Monday, May 10, 2010

10 MAY 10: Bready or Not

So how was your Mother's Day? My older brother tells me his wife received a new fountain, installed outside their home. I'm not sure that gift would work well in Columbus - since Mom might say, "Those sorts of things are all over town."

Restaurants were open early and probably packed for Mother's Day - but I was surprised to find one Columbus business closed. A short drive to a bakery outlet store for bread turned into a 45-minute mess. Maybe I shouldn't do that sort of "loafing" on a Sunday morning anymore....

The first problem occurred on Victory Drive, as a bad-looking collision backed up traffic at the old Welcome Center near Port Columbus. Two cars had serious damage. An ambulance was on the scene. And eventually I counted seven Columbus Police cars -- telling me many of the newly-hired officers are stuck on weekend duty.

Traffic was backed up for several minutes, as only one eastbound lane was open. But when I worked my way through and turned left into the Dolly Madison bakery outlet, the second problem happened. The bread store was closed for Mother's Day. I suppose that settles one question about the female employees there....

I'm come to rely on bread stores for the best price on whole wheat bread - but these days, "best" is a relative term. The last time I stopped at Dolly Madison, two loaves cost three dollars. Only five years ago, a loaf sold for 89 cents. Maybe millions of baby boomers are starting to take their health seriously after all.

With Dolly Madison closed, I was left with several unpleasant options. Go to one of the two open supermarkets in Columbus South on a Sunday morning, or drive home and forget about having toast with breakfast Monday morning. That's what happens when you're busy writing a second blog - and your idea of Sunday work consists of trying to win online poker money.

I knew from Zaneta Lowe's consumer reports that Piggly Wiggly tends to have the lowest prices overall. But on this day, I decided to give Winn-Dixie a try. It's a good thing I was merely shopping for bread, because two-liter bottles of Chex soda there now cost one dollar. Forget the "Dixie" controversy - this store hardly ever wins.

I reluctantly settled for one loaf of Winn-Dixie whole wheat bread for $1.79. Sad to say, some famous-brand loaves can cost $2.99 nowadays. And I've avoided the low-priced "white bread" loaves for decades. As one pastor in Oklahoma once explained, "It's called Wonder Bread - and the wonder is that it's bread."

Then came the surprise which actually made the supermarket trip worthwhile: two packages of Winn-Dixie store-brand chocolate chip cookies for $2.99. That may not be a need for you, but.... well, uh.... you can't go running in the morning without some fuel in the tank from the night before.

So there you have it - a five-dollar trip to the supermarket was the highlight of my Mother's Day. It took me the better part of an hour to buy one loaf of bread in South Columbus. And cookies turned out to be a better value than the bread. If Michelle Obama really wants to take on child obesity, maybe she needs to visit bakeries and give some lectures.

E-MAIL UPDATE: First came Thursday's rant against local budget proposals, both by the city and school board. Then came Sunday's claim that the Columbus Tea Party reunion in April had a "Cross Dresser emcee." And now....

The cross dresser is the cutie in the video, wearing the black dress and big wig.

We left an e-mail message with the Columbus Tea Party Sunday evening, hoping to get to the bottom of this. There's no response so far. But for now, I'm going to give the woman in the video the benefit of the doubt -- keeping in mind this IS the South, where big hair still happens from time to time.

We also have an update today from our reader in India, who is pursuing a race discrimination complaint against TSYS. Veeresh Malik offered to send us complete folders from India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs. We asked him to point us to new details specifically pertaining to Columbus and a humor blog. Malik replied....

Hokay, will do - this one was about Tomlinson's comment [22 Apr] on "our freidns KPMG as auditors" . . . in context with ISPL and CardTech (both known with the suffix "a TSYS company" each here in India) the audits done by PMG are:-

a) On accounts not passed for audit by the regular auditors in India. Main reasons:- pending issues as well as transfer pricing irregularities.

b) The simple fact that KPMG are not legally entitled to practice wrt accounts and audits in India (broadly to do with bilateral issues pertaining to the same, Indian Law and CA firms are not allowed to practic in the US . . . )

The humpour, therefore, to do with the "our friends KPMG" comment, as applied to India.


OK, there you go. Those of you with M.B.A. degrees probably understood his humor. Now who would like to reduce it to lowest terms for the rest of us?

Veeresh Malik also directed us to a new Arizona investment business, which appears to be run by former TSYS Acquiring Solutions President Robert Philbin. If it's called Loose Change Investments, I'm assuming it will specialize in "penny stocks."

Let's see what else had our attention Sunday....

+ WTVM showed a smoldering car in the parking lot of the midtown Red Lobster. The engine apparently caught fire while a customer was dining - which is strange, because I didn't think Red Lobster served fajitas.

+ Tar balls began landing on the Alabama coast, resulting from the BP oil rig disaster. If you're heading there on vacation, it's BYOB - bring your own bucket or barrel.

+ Columbus State came from behind to win the Peach Belt Conference baseball tournament. The Cougars edged Georgia Southwestern in the final game 6-5 - fighting off "Hurricanes" every bit as well as Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel.

(Yet Columbus State will have to go on the road for the NCAA regional tournament -- playing at Francis Marion, which had a worse record in the conference and the overall season. Maybe the NCAA office decided two ignored tournaments at South Commons were a couple too many.)

+ Instant Message to all candidates for statewide office in Alabama: What gives? We're three weeks from the primary, and I don't think any of you have commercials on Columbus TV or radio. Are you waiting for Jimmy Wetzel to issue an endorsement list or something?

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