Humor: Going from Point to Point

Noted Cartoonist, Gary Larson has re-released much of his Far Side cartoon collection. For those who don’t know, he takes a somewhat skewed look at the world in which we live. Another characteristic of his humor is his frequent use of animals and “play” on common themes, ideas and trends.

The cartoon below is one good example of his style of visual quips.

From The Far Side

Getting from point to point


See more humor posts on JBRish HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 –

Photography: My Shot – Beautiful Hillside in Sintra, Portugal


Whether I am traveling to foreign countries or hiking the national parks, one of my major goals is to capture the experience through my photography. Of course weather is not controllable and under adverse weather conditions, photography can be challenging.

When traveling with a tour group another “tricky” variable is how much time will be allotted at a given site and what areas will be available to view before needing to get back to the group.

In the picture below, I was with a group touring the National Palace in Sintra, Portugal. It is just a short ride from Lisbon via bus. The town is historic with very narrow streets and many pretty houses.

While we were touring the various rooms of the Palace, windows were open to allow air to circulate through the building. One procedure I have developed as a photography enthusiast is to look for pictures within pictures. When I looked through a palace window, I saw the scene pictured below.

Although the sky was cloudy and the light was not great, I thought it was remarkably picturesque. The details and colors of the buildings juxtaposed against the lush foliage certainly caught my eye. While my movement was limited because of the narrow window I thought the composition was also worthy.

I hope you concur that this is an interesting picture taken on a cloudy day.



File Name: 0000350 Picturesque view of the mountainside of Sintra Portugal 2622r.jpg
Capture time: 9:17 AM
Capture date: May 10, 2018
Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/9.0
Focal Length: 55mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.12mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

Have Icon, Will Travel

Someone has done some interesting thinking to help travelers in a clever and unique way. If you have ever visited a foreign country where you had no understanding of the language, this might be just the item for you.

Why not wear a shirt with icons representing cultural places in a specific country and other items that might be universally understood?

Just to give you an idea, here is a world edition T-Shirt.


To locate a bus stop, you could politely stop someone on the street and point to the icon of the bus. Most people, I believe, would get the idea and assist you.

Picture courtesy of PetaPixel


Below is a shirt targeted specifically to those who will be stopping in Paris (Notice the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe).


The company has a video to add a bit of levity to their sales pitch.

If you visit the ICONSPEAK website, you can see that they have a variety of styles, colors and targeted countries.


Read more miscellaneous stories on JBRish HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 —

Airline Passengers Need a Bail Out Too!

The airline industry is poised to reap billions of dollars in taxpayer assistance while some of the carriers are unfairly restricting reasonable accommodations to those who have paid for tickets but are not able to fly because of the worldwide Coronavirus emergency.

I am sending the following email/letter to my two Senators and my Representative. I urge every US citizen to send a similar letter or email as well. We should not allow the airlines to ride roughshod over the people who will be providing support for their survival.

If you think this is reasonable, please pass this along. Even if this particular issue does not affect you, you may have friends or loved ones who will suffer a financial loss if reasonable allowances are not granted.


Dear Honorable Senator or Representative:

I am writing to you about a very specific concern I have and I am sure that many of my fellow citizens have as well. The people about whom I am writing are among those who count themselves as your constituents. Please take the follow concern to heart.

As the US government prepares to use taxpayer dollars to “bail out” and assist the airline industry, I believe the airline industry, at the behest of the US government, should in turn “bail out” and assist the passengers who have purchased tickets to use the services of the various airline carriers.

Several of my friends have found themselves in the following predicament:

They were planning a trip in the future and to be sure they were able to secure an airline ticket, they purchased their tickets many months in advance. As an example, let us assume they were planning a May, 2020 trip, but purchased the tickets in September of 2019.

While they are able to cancel their May, 2020 flight and get “credit,” some of the airlines are insisting that the credit MUST be used within one year of the date of purchase, i.e. September, 2020 or within four or five months of the cancellation.

Don’t you think this is unfair? Travelers had specific reasons for booking their airfare such as attending an event and that reason may no longer exist. It is unreasonable to expect customers to be able to make travel arrangements within such a short period of time just to avoid losing money.

A – Congress should mandate that airlines must provide credit in the same amount as the original expenditure or provide a flight of equal or greater value within 18 MONTHS of the original DEPARTURE date. This time frame is much more equitable and makes a great deal more sense.

