Sep
12
2014
12:35 pm

Can you have it all?

I was asked to speak at a conference this month on work/life balance.  Upon reflection, I recalled a poem from college by Kurt Tucholsky, “Das Ideal.”  In its essence, the poem encapsulates his idea of a perfect life:

 

“Yeah, you’d like that:

A villa in the countryside with an ample terrace,

faces the Pacific, backs up to Central Park (that’s the idea anyway) …”

 

Through the poem, Tucholsky paints a picture of the perfect life, one in which you can have it all. His ideal includes beautiful views of the mountains from the bathroom, servants, old wine, lots of money, splendid children, etc.  While the bottles of wine sound pretty good to me at the moment, we all have our own versions of the ideal, don’t we?  Yours likely varies from mine but the concept is the same – we all want to “truly have it all.”

Having it all – a high-paying and fulfilling career, a big family, ample free time to spend doing things you love, enough time with your spouse, caring for your children, and remaining an active member of the community.

Doesn’t having it all sound great? Juggling careers, families, and enough free time to enjoy the pleasures in life … totally doable.

In fact, that’s malarkey.  The “wonder woman” lifestyle, being a full-time career woman, mother, and community volunteer, is highly over-rated (if not impossible).  What is useful, however, are a few tips from someone who’s been around the block a few times and would like to see you get close to your own version of the ideal.

First step:  prioritize.  It took years of ignoring my husband and my therapist before I realized they were right.  You can’t do it all. Everything is not of equal importance.  So, what should you focus on first?  YOU!  If you aren’t healthy (mentally and physically) then you can’t effectively help your kid with homework, attend a reception with your spouse or answer that next darned email that comes right after you finish working through your inbox at 12:30 am.  You need to budget time during the week to take care of yourself – get some exercise, for goodness sake get some quiet time, and do whatever makes you happy.  Your family comes second. That may sound harsh, but if you don’t take care of yourself first then you can’t be there to take care of your family.  Third: let’s talk about work and where you are apt to make the biggest contribution and get the biggest bang for your buck.  Note – keeping an empty email box is not the answer.  Instead, think of the bigger picture. If you could do one thing to make your company better, what would it be?  Spend some time on the important things – the day-to-day issues will be there regardless.

Second step: learn to say “No.”  (PLEASE don’t let my mother read this.)  Yes, she’s right too – you simply can’t say yes to everything.  One must set boundaries.  “Five board positions and a full time job?!” my psychiatrist said to me one day.  “Consider one or two max.”  You can’t be everything to everyone, even though everyone may want you on their team.  Prioritize outside work life too.  Giving back to the community is fantastic as long as it doesn’t mean robbing you of yourself.  I encourage you to find one passion and pursue it with gusto.

Last step:  find out what’s meaningful to your family.  We spend most of our time at work, and the added time for the daily commute, the after-hours emails and the like add on to time away from family.  That means we need to maximize the bang for the buck.  A mentor used to tell me, “Ask your kids what means most to them and then re-ask every year.”  That’s great advice for prioritizing which family activities are the most important.  I might feel bad about missing a practice my child doesn’t care about, but she might love for me to take her to school when that doesn’t really take any extra time out of my day.  Focus on activities that can make the biggest impact on your family.  Ask each family member what means the most to them and see what they say, then try to make that one thing happen.

Kurt Tucholsky was nothing if not an idealist. But what he depicts in his poetry is far from easy to obtain, and in reality we are seldom privy to such luxuries as wealth, servants, and bottomless wine (although we can only hope).  What we can do is focus on what is important and prioritize accordingly.  Work, family, and personal needs all need to find balance in your life. Be prepared to let some things fall off the radar.  And, be okay with your own version of the ideal.

Jul
7
2014
4:06 pm

Moving soon? We can help!

