Thursday, April 30, 2009

Skywatch Friday Reflection

Texas Motor Speedway Skywatch.

I thought I'd try something different for this Skywatch post. The second picture is the sky reflected on the Texas Motor Speedway building. For more Skywatch Friday posts just click the link.
To see my other post on the Texas Motor Speedway click here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Austin, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Bridge

OK back to the bats. As I mentioned on my DFW blog my wife and I spent this past weekend in Austin Texas. On Saturday night just before sunset we drove to the Congress Street Bridge and sat on a grassy knoll beside the lake and near the bridge. We waited for the bats as did the crowds on the bridge, by us and on the boats. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was very curious. After a few minutes we could hear squeaky sounds coming from the bridge but the chatter of the crowd was drowning it out. I was surprised by the amount of excitement that was growing as the sun sunk further and the bat squeaking grew louder and louder even than the crowd. Finally after about 40 minutes the first group of bats emerged to cheers, gasps, oohs and aahs. The whole area became frenzied with people looking to the sky in amazement. The bats were like rock stars going on stage, cameras were flashing all over even small children were taking pictures. The very strange thing was once the bats came out a terrible smell came with them it was really bad but not strong enough to drive people away. I read that the million plus bats there eat up to 25,000 pounds of insects every night. These are Mexican free-tailed bats and from March to November they live in Austin and come out at sunset to feed and do whatever else bats do. Fortunately I didn't get anything on me except a questionable drop on my arm that could have been rain. People were advised to wear hats for obvious reasons. It was an enjoyable and interesting time. I'm glad they came out before it was completely dark since I have trouble taking night photos. Click to see more bat pictures.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday "O" is for Opera

"O" is also for Orchestra pit, Obi and any other O words the clever viewers can find in the pictures. These aren't the best photos but they make for a nice "O" post. I took them at the Opéra Bastille in Paris the Opera was Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

To see all of the other ABC Wednesday posts please click the link.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bluebonnets & Texas BBQ

The bluebonnet is the state flower and Barbecue especially beef brisket is a passion in Texas . Every spring the sides of the highways turn into wild gardens filled with green grass, wild flowers of various colors mainly bluebonnets. Since this is my last spring in Texas I have been literally taking time to smell the flowers and eat the delicious BBQ.

For the next two weeks this is my world. To see the rest of the my world Tuesday posts please click the link.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Austin Bats part one

I don't have much time right now but I just wanted to post a few photos from my weekend in Austin Texas.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm a Pepper

One of the first things I noticed about Texans was they seem to really enjoy Dr. Pepper. I recently started drinking diet Dr. Pepper and it's pretty darn good. As I posted on my DFW blog Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco over a hundred years ago. Here are couple more Dr. Pepper photos.
When I get home I'll post more photos and details of trip to Waco and Austin the capital of Texas, both cities have some cool old buildings.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Skywatch Storm approching H.B.

Skywatching from the Huntington Beach pier seconds before the storm hits land.
The blue skies and sunshine over Huntington Beach California change to black clouds as the wind blows in a storm from the Pacific.
To see all of the the Skywatch Friday posts just click the link.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

King of the sandbar

While growing up in Orange County, California, my mother always took us to Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA. We would pack baloney sandwiches, potato chips and Cokes wrapped in aluminum foil because we didn't have an ice chest. My mother would sit under the hot sun for hours while my little brother and I built sand castles, body surfed or boogie boarded. I remember how shockingly cold the water was at first, but then afer a few minutes how wonderful it felt. There was a sandbar in H.B. in those days. I would walk about 50 feet into the surf to a steep and deep drop-off into even colder water. Then I would swim as fast as I could for another 30 or 40 feet past the the first group of surfers whizzing by my head and imaginary sharks and sting rays brushing against my legs to get to the hidden sandbar that was about two feet underwater, about 20 feet wide and who knows how long.
From the sandbar I would stand in knee-deep water and look at the tiny people on the beach, which seemed like a mile away, or I would look out at the second group of surfers farther out. I felt on top of the world. Very few kids my age dared to venture past the underwater chasm and onto the sandbar. After standing there for a while, the hot sun and dried salt on my back would start to sting. Only then would I make the dreaded swim back to shore, exhausted but proud of my accomplishment. Swimming in the ocean creates quite an appetite: sandy boloney sandwiches have never tasted as good as they did back then. I don't think I ever made it home from the beach without swallowing a little sea water but it was a small price to pay for lifetime memories. Although Main Street and the H.B. pier look nothing like they did back in the 1970's, the ocean stays the same.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"N" is for New York Stock Exchange

