Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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On the CalTrain Bike Car ~ Monday, March 12, 2018

One of these riders evidently has frequently-changing travel patterns, and has found a novel solution to tagging their bike.

The other, I'm guessing, works at NASA Ames!

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Valley of the Heart's Delight ~ Friday, March 09, 2018

This was a nickname for the Santa Clara Valley 100 years ago, when it was full of orchards, and the interurban Peninsular Ry ran "blossom specials" in the spring.

There are still a few bits left, like this one next to the VTA light rail line. A few weeks ago when it rained, a bunch of yellow flowers came up, but I saw no sign of life from the trees. But it looks like at least a few are still going and were just waiting for later spring.

This plot of land is behind a Symantec office. 20 years ago, this was where Netscape was. But in Silicon Valley, even 20 years ago is ancient history!

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Who ya Gonna Call? ~ Thursday, March 08, 2018

Seen around RWC.

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History Weekend at the SF Mint ~ Sunday, March 04, 2018

Representing the Bernal Heights History Project (http://www.bernalhistoryproject.org), my dad set up this layout to illustrate the history of the Bernal Cut. It contains contributions from both Wini and Nathan! 

At the history weekend we also learned about a completely vanished neighborhood called Irish Hill, saw an Ohlone American Indian greeting ceremony, and the preserved head of the famous bandit Joaquin Murieta (a replica... I think!)

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Rainbow and Catenary ~ Friday, March 02, 2018

A nice combination of natural and man-made aesthetics!

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Vintage Cable Car Pictures from the San Carlos Depot Cafe ~ Monday, February 19, 2018

We are very sad that the Depot Cafe in the San Carlos station has gone out of business. They had good breakfasts, and it was a convenient place to get a coffee to go before getting on CalTrain.

The station area is being built up with new housing, generally a good thing around here, but meanwhile all the most convenient parking has become a construction site, and the fact that it's difficult to actually get to the cafe took away a big chunk of their patronage. 

The place was full of train pictures and they had a silent auction to sell them off, where I just picked up this set of 4 cable car pictures,  which they told me were out of an "Americana Calendar" from 1954. Also a RR pin from Hawai'i, and a T-shirt from the construction project that built the elevated tracks through San Carlos and Belmont. 

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Typewriter ~ Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I can never pass by a pile of junk with a "free" sign without looking. Today I came across a real find--a Smith-Corona manual typewriter.

It works!

Nate decided to use it for his homework.

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Halloween ~ Wednesday, November 08, 2017

We built a maze in our yard again this year (for last time see: http://nkncat.blogspot.com/2015/11/halloween-2015.html).  Wini and her friends hid in it to scare older kids and guide younger ones through. 

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Megapumpkins ~ Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Most people in the Bay Area have heard of the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin festival, but to use an old saw, nobody goes there because it's way too crowded.

Another public pumpkin event happens a little earlier, the Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off. It's every year on Columbus Day, which isn't generally a holiday in California, but this year the Redwood City Schools took it off, so Nate and I went.

In today's news I see that the winner came from Washington State, and weighed 2,363 lbs, a new American Record. We are not the only country to hold this event, and this year's European championship went to a Belgian with a 1008 Kg pumpkin--pretty close, but 1008 Kg = 2222.26 lbs so we're still ahead. USA! USA! The European Pumpkin Festival does look pretty cool, though--check out the pumpkin boats.

Years ago I made an N Scale pumpkin patch, with a giant in the back of a truck:

Now it turns out I have a belated prototype.

I asked this guy if he was going to make a pie, and he said "lots of them!"

Down the coast, we passed the site of the ghost town of Purisima. Nothing remains of it except a cemetery, which before was always overgrown to the point of impassibility, but someone has cleared the underbrush.

A little farther is Arata Pumpkin Farm, where we navigated a hay-bale maze, twice. It's impressive. I wanted to put the theory to the test that a maze can be navigated by picking a direction to turn, left or right, and sticking to it consistently, but Nate found this strategy boring so we just wing'ed it (Note: if you want to try my theoretical approach, you need to make sure you are touching an outside wall when you start--if you decide to use it after wandering a maze randomly for a while, you might conceivably get stuck in a loop. Also don't try this in a maze with tunnels or bridges--it only applies to a strictly 2d maze).

I took this picture from the hill where we parked, and occasionally thought of using it as a map, but that would be cheating :)

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Blue Angels and Nosferatu ~ Monday, October 09, 2017

Saturday we took Wini to her job at the Chabot Museum, and the East Bay Hills gave us a great place to watch the Blue Angels perform their Fleet Week air show.

Later we went to an art show by an old friend at a gallery/wine-bar on Jack London Square, and they flew right over us!

Saturday Night Nate and I went to see Nosferatu at the Niles Silent Film Museum. It's 95 years old but still a good show. Keaton's The Haunted House was shown first, also an old favorite.

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