Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh Madison

My boss is an interesting fellow.  With all the things in the world that you can collect, he collects pictures of state capital buildings.  While he was the one traveling he took pictures of all the buildings when he visited the capital, but now that he is stuck in the office the duty falls to me.  Which means that when I recently went to Madison, Wisconsin I had to make sure that I took a picture for him to put in the collection.

So I wondered down to the capital building after we finished work that day and tried to get pictures in teh best light possible.  Being as it was winter and days are short I had to settle for a few twilight shots and then some night shots.  Thankfully my camera isn't too bad at twilight and there was just enough time to get good shot like you see the right.

As a matter of fact, just as I came to this side of the building the lights came on and I was treated to this incredible contrast in color and darkness.

The night time shots were a lot rougher.  The building is shaped like an "X" and it is pretty tight up against the buildings surrounding it.  To get the night shot you see to the left I had to walk down a side street half a block, walk out into the street and shoot the building with a camera that does not focus well in low light levels.  Thankfully the lighting on the dome really does a great job of selling the shot because the rest was just tough to get.

One side note about this shot is that I was by a church that also has a food line for the homeless and they were all lined up on the sidewalk by where I was taking this shot.  As I started back up the street to keep walking around the capital building I hear behind me "Hey!  Were you looking to me?  What are you looking at?  Come back here, right now!  Hey You!" and the voice was following me.  Needless to say I was walking with a little more determination and speed as I headed back into the square with the security and safety of the capital complex.  Thankfully, no one followed me and nothing more happened, but it was a moment with a story.

And sometimes that is what makes the pictures that much better.


Friday, January 27, 2012

A moment of restful peace.

A quick picture that my wife took on our recent holiday to the "Most Magical Place on Earth".  Since this is Friday and we are all scurrying around trying to get things done before we leave on vacation I thought this might be a nice time to roll out a peaceful picture to allow you a time to be calm and relax.

Taken from Main Street looking toward the Crystal Palace, this is something most people are probably going to overlook at they rush through the hub to the various areas.  The part that I really love about this picture isn't just the view but that the sky is reflected in the water but it looks like it is IN the water.

And since this was taken at the Magic Kingdom, I thought I would also include a quick picture of the Icon that has represented the park for over 40 years.

I probably don't need to say much more regarding this picture other than it was also taken by my wife as well.  Proof that the point-and-shoot cameras can actually take some pretty good pictures in a pinch.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go price another trip to the Magic Kingdom.  Probably won't go real soon, but all these pictures have made me homesick for the magic.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And the Meeker shall inherit the earth...

Had a wonderful dinner a while back with our dear friends, who shall remain nameless, and they served us steak and vegetables with an incredibly tasty merlot.

Not much more than a year ago I learned the wonders of drinking wine and prior to that I was convinced that the best wine I would ever partake of was a nice moscato.  Anyone who knows wines knows that moscato is a VERY sweet white wine, which also gives you a good idea of the type of wine person I was at the time.  After an encounter with wines on a cruise I suddenly developed a taste for better wines and within 7 months I was drinking things like Malbec and Merlot.

I have since tasted some great wines and some very not so great wines.  I have even tasted the infamous Opus One (pretty good, but I wish I had not had to taste it after the other wines).  However, the wine we were served at this particular dinner was a wonderful Merlot from Meeker wines.  This was the Winemaker's Handprint Merlot.

I have to say that this wine was a perfect pairing for the steak, and it had all the taste in the world by itself as well.  It had a hint of cherry, and the finish was just long enough to satisfy, but short enough to tease, leaving you longing for more when the glass is empty and so is the bottle.

If you can get your hands on a bottle of this excellent merlot, I would suggest getting a few in stock instead of just one or two. It's just that good.

BTW, those handprints?  They really are from the winemaker, and each bottle is unique in color and placement.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Beauty and the Mouse

I was going through some older pictures and found this closeup of a seashell fragment that I took while on the beach at Honeymoon Island in Florida.  The first picture was a little bit blurry so you get the second picture.  But to my surprise there is also a sort of natural Hidden Mickey on this shell.  I won't tell you where on the shell, since that is half the fun of Hidden Mickeys, but I can tell you that it is a little thin.  You take a look and tell me yourself.

