Thanks to all of you who have been frequenting the site. I keep an eye on the stats and my page visits have increased month over month for the last 6 months.
Today, we broke the 5000 page visit metric! Thanks to those who are actually reading.
This summer, my wife was hired to photograph a wedding on the island of Kauai. We spent a week there enjoying what Hawaii's north island had to offer. We hiked. We drank fruity drinks. We got to experience all that Kauai had to offer. It is one awesome place! I thought that in light of all of the winter weather we have had (i saw 32" of snow on the news last night) that I would post an image from our summer trip. This was taken on a film camera (YES!! You CAN still buy film)
I usually pride myself on being very modest about what I do. Today, I will permit myself to gush for a short minute about a recent accomplishment. The Statesman newspaper of Austin, TX recently contacted me about using a photo in their paper. It was a photo that I took quite some time ago and posted on this blog in which it was noticed.
Today, their article ran in the print version, and my photo was included. If anyone is interested in reading the online version, it's quite scandalous!!, then click on this link to go there.
You may be asking now, "Curt, did you even work when you went to Mexico??" to which I would answer, yes like a dog. I could bore you with the grind of PFMEA (process failure mode & effects analysis) but I'd kill you with boredom and jargon. Suffice to say, there was plenty of work going on. What happened after dark though, was much more worth talking about.
On the flight in, I was watching the approaching landscape as I take much interest in doing when I am on the flights. I like window seats. I noticed right before we landed, that there was this aggregate processing looking plant along the tracks. Knowing that we flew in right over it, and trusting my judgement to google maps once more, I picked out what I thought was the place I saw, and ventured out late one evening.
What I found was a barb wire fence surrounded plant. I cant tell whether this place is still in operation or what, but it was as cool looking from the ground as it was from the air. Even more so. When I tried finding a way to get closer though, I had already snapped a few photos, and the sound of a pretty angry barking dog swayed me to make my way back to the hotel room. I managed a couple decent shots. The one photo with the large black shape was taken by holding the camera up against a tree and shooting up. This blocked out the very orange colored overhead light.
A notice to my readers, all 7 of you now, I will be out of town for the next week to Mexico on work business. So don't expect a blitz of posts like I have been doing. There will be some photos when I get back, I assure you. In the meantime, I leave you with a few portraits Ive taken over the last week, (or at least as much of a portrait a wide angle lens will take) to show that I DO shoot more than just buildings and construction sites. Have a good week!
The purveyors of fine Italian cooking "Mama Carollas Old Italian" have opened up a new source of dining excellence. Or so they hope to achieve that lofty title. My wife and I finally made a stop this recent Saturday morning to have breakfast there. Normally, we can be found on a Saturday or Sunday morning taking up space at the Keystone Deli a very "blue collar" for lack of better description, restaurant. We live in the area and have become quite fond of the biscuits n gravy that can be had cheaply at the "Deli", aptly named because of the sign over top of the store front. The Deli is located in an older box store area at the intersection of Keystone and 52nd street. By contrast, the new "Good Morning Mama's Cafe" is located further west on 54th street not far from College Ave. To say that the two places look different is an understatement! The Deli shows years of service in the stained drop ceiling tattered rug and old wall dressing. However, this doesnt keep people away as it is normally packed of a weekend. What we found at Good Morning Mama's wasn't much different at least when counting the density of people packing the establishment. However, the atmosphere of Mama's is much more desirable. From its lofty ceilings to near fluorescent paint scheme, its a much more inviting store front to the passer by. What was once a Phillips 66 filling station turned service station now finds itself aligned in a much tastier retail reincarnation. The photos I took that day dont do justice to just how "loud" the place looks. Its also loud inside in that the past life of a garage has past on one trait, the echo, to this new place. To that end, its tough to carry a quiet conversation.
However, I digress. I would be remiss to not have ordered "Boomers" aka biscuits n gravy. What showed up were 4 smaller than I expected biscuits with sausage gravy over top. When I dug in though, a smile creased my face and I kept on eating. I cannot say that there is a competition brewing here between the deli's version and mama's version. Mama's has some sort of added ingredient. But it's tasty no doubt. The french toast my wife had was also quite tasty.
That said, the cost of the meal, was near double what we normally pay for breakfast for two at the Deli. A byproduct no doubt, of the reputation that Mama's has established next door at their fine Italian dinner destination.
