Monday, September 30, 2013

LIFE LIST UPDATE – No. 153: Drink a Mimosa

For whatever reason, I’d lived over 37 years on this earth without every having drank a Mimosa. I’d heard about this cocktail all my life, and added it to my “life list” a couple of years ago after hearing my wife say that she’d “sampled” one during a bookclub meeting. This past Saturday, I took the time to properly prepare one for myself and officially scratched it off my “life list.”

A Mimosa is a cocktail made from one part champagne and one part chilled orange juice. I procured the ingredients for my Mimosa during a quick, inexpensive shopping trip Saturday afternoon. First, I bought a $5.99 bottle of Andre Extra Dry California Champagne from Lee’s Quick Stop in Repton and a $4.99 gallon of Dairy Fresh orange juice from Excel Supermarket. Grand total = $10.98 before taxes.

I read somewhere that Mimosas are usually served in tall champagne flutes and are usually served at weddings, but Alabama was playing Ole Miss on Saturday, so I enjoyed my Mimosas from a large, plastic 2012 SEC Championship Game cup that was more than suitable for the job. I used a measuring cup to pour in one cup of champagne and one cup of orange juice and stirred the concoction with an ordinary metal kitchen spoon. I added chipped ice as well and the result was delicious.

I didn’t find the drink sharp tasting and you could taste only a hint of alcohol. Plus, the orange juice gave it a refreshing, sweet taste that made it go down easy. A couple of hours later, I did sense a slight headache but that may have been more from being outside in the sun all morning than from the Mimosas. Using the one cup to one cup ratio, I managed to make three Mimosas, but I did have quite a bit of orange juice left over when the bottle of champagne turned up empty.

As you might have guessed my way of making a Mimosa isn’t the only way to make them. There are several recipes out there for them, and all of them involve some sort of chilled citrus fruit juice, usually either orange juice or grapefruit juice. If you really want to get fancy, you can also add a garnish. Standard garnish for a Mimosa, according to the International Bartenders Association, is cherries, grenadine or strawberries.

In the end, how many of you have ever tried a Mimosa? What did you think about it? How do you make yours? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Also, before I close this think out, I want to point out that the above article is about an alcoholic beverage, and as such, it should be enjoyed responsibly and with a heavy, healthy dose of common sense. If you have to drink, only do so in moderation and never drink and drive. Drink responsibly and don’t even touch the stuff if you’re not legally old enough to buy it.)

1. Ate a funnel cake
2. Ate a peach from Chilton County, Alabama
3. Ate at Big Daddy’s Grill in Fairhope
4. Ate at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile
5. Ate catfish at the Stage Coach Café in Stockton
6. Ate octopus
7. Attended a Beulah Campground service
8. Drank a fresh lemonade at Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn
9. Drank a Mimosa
10. Drank Cognac
11. Drank goat’s milk
12. Hiked the Grand Canyon
13. Joined the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
14. Joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans
15. Made an origami animal
16. Listened to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” without interruption
17. Listened to The Beatles’ “White Album” without interruption
18. Planted a vegetable garden
19. Ran the Alligator Trot 5K in Florala
20. Ran the Battle of Mobile Bay 5K on Dauphin Island
21. Ran through the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile
22. Read all the Hellboy graphic novels
23. Read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie
24. Read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
25. Read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech
26. Read “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer” by Warren St. John
27. Read “Savage Wilderness” by Barry Ralph
28. Read the entire Bible
29. Read “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr.
30. Saw the Ginkgo tree in Evergreen
31. Started a fire without matches
32. Took the downtown Selma walking tour
33. Tried 100 different types of beer
34. Visited Ellicott’s Stone
35. Visited Packer’s Bend
36. Visited the Grand Canyon
37. Visited the grave of Lewis Lavon Peacock
38. Visited the Hank Williams Statue in Montgomery
39. Watched “A Streetcar Named Desire”
40. Watched “Brazil” (1985)
41. Watched “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
42. Watched “Dracula” (1931)
43. Watched “Easy Rider” (1969)
44. Watched “Nosferatu” (1922)
45. Watched “This Is Spinal Tap”

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: The whole point of these life list updates is NOT to draw attention to myself or to anything that I’ve done. Instead, I hope to encourage others to accomplish their own bucket list goals. I’m just a regular guy, and if I can do these things, so can you.)

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Sept. 30, 2013

USS Coral Sea aircraft carrier in 1948.
OCT. 5, 1995

“Christian Country Music recording artist Jimmy Whitt and his 15-year-old daughter, Jamie, will headline the entertainment at the 15th Annual Conecuh Heritage Day Festival on Sat., Oct. 21, in downtown Evergreen.”

“Missing court records put Repton in the news: Conecuh County once again is making headlines across the state. This time the Town of Repton is under investigation. According to articles and reports, several months work of court records are missing.
“The matter is under investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigations. The matter was compounded last week by the resignation of Repton Mayor George Armstrong. Councilman Scott Dees, mayor pro tem, became acting mayor.
“According to reports from Michael Clements of The Monroe Journal Wednesday morning the Repton Council met Tuesday night and Dees has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Armstrong. The Council will appoint someone to fill Dees’ council slot at their next meeting in two weeks.
“Mayor Scott Dees said no comment on the missing records would be made until the investigation has been completed.”

“A large crowd was on hand last Thursday afternoon for Business After Hours at the Knud Nielsen Company. The Nielsen Co. hosted the regular event where over 100 people came by the reception.”

OCT. 2, 1980

“Weatherman Earl Windham reports two good showers during the week: .42 of an inch on Sept. 25 and .41 on Sept. 28.”
He reported a high temperature of 94 degrees on Sept. 25 and low temperatures of 62 on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.

“Aubrey Brown Boykin, 71, of South Main Street, Evergreen, died on Sunday evening, Sept. 28, in a local hospital after a long illness. He and his wife, Luella, have operated Conecuh County’s leading jewelry store for over 30 years.
“Mr. Boykin joined the National Guard as a young man and served as an artillery officer with the 31st (Dixie) Division of the U.S. Army in combat areas of the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He remained in the active reserve and retired several years ago as a Lt. Colonel. He was a member of the Evergreen United Methodist Church. He was a Mason and a Shriner.”

“The folks of the Castleberry area are justifiably proud of the Conecuh County High School Marching Blue Devils Band. Just in its second year, the band and its director, Robert Hulse, are also proud of their new uniforms which parents, patrons and supporters of the school provided.”

“Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin Booker adds ‘fuel to the fire’ as he burns 700 marijuana plants that he and other officers uprooted Thursday in the southwestern part of the county. The plants, four to 12 feet tall, had an estimated street value of $150,000 to $175,000, officers said.”

OCT. 7, 1965

“The proper form of address for Conecuh’s Robert E.L. Key is now ‘your honor.’ He was appointed the first judge of the newly created 35th Judicial Circuit by Governor George Wallace Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 30.”

“OSCODA, Mich. – Staff Sergeant Ralph M. Tatum, son of Mrs. Georgia R. Tatum of Rt. 2, Evergreen, Ala., will be part of the F-101 Voodo team as top fighter pilots compete in William Tell, the U.S. Air Force fighter weapons meet at Tyndall AFB, Fla., Oct. 1-9
“Sergeant Tatum is a navigation equipment technician at Wurtsmith AFB, Mich. His team is representing the Air Defense Command in the biennial competition.”

“The post office and Sam Lowrey’s Store at Burnt Corn were burglarized Sunday night, Sept. 19, according to state and postal investigators.
“B.R. Wilson, postal inspector out of the Mobile office, and J.F. Gardner, state investigator of Evergreen, said about $75 was missing from the post office safe and an undisclosed amount of money was missing from Lowrey’s Store.
“Wilson said the safe-cracking appeared to be the work of professionals. The burglar or burglars apparently broke a lock on the front of the store to gain entrance. The post office is also located in the store. According to Wilson, most of the $75 taken from the post office safe was in cash.
“The Conecuh-Monroe county line runs through Lowrey’s Store and the safe was apparently on the Monroe side as the Monroe County Sheriff’s office was called to investigate the burglary.”

