Playing With Light…

Light.jpgI just returned from a four-day road trip InSearchOfAmerica to the Chicago and Rockford IL area. It was quite a trip and made up for the very disappointing one that preceded it.  One site I just came upon ended up one of the most enjoyable.  It was at the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. The special exhibit on display was from the artist Bruce Munro.   From his book that I purchased it stated that he captures light based themes. I will be talking more about that in some coming posts but for now I wanted to give you an idea of what that description means.

I became very fascinated by the idea of using light as primary artistic medium and hopefully will be trying my hands at it in the coming months.

The one picture below is kind of my version of playing with light. The octagonal shapes and sparkles are from a Munro picture on the wall and all the other things in the picture are actually reflections off the picture glass of the other objects in the room.  Kind of neat, if you ask me..


Dream On… Dream On…

I have said this before but I think it needs refreshing. You are never too old to stop dreaming.  Here I am in my seventies and still dreaming of what I want to do in my future years.  Yes, some of those dreams are unrealistic from a physical standpoint but I continue to dream them anyway. Maybe someone will invent a cure for old age? 🙂

canstockphoto21819757.jpgI have been and always will be a planner and dreams  go hand in hand with that trait. To me planning something is almost as enjoyable as actually doing it.  Sometimes plans don’t work out like my recent visit to Sauder Village in northwestern Ohio but more often than not they are much better than playing it by ear so to speak. I am in the final stages of planning a trip to the Chicago region. It will include a day at the Midway Village and Museum and the Des Plaines Valley Rendezvous in early September. I just found a website that give me a listing of all the rendezvous in the country and plan on visiting several next year. There is just something about non-violent recreators that fascinates me.  Since it makes no sense to me to celebrate our country’s wars I have no interest in the Civil War stuff which seems to predominate the reenactment category.

I am probably in my last decade of life but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. I suspect I will be on my death bed and still be dreaming in case it ends up being a false alarm. 🙂

Dream On,  Dream On….

In Control Of Your World…

Chicago, IL – ??

I’m not sure exactly where this pic was taken but I think it was at the Museum of Science and Industry. Scale modeling, especially the railroad variety is a very popular hobby for many, especially among us seniors. My father built several different layouts in his garage during his retirement years. Me, I’m more into blogging and photography. I think one of the enticements for this hobby is to be in control of your world. Even if it is just a miniature one…

About Art….

Chicago, IL – The Art Institute of Chicago

Art is mainly something that all of us need to be exposed to. Much of it is a look into the soul of the artist. It helps us to know our value beyond any monetary terms. It is the essence of being human. The lions outside the museum are widely known and the art inside is well worth the visit. This pic was taken on a cold wintery day in December 2010.

The Multi-Level Department Store…

Chicago, IL – Marshall Fields Department Store

Almost every major town in America has their own variety of the Marshall Fields Department store. They were for the most part build in the beginnings of the 20th century. For those who follow the PBS series one very enterprising American also went to build on in London by the name of Selfridge.  You could say they were the precursors to the modern day Walmart.

Navy Pier..

Chicago, IL – The Navy Pier

The Navy Pier in Chicago is a popular downtown tourist attraction. It has a stained glass exhibit that is beyond comparison. The view from the Farris wheel is astounding. It was built in 1916 and its primary purpose was as a cargo facility for lake freighters, and warehouses were built up and down the Pier. During WWII it was used as a Naval training center

Lego Of My….

Magnificent Mile Chicago IL

2014-08-09_17-30-15It has been a while since I took this picture. I know it was in Chicago and I’m pretty sure in was in a mall on the Magnificent Mile. I also know that Lego is not an American inventions but  it has unleashed a lot of creativity among us.  There is a discovery center there with some pretty awesome models.

103 suspected gang members charged in NYC case

2014-06-05_08-34-22“These three gangs were not sophisticated drug-trafficking organizations,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in announcing the two indictments. “Far from it, they were young people protecting their territories from imaginary threats and avenging the murders of fellow gang members and loved ones.” Investigators from Vance’s office worked with gang squad detectives and Department of Correction officials to review more than 1 million Facebook pages, tens of thousands of phone calls from the Rikers Island jail complex and hundreds of hours of video footage in preparing the case, Vance said. Surveillance video, taken from cameras in the buildings’ elevators, hallways and grounds, were a major benefit to investigators, Bratton said. But not all public housing developments have video. Nearly 60 percent of the city’s public housing buildings don’t have a single camera installed — including one in Brooklyn where two small children were stabbed Sunday, one fatally. “We embrace it, we need it,” Bratton said of crime-fighting technology such as camera systems. “There’s not a case I get briefed on in my crime briefings or my counterterrorism briefings each morning that doesn’t have some significant technology component to it.” SOURCE:  103 suspected gang members charged in NYC case – Yahoo News.

Being from a small rural town I can’t understand how this type of gang violence can be tolerated in our major cities. I know it was on months ago but just watched part of the series from CNN entitled “Chicagoland”. It was about downsizing the Chicago’s school districts to align with the current population. The biggest argument against closing schools was that students would then have to cross other gang neighborhoods to get to schools. They say if the kids have to travel more than two blocks that they will likely be beaten or killed by rival gangs!

One of the TV shows I watch on a regular basis is “Person of Interest”. It is a show about the “machine” which supposedly links all cameras in our country together and looks for potential terrorists. I doubt that such a machine exists yet but I’m sure some are dreaming of that ultimate incorporation of our technology.

It looks like Chicago could learn a few lessons from NYC. Chicago has been in the news the last few years as being the murder capital of the country and the primary cause of that is gang violence. Gangs are nothing more that thugs who want to be big fish in little ponds. Because much of inner-city life is one of desperation they want to have control over at least a small segment of it. Chicago needs a “mini-machine” to record all the violence that occurs in its neighborhoods and then take those who cause it to court. Get rid of the thugs and maybe the neighborhoods would become peaceful once again.

But I am just a simple guy so what do I know…..