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Archive for June, 2009

This is where most of the damage was done when the parking garage at my office partically collapsed Monday afternoon.

This is where most of the damage was done when the parking garage at my office partially collapsed Monday afternoon.


OK, so I’m still carless… The Atlanta Fire Department is slowly working its way through the garage, searching for possible victims. They still haven’t found anyone, and no one has come up missing, so they are just being very careful.

Atlanta is running out of firefighters, though, and some 300 volunteers from departments around Georgia have come in to help out in the search. To save money, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin furloughed (read: sent home without pay) several hundred firefights to try to balance the way-outta-wack city budget.

But it was going to take a lot of rescue workers, anyway. The 75 pounds of equipment rescuers wear add about 30 degrees to their internal temperature, and it was another 90-degree day today, so they have to rotate teams. One team works for 30 minutes and then takes an hour to rest before going back in.

Meanwhile, there is no word about my car, which I still believe is most likely undamaged, and I’m working at home, playing my music a little too loud and chilling in shorts and a T-shirt (no hanging out in pajamas all day for me, no sir).

Maybe I’ll hear something tomorrow… I’m surprisingly alright about being carless. But this state is definitely not pedestrian friendly, and the heat kills, so I will be glad when I get my wheels back.

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Choices, choices, when trying to decide which frozen chitlins yer gunna buy...

Choices, choices, when trying to decide which frozen chitlins yer gunna buy...

OK, so I was in the grocery store again this evening and heard something I had never heard before: a discussion about which brand of frozen chitlins was better.

Um… I couldn’t help these women, although I lingered abound the frozen meats section to hear their arguments.

Evidently, they were collecting groceries for a Fourth of July barbecue, as their carts were filled with steaks, ribs, chicken, bags of ears of corn, cases of soda and beer, bags of chips, etc., all of which would be on my list, too, if I were going to host a Fourth of July barbecue. But this is a Georgia barbecue, and they were going one step further.

I know what chitlins are, although I’ve never tried them. My dad’s family is from Texas, and my grandmother, thank God, didn’t include chitlins in her catalog of recipes. Supposedly, “perfectly cooked” chitlins are like pork-flavored squid; not rubbery but rather like al dente pasta with a little crisp browning on the outside. Now, I’m all for calamari, and have tried – and failed, to date – to get my kids to try it. But chitlins? Nope. Not … gunna … do it.

I went looking for a description of chitlins that might help y’all out there in California or Wyoming or or Connecticut or wherever. I found this:

.

Perhaps if I had known exactly what chitlins were (or chitterlings, as some people spell it) when I was a boy, I never would have eaten them. Though the funk that wafted through the apartment when grandma stood over the sink cleaning them should have clued me in, how was I to know that my favorite meal was cooked pig intestines.

Michael A. Gonzales
Southernists

These women were actually arguing over which frozen chitlins they should buy.

“I don’t like that brand,” one said. “It just don’t taste good.”

Yeah. It just don’t taste good?!?

So, there you have it. You can’t just eat any old pig intestine.

To abuse George Orwell’s great line: “Some pig intestines are more equal than others.”

To be sure yer gettin the best chitlins, forgit about frozen; git yersef down to yer local Moo & Oink and pick up some fresh chitlins.

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Get yer fresh chitlins at your local Moo & Oink

Git yersef down to yer local Moo & Oink and git some fresh chitlins.

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It’s Tuesday… That means that Old Jews Telling Jokes has a new old joke…
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Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Joke O’ The Day“, posted with vodpod

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“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”

— Thomas Paine

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This photo was taken by a stupid lady who got out of her car to look into the hole before backing out of the garage, just after a section collapsed upon itself. But she got herself on TV and in the papers.

This photo was taken by a stupid lady who got out of her car to look into the hole before backing out of the garage, just after a section collapsed upon itself. But she got herself on TV and in the papers.

OK, so around 12:30 today, I hear the sound of sirens outside my office window in the Centergy Building on the Georgia Tech campus, which overlooks Spring Street in Midtown Atlanta. Sirens along Spring Street is no rare occurrence… Grady Memorial Hospital is down the road, and ambulances race down the one-way street several times a day, so I didn’t think much about it.

But it sounded like multiple sirens; two ambulances, a police car and then a couple of fire trucks pulled up outside. I then figured someone at the LA Fitness gym had a heart attack or something.

I went back to work.

But the sirens continued. Now there were three more fire engines, this time coming up the wrong way on Spring. And more police cars and EMT vans. And Atlanta Fire Department SUVs with white shirts piling out. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to got check it out.

A lot of standing around while the AFD decided what to do.

There was a lot of standing around while the Atlanta Fire Department decided what to do.

The fourth-floor section that collapsed down upon the floors below. My car was not damaged.

The fourth-floor section that collapsed down upon the floors below. My car was not damaged.

A collection of cars stacked upon each other on the first floor of the parking garage.

A collection of cars stacked upon each other on the first floor of the parking garage.

More standing around, waiting for the structure to be deemed safe to enter.

More standing around, waiting for engineers to deem the structure was safe enough to enter.

As I headed to the elevator, I came across the woman who works the reception desk on our floor, and asked me if I had parked in the parking garage, ’cause it just collapsed.

Well, yeah, I did park in the garage. I went to a conference room window that looks out to the garage and yep, there was a big hole where some of the floors used to be. A section of the fourth floor gave way, and fell onto the third floor (and the cars that were parked there). The third and fourth floors fell onto the second floor, and those three floors pan-caked on the first floor.

All-in-all, some 36 cars got flattened, at a minimum, plus others suffering collateral damage from falling and bouncing concrete. Amazingly, no one – it is thought of right now – was hurt, although the search of the collapsed portion of the garage is being hampered because engineers aren’t sure the entire structure is stable.

Luckily, I parked on the other side of the building, on the second floor, so my car is safe, I’m thinking… but we are being told that we won’t be allowed to get our cars out for “two to four days.”

So I’ll be hoofing it for a few days. I took Marta (a BART-like light rail system here in Atlanta) as far as it would go and a friend graciously volunteered to pick me up and drive me the remaining 20-some miles home. I’ll be working from home until I can get my car back.

Head-Scratching Trivial: The Harden Construction Company, which built this garage in 2001, was also the builder of a concrete walkway at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens that collapsed last year, injuring more than a couple of folks… I’m just saying, is all…

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” O Lord, help me to be pure … but not yet.”

— Saint Augustine

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PBS 06-14-09

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Hey, I tried to warn you…

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