VIP Entrance, Elevation Church

At first, I was confused to see a bouncer checking entry to the VIP entrance to a nightclub in downtown Charlotte - at 10am on a Sunday morning. It turned out to be a church. A very fancy, heavy-on-the-bass church.

Per their annual report (3545 salvations in FY2009 alone!) personnel expenses were $2.2M. That's $648 per salvation; it's a pretty pricey operation.

Rainier Brewery

As long as I can remember, and probably much longer than that, the Rainier Brewery sat astride the I5, complete with its magnificent 12-foot-tall rotating neon sign.

The sign is now safely housed in the Museum of History and Industry. The brewery is now reborn as the corporate home of Tullys Coffee, plus a few trendy condos.

Shilshole Marina

It was shortsighted of me to post a picture from perhaps 4000ft above Seattle through the badly scratched window panes of an Airbus on an approach from the north to SeaTac. I had a helicopter tour booked!

Here is Shilshole Bay Marina from around 900ft.

Hotel Sierra, Charlotte

Downtown Charlotte is an odd mix of 1980s highrises, some new construction, and quite a few single-story businesses with large surface parking lots.

This is the 15th floor of the Hotel Sierra going up on E. Trade St. It was a park next to the Time Warner Center arena when Google last visited.

Seattle Evening

The sunset approaches in a Seattle evening covered by patchy clouds. Mt Rainier looms in the distance, downtown sulks to the foreground, and Harbor Island and the municipal airport stretch across the middle half of the frame. Lake Washington stages an appearance to the east. It was a beautiful day for flying!


These hardy souls arrived on the Friday evening train from Portland, and are pictured in Seattle's King St Station assembling their bikes. They were planning on riding the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic 2010, a 200-mile two day ride.

Around 10,000 riders take part each year. I've yet to participate.

Yummy Butter Tarts

Butter tarts combine the only ingredients necessary for perfect cooking: sugar, butter, eggs, and flour. These include walnuts; others might substitute raisins or pecans.

They are Canadian!

Broken Bike, Broken Lease

Unit 45 of this apartment on King Richard Avenue was sufficiently behind on rent that the landlord succeeded in getting Clark County to issue an eviction notice.

The economy in Las Vegas is hurting badly, with visitor numbers off their peaks and a high unemployment rate.

Roatán Sunset

Unadjusted colors from a Canon S90. The beach at West Bay faces west, permitting spectacular sunsets.

Tegucigalpa from Above

Tegucigalpa, Honduras hosts an airport not far from the city center. It's a difficult geography for laying a runway, as the city is in the bowl of a valley and serious hills lurk on every side.

The sole runway at TGU is 7096ft long, at an altitude of 1004m. It's a technically challenging airport to land in, especially for narrowbody passenger jets that are scheduled daily. The Continental 737-700 I left in provided the most dramatic landing of the three US jets that arrived that afternoon, using just 4010ft of pavement before turning at the taxiway in front of the terminal. To put that in perspective, a Dash 8 (known for short runway performance) typically requires a 3600ft field.

West Bay, Roatán

West Bay, Roatán, in the bay islands of Honduras, offers beautiful beaches, warm water, and excellent diving and snorkeling.

The airport happens to be named after this guy.

Campaign Poster: Juan Manuel Gálvez

Juan Manuel Gálvez was elected President of Honduras in 1949, ending the dictatorship of Carías. Here is his campaign poster from his (unopposed) election campaign, drawn by Horacio Reina. Bonus points to the artist for including my favorite symbol, a cornucopia!

It offers rather specific promises to the economy, a stark contrast to the vague generalities that are the crutch of modern politicians.

Piñata shop, Tegucigalpa

There is a thriving piñata industry in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

It was tempting to try to bring one back into the US, but one can imagine the difficulty through both airport security and customs:

"Did you pack this item yourself?" No, a Honduran craftsman did.
"What's inside?" If I knew, that would ruin the surprise!

Stalactites Souvlaki, Melbourne

Stalactites is a legend of Melbourne's late night takeaway cuisine. Here, a harried Greek cook tends to hundreds of pounds of lamb that are continuously roasting on Lonsdale St. For those wishing a well done souvlaki, the advice is to place your order during quiet times such as early afternoon or midmorning.

And if she doesn't kill you, the garlic sauce will...