Sunday, September 30, 2007

a different side of Ft Worth - I

As mentioned previously, I spent some time in the Fort Worth Stockyards on Monday looking for fading ads and ghost signs. (See my entries from Sept. 25 and Sept. 26). But I found lots of other interesting stuff at which to point my camera.

The Stockyards is one of those places that is uniquely Texan... uniquely Fort Worth, in fact. Part tourist kitsch, part local hangout, the Stockyards offers something for almost everyone -- whether you're a first-time visitor to Texas or a lifelong resident. Its streets are lined with gift shops and western wear stores, with an ample number of bars ("saloons" in Stockyards parlance) and restaurants. In the Stockyards, you can buy a "Texas-sized" fly swatter or you can buy a saddle. You can mingle with conventioneers inside the cavernous Billy Bob's, or you can kick back and listen to Mark David Manders (or dozens of other "Texas" musicians) at the White Elephant or Rodeo Exchange. You can chow down on a sirloin at Cattlemen's Steak House, or sample Texas wild game at the Lonesome Dove.

Anytime I travel, I take notice of things that are unique to the places I'm visiting -- whether I'm halfway across the world or in a part of my hometown that I haven't seen in a year or two. Here are a few of the uniquely "Stockyards" things that caught my eye on Monday.

"Leave Britney Alone", Kimmel-style

Everyone on the internet was talking about the "Leave Britney Alone" guy, so I finally went on Youtube to see what all the buzz was about. It's a good thing I did, or I might have missed out on the humor of this Jimmy Kimmel monologue and skit. Here, take a look... great stuff!
np: Ray Wylie Hubbard - "Bones"
nr: Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ghost signs - Fort Worth Stockyards II

More "ghost signs" / fading ads from the Fort Worth Stockyards on Monday...

A fading GM / AC Delco sign covers an older ghost sign

Stanford New & Second Hand Furniture

Kimmons Furniture Co.

"We have ???"

Hope you enjoyed 'em. Stay tuned for more images from the Fort Worth Stockyards, coming soon.
np: Mark Davis & Hal Jay - WBAP morning show
nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ghost signs - Fort Worth Stockyards I

beverages, cigars, and hotels

On Monday, I took a trip down to the Fort Worth Stockyards and found a small gold-mine of "ghost signs" (fading ads, names of long-closed businesses, etc) on the exterior walls of the neighborhood's many brick buildings. Here is a sampling...

Miller ghost ad - North Main St. Fort Worth Stockyards

A Dr. Pepper ad lurks in the shadow of a fire escape beneath a crumbling stucco wall on North Main St.

Royal Crown ad on North Main St.

This Owl Cigar ad was among the more interesting of my discoveries on Monday. It's located on West Exchange St.

Llano Hotel

Stage Coach Hotel - 2408 1/2 N. Main St.

??? Hotel on North Main St.

Enjoy; I'll post a second batch of Stockyard "ghost ads" soon.
np: Silversun Pickups - "Lazy Eye"
nr: Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Fading ads

A couple years ago, I made a daylight trip to the Deep Ellum area of Dallas to photograph the side of a brick building which featured a fading advertisement for the Texas & Pacific Railway. The T&P was merged into the Missouri Pacific system in 1976, but the railroad had stopped offering passenger train service in the late '60s, so that ad had to be at least 35 or 40 years old when I photographed it.

A Texas & Pacific mural graces the side of a building in the Deep Ellum area east of downtown Dallas - December 2005.

Recently, I received an email from a guy in New York who had seen that photo on my website. Frank Jump produces the Fading Ad Blog, which documents fading advertisements on the sides of buildings in New York and elsewhere. That's part of the beauty of the internet; once you start posting stuff, there's no telling who you'll hear from next, where they'll be emailing you from, and what they'll want to discuss. In Frank's case, he was interested in posting a few of my photos on his blog and linking to my site. I sent him several photos of another interest of mine -- fading ads and logos on the sides of freight cars.

In exploring Frank's blog and related websites, I've discovered plenty of interesting photos and commentary on topics ranging from fading ads to Rosario Dawson (quite possibly my new "dream woman"... so long, Britney!) to gay marriage and AIDS activism. And I've started keeping a more vigilant eye out for fading ads here in north Texas.

Here are a few shots I took on Saturday of the grain elevators in Saginaw. (Note: for the purposes of fading ad documentation, I don't limit "fading ads" to actual advertisements like the T&P mural, but I also allow the term to include fading names of buildings' previous owners.)

