This week and the next are all about the mechanical side of running a train. We are not quite getting to the level of detail where we could disassemble an SD40 and put it back together, but I could power one up from scratch if I needed to get it out of a siding. In some respects, I think this week has covered almost as much material as the last two weeks combined, and we are only halfway through the course. They are definitely compressing the material for the management trainees.
One bit that amused me was that the instructor kept stressing the importance of remembering the six critical components of a diesel locomotive, and reminded us repeatedly over the course of the week that we would need to remember then for the test. Then he accidentally left them up on the whiteboard on test day. I doubt any of us needed the reminder by that point, but I found it no less amusing.
For the record, they are: Fuel, Electrical, Cooling Water, Compressed Air, Engine & Equipment Air and Lubrication System.
I'm keeping up my Picture-A-Day project, even while working out of Calgary. I have very little free time while I am out there, so they mostly consist of "phone pictures of things I saw while walking down the street". At some point I need to go through my vacation pictures from our trip to the coast and upload more of those.
Time is such a premium commodity these days.
I caught a couple of crows in action at the water's edge when we were in Victoria. I am so used to seeing them scavenge their meals from the garbage that it was a bit odd seeing them finding natural food in the wild.
Fisherman's Wharf was not quite as touristy when I lived in Victoria. I'm sure it was there, but I never had any cause to head down there. It's very picturesque - especially when you play around with tilt shift.
I snapped this out the window of the plane as we were coming into Winnipeg last night. You can't see it in this shot, but there were fireworks going off everywhere in the city. The plane was filled with exaltations of "ooh" and "ahh" from people with their faces pressed to the windows.
When we visited my brother over Christmas, Gaia refused to come out from under mom's bed. This time around she is more used to people, and she is really quite friendly and personable.
When we got our Master Card bill from our trip, it was quite clear that we spent a couple of weeks living beyond our means. It's nice to feel rich for little stretches here and there, but our creditors are always waiting to bring us back to reality.