They Found Me Again

Gremlins are out in full force today. I was at home and this bright lite started shining in my window so I quickly got dressed and by the time I drove to Ingersoll it had disappeared. No trains around except OSR so decided to video them from a distance. Turned on the camera and it said error battery could not be used even though it was just charged. Got the spare battery and this time said error restart camera. I quickly did that and it seemed to work but when I tried to turn it off only way I could was remove the battery.
Forgot about and headed to Woodstock. CN 331 was soon due so got set up with the camera and it did the same thing.

Lucky I had started the camera early so had time to restart after a number of errors. If that was not bad enough I got ready to take some still photos and up comes an error saying media full even though I had just formatted it the day before and very few photos on it. It is a 32 GB card so no way it was full. No pictures of CN 331 even though it had CN BCOL lashup.  VIA was right behind and the SLR worked fine this time but again the video camera would not turn off. nagryman

Headed to McDs for coffee and to see if I can figure out the problem. Manual says if error message keeps coming up it needs to be sent in for repair. Wonderful, barley over a year old.

I tried initializing it which resets it to the factory settings but no luck. I did charge both batteries last night so hoping something to do with them.

It seems they were not done with me as the video I though I was getting was nowhere to be found. Even though the record light was on nothing was being recorded.

Some days they seem to happen so often there is nothing I can do and I just laugh as it seems so hilarious it could be a sitcom script.

Gremlin Update Jan 9 2019

So many I had to either laugh or cry.

crying man

  1. Got up after letting an upload run all night and after 9 hours it had an error and had to upload again.
  2. Second try froze with 7 seconds left after 9 hours but after 20 minutes with everything crossed it completed.
  3. ATCS still not working after repeated tries today.
  4.  Headed out about 10:30 and plugged in the scanner, battery died
  5. Replaced battery with back up, it lasted 10 minutes.
  6. Spilled my coffee on me.
  7. Came home spent a hour learning some new software and saved the video but it is corrupt and can’t be played.
  8. OSR arrived and I was going to put the video camera in the window but saw the battery only had minutes left so had to rush to put in the backup.
  9. What next?

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide.

I am now home and the gremlins are working over time, The weather sucks with snow rain wind and just lousy conditions.winterjan5

Just after I got home the ATCS server I run stopped working and I spent about 2 hours trying to figure out why. Nothing I did worked so checked the ATCS Yahoo group and found out the server was offline and would be back up soon. Okay figured a simple reboot and everything would be fine. No way that would happen.atcs

Microsoft decided it was time for another update so took over the computer and I could really not do anything till it was done. I run the ATCS program on an older computer and it works fine but really dose not like windows updates. I fought with it some more but nothing so will have to delete everything and start over. It seems to happen every time Microsoft updates Windows.

I decided to update my Canadian Railway News and edit day two of my Erie trip. It took about 3 hours to do and then another 10 hours to process. Moved everything to my old computer as I can’t process on my new one as the lifetime license I bought only applies to the lifetime of the computer and can’t be moved without spending another $60 for a new license. Left it on and went to bed.

I figured it would all be done this morning but the gremlin fixed that. I was saving to a 33 MB flash drive and it seemed it was short by about 2 MB as it has some other data on it so the program stopped working. Dam now I have to do it all over again. file29

Started the program again and now decided to save to the hard drive instead. Go it all set to go and I moved the keyboard and everything went black. Nothing I could do would bring it back. Rebooted the computer and started over again. It show 11 hours until it is completed. I have the old compute running on WiFi but looks like I need to put it on the network for faster uploads.

Isn’t life grand?

Erie Trip Gremlins and Goblins – Part 4

Day 4 and time to head home. Of course the Sun came out after a cold snow pellet morning but very few train to be found anywhere. I guess the gremlins scared then away. I hung around until 2 pm and only caught 5 trains but what can you do?

Stopped in at the museum at North East PA but nobody around and snow pellets were coming down so headed home.

Stopped at my sisters in Welland for a visit and made it home in time the the last half of the NFL football game.2009 HHR

The weather is always the fly in the ointment as even when nice weather is forecast there is no guarantee it will show up.

I am sure gremlins are waiting to try my patience and nerves when I get home.

There is always the next trip for them to make life interesting 🙂

Erie Trip Gremlins and Goblins – Part 3

Day 3 and a gaggle of Gremlins got up early and as soon as the Sun woke up at about 8 am they dragged a huge gray low hanging misty cloud over the whole area. So much for 3 days of sunshine promised as I have not even had one and same forecast for tomorrow. Another group hid all the trains as very little action on either CXS or NS. Gremlin 1, 2 and 3.

It looked like it might be another rush hour like yesterday and decided to tough it out even with the weather not co-operating. A westbound CSX oil train at 8:42 then a eastbound long container train at 8:46 then the gremlins showed up. Nothing to be seen for over 2 1/2 hours except dull gray skies.

Changed location and caught a wb CSX mixed train at 11:29 while checking up GE but nothing happening there.

Headed to the west part of Erie and caught eb NS container train at 12:50  then another NS with a power move of 5 UP locomotives at 13:04. I knew they were heading to GE so moved to the drop off location and caught some of that move.  While there an wb CSX at 13:44 and a eb at 14:11 form the wrong side of the tracks.

Drove around some more and got gas at $2.33 a gallon so only cost me $26.11 to fill up. I guess the gremlins were sleeping on the job as the Sun pushed its way through the clouds at 15:00 and my spirits picked up so back to my morning spot. More stop lights and a wb long container train went by on CSX that I saw from a distance. Gremlin #4

Before they dragged the cloud cover back I manged a eb CSX mixed freight at 15:20, eb container train at 15:23 and a eb mixed CSX train at 15:36.

