More Prayers to the Rain God of Dixie

Remember back in July, when Bob Riley, the governor of Alabammy, issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain? One could argue that it met with some degree of success. One would be wrong, but that never stopped anybody.

On Sunday, a series of strong thunderstorms brought torrential rain, flash floods and lightning to the area, but apparently not enough to bring much relief to the drought-stricken area.

“I don’t think it made a big dent,” said Patrick Gatlin with the National Weather Service’s Huntsville office. “… This is the most rain we’ve seen in quite some time but it definitely won’t get us back to normal.”

Sonny PerdueWith a record of success like that, it should come as no surprise that in Georgia, where they’re dealing with a drought of historic proportions, Governor Sonny Perdue would put that tried and true method to use:

Bowing his head outside the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a newly repentant figure as he publicly prayed for rain to end the region’s historic drought.

“Oh father, we acknowledge our wastefulness,” Perdue said. “But we’re doing better. And I thought it was time to acknowledge that to the creator, the provider of water and land, and to tell him that we will do better.”

Hundreds of Georgians — ministers and lawmakers, landscapers and office workers — gathered in downtown Atlanta for the prayer vigil. Some held bibles and crucifixes. Many swayed and linked arms as a choir sang “What a Mighty God We Serve” and “Amazing Grace.”

As Perdue described it, “We have come together, very simply, for one reason and one reason only: To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm.”

And did the Rain God deliver?

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday morning that he’s not gloating over the fact that it rained a day after he held a prayer vigil at the Capitol.

“This is hopefully the beginning of more,” Perdue said from Canada, where he is on a trade mission. “One rain won’t refill the reservoirs. It is great affirmation of what we asked for.”

Most of metro Atlanta got a little rain overnight ahead of a strong cold front that blew through North Georgia, and a wind advisory was in effect for gusty conditions behind the front on Thursday.

“As we do all we can from a conservation standpoint, virtually all of us know we are dependent on rain. I am just a person who believes it comes from God,” Perdue said.

While almost all of metro Atlanta got rain, most rainfall totals were only around a quarter-inch or less.

Overnight rainfall totals included .14 inch at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, .21 inch at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and .28 inch at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

The rain was a little heavier north of town, with Cartersville reporting .82 inch and Gainesville .75 inch.

The wind advisory for 20 mph winds gusting to 30 to 35 mph was in effect from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

“Such strong winds may result in weak or small trees being blown down, some possibly onto power lines,” the Weather Service said. “Loose outdoor objects such as lawn furniture and garbage cans, should be secured or stored indoors.”

The forecast for metro Atlanta calls for sunny skies on Friday, with early-morning lows in the mid-30s and afternoon highs in the upper 50s.

Lows will be in the low 30s Friday night under mostly clear skies, forecasters said.

The weekend outlook is for mostly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the mid-60s and lows in the low 40s.

There is a 20 percent chance of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday, the Weather Service said.

Praise be.

While we’re on the subject, what’s the deal with the names of Southern politicians? You’ve got Sonny Perdue, Trent Lott, Saxby Chambliss, and I’m sure plenty of others. I’m guessing that Lott and Chambliss carry old family names that remind their constituents of the glory days of the region, kind of like the confederate flag.

Do you think anybody with a name like that could be taken seriously up here? I mean, “Trent Lott” sounds like a name Elvis would call out in the middle of a song to introduce a bass solo, and “Saxby Chambliss” has to be the sort of effete upper-class fellow Scarlett O’Hara’s family would have tried to marry her off to, but he just wasn’t manly enough for her.

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Google the Yenta

I was doing some research for a blog post earlier today. I needed to get some information on a member of Congress who’d officially come out as an atheist, so I ran a Google search for [atheist in congress]. Look what I got in the onebox:

Google results for atheist in congress

It seems my mother has been speaking with Larry and Sergey. They’re all in cahoots, trying to get me a date even when I’m not looking for one. A word of advice: I’m not going to date someone all the way down in DC, even if she is an atheist. I’m sure there are plenty of perfectly nice atheists right here in Boston, so stick that in your algorithm and smoke it, Google.

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It Pays to Be Observant

Siouxsie Sioux…and I like to think that I am. Today I had to venture outside of my precious hovel to go to an appointment, and I observed some very interesting things. No, I did not see the cat detector van from the . But as I was walking toward Massachusetts Avenue to catch the bus, I noticed a real estate sign in front of a house at the corner of Eustis and Arcadia Streets in Cambridge. The name of the realtor was Susie Hsu. Say that name aloud. Haven’t you been wondering whatever became of her? I know I have. I saw her perform with her band some 15 or 20 years ago at the Orpheum in Boston and she was pretty bad. She kept complaining about how hot it was on the stage. You’d think she’d have learned to expect that and accept it as a standard occupational hazard. I wonder if she brings Budgie along when she runs an open house. I wonder if he’s changed the spelling of his name. I suppose he could be “Bud Gee” and they can be a pretend Asian couple together, selling houses in Cambridge as Susie Hsu and Bud Gee of Ban Shee Realty.

Later today, on my way back from the appointment, I was right around the Lexington/Arlington border (still on Mass Ave) and I passed by a car wash. In front of it, a man was wiping down his car, presumably after running it through the wash. The man was a white guy, with white hair, probably in his early 60s, wearing khaki pants and a green sweater. The car was a Cadillac, with a vanity license plate that read MD4GOLF. Now, I don’t know if that was intended to mean that the man was made for golf, the car was made for golf, or they were both made for golf, but in any case, I think this proves the point I made last night.

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