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March 7, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 3/6/2021

t club ops, I don’t care. Whoever shows shows. At my home ops (so long ago) I’d put out a crew call and get an idea of how many would show. I’d usually get ten operators and told myself we could run with as few as four. On the Tuscarora Branch Line, we run best with four. We can’t run with any more than that. And with three or two, the session is much more difficult since someone (i.e. me) has to double up on jobs. I’d set up four (myself included) for a session today but there was a […]
March 4, 2021

Values (DOG EAR)

ince this is a blog about communication and media (and writing), I’ll relate an interesting conversation I heard today. I’d just given my 31st gallon of blood and was treating myself to chicken fingers at Applebee’s. Sat out on the patio a short distance from a young guy and girl who (from the overheard sounds of their conversation) were trying to get to know each other (Working relationship? First date?). They were a bit mismatched – he was a young guy just looking for the next thing he would buy, relating all sorts of stories about other people. And she […]
February 28, 2021

The Last Colony (Review)

his is the third book of the Old Man’s War series, a tale where John Perry and his resurrected (long story) wife Jane leave their happy colony home to establish a colony for the Colonial Union. Journeying to a planet named Roanoke (as terrible a colony name as that is), they quickly realize that (a) this is not the planet they were supposed to colonize, and (b) that the ship dropping them off is now disabled, and (c) they are under quarantine, and nobody knows where they are. It turns out that this is all Machiavellian moves to throw off […]
February 28, 2021

OpsLog – WBRR – 2/27/2021

his kinda came up from my editing of The Journal Box. Got to looking at Al Sohl’s pictures and missed seeing his layout after a year of quarantining. Wanted to show the wife the Room ‘o Rockies and wrangled a visit for me and my wife. We showed up and the next thing I knew, Al was starting up a mini-session. Disclaimer: I knew he was going to do this but didn’t tell the wife, lest she chicken out. And so this is how I ended up rolling out of Denver with a full head of steam on 124, heading […]
February 25, 2021

The fall of the house of Mozilla (DOG EAR)

’ve long been a fan of the Mozilla products, particularly FireFox (as a browser) and Thunderbird (for my email). They’ve served me well. Until recently. I’ve been having problems with Thunderbird. Occasionally email accounts (I’ve got three) would drop out for a week or so. Like stray dogs, they would eventually wander home. But recently one of my important accounts has failed and stayed failed for several months. This meant I had to browser into the AT&T site to get mail – not too bad except when you have a newsletter due out and people are submitting to two different […]
February 25, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 02/24/2021

“Boomer” is defined as a railroad employee who goes from job to job in a short time, constantly working on different trains and positions. That was pretty much me tonight. Got there early and set up a passenger train, and put some engines in the yard for any locals that might open up. Then someone said our dispatcher wasn’t showing tonight so I’d have to take it. Then Shaun said he’d take the DS desk instead of running Shelfton. Fine – I wanted a local. So I rolled down to Shelfton at clock-hot, working out my first slick move of […]
February 21, 2021

The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar (Review)

’d first heard of Lupin from the classic Japanese anime (and I do mean classic – it’s been running fifty years) – Lupin III. There, the main character, a master thief, claims he was the grandson of Arsene Lupin, whoever that was. Then there was the very recent series on Netflix, Lupin, where a modern French thief raves about “the Lupin books”. Well, you all know how I am with literary threads like this – I gotta unravel them. So into Project Gutenberg I went, poking around. And yes, there was a Lupin, a thief very popular in French magazine […]
February 14, 2021

Drone (Review)

kay, no mistaking this – Drone is one of those male fantasy books. Troy Pearce, our main character, is the CEO of Pearce Systems, a company that makes and flies drones for all circumstances including whale tracking and political assassinations. He apparently spends his time up in a cabin, running his company with occasional online meetings and mostly chopping wood (with his shirt off). His officers are all eclectic individuals who do their own research from various beaches around the world. No TPS reports. No budgets. No investor meetings. Everyone is sexy and provocative and perfect. The villains are pretty […]
February 14, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 2/13/2021

o when you set up an ops session on get three guys willing to show, and then on the day of, two of them bail, you’re pretty screwed, aren’t you? For a moment I figured we’d cancel – it was just me and AJ. But John was there and agreed to run coal. I told AJ that there was no better time to learn the tower – we’d treat it like a practice session. I ended up with both the local and the dispatcher job so I was really going to be busy. And we started the sequential clock. It […]
February 11, 2021

Lost and Found (mostly lost) (DOG EAR)

was good friends with an executive at a former company. My service for him was sterling as he rose through the ranks. But then I made the mistake of loaning him The Great Race (that wonderful movie with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). And that was the last I saw of it. It’s always a pain to corner someone, to trap them, to offer them a great movie they never knew about which you wish to share, to have them in your power and place it in their hands, only to have them turn the tables and lose it. Part […]