Friday, December 31, 2010

31 DEC 10: Knowledge Shall Be Increased

A magazine article I read last summer said the world's total amount of knowledge is doubling every two to three years. And amazingly, this was before Wikileaks began revealing all those classified government documents.

I'm not sure my personal storehouse of knowledge doubled. But as we've done for several years, it's time to list 25 things I did NOT know a year ago. Some of these items could be news to you, too....

1. Columbus city employees can ask you to "voluntarily close" your business. And with all the new police officers, it's probably a good idea to agree to it.

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: We now can confirm Golden Corral on Manchester Expressway was asked by a city health inspector to "voluntarily close" 7 December. The first report we had of a "drainage problem" was wrong - it was more like a dead roach problem.

Your blog obtained a copy of the 7 December inspection report on Golden Corral Thursday, after making an Open Records Request. Why did it show a score of 55? Well, the phrase "dead roach" appears in it twice - and even worse, the inspector "observed live roaches on floor in customer self-service buffet area." Those were NOT chopped black olives rolling around down there....

The claim by a Golden Corral employee of a boiler problem [14 Dec] actually may be true, as the inspector noted water in the dishwasher didn't meet a minimum of 140 degrees F. But the report says that problem was "corrected on-site." There was no reason to shut down for that. A lack of bathroom signs reminding employees to wash their hands may have been.

The 7 December inspection found Golden Corral out of compliance in ten different areas -- from insects to a lack of hand washing. There even was a penalty for not having a "person in charge present, demonstrates knowledge, and performs duties." This tells me no Fort Benning soldiers were hired after Military Appreciation Night.

The good news is that Golden Corral's latest inspection shows a score of 94. It was taken one day after the shutdown, and no roaches were noticed at all. But there was still an unsealed "open bag of sugar" - and this was during the first December cold wave, when there shouldn't have been a rush for sweet tea.

2. The Muscogee County court system has prepared for base realignment by hiring more staff members. I thought we were getting new military families - not tens of thousands of criminals.

Columbus Councilor Skip Henderson told WTVM Thursday not only are more court assistants being hired, but Chief Judge John Allen wants another judge position approved for the Chattahoochee Circuit. This strikes me more as a reaction to the 100 new police officers than BRAC - unless they suspect transfers are smuggling gold bars out of Fort Knox.

3. Peachtree Mall still has a game room. Only these days, the enemy warships you can destroy are much larger.

My recent walking around the mall has introduced me to Elite Zone - a business where you can sit in comfortable chairs and play video games on large flat-screen TV's. It's quite a change from game rooms of the 1990s, which made you stand to play Ms. Pac-Man. If you still prefer that approach, there's always Chuck E. Cheese.

The prices at Elite Zone also are a big step above old game rooms. One recent Sunday video tournament had a 15-dollar entry fee. I guess that beats having pockets weighed down by 20 quarters.

But I have to admit some of the video games and tournaments at Elite Zone have me baffled. For instance, I thought "Halo Reach" was something you did at a church service....

4. Grapefruit juice mixed with salt can relieve a sore or ticklish throat. I'm now waiting for Wendy's to promote this as "Vitamin C-Salt."

You'll never guess who taught me this health trick - Phenix City Councilor Jimmy Wetzel. I called him a few weeks ago about city business, and happened to catch him with his cell phone at a Wal-Mart store. Wetzel told me he was shopping for grapefruit juice for his throat. Now the Phenix City School Board may go out and buy every bottle in town.

5. If you don't smile, you're committing a sin. I may test your holiness level in 2011 by stepping on your toes.

I learned about this sin at a worship service in September. The pastor explained giving is the "flip side" of the Biblical commandment "Thou shalt not steal." And he said people expect you to give them smiles -- thus you're sinning if you don't. So when I die, I hope the funeral director bends my lips properly. My eternal destiny could depend on it.

OK, enough of the long explanations - let's finish this list of things I didn't know:

6. "Knocking and dragging" is a way to get voters to the polls in a mayoral runoff. It is NOT how you clean a computer mouse.

7. Tuscaloosa, Alabama is the home of the Insurance Hall of Fame.-- yet so far, no one from the Amos family has been inducted. Doesn't the invention of an Aflac duck count for anything?

8. Georgia is "the Saudi Arabia of pine trees." If Roy Barnes had won the Governor's race, Stewart County residents might have been squeezing pine sap to make gasoline.

9. The Columbus State University mascot is named Cody. By comparison, the official C.S.U. punching bag this past year was President Timothy Mescon.

10. Lake Martin is a "Treasured Alabama Lake." Now that Governor Bob Riley has given it that trial, the days of country music concerts on the water probably are over.

11. Georgia allows students to take physical education classes online. Push the scanner cord into the USB hole. Pull it out. Push, pull, push, pull....

12. The Alabama Farmers Federation isn't afraid to hold a convention in downtown Columbus. But you get the feeling they never expected the new Auburn Arena to be finished this year.

13. Incoming Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is entitled to a state car with a driver. The way Governor-Elect Robert Bentley is talking, he may turn that down and ride a bicycle to work.

14. A "cat head" in the South refers to a biscuit. In the North, it refers to the president of an industrial machinery company.

15. Johnny Carino's restaurant is considered part of Peachtree Mall, even though it's not attached. So far, the mall managers don't seem desperate enough to do the same thing with Best Buy.

16. Auburn University spends $27.9 million per year on its football team. But remember, not one penny of that was spent to bring in Cam Newton.

17. The "True Oldies Channel" WRCG radio tried for several months this year actually began in 2004 . So take that, you skeptics - it really WAS a true oldie.

18. Paul Olson doesn't like me very much. Olson chased me out of his Election Night party so quickly, he must have concluded I didn't jog that day.

19. Investigators in Alabama are permitted to lie, in the course of solving crimes. Russell County Sheriff-Elect Heath Taylor said so on the evening news. But then again, are we sure he was telling the truth?

20. Baseball no longer is the U.S. national pastime. Since "Dancing With the Stars" had higher TV ratings than this year's World Series, the new national pastime is ballroom dancing.

21. Muscogee County School Superintendent Susan Andrews dreams of running a produce stand someday. Thanks to that child nutrition bill President Obama signed the other day, her dream could be closer to reality than ever.

22. If you're driving and get caught in a rainstorm, you'll see better if you wear sunglasses. This was passed along to me by e-mail, and it seemed to work when I tried it - but when it's raining, fewer people can focus on how suave I look.

23. Atlanta has a rap music star named Waka Flocka Flame. He arrived about 30 years late, to keep the hockey team from moving to Calgary.

24. The most popular defense attorneys in Columbus are Stacy Jackson and Frank Martin. They show up on the TV news so often that I'm wondering if Gary Bruce has any clients.

25. The most boring day of the last century was a Sunday -- 11 April 1954. Thankfully, I wasn't alive back then to endure that.

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