Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Google+ Auto Awesome

I have my phone set up to upload every photo I take with my phone to Google+ whenever my phone is connected to wifi. A fairly new feature has popped up on Google+ that I am a big fan of. It is called Auto Awesome. What Auto Awesome does is look at your photos and determine if any of them can be either stitched together to make a panorama or stacked to make an animated gif. I find myself now taking pictures and hoping that after they are uploaded to Google+ that Auto Awesome can then turn them into animated gifs or panoramas. The animated gif feature is pretty reliable but I have found that the panorama feature doesn't kick in that often.

During my recent trip to Michigan we took a boat ride on Lake Leelanau. I took a several pictures of the shoreline, some in color and some in black and white. Auto Awesome grabbed two photos, one in color and one in black and white and stitched them together. I love the effect it created. I wish that would happen more often.


Monday, October 28, 2013

A Trip to Comerica Park

Several months ago I made plans to visit my family in Michigan in early October. I don't get up there a lot so when I do I try to arrange my trips so I can experience different seasons. This time I went up in early October. I hadn't been in Michigan in October since October of 1985. A couple of weeks before my trip the Tigers clinched their divisional title. On a whim I visited the team's website and checked on tickets for the first home game of the series that was to be played on October 8th. Tickets must have gone on sale that morning because all the best seats were still available. I knew if I snatched up two tickets my dad would be willing to go so I did just that.

My dad has a second house in Lewiston, MI and he suggested we stay there the night before the game because that would put us thirty minutes closer to Detroit. Sounded reasonable to me so we did that. That evening I had an amazing cheeseburger at Talley's Log Cabin Bar and a few Jack and Cokes. Why Jack and Coke? Because that part of Michigan appears not to know that there are beers in this world not made by Anheuser Busch or Miller. I think their motto is "If it's not piss yellow we won't serve it to a fellow."

The game started at 1 pm so we awoke at 6am, had breakfast and we were on the road by 7:30. We made good time and when we got into the city I had my directions ready to go. We were going to get off I-75 about a mile north of the ballpark and take surface roads to an area with parking lots that I thought would work. We got into the right lane a little early ran out on us and before dad could switch lanes we were exiting onto another freeway that was going west rather than south. Uh oh. I told dad to take the next exit and we ended up on another freeway going north. We took that first exit which dumped us onto a surface street. We parked in some anonymous parking lot for an old office building. I grabbed my phone, found where we were and, praise Jebus, we were just a few blocks from the road I was shooting for. We were too far north but we could get there easily and follow the road south to the parking area. We did that and were sitting in our seats by noon.

When the Tigers moved from Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park I was one of those guys who pissed and moaned about the move. After visiting Comerica Park for the first time I can say I was wrong. Comerica Park is an amazing facility. Tiger stadium had the history and a certain atmosphere but as a destination it wasn't that great. Comerica Park offers great views for the fan there to see the game and only the game and it also offers an experience for the casual fan. It does that while pleasing both and not short changing either. That can't be easy to achieve.

A few pictures.

Miguel Cabrera rounding first base after hitting a single. You can see Verlander with his arms draped over the dugout railing. I love how he is an active cheerleader when he is not pitching

Prince Fielder takes a mighty swing

Torii Hunter in right field

Torri Hunter makes a catch

Outfielders Jhonny Peralta, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter take a knee in centerfield during a pitching change

Prince Fielder at first base

My dad reading an inscription on one of the statues

The Ty Cobb statue
Try Cobb statue #alds

A panoramic view from our seats
Comerica Pano 02

Saturday, October 26, 2013


A couple months back Melanie and I watched an excellent drama on BBC America called Broadchurch. It's a depressing murder mystery involving the death of a boy in a small seaside town in England. It starts out depressing and goes downhill from there. It's excellent but it's brutal. Like life.

I did some searching on where it was filmed...well, I checked the Internet Movie Database, I guess that counts as searching. Some amazingly beautiful cliffs feature prominently in the story and are seen in the background several times. These cliffs and the small seaside port are in a town called West Bay. You can see the location below.

View Larger Map

I found some photographs of the cliffs on Flickr.

Here you can see what really grabbed me about these cliffs. They are high and shear and tower over the ocean but you can walk up there from the small town of West Bay.

West Bay, Dorset, England

A view of the cliffs from the water. You can see the cliffs rise and fall. It must be an amazing day hike.

West Bay - Dorsets Jurrasic Coast

A view of the West Bay area from a bit further west. I think this was taken at the base of the cliff you can walk up from the village.


A closer view of the cliffs with a hiker ascending.


This is the village of West Bay. This is the view we saw several times while watching Broadchurch.

West Bay, Dorset

Looking to the west from one of the breakewaters

West Bay, Dorset

Looking down on the village of West Bay from the cliff to the east

West Bay, Dorset

Great, just what I needed, another place in England I want to see.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Twitter Conversation of the Day

William Shatner tweeted this:

The lead singer of Gwar answered this way. Brilliant.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Talladega Carnage

Hey, it's shitty racing but at least restrictor plate racing creates carnage at the end.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ruins of Detroit

Since we were in Detroit for the Tigers game I had my open for any ruins to photograph. There were more than I thought there would be near the ballpark. This building here stood out. It's about twelve stories tall and has foliage growing on the roof and someone painted the word zombieland across the top.



I found an even better picture by someone else here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Northern Lights

Growing up in Michigan I had seen very faint northern lights, mostly in the winter. The lights I saw were white in color and seemed like weak heat lightning. Not too impressive other than being the glow of the northern lights. Tuesday, just when full darkness hit the real northern lights came out for about twenty minutes. Initially, we thought the lights were from the town of Bellaire but I noticed that they were moving and one part of the lights towered up into the sky almost to 45 degrees above the horizon. The lights were also slightly green. Northern lights! I took a picture which you can see below. Nothing like the dramatic pictures of the lights you can find elsewhere but you can see the green tint and that's good enough for me. You can see the lights of Bellaire in the picture. They are the white glow in the bottom right corner of the northern lights.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Comerica Park Panorama

My dad and I had a full Monday this week. we awoke at 6 am and drove to Detroit from Lewiston, MI. We watched a playoff baseball game at Comerica Park and turned around and drove back to Alden, MI. We arrived home at 10:30 pm. Long day, but worth it. I think it was worth it because, dang, that was a long day. Long day. Long, long day.

Naturally, I took a panorama from out seat.

Comerica Pano 02

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Sunset Panorama

Just west of my Mom's house is an overlook that gives you a view of Lake Leelanau and Grand Traverse Bay. I discovered it while trespassing a few years ago. It really is a great spot and it was a nice surprise when I found it. Whoever owns the land has mowed and put in a picnic table in the area with the best view. I went up there tonight and took this panorama of the sunset. You can see Lake Leelanau in the bottom right corner.

hill pano 4