Category Archives: travel

Five for Friday – Impressive Rock Formations

This is likely just a cheesy attempt to highlight some of my favorite bands, so I thought I should also include something scholarly, therefore… Five for Friday – Impressive Rock Formations:

Wave Rock – Australia

This 15 meters high and 110 meters long impressive natural rock formation is located in Western Australia. It derives its name from the fact that it is shaped like a large, smooth wave. The total outcrop covers several hectares. The unusual shape of the rock is greatly highlighted by vertical darker streaks of algae, which grow on the surface of the wave, and by dark black stains which change to brown during the dry season.

The Beatles – England

The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England: John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Former members included Pete Best (drums, vocals) and Stuart Sutcliffe (bass, vocals). Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and skiffle, the group worked with different musical genres, ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, style and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon successful solo careers.

 The Wave – USA

This spectacular sandstone formation called “The Wave” is located on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, Arizona. This incredible formation can be reached by hiking approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) across rugged, trail less landscape, making the round-trip to and from The Wave a nearly 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) hike that climbs about 350 feet (107 meters) in altitude.

Aerosmith – USA

 Aerosmith is an American hard rock band, sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”.  Their style, rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, glam, and rhythm and blues, which has inspired many subsequent rock artists.  The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970.  Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith.  By 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.  They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972 and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album.  In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.  By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army.”

Brimham Rock – England

 This 300 meters high incredible rock formation located on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, England is part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

…and a bonus:

The Traveling Wilburys – Earth

Traveling Wilburys was a supergroup consisting of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.  The band recorded two albums during the two years they were together.  “Wilburys” was a slang term coined by Harrison and Lynne during the recording of Cloud Nine as a pet name for various types of equipment in the recording studio.  The term was used again when the entire group was together.  Harrison suggested “The Trembling Wilburys” as the group’s name; instead, Lynne suggested “Traveling”, which was agreed on by the group.

Enjoy!

Vanity of Vanities

At last, an honest driver.  Although I didn’t take this photo, this is what I see daily – people more concerned about themselves than they are about me.  What happened to me?  Why aren’t we thinking about me?  I have simple expectations when I drive – please stay out of my way (I said please, so I am at least polite).

Some Most All of the above is probably more true than I would like to admit, but I don’t think I would ever have the courage to get this vanity plate:

Enjoy!

Carpooling – An American Tradition

Carpooling (car-sharing, in it’s inception) is historic and patriotic – an effort to save resources for the war effort during World War II (besides, who would want to be responsible for this passenger?). 

It’s interesting the tactics we will take to guilt people into helpful behaviors.  These days, you ride with Al Gore if you carpool:

Enjoy!

Fun with Balloon Missiles

Now this could be fun.  Just tie these balloon missiles on the back of your vehicle and drive like crazy.  Can you imagine the innocent commuter who is driving along the freeway then looks over to see this go by?  It would be fun just to see it unfold:

Enjoy!

Five for Friday – Unique Bicycles

Transportation is so important and one might as well look good getting from here to there.  Combine that thought with some creative people and you get creative modes of transportation (you can find more bikes here).  Here are five unique bicycles (plus a bonus for the thirsty):

This person’s heart might still be in San Francisco and San Francisco is definitely in their bike:

This bike requires expensive tires, unless you use retreads:

I imagine I’d be wearing a helmet too if I were backwards on this huge bike:

Chopper bikes are cool… if you are about 12:

Romeo might have liked this bike, but I’m not sure about the modern day purpose:

Here’s a bonus, if you get thirsty while riding:

bike-pub

Enjoy!

Droll Troll

Although this is an incredible likeness, this is obviously photoshopped since I haven’t been to Seattle in years (and was just a child at the time).  What a phun photo!  It reminds me of when I visited London and went to Drury Lane to see if there really was a Muffin Man.

Enjoy!

A Day with THE Mouse

I took my kids to Disneyland yesterday (my wife was out of town) and learned a few important things.

  1. September and January are the optimal times to go to Disneyland if you wish to avoid crowds.
  2. A stroller is an annoyance to everyone but the person pushing it.
  3. The Indiana Jones ride hurts.
  4. My kids are cool.

Ok, so I already knew #4, but the others were kind of new – well, actually I had ridden Indiana Jones on a prior trip and had forgotten how bruised one can get.  It’s a fun ride, but it’s fun that hurts.

Regarding attendance, I noticed some interesting (at least to me) things about the way Disney takes care of business.  For example, although attendance appeared down, they did not want it to seem so.  As we were walking through the park, there was every indication that the park was full.  The lines for food seemed about right and the lines for rides were spilling out of the entrances to the rides.  However, I noticed that only a few of the windows at the food counters were open and most of the lines for the rides were fairly straight shots into the ride rather than the famous Disney twists and turns around ropes, chains, and poles.  I started asking employees if attendance was down and the typical answer was, “not for September.”  One employee actually was willing to admit that September and January are their slow months.  She attributed September slowness to “back to school” and January to “the rainy month.”  We were able to ride 15 rides, take in a show, and eat lunch and dinner in about an eight hour period.  We arrived at 9am and planned to stay until about 10 or 11pm, but by 5pm had done everything we wanted to do, so we left for home.

Most of the people who were at Disneyland yesterday were in Fantasyland.  We cut through there a couple of times on our way across the park.  The lines were really long (winding around) and strollers were everywhere.  It looked like the pictures I’ve seen of China with all the bicycles.  Almost all stroller drivers expected everyone else to yield (probably appropriate, but still annoying – and, yes, I did purposely observe their driving habits).  As we passed through I expected to see happy families (this is the “happiest place on earth” after all), but instead I noticed that very few people were actually smiling.  It was hot, kids looked tired, and parents looked bored.  Some fun!

As I mentioned, my kids are cool.  They had a great time, were polite to everyone, said thanks at all the appropriate times and to all the appropriate people, appeared genuinely grateful for the day, took turns at all the times they should have done so, and were patient in the lines (as they should have been, since our longest wait was 20 minutes at Space Mountain – no other line was longer than 15 minutes).  Actually, at one point I mentioned that the line to one ride looked kind of long from the outside and my kids looked at me and (almost) in unison said, “it is Disneyland, dad.  What do you expect?”

Their mother has raised them well.