Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Trackside Treasure Ninth Anniversary

Canada's Sesquicentennial year 2017 has not brought with it the patriotic fervor and unbridled optimism that the 1967 Centennial year did. In fact, Canadian media and populace alike have done much better at saying 'Canada 150' than they have 'Sesquicentennial'. I certainly did not overdo it here on Trackside Treasure, though I did publish this 150 list for Canada Day! Another much smaller, though no less meaningful anniversary is Trackside Treasure's ninth. Nine years is a long time in cyberspace. I reckon nine cyber-years equal about 126 real-time years. Attention spans are short these days...hey, was that a bird flying by? Now what was I saying?
Oh yes, I suppose it's easy to just sit on a beach with one's toes in the sand cranking out blog posts all day. Or living in some dusty drawing room surrounded by a world-class research library cranking out blog posts all day. Or in the case of Trackside Treasure, sitting on my sofa with a lukewarm coffee, keeping one eye on CNN, wondering whether it's time to cut the lawn again, arguing with my wife and cranking out blog posts all day. But no man is an island (though some are peninsulas - and once in a while you come across one who is a total and complete isthmus!).

I'm surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (I'm not quite dead yet!) who check in to Trackside Treasure (but they don't check out) read, look at photos, enjoy my folksy approach and tolerate my (somewhat-frequent) overuse of parenthetical statements. (I don't think it's that bad, actually.) Not to mention the additionally addictive alliteration (made an assonance of myself just then, didn't I?) They comment, they suggest, they send emails. They do everything but write this stuff. But it all helps. Then there are my sterling blog partners who share my sidebar and I hope you peruse their blogs periodically as I do: Chris, Dave, George, Marc, Steve, John, Bernard, Edd, Michael et Matthieu. My fellow bloggers have pride-of-place and I thank them for their plethoric published posts and prized partnerships.

I'd like to thank my family, but they just left me with a parting fond farewell which I will herein paraphrase: "Enough of your train crap!" I can't tell you how many times I sweetly ask my kids whether they have read up about Subject X on Trackside Treasure, and they equally sweetly reply, "No." I truly think they're just saying that, then rush to check my latest post on their tiny, pocket-borne mobile device while I continue to bang away on my aging laptop, and scanning 4x6 prints. So, thanks to all of you for truly making this another great year here on Trackside Treasure!

People say to me all the time, "Eric, how do you find the time?" Easy. I don't exercise and I call in sick. A lot. Seriously (if that's still possible at this point) I truly enjoy blogging and I see no end in sight! Plus, I have to keep this bad boy on life support at least until the tenth anniversary next year! Speaking of anniversary years...actually speaking of dogs, I once had a dog. His name was Segue....

Of course this laboriously long-winded post is going somewhere. The ninth anniversary, CANADA 150-themed contest is in here someplace. But first, I want to talk about Canadian railway books. I just finished two. One I created but haven't read cover-to-cover, and the other I didn't create but just read cover-to-cover. Of course the former is Trackside with VIA: Research & Recollections which I released in April of this year. It was my winter project, released five years since my previous three books on VIA Rail. If you haven't picked up your copy yet - this VIAphile bible is available from me directly or you can pick up a copy at George's Trains, Central Hobbies, or with your next Rapido Trains order.
The latter book to which I refer is Steven Manders' The First Spike. A bookend volume to Pierre Berton's The Last Spike? No, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the railways and other early transportation links of the Kingston area. Steven has done a wonderful job weaving together the myriad threads of the Kingston & Pembroke, Bay of Quinte, Brockville & Westport and other early local railways. More remarkably, Steven actually left his cozy confines to go out and uncover the ruins, re-discover the roadbeds, metal-detect the artifacts, map the routes on foot, by water and even airborne of which he writes.
The result is equal parts transportation history, geographic exploration and education, social history and personal memoir. Presented in a professional yet conversational tone, wish historic artwork and Steven's own colourful photographs. The result is an engaging exploration of things past in my home region. In his enthusiasm, there is some unedited repetition here and there, but this is due to the sheer volume of facts, photos and writing contained in the book. Professionally-printed by Friesens of Altona, this two-pound tome is available at Kingston's Novel Idea bookstore or from Steven himself. Steven is actively promoting his book at community events and he and his wife Merna deserve special mention for transporting the 6,000-pound book shipment home! I highly recommend The First Spike - at a fair price of under $40.
Now on to the contest. Speaking of contests and speaking of books, this year the prize for the anniversary contest is a complimentary copy of my latest Trackside with VIA: Research & Recollections.  If you already have a copy, choose a copy of any one of my previous three books (there, another copy out of the basement!) And if you have all of them, thank you! I'll find something else to send you.

Since you've read this far (hey, Canada took 150 years to get where it is today, so this feels almost as long!) you'll be happy to know there are actually three contests this year. To win the prize, you must successfully complete ALL THREE. The first correct response received via email or comment on this post makes you the winner. The three contests are:
1. Photo challenge
2. Multiple choice challenge 
3. Word scramble challenge. 
Now, GO!

1. Photo challenge! What do these two photos have in common?

2. Multiple choice challenge! Increasingly obscure questions - the correct answers in sequence will form a significant word!

When was Canadian National Railways formed?
A) 1910
B) 1912
C) 1919 to 1923
D) 1914

In what year was Canadian Pacific Railway's last spike was driven home?

What was the overall length of a CLC-built CPR D-10 steam locomotive?
A) 26'7"
B) 83'11 "
C )32'1 "
N )55'1"

The Toronto Terminals Railway was incorporated on July 13 of what year?
A) 1906
B) 1926
C) 1936
D) 1946

How many stops did CN train No 690/691 make between North Battleford and Edmonton in 1968?
A) 7
B) 11
C) 16
D) 24

How many Trackside Treasure posts are currently only in draft form?
A) 49
B) 159
C) 169
D) 432

3. Word scramble challenge! Solve both these Jumbles:

and this one, too! Fun!

Thanks for participating. Hope you had fun! 
Good luck! 
Thanks for being aboard Trackside Treasure!

Legal Disclaimer: Not valid in St Pierre et Miquelon, northern South Dakota or southern North Dakota. Riding any type of powersports vehicle can be a dangerous activity and is done at your own risk. Do not read while sleeping. Do not ride your bicycle or operate light equipment after reading. Contents may be hot. !Muy muy caliente! May cause irritation to the digestive system or even the thinking system. To reduce the risk of personal injury, do not open door while appliance is spinning. You must meet minimum height requirement to ride this ride. This is not a competition, only an exhibition. So please, no wagering.


Michael said...

Congratulations on nine nifty years spent surehandedly sifting through railway regalia and expressing exciting expertise in your iconic Internet iron road blog! So, that's my attempt at alliteration. Your blog continues to fascinate and inform me. Here's to 10 years and beyond.

Eric said...

Thanks, Michael! Literally a litany of alliteration littering your comment. Like!

Trying the ninth anniversary contest?


Zartok-35 said...

Congratulations on lasting almost an entire decade, Eric! Most of which I have been along for! I remember looking at the freshly released 1980 West Tower post in the High school computer lab, a place I haven't been in a time so long I hardly believe it. This blog helped redefine my goals as a model railroader and historian, so thanks allot for that. Happy 9, and here's hoping for 9 more equally informative and entertaining years!

Eric said...

Hi Elijah,

That means we're both we're nine, nearly ten, years older and wiser! There are many excellent influences for both prototype and model railroading pursuits out there. If I can be one of them (or even just a pretty good influence!) then I'm in. Thanks very much for your support!