Saturday, August 27, 2005

Presidential Sculpted Greatness On Display

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Photo: Unbearded Lincoln

Unbearded Lincoln is based upon cast made by Leonard Volk, ca. 1900. Leonard W. Volk was granted a Design patent for this bust on June 12, 1860. The bust was on loan from the National Park Service/
Lincoln Home National Historic Site

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Photo: Bronze Bust of Lincoln as President

Bronze Bust of Lincoln as President, sculpted by James J. Nance, 1994. On loan from the National Park Service/Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

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Photo: Bronze Bust of Lincoln in foreground, and Reagan Bronze Bust in background.

Bronze Bust of Lincoln as a Young Man, sculpted by James J. Nance, 1994. On loan from the National Park Service/Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

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Photo: Reagan Bronze Patina Bust, by Sergy Eylanbekov

Reagan Bronze Petina Bust, by Sergy Eylanbekov is an alvastone sculpture of President Reagan coated with a bronze petina finish. Bust on loan from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum at Simi Valley, California.

Note: The high density alvastone sculpture is a reproduction, and available for purchase online, or at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum Store. Alvastone is less expensive than bronze, and is designed to endure. The sculpture on display was priced at aproximately one hundred and fifty dollars at the time of this posting.

The photographs included above were taken at the Illinois State Library, and represent four of a collection of ten Presidential scultures on display in the
Sculpted Greatness collection. The display is available for public viewing through August 31st, 2005.

The common theme? Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant (not pictured), and Ronald Reagan each called Illinois home.

As of this posting there only a few days remaining to take in this fine art collection. Enter through the north entrance of the Illinois State Library just off of Adams Street, north of the 2nd Street intersection. Be prepared to empty all pockets for the courteous security staff, and proceed through the metal detectors.

Sources: Sculpture Caption Cards Present at Display, and the Illinois Times, August 18-24.05

Friday, August 26, 2005

Studio On Fifth

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Photo: Studio On Fifth - Downtown Springfield, Illinois

Downtown Springfield, Illinois plays host to Studio on Fifth. Studio on Fifth is a mini radio broadcast center used by WMAY/WNNS/WQLZ on a rotating basis. As the name implies it's located on Fifth street. Look for it on the east side of Fifth street half way between Adams, and Monroe.

Opening the door I was greeted by on air radio personality Deb Kennedy, who graciously allowed me to photograph her at work, and ask a few questions.

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Photo: WNNS On Air Personality, Deb Kennedy Broadcasting from Studio On Fifth

Deb Kennedy's show on WNNS runs from 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Deb Kennedy also host a Jazz & Cool Vocals program on WNNS 8:00 AM through 12:00 PM on Sundays. You'll find her blog here.

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Photo: Deb Kennedy Announcing Today's Expected Highs

I like the whole idea of having a mini-studio right downtown, it's a great idea, and a fine addition to downtown.

BRAC Vote To Take 183rd From Springfield, IL

Dave at The11thhour did a "live" blogging of the BRAC Commission decision to relocate the 183rd Air National Guard's F-16s to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Coverage was live on CSPAN-2. While I'm not an expert in base consolidation, I am concerned about the loss of the 183rd. I suspect that politics has played a significant role in deciding which communities gained units, and which communities lost units.

Springfield, Illinois is located between St. Louis, and Chicago, and the air unit there could play an important role in intercepting any terrorist controlled aircraft heading toward those cities. Illinois also leads the nation in the percentage of electricity supplied by nuclear power plants. Moving the air unit to the Republican state of Indiana is suspect because the Fort Wayne base ranked lower than the Springfield Base. Also cost associated to bringing Fort Wayne's base up to standards to accomadate the additional aircraft is seen as more costly than any proposed savings.

The Govenor of Illinois has promised legal action to stop the transfer.

Church Signs I'd Like to See

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Thanks to Marie at Disarranging Mine for finding, and sharing with her readers a fun church sign creation site.

Imagine church signs like those Which I've created to the left!

Visit Marie's most excellent blog posting for a link to this amusing site. You can make your own church signs.

Now to get serious

I've seen so much good accomplished in the name of God, but it also is true that there's some unseemly aspects of organized religion. I've always wished people in the "religion business" would be a bit more honest with themselves.

Institutions are made up of imperfect people, and it's scary when imperfect people start acting as if they have been given some mandate from a higher source to act as an earthly authority.

This isn't to say that people don't need God, or that organized religion isn't a positive part of society, but I have personally experienced many times over several decades situations in which those appearing to be most dedicated let the trees interfere with their view of the forest.

