Laundry Day


Photo 101: Edge & Alignment

Here’s my entry for the Day 18: Edge assignment. I think it’s ‘edgy’ in more ways than one. 😉

I took it at the Houston Museum of Art. It’s in the tunnel between the 2 parts of the museum. It changes colors (slowly) and it’s really neat to watch when people are going through it.

I haven’t seen anyone fall off the edge yet, but I checked it out and you wouldn’t fall very far. 😉


Here’s an entry for the Word A Week Challenge from Sue over on her A Word in Your Ear Blog . The word of the week is: intricate. I had these pictures on my blog already, I think they are a nice example of ‘intricate’. I had already done a post about these very intricate designs made from sea shells. They call them Sailors Valentines. 🙂

Sailor’s Valentines

While I was home last time I went to see what the local painting class was all about. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but haven’t done it because it lasts for 4 weeks and I’ve never been home to be able to start and finish the whole class in one hitch at home.

Since I was home a little longer than usual (and had to pass up the trip to Panama I was hoping to take due to paperwork issues), I called the lady who runs the class to ask if maybe I could take 1-2 classes each time I’m in town.

She was very nice and told me that would be fine, and invited me to come in to the next class just to see if I thought it would work for me.

I showed up late and just watched for a while. I met everyone there and wandered around to see what they were all working on. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. They all had their own projects to work on. Everything was very informal. The instruction is for either pastels or oil painting. I’m really more interested in watercolor or acrylic, but I figure it will still help me a lot to learn the techniques and most of those should transfer over to whatever medium I choose to work with.

The class meets weekly at the Brazosport Center for Arts & Sciences. After the painting class was over I spent a little time looking around the facilities. I’d been there before, but not for years. There’s a museum, a planetarium and a theatre. They also have a gallery where they feature art by members of the local art league. They had some really nice paintings in there, some beautiful portraits and some seascapes with birds I really liked.

I went through the museum again. They’ve really added a lot since last time I was there. They’ve always had a fantastic shell collection. It’s one of the largest in the country. They have some pretty good fossils. I noticed the megalodon jaws, (they were giant prehistoric sharks!) the minute I walked in the door. They’re hard to miss since they’re about 6 ft accross and at least that tall!

They have a really nice collection of moths and butterflies. I tried to take pictures, but I just couldn’t get any good ones with the way the light reflected off the glass. I did get some good ones of the ‘Sailor’s Valentines’. Since Valentines Day is coming up soon, I thought I’d post about them. Here’s a picture I took of one.

The Sailor’s Valentine is typically a box covered with shells formed into some sort of ‘romantic’ theme. They were supposedly by sailors who would pick up shells in their far off travels and then make these pretty little boxes to present to their loved ones when they got home. It was a pretty big thing back in the 1800’s. They fell out of style but are making a comeback now. The ones I saw at the museum are alll made by locals (not sailors) recently, as hobbies.

They just seem like a lot of work to me. I guess the sailors must have had a hell of a lot more leisure time back in the old days!! Then again, their hitches usually lasted for years rather then the month or so most of us (American) sailors have to stay out for now. The crews from other countries aren’t nearly so fortunate as we are. Some I know of have to stay for a minimum of 2 years(!!) before they’re allowed to go home. 😦

Here’s a picture of my favorite one from the exhibit. It’s not so ‘romantic’ and could be for anything. I really like the flamingo. 🙂

❤ Happy Valentines Day! ❤


Mural- Dixie Friend Gay

I saw this challenge from Sue over at her ‘A Word in Your Ear’ blog. The word of the week is: mural. I have a few photos of murals. Actually some of mine are a little different, most people think of murals as paintings on a wall. I have some of those, but I also have some murals made in different mediums than just paint. This one is one of my favorites.

My photo doesn’t do it justice. This mural is just STUNNING. I took this a couple of years ago when I was at the Maritime Education and Training conference at Texas A&M University in Galveston (Texas). There is more to it than just the part I could get in this picture. It’s HUGE.