Horizon flour mill - Saginaw, TX - September 2007

Union Equity logo on grain elevator -- now owned by ConAgra -- Saginaw, TX

Saginaw's Attebury elevator displays fading "Far-Mar-Co" lettering

Watch for more fading ad photos coming soon, both on Frank's Fading Ad Blog, and right here in Whiskey, Texas.
how 'bout them Cowboys!
Well, the Cowboys unleashed an ass-whupping on the Bears last night, winning by a score of 34-10. The Cowboys look pretty good so far this year. Even with a 3-0 record (with only one win coming against a quality opponent -- Chicago), I'm beginning to hear lots of talk of Dallas making a Super Bowl run this year. I'd say that's a little premature... seeing footage of Bills quarterback J.P. Losman suffering a knee injury in yesterday's game against New England reminded me that the Cowboys might only be one key injury away from finishing the year with a .500 record. But if the team stays healthy, I see no reason why they shouldn't at least make the playoffs. They'll need to watch out for Philadelphia and Washington... both teams have had good games and bad ones so far. And Green Bay has looked strong so far this year; they do have a game against the Pack looming on the schedule in November.
It's good to see Romo continue to perform strongly -- each quality performance lends further confirmation that the games he helped win last year were no "flukes" -- he really does have some great talent. And I think that the new coaching staff (Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, et al) has made a big difference in the players' attitudes, and obviously in the team's game strategy. I'm missing Bill Parcells even less than I thought I would. In short, I feel better about the team's chances this year than I've felt at any time since the end of the Jimmy Johnson era. Keep up the good work, 'Boys... I'm looking forward to December and January... then we can start talking about the Super Bowl.
np: Tennessee Ernie Ford - "Sixteen Tons"
nr: Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Whiskey's religious roundtable

Are you there, God? It's me, Whiskey - Part I

Are you there, God? It's me, Whiskey. My daughter is growing up, God. I walked into L's room a few nights ago and she was reading Are you there God? It's me, Margaret, Judy Blume's coming-of-age novel about a pre-teen girl struggling to find her religious identity as she enters puberty. I remember reading this book, and many other Judy Blume titles, countless times when I was about the same age. Are you there, God? didn't help me find religion, but it did give me an idea of some of the social concerns that the girls in my class were probably facing.

When I saw L reading that book, God, I wanted to run screaming from the room -- kind of like Hank Hill's "aauuaauuaawwhhh!" when he learned that his neighbor's daughter needed a ride to the store to buy feminine hygiene products. With more than a little despair in my voice, I told K, "She's reading about training bras and periods!" Is our little girl really old enough to identify with these kinds of issues, God? Sadly, I guess she is. Please help ease the pain of dads everywhere whose daughters are growing up too fast. And please help me to be brave when it's time to make that first short-notice trip to Walgreen's to buy "Teenage Softies" or whatever they're called...
Are you there, God? It's me, Whiskey - Part II

church sign - Watauga, TX

This seems like an appropriate time to announce a second blog I've started here on the blogger server: Signs of Religion. I have long been interested in the words displayed on those changeable signs located outside churches and other houses of worship. Running the gamut from the spiritual to the humorous to the enigmatic, the phrases displayed on these signs catch the eyes of motorists and other passersby, providing at least minimal insight into the religious philosophies one might find inside the churches they represent.

church sign - Altus, Oklahoma - February 2007

To those of you who don't view me as a very "spiritual" person, some background information on this interest of mine is probably in order. Even though I don't currently attend church on any sort of regular basis, I WAS raised as a Christian. I was baptized and am a confirmed member of the Episcopal church. During my youth, my family maintained a sort of "on-again, off-again" policy with regard to church attendance; we'd attend like clockwork for six months or a year and then suddenly stop going for about the same length of time. This practice seems to have followed me into adulthood. K and the kids and I were regulars at one of the local Episcopal churches until we quit going a couple years ago.

I believe in God, I believe in the Ten Commandments, and I accept Jesus as a savior for my sins. Where I fail as a Christian is in reaching out to others in sharing the Christian faith. I guess I'm what I once heard an Episcopal preacher refer to as a "consumer of religion" rather than a "minister of religion". Christian theology not only calls for its followers to obey certain commandments and doctrines and follow in Jesus' footsteps, but also to share the "good news of the Lord" with others. To me, religion is a very personal choice. Being very much a "live and let live" type of person, I've never felt completely comfortable in sharing my faith -- whether the goal is to convince an atheist to "come to Jesus" or something as innocent as inviting a co-worker to join us for Sunday morning worship. I view it as being meddlesome and "pushy", as though I'm trying to force my religion on someone. And I wouldn't expect anyone to welcome such behavior any more than I would welcome an attempt to convert me to THEIR religion.

