Wednesday, April 1, 2020

UTB Testing -- April 1, 2020

from the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency):
In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Governor Gavin Newsom's shelter-in-place order, the San Francisco Municipal Railway is testing the use of UTBs (Unmanned Transit Buses).  Here we see driver Robert Smith driving a 38-Geary Rapid bus from his living room.  The new system will protect drivers from becoming infected by viruses and will help to separate them from potentially violent riders. This project could also ease the problem of long commutes for drivers who live outside of San Francisco.  

Thank you to Graeme Knappick for the photo of this secretive project. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

George H Thomas 125 Years -- March 28, 2020

150 years ago today, on 28-March-1870, General George Thomas, USA died. This post is adapted from a 2013 item about General Thomas:

I recently read a wonderful essay by Lt Col Robert Bateman: The Meaning of Oaths and a Forgotten Man.  He talks about how Robert E Lee "was a traitor who should have been executed."  This is because Lee and other Regular Army officers who had sworn to protect and defend the United States should be regarded as traitorous opportunists who had violated their oaths and given up their honor.  He points to the example of George Henry Thomas of Virginia, a Regular Army officer who thought long and hard and when Virginia seceded and decided that "my oath of allegiance to the Federal government always came uppermost."

Colonel Bateman points out that Lee is idolized even though he killed tens of thousands of American soldiers, while Thomas, who remained loyal to his country and earned the nicknames "The Rock of Chickamauga" and "The Sledge of Nashville" by being one of the most effective generals on either side, is largely ignored except by historians.

General Thomas and his men stood fast at Chickamauga, preventing a Union defeat from turning into a rout.  Thomas destroyed Confederate General John Bell Hood's army at Nashville.  He continued to serve his country during Reconstruction. General George Henry Thomas died while serving as Commandant of the Presidio of San Francisco. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, 2020 -- March 27, 2020

Artist Scott Guion created this beautiful poster, featuring Dr Jobn, for the 51st anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 festival has been moved from 23-April - 03-May to the Fall.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

This Side Of Paradise 100 -- March 26, 2020

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 27-March-1920
F  Scott Fitzgerald's  first published novel, This Side Of Paradise, made its debut 100 years ago today on 26-March-2020.  I haven't read it for many years.

New York Tribune, 11-April-1920
Heywood Broun was, among other things, a literary critic.  He did not like the book.  I remember his son Heywood Hale Broun announcing sporting events on CBS.  Daisy Ashford published her first novel at the age of nine. Miss Spence's School is a private high school for girls in New York City. 

Mr Fitzgerald a Cynical and Searching Philosopher at 23
Paradise and Princeton
An ex-College Man Questions the Authenticity of Youthful Author's Atmosphere
By Heywood Broun

WE HAVE just read F. Scott Fitzgerald's "This Side Of Paradise" (Scribner's) and it makes us feel very old. According to the announcement of his publishers Mr. Fitzgerald is only twenty-three, but there were times daring our progress through the book when we suspected that this was an overstatement. Daisy Ashford is hardly more naive. There is a certain confusion arising from the fact that in spite of the generally callow quality of the author's point of view he is intent on putting himself over as a cynical and searching philosopher. The resulting strain is sometimes terrific.

Of course, Mr. Fitzgerald is nearer to college memories than we are and, moreover, we have no intimate knowledge of Princeton, and yet we remain unconvinced as to the authenticity of the atmosphere which he creates. It seems to us inconceivable that the attitude toward life of a Princeton undergraduate, even a freshman, should be so curiously similar to that of a sophomore at Miss Spence's.

"Ever read any Oscar Wilde?" inquires d'Invilliers, the young poet, of Blaine Amory, our hero, who has been presented as a youngster of a somewhat literary turn. "No. Who wrote it?" answers Amory, and we refuse to believe that young Mr. Fitzgerald is not pulling our leg. Then, too, in spite of the bleak and jaded way in which the author sums up the content of college life, it is evident that he is by no means unimpressed with the sprightliness of conduct and conversation which he assigns to his undergraduate characters, though it is silly conversation and sillier conduct.

