Silar's Dog & Fiber Show

by silar31

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Dogs. Fiber Arts. Occasional Cats, Trolleys & Trains & Flowers. And other moments from my life that I find interesting.
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Dreams
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Cameras:
**Motorola ic902 - Probably the best of the (poor) choices with Nextel for a camera phone.
**Canon Powershot A430 - Oh, how I love thee, let me count the ways....Primary camera - if it a good photo, this took it.
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"No one has to know that I’m just a paper tiger
Living in a condo built on bullshit and sand..."
-- Chris Orbach - I Outdid You
"If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."
-- Katherine Hepburn
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Duck!

(viewed 783 times)
Bandit got this duck for Christmas. It quacks. He thinks it is the second best thing ever. Best thing is the blanket he is dozing on. :)
24th Jan 2010, 15:03   comments (4)

Driving tips for railroad crossings

(viewed 989 times)
On my way to work I go over or past a number of railroad crossings. One
particular one is at a fairly complex intersection, and I do not cross
that white line unless I am absolutely certain there is enough space and
then some for my car to be clear on the other side, where there is a
stop sign. I have been honked at, flipped off, screamed at, tailgate
bumped...and seen dawn break over Marblehead in the cars behind me when
the flashy lights start doing their thing and the guard arms come down
and I'm sitting pretty with plenty of room for the TRAIN to get past me.
This kind of stuff should be common sense, but it doesn't seem to be,
given that and some of the other stupid human tricks I've seen at rail
crossings. SO, for your education and entertainment, direct from
Craigslist, I give you a few tips (with no apologies for the language -
this is how engineers talk):

Let's start with some DON'Ts.

1) A train is really, really big. Can we all accept that? Not even your
Ram/F350/Hummer/douche-mobile is a match for a locomotive. You say you
have a Cummins diesel? Caterpillar? Detroit? Oooooooh. Well I have an
EMD 567 on a bad day, and even its pathetic eighteen-hundred horsepower
will pound you and your gleaming pickup into the fourth dimension, so
please, stay behind the white line!

2) I hate blocking crossings. Seriously, I feel like a complete asshole
when I stop a train in the middle of the road and leave two dozen
motorists to ponder their lattes and ask what the hell I'm doing. The
truth is, sometimes it has to be done, so don't honk at me, flip me off,
or scream at me from the window of your Dodge Caravan as you're shooting
a U. Instead, be patient and try to believe that there's a point to what
I'm doing. It's called switching, and my conductor is depending on me to
work slowly and not run his ass over. If you don't believe me, Wiki that
shit.

3) Don't climb on the equipment. I hate to sound like your mother, but
you're saving me a lot of paperwork and horrifying flashbacks by staying
off the equipment. To you it might look like an abandoned train or a
free ride, but when that bastard starts to move with you on it, there's
a damn good chance you won't be able to hold on. As long as you're on
Wikipedia, punch in "slack action" and see what comes up. Also, the
romance of riding freight trains is total bullshit. They're really dark,
really cold, really windy, and hobos are fucking SCARY.

4) Don't put shit on the tracks. It's dangerous to me and my conductor,
and it's ten times more dangerous for you and everyone else on the
ground. If you're wondering "can a train go over a rock?" the answer is
YES. There's only one problem. You probably haven't wondered where the
million shards of rock are going to go at four times the speed of sound,
have you?

5) Stop whining about the horn. Countless accidents have been avoided
because drivers missed the flashing lights but heard the horn. You'd
have to blast Miley Cyrus and Lil' Bow Wow pretty fucking loud to drown
out a five-chime, and often that's the only thing that saves people.
Still, that's no reason to keep your stereo at eighty decibels as you're
rolling through a crossing at sixty without looking both ways.

6) By and large, railroad cops are major douche bags, so when you're
trespassing on railroad property, keep your head out of your ass. These
guys didn't make it into the real police force, and they will ream your
ass inside and out to make up for it. Also, walking on bridges and in
tunnels is extremely dangerous. Ask yourself: If a train comes, where
will I go? Trains are much wider than the rails they run on, so don?t be
fooled.

