Archive for May, 2010

We’re finally on their radar.

Monday, May 31st, 2010

It seems Groupon has finally decided to add the ‘Ham. Click the little link to check it out.

Overheard at J. Clyde…

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

“It’s really awesome, then they feed you painkillers.” – Braden Pittman

Beer good….beer dinner better!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

A bit late with this post, as I wanted nothing more last night than to pass out and sleep off a good meal. J. Clyde hosted a beer dinner featuring Good People brews. The J. Clyde beer dinners are always good- but this one was even better, as Good People is the local brewery- and one I like very much. The dinner was also a fund raiser for Junior Achievement of Birmingham. It all started off very well, soon as I walked through the door. I had been inside for mere seconds when I was offered a Good People Wild IPA.

I love IPAs, and it was a fabulous warm up. Once the dinner started, we had some good opening words from J. Clyde owner Jerry Hartley, whose mind, heart, and palate always seem to be int he right place. He apologized for not being a good speaker, but he definitely was, and always is.

Jerry hartley

Next up was Good People’s head brewer, Jason Malone. He’s a guy I sometimes find very intense in his focus, but it’s not the sort of intensity that intimidates. But every now and again, he pops out for a bit, cracks a great smile, and says something grand. He’s a great guy, who makes some great beers.

Jason Malone

All of the beer was good- and so was all of the food. But this salad was quite a highlight for a few people there…


When it was all over, we were all stuffed to the gills. J. Clyde staffer James tried to humorously show it, and wound up looking like a creepy old pregnant woman!


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If you’ve never been to a J. Clyde beer dinner, you need to get to one!

We had a nice city, and you had to go make it weird!

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Bonus points to my friends who know the reference. Some strange folks hit town this weekend- and I mean strange in a good way. Imagicon started Friday, and I finally managed to drop by today. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed- but that is MY fault. I went on a Sunday, the last day, so it wasn’t at it’s peak. Also, I was too cheap to actually go in, so I hung out in the lobby of the building, where there weren’t so many people. I didn’t see too much, but there were a few things worth a mention.

First, I found out what’s inside stormtrooper armor! Apparently, it’s ninjas.

Rich, creamy ninja filling!

The star Wars crew are apparently a silly bunch. There was a chamber that is apparently to replicate the feeling of a tornado (or at least, I assumed that’s what it was based on some readouts inside, and the fact it did kick up LOTS of wind…but it was totally unlabeled), and someone thought it might be fun to lock a hapless stormtrooper inside.

Swirling stormtrooper

Then, it was Leia’s turn. She started doing the whole Marilyn Monroe bit, but wound up just showing some leg to the adoring masses.

Leia's leg.

I popped off down the hall a bit, and ran into this guy. I am not into steampunk at all. but I have to admit, his powered wheelchair is pretty cool.

OK, steampunk might actually be cool.

Sci-fi conventions are not just made up of 34 year old guys who live in their mother’s basement. Some of the guys are a little older. Not sure if his mom is still around, though…

That basement floor is really bad for his back...

Coming back to the Star Wars gang, I found my favourite shot of the day. At least you won’t see this guy begging on a street corner…

You won't see him by the side of the interstate...

Next year, I might actually go into Imagicon. Based on the gang I found int he lobby, it looks like a fun bunch. It may not be the biggest or the baddest sci-fi convention, but it’s Birmingham’s sci-fi convention, and that’s a big reason why I like it.

TCR Tragedy.

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

After heading out to Barber on Saturday, I skipped over to the Zamora temple to watch the Tragic City Rollers take on the Columbia Quad Squad. Unfortunately for the home team, Columbia was at the top of their game. So here we go…

One of the more interesting sights hit me during the warm ups… Columbia’s Chris Tease seemed to be the only one in white shorts, and had a message for anyone behind here. I still don’t know who is being referenced with FREE ROY.


Quickly, enough, it was time for the team introductions, and I lost all thoughts of Roy when TCR’s Divine Intervention came rolling out. Apparently, I’ve become a fan of hers.

Divine....wouldn't you say?

And then….it was time for the bout to begin. Here’s the first jam just underway at the whistle.


Columbia’s Crystal Cutt makes her way up through the pack…

Cutting through...

Electra-Block Therapy (immediate foreground) managed to skate past, and I wound up with Crystal Cutt essentially in my lap.


Columbia’s Beastie ‘B’ finds out that if you don’t like concrete, you shouldn’t get into derby…


Don’t try any funny stuff while Sweet TNT is watching…

So sweet.....

Divine Intervention leaves Columbia’s Mel Anoma in her dust…


Make your own caption for the next pic:

Fly, little buddy....

Columbia’s Pitbull takes a dive over the top, as her teammate Roy G. Biv leads the way in sliding across the floor…

Over the top...

Crystal Cutt and TCR’s Dixie Thrash share a moment on the floor…

An intimate moment...

The lovely Divine takes a fall. :(

A sad sight...

Psycho B gets the lead jammer spot…

Leading the way...

It’s great that after the two teams beat up on each other, when it;s all over, they’re still friends.

There's an obvious joke here, and I hope you don't make it..

Christopher Davis from View Of The City gets the best interview he possibly could- the lovely Divine Intervention and her mom! Christopher even teased mum about her screaming talents…which caused Divine to step out of frame to avoid getting her eardrums hurt. :)

Mom's talented...

And one parting shot. I won’t tell you what they were talking about. It’s more fun that way.

