Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Highballing to Pennsylvania...

From Trip to Medina

This week is the B&O Railroad Historical Society Convention in Butler, PA. I'm leaving tonight to begin my journey north and west. My first stop will be Altoona, PA and its famous Horseshoe Curve. Then it's off to Butler and the Convention.

Good times...good times.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A right thinking Scotsman...

Craig Ferguson last night on "suspending" the campaign and Democracy. I can't find one thing here I disagree with.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rush hour...

NASA Kennedy Space Center Style!
(click on images for larger views)

Of course, it's also nice to get the last parking space.

(Note: Look at the lower left corner for the crawler on its way back to the crawler parking area.)

Click here for more information about the upcoming Shuttle Mission

NOTE-9/24/08: Some of you may be curious as to WHY there are two shuttles on the pad. Well, Atlantis is being prepped for STS-125. The second, Endeavour, is the rescue shuttle. Since the loss of Columbia NASA now has a shuttle READY TO GO as a rescue ship in case the shuttle on the primary mission is damaged and cannot safely return its crew to Earth. After Atlantis makes its safe return, Endeavor will undergo final preparations for its November launch to the International Space Station to perform crew rotation with the existing Expedition 18 members, deliver supplies and perform repairs on the solar arrays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dead Men...

Tell no tales?

Well, let's find out.

Now that my most recent graduate degree is done I've decided to start researching one of the most important company presidents in the history of the B&O Railroad; John Work Garrett.

First research foray is Friday, all day. I'm also pouring through copies of the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and New York Times for mentions of Garrett and the B&O Railroad. I haven't even started going into the Civil War stuff in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. And there are company files and other documents that are yet to be discovered. Of course time, the Great Baltimore Fire and the 19th Century habit of destroying letters and documents that make an ancestor look bad will hamper this search.

The thing I'm pondering is organizing my research. I'm considering putting up a website and blog. I've seen other authors who do this and am not sure if it's worth doing, but it does allow for off-site storage of some data and possibly puts me in contact with people who may have more information. I'll think about that more as I continue to research.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, it's over. I have finished my second and FINAL graduate degree. That's it. No Mas, No Mas. I'm in debt to my elbows and now I have a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science. This was easier than getting the first Master's at UMBC, mainly because there was no Thesis to write or Comps to take. For that I am grateful, my nerves are grateful and my friends, family and co-workers should also be grateful. Now I've got my degree and won't be going any futher.

Vee vant to go for zee doktorate.

To be continued?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hey, I'm no economist but...

Even I could tell the NPS and the Gettysburg Foundation that $8.00 to see a 22 minute movie is a really bad idea.

Which is apparently something that they have found out the hard way.

Now, I'm a fan of the NPS, Gettysburg NMP and museums in general. But I also am a private citizen who has a set amount of money that I can spend on fun stuff during a year. I would not spend $8 to see a 22 minute movie of any type. Even though the cause is just, I just don't see that I'm getting something worth my $8. I could see a 2 hour matinee for $8.

On the other hand, I'd gladly put a ten spot in the donation box at Gettysburg NMP just on principle.

Kinda contradictory? Yeah, maybe. But when I put the $10 in, I'm making the decision on my own to make a gift to a worthy cause. I'm not paying for the "privilege" to see a short film. And honestly, I don't feel like I need it. I've got a Master's in History with a specialization in the Civil War. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Now, Gettysburg is making what I think is another error in terms of their fee structure: A Fee to Enter the Museum

Again, this is a bad idea. I urge you, if you are also against this new fee, and I'm sure people have their own reasons, please visit that link above and comment. Now, remember, keep them civil, keep them logical or your comment won't really be taken seriously. I personally think the fee structure shouldn't be expanded to make-up for an earlier mistake in pricing. I think they should lower the fee for the film and enjoy the benefits of a larger number of viewers. (Since the film is about 1/4 the length of a movie, let's make it 1/4 the cost: $2) I'd pay that. No problem. And that sure makes things more reasonable for a family of 4 to see the movie as well.

Just my two cents.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sad tidings...

Both Don La Fontaine and Jerry Reed have died.

Here are a couple of tributes:
For Don:

For Jerry: