Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Wolverine Passes Kalamazoo

I went over to my cousin's for Thanksgiving today.  He lives over in Kalamazoo.  Since I enjoy watching the train, I had to look at the schedule to see when I could catch a passing Wolverine.
 Sadly, my timing wasn't that great and I almost missed it.  When we got to the station, I saw that it was already there and I tried to find a decent spot to catch it.  This would have been a decent spot had I gotten here sooner.  So I present a slightly blurry Wolverine.
However, I found an old signal tower.  It almost reminds me of the one I made for my train setup.

A Sign Not Needed

I'm not sure how many rest areas there are in Michigan but on some stretches of road, there is at least one every 30 to 40 miles.  There are quite a few that they try to make look nice.  They will have flower gardens that exhibit the native flora.
But of course, you have rude people everywhere.  I'm not sure why people would walk through a flower bed but they do.  Not that signs really help other than illuminating the rudeness of others.  But this is one of the reasons why we don't have nice things in many places.

Stuckey's Restaurants

As a kid, I seem to remember seeing these restaurants all over the place.  It seemed like they were always along the freeways.  I don't think I ate at one when I was a kid though but I did eat at one on a business trip a few years ago.  It wasn't very good.
 Anyway, the chain got its start in the 1930's, when its founder W.S. Stuckey Sr. decided to sell candies made from his pecans along US-23 in Eastman, Georgia.  I think his specialty product was the pecan roll.
 Until World War II began, with its sugar rationing, he was starting to expand his stores into Florida at a pretty steady pace.
 After the war and with the creation of the interstate, his business took off.  At the peak, there were 350 Stuckey's and they spanned from coast to coast.  But like many things, it underwent a serious decline and there were 75 stores in the late 70's.
 In 1985, the business was bought back by W.S. Stuckey Jr. and there are currently 200 stores but I think they are mostly in the south.
 This particular one served as a winery for a while but it is now out of business.
I would like to see one of these again because I would like to see what all the fuss was about.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Turkey Day

This is probably a somewhat recycled post but the pictures aren't recycled.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States and it is traditionally celebrated by the eating of turkey.  It is loosely based on the Pilgrims in Massachusetts who celebrated a bountiful harvest in 1621 with a huge feast.  Their Native American guides were invited as well.
Up until a proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving in the United States varied from state to state although it was typically celebrate in November.  He proclaimed it to be the final Thursday in November.  In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress to make it the fourth Thursday of the month.
 As  said above, a big part of Thanksgiving is the turkey.  I'm pretty sure they aren't referring to the Grumman Avenger above which was referred as the Turkey.  I heard that was because it resembled a turkey when flaps were adjusted.
Nor does it refer to the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, where US pilots had an overwhelming advantage over their Japanese adversaries.
 It probably doesn't refer to the F-14 Tomcat which was also sometimes referred as the turkey.  I think the rear wings move and again resemble a turkey.
 Another tradition on Thanksgiving is the Detroit Lions football game.  Sometimes it is said that they play like turkeys.  The football tradition started in 1934, when the new owner of the Lions needed some sort of gimmick.  The first NFL Thanksgiving Game featured the Lions against the Bears which the Bears would win.  Overall, the Lions have a 33-34-2 record on Thanksgiving.
But the turkey likely referred to is the bird.  Sadly, I couldn't get my hands on a real one, so this stuffed one will have to do.  So to my readers...Happy Thanksgiving.

I would also like to give a special thanks to my reader.  Sometime in the last week, I had my 600,000th visit.  So again, thank you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Windy Day in Ann Arbor

I'm not sure what the wind speeds where in my neck of the woods but apparently winds were getting around 50 knots on Lake Erie.  It would have been a nice day to go to Marblehead or something to catch some wave action and perhaps a ship or two at anchor.  But alas, I had to work.
 Earlier in the morning, I wanted to get some weather shots but the sky wasn't quite dramatic enough.
 I had a little sheen of water on my favorite subject around the office.
 I didn't have my normal drips of water but they still look pretty cool.
 I did like the look of the leaves on the ground, especially with the layer of water on them.
 After lunch, the wind really started to pick up.  Fortunately we have some willow trees so I could show the effect.
And a little more drama in the sky.

I think it is supposed to be cold for the rest of the week though.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

And of Course Trains

Despite the stop in Toledo, I still ended up in Fostoria today.  As  I said, it was a nice enough day as temperatures nearly reached the 60's.  I think we are going to get back to colder weather later this week tough.
 It didn't take long for the first train to appear.  Sadly, I was out of position for it but I still had to get a picture because it's not often that you see a train being pulled by four engines.
 This is probably my favorite view in the park.  It's not often that you can get a straight on shot of a train without putting yourself in danger.
 The train continues on.
 One more shot of that engine.  I think that Norfolk Southern has one of the better logos out there.
 It seems like the bulk of trains that you see are CSX trains but for some reason, I love their color scheme.
 And the train heads up to Toledo.
 Underdog as graffiti.
 A train as graffiti.
 Looking south.  I don't think I realized that there was sort of a yard to the south.
 I knew about the yard to the east but I never really got a picture of it before.  I might have to figure out where I could get a better picture of it.
 But the number of trains don't give you time for that.  Here is a west bound CSX train.
 And shortly after that was an east bound CSX train.
 And the number 2 engine.  I kind of liked how weathered it looked.
 And it's not often you see a train pulled by five engines.
 With my light waning, I had time for one more train and this time it was a BNSF train heading from Toledo.  I think I saw this one waiting on the tracks on the way in.
An older BNSF paint scheme.

A Couple Shots of Toledo and the Schoonmaker

This is just a couple of shots from my vantage points for the Mandarin.
 A shot of the Toledo skyline.
 The stern of the Schoonmaker.  I'll have to figure out when she is open again and take a tour.
 Her bow.  I'm glad they painted her in the Shenango colors because I think she looks much better than the paint job of the Boyer.
And a shot of the I-280 Bridge.