It’s actually a mosaic, made of millions of little ceramic tiles. The artist Dixie Friend Gay made it. I’m not sure how long it took. There’s a better picture of how it all looks in this link. And another one to more about her art.

I think her mosaics are just incredible. I wonder that her work isn’t more well known. I think it deserves to be. What do you think?

Around Aberdeen: Day 1

I made it to the rig on Monday. I’m settling in here at my new job. So far everything is going as well as can be expected. I’m learning the ropes here. Nothings really much different on the ship itself or it’s operations.

The big differences are just in the way they do the paperwork. They DO have free fall lifeboats on this vessel. I didn’t notice that from looking it up online. So, I guess there really was a good reason for them to send me to the class last week. 🙂

I did have a good time after all. The course was better than expected. I got a chance to look around Aberdeen after the end of class each day.

The first day was spent just wandering around town. I walked down the main road til I saw something interesting. The first thing I saw was the seamans center (it was closed) and the Fishermans Mission.

Yes, of course it was interesting to me, I’m a seafarer! 😉

I stopped in to chat with the man who was running the Fishermans Mission. We compared notes on the situation in the UK and the US regarding fishermen and fish stocks. Seems things are pretty much the same. Not enough fish, getting harder to catch, much harder to make a living, more and more regulations, less and less people joining the industry.

I found out the seamans center didn’t open til 1800 and planned to stop by on my way back that night.

Further down the road, I found the Maritime Museum. Yes, it looked interesting, but it was closed on Monday. 😦

I hoped to stop by again but would have to hope to get out of school early since they closed at 1700.

I wandered around the downtown area for a while. The city was involved in an art project called “Wild Dolphins“. Different artists were given ‘dolphins’ to decorate as they saw fit. You could pick up a map to follow the trail to find them all. There were quite a few scattered around town.

I found lots of interesting old buildings, pubs, restaurants, shops, the tourist information center, and Castlegate with its Mercat Cross (and Spiderdolphin). 🙂

As I was gathering information at the tourist center, the ‘Queens Baton’ and its entourage came running by. Scotland was hosting the Commonwealth Games for the first time in many years so they were running around this ‘Baton’. Kind of like the Olympic torch.

There was a buzz about it at our school, they were looking forward to the attention of the press. Our instructor even got to launch the free fall lifeboat to carry the torch down the River Dee while the BBC filmed the whole thing.

It seemed to be a major event all over the city, everyone I spoke to mentioned it. They seemed very happy and excited about it.

I walked by Marischal College and a statue of Robert the Bruce (King of the Scots). I turned the corner and discovered the St Nicholas Kirkyard. That was a pretty cool place, a quiet old church surrounded by big old trees and gravestones green with moss. I saw plenty from 1600, 1700, 1800 and even earlier. I always thought people back then died much younger, but many of them lived 60+ years (according to their epitaphs).

I found myself on Belmont Street, an area of cobblestone streets and old buildings, re-purposed to bars and restaurants. It was a pretty lively area to hang out, relax and enjoy the day. I wish had more time to spend out and about town. I would have liked to relax over dinner and drinks in a few of these places. 😉

I was getting tired and my feet were getting sore. Walking for hours in flip flops is not really the most comfortable way to do it, but I wasn’t ready to buy a new wardrobe yet and was told my luggage would arrive by the time I got back to my hotel, soooo… no shopping (yet).

I just made my way back to the hotel, to be ready for another day of exploration in the morning. 🙂

11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Announcing Our 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners | Photo Contest | Smithsonian.

I don’t know how the Smithsonian judges ever manage to narrow down their choices. They have so many just stunning images to pick from every year.

This year is no different. I’ve been flipping through their choices for finalists and runners up in the different categories and I would have a really hard time making up my mind.