No one disagrees that moving is stressful. Packing boxes, harassing friends for help, renting U-hauls, scheduling service technicians, all those change-of-address forms…and that’s only phase one of the process. Maybe you can relate to this experience? If so, you’ll remember how big the “little things” were when setting up a new home. At Gas South, we understand what a hassle moving can be, so we make it easy for customers to transfer their natural gas service. Of course, throwing in a $25 bill credit, too, helps alleviate the hidden costs of a new place — and beats the mistake of changing natural gas providers only to incur costly connection fees and deposits.

Well, what if you’re not a Gas South customer? It’s easy to switch and Gas South never charges a deposit! You’ll also receive a $25 bill credit on your first bill, plus a special discount off Atlanta Peach Movers services, the Southeast’s largest moving company.

To learn more, transfer or start your natural gas service with us, please visit http://www.gas-south.com/move . We’re ready to move when you are!

Jun
12
2014
5:38 pm

Natural gas safety for your home

Natural gas is one of the cleanest and most reliable energy sources, but there are safety measures to keep in mind when using it around the home.

It’s important to understand how to recognize and respond to leaking or damaged pipelines.

Check out our DOs and DON’Ts for managing natural gas in your home:

DO:

  • Learn all you can about natural gas. The more you know…the safer you’ll be.
  • If you detect the smell of natural gas in the air, don’t stay—get away. You should then contact Atlanta Gas Light immediately at 877.427.4321 or call 9-1-1. In its purest form, natural gas is colorless and odorless. A harmless chemical called mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it the distinctive, rotten egg odor.
  • Look for the blue flame. If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame they are operating correctly. (Decorative gas fire logs are the only exception. Their flame is usually yellow.)
  • Have all gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines in your home or business inspected every year or two by qualified industry professionals.
  • Keep the areas around all appliances and equipment clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the care and use of gas appliances and equipment.
  • Make sure there is at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home or place of business.
  • Review these natural gas safety tips regularly with ALL family members and coworkers.

DON’T:

  • Never let small children play with, or near, natural gas appliances or pipes.
  • Don’t use your stove or oven for anything other than cooking (for instance, to heat your home) under any circumstances.
  • Never move, install a gas appliance, or change a connector for any reason without professional assistance.
  • Do not use a space heater UNTIL you are sure it has been vented properly. If using a vent-free heater, make sure the automatic cut-off switch is operational.
  • Don’t install a gas appliance yourself, unless you are a qualified contractor. Instead, you should always seek professional assistance.
  • Never store household chemicals or combustible materials near gas appliances.
  • Above all, don’t forget to learn what to do if you ever smell natural gas in the air: call AGL at 877.427.4321 or 9-1-1 immediately!

Follow these safety tips and you will have a warm, happy and safe home powered by natural gas.

Questions? Ask us in the comment section below!

May
1
2014
4:38 pm

Free tickets, anyone?

You might think it’s too good to be true. The kind of thing you need to hear twice. Then a third time, just to be sure. “Two. Free. Atlanta. Braves. Tickets.” Still, there’s a catch, right? Small print somewhere? Or a disclaimer with the caveat: “When you purchase four brand new snow tires.” Maybe a 10-year timeshare in Daytona? After all, we’re always told there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

No, but catching a free game at Turner Field has one easy requirement…well, actually two. One: a minute of time on the computer. And two: you’ve got to be a Gas South customer. No tires, timeshares or industrial-sized orders of foam tomahawks to get these freebies!

The only drawback, if you want to call it that, is there’s a limit of 4,000 pairs of tickets to give away. So doing the minute-on-the-computer thing ASAP is a good idea. And if you’re a little late or need more tickets? You can still save on Braves games all season long. You see, we love the Atlanta Braves, as evidenced by our 6 year sponsorship, and we’re obsessed with sending customers to games!

This year, we’re also offering customers a whopping 38% discount off Sunday-Thursday games all season long. That means a lot less wincing when little Timmy wants a hotdog, coke and dipping dots. Another bonus: the 38% discount applies to many areas of the stadium, so the better your seats, the more money you save.

