Saturday, March 31, 2018

So Old It's New Again

Welcome to John's Island

Music Department

Back before iTunes, CDs, Cassette Tapes, and even before vinyl records, there was a way to enjoy some tunes without hiring professional musicians. We're talking about a musicbox. We rarely open ours and give it a spin, but when we do it still sounds pretty cool. I opened up one of those apps on my "smart" phone that is supposed to be able to identify tunes. It usually works well, but there was no joy when trying to find the name of the song we have recorded for you. Click the link below for SoundCloud and see if you recognize the tune. If so, do let me know in the comments. (Yes, there is a list of tunes attached to the inside of the top. If that list is correct, this may be "Spring, Gentle Spring" but I've never heard it before.)  I decided to call this, So Old It's New Again, because even though it's probably from the 1800s, it may be brand new on the World Wide Web today.

In one corner of the collection ... something different ...
a 72-note musicbox.

This is old ... but not sure how old.

From the Archives

Remember the popular blog linkup "Good Fences"? We had good intentions of linking up and sharing the photo below, but just never got around to it before the meme was retired. Maybe we were just 2LAZY2? We sure enjoyed Good Fences and hope the blogger who published it is doing well.

2LAZY2 Ranch
Near Henry's Lake, Idaho
Summer, 2005

Good Ol' Days of Transportation

This week's theme at Maria's Postcards for the Weekend is "Transportation." Below are a couple of cards from the collection, and we are sending the first one directly to Maria via the World Wide Web, be sure to notice the 3¢ stamp we used ... from our last post! : - )

Maybe the move to automobiles was not always smooth ...

Not sure who is getting the worst ...
the guy getting thrown or the folks in the car.
The critter on the card doesn't look too happy, but you can see happy critters at Eileen's Saturday's Critters link up. Check it out! Thanks to Eileen for hosting!

Back of the unused card.

Ship Watch

Ferries coming and going.
On the left enroute Seattle from Bainbridge Island.
On the right enroute to Bainbridge Island from Seattle.
Back and forth every day, 365 days a year.
In the background ... Alki Beach (West Seattle)
and far background ... Vashon Island

A bulk carrier vessel departing Seattle early morning.
March 24th  8:54 AM

Hyundai container ship northbound
March 23rd about noon.

Matson container ship southbound
March 20th  12:26 PM
USCGC Midgett (WHEC-726) is the twelfth and latest
 of the United States Coast Guard's fleet
 of 378 ft (115 m) high endurance cutters.
March 28th  4:54 PM

Sky Watch

March 18th  7:24 PM
The sunset on this day looked almost like a
giant campfire beyond the Olympic Mountains.
Check out Skywatch Friday to see more sky photos from other bloggers. Thanks to Yogi for hosting!

Sun setting into a cloud.
March 19th  6:51 PM

Mostly about the clouds.
March 24th  7:09 PM

Less sky and more wildflowers.
Taken in Montana in 2005.

Another photo from our archives.
A sunrise in Montana, 2005.
This is our choice for Easter Morning!
Happy Easter to all!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring Again

Welcome to John's Island

A Trip to the Beach and Our Concerns

The two photos above were taken at beautiful Canon Beach, Oregon. Although the big picture is great the details are not so good. The ocean is filling up with trillions of tiny pieces of plastic thanks to guess who. Close up photos below. We're doing the same sort of thing to the air that keeps us alive but it is harder to document the proof. Here on Canon Beach the evidence is right at your feet. This leaves us feeling sad for the generations to come. So many humans haven't found the wisdom in protecting our enviroment rather than their precious rights to do as they please at the expense of the rest of us.

Back to the beauty with a couple of Sky Watch photos, both taken at the beach. Linking up with Skywatch Friday and thanks to Yogi for hosting.

The big rock is known as Haystack
The rainbow was just lucky timing.

Spring Postcards

Maria has thoughtfully chosen Spring as the theme for Postcards for the Weekend. The other blogs have some beautiful cards and thanks, Maria, for hosting. We will start here with our favorite Spring postcard ...

Artwork by St. John (no, not this John!)
This old card was published about 1906-1910
We've posted this one in years past.
The bears should qualify us for linking up with Eileen's Saturday's Critters. If you love critters, like we do, check out Saturday's Critters. Thanks to Eileen for hosting!

