Saturday, August 29, 2009

AC/DC: Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, August 29, 2009!













Legendary Australian hard rockers AC/DC shook their audience all night long at BC Place last night. Last time I saw them play was back in 1979 with their original lead singer, the late Bon Scott. On that night AC/DC was an opening act, for the last time, as they absolutely blew the headlining act, a heroin-riddled Aerosmith, off the Pacific Coliseum's stage. They were supporting their hard rock classic album, "Highway to Hell". I can still picture it in my mind, Angus Young dressed in his schoolboy's uniform riding the shoulders of singer Bon Scott as he walked through the crowd.

















Flash forward to last night's show at BC Place. The band can still deliver the hard rock sonic goods and could easily outperform rock bands half their age! Wow... what a show! My ears are still ringing... as are I'm sure... the ears of the other 60,000 AC/DC luvin' head bangers who attended last night's rock show.

Setlist:

1. Rock N' Roll Train

2. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be

3. Back in Black

4. Big Jack

5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

6. Thunderstruck

7. Black Ice

8. The Jack

9. Hells Bells

10. Shoot to Thrill

11. War Machine

12. Anything Goes

13. You Shook Me All Night Long

14. T.N.T.

15. Whole Lotta Rosie

16. Let There Be Rock

Encore:

17. Highway to Hell

18. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sleigh, Lady, Sleigh: Bob Dylan's Christmas Gift










Bob Dylan will release a Christmas album on October 13th. It's worth mentioning again... Bob Dylan will release a freakin' Christmas album on October 13th!!!

Entitled Christmas in the Heart, the collection will feature holiday standards including “Must Be Santa,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.” All U.S. royalties from the collection will benefit the charity Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Other proceeds from the disc will benefit hunger relief organizations around the world.

Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from one of the greatest songwriters of our time.

His Bob-ness stated on his website - www.bobdylan.com











“It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone ~ 12 million of those children ~ often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.”

Ho, Ho, Ho!, Mr. Dylan!! I'm a long time fan and will purchase my copy of Christmas From The Heart from ITunes when available.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Mai Tai goes Hawaiian


One “must do” when in Honolulu is to imbibe in a traditional Mai Tai served at the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach.


During the early 1950's Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr., founder of a chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants that bore his nickname, Trader Vic, invented the Mai Tai drink. Victor took the Mai Tai to Honolulu while creating drinks for the Matson Line Hotels. As legend has it he introduced ten exotic drinks in the Royal Hawaiian's bar. The Mai Tai caught on and within 30 days everyone had forgotten the other nine alcoholic concoctions.


This is the original Mai Tai recipe that was created and made famous by the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, otherwise known as the "Pink Palace of the Pacific"

Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Recipe

Combine all of the following ingredients in the order listed in an Old Fashioned style glass over shaved ice. Stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.



1 oz. light rum

1 oz. dark rum

1/4 oz. Orange Curacao

Dash of orgeat syrup

Dash of rock candy syrup

Juice of one-half lime or lemon (depending on your zing)

Orange juice

"Most places use pineapple juice as their mixture base. We use orange juice. That makes it less sweet and more tangy. Always start with a glass full of ice cubes. Put the light rum on the bottom. Then take everything else and mix it up. Pour that in next. Finish with the dark rum. Use good rums. We use Bacardi light on the bottom and Myers Dark on the top. We always make ours pretty strong. It helps to have a good kick to it." ~ Cheryl Souza Toyofuku, bartender at the Mai Tai Bar


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paradise, Hawaiian Style - Elvis in Hawaii


















April 2008: Paradise, Hawaiian Style is the third of three films Elvis Presley filmed in Hawaii. This shot of Elvis from the movie shows Chinaman's Hat in the background. Chinaman's Hat is the tiny island situated just off the shore of Kualoa Park, in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. This cone shaped outcropping of lava resembles the peasant's chapeau worn by rural Chinese - hence the name, Chinaman's Hat.

The beach park looks much the same today as it did in the movie, except maybe for that dashing 50 year old bon vivant striking a pose for his darling young wife while on their honeymoon…


Monday, August 10, 2009

Beauty Bait in a sea of hungry men and monsters? - Vintage Scuba Movie Posters













Sunday, August 9, 2009

PRO Galleries: By Invitation Only









A few days ago, I received an invitation from Jason Heller to post some of my images in the PRO Galleries at DivePhotoGuide.com, a unique internet portal serving the global community of underwater photographers & videographers of all levels.

This “By Invitation Only” part of the website allows DivePhotoGuide.com visitors to explore portfolios from, in their words, the best of the best. The PRO Galleries represent the top professional underwater photographers in the world. These photographers’ photography styles run the gamut from wildlife to fashion. Their images are regularly published in editorial or advertising, and appears in museums and in galleries around the globe. DivePhotoGuide.com is honored to provide a comprehensive destination with such a depth of talent and spectacular imagery.

