Sunday, May 31, 2015

Easy Listening for a Sunday Afternoon

Billie Holiday

Stormy Weather

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together
Keeps rainin' all the time
Life is bare, gloom and mis'ry everywhere
Stormy weather
Just can't get my poor self together
I'm weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time
When he went away
The blues walked in and met me
If he stays away, old rockin' chair will get me
All I do is pray, the Lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more
Can't go on, ev'rything I had is gone
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together
Keeps rainin' all the time
Keeps rainin' all the time
When he went away
The blues walked in and met me
If he stays away, old rockin' chair will get me
All I do is pray, the Lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more
Can't go on, ev'rything I had is gone
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together
Keeps rainin' all the time
Keeps rainin' all the time

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Night Doo-Wop

Robert & Johnny

We belong Together

You're mine and we belong together

Yes, we belong together for all eternity

You're mine, your lips belong to me

Yes, they belong to only me for all eternity

You're mine, my baby and you will always be

I swear by everything I own you'll always, always be mine
(Mine, mine, be mine)

You're mine and we belong together

Yes, we belong together for all eternity

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Night Steam

This one is for Terry (

EBT Mikado #14
pauses on the wye
at Colgate Grove.

Click on
thumbnails to
enlarge images.
ebt29.jpg (12051 bytes)
The East Broad Top Railroad is nothing if not a survivor. Following its completion from Mt. Union to Robertsdale in 1874, the EBT spent its first 80 years conveying semi-bituminous coal from the rich veins of Pennsylvania's Broad Top field to a connection with the Pennsylvania Railroad. A typical mine road, EBT's fortunes waxed and waned with those of its parent industry. In the good years, wages filled the miners' pockets and an endless parade of hoppers clattered from the mineheads at Robertsdale, Woodvale, and Jacobs down to the great mixing and sorting bins at Mount Union. In the bad years, like the grim strike year of 1927, the hoppers lay silent in the yards as the miners and the Rockhill Coal and Iron Company's private police faced each other down in the streets of the company towns.

In all this EBT was typical of dozens of other coal railroads in America's Appalachian mining district. However, one feature set the EBT apart: its 3' gauge. Depending on one's point of view, it was the EBT's grace or misfortune to have been conceived just as the world-wide narrow-gauge craze of the 1870s was reaching its fever pitch. Bedazzled by the blandishments of narrow-gauge advocates like Robert Fairlie and William Jackson Palmer, the EBT's backers adopted the 3' gauge for their new railroad. By the time they realized their mistake, it was too late for the EBT to reconsider its decision.  Making a virtue of necessity, they built impressive coal washing and sorting facilities at the break-of-gauge point at Mt. Union. Narrow-gauge EBT hoppers dumped their loads into one end of the facility and standard-gauge PRR cars received cleaned and graded coal at the other, adding some economic value to the necessary transshipment. And so the line soldiered on, a slim-gauge carrier in a standard-gauge world.

ebt07.jpg (6952 bytes)
Mike #14 backs
out of the
Rockhill Furnace
Narrow gauge or not, the East Broad Top returned to its owners a decent rent on their money up to and through World War II. After the war, however, new open-pit mines in the American west made sudden inroads upon the eastern coal producers' markets. Taken aback by the onslaught, the remaining mine owners in the EBT's territory either shuttered their doors, or turned to more flexible highway trucks to delivery their commodity. In 1955, the EBT's owners acceded to the inevitable and filed for abandonment. The last train ran in April 1956.

For the next four years, the EBT slumbered. Nothing was sold off, moved, or destroyed—the last crews simply dumped the fires, locked the doors, and walked away. Even so, when the Rockhill Company's receivers sold the property to Kovalchick Salvage Co., the largest scrap dealer in Pennsylvania, the little road's fate seemed sealed. Yet new owner Nick Kovalchick had other ideas. 22 million tons of coal still remained in the Rockhill Company's lands, and Kovalchick thought that there might yet come a day when the coal would be valuable again, and he might want a working railroad to move it. And so instead of scrapping the EBT, he let it lie just as the employees had left it: a kind of railway in amber, preserved against a day of need.
ebt01.jpg (6825 bytes)
Vintage freight
cars and shop
buildings in the
Rockhill Furnace
So matters stood until 1960, when the citizens of Orbisonia approached Kovalchick with an idea: would he consider letting a train run to help the town celebrate its bicentennial? Nick agreed, and in short order EBT #12 re-emerged from the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse to resume her duties. Rechristened "Millie" to honor the owner's daughter, the trim Mike was soon back at work hauling capacity trains of tourists up and down 3.5 miles of reconditioned track. Pleased with the experiment, Kovalchick consented to an extension the next year, and the year after that, and so on right down to the present.