OCT. 5, 1950

“Verdell Evans Cunningham, age 46, resident of 11 Bibb Graves Ave., Montgomery, ended his own life here at an early hour Saturday morning, shortly after stepping from an early morning train. Shortly after arriving here he walked into Wild Bros. Hardware and purchased a long butcher knife, then walked to the men’s room at the City Café and slashed his throat. He died instantly.
“His identity was not known here until late Monday. Members of an L&N section crew found a man’s hat on the railroad south of Evergreen with the name ‘V.E. Cunningham, 11 Bibb Graves Ave.’ also a phone number. Investigating officers made inquiry at Montgomery which resulted in the man’s identity.”

“Cpl. Manford Frederick Langley, U.S. Marines, son of Mrs. Frank Langley of Castleberry, has been wounded in action in the Korean War. Cpl. Langley was wounded while serving with the 1st Marines on Sept. 18.
“Cpl. Langley attended Conecuh County High School before enlisting in the Marine Corps in July 1948. He received his boot training at Paris Island, S.C. Since joining the Marines he has served with the 8th Marines aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea in the Mediterranean Area, with the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejune, N.C. and with the 6th Marines overseas.”

OCT. 3, 1935

“After a lingering illness of over two months, Mr. John Henry Waters, farmer and highly respected citizen of the Ramah community died at his home Wednesday morning, Sept. 25, at 4:30 o’clock. Mr. Waters was 60 years old.
“He united with the Baptist church at Ramah when but a boy and was always a devoted member. He was a Mason, being a member of the lodge at Tunnel Springs.”

“Approval was announced Monday at Washington of the W.P.A. project for the construction of a school building at Castleberry.”

“Cotton ginning reports for all counties in Alabama reflect an early cotton crop for the state, some of the counties reporting ginnings to Sept. 16 of more than twice the number of bales for the corresponding year, according to a report from the United States Bureau of Census.
“In Conecuh County, 6,581 bales had been ginned against 4,119 to Sept. 16 of last year.”

“Construction Begins On New Sepulga Span: Construction of a new truss span steel bridge across the Sepulga river below Paul was begun Tuesday as the first concrete was poured.
“The span is being built across what is known as ‘Bull Slough,’ and is being financed with funds of the third district, which is represented on the board of revenue by J. Frank Pierce of Lenox. The cost is estimated as $6,000.
“The bridge will be 150 feet in length and about 50 feet above the river bed. Attempt is being made to place it high enough to escape all future floods. It will be at least one foot above the high water mark of 1929 and will be located about one mile up river from the former span which was carried away by the flood of that year.
“Contract for its construction has been led to Gregg Gowden of Wilcox, who estimates that it will be complete about Jan. 1.
“Completion of the bridge and about one mile of road necessary to connect it with the road east of the river will provide a connecting link between Evergreen and Andalusia about five miles shorter than the present route and will greatly cut the distance to Evergreen for persons living east of the river.”

Daily Weather Observations for Mon., Sept. 30, 2013

Temp: 65.3 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 81 percent (high)

Conditions: Overcast skies and raining; birds audible; security light still on in the yard.

Wind: 0.0 mph (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.50 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 43.75 inches

NOTES: Today is the 273rd day of 2013 and the ninth day of Fall. There are 92 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

COMIC BOOK OF THE WEEK – “Justice League America” #29 (Aug. 1989)

This week’s “Comic Book of the Week” is “Justice League America” #29, which was published by D.C. Comics in August 1989. This comic was titled “Nabu In My Mind” and featured Batman, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Guy Gardner, Ice, Martian Manhunter, Mr. Miracle, Max Lord, Oberon, Big Barda and Nabu. The creative team included Keith Giffen, plot and layouts; J.M. DeMatteis, script; Ty Templeton, penciller; Joe Rubinstein, inker; Albert DeGuzman, letterer; Gene Dangelo, colorist; Kevin Dooley, editor; and Andy Helfer, editor. Kevin Maguire was the cover artist for this issue, which sold for $1.00 at newsstands.

“Justice League America” #29 was a 24-page issue that begins with Fire and Big Barda having a training session on the rooftop of the JLA Embassy in New York. Fire’s trying to get a grip on her powers and appears to be just learning to fly. Barda chastises Fire for not taking the training seriously.

Behind the scenes, Barda tells Martian Manhunter that she hasn’t trained anyone in a long time and feels that she’s grown soft. To step up the training, Barda heads to her car to get her “Mega-Rod” out of the trunk. Unfortunately, when she gets outside, she discovers that her car has been stolen. Barda heads off to find her car, which ends her training session with Fire, who is still on the roof.

From there, the story shifts to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where Blue Beetle is in a coma, and Nabu is explaining his situation to Batman, Oberon and Max Lord. Nabu, one of the Lords of Order, explains that he’s now inhabiting the corpse of Kent Nelson, the former Dr. Fate. When Nelson died, Nabu “empowered his body,” and the others hope that he can wake Blue Beetle from his coma, which was caused by a hypnotic “Azrael Block” placed on him by Queen Bee. Batman, Oberon and Lord watch as Nabu leaves Nelson’s body and enters Blue Beetle’s mind.

Back at the embassy, Mr. Miracle’s using a tracking device to help Barda home in on her stolen car. Fire tags along to help when Miracle’s “Mother Box” picks up the Mega-Rod’s scent.

Meanwhile, Nabu finds himself in Blue Beetle’s mind, which is crowded with images of beautiful women. Nabu realizes that these images are probably what’s keeping Beetle’s mind tethered to his body. Nabu eventually finds Beetle deep within the dark recesses of his mind, where he’s staring into a small point of light.

Nabu explains to Beetle that he’s been sent to bring him home. They discuss the mystery of the light that Beetle’s fixated on, and Nabu tells him that he can't go to the light because he’s got unfinished business topside. When Nabu tries to lead Beetle back to reality, Nabu discovers the presence of an enormous rock wall – the “Azrael Block” that’s been programmed into Beetle’s mind.

Back at the embassy, Beetle’s best friend, Booster Gold, is locked alone in his room, fuming over Beetle’s situation. He’s been told by the other JLA members that he’s been programmed by the Queen Bee too, just like Beetle, and could “explode at any moment, just the way Beetle did.”

From there, the story shifts back to the hospital, where Batman, Oberon and Lord are waiting on Nabu to bring Beetle back. Oberon and Lord are starting to lose patience, but Batman encourages them to wait. At the same time, inside Beetle’s mind, Nabu figures out how to get Beetle around the “Azrael Block.”

Things take an odd turn when Beetle shows back up in reality, but in Nelson’s dead body instead of his own. While Batman’s trying to calm down an upset Beetle, Nabu wakes up in possession of Beetle’s previously comatose body. Nabu explains that he couldn't break the block, so he switched bodies with Beetle and will switch their personalities back into the right bodies to make things right. At that point, Batman does an about face and leaves the hospital, business finished in his eyes.

Some time passes before the next scene, which takes place at the JLA embassy. Beetle’s back in uniform and he’s discussing what happened with Martian Manhunter, Ice, Oberon and Guy Gardner. While they’re talking, Nabu’s upstairs with Booster Bold, straightening him out as well. They all here Booster Gold scream from upstairs when he wakes up in Nelson’s dead body.

The issue comes to an end with a scene set in Bayonne, New Jersey. Mr. Miracle, Barda and Fire are on the hunt for Barda’s stolen car and missing Mega-Rod. They eventually land in a toxic waste part of town, where they find Barda’s car smashed to pieces. It looks like it’s been dropped out of an airplane, and Miracle discovers that three bodies have been crushed in the wreckage.

As the three heroes discuss what's happened, they’re rocked by an explosion that sends them flying. Miracle gets to his feet first only to be confronted by a young punk armed with Barda’s Mega-Rod. The issue ends with a tease to the following issue in which the heroes will have to deal with this lethal punk. 