It is probably true that in some respects Fitzgerald has painted a faithful portrayal of the type of young man who nay be described as the male flapper, but our objection lies in the fact that to our mind the type is not interesting. After all, the reviewer who has been through several seasons of tales about sub-debs cannot view with anything but horror the prospect of being treated to exhaustive studies of her brother and first cousins.

In making himself responsible for the descriptions of college pranks and larks the author has undertaken a task of enormous difficulty. Things, done in a spirit of alcoholic exuberation (sic - JT) must of necessity sound flat and unprofitable to the mature and cold, sober reader. When Fitzgerald writes, "The donor of the party having remained sober, Kerry and Amory accidentally dropped him down two flights of stairs, and called, shamefaced and penitent, at the infirmary all the following week," he does scant justice to Kerry and Amory. After all, in the mood and at the moment it can hardly have seemed such a silly trick as it must appear to the reader in Fitzgerald's laconic statement.

The thing that puzzled us most was the author's description of the violent effect of the sex urge upon some of his young folk. On page 122, for instance, a chorus girl named Axia laid her blond head on Amory's shoulder and the youth immediately rushed away in a frenzy of terror and suffered from hallucinations for forty-eight hours. The explanation was hidden from us. It did not sound altogether characteristic of Princeton.

There are occasional thrusts of shrewd observation and a few well turned sentences and phrases in "This Side of Paradise." It Is only fair to add that the book has received enthusiastic praise from most American reviewers. Fitzgerald has been hailed as among the most promising of our own authors. And it may be so, but we dissent. We think he will go no great distance until he has grown much simpler in expression. It seems to us that his is a style larded with fine writing. When we read, "It was like weakness in a good woman, or blood on satin; one of those terrible incongruities that shake little things in the back of the brain," we cannot but feel that we are not yet grown out of the self-conscious stage which makes writing nothing more than a stunt.

New York Tribune, 22-April-1920
A fan of the book replied to Heywood Broun.  

"Writing of 'This Side of Paradise,'" says Mr. B., "you say that the man 'of that age' (i. e., between eighteen and twenty-five) 'usually understands himself so imperfectly that he is seldom qualified to describe himself.'

"It seems to me that men of that age are far more qualified to describe themselves than men of your own age, or older. After twenty-five one usually settles down into a groove, enters some kind of a rutted profession, gets married, has a Heywood 3d (perhaps), etc. In this state it is impossible to understand the feelings of those about you, even if you want to. You've become so settled or unsettled that the emotions and struggles of those about you seem vague and just a trifle unreal. As for understanding yourself, 'the older you get the less you know.'

"You say that the writing of 'This Side of Paradise' is self-conscious. There you defeat yourself, for self-conscious people come nearest to understanding themselves. The moment a man becomes unself-conscious he begins to stagnate. He is out of the picture of life. He is doomed.

"Too many American novelists are old fogies, that's why 'This Side of Paradise' is such an absorbing story. No wonder the fits of Fitzgerald make the Howells howl!"

As a matter of fact, we are not offering the theory that man becomes wiser and more important as he grows older. On the contrary, nothing which happens to anybody after the age of eight or nine matters very much. The rest is ornamentation and shingles. And yet we have no great desire to read the novels of eight and nine-year-olders, and we are even doubtful of the prowess of eighteen and twenty-three. A man knows a lot about himself at that age, to be sure. The only trouble is that most of it isn't so. We are enough, of a Freudian to believe that the important things in a man are the things of which he is unconscious. The self-conscious person makes it difficult to reach these unexplored depths. He is anxious to justify himself. He gives all sorts of explanations of his moods and his motives. Practically all of these are self-protective. They are designed to throw himself and everybody else off the trail. It is only when a man, or a character in a book, becomes easy and lets down his guard that he gives you the information which enables you to know him. None of Fitzgerald's characters even puts his hands down for a second There is too much footwork and too much feinting for anything solid and substantial being accomplished. You can't expect to have blood drawn in any such exhibition as that.

Somebody gave H.B. 3d a large doll the other day, much to our consternation. We were afraid it might develop maternal instinct and make him effeminate, but yesterday we discovered him joyfully pounding the head of the doll against the floor, so we feel that up to date his instinct toward the young is healthy and properly paternal.

