Free-For-All Friday 12/21/12

Feel free to use this post to make comments and ask questions about local issues not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close on Monday.

140 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 12/21/12”


    1. Well, it’s going to be one of four people:
      Jim Baskett
      Fred Boykin
      Kecia Cunningham
      Patti Garrett
      Anybody here want to set odds on each?
      To me it’s more fun to speculate on who will run for Bill’s seat on the Commission.

              1. A really classy lady such as myself insists on nothing best, Mad Dog 20/20 or nothing at all for me. You know us classy ladies always talk about how classy and rich we are. I have learned this valuable information from a couple of episodes of the Real Housewives.

                1. Now, now. One cannot truly claim to be classy unless one’s Boone’s arm appellation of choice is Strawberry Hill. That is all.

      1. I want the next Mayor to be someone who has the time, energy, and will to do more than just the Council stuff but also be a prominent part of the community like Mayor Floyd, Mayor Wilson, Mayor Mears, and others have been. I want the Mayor to be well-known to all the elementary school students because he/she has been in their classrooms, their skits, their assemblies. I want to see the Mayor walking (or cycling) around our communities to the point that we can recognize him/her from a distance coming and tell our kids “Hey, here comes the Mayor! Come say hi to the Mayor!” I expect to see the Mayor at almost every civic and community event in Decatur whether it be the Book Festival, the Holiday Bonfire, the Fourth of July Parade, Terrific Thursdays, a book signing at Little Shop of Stories, or an open house at a new store. I want him/her to be warm, engaging, friendly, and sociable to the point that it’s a rare citizen of Decatur that does not know him/her. It would help if he/she were tall and easy to recognize above the crowd, like Mayor Floyd, but that’s not as critical.

  1. Unfreaking believable. As someone who is opposed to most gun control laws, I understand the necesseity of some reasonable limitations (we can agree to disagree about what those should be). Republicans have to look no futher than this jerk to figure out why they are losing support among moderates. Does this guy want to go back to the wild west?

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/proposals-would-lift-restrictions-on-carrying-guns/nTcFF/

    1. Though I mostly disagree that fewer gun restrictions would be a good thing, at least this guy’s argument is within the realm of things that that can be debated based on facts, data, etc.
      What I think does far more to the conservative position are those like Mike Huckabee who blame secularism, homosexual marriage, etc. Not only are they reinforcing the idea that conservatives are stupid and out-of-touch with the modern world, they are driving hordes of people away from the mainstream religions they claim to be concerned about the decline in.

      1. Before you slip into unconsciousness
        I’d like to have another kiss
        Another flashing chance at bliss
        Another kiss, another kiss

        The days are bright and filled with pain
        Enclose me in your gentle rain
        The time you ran was too insane
        We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

        Oh tell me where your freedom lies
        The streets are fields that never die
        Deliver me from reasons why
        You’d rather cry, I’d rather fly

        The fiscal cliff is being filled
        A thousand girls, a thousand thrills
        A million ways to spend your time
        When we get back, I’ll drop a line

    1. It’s not a fiscal cliff. There was an excellent op-ed piece in the NYT (last Sunday) that my Google-Fu is failing me to link to. The writer basically said going off the fiscal cliff wouldn’t be the end of the world and might actually be better fiscal policy than what any “grand bargain” is likely to produce. For myself, I would be happy to see defense spending slashed.

      And as for taxes, we have the lowest tax rate in 30 years, yet still people complain they are taxed too heavily. Everyone with any sense knew the “Bush-era tax cuts” were unsupportable in the long run. For me (smack dab in the middle), I think Neil Young sang it best in Hawks and Doves, “Ready to go, willin’ to stay and pay.” (After all, my family just opted into the city of Decatur).

      1. The “lowest tax rate” stuff is true but misleading. Tax rates were much higher in the 70s and 60s, but loopholes were large enough to drive a truck through. For instance, virtually all interest was deductible. So it’s very hard to say what the real effective rates actually were.

        I do agree that the cliff is actually one of the only responsible things Congress has done in a long time, which explains why they were trying to undo it. But you can always count on their sheer incompetence in the end.

  2. What’s the deal with the new blue trash cans I’m seeing on the street? Are they COD issued or the latest must have trash accessory from Lowes or HD? Checked COD site and didn’t see anything.

        1. pretty sure they are the upgraded, paid for recycling can option vs. the free smaller bins….you can call the collection company (latham?) and they will deliver it to your house ….i think they run about $90….

