Sarcasm is a virtue.
Eva and I are here; not too terribly horrendously horrible, but verging on it. Also not too exceptionally picturesque; let’s put it this way… I haven’t taken one picture.
The best list of three adjectives with no spaces in order of applicability to describe this place would be: hotboringbland. If that confused you, Idon’tapologize.
We’ll be heading into Iraq shortly, so more to follow on that. Expect pictures… at some point.
Eva and I begin our long awaited, much delayed, highly anticipated trip to the beautiful middle east today. We are, in actuality, strangely excited. We are also well aware that this inexplicable excitement will subside in a very, very, very short span of time. Oh well. More to follow. (Oh, and I didn’t take this picture… there you go; full disclosure.)
What does this mean? Well it means I’ll be on a plane and in Kuwait and in Iraq here in the not too distant future, so I don’t know when my next update will be or how regular my updates from here on out will be either. I’ll be taking photos (hopefully) more or less non-stop while in Kuwait and Iraq, so look forward to those. I’ll post when and as I can, but I think I’ll be rather busy. Look forward to middle eastern pictures and commentary. See you soon!
(p.s. Click the image to see a wholly unrelated albeit completely engaging image of Korean gods… which I actually took.)
UPDATE: Eva and I are now sitting in a booth at a bar in Shannon, Ireland. Instead of drinking Guinness, we’re watching longingly as others drink Guinness. What a tragedy; I’m in Ireland and can’t drink Guinness. Drat. Or draught. Well, both, I suppose, because I have neither. What? Now I’m confusing myself. I’m tired. Regardless, we’ll be in Kuwait in about 7 hours or so. Hooray.
This statue is is downtown Chicago. The painting was painted in Iowa in 1930, but was first displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago. Critics panned it. Ya’ learn something new every day. Unless you’re me. I only learn new things on Wednesdays.
I can’t believe the President shook Hugo’s hand. Unbelievable. He should have Three Stooges eye poked him and had Rahm-dog get on all fours behind old Hugo so he could shove him over Rahmmy like the clown he is. Hugo being the clown there if you’re confused. I think. Who knows, they’re all ridiculous. What a comedy.
Today, Eva and I were driving to dinner. It was about 7pm. We were just driving along, when Eva’s phone rings. ‘Hmm’ we thought, ‘who could that possibly be?’ Turns out, it was someone telling Eva she needed to get a shot. Not just any shot; a shot that tested her for tuberculosis. Oh, and she didn’t need to get it the next morning or the next day. Oh no. She needed to get it right then. So we exited, drove to Ft. Bliss, went to a random First Sergeant’s office, and she got a shot. On Monday night. At 7:30pm. Only in the Army.
This is the ceiling of a train station in Seoul; Noksapyeong Station to be exact. I always thought it was cool.
Abstract, Seoul, Korea
My dad took this shot of my sisters and I in Pittsburgh. We were all there for an engagement party my aunt and uncle threw for Eva and I. If you know us, our poses pretty well illustrate our personalities. From left to right Laura, Erin, me.
Pittsburgh, PA, Rick
This is a close-up (macro) shot of a very detailed chess piece. One of the knights in fact. It’s from a chess set I honed from a single piece of Indian green marble. Including the board. Bobby Fischer offered me $10k for it in 2006. I punched him in the stomach, took his wallet, and told him to get his socialist traitor ass back to Iceland. He complied. Ironically my knight looks like a giant statue that could be, say, near the entrance of the El Paso airport, and possibly be named ‘The Equestrian,’ and, I don’t know, maybe dedicated in 2007, and, who knows, possibly sculpted by John Sherrill Houser. It certainly looks like that. But it’s not.
El Paso, TX
As I walked down Astor on the north side of Chicago, I happened to glance down in the gutter and found this shot of the Chicago skyline. It was absolutely filthy. Covered in dirt and soot. I wondered how old the image was… it couldn’t be too old what with the Sears Tower and all. I decided to take it to the Northwestern University School of Chemistry and Biological Science Research Institute of Science for carbon dating of the soot. Just about everyone with a brain knows the half life of the elemental base of soot (Li3O2) has a half life similar to that of peanut shells so it was fortunate that a peanut shell was stuck to the photo as well, serving as a rubric for the dating. Dr. Patrick O’Flannery-McDougall ran the carbon dating, (ironically he’s actually a North Korean refugee that escaped to Ireland in 1953, changed his name to better fit in, and married an Irish gal who insisted on hyphenating their married surname). He determined the photo dates back to 1974. During the testing Dr. O’Flannery-McDougall also found an index finger fingerprint. As of yet we’ve been unable to determine who the fingerprint belongs to. If you look closely you can see the print just above the skyline on the far right side of the photo–click here to find the fingerprint on the large size of the photo. I apologize for the clarity; this was the best I could clean it up before I scanned it.
