Snoopy’s Christmas vs. The Red Baron

I’ve been reviewing/listening to old “records” and vids of the holiday season that I grew up with and enjoyed. Among these, of course, were vids of Snoopy. With all the chaos in the world I thought this one was appropriate:

The Royal Guardsmen made this record. They were 5 guys from Ocala, Florida. They recorded a quartet of songs inspired by Snoopy the Beagle in the “Peanuts” comic strip between 1967 and 1968.

835 Tuba players set new world record, playing “Silent Night”

I have NOT lost it. Read this – it was written by a man named Dale Lowe:

You have to give props to the people who picked the tuba as their school instrument.   I mean, getting it home to practice with should’ve been worth an extra credit in itself, right??!!

Plus, those kids were “all about the bass – – no treble” long before the rest of us.

A massive tuba ensemble has smashed a Guinness World Record in Kansas City – – 835 tuba players (between the ages of 11 and 86) performing “Silent Night” this past Friday . The previous record of 502 tuba players in California in 2007. (Ahem.  “Tuba-d for them…there record was broken.  Thanks…I’m here all week!)

While a few performed on a tenor version of the tuba, called a euphonium, the Guiness officials have declared it an official new world record.

And the rendition of this Christmas carol is surprisingly beautiful.   have a listen:

Did you sing along? I did!!!

Sound of a Thunderstorm

At our layout (The Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Navigation Co. in Fort Bragg) we have installed a sound card and speakers that enable the layout operater to stage a thunderstorm behind the diorama we call Three Chop Ridge.

If we didn’t have the sound effects already I would suggest that we use the sound from this vid. To get the full effect close your eyes as soon as you press the “Play” button.

The vid is of the Angel City Choir. My daughter Annalise gave me the heads up.

Signalman Jack: The Baboon Who Worked for the Railroad—and Never Made a Mistake

If I were reading the header and didn’t know me I’d definitely think I’d lost it BIG time.  I didn’t believe it either till I saw the pic. And you know what they say ……. a picture is worth a thousand words. The article below. which I have hijacked 100%, was written by Lucas Reilly and appeared on a site named, “” (Click on photo to enlarge.)

James Edward Wadw and Jack

James Edward Wide and Jack

One day in the 1880s, a peg-legged railway signalman named James Edwin Wide was visiting a buzzing South African market when he witnessed something surreal: A chacma baboon driving an oxcart. Impressed by the primate’s skills, Wide bought him, named him Jack, and made him his pet and personal assistant.

Wide needed the help. Years earlier, he had lost both his legs in a work accident, which made his half-mile commute to the train station extremely difficult for him. So the first thing he trained the primate to do was push him to and from work in a small trolley. Soon, Jack was also helping with household chores, sweeping floors and taking out the trash.

But the signal box is where Jack truly shined. As trains approached the rail switches at the Uitenhage train station, they’d toot their whistle a specific number of times to alert the signalman which tracks to change. By watching his owner, Jack picked up the pattern and started tugging on the levers himself.”

Soon, Wide was able to kick back and relax as his furry helper did all of the work switching the rails. According to The Railway Signal, Wide “trained the baboon to such perfection that he was able to sit in his cabin stuffing birds, etc., while the animal, which was chained up outside, pulled all the levers and points.”

As the story goes, one day a posh train passenger staring out the window saw that a baboon, and not a human, was manning the gears and complained to railway authorities. Rather than fire Wide, the railway managers decided to resolve the complaint by testing the baboon’s abilities. They came away astounded.

“Jack knows the signal whistle as well as I do, also every one of the levers,” wrote railway superintendent George B. Howe, who visited the baboon sometime around 1890. “It was very touching to see his fondness for his master. As I drew near they were both sitting on the trolley. The baboon’s arms round his master’s neck, the other stroking Wide’s face.”

Jack was reportedly given an official employment number, and was paid 20 cents a day and half a bottle of beer weekly. Jack passed away in 1890, after developing tuberculosis. He worked the rails for nine years without ever making a mistake—evidence that perfectionism may be more than just a human condition.”

Many thanks to daughter Annalise for pointing this one out to me.