Tag Archives: collection

How Desperate Do You Get in Quarantine? A Garbage Truck?

Being quarantined at home and working from home means you have limited things to shoot.  It also means you get to see things that happen during the day which you normally miss by breaking at work.  I put the trash out on Monday evenings but would not normally see it being collected during the day on Tuesday.  Now I see that.  Also, I get to enjoy the engineering of modern trash collection and the skill of the operator sweeping in to pick up each can in turn.  These little thins amuse the engineer in me although I guess I am probably a long way from the rest of the populous in this.  For a small percentage of you, here is some video I put together of our trash guy.  Let’s hope we get to go out again soon and I will look for more exciting subjects!


IWM Duxford

My wife is a star – well that, or she is a masochist.  Our trip to the UK was in three phases.  We spend the first phase visiting family.  The second phase was my visit to RIAT for a few days while she did things in London and around the south coast.  The last phase was our time to tour around East Anglia and relax a little.  Our last full day had us up near Cambridge.  She suggested I might want to visit the Imperial War Museum aviation collection at Duxford.  Since I had taken a chunk of the vacation to do aviation things, I was not going to push anything aviation related for the rest of the trip but she was quite happy to do this.  What a star!

I haven’t been to Duxford for ages so I was interested to see how things had changed.  What was once called the Superhangar had been rebuilt and had lots of interesting stuff inside.  The American Forces section was there last time I went and hadn’t changed a lot.  Some of the large airliner stuff outside was familiar but other bits were either new or something I didn’t recall from previous visits.  It is a very extensive collection and well worth a visit.  I was really pleased to check it out.

I will give a few of the exhibits their own posts but this is a bit of a summary post.  Below is a gallery of some of the shots I took as we wandered around.

America’s Car Museum

The onset of shorter days and less reliable weather (or at least weather that can be relied on to be crummy) means day trips to indoor places.  Nancy thought a trip to Tacoma to look at the LeMay collection in America’s Car Museum would be a good plan and she wasn’t wrong.  I have seen this museum many times as I drive south on I-5 but hadn’t given much thought to it before.  A couple of days before Nancy suggested it, a friend of mine back in California told me he would be going there in the spring so obviously everyone else was thinking about it but me.

The museum is a cool looking structure.  An asymmetric curved roof based one a wooden interior frame, it sits on a hillside next to the Tacoma Dome overlooking the harbor.  The museum is on multiple levels so, while the building doesn’t look to extensive, it provides a lot of space for the large collection of vehicles.  I shall be showing a few specific examples of cars from the collection in upcoming posts but, for the time being, you can get an idea of the overall museum.

Legion of Honor

Perched up on a hill overlooking the entrance to the Golden Gate sits the Legion of Honor.  This is an art gallery that, while including quite a variety of art styles, is synonymous with the sculpture of Rodin.  I first visited in 1990 during my first trip to the west coast.  I hadn’t been back since and Nancy had never been.  She is a fan of some of the impressionist painters so I thought this might be a good day out for her.  What I hadn’t realized was that they had a special exhibit on of Monet’s early years.  Turns out it was a bit more appropriate than I realized.

It was a lovely day to be in the city.  The sun was out and the temperatures were on the low 70s.  We had started out early to try and get there before it got busy.  We hadn’t anticipated the exhibit though.  Consequently, it was already quite busy when we got there.  It only got busier so we still were getting the better side of things.  We went straight to the exhibit and spent a fair bit of time in there.  Afterwards, we strolled through the galleries of the collection.

The different galleries are very nicely laid out.  Nothing felt too crowded and the light in the rooms was very nice.  Each gallery had a different style of decoration so you felt the change as you moved from room to room.  Natural light through the roof made it feel a lot less oppressive than some museums.  They did have some sections set up as rooms from old houses and these were a lot more subdued.

The sculpture section was very interesting.  The Spreckels family started the collection and they were avid supporters of Rodin’s work.  The Thinker sits in the forecourt while there are two rooms of his work.  These included bronzes, plaster and marble sculptures.  Rodin liked marble apparently but I find the bronze castings to be the most impressive since they show the texture of the work in a way that is lost a little with marble for me.

When I visit art museums, I find I have a limit of how long I can last.  When we were in Florence, I discovered just how many Madonna and Child pictures I can look at before I am done.  This museum is actually well sized for me.  I was able to check out the whole collection in about the time it takes me to be maxed out.  I didn’t reach the point of either my feet hurting, my back aching or just not wanting to look at another picture.  About the perfect size.  The collection is not as diverse as you will find in some big cities but it works well for a day out.  Check it out if you have the time.

Oakland Aviation Museum

wpid9748-C59F4457.jpgThe aviation museum that is on the perimeter of Oakland Airport has been something I have passed a few times but never at a time when either I had enough spare time to visit or that it was actually open. Finally, I recently found myself coming by with some time in hand and decided to drop in and take a look around. The collection that they have is quite interesting and splits into a series of areas.

wpid9750-C59F4381.jpgObviously the aircraft are the major part of the displays. However, they do have a collection of aero engines, both piston and turbine, which span quite a period including a TF-30 from an F-14 Tomcat. There are displays of uniforms and historical sections on a variety of topics including individuals and airlines from the history of the area.

wpid9738-C59F4439.jpgHowever, it was the aircraft that I was primarily interested in. Part of the collection is kept inside. It is a selection of types from some relatively familiar light aircraft like the Ercoupe, a replica Wright Biplane, a Boeing T-5 which is a unique type which was developed locally, the only example of the Hiller Ten99 which lost out to the Huey in an Army competition and a MiG-17. The internal displays are reasonably spread out although light is a little limited.

wpid9728-C59F4393.jpgWhen you head outside, things are very different. A lot of more modern military aircraft are on display along with the flagship of the Museum, a Shorts Solent flying boat. The aircraft outside are quite close together although not very cramped. However, the combination of positions and the ever present overhead power lines makes getting an uncluttered shot a little tricky. Some imaginative angles are sometimes required. It was a bright day as well so the harsh light was not helping.

wpid9744-C59F4453.jpgWhile the F-14, the A-3 and the TAV-8A are worth a bit more time, it is hard to ignore the Solent. It is set facing the parking lot so it is striking as soon as you arrive. Internal tours can be arranged and, had I been able to stay longer, I would have been able to take a look around. However, I had to make do with external only this time. The rudder is currently missing and the wing floats are dismounted but the aircraft is still in great condition. The shaping of the nose is a feature of that era of flying boats and you can’t help but want to accentuate it when photographing her.

wpid9746-C59F4454.jpgEven events are held at the museum and some night photography might provide some interesting opportunities. I do want to see inside the Solent so I shall be heading back before too long.