Sunday, May 21, 2017

Son John is Very Sick

John is 30 years old.  For the last two decades he has lived with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes.  Four weeks ago John's blood sugars went low and he fell into a coma.  A friend found him.


John has been in the hospital ever since, with two long stays in the intensive care unit.  The poor guy has had issues with his heart, lungs, kidneys and most other life systems, and now he is 
coping with a serious allergic reaction to some of the medications he was given.

I have kept this blog going as my way of pretending that life is normal.  But, it isn't.
The blog will be on hiatus until John's situation is resolved and my mood lifts.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Capital Prep Got Caught

To settle desegregation lawsuits over the past several decades, the City of Hartford agreed to create "magnet schools" -- public schools with enriched programs.  Students are supposed to be chosen by lottery.  Capital Prep is the leading magnet school in Hartford, both academically and athletically.



Wonder why their academic rankings were the highest and why they won state championships in football and girl's basketball?  There is an easy answer.  A recent investigative report by the Hartford Courant and a governmental audit discovered that about one third of Capital Prep's students bypassed the lottery and were admitted based on their high academic or athletic ability.   

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aetna

Aetna announced a few days ago that in 2018 it will no longer participate in
Obamacare health exchanges in the two remaining states in which it is currently participating.


Aetna is doing well in the rest of its businesses, but it said its individual commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016 and are projected to lose more than
$200 million this year despite a significantly reduced membership.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Henry and Melissa

The Knox Foundation community gardens are across the parking lot from the
community building on which yesterday's mural is painted.


While I was photographing yesterday's mural, Henry was shoveling topsoil to use in his plot.
He plants a wide variety of vegetables and has a lot to say about the gardens and the neighborhood.


On my way back to my car, Melissa bounced happily up to me and told me it was her birthday.
So, of course I took her photograph and sang "Happy Birthday."  Wouldn't you?

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Universe is on the Side of Justice



Hartford artists and muralists Tao and Amy LaBoissiere planned this mural and led teams of volunteers in painting it on the back of a community building on Hartford's Farmington Avenue.
It is the third of three Hartford murals decrying violence.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day






Happy Mother's Day to the mothers out there.

And to those who are with their mothers.  

And to those who wish they could be with their mothers today.  

This is my mother, painted in the late 1950s by an artist in my home town, Dick Ellery.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Hartford Diocese Shrinks


Falling attendance at mass.  A decline in the number of priests.  Struggling finances.
All of these contributed to the announcement last week that the 212 parishes in the Hartford Diocese will drop to 127 next month.  52 parishes will consolidate.  26 churches will close.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Tobacco Barns

There are tobacco fields and barns near the airport in Windsor Locks.  On a recent trip I detoured.






(I put the last one through a filter . . . )

Back in 2011 I wrote about Connecticut's 150 year history growing tobacco, 
primarily leaf tobacco to wrap cigars.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Back in Hartford

I have been back and forth between Naples and Hartford for several weeks, but today I go back to Connecticut for the summer.  Most recent news in Hartford and Connecticut has not been good.
I am going to escape and show some photographs that make me feel good.


It is dogwood season.
  

 Friends and parents pay to "flock" the front yards of graduating high school seniors.
The proceeds help pay for an end-of-the-school-year party.


There was heavy rain one day and the azalea buds were tightly closed.


The next day azaleas burst into bloom.


A white dogwood against the further house, a Japanese maple near and azaleas below.


These days I usually return to Connecticut too late to see the tulips in Elizabeth Park, 
but this year I saw the end of the run.


A different way to look at tulips falling apart as their season ends.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Willa is Two Years Old Today


Willa is a happy, talkative, outgoing little girl.  Yeah, yeah, I am biased.  But it is true.

Happy birthday, Willa.

Back to Connecticut tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Consultation


Consultation, a 1991 sculpture by A. Joseph Kinkel, is in a garden at a medical office building
off Health Park Boulevard in Naples.  Yes, I have my annual physical today.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A View of the Sea


It is just a small, local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant along U.S. Route 41 in East Naples.
But, in 2002 an artist named E. Thomas painted a pretty nice mural
on the parking lot side of the building.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Riverwalk


A number of tourist-focused restaurants are on the west side of Naples Bay south of U.S.Route 41,
in a big (and funky) complex called Tin City that is ringed by docks and piers.  So far there are no announced plans to redevelop this area like Kelly's Fish House across the bay.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Kelly's Fish House

Kelly's Fish House is the oldest restaurant in Naples.  On the south side of U.S.Route 41 and the east side of Naples Bay, it occupies a valuable piece of real estate.  After sixty years,
Kelly's Fish House is closing its doors.  The land is just too valuable.



Kelly's Shell Shack is on the same property.  It -- surprisingly enough -- sells shells
and items made from or related to shells, like lamps and pillows.
It is closing, too.  A more intense development of the site is planned.



  This is a serious problem for local fishermen, who land and process their catch on nearby piers.
The developers promise that there will be room for the fishing boats, but,
while construction goes on, where do they go?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Homeless Navy Veteran


A man with a long, wild beard rode a bicycle.  I pulled over and let him catch up to me.
Only after I got home and looked at the image did I see his sign.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pickleball Popularity


Pickleball is becoming popular among young players because it is easier to learn than tennis.
The smaller court makes it popular among older players, who do not have
to cover as much ground as in tennis.




From all the signs and banners ringing the courts, it is easy to see that advertisers have discovered it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Photographing Pickleball

Each pickleball court is encased in chain link fencing, so it was not easy photographing it.


I tried catching the players in holes through the fencing.


And I tried coming even closer and using the fencing as a frame.


And I tried ignoring the fencing and shooting through it the way on-site spectators watch matches..

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

U. S. Open Pickleball Championships


Last week Naples hosted the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships.  
There were 1,300 competitors on 46 courts at East Naples Community Park.


Pickleball is new to me but is fast becoming popular.  It is a tennis-like game played on a smaller (badminton-sized) court with a hard (ping pong-like) paddle and a hard (whiffle ball-like) ball.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Let's Eat!


Let's eat!  Even if you need a little help.

To see other interpretations of "Let's Eat" by City Daily Photo bloggers, click here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Palm River Park


The Palm River Park is an odd little park in the Collier County system.  It runs for half a mile in a lightly landscaped  grass strip beside the Palm River on Immokalee Road in North Naples.


The park has a few benches and a few statues, including this memorial to a 13-year old boy from the neighborhood who was killed while playing at a nearby construction site. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bob and Jamie


Bob often spends time at "my" Starbucks reading a book, with one of his dogs lying at his feet.
This one is Jamie, an 11-year old cairn terrier.  One of Jamie's granddaughters
won third place in its class at this year's Westminster Dog Show.