not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brewers @ Giants, Brewers @ A's

The Brewers played the Giants in San Francisco and the A’s in Oakland one week apart, so I went to see them.  I haven’t been to a game since the 80s, and I was surprised how meditative it was.

The Giants play at AT&T Park on the east side of San Francisco, on the bay.  The park is pretty.  The Giants have won 3 World Series since 2010, and they beat the Brewers 3-2.

The A’s (and the Raiders) play at Oakland Coliseum, which is right next to the Golden State Warriors’ arena.  The Brewers hit two home runs and won second pictures shows Scooter Gennett rounding the bases after his.

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 NBA finals

Game 2:

Game 5:

Game 7:

Saturday, June 04, 2016

San Antonio

My old friend James and I were tourists in San Antonio over the Memorial Day weekend.  Had a lot of fun - saw the Alamo, the Spanish missions, the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi, and the pacific war museum in Fredericksburg.  James and I also took a road trip to see Prairie du Chien, WI a few years ago, in 2012.

The key site in San Antonio is the Alamo, where Texan (American and Mexican I think) rebels were killed resisting the Mexican general Santa Anna in 1836.  My picture shows the two remaining original buildings, the church in the center and the long barracks on the left.

San Fernando Cathedral is about a half mile away.  When the Alamo defenders declined the honorable surrender that Santa Anna offered, he flew a red flag from the cathedral signifying "no mercy."  I was surprised by how pretty the cathedral was.  The remains of some Alamo defenders, including Davy Crockett, are inside.

Four Spanish missions from the 1700's, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada, are nearby.  Although maintained by the National Park Service, they still include active Catholic churches.  We saw wedding at San Jose and Espada.  My pictures show the wedding at Espada and the inside of the church at San Juan.

We also took a side trip to Corpus Christi to see the WWII aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington, which is now a museum.  Lexington participated at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, which "nearly knocked Japanese naval aviation out of the war," and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, "possibly the largest naval battle in history" and "the climactic American naval victory over Japan."  If you look close in the first picture, you can see a rising sun on the island (tower) where a kamikaze struck the ship in November, 1944.

We also visited the Pacific war museum in Fredericksburg, which had an overwhelming amount of material.  My pictures show a war bonds poster with the autographs of the Iwo Jima flag raisers (including Appletonion John Bradley) and the "Scoreboard from the superstructure of USS Hugh W. Hadley documenting that the destroyer had vanquished 25 Japanese airplanes."

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Appleton and Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I was in my hometown, Appleton, Wisconsin, for five weeks of vacation and refresh time in March and April.

Appleton is a smallish town of 70,000, but it’s part of a larger constellation of towns on the Fox River, the Fox Cities, that stretches up to Green Bay and includes about 370,000 people.  Although Appleton isn’t well known, a few famous folks hail from there: magician / escape artist Harry Houdini, author Edna Ferber, Iwo Jima flag raiser John Bradley, actor Willem Dafoe, and (more infamously) red-baiter Joseph McCarthy.
Paper is the biggest industry there, originally drawn by the river’s anomalously strong current, and employs about 50,000 people.  The first “Edison hydroelectric central station,” the Vulcan Street Plant, was also built on the river in Appleton in 1882.

Lawrence University, a small liberal arts college and conservatory, is at Appleton's center, where the main drag (College Avenue) meets the river.

The Castle local history museum is across the street.  The conspicuous building was originally a Freemason temple.

Other great quirky buildings on College Avenue.

Harry Houdini lived in Appleton from ages 4 to 13, and appears to have said that the “greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton, Wisconsin.” :)  His father Mayer was the rabbi at the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation, whose building still stands and is now home to Wahl Organ Builders.

In 1836, Native Americans ceded about 1/10th of modern Wisconsin to the United States in the Treaty of the Cedars.  The site of the meeting is on the Fox on the edge of Appleton.

I read somewhere that Wisconsin is the state that drinks the most Mountain Dew...seems to be confirmed.

I also visited Marquette University in Milwaukee with my friends James and John, to see a showing of the university’s original Tolkien manuscripts.

The St. Joan of Arc Chapel is a 15th century chapel that was moved from France to New York to Marquette (in the 1960s). It still includes the tomb of a medieval French knight, "Chevalier de Sautereau, a former Chatelain of Chasse."

Also got to visit the Milwaukee Public Museum with my sister and her family. :)

Somewhere between Milwaukee and Appleton.

Update 2016.07.10: Appleton Historical Society group on Facebook had a posting saying that the building has the horse head because it was originally built for a harness shop owned by Gerhardt and Thomas Kamps, and was designed by the same architect who designed the Temple Zion building (the Wahl Organ Builders building above).  Similarly, the lions on the adjacent building are there because that was the Post newspaper building and the lions represented the "roar of truth." :)