Inclement Weather

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 @ 7:40pm

This has been one of the more unusual years for Birmingham as we’ve had several significant cold weather events since December; at least more than I can remember in recent history.

Back in January the weather dipped down into the low teens, which apparently means “tiny coats on dogs”.

Warm Coats

Shortly thereafter, there was a significant accumulation of sleet. At least around my house it averaged from 1 1/2″ to 2″ but in some places it piled up into larger masses.

Sleet Accumulation

Yet the snow has managed to miss us and instead leaving with this icy mess to deal with. Fantastic.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Thursday, October 15th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

I’m not a meteorologist, but I must admit when I was a kid I always wanted to be one. Even though I never ended up in that line of work that general interest and fascination of weather still exists.

This curiosity has only been increased recently due to the precipitation totals we’ve received in the past month alone. It’s kind of interesting considering last fall central Alabama was in a severe drought, but this year we can’t seem to get rid of the rain. Here’s some interesting facts from the climate report linked above:

  • 2009′s YTD precipitation total is 58.08″, compared to 2008′s 45.5″ on the same date (Oct 15th), an increase of around 27%.
  • Over 25% of this year’s precipitation has happened since Sept. 1st.
  • Normal rainfall from Sept. 1st – Oct. 15th is 5.5″. 2009 is 16.42″, 3x what the normal value is.
  • The February/March snowfall is the latest I can remember receiving here since the winter storm of ’93.

Of course not really related to Alabama weather, but it’s also interesting to note that we’ve had quite the unusual (subdued) hurricane season compared to normal and those of recent years.


Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 @ 10:50am

It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in so little time, yet you only really find out how much junk you’ve accumulated when you move from one place to another. Things have been a little slow here since I’ve been trying to get stuff moved in the past couple of weeks, but I’m glad to say that everything (except for bills) is finally complete out of the other place. I’m still in boxes at the new house, so I’m trying to find where in the world I placed some of the most random items, but it is a process.

I’m not exactly sure what is going to happen in the upcoming months, and exactly how long I’m going to be here. Thanks to the generosity of Guy Walker (one of the roommates in the prior town home), I’m staying in his new house until I figure out what I am going to do. I would like to buy my own home, depending on how my finances turn out in the next couple of months, while the market is still down. It may be in Birmingham, or if I really want to take a leap, somewhere else where the job market is slightly better and geared towards what I want to do. The latter portion of that statement is difficult and will take some time to think over, since I would be giving up much of what I’ve established here and jumping into a vast plain of unknown. But unfortunately, it may be the leap I have to take if I want to get out of this rut that I feel like I’m in.

Birmingham @ Night

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 @ 11:04pm

While not quite a continuation of “favorite places in Birmingham“, I had an idea to go around and take some night shots of some of the surrounding areas of town. It let me know that my aging camera really needs an upgrade (Canon Powershot S2 IS), but in the meantime enjoy the photos!

The highway 280 corridor is one of the busiest areas of town, as well as the most congested. Even at around 9pm, traffic flow is pretty heavy:

Highway 280 2

The Vulcan tends to be a symbol of Birmingham (and also likes to bare some cheek over Homewood, as the saying goes, the moon is always full over Homewood). I wasn’t able to make it downtown before my battery died, but you can get a view of the skyline peeking over Red Mountain.

Birmingham - Vulcan

The zoom isn’t quite what I wanted, but I was able to still get a pretty decent shot of the moon atop Shades Crest.


These next two shots are my favorites, as both turned out pretty well. I was able to get a fantastic view of Samford University, which looks really beautiful at night.

Samford University - Hodges Chapel

Samford University - Seibert Stadium & Hodges Chapel

You can find larger pictures of these, plus additional ones I didn’t post on my flickr account.

Kickoff of Summer

Friday, June 19th, 2009 @ 9:35pm

Summer begins this weekend, so to help kickoff summer I wanted to show some of my favorite places around Birmingham. I was itching to ride my bike, and the weather this afternoon was the perfect time to do so. So I got on my bike with my iPhone and took a few pictures for two different spots I want to show you in this post.

