Tag Archives: train

Surprise! A Tuesday blog entry :-)

Greetings, readers. Yesterday was a hectic mess and almost a disaster. I took a good friend, Becky, to the train station. Traci went with us too. It was supposed to be a stress free day, but it didn’t turn out that way. It was cold, very windy and the Zipcar I was supposed to obtain was not there when I needed it.

After 30 minutes of speaking to several agents, I was finally able to get a car. Traci, Becky, and I got on the road a little bit late and with frayed nerves, but ready to enjoy the 40 minute ride. The speed limit was higher than I expected – 70 MPH – so the trip went by faster than I thought it would. We were in Tyrone in no time and having an early dinner at the Burger King. There weren’t many people there, so we were able to get our food quickly. After finding a table, we sat down to a nice meal and interesting conversation.

We had about an hour to kill, so we didn’t rush eating our meal. I sipped my coffee and relaxed. After sitting and talking it was finally time to go. None of us wanted to go back out into the cold and wind. I was severely under dressed, only wearing a shirt and hoodie. I ran to the car, unlocked it and started the engine. It took a few minutes before the heat was able to blast through the vents. It was just a short drive from the restaurant to the train depot. I kept the car running so that we would all stay warm while we waited for the Amtrak train.

There was only one problem, Becky’s train was a late. She got updates on her cell phone. As a matter of fact, the train was getting later by the minute. Something was wrong. As it turned out her train was being held up by another train that was having difficulties. I thought that’s what the problem was, but I didn’t want to tell Becky my guess earlier because I didn’t want to worry her. I was sad when Traci and I had to leave to get back to town on time. There was no place for Becky to keep warm, just a little shelter by the train tracks. I would have stayed, but I had only reserved the car until 6:30. We did the best we could.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of Star Trek holodeck programs I would have if the technology existed

Greetings, readers. As a Star Trek fanatic and a holodeck episode lover, I started to think, just what programs I would create and save if I had use of a holodeck. In the Star Trek world, even though a person is in a small room, the concept is that holographic images are displayed and moved so that people are tricked into thinking they have unlimited space. Here’s my list in reverse order.

#10. A visit to any city I chose. [Maybe one day I would create Paris and sit to enjoy coffee in an outdoor cafe. The next day, perhaps Rome to visit the Colosseum. Or to Devils Tower in Wyoming.]

#9. Drive a car to anywhere. [Oh, what fun it would be to drive to Maine any time I wanted to.]

#8. My own baseball league with my own home team and personally designed stadium. [I could see the Pennsylvania Lumberjacks, perhaps.]

#7. A house with a virtual family. [This idea, I must admit, came to me after watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Real Life”, where the Doctor created the perfect family, but B’Elanna Torres thought that was too easy and changed the program. I would set it up so that I could control the weather and the type of home and furniture we had, but I would randomized how my family reacted to me day-to-day to be more realistic. I would not have the “perfect” family.]

#6. A train ride to anywhere. [I could ride an Amtrak in America, take a local in New Jersey, or hop aboard the Orient Express. Lots of intrigue and mystery there.]

#5. Take a virtual cruise. [I could set it up for any number of days I chose and for any destination. I could take a quick trip to the Bahamas, or a cruise around the world, stopping at all the wonderful ports of call. This one would have to be saved and gone back to. ]

#4. An airplane ride to anywhere. [I absolutely adore aircraft. I wish I could fly in them more often. If I only had an hour, I would take a prop pane ride from State College to Pittsburgh. If I had more time on my hands, maybe I would hop a jet and fly cross-country to California. I could sit in my virtual airplane seat, take notes, and type my stories.]

#3. To speak to any writer I chose and pick his or her brain. [I could share my limited amount of work with them and ask them to critique it. Hopefully they would be kind.]

#2. A day at the beach. [Imagine the warmth, the sand, the smell of salt in the sea breeze, and of course, the ocean. I could spend hours in this program.]

#1. Recreate a day at Bear Spring Camps anytime I chose. [I would have a few scenarios in this program with different kinds of weather, different times of the year, and, of course, the people I know from real-life Bear Spring, as well as computer generated fictional families. You would hardly ever get me out of that program.]

Honorable mention: Camping in a tent. [I’ve never gone camping in a tent before, but if there was one big enough that I wouldn’t feel claustrophobic in, it would appeal to me. To hear the crickets at night and have my campfire going would be soothing and peaceful. I love nature, especially crickets and the sound of birds.]

There’s my list. I hope you enjoy. Whether you are a Star Trek fan or not, please do chime in with your list, either here or in Facebook.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I saw two good movies last night

Greetings, readers. I was searching through YouTube for something enjoyable to watch, besides Reba, and I typed in Sherlock Holmes. To my happy surprise, several of his films were listed. Both of the films I watched were from the 1940s. The first one was actually just under an hour long and the second one, slightly longer, was an hour and eleven minutes. Oh, how times have changed. Today you are hard pressed to find a film under an hour and a half.

The first movie I watched, from 1946, was about a murder that took place on a train and was called Terror by Night. The two stars were Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. From the outset I knew I’d be hooked because the story began with Holmes and Watson going to Edinburgh, Scotland on a train. Holmes was to guard a valuable diamond, and of course that was the prize catch for someone to steal. Shortly into the movie there is a murder; the son of the elderly woman who owned the diamond. Holmes and Watson conducted interviews with the suspects on the train one by one to discover who the thief and murderer was.

What really made this movie enjoyable for me was it took place on an old steam locomotive. As some of you might know from me writing about Train Simulator, looking at the old English carriages, with each compartment having its own door, was nostalgic. Another thing that was enjoyable for me was that these two films were in black and white, and the special effects were minimal. Back then, they concentrated on story line quality and good acting. I’m not going to give away the ending to either of these films, no spoiler alerts here. So let’s move on to the second film.

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, from 1942, was an equally intriguing and enjoyable film. It was set during World War II, as the Third Reich was destroying London. Everyday a radio broadcast, at first believed to be from Germany, would hit London’s airwaves, not only describing how poorly England was doing in the war, but also warning of impending disasters. Holmes found it odd that these catastrophes would occur either as the broadcast was taking place or shortly thereafter. It was fascinating to me to watch Holmes in action as he deduced where these broadcasts were actually coming from.

Both these films starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, who were in series of Sherlock Holmes films in the 1940s. I do understand that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original setting for his stories and books was in London and in the late 1800s. That was another thing I found so interesting about these two films. You can take these two characters and 221b Baker street, put them in any era, and it works. How brilliant.

Not only has last night’s entertainment spurred my interest in watching more of these films, but after work hours I’m going to the library to get one of the original books. I’m looking forward to it greatly. Remember, I did want to read more; it is on my list of things to do.

I shall keep you updated with how my new interest in Sherlock Holmes progresses. I don’t know how many movies were made but I intend to watch them all.

Until Friday, have a wonderful couple of days, take care, and happy reading.