Thursday, December 31, 2009

Iraq Sunrise

One of my favorite things about my new room is a window. I celebrated by taking sunrise photos the past two days. In a coincidence, exactly 10,000 photos ago, and 3 years ago (30 December 2006), Shelby and I were on top of Mt Sinai taking sunrise photos....

Sunrise from My Window - Iraq
29 December, 2009

Sunrise from My Window - Iraq
30 December, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Before the Cruise

We visited friends in the Bellingham area, north of Seattle for a few days. One of the many highlights of the visit was a drive out the Mount Baker Highway to past Picture Lake to Artist Point between Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan. Here are a couple of photos of Mt. Shuksan from that drive.

Mount Shuksan from Picture Lake - Washington State

Mount Shuksan from near Artist Point - Washington State

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back to Alaska - Haines

A few photos from our second port of call on our cruise, Haines, Alaska. It was a nice quaint little town. I liked the old military officers' housing (of which I didn't take a photo:) Elesa went on a jet boat wilderness ride if I remember correctly, while I went off with a few guys and a local photographer who drove us around.

House - Haines, Alaska

Glacier - Haines, Alaska

Driftwood - Haines, Alaska

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm sure many of you on the East Coast are sick of snow already....I'm sick of mud. Much of Iraq is so flat, when it rains, the water doesn't flow anywhere, it just sits in puddles of mud. I'm dreaming of a mud-free Christmas.

MRAP (actually pretty clean!)

Iraqi Mud

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Long Way From Anywhere

Said goodbye to a couple of friends that have finished their year (or a bit more) here. They'll be home for the holidays...

Mileage Marker

Friday, December 04, 2009


We flew up to Juneau a full day before our cruise was scheduled to leave. We meandered around a bit, took the Mount Roberts Tramway and walked one of the trails at the top. We took a tour that took us out to Mendenhall Glacier and the Shrine of St. Therese.

Juneau is very rainy, rain forest actually, but it makes for a very green late summer.

On the Grounds of the Shrine of St. Therese
Juneau, Alaska

Evergreen Cemetery - Juneau, Alaska

Tree with Carving - Mount Roberts
Juneau, Alaska

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Some More From Alaska - Humpbacks

I did get my "stuff" Sunday, but between getting the computer actually working correctly and me working 12 hr days, there has been little time to mess with photography. I still have to reset my screen size every time I fire it up...

Here are a couple of photos I took of the humpback whales along our Cruise West "Gold Rush Inside Passage" cruise.

Breaching Humpback - Frederick Sound, Alaska

Relax and Take a Deep Breath
Humpback - Frederick Sound, Alaska

Whale Tail
Humpback - Frederick Sound, Alaska

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Theoretically ...

my "stuff" should be here soon (no precise definition of "soon"). "Stuff" includes my new computer with dual 21.5" widescreen monitors, my guitar (I'm terrible, but plan to take the opportunity to get better). Once it gets here, I'll post photos every few days.

In the meantime, Elesa and Carl sent me a cheap phone and a MagicJack which I've plugged into the old laptop I have with me. So now I have a Cincinnati phone number and can receive and make calls. So far, I'd say MagicJack is pretty cool. It is even cheaper (~$40 for the first year, ~$20 per year after that) than, which we have used (and continue to use) for our "home" phone for almost 6 years. If anyone is interested in the technical and practical differences between the two (and other VoIP providers) post a comment and I can go into the various advantages/disadvantages between the services (including the phone "bundled" with your internet provider", skype etc)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The National Arboretum

The Dogwood Collection in the National Arboretum is of our favorite places, we stopped by last weekend. As in the previous post's photo, I used water to try to create a bit of an abstract feel. The water was blowing off the fountain that is at the end of the collection.

The Dogwood Collection - National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

The Dogwood Collection - National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

The Dogwood Collection - National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Water as Abstract Art

Another quick one from our first few days visiting Seattle, where we had great "local" guides.

Near Pike Street Market - Seattle, Washington

South Sawyer Glacier

A very quick one from our Alaska general I've always found glaciers to be fascinating.