  3. Any suggestions for a good place eat on New Year’s DAY? Just found out my parents and 13 year old niece will be here that day and we want to take them to a nice dinner but it looks like Iberian Pig, 246 and Cakes & Ale are all closed. Doesn’t have to be right in Decatur, but preferably within 20 minutes? Anyone been through this before and have a suggestion?

    1. The last time I tried to dine out on New Year’s Day was an ill-conceived trip to the Colonnade in the early afternoon a couple of years ago. The line was out the door and making several loops around the parking lot.

      1. Ha! Big Tex falls well within my idea of “nice”. Especially the “nice” $6 pitchers of PBR and “nice” $3 Jagers (that I think are supposed to be shorties but somehow end up being full shots thanks to the great bar staff). To my parents, on the other hand…and add in a newly minted “vegetarian” 13 year-old…and we may have to find something “nicer”.

        1. I’m vegetarian and just had a very good vegetable plate at Big Tex last weekend. Also saw they have a black bean burger and portobello sandwich on the menu. It’s rare I have three non-salad items to choose from.

      1. Oh, Fats. If only you knew my parents so you would understand why I’m literally LOLing at the thought of bringing them to an Indian (Eeeeeewwwwwwwww!) restaurant 😉

        1. There is an “A Christmas Story” aspect to Christmas dinner at Bhojanic or some of the other joints mentioned. Perhaps you just ought to take them on a culinary tour of Buford Highway. I would hit The Porter myself.

          1. Pyng Ho will be open Christmas evening, and I think New Year’s too. Had really good take out from there tonight.

  4. Just heard the NRA head call on Congress to “appropriate whatever money necessary” to put armed officers in every school. Do Decatur schools have armed police on campus at all?

    1. Why am I not surprised that the answer from the NRA (our nation’s self-described “oldest civil rights organization’”) is MORE guns?

      1. The NRA is a civil rights lobby? I think of them as more of a lobby for the gun industry. I would like to have heard Lapierre address the issue of why in God’s name Nancy Lanza needed to own an automatic weapon. Never happen.

        1. Oops. Excuse me. I meant to say semi-automatic. I know there’s a difference, but I still don’t see why Ms. Lanza should have had access to either.

          1. So you support banning almost every handgun currently sold in the US? I’m not a gun owner, but I’ve fired many over the years – I don’t believe I’ve ever handled a NON-semiautomatic handgun (however most of the long rifles and shotguns I’ve used were non-semiautomatic).

              1. I was about to reply that most modern revolvers are semiautomatic, but I just did some quick research and found out that I’m wrong – just because you can fire one round after another with only a trigger pull doesn’t necessarily make a gun semi-auto. So my comment about how almost every handgun sold in the US is a semi-auto is false. Basically, I should have just kept my mouth shut. I think I’ll start now.

                1. You are kinda right. Most revolvers are double action which means you only have to pull the trigger to fire. A single action revolved requires you to cock the hammer prior to pulling the trigger. So, although not quite as quick, a double action functions similar to a semi-automatic, although technically a revolver isn’t a semi-automatic..

                2. I have no idea how many revolvers are sold any more. Mine actually belonged to my grandfather and is 1930s or ’40s vintage. I actually prefer shooting a Sig Sauer my father had, but it went to one of my sisters and I’m not interested enough to buy one. The only time I’m ever tempted to load a gun is when the squirrels are vandalizing my potted plants, but it’s not worth getting a ticket from Decatur PD, especially since there’s no chance under the sun of my hitting a squirrel. A very cooperative cow, maybe.

                  1. Just practice more. Until he moved to a senior community, my father used to sit on his back porch and use his old deer hunting rifle to knock off the squirrels trying to raid his bird feeders. My mother reported that got darn good. Meanwhile the neighborhood around him was getting tonier and more liberal. I used to wonder what the neighbors were saying. Never did hear what he did with the dead squirrels. Owl food?

                    1. If he was potting squirrels with a deer rifle, there probably was not much left to dispose of in the way of corporeal remains.

      2. RE NRA as “civil rights” organization: I think they are mixing up civil rights with individual rights.

    2. I think both RMS and DHS have “resource officers”. I think they carry a weapon but not sure. Are the weapons loaded and ready to fire? I don’t know. Maybe I’m naive, but I think the chances of a mishap with a loaded weapon in a school is greater than the chance of intentional violence by a shooter.

