Oil Train — BNSF 8480

Thursday afternoon and the typical crap traffic out of Castle Rock means I was on the frontage road. I came across this unit oil train heading south. BNSF 8480 and BNSF 8781 (a pair of EMD SD70ACes) turned out to be the lead engines on this train, while CREX 1214 and BNSF 5904 (a pair of GE ES44ACs) had drawn DPU duty.

CREX 1214 and BNSF 5904 on DPU duty south of Castle Rock, CO

Five Years

It was five years ago when I published my first post on Simplify. At that time, I was merely looking for an outlet away from Facebook (which I had then recently quit) to write my thoughts.

Since then, I think it’s safe to say that this little corner of the web has changed a few times; I hope for the better. Its latest incarnation as a mostly photo-centric site has been a lot of fun. I really had no idea what to do with all these photos anyway. Sharing them with you all has been great. It also has provided me the opportunity to shut up more often and let the images speak for themselves — I admit, that’s not something I think of doing most of the time. It always seems that some explanation of the image, some context, is necessary; but I’m learning it’s not. I guess I’m changing for the better as well.

I find myself at an intersection in my life right now. I am not interested in social media (I’m actually really bad at social media): I recently deleted the Instagram account I’d opened about a year ago. I’m still on Twitter, but it requires so little actual thought on my part.. the posts are automatically shared there. It’s great to have BNSF Railway and a few others like or retweet my train photos. I try to reciprocate when I think to log into Twitter.

I hate the leash known as my mobile phone, and I’ve considered getting rid of that, too. For one reason or another, that’s one I’ll have to keep for a bit longer; but I don’t do much on it… and I relish every opportunity I take to leave that nagging heap at home. We don’t have Netflix any more, and we’ve canceled our Drug Commercial Delivery Service (aka cable). There are whole weeks when our TV doesn’t come on at all. It’s brilliant! What I’m getting at is that I’m deliberately unplugging from the nonsense of the modern society. Not to be condescending or judgmental, all those activities are fine if you feel like spending your time doing them; they’re just not worth it to me. The time I spend on my computer any more is usually geared toward learning: honing skills or picking up new ones, editing photos. I don’t spend a lot of time reading the lies the media wants to sell me.

I don’t know what the future of this blog will be; I’ve considered closing up shop here too, on more than on occasion. I mean, for now, nothing here’s going to change. I enjoy interacting with all the fellow bloggers that choose to do so, and I’ve learned a lot and seen a lot of the world I wouldn’t normally have seen. That’s awesome! And humbling…

I won’t say anything like “here’s to another 5 years” because I don’t know if I want to wish that on myself yet. But I will say thanks to all of you who hopped on this crazy ride and have stuck it out with me, through all the previous iterations of Simplify.

You guys rock.