If news spreads, and it should of this place, I foresee a new fixture in the Broad Ripple breakfast/lunch scene. However, be prepared to pay somewhere between the Keystone Deli, and Petite Chou price for a good meal!
I had a really long wordy type of post in my head for this but instead, I will let the photos that I took do the talking since that really is what this blog is about, showing off the photos and adding some details here and there. I get carried away sometimes. Without further ado, onto the photos.
Our trip took us from Indy, to Atlanta for one night, and then onto Orlando, FL. I saw a couple of neat things in Atlanta. We had hoped to ride the commuter rail and actually got a hotel in walking distance but after 8 hours in a car, we were ready to take it easy. We walked up and down Peachtree NE and saw some fun things and ultimately ended up watching the Colts and Jags game in a bar. Here are a couple photos from Atlanta.
This structure caught my eye. With all the CVS and Walgreens stores going up all over hell and creation, this was a smart one. Right up to the street with the tell-tale folding front doors and everything. The photo is a tad overexposed, but its all I got.
One last photo that I thought was a lot of fun. Shot from the 17th floor balcony of our room at the Georgian Terrace hotel.
Orlando was a great escape from work, school and everyday life in general. There were many signs of good things here that would fit into any urban setting. A robust bus transit system between the Disney Parks and the hotels of the area carried us everywhere we needed.
Even better than the bus, was the monorail. There are 12 of these around the Disney grounds and they carry a reported 150,000 people A DAY. They were packed everytime we rode.
Another observation I made, were the ample amount of these all around the hotels, and inside the Disney parks. I think everyone, everywhere could take an example from this. In fact, I have taken it upon myself to start a letter writing campaign in Indianapolis to see if I can spark some interest in some local restaurants in doing the same. Hopefully, I can expand on this topic in the future with positive results.
The last picture is just kind of fun. My mother and father in law took me and my wife to a small town called Celebration which isnt far from the Disney megaplex of parks. Its a neatly constructed town with walkable streets and nice shops. We ate some GREAT chowder in an all Boston themed bar. It was a Sunday and of course the Pats were on. I only wish Id worn my Colts shirt that day. When the sun went down, they had boxes along one of the downtown shop area boulevards. They sprayed "snow" out three times that evening which was very welcome by the crowd packing the streets.
I had the opportunity to be a part of a very special event this past Saturday morning. My wife, being the generous soul that she is, caught wind of an event that the YMCA of Indianapolis at the Athenaeum was putting on. It was the 11th Annual Breakfast with Santa. A charity event designed to give back to children. A free breakfast was served, gifts were given out, Santa was there for photos and there was even a funny comic type man there showing off animals for the children. He was a hoot and reminded me of a cleaner Brian Regan. He even had a real reindeer as the finale for the show. We were not able to stay for the entire event, but did donate over an hour and a half of our time for the YMCA. We will be handing over all the photos that we took that day. They may be used for promotional purposes in future years. We hope so at least!
The organizers of the event had an old polaroid camera with a large number of expired film cartridges that they were handing out to the children. Maybe next year we can have a printer on site.
The event was VERY well attended though. If you have ever been to the Rathskellar then you may be familiar with the room to the right of the entrance. It was full! We also had another Santa shoot for the day but it was not for charity, but as you can see, there are always events going on to keep people busy. If you feel like donating for future Breakfast with Santa events ,you can visit the YMCA of Indianapolis' website here, or contact them at (317) 685-9705
I also want to take this space to say congratulations to my sister Lori Ailes of Connersville who gave birth to her 3rd child this past weekend, a healthy baby girl of 6 pounds 9 ounces. The baby is healthy which is a blessing any parent can hope for. Here's to you sis!
My Tuesday evening began just like any other. I drove the 25 miles home from work, ate a quick dinner, kissed my wife good bye and got back in the Jeep to drive down to IUPUI where I have 7 credit hours this semester. However, this evening would be different. Many factors conspired to change my normal routine. The fact that I have been actively digging up information on rail mass transit coupled with the fact that I recieved an email in my IUPUI account that they would be starting construction December 7th on the California St parking garage. That happens to be where I normally park. I have been thinking about other options to get to campus. Taking the Indygo bus system just doesn't lend itself to my dense travelling schedule working so far from the city. So I usually drive. That leaves either fighting for the lessening parking spots, parking at the Indiana Ave lot and catching the circulator (not a bad option) or... other. Last night, I decided to try other. I could not have picked worse conditions to try this, so I guess the night turned into worst case scenario.
