with a contact person named Veeresh Malik? His "Horn Please" blog is aptly named. We're about ready to sound the final horn, and stop him from attempting future self-promotions here.

-> Our effort to "spread the word" at the poker table has some opposition. See what we mean at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: A change indeed occurred in Columbus FM radio Saturday - but so far the change is small. WSTH-FM returned to the nickname "South 106.1," giving up "Rooster 106." I don't know if the last song before the change was, "Go Tell Aunt Rhody/The old gray goose is dead."

The music on South 106.1 was still country Saturday night. But in a hint more changes are coming, the WSTH web site removed all the blogs of its on-air staff. At least you still can click on "photos" and see Rob Carter get assaulted by a dog -- as if dogs know real guys don't wear pink Snuggies.

We'll keep checking for updates, as The South 106 rises again. Now for other things that happened while you marveled at the snow....

+ PMB Broadcasting confirmed what we reported Friday - the rock band ZZ Top will perform at the Columbus Civic Center. The concert will be 5 May, as in Cinco de Mayo. So this could mean the old Fiesta Columbus is morphing into Tex-Mex week.

+ Alabama anti-gambling task force Commander John Tyson declared Victoryland may have more than 20,000 gaming machines. A Victoryland attorney responded that estimate is too high -- but he stopped short of setting an "over-under" line for news reporters covering the story.

+ The MARTA service in Atlanta announced it would change the name of its "yellow" rail line to "gold." An Asian-American ethnic community living along that line complained about the name. In related news, the NAACP may boycott the next meteorologist who refers to snow as "white stuff."

(Hmmmm - does this explain why we've never heard about sales of YellaWood in China?)

+ Columbus native Frank Thomas retired from baseball. By that, I mean he made an official announcement - since all 30 major league teams actually retired Thomas last season, by not putting him on their rosters.

(The Chicago White Sox plan to retire Frank Thomas's number 35 - but the ceremony won't be until late August. All it could take are a few key injuries for Thomas to become the baseball equivalent of Brett Favre.)

+ Roundball Saturday Night (tm) saw Mississippi State's men mangle Auburn 85-75 in overtime. The Tigers scored only one point in the five-minute extra period. Coach Jeff Lebo should have reminded the team it's called O-T, as in offense.

+ Instant Message to Burger King on Buena Vista Road: Talk about a surprise! I walked inside during the dinner hour Saturday evening, and there was no wait at all for my food. Maybe if you had a special Valentine's Day menu....

SCHEDULED THIS WEEK: A guest blogger for President's Day.... and e-mail about a local college president....

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