I think I would pick this one…

Photo by Ken Lee (finalist: travel)

If only because I LOVE the night sky and it’s SO hard to get good photos of it. There’s so much light pollution now. Also, I really love science fiction and the way they’ve set up those giant bugs just really does it for me. Lots of creativity and excellent camera skills. I love it! 🙂

Click the  link and check out all the other photos. It’ll be worth your while. 🙂

The Beautiful Flight Paths of Fireflies

The Beautiful Flight Paths of Fireflies | Smithsonian.

Amazing beautiful photos of fireflies. I wish I could see this!

We do get them here but not that many. I’ve never seen any large groups of them. This guy is so lucky to be able to see and do what he does.

Check out the link!

Know What This Is?


Ha Ha! 🙂

Merry Christmas from the DS-5!

Music Sampler: Song From the Stone

I got my Monthly Music Sampler from Utne Reader a while ago but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to even look at it til recently. I’ve been trying to catch up on some of my emails and just started looking at some of these samples.

See my earlier post on another song from this months samples (

Today’s choice is a song by a group called the PigPen Theatre Company.

This band is a little different.  PigPen IS actually a theatre company, just like their name implies. They put some of their original music in their plays, pretty cool! They just came out with a new album ‘The Way I’m Running’. I think I’ll have to get it. 😉

I listened to this song ‘Song From the Stone’ of theirs from the Sampler and really liked it.

Maybe you will too? Enjoy!

"Song From The Stone" by Pig Pen Theatre Co.

Music Sampler: Devil We Know

I got my Monthly Music Sampler from Utne Reader a while ago but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to even look at it til now. Today I’m trying to catch up on some of my emails and just started looking at some of these samples. I listened to this song ‘Devil We Know’ by Lily and Madeline and liked it. A lot.

Maybe you will too? Enjoy! 🙂

"Devil We Know" by Lily and Madeline

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

As a person who appreciates art and a person who’s interested in math, I just LOVE the intersection of both subjects. Fractals are really beautiful examples of both art and mathematics!

You can see examples of fractals in all kinds of places in nature. Tree branches and roots are one. A river delta is another. Spiral shells like a nautilus or conch is another (see my earlier post ( or the others in that series (corals, sea urchin).

I remember playing with creating very simple basic drawings of fractal equations when I was in jr high school. I would have loved to have been able to continue on with it in later classes, but we had to move on to other things.

I think spending more time on this kind of thing in earlier years in school might help show kids that math is actually a really interesting and useful subject and IS really something we can use in the real world. Its not just something we have to get through in school and will never see again.

I do have to admit, I have personally never used calculus since I got out of school, but if I wanted to, I’m sure I could find a use for it. I’m just busy with other things. 😉

I could definitely find ways to use this app with the fractals, even if just to look at the beauty of it and enjoy it every day. 🙂

I don’t know if this Frax app is free or not, but even if it costs a little bit, it might be worth it. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet since I’ve been offshore since I’ve found out about it. I hope I can try it when I get home. 🙂

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope | Smithsonian Magazine.

These are just some absolutely stunning photographs. These are some of the top 20 entered into the Nikons annual Small World Competition. These are the winners from 2013. I’ll be looking forward to this for 2014!

Aerial Views of Our Water World

Aerial Views of Our Water World | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

Smithsonian reports on the latest project from photographer Edward Burtynsky. His focus has always been to capture the impact humans have on the landscape. “Nature transformed by industry” is how he puts it.

I remember reading about one of his earlier projects on the subject of Oil and I thought he did some fantastic work. His photographs of a ‘dirty’ subject were really beautiful. This project on Water is even more exciting. His work is simply stunning!

Burtynsky spent the time from 2007-2013 traveling around the world to investigate the way water is used, how it (or lack of it) effects the land, effects our lives, how we deal with it, how it deals with us. Now, he is coming out with a triple header.

He will be releasing a new documentary film, a book and multiple exhibitions, all on the theme of water.

Watermark, his 92 minute long documentary will premier at the Toronto International Film Festival and continue showing in theaters across Canada afterwards (and hopefully worldwide).

His book, Burtynsky- Water, will feature over 100 of his photographs.

