Waiting at the Beach Road crossing (Wintler) for westbound train.
While I haven’t posted many images recently I’ve continued to ensure dogcaught.com remains a functional website. Today I took another step to keep the site in sync with modern technology.
Since Aaron’s last theme update in 2010 web expectations have shifted. At that time of his update having a site which supports mobile was important but was usually an after thought. In fact the theme Aaron selected didn’t natively support mobile. He used a separate theme which supplied mobile content giving the mobile version a different look and feel.
Today delivering a website which accommodates any device is mandatory. Not only do blog readers judge the site on its readability on their particular device but so does Google, Bing, and other webmaster evaluation tools. While delivering for the readers is most important, having a good review from other entities is important also for things like search rankings.
My project this afternoon updated the theme on dogcaught.com. This theme is fully responsive and will look good on a computer monitor, tablet, or mobile device. Give it a try! If nothing else watch how responsive it is by simply dragging one side of your browser window. You can watch before your eyes as it adjusts to any width device!
The theme update keeps the same familiar links and side bar features. It is much more open giving the posts, images and writing more focus and I think it should serve well for some time to come.
One year ago Friday I was on a railroad photography expedition in Vader, WA with some good friends. As you saw on dogcaught.com this was a visit to record action under the soon to disappear cantilever signals. It was a busy night and we enjoyed all sorts of trains to photograph with the signals.
As it ends up these photographs were my last.
17 days after this expedition my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. As you saw in a post I chose to take a break from railroad photography so I could focus on my wife’s treatment. With changed priorities I chose to set some of my hobbies aside.
That was a tough choice but I felt my commitment to her was the most important thing. I still escaped on most Sundays for rail fanning around town with my daughter. Heck, we even made it out the Sunday after Tammy’s surgery. I used my iPhone periodically to photograph interesting things but for the most part this period was photography free. Thanks to Facebook and my great railfan friends I kept up on the happenings around the area.
Skip ahead one year. Today Tammy feels wonderful. She recovered from chemo, surgery and radiation and as a far as I’m concerned is back to normal. She feels occasional aches and pains but they are minor. She’s healthy and cancer free so I feel like the mission is accomplished!
I haven’t recovered my photography interest though. I’m not sure why but the idea of enjoying life through the viewfinder isn’t as appealing as it once was. I know that having a health issue refocuses your creativity. She and I spent lots of time problem solving and planning which used all the creativity we could muster. The result? My creativity feels exhausted. My motivation is lost.
For now I will continue my hiatus from photography. I do plan to enjoy railfanning and hanging out with railfan friends since my interest in trains and railroading hasn’t waned at all. When my motivation and creativity return I will once again drag my camera along.
As railfans we appreciate historic preservation. Without it much of our beloved railroad equipment wouldn’t be around for us to see again. When Julien contacted me last week about sharing his latest production I agreed. Historic preservation is so important to all of us I wanted to make sure Charlie’s story was shared around. Here’s a bit about what you will see.
As Charlie Sedgley puts it, “the steam locomotive is the closest thing mankind has come to inventing a human being.” In the shadows of Cleveland’s once prosperous steel mills, Charlie and members of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society work persistently to bring historical steam engines and railcars back to life.
This short documentary marks the first installment of a series we would like to produce focusing on the Rust Belt cities. For more information, please visit our site at: rustic.la/rust
Take a look and enjoy Charlie’s story and passion for preservation.
A dogcaught reader, Tom Zoellner, sent me an email the other day about his upcoming book. Tom says “Wanted to let you know about a forthcoming book I think you’d enjoy. It presents a side of railroad history you won’t see elsewhere. Plus I tried to make it as fun a read as possible. I spent four years trying to get to the bottom of what makes railroads work — both as transportation solutions and objects to fascinate the mind — and hopefully the book has some answers.” Intrigued I took a look at the trailer video he put together. I think this looks to be an interesting perspective on railroading. Take a look for yourself…
Official trailer for “Train”
As the saying goes when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Right now I’m making lemonade.
Thanks to a family health issue my focus over the next few months will be away from railfanning and photography. Instead I will focus on my family and getting well. The result is my contributions to dogcaught.com will be reduced. Thanks for the understanding.