santa cruz wharf

30 October 2007

I feel the earth....move....

under my feet...

just a baby one...measuring in at 5.6 on the richter scale...just outside of San Jose...8:04:55 pm

USGS event 40204628

faster…faster…it is so exciting…

hanks to Sanni for reminding me about “The Count”...

sometimes I sit and count all day…
sometimes….I get carried away
I count slowly…slowly…
slowly getting faster
once I start in counting…
it is very hard to stop
faster..faster…it is so exciting…
I could count forever
count until I drop

(when I am alone...I count myself)

Most vampires have a thing for necks

but MY favorite vampire seemed to have a thing for feet...

Heads or Tails ~ something Halloween

I have always thought of today as “panic sewing day”. How many October 30ths have I stayed up way past midnight…at the sewing machine or needle in hand finishing up one or more Halloween costumes in time to wear to school the next morning.

Each September I would ask, “what do you want to be for Halloween this year?” A trek to the fabric store was usually in order…where we would sit at the big table and leaf through McCalls, Butterick and Vogue…looking for that perfect costume. You learn a great deal about your child during the costume selection process. Who they think they are. What they want to pretend to be. What pressure their current peer group might inflict. Halloween was always insightful to my Mommymind.

I would buy props like masks and swords and appropriate footwear. We would use fabric paint and glitter. To the best of my recollection sequins were frequently involved. A store bought costume would have been a bargain by the time it was all sewn and done.

I’ve made big felt poodle skirts and Cleopatra garb for both girls, a renaissance dress complete with underskirt and apron, She-Ra Princess of Power, Pocahontas, and Rainbow Bright (which despite the 30-someodd pattern pieces which had to be individually stuffed was my favorite!). A witch and a spaceman. The full size Zorro cape I made for the Cub (of black satin with red satin lining) was later worn by my Mama to a dressy party…that’s how nice it was. No one ever got to carry a gun. We had real ones and I didn’t allow pretend ones. No one ever got to be a zombie or anything evil.

Sugar Cookie was Tinker Bell at two. Little Missy was Tinker Bell at seventeen. The only thing their costumes had in common was that they both wore tiaras and carried a magic wand.

I miss making costumes. I miss the Halloween parades at school. I miss the bedlam trying to get everyone dressed up, made up and out the door before the neighbor kids showed up yelling “candy and cake or your windows we’ll break!” I really miss the haul of trick or treat candy the kids would bring home for me to pilfer while they were getting ready for bed.

"heads" up...
for more "tails" of Halloween...
go visit Miz Barb at Skittles Place!

29 October 2007

Manic Monday with Mo ~ Trick or Treat

My Monday morning is far too Manic…but I didn’t want to go totally dark…so here is a picture of my darling daughter with her very first punkin….twenty five years ago. (we had grown the pumpkin in our garden)

Surf over and visit Mo for many Manic Monday musings on the topic of Trick or Treat. I am sure his other minions will be far more

28 October 2007

Scavenger Hunt

I'm on a little photo scavenger hunt...courtesy of sweet Latharia of Loquacity Of Latharia...

something slippery


a branch
the inside of a dryer
an engine
something with four legs
something that smells devine

24 October 2007

Thursday Thirteen ~ our Mothers

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all of my October Thursday Thirteens are "pink." This last week is where Breast Cancer touches my heart.

Celebrities whose Mothers battled Breast Cancer

Elizabeth Agassi, mother of tennis champion Andre Agassi
Betty DeGeneres, mother of actress and TV host Ellen DeGeneres
Fannie Ann Little Jones, mother of rapper Nas
Diana Dill, mother of actor Michael Douglas
Kay Helgenberger, mother of actress Marg Helgenberger
Susan Ryan Jordan, mother of actress Meg Ryan
Virginia Clinton Kelley, mother of former President Bill Clinton
Janelle Kidman, mother of actress Nicole Kidman
Angelena Rice, mother of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Cecilia de la Hoya, mother of boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya
Mary Mohin McCartney, mother of musician Paul McCartney
Audrey Cowell Sumner, mother of actor, singer Sting
Margaret Kay, mother of blogger katherine Claire

on a somewhat lighter note...two of my favorite reads have posts which are of similar subject matter:

Mimi shares a bit of a scare
and Travis...well...his is not for the children.

both of them give really good reasons for keeping up with your monthly self exam and annual

Wordless Wednesday ~ white cup

23 October 2007

Heads or Tails ~ train

Chubsie the Dwarf Hunter of the Malfurion Realm hosts Heads or Tails...check her out at Skittles Place.

