Apr 24

Traveling – Alabama Trip – Vulcan’s Statue

Vulcan Brochure

Vulcan the Statue

On a trip to a conference we decided to take a small side trip to see the Vulcan statue. For us it was just a trip off the road to check it out from a distance, but it was fun to see anyway.  We were able to look up information about the statue before visiting!


While commuting to work, my favorite thing to do was books on tape, and one of my favorite book series took place in Birmingham Alabama.  The statue is mentioned many times, especially the fact that the Vulcan statue is only wearing an apron!   I had to see it myself after hearing the books on tape mentioning it so many times. The book series is the Southern Sisters Series by Anne George. I had to see the statue after listening to so many of the books on tape!

The statue itself was created for a world’s fair and transported back after.  The statue represents the history in the area and was created by an artist.    We could kind of seeing the statue from the interstate, but not enough to give a good idea of what the statue looked like.  Our drive was going to take a while and we had a friend with, so taking a long detour or staying an extra night wouldn’t work – so our best choice was taking a short detour.

We also were able to see a small copy of the statue at one of the children’s museums on our way down… kind of a Rube Goldberg device set up in a cage for the kids to see balls run through a system and make a hammer go down on the anvil of the statue.

The History

The statue was created for the (Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 World’s Fair) in St Louis Missouri.  It’s the world’s largest iron=ore statue and one of the tallest also!  After going to the World’s Fair the statue was shipped back to Birmingham but due to unpaid freight, it was left unassembled by the tracks.  Over time it was put back together at the Alabama State Fairgrounds, but it was assembled incorrectly and it was missing it’s spear (lost forever to time).

Over time Vulcan became an advertising figure.  Vulcan held everything from ice cream, Coca-Cola, to Heinz pickles!  Finally it was moved to Red Mountain to become part of a park!  In 1946 the Junior Chamber of Commerce decided to make the statue into a symbol of road safety.  His spear was replaced by a neon torch that glowed green normally, but changed to red during the 24 hours following a fatal traffic accident.






Vulcan pamphlet back

Apr 09


We’ve had AT&T for a while. We were under the grandfathered plan forever!  Recently I decided to check into swapping around plans to see about getting a better deal.  – We actually had two phones with unlimited and three that were on a shared data plan.  The shared data plan had begun as 200 MB.  As time went on and phones were using more data, my son got older, and my husband figured out how to use his phone… 200 MB just wasn’t cutting it.  We finally swapped to a 3 GB plan for them.  That’s 3 GB shared!  They were doing fine with that, until Pokemon Go came out.  We were doing some fancy footwork to make that work.  Watching data usage climb, but we were still making it work.

The two of us on unlimited were pushing the limits of what were able to use, but with unlimited we weren’t worried.  Notices were showing up each month about our speed being reduced, but we were functioning.  The last straw on the plans though was when my husband decided to go to a physics string conference in Nashville.  He was using 1 GB a day on his SHARED 3 GB plan and was still at the beginning of the month.

Somehow the conference software broke his phone and we were now seeing his phone eat data daily, no matter what was on it.  The phone was using data even when on wifi.


Calling AT&T I was finally able to get the three phones swapped to an unlimited plan tied to DirectTV, leaving our other two phones on the old grandfathered plan until we knew how this was going to work….  – It did seem to be going ok, and I wanted to reduce the rest of our cost…

Reducing more:

I then decided to reduce the other two by first just reducing the amount of minutes.  No one mentioned that the family unlimited text portion and mobile to mobile.  So our account was completely messed up at this point!  I spent two days on the phone trying to fix our account.  I asked that everything get put back the way it had been!

Final Solution

Finally I had to roll the last two accounts in with the unlimited accounts that were tied to the Direct TV service.  Shortly after AT&T came up with new unlimited plans.  We are tyed into the Direct TV deal though.




Mar 30

Goats Milk

I was excited to find Goat’s milk at the store the other day!  Goat’s milk is easier to digest and a milder taste.  Personally I don’t drink a lot of milk, but when I do I like creamy milk best. Goat’s milk has more of a creamy taste to it also.

Goat’s milk has some surprising differences that allow it to be broken down easier – sometimes being possible to be digested by drinkers that are lactose intolerant.  My brother as a baby couldn’t drink cow based milks but could drink goat’s milk (this was before all the soy and nut based milks were out there!)

Personally I’m going to keep an eye out for goat’s milk and drink it sometimes!

Mar 29

House for Sale, As Is?

As IsI had to share this photo!  To me this sounds like a nice house.  Three bedrooms, two baths for $370,000.  For our neighborhood that would be an expensive house, higher than every one of the homes I know of that have recently sold.  It also has about an average amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, so no oddity there… but As is?  That’s where I paused!

What does as is mean in this case and what kind of shape is this house in?

This house looks like it’s for sale by owner, but it has made me extremely curious.

Mar 28

Make your Own Pasta

To make my own pasta, I originally had a manual pasta roller.  I actually LOVED it! It rolled out a flat roll of pasta and after I would cut my noodles out.  In the past I’ve tried the dedicated pasta maker (it came with a video on how).  I could not figure it out… I tried and tried.  Video and all, I still couldn’t make it work.

Failing that I went back to manual pasta maker and enjoyed making noodles again.  The manual pasta maker is limited though and was only making flat noodles like fettuccini.

For my birthday this year, my mother got me the Kitchen Aid mixer – and it has a pasta attachment available.  I took the plunge and bought the pasta roller and the pasta maker.  The pasta roller involves making dough and operates the same as my manual pasta maker with the major difference that the kitchen aid basically turns the crank!  Yeah!

The pasta maker portion then takes balls of the dough and extrudes it out through discs in the shape of the type of pasta you would like.  A friend came over to help and we tried Rotini noodles for pasta.  I’m pretty certain we need to search a youtube video with a how to, and add more flour to our mix, but the pasta did have the look it was meant to.  The issue we ended with was after making a little pasta, it all began to stick together. By the time we tried to cook it, we ended up with a clump that resembled dumplings.

The pasta though shown below, at first, looked great! So we definitely were on the right traIMG_2999ck.  Our noodles also came out fairly well, but we weren’t aware of how long our noodles would be.  The drying rack (sold separately!) would have come in handy.  I also hadn’t purchased the attachment that cuts the wide sheet into the narrow noodles.  That attachment, though expensive, would have been handy.  We ended up with sheets of pasta draped over everything and a line of our children helping us try to get the pasta out of the rollers as it came out so that we could then find a place to lay it out to dry.

I think we were working on a skit for comedy central at the time (JK).  We also were surprised at how little pasta our recipe – which I thought would feed all of us several times over, actually made.  Two mixes of the recipe wasn’t enough for our families.  After finishing the two mixes and making up what we could, we ordered out Japanese for dinner and vowed to try again soon.