South Sawyer Glacier - Tracy Arm, Alaska

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I'm back, I have some computers up and running (including my brand spank'n new one:), I have heaps of photos from our trip to Seattle and Alaska...I just don't have heaps of time.

Mendenhall Glacier - Juneau, Alaska

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Point and Shoot

Co-workers were kind enough to lend me a digital point and shoot that has some controls. Of course, I can't necessarily find all the controls when I need them, but they are there none the less :) So at times I look like the people I make fun of...using the camera's little bitty flash to try to light up half a city, because I couldn't figure out how to turn off the flash. Well by tonight, I got that part down and took the picture below of the Latin Bridge. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated after crossing the bridge and thus began World War I. (on the right side of the bridge in this photo)

Latinska Ćuprija - Sarajevo

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not My Best or Happiest Day Ever...

So last night I updated the firmware on my Canon 5D DSLR. While I was doing that, I happened to read Canon's Service Notice: EOS 5D: Main Mirror Detachment.

My "walk" this evening was more of an ascent, straight up through Vratnik to a small lookout and some cemeteries high above the city. I started taking photos...and "clUNK!" my mirror fell totally off. Just as described in the service bulletin. I'll have to rush ship it back to Canon in the hopes that it can be repaired in time for our cruise the latter part of August. What a bummer to be here for my last 2 weeks without a camera.

Cemetery At Sunset - Above Sarajevo

My Last Photo - Sarajevo

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What I Learned Today

Yes, you can eat too many fresh blackberries (at least I can).

Today I finally walked to the huge cemetery, Sarajevsko Groblje Bare which I have photographed from a distance a number of times, including here. I learned it is the main city cemetery (Gradsko Groblje) and that there are very few victims from the war buried there (and so corrected my earlier blog post here). I walked through a huge chunk of the cemetery and it almost seemed as if people didn't die 1993-1995.

The cemetery is laid out in sections which vary in size and shape. But just to get an idea of the relative prominence of the various religions here goes. There is a section for Jews, a very small section each for Evangelicals and Adventists, 20 sections for Atheists, 14 sections for Catholic (plus a small one for "Old Catholic" (Staro-katolici) whatever that means), 26 sections for Muslim and 16 Orthodox sections.

I miss my Photoshop, but in the meantime here are a few of today's photos. I takes me 3x as long and the results are 10x worse using the laptop, the touchpad and the Photo Gallery/Paint combination.

Map of the Sections of Bare Cemetery - Sarajevo

Reflection in the Windows of the Meditation Building - Gradsko Groblje, Sarajevo

Groblje Bare - Sarajevo

Groblje Bare - Sarajevo

Groblje Bare - Sarajevo

Haystacks - Groblje Bare, Sarajevo

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Attempt...

using a laptop w/touchpad, and using a combination of Windows Photo Gallery (adjust color) and Paint (resize) here are three photos from the Jewish Cemetery a couple days ago.

Jewish Cemetery - Sarajevo

Jewish Cemetery - Sarajevo

Jewish Cemetery - Sarajevo

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alifakovac Cemetery

This evening I walked up to the Alifakovac Muslim Cemetery. It sits on the hill on the eastern end of Sarajevo, the south side of the Miljacka river...across the river from Vratnik, a frequent location for photos I've posted. I shot another 70 or so photos that you are unlikely to see anytime soon...

