June 26, 2020

Because Sometimes You Just Need To Post Trains

Union Pacific was the only railroad to use the 4-12-2, and it was apparently a maintenance nightmare due to a third cylinder powering the second driving axle.  Why was that a problem?  Because it was directly under the firebox, in the center of the engine.  That aside, it is an intimidating-looking beast.

Sometimes, even classic steam engines need a little help.  Here, Norfolk & Southern's 611 gets exactly that... a little help.

I'm a twain!  Choo choo!  It's a Swiss railroad battery-powered shunter from the '20s, apparently rated for a whoppin' 5 h.p. Of course, you don't need much to move cars around, you just need to get 'em moving.

Ever wonder how they keep the switches clear of ice and snow during a Chicago winter?  Yup, they set 'em on fire.

Special Bonus Not-Train Picture

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-V...

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June 14, 2020

Mind Savers

No matter how well we may (or may not) be coping with Introvert Celebration 2020, staring at the same four walls (more if you have access to more than one room) can begin to get anybody a little bugnutty.  I've come across a number of yootoobers that allow me to take virtual journeys to get me out of Pond Central, at least mentally.


It all started, of course, with Rambalac.  I began watching his videowalks long before Social Distancing Is A Thing 2020 kicked in, and he's still my favorite of all of these people I'll be mentioning.  What he does is so uncomplicated that nobody else that I've found does it half as well, which confuses me.  All he does is load up a high-end videocamera with a swell microphone on a stabilizer-like rig, and he goes for walks.  That's it, that's all.  He doesn't talk, there's no music overlaid on it, it's just ambient sound.  And I simply adore having his vids playing while I do my FGO runs, or have dinner, or just to get myself ready for bed. 

In search of something new and exciting, a few months back I stumbled across Railfan Aunz.  Consisting of mostly cab rides of trains, this yootoober leans more toward the not-Tokyo side of Japan, though they spend a lot of time outside of Japan too... there's videos from Australia, Italy, England, Hong Kong and others, too.  Two of my favorite videos are a roundtrip between two fairly rural areas, one out, one back... and during the four hour round trip, the weather changes from heavy snow to zero snow on the ground.  Of course, during the trip back the weather gets bad again.  Throw that onto some rather stunning terrain and you've got a great way to spend a night or two.  The video I've included here is easily my favorite, however.  It looks like a regular train ride in dense-pack Japan somewhere... and then you reach the 3:40 mark.
Yeah.  Not a bad way to commute.

Compared to the first two, Wingin' It With Paul Lucas is totally different.  He's a flight sorta guy, and he literally does nothing but flight reviews for a living.  Fortunately for him, he had a backlog to work through during the Coming Of The Quiet Time 2020.  While I'm fascinated by the Business/First Class flights he's been on, he's not afraid to sit back in the cattle section with the unwashed masses.  He's done everything from 747s to teeny-tiny puddlejumpers in the Caribbean, as well as the occasional train and even a submarine once.  His style has changed radically from the beginning of the channel, for the better I think.  

Finally, in stark contrast to the other three's exotic locales, we come to CTAConnections, the official yootoob channel of the Chicago Transit Authority.  About half of the channel is stuff that nobody will ever watch... the monthly CTA Transit Board meetings... but the other half is filled with historical footage of Chicago's light rail system, as well as real-time ride-alongs of every "color" route... the Purple Line, the Blue Line, etc etc etc.
Around about 20:30 or so on this Red Line video, you may see something really really gorgeous off to the right.

There's plenty of other channels out there that I've taken virtual trips on, but I'll leave those for your own adventures... and if you have anything like this that you like to watch, like a bus trip from London to Paris, let me know in the comments!  Enjoy!

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June 09, 2020

Serious Questions For The Pond Scum

Are you okay?


Has it been difficult dealing with all... this?

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June 03, 2020

Thankfully, Baseball

The KBO, Korea's professional baseball league, is playing out their season these days over on ESPN.  For those of us starved for the sport, it's something of a blessing.  And even in this day and age of Evildeathbatplague, they've got great attendance!


You could almost say the stadium is... um... stuffed.

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