Oh how I wish that I could go inside, but alas my trading software and this picture is probably as close as I'll get.
Click to see more about ABC Wednesday .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche

In English it's "Street of the fishing cat" It must be one of if not the narrowest street in Paris. It's in the 5TH arrondissement. I also took a photo of a painting of a cat in a restaurant's window a few minutes later. I would like to add that I was able to walk the street without getting stuck. :-)
Well, I created a Dallas-Fort Worth Metro blog and I finally figured out how to get it on City Daily Photo. I hope I don't have any problem when I start my Newtown blog next month.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

McKinney part 2

I took these photos on the other side of the tracks from downtown Mckinney. There was really not much to see unless you like dilapidated structures and industrial type buildings.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Texas Motor Speedway of Life

Today for the first time I decided to check out Texas Motor Speedway. No events were scheduled so I could walk around with no problems. From what I can tell NASCAR is very popular around here. The place is absoluley huge (1200 acres). It also has a few fully equipted camp grounds and a ten story condominium and office building over looking the track and probably a lot more things that I didn't notice. I read that it cost around a quarter of a billion dollars to build and can seat over 200,000 people.
The condos are in the building on the right in the bottom photo and they can be rented for $12,000 a week or $5,000 a weekend during NASCAR races. :-0

Friday, April 17, 2009

McKinney Texas pt1

Yesterday I wen't to a town called Mckinney it's about 35 miles north of Dallas and has a nice little historic downtown area. It also happens to be one of the oldest towns in North Texas. I enjoyed a small civil war exhibit then just walked around snaping pictures. This is some of what I saw.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

L'heure bleue Skywatch

The blue hour comes from a French expression (l'heure bleue), which refers to twilight, the period each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness.
The Arc De Triomphe in the Blue Hour.
Click Skywatch to see all the the skywatch posts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dallas Tea Party

In every State in the United States people gathered together today to protest over-taxation, too much government and government corruption. The gatherings/protests were called Tea Parties as in the Boston Tea Party of American History. There were thousands of people of all types in front of the Dallas city hall listening to speakers and waving flags and signs. While I was there it was very peaceful and reminded me of a big High School pep rally.
After awhile I got bored and walked around trying to find something else interesting enough to photograph. I also tried and failed to take some good night time photos.
Maybe tomorrow I'll find a coffee party. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photographing the Photographers

While walking around downtown Dallas today I noticed that a lot of other people were taking pictures. So I thought it would be fun to take pictures of them taking pictures. It wasn't as fun as I thought but here are a few anyway. I also noticed that I'm developing a case of camera envy. The more I take pictures the more I want to learn about photography and then upgrade my camera.
I use a Canon powershot A610 it's an easy point and shoot type. The camera that I want to get is a Canon EOS 40D or 50D.

So what cameras do you use and what do you want?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking up at the Titche-Goettinger Building

While walking around downtown Dallas the other day I looked up at the Titche-Goettinger Building and noticed it was looking back at me.

Do The Zombie Chicken

Thank's to Juergen Kuehn MARBURG DAILY PHOTO and Léia at We love Luna for this double Zombie chicken award.
"Here's the "official" verbiage related to the award:"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken -- excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chicken by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

So I am very proud to nominate the following five for the Zombie Chicken award.
1)Christopher from Quite All Right
2)Jeps from Photo Kalamay
3)Hilda from My Manila
4)Ken Mac from Greenwich Village Daily Photo
5)Andrew Owen from London Daily Photo

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dallas Fair Park

Last Tuesday was just beautiful. It was sunny and about 69 degrees the springtime flowers were blooming, lots of green grass and trees, the birds were chirping . I walked around Dallas Fair Park for the first time. These are some of the pictures that I took. The mural is by Pierre Bourdelle from 1936 I believe. The Dallas Fair Park has all kinds of musems, an aquarium, gardens, old buildings with murals, the Cotton Bowl stadium, a pond and of course it's the home of the Texas state fair. Unfortunately a lot of it was under construction but it was worthwhile just walking, looking and enjoying the day. The top photo is just part of the front of the building thats called the Hall of State.
--On a side note. Last Thursday April 9th 2009 around 10pm I was going through some of my old stuff and when I opened a book a ticket stub fell out. It said "Shattered Faith, and The Cramps 8pm at the Concert factory in Costa Mesa April 9th 1984. Exactly 25yrs later to the hour. Now thats strange.
So who remembers what they were doing 25 yrs ago?