Friday, June 26, 2015

Buffalo Bill - Pony Express

From our collection of old postcards ...

Note the saddle bag:  U S M
Today's Postal Carriers have it pretty good.

We have no info on the artist or vintage of this card.
We guess the publication to be 1940s or 50s.

In December, 2014, we featured a different old card about Buffalo Bill which you can see here.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Update for a few recent photos from the neighborhood ...

Celebrity Solstice arriving this morning.
Passengers will disembark this morning, new passengers will board
this afternoon, and she will depart for another 7 day trip to
Alaska about 4 PM.

Olympic Mountain Range in the distance.
We liked the way the haze and angle of the sun's rays
brought out the various layers of mountains.
Late evening June 20.

One of the Ferries crossing Puget Sound
Early morning June 22.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Liebster Award from Bethany

Many thanks to Bethany of Liberty or Death for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is a way of learning more about fellow bloggers by asking them questions. Read all about the Award and its rules here. My answers to Bethany's questions are below.

Why did you begin blogging, and how long do you think you’ll continue?

Many, many years ago I started collecting old postcards and memorabilia. Most of it relates to historical railroads, the Pacific Northwest and the National Parks, especially Yellowstone. In 2010, I asked myself, “How could I share this collection with others who might find it interesting?” The answer was a blog and the beginning of John’s Island. I also found it to be a good place to share other hobbies like photography. As to the second half of your question … I really don’t know.

Part of my collection and one of my first digital camera photos.
That was back when camera makers thought it cool to put
the date on photos.
Yes, the collection has grown since 1999.

What is your go-to meal for when you need to cook something quickly?

How quick is quick?  5 minutes is a bowl of oatmeal.  If I've got a bit longer ... Beef stew … takes 30 minutes. Brown the beef and place into the electric pressure cooker. Add a cup of lower sodium beef broth. Dice up 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, a russet potato, ½ medium onion and add all to the pot. Cook on high pressure 20 minutes. Quick release pressure and, if necessary, add about a tablespoon of corn starch to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious.

You’re shipwrecked on an island; what one thing would you have with you?

A radio … Not just any radio, but a ham radio with a well charged battery. Since I’m a licensed operator I’d use the radio to contact a buddy and ask for rescue.

If you could choose any profession, what would it be? 

After working through the ranks, I’d like to end up Captain of an ocean going ship, preferably one that delivers mail to small ports in sparsely settled parts of the world.

If you could meet any of your long-distance blogging friends, which ones would you most like to meet?

Three Canadian bloggers:  Joyful of Snap That, Red of Hiawatha House, and Ruth of Ruth’s Photo Blog. Also, of course, I would like to meet Bethany, who nominated me for this award. Really, there are many others.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Spumoni -  It’s an Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts.

Describe a perfect day.

After having open heart surgery a few years ago, almost every day is perfect … at least it is a blessing and a bonus. I guess the best days are when I don’t need to spend a lot of time in Seattle traffic!

If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

I would love to turn the clock back to May 10, 1869, and be in Promontory, Utah, standing in the front row of observers watching the golden spike being driven at the celebration for the completion of America’s first transcontinental railroad.

The Last Spike (1881) by Thomas Hill
(Painting is in Public Domain and via Wikipedia
at their "Golden Spike" page.)

Have you ever been in a choir or singing group, or played an instrument?

Yes, believe it or not, when just a youngster I was in the Texas Boys Choir.

What is the most encouraging thing anyone has ever told you/or that you’ve ever read?

This is the toughest question for me. I’ve read so many encouraging things and have had so many people say encouraging things to me that I really can’t pick out just one. But here’s a recent one … I’ve been volunteering in the Neonatal Intermediate Care Unit in one of Seattle’s big hospitals. My job is to hold newborn babies when the nurses and/or parents are too busy or not available. A couple of weeks ago a baby boy about 10 days old was very fussy. He had been born addicted to drugs … his mother had been using them before his birth and the hospital was trying to wean him off his addiction. When I arrived in the Unit early in the morning his nurse was just coming on shift and needed to catch up with the nurse who had been on duty overnight. The little boy was crying loudly and quite a disturbance. The nurse asked me to hold him and rock him for a while. As soon as I had him in my arms he quieted down and was soon sound asleep. The nurse came over to me and said, “You are a godsend.” That felt pretty good and made my day!

