Saturday, April 29, 2017

Margaret and met David at the San Diego Museum of Art.  He was doing his docent duty and we entertained ourselves with the floral arrangements of Art Alive.  Wow!  Imaginations at work.  The Art Alive event goes through tomorrow, so if you haven't been to see it, get over to the Museum of Art tomorrow.  San Diego is a garden, a place of beauty, and when the whole things is brought together each year at the Art Alive event at the museum, beauty is the theme and the reality.  I was struck by a "Magrite" pipe on the wall of a gallery which had in it a whole tree.  Wow!  What a sight.  I talked Margaret into standing with the pipe. After seeing the floral arrangements beginning at the entrance to the museum and going through every room, we went to lunch with David.

Balboa Park's Art in the Park event is worth a trip to see what local artists do.  Paintings of San Diego places are especially worth seeing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

San Diego, National City's Paradise Village, is surrounded by bougainvillea.  Today was special.  We heard a youth choir and hand bell group present a program this evening... and I didn't have my camera with me, not even my phone.  They were all talented young people, but one young man was exceptional.  He played piano and violin and hand bells, and he sang.  Wow!  What talent.

The bicycle is a small part of a painting that I like.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today was Thursday and Thursday is my volunteer day at the Museum of Photographic Arts.  Today's photographs are a kind of record of the trip from my work place at the museum to my car.  Any trip in Balboa Park is delightful, even stairs, and certainly the House of Botany, and then a stop on Laurel Street Bridge to get a picture of Highway 163 North, and finally a bed of the most colorful poppies in San Diego near where I parked my car.  Life is good.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I went over to St. Augustine's School today for the dedication of the new common space... including a fantastic gymnasium.  The dedication ceremony and Mass was an exceptional, dignified event. The school has experienced great changes since I came to San Diego 31 years ago.  I think it is a good place for boys to go to high school.  The new statue of St. Augustine and a student was dedicated.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER OR CCD is the name given to a phenomenon which is potentially one of the most serious threats to the welfare of all humans on earth.  The name refers to the devastating disappearance of honey bees in North America.  I read a Harvard University Library report on the importance of honey bees to crop production.  Studies show that the annual failure rate of honeybee colonies averages now about 30% in North America.  Honeybee losses are potentially devastating economically since bee pollination is vital to at least one-third of crops worldwide.  A walk with my camera in a garden at Paradise Village reminded me of the importance of protecting honey bees and how fragile their existence on earth has become because of the use of pesticides and human encroachment on land. 

As I do sometimes in BLOG writing, I ramble because I don’t know what else to do to help bring a change that needs to be brought to a situation. I learned about the Varroa mite which is a serious threat to honeybees worldwide.  The Varroa mete is a destroyer of bees by weakening the bees’ immune systems and affecting their health in general… so while we worry about climate change and proliferation of weapons that can kill large populations of humans, I urge all people to do everything possible to care for bees.  Our lives may depend on the survival of bees.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Apologies to Huw Heywood for my iPhone snaps of some of his paintings... both for using them without his permission and for the distortions and reflections and inadequately presented colors.  His paintings deserve better, but this blog, among other things,  is about beauty that has impressed me, and Huw's work is beautiful and impressive.  He and Betty gave us the painting, one of three or four he did in Venice last year, and we found the right place for it, front and center, at the entrance to our home. Included in this BLOG are some other inadequately presented examples of Huw's beautiful work.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Margaret and I had the good duty this afternoon.  We took Cali, Cookie and Tommy for a walk in Morley Field, Balboa Park, and then we went for the rest of the day to our place in National City.  These are the best natured creatures in the world.

The occasion was an exhibition of Huw Heywood's paintings at The Davids' house in North Park.  Huw and his wife Betty live in Portsmouth, England.  Huw is an architect/painter/teacher... a remarkable artist.  Huw's paintings for this exhibition are all abstract and small.  Perhaps I'll take some pictures and include them in a BLOG post later.

In the meantime, we have Cali, Cookie, Tommy and Margaret.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

EARTH DAY…  Every day is Earth Day for all of us who want to see our planet and the people who live on it move toward good health. When I go out with my camera to look for pictures for my BLOG, I am awed by the beauty of the earth.  When I look closely at a tree or at a whole forest of trees on a mountainside, I am looking for signs of health for the planet.  Every tree and every other living thing represents in one way or another an effect each of us has on the living Earth. I have posted pictures on the BLOG of a particularly beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus growing behind the Museum of Photographic Arts, and every time I pass by this tree and other trees living with us in San Diego, I am saddened to see the scars on bark of many trees where thoughtless persons have carved initials. I always wonder why. 

Today in Washington, D.C., and in many other cities around the world we are celebrating life, and we are affirming the importance of the science that addresses the health of the Earth. President Trump’s administration is actively taking apart programs that were established to limit the damage we are doing to the earth.  

The earth’s population in the year that I was born was around 2 billion.  Now the population is more than 7 billion.  The Earth population will probably reach 8 billion by 2025. President Trump has assured coal miners that they will have no limits placed on their mining activities.  He has removed the limits on installing pipe lines to transport petroleum across American land. He denies that climate change is happening because of business activities, and he is unwilling to put limitations on companies if those limitations cut back on production. 