This comic (unless I’ve sold it) and others are available for purchase through Peacock’s Books on If you’re interested in buying it, search for it there by title, issue number and date of publication.

Stephen King's 'Under the Dome' returns to best-sellers list this week

Today is Sunday, so that means that it’s time for my weekly breakdown of this week’s Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers Lists. According to those lists, there are two new books at the top of the four major best-sellers lists this week.

"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks replaced "W Is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton as the No. 1 book on the hardcover fiction best-sellers list this week.

"The Hit" by David Baldacci replaced "The Racketeer" by John Grisham as the top book on the trade paperbacks best-sellers list.

"Si-Cology 1" by Si Robertson remained the top book on the hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list for the third straight week.

"The Racketeer" by John Grisham remained the No. 1 book on the mass market paperback best-sellers list for the third straight week.

There were seven books on this week’s hardcover fiction best-sellers list that weren’t on that list last week. They (and their places on the list) included "The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks (1), "Thankless in Death" by J.D. Robb (2), "The Quest" by Nelson DeMille (5), "The Final Cut" by Catherine Coulter (6), "Bleeding Edge" by Thoma Pynchon (7), "Deadly Heat" by Richard Castle (8) and "Who Asked You?" by Terry McMillan (12).

There were six books on this week’s hardcover nonfiction best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "Guinness World Records 2014" by Guinness World Records (2), "Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition" by Tim Bogenn, Rick Barba (7), "Grain Brain" by David Perlmutter (9), "Simple Dreams" by Linda Ronstadt (11), "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown (12) and "Reign of Error" by Diane Ravitch (15).

There were two books on this week’s mass market paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "Taking Eve" by Iris Johansen (4) and "Private London" by James Patterson, Mark Pearson (5).

There were three books on this week’s trade paperbacks best-sellers list that weren’t on the list last week. They included "The Hit" by David Baldacci (1), "Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition" by Tim Bogenn, Rick Barba (10) and "Under the Dome" by Stephen King (14).

As a reminder, I’m posting these lists each Sunday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. These lists are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit Publishers Weekly’s Web site at Below you’ll find all four of this week’s best-seller lists.

1. "The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks
2. "Thankless in Death" by J.D. Robb
3. "W Is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton
4. "Never Go Back" by Lee Child
5. "The Quest" by Nelson DeMille
6. "The Final Cut" by Catherine Coulter
7. "Bleeding Edge" by Thomas Pynchon
8. "Deadly Heat" by Richard Castle
9. "The Mayan Secrets" by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry
10. "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith
11. "Inferno" by Dan Brown
12. "Who Asked You?" by Terry McMillan
13. "And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini
14. "Mistress" by James Patterson and David Ellis
15. "Robert B. Parker's Damned If You Do" by Michael Brandman

1. "Si-Cology 1" by Si Robertson
2. "Guinness World Records 2014" by Guinness World Records
3. "Still Foolin' 'Em" by Billy Crystal
4. "Happy, Happy, Happy" by Phil Robertson
5. "The Liberty Amendments" by Mark R. Levin
6. "Zealot" by Reza Aslan
7. "Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition" by Tim Bogenn, Rick Barba
8. "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg
9. "Grain Brain" by David Perlmutter
10. "The Duck Commander Family" by Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson and Mark Schlabach
11. "Simple Dreams" by Linda Ronstadt
12. "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown
13. "Wilson" by A. Scott Berg
14. "God Is Not Mad at You" by Joyce Meyer
15. "Reign of Error" by Diane Ravitch

1. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham
2. "The Bone Bed" by Patricia Cornwell
3. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci
4. "Taking Eve" by Iris Johansen
5. "Private London" by James Patterson and Mark Pearson
6. "The Hero" by Robyn Carr
7. "The Last Man: A Novel" by Vince Flynn
8. "Big Sky Wedding" by Linda Lael Miller
9. "The Inn at Rose Harbor" by Debbie Macomber
10. "Temptation" by Sherryl Woods
11. "Deamond in the Rough" by Diana Palmer
12. "Collateral Damage" by Stuart Woods
13. "Low Pressure" by Sandra Brown
14. "Heart of Texas, Vol. 3" by Debbie Macomber
15. "The Blood Gospel" by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

1. "The Hit" by David Baldacci
2. "The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling
3. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham
4. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander
5. "I Declare" by Joel Osteen
6. "Winter of the World" by Ken Follett
7. "The Secret Keeper" by Beverly Lewis
8. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson
9. "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter
10. "Grand Theft Auto V Limited Edition" by Tim Bogenn and Rick Barba
11. "Private Berlin" by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
12. "The Silent Wife" by A.S.A. Harrison
13. "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed
14. "Under the Dome" by Stephen King
15. "Alex Cross, Run" by James Patterson

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Sun., Sept. 29, 2013

Temp: 58.6 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 80 percent (high)

Conditions: Partly Cloudy skies; moon visible overhead; birds audible (including a woodpecker) and visible; security lights still on in the distance; cows audible; dew on the ground.

Wind: 0.0 mph (No wind)

Barometric Pressure: 29.57 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 43.75 inches

NOTES: Today is the 272nd day of 2013 and the eighth day of Fall. There are 93 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy birthday, William Faulkner and Irvine Welsh!

William Faulkner
Two of my all-time favorite writers, William Faulkner and Irvine Welsh, celebrated their birthdays during the past week. Faulkner, a Noble Prize-winner, was born on Sept. 25, 1897 near Oxford, Miss. and Welsh was born on Sept. 27, 1958 in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Faulkner, who died of a heart attack at the age of 64 in 1962, published 19 novels, scores of short stories and a number of poems during his career. Faulkner is generally considered to be one of the greatest Southern writers ever, right up there with Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams.

What follows is a complete list of his novels in order of publication.

- Soldier’s Pay (1926)

- Mosquitoes (1927)

- Sartoris (1929)

- The Sound and the Fury (1929)

- As I Lay Dying (1930)

- Sanctuary (1931)

- Light in August (1932)

- Pylon (1935)

- Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

- The Unvanquished (1938)

- The Wild Palms (1939)

- The Hamlet (1940)

- Go Down, Moses and Other Stories (1942)

- Intruder in the Dust (1948)

- Requiem for a Nun (1951)

- A Fable (1954)

- The Town (1957)

- The Mansion (1959)

- The Reivers (1962)

Some of Faulkner’s books are ranked among the best books ever published, and, as you might have imagined, his books often find their way onto recommended reading lists and other “best of” lists. What follows is a run-down of just a few of those lists.

Two of his books won Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction – “A Fable” (1955) and “The Reivers” (1963). In 1998, the Modern Library included “The Sound and the Fury,” “As I Lay Dying” and “Light in August” on its list of “100 Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century.”

“Sanctuary,” “The Unvanquished,” “Go Down, Moses,” “Intruder in the Dust,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “Absalom, Absalom!” and “As I Lay Dying” were named to the James Agee Film Project’s “A Southern List: 125 Great Southern Books.” “As I Lay Dying,” “The Bear,” “Light in August,” “The Sound and the Fury” and “Absalom, Absalom!” were named to the AP Literature Recommended Reading List.

“As I Lay Dying,” “Light in August” and “The Sound and the Fury” were named to Oprah Winfrey’s famous Oprah’s Book Club. “As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury” were also named to The College Board’s list of “101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers.” The editors at the Book-of-the-Month-Club picked “The Sound and the Fury” and “Light in August” for a best-of list they called “The Well-Stocked Bookcase.”

“Absalom, Absalom!” and “The Sound and the Fury” were also named to the Norwegian Book Club’s 2002 list of “The Top 100 Books of All Time." Easton Press also included “The Sound and the Fury” in its famous series of books called the “100 Greatest Books Ever Written.”

Last year, the Library of Congress also included “The Sound and the Fury” in its list of “88 Books That Shaped America.” In March of 2011, Esquire magazine included “As I Lay Dying” on its list of “75 Books Every Man Should Read.”

