Friday, October 29, 2010

A Couple More of Me

Normally on the Friday before Halloween people at work will dress up in something. So I decided to pull out my wolverine hat and lightsaber. Sadly, I was the only one remotely in a costume. Fortunately it wasn't much of a costume so I could ditch it. Anyways, I figured it would give me an opportunity to show me off again.

As I said in another post, one of the reasons I like to be behind the camera is because that means I don't get in pictures. So it is nice to occasionally get in front of the camera.

This is messing with the lightsaber to get some sort of effect.

Another shot like that.

I couldn't figure out why people would give me a doubletake at work today. Maybe the hat?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The M-Go-A-Lantern

Someone at work donated some pumpkins and we are having a pumpkin carving contest. I decided to do a Michigan Pumpkin.

The Block-M and the wings.

A side view.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Retrospective

I'm looking at my post count and I am seeing that I am near 500 posts for the year. When I started this blog at the beginning of last year, I never thought that I would have the staying power to make it this far. I thought I would get bored of taking pictures but that is tough as I try to see a variety of things. Admittedly, many of pictures here are repeat subjects but for the most part I try to do a variety of things.

One of the things I like about doing this blog is the fact that I learn alot more about the subjects I post about because I try to teach about the subject as well as take the picture of it. Sometimes I don't want to do that so the comments are sparse and I let the pictures do the talking. Anyways, I hope that you all enjoy that aspect of my blog.

I'll have to say that my favorite thing this year was the trip I took out west. As I said there, I'd never really been out west except for my trips to southern California, so I never realized just how vast this country was. I'm hoping to do a similar trip next year but I'm torn about whether I want to do a leg of the Empire Builder or a leg of the California Zephyr again. Both have their merits though. My second favorite thing has been the Michigan games I have gone to this year. I love Michigan football and never really took the chance to go to alot of games in a season so this year I took those chances and have enjoyed (although the Iowa game was frustrating). I can't wait to see Illinois and Wisconsin in the next month.

I hope that I am improving in my photography though. Sometimes I feel like I am and then sometimes I feel like it's the first day. But I guess that's one of the aspects of getting an SLR camera is that it can grow with you especially as you learn more about the ins and outs of it.

Hopefully I haven't bored you to tears. And please take some time to leave a comment to this post. Let me know if there is a subject you would like to see me tackle. Or if there is a subject you would like me to re-visit. I am especially looking for ideas for my 12 month series for next year.

Thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yankee Air Force - Air Park

As I was heading home from Detroit, I decided to take a detour through Willow Run to get pictures of the Yankee Air Force Air Park. Unfortunately, it is tough to get pictures of because it is behind a fence (it used to be part of the museum before the museum burned down). The lighting for it was pretty good though and I was able to get pictures over the fence.

This is an F-4 Phantom. I believe it is painted like the plane flown by Robin Olds who was an ace during the Vietnam War.

This is the PB4Y-2 Privateer which was used by the Navy and Coast Guard. It is a version of the B-24 and differs by having the normal tail instead of the split tail. I believe this one was built at Willow Run.

This is the Canberra.

This is a B-52 Stratofortress.

The nose of the Privateer.

This is an A-6 that was in pieces. I liked the look of this shot.

Wandering Down Woodward

I wasn't sure how late the Roger Waters concert would be nor how long it would take me to get home from it so I decided to take today off. After doing my laundry and seeing what a nice day it was, I decided to head down to Detroit. I thought that I would do the Woodward trip that I have been thinking about but once I got north of the Detroit Institute of Arts, there was alot of construction so that put the kabosh on my plans (besides it was getting fairly late). I got alot of good pictures from downtown to the DIA though and here they are.

This was the display window of a wig shop as I was getting out of my car. I liked the reflections on the glass and the look of the wigs.

This is sculpture that is in Campus Martius. Not sure what it is supposed to be.

This is the Michigan Soldier's and Sailor's Monument in Campus Martius. This has been shown on this blog several times before because I really like it.

And of course Joe Louis' fist. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's no wonder that he beat so many of his opponents.

This is the One Woodward Building. It was designed by the same guy that designed the World Trade Center (you can see hints of that building in this building).

This is the Comidas statue on Jefferson.

And of course the Renaissance Center. It was kind of interesting because the GM logo on the front of the building was blacked out. I wonder if that was because they were filming something and GM didn't pay for product placement.

The Spirit of Detroit statue which also has been shown on this blog several times.

The Comerica Tower. This is probably one of my favorite tall buildings in Detroit.

I'm not sure what the statue is.

The building in the front is the Vinton Building which was designed by Albert Kahn (a name you've seen several times on this blog).

This used to be the Grand Trunk Ticket office. The Grand Trunk was a railroad that went from the Atlantic and through the Midwest. I think a version of it is still around these days.

Looking up at the Vinton Building.

The top of the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument.

Another shot of the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument.

Looking up at the statue at the top from a different angle.

This is the point of origin for Detroit. It was established by Judge Woodward after the fire of 1805. From here you have Woodward, Michigan Avenue and a couple of other streets.

