Behind the locomotives
Recently, I stopped for a few minutes south of Tower 55 near downtown Fort Worth to watch a Union Pacific freight
roll by. With the locomotives heading directly into the sun at solar noon, and a distracting background of freeway overpasses, the resulting photo wasn't much to get excited about. But I had my camera ready all the same, just in case I happened to notice an interesting railroad logo or moniker as the cars rolled past. The phrase, "Sign up now; graffiti contest ends soon" came to mind as I counted no fewer than 15 monikers gracing the sides of the cars.
Wonder what's behind this trio of UP units... ... no less than 15 Paintstik sketches and signatures...
Repeat visitors to this blog will recall that I have discussed freight car monikers (hobo & railway worker drawings on the side of freight cars) before:July 5, 2008February 6, 2008January 10, 2008December 22, 2007July 25, 2007
I continue to watch for them and photograph the ones I find interesting, whether I've seen them before or not. As I complete the 13th year of my railroading career and grow increasingly weary of look-alike locomotives on the Class One megasystems, freight car scrawls are something that help me stay interested in going back to the tracks to watch trains.
These days, monikers are attracting something of a cult following among graffiti artists and proponents, many of whom view and respect them as the "original" freight train graffiti
, the forerunner of today's proliferation of aerosol spray graf. Witness the following albums on Flickr
, for example:
Next time you get stopped at a crossing for an approaching choo-choo, instead of turning your car around and trying to beat it to the next crossing, stick around and watch. You never know what will be behind those locomotives.Other detail shots...
ACI tag Chicago & Eastern Illinois buzz-saw Huh-huh... it says... Whiskey goes dating
As my recent divorce progressed through its final stages, I began to wonder what kind of women (if any) I'd be able to attract when I began dating again. Chalk it up to low self-esteem and a battered sense of self-worth, but I just could not comprehend the idea of women being attracted to me or wanting to make me a part of their lives. But the combination of my weight loss, a new attitude a new "look", and support from my friends helped to restore my self-confidence to the point that I decided that I was ready. I quickly found that lack of interest was NOT going to be a problem. I also quickly discovered that not everyone who showed an interest was compatible with my wants, needs, and interests. But that's part of the fun of dating and meeting new people, right? Even though I didn't make a romantic connection with everyone I've met, I'm glad that I've made some new friends... at least one of whom holds a job with a certain amount of municipal authority (Pssst... hey, Detective R.W., do you think you could use your "influence" to convince a certain north Texas police department to dismiss my recent speeding ticket?)
A text message representation of my recent dating life. Alas, none of these women would end up being the "right one" for me.
So who is the "right one" for me? Well, I will admit to having met someone I've been spending quite a bit of time with lately. But I don't want to give away ALL my secrets all at once. Keep checking back and you'll learn more soon.Sports scene
Thanks once again to WBAP's Hal Jay, who keeps Cowboys fans laughing when all we want to do is cry. Hal decided to make "lemondade" out yesterday's "lemon" (the loss to the St Louis Rams) thusly:
"I discovered yesterday that my tv would block a vodka bottle from being thrown through the wall!"
"The local U-Haul dealer is offering a 25% moving discount to anyone who can prove that they're the Cowboys coach."
Well put, my friend... I have a feeling I'll be turning to Hal for some more cheering up during the next few Monday mornings.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays have made it to the World Series. For those of you who are even more "casual" baseball fans than I am, or for those who just haven't been paying attention, four out of the four (yep -- all of 'em, 100%) expansion teams since 1993 have reached the World Series. This year it's the Rays, last year it was the Rockies, in 2003 the Marlins won the W.S. (and also won it in 1997, their fifth season) and in 2001 it was the D-backs (in just their fourth season).
And what have the Texas Rangers, the poster-boy examples of perpetual mediocrity in the AL West, done for us lately (besides being swept in consecutive divisional playoff series against the Yankees in 1998 and 1999 (and only winning one game against the Yanks in the '96 playoffs)? They've been in Arlington since 1972, are one of only three major league teams to have never played in the World Series, and have never even won a single playoff series. Now that the fourth expansion team of the past 15 years has reached the Series, Texas Rangers fans should be rioting in the streets. At least they have been voting with their wallets... the season attendance totals at "Rangers Ballpark in Arlington" -- below 2 million for the first time since 1995 -- should tell the owners everything they need to know... right?
np: Moe Bandy - "Roll on, Big Mama"
Labels: baseball, Dallas Cowboys, freight car monikers, Texas Rangers, train photos