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Piney Woods Pete
Number of posts: 47
Email address: email
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Posts by Piney Woods Pete:
My wife thinks I’m too hard on telephone solicitors. “They’ve got to make a living,” she says. She objects that I let them go through their spiel, ask a lot of questions, decline the offer, then ask to speak to their supervisor to make certain everyone, including the persons listening to the recording made for training and verification purposes, understands I have declined the offer. I figure every moment I can delay the evil telephonic solicitation machine is a moment my fellow citizens are safe.
No matter the organization, I’ve always figured if they call my house selling or seeking donations, they are crooks.
Now, however, I think the telephone workers need our help.
Sunshine and seventy degree days arrived this week in the flat woods. The dogwoods burst with pure white blossoms and a thousand tiny bees, sprung from their still-cold hives, rattle the morning with a collective , near-startling , vibration as they welcome each new flower.
Winter, be gone!
It’s interesting that Republican congressmen are so full of concerned advice to their Democratic colleagues about health care reform.
The GOP counsels that the voters won’t like affordable and available insurance. The GOP advises their party apparatus will vigorously challenge any Democrat who votes for reform.
Waka Flocka Flame and the rest of Gucci Mane’s crew thought Young Jeezy’s posse dissed somebody at Walter’s and all hell broke loose.
This is a certain sign that either Atlanta is nowhere to be or that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution can’t tell its behind from a hole in the ground.
Late last week the AJC ran a breathless story about the showdown between competing hip-hoppers at Walter’s Clothing. The story said shots were fired and the store, said to be the place to spot celebreties, had to close for 30 minutes.
The man had but one word – “Faith” – fixed on the church signboard as he perched near the top of his stepladder fumbling through a stack of plastic letters, looking for the remainder of the sentence.
As state legislatures reconvene, the annual search for a cause we can all believe in renews. One of the most likely subjects is Texting While Driving.
Opposing texting drivers is an ideal political position. Everybody is against it. Everyone knows someone who does it. It is widely believed that teenagers, evil offspring and non-voters that they are, are the most likely texting suspects.
Even those who admit texting while driving know, in their hearts, that they are wrong. that the practice is dangerous, and that they need to stop.
But Piney Woods Pete happened upon a more insidious evil yesterday – texting while peeing.
There’s been a lot of interest in the flat woods about the news coming out of the world climate meeting in Copenhagen.
Folks have varied opinions on global warming, icepack levels, and how many glaciers
Boosted by a contingent lured from the nearby Georgia Farm Bureau Convention, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue led a small but enthusiastic group of boosters and state officials Monday to celebrate the official start of the long-anticipated and much-debated revitalization of Jekyll Island.
While running immediate past-Speaker of the Georgia House Glenn Richardson out of town on a rail, the tar and feathers-toting crowd is howling about the influence of money-wielding lobbyists on state government.
The Atlanta papers are reporting that Richardson received more than $50,000 in food and fun since he ascended to the speaker position in 2005. And he’s not the only recipient of glad tidings from Georgia corporations and other special-interest groups.
Note to public speakers, especially television personalities: If you use the word “segue,” meaning a smooth, uninterrupted transition, while attempting a segue, you have not accomplished a segue.
Privacy rules, well-intended though they may be, sometimes result in silliness. My cousin, a lady of a certain age, flew to Atlanta from San Francisco for my daughter’s wedding. Back in the day Betty was well-travelled. She thought I’d meet her in the waiting area at her landing gate. That’s how well-mannered folks used to greet incoming passengers. She sat for an hour while I stood at the designated greeting area at the top of the escalators between the north and south baggage claim areas at Hartsfield-Jackson. Her San Francisco cell phone didn’t mesh with the Georgia towers and our calls to each other rang no bells. About the time she asked the Delta agent at her gate for advice and learned that arrivals are now met at the top of the escalators, a Delta agent at the airport entrance advised me that, though Delta could not, due to privacy […]
In preparation for the onslaught of Georgia-Florida football related partying this weekend, Jacksonville City officials are again setting up “Student Sideline Safety Zones” to provide sanctuary for those too drunk to remember where they parked.
