Burning Love – Part 2

The bad thing about shingles it comes in two parts and it seems the ending is worse than the beginning. After three days of suffering through the beginning with the infected areas feeling like your skin was on fire there is a small time period where they are less severe and you think you are getting better. You soon realize this virus has a strange sense of humour as the ending begins to show up with even more burning and discomfort thanjoker at the start. fire

Took my pain pills and anti shingle pills and am not walking around in a daze. I can see why they tell you not to drive when taking them but am thankful I have them. The good news is the end is in sight so I focus on that.

I have watched the first season of Quantico and did sneak out Sunday morning to do two sets of laundry as I change the bedding every night to make sure the virus was not still alive as it seems it can survive 24 hours. I should be past the stage where I am contagious and don’t have tosmiling sun be so concerned about contamination.

On another subject, the weather sure has been great and even with those showers yesterday it has been a great week. I am hoping to get out soon to enjoy it as we are all ready heading to the end of July.

Even though this nasty bug caught me I still consider myself fortunate as I year reach the 3/4 of a century mark very soon and still feel I am in pretty good shape. Once healthy again I will be off to Ohio and discover new things and do some train chasing.

file94Remember you can’t change the past or the future so concentrate on today and make sure you get the most out of it.

Have a great day.


Burning Love It is Not

After June being a write off with doctor appointments, tests and car repairs I was looking forward to July and some road trips to Ohio to do some exploring acanus flagnd train chasing. I got a clean bill of health and was waiting for both Canada Day and the 4th of July holidays to finish as I never go near the border on holidays. Last time I made that mistake it took 2 1/2 hours to get back into Canada at Windsor.

Well it now looks like July will also be a no go as it seems I have come down with a full blown case of shingles. shinglesIt is almost like the power of suggestion as my doctor asked me if I thought of getting the shingles vaccine but it was $240 and not covered by OHIP. It is covered if you are 65 to 70 but after that I guess you can somehow afford something you can’t at 70. Our past idiot Liberal government brought out a prescription plan for all Canadians under 25 but nothing for the seniors who worked all their life and are paying for it. My stomach is now covered by many little blisters and my skin is super sensitive and feels if it is on fire. fireEven wearing a shirt is uncomfortable. I may also have some small areas on my back as it is contagious when the blister are forming so I was laying in bed sheets that may have been contagious. I headed to emergency yesterday as my doctor is on holidays after about three days and things were not getting better. cartoon-germs-21I was hoping it was just a rash of some kind by they confirmed my fears. Now on antibiotic pills 3 times day and also have some pain killers as it seems once the virus passes, the healing part is even more painful.

At least I think in a couple of weeks I will hopefully be fully recovered but am in for a few rough days and then can get on with my life.  It could have been something much worse so will be thankful it is only shingles.

I had planned to go to the Canterbury Folk Festival this weekend but being in the sun seems to make it worse. Off to stock up on a few things this morning then plan to take it easy as I get tired quickly. Lots of movies and sports to watch as well as have some updates to do on web pages I look after so will keep myself busy.

Life sometimes throws you a lemon and your only choice is to make lemonade. I survived 5 kidney stones so am I sure I can survive this.



I Can Kiss June Goodbye

Summer is here and I was looking forward to some trips to the USA but it looks like they will have to wait till July.

Coming back from Ohio and back in Canada I was recipient of a rock that cracked the windshield requiring a new one and I had put off some minor repairs until I got back. My annual check up was also scheduled and everything is fine but time for my 5 years scope as colon cancer runs in my family.

I scheduled the repairs for this morning and am in Mcd’s having coffee while they are done so this week is used up. month calendarI called to get an appointment to have the windshield replaced and it can’t be done till next Wednesday so another week that is split up. Next my scope is planned for the 3rd Wednesday  and then a follow-up exam one week later on another Wednesday so that pretty well uses up all of June.

The scope should be fine as I have had a clean check up the last 3 times better to know than not know. happy colonThe worst part is the preparation and having to impose on somebody to pick you up. I am sure I will survive and come out good for another 5 years. If you are 50 or over and even if there is no history in your family I recommend you get one. I am sure it saved my life as 20 years ago when I had my first they found 5 polyps which by now would have been full-blown cancer and probably would have killed me by now.

Once this minor setbacks are finished I plan a number of trips to Ohio, Indiana and maybe even finally get to Rochelle Illinois.

