Friday, July 11, 2008

Skagway, Alaska - Waterfalls

As we were leaving Skagway, I noticed some large water falls that were running down the mountains. With all of the snow on the mountain and then the melt off in the spring there are a lot of these all over. Some of the falls were hidden by the trees, some you would see at the bottom where they spilled onto the shore. This one ran from the top to the bottom and emptied into the bay.

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Juneau, Alaska - Baby Orca

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Juneau, Alaska - Eagle

Same eagle, different pose.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


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Leaving Juneau

The weather for our day in Juneau was beautiful and bright. Here is what our departure looked like.

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Hubbard Glacier

This is a shot of Hubbard Glacier on the right and the black to the left is Turner Glacier (I think).

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Juneau - Orcas

Three baby orcas playing as the pod cruises along. This image has been cropped.

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Hubbard Ice Floe

Another example of the beautiful blue color that comes out of the glacial ice. This photo was not adjusted, the blue is much brighter than the mist covered mountains behind.

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Hubbard Glacier - Panorama

This is two photos merged together and one was adjusted to match the lighting of the other. Seeing the glacier was amazing; you can hear it moan and pop. The blue part of the glacier didn't calve while we were there, but a part of the black stuff did. The light here was terrible as there was low cloud cover and a heavy mist, but you can still see the beautiful blue colors in the glacier. What is really amazing about the glacier is how huge it is! Take a look at this map (Wikipedia map) and see how large the glacier really is. We only saw a very small part of the glacier at the leading edge that calves into Disenchantment Bay.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Orca - Under water

As I mentioned in a previous post, orca watching is a lot more fun than humpbacks. On our trip with Orca Enterprises, the whales came right up to the boat! This pod of whales had two or three babys that were jumping out of the water and swimming on their backs. It was a great trip.

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Juneau, Alaska - Whale Tail

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Juneau, Alaska - Eagle

Juneau Alaska - Humpback Whale

While in Juneau, we went on a whale watching trip with Captain Larry - Orca Enterprises. We read a lot of great reviews for this tour group and they came through for us. Now, here is my take on whale watching. First, don't go on the cruise excursion because they are generally larger boats with lots of people and it is harder to get a good look. Second, humpback whale watching is not very exciting if all they are doing is swimming along and feeding. We were told that the humpbacks don't bubble feed this time of year in Alaska and they generally breach in Hawaii, not Alaska. So, watching humpback runs like this - you see the dorsal, dorsal, dorsal, dorsal, dorsal, full back, TAIL! and dive. Then you wait until they come up and repeat. You never really get a good look at the whale. Yes, it is beautiful and you should see them. I really wanted to see them bubble feed and breach...and so we are going to Hawaii to see that! In short, this photo is the highlight of humpback watching. Now, if you want super cool whale watching...Orcas!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

British Columbia, CA

This was on our way back from the Inside Passage, heading to British Columbia. The nights are amazing as the sun sets (but not really). The low clouds made it look dark, but behind the clouds the light was fresh and bright!

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Hoonah - Parking

Imagine getting up every day and heading across the street to the dock to head off to work. I would imagine that the winters here are very rough, but the day we were there was nice (overcast, but nice) and the surrounding mountains, harbor and wildlife are amazing.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hoonah - Ocean Front

Hoonah was a beautiful place, as was all of Alaska. It was interesting to consider that this ocean front property any other place in the US (or the world) would be priced at a premium, well beyond the means of the people that lived in this fishing village. But, as it is, they have their own view of the harbor and enjoy the fruits of the ocean.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Hoonah - Wild Life

The first stop on our cruise was Hoonah. Hoonah was a small town with a salmon processing plant turned into a small indoor shopping area and a fish-n-chips restaurant. We saw a bunch of bald eagles there. This photo is wildlife at it's best. No, not the young bald eagle on the phone pole, the group of Malaysians grabbing their cameras to get a shot.

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Granville Island Market

We spent a day in Vancouver, BC before we left on our cruise. We have been here before and enjoy walking around the city and Granville Island. Granville Island has some shops, a market with a lot of different food stalls (baked goods, fresh fruit, summer rolls, etc.).

