The Batmobile

Everyone likes the Batmobile yes? It’s especially cool when you see one on the side of the road in Texas that some comic-book redneck has souped up to be something that is on the edge of street-legal. I jumped out quick to grab a shot before the owner could come out and hit me with some sort of a 2×4, which I only assumed me might be carrying. Actually, you never know… around Austin it’s just as likely to be a doctor or lawyer (assuming one of those two to be an honorable, upstanding profession!

The Batmobile (by Stuck in Customs)

Le Fleur de Lys, where I really should have dined

Do you see that gentle shape there in the room with me? It’s made up of hundreds of other tiny little things that are perfect and delicate. Each is alive and real. I’ll let you zoom into the full-sized version and see if you can deduce their Linnaean taxonomy. (you can zoom in by clicking on the image to go to the Flickr page, then click on All Sizes, then Original — it works like this for all my shots…. I always put the highest rez version online for you, should you decide it is time to dive in for the full experience)

The restaurant is called the Fleur de Lys, and it’s in THE Hotel, attached to the Mandalay Bay. You will probably also see that wine cellar on top with a nice little table for two. I think I need to get back to that place one day… I do love French food.

Le Fleur de Lys, where I really should have dined (by Stuck in Customs)

A Chilly Morning in Boston Common

I had an 8 AM meeting in Boston but woke up round 6 to go walk around the Boston Commons and frolic in the snow. There was no frolicking involved. There was a lot of freezing involved, and it reminded me of a bad morning I had in Kiev with a gypsy cab in a blizzard. I wanted to get down to the harbor for some some other sunrise shots, but did not end up with time… but maybe that’s a good thing because it would have been even colder down there!

Morning in Boston (by Stuck in Customs)

The Holidays in a Small Town

This was shot after Christmas as I spent some time alone in a Brenham, a little town between Austin and Houston. I arrived right at dusk and strolled about for a few hours, meandering around the streets as dusk set… just me and my tripod and music that seemed fitting at the time. I can’t ever decide if I like being alone at moments like those. Actually, I do quite like being alone, but it’s interrupted by fleeting thoughts that I’d like to share with someone, as much as I’d like to hear new unexpected thoughts and ideas.

Brenham is one of those old Texas towns where there is a quaint square that surrounds a courthouse-like object. I thought this might be fitting, since, according to the twitters and facebook updates, everyone really seems to be strangely in love with the government all the sudden. Those of you that know my Libertarian leanings can pretty much expect that I spend little time getting excited about the power of government..

And, speaking of the twitters (my Twitter is at, I have made a change to the comments so those of you that use the same email should see your avatar show up on the right. If you don’t have an avatar, you can upload your own for free at Gravatar.

The Holidays in a Small Town (by Stuck in Customs)

Entering Another World

Sometimes don’t you just want to leave this world behind and go some place else for a bit (or forever)?

I was invited to go for a private walk of the shark reef aquarium at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I went in with average expectations and came away very impressed! There are many cool areas, including a dreamy jellyfish tank and another nearby section where you are in a sunken ship. I’ll post that one as soon as I get around to processing it… my brain has been overloaded as of late…

Entering Another World (by Stuck in Customs)

I was able to hack the D3X into a flux capacitor to time travel to 1958

This is my favorite bakery in the world – Clear River Pecan Company.  I’ve been there about four times… it’s about two hours away from Austin in historic Fredricksburg, Texas.

The brownies here are somewhere between a solid and a liquid… sort of a sweet plasma of brownie!

I do consider myself a connoisseur of chocolate with a specialty within the magistarium of brownies.  So believe me when I say they are a 10/10.  The only other 10/10 I can find in Austin is something called “Miles of Chocolate”, which also barely surfs within the existence of this mortal coil.

I was able to hack the D3X into a flux capacitor to time travel to 1958

Where to Party in Vegas

I just recently got back from Las Vegas and betwixt a panoply of activities that kept my mental faculties on edge, I did manage to go out and get some photos, of course. At least I am assured that these always turn out winners!

I stayed in THE Hotel. I think you are supposed to capitalize that THE. In fact, maybe it is even one word like THEhotel. Before going, I thought it was just "the" hotel at Mandalay but now I know it’s much different…. It was a great place and probably the best of 7 or 8 hotels I have stayed there. Although 2 or 3 of those should barely be on the list…

This is a shot of the restaurant area of Club Mix, which sits on the top floor of THE Hotel. I was able to see so many cool places there — I hardly knew which to process first! …more coming in the next weeks and months!

Where to Party in Vegas (by Stuck in Customs)

The State Capitol of Texas at Dusk

I went down on Saturday evening to do some shooting around Austin and caught the capitol around sunset. There are all kinds of interesting things about the Texas capitol, like this cool underground Illuminati chamber you can see here, but the one thing that all Texans seem to know is that our capitol is 14 feet taller than the one in D.C. This is a source of pride for Texans, along with the cool and trivial fact that we maintain, in our state constitution, the right to secede from the Union.

The capitol is made out of this pink granite, and it gets a little pinker at night at soon as they turn on the lights, especially against the blue sky.

The State Capitol of Texas at Dusk

The ghost town just outside of Brenham, Texas

I left Brenham early on Sunday morning after crashing in a tiny roadside motel. The motel was pretty sketchy, but sometimes I like that style of drive-up-to-the-door, ditch my camera stuff in the room, crash for 6 hours, then leave in haste to catch the sunrise. Sunday morning turned out to be rainy and freezing… pretty horrible for a lot of outside photography. So I ate in downtown, read a few chapters of Ananthem, drank a lot of coffee, chatted with a waitress who was an aspiring photography student and gave her some golden nuggets of truth, then drove on to Houston.

Several miles outside of Brenham, I saw this strange collection of houses and stores that were all brightly colored but recently abandoned. It was still raining, so I put it on my list to hit on the way back later in the evening. Luckily, the weather was dark and moody when I returned. I spent about an hour walking around this old abandoned place, shooting a bunch of cool and creepy things. I have no idea why everything was boarded up and empty… there might have been some squatters in one distant house, but I was kind of freaked out by some strange music coming out through some of the boarded-up windows, so I decided it was time to leave…

I’ll post more shots of this place later… it was very strange… reminded me a little of a mid-80’s Texas version of my visit to Pripyat (the little town right by Chernobyl that was also abandoned).

The ghost town just outside of Brenham, Texas (by Stuck in Customs)

A Good Ol’ Texas Revival

I drove down to Houston this weekend to meet some friends, and I took my time about it, so I might find a few things here or there. Well, I found a bunch!

The sun started to set as I was approaching Brenham (home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, as a few of you dessert-lovers like me already know), I came across a Roadside Revival!

So, those of you from overseas or those not familiar with the Christian sects and various mathic practices of arks in the south may never have heard of a Revival. These usually feature a firebrand ENTJ, who, happens to share the same Myers-Briggs as yours truly, and a happenstance clustering of believers who come to testify amidst fellow revelers, gesticulating about as 18-wheelers rumble along in the background.

A Good Old Texas Revival Meeting (by Stuck in Customs)

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