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Returning to the upright position


I have this ongoing back thing where every 8 months or so I wake up...turn over...and scream my entire building awake when a white-hot lightning-bolt of pain shoots up from my lower back up through the top of my head and I either seize-up in the bed like an frozen cow fetus or collapse onto the floor like the Hindenburg in fast-forward.

I don't know what it is...pinched nerve...pulled muscle...missing chromosome...but I do know that it hurts like hell to get upright in the morning. Once I get upright, I'm okay, but getting from Homo Simpson to Homo Erectus is the hardest thing imaginable. If I could crawl around all day without standing up, I would (it works well enough some Saturday nights...)

For me, this condition lends somewhat more credence to the folks fighting the science curriculum in Kansas - lower back pain is a justifiable foundation for an "Intelligent Design Theory" that would presumably explain away such painful evolutionary steps. Why would some monkey 2 million years ago go through this extruciating pain just to "evolve" into the upright position?

I can barely get through it to get the coffee maker.

But, I'm a born and bred science guy. Within 2 days, my back pain will be the furthest thing from my will the Dorothy Brigade...and I'll be back at the presumed top of the evolutionary ladder, right where I belong.

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More Xmas Cards

Had a great, creative, exhaustive Thanksgiving weekend.

...1 reality show audition video
...1 feather boa christmas tree
...1 college football game
...2 lasagnes
...20+ beers,
...but most importantly...more photos cards for $2 per!

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Piedmont Parking Deck

Atlanta's city council voted this week to replace 1 acre of park with a 783-space pay parking deck. An existing 100-ish space parking lot will be removed - adding 3 acres of greenspace but removing 100 free parking spaces. The additional roads that must be added to get to the new deck; this hard surface area was not entered in the "additional greenspace" equation.

It (was) an ongoing debate where the proponents claim the deck will solve street parking crowding and call the opponents "elitist"

Here's my blog contribution:

STREET PARKING - 783 new deck pay spaces and 100 or so fewer free spaces (the current, existing surface lot that is to be replaced by greenspace) WILL NOT mean fewer cars on the streets around the park.

RENTAL FACILITIES - The deck is for events at Day Hall and Magnolia Hall. Period. And on days when those facilities are booked and the deck is unavailable to the general public? Where do those cars go?

ELITISM - But hey! None of that bothers me! I’m all about elitism! Having a pay parking deck is about elite as it gets. I live next to the park and already pay for parking (with property taxes); now, O.T.P folks will have to a user’s tax, too. About time! Enforce permit parking in the streets surrounding the park and keep out all the riff-raff that think they should be able to come to a public park without paying!

Jeff (hoho on the

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Christmas Cards

I had fun (with Shawn's help) shooting pics for Christmas cards this year...let me know what you think, cuz I can sell these for $2 each!

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Natural Gas

Don't have it.

Miss it (for cooking), but don't have it.

Haven't even turned on my heat in the condo since I moved in January 2003. 10 ft. high glass walls facing south with concrete floors that heat up in the winter when the sun is low on the horizon. Perfect.

But I was curious about natural gas prices and how they have changed in the aftermath of Katrina since I last had to pay them. I got the following historical heating season data from the Energy Information Administration:

2001-2002 - $0.72/therm
2002-2003 - $0.82/therm
2003-2004 - $0.95/therm
2004-2005 - $1.02/therm

Then I looked for Atlanta area gas prices for this winter, 2005-2006. It's very easy to compare rates on the Public Service Commission's website. On the old, fixed-rate plan I had (I like my gas prices like I like my mortgage - no variable/adjustable for me!), I would be paying:

2005-2006 - $1.67/therm

Double what I paid when I last had gas.

Maybe I don't miss it.

Of course, I occassionally have to turn on the A/C during particularly sunny days in the winter. But that's just electricity, right? But just exactly how is that electricity generated? I checked-out my buddies at Southern Company:

"We added more than 4,000 megawatts of new generation in 2001 and 2002, all cleaner burning natural gas facilities..."


Back to the Public Service Commission:

Georgia Power (cents/KWH)-

Winter 2003 - 7.476/KWH
Summer 2005 - 8.610/KWH
Winter 2005 - ???

Maybe I can install a solar hot water heater on my balcony...

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Autumn in Sweetwater Creek

Dave and I made it to Sweetwater Creek State Park this weekend to see both the fall colors and the ruins of the New Manchester Mill.

The ruins are what is left following a fire in the 1860's.

"The mill was running at full force at 10:00 AM on July 2, 1864, when Union Cavalry arrived and captured the town and mill without firing a shot. As far as the factory workers, General Sherman’s orders were to “burn the mills and arrest all the women, no matter what the clamor”. The mill in Roswell was burned on July 7th, and New Manchester was burned on July 9th. Large cans of kerosene were carried to each of the five floors of the mill and each floor saturated; the mill was then torched."

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