Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tape Talent

I'm not a fan of junk mail. I also consider spam to be a worst form of junk mail. I'm sure you would agree with me that life would be better without it. At least you can throw the junk mail in the trash unopened, but, spam requires a cursory look-see and several clicks of the mouse to get rid of it. But, by the same token you do on rare occasions fine something interesting in that pile of junk mail or even that file full of spam. That is what happened to me today. Up side is I'm going to get a fairly decent post out of what showed up in my spam folder.

Buried in my spam was a message from the 3 M Company. They occasionally send me some decent coupons on their products so I opened the e-mail to discover there are some artistic geniuses out there willing to take the time to create a sculpture out of nothing but "Tape" and enter it in a contest hoping to win a nice prize. Now this sculpture could not be made from just any old tape. It had to be Scotch Brand Packaging Tape made by the 3 M Co.

This was the Grand Prize Winner of this contest.
The 2011 winners of the "Off The Roll Tape Sculpure Contest" can be found here.
Somehow I missed hearing this contest was taking place. I also have been in the dark for a while because this was the winner of the first contest held last year.
The winners of the 2010 contest can be found here.

Now here are a few of my favorites from the websites listed above.

When I was young we used plain old cellophane tape, but a trip to Wikipedia tells me that Scotch tape was invented by Richard Drew in 1930 but did not get the name Scotch until much later. Apparently, A customer complained that 3M was manufacturing its masking tape too cheaply, and told company engineer Drew to, "take this tape back to your stingy Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it.

Scotty McTape, a kilt-wearing cartoon boy, was the brand's mascot for two decades, first appearing in 1944. The familiar plaid design, a take on the Wallace tartan, was introduced in 1945. Scotch Tape like Kleenex has now become a generic term used by most Americans for any product of its type.

I am linking this post to ABC Wendesday
The featured letter this week is the letter "T"

You can visit the other participants by clicking here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dothan Peanuts

I posted stories and photo's in the past about the giant letter O's in Omaha, the horse statues in Louisville, Kentucky and the butterfly statues in St. Louis. During my recent visit to Dothan, Alabama I stumbled on a couple of giant peanut statues there. I have been visiting the circle city, as Dothan is also called, since my aunt moved there thirty years ago. I photographed the giant gold peanut that sits in front of the visitor's center several times since it was installed back in the mid nineties.

Camera Nut outside the TV station

But, I was unaware that over sixty fiberglass peanuts, each five feet tall and decorated by local artists have been installed at public locations around the city. These statues began as a Community art project that continued to multiply over the last few years.

Downtown Peanut holding onto the business district signs.

We go to Dothan to visit my aunt and, other than an occasional trip out to dinner, we do not usually have time for sightseeing. If the air conditioning had not gone out in our vehicle this trip I would probably not have discovered these peanuts again this year. The repair shop for our air was down in the older part of town and we found the peanuts seemingly around every corner. Regrettably, we did not have time to seek out all the peanuts my aunt told us about, which includes the Elvis Nut, Violin Nut, Mr. Peanut Head, Wise Ol' Owl Nut, and the Shopping Nut. There is even an “Officer I. B. Nuts” at the Police Station and a peanut fire hydrant complete with Dalmatian outside the firehouse.

Uncle Sam Peanut in a city park

Several states grow peanuts commercially, but no place does it like Dothan. Judy Woodward Bate's of the Birmingham Budget Travel Examiner writes that
65% of the entire nation's peanut crops are produced
Within a 100-mile radius of Dothan.
With statistics like these, is it any wonder they can rightfully tout themselves as the “Peanut Capital of the World?”

Paperboy Peanut outside the Dothan Eagle

According to the Dothan city website, "Peanuts Around Town" was undertaken to provide funding for restoration projects in the historic downtown area. Local businesses, civic organizations, and individuals may purchase and decorate their peanut according to their own concept. The five foot high hollow peanut sculptures made entirely of fiberglass weight 55 pounds. Prior to permanent installation by the city, the peanuts are filled with concrete bringing the weight to approximately 400 pounds.

"Kiss goodbye to Breast Cancer" Peanut

I hope you enjoyed seeing the peanut statues I stumbled across this trip. I will certainly plain more time next trip to find the others.