His large scale photographs will be making the rounds of a number of exhibition spaces around the country. In New York at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and the Howard Greenburg Gallery (September 19- November 2), the show will move on from there.

It will be in New Orleans at the Contemporary Arts Center from October 5- January 19). I’ll be in town for the Workboat Show and will be sure to see it then. I can’t wait to feast my eyes. 😉

Here’s a peek. Enjoy 🙂


Sonic Bloom! A New Solar-Powered Sculpture

Sonic Bloom! A New Solar-Powered Sculpture | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

An interesting and beautiful sculpture using solar power. Check it out. 🙂

What Happens When You Freeze Flowers and Shoot Them With a Gun?

What Happens When You Freeze Flowers and Shoot Them With a Gun? | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

What a cool (pun intended) project! 😉

Martin Klimas, a German photographer, got the idea to freeze flowers with liquid nitrogen and then take their pictures as he blows them up.

Some of these pictures are just fantastic!

I wouldn’t want to be the one cleaning up after tho. 😉

Free Stuff!!

Museum Day Live! 2013 Registration.

This is a link to the Smithsonians’ Museum Day. Saturday 9/28. It’ll give you and a guest FREE admission to a museum you choose. Its not only the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.. There are links to museums all over the country. You can search by subject or by location.

In Houston, you can choose among the Buffalo Soldiers National MuseumDunham Bible MuseumHolocaust Museum HoustonHouston Center for Contemporary CraftLawndale Art Center, and a favorite of mine in Galveston the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum. There is the tall ship Elissa right there too, if you do happen to hit the Ocean Star Museum, you can make it a maritime day and enjoy lunch on the waterfront watching the cruise ships dock.

These Patterns Move, But It’s All an Illusion | Collage of Arts and Sciences

These Patterns Move, But It’s All an Illusion | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

These are really cool. It makes me happy to look at things like this. I love this kind of art. I especially liked the one here with the little bubbly things and the one with the circles on the blue background. I just like the designs of these things and the fact that they appear to be moving is an extra perk 🙂

Art Created From Undocumented Immigrants’ Discarded Objects – Politics – Utne Reader

Art Created From Undocumented Immigrants’ Discarded Objects – Politics – Utne Reader.

I really would have to see the art to say anything about it. I have been to museums before, looked at a piece of ‘art’ they had there and said to myself, “WTF”??? I really don’t see what makes a simple black or white painted canvas “art”, or at least what makes that art good enough to cost thousands of dollars to hang in a museum.

My idea of art is probably not the official definition but I think art is something that creates a response in the audience. I expect that this art does. According to the article, it has already pissed off at least one right winger (blogger Debbie Schlussel-in case anyone here follows her- I never heard of her til now).

I think its a good thing to stir up emotions, to make people feel, hopefully to eventually make them THINK. That is what I am hoping to do with this blog. I was glad to see this article in Utne Reader since I think the US-Mexico border is something we really need to THINK about as a nation. I have never really agreed with the whole idea of keeping people in/out of a place. I think ALL people should be able to travel freely. Of course, that will get me vilified by most of the people in the USA. I am not really sure about the whole job/employment situation as to: do the immigrants (illegal) take away jobs or lower the wages for those of us already here? I have seen studies that show the illegal immigrants put in just as much or more than they take out of the system.  I DO think the major problem most ordinary people have with immigrants (especially illegal ones) is the fact that we have a huge welfare state now and so they get all kinds of ‘freebies”. My solution would be to stop the original problem first, which would be the welfare state. This country was NOT intended to work that way, its founding principles will not support that outlook. We are supposed to be a country of FREE men, that is incompatible with any kind of welfare state! How can you be dependent and free at the same time?

Hope to get some comments on this post since I really have more to say but I’ve got to run off to class this morning. More later (maybe).

Cosmic Portraits Created From Hubble Space Telescope Images | Collage of Arts and Sciences

Cosmic Portraits Created From Hubble Space Telescope Images | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

This is  a pretty cool way to create interesting artworks. I thought some of the pictures reminded me of Salvador Dali’