Congressional oversight is needed to assure that airlines do not “significantly” increase fares to compensate for the proposed financial adjustments to passengers.

B – There should be an additional stipulation for the elderly or infirm who find that they are no longer able to fly due to medical and/or other health reasons, that they be granted a full and complete refund. This group of Americans had nothing to do with the Coronavirus and the worldwide emergency and they should be protected. A reasonable form supplied by a licensed physician should be enough for such a waiver to be granted.

C – Those unfortunate people who may have died in the interim should have their estates reimbursed in full upon simple application and provision of a death certificate.

D – I also understand that some of our citizenry have made arrangements to fly on foreign carriers over which American laws might have little impact. To compensate those Americans who find themselves in a situation similar to the above (A, B or C), I would suggest the following:

A US government fund should be established to offer compensation to Americans who find themselves being denied such compensation by foreign air carriers. This fund shall remain active and in effect until all claims by American citizens have been satisfied within the specified time frame.

Any foreign carrier not willing to extend the 18-month extension and/or the waiver for ill or disabled citizens should be charged a significant surtax for using US airport facilities until the compensation fund is made whole. The surtax revenues will be deposited in the established fund.

US airlines partnered with foreign carriers who do not comply with the provisions above will have a choice to 1) Offer compensation by way of a flight of equal or greater value with the same conditions noted in A, B and C or 2) Pay the surtax fees until the compensation fund is made whole.

I understand that the airline industry finds itself in a difficult financial situation, but it is no more difficult than the millions of average Americans who are suffering physically, emotionally and financially as well.

Let’s all share the pecuniary load imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic and not burden the American citizens with the financial liabilities of this world and national emergency.

Thank you for your consideration regarding this concern held and shared by millions of your countrywomen and countrymen.


Your Constituent


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 —

Photography: My Shot – Earthen Details

“The devil is in the detail.” — Gustave Flaubert


Not only is the devil the the detail or details, as a photographer I find inspiration and beauty in the details. I am not the best photographer and have little hopes of attaining that title. I enjoy photography for many reasons, but let me address just one.

A significant benefit I receive from my photographic hobby is learning to see. We all look at a multitude things every day; perhaps millions of things if we could count them. But how many of us actually “see” those things at which we are looking?

Photography has given me an appreciation for taking my time to look at an object or a scene. I now search for the details; the small things that make the location or item special. The picture below was taken at Cathedral Gorge State Park in Nevada. If you are going through that area, I recommend it as a very picturesque and worthwhile stop.

While at Cathedral Gorge, I hiked among the canyons created by the eroding clay hoodoos. They were very intriguing in their other-worldly appearance.

This specific grouping of hoodoos served as a collection point for a number of tumbleweeds and these earthen structures created a chimney-like opening where they piled one on top of the other to make an amazing composition.

What struck me was the beautiful coloring and the synchronicity of the two natural aspects, i.e. the eroded clay hoodoos and nature’s tumbleweeds. They came together to form a wonderful, natural image – nature as artist!

I love the textures of both the formations and the tumbleweed. The brown tones bind them together to create, what in my opinion, is an artistic rendering.

Seeing the opportunity, however, doesn’t necessarily mean a photograph is going to successfully capture it the way it appeared to the observer and therein lies the beauty, the challenge and the motivation of photography.

I can’t think of a better hobby for people seeking to express their creative souls than that of photography.




File Name: 0000199-Tumbleweed plays among the hoodoos – Cathedral Gorge, NV
Capture time: 9:55 AM
Capture date: June 13, 2019
Exposure: 1/30 sec @ f/13
Focal Length: 20mm
ISO: 125
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

Edited in Lightroom


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020

Photography: My Shot – Taking Glacier by Storm

We are very fond of America’s national park system and each year we try to take at least one major hiking trip to one of the parks. Last year, after much planning, we spent nearly two weeks at Glacier National Park.

Glacier is very remote and very large and we made a point of staying in each of the two major areas, i.e. Lake McDonald and the Many Glacier area. One of the highlighted experiences is to visit the trails in and around Logan Pass.

The picture below is of Clements Mountain. It towers above the main trail leading to hidden lake just behind the Logan Pass visitors center. During our visit Hidden Lake was off limits because of extreme bear activity.