Would you share a favorite quote or Bible verse?

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”  --  U. S. President Calvin Coolidge

Part of the Liebster Award is to pay it forward by nominating other bloggers to participate. Participation is, of course, entirely voluntary, and I suggest you read about the Award at the link above before deciding to join in or not. My nominees (if they'd like to participate):

Joyful at Snap That
Red at Hiawatha House
Ruth at Ruth's Photo Blog
Linda at Linda's Peaceful Place
DJan at Eye on the Edge
Karen at Life is Good
AriĆ«lla at Begrijp je wat je leest?
And anyone else who'd like to answer my questions.

(I'd love to read answers either on your blog or in comments on this post.)

1.  Would you share a favorite quote and/or a favorite Bible verse?
2.  How did you get interested in blogging?
3.  Which one of the four seasons is your favorite and why?
4.  How do you follow global news ... TV, radio, internet, or other? Or no news for you?
5.  Do you have a favorite bird or flower?
6.  Do you have a pet(s) and, if so, what kind(s)?
7.  What is your go-to meal for when you need to cook something quickly ... 30 minutes or less?
8.  If you could travel anywhere in the world and stay for up to one month where would you go?
9.  Do you have hobbies other than blogging? What are they?
10. If I were to visit you in your hometown, what would be the first place you'd want me to see?

I owe a note of thanks to several Liebster participants as I have used some of their questions above. And, thank YOU for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice 2015

One of our interests is astronomy. How about you ... Are you interested in the sun, moon, planets, and stars? The one thing in the universe that affects our planet Earth the most is our sun. Today is the day of Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere). At the risk of oversimplification let's just say this:  The length of daylight will start getting shorter after today as we head to the Winter Solstice in December.

An interesting site explaining all this is Time and Date. Here is a screen shot taken today ...

Check out the Time and Date website here.

Our old postcard today is one we've posted before. It's one of a series of 4 cards ... one for each season ... published by S. Porter in Chicago in about 1906.

Wishing you a fine season ahead. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mid June Update

Warm and sunny days have arrived in Seattle. (We know that sounds hard to believe!) We've been out for our walks and keeping the camera handy ... here are a few recent photos from our neighborhood.

Last weekend it seemed red was catching our eye ...

Really red wild rose.

And a few about to bloom.

Really red caboose we spotted down in SODO
(Close to downtown Seattle)
It appears to have been refurbished or is brand new.
Either way it has the historical logo of the
Great Northern Railway
and is also marked for current railroad

For those of you who are not into trains, have you noticed that you rarely see a caboose these days? Railroads figured out they could save a lot of money (or at least some money) by doing away with the job where someone just rolled along at the end of the train, in their own private car, so to speak, with the assignment to report any problems. Instead, they now use a little device that hooks onto the last car and reports status wirelessly to the train's engineer. Ahhh.... technology.

Getting back to red, some folks were seeing red ... although the thing was yellow ...

Polar Pioneer Drilling Rig heads out of Port of Seattle
for Alaska. Protesters don't like it for environmental reasons. Shell
says it's good and will help their bottom line and shareholders.
Either way it was interesting to see it go by.
Two big tugs were pulling and a
Coast Guard Cutter was along side.

To get some perspective on how big the rig is, take a look at the photo in this Seattle Times article. You can compare it to the skyscrapers in the background.

Then on Monday ... it seemed to be white ...

We found this white tent-looking structure at nearby Kerry Park.
Kind of ominous at first ... like something at a funeral.
No worries, just TV Anchors wanting Seattle to be the backdrop.

A couple of pretty big trucks parked in a No Parking zone.
Yes, they were the exception.
That is a large Up-Link satellite dish.

Or maybe green and white ...

Garbage container gives it all away.
It's all about the U. S. Open!
You know ... Golf at Chambers Bay
(But isn't that in Tacoma? LOL)
We do not know what the stepladder is for.
Kind of blue yesterday afternoon ...

Hanjin Namu Freighter at anchor not far from
the neighborhood.
We guess there is no space for them at the
loading/unloading docks a bit further
to the south.
One more shot this morning ... darker blue ...