By then the clouds were back and it seemed the temp dropped so called it a day and headed to the motel to watch the two NFL playoff games.

I am hoping the weather people are wrong again and sunshine shows up and not the clouds they promised. Plan to head home and stop at the North East Train Museum and maybe Bort Road at the PA/NY border before heading to Welland. If the weather is good will stay a little longer and stay over at my sisters and head home Monday stopping in Hamilton to maybe see my other sister and drop by the CN yard and Bayview.

It could have been worse weather and I have learned to just make the best of it as there is nothing you can do about it.

Hopefully a Gremlin free day and a no hassle border crossing.

Erie Trip Gremlins and Goblins – Part 2

Day two and a new day for the gremlins to invade my life but I guess they had their fill with me and only showed up a couple of times.

Sunshine and warmer temps today for sure and 18 trains even though about 3 hours was spent hanging around the Erie GE plant hoping to catch some new units on the testing track but no luck.

I stated out at 8 am as AMTRAK was running about 40 minutes late so even though fairly dark  decided to try and catch it, I hit almost every light red, about 10 of them and missed it by about 5 minutes. cartoon-germs-21Gremlin #1. Then something I ate yesterday did not agree with me and headed back to the motel for a bit. Gremlin #2.  It was busy and but caught 6 trains even though I missed the AMTRAK at 8:07 but did catch trains at 8:20, 8:29, 8:59, 9:20, 9:32 and 9:50.

I had forgot to take my medications so figured I could take them while at the motel. I also saw that Red Roof offers a free breakfast of your choice at McDonalds which is next door so figured I could also get it. I went to the front desk at Red Roof to get a voucher but found out McDonalds only offered it to 10:30 and it was now 10:55. Gremlin #3

Last night has some legs craps due to maybe standing too much so loaded up on orange juice and bananas today so should be okay tonight,

Back to the trains and caught a NS at 12:52 and a CSX at 12:55. Decided to head back to my favorite place in Erie to spend the rest of the day. It did not disappoint as was busy again. Trains at 13:45, 13:58, 14:11, 14:52, 15:02, 15:38, 15:47, 15:55, 16:25 and 16:30.

Eighteen trains in about 6 hours so happy with the results. At least another half dozen or so I missed.   file94

Tomorrow heading to GE then North East PA again as well as Bort Road and another sunny day promised then catch 2 NFL games starting at 4 pm. Looks like weather changing for Sunday so might head home but planning on a stop at my sisters in Welland. If running late will stay there overnight.

I will still keep my guard up as those nasty gremlins can show up anytime.

Erie Trip Gremlins and Goblins – Part 1

I can’t believe I have not written anything in almost 6 months but my misadventures seem to happen everyday and are not earth shattering so have not shared with you. This trip has had it moments so far for sure.

I was itching to go south as I had not been there since last Sept and it was time to get away. I checked the weather and no snow or anything in the forecast and Sun promised Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday and most of Sunday so booked the motel, bought the insurance and looked forward to a nice trip with lots of Sun and trains.

As I was getting things ready to go last night I heard the snowplow go by and looked out the windows and there was a major snow event going on. I can’t believe those so called weather people could not have forecast this. So much for a nice drive in the morning on dry clean roads. Not much I could do but go anyway and hoped the plow boys had done their job.

Thursday morning awoke at 5:45 and looked outside to see how bad it was. Did not look too bad and I could hear the plow out their cleaning up the 3-4 cms that fell. Headed out the door and headed for the border. Everything went smooth as long as you stayed out of the way of the idiot drivers out there. Made the border by 9 am and had heard the wait was about 15 minutes. I did not know the bridge was under repair and only one lane open each way. To my surprise made it through in about 15 minutes and headed west to Erie. West right into snow streamers off the lake and strong winds. freezing man

First stop was Ripley NY and arrived there at 11 am but not a train in sight. Then after an hour headed to Bort Rd at the NY/PA border. Windy and cold and felt like -10C with off and on snow flurries. Heard K22 an eastbound NS was coming and RTC asked MOW boys to clear. Waited an hour and still nothing on CSX or NS. Headed to North East PA and spotted the MOW trucks parked by the tracks and a green signal.  Another 15 minutes and the NS train finally showed up, a very long intermodal train. First train 13:15

Nothing happening here so headed to the GE plant in Erie to see if any new locomotives around. Again I struck out as nothing to be found but as I was about to leave, a loaded oil train blew by on the CSX track heading east and caught it on video even thought it was two tracks over and behind some weeds. Time 14:40. So almost 4 hours and only two trains and it felt like I was still home.

Got something to eat and then drove to my favourite spot in Erie if anything would show up. Turned one street too soon and by the time I turned around and turned on the right street the gates came down and a long NS intermodal flew by as I sat in the car behind a truck and watched it go by.  Another hour with no trains and no Sun and was wondering if maybe this trip was not a good idea.

Finally after another hour the flood gates opened. Whatever the delay was now gone and a bit of a parade began.

CSX train at 16:19, 16:40, 16:49, NS at 17:02, CSX at 17:10, 17:23, 17:28 and 17:38 and the Sun came out so made up for the rest of the day. Trains were still coming but light was gone and time to warm up and relax.

Looking forward to a full day in bright sunshine tomorrow and Saturday.

smiling sun