As you can see, there was a storm brewing and we did have to dig out the parkas and suffer some rain. The sky and lighting were very dramatic. Logan Pass is very popular so we were sure to arrive early and visitor parking was difficult to find even before 8AM!



File Name: 000053_DSC_4820_glacier.NEF
Capture time: 7:59:48 AM
Capture date: July 13, 2019
Exposure: 1/50 sec @ f/16
Focal Length: 20mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

Edited in Lightroom


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020

Seville, Spain – The Alcazar

We were excited to begin our second day in Seville because our walking tour was going to take us to the Alcazar, one of the oldest palaces currently in use by monarchs. Spain’s royal family resides there when duties call them to Seville or nearby towns. The Alcazar has also gained a bit of notoriety as the setting for some episodes of The Game of Thrones.

The Alcazar first served as a fort and was later used as a palace for the leaders of the cultures dominating the area. As noted in prior posts, centuries-old buildings contain vestiges of the societies that claimed ownership of them over time and the Alcazar is no exception.

Tourists will note elements reminiscent of the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as architectural influences of the Arab and other cultures. The main entrance is through the Lion’s Gate adjacent to the Plaza del Triunfo which is just one of the first of many interesting sights visitors will see.

The Lions Gate of the Alcazar

Here is a close-up of the lion inlay.

The Lions Gate of the Alcazar

Picture by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Visitors pass through an archway to arrive at the Patio de la Montería (The Hunting Courtyard).

Entrance archway to the Hunting Courtyard.

This is a photograph from the other side showing the manicured hedges and roses as well as other garden and architectural accents. The stonework is old and it looks its age!

Entrance archway from inside the Hunting Courtyard.

There are many notable characteristics of the Alcazar, but the numerous courtyards creating outdoor and indoor rooms must be high on that list. As the name implies, the Hunting Courtyard is where the royalty would gather those participating in the hunts. It currently serves as an entrance to the Royal Palace of Seville.

 Royal Palace of Seville.

The striking facade of the Mudejar Palace, or Palacio del Rey Don Pedro, located inside the Alcazar was constructed around 1360.

the Mudejar Palace

Notice the intricate patterns which I found remarkable considering the time in which it was built.

intricate patterns - facade of the Mudejar Palace

Other buildings framing the palace entrance were vibrantly colored which does not show as well in this shaded area.

vibrant colors of the buildings

The Dolls Courtyard (Patio de las Munecas) in the Alcazar had incredible structural details. The name is derived from the small abstract stucco faces that decorate some of the arches. I did not know about this “hidden” feature at the time, but the Internet has come to the rescue!

One of the dolls
A close up picture of one the dolls heads, a “hidden” architectural element in the Dolls Couryard of the Alcazar.
Photo courtesy of

Square skylight dome of the Dolls Courtyard

The square domed skylight of the Dolls Couryard (above) allowed filtered light to fill the area which enabled the play of light and shadow to accentuate the detailed stucco work (below).

Dolls Couryard with intricate carvings

The Ambassador’s Hall (Salón de Embajadores – below), sometimes referenced as the Throne Room, was a very important area of the Alcazar because it was used for public events and affairs. The arches were beautifully decorated with shades of blue. The pronounced curves have been referred to as “horseshoe arches.”

The Ambassador’s Hall

Here is a closer picture of some plaster details!

Arch details and colors

If this was not enough, a stunning dome made of gilded wood in the Ambassador’s Hall added an even more decadent accent.

Golden Dome Ceiling of the Ambassador's Hall

The Courtyard of the Maidens (Patio de las Doncellas) has a reflecting pool which would be integral to a Moorish design. The name refers to the legend that the Moors demanded 100 virgins every year as tribute from Christian kingdoms in Iberia. [1] Recent research indicated that the sunken garden was an original feature and thus was recently restored replacing a marble courtyard with center fountain.

Courtyard of the Maidens
<p>Additional plaster artwork among the arches of the Alcazar</p>
<p><img style=

When visiting a building of such historical importance and magnificence, it is really difficult to appreciate all it has to offer in the moment. In addition to all of the beautiful architecture and artwork mentioned thus far, the tile work along the walls was impressive.

The colorful tile below contains portraits of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal. [2]

Beautiful tile work with portraits of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal

Tile work pattern with blues, green and brown

Beautiful tile work

And then there was this wooden, door-like panel with a Moorish design…

Wooden panel with Moorish patterns

Once again, much like a child in a candy store, there was almost too much to take in at one time as we came to displays of beautiful tapestries. This tapestry was hanging above a doorway in the hall of Charles V.

