July 18, 2017

A FREE DAY



·       Today is our last day Comic Con free.  Tomorrow afternoon, we are off to the convention center to pick up our volunteer badges.  I’m looking forward to seeing friends again, and wondering how I will do without a scooter that first day.
·       House stuff:  I work at the Discovery shop till one tomorrow, and while I am at work the carpet cleaners will do their thing.  G has scheduled the plumbers after Comic Con…the main drain from the kitchen is very fragile and is leaking right over the garage door..
·       It’s very humid here right now.  The monsoonal flow that usually blows through Arid-zona, is moving up our way from Mexico.  Thunderstorms and showers are usual in the mountains, but not here at the beach.  I’m so sorry for all our visitors…especially those in all consuming costumes.
·       Finally…all my skin cancer repairs are almost well.  Only one spot remains, and as soon as that scab is gone I’m back in the pool.  I have gained enough weight these last few months to sink a battleship even on my low carb diet.  Photos show me embarrassingly large…Life without exercise doesn’t make it.
·       Today I will process pictures from the train trip and make up a few posts ready to put online.  My phone is charged, my clothes laid out, and I am almost ready for the madness to begin.
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  • Himself:  At work.  We had bacon with our breakfast this morning….what a treat.  He has taken tomorrow off.
  • Herself:  Writing here, dishes, house stuff….a light day.  Managed to remember everything we needed at the store, but forgot bags to carry them in.  LOL
  • Reading:  The new and very dense Silva.
  • Gratitude’s:  Oldest daughter said she liked me.


July 17, 2017

UNDERBELLY


Torrey Pines above the ocean.
            

Torrey Pines slough.

I love the world I see from the train.  The great swaths of hills, the miles of ocean and sand, but I am just as fascinated by the aging backsides of the cities.  Where Minneapolis has its miles of burned out industrial buildings, here in LA the land is flat and industry expanded outward endlessly.  Much of it is tired and worn.

The old inner core of industrial structures are ornate with decorative touches that the post WWII slab buildings don’t have.  The roofs can be pointed with air vents.  The early fifties structures have rounded roofs easily seen from the train.  Many have skylights.  Sixties and later buildings make no effort at inner comfort with their flat roofs.  No sun is allowed inside those blank walls.

Some homeless have been brave and huddle under blue tarps near the rails.  But on Saturdays and Sundays, the miles of industry are uninhabited.  Even the homeless are out of sight.  A few open doors gape widely for trucks that won’t arrive until Monday.   I imagine the heat inside nearing a temperature you can bake cookies.

We both take our turns at the windows and take photos of this alien world as it whips on by us.




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  • Himself:  Gym.  Working hard for two days then he is on VACATION.
  • Herself:
  •   Cleaning, dishes, laundry, class at the gym.
  • Reading:
  •   Cadell:  Finished one of a trio written in the fifties.
  • Gratitude’s:
  •   For everything this morning.


    July 16, 2017

    RIDING THE RAILS


    A wisp of steam comes from a valve.  The engine is alive.

    We parked in Old Town.  After I learned how to use the new ticket machine, we had an easy trolley ride to the San Diego train station and the beginning of the line.  Only a short wait got us perfect seats in one of the two business cars.  They filled up rapidly, and we had a very slow trip north to LA.  One passenger became ill, and the train made an unexpected stop to evacuate her.  Our delay delayed all the other trains all day.

    We arrived to find a very, very long line to get into the train fest.  G went off to find food, while I inched forward on my walker.  Blessings on walkers with padded seats for old ladies with legs that go dead.  Grilled cheese sandwiches got us through four restored cars and over to the few displays.  It was too hot to do much beyond eat a melting bowl of ice cream from a food truck.

    George is my hero.  He pushed me up a long ramp when we thought our ride wouldn’t get us to the train on time.  Great train car.  Heading home, the scenery was perfect, the airconditioning delightfully welcome, and we got off a stop early where our car waited patiently for us cool under a tree.
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    • Himself:  Felt this first Train Fest a bust.  Today: Breakfast out, visit Poolie, and dress up to be Chair.
    • Herself:  Ditto, but dress up to read the Traditions.  One scab gone, a second almost, and one remains from the freezing.  Two are totally healed.  Progress.
    • Reading:  Unusually, I have two books open as I didn’t want to take my fragile, just arrived from England Cadell on the train and instead took an old Perry.
    • Gratitude’s:  George.




    July 14, 2017

    ALL ABOARD

    …adapted from a blog entry written on July 1, 2011.


              


    I woke early this chill February morning.  My bag is packed for the day, and I was eager to get going.  My husband kindly drove me down to the San Diego Santa Fe station in the dark predawn hours.  Within minutes I have found my seat in the Business Class car knowing I will see the ocean out my window as the sun rises.  I’m heading to up to LA on the train to see a friend.  It’s always my favorite way of traveling.   While I am there, I will be visiting the restored LA Union Station.  It waits shining but not at all resting in the warm sunshine of Los Angeles. 
                           


    Detail of the side of the building.  Garage Entrance.

    The Wikipedia Union Station entry says this about the building:  “Union Station was partially designed by the father and son team of John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinsons…..assisted by a group of supporting architects, including the famous Jan van der Linden. ….their firm designed many landmark Los Angeles buildings from the late 19th century onward. Th(is) structure combines Dutch Colonial Revival Style architecture (the suggestion of the Dutch born Jan von der Linden), Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style, with architectural details such as eight-pointed stars.”
               