Rain forecast for today so ideal time to get out the new Railpast Mobile and take it for a run. ambulance If it rains I can shoot out the back doors and if no trains take a nap or just sit and watch it rain while working on my computer. Weather is hot with temperatures near 30C/90F so need to find a place with some shade. No a/c in the ambulance but nice breeze if I open the back doors. I find the older you get the heat seems to be a little harder to take.

That is enough rambling for today so everyone have a great day and enjoy every day as we never know many we have left.



Reality Setting In

I have not posted in a while as I have sort of been in limbo and wondering what life is all about. I am not depressed or anything like that but was just wondering what is it all about. We are born, do our best or worse than die. Seems simple enough so why the mystery?

I just had my yearly medical check up and everything is still working like it should and I feel fine and counting my blessings to have it made to 75 so should be very thankful. I guess I have been thinking about it as the number of years I have left seem to be shrinking away too fast. I joked with my doctor that he has to out live me as I don’t want to look for another doctor and he joked he was only 62 so that should not be a problem.


I know he was joking but he is right and will I be around till he retires which might be in another 5 or 6 years but on planning to be here much longer.

I am sure we all wonder what will we leave behind when we go. I was married but it did not last and even though I played father for about 7 years with my wife’s 3 wonderful children from her first marriage I do regret not having children of my own who I could share their lives with as I grow older. I regret not being more successful in my careers and having many of the things I do not have. Don’t get me wrong, I am debt free, have money in the bank and do pretty well what I want but never reached even close to where I thought I would be in life.Griffin_family

When I was a teenager I had dreams of meeting that beautiful girl who I would spend my life with, have a family and live in a big house but somewhere all those dreams were shattered as one relationship after another seemed to end. Looking back I blew it when the girl that I should have married somehow got away and I was the one that ended it. That was the biggest mistake of my life and I can only imagine how things would have been so different.

Anyway that is enough thinking about the “what ifs” and time to get back to living. Planning a trip to Ohio next week so no time to dwell on negative things and get back to doing what I enjoy while I still can. Life is precious and none of us know how much of it we will get to enjoy so make the most of each day. Summer is here and I plan to enjoy everyday as long as I am capable.  I hope everyone has a great summer anmanonbiked think of me when I am gone which I hope is a long way away.

The Internet has provided me with a place to share my life and will be there long after I am gone as the 12,000 photos, over 3000 videos and thousands of Facebook posts good and bad will still be there.

Time to get out there and fill up my corner of the Internet with stuff I like. I am sure that is what it is for. Thanks for listening and hope your life is going great.


Bad Karma Attack

It all seemed to start when I was on my last trip to Ohio and just has carried on since then. I had planned my trip for 5 days to Ohio but instead of 5 days of nice weather it turned cloudy and rain arrived on the third day. I did stay 4 days but headed home as the weather got worse.bad karma

That is when the Bad Karma really arrived and decided to stay for a while. As I headed up I 75 there were three work zones that each added about 30 minutes to the trip and it became even worse. I had enough gas to reach the tax free pumps at the border but with all the delays decided to get off and add about $10 to make sure I did not run out.

After getting through the construction delays I approached Detroit only to find traffic being moved from the northbound to southbound lanes that were under construction to allow work on the northbound bridges adding more delays. As I approached the exit to Canada traffic was backed up about a mile on I 75 and I could see solid over the bridge. Waiting there would have been at least 2 hours to get back to Canada. No way was I going to wait so headed to Port Huron.traffic jam

Guess what? As I approached I 94 to Port Huron there was more construction and another 30 minutes to get on the highway. Bad Karma was riding with me.

Made it finally to Port Huron and it only took 5 minutes to get across the border. No cheap gas pumps so headed home with what I had so instead of arriving home with 3/4 of a tank of cheap gas I arrived over 2 hours late with an empty tank.  Sure takes the fun out of it.

Bad Karma has seemed to stick with me as I seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and train chasing has been a series of missed trains and viewing from long distance as I am in the wrong place. When doing video I seem to make errors and screw up shots that would be easy before. Even things like grocery shopping I seem to be a day late for specials or they are out of stock.

Yesterday I planned a trip to Hamilton to do some train chasing and a plus 3C day with sunshine so switched from my heavy winter coat to my shorter winter jacket. thermometerJust as I arrived CN 385 was passing and was told it have 4 different locomotives on it, a one in a year happening and I missed it. I left at 7:30 from Beachville and 5 minutes after I left there was a post about this train but Bad Karma made me miss it as I ahd left.. If I had stayed home I would have caught it. Nothing I could do so waited for another train CN 550 and planned my shots. When it did arrive it was on a different track so the video only captured the top of the locomotives as Bad Karma was close by. Next up I waited for VIA 70 and AMTRAK that were both due. I heard VIA 70 says 5 minutes to Aldershot so prepared to capture it. As I waited AMTRAK arrived from the other direction so no chance to get a decent video as the camera was posted the other way. As if that was not enough VIA did arrive 5 minutes later and I turned on the video and prepared to take some still shots. For some reason the camera would not work and Bad Karma prevented any photo. The video had been set to zoom so also missed it as it came closer. Bad Karma won in all 3 instances.frozen man

If that was not enough when I arrived the temp in Hamilton was -7C/20F with a 20 kph wind. Add that in and it felt more -12C/12F so I was freezing as I had removed all the winter headgear from the car. Bad Karma again and I had enough. I waited another 30  minutes but not a train in sight. I usually go and catch some GO trains but was froze so gave up and headed home. Bad Karma won again.

Good Karma will show up soon so just have to survive this period and should be fine. I guess the bad times make the good ones even that much better. 🙂

They Were The Good Old Days

Call me sexist or anything you want but this my opinion of where the world went wrong. Remember when women were proud to be mothers and head of the house?

Well no more and now women seem to have time to have kids, get a babysitter, throw them in JK when they are 3, more babysitting then are so busy they never even see them grow up. They invented the term “latchkey kids” as that is what kids do now. My mother was proud to stay home and raise us and look after the house and I am glad she did. I think a lot of the trouble with kids today as they are left to their own as both parents are working and had time to have kids, but no time to look after them. I am sure kids would be happy to have less material things and more attention from their parents.

I am not against women having a career but I think they have to decide which is more important, raising their children or a bigger house? They can always have a career after the kids are grown up. If I had a problem I always knew my mom was there to help me. Now kids are isolated with their cell phones and computers and parents have no idea what is going on in their lives.good old days

No need to go “Hilary”, get defensive and call me names but that is my opinion as I see how things are going today. No mass school shootings or kids joining ISIS when I was growing up as my parents knew what I was doing and where I was. Do parents even talk to their kids these days or is it by cell phone? Notice I say “parents” and blame the family unit of today. As kids we had to deal with boys and girls and now we have 23 different sexual definitions and political correctness to deal with. No wonder the kids are under such stress and pressure and some just can’t handle it and explode.

No idea what the answer is but parents need to look at their priorities and decide what is best for the children they are bringing into this world. We had no private schools, hockey classes, trips to Europe and Florida on summer breaks, no expensive clothes or electronic gadgets for us. I learned the value of money young and my dad told me if I want something “go work for it”

Today it seems parents think throwing money at their kids will make up for the absence of love and not being there when they are needed. I think we can all see how well that is working. 😦


I Am Still Here

Haven’t written anything in a while as I am going through another version of male menopause so have an excuse. The winter blahs and the changing world has made me feel like my last years will be spending a lot of time alone as it seems these days if you disagree with anyone’s point of view they get defensive and you are labelled a “phobia” something. I am not so much against others way of life but am against with the way things I disagree with are being forced upon me. Live your life the way you want but don’t take away my right to disagree with you.

Free speech has taken a big negative step in Canada under our play acting PM who has passed laws that prevent us from expressing our views. I don’t run around and look for media attention to make you accept my way of life so why must others force their views on us?

The TV, movies and commercial now must include a minority and it seems every relationship is now a white women and a visible minority. That is not real life, sure there are some but drives me crazy that the world is being portrayed in a false image.  That may make me sound racist but next time you watch a movie or TV keep track of how many you see and then look around your neighbourhood and tell me if this is what you see.  charlieThere I go again disagreeing and I can see the slings and errors heading my way. That is okay I was not born in the “snowflake” era and “stick and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”.

It is strange that these things have been going on for hundreds of years but only now that they are on the front page has the world turned upside down and minorities now make the rules and laws for the majority. Now wonder we are in such a mess.

I will only be here for another 10 years or so and am glad I was born in a time when everybody seemed to respect others and we actually got along. Sure we had world wars but within our own borders life was pretty good.  When the so-called sh*t hits the fan I feel sorry for those that will still be here and have to live in a world where freedoms will be repressed and discussion will be behind doors for fear of reprisal. So sad and not sure this broken world can be fixed.

Just my opinion and I think I can still express it but not sure how much longer I will be allowed to.

Have a great day and do it your way and let others think what they want as they will anyway.

FU Stands For Friggin Unreal

Not much more to say about -30C temperatures for weeks at a time except why am I still here? Sunny warm skies in lots of places so why I am still here suffering through these ridiculous temperatures is beyond me.

I did spend a couple of days outside freezing my butt off to chase some trains but those were moments of insanity. In this picture taken by a friend I actually look like I am having fun so old age does bring days on insanity.

CN 149 & Old Foamer Ingersoll Ontario Dec 31 2017

The other problem is with such cold temperatures that air is so dry in my apartment I feel like everything is out to get me as sparks flying off my fingers every time I touch something. I went to turn on the power pack for my model trains and was greeted by a lightening bolt causing me to flip my arm up right into the bottom of the board they are mounted it. I hit is with such force all the little people must have thought it was the end of the world. handouchRailway cars derailed, deer grazing in the valley tossed to their death as they fell into the gorge not to mention the pain in my hand. I not only hammered it into the table but dragged it as I pulled it out causing a nice 2 inch bruise. Us old people have to be careful of course all these shocks I am getting can’t be all bad as they are giving my heart a bit of jolt each time to keep it humming along. Last year it was defying gravity and this year looks like trying some of Ben Franklin experiments seem to be the choice for this year.

I hope Santa was good to everyone and New Year came in without any surprises. Me just another lump of coal to add to my collection but a mystery Santa did leave me $500 so I guess now I have to decide what to spend it on. I am sure the car or some other not planned expense will gobble it up.

Have a Great 2018, I plan to.

We Have An Excuse

Christmas is fast approaching and people will be visiting their families and enjoying this festive time. We forget so many are alone at this time and will wonder why they are not part of those festivities. charlie

This time of the year people get down and withdrawn but it is only natural as we have had about 10 days of depressing cloudy winter weather. Looking at the next 10 days they are not much better with only a few flashes of Sun to tease us.

I find the best way to get through these days is to keep busy by doing what you like to do. I am lucky as I have my model trains, photography and even learning new skills on the computer. They keep me busy but I still go out and chase some trains or just go for a coffee. I don’t feel left out as I have friends who have invited me over if I want to go and have had many wonderful Christmas and many good memories to keep me in a positive mood.


If you are feeling down, drop me an email at railpast@railpast.com and maybe we can cheer each other up.

I wish everyone and all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year 2018 .


Chasing trains not only requires timing and lots of luck but huge reserves of patience as trains run on their own schedule. Mine was put to the test on Wednesday as I bundled up and headed out to one of my favorite spots around 7:30 am as I wanted to catch VIA 70 as it arrived in Woodstock Ontario at 8:10.

Cleaned off the car of snow , loaded the camera equipment and was off as camera settings whirled around in my head. The Sun is lazy these days and does not show up until around 8:00 am if at all.  Climbed up on the small hill just before the station and waited. The arrival time came and went and still no train but figured with the snow would be a little late. I should have checked the computer to see if it was on time but it usually is so did not. More waiting and I heard a train horn but no train in sight so jumped into action then realized it was VIA 71 that arrives at 8:30 heading west. I could not see the station from where I was but knew what train it was.freezing man

Time to drag out the cell phone to check and was at least encouraged as it showed arrival at 8:43 so it was late but at least was still coming. The temp was around 15F but I was dressed properly and no wind so continued to wait. The new time passed and nothing but figured a CN freight would be through soon so paced around and waited some more. The scanner screeched to life and let me know CN 397 was in the area and would be here soon. Checked the phone and the new VIA time is 10:01. CN 397 blew through and still no VIA 70. More waiting and time to check the phone again. What! New time is now 11:15 and I have been standing on this hill for about 3 hours. clockMore stomping of feet, some dance steps and singing and decided to go check the display at the station. As I drove up to the station there was a bus there and the screen shows the train was cancelled and people were being “bustituted” as the train was cancleed due to mechanical issues. Guess they forgot to plug it in.

Only train I caught was the CN freight after over 3 hours. I know it sounds silly but at least I was outside enjoying the weather and watching people go about their days. Beats sitting inside doing nothing. Did catch VIA 72 at 11:30 which was on time.  🙂

Only nine more sleeps till Santa arrives. Still figuring out what he will bring me this year.