Monday, December 27, 2010

A comforting thought perhaps

A synopsis of an old Shelley Berman routine

Due to the process of photosynthesis " No matter how mean, or cruel, or sinful you have been throughout this day (or year?), every time you breathe out, you make a little flower happy"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I feel so cheap!

OK so I "stole" this off a facebook post by someone else, but I got nuthin' !

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Headline-Restored Caboose saved by string of Xmas lights!

Speeding, reckless, (and probably Godless) teen loses control of his car careening into fence protecting 111 year old caboose then takes off, conveniently leaving his front bumper with license plate at the scene.


(I may have been watching Fox "news" too much. The caboose may have been in less danger than the first pictures shows.)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A weekend in So Cal

Drove down to Palm Springs to visit our former neighbor and return some unsold but potentially high value items. She's doing fairly well. She's staying with a friend in a condo on a golf course. We got a short tour of the area. It was relaxing, but our butt muscles were already bruised from the 8+ hr drive down, and we ended up sitting a lot anyway. While there we visited an aunt of my lovely bride. We haven't seen them in 20+ years, but had a nice visit.

Saturday we drove up to San Luis Obispo and checked into a nice B&B and visited an Uncle. I'm pretty sure we met many years ago, but he did not recall meeting me before. We had a nice visit and lunch at the Madonna Inn, then a drive to Avila Beach. We got there late in the day, but there must have been a school of fish in the bay because the Pelicans were constantly diving for fish. It was spectacular and made the whole trip worth it.







Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy working 4 day weekend

Friday morning, yoga, then 3 hours of site prep for the impending (Monday 7am) arrival of a set of trucks for Car 29

Saturday, Board of Directors meeting in the am (record set for brevity, yahoo!) Another 3 hrs site prep in the afternoon.

Sunday, Rain, Yoga, more rain, early delivery of forklift minus the keys, Rental place never heard of us yada yada yada, got the keys moved it into lot, all in the rain...rain stops when we're through. TV Football, TV baseball playoff (lose)

Monday am, instead of 7am arrival, now scheduled for 8, but not everybody gets the word. We get a WHOLE lot accomplished with the forklift before they arrive at 10 am. Unload and place trucks, then there are a few other things we can do with this cool forklift, so I don't get out til noon.

Incidentally, no persons or objects were harmed in my operation of the forklift, there MIGHT have been a few close calls, but no harm, no foul.









Thursday, October 14, 2010

Neighbor update

On the good side, although she apparently tires easily, she seems to be doing well otherwise and still has her hair.
On the down side, her platelets were too low several treatments in a row and she has been "released" from the trial. Her tumors have shrunk significantly, so her doctor is trying to get her on the same standard chemo that she was on for the trial.
Bigger bummer is that the bank is foreclosing on her house. It does not appear she can sell it for what is owed on it. The neighbors have cleared it out.
We still have a few things that we just can't bear to just donate. A schoolhouse clock, a German Box clock and some artwork. The artwork we are going to take down to her in Southern Ca when we visit in a couple of weeks, and the clocks may go to a consignment shop here or there.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Neighbor update and a good deed as yet unpunished

Last Easter Sunday, our neighbor at the coast who had been feeling a little poorly, woke up jaundiced, and by the end of a long day found out she likely (and later confirmed) had Pancreatic cancer. Even before that, she had planned on selling her house and moving to Southern California because the annuity she was living on had been decimated by a local swindler, and she could no longer afford her mortgage. (No fault of hers, the money was given to a local state college and THEY trusted this a-hole)

She is in a clinical trial in Southern California now, and although she was assigned the standard chemo treatment, she seems to be doing well. It wasn't that long ago that Pancreatic cancer was "How long do I have? 2 or 3 weeks?"

The weekend before last there was an estate sale. My BIL & SIL have an estate sale company. They had a very successful 2 day sale despite a wildfire that closed the main road out to the coast from Saturday afternoon until Monday midday. There was also a cliff rescue a block away Saturday afternoon and a motorcycle accident (broken leg) on Sunday. Both times people came running up to the houses Yelling "Call 911!) The problem was that the fire had taken out the phone lines. By Sunday we were able to directly call the fire station but not outside the local area.

So meanwhile I had talked to a friend who told me about doing this with her father and the sales just covered the cost of hauling off the leftovers. This made me think about having a 2nd sale this last Saturday for the leftovers, and saving the cost of the cleanup.

The neighbors were fantastic, both in helping run the sale and in buying things, often paying more than the asking price or rounding up the total. We made over $800 but still have a few things we'll try to sell on Craigslist. The rest will be donated in her name so she can use the receipts as tax deductions.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trying to find a new home.

Among my late step father's possessions was this bust. We kinda like it, but we wouldn't be unhappy if it had a better home, say, a relative of the artist.

