Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Night Doo-Wop

The Chantels!


Maybe, if I pray every night
You'll come back to me
And maybe, if I cry everyday
You'll come back to stay
Oh, maybe
Maybe, if I hold your hand
I'd be at your command
And maybe, if I kissed your lips
You'll be at my command
Oh, maybe
I've prayed and prayed to the Lord
To send you back, my love
But instead you came to me
Only in my dreams
Maybe, if I pray every night
You'll come back to me
And maybe, if I cry every day
You'll come back to stay
Oh, maybe
(Maybe, maybe baby)
(Maybe, maybe baby)
(Maybe, maybe baby)
(Maybe, maybe baby)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Night Steam

We're off to the State of Washington! Listen to that marvelous whistle!!!

The SP&S 700

SP&S 700 smokebox by David Roy
Photo by David Roy
The SP&S 700 is significant in almost every way. Its history is as important as any other locomotive in the Pacific Northwest, having provided the power for the premier passenger trains connecting one of the largest cities on the west coast with the Midwest and East. The locomotive is noteworthy from an engineering perspective as well, as it represents the state of the art of practical design, manufacture, and operation when steam was king on the nation's rails. It sports then-new features like Timkin roller bearings and boasts the highest axle-loading of any Northern-type locomotive ever produced in North America. Finally, the 700 is remarkable simply for the rare fact that it still operates more than 75 years after it was built, making it the largest steam locomotive currently in operation. And then there's the locomotive's obvious sensory significance: it's big, strong, hot, loud, smelly, and fast! This page explores the SP&S 700's place in history, facets of its engineering and design, the locomotive's restoration and maintenance by the PRPA, and its thunderous impact on the senses.

SP&S Service History

From 1912 onward, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway provided the best freight and passenger route from Portland and the Columbia River Valley toward the east. Despite the fact that the railroad formed this important link, traffic on the new line was slow to develop, partially due to the intra-family competition between its builders, the Great Northern and Northern Pacific. Having no real need of the newest and most powerful locomotives, at first nearly all of the SP&S's engines were hand-me-downs from its parents. However, by the mid-1930s the railroad was woefully underpowered. Its largest passenger locomotives were Pacifics (4-6-2s), and its largest freight engines were Mikados (2-8-2s), with the newest of these having been built in 1920. The SP&S had a hard time competing against the newer, larger power owned by the Union Pacific and operated on the competing ex-OR&N line just across the Columbia River. Finally, in 1937, NP and GN allowed the SP&S to purchase its first new locomotives: three Northerns (4-8-4s) classed E-1 and six Challengers (4-6-6-4s) classed Z-6. The new SP&S engines were added onto Northern Pacific orders and were identical in design to NP's class A-3 Northerns and class Z-6 Challengers except that they were built to burn oil instead of coal.

The 700's Baldwin Locomotive Works builder's plate
Builder's Plate of the SP&S 700
Photo by Chris Chen
Baldwin Locomotive Works delivered the Northerns to the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway in 1938 as numbers 700, 701, and 702. The 700 was the first to arrive and was shown off to communities along the company's mainline before entering regular service. The new 4-8-4s were specifically purchased to power the SP&S's premier passenger service. This train—No. 1 westbound from Spokane and No. 2 on the return from Portland—included the Portland segments of GN's famous Empire Builder and NP's North Coast Limited. Both originated in Chicago (running over the CB&Q from Chicago to St. Paul) and were broken into two sections in eastern Washington, with one segment bound for Portland via the SP&S and the other bound to Seattle over the Cascades. Two of the locomotives, typically 700 and 702, were employed almost continuously in this service, with the 701 operating freight on the mainline except when filling in for one of her sisters when they required servicing. The engines' good looks and graceful operation soon earned them the nickname "The Ladies." As the 700 was the first on the property, she became known colloquially as "The First Lady of the Northwest" or simply "The Lady."