So why am I posting church sign photos? I just find them interesting -- that's pretty much it. I like how you can drive down a road and see a sign in front of one church displaying fire-and-brimstone Old Testament scripture, while the sign at the church down the street displays something cavalier and lighthearted and humorous. Signs of Religion is nothing more than a collection of photos of these signs, with new pics added as I discover different signs during my travels. I'm not planning on doing any proselytizing of my own; I'll let the church signs speak for themselves. Check 'em out here:

My love-hate relationship with cycling

Last year, I was looking for any excuse I could find to set everything aside and go riding. This year -- during the past few months, at least -- I've often been looking for any available excuse NOT to go riding. Maybe I'm just burned out, or maybe I should think about riding some new and different routes. But there's still the occasional ride that tops everything I've done for the past few months and almost makes it all worthwhile. Like last Thursday, for example...

I took a 42-mile ride on Thursday the 13th, one of the best rides I've had in quite a while. I hit Haslet, Justin, Argyle, Roanoke, and Keller, and felt great all the way, with lots of energy. With the cooler temperatures, it's definitely easier to get out and ride hard. Highlights of the ride included...

Trains... pacing a northbound north of Haslet

crossing the county line...

Cattle - it's always nice to ride someplace where you at least FEEL like you're out in the country...

... and money! I was fortunate to discover a huge pile of loose change on the shoulder of the road between Justin and Argyle. It looked like someone had busted open a piggy bank. Would you believe I harvested $16.00 worth of quarters at the scene? I returned to the scene on Thursday the 20th, hoping to gather up the dimes and nickels, but someone had beaten me to it... only the pennies were left.
Anyway, Thursday the 13th was one of those days where riding was its own reward. Even without the monetary discovery.

np: Discovery Channel - Survivorman
nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

no fun, national anthem

The No Fun League

So, the NFL fined Terrell Owens $7500 for his end zone celebration last Sunday. Following a touchdown he scored during the Cowboys' game against Miami, Owens propped himself against the goal post and pretended to use the football as a video camera, "filming" signals in the manner of the New England Patriots. All I can say is, "Where the hell is the NFL's sense of humor?" Sure, football is about sportsmanship and being a team player and all that, but isn't it also about entertainment? I don't know about you, but I sure got a good laugh out of it. Why not just hand out the 15-yard penalty (which in itself is probably even a tad too harsh), let the Cowboys' coaching staff handle the situation as they see fit, and be done with it? The moniker "No Fun League" -- as some are referring to the NFL these days -- certainly seems appropriate here.

The "National Anthem of Texas"?

I recently received a Texas Music newsletter which contained a link to a Lone Star Beer promotion. Lone Star is encouraging music fans to help select the "national anthem of Texas" Participants are presented with a list of a few dozen "Texas" songs to choose from -- from classics by Bob Wills, Willie and Waylon, and Tanya Tucker to lesser known, more contemporary tunes by Cooder Graw and Cory Morrow. I scrolled down the list, planning to enter a quick vote for Pat Green's "I Like Texas". Alas, it wasn't listed (although some other Pat Green songs were). I was trying to figure out why, and then it occurred to me that in "I Like Texas", Mr. Green voices a preference for a competing brand: "I like to pick my guitar down in Luckenbach, and drink that Shiner Bock beer..." I guess that was enough for the folks at Lone Star to scratch it off the list. Too bad, 'cause it's a great Texas song. Sure, you can argue about Pat Green being a sellout and appealing to the lowest common denominator of Texas music fans and all that, but it's still a good song (and from his pre-sellout days, at that). I was glad to see that Doug Sahm's "Beautiful Texas Sunshine" made the list -- it's one of my favorite "Texas" themed songs. But I don't see it being a "national anthem" type of song. So in the end, I ended up not voting. "I Like Texas" really should have been one of the choices, even if it does advertise a superior product.

