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My football season is over with the end of the Steelers playoff run.  I’m sure I’ll share photos from this season with you from time to time, at least until next season.  With that said, here is a photo of Antonio Brown from last Saturday’s game.  Of the remaining teams, I’m pulling for the Patriots.

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I hope you have a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  With all the ugliness in our world right now (you know who and what I mean), it’s nice to know that Dr. King and people like Dr. King have been and are among us.  He pushed for nonviolence, racial equality, understanding, and eliminating poverty while maintaining his principles that everyone regardless of color or creed are equal members of the human family.  There is a reason why he is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor and non-president memorialized on the Great Wall in the United States capital.  Everyone from our current President on down to our newest member, can learn from Dr. King. 

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Vervet Monkey

We saw lots of these Vervet Monkeys on safari in Kruger National Park.  They travel in group from 10 to up to 70 monkeys at a time.  The juvenile members were so cute.  They would run, play, pick on each other… 

Here’s an interesting fact…. The males have blue testicles (blue balls..... see the photos below).  Apparently, the dominant male within the group has the vibrant color.  Why???  I don’t know.  That’s just what our guide said and as you can see below, they are definitely a robin egg blue color.  Note, I didn’t modify the photo. 

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Bortles

It should be interesting this weekend to see how the Jaguars do against the Steelers.  Earlier this season, the Jags beat up on the Steelers pretty good.  I think we’ll see the opposite this time around.  I think it will end up 28-13 with the Steelers winning.  I took this photo of Blake Bortles last October.

Below you can see a photo of my peers

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Below are some of my photographer peers at the NFL games.  This crew has a unique sense of humor...  Don't you love those great tan vest they make us wear???

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San Juan's Final Resting Place

I’ve posted a few pictures from this cemetery in the past.  This is the Capilla del Cementerio Santa Maria in old San Juan Puerto Rico.  I’m not ready for this spot to be my home yet, but when the time comes….this might be a great location.  It has beautiful architecture, great history, a Spanish fort and an ocean view.   Wow….   

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Ready For The Playoffs???

How about it?  Are you ready for this weekend’s NFL Playoff games?  I am!!  I have all my camera gear ready for the Steelers vs. Jaguars game.  The big question for the Steelers is whether or not Antonio Brown will play.  I took this photo of him a few games ago.  I hope you have a good week and weekend.

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Motel Hell

I’ve stayed in some trashy hotel rooms and some over the top amazing spots.  In general, I’m okay with simple and plain as long as it’s clean.  I love exploring abandoned buildings that are decaying, old, grimy, etc… but that’s not what I want in a hotel room.   This spot is a former nursing student dormitory, which was later converted into a long-term care facility.  Now it’s sitting there for my exploration.

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Grand Harbour

It has been a while since I posted a photo from Europe.  Tonight’s the night….so here is a photo of the Grand Harbour in Valletta Malta.  This was such an amazing looking city.  Of all the European cities we visited, this is one spot I want to return to again.  I’ll just say it’s back on our bucket list again. 

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Seaside Theatre

I hope you’re having a nice and warm Sunday.  It is still freezing in my area, which has me thinking about warmer times/experiences.  Today’s photo is from our European cruise on the Carnival Vista.  Per my normal routine, I got up extremely early to capture this photo without other tourists in the way.  I loved the colors in this part of the ship.

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Cape Town Ferris Wheel

Gosh…. I loved our trip to South Africa.  Just looking at the photos from that trip makes me want to go back.  MJ and I found this spot at the marina in downtown Cape Town.  There were a bunch of shops, restaurants, museums, etc… in this area.  Fun times…

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Matthew S

Well like normal, the Detroit Lions are at home again during the playoffs.  I have no idea what Matthew is doing in the off season, but I hope the Lions are preparing to perform better next year. 

I took this photo last October prior to the Lions vs. Steelers game.  I thought it was interesting that they had a radio broadcast playing (very loudly) throughout the stadium when I took this photo.  The radio announcers were very critical of Matthew’s last performance.  It had to be tough listening to that negative feedback while he tried to prepare and warm up for the game later that day.  I don’t think I could have ignored it if I was in his shoes.    

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W&J College

Here is another drone photo for you.  I took this photo a few months ago flying around W&J College (Washington and Jefferson College) south of Pittsburgh.  This building is the main focal point for the campus and I doubt there are many photos of it from this angle.  It’s an unusual perspective.  The photo was used in a local 2018 calendar published by Washington Financial.  Below is another photo from a more traditional perspective.

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more traditional perspective

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Gilbert Arizona Temple

I’ve mentioned before that I jump around as I process images.  I’ll process a few photos from one trip, do some from another, then change to a 3rd, etc…  I just get bored if I process to many photos in a row from the same trip/event.  With that said, I just processed this photo from 2015…..  Its been sitting on my hard drive waiting to be freed.  So you get it now in early 2018. 