Jason Heller is the savy internet guru who owns and operates DivePhotoGuide.com. He is also a very talented commercial and wildlife photographer based in New York City. His work is regularly published in scuba, travel and mainstream editorial and advertising worldwide. Jason is also a special correspondent for Sport Diver magazine and his work has also been recognized and honored by numerous advertising and marketing publications including Advertising Age magazine. Jason's photo website can be viewed at: www.jasonheller.com

You also would not be reading this blog if I had not attended one of Jason’s presentations (The Underwater Imagery Handbook: The Internet) at the Boston Sea Rovers dive show in 2008. I was also a guest speaker at the same show and can recall saying to my wife that we must sit in on Jason’s presentation. I came away so inspired and had learned just enough that when I returned to our room that evening at the famed Fairmont Copley Plaza, I designed and set up this blog site in just a few hours.

Certainly, an honor for my imagery to garner such high recognition. My portfolio at DivePhotoGuide.com can be viewed at: www.divephotoguide.com/user/jett/gallery/jett_britnell

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mars on Ice, Venus on Fire


August 6, 2009: Some days one's life can take an interesting turn...

My wife Kathryn is a newly minted member of The University Womens Club of Vancouver. She was offered some free tickets for a talk last night
by best selling relationship author John Gray at The Chan Centre TELUS Studio Theatre at UBC. Dr. Gray is the author of 16 best-selling books including Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: one of the best-selling books of the last decade. In the past fifteen years, over 40 million Mars Venus books have been sold in over 45 languages throughout the world.

Anyhoo, turns out the event was for a taping of a future PBS broadcast of Dr. Gray's talk for his soon to be released book, Mars on Ice, Venus on Fire. An entertaining speaker who provided some hilarious observations on men and woman and how they can more successfully understand and relate to each other. Observing the taping process of one of these PBS programs was quite interesting. My wife noted that one of the video cameras was focused upon us about 8 times during Dr. Gray's presentation. I can just see it now... our beautiful mugs appearing on late night John Gray PBS re-runs for the next decade or so. "All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up!"


Sunday, August 2, 2009

We stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon!














July, 28, 2009: Often hailed as being one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is an immense gorge located in the state of Arizona in the United States, that was carved by the natural water flow of the Colorado River.

Although not the steepest nor the longest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is recognized as a natural wonder because of the overall scale and size combined with the beautifully colored rocky landscape. The canyon offers a variety of lookouts and experiences that provide visitors with spectacular views that cannot be matched.

My Wife's Grand Canyon Experience:


As I stood taking in the sights and watching Jett photograph the canyon, he was several feet away from the edge and in no way beyond any fence or barrier. An older man walked up the path, muttering under his breath "they don't recover your remains when you lose your balance and fall over", however no one nearby reacted or paid any attention. He then walked directly toward me, stopped and approached me face-to-face. He then said "tell your husband that they won't recover his remains when he loses his balance and falls over the edge". I just quietly nodded and he walked on, seemingly perturbed with my lack of alarm...
Kathryn Britnell















Grand Canyon Quick Facts
  • The canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long
  • The width ranges from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km)
  • The depth is over one mile (1.83 km)
  • It was first discovered by a European in an expedition in 1540
  • The Grand Canyon National Park occupies 1,218,375 acres and was created in 1919
  • About 600 deaths have occurred in the Grand Canyon since the 1870s. Some of these deaths occurred as the result of overly zealous photographic endeavors, some were the result of airplane collisions within the canyon, and some visitors drowned in the Colorado River. According to "Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon", 53 fatalities have resulted from falls; 65 deaths were attributable to environmental causes, including heat stroke, cardiac arrest, dehydration, and hypothermia; 7 were caught in flash floods; 79 were drowned in the Colorado River; 242 perished in airplane and helicopter crashes (128 of them in a horrific 1956 mid air airplane disaster; 25 died in freak errors and accidents, including lightning strikes and rock falls; 48 committed suicide; and 23 were the victims of homicides. And yes, despite rumours to the contrary, Park Rangers make every attempt possible to recover bodies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign is 50 years old!















Located on the Las Vegas Strip just south of Russell Road, the iconic sign famously reads, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada" on the front and "Drive Carefully" and "Come Back Soon" on the back. The sign was designed by Betty Willis while she worked for Western Neon Company and cost $4,000 to build and install in 1959.

On May 1, 2009, the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign was added to the US National Register of Historic Places.



Mirage Volcano - erupting since 1989

Since 1989, the Volcano Show at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas has been voted as being the cities Best Manmade Wonder!

video

The Venetian - the World's Largest 5 Star Resort


The Venetian Las Vegas Resort-Hotel-Casino, one of the "all-suite" hotels on the Vegas Strip, was our home away from home during our recent visit to Sin City.

The Venetian stands where the infamous Sands Hotel once stood. During its heyday, the Sands was the hub of entertainment and Rat Pack cool on the Strip, and hosted many famous entertainers of the day. The Venetian continues that fine tradition and offers shopping along its Grand Canal and numerous restaurants. Every meal was superb! The Venetian is a wonderful place to stay!