Shots And Thoughts From An Ordinary Guy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Life Can Be So Short

This is a picture of Austin (R), Sam (L), and Tim (Center) on graduation day 2009. Eighteen year old Sam died yesterday in a traffic accident around the Hood River area along interstate 84.

Apparently the truck he was driving went off the road and struck a tree. His cousin who was the passenger survived minor injuries. Austin and Sam were best friends so I thought I would post a photo of them together as a tribute to Sam.

90th annual tech show

We went to the 90th Benson Tech Show last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Grayson is sold... if the proposed changes to Benson don't take place he made it known that he definitely wants to attend Benson for his 4 years of high school.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

MJ Lives

Grayson had a school dance and the theme was to dress like someone famous. He chose Michael Jackson. It was so convincing he won a king size dark chocolate bar as first prize...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tied down

While downtown today I noticed someone put the horse rings to good use.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another Baseball Shot

We had a practice in the pouring rain a few weeks back. I love the expression on Grayson's face as I am trying to discuss the fine art of making a routine cut off.

Look at all of the mud he has acquired... a kid's dream day! Baseball, mud, and hanging out with dad... ok, maybe a dad's dream day. Either way it sure is fun!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Day At The Ball Park

Alpenrose day 2010 for Portland Little League was yesterday and the boys had an awesome time. Here is a picture of Grayson with big brother Austin.

Some of the gang with coach Guy

3 up 3 down... after he let a player hit it over the fence... ooops!

Leland Sliding Home

Me umping the bases for the minor's game

Thursday, April 22, 2010

T5 facility

Putting our train away this morning at the T5 potash facility... just for the sake of trivia, the building has the largest asphalt shingle roof in America.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stay Out!

Waiting for an oncoming train today near Umatilla. This fence contains the army's weapons depot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day

I have had a tradition for many years... Wait until April 15th to finish my taxes. I am not certain why, but I have done this since the late 80's. Well, this year was no different and I have finished them and have them mailed out. Nice to have that part of my to-do list done.

Happy Tax Day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crazy Hail Today

As we were building our train in Longview, WA today the hail started coming down so hard! They say that the mailman will deliver in any kind of weather... well, so does the railroader.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Otto's Sausage Kitchen... Gotta Have One!

Sometimes you just have to give in to the temptation!

I was driving up Woodstock Blvd today after a long day of window washing estimates and my stomach was rumbling something fierce. As I drove I spied a local favorite and I just had to stop for a chicken sausage dog with jalapeno mustard and sauerkraut... boy was it good. And to top it off I included a portion of their macaroni salad. If you are ever around the area of 41st and SE Woodstock and you have a hankering for a sausage, I suggest you stop in.

Nap time... (I wish!)

For Sale Slightly Used

For Sale:

One hardly used G1 phone:
Good Condition - slightly thinner
Used to work awesome

Now the real story:

I was at work yesterday and I loaded all of my gear into the crew van to take us out to the train. After unloading and getting settled in I reached for my phone and discovered it had come up missing... OK, time to freak out. This thing carry's my life inside of it. All my railroad rules, my email and contact information, pictures, games, apps... ahhh! My phone is missing!

So I called the yard master on the radio to inform him that I needed to go back to the boardroom because I forgot something. The van shows up again and drives me back. As we approach the boardroom I find my phone on the ground, smashed! It had been run over by another car and now my electronic communication world just came to a screeching halt. So here it is. My brand new htc G1 complete with Google android operating system crushed. This is a great little phone, or at least was.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Few More Shots From Yesterday

After I got in to my hotel Last night I drove with my engineer out to a nature refuge that I have been wanting to look at for a couple of years. It is about 6 miles from the hotel so I have never gone there since I don't have an out of town car.

Along the way we saw a farm filled with buffalo which was kind of cool. The reserve is also home to a 2500 acre water storage reservoir for irrigation around the Hermiston area.

Here are a few more shots from yesterday...

The Windmill train I was waiting for...

An old switch engine in Boardman


Sunday, April 4, 2010

You know you are bored when...

Sitting at Boardman today waiting for 3 westbound trains. Stepped outside and noticed this ant hole in the ground full of busy little ants. So here ya go! Happy Easter btw...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Portland Or Bust!

Yesterday was a very long day. We started out in Hermiston on a train that was reported to have a lumber car with bad brakes so I needed to inspect it. After my inspection I determined it needed to be removed from our train so I performed the work prior to leaving town.

About 60 miles into our trip our train went into an undesired emergency brake application and came to an abrupt stop. When this occurs I am required to walk the entire train (this one was 7896 feet long) and inspect it to make certain that the rail cars are on the rails. After battling 60 mph wind gusts and intermittent showers I finally reached the rear of the train. Once there I found a homeless person riding our rear distributed power locomotive. It is always a mystery what you will encounter when you open up a locomotive and the first thing you smell is cigarettes. We chatted for a few minutes and I informed him that he was not allowed on the locomotive but since we were in the middle of nowhere I would make an exception if he promised not to touch anything while back there.

The homeless man agreed to keep his hands to himself and leave everything well enough alone. In the course of the conversation he asked me if we would be to Portland before midnight. He had someone he needed to call to get a ride from once he got there. I told him a midnight arrival was unlikely and he seemed quite disappointed. He had been riding since Jersey and wanted to get home he said.

As I was walking back to the head end of my train I couldn't help but laugh to myself. Here we have a homeless guy illegally riding our freight train discouraged because we weren't going to get him to his destination on time... Kind of funny really. And to top it all off... we ended our day in The Dalles, 85 miles east of Portland, and waited for another crew to relieve us since we expired on our federal hours of service. I am sure the rider missed his midnight appointment...

Here is a shot of me while I was walking to the rear of the train. The water behind me is the Columbia River. I hope you have an awesome day!

Keep reading...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rolling home today...

Contemplative Thought

Taking a moment to think... sometimes I think that thinking is good for the soul. Do you ever just sit and wonder about stuff? You know... things like:
  • "Why do banks charge so much for an NSF fee... Don't they realize you don't have the money in the first place?"
  • "Why do people blow their nose and always end up looking at it?" That's just gross to me.
  • "Why do people drive 5 miles out of their way to save 3 cents a gallon for gas and then only buy $10 worth?"
  • Why do we bury people in suits, do they want to look good for Jesus when they get there?"
  • Why does it take just a second to kill a brain cell but years to lose fat cells?"
  • And last but not least... "Why are books to improve your life called 'self help' books... If it were really self help then we wouldn't need the book would we?"

Just some thoughts I have today... Do you have any you would like to share?


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another beautiful day

Rolling past a train on another gorgeous day on the Columbia River. It is nice sometimes to forget about the cares in life and enjoy the beauty of the gorge.