I am so glad that Chicago did not get the Olympics in 2016 – just hearing about the day-to-day problems they are having in Chicago and the disarray that the Beijing facilities are in (see this link) it makes me realize that all the hassle and ‘urban planning’ just aren’t worth it.

Photo of the Day – Westminster Abbey

I could not imagine being in London this year – we went in 2011 when they just started the countdown – I think there were 400 days at that point on the ‘countdown’ screen in Trafalgar Square and the security in that area was crazy then. Now they are screening/checking everyone. Essentially traffic/cars are not running because they want everyone to take the train (mind the gap!)…again, just happy Chicago didn’t get them. Would have made a few weeks in 2016 miserable.

Westminster Gargoyles

Gargoyles – what strange monstrous beasts they are! They protect the ancient churches and also serve to spill water from their mouths in order to serve as historic rain spouts. These are much more decorative than modern day gutters but served much of the same purpose….to prevent water from getting onto the brickwork of the actual buildings and eroding that.

This particular guy is from Westminster Abbey and as I stared up at him I found his taunting to be particularly amusing.

Photo of the Day


Like a ‘typical’ tourist, you just have to take this shot – it’s on 99% of the postcards – that being said I’m still glad I took it. Good to have in my collection.

Photo of the Day

When we were in London (this was March 2011 mind you) they had the ceremony that started the countdown to the Olympics and here we are on the cusp of the games (about two months?). I’m a bigger fan of the summer Olympics then the winter ones. It’s not a huge advantage but I find myself being more interested in the swimming and track and field then I am in the figure skating that NBC seems to want to cram down my throat here in the States. That’s all we get in the winter Olympics it seems and sorry it is just not that interesting to me.

London Bridge is falling down

The Tower Bridge is probably the most recognizable bridge in all of London – however it is generally mistaken for the London Bridge. We took several shots of the bridge but this was won of my favorites. I liked the subtle boat light streaks from the boat that passed slowly by as the exposure was taking.

Photo of the Day

Praying for A/C

Who knew that I would ever HOPE it would get colder outside? It’s really pretty terrible. I mean I don’t want it to be colder – I enjoy warm weather; I like going outside without putting on multiple layers, flip flops are enjoyable, eating dinner and having a cold beer while enjoying the craziness of Chicago at an outdoor patio is alot of fun. However, I found myself tonight wishing and hoping and praying for it to get colder. That’s silly you might think except I live in a building in Chicago that refuses to put the A/C on if there is the chance that the temp will go back into the fifties…the fifties. Get a freakin’ blanket! It’s 85 degrees right now (at 10:17 PM) there is no breeze – none and even if it was my windows barely open so it wouldn’t be much of a help.

Westminster Abbey

I really wish I had a wide angle lens during this trip – I feel like I’m slighting the beauty of this church. This is the side view so it may not look like it looks on TV – however, I thought the stained glass window was very interesting and liked this shot better than from the more traditional point.

London is Calling!

Gretchen and I went to brunch earlier and then stopped at the local beer store on the way home. You are able to make your six packs there and there was a ‘London Porter’ that my wife picked up and started talking about how much fun we had on our trip to London. It really made me want to go home and go through my pictures from London. I came home and started going through pictures and flipped the TV on and it just so happened that National Lampoon’s European Vacation was on TV as well. So now I sit here drinking my English Porter beer with its Union Jack label reliving our trip in London – life is pretty damn good!

Big Ben! Parliament!

This was taken early in the morning but unfortunately the day wound up being overcast (isn’t it always?!) so there wasn’t very good light but this was our last day in London and I was determined to at least get a shot of Parliament.