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Check out this tub/shower in Jerusalem’s 4 star Grand Court hotel.  It only covers half of the opening.  Huh? I found it virtually impossible to avoid a flooded floor after taking a shower.  No matter how hard I tried to … Continue reading

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Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge - Budapest

Chain Bridge – Budapest

Chain Bridge is one of seven bridges that span the Danube River as it flows through Budapest.  Opened in 1849, it was the first permanent bridge that replaced ferries and pontoon bridges.

The bridge was destroyed by the Nazis in WWII, rebuilt in its original form, widened and reopened in 1949.  The lighting and graceful curves of the suspension cables makes it a “must see” at night.  Castle Hill is lit in the background.

This shot was taken from the top deck of our boat that was docked about a block from the bridge.  This Christmas-lighting effect is visible every night of the year.

Thought for the Day:  In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.                                                                                                       Francis Bacon

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Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Singing in the Rain

Singing in the Rain

Picture this: 1,441 rooms and no bathrooms!  This is the huge Hapsburg summer palace in Vienna.  The gardens behind it are believed to be more spectacular than the palace, but the rain prevented any views of it.

The two at left tried unsuccessfully to sing their way into the palace courtyard.

Thought for the Day:  A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.                                                                                                                              Frederick the Great

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Heroes’ Square

Heroes' Square, Budapest

Heroes’ Square, Budapest

One of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary is the Heroes’ Square.  A massive open space, dominated by a centerpiece of statues honoring national leaders in Hungary’s history, and also the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

At the top of the column is the Archangel Gabriel holding the Hungarian Holy Crown.  At the base are the seven Magyar chieftains, all on horseback, who led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian Basin over 1,000 years ago.  On each side of the column are twin colonnades that have statues of other national figures.

The square was built in 1896 to commemorate the thousandth year of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin and the foundation of the Hungarian state in 1896.

Thought for the Day:  Tell me who your friend is, I’ll tell you who you are.                                                                                                                                 Hungarian Proverb

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Midwest Thanksgiving

Midwest Harvest

Midwest Harvest

Thanksgiving in the Midwest is closer to the original feast of the Pilgrims and Indians than any other place in the USA.

I don’t mean to imply people from large metropolitan areas, the coasts or mountain states have a lesser appreciation of the holiday or its meaning.  It’s not a put-down or slam of city folk.  I just think the connection to the holiday is closer in the Midwest.

The Midwest’s livelihood depends on agriculture, crops and livestock.  The farmers and ranchers work long hours 24/7, year-around, tending their livestock, preserving the land and maintaining their equipment, but no matter what they do, their success still depends on the weather and the grace of God.  It is this connection to the Land and faith in God that provides an authentic feeling of Thanks during this time of year.    Happy Thanksgiving!

Thought for the Day:  On Thanksgiving Day we celebrate our dependence.                                                                                                                              William Jennings Bryan

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Eternal Light

Eternal Light

Eternal Light

I’m working on a project for the church — pictures of the church for their new website. This eternal light shines over the altar in the chapel.

The simple picture of the lamp looked rather lame, and I thought it needed a little pizzaz.  I was trying to create a starburst around the light  when I came across this effect.  Totally by accident, I stumbled upon this during one of the intermediate steps to creating the starburst effect.

The starburst was  a bust, no pun intended. What do you think of this?

Thought for the Day:  No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.                                                                           Isaac Newton

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Simple Elegance

Curved Pews

Curved Pews

Czech Presbyterian Church

Czech Presbyterian Church

The Czech Presbyterian church sits alone on a hilltop in Saunders County, about 5 miles southwest of Wahoo, Nebraska.

Rebuilt in 1928, I was impressed with the simple elegance of the interior.

Thought for the Day:  “K-I-S-S”, keep it simple, stupid.

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Almost Done

November Harvest

November Harvest

As I finished up my chores (chores?  Geez, sounds like a farmer) at the lake, I noticed the farmer across the road was picking his last row of corn.

The farmer was probably elated, and a little relieved, to get his harvesting done for the year.  While it has been dry and unseasonably warm the last three weeks, the sky looks like it could just as easily been hinting at snow.  All I had to do was mow the grass one last time; this man had acres of corn to pick, get it to market and still had to maintain his huge equipment before winter set in.

I can’t really appreciate the farmer’s feeling of relief, but knew we shared similar thoughts. I was done, he was done, it’s time for lunch.

Thought for the Day:  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.                                                                                                                                       American idiom

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