A Number of Hobbies Interrupted

My friend Nan, Nancy, called a couple days ago asking could I take her to a new PT appointment Monday morning.
She's a fun and interesting person, 70-something widow with MS who was involved with the aerospace industry.
Her late husband was with the FAA and their son and daughter are both in aerospace industries.

Forecast for Monday morning has become the following with percentages having risen to 50 from 30 this morning;

Sunday Night
A chance of rain after midnight, mixing with snow after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northeast wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Veterans Day
A chance of snow and freezing rain before 9am, then a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
I've been to PT at that location for the most recent 2 of the 4 times I've fallen in slick weather and ended up with broken bones, once an elbow, once a foot.
And with Nan having MS and now needing a wheelchair better than half the time she doesn't need to be out in that slickness either.

(once a foot, 'once afoot' sounds like something Sherlock Holmes would say)

Appointment is now rescheduled!
I called PT.
Called Nan.
Called PT again.
Done deal.

Therapist who answered phone was one I've worked with several times for the various reasons I've been to their place through the recent decade and Shelly agreed neither I nor Nan needed to be out in that weather, true, they would be happy to see me again but let's take a pass on any getting more broken bone joints, okay.

I am happy to say this PT clinic actually has a pleasant atmosphere about it and the staff are fun and skilled.
It is as much a social event as medical treatment.
I do like and enjoy them but really don't want to HAVE to go get their services, ya know.

Is interesting that the night before and day of Nan's first appointment with this PT clinic early in the morning is the only precipitation forecast (at this point) for the whole week!
Wonder what the probability math for that is.

From National Weather Service's web page for our burg,

Detailed Forecast

Mostly clear, with a low around 31. South southeast wind 6 to 9 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 60. West southwest wind 7 to 11 mph.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 44. Southwest wind 6 to 9 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 57. Calm wind becoming north northeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday Night
A chance of rain after midnight, mixing with snow after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northeast wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Veterans Day
A chance of snow and freezing rain before 9am, then a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 14.
Sunny, with a high near 27.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 16.
Partly sunny, with a high near 40.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 42.
Thursday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Sunny, with a high near 45.
Well, guess I won't be going to the space station.

NASA grant to study space station fungus
by Jeff Zehnder
Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 03, 2019

The International Space Station has a problem with fungus and mold - and the University of Colorado Boulder is sending new research to space to find solutions.

It is living and growing in secret aboard the station, hidden behind panels and inside pipes and conduit. It can live on almost any surface, and will slowly consume whatever it touches - plastic, metal, glass. It does not discriminate, and it is a real problem.


"They've found cultures of these microbes on the shuttle, Mir, and ISS. Every long-term mission has seen a growth of microbes where you don't want to see them," said Rylee Schauer, an aerospace engineering sciences master's student working on the project.

The microbes are a type of fungus or bacteria called a biofilm. They represent a threat in space because they eat through the surfaces they grow on, a process called biodegredation. Biofilm formation also increases the risk of human illness.

"It shows up behind control panels and has gotten into heat exchangers and pipe systems. On Mir, they once noticed a pretty bad stench. Looking for its source, they pulled off a panel and found a lot of mold. That was the smell, but it was also consuming plastic cabling in that area," said Luis Zea, an assistant research professor in BioServe and the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences who is leading the NASA grant.

And speaking of interrupted hobbies,

Finally this evening felt like doing some on a model railroad building from my part of our club's layout; had wanted to do this last week, or even the week before, but my health got in the way.
Had really wanted to do this last week so as to return building to the layout for our monthly open house yesterday but a nasty nausea-inducing headache occupied most of last week.
Oh well, such is life.

Building is made out of rearranged, "kitbashed", parts of a couple of buildings with additional parts in cardboard, wood, metal, plastic.

The loading dock 'in progress' is balsa wood with planks draw on via mechanical pencil then it was stained with thinned model paints, even inks will work.

