It’s a Train Thing

I’ll admit it. I love trains. I especially love trains I can wander through or ride.

On our last vacation, we were fortunate enough to catch the last train in Georgetown Colorado. It is a narrow gauge train that used to carry ore.

We had a diesel engine push us up the rails to Silver Plume then we were blessed with a steam engine guiding us down.

It was awesome.

It also rained. Since the car we were in was open air, we got a little wet and cold. But the ride was beautiful.

Here are some photos from our ride.

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Here is the river we crossed four times as we climbed up then down the hill.

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The engine. Yes, there are two of them.

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More cars on a side track. We could see in the windows that these were used as storage.

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Another view of the river.

 

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And the original station from the Victorian era. We didn’t get to stop long enough to go inside, but I plan to go back.

Thankfully the hubbinator loves trains too. So there will be plenty more train rides in our future.

Until next time.

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Friday Futurecast: Islands

Sometimes, it takes a sarcastic comment to really drive an idea home.

A coworker of mine tried to introduce panic into a roomful of scientists by commenting on the current ‘Strawmaggedeon’ in California. Only a complete and utter moron would think all straws are banned in the state. (it is only plastic straws; you can get paper straws, should you be so inclined. It’s not a big price to pay to save some aquatic life and might help to shrink the size of the floating garbage in the Pacific.

Which leads to the sarcastic comment (Sadly, not made by me). Another coworker said we should plant our flag on the garbage heap and colonize it.

Naturally, my brain squirrelled and thought of those floating cities (Like in Stargate Atlantis). Why can’t we have floating cities?

With rising ocean temperatures and flooding of low-lying islands, wouldn’t this be a great solution at least as far as humankind was concerned?

And better yet, if you didn’t want to be part of the tyranny of the people, just break away from the mainland and drift away. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Until next time!

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The Fear is Real

In Phoenix, we are in the midst of the monsoon season. Twice a year, winter and late summer, we get our annual rainfall. The last few monsoons have been lamentably dry but this summer we are getting rain.

Rain is wonderful.

Okay, there isn’t as much rain as I’d like (I don’t think there ever will be unless that whole 40 days/40 nights thing comes back:)). But there is rain. Glorious rain, that I go out and stand in whenever I can.

It is awesome.

Which leads me back to fear. Our Arizona heat is hell on windshield wipers. It warps and twists them, rots them where they sit until the blessed moment when the raindrops hit the glass and changes all that dust to mud.

Then the wipers smear it around until there’s only that one narrow strip that allows me to see where I’m driving.

So I need to replace the wipers. I know it; now you know it.

But I fear if I buy new wipers then the rain will stop, the wipers will rot, and I will not get to stand in the rain until winter.

Alas I’ve come to the conclusion that I must value my life more than the rain.

This weekend, I will go to the store and if there are any wipers for my truck I will buy one, maybe even two.

I just hope the forecast for days of rain comes true. LOL.

Until next time.

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Fire and Water

The saga continues…

So we looked up on Wikihow for directions to change the burned out bulb in out spa. Hmmm.

We ignored them. Mostly.

And it was a good thing we did because the extra cord in the spa that was supposed to allow the light to rest on the cooldeck was short and we could only rest the light on the seat of the spa.

Electrocution wasn’t on my to do list.

So, I spent Friday with trips to HoDes finding a way to block water from filling the spa from our pool. Which I was mostly successful.

I was also successful at striping the corroded screws so the hubbinator drilled out 2 when he came home from work.

Which led us to the biggest problem of all. Seems the light didn’t burn out. It burned. The light was black and covered with soot. The glass cover was black and covered with soot. The interior of the light housing was black and covered with soot.

Which meant we had to pull the cord that ran from the spa underground to the power supply. But that sucker was stuck like Pooh leaving Rabbits house after binging on honey. Thankfully the guy at the pool repair shop recommended dish washing detergent as a lubricant.

Worked like a charm.

After 2 days and 114F weather, we managed to get the light installed, the spa filled, then as darkness fell, we tested it. Success.

Sadly, I forgot to turn the pool to recirculation and ended up draining about 1/3 of it overnight. Ah well, I’ll take our successes where I find them.

Until next time.

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When One Becomes Two

We went on vacation last week, and, apparently, the house is jealous of us spending money on ourselves. Which means: something had to break.

In this case, we thought it was the pool pump that went bad. It happens. Around here, it happens every three years or so. We expect it.

And we expect it when a storm blows in turning the pool to mud on the bottom and clogging the lines with leaves.

But this time was a little different. I could get the pump to start after flicking the on/off switch a few times. Which I did while I was out vacuuming the pool, emptying the skimmer basket, and backwashing after Monday night’s storm. Since it was 430 in the morning, I had the pool lights and the backyard floodlights on.

Then a strange thing happened. The lights went out.

And the next time I turned on the pool pump, I got a nice spark across the plastic cover.

Hmmm. I turned off the power to the pool and went to work, planning to inspect the lights, when I had light to see.

My daughter texted me that she had no power in the bedroom. Now, we have been getting rolling blackouts and the next text said it was back on, I didn’t really think much of it.

Until I got home and the weather cooled down enough for me to go outside without electrocuting myself courtesy of my own sweat. I double checked that the power was out then inspected the wiring of the pump. One line was charred and looked like it had worked loose. I clipped it, re-stripped it, and tightened it into place.

The pump came on with no problems.

Then I checked the connections for the lights. Nothing loose. So we tested them again.

This is where the hubbinator noticed bubbles coming from the light in the spa. Electricity and water were mixing and not in a good way. And guess what, it tripped the breaker that powers my daughter’s room.

Currently, the spa is being drained of water and because it is attached to the pool, so is the pool. I’ll be looking for a closed eyeball when I go to the pool shop today.

I’m still not sure if the pump is good, but it is running.

So, I’m gonna focus on repairing that light. Wish me luck!

Until next time.

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Travels through Colorado

Last week, we drove up the center of Colorado on the way to Denver.

It was a beautiful drive, but sadly many of the pine trees were killed by the bark beetle. In some placed whole mountains were covered in brown pine trees.

My sister said that unless there is a significant freeze for several years, Colorado will lose most of its pines.

It’s really hard to picture such devastation when you’re surrounded by pristine mountains.

But then we went boating on Lake Dillion.

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Those polka dots are pyres of felled trees, infested with the bark beetle. And there are hills just like this all over the area.

Until next time.

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It’s that time of year

Back to school shopping.

I know I don’t have school-age children but this is the time when I buy all my multi-colored pens for editing. Yes, I do at least 2 edits on paper.

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The purple ones are used first, then I surprise myself and pick them up randomly.

This year, I also picked up the composition notebooks but got clever. Instead of looking for those paper covers that we used for our textbooks (it is very important to tell which book has your notes in a series at a glance instead of having to thumb through them all to find the stupid book), I chose different colored books.

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And following the hubbinator’s rules, since everything was on sale, I picked up a couple of duplicate pens.

All in all, a very good day.

Until next time!

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