Saturday, July 21, 2007

The slideshow below? Really cool.

I mean the slideshow generator itself is cool, not necessarily my slideshow. I discovered just now that if you click on a photograph, it will show you the same captions I have in Flickr. But the pic is cut off to the side - that's my fault. I adjusted the slideshow frame size (original width was 500, I made it 400). Anyhoo, scroll down and check.

ETA. For those who want an even nicer, bigger slideshow, watch it in Flickr. Go to the album, click on "View as a slideshow", and when it begins, click on the "i" to see captions along with the pics.

I love Flickr.

Blogging in un-real time: Why aren't there enough hours in the daytime?

That's rhetorical, of course. Flashback to 2005. It's late fall in California. The setting sun always catches me off guard, even after being here several days already. There just isn't enough time to enjoy the afternoon, to have leisurely walks, take photographs, take one's time to bask in the daylight. The latter half of the day goes like this: We eat lunch, perhaps take a little rest, and then what do you know, the light is fading already.

Cut back to now. I've started to organize my California pics, these are what I have so far. This slideshow - different from the one I used a few entries back, lookee, it's automatic! - was produced with the Flickr Slideshow Generator, wonderful wonderful toy. If you point your cursor at the top of the black box below, you'll find some controls. If you point it at the lower bottom portion, a strip containing the pictures in the set will appear. Detailed captions and anecdotes can be found in my Flickr gallery (go to the California and Yosemite albums; or go to Tags > California).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Of chedis, stupas and prangs *

Finally found the time to dig up and upload my photographs from Ayutthaya. Here's a sample.

Chedi from behind frangipani blooms.
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol, Ayutthaya. 2/08/2007

View the rest of the pics at my Flickr album.

From Bangkok we took a cab to Morchit station (aka North bus terminal, not to be mistaken for the Morchit MTR station. Note that "Morchit" is itself not written on the facade of the main terminal building.), and from there, the bus to Ayutthaya. The ride took about an hour. We then contracted a tuktuk driver to drive us around. We had intended to work our way from the farther wats to the center, but by the time we got to Wat Mahathat we were worn out already and it was time to catch the bus back to Bangkok. We had to get enough rest because we knew it would be a tough journey to Cambodia the following day.

1st class aircon bus ride: 100 baht
7-Eleven breakfast: 15-35 baht
Tuktuk ride to and from the wats: 440 baht
Simple but yummy lunch at a riverside restaurant: 460 baht
Admission fees to various wats: 20 - 30 baht
The sight of a line of elephants ambling towards the wats in the city center: Priceless
The heat: So intense it makes you breathless

* In temple architecture:

Chedi or stupa or pagoda. A generally bell-shaped tower that usually contains a relic of the Buddha, or the ashes of a king or important monk. The bell-shaped chedi evolved during the golden age of Ayutthaya.

Prang. An Ayutthayan or Khmer-style chedi that is high and slim and looks like a vertical ear corn. Some see the prang as a closed lotus bud, some as Siva's linga (phallus, a symbol of potency).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yosemite reflections

Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. -- Ansel Adams

El Capitan seen from Valley View, Yosemite.

Cathedral Rocks reflected on the Merced River, Valley View, Yosemite.

To view larger versions, go to my Flickr album (click "All sizes" to get to largest version). For a 360 degree panorama of Valley View (it's like being there!), go here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Images from Angkor # 4

Indra sits atop his three-headed mount, the elephant Airavata.
Pediment detail, Banteay Srei. 2/12/2007

[View larger version.]

Banteay Srei, the "Citadel of Women", is one of the most intricately decorated temples in Angkor. It is widely considered as the "jewel of Khmer art". Unlike the others, it was built not by a monarch but by a courtier and scholar named Yajnavaraha who served the king as advisor and guru. The temple was dedicated in 967 A.D. to the Hindi god Shiva. The temple is not vast, but miniature in scale, and largely made of red sandstones.

A History of Elliott's First Hit has been sending this to subscribers via email.

I'm not a crazy fan of the song itself, I said that right when it was released, but I knew it had great appeal, and therefore, great radio potential. So I'm happy for its success all the same. Wait For You has been topping countdowns in such popular stations in the Philippines as Magic 89.9 and RX 93.1. In case you haven't heard the song, check it out here.

Elliott's album hasn't even been released here yet. It will be most probably, when Elliott visits in September, yay! Thank you Ayala! We Yaminoys have been campaigning for this since AI season 5. (Let's just forget that I heard you had actually been choosing between Elliott and season 6's Chris Richardson, bleh!). Elliott's schedule:

Sep 21, 8:00 pm Trinoma
Sep 22, 8:00 pm Glorietta
Sep 23, 8:00 pm Alabang Town Center
Sep 26, 8:00 pm Ayala Cebu
Sep 28, 8:00 pm Market! Market!

(One last aside: What, no concert? Just a mall tour? *sigh*)