Monday, August 16, 2010

16 AUG 10: The Blob of Columbus

The Columbus area received plenty of helpful rain Sunday. But you have to admit our hot dry summer has been perfect for local road crews. Highway 280 in Phenix City has nightly lane closings for repaving. Too bad the bidding didn't include any money for police -- because turning on and off access roads is even more awkward than normal.

One of the big paving projects in Columbus this summer has been Veterans Parkway - but drivers may have noticed something unusual in recent days. Someone left a bright yellow blob in the middle of the intersection, at 19th and Veterans. The road crew has moved on, so hopefully you won't mind looking at that until next fiscal year.

What could have happened to put that large blob in the intersection -- much less a "comet trail" extending down a southbound lane? There are no yellow markings at 19th and Veterans Parkway for crosswalks. This is a lighter shade of yellow, anyway - almost like someone was delivering ink to the Post-It note factory.

With no word from city officials about how the blob might have developed, we are left to guess. I've developed my own set of theories for the yellow blob. Perhaps you can offer some others....

1. A Georgia Tech fan tried to cross the street, as a driver who supports the University of Georgia approached.

2. A delivery truck loaded with butter didn't quite make it to Ruth Ann's Restaurant.

3. YellaFella asked to be dropped off there - with Lemondrop his horse.

4. Someone collected pine pollen in April to see what would happen when summer heat came - and amazingly, it melted.

5. A churchgoing mother realized after one sip she'd bought "hard lemonade" at a store by mistake.

6. It's some kind of strange new publicity stunt for advertising in YellowBook.

7. Oxbow Meadows wanted to add a display of canaries - but someone left the pickup truck gate down.

8. A Boston Celtics fan encountered a Los Angeles Lakers fan (see #1).

There's one last thought about that bright yellow blob - although it seems like a risky thing to do. Perhaps a Columbus State University instructor spilled paint in the intersection on purpose. Repainting Veterans Parkway asphalt gray could be the most unusual project freshman arts students ever receive.

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BLOG UPDATE: Columbus Northern learned Sunday which team it will face first in the Little League World Series. A club from Waipahu, Hawaii won the West Regional. Uh-oh - that means Northern can't claim any heat and humidity advantage next Saturday.

There's one big difference between this year's Little League World Series and the one Northern captured four years ago. The tournament is now double elimination, as opposed to round-robin pool play. That should eliminate something else from 2006 -- the sight of upset mothers accusing Manager Randy Morris of fixing games [23 Aug 06].

As the countdown to Williamsport went on, so did some news on Sunday....

+ A warm welcome home to the Third Brigade! The first wave of soldiers from Iraq arrived at Fort Benning around 2:00 a.m. And then you wonder why Columbus South Inc. wants more 24-hour family restaurants on Victory Drive?!

+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported the Medical Center Hospital Authority is refusing to pay more than six million dollars in property taxes. The Hospital Authority claims the Spring Harbor at Green Island retirement community should be tax-exempt. Tax Commissioner Lula Huff doesn't think it qualifies. And if an apartment there really costs $116,000, it probably belongs in Atlanta anyway.

(The newspaper article amazingly didn't name the person who's made Spring Garden a big issue in recent weeks. Columbus mayoral candidate Paul Olson claims a Columbus Regional bond issue for the retirement community is illegal. If Olson is elected, Martin Army Hospital might be the only hospital willing to care for him.)

+ A section of U.S. 29 in West Point officially was named the Millard Fuller Memorial Highway, after the founder of Habitat for Humanity. The first driver to have a ladder fall off his truck onto the highway will be allowed to take the ladder as a tax deduction to charity.

+ Squirrel hunting season opened across Georgia. From now until next February, you can bag as many as 12 squirrels per day. But please, I beg of you - do NOT veer your car into my lane of traffic to hit them.

+ Instant Message to the organizers of a Columbus "Pink Party" in October: Ohhhhh - it's an event for cancer survivors. If you had held auditions last weekend, I might have thought it was a campaign event with Karen Handel and Sarah Palin.

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