I am linking this post to That's My World Tuesday
To visit the other My World entries are to join the fun visit here

My World Square

Pepsi country

I've discovered a new meme. That is probably the last thing the Old Salt wants to hear. He already thinks I neglect him by spending to much time on line. But, I can't resist posting to this one, at least once. The meme is called Odd Shots on Monday.

My photos today may not seem odd, but, I'm fairly certain they are something you will not see very often.

There is a Pepsi bottling plant in the neighboring town. When a large tree came down in a storm last year they seized the chance to turn it into a local landmark by carving it into a giant bottle of pepsi.

While I have not tried to reach around the base of this tree I am certain it is to large for me to do so. I would be guessing if I tried to estimate its height but as you can see by this second shot it is rather tall. This tree carving has certainly made it a lot easier to give strangers to the area directions, you can't miss it.

This giant Pepsi bottle should make it rather clear that I live in Pepsi country. Everyone around here strongly believes in supporting the local employers, so it is rare to find a restaurant that serves anything but Pepsi. Pepsi is also a lot cheaper to buy than other brands here as well. Now, I agree strongly with keeping my money in the local economy but I just can't force myself to drink Pepsi. Give me that coke or pepsi challenge and I will pick the coke every time. Needless to say, I drink a lot of ice tea or water when we eat out.

I am linking this post to Odd Shots on Monday

Odd Shots is hosted by Katney at Katney's Kabootle.
To check out what others think is unusual or to join the fun

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where Memory Lane Crosses the Birthday Path

Ever get the feeling that the universe is conspiring against you. That no matter what actions you take some other force seems to lead you down paths you would rather not have to travel.

In my case, I am not one for walks down memory lane. I have no idea what is lurking there that I do not want to be forced to recall. A dread comes over me and warning bells start pinging in my head each time I am led near something that is connected with my past.

My 86 yr old mother is on the left and her 92 yr. old sister is on the right.

I am next to my cousin in the middle, we always said that fate switched
us at birth since we seem to have the personality of each other's mom.

Earlier this month we took a trip down south to escort my mother on a visit to her surviving siblings and to also attend the dedication of a monument the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) were erecting in a cemetery in Brundidge, Alabama to honor my mother’s great-great-great-grandfather who fought in the American Revolution. That ceremony sparked new interest for a cousin researching our family history and, as a result, it was discovered that one of my mother’s lost first cousins had recently died in a city less than fifty miles from where I live, leaving children and grandchildren that none of us knew existed. As the oldest of my mother’s children, she now wants me to arrange for her to meet these new relatives.

Mom at the memorial ceremony

Yesterday, the need for the Old Salt to see a specialist took us back to what was the nearest big town when I was growing up. A town I lived in just after high school and were I got my first job, also the town where I married my first husband. I had not visited there in over thirty years. This was not just a drive to the medical building and then home again. It was necessary for me to wait 6 hours while my husband was tested. Since it also happened to be the first nice day in weeks, I was able to get out and enjoy the sunshine. I walked to the house where I used to live and strolled down changed but still familiar streets that were once part of my life. While it is true that you can’t go home again, usually because the home you remember isn’t at all the same. Nevertheless, I was able to see enough clues to bring back memories of when I was young and all of life was before me.
Me looking out at my home town from the medical building

Since our trip I have been keeping old memories at bay by staying too busy for them to intrude. But, since my walk down the streets of old town in St. Charles yesterday a great feeling of melancholy settled in that I can’t shake. My sleep last night was restless and my dreams of the exorcist variety; dark and sinister. Today my sense of dread has me wanting to hop a train for unknown parts in hopes that I can outrun what I do not care to face. I am kicking myself for taking all those walks down memory lane of late.

I lived here for two years after high school in a rented sleeping room

It might just be that since those trips coincided with the arrival of my Medicare card, the combination has me felling old and cheated. Being the oldest of thirteen children forced me to mature quickly and I always held out hope that at some point in my life, I would get to make up for the youth I never had. Perhaps, I am just feeling sorry for myself and realizing that is one wish which will remain forever on my bucket list.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Face to Love

I was walking down the street today in the historic district of St. Charles, Missouri when I passed a low slung sports car pulled into a off street space at a rakish angle. It had a rear antenna leaning at a odd angle sporting this colorful fish that was right at eye level just as if it was yelling "Take my picture" so I did. Now I am sharing it with you.

