Wednesday, April 21, 2010

21 APR 10: Starting With a Bang

It was about 8:55 a.m. ET when Tuesday's morning run began. I really should have run later in the day - around 1:00 p.m. That's when a rainstorm soaked me, while I was outside. But trying to jog home from the convenience store while holding a 32-ounce cup of diet soda simply is too awkward for me.

The morning running course took me down the Riverwalk, between Golden Park and the Civic Center. And that's when I heard them - two noises echoing off the trees on the Phenix City side of the Chattahoochee. Compared with fireworks nights, the reverberations weren't very loud at all. For all I knew, they could have marked the shotgun start of an Oxbow Creek golf tournament.

It wasn't until two hours later that I learned what those noises were. Two sonic booms echoed across Columbus, because the space shuttle Discovery was returning to Earth and landing in Florida. The booms were heard across a wide area of the Southeast - anything to gain popular support for full funding of NASA.

One online comment I read indicated the sonic booms "shook the walls" at Columbus Technical College. Hmmmm - come to think of it, do they offer courses in soundproofing rooms?

Discovery's landing was postponed a day due to weather problems. The Mass Media provided some warning that the space shuttle might fly over Columbus Monday. But I guess I missed the warnings about Tuesday's flyover. And if the Space Science Center didn't hold a special breakfast watch party, with free ear plugs....

People who didn't know better probably never would have guessed a space shuttle flew over Columbus. It would be more logical to blame those two sonic booms on other things:

+ A typical live-fire exercise at Fort Benning -- only with the government of Micronesia quickly surrendering.

+ The "Boom Boom Lady" at Fireworks Outlet winning a bet over the "Bang Bang Lady."

+ A Sonic Drive-In serving its one-millionth Columbus customer.

+ Middle school students trying out the Port Columbus museum cannons, then claiming the ghosts did it.

+ WRCG finally holding the grand opening party for "Boomer 106.9" FM.

+ Columbus Cottonmouths Coach Jerome "Boom Boom" Bechard having a farewell party.

+ Columbus Police finally using its ultimate top-secret "crime prevention" tool -- a tank.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you may not expect. Visitors from around the world read "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG CORRECTION: Oh dear - we may have too much election-year fever. This e-mail came early Tuesday....

According to your blog today, you have written, As it is, McDaniel is up for re-election this year. That is not accurate. McDaniel's term end in 2012. Believe me, I am on top of that date. You might want to change your blog.

Jeremy S Hobbs

Chairman and Founder

The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation, Inc.

Yes, Hobbs ought to know -- because he plans to challenge Red McDaniel for his Columbus Council seat. And he can't raise money for a 2010 campaign right now, since he's too busy raising money to save his foundation.

Yet this correction raises a question. Why would Red McDaniel care about delaying a Columbus Council vote on higher garbage fees until after the November election? Is McDaniel offering this to protect other Councilors, who actually will be on the ballot? After all, Mike Baker has to start speaking up for himself sooner or later....

Meanwhile, Auburn Mayor Bill Ham announced Tuesday he'll run for a fourth term. I assume he's the favorite - since it's awfully hard to persuade Southerners to give up their Ham.

Now that I've learned my lesson in consulting the city election web sites first, let's check a Tuesday with plenty of other topics:

+ Kris Kennedy was named Phenix City's first female fire chief. She'll keep the Fire Marshal title as well for now - and we hope the combined positions will provide Kennedy enough income to celebrate at a more upscale hair salon.

(City Manager Wallace Hunter is giving up the Fire Chief position, but he told firefighters he'll remain "just a phone call away." You'll recall the Phenix City School Superintendent learned that lesson the hard way one night last year....)

+ Three inmates escaped from the Harris County Jail, stole a county commissioner's car - and according to WRBL, someone left blood stains on clothing at a Columbus dry cleaners. If that's not enough, the three didn't leave any instructions on how much starch to use on their jail uniforms.

+ Phenix City Police told WRBL a burglar stole jewelry and electronics from the Kmart on U.S. 280. If he was trying to avoid the store's "blue light specials," he might face a very different one....

+ The Columbus State University Faculty Senate began a two-day "no confidence" vote on the President and Provost. The Ledger-Enquirer's web site reported President Timothy Mescon voted on this question - but no journalist was there to ask whether or not he's confident about the outcome.

+ Aflac's web site was nominated for a Webby Award. It could be named the top site for insurance services - as long as Flo from Progressive doesn't scare the duck away with that price gun.

+ The Georgia Public Service Commission approved a request from AT&T to end annual home delivery of Columbus phone books. Schools which earned money recycling those books are going to be upset. But at least no one can blame AT&T anymore, for shredding books to cause all that yellow dust in the spring.

+ WTVM/WXTX news anchor Jason Dennis revealed online his News at Ten co-anchor Semone Doughton is engaged. It's a sign of changing times in Columbus that he had to post a clarification later -- explaining Doughton is NOT engaged to Cheryl Renee. [True!]

+ Chattahoochee Valley Community College won its 20th baseball game in a row, edging Andrew 6-4. For those of you knew to the area, Andrew College is located in Cuthbert - and its team nickname is NOT the Wittenbergs.

+ The Atlanta Hawks took a two-game lead in their first-round playoff series, mashing Milwaukee 96-86. For some reason, WIOL/WEAM-AM did NOT carry the Hawks radio broadcast. C'mon, guys - Steve Holman probably won't start whining about the officiating until the second round.

+ Instant Message to WRBL's Phil Scoggins: I saw your old videotape of a Columbus Astros game Tuesday night - but what was that mascot on the third-base line? It looked like a duck. And if it was, the Amos family at Aflac should have paid team owner Dayton Preston a nice royalty check.

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