Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My wife went to get her parents and my daughter and I waited by the dining room, where we had breakfast. We went to their cabin and grabbed their carry on items. On the way back to ours, we passed through the casino, which was thronged with people. It was one of the gathering spots for people to disembark.
We headed down to deck 7 and waited in a quiet area for our turn to go through immigration, in the lounge at the stern. It went very quickly. The officers barely looked at our passports. We didn't have to go through customs because the amount on our declaration was far under $800 each. We went down to deck 5 and waited our turn to disembark. We had a color code (light blue 2) that indicated when we would get off and where we would find our luggage.
Once in the Pier 35 shed, we found our luggage and then set out to find a porter. I finally learned that the trick is to find the ILWU supervisor. There was a massive crowd out along the Embarcadero. We helped the in-laws flag down their ride, then waited for our car.
When we got home, we found the cat in a remarkably good mood.
My favorite part of any trip is getting home and sleeping in my own bed.
We might do a cruise again some day. Not to Alaska from San Francisco -- too long.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
We were on the second section of the three-section morning train. It was pulled by a pair of shovel-nosed GE locomotives, flanking an ALCO. The first section was for people from the Coral Princess, which was docked behind us.
Our companions on the train had mobility issues, so we were in a handicapped-accessible car. I didn't write down the number. The wheelchair lift worked smoothly and lifted them right in. My daughter and I climbed up and the next car and crossed back. There were three wheelchairs and a mobility scotter aboard. There were rails in the floor so that seats could be added or removed.
We enjoyed looking at Skagway as the train rolled out of town. My wife said it looked like a place where people really live.
Once we passed the town limits, they announced that we could stand on the platforms as much as we wanted, as long as we did not cross between cars. I spent most of the trip on the platform, watching the waterfalls and catching glimpses of the other two sections. I missed the bear.
I'll write more about the train trip on my Park Trains and Tourist Trains page (http://www.cable-car-guy.com/ptrain/index.html).
When we got back to Skagway, we pulled off the main line and into the station. Our companions insisted that we get off while they rode back to the ship. We later learned that because of the area's severe tides, it took a lot of assistance to get them aboard.
We walked around Skagway, visiting various businesses along Broadway, including the Sweet Tooth Cafe. We picked it because it reminded us of Bill's Place in San Francisco. We wanted simple food after all the fancy stuff on the ship. My wife had fish and chips and my daughter and I had grilled cheese sandwiches.
We had a nice walk back to the ship, but I learned why the Tlingit name means "place of the winds". It got to be very windy and cold.
Skagway was our favorite port in Alaska.
I took the photo in the White Pass and Yukon station.
Johnny Griffin died today.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I have read that it rains 300 days a year in Ketchikan. This was one of those days. We found three other cruise ships in port. We visited a gift shop near the pier, then moved on to look for a store that the naturalist had recommended: Ketchicandy. We picked up some chocolate-covered Oreos, which were as good as he had said they would be. We moved on to the Wells Fargo branch to patronize the atm, then proceeded to Creek Street. I wanted to take photos of the funicular, which leads up to the Fox Point Lodge, a restaurant. Beyond the funicular, the street reminded me of Sausalito during a flood.
We wandered around a bit more. My daughter was shocked when I pointed out the store that sold reindeer sausage. We stopped at a coffee place (I didn't note the name) and had something. My daughter expressed a wish for a proper cookie. She pointed out that there was nothing like that on the ship.
We had had about enough Ketchikan, so we stopped at another store near the pier, then reboarded the ship. This required scanning our cruise card and passing through a metal detector.
When the ship sailed, the naturalist talked about what we were seeing. I enjoyed seeing the rest of Ketchikan spread out along the water. Almost everything is built on piles. I saw some bald eagles and two ships of the Alaska Marine Highway. We saw a couple of whales, and he said there would be whale watching at about 7:30.
After dinner, we went out and saw more whales breaching and sounding.
My daughter took the photo of the Creek Street sign. All rights reservered.
Last night we went to the ball park to see the Giants play the Brewers. Before the game there was a crab feed in the parking lot to honor Crazy Crab. We received a Crazy Crab bobble head and a good crab sandwich. We did not wait for the guest of honor. We each got another bobble head when we entered the park. Our seats were in the very top row of the upper deck section behind home plate. The wind blew through the arches and the green material stretched across kept banging me in the back of the head. The temperature reminded me of Candlestick, but all the flags were blowing the same direction.
Crazy Crab ran across the field once and showed up on the video screens during the 7th inning stretch.
CC Sabathia almost had a shutout. The Brewers won 9-1.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895.
