Sunday, August 2, 2020


I like to play poker at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, but I liked to see a bit of the area as well, and especially to sample my newest interest in museums.  So I am collecting those travels here, just as I collected the Massachusetts experiences on a separate blog.

Note that the posts are in usual blog order with the latest post first, so to see the first day of a trip, scroll down to the last post.
Also, the entire blog will not load at one time.  So to see the beginning of a trip, hit the link in the bottom right hand corner labeled "Older Posts" and it will load up the older posts.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I went on another solo escape to Connecticut to play a bit of poker and visit the area.
Since we were to meet up with Shane on Saturday and with Bruce and Abigail to go to the Clark on Tuesday, I only could go up at first for Sunday night, leaving Saturday for Shane to visit.  However, when I wrote him to confirm, he told me they could not make the visit and that freed up Saturday
The booking was hard.  I was confused.  That really offers flexibility in booking.  I was grateful for that.
However, Saturday in Groton was over a hundred dollars, so I decided to spent the first night in Wethersfield and see a bit of that area.  As it turned out I played so much poker that I did not roll home until about 4AM, so I did not see Wethersfield on Sunday.
However, on Saturday I went first to Hartford to walk through the Atheneum there again.  I parked in a 2 hour metered spot, but on the weekends the parking is free.  I was a bit twisted in finding the Atheneum and found first the Old State House where $3 let me do my own walking tour.

Here is a good article in Yankee magazine

Here I got to see what the place looked like when it was used to conduct government as well as some other displays.  An interesting addition was a room reflecting the Joseph Stewart Museum of Curiosities and Oddities, all that is left of a place that was was a tourist draw years ago.

I was pleased with the 1912 fire engine and wondered if my grandfather ever drove one of these after horses were abandoned.

As I had seen in other places, here was a fireman's leather bucket from back in those days.  This is not a very good photo, I'm afraid because of the reflected light.
Here is what these sort of buckets looked like.  Very pleasing to the eye.

There were other odds and ends in the downstairs exhibit.  They were very well displayed.
This was Mark Twain's bicycle.  He did not start riding until he was in his 50's.

At one poker table I was talking about the old fashioned toasters that had the sides that turned down.  It would toast one side of the bread at a time.  There were a few displayed in the museum, and this one was interesting because at the top was a grid which would keep toasted bread heated.

I remember my grandfather had one of these at the Lime Lake house and when my mother was in the hospital, only my dad and I went out for a visit.  He let me warm up potato chips in the toaster.  It was quite a thrill.  I don't remember being on an overnight trip with just my father at any other time in my life.  This was also the time we played 500 rummy.  He got up to 495 and then he let me catch up.  I was so excited to win that game, I've remembered all these years.

This is the lego version of the old state house.
Casey would like this.

The Victorian-style House Chamber. A few of the notable legislators who served here include showman P.T. Barnum and American Dictionary author Noah Webster.

Here is a good view of the painting of Washington renouncing running for another term as President.

Here are some shots of the Museum of Oddities.

Here is the famous two headed calf.

Here is the Facebook page.

Here is a good shot of downtown Hartford.



A Return Visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum

From the Old State House it is a short walk to the Atheneum if you know which direction to take.  The greeter at the Old State House gave me good directions.

As I find when I visit other museums, a new visit gives a new perspective.  I may find things I missed and I also find paintings I am happy to revisit  The statue of the woman with fish wrapped around her was one example.  It is the first thing the visitor sees and set in the center of a huge square where it is comfortable to sit and study her lines and beauty and the faces of the fish with their tales barely revealed in her flowing robes.

 This exhibit was similar to the one on drinking that I saw in Utica at the Munsen Museum called Coctail Culture goes to the movies.

Here again is the idea that art can be anything the viewer wants it to be.  I find that abandons the very essence of what I want from art, a communication from artist to viewer as well as a clear sense of real or surreal experience.  I am not much of a fan of intentional ambiguity.

Here is an era of style and design that does not appeal to me.  This table seems to be the worst of modern design and to reflect a really unappealing sense of both comfort and beauty.
The idea of designing a chair that might tip over is just appauling.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Road Annoyances

I've done a good bit of driving over  last few weeks.  When Elizabeth and I go together, she does 90% of the driving. I am not adverse to it. She is more comfortable as the driver.

