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Christchurch, NZ in 2006

I’m saddened to hear about all the death and destruction from yesterday’s earthquake in Christchurch, NZ

I only spent a short afternoon there during our Flying Kiwi tour of New Zealand in 2006, but it was such a perfect day that I’ll always remember this beautiful city.  My heart goes out to the people of Christchurch. 
ChristchurchSpire.jpgHere’s Christchurch Cathedral from 2006


Here are a few more photos from Christchurch in 2006

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


Folding Umbrella Market in Thailand

Folding Umbrella Market in Thailand

Who would have thought that a market would be one of the most interesting things that I would see in Thailand?  The Rom Hub Market is no ordinary street market.  It’s built on an active railroad track with trains passing through it 5 or 6 times a day.  As a train approaches, vendors calmly move their goods, pull back the awning, and watch a train go by a few inches away.

I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect when we first arrived at the
market.  It was bustling with activity and even though there was a track
running through the middle of it, it was hard to believe that there
would be a train coming through.  One of the vendors pointed out a spot
for us where I could film the train from the middle of the tracks as it
came around the bend.  Once the train approached, I quickly moved over
to sit next to her.  I figured that she would know exactly where to sit
to avoid being hit by the train.  Still, the train passed by way too
close for comfort.  Seconds after the train passed, the awnings popped
back into place and the market proceeded like nothing ever happened.

The video is HD and shot with my Canon EOS Rebel T2i.


Photos: Ayutthaya

Here are some photos from Ayutthaya, an ancient capital of Thailand. Ayutthaya is about 50 miles north of Bangkok. The capital was moved from Ayutthaya after falling to the Burmese during a war in the 1750’s.

Wat Mahathat
We joined a day tour to see Ayutthaya and only had about an hour here. Spectacular ruins of temples of Cambodian, Thai, and Burmese styles are everywhere and we were not able to see everything. One thing you notice is that nearly every Buddha statue is destroyed with the heads and arms chopped off. Most were looted and sold to collectors of ancient artifacts.

Here is a Buddha head that was picked up by the roots/branches of a tree and lifted up from below the ground after it had been buried. The Thai people consider this spot a very spiritual place

Reclining Buddha
Here is a rare outdoor reclining Buddha- one of the largest in Thailand. Most reclining Buddha statues are enclosed inside a temple.

Here is a picture to show the scale.


The journey to Thailand has begun

The journey to Thailand has begun. First a quick stop in snowy and cold Minneapolis. It’s a chilly 10 degrees outside. We’ll be here for an hour before heading on to Tokyo, Japan.

Our first snafu. I had booked this flight months ago with my girlfriend and my seats together. However, now our boarding passes have us really far apart with both of us in middle seats. Not much use for trying to trade seats.

Here’s the seat in front of me. Note the complete lack of any type of entertainment system. Thanks Delta for having one of the oldest fleets on the planet. Good thing I’m well equipped for self entertainment with my iPhone and iPad. Still, it’s going to be a long flight.

Here’s the view of the screen from my seat. I’m going to enjoy watching Salt from the equivalent of a 13 inch TV.

Mmmm. Beef. I know it’s airplane food but it actually sounds good. We shall see if it’s worth the anticipation.


Photo: La Femme Nue statue at Versailles

This is one of my unintentionally amusing photos that I took.
LaFemmeNueVersailles.pngWhat’s so amusing about a giant statue of a nude woman towering over the Palace at Versailles?

It’s actually only about a foot tall.

The second photo is from Sneak Peek!: Contemporary Art Lands in the Palace of Versailles (7 pics).  There was an exhibition of the modern sculptures of Xavier Veilhan.

More photos of the Xavier Veilhan Versailles exhibition at Xavier Veilhan takes over the Chateau de Versailles


Street Dancers in Paris


We saw these street dancers in Paris on the the Champs-Élysées near the Arc de Triomphe.  We were walking around and caught the tail end of a performance from the back of a crowd and decided to wait around for their next performance.

The dancers saw that I was shooting video with my iPhone 3GS and definitely played it up for the camera.  It’s four dancers, each with their own unique style.  It was a great performance.

The video, especially the sound is pretty amazing for being shot on a cell phone!


Photo: Paris Street Crossing Walk Button

One thing about taking a vacation is that there’s always a pile of work waiting for you when you return.  Makes it a little difficult to get back on schedule.

I took a ton of pictures while in London and Paris and I’ll be posting them over the next couple of days.  I was a little rushed to to get to the airport and left the two cameras I was planning to bring at my office.  I ended up using a slightly older digital camera that I borrowed from my sister who dropped me off at the airport and my trusty iPhone 3GS.

First picture up, a walk button to press when crossing the street in Paris.  I love that the guy has a cane!