A Vegas Photo Drive

It has been awhile since I’ve brought out a Phoadtography post!  So far you’ve been subjected to shots from the Vegas skyline, shots of Vegas from a photo walk and it just seems fitting that I close out the Vegas scene with a traditional “photos from the road” collection.  For those not familiar with the concept of Phoadtography, it is pretty simple.  Linda drives and I take shots of interesting things – in between my expert navigation duties of course.  To start us off on our little excursion I bring you the prototypical Sin City billboard…

I marveled at the genius of this particular advertisement.  It has so many alternative takes – are they talking about the Vegas Strip, the common theme of stripper shows in Vegas, how to strip a gun down and put it back for cleaning or don’t even think about stripping me of my Second Amendment rights.  This sign must make gun control advocates shake in their house slippers.  One goal activity Linda and I have not been able to cross off is to hit the Gun Store and fire off some (okay, maybe A LOT) of rounds from an automatic rifle – yummy goodness!

“Who ya’ Gonna Call?”

Clearly this was taken closer to the downtown area where these kinds of businesses are everywhere.  Almost as common as drive up wedding chapels.  Based on the vehicle outside of this place, business is good.  What happens in Vegas .. stays on your arrest record.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots!

Continue reading A Vegas Photo Drive

Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Part Deux

And were back with the second (for those that are not versed in French) and final part of the Phoadtography series from our Wisconsin/Michigan trip back in July of 2012.  We’ll likely close out the month with the Year End Summary post  since I’m trying to pull together a larger than normal effort for next month’s blogging entries although it might make it to February if some loose ends fail to come together in the next couple of days.  Meanwhile let’s stay on topic and get right to the latest set of shots of things that caught my attention while Linda was flying down the road.

The first shot is really more of nostalgia for me.  My brother Ron invited me along to one of his ski trips while I was in college – sometime between ’85-’89 with big bet on the late ’88 time frame.  That date solely based on an odd memory – on that trip I rode up with some of Ron’s friends from college who were still in grad school at the time.  I met them for the first time on that trip and then realized one of them was in my LISP programming class.  That realization came after noting one of the students was in a full suit – not uncommon for the higher level classes since a lot of the days were spent interviewing with companies that come onsite to recruit.  This was not what caught my attention – he still had all the tags on the sleeves and the temporary stitch that holds the coat tails together was still intact.  I was chuckling to myself when I realized I knew that guy – never got a chance to warn him after class so sure hope they overlooked that at during the overview.   But I digress (a lot).   We actually went skiing at Big Powderhorn where this shot was taken.

Three things I remember from that trip.  The cops pulled over the car I was traveling in and let the driver off because he found out he was an Illinois grad and that was where the cop took his training – Go Illini.  Secondly, they rented a condo at the top of the mountain – the ski lifts/tickets were at the bottom and the ONLY path down was to go down blacks – that was rough going seeing as how I was not at that level at the time.  And third Ron and I spent most of our time enjoying a run called Smoke which was a pretty challenging run down  through the lift poles – on reflection, the things I tend to remember are rather strange.  Anyway, we ended up driving past the entrance and figured I’d capture the moment – think that dude would look more cool with a Stormy Kromer?

Thought this was a pretty interesting coal/ore train model, complete with a clever set of rails which brought the cars out of the grass.  Nicely done although for the record, the caboose seems disproportionate to the rest of the train cars.

Okay, here’s a test – which one of the following is the best investment, the most capable and versatile machine for all your construction/digging needs…

Hit the jump to see the answer and see the rest of the images in this Phoadtography set

Continue reading Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Part Deux

Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Pt 1

All you stats aficionados out there are probably salivating at the moment thinking the time has come when Mr. Blogger is going to blow it.  Something like 4 days left in the year and looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 posts still to go.  Of course this isn’t just to close out the month, this is to close out the whole year of blogging… to come so close to putting a check mark on the 6th year and let it slip through your grasp.  Normally I would be worried, but this holiday vacation has found me in the digital darkroom just about every day trying to close out a big chunk of 2012… and maybe a little of 2011 (shame shame) – The bad news is the processing chemicals are getting to me and my memory is taking a fish slap across the face.  The results of this effort are about 650 pictures ready to make their way on to this site in the upcoming year.  I was falling too far behind and I really want to get to our more recent photo shoots because I think you’ll like how those came out – I also know our friends in Billings are patiently waiting for our Yellowstone shots taken when we were out there recently.

