Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back In Town

I have been out of town since Thursday. I took a trip with The Tanks to Sioux City, Iowa for a show. From there we went to Minneapolis along Highway 60 (plenty of little UP yards along the way) for the Song of Zarathustra reunion show. It was awesome. After 7 years, they put on an amazing 20 minute burst of violence and I have a bump on the head to prove it. Here are some pictures from last week that I didn't get to upload before the trip:

I love this... anything with eyes, really. The world is controlled by shape-shifting reptilian bastard.

Pizza from Texas! Actually looks more like a t-bone steak.

I got down into the yard later that night only to have the train start moving on me as soon as I got down there. Here are the only two decent pictures I got as the train rolled out of town:

The Bookman headin' out.

This Colossus of Roads blew by. There is also a study of the female anatomy I caught with this picture in the bottom left

The next day:

I know the feeling.

I see this, well, cat I suppose, often.

Mr. Walter Clark from Wichita, 1989. It took a little bit of work to get this to pop, but here you go.

Colossus of Road's yearly homage to Kerouac. '98.

Mr. Bass blast from two pasts.

1/2 lung from CO.

The quill blowing in the wind again. I have uploaded a picture of this already, but I think this picture looks a lot better than the old one.

A little something for the perverts.

Okay, that's it. I hope to get back into the swing of things sometime soon.

Until then.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Few More Notches In The Belt

Last night was a good night to visit the yard. After missing opportunities all day, I finally got down there at 1AM. At first I thought I was out of luck again, but then I noticed some big black tankers down past Summit street. The train itself ran almost out to the country, so it ended up being a good, long walk with seeing a lot of my favorite artists along the way.

The beginning of a game of tic-tac-toe. I shoulda made the next move.

This is the first I had seen or even heard of this moniker. Car Man Fran. A railroad worker I suppose.

A faded Plate image. One more coming at ya:

18 Years.

A Colossus of Roads on a tanker in blue. You can't see it in the picture, but written inside the face of the image was "For a good time call 1-800-K-DOG".

Pretty soon I started seeing a streak of images from this artist, 6127. A favorite of mine, so I tried to get some good pics. When they person works with color, it is truly amazing. I have only seen it once or twice, but it was a site to see. Hopefully I can get a picture of that sometime in the future.


A little more detailed.

The last one in the series. Sorry I went a bit overboard, I just don't get to see this guys work that often, and when I do it's a treat.

Worm in the core. This took me forever to get an "okay" picture of. "Okay" in quotations.

A very clear Smokin' Joe.

D-Rail in Blue.

Big Bubba. This boxcar was going to turn out to be the best one of the night:

This is my find of the night. Some call him the US Scout, others call him a pothead. I know him by Coaltrain. This is the first of his work I have seen with my own eyes, so I was taken aback for a moment. This is one of my favorites because, well, what he draws looks almost exactly like me, haha. 1988. Also notice the Mr. Bass to the left.

And a closer shot of the Mr. Bass with a bit of Mr. Easley next to him.

I can see a train rolling back and forth on the tracks from my roommate's window right now. I don't know if it's going to stick around, though.

Until next time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Early Morning, More Advice

My friend Pat, who plays guitar in my band, came into town for a show we had the next day. He arrived at about 1:30 AM, and after catching up and getting hyped on vegan nacho cheese and tofu stuffed mushrooms, we decided to hit the tracks at about 3:00 AM. The snow was falling in slow, giant chunks, and it was pretty beautiful all around.

Here's what we saw:

Plate. '02. I've seen this symbol a few times.

The good advice. Hobo Stew and Hippy Johnny.

The bad advice.

This one took forever to get right. Pat even had a go at it. I think this looks okay though. I'd like to know the story behind this monikor.

Last one of the night. It's a little blurry because I was trying a longer exposure out, but I think it looks alright.

I'm a bit tired now and it's only 7 at night. Whether I go out tonight or not... we'll just have to see. Flip a coin.

Until next time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Early Evening, Some Good Advice

Earlier this even we decided to see what was going on down by the tracks. We wandered down there, but it turned out that nothing much was going on.

The (almost) empty Iowa City IAIS yard. It was very pretty out down there.

Instead of heading home, we walk east a block or two to the bridge that goes of Summit street where, if you look hard, you'll get some good advice and some interesting information.

I'll keep this in mind. There's also another garden to the west with strawberries when it gets warmer.

If you don't know the story of Kelly's Army, it's a very interesting read.
Here's a first-hand account: The March of Kelly's Army

The yard was pretty quiet.

Until next time.

February In The Railroad Earth

If a train came in last night when I thought I heard it, it must not of stayed for very long. Usually they'll sit still for at least an hour, but not this time. Here are some pictures from early today:

Right off the bat, a Colossus of Roads. Kinda faded, still good.

XXX Bookman christening a new car.

Seeing this was pretty exciting for me, as I had only seen this person's work in pictures on the internet and in films, never in real life. There's a first time for everything. The Watchman.

And here's one on the other side of the car. Same time, but the watchman hasn't come yet.

Encino, man.

"Dante" from Florida.


Part Time Pat. Must be a railroad worker.

Faded Solo Artist. 04.

The Ace of Spades.

And this is the last image I was greeted with. October In The Railroad Earth.

That's all. It's snowing now, so maybe I can get some cool looking pictures later tonight if I wander down to the yard.

Until then.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Mistakes

Here are the shots from yesterday.

This one is really an enigma. I have seen it come through a couple times now, and it always leaves me wondering what the word was the got scratched out. I wish I know the story behind this.

Here's that rabbit that we saw in the CRIC layup.

That whistle again.

XXX Book Man! I always get a laugh when I see his stuff roll through.

Nice hat.


I thought this was the Elvis Presley logo at first. All the way from Oregon.

It's lewd... so of course I like it.

I have seen this numerous times. Anyone know what it means?

The Solo Artist from '96.

D-Rail. This guy seems to only write on tankers.

3 cans of Ajax.


Big Bubba from '92.


MT. All the way up there again.

Another MT, but this time it's near the bottom of the car. Strange.

Vegan. I'm pretty sure this guy plays in a punk rock band on the west coast.

Going to Chicago.


Another Motown.

And, finally, my favorite moment of the day, I ran into this. A very old Colossus of Roads. See how the beard comes out more? That is how he first began drawing the images, and later it evolved into a much more streamlined figure, with the beard coming down straight and going back. "Well, that was just a Big Mistake and I'd rather not talk about it."

Well, that's all the shots from yesterday that I have that are of interest to anyone visiting this blog. I just heard a train come in, so I'm going to go check that out and see if I can spot anything cool. See ya next time.

Until then.