What made this cemetery interesting to me is the variety of the stones. The modern stones (1992 - present) here are a wide variety, far beyond the identical white obelisks lined up in most of the other recent Muslim cemeteries such as Koševo, Srebrenica and Kovači. Another interesting thing is that the old tombstones, from the Ottoman era, are sort of scattered here and there in the midst of the modern one case even sort of poking out of a recent grave site. Many of other modern cemeteries, such as Kovači, have the Ottoman era graves more grouped together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jewish Cemetery Sarajevo

I walked up to the Jewish Cemetery (according to the sign, the second largest Jewish cemetery in Europe after the Jewish cemetery in Prague) after work this evening. It wouldn't have been such a long walk and steep climb if I hadn't made a wrong turn or two. I felt like I climbed half way up Trebević. I found the cemetery a bit before sundown so the light was great. I took 63 photos...maybe a couple will make it here once I'm back on home turf computer-wise....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Learning to Fly

I saw a baby bird learning to fly today...about 50 ft up, back and forth between the tops of a couple of poplar trees. I thought "that's not very graceful" and a moment later I thought "well...the baby bird is flying....and I'm not" ...sort of puts it in perspective

Monday, June 29, 2009

Look Ma...No Hands!

Without benefit of my computer, or photoshop...taken a few nights back when Elesa and I were walking near Šehidsko Mezarje Kovači (Martyr's Memorial Cemetery Kovači) up in the Vratnik section of Sarajevo.

Just re-sized from my "communicator" I'm beaming these up...

Man Under Streetlight - Kovači, Vratnik, Sarajevo

Cobblestones - Vratnik, Sarajevo

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Time to Go

We're busy packing out and all the other fun stuff associated with a long distance won't see much from me for the next couple of months. My computer will be gone Tuesday and I don't know when I'll see it next. I'm pondering getting a bigger & faster one as this one is 7 years old with only 768 MB of RAM...

Clock - St Stephen's Cathedral, Zagreb

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shelby Graduates!

Congratulations to Shelby and all the graduates...QSI Sarajevo's largest graduating class ever, 4....

Shelby Receives Her Diploma

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finished My Plitvice Photos

Not that I've caught up with all my photos, but I have finished the photos from our visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. I've also put a link to some individual slide shows for my various wanderings on the sidebar of the blog. I'll add more to that over time.

The Plitvice slide show can be found HERE (or on the sidebar)

The Path - Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera, Hrvatska

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jeff Doesn't Chase Firetrucks and Ambulances...

...they come to him.

On my way into the apartment this evening, a firetruck came racing at me (the wrong way on our one way street). I took these from our patio balcony.

Reflections of the Flames in the Window of a Nearby Building

Flames Come Through the Roof

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mirogoj Cemetery - Zagreb, Croatia

The city cemetery in Zagreb (Gradska Groblja, Zagreb), Mirogoj is possibly the most fascinating and peaceful cemetery I've ever visited...and I've visited a lot of them! It is basically an outdoor sculpture garden. It was a cold (for late May) gloomy and misty late afternoon, but the birds were singing their hearts out. Outside of the birds, it was extremely quiet. I took over 100 photos and I barely saw 10% of the cemetery.

The Vine Covered Arcades - Mirogoj, Zagreb

Angel - Mirogoj, Zagreb

The Miletić Tomb, Rudolf Valdec's Angel of Death - Mirogoj, Zagreb

"Mourning" The Matko Family Grave - Mirogoj, Zagreb

The Roman Bridge

I continue to fall further and further behind with processing my photos. Here's a snapshot I took last weekend when Elesa and I took Sophie and Maya to Vrelo Bosna to let them run around a bit. The "Roman Bridge" (Rimski Most) is really Ottoman dating from the 16th century. It is the symbolic western edge of Sarajevo.

Roman Bridge - Sarajevo, Bosnia

Saturday, May 23, 2009

more Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera

I'm still wading through photos from Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia in what spare time I have. Once I catch up, I think I will put a link to individual slideshows for all my various wanderings on the sidebar of the blog. In the meantime, here is a short sample of some more Plitvice photos.

Reflection - Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera, Hrvatska

Dripping off the Tufa - Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera, Hrvatska

Wooden Path - Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera, Hrvatska

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera

I'm starting to work my way through the photos from Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. I took a lot and the place is so amazing, that I am having troubles choosing. Even after skipping past the 90% that are boring or messed up, I still have heaps to choose from. Plitvice is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for good reason

UNESCO World Heritage - Nacionalni Park Plitvička Jezera, Hrvatska

Clear Emerald Water - Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia