windshield time

Nov 17

Travel day

You often see curious things when you’re traveling. A sign here, a weird fence there, and so on. I try to take pictures of things I see, because, sometimes, you find a theme emerging. But I only saw the one thing today.

You feel like they are maybe picking on Merle, the One-handed Man here. The rest of the employees, they get a pass, but Merle, he needs to think hygiene at all times.

The sink was one of the old fashioned ones. You had to do operate the faucet, soap dispenser and hand towel dispenser manually.

Anyway, Thanksgiving festivities begin tomorrow. I hope you’re safely and exactly where you need to be.

Oct 17

‘There’s a magic in the sound of their name’

Where am I? One last clue from earlier this morning:

OK, one more clue:

Yes! Notre Dame! How did you guess? How do you do it? The exterior photo above is of O’Neill Hall, a building they’ve just recently opened after a $25 million dollar gift that helped change everything about the football stadium. Which is why I’m visiting. I’m taking a tour of their new television facilities. They have a gorgeous new setup and it is being used for classes, athletics and for the church. It is a unique situation Notre Dame has, of course, and it sounds like they are putting a great strategy together.

When you hear about 4K or HDR shoots, it is probably coming through a camera like this.

That’s a pretty nice multiview you have there, Irish. This is one of a handful of control rooms that are are all tied together. They built out a quality facility:

It was a nice day trip. We had breakfast, heard about how they built their gear out, enjoyed a fire alarm, had lunch, took a tour of their new production facilities and then it is time to get back on the road.

Incidentally, I’ve now enjoyed two fire alarms in two college buildings on two college campuses within 24 hours.

Anyway, this is an exterior shot of the famed Notre Dame Stadium:

Apropos of all of that, you can see the highlights from my previous trip to South Bend here and here

It was such a lovely, gray day in South Bend that I took a walk in some of the off-campus touristy areas. And I saw this:

You lose two shoes, well, that’ll happen. You lose one shoe, that’s a story.

Also, I discovered that they have Limebike. No locks or bike mounting system necessary. They charge $1 per ride and, like a good pusher, your first ride free.

On the way back, I stopped off at IKEA. It was their opening day. I went to IKEA during the grand opening.

It wasn’t as bad as Christmas shopping, to be honest. And I managed to pick up all three things I wanted.

Oct 17

Travel day

I’m on the road. I’m in a rental car. The university gave me a Ford Focus, which is fine enough for a rental car.

I was on the flat, open country to the north. And now I’m in a hotel room after a perfectly anonymous dinner where I read magazine articles while a server absentmindedly sang while she swept and did her cut work. She had a lovely voice.

I’ve been to this city one time before, but The Yankee made that trip six years ago and I’m on the road on my own this time.

Six years ago today, in fact. Weird.

Where am I? Tell you tomorrow.

May 17

From Shieldaig to Overscaig – with so much in between

There are three videos, three panoramas and 10 photos below. You’ll enjoy them all.

If you’re just joining this story, we’re touring Scotland. It is a big tour and a grand place. It is worth your consideration.

We’re touring all of Scotland. This is what we are driving:

Vauxhall Adam

For scale, each letter above the car is the width of a quarter. Place them edge to edge, that’s the size of our car. It holds everything we brought to the UK, but only just. And all of the things must be configured in a particular fashion to fit. But we have legroom, it is pretty easy on gas mileage and our Vauxhall Adam cranks every time. Today, it got driven a lot. And we stopped and started our way through a great deal of this magnificent countryside today.

Here are a few clips from this morning’s drive:

The day’s first panorama was at your standard issue, beautiful Scottish loch. Click to embiggen:

loch panorama

You could get used to this sort of thing.

We also hit the beach!

Udrigle Beach

This is Udrigle Beach. White sand, mountain views, odd smells. There were a few people enjoying the beautiful springtime weather. (We’ve been lucking out on the weather so far.) There were a few dogs digging in the sand. I had a nice little chat with an elderly woman who’d walked down from the nearby lodge to sit and soak up the sun. It was a lovely day, she said. She said it again to someone else, so you know she meant it.

Udrigle Beach

And here’s a beach panorama. Click to embiggen:

loch panorama

We watched the ocean from the roadside for some time today, too:

I realized I tend to take a lot of panoramas with water as a main focal point. So I changed this one up and put a person in one corner of the shot. Look how The Yankee is peering through her camera allllll the way across the shot. Click to embiggen:

Udrigle Beach panorama

We also saw this today:

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Let me explain.

We found that gorge along the way. This wasn’t one of our planned stops. It was just a name on the map. But you have to learn to be curious about names on maps. That curiosity often rewards you.

Down from the Victorian-era suspension bridge there is a viewpoint, where you see the gorge from a better perspective:

Then we saw a castle:

Ardvreck Castle

And you know what that means, right? Castle selfies:

Ardvreck Castle

I put the details of the ruins into a video package which is conveniently located here:

I don’t know how the routines in your life treat you, but we seldom get to take castle selfies, so we took another:

Ardvreck Castle

And now we are in Overscaig, which is about the most middle of nowhere place you can ever be. Over the last few days locals have been asking us our next stop. We’d tell them and they all said, “Where is that?” No one knows. And that’s a shame. It is simply stunning up here:

Vauxhall Adam

We’re dining in with our bed and breakfast hosts tonight. I have some more videos to show you after that. I’ve discovered a new technique that I’ll no doubt use far too often …

May 17

Northwest, to the coast of Scotland

Our first stop today was a diversion along the way, the Rogie Falls, a walk in the woods, a place to stand on a suspension bridge just in front of them, and a place where, in the late summer, you can watch the salmon jump upstream. I shot a video:

Here’s a place where we walked out on the rocks just above the falls:


I believed she’s taking this rock as her own personal territory.


And here we are on the suspension bridge, which sways only a tiny bit:


Our drive today took us from Inverness to Applecross and then to nearby Shieldaig. This is in the northwestern quadrant of the countryside. Here are some of the views we enjoyed on today’s road trip.

A beach scene we saw along the way:


And the classic Highland cow:


On the way to Applecross, we went over the high pass of Bealach na Bà. Below is a Hyperlapse video of a single track road, built like you’re in the Alps, lots of switchbacks. It goes from sea level to 2,054 feet. The views are spectacular — or they are cloudy and treacherous. This is the uphill side, about 45 minutes of riding, squeezing past others and waiting. It was mildly scary. It was terrific.

Bealach na Ba is Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle. Traditionally, this has been a drover’s road. Today, there are cars and motorcycles and I would like to try to ride a bike up it. Apparently there are two local races that use the mountain as part of their course.

I don’t know how to tell you about where we had dinner tonight. It was probably 40 miles from our bed and breakfast in Shieldaig, which is, itself, a lovely, small little village. The restaurant sits in a remote village called Diabaig. The trip there is rocky, rugged, and predicated by the many coastal inlets. It is an inspiring landscape.

Previously, what is now the restaurant was a small school building, a school put there simply to satisfy Scottish mileage laws. Now, Gille Brighde sits down on the water and a Dutchman and his Scottish wife make food brought to them by local farmers and fishermen. The mailman had to tell us which way to go to get there. We were probably there for two hours and four other people were there. I had a lemon hake. The Yankee had locally hand-dived scallops, which she pronounced as the best scallops she has ever enjoyed. It was a lovely meal.

Just outside the school turned restaurant is the local pier, which gets rave reviews :


That’s down in Lower Diabaig. These selfies are in Upper Diabaig. You can see the pier just on the left margin.