New York Tribune, 25-April-1920
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons noted Broun's disapproval in this ad.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

Comic Book --- Police Comics -- March 23, 2020
Plastic Man, created by Jack Cole was a  distinctive character who appeared in Police Comics, published by Quality Comics. Jack Cole drew the strip with humor and took advantage of Plastic Man's ability to stretch and twist into any shape. I remember when DC brought the character back in the 1960s.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Ideal Winter Car -- March 21, 2020

East Oregonian, 18-October-1918

In October, 1918, the Simpson Auto Company in Pendleton, Oregon offered a Ford Model T Sedan with a center-door body for $829.26 f. o. b. Pendleton. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Facial Armor for the Influenza -- March 19, 2020

Literary Digest, 30-November-1918
Governor Newsom has ordered bars and restaurants to close.  He is urging people to shelter-in-place unless going out is absolutely necessary.  During the Spanish flu pandemic, many people wore masks.  Now they tell us that the masks do not stop us from catching something, but may stop us from giving something to someone else.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has cancelled all public masses. 

The San Francisco MTA announced that cable cars and the F-Market and Wharves line will be replaced by buses.

Eight Senators voted against the COVID-19 relief package:
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
James Lankford (R-OK)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Transit Driver Appreciation Day, 2020 -- March 18, 2020

I am grateful to the men and women who bravely face San Francisco traffic and San Francisco people every day. Thank you all, especially during this pandemic.

I am grateful to transit drivers/motormen/gripmen/engineers/conductors and all the people who keep the vehicles clean and running and the wires and tracks in good shape all over the world. Thank you all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, 2020 -- March 17, 2020

Washington Star, 16-March-1920

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone.

This ad from the 16-March-1920 Washington Star offers ice cream "in the colors of the NEW IRISH FLAG/GREEN ====== WHITE  ====== ORANGE"

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Mal Sharpe, RIP -- March 15, 2020

Mal Sharpe has died.  I have know his voice my whole life.  I remember a little bit of Coyle and Sharpe, and Mal solo on many television programs.  I used to park in a lot where Mal tried to get people to let him leave his ostrich in their cars.  I listened to his Sunday night show on KCSM, "Back on Basin Street," for many years.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus -- March 13, 2020

Due to the rapid spread of the Novel Coronavirus, many events are getting cancelled.  Major League Baseball is postponing the start of the season.  Professional basketball, hockey and the NCIAA Tournament are suspended or cancelled.  Theaters are closing.  large gatherings are being banned.  Disneyland will close this weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Pulp -- Air Trails -- March 11, 2020
This issue of Air Trails features a story by Lieutenant Seymour G Pond, who somehow managed to serve in both the US Navy and the British Royal Flying Corps during World War One.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Sixth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon -- March 9, 2020

Indiana Daily Times, November 6, 1920
Lea at Silent-ology is hosting the Sixth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon:

My entry for the blogathon is on my movies-mostly blog, The Big V Riot Squad:
Buster Keaton’s First Feature, The Saphead

I wrote about Buster Keaton's first feature film and the play(s) that inspired it.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

International Women's Day, 2020 -- March 8, 2020
Happy International Women's Day. #InternationalWomensDay

I was going to vote for Kamala Harris.  Then I was going to vote for Elizabeth Warren.  Some day I hope to see a woman elected president.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

McCoy Tyner, RIP -- March 7, 2020
Pianist McCoy Tyner has died.  I have heard his stuff all my life.  In the early 1960s, he played with John Coltrane.  Later he went on his own, leading a trio.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

A Komedy of Komplaints -- March 5, 2020

Washington Times, 17-March-1920
I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I Voted -- November 3, 2020

California usually has its primary in June, too late to make a difference.  This year we joined the many states on Super Tuesday. I voted by mail.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- March 1, 2020

I just put the March, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: This West Chicago Street Railroad powerhouse at Washington and Jefferson Streets still stands in altered condition. I don't know why that big blank wall is there in front. Google Maps Streetview Image updated August 2019. Copyright 2020 Google.
2. On the Chicago page, A ten and twenty year update about the the West Chicago Street Railroad
3. Added News item about how production of a movie caused bus substitution on the Cal Cable line.