Chicago, IL, Point & Shoot
For your enjoyment, here are two interpretations of one tree. The top photo is the tree as a silhouette and the bottom is an HDR composite of the same tree. The silhouette is cropped some, but it was taken from one of the HDR source images so it’s technically the same photo. I took these near White Sands during the day-trip Eva and I took there.
That being said, Dennis Miller is spectacular. I listen to him almost every day on AM 600 KROD here in El Paso. I listen to him and Glenn Beck on that station. Glenn Beck is also good… a little on the loony-toony-nutty crazy right wing side, but good just the same. D Mils, however, is truly legit. Yea, I call him D Mils. In fact, I called him to clear his new nickname yesterday; he said it’s straight. Didn’t you D Mils? Oh, and he reads my site. He calls me his muse. Whatever. (Good muses are indifferent.)
Abstract, HDR, White Sands, NM
I did some website maintenance yesterday, (thanks Greg and Mary Beth). I decided to repost one of my recent photos that was adjusted to test the new/fixed settings. Please let me know via the email contact form (with the tabs above) if the image appears normally and clearly. Also, since I’m tasking you anyhow, take a look back through my older posts and let me know if any of them are screwed up. By screwed up I mean formatting, not content. If you think the content is jacked, click here. Thanks!
This is a sculpture in Millenium Park in downtown Chicago. The sculptor named it “Cloud Gate.” Chicago named it the bean because it looks like a giant, shiny, mirror bean. Ask someone on State or Goethe where you can find “Cloud Gate” and they’ll look at you like you’re a dummy-dummy-dum-dum. Ask them where the bean is, and they’ll tell you Millennium Park. (Actually, if you Wikipedia “the bean” it takes you to the “Cloud Gate” page… that’s the only way I found out its real name.)
Light streaming through the mountains which border White Sands Missile Range.
So the countdown begins. Eva and I embark on a global trek on April 21st. This excursion will last approximately 1 year, and leads us to Mesopotamia to effect peace and democracy on a more or less helpless and hapless people (though the situation has admittedly changed dramatically). I would love to tell you exactly where we’ll be and what it is we’ll be doing, but 1. we don’t even really know and 2. it just wouldn’t be all that prudent. So, what’s the point you ask? I thought I covered that… effecting peace and demo… oh, what’s the point of telling you this? It’s really more or less a disclaimer. Starting April 21st, I can’t exactly project the uniformity of my posts. I’ll update when I can of course, but no promises. That being said, expect many pictures of Kuwait and Iraq to follow. With commentary. Oh and don’t worry… I packed my xBox.
HDR, White Sands, NM
I saw this wascally wabbit snacking on some grass outside the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He was so cute, so furry, so wascally. Suddenly, a hawk swooped down from the sky, beak open and claws spread wide. He careened toward the wabbit, obviously speeding in for the kill. I held my camera in shaky hands, preparing as best I could for the wabbit destruction I was inevitably going to witness. The wabbit snacked… the hawk swooped… I watched. Incredibly, just as the hawk was about to reach the unassuming wabbit, the wabbit, living up to his wascallyness, Matrix back-flipped over the hawk and landed on his back feet, standing like a homo. Homo erectus of course. He stood there, briefly watching the hawk fly away in defeat, when he inexplicably whipped his little wabbit head around to the right so he was staring me down. I turned away, awe struck and smitten with a sudden overwhelming fear. I looked away for five, maybe six seconds. I ever so slowly turned back around to see what the wabbit was doing. Had he stood firm? Was he creeping or rushing toward me to do me in? Had he grown to immense proportions, threatening the safety of me and those in my immediate vicinity? Nope. He was gone.
I snapped this outside the 63 Building in Seoul… Love Your Life, Love Your Dream. I do! Especially my dream! That saying doesn’t make any sense.
Here is a picture of Eva on a Korean subway. Hysterical. This was our life for 2 years… how funny is that?
Get it? hahahahahahaha Get it? Man… that’s a good one.
Honestly, string cheese is the bee’s knees. Absolutely delightful. (When I was typing “absolutely” there I was envisioning you reading it as “ab…solutely” with a nice dramatic pause between the first and second syllables. If you didn’t read it as such, please go back and re-read it. Right now.)
