Saturday, November 25, 2000


Here's another angle.

Friday, November 24, 2000


The warm weather came just in time. We've had progressively warmer weather all week. Today got up to fifty-one degrees. The roadbed in the barrel all thawed out. The trains are running flawlessly.

The neighborhood kids are attracted to the trains. The trick is to keep them from roughhousing with them. They want to be giggling tunnels and to jump back and forth across the track just ahead of the train. Oh well, the trains are sturdy, and they go back on the track easily.


Thursday, November 23, 2000


Here it is.

Trains running.


Monday, November 20, 2000


The upper loop is complete. That establishes where the lower track can go. The lower track will be held in place by a gravel-like roadbed. Problem is, all the roadbed I have is currently frozen solid in the barrel.

Come on warming trend.


Annie sweat


Sunday, November 19, 2000


The train is going together slowly. It has been a little cold and snowy here. This morning it was sixteen degrees when we got up.

But we're making progress.


Wednesday, November 8, 2000

The guide from hell

And Manatees!!!!!

He hated manatees. How can you hate manatees?

The whole world is trying to bring these gentle giants back from the brink of extinction, and he informs us: "Mantees are goddam useless. They aren't good for a single thing. They don't do anything useful at all."

Tuesday, November 7, 2000


Had a good conference in Orlando. Picked up some new technology to implement before busy season. Judy supported the economy. She spent one day at a place next to Sea World where she could hang out on the beach all day, and snorkel in the tropical reef pool. She spent the next day at Sea World itself watching all the shows.

Friday night, we participated in the conference sponsored night out to Epcot Center. The Epcot Center put on a fireworks show that redefines fireworks shows for me. They launched it primarily from an island in the middle of the lake, but ultimately it included lights on the surrounding buildings and lasers launched from all over into the smoke provided by the pyrotechnics and the natural gas flames we could feel from three hundred yards away. Of course, it all synchronized with the music from the speakers all around us. It was quite a show.

After Orlando, we headed for the real highlight of the trip: bonefishing out of Key Biscayne. It turned out to be a very interesting experience. Before the trip, our guide, Captain Joel, was described to us by another captain as a very good bonefisherman. That description told us a lot. He was described precisely and accurately. He was obviously a very good and dedicated fisherman.

He is also species of human long considered to be extinct in other parts of the civilized world. Have we all run into people in our lives who, even if they are good at what they do, are obviously doing the wrong thing? We found the perfect example.

He worked very hard. He worked tirelessly to put us over fish. But this was not a happy man. He hated everything. He hated the wind when it blew from a direction that made it hard to cast where we wanted. He hated it when the sun went behind a cloud and we couldn't see into the water properly. He hated it when he was demonstrating the proper casting technique and the line kept tangling.

We did learn a lot though. We learned that everybody is an idiot except him. All residents of South Florida are Cubans except him. All Cubans are drug dealers at night, regardless of what they pretend to be during the day. The Park Service is self-serving, and only serves to screw things up. The feminists have taken over and screwed up everything that wasn't screwed up before. He even hated bonefish when they wouldn't show themselves

But in spite of our guide, we had a great time. A glance between Judy and me very early in the process communicated that we both realized what we were in for, and that it didn't really matter to either of us. We got to spend the day out on the flats in a small boat. It was a fast fun ride between the fishing spots when the flat bottomed boat with the big motor got up on a plane. We had sun all day, minimal wind, and flat water. We caught boxfish, puffers, yellowtail, and bonita. We got good at spotting different fish in the water. We saw a ton of rays. Some even leaped clear up out of the water for us. We saw needlefish. We saw sharks circling. What we didn't do, was catch bonefish. I'm told we saw bonefish, but I couldn't swear to it. We saw a few fleeting shapes that I was instructed to cast at. But I never got a bonefish on the line.

The weather was perfect for the whole week. Highs in the eighties with occasional clouds at the most. Some fog in the mornings, just for effect.

We added two new birds to the list. We saw Wood Storks and Eurasian Collared Doves.

Bonefishing remains a challenge unconquered.

Altogether a good trip, and glad to be back.