Random musings on sports, geopolitics, current events, pin-ups and the railroad industry from a rank amateur blogger.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Today's Train of Thought: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Oct 31st
'Cash For Clunkers' Costlier Than Advertised- Edmonds.com; Also, NANESB! Digs up the Railway Equivalent for $$ for Clunkers
[Edmunds] crunched the numbers. A valid way to evaluate the program economically, it says, is to look at how many people purchased cars that otherwise wouldn’t have been bought. The firm says that number is about 125,000 cars. By that measure, the government spent $24,000 to generate each sale of a new car.
For comparison, the average price for a new vehicle in August 2009 was $26,915, minus an average cash rebate of $1,667.
In all, the government spent $3 billion on a program that provided cash toward 690,000 car purchases – about $4,348 per car. That makes 565,000 people who got as much as $4,500 to buy a car they would have bought anyway, according to the Edmunds analysis.
While the White House took exception to the Edmunds.com claim, the Obama Administration's 'New Media' Chief Macon Phillips decided to quietly take the high road.
“In other words,” writes Macon Phillips, the White House’s “new media” chief, “all the other cars were being sold on Mars while the rest of the country was caught up in the excitement of the Cash for Clunkers program. The CEA’s analysis is transparent and comprehensive … Edmunds.com, on the other hand, is promoting a bombastic press release without any public access to their underlying analysis. So put on your space suit and compare the two approaches yourself.”
You'll also be pleased to know that the rail industry has what could be considered a long-running predecesor to Cash for Clunkers for the past few years. Straight from National Railway Equipment's website is this PDF file explaining that the purchase of some of the Genset locomotives manufactured by companies like NRE or Railpower International are eligible for state, local and federal subsidies of up to 80%. When these gensets were first introduced, I assumed that Class I Railways like BNSF or Union Pacific were interested in them because they were effective. Instead, it's because of an artificial demand created by a patchwork of emissons laws across various states, matching funds and various subsidies that have the railroad paying only 20% of the purchase price. If I'm not mistaken, I believe for every Genset a railroad purchases, an older locomotive has to be stricken from the roster to qualify. However, unlike this years' Cash for Clunkers, there is no provision for scrapping the retired locomotive and in a few cases, the recently retired locomotives are sold off to a leasing company and promptly leased back by the same railroad.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- Whistling Past the Graveyard; October 30, 2009
Failed Nuclear State Watch: Week of Oct 25th
Certainly the Taliban wasn't shy about taking credit for earlier attacks this month. I have to wonder what was so beyond the pale about the October 28th attack that they carried out this week that they decided to try and deflect blame to Blackwater [now Xe Services LLC]. This week's attack did coincide with a visit from Secretary of State Clinton, but I think that was meant for the Taliban to show the Pakistani government how powerless they were by staging a mass csualty attack while a high-profile VIP was visiting Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Army has launched an offensive in South Waziristan, sending seven brigades (approximately 18,000 troops) to cordon off and search the reigon for Tehrik-e-Taliban militants.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sports Chowdah Recap for October 28-29th- WS Updates- Cliff-hanger in the Bronx Before Daddy's Home; Technical Malfunction- #14 VT Upset @ Blacksburg
In game 1 of the 2009 World Series, Phillies starter de-fanged the formidable Yankees lineup and at times looked bored doing it. Lee gave up six hits and one unearned run in his 121-pitch complete game and Chase Utley had two solo homeruns to put the Phillies up for good. Philadelphia would get a few more insurance runs in the 8th and 9th innings to win Game One by a final of 6-1.
Which brings us to Game 2- certainly more of a pitchers duel than the debut game. This pitted Pedro Martinez against AJ Burnett. Both starters worked hard and Burnett gave up an early RBI single to DH Matt Stairs in the top of the 2nd after a ground-rule double by Raul Ibanez landed just fair before one-hopping into the seats. However, the 1-0 lead only lasted until the bottom of the 4th when Martinez gave up a solo home run to Mark Teixera to lead off the inning. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the 6th with another solo home run off of Martinez- this time by Hideki Matsui- and got an insurance run off of a Jorge Posada RBI-triple in the 7th. Mariano Rivera came on for a two-inning save situation, giving up two hits and getting the save in the Yankees 3-1 win.
