Monday, December 31, 2007

2007-12-31 Life to Imitate Printing Error?

As seen on the route map of a Skytrain car:

Take a close look at the right side of the map. ^_^

Ironically, if there is significant sea-level rise, Maple Ridge and Pit Mewdows will experience significant flooding, especially when the Fraser River is in flood.,-122.8642&z=6

Not to mention that Richmond and Delta will be under water...

I guess that would result in a new refrain to the saying, "Richmond means never having to say you're Surry", with "Surrey means never having to say you're underwater". ^_^

2007-12-31 Standing Room Only!

When we caught the 99 B-Line, they were running one of the new New Flyer articulated busses (or "artics" in transit vernacular"), and we noticed that they were configured without seats at the articulation joint. Instead, there were shoulder-high padded seat-back that one could use to lean against.

Very strange...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007-12-30 Strange Playground

Here's a playground set that looks like a cross between Paul Klee's Twittering Machine and Alexander Calder's Lobster Trap and Fish Tail.

...And a pink elephant!

2007-12-30 Trees against the Sky

2007-12-30 Lasers at 93%...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007-12-29 The Coastal Renaissance

The "Coastal Renaissance", the new Super-C Class ferry sits at the dock in Nanaimo, having recently arrived from Germany.

2007-12-29 Winter Sunrise

A lovely sunrise seen from the Lougheed Skytrain station.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007-12-25 On Browser Naming

Sure, there's "Firefox", and "Iceweasel"... But what we really need is "Watermoccasin"!

A logo will be forthcoming... ^_^

2007-12-25 Passed by the Sister Train

While we were travelling through Oregon on Dec 23rd, we pulled off on to a siding, and the southbound Coast Starlight passed by us on the main line.

2007-12-25 Squirrels in the Snow

Despite the snow, the squirrels were still out and about.

2007-12-25 Let it SNOW!

All I want for Christmas is a BLIZZARD!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2007-12-23 Cascadia by Train, Day 2

As part of our winter holidays, we (Seamora and Tafyrn) took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Vancouver, B.C. It is a forty hour trip, and the train never arrives on time, but it is a spectacular trip notwithstanding. As we travelled, we have taken photographs to share.

We woke up as the train was traversing the highlands of Oregon. We sadly missed seeing Mt. Shasta, as it was dark when we passed by earlier in the morning; however, we were rewarded with many views of vast vistas of snow. When we arrived in Klamath Falls, even the taxis were covered with a fresh dusting of snow.

The volcanic origin of the landscape was still very apparent, despite the snow cover. Many of the cuts into the hillside along the rail right of way exposed different types of rock, showing areas where less viscous flows were overlain with pyroclastic deposits.

The day was very overcast, and the closest we saw to blue sky was a faint rainbow in the far distant snow clouds. As we started to descend towards Eugene, the depth of the snow deposits varied between half a foot an a foot. It was interesting to see how localized the temperatures were. Some areas that were higher, and one would have thought would be colder had no snow remaining on the trees, were other lower areas had trees covered with snow.

As we descended, the snow faded and was replaced by numerous streams and puddles. Some of the rivers we crossed looked to have high levels of flow. At the rail yard in Oakridge, we saw a set of Union Pacific engines coupled to a plough car, which had evidently had some use over the past week.

To the north of Oakridge, there is a red covered bridge that spans a river. Every time we travel on the Coast Starlight, we try to get photographs of it, and this time, we succeeded. They had even placed a large wreath at one of the entrances.

As we approached Eugene, we passed by a large reservoir. From this point onwards, the signs of human habitation increased in density. Our train was delayed in Eugene, but we soon made up time as the tracks north of Eugene are much better than those to the south.

Sadly, it quickly got dark due to thick rain clouds, so we were unable to take many more photographs.

It was a wonderful trip, and surprisingly, we arrived almost on time! Shocking!

We will post our full gallery of photographs from the trip in a few days, when we have a chance to upload them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007-12-22 Cascadia by Train, Day 1

As part of our winter holidays, we (Seamora and Tafyrn) took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Vancouver, B.C. It is a forty hour trip, and the train never arrives on time, but it is a spectacular trip notwithstanding. As we travelled, we have taken photographs to share.

Our journey started at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Immediately after leaving the station, the train passes by a number of historical passenger rail cars on a siding. These cars are frequently used as film sets. The Metro Gold Line travels along the elevated rail line.

Farther north, the train passes by a very clean and orderly housing project, then passes by the Gold Line Metro rail maintenance centre. We have never seen the grey LRT vehicle seen here in service, and we suspect that they are waiting for when the Gold Line extension opens in 2009.

The train then crosses the Los Angeles river, usually a trickle trapped in concrete, then passes the Metrolink maintenance centre. On the side of one of the Metrolink buildings is a large and very colourful mural which we find very beautiful.

North of the Metrolink centre is a series of abandoned rail yards that stretch for several kilometres. They feature two turntables, the remains of a engine yard and other interesting railway relics. It is very sad how much of our railway infrastructure has been neglected or actively destroyed over the years.

After travelling north along the coast for several hours, the train passes through Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is a spectacular stretch of track, with views of the Pacific Ocean, numerous species of low succulent flora, and sand dunes.

The train then turns inland and travels through farmland before climbing into the hills. By this point, the short December day was ending, treating us to a spectacular sunset.

Happy Winter Solstice!

2007-12-22 Texture Study

The tiled floor of the Union Station terminal of the Gold Line in Los Angeles.

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007-12-21 Los Angeles from the Air


La Brea Tar Pits, Wilshire Boulevard, and McArthur Park.

Downtown Los Angeles

Union Station, L.A. River, and the intermodal rail yards