Monday, October 24, 2011

Solar Maximum and the Aurora

The CME hit Earth today and the Aurora is splendid tonight. Not since 2002 have I seen the sky light up like this!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Low Light

Free time for photography has been limited this year. Them little babies, kids, work, and everything else seems to suck up the time I have for the photo thing I like to do. I have decided to post a few low light shots from the summer. Some from storms, sunsets, and work.
 Lightning is always hard to capture... many shutter openings and many misses or the wrong direction in bulb!

Protecting our defenders.
A stick, fulcrum, and a quick off camera foot stomp!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Playing with Fire

Work is hot sometimes, and sometimes I get to photograph work. 
The official release:
Firefighting Training at Selfridge

Posted 9/6/2011   Updated 9/7/2011
127th Wing Public Affairs

9/6/2011 - SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- Training exercises are an essential component of service in the U.S. Air Force. The base fire department at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., conducted a training exercise on Sept. 2, 2011, utilizing an aircraft simulator and a variety of live fire scenarios.

The modern day pit fires are not JP-8 (jet fuel) of the days I first learned to fight fire on. Today we use LP gas and electronic controlled ignition, like your stove. Safer, cleaner, and less fun I guess.

A P-19 firetruck engaging with the roof turret.
Sunset and fire.
Snozzel, bumper turret, and roof turrets engage on the fire.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baltimore Visited

 The International Association of Fire Chief's (IAFC) Hazmat Conference was held last May in Baltimore, MD. I attended the conference for a second time, the first time for me to stay in Baltimore. I am not a big city fan (never will be), but must say Detroit is doing it all wrong!  What a waste of a wonderful waterfront in Detroit. Baltimore was clean, safe, and thriving along the waterfront and many blocks inside in all directions from. I'd say that Baltimore's waterfront should be a goal for Detroit, but what do I know... I'm just a firefighter and photographer and not into urban planning. I'd rather watch the wheat blow in the wind, then fight the potholes, traffic, and mess in and around Detroit to see something there. But if... big if... the D was ever to try and do something with their waterfront, look to Baltimore as an example.

The restaurant below my window had some good food and OK prices... almost every meal in town was no-less than $15.00 and up. The Sheridan Hotel was not the best but made for an OK stay for 5 nights.

Army Golden Knights

It has been a busy couple of months... so for June here are a few images. Army Golden Knights parachute team came in for a VIP jump at Selfridge for something to do with Michigan International Speedway. MIS was there jumping with them as well as some local politicians. All landed safely while we were there.

Special thanks to Mark for letting me borrow some "glass" (Nikon 18-105mm lens) to try on these shots. Nice FOV and image quality.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Work Shots

Dreary weather has kept much of my photography limited this spring. Finally, we had some decent weather for a few hours a day over a two week time and I was able to get a few shots in.

 A-10s breaking off for landing.
 A-10s on the taxiway heading to park.
 View of in the cab of Engine 3. The mirrors are big blind spots in the field of view.
 Engine 3 and Tender 15 with personnel doing drafting training.

 Tender 15 is dumping into the drop tank. Engine 3 has the hard suction hose in the drop tank going into the 6" steamer connection to the pump. A vacuum pump (priming pump) is used to lower the atmospheric pressure inside the pump and draw the water up the hard suction hose into the pump itself. This completes the priming of the pump and allows the water from the drop tank into the pump to use for firefighting purposes.
 Anyone want to swim?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Grand Trunk Blue in the Spring

 It has been a nasty, cold, grey, and wet spring. Not too much fun for photographing anything, but from the comfort and warmth of the cab of my truck, these shots were had this week.

GTW 4907 heads south on the Mt. Clemens Sub at Hall Rd.

The Paper Mill turn in Port Huron has this old (1956 era) GP-9r rolling down the tracks.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Spring Winter

It's almost April and I have had snow on the ground at the house since the 1st week in January! New Years weekend was the last time we had no snow on the ground anywhere at our home. Currently 6 to 8" cover our grass, deck, and other areas of the yard. Our snow fence stands shredded in areas, a testimony to the brutal winter thus far. What has Spring bought us? Snow, thunder snow, and some freezing rain. I certainly hope the warmer spring weather come soon!

Should be grass here right?
 Wasn't there deer out there in the rye field eating greens two days ago?
The sun has set due west, so I know it's Spring!
The ice is in the rut; plowing was dreadful this day!
No wonder the song birds are not around yet!
 Surely the railroaders want Spring too!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

PH&D Castleblayney Scrapped

The PH and D RR Historical Society has been trying to get the old PH andD Business Car Castleblayney back on home rail for some time now. There has been considerable planning, time, and money was put forth to find a route to return the car to the Port Huron at the PH&D RR HS located in the PH and D Wye on 32nd St.

If I call correctly, there were problems with CSX allowing this car to be transported via rail due to the wheel-set or bearings on the trucks. I recall a conversation that CSX had transported a private passenger car before in which the the bearings seized up and caused a derailment, damage to the ROW, and loss of freight. The Castleblayney I believe had those same bearings. CSX then later banned the movement of any train car with that type of bearings from that point on. Getting past that problem apparently was not resolved. 


The photos and video were from DeWitt Chapple Jr I believe.

Castleblayney 2009 at the GCRM Miami, FL. Photographer unk.

Quoted Posts from Sandy Duffy on Railway Preservation News "It is my sad duty to report that the Port Huron and Detroit business car Castleblayney has been moved to the "scrap line". As most of you know, this historic car was the first heavyweight Pullman business car ordered and bought by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in 1927. It was designated car #1, Richmond.
The car had been deteriorating slowly while at the Gold Coast Museum. Had my mother known that this was to be her fate, I don’t think she would have donated the car. Unfortunately, a number of factors made it very difficult to save it, let alone move it.
The only items saved are the nameplates off the car and the keys to the observation door.
The money initially raised to transport the business car was used to purchase and move 
PH and D RR caboose #62 (originally as delivered new #52). This is now resting on the property of the  PH and Dt Railroad Historical Society."

Not being in the entire information loop here the Gold Coast Railroad Museum must have had a time frame before for this car to be removed or it would suffer the fate of GTW 4-6-2 5629. Well unfortunately the 
PH and D Business Car Castleblayney has suffered that fate due to unable to mitigate the problems with the car.

Please refrain from bashing CSX, The Gold Coast Railroad Museum, or my fellow members of the 
PH and D RR HS on not getting this car back to home rails.
Some things just cannot be avoided due to costs, RR Regulations, etc. The money involved in trying to get this car back was put forward to getting the Caboose back to the 
PH and D wye. These photos come from Bud Gilbert, credit to the photographer, who ever they are.

Again this is a sad end to some of Michigan's Railroad History. I guess the trucks will be used on another car there at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, FL.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Right Spot at the Right Time

-1 was the temp and it was a cold westward pull for this CN train heading out of Tunnel Yard in Port Huron. The train is going through the Tappan interlocking plant as it heads west on the #1 main track.
I was in the right spot at the right time for these images... rare!