Oh, Atlanta

Man — talk about things that suck. And no, I’m not talking about the State of the Union, though, yes, that too, come to think of it.

No, I’m talking about Ragnarok coming to Atlanta.

I’ve always heard that the traffic in Atlanta made Chris Christie’s arteries look like the wide-open spaces, but still, damn.

I was mystified, shortly after my family was transferred from Ottawa, Canada, to Randolph AFB, Texas, to see school and pretty much everything else canceled the two times in five years that it snowed (about a gram’s worth each time).

But I didn’t have a driver’s license, or any urgent tasks to perform, so I suppose my ignorance was excusable. Plus a guy could pretty much walk or ride a bike everywhere on base, so the potential for fatal collision and/or extended naps in Dad’s Cad’ was greatly reduced.

Gee. Y’think suburban sprawl ain’t all it’s been cracked up to be?

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22 Responses to “Oh, Atlanta”

  1. bwestes Says:

    After living in Atlanta for quite a while in prep for the 96 Games there were times when I really wished Sherman had accomplished his goal.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve wished more than once that secession would have succeeded. Lots of faux-Confederate knuckleheads in my Randolph AFB grade school. We might not have gotten transferred there if Texas actually was a whole other country.

  2. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    I lived in Augusta for five years and people simply don’t know how to drive in the snow. The two times it snowed, and stuck to the pavement, while I was there made for crowded parking in the medians and shoulders of the roads. Add some ice on top of that, and I experienced that while living in Kentucky, and now you got some serious freeway dancing going down.

    I think the SOTU was just more of the same old same old, and if you don’t agree, I will throw you off the fucking balcony or break you in half. Plus I am going to take my carpet bagging ass to NY and run for the idiot’s empty seat. Bullies stink.

    • khal spencer Says:

      According to the NY Times, if some everyday Joe Blow said to that fucktard Michael Grimm what Grimm said to the journalist, it would be a Federal offense. Talk about double standards.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Closest I ever got to living in the South was a dad from Florida and part of a summer in Missouri. As I recall, that trip involved a flight to Atlanta, a drive to Nashville, and finally another via Kentucky to Springfield. The return to Colorado was accomplished via thumb, via St. Louis, KC and Iowa City.

      I’ll take Colorado.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        Word. I never felt settled in Georgia, and I could never figure out why. When I had to leave, job contracted out, and went to SIU on the GI bill, I had no regrets leaving it in the rearview window. Also had no regrets leaving Illinois. The one time we left Arizona, we returned at the first opportunity.

  3. Dale Says:

    I lived for a while in a tidewater county that didn’t even own a snow plow or a salting truck. The only snow removal equipment was on a nearby Naval Air Base, which would graciously help out the county after all the runways and base streets were cleared. We only had about 2 or 3 significant snow storms in the 4 or 5 years I was there. I really can’t fault the county for that.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Well, look who they vote for in this part of the country. I guess their “weather forecasting darts” hit something other than “cold, ice, snow” on the board when they tossed ’em over their shoulder? You know what my wife says….
    The bigger question is will they plan better for this in the future? Nope.

  5. Steve O Says:

    Fort McPherson was my dad’s first assignment, and it was my last, so I’ve lived there twice, about 40 years apart

    In between, I had about three jobs where I would visit the town about once a year.

    And if that visit happened to occur in the November to March timeframe, somehow I always brought an ice storm with me

    On the one hand, I couldn’t help but laugh at the Jethroes and Bobby Rays driving their mid 60 musclecar overpowered rearwheel drive vehicles, spinning out all over the place and ending up in the ditch

    But in their defense, there is something about water meeting concrete at 32.1° that makes it twice as slick as the snow we are all used to

    Down south, I’ve seen roadsigns telling folks to turn on their headlights when it’s raining, reminding folks that bridges freeze before the roads do, and other helpful hints like that

    But they really need one reminding folks not to floor the gas when they start to skid, and reminding them to turn into the skid.