During its regular service life, The Lady played an important role in developing and maintaining the prominence enjoyed by the City of Portland, and it is an integral part of the city's history and culture as well as that of the Columbia River Valley and eastern Washington. Recognizing this, the SP&S donated the 700 to the City of Portland in the final days of steam, sparing it from the scrapper's torch. The locomotive remains the property of the City, but it is officially under the care of the PRPA. Visit our page on Portland's railroad history or peruse the websites of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway Historical Society to deepen your understanding of the important role that railroads played in the development of the Northwest.

More info from this page continues at:

Today's funny :o)

All gone!

Was a good day yesterday! Plenty of food and fun! The 19 pound turkey and all the trimmings are almost gone.... LOL

Charlie and the girls had special turkey dinners too. Lucy ate quite a bit, which is good. She also gave me a funny shaped egg and I let her eat it. It snowed lightly most of the day, so I kept the lamp on in the coop. When she got chilly she went inside and sat under it for a while. Last night she slept under it and not up on the roost bar. She's eating more each day so I hope she gains some strength.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

                        Warm wishes from my family to yours                  
        for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chickenmom, Hubby,  Lucy, Laverne, Shirley and Charlie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Busy, busy!

Been very busy today and tomorrow will be even busier, so let's take a break and enjoy a great holiday classic!

I'm not going to have time to watch it tomorrow morning, like I usually do, so I'm going to enjoy it NOW! Pull up a chair and help me eat the popcorn!

Per request


 Around 9 AM:

 An hour later:

 1/2 hour ago:

I guess when the roads are plowed the mail jeep will come through!

Today's funny :o)

Still my favorite!  :o)

Lucy's butt

Lucy's butt was coated with the "runs". It was really caked on and closed her vent. I took a warm, soapy rag and cleaned all the poopsies off.

Here she is walking away after I put her down:

Of course Charlie did not like it when I picked Lucy up. He's doing his stupid little dance just to let her know he's the boss! She ignored him as usual.

She must have felt better because she started to look for bugs (there weren't any, so I gave her some ground beef which she just gobbled up).

She felt well enough to join the others, which is good because she's been staying by herself lately.

I sure do hope she continues to improve. I also gave her a raw egg, some yogurt and chopped up lettuce. She did eat most of everything. But she is still so thin.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The first one...

Like to play computer games? I know I do! Here's how it all started:


Compute gaming sure has come a long way, hasn't it?

What was your favorite game?

Today's funny :o)

Wacky weather

This is the temperature when I let the gang out yesterday morning (it rained all night):

 And this is the temp around 3 PM:

The day was very breezy and partly cloudy:

 Hard to believe we are getting a snow storm on Wednesday! We're in N/W Jersey, so that means we can get a foot of snow....


 Lucy  just wandering around:

She hasn't been eating much so I cooked Lucy her favorite food: plain spaghetti. She ate a little bit of it and some lettuce and celery. She's awfully thin though - her feathers make her look fatter than she really is. She moved around a lot following the others and that's good. Maybe she'll recover. I hope so.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rare Warbirds for Sale

H/T to Terry for sending me this!

TALL TALE [ that’s true ]