Little Cahaba River/Cahaba Beach Road (33.439625,-86.699166)

Cahaba Beach RoadI found this by accident a few years back, and it has become of my favorite places to visit all year round. I was driving around after a long test trying to work off some stress, and decided to explore a few of the back roads I had never been on.

I eventually came upon this old one-lane truss bridge which has long since been shut off to traffic. Around the bridge there are several trails that are well hiked in addition to a rope swing that appears to get a lot of use during the summer.

Cahaba Beach Road BridgeWhile I haven’t done it at this particular spot, there are plenty of geocaching spots and treasures around here if you enjoy doing that sort of thing.

I like to visit this spot in summer and fall, especially as the leaves change into a wide array of colors. Summer is just as nice with plenty of lush green overhang to provide shade on those hot, humid summer days that are common around here. I have yet to go swimming here yet, but with the rope swing and hot days ahead, there’s a good chance I will do so.

Shades Crest (33.460244,-86.777147)

Shades Crest Road Sunset 1As Birmingham is located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountain range, there are plenty of vistas that are worthy of a Kodak moment. As this location was located close to Samford University, I made frequent visits here to enjoy the breeze or watch the sunset over Red Mountain.

Shades Crest Road Sunset 2I managed to time this trip just right to catch the sunset as the sky faded from deep blue to orange.

These photos don’t provide a high enough quality or daylight to really see it, but the coordinates I provided offer a nice view of Samford University’s east campus in addition to the Vulcan and parts of Birmingham through the Red Mountain expressway. Further east is Brookwood Medical Center and Brookwood mall, eventually fading into the Mountain Brook portion of Lakeshore Drive.

In the next week or so, I have a few other locations in mind that are great places to visit during the summer and offer plenty of fun things to do. I’ll just need to remember to take my actual camera with me so I can get better pictures.


Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 @ 11:05am

What if...?

The politics of Alabama are a messy business, especially in Birmingham. Over the past couple of years we’ve had to deal with antics of Larry Langford and the corruption of the two-year college system. And of course that’s not even really considering beyond that including Siegelman and Scrushy. It’s a really scary thought to think what could have happened had these people not been caught and unsupervised.

It’s additionally frustrating as often times the costs of these scandals and corruption are passed on to the taxpayers. For example, when we first moved in to our Townhome here in Birmingham four years ago, our water bill was often in the $20 range. Now four years later, it’s spiked up to nearly $80 a month due to the increased sewer bond rate with no real end in sight.

It’s a frightening world we live in today with this economy and the ongoing scandals, but I think it also goes to show where your foundations are in by how you react in these times. Luke 6:43-49 is the perfect parable describing the above situation, and is almost laughable in how well it matches the outcome of everything. 43-45 talks about how you will know a man by his fruit, and a bad tree will not produce good fruit, and neither will a good tree produce bad fruit.

46-49 goes on to talk about having a firm foundation, and how going through times of trouble really begins to tear at you and show what kind of foundation you are really standing on. Just something to think about and ponder on as the rest of the world attempts to instill fear and panic.

I know I’m not a perfect person, and I do worry from time to time. But I also know that having that firm foundation will allow me to weather the storms of life and it’s encouraging to know that there is something for me to stand on, even if everything else around me collapses.

Snow Day!

Sunday, March 1st, 2009 @ 10:47pm

The streak has finally been broken. After nearly 9 years without any measurable snow amount in Birmingham, we finally got a significant snow event – in March no less! Here are some of my favorite photos, and of course the ones that aren’t listed can always be found on my flickr account.

My car was covered early in the morning. Not that I could drive it anyway…

Snow Car 2

A quick view down the street.

Acton Park

This was in front of the pool patio.


A dead cactus, which for some reason I found amusing…

Dying of Thirst

There is a path that goes down into the woods behind our community, and the walk was just amazing!

Walk in the Woods

I was trying to be all “artsy”, but was having focus issues at the same time.

Walk in the Woods