Showing 1 - 10 of 257 posts found matching keyword: georgia
Saturday 24 February 2024
I read in the local newspaper that my county currently averages 1 suicide every 14 days. That's on pace for 26 a year. If that seems high, it's because it is.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Americans kill themselves nationally at a rate of about 14 per 100,000, which implies that Coweta County, Georgia, population 155,000, should expect something near 22 suicides per year. For Coweta, that figure is an aspirational number.
What's so bad about living in Coweta? I can only guess.
Of course, thanks in part to our poor healthcare system and our easy access to guns, Georgians kill themselves more often than average Americans. (That's just the price you pay for freedom!) By Georgia standards, Coweta should see 24 suicides per year. So maybe our higher rate is our friendly way of helping prop up those counties that aren't pulling their weight.
Back when I was in a Coweta County high school, the statewide suicide rate was only 13 per 100k (national average 12/100k), yet I knew several people whose parents had killed themselves, and I knew students who attempted it. If people are finding things more bleak and hopeless now than they were then... as a community, maybe as a whole society, we just must be doing something wrong.
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Friday 26 January 2024
The bitterly cold 13° temperatures we experienced last week did not leave us unscathed.
Believe it or not, this flooded cellar was the result of an exterior spigot freezing and cracking. We thought we had the spigot well covered with an insulated sleeve, but it was just too damn cold for too damn long.
The spigot froze and snapped entirely off. Instead of flooding the yard, the water rushing out of the pipe shot straight into the still-secured sleeve where it hit a dead end and rebounded into the cellar ventilation. The resulting underground swimming pool did a whole lot of damage to the water heater and furnace.
Thanks to a lot of help from restoration professionals, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and electricians, we're getting close to the other side of it now that the temperature is back to an unseasonable 70°, warm for January even by Georgia standards.
The entire experience has taught me two lessons. One, we should tie the insulation sleeve on much more loosely (a frozen yard is better than a flooded basement). And two, winter sucks.
Saturday 2 December 2023
On the bright side, it's kind of comforting to lose an SEC Championship game to Alabama again. In changing times, it's reassuring to have a familiar rock to crash your ship upon.
Saturday 11 November 2023
Last week, knowing that Mom would be busy tending to her wounded beau, I sent a message to my standing group text with my friends looking for someone to accompany me to tonight's 7PM football game between #2 UGA and #9 Mississippi. They ignored me.
To add insult to injury, my so-called "friends" were unsympathetic the following day when I complained about people who put up and decorate Christmas trees the first week in November. Are they really my friends if they hate live football and think Christmas should be celebrated before Thanksgiving? I say no.
So I did what any sane person would do: I deleted the group text chain from my phone and went to the game by myself.
Sure, it was cold and drizzly, but I still had a great time (and a hand warmer), mostly because the Bulldogs were totally dominant (and because Mom wasn't there to talk me out of bringing a hand warmer to the game). The seniors were celebrated; the veterans were celebrated; the SEC Champion soccer team was celebrated.... After halftime, it was pretty much all celebration inside the 9th largest football stadium in the world. These are good times to be a Bulldogs fan.
There are still two games remaining on the season, but this was the last home game of the year, an unusually early ending to a (mostly lousy) home schedule. Looking back at the four I attended, Kentucky was the most fun, but this was an easy second place. The question is whether I will be back next year.
It is getting very hard to find people to go to the games with me, especially since I have fewer friends than I thought I did. (Christmas tree-hugging bastards!) So spending thousands on a couple of tickets I can't (and don't want to) always use is starting to seem like a bad use of my money.
I'll see how I feel when the bill comes due in February.
In the meantime, do as Miss Manners advises and "finish your turkey before putting up Christmas." Assholes.
Saturday 4 November 2023
It's a big deal when some teams come to town no matter their records. And it's not such a big deal when some other teams come to town, no matter their record. Auburn, Tennessee, and Notre Dame fall into the first category. Missouri is in the other.
I think that most of the problem is that Georgia has only been playing Missouri regularly since the latter joined the SEC in 2012. In that decade, Missouri has beaten UGA only once, and looking back at my write-ups of previous games I've attended, very few of those have been worth watching. Obviously, that's not going to stir the imagination of either fan base, even when Missouri is ranked #14 and Georgia #1 (or #2, if you're a 2023 CFP voter).
Making things worse, because Georgia played on the road for most of October, today was Homecoming, which means an audience full of fans who aren't in attendance for the game. So instead of having the feeling of a title bout knotted at 10-10 at halftime, today's stadium atmosphere was more... mildly bemused. Think Rome before Maximus demanded to know if the crowd was entertained. (It certainly wasn't helping that it seemed like the officiating crew blew a lot of calls in both directions. Maybe even the refs weren't particularly excited by the matchup.)
Like Maximus, UGA was ultimately victorious, winning 30-21.
From my point of view, the brightest spot of the evening was Mom's decision to honor her sister's request to take a "selfie" of the two of us after the game was over. Despite being the one holding the camera, this is the face she made when she pressed the button to take the picture:
That's worth the price of admission.
