Saturday, April 26, 2014

Restore that Station!

Seattle's King Street Station in 1913
Photo: MOHAI Webster and Stevens
  We, my wife and I, were reading the latest magazine from Rails to Trails and found an article about the restoration of train stations around the country.  One of the stations mentioned in that article was King Street Station in Seattle.  And lo and behold in yesterdays Seattle PI was a whole slide show about the restoration.  Very interested 55 Million dollar project done over a long period of time.  We here in Maine lost the two largest stations, Portland and Bangor, for "urban renewal", it wasn't pretty.
This beautiful ceiling had been covered up with tiles, it was restored.
Photo: Seattle PI archive
As it appears today
Photo: Seattle Department of Transportation

Friday, April 25, 2014

1964? Fifty years ago?

A family poses near the Worlds Fair Sphere
Photo: Robt Ondraovic via CNN
  There are times that 1964 doesn't seem that long ago, until I stand up from a sitting position, then it hits me.  It was the year of the New York Worlds Fair, at least one reader, my wife, attended that event.  I spent 1964 in Japan so, of course, there was no Worlds Fair for me, to be honest I think I knew it was there, but I'm not too sure of that.
  I saw a bit on TV about the most popular part of that event, it was the Belgian Waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, they looked good to me!
For more photos:

The Mono-rail was in use too.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fighting snakes with paratrooper mice

A Brown Tree Snake
  The Island of Guam has an ongoing invasion of Brown Tree Snakes.  The snakes are not native to Guam but have taken over the small island, home to important military bases.  The snakes have killed large numbers of native birds.
  The answer may rely on mice and acetaminophen the active ingredient in Tylenol.  2000 mice, which are dead and pumped full of the pain killer, will be dropped using small cardboard parachutes.
Two things which the snakes love, mice and the painkiller, will be theirs for the taking.  They love the taste of the pain killer even though it's poison to them, and it will kill them. 
  Read here for more:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A little Buick that's red

Parked out in Kansas, the 1961 Buick
Photo: Coleen Westerman via The Wichita Eagle
  Colleen Westerman was at a swap meet when she found the item she just couldn't resist - the Buick.  It has low mileage and Mrs. Westerman rebuilt the transmission and aluminum engine herself.  That's right she did the work herself, with a bit of husband and father help.
  The car is all original, even the pull out tissue holder under the dash, it's a factory option.  It's a beautiful little red wagon that anyone could love.
The unpadded dash, the tissue container is seen under the radio
Photo: Coleen Westerman via The Wichita Eagle
These are the original seats and fabric
Photo: Coleen Westerman via The Wichita Eagle

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A big surprise in 1612

  Seven years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock the present day Santa Fe, New Mexico had been established.  A small cluster of European style buildings were erected by Don Pedro de Peralta.  The visitors could have stayed in a hotel and eaten meals in a restaurant.
  Ta da! A surprise that I can bet you never knew.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The misplaced apostrophe and Patriots' Day

A re-enactment of the Battle of Concord - click to enlarge
Photo: Irene Gallo Photobucket
  Today is a holiday in three States, Maine, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.  The apostrophe thing is an added bonus, or not.
  Maine in it's adoption of the Holiday misplaced the apostrophe and celebrates Patriot's Day, the other two states celebrate Patriots' Day.
  So, to be correct in our grammar, Maine celebrates one single Patriot while Massachusetts and Wisconsin celebrate all Patriots.
  The Statute in Maine has never been correction, so we stand alone - in more ways than one.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring is for the birds

North American Woodcock - click to enlarge
Photo: Dave Small Photos by chance
  It is Spring and it's time for the "birds and bees".  Some birds have expressive mating rituals, and some just pair up - kind of like different kinds of people.  the Woodcock is abundant in Maine, when we lived in Medford they were more than plentiful.  Interesting ground birds, they had an elaborate dance when courting, a sort of Partridge like "drumming".
  Some of the quieter birds are waterfowl, ducks and geese, have simpler means of mating, and they often mate for life.  They raise their on land and water depending on what kind of feed they use.
A pair of Hooded Mergansers near the edge of ice. click to enlarge
Photo: Dave Small, Photos by chance

A Mallard pair "snowshoe" - click to enlarge
Photo: Dave Small, Photos by chance