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Posts Tagged ‘trains’

Training Session


picture of Thomas the Tank Engine

Many younger Americans don't have much experience with trains any more since AmTrak passenger service does not go to smaller towns as trains do in other countries. And so I think it's an interesting phenomenon that Thomas the Tank Engine is capturing the hearts and minds of so many little boys. This week I'm being plunged into the world of Thomas.

Our daughter Megan, son-in-law Jim, and two-and-a-half-year-old grandson Drew are here for a week, and since I last saw them four months ago, Drew has become obsessed with all things Thomas. It's astounding to me that he can tell you the name of any of the 60 different train cars at a glance! Poppy has some catching up to do and will undoubtedly not be up to speed by week's end.
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So Teach Us to Number Our Days…


Earlier this week I posted the obituary of my former German professor, colleague and friend, Edith Long. Today I am shocked to have to tell you about the death of her son Paul on the way home from his mom's funeral. I am saddened beyond words.

With all the news coverage of Hurricane Ike yesterday and today, what would have been a huge news story - the horrible train crash in the Los Angeles area - has been pushed to the background. Paul, Karen, and Devin Long flew back home yesterday (Friday) after several days with Paul's family here in Greenville. Paul told me after the graveside service that he was dreading having to connect through Dallas with all the news about the storm expected to go through there. As far as I know, they got through Dallas fine. However, our Lord had it in His plan that they would be aboard the Metrolink commuter train involved in yesterday's collision. Karen and Devin each suffered minor injuries, but Paul suffered severe head trauma that resulted in his death this afternoon. Paul's sister Gail sent me a link this afternoon to an article in the NY Times about the crash. Paul's son Devin was interviewed shortly after the accident yesterday and quoted in the article. I put the link further down in this blog post, but the article has changed in the last hour, maybe with the news of Paul's death. Here's what was in the original article:

"Witnesses described a scene of instant terror. Devin Long, 16, was sitting in the middle car with his parents when the trains collided. "There was a great big jerk," he said. "I heard what sounded like a bunch of cars colliding, like a multicar crash. Both my parents went flying. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor between the exit doors." Mr. Long was thrown from his seat, but remained conscious.

His father, Paul Long, 56, lay unconscious but breathing by the stairwell to the second level of the double-decker car. His mother, Karen Long, 55, was injured but alert, he said. “When I saw the condition Dad was in, I sort of freaked out,” he said. “Mom was trying to communicate with Dad. I turned around and saw all the seat cushions tossed about the car. There was blood everywhere. People had cuts on their heads and faces, legs; they had many injuries.”

You may read whatever form the article now has by clicking here.

Paul was three years behind me in college, but through his mom, he and I got to know each other while I was in college and he was still in high school. We shared a very similar sense of humor. Paul was a long-time reader of my e-mails and my blog, and he sent me quite a bit of humor and even some more reflective types of things. Whenever he and his family came to Greenville to visit, we would have lunch together.

Please pray for his wife Karen and son Devin, as well as Paul's three siblings and their families. They have not even had time to begin to process Edith's homegoing and are in total shock about Paul's sudden departure for heaven. We're all reeling from the shocking suddenness of this all, but we're comforted by the knowledge that our Lord has not lost control - this was all in His loving plan for us all.

Today, I'm going to post the last thing my friend Paul sent to me. At the beginning of his e-mail he said, "Unfortunately, I remember most of these!"

Things you don't hear anymore...

Be sure to refill the ice trays - we're going to have company after while.

Watch for the postman - I want to get this letter to Aunt Mary in the mail today.

Quit slamming the screen door when you are on your way out!

Put a dish towel over the cake so the flies won't get on it.

You boys stay close by - the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.

There's a dollar in my purse. Get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.

It's getting hot. Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here.

Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.

Why can't you remember to roll up your pant legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up.

You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.

Don't you go outside with your good school clothes on!

Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.

If you pull that stunt again, I'm going to wear you out!

