Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The Moving Finger Writes, and Having Writ, Moves On ..."

Greetings from Port Townsend, dear reader.

So, the question became one of "What could I present as an entertaining overture to 2012?"

I thought of the pedestrian "blubbery year-in-review" or "pontifical resolutions" or "best-of-the-blog" themes. None flipped my switch!

Then I came across my "YouTube" file. And my switch flipped!

I remember the days of yore, when the family gathered around the console television set to watch our favorite programs, "broadcast in black and white and compatible color." Among them, Lawrence Welk.

Back in "those" days, producers included color consultants to advise on the dressing of performers in relationship to backgrounds and show theme. A lost art, demonstrated by junk TV we are offered today.

Four years later in 1957, the phrase was changed on NBC, to "in living color." ABC and CBS had various carnations.

Over time, I have collected dozens of YouTube videos. Not ordinary videos, but videos that "catch your attention." Videos of remarkable operations. Videos of unusual events. Videos that are absolutely "one of a kind."

It was difficult, but I whittled my collection down to 12 for you to chose the "Best of Robert's Picks" best from. You get to participate! There is a ballot at the end of the post, wherein you can vote for what you believe to be the "Best of Robert's Picks."

I know there are superficial "Blog Flier's" who do not expend the time nor patience to appreciate the richness of a Blog. But for the sincere reader, who truly appreciate the effort expended to communicate with you, you will be rewarded with memorable videos.

[YouTube Hints: You may not be familiar with a feature that allows you to fill your monitor screen. Simply "click" the odd shaped button (four diverging arrows) located at the bottom right corner of the viewer playback screen. Two other screen sizes are offered with the screen icons. The snow flake icon adds snow to your playback. You may see a small red dialog icon. That allow you to turn on of off, screen notations. To return to "normal" screen size, press the "ESCape" key.]

"And the candidates for the First Annual "Oil-Electric YouTube Video Award" are ..."

1. Buenos Aries tsunami! (0:58)

2. More locomotive water sports! A Diesel Hydraulic chugs through Thai floodwater. (5:37)

3. Rail fans in Brasil know how to enjoy a 330-car ore train! Estrada de Ferro Carajas Vale iron ore train - up close. Very close! (5:01)

4. Bamboo Railway, Battambang, Cambodia. Single track. No dispatcher. No Positive Train Control! (3:00)

5. Since there is no local passenger service in the area of Braganza Ghats, India, passengers enjoy the trip in the open air! Five WDG4's whining in full dynamic braking! (8:56)

6. Does it get any better? Having a camera rolling during a slow motion train derailment! CSX Central Avenue Derailment, New Orleans. (5:46) [Ed Note: See "Anatomy"]

7. From the "Land Down Under." Stall on Porcupine Hill. 28 cars must have felt like 999! If you love EMD 16V-567C's - you will love this sequence! Crank up the volume! Victoria Railways S303 leads an agonizing climb, with an engineer who knows how to play the throttles! The first two units are representative of two versions based on the General Motors E9, built in Australia under license. Lead unit with an "A" end only; followed by a double "A" cab unit.

The stall was caused when the 4th unit, a GM G8, [ed note: now you know what was in between the GP7 and GP9] expired. (8:38)

In the second clip, third unit back, watch for the flashing red wheel slip light, illuminating the cab in both G8's! Excellent sound, used a tripod, and did not diddle with pans and zooms! (3:44) (Same train; counts as one vote.)

8. Talk about having a camera at "the right place at the right time." Adds a new dimension to "Always Expect A Train!" Hard to believe, but in all that wreckage, one woman sustained minor injuries. (1:14)

9. Like the "slow motion derailment," how often do you capture video of the earth slipping away beneath your feet? Somewhere in Ontario, things go bad! (3:31)

10. Few rail fans are fortunate to capture a Rail Grinding Train grinding. Fewer are fortunate to see the sparkly beauty at night. (2:30) But is rare to have this view from a Loram Rail Grinding train, at night, in snow! (1:24) (Same train; counts as one vote.)

11. Re-railing an SD40-2. The result of a rail lying over. There is a lot to appreciate in this clip. Look at the placement of wedges, not only under the wheels, but also under the rail. These carmen are good! (9:16)

12. Finally, something from the Maritime Files. Rescue Tug Abeille Flandre off the Normandy Coast. I first viewed this dramatic sequence on the Discovery Channel several years ago, in a program "Wild, Wild Seas." Dimenhydrinate won't help here! (3:18) Here her sister, the newer and larger Abeille Bourbon, is captured during an actual rescue. Click the red dialog icon to get rid of the annoying on screen dialog. (6:17)

Hope you enjoyed the videos. Best sure to vote your favorite!

And Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

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