What I wanted to make last week was a sign for each end of building. Will be located over a smaller window that kit directed to be installed at that location.
Sign will be made out of styrene plastic sheet and strip then painted and lettered.

The same plastics as used in model kits, styrene and the less common ABS, are available in sheets, strips, bars, rods, tubes, structural shapes, 7 wood, ceramic, metal, brick, textures.

Here's a photo story about the thing.
Those 1978 high school drafting tools still come in handy!

IMG_912450.jpg IMG_912550.jpg IMG_912650.jpg IMG_912750.jpg IMG_912850.jpg IMG_912950.jpg IMG_913050.jpg
The 1980s Flash Gordon movie with its famous soundtrack by Queen came up tonight on the Starship Modeler forum via news about what I guess counts as a documentary about it in general and the actor Sam Jones in particular.

It is one of very, very, few movies I have gone to see.
In the 1980s we didn't know it was autism that was giving me sensory overload at such things and this movie with its comic book comes to life on the big screen style was overload .
But it was SO COOL!

Went to see it with Dad and my brother and they too totally enjoyed it's camp-fest of fun and adventure.

Until a few minutes ago this cassette of Queen's soundtrack is the only one I had.
I don't have a tape player any more except for the one in my 23 year old van and I'm not willing to put this in there.


So, since November's SSD is here, just ordered a CD from Amazon.

I was hoping there would be a sequel so they could use a dialog I had imagined and imagined I would send to them;
"We found where Gordon is hiding."
"Then flush him out."
"But sir ..."
"I Said Flush Flash!!!"

Also threw in a 650+ page railroad book I've been wanting, where a hardcover is being sold by Friends of the San Francisco Library.
It is by a well known and highly respected historian and will have reproduced photos and drawings immediately relevant to my model building.
And Friends of Libraries are worth helping out.
Have acquired some fun and interesting books from sales by our own local Friends of the Library.

American Railroad Freight Car.jpg

I have his book on early US steam locomotives & his 2 volume book on the American Railroad Passenger Car.
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press (October 1, 1993)
That being an establishment which another arm of shows up in CFS/ME things.

Oh, and, "Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds "
Yep, that's my kind of book!

So, November 1 isn't over yet and I've spent all the extra money I can even halfway justify this month!
But, a benefit of the internet age is that the music was available with purchase of the CD to download and play on the computer!
Have it going right now!
I am a very happy camper tonight with the good things which have happened today.
And am looking forward to our Creative Writers Group weekly meeting in the morning.
Just gotta remember to sleep sometime between now and then.
But, no worries, it's a pretty good bet the CFS/ME will ensure that.
Just found out one of the canal boaters I follow on YouTube is autistic like me!
And was likewise diagnosed as an adult after a difficult event following a difficult life to that point.
And I so absolutely totally get what he is saying about stress.

Here are the videos;

09. Autism and Me - Why living on a narrowboat could save my mental health
•May 30, 2018
Some viewers have asked why we moved off our first narrowboat back in 2004. In this video, I try to explain everything, although the title has given it away already! I guess it's also my 'autism coming out' story explaining how Aspergers Syndrome affects me, and Shaun. I recorded it during a walk. I'm sorry if I babble on sometimes!

23. My Top Ten Positives About Having Autism / ASD / Aspergers
•Sep 14, 2018
Following on from my previous Autism 'coming-out' video, I got a lot of messages and questions about how the condition affects me. Quite a few people saw a lot of signs and traits in themselves too.

Although Autism Spectrum Disorders can have many negative effects, this time I want to focus on my top ten positives about having ASD / Aspergers Syndrome / Autism. It's not all bad!
You know that thing about the 1938 War of the Worlds radio show causing widespread panic?

There was no such panic.

That expression "Fake News" which is currently tossed around, while that is of debatable reality the widespread panic reported about the radio show literally and documentably really was fake news, with at least some of it created in the name of competitive marketing.