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Granville Island - Juggler

This kid was doing a show in the square at Granville Island. Some of his stuff was pretty funny.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Carnival Cruise - Leaving New York

We went on a cruise in August on the Carnival Victory. The ship left from New York, stopped in St. John, New Brunswick, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia before returning to New York. When you see New York City on television they do a great job of getting the right shot and showing the glitz. The harbor was very dirty, but the view of the city was much better as we departed. Take a look at my Flickr folder for more photos of New York Harbor.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

San Francisco - A mural on the side of a sporting goods store. See more of my San Francisco photos here.

San Francisco - Sail boats in the bay as we were leaving. See more of my San Francisco photos here.

San Francisco - Golden Gate bridge. This shot was taken from our room balcony; so, I couldn't get the entire bridge. See more of my San Francisco photos here.

San Francisco - Leaving the bay. See more of my San Francisco photos here.

San Francisco - A restored ship. See more of my San Francisco photos here.

Vancouver, BC - The port in Vancouver was much nicer than San Pedro.

Victoria, BC - It was an amazing day. We were out there to see the orcas, but the bay and mountains were just beautiful.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. Psalm 36:6

The bay in San Pedro, California. Leaving on the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship Vision of the Seas. As we left the bay, we sailed into a complete fog. I'm not from the LA area, so I can't tell you if that is smog or thick fog and clouds.

Orcas in Victoria - The male with the large dorsal is Ruffles. You can see more of the whales in my Flickr account.

Victoria from the cruise ship

Sunset storm - This is in Ohio

Adult and youth orca in Victoria, BC

Friday, September 17, 2004

Blue Man Group - Chicago

My wife and I went to see the Blue Man Group in Chicago in May 2004. I read some reviews and they gave me an idea of some things that would occur during the show, but we weren't exactly sure what to expect. Although I did appreciate knowing that I shouldn't sit in the first 4 rows if I didn't want to get sprayed with paint or other liquids during the performance.

We went to the performance at the Briar Street Theatre and ended up sitting near the back of the theatre in row "U". The show was a lot of fun and alternates between a Blue Man version of mime and some great percussion with a rock-jazz sound.

My one complaint would be the cost of tickets, $56 each. I thought that was a bit steep for a show. But, the house was packed; so, it looks like simple supply and demand.

One of the neat things about the Blue Man Group is that they have a lot of instruments that look like they made them. I am not sure if they were the originators of the PVC (plastic tubing) instruments or not, but they use them in their act extensively. Seeing these instruments made from PVC made me think that it would be fun to make one with my kids. I started by searching the internet and found some web sites that detail the process of making a drumbone. If we actually get this to work, I will post a photo and some recordings to let you know what it sounds like.

In the process of searching for PVC instrument information, I found the Blue Man Library site that has a lot of information about the group. One thing that I found very interesting is that the Blue Man Group is really a bunch of groups that play in different venues. In an entertainment world that is focused on exalting the individual, the Blue Man Group has instead exalted their art by sharing the music, sets, performance, instruments and the unique idea of "Blue Men" with other artist. You see this as a normal part of the Broadway theatre, but not normally with a band of any musical genre. I would be interested to hear of other groups that have duplicated their musical experience.

If you are looking for something different to do while on vacation, I would recommend the Blue Man experience. Check out their site for tickets and see which venue is close to you. The show is suitable for any age that enjoys music and silliness. The music is occasionally loud; so, take that into consideration for younger children or older people that don't like loud music. Sit anywhere in the theatre and enjoy the show.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Faster internet searces with Vivisimo Clustered Searching

I know, when you see the title you think, "what?".

Vivismo is an internet search site to speed the process of elimination when you do an internet search. Instead of browsing a few thousand (if you are lucky) entries, you see the results grouped into categories.

Try this as an example. Say you want to search for information about monkeys in space. Go to Google and enter the text "space monkey" without the quotes. When I did the search on Google, my result list was 1,140,000 entries long. Now, I know the entry I want is there; but on what page?

Now go to Vivismo and enter the same text, "space monkey" and search. You will see 10 or so major groupings for the result set on the left. By scanning the groups, you can see that the one you are looking for would be in the Astronaut group. Click the (+) sign next to the Astronaut text and you will see the groups further delineated. Click on "Animal Astronauts" and you should see two references to real monkeys in space.

Try this with some of your usual searches and see if the Vivismo clustering helps.