While going back through the images I stumbled on a set of Phoadtography shots that dropped off my queue somehow.  I need to do some verifying, but pretty sure there wasn’t a single Phoadtography post this year which is shocking based on all the trip opportunities we have had over the course of 2012-2013.  This means I have the perfect close to the month since:

a) The pictures are all processed

b)  The Phoadtography sets tend to span more than one post

c) and .. most important of all .. they don’t really require a lot of mental work to get cranked out – just look at a shot, make some snarky response about it and move on to the next.

Linda says snarky comes easy to me so this quota thingy should be doable.  With no more delay, I bring you the Phoadtography shots from our trip through Wisconsin and Michigan back in July 2012.  For the record, I’m pretty good with details up to about a year – now 1.5 years and beyond things start to get a little fuzzy on the specifics so exact locations of where these were taken on the trips is somewhere in the fog.

Honey, Enterprise Rental called, they said you can have a midsize available or if interested their new line of Quackmobiles.  If you go with the latter you’ll be able to make better time crossing all the rivers .. not to mention the awesome gas mileage – one loaf of bread  should be all that is needed to get us where we are going.

I have no idea what is up with this next statue.  As far as I can tell, they have a weird breed of eagle up there that has massively fat legs and matching claws.  They also possess some strange craving for ummm.. let’s go with an apple only because it is red and there appears t0 be worm coming out of the side of it.  Oh, did I mention that these particular apples tend to be carried around by bears.  Feel free to weigh in on this, I’m at a loss.

Then there’s this dead American Indian we spotted off the road – guessing this was at a roadside stop based solely on the little bit of sign on the right side.  Actually a pretty good sculpture, but just seems a bit strange to have a severed head sitting at a rest stop – not to mention void of all blood.

Hit the jump to see more shots from the road

Continue reading Phoadtography: Where Has the Year Gone Pt 1

Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)

Ummm well, a funny thing happened on the way to Lightroom today. I stumbled on the missing set of Phoadtography pictures we took on our Indianapolis trip. I knew there were pictures of a couple of signs that stuck out on the trip, and by stuck out I mean we actually made a conscious effort to snap some pictures when we came back through the town. The mystery was solved when they showed up in a secondary file in our Lightroom catalog. As a result, this series actually grew by one (see Part 1 Link and Part 2 Link). Depending on how things are looking toward the end of the month this particular post may not get included in the quota requirement giving you a bonus (yeah) month. Do not get too excited, my record so far hasn’t exactly been too stellar… but in my best Dumb and Dumber .. “so you’re saying there’s a chance”.

On a personal front, I’m under a week to my big event – after 4 or 5 more miles, the worrying and fretting will begin.

Starting out the third and final (I promise) Indy Phoadtography set, I give you one of the three best sign shots from the trip.

Linda gets credit for spotting this and actually the ones below.  Of course, she kept pointing them out to me when we are under 2 car lengths from them making it nearly impossible to get a good Phoadtography shot.  The final A-Count on the sign shots ended up being 4.  That’s right, it took a whopping 4 attempts to actually get the shot (and as the case above, a crooked shot still).  How embarrassing.  I should send myself back to the minors.  At least the next shot in the sign series is at least straight.. a little degrading to men.. but still straight.

Not sure if the “Primitives” sign was just piling on the insults or it was a coincidence with the outdoor decor.   Someone at this particular Hucks has some serious issues or there is a friendly man vs woman jesting going on.  As we passed the sign from the front (okay, okay, it was the 4th time) I happened to notice the other side also had lettering on it so I snapped it.  My exposure was not set right causing it to be a on the blurry side but you can still make out the jab.

For the record, that is NOT a cop car parked suspiciously behind the sign.  It is just a large white car with a giant flag on it… I wonder if Hucks sells donuts? ack.. nevermind.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures

Continue reading Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Part 3 of 2)

Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Pt 2 of 2)

Welcome to the 6th post for this month which successfully puts another check in the monthly post commitment and thankfully this one comes earlier than usual.  As you probably know I am usually rushing to get these babies done before day 30ish comes to a close.  Not this month, but that is primarily due to focusing on getting these done in order to spent the rest of the month (and some into the next month as well) focusing on a big personal event that is scheduled for September 11th.  Not really talking about it at the moment to keep from jinxing myself so we’ll just let that go for now.  On a side note, thanks to the ass Don Henley finding the need to come out in favor of the PROTECT IP Act (and using invalidated studies and hyperbole fear as a basis – must be learning from Gore), today marks the first day of never giving a penny to anything that funds the Eagles or Don Henley in any form.  This of course includes additional albums/CDs/DVDs to those already sitting in our shelves and god forbid anymore $75 tickets to their concerts.  Just my little way of helping make Donny-boy’s fake claims as real as I can – say, won’t you join me?

