Sunday Bike Ride (Profusly Illustrated!)

Well, maybe not quite profusely.
Got on the bike this AM and set sail northwest towards Tehachapi Pass in hopes of doing a little trainwatching.
Fist paused at the Hwy 138 junction in Cajon Pass to insert the earplugs that I'd forgotten to bolt in at home, and took this quick snap of the Mormon Rocks that host Sullivan's Curve: the rails are just out of sight at the base of the rocks in this photo.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553850900/sizes/o /
It's getting difficult to photograph the curve itself, as the Forest Service now requires you to buy a "Wilderness Adventure Pass" if you want to get anywhere close to the tracks. (Apparently they've decided that *they* now own all the National forest lands in southern California and that we the people should be required to pay to get in. #%^**+#$!!.)
From Cajon Pass I headed north on 395 to Kramer Junction (Pronounced "Hell-hole") and turned west on Hwy 58: paralleling the BNSF tracks running between Barstow (Pronounced "Barstool". Yes, really.) and Mojave, CA. for about 40 miles.
Noticed that the BNSF has recently erected solar power collectors next to some few of their block signals, but didn't stop to take pictures. Nor could I figure out why there were collectors next to some block signals but not others.
Rode through Tehachapi to Keene, where I exited the Freeway and followed the (very) old highway three miles back up the hill to the Loop; where I dismounted and pounded the dents out of my spine while I waited for a train to show up. Took this while waiting:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553207339/sizes/o /
About five minutes later an empty BNSF hopper train came charging up the hill and I got this sequence:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553839276/sizes/o /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553835766/sizes/o /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553831042/sizes/o /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553828946/sizes/o /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553187639/sizes/o /
Heading home I took a back road shortcut over the Tehachapi mountains towards the Antelope Valley, planning on following the UP tracks down through Soledad Canyon to LA, but as I crested the hill and the Antelope Vally opened before me I almost ran off of the road: the entire twenty miles between Lancaster/Palmdale and Gorman were covered with literally mile upon mile of bright orange California Poppies on the fields and hillsides.
They don't call it the California Poppy Reserve for nothing, and I've seen the desert bloom before, but never anything like this. So I headed due south until I was on a dirt road surrounded by several thousand acres of blooming flowers, and took these:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553183353/sizes/o /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33885727@N03/4553799196/sizes/l /
Ran into no more good railroad photo ops, so I came home via the Original Whistle Stop in Pasadena where I grabbed a handful of small brass parts for future projects.
347 miles, 6 1/2 hours, 49.9 MPG, and a good time was had by all.
~Pete
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On 26/04/2010 03:07, Twibil wrote:

Nah, they just don't have enough money to run the service as you want them to. Pay more taxes, or pay user fees - your choice. We have the same issue here.
Great pics. I especially like those poppies. WOW! We can grow them up here, but they'r pretty anemic compared to what you see there.
cheers, wolf k.
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"Run the service as I want them to"? There's your basic mistake: you assume that I (or someone) "wants" them to do thus and such; and therefore I must be willing to pay for it.
The problem isn't what I -or what any other taxpayer- "wants". It's that the Forest Service -just like practically every other governmental agency- simply takes on more and more functions without being asked, and automatically ends up not being able to pay for all of their operations.
Then -and *only* then- they have to figure out where to get more money.
This has to stop at some point, both because taxpayers are not a bottomless pit and because given a free hand government will automatically expand like a cancer until it reaches the point where the entire system shuts down; all the best intentions notwithstanding.

Our National Forests and National Parks were founded with the idea that they belonged to, and were for the use of, *the people*, not the State; and were to be there for the use of all citizens. (Note that "all".)
The concept was one of the more noble things our government has ever done, but it has slowly become a policy that says "These lands are only for the use of people who can afford to bribe us to allow them to use their own property".
"And oh yes: We're going to be slowly raising the rates as time goes by until these lands are reserved for the private use of the very well- off".
No.
That was *NOT* the idea.
~Pete
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On 26/04/2010 14:53, Twibil wrote:

[...]
Firstly, "you" is used in the generic sense, not you specifically. Guess I should said "run the service as _someone_ wants them to."
Secondly, you sure have sensitive buttons. Just squint at 'em, and you start a rant. Sigh.
Anyhow, gummints always do what someone wants them to do.
cheers, wolf k.
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In most cases, the only people who want those things are the people who provide them: in this case the Forest Service.