Welsh is best known for his 1993 novel, “Trainspotting,” which was adapted to film in 1996 and starred Ewan McGregor. I read “Trainspotting” in 1997, and it’s one of the most awesome books I’ve ever read. This one of a kind book is written in phonetic Scottish dialect and is written mostly in the stream-of-consciousness style.

As you might imagine, Welsh has written a number of other books, and tonight I give you a list of all the novels and short story collections he’s published over the years. Here they are:


– Trainspotting (1993)

– Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995)

– Filth (1998)

– Glue (2001)

– Porno (2002)

– The Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs (2006)

– Crime (2008)

– Skagboys (2012)

Short Story Collections:

– The Acid House (1994)

– Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance (1996)

– If You Liked School You’ll Love Work (2007)

– Reheated Cabbage (2009)

In the end, how many of Faulkner’s books have you read? How many of Welsh’s books have you read? What did you think of them? Which would you recommend? Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Sat., Sept. 28, 2013

Temp: 59.5 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 80 percent (high)

Conditions: Clear skies with a few thin clouds visible to the north, low on the horizon; moon visible overhead; birds audible, including a woodpecker; security lights still on in the distance; cows and dogs audible; dew on the ground; dogs audible.

Wind: 0.1 mph out of the Northeast.

Barometric Pressure: 29.61 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 43.75 inches

NOTES: Today is the 271st day of 2013 and the seventh day of Fall. There are 94 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Alabama prep football scores from games played Fri., Sept. 27, 2013

Alabama high school football statewide scores from games played on Fri., Sept. 27, 2013:

AHSAA Interclass Games:
Abbeville 52, LaFayette 12
Alabama Christian 34, Montgomery Catholic 21
Albertville 34, Boaz 9
Andalusia 43, Opp 26
Ardmore 56, Clements 30
Ashford 31, Rehobeth 28
Athens 26, Austin 24
B.B. Comer 32, Winterboro 6
B.T. Washington 47, Bullock County 0
Bibb County 30, Linden 20
Billingsley 48, Holt 12
Blount 40, Vigor 13
Brantley 41, Highland Home 21
Brewer 61, Vinemont 6
Briarwood Christian 24, Gardendale 22
Brookwood 32, Oak Grove 0
Calera 42, Shelby County 27
Carver-Birmingham 21, Ramsay 14
Charles Henderson 27, Greenville 26
Chelsea 51, Tarrant 18
Cherokee 41, Tharptown 6
Cherokee County 40, Ider 16
Childersburg 35, Sylacauga 30
Citronelle 27, Southern Choctaw 0
Clay-Chalkville 48, Pinson Valley 31
Colbert County 38, Sheffield 14
Cold Springs 68, Lynn 34
Cordova 54, Parrish 20
Corner 27, Hayden 20
Dale County 41, Houston Academy 8
Dallas County 22, Francis Marion 0
Davidson 33, Williamson 6
Demopolis 49, Thomasville 16
Deshler 28, Brooks 7
Dothan 36, Carroll 3
Douglas 32, Brindlee Mountain 20
East Lawrence 49, West Morgan 34
East Limestone 59, James Clemens 42
Elmore County 47, Prattville Christian 28
Enterprise 41, Eufaula 3
Etowah 28, Lincoln 21
Excel 55, Monroe County 6
Fairfield 28, Midfield 27
Fairview 47, Holly Pond 14
Faith Academy 48, Escambia County 34
Fayette County 33, Sulligent 15
Flomaton 25, Jay (Fla.) 22
Fultondale 34, American Christian 29
G.W. Long 26, Daleville 18
Gaston 47, Wadley 20
Geneva 35, Goshen 28
Geneva County 20, Providence Christian 0
Georgiana 33, Calhoun 18
Glencoe 40, Hokes Bluff 20
Gulf Shores 57, Baldwin County 31
Guntersville 33, Arab 28
Hale County 14, Greensboro 0
Haleyville 42, Winfield 19
Hanceville 45, West Point 22
Hazel Green 36, Madison County 6
Headland 35, Houston County 18
Hillcrest-Evergreen 21, W.S. Neal 12
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 31, Paul Bryant 7
Homewood 28, Wetumpka 0
Horseshoe Bend 42, Thorsby 36
Isabella 45, Verbena 6
J.O. Johnson 43, Lee-Huntsville 7
Jackson 34, Foley 17
Jacksonville 42, Weaver 14
Kinston 41, Zion Chapel 7
Lamar County 42, Berry 22
Lanett 47, Notasulga 6
Lauderdale County 56, Central-Florence 21
Lawrence County 33, Hatton 7
Lexington 26, Rogers 15
Locust Fork 20, J.B. Pennington 17
Luverne 21, Pike County 20
Madison Academy 28, Cullman 10
Maplesville 27, Sweet Water 24
McKenzie 44, Cottonwood 30
Millry 35, McIntosh 22
Mobile Christian 43, Cottage Hill Christian 0
Moody 46, Ashville 14
Mount Pisgah Christian (Ga.) 26, Wilson 7
Muscle Shoals 45, Dora 7
North Sand Mountain 35, Sylvania 13
Oakman 34, Northside 13
Oneonta 56, Susan Moore 12
Opelika 34, Valley 18
Phillips 49, Phil Campbell 0
Pickens County 54, Aliceville 18
Pleasant Grove 32, Hueytown 3
Pleasant Valley 35, White Plains 24
Priceville 42, Danville 14
Ranburne 36, Beulah 21
Randolph-Clay (Ga.) 44, Barbour County 36
Red Bay 40, Belmont (Miss.) 0
Reeltown 28, Loachapoka 26
Russell County 21, Northside (Ga.) 17
Saks 35, Alexandria 0
Samson 44, Red Level 6
Sand Rock 27, Plainview 21
Saraland 35, Mary G. Montgomery 0
Sardis 31, Geraldine 24
Satsuma 35, Leroy 26
Scottsboro 55, North Jackson 0
Section 21, Pisgah 0
Sipsey Valley 66, Curry 28
Slocomb 24, Wicksburg 6
Smiths Station 28, Beauregard 9
South Lamar 14, Central-Coosa 0
Southside-Selma 18, Keith 14
Spanish Fort 38, Fairhope 14
St. Paul's 42, Northview 7
Straughn 34, Elba 8
Sumter Central 21, Greene County 6
Sunshine 64, R.C. Hatch 30
T.R. Miller 47, Clarke County 19
Tanner 42, R.A. Hubbard 6
The Lovett School (Ga.) 35, Fort Payne 13
Theodore 35, B.C. Rain 24
Trinity Presbyterian 21, St. James 7
Tuscaloosa County 46, Central-Tuscaloosa 26
UMS-Wright 27, Bayside Acad. 24
Vincent 34, Talladega County Central 28
Washington County 53, Fruitdale 8
Wenonah 22, Huffman 12
West Blocton 52, Montevallo 20
West End-Walnut Grove 49, Cleveland 8
West Florida Christian (Fla.) 42, Alma Bryant 21
West Limestone 25, Elkmont 23
Westminster Christian 26, Randolph 21
Wilcox Central 18, Choctaw County 12
Winston County 51, Carbon Hill 28

Class 6A
Auburn 16, Gadsden City 13
Baker 33, Robertsdale 10
Bob Jones 43, Huntsville 42
East Coweta (Ga.) 41, Central-Phenix City 40
Hoover 17, Vestavia Hills 7
McGill-Toolen 28, Daphne 24
Minor 34, Hewitt-Trussville 23
Mountain Brook 15, Buckhorn 14
Oak Mountain 22, Pell City 15
Oxford 26, Florence 20
Pelham 49, Northridge 40
Shades Valley 44, Thompson 12
Spain Park 20, Lee-Montgomery 14
Sparkman 48, Grissom 0
Stanhope Elmore 34, Jeff Davis 21

Class 5A
Benjamin Russell 58, Talladega 7
Center Point 22, McAdory 14 (OT)
Chilton County 31, Marbury 19
Russellville 20, Walker 14
Southside-Gadsden 30, Springville 24

