Thursday, May 31, 2007

Meet at Mott, May 31, 2007

Meet at Mott

Meet at Mott, May 31, 2007
These two Northbound Union Pacific freights met today at Mott siding. Mott is on the former SP Shasta line, near Dunsmuir. As the trains met clouds rolled in from an approaching thunder storm. I am heading north and this seven minute Track Warrants video is the first for this trip. I am on the road! This was Quicktime Video shot less than five hours ago and edited in a campground near Ashland on my laptop and posted using a nearby open wireless network.

This video should soon be available here on YouTube.

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Camera Phone Post: Rainbow in hail storm
This freak hail storm north of Yreka, CA produced this rainbow.

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Camera Phone on the road
Lake Shasta, CA.

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Camera Phone On The Road
Thunderheads over the mountains near Redding, CA.

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Camera Phone On The Road
At the olive pit in Corning, CA.

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Camera Phone Post: First I-5 Rest Stop
Taking a pee break on highway five.

Family Days

Ken and Madison

Great Family Get Together
Evening before last we had a great get together. Ken, Jeff, Nicole and Madison came over and I made a big pot of Chili and Corn Bread. We spent hours hanging out and talking. It was a lot of fun. Today I am off to visit Steve and Luci, Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

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Camera Phone Post: Kathy eating ice cream
We had a great whine and dine ride, and a great party after. We are just getting into a full moon. Life is good!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Farewell to SP Commutes and U-Boats

SP Finales

SP Finales, 1985, Farewell to Commutes and U-Boats
In the Summer of 1985 SP power stopped being used on the peninsula commute trains. This video, converted from super-eight Kodachrome movies captures that period. At the same time, across the bay, SP was scrapping some of the last of it's U-boats. As these movies were silent, this video includes the song "What I'm Missing" by Everyday Jones.

Memorial Day: Let us not forget

The war on Terrorism has a cost

Israel, the Indians and Us

I finished "Right To Exist" by Yaacov Lozowick. In my opinion we Americans (as a country) did far worse to the American Indians than the Israelis are (mostly wrongly) accused of doing to the Palestinians. Would we accept it if Indians started blowing up school busses or pizza parlors and demanded that we leave the Americas or die? Of course we would not!

In my opinion we are aiding terrorist killers by not speaking out more against them. That is why I am saying something here. The idea that Israel should even have to defend its right to exist is even more absurd as would be saying we have to defend our right to exist as a nation to the American Indians. When the early Jews moved to Palestine starting about a century ago, the Jews did not steal their land from the folks already there, like the Americans did from the Indians. They bought their land from the existing property owners at a fair price. They bought what was then swamps, drained the swamps and turned them into productive farm land. On the other hand we stole the the best land from the Indians and forced the Indians into the worst land.

I am neither Jewish or Israeli, but if I were I would be proud to be. Does that mean Israel never makes a mistake? No, but which person or nation never does? I know I have made mistakes. But, I do not think this is one of them. I hope someday to go to Israel to see for myself.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Staying home this weekend

We ended up staying home this weekend, reading
Sue got sick so we ended up staying home. It was quite relaxing actually and I started a new book. I am reading "Right To Exist" by Yaacov Lozowick. A friend recommended this book to me. It is a great overview of the history and the Arab-Isaeli conflict. I have learned so much reading this book and am more convinced than ever the importance of our support of Israel and the righteousness of their cause. I understand now better than ever the ignorance that most of us, and the American media has on this issue. How does Israel make peace with her enemies? Consider the words of Khaled Meshal the Chairman of Hamas Political Bureau who said on May 3, 2006, "We [Hamas] believe that Israel has no right to exist." How do you make peace with people who do not think you have a right to exist and would not hesitate to kill your children, given an opportunity?

On a lighter note, here is a photo from last Sundays ride. These unicyclists were awesome.

Unicyclists on a hill

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Time to play

UP train on slough

I am on vacation
This is a time to visit family and play. Normally I go on a June bike tour. Not this year! We have many activities planned and will be posting them to this blog. Last week was busy. It was final's week at SJSU and I wrapped up my class. Stay tuned for more! Meanwhile it is play time. The photos shown here are from last Sunday's "Strawberry Fields" ride that Nancy Kenny and I went on. That was a lot of fun. I even got to photograph a train while on the bike ride. But, I sure dragged my butt to work the next day.

Nancy Kenny and I

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Car Break In

Yesterday I was in Watsonville with friends for a bike ride. After the ride my friend Nancy and I went to a local grocery store to get some beer to take back to a little tail gate party our group was having. There was a parking spot in the shade so I backed into it. Just as I was parking we heard a "pop" sound and a car alarm. Nancy said, "oh my God, they are breaking into a car over there." Sure enough not far away was three people wearing hooded sweat shirts running for the trunk of this car. It was broad daylight. Since I was nose out I was able to hit the gas and head straight for the car. Two of the people, seeing us approach, took off running. The third lingered a moment apparently looking to see if there was something he (the gender of this perp is assumed) could grab. Then, seeing his buddies bailing, he too ran off.

It turned out the owner of the vehicle worked in the store. Another employee apparently was in the parking lot gathering shopping carts and notified him. He came out and ran off in apparent pursuit of the perps. Nancy called 911 and Watsonville Police arrived shortly. The perps escaped.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friends and Family on iTunes

Sloan Family Movies

My Family On iTunes
If you go in the Apple Store in iTunes and search on my name "Steve Sloan" you will find this. It is a Sloan Family Video Blog podcast! Here you go, family video on demand!

Friday, May 18, 2007

SP Scab Trains of Altamont Pass, 1985

UP and SP Trains on Altamont Pass

"Scab Trains" of Altamont Pass
In May of 1985 the Southern Pacific Railroad was preparing for a possible union strike. To train its management crews to operate trains in the absence of union crews, the SP conducted management training on the embargoed SP rail line over Altamont Pass. The union train crews called these the scab trains. It was SP's last use of this famous line.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bike to work day

Cameraphone Post: It is bike to work day
Did you ride your bike to work today? I did, and it was a great day to ride. This energizer station was set up at the corner of Fourth and San Fernando on the northwest corner of SJSU. They had coffee, fruit, powerbars and cake as well as a bag and handouts for all cyclists. What a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Mother's Day Story

A mother's day story

My older son's are now grown men with families of their own. This video, taken from family movies and told from their mother's perspective, shows the world when they were little as told to the music of Heather Sullivan.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

International Double Stack

International Train

International Stack Train on Tehachapi
On April 29, 2006 this double stack train was seen going over the Tehachapi mountains with locomotives from Canada, the US and Mexico. This power set contained BNSF, CN and Ferromex power. This train with its unusual power set is shown here at Bealville and Caliente California.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Low Water For May

Camera Phone Post
I am picking up Daniel Livingstone, a scholar I have never met, at the SF airport today. His plane was late and I got to go on a bike ride today. Riding past Chesbro Reservoir I saw grass where water used to be. I have never seen it so dry in May.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hidden Life of Many

Poverty where we are
When I used to take my kids to school at our home near Los Gatos, California, there would often be lines of SUV's built by companies like Lexus and Cadillac waiting to get into the parking lot. But here at San Jose State University, if you look in the morning, you can see that reality is not shared by all. SJSU is between a public school and some relatively low income housing. Parents here do not have Lexus's or SUV's or even cars. They get their kids to school any way they can, and on their way they cross right through the heart of our campus.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back in the saddle again

Sue and Dorothy at ride start

Susie is riding again
Yesterday afternoon we went on a bike ride with our friends Dave and Dorothy. It was a 14 mile ride, but it was significant in that Sue rode for the first time in about a year. She did really well and said she felt very good. After the ride we went over to their house where we had a great barbecue. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Lupine Loop The Movie

Lupine Loop Movie

Lupine Loop Trailer
This short video is a trailer for the movie I shot last weekend at the Lupine Loop Ride. It is a totally tongue in cheek short. I plan to burn DVD's from the movie for friends.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday To Us

Gus Lease

Grey skies bright future
Despite inclement weather the university concluded Founders Week with a big birthday cake and a free lunch for all employees and students.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Takin' Me Home

SP Commutes 1985

SP Commutes 1985, Volume 1
In the summer of 1985 the Southern Pacific Railroad's commute equipment stopped operating on the San Francisco peninsula and was replaced by Caltrain. This ended over 100 years of SP commute operations on the San Francisco peninsula. This short Track Warrants video, converted from silent Super8 movies, captures that period. As well as the film, this video features the music of Heather Sullivan.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Enjoying Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee at Campground

On a much more relaxed morning
This is me enjoying morning coffee at the campground on Sunday April 29, 2007.

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