According to a Florida Times Union story on Thursday, the safety zones – areas where police and other public safety officials will offer assistance and protection rather than immediate arrest for knee-walking drunks – are not just for students this year. All inebriates are welcome.
The safety zones originated to counter the perceived problem of drunks falling into bad company after the big game. Bad company at the Georgia-Florida annual mayhem is drunks who like to beat other drunks. Gators beating Dogs. Dogs beating Gators. Thugs stealing and stabbing the semi-conscious. Local boys shoving visitors into the St. Johns River. Oh my!
Someone is always trying to drag you down, to tell you that you can’t, you aren’t, you’re lacking, you’re too this or too that. Well, phooey on them. I’m standing in the sporting goods aisle looking at aluminum baseball bats for no good reason other than that I recently re-discovered the old bat my brothers and I used for backyard games. It’s splintered and grey and has two tiny nails driven and crossed over to mark where you can’t see the trademark anymore. We’d worn it off and one of us evidently thought the trademark needed to be designated and there was a hammer and two nails. In drippy red paint we’d branded the bat — Woods Brothers. Modern bats are light and fast and sparkly. I said to my spousal unit, I bet even I could have hit a ball with this thing. A little boy wandered down the […]
Signs are endlessly fascinating, thanks in part to our long tradition of protecting free speech, no matter how silly. There’s a little enterprise stuffed into one end of a convenience store I pass about once a week. The primary sign — lighted and professionally produced — announces the business is the “Fun Place.” Then follows a bulleted list of the types of fun available: * Family * Arcade * Fun Games * Billiards * Video Fun * Video Poker * Monitored Already, I’m a little doubtful. Of seven items, only two are specifically indentified as fun. It sounds like a gambling joint, but the first and last words are “family” and “monitored.” I’m thinking either it’s video fun, poker and pool or it’s monitored and family-oriented. It can’t be both. Curious, I ease in for a closer look. I don’t go inside, only a stroll past the front door. There’s […]
The U.S. Senate has agreed that Amtrak must allow guns to be carried in checked baggage. It might be a Second Amendment thing but it’s mostly an unfunded mandate. Amtrak banned firearms from its trains in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the sponsor of the Amtrak gun language added to the transportation and housing appropriations measure currently before Congress, argued that all domestic airlines permit firearms in checked luggage and Amtrak should do the same. The guns on the rails amendment received bipartisan support, but isn’t included in the House version so there is still time to take sides. Amtrak, cash strapped and short on both political and popular support, is protesting that setting up a gun check-in as required will be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. On the Senate floor this week Wicker said Amtrak was preventing free exerccise of the […]
Everybody’s down on poor Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Representative who shouted “You lie!” during President Obama’s speech to the joint session of the U.S. Congress Wednesday night. Even folks who think the President was lying protest that hurling insults at a U.S. President is unseemly, thoughtless, unpatriotic, rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. Here in the flat woods, we’ve always stood up for honoring the President as the representative of the entire nation. Like him or not, he’s the leader of our nation and deserves to be treated with respect. On the other hand, the Washington code that requires public show of respect is often tedious and counter-productive. Opposing Representatives and Senators seen on televised hearings (I confess to being a C-Span junkie) often are unable to articulate their arguments for or against particular ideas, proposals, and legislation because they spend so much time complimenting each other. “My learned friend” […]
A set of sharp suits from the money end of Tobacco Road, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard to name two addresses, dropped by the U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the end of August claiming their constitutional rights were being violtated.
The U.S. Congress passed a law in June giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco marketing. The FDA wasted no time dropping a rule book on Big Tobacco.
Basically the feds want the merchants of cancer to state clearly and boldly in every marketing and advertising piece they produce that tobacco kills. Also, the feds want to shut down anything that looks like marketing directed at kids.