Class 4A
Anniston 41, Handley 13
Central-Clay County 30, Munford 14
Cleburne County 51, St. Clair County 21
Crossville 31, DAR 14
Jemison 35, Holtville 14
Tallassee 27, Dadeville 25

Class 3A
Hamilton 33, Gordo 32
New Hope 55, Good Hope 27
Piedmont 26, Leeds 10

Class 2A
Fyffe 34, Walter Wellborn 6
Montgomery Academy 37, Central-Hayneville 14
New Brockton 55, Ariton 14
Westbrook Christian 24, Ohatchee 16
Woodland 39, Randolph County 22

Class 1A
A.L. Johnson 34, Ellwood Christian 22
Addison 48, Appalachian 0
Autaugaville 45, John Essex 0
Brilliant 68, Vina 12
Cedar Bluff 46, Woodville 6
Donoho 30, Collinsville 27
Falkville 40, Sumiton Christian 0
Fayetteville 42, Alabama School for the Deaf 0
Florala 36, J.U. Blacksher 0
Gaylesville 48, Coosa Christian 14
Hubbertville 47, Shoals Christian 19
Marengo 60, Akron 0
Marion County 41, Meek 16
Ragland 47, Shades Mountain Christian 0
Southeastern 34, Holy Spirit 6
Spring Garden 56, Jacksonville Christian 35
St. Jude 32, St. Luke's 18
Valley Head 41, Waterloo 0

Alabama Independent School Association
Abbeville Christian 43, Lakeside Academy 28
Ashford Academy 41, Cornerstone Christian 18
Chambers Academy 21, Sparta Academy 12
Clarke Prep 57, Southern Academy 8
Coosa Valley Academy 41, East Memorial Christian 28
Edgewood Academy 24, Autauga Academy 21
Escambia Academy 34, Morgan Academy 14
Hooper Academy 50, Springwood 30
Jackson Academy 40, Meadowview Christian 8
Kingwood Christian 33, Evangel Christian-Montgomery 0
Lee-Scott Academy 70, Glenwood 42
Macon-East 34, Pike Liberal Arts 13
Marengo Academy 28, Wilcox Academy 6
Monroe Academy 62, Fort Dale Academy 30
Patrician Academy 46, Sumter Academy 14
Pickens Academy 46, Eastwood Christian 12
Restoration Academy 34, Tuscaloosa Academy 7
South Choctaw Academy 34, Lowndes Academy 6
Independent East Coweta (Ga.) 41, Central-Phenix City 40

Friday, September 27, 2013

How many of these '30 Books Every Guy Should Read' have YOU read?

The October issue of “Outside” magazine arrived in my mailbox recently and the front cover featured a headline that read “30 Books Every Guy Should Read.” The October issue of “Outside” was its “Life Issue,” that is, it was crammed with information about how to live your best life. The magazine was divided into sections, according to age groups, with special advise for people from 0 to 65+.

For each age group, the editors provided a list of five recommended books that they felt would benefit readers in each age group. This list of books, which is also referred to in the magazine as “The Life Canon,” appears to have been compiled by Scott Anderson, Tim Cahill, Alexandra Fuller, Steven Rinella, Bob Shacochis and Patrick Symmes. What follows is the complete list, which I’ve alphabetized. The numbers in the parentheses is the age group that the book was listed under in the magazine. Without further ado, here’s the list:


1. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas by Charles C. Mann (30-40)
2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (+65)
3. The Adventures of TinTin by Herge (0-20)
4. Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (+65)*
5. Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez (20-30)

6. Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia by Janet Wallach (50-65)
7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby (40-50)
8. The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko (50-65)
9. Fall Higher by Dean Young (40-50)
10. Great Plains by Ian Frazier (20-30)

11. The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood by Helene Cooper (40-50)
12. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (0-20)*
13. Last Places by Lawrence Millman (+65)
14. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (0-20)
15. The Odyssey by Homer (50-65)*

16. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (50-65)
17. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee (20-30)
18. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (0-20)*
19. River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (50-65)
20. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (0-20)

21. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (40-50)
22. The Sportsmen’s Sketches by Ivan Turgenev (30-40)
23. The Tempest by William Shakespeare (30-40)
24. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (30-40)
25. The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (+65)

26. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (20-30)
27. Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison (40-50)
28. Wild by Cheryl Strayed (30-40)
29. Wolf by Jim Harrison (20-30)
30. Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge (+65)

In the end, how many of these books have you read? What did you think about them? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

* Those that I’ve read as of Sept. 27, 2013.

Alabama prep football scores from games on Thurs., Sept. 26, 2013

Alabama high school football scores from games played on Thurs., Sept. 26, 2013:

AHSAA Interclass Games:
Colbert Heights 43, Hackleburg 36
Columbia 35, Butler 0
Decatur Heritage 35, Victory Christian 8
Hartselle 13, Decatur 10
Murphy 34, LeFlore 6
Parker 48, Jackson-Olin 7
Selma 48, Sidney Lanier 34

Class 6A
Bessemer City 50, Woodlawn 0

Class 5A
Mortimer Jordan 32, John Carroll Catholic 14

Class 4A
None played.

Class 3A
None played.

Class 2A
None played.

Class 1A
None played.

Alabama Independent School Association
Crenshaw Christian 30, South Montgomery County Academy 0

Daily Weather Observations for Fri., Sept. 27, 2013

Temp: 62.6 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (high)

Conditions: Clear skies; thin layer of fog visible in the distance; birds audible and visible; security lights still on in the distance; standing water still in the yard from recent rain; cows and dogs audible; dew on the ground.

Wind: 0.0 mph (No wind).

Barometric Pressure: 29.55 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 43.75 inches

NOTES: Today is the 270th day of 2013 and the sixth day of Fall. There are 95 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

No UFOs reported in Alabama during August, according to MUFON

Regular readers of The Courant will know that each month I give readers an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network. I’ve been writing these updates for several years, and this past August was the first time that an entire month passed without any UFO reports in the state. A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Aug. 1 and Aug. 30 on MUFON’s Web site,, resulted in no reports from within our state during that time.

While the month of August was quiet across Alabama when it comes to UFO news, this past week was remarkable for a couple of UFO-related anniversaries. Last Thursday was the 51st anniversary of the famous Hill Abduction Incident and Wednesday of last week was the 40th anniversary of a UFO report filed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

The Hill Abduction Incident, which is sometimes called the Zeta Reticuli Incident, occurred on the night of Sept. 19-20, 1961. On that night, Betty and Barney Hill of Portsmouth, New Hampshire experienced a close encounter with a UFO and “lost” two hours of time while driving south on Route 3 near Lincoln, N.H. They went on to file an official Air Force Project Blue Book report of a brightly-lit cigar-shaped craft the next day.

The Hills, who are both now deceased, did not go public with their story until it was reported in the Boston Traveler in 1965. Their story would become the first widely-reported UFO abduction report in the U.S. It was also the subject of a best-selling book, 1966’s “The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard a Flying Saucer” by John G. Fuller.

On Sept. 18, 1973, Jimmy Carter, who was then serving as Georgia’s governor, filed a formal report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), saying that he’d seen a UFO almost four years before. According to his report, in October 1969, while Carter was running for governor, he and about a dozen other people were standing outside of a Lion’s Club meeting in Leary, Ga. Between 7:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., they saw what Carter described as “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen” in the sky.

Carter, an amateur astronomer and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, said the object was about 30 degrees above the horizon, west of where he was standing. The object was bright white and about as bright as the moon, he said. While watching the object, it appeared to change colors, going from white to blue to red and then back to white. Eventually, it disappeared into the distance.

The object appeared to come closer to the group before stopping just beyond a stand of pines. Carter would say later that he felt that the object wasn’t solid in nature. It was visible for about 10 minutes before it disappeared.

After the experience, Carter told a reporter that he’d vowed to himself never to ridicule anyone who claimed to have seen a UFO. Later, during his 1976 presidential campaign, he was very up front about his belief that he’d seen a UFO. He also promised that, if elected, he would encourage the government to release “every piece of information” about UFOs to the public and scientists.

Once elected though, Carter backed away from his promise, saying that the information’s release might have “defense implications” and pose a threat to national security. Carter would serve as U.S. President from 1977 to 1981.

Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from any readers of The Courant who have witnessed a UFO in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously. You can contact me by e-mail at or by phone at 578-1492.

Local ESPN College Football Pick 'Em contest heating up

Hillcrest High School and Sparta Academy will both celebrate their homecomings tomorrow (Friday) night, and I expect both teams to get wins. Hillcrest will face W.S. Neal, and Sparta will face Chambers Academy of LaFayette.

The only decent team that Neal has played this year was Straughn, and Straughn beat them by double-digits in East Brewton. Chambers’ only wins have come against winless Ashford Academy and Meadowview Christian.

----- 0 -----

The fourth week of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em contest came to a close Saturday night and as a result we had another shake up in the standings of our local contest.

I remained in the No. 1 spot for the second straight week, and Hunter Norris moved up from third place to second place. Jeremy Matheny dropped from second place to third place, and Aaron Albritton remained in fourth place. Ricky Taylor went from sixth place to fifth place, and Joey Matheny moved from eighth place to sixth place.

Mike Dailey remained in seventh place, and Preston Albritton dropped from fifth place to eighth place. Mark Peacock remained in ninth place, and Sharon Peacock moved into the Top 10 and was in tenth place overall.

Only 29 points separated the No. 1 spot in the Top 10 from the person in the No. 10 spot, and it goes without saying that next week there’ll be more than a few changes in the Top 10. We’ve got 11 more weeks to go, so who knows who will be at the top when the season comes to an end.

----- 0 -----

College football fans have four head-to-head SEC match-ups to look forward to this weekend, including Ole Miss at Alabama, Florida at Kentucky, LSU at Georgia and Texas A&M at Arkansas. In addition to those games, the other SEC teams will take on four non-conference foes.

Here are my picks for those eight games. I like Alabama over Ole Miss, Florida over Kentucky, Georgia over LSU, Missouri over Arkansas State, South Carolina over Central Florida, Tennessee over South Alabama, Vanderbilt over UAB and Texas A&M over Arkansas. Auburn and Mississippi State do not play this week. Last week: 8-1. So far this season: 36-6.

----- 0 -----

Week Four of the NFL regular season kicks off tonight (Thursday) with a game between the 1-2 San Francisco 49ers and the 1-2 St. Louis Rams. That game will kick off at 7:25 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Thirteen games will follow on Sunday, and the Monday night game will feature the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints.

Tonight, I look for San Francisco to beat the Rams. On Sunday, I like Baltimore over Buffalo, Arizona over Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh over Minnesota, Kansas City over the New York Giants, Indianapolis over Jacksonville, Seattle over Houston, Cincinnati over Cleveland, Detroit over Chicago, Tennessee over the New York Jets, Washington over Oakland, Denver over Philadelphia, Dallas over San Diego and Atlanta over New England. On Monday night, I look for New Orleans to beat Miami. Last week: 11-5. So far this season: 37-11.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association's statewide prep football poll for Sept. 25, 2013

The Alabama Sports Writers Association released its latest high school football poll yesterday and more than a few teams from Southwest Alabama received mention in the poll.

The following schools were ranked No. 1 in their respective classes: Hoover High School, Class 6A; McAdory High School, Class 5A; Calera High School, Class 4A; Madison Academy, Class 3A; Washington County High School, Class 2A; Pickens County High School, Class 1A; and Edgewood Academy, Alabama Independent School Association.

What follows is the complete rankings with first place votes and current records in parentheses.

Class 6A
1. Hoover (29) (4-0)
2. Clay-Chalkville (2) (4-0)
3. McGill-Toolen (4-0)
4. Opelika (4-0)
5. Vestavia Hills (4-0)
6. Bob Jones (4-0)
7. Smiths Station (4-0)
8. Auburn (3-1)
9. Carver-Montgomery (3-1)
10t. Shades Valley (4-0)
10t. Tuscaloosa County (3-1)

Others receiving votes: Murphy (4-0) 22, Bessemer City (4-0) 18, Fairhope (4-0) 15, Florence (3-1) 8, Spain Park (4-0) 7, Oxford (2-2) 2.

Class 5A
1. McAdory (18) (4-0)
2. Spanish Fort (11) (4-0)
3. Jackson (4-0)
4. Muscle Shoals (2) (4-0)
5. Homewood (3-1)
6. Vigor (4-0)
7. Benjamin Russell (3-1)
8. St.Paul’s (3-1)
9. Saraland (4-0)
10. Cullman (4-0)

Others receiving votes: Eufaula (4-0) 22, Hartselle (3-1) 22, Center Point (4-0) 8, Etowah (4-0) 8, Demopolis (3-1) 4, Southside-Gadsden (4-0) 3.

Class 4A
1. Calera (23) (4-0)
2. UMS-Wright (5) (3-1)
3. Charles Henderson (1) (4-0)
4. Central-Clay County (2) (4-0)
5. Dadeville (4-0)
6. Oneonta (3-1)
7. Munford (4-0)
8. Beauregard (3-1)
9. Andalusia (4-0)
10. Brooks (4-0)

Others receiving votes: Madison County (3-1) 19, Central-Florence (4-0) 15, Bibb County (4-0) 12, J.O. Johnson (3-1) 11, Sardis (4-0) 7, Cleburne County (3-1) 6, Dora (3-1) 6, Tallassee (3-1) 5, Ardmore (4-0) 3, Guntersville (3-1) 1.

Class 3A
1. Madison Academy (31) (4-0)
2. Piedmont (4-0)
3. T.R. Miller (4-0)
4. Leeds (3-1)
5. Fayette County (3-1)
6. Straughn (3-1)
7. Trinity (3-1)
8. Saks (4-0)
9t. Colbert County (4-0)
9t. Geraldine (3-1)

Others receiving votes: Lauderdale County (3-1) 31, Dale County (4-0) 27, Winfield (4-0) 10, Daleville (3-1) 8, Hamilton (3-1) 6, New Hope (3-1) 4, Slocomb (3-1) 4, Bayside (2-2) 3, Geneva (1-3) 3, Good Hope (3-1) 3, Gordo (3-1) 2, Hanceville (3-1) 2, Deshler (2-2) 1, W.S. Neal (3-1) 1.

Class 2A
1. Washington County (29) (4-0)
2. Mobile Christian (4-0)
3. Tanner (1) (3-1)
4. Lanett (4-0)
5. Lamar County (4-0)
6. Fyffe (3-1)
7. Oakman (3-1)
8. Houston Academy (4-0)
9. Fultondale (4-0)
10. Luverne (1) (4-0)

Others receiving votes: G.W. Long (3-1) 34, Sweet Water (3-1) 21, Cottonwood (4-0) 19, Reeltown (2-2) 8, Ranburne (4-0) 6, Isabella (4-0) 2, New Brockton (1-3) 1, Walter Wellborn (2-2) 1.

Class 1A
1. Pickens County (27) (4-0)
2. Maplesville (4) (4-0)
3. Brantley (3-1)
4. Addison (4-0)
5. Marion County (3-1)
6. Linden (3-1)
7. Loachapoka (4-0)
8. Falkville (4-0)
9. McKenzie (4-0)
10. Geneva County (3-1)

Others receiving votes: R.A. Hubbard (3-1) 29, Valley Head (4-0) 25, Collinsville (4-0) 17, Hubbertville (3-1) 6, Berry (2-2) 4, Parrish (1-3) 2, Ragland (2-1) 2, Cedar Bluff (2-2) 1, Fayetteville (3-1) 1, Marengo (3-1) 1.