Pedro Martinez threw 107 pitches in 6 innings worth of work while AJ Burnett threw 108 over 7 innings and got the win.
This sends the series to Philadelphia tied 1-1. Interestingly, the Morris County Daily Record is reporting that an Amtrak spokesman announced that both teams will be taking the train between New York and Philly. With their transportation choice in mind, Game 3's starting time has been announced as 7:57 PM Eastern time on Saturday......December 5th [just kidding!].
In the NBA, the Celtics handily won their home opener against the Charlotte Bobcats last night by a final of 92-59. Kevin Garnett had 10 points, Ray Allen had 18, Rajon Rondo had 10 and Shelden Williams had 12. This was Garnett's first home start since injuring his right knee late last season. Ray Allen was the only Boston starter still in the game by the time the 4th quarter began.
The Bruins hosted the New Jersey Devils last night. Backup goaltender Yann Danis gave NJ starter Martin Brodeur the night off and stopped 31 of 32 shots faced. Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal for the Bruins in a 2-1 loss and Tim Thomas stopped 29 of 31 shots face. The Devils are 6-0 on the road this season while the Bruins are 1-1-1 in their last 3 games and 5-5-1 overall. They face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday at the Garden.
#14 Ranked Viginia Tech fell to North Carolina at home on Thursday night. After the Tarheels tied the game at 17-17 late in the 4th quarter, Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams fumbled the ball on Tech's own 24 yard line with the Tarheels recovering. North Carolina bled the clock and kicker Casey Barth split the uprights on what was essentially a point-after attempt with 2 seconds remaining in the game to give North Carolina the 20-17 win. North Carolina is 5-3 overall with a 1-3 record within the ACC while Virginia Tech is also 5-3 with a 3-2 record within the ACC.
[Boston College is also 5-3 with a 3-2 record against the ACC]
Today's Train of Thought: Green Mountain Boys- October 29
Unfortunate Headline Watch
Canadian folk singer died doing something she loved, mother says
Um.....hell no. I don't care how into nature you are, nobody loves getting mauled by a pack of coyotes.
Having said that, the whole affair of 19 year-old folk singer Taylor Mitchell getting attacked by a pack of coyotes in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton National Park is bizarre enough to start off with. Couple this with a public statement from the mother where she seems to be mourning the offending coyotes as much as she was her own daughter.
"When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, 'please don't, this is their space.' She wouldn't have wanted their demise, especially as a result of her own. She was passionate about animals, was an environmentalist and was also planning to volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre in the coming months," Emily Mitchell said in a statement Thursday
[Oh, and thanks for the map of Eastern Canada, CNN. My tiny pea-brain wouldn't have been able to locate Nova Scotia without your visual aides- NANESB!]
Navajo Tribe Mourns the Passing of WWII Vet & Code Talker
For those of you who may not know, Oliver was one of about 400 Navajo servicemen recruited in World War II to broadcast messages in the Navajo language in order to successfully confound Japanese codebreakers monitoring communications. The program wasn't declassified until 1968.
Reflecting on his service, Mr. Oliver had this to say in a 2001 interview:
"I did not realize that until the code talkers were recognized that all the victories back during the war came about because of our Diné language," he said.
"Sometimes I think about it," he said. "Why did the government want to use our language when throughout BIA school we would get our mouth washed out with soap when they caught us speaking Navajo?
"I am proud to be a code talker," he said. "And I know we counted for something great, and that we fought to maintain our freedom and for our sacred land."
After the war, Oliver worked as a carpenter, construction worker, hired on with both the Union Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads and was a policeman and ambulance driver in Fort Defiance, AZ. Willard's brother Lloyd, also a Code Talker, accompanied him to a 2001 ceremony in Washington DC where they and other Code Talkers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bush.
On Nov. 21, 2001 Willard Oliver was awarded the Congressional Silver Medal in a ceremony in Window Rock, AZ.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today's Train of Thought; Black Hills Twilight- October 28, 2009
Almost a year ago to the day, the Canadian Pacific railway acquired the 2500+ mile Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railway as well as its sister company Iowa Chicago & Eastern. This increased the CPR's presence in the Midwestern USA considerably (having purchased the Soo line some 20 years earlier) and put it right at the cusp of Wyoming's Powder River Coal Basin- a lucrative traffic source for Union Pacific and BNSF to this day.
The Iowa Chicago & Eastern, previously operated by Montana Rail Link's Washington Group as I&MRL connected Minneapolis-St. Paul with Chicago and Kansas City by way of the Quad Cities. Ironically, Soo Line acquired these lines with their purchase of the Milwaukee Road in the 1980s,
but Soo Line's parent company- Canadian Pacific- decided to spin off the Twin-Cities-Chicago and Twin Cities-KC trackage to the Washington Group.
As for the DM&E- it never quite reached the Powder River Basin; should it choose to reach the lucrative Wyoming coalfields, that will be up to Canadian Pacific now. For the most part, its bread and butter [no pun intended] was the wheat, grain, soybeans and other agricultural goods it hauled across former Chicago & North Western lines in Minnesota, South Dakota and parts of Nebraska and Wyoming. Appropriately enough, railpictures.net contributor Bran Kindschy caught SD40-2 #6217 of sister railroad Iowa Chicago & Eastern leading southbound DM&E freight HURC (HUron, SD to Rapid City, SD) over Lance Creek at Wendte, SD just before twilight on September 15, 2008- a little over a month before the CPR took over the regional. With frequent 10 MPH speed restrictions, it takes nearly a whole day for the train to travel the 170 miles between the two towns.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sports Chowdah Update for Oct. 27- Celtic Marauders Raid King James' Castle; Astros Hire BoSox Bench Coach as Manager; Arrest Made in Howard Murder
Tonight was the opening tipoff of the NBA season, and the C's started out on the road at Cleveland's Quicken Loans arena- a venue where Boston hasn't won in their last 11 appearances there. It looked as though Boston was on it's way to dropping 12 in a row when the Cavs got out to an early lead, but the C's rallied to take the lead right before halftime and managed to hold on to the lead for the second half, winning 95-89. Paul Pierce had 23 points, Ray Allen 16, Kevin Garnett 12 and offseason free-agent acquisition Rasheed Wallace had 12. Boston's bench outscored Cleveland's 26-10. The home opener for the Celtics is tomorrow night at the garden against the Charlotte Bobcats.
In other Celtics news, Glen 'Big Baby' Davis is expected to miss six weeks after surgery to his fractured right thumb after a fight with a former college teammate. Celtics management is also discussing a suspension of the forward, as his conduct could be considered a breach of contract.
A Bloomfield, CT man has been formally charged in the murder of UConn cornerback Jasper Howard. UConn Police Major Ronald Blicher announced 21-year old John W Lomax III has been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. Police have also arrested Hakim Muhammed, 20, and charged him with conspiracy to commit first degree assault and Jamal Todd, 21, and charged Todd with reckless endangerment and filing a false report for his role in pulling the fire-alarm at the school-sponsored party that preceded the deadly altercation.
The Houston Astros have announced the hiring of former Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills as their new manager today. Mills worked with Terry Francona for 6 seasons in the Red Sox dugout and his hiring by the Astros leaves the possibility that he might persuade current Boston 3rd base coach DeMarlo Hale to come down to Houston and sign on as Mills' bench coach.
Today's Train of Thought- Hoosiers; Oct. 27
With the NBA season tipping off tonight, I thought this image from railpictures.net contributor Don Kalkman would be fitting. On a sunny June 2009, we see Indiana Railroad SD40-2 #4003 and a trailing SD9043MAC pass by the water tower and an outdoor basketball court in Campellsburg, IN- just 30 miles as the crow flies from Larry Bird's hometown of French Lick, IN.
The Indiana Railroad operated on CSX trackage rights over the former Monon Hoosier Subdivision between Bedford, IN and Louisville, KY until this summer when CSX shut down the Hoosier subdivision to through traffic. For the time being, this leaves the INRD to re-route Louisville-bound traffic via Indianapolis and onto the Louisville & Indiana Railroad from there via a haulage rights agreement.
Grim Milestone: McDonalds Withdraws From Iceland After 3 Million Served
Lyst Hr., the franchise holder for McDonalds in Iceland will keep the three locations open, but they will be operating under a different name and use locally available ingredients starting in November.
Is that a Lizard in Your Pants, or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
A man was caught by Norwegian customs carrying a tarantula in his bag, and a further 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos taped to his body, media reported on Monday.
