I started this blog in January of 2012, thus marking a full year of its existence with this passing month. I’ve yet to find any unifying purpose, other than an avenue of expression, and on some strange level communication. But it continues to be a varied assortment of content that mirrors my predominant interest of the moment. So with that in mind, I was cleaning and reorganizing some of the pictures I’ve taken over that year, and decided to publish many of the pictures that had not previously made the cut.
The pictures that follow tell only a fraction of the story I weaved over the last year, but my lack of professional training and reluctance to take pictures combine to scratch the surface in a provocative way. I leave it to my visitors to draw from this post inspiration for their own adventure.
The first picture I took with my new phone was just before the new year in 2011. It was taken from the Embarcadero in San Francisco, CA, on a day that managed to beautifully combine fog and sunshine.
A few days later, my 2012 began with the last game of the regular season for the Oakland Raiders. The tickets were acquired in a way only described as “subversive”, and is a great story for another post. Unfortunately, with a playoff trip on the line, the Raiders gave only a half-hearted effort and were defeated 38-26.
A couple weeks later I embarked on the first leg of a cross-country road trip, due south to Los Angeles to stay with friends.
We hiked up Rocky Peak, just north of the San Fernando Valley.
There are no pictures of the author within this blog, but the author’s shadow cuts a striking figure.
Bobby and Cal.
We stacked the cans as high as we could.
As I wrote in a previous post, we visited the Valley Table Tennis Club in Reseda. The owner, Mary, is one of the sweetest people I met along my travels.
Spent a good amount of time in San Diego. Woke up on the beach this particular day.
After I left SoCal, I headed east along Highway 10. I didn’t take another picture until I sat down for a meal at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX.
And I didn’t take another until I arrived New Orleans, LA. I’ve already posted many of the best pictures from NOLA, but here are a few scraps and perhaps some retreads.
I left New Orleans, and continued along the Gulf Coast. Slept on the beach again, this time in Biloxi, Mississippi. I stopped in the Burris Farm Market in Loxely, Alabama.
I bought some fresh strawberries and a peanut praline.
I shot pool in Tallahassee, watched dog races in Palm Beach, and saw a Spring Training game in Tampa.
I had a wonderful meal at a small cafe in Atlanta, GA.
I headed north into Tennessee from Georgia, where I visited the home of country music, The Grand Ole Opry, and spent an afternoon on the Tennessee river.
In Clinton, Oklahoma, I met the sweetest little stray puppy ever. No clues on that collar, and she trotted up to me while I was taking a walk through town.
She followed me all night, and a long-haul trucker who was staying at the same run-down 10-room motel and I fed her and played with her past midnight.
The old man who ran the place took over, and said if he couldn’t find her owner he was taking her home. I wonder if he did, and if she’s doing good.
I named her Pea.
When summer rolled around, I got a job dealing poker in Las Vegas. I took a flight to scout rooms and shares just before summer.
Travel tip: when guys in orange vests start taking panels out of the ceiling before you take off, it’s rarely a good sign. We were duly unboarded, delayed, and assigned a different plane shortly after these pictures.
Las Vegas is a fantasically unique place. There is much, much more to Las Vegas than just meets the eye – it is a beautiful and fulfilling place, yet a harsh, unforgiving environment in so many ways.
There are many different approaches to evolution for life in the desert.
While I was working at the World Series of Poker, famous player Scotty Nguyen invaded the employee break area to conduct an interview.
I also went to a number of Las Vegas 51s games – last year, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, this year under new affiliation with the New York Mets. I was lucky enough to catch star player Vladimir Guerrero on an injury-rehabilitation assignment.
In early October I found myself once again in Los Angeles, and fortunate enough to see a Giants-Dodgers game, my first game at Chavez Ravine.
Later in October I took a trip back home to the San Francisco Bay Area, in time for Game 1 of the 2012 World Series pitting the hometown Giants against the Detroit Tigers. Without a ticket I made my way to McCovey Cove to take in the atmosphere, and I was not disappointed.
The anthem wasn’t complete without a flyover.
Before the game started, this gentlemen decided he would climb to the top of Lefty O’Doul Bridge.
The police did not approve of his decision..
..but he doesn’t seem all that concerned by anything. I wonder if they broadcasted the game in his holding cell.
After the World Series, it was back to Las Vegas for the home stretch of 2012. Before the football season ended I made it out to Sam Boyd Stadium to watch the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.
I also managed to have a winning day here and there.
When the holidays rolled around, I headed to the Venetian Casino and Resort. They put on a very pretty Christmas atmosphere.
And a few days later, when the grains of sand in 2012’s hourglass were all but gone, we gathered again in the same location to bid farewell to the old year and welcome in the new.
And that, as they say, is that. I could scarcely have asked for a more fulfilling, eye-opening year. I learned about people, and myself, and the world. And I couldn’t be more excited for 2013, which promises to be an even greater adventure than the year past!