Train ~ Drops of Jupiter

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's time to change, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Now that she's back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey, hey

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
I'm afraid that she might think of me as plain ol' Jane
Told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly
so he never did land

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance,
freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way
Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself…

22 October 2007

warming up to the subject....

I caught this clip on Bob Parks political blog “Outside the Wire” (at one time known as "Black and Right")

It’s a bit longer than most YouTube offerings…and many of you may not like what you hear…but hopefully you will agree that it is important to listen to what ALL the scientists of the IPCC have to say…not only the ones who are in agreement with the current well spun media hype.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was the co-recipient with Gore for the Nobel.

Is resistance futile? Will you be assimilated?

21 October 2007

Manic Monday with Mo ~ frost

A faint tinge of white frost covered the ground until the sun's warmth could get to it. The group of us hovered close to one another benefiting from mutual body heat, planning who would bring what on Friday. Not sure how I got caught up in the effort to repair and paint the railings at the Wharf, I was hesitant to volunteer anymore than my effort and considerable painting experience. I heard your voice call out a greeting from behind me. I may have let an exasperation escape my mouth. We all turned around to watch you approach. Asking questions as you gave handshakes and hugs all around, I knew you had come over to volunteer as well.

I was glad my sunglasses hid my eyes. Their frosty glare would have been an obvious…albeit fair warning of the reception I knew I would give to you. Not a cold person by nature I had been forthright in my deflection of your ongoing (annoyingly persistent) advances.

Like the morning frost on the lawn, microscopically tiny daggers of ice blanketed my heart. Turning and dropping my shoulder slightly to dislodge your resting hand, I strolled toward the hospitality table. I poured a cup of what was basically brown water, which in no way resembled the coffee I was accustomed to. Ignoring the cream and sugar, I let the near scalding liquid sooth my throat.

A little girl was peeking up over the top of the table eyeing the cake all cut up in single serving pieces. She caught my gaze and froze. I raised my eyebrows at her. Sensing you were watching and knowing you would disapprove I ran my finger along one edge of the cake. Scooping the glob of chocolate buttercream frosting into my mouth….I smiled at the little girl getting her giggle in return. Nodding my chin in her direction, I pointed to another edge. Her tiny finger crept along slowly. She was a quick study. I went for seconds meeting her in the middle of the frosted edge. We both laughed out loud as we licked the frosting off our fingers. She ran off to join her family.

I turned around to see you with a frosty glare of your own.
It warmed my heart.

Morgen hosts Manic Monday at It's a Blog Eat Blog World...and Janna provides a whole bevy of banners for any and all of your blogging needs.

20 October 2007

the hood

Gene at Turning the Pages of Life had this idea to post about the area where we live.

"I would like to take a minute and build upon the warming the world through friendship idea that many bloggers recently participated in. We post on our blogs, get replies and post on other people's blogs, and over the course of time start to get to know each other a bit. We can guage the personality of another blogger through the words they type but wouldn't it be nice to get a little insight into what they really see when they look out their wondows?" is a little insight into "my hood"....

Santa Cruz is a small coastal community about an hour south of San Francisco.

Known for our redwoods and rollercoaster we attract the tourists year round.

The locals are a rather bizarre mix…but many of us think of ourselves as either Eastsiders or Westsiders. Unofficially the dividing line is Downtown….but to my way of is really the Harbor.

Without a doubt…I am an Eastsider.
I live in the area known as Pleasure Point.

Although surfers come from all over to ride these waves, most of them are local….and they adhere to a very specific hierarchy. If you are not a local…your respect is required. There is the “official” surfing etiquette…and the local surfing etiquette.

At the end of my street is a small eucalyptus grove which boarders the lagoon called Moran Lake.

Moran Lake is filled by both fresh water via a large upstream watershed…and salt water from the Pacific Ocean.

At times Moran is deep enough to row a boat for several miles…and at others it is bone dry.

The water runs back and forth via a small spillway under the road. On the other side of the spillway is a small beach where I have been known to spend some time.