Gosh, you suppose that could be because you said something silly and misleading?

Wow. This is going to come as rather a shock to the billions of people who live under dictatorships which do exactly as *they* want to do, and who not only ignore the population's input but who kill said population out of hand if they get too uppity.
Do the words "Tiananmen Square" ring any bells with you?
Wow again.
~Pete
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wrote:

In most cases, the only people who want those things are the people who provide them: in this case the Forest Service.

Gosh, you suppose that could be because you said something silly and misleading?

Wow. This is going to come as rather a shock to the billions of people who live under dictatorships which do exactly as *they* want to do, and who not only ignore the population's input but who kill said population out of hand if they get too uppity.
Do the words "Tiananmen Square" ring any bells with you? ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Do the word 'hyperbole' mean anything to you?
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Heh. "Do" the word 'hyperbole'?
Do the word 'oops' mean anything to you? No?
How about "troll", then?
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wrote:

Heh. "Do" the word 'hyperbole'?
Do the word 'oops' mean anything to you? No?
How about "troll", then?
-------------------------------------------------------
Apparently it don't: "Hyperbole (pronounced /ha?'p?rb?li/[1], from ancient Greek ???????? 'exaggeration') is a rhetorical device in which statements are exaggerated."
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wrote:

Heh. "Do" the word 'hyperbole'?
Do the word 'oops' mean anything to you? No?
How about "troll", then?
--------------------------------------------------
Mayhap you spent too long on they road sans ear plugs?
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I think the article "the" is preferable to the pronoun "they".
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wrote:

I think the article "the" is preferable to the pronoun "they".
------------------------------------------------------------------
Now a Grammar Nazi ...
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On Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:28:47 -0700, Twibil wrote:

No, you're the one being silly. I, for one, am quite happy with the job the Forest Service is doing for the money they get. And I'm by no means rich or even well off. And I don't work for any government, either.
What you want is called anarchy and I hope, for all our sakes, that you don't get it.
Now, back to model RRing. My wife thinks I'm nuts because I'm detailing the interior of a structure that no one will be able to see into after I'm done. I don't normally do this, but once in a while, just for the heck of it, why not?
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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On Tue, 27 Apr 2010 00:15:45 +0000 (UTC), Larry Blanchard

Why not, indeed? I've done it with airplanes and ships, though in the case of the ships if the gunports are open one can see some of the work. Can't see the hold or the orlop, but the detailing is there. It's perhaps not accurate, but then no one will ever know but me if it is or isn't.
I've given some thought to putting brew vats into the breweries. Some of that work might even be visible. Anyone ever try that with the Vollmer and Walther's kits?
--
Doug Wickstrm

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wrote:

There was a micro-brewery some years ago at the north end of Newport, Oregon with large windows on the parking lot and in the lobby allowing one to see the plumbing. It may or may not still be there.
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Um, not to seem impolite, but if you read that into anything I said then it's because *you* read it in there.
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On 26/04/2010 20:15, Larry Blanchard wrote: [...]

Because _you_ know what's in there.
Ah, the satisfaction of doing something useless just because you can do it well.
I think it's called "art" or something. But Art doesn't think he's useless....
wolf k.
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wrote:

I know all those Wrightus boys, and Art's the worst of the lot.
--
Doug Wickstrm

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On 26/04/2010 18:28, Twibil wrote:

[...]
Don't be disingenuous. "Someone" does not mean "the population." [...]
cheers, wolf k.
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On 4/26/2010 12:07 AM Twibil spake thus:

Funny you should mention is Sullivan's Curve: that's the illustration for April on my OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) calendar, showing a 4-8-4 helper leading 3 Santa Fe F-units down around the curve, in extremely picturesque fashion, naturally. (I take it you didn't get any cinders in your hair that day, right?)
--
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
  Click to see the full signature.
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