Enough ranting, you are hear for one and only one reason.. to fill the empty void when you found out there were even more phoadtography pictures from our Indy trip!  So, picking up where part one left off (link) I give you this sign found on a building as we were driving through a city.

Talk about a bad signage planning.  Reading this to someone would put them in a quandary.  Those Damn Pentecostals! or those Pentecostals are one Damn Ass Company.  If their lucky they would have seen the name of the city (Damasco) as they drove through.

As we drove into Indianapolis we spotted this hotel rising up above the trees.  From a design perspective it was pretty stunning and blended nicely with the environment.  Turns out our hotel was right near this Marriott and could have used it to navigate directly where we needed to be.  The construction around Indy had us uncertain we were on the right road and quite frankly the neighborhoods we were passing through had us a little concerned.  It all turned out okay, but simply heading for this landmark would have probably worked better.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the Indy Phoadtography Collection

Continue reading Phoadtography: Checking Out Our Neighbors to the East (Pt 2 of 2)

Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 3 of 3

Hunger gnawing away the insides, thirst becoming unbearable, sleep deprivation making it nearly impossible to see, fatigue making it difficult to type, but muuusst … get .. . throuuuugh last part of Phoadtography post.  Just kidding, it isn’t really that much work, but thinking a Twinkie would really hit the spot right now.  This is the third and final set of phoadtography shots from last year’s Thanksgiving vacation.  Linda and I have been requested not to plan any vacations yet due to some corporate negotiations that are in flight, but hopefully we’ll be out on the road again very soon.  For now, enjoy this final set which appear to come mostly from the Vegas area.

Since we had to rent a vehicle to get up to Zion anyway, we decided to reserve it a few days early and take in some sites near Vegas.  First on the agenda was to check out Hoover Dam and the lake that resulted from the dam construction.  After a long slow trudge through traffic, we finally arrived at the lake.  The bad news is it was unseasonably cold the week we were there (in the mid 30’s for some of the days) so we did not spend a lot of time outside.

Instead, we decided to take the scenic drive and experience it from the car.  It is definitely a nice lake, but there really isn’t much to look at on the coastlines.  Most disappointing was the utter lack of wildlife beyond a few ducks scattered about.

Although we are pretty much burned out on the Luxor having stayed there so many times, it is rare when we actually get to see the front of the casino.  I snapped this as we drove by and it turned out pretty crisp.  For those not familiar with this casino, it has a light on top that can be seen from space and their elevators are actually called inclinators because they travel up the insides of the pyramid corners.  If you want a good physics exercise, try figuring out how they keep the inclinators level so you are not tossed all over the place as you ascend up to your floor.  It is a shame they have essentially removed just about all their Egyptian themed interior decor in place of annoying modern day club-style bars and nightclubs.

Hit the jump to see the rest of this Phoadtography set!

Continue reading Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 3 of 3

Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 2 of 3

It’s quiz time.  What has over 70 pictures, comes in three parts and has the ability to completely clean out your browser’s cache of all that pr0n you’ve been wasting your web time on?  Okay, that was an easy one.  Yes, I’m back with the second installment of the Las Vegas and Zion Phoadtography post.  Unlike last time, none of these are wall worthy which means they generally fall into the category of things that make you go “Huh?”.  I like to get the most out of my vacations and finding those interesting pearls puts the cherry on top.  Now that the Smugmug picture links have been captured, let’s not waste anymore time and get right to this set.

Linda and I stumbled onto this sign just before entering the Zion National Park.  Having to leave the children at home to go on vacations is always tough but I am sure they enjoy the Doggy Spa at the grandparents.  Maybe next time we head out to this park we’ll see if they want to come along – although if they find out they have to work on a ranch their pampered paws will carry them right back home.

It is no secret Linda and I enjoy vacationing in Vegas.  For two people watchers, that place is like steroids for the eyes.  Even with all our trips, the first time we ever saw the Welcome to Vegas sign was a couple of years ago at Linda’s niece’s wedding.  Their party bus took us out there so they could get some pictures under it.  Well, this year was the first time we got to see the downtown Leaving Las Vegas sign.  Our lives are now officially complete.

Hit the jump to see a bunch more Phoadtography pictures!

