Friday, January 06, 2006


These are two drawings, made from colored pencil and charcoal, that I did in the last two days. To the one on the right was done from life, with several layers of clothing on. Its opposite, becuase of my pose, was done from a photograph I took.
The scene is something I witnessed a few days ago. As I was eating, a terrible rumbling noise began and grew louder and louder. It sorta seemed like helicopters, but the noise was so horrendously loud and distorted that I rushed to the door. As I opened, two military helicopters were receding off into the distance, flying far closer two the ground than anything else I ever remember going by here. They looked like blackhawks (armed, but used for troop transport) but I also believe armaments were on the stub wings. As I took note of this, I looked down the street, and a neighbor was on his porch, doing the exact same thing as me, trying to figure out what just happened.
Why draw a picture of this? Becuase it is, in fact, notable. I don't recall military helicopters ever flying over this area, or even their stationing within any reasonable distance. Also, I was struck by someone else having the same response as me, along with the consideration that scenes like this, though lacking the nice houses, cars, trees, and land, are the regular tempo of life for many areas of the world. As for the fly-by; undoubtably it was training, but what could be the intention of low-altitude training done over surburban neighborhoods? That's the essence of the event. Sure, like everyone I've mentioned it too said, this was training- but training for what? We live under the most reckless and militaristic presidency in the history of our country, a war of a flagrantly illegal character has been launched based on lies, and as a parasitic minority amasses obscene amounts of wealth, the living standards of millions are continuing to plummet. Furthermore, reflecting upon the continuing erosion of democratic rights, it should not be doubted that the elite will continuing its path towards ever-more repressive measures. Need it be mentioned that martial law was declared in New Orleans after a natural desaster?

Clicking should get you a larger picture.

Private Tracts of Public Land, Private Accumulation of Wealth, a Tree, Drainage, and a Model

How charitable my local school is on matters of land use.
I had a dog by the leash in this pose, but she never was still enough to even show up in this!

The folks who occupy this new home will likely be as pleasant as the school on questions of property. What a hideous looking side of a house! Really though, this side is as wide as the front of many houses are- and the only break in its monotonous siding is a piddly little window. They'll be another house next to this, which likely accounts for the simplicity of the side... but the true hideousness of the design of this house side lies not in its appearance but in the selfish accumalation of wealth that such a grotesquely huge house represents.

A long exposure plus a wintery breeze.

Terrible photo, partly becuase it was raining and I was helpless to prevent water on the lense, but I've been admiring this moster of snow for its entire 45 day existence. It's watery decline, on a warm day, takes up a good 1000 feet of the parking lot trying to find the where the concept of drainage was finally implemented.

This is a little scene I made while under peculiar social pressures. It was fun, though, the buildings only about 2 inches tall.

Curious Subjects at a Tug Dock

The large tug is on a dry dock, where all parts can be accesed for maintenence. One possible operation so far is the addition of small blocks of zinc, which cut down on corrosion of the metal on the tug's underside. In return for the cut, they corrode, causing the need for replacement supposedly yearly. These little sliver bricks can be seen in the first shot, attached to the bow.
Perhaps its not obvious in the lower shot, but there is, in fact, a small tree growing out of(?) the bow of the pesky little craft in the foreground. That doesn't bother me though- with a classy purple, yellow, and red paint sheme, and a huge wooden wheel with pegs! I just asked someone what the "wheel" was called, because I swore it was something more dramatic and appropriate than just the "wheel"

The Delaware River has some quality muck & sludge. This is still tidal water, so all this goo around the tire was constantly bobbing up an down.

This only got my attention because of the constrast: on a steel cart, with steel wheels,(!) which could be nearly a century old, there's a relatively modern water compartment off the back of a truck. Why not just use the truck frame at least, with rubber tires?

Another picture of little artistic qaulity or merit, but I find it interesting. What a way to make a ramp! This looks like it's as smooth as my 8 -year old efforts to make 30 degree angled ramps out of thick pieces of blasa wood, for tiny little toy cars. The ramp is from the rock onto another stationary barge.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Shipping Odds & Ends

Surely this hasn't been used in ages. Even with its decay, I find this to be a really ascetically pleasing looking little tug.

I would mention what this is now, but as far as we could tell, it's merely a floating dock to tether tugs and other barges to. I know what it used to be though: a railroad transfer barge. I'm told they were used in crowded waterfront spaces as if they were just a another section of land; with freight or passenger cars being unloaded or loaded on them. Thats why there is a large center space between the (remants in the form of clamps) tracks. In this space there was usually a platform for easy access.

This is called a literage barge. In the busy ports of Phildelphia, New York, Baltimore, and others, this was another way of transferring freight, rather than loading it in a wagon, truck, or railcar. It looks like a big box on a barge. This one is lettered for Erie Lackawanna, a railroad that went bankrupt in the late 60's and 70's, and was eventually merged into Conrail. Much of it's trackage is abandoned today.

This is a really curious building. It used to be a power station, but now it has been remodeled into an office building. Some of this is merely cosmetic though: the inside of this tower is a mass of rusting and peeling steel and piping. The enourmous boom out the side had a scoop that would drop down to unload coal from river barges. The coal was then used to generate electricity.

Nearby a building houses these relics, presumably for preservation. Our guess was that these a car to carry the ash from coal burning in the power plant. Apparantely, then this plant had its own little two-foot guage railroad shuffling these things around, and this was perhaps the enginehouse.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Summer Camp

This is a summer day camp for kids from the city of Wilmington, Delaware. It is situated in a narrow valley created by the creek in this picture. Aside from these buildings beyond the creek, there is an entrace area about the same size, and these two areas combined make up the entire land allocated to let thousands of children who live in crowded areas of the city to experiance nature. By contrast, massive open fields and forests nearby, and up into Pennsylvania, are owned by those wealthy who can afford the million dollar houses constructed on these plots. Little of this land is used for anything, except horses and fence construction. Enourmous tracts of land could be devoted to a camp like this, where children could really delve into the woods, creeks, and feilds.

I was having problems of over exposure. This is a few steps back from the last shot.

Medicine hut. Along with it, there seems to be a small office, a small pool, a shed, and those other building previous pictured. Wilmington has a population of 72,000.

Storage Shed? Children have written all over it, amusingly, along with several "I love Camp Ware!" and other happy comments, someone got in a "Camp Ware sucks" West End is a neighborhood in Wilmington. Looking at this shed, its obvious most kids really loved the new surroudings, the pool, the creek, etc. If only all of them had the oppurtunity... and if only the space and resources alotted weren't an insult.