The Halloween myth of the War of the Worlds panic
By Professor W Joseph Campbell American University, Washington DC
30 October 2011
"Close reading of contemporaneous newspaper reports also reveals the fright that night was highly exaggerated.
Newspapers presented sweeping claims about thousands or even millions of panic-stricken Americans, but offered little supporting documentation.
Most newspapers printed dispatches sent by wire services such as the Associated Press, which extrapolated widespread fear from small numbers of scattered, anecdotal accounts."
See also:
Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio program did not touch off nationwide hysteria. Why does the legend persist?
By Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow
Oct 28, 2013
How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted. In an editorial titled “Terror by Radio,” the New York Times reproached “radio officials” for approving the interweaving of “blood-curdling fiction” with news flashes “offered in exactly the manner that real news would have been given.” Warned Editor and Publisher, the newspaper industry’s trade journal, “The nation as a whole continues to face the danger of incomplete, misunderstood news over a medium which has yet to prove … that it is competent to perform the news job.”
See also:
In the immediate aftermath of the broadcast, analysts in Princeton’s Office of Radio Research, working under the direction of Professor Hadley Cantril, sought to verify a rumour that several people had been treated for shock at St Michael’s Hospital in Newark, NJ after the programme. The rumour was found to be false. In addition, when they surveyed six New York City hospitals in December 1938, they found that “none of them had any record of any cases brought in specifically on account of the broadcast”. A Washington Post claim that a man died of a heart attack brought on by listening to the programme was never verified. Police records for New Jersey did show an increase in calls on the night of the show. However, in the preface to his textbook Introduction to Collective Behaviour, academic David Miller points out that: "Some people called to find out where they could go to donate blood. Some callers were simply angry that such a realistic show was allowed on the air, while others called CBS to congratulate Mercury Theatre for the exciting Halloween programme".

On the evening of October 30, 1938, most people tuning into radio were in fact listening to the highly popular Chase and Sanborn Hour, a comedy variety show hosted by the ventriloquist Edgar Bergin, which was airing at the same time as War of the Worlds on competing radio station, NBC. The radio ratings survey firm CE Hopper Company were, coincidentally, conducting a telephone poll that night of approximately five thousand households. They asked: "To what programme are you listening?” Only two per cent of people said they were listening to The War of the Worlds. In addition, several key CBS affiliate radio stations (including Boston’s WEEI) decided to carry local commercial shows rather than Welles's programme, further shrinking its audience. Frank Stanton, later president of CBS, said that CBS were never censored for The War of the Worlds, admitting: "In the first place, most people didn't hear the show."
Looking with my feline fellows at last night's snow, first of this winter.

Also snowed night before last in town 80 miles north-northeast of here where railroad webcam is at Amtrak station.

With this neurological and endocrine stuff going on I've lost the happy kid with snow attitude, now it is just, cold is pain, winter is a grim endurance test until spring.

Even so, I will say that, to me at least, trains always seem to look good in snow, so there is that about the white and chilly stuff.

And then a train passes by in a cloud of blowing snow raise by its slipstream.
Yes, at 60mph to 70mph trains have slipstreams.


LaPlata Oct 3133.jpg

train blows snow33.jpg
Just got back from a 2 bag trip to there, I'll let the sign speak for itself.
After I say, "Curiouser and curioser, said Alice."

Two articles which are perhaps of interest?

The Long, Knotty, World-Spanning Story of String
String is far more important than the wheel in the pantheon of inventions.
Authored by
Ferris Jabr
March 6, 2018 | 2,500 words, about 13 minutes


The Symbolic Seashell
Collecting seashells is as old as humanity. What we do with them can reveal who we are, where we’re from, and what we believe.
Authored by
Krista Langlois
October 22, 2019 | 3,300 words, about 17 minutes
Be it either in-person or online.

Amtrak has 2 trains a day stop at La Plata, Missouri, about 80 miles from my home. There is a eastbound SWC in morning & westbound in evening. Amtrak's Southwest Chief goes between Chicago and Los Angeles by way of Kansas City, Missouri, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Flagstaff, Arizona, among other stops.
A YouTube channel named Virtual Railfan has web cameras at station at La Plata, which is on BNSF's tracks.
BNSF is result of a 1990s merger between Burlington Northern, itself a result of mergers, and the famous Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe.
YouTube live feed pages offer a chat function and quite a group of regulars shows up on LAP's chat. Some people live in the town, which has a small college nearby. Some like me live in the general region. And people around the US and the world show up to chat, India, Brazil, UK, Germany, Japan, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, are some places I remember people saying they are from.

Unlike this morning, freights on the other main of the 2 track mainline do not normally stop while passenger train is at station.
This morning they overshot the platform a bit and the sleeping car passengers had to go across the street!

And finally, back to watching trains, "railfanning", being a spectator sport, note the one fellow with cup of coffee and the lens of a DSLR visible near his elbow. There is a group of regulars who come to watch the trains. Also is a model railroad club occupying part of the depot building.

As you can deduce from the morning shadows, depot, station, whichever term you prefer, is on north side of the tracks.

Also popular in the chat are the feral cats who come out at night. The trains don't scare them away, they just sit until the trains pass.

There is a building across the tracks which houses a business for train related party supplies which is run by the couple who are also the primary station agents, Bob and Amy. She can be seen on platform as freight starts and passes.

The chat group has a core of regulars who are almost a family by now and last year a member from southern California was riding the SWC from LA to Chicago and planned to layover and visit in La Plata, so of course the So Cal gal arrived right in the middle of the heaviest snow of the season! :woot: And the viewer count for her arrival was a record high in the multiple thousands!

Some of the freights will have notable loads at times. A couple have been high-wide loads of excavation machinery parts, and once an entire subway maintenance train was transported as a load on flatcars. At least once there was a load of wind turbine generator parts.

Is nice on a PC to pause the video, tap the PRT SCR key and save a screen shot for modeling reference.
Quite handy on the YouTube video itself is the now extended "rewind" function which was recently increased from going 4 hours back to going 12 hours back.

There is a fixed camera looking east, one looking west, and at a point just a bit east of the station where a defunct railroad used to cross over the present tracks, a 360 degree camera with moderator controlled pan and zoom.
It does a nice job of setting the scene.

A bit about the station/depot building, https://www.greatamericanstations.com/stations/la-plata-mo-lap/

The La Plata Amtrak station is a restored Art Deco style depot constructed of wood and brick. The original passenger and freight depot, built in 1887, was in need of replacement during World War II, but building materials were not readily available. In 1945, after a fire burned portions of the building, the interior and exterior were remodeled and modernized in the popular Art Deco style. The remodeling actually preserved the original building within the inner and outer layers.

The station declined gradually until 1996, when a coalition of the Friends for La Plata Preservation and the NEMO Model Railroad Club began renovating the building exterior. Through volunteer labor and money from individual donations, this work was completed in 2001; the interior has also been gradually restored.

Funding for the restoration work was obtained through a variety of sources: $2,500 for technical assistance from the Great American Stations Foundation; $41,000 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TEA-21 program, which was administered through the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission and required 25 percent matching funds; $24,250 from the Missouri legislature; and $14,000 in private donations raised by the Friends of La Plata Preservation, including $7,000 from the Surbeck Charitable Trust.

Upkeep of the station is now shared between Amtrak and the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF). ...
For other station interior photos see, http://www.aprhf.com/depot.html

And, finally, a different topic in a different location, i'm going to tell you that this trackwork video is worth 12 minutes of your life: it begins with the workers having a pre-dawn meeting and stretching exercises.

Diamond Replacement - Deshler, OH - Time lapse!
88,176 views • Sep 17, 2018
Yes, the moment you've all been waiting for! Fascinating in real time, but more even memorizing in time-lapse. Amazed at the speed at which this crew worked, great job! Less than 6 hours before the first train runs....

amtk1.jpg amtk2.jpg amtk3.jpg amtk4.jpg amtk5.jpg

Blog information

Blog entries
Last update