Stress and decisions

422575945_e293c5d53dSomeone in Athens found some pipe bombs. They took it to the police headquarters to report having found it.

People question how he could do something so dangerous. My reaction is I can easily see someone thinking of the police and taking them there.

The reason why we train people how to conduct themselves in dangerous situations is because people are effectively TERRIBLE left to their own instincts. Our instincts are all over the place. Sometimes good; mostly bad. Think about all the situations where we practice what to do:

  • tornado warning
  • fire
  • active shooter
  • hurricane
  • choking
  • CPR

The hope is the training will overcome any bad instincts and save lives. And these are just a handful of situations. The military wants people for a few years because it is going to take half a year or longer just to get people not using their worst instincts in an extremely wide variety of stressful situations. And the more good training they get, the better behaved in battle they will be.


Seems like something call “Reader’s Choice Awards” ought to have more than one choice for their categories. A few did, but in most cases there was ONE choice with the option to write-in. There were more categories with NO CHOICES and only write-in than categories with multiple choices. And even then there would be a couple.

Since this is voting on local businesses, one would hope the list reflects a somewhat comprehensive list of businesses. It makes me curious who compiled the categories. Hopefully there was not much effort.

Gunfighters MC

Gunfighters MC
Gunfighters MC Georgia

Driving off from brunch downtown, I followed these three (well, five) for several miles. My motorcycle gang expertise being extremely limited, I used the power of Google to see just what notorious trouble these people have caused. Brawls? Drug dealing? Executions? Terrorism? Probably not Hell’s Angels league but there must be dozens of organizations from forking and the popularity of badassness.

Gunfighters MC appears to be:

Original Gunfighters MC World is a male only international retired and active law enforcement motor cycle club.


It was definitely great weather for a bike ride.

In retrospect, yellow and blue do not really seem like the colors of someone seeking to intimidate.

P.S. The end scene of Ocean’s Thirteen where the beat up hotel rating guy wins a million dollars from Rusty’s playing the cheat code was filmed in front of the gate where my plane left Las Vegas from BbWorld in 2008. Maybe it is a sign I should go to BbWorld 2011 also in Las Vegas?

In Search of (No) Snow

Almost See the Loop I grew up south of the snow line. Maybe that was something my mother invented? Columbus, Macon, Augusta, usually known as the Piedmont Line, for us was the snow line. She watched the Weather Channel every day, so she would groan at all the near misses. She would contemplate driving north to catch it, but for some reason we never went. She was also the one checking outside every hour until 1am looking for flurries.

A selling point of moving to the snow side of the snow line was the prospect of actually getting to see snow.

So it surprises me when people on the snow side of the snow line complain about moving there from some place further north because it almost never snows in the south. Especially when in the past year we had a couple inches Feb 2010, a dusting in Mar 2010, a flurry in Dec 2010, and maybe an inch at Christmas. (I was not here for the Christmas one.) Since I have moved here we have had at least an inch of either snow or ice in 2007, 2009, 2010 x2, and now 2011.

Given all the snow we have had in the past twelve months, I would think the future prospects of us having more snow are pretty good for more in the next couple months. Normal snowfall periods for Athens is mid January to first week of March. By the way, average is supposed to be about 2.4 inches a year.

Scott Kelby’s 3rd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk

Just like I went on the walk last year, I went on the Scott Kelby worldwide photo walk in Athens this year yesterday. One local called us the paparazzi. Another asked if there was a photographer convention.

A couple of my takes:

Sunset Crane Founders Garden

Flickr Groups featuring photos from Athens and other walks:

Are Phone Books Necessary?

Southern Pages
Southern Pages

The Georgia Public Service Commission might stop requiring AT&T to distribute paper phone books. The rationale seems to be so many people rely on the Internet and use cell phones the phone books are less useful. That only one percent of people inside the Atlanta perimeter asked for one definitely supports stopping the service. Phasing out delivery would start with with larger populations.

I have only used a phone book once in the past 5 years. I wrote about Georgia Theatre weird phone calls. The local municipal web site provided 4 generic department numbers which didn’t help me much. The last place I lived used to publish the direct line of people in the phone book, so I tried White Pages. When I also didn’t find it there, I tried the text version just in case. Sadly, none gave me what I hoped. So I ended up calling a generic number and after wasting several people’s time, left a message for someone to call me back.

AT&T is only one of three entities offering me a phone book at both home and work. Southern Pages happened to leave a bunch of them where I could take a picture. All this duplication is a waste. I feel like I should only receive at most one every few years as a backup in case online sources are down or not useful.

I would be curious how often information in the books change over a half, one, two, five, and ten year periods. I wouldn’t be surprised if 70% of numbers in phone books don’t change over 5 years.

Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk

Playing with trains

Originally uploaded by Ezra F

A while ago, I mentioned the Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk scheduled for Athens Georgia. Several folks from the Athens Flickr Meetups showed up for this yesterday. Others I know from work, photography classes, and even just eating at restaurants also showed. Twice today people have mentioned they saw me and expressed interest.

Steven Skelton did a great job.

After 3 hours of walking and standing my feet hurt. 🙂


I’m blogging this.

Elizabeth For about eight months I have participated in a group called the Brunch Bunch here in Athens. We get together to eat and talk. Many conversations drift into the nerdy (my forté?). The locations vary so I have gotten to try new (to me) restaurants. Elizabeth (pictured right) vouched that I am a great guy. Well, these are great people.

Elizabeth also brought a friend of hers from out of town, Claudia. Claudia, smartly has a newer version of my Canon Rebel. I have the XT. She has the XSi (two models newer). The newest is the T1i.

Downtown Athens is a great place to shoot photos. So, we walked around for an hour or so looking in stores to get out of the heat. This is the hat Elizabeth bought from Helix who also had some cool stone candle holders. Native American Gallery had some interesting petroglyph jewelry and gray flower pottery. I’ve got some ideas for gifts to give for upcoming birthdays, holidays, etc.

One of the employees at Helix and Claudia both asked if I had a blog. I’m sure it was because of my shirt! I only admitted to this one and blogging about Blackboard. Though, I guess I have diversified somewhat here. I probably should blog more about local stuff as well. That would mean getting out more as well.

I'm blogging this.For years, I have been collecting teeshirts from At present the collection consists of:

Some others are on my wishlist. I do have some shirts from other places. By far the most popular is the xkcd sudo comic. I’ve added a few others from xkcd to my wishlist as well.