Yes, it's the Namu again.
Notice the difference?
Tidal currents have completely flipped it around.
So now you've seen both sides of the Namu.
Want to see where the Namu is on a map? Click here. By the way, according to Wikipedia, "Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd is Korea's largest and one of the world’s top ten container carriers that operates some 60 liner and tramper services around the globe transporting over 100 million tons of cargo annually."  That is a lot of cargo for all you shoppers!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.  Where else can you find trains, ships, drilling rigs, flowers, and satellite trucks in the same blog post?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ladies Tour Yellowstone [1920s]

Here is an old photo from our collection of Yellowstone memorabilia. There is no information on the back so everything we know is just speculation from the photo. It appears the ladies on the train's platform are on a tour of Yellowstone hosted by Rt. Reverend ? ... we think that may be him on the right. (No pun intended.) The big round sign on the back of the train is known as a "drumhead" ... trains usually had their name and logo in this spot. In this picture we can read, on the drumhead, Yellowstone at the bottom and then, curving around the top Rt Rev ???? Tour. We tried to do some research to see if we could determine who the Reverend was, and some info about his tours. We guess the date to be in the 1920s or 30s. Even Google couldn't help us on this one, so maybe one of you may know more about this vintage photograph. In any event, the ladies all appear to be having a great time.

Ladies on the platform

She is holding something that may be one
of the very early fold-out cameras.
Curiosity:  We wonder if the lady in the photo above ever thought that someday, in perhaps a few decades, almost everyone would be staring into a little device just like she is here. Wonder if she ever considered a "selfie"?

We believe this gentleman is the Rt Reverend
hosting the tour.

More Recent Photos from the Neighborhood ...

Monday, June 8, 2015
Unusually clear afternoon sky.

Trying to get Space Needle and Mt Rainier
in one frame.

Hanjin Freighter departing Elliott Bay
June 8, 2015

Sunset, June 3, 2015
Sunset time for today: 9:01 PM PDT
Linking up with Sky Watch Friday for today's sky photos. Be sure to check out their site for more sky photos from other bloggers.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Camera Notes -- Courtesy of Santa Fe Railway [1941]

Many of you are into cameras and photography. If you were travelling on the Santa Fe Railway in 1941 perhaps you would have picked up this little folder probably available at the check-in counter. Be sure to click on the images for larger views and to read the captions.

The little folder unfolds into 16 panels on each side.

Here are some of the individual panels enlarged, starting with the cover ...

Fred Harvey Meals

 Courier Nurses

The Grand Canyon

 Old Santa Fe

System Map


Yosemite National Park

Southern California


Winter Sports

Tehachapi Mountains

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Texas Panhandle

Texas and Oklahoma

How did you like "Camera Notes"? Well, we didn't find any specific camera information. However, we guess they were suggesting these scenes for your camera (and throwing in a little advertising to boot!).

Shipping Update -- Saturday, June, 6, 2015 
Arrivals in Elliott Bay (Port of Seattle)

Freighter COSCO America ...

Cruise ship Crown Princess ...

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fascinating Fence [from the United Kingdom]

One of our followers recently sent us an email. The follower, who lives in the United Kingdom, watches our blog carefully and has noticed our posts featuring fences. He recently spotted a fence that looked worthy of stopping for a couple of photos. We are glad he did and also that he sent them to us to use on the blog. Take a look ... be sure to click for larger view ...

We found this fence to be quite fascinating. It's kind of like a basket weave but on a much larger scale. We asked him for any info he had on it and he replied that it appears to be made of willow with hazelnut posts. "Hazel is good for fencing post. Hazelnut was used for thatching straw stacks on farms years ago, 1940 to about 1958, also on thatched cottage roofs for pining the roof shocks (straw) in place. Today plastic pins are used to pin the reeds in place on thatched cottage refurbishments. A lot of Willow is used for bespoke fencing and the big trees are used for cricket bat manufacturing, etc." The fence is located northeast of London in an area known as Norfolk.

We are always looking for "Good Fences" and this one is fascinating and pretty unique. Many thanks to our follower for taking the photos, sending them to us, and then giving us all the info.

Linking up today with Good Fences --- Thank you Tex for hosting!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Happy Birthday USA

Happy Birthday USA Happy holiday to all in America. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day. Comments will return on the next post. Credit to...