Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“Can’t you hear the whistle blowing…?”

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"Can't you hear the whistle blowing...?"

Sunday – 30 September 2012
It’s been “a while” since I posted. Huh. And with that out of the way, on with the show.

The girls of TeamDiVa are doing well.

Vanessa (l) and Diana

They are walking – with gusto – everywhere. At least, everywhere that we let them go. And, their stair-climbing prowess has increased, as well. We also introduced them to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back last night. It was a brief introduction, about 5 minutes. Granted, it was the first five minutes of the movie – meaning, it was also possibly the slowest five minutes – but they did okay.  I’m not entirely sure that it was enough to engage them fully at this age. We might try again in six or so months.

I’ve also learned that both the #TeamDiva tag and @TeamDiva on Twitter refer to people that aren’t TeamDiVa… especially as Twitter doesn’t differentiate between capital and lower-case letters. With that in mind, Twitter posts referring to the twins will be designated #TeamDiVa2011.

A couple of weeks ago, I Sara!, the girls and I visited the Urban Flea Market:

It was much smaller than most flea markets I’ve been to, fitting into less than half of a business parking lot. At the first stall – The. Very. First. One. – that we passed, I found a few things that I could not leave the market without:  A Bachmann Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-2 engine and tender, a Tyco B&O 4-6-2 Pacific engine and tender, a pair of B&O diesel engines I can’t completely identify (possibly SD-60s, but I’m not sure) and five B&O passenger cars. The only “problem” was that they are all HO Scale, which is “Half-O,” which makes them half the size that I usually collect.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from bringing them home.

Seriously. Would I have these pictures if I didn’t?


I’m still giving serious thought to making a two-sided door layout, with these trains on one side and Marklin European trains on the other.

And that reminds me: The train room is days away from completion. The last coat of topping compound was applied on Friday. It’s getting sanded tomorrow. After that, it’s down to sweeping and paint.  (And deciding what I want to do for flooring.) But everything else is ready. I’ll post pictures soon. It looks amazing. And I’m pretty excited about being able to set up and run my trains again.

And with that, I’m out.


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Test for echo 2

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Test for echo

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Test for echo

Test 1, 2, 3…

Sunday (Rosh Hashanah) Cuteness

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Sunday (Rosh Hashanah) Cuteness

Sunday – 16 September 2012
Here’s a couple of Team DiVa pictures for your enjoyment!



And with that, enjoy the rest of your Sunday.


Team DiVa Tuesday

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Team DiVa Tuesday

Tuesday – 11 September 2012
It’s Tuesday.

As many businesses offer “Two-For-Tuesday” specials, I figured: Why shouldn’t I? After all, I have two daughters. And it’s just as easy to offer up a few pics of both of them as it is of just one of them. (And this way I don’t look like I’m favoring one over the other.)

And so, here they are:

Vanessa (l) and Diana in birthday dresses from their Aunt Marie

Vanessa, getting ready to take on the world

Diana, wondering why we haven’t left yet…

You wouldn’t have left these here if you didn’t want us to drink them, right…?

And there’s some Tuesday cuteness for you.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled day.


September 11th

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September 11th

Tuesday – 11 September 2012
Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, NY and Washington, D.C.

My friend, Joe – a former New York native  – posted a picture of the World Trade Center, the last one that he took before moving away from New York.

My two… favorite, I guess… pictures/memories of the towers are these, from 1999:


The first picture is me, atop 2 WTC, the South Tower (1 WTC, North Tower behind me).  I remember looking down from the roof, across to Liberty Island and thinking how tiny the Statue of Liberty seemed from that vantage point. I also recall looking out across Manhattan and thinking about the failed attempt to collapse the towers across Midtown in 1993.

The second picture is my friend, Peggy – who we led into the plaza between the towers with her eyes covered – as she took in just how tall the towers were. Her first words as her eyes lifted towards the rooftops: “Holy… shit…”  Priceless.

For my thoughts on the attacks and the aftermath, I again refer to these posts.

And, as I said in last year’s post:

Remeber the past.
Cherish the present
Look with hope to the future.


One Year Later: The Day After

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One Year Later: The Day After

Sunday – 09 September 2012
It’s Sunday morning, the day after the girls’ first birthday party.

That’s right… The girls of Team DiVa are no longer “Adventure Babies,” they’re “Adventure Tots!”

Vanessa (l) and Diana… with cake!

More pictures – and a couple of videos – from the day can be seen here.

This has been a busy weekend,  and I would like to extend a very grateful “Thank you” to everyone who helped make it fun and special for the girls.

My mother and uncle left a little while ago for the airport. It’s the first time I’ve seen Mom (other than a couple of video chats) in just shy of a year and the first time I’ve seen my uncle since last Christmas.  I am delighted that they were able to be here for the girls’ birthdays.  My father and stepmom weren’t able to make it out, but we did have them on a Skype video call for some of the party festivities.  (Hey, it was better to have them virtually present than not having them involved at all.  Thank you, Technology!)

Team DiVa: Year One has been good and I look forward to Year Two… and beyond!


One Year Later: Part Two

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One Year Later: Part Two

Saturday – 08 Septembert 2012
Today is Vanessa’s first birthday:

Like her sister, she’s come a long way since this:

Sleeping through the night. Eating solid foods. Blowing raspberries. Dancing. Understanding a little sign language… and talking. Walking. Taking road trips.

As far as Vanessa’s personality goes, she’s just as fun-loving as her sister. She’s also a little more mischievous. Yeah, mischievous… at one; we are doomed. She loves to dance to songs from The Muppet Show and Sesame Street… as well as the theme from Josie and the Pussycats. (And, she’ll even give a few good wiggles to Harry Belafonte’s Jump in the Line.) And she loves to watch cars go by on the street.

As I said in yesterday’s post: Sara and I have been blessed with a fantastic couple of daughters. It’s been an amazing first year of parenthood and I’m looking forward to all the years of parenthood to come.

One Year Later: Part One

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One Year Later: Part One

Friday – 07 September 2012
Today is Diana’s first birthday:

This little girl has come a long way since:

Sleeping through the night. Eating solid foods. Blowing raspberries. Dancing. Understanding a little sign language… and talking. Walking. Taking road trips.

It’s also been a lot of fun watching her personality develop, too. She’s a fun-loving girl who enjoys “reading” books – which usually turns into handing said book to Sara! or me to read to her. (And, yes, she does have a couple of favorites.) She is also pretty fond of her computer (at least the AlphaBaby application), too.  She also  seems to already have something of a soft spot for Will Smith’s music, as well. And she loves a good game of Chase/Hide-and-Seek.

Sara and I have been blessed with a fantastic couple of daughters. It’s been an amazing first year of parenthood and I’m looking forward to all the years of parenthood to come.


Perambulation (Part I)

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Perambulation (Part I)

Monday – 03 September 2012
In less than a week, Diana will have her first birthday. (Where does the time go!?)

This video was taken yesterday:

Diana on the go…
Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download

This is just another in a series of milestones that she’s hit. She’s been walking for the past couple of weeks. A step here. A step there. Crawling when she gets frustrated or loses her balance, but for the most part, she’s been having a ball figuring out how the whole “walking” thing works.

And, it seems as though Vanessa won’t be far behind.