Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GE Sponsored Tour, Day Two

The second day had a lot more stuff in it.

Portrait: Photographing a photographer photographing a photographer.
Included: The first time the staff photographer smiled. {The guy on the right.}

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lunch in Sedona

 Dad if you didn’t know, has a plane.
And for the first time since we’ve started doing this it’s in AZ with us and also not broken.
So a couple days ago Dad said “Hey we’re flying to lunch. In Sedona.”


GE Sponsored Tour, Day One

THE whole point of this trip was something oil–related, I think there was a conference?
{Dad’s part in this was that he and his team were buying spare parts from GE.} Because there were so many people there GE sponsored a tour for the “Spouses” {Really the wives/Girlfriends. And Me.} Spouses is in quotes because I was the only guy {On the Tour} I saw.
 There were a bunch of organised things, but I only went on the tours of the last two days.

We were on Tour #1. 

Portrait: This was quite the official outfit, there was a guide and a guard and a photographer.
This is the photographer, I took a couple of pictures of him because of his grumpy face.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Florence: The Graveyard of San Miniato al Monte

THEY call it the Remembrance Park.
  I like a graveyard, mostly because it makes me feel better about my character names, a lot of real people had crazy names. You’ll see.

One day we had some time, and Dad wanted to walk. So we took a taxi to the church on the hill, just up the hill actually from where David used to be, and walked back. 
Around back of this church is a really great graveyard, huge and cool and free.

Friday, February 22, 2013

St. Peter’s Basilica {2/2}

WHEN you walk into St. Peter’s basilica your senses sort of overload.
 It’s a HUGE space, the walls, covered in carved marble, sometimes that is covered is gold, there are paintings of bible scenes I know nothing about and statues of Popes and Saints with names I’d never even heard, it’s overpowering.
 Frankly, I didn’t like it. It was too much all at once.

Detail: Two of these cardinals/popes were obviously the best ones, Iacobo 3 and Iacobo 2. 
{Iacobo is Latin for Jacob.} 

Detail: A Corner. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. {1/2}

ONE of the things most people go and see in Rome is St. Peter’s basilica, spiritual and political centre of the catholic version of christianity. 
  Dad kept calling it the Vatican, and while The Basilica was in Vatican City but I think the vatican is actually a bunch of offices and such in the back that tourists can’t get to. 

The Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica are way too big to see in a day, especially if you have a cold. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Rome: The Ruins Behind the Colosseum

Out behind the Colosseum are some ruins, there weren’t a lot of signs so Dad and I didn’t really have any idea what we were looking at most of the time, we decided eventually that it was where they kept the animals and where the support staff lived, because there were houses and shops.

Turns out we were looking at the roman forum.
 It’s all a little confusing, because it’s all old, all broken and mostly built on top of older ruins.

There was a big line to get in, but we decided we were italians and just bought and walked past the line. 
I’m not sure what this is, but it’s right next to the Colosseum, looks like it used to have steps going up to it, and drops down pretty seriously just inside the door. 
So, obviously they kept something in there that they didn’t want to get out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rome: Colosseum

 The Colosseum: Death Dome of the Ancients. 
  The Colosseum is weird, most of the monuments in italy, the really famous ones, are way bigger than you’d think but the Colosseum seems to fluctuate.
 When I first walked up  I thought “Wow, this is way smaller than I thought it was.” But it isn’t. Not at all. In the subsequent pictures, look for the people who are standing on the ground directly next to it. That’s the real scale.

Panorama: When we walked over to the Colosseum we ended up on a hill with some parked cars, look in the botom right hand corner of the picture.
Those teeny–tiny dots are people who are actually CLOSE to the Colosseum.

Detail: Included, people for scale.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

People In Italy

Street Photography of tourists and photographers, but overwhelmingly old italian guys in hats.

Ordering a snack unwillingly.
Stazione S.M.N., Florence

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rome: General

I have never been to New York. 
 But I imagine it has the same feeling as Rome, big and loud and kind of fast paced and stressful. 
I grew up in the country, in the forest in Alaska, One time I visited Chicago, but that’s about as big city as I got. Rome was kind of a shock to the system, especially considering the system had just realised he had a cold. 

 On the train to Lucca Dad and I sat across from this nice young australian couple who were doing eight weeks in Europe, they had just come from Rome, and they suggested a hotel; The Viminale.
It was cheap, and nice, and right in the center of everything.  Definitely suggested.

Portrait: Dad. ALMOST smiling.

Scene: The train station. I Spy: a hobo. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Original Grotesque

Before the middle ages, {or “Dark Ages”} the Greeks and subsequently the Romans had a pretty thriving culture, with art and temples and carved marble and things covered in gold, {Like the Catholics! More on that later} but then Christianity went mainstream {Thanks a lot, Constantine} and all this cool old stuff was “Lost” and destroyed because it was “Pagan”.

Fast forward to the Renaissance and Europe is rediscovering all this old stuff, like “Math” and the old stories, which were a lot more popular with artists because Nymphs and Goddesses of Beauty presented a lot more opportunities to carve naked women than the Madonna ever did.

One of the things they eventually rediscovered was Nero’s tomb.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Ponte Vecchio {and the Vasari Corridor}

This is a bridge in Italy most people know, I had always assumed it was flanked by several similar but inferior bridges and that this is how all the old bridges used to be.
 In fact the only reason this bridge is like this is because the family that used to run this town {The Medicis} wanted to get from their palace to the office without going down on the mucky street with the dirty common people.  So they had a famous architect build the Vasari Corridor on top of the shops that were already there.

