Leaving Nashville in the mid-morning for a casual drive south down the highway (one of the very many) to Birmingham, “Sweet Home” Alabama (which is on the big sign when you cross the border so not just something from me). Good fun getting used to opening the correct door but maybe not as much fun as remembering to drive on the right side of the road. This is actually not as hard as one may consider and it only becomes tricky when turning but doesn’t take long to pick up (also the fourth time I’ve driven over here).
Birmingham was only two and a bit hours away so we decided to call in for some BBQ on the way – as you do. We made a detour to Decatur and called in for some lunch at Big Bob Gibson’s. Not bad either, although most BBQ is pretty good (except I kind of got a bit crook that day, must have been the coleslaw or potato salad – not the ribs).
The Chief helping out
Made Birmingham easily and our room was ready for check-in. Birmingham was a rich source of iron ore and important during the early years of industrialisation and railroads. It later became a bit of a boom city and was coined the ‘Magic City’. More importantly, Birmingham was an important city in gaining attention for civil rights in America and worldwide attention. If you have any interest at all in civil rights, then you should visit Birmingham.
We finished our trip where we picked the car up from – Dallas. Not really sure what to expect but it was a pleasant enough place but I don’t know if there is a great many things to do without a car – we returned the car when we first arrived then had two days to fill without it.
Our accommodation again was excellent and we scored another upgrade to a room that had a full kitchen bigger than that at our old place in Ascot Vale, a lounge room and bedroom. Were we part of some conspiracy that was getting us such great accommodation or is the only conspiracy in Dallas that involving Lee Harvey Oswald?
Headed away from the hotel this morning to finally have a real American breakfast. Short drive downtown to the Arcade Restaurant, Memphis’ oldest cafe and quite famous as a bit of a movie star and where Elvis even had his own booth.
It is in what was the rundown downtown, which over the past twenty years has seen a revival as a bit of an arts precinct and is also the location of the Hotel Lorraine where Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated and which now holds the National Civil Rights Museum.
Read with interest an update on the anti-hoon legislation in Victoria – 1038 vehicles impounded over the past three months since the period of impoundment changed from 48 hours to 30 days. Sounds like a lot of cars and a lot of hoons – wonder how many don’t have their cars seized when they should have or because they just do not get caught.
Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the results were concerning but sent a strong message to would-be hoons – “This is outrageous behaviour on the state’s roads and places not only these motorists at risk, but other innocent road users … It’s concerning that 310 vehicles have been impounded for unlicensed driving. These are drivers that should not be on the road. If you have been suspended or disqualified from driving, it’s for a good reason.”
Sounds fair enough to me. But as a contrast, over in San Diego at the moment and front page of the news was the passing of a Bill to change the impound laws for seizing vehicles from unlicensed drivers because 30 days was seen to be too harsh.
Today, Friday 30 September 2011, is a critical day in the dog owning world of Victoria, Australia. Today the amnesty on restricted breed dog ownership ends as council officers now embark on the government mission of hunting down the unregistered pit bulls, putting a loop pole around their necks and taking them away for a shot of the permanent sleep medicine.
You could well imagine the outcry, the planned protests, the unplanned protests – and the smiles on the faces of those whose life it is is to not live next door to a dog, especially a dangerous one.