Rare warbirds to depart Edwards Ranch

July 31, 2014
Tall Tale
Hang around aircraft restorers and you’ll inevitably hear tales of priceless historical relics hidden in barns, buried in shrink wrap, or otherwise stuck in time awaiting discovery.
These stories are almost always wild exaggerations or outright fiction. But if you’ve ever heard of the cache of iconic warbirds at Wilson Connell “Connie” Edwards’ west Texas ranch, it’s absolutely real.
The irascible former movie pilot who made a fortune in the oil business has added to his vast inventory of mostly World War II-era fighters, seaplanes, and surplus parts for more than a half century. Now, he’s decided to sell many of them—but only on his own nonnegotiable terms.
Tall Tale
Tall Tale
Tall Tale
“People can either pay my price or go to hell, I really don’t care which,” says Edwards, 80, who is perhaps best known for choreographing and flying many of the aerial scenes in Battle of Britain, a 1969 movie that starred Michael Caine and Sir Lawrence Olivier and featured more than a dozen Messerschmitt Bf 109s (technically Spanish-built HA-1112 Buchons), Heinkel He 111 (CASA 2.111) bombers—and, of course, British Spitfires and Hurricanes. “I know the value of what I’ve got, and I don’t haggle. Pay my price, or don’t waste my time,” Edwards says.
A Spitfire that actually flew in the real Battle of Britain is the jewel of Edwards’ fleet, as well as a half-dozen Buchons (including a rare two-seat model) that he took in partial payment for his work on the film. There’s also a P-51 Mustang that looks exactly as it did when imported from Guatemala in the early 1970s, and two PBY Catalinas. Edwards flew one of the PBYs to England and back in 1986, and a second—known as the Green Turtle—has a Calypso paint scheme and plush yacht-like interior. (There are also two shipping containers full of surplus PBY parts and specialized tools.)
A recently polished Grumman Mallard is tied down outside. So are several Piaggio Gull airframes, and parts for many more.
The impetus for the sale is the tragic 2013 death of Edwards’ son Wilson Connell “Tex” Edwards Jr., an accomplished warbird and agricultural pilot. Tex was killed in a car accident near the family’s ranch about 60 miles east of Midland/Odessa. He’s buried in a family plot on the ranch, which is located in the arid, cotton-growing portion of the state.
“I was going to give it all to Tex,” Edwards says. “He was a fantastic pilot and absolutely excelled at everything he did in aviation. But now that he’s gone, there’s no sense keeping it.”
In the 1980s Edwards donated two highly coveted aircraft to the Experimental Aviation Association—a P-38 Lightning and an F-4U Corsair—and both are on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh. He also helped found the Commemorative Air Force (then the Confederate Air Force) but has had a bitter split with the Texas-based organization. He has been an AOPA member for more than 50 years.
Tall Tale
Tall Tale
Tall Tale
Tall TaleEdwards says he doesn’t regard his many airplanes as a “collection,” just unrelated objects he bought or traded for because they interested him. Logistically, the ongoing acquisitions required building an ever-expanding hangar complex (more than 100,000 square feet) in which to store them. He’s never offered public tours, and his out-of-the-way runway, hangars, and castle-themed home are strictly private.
“I’m not interested in hearing other pilots’ war stories or telling them mine,” says Edwards, who soloed when he was 16 years old and later flew throughout Central America and the Caribbean in his twenties for a series of shadowy firms he prefers not to discuss. “I’m really not in the airplane business at all. I’m in the oil, ranching, and stone business. I only own airplanes for fun.”
Edwards’ favorite airplane is a blue-and-white Piper Super Cub with an oversized 180-horsepower engine that isn’t part of the sale. He’s unsentimental about the rest. Many of his aircraft haven’t flown in years, and the hangars and their contents are constantly subject to the region’s unrelenting wind, heat, and dust.
Tall shelves are piled with seemingly forgotten tools, parts, hardware, and solvents. The airplanes sit just as they were at the conclusion of their last flights, sometimes with headsets on glareshields, long-expired aeronautical charts unfolded on the seats, and empty cups and drink cans in cabins.
An entire hangar is filled with a treasure trove of warbird engines. Two never-used, right- and left-turning Allisons for a P–38 are bolted on stands; dozens of Rolls-Royce Merlins are in various states; and an overhauled Pratt & Whitney R-985 is wrapped in plastic sheeting.
Aircraft aren’t the only motorized vehicles in the hangars. There are cars, too, including a 1964 Corvette, a 1958 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham, an original VW Thing, a police Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and a half-dozen aged mini-bikes