If you’ve read this far, like baseball, and are not a Gas South customer, you must be feeling a little cheated  by your current natural gas provider right now. That’s understandable. But we can fix that!  Just signing up with Gas South and choosing a great low fixed rate snags you free tickets — and throw in your season-long 38% discount for being a customer, and well, you  can see the Braves so often that you’ll save enough to cover  the physiotherapy bill for that nasty case of tennis elbow caused by over ‘chopping.

So let’s take care of that minute-on-the-computer. For Gas South customers: go to gas-south.com/braves, where you can order discounted or request your free tickets while they’re available. And if you want to taste a little Hometown Value with a new natural gas provider?  Click here and sign up by May 4th to get your free tickets.

The season is full of promise for the Braves. So enjoy it while saving some green. There’s nothing we like more than seeing y’all do the chop – and it’s on us!  Go Braves!

Apr
24
2014
9:20 am

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta win our Charity Cornhole Challenge

For the third year in a row, we sponsored our annual Charity Cornhole Challenge at SweetWater Brewing’s 420 Festival. Even though the conditions were pretty gloomy on Saturday, our competitors didn’t let the weather stop them from helping out a great cause and we had an excellent turn out!

Cornhole Competitors – Dan and Bret, from Virginia Highlands.

Several months ago, we partnered with Cornhole Atlanta to set up preliminary tournaments around the metro area. The winners of the preliminary tournaments faced off on Saturday with a VIP party at SweetWater up for grabs. Mike Bailey, from Perry, and his cornhole partner Bobby Mumper, from Jasper, came out on top and brought home the championship title.

Cornhole Competitors – Jonathan Chavis, from Jackson, & Bobby Mumper, from Jasper. 

Cornhole Champs! Bobby Mumper, from Jasper and Mike Bailey, from Perry.

 

Thanks to the success of Saturday’s challenge, we were able to raise quite a bit of money from team registrations. Hundreds of festival goers also donated cash in exchange for some fun Gas South swag (sunglasses, ponchos, coozies, etc.). By Sunday, we had raised $7,000 which was matched by SweetWater and Gas South bringing the overall jackpot for our Charity Cornhole Tournamanent to $21,000. 16 area nonprofits competed in Sunday’s tournament for a chance to win the grand prize which was won by Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. We awarded them a big check for $15,000 and divided the remaining $6,000 among the other finalists, The Giving Kitchen, Atlanta Humane Society and Georgia Jack Russell Rescue.

Our Charity Cornhole winners!

Overall, it was a great weekend and we really appreciate everyone coming out. See you next year!

SweetWater 420 Fest

 

 

Apr
18
2014
4:18 pm

Tips and tricks for becoming a cornhole champion

 

The SweetWater 420 Fest is THIS WEEKEND, which means it’s time for Gas South’s Annual Charity Cornhole Tournament. This year, we partnered with Cornhole Atlanta to host mini tournaments all around town and the ultimate showdown between the winners begins tomorrow at the festival. The champions will receive a VIP Party at SweetWater Brewery. Then, our Charity Cornhole Tournament begins on Sunday and over twenty nonprofits will be competing for $15,000! The money will be raised through the open cornhole tournaments and these funds will be matched by donations from Gas South and SweetWater.

To get everyone ready for this year’s showdown, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of rules and regulations of cornhole.

We’ll start with the game setup:

  • Make sure you’re playing on a nice flat surface with two league-approved boards. Bonus points for homemade sets!
  • Boards should be two feet wide and four feet long, with a six-inch hole centered nine inches from the top. Each board should be angled with the top edge of the playing surface 12 inches above the ground, and the bottom edge propped three to four inches above the ground.
  • Place the boards directly facing each other, 27 to 33 feet apart.
  • Each game requires eight bean bags that weigh 15 to 16 ounces and measure roughly six inches wide.
  • Cornhole can be played with two or four players. In a four-player game, your partner’s pitching box will be directly across from you. In a two-player game, if you start throwing from the left side of the board, you’ll walk directly across to the other board, and throw back from the right side.

