Saturday, August 01, 2009

Photo of the Day - 01 Aug 09

Dubai - Bank Entrance 
Dubai, UAE - Bank Entrance
Bank - Glass-fronted Entrance

Here's another photo from my visit to Dubai in 2004; it is the front door of a bank in downtown Dubai. The use of this kind of glass is very common in Dubai -- entire buildings are covered in beautiful cobalt and dragonfly-green glass, with gold-colored ornamental metal tracery. It's a gorgeous city, a clutch of jewels laid out in the middle of the desert.

Contrasting with the absolutely stunning buildings such as this one are places like (not pictured) "T.G.I. Thursdays". To quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up. It makes sense, though, since Friday is the start of the weekend in Dubai. Some officers from the ship went there and I gathered from their stories that the place doubled as a brothel. I'm glad I was not there.

Instead, I was wandering throughout the city with friends and a camera, exploring the spice souk, the City Center Mall, and other interesting places. I didn't visit very many places in the Middle East, I'm afraid; Dubai really is the only one I'd be interested in visiting again.

Don't you think that the design on the bank's entranceway would make a great geocoin?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Photo of the day - 30 July 09

Dubai - at the Spice Souk 
Dubai, UAE - at the Spice Souk
Spices, Spices, Four Bags Full

During my (one and only, so far) deployment to the Middle East in USS McFAUL (DDG-74), we visited the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is an amazingly beautiful city. I and my buddies checked out the spice souk (bazaar). There were beautiful bags of spices -- and minerals, too -- everywhere.

One guy pulled us (women) into his store and tried to sell us breast-enlargement cream. Oy, weh! Still, Dubai was my absolute favorite of the various Middle Eastern places we went.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Photo of the Day - 28 July 09

Summer & Patrick at Hachinohe Park 
Summer & Pat explore Hachinohe Park
Summer & Dad at Hachinohe Park


All weekend long, the Air Force weathercasters teased us with the notion that Monday would be clear. Since that was my (single) day off this week, we planned to go check out the Hachinohe Park & Children's Land. Of course, come the day itself, it was definitely threatening to rain. But we went anyway.


One of the things about driving using an atlas is that the atlas simply marks where the streets & roads are. It tells you nothing about the character of where you'll be driving -- and the map that I have is decidedly uninformative about the width of the road, too. So we drove through some highly entertaining portions of Hachinohe, including along what appeared to be Hachinohe's main city street. We'll definitely try to go back there before we leave; the street featured several interesting bronze statues of which I'd like to go back and get photos.


We arrived at the Hachinohe Park & Children's Land and, lo, it was closed (closed on Mondays). But we still got a chance to wander around before the rain really started coming down. Not pictured: the extensive small-scale amusement park (complete with ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and other fun stuff for children), the petting zoo, or the botanical gardens. That'll have to wait for a sunnier non-Monday-or-Tuesday-after-National-Holiday.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Photo of the Day - 26 July 09

USAF Museum Tour - View of an Engine 
View of an Engine
This is a photo taken while working on one of my favorite geocaches, "USAF Museum Tour. I am afraid that I forget what in which aircraft (plural) this engine was the prime mover, but the engine itself was absolutely fascinating and beautiful. This geocache is called a "multi-cache" (tho I think it could more properly be called a Mystery cache) and requires you to tour the entire museum, collecting clues, in order to figure out the coordinates to the actual cache. It was one of the best days caching I've ever had!