Edwards says he really doesn’t care what happens to the airplanes after they leave—although he assumes that anyone willing to pay premium prices for them likely will restore them to flying condition. But if not, that’s the new owners’ concern, not his.
“If they can afford to buy them, they probably have enough money to restore them,” he said. “If not, they’re better off not even trying.”
Tall Tale
Tall Tale
Edwards has been exceptionally successful in business, and he attributes his wins to “dumb luck” and being in the right place at the right time. His family’s vast land holdings sit atop huge amounts of oil and natural gas, and new drilling techniques have dramatically increased their output at a time of high commodity prices. Another mineral discovery here, Texas stone, is in demand among high-end home builders. (Edwards is a self-taught stone carver whose grounds are decorated with elaborate stone artwork of his own creation.)
A fly-in guest to the Edwards ranch in the late 1970s came to hunt quail and became a family friend. That was Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and Edwards was an early investor in what became the world’s biggest retail chain.
Edwards once owned more than a dozen P–51 Mustangs, many of them bought from military boneyards. He says he never paid more than $15,000 for a Mustang, and now such aircraft sell for $1.5 million or more.
Edwards has long been a controversial figure in historical aircraft circles, and he is full of contradictions. He’s at once flamboyant and reclusive, worldly and profane.
Terry Adams, a T–6 pilot and restorer who was a close friend of Tex, is preparing Edwards’ exotic aircraft for sale. Adams is a retired Snap-On Tools executive, and he lives in San Antonio and comes to the Edwards ranch for days at a time to help get things inventoried and organized.
While Adams is at the hangar complex, Edwards stops by each morning in a Ford pickup with his dog Hunter, a miniature Australian shepherd, to plan the day’s activities. He swings by in the evenings, too, to barbeque and drink Texas-brewed Shiner Bock beer from long-neck bottles.
Edwards speaks in off-color colloquialisms delivered with a flinty drawl. Something conspicuous, he says, “shines like a ruby in a goat’s ass.” A person of low intelligence “doesn’t have the sense to pour piss out of a boot with directions printed on the heel.”
He’s especially scornful of politicians with Democratic presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama drawing venomous ridicule, and not-conservative-enough Republicans don’t fare much better. Provocative bumper stickers; torn-out tabloid covers; photocopied political cartoons; and scrawled, handwritten messages are posted on hangar walls and metal lockers.
Edwards can be charming, engaging, and funny when telling stories of the times he spent flying with English, Spanish, and German pilots in Europe filming Battle of Britain. He also is one of the few pilots on the planet who can authoritatively compare the flight characteristics of some of history’s most renowned aircraft.
Tall Tale
These Spanish aircraft were painted in German colors for the Battle of Britain movie. They are equipped with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.
With many hundreds of hours in both the P–51 and Bf 109/Buchon, for example, he says the German-designed aircraft is far and away the more nimble fighter. “It’s not even a close contest,” he says. “In the hands of a similarly trained and experienced pilot, the 109 wins hands-down.” Edwards recounts a truism by Luftwaffe fighter ace Adolf Galland: “Most pilots expect their airplanes to perform. The Me 109 expects its pilot to perform.”
Among seaplanes, he says the Grumman Albatross is head and shoulders above the Consolidated PBY, although there’s a great deal of variation in quality, performance, and flying characteristics of individual PBYs.
Edwards also inspires lifelong loyalty from some of the people who know him best. A foreman who has worked on the family ranch more than 40 years says the Edwards family’s steadfastness makes him want to stay forever.
And Edwards’ generous actions don’t always align with his incendiary words. For example, Adams recently sought to acquire a rare 1932 Ford Coupe that had been sitting idle in one of the Edwards hangars for decades.
“They said Connie would never sell that car because it belonged to his [late] brother [William Prior “Budo” Edwards],” Adams recalled. “So I asked Connie if he’d ever let it go, and he said he would, for the right price. I told him that I wanted to buy it, and I’d pay anything he asked. I’d write him a check on the spot.”
Then Edwards surprised Adams by turning down what could have been a tidy profit. “Connie just looked at me, smiled, and said ‘Merry Christmas, Terry. The car’s all yours,’” Adams said. “He wouldn’t take a cent for it.”