DC HAINES = David Crocket Haines (1897-1980)
Born in Ukiah, CA on Dec. 6, 1897. Haines lived in Oakland during the 1930s
and 1940s. For 40 years he was a draftsman for Caterpillar Tractor Company.
He died in Santa Rosa, CA on Nov. 22, 1980.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Index of Artists Supplement (Daniel Mallett); City Directory; Death Record.

I'm posting this more as something to be found by search engines if someone is looking. I did a Google search and found a David C Haines who's a prof back east. I emailed him, but have not heard back, so I assume he is not related.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Poll

Multiple answers are allowed.

Presuming their existence

1. Which of the following would be most likely to create fear, hate and division.
a. God
b. Jesus
c. Satan

2. Which of the following would seem to benefit from the sowing of fear, hate and division.
a. God
b. Jesus
c. Satan
d. Mass Media
e. Fringe political and or religious groups

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Found cell phone, a new friend....NOT!

So Thursday morning we were walking the beach, picking up trash, when my beautiful bride found a cell phone and charger on the sand. It looked as though it would have been in the water at the last high tide, but it worked briefly when turned on. It turned itself off due to a low battery.

I charged it up and turned it on to check for a number I could call to return it, but it was locked and needed an access code.

So today I took it to the service provider thinking they could ID the owner and give me contact info. All I got was a name and town. So I looked in the phone book, no luck. Then I looked up the name through Google. The first hit was a link to a service that shows recent arrests...and previous arrests...many previous arrests.

It had occurred to me to leave the phone on and see if someone called and I could get word to the owner that way. I got a robo call for a service to repair credit.

Now I'm thinking I don't think I actually want to meet this person, no matter how grateful they might be.

So off to the cop shop to turn it in with the info gathered so far. Let THEM deal with it. It's only fair, they probably are on a first name basis.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

NWP baggage car 605 on Utube

This is an updated version of a previous post.

There is a 53 minute video also...

Studly Segal returns!

Just before the picture of Lily and the recently departed mouse was taken, I was celebrating the return of Studly Segal. He had not been around for many months, and I thought he was gone for good.

For those who don't know the story or have forgotten, Studly is the inheritor of a long tradition of spoiled critters at this house on the coast. His predecessor was Charlie who taught my step father to hand feed him a LONG time ago. When my step father died in 1997, we started thinking about how long he had been feeding Charlie, and it had been over 25 years. Charlie trained my mom after my step dad died and when my mom died in 2005, he became less picky and would let several people feed him if they were properly quiet and respectful. Charlie died several years ago, but before he did he brought another bird around to show him the ropes and how to train us.

His name was Studly Segal. He tried to train me for many months, but the best we could do was when he would land with a flop on our carport I would defrost a hot dog and approach the birdbath. But I never got close enough to have him take it from my hand. I always had to toss it the last 3 feet.

Yesterday, after being MIA for many months I heard the familiar flop. I went out and there was a seagull staring at me like "So WHERE is my hot dog?" He walked to the edge of the roof and when I went to the birdbath he flew down for the toss. I'm sure it's Studly because he always hopped down off the birdbath after getting a piece of hotdog, then hopped back up for the next piece. He seemed a little more confident than in the past. Later he came back and I gave him some bread. Still later he came back again when there were several of us in the back yard where there is an alternate feeding spot, the corner of the carport.

This spot offers a way to hand feed that can make him feel safer. Additionally, I turned my head away to not seem threatening.
SUCCESS!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Lily the huntress STRIKES!

Yeh that's right, I'm BAD!
Anybody else in there want a piece of me?

So then it moved and I JUMPED ON IT LIKE THIS!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Notes to self

1. Lift foot 1 inch higher than next step. Particularly when barefoot.
2. When donating blood, and the blood sucker can't find your pulse because he's "had too much caffeine" and you got similar results the last TWO times he's drawn blood from you. ASK FOR SOMEONE ELSE!
3. When using a small screwdriver on a smaller stuck screwhead, put it on something solid! (And I don't even remember what happened with the fingernail)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"New" baggage car in new home

A nice article in the local paper meant a fair number of observers and visitors when 605 reached her new home.

Here, she's leavin' town, heading for the freeway and probably the fastest she's ever traveled. (55mph)



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not sure what was the scariest

1) The threat of hypothermia, (we never saw the sun, and it was drizzling a lot, then the wind came up.)
2) Being left alone to video everything for the last 4 (of 6) hours with someone else's equipment. (and still have to take still pics)
3) Watching the car lurch up down sideways and the boss's wife commenting "At least adrenaline keeps you warm"
4) Getting a phone call in the middle of all this mayhem "Honey, the computer's acting up" which turned out to be a dying (now dead) keyboard. It's good to have friends who have extra Mac keyboards to loan!






