This Space for Rent

Aug 08, 2020

There’s a prototype for anything? Well, maybe not for this.

B-11 switcher

LT&L #10000 (ex PH&W 6, ex LT&L 1000) – a CLC VO-660 that broke its crankshaft after being sold to the PH&W , then was bought back for parts, handed off to the Montreal Terminal, dumped at the shops in Montreal, then (in 1970) dragged out of the partsline and rebuilt with the guts of an RS-11 that the LT&L bought on the used market to use as a switcher and then almost immediately wrecked in a runaway.

Behold! The mighty B-11, with much more horsepower than you’d ever want in a switcher, but normally operated coupled to a slug made from one of the LT&L’s RS2s after the PV&T did a great purge/rebuild of all of its pre-251 engined fleet. Amusingly, it’s assigned to the MTRR’s Plattsburg branch so it’s still wandering around in the general vicinity of where it blew up in the first place.

Aug 07, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Installing macos

Dust Mite helps me try to install macos on a SSD-equipped 2011 macbook pro. Sadly, this one doesn’t have the firmware update that allows it to talk to a disk on a 6gb SATA channel (the 2011 mbp has a firmware defect that makes a 6gb channel unreliable, so any sustained i/o apparetly overloads the SATA controller, and then things go klunk), so trying to install is a festival of mysterious failures. We both agree that installing to rotating media is for the birds, but the alternative is spending money on a SSD.

(The repeated -6003F errors? The mbp gets it into its tiny little mind that it doesn’t need to ask about wifi, so no network and no recovery images to fetch from the network. c-o-p-r USUALLY fixes that wagon, but not always, and the keys are scattered all over the keyboard.)

Railroad scan of the day

A short freight on on the L`ain interurban

An boxcab pulling a freight on one of the Ain Tramway Company’s interurban lines. The scan is either of a postcard or clipped out of a railroad magazine (I can’t verify the backside of it because it’s glued to a piece of cardstock.) Note that the postcard is helpfully pointing out that it’s single-phase; I suspect this means the postcard is from the early 1900s when 3-phase was still a thing, particularly in the mountainous region that France + Switzerland + Italy are all jammed up against.

Aug 06, 2020

Rasing the dead (macbook air edition)

Raising the dead (macbook air edition)

My almost-teenaged (2008) macbook air, brought back to life by replacing the pepsi syndromed keyboard with a new (used) one.

Aug 03, 2020

Disco travel bike picture of the day

Purple bike, giant sculpture

Pausing for a photo at the Tacoma Street Tri-Met station

Where the rsc2m’s roam

Where the rsc2m's will roam.

A sketch of the PH&W route map to replace the last one (this one follows the mountainsides a little bit closer, which means I have to move Altona Junction further west to keep the grade on the ramp down to Altona to something that’s not more hideous than the Madison Incline.

I also added some more context to the PH&W page, including a brief mention of the anarchistic commune that owns and operates the railroad.

Aug 01, 2020

MS found in the spam bucket


Hello! I have full access to your device, I’ve been watching you for a few months now.The fact is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visited.

If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device.This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it. I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence on %RCPT_ADDRESS% etc.

Why your antivirus did not detect malware?
Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.

I made a video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched.With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks.I can also post access to ally our e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use. If you want to prevent this,transfer the amount of 5000 EUR to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write on Google: “Buy Bitcoin”). You can also visit one of the brokers (,,, Bitstamp, anycoindirect) or check for bitcoin ATM near you.

Step 1: Create an account on
Step 2: Buy Exactly 0.990364 BITCOIN @ www.coinbase,
Step 3: Send the amount on this BTC address: 1BJM7rCiDS94PCo9zVdiAr6jGSDU1cgfqq
Step 4: Contact me by replying mail and copy to with this subject: 099VIPSERVER-RESTOREKEYPC41078

After this steps you will receive through email the key and a decrypt tutorial. Here is another list where you can buy bitcoin:,, Bitstamp, anycoindirect) or check for bitcoin ATM near you. Send 5,000 EUR = 0.990364 BTC to this Bitcoin address below asap: 1BJM7rCiDS94PCo9zVdiAr6jGSDU1cgfqq (copy paste address - it’s case sensitive) Send exactly 0.990364 BTC to my Bitcoin wallet. After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear from e again.I give you 60 hours (more than 2 days) to pay.I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.

Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.I do not make any mistakes.

If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.
Niarov D.

Some notes on this variant of the evergreen bitcoin porn scam:

  • I spent much more time on making this cut and paste extortion attempt amusing than the spammer spent sending it out.
  • €5000? That’s certainly swinging for the fences.
  • As always, I am amazed at the naive confidence of these scammers who assume that a server at a colo will have a camera that can reach all the way to my home and peep me while I’m looking for Alco photos.
  • And mixing up paragraphs from the bitcoin porn scam and a ransomware demand letter? Sloppy work there.
  • finally, the underlined paragraph? Bring it on. I’d love to see some evidence that a notebook selfie camera can work through a sticker.


Mavis naps in the window

It’s been cooler since yesterday, so we’ve flung open some of the windows to air out the house. Mavis approves, and spent the morning taking advantage of the window seat.