Note: to see the interview and video, please go to:

Today's funny :0)

H/T to wild river!

A pub in Cork

I found myself in a pub in Cork.

A group of American tourists came in. One of the Americans said, in a loud voice, "I hear you Irish think your great drinkers. I bet 5,000 euros that no-one here can drink 30 pints of Guinness in 30 minutes."

The bar was silent, the American noticed one Irishman leaving, no-one took up the bet.

40 minutes later the Irishman who left returned and said "Hey Yank, is your wee bet still on?"

"Sure" said the American, "30 pints in 30 minutes for a bet of 5,000 euros."

"Grand, " replied the Irishman, "so pour the pints and start the clock."

It was very close but the last drop was consumed with 2 seconds to spare.

"OK Yank, pay up." said the Irishman..

"I'm happy to pay, here's your money" said the American.

"But tell me, when I first offered the wager I saw you leave. Where did you go?'

The Irishman replied, "Well sir, 5,000 euros is a lot of money to a man like me, so I went to the pub across the road to see if I could do it."

Odd weather

Saturday morning was very cold. I'm gad I turned the lamp on in the coop Friday night. It kept it warm enough so that there was only a very very thin patch of ice on their water. I know Lucy enjoyed
the extra warmth! They stayed in the pen and the run all day. It was just too cold and windy to let them run around.

Saturday morning

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful, mild day - what a difference in weather!

Sunday sunrise

I let them all out in the yard in the morning and they stayed out until 4PM; then they went back to the pen. While out Charlie, Laverne and Shirley took a dirt bath. Lucy didn't. She just stood around.

She isn't eating as much as she should be, but she is picking at food and does drink. She's just getting slower and slower. Too bad I couldn't give her an Energizer Bunny battery!

 Energizer Bunny

 It's a lot warmer outside so I didn't turn the lamp on for them. When it gets colder it will be back on.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Night Doo-Wop

The Dubs!


"Could This Be Magic" 
Could this be magic
 My dear
My heart's all aglow
Could this be magic
Loving you so
Could this be magic
My dear
Having your love
My prayers were answered
So far from above
I thought it would be
Just a memory
To linger my heart in pain
But too much pride
I opened up my eyes
And I'm with you dear once again
Could this be magic
My dear
Having your love
If this is magic
Then magic is mine
Could this be magic
Then magic is mine

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Night Steam

We're off to Maine. Have you ever heard of the "Two-footers"?? Pull up a chair and enjoy!


The Maine Two-Footers

In an age when railroads meant prosperity, thrifty New Englanders decided any railroad was better than none. The result was a group of railroads virtually unique to Maine. To reduce costs, the tracks were built with rails so close together a pair of size 12 shoes set "heel-to-toe" could span the distance. At their zenith, these lines operated over 200 miles of track, ran dozens of locomotives, carried thousands of passengers, and hauled countless tons of freight. The last line closed in 1943. Most of the lines became the victims of competition with trucks.
These railroads, built to the gauge of just two feet, were cheaper to build than the "standard gauge" railroads of four foot, eight and one-half inches. The term "gauge" refers to the distance between the inside edges of both rails. This means that the "Two-Footers" are less than half the size of their standard gauge counterparts, and that all the earthworks and components used to build the railroad could be smaller and less expensive. However small these dimunitive railroads were, they worked just as hard if not harder than their larger bretheren, right up until the end.

Billerica and Bedford Railroad

Massachusetts' Billerica and Bedford Railroad, though short lived, was the direct ancestor of the Maine Two-Footers. George Mansfield was inspired by the 23.5 inch gauge Festiniog Railway in Wales, and saw in it the solution to the expensive construction and operating costs of standard gauge railroads. In 1876 he convinced the people of Billerica and Bedford that a two foot railroad was the answer to their transportation needs, and by November 1877 the eight mile line was operational. Though the line was a technical and engineering success, neither the necessary passengers nor freight traffic materialized soon enough to suit the B&B's financial backers, and the line shut down in bankruptcy in June of 1878.
The B&B rolling stock and rails went to Maine to seed the Sandy River Railroad. The original B&B engine house still stands today in Bedford and is the home of a local railroad historical society.

Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad

George Mansfield brought the remains of the B&B to Maine in 1879 to form the basis of the Sandy River Railroad. The line served primarily to bring timber products from throughout Franklin County to an interchange with the Maine Central Railroad in Farmington. Passenger, agricultural, and other freight traffic were also important to the bottom line. Time saw the formation of other nominally independent two-foot lines which connected with the SRRR, and by 1908 the SRRR combined with the Phillips and Rangeley, the Madrid, the Eustis, the Franklin and Megantic, and the Kingfield and Dead River Railroads to form the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad. At its greatest extent the SR&RL had over 120 miles of track, hundred of freight cars, and over a dozen each of locomotives and passenger cars. It was the home of the only two foot gauge parlor car, and of the largest two foot locomotives to operate in the US. Despite attempts to save the line by closing unprofitable branches, the Depression, the highways, and overlogging took their toll and the line was shut down in 1935.
Much passenger and freight equipment was saved from the scrap heap by private individuals and survives today. WW&F #9, formerly SRRR #5 / SRRL #6, is the sole surviving locomotive from the line.

Bridgton and Saco River Railroad

George Mansfield was the motivating force behind construction of the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad. The B&SR opened in 1883 to provide a rail link the 16 miles from a Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad connection in Hiram to the summer resort of Bridgton and, later, five more miles to Harrison. The line did good business in passengers and freight until highway competition cut into earnings in the 1920s. Reorganized as the Bridgton and Harrison Railway in 1930, the line subsequently saw occasional peaks in passenger travel with the burgeoning railfan movement, but that wasn't enough to offset the effects of the depression. The line line shut down in 1941.
Most of rolling stock and other equipment was bought by fans from the scrapper and ended up at the Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts. Much of this still exists to this day.

Monson Railroad

The Monson Railroad opened in October of 1883 and served primarily to haul slate six miles from the quarries in Monson to an interchange with the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad at Monson Junction. Though the line had a modest business with passengers and miscellaneous freight, the Monson ran until 1943 to move slate. The line was noted for having the finest roadbed of all the Maine Two-Footers, with an unlimited supply of scrap slate to do the job. The line was also a true time capsule, having virtually no modernization whatsoever over its six decades, save for the purchase of new locomotives in 1912 and 1918.
Monson locomotives #3 and #4 were rescued from the scrap dealer for the Edaville Railroad, and are the sole pieces of Monson equipment to survive today.

Kennebec Central Railroad

The Kennebec Central was formed in 1889 by members of the Sandy River management to serve the National Soldiers' Home, known as Togus, in Chelsea, Maine. The line ran only five miles, from the banks of the Kennebec River in Randolph to Togus. The KC's passenger service primarily carried soldiers from the Home to the big-city temptations in Gardiner (across the river from Randolph), and visitors to concerts and baseball games at Togus; its freight revenues in the main resulted from hauling coal from river barges to the Home. The railroad's modest goals and steady business ensured that it was a financial success for nearly 40 years. A later-built trolley line from Augusta to Togus threatened to draw away passengers, but in the end it was competition from the highways that doomed the KC when the government passed the coal-hauling contract to a trucking concern in 1929. Without the coal contract the books wouldn't balance, so the KC suspended operations. The railroad sat dormant until 1933, at which time the WW&F purchased the entire concern, brought the locomotives to Wiscasset, and scrapped the rest.
WW&F locomotive #9, formerly KC #4, is the sole piece of KC equipment to survive to this day.

Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Railroad

The Wiscasset and Quebec Railroad opened in 1894 with the lofty goal of connecting the Province of Quebec with the deep saltwater port and the Maine Central Railroad at Wiscasset. The line never made it to Canada, eventually reaching 44 miles to Albion and, later, branching to Winslow. The line did good business with dairy and other agricultural products, timber, mail, freight, and passenger traffic. A failed expansion attempt to the SRRR resulted in bankruptcy and subsequent reorganization as the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railroad. Maintenance of the trestlework at Wiscasset and inconsistent traffic levels continually bedeviled the line and cut into profits. By 1933, now as the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway, the money was gone, and a wreck at Whitefield sealed the line's fate.
Most of the WW&F equipment was scrapped; all that survives, save one boxcar, are on site at the WW&F Railway Museum.

