Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kitchen Faucet

Our old kitchen faucet wasn't that terrible, but it had a few problems. Today I replaced it with a Moen Arbor with Motionsense. The whole thing is pretty easy to install, with control unit mounting under the sink. Franziska helped with the installation.

It looks really nice and feels solid (despite various plastic parts).

Of course, the real fun part are the motion sensors:

Fun at Silicon Valley Lines

Bayshore Harbor. The water is green and the bridge is back.
Murf in Nowheres
Climbers at Mt. Nicholls
The main line near the foot of the water falls at Mt. Nicholls. 
AC-12 4275 cab-forward in Victoria
The Bakersfield staging "Mega-Drawer"

Saturday, September 16, 2017

TSG multimedia at Silicon Valley Lines today

TSG multimedia was at Silicon Valley Lines today to film the layout. This was a very productive, yet tiring, day and I'm very much looking forward to the finished video. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weather, too

Tatjana and I went into the hills in Santa Teresa County Park to try and shoot some lightning. Possibly successfully.

"ARRRRRGH, that flash is bright!"
We got up there relatively late, so we caught the storm only from behind and didn't catch a lot of nice photos. This is one of the nice ones. (Photo credit: Tatjana)


While there's a massive hurricane on the East Coast, Californians are getting excited about thunderstorms.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum is located in the former freight house of the SLO station. A very nice railroad museum with neat local exhibits, like this reconstruction of the freight house agent desk.

A restored caboose and former club/diner/observation car are outside located on a track outside the museum. They also are building a very nice model railroad depicting scenes of the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway between Avila and San Luis Obispo, as well as the Southern Pacific through San Luis Obispo between Santa Margarita, CA and Surf, CA. While a good part of the layout is under construction, multiple scenes on the lower level are (mostly) finished.

I very much liked the Pacific Coast Ry scenes around Avila. The backdrop paintings are exceptionally well done.

PCRy train on the wharf at Avila Beach
Pilings! A lot of work and patience required. 
I spent quite a bit of time chatting with one of the docents there. When I inquired about their plans for operations, he showed me around behind the scenes, and over chatting I completely forgot to take more pictures. Here are two more scenes I photographed on the lower level before I distracted myself.

A nice museum. A nice model railroad. Very nice people. Very much worth a visit, if you are in the San Luis Obispo area.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Dave Parks' Cumberland West - Evitts Tower

I'm working Evitts Tower tonight. The phone system is a critical part of the job. If and when I ever build a large layout, I want phones.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Dirty Air, Pretty Sunrise

We're having a heat wave with limited winds, which traps smog in valley. Additionally, smoke from the wild fires in Oregon and Northern California is drifting into the area. The result is a very colorful sunrise.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lift off!

Pascal can't wait to get on his flight to Germany. Have a great time!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


AF82 is ready for boarding. 

The mouth of L'Authie with a unique pattern of small ponds on the south side.

10 hours later, we're passing Lake Tahoe, shortly before starting the descend into SFO.

The city by the bay. Carl says Hi. 

Almost home.

Model Train Magazines at Stuttgart Airport

To my delight, I discovered model train magazines at the book store in the secure area of Terminal 2 at Stuttgart airport. I promptly bought a bunch.


My flight out of Stuttgart is delayed by an hour because of delay of inbound flight. ... And a rain shower is moving through while we wait.
I'm thinking about dancing in the rain, rather than stewing in a terminal.

Eventually, the plane gets here. Unboarding problems add additional delay.

Once we're finally airborne it's an uneventful flight. Less than an hour later we're lining up for CDG.

Passing Le Bourget airport along the way.

A very short taxi to terminal 2G, deplane, followed by the usual bus transfer to terminal 2E.

Terminal 2E, gates M, has some cool visuals.

I've been here before: Espace Musées.  Photography still doesn't look good here, but I wanted a different angle for the photo this time.

Bye, bye Stuttgart

At least one good-looking person in this picture (not me). 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Margaretenkirche Aldingen

Walking around my home town I stopped at my former church, the Margaretenkirche in Aldingen.

The gates were closed, and I didn't have much time, so I just peek into the church yard.

The street and paths are now "verkehrsberuhigt". The rest looks just like 35 years ago.

Even the old barn next to the gardens belonging to the nearby Pfarrhaus (parsonage, in the rear) still stands.

Friday, August 25, 2017


We had some amazing sunsets in Neckarrems this week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Garden View

Schloss Ludwigsburg


Attikaraeume ceiling painting

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Train Watching in Asperg

I had some time and headed over to the Asperg train station. The old freight shed is a very decorative and interesting building.

Asperg is located on the 4 track main line from Stuttgart via Ludwigsburg. The tracks split in Bietigheim-Bissingen towards Heilbronn/Wuerzburg and Karlsruhe/Mannheim. Until the construction of the high-speed line Stuttgart - Mannheim, every train going north or east from Stuttgart came through here.

I hung out near track 1 for about 45 minutes. Even though high-speed traffic is not coming through here, it was quite busy with the regularly scheduled trains as well as several freight trains diverted from the Rhine valley.

The video below covers 20 minutes starting off at 19:10 with a diverted northbound freight train led by a crossrail class 185 and an egp class 66. Shortly after, a diverted southbound freight train led by OEBB 1016 005 passes southbound S-Bahn S5 in Asperg station at 19:13. Northbound S-Bahn S5 arrives in Asperg at 19:17. 2 minutes later another southbound freight comes through. Due to train length I suspect it's a regularly scheduled train. RE 4952 to Wuerzburg departed Ludwigsburg on time 19:18 and comes through Asperg at 19:20.  At 19:25 another northbound freight, I think also diverted from the Rhine Valley. At 19:27 we see RE 19515 Heidelberg - Stuttgart led by 147 009-1, an engine class I had not seen yet. RB 39935 from Heilbronn led by 114 006-0 comes through at 19:29 right on time. The video ends at 19:30 with another southbound freight and 152 144-4 on the point. There was a northbound S-Bahn that came through before the last freight, but I figured I had enough of those on video already.

To round out the collection, I took some stills as well. This is RE 4939 Wuerzburg - Stuttgart led by 112 161-5. Next stop in Ludwigsburg at 19:37.

S-Bahn 423 501-6, 423 845-7, and a third unit are dead-heading to Stuttgart.

S-Bahn BR 423 series running as S5 train 7992 to Bietigheim-Bissingen.  At 19:37 it's running 5 minutes behind schedule.

My vantage point was on top of this pile of construction debris.

For the passenger trains, I used current schedules from Deutsche Bahn's Elektronisches Kursbuch to pull train numbers and line them up with the trains I saw. The schedule pages for KBS 790.4/5 (northbound, southbound) were particularly useful.