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tirollercoasterHere’s a video clip I made a couple of years ago when we rode a cable car in Austria.  This Yahoo story made me think of it.  Starts slowly, but …… :-0

Another Side of Salzburg

crop 454Photo above was take from the bridge in the photo below.

river bridge 1
There are several large hills surrounding the historic city of Salzburg. Centuries ago they built fortresses on them protect the population. Most tourists make their way to Mirabell Palace and walk through the park and then cross the river and make their way to the famous Getreidegasse (English Grain Lane / Grain Alley.) Some will continue on and climb up to the castle and museum (seen at the top of the photo below.)  You can, however, take this bridge up river from where most tourists cross, and then hike along a ridge overlooking the old part of the city.

moving up vertical

You’ll need to be fairly fit, have a little extra time, and good walking shoes.  You’ll see a different side of Salzburg and take a path less travelled. Above is the view you will enjoy along the way.  To give you some orientation, here is a google map and I’ve put red circles along part of the path.  If you want, you can continue all the way to the Castle shown at the top of the photo above.

google map salzburgThe hike will be a bit more demanding than the map capture photo might lead you to believe.  Here are a few photos of the trails itself. (more…)

Neubeuern, Bavaria

Today we programmed our navigator to chart a scenic route to the historic little town Neubeuern, about 2o miles to the East of us.  It is very close to the Inn River and only 5 miles from the border to Austria.  It has a small but very beautiful and historic market square with typical Bavarian facades and a castle (now a high end boarding school) on a hill above it.  CLICK ANY PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE









Chiemsee Country Festival

We dropped by the Chiemsee Country Festival yesterday, bought a cowboy hat and checked out the American cars and the trucks on display.


Guitar Rig 5 — No Sound with Behringer Guitar Link



Guitar Rig 5 is a great piece of free software that allows you to play guitar through your laptop with emulated amps and effects, but getting it to do this caused me hours of frustration.  I looked through forums, YouTube clips, and general searches to no avail.  Finally I stumbled upon a solution, and after rebooting my laptop Guitar Rig 5 worked like a charm.  While it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my experience in the hope that I will save someone else the frustration I had. (more…)

Oldtimers in Kössen, Austria

Testing my Aiptek 3D HD DV iH3 Camcoder

You’ll need 3D glasses to properly view these images.


I took these videos with my Aiptek during a music interview


WAKE UP AMERICA — let the sunshine in

This is a solar power plant in Bavaria (Bayern in German). It was constructed by Solar Frontier and BELECTRIC above the parking lot of a supermarket belonging to the Edeka chain. It will produced 340 kWp of electricity annually and save 230 TONS of CO2. Edeka has taken a further step for the environment and their customers by also providing a  battery charging station for electric cars.

Having lived in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, metropolitan Washington,  and South Carolina I know what it’s like to leave a shopping mall and return to a car that’s been baking in the sun for a couple of hours.  You would think that every shopping center would see this idea as a no-brainer —  your customers have a shaded parking space which  shields them and their cars from the sun and  inclement  weather, you profit from otherwise wasted space,  you do your part for the environment, and you improve your public image.

The parking lot power plant shown above is a couple of hours North of the small town where I live.  Here is a supermarket I can walk to.


Release Your Inner Artist

Without the talent, inclination or ambition to paint, my casual photography is nevertheless influenced by my love of impressionism. Of course the sharpness and detail of photography captures reality, while the bold colors and the dreamy lack of definition employed by impressionists provide a framework for the viewer to use his or her imagination.

Photo editing software generally has tools with which you can emulate painting, but until recently I haven’t been entirely satisfied with the results.  Luckily I found an online cartoon conversion site that, despite the name, delivers remarkable  results –much  more than cartoons. allows you to convert your photos into “cartoons” that, in some cases, can transform your photos into dreamy landscapes with bold dramatic colors.  I was so impressed I actually changed the header photo for this blog.

They have also just released a desktop version that can be purchased.  Based on what I’ve seen with the online version, $19.95 seems like a very fair price.

The software can also turn old black and white photos into something new and interesting.  I find it particularly effective for photos taken in the early spring before the leaves are on the trees — the tree limbs are morphed into  stark patterns.   Here are a couple of examples, this photo of my grandparents with me and my sister was taken with a very primitive camera in front of the White House in the mid 50s.  It’s the kind of photo you would normally not look at twice, so I was very surprised by this “cartoon” version.

Here is a photo I took in Amsterdam in the spring when the tulips were blooming, but the trees were still rather bare.


For anyone who likes to create personalized cards for birthdays etc, this could also be an effective tool.

Once the trees are green, sometimes very colorful photos seem a bit tacky or kitschy, so you just have to experiment.

Here are examples of good photos that did NOT work out well. (more…)


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