Get out from under the sewing machine; bumping it messes up the thread!

That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs just don't come in the house.

Wash your feet before you go to bed. They are nasty from playing outside all day barefooted.

Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by - I need to get a few things from him.

You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise.

Don't sit too close to the TV. It's hard on your eyes.

Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.

It is time for your system to get cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.

If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.

Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way!

quotation...

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12


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Did He Pass the Test?


boy taking a test

Does the thought of taking tests fill you with terror? Probably. Classes haven't even begun for us yet, and I'm already thinking about tests. We're in faculty in-service meetings this week on campus and they have been excellent - very helpful and thought-provoking! Next week we'll be working in our offices getting our courses ready to go. Then after several days of course registration, classes will begin September 3. Part of teaching is writing and grading tests. But tests aren't limited just to the realms of academia. Many potential employees have to take tests to show their competencies for the jobs they'd like to land.

Here's a story about a man in that very situation.

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad, and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

Tom seems like a good prospect, and the inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz. He starts off by asking, "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"

Tom says, "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.

"I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.

"Then," Tom continues, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if the phone were busy?"

"In that case," Tom argues, "I'd run to the street level and use the public phone near the station".

"What if that had been vandalized?"

Tom quickly replies, "In that case I'd run into town and get my Uncle Leo."

The puzzled inspector asks, "Why would you do that?"

"Because he's never seen a train crash!"

(So, did Tom pass the test and land the job?)

Now here's a little test for you. It appears to be a list of trick questions with obvious answers, but it really is!

The world's easiest test?

(Answers follow, but NO cheating!)

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get catgut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI's first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Now remember ... NO cheating!

Answers to the world's easiest test…

1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

2. Ecuador.

3. From sheep and horses.

4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

5. Squirrel fur.

6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria — Island of the Dogs.

7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.

8. Distinctively crimson.

9. New Zealand. (Chinese gooseberries is an older name for kiwifruit.)

10. Thirty years, of course! From 1618 to 1648.

divider

If that test made you feel as dumb as it made me feel, maybe this final item about testing will make you feel like a rocket scientist (or at least a rocket surgeon…).

A college football coach had recruited a top talent for the team, but the player couldn't pass the school's entrance exam. Needing the recruit badly, the coach went to the dean and asked if the recruit could take the test orally. The dean agreed, and the following day the recruit and the coach were seated in his office.

"OK," the dean said, "What is seven times seven?"

The recruit looked terrified as he thought it over for a moment then said, "I think it's 49."

The coach immediately jumped to his feet. "Oh, come on, Dean," he begged, "give him another chance!"

Lends weight to the oxymoronic nature of the expression "sports scholarship," doesn't it? Do you have a test experience you'd like to tell about? We'd love to read about it in the comments.

quotation...

"Right affections lead to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right living." - Dr. Bryan Smith

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, then the lesson afterwards.


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10,000 Words


Since my last blog post was more thought-provoking than most and involved more reading than most, I thought I'd post some neat pictures I've received lately. If a picture is worth is a thousand words, the following is worth at least 10,000 words. Have a great weekend!

This takes "do-it-yourself" to a whole new level - an extremely low level!

do-it-yourself car repair

Here's some interesting unreal estate...

cliff hanging at home

Too bad this guy didn't know about bluetooth technology! Sorry, but I find this really disturbing!

Is that my phone ringing?

Now here's a way-outhouse!

a way-outhouse

All I can say is, "NOT ME, MAN!!!"

Not me man!

No one can claim that those doing the food service on this train don't go the extra mile! Or is this a new spin on "Tea for Two?"

great service on this train!

Now *where* did that car go?!?

Where'd that car go?!?

Wow! This is *some* ski show!

quite the ski show!

Faster, Dear! The lava is gaining on us!

Drive faster, Dear!

"Sweetheart, I've got your honey-do list ready ... now where'd that man go???"

hidden husband

quotation...

"I don't need to know what lies ahead. I just need to know God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.


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