ebt26.jpg (6396 bytes)
An EBT excursion
train stands ready
at the Orbisonia
depot: but for
how much longer?
Today, the EBT faces an uncertain future. In saving the entire railroad and making a portion of it available for summer excursions, the Kovalchick family has undertaken a four-decade-long act of private industrial preservation unique in the annals of philanthropy. Even so, it is unreasonable to expect them forever to absorb the cost. As a complete, intact, turn-of-the-century industrial workplace, the EBT is eminently worth of state or federal preservation, yet so far efforts to secure an agreement between government agencies and the owners have been unavailing. Each year brings the threat that the excursions may not be renewed; as bad or worse, each year sees further damage to priceless infrastructure—the roundhouse, belt-driven machine shop, boiler shop, rolling stock, tools and parts—which the Kovalchicks cannot singlehandedly maintain. The final chapter has yet to be written, and the road may yet end up in the hands of the scrappers.

Gloomy prospects, indeed, but the worst has not yet come to pass. The spring of 1999 has seen new hope as the Kovalchicks and the State of Pennsylvania consider a proposal which would see the Rockhill Furnace shops placed in the hands of a nonprofit trust which could receive state and federal funds for their stabilization. And in any event, for this year at least, the EBT will still send its trim Mikados forth to roam the scenic Aughwick valley. So join me now for a ride on the East Broad Top-- the last narrow-gauge coal road in America.

Copyright. Copyright 1999 Erik G. Ledbetter. All rights reserved. Any person is hereby authorized to view, copy, print, and distribute this document for informational, non-commercial purposes only. Any copy of this document or portion thereof must include this copyright notice.

For lots and lots of information, please see:

and here:



Today's funny :o)

H/T to wild river! :o)

We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion.

(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging
beside the grill - beer in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone
where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman..
(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the
(8) The meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat
( The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces,
and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ' her night off '
and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no
pleasing some women!

Just an ordinary day

Just love the new roof on the pen! It looks so much better than the tarps. Chicken wire covers the entire top of the pen so no critters can get in. I just hope it holds up under the snow this winter.

Poor Charlie is still wheezing. He's eating, drinking and chasing Laverne all around. I don't know what is wrong with him, but it doesn't seem to slow him down at all.  His neck is starting to look like he's part ostrich! He still thinks he's handsome, though.

 Maude and Sophia are starting to go out in the pen more. They loved to be held and petted.

So nice to see GREEN again!

 The thunderstorms that we were supposed to get, went around us again.  That meant no rain which we really need.

Our water barrels that we use for the flowers and veggies are empty, but rain is forecasted for Saturday. For once I won't mind it at all.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Planetary gears

This one was made on a 3-D printer!



The mechanism of a pencil sharpener with stationary annulus and rotating planet carrier as input. Planet gears are extended into cylindrical cutters, rotating around the pencil that is placed on the sun axis. The axes of planetary gears join at the pencil sharpening angle.

Just love this stuff.....

Today's funny :o)

Flowers of Coopville

Nothing is really landscaped here. It needs it though. Maybe some day. But there are flowers about. Some are hidden among the green weeds and grass and others I planted. The deer ate a lot of them,

 There are a few peonies scattered about.

 The geraniums were a gift for Mother's Day.

 Although there are several iris plants in the little stone garden, this is the only one that
 has bloomed so far.

 This one will open soon - they are so pretty!

 Don't know where this littler fern came from, but he can stay!

More iris. This is by the deck stairs. Some people cut them and bring them in the house. I like to look at them outside instead.

 Just gotta have chicken pics. That's Sophia pecking at the camera:

 Laverne and Shirley laying in the cool grass. Charlie is guarding them. He still sounds congested.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


 There will never be another Phyllis Diller! Here are some of her classic lines:

Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.

Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.

A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.

I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.

Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.

My photographs don't do me justice - they look just like me.

Tranquilizers work only if you follow the advice on the bottle: Keep Away From Children.
I asked the waiter, 'Is this milk fresh?'
He said, 'Lady, three hours ago it was grass.'

The reason the golf pro tells you to keep your head down . . . is so you can't see him laughing.

You know you're old if they have discontinued your blood type.

Photo credit: Allan Warren

Phyllis Ada Driver (July 17, 1917 – August 20, 2012), better known as Phyllis Diller, was an American stand-up comedian, actress, singer, dancer, and voice artist, best known for her eccentric stage persona, her self-deprecating humor, her wild hair and clothes, and her exaggerated, cackling laugh.

Today's funny :o)

Hanging out at.....

.... the water cooler!

Maude and Sophia are growing fast. But not fast enough to avoid Charlie.

Still have to keep all of them separated during the day. At least there are no fights when it's time to put them in for the night. M & S hide in the nest boxes before the gang goes in.

Charlie is all congested - sounds like he has a bad cold.  I've been giving him chicken antibiotics. 'Hope it starts to work soon. Outside of the congestion, he is fine.

After Charlie, Laverne and Shirley eat and the girls take over the nest boxes, they go in the run or out in the yard for the day. Then I bring Maude & Sophia out and they stay in the pen.

Don't know what's going to happen when it rains and they all have to be in the covered pen.
Should be fun. Not.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teeny, tiny mountain

Mount Wycheproof

Mount Wycheproof is the smallest registered mountain in the world. Located in Australia’s Terrick Terrick Range, it is 486 feet above sea level; however, it only stands 141 feet above its surroundings. Mount Wycheproof is a granite outcrop.

Mount Wycheproof sits in the small town for which it is named, Wycheproof. It is in the state of Victoria, the most densely populated and second most populated state in southeastern Australia. The population of Wychproof is only 686. Wycheproof was settled around 1846 and became a town in 1875. Its name originates from the aborigine word, "wichi-poorp," which means "grass on a hill."

View from the top:

I think I could handle that one! How about you?

Today's funny :o)

Neighbor called...

                                          .... the other day and wanted me to go over to her house. So I did.

This is what she wanted to show me:

 They were putting down new mulch all around thier house and finally saw the fawn!


 It stayed still right there all day long until mama came back for it.

It didn't make any sounds - no crying, no nothing. It just wriggled it's nose when we go too close.

Too bad they have to grow up and be such a nuisance - I really do like the little ones.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Let us never forget the sacrifice these brave men and women made and still make to this very day. May the love they have for our country forever be ingrained in our hearts and memories.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
By John McCrae

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Night Doo-Wop

The Fantasys

The Fantasys


The Fantasys started in 1957 (the same year that Bandstand began being broadcast nationally from its famous studio at 46th and Market Streets in West Philadelphia )  by four neighbors who lived a block from West Philly High School and less than a mile from the American Bandstand studio; Aram Boornazian(Tenor),Charles Berberian(Bass),Mike Delano(Baritone) and Richard Smith(Lead).

In the next years Robert Cramotola and Ben Asero also singing in the group.

The group recorded at Reco Art Studio a demo and presented this to Jamie records where Boornazian know to Johnny Madara, He and Dave White like the songs and add to the record strings from two Boornazian's friends Lebanese immigrants, one of whom was living with his family while attending the Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia.

In 1960 subsidiary Jamie label, Guyden records released_-No One But You / Why, Oh Why. the group have the unreleased side_I Wonder.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Night Steam

We have a new blogger in town!

Terry of "Terry's Trains" has started a wonderful new blog for all you train lovers out there! His photographs are just gorgeous and you'll enjoy his very knowledgeable commentary. He's an honest-to-goodness rail fan and it shows! Take a hop over and welcome him aboard!

H/T to BW ( for the suggestion!

The Rocket

Stephenson Steam engine



The Rocket was designed and built by George Stephenson with the help of his son, Robert, and Henry Booth, for the 1829 Rainhill Trials.

The Trials were held by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, to find the best locomotive engine for a railway line that was being built to serve these two English cities. On the day of the Trials, some 15,000 people came along to see the race of the locomotives.

During the race, the Rocket reached speeds of 24mph during the 20 laps of the course. This was due to several new design features. It was the first locomotive to have a multi-tube boiler - with 25 copper tubes rather than a single flue or twin flue.

The blast pipe also increased the draught to the fire by concentrating exhaust steam at the base of the chimney. This meant that the boiler generated more power (steam), so the Rocket was able to go faster than its rival, and thus secure its place in history.

The Rocket can be seen at the Science Museum, in London.

Today's funny :o)

From a loyal reader:


Happy Birthday ....


Born on May 22, 2011

He's a good little rooster!