Saturday, February 24, 2007

Resuming normal activities

shooting again

The weather finally warmed up, and the skies have been mostly sunny. I went out shooting on Sunday afternoon, and again on Monday morning. I didn't really catch much, except for a southbound train of covered hoppers, powered by two Santa Fe SD's still in blue and yellow. Just like old times (well, almost). I miss the days of seeing trains like this.

Southbound near Krum, TX. Feb. 19, 2007

Dig that Santa Fe power! Ponder, Tx; Feb 19, 2007

M was with me when I went out on Sunday; he snapped this shot of a grain train near Haslet.

I shot this one on my way home from the Gourds show in Denton last Thursday night. I'd like to thank whoever decided to build that used car lot south of the Kroger crossing in Keller, for installing the floodlights that made this shot possible. Reminds me of a line from the Ray Wylie Hubbard song "Wanna Rock n Roll", about 99 cars screamin' into the night...

late night northbound through Keller. Feb 16, 2007

riding again
With the warmer weather, I've been starting to get out on my bike again. I started off a little slow this week, but still rode close to 40 miles over two different days. I only rode once during the whole month of January; it's definitely nice to be out riding again after such a long break. And it's always a nice bonus to catch a train or two during a ride...

CMO gons at UP Hicks siding. Tuesday Feb. 20

BNSF coal load passing Hicks Airport. Tuesday, Feb. 20

UP northbound through Keller. Thursday, Feb. 22

Beauty and the (Railfan) Geek

K and I were watching tv on Sunday morning and we stumbled across something as delightful as a nasty car accident. It was painful to watch, but we couldn't look away. The show? MTV's "Beauty and the Geek", where a bunch of socially inept dorks (the geeks) are paired with physically attractive airheads (the beauties). The team whose two members exhibit the biggest transition (from nerd to swingin' stud; from dumb blonde to smart blonde) wins a $250,000 prize.
The guys came to the show with such impressive credentials as "owns 25,000 comics" and "has only kissed one girl". The ladies, long on looks but short on brains, had slightly more impressive resumes: "Playboy model", "former Hooters waitress". I'm almost ashamed to say, we spent two hours of our Sunday watching this spectacle. (It was an all-day "marathon." K DVR'd the rest so we could watch it later.) What fun! The best "challenge" was probably the art class where the guys had to draw sketches of an attractive, nude, female model. She talked the whole time, and after the modeling session, the host asked the guys questions about what she had been talking about. I'll let you guess how well a roomful of guys who had probably never SEEN a naked chick did at answering such questions!
Anyway, I got to thinking... if BATG ever decides to shift the "geek factor" into high gear, the producers need look no further than the nearest railfan gathering (train show, modeling club, railroad historical society, slide show, etc). Compared to some of the foaming dorks I've run across over the years, the BATG guys look like Ben Freakin' Affleck. I'm talking about guys with a SEVERE lack of social skills, who scarcely recognize that life exists outside of trains, train literature and photos, and train discussion groups on the internet. BATG could list their credentials like this: "has photographed entire BNSF locomotive roster", "has ridden 2 million miles on Amtrak", or "owns largest railroad timetable collection in the state of Texas". They might not have any better luck answering questions about that nude model, but it would sure make guys like me (i.e., "normal" railfans) feel "cool" by comparison.
How stupid do these spammers think I am?

My yahoo inbox is full of garbage with subject lines like "Have segundo at burial" and "Is my madagascar" from people with names like Ramiro Greene and Emory Bacon. Each one of them contains an attachment. Luckily, yahoo is pretty good about flagging this kind of crap as "Spam". But I've gotta wonder, do the idiots sending this stuff out actually expect me to open and read emails with such ridiculous subject lines, especially from someone I've never heard of? Why not disguise their spam under a subject line more relevant to where they got my email address from (most likely, a Yahoogroups posting)... say "Rio Grande GP30" or "Texas music" and make the name someone I've actually heard of, like Britney Spears or Angelina Jolie. I'd be a hell of a lot more likely to open their stupid spam emails if I thought Angelina wanted to talk with me about trains or Eleven Hundred Springs...

np: Mazzy Star "Look down from the bridge"
nr: John Steinbeck - Sweet Thursday


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