Friday, September 03, 2010

3 SEP 10: If Looks Could Kill

Sometimes the things you see can be deceiving. Things which look good can be bad. Things which look bad actually can be good. And those extra-large hamburgers we ate a few weeks ago.... well, they probably depend on whose eyes are looking at them.

A couple of Thursday news items reminded me of the importance of close examinations. Hyundai-Kia announced what seems to be the first recall of cars made at the West Point plant. This looked like the perfect revival of a troubled town near Columbus. But you know what the Better Business Bureau says -- if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

More than 11,000 2011 Kia Sorentos are being recalled because wiring systems for the interior lights were not soldered properly. This is what happens when you have new production workers, who might not read every Korean word properly....

(A short in the wiring could cause some EX model Sorentos to catch fire. And if that happens, customers would assume those letters are shorthand for extinguisher.)

To be fair: the recall also includes nearly 24,000 Kia Souls which were made in Asia. So the West Point workers might not be to blame for the wiring problem. An exact source of trouble can be hard to find with today's cars - even harder than at the Columbus Parks Department.

(Which reminds me - how many candidates in this year's Georgia election are driving Georgia-made Kias? I'd better not hear any of them say they're waiting for a peach-colored Sorento....)

Thursday's recall announcement does NOT mention anyone being burned or injured by the Kia wiring problems. So please, you cynics - do NOT start rumors the Kia name stands for "killed in action."

While the Sorentos are nice-looking cars with hidden flaws, a Harris County woman faced a very different situation. Tori Lassiter says she was told she had counterfeit money - when in reality she did not. The bills simply were old-fashioned "greenbacks." Green, with no other added colors....

Toni Lassiter told WTVM she received the questionable 20-dollar bills when she cashed her paycheck at a store. A restaurant considered them bogus - but Columbus police detectives determined they were real bills from as far back as 1934. People had told me Columbus has lots of "old money," but now we have proof.

I've heard people say you can spot a phony 20-dollar bill by intently studying a real one. But the evening news offered another test: rubbing a bill on something, to see if ink comes off. One article takes issue with the accuracy of that approach -- which means the reporter may have been given counterfeit information.

-> Our recent poker tournaments have been challenging, in ways other than the game. Read about them at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: The Nathan Deal campaign tried to shut up his opponent posted tax return information online Thursday. They go back 29 years, topping the 25 years of returns posted by Roy Barnes's campaign. So now you can compare the "same old" against the "same older."

We did for Nathan Deal's tax records what we did the other day for Roy Barnes. We checked the 1987 return, and found Deal's adjusted gross income was around $102,000. But the campaign website does NOT include supporting schedules, for things such as itemized deductions and farm income - again showing Deal supports less government paperwork.

Meanwhile, the four candidates for Columbus mayor gathered again for another televised forum Thursday night. At least this time, the station which showed the forum mentioned it during the late-night newscast. But no one apparently said a newsworthy soundbite during the hour, so I must not have missed much.

Let's see what else you might have missed, from the Thursday news....

+ Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley said a car driven by the alleged "Columbus High flasher" was traced to Clayton County. The man doing this had better be careful - because the school softball team is armed with metal bats, and volleyball servers know how to use their fists.

+ Columbus city officials announced the "Fort Benning gateway" interchange at Interstate 185 and Victory Drive will receive almost $900,000 in federal stimulus money. How many more tanks do they need to buy, to park along the side of the highway?

+ United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley held what President Scott Ferguson called the largest campaign kickoff luncheon in the U.S. About 1,100 people attended the luncheon at the Trade Center - which might have made it the least crowded day of the year to dine at Minnie's Uptown Restaurant down the street.

(This year's local United Way goal is $6.5 million - which actually is less than the amount raised last year. They're clearly not budgeting for BRAC, and may expect the economic recovery to drop like a brick.)

+ Lamar County lashed Spencer in high school football 32-8. At least this week, Spencer found an opponent which showed a little compassion....

+ Georgia State University launched a new college football program by shutting down Shorter 41-7. Two Columbus TV stations sent their sports reporters to the Georgia Dome for this game - which must mean Georgia State paid their way, because hardly any alumni live around here.

(The announced crowd at the Georgia Dome was 30,237, for second-division college football. By comparison, Atlanta's big-league baseball team drew 24,895 at Turner Field. Sports fans apparently prefer an undefeated team -- even one that's never played a game before.)

+ Instant Message to Chick-Fil-A: Hmmmm - no sandwich giveaway this coming Monday? No special deals this year for wearing college sportswear? You must have given away more spicy chicken sandwiches earlier this year than I realized - and burned a hole in your budget.

SCHEDULED NEXT WEEK: This blog attempts to cash in on all the political spending....

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