      1. I actually think putting an armed officer or two in every school is not a terrible idea. I also think an appropriate way to pay for it would be a tax on ammunition. I wonder why he didn’t propose that? After all, he said in his remarks that protecting children should be more important than our money. Such a statement would have had a lot more credibility if he’d proposed a way to raise the money.

        1. I’m not sure how I stand on officers with loaded weapons in schools. I don’t know what would happen if they weren’t there. Maybe folks remember DHS and RMS before resource officers. Have they made things safer? I worry about a mentally ill, violent, and/or drugged teen grabbing a loaded gun off an officer. Or some kind of really unfortunate unintentional accident. But I don’t know. Our schools feel pretty safe to me and my children. Maybe everything is fine the way it is….

            1. I’m curious. What role did he/she end up playing? I don’t remember that part of the story.

              1. From Slate.com:

                On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher at Columbine. On the scene that day was Neil Gardner, an armed sheriff’s deputy who had been policing the school for almost two years.

                As a CNN report describes, Gardner was eating lunch when he got a call from a custodian that he was needed in the school’s back parking lot. A few minutes later, he encountered Harris and the two exchanged gunfire. Harris was not hit and ran back inside the school. At that point, “Gardner called for additional units to respond to the south parking lot of Columbine High School. … While he was on the radio calling for assistance, five other Jefferson County deputies already were on their way, arriving only minutes after the first report of a ‘female down’ at Columbine High School.” Later, Gardner saw Harris again, through a broken window. Once again, he fired. Once again, he didn’t hit him.

              2. ” Gardner, Columbine’s school resource officer, was coming back from getting lunch at a nearby Subway sandwich shop when, at 11:15 a.m., the first call for help came over his radio.

                He was responding to a “female down” call when he spotted Harris at the school doors. At 11:24 a.m., Harris emptied his 10-round rifle at the deputy from 60 to 70 yards away, striking two nearby police cars.

                Gardner returned four shots from his .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol before Harris disappeared into the school.” http://extras.denverpost.com/news/col1123b.htm

              1. I believe there was a poopload of armed, trained personnel guarding President Reagan when he and Jim Brady were shot by Hinckley.

      2. As a person who’s worked 12 years in a middle school with similar demographics to Renfroe — even if it feels safe, there are TONS of things going on that teachers and parents (and kids who don’t get involved) don’t know about. Bullying, drugs, sex, weapons…..you name it, all of it goes on. The resource officers aren’t necessarily there to protect against outsiders coming in to cause harm, but to be an extension of the law in the school. Not to mention when you’ve got 2 200+ lb 8th graders coming to blows, you need someone trained to deal with it, not your 120 lb. female hallway teachers.

  5. He also called for a “national database of the mentally ill.” I assume such a database would be part of gun background checks, though he didn’t actually say that. He also strongly blamed video games and violent movies, without proposing any action in regards to those.

    1. I cannot think of a practical way to have a national database of the mentally ill. It’s not like a database of pedophiles in which you can use legal records as the means of identifying who should be in the database. And someone like Adam Lanza would never have been in it. He had a diagnosis of a developmental disability not associated with mental illness. As far as I know, no official diagnosis of mental illness was made by a professional or legal entity. He would have never been in a database of the mentally ill. In his case, his violence might have been stimulated by unrecognized, undiagnosed, untreated, and/or unreported mental illness, addiction to violent video games, and/or exposure and access to assault weapons. There’s no one quick fix that will prevent future massacres in schools. We’ve got to make difficult improvements in several areas–mental health diagnosis and treatment, especially for teens and young adults, access to assault weapons, the senseless, graphic violence in “games” that children and teens play, and school safety, and probably other areas I can’t think of right now.

    2. A “national database of the mentally ill” would not work any better than the background check system currently in place, unless it becomes mandatory for states to submit the information to the database. If the NRA were to actually get behind that idea, we would probably see some meaningful change. Alternatively, our elected officials could tell the NRA to go jump in the lake and start doing what makes sense for a civilized society.

      1. Perhaps the NRA could jumpstart the national database of the mentally ill by uploading its membership roll. Just kidding.

    3. Without getting too deep in the weeds on the specifics, one of the problems with the current NICS system that the FBI runs is that state level legal proceedings often do not make it into NICS even though these proceedings would make the individual ineligible to purchase a weapon. Currently, the reporting is voluntary and while some states are fairly rigorous in reporting names, others are much less so.