Old Chicago slowly being replaced by New Chicago. Bigger, shinier–more glass & steel and less stone & brick. Bummer. I like the old buildings better.
Trump: “You’re fired.”
Rick: “Wait, what? Why are you on my page in quotes? Why am I in quotes? None of this makes any sense. How’d you get here? I’m confused.”
Trump: “You’re fired.”
I took this shot near Eva’s apartment in Seoul. I thought it well illustrated what I more or less consider the three Seoul standards: the Seoul tower, traffic, and construction. If you’ve been there or ever lived there you’ll agree. If you don’t agree then you’re a dummy. It’s just that simple.
If you click this photo and look where I geotagged this shot on Flickr, you’ll see the exact footbridge I was standing on when I took this photo. I was facing NE. I took this while Eva and I were stationed there; she was stationed here in Seoul and I was 14km from the DMZ. Real fair.
This is a shot of the modern art museum in Vienna which I mentioned in my post yesterday. Picture this: you go up to the elevator, you push the up button, you get in the elevator, you push 2, the elevator goes up, you get off and turn right, you see the video of the prone coughing man in a box. And yes, I certainly did talk about this two days in a row. Look people, the coughing box man changed my life, and not in a good way.
HDR, Vienna, Austria
There’s a door at the end of this hallway; the door opens up to this stairwell and leads down to my “secret room.”
I’ve got jokes. This is actually a hallway in an art museum in the Museum Quarter of Vienna. This art museum was really cool. The modern art museum which was there as well, however, was not cool. It was bizarre. Let’s put it this way: there’s a “piece” in the modern art museum which is a video, played on loop, of a dude laying on the ground with his head in a box repeatedly coughing. Let me clarify: It’s a video. Of a guy. Coughing into a box. And it’s prominantly featured in an art museum. Ahhh modern art… it really is just what you’d expect.
This angel is a structural light anomaly which appears on a tent outside the Parthenon in Greece. The tent serves Greek beer and a strange Greek snack food that’s somewhat like a mix between a hot pretzel and a Kalamata olive oil paste. The shadow forms from sunlight shining through the ruins of the Parthenon every day between noon and 2:30 obviously depending on the season. The beer/snack tent has a schedule posted and a viewing floor set up. Eva and I got there about 4 hours early so we’d have a clear view. The shadow lasts as pictured for about 45 seconds before it starts to degenerate. I caught it more or less at its maximum clarity. Interestingly, we intended only on seeing the Parthenon that day, having no idea this event occurred at all. We saw this in 2003; the tent has since burnt down and one of the columns that created the shadow was sanded down by vandals.
(Having trouble seeing the whole image? Click the photo and check it out on my Flickr page.)
Abstract, Las Vegas, NV
I learned an interesting fact today. Turns out the monthly job losses that all the news sources tout is somewhat misleading. Not intentionally so–the bottom line still reflects job losses–but misleading just the same. For example, job losses for the month of March are reported at about 660,000; we’ll call this 0.6 million jobs. However, the real job losses for the month of February is more like 5 million or so (give or take, I’m summarizing and estimating for illustration). The 0.6 million lost jobs is actually the difference between the 5 million lost jobs and the 4.4 million new jobs created and subsequently filled in the month of March. People are getting new jobs, jobs are being created, but the net difference reflects a loss of jobs overall. Does this improve or change things? No, but it certainly makes the situation look a little less abismal.
This is a shot of Eva looking out our hotel window in Vegas. She is looking longingly at the hotel pool 32 floors below. She looks longingly because I hate going to the pool and “laying out.” So, we agree to do other things which don’t involve “laying out” and instead involve anything other than “laying out.” We stayed at the Venetian on the strip. The hotel was very cool, very gaudy, and a lot of fun. If you go to Vegas, I recommend it.
Eva, Las Vegas, NV
These docks are in downtown Chicago near the Shedd Aquarium. I took this in late March so there were no boats yet. This is the first shot I’ve posted with my new 100-300mm Canon lens; the lens gives me a new and interesting perspective on things. More to follow from that bad boy.
Doesn’t Madonna the dum-dum realize there are kids in the US that need adopted? I wish Barney Frank would eat her. Her and Nancy Pelosi. I think he’d get sick from the Pelosi though… she looks like she went bad a while ago.
(If you’re having trouble seeing the whole image on your monitor, click the photo and check it out on Flickr. BTW this works with all my photo postings LOL TTYL)
Abstract, Chicago, IL