Ten years ago this month (March, 2010):
1. Picture of the Month: West Chicago Street Railroad trains on Randolph Street
2. On the Chicago page, more about the West Chicago Street Railroad, including a selection from the 1898 Report of Special Committee of the City Council of Chicago on the Street Railway Franchises & Operations, an ad for a default settlement, and a contemporary newspaper article:
Chicago -- Halsted Street Runaway (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Monday, February 25, 1895) Also on the Chicago page, two magazine articles about the Chicago Tunnel Railway
3. Also on the Chicago page, two magazine articles about the Chicago Tunnel Railway
4. On the San Francisco page: A link to a blog about Cubbie the Cable Car
5. On the Cable Car Video page:
-- Two F Line views of Muni 162 this year.
6. Thanks to Ric Francis, added News and Bibliography items about the shutdown of the Penang Hills Railway, a funicular
7. Added News and Bibliography items about Eric Neubauer's book about early Pullman car production
8. Add link to the website of an Italian colonel who commands a military railroad engineering unit

Twenty years ago this month (March, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: West Chicago cable train on Madison Street
2. Add West Chicago Street Railway to Chicago page.
3. Add article about the Chicago Tunnel Railway to the Chicago Miscellany page
4. Add more detail to Seattle page. Add Yesler/2nd & Iron Pergola pictures.
5. Add J M Thompson (no relation) to the Who page
6. Add links to Steve Annells' The Bus Station, Jacek Wesolowski's Urban Mountain Railways and People Movers site, and Joel GAzis-SAx's An Almanac of California.

125 years ago, on 03-March-1895, the Gilmor Street line of the Baltimore Traction Company was converted to electric traction

Also 125 years ago, on 09-March-1895, Washington DC's Columbia Railway opened its main line

Also 125 years ago, on 19-March-1895, Oakland's Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company sold at auction

Coming in April, 2020: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: On the Cable Car Kitsch page: Twenty years of Kitsch. New items include another TWA poster.

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-March-2020)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Saturday, February 29, 2020

No Wine -- February 29, 2020

When we went to 5 o'clock mass at Good Shepherd, we found that there will no longer be cups used at communion.  This is because of flu season and the coronavirus.

I took the photo of Stella Pilgrim's statue of Jesus the Good Shepherd on 12-June-2010. .

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Carnival City -- February 25, 2020

The St Martinsville Weekly Messenger, 17-February-1900
Happy Mardi Gras, everyone. The Southern Pacific Railroad invited people to take their special train  to and from New Orleans for Mardi Gras season in 1900.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Raising the Flag on Mount Suribachi 75 Years -- February 23, 2020

Seventy-five years ago today, on 23-February-1945, during the month-long Battle of Iwo Jima, Marines raised our flag atop Mount Suribachi.  I remember when Joe Rosenthal, who took this photo, worked for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Chevrolet FB 20 Roadster -- February 21, 2020

Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram, 28-February-1920
The Chevrolet FB 20 was a sporty-looking roadster.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ancient Vintages of Autos Appear in Jubilee of French Touring Club -- February 19, 2020

St Tammany Farmer, 14-February-1920

Many strange and cumbersome cars made appearance at the Jubilee review held by the Touring club of France. The club has a membership of over 100,000 and some of the older members who had old-fashioned motors stored away in their barns got them out ror the parade.

The most unusual exhibit was a model of 1894, which is shown in the photo.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Happy Presidents' Day 2020 -- February 17, 2020

Theodore Roosevelt, the Trust Buster, the Hero of San Juan Hill, TR. One of my favorite Presidents.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Comic Book -- Smash Comics -- February 15, 2020
Smash Comics, published by Quality Comics, featured a number of heroes, including Bozo the Robot, also known as Bozo the Iron Man.  Great name.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Negro Base Ball League Enters Arena -- February 13, 2020

Tulsa Star, 14-February-1920
100 years ago today, on 13-February-1920, owners of several independent professional teams for African American players, who were barred from Major League Baseball, gathered in Kansas City to form the first Negro National League.  Rube Foster, founder and manager of the Chicago American Giants, led the group.  The first Negro National League lasted until 1931, when the Great Depression finished it off.


Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit,
Kansas City and Dayton, O. to
Arrange Schedule.

(Star News Service.)
KANSAS CITY, Feb. 13. -- This city will be today and tomorrow the meeting place of a group of Colored base ball managers to organize a circuit, including Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Kansas City, and Dayton, O. Rube Foster plans to form a national league after this circuit has been perfected. The Cuban Stars will he the traveling team in the circuit, Foster, who is manager of the American Giants; Joe Green of the Chicago Giants, and Carey R. Lewis, sporting editor of the Chicago Defender, will leave next week for the conference.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Impeached But Not Convicted -- February 11, 2020

Our so-called president has been impeached, but was not convicted because of the spineless Republican senators.  Only Mitt Romney voted to convict on one article.  He deserves credit as a patriot.

"According to Jane Taylor, 'the central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification'. Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero—fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, greedy, cruel, cowardly and evil..." -- Wikipedia

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Black Mask -- February 9, 2020

This issue of Black Mask carried Dashiell Hammett's "The Tenth Clew," a Continental Op story. I like the Op.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Gung Hay Fat Choy, 2017 -- February 8, 2020
In honor of the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, here is Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille. I enjoyed the movie, but as the grandson of a chef, I found the idea of a rat in the kitchen to be disturbing.

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is tonight. The parade has taken place since the 1860s.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Irving Aaronson 125, February 7, 2020

Band leader Irving Aaronson was born 125 years ago today, on 07-February-1895. Years ago I took a jazz anthology record out from the library.  One of the tracks was credited to "Irving Aaronson and His Commanders." For some reason, the name struck me as being funny.  There may also have been a photo.  The music was pretty good mid-1920s jazz.  At various times he employed Gene Krupa and Artie Shaw.  After Aaronson broke up the band in the mid-1930s, he worked as a musical director at M-G-M.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Babe Ruth 125, Bob Marley 75 -- February 6, 2020
Babe Ruth was born 125 years ago today, on 06-February-1895.  He was a great left-handed pitcher who became an even better power hitter.  He held the season and lifetime home run records for a long time.
 Bob Marley was born 75 years ago today, on 06-February-1945.  I remember when we started to hear reggae music on the radio in the 1970s.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hey Wot? -- February 5, 2020

Washington Times, 22-February-1920
I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Doctors say Beware of Colonnavirus -- February 3, 2020
The 2020 novel colonnavirus (provisionally named 2020-jCoV), informally known as the jerry colonnavirus, is a contagious virus that causes the infected person's eyes to bug out and mustache to grow uncontrollably. In time, the infected person develops an uncontrollable urge to harass Bob Hope.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Happy Groundhog Day 2020 -- February 2, 2020

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone. This groundhog does not look very happy. For some reason he reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

February, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- February 1, 2020

I just put the February, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A North Chicago Street Railroad train at Clark Street and North Avenue. Note the two trailers. (Source: Chicago Public Library Digital Collection, Repository number RLVCC 1.1056. All rights reserved).
2. On the Chicago page, A ten and twenty year update about the the widely hated North Chicago Street Railroad
3. Added News items about the cable cars decorated to honor the 49ers visit to the Super Bowl and the retirement of Sir Francis Drake Hotel Tom Sweeney.

Ten years ago this month (February, 2010):
1. Picture of the Month: The LaSalle Street powerhouse was "Michael Jordan's The Restaurant(tm)" for many years.
2. On the Chicago page, more about the widely hated North Chicago Street Railroad, including a selection from the 1898 Report of Special Committee of the City Council of Chicago on the Street Railway Franchises & Operations, an advertisement for investors, a cartoon and some contemporary newspaper articles:
-- Chicago -- Patent Lawsuit (Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Wednesday, December 21, 1887)
-- Chicago -- Runaway Horse Car (San Francisco Morning Call, Sunday, October 03, 1890)
-- Chicago -- Cable Cars to Carry Bicycles (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Sunday, May 30, 1897)
-- Chicago -- Making Money From Cable Cars (Omaha Daily Bee, Saturday, July 1, 1899)
3. On the Cable Car Models page, photos and a video of Garden Scale Cable Cars
4. On the Horse Car Home Page, a John Stephenson ad and a Chicago newspaper article