Alabama Independent School Association
1. Edgewood Academy (28) (5-0)
2. Tuscaloosa Academy (1) (4-0)
3. Restoration (4-1)
4. Pickens Academy (4-0)
5t. Fort Dale Academy (1) (4-0)
5t. Monroe Academy (1) (4-0)
7. Clarke Prep (3-1)
8. Marengo Academy (4-0)
9. Bessemer Academy (4-1)
10. Autauga Academy (3-1)

Others receiving votes: Kingwood Christian (4-1) 20, Wilcox Academy (3-1) 11, Abbeville Christian (4-1) 9, Patrician (3-2) 7, Lee-Scott (2-2) 4, Macon-East (2-2) 2.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Josh Bean,; Ed Bailey, Alexander City Outlook; Andrew Garner, Andalusia Star-News; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Brandon Miller, Anniston Star; Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News; Adam Robinson, Brewton Standard; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Jonathon Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; Newton Peters, Florala News; Gregg Dewalt, Florence TimesDaily; Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Dennis Victory, Freelance (Birmingham); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; Nick Johnston, Gadsden Times; Davis Potter, Hamilton Journal Record; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Robert Carter, North Jefferson News; Jason Galloway, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home; Griffin Pritchard, Tallassee Tribune; Andrew Carroll, Tuscaloosa News; Cory Diaz, Wetumpka Herald.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Sept. 26, 2013

Thames, Sessions and McDaniels in 1974.
SEPT. 23, 2004

“Aggie Pee Wee Players of the Week: No. 12, Justin Nared, 200 yards passing, three touchdowns; No. 76, Jeremy Thomas, eight tackles, two sacks.”

“The Sparta Academy JV Warriors traveled to Canoe and defeated the Escambia Academy JV Cougars 38-0 recently.
“Zach Trussell had an outstanding game, scoring five touchdowns for the JV Warriors. Trussell scored on runs of 15 yards, 15 yards, 45 yards, 35 yards and 72 yards. Jacob Burch added the two-point conversion on three of the touchdowns and Mason Black added the extra points on one touchdown. The try for the two-point conversion failed.
“Trussell was the leading rusher for the JV Warriors with 200 yards on nine carries and five touchdowns. Burch added 69 yards on 10 carries, Jamie Mason had seven yards on two carries, Mason Black had five yards on four carries and Damon Godwin had three yards on four carries.”

“The Evergreen City Council discussed a request from Sparta Academy for $2,500 to help put lights on the baseball field at their previous meeting. The council discussed the request and Councilwomen Tanisha Booker and Maxine Harris voiced their objection because they still believe it is not legal for the city to give money to the school.
“The council discussed the donation and Councilwoman Joye Fordham made a motion to give the school $2,500 which was seconded by Councilman Lynn Blackmon. Mayor Lomax Cassady, Councilman Homer Chavers, Blackmon and Fordham voted to pass the motion. Booker and Harris voted against the motion.”

SEPT. 28, 1989

“The Hillcrest Jaguars improved their record to 5-0 last Friday night with a convincing 27-7 win over fourth-ranked 4A powerhouse UMS-Wright Bulldogs of Mobile.
“The Jaguars were led by Derrick Richardson with 91 yards on 21 carries, and John Gulley with eight carries for 81 yards. Marvin Cunningham completed three out of three attempts for 53 yards and one touchdown pass, while running in another touchdown on the sneak.
“The Jaguars were led defensively once again by Russell Meeks with eight solos and three assists. Other Jaguars leading the defense were Tyrone Sigler with four and three, Terrance Rudolph with four and two, John Johnson with four and one and George Moncrease with three solos and one assist.”
Other standout Hillcrest players in that game included Fred Fountain and Keith Richardson.

“Ashford Academy upset previously unbeaten Sparta Academy, 14-8, in Ashford Friday night in a game of evenly matched teams as the statistics will show.
“Quarterback Tim Salter scored Sparta’s only touchdown on an eight-yard run and then passed to Steven Gall for the extra two. Salter was good on 12 of 32 pass attempts for 101 yards and had one interception. Gall had seven receptions for 66 yards; Craig Blackburn, three for 17; and Jason Baker, one for 18.
“Coach Chuck Ledbetter’s Warriors will try to get back on the winning track when they host Crenshaw Christian Academy of Luverne Friday night.”

SEPT. 26, 1974

“After losing two consecutive games the Evergreen High Aggies broke their losing streak by winning a thrilling victory over the Monroeville Tigers, 8-7, Friday night.”
Albert Stallworth scored Evergreen’s only touchdown on a eight-yard run, and the two-point conversion came on a pass from Mike Faulkner to Darris Champion. The Aggie defense was led by Marvin Williams, linebacker Pat Dawson and safety Willie Ingram.

“The Lyeffion Yellow Jackets upset previously undefeated McKenzie High by 13 to 0 at the Lyeffion Stadium last Friday night.
“Veteran coach Wendell Hart praised his entire defensive unit for a fine effort that blanked the Tigers. He said the kicking game was excellent with Joey Garrett booming the ball and the downfield men covering well. Garrett also kicked one extra point.
“Quarterback Raymond Bruce scored both touchdowns behind good blocking, going in from the five and 10-yard lines.”

“Mayor Henry Sessions signs the document proclaiming Sun., Sept. 28, as Hunting and Fishing Day in Evergreen. Looking on are Game Wardens W.A. Thames and Glenn McDaniels of the State Conservation Department. Incidentally, the veteran Thames began his 29th year as a game warden this week.”

“A big, powerful Macon Academy team used the ‘Bomb’ effectively to slip past Sparta Academy’s Warriors 35-20 in Tuskegee last Friday night. Penalties also hurt Coach Richard Brown’s Warriors who stayed in the game until late in the final period.
“Sparta also got good mileage from the forward pass with quarterback Joe Andrews, filling in for the injured Bruce Hutcheson, firing two scoring tosses. He hooked up with Ronnie Pugh on a 62-yarder and with Eddie Hooks for 10 for touchdowns. Walker Scott rambled in from the 10 for the other score.”
Other standout Sparta players in that game included Bobby Johnson and Sam Skipper.

SEPT. 28, 1944

“Castleberry Soldier on Football Team: Pvt. Luther McDonald of Castleberry, stationed at Chatham Field, Georgia as a B-24 bomber mechanic and gunner is a member of the Chatham Field football team. This team is composed of former college and high school players from all over the United States, and has several all-Americans on this year’s squad. Coach and backfield ace is Lt. William (Tarzan) White, all-American, who played for Alabama.
“The team has a stiff schedule, having won a game from Newberry College Sept. 17 by a good score. They will play such teams as the Marines, University of Arkansas and Texas Christian and many others.
“McDonald is a starter on the lineup and is playing a bang-up game as right tackle. He played on the 37, 38 and 39 teams from Castleberry high school and on one of the last teams at Castleberry.”

“Four Game Seasons To Open October 1: The hunting of four species of game will become legal in Alabama at daylight on the morning of Oct. 1. North of U.S. Highway 80, squirrel may be hunted while all over the state opossum, rabbit and raccoon hunters may start out in quest of these animals.
“Rabbit hunters using guns are required to possess a license, none being required of those who hunt them with sticks and dogs only.”

SEPT. 26, 1929

“McKenzie, Ala., Sept. 23 – The seventh annual McKenzie Fair scheduled for Oct. 11 and 12 bids to be the best fair to be held in this section for the past several years.
“Athletic contests between the schools of this section will be held on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. and the annual football game between McKenzie High School and Georgiana High School will be played on the fair grounds Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.”

“Aggies Trim Visitors To Tune of 41 to 0: Playing before approximately 300 people, the Aggies started their 1929 season off with great gusto Friday p.m. by defeating Robertsdale 41 to 0.
“Two of Evergreen’s counters were carried over by the team’s new backfield threat, Jimmy Rogers. Sam Holman, Bill Kamplain, Elmer Kelley and Smith tallied a touchdown each.
“In the line, Miller and Salter were easily the outstanding stars. However, Bates and Knight are due recognition for some splendid work. Rogers showed up best in the backfield. Near the close of the game, Coach Robinson ran in all his second string men even to the small boys and it was surprising to note the showing they made.
“Members of the team were the guests of the Arcade Theatre Friday evening upon the invitation of Mrs. C.E. Ledford, the manager. Mrs. Ledford has extended the boys an invitation to attend her show without cost every time they win a game.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Historical marker tells of old Greenville, Ala. depot, historic district

Historic Greenville, Ala. Depot
This week’s featured historical marker is the “WEST COMMERCE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT / HISTORIC GREENVILLE DEPOT” marker in downtown Greenville, Alabama. The marker is located at the intersection of Commerce Street and Bolling Street, on the north end of the old train depot and just east of the railroad bridge over Commerce Street.

