…a lovely birthday today.
Thanks for asking.
…a lovely birthday today.
PARIS (AP) — The Dakar Rally, the epic motorcycle, car and truck race across the Sahara desert, was canceled Friday by organizers citing “direct” threats of terrorism from al-Qaida-linked militants.
The race was deemed too inviting — and too easy — a target for the terror group’s new north African affiliate. The roughly 550 competitors were to have embarked Saturday on the 16-day, 5,760-mile trek through remote and hostile dunes and scrub from Europe to Senegal in west Africa.
This is the first shutdown in it’s thirty-year history. Five hundred and fifty have been hung out to dry at the last minute. It’s always been dangerous, but everyone knows that going into it.
In 1982, Mark Thatcher, son of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, got lost in the desert for six days. In 1988, the leading truck crashed and killed a driver, and over the last three years the race has claimed seven lives — five motorcyclists and two spectators.
Dakar race organizers based in France were urged to avoid Mauritania, where a family of four was reportedly killed by militants linked to Al-Qaida.
Individual stages of the event have been cancelled in the past, but this is the first time the entire event was cancelled — much in part because eight of the stages would’ve taken place near the terror-plagued Mauritanian desert.
“It’s a weird time now when you have to cancel races because of terrorist activities,” said Bill Auberlen, driver of the No. 23 AJR Porsche Crawford. “You have to because it’s a safety issue but where’s it going to end?”
Of course, some folks first reaction is to sue.
For me, this race and the 24-hour race at Daytona Speedway have always heralded a new season of motorsports.
…To all the nice folks that wander through here.
And you spambots, too.
A few weeks ago I went shooting with my honey and a good friend.We went wandering around Old Town Alexandria, Va.
I took my grandfather’s old Leica M3 with my buddy’s new Voightlander 30mm lens.
Shooting film, after years of instant feed-back from digital, forces me to concentrate more on the whole process.
This last one is the interior of Christ Church. On the left is Geo. Washington’s old family pew and on the altar rail is a brass tag marking where Robert E. Lee was confirmed.
…beginning next Monday. It will be nice to have some sort of regular schedule again.
Oh, and a regular check.
And no, it’s not with the Russian postal service, silly.
I got laid-off from my real world gig last night. It would seem that my years of hustle and experience costs the company just too darned much.
Good luck with those $7 an hour, part-time high school kids, there, boss.
If you’re feeling pity for me, and you aren’t a human if you don’t, click on THIS SITE AND BUY A PHOTO. Actually get something for your money!
Com’on, baby needs a new pair of shoes.
A little history from Wikipedia:
Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
The Church is prominently situated along the Griboedov Canal. The embankment at that point runs along either side of a canal. As the tsar’s carriage passed along the embankment, a grenade thrown by an anarchist conspirator exploded. The tsar, shaken but unhurt, got out of the carriage and started to remonstrate with the presumed culprit. Another conspirator took the chance to explode another bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding the tsar. The tsar, bleeding heavily, was taken back to the Winter Palace where he died a few hours later.
A temporary shrine was erected on the site of the attack while the project for a more permanent memorial was undertaken. It was decided that the section of the street where the assassination took place was to be enclosed within the walls of a church. That section of the embankment was therefore extended out into the canal to allow the shrine to fit comfortably within the building and to provide space on the exterior wall for a memorial marking the spot where the assassination took place.
Inside, an elaborate shrine was constructed on the exact place of Alexander’s death, garnished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones. Amid such rich decoration, the simple cobblestones on which the tsar’s blood was spilled and which are exposed in the floor of the shrine provide a striking contrast.
The church has never been used for regular services, only memorials. It took a beating after the 1917 revolution. During the seige of St. Petersburg by the Nazis it was a vegetable warehouse and then became set storage for a local opera company. Restoration began in 1970 and continued for 27 years.
Keep in mind as you view the following photos that the interior is all mosaic.
7500 square meters worth according to the restorers.
Enjoy the photographs below the fold.
I watched a fellow in a wheelchair roll himself down the sidewalk a few minutes ago.
He could barely keep out of the flowerbeds because he was working a wheel with one hand and talking on a cellphone with the other.
Is there a moral here?