Continue reading Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 2 of 3

Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 1 of 3

Guess what?… nope, guess again?  nope.. one more try?  Close, but the right answer is “it’s time for another Phoadtography post.”  Actually it is sometimes affectionately called a photo-bomb which is pretty accurate with this particular set since it requires 3 full posts to get through.  This series is brought to you via our Las Vegas and Zion trip we took over Thanksgiving last year.  That equates to two very photographic locations coupled with a road commute between them.  Translated, lots of Phoadtography opportunities.    For those of you who may be new to the blog, here are some guidelines I posted previously regarding one of my favorite means to pass the time trapped in the car.   Let’s jump right into the set!

Figured I would start with a quick sign shot.  That and I wanted to get a bad picture out of the way before getting into the good ones.  Clearly this one is not up to par in the Phoadtography quality scale.  The camera tilt is over 5 degrees and the trigger finger was a little quick on the draw.  However, at least I knew where I was on the camera card.

I’ll balance the previous shot with probably my favorite of the whole set.  This is primarily due to spotting the opportunity and patiently waiting for the perfect moment to take the shot.  It required taking into account the direction of the road and relationship to the fixed structure on top of the rock.  I have no idea what it is (maybe a weather satellite or cell tower).  With the clever alignment it really looks more like a deathray!

Hit the jump to see a lot more of the pictures!

Continue reading Phoadtography: Vegas and Zion Trip 11/2010 Pt 1 of 3

Phoadtography Gallery: Maine Trip 2010 Pt 2

Time to close out this year’s posts.  With only the remaining year end summary left, this post essentially puts the finishing touches on the 2010 blog entries.  As with Part I of this Phoadtography Gallery this set comes with a healthy dose of photos as well.  The good news is this closes out all the road shots from the Maine trip allowing me to start fresh with the new year.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get through all the Maine photos (off the road) and now even farther behind with the recent Vegas/Mt Zion trip we took a month ago.   Oh well, plenty in the hopper for 2011 (should I choose to continue this activity for next year). Time’s a wasting, let’s get to the shots.

This should not be a surprise, but I have an affinity towards bridges.  The exact reason is difficult to tell since it is difficult to pin down exactly when I started admiring these structures.  Having built one now, this appreciation has definitely increased.  If pressed, I’d have to say that the fusion of artistic characteristics and functional purpose entwined in physics and math is the compelling factor.  This might be similar to some people’s fascination with sundials seeing how ornate and complex those functional timepieces can be.  This particular bridge has all of the classic features of bridge with its arches, triangles (notice the vertical beams are not straight up and down) and the cross hatch underneath to keep it rigid.  With the height of this beast, there are probably large ships traversing this waterway.

This particular bridge still confuses me in the sense I am unable to figure out the functional component.  It appears to go absolutely nowhere and the railing on the end suggests there was no plan for it to go anywhere.  The metal structure towards the middle of the bridge is interesting as well.  First thought was it rotated in some manner and connected up to another span allowing for easy traversal of the waterway.  This sounds good in theory, but there did not seem to be a pivot point or any span to hook up to.  It is a mystery and if anyone is near 194.75 and knows anything about this, please leave a comment.

Hit the jump to see the rest of the Phoadtography gallery.

Continue reading Phoadtography Gallery: Maine Trip 2010 Pt 2

Phoadtography Gallery: Maine Trip 2010 Pt 1

This year is quickly coming to a close, but the blog queue is still deep with 2010 photo collections.  I try to keep it fresh and maintain a balance of photos, interesting viewpoints, service complaints/rants and things that make me go huh?  Linda and I were lucky enough to go on some pretty nice trips this year which means our hard drives have been riddled with photos this year.  It is far easier to make comments on things if they are still in short term memory so rather than push this off to next year, let’s go ahead and dump the Phoadtography collection from the Maine trip we took in June.  There are a lot of them so be warned, your browser cache is going to get a workout.  For sanity purposes (yours and mine) this post will actually be a two parter.  For those who don’t know what Phoadtography is please check out my previous post… especially if you are preparing to unleash your fury on how bad some of these shots ended up being.

Starting off this set is every kid’s favorite toys and more importantly, the machines that pay both our salaries.  Guessing due to the stimulus money (that actually got spent on job creating projects), we encountered a lot of construction on our way out and back to Maine.  Most travelers probably cuss the slow downs and stoppages, but in the case of my wife and I the sound of Caterpillar machines in motion is music to our ears.  As mentioned in the introduction Cat machines are always a good target for Phoadtography shots.  This vehicle is one of our articulated trucks that, if I remember correctly, are produced in Waco TX.

Pretty cool machine if I say so myself.  Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures in this post.

Continue reading Phoadtography Gallery: Maine Trip 2010 Pt 1