Raleigh news, entertainment, and humor by William Needham Finley IV™

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Google Timelapse Shows Raleigh Over 32 Years

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walk-west-fullToday’s post is brought to you by Walk West, a full-service digital marketing agency in Raleigh that provides web design, development, and strategy that meets the needs of their clients.


Apparently, Google Timelapse is a thing. I think I had heard of this before but never paid much attention to it. Google Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. They combined “over 5 million satellite images over the past three decades from 5 different satellites” to bring us this amazing view. Today, Google released an update adding tons of new data and four more years of imagery that results in the sharpest view of Earth, and more importantly Raleigh, than ever before.

When hearing about this amazing technology, my first thought was “how can I get some pageviews out of this to help my growing media empire?”. The obvious answer is to curate three Timelapse views of Raleigh (embedded below) for your viewing pleasure. I can’t wait to watch this in the next 32 years when we can see the development of the Downtown Raleigh Canal, Dix Jurassic Park, the completion of the weather dome, the Five Points roundabout apartment complex, and many more projects our citizens deserve.

Note: before viewing, you may want to change the setting in the bottom left corner from “Fast” to “Slow” so you can truly take in the horror of watching new apartments being built inside the beltline.

ITB Up Close

ITB and JOTB

OTB

Check out Google Earth Engine for more.

Trolley Pub Almost Ruins Raleigh Christmas Parade

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The events in this story are 100% accurate. This is not a joke. Post updated to include a response from the Trolley Pub owner.

The Raleigh Christmas Parade was almost derailed by a rogue Trolley Pub on Saturday. As you know, the Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh, features a variety of groups and organizations from our community that we all know and love. For some reason, the Trolley Pub is allowed to participate, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with Christmas and brings joy to no one. While it is worth noting that the Trolley Pub partners with the American Diabetes Association for the parade, I still loathe 95% of their customers. This year, four Trolley Pubs were scheduled to ride in the parade, yet only three of them ended up participating.

When I posted this Zapruder-like film of the Trolley Pub being extremely loud and obnoxious at 9:30 am I had no idea that I was capturing the moments immediately before this rogue agent would be leaving the Christmas parade.

After seeing the video, sources reached out to inform me that this particular Trolley Pub was kicked out of the parade because they were being too loud, drunk, and obnoxious. Apparently, the riders had rented the buzzkill on wheels for a 30th birthday party and were told by the company that they would be able to ride in the Christmas parade. A chance to get drunk AND be the center of attention is what these people dream of.

According to two separate sources, the riders began drinking in the early hours of the morning. A parade official approached the group and informed them that alcohol was not allowed in the parade, to which one rider replied, “What?! But the point of this is to get DRUNK.” The parade official clarified that while getting “DRUNK” may be the point of the Trolley Pub, the point of the Christmas parade was to provide family entertainment for the people of all ages in attendance. The riders countered, “But we already paid for this, we’re riding in the parade whether you like it or not.” The parade official warned them that the Raleigh Police Department would have the right to cite them for having open containers in public. They resisted again, gave the official the one finger salute, at which point the parade official gave up to go check on Santa Claus. (Apparently, Santa’s tour rider demands check ins every 15 minutes) The Raleigh Police Department approached the Trolley Pub riders, determined that they were too intoxicated and obnoxious to be in public, and pulled them from the parade. One down, three to go.

A response from the Trolley Pub owner shed more light on the matter:

“This year I was out of town and apparently a tour asked/or was invited to join but were not informed of the rules. Our mistake. When one of the parade officials came up one of the customers got upset but quickly settled down. Management found out and we decided it was best for that group to exit the parade at a convenient point, and the tour agreed. That Trolley was cleared to enter the parade and participated for part of it but left early. So no Trolley Pub was “kicked out”.”

The parade began and crowds looked on in disgust as the remaining unholy trinity of Trolley Pubs slowly chugged down Hillsborough Street.

Most parents shielded their children from the horror. Some used it as a teaching experience on what not to do in life.

After the Trolley trio had terrorized everyone and almost ruined the entire parade, a miracle happened. The sweet sounds so familiar to many of us could be heard coming down the street. It was the Broughton marching band, bringing the joy of Christmas to all. Once again Broughton saved the day, and no one even had to buy a mattress from them. (I still don’t understand why Broughton moved from selling fruit to selling mattresses to raise money for the marching band.)

Overall, the parade was a huge success and enjoyed by all in attendance. I do have a few minor suggestions for next year:

Parade Improvements

1.) Ban all Trolley Pubs

2.) Add a Dogs of ITB float

3.) Include more Tahoes

4.) Hoverboards – not those fake ones that people break their legs on, the real ones from Back to the Future II. That movie already predicted the Cubs winning the World Series and the rise of Trump (Biff Tannen). Hoverboards can’t be that far off.

5.) More giant inflatable balloons. A Lemon La Croix can, for example.

6.) Famous live performers on floats, including: The Connells, a hologram Michael Jackson, and a hologram Nat King Cole.

7.) A Rise Biscuits float with a biscuit/donut canon that shoots biscuits and donuts out to the crowd.

8.) Felson’s Dance Floor Float – no explanation necessary

While it was good to see one less Trolley Pub in the parade, that’s not enough. I’ll be speaking with parade officials in the coming weeks to determine how to remove the Trolley Pub from the Raleigh Christmas Parade entirely. Stay tuned. And Merry Christmas!

A Beautiful Experience Launches in Raleigh

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80 FreshToday’s post is brought to you by 80Fresh, a local company that delivers balanced, home cooked meals to your door. Use this link and enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.