Whatever happened to pocket protectors? I know, people fell out with the geek look and tossed aside their pocket protectors at the same time they stopped strapping slide rules to their belts. But I’m thinking we threw the baby out with the bath water. Slide rules are archaic, unnecessary, and ignored. Sam Cook’s line in the song “What A Wonderful World” in which he declares that he doesn’t “…even know what a slide rule is for” completely escapes today’s youth. Which is fine, there is no good reason for modern youth to waste brain cells fiddling with a bulky tool prone to error when every cellphone has a snappy fast and deadly accurate calculator. But pocket protectors could still be useful. Even those fully equipped with pda’s and netbooks find daily uses for old-fashioned ink pens. And I bet I’m not the only one with slashes of ink over, under, around, and […]
An upcoming religious retreat at St. Simons Island proclaims that the main presenter is a three-fold threat, being a singer, a humorist and a folk theologian. That was a new one on me. Singers and humorists, of course, are a dime a dozen. But a folk theologian? There’s a new gig. Or perhaps it’s an old gig with a new title. I mean there’ve always been jack-leg preachers long on what they hold to be divine inspiration and short on study – formal or otherwise. And most folks have at least some half-rendered opinion on religious topics. Some are well-intentioned. But the very concept of folk theology set me wondering and looking around. The term, as near as I can determine, was popularized by a United Methodist seminary professor (and diplomaed theologian) named Albert Outler. Dr. Outler was a Georgia native, educated at Yale who taught at Duke and Southern […]
Georgia State Patrol troopers are expected to take at least 12 and possibly as many as 22 furlough days this fiscal year as the recession chokes the flow of state revenues. This is bad for public safety and bad for the troopers. It is also easily solvable. If Governor Perdue can’t find the funds to pay State Patrol salaries, he need only remind them of the posted speed limits and ask that they ticket anyone doing, say, 10 m.p.h. over the limit. I routinely drive 65 in 55 m.p.h. zones and have my doors blown off by fellow motorists. A couple of weeks of intense ticket writing would improve highway safety and raise more than enough funds to pay the patrolmen.
Almost from the moment the news broke over the weekend, folks have been brooding over the question: “Where do we send our money now that Rev. Ike has died?” Fortunately, it turns out Rev. Ike made arrangements. His only son, Bishop Coadjutor (it’s a real word, you can look it up) Xavier Frederick Eikerenkoetter III, has announced that money will be accepted in lieu of flowers. Non-believers may call it greed. At the Science of Living Institute and Seminary they call it Thinkonomics. Ridgeland, South Carolina’s most famous native son and the fabricator of the Prosperity Gospel shtick has gone on to the Pie in the Sky By and By, but here along this mortal coil, his heirs and assigns still proclaim, “Jesus $aves.”
The most incredible part of the whole, bodacious South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford story is the e-mail to his extracurricular lover about his prospects of being the Republican vice presidential candidate. Ticking off the details of his oh-so-busy life, Gov. Sanford, advises Ms. Buenos Aires that, “ The following weekend have been asked to spend it out in Aspen, Colorado with McCain – which has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home…” Here’s a hint that Gov. Sanford’s brain wasn’t working. The obvious next sentence would be, “Of course, I’ll tell Sen. McCain I can’t join the ticket as I am currently engaged in an adulterous affair and that fact will certainly come out during the campaign and ruin any chance he could win.” Evidently having an affair is such a rush all the blood leaves the brain, being in such demand elsewhere […]
In the end the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to keep Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in place. It may be, as Chief Justice Roberts suggested during oral arguments, an elephant whistle, but it’s been such a fine elephant whistle that most Americans are willing to keep it in place. Section 5 requires that certain voting districts (the entire states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas, along with certain counties and towns in California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Dakota, and the New York boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx), gain advance federal approval of changes in voting procedures. Opponents of Section 5 argued that the measure unconstitutionally punishes select areas because of long-past discrimination. The opponents contended that discrimination no longer exists at the voting booth and therefore there is no legitimate reason for federal oversight. During oral arguments, […]
You have to allow that putting up the letters on an outdoor signboard does not always fall to the highest paid person in the organization. But sometimes, you’ve got to wonder, does the boss ever look at these things? Can the boss even read? Down in Waycross Friday, the marquee for the Mall Cinema 7, communicated this enticing offer: HANGOVER – DRAG ME TO HELL – LAND OF THE LOST – GIFT BOOKS AVAILABLE. As Weaver D. up in Athens once told me when describing a young man at a pastry shop fiddling with his nose ring while offering the sale of a glazed doughnut – “No thank you, but you have a nice day.” Years ago we had a theater in the flat woods called The Roxy. The owner, Mr. Fossett, would assemble the letters for the marquee and put them in a box for Boomer, the head usher. […]
