Saturday, July 12, 2008

One Time in London I'd Gone out for a Walk

My apologies for the dearth of posting recently. Things have been hectic at work, sandwiched around a three-day trip to London for the Fourth of July weekend. Since I know you're all on pins and needles for my thoughts on the trip, here's a brief photo diary:

This has to be the most inexplicable advertisement I've ever seen. I took this shot in an elevator at the Covent Gardens tube stop. I still can't decide whether this is some sort of joke and English gays know that South Carolina isn't noted as a haven of tolerance for...just about anyone or if it's just the worst idea ever. Come to think of it, you could do a pretty good movie in which gay Londoners go to Myrtle Beach, only it would be a little derivative of this:

Needless to say, I know what picture is going up on the blog on the Friday before the Georgia-South Carolina game.

This is a shell from the largest gun that the Wehrmacht produced during WWII. The gun required a crew of 1,400 to operate, it took six weeks to assemble, and the Germans fired about 45 shells from it for the entire war. If you ever wanted a perfect example of German over-engineering, this is it.

The shell, incidentally, can be found at the Imperial War Museum, which currently has a bitchin' James Bond exhibit on the occasion of Ian Fleming's 100th birthday. Sadly, because photos were verboeten in the exhibit, I don't have pictures of the nuclear bomb from Octopussy or Ian Fleming's desk or the note that Stalin sent to Fleming denying a request for an interview. I didn't know much about Fleming before going to the exhibit, so I was interested to learn that his passions were golf, gambling, drinking, smoking, and women. Sound like any fictional secret agents we know? I also found it interesting that Fleming's father died in WWI when Fleming was eight and Fleming then found a father figure in Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Fleming's boss in WWII when Fleming worked in naval intelligence. Accordingly, M is supposed to be Bond's father figure in the books, which makes Dame Judi Dench's casting in the role a little interesting. Speaking of the Dame, here's the trailer for Quantum of Solace:

Other than the fact that there are some parallels to License to Kill, one of the weaker Bond movies, it looks good.

Yes, that is in fact a man playing a guitar in a trash can. I took this shot in Cambridge.

This is pretty much the only sports-related picture that I snapped in London. Behold, the outside of the Emirates from a train speeding by! I was pretty far removed from the world of sports while I was across the pond, with the exception of watching the extended highlights of the Federer-Nadal match. I'm not going out on a limb when I say it was one of the best tennis matches I've ever seen. It's rare to see a game/match in which the two teams/players are both at the top of their game. The closest college football parallel I could think of was the Texas-USC Rose Bowl. I was a tennis fan as a kid, but had lost the fever as an adult. Now, I'm certainly looking forward to the U.S. Open.

This is proof that I am, in fact, a 14-year old. I am quite confident that the term means something different in England than it does to the Beavis and Butthead generation in America.


Ryno said...

michael - glad you're back. Although I can't say you misse much with the play of the Braves.

Anonymous said...

Bobby P says - the bung is the plug that goes into the bottom of a cask/keg. So 'The Bung Hole' would be equiv to 'The Tap Hole'.

Chg said...

I am already depressed by the thought of seeing that image for the next decade of South Carolina-Georgia games. If it is borrowed for the annual month long, "No, YOU suck!" repartee on the Rivals boards, it will quickly get out of hand.

Anonymous said...

Michael, I laughed at the SC Tourist thing. Turns out to be in the news here, and Atlanta has one too:

Bring on the smack talk when the time comes, though; that is what makes the SEC so fun.

Anonymous said...

Here is one for Atlanta.

Chg said...

I wondered what the reaction would be back home when they heard of the campaign. Pretty much what I expected.

Played trivia in Athens tonight and one of the other teams was named "South Carolina is So Gay." Of course, they finished 30 points back because they were handicapped by the UGa/Gainesville State education.

Michael said...

Atlanta makes sense as a gay tourism destination. The city isn't known as the San Francisco of the South for no reason. (For the record, I think that living in a city with a heavy gay presence is a significant positive. Gay neighborhoods tend to be aesthetically pleasing and full of good restaurants.) South Carolina, not so much. I can see Charleston being a good destination, but Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head? (For the record, I also like Hilton Head, but I can't ever remember seeing gay tourists there.)