Coat of Arm Tapestry

Here is a better picture of the entire hallway and notice the tiles and additional tapestries along the wall.

In the Sala de los Tapices (Room of Tapestries) the walls are covered with tapestries depicting various explorations and conquests. The originals were destroyed and these are reproductions. The Tapestry Room had to be built from scratch after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. [3]

Hall of Tapestries

Don’t forget to look up. The ceilings are also works of art.

Beautiful ceiling with wonderful colors

Another beautiful ceiling

As we walked through the palace, there were some striking rooms that looked out on to the vast gardens.

Sun room overlooking the gardens

One of my favorite spots in the garden was this curved tile bench with a hedge mimicking the outline.

Garden tile bench

There were a myriad of intersecting pathways to explore leading visitors to roses and other beautiful plantings.

Garden paths

Another garden path

Did I mention they have peacocks?

Peacock in the garden

Closer and more colorful picture of the peacock

As we left the gardens we used a beautifully carved portal near the Jardín del Retiro del Marqués.

Intricately carved stonework of the exit portal at the Alcazar's garden

This is one place in Seville where the more time a visitor has, the better. It was hard to see all of it while on a schedule with other planned stops!

[1] –

[2] –

[3] –


Continue reading about our trip to Portugal and Spain.


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

After our exploration of Warrenton and Seaside our next stop was Ecola State Park located between Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR.

Map showing Ecola State Park

As you will note from the following series of photographs our day at Ecola State Park’s Indian Beach started off with clouds and rain.

Surfers along the stormy beach
Surfers welcomed the waves created by the storm

The rain didn’t bother the surfers who were sure to get wet anyway, but hiking in the rain can create some challenges. We were not to be deterred however.

Other adventurers also wanted to experience the more dour mood the ocean would offer this morning.

We were not the only people intrigued by the rumbling waves
A number of beach lovers were attracted to the stormy shore

And there was enough wind and surf to accomodate those seeking the more somber beach experience.

Dark, craggy rock formations just offshore
The grey day gave a more severe appearance to the rock formations

We decided to investigate the beach area while the rain was only a drizzle as we did not know what the rest of the day would portend. We came across this sign which is not one seen on most of our hikes.

Unusual shark sighting sign
A sign not seen on a normal hiking day

In spite of the weather or perhaps because of it, the beach scene was starkly beautiful.

Stark beauty of the shore and cliffs
The cliffs and shore radiated their stark, stormy beauty

Most of the gulls tolerated the humans and did not scurry until a relatively close approach.

Seagulls gathered along the beach
Seagulls seemed to be enjoying the misty morning on the beach

The sand was covered in a palette of light browns which played well against the darker brown and black rocks.

Sand and rock created a brown palette
The storm induced palette of browns and blacks was attractive

Here the barnacles added texture to the rugged rocks.

Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings
Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings

I can’t say whether or not these anemones would be as pretty on a brighter, drier day, but they were jewel-like in their emerald green tones.

Green anemone among the rocks
Emerald colored anemone among the rocks

After wandering along the beach, we decided to take a seaside hike. The description of the Clatsop Loop sounded appealing with a promise of a potential sighting of the Tillamook Rock Light (lighthouse). While we like hiking in general, the trips we enjoy most are those which have us close to the sights and sounds of nature. We did not realize the the Clatsop Loop trail would take visitors along an access road uphill. The footing was good, but we prefer wooded, non-paved terrain.

The one snap I did take along our hike uphill, was of this radiant fern among the other green vegetation and forest floor mulch.

A radiant fern along the Clatsop trail
A radiant fern seen along the Clatsop Loop Trail

The return part of the loop was much more picturesque as parts were near the shoreline or through the woods. We arrived back at the trailhead and were once again drawn to experience the changeable atmosphere of the ocean on this morning.

PS – The fog and cloudy day precluded any view of the lighthouse from the trail.

A large rock formation lined the ocean's shoreline
An abundance of large rocks along the shoreline

The seagulls continued to take advantage of the wet weather
Gulls continued to enjoy the stormy morning


Read more about Ecola State Park HERE

Read more about the Clatsop Loop Trail HERE


Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 –