From this beach....if you look off to the right you can see the city of Santa Cruz…

To the left and around that rock is the coast between The Point and The Hook.

A few of these pictures I’ve previously posted…but they are my favorites. They are all within a five to fifteen minute walk from my home. I am very blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

18 October 2007

Thursday Thirteen ~ survivors

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all of my October Thursday Thirteens are "pink"

13 Breast Cancer Survivors you may have heard of

Betty Ford
Cokie Roberts
Diahann Carroll
Lynn Redgrave
Nancy Reagan
Jaclyn Smith
Olivia Newton-John
Peggy Fleming
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sheryl Crow
Shirley Temple Black
Suzanne Somers

Robin Roberts

17 October 2007

wading in on wednesday

I was gonna post a really lovely picture of one of my paperweights….oh well…so it goes.

This morning I got to thinking that it is just about time for Barry Steinhardt and the American Civil Liberties Union to start protecting MY rights. Now I admit I have a pretty wonderful life. I have experienced discrimination on a couple occasions….nothing I’d need a million-something march for…but the concept is not unknown to me.

Here's the deal...

I WANT some TSA employee in some other part of the airport viewing my body with ex-ray vision.
I want them viewing your body too...
and all the stuff you carry on…
and what ever it is you check into the belly of my plane.

I want the TSA to use the latest and greatest technology to insure some militant lunatic or martyr isn’t gonna try and use the plane to kill American citizens.

If there are one or two deviants who took the TSA job because seeing the shapely outline of my womanly features through millimeter-wave passenger imaging technology gives them a thrill…then so be it. They are down the hall and around the corner…not winking at me across the console. They can’t print the image and take it home.

As long as they are also spotting any potential exploding shoe, high density polyethylene blade, Ruger Redhawk, or C-4 stuffed where it shouldn’t be….Let them look. If that means the next guy in line gets seen with his colostomy bag…too bad. He can hitch a ride with John Madden or take the train if this invasion of his privacy is too upsetting.

The ACLU needs to allow me and mine to walk through this security machine with the state-of-art body scanning technology rather than mandating fellow passengers enjoy the floor show of a TSA employee rubbing my body with the big wand that looks like a cricket bat…or worse yet, pat me down wearing those creepy white gloves. Which job do you think the pervert who snuck onto the TSA payroll is gonna prefer?

In his statement Mr. Steinhardt of the ACLU called the screening an "assault on the essential dignity of passengers that citizens in a free nation should not have to tolerate."

What about the peace of mind while traveling for citizens in a free nation?

16 October 2007

Heads or Tails ~ list of ten things about me

ten errands I gotta run

atm (WHERE does it go?)
market craving chicken and rice
shoe repair to reheel my boots
office supply special resume paper
dry cleaner pickup and drop off
beauty supply conditioner
Orchard Supply more fog machine liquid
bookstore Alan Greenspan’s new book
Park Ranger sister’s birthday present
the Folks preempting "you never stop by”

Barb at Skittle's Place encourages her readers to write a Heads Or Tails post each Tuesday. This week the theme is "ten things". (don't miss out on all the other HOT posts)

15 October 2007

Manic Monday ~ Bat

"New York is the biggest boobtown there is.
They will buy any damned thing here."
So said one of the American West’s most adventurous and diverse figures.

The metal of writers is hone from every possible segment of the human experience. In his later years writing as sports editor and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson
reflected on his life experience as a Buffalo Hunter, Scout for the US Army, avid Fisherman, Gambler, Frontier Lawman and US Marshal. (Then again reading this newspaper was part of what was known as the “whore's breakfast”, a cigarette and the Morning Telegraph)

The wellworn cliche of getting to a man's heart through his stomach never quite rung true for me. My contention has always been it was just a bit farther south...and have been known to quote Bat Masterson upon occasion:
"If you want to hit a man in the chest, aim for his groin."
Kinda ironic considering he needed a cane after he was shot in the pelvis (ouch) during a 1876 gunfight over a girl. (in case you were wondering, the other man died.)

Born on 27 November 1853 (by some accounts the 26th) this legend of the American West was born as an Irish Canadian, his father Thomas was from Canada and his mother, Catherine (McGurk) from Ireland. The farming family settled in Kansas via Quebec, New York and Illinois.

