The Olympic year begins.

Tuesday, January 30th, 1996

Time flies when you’re trying to get some work done. Hello from a city that doesn’t look all that ready to host the Olympic Games. I was thinking about this some as I returned from the airport the other day the back way (to avoid traffic), which means up tawdry Stewart Avenue, around Northside Drive past the Georgia Dome, and across North Avenue to my neighborhood. Oh, by the way, there’s a live camera that looks down North Avenue across the Georgia Tech campus, covering some of this route. (The resolution is probably insufficient to see a grey 1985 Honda Accord putting up the street. And that’s a good thing.) A stone’s throw from the Georgia Dome you’ll find a huge collection of burned-out, hollow, former low-income projects (that’s the kind way of saying ‘slums’), surrounded by barbed and razor-wire fences. And immediately across from the GaDome, where they bulldozed a bunch of old houses in a neighborhood once known as Vine City, they (no, I’m not sure who ‘they’ are) built some apartments and cluster homes that are on first glance quite attractive, but on closer inspection, have alarming bulges deforming the sides of their vinyl siding. As I drove on, I noticed with some alarm the number of abandoned buildings within blocks of the Olympic Village. Unless there’s going to be a stunning last-minute flurry of cleanup and occupancy, I think the world will get a fairly good picture of life in a not-too-sleepy southern town.

Why am I telling you this? I’m really not sure. This, like many other of my attempts at WWW-connectedness, is a stream-of-consciousness effort, and right now, because of all the rain, my streams are a bit above flood stage.

Sammy (pictured all-a-blur, above) has been spending her weekdays in Athens being a full-fledged college student, living a bit of an ironic existence, driving the fancy truck and writing into her PowerBook as she has been staying at friend Margaret’s house, heated by a woodstove and, because the refrigerator isn’t working, cooling dairy products with bags of ice. Abe Lincoln may or may not be proud.
But here at the ranch the amenities are slightly more in place, although there’s always stuff that needs to be tweaked or fixed or thrown out or (my personal favorite) ignored.

My head’s been ringing with the songs of Joan Osborne and Alanis Morissette lately, and I own none of their CDs, so go figure. Something about the frequencies of their voices slapping around the insides of my cranium, I s’pose. Kids these days.

My last remarks (involving dreams and the smell of Steubenville Ohio) provoked quite a few remarks, mostly from friends who had their own, wierder comments to relate. (Tom Burton, for example, had this dream about people apparently having a yard sale in Avondale Estates and ended with Jimmy Carter and daughter in one of those perverse Calvin Klein spots.) And then there was a photo-altered comment from Steve Kowalewski, who thought the idea of me posed next to a sign saying ‘Thickly Settled’ was too funny not to comment on. Oh, all right. Your comments, visual and otherwise, are always encouraged.

I continue to enjoy getting my daily news from the web, and the New York Times does a fine job of packaging this, right down to the crossword puzzle (although as some folks have noticed, the Sunday magazine doesn’t seem to offer their pieces.) Also notably revised is the San Jose Mercury News, which, apparently feeling some corporate pressure from fellow Knight-Ridder paper in the twin cities, decided to offer more free content, notably some great coverage of the computer business. Interested in the twin cities? Want to know where the twin cities are? Check out the excellent ‘Pioneer Planet‘, which doesn’t sound like it should be a newspaper from St. Paul, but it is.