I am linking this post to the meme Color Carnival.
To join the fun or to check out all the colorful entries of other players, visit Maria and her friends at Color Carnival.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Disrespecting the American FLAG

This week the teacher at Alphabe Thursday has assigned us the letter "F." I new at once what I wanted to post. I snapped this picture of the American FLAG being used as a boat cover on a recent trip to my doctor.
Does anyone else have the same problem with this picture as I do?

I am linking this post to Alphabe Thursday.

Jenny Matlock
To check out the other participants take on the letter of the week visit Jenny Matlock and her friends by clicking on the icon above.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Signs that convey thoughts

My old high school Webster tells me that a sign is any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning. So, today I would like to share a few signs that some would consider art or home decor. But, they are really just a decorative way of conveying a meaning.

I found this sign hanging beside the cash register in a restaurant.

This needlework and the one below were both snapped in a local trift store.

I have to admit that they both resonate with me. I whole heartedly agree with both quotes.

I am linking this post to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley of Southern Ontario, discovered . To check out what interesting signs others have posted this week click here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pink pony meets the Dothan Pig

There will not be much stripping or anything else, for that matter, going on in the building where I found this pink pony. This building was located in a part of southern Illinois we traveled through recently that was under about four feet of flood water. I heard it said on the local news that it will be after the first of the year before the ground in this area dries out enough to start making repairs to the flooded buildings.

"Save the pig"... is what the sign says that is located below this bright metal pig. This pig has been located in this same spot for most of the thirty years that I have been traveling to visit my Aunt in Dothan Alabama. But, the sign is new. My Aunt told me that the scrap yard that owns the pig is so well hidden by the overgrown trees that many people forget about their business, so they came up with a conversational reminder..."if you don't bring in scrap...we're going to have to scrap the pig."

The Dothan Pig was built around 1967 by Larry and Ronald Godwin. The pig is 26 feet long by about 13 feet tall and made from scrap steel. The pig's head used to move from side to side. The sculpture was created for a feed mill. The sign originally read "Going Whole Hog for Bob's Feeds" and was later changed to read "Monument to the Hog". The pig is now owned by Schnitzer Southeast, a scrap metal recycling company. The "Save the Pig" sign is just a gimmick to draw attention to their business.

I am linking this post to Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

To join in the fun or just visit the pink post of others visit Beverly and her friends at Pink Saturday

Too Many

As I stated in a previous post the Old Salt and I have just returned from a whirlwind trip through the South. We escorted my mother around the land of her birth where we visited with the southern half of my extended family. While I have many pictures to share and some great tales to tell I first must show you what we encountered on our drive south.

We left St. Louis and traveled through southern Missouri, southern Illinois and Kentucky and all we saw was:
Too Many houses in floodwater

Too Many miles of highway surrounded by water

Too many places that could not be reached without a boat.

Too many people without places to live.

Too many lives, homes and businesses destroyed

When we crossed over into Alabama and Georgia we started to see

Too many stands of tall pines that looked as if a giant with a weed whacker had been there.

Too many piles of what use to be a home

Too many trees decorated with personal items and building materials

Too many homes destroyed
Way, way too many homes destroyed

Too many acres covered in piles of rubble

Too many people in need of shelter, food and clean up help.

Too many towns over burdened with shortages and need

Too many people in need of prayer.

And, all of this two to three weeks after the storms.

I am linking this post to Photo Friday. The theme this week is "Many"

To view more photo Friday entries or join the fun click here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Billboards and the Wind

I'm sure you have heard about the terrible tornados in the south. I snapped these two views of the same sign, from the car window, as we traveled through Fort Payne, Alabama on Monday.

This damage is minor compared to the devastation inflicted on homes, businesses, forests and especially the lives of those who lived in the tornado's path. Two weeks after the tornado and so little of the damage has been cleaned up. I saw a large trampoline folded like a taco, guardrails bent like pretzels, homes with only a few interior walls standing. One mobile home only had the bedroom closet left and I was amazed to see the clothes were still hanging on the rod.

Please pray for these folks and support whatever relief effort you are able. If you can spare the time to travel south there are certainly plenty who will welcome your time, energy and willingness to work on their behalf.

I am linking this post to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley of Southern Ontario, discovered . To check out what interesting signs others have posted this week click here.