While serving as editor of Manufacturer and Builder Magazine, he wrote many articles, including the ones which gave this blog its name. In 1893 and 1894, he published a 23-part (!) memoir in the same periodical.
Here is the sixth part. He continues to discuss his career as a photographer.
His son Henry Van Der Weyde served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later emigrated to England, where he worked as a photographer. I have not located a photograph by PH, but the image this month was taken by Henry. It is from Tennis By John Moyer Heathcote et. al: "C. Saunders volleying the service from the pent-house."
Roger (or Rogier) Van Der Weyde was a Fifteenth Century Flemish painter.
Reminiscences of an Active Life.
BY DR. P. H. VAN DER WEYDE.
From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 25, Issue 6, June 1893
(Continued from page 123.)
(5th. Career as a Photographer. -- As stated before, I began to follow Daguerre’s advice, and made only pictures of outdoor objects. The first subject was a chimney top, visible across the street from a top-story window. This was very much admired, especially because it exhibited a peculiarity never before seen in art productions, namely, that every brick was represented, with details which required a magnifying glass to verify them; defects in the bricks, for instance, only visible by help of an opera glass, were found in the small picture when a magnifying lens was applied.
I went a step further, and attempted to make a picture of an object only visible by a telescope; this was a church spire at the horizon of an extensive fiat landscape seen from a window in the attic story. At first nothing of it was visible on the Daguerrean plate, not even by the strongest lens; but by narrowing the diaphragm which I used in front of the lens, and prolonging the time of exposure in proportion that the light reaching the plate was thus reduced, I succeeded in making an impression of the invisible spire, very distinctly recognized by the aid of a small magnifying lens. This also was another feat admired by my friends.
This, and similar experiments, set me speculating in regard to the future services which photography might render to astronomy, if at night it might not be possible to photograph invisible stars by long exposure to a camera attached to the heliostat, of which I had studied the illustrated description in Gravesande’s ”Elemens de Physique,” published in Leyden in 1744, plate 83, pp. 127-136, having its clock-work motion so regulated as to follow the movements of the stars, and so make a very long exposure possible -- say several hours.
When speaking about this to some friends, they said I was a visionary; but when I mentioned the subject to an old astronomer, he answered that if I lived long enough I might see this done. (Warning – Large pun ahead – JT) I thank my stars that I have reached the age to see such experiments of photographing constellations carried on as a regular practice in first-class observatories.
Notwithstanding the public in general had not the least idea of what photography promised to all whose mind was prepared to conceive the diversity of its applications, it is scarcely possible to realize the general surprise and delight produced by the new art, which at first had many doubters, who could not believe in what seemed to them almost miraculous results, until at last they were convinced by seeing an operation which at present (only fifty years later) has become so common that daguerreotypes are made by the nickel-in-the-slot process, and this often in some dark corner with the aid of electric light. This is another illustration of the material service which the sciences and arts can render to one another.
The nickel-in-the-slot process has perhaps reached its most extensive application in Coney Island, in regard to which locality we in New York are in doubt if we should be proud, or, on the contrary, should be ashamed. One thing is certain, that those who there practice this art for a living, ought to be ashamed of the pictures they produce, as well as those who indulge in that luxury and who exhibit them to their friends.
This reminds me very naturally of a few other localities where photographs are made by help of electric light. However, while Coney Island is low in the estimation of lovers of science, art and refined culture, the other localities stand high -- stand at the top of the pyramid with which we may compare the sum total of science and art. These localities are Paris and London.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that my oldest son, Henry Van der Weyde, was the first to introduce in London, and also in Paris, the use of the electric light for making photographic portraits. As he never studied photography, it may be of interest to many to know how he succeeded in outstripping the photographers of those two cities.
From early boyhood he exhibited a strong predilection for drawing, at which I was not at all surprised, as it is a family trait*, of which I was possessed myself; and so I did with him as my father did with me -- namely, helped and encouraged him, giving him at an early age a good teacher, and sending him later to a drawing class, where he studied statuary and living models. He became soon very expert in painting miniature portraits, for which he easily found profitable employment in New York among the leading photographers, until the civil war broke out, when he joined the Seventh Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y., to leave for the protection of Washington, and later served in other regiments to the end of the war, when he returned with the rank of Brevet-Major, and, unlike others, he returned at once to his former occupation; as in the meantime I had moved to Philadelphia, having been appointed to a professorship in Girard College, he found an engagement with Gutekunst, the leading photographer there.
* The old master Roger Van der Weyde is one of the ancestors of the family.
(To be Continued).