      It is worth noting that while this would not have addressed the most recent tragedy, it might have impacted the VATech shooting because the shooter had been declared … incompetent (?), I’m not sure what the exact finding was, but it was sufficient to have bounced his purchase if state level reporting had been better.

      Related to this, call me a deluded optimist, I was rather surprised that the NRA’s response wasn’t a bit more … balanced. From a purely tactical negotiating standpoint, I thought they would at least come out open to the idea of closing the gun show/private purchase loophole in background checks, and maybe a few other relatively minor changes.

      1. “Related to this, call me a deluded optimist, I was rather surprised that the NRA’s response wasn’t a bit more … balanced.”

        I was a bit surprised too. Not so much by the ideas floated, but by the tone, which struck me as defensive and angry–not anger at the shootings, but at calls for more gun control. Whatever the merits of any of the ideas proposed, the optics of the press conference were bad, really bad. Maybe they’ve decided just to preach to their choir, like so many others in politics.

      2. Actually, it is what I would expect from any lobby. Whatever you ask for will ultimately get watered down, so you have to start at the extreme.

    1. Those gun nuts value their own life, and want to protect it and the lives of others (and all of their civil liberties).

    2. Not to wrap the gun control issue up in the flag, but historically we’ve had a pretty high opinion of people who valued their (and our) civil liberties more than life. I think is was some guy named Patrick Henry who said “Give me liberty or give me death”. Whatever your reading of the 2nd Amendment, we’re all the beneficiaries of a lot of people, past and present, who have been willing to step up in defense of our liberties, and we shouldn’t take those for granted.

      Civics lecture over.

  6. For what has become an annual event, I opened my water/sewar bill to see an atrocious number more than 400% greater than my normal bill. I checked my meter- far lower than the reading sent on the bill. I made another trek to the Watershed Management office and they will adjust only after a technician confirms. My picture of the water meter didn’t suffice. And again, when I inquired about the error, the customer service clerk alluded to a employee not doing their job. So, I wait for the updated bill….sometime in the next 10 days, after I call back….and no, they won’t provide me any updated information in writing.

    My question is that I’ve been offered one of the new “digital” meters. But the clerk warned against it because “they detect every drop of water” as opposed to the older meters which don’t detect as well. She said to expect my water bills to go up noticeably if I installed the digital meter.

    Does anyone have a positive or negative experience to share on using the new meter? I really just wanted it so that I can monitor the usage on-line.

    1. I’m curious about what they told you about the meter. Would there be a charge for it? How do they determine who is eligible for a new meter? There is nothing about it on their website that I could find.

      1. There was no charge to upgrade to a digital water meter, but then the glass cover over the numbers was broken making it impossible to read. We discovered the damage only after a huge $1300 bill appeared. Perhaps yours will break too.

    2. Refreshing post about water meters and not guns – thank you!

      I had a similar spike summer of 2011. The glass cover over the numbers was crushed creating a guessing game for the meter reader. We settled the bill using my pictures and confirmation via an employee visit. My old meter was replaced with a digital meter, one that is “read” wirelessly by a drive-by vehicle. The grass is growing over my meter because the cover never comes off. I did not notice any unusual difference in my water usage, and in fact it’s been more stable. I no longer get “estimated” bills.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I was only made aware of the digital meter during my trip last year to get my $600 bill resolved. The manager (at the time, since departed) said that if I continued to have issues then I could request the new digital meter. I do not believe that there is a charge since I have shown a pattern of incorrect meter readings.

        I will most likely opt for the new meter. I would prefer a normal standard bill as opposed to the ebb and flow of estimated (and poorly at that) bills. I was told that you could monitor the digital meters online- is that true?

  7. Regarding gun laws…

    I think we should be allowed to carry any weapon we want…keep the 2nd amendment as is! With one caveat… you can keep and bear any weapon that was technologically available when the law was written. Try wreaking havoc with a flint lock, smooth bore rifle that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from 50 yards away!…if it fired.

    Seriously though, as someone who does not own a gun but is not necessarily against them I have always wondered how we deal with the reality of technology? 200 years ago I cannot imagine that the writers had any indication that we would have guns readily available to the public that could shoot a bullet every second with obscene accuracy when back then it took a minute to fire off just 2. What is it going to be like 200 years from now? Will we just download an app for an ak47 on our iphone?

