January 03, 2013
Well, with 2012 now safely in the rearview mirror, it's time to finish up our look at what was up, and what was down, in the year just passed
Down. The News & Record's website. The website isn't "down" in the technical sense that it can't be accessed it is up and running.
But I mean the site is down in the sense of, like, what in the world is going on here?
Their old website was a pretty nice one, and the layout made a lot of sense to me, but now I go to the News & Record website and I'm just like, Whaaaa?
I can't figure out how to search for anything or how to do anything else on the site for that matter.
Plus, now, if you want to leave a comment on the News & Record site, you have to give them your full name and full Social Security number, your mother's maiden name, the day, month and year of your birth, as well as the security code for your ATM card. I mean, what's up with that?
Up. The county's giant new jail. The jail was originally expected to open in December 2011, and the Sheriff's Department held a grand opening ceremony in mid-June however the new facility only finally began taking inmates in late August.
Way down. Available parking in downtown Greensboro. Only Guilford County would build a giant new jail in a downtown area that's already strapped for parking, refuse to plan for one additional space to go with the new jail, and then inexplicably sell a giant county-owned parking lot right across the street from the jail virtually assuring that there will never be any good parking options for the new jail.
Up. Sidewalks and four-way stop signs in Greensboro. In 2012, the City of Greensboro continued its obsessive-compulsive mission to put sidewalks along every road, dirt path and vacant strip mall within the city limits. Likewise with four-way stop signs.
As I pointed out earlier this year, the city is currently having a mad passionate love affair with sidewalks, which is perhaps surpassed only by its crazy love for four-way stop signs. The three of them the city, the sidewalks and the four-way stop signs need to just go to a motel and get a room and leave us taxpayers out of it. If four-way stop signs can be all the rage, then why not three-way love affairs
Up. The amount of riff-raff on my street. 2012 was the year the city's sidewalk people finally got to me and my street. A few months ago, they slapped a Port-O-Potty in front of my house and, then, they showed up a few days later with bulldozers and large concrete trucks with giant spinning cauldrons. When they left, my grass was gone and a new sidewalk was in its place.
Before that, no one ever used to walk in front of my house; however, now, every time I look out my front window, I see a constant stream of the worst dregs humanity has to offer walking up and down the sidewalk to and from who knows where.
For years and years, before the sidewalk arrived against my will, I could work in my yard in peace. However, now and this is no joke when I work in the yard, people walking up and down the sidewalk see me and they walk around the front picket fence, walk up my driveway and come up to me while I'm raking or whatever, and they ask me for money.
I'm like: Really? You mean that, now, thanks to the City of Greensboro, I can't even mow or rake my yard on a Saturday afternoon without getting hit up for money?
I mean, you expect that when you're in a shady area of downtown on a Friday night, but, come on, not when you're in a shady area of your yard. A man's home is supposed to be his castle. Thanks to the city, I now need to build a moat.
Down. Big Bird and Elmo. At the start of 2012, it would have been hard to imagine that, by the end of the year, these two lovable Sesame Street characters would have become two of the most politically divisive and polarizing figures on the national scene, but that's exactly what happened: In 2012, both Big Bird and Elmo found themselves at the center of storms of controversy.
Way up. Etch A Sketch. When I was growing up, this was my iPad. Sad but true.
After a run of popularity decades ago, this humble child's toy which first hit the scene in July 1960 laid low for years and years as kids turned en masse to video games and iPods for their entertainment.
However, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, Mitt Romney's senior campaign advisor pulled the long-forgotten toy from the ashes of obscurity with a single off the cuff
remark comparing Romney's shift from the primary race to the general election to that of shaking an Etch A Sketch and resetting it.
As soon as he made that comment, suddenly, Etch A Sketches were everywhere and selling like hot cakes you know, I mean, if people knew what hot cakes were and, if hot cakes were actually a thing that sold really well.
Shares of Ohio Art, the company that makes Etch A Sketches, skyrocketed. The company's stock price more than doubled in a day, giving the previously obscure toy maker its largest intraday share price increase in over 30 years.
Up. NFL refs. Before the referee strike in the National Football League, NFL commissioners were probably saying to each other, "Look, who needs them anyway any Joe Blow with a whistle and a striped shirt can be a ref."
However, after being forced to watch Lingerie Football League reject refs (no kidding) blow call after call, league officials got antsy. Then, in late September, the replacement refs cost the Packers a win on a prime time nationally televised Sunday night game and in no time the NFL officials were pleading for the regular refs to come back harder than a starving man begging for hot cakes.
Down. The ACC. As someone who's still upset about the addition of Florida State to the league in 1992, you can well imagine that I'm not very pleased with the vast changes in the league that took place in 2012, which saw the loss of Maryland as a member and the addition of Louisville. The situation was so crazy that, two months ago, there were even rampant rumors Carolina was leaving the ACC for the Big 10.
Anyway, not only is Carolina staying and Louisville going to be a new member, the ACC has now announced that in 2014 the league is adding 323 new teams. Starting in 2014, conference rivals that used to play each other twice a year in a home and away series will now only play each other once every 52 years.
Also, starting with the entry of the 300-plus new teams, the ACC tournament will last for 23 straight days in February, with back-to-back games running simultaneously day and night in eight separate locations across the country. In addition, in order to make time for all the games, each ACC Tournament game will only be four minutes long.
Up. Candidate gaffs and mistakes. For some reason I'm not sure of, gaffs by political candidates seemed to be way up in 2012 compared to 2011.
And I mean on both sides of the island and at all levels of government.
Not that 2011 didn't have its share.
At the end of 2011, you had Rick Perry seemingly high on something, sounding giddy like a drunken schoolgirl, and his bizarre exhibition was surpassed in weirdness only by the Herman Cain ad's zoom-in close-up of Cain's campaign manager huffing on a cigarette....continued on page 2