Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


“California, California, California,” anyone remember The Wizard??? Probably just me and my brother.

Well I annoyed Amy just about all weekend with that, but in between pestering my incredibly patient girlfriend I had a great time visiting the West Coast for the first time in my life! Yes, until this trip the furthest West I had been was out to Las Vegas for countless Red Flag exercises with the Air Force.

We traveled out to UC Santa Barbara to help Amy weigh her decision on which masters program to attend (she also made it into Yale, UVA, and Duke, what a big brain!) and worked our way down to LA to visit her cousin Joe Lynch, who as is it turns out directs movies and music videos! Very cool dude and a lot of fun to talk to since we’re both heavily into nerd stuff.

For as much bad press as LA gets, I really liked it! It’s definitely an acquired taste, but there’s a big arts scene that I was really digging and I would opt for another visit in a heartbeat.

Here are some of my favorites from our weekend getaway.

PS Amy decided last week to attend UVA to pursue a PhD!

Didn’t have to wait long for this guy to roll buy.

Amy and I on the UCSB beach, yes the campus is on a beach and I have no clue how they keep their attendance up. A little dodging on the trees and dune.

My favorite shot of the lot. I used to love going on The Scrambler with my Grandma when I was a kid and this poor soul is obviously terrified of the ride. Took this on the Santa Monica pier. No special effects here, just zoomed and dragged the shutter with a somewhat high F-stop to get a sharp picture.

BIG pano of the pier and beach.


Twoof my more recent ventures out of DCafforded me a great opportunity to break my camera out for a old hobby of mine that I miss very much…fast cars!

I used to be BIG into cars, trucks, bikes, and just about anything with a combustion engine, but about a year ago I had to come to grips with the reality just how expensive it is to own a sports car. After a good 8 years of owning a quick car which consumed 93 octane, obsessively shopping for aftermarket parts, and showing up to courthearings in uniform to duck out ofcountless speeding tickets,I finally threw in the towel and purchased a ho hum Jeep Cherokee, which is great for getting around the city and hauling all my gear.

But man do I itch to put it down!!! It’s terrible to say, but I really miss darting through traffic around here, being able to take my car out into Potomacwhere I couldlean on the throttle while coming in hard through a turn, and drag at a lightat completelyuncessary moments.

Maybe some day…

In the mean time I’ll exercise those urges out with my bicycle, and (yes I do realize how weak that is, but it’s a great kick if you’ve never tried it!)my camera. Does that work? OK, that was my only bit of justification…on to the pictures.

The first set in my new “cars” gallery is from NY, you can check the description for details, but the long short is that I attended a car show just down the street from Amy’s parents place with her stepfather Jim who owns an incredible AC Cobra that I promise to shoot up and down the next time I’m up there.

The second set is from that road trip I referenced before going off on a tangent and is comprised of two shows; the first being from an impromptu stop for Chick-fil-a off I 95 where we stumbled upon a classic car show. The second set in that same folder is from another car show, but this time inNC where again, we set out to head somewhere but were distracted by the dual exhausts and custom paint jobs.

I really like these two folders and how they turned out. The NY shots I playedaround a bit, while the NCpicsI tried to stay true to the images but ended up straying towards the end. Digital photography and polarization filters work AWESOME together if you ever want to dip into the auto market. I also highly recommend shooting in RAW since some of the highlights are really difficult to get around.



I just returned Sunday night from a quick trip down to the Outer Banks, NC to visit my extended family and enjoy myself on the beach for a few days.

I hope this nextstatement doesn’t dissuade anyone from continuing to read this blog; I like to shoot guns, and every time I head down to the Outer Banks I am sure to bring my pistol and (new) rifle with me since the ranges are MUCH more lax than around here. Plus, I don’t think I’ve been to an indoor range anywhere in the South, and it’s A LOT nicer to shoot outdoors than inside of a confined range where a gunshot blast sounds a million times louder! I also can purchase ammo from Wal-Mart for a drastically cheaper price and haul it back to DC for a rainy day, so to speak.

On to the pictures…

I can’t say it enough; right place, righttime, and prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance. Sorry, flashback from my military days…anyways, when Amy and I showed up to the range on Saturday morning the pistol section was closed off due to “cowboys,” as listed at the trailer (yes trailer) that regulates the range. At first I was kind of bummed, but then I saw these guys and realized what a great photo opportunity I have available.

I walked over and introduced myself and just like most groups of old guys; they were extremely cordial. Theyhad no problem with me shooting them during their internal event and just asked that I stayed behind the firing line, not a problem. It turns out these guys are part of bigger group called the SASS or Single Action Shooting Society and they get together every 4th Saturday of every month to run through staged events.

I only breifly talked to a few of their members (I also went over there to ask them for help after a cartridge became lodged in my SKS) and one of them took the time out to break down the events, which you can find more information on here if you’re interested. The quick and dirty; they have to fire two pistots, one rifle, and one shotgun at a series of Hogan’s Alley(that’s what they’re really called, “You have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy“)style targets. There’s plenty more info listed on their site if you care to take the time out?

If not enjoy the pic and look for an album on my site within the next week.