Tag Archives: twitler

“Off with their heads!” he’d say.

Did you know?

Hello, there, classic WordPress editor! You are sooooooooooo much faster than that new clunker, and I have you and the new clunker working in two tabs on my fine fine fine new super computer, so I can make that statement definitively. It’s good to be back.

Speaking of being back, for the last couple of years I have only been working on one computer. Previously, I had a work computer and a music computer. The music computer died so I had to move all my music to the work computer, and I can tell you that listening to music all day really strains a computer.

Well, this fine fine fine new super computer is now my work computer, and the old computer is now my new music computer. Now that I have two computers side by side again, I can multitask better again, and that means visiting more of my blogging friends each and every day!

Not having anything interfering with my music enjoyment is really nice. I hated all the boops and beeps from all other programs and web sites messing with my music listening pleasure.

I can definitively state, with absolute certainty, no doubt about, it, that I

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hate web sites, especially news sites, that automatically start playing videos when I visit. If I want to watch and listen to a video, I will watch and listen to it on my own.

One of the advertising sites explained why they do that. I don’t know if their explanation is true, but it certainly makes sense.

Many organizations make their money from advertising, and advertising means unique hits and views. YouTube counts a view as at least 30 seconds watching a video. In the case of those organizations that start videos playing immediately upon you loading their page, it turns out that many of them get credit for you watching a video if the video goes for at least 3 seconds. That makes it almost impossible to NOT watch a video as far as their advertising dollars go.

Once I learned that, whenever I visit a site, I’m standing (sitting, actually) at attention with my hand on the mouse and I’m prepared to stop that video as soon as it starts so that it doesn’t get to 3 seconds.

One doesn’t even have to click on the pause or stop button. You can click anywhere on the video, and if it’s playing, it will pause. If it’s paused, it will start. So I immediately pause it and then decide if I want to give them 3 seconds of my time to support the organization.Alternative Facts

I have decided that if the video has Twitler or any of his ilk speaking, I refuse to watch it. I don’t want any organization thinking that a video of Twitler or any of his ilk is good because it causes their visits and views to go up, making them more money. I can’t stand their faces or voices, especially when they start dealing in alternative facts.

For example, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross offered two highlights of his trip to Saudi Arabia in an interview with CNBC.

He was given two bushels of dates by Saudi Arabian security guards. He was touched. That gesture really warmed his heart.

Second, he was overjoyed that he saw no protesters, indicating that the Twitler administration was well liked in Saudi Arabia. Of course, he pretty much admitted that he did not know that protesting in the Saudi Arabia kingdom is illegal and can result in a summary death sentence. Their death sentence usually involves beheading the person in a public square with thousands of people watching.

Unbelievable.

Perhaps if Twitler and his ilk like Saudi Arabia so much, they should move there. I’m betting they won’t, especially once they accept the fact (not an alternative fact) that the Saudi Arabia king pretty much has absolute power. He’s not going to put up with competition. “Off with their heads!” he’d say.

Rant over.

Margarita time.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Pregnant women can pass DNA on to their children!

A Piece Missing

All of the following are from my pile of articles labeled “WEIRD.”