    Since were on the subject of Atlanta… Short little story I can’t help but share with the slightest of prompting …

    Several years ago, the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a contest to come up with a new motto for the city. “This city too busy to hate” I guess had served it’s purpose and was dated. The contest was supposed to be taken seriously, but about seven of the top 10 vote getters were all pretty funny. My personal favorite was, “come back, Sherman… You missed a spot.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Haw. It’s like the signs you see at arroyos in Tucson, warning not to enter if the water’s running. Sure as shit, some yahoo will wind up sitting on top of his car in the middle of a flash flood, cursing the gummint as he hollers for help.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Used to be almost as much of a clusterfuck on Long Island back when I lived there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I never lived in a big city full of cars. Denver was probably the biggest, and that ain’t nothin’. I’ve driven in LA, but not recently, thank gawd. Not for me, even with the commute being from the bed to the coffeemaker to the iMac.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I lived on Eastern Long Island, which meant 50 miles the wrong side of NYC from the rest of the world. We called the Long Island Expressway “The World’s Longest Parking Lot” for a reason. Give it some snow and ice, and you had the perfect ClusterFuck. Getting on and off the island was always a matter of timing your dash around rush hour which was, needless to say, longer than an hour. Typically, I would hit the road from Port Jefferson before four a.m. to get over the bridge crossings before the roads turned to flypaper.

        Honolulu wasn’t so bad. I lived twelve miles from work, but that was a twelve mile time trial in the morning and again at night, back when I was young and frisky. My Summer Solstice commute home was to ride into downtown Honolulu from my office at the university, ride over the Koolau mountain pass on the Pali Highway to the Windward side, and then home around the southeast end of the island.

        Damn, I stayed in good shape.

      • Larry T. Says:

        I grew up on the southwest side of El Lay and most recently lived there in ’95-’96. I really sucks knowing you can’t go anywhere on the 405 north in the morning or south in the evening. An amazing part of one’s life there revolved around just when you actually might be able to go anywhere in a car. On the other hand, like Khal, I did most of my commuting on a bike, a 25-30 mile ride around the Palos Verdes peninsula (back before you had to buy a ticket to see the sea) in the morning and another one in the evening if I felt like it. Hills, flats, whatever I liked. My other gig at the bike shop was just a mile or two from my house so I could just pop over on the shopping bike. Like Khal, “Damn, I stayed in good shape.” without really trying….but other than that I don’t miss living there. A yearly visit is more than enough!!!

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        I used to go to LA for business 2 or 3 times a year in the middle 80’s. Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton and Rockwell in Tustin were the companies I went to. Always flew into John Wayne airport, and drove Harbor Blvd. into Fullerton. I always avoided the freeways, which seemed busy 24 hours a day, and stayed on surface streets when I could. Experienced my first earthquake there, in the airport, in 1987.

      • khal spencer Says:

        One of the reasons we left Honolulu was as Larry said, one had to time one’s life around when you could actually go somewhere. One of my good buddies is still on the SOEST faculty. He leaves before five thirty a.m. to get to his office if he drives, rather than sit in a snarled mess.

        That was the nice part about the new bike lanes that went out to Hawaii Kai. The road would be stopped cold for several miles at a time but side streets were very far apart. I could hammer along in the (very underutilized) bike lane at a very fast pace, only slowing down for intersections to avoid being victimized by turning traffic. There is an art to riding fast in heavy traffic, but it can be done safely.

        Nowdays, I would worry, with all the texting drivers failing to stay in lane.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Fullerton? Tustin? THAT ain’t El Lay, my friend, that’s behind the “Orange Curtain” as we used to say – in every way much, much worse than El Lay, once they plowed over all the orange groves and slapped up tract homes anyway. Full-on Repuglican land. As a high-schooler I could still drive my pickup truck with MX motorcycle in the back past some orange groves to Saddleback Park for some internal combustion fun. Now I’m sure it’s something called “Pine Lake View White People Estates” with a six-lane road full of traffic 24-7, just like Atlanta.

      • Derek Lenahan Says:

        When I lived in Newark you could take the PATH to NY. The stop was only a couple of blocks away on the surface. No driving or riding.

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