Monday, November 29, 2010

Conspiracy Proof

I've been firmly in the camp of the Moon Landings are not fake...Until now. As I was wandering around Hollywood, I noticed that they had these stars. Now why would Hollywood have stars for the moon landings, unless they staged it?

And I'm kidding...

First of all, there were a large number of people involved with the space program and people talk. If it were a fake, there would have been more people talking. Second, the Soviets confirmed it and if anyone had a stake in proving it false it would have been them. Third, the effort to fake it and make it convincing would be as daunting as landing on the moon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


So I decided to head over to Hollywood today. There are two places that are branded into the American psychis and those are New York and Hollywood. Now that I've been to both places, New York earns its spot there and Hollywood seems to be hype. For all you hear about glitz and glamour, Hollywood doesn't seem to be it and from what I remember, I needed to go to Rodeo Drive or parts of Beverly Hills. Parts of Hollywood seem to have fallen into disrepair although I think they are trying to restore some of the luster.

As a person who grew up in the 80's, I remember the rise of Nickolodeon on cable. I was probably too old for alot of it but there were some shows there I could appreciate (You Can't Do That on Television and Turkey TV). Everytime I see Russian guys I still think, "This is Ivan...Hero of Soviet Union...27th Class" and he was either excited or sad depending on the ranking.

One of the images that is ingrained in the collective American minds is the Hollywood sign. When I saw it the first time, I remember my disappointment as I thought it would be bigger. this picture really captures how it feels to me overpowered by everytihng around it.

I liked the look of this sign.

One of the cool things of Hollywood is the Walk of Fame, although I wish it was better organized because it was difficult to find the actors that I really like. Humphrey Bogart is definately one of my favorites. I have pictures of other stars but they are all pretty much the same.

I just wanted to go down to Hollywood for pictures, little did I realize they were having a Christmas parade tonight. I would have stayed but it was actually cold.

Because of shows like Dragnet and Adam 12, the Los Angeles Police badge is one of the most recognizable in the country.

A shot down Hollywood Boulevard. As I said, I was a little disappointed when I first saw it. Parts of it looked run down. Something as iconic as Hollywood Blvd should be better maintained.

Mainly a shot of the street sign.

Looking up at one of the theater signs.

A shot of Pantages Theater.

This looks like a restoration project.

I think this building was a bank at one time. I liked the friezes.

A shot of the tower on that bulding.

Grauman's Chinese Theater.

A detail of the theater.

Another detail.

Another shot of Hollywood Blvd.

A better angle of the building I mentioned earlier. As I said, I think it was a bank now it is up for lease.

Not sure what this building is, but I liked the sign.

The Scientoligist Christmas display. They were giving out stress tests in front of this building...I did not participate.

A guitar shop.

The other display window.

A shot of one of the motorcycles. I tried to pan with the motorcycle.

I've got nothing to say about this one.

I think this is the Capitol Records building.

Los Angeles Skyline

So I decided to head to Hollywood this time. I'd been there once before when I went to the Ronald Reagan Library but I didn't spend alot of time there. Little did I realize it would be a little on the chilly side.

As I was heading to Hollywood, the traffic was stop and go enough for me to get a not so good shot of the Los Angeles skyline. I wish I wasn't in such a hurry because I saw some cooler angles of the skyline.

Arrival at John Wayne Airport

So I arrived at John Wayne safely.

Another picture of the plane that brought me from Minneapolis.

A Southwest 737.

Waiting In Minneapolis

I had a little bit of a layover in Minneapolis although I didn't wander around the airport too much. These pictures were on the way from my arrival gate to my departure gate. This time they were fairly close together.

This is one of the planes hanging from the ceiling of the airport. I believe it is a later model of the Wright Flyer.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I'm a plane nut. When I am travelling, I try to make it a point to take a picture of the plane that I will be flying on. This is the plane that took me from Minneapolis to John Wayne Airport. It is an Airbus A319. I like the Airbuses although I still get a little nervous when I hear the filing sound at takeoff and landing.

As biplanes are unfamiliar ground to me, I 'm not sure what kind of of plane this is, but it is one of Northwest Airline's first planes. It was used to deliver air mail from St. Paul to Chicago.

This is another angle of this plane. It is truly amazing when you compare one of these planes to the planes out on the runway. I kind of wish they would hang a couple planes at Detroit Metro Airport. Most other airports have planes like this. The coolest would have to be the Wildcat I saw at O'Hare.

And another angle.

A closeup of the early Northwest logo. I've had a love/hate relationship but it is sad to see one of the grand-daddy airlines basically disappear. As the merger between Delta finalizes, the Northwest logo will join the logos of Pan Am, Republic, Eastern Airlines, etc.

This is another shot of a 757.

Michigan Exposures Hits the Air

I am spending the week in California this week. So these are some of my pictures from on the way over. The trip over was fairly uneventful, security wasn't so bad.

This is the plane I took from Detroit to Minneapolis. It is a DC-9.

These were a couple of planes at the gates next door. I kind of like the reddish/purplish sky of the sunrise. I think they are Airbus 319 or 320's.

I was sitting in the window seat for this part of the trip. It was kind of cool because I looked down and saw Willow Run Airport from the air.

Another shot of Willow Run with the red of the sunrise over it.

I think this is where the St. Clair River empties into Lake Huron.

Our plane took an unusual route toward Minneapolis. We went almost straight north and much to my surprise, I looked out my window and saw the familiar sight of the Karn-Weadock plants of Bay City.

This is the Leleenau Penninsula.

I'm not sure what this Penninsula is called but this is the penninsula of Wisconsin.

As we were taxiing, we passed by the Minnesota Air National Guard. These are C-130's.

A shot of the Minneapolis Tower.

A 757 on the ground.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Detroit Zoo...yet again...

I started to watch the Michigan game and it didn't look like it was going in a direction that would be happy with. So rather than watching the game and deciding to throw a brick through my TV, I went to the zoo. It was a pretty cold day and it was cloudy to boot but it wasn't too bad of a day for the zoo.

This is one of the sculptures outside of the reptile house. Not sure who the artist is.

This is another sculpture, this is another Marshall Fredericks sculpture.

Not sure what kind of snake this is but he is kind of cool.

This is another snake, his mouth was open a little earlier but I couldn't get that shot.

This is a desert rattler.

This is a horned viper.

This is some kind of lizard.

This is a land tortoise.

This is a pair of condors. They were fighting a little bit before the picture and they kind of look like they are saying, "What?" here.

The flamingos.

One of the cranes.

A bearcat.

The bald eagle.

Some sort of deer.

The lion. This time he was stirring about.

The tigers, they weren't stirring about.

The red panda.

And the wolverine behaved much like his football namesakes.