Category Archives: Travel

Random Old Photos – January 03rd

I’m a sucker for taking pictures of statues, and god knows there were enough of them on this day. Lots of Native Americans, wilderness dudes, cowboys, and so on. But this one of the spouting seal and child was the one that tickled my fancy the most.

Denver, there for Worldcon, fifteen years ago in August, somewhere near the capitol building and US Mint.

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Filed under Photography, Travel

No Context For You – December 16th

Established facts and fundamental truths:

  1. I take a LOT of pictures
  2. I love to travel
  3. I REALLY take a LOT of pictures when traveling!

The trip to San Antonio last week was no different. However, one thing surprised me. All of the photos and videos I took, 100% of them, were using my iPhone.

I had the two DSLRs with me, one with a normal 18-35mm zoom lens, one with the telephoto 75-300mm zoom lens. (I left the light bucket 11-16mm wide angle lens at home because as much as I love it, it weighs about two pounds.) I had my great little Sony palm-sized video camera.

Not one of them got used for a single picture. It was all the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

There’s no doubt in my mind that in the future I’ll continue to take along my “good” cameras when travelling, especially if I’m expecting to take a lot of “serious” pictures or videos. In 2024, for example, I’ll be going to view the next “Great American” solar eclipse. There’s no question I’ll take every camera I have for that. And even just on a trip to someplace new, like a possible trip to Memphis early in 2023, I’m sure on the ground and seeing the city for the first time I’ll be using the better quality equipment.

But a simple tip for a family gathering, where I’m more focused on the event and the family than on the photography? That newer iPhone is pretty sweet for keeping it simple, yet still being able to easily get some great results.

It’s been said that the best camera is the one in your hand when you see something you want to photograph. It’s work to carry around a backpack of cameras and be switching between them, where it takes two seconds to whip out that phone and be recording.

It was an interesting revelation.

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Christmas Lights 2022 – Professional Work

Six Flags Fiesta Texas did a great job of lighting up the park for the holidays.

I made sure to pay attention to how they did it, and noted some of the clever hooks and fasterners they used.

They’ve got a LOT of lights up, which I obviously approve of!

It seemed like every tree was wrapped in very bright, colorful LEDs, every building roof line outlined in bigger lights.

A wonderful job!

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Filed under Christmas Lights, Photography, Travel

I See The Cookie Monster

Flying back on Monday, over New Mexico, near sunset, snow covered landscape and I see this odd formation near the bottom of the picture.

A crater of some sort, with two large hills or mounds near the top, sorta looks like big eyes with a gaping mouth…

See the source imageMaybe it’s just me.

Tracking the location down, I think this is part of the Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area¬† at 34.727060, -108.356174. I do wonder what made all of those craters. Probably volcanic, I’m guessing?

That one still looks like our blue, googly-eyed friend.

Or a wedding ring, maybe.

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After A Few Days Off

The problem with taking a four-day weekend, especially at an incredibly busy time of year, is that you’ve got to come back to work.

Mind you, I truly enjoy my job, what I do, and in particular, who I work with. (That’s not even bullshit!) But I also get to live in the real world, where there is stress and a limited number of hours in the day and my body isn’t 100% sure what day of the week it is or what time zone I’m in.

So enjoy this picture from the Christmas tree lighting at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. With a few fireworks.

I need some sleep.

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Filed under Christmas Lights, Fireworks, Photography, Travel

Between Cloud Layers Over West Texas

The family had gathered in San Antonio for a celebration of The Son’s impending retirement from the Air Force after twenty years of service. It was wonderful to spend time with all of the kids together – that doesn’t happen so often any more.

Today was “travel back home” day. It was foggy, gray, and gloomy on the ground in San Antonio, but once we climbed above that lower layer of clouds, it was spectacular!

(And no, we don’t have four suns. We have one sun and a bunch of internal reflections with probably some reflections off of the multiple panes of window glass on the aircraft.)

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Poor Life Decisions Were Made

On the one hand – YOLO!

On the other hand – you’re HOW old? That¬† first drop is HOW high? There are HOW many loops?

Those cars do WHAT? You spin HOW MANY TIMES?

Yes, you did this a lot when you were forty years younger. You’re no longer forty years younger.

Please, for the love of god, use some common sense!

Yeah, right. Have we actually ever met?


Suffice it to say, poor life choices were made.

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We’ve had the two flights to and from Chicago in September for Worldcon, but that’s it for the past three years. And it’s been way, Way, WAY, WAY too long since I’ve had a flight in the left seat at the pointy end.

Looking back through the photos, there were years that had more than a dozen trips to cons, to see relatives, to weddings, to Chiefs games…

Getting back to that would be excellent.

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Filed under Flying, Photography, Travel


Montreal, from the 1967 World’s Fair. Designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, now used for the Biosphere Museum.

Name and personal information on the seagull wasn’t available. It didn’t stop to sign a waiver.

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Texas Thunderstorm

It was a dozen years ago, a cross-country trip, somewhere on I-10 in Texas.

Big clouds. Bright white from a distance, convection reaching for the heavens.

Getting darker and darker underneath, heading toward black punctuated only by lightning. Lots of that, small hail, winds that might or might not have been a tornado or at least tornado-adjacent, and sheets and sheets of rain.

It was an experience!

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Filed under Photography, Travel, Weather