I’ve been walking about a bit. I’m tired and I’m sweating. Whether it’s measured in miles or degrees of humidity, Portland is a long way from Barrow. Southitude brings with it many wonderful things, but I always find the transition just a little jarring.
I enter a wine bar and sit down. I soon have a number of glasses in front of me, each filled with a taste of a different red wine. The owner begins to tell me about the first one.
…and quickly loses me.
The features of each sample are quite lost on me, though the friendliness of the people here isn’t. I eventually settle on a glass of something red. I don’t know which it is and I can hardly tell it from the others, but I like it. “It’s good.” That would be the extent of my tasting note. My tongue is a bull in this china shop. This is a good place, but perhaps it’s a bit better for a different kind of customer. Luckily, I think there is one more mural somewhere down the block, something to look forward to after enjoying my glass of something red.
Oh look, Street Art!
(Click to embiggen)
It’s been an odd year here in Barrow, rather warm in fact. Still, a bit of snow did manage to stick to a wall or three, and in due time a few creative individuals took the time to do something clever with it. I don’t have a huge batch of snow-graffiti this time, but a few of these are really cool.
In related news, I actually took the time to tweak a couple of these photos, nothing special. just enhanced the contrast and shifted the color a bit in an effort to make the art come through better. I wouldn’t say that I accomplished anything brilliant, but at least you can read the writing. This is, I think, the first post where I have actually done any post-production on a photo. Sometime, I may have to go back through my old pics and see what I can do to improve a few of them.
Click to embiggen! …come on, all the cool kids are doin’ it!
It was a good New Year here at the top of the world. It began at about Texas-Midnight when Maria Falvey posted one of my old Blackberry pictures to her blog. She cropped the picture perfectly and just generally made it much better. So, I was pretty psyched as I headed out at 11;30 to watch the fireworks. Course I didn’t realize the fireworks actually start before midnight, so I could see them going off as I walked down to the lagoon where the whole event took place. Luckily, there was plenty of bang to be had last night, so I still made it in time to see plenty of cool pyrotechnics.
I tried to get some videos of the fireworks, but my camera kept freezing up. It wasn’t working at all during the grand finale. Still, it was pretty cool standing just about directly under some of the blasts, but I have to admit the Aurora may have pwned the whole display shortly thereafter. Conditions (which include a bad photographer and a camera that wanted to hide in my pocket) were less than ideal, but I finally got some pics of the Northern Lights worth showing.
So, I walked over to the elementary school to watch the last night of the Winter games. This is an annual event here in Barrow, the community spends a week on a variety of odd contests late at night, all of it ending with the New Year. Tonight, the contest was between singles men and married men, and the same for women. The women were neck-a-neck, but the single men were getting their asses kicked. If only I had the courage to go down there and join in, …then I guess I would have to say that WE got our asses kicked.
…and I guess we did anyway.
Suffice to say, I stayed in the stands last night, but I had fun just the same, as did most everyone I could see.
Things got started a little after 1:00am in the morning and they were still going strong when I wimped out at about 4:00am. Anyhow, the photo-gallery is just below, and I’ve included a few videos afterwards. You may click on a picture to embiggen it. I don’t know everyone featured below, so if anyone from Barrow sees themselves and prefers not to be featured here, speak up and I will be happy to take your picture down. In any event, it was a great evening, and I really enjoyed all the activities.
Happy New Year everybody!
A brief clip of fireworks.
Both the men and the women have moved on to new games.
If you’re curious about the counting in this one, it’s because no-one had stepped up to challenge the singles-guy on the neck-pull. A ten-count is essentially a way of saying step-up or it’s over.
I don’t recall what this men’s game is called, but the women’s challenge in this one looks especially tough.
Ship Creek Trail near downtown Anchorage is always good for a nice walk, even in the winter. It’s at least a little odd, because there are always factories and warehouses just beyond the trees, and of course downtown is never far away, but the trees and the water work their magic quite wonderfully.
In the summer a small shack sells fishing gear near the bottom of the trail, and a good day will see plenty of people hoping to catch something, or perhaps to just pass a little time with a rod in hand. Alongside the shack, one finds an upscale restaurant on a low bridge, all of this under an overpass. The end result is an oddly rustic (almost rural) scene nestled snug into a concrete frame. The restaurant is only open for 3-months of the year
I’ve wandered down this route a time or three now and managed to get a few decent pictures. So, let’s see…
(If you click it, it will grow!)
Ship Creek in August
Ship Creek in December
This summer, I drove all the way from Anchorage to Houston.
It took about an hour.
I missed the main residential district, but I did stop to enjoy an apple pie in a lovely restaurant by a beautiful pond. Anyway, this is my second Houston. I think I like it.
…or at least its pies and its ponds.
Just how hot was Vegas this June? Well, just ask the pigeons.
Seriously, ask the pigeons.
My Vegas vacation this year wasn’t entirely a story of hyper-heatitation (it’s a word now, dammit!). My Vegas Vegation was also a story of big-ass moons, …which I failed to capture, of my friend’s Pathfinder campaign, and my Sister’s new truck. Before that it was a story of her grand-daughter, and of course it was also a story of street-performers and odd museums. It was definitely a story of Mongolian grills, Korean BBQ, and of the Komol Kitchen, …which makes the best Tom Yum Ghai Soup in the fricking Milky Way. It was also a few stories best left untold.
Okay, the untold stories aren’t that exciting. No slot machines were hassled and no hangovers were harmed in the preparations for this post.
But, more to the point, it was also a story of street art. Of course, I had already covered much of the street art in Vegas here and here. I did manage to find a few pieces I hadn’t covered before, including a wonderful historical piece in Henderson by an artist named Giuseppe Abriu. Some of them even appear to be new. So, without further mumbly -gumbo…
I’m busy flying about with a small cadre of students (got to catch up on some comments from earlier posts), but I thought I’d share a couple photos with a nice bit of contrast. Okay, so this many jelly-fish isn’t a common sight on our beach, but then again neither is my friend Lauri.