I actually remember the last time I drank a Lone Star -- probably seven or eight years ago at an Old 97s concert at the Ridglea. A guy offered to buy me a beer if I saved his spot for him while he went to the bar. When I agreed, he asked "what are you drinking?" I held up my Lone Star can and he asked, "Why are you drinking that?"
"'Cause it's cheap." (Lone Stars were a buck-seventy-five at the Ridglea; every other brand was at least two-fifty).
The guy insisted on returning from the bar with something other than a Lone Star. "Well, do you drink anything else?"
"Sure, how about a Shiner?"


np: Junior Brown - "Semi Crazy"

nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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Monday, September 17, 2007

steam train, Wayne the train

UP 844 comes to Texas - for a few hours

UP 844 southbound south of Stoneburg, TX on Sept 14

Last Friday, one of Union Pacific's steam engines made a brief appearance in north Texas. UP has been running a special train, powered by UP steam locomotive # 844, to help commemorate the Centennial of Oklahoma's statehood. It began in Wichita, KS last week and ran south to a different Oklahoma town (Enid, El Reno, Waurika) each day. On Friday, the train crossed the Red River into Texas en route to Chico, where the railroad planned to turn it on a wye (a triangular arrangement of tracks which allows a train to change direction by making essentially a "3 point turn") and send it back north.

On Friday morning, Stephen and I (with L in tow -- a minor illness had kept her home from school for the day) headed north through Chico and Bowie and intercepted the train south of Stoneburg. We planned to follow the train back to Chico for more photos, and end our chase when it was time for me to come home and get ready for work. Few things on the railroad ever work out exactly as planned, however, and Friday was no exception.

A grain train was running ahead of the steam engine and experienced a train separation when a knuckle broke on the hill south of Bowie. (A knuckle is the part of the coupler that opens and closes to connect the cars.) After putting the train back together, the crew wasn't sure they'd be able to pull up the hill from where they were without either stalling or breaking the train again. The crew on the steam engine offered to shove them up the hill from behind, but the dispatcher had to "talk to Omaha" (UP management) and it was decided instead to have the grain train double their train (take half the cars, then return for the second half) to Chico. This process would take a minimum of two to three hours. Our second shot of the steam engine, rolling to a stop at a crossing south of Bowie, ended up being our last.

waiting for something to happen - fans look on as UP 844 and the Oklahoma Centennial train stop south of Bowie behind a disabled grain train
Plenty of other fans were out, but it was mostly just "local yokels" at the crossings where we stopped. At the crossing south of Bowie, my friends Joe and Blair caught up with us, and entertained our small group with various theories of what was probably happening "behind the scenes" up in Omaha, and how long it might take to get things moving again. We finally decided to head back home -- it was obvious that the train wasn't going anywhere.

Blair and Joe cool their heels after chasing 844 south from Waurika
Fun times? Well, we caught a steam engine, it was running, and it was in Texas. We came home with one decent shot, which is what I told myself going into this that I would be happy with if that was all I got. I guess we have next summer to look forward to, with the NRHS (National Railway Historical Society) convention coming to Ft Worth... maybe we'll get to see some big steam down here again then.
Wayne Hancock in Denton - Friday, Sept 14

Friday night after work, I met some friends at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton for a Wayne Hancock show. Joe and Stephen eventually made it up there; they had been busy shooting pictures out west of Ft. Worth.

Wayne Hancock and his band at Dan's in Denton - Friday, Sept 14
This time around, steel player Eddie Rivers wasn't with the band. He's only been there about half of the times I've seen Wayne. Instead, they had fiddle player Katy Cox on stage, sharing solos with guitarist Eddie Biebel. It was the first time I had seen her with the band. She really tore it up! Not many of Wayne's studio songs include fiddle, but she came up with some nice solos for most of the songs. Highlights included hearing them play a few Hank Williams originals ("Lovesick Blues", "Move it on over", "Jambalaya"), a Hank III song, Johnny Cash's "Big River" (with guitarist Eddie on vocals) and and of course some of Wayne's own material like "Tulsa", "Walkin' the dog", and Johnny Law". They wrapped up the show right at 2 am. When I saw them back in February they played for about 20 minutes past closing time and the bar staff pretty much had to kick them off stage!

Stephen and Joe - front porch Whataburgers at 3:30 am.

We wrapped up our evening (now three hours into Saturday morning) with Joe and Stephen eating Whataburgers on our front porch. They would both be catching their flights home later in the day, so that was the last time I'd see them during their visit.


np: ESPN SportsCenter
nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

wet trains & fake names

Rainy day railfans

My friends Joe and Stephen are both in Ft. Worth this week... the company brought them down for a few day's worth of leadership meetings. (Have fun, boys!)

We had set aside most of the day on Monday to do some railfanning. Proving that we're not just fair weather fans, we went out in spite of a weather forecast calling for nearly a full day of rain.