Now that you’ve got your game set up, it’s time for some action!

  • Decide who goes first. Use a coin flip to decide who tosses the first bag.
  • Next, you let your opponent toss his bag. After he successfully tosses his bag, you toss yours, and well, y’all get the point.
  • Your feet should never pass the front edge of your cornhole board. If you step in front of the board, you get a foul. Foul punishments vary from game to game, so don’t cross that line!
  • Make sure a tossed bag never touches the ground. If it hits the ground and bounces up on the board, remove it before any other bags are thrown. If it’s hanging off the board and touching the ground, remove that as well. When all eight bags have been tossed to the other side, add up the score.
  • Once all the bags are tossed, tally up the score and do your victory dance!

How you get to the victory dance:

  • After all bags have been thrown, a bag remaining on the board is worth one point.
  • A bag that went in the hole is worth three points.
  • Add up how many points you earned and compare them to your opponents. Equal points cancel each other out so that only one team can score per round. For example, if you scored five points and your opponent scored three, you will add two points to your overall score and your team will throw first in the next round.
  • If you and your opponent both scored six points, there will be no points awarded.
  • A game is won when a team reaches 21 points with a lead of at least two points. The first team to win two games wins the match.

Cornhole Vocabulary:

  • Woody, Boarder: A bag that ends up on the board.
  • Cornhole, Holer, Corn in the Hole: A bag that ends up in the hole.
  • Dos Cornholes: Throwing two bags in the hole.
  • Holy Moly Triple Cornholy: Throwing three bags in the hole.
  • The Great Cornholio: A person that throws 4 bags in the hole. All present are required to bow down in reverence to this cornholer.
  • Get that corn outta my face!: A term used whenever you successfully counteract your opponent’s attempt to score. For example, when you put a bag in the hole immediately after your opponent does or when you successfully knock your opponent’s bag off the board.
  • Corn on The Cob: When a player puts every bag on the board.
  • Nothin’ but Corn: When a bag is tossed right through the hole without touching the board.

Now that you’ve brushed up on your cornhole lingo, grab a six pack of SweetWater and join us for a great time!

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, get them here!

Apr
17
2014
4:11 pm

Play Ball!

After a long, cold winter and a six-month hiatus, baseball season is finally back.   So what better way to take in last week’s Atlanta Braves home-opener than hanging out with 350 friends, witnessing the special 40-year commemoration of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and spending time with a former boxing heavyweight world champ?

The friends were in fact realtors who attended the 3rd Annual Realtor Appreciation Day, hosted by Gas South, Atlanta Peach Movers, Silverton Mortgage and Pierre & Associates.  It was a great way for us to celebrate, and thank the real estate agents who have helped make our Realtor Advantage Program (RAP) a success.

And the champ? Local legend Evander Holyfield, who even took up cornhole for the night, made possible by Gas South’s Cornhole Challenge. The verdict: He could compete for the ‘cornholder’ championship title, too!

Adding more buzz to the night was the kickoff of our Summer RAP contest. We’re giving away an iPad in May, and every realtor who refers a client to Gas South will be entered into the drawing.

We all had fun and we were thankful for the opportunity to show our appreciation to our realtor partners, who had a great time too!

So here’s to doing it again next year. Go Braves!

 

Apr
4
2014
6:37 pm

Let’s clear the air: Tax credit for low-emissions commercial vehicles is a wise investment in our future

Too often, public discourse about our environment dissolves into zero-sum game arguments, with any potential policy change tallied as a win for either “green” advocates or big business. This line of thinking is predicated on a misguided assumption: that the interests of these two parties are necessarily at odds.

Fortunately in Georgia, that’s simply not the case. Consider House Bill 348, a common-sense piece of legislation sponsored by State Rep. Don Parsons, R-Marietta, that passed the General Assembly last week with strong bi-partisan support.