Twenty years ago this month (February, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: North Chicago cable trains at the La Salle Street tunnel, Chicago
2. Add North Chicago Street Railway to Chicago page.
3. Add article about the Patent Trust to the Miscellany page
4. Add C T Yerkes to the Who page
5. Move Thanks/Links to a separate page
6. Add postcard of former cable car used on Mount Tamalpais railroad to San Francisco/Omnibus page
7. Add information about iron pergola in Seattle
8. Add information about modern Portland, Victoria tourist cable tram project to the Melbourne page

150 years ago, on 26-February-1870, the Beach Pneumatic Subway started operating.

125 years ago, on 25-February-1895, a cable train of the West Chicago Street Railroad collided with a horse car.

Coming in March, 2020: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: A ten and twenty year update about the West Chicago Street Railroad

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-February-2020)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Raven 175 -- January 29, 2020

Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was first published 175 years ago today, on 29-January-1845.


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

  And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”

  Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” — here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
Merely this, and nothing more.

  Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind, and nothing more!”

  Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

  Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no sublunary being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

  But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster — so, when Hope he would adjure,
Stern Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure —
That sad answer, “Nevermore!”

  But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust, and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

  This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight [[lamp-light]] gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight [[lamp-light]] gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

  Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite — respite and Nepenthe [[nepenthe]] from thy memories of Lenore!
Let me quaff this kind Nepenthe [[nepenthe]] and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore —
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting —
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

January, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page

Due to the medical issues of a family member, I am shamefully late in putting out my January updates.

I just put the January, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server: 
It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A three car (grip car and two trailers) Chicago City Railway Wabash/Cottage Grove Avenue train terminates at Jackson Park. (source: Chicago Tribune Historical Photographs; CTA).
2. On the Chicago page, A ten and twenty year update about the Chicago City Railway, one of the most successful cable traction companies in the industry.

Ten years ago this month (January, 2010):
1. Picture of the Month: A stereo view of "State Street north from Madison" in Chicago
2. On the Chicago page, more about the Chicago City Railway, including a selection from the 1898 Report of Special Committee of the City Council of Chicago on the Street Railway Franchises & Operations and contemporary newspaper article:
-- Chicago -- Gripman Killed (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Friday, February 03, 1882)
-- THE CABLE-CAR LINE/Progress of the Work -- Eleven Trains and the Horse-Cars Still Running (Omaha Daily Bee, Wednesday, February 15, 1882)
-- Chicago -- Third Fatality (Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Saturday, March 25, 1882)
-- Chicago -- Fifteenth Victim (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Monday, September 04, 1882)
-- Killed by a Cable Car. (New-York Tribune, Wednesday, November 6, 1893)
-- STOPS CHICAGO CABLE LINES./The City Begins Active War on Street Car Company. (New-York Tribune, Thursday, January 18, 1906)
-- CABLES MAKE LAST RUN ON STREET IN CHICAGO (San Francisco Call, Sunday, July 23, 1906)
3. Added Bibliography item about Mayor Newsome's proposal to fill in part of Hallidie Plaza and install a reservoir or cistern below it
4. Added News and Bibliography items about the discovery of a relic of Saint Paul Minnesota's Selby Avenue cable car line

Twenty years ago this month (January, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: State Street, Chicago
2. Roll out Chicago page with Chicago City Railway and excerpt from The Pit by Frank Norris.
3. Add Miscellany page
4. Add C B Holmes and Asa Hovey to the Who page
5. Add items about Muni's New Year's Eve plans to news and bibliography
6. Add links to Library of Congress page about cable cars and Don's Railspo

Coming in January, 2020: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: A ten and twenty year update about the Chicago City Railway, one of the most successful companies in the industry

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-January-2020) 
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

New Cat #73 -- January 26, 2020

I took the photo on 13-January-2020.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Year of the Rat -- January 25, 2020

Film Daily Yearbook, 1929
In honor of the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, here is the most famous rodent in cinema, Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.  Mickey made his debut in 1928.