Railroad pic on a lamp post in NYC

It’s the truth!!!

Here’s daughter Annalise e-mail: “Went for a walk in the freezing rain and saw this. Reminded me of you so I snapped a picture. Seems very out of place in New York City. Was stuck to the bottom of a lamp post.”

I agree – wonder who put it there?

And the pic:

This bloody world gets odder by the minute.

VW Beetle 1200 cc air-cooled flat-4 engine

When I lived in Canada I had two Beetles – a white and a red one. The white did 200,000 plus miles before it died of acute rust. The second, red one, did 120,000 miles before I traded it in. Canada is COLD in the winter and very snowy. No prob said Mrs Beetle. I am not mechanically minded (ask any club member) so what went on under the back grill was a complete mystery. Click on the “pic” and you can see the engine “start up.”

Amazing isn’t it

Much as I would I have liked my Beetles were never “tricked out” like this one.

Cup of teas anyone?


The Train Whistle’s Echo – Story of the Western Railroad era by Phyllis Zauner

When I was young I was very sick. I rarely made school for more than two weeks at a time. This meant a lot of time at home in the days of steam radio and no TV or record players. I spent much of my illness at the home of Grandma Phillips. Grandma, bless her soul, quickly figured out that reading would keep me occupied. We couldn’t afford to buy books so Grandma would board the No. 6 bus in Portslade (Sussex, England), pay her tuppenny fare, and get off in Hove opposite the Hove Public Library. Portslade was too small to have its own library. I never saw Grandma with a book – she read the Daily Express newspaper at elevenses and the Evening Argus in the evening. Grandma would select six books for me at a time. She would pick a shelf and take six books. I knew this because the authors surnames all had the same letter! The result of her selection process was that I read a VERY diverse selection of books. Occasionally I would complain about one of the books – usually a soppy romance – which would elicit her standard comment – “You can’t tell a book by its cover.”

Which brings me to this book:

Front Cover

Front Cover

Back Cover

I saw the book on EBay. The front cover was of California Western Railroad’s #45. So I bid and I was the lucky(????) winner.

The book was written in 1981. The text and photos are in a washed out brown colour making reading the book possible only with strong reading glasses. I gave up trying to read it after about six pages. Which brings me back to Grandma Phillips – “You can’t tell a book by its cover.”


Gorden Kaye: ‘Allo ‘Allo!’s Rene Artois dies aged 75

You’ve never heard of him, right?

Actor Gorden Kaye, who was best known for his role in the long-running BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died aged 75. Kaye played cafe owner Rene Artois on the hit show, which centred on the fictional exploits of resistance fighters in World War Two in German-occupied France. He appeared in all 84 episodes of the sitcom, as well as a stage version.

Very, very sad. ‘Allo, ‘Allo was one of my favorite TV comedy’s. If you have 24 mins and 33 secs to spare try this episode:

It’s Minion Time Again!!!

Quips #2 – Actual Announcements Taken From Church Bulletins

Here’s another batch of quips taken from real church bulletins. I don’t think anyone could have made this lot up.

They all appeared in the ice cream concession wife Sarah and I used to run to the vast amusement of our patrons:

Church Bulletins

Here are some Actual Announcements Taken From Church Bulletins.

  • Don’t let worry kill you — Let the church help.
  • Thursday night — potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and the community.
  • For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
  • The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.
  • This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
  • Tuesday at 4:-00 p.m. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.
  • Wednesday, the Ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs. Jones will sing “Put Me In My Little Bed” accompanied by the pastor.
  • Thursday at 5:00 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers, please see the minister in his study.
  • This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
  • The service will close with “Little Drops Of Water,” One of the ladies will start quietly, and the rest of the congregation will join in.
  • Next Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper.
  • The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement Friday.
  • A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What Is Hell?” — come early and listen to our choir practice.
  • Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
  • Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.”
  • Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang, “I will not pass this way again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • “Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.”
  • Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Fowlers’. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time.
  • The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
  • The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”
  • Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  • Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.
  • The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing “Break Forth into Joy.”
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
  • Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
  • Don’t let worry kill you – let the Church help.
  • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
  • Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
  • The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoy sinning to join the choir.
  • Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
  • The Lutheran men’s group will meet at 6 PM. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel.
  • Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.
  • Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.
  • The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.
  • Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 P.M.-prayer and medication to follow.
  • The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
  • This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
  • Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
  • The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.
  • Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday. Please use the back door.
  • The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
  • Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
  • Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.
  • The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours
  • Here’s the “notice” that appeared in the local rag announcing the end of our reign of super scoopers.
Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor


The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension and some odd Mathematical Tables

I have just finished this book: “The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics” by Clifford A. Pickover.

Book Cover

Book Cover

I am a sucker for books like this. This one, my latest, begins millions of years ago with ancient “ant odometers” and moves through time to our modern-day quest for new dimensions. The author covers 250 milestones in mathematical history. It took me 22 months to read. Don’t think I’m boasting of my mathematical prowess. I have never had a higher mathematics lesson in my life. Which brings me to the real subject of this blog …..

I got these four images from club member Kyle Stockman’s Facebook page.

I haven’t a clue who figured these “tables” out  I’m just glad they did and I got to look at them.


California Drought – The levels in Califonia’s Major Reservoirs

The newspaper I read keeps saying that despite all the rain that we have had this year California is still in a drought. Because we live on the coast in Northern California the news is very much canted to where we live and it’s not that easy to get a picture of the state of all California.

Thanks to a heads up from my wife Sarah I can tap in to a site which gives an instant visualization of the levels of the reservoirs across California. The visualization is on the Department of Water Resources California Data Exchange Center website. Below is where to look at major reservoir levels across the State. You’ll have to paste the pdf URL below.


The link to the home page is below. Here you will find great up
to date information on river levels, rainfall totals and much more.


Sarah found the info on the MCN Announce list. It was posted by “Tom Tetzlaff” <tomtetzlaff@mcn.org>