The legislation establishes tax credits for commercial alternative fuel vehicles purchased in Georgia. That could mean a delivery van powered by natural gas, or a service truck that runs on electricity.

The goal is to create meaningful incentives for companies to upgrade their fleets and put more low-emission vehicles on our state’s roads and highways. This legislation also helps us to remain competitive with other states like Florida and Oklahoma that have enacted laws that have accelerated the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles.

Georgia is a transportation hub, and our logistics industry is a major contributor to our economy and jobs.  However, motor vehicle exhaust is also one of the largest contributors to poor air quality in Georgia, exacerbating a host of respiratory and circulatory issues, from asthma to heart disease.

The impact is far-reaching: In Cobb alone, more than 15,000 children and nearly 150,000 adults have asthma, according to the American Lung Association.  The cost of dirty air is measured in school absences, doctor’s visits, trips to the emergency room, and hospital admissions.

Clean energy vehicles that run on natural gas or electricity can help to keep our economy strong while also reducing harmful smog causing emissions by up to 90 percent. They also reduce our reliance on oil imports.

House Bill 348 specifically covers commercial vehicles powered by alternative fuels such as natural gas, electricity, propane, or hydrogen. Each of these fuels produce significantly lower emissions than diesel or gasoline, and are derived some domestic sources of energy. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is the most popular alternative fuel for commercial fleets, as it is widely available and significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel – about $1.50 to $2 less per gallon.

The savings can be substantial. DeKalb County, which recently converted its sanitation fleet to use CNG, estimates it will save $3 million over an eight-year period. Atlanta-based UPS is able to keep its shipping rates low by fueling delivery trucks with CNG.

Not long ago, the idea of plugging in your car or filling the tank with natural gas seemed nothing short of science fiction. But technology has advanced rapidly. CNG stations are now located throughout Georgia, while electric vehicle charging stations are common sights in many parking garages.

Our state legislature and Rep. Parsons in particular, should be applauded for taking steps to encourage the use of alternative fuel sources. It’s a modest investment that promises to pay great dividends down the road in the form of cleaner air, greater energy independence, a stronger economy, and healthier lives.

You can also find my article on HB 348 on The Marietta Daily Journal’s website here.

Mar
11
2014
2:23 pm

Struggling with higher heating costs? You could be eligible for assistance!

Georgia has experienced an unusually cold winter this year. Thousands of families throughout the state are struggling with higher-than-usual heating costs — and Gas South feels it important to let you know there are local resources to help.

Several non-profits are offering financial assistance or have extended programs helping those who are most in need. As a company committed to advancing the communities in which we live, work and serve, Gas South works with these organizations — such as the Salvation Army’s Project SHARE — and urges those who need help to reach out to them.

Here are some organizations and programs that may be able to help. Additional information is also available on the ‘Paying your Bill‘ page of Gas South’s website.

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)                                                                             Department of Human Resources
    Community Service Section
    Two Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 19-228
    Atlanta, GA 30303-3180
    404-657-3426 or 1-800-869-1150 (Toll Free)
    http://www.dhr.georgia.gov/

 

 

Each organization establishes its own criteria for assistance eligibility, which can be based on income or available funds, so we advise you to call or visit the web pages listed above for more details.

Feb
26
2014
12:56 pm

Children with special needs get a night out at the Circus

For the fifth year in a row, Gas South teamed up with the Georgia Municipal Association, Metro Atlanta Mayors’ Association and Feld Entertainment to treat more than 130 children with special needs to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Magical Journey at Gwinnett Center. Local mayors worked with schools and agencies across the metro area to invite the children and their families to this unique experience. The children were able to have a great night with their families and interact with the circus performance on the arena floor. A great time was had by all!

This was Gas South’s fifth consecutive year sponsoring this fantastic event. Unfortunately, the second show, scheduled for Thursday, the 12th was cancelled due to the weather. But the show will go on next year! A big thanks to our partners for making this possible.

To read more about the circus event, click here or watch our YouTube video here.

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