  1. Volvo busWhile most vehicle safety-control engineers work on slowing vehicles down when a risk is detected, apparently Volvo is taking a different approach for its buses when it comes to pedestrians. The safety control consists of bullying pedestrians (Twitler’s new America!) by progressively honking the horn louder and louder to scare the pedestrians out of the way.
  2. PolygamySecondWife.com is for Muslim Polygamy Matchmaking because, according to a quote on the site (reputedly from the Quran): “then marry women of your choice, two or three, or four” probably taken out of context similar to how Christians take things out of context in the Bible. If you’re not Muslim, though, you can visit Polygamy.com where, the founder says, you can make “bigger happier families.” Both sites, founded by Azad Chaiwalla, have the majority of their Clients in the United States and the United Kingdom, although bigamy is illegal in both countries.
  3. In March 2016, a 55-year-old man in Memphis TN was killed walking on a sidewalk when a car trailer came loose and crashed into him. Apparently he was distracted by watching pornography on his phone while walking.
  4. A 56-year-old woman was found dead in a clothing donation drop-off box in Mount Carmel PA. The police report said she was trying to steal items from the box. It went on to say that she had driven there in her Hummer.
  5. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that measles had been eliminated in the United States. By 2014, it had been resurrected with 677 cases reported. Researchers from Emory University and Johns Hopkins University were able to determine that the main reason was the intentional decision by some Americans to refuse widely available vaccinations for their children.
  6. According to psychologists, the rich rich (the top 1% of the top 1%) are struggling with feelings of isolation (so few rich rich); stress caused by political brouhaha over “inequality”; and insecurity, wondering if their friends are friends of theirs or friends of their money.
  7. Researchers at the University of Florida and Oklahoma State University found that 80% of survey respondents wanted all food labeled with the DNA content. Of course, all flora and fauna have DNA…. One comment on the research included this warning: “WARNING: Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.”
  8. Apparently it now is okay to steal food in Italy. The country’s top appeals court rules that a homeless man stealing food from a grocyer story was not guilty of crminal behavior because, according to a traditional Italian legal principle that no one is required to do the impossible, it would be impossible for the food thief to allow himself to starve.
    Black-footed ferret
  9. In July 2016 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced plans to prevent black-footed ferrets from dying out in northeaster Montana. Their plan: Deliver by drones peanut butter M&Ms, coated with a vaccine. Apparently, before drones, delivering candy by hand was too expensive for so few ferrets. I think I see a job for me and my new drone in the near future.
  10. Best name for a book about birds. It should be noted that the author of the book, Olaf Danielson, likes to go birdwatching….. in the nude!Boobies Peckers & Tits The following is hidden text to put space between this picture and the following picture, something that WordPress doesn’t seem to be able to do xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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Trains—San Diego Trolley extension work interrupts Amtrak & Coaster

Railroads & Trains logo

Yesterday was my day to go to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego and see what was going on. Well, nothing. Literally, nothing. There is no Amtrak or Coaster train action between the Santa Fe Depot and Oceanside, a distance of about 39 miles.

Track-a-train was showing all Amtrak Pacific Surfliners arriving and leaving from the Oceanside Transit Center. I set out to find out why, and it didn’t take me long to find that the line currently is shut down, at least through March 14, to re-align tracks and do some at-grade work for the extension of the San Diego Trolley from Old Town to University City.

Finally.

However, the extension is being built with a lot of Federal Transit Administration funds.

Uh-oh.

California voted for Clinton. Twitler knows that, and Twitler is a very vengeful person. I will keep an eye on these federal transit funds because I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Twitler will do something to exact his revenge on California by withholding federal funds.

I got quite a few interesting pictures showing the work going on. I thought it was interesting that the Mid-Coast Transit Constructors simply pulled the southbound Amtrak tracks about ten feet to the west. Presuming, then, that the Trolley is going to go down the middle of the Amtrak tracks. Now that I know about this, I can go out weekly and document process. Just south of where I was the tracks will be aerial due to a river (known as a creek in other states) and the tracks through University City and the University of California-San Diego will be aerial tracks.

Picture 1 – Abrupt break in the southbound tracks.Break in the Amtrak tracks for re-alignment

Picture 2 – Amtrak’s not going to like the excessive bends in this curveExcessive bends in re-aligned Amtrak tracks

Picture 3 – Mounds of rock showing where the track used to be.Mounds of rock indicate where the tracks used to be

Picture 4 – Southbound track re-alignment not yet complete.Re-aligned track work not completed

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Out & About—The San Diego & Arizona Railway

Out & About The World

On January 1, 2017, I decided to write a book that combined my love of writing, history, trains, and photography. With a tentative title of “On Time: A Timeline of Railroads in San Diego County,” I’m finding that it keeps me busy and I don’t seem to get bored.

New San Diego Central Library on February 2, 2013Right now it’s just a lot of reading and research. I started in the San Diego Central Library (left) because I found that they have microfilm of the new San Diego newspapers—Herald, Union, Tribune, Union-Tribune—all the way back to 1851, which was 18 years before the completion of the Union Pacific/Central Pacific transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah.

Those 18 years in the San Diego newspapers indicate that San Diego was hoping to be what San Francisco became. It never happened because, basically, no one could agree on a good route through the Santa Rosa Mountains and the Colorado Desert from Yuma AZ to San Diego.

Not that people weren’t trying. San Diego & Arizona RailwayEven after the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, people kept trying to build a southern competitor. It looked like it might happen when John D. Spreckels, the owner of the San Diego Union, said that he would build it. And he did. The San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A). Also known as “The Impossible Railroad.”