This is one of the things I love about the beaches on the gulf side, specifically in the Dunedin/Clearwater area.  They are beautiful and clean, and loaded with interesting shells and fragments.  There is never a real issue with the beaches being covered in trash, nor are they usually too terribly crowded, except for Clearwater Beach since it is now pretty commercialized. However, if you take a trip out to one of the many other beaches in the area, you will find them a shining white line between civilization and the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Enjoy this moment of warmth in a otherwise cold month.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Post pending

Morning all.  Very busy week and I missed getting this post updated.  I will have a post ready on Monday.  I apologize for the lack of interesting information today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Denver kind of day...

So I was thinking about what to write for today's post and I came across these pictures I took at Denver International Airport some time ago.

The first was one I took while relaxing on one of the under utilized overhead waiting areas.  These places are usually devoid of other humans, and chairs are few and far between.  But they do provide a great view of the terminal and a much quieter place to wait for your flight.  I think one of the main reasons they are so under used is that there isn't a lot of signage to indicate that there is seating etc up there.  As you can see here, I did catch this at a slow time at DIA. Normally there is no end to the sea of humanity waiting at the gates to fly off on some new adventure or return home from the same.

 This second picture was taken with a different purpose.  Obviously there is an aircraft in the picture, but do you notice the person in the safety vest in the picture? How about what said person in the safety vest is resting his posterior?  Or the fact that said person in the safety vest, who is resting on his posterior, is sitting in the middle of the taxiway?  This is a true picture, unmodified, and it really did happen.  He did get up a few seconds later and direct this same aircraft into the gate with those same two sticks.  Click on the picture to get a better look at the whole thing.

Sometimes life just hands you material. :D

-- TT

Monday, January 16, 2012

And the answer is...

Last Friday I did a random pic post with a twist. I had a lot of visitors and only a few guesses, but only one person came fairly close to the answer.  Irishwoman guessed that it might be the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride if it were 40 years ago.  Well, that ride is no longer active, as she noted, and doesn't even exist at the Magic Kingdom at all.  However, Disneyland still has the ride with a few new changes.

The ride is now called the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and uses the same location in Disneyland the old attraction used, but with a lot of updated technology and details.  the first thing that is obvious and clearly not the same is that the submarines are no longer the sharp and crisp Nautilus submarines of old.  they are now bright, rounded submersibles of today. You still load from above and go on an underwater adventure, but no longer does the giant squid attack, nor do you have much to worry about other than once again watching as Marlin tries to find Nemo.

Along the way you will see many of the characters from the movie outside your porthole. The attraction  makes great use of blending the actual underwater details with projected characters to give you an active show while riding in your submarine.  Here you can see Darla diving to find a new fishy for her collection.  Let's hope she can keep this one alive.

To the left here we see a diver in the water.  Hmmm, I bet it is that pesky Dentist, Dr. P. Sherman of 42 Wallaby Way, out looking for more fish to collect for his tank in his office.

My favorite part of the attraction?  In one end of the lagoon is a buoy with the seagulls perched on it.  They periodically call out their trademark "Mine! Mine! Mine!" and just cracked me up.

So for the one person who came VERY close to naming where the pictures came from, Congrats!

To the other that tried, Thanks for commenting.

See you soon!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Random with a twist

Just a different type of Random Pic post.  This one I will you two pictures and the general location of the area pictured, but you need to try to tell me where the pictures were taken in the comments below.

Your hint is that it is somewhere Disney.  I won't tell you anything more than it is a Disney related location and the pictures are less than 36 months old so these are not pictures taken 40 years ago or something like that.
Can you tell me where?  Good Luck!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homeless in Hawaii

Apparently the State of Hawaii has a little problem with homeless.  Due to the very high cost of living in the paradise state, many people resort to simply camping on the beach to survive.  Not that you can blame them since the mercury never really drops to a cold point, although you would have to deal with tsunamis, hurricanes, and rain storms.