    There is a reality of technology that I do not think is taken into consideration…and the question of how to deal with it.

    1. The Second Amenders counter that by saying it should apply to the First Amendment as well, which didn’t envision radio, TV, the Internet, cell phones, etc.,etc. They don’t understand common sense, reasonable limits on firearms.

      1. Re: reasonable/common sense limits and GM’s entire post. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to allow indivuduals to own guns to protect themselves and their country. If their/our opponents have superior firepower, don’t we need to be on a level playing field.

        The constitution was intentionally written to be fluid and evolve with the times (which includes techonological improvements). Is it a perfect system? No. But it is a hell of a lot better than the attempts by others at 4000 pages constitutions which try to deal with any and all things.

        1. If we’re going to get into what the writers of the Constitution intended, they certainly didn’t intend for a standing military anything like the one we have today, so I don’t see how defense of country arguments can apply any more. Self-protection, sure, but certainly not without limits. There are already many weapons that are illegal for private citizens to possess. It’s a matter of where the line is drawn, and what’s troubling to me is how much the influence the corporate bottom line has in that question.

        2. The primary threats to us and our country are not going to be thwarted by a bunch of civilians running around with AR-15s and banana clips.

            1. If you’re talking about the original 1984 movie, I’ll concede this point. If you mean the 2012 atrocity of the same name, you’ve just made the best argument for gun control I’ve heard all week.

    2. I am not going to come into this debate, and I am not entirely comfortable with it being staged in the FFAF. However, I do have a strong background in early American history and can tell you that those flint locks, even the smooth bore ones, are surprisingly sophisticated and effective. I have seen a skilled user hit a two inch bulls eye at 75 yards offhand with a reproduction Brown Bess smooth bore flint lock. The rifled flint locks manufactured in America at the time could hit something the size of a coconut at 250 yards. Like I said, not joining in on the debate, but I do feel the need to clear things up on the manufacturing skills of the 18th century. Those guys knew their craft well; rifles and carpentry. How many of the houses being built today do you expect to see standing in 2212?

      History nerd out.

    3. To Mr. Bad Example’s point, I think where we’re letting ourselves be trumped by technology is that wreaking havoc with a flintlock gun took no small degree of skill, unlike the massively destructive semiautomatic weapons popular among today’s maniacs. Also, while high quality and craftsmanship was certainly available among gunsmiths of that day, weapons weren’t being mass-produced, or produced with anything like the consistency of today. So an individual weapon might or might not be so accurate, regardless of the shooter’s skill. I keep reading that a primary reason for the popularity of the AR-15 is “accuracy” — might that be code for “doesn’t require a lot of skill or practice”?

      1. This will come as no suprise I am sure, but I own several guns. When i was younger and had more free time, I used to do a little bit of taget shooting. What I can tell you is that it does not matter one iota how accurate the gun may be if the shooter doesn’t have any skill at shooting it.

        Now, throwing a lot of lead (i.e. automatic weapons) may help compensate for bad shooting, but no gun, no matter how good, can turn a bad shot into a good shot. So, no, “accurate” doesn’t mean “doesn’t require a lot of skill or practice”. Accurate means that a skilled shooter will hit its intended target.

        1. When we say a Ferrari handles well, it doesn’t imply that one can race around road Atlanta with it ay 100mph without a lot of practice.

        2. Well, I’m certainly no gun expert. I have fired a handgun on a shooting range in the past. And this speak of target shooting and accuracy does bring to mind this point: It seems likely that accuracy is less of an issue in shootings like this recent tragedy, as proximity certainly renders the need accuracy skills moot. What is very much at issue is the rapidity at which the guns fire – no, the speed at which lives are taken.

          I’ve heard folks comment many times that nearly all guns, including handguns, sold today are semi-automatic. This is a sincere question: Do “most handguns” accommodate those large ammunition clips? Or are those kinds of ammunition clips used primarily in the military-style rifles used in so many of these shootings including Newtown? It does seem difficult to pinpoint a logical argument that supports the idea that these types of ammunition are necessary for either self-defense or hunting. Couldn’t banning those large ammunition clips be an easy place to start seeking agreement?