Chris Brunner looked sharp. Wearing a dark blazer, dress shirt, khaki slacks, and loafers, he stood by a table in downtown Raleigh’s Vita Vite ready for his big launch. On the table next to him were dozens of copies of his new book, A Beautiful Experience. He had worked for months to self-publish and promote the book, which features a selection of his pictures taken over the past few years.

Chris has always enjoyed taking photographs, especially of Raleigh and especially of sunsets. He began sharing these photos on his personal Instagram account, @brunner_chris. After receiving a ton of positive feedback he decided to launch his own venture, CLB Images, with an accompanying Instagram account, @CLB.images. In just over a year, the account has amassed over 1,300 followers from all over the country, including fans in Raleigh, New York, Denver and more. (I’ve included a few of my favorite CLB images at the end of this post.)

To capitalize on this popularity and growing following, Chris obtained a booth in the Cheshire Cat Gallery to sell prints of his photos. He also set out on creating a photography book that would feature some of his favorite images. After months of work he finally had a finished product. Chris began building anticipation for the book, offering giveaways from local businesses leading up to the launch party at Vita Vite.

The crowd inside Vita Vite grew larger as the night went on, filling with friends from Broughton and Raleigh, all eager to purchase A Beautiful Experience. Attendees sipped rosé and snacked on charcuterie plates while entering contests to win prizes from the likes of Bald Head Blues, Gena Chandler, Tradition Scarves, and more. In between taking group pictures and selling copies of his book, Chris took time to speak with friends and thank everyone for attending. “Turning my love of photography into this new venture has truly been a life changing and amazing experience for me! I’m looking forward to many exciting things ahead. Thanks to everyone for all the support!,” said Brunner. Obviously, the evening would not be complete without a photograph.

By the end of the night, Chris had lost his voice from talking with each and every guest. When asked how everything went, he raised the roof, gave two thumbs up, and hoarsely said, “This was fantastic.” It was a beautiful experience, indeed.

A Beautiful Experience is now available for $18 in the heart of ITB at The Cheshire Cat Gallery, located in Cameron Village.

Courtesy of CLB Images

2016 NC State Fair. @clb.images #raleigh #ncstatefair #sunset #northcarolina #onlythreemoredays

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

First signs of spring in Downtown Raleigh. @clb.images #downtownraleigh #spring

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

Downtown Raleigh Warehouse District this past weekend. @clb.images #downtownraleigh

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

Don’t Vote for William Finley IV

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Whatever you do, DO NOT write in “William Finley IV” for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I know I asked for your vote less than 24 hours ago, but let me explain. I know a ton about water, specifically La Croix. I even designed a special can for inside the beltline a few months ago.


I drink three cans of La Croix each day and I’m pretty sure it’s why I have indigestion. It was this dedication to water that compelled me to run for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor the day before the election. I’ve run for office in the past with varying degrees of success.

In 2014

In 2015, (I don’t recall what I ran for in this election. City Council maybe?)

The 2015 election taught me a valuable lesson. I needed to rally my base around a single name. So last night I asked everyone to write in “William Finley IV” if they wanted to support my dream of being Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I came up with campaign slogans, made a campaign commercial, touted my experience, and developed my platform.

Campaign Slogans
A case of La Croix in every refrigerator and an SUV in every garage.

Read my lips, no new La Croix flavors.

Are you better off than you were whenever we last voted on the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor?

It’s soil and water, stupid.

Campaign Commercial
My PAC spent $60,000 dollars making this commercial.

My Experience
2007 – Founded ITB Insider™ (originally nelsonsbroughtonitb.blogspot.com)

2012 – Went to the London Olympics.

2016 – Started a startup – created 1 job.

2016 – Launched Dogs of ITB on Instagram to give Raleigh citizens a break from the never ending election coverage.

2016 – Brought Foster’s, Nelson’s, and Felson’s back for an anti-campaign music festival, Don’t Jump, It’s Almost Over.

My Platform
Build a pipeline to the La Croix factory so that Raleigh residents can have La Croix on tap.

Flood downtown to create the downtown Raleigh canal.

After talking with campaign staff, I realized that there would be meetings, decisions, and a lot of work associated with the position. That’s way too much for someone who is already running a growing media empire. Plus, I don’t know anything about soil and that’s like half the job apparently. As a result, I fully endorse Marshall Harvey for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I’m proud of the race that I ran, but I just don’t really want to do the job. Thank you all for your support.

Hopscotch Band Or…

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Now that the Hopscotch music festival has come and gone, it’s time to recap my favorite game, “Hopscotch band or…” where I question whether random words strung together are names of bands playing at Hopscotch or something else entirely. I would have posted this before the festival, but I didn’t want to risk having any of the bands, or Twitter social justice warriors, accuse me of some sort of microaggression, then attack me on social media and potentially hurt my burgeoning startup company. I’m just a small business trying to build a media empire. I’d love to dedicate more time to analyzing Hopscotch and why things like the picture below exist, but I’m busy running a company.

Spotted at Hopscotch…. Sun’s out, blowup dolls, suspenders, and short shorts out? #hopscotch15

A photo posted by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

Here are the 2016 entries for Hopscotch band or…

In case you missed the 2015 edition:

This game has actually turned me on to some good music over the years. Dear God, I hope I’m not turning into the Hippest Hipster. Even though I’ve never actually attended Hopscotch it’s pretty nice having outdoor concerts around downtown. I can’t think of any other event in Raleigh where patrons of both Slim’s and Churchill’s can coexist in the same area. And anything is better than shutting down the city for road races and marathons.


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