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Atlanta Muni Traffic-court Musings

I had my traffic-court date today, my first ever. The poh poh pulled me over for a stop-sign violation just before the New Year to make quota, I guess, since he said (quoting) “you kind of went right through the stop sign.”

I wonder if “kind of” is a box you check on the ticket? Whatever. As a huge Law & Order fan, I welcome the chance to go down and check out the freakshow that is invariably there every week. Basically, this is me:



I welcome jury duty, too, but I don’t take it upon myself to call in for cases.

Some fun things that happened today:

• The judge was absent, playing golf probably, so I have to go back a second and third time.
• Officer Polk, the bailiff, was AWESOME - just like the wise-cracking one on Judge Judy.
• I was trolled by a Chatty Cathy dude, who was cited for selling cookies at Five Points. Yes, really. He had the most disgusting sneeze involving fluids and screeching that it made me mentally gag. Officer Polk, to his credit, kept telling him to stifle. Cathy just kept talking - even to people like me who for sure weren’t listening.
• About half of the names called were absent, which triggers a bench warrant. I wonder how much that costs the city - keeping track of city deadbeats.
• Those of us with minor citations were given the option to pay a reduced fine - about half. 99% of people eligible to do this (called “
PTIT” or pre-trial intervention traffic) accepted and went to pay - I declined so I could have my judge time.
• I took MARTA, which is relatively easy since I don’t have to change trains. Much easier than parking downtown - ably pointed out by my Tweep,
@Kategram1.

Stay tuned. I’ll update this post in a month when I go back to the City Circus.
- WP


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ArtWalkFest: A Day-long Celebration Of Atlanta Arts

(ATLANTA - 11 May 2011) :: Atlanta has a long and illustrious history of artist enclaves, lively creative events and world-famous destinations. Visitors to Studioplex this Saturday (May 14th, 11-6 p.m.) will see all of those elements together in ArtWalkFest.

At
Studioplex, the historic former cotton mill in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward district, first- and second-floor lofts and common-area spaces have been transformed to house artists, chefs, musicians, jewelers, glass blowers, photographers, painters and so much more. Here’s just a slice of what you’ll see:

stained

  • Shondra Leigh’s “Stained” line of socially conscious jewelry. These stunning pieces have been crafted from balls of tar that washed up on the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. (Visit Loft #201)


  • ARTvision Atlanta, benefiting Positive Impact, will hold its final round of sales, featuring discounted pieces from Delia Cochran, Sean Mansfield, Kimber Herndon and much more. (Visit Loft #131)

  • Lorikay Photography will be snapping free Facebook profile pictures with a red, chalkboard background to give you the customized look you want! (Visit Loft #205)


This is just a small selection of what’s on tap for this Saturday, 14 May 2011, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more, please
visit our website, RSVP to our Facebook event invite and follow ArtWalkFest on Twitter. See you then!

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'Cadence' Heads Up WP.com For April 2011

It’s proof that spring has sprung. It shows how beading water can be its own natural ballad. It’s grace after a wild storm.


“Cadence” (Zenyard II)


“Cadence” is the latest entry in my “Zenyard” series - showing natural images shot in my backyard here in Midtown Atlanta. Because beauty is very often just steps away - as long as we’re awake to see it. - WP

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The 'Giggle Machine' Rings The Death Knell For Soda Jerks

As reported on Asylum.com:

Rest in peace, oh soda jerk:
Coke Freestyle elevates individuals to instant mixologists by using a zesty touch-screen system to mix selections from over 100 choices into a custom beverage, all while delivering a geeky high-tech thrill.

It's been called "
the fountain of the future," "the most advanced soda fountain ever" and (in a backhanded-compliment kind of way) a path "leading to social ruin." Even Warren Buffett is a fan. But can this thing really deliver?

Coke spokesperson Helen Tarleton certainly thinks so, calling it a "complete departure from a traditional fountain machine." (She even reports that a gal was caught on security camera fondly embracing and kissing the machine.)

Tarleton expects 500 new Freestyle machines to pop up soon in Southern California, Atlanta, Dallas and Salt Lake City

We decided to take Coke Freestyle for a test drive at a local
McDonald's in Atlanta, where we came up with some crazy combinations using the machine's 100-plus flavor options.

While Freestyle's club soda can help cut the sweetness of some of the machine's more intense flavors, you are likely to go crazier with the combinations than you think -- and you're virtually guaranteed to forget whatever it is you put in your cup.