You’ve heard the story so many times, you already know what the bereaved parents or aunts or neighbors are going to say. You don’t, you can’t, know the horror and dread that’s ahead for the loved ones after a child dies from an accidental gunshot. A brother, a playmate, someone innocent, pulled the trigger. He didn’t know the gun was loaded. The police said it was a tragic accident. Some will call for gun control, for mandatory locks, for better parental control, for more educational programs. None of those will happen or work. Here’s the thing we need to say to every child and to each other so often, so forcefully, so dramatically, that no one doubts: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN UNLOADED GUN. Many parents let their children play with toy guns. It’s as American as Texas Rangers and desperados. As common as a game of cops […]
The fine reporters, and their finer editors, at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution apparently are unable to describe locales south of the Atlanta metro area without employing a worn cliche. Drop below Clayton County and, to the AJC, you’re in the wasteland, “south of Atlanta.” This has been going on for years, though Piney W. Pete is likely the only reader sensitive enough to be outraged by the geographically dismissive, willfully ignorant, tone of the paper. The latest affront to all non-metro Atlanta residents of Georgia came in a story Saturday, June 13, “Safety changes call for plunge in pools’ budgets,” written by one Mark Davis. It was an informative and well-written piece about the financial hardships swimming pool and hot tub operators have had complying with a new drain safety regulation. Things were going well and Piney felt informed and advised. Then Mark Davis dropped in what might be termed the […]
Piney’s spousal unit thought a thorough medical check was in order, so she dispatched the old boy to the Mayo Clinic down in Jacksonville. And though everything and everyone there proved top notch, the ensuing months of financial wrangling leave one lasting diagnosis – this is no way to run a business. The doctors poked and peeked and pronounced all systems go except for an unsightly rash on my right shin and a hernia, self-diagnosed as unsightly cellulite. The docs and their helpers rubbed salve on the rash and threw me on a gurney to put a few stitches in my abdomen. That was in September 2008. At the first of October, just as I began to feel better, a thick envelope arrived in the flat woods with pages of medical jargon and a bill for $32,490.58. I picked my spousal unit off the floor (the stitches held) and told […]
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How did it come to this? How did our political life in America get to be so drenched in hostility? While reading an article about how “anti-environmentalists” are spending thousands of dollars to alter their vehicles to increase the smoke they produce, I came across this statement from one of that group, who call themselves “coal rollers”: “If [Obama’s] into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not.” And it’s not just the president they’re hostile to, it’s also those Prius-driving “librels” who, according to the article, might be specially targeted with a blast of smoke and soot. How did “if they’re for it, I’m agi Read on →
Every human culture, it seems, has had some notion of the sacred, and has placed that notion at the center of its worldview. From this, we can conclude several things: 1) that a sense of the sacred – like other universals, such as language and music – is an inherent part of our humanity; 2) that therefore we can conclude that this sense has served the cause of life of our kind through the eons in which we developed; and 3) that the experience of “the sacred” possesses an important kind of power, that it is not just an inherent part of us b Read on →
My high school years unfolded in a time when hanging out at drive-ins and burger joints was all we had. We played 45 RPMs by the Beach Boys and William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence. You know them as Jan and Dean of “Dead Man’s Curve” and “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” fame. Surf music was the craze back then in the era of steering wheel suicide knobs, but catching a wave in eastern Georgia wasn’t easy. Cars, though, now that was a different matter. Hot, candy-colored cars possessing names like GTO, Chevelle, Firebird, and Thunderbolt mesmerized us. So there we we Read on →
But the sacred is something that Liberal America, by and large, has not been tapping into. That was not always true. One can sense the sacred in the words of FDR, for example, engraved in the granite in that memorial on the National Mall. (And FDR was not shy about going toe to toe against his enemies, whether it be to help make the nation a better place or to stop the predations of the fascist powers against much of the world.) That was then. But if one listens to the voice of Liberal America in these times, one does not get Read on →