I just don't feel despite their dedication, or perhaps because of it, that they "get it". The message seems lost upon them.

So great is this problem, I suspect that it has run many of the best, and brightest people away from organized religion, and has drawn some of the worst types to its ranks.

I feel Jesus had a big problem with the Temple Priest of his own day, and he understands exactly what I'm alluding to here.

Like any other group certain types of personalities tend to want to lead groups, and other types want to join them.

Woody Allen said it best, I think, when he stated, "I wouldn't want to belong to any group that would have me as its member."

Humorous, but turned inside out with sarcasm it does say more about people's need to affiliate with others than we'd like to admit. We're all needy, even the loners out there.

And what we are willing do to "belong" is often at great sacrafice to our sense of individualism, and dignity.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You're Living In Your Own Private Fantasy!

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Photo: Teamsters Support Our Troops - 2005 Illinois State Fair

This week President Bush has taken to flight on his "Support the Iraqi Occupation Tour". As public support for the Iraqi occupation has dwindled to just one third of those polled it appears the gig is up.

Americans are increasingly asking themselves why? Why did we go to war with Iraq exactly? Most of those still supporting President Bush's Quagmire need to review how it came to be that our troops ended up in Iraq in the first place.

Many of those who still support President Bush on this issue may never want to admit that cold hard evidence exist that the American people were lied to in order to muster their support for invading Iraq. They may not ever want to know the truth, even if Americans are dying because of those lies.

Don't they care - being fiscal conservatives - that the nation is spending nearly two hundred million dollars a day in deficit spending on this farce - bankrupting the nation's future while those close to the President war profiteer.

My President must always be right no matter how many young men, and women must die! Long forgotten are the days of budget surpluses, peace, and prosperity.

Now as the President flys off into his own private Idaho seeking reassurance that he still has support of the common man, he pins his faith on the publicity he gets from his "Support the Iraqi Occupation Tour". In his first visit to the state of Idaho organizers of his publlicity tour made sure to surround the President with supporters, careful to keep war protestors far from the event.

Time will tell, but I suspect the President's approval rating will not realize the bounce he seeks, even if he can get a dozen more mothers of boys that haven't been killed in Iraq to stand on stage with him.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Eyesore Liberated From Hellish Existence

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Photo: This place has had many names, all of them less than memorable.

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Photo: There's just something about a crane tearing apart a horrible old building!

This motel is one of the most horrible eyesores in town. Just across the street from Saint John's Hospital on Ninth Street it never made much sense to me why it wasn't purchased by the hospital, and torn down long ago. Even a vacant parking lot would have been an improvement. I suspect that this space will eventually be developed, and join Saint John's ever expanding medical campus.

A word about the photos above

When I snapped the photos above I kept trying to figure out a way to tell the story of this building, of any hint of its former glory, of any beauty it may have had. Then when editing the photos I kept wondering how I was going to bring out that special something that I missed when I took the photos.

And to tell you the truth, perhaps I've failed, because I just couldn't see it. I guess if I'd waited until just the right moment with the sunrise reflecting off of - no, forget that!

You're u.g.l.y.
You ain't got no alibi.
You're just plain ugly.
You're ugly!

Good bye you disgustingly ugly building! Springfield, Illinois will be a better place without you - certainly the near north side of Springfield will be.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Stuffing The Cybervoid

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Digital space is meant to be filled as much as an empty closet.

Here on my blog I can express myself in a variety of ways by creating, and filling that cybervoid.

Some might argue that the Internet is already cluttered enough. That it's unrealistic to believe that anything any of us post will matter.

Perhaps so, then again maybe not. Perhaps it is true that we have not only the opportunity, but also the responsibility to fill up this cybervoid with as many good things as possible.

It certainly is better to believe that this has a purpose. Some grand reason behind it all, but I suspect that ultimately it comes down to this.

Boredom, and the creative spark have a place to meet in the cyberworld - blogs.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Solar Prayer

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Photo: Entrance New Urgent Care on Macarthur Blvd.

Your stars shine above me in this earthly clime.
Please grant thee a day elusive of time.

Rays flow upon me mirrored riddled in rhyme.
As I open my hands to claim what is mine.

Yet what I can hold I can not grasp.
For what's dear must grow old, it surely won't last.

As you race through the sky take care to see.
I'm warmed by the grace, and the wisdom to free.
In my solace, my solitude, my solar espirit.

The means to be me.

email jp






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