The 22-year-old Norwegian was stopped in a routine check by Kristiansand customs after arriving on a ferry from Denmark, newspaper Faedrelandsvennen reported.Although Norway isn't the world's most ideal climate for pythons, the constrictors have been known to escape and cause problems elsewhere.
Customs found the tarantula, before deciding to give him a full body search that revealed 14 stockings -- one for each snake -- taped around his torso, top selling tabloid VG said.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Iron Horse Roundup: Week of October 20-26
Canadian National announced that it was purchasing 35 new 4400 HP ES44AC 'GEVO' locmotives from General Electric and 35 new 4350 HP SD70M-2 locomotives from EMD. The GEVOs are expected to arrive in late 2010 while the SD70M-2s are expected to be on the property by January 2011. Here, CNR ES44AC #2305 is seen with another GEVO on the former Elgin, Joliet & Eastern trackage in West Chicago, IL in September 2009.
Tourist hauler Wisconsin Great Northern got a substantial increase in horsepower last month with the acquisition of former Wisconsin Central SD40-2 #6006 and Duluth Missabe & Iron Range SD38AC #200 from Canadian National. The railway already owns a 1940-built SW1 and a 1949-built EMD F7A primarily used for their excursions. However, with the recent downturn in traffic on many Class 1 railways, Wisconsin Great Northern agreed to store idle tank cars along its line and in it's Spooner, WI yard. Here, WGN employees are inspecting #6006 shortly after arrival in Spring Brook, WI. It's believed the #6006 and #200 will handle the stored freight cars while the 1940s-vintage diesels will continue with the tourist trains.
Sports Chowdah Recap for October 25-26
It's not arrogance to predict that one of the premier NFL teams of this decade would easily handle a winless franchise on the skids, and that's exactly what happened in London this weekend when New England took on Tampa Bay. Tom Brady was 23-32 for 308 yards with 3 TD passes and 2 interceptions in the Patriot's 35-7 win over the Buccaneers. Interestingly, this is the first time New England has ever had to fly east for a regular season game.
So heading into the Pats bye week, here's how the AFC East looks right now:
While I'm at it, here are the standings for the NHL's Northeastern conference:
Sabres: 6-1-1 (13 pts)
Senators: 5-2-2 (12 pts)
Canadiens: 6-5-0 (12 pts)
Bruins: 5-4-1 (11 pts)
Maple Leafs 1-7-1 (3 pts)
No Bruins until Thursday and the Celtics don't tip off until tomorrow. And in between those two days, we're going to be treated to a Phillies/Yankees world series, as the Yankees eliminated the Angels, winning 5-2, and clinched the AL pennant at Yankee stadium last night.
Doesn't it feel good to see a scrappy bunch of no-names from a small market team with a modest payroll and oodles of homegrown talent overcome all odds to make it to the World Series?
Well...we don't have to worry about that with the AL Pennant winner this year.
Elsewhere, the rumors that Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez might be headed to Boston around the trade deadline were heating up again. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo is reporting that the Red Sox have expressed a renewed interest in the .277 hitting infielder and that Seattle turned down a trade offer earlier this year that would've sent five minor-leaguers to San Diego because they weren't willing to part with a certain prospect. It remains to be seen in there's anybody in the Sox's farm system the Padres would have enough interest in to give up Gonzalez. Further fuelling this speculation is the Padres hiring former Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer as their new GM.
Today's Train of Thought- Change of Seasons; October 26, 2009
Stimulus- New Jersey Style.
Meet Stepfanie Velez-Gentry of Bellmawr, NJ. She's the founder of Nookie Parties- which she describes as being like a Tupperware party, only with lingerie and adult toys.
She's also running for State Assembly as a Republican (I bet Nookie Parties isn't even a union workplace- the horror!). We don't really learn too much about where Mrs. Velez-Gentry stands on various issues, let alone who she's running against- a Libertarian pole dancer? a Democrat nude housemaid?- but looks like she has some experience as the owner of a small business if nothing else.
