Tuesday, May 17, 2011

17 MAY 11: Take a Bow

Columbus sits within a one-hour drive of Lake Eufaula - yet for some reason, neither Columbus nor Eufaula have a Bass Pro Shop. It's as if all the "Bass Masters" fly to Montgomery, and no one's told them Tom Mann's Fish World along U.S. 431 has closed.

But the Columbus area now has something for sportsmen that's one-of-a-kind. It's.... well, wait a minute. It's also for women. The more generic phrase these days is "outdoors enthusiasts." But the main selling point of this attraction is indoors, not outdoors. See what the Columbus Lions started, by holding outdoor practice sessions?

But I digress: Phenix City now claims to have the largest indoor archery course on Earth. The ribbon was cut Monday for an expanded Archery Connection on Lakewood Drive. Hopefully no one will shoot too far off-course, and hit one of the geese waddling around Moon Lake.

WTVM reports the new Archery Connection has 30,000 square feet of space. I assume it's set up similar to the new Columbus Ice Rink -- and its pro shop had better sell Arrow shirts.

(By comparison, the smallest Bass Pro Shop covers about 42,000 square feet. Those shops have their own archery department - which can come in handy if you're on one of those rivers where the fish jump over your boat.)

Archery Connection's new home offers several interesting features. Admittedly a few of them are new to me....

+ Video archery. That one is really no surprise. If they can make a game called "Grand Theft Auto," why not one with Robin Hood stealing bags of loot?

+ The "Indoor 3-D." Hopefully you can bring your own funny glasses to watch that.

+ The "35/20 Yard." I guess this is larger than the exercise area at Rutledge State Prison - the 10-to-20 yard.

Archery Connection will have a three-day grand opening this weekend, when visitors can try all these features for free. There was no word Monday on whether an appropriate celebrity guest would appear - former Atlanta Falcons quarterback David Archer.

The naysayers about Phenix City development ought to rejoice at this new facility - especially if it will draw visitors from far and wide for tournaments. But perhaps this new archery complex led to the unconfirmed rumors about Phenix City getting its own Target.

But think about the selling point this will provide for tourists. Fort Benning has a range for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Phenix City now has a state-of-the-art archery facility. Now all Columbus needs is an organized darts tour at bars.

THE BIG BLOG QUESTION about Columbus public safety may have gained the attention of the mayor. Teresa Pike Tomlinson announced Monday she's seeking an independent assessment of whether the Muscogee County Marshal's Office should be consolidated with the Sheriff's Office. That certainly beats having it settled with a gunfight on Tenth Street at high noon.

A statement from the mayor said the future of the Marshal's Office should be based "on the facts and data, and less on emotion and politics." Of course -- the same way last year's audit of the Parks and Recreation Department turned out....

Mayor Tomlinson estimates an outside assessment of possible cost savings from consolidation could cost $60,000. But Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr admitted the savings from a merger with the Marshal's Office "could be negligible." So this is a bit like a Columbus couple driving to Atlanta or Macon for marriage counseling.

-> Monday night was our best night in local live poker in months. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: Our apologies for a coding error, which kept our "write me" link turned off for the last few days. It should now be fixed -- but a reader who noticed that was able to write us about Monday's topic, anyway....

Hmmm, no email link this time? Afraid of the consequences? :-)

At any rate, I read a number of years ago in Dear Abbey that multiples of a particular product are considered one item. Otherwise, how would you count a 12 pack? 1 or 12?

It took me a while to find a reference, but here you go at Redlands Daily Facts.... where we are told that "Multiple identical items count as a single item, because we scan in just one of them, then hit a number key."

All in all, though, express lanes are basically a waste of time. They rarely work out faster than one of those self-checkout lanes, and too many stores do not allow their cashiers to police the number of items anyhow. So, what's the point of having them if they are not willing to enforce the limit?

Take Care,


The young man in front of me at Wal-Mart the other night seemed to think there would be a single scan. It didn't turn out that way, as the cashier seemed to scan all 26 bottles. Perhaps she was concerned the managers would be Similac Hyper-Sensitive.

This weekend incident finally may explain why you don't see "express lanes" at Piggly Wiggly stores. The managers may have decided no one will pay attention to the item limits. But that raises another question - if diapers are on sale this weekend and the ad says "limit four," can I buy eight if I have twin babies?

Let's see if we can take the "fast lane" approach to other Monday news:

CORRECTED: + The Muscogee County School Board rejected a proposal to have a second "celebration" for some 2011 high school graduates this summer. WRBL reported more than 100 seniors will NOT be allowed to walk across the Civic Center stage to get diplomas, because they failed state graduation tests. Maybe the parents can arrange victory slides across the Ice Rink.

+ Promoters of an online high school called Provost Academy held introductory meetings at the Mildred Terry Branch Library. Some parents say they'd rather have their children take classes online because of the risk of bullying. I suspect those children also cannot recite one line from a rap song.

+ WLTZ reported Liberty Bell Pool at F.D.R. State Park will remain closed this summer, for the second time in three years. This time private funding was offered to operate the pool, but it wasn't enough to cover all the costs. How big is this pool, anyway - if it requires so much in liquid assets?

+ The owner of LaGrange's WCAG TV-33 was charged with 30 counts of child pornography. If the charges against Peter Mallory are true, they're sad and sickening - and they leave me wondering what his station showed at 2:30 a.m.

+ Instant Message to Big Lots at The Landings: The box at the front counter says "Wii Competition" on it. Your sign says "Wii Compition." I hope your employees aren't testing discount reading glasses, before they go on sale.

SCHEDULED WEDNESDAY: New details about "Judgment Day" you may not read anywhere else....

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