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.

Feb
6
2014
7:15 pm

Year Up gives young Atlantans a leg up

A recent study found that Atlanta had the worst income mobility in the U.S. and young Atlantans from low-income households have just a 13 percent chance of moving into the top 40 percent of earners.

Fortunately, there is an organization in Atlanta working to improve these odds. Year Up provides young adults with the skills, support and real-world experience they need to close the opportunity divide through internships at local businesses.

This year, two young women interned at Gas South, where they developed the critical job skills they need to join the workforce.

Jomicka Green and Liliana Tapia are Gas South’s first Year Up interns, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

I believe Year Up training can make candidates a better fit for our company and it helps mitigate the normal hiring risk we see day to day. I wish every young person we hire could go through this class.

While programs like Year Up help companies avoid hiring mistakes, it also gives young adults, who may have a difficult time moving up the economic ladder, the opportunity of a brighter future.

Liliana told me that she had to prioritize and either stay with Year Up and be something or stay with the hostess job and be nothing. She decided she had nothing to lose. I commend Liliana and Jomicka for their determination and tenacity. And we thank Year Up for creating this incredibly successful program!

For more information on Year Up, visit the organization’s website or check out a recent article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jan
14
2014
1:39 pm

Project SHARE and Gas South help Georgians keep the heat on

For most metro Atlanta residents, staying warm this winter is as easy as turning up the thermostat. But for low-income families struggling to make ends meet, it’s not so simple. For them, even the smallest financial crisis is enough to make bill payment impossible.

Fortunately, Project SHARE offers another option to help keep families warm this winter. Salvation Army’s Project SHARE provides emergency bill-payment assistance to families facing a temporary crisis.

For the second year, Gas South will partner with the Salvation Army to offer our customers a chance to donate to Project SHARE. Gas South will match customer contributions up to $10 per month. Contributions will be used to help families in need keep their heat on this winter as well as acquire necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical supplies. Donations assist residents in all counties in Georgia, and the money collected through the program stays in the county from which it originates. Your donation will help your own neighbors in need.

Gas South Cares is our year-round commitment to giving back to the communities we serve. We strive to make a difference in our communities through hands-on volunteer work and corporate giving that focuses on community, culture, education, and service. Project SHARE is a continuation of our commitment. Gas South customers can sign up to donate by visiting gas-south.com/projectshare. And remember, Gas South will match your donation up to $10 per month!

Jan
9
2014
9:33 am

Brrr!!! Higher bill this month?

It’s Mother Nature…but you can do something about it

Did you know what a “Polar Vortex” was before this week? Nope, neither did we. For those of us who had the recent “pleasure” of experiencing its frigid fringe, we learned that, as the name suggests, it’s very, very cold. So cold, in fact, that for a night, Atlanta was even chillier than Moscow, Russia, at 5  ̊F. That was just the temperature reading, however. Throw in the wind-chill factor and it felt like -11 on Peachtree Street Tuesday morning – a record-setter in the normally pleasant state of Georgia.

As expected, the local news was filled with how-to advice for battling the plunging temperatures. One segment even featured Gas South Vice President of HR & External Affairs, Meredith Hodges, who said that natural gas consumption was more than 20 percent higher in Georgia this past December than in the previous two years. And more bad news: January could be even higher! That means homes across the country could experience “bill shock” because of increased heating costs.

Since you may be using more gas than usual, your bills could be higher than you’d expect. As the temperature drops, your furnace must work even harder to keep your home warm. During this cold snap, follow a few easy energy saving tips, so you can stay comfortable AND save money. Did you know that decreasing the thermostat temperature by one degree can lower your bill by 3 percent? Or that that 40 percent of the energy loss in your home is due to leakage? We hope these energy-saving tips, some of which take little to no time or money to implement, will make a big difference for you.

In the meantime, stay warm!

Dec
13
2013
9:57 am

CNG – Making a Difference

 

Recently, we had the honor of speaking to Robyn Gillespie about her compressed natural gas (CNG) journey. Robyn purchased a CNG vehicle, installed an at-home fueling kit and signed on with Gas South. As a Gas South customer, she received our $200 bill credit for her recent CNG vehicle purchase. We are excited to feature Robyn’s story in this week’s blog post, as she talks about saving money and going green!

So Robyn, how did you first hear about CNG vehicles?

I work for an awesome company, Czarnowski, which is located in Austell.  However, I live in Gwinnett County – so no matter how you slice it – 45 miles each way.  When the PeachPass lane was rolled out, I was one of the early adopters even though it meant I was going to have to brown bag my lunch for the foreseeable future – paying a daily toll gets expensive fast.  Then as luck would have it, gasoline jumped to over $4/gallon.  Super painful!  So my commute was not only long and time consuming, it was getting out of control from a cost perspective.

I’d longingly look over at the empty HOV lane while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic both coming and going from work daily.  Once in a blue moon I’d see a single driver zoom by with the AFV tag – which meant they got to enjoy the open HOV lane without any other passengers.  The epiphany of being able to enjoy the open road is what shifted my research into AFV options into high gear.

Now what?  Electric?  CNG?  Biodiesel?  Other new emerging technologies?

Options exist…but very limited choices and even more restricted availability of actual road ready vehicles.  I ruled out electric almost from the get go as the mileage range is too restrictive and the cars are super small.  Installing a CNG conversion kit on my existing car was a strong possibility. I stumbled upon the Honda Civic NGV model and instantly knew that was the one for me.  Good sized car, lots of bells & whistles, good mileage range for my commute…I knew I had to have one!  That’s when things got very interesting…only 3,000 of these cars make it to the US every year from Japan and the majority of them go to California, Oregon and Colorado.  Fortunately, my persistence paid off and I was connected to Robert Thompson at Honda Mall of Georgia.
Why was it appealing to you to purchase a CNG vehicle?

