Monday, January 15, 2007

Working in an art museum….and other tidbits…

I had the good fortune to be able to visit the corporate headquarters of BNSF Railway in Ft. Worth, TX this past week.

I say good fortune because, well, the place is simply amazing. Every wall, in every area of the building I saw, is decorated with American art, old paintings, drawings, photographs and pieces of American railroad history. Their lobby/reception area is adorned with museum type glass cases that are filled with over 150 years of railroad artifacts.

I was told, the collection that literally covers every common wall area in the building, is second only to the Smithsonian in size.

In my career, I’ve been to 100’s of corporate offices, many that held large, expensive pieces of art…. But nothing, anywhere I’ve ever been, compared to this.

We spent several days this trip at the Texas Motor Speedway, and those of you who know me, also know, that to a motor head like me, that, in and of itself would be a real treat. However, the few hours spent at the BNSF Railway headquarters on Friday were definitely the highlight of the trip for me. I was, and remain, amazed at what I saw there.

I don’t know if they allow visitors, or give tours, but if you’re in the Ft. Worth area, I’d suggest checking on the possibility if you’re even remotely interested in this sort of thing.


On an entirely separate front, those of you who check out the comments pages, may have noticed the first comment on my Dog Whispering post. It was supposedly from one of the producers of the show who was also co-authoring Cesar Millan’s new book.

I’m sure you all thought exactly what I thought… “Yeah, right”… or something to that effect. I’ve certainly gotten all sorts of, shall I say ‘interesting’ comments, in addition to the ones my regular readers leave. I responded politely, and did send a follow up email.

I remained skeptical however, until Saturday morning.

On Saturday I received an email from the executive producer of the Dog Whisperer show, letting me know I’d be seeing a release document this week, thanking me for being willing to let them use my post, and so on.

This may, or may not, lead to anything further in my dream of writing for a living, but, if it all works out, being noticed by Melissa (a very accomplished writer in her own regard) and being included in the book’s success story section is fairly flattering!

Stay tuned, I’ll definitely keep you posted on both the progress, and on the release date for Cesar’s new book.


Work-wise, things are pretty much, situation normal… no change in employment status, but I continue to work, and be billable, one week at a time. I am looking into a gig in New Hampshire however. It’s a ways from home, but, it’s a FoxPro focused gig and pretty decent rates as well. I’ve submitted all of my info, and now we’re in the wait and see phase.

In this phase, while the company is checking out my skills and experience, I check out the cost of apartments (furnished) etc and what sort of costs I’ll incur to take on the gig. If everything works out, as in a total “win-win” situation, I’ll earn more, after expenses than I am now, and, my skills will match their needs fairly closely.

Stay tuned on this as well. I’ll definitely keep you all posted.


Other than traveling, working, and attempting to relax in the time I’ve had off, not all that much else has been going on. Maryan continues to get better, Lulu has become a wonderful member of the household and, in general, life is good and I continue to feel lucky despite some speed bumps along the road.

Then again, regardless of how lucky I might be feeling today… I’m thinking these guys are feeling even more fortunate!! (The pictures were emailed to me, they are definitely NOT mine! I do not know who actually took them.)

Thompson River Derailment
More Info
One More Story

There are a lot of opinions about railroads, and railroad safety. I’m pretty sure about this however; CN developed a new cab design, that involved ‘Armor Plating’ the front of the cab, in order to better protect the crew in the cab in the event of an accident. I’d say, from these, and the other photos I’ve seen, as well as the fact that neither of the crew men were seriously injured, that the design worked very well!

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Lorna said...

I think i commented in your last post that I'm afraid of dogs---have been all my life. Now I'm afraid of trains too.

Bill said...

Hi Lorna - No reason to fear trains... 1st this wasn't a passenger train, and 2nd, the railroads are working everyday to prevent this type of thing.

There are actually sensors on these rails to detect rockslides, one of the accounts I read indicated that this one most likely started as dirt, and that once dirt covered the tracks, the sensors were unable to 'see' the rocks... I have no doubt that there will be an adjustment to correct that going forward.

Thanks, as always, for stopping in!