April 12th, 2015


A Few Photos

Our Spring melt was very orderly this year, especially as we didn't get a lot of rain. Or rather it held off until Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday afternoon "lake" next door, shot from the road. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Our neighbors on either side had pulled their trees in order to have a front lawn. Brian to the west leveled it and brought in dirt -- the guy to the east didn't, so his front yard is sunken and floods as you can see. We got a little standing water amongst our pines, and a fairly full drainage ditch by the road on one side, but not much else. And certainly nothing in the basement as in April 2013.

Momcat and Joe are visiting -- I missed the business meeting at MIAAPT on Saturday (darn) to come back and we had a wonderful dinner at Pereddies in Holland.

Mrs. Dr. Phil and her mom Momcat at Sharkey's at the Hampton Inn in Holland, Friday night. Not seen, a huge wedding party pre-game dinner and meet up to the left. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I left home for MIAAPT at maybe 7:17am Saturday. I-96 to I-496 through Lansing. Exit 9 to Trowbridge to Harrison and MSU. Trowbridge parallels the Amtrak line -- I never get to see a train at the East Lansing station. Except at 8:55 on Saturday, when I spotted Amtrak 126 peeking between two buildings. I pulled in between the two buildings -- the station is on the other side of the train. I could see a lot of legs from underneath the train -- must have been a big crowd boarding.

Fired off a quick shot with the Nikon D100, not knowing how much time I had. Been experimenting with using the Matrix metering, rather than the center weighted I am more used to. Heavily backlit in the morning sun -- no lens hood. The full size photo doesn't show the moire/stairstepping of the rails crossing the frame at an angle. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Overriding the camera to get a little better exposure. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

For whatever reason, Amtrak seems to run a lot of Michigan service trains with two GE Genesis P42DC locomotives, one at each end. This means the trains don't have to be reversed at the end of the run. But they could run a cabbage -- a former locomotive with the prime mover pulled and used as a cab+baggage unit -- or a cab control ex-Metroliner car on one end. On the other hand, running two locomotives means you should have have a backup. My point is you don't need 8500 hp to drive this train.

Because I didn't have a timetable and the train was double-ended, I didn't know if it was eastbound or westbound. Had it been eastbound, I could have pulled out and gotten a nice shot at the grade crossing at Harrison -- or maybe even the overpass over Farm Road. Alas, all those happy students were heading west towards Chicago, so I just headed off to my meeting.

The rest of the train. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

As I was getting ready to leave East Lansing at 3:30, I noticed the construction crane, freewheeling like a weather vane in the stiff wind. I snapped a picture, hoping to have it swing back and show more of the crane -- alas, it wasn't going to perform for me.

Stupid crane looking boring for me. Rather tricky to make sure the AF was locked on the the crane and not the tree branches. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The construction project involves updating the NSCL National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory to FRIB -- the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. It's really cool, they expect to add thousands of new isotopes to the list of some 3000 isotopes in the Chart of the Nuclides, by simulating some of the conditions inside a supernova. The name change is because they're removing the two superconducting cyclotrons, the K500 and the K1200 -- and building a novel new linear accelerator.

But not a particularly cool photo -- thirty seconds earlier...

Dr. Phil
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