Edaville Railroad

In 1941, Ellis D. Atwood bought most of the remnants of the B&H to work on the bogs of his 1800 acre cranberry farm in South Carver, Massachusetts. Wartime restrictions prohibited him from moving the equipment until 1945, but at that point he brought it down south and began construction of a 5.5 mile loop of track on his property. The original intent was for it to be a true working railroad, but railfans discovered it and soon passenger traffic outpaced its industrial utility. Atwood sought out as much surviving two foot equipment as possible, eventually adding the two Monson locomotives and much SR&RL rolling stock to the Edaville roster. As Edaville grew into a true tourist destination some freight equipment was rebuilt to carry passengers, but a substantial portion retained its original configuration. In 1993, financial problems resulted in the sale of the Railroad and most of the equipment was transported back to Maine to form the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.
Under new ownership, Edaville reopened with mostly new equipment and continues as a railroad-themed amusement park to this day.

Want more info with pictures? Please see the link below:

Today's funny :o)

Poor Lucy!

She is not feeling tip top at all.

 This is mostly what she wants to do when she comes out of the coop - sit in the corner snuggled in a pile of hay. She's not egg bound, and her eyes are clear.  Her comb is bright and not flopped over. She's not too hungry, but is drinking her water. Her crop isn't clogged up but she did have little bit of a runny butt. I don't know what is wrong with her. I picked her up and while holding her and checked for bugs and lumps. Checked her poop for worms. Nothing.

Shirley came over to see what was going on, but Lucy just ignored her.

She still hops up on the roost bar at night and will peck at Laverne and Shirley if they try to take her spot, so she's strong enough to do that.

I guess she's just getting old.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sea glass

Recycled By The Ocean

In the early 1900s, Fort Bragg, California, residents threw their household  garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass.

Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump, and locals referred to it as 'The Dumps'. Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile (up to 30 feet high). However in 1967, the city leaders closed the area. Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to try to correct the damage, but without success.

Over the next 30 years the pounding waves cleaned the beach, by breaking down everything but glass and pottery. The pounding waves washed the trash up and down, back and forth. Tons of polished, broken glass were created by the pounding surf. These smoothened, coloured glass particles then settled along the sea shore in millions, and so a magnificent beach was formed. The name was changed from, 'The Dump' to what we currently know as, 'The Glass Beach'.

The sea glass that was created is the product of a very long and interesting process. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to make sea glass, the name for any piece of glass that finds its way to the ocean and tumbles around in the water long enough to frost and smooth its surface. Once it makes its way into the ocean, the glass is broken up into shards and is tumbled around in the water, where sand and other rocks act like sandpaper to smooth out its rough edges. Sometimes as the sea glass is passed through fire, it becomes fire glass, the rarest of sea glass with certain inclusions, just like precious gems.

In 1998, the private owner of the property determined that 'Glass Beach' should belong to the public and in 2002 it became part of MacKerricher State Park, open to the public.  Within a period of a few years the 'Glass Beach' won fame, attracting a large number of tourists every year. Way back in time, people wanted to dump their glass products on this shore; now they would try to get one of these pieces to take home as a souvenir. It is ironic but true that where once it was illegal to dispose the glass on the shore, it now is a crime to remove it. Visiting the 'Glass Beach' today is a unique experience. What makes it even more remarkable, are the sounds produced by the glass pebbles as they are being washed away by the gentle waves.

For years, the water beat against the different kinds of trash being dumped.

Glass, household appliances and even motor parts were discarded on the beach.

The waves and weather conditions wore down the overwhelming amount of garbage in the water, creating millions of beautiful smooth rocks.

It was a disgusting dump due to our carelessness, but nature corrected what humans ruined.