A dictionary definition of science: Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experimenting. World population has grown from 2 billion to 7.4 billion in the eight decades of my life. I am not a scientist, but my experience of being alive and alert on the Earth for those eight decades would make me seem silly if I thought that the changes I have seen in the natural world in my lifetime have not changed my environment. I have lived in San Diego for 30 years, and I can see all around me signs of change in the time that I have lived here.

Denying climate change is silly.  Doing nothing to address the problems that are inevitable is also silly. We must look to science for answers to the problems brought on by climate change, and when scientists give us proof that change is necessary, we must not ignore what we are being told.  We must change whatever we can change in order to make sure the world we are making for ourselves and for future generations will be a healthy place.

Friday, April 21, 2017

This is Elliot, the Great Granddaughter of our good neighbor Doris.  I was coming back from a walk and an hour of meditation and movement in slow motion at the neighborhood gym, and this beauty was lying on Doris' blanket while her Mother helped her Grandmother finish working a puzzle. I won't bother trying to find another beautiful flower today.  I found it already.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today is Thursday, my volunteer day at the Museum of Photographic Arts... when I came out of the museum in mid-afternoon things were quiet.  I was tempted to go over to see what the guy with the sign with the word "FUNNY" was selling, but decided that I didn't really want to know if he was willing to tell a funny story, or if he had humorous pictures... he had no customers while I watched. Now I wish I had gone over to ask what he was offering.

I rode my bike back across the Laurel Street Bridge and stopped to wonder again who the people are who come to the park to do lawn bowling.  Near the lawn bowling area several flowering trees are in full bloom.  I don't know the names of the trees.

The Park is catching some of the overflow of homeless people from downtown.  The homeless situation in San Diego is becoming a crisis.  In the Southeast corner of the city near the new library there are dozens of tents and other make-shift dwellings that are home to hundreds of people. The population of unsheltered people in San Diego is officially up 25.8 percent since last year according to a count that was done in January.  Counters found 833 unsheltered people in the downtown area. San Diego County has just over half of 8,742 homeless people in shelters. San Diego.  San Diego's homeless population climbs to fourth highest in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Two more paintings in Paradise Village: There is a signature on the one above, but I can't make out what it is.  The painting below and the one above are probably both depictions of places in Europe, but I haven't a clue about the place.  Perhaps I'll make it a project to find out where in the world the scenes in these paintings are.  I like them both which is reason enough to have them in this BLOG.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In the place where I live, Paradise Village, there are many walls, and many of those walls are hanging places for paintings.  It's like a museum.  Most of the paintings are oil, and some are clearly prints of famous paintings... some paintings have signatures, and I can't tell if the signatures are the signings of the paintings by original painters or are they copies signed by the copier?  It is possible that some of the paintings were left to the retirement organization by persons who lived here but who had no relatives to take them when the resident died? It's a mystery, one that I shall try to solve by asking questions of the people who should know. Whatever the facts are about these paintings, I must say I like them. The two paintings today are wonderful, whether or not they are copies of original works.  The one above is not signed.  The one below is by an artist whose name is Durant. I found several painters with that name by checking the Internet, and I do know the work of Asher B. Durand, the Hudson River School painter.  This still life is clearly not his, but it is worth looking at closely...

I'll take beauty where I can find it... and hope I'm not breaking copyright laws.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Just so you won't get an idea that National City, especially our part of National City, is a backwater in the San Diego Area entertainment scene, I include in the BLOG this picture taken this afternoon at a Paradise Village social event called The Prince of Melody, Lawrence Gaskin.  In the middle of his "set" he came to our table and sang "B├ęsame mucho" to Margaret.

Also to keep the record straight and to show that we do something besides at Paradise Village, I went out this morning to get a few groceries and a new swimsuit. To prove we have something besides beautiful flowers and wild entertainment in National City,  I include this street scene... Oh, I just noticed that the street is actually in Chula Vista, on the other side of a Freeway from National City...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sometimes a lake is just a lake, and sometimes it is a place away from everything else.  It is a place of mystery.  A lake is something different to everybody who sees and experiences it.  I have always liked Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree, and I don't know exactly why the poem has special meaning to met.  I wonder if I like the lakes I see in a way that is special to me only or to me in a way that is special just to me and wouldn't be understood by old W.B. I came upon the lake in the photographs while walking along a path lined with yellow daisies and the daisies weren't the reason for the special meaning of the lake for me.  Clearly Yeats brings his history, his troubles, his joys to the lake at Innisfree. Perhaps the line that touches me most is, "And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow." Perhaps it touches me because of something I read this morning about the fragility of the world that would cease to have any life in it if honey bees disappeared from the earth. Did Yeats know this?  Is that why he would have a "bee-loud glade"? And why would he live alone there?  And was he right about "Peace comes dropping slow?"

I wonder if President Trump knows The Lake Isle of Inisfree.  I wonder if Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea knows the poem.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Not far from the Rainbow Eucalyptus behind the Museum of Photographic Art a Palm Tree stands proudly.  It has everything a guy with a camera should want from an image.  The irregular edges and the colors and the patterns... everything... yet people walk past it scarcely giving it a glance, certainly not a careful look.  O.K. I get it.  The world is so full of stuff to see that we humans get accustomed to walking past remarkable scenes all the time without giving them a good look.  I am determined to look at everything and to actually see it.