Sunday, June 21, 2009

Photo Revisited

Fighter Jet, originally uploaded by spurlock.

I've been revisiting some of my photos, and I created an HDR image of this one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


_MG_1564, originally uploaded by spurlock.

I was taking some pictures at Tim's work and I wanted to get a better angle of the outside of the building. They own several abandoned buildings nearby, so I went on the roof of the closest to try my luck.

Broken glass littered on the roof and there was graffiti sprayed on some of the walls. I liked this image.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jacob on Roller Coaster

Jacob on Roller Coaster, originally uploaded by spurlock.

Jacob was hamming it up on the roller coaster at Dream World.

Nalin and Aleena at Dreamworld

Nalin and Aleena at Dreamworld, originally uploaded by spurlock.

The girls wore matching outfits at Dream world today, and they both did their hair the same. Actually, Nalin picked her outfit first, and Aleena copied.

Cracked Good

Took the kids to Dream World today.  They loved it of course.  At least it was memorable for me.  Today is the first day I cracked my head hard enough to make myself dizzy in a long time.  I was getting off a water ride, and next thing I knew I had landed on the back of my head. 

I was disoriented for thirty seconds or so, but it faded.  I scraped my elbow a bit too, but I'm okay now. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

World Acrobat Show

Yesterday, Tim and I took the kids to the World Acrobat show.  It was billed as a cirque style show. 

It was a pretty good show.  The strength and agility of some of the acrobats was pretty amazing.  To me, however, the act that stole the show was a routine where a guy is putting on his coat, which has a hanger in it.  He ends up with one arm in his coat, which suddenly seems to take on a life of its own.  If Jacob's loud guffaws were any indication, it was down right hilarious to the nine year old crowd.

There was definitely some questionable food at the show.  The taco served at the arena was probably one of the worst I've had in quite a long time.  The worst food was something I didn't even eat.  About half way through the show, I was hit by a nasty smell.  I was thinking it was kimchie gone horribly wrong.  Tim pointed to the source, a couple munching on something about twenty feet away.  It was truly a foul smell.  I was almost hoping for someone to break wind to give me a break from the smell.

Theatrical and entertainment merits aside, I think the show probably ended up a financial disappointment.  The show was in the Muang Impact Arena (conveniently near our home), and a lot of the seats were covered with a black tarp.  Additionally, a fair number of the uncovered seats were unoccupied.  Apparently, even the family promotion of four tickets for the price of three wasn't enough to bring Thais out to see some cirque.  

Saturday, June 13, 2009

USA Trip

My return to the U.S. is growing ever closer.  Only eleven days and I'll be on a day long plane ride.  Oh joy.

I arrive back on June 24th and will stay until July 11th.  There is a chance I'll extend my trip a couple of days.  While I'm there, in addition to catching up with family and friends, I'm taking a trip out west to take some photographs.  The plan includes the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Painted Desert and Las Vegas.  Hopefully I can manage a few decent shots when I'm there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Erroneous Email

So, I am thinking about going to the Grand Canyon to take some photographs when I'm back in the states.  I was considering some kind of photography tour.  I found a place on the Internet, and sent them an email explaining what I was looking for and the time I was interested in visiting.

I get this email back

 Hey did you see this!!! yahoooooooo finaly someone at least sent us a note!!!  what do you think? 

There was more to the email, but it wasn't relevant to my question.  The guy was sending an email to his partner, but mistakenly hit reply.  Doh!

Bangkok Skytrain Photo

Brian BTS, originally uploaded by spurlock.

I went to Emporium on Sukhumvit today to buy some books and some tickets to the acrobat show on Sunday. I could have gotten both a little closer by, but I wanted to eat at one of the places in Emporium, and take a picture on the BTS.

The BTS is Bangkok's sky train. Sometimes when I need to go to more than one place downtown, I'll drive and park near the first place, and then take the BTS around.

My idea was to take a picture of me in the foreground with the moving train in the background. I set up my tripod and took my first shot. As I need to set the camera on the ten second timer because I do not have a wireless timer. This means that I only get one shot each time a train departs. I probably could have set up so that I got one upon the train’s arrival, and another upon departure, but I didn't think of it until I had left.

A guard approached me after the first shot. I think he was wondering what I was up to. I showed him the shot that I had taken on my LCD display, and he was pretty friendly. He asked me questions in Thai that I didn't understand and stayed near me until I left.

I took a second shot and after reviewing the two shots in my LCD (magnifying them of course), I decided to go. It was hot, and I think the security guard, while friendly, was a little nervous about me being there.

This was the second shot, and I think it turned out all right.

Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine Found Dead In Bangkok Hotel

Actor David Carradine was found dead yesterday in a Bangkok hotel room.  Carradine, who became well known for his role in the Kung Fu television series, was on location shooting a movie.

The Bangkok post reported that Carradine was found hanging by a yellow nylon rope in a closet.  He was naked at the time, and had a black rope tied around his genitals.  The police suspect his death was a suicide, but those familiar with Carradine question this.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunrise Tacos

Nichada turned off the electric for a few hours today in order to do some tree trimming.  The idea was to prevent the kind of power outages that we had a few weeks back.

I decided to go downtown to Emporium to look for a book and try Sunrise Tacos.  I didn't find the book I was looking for, but was able to try Sunrise. 

Sunrise Tacos serves Mexican food and is located on the 5th floor of Emporium's food court.  They have seating for forty or so guests.  The menu had what you might expect on a menu in a Mexican restaurant; tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.  I tried the Cowboy Taco platter which consisted of three crispy beef tacos, refried beans and rice.  The food was good.   You never know how beef will taste in Thailand, but this definitely passed muster. 

Sunrise actually advertises that they deliver in Bangkok.   We are not actually in Bangkok, so I think that we are probably outside the delivery area.  I'll check anyway, because while Sunrise is not worth flying to Thailand to sample, its a lot better than the local Mexican offering. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pretty in Pink

_MG_0780-1, originally uploaded by spurlock.

Tuesday is pink shirt day here in the land of smiles. I I took a picture of Aleena and I wearing the color of the day.

I didn't shave today. Happens quite frequently.

Monday, June 1, 2009


_MG_0737, originally uploaded by spurlock.

So today is my forty-first birthday. The day was pretty uneventful. The kids had school, and Tim had to work late. We didn't have a special dinner tonight, as we are going to a cajun restaurant this weekend.

Like all years, this one had its ups and downs, but overall a good year. I went SCUBA diving for the first time this past year.

I'm happy that I am now in better physical shape not than a year ago, but better than any time since my mid-20's. I'm in the gym five days a week, and enjoy the time.

My photography has definitely improved over the last year. Sure, the new equipment has been a big help, but I'm getting better about composition and lighting. Its something I really enjoy doing.

I was able to do some traveling over the last year. I went to Pattaya, Phuket, Singapore, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, and the U.S. The U.S. trip was nice in that I was able to spend time with family and friends, although getting the house ready was not very fun.

While my Thai proficiency only improved slightly, I'm a lot more comfortable this year than the previous year. I remember when we first got here, ISB did a seminar for new arrivals, and one of the themes is that it really takes about two years to get comfortable in a new place. I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Our original plan was to return home this year. Well, we won't be returning to the states just yet. We'll be in Thailand at least one more year, depending on the state of Tim's business.

Overall, it was a good year. I'm going to try to make the next one better though.