Strange times as of late, but that's nothing new, is it?
I haven't done much worthy of a big-long post that I usually do. No trips planned, just trips I hope to take at some point. Hoping to get to the LS&I this year to catch the greens before they're removed from service, want to head east and visit West Virginia then meander a little farther to find some of the last PRR Position Lights, try to fit a steam engine in there somewhere... Mostly these days I'm just on the prowl for more IC deathstars and other notable things on the CN. In the past week or so, I've seen a half dozen deathstars, three barns, some Canadian cabs, a BCOL Dash 9WL, a GTW grey ghost/zebra, and some other odds and ends here and there. Some have been perfect for photos, others not so much.
Here's something completely different though: I bought a numberboard last month.
This board came from Milwaukee Road SD40-2 #207, blt 5/1974 as part of EMD order 73687 [frame 73687-26]. It was in service with the Milwaukee until 1985 when the company dissolved into Soo Line, where it endured a brief service career until going to HLCX and renumbered 6368. In 1991, the engine went to the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern, and retained its HLCX number. It was named the "City of Claremont" under its cab numbers after it was repainted to the DME colours in 1992. The last photo of DME 6368 is from 2016 in St. Paul, which doesn't bode well for it. I've no idea if it's still around or not, though I feel it's likely to be have been scrapped or put into a deadline somewhere sadly. If anyone knows its whereabouts - or lack thereof - I would love to know.
At any rate, I managed to snag this from Ebay by luck. I have terrible luck with ebay auctions, but this one went my way and it arrived at my door a week later. Right now, it's sitting behind my DDJ-1000 as I don't have a proper place to mount it, but that'll come in time. It's nice to finally own something that was a piece of the Milwaukee, and especially a number that holds some significance to me. So, with that, I've a numberboard and a horn... gonna need a bit more before I can make anything out of that...
Speaking of locomotive whereabouts, where is IC1000 these days? Last reports had it in Paducah and running a Paducah-Decatur train, but nobody has sighted it since. It's probably trapped in local purgatory again, but I'm curious anyway. I want to snag some more photos of my favourite smileyface deathstar one of these days.
Aaand on the topic of deathstars, well, I would be remiss to ignore my recent sighting:
IC1024/IC1003 were handling A408 and awaiting a new crew as A407 entered the yard, led by IC1021/IC1038/IC1001. My timing could not have been any better - I was just on lunch from work and I happened to spot A408's pair so I popped over to grab a couple photos, then I turn around and see a triplet that had been reported in Effingham some 4 hours earlier. It just couldn't have gone any better. Five deathstars in one shot - that's my new record! Better yet, the timing worked out so that A408 departed shortly after A407 passed, so I was able to snag a solid shot of it departing, too.
I've caught a few trains during my lunch hour and shortly after leaving work lately which has been nice. I haven't had a proper chase in ages, but I did say fuck it and chased A407 north despite the sun not being in the ideal place for that. It ended up working out alright.
Experimenting with different settings and ideas. Trying to come up with unique shots on a nearly arrow-straight north-south line is no easy feat. I'd like to shoot some deathstars at the Gilman coaling towers one of these days, that'd make for a good shot I think. I'm just pining for anything interesting these days.
In other news, I've started fiddling with a store option for the site lately. I've got a fair few choices for items if I go with the system I've currently got partially integrated (which is a no brainer, of course I'm using Printful). Definitely planning on prints, but also thinking of alternatives. Framed prints are an option, as is canvas. Maybe those as well?
There's also the matter of picking what photos go into the store. The gallery sections have lots of shots, but some are not as worthy as others. I want only the best of my shots to be available in a store - I wouldn't feel right selling a photo that I don't actually like much or others don't like that much. I've got six loaded into my test page right now - or at least partially loaded - which include Grandeur at Granger, Concord Dawn, Behind The Wheel, The Great BCOL Swindle, Paducah Power, and Thunder. My way of choosing what photos is based on both what I like and also what gets the best reception on my Flickr and Instagram pages. Those shots are all some of my favourites and also my most-favourited photos on Flickr, so they're no-brainers.
Right now, I'm planning on adding The Way Life Used To Be / This Fleeting Feeling, Watch The Smoke Rise, Deathstars at Dusk, White Flag, and possibly Smile For The Camera. I think Broken Pieces will end up in there, and I'm considering both Barrel Down and As It Is When It Was as candidates as well. Possibly Under The Neon, maybe Heat Of The Moment? I want to get one of the 261 in there as well, but not sure which to go for. I'll have to go through my photos from those trips and maybe rework a shot or two - I get the feeling Paradise Alley or Up In Smoke will be candidates there, maybe Meet & Great. I'm sure I could pick another shot or two from the Great Race To Ogden to go with, too.
Given that list of photos - all of which are this site, my Flickr, or my Instagram - I'm curious if there are other photos that anyone else thinks might be worth putting on a storefront for prints. It takes a bit of config work to set up each photo in the storefront, so I'd rather spend my time on that only on shots that are actually worth putting up, so not all will go in. Still, if you have a thought about that... let me know. I'm still very early in re-developing an unfinished system, but that might go out sometime this year, possibly. There's a lot of other work to do with that before I get anywhere near making that public.
Oh, and before I forget again, I got my first shot for the Covid vaccine yesterday. So that's exciting, a little closer to normalcy, perhaps. In a month and a half, I should be immune to it which will be fantastic.
Anyway, that's enough rambling from me for one day, so that's all I've got for now. Until next time,
Hello, my name is SM, and this is where I write.
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