Saturday, August 07, 2010

A railcar turned, another dumpster filled

And yet there is more "stuff". So that means another dumpster to be filled. We have tried to recycle/reuse as much as possible. It's turned 90 degrees from it's previous placement and is now headed downhill.

The plan is to load it onto a truck this next week and transport it to it's new home next Saturday.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

righteous indignation/crisis addiction recovery

Today I overheard a conversation where one person was telling another that they were very tired and that everyone she knew was tired.

I got to thinking about why this might be. I have no reason to believe that the following applies to these people.

I think many people are addicted to righteous indignation and reaction to whatever crisis' are in the news at the moment, real or fomented by groups that might benefit in the short term. I'm guessing it's what some need when their tolerance for caffeine has risen so that they no longer get the buzz they crave.

For some, like Andy Kaufmann, they'd rather believe that man never went to the moon, Obama's not a real citizen, he's a Muslim etc because it's more exciting than the boring truth.

The same government that is incapable of doing anything, IS capable of elaborate conspiracies.

Have you ever wondered what a stampeding animal is thinking, or IF they're thinking? I wonder about the people who are so enraged about immigration. I think they're being stampeded. Yes, there is illegal immigration. There always has been. Is it worse now? Really?What is the evidence besides short video clips that make it seem that human waste and body parts now mark the border with Mexico. Yes, there are some very bad people. Are we all so threatened that we have to give up constitutional rights?

I haven't seen a video of people lining up for the jobs that are being taken by illegal immigrants.

Health care, remember death panels? What about all the lies we have been told, why do we still believe them? Why do we pass on the emails that promote them?

Anyway, it seems like we're in a (no doubt temporary) lull in things to get excited about. The oil leak is not so spectacular, looks like we're getting out of Iraq soon. I think the crazies have run out of imagination for new unbelievable outrages.

Hate takes a lot of energy. So does righteous indignation.

Give it a rest.

Let's all just take a deep breath, and then another.

Don't believe everything you think.

Meditate.

(Now I'm tired)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A picture of NWP 605 in better times

This appears to be taken in the town where it was likely built, Tiburon, Calif.

Double click for zoom in.

(Tiburon, for you trivia fans, is spanish for "shark")

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baggage Car Update-Leave early, miss the fun

So I left early, figuring how much more could they get done. Quite a bit it turns out. In addition to removing the last of the attached pieces, they got an ID on the car!

Welcome NWP baggage car 605, formerly SF & NP baggage car #5, built in 1892, "retired" in 1939, back to the world! (NWP records say "condemned" as it is apparently also painted on the side. So disrespectful!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Uncovering a baggage car

One side and the two ends cleared, one side to go.




Saturday, June 26, 2010

Next project!

Another 30 seconds of my 15 minutes used up...

It's even harder to see this "car" from the outside. There is quite a bit more to be stripped off, although the mover may be doing more of the stripping this time. Lots of mysteries to be solved, questions to be answered.


Find more videos like this on Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm on YouTube! (am I famous now?)

This is an early version. The birth year of the car has been changed and is more likely 1869.



This is moved without disturbing the tree right in front of it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Allergic to "fencing"?

So the theme of this week seems to be fencing.
Replacing a rotted, and slotted post, I was NOT besotted with the prospect.



And painting. I built this fence with removable sections so that I can pull them out and power wash then paint them on saw horses, rather than bending over, getting stuck with rose thorns etc
But I still don't enjoy doing it. So in the midst of my mental grumbling the question occured to me, "If one were allergic to 'fencing', would you treat it with an epee pen?"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Open Caboose!

Next week is the annual dinner, so this week was spent tidying up and putting back the ladders and adding steps to one end to make it all pretty.

Now if the cupola would just make an appearance..

The general opinion is that it is starting to look like a caboose.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Another stroll on the beach, another prize!

I should have put a coin next to this for perspective, but it's slightly smaller than a quarter.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Romance and citations on the beach

On my walk this morning, I found two interesting things by the beach. One was this marriage proposal, "Will You Marry Me Smoopy?" and to my right was a group of about 18 people being cited for illegally harvesting mussels from the rocks. It's a full moon/low tide/3day weekend and all. I didn't think it would be polite to photograph them, so I took pictures of the low tide.


Other people are simply above it all.

Our new ( hopefully it will keep out the deer) gate

And this is just a shot I took a while ago


UPDATE!

Later, Moonrabbit and I went for a stroll and garbage pickup along the beach. We scored a decent towel (to be a nice rag for the garage) a nice suede billed baseball cap, and an unopened pint of Bacardi rum!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How cool is this?

Busy day on the railcar restoration front. Became something of an expert on the installation and removal of brake beams (Don't ask) Pulled lots of nail and staples. But the COOL thing I did was use some paint stripper to uncover two of the clerestory windows to discover....