          1. Large clips are not needed for hunting. My rifle holds 4 shells, and it is rare when I shoot more than once.

            BTW, larger caliber hunting rifles aren’t the problem. I don’t care how strong you are, when you pull the trigger, the gun recoils and the end of the barrel rises. If you keep repeatedly pulling the trigger without taking the time to re-aim, you are either shooting into the sky or putting holes in the ceiling (and hurting your shoulder). I believe the Conn. shooter used a .223, which is a small caliber rifle and, except for maybe squirrels, isn’t really a hunting weapon. The only people I know who use smaller caliber rifles are younger hunters (it is a good training weapon), but those are almost always bolt-action (non semi-automatic) or only hold 3 or 4 rounds.

            As far as self-defense, it may depend on what you mean by large clip. As I said above, I am a gun rights advocate, but I understand the need for reasonable regulations. For example, I think it is entirely reasonable for states to set requirements for people to carry concealed weapons. There is also no need for automatic weapons in civilian hands. But, once you start gettting too far beyond that, it becomes a very slippery slope.

            1. The shooter was using the type of bullet, (since I’m not a gun expert, I can’t remember the term), that expands and flattens out upon striking, which make the wound much larger.
              No need for them either.

              1. Hollow point?

                We are going to have agree to disagree about whether they should be banned. Bullets that don’t flatten out and pass through intact are much more likely to strike multiple targets. Not saying there aren’t cons with hollow points, but banning those (which have a legitimate purpose with hunting) doesn’t solve the problem.

            2. .22LR is a squirrel/small game round and though very similar in diameter to .223 used in the AR that the CT shooter used is a very different round.

              In all the press and hysterics it should be remembered that the 2nd Amendment was not added for hunting or even self-defense though that’s what the NRA, gun lobby, etc. feel they must say. It was written to provide a means for citizens to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. It was also written in a time when average citizens were able to own and operate weapons that were as advanced as anything the armed forces of any army in the world had, up to and including cannons.

              In a time where we have unmanned drones, tanks, F-22s and stealth bombers, and where we have DHS and SSA placing huge orders for hollow point ammunition (which is against Geneva Conventions), I find it hard to make the case that we should be talking about banning or confiscating any of the weapons currently being targeted.

              1. So citizens should be allowed drones? Wow, then sick or hateful people could take out a whole school at once. Sorry, I’m just so overloaded with pain about how we slaughter ourselves, that I cannot focus on constitutionality. I’m glad there’s lawyers and judges struggling with this because I just don’t see a good end to all this

    4. My pipe dream solution to the whole thing, (given that we won’t have the political will to ban semi-automatics and/or large clips):

      Let’s pay attention to the “well regulated militia” part of the second amendment and require training if you want to own a powerful weapon.

      Specifically, and granted it’s not a short-term solution, we institute mandatory national service. Those who anticipate owning weapons in the future would have to do military or public security service. Those willing to forgo weapon ownership could serve in a capacity consistent with conscientious objector status.

      Everybody would be tested for mental stability and capacity on entrance to service. Weapons training would proceed only for those that pass screening. Participants in the security service would gain thorough training and experience in the safe use of weapons, as well as exposure to the consequences of their misuse. After service is completed, regular retraining, retesting and re-certification would be required.

      This way the federal government would develop and maintain a comprehensive database of those eligible for gun licenses. To own a gun would require that you be part of the militia (the National Guard?) and after all, that militia must be well regulated.

      1. In Israel, all young adults have to serve in the military or related area, women and men, college bound not, high and low income. It’s an equalizer. It’s kind of anti-IB, anti-Links, anti-Bridges, anti-Expeditionary Learning, but what the heck.

  8. local gun control

    does the security guard that stands behind the cash registers at YDFM really need a AK-47 style rifle? i own a couple guns but i’d like to think i wasn’t the only one he made uncomfortable yesterday as he stood there like a sentry guard

    1. I’ll tell you one thing: I don’t sample the grapes at YDFM. And you won’t even catch me separating the banana bunches there either!

      1. Ah, you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff like that. What will get you in deep dudu at YDFM is not putting your empty bags on the bottom rack of your cart.

        1. About 7 or 8 years ago, I was ejected from the market for that very thing & having the audacity to use cloth mesh produce bags instead of the plastic ones. He actually dumped the produce out in the cart, tossed the bags at me & told me to get out. I was speechless.

          1. Was it a one-time punishment or were you banished for an extended period?
            I will say, I am extremely stealthy when breaking apart banana bunches. (I’m one person and I only like to eat near-green bananas. I’m not gonna buy a dozen at a time.)