Most of you know Bat was Deputy to Sheriff Wyatt Earp in the late 1870’s in Kansas. He fought the Comanche in Texas, fought against the Rio Grande Railway in Colorado, and was documented participating in numerous gunfights in Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas. In the early 1900’s President Teddy Roosevelt (my alltime fave) appointed his friend Bat, as Deputy United States Marshal for the southern district of New York.

His life was amusingly depicted by Gene Barry in the television series “Bat Masterson” in the late 50’s and early 60’s. (I’ve never seen this show….might be one to look into)

At his desk at the Morning Telegraph, Bat Masterson died on October 25, 1921. His final words of his final column giving his final opinion were found in his typewriter.

"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I can't see it that way."

His adventurous spirit seems to have passed on to his Great Grandson Robert Ballard, the marine scientist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.

William Barclay “Bat” Masterson is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx. His tombstone reads:
"Loved by Everyone”

Not a bad way to be remembered.

You can read much more about Bat Masterson on Wikipedia and the Kansas State Library websites. Photos and info came from those two websites…and from

Morgen motivates his minions of Manic Monday at It's a Blog Eat Blog World...and the incomparable creativity of Janna provides a whole bevy of banners for Manic Monday...and anything your little heart may desire. Don't miss Mo's blog talk radio show this wednesday at 4pm pacific time...where you can share your ghostly encounters....special guest Linda...the supermom from Are We There Yet?

13 October 2007

Jezebel or Jail

I’m coming out of Peet’s with my Noah’s…my usual Saturday Breakfast with the Boys...when all of a sudden I sense a chill…the rustle of a pencil skirt…the flash of a crown. Uh Oh. She’s found me. Mimi…Queen of the Memes has personally waved her wand at me…and I’ve been ducking her.

Not so sure…how you all got Jezebelic and Dancing combined…but who am I to question the Queen’s proclamation? Oh no….not me…I ain’t spending the weekend in her dungeon. However… with a perfectly executed arabesque…I respectfully bow out of tagging anyone else.

Before I even started kindergarten my father determined I was a bit of a klutz. Back then they called it “clumsy” and in my case it meant crashing into coffee tables and door jams while sporting a never ending series of bruises along the ankle and shin. Constant scrapped knees and knocking stuff over landed my little butt in ballet class. When we moved to California the first things they found were a new school, a new church and a new ballet teacher.

I took ballet lessons with a smattering of jazz and tap (oh my….how I love tap dancers) until I was well into my teens. Requirements of being a ballerina began to interfere with boys, field hockey, and eating whatever I wanted to…so I gave it up. An additional and more important benefit was NO MORE RECITALS. At that age they started wanting you to solo on toe. While I love to dance in a studio or in my livingroom with a friend…I loathed performing to the point of hatred. I would subsequently give up piano lessons for the very same reason. No more e-phn recitals. Why as children we were not allowed to learn dance and music without being thrust onto a stage in front of an army of parents and grandparents armed with every photography device known to man…I will never understand.

Ballet gave me an incredible education in music and movement, and an appreciation for many of the talents not found in science class. But I’m a grownup now. In this world one finds several stereotypical dance situations I tend to avoid.

First there is the group event….wedding, company Christmas party, class reunion…They cue up the dance music, the woman’s expression lights up as she tilts her head and smiles all cajolingly. You just KNOW she is saying….”oh puleeezzz huunnny….I luuuuuuve this song.” Typically the male response is adamant as he shakes his head…”oh no…no way are you getting me out there.” And you know after a few minutes of pouty lips, pleading eyes, and whispered promises while swaying in the chair in her own little lapdance she is going to stand up…pulling her guy upon to his feet and off to the dance floor. He is gonna make a big show of grudgingly going along with a “what can I do about it” shrug and an amused little smirk on his face. (everytime I see it happen…it makes me want to smack someone)

Then there is club dancing…where if you are my age and single…people stand around in little groups eyeing one another over the top of their drink…some avoiding eye contact…some bolding catching your attention. These days, everybody has a “wingman” for crying out loud…a buddy who seems to think they know better than you whom you want to dance with. The last thing I need is some recently divorced, out on his own for the first time, silicon valley venture capitalist, looking down my dress, trying to yell into my ear about how hot I am or how successful he is. Bleck.