Now for some of the DO'S.

1) If you see a large object (like a garbage can or an F350) that's
about to get love-tapped by a hotshot freight train, get in the clear.
If the shit's about to fly at a railroad crossing, run to the side of
the street that the train is coming from. That way you'll be behind the
point of impact and you won't have to worry about catching that
beautiful pickup and its over-confident driver square on your fucking
shoulders. If you run away from the train you're just putting yourself
in the line of fire, and the death toll could very possibly be two.

2) If the gates stay down and the lights stay flashing, stay where you
are. I guaran-damn-tee there's another train coming, and speeding onto
the tracks the moment the first train clears is a lot like celebrating a
touchdown too early. WHAM.

3) When you're waiting for a train to pass, it's a good idea to stay
back thirty or forty feet. Trains are operated by professionals, but
often they're loaded by total assclowns. I've heard some real nasty
stories about payloads falling off flatcars and crushing people in their
vehicles, or doors sliding off boxcars and ripping through everything in
their path. It's rare, but shit happens!

4) Always report problems or suspicious activity. If you see a
photographer with a radio scanner and a big-ass notebook, ignore him. We
know that guy. (Railfans. We're careful, cautious, and know what we're
doing - Jen) But if there's a dude in street clothes working a crowbar
through a signal box, hit us up and tell us what the deal is. Railroad
crossings usually have signs with emergency numbers, or you can call the
non-emergency number for your local fuzz. If an accident has already
occurred or a life is at risk, call 911 instead. Pretty sure they have
our number.

5) Last but not least, when you're inconvenienced by a train, remember
that we're pulling for you! Trains are a great way to conserve fuel,
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep American jobs alive and green.
Rail technology is the best solution to our energy crisis, and as the
rail network grows in the years to come, it's important for everyone to
stay safe. Look, listen, LIVE.
3rd Jan 2010, 22:35   comments (1)

Bandit's new threads

(viewed 8317 times)
We've been having what's felt like a higher than typical percentage of
really brutally cold days, so we got Bandit a turnout coat from Foggy
Mountain Dog Coats
(ordered from Clean Run). It's a tiny bit big, but
that's all to the good as it means we can layer a sweater under it if
it's below 0 (F) with the wind chill. Also, he's a bit on the thin side
just now as he was not eating well at all for about a week there when JB
passed, he'll bulk out to his usual healthy weight now that he's eating
well. And the next size down would probably not cover his butt, and
that's what I was after, covering the whole dachshund :) He was a little
bit hesitant to walk at first because of the way the front comes down
and touches his legs, but once he got moving he was just fine.
2nd Jan 2010, 15:39   comments (3)

New Stuffy

(viewed 964 times)
We rarely get stuffies for Bandit as he kills them fast, but he got a
few today as Christmas gifts from my folks. He's quite pleased with this
one and is having a good time meandering around squeaking it. Once he
kills the squeaker, he will get angry and rip it up. No one ever said
Bandit wasn't a bit daft. :)

JennyB 4 Oct 1995 - 9 Dec 2009

(viewed 890 times)
The beagle has moved on to whatever comes next for her. We're wrecked. Bandit is confused and I don't even want to think abut having to go to work tomorrow and leave him by himself.
9th Dec 2009, 18:57   | tags:,,,comments (15)

Just for Rupert

(viewed 700 times)
Bandit says "Ohai Oopert" :D
20th Oct 2009, 05:59   comments (0)

Do. Not. Want. :(

(viewed 831 times)
And I ain't talking about the vehicles.

Lighthouses, etc Pt II

(viewed 1013 times)
Couldn't attach all the photos to one post, so here are the rest that
came out decent. Next time we need to make a day of it and I need to
bring the tripod and SLR. Get some black and white shots.

1. That massive container ship again
2. Fort Gorges again, and this time you can tell there is an actual
building there!
3. Fort Scammel from Portland Head Light. I think it's Fort Scammel,
anyway. I like it, it looks like what Hobbits would have, if they
needed military fortifications :)
4. Bug Light
31st Jul 2009, 20:00   comments (5)