Panorama: The Ponte Vecchio

Panorama: The Old Bridge. 
Here you can really see where they built on top of the old shops. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Pisa is a lovely little college town in Italy, with a river and a hat shop and about as many little art supply stores as you would like, none of which sold my malfunctioning mechanical pencil. 
{It’s very difficult to get a Parker Jotter mechanical pencil overseas. Everywhere had the pen version, but whatever.} Pisa is not a small town, {You couldn’t amble the perimeter in a day, for example} but it wasn’t as big as Florence. We did everything in an easy day trip, and walked across almost the full diameter of the town just to get from the train station to the tower.

There’s a lot more in town than the tower, {or Torre Pendente as the signs will tell you} there’s even a lot more RIGHT NEXT to the tower than you’re expecting, including dad’s favourite church. 

Oh, before we start a word of advice to other pin buyers such as myself in the past:  There are a lot of cool pins in Pisa, but don’t buy them from the little tourist shop next to the tower.
Buy them from the street vendor guy on the way back to the train station, they’re about $1.30 cheaper per for the exact same thing. 

Learned THAT the hard way.

I don’t know who this is, but he’s got an awesome hat and a sword, so obviously he was d*mn lucky.

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Everywhere I went I collected one of these little shields with the name of the place on it, except Fiesole and Lucca.
Because there I didn’t see any.

The Inside of the Duomo, and the Baptistery

The inside of the duomo is very nice, but it’s also very big and very dark and I left the tripod in America. {SO HEAVY}
So bear with me here.

WARNING TO RELIGIOUS/UPTIGHT PEOPLE: There are some pictures of an old painting where the devil or somebody is stuffing sinners in his mouth.
It’s bloody and kind of gross, but still, it’s religion.
Oh, there’s also an actual human skull.
I think it’s a saint, or something.

 Detail: Doors with sheep on them. 
They’re really big on sheep here.

The main interior of the duomo, walk up view.

Friday, February 08, 2013

I Am Not a Spammer.

The Grand Hotel Baglioni

This is a very cool hotel, it’s not a super cheap hotel but it’s at most ten minutes by foot from anything you might want to see in Florence. Everything cool is within about a mile, including {But not limited to} the Duomo and Michelangelo’s David.
 If you can, try and do what we did and get a multinational oil corporation to pay for it.

Scene: The Grand Hotel Baglioni

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Outside of the Duomo, and the Bell–Tower.

 In Florence Italy there is a giant cathedral {Or Duomo} called the Santa Maria Del Fiore, or Saint Mary of the Flower, the flower of course being Jesus.

It’s really, really big, and impressive, and beautiful and has kept me from being lost on several occasions because it points almost exactly west, so it’s like having a giant compass you can see from almost everywhere.

It also helps that all the streets with cool stuff radiate from it, so most times I would Goto:Duomo Turn: Left/right and amble for awhile until I got there.

In our hotel “On the Roof” {really more like a penthouse} there was a breakfast type restaurant, with a buffet and giant windows. This picture was taken from inside, there.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


   Lucca is a kind of small–seeming walled town over by pisa.
Small–seeming because there’s really two parts to it, defined by the old wall. Inside the wall it’s very old–timey and Italian, there’s lots of churches and tourist stuff. People also live there, but the wall part’s not that big, Dad and I ambled all the way around it in an afternoon.
  Outside the wall is a proper town, There was a cathedral and the train station, it looked like the sort of place there’d be a grocery store, for example. We didn’t go over there, really. Dad was hungry and I had the beginnings of a cold.

{Yog Yog Yog}

I overexposed this picture by like 1&1/2 stops through a green window, so this is the best recovery I could do. But it’s a building where they apparently produce answers!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Fiesole; tiny historic town on the top of the hill next to florence. 
  The first day we went up there it was foggy, and the windows on the bus were so fogged we couldn’t see out. 
I guessed just from how long it took that Fiesole must have been…five miles at least from the city, but when I climbed the duomo and I could see the whole city laid out there’s only about a block of green between the city edge and the hill Fiesole’s on.  

Whomping willows  in the morning fog.

The town square.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Florence, [Walk Around 2]

Warning: There are a couple of pictures of official reproductions of the world–famous statue by Michelangelo; David.
  He’s naked. But he’s also a statue.
  If you’re up–tight or super religious or something; You’ve Been Warned. 
     You can see his little carved…Erhgh–hurm. If that bothers you please go do something else.
Also: There’s a statue of Perseus and Medusa’s head. It’s copper or something, but still kind of gross.

Detail: San Lorenzo windows.

Detail: Piazza della Repubblica.

This thing is actually really cool, I was wandering around the Piazza della Repubblica and I noticed this big clump of people, all staring at a thing. So, like a human I had to know what this thing that was so interesting was.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Florence, [Walk Around 1]

  So I had a wonderful trip to Italy recently,  I went to Florence, mainly, but also Rome, Lucca, Fiezole…Others? God, So many places I forgot about some. The point is I took a ton of pictures.
  Blogger doesn’t handle albums very well, I kind of thought Facebook did but they keep losing my captions and randomly deciding I’m a spammer.
  They also decided that Michelangelo’s David {You know, the world famous statue?} constitutes “Nudity”.  HE’S A STATUE NOT A REAL PERSON AND HAS BEEN NAKED SINCE THE FRIKKIN’  RENAISSANCE. .

  Sorry, american totalitarian censorship really gets my goat, especially when it randomly deletes my work.

  Anyway, this blog is going to be my hard copy.  There’s 64 pictures in this folder, I’m going to post 32 today and 32 tomorrow,  because that’s kind of a lot for anybody to look at.
  Subject Matter: General things in florence, {wall details, a hat shop, other cool stuff.} NOT the big tourist stuff like the Ponte Vecchio or the Duomo, because I’m working on specific posts for those.


Pink Umbrella.