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Friday, June 28, 2019

Iowa Interstate QJ 6988 with ex-Pennsylvania Railroad, Austin & Texas Central passenger cars

Steam lives! Iowa Interstate Railroad's QJ 6988, a Chinese-built QJ-type 2-10-2 passes through Des Moines, Iowa on June 28, 2019, with auxiliary water tank car IAIS 8000, box car IAIS 9201, five passenger coach cars, and IAIS 707, a EMD GP38-2, on the rear.

The passenger cars – RRDX 1658 "Lake Inks", RRDX 1731 "Lake Lyndon B. Johnson", RRDX 1699 "Lake Marble Falls", RRDX 1654 "Lake Buchanan", and RRDX 1646 "Lake Travis" – were built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1920s and refurnished in 1992 by the Austin & Texas Central Railroad.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Random sips: Tea and Writer's Tears

A half-pound of Black Mango to go… across the country to Reno. There’s a serious lack of Gong Fu Tea in those parts. While there I enjoy a pot of Lavender Sencha for what ails me, in this instance a scratchy throat.

First cuppa of PG Tips with my new electric kettle, a gift from Beasley in Reno! A seldom used spoon holder makes for an excellent tea bag squeezer.

Left, Tea drinker’s mud flaps. Spotted at SF Supermarket in Las Vegas. Right, Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Irish whiskey. Alcohol forward on the tongue, spicy with ginger, butterscotch, and oak, swims down the throat smooth and easy. A fun blend of Pot Still and Single Malt, with nary any Grain. I am impressed!

Random sips of Iowa beers: Confluence, Exile, Backpocket, SingleSpeed

Left, Double dry hopped DSM IPA from Confluence Brewing. Respectfully luscious with tropical fruit notes, reserved bready malt, and a light citrus aroma. Suited for a Spring palette desirous for smoother quaffing brews, yet fortifying enough for those fleeting cool days yet to endure. 6.70% ABV, zero IBU.

Right, Milk Man milk stout from Confluence. Exceptionally smooth and rich with a dark cacao bitterness, finishes with flavors of malted milk and coffee. 5.9% ABV, 28 IBU.


Left, Dankalope American IPA from Exile Brewing. Hoppy, vegetal (dank, duh) flavor and aroma abounds with a piney finish. 6.8% ABV, 40 IBU.

Right, Exile's Grapefruit Bohemian. Tart and tangy, this latest Bohemian sour ale is luscious with grapefruit. Wakes up the palate with some sugar on the back end. 5.5% ABV, 5 IBU.


Left, Pucker Up Raspberry Sour from Backpocket Brewing is an appropriately bright and lemon/berry forward Berliner Weisse. What aroma there is, barley + floral, is easy to miss if you plough right in which is easy to do. Malt and grain does eke out on the finish. Very refreshing! Bring on Spring! 4.4% ABV, zilch IBU.

Right, SingleSpeed Brewing’s Gable, a crisp, clean, yet malty Munich Helles. Pours gold with a solid foamy head, enough noble hop bitterness to balance the malt's sweetness. A fine beer for all occasions. 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Random bits of nature

Left, Poor little bat didn’t survive this winter. Right, Charlie finds his beam.

Left, Always leaf a good impression. Right, It’s snap, crackle and pop when a hailstorm passes through.

Random bits at home

Police took away a body from my building! I kept a YouTube railcam on for a night light after that scene.

Life swag, featuring The Bride.

Left, The latest PEZ acquisitions, a post-trip splurge before everyday frugality resumes. I am rather disappointed at how small Captain Marvel’s head is. Right, The night light sees more action now through the night now that I pee sitting down like German men and don’t need to see where I’m trying to aim.