This Space for Rent

Aug 28, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

A little light reading

Starting a new book on a friday evening

Aug 24, 2020

Shopping while hungry

Shopping while hungry

I was only planning on getting cat fud & dried mango, but, alas, I didn’t eat anything before I headed out the door. This was enough of a load so when I stopped too quickly when I reached home the whole bicycle went head over teakettle and deposited all of my groceries on the ground. Next time I’m going to eat something before I head out, just to avoid shopping surprises.

Aug 21, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & the PH&W

The model railroader

Mail bike


Taking a fork + a rack over to the post office for mailing (priority mail, so it’s more likely that they will make it to their destination in finite time than parcel post would be) as well as three letters that will have their arrival time depend on how dedicated the junta is to fucking up the mail.

Desktop background

The desktop background on the emergency macbook

Why, yes, I am still a trainspotter. Why do you ask?

Aug 18, 2020

Test ride

Gravel Grinding(tm)

Taking a newly coupled frame (an old Italian Ciocc that I also replaced the rear end with modular dropouts (spaced to ~135mm) and a disc mount) out for a short test ride to verify that it won’t immediately disintegrate when I ride around on it.

SPOILER: It didn’t.

Aug 16, 2020

RSC2m picture of the day, if by “the day” you mean a rainy day in Aug, 1975

576 on a rainy day in North La Crosse

576, artistically reflected in a puddle on a rainy afternoon.

Aug 14, 2020

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Muffin Mite

Blueberry muffin mite (photo by Russell Parsons)

Aug 12, 2020

Logo mockup on one of the PH&W’s Alcos

A smaller logo

(Tom Farance photo, via

Happily, one of the prototype photos someone else took of 576 (I’m sure I took SOME, but most of my photos and film vanished in one move or another) is a classic sideview from across the tracks from the La Crosse depot, so I could just paint over the Milwaukee Road nameplate and paste in an appropriately-sized version of the Sabot-cat PH&W logo.

I’ll need to put a thin black border around the upper part of the logo to set the red off from the traction orange that the Milwaukee Road used for their nicest paint scheme.

Aug 11, 2020

A logo for the Plaster Hills & Western


The anarchist/IWW Sabot-cat makes a replacement for the angled Milwaukee Road plate on the cabsides of the ex-Milwaukee rsc2m’s. The PH&W uses it in its original sense of being bad luck for the bosses, obviously, not the sabotage sense (since the workers on the PH&W have already seized the means of production, the latter meaning makes no sense, and the world that the PV&T exists in is far friendlier to labor than this one, so it doesn’t freak the surrounding railroads or New York Gypsum out.)

(New York Gypsum, fyi, is the company that originally built the PH&W in the late 1800s, and which helped subsidize the employee takeover of the PH&W after the previous management had driven it to bankruptcy.)

Aug 10, 2020

There might be a day when I no longer have photos of 578 to post, but today is not that day

578 in Brillion (3, or 4, or ... ?)

A photo from 1978, on the Brillion & Forest Junction, about a year(?) after Trans Northern bought it. Note that the horns have been yanked (I don’t know if the multi-chime horn that it carried for the rest of its life had been installed yet; this photo is taken from close enough that they’d be hidden by the curve of the roof) and that there appears to be a spare cab door on the NDS catwalk.

This Eng! should have ended up in a museum, not left for scrap in Arkansas.

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.


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir