Wednesday, December 29, 2010

White and Blue

Apparently a large vein of limestone runs through Shelby County, Alabama and all along the vein there are very large open pit mines, hidden to some extent behind twenty foot earthern berms, but clearly visible in Google satellite photos, like here and here, and occasionally from the road.  The plant above is one of several where the limestone is processed into lime for use by numerous industries, and is located near the first link above.  Everything around the plant is covered in white dust, including the plant itself.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shiny, Rust, and Blue

This sculpture is in front of the newest part of St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham.  It claims to be the oldest hospital in the city, but it has grown and morphed so much over the years, I'm not sure I could find any part of the original buildings (or even the parts that were here when I moved to the area 39 years ago.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mother and Child

Victoria Austyn Ray was born this past Saturday evening at St. Vincents Hospital in Birmingham.  This frosted glass statue of Mother and Child (it actually may be called the Madonna and Child) graces the hallway on the second floor of the Women's and Children's Center at the hospital.  It is not a huge statue in the middle of the hall, but is in a recessed, black lined opening in the wall, and the hallway image is a reflection in the front glass.  Makes for a pretty neat photo, though.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2 Things Challenge: Unexpected/Order

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Unexpected/Order.

My wife ordered a book from a web site called  The unexpected part of her order, however, was that if you weren't extra careful in the checkout process, you were actually signing up to let them charge $19.95 to your credit card every month, simply for the privilege of being a part of their club, with absolutely no other benefits unless you continue to order large numbers of books from them at their supposedly discounted prices.  Somehow we missed the warning on their website, we missed the email they supposedly sent explaining it all, so we got no benefits.  I should've paid more attention to the bills, but by the time I'd figured out what that charge was each month, they had a tidy sum via what I called a SCAM.  They finally agreed to refund some of our money, but we still lost more than I'd care to admit.

Lesson learned!  Watch where your mouse goes.   

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2 Things Challenge: Step/Floor

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Step/Floor.  This first step is at least a floor, and probably a little more.
This door is on the side of a building which now houses Bernie's on Main Street, the fanciest place to eat in Columbiana that's not a private residence.

Bernie's sits on the corner next to the old courthouse (where I was standing, awaiting the Cowboy Parade last February), but it wasn't always there.  I've only been here about 12 years and this building was a Western Auto when I moved out here.  It reminded me of going to Western Auto as a child when my father needed something to work on his cars, but neither Bernie's nor the Western Auto had a second floor.  So why the second level of windows and the way up high door?  Recently we were visiting one of the older ladies from our church who moved here right after World War II, and she was talking about something her nephew did in the balcony of the movie theater.  Yep, that used to be a movie theater, but the balcony is now just empty space and a high ceiling in the restaurant.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Remember the Goldenrod from a couple of months ago with the bees and lady bug?  It's not quite so colorful now, but still interesting.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2 Things Challenge: Abundant/Emptiness

The current 2 Things Challenge is Abundant/Emptiness.  This is a spring time photo of the big dipper, along with a number of its neighborhood stars.  You may have to look closely to pick it out, the handle starts above that darkest tree in the middle.  Between here and there are a few things like those trees and the vapor trail, but mostly it's a vast expanse of abundant emptiness.