My primary annoyance is that most people follow too close.   This is more true in Connecticut than here at home.  I suppose the nearness to New York City trains them in bumper to bumper driving.  I had plenty of them over these few days,   Getting rid of them is not as easy as the police once taught me when forty years ago  I had to go to driving school after 3 tickets.  They said simply slow down.  Then the tailgater will pass, or at least if there is an accident, it will be at a safe speed.
This works sometimes.  But some drivers are stubborn and would rather just stay on my bumper. 

My goal always on an expressway is to position myself as far away from the small packs of cars as possible and I will change my speed to do that.  I think that accidents are much less likely if I am traveling a long way from cars.  These tailgaters spoil my plans.
On a busy highway I often get behind a truck going the speed limit.  I follow him at a fine distance and most folks who go around me will also go around him right away or as soon as they wake up to the fact of his speed. 

I few times when there was no rear traffic, I just moved into the fast lane and slowed down to let the tailgater pass before I moved back into the slow lane.  That works when there are no cars on the road but the tailgater and me and perhaps a few folks traveling fast in the fast lane and just passing me naturally.

My fantasy is of installing a small jet spray of paint that I could engage with the read window wipers.  It would not go very far, but just be a deterrent in future tail gating operations.

I doubt that the police ever ticket anymore for tailgating.  If I were in police school, I'd ask about that.  I suppose it does not yield the money that catching speeders yields, especially in double fine work zones.

And that is my second annoyance.  I think that if there is a work zone on a highway, someone ought to be WORKING somewhere in that zone.  I suspect some work zones are simply set up as highway speed traps. 

My third annoyance is pickup trucks.  I used to like them.  I used to imagine working men carrying all sorts of interesting equipment in them and listening to Johnny Cash. 
There is no way pick up trucks are driver by working people these days.  At least not working people who need a pickup truck.  There is something in the bed of a pickup truck on the highway less than ten percent of the time.  And even these oversized pickup trucks, something just smaller than a school bus and too wide to pass on a narrow road, carry.....nothing. 
I know if I see a pickup truck approaching in my rear view mirror at twice my speed that it will end up tailgating .  It will get right on my bumper, big and intimidating.  It would be an easy hit for a spray of paint.  So tempting.

In parking lots these pickup trucks take up too much room for me to get out of my van.  In a grocery store lot or a Home Depot lot, they clearly belong but why would someone go to a casino in a pickup truck? 

I did manage to get off the highways some on this Connecticut trip.  I plugged in "no" highways on the GPS mounted on my windshield.  That trip from the Super 8 to Foxwoods was well without highways and even Mohegan Sun seemed fine.  That route 2 is a highway, but it is sparsely traveled in most sections.  Nice.  I may lose at the casino, but I save money on spraypaint.

Last Day/ Stonington lighthouse

note:   As well as posting this, I've added in some photographs on earlier posts from this trip.

I was tired out today.
I wandered down to Stonington.
It was a grand little town on the ocean.  All along the way through the countryside were ancient stone fences and the fieldstone was very large for such structures.  I did not see any animals.
There was free parking at the point where the light house turned museum was located and plenty of sailboats to watch.  I passed on paying $10 for a short swim off the beach.

This is the lighthouse.  It is very different from other light houses.  It is shorter than most and made of stone.  A well is inside as well as a sunken cistern where water was collected and drained for use in the house.

I thought the lighthouse museum was a bit pricey at senior rate $8 for such a small experience.  I think I got my money's worth because since reading Moby Dick, I've been interested in whaling and there were some fishing bits here as well.
This was a pretty cool piece of wood with a whaling theme.

Notice around the fireplace are some fire buckets like those I saw in Wethersfield. They were used to get water to drown a fire.

A fine assortement of cannon balls, and an assortment of whale processing tools.

This was from Hawaii.  It was called hook line and sinker.  Some large fish would have bitten this hook.
Here are some old oarlocks from whale boats.
This was a fairly sad story.  Death was common on the water in those days.

This is very much like the chair from Bernie that I just repaired.

These are views from the Lighthouse tower.  Once up the winding staircase I had to climb a street ladder to get into the section where the light one was mounted.

I walked around behind the museum and saw this very interesting bush.

For a while I sat on the bench just visible beyond this garden.  I could watch the water roll in over huge rocks.  It was a good spot, but the day was too oppressively hot.