But apparently these people are pretty good at flaunting the rules as well. A closer look at the same picture reveals that some of these people have not only decided to setup camp here, but are actually setting up house on the beach.  Take this person for example.  They have a portable garage setup, the laundry hanging out, and a little greenery to spruce the place up.
But wait, what does that sign read?
The following is prohibited:
Alcoholic beverages
Vehicles on grass
Open Fires

Hmm, pretty gutsy to be setting up camp like that in front of the sign that tells you not to camp.  Never mind, it's not about them.

Maybe that's actually Occupy Hawaii.


(Note: this is not a commentary on the homeless people, but rather a humorous/ironic look at the sign and the camping. I sincerely hope they do find a place to live and a way out of their situation.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A regional brew...

I was in Salt lake City a few weeks ago and as I sat down in one of the local eateries, I noticed this little sign on the table.  As I read it I realized that only in Utah could you get away with naming a beer Polygamy Porter.  Actually, only in Utah would you name a beer Polygamy porter

I did not order the porter, but I did ask one of the people I was there with about it and was informed that they do get a laugh from the name, and that it was actually a very nice dark beer.  So nice that you can't have just one.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Apparently there is another "Casual"

So I am walking through the mall and looking at all the various stores are there and what they carry.  Most have names that tel you exactly what is in that store.  The hair store that is named Great Clips, the shoe store named Branson Shoes.  All with names that represent what they are selling to you.

Then there was this store.  FT Casuals... sounds like I should find slacks, blouses, jackets, and various sundry pieces of clothing for the women out there that are looking to be stylish, and yet also comfortable.

Something like Abercromby & Fitch, or American Eagle, maybe even Old Navy, right?

The problem is if you look at the window dressing you quickly see that their interpretation of the word casual seems to be a bit more... glamorous.  Something like what you might see in the clubs or even at a nice party.

I don't know about you , but this is not casual.  the other window on the other side was ever fancier, but my phone camera really didn't take a good picture.  Sometimes I think companies name themselves just to have something above the door, and this one looks like one of those.

Happy shopping!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Windows Update strikes again

I have previously posted pictures of Windows popping up a window in the most unlikely places.  Time to add another to the list.

I recently finished working with a client early and they had suggested that I take a stroll over to the local mall and wander around for a while.  The shopping was good and they were supposed to have great restaurants as well.  I did go over there and there will be several posts from there, but this one is about the advertisements that are found there.  

Throughout the entire shopping center were these freestanding signs that were actually digital screens advertising different stores and events in the mall.  These signs would rotate through the ads and were rather nice looking. But if you look closely at the photo I took of one of the ads, you notice something odd in the lower left corner.  Hmm, that looks suspiciously familiar...
Yep, a Windows Update window.  

As you can see, there was more than one sign with the recent updates applied.

Well, almost all of them had the updates applied.  I tried valiantly, but couldn't see to click the window to allow this one lonely sign to get the updates as well, but just couldn't pull it off.

For all the things we dislike about Windows, it seems that it just shows up in the strangest places.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Happy New Year!

So normally I would have had a new post up here bright and early this morning, and  I was actually going to work on it last night.  However, thanks to teh work of some low-life hacker, I spent last night and all today trying to recover this computer to a state where I could make this little post.  I am mostly back up and running, and I should be live with new posts starting Wednesday.

The weekend came and went so fast.  The holidays can be pretty tough since I have a large family and a lot of gatherings to attend.  What makes it even more busy is that I have been working out of town all of December as well.  But through all that my wife and I spent time together on the couch watching parades and previously recorded episodes of Chuck (Hey, what do you know, it's getting better!).  I hope all of you, the few readers I have, had a great holiday season, and that you are set to start a new year with enthusiasm and great hope for the future.

I would like the first post of the year to be a positive start to the year, so let me just finish this post and start the year with this one thing...

Go make a difference in someone's world, maybe your own or someone else's, but just make a difference.