Saturday, April 30, 2016

Back from Europe

Got back from Europe yesterday. Woke up at 3:30 this morning. That's actually by design as I'm flying out to San Antonio again tomorrow. No need to adjust to Central time zone!

Getting up so early this morning has given me the opportunity to work a bit on some of the photos I took over the last 3+ weeks. I'll put them up on Picasaweb in a while, but first here are some videos that I made from the photos.

The photos in the first video are from Budapest, and they were taken on the big camera (Canon 30D). There are some capabilities that I still count on from that Camera such as its ability to shoot in low light.

I took the bulk of the photos, however, using my phone (iPhone 6). While the iPhone is woefully inadequate when it comes to low level lighting and its zoom can't stand up to real glass, I continue to be very pleased with the photos I can take. Having the phone on me at all times and being able to whip it out practically instantaneously is super convenient. I like that the limitations of the phone as a camera forces me to think much more about the composition of the photos I take.

The following video is a small sampling of the photos I took while in Ireland.

A tip 'o the hat to the anonymous stranger that came to my aid in Dublin.

It was raining, and I was rushing to catch a double-decker bus. The sidewalk was a bit crowded, so as I approached the bus from behind, I was right on the curb... Until in a freakish accident I wasn't right on the curb. My foot landed on the edge of the curb, it slipped to the road surface below, and that immediately threw off my balance. I quickly moved to recover, got my other foot planted in front of me, but there was no saving myself from the fall that was to come.

I was top heavy with all the stuff in my backpack, and the resulting high center of gravity plus my momentum kept my top half moving even though my successfully planted foot had righted my bottom half. I was soon falling face first toward the narrow space between the curb and the bus. I took the fall in several phases. First I took a portion of the fall on my knees. Then I absorbed the next part of the fall with my arms and hands. Next it was my left shoulder's turn. Fortunately I didn't whack my head on the curb. I did end up sprawled out unflatteringly in the curb itself.

I knew that the bus was about to leave, so it was imperative that I move... and fast. That doesn't mean that my body was moving as fast as my brain, however. As I was just beginning to get back up, I was very much consciously aware that a portion of my body - my legs - were physically under the bus. Having had my legs for nearly a quarter of a century now, I am rather attached to them - both figuratively and literally. If the bus drove straight ahead, I was going to have a very serious problem on my hands. Alternatively, if the bus had started driving forward and turning out in to traffic, a pair of crushed legs was going to be the least of my problems - or perhaps my last.

As I got to my hands and knees, that stranger's hand reached out and pulled me the rest of the way up.  By the time I was completely upright again, my brain had switched from survival instinct mode to oh-great-everyone-just-saw-me-fall-embarassed mode. I thanked him, and he went on his way.

I have more photos from Ireland and Hungary, plus I have loads more from Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Didn't get many photos from England. Rather than sight seeing, the short time in England was about visiting friends.