This marker was erected by the Alabama Historical Association in 2000. There’s text on both sides of this marker, and both sides are unique. What follows is the complete text from the marker.

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“WEST COMMERCE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT: The completion of the railroad in the late 1850s brought commercial energy to this historic district, and Greenville became a major trade center between Montgomery and Mobile. The capital generated by this trade allowed the construction of brick commercial buildings which were completed by 1890. The downtown historic area was revitalized in 1997. Sponsored by the Sasanqua Garden Club of Greenville.”

“HISTORIC GREENVILLE DEPOT: The depot highlights the West Commerce Street Historic District and is symbolic of the major role the railroad played in making Greenville a regional trade center. For many years, this was the only shipping point for a six-county region of south central Alabama. Passengers met here to catch the silver Hummingbird for a trip to the city. Built in 1910, reconstructed in 1924 and restored in 1995, the Old Depot is an example of one of the few remaining brick and stucco buildings of its kind in south Alabama. Sponsored by the Sasanqua Garden Club of Greenville.”

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If you decide to check out this marker on your own, your best bet is to park in the parking lot at the Old Depot. Once you get out, walk down the side of the depot building towards Commerce Street. The marker’s at the end of the depot at the end of the building, not far from a set of concrete steps that lead up to the depot from Bolling Street. Once you’re done reading the marker, walk around to the west side of the depot where you’ll see the area where trains once came and went.

This marker is just one of many in downtown Greenville, so if you make a visit to Greenville to see this marker, be sure to check out the other markers that you’ll find along Commerce Street. I’ve written about some of those in earlier posts and have a few more to talk about in the coming weeks and months.

Also, if you time your visit just right, you might be able to see the inside of the depot building. That building currently houses the local Chamber of Commerce’s offices, and unless things have changed, they welcome visitors during business hours.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below.

This week's movie picks are 'Rush' and 'Iron Man 3'

It’s Wednesday, so today I give you my weekly list of movies that will open in theatres this week as well as a list of movies that will be released this week on DVD.

I hope this will serve as a useful guide as to what’s going on this week if you happen to be near a movie theatre or if you’re looking for something to drop into your NetFlix queue or pick up at the local Redbox.

Movies that are scheduled to hit theatres this week include:

- As I Lay Dying (Drama, R): Directed by James Franco and starring Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride, Ahna O’Reilly and Logan Marshall-Green.

- Baggage Claim (Romance, Comedy, PG-13): Directed by David E. Talbert and starring Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Adam Brody and Djimon Hounsou.

- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Family, Comedy, PG): Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn and starring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte and Kristen Schaal.

- Don Jon (Comedy, R): Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore and Brie Larson.

- Metallica: Through the Never (Music, Action, Mystery, R): Directed by Nimrod Antal and starring Dane DeHaan, James Hefield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo.

- Morning (Drama, R): Directed by Leland Orser and starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Laura Linney, Leland Orser, Kyle Chandler and Elliott Gould.

- Muscle Shoals (Documentary, Music, PG): Directed by Greg “Freddy” Camalier.

- Rush (Action, Drama, R): Directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara and Stephen Mangan.

- Shepard & Dark (Documentary, Not Rated): Directed by Treva Wurmfeld and starring Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark.

- We Are What We Are (Drama, Horror, R): Directed by Jim Mickle and starring Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Kelly McGillis, Odeya Rush and Wyatt Russell.

New DVD releases this week include:

- Apartment 1303 (Suspense, R): Directed by Michael Taverna and starring Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay, Julianne Michelle, Corey Sevier and John Diehl.

- Fill the Void (Drama, PG): Directed by Rama Burshtein and starring Hila Feldman, Razia Israeli, Yiftach Klein, Renana Raz and Ido Samuel.

- Iron Man 3 (Action, Adventure, PG-13): Directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Badge Dale and Guy Pearce.

- I Spit on Your Grave 2 (Horror, R): Directed by Steven Monroe and starring Jemma Dallender, Joe Absolom, Yavor Baharov, Aleksandar Sleksiev and Mary Stockley.

- The Kings of Summer (Comedy, Drama, R): Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starring Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Nick Offerman, Moises Arias and Alison Brie.

- Redemption (Action, Suspense, R): Directed by Steven Knight and starring Jason Statham, Senem Temiz, Vicky McClure, Benedict Wong and Lee Asquith-Coe.

- Room 237 (Documentary): Directed by Rodney Ascher.

- Unfinished Song (Drama, Comedy, PG-13): Directed by Paul Andrew Williams and starring Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Eccleston and Anne Reid.

- V/H/S 2 (Horror, Suspense, R): Directed by Simon Barrett, et. al. and starring Adam Wingard, Kelsy Abbott, Lawrence Michael Levine, Hannah Hughes and L.C. Holt.

If I could only watch one movie at the theatre this week, it would be “Rush,” and if I had to pick just one DVD to rent this week, it would be “Iron Man 3.”

In the end, let me know if you get a chance to watch any of the new movies in theatres this week or if you’ve already seen any of the movies that have just been released on DVD. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Daily Weather Observations for Wed., Sept. 25, 2013

Temp: 69.8 degrees F

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 1.50 inches

Humidity: 85 percent (high)

Conditions: Overcast skies and foggy, visibility about 1/2-mile; birds audible; security lights still on in the distance; standing water still in the yard from yesterday's rain.

Wind: 0.0 mph (No wind).

Barometric Pressure: 29.31 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 43.75 inches

NOTES: Today is the 268th day of 2013 and the fourth day of Fall. There are 97 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

'Mission in a Bottle' tops hardcover graphic books best-sellers list

Back in early August, I started writing a regular Sunday feature called “Comic Book of the Week” in which I spotlight an old comic book from my extensive collection. I’m running this feature on the same day that I’ve run my weekly breakdown of the Publishers Weekly best-seller lists for the past several years.

This past Sunday, I began researching best-seller lists for comic books and graphic novels so that I can do a similar feature each week on those, just like I’ve been doing for years for regular books. I couldn’t find a good best-seller list for comic books - If you know of one, let me know - but I did learn that The New York Times publishes weekly best-seller lists for hardcover and paperback graphic books.

The New York Times began publishing these weekly lists in March 2009 and these lists reflect graphic novels sales for the previous week at thousands of venues across the United States. These venues include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chainstores; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; university, gift, supermarket, discount department stores, newsstands; and comic book stores.

Today, I’m posting the two most recent best-seller lists, but next week, I’ll make a note of the books that are new to the list as well as the changes at the top of each list. As a reminder, I’ll be posting these lists each Tuesday because they, as a whole, represent a great, contemporary recommended reading list. These lists are initially released each week on Thursday, and if you’re interested in reading them then, visit The New York Times’ Web site at Below you’ll find both of this week’s best-seller lists, which reflect sales through Sept. 14.

1. Mission in a Bottle by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, illustrations by Sungyoon Choi
2. Amazing Spider-man Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Stan Lee and others
3. Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero by Travis Beacham and Sean Chen
4. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
5. The Flash, Vol. 2 by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato and Marcus To
6. Once Upon a Time by Daniel T. Thomsen and Corinna Bechko
7. The Walking Dead, Book 1 by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard
8. Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book Seven by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham
9. The Sandman Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman and others.
10. Building Stories by Chris Ware

1. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
2. March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, artwork by Nate Powell
3. Animal Man, Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire and others
4. Boxers by Gene Lune Yang
5. Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
6. Saints by Gene Luen Yang
7. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
8. Chew, Vol. 7 by John Layman and Rob Guillory
9. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
10. Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

In the end, let me know if you’ve had a chance to read any of these books. What did you think about them? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.