Location:  This is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the town of Gilbert Arizona.  We spent one night in this suburb of Phoenix at a nice Hilton property in this area.  In advance, I found out about this amazing building (advanced scouting works) and had my friend drop me off before sunrise.  Then I spent about an hour or so walking around the outside capturing photos from every angle as the light changed.  Good times…. 

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Phoenix Center

Last fall while I was in Michigan, I spent an afternoon with an old friend photographing some spots around Pontiac.  We hit up this spot, which is an abandoned concert venue.  Although you’d never know this spot hasn’t been used for years.  Someone is paying good money to keep in in great shape even though it isn’t in use.  It looked like they could hold a rock concert the next day…..  So it isn’t your normal grungy looking abandoned location.  But it was cool exploring this spot.

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Washington Train Bridge

As I mentioned yesterday, I got outside to capture some winter snow photos after the storm blew through.  I’ve had this spot in mind, but for some reason haven’t hit it up until yesterday.  As you can see, it was still snowing while I captured this image and I think it turned out great.  It made dealing with the weather worth it. 

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Spreading Salt

Like many areas of the country today, we got a little bit of snow (maybe 3 inches).  So I took advantage of the situation and got outside to capture some winter photos, including some drone photography…..  This is a photo of our home with Blair spreading salt on the driveway (look closely).

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Mammoth

I couldn’t think of a clever title for this photo.  So I went with what came to mind, which I admit isn’t interesting.   And yes, you guessed it… I’m posting another African animal to make MJ happy.   We came upon this young guy in Kruger National Park in South Africa.  He was with another older male guy.  Sort of traveling together.  They came within 20 feet of us and just went about their business.  We sat there in our safari vehicle for a while just watching them.   It was a very peaceful period and a moment I won’t easily forget.

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Flying Chili

MJ continues to bug me for more South Africa animal photos….  So here is another animal photo, maybe not the type of animal you’d expect.  But it’ll work.  This is the Red Billed Hornbill or otherwise known as the Flying Chili by our safari guide.

Have a great Wednesday.

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Dry Dock

Tonight, I have something a little different for you.  I don’t often take many marine industrial photos, but MJ and I came upon this spot in Cape Town South Africa and I couldn’t help myself.  I thought the ships sitting here in various stages of repair were interesting…..  along with the unusual clouds on the left side of the sky.  There is probably a scientific name for that type of cloud, but I don’t know what it is.  Do you?

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Christmas Surprise

As the phrase goes, “it’s a small world”.  I had a wonderful Christmas day with my family today.  Frankly, we had a great relaxing weekend.  In addition to the family time, calls to touch base with close friends, Lego building and Christmas gifts, I got an additional small Christmas surprise that started with a small flight delay on December 8th. 

On that day, I was laying over at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago when my late flight back to Pittsburgh got delayed by a couple of hours.  It had been an extremely long week, so I got dinner at a pub within the airport.  I was traveling by myself, so I sat at the bar vs taking up a booth or table that a group could use.  While sitting there, a nice young man (I’ll leave his name out of this to protect his identity) from California sat down and started up a conversation with me.  Turns out, he was originally from the Pittsburgh area and was traveling back to Pittsburgh to meet up with his girlfriend.  She lives with him in California but was traveling for work that week along the east coast.  So, they were going to meet in Pittsburgh to visit her parents (she’s also from the Pittsburgh area) and catch the home Steelers game.  While we talked, I learned that her parents live within a mile of my house. 

I also learned that we were both on the same flight back to Pittsburgh and I offered to give him a ride to his girlfriend’s childhood home, so she didn’t have to come pick him up, since our arrival was now delayed well past midnight.  At first, he wasn’t sure and I just left the offer open in case he changed his mind.  Later as we were boarding the flight, he asked me if the offer was still good.  Fast forward to the end of the flight, we picked up my bags and away we went.  I dropped him off at this destination (again it was about a mile from my house) and we parted ways. 

As you can guess, during our time together we talked about the Steelers and I told him about my part time gig photographing the games from the sidelines.  At the time we talked, he didn’t know where he would be sitting, but I told him to text me during the game and I’d come over to photograph his group (him, his girlfriend and her sister).  Sure enough, on game day he sent me a text and I took their photo.  Turns out, they had great seats in row 1 behind the Steelers bench. 

Following the game, I sent him the photos (see the photos below) and got a thank you.  It was a nice exchange that went from Chicago to Pittsburgh.  I really never expected to hear from him again.  Well today (Christmas day) I got another text from him that included a photo (see below) of his girlfriend at their house in California.  She’s dressed in her Steelers gifts and holding a frame that includes the two photos I took of them.  He didn’t have to send me that, but it helped make a great day, just a touch nicer.  As I said at the top, it is a very small world.  And what a wonderful world it can be at times.       

I hope the two of them have a great 2018. 

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