Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday morning warbonnet

During Stephen's visit a few weeks ago, we headed up to Avondale to catch a Barstow-Alliance freight with a warbonnet GP60M on the point. She still looked good, even at the ripe old age of eighteen. The train sat at Avondale for a while to meet a pair of westbound Z's and let a coal load past, and then finally headed for Alliance, with the dreaded "high sun" rapidly approaching...

Still lookin' good at eighteen... BNSF 156 at Avondale on May 9.

H BARALT passes Hicks Airport

Stephen "takes the safe course" on US 287...

A coal load parallels the runway at Hicks

After catching the Fort Worth Cats baseball game on Mothers' Day (see May 14 entry) we headed to the Trinity River bridges nearby to catch a few trains. During an hour at the tracks, we managed to sabotage numerous fire ant mounds, lose my cell phone, and catch several trains including this southbound:

BNSF 7562 crosses the Trinity River on May 11.
Check back soon for more, including a report of a 24-hour foamer-thon in Saginaw during Memorial Day weekend, and a re-cap of an activity L and I plan to attend on May 31 and June 1. That one will have some of you wondering if I've lost it completely...
np: Waylon Jennings - cover of Dylan's "Don't think twice"

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Answering the question: What happens when Stephen, M, and Whiskey all shoot photos at the same time? From National Train Day (Saturday, May 10) at the Fort Worth ITC...

np: Weezer - Surf Wax America

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

youth movement, revisited

Would you ride a train with this young man controlling the throttle?

Take a look at the gentleman in the photo at left. He is already certified as a freight train engineer. His experience as a freight conductor goes back to 2004 when he hired on with the railroad at the age of 19. He also worked as a train dispatcher for a year. He has just recently been hired by Amtrak; in a few months, pending successful completion of a passenger engineer training program in Wilmington, Delaware, he'll be qualified to operate trains carrying hundreds of passengers at speeds up to 90 mph.

Congratulations, Matt... it sounds like this is what you've always wanted and I hope you'll stick with it. Study hard, and remember to "drive it like you stole it"...


np: Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - "Interstate Cannonball"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunday baseball, amateur ornithology

Mothers Day baseball

On Sunday, our friend Stephen joined me and Mom and the kids for a baseball game. We saw the Fort Worth Cats (our local minor league team) play the Sioux Falls Canaries. The Cats lost, but we had a good time, and we couldn't have asked for better weather -- sunny, light breeze, mid-70s. Aaahh, Texas in the Spring...

To celebrate Mothers Day, Dodger the Fort Worth Cats' mascot, sprayed Silly String on all the moms in the crowd -- including mine! M gives him a greeting between innings...

7th inning stretch

LaGrave Field is a great place to catch a game...

The downtown skyline as viewed from left field.

M runs the bases after the game...
Earlier in the weekend, M helped me build a block tower. We made sure to use every block...

Careful, she does all her own stunts...
Back porch bird watching
Last year, a family of barn swallows built a nest on our back porch. They were with us for a few months -- long enough to lay eggs, hatch them and raise the babies -- before they left us. This year, they came back and we got to see the process all over again.
The hatchlings were just a few days old in this photo...
They originally had six eggs, but only four survived... two others were blown out of the nest during a storm. Once they hatched, I was amazed by how quickly the birds matured... the timespan from hatching to taking their first flight was only a few weeks. Even more amazing is how they found their way back to the same nest after migrating thousands of miles south and then back again. I wonder if they'll be back next year...

feeding time

Stay tuned... I'll have some railroad stuff coming up in a few days.
np: Macon Greyson - "Fine line"

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pop culture potpourri

Discovered on the website: (The real punch line is the hit counter... )

Why is this woman so popular?

Anyone seen "Shot at love 2 with Tila Tequila" on MTV? Come on, it's ok to admit it... let's assume you have; maybe you can answer a question for me. Why is Ms. Tequila so popular -- apart from being an "out" bisexual 20-something woman with her own reality show? (And I probably just answered my own question there).

Watch for me soon on the next "Celebrity Rehab"!
What has she done to make 16 guys -- and 16 lesbian women -- want to jump through all kinds of stupid hoops, kissing her skinny ass to earn their "shot at love" with her? From what I've seen on the show (and yes, I admit it, I've watched a few episodes), she's bringing very little to the table in terms of personality, talent, or looks. Sorry, honey... those fake hooters only get you half a point in my book, and most of the other girls on the show are hotter than you.
MTV is setting a dangerous standard in bestowing "hero" status on bisexual women. I mean, the contest to see who would attend Madonna's slumber party was one thing... Madonna actually has some talent. But haven't things gone a little too far when we're supposed to worship F-list celebrities simply because they're "bi"? America, don't come crying to me in 10 years when all of today's teenage guys are frustrated men in their late 20s, and all of today's teenage girls are "confused".
Fancy footwear

Further proof that my daughter is more "hip" than I am (which has been the case for a few years now)... she knew about these before I did...

I've been an Iron Maiden fan for more than 20 years. I even saw them in concert once in Dallas. My only questions are -- 1) what took someone so long to come up with these shoes? and 2) are they available in size 10 1/2?

When Photoshop goes bad

Warning: this cereal may cause loss of skin pigmentation in abdominal region.

Someone on the ObsCar list posted a link to a blog called "Photoshop Disasters", where you'll find digital graphics-editing train wrecks such as the cereal box above. Check it out!


np: Todd Snider - "Vinyl records"

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Spring switching

In late April, we had a nice stretch of those really nice, north Texas spring days that just make you want to get outside and do something -- anything -- as long as it's outdoors. On Monday 04/28, I headed out to Cresson to see what the Fort Worth & Western was up to.
A great day for railroading: April 28 on the Ft Worth & Western at Cresson, TX

FWWR 2010 works at Cresson on April 28

Fallen flag logos on sand hoppers at Cresson

Colossus drawing

Later, in Fort Worth, I caught a couple of switch jobs working at the south end of UP's Ney Yard (former MKT yard on the south side of town).

Genset trio photographed from the Berry St. overpass

3-point contact

An oddball trio (GP38-2 / MP15 / Genset) works at the south end of Ney yard.

It's hard to do much driving around the south side without finding a few other interesting things to shoot...

Producers Grain Corp - South Main St. in Ft Worth

This "bad bitch" was giving me the evil eye.

np: Four-Mile Mule - "Black eyed Jane"

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