What the?

It was a fun night…and if you haven’t gone to see TCR, you should!

High speed ‘Ham…

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

The weekend started off big for me in the metro. I slept too lat,e then headed out to Barber Motorsports Park for Legends of Motorsports, a Bobby Rahal Signature Event. It was my first time out to the park, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have planned on going had I not been given free tickets. Now, I can confidently say I plan to go back- but perhaps not on such a blazing hot day.

I arrived at parking lot C, and went across the street to a hillside on one of the turns. I went as far down the hill as I could, and got some shots through the fence. These are obviously NOT the same race.

Race 1

Race 2

It quickly got too intense for me out in the lack of shade (I tend to burst into flames in direct sunlight), so I climbed the hill best I could (I am NOT in shape), and took the tram over to the other side of the track. There, I found a nice shady spot on a hillside with large rocks on which to sit, and watched a few more of the short races. The new spot allowed for some tighter shots- a bit too tight in the first one!

too tight!

McLaren in the lead.

After a while, I decided to hop the tram again and head over to the paddock area and race control. Along the way, I spotted a sculpture that seems to pay tribute to the thing that inspired Barber in the first place, the motorcycle.

Hail the cycle!

My destination turned out to be the place where I should have started- and is where I spent the rest of the day. On the way down to the track, I could walk among the teams as they prepped their cars for the races (or did maintenance after the races, as in the first pic, which features a car you recently saw trailing the McLaren). I could also see some historic racers. The second pic is the March/Cosworth in which Bobby Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500.

off the track...

Rahal's ride...

Next, I took a trip down to the staging area where the cars are lined up for the races. There’s a bevy of young ladies there who have one purpose: to hold umbrellas over the drivers before the races to keep the sun off them. One of them didn’t even manage that task too well, and seemed to be keeping the sun off herself more effectively.

Sunny side of the ...oh, nevermind....

It was pretty impressive hanging out down there, among the racers. I enjoyed seeing the lineups of some awesome cars before they hit the track. That’s the first shot. The second is a line up of the drivers waiting for the following race.

Lineup 1

Lineup 2

If you’ve never been close to these cars when they start their engines, you can’t get a feeling for how loud they are. One of the umbrella bearers, however, did!


This side of the track seemed to be a good spot for watching the races, as there’s a second floor observation platform in the shade. It’s the perfect place to be for the fall of the checkered flag.


In one of the final races of the day, there was a lovely old fellow who was last in the lineup- but first in being cool. He and his wife had toured around Europe in his little blue racer before he turned it into a racer- and they actually got five bags in that thing with them! Unfortunately, he had some sort of trouble, and had to exit the track before the race finished.

Cool cat...

Finally, one more shot of one of the ladies. This one didn’t get an umbrella. That’s because she has one big talent- she can show the racers which way leads to the track. :)

THAT way.....

It was a fun day out at Barber- and if you have even a passing interest in racing, I encourage you to go!

Lots O’ Ham Ahead….

Friday, May 21st, 2010

If you’re in the greater Birmingham megalopolis this weekend, there’s lots on tap. First, the events that started today, and continue all weekend:

      Imagicon is on at The McWane Center, Old Car Heaven, and a few other locations. It’s a sci-fi and fantasy con featuring performances, parties, and workshops on a variety of things ranging from anime to costuming to…..hard science! I hope to drop by to gawk at the guys dressed as Lord Vader, who are passing out form the high heat we’re expecting this weekend.

That’s hardly everything this weekend, though….

      Saturday night after barber I hope to stop by to see the Tragic City Rollers take on the Columbia Quad Squad. It’s been a while since I went to a roller derby bout, and hopefully, this time I won’t arrive an hour late like I did last time.

So…if you’re not in the ‘Ham this weekend, you should be!

The Lessons of Do Dah Day.

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Sorry these pics are a bit late. It’s been a busy week. Last Saturday, my dear friend Kate (whom I hadn’t seen in far too long) came into town, and we went to one of the silliest-named fests ever, Do Dah Day. It’s actually a very good fest, as it raises money for The Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Unfortunately, there were some things going on that weren’t entirely humane to the dogs or the humans. Let’s get started with the nine lessons of Do Dah Day.

First, a human being makes excellent furniture for a large dog. Don’t try to fight it. The dog will win.

Human Furniture

Second, dogs have two expressions – overwhelming joy, and nothing at all. Even with an arm in the way, I think you can guess which one this is.

Happy happy joy joy!

Third, you should never dress your dog like a hot dog. Even they know it’s not clever at all.

Hot more ways than one.

Fourth, you should also never dress your dog like a hooker. It was really disturbing that there were two dogs in the same outfit. This is horribly humiliating for them on at least two levels.

Hooker hound.

Fifth, don’t show off canine cremation urns when the bowsers are about. They get really creeped out by it….

Canine cremation urn.

Sixth, it’s for drinking, not for swimming.

Drink or swim...

Seventh, never get the same hairdo as your dog – especially if it looks better on the dog.

Dog 'do...

Eighth, one-eyed chihuahuas can be every bit as creepy as two-eyed chihuahuas.

The curse of the one-eyed chihuahua...

And finally, dog spit is good for the skin. Just let ‘em at it.

Spittle spa.

If you’re ever in town on Do Dah Day, definitely stop by. The music is good, the people are good, and of course the dogs are good. In fact, they’re some of my favourite people.