I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Monday, January 25, 2021

The other side of the pyramids

You don't see the worst of the crowds in these two pictures, but these are much more typical of the way I remember Giza. The chairs in front of the Sphinx are for the nightly sound and light show; the picture on the right is a closeup of the Great Pyramid.

Flashback: Giza 2009

See the pyramids along the Nile....

I made a point of not posting photos of the pyramids when I first wrote about this trip; everyone knows what they look like, right? But I like this picture because from this angle they seem to rise out of empty desert and the cacophonous city of Cairo is reduced to a hazy background. 

What you don't see in this picture: below the two pyramids on the left are approximately a thousand tour buses, the fifty thousand tourists they disgorged, countless pushy vendors hawking cheap souvenirs, and one Sphinx. I took this picture either before or after my camel ride, so there was another mob of tourists and camels and camel wranglers right behind me.

But you can't see any of that here. Just for this one picture, you can actually look at the pyramids towering over the desert minus all the distractions.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

I have found some decent pictures digging through the old folders. (And a lot of junk, which it gave me great satisfaction to trash. During the early years of my decade of serious travel, I would apparently take a picture of almost anything.)

This pretty creature is a bush stone curlew in Sydney.

Street scene, Alexandria

I thought that harbor picture would look better in black and white because the color was so bad, but the quality wasn't worth the effort.

This picture, on the other hand, does work in black and white. I got very few pictures in Alexandria because my camera battery died, and I never even bothered to process this one.

But I like it.  

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Flashback: Alexandria 2009

After looking through the Saqqara photos, I started going through the rest of the pictures from that trip. Not surprisingly, I don't remember even seeing some of some of the sights I photographed -- the harbor in Alexandria, for example. I remember the highway along the coast, and the library, but not the fort or the harbor.

This isn't a very good picture, but I like that cluster of boats and the solid wall of old buildings in the background. 

Saturday reflections

The mask hanging from the rear view mirror is a nice pandemic marker, in case I ever wonder when I took this picture.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Urban poetry

West 44th Street, in the early days of the pandemic. 

Before everything was shut down. Before we all had to stay home. 


Thursday, January 21, 2021

You can't judge a book by its cover 2


On second thought, the cover for The Return of the King is just as bad.

Not only does Aragorn exude all the nobility and passion of a tax preparer finding a really good deduction, but Gandalf looks like the aging ranch hand in a really bad western.

I don't even know who those other people are supposed to be.

You really can't judge a book by its cover


At least where The Lord of the Rings is concerned.

This is part of a boxed set, including The Hobbit, that I've had for decades. (I'm assuming that the 50th Anniversary celebrated here is the publication of The Hobbit, which was in 1937. So I probably bought this in the late Eighties-early Nineties.)

The cover art on all of the books is truly terrible, but I think the depiction of Legolas here is by far the worst. What is with that hair? Were all the Elven barbers watching too much MTV?

If Peter Jackson had made Legolas look like that in his movies, no one would ever have hired Orlando Bloom for any project, ever again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inauguration Day


These are the candles I lit last night for the Covid memorial -- the first national acknowledgement of this ongoing tragedy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

These thoroughly creepy sand dunes on Mars were photographed by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Martian sand dunes are unevenly covered with carbon dioxide frost, creating patterns of light and dark, but why these particular dunes, in the Kunowsky crater, have stripes is a mystery.

Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA; Processing: Włodek Głażewski

Monday, January 18, 2021

Another pyramid


I took this picture through the bus window as we passed through Cairo on our way back to Alexandria.

I like the crappiness of it, the ancient shape behind the cars and modern building, and that eerie light.

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