Wednesday, October 19, 2016

10th Anniversary!

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Oil-Electric.

Early Blog headers
It all began when a friend of mine - Kurt in Seattle - exchanged horror stories concerning the dreaded "screeners" at an upscale railroad web site, noted for calendar grade pictures and squeaky clean locomotives, whipping along under white puffy clouds floating in an azure sky!

Both of us knew better.

Lighting can be a challenge, especially when the damn freighter just happens to pass by at high noon. And unless the locomotive reeked of Dupont-Imron, dirt, dust, oily smudges and questionable substances could be seen on the front coupler. And dreary rain soaked days are common in the winter.

Trainman (Indian sweater) and Conductor re-connecting after pickup in Williams Lake

I had a decent run on that web site. They loved my one-of-a-kind PGE shots from the 1950's and '60's. But then I detected a disturbance in the Force.

I began to receive cranky comments about "wordy photo descriptions" and nit-pick's that one screener would allow, whilst another trashed. It was then that I met Kurt.

He told be about a new "self publishing" platform that allowed total editorial control over posting photographs and as much "yackety-yak" that I could come up with. It was called "Blogger."

 I began to get the "hang of it;" fonts, formatting, hyperlinking and dealing with photos. I posted my first Blog article on October 6, 2007.

The Blog allowed unlimited "words," but the best part?  I get to "screen" the photos!

The Blog was advertised as a "Railroad Blog." But every now and again, I would derail and present material on other issues I found of interest. The big derailment came in May, 2010. The Deep Water Horizon was poorly explained in the newspapers and regular suspects, cable and over-the-air television.

Deep Water Horizon lead me directly to Vale in Brazil, with several articles written about the Iron Ore Heavy Haul. That led to the Saldanha Heavy Haul Ore trains in South Africa. And who can forget our exposé of Shell Oil retreat from the Arctic, not once, but twice!

It was about that time that I changed the "mission" statement for Oil-Electric to read, "While my core interest remains unchanged, I have changed. Therefore, from time to time, I present subject material that I find absolutely interesting; hopefully you will too!" 

The absolute zenith for me over the past 10 years was being able to see "up close and personal," the first and second largest dry tow vessels in the world, the Dockwise Vanguard and Dockwise Blue Marlin, moored next to each other, in Port Angeles, retrieving Shell's junk yard fleet. That was a thrilling experience!

I've made some wonderful contacts — folk who eagerly shared photos and information that enhanced my presentations.  Even made contacts with people from my past who stumbled over Oil-Electric. And the hundreds of hours spent in researching topics have given me a world class College education!

I took an emotional hit last Christmas Eve with the loss of my best friend and constant companion.  GingerSnap absolutely loved road trips. Many a night when I would pull an all-niter,  she'd raise her head off her bed in the corner, and shoot me that "Really, Dude?" look.

If you enjoyed the first 10 years, stay tuned for the following!

1 Comments - Click here:

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Thank you for your kind words and continued support!

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