Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Another one of THOSE days...

No, not one of those, one of those days--SKY/WX--PTSUNNY, TMP--83, DP--65, RH--54, WIND--SE10G17, PRES--30.15F--in short, absolutely wonderful for walking down the street at lunch to meet Miss Reba. I can't get enough days like this--it's warm, but not yet as oppressively dank and hot as Satan's armpit, like it will be in August; there's a nice fresh breeze that's not so hard that it messes up my fur, but merely tousles it; bits of sunshine and shade; girls in their summer dresses (thanks, Irwin!); the Trust Jesus guy holding up his sign and waving to folks; Wheelchair Guy hawking his fresh peanuts from the Peanut Depot; and, of course, getting to meet Miss Reba for lunch down at the Sabor Mazatlan--located on the ground floor of this grand old pile.

It is a day when Birmingham, the world's biggest small town, feels much more like the world's smallest big city.

One thing, though. I do have to ask that if you consider yourself a jaded, cosmopolitan, man-o-the-world type fellow, would you please not try to demonstrate that sensibility by walking against traffic? I don't know WHAT it is, but there are certain folks who seem to want everyone to know they're too big-city to have to stop and wait on a walk signal--which is fine when there's nothing coming. But when you have four lanes of traffic coming straight at you, stepping off the curb and assuming they're going to stop doesn't really make you look very bright. Yes, I jaywalk occasionally, and cross on red sometimes, but at least I have sense enough to know I should RUN LIKE THE WIND so as to avoid unecessarily detaining the nice people rolling toward me in two tons of barely brakeable steel.

And it probably goes without saying (but that has never stopped me) that on those occasions when you DO have the light, it doesn't necessarily mean you can just splud on out there--it might be good to make sure that dumptruck load of gravel stops first.

Just saying.

Anyway, meeting this morning went off with nary a hitch, although it seemed to drag on a bit too much--first case went nearly twenty-five minutes. Got finished after an hour and a half, packed up my junk, headed in to the office, and then spent the next few hours typing madly trying to make some headway on the minutes. Which I wasn't able to do, so I thought I would do this instead!

Not that this is worth slagging off for, but it does break up the monotony a bit. At least for me. But, sadly, such shenanigans must not take up too much of my time--I need to get back to the paying gig BUT BEFORE I DO THAT--

Reading the mail last night I came across one of the myriad newletters I get from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and was just about to pitch it in the round file when I spied an interesting blurb on the back. Seems as though the old alma mater has gone and got all electronic on us, in the form of a fascinating website known as the Auburn University Digital Library. What caught my eye in the article was that as part of their collections, they have gone and digitized old copies of the yearbook, the Glomerata, as well as over 300 old postcards of Alabama. I spent hours last night looking through this stuff and it is absolutely incredible. I have a thing for old postcards anyway, especially ones from around here. (In fairness, I also must point you to another nice collection of old Alabama postcards from those people in Tuscaloosa.)

A sampling of the stuff I found include: from the "Beauties" section of the 1924 Glom, the smolderingly naked-shouldered Miss Sarah Bullock, and the raven-haired Miss Katherine Thorington seen demonstrating the efficacy of the Ag Extension Program at growing dogwood blossoms in earwax. From the 1910 edition, a Senior Class history a la the book of Exodus. From the 1897 edition, a whole page of zippy cheers for bolstering the fighting spirit of the Plainsmen--

Who-wah! who-wah!
Sis boom

Uh, well, okay. Anyway, there's tons of stuff in the old yearbooks, and then there's the POSTCARDS! Get a load of one of the architecture rooms from 1910. I don't feel so bad about my office now. This is the building where the shot was taken, an interesting bit of bricks-n-sticks that later gave way to this hi-style edifice (which still houses the Art and Industrial Design folks). This is the latest architecture building, Dudley Hall. Eww. (Should I ever begin writing a news column on architectural criticism, my pen name will be Dudley Hall.)

Other nifty cards are this one of the dusty Highland Avenue in Birmingham about 1912, the grand old Thomas Jefferson (still standing, but in severe disrepair), the Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, and really hot beach chicks in Gulf Shores.

Hours of time wasting potential in all of these, and I haven't even gotten to the non-postcard, regular old photographs--like this one of a mock battle by the cadets. Sheesh, college boys--nicely turned set of gams, and they're all off running the other way. Except for the old slyboots in the straw boater and the dapper fellow in knickerbockers.

So, go look around all that stuff, and I guess I'll see you tomorrow. Back to typing now.

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