The SD&A’s history is so convoluted (which is why I’m writing this book) that the only thing I can determine for sure at this point is that the SD&A was chartered on December 14, 1906; groundbreaking ceremonies were held on September 7, 1907; and construction was completed on November 15, 1919. Final construction cost was $18 million, three times the original estimate of $6 million.

There are 129 miles. The 11-mile segment through Carrizo Gorge included 17 tunnels stretching 13,385 feet, and 2½ miles of bridges and trestles.

The SD&A was never profitable, mainly because tunnels kept collapsing and trestles were washed away from winter rains. Although there is, to this day, hope for re-opening the line, there are two main problems: First, the cost to repair the damaged tunnels and trestles is estimated at $5.5 million. Second, there are 44 miles of track in Mexico. Yep. Mexico. A hundred years ago there was no border wall and people easily moved back and forth between the two countries.

In today’s world with Twitler as the United States president, I think there is no way anyone anywhere is going to approve a train leaving San Diego, entering Mexico at Tijuana and re-entering the United States at Tecate, 44 miles away. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. That’s based on my early youth when I was hopping trains between Brigham City and Ogden UT, and Kingsville and Bishop TX.

So, while we’re waiting for Twitler to be impeached, we have to content ourselves with tourist rides on a 5-mile section of the old line courtesy of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.

Early in January 2017, I took a driving tour of the SD&A tracks all the way out to Plaster City, a distance of about 90 miles. A month later, a friend who owns a helicopter service took me on a 3-hour flight out to the Santa Rosa Mountains to check out the SD&A railroad from the air. Following are some pictures from both my adventures.

This first picture is near Jacumba Hot Springs and shows the SD&A tracks going under a bridge built in 1932 for old U.S. Highway 80.

SD&A tracks under Old Highway 80

The border wall with Mexico is about one hundred feet away, with a maintenance gate:

Border wall with gate

I walked over to the gate and had about a million Border Patrol and Homeland Security agents descend on me. After talking with me for a few minutes and looking at pictures on my camera, one officer said into his walkie talkie: “Stand down. Local tourist.” Another officer informed me that with a new car with “paper plates” (temporary plates), I’d probably be stopped several times. I was. Six times in 90 miles.

Note that San Diego County already has built its border wall with Mexico, and we had no help from anyone else, not even Mexico. Thus, we’re not going to help other counties build their walls.

This next picture is of a switch engine marked as Carrizo Gorge Railway 1465:

Carrizo Gorge Railway operated the SD&A tracks between Tecate and Plaster City from 1997 to 2012. This locomotive is tied up in court between Carrizo Gorge Railway and the engine’s owners, the East County Dirt Works. It sits at the old depot in downtown Jacumba where a lot of other rolling stock also sits, deteriorating in the hot desert sun.

Tierra Madre Railway

My goal on my driving tour was to make it to Plaster City CA, which is nothing but a gypsum plant for USG. However, USG operates that last remaining commercial narrow gauge railroad in the United States. Standard gauge tracks like you see every day are 4’8½” between the rails. Narrow gauge tracks can be anything narrower than that; the USG narrow gauge tracks are a mere 3′, making the rolling stock somewhat small compared to the big boys. As we flew over Plaster City in the helicopter, I got a picture of USG 112, a narrow gauge locomotive:

USG 112 at Plaster City CA

And the narrow gauge tracks leading from the gypsum quarry to Plaster City in the upper right:

Plaster City narrow gauge tracks

The flight over the Carrizo Gorge where all the tunnels and trestles are was pretty cool. The main sight in Carrizo Gorge is the Goat Canyon Trestle:

At about 180′ high and 630′ long, the Goat Canyon Trestle is the largest wooden trestle in the world. The trestle was built in 1932 when the tunnel, directly in the center behind the trestle, collapsed. At the left is an abandoned hopper car.

It’s pretty neat to see all the trestles from the air, indicating just how desolate and isolated this area is, and how difficult it is to maintain the tracks.

All along the route are abandoned railroad cars. In some cases it’s obvious why they are abandoned:

The Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum in Campo CA uses the old Campo Depot as its headquarters and has a lot of rolling stock that it is restoring. They offer rides on historic trains over about 5 miles of track, although the rains we have had this winter have, again, washed out some tracks, so those train rides are on hold. Here’s Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum from the air:

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

Map of the San Diego & Arizona Railroad:

Map of the San Diego & Arizona Railroad

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat