Friday, November 27, 2009

Another M&ET train video

I edited another train video. This one was done using my old work flow and it came out much better. If you click on the link above you can see it on YouTube.

I think this one is better. (It was done in iMovie HD):

The second in a series of videos on the M&ET. This one was shot near Stanislaus Foods at the Riverside Yard. On November 21, 2008 Modesto and Empire Traction 70 Tonners were hard at work between Modesto and Empire, California. These little General Electric locomotives are over 50-years old. Their days are numbered because their replacements were coming as these videos were shot.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

M&ET 70 Tonners at Work

M&ET 70 Tonners Video

[See Video Here on YouTube]

I made some error when I set up my project and captured this video. I have not yet figured it out, but I will.

On November 21, 2008 Modesto and Empire Traction 70 Tonners are hard at work between Modesto and Empire, California. These little General Electric locomotives are over 50-years old. Their days are numbered because their replacements were coming as these videos were shot.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I had a cat in my lap

I wrote this this morning as I was sitting in the living room unable to move because my cat Pixel was curled up in my lap. I have no idea how something so little (and so dumb) could have so much power over me. When he gets in my lap he looks up at me with huge golden cat eyes and I am totally at his mercy. Oh well, at least he was warm; warm and sound asleep.

I had woke up at 5 a.m. with insomnia and Pixel is great company. Did you know Pixel has his own Web page in Catbook and a page in Catster? Catster and Catbook are like Facebook and MySpace for cats; yes, there is a Dogster, as well as a Fishster. I sometimes wonder if the people who post Web pages for their fish have totally lost it or if they are making fun of those of us who are silly crazy over our pets.

I guess I should have moved my cat and gone and done something more productive, like make coffee. But, it was only 6:00 a.m. and I guess there's no rush. Soon it was 6:20 a.m. Pixel and I had been at this over an hour. Sometimes I get so caught up in this and that (and sleeping cats) and I am late for work.

We can't have that!

Usually, I just sit until my legs start to cramp from sitting so long with a cat in my lap. Then, I get up and Pixel will saunter over and eat some kibble.

It's tough being a cat.

Did I tell you Pixel snorts? Yes, he snorts like a little pig. Around 6:30 a.m. he snorted. He lifted his head and then he looked up at me like I was bothering him by typing on my laptop as he was trying to sleep. Poor Pixel.

Then, my leg started to cramp. Finally, having no choice; I got up. Pixel got up too, stretched, walked over and ate some kibble. I went to work and he began his day.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Remembering a dear friend

Kathy Arena in 1991Kathy died of cancer October 29, 2009. Kathy died at her daughter Darcey's home. According to Bess Obercoe, a mutual friend, one of the things Kathy lamented shortly before she died was, "why do people have to die over holidays?" She did not want to spoil her family's Halloween celebration.

Kathy died surrounded by family; also in the home was Darcey's husband Mike, Kathy's other daughter Kayla, and Mike and Darcey's children.

I met Kathy in 1991, at Bess's 40th birthday party, not long after my first wife passed away. Kathy and I became good friends shortly after that. It was a friendship that lasted many years. I was transitioning into being single after having been married most of my adult life. Bess and Kathy were the first people to teach me what it was like to be single and to have single friends of both genders.

Kathy taught me how to have fun again. Kathy's daughter Kayla is two years younger than Kenneth. With a two-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, plus my older boys, we all would go on family style adventures in amusement parks or go to the beach. Sometimes at night, after finding sitters, she and I would go to dinner, maybe movies or out for drinks; sometimes with other singles.

Kathy worked at a travel agency when I met her. I sometimes accompanied Kathy to events for travel agents. Kathy planned an airplane trip to Disneyland for my sons and I. She worked out all the details for us. It was my sons' first flight.

Kathy was widowed. We could talk about our experiences of having a spouse die in a way you can not talk to a friend who has never been married or who may be bitterly divorced with a living ex-spouse. We had both lost our parents as well. We had a lot in common. I think the friendship was good for both of us.

Kathy and her Italian-American family adopted my family and I. We had great experiences at their big parties. The friendship continued after I met Sue. Sue and I still went to some of their family parties. Sue fit right in, she's Italian-American herself. Kathy came to our wedding. When Darcey married Mike, Sue and I were there; we photographed their big beautiful wedding.

Darcey went into real estate. She is very successful at it. Darcey sold Sue and I the home we live in now. One of her associates even sold Sue's mom her home. When we needed a new roof for our home, the roofing company Kathy was then working for did the job. Kathy came by our house and put a big sign in front of it saying, "Roof by Los Gatos Roofing."

Meeting Kathy at Bess's party changed the course of my life and the lives of the members of my family, in so many ways. She, and members of her family, remained connected to my family for many years. As Kathy declined she became very private, she did not want to be seen, that's not the way she wanted to be remembered.

I remember Kathy's green eyes, the way she smiled, the way she laughed, the way she engaged life and most of all; the way she could tell a story. She could take a story and make it her own. After she told you a story you felt like you had been there and had experienced it. Thinking back on her passing has brought back so many memories. I am very thankful that we knew Kathy and that she was a part of the lives the members of my family and I.