I have heard of the Clarian People Mover (que the laughter). I figured I would give this 'open to the public and free of charge' option its due. I took my normal route headed south from Broad Ripple, hit Fall Creek, down Capital and parked in the 15th street area off of Capital. It was raining. Not just drizzeling, we are talking one of the hardest sustained deluges I can remember in recent memory. It was windy. I had an umbrella, but it didn't really help. The Methodist station was only a couple blocks from where I parked. I walked and immediately met with resistance when I tried to enter from the sidewalk... nothing. I walked down a sidewalk that looked more decorative than intended, and entered the car entrance of the parking garage. Walked past an automatic crossbar and finally saw a pedestrian entrance. One thing I can tell you is at that point I realized that even though they offer this service to the public, they have not went out of their way to make it easy. Once in the stairwell, up a couple flights of stairs, across a skywalk and Im in the station.
Its a nice looking station. Probably because no one ever uses it? I was the only person there except for the operator in the control room. One other person walked up in the couple of minutes I had to wait for the train to roll in. At this point, prompt service seemed nice. I got on and away we went. The train moves quick enough. The full trip was advertised on the Clarian website as 5-7 minutes. One stop for the top of the canal station and we were back underway to the south station. The view of the city from the people mover is pretty nice!
We pulled into the station and I was unsure of where to go. I left the station and entered what I believed to be the hospital. Not to be. I went down a flight of stairs and back out into the rain I went. Another 5 minutes of gripping the umbrella so it didnt fly away greeted me. I got to class, on time at least, but looked like I had taken a piss down my leg. Most others did though. It was that wet out.
I left class, and took a different route. The IUPUI campus center is linked to the IU Hopsital and Simon Cancer Center. I had to take a maze of halls to get there and through a small part of the Vermont Street parking garage, but it was easy enough.
Once inside the cancer center, I had to stop at an info desk to find my way back, inside, to the people mover. I walked down many hospital halls, up an elevator and across two skywalks to get there, but I was back inside the south station in decent time. There was one other woman waiting there. The screen showed that one train wasnt running, and the other was 7 minutes away. Decent for a schedule of once every 12 minutes after 6pm. So I sat. And sat. And paced. Then sat some more. I asked the woman if this was normal and she said no. The train FINALLY pulled up and I asked how long she had been waiting, and she said 35 minutes. "It works most of the time..." she said and gave me a shrug as if to say you picked the wrong night to try this Curt.
I probably waited about 20 minutes I would say before the train finally pulled in. It was another 10 minutes or so to get back north on the people mover. It was still raining when the train pulled in. I snapped a couple of pictures and got the umbrella out and walked back to the Jeep which although wet, was as I had left it. Free parked and not ticketed. There are still a lot of empty lots in this area. Im surprised no one has snatched these up and tried to build up some housing catering to the medical crowd. Maybe in time... Who knows.
In conclusion, I may give this option another chance at a later date. But with a tightly packed schedule as it is and a pregnant wife, the last thing I want is to be stranded in a station 6 miles from home, for long periods of time.
If you keep up with this page at all, you will know I put some stock into writing about the Olio Road bridge project recently. This area, as expanded upon before, is going through an explosion of development.
I keep an eye on this area as I drive past it twice a day. Bridge construction is moving along like clockwork. Road restrictions are occuring and median pilings are going in.
But less than a mile away, sits a forgotten relic of the area. An old farm house along a country road linked to the road the bridge is coming off of. I see it often on my drive and wondered what it would look like close up. I finally took the plunge to take the camera over and see what it was all about.
The yard if ull of bulldozer track marks. My shoes got a little muddy as I walked around the land. It appears boarded up as if it was bought up to be used for a more financially feasible use so it sits until the wrecking ball comes. Maybe it wasnt bought though.
Maybe it's a foreclosure. Could certainly be the case in this economic environment.
But whatever the case, it has now become a beacon for would be graffit artists and partiers. There were cases worth of empty beer cans. Energy drinks. Im sure there were some vodka bottles not far since I spotted plenty of red bull and monster energy drinks.
3 vehicles drove past while I was walking the grounds and I wondered if anyone would stop and "shoo" me off the grounds. Not that I cared. Just took my time and messed with the camera.
Either way, it made for a fun 15 minutes of walking the grounds. Hope you guys enjoy it.
The house sits on a country road. All the fields in this area appear to have been forgotten.