Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The lines continue to blur between this blog and my column in The Business Monthly.

Sometime between now and tomorrow evening I need to submit 900 or so words for my column in the January 2009 issue (Volume 17, Number 1). This is crunch time.

I already have a theme. It’s “the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past year.” For example, the good is the return of the poinsettia tree to the Mall this Christmas. The bad is the car dealer ad that surrounds the tree.

I guess that could qualify for the ugly too.

Another one, the good is the news that Integral Systems and SAIC have committed to over 300,000 square feet of new office space in Columbia Gateway. The bad news is that General Growth Properties had a major layoff this past week.

I could go on. I have others. The ugly examples have been the most challenging of the three. Good and bad tend to be black and white. Ugly is highly subjective.

Would you like to play along?

I’m open to any and all suggestions for the locally good, bad and ugly examples. Be creative. Of course I’ll only use the ones I like but I will attribute them appropriately (anon 4:15 AM, anon 5:18 PM, etc.). If you want to be discrete with your suggestions and not have them shown in the comments section here, you can email me at wordbones@verizon.net. 

It would be fun to see just how much I can blur these lines.


Anonymous said...

It's always tough to write something interesting, provocative, relevant,and timely for the Business Monthly. I always found that it was best to wait until the last hour and hit the keyboard with desperation. They always turned out OK.
However, this time of year really isn't the time for good, bad and ugly. It is really the time for


To All My Democrat Friends: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for other calendar years and the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


FreeMarket said...

You're doing quite well with the good and bad. Here's my shot at ugly:

The changing media landscape. Newspapers, even at the local level, are on the ropes. I think that will turn out to be a good thing for the public, but for now there is some uncertainty, which is ugly.

Another ugly thing, IMHO, is all the citizen groups that are popping up and pushing their special interest agenda. REGION, Concerned Citizens of West Ho Co, C20, etc. I want to speak for myself, thanks “neighbors”.

macsmom said...

I'd have to say all of the half-built McMansion projects brought to a halt by the house bust. It was ugly when they were destroying all the trees to clear the lots, and I wondered even then who really needed those houses...

Scott said...

maybe answer a question that I always wondered about... why is gas always more expensive in Columbia.. compared to ellicott city or other surrounding areas...is there a columbia tax?

of course... that is if I can even find the stations..

Anonymous said...


Always? You may want to check your assumptions.

For comparison, Columbia gas stations' prices today ranged from about $1.59 to $1.79, while Ellicott City's stations' prices today ranged from about $1.61 to $1.69. You do the math.

There is a pseudo-tax on Columbia gas stations, the CA (Columbia Association) lien, the same property tax assessment that applies to all other businesses' and residences' within Columbia (except for the outparcel properties therein). The CA lien pays for the operation of the Columbia Assocation's many recreational facilities, maintenance of the open spaces and pathways, and other community-focused endeavors.

Yes, some gas stations in Columbia can seem tougher to find at first. It's part of Columbia's aesthetics - not every business needs to scream "I'M HERE - BUY BUY BUY!" with tall, large, and bright signage as you pass. Any Columbian will be, however, more than happy to point the way to the nearest station if asked.

Anonymous said...

>>Columbia gas stations' prices today ranged from about $1.59 to $1.79, while Ellicott City's stations' prices today ranged from about $1.61 to $1.69.

Anon... trusting your research...So the cheapest gas is in Ellicott City by 10 cents.. that's pretty clear to me.

Anonymous said...

A little more clarity then: to put it more simply, $1.59 gas (87 octane) in Columbia was the cheapest Columbia or Ellicott City gas to be found yesterday (excluding considerations for value of time and cost to travel to that particular gas station).

Anonymous said...

I think you will find more complaints from people than those who appreciate the difficulty in finding gas stations, especially from those who work and pass through the area.