The online home of Mike
"I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member" - Groucho Marx
"Round up all the usual suspects" - Inspector Renault (Casablanca)
"What, me worry?" - Alfred E. Neuman.
"We have met the enemy and they is us" - Pogo
"Badgers, we don't got no Badgers, we don't need no STINKING Badgers...." - Anon
"It's a little known fact that yer ancient Celtics there, invented the game of basketball.......and parquet floors.." - Cliff Claven (Cheers)
"So we finish 18 and he's gonna stiff me so I say..hey..hey Lama (Dalai Lama), how about..... you know..... somethin' for the effort? So he says you will not receive any money, but on your deathbed you will receive.... total conciousness....so at least I got THAT goin' for me.....which is nice." - Carl (Bill Murray - Caddyshack)
"Nee, Maikeru-san, kimi kara no kanai-ate no koi-bumi wo yonda yo!" - Former Japanese friend (^^) (just kidding)
"When all is said and done, I'm really just a silly bastard" - Michael Mayer
MY OTHER PAGES:
My New Company's first product:
4-Packs of InterMountain Railway Co's PS-1 Boxcars in Delaware & Hudson's Laurentian Shield Herald. Boxcar Red Oxide color scheme in use from the early '60's thru the '70's and beyond.Four different car numbers are offered in this first production run that will be available by mid-December.
IM-Ports, LLC is my wife Ileana and mine, Mikes, (hence the clever IM) we created to pursue my interest in model trains and her interest in imported goods and handicrafts. My side is devoted to the D&H and NYC models that I need for my layout and want to make for use by other modelers, and make a few bucks along the way. :-)
copyright Joe Testagrose
Photo of the ledgendary Third Avenue 'El' (elevated) (or Da Toid Avenoo El - in local dialect) at its northern terminal at Gun Hill Road where it joins the White Plains Road Line (#2) in the Bronx, New York. The Manhattan portion was torn down in the 1950's and the Bronx portion survived until around 1973. My Father's last firehouse was located just to the right and the Italian restaurant (Louie's) in the Godfather where Michael Corleone shoots the police Captain is also to the right there below.
·Railways: New York Central, Pennsylvania, Seaboard, Atlantic Coast Line Railroads, Japan, Steam, Model Trains:
My Grandson Jonathan and my ever-faithful hound Jack, taken Christmas, 2001. (English Springer Spaniel...full title: Stonewall Jack..named after 'Old Bluelight' as General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson of the Confederate Army was known by his troops because he was very religious and was tea-total, besides one of the finest generals who ever lived) Jack is now deceased, Jan 30, 2002. We all miss him. Jonathan couldn't pronounce his name and called him "Cack!" After Jack died, he kept prowling the house calling: "Cack, Cack!"
Warships: Nihon Kaigun, US Navy
Me trying to correctly toss the coal onto all sides of the firebox - not as easy as it sounds - to keep the fire just right. The idea is to load up the sides and leave the center with just a light coating of new coals so as not to smother the fire with 'green' coal. .
With the help of my Afro-American compatriots like Bean, Uncle Roy, Brother Isaiah ("Alright Mike, jess gimme a little bit 'o hep, thass aaall ah need, jess a little bit of it!"), Mack, Pendergrass and my Bro, Johnny, we got a lot of work done under the guidance of our Foreman, Perkins, who looked for all the world like an athletic coach.
There was also Charlie (Afro-American too), the track inspector and his side-kick Trim (from Barbados). Charlie, always full of bounce and brimming with confidence, once had us guys do the most amazing thing - cut a rail using jacks, hammers and ice water! On the 'wye' in the Little River section of Miami, we had to cut a rail to fit - and had no rail saw with us - so Charlie had us put the rail in the middle of the track, place big jacks to bend the rail, then as it bent farther and farther, keep hitting in one spot with big spike hammers and pouring ice water on the spot - and sure enough it snapped right where we wanted it!!
The worst job we ever did was when a big GP7 diesel locomotive 'split the rails' in a warehouse district on newly laid track laid on Florida's famous 'sugar sand,' which has little stability. The engine split the track and was on the ground - for over two weeks - we had to re-build the track and ballast it with rock practically under the engine, which kept on splitting the track - until it finally crept out of there.
The 20th Century could have been the happiest, most productive century ever, but countless tiny twists of fate rendered the most disasterous, disgusting, dramatic, ironic yet at the same time, noble and heroic time imaginable. Any fiction pales by comparison. No novel ever written or ever will be written could come close to the drama of the 20th Century. Good times and bad, progress and poverty, unimaginable horror perpetrated on people just because of race or beliefs.
The US, in popular history, supposed to be always the 'good guys' was forced to face itself and realize the hipocrisy it has always practiced internally (racial discrimination, grinding poverty, crime) and externally (supporting right-wing dictatorships because they were on our side, excessive brutality towards conquered peoples - the Phillipines, Vietnam, Native Americans...) at last by the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggle brought these issues to a head. Yet the ideals we Americans hold sacred, of Liberty and Justice for all, while seldom actually practiced, were, nevertheless a shining ideal that we still strive for - maybe one day. Now, with the demise of the communist empires, mankind has a golden opportunity unprecedented in history to act as 'one world' without the poisons and passions of nationalism. Yet, will we be able to overcome short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness and make the last years of this Century a path to peace at last, in the future?
The tiny twists of fate on which great events turned are endlessly fascinating. There was hope in the 1920's, before fascism became fashionable. Art, Jazz, Radio, etc. Culture and communication are always vehicles that promote peace. The Weimar Republic's explosion of art, music, cinema and a similar movememt in Japan in the 20's and 30's offered hope - but the Great Depression finally brought the nationalist passions to a head resulting in World War II. That era of the early 20th Century is the most interesting to me.
History is often neglected and most people only have 'impressions' of
history and do not realize some interesting facts: For example, it is a
popular notion in the west that the Japanese "Don't innovate, they copy
everything." During the early 20th Century, the western powers seriously
under-estimated the Japanese. For example, they built one of the finest
and most powerful navies that ever sailed. They innovated construction
techniques to save weight, by incorporating armor as part of the hull and
not a seperate belt, invented advanced hull designs and torpedos that were
larger and twice the range of any known torpedo and left no tell-tale wake!
It is too bad that all that innovation was devoted to war but for a people
who had never even used a steam engine before the 1860's, it is amazing.