February 28, 2018

Squirrel Lookout

Aka, squirrel on a sprinkler pipe.  Nice vantage point.  I looked at it, it looked at the ocean — or, more likely, the cliff and beach between it and the ocean.  Pretty good protective coloration, and pretty good vantage point.  Clever squirrel, don’t you think?

February 27, 2018

Redoing the Docks

At Seaport Village, Marriott (and others too?) has/have lots of docking space.  Here, it was the geometry that attracted me.  Like a railroad track, the separators march on, in parallel lines into the distance…with the palm trees at the end of the road!  There are also a large group of workmen out there.  I wonder what they are doing.  And then there are the mysterious cubbies in the foreground.  OK, boating friends, what is all this?

February 26, 2018

Best Towel Animal

I forgot that I wanted to post this.  The towel animals are always amusing and clever.  I even enjoyed taking them apart to see how they were constructed.  But when this one appeared, I asked our cabin steward to leave it up.  It was just too whimsical to undo.  So it accompanied us for most of the cruise.  Hanging out in the corner, keeping an eye on us quite benignly.

February 24, 2018


The whole wall of printing tiles.  I stood there looking at it for about 30 minutes.  All different, all gorgeous.  A collage of texture and shape:  simple, geometric, floral, complex, subtle, powerful…How many people made these?  How were they used?  Did the makers get to see the results?  Were they well-paid?  How long were they in use?  How did they end up here?  And, and, and…

February 23, 2018


Back home again.  We went to the Mingei International Museum (of folk art, craft, and design) in Balboa Park.  I keep forgetting how wonderful it is.  My favorite this time was a wall of tjapas from Indonesia, printing blocks made of wood and copper.  Each individual one was a thing of beauty; the array of hundreds was breathtaking.  I wish there had been samples of the printed results, too.  If you visit San Diego, check out the Mingei!

February 22, 2018

Cabo Boats

Cabo San Lucas.  Tourists, tourists, tourists.  And we were just two among them.  The last time I was there, it was with my sister, and we “swam with the dolphins.”  It was surprisingly wonderful, despite misgivings about the marvelous animals’ [highly possible] exploitation.  We could touch them, they “kissed” us, we could even “ride” them, all in a swimming pool.  This current visit was quieter, duller, and felt a bit sad.

February 21, 2018

Ruins at Izapa

Our excursion in Puerto Chiapas took us to these ruins.  They are on a riverbed, large, and 2000-3500 years old!  There have been multiple excavations.  We saw stones with carvings and perhaps glyphs.  It was quite hot and humid and I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked.  For me, the significance of these sites is that we preserve them, study them, and realize how connected we are, to our past and therefore to our present.

February 18, 2018


Stacks of Containers

In Costa Rica?  I think so, although we saw them in several ports.  Some ports were more working ports, others more tourist-y.     From the ship, they looked like piles of decorated Legos.

February 16, 2018

Marine Animal

Well, perhaps at first glance.  Large-scale sea-faring equipment is exotic to my eyes.  Loved the colors and especially the red lobster claw-ish stuff.  The contrast with the thick organic rope is appealing against the black of the ship.  And that is certainly an aggressive yellow!  Bicycle seat shape, too.  Hm….guess it keeps ropes from slipping off.

February 15, 2018

Leaving the Canal

It was almost sad to have done it, knowing I’d probably never do it again.  Can say that about a lot of things.  Cherish the moments?  It’s not just that.  It’s travel, in its complex, confusing, affirming, edifying, challenging insights.  Or not.  All the things unseen.  Makes you wonder.  Who works on the canal now?  What’s that like?  A whole lot of people must be needed to maintain it; and the new, larger locks are now up and running, as it were.  Up and running.

February 14, 2018


I’m watching them watching…there were several viewing decks.  We liked being down close to the water and the action, although we moved around the ship a bit.  The views over the sides were different; we could see the action of the mules, the ropes, etc.  Probably the closest I’ll get to that kind of engineering feat…

February 13, 2018

Miraflores Locks

In Panama City, approaching the Pacific.  If you enlarge this, you can get a really good look at the double set of gates.  They remind me of the flappers on a pinball machine, somehow.  Mighty big pinball machine!  The whole thing feels like you’re in a movie.  But then, travel often does feel that way; as if all the visuals you’ve seen on screens suddenly are 3-D, materialized in front of your eyes.  I sure wish I could have touched some of these things, too; they were very foreign yet appealing and beckoning to the sense of touch.

February 12, 2018

Two-Way Traffic

It’s bi-directional traffic.  There’s a ship ahead of us in the locks, heading toward the Pacific, as we are.  Then there’s the ship to the left, coming towards us.  Photos of the lock gates coming up.  It was really quite impressive.  Seemed like some feat of magic.  And the ships look so small here.  But ours was 936 feet long!

February 10, 2018

Entering the Canal

Palpable excitement on the ship’s decks at 6 am.  This is a partially completed bridge near the entrance, called the Atlantic Bridge.  The whole thing is amazing, starting here.  And it was also tragic; so many workers died of illness and accident.  Engineering (and political) feats come with quite a cost.  There was much failure before there was success.  Reading about it is fascinating; seeing it is quite a wonder.

February 9, 2018

Cartagena Tree

We skipped through the Bahamas and stopped in Cartagena on the way to Panama.  We toured the city and there were many lovely old trees.  There are palms here in southern California, but not of this stature!

February 8, 2018


So many blues, from pale to turquoise to navy to brownish.  So many lovely patterns in the wake.  The water was very deeply colored.  Here it looks almost icy.  It looks very clean, too.  And benign.

I think this would make a great quilt.  But I don’t really make this sort of pictorially-based work.  Maybe in another life?

February 7, 2018


Well, it was early on the cruise.  It seems to be a pier post.  It was probably in the Bahamas, at the cruise line’s very own somewhat banal island.

It is certainly easy to see that there’s plenty of abstraction on offer in the constructed world — as in nature as well.  Isn’t the texture both enticing and off-putting, even perhaps a bit dangerous?   And I do enjoy the richness of the rust color, especially juxtaposed with the black and white.  Not your typical cruise photo, but eh?!

February 6, 2018

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

Sure looks more amazing from the water than from land.  I don’t think I have too many peninsula photos.  A bit surreal, like the land has just been plunked there.  I like the two boats in the foreground.  They are cute.

February 5, 2018


A study in white, out our cabin window on our Panama Canal cruise.

Machinery can certainly be beautiful, and the various shapes and black/white contrast and that yellow strap/belt certainly add to this.  The peek of bright light there next to the yellow  draws my eye, along with the repeating curves of the white edges, the hose, the fan blades, and the white fan container. People make a living designing these things, and others manufacturing and assembling and testing and shipping and installing and maintaining them.  Kind of amazing.

Which I was, (amazed, that is!) when, speaking of maintaining, three workmen appeared outside my window, just inches away, while I was taking a nap.  They had to do something to the lifeboat.  I had a fever (flu, ugh!) and there were these guys, me in my undies because I was um, feverish…I pulled the window curtain quite quickly!

You never know what you’ll get when you look at a lifeboat.