Or worse yet…some tight gabardine-panted swinger stuck in the era of disco...a white suited Manero wannabe lookin’ more like the Czech Brothers being wild and crazy guys. Shaking his pelvis and waving his arms…nowhere in the same vicinity as the beat of the music…at a decibel level which will make me deaf far into the morning…Oh my Lord, just take me now.

Don’t get me wrong…with the right person … I love to dance. Slow dancing can be wonderful…in my mind slow dancing is foreplay. I only slow dance with someone with whom I have a far more developed relationship….and very rarely in public.

The one dance I’d still want to learn is...The Tango.

12 October 2007

Hey....Inky and Lola!!

Stick Figures for those of us who are artistically challenged!

I stumbled over this on the beach kat site…you can actually order one of these decals…or just play around and do a preview… if I put one of these on my car my kids would mutiny and have me committed!!

(Inky and Lola are originals over at Bagwine Ruminations)

11 October 2007

Thursday Thirteen ~ Breast Cancer Myths

While Breast Cancer in of itself is not really very funny…people are. Take a quick moment to catch this hysterical post by Christopher at Death By Children, about trying to convince his teenage daughter to wear a bra. (all of his parent/child stories are a riot)

On a more serious note:

Thirteen Myths About Breast Cancer
(detailed below)

1. Wearing Bras can cause breast cancer
2. Men can't get breast cancer.
3. Deodorants cause breast cancer
4. One in eight women have breast cancer.
5. Worry only if breast cancer is in your family
6. Father's family history doesn't count
7. Pollutants are not linked to breast cancer risk.
8. If you are cancer-free 5 years after a diagnosis, you're cured.
9. Mammograms prevent breast cancer
10. If you have breast cancer, you will need a mastectomy
11. Breast cancer is an emergency
12. If you get breast cancer, you will probably die.
13. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements can help treat breast cancer.

1. Wearing Bras can cause breast cancer
This is a “strike terror in your heart” threat girls tell their fathers so that they do not have to wear one of the most uncomfortable devices known to man.

2. Men can't get breast cancer.
This breast cancer myth is highly believed by many people. Although women develop breast cancer at a higher rate, men can develop breast cancer, too. About 1600 men will develop breast cancer in the US this year.

3. Deodorants cause breast cancer
If you've received that chain e-mail, delete it. There might be confusion because women are told not to wear deodorant when they are having a mammogram because particles in the deodorant might show up on the mammogram and cause confusion when the specialist is evaluating the test.

4. One in eight women have breast cancer.
This much-quoted statistic is an individual’s cumulative risk over an 85-year lifetime. It does not mean that at any given point, one of every eight women has breast cancer. Rather, it means that if all women lived to be 85, one in eight would develop the disease sometime during her life. The good news is that seven out of eight people will never get breast cancer. The bad news is that the rate is quickly rising: thirty years ago, the lifetime risk was 1 in 20.

5. Worry only if breast cancer is in your family
No more than 10 percent is hereditary, so just because it's in your family doesn't mean you're doomed. But family history is relevant. Be sure to give your doctor a complete family history, and if there is breast cancer in your family, get yearly mammograms if you're over 40.

6. Father's family history doesn't count
A diagnosis in your dad's family is just as important as one in your mother's. And on either side, a diagnosis before menopause means the cancer is more likely to be hereditary. After menopause, the possibilities regarding the cause of the cancer expand.

7. Pollutants are not linked to breast cancer risk.
Powerful evidence indicates that there is a connection between chemicals and breast cancer. While we pursue the research that will lead to even more definitive answers, we can and should reduce our exposure to substances that appear to cause cancer

8. If you are cancer-free 5 years after a diagnosis, you're cured.
While five-year survival after some cancers does signify a cure, it is not the case for breast cancer. The risk of recurrence of breast cancer is greatest in the first two years after diagnosis, but breast cancer can and does recur at any time, regardless of how many years have passed since an initial diagnosis.

9. Mammograms prevent breast cancer
Mammograms don't prevent cancer, but they are the best diagnostic tool because they alert doctors to changes in your breast. Women should begin having mammograms at 40. But if there's a history of breast cancer in your family, your doctor may recommend starting earlier.

10. If you have breast cancer, you will need a mastectomy
More and more women are electing to have a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. If the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes, surgeons can get all the cancer cells with a lumpectomy. Some women may have to have radiation as well. The outcome could be as successful as a mastectomy.

