Thursday, March 30, 2017

"We're sticking to standard"

On the way home from Mendocino, we visited the Point Arena lighthouse and museum. In the museum a front page of the Independent Coast Observer from April 29, 1951 caught my eye. The lead article was about the fate of the japanese freighter "Kenkoku Maru", which ran ashore on April 28, 1951 at Point Arena. However, my brain immediately pattern-matched the Western Pacific ad on the page.

Back in the early 1950's the U.S. did not observe Daylight Savings Time consistently. The Western Pacific notified its passengers to explain they won't switch to DST, and rather stick with standard time instead.

The spin machine was out in full force:
"For several good reasons it's best for us (and our passengers and shippers) that we keep operating on Standard Time.
... all arrival and departure times will be Standard Time. To find out when your train arrives or departs by "your" time [...] just add one hour to the time indicated in the timetable."
Easy, isn't it? Never mind that they don't mention any of the good reasons, but I hear the California Zephyr is "the most talked-about train in the country". At least they had that going for them.

On the same page the Observer had a note on the impact of Daylight Savings Time in California. In style typical for the time it celebrates all the hours saved. I just wonder what the editors wrote in the fall when all those Californians took their savings back home...

Contrary to the Western Pacific, the Southern Pacific observed Daylight Savings Time.

"This will cause a great deal of cheerful confusion."

Uh-huh. I bet it did.

Monday, March 27, 2017

On the Coast

While taking a walk along the cliffs above the mouth of Noyo River in Fort Bragg I caught this surprisingly sharp shot of a Turkey Vulture in flight.

There are some nice views at Pudding Creek, too.

On the way home near Elk.

We stopped for lunch at Cafe Aquatica in Jenner at the mouth of the Russian River. Cafe Aquatica is a nice place to hang out with a tiny, but tasty menu.

Fort Bragg

We're visiting Fort Bragg today. Of course we had to stop at the Skunk Train Depot, visit the Mendocino and Navigation Model Railroad, as well as watch as the excursion train came back from today's run.

After a delicious lunch at Silvers at the Wharf we headed to the Headlands, ...

... and stopped at Glass Beach.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


A new assignment at work, taxes, and various family items are keeping me busy. As a result the railroad crossing in Emsingen has been progressing only very slowly, but I like where this is going.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


I should prepare my taxes and I should fix up the front and back yards. It's rare that garden work wins...

Our "meadow" in the back yard is so nice, I decided to let it grow a bit more and just clean up the bamboo shoots and ivy along the back fence.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Coyote Peak

With the rest of the family out of town, Franziska and I walked up to Coyote Peak.

It was still foggy down in the valley when I got bagels, but by midmorning the sky was blue and the sun shining.

All this will be dry and yellow in a couple months.

The poppies are popping up everywhere now ...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

On the patio

Eating warm apple cake with vanilla ice cream on the patio in good company.

Saturday Afternoon

Watching episodes of Eisenbahnromatik while baking cake...

"Durch das Herz der Schweiz - Gotthardbasistunnel" and on the other end of the spectrum "Vergessene Schmalspurbahnen in Baden-Wuerttemberg". The latter has a segment on the Bottwartalbahn between Marbach/N and Heilbronn with a short sequence of views from the train to where the river Murr flows into the Neckar. Goosebumps moment!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Panic Button

A useful feature of this building ...

Monday, March 06, 2017

Calendar page this month

This month's Eisenbahn Journal Calendar shows local passenger traffic in the Kinzigtal between Freudenstadt and Hausach in 1973.  This is what I image the Welztalbahn would have looked like, if it existed.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Box car weathering

I weathered another box car for Silicon Valley Lines today. The sides got the usual treatment with a light overspray with white wash, application of pan pastels for rust spots, accentuate the ribs in the car body, as well as dirt and grime around the door mechanisms. A thin layer of soft dirt along the bottom edge simulates dirt and residue from the tracks.

For the roof I tried a technique from Pelle Soeborg's book "Done in a day", dusting rusty powders in wet varnish. I think I overdid it a little bit and should have feathered the varnish more. As is the edge of the rust is very clearly defined. Once I had the rust down, I weathered that up with brown, grey and a bit black pan pastels.

... and while at it, I did one more this evening to the "minimum standard".


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

After the Flood

Just south of Embedded Way
Over the weekend San Jose had the worst flooding in many years, to the tune of over 100 million dollar in damages. Today was the first time I biked Coyote Creek trail this year. Some cleanup work is still needed ...

Silver Creek Road bridge

From Silver Creek Road the trail dips down to the creek for a couple hundred feet. This section was flooded two days earlier.

Half a mile south, another tree across the trail
For the next couple weeks I think I'll continue to take the surface streets in the morning.