Taking my freight train on an early morning walk

OK, it is not in fact my freight train.

But it is, in fact, a freight train, and the fellow in the orange clothes on the left is not, in fact, an escapee from a prison. But he is, in fact, a hard working member of the Cargo Division of the Swiss Federal Railways.

I captured him taking his massive freight train on a remote controlled walk through the center of the city of Zurich, at about 5 AM in the morning.

To be fair, I am stretching the term remote control. In Germany, they really do use radio controlled technologies to drive freight trains from outside of the cabin. But in Switzerland, this fellow above is using a radio-controlled device to talk with a train driver (not shown).

Herriot’s potions

Continuing the series, the amazing Herriot museum in Yorkshore has recreated the pharmacy where the veterinarian stored his many potions:

Today both physicians and veterinarians use drugs specially tailored for specific purposes, but back in the day before these luxuries the veterinarian would have many chemicals that he would specially mix for treating specific conditions.

The mind blowing New York robo-train

Continuing the series, this is a snap as the mind blowing New York robo-train pulls into the Howard Beach JFK robo-train station:

When I lived in New York, the John F. Kennedy airport was not attached to any train systems, so it was necessary to take a taxicab to access the hotel. Now, a fully automated robo-train will take you to a nearby Long Island Railroad station, from which you can catch many trains and other forms of public transportation.

Here is another snap which I took up front, which is where the train operator would sit, if it were not being operated by a robot.

I am not sure what the robot looks like, where he sits, or even what his name is.

Those crazy Swiss survivalists! – 1

There are many, many reasons why I feel honored and privileged to live in Switzerland – but the fact that the Swiss – like myself – are hard core survivalists is probably the best reason of all.

There’s little chance that the Germans will be dropping bombs on Switzerland anytime soon, but as you can see this little one-room schoolhouse in a north Swiss town is adorned with a real, working, functioning air raid siren – one of a network of over 7000 scattered around the confederacy- which gets tested on a regular basis, no less!

In upcoming posts I’ll share Swiss survivalist secrets so impressive that if you are a survivalist like me, you may find this the optimal place to live!

Mindblowing Dinosaur welcomes you to Bassersdorf!

First things first – do not panic!  What I show below is not a real dinosaur. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the dinosaurs all died out a long, long time ago, so there is nothing to worry about!

OK, now that we have gotten that out of the way, here is a very convincing model of a dinosaur, welcoming the visitors as they drive into the charming village of Bassersdorf in north central Switzerland.


I spent a lot of time on the Long Island Railroad, and one thing that I will always remember is how they handle the tickets.  You are issued a paper ticket, and when the conductor comes by he punches it with a hole punch.

The floors of the trains are covered in zillions of little paper punch outs.

Lifter in the hall

I took this magnificent snap in the large hall at the main train station in Zurich, also known as Zürich HB:

To be honest, I did tweak this image a tiny bit using Microsoft lens. I am very proud that I never modify or enhance my images in any way, so for the sake of full disclosure I am also showing here the original snap as it came out of my little point-and-shoot camera:

I really, really hope I am not now on the slippery slope from the noble endeavor of photography to (what I consider) the less noble endeavor of artificial image manipulation.

Maybe if I always post the original together with any adjusted images, that may save my immortal soul?



Liechtensteiner Cow

Is a bad snap of a good cow even thinkable? Hardly!

I took this snap of a cow relaxing in Liechtenstein while doing the so-called Drei Schwestern-Steig, a famous hiking trail leading to a set of three magnificent peaks (well, I was doing the hike, not the cow):

And here is a nice snap of some mountain flowers that I took near the cow:

For me it would really be interesting to know if cows like to eat flowers – or if they avoid them – or even if they care one way or the other?

Sign of leadership

Literally, a sign about leadership. But at the same time, one that also shows leadership.

I spotted this at the mind-blowing Mall of Dubai Mall,

It’s a map of Dubai, but with a little description next to each landmark showing when and how it was founded by some member of the royal family that owns Dubai.

And this is probably my favorite bit, down at the lower right corner,

An inspirational message showing the leader (owner?) of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, looking stoically upward. Indeed, his profile on LinkedIn has this message: “We are building a new reality for our people, a new future for our children, and a new model of development.”


Scraping the bottom of the barrel

As you can see, not an artistic snap, not an interesting subject, and no crazy stories to tell.

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.

I thought this might turn out interesting and artistic, but it most certainly did not.

I chopped it up into small pieces, added it to some carbonara sauce, and let it cook at very low temperature for about 30 minutes. The broccoli imparted a really nice flavor to the sauce.

Downtown train

Downtown cargo train, that is. It is quite an usual sight, but in fact cargo trains regularly plow through the center of the Swiss city of Zürich, as their are a few breweries and older industries that are still in business, even though the metropolitan city encroached around them.

This particular train has a locomotive in the rear, and the person in front is communicating with the train driver via a remote box:

Winterthur Moonrise

I took this breathtaking snap just as the Moon was rising over Winterthur:

I’m sure the more normal types of photographers that use Adobe PhotoShop and spend lots of time enhancing their images could really make this one look great – but I post exclusively images that I capture on my little point-and-shoot camera, with no special effects or re-touching at all.