- terminal excitement -


I attended the Fillmore Spring Rail Festival last weekend, a big deal in the little agricultural citrus town of Fillmore just north of me here.  Local tourists and their money pour in, the restaurants and shops really start crankin' after the winter cool down, and a lot of kids get their first taste of the sort of gigantic machines that helped to open up the western part of this country.

The town is home to the Fillmore & Western Railway Company, a bunch of locals who got together to buy some trains and the right-of-ways to go with them.  I used the occasion to field test my new camera, the Canon Digital Elph, a tiny gadget of exquisite stainless steel design.  It's the size of a credit card one inch thick and it came with a soft little leather case that I wear on my belt like a holster.  It's my buddy.

So anyway, my new buddy and I wandered around downtown Fillmore and checked out the various booths and displays.  Lots of guys in suspenders.  Lots of overalls.  Big hats.

Also at the festival was another group of locals (whose name I forget) who go around shooting each other with blanks while dressed up as gunfighters of the Old West, each with his own little buddy in a holster.  In between their vignettes of loud muzzle blasts and mayhem, they give a little talk to the kids about the danger of guns and the importance of telling a grownup if you find one.  Then they all shoot each other again.  The exhibition seems to satisfy a primitive urge in the audience for terminal excitement.

They admit they are politically incorrect, and I'd bet it's a difficult demonstration for many parents to watch, especially in light of recent occurrences on various campuses.  I have a feeling they won't be doing any school assemblies in the foreseeable future.


Despite my declaration that I'd be writing more here, the opposite seems to have happened.  Some of the time for writing got transferred to yard work.  As the song says, Spring is extruding out all over.  Again, I am attacking weeds on the north hill of the property, adding more short sections of railroad ties to act as planters placed randomly on the slope, and gearing up for a major overhaul of the back lawn.  Across the street, Herman and Hattie are discussing the removal of two of their large palm trees.  If they go ahead and cut them down I'm going to ask them for the bottom section of each trunk to carve into tikis.

Another reason for the lack of writing is that life has been extraordinarily mild lately.  I don't mean dull, just delightfully free of anguish about one thing or another, and this mood has been enough to lighten any load of self-reproach connected with a lack of updates.

We'll see how it goes.  It's going to be another busy weekend.  The Pt. Mugu Air Show has rolled around again and I suspect Viv, Amy, and I will be in attendance, probably tomorrow.

So it's calm hereabouts.  Some of that may also be due to a heightened sense of age, as this past week also marked the beginning of my 45th orbit around a giant ball of burning gas 93 million miles away.  Since I've been making that trip at over 18 miles per second, surely you can see that from time to time I might have to lie down to try to be calm about the whole thing.


  today's music:

"Wreck of Old '97" -- Old Country Trio Plus One -- SONGS THAT TAKE YOU BACK - VOL. II


today's wisdom:

"There isn't a train I wouldn't take."

- Edna St. Vincent Millay