Jul 31, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Music box mite

Dust Mite inspects the new jukebox.

I finally snapped and (thanks to someone buying a fork + a rack from me) bought a mac mini to replace the first gen macbook air I’d been using as a music server after it suffered the pepsi syndrome (an all too regular occurrence with macbooks in this household!) and was no longer usable as a workstation.

This one is a 2012 mini that I got cheaply (for a mac; those things cling to their resale value like you wouldn’t believe) because the video chip had blown up and took the video output with it when it died. So this thing works (see the friendly little light!) but can only be managed by telnet and or vnc (and if I need to try and modify the disk I need to put the thing into firewire target mode and pretend it’s an external disc for another mac.) But it’s a music player, so it doesn’t need a head, and once I got it set up I could just plunk it over by the stereo cabinet and leave it be.

It’s got a 2.5ghz I5 (2 hyperthreading cores), 8 gb of core, and a 500gb SSD and no big graphics display to slow things down, so it flies (itunes playback takes ~3% of a single cpu thread) and doesn’t act like a little space heater while doing it. No pockets, but pockets (CD slots) were discontinued after 2011 and I can plug an external one in if I need to load a cd.

(And now I need to get a replacement keyboard for the macbook air so I can use it as a emergency backup macbook for the next time my main one suffers from the pepsi syndrome.)

Every new (or modified) rack needs test rides

Exercise bike

Taking the long boi rack out for a test ride to verify that it won’t *immediately* disintegrate when it goes out on the line. tl/dr; it didn’t, though this frame + these tires + this weather make for a hard riding combination.

Jul 30, 2020

Long Boi

long boi

A freshly stretched rack, ready for a test ride and then into the paint shop (along with the fork, at which point a thing goes back into the bike mess until the next time I need something to test ride.

The rack is not tilted nearly as jauntily as this picture claims it is.

Jul 28, 2020

Railroad scan of the day

E50, et seq, at Avery ID

A consist of E50, E47 & 2 other boxcabs at Avery Idaho, three years before the criminally incompetent management pulled down the wire and started running the Pacific extension into the ground.

Jul 24, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Computer Mite

Dust Mite helps me scan in some old railroad slides

Ancient Alco slides, via ebay

RSD-5 #575 & an unidentified f7 with a freight somewhere around Wausau

And by ancient, I mean “taken when I was a teenager”; the Milwaukee Road ran their Alcos up unto the mid-70s (the great purge happened around 1975, but rsc2’s 578 & 594 until ‘77 or '78?) so people slightly older than me were able to load up cameras and drive to the corners of Wisconsin where they still operated.

I never made it to Wausau, or Eau Claire, or Winona, or up the Rock River to see any of them running (my family regularly took the state highways from Coon Valley to Viroqua, but we never saw anything operating on the branch except one time when I saw CM&N’s 1205 working the old La Crosse & Southeastern’s stub line in Viroqua during the year where it was operated as a short line) so except for when they were in La Crosse (I saw – once – 577 coming in from Minnesota with a train from either the Rock River line or Winona) either laying over at the (now demised) roundhouse or switching in the North La Crosse yard. I probably saw the 575 once or twice, but I was a kid and didn’t pay as much attention to the details except for the low noses on the rsc2m’s vs the high(ish) noses on the unmodified rsc2s and rsd5s, so I can’t be certain.

But here it is, out on the line near Wausau, bringing in revenue for a railroad with a criminally incompetent management, while the tsunami of abandonments builds to the point where all the remaining pretty locomotives will be washed away years before their time.

Jul 22, 2020

Pinned by a cat

Pinned by a cat

Fortunately catnaps aren’t that long, because my tea was about to run out.

RSC2m picture of the day

577 in Rondout (#3)

577 on track six at Rondout Junction (on its way to the breakers yard in 1976)

Test ride

Wichita test ride

Taking a thing out to test drive my latest fork. The fork didn’t fail, which was nice for my teeth, and once I got the tires pumped up to a reasonable tension the low trail on the fork didn’t drive me to distraction. Didn’t test the nohandedness of the machine to see if the fork is tracking properly – I’ll do that tomorrow – but other than that everything worked as I wanted it to.

I need to get some thinwall tires instead of these belted commuter Pasela-alikes, because the stiff belted lyfe is really uncomfortable when matched with the upright position french fit demands.

Jul 21, 2020


Low profile canti posts

This fork is going to be fitted with Paul mini-Vs, so it doesn’t need much post. I, however, do need a little post so I can test ride it before sending it off to the east coast, so it became an experiment to see how low I can go.

35mm tire and the fork crown is 50mm wide, so there’s plenty of room for the brake shoes to back out of the way when I install and remove the wheel.

Jul 18, 2020

The helpful cat

mavis helps me program

Mavis helps me program

Jul 17, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Tossing another fork on the barbie

Dust Mite helps me jig up another fork so I can braze it together tomorrow.

Jul 12, 2020


Mount Hood tries to hide among the clouds

No volcano here, nothing but a pointy cloud hanging out with all of the other clouds!


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir