What people in Vermont call "The West"

I am slowly and tentatively exploring the eastern side of the United States. So far I've only seen Chicago and now Missouri. Now, I am well aware that any geographer would be quick to point out both of those aforementioned locations are technically considered the Mid-West, but when you are as far West as Nevada most of the country is "technically" East of you. Hopefully, I will also be in Florida this July for the second to last Shuttle launch, but I digress.

I flew into St. Louis and then drove out to Ft. Leonard Wood to spend the weekend with my Aunt and Uncle and their five kids. (I almost had myself talked into renting a new Camero but I chickened out. At least they finally gave me the new Chevy Malibu that I'd been asking for.) It was exciting and entertaining to say the least. The kids were great, and Missouri was generally flat.

My dynamic duo cousins

For my benefit Clark and Cal are reenacting the time when Cal got his finger stuck in a battle tank.

On the trip back I stopped in St. Louis to go see the Arch and got unknowingly caught up in some of the pre-game crowds of the first Cardinals game of the year.

It was really a great trip in all. I only got mildly lost once. All of my flights were a few minutes early. I got in some golf and was able to reinstate myself as the favorite cousin.


It was a lot like.....

Last Thursday I was meeting with an industrial door repair contractor who was driving up from Las Vegas to look at some of our large, locomotive sized doors. I arrived at my office and waited, but the guy didn't show up. I called down to the engine house and discovered that he was already down there inspecting the doors. It was a quiet and sunny day at the rail yard so I went walking down to the engine house, trudging through new snow that fell the night before.

Passing the freight barn I noticed that one of our diesel locomotives was parked outside in the yard. As I was walking it almost looked like the locomotive was moving (you know how it can look if you're moving and you're looking at an object that isn't). After not being able to convince myself that the locomotive wasn't moving, even though it was quiet and there wasn't anyone around, I stopped walking. By the time I had stopped walking the "not moving" locomotive had really picked up some speed. I could see that it was heading down Machine Shop Track #2 towards the engine house. I began to panic, wondering if I should shout or try to stop it (this thought was tossed out almost as soon as it entered my thoughts). In another instance the locomotive went crashing through the closed roll-up door.

As it turned out the door contractor had been standing on the other side of the door just seconds before the locomotive came crashing through. No one was hurt, but the door had been ripped down and now had the face imprint of a large locomotive on it.

Later that day as I sat down to write a narrative to the insurance company all I could think to write was,"Well, it was a lot like watching a train wreck."

On the upside, we really couldn't have chosen a better day to have the door contractor on site. I thought the door was un-salvageable, but they worked a miracle.