Meanwhile, blogger Ashok has a roundup on the various New Jersey newspapers who think that Jim Corzine must absolutely, positively not be re-elected.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- It's Going to Be a Super (7) Day; Oct. 25 2009
Within a few years of ordering the Super 7s, the Monongahela was taken over by Conrail. Conrail, in turn, was split between CSX and Norfolk Southern in 1999. The Super 7s dutifully served Conrail and CSX before the latter decided to sell off the oddities. Takers for the 11-unit fleet included the Providence & Worcester, Ohi-Rail, the New Castle Industrial Railroad, Arkansas & Oklahoma and Ohio Central. On a bright August 2008 day, railpictures.net contributor Mike Mautner caught OHCR B23-S7 #4093 and a sister Super 7 heading up the Coshocton-Zanesville, OH 'Steel train' across the Tuscawaras River bridge in West Lafayette, OH.
Since this photo was taken, shortline operator Genesee & Wyoming announced their acquisition of the Ohio Central railroad. So it's entirely possible that besides wearing the paint of Ohio Central, CSX, Conrail and the Monongehela, the 4093 might also be wearing G&W's trademark orange in due time.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sports Chowdah Recap for Oct 22-24- Game 6 a Wash; Patriots to Take on Silly Nannies in London; ND Golden in Holy War; Et Tu Bruins? B's Slay Sens
OK- I'll be the first to admit that I've been derelict in my blogger duties. I was out having a late dinner on Thursday night and the Angels had a 4-0 lead when I left and when I was periodically listening for updates on my way to dinner. While waiting for dinner, I'd occasionally check my phone for game updates, so I couldn't believe it when the Angels blew the lead in the span of one inning. Sure enough, this dining establishment had the game on near the bar, so I figured I'd watch just in time to see Brian Fuentes pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 9th- getting Nick Swisher to pop up and send the series back to a blustery, rainy Bronx for Game 6. So tonight's rainout gave me a chance to follow up on a game I barely caught in the first place. I apparently also missed some piss-poor umpiring in Games 4 and 5. Most of what I did catch was via radio- although at the time I figured it was just the Angels broadcasters being unabashed homers. And I chose to listen to the Angels broadcast because...well, I tend to welcome the sweet sweet embrace of death after listening to two minutes of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Anywhoo, now it turns out MLB is making damn sure this umpiring crew gets nowhere near the World Series.
OK....the thing I'm really starting to enjoy is that even though the 2009 Red Sox are a distant memory, alot of the sportswriters are referencing the 2004 Red Sox and the ALCS. Truth be told, all the pressure is on the Yankees after Game 5. They were the favorites, and they were supposed to run roughshod over the Angels. The longer it takes for them to seal the deal, the more they're going to doubt and second-guess themselves.
#22 West Virginia managed to hold off UConn at Morgantown, WV Sauturday by a final of 28-24. UConn got as close as the West Virginia 33 yard line when a Cody Endres 4th-down pass was picked off by Chris Nield. This was UConn's first game since the stabbing death of cornerback Jasper Howard last weekend. The team plans to attend the funeral in Miami on Monday.
Coming off of Thursday's shootout loss in Philly, the Bruins headed to Ottawa on Saturday night. Down 3-1 with less than 1:30 remaining in regulation, the Bruins absolutely stole one from the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place tonight when Tim Thomas was pulled for an extra attacker and Marc Recchi scored at the 18:32 mark to make it a 3-2 game. Thomas was pulled again immediately after the ensuing faceoff and David Krejci managed to get one past Brian Elliot with 22 seconds left in regulation. Nobody scored in overtime and Tim Thomas stopped all the shooters he faced (Kovalev, Alfredsson and Spezza). Patrice Bergeron scored after Krejci missed in the shootout, and Boston wins its first game against a Northeast division opponent. Tim Thomas stopped 27 of 30 shots faced and tonight was career game #1500 for Mark Recchi.
Today's Train of Thought- The Model of a Modern Major General Freight Hauler; Oct 24th
High Jobless Rates Could be 'New Normal'
WASHINGTON — Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years. That could add up to a "new normal" of higher joblessness and lower standards of living for many Americans, some economists are suggesting.Wow. Freakin' brilliant strategy! Call high unemployment and a decline in the standard of living the 'new normal' and Viola! Instant economic recovery! All is right with the world. I'm so glad the White House and congress 'solved' this problem with the Stimulus bill earlier this year- I mean, that was $787 Billion well spent. Who knows....? Without it, the national unempoyment rate might actually soar past 8%! I can rest easy now.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- Dash 8 Through the Snow; Oct 23rd
President Obama to Sign Hate Crimes Legislation; WV 'Hate Crime' Victim Admits Hoax.
