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Diversions, distractions and other entertainments for our passengers as they ride on the NRR. Looking beyond the track ahead and/or outside our core routes.

Make ya lonesome, now

The Blues is a product of a distinctly American culture. Its peak and decline parallels American passenger railroading. The peaks left us with a wealth of blues songs about the rails. Since riding the railroad is something that our parents and grandparents did, the blues tunes are charged with a personal melancholy that puts the past right into your heart.

Here’s maybe my favorite of all:

Worth a Thousand Words

First dog straining at leash held by Obama


The Franklin Method of Self-Improvement

It’s been a long time since I read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. But I seem to have embraced some of his wisdom anyway. I have become an almost-compulsive tracker of my own activities. I log all my food and exercise, I keep a sort of time sheet to make sure I spend my hours in ways that keep me moving forward, I have a periodic journal of thoughts, and this blog is a record of my view of worldly events.

Franklin had perhaps even more interests than I do, but he kept his focus on essential virtues:

As such, he himself attempted to always live by this code and developed charts with which he charted his progress from day to day, to make sure that he was constantly improving towards this end.

He would start with one of the virtues and plot his progress on the chart until he mastered that virtue; then moving on to the next; and so on until he mastered them all. He ordered them specifically as shown below, as some of them naturally lend towards others. Thus by sticking to this order, he felt it made it easier to achieve the whole.

This code is as follows:

I Wanted to Like It, Too

Facebook posting with 666 likes

Also, respect to the men of Operation Overlord; and to the men at the Battle of Midway, who turned the tide against Imperial Japan a mere six months after Pearl Harbor. And don’t forget the last major battle of the Pacific in WWII, Okinawa.

Thanks to them, I am free to rock on 6/6 six decades later.

Somebody Got to Make Some Sacrifice

Lone man halts column of tanks -- Tiananmen Square 1989

Servitude is in the mind of death and life
Don't be confused with the terms of left and right
Statism is Statism by any name the same
Apathy is suicide and we won't bear the Blame.

Today is Tank Man’s anniversary. Stand up for yourself.

Quote from Tekno Jihad by Psykosonik.

Can She Handle It?

It’s 1949, and what’s a well-dressed lady going to drive?

1949 Nash Airflyte Ad -- Long Hood

The daring ones drive a Nash Airflyte:

Its aerodynamic body shape was developed in a wind tunnel. Nils Wahlberg's theories on reducing an automobile body's drag coefficient resulted in a smooth shape and enclosed front fenders. The "cutting-edge aerodynamics" was the most "alarming" all-new postwar design in the industry.



When the sound stages and backlots of Hollywood were not enough to tell their stories, movie producers found they could simulate most of the world somewhere in southern California:

Map of scenic substitute locations in California

This map, found on the site Strange Maps, is from 1927:


Buy Your Own Damn Fries!

Fun clips from the current President reading from his own book, Dreams from My Father:

Ignorant like you: [swf file="OBAMA_IGNORANT.mp3"]

B.O. ain’t your bitch: [swf file="OBAMA_FRIES.mp3"]

Over his head: [swf file="OBAMA_COMPLICATED.mp3"]

He’s got your number: [swf file="OBAMA_NUMBER.mp3"]

Got nothin’ on Barry: [swf file="OBAMA_THAT_GUY.mp3"]

These are almost certainly the best parts, but if you really want to be sure, the paperback version of Dreams is going for 18¢ in the marketplace. Yes, that’s change…

Via: April Winchell


Get a Helmet

Dr. Lastname, a psychiatrist blogger, wants you to know that life is hard:

I know, you’ve got lots of feelings about what you can’t change and you’d prefer to ask why rather than accept what you consider as defeat. But here’s the advice that I think can be most helpful: fuck that shit. You’re never defeated if what’s stopping you is reality.  Defeat is wasting your time complaining about what you can’t change or trying to control it when you know you can’t. Defeat is being an idiot about not giving up on your wishes. Victory is putting up with the pain and humiliation of reality and trying to make things better anyway.

Hitler is not Amused by Your Cat

I have watched only a handful of the “Downfall” Hitler parodies posted to YouTube. They were all funny. But if you are not familiar this internet meme, it may be too late for you:

…over a hundred parody videos on YouTube of a climactic scene from the 2004 movie, "Downfall," in which Hitler displays a frightening tantrum in the presence of his officers. YouTube posters have taken to pasting humorous subtitles over the action.

No one is smiling at Constantin Film Production, which distributes the original "Downfall." It has called on YouTube to remove many of the videos because of a copyright claim.

Basement Switchmaster

Model Train Layout from 1929

The first comment to this photo from the Shorpy Historic Photo Archive:

I can only wonder what Mr.Swartzell would have thought if he was told his model railroad would be admired by thousands of people all over the world in the next century.

Yes, indeed.

As is often the case with Shorpy photos, the subject is not the only interesting element in the photo.

I love the dogs barking at the wagon team at the bottom of the shot. God lives in detail like that.

How Rockwell Reduced Sinusoidal Repleneration

Here’s a fellow from Rockwell Industries who probably went on to join the Car Talk staff:

According to the folks at Maggie’s Farm, this was an off-the-cuff bit to test the sound levels before they shot the real video.

Week-end Getaway

You meet the silent type
On a windy trail
With a shiny cloak and an unseen silver dagger
You can talk ’til you ache
Give yourself one more break
You can tell by the look on his face that it just doesn’t matter

This is the naked truth
This is the light
There’s only one place left to go

Not What You’re Thinking

Bring back Constitution bumper sticker

(please click image—nothing bad will should happen)



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