Joe and Stephen "get the shot" in the rain on the FWWR at Cresson on September 10.

the only dry place to shoot: inside the Cresson yard office

UP trains meet in the rain on the Baird Sub at Preble

Even though we'd all seen days with better weather on the Baird Sub, we still had a good time.

Who is Ron Mexico?

If you've never heard of Ron Mexico, it shouldn't take you too much time on Google or Wikipedia to find out the story behind the name. It's an alias of someone who has been in the news a fair amount lately. But that's not important right now; what's important is that I discovered a website which features the Ron Mexico Name Generator . All you have to do is type in your name, and specify your gender, and the Ron Mexico name generator will produce your own personal "Ron Mexico"-style alias, ideal for filling out forms down at the STD clinic or logging on to adult web sites.

I typed in the names of a few friends and acquaintances to see what it came up with. (Hey, I'm easily amused, ok?) Some results were more entertaining than others, but it produced one in particular that I hope its recipient will appreciate. Say hello to my friend "Hercules Libya"...

"Hercules" dials in on the Monday conference call...

Check back in a few days for another report... big excitement in store for us on Friday. Stay tuned...


np: Ernest Tubb - "Drivin' nails in my coffin"

nr: Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Football - the bad and the ugly

Whiskey returns to campus

Monday (Labor Day) was SMU's opening game of the 2007 football season. SMU hosted Texas Tech for the home opener at Ford Field on the SMU campus. K and I decided to go; we hadn't been to an SMU game since 2003. Mom offered to keep the kids for the afternoon, so it was just me and the Mrs. Would Monday be the day that the SMU Mustangs broke their 12-game losing streak against the Red Raiders?

The McFarlin townhome where I lived during my sophomore year (1991-92)

We parked on McFarlin, a few blocks west of Hillcrest, and walked to the game from there. On our way up the street, I pointed out to K the town home where I lived during my sophomore year. I had just kind of lucked into that one... before freshman year ended, a friend who lived in my dorm offered to let me share a 3-bedroom town home with him and another guy. They charged me less rent than they were paying since I took the study (which was smaller than the other two rooms and didn't have a closet) and I parked on the street while they took the two spots in the garage. It was a great place, literally right across the street from campus -- and closer to most of my classes than I had been in the freshman dorm. Passing by there sure brought back a lot of memories.

Dallas Hall looms above the pre-game party scene...

McElvaney Hall (the freshman dorm where I lived from 1990-91). My room was on the 2nd floor just to the right of the entrance.
The stadium was all the way on the other side of campus from where we parked, so we were able to check out some of the festivities along Bishop Blvd. The pre-game setup is quite a bit different from when I went to school there; all the barbecue stands and food tents and alumni booths are lined up for several blocks along the main entrance route to campus. It was quite a "party" atmosphere -- tons of people, lots of loud music, and drunks everywhere.

opening kickoff - SMU vs Texas Tech

As soon as we made it to the game and found our seats, it started to rain. Luckily, it didn't last too long. Kickoff was at 3 pm... by the time the latecomers arrived, the stadium looked to be about 80% full. It seemed like about half of the crowd were Tech fans. I was glad to see that the SMU crowd was really into the game -- lots of cheering, lots of enthusiasm ... for about the first half. By halftime, many of the SMU fan sections, especially the student sections, were emptying out and it reminded me (somewhat painfully) of many of the games I attended from 1990-94.
As for the game itself, SMU kept up with the Red Raiders pretty well during the first half (we were trailing 21-6 at halftime) but the second half got kind of ugly. K and I left about halfway through the fourth quarter, right after SMU kicked a third field goal to narrow the ass-whupping to 42-9. I found out later that the final was 49-9, so we didn't miss anything by leaving early. I was hoping SMU could at least score a touchdown, but it was not to be.

I can't say that I was completely disappointed that we went; I just wish that SMU had been able to put a better product on the field. Tech just kind of overpowered us, and we couldn't put any pressure on their quarterback or do a good job of covering their receivers. Maybe things will turn around for SMU on Saturday when we play UNT. Then again, I seem to recall the Mustangs losing to them last year...

an SMU co-ed leaves the game early, as did most SMU fans
What probably made the biggest impression on me of all was the co-eds parading around in skimpy white dresses, wearing badges with slogans like "Pi Phi Angel". I remember the Pi Phi's of the early '90s; they were arguably one of the top houses, full of girls with high moral standards and good reputations. I'm pleased to report that some of the Pi Phi's I saw at the game looked like they just stepped off the "Girls Gone Wild" bus. I believe I heard K throwing around the term "skank whore" a few times. I guess she got an inadvertent full frontal view up the skirt of some "angel" who was climbing over a bench from one row to the next. (I was apparently distracted by the action on the football field. Next thing I knew, K was saying something under her breath like "wear some underwear -- PLEASE!" I knew better than to turn my head right then.)