The beach’s moniker was soon changed from The Dump to The Glass Beach, a more attractive name for the now-beautiful beach.

The Glass Beach and the surrounded twenty acres were purchased by the California State Park system and were incorporated into MacKerricher State Park.

The miraculous beach was finally under the protection of the state.

It’s hard to believe the short-sighted mistakes we were making that could have potentially ruined this beautiful spot.

But thanks to natural processes, the ocean transformed the trash into the sea glass.
Each colored gem on the beach has its own story.

The ruby red glass stones are typically from old car tail-lights.

Then, the sapphire rocks are the remnants of broken apothecary bottles.

The beach at Fort Bragg isn’t the only glass beach in the world, as strange and beautiful as it is.

There are other places in the world where Mother Nature put a stop to our foolishness.

If you want to see the sea glass for yourself, you can drive to Fort Bragg yourself and be in awe of the power of nature. Even if we didn’t mean to pollute the Glass Beach how we did, it’s inspiring to see just how hard the earth can correct our mistakes.

Today's funny :o)


Still cold out there!

This was the temp after I let Charlie and the girls out yesterday morning:

Poor Lucy! She is really slowing down! I let them all out the pen so I could clean it. They headed for their favorite spot under the deck and stayed there. When I finished with the pen, I called them to go back in. Of course I had to bribe them with some extra chicken feed. Lucy trailed behind. If she moved any slower, she'd be going backwards:

When she finally made it back to the pen, she just snuggled down in the hay. Too much excitement for her, I guess.

Took pictures of some odd cloud formations while I was outside:

This is the warmest it got all day - cold, but not windy for a change:

It's supposed to go up to 35 today ..... we'll see.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Howdah pistols

H/T to Terry for the idea after watching one of Hermit Jim's Sunday 'Toons!

Howdah pistol

Double barrel .50 caliber (13mm) howdah pistol made in Germany

Breech of the same pistol open for loading. This particular weapon was made for a left-handed user
The howdah pistol was a large-calibre handgun, often with two or four barrels, used in India and Africa from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and into the early twentieth century, during the period of British Colonial rule. It was typically intended for defence against tigers, lions, and other dangerous animals that might be encountered in remote areas. Multi-barreled breech-loading designs were later favoured over the original muzzle-loading designs for Howdah pistols, because they offered faster reloading than was possible with contemporary revolvers,[1] which had to be loaded and unloaded through a gate in the side of the frame.
The term "howdah pistol" comes from the howdah, a large platform mounted on the back of an elephant. Hunters, especially during the period of the British Raj in India, used howdahs as a platform for hunting wild animals and needed large-calibre side-arms for protection from animal attacks.[2] The practice of hunting from the howdah basket on top of an Asian elephant was first made popular by the joint Anglo-Indian, East India Company during the 1790s. These earliest howdah pistols were flintlock designs, and it was not until about 60 years later percussion models in single or double barrel congfiguration were seen. By the 1890s and early 1900s cartridge firing and fully rifled howdah pistols were in normal everyday use.
The first breech-loading howdah pistols were little more than sawn-off rifles,[2] typically in .577 Snider[3] or .577/450 Martini-Henry calibre. Later English firearms makers manufactured specially-designed howdah pistols[3] in both rifle calibres and more conventional handgun calibres such as .455 Webley and .476 Enfield.[2] As a result, the term "howdah pistol" is often applied to a number of English multi-barrelled handguns such as the Lancaster pistol (available in a variety of calibres from .380" to .577"),[4] and various .577 calibre revolvers produced in England and Europe for a brief time in the mid-late 19th century.[5]
Even though howdah pistols were designed for emergency defense from dangerous animals in Africa and India, British officers adopted them for personal protection in other far-flung outposts of the British Empire.[3] By the late 19th century, top-break revolvers in more practical calibres (such as .455 Webley) had become widespread,[3] removing much of the traditional market for howdah pistols.
Modern reproductions are available from Italian gun maker Pedersoli in .577 and .50 calibers, as well as in 20 bore.

They are even available at Cabela's! See below: