It Got Me……..Again

After I had the original COVID over a year ago and have had 3 shots I figured I was pretty safe and the new version would stay away. As COVID faded from the headlines and we drop our guard a bit the new versions shows up. I never got the 4th shot as had some reaction with another medication I was taking and decided to pass on it.

COVID BA 5 is highly contagious so stayed away from people but decided I had enough of the mask. I have no idea where but came down with the latest version about 2 weeks ago, Very sore throat first 4 days then just dry cough and fever followed. It never seems to effect your breathing like the first one did but stayed in the upper part of your cheat and. throat area. It does seem to use most of your energy fighting it off so will end up sleeping a lot. Sometimes had a burning sensation so mouthwash, honey and soup was the normal for the last 12 days. It looks like it has run its course as fee pretty good today.

Friends in the area, relatives many miles away and others in the area have all tested positive and came down with the virus. Checking with some of them they all have had various symptoms so it all depends on your age and health condition. I am 79 and don’t have any serious health issues so it was more like having the flu. Take care because it is out there.

Not being able to go for about a week does allow you do catch up on many things you have neglected and catch up on sleep. I guess COVID will be with us for a long time and we will just have to adjust our lifestyle to live with it.

Summer is quickly flying but so hope to feel back to normal soon and go back to the US and travel before winter shows up. It seems short as it never showed up till June and already August. Being sick also makes you realize your travel days may becoming to end in the next couple years as your health can change very quickly. I worry about parts on my car which is only 12 years old and then remember the parts on me are over 79 years old. The body is an amazing machine. I will update this blog when I am off on one of my train chasing trips.

Take care and be safe.

Gremlins Come Calling……..Again

Woke up at 5:30 and if I was going to catch AMTRAK 48 Lakeshore Limited I better get going. Looked outside and it was pouring rain but was scheduled to quit around 8 am. Decided to go to North East Museum as the station has a large overhang and I could hide under it. Checked the AMTRAK location map and saw No 48 was running about 3 hours late and also noticed No 30 was 6 hours late. I figured I never caught 30 as it ran in the middle of the night. Great I can catch 2 AMTRAK trains, first time in Erie but have caught 2 in Elkhart and in Toledo.

After a pit stop in Erie headed to my spot and waited to catch them and hopefully get some drone shots. Track work east of Erie has created track blocks so not very busy.

Got out the cameras and realized I left the power pack for the video camera at the motel. I had batteries but they do not hold a full charge any more but had the charger so was frantically cherging them. Caught a couple of CSX and NS while waiting. After about two hours a AMTRAK train showed up which I thought was No 30 it was ahead of No 48. Managed to get the drone up as well as regular video and a number of photos. After waiting another hour and nothing showing I was playing with my phone and noticed there was open WiFi signal to my amazement so checked to see where the other AMTRAK was. Well blow me down No 30 does not go through Erie but heads south at Cleveland. All the times I have been in hat location never knew there was an open WiFi conection. Could have saved my self a lot of time if I did.

Headed back to motel to pick up the power pack and headed back to Erie. Stopped at the small park in Erie next to the tracks and now realized I left my phone at the motel. I had to laugh at my dumb moves. I had my back up phone so no big deal and have no service anyway but could make calls using Skype.

Headed to North East Museum and spend an hour they flying the drone over most of their equipment. Plan to do as short video for them. Off to Bort Road again to get the shot I missed but as NS trains I saw were heading East and I need one heading west.

I caught a number of trains but not real happy with the results but can salvage some of it. I will try again tomorrow and check out the GE plant to see if anything happening there.

Glad that storm went south of us but more severe weather on its way.

Take care.

The Lord Gives The Devil Takes It Away

After a couple of delays I finally headed back to the USA to do some relaxation and some train chasing. It has been a day of highs and lows with it seems one canceling out the other as they happen.

Everything packed and off I went and had planned to enter Hwy 401 at Mill Street which is the shortest route from my place. I should have known that everything was going too smooth. I get there and the ramp is closed so I have to turn around and drive to Hwy 59 through morning rush hour traffic.

Get on the 401 and off I go only to find the cruise control is not working. Not a major issue as the electronics on my HHR have been having a nervous breakdown for a while. First the horn only started blowing at about half its normal level. Then when I started it I got the little bells even before I went anywhere and the display shows door ajar even though it is a door. Then the dome lights started staying on and I had to remove the bulbs so not to drain the battery. Oh and of course the radio does not work. I know I should buy a new car but everything else is fine so buying a different one I would have to start all over and this one is fun to drive and gets over 40 mpg.:-)

Okay back to my day. I arrive at the border and took about 15 minutes but only because they were having computer problems so he only asked for my passport and said I was good to go. Then I headed for what I thought was a easy trip west to the spots I had decided to visit on the way. Somehow I missed the turn off and was headed south through Buffalo and not west. Had to exit and then get on Hwy 20.

Then it seemed a nighmare of wrong turns and wasted about 90 minutes before I arrived at the Westfield Railway Park. Here is where I wanted to get a shot with the drone but after waiting 90 minutes gave up as NS only runs about 6 trains a day and missed 3 CSX trains on the other track. Sure enough as soon as I left one came through with two BNSF pumpkins and a huge intermodal train. Lucky for me he was meeting another train at Ripley so I manged to get ahead of him and launch the drone. Got him, a CSX garbage train and a eastbound NS at that location which made up for the screw ups.

Then onto Bort Road at North East PA to catch a NS train with the drone on the large curve. One of the items on my list of to do things. After a number of CSX trains a NS finally showed up heading west. Launched the drone got it in place and figured I got a great shot.

A CSX train also showed up so had both trains in the drone video. To my horror when I checked the drone to move it I saw it was not in record mode. Talk about blue air. 🙂

It was around 4:00 and after getting up at 5:30 figured time to head to the motel. I knew I90 went right by it and I could see I90 from where I was at Bort Rd. I figured I was pretty smart so off I went as I knew the Motel was off Perry Street. Sure enough there was no Perry St exit so I blew right by it and had to do another turn around but got to it with no problem. It was State St that I needed to exit.

So it was an interesting day of hits and misses but I have learned if you miss one train there is always another behind it.

Hope to catch the AMTRAK Lakeshore Limited in Erie but will have to get up early as it arrives at 7:15 am.

Wish me luck.

On The Road Again

Off to the US tomorrow to visit the railway museum in North East PA plus do some railfanning in Erie. Hopefully crossing the border and coming back will be as easy as my last trip but still a little apprehensive ever time I cross. Going to the US is pretty easy, it is the coming back that is dumb, having to tell them when and where I am coming back and fill in the TravelCAN app each time. Of course when you figure who is running this country I am surprised he has not placed soldiers at the border.

My back is still acting up but I doubt it will get any better so am going while I still can. Looking forward to just getting away and finding a quiet place and put out the lawn chair and sit and relax. I really am getting to stay clear of people as they all seem to want to talk about nothing or even though you may be doing video can’t seem to quit talking. That is why I usually do my railfanning where there are no people.

Weather looks great with temp in the 25 to 30C range and only a few chance of some thunder storms. I will just hang out at the Museum in North East as they has a wide overhang on the station.

I plan on getting some drone shots at the NS trestle at Westfield NY and the one just west of Ripley NY that you can even see from the road but the drone should be able to fly over the trees and get a shot. A couple other places looking forward to getting a birds eye view.

Getting to be time for bed as 6 am comes early.

They Seem To Go Together.

It seems car repairs and trips to the US go together as it seems I am usually am getting something fixed before I head to the US. Maybe it is I keep putting off minor repairs until I am ready to head South.

This trip a new one can be added as not only is my car getting older and needs fixing but I am getting older and need fixing. I injured my back about 14 years ago when I fell off a ladder and broke my heel. I did it again about 4 years ago running for a train and slipped and fell in the winter on ground that felt like cement. It is now getting back at me with pains in my legs and lower back so better go while I can.

Plan is to head to Erie tomorrow and stay till next Wednesday. Only one day with possible showers so weather looks good. Stop at a couple of places on the way including the railway museum at North East PA. Nice Motel 6 I have stayed in before for $80 Canadian per night and have a free night with so only have to pay for four nights. Gas in the area around $4.90 per gallon so still cheaper than here. Also plan to fill up on the reserve as I pass through as selling for $4.50.

Looking forward to just getting away and not worried about railfanning in Erie. If I was I would stay at home but can’t live your live with what if something is going to happen.

North East PA museum has a new addition of one of the GE test units that was used at the plant in Erie so looking forward to seeing it. Plan to take the drone and hope to get some action at the trestle at Westfield and Ripley New York as well at the museum. Have to get up early as AMTRAK Lakeshore come through around 7:18 in Erie but is usually late. Be good to see some NS & CSX power instead of all the red CN & CP we see here.

Just waiting for the car to be ready as nothing serious I hope just a rattle of some sort in the left front. Hopefully that is all it is. 🙂

I will update my blog from the US.

Take care.

I Am Kind Of Glad I Am Old


I remember getting my first bike and all the freedom it gave to explore new things.

I remember playing Cowboys and Indians and think I died the best when shot.

I remember riding 3 miles from home when I was 10 to the railyards in the west end of Hamilton.

I remember riding to my friends houses sometimes miles away in sunshine or rain to sit and actually talk to each other.

I remember riding to school everyday even in winter and did not even mind.

I remember playing hockey on a open pond till it was so dark we could not see the puck anymore.

I remember walking from our homes to James Street in Hamilton over 3 miles away and laughing and joking all the way when we were barely teenagers.

I remember drinking from water fountains on street corners and going to Stoney Creek Dairy in my 53 Ford to get grape milkshakes.

I remember making fun of our nationality and calling each other names we would be called racists is we used now.

I remember my first love and how I was heartbroken when we moved away.

I remember the rule be home when the street lights come on or else.

I remember climbing the Red Hill Creek escarpment and could not get down and had to call the police to get us down.

I remember playing in the railyards and being brought home by the railroad police many times.

I remember so many happy and carefree times we had and most were in our early year was before we were 14.

I remember growing up in a time when being a kid was a amazing time of discovery, friends and just having fun.

Now not sure what memories kids will have now? School shootings, being picked up and taken to school by yours parents, growing up in a home where family times and dinner don’t exist. Where parents and kids don’t talk and they isolate themselves in their rooms with the cell phone from hell. Where respect for others and yourself has left and depression is way too many of their only friend.

I could go on but feel sorry for those growing up in a world more divided than it every was and WOKE and minorities now make decisions for the majority.

Everything is now a phobia or racists something. Being able to actually have a discussion without have insults and accusation hurled at you are a thing of the past.

So I don’t mind being old at all as the good old days really were the “good old days”

The New Order Sucks

The world I grew up in and loved has gone and will never be back as the WOKE has programmed the youth of today with a new set of values that is destroying the world.

The days of joking with your buddies and harmless name calling has now been turned into everything is a racist or phobia comment. The children of today are so protected they can’t even be kids. Falling off my bike, cutting my knee climbing a tree or just having fun all seem to be harmful and not allowed. Children are growing up afraid of the world they live in which is so wrong.

We had the Korean War, Vietnam and the Cold War and survived without being wrapped in bubble wrap. Yes we may have lost a few but the other 99.9% had to have a childhood and experience the good and the bad which made us all stronger.

This new world had done nothing but divide the world and now has more and genders I never heard of and the alphabet is running out of letters to describe them. Critical Race Theory where being white is a crime. Force feeding us on minorities rights and suppressing free speech to the point we no longer say anything for fear of being called racist. How can that be good? Discussion and listening to others points of view without insulting them or threatening them with harm is how we all grow and learn to live with each other.

Everybody is now walking around with their hand out instead of contributing to society as left wing governments try to control us by making us dependent on them. Money for staying at home instead of contributing to society. Believing that everybody is good and letting murderers and criminals free as everybody deserves a second, third and fourth chance. Shutting down the fossil fuel industry way too soon before we have a reliable alternative driving the price of everything up.

What has this new WOKE society got us?

Increased crime, high prices for everything, inflation, high debt and a economy that is stuck or going backward. A society that hates everything and feels they have the right to destroy history even though they can’t see they are creating it and it is something that will be remember as a dark time if we every come out of it.

It is time to start treating everybody as an individual, become part of society and not stay stuck in religious and old ways that preaches hate and separation.

I am glad I am in my late years and will not be around when the revolution comes and we fight back. You can see it now parents becoming active and fighting crooked teacher unions. Politicians and mayors getting kicked out because of their backward woke thinking. The tide is turning I just hope it is not too late for our children who will be saddled with an huge deficit that they will have to carry.

Lord help us all before the world destroys itself.

I Am Beginning To Think I Should Not Go

After over two years of COVID restrictions I made plans to go to the US to chase some trains.

Took the car in a few noises I had neglected need to be looked at before I went. New front brakes and rotors, some suspension parts. I wanted to put new tires on the front and rotate the old one to that back. I had one new one at home that was replaced under warranty so would buy one new one and come back and have that work down. $1200

Arrived a couple days later back at CTC with the new tire I had at home so they could install it and I would buy one new one. Also the front end needed alignment as it was a bit out after new suspension parts. Left and went for coffee an in about an hour they told me the tire I brought in as not the same as what was on the car. After some anxious moments they agreed to credit the new tire I brought in and install two new ones. The noise was still there and hoped new tires and alignment it would go away. I even took the mechanic for a ride and he could hear it but it was faint and said for me not to worry. $380

Next day Sunday I headed to St Thomas and on the way back it got a lot noisier and had planned to leave for the US Monday morning but could not as would not be comfortable with that noise.. Back to CTC 8 am Monday morning after some more waiting the mechanic could now hear the noise and figured it was in the right side drive shaft and bearing. Good they found now get it fixed and headed out Tuesday morning.

That was not to happen as due to parts shortages they had to order the drive shaft and it would not be here till Tuesday or Wednesday. What else can go wrong. Sunny days and temps of 20C were waiting but I could not get there. Nothing I could do but wait. Figured head out Thursday.

Checked long range forecast for Thursday in Bellevue and now 5 out of 8 days would be rain starting Thursday. If I could have left Monday would had three great days. I was now deciding to cancel the trip and wait for better weather. Already had to change motel and insurance dates once and looked like might have to do it again. Checked forecast again this morning and only two of 8 have rain so still going to go.

I just have to hope the part comes in tomorrow and they can get it installed Wednesday. $????

Never though it would be so hard to plan a simple trip to Ohio.

Wish me luck. I will let you know if my luck has changed for the better or this frustrating steak continues.

Best Laid Plans Of Men & Mice

No matter how careful we make our plans to do something it seems things out of our control get in the way.

Made my plans to go back to the US for the first tme in over two years and carefully went over my checklist. Car serviced, motel booked, travel insurance up to date and road side assistance purchased. Figured I had everything covered but the grelims had other plans.

Had a small noise in the front end but was told nothing to worry about so figured good to go. Headed to St Thomas yesterday to chase OSR and that noise that was nothing got louder so cancelled my travel plans as would never be comfortable going to the US with the thought something was going to go wrong.

Headed back to CTC and they took it in right away to see what the problem was. Hopefully they can find it and I can head out tomorrow morning feeling safe. Nothing worse than having a breakdown in the middle of nowhere or on a Interstate highway. I don’t blame the mechanic as it is a noise that comes and goes in intensity so hard to find.

Rain was forecast for the Bellevue area today anyway so leaving one day late not a real problem but more of a inconvenience.

Keep tuned as my trip gets under way and it head to adeventures unknown.

I Need To Buy A Horse

In rural Southern Ontario a car is not a luxury but a requirement as no bus service and taxis are very expensive.

I have been lucky as I mandated no repairs while COVID was raging as was not going too far so not much wear and tear. Off to the US next week for the first time in over two years so figured time to get everything checked, fixed and good to go.

Took it in last week for new front brakes and rotors and some front end parts and knew I would also need a couple of new tires. $1200 and the brakes and front end work done. Last time I was in the US and had new tires on the front hit a pothole swerving to miss a car that came onto my side and damaged the front right tire. Got it fixed in Fostoria but had to pay for the new tire. Continental has a good warranty and when I got back to Canada CTC could not refund my money but did give me a brand new replacement tire no charge. Well time to use it so only had to buy one new one. This morning having it and another put on the front and the front ones moved to the back. Front end alignment as I did not have it done when the new parts were put in as knew I would be installing new tires.

Also have a small noise in the front end now that may be because of the front end parts and not being aligned. Hopefully once new tires on and alignment done it will be gone as do not feel safe driving it with the sound. Figure about $500 this morning as the new tire is about $170.

Plan on leaving Monday the 11th and stay down till the following Monday. I have registered with TravelCAN and have my vaccine proof and passport all up to date. Motel booked and travel insurance purchased. Going there a breeze as just have to show passport and proof of vaccination. Coming back to my own country a little tougher as have to register 72 hours in advance of coming back with TravelCAN telling them when and where I will be crossing into Canada and then again when I get home. Pretty dumb but what do you expect from the people uninformed voters elect in Canada.

Weather looking good with sunshine and warm temps. Getting excited and looking forward to getting back on the road. You never know when your health will change so do things now while you can.

I will keep you updated on my travels to Ohio next week.