Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ring of Beara

same town, different view

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge

When I visited my (step)brother Chris and step-sister-in-law Cristina over the Fourth of July weekend last summer, I was very excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge in-person for the first time. I was driving, so I gave my camera to Cristina so she could capture the moment. I could not be happier with the results.
Here you can see a silver and black Ford Mustang. Alcatraz is off in the distance, obscured by the light pole.

Here is a Toyota Prius or a Yaris. We talked about it and aren't sure.

You can see the luggage rack of a Ford Explorer in the bottom left-hand corner.

The Nissan Altima in the foreground was really something to see.

I really wasn't expecting a see a gray-blue Honda Odyssey when I woke up that morning. Boy, was I surprised.

I've always been fond of the back third of any Toyota Camry. This one was pretty neat.

They just don't make bridge railings like they used to.

My ear looks particularly orange in the afternoon sunlight.

Close up.

You can tell I am excited as we are trailing behind a Toyota Corolla.

There's that sharp lookin' Corolla. Oooh, look at that mustard-yellow Volvo trailing the silver Audi All-road ahead on the left.

Lookie there! The Corolla is making friends with a Volkswagen Jetta. Awwwww.

Mr. Mustard Volvo is back. Hey there white utility van!

I am at the controls of the Mini-Cooper.


There were alot of friendly cars out on the bridge that day. I sure am glad we got pictures of all of them.


Thanks Cristina!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Busiest Week Ever

This has been the busiest week ever, so I haven't posted much. But I thought I'd post a few pictures from this week's best story...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unsolved Mysteries: UPDATE

They caught him!

The alien eyes are a bit off but I'd say all-in-all it's a pretty good sketch. If only Robert Stack was around to give us the update in his fog-laden trench coat.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unsolved Mysteries

One of the best things about being back in the US is that can I watch over 200 TV channels, as opposed to the 6 I had to pick from in Ireland. There has been an "Unsolved Mysteries" marathon on SpikeTV all this week. Since this was the last week of my all-too-short Christmas break, I really didn't have anywhere to go during the day. The "Unsolved Mysteries" marathon has been a MAJOR obstacle preventing me from getting my last two Ireland assignments done. "Unsolved Mysteries" is one of the greatest TV shows ever made: alien abductions, murders, missing people, Robert Stack's deep voice, paranormal events, updates...and, most of all, the creepy music. The show was made in the 1980's and early '90's, so it's full of super cheesy reenactments and people with terrible haircuts and shoulder pads.

Anyway, I've always thought the creepiest part about the show was the "composite sketches" they'd show of unknown criminals. These are made by police artists who interview the victim and attempt to create a drawing of what the criminal looks like. The drawings always look like mutant people and are scary to look at.

It was by complete coincidence that after watching dozens of Unsolved Mysteries episodes this week, I received this flyer in my door yesterday afternoon. Apparently someone was attacked last week about 5 or 6 blocks away from my house, on the street where I used to live. It's scary to think of that kind of thing going on in your neighborhood, but I guess its to be expected every-now-and-then when you live in a city. But of course, the creepiest part of the flyer is the goofy composite sketch. The dude looks like an alien with a fro. I think the sketch does a pretty good job of conveying what he looks like, so I saved the image in my head and resolved to be on the lookout for him when I go around the neighborhood. As I reflected the about the sketch, I thought it looked strangely familiar. There was some other wanted poster I remember looking at which seemed very similar (click here for a refresher). Then it all clicked...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chapmaster flash

First: Thanks to my (step)brother Chris, is now my registered domain name. Don't worry though,, and still all will send you here, so you shouldn't notice any difference. I've been out of the loop for a few days, but now that school is about to start up again the regular posts will resume (you're relieved, I know).

Secondly: I had another near run-in at a museum. For background on the past incident, check this out.

I have a pretty basic knowledge and appreciation for art. I can recognize works by Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh and that's about it. My way of evaluating art in a museum consists of me asking myself one simple question as a I quickly walk past a painting: "would that look good hanging on my living room wall?" If the answer is "yes," I may stop, try to imagine the painting on other walls of my apartment, and maybe snap a picture. If the answer is "no" my gaze will dart to the next canvas hanging on the wall. Using this method, I can zoom through a gallery room full of 18th Century Flemish portraits in about 25 seconds. This turns my visits to art museums into a cross between mall power-walking and poster shopping.

I recently visited the Louvre in Paris, which I'm sure the French would call the greatest museum in the history of the world. I must admit that it was very impressive. The Louvre does not allow flash photography of its paintings. As I zoomed down the Grand Gallery I noticed this pretty awesome painting. I think it's a depiction on the Bible story when the evil Roman adulteress Herodias demands St. John's head on a platter. I could totally see this hanging in my bathroom wall, so I stopped to get a couple snapshots.
Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off the flash. See how Herodias' face is completely washed out in bright light. This is exactly what they're trying to avoid with the "no flash" policy. I probably faded away a microscopic layer of paint or something. Oh well.
Regardless, I was startled by the flash, and still on edge from the aforementioned "David" incident, so I did what any reasonable person would do...I turned off the flash and snapped another picture while running away. I later saw that tons of people were taking flash pictures of the Mona Lisa while 6 security guards nonchalantly joked and laughed with each I guess they're not TOO concerned about the flashes.
Here's a better close-up.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

In honor of the New Year, I arranged for this special display at the Eiffel Tower.

Actually, the Tower is decorated in royal blue with a ring yellow stars to commemorate the fact that France is holding the EU presidency for the last half of 2008. But at midnight tonight the rotating presidency will go to Czech Republic. I wonder if they'll do anything special in Prague like they did in Paris. Here is my proposal...
The Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic