Sunday, March 29, 2009

2 Things Challenge Foot/Step

The 2 Things Challenge for this week is Foot/Step. A while back I was photographing some of the street people who frequent and hang out around the 5 Points South Area of Birmingham. The Highlands United Methodist Church, situated immediately next to the fountain, hosts a Hospitality Hour six mornings a week for these people during which they provide some form of breakfast, mail service, clothing assistance, and laundry service. It was mid afternoon when I spotted this gentleman sleeping on the front steps of the church. I know the first part of the challenge is "Foot" but I seldom see any feet except my own or my wife's, unless they are clad in some form of shoe. So I settled for "shoe" as the representation of foot, bright yellow shoe that is, and the concrete step on which he sleeps will do for the other half of the challenge. I took a little liberty with the background of the photo and added a spin blur to represent what I think the gentleman was probably feeling in his head as he lay there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Columbiana's Cowboy Parade

Near the end of February, Columbiana, Alabama hosted its first "Cowboy Parade." People rode their horses or drove their donkey driven wagons through town in a unique parade. A pretty large crowd (for Columbiana anyway) turned out to see the parade and other attractions, or maybe they came for the free chili. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and very comfortable temperatures for wandering around to see roping demonstrations, herding dogs, and a staged wild west bank roberry. A good time was had by all.

The best view in town for the parade was had by these two little fellows. "I see horses!" I'm afraid tree climbing is becoming a lost art in America, even amongst the little boys.

The most interesting thing to me about the whole day was watching the blacksmiths fashion horseshoes from steel. Here the fire heats the steel red hot.

It took a few tries, but I actually caught the sparks flying. Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2 Things Challenge Window/View

Okay, this is an old photo, but I thought it appropriate for the 2 Things Challenge this week, Window/View. I took this to use as a part of a Powerpoint presentation I gave at my retirement reception a couple of years ago. This is the infamous US Highway 280 southeast of Birmingham. My office was near here and I usually had to sit in this traffic every afternoon on the way home. The traffic can be horrible, so people sometimes even wait in their offices until 6:00 pm to let this mess thin out. It's been a problem for years, and all the politicians love to talk about how somebody needs to do something to solve this mess, but nothing EVER seems to happen except further development, and more congestion. Now they are talking about building another elevated version of this road down the median and making it more of a toll expressway to downtown. I'm not holding my breath, I just try to avoid this road in rush hour. I usually can since I am now retired.

Back to the retirement Powerpoint. I included pictures and lists of things I would miss after my retirement, all appropriately mushy and sentimental, but this photo went into the section of things I would NOT miss after my retirement. Would you miss it?

US 280