Monday, May 29, 2006

Mural on National Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Okay, this is actually a mural on the side of the Popeye's Chicken fast food restaurant. Noone can deny the mural is cool. I love the fat flipping blue fish, the implied movement of the dancers and the jumpin' shrimp.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Waukegan Latin Kings



Street gangs can be identified by their clear and distinct symbols. The crown here says they are the Latin Kings. Their colors are black and gold are their colors. The five points on the crown identify which Latin gang they are affiliated with. The three dots under the symbol of money may mean they associate with another Latino Latin King's gang that is known for a crown with three points. They represent the other gang with three dots. On the right is the upside down pitch fork which also identifies them as the Latin Kings.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Old Waukegan Prison


Now a bar with apartments upstairs. Hmmm...good vibes here.

I took this because I like the richly painted maroon brick and I found out later it was the old prison. I like the sign at the end of the building peeking out.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sizing up the bowling shoes



Mothers bowled for free last Sunday and so the whole family went bowling (we would of anyway). You have to rent the bowling shoes. Here is my sister's size 7 next to my son, size 15. I don't know the European translation of that size, sorry, but for a couple of years we were buying my son a new pair of shoes twice a year if not more. He is only 15 and stands 6'1'. His father and I are under 5'8"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rube's Hot Dog Stand


This is my brother-in-law' s Uncle Rube's shed. The family calls it Rube's Hot Dog Stand. It stands next to the road. Rube is like a million years old and this is his personal shed. He has never married and has never gone more than 50 miles outside the radius of his farm. My sister said he only slept one week away from the farm and that was because he was in the hospital. He was born on this farm and still lives in the big old farm house, alone. His sister and her husband who lived there with him have passed on. Neighbors and family all pitch in and bring him groceries, supper, etc. and a woman comes in to clean and wash. He still goes out to the barn everyday and sweeps and helps feed. Albiet slow with a cane and hunched over. For twenty years I have never heard him speak. My son, who works on the farm in the summer claims he talks to him. What does he say? We ask. "You know, hi and other stuff. I don't know." My son doesn't say much either. He loves to work on that farm. Sweeping is his favorite and because he sometimes walks hunched over and slow at the ripe old age of 15 we call him Rube. To my son, we say, "Come on Rube, let's go." My son always grins at this.

Wouldn't you like to see what's inside this shed? I bet it's full of old tools and animal traps from the early 1900's. The farm was built in 1859 and has 100 year old historical marker plaques on a lot of the buildings.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Seagulls on the Algoma Pier


Algoma, Wisconsin is a small Lake Michigan town which comes alive during the summer months. Fishing charter boats, beautiful beaches and small shops draw tourists in. The water up here is too cold to swim but for maybe one week out of the year, if even then. When we were kids my Mom would take us here for picnics and we would play in the sand and get wet but if you went up to your waist, that is if you were brave enough, the cold water would literally take your breathe away. Once we took my kids when they were little to the Lake Michigan beach to fly kites. One kite got away and we had to saddly watch it float away. The water is so surprisingly cold.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Michael Wasnowski



Michael Wasnowski, who lives on my brother-in-law's farm, is the mother of these two farm kittens. Um, I couldn't resist. It is Mother's Day after all. My brother-in-law, and my sister for that matter, love Disney anything and he has named all the farm cats, cows, and dogs after Disney characters. I couldn't get a good shot of Stinky Pete, the cat. Anyway, Michael Wasnowski is a character on Monsters, Inc. With that mostache she isn't the most masculine looking cat in the world. I had to run into the barn and drop off some dinner for my brother-in-law (my sister hates to get smelly and always bribes me into going in). I tried hard not to touch and pick up anything so I wouldn't have to take a shower but it was too hard. Stinky Pete is so sweet and chubby.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ladies of the Lake

This Fountain was donated by a local artist and was almost declined for the downtown placement. I understand some of the citizens thought it was too nudey. It looks more sexual in this shot but overall it's framed in a cement ring painted sky blue which is ugly and the water is literally dark pea green. Those two faults are very distracting and really bring the overall lookof this to a lower level than I think it deserves. I chose to publish this particular shot because the sculpture is gorgeous. It's all made from pressed copper plates. Isn't the color interesting? There's water pouring out all over. You can see a peek at the green water and the blue ring framing it in. The upkeep or lack of is pretty shameful I think.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Jack Benny Fan Club




