Monday, August 31, 2015

Stockholm at Christmas

St. George and the Dragon at the Storkyrkan.
The plan is to spend Christmas break in Stockholm (taking care of a kitty). Days are short: sun up by 9-ish and sun down by about 16:00. Then there are those Swedes - they have a different word for everything (to quote Steve Martin).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Amazing Landscape Photos

First Prize International Landscape Photograph of the Year 2015: Luke Tscharke

The Landscape Photographer of the Year competition has announced the winners and they are, as expected, amazing. The article on Huffington Post  also collects the winner's photos in a form that may be a little easier to scan, and I want to share them here as well to be sure that you see these remarkable photos.

I have my work cut out for me, clearly.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A bit of a pet sit

McGuire is relaxed.
Doing a bit of pet sitting this weekend. I thought I'd share some photos of the cats. Rumor has it that the internet needs more cat photos(?). Above you see McGuire. He is indeed an ample creature with great confidence that all is safe.

His brother, Dougal gives the impression of not really paying attention to me with his staring out into space.
Dougal sees spacemen.
No matter how many times I try to photograph him, he always has this vacuous stare -- "Zandor, I hear and obey". Beautiful cat with a silky coat and very friendly.

Up on the rooftop...

From the Brisbane Times.

It seems that no place in Australia is really safe. These fellows are in the city of Cairns in northern Queensland. The key quote in the article is

"The residents rang me with suspicions they might have snakes," he said.*

There were apparently two pythons on the roof fighting. Go figure.

*Read more: Follow us: @brisbanetimes on Twitter | brisbanetimes on Facebook

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Just reading the power meter...

I repeatedly encounter blog and news items about all the inventive ways that nature has dreamed up to hurt you in Australia. Here's the latest incarnation in the Daily Mail. Take a moment to absorb the content of the photo above.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


 On a hot summer's day the bumble bees are thick in the agastache. These guys are constantly feeding  and enjoying the abundance.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hardware update

Cleaning the windows on Beverly Street.
I have been using the new Nikon 1 v3 to learn what I can learn. And I have to say, I'm impressed. Compared to the SOOC jpg's from the Fuji X100s, the jpgs from the v3 are head and shoulders better.  Above is shot from downtown of window cleaning that shows what I mean. Note that only parts of the sky are blown out while the rest of the image filling the exposure range very nicely. Details remain in the shadows of the brick wall and the highlights across the street. Well done.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Atomic City

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
Randy Newman, Political Science, 1972

 There is a new web site getting some attention in the press called Nukemap. On this site you can choose a location for your nuclear device, its yield, and other details, then get a visual representation of the result of the detonation on a map.

Saturday, August 01, 2015


I am reading this well-written book on the many, many dead buried in London. After spending 3+ months there and learning serial sections of the city very well, it is real treat to visit the history of events and people give the city its character. Every place, it seems is built on top of a cemetery and every cemetery has its story.

One of this the rare things that I especially enjoy is when a book has a cover that is a photograph I know. This is such book. In the upper portion of the cover above, you will see the entrance to the Egyptian Avenue in Highgate Cemetery. We visited there in the spring of 2014. I have a similar picture, although mine is from a vantage point off to the left of this one. Height is a most amazing place. People put their address over the entrance to their mausoleum to be sure that everyone know they were rich from the neighborhood they lived in as well as the one they were dead in.
Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery
Visiting Highgate, it is easy to see how the Victorians came to create the ghost story with the dread of the burial, the cold and dank place, the long remembrance of ancient things, and the ego to conquer it all. It is place of industrial burials with 17 or more stacked on top of one another in a single grave in places. It is place of deep affection where lovers remain embraced for eternity. It is a place of parental love without bounds. It is very human place even though there are no living humans in it. It is a tether to our past.

London is a magical city, filled with history, dramatic architecture, interesting people, and fun things to do. The more we visit there, the more we want to stay there.