Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Hermit Crabs ~ Monday, December 31, 2018

On Christmas we went to the beach at San Pedro to inspect tide pools during a super-low tide. There were lots of hermit crabs.

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Hi-Rail Drives Off ~ Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I've seen Hi-Rail trucks on the tracks and on the road before, but this is the first time I've watched one make the transition.

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Light Rail in the Fog ~ Tuesday, December 11, 2018

There was a thick fog this morning, which made this rural-looking stretch of the VTA line in Mountain View quite atmospheric.

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Trespasser Incident and Tamales ~ Wednesday, December 05, 2018

CalTrain had an "incident" tonight.

I biked from Palo Alto, but it started getting dark so I decided to take a bus the last bit.

I stopped to wait for the ECR at a stop that happened to be in front of a new Mexican restaurant. Good tamales!

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Engineer's Sketchbook from Project Gutenberg ~

This Book, full of sketches of elements from the mechanical engineering of 1902, just came up on Project Gutenberg.

There are lots of bits and pieces of interest to fans of railways, trolleys/trams, and cable cars here. Here's some samples:

Fig. 220. "Plan of four-wheel car, with swivelling gear for curves.", is reminiscent to the Brill Radiax truck (here is Brill's patent), as used in the Muni Type J cars (aka, "E-Line Dinkies").

I have never seen, but would be interested to, a clear view of one of these cars on a tight curve and taking advantage of this unique truck design.

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Buongiorno! ~ Tuesday, December 04, 2018

I've never seen an AdWrap for an entire country before.

Also note: that's not smoke; it's good old Bay Area fog. Whew!

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Toys for Tots Train ~ Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It will be rolling this weekend.  Here's the schedule: http://www.caltrain.com/about/MediaRelations/news/Holiday_Train_Toy_Drive_Marks_Season_of_Giving.html

Saturday's stop in RWC ties in nicely with Hometown Holidays: https://www.hometownholidays.org

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Calling all Laurel and Hardy Fans! ~ Monday, November 26, 2018

If it's possible to die of laughter, this weekend might do it.

The SF Silent Film Festival will be showing a Day of Silents this Saturday, Dec 1st, at the Castro Theatre starting of with trio of silent L&H films, with live accompaniment. If you want to go, ordering tickets in advance is recommended.

Meanwhile, the Stanford Theatre is showing some of their feature-length talkies, including Sons of the Desert, which I take to be one of their best films considering that the International Laurel & Hardy Appreciation Society took this as their club name!

If you want more, on Sunday Afternoon Dec 9th the Niles Film Museum will be showing L&H's Babes in Toyland, and on Saturday Dec 15th their Comedy Shorts Night will end with Big Business.


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Old and New ~ Thursday, November 22, 2018

Nate and I visited the Exploration and grandparents last Monday, and got to ride some of Muni's new Siemens LRV's for the first time (also Caltrain, BART, and the F-line).


Extra sand on a PCC.

Nate liked this video-game-themed PSA.

This Ben Davis store has been a landmark by the bus stop longer than I can remember, but seems to be out of business. I'll miss that big friendly gorilla!

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Happy Thanksgiving! ~

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Smoke ~ Friday, November 16, 2018

It's been pretty bad out there.

Several Bay Area transit systems are offering free rides today.

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AdWrap de los Muertos ~ Friday, November 02, 2018

My train this morning was, appropriately, a Dia-de-los-Muertos-themed AdWrap. It's just a lottery ad, but still kind of cool.

My ride home had a nice AdWrap from Alaska Airlines.

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Boo ~ Sunday, October 21, 2018

We recycled a "skeleton mad scientist" by removing "science" accessories, dressing him in a thrift store bridal gown, and created a Ghost Bride.

The "boo lights" have been around for years. All-time best garage sale purchase!

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Happy Birthday NASA! ~ Monday, October 01, 2018

60 years old today.

We made a cake!

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Scary Movie ~ Friday, September 28, 2018

Nate and I biked to the movie theater, got our snacks, and took our seats just in time... to see a giant BIOS startup screen, and then Windows loading. Spooky! After a couple of reboot cycles, trailers started rolling and everything was fine from there on out. I had no idea projectors were actually Windows PC's. We never have this kind of problem at the Niles Essenay Silent Film Museum!

Anyway, we saw The House with a Clock in its Walls. We are big fans of the book (and sequels) by John Bellairs. I felt like the movie was reasonably faithful to the book and overall, pretty entertaining.

If you see it, and are a fan of Edward Gorey, stay for the end credits to see some animation that seems to be making an homage to the illustrations he did for the book.

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Picturesque Post with Poppies ~ Thursday, September 27, 2018

Our state flower does quite well in patches of ground where nothing else seems to be able to grow.

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Battleship Potemkin ~ Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Last Thursday, Wini and I and my parents saw it at the Castro.

It's an intense movie, and more or less based on actual events. Here's a contemporary report from the San Francisco Call, via the very nice California Digital Newspaper Collection:

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San Carlos Car Show ~ Saturday, September 08, 2018

There is a vintage car show in San Carlos today. Here's a few vehicles that could fit in on an early twentieth-century trolley layout.

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Lupe the Mammoth ~ Friday, September 07, 2018

I took a scenic route to work. I expected I might see some wildlife on the way, but a Columbian Mammoth was a surprise!

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Big Project Ideas for Bay Area Transportation? Submit to the MTC by Sept 6th ~ Tuesday, September 04, 2018

This has been out since June, but I only just heard about it.

Got some crazy idea? Submit it here.

It has to cost at least $1,000,000,000.

Transbay Catapult, anyone?

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Lizard Season! ~ Sunday, September 02, 2018

They like the warm sun. This little guy is only about an inch and a half long!

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Blue-Tailed Skink ~ Sunday, August 26, 2018

There have been a lot of lizards out lately. Today, at Wunderlich Park, I saw this Western Skink. Their tails are blue when they are young, and then turn pink.

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Cineastic Electrical Box ~ Saturday, August 25, 2018

Cities around the Bay Area have been letting local artists decorate electrical utility boxes.

We found this one in Hayward (on "A" St, across from Lucky, close to BART).

(Click on the images for bigger versions).

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Back at Chabot ~

Today was Wini's last day working at the Chabot Space & Science Museum as a volunteer docent (Galaxy Explorer). It's a program for high school kids, and she's in college now (!). She'll still be participating in the museum's Astronomy Club, and helping out on the first Friday evening of each month, when the museum stays open late (and admission prices are reduced, too).

So Nate & I went to the museum today too, saw a planetarium show with a presentation by the Eastbay Astronomical Society, looked at Venus in a telescope and at the sun via a sunspot viewer, and built things at the Tinker Center, where you can glue stuff together out of old bits of electronics.

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