Back of the unused card.

Not specifically Spring, but March is the month. (Unless you're south of the equator, in which case, happy Fall to you!)
I hope SOMEONE with a MARCH birthday
will tell me how accurate this is!

Back of the unused card.

History Department

In our last post we explained how our interest in trains started. Our curiosity lead to research railroad history in America.  Perhaps one of the most interesting events took place on May 10th, 1869, in Promontory, Utah, when the final golden spike was driven and the first transcontinental railroad in the world was complete. Below, you will see an official photo taken on the day. Then a photo we took on a visit to the Golden Spike National Historic Site which is intended to recreate the event as closely as possible. Last is the stamp issued by the US Postal Service to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the driving of the last spike. First, a little background from Wikipedia ...

"In 1862, Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act. This act gave the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies the responsibility of creating a transcontinental railroad route, roughly following the 42nd parallel from Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento, California. Railroad lines in Chicago were to be extended to meet the new railroad in Omaha. Central Pacific began laying tracks eastward from Sacramento in 1863. Central Pacific began working westward from Omaha in 1865. For their efforts, Congress granted these railroad companies large tracts of land and millions of dollars in loans.

On May 10, 1869, the tracks of the two railroads met at Promontory, Utah. This historic achievement marked the first time a railroad had spanned an entire continent. The transcontinental railroad did a great deal to speed the settlement and industrial growth of the U.S. By the end of the 1800s, the U.S. had five transcontinental rail lines."

May 10, 1869
The Transcontinental Railroad is completed
with the driving of the Golden Spike.
(Photographer's name unknown.)
The man on the ladder leaning against the telegraph pole
was wired in and sent simultaneous signals to
San Francisco and New York City when the spike was
driven by sending, "DONE" 

Summer 1995
Our photo of the Golden Spike National Historical Site.
(We dug way back into the archives to find this one.)

3 Cent US Postage Stamp issued to celebrate
75th Anniversary of the Completion of First Transcontinental
1869 - 1944
The stamp was issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The stamp design was selected by President Franklin Roosevelt. Once the stamp was released, the public noticed an error in its design. The stamp pictured the flag blowing in a different direction than the smoke. Many expected the stamp to be recalled, but the Post Office Department explained that the flag had to be shown waving in that direction, otherwise, it would have been outside of the stamp design.

More of the Circling Year Calendar for You

We're keeping you up-to-date with the Circling Year Calendar we started publishing in our January 15th post. The story on why we're reprinting a 1917 calendar is there.

The Spirit of Love

You will find as
you look back up-
on your life that
the moments that
stand out above
everything else
are the moments
when you have
done things in a
spirit of love.
Henry Drummond

The Wisdom of Friendship

We take care of
our health, we
lay up money,
we make our
roof tight and our
clothing sufficient
but who provides
wisely that we
shall not be want-
ing in the best
property of all, --
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thank You Granny!

Welcome to John's Island

Recently, I've been reading through some of my Grandmother's journals in which she recorded her daily life. Here is her Yearbook for 1958, 60 years ago. She kept these journals for more than 20 years.

Can you imagine my surprise when I looked at March 22, 1958 (60 years ago today!) ...

I was 10 years old at the time and she took me on my first ride on a train, the Texas Eagle. The departure was about an hour late but that didn't bother me a bit.

She even kept the tickets. Mine was half fare, $2.84.

This little trip from Fort Worth to Ranger, Texas, and back started my life-long fascination with trains. When people have asked me about my love of trains I've told them about this trip with Granny, but what an amazing surprise it was to find her record of the event and even the tickets. So, today I'm linking up with Michelle's Thankful Thursday on her blog It's A Small Town Life. I know Granny is up there and I hope she sees this! And thanks to Michelle for hosting Thankful Thursday!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Eagles at Last! and More

Welcome to John's Island

In our last post the spotlight was on vintage postcards from Yellowstone National Park featuring the Roosevelt Entrance Arch. The arch appeared in many images in addition to postcards, for example, the menu cover shown below. This was a menu used in the dining car on the Northern Pacific Railroad around 1915. If you missed our last post, please take a look here to get the background story on the Roosevelt Entrance Arch.