This is the Kern's clock. It used to be on a building. It was restored to roughly its original spot by Compuware when they built their headquarters.

Looking down Woodward Avenue.

This is the Giant Tiger statue in front of Comerica Park. When I go to games, I don't get a chance to get a picture of this without throngs of people in the way so this was kind of nice to get it alone.

Looking at the statue from another angle.

The Fox Theater.

I'm not sure what building this is, but it is on Wayne State's campus. I liked the knight sculptures.

A bronze knight statue.

The thinker statue sitting in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Another angle of the statue.

This is the Horace H. Rackham Educational Memorial. This was the home of the Engineering Society of Detroit until they moved to Southfield and was built in 1941.

As I said, I had planned to go all the way up Woodward but construction kind of deterred that wish.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roger Waters - The Wall

I have been a Pink Floyd fan ever since high school and I started to listen to Roger Waters' solo stuff with his album Radio KAOS. I wish that Pink Floyd didn't have their rift because I think they are one of the few bands where the whole is greater than the sum of their parts. I enjoy Roger Waters' solo music and I enjoy it when he does Pink Floyd stuff. Well I must since this is the fifth time I've seen him in concert.

A few months ago, I heard that he was going to tour with the Wall which I thought was cool. Then I found out that he was going to actually build the wall like he did when the album first came out which I thought was even cooler. The only way it would have been cooler is if I found out that David Gilmour and Nick Mason would be touring with him (that didn't come to fruition but two out of three ain't bad).

Anyways, I apologize for the general crapiness of these pictures as they were taken with my camera phone. I wish I realized that I probably could have taken my proper camera in but I guess I'm glad I didn't because I would have spent more time behind the viewfinder and less time watching the show.

The Wall was originally released in 1979 as a double album. It mainly deals with alienation and the loss of Roger Waters' dad. It is probably the quintessential Pink Floyd album although it's not my favorite Pink Floyd album (that would probably be Meddle). It also deals with the walls that we put up between ourselves and others. At some point Roger came up with the idea to build a wall between the musicians and the audience. Because of this, the concert was only done in Los Angeles, New York and London. It was later done in 1990 in Berlin after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It was probably this album that started the wheels in motion for the breakup of Pink Floyd.

This is the opening song, "In the Flesh?". As you can see the Wall is forming on both sides of the stage. Roger is dressed up like a fascist dictator.

At the end of "In the Flesh?", a Stuka crashes into the wall. It looked pretty cool in person and unfortunately, this picture doesn't do it any justice.

This was during "Another Brick in the Wall Part I". The pictures are of people that have been killed either in combat or as the result of terrorism.

This is "Another Brick in the Wall Part II". There was a group of kids singing the chorus.

This is during "Goodbye Blue Sky". It was kind of cool as the bombers filled the screen.

This was during "Goodbye Cruel World" as the last brick is added to the Wall. The next song would be played entirely behind the wall with only a little crack allowing some of the light behind to come through.

This was during the Intermission, the pictures are of people killed in combat or terrorism.

This was during "Vera Lynn" and "Bring the Boys Back Home". The next song would be "Comfortably Numb", unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of it. It had Roger Waters alone in front of the Wall and his guitarist playing a solo on top of the Wall. This would be reminiscent of David Gilmour doing it in the original tour (the guitarist was good but not as good as David Gilmour).

This was during "In the Flesh!". Again Roger donned the dictator outfit.

This was during "Waiting for the Worms". Roger was still in the dictator outfit.

And near the end of the show, the wall collapsed. Unfortunately this picture doesn't do it much justice. I couldn't get a shot of the wall in pieces as my battery was in the process of dying,.

All in all, it was a very cool show and I'm glad I went. I seriously hope that this isn't Roger's last tour but I have a feeling it may be.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

T.L. Handy High School

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I graduated from T.L. Handy High School in Bay City, Michigan. Since I was in town anyway and its been a while since I've looked at the school, I decided to go take some pictures of it. I didn't realize that it is a fairly nice building.

Since I like to take architectural shots, this would be perfect.

This is a shot of the courtyard and the front of the building. The school is named after Thomas Lincoln Handy and this is the land where his house sat on. The entrance to the right used to be where his living room was. This land was used a coal mine but it closed in 1920.

Handy started life as a middle school and in 1946 it was converted to high school. This would have been the entrance to the old gym.

This is a picture of some of the architectural details.

This is a shot of the front of the building. The clock was donated by the class of 1953.

This is the main entrance.

Another shot of some of the details. In 1973, the school was expanded and they added a second gym and pool. Also a science wing was added.

This is a shot of a mural on the north end of the building. I'm kind of suprised it is still there but it looks faded.

This is a sign. Our school colors were red and white and our mascot was a wildcat.

A shot of the football field. If I recall, our football team wasn't the greatest.

A shot of the old stands. The building was reverted to a middle school in 1990.

I'm actually kind of glad they had the commeration. A couple of weeks ago, my mom was talking about the school she teaches at having a homecoming. She commented that it was nice that some of the alumni would come to it. It made me think that it would be nice to go to a homecoming for my high school...but alas this would be the closest I would get to one.