Friday, December 29, 2017

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Who the heck ever thought that these now, so-called 'vintage self-adhesive photo albums' circa 1976 were a good idea? Once the acetate sheet is pulled off, you're not even half-way there. You have to surgically remove the photo print from the sticky-backed, glue-lined pages. Only then can you do what you want to do with the photo.

Like scanning it.

Thankfully, not all of the seven hundred photos I scanned were stuck in these infernal albums! There were lots of photo corners. Remember them? Well, that's what we used back in the 1980's!

But what a trip down memory lane. Trains and grains. And that's what's going into this book project. Part of how I spent my Christmas vacation.  I just did a ten-year time travel.

Look up, look way up.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Number of Photos

To choose from: Trains 400+. Grain elevators 250+. Don't think I'm gonna run out. Just ran the numbers!

Look up, look way up.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Read!

A very Merry Christmas to all who are following this Trains and Grains project. I know that 2018 will be a great year, and I think you know why.

Thanks for your interest and support so far on this journey!
Look up, look way up,

Monday, December 18, 2017

Trains OR Grains?

No, it's Trains and Grains, but recently I wondered if one could exist without the other. Were potential book readers more interested in grain trains or grain elevators? Was that decision point even a thing? Apparently not.

The results of a largely unscientific Blogger widget poll on this Trains and Grains blog revealed zero percent preferred grain trains over grain elevators. However, 25% preferred grain elevators over grain trains. But here's the big news: 75% voted for 'Do I Have To Choose? Now that is not a result I would have expected.

Aren't they separate things? Well, I guess not. You can't fill a grain elevator without having a grain train going down the track to help empty it. And you can't fill a grain train without a grain elevator. It reminds me of the old adage, "A general needs an army, and an army needs a general". General interest.

This helps me muchly. It reminds me that grain trains and grain elevators are inexorably linked, and it's a linkage that's obviously a popular one. It's a linkage I will be sure to maintain and preserve!

Look up, look way up,

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's a Blog, It's a Book

I couldn't decide. Trains and Grains. What form would this mass of information, photos and data on my travels in Western Canada take? In print or online? Cyberspace or shelf space? Enough intransigence and indecision!

It's a book. The above is a mockup only (or to be Monty Pythonesque, "It's only a model"). I'll leave the magic-making to my graphic designer. Meanwhile, I'll continue to amass items of interest.

Having created four books on VIA Rail, and branching out into branchlines, it's no time to go against the grain. It's time to write what I know and share what I photographed. Paper and its permanence are a good medium for me to work in. So I'll work away.

Meanwhile, the ten people who might be interested in this project can look forward to seeing something on paper following this fall and winter. I know I will, too!

Look up, look way up.

Friday, December 1, 2017

East of Eden

If you consider, as I do, Portage la Prairie to be a combination of Nirvana, Eden and Mecca of Prairie railfanning, then this photo is taken east of Eden.

We're at Oakville, MB in 1984. The agent it out loading the first of a string of cylindrical grain cars in colourful hues.

I'm currently tabulating these visits the eand photos of each elevator.

And in the course of this, I've come to a very significant conclusion. But I want to make sure I'm on the right track, no pun intended. More will be forthcoming on what this conclusion will mean to the ten (apparently, now at least thirteen!!) people who will be interested in this Trains and Grains project.

But for now, it's an overcast day and I am coming to you from - east of Eden!

Look up, look way up,