Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Trane Pix!

Well, it's winding down... The Sugar Harvest Season that is... Only a few more weeks to go. It's seems like only yesterday I was itching to get back to work, now all I'm looking forward to is the end.

Here's some photos I've taken over the last several days for your enjoyment! Above is a shot from the nose of my locomotive as we were waiting for a few more cars to be loaded with fresh sugar cane...
A Cane Loading "Elevator", where the harvest crews load our rail cars with freshly cut raw sugar cane.
A Scene from out my window on the locomotive as I was pulling out twenty loaded cars from the above pictured elevator, just as the sun was coming up.
A "Hot Box"... The older cars in our fleet still have old "Friction Bearing" journals, and frequently they'll overheat, sometimes catching the whole care on fire. The sides have wooden slats, and they'll go up like dry kindling.

Another sunrise from the cab as we were waiting permission to enter the yard with our loads... Florida has some fantastic sunrises!

Hope this holds you all over until I have the energy to actually write something!

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, March 19, 2010

More shit that pisses me off...

OK. I know it seems like all I ever do is bitch about shit that pisses me off, but if I'm not bitching about something and say something nice, like, a really touching handwritten letter I recieved, I'm considered a pussy.

Well, I'm NOT a pussy.


So here goes' another rant of something that should piss you off too, that is if you can read this in your native language.

That is English I'll assume at this point.

When I was sent to West Germany in 1985 in the Army, I tried my best to learn some German and used it frequently while I was out amongst the German population. Never mind that most Germans I met while I was there spoke better English than I did, I did it out of respect for the peoples and the country I was in.

So I can now order a beer, a wurst, find the toilet and get my face slapped by a pretty Fraulein in any Gasthous in Bavaria...

That's not the point.

I tried to learn the language.

Now I'm in the position of working with several, ehem, multilingual people.

We'll all be in the break room having coffee and one will inexplicably break out in (insert language of your choice other than English here) and start talking to another guy in said language...

In front of us all.

That pisses me off.

If you can't say it in English in mixed company, shut the FUCK up!

They don't even try to be fucking subtle.

What really bothers me most is that the said persons have no idea where I've been. The have no idea that I also spent three years in Central America and Habla a shitload more Espainiol than the average Gringo Penthejo (Stupid White Guy) than I let on and it just plain pisses me off to no end that these fuckers who can speak English very well are talking shit about myself, my race and Country right in front of me think they can just get away with it.

If you're going to live here, learn English.

If you want to speak your own language, speak it among yourselves or excuse your self with your mate to chat it up in private...

If you're in company of people who don't speak your language, Just shut the fuck up already! to do otherwise is just plain fucking ignorant!

Again, I can't believe I have to get this angry over this shit...

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I know I've been remiss in writing and visiting all of your blogs in the last week or so but I've been feeling rather run down and the toll of working seven days' a week were catching up to me.

Last Thursday night into Friday morning a cold front moved through bringing with it a shitload of rain... I'm talking about 6 inches of rain in about eight hours. I've got to say this is the coldest and wettest winter here in Florida since I've been here and that rain Thursday night flooded all the sugarcane fields making it impossible for the fields crews to harvest.

So they can't harvest, they don't need train crews to bring the raw cane in, so we were laid~in for about 4 days and for the first time in about six months I had a lot of free time on my hands.

And I slept.

A lot.

Friday morning I got home and planned to putz around the house for a while, take a little nap and then head out to the Tiki Bar for a little early St. Pat's day celebration.


My head hit the pillow around 3 PM Friday afternoon and I didn't wake up until 9 AM the following Day, Saturday.

And I felt like shit.

Not hangover shitty, sick shitty.

I tried to soldier on but I was one big phlegm factory and even though I did go out for a little while Saturday night I would up back in bed around 11 PM snuggled up to a economy sized bottle of NyQuil for the rest of the weekend.

Now I'm back to work again, probably for another six weeks or so then I'll be off for another fun-filled summer of crazy fun and high~spirited antics that only I can have...

But for now, the one night I really wanted to go out and get really shitfaced I'm stuck with a screwed up sleep patterned and the need to be into work at midnight, which negates my desires to really show my Irish genes...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A lost art...

Yesterday I got a pleasant surprise in my mailbox. Something I've not seen in a long, long time. My brother, who's ten years older than me and still lives in Philadelphia sent me a handwritten letter...

We talk often on the phone, if you call about once a month often. In this Instant~Gratification age of cell phones, Blackberries, email and texting, actually sitting down and writing a letter I believe is almost lost.

That he's not at all computer savvy and mistrusts the googlenet is not the point. In this day and age, he thought of me enough to sit down and actually take the time to write a letter to me was touching.

It truly is a lost art.

Even myself, I've lost the ability to do this years ago... But the one hold out I do keep rigidly is I still write out an email to someone in letter form, without all the usual interweb abbreviations, as if it was a real ink-on-paper letter to someone. I'll maybe throw in a "LOL" or two, but other than that I'll write a letter, use spell-check and use proper English.

Maybe I'm behind the times, maybe I'm just getting to be a crotchety old man...

But that letter really made my day!

I say use English when you write, and put ink on paper once in a while...

It just might brighten up some one's day!

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I'm surrounded...

By idiots.

My one character flaw (among many, but this one is the most prevalent) that I have that stands out glaringly is I don't suffer fools lightly. Of course I make mistakes. Lots of them. But I'm smart enough to learn from them and not to make the same mistakes twice.

But the older I get the more and more I'm convinced the world is populated by morons.
"Why do you think like that Tommy?" I know you're asking yourself... Well, if I'm wrong and the world isn't full of idiots, why, oh why, would this sign above even be necessary?
That is the reason I'm posting this sign on my front door...

Seven or eight more weeks I was told this morning...

Can I deal with another seven or eight more weeks of sheer, unadulterated moronic stupidity without my head exploding?

Summer can't come soon enough.

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photos pinched from the Interweb/Googlenet