Category Archives: Quirky

This year, Birmingham Bill says “check out ‘ Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast”

Birmingham_BillThis year Punxsutawney Phil‘s prognostication will be the only one that matters to most Birminghaminans. The Birmingham Zoo announced via their website that Birmingham Bill will be taking the year off, encouraging those interested in getting a prediction on Groundhog Day to turn their eyes to Pennsylvania.

The zoo has hosted a local version of the long-standing tradition since 1990, with it’s digital announcement marking the end of a nearly ten-year old practice of using stand-ins for the original Bill. He passed away in 1996 at age 10 — just eleven days after delivering his final forecast (for those wondering, he didn’t see his shadow that year).

By the way, Phil did indeed see his shadow this morning, meaning there’s at least six more weeks of winter weather in store for us (even though the weather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania this morning was light drizzle with clouds as a winter storm warning remains in effect for the area, but hey…).

We are still waiting to hear from Smith Lake Jake, though he told the folks at Alabama Power’s News Center last week (through his translator) he thought we would see an early spring.

Photo: Birmingham Bill, via Bhamwiki/Birmingham Zoo

Look! Our namesake made a Gizmodo list!

Birmingham_Terminal_interiorThe namesake of this nearly seven year-old website, Birmingham’s old Terminal Station, stirs up emotions at the mere mention of its name. It’s no surprise to us that Gizmodo would include the building, demolished in 1969 to make way for a proposed Social Security building, in its list of “9 of the Most Beautiful Buildings We Ever Tore Down” posted to their site this morning. They most likely found the building as a result of its inclusion in a list posted on its sister site Jalopnik in April 2010.

We’ve often wondered what it would’ve been like to take a stroll through the front door of this magnificent structure. Thankfully, we just discovered this fly-through of a rendering of the 1909 building for use in Minecraft courtesy of The Sucky Gamers on YouTube. It’ll at least give you an idea of the space…


The list has been picked up by both (complete with a survey seeing how many knew of the building’s existence) and the Birmingham Business Journal today, leading to many comments about its demise. The proposed Social Security building ended up being placed just north of the central business district – and once again serves as the source of much serious conversations related to the future of the city of Birmingham (as evidenced in today’s Dear Birmingham post).

Photo: Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library archives.

“Vote ‘ham” (and thanks, again)

vote for the hamYou’ve got until January 31 to help Birmingham be named The South’s Tastiest Town. Birmingham-based Southern Living announced earlier this month that the city was one of ten finalists in the competition. We’re currently in sixth place; the folks at Big Communications look like they can probably explain this a little better than we can.

Resist the urge to vote for the ham sandwich, though the folks in Prince William County seem to have some fun with this website still & the band looks interesting too.

While we’re at it, we do miss the musings of the Bham Sandwich – congrats to Dan on the new gig in NOLA).

You’ve also got one last chance this week to vote for A.skate Foundation’s Pepsi Refresh project – a disability friendly skate park in Alabama’s Magic City.

Speaking of voting, for five years there are folks in this city who’ve decided this site should receive votes in local readers polls. This morning we learned (despite my asking folks not to vote for us) that we’d finished in fifth place in the best website category of The Birmingham News‘ Birmingham’s Best readers poll – our fifth top five finish in that poll during our nearly five years of existence.

Thanks for the continued support and best wishes for a prosperous 2012!

Get ready for Hey Octane Boy posts from Homewood

Updated below | Octane-Boy-screenshotThere have been rumblings since November (long proven true) that Atlanta’s Octane Coffee would be opening its first location out of state (and third overall) here in Alabama – specifically in Homewood. It’ll be next to the first location for parent company Fresh Hospitality‘s new fast casual restaurant Little Donkey. They’re currently scheduled to open this spring along Central Avenue.

They’ll be using beans roasted by Primavera Coffee Roasters, a locally owned favorite among area coffee drinkers (it was first written about back in October) with the long-time Cahaba Heights resident moving its operation into Octane’s space OTM.

The addition of the new restaurants to the local scene may also lead to us seeing photos of the shop’s male employees shared for all to see via the Hey, Octane Boy site on Tumblr. The chain had already received some attention earlier this year thanks to the “hipster barista” meme and now this relatively new fan boy site (eerily similar to one called Feminist Ryan Gosling and Hey girl, I heart NPR) has been recognized as the website of the day and given a shout out on Foodista.

Can a Hey, Urban Standard boy site be far behind?

UPDATE (8/18/2012): It appears as though the building permit’s been issued for construction of the new space (thanks to Landon Howell)…

Happy International Tee Day!

White Terminal TYes, today’s the first day of summer! It’s also the fourth annual International T-shirt Day, making it appropriate to write about the It’s Nice to Have You in Birmingham t-shirts that we’ve currently got available for sale on the site.

There are several reasons to get the shirt. It’s just a cool-looking t-shirt whether in black or white. It’s a great conversation starter both inside and outside of metro Birmingham.

It’s also a great way to help us raise funds to expand the staff of The Terminal this summer. It’s one of several approaches we’ll be taking in the coming months, including voluntary subscriptions and sponsorships (more info coming soon).

We need to sell at least 250 shirts by this Friday, June 24, for this to work as a first step. The shirts cost $20 ($15 + $5 for shipping via USPS). I’d like to thank those who’ve already purchased t-shirts (18 as of this post). Those of you who used Google Checkout to complete the sale, please be aware that they have not shipped yet; there is a glitch in the system that sends both emails. Those orders that we can fill with existing stock on hand will be sent out no later than Friday evening, June 24. If we are unable to reach the goal and as a result unable to fill your order as of Friday evening, your purchase will be refunded at that time.

We hope you’ll help us spread the word so that we’re able to reach our goal using any and all methods available to you. Thanks in advance for your help and your continued support!

What’s in a hashtag?

Screenshot from hashtags.orgSeveral folks who regularly visit The Terminal also keep track of what we say via our Twitter profile. They may notice that we use #bham to highlight those tweets that we think will be of interest to people here in Birmingham, AL. The thing is, all of us who use the hashtag are part of a much larger online family – a virtual secret handshake that may just help connect us with folks we wouldn’t normally think about.

Besides those here in central Alabama, #bham is also used by Birmingham, MI; Bellingham, WA; and some portions of Birmingham, UK. That last one is most interesting as while many there have turned to #brum instead, Wikipedia decided to make a decision on the issue themselves.

Some have turned to #bhm as an alternative, one that makes a great deal of sense considering the its the city’s official IATA airport code and our NPR affiliate’s call letters. It’s also (among other things) the rail code for Birmingham, England’s New Street Station (leading to a lot of tweets including it during their morning and evening rush), Black History Month, the initials used to reference journalist Bambang Harymurti.

Just don’t be surprised by who responds to you when using these tags – and where they’re from.

Screenshot from

On the agenda: A new home for the Birmingham Batmobile?

Birmingham_Batman. Courtesy of BhamWikiThe most interesting item on this morning’s Birmingham City Council agenda involves the Batmobile. Back in 2007 we linked to a post written by Lou Anders about Birmingham’s BatmanWillie Perry.

The car that Perry drove around while providing assistance to those in need has been the focus of a lot of attention in recent years. Today, so long as the issue isn’t deferred again, it will find a new home. Item 2 on today’s agenda hopes to accomplish just that as it would allow the mayor to enter into an agreement with Old Car Heaven to house the car for an indefinite period of time.

This morning’s agenda also includes potential approvals for contracts with companies to demolish structures throughout the city (Items 9-14) as well as a funding request that would allow Main Street Birmingham to move forward with plans to develop an arts incubator in the Woodlawn commercial district (Item 6).

It should be an interesting meeting to watch… The live stream begins with pre-council at 9 a.m.