Sunday, April 28, 2019

Pikemasters Railroad Open House

Papa, AJ, David, and Jonathan made a trip downtown to see the model railroad done by the Pikemasters Model Railroad Club. More pics...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Deck Recovery

For the first time in what seemed like a very long time, Matt and Papa had some deck time today. Tracy and Matt have been very busy, and Nana and Papa have had a lot of kid time. We've been using deck time lately to keep up with Uncle Jon's political podcast back in California called California Streaming, a new episode every Friday. I think they've done about forty-some weeks so far. "Three California natives taking a conservative look at California politics. Hop on the bullet train to no where..." It's hard to find humor in such a mess, but they manage to do it.  I took a few interesting weather shots from where I was sitting, and added a couple shots from recent times. There's also a shot or two in the last photo.

Easter dinner. Matt did all kinds of things with a full brisket,
including the brisket itself, burnt ends, and pastrami.
In the foreground are cucumber, dilled cream cheese, cherry tomato nibbles.
In the background are mashed potatoes and asparagus au gratin.

New glass?....

Friday, April 26, 2019

Matteo Baseball

Matteo's team had a game today, which they won! I think it was 11-8. The game was over because time ran out (2 hours max in this league). They played at Gossage Park where trains also go by (good thing, for me) but the fields are entirely wrapped by chain link (no good camera views).

Matteo is #4.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

AJ's Birthday

It was AJ's birthday breakfast this morning. All the great kid breakfast items were there including a new one, Baseball Cupcakes.

This item actually arrived the next day, explaining the helmet gift today!

Tracy and Nana put the snake head together
from an Etsy pattern for AJ's spring
musical at school, Life Cycles.

Baseball Cupcakes

He really wanted an expansion pack
for Settlers of Catan. He got two!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter 2019

Really nice, easy day! Off to church which included the kids' singing with the worship team and an Easter egg hunt! Then back home for a nice relaxing day, movies (including Jesus Christ Superstar), and dinner with home-made pastrami, mashed potatoes, cheesy asparagus, and cucumber with whipped dill cream cheese and cherry tomato. Not mention generously interspersed chocolate all day.

Tracy fell in love with this swan...

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday, Batman

Turned out to be a very busy day... First up was AJ's baseball game, followed by Matteo's baseball game (at the other end of town, of course). (There was no fence-free camera angle for Matteo's game.) Then Easter eggs at the Krebs', followed by taking photos at Woodmen Heights Saturday evening Easter service.

The boys play at three different fields that have trains right next door!
In this case, the field was between the southbound tracks (pictured top center)
and the northbound tracks (pictured below) at Larkspur.
At least six trains went by during the game.
Larkspur is about 20 minutes north of us along I-25.

Southbound BNSF along magenta, northbound along yellow.
At the other two fields, the tracks are much closer to the field, but only one track.


The requisite "good game" high fives! AJ is #3.

How's that for a carved tire!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

More snow, etc....

This time we happened to be taking Fina to a service project for her National Junior Honor Society. She was helping at a high school's "GameCon." Getting her over there turned out to be during the heaviest snow. A few hours later it was practically all gone. Most of the family was laying low as Matt had his wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Both baseball games were cancelled today (they won't play below 40 degrees - OK with me).

Rampart High School

Nana and Papa may have stopped at P.F. Chang's for dinner.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pre-Embargo, Cuban-Tobacco Cigars ?

About a month ago I re-discovered, in my stash of railroad stuff, a souvenir from a November 8, 1953 inspection tour of the Holyoke and Westfield Railroad (Massachusetts). The cigar manufacturer, 7-20-4 Cigars, still exists and has quite a story. They opened in 1874 and closed in 1963 due to the embargo on Cuban tobacco, which they used exclusively. Kurt Kendall revived the name in 2006, which is why their bands now have Kendall on them instead of RG Sullivan’s.

But were they pre-embargo, Cuban-tobacco cigars?

Today, we smoked 'em, after giving them the month to recover in a humidor. The results were... Mixed. The band did have R. G. Sullivan on them, which theoretically was not made again after 1963. While they didn't smell like horse manure pre-lit (a typical nature of Cuban tobacco), they did smell pleasant, maybe a bit earthy. The filling was short-leaf, an inexpensive approach, but still often done with Cuban cigars today. The flavor was mild, but very nice. Again, though, not exactly "Cuban." Overall gut feeling - maybe.

See the To Shiny Rails story.