We couldn't find anyone to take our picture so we could all be in this. So I took a separate picture of Juan on the left. Brendan and I are on the right. The other day when I put up a streetscape of Waukegan one of the comments came up, "Waukegan, home of Jack Benny." So by coincedence we found this statue as we were walking during lunch. Waukegan is also the home of Ray Bradbury who wrote Dandalion Wine. I took a picture of his house on the way back to work and the creek he wrote about but they didn't turn out. Pictures taken from car windows seldom do. Anyway, I digress. Jack Benny invested a lot of money into this city once he made it big and there is a street, a school, and a park named after him here.

Sunday Picnic

Monday, May 08, 2006

across the street-Kenosha, Wisconsin


This shot is across the street from my friends. I've been friends with him now for two years or so and we sit on the porch and watch the people and bikes go by. This brown building on the first level sells, of all things, saunas. Upstairs there are single apartment rooms where people who live there share the bathroom. Next door is an old fashioned car wash and there are always 7 or 8 men that wash cars by hand. The music is always old school R & B and the men are always talking and laughing while they work. Bicycles are always flying past because it's the bottom of a long slope. I never noticed all the power lines until I got this shot.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

on the way to a picnic

Today's weather had to be one of the most perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. If you walk down Fitzsimmons Road, east to Lake Michigan, you'll run into a beautiful meadow and a cliff overlooking the lake. It was simply gorgeous.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Belvidere Bench, Waukegan, Illinois


A colleague and I have been walking every day during our lunch hour. He's from Waukegan so we take all the back allys for shortcuts and special interest. Here is an interesting find, I think. It's the back ally of an auto shop. The bench says, "Where we meet by accident, Belvidere Auto Body." Clever, isn't it?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Pheasant Pie for Supper


Tonight we had pheasant pie. Pheasant tastes just like chicken-but only the part that is the white meat and it's not all gamey tasting like deer or duck. Anyway, my parents gave me this pie-it was delicious. They go hunting on this game farm. Toward the bottom of the label it warns there may be shotgun shell BB's amoung the meat. That cracked me up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Streetscape

I love the inner cities of older towns. They all have that wild west feel. All the buildings snug in tight together. Here is the city center of Waukegan, Illinois. Up above the stores are usually apartments. The building on the right is a bar. You can tell by the neon beer signs. Then there is a jewelry store and a great bakery next to that. Ahh.....bakery......

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

best friends-A Great Mystery


These two girls just turned 19 one day apart. Why they are holding up their keys, I don't know. They have been best friends since they were 12 and have always dressed alike-unplanned. They even put up their hair the same on given days. One day my daughter, Ally, the one on the left, had hers in Indian braids and sure enough Katie comes over to our house with Indian braids sporting the same outfit, of course as Ally. They both have on the baggy shorts and hooded sweats with the college logos and their shoes are exactly the same. Even the decision to wear socks or not is the same. It has always freaked me out-It is always happening. I have decided to take a picture every time I see the two of them together-for proof. P.S. The time before this they both had on gouchos and the exact same top but different colors with the same flip-flops of different color but same design. P.P.S. They both have enough clothes to dress an army.
P.P.P.S. They claim they don't plan it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Baton Spinner



Doesn't it look like this communication tower look like it's spinning a baton? I think it's a communication tower. It's right behind the local fire department.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Apartment ponds with Bi-racial Ducks












The trend here, or maybe I just started to pay attention to it, is that apartment complexes plant ducks or geese in their ponds. Depending on the expense of the apartment one may find their apartment pond holds swans and geese. This particular pond belongs to my daughter's apartment complex. They have made a little nature preserve around their pond with cattails and a picnic table. Here you see a white tame farm drake and a brown hen mallard. Probably they are married. Most waterfowl marry for life. I like to see bicultural families-it shows the world is progressing. Or, at least the duck world. At any rate the baby ducks are too sweet, yellow and brown and oh so fuzzy.