Saturday 7 October 2023
I've been in something of a funk lately, where not much really satisfies me and nothing is fun. So I wasn't particularly eager to attend today's UGA game versus Kentucky in Athens, despite it being a night game, and especially with so many Cassandras predicting that this would be Georgia's first loss of the season.
Which is why I was surprised that I did have fun, in no small part perhaps because for the first time all year, UGA played on a championship level. Final score: No. 20 Kentucky 13, No. 1 UGA 51.
The forecast for the game was the coolest weather of the season so far. I was going to take a handwarmer with me, but my game companion, my mother, talked me out of it. I assure you, she did not hear the end of it.
After cold hands (and nose and ears: the wind chill was unrelenting), the biggest problem I had was a sinus headache that grew worse each quarter. But not even that was enough to sap my enjoyment of the game, thanks in large part to the enthusiastic crowd, which was uncommonly convivial, probably because of the need to stick together for warmth. Seriously, though, there seemed to be fewer drunk and/or obnoxious fans than usual. Perhaps they had all passed out prior to the 7PM kickoff, but if the cold weather was responsible, I could handle more of that every game!
Note to Mom: from now on, if the forecast calls for 60° or under, handwarmers are mandatory.
Saturday 2 September 2023
After winning 2 consecutive National Championships, the University of Georgia football program has rewarded its loyal season ticket holders with a schedule consisting of traditional rivals Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech... all on the road. (Florida is the "home" team when the World's Largest Cocktail Party is played in odd-numbered years at the "neutral" site inside the state of Florida).
By comparison, the home schedule is UT Martin, Ball State, South Carolina, UAB, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi. This is, without a doubt and by a very wide margin, the worst home schedule I've seen in my two decades as a season ticket holder. Mississippi is the only game with any promise of being a worthwhile watch, and I'm sure I could get pretty damn good seats to that for much, much less than what I paid for the entire slate. ($1,720 this year, if you're keeping track at home.)
I figured if any of those unworthy cupcakes was going to make for a fun experience, it would be the opener against UT Martin, with the debut of UGA XI "Boom" (following this week's unexpected death of Sonny Seiler), a rare 6PM kickoff, and a crowd eager to celebrate the 2022 National Title.
I was wrong.
In November of last year, I made a note to myself that games like the 2022 contest against Tennessee (ranked No. 1 at the time) were the reason I annually buy season tickets. Games like this are the reason no one should.
UGA rightfully treated the game against the NCAA Division I FCS Skyhawks like a glorified practice, with Mike Bobo's patented vanilla play-calling and an offense that looked like they could have used a few more weeks of minicamp. The shadows advanced down the field faster than either team. The word "boring" doesn't quite describe how uninspiring it all was. I've had more fun watching Pop Warner drills. If Georgia played like that against an SEC opponent, well, no one would be talking about three-peating, that's for sure.
What was worse was that UGA has now closed Gillis Bridge overlooking the West end zone on game days, which also closes our traditional route into the game. When we did finally arrive inside Sanford Stadium, Mom quickly overheated in the blaring late afternoon sun. So we left as the band cleared the field at halftime, having had a simply dismal experience. Given that a total time of 3 hours and 40 minutes would pass before the final whistle was blown (in a game that was televised to a very limited streaming audience but with a full complement of television commercials), I'm certain we made the right call.
Maybe I'll go back when a competent SEC team comes to town... in November.
Thursday 22 June 2023
Today I saw Seth Meyers perform stand-up comedy at Atlanta Symphony Hall. He was *so* funny. I laughed so hard, I spit.
His act was mostly jokes at the expense of his family, especially his wife and kids. There were also bits about the Muppets, the pandemic, weddings, and sports. There was no explicit talk about Late Night, which remains on hiatus during the ongoing writers strike.
I sat in the front of the Logue Left section, which gave a great view of the stage. I had the middle of five seats, but I did not know my seat neighbors. I went alone. So far as I could tell, I was the only person in the whole auditorium who did.
I didn't even ask if any of my friends might want to accompany me. I usually watch late night talk shows alone, so I jumped ahead to the conclusion that I didn't need any company to enjoy this, either. I'm glad to report that I was right.
John Oliver is coming to the Fox Theater later this summer. Since there's no sign that Last Week Tonight will be filming new episodes by then, I might have to go to that, too.
Tuesday 16 May 2023
In late December, the power in my neighborhood was out for days. In late March and April, it was out for a few hours. As I type this by candlelight, we're on hour 5 of the latest outage.
I don't understand why this keeps happening. If it's trees falling on power lines, why are we allowing any trees to remain near the lines? If it's old transformers, can't we predict failure and start replacing them?
Or maybe the problem is more insidious.
You know who loves it when the neighborhood is dark? Deer!
I'm on to you, you bastards.
Saturday 22 April 2023
From this week's Newnan Times-Herald:
The Coweta County Sheriff's Office has been hosting the conference since 1993, offering free training for law enforcement and first responders in areas such as long range precision rifle (above photo) K-9 handling, DUI detection, use of force, State Opioid Adapted Response and the legalities of various aspects of policing.
Personally, I had my fill of "long range precision rifle K-9 handling" the one time I watched Old Yeller.