But we were able to document a few of our greatest hits for posterity:

"Doogie Fanta, M.D." (Combination: Dr. Pepper, Vault Peach, Cherry Fanta)

"The Red Wolf Blitzer" (Vault Red Blitz, vanilla Diet Coke)

"Barqing Berry" (Barq root beer, raspberry Dasani Sensation)

"Looney Tunes" (Minute Maid strawberry, vanilla Coke, grape Fanta, club soda)

"Lima-berry" (Grape Fanta, Lime Dasani Sensations, Club Soda)

"Customers love them," says Stephen Cordell, McDonald's on Cheshire Bridge's first assistant manager, who seems like a proud father reporting that his two Freestyle machines connect via Wi-Fi to the Coke mothership every morning at 2 a.m. for software updates.

Freestyle feedback was largely positive. "Wow, this is cool" and "How neat" were thrown around McDonald's by customers while we were testing it out.

So go forth, soda geeks, but make sure to keep track of your mix for next time -- and keep some Tums handy for the inevitable sugar-stomachache.

And check out our video from our Coke Freestyle recon mission:



And
take a look at our photo album, too.

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Cheers To Radial Cafe For Going Green... Article To Follow

Check out this piece on WSB-TV that features Radial Cafe! If you haven't yet visited this Atlanta landmark, you should do so ASAP.

Similar article forthcoming from yours truly in Atlanta Intown newspaper. Radial is using biodegradable to-go materials (pictured here) and is exploring the idea of composting egg shells and coffee grounds.

For more, visit
Radial's MySpace page.
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Here's My 'Postsecret': Byron Has Definitely Fallen Hard

I was doing my green duty riding Marta to the airport the other day and stumbled across this note... it was initially hidden from my view, but when a passenger got up I spotted it.

There was a nice gal seated to the left of the note, across from me, who thought I was nuts taking this picture -- but I wanted to capture it. All the Marta riders around me cocked their heads to figure out what I was doing.



In the spirit of "Postsecret," a collection of secrets from anonymous sources (thanks to Wayne and Ed for showing it to me), I've helped give Byron one last chance to reach the girl of his dreams.

This made riding Marta that day totally worth it.

I also gave the gal who tolerated me shooting this picture my info, so I hope she gets back. If so, give me a shout! Thanks to her for putting up with me.

So... Here is an example of honest and spontaneous affection that seems to have not found its recipient... So I'm putting this out there to keep his hopes alive.

# # #

Update: I did hear from my gal pal on Marta! Thanks to Marina for dropping me a line. See the comments section for more.
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House To Air On 'Renovation Nation' Next Week

Discovery Channel's "Planet Green" -- a brand-new, all-green channel with requisite tree-hugger programming -- will feature the house renovation next week. Check your local listings, but on my Comcast DVR it's slated for Wednesday night at 6 p.m., on "Renovation Nation."

As you check your local listings, watch out for the "Renovation Nation" that focuses on the Atlanta area.

Here's a preview of the channel itself:



And a
preview of the show:



In addition to green products,
Charley's deserts and my big gut will be featured. Don't miss it.

I'm gonna go eat my celery sticks now...
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'Zenyard' Heads Up WP.com For May

This capture was shot last year at the top pond in the back yard.

Some calm before the summer months. Also, look for some zen-related silent movies to follow later on.
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Crusty Gives Thumbs-middle To Shaun's



A group of us, including Chris "Crusty" Haddle, went to Shaun's on Saturday night. His review on AccessAtlanta is spot on:

"
While I admit that Shaun Doty is a talented chef, it's too bad that talent didn't get transferred to the operation of his eponymous restaurant. I made a reservation 2 weeks in advance for 8pm on a Saturday night. It was apparent that the hostess didn't have a good handle on the seating because it took us 45 minutes to be seated, even with a reservation. She showed us the table, then walked off. Is it too much to expect a little apology for the wait? Our waiter was apathetic and only mildly efficient. The food was OK, but I was hoping to be "wow-ed," especially by a chef of Doty's caliber. The best part of the meal was the dessert of sticky toffee pudding, but even that was a small portion. Basically, Shaun's is just OK, but I would suggest going during the week. I must say it baffles me why the AJC continuously puts mediocre-to-mildly decent restaurants on their Top 50 List (see Trois...ugh!). This city has so much more to offer."

They really did seem to be in over their heads... but I still think the joint has a lot of potential.
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