Really the comfort of the Honda Civic NGV, reduced operating costs and the ability to have a natural gas fueling device installed at my home is what sealed the deal.  Although there are several commercial CNG fueling stations around town the thought of filling up in your own driveway is a super-commuter’s dream come true!

 So, which vehicle did you purchase and how long have you had it?

I purchased a brand new 2012 Honda Civic NGV from Honda Mall of Georgia.  Once I felt as though I had a solid solution to my commute challenge I “introduced myself” to Robert Thompson at HMoG (he has likened me to a Rat Terrier…persistent and high energy!).  We exchanged several emails about the car, service, pros, cons, etc.  Then in late February 2011 Robert called me to say one of the “magic” cars had arrived on the lot.  We set an appointment for later that day and for me it was “love” at first sight!  Took a test drive, talked some more and did my best to charm Robert…as he had several other folks interested in the car too.  The next morning I called, made an offer and two days later signed the papers…and rode off into the sunset…literally.

The next big hurdle for really making the car an easy one to drive was to get the special home pump installed.  Robert hooked me up with several folks and I started making calls.  Chuck Moon and his folks at Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) were absolute gems to work with.  As I’m usually in a client support role for my work it was really nice to be treated like a “client.”  Chuck’s team took really good care of me and helped get all the permits, paperwork and information rolling.  It took about 30 days (granted I was one of the first real home installations) from start to finish.  The Fuelmaker Pump was on its way from Italy to AGL and as soon as it arrived the gears were put in motion to get it installed.  Tony, from AGL and Kenny Greene, the installer, came out to the house and by the end of the day the pump was in and I was fueling.

How do you fuel up?

Carefully!  Just kidding :)   I lease the Fuelmaker Pump from AGL.  They came out and installed it directly to my home’s natural gas line.  So literally I fuel up in my driveway.  Attach the hose to the car, hit start and tah-day! the pump starts filling the tank.  Really super simple!


And how long does one tank last?

The Honda Civic NGV’s tank will hold the equivalent of 8 gallons.  So based on the average highway mileage per gallon I can go between 240 – 300 miles before I have to refuel.  The pump at my home fuels at the rate of 1 gallon per hour – so a short overnight pump has me totally refueled and ready to roll the next morning.  The furthest distance I’ve traveled so far in my “magic” car has been to the Blairsville area in North Georgia and back – approximately 250 miles RT…so I had plenty to spare. Plus, I know if needed I could always hop off at Honda Mall of Georgia and get a quick couple of gallons in an emergency on my way back home.

How do you like driving your CNG vehicle? And would you recommend switching to CNG to others?

So this adventure has been almost two years in the making.  All my original apprehension evaporated quickly once all the pieces fell into place.  I’ve been driving my “magic” car on average 90 miles a day.  As the car has an AFV tag, I don’t get hit with any PeachPass fees and I can cruise in the HOV lane all the way to and from the office or airport.  And I have a great home natural gas partner in Gas South!  My commuting expenses have dropped from an average of $18+/day to around $6/day and I’m saving 20-30 minutes in traffic each way.  Talk about a win-win!

I definitely recommend looking at the options available and then matching up your needs against the possible solutions.  I really like CNG because the infrastructure is in place now it’s just a matter of building the CNG driving community to really make it less alternative and more mainstream.  Every time I pass a gas station I just giggle at the price per gallon and keep on driving!

And then another surprise…in a great way…my CPA was able to get me $1000 in tax rebates for owning an AFV and also having the home CNG pump…this just keeps getting better and better :)

Thank you, Robyn! What a great story. For more information on compressed natural gas, visit Gas South’s CNG program page here.

Dec
10
2013
2:52 pm

Save money and energy with these simple year-round tips

Hey, what happened to fall in Georgia this year? Sure, the colors changed as planned, but doesn’t it seem like we skipped the pleasant transition of sunny, warm days with cool nights and went straight to scraping ice off the windshield and rummaging around the attic for ugly holiday sweaters?

All of this means one thing, of course – You’re using more gas to heat your home. However, there are things you can do to help offset higher energy bills. Follow these simple and important tips and you’ll be well on your way to saving energy this winter:

Lower the Temperature: In the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home or 60°F when you’re away. But do not turn it off. It will cost more to reheat your home from colder temperatures than to keep it at 60°F. This can save 5-20% on your heating costs. Even lowering your heat by one degree during any 24-hour period can decrease your heating bill by up to 3%.

Maintain your heating system: Keep the filter clean and make sure that rugs and furniture are not blocking vents inside the house. Hire a licensed contractor to inspect your unit and consider upgrading old units for improved efficiency.

Insulate your home and seal your windows and doors: More than 40% of residential energy loss is due mainly to air leakage – yikes! Add caulk or weather stripping to windows and doors to reduce energy-sapping drafts. Caulk around pipes, ducts, vents or other openings in walls, floors, ceiling and attic.

Run appliances with full loads: Running the dryer or dishwasher with small loads uses the same energy as running them with full loads.

Open blinds and drapes during the day: Let the sun shine in during the winter for added warmth. Close at night to prevent drafts and loss of heat through the glass.

Stay warm, Georgians! For more great tips, visit our website.

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