11. Breast cancer is an emergency
A diagnosis is frightening, but you shouldn't be paralyzed by fear. The vast majority of women who are diagnosed have plenty of time for a second and third opinion. There are great treatment options with early detection. Women must be proactive; they are consumers as well as patients and have to do their homework about their options. But with early detection when cancer is confined to the breast only, the survival rate is 98 percent.

12. If you get breast cancer, you will probably die.
A breast cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. While breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer), the vast majority of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago are still alive.

13. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements can help treat breast cancer.
No herbal remedy, dietary supplement or alternative therapy has been scientifically proven to treat breast cancer. Further, doctors do not know how these alternative medicines may interact with established medicines - if they cause their own side effects or interfere with the traditional therapy's effectiveness.

This information....and so much more can be found at these sites:

American Cancer Society

Breast Cancer Action

ABC News – GMA special report

10 October 2007

Oh the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out, just as they are
chaff and grain together
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.

George Eliot (pen name of Mary Ann Evans), novelist (1819-1880)

09 October 2007

Wordless Wedneday ~ by hand and by machine

Heads or Tails ~ explore

Explore your environment….your town…where you live.

Turning the Pages of Life, Gene has proposed taking pictures around where each of us live and posting them on 20 October. (he has the details posted as a sticky with a linky box and everything!) I think it would be great fun to explore what each of you see in your daily lives. An added bonus is discovering Gene’s writing….if you haven’t already. (And he is a baseball kinda guy)

This paperweight is called Explorer. It is made by
Caithness and is 235 of an edition of 750. (note to self…try wearing your glasses when taking pictures early in the morning…)

Barb at Skittle's Place encourages her readers to write a Heads Or Tails post each Tuesday. This week the theme is "Explore". (don't miss out on all the
other HOT posts)

08 October 2007

Manic Monday ~ tracks

Wheels on the tracks. The rhythmic sound and vibrating motion combined are comforting to me. The train is familiar from my earliest childhood, riding on a railway is second nature. It is incredulous to realize so many people have never ridden on a real train. (The Disney one doesn’t really count ya know?)

Until I was five we traveled by train all the time….from upstate New York to New Jersey to visit my grandparents…or to New York City for all kinds of reasons. My first pet was a cat named Chessie after the railway cat of the Chesapeake Railroad logo.

My Grampa Clair (for whom I am named) was a railroad man. As a fairly young boy, instead of going to school, he worked as a Mud-Hop or Mud-Boy, counting the freight cars in the station yards. A railroad makes its revenue by hauling freight. Back in the day the Mud-Boy would walk the length of each train up and down every track (in the mud) recording each car’s identifying numbers. This listing was a permanent record of all arriving and departing trains, used as the billing records.

As VP of International Freight for Norfolk and Western he worked in New York City commuting from New Jersey each day. When visiting I would go with my Grandma to the train station to pick him up, “hiding” in the back seat. I would wait until I could no longer feel the train tracks underneath the car…and then jump up and yell “Surprise Grandpa!!!” He was always SOOOO surprised to see me. (smile)
Not so many people in California travel by train. When my daughter was little we would take the train from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz. A five hour drive became an eight hour ride. But the observation car, a couple good books, and the dining car with a full bar made it quite an enjoyable trip. These days I take the train to the airport. I would take the train to visit my daughter at college in Davis and for the last two years while she lived in San Francisco.

I always thought it would be great fun to take the train on a three or four day excursion…to Seattle or Denver…someplace like that. The newer sleeper cars are quite something.

I’m not thinking of the old fashion “Some Like it Hot” sleeper cars:

More like the American Orient Express…for a day or two…

Most people when reminded of the movie “Risky Business” immediately think of the half naked dance to Segar’s “Old Time Rock n Roll”

Not me. MY favorite scene was the one towards the end...when they went for a ride… on the train tracks.

More Manic Monday Minions can be found at Mo's World. The terrific MM logo was created by Janna...she is amazingly creative. Only the CalTrain picture is mine. The eagle/track photo was taken by Phil in Salinas. (edited by me.and used with his perfmission) The Chessie and Norfolk Western logos came from the respective railway websites. The Amtrak Observation car from wikipedia, Some Like It Hot from, and the American Orient Express from their website.