            1. I think I stopped going for about a month. I have since resumed my weekly shopping trips. I’ve never tried to use my mesh produce bags again, though. As for my shopping bags, mine are usually shoved in my diaper bag & the cute baby these days helps me get away with a lot I never could before.

              1. ” the cute baby these days helps me get away with a lot I never could before.” — That’s as it should be, but remember it’s a fleeting circumstance. Don’t get too used to it, and don’t abuse it! 😉

  9. Thank you very much to the kind woman who bought our family’s dinner last night at Ted’s as a random act of kindness. So sweet of her and she didn’t know this, but it was my birthday, and she made it very special for us all.

    Happy holidays everyone!

    1. She probably doing the 27 good deeds in memory of 27 souls lost in Newtown. The idea is to do 27 good deeds and hope those 27 people pay it forward.

  10. Larry Morris, legendary sports star at Decatur High School, Georgia Tech, and later NFL superstar, died on December 19. Over the past twenty years, whenever I had the chance to talk to DHS graduates from the 1940s and 50s, almost everyone said they were in awe of his athletic skills. His obituary, featured in the DecAvonPatch and the AJC, in no way truely describes the influence he had on Decatur residents back in the day.
    Captain of a DHS state championship football team, All American at Georgia Tech, Most Valuable Player for a NFL championship team, successful businessman and devoted family man. What a life! What a man! God Speed.

  11. Interesting article about how Australia changed it’s gun laws after a tragic killing spree in 1996, killing 35 people….Obviously many differences all around, but still….”Gun violence hasn’t been completely eliminated in Australia. But gun-control advocates are quick to point out that there hasn’t been a single mass shooting in the 16 years since the laws came into effect.”

    http://www.npr.org/2012/12/21/167814684/australians-urge-u-s-to-look-at-their-gun-laws

  12. Do you have a leaf problem? Email [email protected] for leaf removal service. Run by DHS students who charge by the bag (packed full bag) so you don’t have to worry about how fast or slow they work. $2.25/bag if you provide bags; $2.75 if they provide.

  13. Another interesting piece was Fresh Air on Thursday.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/12/20/167694808/assault-style-weapons-in-the-civilian-market

    One of the things he mentions is that semi-automatic weapons are more accurate than fully automatic weapons and that military leaders advise soldiers to fire on semi- automatic as often as they can. The reason is that the barrel of an automatic weapon tends to rise from repeated recoil while the pause between trigger pulls on semi-automatic allows the shooter to control the weapon.

    1. The die hards on this blog will say it’s the business model and product but I agree with them that it’s the location. Sure hope Las Brasas survives–it’s our savior, many a night, and I can’t find pico de gallo like theirs anywhere. Oakhurst Market’s is good, but not the same. The flan at Las Brasas is also the real thing and hard to find elsewhere. At least Las Brasas should have lots of parking until new things move in.

      Now I hate to bring up a sore subject but I think a Trader Joe’s would fit nicely with the Ice Lofts crowd…….

      1. It’s that time of year, when the decision has to be made whether or not to renew the liquor license. I’m afraid we’ll also see a spate of retail shops closing 1st quarter 2013. I hope not.

    1. How about mileage based car tags, so that people who commute 30 miles from far counties pay their share of the transportation dollars?

      1. Aren’t toll roads a simpler means to that end? Oh, never mind, I forgot, Georgians won’t tolerate them.

        1. Since the 400 toll booths didn’t come down when they said, I doubt they’d garner much support anywhere here now. Not to mention, it’s clear we have huge $$$ trust issues here, for very good reason. Plus, we already pay for roads. (Sounds like the T-SPLOST debate all over again)

    2. Mileage based car insurance and tag fees make sense. People start recycling when it saves them money under pay as you throw. People will get more interested in public transit and other green options when it’s pay as you drive.

      1. However, people often live far out to have a lower mortgage or rent, so taxing those who drive further might penalize people already struggling. Love the idea of mass transit, but it doesn’t really exist as an option in GA

  14. Some people listen to traditional carols when they prepare Christmas Eve dinner. I listen to RENT. And as Detective Ed Green would say:

  15. Can ordinary wrapping paper and tissue be put in the recycling? We’re decreased the amount of wrapping paper we use with gift bags, and tags that are pasted over tags over tags, but we still haven’t eliminated altogether. Plus I think it breeds and multiplies once off the gifts and on the floor….

    1. You should be able to if it’s not coated or foiled. Generally, if it has a shiny surface, it’s one or the other.

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