Salamiad 2012

Today’s LJ Pic of the Day is another call to action if you happen to be in Ljubljana tomorrow (Saturday 5 May), happen to not have afternoon plans, and happen to not be a vegetarian.

It’s the Salamijada 2012, in the village of Dvor pri Polhovem Gradcu, just west of Ljubljana, sponsored by the Vetrnik Tourist Association (Turistično Društvo Vetrnik). It’s a very pretty area and just about a 30-40 minutes bike ride west of the center.

Links (Slovenian only): [TD Vetrnik] [Salamijada] [Map Link]

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LJ Pic of the Day – Friday 13 April

Today’s Ljubljana pic is  a little something for Friday the 13th, taken in the old town center last week. Just pretend that the gentleman is walking towards the light, not away from it, and everything will be just fine.

Enjoyed a fabulous day yesterday exploring the coastline and villages of the northernmost reaches of Normandy. More is in store for today as well.  :)

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LJ Pic of the Day

This was taken about two weeks ago in the central Prešeren Square. They were playing the Theme from the Godfather on two of my favorite instruments.

I had an accordion forced upon me at an early age – I wanted to play the guitar and saxophone when I was seven but my parents insisted I be a good little Slovenia boy and bought me an old squeeze box instead. The passion was never really there so I reached my accordion peak in the fourth grade. I’m holding out hope that my sax peak has yet to be reached.

DICAPac WP-S10 waterproof housing test run

That’s what a foam seahorse, courtesy of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, looks like when shot underwater in my bathtub. Great smile, no?

That was the best I could come up with on short notice to test drive the DICAPac WP-10 SLR waterproof housing I bought on a whim late last week. I’m not much of a diver, but the ability to shoot underwater does sometimes come in handy – that’s how the rationale played out in my mind when I found this staring down at me on a shelf, with a 99 EUR price tag.

The lighting in my bathtub isn’t quite ideal – the shot above, and the last one below, were taken at 1600 ASA, f5.6, 1/30 – so forgive the grain and crappy light. That had nothing to do with the housing, which worked remarkably well.

The first test involved some paper towel scraps and my kitchen sink. Several dives from all directions and a full force rush of water from the faucet, and not a single drop was discovered.

From its bulky predisposition, actual usability was predictably awkward. There are some finger sleeves in the lens casing portion and another on the back right side with access to controls and for snapping, but its design at the front, with plenty of spare space when using a smallish standard lens, is quite tricky. At least when it’s being used in a bathtub. I’ll see how it works when I’m actually positioned behind it. (By the way, Vinakoper’s Shiraz is getting better with each vintage.)

The trickiest part is the casing around the lens. Made to fit slightly longer lenses, it can be extended and retracted, but doesn’t stay in place very well. The ‘lens cap’ is similar to a UV filter.

This model is built to handle depths of up to five meters. But I bought it mainly for security’s sake when rafting or kayaking. I’ll be doing some sea kayaking in Vietnam in a few weeks, where I hope to snap something of interest below the surface of Halong Bay that isn’t litter or pollution. Maybe even a sea horse.


Crappy connection back from Oslo today. I managed the 28 minute transit in Munich with a few minutes to spare, but my luggage didn’t.

Annual visit to Oslo means an annual visit to this sculpture, Utkast, by Kåre Groven at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. The playfulness of the massive piece always puts a smile on my face.

Below are a few snaps of the piece from previous visits. More pics from Oslo are here.

Oslo 065, originally uploaded by pirano.

Slovenian wine notebook

Actually, not really. But hopefully this pic taken yesterday in a friend’s cellar will act as reminder to catch up with a small stack of tasting notes assembled in recent weeks.

This cellar is in the village of Vodol, near Maribor. I was kindly invited to select and take home any three, a most wonderful gift and pleasant surprise. To be honest, I don’t have particularly high hopes for the wines. They’re all local dry whites, 10-20 years old. But I do hope to find at least one surprise.

Maribor wine route 011, originally uploaded by pirano.

LJ Pic of the Day

This sculpture of a woman with very large hands can be found in the sprawling area around Ljubljana’s old tobacco factory, which these days serves as, among other things, one of the city’s main bureaucratic centers. By the way, my limited experiences with local bureaucracy have always been quite quick, efficient, and relatively friendly.

The statue was dedicated in 1971 to mark the factory’s 100th anniversary.

Ljubljana 0181, originally uploaded by pirano.