Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Unsurprising Visit

I began to simply post my videos online rather than write a blog entry, for a simple day out watching trains. I might have a short Journal entry but nothing to write home about. Today, I took my day to drive to Fayetteville, NC, about an hour. It was not to be primarily a watching trip. I had some things to look for. However, there was something different, Today. I started by aiming for the Amtrak station via a ride along the tracks.

As I made a turn to check other destinations, I saw the train crossing the road, ahead, but I was not in a good position, so I bypassed the train and headed for the station. ( checked the status of the Palmetto and it was on time) but I still had more than an hour and half, before Amtrak would arrive. I then heading south to another favorite target and found the A&R doing some switching.
As I position myself at a crossing (to get the crossing horn) and under the shade of a tree (it was a hot day), along came, other railfans. And soon after that several more. I was turning into an event, you might say. They were all for out of town and this was really a good show for them. Of course I have know those feelings
Soon the Norfolk Southern came in to pick up for their interchange.
Later this day, while at the station, the train headed back and crossed the diamond over the CSX, the last part of this video.

I was getting close to the Palmetto, Northbound, so I headed back to the station. After a quick lunch, a the Subway in the station, The Palmetto passes though.
I was trying to decide what to do next, and walking the platform, hearing he local whistles than surprising me was a northbound CSX freight.
I started by saying this was not supposed to be a railfan trip, just a trip out of town, to do some shopping. So I headed to the mall. I got a handle on some things that I was looking for. Just before 3:30 I decided to head back for the 4:00 southbound Palmetto. I was running tight to the schedule, but maybe the train would be late. Yes! it was, about 20 minutes which gave me time to get myself in position. So, one more train video:
I called this an unsurprising visit, because of the usual among what was not to be usual. but happened anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Railfanning toward Retirement,cont. May 18, 2015

So! I have narrowed down my likely location for retirement. Through thinking about were I could live and be comfortable with, I have narrowed down to three places. Raleigh, where I have family, Richmond where I have friends and have live a large portion of my life, an finally Roanoke Rapids where I have spent a large amount of my life and is half way between Raleigh and Richmond.

Next I look at cultural settings such as theater, music, etc. And there is the train situation. Laid out a schedule of what trains and when. Some are good with good times to allow for the desired transfer.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Railfanning toward Retirement, May 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

May 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

I have been moving to retirement, in other words, preparing for retirement. I started this back in Gaston. I had begun with my pension related issues, but this was different. I was in the market for a entertainment center. I had one, but left it behind when I moved, it being worn out. As I thought about a new one, I realized that if I got a good one that it would last until after retirement. I then started looking for better and more durable furniture, when I selected new stuff.

At this point I began thinking about how to retire, which is more the choice of what lifestyle, within reason, would I settle on. That might be living in a house or apartment. If I had bought a house years ago, I would be on the verge of or have paid off the house. I would be use to maintaining and upkeeping yard and house. More likely all the children have left home and we would be suffering from empty nest syndrome. Downsizing might be the answer. You may want to relocate to near children. House means work and an apartment gives a bit more freedom. A rental apartment means no yard work and repair done by the owners. (5:08pm)

(9:45pm) Next might be the size: one, two, or three bedroom and any number of arrangements. Then there are the amenities that each set of units have, such as washer/dryer, dishwasher, clubhouse, coffee bar, fitness center. All this makes the choice more personal.

The next thing is to decide where. I looked at every place I have lived. I add other, interesting places, and where relatives live. I let go of those where I knew would be uncomfortable living there.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015, Friday, 7:35pm

May 15, 2015, Friday, 7:35pm

This is the perfect example of an entry that is both blog and journal. Today was the way a day off should be. In the past months, I have gotten involved with some make work project and not get started until after lunch. Today I took a real day trip to Charlotte, NC. It has been while, since I went there. The last I did some videoing of the light rail and see what was being done on the Streetcar lines.

I read somewhere in the past few weeks that the streetcars were being tested out. There is a YouTube video of the part of the test. The tracks and centenaries are in place but I saw no cars on the tracks nor any being held for service, the picture were of one of the vintage cars, used in the testing.