As for the legislation, I have a problem with this on a couple of different levels. For example- if the sentencing should be escalated in a crime where the assailant was motivated by some form of prejudice or hatred to attack the victim, should the sentencing also be increased in the event somebody filed false charges to authorities and perjured themselves such as in this instance or with the Duke lacrosse team a few years ago?
Would hate crimes charges be filed against Abdulhakim Muhammed/Bledsoe in the shooting death of US Army Private William Long and the wounding of Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula in Little Rock, AR earlier this year? Abdulhakim's actions certainly seemed to be motivated by hatred.
Don't get me wrong- bashing somebody's skull in because the assailant didn't like the victim's skin color, religion or sexual preference is pretty horrible. But instead of prosecuting somebody for not liking homosexuals or latinos or what have you....couldn't they be prosecuted for....I dunno- maybe bashing somebody's skull in? I mean- doesn't that carry some pretty heavy jail-time in and of itself? Kind of reminds me of the old In Living Color 'Partner' cop-show parody where the cool, suave detective is killed and the dopey, clueless partner is the one who has to investigate the murder. Cut to 'Partner' chasing one of the suspects at a crosswalk where the light is turning red. The suspect keeps running and the by-the-book partner waits for the light to change and shouts out after the guy 'HA! I've got you for murder one and jaywalking!!'
I can't really think of this as anything more than invasive PC overreaching from this Congress and this President.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- Hard at Work; Oct 22, 2009.
This Day in History, October 22nd 1975.
Today marks the 34th anniversay of Carlton Fisk's 12th-inning walk-off home run off of Reds reliever Pat Darcy in the bottom of the 12th inning in Game 6 of the World Series . According to most baseball writers and fans who were around to witness it live, Game 6 was the stuff of legends. However, Game 6 itself started on October 21st, 1975 with Luis Tiant starting for Boston and Gary Nolan starting for Cincinnati but it was going on 12:30 AM by the time it was the bottom of the 12th at Fenway Park. The iconic footage of Fisk waving the ball fair as he sprinted out of the batter's box was quite inadvertent- the NBC camreaman positioned inside the Green Monster wanted to track the trajectory of the ball, but instead remained still and kept the camera on Fisk while a large rat was crawling across his feet.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sports Chowdah Recap for October 20-21- That's a Big 10-4, Phils Advance to World Series; Predators Fall Further Down Food Chain
OK....first of all, God? Remember when I was praying and telling you 'I don't want to see Joe Torre's team in the World Series again' like...ten years ago? This wasn't what I had in mind!
With that out of the way, congratulations to the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hammels was ineffective in his game 5 start against the Dodgers, giving up 5 hits- including solo home runs to Andre Ethier and James Loney- 3 earned runs and walking a batter in 4 and a third innings. However, none of that seemed to matter as the Phillies offense did not let up against Vincente Padilla, who only lasted 3 innings and gave up 4 hits and six earned runs while walking two batters. The Dodgers managed to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the 8th inning, but relieer Ryan Madson was able to pitch out of it. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for a 10-4 Phillies win.
Meanwhile, a day earlier and on the other side of the country, the Yankees took a 3-1 series lead over the Angels [I hesitate to say 'commanding', since there's recent precedent for teams down 1-3 or 0-3 in the ALDS- NANESB!] with Yankees starter CC Sabathia going with only three days rest and the Yankees winning 10-1.
Today's Train of Thought: A Moment of Refletcion- October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Look! Up in the Sky!
Optimum viewing time is around 6 AM eastern, 3 AM Pacific.
Today's Train of Thought- Fall Colors and Fallen Flags in the Upper Peninsula
Iron Horse Roundup: Week of October 12-19
Hawkeye State shortline Iowa Northern is back in one piece as of the end of September. The railway was effectively bisected after the floods of 2008 washed out the Union Pacific bridge over the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo, IA. Although Union Pacific owned the affected bridge, the 163-mile Iowa Northern was the only railway using it when the 2008 floods struck. The loss of the bridge cut the Iowa Northern in half, requiring lengthy and time-consuming detours over other rail lines. Here, Craig Williams catches the first revenue train over the bridge on October 6th, 2009, led by IANR GP40-2LW #4001.
