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Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I have two main objectives in asking you step on over to the WaterShapes booth during this year’s International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo in Orlando:

[ ] First, I want to chat with you about WaterShapes.com and get your thoughts on the huge set of changes and upgrades we’ve recently unveiled. Your feedback is

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

When I was a student, it generally upset me when a class came nowhere close to completing its agenda.  This was especially true in college, but it even reached back into high school, when I’d feel almost cheated that the last five chapters of a 25-chapter textbook fell into some crack at the end of the year, never to be seen or heard from again.

I could rationalize it in

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I celebrated another birthday on September 9, and one of the coolest gifts I received was the word that a major renovation of WaterShapes.com was ready for final review – and would, crossing that hurdle, be ready for public launch alongside release of the September 20 edition of the WaterShapes newsletter – this very day!

It’s our first major update in several years and the first

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Before I walk away from my little series of blogs on big transitions, I want to call attention to renovations, which I consider to be both a generational phenomenon as well as the greatest potential source of projects and market growth through the next

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Ever since I completed my last WaterShapes World entry – the one on the passing of Herman Silverman and John Kelley, Jr. – I’ve found myself thinking about the coincidence of their having been 30 years apart in age – that is, with a conventional “generation” between them.  

It reminded me that

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Two recent obituaries caught my eye, one for Herman Silverman, who passed away in May at age 97, the other for John Kelley Jr., who was just 67 when he died in June.

I don't believe I ever met Herman Silverman, but I do recall hearing his name so often that

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’ve seen something of the future, and I’m afraid this part of it at least is going to be very, very sad.

We’ve just returned from a glorious vacation that took me and Judy to Venice, Italy, to celebrate her retirement after a long career as a teacher.  She’d been there before, more than 40 years ago, but I’d had to

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

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

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

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

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

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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