Yellowstone National Park
Thru Gardiner Gateway
Northern Pacific Railroad
Dining Car Menu Cover
ca. 1915

Story of the Park inside
the menu.
Back of the menu featured the famous
Northern Pacific Great Big Baked Potato
and a place to add an address to mail to a friend.

How long has it been since you've seen a menu
that the restaurant will stamp and mail for you?


"Sunrise/Sunset" is the theme this week at Postcards for the Weekend. You won't be surprised at the card we selected to share. Sky View Observatory is atop the tallest building in Seattle and the photo was probably taken a few minutes after sunset. Check out the link up for more sunrise/sunset postcards and thanks to Maria for hosting!

Eagle Watch

These photos are not going to win any awards. But here's the story ... There are a couple of eagles living right here in the neighborhood. They have been here now for at least two years and can be seen flying around anytime of day. On this particular occasion they landed in a tree about 150 yards from my window. The first two shots show the larger bird watching the other bird, in the third photo, as that one seems to be enjoying a nice lunch. It's rare to have the opportunity to snap a picture of them as they are rarely stopped anywhere long enough to get the camera ready for action. These birds seem to be doing just fine right here on the edge of a large metropolitan area.

Lunch time.
Love critters as much as we do? Check out Saturday's Critters! And thanks to Eileen for hosting.

Sky Watch

Photos of the sky taken from my place in Seattle.

Panorama of the Olympic Mountains just after sunrise.
March 9th  6:42 AM

Colorful early morning light on the clouds.
March 11th  7:32 AM

On the right side:  Snow falling on Bainbridge Island
On the left:  Partly sunny in the distance.
Title:  Snowfall from a distance?
March 5th  5:47 PM

Sunset over Eagle Harbor
March 6th  5:54 PM

Sunset, the Olympic Mountains, and Elliott Bay Marina
at bottom.
March 10th  6:12 PM

The next two photos are nearly identical and only a few minutes apart but I like the difference. I'm curious which one you like the best ... the first one with the little boat and its wake, or, the second one, with the still waters?

March 10th  6:18 PM

March 10th  6:20 PM
A really unusual sunset ... March 16th

March 16th  6:57 PM
Two giant anvil clouds forming sort of an arch
and sun setting in between.
Curiosity:  Most of the rest of the sky was clear.
This is zoomed out as far as we could go.
Hard to say how far to the clouds ... 20 miles?

March 16th  6:57 PM
Zoomed in.

March 16th  7:20 PM
Glowing embers?
This morning's first light was pretty cool ...

Nice and sunny up on Two Brothers peak.
Layers of clouds below.
March 18th  7:23 AM

A few minutes later.
March 18th  7:28 AM

See more sky photos at Skywatch Friday. Thanks to Yogi for hosting!

And we can't pass up this sky spotting ... paragliding! These three are high over the Magnolia neighborhood and out over Puget Sound. Saturday afternoon, March 17th.

Ship Watch

Here's a big Cosco arriving March 11th and some other maritime activity. We enjoy watching ships come and go. Seattle/Tacoma ports combined are the largest international shipping facilities in the Pacific Northwest.

March 11th  1:07 PM
This is a giant ship ... our camera is about 2 miles away.

Small boat pulling a spill containment berm.
Seen when a ship has docked
 at the port and may be leaking fuel.
(Unusual, thank goodness.)
Bulk Carrier departing on March 13th  3:45 PM
The best thing about this ship is the name ...
Navios Harmony
Sails under the flag of Panama
OOCL Vancouver
Arriving March 17th  12:11 PM
OOCL = Orient Overseas Container Line
Now you know!
The thing I like about this photo is the
sailboat which provides scale.
Almost included this one in Sky Watch above.
However, the Bainbridge - Seattle ferry is looking good this morning.
To the right of the ferry is Eagle Harbor. I like the name!
The taller peak, just right of center, is Mount Washington.
March 18th  8:19 AM


Photos from a recent walk. Just keeping track of some new blooms in the neighborhood.

Two buds and a bloom.
March 10th

Me and my shadow.
March 10th

The Power of One
March 10th

Purple Power
March 10th

Closing Thought ...
Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years.
     Will Durant

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


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