Christmas went as smoothly as could be expected. K's family always visits from out of town (her older sister and nephew from Round Rock, and her other sister and brother-in-law from San Marcos). And K's parents always come up from Arlington to spend the day... and Mom was there. So we had 11 at the table for Christmas dinner. Fun!? M got a bike, L got a digital camera (Fuji Finepix F-470 -- same as mine), I got some new train books and a maintenance stand for my bike, and K got a small fortune in gift certificates to Pottery Barn -- enough to order that new kitchen table and chairs that she's had her eye on. A good time was had by all. At least until the Cowboys-Eagles game came on.
New Years at Whiskey's
We enjoyed a quiet New Years Eve at home this year. This year was the first year in recent memory that I've had both New Years Eve and New Years Day off from work. We probably should have taken advantage of it; I would loved to have gone to Love & War in Texas (Grapevine) on New Years Eve to see Ray Wylie Hubbard. But since K doesn't like cigarette smoke or rowdy drunks (I don't know what's wrong with her) we decided to just stay home instead. M passed out by 2200, but L stayed up for the long haul, duking it out with me and K for bragging rights in a round of Mexican Train.
So now it's 2007... and nothing much has changed. The kids have gone back to school, the house is still a mess, and it's still too cold to go ride my bike. My comfort threshhold is somewhere in the low to mid-50s... below that, I don't ride. I've got plenty of stuff to do around the house, though... working on a few new web pages, assembling some "Whiskey's Favorites" music compilations, organizing family photos, and finishing up a railroad-themed photo essay I started about 3 years ago. Blog time will be limited; don't bother checking for updates more than 2 or 3 times a month.
The large number of empty beer and liquor containers left behind on the side of the road by my fellow citizens never fails to amaze me. Now, I've done a fair amount of drinking during the course of my life (ONLY after I turned 21.... uhh, yeah) but I can't recall a time that I was ever too busy to find a trash can for my empties instead of just pitching them out on the side of the road. A recent walk through Keller provided an opportunity for a study in the drinking habits of those who have more important things to do than to properly dispose of their garbage. I'm sure you're as surprised as I am that they seem to prefer lower-end, "discount", mass-produced American beers. I don't recall seeing many empty Samuel Adams or Guiness bottles. Busch quart bottles, on the other hand? OH YEAH! I'm not sure what this all means, but there are a lot of scumbags out there who don't give a second thought about throwing their trash all over the state of Texas. And apparently, a sizeable percentage of them enjoy cheap, low-quality beer.
Few and far between
The Christmas holidays kept me far too busy to go out and attempt any photography. I went several days without even seeing a train, which is pretty unusual for me. I'm over on Denton Highway in Keller / Watauga -- adjacent to the Choctaw Sub -- several times a week, and usually at least see something in passing. I finally made it out on Friday for a walk along the tracks. Of course it was cloudy, but I did catch a couple, including a northbound led by a tired-looking former Conrail GE...
A Conrail GE leads a northbound through Keller. Jan 5, 2007.
Angelina & Neches River boxcar
np: ESPN Sportscenter: Cowboys-Seahawks re-cap... Dallas really blew it tonight... heh, just wait 'til next season!