This sort of watching trip, normally would not be blogged but might be journal. The video would be uploaded to YouTube as a part of my work. However, today was rather interesting. I got a late start and it was questionable if I would be in position in time for the midday Piedmont. I left home around 10:00 am. I had a little trouble with the navigator on my phone, the maps app kept crashing. I think that I need an upgraded phone before vacation. After getting on the road, my navigator indicated that I would cut it close, having no more than 8 minutes.
My directions took me by way of a different route and I kept getting behind. I needed gas so I took the chance and stopped for gas halfway, knowing that it would making getting there in time to be impossible. It so happens that where I chose to watch, was about two miles north of the station and my information was the departure from the station, for the northbound. When I got to the street that the station was on I had gained the time so I went to the location. I pulled into a business parking lot and heard the horn so I moved quickly to get into position. Well! I was on the run as I began my video and happen to cut the first part, showing me while running.
As usual, NC ran a freight on the heels of the Piedmont.
Now came my exploration of town. I drove down to see the track for the streetcar but the cars were not out. Next I had lunch and headed back to watch the next Piedmont. It was southbound and I had plenty of time and went to my favorite place to watch. The construction you see is the work to extend the Blue Line Light Rail from downtown and will connect to the Amtrak Station. I almost missed another NS Freight.
Now I wait for the Southbound Piedmont.
Again on the heels of the Piedmont, NS has a freight. I have a better vantage for this one
After the freight went through, I drove home, down by the other side of the yard and the construction for the extension of the Blue Line and around to the station. I took a break on such a hot day and my car’s air conditioning was not working. OH yeah. All that was really wrong was that I had the fans set wrong. LOL. I did eat out at a nice place and home. This is what a real day out is like and for. OH I did look at Flixter to see if there was a movie, but there was not that interested me. (8:46PM) I am still waiting for the video to upload so I can attach them to the blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Journal vs Blog

For the die hard railfan, what I have to say may seem like heresy. There is more to my life than just trains. Many years ago, I began journaling and have been doing that since I left High School, more than 45 years ago. I was living in Williamsburg, Virginia and was working for the foundation as an interpreter. Much that is know about 18th century Williamsburg came from private journals, written by eye witness. I started mine, but time left the original in he dust as I kept forgetting to write. I started again a few years later, as I was looking forward to a trip to the Holy Lands. I remember Twain's wonderful work Innocence Abroad about the events of his trip to the Holy Lands. I wanted to describe mine and the wonderful characters involved. I spent most of the trip, picture taking and have some pictures showing certain characters take tours, such as the lady who has her picture in front of everything. That journal went by the wayside.

I than began a new journal when I became a preacher. Still, there are many gaps found in the present day journal, but I have been more loyal to it over the past 25 years. About 5 years ago, I began this blog to record my travels and show some pictures. I thought the title was a play on the old concept of travelogue, now being a Travel Blog. I use to even blog the day trips oriented to train watching, only. But changed that to only real trips with train watching as a part. I was videoing trains and putting my video on YouTube.

So, I blog and journal, at the same time. I was looking back and realized that there was very little overlap between journal and blog. So I started inserting the blog into the journal. The blog is less personal but do have a few areas when I gave thoughts on things, so it would be a good entry into my journal. My first entries were strange. I took the appropriate blog entries, in the blog composition area you can work by composing, with no codes, or code by HTML. I went through the blog and took the HTML codes and made a long webpage. I use Google Chrome which allows, in the printing function, to save he sheet to PDF. I numbers it as a volume in the journal.

For some, I copied the webpage and pasted into the Google Doc, page. Even the pics carried over. That was used in newer insert. So now I am using both the blog and the journal, interchangeable. I may not use all the pics into my journal, will use he text. Blog equals public journal, Journal is private. I might insert blog into journal as well as creating blog entries for blog only. Of course journal is for journal only, usually. If it is blog worthy, it will be started in blog before determining it to be journal worthy.