Oh well, fun times. Maybe we'll go again in another four years.

By the way, SMU was fortunate (?) to gain national tv coverage on Monday; the game was televised nationally by ESPN. I recorded it and watched as much of it as I could stomach after we got home.

As close as the score would be for the rest of the afternoon...

These SMU fans wouldn't be cheering for long...

Apology for sale

Look what turned up on ebay a few days ago... an alleged copy of the notes Michael Vick used during his "apology" speech last month.

Here is the ebay description of the item up for bid:
"This sheet of paper was discarded at the podium after Michael Vick's apology on August 28th, 2007 at the Omni Hotel in Richmond. Found by an HSUS employee, it appears to be Vick's own talking points from his first public statement after his guilty plea for crimes related to dogfighting. Ironically, Vick never got to the last three words, 'dogs have suffered', which had clearly been added as an afterthought.This piece of memorabilia culminates the nation's most notorious celebrity cruelty case. It is a symbol of the downfall of a superstar's career but also of the historical event that brought light to the cruel and illegal business of dogfighting in America. "
News reports on yahoo and elsewhere indicate that proceeds from the sale will benefit the Humane Society's animal rights causes.
Better get those bids in; as I type this on Friday morning, bids are up to $10,100 with just seven days left on the auction.

np: James McMurtry - I'm not from here
nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

hither and yon

Go back to school

The kids went back to school last week, so I had a chance to get out and take a few pictures. I chased a BNSF genset from Alliance to Saginaw on Tuesday, and went over to Carrollton on Wednesday to track down a pair of Gensets on the Dallas Garland & Northeastern.

M's first day of First Grade

BNSF Genset 1228 leads a southbound yard transfer out of Alliance on August 28, 2007

BNSF 2196 on a yard transfer at Saginaw on August 28.

Roadrailers and Schneider truck near Alliance Airport

Gensets on the Dallas Garland & Northeastern at Carrollton, TX. August 29, 2007.

Switching boxcars on the DGNO at Carrollton. August 29.

L's school starts at 0745 this year! That means we have to leave the house by about 0725, about an hour earlier than we were leaving last year. After I get home from work each night at 2300, I have just enough time to watch "King of the Hill" before I have to go sleep. After the kids went to school on Monday, I was so tired that I laid back down and took a nap! Come to think of it, I did that on Thursday as well.

K's sisters arrived in town on Friday to celebrate the Labor Day weekend and K's mom's birthday. We decided to spend most of Saturday at Six Flags... (M's second time this summer and L's fourth). I managed to get a few rides in before I had to leave for work.

L enjoys the swings during another visit to Six Flags

front-seat view on the Judge Roy Scream

M enjoys a ride at Six Flags

Football season is upon us

Aaah yes, it's time to start spending Saturday mornings laying in bed as long as I can get away with, watching College GameDay and waiting for the early games to start. There's not much at the professional level of sports that can capture the excitement and energy of a crowd of college students, alumni, and other football fans hamming it up for ESPN's tv cameras, eagerly awaiting the kickoff of a big game. Top it off with witty banter from the likes of Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, and you've got some quality Saturday morning entertainment. I don't get to watch many of the games (due to my work schedule), but at least I've got that.
I somehow doubt that College GameDay will be coming to the SMU campus anytime soon, but that's where K and I will be on Monday as we root for the Mustangs in their season opener against Texas Tech. And if things don't work out for the Mustangs, at least I'll have the Cowboys opener to look forward to on September 9 against the Giants.

By the way, did you see what happened to Michigan on Saturday, losing to I-AA Appalachian State? You gotta like your national championship hopes being over with by the first of September -- OUCH! I've never cared much for Michigan; Mom and Dad both attended Ohio State, so I'm kind of locked in to being a Buckeye fan, insofar as Big Ten athletics are concerened. September 1st would have been my dad's 68th birthday (he passed away in 2003). It's hard to think of a birthday present he would have enjoyed more than seeing Michigan lose to a I-AA school! If the sports bars in Heaven were carrying the game on their big screens, he was probably there, buying a round of Wild Turkey shots for all the Ohio State alums. Happy birthday, Dad.
np: SportsCenter
nr: Ayn Rand - the Fountainhead

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