Extrmemly Rare Cobalt Blue Lobster Caught Off New Hampshire Coast
New England Aquarium Research Director Mike Tlusty said that the blue shell is a result of the lobster being able to process a red-hued antioxidant known as astaxanthin more efficiently, which in turn bonds with proteins in the lobster's exoskeleton- giving it the bluish pigment.Tlusty said the odds of this happening were 1 in 5 Million, and that it was still very tasty when served with warm butter.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- What's Blue and White and Running All Over the Place? Oct 19
Sports Chowdah Recap for Oct 19th- 11th Heaven, Halos Get Past Yanks in Extras; Broncos Special Teams a Royal Pain for Chargers; Phillies J-Rolling
Eddie Royal had a 71-yard punt return and a 93 yard kickoff return in Monday Night's game against San Diego. Darren Sproles had a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown for the Chargers. Same story as last week with the Broncos, right down the the old AFL uniforms and striped socks- Denver trailed at the half then held the opposition to 3 points or less while their offense finally got going (the first offensive TD for Denver came late in the 3rd quarter). The Broncos remain undefeated at 6-0 while the Chargers are 2-3.
A Low Down Dirty Shame
What if they had a beauty pageant and none of the contestants wanted to participate?
Since bi-polar kleptomaniac Ris Low was stripped of her crown, the Miss World Singapore organizers have had a hard time finding a replacement. It's not that there aren't any runners-up, it's just that some of them don't want to go to the Miss World Finals in South Africa in Novmber. Runner up Claire Lee was quoted as saying "I don't intend to represent Singapore unless ERM [the pageant's parent comany] threatens to sue me.". The second runner-up is 19-year old Pilar Arlando.
Also, Ms. Low's claims of bi-polar disorder could be an attempt at further reducing her sentence for identity theft and misappropriation charges by pleading insanity.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today's Train of Thought- Lone Star State of Mind, October 17th
Sports Chowdah Recap for Oct 17-18: Tragedy in Storrs; Extra Extra! Yanks Take 2-0 ALCS Lead After 13; Snow Contest @ Gillette; Winning Convincing-Lee
JASPER HOWARD: 1989-2009
University of Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed in an altercation near the UConn Student union at 12:30AM Sunday morning. Howard was airlifted from Windham Community Memorial Hospital to St. Francis where was pronounced dead.
The Hartford Courant has more on this.
The Philadelphia Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the NLCS at Citizen's Bank ballpark Sunday Night on the strength of Cliff Lee's eight shutout innings, winning by a final of 11-0. Lee gave up only three hits in his outing while Dodgers starter Hideki Kuroda lasted only 1 and 1/3rd innings, giving up 6 runs. Ryan Howard was 1 for for with 3 RBI and a run scored while Jason Werth has a 2 run homer and Shane Victorino a 3-run homer. Game 4 will be Monday night with Joe Blanton on the bump for the Phils and Randy Wolf starting for the Dodgers.
BREAKING: Senior Iranian Military Commanders Among 37 Killed in Suicide Bombing.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A suicide bomber killed five senior commanders of the powerful Revolutionary Guard and at least 37 others Sunday near the Pakistani border in the heartland of a potentially escalating Sunni insurgency.That really would be too bad about any civilians killed in the attack. Of course there's not telling how many jailed, dead and 'disappeared' Iranian citizens there are from this springs post-election protests in Iran at the hands of the Revolutionary Guard and Basij.
The attack — which also left dozens wounded — was the most high-profile strike against security forces in an outlaw region of armed tribal groups, drug smugglers and Sunni rebels known as Jundallah, or Soldiers of God.
As for the Revolutionary Guard commanders- what can I say? Not so fun being on the receiving end of those, is it Mahmoud?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Today's Train of Thought: Life in a Northern Town- Oct 17, 2009
Today's Train of thought come to us from railpictures.net contributor Craig Williams as he documents a Minnesota Southern local through dowtown Adrian, MN. Here, Minnestoa Southern #1379 is seen passing through what could be a Garrison Keilor monolgue after it's just picked up 8 cars from the Union Pacific interchange a few miles away in Worthington.