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Thursday, November 27 2014 @ 03:29 PM EST

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The Cost of Wal-Mart

The Cost of Wal-Mart

I have always been a Wal-mart supporter. Their low prices allow average people to streatch their dollar further than they could without Wally World’s aggressive cost lowering. That being said, I don’t shop there very often. In fact, I avoid it at all cost. I like saving money, but sometimes I need to save my sanity too. My problem you see is not with the store, but with the people who shop there. So I am asking all of you to do a few simple things to make it easier for me to shop at Wal-mart without taking the last of my Xanax:

Leave Already! You’ve got a spot close to the door, and you saw me pull up and turn my blinker on. Put your crap in the car and leave! Why must you check your hair, fiddle with the radio and update your Twitter status before backing out of the spot. I’m not trying to be impatient, but i can do my taxes faster than some of you can put the Hummer in gear!

Control your children! When did this become something I have to tell you? You’re staring at the hundred-calorie snack packs as if Howie Mandel just asked you to choose a briefcase; and your adorable offspring is reaching into my cart as he prefers my Pringles to your healthy choice. Meanwhile three other kids are screaming because their parents took them down the candy aisle and are now SHOCKED that they want something from said aisle. In the distance a glass bottle shatters and some random child’s name is yelled out, followed by no further words.

Move Along Please Twitter and Myspace are great social networks. Aisle seven is not! You and a friend pull up side-by-side, cart-to-cart like two police cars outside the Krispy Kreme completely blocking the aisle while you debate that potato salad Nancy brought to the put-luck that you are sure was store bought. People are backing up behind you like 280 at six o’clock, but you are oblivious to the world around you as you continue to insult your friends and neighbors, who are likely over in Aisle twelve doing the same to you. Single file ladies!

Can You Hear Me Now? Get off the damn phone. This applies almost everywhere, but never more so than when you are shouting into your Nokia because you only have one bar under this steel roof, so everyone in the housewares department can your conversation and can almost here the party on the other end of the line: Your husband who is in electronics!

Freezer Door Dominance There are a dozen flavors of Ben and Jerrys in front of you, and for each flavor there is a row of ten or more tubs. You can’t decide between Chubby Hubby or Cherry Garcia; so you stand there with the door open, blocking the section. I know what I want, Steven Colbert’s Americone Dream. I go to reach in beside you, and you not-so-subtly shift your body to block me. This is your case, and you aren’t done yet! There’s no shortage, plenty to go around, but no one will have ice cream until you do! I say, let me reach by – politely of course – not only would it be a kind gesture, but my selection may just give you a push in the right direction. Come on, it has chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces in it!

Fun With Money This is another one for the parents. Our educational system needs work, I agree, but the express checkout lane is not the place to teach money management. If you have five kids, just buy five pieces of candy. Don’t have each kid a dollar and tie up the lane for ten minutes while they each complete their own single-item transaction, including two returns as some of the children have now decided they want what Charlie got, not what they actually wanted. It’s cute at the dollar store, it’s fun at a toy store…. it;s infuriating at the Wal-Mart when I just want to pay for my stuff and get out!

Electronics Hell Okay, I lied. This one is directed at Wal-Mart. Must everything in the electronics department be locked behind bulletproof glass, secured by locks that can only be opened with one key which Wanda has – but she’s on break right now? I’m buying a DVD, not trying to steal the declaration of independence. And as if that wasn’t annoying enough, you have the nerve to get all pissy when I call you over to open a case so I can look at an item. “Do you want it or not?” It’s a laptop computer, not a vanilla ice cream cone, give me a second to look at the stats. After all, you did just get done telling me computers stats were “I have no idea.”

Eh, forget it. Do what you want, I’ll just go to Target. Sure the prices are higher, and you stand a better chance of finding a unicorn than someone to help you; but at least I can get out the door without some senile old lady scrutinizing my bags and papers like she works for the TSA.
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Vulcan: Birmingham’s City Symbol

Vulcan: Birmingham’s City Symbol
By: Christie Bohrofoush, TheBama.com Senior Staff Writer

In ancient times, people worshiped many gods. Vulcan was the Roman god of the Forge. A forge is a shop with a furnace where metal is heated and hammered out into useful items. In Greek mythology,Vulcan’s name is Nephaestus. His father was Jupitor, the supreme ruler of the universe, and his mother, Juno. Unlike all the other gods and goddesses, who were perfectly beautiful, Vulcan was ugly and lame. He was thrown from Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. After falling for an entire day, he landed on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea and worked as a blacksmith, using a volcano as his forge. The one-eyed Cyclopses were his helpers. He made weapons and armor for all the gods, but was kindly and peaceful himself. He married the glamorous Venus, goddess of Love and Beauty.

What does an ancient god have to do with a modern city? Birmingham was founded in 1871. The area where the city grew is very special because it contains coal, iron ore, and limestone, the raw materials for making iron and steel. Birmingham’s founders knew this would be a good place to build an industrial city. By 1900, Birmingham was called the “Magic City” because it grew so quickly. The city’s leaders wanted to advertise Birmingham and the state of Alabama to the world by entering an exhibit in the Saint Louis World’s Fair. James A. MacKnight, the manager of the Alabama State Fair, decided a statue of Vulcan would best highlight the area’s growing industrial abilities. Mr. MacKnight searched for a sculptor, and finally found Giuseppe Moretti, and Italian immigrant who had come to New York City in 1888 and was becoming well known for creating large and beautiful statues.

Giuseppe Moretti had only six months to complete the project. He first made a two-foot clay model. Next, he made a full-size clay model using a large abandoned church in New Jersey as his studio. The clay was applied over a wooden form because Vulcan was so big the wooden form and the clay model were actually in two pieces… the top and bottom half of Vulcan. Moretti than used this full-sized model to create plaster molds, which were shipped back to Birmingham. Birmingham Steel and Iron Company used the molds to cast the statue in iron. The casting was done one piece (21 pieces) at a time. As the statue’s pieces were cast, they were sent to Saint Louis to be assembled. The statue of Vulcan, with his dark, burnished, metallic finish, was dedicated on June 7, 1904, in the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy at the World’s Fair. Mr. Moretti sculpted Vulcan standing with his anvil at his right side. In his left hand, he held his hammer. He held his right hand high in the air, admiring a spear he had just finished making in his forge. The statue proved to be a very popular exhibit and won the Grand Prize, as well as medals for the sculptor and foundry.

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