    From the South courtyard to the waiting room.

    The voters approved replacing old Chinatown with a station that would serve all the existing railroads plus the red line trolleys that came into Los Angeles. 



    An original architectural drawing taken in 2003.

    Built in a T shape linked by Spanish style colonnades, the long main waiting room is flanked by gardens.  Both the original ticketing area to the left and the Fred Harvey Restaurant to the right are now empty used only for filming and bypassed by modern spaces further into the building. 
               


    The original ticking area.

    After being a hub of transportation during WWII, slowly the station fell into disuse as the airplane took over as the only way to travel.  A major developer took over the station in the 1980’s and 51 acres of the surrounding land, and by 1992 the restoration of the building was finished. 



    A view of the waiting room from the tunnel end.
               


    Tiles and wall jack.
               


    The original Fred Harvey restaurant to the left of the ticket area.

    In the fifties, you would stop for lunch at the Harvey House, now restored but empty, Leave your baggage with the red cap, and check the board to see if your train was on time and ready to go.

    Down the tunnel you walk, the red caps following with your bags. Turning left, you go up the ramp to the long train sheds and your waiting train.  Today the deep rumble of the diesels has overtaken the drama of steam.  Still the excitement is there.  That sense of adventure as you are welcomed to your car.  The race to find just the right seat on just the right side of the train is still there. All Aboard.
                                                                                             


    July 13, 2017

    SANTA FE #3751



    The Santa Fe Northern type steam engine number 3751

    It’s going to be a busy two weeks.  Pride here in San Diego starts tomorrow.  Next week, beginning Thursday we have Comic Con.  In the middle is the LA train fest.

    We are going to skip Pride.  Though we were asked by the ACS, we did it for a great number of years with the Quilt.  Enough.  It’s going to be hot in the park, and we are going far, far away where the heat will be just as bad.  We are off on Amtrak to the LA Union Station…one of my favorite architectural places to enjoy Train Fest 2017. 

    The operating 1927 engine #3751 will be there as will a number of restored cars.  Here’s a few links to share our excitement with you.

    LINKS
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    http://www.unionstationla.com/history>LA Union Station History – with links at the bottom
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    • Himself:  Working hard till Friday.  Next week only three days hard labor.  Carpets done next Wednesday.  We haven’t heard from the Volunteer folks at CC yet.

  • Herself:  Looking forward to Saturday, and next week I will be at work when the carpets are cleaned.  G says I am being paranoid and that the volunteer staff at CC hasn’t forgotten us tho others have had their invites.  Remember we forgot to go to the Early volunteer meeting.

  • Reading:  The bio of Queen E2 as a modern Monarch.  Well written so far.

  • Gratitude’s:  That the days have been cooler.


  • July 11, 2017

    COSTUMES ON A HANGER

    Yes I know they droop rather than drape.  They are shapeless rather than cohesive.  But they are done and ready to wear.

    What is G’s costume?  It’s from Fallout 4: a PC, Playstation, and Xbox game.  He is wearing the uniform of a person just released the vaults designed to keep him safe during bombing.  The uniform is form fitting, and on the back has 111 rather than 1.  Add black boots and electronic cuffs.  G will also be wearing a trump wig.


    Front.


    Back showing the feeding tube.

    Vaguely Viking is me.  The actual costumes have sleeves and large gold or silver worked buttons on the apron straps.  The clay buttons on the cap were made in the 1960's when I was taking pottery at Southwestern College.



    Details of the front.


    Now I will go iron and trim mine.
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    • Himself:  We are both looking forward to the train show in LA.
    • Herself:  Counting the days til Comic Con.  Going to have a great train ride up to the Train Show.
    • Reading:  Bio of QE2.
    • Gratitude’s:  That it’s such a great day with cool air all about us.


    July 10, 2017

    IT'S ENTERTAINMENT


    2010

    G’S Comic Con costume glitters.  Mine needs pressing.  We are almost finished, and I am so glad.  I’m going to take a few weeks off now then get back to Bobbies Quilt.


    2010

    I have no idea what this phalanx of lovely ladies is supposed to be, but here they are just getting off their bus.  Yes, Comic Con sets up a mass transportation system that’s second to none.  You can go from almost any hotel in any city to downtown easily. 

    Over the years we have developed a system that looks a little out of the way.  We drive far into the valley.  There we board an almost empty trolley at the stadium.  It will fill to the brim as we move closer to downtown.  But we are seated and can enjoy the scenery and costumes in comfort.  Going home is a whole different world.


    2013


    2015: It was packed far tighter a few stops earlier.

    Today, at last, we move on into some sort of normalcy.  Laundry, ironing, exercise class, Grocery shopping…I am so fat that eating out isn’t ok this week at all.  It will be in the 80’s here, but I am getting on the road in un-AC’d Grumpy early.  G will sit in air-conditioned comfort until we leave in the air-conditioned Toyota for our first Spring Round up meeting in an air conditioned recreation center.

    They say one has to go to any lengths to keep ones sobriety.  Meetings when the temperature is over 100 and there is no AC is beyond any length for me.

    A FREE DAY

    ·        Today is our last day Comic Con free.  Tomorrow afternoon, we are off to the convention center to pick up our volunteer b...