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Design or Art?

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I spent a couple strange hours the other day, surfing through Internet references to what I have discovered is a fairly lively Art-versus-Design debate.  What I found was oddly interesting at first, but after a while, I began feeling underwhelmed by the whole discussion, which seemed mostly to be about trying to

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Nothing But Net

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

In summers long past, I’d come home from work, get into my swimming trunks, grab the newspaper and a cooling beverage and head for the pool.

On some days, I was left on my own for an hour’s worth of drifting on my big float, not a care in the world.  Before putting the cover back on the pool, I’d swim a couple dozen short laps and tend to any

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A Path Not Taken

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

As I read Robert Nonemaker’s article on the recommissioning of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens while uploading it to the WaterShapes web site, one comment he made stuck in my mind:  Seeing that fountain as a ten-year-old, he wrote, was one of his inspirations for becoming a watershaper.

I didn’t have that sort of uplifting aquatic experience as

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Watching the Water

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’ve witnessed and participated in discussions of water safety on a professional level for more than 30 years now, and I can remember a time when watershapers in just about every sector were unhappy about raising the subject in any way.

I could understand the negative attitudes:  No matter whether it had to do with pools, spas, ponds or any other form of open, accessible water, nobody

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Boundless Potential

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

As you’re probably aware, I live in southern California in the southwestern corner of the San Fernando Valley.  You may also know that it gets wicked hot here, which is why this slice of the globe boasts more swimming pools per capita than anywhere other than maybe the Phoenix metroplex.  

What you probably don’t know is

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Spring Is Here!

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Although fall in southern California is my favorite time of year for its raw beauty, spring is a close runner-up because it is so busy.  

In fact, some of the heavy lifting is already done by the time March 20 rolls around:  Early in that month, for instance, I’ll typically take advantage of a warm day to vacuum away our pool’s winter accumulation of

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Adding Up

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

It was entirely coincidental, but the last edition of the WaterShapes digital newsletter included two of the most popular of all articles ever to appear on our Web site:  Tommy T. Cook’s “Casting Nature,” which originally appeared in the printed magazine in November 2010; and Scott Cohen’s “Beware of Exploding Lava Rocks,” which was published exclusively through the newsletter on March 16, 2011.

It’s easy to recall how popular

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Pee's in the Air

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

All of a sudden three weeks ago, the Internet caught fire with what seems to be its annual round of stories about urine in swimming pools.  As best I can tell, the story’s current incarnation began with a March 1 report on the Web site of National Public Radio about research conducted by a group of Canadian chemists:  These folks figured out that they could

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A Better Plan?

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

During last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the swimming pools attracted an amazing amount of attention.  Unfortunately, it was only partly because of the outstanding in-pool performances offered up by swimmers, water-polo teams and divers – a feast of excellence that will

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Trend Tracking

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

It’s not all that often that I use WaterShapes World to discuss a specific item appearing in our current newsletter, but this time I can’t resist:  The first in a series of three great articles appears in this edition, and I want to call as much attention to it as I can.

In my last blog (click here), I wrote about the important lessons water-oriented professionals have learned through coping with

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Silver Linings

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

We’ve had lots of rain and snow in California in recent weeks.  So much precipitation, in fact, that nearly half the state is now officially out of the drought emergency that has bedeviled the state for the past six years.  If current weather patterns persist through the spring, chances are good that the entire region will be breathing easier for a while.

This is fantastic news for watershapers of every description who

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Collision Avoidance

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

In recent months, news has too often come as a shock.  I am happy to say, however, that one piece of it I received a couple weeks ago actually came as a relief.  

The press release was headed “APSP & NSPF boards announce unification process ends,” and I have to say I wasn’t

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Looking Ahead

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Given the tumultuous way in which 2016 came to a close, I figured I’d kick off the New Year by being as upbeat as can be about what the future holds for watershaping.  Two news stories I’ve followed through the last couple months put me in a suitable frame of mind for this exercise.

First up was the hovering

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