Author Archives: matt

Railfanning in Newton, KS — BNSF 7443

I’m not the only railfan in the family. My 2-year old nephew also likes trains, and his uncle Matt had — what must’ve seemed to him — an unlimited number of pictures and videos of trains. In reality, he only watched the same videos over and over.

Late one afternoon, we shot down to Newton. I would love to catch photos of BNSF hauling Boeing 737 fuselages from Wichita, and I suspect they go through Newton. I’m not sure on that; but I definitely knew I wasn’t familiar with the town, so though I didn’t expect to see much and it was getting late, we headed down there. I got off the freeway after I spotted some tracks, and was nearly immediately rewarded with BNSF 7443 at the head of an intermodal. BNSF 7443 is a GE ES44DC.

My awesome daughter got some new videos for her cousin too, who enjoyed them…. over and over and over.

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Kansas Aviation Museum

We spent the week of Christmas in central Kansas with my brother and his family. Not only did we take advantage of their hospitality, we took the opportunity to use their place as a jumping off point for some exploring.

We arrived in Wichita with no plan. Over lunch we were checking the web for things to do, and came across the Kansas Avaiation Museum.

I was stoked to find this Boeing 727 was a part of the museum. Out of all the old commercial airplanes, the 727 is my favorite — and I’m actually pleased to have flown on one before they were retired.

But the awesome just kept on coming. Wichita is the home of a lot of aviation history including Stearman, Hawker, Beechcraft and Cessna. Boeing builds 737 fuselages there as well as parts of the 787 Dreamliner.

The museum has a great display of the history of Beechcraft and Cessna, as well as a really great collection of planes. In addition to the 727, they have a B-52, a KC-135, and a 737.

It was hands-numbingly cold the day we went, and I didn’t have the fortitude to stand in the cold and take pictures for more than a few minutes. But I’d eagerly recommend this place to any aviation nut.

Year-End Wrap

I hope everyone’s had a great Christmas. We were in central Kansas visiting family, and I basically unplugged from almost everything while we were gone.

I have a few photos I took while in Kansas that I’ll be sharing in the near future. It’s becoming difficult to find hosting for photos. Microsoft dropped my OneDrive storage from 10Tb to 1Tb, so I started hosting my blog photos over on Flickr. Now they’re changing their tune from “Unlimited” to “1000”. It’s frustrating. That, coupled with my desire to unplug more from the tech-driven life, has got me thinking I may just download my images of Flickr and OneDrive, write them to DVDs, and store them that way. And I may try to archive old posts on this blog… assuming that’s still an option. WordPress as a platform has also become utterly hopeless and frustrating to use.

This year brought an end to a several-year streak of daily posting as I got tired of trying to juggle photos. The awesome bloggers I’ve built relationships with over the last few years while I’ve been doing this is the biggest reason I haven’t just shuttered this site. I’m more and more against social media the more I read and hear about how one-sided most of it is politically. But while I support Gab.com and other social media platforms that are fighting the Silicon Valley Censorship Machine, I’m not willing to give anyone else access to that sort of data either.

I’m not sure what 2019 will hold for this space. I have been posting run write ups over on my running blog: Fat Guy Running I have a half marathon I’ll be training for this year, so you can follow along as I work on that.

Happy new year, everyone.

Quina Quen

Final Fantasy IX is my favorite game in the series. The first time I played it, I didn’t care much for Quina; but as I’ve replayed the game over the years, I’ve really come to like him/her. He/She is one of the best characters in the game, especially early on. I wish I had remembered his/her fork.

For my birthday, my wife gave me a drawing course. I’ve done some posts of Final Fantasy monsters I’ve drawn before (some broken links there — sorry); but this is the first time I’ve tried doing a main character (click on it for a bigger image). I think my wife’s investment is paying off.