CapnBob

Blogiversary #17 and
Autumnal Equinox

Blogging

Even though this is the “official” 17th Blogiversary of CB&D, we have a history of on-line presence several years prior to having a weblog. I started with an online webpage repository with photos of my grandchildren, some of our friends and radio/flying club activities a couple of years before we started to blog. I had an account at “Keyway” network with those items I mentioned. That was about in 1995 when Keyway was just getting started. Then, just about the time that Damsel and I were getting married in 1998, I found an Internet Service Provider where I could get my own website domain. I started up a family website which eventually became our family blog, the now defunct Wandering Minstrel and Cap’n Bob & the Damsel. I even had a Neighborhood Watch blog (also now defunct) to report on and deal with problems in our neck of the woods at the time.

Before blogging, I was already a software professional, but didn’t have many internet-specific code skills. I spent a lot of time learning commonly-used web languages: JavaScript, PHP, HTML, CSS, W3C Standards and much more. It was all fun and interesting. Then, by that time, blogging struck me as something we might like to get into. I started with BBLOG, a simple interface for on-line posting and after a while I discovered WordPress which resulted in our launching of the blog platform we now employ.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, now that we have upgraded the WordPress Theme to Blogstream, we’ve become inclined to post more regularly. Maybe we’ll be here for the NEXT* seventeen years?

* I should be well into nonagenarian territory by then.

First Day of Autumn

We learned from our landscape crew foreman when we first moved here that Arizona (our part of it, at least) has five seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Second Spring. The latter starts up around the September Equinox and lasts several weeks until the first autumn-like days show up in late October. The (clickable) image of the “Devil’s Tongue” cactus shows how it looked last year at the beginning of “Second Spring,” with one open flower and several buds around the crown of this barrel cactus.

In closing, we wish for you all to have mild weather, blue skies and green lights this fall season. We’re going to gird our loins for the return of the “snowbirds” that typically increase our local population from around 7K summertime heads to more than 25K during the late fall, winter and early spring months.

Happy Birthday Alex!

Happy eighth birthday to our great-grandson Alex! Born on this date in 2014, Alex is the eldest of our four great grandkids. He is a good kid with a great personality and is very smart.

We sent a “Birthday Box” to his Sonoma County residence in California. In the box are many goodies and interesting things for a kid that age. The box weighed in at 28 pounds and measured 19x17x14 inches — a good sized shipping carton filled with very cool stuff for an 8 year old kid.

So, here’s wishing Alex a wonderful birthday and blessings for the coming year. Happy Birthday again, li’l dude!

Kingman Express — Engine 3759

I took several images of Engine 3759 in Locomotive Park, across US Route 66 from the Kingman (Arizona) Powerhouse in December of 2009. I later combined two of the images to produce the anaglyph image above (clickable).

From Locomotive Wiki:

Santa Fe No. 3759 is a 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1928 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF).

This locomotive hauled passenger trains on the AT&SF. It was retired in the late 1950s when diesels replaced steam.

In February 1955, 3759 was brought out of retirement at the request of the Railway Club of Southern California for a special excursion run, dubbed “Farewell to Steam.” This special ran on February 6th, a round trip between Los Angeles Union Station and Barstow, CA with stops in Pasadena and San Bernardino and was the last Santa Fe revenue steam train to leave Los Angeles and to traverse Cajon Pass.

Santa Fe donated the locomotive to the city of Kingman in 1957. As of today, 3759 remains on static display at Locomotive Park in Kingman, AZ.

New Blog Category

Introducing the new Anaglyph Imagery category. It has been a long time interest of mine to view and later, produce, anaglyphic stereo imagery that requires red/cyan color filtered glasses to view.

If you don’t have a pair of red/cyan or red/blue 3D glasses, you can view the 2D image of Engine 3759 here. If you need a pair of 3D glasses, I recommend Rainbow Symphony. They only sell paper glasses in quantities of 50 and up unless you buy plastic glasses which you can get in a 2-pack. I see 3D glasses available on Amazon, but I don’t recommend them since I could not find origin sellers other than from China.

Dermatology — An Ongoing Thing

Virtually, every year since I have turned 50 years of age, I have had to visit one dermatologist or another to deal with epidermis problems. Even prior to that, I had minor things like cysts and moles that the doctors dealt with back then.

Since coming to Arizona and even a couple of years before that, Dermatologists have treated me by removing skin lesions such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. A lifetime of sun-exposure in the deserts of the west have come back to haunt me. Damsel says that skin remembers the UV exposure long after we forget about it.

Today, I had yet another appointment with the dermatologist who removed a lesion from my upper right chest a month ago. He had some interesting news for me; the dermopathology report indicated that the latest biopsy was, indeed, a keratoacanthoma which is a more aggressive form of skin cancer than those before this. The follow-up treatment in this case is like the other follow-ups in that the doctor freezes the tissue with liquid nitrogen directly on the lesion site and the area around it. This method, according to the treating physician, will usually prevent a recurrence 88 to 92 percent of the time.

I did some research on-line about keratoacanthoma which answered a couple of questions one might have:

Who Gets keratoacanthoma?

Keratoacanthoma is most common in fair-skinned older males with a history of chronic sun exposure. Most patients are over 60 years of age and it is twice as common in males than in females.

What causes Keratoacanthoma?

  • Exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Chemical carcinogens (e.g. cigarette smoking, industrial workers exposed to tar, pitch, and mineral oils)
  • Cutaneous trauma (e.g. surgery, radiation)
  • Human papillomavirus infection.

What is the outcome for keratoacanthoma?

Keratoacanthoma is regarded as benign and thus has an excellent prognosis following surgical excision.

I’m guessing UV caused my problem, although I was a smoker many years ago. I like the odds given for a full recovery.

We Still Remember —
Patriot Day, 2022

Twenty-one years ago on the eleventh day of September, 2001, four commercial airliners hijacked by nineteen Islamic terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and into a field near Shanksville, PA. Nobody in America, who was aware of what had happened, will ever forget where they were and what they were doing at that time.

We did what we could to keep the memory alive of the events on that terrible day. We participated in on-line memorials for those fallen and developed an animated sidebar widget that eventually got over 94 million hits on websites all over the world.

From Never Forget — Epilog:

The Never Forget animated graphic first appeared in August of 2005 and ran for thirteen years until August 2018. The estimated final count aggregated by the hit counter over the years was 94,945,312 hits. The average statistics for the entire lifetime amounted to approximately 20,000 hits per day, 833 hits per hour and 14 hits per minute. It’s hard to know the exact numbers since I never kept much of a record, but the peak hit rate might have been upwards of 1400 hits per hour at the time the counter passed 50 million hits.

We retired the graphic due to several factors, not the least of which was that many browsers discontinued support for Flash© animations. We are still proud that the animation received such widespread recognition.

We will continue to remember the events of 9-11-2001 and remain vigilant against the forces of evil. Join us as we pray for The United States of America to regain her stature among nations and for the safety of our countrymen from enemies both Foreign and Domestic.

Eclipse Excursion Planning

There will be an annular eclipse of the sun on October 14, 2023. We have begun the planning for a trip in order to be where we can see the ring of fire. The path forecast favors places like Monument Valley, UT and Albuquerque, NM, both of which are just a few hours from home. We will be taking the Class A Motorhome to see this eclipse, just as we did the last time on August 21, 2017.

Damsel and I are both familiar with camping in both Goulding’s RV Campground in Monument Valley and American RV Resort in Albuquerque, so we were quickly able to choose the latter, given it’s convenient location to I-40 and the amenities there with which we’re familiar. So American RV it is — on condition we can get reservations there on the dates of the event.

In the image above, we were getting set up in Casper, WY for the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Damsel is by the open side door with Tom and Amber (our friends) in the foreground. Cabela and Beethoven, our Min Pins look on as we go through our antics. Looking at these old pictures gives us the wanderlust to get this next event planned as well as getting our shakedown cruise going.

I refurbished the old countdown timer that we used to count the time left until the August 2017 eclipse to now count the time until the eclipse starts in Albuquerque in 2023. See the sidebar for Eclipse Countdown.